Jesus had such a special place in His heart for women. The woman condemned to die because of adultery was given grace and mercy by Jesus–He saved her physical and spiritual life.(John Chapter 8)
In my doctoral studies I was deeply reminded in my cultural diversity class of the over-sexualization of adolescent girls and women. The statistics and research were truly alarming. Bottom line is that women are more impacted by the media and culture than we realize or are willing to admit. Here is an excerpt from one of my papers:
A steady diet of exploitative, sexually provocative depictions of women feeds a poisonous trend in women’s and girls’ perceptions of their bodies, one that has recently been recognized by social scientists as self-objectification—viewing one’s body as a sex object to be consumed by the male gaze. (Adams, M., Blumenfeld, W., Castaneda, C., Hackman, H., Peters, M., & Zuniga, X., 2013, p. 347)
Researchers have learned a lot about self-objectification and have discovered that women who self-objectify are more prone to depression, habitual body monitoring, eating disorders, general feelings of disgust and shame, impaired concentration and cognitive functioning, anxiety, and disempowerment to set healthy boundaries in relationships.
There is no woman alive on this planet who does not have a wounded little girl inside her. Earth is not perfect. No one gets a trouble-free life. Things happen–loss, hurt, disappointment, abuse, shame, self-objectification…
So many of us wonder if we are good enough or worthy.
It’s so easy for the enemy to use our past and the media/culture to constantly trip us up. Social scientist proclaim that some patterns are repeated so often in a culture that we begin to accept them as “normal” .
It’s not normal to be exploited.
Women we can not trust our culture and the words and actions from our past to define who we are! If you’ve been a Christian for many years, and you feel you’ve conquered this–really dig deep. God says you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
- In the privacy of my mind, do I believe this wholeheartedly?
- Am I raising my daughters to believe this truth?
- Do I turn away from movies, music, and literature that exploits women as sex objects?
- Do I hunger for the love of Jesus and put all my cravings and passions into knowing Him?
- Do I linger too long on my weight, wrinkles, imperfections, and compare myself to other women?
Because our culture is entrenched in this pattern, we could spend the rest of our lives angry and bitter towards what the enemy has done to captivate a woman’s heart and mind. That would be the enemy’s pleasure. Instead, we can choose to rejoice in the knowledge of who we are in Jesus Christ and linger on His love, mercy, and grace. Darkness fades when the light is shining bright. It still exists, but the brightness of Jesus can overcome the darkness and bring us hope in the midst of it all.
I believe as women we can support each other. YOU are fearfully and wonderfully made!
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life!” Proverbs 4:23