My daughter turned nine last month. She is one crazy, smart, rhythmic kid. She got all of the best of both parents, and I have no doubt that when she grows into womanhood she is going to be outrageously, stunningly beautiful.
This is both a source of great joy and unholy terror. I know how our world views beautiful women, and the way they are both idolized and debased by popular culture. We elevate beauty to the point of worshipping it. If you don’t believe me, just look at the extremes aging celebrities go to in order to preserve their youth and their beauty. We do everything we can to stay young and beautiful.
At the same time, we expect beauty to be accessible to all of us. We tend to expect that beautiful people will share their beauty with everyone. It is just assumed that if a woman is beautiful or has a shapely body, she should share her beauty with the world.
Now in a sense, God gives us beauty for us to appreciate it. We should be thankful for women and their beauty, because God made women beautiful so men would be attracted to them and continue the multiplication of the human race.
At the same time, we need to understand beauty as what it is. A woman’s beauty is meant to be fully enjoyed by her husband. Everything about her that makes her sexually attractive is meant for him – not for us. Most pastors shy away from words like sexy, but I have no problem saying it. Women, you should want to be sexy. You should want to drive your husband crazy with desire for you. But sexy is for your husband – not for the world, not for every lingering eye and lusting mind.
The beauty of your sexuality (and it is a divine beauty) is meant for the one man you choose to live your life with, to give yourself entirely to.
When we tell women that it is normal and expected to flaunt their bodies before everyone, are we not giving everyone around them (male and female) permission to trespass on holy ground reserved for that most beautiful union – marriage? When we make sexy a part of our life beyond the bounds of marriage, aren’t we opening a secret garden for public degradation?
I know this makes me weird and slightly backward in most people’s eyes. I can live with it.
When I go to the beach, I don’t stay long. Do you know why? Because almost every women and girl on the beach is running around with her body exposed to anyone who wants to see. You know what happens in my mind? My mind, which is naturally and divinely designed to find the female body attractive, meanders off into secret longing. Longing becomes fantasy. Fantasy become covetousness. Covetousness becomes…
And that is wrong. It is sin. Those women’s sexuality – their bodies, their beauties – is not for me. My wife’s sexuality – her body and her beauty – is not for you. And when my daughter reaches sexual maturity, her body and her beauty is not for you either. It is for her husband – the man my wife and I pray for often, although we do not know his name.
God made my daughter beautiful. I know that one day, he will bring along that man who will become the steward of her beauty. He will (prayerfully) treasure her beauty that is entrusted to him. He will revel in it and be blessed by God’s handiwork. Until that man comes along, I have always encouraged my daughter to hold her beauty in trust for him.