What kind of man are you attracted to?

Challies_May1-7-04_0

As I was scrolling through Facebook the other day, I came across this picture. It says “The Gospel calls us to ‘man down,’ more so than to ‘man up.’ There is no masculinity without a core of humility.”

I’m not a man, so technically it doesn’t apply to me, but something about this hit me hard. Is that kind of man acceptable to Christian women?

Over the last year I’ve had the privilege of speaking to women on several issues of sexuality. One thing that has often grieved me is the way in which women are afraid that if they don’t dress in a certain way or act in a certain way they won’t be attractive, even to Christian men. Too many men, even in the church, have very secular standards for the type of woman that they want.

This quote, however, made me question things from the other side. As Christian women, what are we attracted to?

Sometimes, when I think about the qualities that make a Christ-like man, I have to ask myself ‘would I have even liked Jesus?’

So many Christian women, myself included, have adopted the world’s standards of what makes a man attractive. Instead of being attracted to humility, we are dazzled by arrogant confidence; instead of respecting dignity, we are obsessed with charisma; instead of godly, we want cool.

How important is it that we do not ask men choose between attracting women and following Christ?

Advertisements

Men, if you want to help women with their body image, stop weighing in with your opinions.

Most men genuinely want women to feel happy and comfortable in their own skin.

Most decent guys hate the way the media screws with women’s minds, making them feel like they just don’t measure up to the ever-elusive ‘ideal.’

Many men want to help, but as soon as they open their mouths they get it wrong.

scream-mouth-background_23-2147492625The other day I read a great piece of writing by Tina Fey articulating the exact proportions of different body parts that today’s ideal woman is supposed to have. It was refreshing because it enabled women to see how utterly ridiculous and unattainable all of these combined features were.

In a beautiful moment of eloquence, women around the world were united.

Until…

Enter the man.

Bless him. He wanted to be encouraging. He wanted to point out that not all men want that ridiculously unattainable ‘ideal.’ So he picked out two features, named them, and said ‘Ew.’

And right at that moment he stopped being helpful. Because while the complete package is rare, the individual features are not, and all of a sudden, millions of women were told that their ‘rock hard abs’ and ‘narrow hips’ (in this case) were ‘ew.’

Good try.

Let’s get some things straight. Women come in all shapes and sizes. Men like different shapes and sizes. Now let’s stop talking about that, and engage with each others’ minds.

Because it’s not all about the bass, or the treble… it’s about the heart and the mind.

Chivalry Didn’t Die at the Hand of a Man

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt has long been said that chivalry is dead and I wonder, if this is true, who killed it?

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not because men in every city decided that they’d be happier just being jerks. Nope, the first stabs in chivalry’s back came from women who decided they’d be happier being treated like men.

Before I get an onslaught of anger over issues of equality and gender stereotypes, let me say this.: I’m all for equality, but I’m also all for difference. In centuries gone by, chivalry was a man’s way of respecting and honouring this distinction. It was not about his right to exert power; it was about her privilege of receiving service.

For centuries men and women have existed in a harmonious dance of give and take, each serving each other, until (dare I say) the women decided they wanted to do everything themselves. Goodness knows why they’ve felt a sudden need to open their own doors (no-one ever doubted you were capable of it) but somehow it seemed necessary as they hurtled past equality towards power and dominance, leaving emasculated men in their wake.

For the record, I don’t think chivalry is dead (though it is languishing under the pressure of decades of slow strangulation) and I commend the men who uphold it, but I would say this to the women who are lamenting its rarity: Before you cry in disgust that chivalry is dead, make sure you’re acting like a lady.