Thursday, February 17, 2011
If you want to catch a fish,
A friend sent me an article published in Psychology Today titled The Truth About Beauty. This topic is always timely, but it reminded me of a conversation I was having with a female I was working with this week through the Cache' Connections Mentoring Services. We were talking about what colors look best on her (she had no idea), and I was encouraging her to wear at least a little bit of makeup for her upcoming photo session. She was very open to receiving my suggestions, and admitted she was stuck in a rut about the plain style of clothing she usually chose. I believe I used the phrase, "If you want to catch a fish, you have to bait the hook."
While the article is a bit harsh and the usage of the term evolved is a bit scary, it does reveal some hard truths. The truth is that that men are wired by God to be visual, and it doesn't look like this basic fact of life is going to change any time soon, despite the feminist movement and other female grumblings.
These truths were first confirmed for me when I read Shaunti Feldhahn's little book titled "For Women Only," based on Shaunti's interview with over 1,000 men. This book and it's counterpart, "For Men Only," are high on Cache' Connections' Recommended Reading list. Chapter 8 of "For Women Only" is titled "The Truth About the Way You Look," and Shaunti's basic finding states: The effort you put into your appearance is extremely high on his priority list. Yet the chances that you know his true feelings are extremely low. If this is true for married men, how much more true is it for single men seeking a mate?
But Christian women will say, "What kind of a Christian is he? Doesn't he realize it's what's inside my heart that counts?" To which most of them would respond with something like: "It starts with attraction, then everything else must fall into place from there."
We're not saying that you have to be size 2 and sport the Barbie Doll look. We find, as Shaunti did, that oftentimes it's the simple fact that you care enough to take care of yourself and look good for "the man," not that you look like someone he just saw on the front of Vogue magazine at the checkout stand. Worth mentioning is that it is true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What is attractive to one person might not do anything for another. And it does work both ways, to a degree, so we suggest that guys and dolls both take a healthy self-assessment of their health, weight, appearance and style and pray and ask God what changes might need to be made. It's a great idea to enlist the opinion of a trusted friend or relative who is good for an honest opinion.
As Shaunti says, "But what's on the outside does matter. And when we seem to be willfully ignoring that truth, our men - even godly men who are devoted to us - end up feeling disregarded, disrespected, and hurt."