Here is the paper I wrote while attending CBC. I have finally gotten around to posting it. It takes about female external beauty, lusting, woman as art. Enjoy.
Kingdom Culture Paper
Chris C. Sheldon
April 27, 2007
Throughout the year, I have been thinking about external beauty a lot. I have these set of standards in which I judge women. These standards I set most of the time set me up for the falls. I look at some of their external features and compare them with another females. I know that this is a wrong thing to do, but I do it. I don't know what sparks that in me to do that. Is it so wrong to compare? Some would say no, but others would say yes. For some people, they think about their personality more than their external features and personality is a good thing as well. I just think about external beauty for some reason (Proverbs 6:25).
I have not been trying to compare, but it's not the easiest thing to do. Sure it's good to know what you want in a wife or significant other in terms of physical attraction. But I have been learning somewhat that you should not be consumed with the physical aspect of someone. It's also good to have someone who you can carry out a conversation with. It's great to be with someone attractive and that is s0mething I value. But that idea has been slightly altered throughout the course of the year. Just talking with some friends has made me realize that as good as attractiveness is, being able to carry out a conversation is also very important. But you don't want a relationship where it's just you talking and your significant other is not giving you much of a response. Over the course of this year, I have come to appreciate the value of good conversation. Beauty can be found in other areas like good conversation, intelligence of a person, etc. Beauty does not have to be external. This is something I do know, but can be hard to do at times. Sometimes a woman's features sre the first thing you think about when you see an attractive woman.
Talking with friends is God's way of showing me that beauty is not just external, but internal. It's a way to just talk about how you are trying to deal with that. God wants me to hold in balance external beauty and the personality of a person etc.. It's good to know what to look for in a woman, but we need to go beyond that (Genesis 29:17).
One thing I have been thinking about over the course of the year is whether it is right or wrong to appreciate the feminine form. I have taken a more keen interest in the feminine form over the year. I am not objectifying woman. I have taken a keen interest in an art form per se. I think that it's all right to appreciate the feminine form in an art form. I mean, if I don't do go any further than that, which I try not to, than I think it's quite alright to appreciate woman as works of art, but woman are more than just works of art, too woman bear the image of God, rather than just symbols or objects of sex. Seeing them as works of art is the more dignifying thing to do. I know for many men that seeing woman as works of art is not possible as they think of a woman in a lustful way. I don't want to go that route. I want to separate lust from art and keep it separate because I don't want to blur the lines, for myself, when it comes to woman as art and woman as sex objects.
My thinking has changed as I think about and talk with God about it. I have been shown that it's not wrong to appreciate the feminine form and external beauty in woman as long as I don't lust. I have been fairly good at not lusting. I don't want to stray off the path of not lusting when thinking about female external beauty. I know that I could easily lust when thinking about female external beauty, but I have been trying to keep disciplined over the course of the year to not lust when thinking about it. In 2 Samuel 11:2, when David saw this woman bathing on the roof, he probably had thoughts of lust. I mean, there was a naked woman in his midst and David acted upon that lust and he ultimately had sex with her. I know I wouldn't go that far, but just lusting is bad enough in the eyes of God. I just don't want to be lustfully thinking about woman in a sexual way. I mean there have been some instances of lust, but not to a large extent which that is due to my talks with God.
Also over the course of the year I have solidified my thinking that women are not objects. All throughout the media and our culture we see women objectified. Television, movies, music videos, pornography, etc. have created this unreal standard in which a lot of men view woman. Than this standard of external beauty is set that can be seen as a way too ridiculous and unobtainable. In some sense I set standards that I as I mentioned earlier, set me up for the fall. I don't want to set myself up for the fall. I don't want to have such unrealistic expectations in what to look for in a woman. I have learned over the course of the year not to do that. I will be tough for me not to do that. But as I go through life after CBC, it will continue to be difficult for me not to set these unrealistic standards, but with help from God, I will try my best not set unrealistic standards.