Women: From the Animal Kingdom's Point of ViewJohn Collins7/13/2012 8:01:00 AMAs I sat with a client in a coffeeshop yesterday, a group of beautiful, young women sat down at a table across from where we were sitting. The thirty-six years of condemnation of every aspect of their beauty started sending up MSG flares of distress into my mind, making me want to quickly dive under the table and hide from them -- which I'm sure would have cost me a new client.
As my client started to ramble about things of non-importance, I sat there thinking about my programmed response to the situation. While most men I know from our new church would have simply noticed them and ignored them, my instant fear was that I might be seen by someone I know at a table next to these young women.
Because of this situation that was awkward for me, I started to review what I'd been taught all these years to the Bible and nature itself. I suddenly started to realize something that I had been blinded from for most of my life.
We were taught that this modern style of attractive dress and appearance defied nature itself. Teachings like "this kind of beauty is of the devil," or "those women are less than dogs" because "even the dogs would not do that to themselves" started going through my head with a familiar voice screaming to a fearful and receptive congregation.
Looking around the room, I noticed that there were other women around that were not so differently dressed. They were much older, and less attractive simply due to their age, yet they were pretty just the same. Though they would have been considered to be "painted" and dressed the same, there was a difference that as a man can be felt.
At the same time, I thought about my wife, and how I loved her tremendously. I remember when she was their age, there was not one among them that could match her beauty -- inside and out. The difference with my wife in the same situation would be that because of the "yolk not yourselves with unbelievers" scripture was applied only to MSG followers, not other Christians in the world. I knew my wife's inward beauty because the fish of the sea become much less when the sea becomes a pond.
I quickly became aware that noticing the beauty of young women around me had very little affect on my marriage. Nothing besides death could separate me from the woman I love.
Remembering the bible story about Jezebel, the evil woman we were falsely taught was condemned for wearing paint, I looked at the older women around. They wore makeup to improve their appearance, but were no match when compared to these younger women. Jezebel put on her "paint" when she realized that she was going to die, preparing her appearance for her impending demise. Though she led many to idolatry, she knew death was coming and wanted to die with as much dignity as humanly possible.
The real shock was when I considered the animal kingdom. We were taught that this promotion of products to improve appearance defied nature itself, yet I started to realize that the teaching was not entirely correct.
As humans, we cleanse ourselves daily with scented soaps, oils, and other products intended to remove the natural scents that we were given by God. Animals do not have this luxury. Though some may roll in the wet mud or dip in the streams, very little of their natural scent is removed.
Most animals put off a mating scent to attract their mates. Not all animals mate for life, but there are some that do. Those that mate for life may smell the scent from others looking for a mate, but ignore it. They are not taught by the oddball one of the pack that these mating scents are "of the devil." They are not separated from these mating scents and placed in a position of awkwardness when suddenly around another pack without the oddball. Most of all, their own mates have no limits to their own scents for pleasing their own mates.
While we were taught that our modern ways defy nature, I started to realize that our "God looks to the outside" ways actually defied it more.
As one who has struggled inwardly with pain over the "god of this evil age," I started to ask myself: Could my teachings have been the root cause of my battle? Do not other similar religious movements suffer the same problems with their men? Was the one who started this teaching suffering these battles himself, intending on creating a commune having a dress code?