Wednesday, July 01, 2009

advertising, revisited

Good! Responses! This is exactly what I love to see, and what I desire this blog to be about: conversation.

Although anonymity leaves me at a disadvantage to address particularities (not to mention making the conversation more like Catholic confession) I figured I'd respond to the few comments left by those who disagree with "advertising".
Anonymous #1 said:

This blog leaves me questioning what we teach on our youth and young adult encounters. I don't really like it.

I am assuming, Anonymous #1, that what you "don't really like" is my post and not what we teach on youth and young adult encounters. Based on this assumption, I will continue. First, let me explain to those of you who do not know that an "encounter" weekend is a retreat provided by our church for people to receive solid, Biblical teaching, healing from life's hurts, and experience face-time with God. They're brilliant and I highly recommend them. Having lead a few myself, I can assure you that what we deal with on encounters is God's view on sexuality, healthy guy/girl friendships, and soul ties. Unless I am very much mistaken, the teachings do not include anything about advertising and relationships. If anything, what is MOST emphasized on an encounter (throughout all teachings) is that God loves you the way you are, AND LOVES YOU TOO MUCH TO LET YOU STAY THAT WAY.
AnonymousAnonymous #2 said:

"Ask your female friends which area(s) of your body require less hair." i am a male of the hairier verity and this actually offends me i have strangle with getting teased and insulted about the amount of hair i have since i puberty. it has taken me years to accept that God didn't make a mistake when he made me hairy.

I married an Italian so I know ALL about body hair. If it was insinuated that I recommend guys submit themselves to full-body waxing, I apologize. In fact (this is personal preference and all girls are different), hairless men give me the willies. I prefer my hubby's chest to all others I have seen and I tell him frequently. Since you have accepted that God didn't make a mistake when he made you hairy it surprises me that you would still be offended. I doubt that there is a person alive who has not been teased relentlessly about one physical attribute or another, but a healed wound should no longer register pain. If a loving friend's recommendation to make two eyebrows out of a unibrow caused instant offence and resentment, I'd wonder if the issue was properly dealt with.

AnonymousAnonymous #3:


I'm worried that articles like this will create a group of "perfectly" weighted singles, trying to practice the not so subtle art of advertising by deceiving themselves and others into thinking that if they can weigh in, shave in all the right places, and look sexy, their insecurities will disappear.

Anonymous #3, I appreciate that you view me on a first name basis. I wish I had the pleasure. I loathe deception so I am very glad that you brought it up. In our culture, the "body image" argument has become popularized - however, that was not what my original post was addressing. If all young adults came as they were, I'm almost positive no one would find anyone else attractive. I am not arguing that people change what is inherant about them, only that they embrace the BEST REPRESENTATION of themselves. No one's best representation of themselves is to be 30 pounds overweight, or unhygenic, or ignorant, or rude. We ask ministry team members to wear deoderant and have breath mints on hand before ministering to people at close range; how is this any different? My beef is with those who vehemently desire a partner who will love them, "warts and all", and are surprised and disappointed when the only coffee dates they're asked on are with toads.

The other day, I was reading this passage from the Message out loud to Andrew:
But Jesus said, "Not everyone is mature enough to live a married life. It requires a certain aptitude and grace. Marriage isn't for everyone. Some, from birth seemingly, never give marriage a thought. Others never get asked—or accepted. And some decide not to get married for kingdom reasons. But if you're capable of growing into the largeness of marriage, do it." (Matthew 19:11-12)
That's right: "Others never get asked - or accepted." I'd love to see that demographic shrink as much as possible but, in order to do that, there must be a realization that the maturity required for a married life is death. Death to your comfort eating habits, death to the clothes that "define you", death to a self-indulgent existance. If you're dead, it won't matter if a mentor takes you aside and gives you some tips on how to be more attractive to the opposite sex, will it?

Keep the comments coming! And, if you're really brave, sign your name.


Foster said...


I've been perusing blogs for a while now, yours among them, and while offense doesn't adequately express my reaction to these regarding marriage, there are a number of observations I'd take issue with given time, however, I'm responding to a more pointed detail.

If that is the Message's reading of Matthew 19:11-12, it's the first time I'm glad I haven't read it. It seems like such a departure from all the other things I've heard on marriage that it almost simply leads me to think that the author has inserted [his? her?] opinion into scripture. The context is in dealing with divorce. So if there is a maturity in question, it has nothing to do with the maturity of adequate personal hygiene, and everything to do with the capacity to love one's spouse. The spirit of what is being offered is the alternative to marriage. Again the depiction I've been presented with is that these verses are in direct response to the disciples comment, "It is better not to marry" as being that which is a higher calling that few are able to accept. Paul reiterates this in his epistles. As do others both by example and in words.
Making marriage a game or goal to be striven after and won, cheapens it in my view. I don't think that is a Biblical understanding of relationships. Jesus accepted lepers, lame beggars, prostitutes, social pariahs and outcasts and loved and healed them as they were and then said "Go, and sin no more." True, he didn't marry them... but he didn't marry.
I have struggled with issues of identity in life but the security I've found lies in the grace of Jesus Christ, and my identity in Him. Those who aren't there don't need to worry about haircuts, a mani/petti, or which cologne or perfume to waft on themselves, but rather that we are all loved as we are, however that may be, by the one who created us, and if that is our measure, it is enough, and so while we have the blessing of being single, the opportunity to be single-minded on our first love, Who first loved us, there our focus should lie until we are overcome by the distraction that requires our divided attention from God, for such is marriage.
Marriage is work. Marriage is an obligation. Marriage is a commitment. Men are called to love their wives, wives to honor their husbands, to do either requires attention to details, and yes those details could include making yourself more attractive for your spouse because your body is no longer your own; it belongs (again, Biblical) to your spouse. If s/he want you to wear something, the choice is no longer yours.
Therefore, know your spouse. So long as I'm learning to live with Christ as mine I should be content with one master.

Just a couple of my compounded thoughts. No hard feelings.

- Foster

Andrew G said...

Well done, my love.

I think you've stirred up a hornet's nest of frustration and anger... mostly stemming from people's unwillingness to work on their lives (again, my opinion). Keep it up and people will be forced to face themselves and allow Him to restore, renew, and lead onwards.

NicoleLeeEvans said...

I like the phrase, "be someone you'd like to marry (date, hang out with, etc)". I don't think it's too much to want to be with someone who puts as much effort into making themselves be the best they can be when you're doing that for yourself. I think S-A is merely pointing that out and I congratulate her.

Wheaty said...

I didn't read the comments from your first post on this; I read the post and was pleased that there was someone else out there from this younger generation who seemed to think like I did. I had no idea that you would get negative responses from your thoughts. I don't have the energy to bring up any argumentive points, but just wanted to encourage you by saying that I understood what you meant in your original posts (seems like some others didn't), agree with you, and think it's great that you're bringing stuff like this up.

Anonymous said...

I see what you're saying, but I think it would be helpful to focus more on improving character over haircare.

Also, do you really think marriage should be a goal? Was marriage a goal of yours? It wasn't one of my goals. I fell in love.

Somehow viewing marriage as a goal takes away the mystery for me (Eph 5:32). There's something eternal, transcendent, yet primal about marriage.

Turning it into a goal seems more about improving our odds of finding a suitable mate.

Having said all this, I got a lot more attention in university after the Sarah Aubrey Makeover.

KiyaunnaJo said...

I agree with you, aside from the inner issues of insecurity and conformity to worldly ideals, there IS a 'taking care of yourself' aspect... It's like if you're going out in public, you're likely going to put some clothes on, and not because you want to conform to the world.

"Advertising", should be read to receive benefit, not to point out the wrong ways it could be taken, because then you might find yourself in a position to better yourself, rather than to "try the same thing and expect different results", amen? :)