Those Damn Billboards (a bit of a rant)

So, I just drove by a billboard for the morning show, “Good Day LA.” And what did my wandering eyes behold? One old and one middle-aged man amidst a throng of young, immaculate women. I am not going to argue that these young women are not skilled and gifted in the arena of their chosen profession. But, it seems a little un-even, or maybe even archaic, that while there are two old men, one graying while the other bordering on being overweight, the women that surround them are thin, young and perkily vivacious, or at least they appear to be so. In our culture, if a woman speaks out on the injustices in the entertainment fields for equal opportunity for men and women, she must be a feminist with a particular ax to grind. Well, I am not a woman, but I have an ax and here I will grind it.

s_old-woman-portrait1In a culture that is bereft of wisdom, why would we not listen to the voices of our aged matrons? Why are we afraid of their faces? Now I must say, in this regard, I believe that male and female alike are guilty. Who fears the wrinkled face more, the man or the woman? Do women naturally fear aging, or is that a unique product of our image-obsessed and sexually-overcharged culture? Does anyone think about the fact that by giving into the impulse to consistently gaze exclusively at young women, we in turn limit the shelf life of the women we love to a very, very small window?

I’m thirty-six years old and I talked with a girl about half my age a couple of days ago and she was already afraid that she may never find a good husband. In our culture, she better get on it, right? ‘Cause Lord knows a woman has nothing to offer as soon as the wrinkles begin to show. And God forbid that she be beyond child-bearing years. Form and function – that is what a woman is in our culture. That form better be immaculate, and the function, she better be able to bear me a son to carry on my name.

Yeah, I’m pissed. Why? Because I see what shit like this does to true beauty in women. It pushes it down, tempts real women to hide real beauty in a culture that does not want it, does not value it and throws it upon the rubbish heap. Cosmetics, hair care products, liposuction, plastic surgery – maybe if our women look like dolls or porn stars, they’ll be worthy of our affection. All the while, the plastic doll exists heartless and cold, and the porn star, seething with an internal shame that must continually be medicated with some form of narcotic, whether it be riches or heroin.

I am so thankful for the women in my life, my mother and my mother-in-law for example. Women who are no longer on our culture’s radar, but have lives and passions of their own. The wisdom that they impart is invaluable. And not just because they are mothers and grandmothers. No, we all know plenty of parents who are not wise. While childbearing is a gift, those who never have children gain wisdom that is unique to their experience.

Schwarz_JesusBentWomanPainting better color (1000x750)

I find it ironic that while we worship a man who never bore children, we more often than not struggle to find a place for single people in our churches these days. While Paul literally said that being single is a blessing and enables a person to love and serve others in unique ways, modern churches would rather focus on the family. One does not have to be a rocket scientist to see that our culture needs to learn what is truly valuable, beautiful and ultimately, glorious.  Don’t be fooled by the flashy. As the flower fades, so does all external beauty. While we can thank God for physical beauty, we dare not deify it. Jesus knew what really mattered. We say that “it’s what’s on the inside that truly counts”, but we know that we’ve got wrinkles and blemishes on our souls, even if we’re good at hiding it. Jesus knows that too, and He can handle it.

Your culture’s beauty regimen won’t save you, it can’t. But there is one who goes deep enough to truly cleanse. There is one who sees you in the light, knows you in the dark, and loves you with a love fiercer than a thousand suns. Receiving this love won’t get you on television, but it will change everything. The One who creates true beauty, who knit you together in your mother’s womb will never leave you nor forsake you. Billboards lie to you to get something from you. Jesus lived and died for you, to free you from all that would enslave you to a lesser lover. Kick Romeo in the teeth and run like hell into the arms of Jesus.