Selected Sunday Scriptures- #86

Deep Strength has had a number of excellent posts in the last week. In deciding whether to respond to them or not, I was prompted search scripture as a foundation for any future posts. I would first recommend reading his post on the purpose of prayer, as it is an excellent place to start with scripture.

In his post Shallowness is False Humility, Deep Strength addresses the subject of beauty and how desiring it is not shallow. In the spirit of his post, I will mention a few verses from scripture which seem on point:

17 Like the shining lamp on the holy lampstand,
    so is a beautiful face on a stately figure.
18 Like golden pillars on silver bases,
    so are shapely legs and steadfast feet.

(Sirach 26:17-18)

These verses compare a woman’s beauty with the beauty of God’s temple. Since admiring the beauty of God’s temple isn’t shallow, and female beauty is compared to that of God’s temple, I dare say it it isn’t shallow to value beauty in a woman, either.

27 A woman’s beauty lights up a man’s face,
    and there is nothing he desires more.

Don’t see anything about beauty and shallowness there.

18 Let your fountain be blessed,
    and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
19     a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
May her breasts satisfy you at all times;
    may you be intoxicated always by her love.

(Proverbs 5:18-19)

And of course, Proverbs goes so far as to remind men to enjoy the beauty of their wife, and to find satisfaction there (and not elsewhere). If one carefully examines Scripture, you can see that most of the “warnings” about beauty aren’t that it is shallow, but that it can entrap the unwary man should he be blinded by the beauty of a wicked woman. Proverbs 31 also has the additional reminder that it is fleeting; a reminder which encourages men to look for something longer lasting- fear of the Lord. Many of the holy women in the Old Testament are reckoned as beautiful, and that is never held against them.

In his next post, The three big elephants in the Christian dating and marriage room, DS examines the issues of attraction, the feminization of the church, and the lack of mentorship. The latter two deserve a full post, so I will address solely attraction. Specifically, I wanted to reiterate my statement earlier that many of the holy women in the Old Testament were recognized as beautiful. That was clearly something important. But men too received recognition for things that rendered them attractive.

Joseph, son of Jacob, was a handsome man:

From the time that he made him overseer in his house and over all that he had, the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had, in house and field. So he left all that he had in Joseph’s charge; and, with him there, he had no concern for anything but the food that he ate.

Now Joseph was handsome and good-looking.

As was King David:

12 He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.”

(1 Samuel 16:12)

Of course, Looks isn’t the only thing in a man’s favor. The other attributes in the LAMPS/PSALM model can also render a man attractive. Such was the case for an ancestor of King David, Boaz:

Now Naomi had a kinsman on her husband’s side, a prominent rich man, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz.

(Ruth 2:1)

Both  Money/wealth and Status make a more more sexually attractive. Here they favored Boaz, who married the widowed Ruth. Sadly, such details as I’ve highlighted before are not merely taken for granted, but overlooked in the modern Church. No good has come of it.

Finally, Deep Strength’s most recent post addresses the issue of obesity in the West, primarily America. While bad education is a part of this, gluttony and sloth play significant roles. A few verses to keep in mind:

Let neither gluttony nor lust overcome me,
    and do not give me over to shameless passion.

(Sirach 23:6)

and further on in Sirach:

12 Are you seated at the table of the great?
    Do not be greedy at it,
    and do not say, “How much food there is here!”
13 Remember that a greedy eye is a bad thing.
    What has been created more greedy than the eye?
    Therefore it sheds tears for any reason.

19 How ample a little is for a well-disciplined person!
    He does not breathe heavily when in bed.
20 Healthy sleep depends on moderate eating;
    he rises early, and feels fit.
The distress of sleeplessness and of nausea
    and colic are with the glutton.

(Sirach 31:12-13, 19-20)

Our bodies do not belong to us. They belong to God, as does all things. We must take care of them , or else we might suffer the fate of the wicked servant from Matthew 25.

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19 Comments

Filed under Selected Sunday Scriptures

19 responses to “Selected Sunday Scriptures- #86

  1. Feminine But Not Feminist

    Yep, DS has indeed been on a roll lately with his last few posts. I would also like to point out this comment from Robin Munn on the Shallowness is False Humility post. It too is very worthy of mention, IMO:

    https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2015/08/28/shallowness-is-false-humility/#comment-4407

  2. @ FBNF

    Yes, it was a good comment. I didn’t mention it as I felt that the general link would lead most folks to it.

  3. mdavid

    I found the DS posts odd. I’ve not noted church people dissing beauty. From a RC POV (or Darwinian!) the serious purpose of marriage is family & children. Beauty is critical to fertility and no trivial matter. Beauty or bust (pun intended).

    I would also note that gluttony and sloth have a strong correlation between lack of beauty and lack of virtue today. Lack of young beauty is a grim tell, and normal people get this intuitively. Run, don’t walk.

    Last, it’s inaccurate to talk about the “Church” having a “position” on marriage outside of RC (who write it down with ugly legalism). There are thousands of alternate “church” views (no cap). So one has to define this.

    But it was an interesting read and I’m glad I took your tour. I learn a lot from blogs about what’s going on in the world outside my circle of wackos :-).

  4. Maea

    I’ve observed a mixed bag. A woman is too pretty, or she’s not pretty enough. My experience with the typical American normalized church (Catholic and Protestant) is a woman who dresses in a feminine manner gets painted with “temptress.” Then the “plain girls” get passed over for being invisible. Sometimes I wonder if some churches promote plastic, instead of genuine beauty. Hmm.

  5. @ mdavid

    I can’t remember off the top of my head a dismissal of beauty from Catholic sources. At least not officially. But then I don’t recall it ever being discussed, either. It is simply ignored. Which was part of his argument- it is the elephant in the room everyone ignores. By ignoring it, you let the popular culture take over by default. And the popular culture, for the most part, dismisses it.

    I would also note that gluttony and sloth have a strong correlation between lack of beauty and lack of virtue today. Lack of young beauty is a grim tell, and normal people get this intuitively. Run, don’t walk.

    This was the point I was making. Or at least, thought I was making. Or are you merely repeating or restating it?

    But it was an interesting read and I’m glad I took your tour. I learn a lot from blogs about what’s going on in the world outside my circle of wackos :-).

    Glad I can be of assistance. I only wish I had known to join that world sooner. Might have been the difference between success and failure re: marriage.

  6. Never seen that kind of “temptress” painting before. At least, not for feminine clothes. Heck, not even for slutty clothes, and I see those a lot more often.

  7. Maea

    It’s the attitudes I’ve observed in churches. Women wearing very feminine clothing are construed as attention-seekers. Or my most favorite “why are you so dressed up?”

  8. mdavid

    Maea, …dresses in a feminine manner gets painted with “temptress.”

    A conservative dress is feminine in anyone’s book; methinks you are referring to “hot”. Btw, I’m a liberal here; no issues w/ beauty or some skin.

    DG, This was the point…are you merely repeating or restating it?
    My bad; I was so deep in the links I got confused at to the original post. And btw, my Beauty OF bust was supposed to be OR bust.. Sorry.

    …difference between success and failure re: marriage.
    Not found this. Wins I see are private universities (TAC, CC, FU, AM). Always thought men who get a paying degree first would run the MMP there.

  9. Maea

    @mdavid

    Btw, I’m a liberal here; no issues w/ beauty or some skin.

    Liberal? That made me chuckle.

    A conservative dress is feminine in anyone’s book; methinks you are referring to “hot”.

    Not necessarily. Feminine dress isn’t just a dress or a skirt with a coordinating top. I’m talking about wearing flattering colors, clothing cut for women (not androgynous boxy), nice fabrics, etc. IOW, elegance and style. The women who show a lot of skin tend to be teenage girls from what I’ve seen.

  10. @ Maea

    I think “who” is saying temptress matters.

    If a woman is being painted as a temptress for wearing feminine and flattering clothing by married men then that would be a potential indicator that something is wrong on the home front. For example, their wives are freezing them out of sex in marriage. Men generally want to “possess” beautiful women in feminine dress because that’s how God created our sex drive. Donal touched on the “possess” part in a post a year or so ago if I remember correctly.

    A husband who has his sex drive sated by his wife won’t be really be tempted or bothered by other women dressing femininely and flatteringly. He will simply appreciate them.

    Now, if it’s single men they need to be taught to be a man and ask women out instead.

  11. @ Maea

    To add on to what Deep Strength has said…

    When women say such things, they are often trying to cover up their own lack of care re: femininity. In other words, those women make them look bad. And rightfully so. And looking bad makes them feel bad. And feelbads are not cool, so they try and use the herd to squash feminine dress. At least, that is one theory.

  12. @ mdavid

    Fixed the typo.

    Not found this. Wins I see are private universities (TAC, CC, FU, AM). Always thought men who get a paying degree first would run the MMP there.

    Not quite sure I understand you here.

  13. Maea

    When women say such things, they are often trying to cover up their own lack of care re: femininity. In other words, those women make them look bad. And rightfully so.

    Simply put: it’s threatening.

  14. mdavid

    DG, I meant haven’t found trad churches to be good dating ground. Too insular, too tribal, hard to break in, too wacko trad. Rather, traditional RC universities (St Thomas, Christendom, Franciscan, Ave Maria) are flat-out mating grounds. I know literally dozens who got married there, it’s almost a trad joke, parents who send their kid there should be warned they will prob get married and have a half-dozen kids before 30. I’ve never heard of a divorce nor problem either. Like finds like.

    My thought above was that men who get a real degree first at a State school (read, paying degree like engineering or some technical trade) do well in the MMP at these schools. Most of the BA grads go to law school or get a trade to pay off all the insane loans, and SAH trad women tend to seek a good provider for their dozen kids. Hope that clarifies.

    Example this weekend: a Seminarian talk at a pot luck after TLM was quoting Trent how children must obey their parents regarding marriage, women their husbands cheerfully, and husbands must support their families. I just assumed this guy was a grad of one of these schools. I can state with confidence I was the most liberal person in the room.

  15. Yes, I know what you mean about trad churches. Unfortunately, none of those colleges is near me. If I had known then what I know now, I would have gone to one. Or moved near one after graduating. Too late now.

  16. mdavid

    DG, quite a few “miss the window” (even who went). But siblings/friends of these circles have huge families who connect over time. Women rely on “trusted” circles, which sadly have limited masculine men (lots of betas). Break into it (via work, school, online friendships) and it’s a big network.

  17. It’s too late to go to Steubenville and talk to undergrads in the campus bookstore?

  18. mdavid

    Patrick, …go to Steubenville…
    This is the only trad school I don’t personally know anyone from. Am I missing an inside joke; has it jumped the shark? I keep hearing rumors, and a rumor’s not a rumor that doesn’t die…

  19. I don’t know anything about it except that I went there once when I was in the area and talked to some girls who worked in the bookstore. I was just saying I don’t think it’s too late to do anything until it’s literally not possible.

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