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todd still

February 11, 2014  5:15pm

The fact that you use to hate beautiful women says it all. Only a feminist would do that it says a lot about your own insecurities and I guess if you were asked to model growing up you'd thin differently. What your tiny brain doesn't get is that the men in your class were promoting goodness and virtue in women, being a proverbs thirty one women is lifting women up to be seen in a good healthy emotional light, they were not dealing with an abstraction of provs 31 vs. angels, they were just saying they wantd a strong woman, whats so wrong with that? Being brainwashed my the idea that everything men say and do is wrong unless they agree with my stance is unhealthy. These kids and every man in their right man knows these women aren't really angels, just applauds their beauty and all men whether they admit it or not wants to be with the most beautiful women in the world. Same as all men would want to be with a virtuous woman. Proverbs 31 maybe unrealistic for you but as men we want the best

Stuart Robson

January 11, 2014  11:39am

@Jeff Pitman where did you obtain the right to decide what women can and cannot wear? I am of the understanding that Victoria's Secret models are in possession of free will and the ability to make rational, conscious decisions. The idea that any part of the body is objectively sexual, and further that sexuality is in itself immoral, is laughable. In what way is advertising a fashionable product to hold your tits up a moral transgression? What is the ultimate consequence of women wearing lingerie on television? Join the 21st century, you dinosaur, or do you believe in dinosaurs. God's not real. Next.

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Stuart Robson

January 11, 2014  12:10am

@Hal Sanders, I really pity you. "Lust" is a biological mechanism that necessarily exists because it quite clearly favours the perpetuation of one's genetic material. God's not real. It's not healthy for anyone to feel ashamed about having a libido. Untuck your white polo from your khakis and grow up.

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Jeff Pittman

December 23, 2013  10:46am

The choice of lingerie model as a profession for a Christian woman has a moral implication. You can choose to ignore that most heterosexual men go unhealthy places when they view a Victoria Secret model; this response is just a fact; you can try to hypothesize and pontificate all you want about loving women in all circumstances and explaining away their responsibility for moral choices by saying they have a witness for Jesus in the setting they choose to live in, but the fact remains this is not a place women should spend their lives. Let them dress anyway they want in the appropriate setting ( marriage), indulge in incredible freedom and pleasure in their sex lives with their husbands, avoid prudery and fear based responses to the issue of sex, but don't try to justify the choice of being a VS model in the name of feminism. Please.

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audrey ruth

December 21, 2013  12:26pm

The Proverbs 31 woman did not have to be a real live woman (although she certainly could have been) in order for believing women to gain wisdom and understanding by studying how she lived her life. It is a very wise young man who says, "I'd rather marry a Proverbs 31 woman than a Victoria's Secret model." This shows that he knows what really matters in life. Recently a real Victoria's Secret model gave her testimony of becoming a Christian and giving up that line of work - she found it oppositional to God's plan for her life. Yes, lust originates in men's hearts, but that doesn't give Christian women excuse to deliberately do lustful things. BTW, I wonder if the author realizes that "fallen angels" Biblically refers to demons?

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Hal Sanders

December 20, 2013  3:39pm

If a man looks at these models and lusts, it is not the fault of the models. It is the fault of the man's own lustful sin.

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Dana Rojak

December 20, 2013  3:34pm

Ms. Parker, Thank you. I loved your article. I'll definitely be sharing this. To be honest, the opening catch phrase made me cringe. It breaks my heart that women are judged so harshly and it's scary that a particular outward appearance is being assigned to something that can only be known through intimate relationship. When I read Proverbs 31, I believe Solomon is encouraging his son to value love for the Lord, intelligence, industriousness, and integrity above beauty and charm. Nowhere does it say that beauty and charm are signs of a lack of character. Let's be honest here, modesty can be just as much of an idol as a lack of modesty if what it produces is judgmental, self-righteous, and unloving behavior. It's just a body. Get over it. Our job is to love and if loving these women is a problem, maybe it's prayer for our own insecurity that we need. The Lord will deal with petty issues like clothing.

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Glenn Wilkinson

December 18, 2013  4:36pm

Courtney, could you please post for us your personal definition of a Christian feminist ? Thank you.

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Kevin Babb

December 14, 2013  11:47am

I totally understand your students. I totally get Kylie Bisutti. And I don't really understand the purpose of your article. Maybe you're just saying that God loves Victoria's Secret models and desires their salvation just like everyone else. If that's what you're saying I very much agree. I would hope that's what your students understand and desire as well. And from what I've read, Kylie is still in the industry, and sharing Jesus with other models she works with. I think she has a great testimony! The Gospel is for all, including Victoria's Secrets supermodels. But I think if they truly come to faith in Christ, and desire to be pleasing to Him, they'll do as Kylie did and opt for a career in modeling that doesn't require them to flaunt their bodies for all to see. The Gospel calls for change. A willingness to conform to Christ and to let go of being conformed to the world. When a person truly loves Jesus, they'll let go of anything that is displeasing to Him.

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Wit D

December 14, 2013  6:55am

Liz, I also am thankful when people, including women take a stance against oppression. Mandela , said it best, he oppose white and black oppression, the christian faith does not endose oppression even though many whites oppress blacks in the name of the christian faith...God does not. I am thankful for the civil rights leaders(including whites who fought with black leaders)...and the Prez. for signing the fair pay act... yet I and many blk pastors/ people disagree with the Prez. and civil leaders to endose same sex marriage, abortion and other social issues. Many women believe the feminist movement have lost it's way by attacking anything male headed, including the family, the foundation of society. I believe a christian can be against (women)oppression but still promote biblical family and moral values. Christians must draw a line as to what behaviour is acceptable and in line with God's word. If we don't then anything/lifestyle goes and that will lead to subverting the faith...

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David Stafford

December 14, 2013  1:39am

It's not only easy, it seems natural to "wear a judge's hat." As everybody knows, it's better not to. Personally I live in happy anticipation when PLAYBOY centerfold afternoon delights begin including their Christian (or, at least, their spiritual) testimony in with their bio info sidebar. As they say, hallelujah! Praise the Lord and viva la difference! Good article! Wait a minute. Baylor?

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Tim Fall

December 13, 2013  5:08pm

Re Proverbs 31 Woman - The reason no one can live up to her standards is that she never existed. The Proverbs 31 woman is a personification, not a real person. http://wp.me/p2EmLc-11b

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Rick Middleton

December 13, 2013  3:32pm

I've never understood the need to denigrate models. It sounds super-nice to say "I'd rather date a normal Christian girl than a super-model" but in some ways that statement is problematic. Imagine saying to your beloved, "Of course I'm crazy about you, looks don't matter to me." Ouch. The underwear models make their living in an unusual way, and they typically have an unusual combination of genetics (tall, skinny, symmetrical features), and their comfort walking around in underwear might legitimately give you pause as to whether you want to watch them work, but they are people. The religious person who scoffs at these unusual physical specimens as "less than" some other group of people is revealing himself to be just as focused on appearances as the professional ogler who sits glued to the screen during the Victoria's Secret show.

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Liz T

December 13, 2013  11:16am

Wit D, you're right that the proverbs 31 wife should be a goal for Christian women. But I think we will have to disagree on whether or not someone can be Christian and feminist. I am thankful for the early feminists in the US who fought hard for New and other women to have the right to vote and then later on the ones who fought for women to get the same pay as men in the workplace. While women have always been equal I'm the sight of God, men have unfortunately not treated women thus, and men around the world continue to treat women poorly. A feminist is someone who fought to end unfair treatment of womenm

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Wit D

December 13, 2013  8:27am

Liz,I guess it's easier and "feel good" to be the V.S. Model, Lewd,loose and liberated... Yes ,the Provb.31 woman takes discipline and self-control;but it's not about perfection. Many women I know (they are in the minority) have made an intentional effort to try and live the virtures of Provb.31. They are not perfect but are seeking God's help to do so. It shouldn't be man's expectation for provb.31 but rather it should be a woman's goal and aim for that High Standard. Why settle, for a subverted standard, for Christians it's a High Calling... that's why a Christian cannot be a feminist; these are opposing views. One seek self satisfaction,gratification, competion to be Like something else(which is deceptive) and the other seek to please others,putting God and Family first. Not self. You are already equal to men, God design it that way;why not be Female- beautiful,caring, wise, gentle... I don't have to define feminism, the [60's]leaders did already; the effects lingers on today...

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Wit D

December 13, 2013  8:23am

Liz,I guess it's easier and "feel good" to be the V.S. Model, Lewd,loose and liberated women... Yes ,the Provb.31 woman takes discipline and self-control;but it's not about perfection. Many women I know (they are in the minority) have made an intentional effort to try and live the virtures of Provb.31. They are not perfect but are seeking God's help to do so. It shouldn't be man's expectation for provb.31 but rather it should be a woman's goal and aim for that High Standard. Why settle, for a subverted standard, for Christians it's a High Calling... that's why a Christian cannot be a feminist; these are opposing views. One seek self satisfaction,gratification, competion to be Like something else(which is deceptive) and the other seek to please others,putting God and Family first. Not self. You are already equal to men, God design it that way;why not be Female- beautiful,caring, wise, gentle... I don't have to define feminism, the [60's]leaders did already; the effects lingers today.

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Liz T

December 12, 2013  10:36pm

The reason that I think that the Proverbs 31 is not always realistic is that it's difficult for women to live up to. It's unrealistic for a man to expect his wife to be a Proverbs 31 woman, because she will likely fail. I guess feminism to me just means wanting to be treated equally. That doesn't mean that I support the family being destroyed. I support women being paid the same as men and being treated equally. We both have different definitions of feminism. It seems like you think that all feminists want the family to be destroyed and for their children to be raised by others.

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Wit D

December 12, 2013  6:16pm

Liz, I agree the Bible don't endose abuse; be it white to blacks, male to female,parent to child and neither I. Does that mean I am a feminist? I despise that term; it is a sinister ideal. You are confusing issues-you state, quote,"Of course, there are the intense feminist activists that say that omen should have more" That more than... also includes, destroying marriage, family and promoting give up babies to be nurtured and raised by others;God's precious gift, to be raised by others; than their mother,etc... Lest we forget, these are God's ideal. Why associate christian with such an evil ideology.? Why should i care if it is "intense", radical,modern feminism? the term has negative implications. I disagree that Provb 31 is not realistic, that's your opinion. This is God's word we are talking about- A Good God gives unrealistic instructions? This is so wrong. But it is hard when you have a feminist mind set. Be renewed in the mind first, you can live it; many have and are doing it.

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Liz T

December 12, 2013  12:25pm

Wit D, unfortunately both men and women have been over-sexualized in our culture. Purity used to be considered a good thing for both sexes, and God expects it of both men and women. I think that you can still be a feminist because there is no part of God's law that says that women should be treated unfairly in comparison to men. Men and women might have different roles, but women should not be treated like they are below men, and that's what feminism is trying to end. Of course, there are the intense feminist activists that say that omen should have more that just equal treatment. We should try to live up to the Proverbs 31 woman, but I think that a lot of Christian women feel pressured to live up to that, when it's just not realistic.

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Wit D

December 12, 2013  5:59am

You cannot be a christian= a follower of Christ and still be a feminist. Feminism by nature is all about self promotion, masked in equality for human dignity and equal pay for equal work. Proverbs 31 is not an abstract idea of poetry. It is a standard of behaviour that Christ expect for His daughters. And not the V.S. models , Porn stars, and the Liberated Woman that this Feminist driven, sex saturated culture have asked women to be. Not so long ago women had a sense of shame about them, that they will not flaunt their sexuality for the world to see but was reserved for their husbands. Now in this culture and sad to say in the church , sexy is the trend; many women are left broken and confuse after an encounter, because the men are gone onto the next hot, sexy, model. Yet we are not to judge... used to be that sexual purity and Virginity were priceless values, thanks to the Pill, many christian women aren't pregnant....yet do not judge. Just keep on the DOWN GRADE, feeling good...???

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Elizabeth Sullivan

December 11, 2013  10:35pm

I appreciate this article which looks well established Christian attitudes in response to one specific situation. Well done. Many parents teach their children that stereotyping is bad; it replaces an individual's humanness with a caricature. But later on I was also taught that girls could be virgins or whores (rape not a factor). Within this dichotomy one was (morally) superior to the other and deserved more respect but they are both reductionist and do not account for the full humanity of each individual. And that was the "christian" response to Victoria Secret fashion show.

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Matthew Haller

December 11, 2013  7:12pm

Courtney, thanks for this article. I hadn't though of the passage in Proverbs 31 as an abstraction, but it definitely makes sense. While this passage is encouraging in many ways, sometimes I do feel a bit wary when we try to assign value to a person based on outward appearances. I trust and hope that God's grace is equally accessible to the models discussed in this article, as well as people like me who often strive to publicly appear righteous in the eyes of the people in their church.

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Liz T

December 11, 2013  12:18pm

Timothy and Carlston, it seems like you both are missing the point of the article, which is not about lust. But both of your comments seem to suggest that men cannot help but lust after women. It always seems like lust is the one sin that you can blame on someone else. This is similar to the Muslim line of thinking that forces women to cover up all parts of their bodies: "She was so scantily dressed that I lusted after her, and therefore I raped her in order to satisfy my lust. However, if she hadn't been dressed that way, I wouldn't have lusted after her." Maybe since I am a woman, I am not capable of understanding this line of thinking, but I think that both men and women are capable of lust. So I still do not understand how it is a woman's fault completely if a man lusts after her. I think that men (and women) have to examine their own hearts before blaming others for their sin.

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John Percy

December 11, 2013  6:58am

Why is it that all Christian women want to talk about is the Proverbs 31 woman (actually, its the Proverbs 31 WIFE) but to almost always completely ignore the Song of Solomon wife and the 1st Cor 7:1-5 wife?

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Timothy Law

December 11, 2013  5:45am

Sure, the next thing we will hear is an article perplexed about why can't we walk in nude sometimes. After all, God created us that way to begin with, "if you can't stand the temptation, don't look at them nude people, don't blame them..."

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CARLSTON RED BERRY

December 11, 2013  12:02am

Liz, you obviously missed my point. FYI, I do NOT watch the show, and that should have been obvious. What cannot be avoided is exposure to their TV ads, even if you fast forward as soon as you realize what you're looking at. The problem with Victoria Secret's show is not it causes us to compare the models with the Proverbs 31 woman, the problem is the show itself. Call me old-fashioned, but it is moral filth, and is a magnet for men. I seriously doubt that more women watch it than men. There are just a lot of men who do not admit they watch it. As for her.meneutics' thesis, it was pointless as far as I am concerned. The Proverbs 31 woman is an ideal that few if any ever reach, but like perfect sanctification, is a goal to strive for. As for the V.S. models, men have always lusted and always will. It's just that the more half-naked women you put in front of them, the more they will lust, and eventually some of them will harm some woman in an effort to satisfy that lust.

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Liz T

December 10, 2013  9:54pm

Carlston, I don't think that the author was suggesting that it is a good thing to watch the Victoria's Secret fashion show. That's not her point at all. Her point was that we shouldn't demonize the Victoria's Secret fashion show model and then say that Proverbs 31 is the complete opposite. The author is saying that both women are human and should be treated as such. Those women are not objects for you to lust after, nor is a Proverbs 31 woman a prized object that you should pursue above all odds. Both women are human, and neither are really realistic. Most women are not Victoria's Secret models, nor are they perfect Proverbs 31 women. Those are both ideals for what a woman should be. Also, if you are tempted by the Victoria's Secret fashion show, don't watch it. Don't blame the fashion show because you are tempted.

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CARLSTON RED BERRY

December 10, 2013  8:25pm

I'm a fairly intelligent person if my IQ test score of 131 is halfway accurate, but after reading this article, all I can say is... W-H-A-A-A-A-T???? Whatever her train of thought was supposed to be, it jumped the track. Let's look at this practically. As a male, just the TV ads for the program tempt me to have thoughts I would have to classify as, well, unfruitful for my spiritual life. It helps that my wife and I can joke about the commercials when they pop up. Such ramblings as this article contains miss the whole point of the Victoria's Secret show so far as the Christian life is concerned .....the inflammation of lust...and there is NOTHING "abstract" about that ! Forget the lame effort to ignore the real issue by shade-tree philosophizing; let Victoria KEEP her secret, and call temptation by its proper name!

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Winnie S.

December 10, 2013  7:43pm

If you want to talk about women as persons, then use a translation faithful to the Hebrew. There was no such thing as a virtuous wife. She was a woman of valour, just as a man is a man of valour. And the Hebrew Bible talks of wise men and of wise women. When will we realize that the English language has gendered the attributes of a godly person. Actually nobody cares anymore for the Hebrew. It doesn't fit with our view of gender. I had better go watch this show that has been brought to my attention, so I can interact with other Christian women.

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Tim Fall

December 10, 2013  3:15pm

Courtney, I am so glad you brought up that Proverbs 31 is not designed to prescribe a woman's conduct. People think the beauty on display in fashion shows is unobtainable? It's nothing compared to someone trying to imitate the Proverbs 31 Woman completely. The fact is that the Proverbs 31 woman was not a real person but a personification, and that chapter is just as much for men as it is for women. Cheers, Tim http://timfall.wordpress.com/2013/05/12/mothers-day-a nd-the-myth-of-the-proverbs-31-woman/

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cheesypasta .

December 10, 2013  2:04pm

What is personhood apart from an abstraction? We need to let the Kingdom of God inform how we inevitably create peoples personhood - and I feel that means reducing the number of negative words, focussing on strengths, focussing on encouragement and virtues like love and so on that actually when you boil them down there is no gender attached to them, they are just attributes of God.

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Adam Turner

December 10, 2013  1:08pm

Excellent article. As for objectifying, until we really get to know a person, are we not all "objects", persons made in God's image? Can there be anything wrong with enjoying the view of God's beautiful creation? Does it not all sing of His Glory?

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Karen Smith

December 10, 2013  1:02pm

Excellent question, Hannah. On the other hand, no matter how closely one does (or does not) align with an abstraction, they are still human. Also, frequently all it takes is one part of an abstraction aligning for a person to be labeled with the entire thing; some people make the determination that if they're going to be assumed to be the abstraction anyway, they may as well go all out.

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Hannah Anderson

December 10, 2013  12:41pm

Important point about literary convention--really important. Tangential question: at what point are Victoria Secret models making themselves into the abstraction? (Or conversely, Christian women who are fixated on achieving a certain model of womanhood.) Are these women presenting themselves in such a way that invites others to view them as objects?

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