“And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” [2 Corinthians 6:18]
This week, there was some praise given to former MLB star Curt Shilling’s defense of his daughter’s reputation. He had posted, proudly, of her selection to a college softball team and a number of vulgar and offensive posts were made about her on social media. Here’s the story:
Many commentaries about Schilling’s actions offer praise for him for being such a good dad and protecting his daughter’s image and I believe his actions were correct. (Though I wonder if I’d respond with a bit more grace? But I really don’t know.)
But as I read all the public and media affirmation over his response to the objectivation of his daughter, I can’t help but think of how God responds in His heart when we (men, culture) objectify his daughters through pornography and even popular “adult” entertainment.
At the same time as we’re applauding Schilling’s defense of his daughter’s honor, record audiences are making films like “50 Shades of Grey” a box-office success. I have not or will I see that film, but I can’t imagine it’s the literary value of the story that’s drawing so many to theatre. It’s that the promise of seeing an “innocent, virtuous young woman” taken over by a wealthy, seditious man whose lusts for her consumes him. This film, as boundary-pushing as it is, is only an example of the objecting of women that is every where in our culture from movies, books, television, sports and music.
Regardless if there’s more to the 50 Shades storyline than that, I’m reminded that that woman—the real actress—is a daughter. It’s well noted that her parents are both known actors. But in truth, much deeper that who her natural parents are, God is her Father.
How much more does He care about how she has been objectified and lusted after? How much might His anger be kindled for her and all His children who are looked at so coarsely, even if it appears to be entered into willingly?
In the days preceding the great flood (the cleansing), it was written that what the Lord saw was that the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. (Genesis 6:2) This may be a confusing passage for many of us if we’re forced to dig into the precise identity of the “sons of God,” but let’s not wander too far from the basic message of this passage, which is about lust “they saw them as attractive” and objectifying (“they took” them as they chose).
This condition of the heart, lust, is never content to rest though. The passage goes on to say that, the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.
In the face of unbridled lust against his daughters, God defended their image.
My daughters are still very young (5 & 6 years old), so I don’t yet deal with the double looks from men that my friends who have older daughters do. I have one friend, a dad, who is especially sensitive to men (sometimes grown men) who he notices soaking in his daughter’s beauty with unhealthy intentions.
But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. [Matthew 5:28]
It would be blatantly rude would it be if a man were to come over into his house and leer at his daughter in front of him. I can’t imagine but if you’re a dad, you can probably picture it. I’d want to throttle the guy!
But men, let’s be honest… That is what we’re doing when we cast our eyes lustfully at God’s daughters, especially those who are not given to us in marriage. That woman you see in front of you—she may be beautiful. She may even be dressed alluringly. She may even be paid well to act provocatively, but know this: That is God’s precious daughter. And He will defend her honor.
For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.