I find myself amazed that the most successful shows on television are often filled with a shallow and disrespectful view of women. Television is deceiving us. Facebook is deceiving us. The selfie culture is deceiving us. The celebrity culture is deceiving us. Are we really that easily deceived?
In a day when top reality shows include Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Jersey Shore, The Bachelor, and The Bachelorette, we know we have a big problem. The problem with shows such as The Bachelor is in how they define women. Often they are portrayed merely as items on the shelf for men to look at, examine, hold, and try out. If at any point he isn’t happy with the item, he can simply return it to the store where it’s restocked and he can continue shopping.
True biblical womanhood is under attack. This attack began when Satan approached Eve in the Garden of Eden. Whatever is good, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, and whatever is God honoring, the devil will seek to spray his graffiti upon it. Biblical womanhood is a pure and holy thing. When put on display in the life of a Christian lady, her home will have the aroma of godliness and holiness. That type of atmosphere affects her children and benefits her husband. However, we are raising a younger generation to ignore biblical womanhood and to pursue the decadent and immoral lifestyle publicized by Hollywood and the reality television culture. The television screen is often used as a center stage for the devil’s empty talk and perverse lies. Consider the following lies about women that are portrayed by popular mainstream television.
Lie #1 – Reality Show Obviously Means It’s Real
One of the biggest problems with reality shows is that they are heavily scripted. If some popular reality shows were genuine reality, they would likely never make it to your living room. It often requires a staff of writers and publicists to make a reality show work. The false portrayal of a man dating multiple women and “trying out” a few before he settles down with his top pick is less than real and it cheapens marriage, relationships, intimacy, and yes – women. The devil would have us all believe it’s real, but it’s not. It’s really a lie.
Image is a big deal and the pressures to conform to the ideal image is overwhelming to many. One article that recently appeared in the Metro out of the UK stated the following:
The relentless rise of the mobile phone pictures, coupled with a fixation on celebrity culture, creates unrealistic expectations, they say. It has led to one in three plastic surgeons in the US reporting a rise in requests for procedures from ‘patients being more self-aware of looks in social media’. More than half have seen a rise in cosmetic procedures on the under-30s.
When the shallow world of social media selfies and celebrity culture is contributing to cosmetic surgeries among 20 somethings – we know there is a massive problem brewing in our culture.
Lie #2 – Women Must Wear Less to Impress
Let’s be honest. Advancement in screen driven marketing has changed the dress code of society. Modesty has been lost in the wilderness of depravity long ago. June Cleaver has been replaced by the short skirt wearing career woman of American culture. However, more than June Cleaver’s job has been left behind in our television culture. June Cleaver was known to be modest in her dress. Today, not only has the length of dress changed, but in many cases, it has almost disappeared completely. Women are wearing less in order to impress. This can be traced to the pursuit of job advancement, self marketing to available men, and in the case of younger ladies it’s often as simple as popularity points on campus. In many cases, this behavior was learned through the television screen. Not only in movies and sitcoms, but news anchors and marketing advertisements have all contributed to the lack of clothing women are wearing in public.
God expects His daughters to live out the gospel in simple ways – including how they present themselves in dress. It doesn’t matter what the culture says is cool or attractive. What matters is what God thinks. The way women (and men) dress reveals much about their heart. Where do you think styles of dress originate? They appear in magazines and on television screens. We look at it while waiting in the doctor’s office and it appears on the television screen and then we go to the stores and purchase it. We are easily influenced. Dressing with less may impress a depraved mind, but it doesn’t impress God.
Lie #3 – Faithfulness is Folly
We have been hearing doom and gloom statistics for years regarding divorce rates. It seems that the divorce statistics are fairly consistent between the church and unchurched populations. Presently, there is a divorce every 13 seconds in America. That totals over 6,000 failed marriages every day in our nation. As we continue to examine these statistics, we find that 41% of first marriages end in divorce and that number drastically grows to 60% of second marriages and 73% of marriage number three. What is fueling this horrible problem? One of the great catalysts for divorce is the perverse culture that surrounds us. The entertainment world has been dumbing down marriage and denying the sacredness of the marriage bed for many years. Behind this madness is a message. Satan hates Jesus.
Marriage is often compared to Jesus’ relationship to the church. In Ephesians 5:25-28, the apostle Paul writes, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,  that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,  so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.  In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”
One way that Christ loves the church is that He never leaves her! Our culture continues to claim that remaining faithful to one person for life is a crazy idea that should be written off as archaic and unnecessary. However, the gospel is rooted in faithfulness. God instituted covenants with His people and proved Himself to be a covenant keeping God from Old Testament to New Testament. Therefore, as we view marriage and faithfulness to our spouse, we should not allow the culture to redefine the boundaries of such gospel rooted commitments. Marriage matters. Why else would it be under such heavy attack in our present day?
Lie #4 – Cheating is Winning
If the culture of the selfie has taught us anything, it has certainly proven Jeremiah 17:9 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” John Calvin referred to the human heart as an “idol factory.” As the selfie culture continues to expand, it causes us to want to see ourselves in specific places with specific people doing specific things. The human imagination is powerful – for good or evil. In the case of our modern entertainment through the television and movie screens, the human imagination will often seek to place ourselves in the context of the main characters. When young women are engulfed by the decadent shows of American culture, it often causes them to applaud sin and view adultery as an avenue to success. The devil would like to make women believe that cheating is the way to more fun and a truly exciting life. He paints that picture through shows like Desperate Housewives and Jersey Shore where women adorn themselves in garish attire as a lure to men. The continual glamorization of such lewd acts through comic sitcoms and reality shows is one way the devil sprays graffiti upon the gospel.
Proverbs 6:32 says, “He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself.” We know the commandment that says, “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14), but do we really believe that it’s a true line in the sand for our modern culture? Does God really care about cheating in marriage? Do we make too much out of this ancient commandment? The fact is, God’s commandments never grow old and God’s Word is immutable – never changing. Therefore, it’s a serious indictment on our church culture when many women who sit on the pews in the average church are watching shows like The Bachelorette and Desperate Housewives. In doing so, they give credence to such depraved entertainment, applaud sin, laugh at debauchery, and open up their own heart for sinful influence. Cheating is no way to win in marriage.
Lie #5 – Courtship is Crazy
Courtship is the idea that a man pursues a wife and his “dating” her is merely preparation to marry her. Recreational dating in America denies the necessity of marriage, commitment, and often rejects the sacredness of intimacy between a man and his wife. Americanized recreational dating cheapens our view of women as men enter the marketplace for their Friday night companion. The typical American dating routine insists that men “try out” different women in search for the one they are most compatible with. This idea is played out in high definition through shows like The Bachelor. Is courtship crazy?
The fact is, nowhere in the Bible do we see recreational dating. We see marriage emphasized and a true commitment between one man and one woman for life. God places a sacredness upon marriage and demonstrates the need for a man to take leadership seriously as he plans to care for his bride. This picture is played out all through the Old and New Testaments. If courtship is crazy, why are so many 30 something men sitting in their mother’s basement playing video games instead of looking for a job? If courtship is crazy, how many fathers want that type of man to ring the doorbell and ask to take his daughter out on the town?
According to John 8:44, the devil is a liar and the “father of lies.” In our present day culture, the devil will use entertainment outlets to preach his dirty lies. As American girls continue to follow him, he will continue to pervert the gospel with his graffiti. The devil knows the gospel of Jesus Christ is the source of biblical womanhood. It’s time for an army of older women to sit over coffee with their daughters and granddaughters and tell them the truth about Titus 2. It’s time for the older women to warn the younger women about the dangerous traps of the devil.
If the temptations are overwhelming – just turn off the television and don’t allow the magazines into your home. Jesus said it this way in Matthew 5:29, “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.”
Whatever happened to the modest woman of society who didn’t find it necessary to market herself through lewd dress? Does that woman still exist? I pray this elusive woman will be found not only in the sanctuary of our church buildings but in the marketplace of our culture as she illuminates the gospel through modesty as opposed to lurid and sexually explicit clothing. From dress to faithfulness in marriage – our culture needs to see the gospel on display through women. What an opportunity women have to shine for Christ.