It starts with the end. The look of a woman who finally knows who she is, who is at peace with herself, who is comfortable in her own skin. A woman who has found healing from her past, who has found meaning where before there was none. A woman who sheds the cynicism of a life without hope for a love without time.
It comes with a newfound faith in God — because there is more to life than we make of it through our pursuits of a career, the presence of friends or the drowning of doubt in hobbies and hedonism.
It comes with forgiveness, a woman who has forgiven the men in her life who could not teach her what real men were supposed to be. Men who sexually abused her, gave her no value and taught her no self respect. Women with their own broken souls who could not teach the younger what they so desperately need to know.
A world of broken women and boys who cannot be men.
A self perpetuating cycle kept in lock by the belief that love is an emotion and that there is no more to life than can be touched by the skin and seen by the eyes.
A world of girls who do not know how to be women — who think age and the ability to sleep with men who do not love them make them mature.
Girls and boys who believe class is a cloak, not an internal culture of behavior.
So we go to the end where that woman has finally arrived. A woman who realizes she doesn’t need to go to bed with a man to feel loved or valued. She doesn’t need a job to tell her what she’s capable of. She doesn’t need hobbies to hide from the void of self doubt and valuelessness.
Oh that men were also so blessed to find that for themselves, but it is not in men I find such hollow emptiness, but in the mothers and daughters of my people — regardless of skin color or creed.
Were we to go to the beginning, we would find girls who are lost, broken by their parenthood, swarmed by their culture to be something no one should ever have to be. We would see them struggle to remain pure out of fear of losing themselves in the deluge of more broken people, only to, at a certain age, give up all reservations and lose themselves into it, hoping to find that which could not be found elsewhere.
We would see a slow progression from girl to older girl, of naive to wallowed in mire.
There is no honor here. No dignity. No reservation or class. All can be worn like jewelry, but no one sleeps with it — its cheap nature is as painful in the darkness of night as the gaudiest of adornments that quickly become thorns in sides as the real thing.
We are left with women who either think strength is for men alone or think they must become men in order to have it. Women who spend more time comparing themselves to others and gauging their internal value off men’s attentions than deciding it for themselves.
There is no healthy community here.
And these women are not the problem. Nor are the men.
We all are broken souls, torn and destitute by the wealth of our culture and the impovershment of our spirits. We lose our morality in hopes of filling a void only morality can protect from even greater dangers.
And I find all of this so very lamentable, so very, very terrible.
Women should not be barefoot and pregnant as bound by some antiquated cultural decree. They should be whatever they wish to be, but being free to act however one pleases and acting wisely can remain as separate a thing for women as for men.
Just because we can’t, doesn’t mean we should.
Men are broken. Men are boys wrapped in hair and horn, who have only grown older instead of growing up. They seek women who will give them as they please, or act like them so they feel less responsible for being irresponsible, and only further worsen the beauty of a woman who could love herself for being herself.
And it’s always negative. Always destructive. We keep promoting the right to act without recognizing the costs of acting. Men pay those costs, too, but for so long have seemed at peace with them that women have rushed to those same rights, but will pay those costs differently.
This is about more than equality — something we most definitely must possess.
But equality, itself, does not bring peace. You can be equally capable of making poor decisions as men, and vice versa.
I wish I could offer a solution to a land of our daughters who hate themselves, who drown their self doubt in the sexual romps of unscrupulous men, who sit empty wondering “why.”
I have no answer. That hurts my heart, too.
But I can pray. I can pray that I always treat women in my life with value and love. Not the weak-feeling emotional love, but with accountability and presence. By encouragement and truth. And I can’t save all of them, but I can be truth and love to those in my life.
Are you being that for yours? Are you a woman hungry for something more than a life of distraction has brought you? It will take faith and a dedicated choice to stop letting other people tell you you have value. You do have value, with or without a man or an opinion. God is a source of restoration, but you must actually believe the value he promises you possess.
What will you do?