There’s a new TV show you may or may not be aware of, but I’d be willing to bet your teens know the exact time and channel to watch, not to mention episode “plots” and all the characters involved.
Girls Next Door, the first reality show to take viewers inside Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion, is a big hit. Tag line: "We call it fantasy. They call it home."
Girls Next Door stars Holly Madison, who is—in real life—Hugh Hefner’s “#1”girlfriend. I say #1 because there are two others. (However, it should be noted that before Holly, there were seven girls gracing Hef’s bed. Seven girlfriends. Seven girlfriends and one old and rich playboy.)
Second in line is Bridget Marquardt who is no dummy. She has a B.A. in public relations, a Masters in communications and is currently working toward another Masters (this one in broadcast journalism.
Rounding out the Hefner Plaything Trio is Kendra Wilkinson. Kendra is 20 years of age to Hef’s 78.
If that isn’t enough to bother you…well, take a look at just one episode. See media’s newest way of telling women today that sex is free and fun and that being a boy toy is the most desirous goal in the world. The girls in the mansion are pampered and perky and—heaven help us—‘pert near perfect. One look at all this can give a girl such mixed signals.
Even a Christian girl.
And Then Jesus Said
In the 12th chapter of Matthew we read of a time when a demon-possessed man was brought to Jesus and then healed by the Great Physician. The people were amazed, saying, “Could this be the Son of David?” (Or, “Could this be the Messiah?”)
When the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only be Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”
Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” He then went on to say, “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.”
In the movie, The Gospel According to Matthew (directed by Reghardt van den Bergh and starring Bruce Marchiano as Jesus), Marchiano plays this scene in an unsophisticated temple. As the men gathered around him listens, van den Bergh ingeniously placed a woman behind a latticework room divider. She is obviously a prostitute; everything about her cries, “for sale.” Yet, as she peers through the lattice, her eyes plead, “Can you save even me?”
Marchiano gives her a quick glance, as though to say, “Yes, I see you,” but to not embarrass her. He then ontinues to speak to the men, reciting, “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad….”
Marchiano, as Jesus, then looks back up to the woman, eyes full of love and compassion. He continues, “…for a tree is recognized by its fruit.”
With one gentle look—a look that seems to pass into the woman’s very soul—he smiles, then moves back to the men.
A House, Some Seed, and a Fruit Tree
Oh, to have the eyes of Jesus look upon us with such love! Such compassion and gentleness! Do we, as today’s Christian women, not yearn to see His beautiful face and to have his eyes behold ours in such a way?
And yet, somehow so many of us feel torn between Jesus and Hefner. Wanting to be all that we can be for Him—women purified by our Eternal Bridegroom—and yet…maybe…perhaps…even sexy?
Can women today be both sexy and spiritual? Can we style our hair, paint our nails, apply makeup to our face, work on our physique, wear perfume, dress pretty, and be lovely enough for our own TV show, without…well…being a turn on? Can we—today’s Christian woman—do all this without dividing the house? Scattering the seed? Bearing bad fruit?
The Girl Inside
The problem, as I see it, is that so many young girls today think that men like Hefner can “save them.” Give them a “posh life” vs. an eternal one. Take them to swank parties, plush restaurants, and jet set to anywhere their little hearts desire.
But Jesus … Our Heavenly Bridegroom and First Love calls us to something even greater, and in that he calls us to be set apart. Not of the world. Yet, in the world. In the end, it all comes down to being beautiful on the inside and not just on the outside. What good is pretty clothes or styled hair when that which condemns comes from within?
Peter wrote: Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. (1 Peter 3: 3,4)
Does Peter say that it is wrong to be beautiful on the outside or even to work toward that end? No. But that beauty will fade away (Proverbs 31:30) and we are only left with what’s inside. Christ himself. (ref: John 15)
So Can We?
So can we? Can we do all this without dividing the house? Scattering the seed? Bearing bad fruit?
I believe we can. We can find a style that is appealing without being revealing. Without saying “Christian” with our mouths but “sex toy” with our bodies.
We can be lovely to look at. As lovely as the prettiest peach hanging from the tree or yummiest berry hanging from the vine.
Eva Marie Everson is an award-winning author and speaker. One of her latest books, Sex, Lies, and the Media (co-written with her daughter Jessica and published by Cook Communications) deals with media’s influence on youth culture. She and daughter Jessica recently spoke in the Washington, DC area at the After Eve Conference. For more information about Eva Marie, go to: www.EvaMarieEverson.com. For more information about bring the After Eve conference to your area, go to www.AfterEve.org, then to “Contact Us” link.