“ ‘Vanity of vanities,’ says the Preacher; ‘Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.’ ” (Eccl. 1: 2).
Clearly, women in Western culture are valued for their youth. We see this all around us.
Ads for every conceivable product from liquor to cable television feature young women (with two ton steel vehicles actually termed “sexy” to increase sales).
Then there are the countless products marketed to women for the ever present “problem” of aging (creams which claim rejuvenating power, hair dyes, Botox injections, and breast implants, to name just a few). As if living were insufficient.
Starlets in flimsy clothing populate our magazines. Girls as young as 14 model for us, in the place of adult women. Meanwhile, women in their 60s seek plastic surgery – even in vitro fertilization – to prolong their saleability.
Each moment lived, a woman’s value decreases or so it can seem.
A Flight from Death
Perhaps the urge to remain young, or at least appear young, is a flight from death. If anything, however, it highlights the inexorability of time. The race is rigged. Everyone loses in the end.
Christians know that this jaded view is incorrect, incomplete since it fails to take God into account. Some 3000 years ago, when King Solomon composed the Book of Ecclesiastes (from which the quote above is taken), he deliberately wrote from that skewed perspective to drive home his point about the need for God in our lives.
Human nature has not improved much, in the intervening centuries. We remain susceptible to the adversary’s lies.
But if youth is valuable, maturity is no less so. Our value in God’s eyes does not diminish with age. It was never linked to time, in the first place. Our true value derives from the fact that we have all, male and female, been created by God and that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for our Salvation.
The Power to Change Things
Women have worked in every field of endeavor from art, literature, journalism, and politics, to agriculture, engineering, science, and the military.
Unlike fashion mannequins, women have functioning eyes, ears, and mouths. We can see the injustice, in the world; can hear the cries of the needy, and give voice to the voiceless.
Issues of domestic violence, rape, human trafficking, child slavery, and the sex trade in all its forms have special relevance for us.
Most importantly, women raise the children of the world .
Because of that, women – in the West, at least – have the power to change things. We need not settle for a faulty view of our worth. We can teach our children – both boys and girls – the true value of women, and strive to improve the status of women everywhere.
If we do this, however short or long the time given us, we will have used it well.
 This is not meant denigrate the role of men in raising children, or the contribution of women in the many fields at which they have excelled.
Originally posted 8/2/15
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