Friday, September 14, 2007

Diminishing Our Daughters’ Honor

Proverbs 11:22: “Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.” (NIV)

Kyla Ebert, a twenty-two year old college student and Hooter’s waitress, was escorted off a Southwest Airlines flight for being dressed in a manner deemed far too revealing. Ms. Ebert protested and was allowed to fly. There has been much discussion concerning this incident; speculation and snickering by the press. I read one press account that said “What’s next? Will women be required to wear berka’s when they fly Southwest?” The discussions center around what kind of dress is appropriate and what is too revealing. I realize Ms. Ebert is 22 years old but did mom and dad teach any discretion or modesty in dress when she was 15 years old?

During a discussion with a couple of friends about being parents, the husband used the phrase “allowing our children to diminish their honor”. In our society today, do we allow our children, in the name of fashion and popularity, to dress in a manner “that diminishes their own honor”? It set me thinking.

We as parents are to know better. One of our God given functions is to teach and guide our children through “the maze” called life. But I fear we as parents want our children to be fashionable and popular. Will we allow our children to cheapen themselves as we worship at the altar of fashion and popularity? As a caring parent, we should not allow them to acquiesce to pressure of the “anything goes” culture. We must protect them, not just for the short term but for the long term, protecting their lifelong honor.

Jacob, the Old Testament patriarch, had a number of sons and a daughter named Dinah. In Genesis 34 Dinah, apparently on her own, goes off to visit the neighboring pagan tribe. In the process, she is raped by the son of the tribal leader. Shechem, the son, speaks tenderly to Dinah and wants her as his wife. The clan is willing to pay anything for him to have her as his wife. “Now Jacob's sons (Dinah’s brothers) had come in from the fields as soon as they heard what had happened. They were filled with grief and fury, because Shechem had done a disgraceful thing in Israel by lying with Jacob's daughter--a thing that should not be done.” (Gen. 34:7).

They were filled with grief and fury! Why, because Shechem had done a “disgraceful thing”, lying with Jacob’s daughter, “a thing that should not be done.” Dinah was blessed to have two older brothers who were willing to defend there sister but in their fury and grief they became deceitful.

Negotiations ensue, both clans, intending to take advantage of each other, reach agreement which extracts a high price for her hand in marriage. Dinah’s brothers, Simeon and Levi, add an additional requirement for the marriage agreement; all the men of the pagan tribe must be circumcised. The pagan tribe agrees and when they are sore and healing and cannot defend themselves, Simeon and Levi kill the men with the sword, plundering everything and take the women and children captive. A message needed to be sent. In any case, this is an overreaction to this situation.

But do our women know we would defend their “honor” no matter what? Would we, as men today, defend our daughters’ honor, our wife’s honor? Do we as men through indifference allow our children to “diminish their own honor” by being an indifferent parent, by shirking our duties? When we defend someone’s honor, let’s deal decisively but honestly and with passion.

Kyla Ebert may be a babe and the world will admire her or it may abuse her. There is nothing wrong with beauty; God is a God of beauty. No doubt a beautiful woman is the finest piece of God’s handiwork but without modesty, she is a woman devoid of true beauty; she looks cheap.

Have we, as parents by our own indifference, allowed our daughters to “diminish their own honor”? If we have, how sad.


Anonymous said...

Good point made -

Anonymous said...

I met Kyla in person. We were on Dr. Phil together. Kyla wanted one thing and one thing only as a result of this incident. She wanted to become some sort of celebrity. She treated the drivers, staff and even Dr. Phil like dirt. She let me know that she would walk out in front of the audience like "she was a model" and she sat and bragged about how many talk shows she had been on. When Dr. Phil "told her like it was" she was ticked at Dr. Phil. Now she has posed for a popular immoral publication and got paid the big dollars she sought. I guess she is happy now.