Why am I bringing this up? I just recently caught up with my oldest sister, who is the proud mother of two awesome girls, and a son baking in the oven. My nieces are 8 and 3, and they are more fun than finding Bigfoot. I joked with my sister about how they were going to be when they become teenagers. Needless to say, she was a little reluctant to acknowledge how fast they were growing, much less that her oldest daughter is already being hit on by mindless boys.
Now that I think about it, I don't blame her. More and more girls are being bombarded by the media (it's stereotypical, but don't deny the truth) to be "attractive," powerfully controlling, and sexually "not slutty." When I first babysat my first niece when she was only 1, I couldn't help but cry out in my heart "please, Lord, protect her from the lies of this world" as I held her sleeping, vulnerable body.
What makes it worse is that girls are being taught to use their bodies to get what they want from men. I'll admit that as a guy it doesn't take much for an attractive woman to request something from me to get something she wants.
As Joshua Harris pointed out, women these days are performing acts of pornography, though they are not actually in that horrid business. What he means is that the ways women dress and behave very much gets the attention of men, because just like the adult industry, they are understanding that men are physical, visual beings who feed heavily on these aspects.
With that in mind, men are seen as despicable, perverted monsters. As Christians, men are expected to take full responsibility of where we look and how we act. Sorry, but it's a two-way street.
Some of my best friends in high school were good-looking, athletic guys from my church. They didn't try showing off their bodies like high school jocks, but nonetheless, I knew that some gals in my youth group definitely did not mind seeing them with their shirts off during summer trips with swimming involved. Gals were not allowed to wear two-piece suits (seriously, THANK YOU), which was understandable. However, my friends and I realized that gals had the same problem that guys had with promiscuously dressed gals. I'm not one to brag, because I have extra baggage hanging around the waist, but some of my friends were determined to not take their shirts off during the summer activities to protect their sisters in Christ.
After this past summer, I can't help but realize how many times my eyes have wandered wherever I went. Girls, please, there is a difference between dressing attractively, and dressing to attract. I'm not trying to put blame on you, because that's not my point. God has told all of us, not just men, to not even have a HINT of sexual immorality. It's something all of us need to work on. I know it's hard in our society, but then again, God tells us we are in this world, not of it. That means we shouldn't worry about what others think of us. Period. Only God should be at the forefront of our minds.
I like women. As Paul said, if I burn with passion, I should (and probably will) get married someday. God made them beautiful to look at. I think women should realize that they were created by God to be beautiful by His standards, not ours. For instance, I know that there have been girls I've fallen for in the past whom I was greatly attracted to because they put God and others first. The wisdom and love they had for our Lord and the humility they show was WAY more attractive to me than just their looks, though they helped, because God intended it that way. My pastor once said to his former youth gals "If the guy you are dating or want to date does not put God first in his life, he's not worth it. Period." Obviously, this can be flipped around to guys.
This summer, I went to a few weddings. Two of them in particular were outdoors on absolutely gorgeous Pacific Northwest summer nights. My favorite of the two was at Tilikum Retreat Center just outside Newberg, Oregon. The couple met while they were counsellors for the summer kid camps a year or so back. Their wedding was on a grassy hill, with the sun setting behind them. Needless to say, it was perfect.
I love weddings, not because they remind me of my singleness (which I'm currently fine with at the moment), or that it's a party. I love it because I think God is there celebrating with us, dancing with the guests, tearing up next to the parents, giving the bride away at the alter, and joining the couple in holy matrimony. I can imagine a huge, fat smile run across our Lord's face when the couple kiss! :) That's the picture God has for each of us who will marry one day.
Too many times I see couples in public who look perfect; hair, body, physique, face... everything you can picture as "perfect." Yet as they walk, not hand in hand, not side by side, they seem lost, uncontrolled, and unhappy with something. The union was not unified. We see this in celebrities, who look perfect, but we hear stories of the brokenness and destruction of marriage not based on Christ, and end in nasty divorces.
This is a commentary on Proverbs 31:
"Above all, she fears the Lord. Beauty recommends non to God, nor is it any proof of wisdom and goodness, but it has deceived many a man who made his choice of a wife by it. But the fear of God reigning in the heart, is the beauty of the soul; it lasts forever."
The women I described to have the attributes I'm attracted towards has this. I know her physical beauty will only last a short while, but her soul will last forever, and I like to know that one day my future wife will last forever :).