On November 11 of this year, 5 male students from Baylor University, committed to making a change in American Society in its view toward beauty, posted this status update:

“I’d rather have a Proverbs 31 woman than a Victoria’s Secret model.”

Throughout that night, this status was reposted numerous times and as it spread, they saw there was need for more action. They started with a Facebook page saying the same thing as their status updates and they also decided to post a video. In 3 days, they received over 120,000 views on youtube, and their Facebook page grew to over 7,000 likes (now close to 12k).

Naturally, they've received a lot of mixed reactions to their statement. Up front, it seems a bit refreshing given our societies (churched and non) obsession with physical appearance and it puts me in remembrance of a Bath & Body Works ad campaign that was out over 10 years ago in which all of the models were size 12 and above and I remember thinking, "at last! a real depiction of what many look like!" Not a svelte size 2 with boobs 'til Tuesday but rounded thighs and bellies and arms and cheeks, slightly stetch-marked and not as smooth and perky as once before but warm and lusty (oooops...did I just say that?) and welcoming. I am Venus At A Mirror, thank you very much, and live with the reality of that every day and let me tell you, it's a love/hate relationship at best because every woman ~ Victoria Secret model or not, has image issues. Oh yes, she does. Just watch, How To Look Good Naked, sometime and you'll see.

But, more than that, what immediately hit me when I read this little yet powerful statement was this: have all 5 of these university gentleman ever self gratified? Ever looked at porn? Ever shopped at Vicky's Secret store (double entendre intended). Cause I'm thinkin' that would make their statement pretty meaningless if they had and this is why: in the almost 5 years that we've been involved in Christian marriage ministry, we've yet to talk with one man who hasn't participated in any of the aforementioned activities; married or not.

Not one.

Not one.

Not one.

This isn't a judgement; it's a sad reality. And I totally get how childhood wounding and family of origin abuse and abandonment and emotional arrestedness can play a part in why we do what we do; but when one regularly comes in contact with men who are married to Godly women who genuinely strive to be so ~ whether she be a Prov 31 woman or a Victoria's Secret model (both are children of God) ~ and sees that these same men are turning towards indiscriminate sex to be fulfilled instead of towards the woman they're married to, then the statement made by these 5 men is nothing more than a cock and bull story to me.

Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.
Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe;
let her breasts satisfy thee at all times;

and be thou ravished always with her love. ~ Proverbs 5:18-19

And....hello....it doesn't even matter what she looks like! We've met men married to drop-dead-gorgeous inside and out women and they still look at porn, self gratify or leave their wife for a pole dancer!

Guess I'm a little jaded.

A few days ago, Michael and I were watching a Christmas movie and towards the end, the main couple got married in a simple ceremony. The mayor ~ who officiated ~ asked who was giving the bride away (Santa, naturally), then for the rings, then pronounced the couple husband and wife. I laughed a bit and jokingly said to Michael, "What kind of wedding was that? No vows." to which he drolly replied, "What's the point of vows? Most people don't keep them anyway."


And hey, I know that there's a lot of good men out there; men who honor their wives and their vows, who genuinely forsake all others ~ including themselves ~ for love of God and their wife, who want to leave a legacy for their children that will protect their hearts and minds and future spouse. I also know that the porn industry brings in more money annually than major league sports and that men aren't the only participants in supplying that revenue. It's a tangled web we weave, people. Has been from the beginning and it doesn't matter if a man is with a Proverbs 31 woman or a Victoria's Secret model; if he has a proclivity to act out....he will because as long as a person continues in the belief that God is holding out on them somehow; that He doesn't want to give them what they really need and as long as people continue to let that be the story of their lives then that's how they'll show up.

So, what do you feel when you read the statement from the guys at Baylor? Does any part of it resonate with you or do you have a different take? We'd love to read your thoughts in the comment section of this post.


  1. Your honesty and frankness is continually refreshing!

    I love your point that if these men don't pursue sexual integrity in their own lives, then their bold statement just doesn't mean much.

    It's a nice idea. It sounds heroic. And maybe for them it's genuine. But I am sure that of the almost 12,000 likes they've received or repostings of the original status, there are a frightening number of men for whom it is all talk. They may actually be married to Proverbs 21 women, but their lives suggest they'd prefer a sex symbol.

    That said, I am thrilled that there is some open discussion about the blatant messages that women receive about beauty and desirability from our culture. We HAVE to talk about it. Because it's not going to go away on its own.

  2. Oops, not Proverbs 21 women, Proverbs 31 women.

  3. Your point is well made. However, there needs to be a provision for repentance. We are all "works in process". I am married to a Proverbs 31 woman. She is not perfect, nor am I. We are both assaulted daily by images and values that do not honor God. However, I am reminded by Jerry Bridges that, "we should preach the Gospel to ourselves, daily."

  4. I was immediately thinking what "nice boys" isn't it nice of them to focus on the noble Prov 31 woman (whom I have had a love hate relationship with most of the time) I think tho...your point is well taken...why not proclaim to embrace the "Christ-like man" instead of it always being about the WOMENS performance to some degree weather it be looks or perfect character....really ...another hoop I have to jump through? Tell us men how will you pursue us and love us and show us and listen to our hearts?? maybe...."How I'm striving to be a Christlike man instead of a Victorias's Secret model oogler"!! This is from Billie :)

  5. Have you heard about Ketubah? As a Filipina it's interesting to learn that besides the perfect wedding ring, the couples needed to choose the right Ketubah Designs for their Jewish wedding ceremonial. This piece of document is like a contract that will be signed by the couples in front of the witnesses. This is like a bond of responsibilities, truthfulness and love for each other and their future children.

  6. I stumbled on your site today from your other site (via a pic on pinterest.) I've been following Christ for 35 years, and my relationship with Him is the most important thing in my life. The second most important relationship is the man that I love. I don't usually comment on blogs, buy I was disappointed with the tenor of your post, and those of other readers. Yes, we should call the problems in our society as we see them. And certainly there are problems in families caused by the media, and our own sin-nature in failing to take every thought captive to God. But when 5 men make a bold media move to say that they'd prefer a Prov31 woman in their life, rather than 'sex symbols' and are *condemned* for being humans who will fail and sin--their stand labeled worthless (by other Christians none-the-less), I have to ask where is the 'whatever is good... think on these things?" Yes, women have self-image and self-esteem issues. I do. But is that truth solely because of advertizing, porn, and weak sinful men? Is it not as much or more because we live in a fallen world where we as women are susceptible to comparing ourselves to others, to perfectionism, to envy, strife, doubt??? If it wasn't our figures (say it was 1712 instead of 2012) it would be our shoes, our cooking, our homes. Are we as women taking our own thoughts captive, or sitting around blaming Adam for having listened to the snake whispering in our own ear? If we are to be Proverbs 31 women we must see the challenge as a model given by Christ, not a standard set by men. We must face our own sins, break free of our own captivity, and believe what God says about us, before we as women will find true healing of our insecurities. We know how it feels as women to receive constant messages that we are failing to attain physical "perfection": are we so calloused that we can not imagine how damaging it is for our men to hear that women think they can never live up to our standards of spiritual and emotional 'perfection'?