She’s Someone’s Daughter7 min read
I don’t care about that which I believe possesses no merit for me caring…and neither do you. Let me explain.
With the summer upon us, it is a weekly routine for our yard to need mowing. My wife and I are blessed with a teenage son, and he’s been blessed with a riding lawn mower that I provide him. With earbuds in his ears, and by serenading the neighborhood when he sings along, my son will spend roughly 45 minutes mowing the front and side yards and then maybe another hour mowing the back yard. I then come along with a weed eater, and like an artist with a black pen, I clean up the edges and put the final touches on the landscape.
While this routine is fairly regular, I have yet to mourn over the pieces of grass that have viciously been cut by the lawnmower or have been sacrificed to the mighty weed eater. To be honest, I’ve never even given the grass clippings that will fade away a second thought. We cut them, and then move on with life, awaiting the return of the routine next week.
Why am I not emotionally impacted by the cut grass? Why is it so easy for me to dismiss?
The answer simply is because I don’t have any concern for the grass because the clipped grass does not merit my concern. It’s like when a branch breaks loose from a tree in a storm, or a bush turns brown because of a lack of water. Things like that are just a part of life, and while there may be a little inconvenience due to the effort required to rid the yard of the branch or dead bush, I am not emotionally connected nor do I see the bush as worthy of my concern.
While this may not immediately seem to have a legitimate connection to the subject of pornography, I ask you to consider the underlying, core concept. We don’t care about that which we believe possesses no merit for our caring. Just as the grass clippings, the broken branch, and the dead bush are viewed meritless, so are the women who are engulfed in the pornographic industry by those who view them. Oh, I understand someone will disagree with this; however, I would ask that person to consider why they believe the women have merit. If they’re honest, the only merit that many pornographic users assign to the women is purely selfish in its origin and is based upon what the women do for him/her. It’s not that they are seen as worthy of being cared about because they are people, but rather only because of what they do for the user.
In that sense, I guess it could be argued that I do care whether or not my grass grows to the point where my neighbors give me “that look” or that I care about the branch falling because I don’t want it to be an eyesore in my yard. In this train of thought, it could be argued that I care about the dead bush because it is not aesthetically pleasing. However, even in this line of reasoning, my motivation is selfish, not rooted in the grass, the branch, or the bush. I care only because of the way these affect me and my yard. That’s why I care… because I value me and my desires.
I want you to consider for one moment the women who are in the pornographic industry.
She is a Real Person
Go back in your mind to memories of when you’ve held a new-born baby girl in the hospital. Do you remember that new-born smell? That fresh-baby-lotion scent that is ingrained in your memory? What did you think of as you looked upon the innocence of that little girl? Perhaps she was your little girl. What dreams did you have for her? What would you have done to protect her? What did you do to provide for her?
Now, fast forward to the first steps, the first hair-cut, the first day of school, the first time she wanted you to play house or pretend cook. Do you remember the sparkle in her eye or the unwavering trust she placed in you? As she rested in your lap, do you remember thinking how blessed you were to have a little girl love you so much?
As the teen years dawned, you remember the first time she drove away from your home and how nervous that made you. Sure, you trusted her. It was everyone else you weren’t sure about. You wanted to make sure she had her phone in case she needed to call, but you warned her not to text and drive at the same time. You did that because you loved her. She merited your concern because she was and is valuable. That value hasn’t changed for your little girl, even though today she may be a grown woman with a family of her own.
Who Has Value Given to Her by God
Isn’t it interesting that when we slow down and see each other as real people, we begin to understand the great value we each possess? The Bible tells us we were all created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26,27), which means He masterfully grafted value into each us, a value not based upon looks or accomplishments. We are each unique and special because He determined such. That’s why He sent Jesus to die for us, and that’s the most important reason why the woman on the screen is to be seen as valuable, and not as an object of lust.
While her value, no doubt, stems from being created in the image of God, I would also like for you to consider the fact that at one time she was that little, new-born baby with the baby lotion smell. She did capture the hearts of her parent/parents. There were dreams and provisions made for her. When she started walking, someone was there to see her fall down and pick her up. When her first words were spoken, smiles dawned the face of proud parents and grandparents. Somewhere, someone looked upon her with a kind and caring outlook, only wanting what was absolutely best for her.
Not an Object of Sexual Gratification
For many pornography users, the women on the screen are none of the above. They are merely objects that have been posed and positioned for the viewers’ sexual gratification. Some of them may not even want to be there. Others might be doing it because they are trapped by money, fame, or drugs.
What if viewers of pornography would see the women as real people instead of sexual objects? What difference would it make? What if they could see her as someone else’s daughter with intrinsic value? Would it change things within the user, either the addict or the occasional viewer?
You see, we care about that which we believe possesses merit for our care. When we objectify one another, instead of seeing each other as real people, it makes it easy to separate the person from the image on the screen. In other words, she’s no longer a person but merely an object. We have disassociated her person-hood from the snapshot of her person. It’s like the clipped grass, the broken branch, or the dead bush. I don’t really care about them because I don’t see value in them. For users, the person has no value because they can’t see the person. They can only see a sexual object, and as long as that disassociation continues, the user will be drawn further into the world of fantasy.
So, how does one begin to care about the woman on the screen? Again, I’ll go back to the underlying premise… we don’t care about that which we believe possesses no merit for our care. That means to reverse this lack of care, we must see her value. That’s why it begins with us understanding that she is a real person with value placed upon her by God, not as an object of sexual gratification. When merit is restored to her person-hood, care will follow closely behind.