Here it goes. Get out your phone. Open Google. Now, fill your search history with searches of beautiful women.
I don’t mean what you probably think I mean. I want you to search for women like Theresa of Calcutta, Gianna Molla, Thérèse of Lisieux, and Jane Frances de Chantal.
Why? Because I want you to take a few moments to reflect on the greatness and beauty of woman. Ponder what true femininity can look like when women feel loved, supported, respected as human beings. Consider the feminine genius fully alive in women living out the life God has called them to, pouring forth great fruit into the society and world!
Have you heard the proverb: “Behind every great man is a great woman?” Well, this is true for women as well. “Behind every great woman is a great man.” If you dig deep enough into the lives of the women I mentioned above, you will learn about Theresa of Calcutta’s spiritual director, Father Van Exem, Gianna Molla’s husband, Pietro, Thérèse’s father, Louis, and Jane Frances de Chantal’s holy friendship with Francis de Sales.
Recently country singer Keith Urban released a song about the beauty and gift of femininity. The song surprised me. It’s not what one would expect from a celebrity, especially in light of what’s been coming out of Hollywood as of late. Urban praises woman when he sings, “… [s]he’s the heart of life, she’s the dreamer’s dream, she’s the hands of time[and] she’s the queen of kings…” He says, woman is “[s]ister, shoulder, daughter, lover, healer, broken halo, mother nature, fire, suit of armor, soul survivor, holy water…” (Female, 2017).
Why would Urban choose to proclaim the real beauty of woman and not produce yet another country song about how a good-old-boy can get drunk and lucky on a Friday night? In a recent interview, he explained it was his response to the allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Urban said he was in a room with the writer of the song, Ross Copperman, and they were processing the news about the accusations and asked the question, “What can we do about this?” They knew the one thing they can do is write songs, so that’s what they did. Urban said he wanted to reflect the changing way women are represented in today’s culture.
As others consider what they can do to hold up the dignity of woman, I think it’s only appropriate for all of us to ask ourselves the question: What can I do to honor woman?
Saint John Paul II once said, “God has assigned as a duty to every man the dignity of every woman.” As you think about what you can do different, I especially invite you, my brothers, to consider the following as places to start as you seek to live up to this great duty.
- Stop Binging on Porn– Pornography is degrading and is deeply disrespectful to the dignity of both the men and women depicted on the screen. It is also disrespectful to the great dignity you possess. The women and men on the screen deserve more. You deserve more! A great tool to help you stop viewing pornography is Covenant Eyes Internet Accountability and Filtering Software.
- End the Sexting– If God has assigned you with the duty of upholding the dignity of woman, do you think asking a beautiful woman for an immodest picture of herself is living up to that duty? Even if she asks you if you want the picture, do you think you’re protecting her by saying yes? Learn more about the impact of sexting on women by watching Why Not To Send That Sext.
- Take Chastity Seriously– What’s the best way to protect the women in your life and yourself? Live chastely. Everyday. A day at a time. Chastity is for everyone–single, married, or celibate. You have a mission to be disciplined in your thoughts and actions with yourself and others. Every single person knows the struggle and difficulty of chastity. Many even resent it. Find out why chastity is important by reading Resenting Chastity.
Women have a great beauty that society hasn’t even began to unwrap. This beauty won’t be discovered until men and women learn to truly love. It may sound cliché, but we really need men to lead in this great vocation to love.
Amanda Zurface is the Catholic Campaign Coordinator for Covenant Eyes. Amanda holds a License and MA in Canon Law and a BA in Catholic Theology and Social Justice. Amanda has served in various roles within the Catholic Church both in the United States and internationally. She is the co-author of Equipped: Smart Catholic Parenting in a Sexualized Culture and Transformed by Beauty. She resides in Zanesville, Ohio, where she also serves as the Director of Faith Formation at Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church.