Here are some very well-articulated thoughts on The Woman and Beauty from AndSons Magazine.
The author has this crucial point to make:
If we’re not aware of what we long for, we will attach our longing to the wrong object—motorcycles or pick-up games as much as anything else—and then that object will fail us, but only after we have adored it past the point of recognition. In order to move toward the girl, you need to know the kind of thing your heart is.
We have done this with feminine, physical beauty. We have attached our longing for transcendence, meaning and goodness to The Woman. And the The Woman fails us every time.
It’s not that The Woman isn’t beautiful, she is. Indescribably so, in fact. But she cannot meet the deepest needs and longings of our hearts. And so, as the author says, we must know our hearts.
The heart—we’re quite sure about this—recognizes all illustrations of restoration, however distorted, and, like leaping after a familiar face in a crowd, rises in delight at what could only ever have been a longing after God. Beauty arouses in our hearts a yearning for life as it was meant to be: fullness, joy unspeakable, the restoration of all things.
We make such a grave error when we try to get fullness, joy unspeakable and the restoration we seek from The Woman. She has a role to play in the journey and pursuit of those things, but she is not the source of those things. She never could be. Only God has the ability to satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts.
Porn and a pornified culture have elevated The Woman to the role that God Himself must fill.
The author closes with a quote from C.S. Lewis’ essay The Weight of Glory.
“The [things] in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things…are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.”
So very well said.