I like pretty girls. I think everyone does. If you don't, something is wrong with you or you're lying. I don't like people lying to me. We like pretty girls.
But this raises an awareness of a perplexing reality: Since we like them, what do we do about it?
In a past post I wrote:
[Michael] talks about "husbands [who] are secretly following porn queens". Sure, there are certain girls (Camilla Belle is my current obsession) whom I "follow", but "porn queens"? I don't think my issues with porn are that different from other Christian guys. I know that many guys who have abandoned themselves to porn may latch on to certain "porn queens"... but, that doesn't fit with my experience. I don't like porn queens. I'm not interested in porn queens. I never have been. There is one "babe" whom I think is beautiful, but that's about as far as that goes (that being the header of my book's blog).
This spawned an email response:
"I think it's impossible to justify porn usage for the believer. Every Scripture says to flee immorality.
"And even 'innocent' following porn queens--I doubt if your daughter was beautiful and well-endowed, you would want to follow her around the internet. Stop following someone else's daughters. Ugh."
In my reply I said:
"My goal is not to justify porn use (or sin at all, for that matter), but rather to honestly look at what is going on and thereby come up with ways of better dealing with it. The 'Nike' solution to sin of 'Just Don't Do It' hasn't worked. ...
"I hope I get a beautiful (and properly endowed) daughter to dote upon. I plan to spend a lot of time 'following' her around. The proper response to beauty is a concept I've been kicking around a lot. I'm closer to the truth, I think, but I'm not quite there yet."
I am still not quite there yet, but one thing has become more clear to me: I really like "following" pretty girls (on the internet or with my eyes in "RL"). What do we do about that? How do we properly respond to beauty?
In college this became an obsession of mine for a while. I wrote such sappy things as:
Someday, somehow, someway allow for me to gaze on you.
No one is as beautiful as you, the fabled few.
Men write songs and poetry, paint pictures, conquer gods
All for you, your sympathy, your smiles, and your nods.
I know not what to think or do when I see you walk by;
Men as tough as iron break down, they weep and cry.
Pity us, but mortal men, fallen, by the way,
So now we have nothing to do; even less to say.
Oh pass again before us
That we may all concur
That you are truly pretty,
You, and her, and her.
So many charming women,
And girls, oh to be sure,
Soft like new-made velvet;
A scent like rose or myrrh.
The longing that I know so well is deeper than your face,
But the beauty there beheld is a mirror for that grace.
You cannot know the every time that I have sought you out,
And tried with all that I could do to restrain the shout
That would exclaim your many charms, and desired traits.
Oh what a cruel world that leaves us in such states.
A fallen world we live in, and it bequeaths this pain
That sears within our souls when beauty touches stain.
Oh for better words, for flowing songs and melodies,
For something I could say or do to charm these very trees,
For all this you daily do, in that precious, youthful way.
I see you oh so rarely, but how I bless that day!
Again I say it's painful to be with you or no.
Absence makes forgetful, or the longing grow.
Alas, alack! Oh who can say, what I am to do,
For something more than love draws me more to you.
Not that I would have your hand, or even your fond touch,
But if innocence could kiss, I'd like that very much.
Curse lust that burns in passion, for that I would not feel.
Rather, I'm enamored, but more than that, it's real.
There's something in the way you are that shines upon the soul.
Like heaven on this moral coil, you seem to be so whole.
And yet you are so fragile, in need of love and care,
And so you are approachable, and I can meet you there.
Remember you're desired, much more than I can write.
I wish I knew what this is called when one weeps in delight.
I love re-reading those poems because they get at that raw emotion I experience when I see pretty girls I really like. The question remains unanswered to this day. But it is an important one that others have noted as well. I've been slowly reading through "Captivating" by the Eldredges and the entire book is devoted to the point that women were made to be, believe it or not, captivating. I haven't gotten very far yet, but the already it is dripping with the need to be noticed, appreciated, longed for, loved and, yes, even looked at.
I like pretty girls. I like looking at them too.
But am I then captive to lust? Am I merely another "dirty old man" [shoot, I have a great link, but it is far too inappropriate] who likes leering at little ladies? I admit that I am, at times, but more often than not I am just trying to "drink in" beauty. As we argue in our book, this is far more likely to be the case. The problem is that without a proper response to the properly captivating girls around us we often find ourselves captive... either to lust, legalism, or lying.
I like pretty girls. I wish I could figure out a better way to say that both in pen and in life.