A brave woman who I want to be like. That’s my guest today, Suzie Eller. Her message is one for all of us.
I’ve been feeling protective of “us” lately – of women. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older, but the mama heart in me wants to draw us all close.
A couple of generations before me, women stood in the streets with petitions asking for the right to be seen. They fought hard.
And this is why I’m feeling protective. . . I think we’ve started losing again and we may not even know it.
Somewhere along the way “being seen” was equated with our outside rather than who are on the inside.
I want to take that back.
I want us to say something about that. I want us to say, “Um, no, you don’t get to do that.”
When I see us – no matter the age – drawing attention on social media with pictures or words that say, “Take a look, I need you to tell me that I’m valuable,” I want to come alongside and pull us close. I want us to be reminded that the person that is drawn to that and leaves his praise on social media might make us feel good for a moment, but he’s not a good man. He’s shallow as the driest of creeks on a hot summer day and we’ll find ourselves empty too if that’s the only way we feel good about ourselves.
When I see advertisements use half-clad bodies of women to sell cheeseburgers, or twerking on TV as the only way to be noticed, I get angry for all of us.
Seriously, a woman’s body has nothing to do with a cheeseburger, and that talented human being can rock the charts with her God-given voice and the creativity that flows from her heart, rather than twerking next to an old guy who has no idea of the beauty within her.
We don’t have to be noticed for our sexuality in order to be of worth.
I think sex is a gift. I do. But we are more than our body. We are beautiful because of our mind, our heart, our courage, our laugh, our smile, our tender words to others, and because of our deep faith in the hard places.
And yes, we are sexual beings, but that is a deeply private dance that you are not allowed to join if you don’t want to love us for a lifetime.
I want us to to send a message to men and boys to, “Be our fathers, be our brothers.”
Protect and nurture and cheer on us as women. Don’t sell us into bondage, watch us on your computers when the lights are dim, or see us as less than companions, friends, sisters, mothers, the medicine God created to walk alongside you in life.
This is unacceptable.
We aren’t against intimacy, but we understand the value of it in God’s divine plan, and you don’t get to demean it or us in the process.
We need each other. I need you. You need me.
Women, no matter what age we are, let’s take back what we’ve given up. Let’s encourage each other. Let’s pray for each other.
Let’s not be afraid to speak out on issues that rob women of our true voice.
Let’s be strong, together.
Suzie Eller is a Proverbs 31 Ministries author of articles, columns, and seven books including her most recent:
She’s a mom, wife, and “Gaga” to five beautiful babies. Suzie lives in NW Arkansas and when she’s not writing or speaking, she’s with her family, or hiking, or filling the kitchen with smells of her love language of friends and cooking.