Even in elementary schools girls already grade each other’s appearance and claim they need to diet. We laugh at Honey Boo Boo on TV and sign up our kids for fitness classes. Mothers apologize to one another when their daughters don’t match the culture’s one standard of beauty: tall, thin, and shapely in the right places.
And yet, as writer and women’s Bible study teacher Jen Wilkin observes, we would not all look the same way even if we all fulfilled our New Year’s resolutions to eat well and exercise regularly. So why do we grade ourselves and one another so harshly? Why do we convince our sons they need the perfect Justin Bieber haircut and talk to them about women in such a way that we unwittingly dictate what a wife needs to look like?
Earlier this week Wilkin wrote a tremendously helpful article aimed especially at Christian women to encourage them to “banish body-talk to the same list of off-limits topics as salaries, name-dropping, and colonoscopies.” In the latest edition of Going Deeper with TGC, Wilkin talks with Mark Mellinger and me about why women should stop telling their friends they look skinny and start complimenting them about godly attitudes and behavior. Wilkin even responded to my unexpected question about plastic surgery. So go easy on her for an impromptu response on one of the most personally explosive issues of our day.
As the podcast continues, The Gospel Project managing editor Trevin Wax talks with Eric Geiger, vice president of the church resources division at LifeWay and co-author of Creature of the Word, about how pastors and other leaders align their churches according to theology, philosophy, and practice. They discuss thorny issues of change and the local church’s relationship with the past. Finally, Mark and I wrap up the podcast by reflecting on my controversial top 10 theology stories of 2012.