Marty Duren Exposes the Fault Lines of Comparisons

We have two girls. To say that we are proud of them would be an understatement. They have matured and exhibit a good bit of individuation but desire to remain fully connected with their families. Kimberly and Tommie get interdependence.

Young ladies in our culture need champions when they mostly experience critics. ‘You’re too . . . .” is the curse of a young girl. The sentence exudes comparisons – and unfair ones. Marty Duren draws attention to the unhealthy ways girls have been/are affected by such unrealistic images seen in the wider culture.

Marty points to one way this shows up in media portrayals – photographs and videos. After watching a couple of videos he includes in his piece it is no wonder he writes,

The finished products are not pictures; they are artists’ renderings. The “models” are no longer models. They are barely caricatures; more like cartoons.

Such moves dehumanize young women. The message is, “You are not quite there yet.” You should go over and check out Marty’s post. Watch the videos, especially if you have daughters at home.

In no way do I want to diminish the point Marty makes. But, I would suggest we do this on many levels that take in a variety of groups or segments of the population. I confess to wanting to read this in light of my vocation  as pastor. We set up models that have been just as airbrushed where blemishes have been hidden from the public eye. We then present them on stages and in books as the models to pursue. The same psychoses that develop in young girls befall young pastors and church planters. One more way the Church has more reflected culture rather than create a more healthy vision of what it is to be human, made in the image of God.

About the Author
Husband to Patty. Daddy to Kimberly and Tommie. Grandpa Doc to Cohen, Max, Fox, and Marlee. Pastor to Snow Hill Baptist Church. Graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Reading. Photography. Golf. Colorado. Jeeping. Friend. The views and opinions expressed here are my own and should not be construed as representing the corporate views of the church I pastor.

2 comments on “Marty Duren Exposes the Fault Lines of Comparisons

  1. Marty Duren says:

    You are absolutely right. I even thought about the masculine side of that comparison trap with 6-pack abs and the UFC craze.

    Ministry comparisons, as you note, are hardly better. They may actually be worse since such are sanctified by supposed spiritual goals.

    1. Marty,
      Yes, I do think we may witness these same issue when it comes to masculinity in our culture. Another interesting acculturation by many churches as a claim to “attract real men.” There the comparisons begin.

      Ministry comparisons create the perception that some are doing better, even doing “church” better, than others while at the same time denigrating others for doing worse, even doing church worse. I really thought about a post submitting a ministry vocabulary inserted into your post. I suspect many a pastor and church planter would be helped by thinking through the way these comparisons have layered unhealthy expectations derived from others’ contexts and other variables that cannot possibly be reproduced in all other settings.

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