Wednesday, October 8, 2008

No More Masks! Removing the Seductive Mask



The following excerpt was taken from Real Women Don't Wear Masks by Carol Van Atta & Dr. Kathy Rodriguez (not yet published) If you are a women's ministry leader/pastor and would like Carol and/or Kathy to share at your women's retreat about removing masks and embracing God's best, please email: carol_vanatta@yahoo.com or visit: http://www.carolvanatta.com/ for additional ministry details.

One dictionary describes the word seduce as follows:

1.: to persuade to disobedience on disloyalty 2: to lead astray usually by persuasion or false promises 3: to carry out the physical seduction of: entice to sexual intercourse 4: ATTRACT Synonym see LURE — se-duc-er noun

How true? Seduction involves being led astray. Both parties — the seducer and the “seducee” — are led away from what is good and what is right. Such enticement happens for an array of reasons.

Women have learned through the centuries that their so-called feminine wiles, beauty, and sexuality can be used to sway men to do their bidding in spite of great consequences. Some women pick up this mask so frequently that it seems natural. After all, a few bats of those eyelashes and certain men have been known to forfeit their God-given destinies for a moment of promised passion.

What about the movie Pretty Woman? Some called it a “Cinderella Story.” But let’s get real, shall we? Julia Roberts was trying to get by and resorted to prostitution in order to make ends meet. Her naivety and outward beauty caught the attention of one lonely millionaire. They slept together and then he hired her to be his escort while he was in town. After wining and dining her, this handsome man rescued her from her former way of life and, together, they headed into the sunset in a super-extravagant, stretch limousine.

Again, the Seductive Mask was worn as a means to survive and it appeared that by donning this facade that our seductress won the ultimate prize — a real life Prince Charming.

But, sadly, the Pretty Woman story has just one thing in common with Cinderella — it’s a fairy tale. This is a mask that ultimately won’t work and a mask that will take us far from our Lord and King, our ultimate Knight in Shining Armor, our one true Prince Charming.

Today’s media only helps perpetuate the myth of unsurpassed glamour and glorious gifts that wearing this mask will provide. The following lies are replayed across our TV screens, in romance novels, on the Internet, and at movie theatres daily. Every young girl, teenager, and woman must face and overcome the following common, yet unrelenting lies:

1. Only beautiful and sexy women are admired and get what they want.

2. If I’m not pretty enough, I can still be extremely sexual and get my way.

3. Powerful women are seductive women; they are not ashamed of their sexuality, nor should I be.

4. The best way to get a man to do what I want is to behave seductively.

5. As a Christian woman, I can still be flirtatious and get my needs met by men. After all, I’m not actually having sexual encounters.

6. All the famous and desirable women are clearly seductive; therefore, if I want attention I should behave that way, too.

7. Appearing seductive is the best way to stay in control and have power over men. It will allow me to feel in charge and I won’t get hurt. After all, I’m the one calling the shots.

The constant mantra of the above messages leaves us struggling to stay on the path of truth. Everyday we must make a choice to lay this mask down where it belongs … at the foot of the cross. A greater understanding of why we are so often tempted to turn to this false face will help.
More on the Seductive Mask

The book of Proverbs offers a number of dire warnings to men, yes, men, in regard to women who are hiding beneath the mask of seduction. These women are referred to by several seemingly harsh terms:

Prostitute.

Adulteress.

Seductress.

Yet, when we are wearing this infamous mask, are we not indeed acting as such?
Proverbs 7:21-23 (NIV) states:

With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk. All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into a noose till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing
it will cost him his life.

Consider Proverbs 6:25, 26 (NIV):

Do not let lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the Adulteress preys upon your very life.

Ladies, we don’t share these words of truth to shame you, but to challenge you with lessons we’ve learned in falling victim to this mask. We are aware that horrible things from childhood lead many of us to wear the ever-popular seductive fa├žade. However, the truth remains that this mask is far from God’s best. It is not what He has planned for you. It will never give you the true acceptance, confidence, control, power, or admiration that you crave. Eventually, the effects of this mask lead to death — an emotional and spiritual death for certain — for some, physical death.

If we indeed follow through, and use the Seductive Mask in a way that leads to sexual sin, the results can be life altering … deadly.

HIV, unplanned pregnancies, ruined marriages, families destroyed, and ministries uprooted are just a few potential side effects. The devil would like nothing more than to have Christian women buy into the lie that this mask is effective.

Let’s instead rise up and remove this deadly face, replacing it with godly Beauty and Modesty.

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