don't-look-at-the-parts-look-at-the-whole-squareBeing that I’m a writer who works from home, I tend to catch a lot of television—and then I go online to research things about it. After taking a writing break recently and watching a rerun of one of my all-time favorite shows (and yes, this is about to reveal my age-LOL) Family Ties, the one when Alex P. Keaton gave his virginity to a college girl who kicked him to the curb the very next day. Even I had to process that it was a (wow!) 1982 episode. I had to take in just how much has changed.

I say that because later that day I tried to watch some of the series premiere of VH-1’s Dating Naked. Not because I was interested in the show per se, but because I deal with a lot of young people who watch what their parents tend to be totally oblivious about (watch TV with your kids, y’all!).

Corny. Shallow. Naked. Those are the three words that come to mind. Yep, I won’t mind missing any of the other episodes to come, that’s for sure. However, my point in even bringing it up is due to the stark contrast of television between 1982 and 2014.

In 1982, with an episode that was actually about sex, Alex didn’t even have a sex scene. We saw a kiss on the couch. That’s it. The rest was either loosely implied or discussed between him and his father. Cut away to 2014 and people are seeing one another, for the first time, with no clothes on. Not only that, but they’re not even batting an eye about it. That lets us know that they are beyond used to nudity. Something that really is supposed to be seen as rare and precious and special between two (and preferably only two, in marriage) people.

Interestingly, there are so many people who think that things are getting better with “the times” but when it comes to sexuality, the verse that immediately comes to my mind is “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” (Galatians 5:3-NKJV) Freedom is not about exploitation. It’s about choosing to live in a loving and responsible way. And when you think of what our young people are up against—shoot, what we all are up against—we really have to make sure that we’re teaching the truth of what it means to be “naked and not ashamed” (Genesis 2:24-25). That’s it’s not about walking on some beach and letting it all hang out (um, literally) to some random strangers who you probably won’t even see again following the taping of the show. It’s actually about sharing the best of who you are with someone who vows to care—until death.

So, what does this have to do with the title of today’s post?

Well, something else that I found to be (eh hem) interesting (kinda) about Dating Naked was that the guys had no problem compartmentalizing the women. Especially physically. That actually made me think of some conversations that I’ve had with men, in general. How seeing a woman is not oftentimes about her totality but her eyes and lips and bra size and hips and…and…and then maybe her personality (LOL). And a part of me can’t help but to wonder if that’s a part of the reason why “sex sells” but intimacy is treated so cheaply. Especially after I read an article that was published a few years ago entitled “Brain Sees Men as Whole and Women in Parts”:

The results showed a clear schism between the images of men and women. When viewing female images, participants were better at recognizing individual parts than they were matching whole-body photographs to the originals. The opposite was true for male images: People were better at recognizing a guy as a whole than they were his individual parts.

People were also better at discerning women’s individual body parts than they were at men’s individual body parts, further confirming the local processing, or objectification, that was happening.”

OK, there’s not nearly enough time and space to get into all of this right now but my point in bringing it up at all is simply this: One definition of entertainment is “distraction” and with a lot of the programming that is on the tube (and computer monitors), we have to be careful not to train our brains to do what some studies reveal it does naturally. All people deserve to be seen as whole beings. (Tweet This!) To be embraced for the spirit and mind and body (preferably in that order). Shows like Dating Naked are actually mocking the fact that being naked is not to be taken casually. Being naked is a gift. That someone should earn. With wedding vows.

Yeah. I already know. Some of y’all are going to be commenting about why I was watching it in the first place. That’s cool. I’ll just say this—about that: In order to know what Satan is scheming, sometimes you have to read (or watch) his blueprint.

Anyway, if you have teenagers, ask them what they’ve been checking out lately.

And whether they’ve seen the show or not, remind them that people are walking miracles.

Ones that deserve to be seen—not in parts. But as wholes.

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Don’t Look at the Parts. Look at the Whole. by XXXchurch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.