My mom spent most of her career as a sales clerk at Sears, Roebuck and Co., so we not only had stock in Sears, but we also had Kenmore appliances throughout the kitchen and laundry room, and Toughskins jeans in our closets.
So I clearly remember when Sears introduced a new marketing campaign with the slogan “Come See the Softer Side of Sears.” They wanted to make consumers aware that they weren’t just about Craftsman tools and DieHard batteries, but also little black dresses, sleek heels to go with those dresses, and jewelry and purses as well. Sears wasn’t just a “man’s store,” but a place where both men and women could shop for whatever they needed.
I’d like to start a similar campaign, with the slogan “Come See the Softer Side of God!” We’ve grown up knowing that God is great at fighting battles and slaying enemies and all sorts of hard, “manly” tasks, but do we recognize that He’s equally good at being “soft?” Can we sense God scooping us up to take comfort in His lap, or gently brushing our tears away, or enveloping us in a warm embrace?
Unfortunately, we often equate softness exclusively with femininity, and since our God-paradigm is so masculine, it’s hard to fathom God being the feminine nurturer we often crave. So what do we do when we (falsely) assume that God doesn’t possess the softness that we crave? We naturally gravitate in the only direction we know to look — toward women — in the only way we know how — sexually.
You’d have to be hiding under a rock not to notice how much our culture idolizes the female body. I’m not saying that there’s nothing sexy about the male physique, but most men acknowledge that their bodies pale in comparison to that of women’s. Without women willing to take their clothes off, the porn industry would fold. We’ve elevated the image of “the sexy woman” (think Marilyn Monroe, Beyonce Knowles, and Kate Upton) to “goddess” status, and society bows down to that image (and many others like them) with their time, attention, money, and sexual energies.
And there appears to be something that magically draws men (and women) in the direction of the sensuous female image. I believe there are two reasons for this supernatural pull: our longing for connection with the softer side of humanity, and our longing for connection with the softer side of God.