What is critical appearance? When is an appearance considered to be critical? Who can appear critical? What is the purpose of someone appearing critical? What are the effects of critical appearance – to the on-lookers, to morality and to the society at large? You may wish to share my ideas and experience. Welcome.
In Gen 2:18-20, we saw or heard how Adam became a co-partner with God in the creation work by giving names to all the cattle, all the birds of heaven and all the wild animals. This was the “wisdom of Adam” – the semi-god of the first paradise at Eden: the undistracted and single-minded friend of the Almighty God of hosts.
In Gen 2:23, Adam was flagger basted and indeed beset by what he saw: Yahweh God brought to him, the Eve that He had “fashioned” out of his rib bone, to be his “helper”. Seeing her “naked and ripe”, Adam yelled: “this one at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh! She shall be called woman, because she was taken out from the man (2:24). You may wonder how Adam got to know that God took something out of him, in his sleep, to fashion the Eve – he was conscious even in his sleep, and in the biological presence of Eve, he could vividly recognize his missing ribe bone.
The appearance of Eve before Adam, naked and ripe, was a critical appearance. On seeing her, the material and mortal component of Adam (his flesh), flared up, consciously and unconsciously dominating his “spirit-self”. He exclaimed: “…, she shall be called woman, …”
The submissive attitude of Adam to the voice of “his wife” was fueled by the critical appearance of Eve before him, their body chemistry and her body language. The serpent, representing the enemy of God’s mandate; the ‘Devil’, had communicated deceptive ideas to the woman to help thwart the will and plan of God on them, with respect to the “tree of knowledge of good and evil”. Eve was on Adam’s neck to have this idea tested, and in a bid to play ‘the good man’, contrary to an initial mandate from his divine master and friend, Adam gave consent to the voice of the woman. This single act, maliciously manipulated and executed through the subtle ingenuity of the serpent on the woman, led to the loss of the original paradise at Eden. They became “wise”; discovered their nakedness; became shy and thus, began to sow fig leaves to cover their own nakedness.
Adam left the path of strength, and treaded the path of weakness. He shifted from his spirit-self to his flesh; and in flesh, he encountered weakness and was conquered. He lost out power that was gained by the woman. The woman who was supposed to be under him as his helper became his instructor and director, to the chagrin of his “All-Powerful Master, God”. Thus, in His sentence against Adam in Gen 3: 17, God said: “Because you listened to the voice of your wife and ate from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat.”
Similar cases of great men and men of God walking away from their divine mandate to ‘play the good man’- to listen to the voice of their women are seen everywhere in the scripture and in real life. It is most especially rampart in our time when female emancipation and gender equality is speedily down-tuning the ‘spirit-self’ of the man.
In Gen 16: 1-16, it was Abraham – the man of faith. He could have waited faithfully for the promise of God to come true, but he listened to the voice of his wife, Sarah. He ‘went in' with his wife’s Egyptian slave girl and brought forth Ishmael prior to the fulfillment of God’s promise of Isaac. This single mistake from the ‘father of faith’ gave rise to the two divided ‘kingdoms’ of descent that has grown into hatred, aggression, terrorism and insurgence the world over. The unending turmoil between the descendants of Ishmael and those of Isaac over who will rule who, was a child of that mistake. Ishmael was Abraham’s first son, but not a legitimate one. Isaac was Abraham’s first legal and legitimate son. Thus the impartial Judge of Heaven who never changes, and who will never change, chose to stick to his original promise. He blessed Abraham as He had promised, through the son born to him by Sarah his wife. Haggai and her son were sent out into exile with a keg of water to grow into what is today referred to as the Arab world – a wandering tribe. Whose fault was it? Ishmael was a mistake of Abraham’s, for listening to the voice of his wife, Sarah.
In Judges 16:4-22, it was the mistake of Samson, the strongest: a man in whom the Almighty God of Israel had built an iron weapon to break the armour and the arrows of the enemies of Israel. He submitted himself, his secrets and his power to the subtle wits of Delilah's clandestine love. In the hands of this Philistine agent, Samson lost his ‘Nazarite’ hair, his power, his Eyes and his Life. The love of a girl, they said, is the death of a man’.
In 1 Kings 21: 1-16, it was king Ahab of Israel. Ahab listened to the voice of his ‘wicked’ wife, Jezebel, over Naboth’s vineyard. He killed and he coveted in obedience to the counsel of his wife, Jezebel. Thus, the wrath of Yahweh fell like a heavy rain on them.
Scripture said that our heart is the temple of the Holy Spirit. From creation story, what made man a “living being”, was the breathe of life infused into him by God. Thus, the man, bearing an image of God in him, and being in His likeness, should look inwards to the voice of God, every time and in everything, and never outward to ‘flesh and blood’. The man finds fulfillment in God, whereas the woman finds fulfillment in the man. Anything otherwise, is chaos.
In the story of Sodom in Gen 19:1-29, immorality was the principal ingredient that attracted the wrath of God to pour down fire and destroy Sodom with all her inhabitants, save Lot and his daughters. God abhors immorality to the core. Now, look around you wherever you are: what do you see? Critical appearance is any appearance or presence that diverts the mind towards immoral thoughts and actions. Any dressing code; any fashion or fancy; that fuels the urge and desire of the next person around to immoral feelings, is a critical appearance. Nudity has gained pre-eminence among our young ladies today, especially in our side of the world where poverty and unemployment has helped to corrupt good manners.
In a flash back, when God ‘discovered’ in Gen 33:21, that Adam and his wife has eaten of the forbidden fruit , He made tonics of animal skin and clothed them. Derivatively, that action of God’s indicated His intention to have the physical Body of the ‘fallen’ human person properly covered up. This was to avoid temptations of the flesh. If the original man, Adam, living in God’s own farm, Eden, could not avert the glaring presence of Eve’s critical appearance, which man will? The muslims adopted this tradition to advocate the ‘hijab’ for their women. They seal up everything that would rouse the flesh. Elsewhere, it is like an epidemic: very hot skirts for the ladies; low waist trousers and three-quats; open cleavages and sleeveless tops; skin-to-skin leggings; bottom-tight shots; ‘see-me-throughs’ and ‘I get am’ jeans. The ladies are desparate; purposely confusing virtues and complicating promiscuity through indecency in their dressing pattern. ‘Street’ sex is hawked like banana and groundnut in the busy cities – “short times” and “all nights”. Their body becomes the sigh post while they themselves become the commodity. “How much?” “How long?” Buyers and sellers: business as usual.
Innocent and well meaning gentlemen; youths, fathers and husbands, are hood winkled and cunningly lured into unplanned and unprogrammed immoral living by virtue of their contact with the critical appearance displayed everywhere by the “hunting ladies”. Everybody is seeing them, yet, nobody is saying anything. These girls are the daughters of some ‘honorable’ women and ‘lovely’ mothers. Where are their mothers? What is the duty of a mother on the up-bring of her girl-child? We get it all wrong. School and money is not enough: good moral turns a good girl into a good mother. A good mother turns a good house into a good home. We all need a home for one reason or the other. If the home fails us, invariably, the society must fail us too. Unfortunately, our fate for ‘a home’ lies squarely on the woman. What is wrong? Fashion or passion? Where are we heading to? The fire that consumed Sodom is still splinting. Let us checkmate our ways before we rekindle the fire. Should the women fail in the duty of motherhood, the home and the society will all be a failure.
May I humbly call on the ‘Federal Ministry of Women Affairs’ to minister to the mind and lives of the young ladies in our midst. Women’s affair is every body’s affair because they are the wives, the mother and the daughters. So, the transformation agenda of the woman is an indirect transformation agenda of the entire Society. It is everybody’s assignment. The ‘women for change initiative’ can rightly divert their change apparatus to the ladies in town. A man can make a house, but only a woman will turn it into a Home. A man who chases Rats when his House is up in flames has a skeleton in his cupboard. Rushing out for careers has left many Homes mere Houses. The ‘helpers’ that God gave to man are employing the services of other hands to ‘help’ their homes. Charity, they said, begins at home. Moral values must first be instilled in the child at home – not by a ‘house help’, but by the biological mother of the child. Without overstating it, I would say that any woman who is too busy to nurse her kids by herself should not have them. Delegation of power in this respect is an abuse to the rights of the child. A mother-to-child communication is necessary at those early growth stages of the child for a proper psycho-physical development into adulthood.
May I humbly call on the Ministry of Youth development for help. A negative development is like future retardation. Nudity and physical pornography have made sex a free career and a trade in our society, to the detriment of sanity, moral values and cultural reserves. If we run from the frying pan into the fire, the fire may never spare us. A stitch in time saves nine. Fore warned is fore armed. Immorality is iniquity, and it all stems from critical appearance. Baby, watch youself.
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