God saw his creation and declared it was good, and indeed very good. And a mother’s loving gaze affirms the worth of her child and reinforces the child’s very sense of self. While it often falls short, our male gaze holds a similar potential and power.  

To be sure, it’s tempting to consider our gaze as just a passive attempt to consume and even objectify others. Rather than actively engaging in life, we choose instead to mindlessly scroll online, watch sports, or binge the latest television show. And, as such, we tend to see others simply as objects for our own entertainment and not holistically as unique persons in their own right.

But this distortion of our gaze doesn’t negate its inherent power and potential. In fact, there’s a sense in which we have a duty to gaze, because it’s only through gazing that we can truly see and affirm the goodness and life God has called us to bring into the world.

For example, to gaze upon the beauty of creation, or of another, is to stand in agreement with God in declaring the goodness of what he has made. And this helps to focus our attention – inspiring us to protect, cultivate, and celebrate the beauty we see.

Likewise, our gaze can serve as a type of recognition and blessing. To genuinely see others is to acknowledge their inherent worth and dignity as image bearers of God. There are few experiences as painful and as lonely as being overlooked, ignored, and left unseen. Our loving gaze brings light into this darkness and opens the door to foster our fundamental need for human connection. Relationships start by seeing and moving toward each other.

In the end, the power of our gaze doesn’t come from merely passively consuming what we see. Rather our gaze holds power because of its ability to affirm, bless, and acknowledge the very dignity and worth we see in each other. Learn to gaze freely and confidently in love.  

Photo by curtis powell on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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