I believe that every person is born with two price tags. One, placed by its Creator, is indelible as if tattooed on its soul. It says, “priceless,” “immeasurable,” “precious.” This price tag cannot be removed or altered. It is permanent.
The other tag can fluctuate wildly—especially in women. Most of the time, this variable can be traced to societal voices that whisper, sometimes scream, that her value is based on things that are often out of her control. Though I cannot speak to all the messages that a woman receives, I can explore the ones that shaped me in my own sense of worldly value and I’m still trying to embrace that first ineffaceable one granted to me by God.
I grew up in the 1950s and 60s in the Deep South. Certain messages and labels were thrust at me because of the time and place in which I grew up. It was the Leave It to Beaver era when roles for men and women were set. Although times were changing, I was still very much marked by the voices of my environment.
I am aware that my readers may have been reared in very different circumstances than I, but I still believe that certain questions of self-worth in women are somewhat universal.
A rediscovery of a scripture verse 1 Peter 3:6 “…like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear,” made me aware that this sense of worth in women has been around since the beginning of time. The messages, when it comes to women, I believe fall into the five societal standards: appearance, marriage, motherhood, youthfulness, and influence. If you read the story of Sarah, you’ll see a pattern that seems to repeat itself throughout history; and I believe it still haunts us today.
NOTE: I know that the concept of value in a human being could be misconstrued. The definition of value is usually associated with an object and we, as women, have fought long and hard to release ourselves from the bondage of objectification. The price put upon the life of a woman—or any human—can be a demeaning label, and that is not what this study implies.
What the series does imply is that we, as women, tend to ignore that first price tag and let the worldly one reign. And we do let that ever-changing sticker price define who we are.