From her comfy spot on the couch, my three-year-old daughter observed my workout in front of the TV. She saw me huffing and groaning and dripping sweat. And the ladies on the screen were doing none of the above.

She said, “Mommy, doze wadies are all skinny.” I grunted and gave her a ‘what’s-your-point?’ sort of look.

After a few more moments, she said, “But how come dey are exewcising if dey are alweady skinny?”

I couldn’t tell you why skinny people work out. But I do know why they put skinny ladies on exercise videos: to motivate the rest of us.

It intrigues me, however, that at church, we do the opposite. We don’t want a flawless woman telling us her tricks to mastering Proverbs 31, or her steps to a bumper ‘Fruits of the Spirit’ crop. This may have motivated women in yesteryear, but today, such an infallible voice would be snuffed out faster than you can say, “Hypocrite!” We prefer someone who is ‘real’–who is huffing and groaning and dripping like we are.

Why is this? Why do we like perfect role models at the gym but not at church? Why does our generation seem to be repelled by someone who comes across as a little too confident or impeccable? What does this say about us?

I have some preliminary ideas on this, but I’d really like to get your input before I give you mine. Leave a comment or shoot me an email ( I’d like to hear:

  • Do you agree? Does our generation of Christian women seem to repel flawless, confident role models?
  • If so, what would you attribute this to?

To be continued.

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