A Travel Guide for Life, Faith, and Relationships!
The pervasive frequency and incidence of sexual harassment, especially in the workplace, is absolutely intolerable. No woman, man, or child should ever be subject to unwanted sexual advances.
Let me be painfully clear: Sexual assault, in any form, done toward anyone, and at any time, is wrong, sinful, and devastating. I applaud the many women who have taken a bold stand against abuse in the #metoo movement.
Several years ago, in my first book, Epic Grace, I wrote about being sexually abused as a child by an older boy. As someone who once suffered abuse, I know that any violation is serious because it shatters our souls.
Here’s something else I know: No one is completely innocent. None of us is without sin.
So perhaps it’s time to consider what measure of responsibility you and I have for the moral state of things in our world.
Hang in there with me, and I’ll explain.
As I stated, no person should ever be victimized. No woman should be forced to endure sexual harassment from anyone. Ever.
I am not, for one second, downplaying the magnitude of sin committed against anyone. I am not saying, “Boys will be boys” or excusing the wrongdoing of anyone.
We must take a determined and vocal stand against abuse, against sexual violence, and against any and all forms of sexual sin.
And without compromise.
However, I am deeply concerned that there is a great deal of press about sexual violence and abuse in our culture and very little, if any, conversation addressing the root causes.
For example, we live in a culture that tolerates porn. Under the guise of “freedom of the press” we’ve allowed graphic and often violent sex into the minds of millions (probably billions) and into the hearts of our children. Some estimate the average age a child is first exposed to pornography is eleven, and 93% of all boys and 62% of the girls are exposed to Internet porn before the age of 18. We are kidding ourselves if we think this isn’t messing up an entire generation. And without question, porn is destroying marriages.
Furthermore, we live in a world in which sex outside of marriage is commonly portrayed in movies and on prime-time TV as both normal and even expected. Sex is considered a recreational activity and anyone (like me) who says sex is reserved for marriage is called a nut or a religious fanatic.
We are a sex-crazed society that has lost its moral bearings. And we fail to address the root causes of why some men think every woman must be like Stormy Daniels (a porn star), or why so many men are out of control and abusive in their treatment of women.
When I say, no one is innocent, and all of us have sexually failed at some level, I’m suggesting it’s time we evaluate what’s wrong in our society and where our rejection of God’s way has ultimately led us into serious trouble.
When we excuse porn as a victimless act, or we view it, we are perpetrators.
When we tolerate and continue to expose our minds to sexual sin on television, we make it a “game” of who’s on the throne of our hearts. (You know exactly what I mean.)
When we dress inappropriately in what can only be described as sexy attire, we are adding to the problem.
When our sons see us undress a woman with our eyes (and they are watching us) or they hear us make unacceptable and insensitive sexual comments about women, we are the problem.
Again, to be clear, no human can ever blame another human for an act of personal sin.
I am responsible for what I do with my eyes and my heart. I don’t ever get to point my finger at anyone and say, “My sin is your fault.” But have we as a culture contributed to sexual violence because of our sexual offenses as a society?
I believe so.
It’s time to address not just the rampant sexual abuse in our country but the root causes.
So, what’s the answer? Here are some suggestions:
- Choose to eliminate and run from anything in your life that feeds the beast of sexual temptation. I recently canceled my fitness club membership and bought a treadmill because I was tired of struggling with lust every time I went to work out. (I can only pluck my eyes out so many times.)
- Do what you can to at least stop the presence of unholy visual garbage in your home. Here’s a radical idea: Get rid of your TV, or at least make a godly choice to stop watching any program that makes sexual sin trivial and normal. By the way, roughly 70% of all TV shows have some sexual content, and the number of sexual scenes in prime-time has almost doubled in twenty years. (net)
- Talk to your children, especially your teens, about why God has asked us to live within clear and certain sexual guardrails. (Here’s a great book I recommend.) Be open with them about your struggles and encourage them to be transparent with you. Our world has normalized the abnormal, and it’s time to equip our children with wisdom and truth.
- Put a content filter on every computer in your home. (Here’s a list of several good ones.) Please stop using the excuse, “It slows my internet down too much!” For heaven’s sake, isn’t a slower internet speed better than allowing anyone access to pornography?
- Get your kid a “dumb phone” or at least block their access to the web and most social media apps. (Do you know how easy it is for your kid to access porn via the use of hashtags on Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and many other apps? If this is news to you, please read this article.) The average kid gets a smartphone at ten. We wouldn’t allow a ten-year-old to carry a gun, but we hand them a smartphone and expect them to be smart. Seriously? For the record, a dumb phone (i.e. one without internet capability) still provides the connection and contact most parents want without all the risks.
Listen, I’m not a prude. I am old, but I’m not a Neanderthal who suffers from technophobia. I’m not suggesting we crawl into a hole or all become Amish (though I’m starting to believe they might be smarter than most of us think). I am not suggesting we wrap our women in a burka either.
I know we must learn to live in a world that is seriously messed up. I know we can’t completely legislate morality. I know we need to teach our kids how to resist and fight temptations.
But let’s be salt that flavors and preserves.
Let’s be wise. Let’s stop passively promoting a way of life and sexual promiscuity that has ruined the lives of millions.
Let’s stop watching movies or TV programs made by sexual predators or anything that promotes sexual sin.
Let’s stop electing men and women to political office who apparently have no moral compass.
Let’s stand with the nearly 18 million women who have reported sexual assault in the last twenty years and say, “Enough is enough!”
Let’s become a serious part of the solution rather than a tragic part of the problem.
If we don’t deal with the roots, the weeds just keep growing.
We’ve all sinned. So let’s own it, confess it, and change the way we live.
And let’s cry out to Jesus for a fresh movement of God in our world. Only He can change the hearts of people and redeem, restore, and renew what has been lost.
2 I will be careful to lead a blameless life.
I will conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart.
3 I will not look with approval on anything that is vile.
I hate what faithless people do; I will have no part in it.