Sundays tend to be a mixed bag for pastors. The fulfillment of seeing people we know and love, connecting with guests who’ve come as they are, and the expectation that everything – even things that don’t go as we planned – will be used by God for good.
Hoping the community hears our communication the way it sounds in our heart and ministering to people as they respond to the message.
Pastoral messages aren’t theoretical or merely rhetorical homilies. Good spiritual communication calls for a response. Practical applications. “How should we then live” kind of action. Examples set by pastor/leaders.
Sunday afternoon found me reflecting on responses from the morning’s message
And a note popped up in my Messenger inbox.
“I’m sure you’re hearing this a lot today but thank you for what you said in your message. I talk to my boys about stepping up and being compassionate in highly politicized subject matters. As their pastor I just wanted you to know that you echoed that to them today and they heard you. As your friend, I wanted to say that I am proud of you for courageously speaking out in such a thoughtful and insightful way. The world truly needs Jesus.”
That morning’s subject matter addressed what actress and mom, Alyssa Milano started the previous Sunday. She tweeted out:
“If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘me too’ as a status we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”
In less than twenty-four hours there were twelve million #MeToo posts on Facebook alone.
Talk about magnitude.
My first reaction was why women should have to go public with something so devastating to simply be heard and supported.
I wondered how long #MeToo would trend. Would awareness morph into action? What should I do?
Responding To Assault Or Abuse
Christians should be at the front of a tidal wave of response. And change. Especially male Christians.
A ministry friend advised that it is tremendously fearful for a woman to post something like #MeToo. She said this will be the first time they’ve had the nerve to say out loud, “Me too. I’ve been a victim. This is wrong. You are not alone.”
“Keep your words few.”
In The Home
I know there are countless good and honest men out there who fully respect women and would never harm a woman in any way and they ingrain that value in their sons.
Good on you.
Meaningful change starts in the home.
Men, boys and fathers have a lot at stake in this matter. Its not just about championing women but standing strong in the integrity that they have and the legacy they will pass on to the next generation.
Be proactive in changing the tone of what is clearly a hyper-sexualized and demeaning problem.
Create zero tolerance for sexist statements or jokes.
Create zero tolerance for magazines, movies, videos, or any publication or product that reduces women to objects.
Instead of leaving it to the next generation, modern politicians or “the other guy” where can you begin today to effect change for the better in the lives of women?
APPLICATION: Please re-post to your social media platforms. Leave a comment below of encouragement for those who suffered and a word of empowerment for those who don’t know where to start the change. Thank you.
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This is so powerful Pastor Bob.
As a woman who has experienced direct #metoo and indirect #metoo from the time I was a young teenager I can tell you that the effects are lifelong but Jesus has an amazing capacity to heal. This was my everyday experience from my first job, to school teachers, from co-workers, to bosses and today walking down the street into work is always a minefield for me.
Women live with this everyday and it is NOT OUR FAULT. We don’t need more modesty messages to stop this, we don’t need to avoid eye contact with men and keep our heads low, we don’t need to stay silent. Because, like you said we should EXPECT zero tolerance for sexist statements or jokes and zero tolerance for magazines, movies, videos, or any publication or product that reduces women to objects.
Now I don’t hide..
I safely confront men who make comments.
I demand respect as a woman.
I guard my boy’s minds and build them up as gentlemen.
I guard my daughters esteem and brag on her self worth!
I married an amazing man of integrity who sets an example everyday of walking in purity and strength.
Thanks for touching on this important topic!
Thank you friend for commenting. And for not hiding. Grace and courage to you. Thanks for living different and making a difference.
We discussed this over the supper table as well. Thank you for your faithfulness in sharing what God has laid on your heart no matter the topic.
Thank you Cath. Pleased to hear the discussion continued on. #LiveDifferent