Yesterday was the International Day Against Violence Against Women, which also marked the beginning of sixteen days devoted to advocacy and education about the atrocities facing women on a global scale.
(photo credit: Half the Sky)
Stop and think for a second about all the women you know.
Who are the women in your life?
Picture their faces. Call up your best and worst memories.
Now consider this:
1 in 3 women will be sexually coerced or abused in her lifetime.
One in three.
If you know more than three women, you are almost guaranteed to know someone who has been the victim of gender-based violence. It’s a problem of pandemic proportions, and the American church has done little to confront it.
We’re too busy deciding what exactly Paul meant when he wrote to the Corinthian church that women should be kept silent.
We’re too busy instructing our girls on how to be modest and gentle and quiet.
We’re too busy making 88-point lists on ways women can or cannot lead, as theologian Wayne Grudem has done.
All this while our sisters are literally dying.
This isn’t a liberal or conservative issue – politically or theologically – though we like to make it such.
This isn’t an issue that concerns women only.
This isn’t an issue that concerns one nation, one socio-economic status, or one religion.
This is a human issue.
Today, as a woman, what are you tolerating in your life? What lies are you believing?
You are not worthless.
You are not broken.
You are not incapable or over-emotional or dumb.
You are beloved.
You are equally created in the image of the Creator God.
You are worthy. God has judged you as such.
Stand to be treated as nothing less.
As men, what are you promoting with your life?
Know your power.
Know your privilege.
Follow the example of Christ and refuse to follow the culture in it’s demeaning stance towards women.
Refuse to conform to the stereotypes.
Stand with, advocate for and build up the women in your life.
To my sisters today who are the one in three:
My heart aches for you. I am sorry.
You are not your past. You are not what has happened to you.
What happened is not okay, but you, you are lovely and you are loved.
The Creator of all things longs to restore you.
You are the dream in God’s heart, cherished and held in high regard.
Do not believe the lie that you are anything less.
You are a woman of valor – eshet chayil – hold your head high.
God Godself has lifted it.
To all of us:
Break the silence. End this cycle. Restore hope and dignity.