At the Recent Golden Globe awards, Oprah Winfrey gave a powerful and moving speech advocating women’s empowerment, in light of the recent revelation regarding sexual harassment. Women and the “MeToo” movement against sexual assault took center stage at the Golden Globes. Almost all the attendees wore black as a show of respect for gender equality. In accepting the Cecil B De Mille Award, Oprah summed up the moment: “For too long women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up!” The energy around sexual harassment resulted in a new movement – “Time’s up.”
How will men respond to Oprah’s passionate plea? I wonder how the “wildmen” reading this blog relate to women speaking their new found truth? It is going to take more then women on the stage, dressed in black to bring change to men and their sexuality. It will take candid dialogue between men and women. Women have processed their story, finding their voice, expressed in previously hidden anger. Men will need to find their authentic voice as well.
It is a time for men of moral integrity and sexual purity to rise up and be heard and seen as exemplars. But we must be ready to “suffer” misunderstanding and anger from women, who are expressing some justifiable anger. Are men prepared to face the new cultural winds of adversity.
Peter mentions suffering at least nine times in addressing “aliens and strangers in the world,” challenging them “to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul” ( I Peter 2:11). He warns them, “You’ve already put in your time in that God-ignorant life, partying night after night, a drunken and profligate life” (I Peter 4:3 – Message). Then Peter gives this encouragement., “So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation” (I Peter 5:10).
Men, we are to stand up for the sake of our wives and daughters, for those who have been abused, and for those who are in bondage and fear because of a distorted image of the masculine that is robbing them of the fullness of life in being a female. We must not be silent. Sexual harassment by men of any kind is wrong.
Here are some principles to remember as you attempt to influence the sexual harassment controversy in your sphere of influence. First, and foremost, make sure you are centered in your unique, masculine soul. In all your shame, vulnerability and sin allow yourself to hear the truth – “You have a Father in heaven who very fond of you.” Secondly, learn to accept, embrace and digest the justified anger of women regarding abuse. It is real and painful. Make no excuse for men. Humbly admit that WE have a problem, not women
Thirdly, take a good look in the mirror. James tells us, “For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like” (James 1:23-24 NLT). Admit to yourself that there is a wolf within you, a latent predator, that needs continual monitoring. Befriend the eros energy within you, rather then being in denial.
Fourth clean up your lifestyle, knowing that we live in a sensate world. Your wife is your best monitor. And finally, walk with humbly and confidently in the Lord, as you navigate the sexual minefields of our day. Hear Isaiah say to you, “Let us walk in the light of the Lord” ( Is 2:5). Don’t live in the shadowy jungles of sexual fantasies.