Time magazine has named “the Silence Breakers” its persons of the year for 2017, referring to the women who have come forward with harassment charges. The magazine’s editor in chief, Edward Felsenthal believes the #MeToo movement represents the “fastest-moving social change we’ve seen in decades, and it began with individual acts of courage by women and some men too.” Tarana Burke, who created the Me Too mantra and the actress Alyssa Milano, who helped promote it are now focused on what was still left to do.
“I’ve been saying from the beginning that it’s not just a moment, it’s a movement….The hashtag is a declaration. But now we’re poised to really stand up and do the work.” Ms. Milano adds, “I want companies to take on a code of conduct, I want companies to hire more women, I want to teach our children better….these are all things that we have to set in motion, and as women we have to support each other and stand together and say that’s it, we’re done, no more.”
I am concerned about the mistrust the #MeToo movement can cause between men and women. Christian men can be on the forefront in bringing healing. “Distrust is becoming like a disease,” wrote one observer, ” infecting our most foundational relationship as a people, the building block of a free, civil society – the relationship between men and women…… Men are seen as ‘the enemy’ an embodied deviance that must be remolded into the image of a woman. Their sexuality is assumed to be naturally brutal, a threat to be controlled and reduced for the individual man to be considered safe.”
Christian men should, in our day, rise up in “the spirit and power of Elijah” similar to John the Baptist. The angel told John’s father Zechariah, “He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah…… He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly” (Luke 1:17 NLT). Once out in the wilderness John said of himself, “I am the voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord'” (John 1:23).
We live in a sexual wasteland, in which broken relationships bring untold pain. Godly men, in “the spirit and power of Elijah,” can be a voice in the wasteland, calling for healing between men and women. Men by their presence and attitude can make a way straight in the sexual wilderness for men and women alike. Here are a few suggestions.
First, men will live confidently out of their masculine soul. No apologies needed for being a man. They will walk comfortably in their affirmed masculine soul.
Second, men will allow their identity to be shaped and formed by the Spirit of God, Scripture and other godly men, not by a culture that wants to remake men into the image of the feminine.
Third, men will humbly acknowledge the harm they have caused acting as predators. They will be sensitive to the pain and misgivings many women have regarding men. By being “strong and tender” they will seek to win the trust of wounded women, while acknowledging some women will refuse acceptance because of their wounds.
Fourth, men will work alongside hurting women, bringing the much needed healing voice of the masculine.
Fifth, men will keep close check on their own sexuality. They will not fear, deny or disregard their sexual passions, but will rather have their desires purified by the Spirit God
Finally, men will live in forgiveness knowing that they will be rejected and misunderstood for simply being a man.