Are you tired? I know I’m tired! Every time I turn on my radio I hear another report of a woman alleging sexual harassment!
Counseling the Traumatized
As a counselor I’ve been dealing with this now for a long time—more than twenty years. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and a recovering sex, pornography, and food addict.
I specialize in forensic child maltreatment, and the diagnosis and treatment of sex and pornography addictions. So, every day I have a front-row seat to all the pain, sorrow, loss, despair, depression, and destruction that sexual sin causes my clients. Their families suffer too. Yet, they’re all valuable people, created in the image of God.
The Real Problem Is
But the problem is that we, as a culture, have for far too long turned our backs on God, and how He perceives the humanity He created. We have acted as if we can think, say, and do anything we want to, and expect there to be no adverse consequences.
The recent spike in sexual harassment allegations is a good thing. For far too long women shouldered the weight of this. Most knew that they wouldn’t be supported, believed, respected. Some would bear blame for something that wasn’t their fault. But I’m sad to say that I suspect that these allegations will get much worse before they get any better, and ultimately, it won’t really get any better.
Trading God In
Let me explain. Sexual harassment is not the problem—it’s the symptom; the symptom of a much larger problem. If we as a culture really want to put a stop to this issue of harassment, we need to stop acting as if we can wield our sexuality any way we choose.
The Apostle Paul, writing to the Christians in Rome addressed this very same issue. He was writing to Christians living in a sexually promiscuous culture, very much like our own; a culture that worshipped a great many idols and perceived Christians as morally uptight, prudish, and judgmental.
In Romans 1:18-32, Paul forcefully and logically lays out his argument and the bottom line is this: choices have consequences. Take a minute to read it for yourself. Paul basically says that when humanity refuses to recognize God as, well, God, we devolve.
Choices have consequences—both good and bad. This specific passage of scripture is very telling in that Paul, almost prophetically, listed what a culture that had turned their collective backs on God would resemble.
Do you recognize that today every and anything goes sexually? If that’s the case—and it is—why does an epidemic of sexual harassment surprise us? Isn’t sexual harassment just another iteration of humanity’s insatiable appetite for more, and weirder, and freakier?
So what’s the solution? Sexual harassment sensitivity training, more stringent penalties and laws? How about public shaming, firings, fines, and imprisonments? All of those things are only human measures to decrease this problem, simply external motivators that ultimately won’t stop sexual harassment.
No. We remove the scourge of sexual harassment in our culture through a heart transplant. And this operation isn’t one you can get from any human surgeon; only God performs this intervention!
God’s message through the prophet Ezekiel, to stubborn, exiled Israel, uses this figurative language: “And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart, so they will obey my decrees and regulations. Then they will truly be my people, and I will be their God” (11:19-20, NLT).
A Potent And Powerful Gift
Sex and sexuality are wonderful gifts of God. But, when we as individuals and as a culture decide we want to turn our backs on God, and His specific plans for how we should use this powerful and potent gift, we are only inviting trouble.
As a culture, we shouldn’t be surprised that these allegations of sexual harassment have, and will continue to increasingly surface. We, as a culture, have become like Cain, who was jealous and angry that God accepted his brother’s sacrifices to God, but rejected his—but stubbornly refusing to change his actions. Why should we be surprised that this is what we are sowing?
If we don’t like the consequences, then we must change our behaviors. If we don’t, I fear that “ . . . sin is crouching at the door, eager to control [us]” (Genesis 4:7, NLT). And it, and not God, will be our master.
Respect for women—for all of humanity, really—begins and ends with ultimate and consistent respect and recognition of who God is in each of our lives. King Solomon, spent almost all of his life living without God, and near the end of his life, wisely wrote in his journal, turned Old Testament book of the Bible, Ecclesiastes 12:13, “Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty” (NLT).