This past weekend, the New York Times printed an article outlining the claims of sexual harassment against a well known pastor of a church that has one of the largest Sunday attendances in our nation. This isn’t the first article about this pastor and, though I have no personal knowledge of the situation, the sheer number of women willing to stand courageously and share publicly their painful experience with this pastor, brings legitimacy to their claims.
My purpose in writing about this isn’t to shame the pastor. Rather, my goal is to once again raise the banner of the value of women and to re-emphasize the responsibility we all have–but especially men–of honoring women as expressions of God’s love and power in the world.
Men, our culture has twisted sexuality into knots. I know we’re bombarded with more images and temptation than ever before…but there is freedom! We don’t have to be slaves to our sexual desire and we must not view or treat women as objects for our sexual gratification. The sons of God must honor the daughters of God. Like a protective father, God is not ignorant of our actions, nor will he allow his sons to act outside his will without disciplining them. He loves us and he loves his daughters too much to allow this. He will bring about a time of reckoning.
Men, God has given us a path to healing and restoration. If we have acted in shameful ways toward the daughters of God, then we must walk the path God has laid out for us to be restored. It’s the path of confession and repentance. This is part of the value of our life groups and discipleship groups. We turn back to God with humble hearts and he begins to put the shattered pieces back together. We go to those whom we’ve offended and we humbly and genuinely apologize and we ask for forgiveness. Regardless of the response we receive, this simple, but powerful act of obedience gives God room to work his healing in the lives of all who’ve been affected by our sin. If you’re struggling with sexual sin, we have help for you. Check out our Freedom Prayer ministry and we’ll be offering another Conquer group in the fall.
Women, many of you may be able to relate to the numerous women whose stories have been shared in the media in recent times. You may be carrying guilt, pain, anger or any number of emotions. You may feel that your life has been shattered by the sinful actions of a man or men. But the Father looks upon you with eyes of pure love and tenderness. He’s for you and he’s committed to healing your broken heart. At CrossBridge, we value your voice and we have ears to listen. A good place to start may be CrossBridge’s Freedom Prayer ministry. Click the link to find out more about it. Another place where God is working healing is in our women’s ministry.
As the children of God, filled with the Spirit of Jesus, we can live differently and we must! At CrossBridge, we are committed to helping both women and men heal. We’re also committed to helping each other walk in the victory that Jesus promised us. Jesus can and will destroy the shame and the lies. He’s faithful and he loves you!
On the adventure with you,