Intersection of Life and Faith

A Mother's Advice to Her Son amidst the Climate of Sexual Assault

  • RJ Thesman Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
A Mother's Advice to Her Son amidst the Climate of Sexual Assault

My son has a tender heart. When he sees any type of suffering, he feels the pain. But he goes farther on the scale of empathy. He wants to do something to rectify the problem – something for permanent change.

As we watched recent news reports of powerful men admitting to sexual assault, my son asked, “What can I do? How can these harmful behaviors stop?”

So I devised a list—ideas all of us might use to change this depravity in our culture:

Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/HighwayStarz-Photography

  • 1. Respect the Women in Your Life

    1. Respect the Women in Your Life

    Slide 1 of 9

    Treat your girlfriend, co-workers, your mother—all the women you know—treat them with the same respect you want them to give you.

    No rolling your eyes when they state an opinion different from yours. No skanky locker room talk. Let your character come from a healthy place. Spread honor to all the women you meet.

     

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/nandyphotos

  • 1. Respect the Women in Your Life

    2. Teach Your Son How to Treat Women

    Slide 2 of 9

    Little boys learn by example. They watch their father and the men in their lives. They learn when mature men teach them how to relate to women, how to respect all human beings, how to speak about women when they’re alone and in groups of other guys. 

    A man of godly character acts the same whether he’s drying off in the locker room or sitting in the church pew.

    Mothers teach their sons by what they tolerate and how they speak up for themselves. 

    Recently, I sat in a hospital waiting room with other people who were waiting for their loved ones to finish surgery. Together, we watched the big screen and the latest reports of sexual assault.

    One of the men across the room said, “That’s so silly. They’re going back years and years to find stuff on these men. The statute of limitations is over.”

    I stood up and said, “The statute of limitations is never over for the women they assaulted.” 

    I could have listed lifetime side effects from harassment, assault and rape. I could have told him about my own experience and those of countless other women who sat in my office and wiped their tears, some of them just remembering  what happened to them as children … all of them forever affected by what had been done to them.

     

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock

  • 1. Respect the Women in Your Life

    3. Make Sure Your Workplace Has a No-Tolerance Policy and Supports Sexual Harassment Training

    Slide 3 of 9

    More workplaces, including Capitol Hill, are now advocating for training about sexual harassment and sexual assault. Apparently, many adults need to be taught how to treat women.

    When this happens in your workplace, support the training, participate, and apply the principles. We can all learn as certain behaviors are explained and underscored. We can all improve on how we treat each other.

     

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/Monkey Business Images/Stockbroker

  • 1. Respect the Women in Your Life

    4. Pay Attention at the Ballot Box

    Slide 4 of 9

    Refuse to vote for anyone who has a history of sexual assault or for anyone who demeans the value of women. If we want attitudes and behaviors to change, then we need to underscore our principles where it counts.

    Make sure those in the positions of power exercise honor and the highest qualities of character. The trickle-down theory can be a positive experience if we start at the top levels.

    The Apostle Paul reminds us to think on what is pure. If Jesus’ followers present a unified front to stand up for what is right, then the cause of Christ moves forward. But if we vote for those who have regularly demeaned and devalued the feminine half of the church, we must accept the title of “Hypocrite.”

    More than any other religious leader in history, Jesus Christ treated women with respect. He accepted them as disciples and leaders. He dared to confront the cultural norms and allowed women to sit at his feet and learn. Wealthy women supported him, and women throughout history have accepted his call for service.

    If the political and religious leaders of today cannot follow the example of Christ, then we have no business endorsing them. 

     

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock

  • 1. Respect the Women in Your Life

    5. Keep Your Mind Pure

    Slide 5 of 9

    A recent Barna survey noted almost 70% of Christian men engage in pornography. The porn industry objectifies and devalues women while the evil of pornography filters into every level of life. Porn is never satisfied with its current level. A brief look at an online magazine quickly grows into an addiction, the loss of intimacy in marriage, clandestine meetings with prostitutes, even sex trafficking of children.

    The women depicted in porn are often young girls made up to appear as older, consenting females. But no matter who they are, men of character have no business spending time and money on such an evil pursuit.

    Memorize and apply First Timothy 5:2, “Treat the older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.” 

    Find a recovery group. Admit your struggle. Confess and repent. Change is possible.

     

    Photo credit: Unsplash

  • 1. Respect the Women in Your Life

    6. Pray for Global Change

    Slide 6 of 9

    All over the world, girls are victimized. In every war-torn country, women are raped by the enemy. The Bible contains numerous accounts of sexual assaults when women had no options for protection or justice.

    We should not be surprised that an age-old sin still operates among us. But God is greater, and he has a good plan for the women in his family as well as the men. As we commit to pray against this type of victimization, we bring the issue to the highest authority. God is just. He will ultimately vindicate his daughters.

     

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock

  • 1. Respect the Women in Your Life

    7. Be Proactive to Protect Victims

    Slide 7 of 9

    In our volatile society, we are encouraged to watch for suspicious terrorist activities. Report the backpack left in the airport lounge. Be alert for scary behavior in co-workers.

    If you see someone harassing a woman or hear someone demeaning women in the workplace, in the restaurant, at the ball game – speak up. Be the courageous one who fights for change rather than accepting the status quo.

     

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock

  • 1. Respect the Women in Your Life

    8. Give to Organizations That Help Women

    Slide 8 of 9

    Domestic violence often begins with verbal put downs, emotional abuse and/or sexual assault. Support organizations that help women recover. Refer women to safe places for counseling and support. Do something practical to help women heal.

     

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock

  • 1. Respect the Women in Your Life

    9. Share Healthy Posts on Social Media

    Slide 9 of 9

    Don’t foster more information that devalues women or depict graphics where women are mistreated. Be the person who responds to Facebook posts and Tweets that honor women. Share this blog post so others can learn about proactive ways to change our culture. Start a revolution of respect for everyone – no matter who they are.

    This entire issue of sexual assault underscores how depraved mankind has become. Ultimately, the answer for “What can I do to make a difference?” bleeds from the hands and feet of the man who chose to take our depraved and sinful nature and transform our lives. We can do our part to make a difference, but we can also recognize where our salvation comes from.

    No wonder we need a Savior.

     

    Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/g-stockstudio

    RJ Thesman is the author of 9 books and 700+ articles. She is also a certified writing coach who helps other writers birth their words. Thesman writes from the heartland of Kansas where she lives with her adult son and an elderly cat. You can follow Thesman at: https://RJThesman.net.