To all the women who've suffered at the hands of predatory men, in the workplace or elsewhere, thank you for your bravery in coming forward. The vast majority of sexual assault and rape never get reported due to fear of retribution. I'm sorry for your pain, and I pray we can one day live in a world where these instances are the exception and not the norm.
What has been difficult for me to reconcile, both to those who share my faith and to those who do not, is that you cannot live in a world that eulogizes Hugh Hefner and the sexual revolution while not expecting to end up with this kind of mess.
This whole culture of objectifying women in magazines and media, of telling men that they can have as much sex as they want with whomever they want without consequence, has exposed an unhealthy power dynamic that predates all the way to original sin and distorts the way God has ordered the universe: how sex is not merely consensual, but covenantal; not simply biological, but bondable. Sex outside the sanctity of marriage will always lead to a measure of unfulfillment and brokenness because it isn't sealed with commitment.
Guys, when we rate women on scales of 1-10 or sizes of 0-10, we completely miss the entire point of Proverbs 31: that favor is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman of character, one who fears the Lord, is to be praised.
When we constantly vote for the lesser of two evils by excusing any notion of morality, we undermine the very values that we profess and claim to hold dear.
I can't for the life of me figure out how this culture thinks it is enslaving for women to hold to the views of Jesus (who was the greatest advocate for women the world has ever seen) but somehow "liberating" to publicly remove one's clothing and put on bunny ears. And God help the men in this country who purchase lurid literature and are addicted to pornography, only serving to further tell the ladies in our lives that we will only measure them by outward appearances and not with the heart.
To all the women who have been hurt by men: you do not have to measure up to any of our hypocritical standards. God has created you in his image, and you are perfect in his sight. He has bought you with a price and he will glorify you through his spirit. Don't settle for guys who are jerks or pigs; you deserve so much more than their ungratifying expectations.
To all the men in this country: stop viewing women as objects and start viewing them as sisters. The sexual innuendo you espouse and the locker room talk you create only serve to make the world a harder place to be a woman (and it's way harder than it should be as it is). Stop thinking of the girl in the seat as your next conquest and start thinking about your daughters.
Barry E. Fields
Pastor, Hawesville Baptist Church
290 Main St., P.O. Box 57
Hawesville, KY 42348