Dear Brothers in Christ,
Sexual harassment and abuse allegations are taking the nation by storm. It seems like everyone is looking at every male in ourÂ species with fear and suspicion. There are a thousand angry voices shouting out. â€śDonâ€™t whistle at her.â€ť â€śDonâ€™t tell her to smile.â€ť â€śDonâ€™t compliment her.â€ť Donâ€™tâ€¦ Donâ€™tâ€¦ Donâ€™tâ€¦ Some men may be wondering if breathing will soon become an offense.
Whatâ€™s a man to do? My beloved brother, before you get swept up in all the chaos, just stop. The clamor of the confused world wonâ€™t lead you to any useful place. Its noise hasnâ€™t successfully enriched any human relationship, so just tune it out. The best teacher for navigating human relationships is Jesus, so letâ€™s take moment to gain some pointers from Him. How would He treat a woman? Here are some pointers for interacting with women in various situations:
1.) Remember sheâ€™s human.
Solomon warns his son about that dangerous woman that drag you quickly off to your death. Yes, every upright man should be careful of the company he finds himself in knowing full well that the adversary likes to make use of feminine seduction. However, remember to hate the sin and love the sinner. See women as humans not temptations. Jesus was known to hang out with prostitutes and sinners, and He always looked at the heart. While a party full of incredulous onlookers saw Mary as a woman scandalously rubbing Jesus’ feet, Jesus saw a human being who expressing gratitudeÂ for His sacrifice. He even made that known. Â Try to give us the benefit of the doubt.
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2.) Protect her.
It might be talking a mob of angry men out of hurling rocks at her or it might be affirming her decision to soak up some time with Jesus. Feminists might not like me to say it, but women are often a bit smaller and less privileged than men. Itâ€™s not a bad thing. It just means we must help each other out. Backup from the bigger guy always means a lot. Sometimes, it just helps to not have to go it alone, so if you see a woman who could use backup, provide it.
3.) Rebuke her.
Jesus shook his head at Martha when she wanted Him to send Mary to work in the kitchen. He gently reminded her it was more important to spend her time with Him. We arenâ€™t exactly sure what Jesus meant when He told Mary not to touch Him. Yet, I am sure there are times when a sister may cross aÂ boundary, and you must remind her to respect you and herself. Do so gently. Yes, it will probably hurt our pride a little, but the true Christian woman will appreciate it.
There will even be times when you will have to demand, â€śHow could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.â€ť You will have to flee determinedly from a wicked woman. And you will not be appreciated. Perhaps, you will even go to jail for doing what is right. Do right anyway, because God wonâ€™t forget His servant.
4.) Have spiritual conversations with her.
Jesus went out of his way to meet the Samaritan woman at the well. He connected with this woman who was so determined to avoid people, and He brought living water to her soul. That same woman with so much social anxiety ended up bringing her whole town to Jesus. You never know what kind of a blessing you can bring when you engage us sisters in a soul-enriching conversation about Jesus. Donâ€™t pass up the opportunity out of fear you’ll be misunderstood. Your conversationÂ could be the influence needed for the saving of many souls.
5.) Seek her out.
While it might be easier to hide from women altogether, resist the temptation to be that coward. Jesus constantly put Himself in womenâ€™s paths to enrich their lives. Some examples are the Samaritan woman and the Syrophoenician woman. Then, of course there are Jesusâ€™ two close friends,Â Mary and Martha. Whether it’sÂ a simple conversation about spiritual things or finding a way to bring healing, take the time to cultivate those wholesome cross-gender friendships, and intentionally find a way to carry your sistersâ€™ burdens and lift them up.
6.) Do nothing at all.
The fact is you canâ€™t do any of those things. Nope, not one. Jesus himself said, â€śI can do nothing on my own accord. I judge according to what I hear, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me.” Remember, it is GodÂ who works in you, urging you act out the good works He desires to see in you. You may wonder if this whole exercise was useless. Nope, I wanted you to look at Jesus. It is by looking at Jesus that we are transformed into His perfect image. So, keep looking to Jesus allowing Him to perfect the workÂ He started in you. Let God renew your mindsÂ so you can know what He wants from you. Thatâ€™s how you can best treat your sisters right – by looking to Jesus.
My beloved brothers, I know the world is being hard on you right now. It seems that everyone is suspicious and wary. But keep your head up. Donâ€™t get caught up in that.Â So many of you have been amazing men of God to me, and I am super grateful for you. The rest of you, well, I know you are still growing, and I have faith in you! Take the words of Paul seriously.
Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.
Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Son,Â Jesus Christ!
Earnestly cheering you on in Christ,