Don’t Ask Men to Stop Hitting Women

Okay, I’ll admit it. I tried my best to make this title as eye-catching as possible. But I promise it’s the first time I’ve done that!
But seriously, don’t ask guys to stop physically abusing girls. Why? Because they won’t. Because they can’t. Because as long as one human being sees another human being as a disposable object created for his or her enjoyment, he or she will treat that person in whatever way seems most convenient and fitting at a given moment. In other words, because Ray Rice saw his then-fiancé as an object simply created for his enjoyment, it seemed like an appropriate action to punch her in the face.
Think about it this way: slaves were legally declared free in the United States on January 1, 1863 – why does racism still exist on September 9, 2014?
Here’s what I’m trying to say: as long as we fail to acknowledge that every human being has worth and dignity, given to them by Almighty God who has created them in His image and by the Lord and King of the Universe, Jesus Christ, who died on a cross for them, we will keep on abusing women, disrespecting the elderly, ignoring the homeless and the sick and the marginalized, treating our waiters and waitresses and janitors with disrespect, cheating off our neighbors, cheating on our spouses, and cutting people off on the roads (and then honking at them when they cut us off). As long as nations fail to acknowledge this, we will continue to see genocide, ethnic cleansing, and war. None of this will go away as long as we embrace an attitude that says “I’m first, and at the moment you become a hindrance to my enjoyment, I can dispose of you at my will.”
This isn’t about fixing our actions. This is about waking up every morning and reminding ourselves that the Lord of the Universe humbled himself to Earth, to a manger, to a life of rejection and persecution and to death on a cross for us and that God the Father, because of that, has exalted him to the highest place so that one day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that he is truly Lord of all. But in the meantime, don’t expect guys to stop hitting girls.
Instead, guys – ask for forgiveness and pray every day that God would teach you to treat women with dignity and respect and love. They are not objects made for your enjoyment – sexual or otherwise. They are not toys that you play with for a while and replace when the next cool thing comes along. They aren’t furniture that gets used for a while until a leg comes loose or a cushion tears and then gets put out on the street to be picked up by the garbage truck or used by someone else. They are image-bearers of the Almighty and they are daughters of the Almighty.
Girls – don’t waste your time with a guy who doesn’t see you as a human being. Here’s a hint: if a guy continually stands you up, he sees you as an object. If a guy always wants to be physical but never, ever wants to talk, he sees you as an object. If a guy always wants to hang out with his friends at your expense, he sees you as an object. If he’s constantly texting, talking to, snap-chatting other girls but says he is faithful to you, he’s not. He sees you as an object. If a guy is physically, mentally, verbally, or emotionally abusive to you, guess what: he sees you as an object.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t have grace for guys or shouldn’t give them second chances; keep in mind, we’re wired differently than you. But in general, ask yourself how you would like to be seen. Do you want to be treated like a human being or like an object? Then look for signs like these and please, don’t waste your time with guys who see you as an object.
“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,” Genesis 1:26a. Look around you. Every single person you see bears the image of the God of the Universe. May He graciously allow us to begin to see one another this way.

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