In October 2017, following allegations of sexual assault brought against movie producer Harvey Weinstein by several high profile actresses, the #MeToo campaign was launched and went viral around the world.
Since that time, thousands upon thousands of women have been empowered to tell their own story about unwanted sexual advances and sexual violence that they have endured over the years.
The World Health Organization has estimated that one third of women worldwide are affected by sexual violence.
Two 2017 polls conducted in the United States revealed that 54% of women reported that they had received “unwanted and inappropriate sexual advances with 95% saying that such behavior usually goes unpunished.”
And there have been similar claims made in various parts of Australian society.
It may seem an odd way to begin an article, especially given that May is the month we celebrate our mums, and women in general.
But it asks us a question that demands an answer:
What do we, as men, really think of women?
In answering this question myself, there are two thoughts that shape my thinking.
Women are full image bearers of the God Who created them.
Genesis 1:27 states that “God created mankind in His own image…male and female He created them.”
This does not say that women bear part of the image of God – they are full image bearers.
This means that by virtue of their relation to the Creator, women have inherent worth, value and dignity.
I have grown tired of the old cliché remarks about, “It was the woman who led the man astray in the Garden!”
The undertone seems to be that all the problems of the world can be blamed on women.
Interestingly, when the Genesis account is properly understood, Adam was right there beside Eve when she took the first bite of the forbidden fruit … and he did nothing to dissuade her.
Equally, I dislike the statement, “After God made man, He said, ‘I can do better!'”
God never intended to set men and women up in opposition to each other, but to support, encourage and strengthen each other.
This begins when we embrace the truth that both the sexes bear the full image of their Creator!
Women share equally in all the promises of God.
What a ground breaking, revolutionary statement Paul made when he declared that “there is neither Jew nor Gentile … slave nor free … male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
In other words, at the foot of the Cross, your racial pedigree, your social standing and your gender count for nothing when it comes to being accepted by God in Christ Jesus.
This is Good News for everyone living on planet earth because God accepts everyone who comes to Him in humility and repentance!
I am not on a crusade here for more women’s rights!
The proponents of the #MeToo campaign have encouraged men with some simple steps to demonstrate respect for women in their personal world:
- Men can intervene when they witness or hear of behaviour that demeans a woman.
- Men can take a clear stand against behaviour that objectifies women.
- Men can listen to the pain of women who have been mistreated.
I agree with all of this.
But the treatment of women will not change until there is a fundamental change in the heart and that change can only be brought about by God Himself.
When we see a woman, or a man, or a child or a disabled person, what do we see? A person made in the image of God or a “non-person?”
Looking through the eyes of God will fundamentally change the way we see each other – as image bearers of our Creator God, worthy of our love and respect.
So thank God this Mother’s Day for the women in your life and love them through His eyes.
They will thank you for it!