Don't you hate it when people use blogs to rant about things that bother them? Especially when preachers use such means as a soapbox. Well, you may want to consider yourself warned as you read this post. As I look around in our society, I see a trend that has existed for years, but it seems to be more prevalent as the years pass and I can't stand it.
The trend that I'm speaking about today is that of disrespecting women. You may have seen the title of this post borrowed from the legendary Aretha Franklin who had a hit song by that name. The respect that Aretha was asking for then is still a reality today. Whether it is in the workplace, school, church, or home, women deserve respect.
When we see political leaders, sports heroes, and others mistreating women it sends a damaging message to adults and children that such behavior is acceptable in our culture. As a pastor I see the influence of such thinking in the lives of men and women with whom I come into contact and it grieves me deeply. Whether it is verbal, physical, or sexual abuse, it is wrong. There is no justification for any such behavior and anyone who engages in such needs professional help immediately.
I don't believe that I need to even explore the many ways that scripture speaks to this issue, but I will just in case:
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. John 13:34, NLT
And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. Romans 8:10, NLT
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. -John 10:11-15, NLT
And there are others that are applicable as well. (If you know of some that you would like to share, be sure to do so in the comment section below.) Many of these are general in nature as they speak of love and caring for one another as we know that any abuse is contrary to the character of God.
So I write this post today out of love for those in our society who are hurting. Whatever your life experience has looked like, there is healing and redemption that can be found in Jesus. If you are either on the giving or receiving end of such behavior and need help today, reach out to someone. Consider professional, Christian counseling if this issue has become a trend or severe in your relationships. As we continue this series on being family within the context of church, we are here to help. Find someone in our congregation or reach out to our leadership so that we can help you take the steps necessary toward healing.
We are praying for strength in the days ahead as God continues to do great things and change lives for His glory. Thank you for engaging with me on this important issue.
Since this is such a heavy post, I want to share some of my "worship" with you.