Many of you will know the phrase “MeToo.” It began in the fall of 2017 when sexual abuse allegations were made against movie producer Harvey Weinstein. Shortly after these allegations became public, there was a flood of women on social media who shared their own stories of sexual abuse. Hence the phrase “MeToo.”
Since this movement began, there has been a significant level of anger and angst. The sins of men are rightfully catching up with them. There are also many other good men who feel criticized, attacked, and are not sure how to relate with a woman without the potential of being accused of something inappropriate. In addition to all these extra layers of complexity, there is the reality that most of us are just trying to figure out how to relate well with our wife, mom, daughter, sister, female co-workers, etc.
In my 23 years of working in men’s ministry, I have never seen a time where the culture is as hurt, confused, and divided over male-female relations as we are now.
In the latest edition of SEVEN magazine, Promise Keepers Canada talks about how men should relate with women. I want to lay a foundation for this edition of the magazine by looking at a few ways we can connect with women amid a “MeToo” and “Toxic Masculinity” world.
Core Truths to Build On
- They are made in the image of God, so respond accordingly. Women have worth and purpose because they are made in God’s image. If you hurt her, you are hurting someone who is meant to give the world a glimpse of what God is like.
- They are partners with us. Women are not more or less valuable than men. In the Garden of Eden, male and female as image bearers were partners designed to work together for the greater mission God had given to them. Seek ways to work together.
- They are God’s daughters. One of the most sobering principles I have been taught in marriage is the idea that God is my wife’s Father. In some essence, this makes God my father-in-law. Honour, love, and cherish her the way you would want any man to relate with your daughter.
- They are our sisters in Christ. Seeing a woman as a sister in Christ first should impact how you relate to her. If you have a sister, how would you want someone to relate with her?
- Remember, some men have deeply hurt many women. They may be naturally skeptical in relating to you. You may have to deal with the fallout of other men’s sins. Be like Jesus – gracious, kind, and caring.
I do believe we are living in a defining moment as a culture. As men who follow Jesus, let’s make sure we are setting the tone for how to relate with women in a way that brings life to her and the world.