So, this whole mess in Ohio has been making me sick all week. I just can't comprehend it. And it's not just Ohio---women and little girls are victimized all over the world. All. The. Time. If you really want to be sad and angry, start reading about the sex trade of little girls. Do you think this is a 3rd world problem? Americans are the largest consumers in this trade. Disgusting. According to the International Rescue Committee , one in three women will suffer some kind of abuse in their life time. That's a third of all women. I've got two little girls. This is unacceptable. So, what I've been trying to think about all week is, how do we fix it? What is to be done?
Well, I'm sure all the politicians out there can think of a million ways to throw billions of dollars at this problem. Maybe that would work, but I've learned to never wait for the government to fix anything. Seems they can't work on a problem without creating a million more. I'm sure we could legislate it into the ground---stiffer penalties for offenders, more laws and on and on and on. But, you know what? We could execute the 3 men in the Ohio case right now and it wouldn't do those women a bit of good. It would not take away the pain they suffered. Don't get me wrong. I do think some changes need to be made in the laws. I mean, one of those brothers severely abused his wife. And I don't know all of the details, but it appears to me that he walked away from that with little to no consequence. That's a problem.
But, what can we do? The average, "I don't have a gazillion dollars to run for Congress" person. There is plenty I could say to men on this subject. For starters, if I had a captive audience of young men, I would say, "the world needs you to grow up. Like right now. People are suffering and God has blessed you with the strength to be their protectors and defenders. So, turn off the video games. Get off the couch. Stop working on your six pack and get out there and start helping. Stop being a part of the problem and be a man and a leader. Stop watching movies about heroes and start being a hero."
But, since only about 3 men read my blog, and two of those are my dad and my husband...and they are already good men (hey, what do you know, if you read my blog, you have a 66% chance of being a good man) I will address the women instead. If I had to guess, I would say most of the women that read my blog are already married, and I hope the man you married is amazing. So, please pass this on to all the single ladies you know.
Girls: Stop marrying jerks. Stop reproducing with jerks. Because that jerk will be the father of your children. And that jerk will make your little girls feel like they have to do unspeakable things to gain the favor and attention of men. That jerk will model for your little boy how to be a jerk. If he treats you badly, he will teach your precious little boy to treat women badly. He will teach your little girl that they deserve to be treated badly as well. The influence of a father, for the good or the bad, is immeasurable.
So, who do you marry? I'm no expert here, but I've done it the wrong way, and I've done it the right way, and this is what I've learned.
1. Marry a man that respects his mother. Not just loves her, but respects her...treats her with respect, no matter what.
2. Marry a man that wants to please God above all else. The man that wants to please God will know that he must be willing to lay down his life for his wife.
3. If a man yells at you, intimidates you, belittles you in anyway, dump him. Did you hear me? Dump him, do not marry him. There is no excuse.
4. If a man utters the words, "boys will be boys," or you find yourself uttering these words to excuse a behavior in a man, dump him. Boys will be boys, but you're not marrying a "boy" (hopefully). And you don't want a "boy" helping you raise a family. Dump him and find a man. Because our culture has been telling us for a long time now that boys will be boys and sleep around, look at pornography, go to strip clubs, etc. Like they can't help it or something. Yes they can. This is a lie that we have been buying into for far too long. You need a man that can practice some self control. Furthermore, you're going to have kids someday and you need a man that will stand in the gap for your sons and encourage them to be pure...to turn their eyes from all the filth in this world. Trust me---no matter how cute or cool he is, don't tolerate this behavior. Dump him.
5. Marry a servant leader. Think about Jesus. He possessed all the power in the universe and could have made anyone do anything he wanted them to do. But what did he do? He healed. He loved children. He washed feet. His heart was broken by the suffering of others. He reached out to those no one else was willing to be near. He loved. We have got to change what our image of manhood looks like. It is not weak to serve others. If you are dating a man who talks/thinks only about himself...never concerned with lifting others up, dump him.
6. When you are considering marrying someone, ask yourself, "If they never change from who they are today, will I be okay with that?" Marrying you will not change someone's character. I know you are amazing, but marrying you will not change someone's character.
I don't mean to sound harsh or unforgiving. There is no perfect man, so of course you have to be willing to overlook some flaws. But, let's overlook flaws like: "he leaves his dirty socks on the floor", or "he's a little overly obsessed with baseball." Let's stop overlooking flaws like: "he treats me like dirt," or "he makes me feel bad about myself." Come on ladies. Let's up our standards. I promise you there are good men out there. Don't get in a hurry. If we start setting our expectations a little higher, men will learn real quick that they've got to step up or be alone. Otherwise, they're going to keep getting away with it. And maybe, just maybe, in a generation or two we will find that all the sick/twisted/abusive men have died sad and alone. Maybe we can raise a generation of real men and help end the cycle of abuse. We can at least make that stand for our own family and our own children. I pray that we will. For the sake of my little girls.