November 20, 2017 – Monday
Genesis 3:16 [KJV] Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
2 Chronicles 7:14 [KJV] If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
My daughter will soon be on the job market. I want to share in the excitement, but I am horrified about what may happen in her career. You see, I can’t read the news without learning of another act of sexual harassment. In my country, and yours, most sexual harassment incidents are work (power) related – either in the community (using one’s job status) or inside the agency (using the title of “supervisor”). Incidents involve appointed public and private sector officials, as well as the elected and those seeking election. And with each new story, I alternate between rage and nausea. I now fear even asking my daughter if anything has happened to her in the past.
As Christians, how do we stop the sexual assault on His daughters?
Scripture reminds us of the Fall from Grace, and how this separation from God begins our longing for the reunification with Him that will not be fulfilled in our earthly lives. In addition, this scripture introduces enmity and distrust between the genders – the creation of distance between men and women. Because of our fallen nature, spouses fight and abandon marriage, and both feel abused by the person who has promised the other to love and cherish until death.
Yet scripture also reminds us of the healing power in confession of hurt and in confession of sin. For we can’t be fully redeemed – personally, in work culture, or in national morality – until we bleed our brokenness. Earthly legalities mean nothing. Only telling the victim’s story, and the offender’s humbling response, can lead to hope of ending the enmity and distrust between the genders. It is the first needed step to eliminate the sexual assault on His daughters.
Before work today, listen with a fresh heart to the news stories told by women and girls seeking healing in this fallen world. Pray mightily for humbling responses from those engaged in the hurting. And think of ways your words and actions foster enmity and distrust. Think of your daughters and granddaughters, and envision a place without such wickedness.
From heaven, your Lord wants to hear your cries so He can heal this land. At work today, take courageous action to curtail the sexual assault on His daughters.
God, use me this workday to heal any brokenness that exists in my relationships with those of the opposite sex. Give me courage to step up in my workplace – to support someone who is being harassed or to speak firm words of correction to someone who has crossed the line. Make me an example of Yours who acts with the highest moral standards – and allow me to begin the process of healing these broken relationships in my own life, in my workplace, and in my nation. In Your Son’s name, I pray. Amen.
Mary B. Manjikian, Ph.D.
Associate Professor & Associate Dean
Robertson School of Government
Virginia Beach, Virginia USA