From the end of 2016, it seems to be that women have flooded all of the media outlets from #nastywoman, #metoo, to the most recent #timesup movement. While I haven’t carefully followed much detail of these news stories, I cannot help to be heartbroken, angry, and simply disappointed over how women are/have been treated and how women perceive they are/have been treated.
You may have noticed that I am a man writing these words, but please hear my words – not as a man, but as a husband to a gorgeous wife and the father of a beautiful baby girl. 10 months ago I simply couldn’t understand the impact that culture and society had and still has on women. Women in the home, women in the workplace, women walking in the street, women of every shape, size, color and nationality and role – wives, daughters, sisters, partners, friends, etc. Women have had to fight for so much and yet, despite some progress, they still (have to) continue to fight or believe they must fight.
For a long time I thought about writing an open letter to the then president-elect with thoughts around what my sweet baby girl can accomplish in her life and how I, as her father can empower her, guide her, teach her, love her. How he, in such an influential position, can encourage, motivate, and honor her (and all women). My plea was (for him) to sincerely stand up for, respect, honor all Americans and genuinely take the position as President of the United States and add an intense value to Washington – that is still my hopeful (very optimistic) plea.
All this to say – women don’t need love… but they absolutely, 100% require and deserve it. Women don’t necessarily need a person (i.e. man, woman, sister, brother, parent, etc.) to feel loved, but women (come on, men do too) deserve love. To the woman who says, “I don’t need love…” my heart aches for that individual (this isn’t always just women). Of course we all need love – such a statement begs the questions,
“What / Who makes you feel loved? Where does your value, your worth, your confidence come from? Do you know what real love, real respect, real honor, real cherishing, real selflessness looks like? Have you ever witnessed it?
I mean real, genuine, sincere love.” The only example of this kind of love brings me to scripture:
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.”
1 John 4:18-19 ESV
There are countless examples of God’s love for His people and how Christ perfectly depicted this love throughout his life and ministry. Dream with me for a minute – what if ALL men relentlessly pursued to portray and live and love the way Jesus so selflessly showed and gave? Wouldn’t we trust (a lot) a little more? Would we have to fight so hard for the things we require? Could women walk down the street feeling completely safe? Would women be empowered to fulfill any/all of their dreams? What if we all pursued this kind of love? Oh how the world can change. Can you see it? Dream a big dream – pursue a big dream.
As a Jesus believer, husband, father, man, therapist, and friend – I want to relentlessly love, honor, respect, cherish, care for, trust, empower, support, guide, teach unconditionally. I wouldn’t consider myself a feminist, but I do and will stand up to abuse, pain, trauma, contempt, disrespect (among so much more) against any girl, woman, wife or mother (and man).
Men, (and women too!) we have a calling – a call to love, a call to selflessley lead, a call to honor, a call to cherish. These actions do not require a title (husband or father), but as a man you can show girls/women that they are incredibly valuable and they are worthy. Their worth shouldn’t hinge on your words, but what if #metoo was about a movement of respect, admiration and belonging and #timesup turned into #abouttime? Won’t you join me? Let’s show women everywhere that they don’t just need love, they deserve it.