As I get on my soapbox I have been reflecting for the last hour of how I was going to write this out. And as I processed it all through, I found myself feeling more convicted than anything else. So here goes...
After dropping kids off at school I had a guy approach me that I don't know, and started showing me his picture he took at the blazer game, excited about his court side seats. I smiled and acknowledged his excitement. He then smiled and said "and I got some good shots of the cheerleaders! You know, that's just how guys are."
Everything inside of me disagreed with that comment, but I politely told him I was glad he enjoyed the game, directing the conversation to a different aspect to be appreciated about it, and then walked off to my car.
"Just how guys are!?!"
Oh it broke my heart. It doesn't have to be just how guys are.
Have you ever had moments where you wish you could go back to and boldly speak your heart? I do all the time. And if I could in this situation this is what I would have said:
I spent the first several year of my marriage watching my husband struggle in the area of lust and pornography. It broke my heart every time and he hated this battle that he was in. It wasn't just the way he was. It was a huge battle, and one I am so grateful that God helped him overcome. One he still has to always be on guard for, but it doesn't have to be just the way guys are. Guys can have the choice to be men and turn and look away.
Well maybe I wouldn't have said all that... But at least said something.
I know that it is a struggle for guys. Our society sets them up for that. I wrote more about our personal experience with this struggle in my prior blogpost "my husband's struggle." Guys really do have to fight it. The way I always look at it, is those girls are someone's daughter, a sister, maybe someone's mother. And I can tell you we hope and pray that someday our little girls that we are raising would not be looked upon by some guys who believes the philosophy that's just the way guys are.
And on the same token we would hope that our little girls would not dress in such a way to provoke desires out of a man that is not there husband, but in a way that wouldn't cause boys to stumble.
But this is where it got convicting to me.
First, I have been recognizing the lack of boldness in me... Or maybe a slowness to respond. We let Josiah watch his first grown up movie: Spider-Man.
There is a scene where spider man goes to cage fight, and Josiah looks at me a little unsure. And he says, "mom those girls are wearing bikinis." We were watching it with someone else, so instead of fast forwarding it for him, I responded with something like, "just don't look at it Josiah." I suppose at least I said something, but why didn't I take that moment of opportunity to pause the movie, and ask Josiah what he thought we should do? Because I was afraid of being bold and so I compromised on what I knew I should have done just for the sake of not making an issue out of anything.
This is my prayer, to be bold and not afraid to speak with love and grace to others truth. Truth that things don't have to be that way... Truth that isn't afraid of what other might think or causing disruption, but truth spoken with the heart desire that thinks of the other person over myself and caring truly what is best for the other person over my tendencies to be a people pleaser and not wanting to pot stir.
There is a balance in that of course, always taking the planks out of my own eyes. Speaking truth in love with grace.
So if anything it was a good wake up call to me, to stay vigilant in training Josiah as he gets to the teenage years to respect and love his sisters and girls around him with God's love, and a reminder that it's okay if I hear a nudging to speak some truth, to pray about it, and in love respond and not just be a head nodded.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out all fear.
1 John 4:18
Alright stepping off now. In love I just wanted to say guys don't have to be that way. I recognize it's hard but there is a much better way to respond to those struggles in this life.
I want to add if this is a struggle in your home, that my husband is always more than willing to talk and pray with any guys that would want that. He understands and he really cares. We both do.