When I was 13 years old I had a math teacher that was probably in his early 60’s, who on a regular basis would say inappropriate things to a some of us girls in class. He seemed to especially pick on a couple of us in the hour I had him. Telling us on a regular basis if we would wear a dress to school he’d give us extra credit. He would ask me to stay after school to clean the chalk boards, again for extra credit, along with offering to give me a ride home. Which I never agreed to. When I was working at my desk on assignments, he would often kneel by me and say things quietly, so others couldn’t hear. Then one day he started teasing me, he would say privately to me “you’ve been doing bad things”, then smile, like he really had something on me. After days of that, it escalated to him telling me I had posed for a magazine. Well obviously, I knew that wasn’t true, so I was respectful but I would firmly tell him, he didn’t see me in any magazine. Then one day he asked me to stay after class, I remember immediately having this sick feeling. He went over and locked the class room door and then pulled out a magazine from his desk. It was folded open to what I would soon see was a centerfold picture from I assume a playboy magazine. I could see about half of the lady in this picture, enough to know she didn’t have clothes on. I tried to look away as soon as I realized what he was showing me, but he kept telling me to look at her in the face to see how much she looked like me. I told him firmly I couldn’t see the resemblance and ask if I could please leave before I was late for my next class. He assured me he’d write a pass, so I wouldn’t get in trouble with my next teacher.
A few weeks after that incident there was an after-school function that my mom came to. That teacher saw us, he walked over to my mom and I and asked me “is this your mom” and I said, “yes”. Then I told my mom who he was. He then asked me, “did you tell your mom what I said the other day?” I have to believe most the color left from my face in that moment. I couldn’t believe he was going to bring up what he had done, but my mind was racing to what else he could be talking about. I looked at him as I shook my head, no. He asked me again, and again I shook my head no as I softly said “no”. He then looked at my mom and said, “I told her she had very pretty eyes”. My mom immediately thanked him, and they had some small talk. I felt completely ill hearing my mom thank him. I think it was that encounter with him and my mom that finally gave me the nerve to talk to someone in authority at school. The only person I told, the first thing they assured me of, was it would be my word against his. Then they went onto say, “he has tenure, so most likely nothing will be done to him, except he will make the remainder of your school year miserable!”
It saddens me that many of you, just like me, have more than one “me too” story. It’s happening in our schools, it’s happening in some of our kid’s sports programs, it’s happening in some work places, it’s happening at some churches… unfortunately the list is endless. I pray this conversation doesn’t fade away. This is not a problem that has only recently popped up, this has been happening since biblical times! But… I do believe, at least up to now, it’s been getting worse! More and more good men and women are desensitized by what they see and hear. Foul language and soft porn (one or both in most R rated movies, many shows on cable) have been so integrated into what many people are willing to watch and listen to these days. It’s kind of like a person that drinks alcohol. The first few times they drink, they might feel a little tipsy after a couple of drinks. Then after several times of that, it takes 3 to 4 drinks to get that same feeling. I have watched average size ladies have 4 or 5 fairly strong alcoholic drinks in a 2 to 3-hour period and not appear to be tipsy at all! Which tells me their body has built up a high tolerance to alcohol. Well unfortunately we are living in a time when even couples who appear to have a strong Christian faith, mentally and spiritually have built up such a tolerance to allowing their minds to be filled with garbage, that it has dulled their senses! I have a close friend that is a Christian counselor and she tells me often, that pornography is destroying families at a higher rate than she has ever seen and it’s not only with the men. She hears the destructive affects day after day.
When I asked her what is a likely cause behind these men that have become sexual predators? She said, one, they were possibly molested as a child, but more likely they were exposed to pornography at a young age.
Throughout the Word of God, we are told to flee from sexual immorality. In Matthew chapter 5 it says if you even look at a woman with lust, you’ve already committed adultery with her in your heart. The bible warns us about all types of sexual perversion. In Proverbs it says as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. Joyce Meyer has a book, Battlefield of the Mind. Her ministry has given thousands of these books to people in prison. The impact this one book has had is amazing. One of the things she says in there, “where the mind goes, the man follows”. One of the chapters is called “Think About What You’re Thinking About”. In Philippians chapter 4 we are told about somethings we “should” think about!
Let’s keep the conversation going, have age appropriate conversations with your kids regularly, and in the same way you would take care or protect your physical body, let’s guard our minds!
Romans 12:1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.
It’s not wrong to be disgusted with the behavior of all these men that are or have been sexual predators. Our challenge is to separate our feelings about what they’ve done to realize, these are people God loves just as much as He does you and me. It’s taken me a few days to get past only feeling disgust, now I feel sadness for these men, their families and friends. I am praying for their victims and I am praying for them! Ephesians 4:22-24