to the students that I have ministered to…

To the students that I’ve ministered to,

We live in a media saturated culture, there’s no doubt about that. Current events are always on our newsfeeds and people’s opinions often flood over the facts. The candidates for the upcoming election are quite the hot topic. And a certain recording of a certain candidate has swept across social media and has given everyone the opportunity to chip in with their two cents and opinions.

Mr. Trump has said some incredibly terrible things, so terrible that I refuse to post them on this little blog of mine. These crude remarks were directed at women, objectifying our bodies and stating that he had the right to do whatever he wants with them. And while he has shared his regrets that these recordings have resurfaced, Mr. Trump has brushed off these lewd comments as “locker room talk”. I have my own opinions about Trump, but this post is not intended to be political by any means.

This post is intended for the students I have worked with over the years I’ve been involved in student ministry; the girls and the boys alike.

The comments that Mr. Trump made are not just a part of “locker room talk”. No man should ever engage in such disgusting conversation. No man should see a women as an object that he has the “right” to. No man should ever force himself onto a woman. No man should ever, ever give unwanted advances. No man should ever let such despicable, vile words slip from his mouth. No man should believe that he has the right to do whatever he wants to a woman’s body. No man should ever make such horrible comments directed towards anyone – man or a woman. And I argue that no REAL man would do any of these things.

I know that there are a lot of opinions out there. From what I have seen, there are a decent amount of conservative christians that defend Mr. Trump. (This post is by no means shaming those people. I believe that they have their own convictions, and i respect that.) But what I am saying is that I have seen far too many articles shared or posts written that say “oh, that was eleven years ago.” “we shouldn’t hold this against him.” “are we really going to judge him based on something he said a long time ago?” “we can’t really judge him by something he said back then.” “we can’t judge him based on this one incident.”

I can only imagine how many of those Christians have daughters of their own. I can only imagine the heartbreak, anger, and frustration that they would feel if comments such as the one Mr. Trump made were to be directed at their own daughters, friends, nieces, or students. And this, to me, is the problem. We cannot just brush this off. We cannot pretend that these words do not have weight. We cannot not hold these words against him. We cannot let our boys grow up thinking that this “locker room talk” is ok to engage in, or that it is harmless. We cannot let our girls grow up believing that their bodies are an object that men have a right to.

Girls, I pray that you understand that your worth is in Christ Jesus, whose love for you is beyond understanding. I pray that you know that you are beautiful and marvelous because you were created in HIS image. And no boy has any right telling you different. Please do not let the words from others skew the way you see yourself. Your body was fearfully and wonderfully made for you – no one else has a right to touch it or comment about it in a way that is disrespectful or uncomfortable to you. Please know that there are those of us who will relentlessly fight for girls and women like you, and who will not brush off these comments that were made.

Guys, I pray that you understand that your worth is in Christ Jesus, whose love for you is beyond understanding. I pray that you know that you are created fearfully and wonderfully in the image of God. I pray that you remember that degrading talk is harmful to others and ourselves. I pray that you remember your sisters in Christ and that God calls us to love and serve them with respect. They are image-bearers as well. Just as you would want to shield your biological sister from harassment and disgusting comments such as Mr. Trump’s, so also you should want to guard your sisters in Christ from them. Words have the power to bring life and bring death. I pray that you feel compelled to speak words of life and respect into the lives of your sisters.

In a time of so many heated opinions and internet debates, i pray that we all are compelled to speak with respect and life.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruits. // proverbs 18:21

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