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You are only 10 years old. You are far too young to understand the #MeToo movement that has crept its way into Hollywood, the government, and even our beloved Southern Baptist Convention.
But since you sometimes hear terms like abuse, assault, scandal, and don’t know what they mean, I want to explain a few important things to you…from one girl to another.
The Lord wants you to be treated well. One of the things that made Jesus revolutionary when He walked the Earth was that He taught and valued women in a time and place when most men did not. Jesus always showed respect and dignity to all women, including special women in His life like Mary Magdalene, Martha and her sister Mary, and His mom.
Never forget that you, too, are one of the special women in Jesus’ life. He wants men to appreciate, protect, and treasure you. Men who try to hurt or damage girls are sinning and need to repent, and there is no excuse for their behavior. However…
Men are not our enemy. Most guys are good and loving and want what’s best for you. Right now those men are your dad, your older brothers (yes, your brothers actually love you!), our family friends, and the pastors at our church. As you grow, virtuous men might also include your professors, bosses, boyfriends and eventual husband. There are always a few folks who do what’s wrong; but don’t let that spoil your idea of the majority. No matter what the celebrities on television or people in the news say, please don’t believe that all men are “out-to-get” you, or that you are at war with them. Because…
Feminism is not your friend. Words like empowerment and women’s liberation might sound happy, but they largely exist to fulfill an agenda (that means plan) which is neither glorifying to God nor profitable for you. Feminism began when Satan asked the first woman, “Did God really say…?” Feminism causes chaos in the home as people stop following the Lord’s design for the family; and it even kills millions of unborn little babies. If you follow them, feminist beliefs will enslave you into a lifestyle you don’t want and turn you into an angry, bitter person.
I would love to tell you that you’re safe from feminism at church; but unfortunately its philosophy is spreading into the SBC. Sadly, feminism is even beginning to accuse innocent, godly men of doing bad things in an effort to remove them from the important positions in which God placed them. Don’t allow feminists to distort your ideas of right and wrong, and don’t let them use you for their causes.
God has a fantastic plan for your life. Daughter, there are things which the Bible allows your dad and brothers to do which It does not allow you and me to do…such as preaching or holding authority over men. Please don’t let that bother you. Men and women were created distinctively, so even though you and I have ministries that are sometimes different from that of boys, what we do is just as significant as what they do. And you and I are just as valuable to the Lord as they are.
It’s absolutely possible for you to use the incredible mind God has given you, receive a wonderful education, speak articulately, and potentially pursue a career… without giving-up God’s design for you as a girl. Not only has God designed us differently from guys, but He has given us special gifts that make us exceptionally good at some things. Someday the Lord might make you a devoted wife and mother, which are the greatest jobs imaginable. He might make you a teacher of ladies and children or a nurturer of people who need care. Spend your life focused on the great things God has given you to do rather than wasting your time trying to do the things God has given men to do!
Following Biblical wisdom will help you. Unfortunately, there is no way to keep people from sinning against you. But the Lord has provided instruction for you in Scripture about how to walk circumspectly (that means being careful how you act) around boys. Protecting your purity, dressing modestly, and being thoughtful about when you are with men and how you behave around them can help you relate rightly to them. You can’t control what guys do or think; however, you can control how you present yourself to others.
Ever since Eve took that bite of forbidden fruit, it has been in our sinful nature to usurp the Lord’s instruction, overturn the leadership of the males who’ve been placed over us, and do things our own way. But don’t ever be ashamed to submit to your husband and make him the head of your household, or dedicate yourself to your home and your family. Don’t ever feel inferior because you pass-over opportunities that are intended for men. Trust me, Sweetheart: the only way for a woman to find true contentment is to obey God’s Word.
If you’ve read this letter all the way to the end, Daughter, I’m very proud of you. As you grow into your teen and adult years, I’ll have lots of conversations with you just like Solomon had with his son. But right now, at ten years old, you don’t need to concern yourself much about the #MeToo movement, women’s lib., issues in the Southern Baptist Convention…or even boys! All you need to worry about is learning long division and having fun.
Through it all, Daughter, just remember how very much Jesus loves you.
This I know. For He loves…me, too.
*Kara Barnette is married to Rev. Tim Barnette, who is pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Faith, North Carolina.