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by Jeff Shaw, Director of Out of Darkness

In the past year, I have seen and heard so much evil inflicted upon women. I’ve felt anger, shock, disbelief, discouragement, motivation, and a host of other emotions. But the consistent place that God brings me back to is sorrow. Not sorrow, as in despair…but sorrow, as in, “I’m sorry.”

As a man, on behalf of other men, I’m sorry for the father, uncle, cousin, neighbor, or family friend who molested you as a child.

I’m sorry for the boyfriends who said they loved you, took from you, and left you.

I’m sorry that you’ve been told that pornography and unrestrained sexual desire are part of what it means to be a man, and that you’re just supposed to be okay with it.

I’m sorry that you’re expected not just to be okay with pornography, but to watch it with your partner.  And worse yet, to be a participant or act out the fantasies that he has developed from watching porn.

I’m sorry that you’ve been pressured with the lie that strip clubs aren’t an affront to your relationship and that your boyfriend or husband going to one is just a healthy expression of his sexuality. And I’m sorry that you now feel that you have to go with him.

I’m sorry that we, as men, have created an over-sexualized culture that insists that you look, talk, dress, and act in a way that you’re not comfortable with, and that leaves you feel something less than human.

I’m sorry that we’ve objectified you and subjected you to our leering eyes, unwanted touches, and inappropriate comments.

From the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry for whatever you’ve been through at the hands of a man.

You are beautiful. Really, truly, deeply beautiful. You have dignity and worth bestowed upon you by the Creator of this magnificent earth, and He adores you more than the most brilliant sunset, radiant star, or snow-crested mountain. Rest in Him. You are His. And in His love-filled, sparkling eyes, you couldn’t be more beautiful.

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