Locker Room Talk
This post is from Pastor Mike Palmer of Salmon, Idaho... The post is not a political statement for or against a candidate, but rather a treatment of an issue. Mike's intended purpose is to speak the truth of scripture.
Locker Room Talk
In very graphic language a politician speaks of women in a demeaning manner and the culture has responded with emotion. There are many who are publicly offended because to be so advances their political agenda. Others are defensive to protect their political agenda. Lost in the noise is a genuine moral, Christian response without any political strings attached. How should Christians respond both in public and at home?
Personally I am beyond offended; I am angry that men with a public voice stand and proclaim that this type of conversation is normal and that all men engage in this behavior. I don’t, and I know many men who don’t. I’m offended that anyone in an attempt to make themselves or their candidate/agenda be seen in a more acceptable manner implies that I too am guilty.
I’m angered that it seems completely acceptable to demean and devalue all women in the defense of a political agenda. It would be quite simple to state that an individual behavior was wrong and move on to address the issue without attacking the candidate. But, the common defensive approach even by many spiritual leaders has been to normalize “locker room” talk for the sake of politics.
The issue is a spiritual issue. The responses have been political, and I believe we need to address spiritual issues with spiritual responses.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
1) Avoid the normalization of sin:
- Normalization of this sin endorses sexual & physical abuse.
- Normalization of this sin empowers cultural degradation of women.
- Normalization of this sin promotes fear and insecurity among women.
- Normalization of this sin objectifies women.
2) Use the public conversation as an opportunity to share the reassuring truth of God’s love and value of all people, particularly women.
Christian men should…
Use the public conversation as an opportunity to evaluate your own heart and speech:
- Evaluate your conversations. If “locker room” talk is an acceptable part of your interactions with other men, stop and repent!
- Evaluate your thoughts. If your thoughts reflect or lead you to this type of conversation, stop and repent.
- When this conversation comes up with other men be bold for Christ.
Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters. 1 Timothy 5:2
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:1-2
- Use the public conversation as an opportunity to encourage and build up your wife
- Talk with your wife to assure her that this is not your “normal” tone or topic of conversation with other men.
- Assure your wife of her worth to you and God.
- Honor your wife.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her. Ephesians 5:25
Christian parents should…
Use the public conversation as an opportunity to teach your sons:
- Locker room talk is not acceptable.
- Locker room talk shouldn’t be normal.
- Walk away from locker room talk.
- View every individual as a creation of God deserving of respect.
- Remind them that actually doing these actions against girls/women is wrong and can result in severe consequences.
Use the public conversation as an opportunity to teach your daughters:
- Speak to them about their worth to you and God.
- Uninvited physical touch on any level is unacceptable.
- Say, “no” forcefully and confidently. Fight.
- Conversations that are sexual or physical that make you uncomfortable are unacceptable.
- Tell us (your parents) or an adult you trust if anyone does touch or speak to you in a manner that makes you uncomfortable.
- Be a safe place for open dialogue with your daughters so that they feel the freedom to discuss these issues openly with you.
The Church should…
- Never be tied so tightly to a political party or agenda that it can no longer speak clearly for Christ.
- Always be a safe place for those who have been abused in any manner.
- Be unashamed to clearly identify sin and be agents of God’s grace and forgiveness.
You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. Matthew 5:13