Author's note: This is a guest post by my daughter, Melanie Tomczak, in response to the heart-wrenching #MeToo posts that show just how prevalent sexual aggression is in our world today.
On Oct. 15, actress Alysssa Milano asked her twitter followers to reply, "Me too" and share their personal experiences of being sexually harassed or assaulted. This came as a response to the surge of devastating sexual harassment claims against Hollywood mogul, Harvey Weinstein.
I don't think anyone could have anticipated what came next.
It went viral.
Two words turned into a worldwide movement of gut-wrenching honesty and transparency.
Monday morning, I awoke to find my social media feed inundated with posts with the same #Me too hashtag. It was unavoidable. I read the accounts of those I love and how their lives have been affected by the actions of others.
This isn't something you can just ignore and keep "scrolling". My heart has been heavy since I saw the very first "Me too" account on my Facebook wall.
As I took this heaviness to God, and asked Him, "Why?" He reminded me of these words:
"You have heard that it was said by the ancients, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matt. 5:27-28).
These are some pretty bold words from Jesus. He's addressing one aspect of sexual activity that has the potential to cause emotional and relational destruction.
In today's modern language, I'd like to re-phrase what he said, like this:
"Don't go taking that which doesn't belong to you sexually. Beyond something physical, I'm gonna raise the bar even further. You're responsible for what you see, and how you think about it. You get to choose what you think on. I'm raising the bar on your private thought-life, because thoughts precede actions. And actions (good or bad) have the possibility to change lives forever."
On Sept. 27, my news feed was filled with pictures and personal tributes to Hugh Hefner.
Now, three and a half weeks later, my feed is filled with posts from women (and men) who have been used, abused, assaulted and sexually objectified by (mostly) men.
I can't help but wonder if there's a correlation.
One man, produced images and taught a generation of men and boys worldwide how to view women and sexuality.
As a means to an end—instant gratification—it took that which was sacred, special and intimate and put it before the eyes of millions of strangers. Forget about commitment, emotional investment and unconditional love. None of that matters with an image that can't even look back at you.
What's happening today with the brave women and men who are willing to say, "Me too ..." is that they have been on the receiving end of someone else's sexual selfishness.
What would it look like if we broke the cycle?
The cycle of sexual selfishness. The cycle of abuse. The cycle of internal pain. The cycle of shame that whispers the lie of, "It probably was my fault ..." The reality is: there's nothing more beautiful than the gift of sex.
It literally has the capacity to create human life. Nothing else on earth can do that. But when used without boundaries, for selfish means, it can cause mass emotional, mental and physical destruction. I think we are seeing that played out before our eyes today.
This generation is ready for a change.
For myself, in line with Jesus' words, I need to raise the bar in my own life. (It's not just about dudes.) I need to commit to never using another person as a selfish means to an end. I need to take a fresh look at the things I choose to look at and watch. I need to reevaluate the things that I think on. I'm crying out to God and asking Him to break the cycle of sexual brokenness that has wreaked havoc on my generation.
In the end, it all matters
What's happening today with the brave women and men who are willing to say, "Me too" is that they have been on the receiving end of someone else's sexual selfishness.
Even my private thought-life. I've got Jesus' words on it. And the enemy's attack on even one of us, made in the image of God, is an attack on all of us.
Larry Tomczak is a cultural commentator of 45 yrs, Intercessors for America board member, best-selling author and a public policy advisor with Liberty Counsel. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com). Click (here) for his "Here's the Deal" weekly podcast.