Our world is in a crisis.
The truth is that our world is filled with crisis, but there is one that has grabbed my heart and won't let go. It's the crisis of abuse of women around the globe.
It's a crisis of massive proportions and yet there is little being said, especially in the church.
First, I want to give you a few statistics just in case you, like I was, are unaware of the scope of the crisis:
- 39,000 Chinese baby girls die in their first year of life annually because parents don't give them the same medical care that boys receive.
- In India, a "bride burning"--to punish a woman for an inadequate dowry or to eliminate her so a man can remarry--takes place approximately once every two hours.
- Although females typically outnumber males, Pakistan has 111 males for every 100 females.
- Particularly in India and China, ultra-sound is being used for gender identification so that girls can be aborted.
- 1 million children are forced into prostitution each year and the total number of prostituted children could be as high as 10 million. (Boys and girls are included in this statistic.)
- In the Congo, it's estimated that up to 3/4 of the female population has been raped.
- In South Africa, 21% of women reported that they had been raped by age 15.
- Some studies suggest that 1/3 of women world wide are beaten in their homes.
So why aren't we talking more about the problem and doing more to help women?
I haven't done any studies, but I think it's complex. Hearing statistics like this overwhelms me, and you probably feel the same way. I tend to shut down when I feel as if there's nothing I can do. There is a quote from the president of International Justice Mission that grips me, though. He said, "I used to ask, 'Where is God?' Now I ask, 'Where are God's People?'"
On Friday, my friend Heatherly is going to help us with some practical ways that we can be part of the solution. Please come back to hear some ways that we can begin to make a difference.
Christian sisters, this is the important part of what I am burning to say today. I think the biggest reason that women in the church have not risen up to help our sisters around the world is that we're afraid of perception. We don't want to be perceived as radical feminists, because we're women who love God's Word. We want to be women who live according to His Word. Me too!
I'm realizing that I have to change my thinking. This issue of oppressed women isn't about feminism. It's not anti-man. In fact, it's shocking to read how much of the violence is women against other women, and there are many good and godly men who are fighting against these injustices. The issue truly is about oppression...about the strong abusing the week...about the rich exploiting the poor...about a lack of justice.
And God has so much to say in His Word about these things. Here are just a few examples:
Job 26:2 "How you have helped the powerless! How you have saved the arm that is feeble!"
Psalm 68:5-6, "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land."
Psalm 12:5, "'Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise," says the LORD. "I will protect them from those who malign them.'"
Psalm 82:3-4, "Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked."
If we truly believe that all of God's creation is made in His image and treasured, then we can't ignore the crisis that women around the world are facing. We have to do something.
Are you doing something already? Please share with us. If you're not, join me in taking some steps. Heatherly will help us on Friday, so please come back.