It's amazing what you'll learn by spending time with large groups of people going about their daily routines. Football games are a weekly event this time of year, and in Texas it functions largely as a religion. I'm a youth pastor; youth are my specialization, if you will. And youth reflect largely what has been instilled in them by their friends and parents.
At the football game this weekend, a boy and a girl came and sat down on the bench front of me. They sat next to her mother, I think. They were holding hands, so my guess is they're a boyfriend/girfriend duo. But he continued to get more physical the longer they sat next to each other. The boy, no more than 16 years old, never moved his hands off her body. When he wasn't holding her hand, his hand moved to other parts of her body. And she didn't seem to mind it; she looked like the was enjoying it as much as he was. And her mom didn't care either.
First, this was just uncomfortable for me. This is not the sort of thing that you want the world to see, or that the world wants to see.
I don't want to see that! Go get a room. was my first thought. But then I, again, began to get angry. He was treating her disrepectfully, and she and her mother didn't care. She probably thinks that he just cares about her and that he is just showing her affection. And it is a good thing. But SHE IS WRONG! He is simply fulfilling a sexual fantasy playing out in his mind (I know this - I was 16 once). And she's letting him use her for that purpose.
The temptation was overwhelming for me. I wanted to say to him:
"Excuse me, but are you married to her??!! Yea, I didn't think so. So, get your hands off of her and stop touching her that way! Your have no right to touch her like a husband unless you put a ring on her finger and say, 'I do.' Unless you do that, you are just using, disrespecting and degrading her! And, you are hurting her by making her think that you actually care about her!!!
"And what about your future wife? How do you think she would feel to know that you were touching other girl to get your sexual kicks!!"
But I didn't say all that. I wish I had though. Women are treasures from God, and should be treated like it. Men have no right to use women; this is not what God intended and it's not right! As Christian men, we should teach younger (and older) men the way God wants us to treat women. We should model this example, understanding how precious the family is and how sacred marriage (present or future) is.
I didn't say anything, and honestly I regret it. But even if I had, I don't think it would have been the right way to handle the situation. I just don't know what is a good way to stand up for God's creation in this situation. I was angry, and I still am, but if I had acted out of this anger, I have a feeling I would have done more damage than good for the name of God if I had gotten in his face like I wanted to. So how do we Christian men handle this? How do we stand up for the dignity and respect for women?
Bottom line: men who care about any woman (wife, girlfriend, sister, etc.) should not allow this to happen - we have a stake in this too, if we love and care for the women in our lives. We should teach other men how women should be treated in ways that give them the respect that God gave to them. Christians should take a stand on this issue, not just let "kids be kids." This is not right for women. I'm just not sure what else we can do, outside of teaching and modeling.