Men Are Like Shopping Carts

Flickr Creative Commons/jsteebyphd

Flickr Creative Commons/jsteebyphd

Today's post is by our Founder & Executive Director, Ked Frank.

Men can be a lot like shopping carts!  May be a weird way to start a blog, but let me explain correlations I am thinking between the two.  I went to Walmart today and immediately grabbed a shopping cart when I entered the store.  I knew I would be getting a lot of groceries and needed help getting them to the cashier and eventually out to my car.  A grocery cart is sturdy, strong, and very helpful when it is under the control of the shopper.  Well, today the grocery cart did what I intended until I got out in the parking lot and it nearly created some problems.  I was unloading the cart and I let go of it to put groceries into the car.  I didn’t observe the slight incline I was on and the cart began to roll.  A beautiful black SUV was in the direct line of the cart’s progression.  I ran towards the cart and grabbed it inches from causing damage to the SUV.  

Men are irreplaceable to the Kingdom of God!  When God’s hands are on a man’s life and directed by the Father there is so much good that results.  He provides leadership to his family and the local church.  He is shining a light at work and being a positive influence as a coach to his kid’s sports teams.  He is strong, usable, and benefits everyone that comes in contact with him.  However, when his life isn’t centered with the Father he is like a run away cart that is getting ready to do damage to himself and those in his trajectory.  

Unfortunately, there are too many men in society that aren’t surrendered to the Father and are exploiting and damaging women by their selfish conduct.  They log onto porn sites on a regular basis, visit strip clubs with the guys, and hire prostitutes on out of town trips.  They have convinced themselves no one is being hurt and it is a private decision they are making.  Don’t these women choose to participate in this lifestyle anyways, they may ask themselves?  

In getting a chance to lead a ministry that helps women exiting the sex industry, a different reality is learned as they share their hurts and pain.  Anger and lack of trust are common amongst the women and the ripple effects of the sex industry requiring long-term healing.  Childhood sexual abuse is the normal background and violence experienced while doing sex work is common.  In the midst of looking for love from these men that visit these locations, the women experience more hurt upon an already fragile outlook on life and damaged self-perception.  

Unfortunately, there are some men that will never change, but the good news is that a lot of men are helping transform these victim’s lives. Refuge for Women has a good number of men that are involved in various forms of the organization.  The women may be hesitant at first with a man being at the house, but eventually trust is earned and perspectives changed.  One guest stated early in her journey, “there is no such thing as a faithful man to his marriage.  Every man hires women!”  A few short months later her perspective has changed and realizes that not all men are contributing to the problem.  A smile appears across her face when reminded of those broad comments that resulted from a hurtful past.  

John 8:1-11 we see a beautiful picture of Jesus modeling the treatment of a woman and giving dignity when others gave none.  A woman was caught in adultery and stoning her was on the minds of an entire group of men.  Jesus ran interference and defended her through questions that pierced straight to the soul for the gathered men.  Can you imagine the healing experience in the soul of this woman that she had that day with Jesus?  When He asked her, “where are your accusers?  Neither do I condemn you.”  He provided safety, respect, and instruction on how to live from here on.  

There are lots of things that men can take from this story and creative ways to make a difference in trafficked and exploited women’s lives.  Here are 4 that I have chosen to list using the acrostic H.E.L.P.

Honor Women

  • Don’t support the industry in any way/Porn and Strip Clubs create more of a demand for sex work

  • Respect with your talk and overall attitudes towards women

  • Become an advocate to help get jobs or use your influence to make a woman’s life better

  • Teach your son about respecting women

Exercise your gifts

  • Derek is a local lawyer that regularly helps the ladies with legal advice

  • Every Friday a man by the name of Lee comes and teaches about relationships and Godly men

  • Business leaders that sit on the board of directors provide organizational wisdom and experience.  

Love your daughters

  • 59 women have come to our program.  The number of them with dads that were involved in their lives and loved Jesus is 1.  

  • a daughter that grows up with a Father that loves his wife, reinforces that God loves her and has a plan for her, protects her, provides for her, will have a foundation that is solid

Pray

  • When God’s people pray things happen

  • Every Tuesday at 1:00 our ministry prays for the exploited and we invite you to join us.