It is coming up a lot these days in my conversations with women and it shatters my heart every time.
They share with me stories of hurt, sorrow, manipulation, and abuse at the actions of men. It will never become easier to hear. I will never grow numb to hearing them speak their brokenness out loud.
I am grateful for their willingness to share with me. I am thankful that they feel that my heart is a safe place to pour out their pain. I have been moved this week to share some of the thoughts I give to them right here...this is for any young woman I will never be able to speak to in person...this is for all the young women who need to know these truths.
Young women, I know that many of you - perhaps all of you - have been hurt by men in some way. For many of you, I know this hurt is very, very deep. While I cannot speak on behalf of men, I first want to tell you how sorry I am for what you have been through. I want you to know that no woman ever deserves to be hurt by a man, and there is nothing you have ever done to deserve the pain you have experienced. No action or inaction you have ever taken warrants the hurt that has been done to you. I am so, so sorry.
Kelly Clarkson's song Piece by Piece tells the story of the pain she suffered from being abandoned by her father. Later on in her life, in journeying with the man who would be her husband and seeing the deep and genuine goodness within him, she writes...He restored my faith that a man can be kind and a father could stay.
Sister, I want you to hear me when I say...The way men have treated you in the past is not the way every man will treat you throughout your life. There are kind men in the world. There are men in the world who are good.
It is easy in the midst of significant hurt to submit to the trap of believing that all men are unkind - that all men may be hurtful, manipulative, or abusive. I watch young women yield to this belief, and I know their stories - and I know why they do. I do not blame them for believing it. I do not blame them for allowing men to treat them poorly time after time - they have been conditioned to believe that this is all there is, that these are the only kind of men that exist. If you have given into this belief, I want you to know something...
There are men in the world who have goodness running through the core of who they are. There are men in the world who are gentle and honest. There are men in the world who are willing to sacrifice and love deeply. There are men in the world who choose to baptize their dying newborn twin daughters in a moment so powerful that when you read about it you can barely keep from crumbling.
I promise you this - the good men in the world may be difficult to find, but they are many.
I want you to know this, too, in your head and your heart - that not every man is out to hurt you, or manipulate you, or abuse you - because I see you running to things to heal this hurt. The world offers us many suggestions as to good band-aids for pain. Those band-aids, however, only cover up...they do not provide any real healing. The real Healer the world would never tell us about is Christ. He wants to place His healing hand on your broken heart, and make it whole again. He wants to restore your faith that men can be kind. He wants to restore your belief in your worth, your wholeness, your beauty, and all that you have to offer the world.
In the depths of brokenness, God brings magnificent restoration. Today I pray that if these truths speak to your life, if you have experienced this pain - that God would bring good men into your life - as he did for dear Kelly - to restore your faith that men can be kind. And good. And true.
I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them, and give them glass for sorrow. Jeremiah 31:13