The U.S. is not alone in its disrespect for women. In China, an official "one child per family" policy has resulted in millions of little baby girls being aborted before birth, or murdered shortly after birth. A similar pattern occurs in India, where the culture gives strong preference to male children, and poor families may even fear having to pay a dowry at the marriage of a daughter. And throughout the Muslim world, women are systematically held down, degraded and often treated as less than human.
There are thousands of reasons why we should literally cry out to God, "Thy Kingdom come!"
One that is often overlooked is the increasing incidence of violence against women. Throughout the world, this sickening problem is growing worse and worse. As columnist Bob Herbert recently reported, "A girl or woman is sexually assaulted every couple of minutes or so in the U.S. The number of seriously battered wives and girlfriends is far beyond the ability of any agency to count. We're all implicated in this carnage because the relentless violence against women and girls is linked at its core to the wider society's casual willingness to dehumanize women and girls, to see them first and foremost as sexual vessels—objects—and never, ever as the equals of men" (Charlotte Observer, October 19, 2006).
Part of the problem lies in our willingness as a society to allow the most vile and degrading and brutal images to be displayed in video games and on the Internet, leading susceptible young men to waste hundreds of hours on this filth, and to believe that the animalistic brutality they see is at least somewhat "normal."
We need to wake up! Why do our leaders fail to have the "guts" to simply banish such bestial displays, which definitely generate increasing violence against women?
Even back in the 1940s, my mother and her friends—no doubt like millions of mothers all across the United States—had pushed me and dozens of my classmates to attend "dancing school"—where we were taught to dance face to face and chest to chest with young girls barely entering their puberty. We were just little children who wanted to play baseball and "kick the can." God does not forbid dancing, of course, but He does command us to "flee sexual immorality" (1 Corinthians 6:18). Why did our mothers push us into the kind of semi-romantic, semi-sexual behavior involved in that kind of dancing when we were only twelve years old?
I well remember how, at the first private dance I went to after taking these lessons, my friend Bob Speck and I kept stepping outside to run around the block during the dancing. We came back every few minutes announcing that we had "run around the block ten times." The little girls would exclaim, "Oh that's great!" We were so embarrassed at holding these girls in our arms that we simply took off running—not knowing what else to do with ourselves. It would be several years before we were truly ready for such "romantic" involvements even in an innocent way. Why were our mothers pressuring us into this kind of precocious behavior? And today it is even worse for young men, pressured by society into sexual thoughts and activities long before they are in any way ready to handle them.
Why do so many mothers today pressure their young daughters—clear down into grade school—to start wearing "make-up" and to begin to look "sexual?" Columnist Herbert went on to observe: "We've been watching the sexualized image of the murdered 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey for 10 years. JonBenet is dead. Her mother is dead. And we're still watching the video of this poor child prancing in lipstick and high heels. In a misogynistic culture, it's never too early to drill into the minds of girls that what really matters is their appearance and their ability to please men sexually."
The U.S. is not alone in its disrespect for women. In China, an official "one child per family" policy has resulted in millions of little baby girls being aborted before birth, or murdered shortly after birth. A similar pattern occurs in India, where the culture gives strong preference to male children, and poor families may even fear having to pay a dowry at the marriage of a daughter. And throughout the Muslim world, women are systematically held down, degraded and often treated as less than human. A new twist on this horrifying problem recently came to light in a report on how militant Muslim terrorists are specifically targeting female teachers in Iraq. A recent news report described what happened to a young Iraqi teacher: "Authorities said that the young woman, whose name was withheld at the request of her family for security reasons, had taken a taxi home from the school on Sept. 20. Police discovered her mutilated body stuffed in a plastic trash barrel near the school the next day…. One day after the body of the primary school teacher was discovered, two other young female teachers were found slain in the western part of the city" (Charlotte Observer, October 20, 2006).
Also, many heinous crimes against women are being committed in Darfur, the Congo and other parts of Africa. It is widely reported that literally tens of thousands of women and young girls are being systematically raped, tortured and mutilated on a regular basis.
The old Protestant song, "This is my Father's world," does not seem to resonate any more, does it?
For, ever since Adam and Eve turned their backs on God and His laws, this has definitely been Satan's world. The Apostle John describes the "serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world" (Revelation 12:9). The Apostle Paul describes Satan as the "prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2).
All women—as well as men—are made "in the image of God" (Genesis 1:27). We all must recognize that only through the practice of true Christianity can women—as well as men—attain their full human potential. The Son of God gave His life for women—as well as for men. And one of Jesus Christ's final acts before His crucifixion was to honor and help look after his mother. As He hung dying on the cross—in excruciating pain—Jesus told John, his closest personal friend among the disciples: "'Behold your mother'. And from that hour that disciple took her [Mary] to his own home\ (John 19:27).
The love, kindness and patient tenderness that we normally associate with our mothers, sisters, wives and daughters makes decent men deeply ashamed of the horrifying brutality and abuse to which increasing millions of women are now being subjected. But, in spite of all the sincere efforts of human beings, this abuse will only grow worse until the day God Himself intervenes and sends the real Jesus Christ back to this earth as King of kings. God describes the blessings of His people at that time: "Therefore in their land they shall possess double; everlasting joy shall be theirs" (Isaiah 61:7). And "they shall dwell safely, and no one shall make them afraid" (Ezekiel 34:28).
The growing abuse and humiliation of women in all parts of the world is an important reason why we should take seriously God's promise of a soon-coming world government under Jesus Christ and His resurrected saints. It is another reason we should fervently pray, "Thy Kingdom come."