Two weeks ago, we had a Cru event specifically for the ladies. It was a panel of women — single, married, dating, student, professional — to provide insight into the highs and lows of walking with the Lord through all stages of life. We also had a video of a few men involved with the movement to share their thoughts on various subjects, and how we as women can better serve them. It was an awesome time of fellowship.
Waiting for each woman at the end the evening was a rose. One of our Cru interns wrote the letter below and asked the staff women to read it for him. I had the privilege of sharing his words on behalf of the men. Needless to say, I didn’t make it through “tear free.” Thought I would share it with you.
Thanks again, Matt, for your honest and beautiful words.
I want to confess the sin of men against you as women. We are not aware enough of the pain that we have caused you as we have dishonored you and shamed you as women. We are sorry that we have abandoned you as Adam abandoned Eve before the serpent. As the God-appointed head of the family, it was Adam’s responsibility to safeguard Eve and to assure that she remained in submission to the command of God. But Adam failed in his God-given responsibility and permitted Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit. We confess that we have failed to lead you as God has ordained. We confess that we have failed to love you as Christ loves the Church. We confess that we have embraced passivity rather than obedient leadership. We are sorry that you have had to play a role in God’s kingdom that you were not meant to play. We have backed out of our place of spiritual leadership and you have been forced to fill the void. We have not led you. We have not protected you. We have not honored you. As men we have been called to be first to our knees, first to the cross, and first to wield the sword of the Word. It is a pattern that we have repeated since the Fall. From the earliest instance of sin, we men have tended toward passivity in the midst of spiritual battle and then, in the wake of our failures, blamed women to soften our anxiety and shame.
Today, just as Nehemiah confessed on the behalf of others, we want to confess on behalf of the men in your lives.
We are sorry for the ways that we lead you on and encourage you to believe things that are not true. We have not done our job to guard your beautiful hearts. We are sorry for the ways we encourage you to dress in certain ways to please us rather than to protect us and keep us from sexual immorality. We are sorry that we have focused on your outer appearance when God has called us to look on your hearts. We apologize for the daddy who was too busy at work to play with you at home or come to your game or recital. We apologize for the dad who did not hug you and hold you close and affirm you as his precious daughter because his dad was distant and cold. We confess for the dad who didn’t take the time to explain relationships to you, but let you find out the hard way from boys whose fathers also failed them. We are sorry for the little girl whose daddy abandoned her for a bottle of alcohol. We are sorry for the dads who left you and never came back. We are sorry for the emotional, verbal, physical, and sexual abuse that men have brought onto you. You did not deserve it. We men have failed to cherish you as God intended.
But, may I tell you today – if we could be honest with ourselves, with God, and with you – how most men really feel? We marvel at who you are. You have discernment that we don’t have. You notice tiny subtle details when we see nothing at all. We marvel at the way you make relationships, and we secretly long to be able to find friends the way you do. We’re amazed at the way you pray, the way you sing, the way you smile, the way you laugh, the way you cry. We’re amazed at how deeply you feel things and how easily you express those feelings. We are amazed at how multidimensional you are – interweaving softness and strength; how you have endured so much, persevered through so much, and celebrated so much.
Every woman is a rose. Lovely, mysterious, fragrant, and meant to be handled with care. Its piercing thorns greet only those who recklessly grab the stem without taking time to appreciate its total beauty. The most beautiful of flowers, the sweetest of fragrances, and the costliest in the florist’s shop. You are beautiful from the moment of the first bud, but your beauty unfolds a petal at a time as you blossom and grow. Today, we honor you. We do not seek to own you, use you, sell you, or control you – but to admire you.
Your Brothers in Christ