Matt Lauer. Wow. He has been a part of The Today Show on NBC for twenty-something years now, and I remember hanging on his every word and report when I was much younger and starting to like the news (I was a weird kid, I know). He was the face of the news, in my mind, and is still recognizable all these years later, even if he is now infamous.
As many of you may know (actually, all of you if you’re reading this!) he was fired from his mountaintop at NBC after a single allegation of sexual harassment, which since turned into an all-out avalanche of sexual debauchery (including a button that would lock his office door from his desk). If you haven’t heard about this, all you have to do is go to Google and look up “Matt Lauer” and you’ll find plenty of fodder.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Trust me, it can happen to anyone. They say power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Well, let me tell you, it’s not just power that corrupts, we are corrupt as we are sinful by nature. Even those deemed the best of us fall. I’ve seen in recent headlines a pastor arrested for impregnating a fourteen-year-old girl, and another pastor for murdering members of his family on Thanksgiving day.
No one is immune. We see the sinfulness of mankind all in the news. Every. Single. Day. It is part of the reason why I am glad I don’t have cable, because I am a creature of habit and it would often be on a news channel.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6). When it comes to sexual harassment, rape, and the culture of objectifying people for less than noble purposes, I believe that it starts as a child. Look at the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2-17). In each commandment, there is a negative and a positive. One is explicit and the other is implicit. What does that mean? Let’s look at the Seventh Commandment: “You shall not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14). The negative is explicit, meaning we are directly told not to do something, in this case, commit adultery. The positive is implicit, or implied, in that we are to honor the sanctity of marriage.
So, it is with training our children. Yes, we need to teach our children that sexual misconduct in any way is bad, that yes means yes and no means no. But, if we stop there, we have failed because they aren’t learning how to properly behave. I read an article from The Daily Wire last month about this, entitled, “We Can’t Just ‘Teach Boys Not To Rape.’ They Need A Positive Message Of Male Identity.” In this, Matt Walsh argues that boys must be shown how to live, how to be a real man, how to treat women, and how to be constructive with his masculinity, not destructive. How to be shown that masculinity isn’t in the numbers of sexual escapades, but in the cherishing that which has been given to you. Charles Spurgeon, the prince of preachers, is attributed to have said, “Train your child in the way which you know you should have gone yourself.” And this is exactly what we need to do. We need to not just teach our children what not to do and what to do, we need to live it in our lives. We need to show them what not to do and what to do.
Now, don’t get me wrong. This is an uphill battle. In the age of the smart-phone, too many people have too much access to everything, especially pornography. Giving young men a device in which they can access anything from anywhere whenever they want is like giving them a loaded weapon. We are in a real struggle for the minds and hearts of our children. We must take purposeful steps in not only guarding our children’s hearts, but ours as well. We need to teach them how to love and cherish others, how to value relationships, and we need to model it for them.
What is the end-all for this, you might ask? Well, in this life, there is no final cure, as our sinful nature persists until the end. However, for the broken and healing, for the hurting and suffering, there is hope in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He died on the cross for the sins of His people, as propitiation, so we can be righteous before God. He offers a hope and a healing that no earthly person or power can ever compare to. Sharing our need for the Gospel and the Gospel itself, I feel, is the best thing we can do for those we know who are hurting. Pray for them. Love them. Cry with them. Help carry their burdens. But most importantly, share with them the good news of Jesus Christ.