It’s Just Locker Room Talk

This is in no way a political post!

The news the last couple of weeks has been centered on the moral issues of our presidential candidates and a video was leaked with some less than flattering words towards women. Within the apology to the degrading remarks was the statement, “It’s just locker room talk”.

I couldn’t disagree more but I get where this is coming from. Before we jump all over what was said, I’d like to challenge us to take a good look at ourselves.

We create, live in, and perpetuate a culture of this behavior. How? The way women are viewed is prominent within our media culture. That “locker room talk” statement is not the first most of us if not all of us have heard it. That’s because it’s said so frequently. When our young boys act a particular way, you’ll hear, “well, boys will be boys”. Look at our commercials and advertisements.

When I heard that statement made, yes I was disgusted. My disgust was against our culture. I’m not willing to crucify one person for what is a culture issue but as a woman, the mother of a daughter and the mother of two sons, I will speak up. What my kids heard that evening from their parents was this…

Locker room talk isn’t just locker room talk. It creates the opportunity for the talk to turn to belief and that belief to turn to action.

So how do we address culture?

1.  Have conversations with our sons and daughters. Ask them their views on what’s honoring and appropriate. Don’t argue with them, but have a conversation. It’s in these “along the way” moments that guidance comes.
2.  Look at what is allowed in our homes. How are women being portrayed in the movies, shows and music that play within our homes. Parenting can not be “do as I say not as I do”. What we do speaks loudly. It screams.
3.  When women are being spoken of in a degrading way, speak up. If as a woman that gets you kicked out of the “boys club” then so be it and speak up in that as well. To those men that I’ve known to speak up when this is being done, THANK YOU! You’ve honored us.
4.  Fathers show your sons how to treat a woman and show your daughters how they should be treated.
5.  Men, be a mentor. I can’t tell you how many young men have asked for mentoring and how difficult it is to find men that will step in. You don’t need to have all of the answers. Just walk with them. To those men that take time to speak into the next generation, THANK YOU as well!

As I sat reflecting on what I have done and could do to come against this locker room mentality, the list dragged on beyond the five above. While the individual was wrong in what he said, he was speaking out of being a product of his culture. This doesn’t excuse him, but our battle is with culture and culture starts with you and I.

Brenda Renderos (still an undecided voter)

When He Waits

I’ve waited before. I’ve prayed, fasted and waited for God to answer. That whole thing of God not showing up in our time-frame isn’t something I’m not familiar with. What I hadn’t experienced is waiting on God in the midst of gut wrenching physical pain. It was as simple as a pinched nerve but I had no idea how much pain a little nerve could cause.

After five months of doctors and medication nothing was helping but it was time to go to Thailand. I boarded the plane leading eleven others on an outreach trip and trusted that God knew what He was doing. My constant question was why would He call me to lead a trip like this but not heal this nerve? Why was God waiting? What was He waiting for?

I found myself at the bottom of a muddy mountain watching these tiny Thai women piling cinder blocks on their heads and trekking up the mountain. Our mission that day was to help them get the blocks up to where they were building a home for a family. This was it! This was where my physical limit would be reached. There wasn’t any way I was going to ask my team to work and I wouldn’t so I jumped in. I’d go as far as I could. Block after block after block went up. We finished the job!

Tired and sore that evening I could feel the piercing pain rising up. This certainly had to be it. It was it, but not in the way I was thinking. God had been waiting because what He was doing wasn’t just about me. The team prayed over me and the next morning there wasn’t a hint of pain. For the rest of the trip, there wasn’t any pain. No medication and no pain. For the first time in five months the mobility in my neck had come back. Pinched nerve was gone.

Why did He wait? He waited because He had a bigger plan. He was with me every day of those five months. He was with me every step up that muddy mountain. In every day and through every step He was showing Himself and speaking to hearts His desire to heal. My healing was physical but through it He healed others in different ways.

When God waits it’s not Him being unaware or disinterested. It’s not that He’s not hearing our prayers. There’s a larger plan in place. Lean on the truth that He promised never to leave us or forget about us. He’s in every day and every step.