Molestation is not limited to little girls. It affects children from both genders, all races, different nationalities, diverse cultures, and every background imaginable. It just as prevalent in the inner-city as it is in the countryside. It's going on in low-income communities as well as wealthier districts. It's happening everywhere, and the church is not exempt from it. In fact, many men hide behind religious acts to cover up what's happened to them in their past.
The consequences of the act can be emotionally and physically destructive. Our community doesn't talk about it--especially in the church, and that's a big problem. What's hidden can't be dealt with properly. It's one thing to deal with many of the contributing factors like pornography, homosexuality, pedophilia, and such, but we must address the rampant molestation that takes place daily in homes, in places of worship, in offices, in classrooms, in locker rooms and abroad. As believers, we cannot be so quick to address the fruit of the tree without identifying its roots. Oftentimes, the root of the issues I deal with as a pastor from men is molestation. It's the deep, dark secret that they've tried to keep hidden. It's the elephant in the room they've tried to cover up. It's the one thing they've tried their entire adolescent and young adult life to ignore, but the effects of what's happened to them still lingers. In fact, what's happened to them greatly affects what has happening in them. It affects their ability to trust, to confide, to befriend, and to enjoy the company of others. Their relationships are shallow. Going too deep with them is forbidden. If they notice you're getting too close they immediately build a wall to block you out. Oftentimes, they find an excuse to end the friendship/relationship, or many just end it cold turkey. Running away is easier for them instead of facing their emotions and fears.
Far too often have I heard the words: "It's my fault!" spoken by an adult male with tears running down his face. The adult speaking those words was a just a child when he became a victim. He tells his story as if he was the problem and the molestation was somehow his fault. In an hour conversation he will experience every emotion from sadness to guilt to anger. It's a difficult issue for him to explore, but it must be dealt with or it will deal with him.
Sexual abuse, a silent and deadly evil, walks with the child well beyond his adolescent years. It follows him into adulthood. He works hard to hide it. He covers it. He doesn't want to talk about it. He tries to drown his sorrows and fears in addictive substances. I've seen this happen before my eyes. I've even experienced this truth personally. I can tell you from experience that pornography and alcohol won't drown out the "voices" in your head. Seeking prostitutes, seeking lovers on sex sites, or seeking peace in drugs won't heal you. Drinking an alcoholic beverage until it's empty won't fill you. You'll feel just as empty as the bottle you've emptied. The embarrassment of being found out is too much for many men to consider. They'll do all they can to kill that part of their life. The thought of facing their attacker(s) is just as scary as facing their emotions. It could be that they've tried to confront their attacker(s), but they weren't successful. To escape any accountability for his actions he must work hard to forget them. If forgetting doesn't work, then he must live in secrecy. If secrecy doesn't work, then he must discredit the credibility of this victims. To be discredited by someone you probably trusted is heartbreaking and has the potential to send the victim(s) in a deeper downward spiral. The victims try to move on, but the "demons" in their head won't allow them to live in peace. Their public persona doesn't match their private struggles. No matter the cost of their suits, the number of women they sleep with, their position in the business firm, or the amount of money in their bank account(s), they cannot seem to put to their past to rest. They were sexually abused, but you'd never know it. Like many other boys, they were molested. Their innocence was stolen from them. Now, they find themselves suffering silently especially when curiosity comes face-to-face with temptation and opportunity. They're wounded men, and they need help. They must realize they were victims. If they do not, then they could potentially continue that cycle of victimization.
Whether you were raped, a victim of incest, or any other forms of sexual abuse, I recommend you seek help immediately to address the trauma of sexual assault. If you're in a position where your attacker used his or her position of authority to silence you, you must speak up. Please do not live in fear. You must resolve the feelings of guilt, shame, fear, depression, and anger. Continuing to suppress it is not healthy. I encourage you to begin this journey of healing by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. All sin, no matter the degree, is punishable by death. This means we are all sentenced to die and inherit eternal damnation. However, Jesus Christ has become the sacrifice needed to redeem us from the damnation. He gives us life (John 10:10), forgives us of our sins (1 John 1:9), makes us new (2 Corinthians 5:17), and redeems us from wickedness (Titus 2:14). Healing beings with Him. Then, I would suggest forgiving your attacker(s). I realize this can seem difficult, but it's important. Ephesians 4:32 reads "Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." If you desire to be forgiven, then you must forgive others. Consider the other scenario. If you don't forgive, then you aren't forgiven. You'll also carry the weight of what happened to you, and that's too heavy a load to bear. Thirdly, I'd recommend seeking help with a Spirit-filled therapist and spiritual leader so you'll have the opportunity to confess what has happened to you. James 5:16 reads "Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much." Confession is healthy; hiding is dangerous. Finally, find a Bible-teaching, Spirit-filled church where you can be taught the Word of God and serve faithfully.
And if it sounds like I'm speaking from a place of experience, I am. Just know that the same God that healed me can heal you! Now is the time for healing. Deal with the issues before they deal with you. God bless.