What Kavanaugh Can Teach Teens
Is Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, guilty of the accusations of sexual assault leveled against him?
I do not know.
But this public spectacle has exposed 5 truths I think we all need to face.
#1: The Choices You Make in High School Matter
I have a friend who has confessed and repented of a shameful past. Sadly, that friend’s son uses his Dad’s past foolishness to justify his own current rebellion.
Back when my friend was a teenager, he likely never imagined how his sins would inspire the choices of others. Least of all the son he would one day have.
And I doubt my friend’s son has ever stopped to consider how the sins he’s committing today will be used against him in the future.
But he ought to consider it.
So should we.
The crimes of which Kavanagh is accused are well over 30 years in his past. And even if he’s innocent of any sexual crimes, consider how the “normal” teen partying lifestyle of his past has come to haunt his high career aspirations in the present.
And on that note I want to clarify something. I’m not suggesting you make wiser decisions today so you can stay out of trouble. It’s so much bigger than that!
I’m urging you to walk in wisdom so you can better prepare for, discern, and realize your calling.
That’s what’s at stake for Kavanaugh today.
For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. – Luke 8:17 (ESV)
#2: Sometimes it’s not enough to claim, “It didn’t happen.”
The common thread in almost any allegation of sexual impropriety is the ultimate unknown due to the absence of evidence or credible witnesses. Many are certain Kavanaugh is guilty. Many are assured of his innocence. In reality, the truth is almost impossible to know.
So if you don’t want to be accused of physically or sexually assaulting someone, determine and keep boundaries for your life that eliminate any possibility of such an event. We all could take notes from the late Billy Graham on this.
In fact, you could say Mr Graham inspired the one single sex boundary we recommend for healthy dating.
You see, when you’re accused of something as reprehensible as Kavanaugh it’s really not enough to claim, “It didn’t happen.” You need to be able to prove, “It couldn’t have happened,” due to the careful boundaries you put in place and honored.
Speaking of honor, healthy boundaries are not about legalism. They are about logic. More importantly…
Healthy boundaries are about honor!
They’re about honoring your own reputation and that of others by avoiding compromising situations, as well as honoring your own weaknesses and the weaknesses of others by not intentionally putting those weaknesses to the test.
Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. – 1 John 2:10-11 (ESV)
#3: Alcohol is dangerous.
Remove alcohol from the accounts of Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez, and Julie Swetnic and none of what Kavanaugh is accused of would have happened.
It’s just as simple as that.
Same is true for the hook-up culture, alive and well on college campuses today. Alcohol is all part of the “fun.” Indeed, alcohol’s role in the hookup culture is twofold:
- Alcohol is the tool used to numb the senses before anything happens.
- Alcohol is the defense for the behavior after it happens.
This reality is why we recommend you not drink and date. Especially if you have future political aspirations.
Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise. – Proverbs 20:1 (ESV)
#4: Better to report abuse sooner rather than later.
Eyewitnesses to an accident can have vastly different memories of what they just saw only moments before, even in regards to essential facts and obvious details. No one’s lying. It’s just the limitations of the human mind.
Do you think it gets easier to remember months later? Years? Decades?
What about if what happened is something you don’t want to remember?
More significant than memory issues, is the issue of credibility.
Yes, some victims report abuse right away and are not believed. This is surely a tragic reality.
However, I urge you to understand that waiting won’t enhance the integrity of your story, so if you think you have been abused, please tell the two or three people you trust the most THIS WEEK. And then with their support seek help from those with the wisdom and authority to help you.
I know what I’m asking you to do is something impossibly difficult. But how easy have things been for Ford, Ramirez, or Swetnic almost 40 years later? Their character is under scrutiny as much as Kavanaugh’s.
And what you may not have realized is this:
Reporting abuse isn’t just for your good. It’s for everyone’s good!
This is the way we keep abusers from hurting others. It also gives abusers (who are often victims of abuse themselves) the opportunity to get help so they can actually live to bless others rather than abuse them.
These also are sayings of the wise. Partiality in judging is not good. Whoever says to the wicked, “You are in the right,” will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations, but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them. Whoever gives an honest answer kisses the lips. – Proverbs 24:23-26 (ESV)
For further encouragement in sharing your story of abuse sooner rather than later, watch this episode of LoveEd from our series, Relation^ology.
#5: You can be a part of changing our culture!
Quinta Jurecic wrote in The Atlantic, “The allegations against Kavanaugh are particularly painful due to their familiarity… nearly everyone has gone to high school. And the boisterous cruelty of teenage boys and young men, desperate to prove themselves to one another, is one of the foundational components of American education.”
What Jurecic is saying is that Kavanaugh’s high school behavior is considered normal. Indeed, has been considered normal for decades. Worse than normal: “foundational” to how our culture has trained young men to behave sexually. And subsequently foundational to how our culture has trained young women to behave sexually: whether it be as sex objects, or helpless victims, or both.
I believe this sexual brokenness is really just a symptom of a relational disorder that has nearly paralyzed our culture. But it doesn’t have to be this way for you. Or those you know and love. Indeed…
It is stories like the Kavanaugh accusations which fuel my passion to empower students and young adults to understand how to thrive in relationships. And then to do it! For their own good and the good of all who know them!
Does that resonate with you? If so, choose to grow in your understanding of what makes for healthy, life-giving relationships by checking out our Hot Topic page dedicated to showing you how. Or click any of the hyperlinks (above) that interest you, or check out our Beyond Sex & Salvation discipleship series below.
I believe with all my heart that some teen inspired by this post will not only learn to thrive in relationships at a young age, but in doing so will come to understand and walk in their calling. Our culture is desperate for people like this.
Is that you?
Is it a teen you know? (It could be, if you share this post with them.)
Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. – 1 Timothy 4:12 (ESV)
DNA: It’s What’s For Dating
Dug this weekend’s DNA? Be a good friend and share with your friends on the social media platform of choice: Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter.
The LoveEd discipleship series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to prepare for relational success when it counts: BEFORE you fall in love!
It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.
Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.
Even better? And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!