September 23, 2013 – Allen and Diane Lake
Editor’s Note: Additional contributions to this article were made by Hal & Cheryl Sacks.
There is something more than sexual desire driving those who buy sex from trafficking victims – the need for power and control. James 4:1, 2 (AMP) says:
What leads to strife (discord and feuds) and how do conflicts (quarrels and fightings) originate among you? Do they not arise from your sensual desires that are ever warring in your bodily members? You are jealous and covet (what others have) and your desires go unfulfilled… You burn with envy and anger and are not able to obtain (the gratification, the contentment, and the happiness that you seek), so you fight and war…
These verses uncover the driving forces behind the quest for power and control; it’s an inward battle driven by lust in which selfish desire trumps – even violently – over the interests of others.
Those who have studied individuals who buy sex find that overall, their habits and attitudes reveal they dehumanize and commodify their victims. They view them with anger and contempt, lack empathy for their suffering and relish their own ability to inflict pain and degradation. (1)
Some who were asked why they bought sex said that they like to beat their victims up. Still others responded that they use the victims like any other amenity—like a restaurant, or a public convenience. (2) And many force their victims to have unprotected sex, watch or participate in pornography and emotionally abuse and humiliate them. (3)
Clearly, this was not God’s intended framework for sex. Sex was intended for a man and woman who are committed in marriage and was not meant to be bought and sold. (Gen. 1:27-28, 2:24; Heb. 13:4)
Nor did God intend sex to include fear. 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment.” I’m not going to exaggerate, but I have to imagine that trafficking victims live in almost constant fear.
Sex, as God intended it between a man and woman and defined by marriage, is supposed to involve joy. Jeremiah 33:11 (written in the context of the return and restoration of God’s people) refers to “the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride…”
Sometimes, men will exchange the truth for a lie. (Rom. 1:24, 25) Those who buy sex from the enslaved exchange the truth of honor for dishonor, the truth of love for fear and the truth of passion for lust.
We are talking about an issue of the heart. Out of the goodness of man’s heart comes that which is good, and that which is evil or perverted comes out of an evil heart. (Matt. 12:35) Changing the cycle of power and control involving sex requires changing the hearts of those who perpetuate it.
We must preach the good news of salvation. Sometimes it’s about following the nudge the Lord gives you by reaching out to a neighbor, a co-worker, or the person at the corner store.
I would not be alive today, much less involved in ministry, were it not for one godly woman who obeyed the voice of the Lord and who ministered to me in my desperate need. God may appear in a vision to speak to a pimp, a john or a victim, but He’s much more likely to use you.
By following the direction that the Lord might give, we can bring the good news of salvation and hope to a generation. Every person God uses you to touch is one less who will hurt, degrade, abuse or be used. You are anointed to bring salvation… to give them beauty for ashes.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives; and the opening of the prison to those who are bound… to comfort all who mourn… to give them beauty for ashes… (Isa. 61:1-3)
1. “Demand for Prostitution.” Newsweek and the Daily Beast. thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/07/17/the-growing-demand-for-prostitution.html.
2. “The Real Harms of Prostitution.” Catholic Education Resource Center. catholiceducation.org/articles/persecution/pch0261.htm.
3. “Power and Control Wheel.” Toynbee Hall. tribal-institute.org/2012/A5HO.pdf.
Father, we repent for any unforgiveness we might have towards anyone who has wronged us on a personal level in these areas. We also ask You to search our hearts and expose anyway we might have manipulated, abused, or controlled others.
Father God, we now stand in the gap on behalf of our nations and ask forgiveness for the sins of our society for allowing such destructive behavior in our lands. Forgive us that we, as citizens, have not seen the need for strong laws to defend those being trafficked or else have not been a voice to demand the laws be enforced.
– Father God, I ask that You expose any human trafficking going on in my city. Where there is corruption, expose it and bring every evil thing to light.
– We recognize that power, control and the need to dehumanize another person are at the root of sexual assault and human trafficking. Therefore, we pray today that homes, schools and churches across our two nations will be places where children feel safe, affirmed and see and learn healthy boundaries.
– We pray that You would target the hearts of those caught in this perversion with Your love and conviction.
2. Take every opportunity to instill a sense of tremendous value for people in the younger generation, that they would see themselves and others as something to protect and nurture, not manipulate and exploit.