Women of Reverence welcomes Marcus Herbert as a guest blogger for Women's month.
Marcus Herbert has been married to Adele for 38 years, and we have 2 children who are married and have blessed us with 5 amazing and beautiful grandchildren.
For the last 20 years I have been leading the eldership team at cornerstonechurch.co.za
I have been in full-time ministry for 40 years
I serve on the ncmi.net transolcal team
I have a passion and call to see this beautiful country of ours transformed by the Gospel - let Your Kingdom come and Your will be done in South Africa, as it is in Heaven, Lord!
Gender based violence (GBV) and violence against children is totally unacceptable. No matter what circumstances or history that led to GBV, it ’s never an excuse or reason. Abusing a women sexually, physically o r emotionally is inexcusable ! A general understanding of Scripture and common sense would leave us with the conclusion that the safest place for women and children should be in the home. Unfortunately, statistics in South Africa reveal a diﬀerent picture.
Here is a sociological deﬁnition of GBV ‘Gender based violence occurs as a result of normative role expectations and unequal power relationships between genders in a society’.
Some Horrifying Facts: -
- 20 women and children are murdered each day. More than half the women murdered, were murdered by their intimate partners
- 144 sexual oﬀences against women are happening daily
- An alarming 5-10% of men and women believe violence against women is necessary, especially where women aren’t performing their expected roles!
Of course, many acts of GBV go unreported, and these women remain trapped in a prison of fear and uncertainty. Statistics can be misleading, but the general picture they paint is a really bleak one! This status quo is totally unacceptable!
If we were to delve into our dark past as a nation, we can easily see that the evil of apartheid separated families from their fathers through the migrant worker system. We also see the downward spiral of cultural norms resulting in the oppression of women and the loss of identity for men. With the increased pressure of large scale unemployment and lawlessness, GBV is one of the areas where things fall apart. Other areas of major concern is violence against children, murder and rape, to name a few.
Generally speaking the state of the family is in a mess. Most children will grow up without the inﬂuence of a father, or with a dysfunctional father or family. And so the cycle will continue. I’m a leader in the church, and therefore do not attempt to give political, legal or any other sociological opinion or solution. I’m not qualiﬁed to do this. But, we are called to pray for those in authority and for the chronic nature of the domestic violence problems in our country. We rank amongst the worst in the world. As Christ-followers, our role is entirely diﬀerent. We represent and preach the Kingdom of God. This Kingdom brings with it a new order and way of life. A lifestyle of love, forgiveness and peace. The way to become part of this Kingdom, is through the sacriﬁcial death and powerful resurrection of Jesus Christ. I accept Christ into my life as Lord and Saviour, and along with other believers in a local church, I develop a Kingdom of God understanding and way of life. The only way to change behaviour is to change the heart.
All other reforms are temporary and pseudo. The bible helps us with the starting point to for transformation to take place, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17) Therefore, the only way change is possible, is to be born again, then more permanent behavioural change is possible. We all need this ﬁrst step to seeing a better society - both the perpetrator and the victim have hope in and through their relationship with Jesus. Then, as local churches, we have a responsibility to support those who are victims of violence in the home, with love and practical pastoral care.
I can understand the desire to want to protest against GBV or any other obvious injustice, like police brutality or racism, but we have a higher court of appeal. We handle these matters through prayer and reaching out in love. We pray for those in authority, for God to give them wisdom and courage to deal with these issues properly. We pray for the victims and perpetrators of GBV and
any other injustice. We pray for protection and we pray that through being born again, they would ﬁnd sanctuary and love in Jesus and His church. The church should be a safe harbour for those who have suﬀered GBV or any other trauma. More importantly, we each have a mission to represent a way of life free from violence or any other injustice.
Those we mix with on a daily basis need to have a living example of God’s Kingdom to challenge them. Our ultimate objective is to show people the true godly way of life, which would include godly roles in the family, especially for men. Our role as the church is to not to stop
violence, but to trust God for people to be born again and become Jesus-followers, then their behaviour will change.
When Jesus challenged us to make disciples of all nations (ethic groupings), He equipped us with the power, enabling and grace of the Holy Spirit, so that we can preach a Gospel of hope to our most beautiful country (and any other country He might open up for us)! Let’s trust Him for true transformation in South Africa, from the inside out.
10 if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the aﬄicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. 11 And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. 12 And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.