Sex trafficking & the man of God

Sex trafficking – the coercing or forcing of women and children into the commercial sex trade, is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. While many are trafficked across international borders, some are exploited within local communities and even within families.

It is estimated that each year there are as many as 4.5 million victims of sex trafficking [1], of which at least 2 million are children [2]. 98% of those who are trafficked for sexual exploitation are either women or young girls [3].

It is disgusting.

It is disturbing.

It is happening all around us, even here in Wales.

Gentlemen, this should bother us!

It should bother us because it bothers God (check out Psalm 10!)

But it should also bother us because it implicates us!

Sex trafficking and sexual exploitation exists to satisfy the lustful appetites of perverted men. If there were no perverted men there would be no sex trafficking. Simple. However, there’s more to it than that. As Christian men we are called to far more than simply not being part of the problem. We are called to be part of the solution. To lead the charge for justice. I am constantly telling my sons that one of their roles in life is to defend women. That they are not to fight with their sisters but for them. That God made them strong so that they can protect girls and be a source of safety and security. In love, Brothers, I want to get in your face and challenge you to utilise your God-given strength and go to war for the trafficked, exploited and enslaved.

Men are at the heart of the scandal of sex trafficking.

We should be at the heart of the solution.

It’s like it was once said:

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
— Edmund Burke

So here are 5 ways that we, as men, can do something:

1. MASTER YOUR SEX DRIVE

STOP WATCHING PORNOGRAPHY! That’s the obvious one! Did you know that there is a STRONG link between pornography and sex trafficking. Very few men wake up one day and decide to visit a prostitute. For the vast majority the journey began with consumption of porn.

If prostitution is the main act, pornography is the dress rehearsal.
— Stop the Demand: The Role of Porn in Sex Trafficking

Pornography literally rewires the brain to normalise illicit and often violent sexual activity. Pornography trains men to view women, and even children, as mere objects who exist for their sexual gratification. 86% of commercial sex workers reveal that their ‘clients’ show them pornography to illustrate the sex acts they want them to perform. Furthermore, many women who have been sexually exploited testify to being forced to feature in pornographic films.

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honour, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God
— 1 Thessalonians 4: 3-5

So whether it’s having sex with prostitutes, or having sex with your hand whilst lusting over pornography, it is CRUCIAL that we have no part in this. That we repent, seek the Lord for the power to master our sex drives and live as pure, holy men of God:

2. LIFT YOUR HANDS IN PRAYER

One of the most important ways that men should be leading the charge is intercession. In my experience men are far more inclined towards pragmatism than prayer. We like to get hands-on more than hands-up, which is probably why Paul wrote these words to his young protege Timothy:

I desire that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarrelling.
— 1 Timothy 2 v 8

Guys, we need to be praying into this issue of sex trafficking, and I mean SERIOUSLY praying. We need to be pleading with our gracious Father for mercy on behalf of the precious women and children who are suffering RIGHT NOW at the hands of wicked men. Similarly, we should be praying for the perpetrators – the traffickers, pimps and johns – that God would transform their hearts by grace and bring them to repentance. There are numerous resources you can get hold of that will help you to pray. Hit me up if you’d like me to point you in the right direction for some of those. Furthermore, if you live in South Wales you would be very welcome to come and join me and a small, motley crew of passionate prayer warriors who meet each month to get educated and get on our knees. Details of these Red Sessions are on the flyer below.

3. CHERISH YOUR GIRLS

This is a simple, but really significant point – love, honour and look after the girls in your life – wives, daughters, sisters, nieces, sisters, friends… Show them what strong, godly, trustworthy men look like. Be counter-cultural in your conduct towards the fairer sex. Speak tenderly and respectfully to them and of them. Set the standard for how they should expect to be treated by men. Model to them what Jesus, the greatest man / brother / husband / friend who ever lived, is like. By doing so you will enhance their dignity, increase their sense of security and expose the shallow lies and vile deceptions of those who might one day seek to exploit them.

4. SPLASH YOUR CASH

When we confront an issue like international sex trafficking we can find ourselves overwhelmed and almost paralysed into inaction as we feel that there’s nothing substantial that we can do that will make any difference. That’s exactly what the devil wants us to think. However, as well as your prayers, there is another potent weapon in your hand – your wallet! Truth is there are some incredible ministries working tirelessly on behalf of the trafficked, exploited and enslaved – rescuing women and children from brothels, rehabilitating and training survivors of sex trafficking, prosecuting pimps and shutting down their vile industries, mobilising saints to pray and partner in the fight… But all of these things cost money – and that’s something that many of us men have at our disposal. Can I challenge you to invest in freedom? Rather than buying that pair of jeans you don’t really need or getting the V.I.P seats at the cinema, why don’t you give a gift to an international outreach ministry such as IJMAIMA21 or Exodus Cry? Or on a more local level why not support the work of Liberty in Cardiff or Safe From Slavery? Your money can make a BIG difference. Spend it well.

5. RAISE YOUR VOICE

The great British abolitionist, William Wilberforce, spent his life making people aware of the brutal reality of slavery. Here’s one of the things that he said to those whose eyes had been opened to the truth of the slave trade:

Speak out on behalf of the voiceless, and for the rights of all who are vulnerable.
— Proverbs 31: 8

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.” 

I’m pretty sure that many of you reading this were aware that sex trafficking is happening today. Perhaps you hadn’t grasped the full scale of it, or that it was happening here in Wales. But now you know. Your eyes are open and you can no longer plead ignorance. Sex trafficking thrives in the shadows but shrivels up when exposed to the light. Would you join me in speaking up about this injustice? Tell friends, families, colleagues, churches. Blog about it, tweet about it, rant about it. Lobby governments, petition politicians. Demand justice. Speak up:

Men of God – it’s time to rise…

If you’d like to know more about sex trafficking and modern slavery and would like to be part of a Welsh, gospel-centred response to this injustice, we’d love for you to get connected to Red Community. We are based in South Wales, have a new community forming in North Wales and are hoping to get West Wales off the ground in the coming months too.