Wow, you’re still here!
We’ve covered a lot of ground in this series, exploring many aspects of the complex, controversial issue of prostitution, but now comes the hard part—figuring out what to do.
How should Christians respond to prostitution? At first, it seems like an easy question to answer. Love like Jesus did. After all, wasn’t Jesus known to eat with prostitutes and sinners? Didn’t he forgive the prostitute who washed his feet with her tears? And wasn’t Mary Magdalene a prostitute?
So, we should treat prostitutes like Jesus did, except what does that look like in today’s world? As we’ve explored this problem, I’m sure you’ve realized there isn’t a one-size fits-all solution. Prostitution is a complex issue that demands a holistic approach, which is why the Christian response is as unique and varied as the Christian—some will use their influence in politics, others will focus on prevention, and some can speak Korean. But no matter how you choose to respond to prostitution, there is one overarching theme that I believe should motivate us—restoring dignity.
Dignity is concerned with how people feel, think and behave in relation to the worth or value of themselves and others. To treat someone with dignity is to treat them as being of worth, in a way that is respectful of them as valued individuals…When dignity is present people feel in control, valued, confident, comfortable and able to make decisions for themselves.
Royal College of Nursing
Dignity is knowing what you’re made of, and that’s the image of God. The bedrock of Christian love is the belief that every human being possesses infinite worth. The tragedy of prostitution is that it strips away this worth, telling people that they are just a body to be bought and used. You can’t buy something priceless, and yet that’s what prostitution is—priceless people being bought and sold until they believe they are worthless.
The Good News
In the midst of all this pain, comes Jesus. As he told the Samaritan woman, he came to give us living water so we would never be thirsty again. He came to give us life so we’d never be afraid of death. He came to restore us to the Father so we’d never be separated again. That’s our good news, and it’s changed our lives, but it’s their news too.
When you consider the pain, it seems like a hard thing to believe, but never underestimate the power of truth. There is love in the midst of abuse. There is value in the face of worthlessness. There is forgiveness in the presence of shame. Only grace can restore dignity. While education and money and therapy can help, grace is the truth, and only the truth sets people free.
The Christian Response
I hope you agree that prostitution is a problem that must be addressed, but before we jump in with our best intentions, let’s remember what it is we’re trying to do. The focus of our ministry is to restore dignity, a sense of value and purpose that comes only from God. There’s absolutely nothing we can do to heal the brokenness of prostitution, but there is grace. It’s the grace of God that restores the prostitute to the kind of woman described in Proverbs 31:
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.
That is a picture of grace, and grace is the Christian response.
*Music “Pieces” by Andrew Belle.