Bryce Brewer had enforced an ultimatum on countless girls, insisting they only wear one-piece swimsuits during church camps. Now, when he went shopping with his fiancé and her 10-year-old daughter, he realized it's so hard to find a "a cute-but-appropriate one-piece bathing suit."
Bryce Brewer has been working on and off as a youth pastor for over two decades, and he's been a part of several church-sponsored events. During these events, Pastor Brewer recalled how he gave countless young girls a "ridiculous ultimatum" insisting they only wear one-piece swimsuits, according to TODAY. The realization that the ultimatum was a bit extreme set in when he went on a shopping trip with his fiancé and her 10-year-old daughter to find a one-piece suit for a church summer camp.
Soon, the dad from Spokane Valley, Washington, realized it was very hard to find a one-piece. "I wandered with them through several department stores and through Target trying to find a cute-but-appropriate one-piece bathing suit and they're very very difficult to find," Brewer said. "I watched a frustration build with both of them, almost a dejection."
That's when it hit him that so many girls that he forced into one-piece suits for the events would have also gone through this, along with their parents, because the ultimatum left them with no choice but to get their hands on one, somehow or the other.
"I wondered, how many young ladies did I subject to this event over 20 years of ministry?" Brewer continued. "Times when, because of me, they were desperately searching for a one-piece bathing suit and couldn’t find one?"
When he got back home from his shopping trip, he realized he must apologize to the young girls, for telling them what they can and cannot wear.
"So I need to issue an apology," he wrote, on his now-viral Facebook post. "First of all, I'm sorry."
"I am sorry that I didn't teach boys to control themselves," Brewer wrote in the post. "I am sorry I laid the weight of purity on a girl's swimsuit while she was swimming and not on the boys' responsibility to not be gross."
"But why are stomachs overtly sexual? Why is a little cleavage sinful?" he questioned. "Why are women meant to feel they are responsible for men’s actual sin of lust?" It really is something to think about, isn't it?
The pastor, who has a 13-year-old daughter of his own, ended his post with a plea: "Female students: Wear a swimsuit that lets you have fun. Male students: Stop being disgusting and control yourself. Youth pastors (male especially): Stop being chauvinist and making female students feel bad for having breasts."
Now, when he looks back on some of the conversations he's had with fellow female youth leaders, he finds his comments cringe-worthy. "Women are all shaped differently and for a male to come in and say what a female should wear? That's the most ridiculous thing in my head now," said Brewer. "Those conversations and meetings? It breaks my heart that I said some of the things I did. I was totally missing the point."
Brewer hopes his post will inspire others to take a leaf out of his book and not make the same mistake he did.
"The number one thing I hope comes from this is that we as leaders, especially in the church, would walk in humility and stop pretending we are the ones that have the answers," he said. "I truly am sorry, and my intention was to say that and to say that while my heart may have been in the right place, I missed the boat in this area."
Cover Image Source (Representative): Getty Images | Photo by Marc Romanelli