A few months ago, Vice-President Pence was ridiculed for his practice of not meeting with a woman alone. With all the accusations of sexual impropriety occurring lately, I wonder what those who ridiculed Mr. Pence are thinking now. With the remainder of this THOUGHT, I do not wish to be insulting, demeaning, criticizing or expressing any other negative thought towards anyone. My only desire is that we, as a society give some thought as to how we interact with each other, particularly between genders.
One of my favorite Proverbs is found in chapter 22 and verse three- “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.”(ESV) I don’t want to live in a world where I am afraid of my shadow, but then neither do I want to ignore legitimate fears- they can be lethal. There is a certain amount of danger in every interpersonal relationship. The reason that danger exists is that all of mankind possesses a sin nature. Simply put, we do not have a sin nature because we sin, but we sin because we possess a sin nature. Scripture is very clear that we come into this world, not in a pristine spiritual condition, but as sinners (Psalm 51:5). While that sin nature can be deprived of power to rule in my life (Romans 8:13, Colossians 3:5) it can never be eradicated while I yet live. At any and every moment of every day, I have the capability of sinning.
According to Proverbs 22:3 though, sin can be averted. Two actions are necessary. First, a person must foresee trouble. Beginning with the realization of my culpability to sinning, I look for areas where I might be tempted. While I love my wife and would never think of being unfaithful to her, I know all of us do things without thinking from time to time. Therefore, seeing a danger, I take a second action according to the Proverb. I hide myself.
If I have a counseling appointment with a woman, I never meet with her without my wife being present. We meet in my office which has a window to the hallway outside so that all that goes on in the room is visible to anyone. Someone may say that this might be more than is really necessary, but why take chances? Proverbs 22:1 says that a good name (reputation) is to be chosen above great riches. I don’t know if any or all of the recently accused are guilty or innocent. But this I do know. Even if innocent, now that a charge has been brought against them, their reputation is shot and all the money in the world will not buy it back.
There are some other practical things that can be done to avert sinning in this manner. Ladies, please take extra precaution to dress modestly. While there is never a reason that will validate the ungodly behavior of man toward a woman, there can be explanations of it. Achan was tempted when he saw the forbidden spoils (Joshua 7:21). David sinned when he saw Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:2). Please excuse my bluntness, but ladies, don’t give men anything to see.
Men, stop feeding your minds with sexual garbage. What you watch on TV or movies, read, or look at in books and magazines, and listen to has an effect on how or what you think. If you are regularly exposing yourself to ungodly behavior in the media, do not be surprised if that is what you begin to think about, fantasize and ultimately, act upon. To borrow the old computer adage: garbage in, garbage out.
Finally (although there is a lot more that I could write on the issue) remember there is a God who is just and hates sin. Many years ago, Dr. Karl Memminger wrote a book titled, Whatever Happened To Sin?” He lamented that we as a society no longer viewed behavior as either righteous or sinful, but redefined sin in a way that had no consequence before God. Moses wrote, “… be sure your sin will find you out.” (Numbers 32:23) When it does, the cost will be great.
So call me a prude if you must. It’s OK with me, I can live with it. But at the end of the day, my wife will also lovingly call me her husband.