I am really taken aback by the amount of negative press about VP Pence refusing to dine alone with women.
To me, it is a no-brainer.
It has nothing to do with holding women back. It has EVERYTHING to do with two points:
- There is an off chance, albeit a small one, that I will begin to “feel” something for the person or vice versa.
- It is simply showing my wife that I love her so much that I won’t risk anything that could damage that.
But the negative words about his, and my, choice to not be alone with a woman is surprising.
As a Christian, I am used to world have a negative view on my beliefs. Sometimes, I get surprised.
For example, I was surprised by a culture that says they want everyone to be free, but when you claim to have a belief that is different than them, they shout bigot. But this one even surprised me more than that.
The world makes a very good argument.
Title VII claims that it is unacceptable to discriminate in the workplace. By law, a working dinner with the boss can be considered an opportunity in which both genders must have equal access.
And in 2010 a Harvard Business Review article says that men avoid sponsoring women from key advancement opportunities because that sponsorship can be “misconstrued as sexual interest.”
This shows that women do have a barrier placed on them because of personal rules like Pence’s and mine. And because of that, it is potentially illegal to “discriminate” in that way.
How does a Christian follow a traditional belief to not be in the same room alone with a woman and follow the world’s rules?
We need to change the rules.
The way I see it, we have 2 choices. We can either choose what the Amish have done and completely separate ourselves from the world. Or, we can choose to maintain a traditional value in a world that doesn’t believe in our values through changing how we meet with all people together.
I will tell you that I will never betray the trust my wife has given me by meeting alone with a woman in any circumstance. In ministry, there are many times I have had a woman come to me for spiritual guidance. In some of them, the woman wanted to go somewhere private to talk. I wouldn’t do it. I would tell her that we would need to meet in a place that has an open door and I would tell someone else in the church to sit outside the door for me.
In business, the same thing. The other day I was training a woman on making cold calls. We were in the conference room. I left the door open as we did the training.
Now, can I say I did that when I trained a guy the week before?
No, I didn’t.
And therein lies the problem.
I should treat all the situations equally.
I am NOT going to change my traditional value. I will never be alone in a room with a woman. I will never eat one on one with a woman who is not a relative. But now, I find I need to change how I deal with men as well.
What would have happened if the man I was training a few weeks ago was gay? What would have happened if he started having desires or feelings for me? I am pretty good looking (I couldn’t even say that with a straight face) (oh the puns).
If he was gay and started to desire me, then I have just committed a sin. I am enabling that other person to sin. We need only look to 1 Timothy 5:22 for the answer to that.
I Timothy 5:22 – Do not participate in the sins of others.
If the Bible commands us to do something, then we have the responsibility to set a boundary to honor God. Learning to set those boundaries is imperative to living a life of victory in Christ. Boundaries show us our responsibilities. The Bible is literally a book of boundaries for people. And every boundary, according to the Bible, has a consequence for disobeying it. Participating in sin, of any kind, including enabling, is not an option for a Christian.
Avoiding sin is tough. Thankfully we have James 1:5 to teach us.
James 1:5 – If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
When God provides wisdom, we have a responsibility to move forward on the basis of that wisdom.
Everyone has the choice to make their own decisions as to whether to sin or not. We, too, have the choice whether to enable the sin of another person or not. Too many times we have allowed the fear of losing a relationship or job take precedence over not sinning or enabling another’s sin. When we do that, we allow something else to take the place of God on the throne. When the desire for someone else, or their views, supersedes the desire of God, then we have moved into idolatry.
If we want to avoid the ridiculousness of this conversation, then we need to show an equal view on this and make the decision on who directs our lives. If we have given our lives to Christ, then that person is the final authority.
Jesus wouldn’t make it easier for someone to sin. Why should we?