A contemporary and common euphemism for a guy trying to make a sexual advancement on a woman is, “Oh my, he’s hitting on me!” Sometimes the statement is made by a woman with an appreciative giggle. Others repeat it with disgust.
Hardly a day passes by without another woman revealing unwanted sexual advancement. She is outing a man who used his position of authority and power to abuse her.
#Metoo has become a common hashtag. Sadly, #Churchtoo has become a popular hashtag as well---a tweet from women who were sexually abused in churches.
The hits do keep coming.
I don’t know if I can add much to the public conversation. I’ve been married to the same woman for almost 40 years. I’ve never cheated on her. She is the love of my life. We’ve become one person over the years---something that God said would happen in a covenant marriage (Genesis 2:24).
I have made a covenant with my eyes not to gaze upon anything pornographic (Job 31:1). I know pornography’s dangers. I also know that it would hurt my wife’s heart if I watched it. Her heart is my heart. I’d never want to hurt her.
Like Vice President Pence, I’ve drawn strict boundaries around my life when in the presence of women other than my wife. I see nothing wrong with preparing my heart before the temptation occurs.
I’m confused why anyone would criticize or mock a deeply held conviction by those disciplining their lives to sexual faithfulness.
Throughout my ministry life, I’ve tried to honor all women as God’s special creatures created equally in his sight. I have repeatedly said that God created Eve from Adam’s side, not from under his feet. I desire to treat women as I would want to be treated. Should I hug a woman, it’s done from the side, not the front. Just another precaution that I’ve taken in my life.
But I did come across something recently in God’s Word that speaks to sexual harassment and unwanted, aggressive advancements.
I’m presently reading through the book of Deuteronomy for my daily quiet time. I take a chapter per day, read and ponder its meaning. I then write out my prayers. This not only allows me to better focus on my prayer life, but I can go back to what I wrote months later and see how God responded to my prayers.
A few days ago, I read through chapter 22. I was amazed at how a good number of verses dealt with laws concerning sexual immorality. More specifically, the laws addressed inappropriate infringements on proper sexual conduct (verses 13-30).
The following is what struck me:
- Men who wrongly and aggressively pursued a woman with unwanted sexual aggressions were to be purged from the community (verse 21). It was inappropriate behavior for a member of God’s special covenant community of faith.
- Rape was a capital crime. I know that’s harsh, but we see God’s clear command in these verses for this offense (verse 24). It seems the Lord wanted to protect all women at all costs. They were very important to him.
- If found guilty of sexual impropriety, in some cases, the man could be whipped or fined a lot of money---100 shekels---perhaps worth two year’s salary (verse 18). Or again, in some cases, he could be stoned to death (verse 26).
Let me make this qualifier: I realize that in some cases today the woman is the aggressor. But not many of these instances today are being brought into the public light. Most all the ones drawing our attention are men being the protagonists.
That’s why I go back to Deuteronomy 22. The onus primarily was on the man. It was his responsibility to value women and not objectify them.
When Israel’s sexual passions were left unrestrained, God was not pleased. The penalties were severe and onerous. God’s will was exceedingly clear: Women were to be valued and protected by men.
Yes, the hits keep coming.
But I believe that God heartily approves of men who are careful to honor and value women. He is pleased when men try to live above reproach in relationships with all women---especially their wives.
The question for me boils down to this one: Is pleasing God the master passion of men’s lives?
If not, the hits will keep coming.
If so, unwanted sexual advancements will abate.
Of that I’m certain.