A few months ago I wrote what has been the most popular, discussed, debated post on this blog entitled Drastic Measures to Avoid Moral Failure. The comments there are even better than the post and the discussion is pretty raw and revealing as people obviously feel very passionate about all sides of this issue.
Although many of the women that commented applauded and understood my stance, I was a bit stung (but informed) by some the comments from women that felt like my drastic measures reduced them to second class citizens. As a father of four daughters and husband to an outspoken Spelman woman, I think of myself as pretty doggone refined on women’s issues and concerns.
Anyways, I want to revisit this post because I have been leading Courageous Church for about 4 more months since I posted it and have found one particular strategy I suggested to be very difficult to actually live out. Here is that strategy as quoted directly from my original post:
I go to great lengths to never be alone with another woman and have done this for the past 10+ years. It’s not that I think women are falling all over me (they aren’t), but I don’t even want the appearance or possibility of failure to be out there. Some people actually see this as some type of admission of weakness on my part. Maybe so, but I don’t care. The proof that it works is my marriage.
While I still believe in this principle, I have found it to be much more difficult to live out in our young church than I expected. Here’s why:
- When I was on the staff of a megachurch, taught at a public school, or worked at large non-profits, this principle was pretty easy to live out because other people were almost always around. Now that I work for a new startup with a tiny staff with weird hours, this is amazingly difficult. I don’t have an assistant to serve as a present safeguard and we don’t yet have regular volunteers (but will soon).
- While we have a lot of men working hard, we have way more women volunteering (particularly from 9 to 5) in our office. They bust their butts and get stuff done. Sometimes you know they’re showing up. Sometimes you don’t. They’ve demolished and painted walls, assembled furniture, taken out trash, and done pretty much everything that we’ve needed done to remodel our new office and ministry space.
- I have found it particularly tricky to live this out in the real world. For instance, if I am alone in the office assembling furniture and a female volunteer comes in to assemble furniture, what do I do? Quit putting furniture together and leave? Ask her to leave? Call for backup? You see…it’s a bit messy and weird.
In spite of the difficulty of living out this principle, I still understand it and value it, but am going to have to take some additional steps if it’s going to be a reality.