In the wake of a flood of sexual harassment charges that have been waged against famous men in recent months and the resulting #MeToo movement men need to truly examine how they can guard themselves from being accused of sexual harassment.
I am not against women coming forward to let people know about men who have sexually assaulted them. If my 15-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted I would want to know and I would want her to report this to the police.
But I also have two older sons who are young adult men and I have two younger sons that will one day be men. I worry for both my daughter and my sons. I don’t want my daughter to put herself in a position where a man could assault her but I equally don’t want my sons to put themselves in a position where they could be falsely accused by a woman of sexual assault.
This is Personal for Me
This issue of sexual harassment hits very close to home for me. And no for all my detractors I have never ever sexually harassed or abused any person. I have never been accused of sexual harassment. But the reason this hits close to home for me is because of three events that happened in my life. One of these events I have previously shared a little information on before but the other two I have not. All of these are deeply personal to me but I feel in light of recent events it is time to share them.
When I was 9 years old my two 13 year old sisters(they are twins) falsely accused my father of sexual abuse. They did this as part of a broad set of claims they brought against my mother and father about being physically abused. I along with my brother who was 8 at the time were removed from our parents home along with our sisters by social services. I spent several months in foster care while my parents were thoroughly investigated by social workers.
Just a little background on my parents. They were strict fundamental baptists and they did spank us sometimes with a belt and other times with a paddle. But they did not abuse us. They loved us and they were raising as they thought was right before God.
The social workers interviewed me, my brother and my sisters many times over several months. My brother and I were pretty consistent about what we experienced and we did not report anything besides normal spankings from our parents. My sisters on the other hand kept having inconsistencies in their stories. Their stories would change every time they were interviewed. Eventually they admitted that they lied about my father sexually abusing them and my mother physically abusing them because they thought my parents were “strict religious nuts”. They just wanted out of my parents house. It was also determined that my sisters had bipolar and schizophrenia disorders.
My brother and I were allowed to come back home to our parents and my sisters stayed in foster care until they were adults. The decision was mutual as they did not want to come home and my parents did not want them to come back home after they ripped our family apart and accused my father and mother of such horrible things. Years later when they were adults they apologized to my parents and restored their relationship with them.
When I was 14 years old I was molested by a 17 year old boy in our youth group. He befriended me and I thought he was really cool. We would talk about video games that he and I both liked. He would drive me to the Burger King at the corner near our church and buy me food. We used to sit up in the balcony of our baptist church where not a lot of people sat and at first it was just him slapping my thighs with his hands. Then he would just put his hand on my thigh without slapping it and I would move away from him. And finally one Sunday during church he actually grabbed my crotch. That was it. I got up and never spoke to him again. He knew what he did and I knew what he did.
Why didn’t I tell anyone? Was it because I was ashamed? No – although I was very disgusted by the homosexual aspect of it. I did not tell anyone because I felt despite him being a few years older than me that he was my peer. It was not as though he was a teacher at my school or my boss at the restaurant I worked for. I did not want to ruin his life. I felt him loosing my friendship was punishment enough and perhaps it would teach him not to do that again.
Another reason I did not try to get him in trouble was because I knew that if he were a 17 year old girl that I was friends with and a 17 year old girl touched me on the crotch I would not have been bothered by it. Yes – I was a normal heterosexual 14 year old boy and no I was not sinless and most 14 year old boys would have to fight every instinct in their body to push a 17 year old girl’s hand off their crotch.
One other thing I want to say about what happened to me when I was 14. I know I would have felt differently if I felt trapped or held down by that 17 year old boy or if he would have been someone much older than me such as a parent or teacher. So I do not mean to diminish others who have been touched in similar ways under different situations.
When I was a young adult man in my early twenties my mom felt it was time to finally share with me a painful event that happened to her as a young teenage girl. She was raped by her own grandfather. It so traumatized her and warped her view of men and sexuality that for the first few years of her marriage to my Dad they had a very dysfunctional sex life. She gave my Dad sex anytime he wanted – but she did not enjoy it and she did her best to hide it from him. It took time for her to finally be able to enjoy sex with my father knowing how much he loved and care for her and to move past the hurt and trauma of what happened to her with her grandfather.
The reason I have shared these three major events in my life is to show that I understand sexual molestation from a personal perspective, the effects of sexual assault from my mother’s perspective and the effects of being falsely accused of sexual assault from my father’s perspective.
And do you know which one these three events in my life grieved me the most of all? It was what I saw it do to my mother and father – especially my father when my sisters lied about them. It tore him up. It tore me up. I did not really know or understand the sexual aspect of the charges until a few later when I was a teenager and my Dad told me. I remember having supervised visitation with him and my mom when I was in foster care and it was some of the only times in my life I saw tears in my father’s eyes.
This is why I can honestly say I understand both sides of this issue. It is why I am passionate about protecting my daughter from sexual predators and my sons from women who would lie to hurt them.
The Evil in Men’s Hearts Cannot be Legislated or Taught Away
The Bible says:
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV)
This is why if we as Christians truly understand what the Bible says about human nature when we hear of murder, mass murder, rape and molestation we know that no law and no education program will eliminate this behavior in mankind.
What we can do is protect ourselves against the inevitability of man’s evil nature – including our own. In Romans 13:1-5 we see that the primary purpose which God has assigned to human government is to protect the people and punish evil doers. In Nehemiah 4:14 men are encouraged to “fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses”.
So from a Biblical perspective, both the government and husbands and fathers have a responsibility to protect our families from those who would harm them.
This is why the answer to stopping mass shootings is not to outlaw guns or making more “gun free zones”. This just makes it easier for evil men to kill more people. The answer is to account for evil men by having MORE citizens carry guns, not less. This means we should have trained and armed citizens at every church and school in America and every other place that might be a considered a “soft target” for evil men. You can’t have a mass shooting if the shooter gets shot after the first few bullets. But when everyone in the building has no guns they are just sitting ducks waiting to be killed.
This same concept applies to sexual sin.
The “Romans 13:14 Rule” Protects us From Sexual Sin
An important thing that we must remember as Christians is sexual harassment, rape, molestation and sex outside of marriage between a man and woman are all forms of fornication. It is all sexual immorality in God’s eyes and we must guard against it both in our hearts as well as from others.
Vice President Pence took a beating in the press a while back for his rule that he will not dine alone with other women unless his wife is present. Billy Graham had a similar rule in that he would never allow himself to be alone with a woman that was not his blood relative.
The “Pence Rule” and the “Graham Rule” are actually based on a much older rule found in the Scriptures:
“But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof”
Romans 13:14 (KJV)
The phrase “and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” means “Do not put yourself in a position where you might be tempted to sin”. I would even expand that principle further and a say we should not put ourselves in any position that would allow us to be tempted to sin against God or someone else OR put ourselves in a position that might allow someone else to sin against us.
In my article “12 Ways to transform modern dating into Biblical dating” I argued against the modern practice of dating and instead for the traditional practice of courting. A large part of my argument for going back to courting is that dating makes “provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof”. It puts men and women alone together for various lengths of time and over time it will inevitably lead to sexual temptation. On the other hand, courting ensures that a woman always has family members with her when she is with a man to ensure her safety as well as to help keep her and the man she is courting from sexual temptation.
If we as men were to practice the Romans 13:14 rule or what has been called “The Graham Rule” and most recently “The Pence Rule” it would protect us against our own sinful natures as well as those of the women around us. It would protect us from being tempted to sin with women who are not our wives and it would protect us from false allegations of sexual assault by women.
The “Pence Rule” Actually Hurts Women?
Tara Isabella Burton wrote an article for Vox.com entitled “Former Trump adviser says the “Pence rule” would have protected women from Weinstein. He’s wrong” asserting that the “Pence rule” actually hurts women:
“Likewise, the Pence/Graham rule can effectively ensure that the men who make a public point of following it are likewise “above suspicion.” The rule preserves their reputation, not so-called female virtue, and functions on appearances, not fact.
But we shouldn’t mistake the rule’s efficacy for unselfishness. It is a completely self-serving maxim, designed to protect men against women, and not the other way around. It does little for the women whose careers are stymied by a lack of access to good mentors and peers. A system in which private male-female interaction is treated as an automatic “red flag” is one that penalizes women for existing. In these scenarios, women may be more protected from harassment — just as their male counterparts are more protected from the specter of spurious allegations — but they are likewise barred from interactions that might benefit them professionally. Meanwhile, their male colleagues and superiors would suffer no such professional backlash, especially since men in the entertainment industry already tend to have powerful positions.”
Burton displays for us what the real problem is with our society – the worship of education and equality and the total denial of the reality of human nature and the differences between men and women.
Three Truths We Must Acknowledge About the #MeToo Movement
#1 – We must acknowledge the possibility that some of the sexual harassment and assault allegations we are hearing about in the news are true.
#2 – We must equally acknowledge the possibility that some of these sexual assault allegations are false.
#3 – This wave of allegations across industries and the political world will hinder women’s career advancements
Burton and other women may not like the third truth about this actually hindering women in their career advancements. But there is a law of nature that applies to what is happening with the #MeToo movement and the flood of sexual assault allegations that are coming out.
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
With all the allegations of sexual harassment coming out it will definitely have an impact on women’s careers. Many men whether in Hollywood, the business world or the political world will think twice about hiring female subordinates. Corporations may put polices in place that forbid men and women from working alone together.
It is ironic that the #MeeToo movement and all the allegations of sexual assault against men may actually move us closer toward implementing the “Romans 13:14 rule” as a society for our own protection. And from a Biblical gender roles perspective this is one good thing that will come out of this entire mess.