A close friend was recently promoted to the position of Sales Manager in his company. One of his key tasks was to hire his replacement. She started this past week. Did you catch that? His replacement is a ‘she’. In his original sales position, my friend often traveled with his superior (who was also a guy). They certainly talked about business and sales strategy but they also processed life together.
So, I asked my friend…. “What’s your plan? How will you deal with the fact that you and your replacement will need to attend meetings and visit clients together. How will you protect your marriage?” I love his response. I think it’s a model for all of us. He said…
“I talked to my wife about the situation and she would feel honored and cherished if am not alone in the car with a female co-worker. So that’s my plan.”
AWESOME! Let’s process this a bit. My friend has no intention of trying to wreck his marriage. But many marriages are wrecked by men who don’t intend to make mistakes but also never take any intentional steps to prevent bad decision making. Remember this: Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8 ESV)
In this one sentence there are some clear intentional steps…
- I talked to my wife – He’s not hiding the challenges of this situation from his wife. She knows.
- She would feel honored and cherished – This is my favorite part! My friend’s desire is to make sure his wife knows she holds an honored place in his heart and life. He is willing to take specific and costly action to preserve trust and protect his marriage.
- If we drive separately – OK here’s where it gets costly. Have you checked the cost of gas lately? Will this decision impact the company? Will there be pressure to travel together? Could they have easier conversations about business and customers? Would it be more efficient for one to drive so the other could ‘work’ in the car? Wow… great questions but none of them trump the big question. “Could traveling together create an environment that would damage or compromise my marriage?”
It may not be immediately evident, but a key factor here is that this man has some other men in his life who will ask him the tough questions and he’ll answer them honestly.
OK, final comment. Some of you may be saying… You are making too much of this. This guy just needs to exercise some personal discipline, tell his wife he loves her and that she should trust them to ride together and do what’s best for the company. Stop for a moment. Count now… how many marriages can you identify that could have been saved if a husband had honored his wife and taken these kinds of precautions?
I’m cheering for my friend and his marriage. I’m also thankful for his honesty, integrity and courage. Guys, we all have to be careful. Satan is out to destroy us and our marriages. How are you protecting yours? What’s your plan? I’d love to hear your story. Tell me in an email to email@example.com.