What do donut desires have to do with making women feel safe? Find out this week on episode 10 of the podcast, The Noble Man Makes all Women Feel Safe.
In his book Cover Her, Roderick L. Hairston lays out the biblical responsibility that men have to provide a covering for the women in his life. This includes each relationship from wife to daughter, to mother, to the women he encounters daily or even occasionally. What does it mean to cover her and why should we care?
As we discussed with Dr. Tom Elliff in Podcast Episode 8, 1 Peter 3:7 commands husbands to “live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” A crucial way to understand and honor your wife is by showing her she is the #1 woman in your life.
Don’t leave her guessing; she needs to know she’s the priority. Show her she is cared for and adored.
Live an example of manhood for your daughter to see, and be the type of man she’d like to marry. Help her to understand the predatory nature of some men. Our daughters have a lot to learn about the inherent qualities of guys, and it’s up to us to teach her that men think differently. Some have a broken, sinful perspective of women. As dads, we need to help her hear from God in this way and navigate healthy relationships.
Make sure her needs are met. Even as grown men, our moms need to know we are concerned for them.
Continue to call, visit, and show honor to her.
In these high priority relationships as well in interactions with other women, whether brief or ongoing, how do we make them feel safe in our presence and protect them from the predatory nature of other men?
6 principles to put into place for success in this area.
1. Don’t trust yourself.
Jeremiah 17:9 tells us our hearts are “deceitful” and “desperately sick.” Does that sound trustworthy? We know this is a challenge. Even when we desire to live and be pure, we battle sinful hearts. We need to establish practices in the way we live our lives to protect our integrity and our marriage.
Billy Graham’s ministry put such principles into place.
The men determined never to meet, eat alone, or travel with a woman that wasn’t his wife.
At the Noble Warriors office, we put similar practices in place. We implement complete transparency, are never alone in any part of the building, and never ride together alone in a car. Yes, even on a trip where it makes mileage sense, it doesn’t make moral sense to risk our integrity.
2. Guard your eyes.
Job 31:1 describes the covenant Job made with his eyes to protect what he sees. It is God’s design that men are attracted to women, but his design is maligned when we let our guard down in regards to what we look at. What images are you filling your mind with? What we see, even briefly, triggers impulses and leads to wrong thinking.
Don’t rely on your own strength to deliver you from the failings a lustful mind. Use filters and standards for engaging media.
3. Guard your thoughts and mind.
2 Corinthians 10:5-6 says we are to “take every thought captive to obey Christ.” Guys, would you say your thoughts are obedient to Christ? One pastor I know has taught the practice of physically reaching up your hand to your forehead, swiping as if to grab that thought from your brain, and throwing it out. It may sound different, but it is a tangible reminder to do what we are commanded to do.
Back to donut desires. It comes from an illustration Randy Alcorn creates in The Purity Principle.
If you are trying to avoid eating donuts, would you read about donuts, look at pictures of donuts, talk about donuts with your friends, drive by, or even sit down in a donut shop?
If you want success, the answer is no. In the same way, we need to take out the prompts that lead us to temptation. Rid your life of music, movies, commercials, and anything that causes you to let your guard down.
4. Avoid temptation. Run away!
Joseph fled from Potipher’s wife in Genesis 39 to protect his integrity. He literally ran away. In the same way, know your triggers, and run from them. What might tempt you to allow your thoughts to go to places that do not honor Christ? HALT – Sometimes things as simple as being Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired can make you vulnerable to temptation. We know from 1 Corinthians 10:13 that God will provide a way of escape, but don’t presume upon God to magically snatch you out of a situation in a crisis moment.
The escape He provides may have been 20 steps back. Stay far away from the places you know you will be tempted.
5. Engage the Word.
The primary key to strength is Jesus alive in you, his spirit working in you, building muscle to resist temptation. Examine Proverbs 6-8 and see the young man “lacking sense” taking the path he shouldn’t be taking. As my dad used to say…
“If you will be where you are supposed to be, doing what you are supposed to do, it’s very difficult for you to get into trouble.”
6. Lock arms with other men.
Iron sharpens iron. In our 1 Quick Question survey, 48% of guys do not have a strategy in place to avoid temptation online. It’s too easy to fall into a trap, or as they say, “Fail to plan; plan to fail.” We need a strategy and accountability to help us succeed.
We need to invite truth-tellers into our lives.
I know, it’s not comfortable even for me to talk about, but it would be more uncomfortable to have to talk about losing my integrity.
Why should we care so much about making all women feel safe? Christ is our model for manhood. He exemplified in his earthly ministry a model to minister to, encourage, and engage women. Every woman around you is a sister and a child of God. Treat all women in this way, and by honoring women in the way we act, think, and care for them, we follow the lead of Christ himself.