arphaxad

Why Risk Trust?

154 posts in this topic

I work in a common office cubicle environment. There are more women than men, and most of our leadership teams reflect that. I manage a small team under the supervision of a female director. When I was first promoted to be her team manager I told her I would prefer to not meet outside the office alone with her. When traveling to outside meetings, we travel separately unless a third person is with us. I explained it has nothing to do with her, but it is my standard to make sure no one ever has a reason to question my relationship with her.

I carry this same philosophy into my personal life. I've been married to the same women for over 20 years. Not once have I met with another women alone in a private environment. I have not been tempted to have an affair, but I've also not wanted to give anyone, especially my wife, a reason to question my relationship with her.

Am I over reacting? Do I go too far?

What I wonder is, why would someone meet privately with a member of the opposite sex when it could cause someone to question their action? Why risk your husband or wife to waver in their trust for you? Or, should the spouse just blindly trust them no matter what?

I'm fully willing to agree I'm over cautious and that my standard is too much for most people. I'm reaching out to you, my Christian family, for God's wisdom in this matter. I pray to God for guidance and will continue to seek His glory in all I do.

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7 minutes ago, arphaxad said:

I work in a common office cubicle environment. There are more women than men, and most of our leadership teams reflect that. I manage a small team under the supervision of a female director. When I was first promoted to be her team manager I told her I would prefer to not meet outside the office alone with her. When traveling to outside meetings, we travel separately unless a third person is with us. I explained it has nothing to do with her, but it is my standard to make sure no one ever has a reason to question my relationship with her.

I carry this same philosophy into my personal life. I've been married to the same women for over 20 years. Not once have I met with another women alone in a private environment. I have not been tempted to have an affair, but I've also not wanted to give anyone, especially my wife, a reason to question my relationship with her.

Am I over reacting? Do I go too far?

What I wonder is, why would someone meet privately with a member of the opposite sex when it could cause someone to question their action? Why risk your husband or wife to waver in their trust for you? Or, should the spouse just blindly trust them no matter what?

I'm fully willing to agree I'm over cautious and that my standard is too much for most people. I'm reaching out to you, my Christian family, for God's wisdom in this matter. I pray to God for guidance and will continue to seek His glory in all I do.

No, you're not going too far, not at all.  

I wish more husbands out there, honored their marriage, the way you do.   I affirm your decision as the right decision and that you are protecting the holiness and sanctity of marriage.  

You are following the example of Billy Graham who would not be alone with a woman who was not his wife. He would not even get on an elevator if it meant being alone with a woman he was not married to.

I don't think you are over-cautious.  I think you are exactly as cautious as you should be.   It is too much for people who don't value holiness and actually living a biblical Christian life.

Keep doing what you're doing.  Full steam ahead.  :thumbsup:

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Arphaxad,

Congratulations, my brother, on keeping your marriage vows inviolate. That is apparently very rare these days. While your position may appear to be extreme compared to "modern" business standards, you are complying with the biblical injunction to "avoid the appearance of evil". I have been in such situations where I was required to meet in an office with a female supervisor....I requested the door be left open for exactly the reason of avoiding the appearance of evil. In most corporate settings, you are allowed to have an HR representative at any meeting with a supervisor, male or female, so there is no excuse for relaxing your standards.

Your standard is yours. It does not apply to anyone else but you. Nor should you apply it to anyone else, lest you become a pharisee. You live with your standard and find joy in keeping it. If the Holy Spirit moves you to reconsider, then most likely you will and He will guide you on any changes to make. Otherwise, go forth and rejoice because your witness speaks volumes about the integrity of Christian men. I hope your wife sees your actions and praises God for the Mighty Man of Valor she is married to. Yes, you are a Mighty Man of Valor because you are willing to take a stand where most other men would "give in" to convention.

Blessings and prosperity to you, my brother.

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While I understand the motivation and the thought process there are aspects I disagree with. 

First, taking this as far as you do creates two separate classes of people, men and women and they are not treated equally.  This I have a great deal of problem with.   One group you can have a meal with, drive in car with and such, the other group you cannot do those things.   There can never be equality when we do not treat each other equally. 

In my current position we have roughly 50/50 split between men and women.  We do not leave the office often, but there are times when we have to go to other parts of the state.  We have one vehicle for the office so if two people are going (which is all we typically send) then they are going to have to be in the same vehicle for the drive there and back.   I have done this a dozen times over the last 3.5 years and probably half the trips have been with a female, though I do not know for sure as I never gave it any thought. 

Which leads to my next bone of contention, why in the world would being in a car driving to a dairy farm, or sitting at a restaurant eating a meal give my wife a reason to question my relationship to her?   Is the trust of a marriage that fragile that even such a mundane thing could cause problems?  We will hit our 25th anniversary next year and yes, we pretty much blindly trust the other one.  If I tell her I am driving down to such and such a place with Becky (a made up name) she does not automatically assume there is something going on.   My wife is an RN and she does volunteer work with others from her hospital.  They go in pairs to places to do health screenings or shots or what have you.  Sometimes it is with a male, sometimes it is with a female.  I have never thought when it was with a male..."hmmm, I wonder if she is messing around on me".   Our faith in each other is stronger than that.   

Finally, the "appearance of evil" thing confounds me also.   If someone see two people of the opposite sex who are not married to each other eating a meal or driving in car together, and they assume something is going on. I say the problem is with that person, not with the action of the two people.   In someways this is a no brainier, but this idea that such mundane actions could give the "appearance of evil" is purely a religions view.   Two people alone in a hotel room, sure that is a problem.  Two people driving in car or eating a meal should not be.   It is my personal opinion that if one sees those mundane actions and thinks evil things might be happening, there is something wrong with that person, something in their mindset that would take them to such conclusions. 

 

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1 minute ago, Running Gator said:

While I understand the motivation and the thought process there are aspects I disagree with. 

First, taking this as far as you do creates two separate classes of people, men and women and they are not treated equally.  This I have a great deal of problem with.   One group you can have a meal with, drive in car with and such, the other group you cannot do those things.   There can never be equality when we do not treat each other equally. 

Wrong.  It does not create two classes of people.   The motivation behind this is not, "you're not good enough to eat, or be seen with me."   If were about creating two classes of people, then it would be a matter of simply refusing to associate with other people regardless of the context of the association.    Simply requiring one other person to be at the table, or in the car doesn't create a "class" issue.  It's simply a matter of keeping everything above board so as not to gender questions in the minds of other people.

 

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Which leads to my next bone of contention, why in the world would being in a car driving to a dairy farm, or sitting at a restaurant eating a meal give my wife a reason to question my relationship to her?   Is the trust of a marriage that fragile that even such a mundane thing could cause problems?  We will hit our 25th anniversary next year and yes, we pretty much blindly trust the other one.  If I tell her I am driving down to such and such a place with Becky (a made up name) she does not automatically assume there is something going on.   My wife is an RN and she does volunteer work with others from her hospital.  They go in pairs to places to do health screenings or shots or what have you.  Sometimes it is with a male, sometimes it is with a female.  I have never thought when it was with a male..."hmmm, I wonder if she is messing around on me".   Our faith in each other is stronger than that.   

The world in which we live is a world in which people tend to assume the worst in situations where two people who are married but not to each other are spending time together, in some cases alone in cars, or restaurants, etc.     It is about appearances and the problems that appearances can generate. 

As for trust, not everyone's marriage is in the same place as yours.  You cannot project the scope of your experiences on to other people.   Married people may have trust issues because of family history, or maybe they are married to someone who had cheated on a former spouse.   You can't just assume everyone's experiences are like yours.

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Finally, the "appearance of evil" thing confounds me also.   If someone see two people of the opposite sex who are not married to each other eating a meal or driving in car together, and they assume something is going on. I say the problem is with that person, not with the action of the two people.   In someways this is a no brainier, but this idea that such mundane actions could give the "appearance of evil" is purely a religions view.   Two people alone in a hotel room, sure that is a problem.  Two people driving in car or eating a meal should not be.   It is my personal opinion that if one sees those mundane actions and thinks evil things might be happening, there is something wrong with that person, something in their mindset that would take them to such conclusions. 

We tend to minimize, to our detriment, what other people think and say and the damage it can do.   Maybe we are not the one such things will damage, but what about the person we are having dinner with?   What could be the fall out for that person and their marriage?  

And there are enough emotional affairs out there, people spending time alone with someone who is not their spouse, for reasons that are not work-related, that some suspicion is sadly, warranted.  

Avoiding every appearance of evil simply means, avoiding any kind of situation or association that might compromise your witness/testimony.   It's not a religious thing.  It is biblical and a commandment from God, not a suggestion.

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12 minutes ago, shiloh357 said:

Wrong.  It does not create two classes of people.   The motivation behind this is not, "you're not good enough to eat, or be seen with me."   If were about creating two classes of people, then it would be a matter of simply refusing to associate with other people regardless of the context of the association.    Simply requiring one other person to be at the table, or in the car doesn't create a "class" issue.  It's simply a matter of keeping everything above board so as not to gender questions in the minds of other people.

If you have two sets of rules for two different groups, then you are no longer treating them equally.  The motivation is really irrelevant, good intentions do not make a bad action right. 

 

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The world in which we live is a world in which people tend to assume the worst in situations where two people who are married but not to each other are spending time together, in some cases alone in cars, or restaurants, etc.     It is about appearances and the problems that appearances can generate. 


 

This is where I think you are wrong, the world does not do that, Christianity does that.  After the thread on Pence having doing this same thing I talked to a lot of co-workers and friends and almost to a T, the non-Christian/non-religious ones were the ones that could not understand how two people driving alone in a car or having a meal could generate suspension.    The world we live in has no problem with such things, it is the Church that has the issue with it.

 

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As for trust, not everyone's marriage is in the same place as yours.  You cannot project the scope of your experiences on to other people.   Married people may have trust issues because of family history, or maybe they are married to someone who had cheated on a former spouse.   You can't just assume everyone's experiences are like yours.


 

Very good point.  I agree it was wrong for me to make such assumptions. 

 

 

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Avoiding every appearance of evil simply means, avoiding any kind of situation or association that might compromise your witness/testimony.   It's not a religious thing.  It is biblical and a commandment from God, not a suggestion.

Yes it is a command from God, but what constitutes the "appearance of evil" is very much open to, shall we say, personal interpretation.  I have known people to whom the very act of walking down the beer/wine aisle of a grocery store gave the "appearance of evil".  The thing I have found over the last 30 years is that the "appearance of evil" is always limited to alcohol or sex.   Greed is evil and driving an expensive car could give the "appearance of evil", yet I have never seen someone told to not drive that car for that reason.   Many people view Donald Trump as "evil" and supporting him as you do could give the "appearance of evil", but I would imagine you are not going to quit to avoid that, nor would I expect you to. 

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What's interesting about all this women man stuff like this is, none of this was even a problem for most of society in history. A man acting wise? Oh my!! not in todays world, attack with irrational twisted argument.

For to even be in a position of questioning your actions is a sad statement of our world. That's what all this counter culture stuff wants is to have us questioning the normal civilized actions of decent human beings. It's sick.

A women who has been running an organization for thirty years combating sexual assualts on college campuses has seen no change in statistics over those years and when asked if she has come across anything that works because the situation is depressing she said, "Oh yes that's simple, get rid of the alcohol."  "There are dry frats that bottom out the statistics with very little to no instances." 

Imagine that, no co-ed dorms and dry campuses. God forbid!! Solutions really aren't what people want. No amount of information, social liberation or any other phsyco babble will deliver.

Stay the coarse and if she doesn't like it, it really isn't your problem, even when she makes it your problem. Still not your problem.

 

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Just now, Running Gator said:

If you have two sets of rules for two different groups, then you are no longer treating them equally.  The motivation is really irrelevant, good intentions do not make a bad action right. 

Having two sets of rules for two different groups does mean that you are not treating them equally.   You are treating them differently, and in this case, it is a good thing, not a bad thing.   Men and women are different.  I don't treat men the same way I treat women.  I don't talk to men the same way I talk to women, depending on the context of the conversation.  That doesn't translate into inequality.   You're trying to manufacture a problem that doesn't exist.

If I have to meet, for whatever reason, with a woman who is married, I always arrange for a third person to be with us.  I do that to protect her honor.   I do that because  I don't want anyone thinking ill of her.  I don't want something like that to even get its foot in the door.    That is not treating her like she is second class.   If anything it is the exact opposite.   I am using good manners and am in fact, communicating to her that I feel she is important and I am honoring her by not allowing anyone to even have the off chance of thinking ill of her. 
 

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This is where I think you are wrong, the world does not do that, Christianity does that.  After the thread on Pence having doing this same thing I talked to a lot of co-workers and friends and almost to a T, the non-Christian/non-religious ones were the ones that could not understand how two people driving alone in a car or having a meal could generate suspension.    The world we live in has no problem with such things, it is the Church that has the issue with it.

 

No, the world does it too.   To think they don't is to ignore reality.  I don't think they are being honest with themselves.

In the world we live in, if a Christian preacher was seen eating in a restaurant alone with a woman and both of them are married, but not to each other, it would generate suspicion.   The world is always looking for ways to scandalize preachers and high profile Christians.  

I don't expect the world to understand the Christian concept of holiness.  The Bible says that the things of God are foolishness to the world.    For them, it is no big deal.   But many, many times, marital infidelity isn't' always planned.  What starts off innocently, can easily spin off into something else.

But it is safeguard to simply have another person in the room, in the vehicle, at the restaurant.  

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Yes it is a command from God, but what constitutes the "appearance of evil" is very much open to, shall we say, personal interpretation. 

It's only open to interpretation when we want to muddy the water as to what Paul was saying.  All it means is avoiding anything that could potentially damage your testimony or witness.  It is not about being legalistic about how we define "evil."   It simply taking the necessary safeguards  to keep away from moral compromise that would bring a reproach upon Christ, or even the very appearance of such compromise.  Don't give a foothold to any accusation. 

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1 minute ago, shiloh357 said:

It's only open to interpretation when we want to muddy the water as to what Paul was saying.  All it means is avoiding anything that could potentially damage your testimony or witness.  It is not about being legalistic about how we define "evil."   It simply taking the necessary safeguards  to keep away from moral compromise that would bring a reproach upon Christ, or even the very appearance of such compromise.  Don't give a foothold to any accusation. 

So, then you are willing to give up your support of Trump as supporting him has the  potential to damage your testimony or witness?

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