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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What if Potiphar hadn't left his wife alone?

We're continuing our study in Genesis 39...that is, the kiddos and I.
Today we were reading and I saw something fresh from Scripture...fresh to me, that is..for Scripture is always fresh and alive.

As many times as I've read the story of Joseph, I don't think I "saw" the fact that Potiphar's wife had pursued Joseph many times, and that he repeatedly told her "no".

Yet, his job was to work in Potiphar's home, and as a slave that must have been a pretty nice job...plus, he likely didn't get to choose his work...so every day he went back.

But here's where the questions come in for me...why would Potiphar leave his wife alone with another man? Any man? Much less one that the Scripture says was handsome in form and appearance?

And, on the day that Joseph went to their home and found that this one time, no one else was there...did he have a choice of whether or not to go in where he'd be alone with Potiphar's wife, in full knowledge of all the times that she had made advances toward him?

Seeing this in Scripture reinforced for me, once again, something that Shane and I hold to.

There are many people who don't get why we do this, but for us, it's a non-negotiable.

We have a "hedge" around our marriage wherein we don't allow people of the opposite sex into our home if we aren't both here. I remember one time,a friend of mine was going to come over because she wanted me to review some paper work with her, and at the last minute she fell ill. So, she said she'd just send her husband over with it instead.

I told her that he'd be welcome to come over when Shane was here, but not while I was here alone.

She was shocked...she even asked me if it was because I was concerned that I'd be tempted into immorality.

How neat is was to be able to tell her that our marriage is precious to us, and that this is one way that we protect it.

Think about it...if Potiphar hadn't been gone that day, if Joseph hadn't been alone with Potiphar's wife, then she could not have accused him falsely. So, by Potiphar's decision, 2 people that he cared deeply about were put into a vulnerable position.

Now, I know that God had a sovereign plan in all of the happenings of Joseph's life...and that the LORD was with him...no doubt..the Scripture makes that clear.

My real question is more toward Potiphar...was he being the protector of his home? Could he have exercised better discretion?

And, what will we do if we're in a situation that calls for integrity, for protection? Will we protect our marriages, our families, even if it makes us look "paranoid" to other people?

Sadly, so many people who claim to know and love the LORD have fallen into immorality, and often I think it's because they didn't choose BEFOREhand to protect their marriages...and themselves and the ones that they love.

I have an older woman friend whose husband was unfaithful to her years ago. He now professes to be a believer. Yet, he thinks nothing of going out to eat with a female friend who is many years younger than his wife. ( not that her age even matters) My friend has told him that she thinks it's inappropriate and that it hurts her feelings, yet he continues to do it.

All the while, he's claiming "grace"..that he lives under "grace". PLEASE!

WHO is the perfect picture of grace?

JESUS!

Would Jesus do this? We are His bride...would He ever even give the QUESTION of unfaithfulness to us?

NEVER!

Would God the Father ever hint of unfaithfulness to Israel?

NEVER!

Yes, I'm on my soapbox now. I admit it.

I thank God that He showed me this insight in Scripture today...it's steels my resolve to protect my marriage at all costs. And often, the cost feels high...when it's midnight and Shane and I have just come in from a date, and I have to drive my babysitter all the way back to Black Canyon City (40 minutes round trip) while he stays here with the kids...that's a sacrifice.

But, both our sitter whom we love, and my husband whom I love, are worth it.

It's our "hedge" around our marriage. And it's not coming down. :)

If you don't have them around yours...please, learn from Potiphar's mistake, and build them.

HMMMMMMMM..that comparison of Jesus to us makes me think of another application...

How are we protecting our relationship with Him? What "hedges" are we putting into our lives to make sure that our time spent with the LORD isn't compromised?

HMMMM...I think I have to ponder this one and write about it another day....

Do you have any insights on that?

Do tell.

Have a great day!
Jes

2 comments:

Laura said...

Hey, good post... some great thoughts here. I want to just comment on the idea of looking "paranoid" to others. I don't doubt that much of what a believer does looks weird to outsiders (the Lord's supper is a big one). I know I do things that even I question at times if I'm going a bit overboard. Mostly regarding my children and their innocence. There is never (and I mean NEVER) a time I don't know exactly what my kids are watching on tv or a video. I've overheard people commenting about how they don't like certain shows and the influence it has on their kids yet they don't step up and take control.

Without going into all the details, I think too many parents are intimidated by their kids and therefore don't take the steps necessary to maintain authority. When the 3-year-old pitches a fit about staying up to watch one more cartoon, the parent caves in rather than putting their foot down. The child gets to watch the show and learns a valuable lesson, If I have a big enough tantrum I can get anything I want. "Choose your battles" is one of the most misleading parenting philosophies. Maintaining the respect of your children is the hardest things to do, especially when you've had a really long day with a couple of toddlers! What are these parents going to say to their daughter when she's 12 and wants to watch The Real World, or some other trashy show on MTV, when they never had boundaries on tv before? Not a good time to decide you want to maintain authority and respect over your kids, it's too late.

Oh, so much more I could comment on. This is just an example and one area very close to my heart, I put a hedge around our tv and what my family watches.

Jesica said...

Good points, Laura.

I agree totally. All we have to do if we want to see what the end result of not truly parenting our children is, is look around us.

There are teens in this community that are CRYING out for someone to care about them. Meanwhile, their parents are AWOL, and many of them have been since they were little children.

You inspire me! I'm so thankful to have friends like you who sharpen me everyday, to be a better mother and wife.

You especially do that...just by your living example.

I thank God for you! You're precious!

Love,
Jes