Should a husband take special measures to assure his wife of his fidelity to her?

Painting: "St. George and the Dragon", by Paolo Uccello (~1456)
Painting: “St. George and the Dragon”, by Paolo Uccello (~1456)

I wanted to re-post this story about Mike Pence and his rule about never being alone with another woman, because I have been thinking about the importance of Christian convictions in the process of relationships. Specifically, the importance of a man being a Christian, and understanding the world well enough to make a plan that achieves the results that he sets out to achieve.

Here is the story reported in The Stream:

It sounds like Vice President Mike Pence really loves his wife and really values his marriage.

Yesterday The Washington Post ran a sweet profile of second lady Karen Pence noting her meek, steady influence on her husband. Interviews with friends and colleagues revealed that Mrs. Pence is a prayer warrior. She’s also passionate about art therapy and works to help military families.

But Karen Pence’s quiet power was not what set off a million talking heads on Twitter. No, it was the matter-of-fact statement that Mike and Karen Pence abide by a version of the Billy Graham Rule. In a 2002 interview, then-congressman Pence said he doesn’t drink without his wife present, nor does he dine alone with other women.

This common-sense rule stands out in a town like DC, where many, many marriages have fallen apart because of affairs.

Indeed.

Regular readers of my blog know that I almost always take the side of men against young, unmarried women who have been influenced by feminism. But that doesn’t mean that I think that men who find a good woman and then commit to her in marriage should do as they please. Not only do I approve of what Pence is doing for his wife, but I consider his actions essential and required for any husband. At the very least, every Christian husband has to come to some sort of understanding with his wife about how he intends to protect her from infidelity. And he needs to be realistic about the role that alcohol plays, as well as peer-pressure and opportunity. In a place like Washington, D.C. it becomes even more of a necessity to have these discussions. Every husband who claims to be a follower of Jesus has a responsibility to be a provider, a protector and a leader on moral and spiritual issues. Part of that protector role is protecting his wife from infidelity. Since he is the leader, he needs to have a plan to make sure that neither husband nor wife is exposed to temptation beyond what either can resist.

But look at how people on the secular left responded to the Pence rule: they claimed that Pence was “sexist” and that he could never allow any woman to occupy a position of authority with this rule – even though he had a female lieutenant governor while keeping to this rule.

Newsbusters reports:

Some on the left went crazy, criticizing the VP’s respectful stance as old-fashioned, demeaning to women, or even sharia-esque.

“Pence’s rule doesn’t honor his wife,” MTV News Senior National Correspondent Jamil Smith tweeted. “It uses antiquated ideas about gender and public scorn to place new responsibility upon her shoulders.”

Slate contributor Heather Schwedel accused the politician of holding “a pretty radically retrograde mindset” that views women “primarily as sexual temptations.” Schwedel also quoted formerly evangelical journalist Elizabeth Spiers, who ridiculously wondered if “Pence could argue that he shouldn’t have to hire women on a religious freedom basis.”

Linking to Schwedel’s piece, TeenVogue writer Lily Herman revealed her complete misunderstanding of the VP’s practice. “Mike Pence basically doesn’t interact with women,” she tweeted.

Others made illogical attempts to prove Pence’s hypocrisy.

[…]“Sincere question. How is this different from extreme repressive interpretations of Islam (“Sharia Law!”) mocked by people like Mike Pence,” queried NYT contributor Xeni Jardin.

St. Louis Post columnist Aisha Sultan agreed, commenting: “He’s waaay more Muslim than Obama ever was.”

Mollie Z. reported on even more secular leftist screeching at The Federalist, and she commented:

Infidelity destroys intimacy, happiness, and marriages themselves. But it happens because of the strong temptation that exists every day for most healthy people. When marriages end, the associated costs are financial, emotional, and physical. Divorce tends to be hard on men, women, and children. It harms economic and health outcomes for children, and decreases women’s standard of living over the course of their lifetimes. Guarding against it is smart.

[…]If divorce rates weren’t sky-high and if infidelity weren’t a problem faced by millions of couples, mocking Pence for the means by which he keeps his marriage intact might make more sense. Heck, if the human condition weren’t such that we all find it difficult to do the right thing, the mockery also might make sense.

As it is, Pence’s smart tactics for avoiding the kind of marital failure that could destroy him, his wife, their family, and the lives of those around them is to be commended and celebrated.

I think I know what it is that is animating people to mock Pence’s thoughtful plan. It’s not mockery that is just coming from the secular left, either. The fundamental thing that Pence is doing is this: he is making a plan to achieve the result he wants, and then following through on the plan. The plan does not allow him to play fast and loose with boundaries. He has to exercise self-control well before he is faced with an impossible situation. He has to give up on some freedom and exercise self-control in order to draw a line well before he comes to the line that he cannot cross. In short, Pence has made a plan on his own that is not Biblical, but that will help him to achieve the goal that the Bible sets for him: do not commit adultery.

I think that there are people on the secular left AND on the religious right alike who don’t want to give up any freedom, nor make any plan. They just want to pursue pleasure and be driven by their feelings. They don’t want to say no to anything or have any self-control. This is a problem I see in secular leftists and low-grade feelings-based Christians, too. Naturally, secular leftists lack moral wisdom enough to exercise self-control, that’s a given. But what happens to people on the religious right is that they want to punt to the Bible, and piety and feelings to such an extent that they are destroyed by their own foolishness. Because the Bible only specifies goals, lazy Christians often lean too much on God, refusing to think that there is any wisdom elsewhere that could make the achievement of Biblical goals easier.

That’s why you see a lot of young Christians getting into trouble. If you have a goal to achieve for your Boss, you have to make a plan to achieve it. You can’t just follow your feelings and then blame everyone else when you fail. You can’t do what you feel like doing, refusing to exercise self-denial and self-control throughout a plan, then complain that you didn’t achieve the goal. No one does well on an exam if they don’t come to class, do the homework, and study for the exam.

What about results?

What about the approach of secular leftist women who attack Pence? What kind of men do they choose, and do these men produce results like Pence and Pence’s rule do?

This splendid article from The Stream explores the decisions of the radical feminists, noting that Democrat women pick men like Anthony Weiner and Bill Clinton.

It concludes:

What feminists really claim to want from men is a milder version of Jenner: Someone who suppresses, beats down, and denies what it means to be a man. Who internalizes the guilt that feminism sprays men with like a firehose. And yet who (like Jenner) is somehow still attracted to women. A tame man, a damaged man, a man who is no threat at all.

At least that’s what feminists think they want. In fact, they’re probably secretly more attracted to Clinton. They’d be better off with Pence. What they’ll end up with is Weiner.

Who said that there’s no justice in the world?

What we are seeing today is a generation of people inside and outside the church who laugh at moral rules like chastity. Instead of choosing chaste partners and being intelligent about settle moral boundaries, they think that they can achieve the same outcome (lifelong married love) with their own made-up “morality”. When you look around at the great crises of our time: abortion, divorce, single motherhood, you can clearly see that each begins with a decision to take what makes me feel good and disregard moral rules. Naturally, the people who break the rules never imagine that they will not get the same lifelong, married love that the rule-followers get. But of course, it doesn’t work like that. What the rule-breakers really get is Bill Clinton and Anthony Weiner. They fail the exam because they refused to prepare for it.

17 thoughts on “Should a husband take special measures to assure his wife of his fidelity to her?”

  1. I also beleive it makes the left mad because they can’t get a false Meetoo against Pence if he won’t be alone with women.

    It shows the timelessness of sound wisdom. He predated a current movement that can attack any person with no evidence. Many ideas of wisdom are that timeless and smart to help reduce that chance of you being attacked by the enemies of God

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I told this story somewhere else. This year there was a company ethics video depicting sexual assault. When the video victim went into a male manager’s office, he insisted the door stay open.
    During the discussion, one of the men (an older man past retirement age who doesn’t have the slightest “creepy vibe”) said that he just did this (opened the door to the small, windowless quiet room) when he was doing an exit interview with a young woman. Several women in the room got mad – one was nearly crying – “we have more to be afraid of than you do”.
    I noticed that the young, thin attractive girls didn’t act offended – my mean manosphere mind immediately thought that some of them were mad because the old and/or fat ones are living in a fantasy world where they are likely to get harassed (every real case I’ve known of -always verbal -has involved a young, thin woman).
    My wife’s theory was that they were mad because the ability to accuse (whether used or not) is a power they have and he was threatening to take it away from them.

    Or they just HAVE to be victims or potential victims.

    I have had two different women (who know I’m married) say to me “you know we’re alone in here” and I’m no alpha male stud. I have seen a woman sit down (uninvited) on a married man’s lap. I have seen one rubbing a married man’s leg (uninvited). I have seen uninvited shoulder massages from women (I don’t mean the nice, old secretary).

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  3. There is a French saying that goes something like this: “A man who looks under the bed has been there himself.” I think you could extend that to anyone who mocks the one who does not want to have to look under the bed.

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  4. I highly doubt either Mike or Karen Pence are really afraid of infidelity. Though yes, their practice is a good way to protect their marriage. He’s being very wise in this age of Me-Too, and accusations of rape/sexual harassment where the media/establishment presume that the man is guilty.

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  5. Why are people so upset about Mike Pence when we all know what a dangerous world we live in. I am an older woman and married and have found that even I have to be careful around men and even younger ones in case they think my mumsy friendliness means I have sexual interest in them. I was looking forward to the freedom I thought age brought in that I would be looked upon as an older and safe person to talk to but no I have to be careful in what I say and do.

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    1. Are you mentoring non-Christians? Sex outside of marriage is off limits to Christians, so unless these young men who are attracted to you have some way of getting you to say yes to marriage, then you have nothing to worry about.

      I only mentor Christians, so this isn’t a problem for me, as I won’t be tricked into marriage.

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      1. Many mentoring and related interactions happen due to employment, outside the scope of Christian mentoring and can’t be avoided.

        For instance, the nature of my husband’s work pretty much demands that his clients (a significant number of which are women) have his cell phone number. He’s been asked out several times via text message and had to establish firm boundaries. However, he still has to make a living and he still has to work with women, sometimes one on one.

        When it comes to mentoring in manhood or Christian capacities, yes. He only mentors men, because believing that mentoring a woman under the label Christian creates a level of safety is naive.

        I would argue that most people, like Mr. Pence, who have to set proper boundaries do so not in a Christian environment, but in a corporate one where the presupposition of shared Christian values doesn’t exist.

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  6. Honestly, I have seen a ton of rancor and scorn over the “Billy Graham Rule” although it’s consistently from Leftists and Feminazis, who usually then twist the meaning that “Mr. Pence” and “Billy Graham” and others are clearly unable to control themselves, and are blaming women. The people who deride and scorn usually take Mr. Pence and Billy Graham and others to be weak or to be “legalistic”, rather than understanding that is out of a desire to honor one’s wife.

    What you can say about Billy Graham and Mike Pence is they’ll never have a #METOO tag attached to them. And unfortunately, in this day and age, there are many false allegations. I had a professional mentor, let’s call him Bill.

    Bill’s a great guy — I’ll never be a threat to Bill because he’s like 1.5 levels above me and 12-15 years older than me. Bill’s only daughter graduated, worked a bit, and starts a Ph.D. program this Fall. Somewhere around 10-15 years ago, Bill interviewed for A Certain Company That Shall Not Be Named. ACCTSNBN had a senior manager who moved on, leaving a leadership vacuum — and a long-time female employee, let’s call her Jenn, who reported to the former senior manager thought she would be on the succession plan and would be named as his replacement. Her peers and teammates felt otherwise, and approached the company leadership to find someone who would be more capable. So they hired Bill. Jenn felt slighted and within Bill’s first few months with the company, Jenn accused Bill of sexual harassment. Suddenly ACCTSNBN and Bill had to lawyer up. Bill was also not allowed to be in the same room by himself with Jenn. Eventually this became a huge liability and ACCTSNBN let Bill go.

    I’m sympathetic and realize there are many times where a man has used his power and taken advantage of a woman. However, having told this story to various people, it is unfortunately not uncommon that there were false accusations, and these kinds of accusations can destroy a career. Even false accusations can follow a man around.

    I also follow a version of the Billy Graham rule, and I will note some things that it does or it doesn’t mean:
    – I want to honor my wife, so I don’t do anything with another woman that is a date
    – I will protect my marriage.
    – I can meet my female coworkers with other coworkers
    – if my wife was working a lot, and my male or female friends still wanted to spend time, I’ve brought my kids along. (Sorry, family first.)
    – I conduct interviews for my alma mater: I always do this in a public place. (My current favorite is Panera, since it’s open a little later and it’s a couple miles from me.) — moreover, if I do need to meet with a female friend or whatever, I can meet her with my wife, in a public place, etc. (I did need to talk with a friend who was on a certain committee to discuss her experiences; I had thought about volunteering for that particular committee.)

    I want to stress that it’s not because I think I’m weak or that I’m tempted to have an affair that I do these things. It’s because I’m honorable and I want to demonstrate that I’m trustworthy.

    It also came across my reading tonight that even powerful self-proclaimed feminists (like Joss Whedon) have had very devastating divorces, and if his ex-wife is to be believed, there were multiple parties that led to these problems. (Cough cough, also aggressive actresses.)
    Ref: https://www.thewrap.com/joss-whedon-feminist-hypocrite-infidelity-affairs-ex-wife-kai-cole-says/

    Women are attracted to powerful men. A righteous, godly, and powerful man also chooses to use his power for good and to benefit his marriage and his family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so funny, because men use the plan-execute-achieve model nearly everywhere in life, and that’s why we are successful. Women often go off their emotions, and achieve much less. You would think that women would recognize what it is about men that makes them succeed (e.g. – planning, rules, self-denial, hard work) and want to adopt that, or get that into their lives so they can make better decisions. But they don’t. They expect that fidelity will come “for free” by following emotions “in the moment”. As if future goals are met by following your heart in the moment over and over.

      I’ve actually been lectured by a 30-year-old live-at-home waitress about investing. Her net worth at the time was -25K from car loan and student loans, and an unused business degree from an elite college. She told me “my opinion about investing is as good as yours”. At the time, I was well north of half a million in assets.

      IN. SANE.

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