Tuesday, October 25, 2011

15 mistakes I made while working with men: Mistake #14

Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord—you serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24, HCSB.

14 - Be a Godly woman in your attitude, dress, and actions.

            Act, dress, and live with an attitude that will honor Christ. In this day and age, we have completely forgotten some basic things. I am not talking about styles or trends, I am talking about some things like necklines that are too low, clothes that are too tight, and flirty attitudes that need to be left at home. I am amazed at the Christian women’s conferences that I attend where women, even speakers, wear necklines that would distract even women. If something can be seen, the neckline is too low. That is it. Case closed. It is inappropriate. We need to model the behavior of Godly women at church and in the neighborhood. How we dress and how we act. This means that we are careful about things like eating a meal with another male, meeting behind closed doors, riding in the car with the opposite sex, and the like. It only takes one accusation for someone to ruin our ministries. We have to think about how others will see us and what they might think. When I have defied these truths, I have regretted it. Years ago, I allowed a young man to go on a church visits with me. I was twice his age. When my birthday came, I received flowers and had to call him and make sure he understood the boundaries and apologize for not finding a man for him to go with. We do this to protect ourselves but also to protect others. Yes, it can be inconvenient. Yes, there are times when someone will send a car to pick me up somewhere and I need to ride with them. However, in most cases, these are things that can be addressed early on and most of us in the ministry are very careful to make sure to avoid these situations.
            There is no room for even the slightest flirtation in the office either. We must be careful not to touch the men that we work with. We also have to watch what we say because they may take it in a way that is completely different than how we meant it. I am not a huggy person but many people, men and women, are. I am careful to do the sideways hug with men if they approach me and I try to stick to the handshakes, high fives, or pats on the shoulder. I have found that taking a step backwards sends the signal that I am uncomfortable if someone is being inappropriate. I have also found that a stern eyeball to eyeball stare can communicate volumes to remarks that never should have been made. We want to be women but we want to be Godly in our interactions in ministry.

Excerpts from Women Leading Women: The Biblical Model for the Church, Chapter Six, Serving with Men, by Jaye Martin.