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The Scripture Blog

Sexual Harassment

Now that I have your attention, I’ll try to write a post about one of the hottest current issues of the day. If I were doing this post from a legal point of view, it would be different and much longer. I can make such a claim, having been an employment lawyer for forty-something-years and dealing with this subject on a regular basis.

While I was practicing employment law, however, I never saw a run of sexual harassment stories, allegations, charges, and explosions, the likes of which we’ve seen these past few weeks. Though tempted to fall back into dealing with this subject as the law deals with it, I’m inclined to stick with the subject matter of this blog: scripture.

I’m unaware of any scripture that addresses “sexual harassment.” There are, of course, numerous passages of scripture that concern sexual immorality, and it’s possible to use them to write about sexual harassment I suppose. But there is one passage of scripture that seems to deliver an antidote to sexual harassment without addressing it by name.

In I Timothy 5:1-2 (NIV), Paul writes: “Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.” If men were to always think of women as their mothers, spouses, sisters, or daughters–with absolute purity–it seems to me that sexual harassment would, for the most part, disappear.

But like many passages of scripture, I Timothy 5 seems to contain guidance that’s just too difficult for humans to follow.

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