Saturday, March 29, 2008

Selling our Birthright?

Fashion Modes by Harrison Fisher

My husband has recently been in contact with a large company that was interested in hiring him. It seems as though his name precedes him in the work field. His name flows from the lips of people who have never met him. He has integrity. He's a team player. He works hard. Everyone knows it.

After many phone conversations with the president of the aforementioned company, she told him that she wanted to fly him to Minnesota for a meeting. Verne agreed. The next day, this female president called and told Verne that the travel arrangements were made. She would pick him up at the airport to take him back to the office.

Verne and I have a policy that we will never be alone with a member of the opposite sex. He proceeded to tell the company president that he would not ride alone with her. He was kind, and explained himself very well. (I was in the room.) He asked if perhaps a man could pick him up, someone else could ride along, or he could just rent a car. She was silent. She didn't understand. Her exact words to Verne were, "Don't think of me as a woman. Think of me as your boss." Verne politely said, "You are still a woman. I don't have a problem working for a woman. I just have a problem putting myself into a situation where we would be alone." The conversation ended with her saying that she would think about how to handle this.

Later that evening, he received an email saying that his plane ticket had been canceled. She regretted to inform him that she canceled the interview, because if he took the job, there would be many times that he would be required to ride with female salespeople as he would be overseeing them.

Instead of being upset, my heart soared when I realized that God had closed the door to this job before the interviewing process went any further, when it might have been a temptation to bend our scruples. Of course, Verne was upset, but I was so proud of him for standing up for what he believed in, even when it was difficult and awkward to do.

The words spoken by this female company president resounded with us for several days. The next morning, Abigail was taking the dog outside to use the potty. Verne walked up the driveway as he returned from his run. He said that as he looked at Abigail standing there, her skirt gently blowing in the breeze, he hoped and prayed that his daughters never said to anyone,
"Don't think of me as a woman."

God made us women to fulfill a unique role. It's not that women can never work outside the home, but to throw away our femininity to do so is no different than Esau selling his birthright for a bowl of stew.

Genesis 25: 19-34
  • 19.
  • Now these are the records of the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son : Abraham became the father of Isaac ;
  • 20.
  • and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife.
  • 21.
  • Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren ; and the LORD answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived.
  • 22.
  • But the children struggled together within her; and she said, "If it is so, why then am I this way?" So she went to inquire of the LORD.
  • 23.
  • The LORD said to her, "Two nations are in your womb ; And two peoples will be separated from your body ; And one people shall be stronger than the other ; And the older shall serve the younger."
  • 24.
  • When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.
  • 25.
  • Now the first came forth red, all over like a hairy garment ; and they named him Esau.
  • 26.
  • Afterward his brother came forth with his hand holding on to Esau's heel, so his name was called Jacob ; and Isaac was sixty years old when she gave birth to them.
  • 27.
  • When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field, but Jacob was a peaceful man, living in tents.
  • 28.
  • Now Isaac loved Esau, because he had a taste for game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
  • 29.
  • When Jacob had cooked stew, Esau came in from the field and he was famished ;
  • 30.
  • and Esau said to Jacob, "Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished." Therefore his name was called Edom.
  • 31.
  • But Jacob said, "First sell me your birthright."
  • 32.
  • Esau said, "Behold, I am about to die ; so of what use then is the birthright to me?"
  • 33.
  • And Jacob said, "First swear to me"; so he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob.
  • 34.
  • Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew ; and he ate and drank, and rose and went on his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

image courtesy of Allposters


Rebecca said...

Amen! And praise the Lord there are still people who stand up for and are uncompromising in virtue, principle, character, integrity, and faith. God was honored and God will bless.

Daughter of the King said...

Oh Tracy this is GOOOOOD!
Praise the Lord for your husband taking such a stand. God honors our faithfulness.
I think if more couples did this many unfortunate things would never happen, IMHO.

50shousewife said...

Good for you both for standing firm! You are setting a wonderful example not only for your children and family, but for all of us here in blogland.

My husband is very careful about this sort of thing as well and I'm so glad.

Kelli said...

What an awful thing for a woman to say! I'm so glad that your husband stood up for what is right, he will be blessed!

Tori said...

Wonderful post Tracy!!!
What a wonderful testimony your husband is. We have the same guardrails in our lives too. Better safe than sorry.

Much applause for people who stand like they say they believe!!

Love the devotion, think I'll link to it!

Tina said...


(come to my blog, I have a surprise for you.)

Love, Tina :)

Momala said...

What a wonderful testimony! It is a great example to your children how to stand for what you believe, even when it costs something.

Penless Thoughts said...

Oh Tracy, this says it all:
"Instead of being upset, my heart soared when I realized that God had closed the door to this job before the interviewing process went any further, when it might have been a temptation to bend our scruples."

God will honor this stand. Having put our hand to the plow we are never to look back.

littlerad said...

This is a awesome testamony to the love that you two have for each other, the promises you made to each other and to God, and now your daughters will all ways be able to know this learn by it and carry it with them all ways...

Thank you for sharing...


Terri & Crew said...

Wow! That was outstanding. I actually read this and he was encouraged that there are actually other men out there who will stand by their scruples.!

randi---i have to say said...

Hi Tracy,

I usually don't take the time to comment on the weekends, but your post made me go against that today.

I think that your hubs made a good choice--one that many wives wish their husbands would make. I think that, unforetunately, situations like that can lead to disaster and it take a wise man to recognize that. Who knows, maybe a better job is around the corner!

BTW, I know my hubs would have done the same thing.

His Girl said...

Hey! My comment got lost!

I was just coming back to say I can't get this post out of my mind!!! I am so impressed by your husband's integrity, and by your dual commitment to your marriage. It's such a beautiful thing.

Also! The selling our birthright thing is really settling into my heart. I quoted you at least 3 times already... I'm really impressed with this new perspective.

praise the Lord for this experience, and thanks to you for sharing it. i can already feel God doing something special in my heart because of it.


Jen in MS said...

Britt and I have always had this exact same rule. And we have been in your same situation where he had to tell his boss that he wasn't comfortable riding in a car with a woman. And they too acted puzzled by his request. The part that always makes me so uncomfortable is that I don't want others to look at him as someone with some problem with women. It's far from that. We actually had a pastor that counselled us before our wedding and told us this. He said for one, that it looks bad when others see you alone with the opposite sex, not to mention that we are humans and should protect ourselves from such temptations.

Anyway, I just wanted you to know that I symphatize. It's not easy and this is one thing that very few put into practice or even know to do so. I wish more would so it wouldn't seem so weird, but I guess that's where you don't go in the way with the world. And I know God will bless that.
God bless you and Verne,

Darlene said...

Tracy - wonderful story! I feel quite sorry for that women - she has quite an identity crisis, doesn't she! It's a sad testimony to our "feminist-minded" culture!!

Way to go Vern!! God surely has something else waiting for you - and will bless you for your stand!


Valerie said...

This is awesome and something you and your husband can be proud of. What an honor for you to be his wife.

Abounding Treasures said...

What a wonderful testimony to your children and others in your family.

As others have already said, God will bless both of you for taking that stand and being firm.

Thanks for sharing a story of love and commitment :o)

Tracy said...

As hard as that was for him to do, I just know that God will bless you both for it.

Sheri said...

I was so encouraged by this post Tracy... and like so many others have said, I believe God is going to supernaturally bless Verne and your family for being obedient to what the Lord has called you too.

Karen said...

Tracy, I'm so glad that door was closed. It seems harder and harder to keep that standard in a marriage. Gordon does not conduct business with women alone, either. I'm so grateful for that, as well.
Something better is probably in store for your family.

Sharon said...

Praise God that your husband didn't compromise his values for a job. God will bless him and your family for his faithfulness.

Becky said...

My husband and I have the same policy. In fact, I get emails from some of the men in the church. They are all business related but I always forward them to my husband and ask him to deal with them. We just refuse to put ourselves in that position.

I know you are proud of Verne and he deserves that. Good for him! And God will honor that decision. I like his comment about your daughter too. We should all embrace who we are and not be a bit ashamed of it.

jane said...

Wonderful and Amen!

DianneE said...

Amen! I thank God that there are still men out there who will honor their family and their wife and take a stand. In this day and age, so many marriages have been ruined because men and women have allowed themselves to be put in a position where temptations abound.

Good for you, Verne!!! God will honor your decision and your faithfulness to your family. He will reward you for being the kind of father and husband that you should be.

Thanks so much for sharing for this is a blessing.

Momma Roar said...

This is what I loved about meeting you in person!! How you hold to your convictions!!

I'm so glad you shared this here!!

Again, it was so great to meet you! The things I love about reading your blog (your love for your family and doing so many wonderful things together) came out so clear when we met too!!!!

Jodi said...

Tracy, I love the scripture you tied this into. Excellent post ... I linked. :o)

Judi said...

Thanks for sharing this story. It's so interesting to me, because seven or eight years ago there was a sexual harassment investigation in an office where I worked. It makes me surprised that today a woman president is not more concerned about the potential for impropriety, or the suggestion of it, by allowing men and women in her firm to be alone together.

Ever since the investigation at my former workplace, my husband and I have been much more aware of avoiding situations that could cause even the look of impropriety. If it looks like we might find ourselves alone with someone of the opposite sex, we find an excuse to get out of that situation. I'll admit, we have never been as direct as Verne in giving our explanations, and I really admire him for being so direct with her about his beliefs.

It is so great that the two of you discussed such possibilities beforehand, and established your policy, before he found himself in such a situation. He was prepared, and handled it well.

One last thing -- wouldn't you think a company would really WANT a person with Verne's integrity? The fact that the president sent him an email saying his plane ticket was cancelled and the offer was off the table -- didn't talk to him again in person or attempt to come up with a solution -- indicates that this was not the right place for him to go to work. Because of Verne's direct way of dealing with the situation, you found that out up front, and not later when it would have been harder to deal with.

God has allowed Verne to be an example of what a Christian man is, and you and your family are blessed to have him as your protector.

PJ said...

Doing the right thing is often not easy, but it is always THE RIGHT THING!

Rebecca said...

Thanks Tracy!! I am so loving the new look too!!

Barbara said...

As Penless Thoughts said, "God will honor this stand". You and your husband have a great relationship! And, I commend both of you for this stand. We never need to put our good name into question, even though we would never do anything questionable.

Pam said...

Excellent post. So needed in today's climate. Women just don't see how special their femininity is. Many have never been taught from God's Word. Thank God for couples like you and your hubby. What a strong impression it made on me when I read hes prayer for his little girl. May she never tell someone to not think of her as a woman. Blessings!

Karen said...

Thank you, Tracy, for this wonderful post. And thank the Lord for the godly principles you and your husband are living out in your lives! I work for a non-profit ministry, and we have a rule to address this situation...No man or woman may travel alone with another of the opposite gender unless they're related (e.g., married, siblings, parent/child, etc.). This is inconvenient at times, but it's always the right thing to do. Sometimes it means that a third person has to come along, and sometimes it means taking two different vehicles. But it's important because it's a boundary that protects us, protects the ministry, and avoids the potential appearance of evil...I know that the Lord will honor and bless you and your family. Thank you for sharing about this.

Sofia said...

i think that every marriage couple should make their own rules about things like this and then hold to them, but we all know that it's not easy! your housband did a very venerable thing by holding on your shared rule!

then to the other subject! i am very feminine and i'm very happy and proud of beeing a woman but i don't want people primarily to think of me as a woman but as a person. i mean, in my opinion this society underlines too much gender when we should see the person behind it. i don't mean that gender is something that we should just forget, it is a part of our personality but we need to remember that it's JUST a part of it.