He did not plan to leave for college after an argument with his dad and fighting with most of his brothers. Being the first of the family to go to college was a thrill for Joe, but some of his brothers hated him for bragging about the opportunity. Joe talked about taking care of the family someday, even though most of his brothers already had good jobs.
Once he got to campus, he found a job working for the dean of his department. Joe was a blessing in the wisdom of his words and excellence of his work. The dean recognized the office ran smoother when Joe was around and gave him increased responsibility. Joe was a naturally gifted leader even at a young age. In addition, Joe was an exemplary student and a good-looking young man.
During the spring, the dean asked Joe to take care of his house while he and his wife were gone. Things went so smoothly with Joe in charge that the dean had nothing to worry about. On one trip though, the dean’s wife returned home two days before her husband.
The dean’s wife had became infatuated with Joe and said, “Sleep with me.” Joe wouldn’t do it. He said to her, “Look, with me here, your husband doesn’t give a second thought to anything that goes on here—he’s put me in charge of everything he owns. You’re his wife, after all! How could I violate his trust and sin against God?” She pestered him, but he stood his ground. He refused to go to bed with her. She grabbed him by his shirt, but he ran out of the house. She ran outside yelling, “Rape—this student tried to rape me.”
Can you picture (and even relate to) this kind of testing? Joe was away from home and his normal support system. He encountered a married woman with power. The temptation was targeted at his natural sexual drive. He was alone…and on the job. The testing came frequently. The temptation even came after a promotion.
How did Joe do? First, he was avoiding places of temptations. Your parents probably told you that it is always easier to avoid temptation than it is to overcome it. Second, Joe was not trying to provide for his fleshly appetites. Faced with temptation, Joe thought spiritually, not physically. He remembered the proverb that said everything that looks, feels, sounds, smells, and taste good may not be good for you. Third, as Joe encountered temptation, he understood that evil was there waiting there to tempt him. I remember my parents saying that if I hung around the garbage, I would start to smell like it. Goodness doesn’t hang around temptating spots, evil does. Fourth, he was not blinded to the consequences of temptation. He was more committed to honoring the Lord and his employer. Fifth, Joe ran away from the temptation even as tried to resist it. If you’re worried about where to run, don’t worry, God promised to make a way of escape for you (1 Corinthians 10:13). Read Genesis 39:1-23 for another Joe’s account.
What advice would Joe give about handling your hormones (and having great relationships with those of the opposite sex)? First, have your standards set ahead of time. Second, call sin by its proper name – sin – and avoid it. Third, avoid any possible trappings (too much alone time together, level of intimacy, physical contact below the neck). Fourth, stay busy and relate with those of similar convictions. Last, run away from temptation. Walk wisely and live purposely, like Joe did.
Love is a verb,