A friend of mine told me recently about a situation involving his sister. As readers know, I don’t like to name names on my blog and this time, I am definitely not doing such. In case any are concerned as well, I also told him my plans before I wrote this blog and he told me he would love to see me write on this topic. The identity of my friend will remain a secret, but he talked about how his sister could be in a compromising situation, which is not easily avoidable apparently, with a member of the opposite sex soon and how his mother had said “It’s her decision to make.”
Now I thought about this for awhile and it’s an odd claim to use. Of course it’s her decision to make. Who else could make it? Now naturally, if a thief draws a gun on you and says “Your money or your life,” it is still your decision. You could give your wallet and hope he’s merciful. You could try to karate kick him and hope you can succeed. You could just try to run and hope you can outrun him, but either way, the decision is yours still. The thief can coerce you, but he cannot decide for you.
Which is an interesting point, giving someone advice is not the same as making a decision for them. I seriously doubt any of us will ever get to the point if our parents are still alive and we’re in a good relationship with them when they don’t offer advice. My mother calls me to this day and still offers advice. Sometimes, I appreciate it and sometimes I don’t. There are times I still go to my friends and sometimes still to my family and ask for advice.
So the first point that must be said is that when one offers advice, one does not take away the decision. In fact, there could be an attempt to force this event to not happen. If the daughter does not want it to, and I don’t believe she does, then she will be glad to work with it. If she does want it to happen, she will do what she can to avert it and it will be her mistake in that case. Either way, the final responsibility will be hers. If someone wants to do something sinful, they will find a way to do it. If they want to find a way out, they can do that as well.
But I notice something held in this statement also. It’s usually said when it involves a decision that we think someone could make a big mistake in, but we don’t seem to want to limit them for some reason. We think we’ll be intruding if we interfere at that level. Well, yes. You are intruding. You’re supposed to do such also. If you see someone who is about to walk into sin, you are supposed to do what you can to help that person out. In the end, the decision is theirs, but you are to do your part.
The person it seems would want the other one to make a good decision. If that’s the case, why not go on and offer your advice and a way out? We are told in Scripture that God provides a way out when we are tempted with sin. If God is willing to do it to avoid sin, is it too much for us to play our part?
I also told this friend that I have a rule that when dating, I would not allow a girl to be in my apartment when I’m alone. I wouldn’t even allow one if my roommate was here. Who knows? He might step out for awhile and I could take advantage of the time and for all who might think otherwise, my mind can immediately envisage such an event happening. Yes. My mind does think about such things. I am a guy after all.
Now I told my friend also that someone might say to me “Are you really the type that if you had that time alone with a girl in your apartment you’d have sex with her?” I told him I’d answer, “I would hope not, but I don’t intend to put the situation to the test in order to find out.”
Why? I think we need to be real about our temptations. When I see a beautiful girl, I am tempted. When I sit down at my computer, I can think about all that I can access with just a few clicks of the mouse and for a moment, I am tempted. Fortunately, I haven’t acted on such temptations, but I have to be real about the temptations.
Which makes me think this kind of objection is not being real about the temptation. The sexual drive is one of the most powerful drives out there. Why put it in a compromising situation? Now I realize we will all be in situations where we will be compromised, but how many of those do we want to enter into willingly? If we can avoid them and still bring about good, then why not do so?
So yes, it’s her decision to make. No doubt. It’s your decision though if you will help her or not.