Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” …And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. Genesis 39:6-7, 10
“Many people mistakenly believe that harassment is limited to females. The truth is that this type of experience is just as damaging to men.” –Roberta Chinsky Matuson, President of Mauson Consulting.
As you read the story of Joseph and Mrs. Potiphar you can imagine an episode of Law & Order playing in your head- the story of a woman with too much time on her hands.
As the wife of a successful and wealthy man she believed she had the right to the same privileges and power as her husband. Potiphar, captain of Pharaoh’s royal guard noticed Joseph and saw the benefits of owning a man who succeeded in everything he did. He purchased Joseph and put him in charge of his household.
With Joseph in charge of the household affairs, crops and livestock Potiphar‘s only concern was food. He was not concerned with the duties of being the highest ranked official in Pharaoh’s court or even his wife. So she found other ways to occupy her time.
Mrs. Potiphar noticed the handsome and well-built Joseph and demanded that he sleep with her. Joseph refused her advances on many occasions. Angered and hurt that Joseph had refused her she had him falsely imprisoned for attempted rape.
After studying for this week’s blog post I knew the approach I was going to use-sexual harassment by a woman in the work place. As I was writing my heart was pulled in another direction. That was not what God wanted me to write about.
Sexual harassment is not to be taken lightly. Not only is it a serious and sensitive topic it is also rude, demeaning and un-welcomed.
There is still a lesson to be learned from this story.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16
He did not send his son to die on the cross so that we can mistreat others.
We should be encouraging one another instead of seeing how far they fall. While Jesus walked among us for three years he treated us with kindness, love and respect. This is the example we should live by.
God is love.
1 John 4:7-8 says… “Let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is [a]born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
God commands us to love one another not to hate one another, not mock, mistreat or disrespect one another.