“The Billy Graham Rule is Not Enough: how I keep my husband from straying”

Twitter is probably my favorite social media platform to date. I have met a number of people there who have become great friends, and in June my family and I went to go visit someone people (not for the first time) who have become a close family friends since meeting them on twitter in 2011. A favorite “group” I have been following for the past few years has been the deconstruction/reconstruction Christian twitter. Within it have been some of the funniest things I have ever read. A favorite follow of mine has been @LindsayFickas.

Yesterday she posted her response to the Matt Chandler scandal titled, The Billy Graham Rule is Not Enough: how I keep my husband from straying. With her permission I am sharing it here, but you can read it, and follow her other posts on her Medium by clicking here. If you enjoyed it as much as I did, please give her a follow there or Twitter, and send a tip her way. I hope you enjoy this post as much as I did, and we’re back to regular programming next week.

In light of the Matt Chandler scandal, the Billy Graham rule has entered back into the conversation. The rule is a longstanding tradition within the American Evangelical sphere, and it essentially boils down to this: a man and a woman should not be left alone together. It might seem extremist, but anyone who has ever read Twilight fanfic can attest that the human body is incapable of controlling. Look, we Christians try. A lot. And rather than just stopping ourselves from making out with everyone like teenagers who just raided our parents’ Fireball stash, we find it helps to put in rules that affect everyone so we ourselves don’t actually have to practice self-control.

Personally, I have found that — while the Billy Graham rule is a good start — it simply does not cover every situation that might allow my wonderful husband, Jeremiah, to stray. Therefore, I have a comprehensive list of rules. Unfortunately, men are like dogs. If you don’t have an unobstructed fence line, you will catch them near the street tangled up with the woman two houses down anytime you ask them to take out the trash.

Speaking of, here’s the list of things I never allow my husband to do:

  1. Take out the trash. See the paragraph above.
  2. Wander around the internet. This could easily allow him to land on impure websites such as cracked.com.
  3. Do household chores. This emasculates men. Plus, I don’t know who this Mrs. Meyers is, but I can assure you she is up to no good.
  4. Go to the grocery store. They sell condoms there. Condoms cause sex. Do you really want to send him out to grab a bunch of bananas only to come back thinking about that? No. Trust me.
  5. Get his haircut by a woman. This is simply putting him too close to a woman’s body that is not your own. I have had success in the past accompanying him and stealing the water bottle to spray his face anytime I catch him with his eyes even slightly open. It’s what I like to call a Deep Conditioning.
  6. Drop our children off for Sunday school. The nursery classrooms are the only place our church keeps our women. No way I’m letting him back there.
  7. Watch television. Sure, you have the obvious temptations such as a Victoria Secret ad, but there are smaller, more sinister ones, like the yogurt commercials that encourage women to keep their diets regular. Jeremiah does not know women can poop. I find it best if your husband has no idea how any part of the female body works.
  8. Go to a beach. Swimsuits.
  9. Go to a pool. Swimsuits.
  10. Go to a woman’s baptism. The water might remind him of swimsuits.
  11. Read the Bible. He does not need to get to Song of Solomon and lust after other women’s navels.
  12. Fill out most paperwork. Many forms ask your sex, and why would I want him to think of that word?
  13. Fulfill marital duties. He could potentially be thinking of other women during this. Or of swimsuits.
  14. Send a work email. It might be received by a woman co-worker, which will obviously lead to sex.
  15. Look out the window. Sometimes, women runners pass our house. Not okay.
  16. Think. This should be self-explanatory.

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