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The King Lives Here

Jul 14, 2018

PROGRAM W-1736 – Part II

I must confess that I’m not a very good closet cleaner. At times I just throw things in and shut the door so no one will notice. The outside may look okay, as long as you don’t open my closet and see the mess inside! If you’ve ever gone through selling your house, you know how you have to get every nook and cranny in good shape because when a potential buyer is inspecting your house, they open every closet and every cabinet and check out every corner. It is then when I get the closets looking good.

Using that analogy, imagine that your body—your heart—is a home that has been purchased by God. Actually, you don’t have to imagine it because the Bible tells us that when we are born from above, we are purchased by God. Let me share with you two passages that support this:

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

As you can see, we have new ownership—and the new owner has the right to every inch of the home he has purchased. All-too-often, however, we try to hide a few things in our hearts and lives, and keep the King out of certain closets and rooms.

One reason we don’t get serious about cleaning up our lives is because we don’t hate sin enough. Paul wrote to the Romans that they should hate that which is evil and cling to that which is good. (Romans 12:9)  Evil—or sin—has become quite commonplace and quite acceptable and, subtly, little by little, our minds have become accustomed to it.

The ethics and standards of Christians are always at a higher level than those of the world around us. However, as the world lowers its standards, we tend to lower ours, too—keeping a distance between them, but not hating that which is evil like we used to and like we should.

God’s standards are not movable: they are clearly defined in Scripture and they don’t move with the times. That means if we hate evil, we’ll look more and more peculiar to this world system. So be it! The King lives in this house! We must care more what he thinks than we do what people around us think!

What are some of today’s evils we tend to accept instead of hating them the way we should? In other words, what are you keeping in that closed closet?

Immorality and impurity

Do you turn off the television or change channels when immorality is portrayed as an acceptable lifestyle? Do you keep listening when a dirty joke is told, or even a slightly off-color one, because you don’t want to be different?

One of my sisters in Christ in our class at church related how she had become addicted to a soap opera which she taped every day and watched in the evenings. However, she was convicted about the immorality and impurity of that program—not to mention the waste of time—so with prayer and commitment, she has cleaned out that closet. Now she feels so free from that trash!

Another friend got rid of trashy romantic novels she had been reading for years, sometimes as many as one a day. It seemed a harmless thing at first, but gradually it took control of her and she found her thought life greatly damaged by the dirt of those novels. By God’s grace, she has cleaned out that closet.

We’re all aware of the readily accessible pornography in our society today, and so many people have become addicted to it. This addiction affects Christians, too, sad to say.

Is there something in your life that you know is not pure? If you really want to be free, then clean out the closet today—thoroughly and completely clean it out. Remember, the King lives in your house.

Wrong relationships

I am amazed at the number of believers who hang on to relationships that are clearly wrong, and which lead them into paths of sin and depression. One of our listeners has for years asked us to pray for a friend to become a believer. We’ve just learned that he has had a relationship with this woman for all these years—he knows he should not, but he refuses to give it up. Instead, he is becoming bitter and depressed because it’s not working out the way he wants it to. He’s kept that closet door closed and refused to clean it out. When you do that, it gets worse and worse and becomes overwhelming.

Are you a slave to some wrong relationships? The Bible is clear about being yoked in some way with unbelievers, and a close relationship certainly falls into that category. Perhaps it’s a business partner that you should not be in business with because they aren’t believers and don’t work by Christian principles.

Until we clean out these closets, we’ll always have some major problems in our walk with the Lord and in our effectiveness as believers.

Lying and deception

Lying has become an art in our culture. We’re so accustomed to our politicians and leaders lying to us, we vote them back in office by big margins anyway. Are you squeaky clean when it comes to telling the truth? Maybe you need to clean some lies out of your closet. Maybe you need to go to someone and tell the truth and ask for forgiveness for some lie you’ve told. Until you clean out that closet, your house will never be suitable for the King.

A complaining and negative attitude

Have you ignored the verse which says, “Do everything without complaining or arguing”? (Philippians 2:14) If you will clean out that closet and get the negative attitude out of there, you’re going to discover how much easier it is to get through the day. A complaining and negative attitude discourages everyone who comes near you, and it stresses you out more than any other thing you can do to yourself.

An uncontrolled tongue

When our tongues are out of control, our whole personality is out of control, James tells us. Does the King, who lives in your house, have to listen to your tongue using words like bullets? In one of my business classes, a man told me that he seemed to get his foot in his mouth frequently and cause problems with customers. In order to help him, his boss suggested that he record all of his phone conversations with customers, then his boss would listen to those tapes and critique them to help him improve. He said, “Mary, you wouldn’t believe how much I improved overnight when I realized my boss was going to be listening to everything I said to these customers.”

If you and I are aware each day that every word we say is being listened to by the King and, furthermore, that we will give an account for every idle word we speak, don’t you think that would go a long way toward getting that tongue under control? Today, just imagine that everything you say is being listened to and recorded by Jesus. It will change the way you talk: gossip will stop; unkind words will stop; criticism will stop; judgmental words will stop; sarcastic words will stop; and on and on the improvements go.

Remember, the King lives in your house. Your house is a temple of the Holy Spirit. You belong to Jesus. Therefore, he has a right to every corner—including that closet with your uncontrolled tongue in it. Clean it out today and be free!

Unforgiveness

Is there some unforgiveness in your closet? Unforgiveness turns to bitterness and it smells up your house, making it a place where no one wants to be. Certainly it will be uncomfortable for the King to be there! He has told us that as we have been forgiven, we must forgive. Remember how freely he has forgiven you; therefore, by faith, forgive those who have wronged you. I understand how difficult this is to do, and you may have to re-forgive many times. But believe me, it is a lot easier to forgive than it is to live with that unforgiveness in your closet—that will ruin your life and your testimony.

Here’s my challenge to you: Start thinking, “The King lives here.” Say it to yourself every day over and over. “The King lives here, in this body, in this temple.” When temptation pops up its ugly head, think “The King lives here.” When you start to say something sarcastic and cutting, think “The King will hear it.” When you’re tempted to cheat or lie, remember, “The King lives here; he’ll know about it.” When you get discouraged and want to give up, say out loud, “The King lives here. He cares and he loves me.”

I believe if we would think this way, it would be life-changing. We are what we think, and cleaning out our closets begins with changing our thought life. If you and I would often and regularly think “The King lives here,” and determine to keep our lives fit for a King, we would discover the joy and freedom of holy living and the powerful ways we can be used by God.

This ministry is dedicated to challenging marketplace Christians to be lights on their jobs, but our light will not shine for Jesus if our lives are not continually being purified and cleaned up for his glory. Do you think the people who work with you know that the King lives in you? Does your life look any different than theirs? The best way you can show them Jesus is to clean out those closets so that it becomes obvious that the King lives in you.

To encourage you to practice this principle, I want to send you a copy of this wonderful little book I’ve referred to entitled, My Heart, Christ’s Home. It is a classic and has helped many Christians start to practice the presence of Jesus in their lives. If it will help you start to practice this principle in your life, it will be our joy to send this to you free of charge—while supplies last. All I ask is that you prayerfully read it and give God permission to speak to you and change you—that you be willing to clean out those closets, whatever they contain, small or large, no matter how long you’ve kept it locked.

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Fran & Jesus on the Job – Tough Counsel

Jun 8, 2018

PROGRAM D-8115

As we conclude this latest episode of Fran and Jesus today, Fran has found herself counseling a new friend, Cynthia, at their church’s retreat. Cynthia’s husband walked off and left her a few years ago, and that loneliness has driven Cynthia to have an affair with a married man. She confesses this to Fran, knowing it’s wrong, but now is fearful that she may be pregnant. She even indicated that if she is, she would consider an abortion.

Fran thinks a moment then says to her, “Please, Cynthia, don’t let anything cause you to commit another sin on top of the adultery. You would be killing your child if you have an abortion,” Fran pleads.

“Well, not everyone believes. . .” Cynthia tries to justify herself. But she can’t keep it up. “Oh, Fran, I know that. . .don’t you think I know that? But what am I going to do with his baby?”

“Cynthia, let’s take it one step at a time. First, break the relationship, find out if you are pregnant, and then after you’ve crossed that bridge, we’ll consider your options if you are pregnant,” Fran says.

They talk for a couple of hours, missing lunch, but Fran gets Cynthia to agree to breaking off the relationship, changing her phone number, and refusing to speak with this man.

Fran says, “When you’re feeling weak—like you can’t stand not to talk to him or see him—please call me, any time of the day or night. Call me first. I’ll help you. I’ll pray with you,” Fran assures her.

So they establish an accountability plan. Cynthia promises to take a pregnancy test first thing when she gets back home and let Fran know the results.

“Oh, I hope I’m not pregnant,” she cries.

“If you are, Cynthia, you will have to live with the consequences of your wrong choices and your sin, but God can turn this into something really wonderful,” Fran assures her. “There’s a woman at church who has a grown son now, born out of wedlock, but she raised him to become a strong Christian and he is a blessing in our church. Whether you choose to raise your child or let some couple adopt that child, you can be a part of that wonderful miracle of producing a life that God can use.”

Cynthia has some very difficult days ahead of her, but if she will follow Fran’s advice and make herself accountable, if she will begin a daily diet of Bible study and prayer and get back in close relationship to the Lord, she can watch a miracle in her own life as God again does what he is so good at doing—turning our deserts into gardens and our ashes into beauty.

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Fran & Jesus on the Job – Tough Counsel

Jun 7, 2018

PROGRAM D-8114

How do you help someone who has messed up her life and can’t see her way out? That’s the dilemma that Fran finds herself in as we continue the story of Fran and Jesus on the Job. At a weekend women’s retreat, God brings Fran together with a new friend, Cynthia, who is a single mom and is very troubled. Fran discovers that she has been having an affair with a married man, and now is worried that she may be pregnant.

After Fran strongly advises her to sever the relationship with this man, Cynthia says to her, “But I’ve tried many times to stop seeing him, and I just can’t. I mean, I really love him and he really loves me.”

“You’re telling yourself some lies there Cynthia, and you need to know that,” Fran says. “First, you can stop seeing him. You have to change your phone to an unlisted number, move if you have to, go to another church if you have to—simply say NO. So, don’t keep telling yourself that you can’t stop seeing him. Of course you can,”

Fran continues: “And it really doesn’t matter whatsoever whether you think he loves you or you love him. This relationship is wrong, it is sinful, and you have no right to steal this man’s affection from his wife.”

“I didn’t steal him,” Cynthia starts to object. “He called me.”

“And you could have hung up the first time he called and you’d never be in this predicament,” Fran says. “I don’t mean to be tough on you, Cynthia, but until you are willing to accept the responsibility that is yours and call this what it is—a sin against God—you’ll just continue to mire in this mess and make matters worse.”

Cynthia begins to sob. Fran feels like she has upset her with her tough talk, but Jesus says, “Fran, the truth often hurts. Let Cynthia hear what you’ve said.” So, they sit in silence for a few minutes.

“I suppose I could get an abortion,” Cynthia whispers. “Then it would be easier to break up with him.”

“Oh, Cynthia, no, no!” Fran begs. “Don’t even once let that thought enter your mind. If you are pregnant, that child is a life inside of you. You cannot take that life. No, Cynthia, no. You will never forgive yourself.”

“But Fran, that’s easy for you to say. You’re not in my shoes,” Cynthia looks at Fran.

Fran doesn’t know how to respond. It’s true, she’s never had to make that decision, but does that mean she can’t advise Cynthia to make the right choice? What do you think?

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Fran & Jesus on the Job – Tough Counsel

Jun 6, 2018

PROGRAM D-8113

The Bible teaches us to speak the truth in love, but that’s not always easy to do, is it? Fran finds herself counseling a woman she has just met at their church’s women’s retreat. This woman, Cynthia, seemed very troubled, and as Fran talked privately with her, she confessed that she has been having an affair with a married man. Fran advised Cynthia to immediately and completely sever the relationship.

Now, Cynthia looks at Fran and says, “But I think I may be pregnant with his baby.” It feels as though the floor has dropped out from under her as Fran thinks how to respond.

“Keep sticking with the truth, Fran,” Jesus whispers to her. “This doesn’t change the advice you gave her.”

Fran puts her arm around Cynthia and holds her for a minute.

Then she says, “Cynthia, this may seem cruel, but the fact that you may be pregnant doesn’t change your course of action. He is a married man and there is no possibility that he will marry you. You must break this relationship once and for all.”

“But,” Cynthia says, “I think if he knows I’m pregnant, he might divorce his wife and marry me.”

“Cynthia, that would be heaping one bad decision on top of another,” Fran says with emphasis. “Do he and his wife have children?”

“Yes, two boys,” Cynthia adds, “but they don’t have a good marriage.”

“Oh, Cynthia, you can’t go there. Even suggesting that he break up another marriage to marry you—that is wrong and you’ll never forgive yourself if you do that,” Fran advises.

“But it’s his baby and he got me pregnant. . . if I am pregnant,” Cynthia adds.

“Wait a minute Cynthia, what about the role you played in this affair?” Fran asks. “Did he rape you?”

“No,” Cynthia replies quietly.

“You were a willing participant, Cynthia. You’ve got to take responsibility and refuse to make more wrong decisions and choices,” Fran tells her. “It’s time you did the right thing and make the best you can out of this mess. Besides, you don’t even know for sure that you’re pregnant.”

“No, I’m afraid to find out,” Cynthia says. “What will I do with a baby?”

“There are several good alternatives. I promise we’ll help you, if you’ll just do the right thing,” Fran says.

Do you think Fran is giving Cynthia good advice?

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Fran & Jesus on the Job – Tough Counsel

Jun 5, 2018

PROGRAM D-8112

Have you ever felt like God led you to someone right at the moment when they had a great need for a friend and a counselor? That’s what Fran is facing at their church’s weekend retreat. Fran noticed a new woman, Cynthia, who seemed troubled. She had broken down in tears when Fran asked if anything was wrong, and they have now found a quiet place to talk.

“How did you know something was wrong?” Cynthia asks Fran through her sobs.

“Just the look on your face, I guess, Cynthia,” Fran replies. “Do you want to talk about it?”

“No, I don’t want to but. . .” Cynthia hesitates. “I think I’m going to burst if I don’t talk to somebody.”

“Well, I promise you I will keep this conversation confidential, if that helps,” Fran says.

“Yes, well, it does. It just seems funny talking about this to a complete stranger,” Cynthia says.

“But you know,” Fran assures her, “I don’t think it was an accident that God put it in my heart to talk to you.”

“Yeah, I guess so. In some ways it’s easier to talk to a stranger about it. You see, I. . . I. . .I’ve been having an affair with a married man. . .” Cynthia’s words come out slowly with great pain.

“Umm, I see,” Fran replies, without alarm. “Are you continuing that affair now?” she asks.

“Well, I keep telling him that I’m not going to see him anymore, but as soon as he calls, I give in,” Cynthia answers. “You see, my husband left me with two kids five years ago and I guess I’m just so lonely. . .”

“Cynthia, do you want me to talk with you straight?” Fran asks.

“Yes,” Cynthia says, “I guess I need some straight talk.”

“Well, then, the first thing you have to do is absolutely sever this relationship, immediately, finally, forever, with no further contact of any kind. Whatever it takes to keep him from contacting you, that is what you have to do,” Fran advises. “Are you willing to do that?”

Cynthia is silent. Fran wonders if she was too strong, too hard on her. But she hears the voice of Jesus: “Don’t say anything, Fran. You’ve given her biblical advice that is right, so let her think about it. Don’t back off.”

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Fran and Jesus on the Job – Sexual Harassment

Apr 7, 2018

PROGRAM W-1722 – Part II

When he left her office, she collapsed in fear and shock and tried to assimilate in her mind what had happened, but it seemed too incredible to be true. She must be imagining it; she must be blowing it up out of context. No executive in his right mind would say the things John said to her. She dials her friend, Louise.

“Louise,” she says with an anguished voice, “I need to talk to someone I can trust. Can you meet me at the coffee shop around the corner?” Fran asks.

“It’s 4:30 now; I can be out of here in 15 minutes, I guess,” Louise replies.

“Okay, I’ll meet you in the lobby,” Fran says as she hangs up. She puts her head in her hands and can feel the tears start to come. As she reaches for a tissue, there’s a knock at her door. Apprehensively she says, “Yes?” and Marilyn, her boss, comes in.

“Just checking. How’d it go today? Any problems?” Marilyn asks.

“Well,” Fran stumbles. “Isn’t there any way you could get him off my back tomorrow?” She hopes Marilyn doesn’t see the fear and anger in her face. More than anything, she hopes she’ll never have to encounter John again.

“I tried. He came by my office saying what a good day he’d had with you,” Marilyn replies, “and when I offered to let him observe some of my other good workers, he said another day or two with you would be best. I tried.”

“Thanks,” Fran replies wearily.

“Fran, are you okay?” Marilyn asks, as she shuts the door behind her.

Fran sends another crisis prayer up: “Lord, what should I say? Will Marilyn believe me or think I’ve just over-reacted? Will I harm my career by reporting that a Vice President has sexually harassed me?” For the first time those words form in her mind.

“Well,” Fran begins, “it was not a comfortable day, let’s put it that way, Marilyn.”

“I know John can be a dirty old man sometimes,” Marilyn says, “but don’t let that get to you, Fran. It goes with the territory. These guys that have been around for a while—well, they’re in a cultural lag, if you know what I mean. To them, a woman is still a sexual object. Just take it with a grain of salt.”

“Well…” Fran doesn’t know what to say.

“Hopefully one more day will do it,” Marilyn says. “That’s enough punishment for any woman. I put my time in with John when I was a rookie. Guess it happens to many of us. Go home and forget about it.”

“Okay,” Fran replies meekly, as she watches Marilyn leave. In a daze she packs up her attaché and heads for the lobby to meet Louise.

Louise takes one look at her and says, “Fran, what in the world has happened?”

“Let’s get out of here, Louise,” and they head down the street to the coffee shop.

Fran brings Louise up to date on how John insisted on spending a few days with her.

“Louise,” she says, “I don’t know if I’m losing my mind, imagining things, or what. . .but I believe that I endured overt sexual harassment today.”

“Oh, good grief!” Louise replies. “What happened?”

They go in the coffee shop and find an empty booth. Fran pours her heart out to Louise, telling her all the details of John’s behavior—his touches, his remarks, and his attempt to pin her behind the desk and kiss her. Louise shakes her head as she listens.

“You’re not imagining things, Fran,” Louise says. “That was classic sexual harassment. I attended a workshop on sexual harassment and I learned a lot; you need to learn, too.”

“What they told us in that workshop,” Louise continues, “is that the goal of sexual harassment is not sexual pleasure but gaining power. It’s a power play. Lots of men, especially men who’ve been around awhile, want to put us ‘up and coming’ women in our place, and that’s the way they do it. It’s their way of telling us to keep our place.”

“But maybe. . .” Fran replies, “maybe I did something or gave him some wrong impression. I mean, is there something wrong with my suit?”

“Fran,” Louise tells her, “you’re falling into a typical response behavior. It’s not dissimilar to that of an abused woman who thinks she’s done something to deserve the abuse. Certainly, you’re dressed very conservatively and professionally, as you always are, but no matter how a woman dresses, no man has the right to harass you.”

“I guess I’ve always thought that if I behaved and dressed correctly, it would never happen to me. I always thought that a really spiritual woman would never have to endure such treatment. But. . .”

“Fran, good, decent women get raped and good, decent women are harassed,” Louise says.

The tears start down Fran’s face. “It’s humiliating and I feel so powerless against him. He’s very intimidating, Louise.”

“Fran, I can come over and talk tonight if you’d like, because you need to take some decisive action quickly,” Louise offers.

“Oh, Louise, thanks so much. I don’t know what I’d do without you,” Fran says, and gives her a big hug as they leave the coffee shop.

“Oh, Lord,” she says to Jesus on the way home, “how I long for those wonderful days of just being a mommy. Sometimes when you work in the world’s environment, you just feel contaminated.”

“Yes, Fran, you’re right,” Jesus answers her, “working and moving in this sin-infected world is not a Sunday School picnic, as they say. But, if you remember, I told my disciples that I purposely left them in this world. You are not of this world, but you are left in it to shine as a light for me.”

“Well, Lord, I need some help in this mess. Please carefully direct my thoughts and decisions. Help Louise and me to stay on track in our thinking and our discussion tonight,” Fran asks. “Please give us wisdom—there I go again, asking for wisdom. I know I’ve worn that verse out in James 1:5, but. . .”

“No, you haven’t worn it out, nor have you wearied me with your asking, Fran,” Jesus interrupts her. “I long to see my followers come to me for wisdom and strength. That delights my heart; you can never over-do it!”

“Thanks, Lord,” Fran says as they pull in the driveway.

Louise comes over and they finally sit down to talk.

“Fran,” Louise starts, “you should do something. This needs to be confronted and reported.”

“Right, and if I do, guess who will be in trouble,” Fran replies. “Not John; me. After all, there were no witnesses, Louise. He made sure of that. Besides, I want to be careful about playing with someone’s reputation and career.”

“That’s very true, Fran,” Louise agrees, “but do you think he was being very considerate of you in the propositions and suggestions he made to you?”

“No,” Fran says, “but I’m a Christian and I don’t treat people the way they treat me. I treat them as Christ would treat them.”

“And I agree with you again, Fran,” Louise says. “But Christ stood against wrong and for right, and he didn’t worry about people’s reputation or hurting their feelings when he knew they deserved his condemnation. He threw out the money-changers from the temple openly and abruptly.”

“Yes, but that was because they were doing something harmful to lots of people,” Fran answers. “In this case I’m just talking about the harm John’s done to me.”

“But Fran,” Louise says, “don’t you believe that if he’s done it to you, he’s done it to others, and he’ll keep on doing it as long as he can get by with it?”

“I believe we should take a stand against evil,” Fran says quietly, “but it’s not easy when it’s your neck in the noose. I did ask Pat to check him out for me, but she didn’t get back to me yet,” Fran says.

And just as she says that, the phone rings and it’s Pat, calling to report that John does indeed have a track record of this kind of behavior.

“You’re kidding! Who told you that?” Fran listens further. She put the phone on speaker so Louise can listen.

Pat relates that in the last three years, two other women have filed formal complaints about the way John talked or acted, but nothing could be proven. He was not officially punished and it was more or less overlooked. But Pat knows for a fact that there are documented records of these complaints.

She and Louise look at each other as they hang up the phone. “See what I told you, Fran?” Louise says. “The man has a pattern of sexual harassment.”

“You know, Marilyn gave me some indication that she’s had the same kind of experience with him,” Fran reports, “but her view was it just goes with the territory.”

“Lots of women have put up with sexual harassment for years to protect their careers,” Louise says.

“Well, now the question is, what should I do?” Fran asks.

For a couple of hours Fran and Louise discuss her plan of action, and agree that step one is to confront John directly and hope that’s the end of it. Louise encourages Fran to put it in writing, keep a copy at home, and mail a copy to herself and leave it unopened so the date can be verified. They work on the letter and finally come up with the finished product.

The letter begins with a detailed, objective account of the offensive behavior, then a description of how that behavior made her feel, and then what Fran plans to do if it continues. She was very clear, and at the end she wrote:

Furthermore, if I sense that my career is negatively impacted by any input from you because of this, I will not hesitate to bring it out in the open. For the good of the company and many other women who have to deal with you as well as my own self-respect, I will not go quietly, John.

You should also know that I’m keeping a copy of this letter and having one time dated so there can be no question of its validity or its timing, should that need ever arise.

She and Louise spend time in prayer for the situation, praying specifically for John, recognizing that he is a man with a problem. Quiet peace settles in, and Fran thanks Louise again and again as she leaves.

The next morning, she talks further with Jesus about her plan of action, and he assures her of his help and his care.

Fran gets to the office early and, shortly after 9:00, John appears in her office.

“Well, Fran,” he says in a cheerful way, “let’s get a cup of coffee to start the day right,” and he starts out of her office.

“John” Fran says in a voice that stops him at the door, “we do indeed need to get this day started right, and that’s why you need to read this.”

She hands him the letter and watches as he cautiously opens it and begins to read. His face gets redder and redder and he looks like he’s about to explode. Then he turns from red to pale white. When he finishes, he looks at Fran and says in a low voice, “This is garbage, Fran. You can’t prove anything.”

“You know it’s not garbage and you know I can make it stick,” Fran says without blinking an eye. Inside she’s a bowl of jelly, scared to death. Jesus says quietly to her, “Ignore those emotions; keep doing what you know you should.”

A long silence follows that feels like an eternity. Finally, John says, “I certainly don’t agree to any of these accusations. You women ask for equal rights and then don’t like it when you get it.”

“John, this is not a question of equal rights,” Fran replies. “I’m simply insisting that I be allowed to do my work in an environment that is free of sexual harassment.”

“Well, Fran, don’t expect your career to take off with this kind of attitude,” John says, as his voice rises in volume.

“Is that another threat, John?” Fran asks. “Are you telling me that I can’t succeed in this company unless I go along with sexual advances?”

At this, John stares at Fran for a long time, then says, “I can see that working with you today would be impossible. I’ll tell Marilyn to reassign me,” and with that he stomps out.

Fran falls into her seat like a limp dishrag as he leaves, her knees buckling beneath her. She’s so glad he’s gone, but realizes he does have clout and he could make good on his threats. She also knows she has done the right thing.

Later Marilyn walks in and says, “Wow, what’d you do to John? He couldn’t wait to be reassigned to someone else.”

“Marilyn, you need to know that I confronted John over what I believe to be sexual harassment which I had to endure yesterday,” Fran replies. “He may try to damage my career as a result, but I had to do it—for myself and all the other women in this company.”

Marilyn looks at her and shakes her head. “You confronted him? Well, I’ll be.” She pauses for a long time, then says, “Good for you, Fran. I should have done it years ago. And just let him try to do you any harm. Not over my dead body.” With that, she walks out, and Fran smiles.

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