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Monday, December 8, 2008

Children, Convents, Criminals, and Company

First, a disclaimer: I don't have daughters yet. I wish I did, but they're still stuck in Kyrgyzstan at the moment. So, I can't speak from personal experience. On the other hand, I have sisters, many close female friends, and several girls with whom I have traveled internationally*, so I do have a very protective bent.

Now, on to the topic at hand:

I read a post about a recent experience that determined why one woman's daughter will not be biking alone ever again.

Now, yes, the world is a scary place with much potential for evil, and we must look to protect our children. But is the answer to hide away in a convent? Do we withdraw to places away from criminals and let the world "go where it will" without us?


And I'm not saying that was the point of the original post either. But facetious as the comments may have been, I think the ideal is a reality for many Christians in their daily lives: Rather than deal with the issue, we suggest that we remove it. And that's not without Biblical backing. And in some cases, that's not a bad idea at all.

But the solution to sin should not, I propose, be about making it impossible to do so. Rather, we should focus on changing life to be so we focus on the good instead.

Here's my experience of a girl going out alone: Instead of telling the girl in Paris that she should not go running at night, I insisted on going with her. That way she was no longer in as grave a danger and we could build a friendship. Positives.

And this is why some people find accountability groups/partners so powerful: They have a companion with them to help keep them safe. And this is the importance of community as well: We need people who are looking out for us and keeping us from doing something foolish on our own. And that, I think, is why I have consistently had bad experiences with "accountability groups": They are about seeing how I've been doing at avoiding something, rather than looking out for me and walking with me through the dark alleys.

In short, an accountability group is like a weekly "safety meeting" for girls who can talk about how many times they've been approached by guys that week. "Well, I was only approached by two guys this week," the cute little blond girl says. "Oh, that's good," exclaims the redhead, "I had three guys whistle at me."

That's retroactive and hardly helpful.

I want people who will go with me out into the world and keep me safe simply by walking beside me because they love me. And, honestly, I think that's the point of the post: Don't go biking alone.

If that is our model, there's rarely a need for the convent.

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

*Oh yeah, that sounds really wholesome, doesn't it?

Well, it was every time.

I've been on mission trips and a leadership training group thingy. I don't go bopping around the world with bimbos. Just in case people were scandalized <smile>.


Unknown said...

Well said.

Love the alliteration in the title.

Suburban Correspondent said...

Yes, of course I was only joking about locking her up! But she does chafe at the buddy system sometimes, when she sees her brother able to go places alone safely.

Unknown said...

I love my accountability group. They strap in to do life with me, and when it gets bumpy they try to cushion the blow.

Anonymous said...

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Luke Holzmann said...

Jessica, I've always been one for puns and word play <smile>. Glad you enjoy it too.

SuburbanCorrestpondent, I realize that, but you totally got me thinking (and, thanks, by the by, for the inspiration <smile>). And, yes, I know it can be annoying to have a buddy all the time, especially when life isn't fair.

Tiff, I'm so glad to hear that your accountability group is there for you. That's fantastic! May they continue to bless you and help you along this road of life <smile>.

Lisa: Totally agree <smile>.

Thank you all for reading and taking the time to comment. I love hearing from you!


Juliana said...

I enjoyed your thoughts on community in this post. It's a topic that has been on my mind lately b/c my husband and I are going to become small group leaders in January and begin hosting a new group in our home. I like your analogy of people walking with you and helping keep you safe b/c simply they love you. Good stuff.

Luke Holzmann said...

Juliana, may your small group be a blessing both to you and those who attend. A loving community is so important, and, sadly, often hard to find. May you find an even closer group of loving friends there!


Juliana said...

Thanks, Luke. We love our current small group, and we are really just praying that with this new one, God would use our lives, our family, and our home to be a blessing to others. Thank you for your well-wishes that our new group would also be a blessing to us, as we will be saying goodbye to a dear group of friends who have truly enriched our lives for the past two years. I know, however, that God has great things in our journey ahead!


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