A few months ago we had a single mother over for dinner. In the course of conversation, after all the children were excused from the table and were playing downstairs, she made the sweeping statement, “All men are pigs.” Then she laughed a bit and said to me, “Well, except for your husband, of course.”
I’ve been pondering this statement for months. We’ve all heard this assertion at various times, but have we ever taken the time to really pull it apart? Why would someone make such a sweeping claim? In her case, the statement was prompted by the brewing scandal of a mutual acquaintance. The hypocrisy of this acquaintance invoked a sort of vehemence that was then generalized to all men. But is that fair? I don’t think it is. In fact, I think it’s patently unfair. Because it has nothing to do with being a man. It has to do with being human.
For example, we may now look at David Petraeus with disgust. I mean honestly how dumb do you have to be? But on the other hand, a person who is honest about themselves should know that they are not above it. In my own speech and thought I avoid, “I could never…” Instead, I set boundaries. Guess what? If Petraeus was never alone with a woman other than his wife, he wouldn’t be in this mess. Observing strict boundaries is the answer. David Petraeus, Bill Clinton and the diapered astronaut — along with literally millions of others — illustrate the folly of ignoring boundaries. We may look at the irrationality of their ultimate behaviors (the director of the CIA sent emails for heaven’s sake), but that’s not really fair. Because people in these scenarios get crazy — it’s like the judgment part of their brain ceases to exist. Donning a diaper is not rational, neither is saying you are hiking the Appalachian Trail when you are actually in Argentina. Yet we shouldn’t lie to ourselves and say, “Oh, I could never be that stupid.” Because the truth is we could. Let’s not find out what kind of absurd choices we’d make if our judgment valves got flipped, may we observe boundaries instead.
So on this Marriage Monday I’m praying that my husband and I will guard our marriage by observing boundaries. May we acknowledge that the heart is deceitful above all things and be quick to flee temptation. (Jeremiah 17:9, Matthew 6:13).
But in closing there’s a deeper spiritual issue that is presented by the statement “all men are pigs.” It represents a worldview that is fundamentally flawed, because the underlying assumption of the woman who makes this claim is that she is not a pig. The statement wouldn’t mean a thing if all women and all men are pigs, right? But that’s the truth. We are all sinners. We are all hypocrites. We all fall short. We all need a Savior. You can go around blaming everyone and everything, but the darkness is in your own heart. God sent His Son to shine light there. To give you peace in this life and eternity with Him. But Jesus is gentle. He never forces anyone to do anything. He will not make you look at the dark corner of your heart. No one can make you do that. But it is the first step to peace in this life. I hope and pray YOU know that.