FaithZette

Mike and Karen Pence Model a Strong Christian Marriage

The vice president and his wife are wrongly ridiculed for their loving commitment to one another

The Washington Post published a profile of Vice President Mike Pence’s wife, Karen, on March 28. It was overall a lovely, complimentary write-up focused on the relationship between the Pences, who have been married for almost 37 years. But the liberal media seized on one line regarding Vice President Pence’s personal policy: He does not dine alone with any other woman.

There is now an outcry that Pence somehow does not appreciate the female perspective. The argument is that it is sexist to refuse to dine alone with someone of the opposite sex — and that it limits the potential for females to advance in their careers. However, the appropriate argument should be that it is sexist to assume private dinners are the only way to advance one’s career prospects, especially as a female.

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Mary Vought, who worked for Mike Pence as press secretary to the House Republican Conference, responded on April 1 in an article for The Washington Post.

She noted, “Pence’s personal decision to not dine alone with female staffers was never a hindrance to my ability to do my job well, and never kept me from reaping the rewards of my work. In fact, I excelled at my job because of the work environment created from the top down, and my personal determination to succeed.” In other words, Vought was valued for her ability, not her social-calendar requests.

Naturally, Pence’s rule for dinners has been used to criticize his religious affiliation as a conservative Christian. Instead of applauding a man and a woman who have a relationship any married couple would want to emulate, people are mocking them for their traditional values.

Karen Pence, who by all reports is kind and genuine, was ridiculed for being a prayer warrior for her husband by Heather Schwedel of Slate.com. Schwedel insulted the entire dynamic of the Pence relationship and the foundation of faith on which the Pences base their values.

Would a liberal man or woman be under the same scrutiny? If Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama said she only reserved private dinners for her husband, she would likely be applauded for valuing her husband and their relationship. Likewise, Bill Clinton or Barack Obama would be heralded as romantics.

And when it comes to religious convictions, should those personal principles be scoffed at due to their basis in faith? Would a woman of Muslim faith be mocked for refusing to shake hands with a male co-worker? One would certainly hope not. Americans are blessed to practice the religion of their choice.

The Pences have an enduring commitment to their faith and to one another. The way Mike Pence looks at his wife is enough to make any woman desire that same adoration from her own partner. But marriage takes work, discipline, and dedication.

Although the “Billy Graham Rule” of not dining alone with any other person of the opposite sex has been scorned, it is indeed one of several ways to honor one’s significant other. By demonstrating that no one else has attained the same level of intimacy, a marriage is protected from temptation. Here are a few other ways to keep transparency and trust between a married couple:

1.) Do not share intimate details with other people. This includes not complaining about a spouse to a friend, co-worker, or family member. It will only damage someone else’s view of the significant other and focus one’s own heart on that person’s shortcomings.

2.) Refuse to be alone with another person of the opposite sex, especially outside of work hours. Keep office doors open, or at least allow private meetings to be viewed through windows. This protects everyone from accusation or misconception.

3.) Do share passwords with one another. If there is nothing to hide, then there’s no reason to restrict access to phone, email, and social media accounts.

Marriage is sacred. The relationship between a man and a woman, brought together by God, should not be taken lightly. Any safeguard one feels is necessary to protect that relationship should be respected, not insulted.

Katie Nations is a working mother of three young children. She lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.