Being safe - Jesus Army Life, Day 154

There's a young lass who's visited repeatedly recently. Something tells me that she truly wants to become a Christian, although I know that because she's only been around a few weeks, she has to feel that she can trust people first. She's very good at putting up her guard when she is asked direct questions (that's partially because her cultural background is different) but it really is just a front and there's quite a mixed up person underneath.

Frustratingly, although we're from the same cultural background, it's going to be important to leave this one to my 'sisters' in the household. The sisters do a really great job with helping the younger women find their spirituality. Nonetheless, I'm impatient for her to find trusted friendships soon so that she can make her way through to Jesus. My job is to pray.

We have a principle in community called 'holy segregation', it marks out clear boundaries for the opposite sexes. The intention is to help single men and women find their space without the pressure of flirtations which inevitably take place between sexes in a new social environment.

The rule is fairly simple: respect one another, don't over-associate with the opposite sex (give each other space) and trust the advice of friends (both sexes).

It is very useful. It allows women to feel safe and men to feel less pressurised to perform. We can avoid problematic situations, create wholesome brotherhood and sisterhood and therefore build up people's self confidence in an affirming way. An individual's true heart is quickly revealed by this discipline. It shows whether they want God more than having a good time and so, ultimately, spiritual growth takes place with less distraction.