What (lessons, warnings, tips) were you taught growing up about your expected behavior towards women?

  1. Be polite, hold doors open, give up your seat, etc.
  2. Stay away from girls, they’re trouble.
  3. Be protective of the “damsel in distress.”
  4. Be “cool” to impress and get all the “babes.”
  5. Girls really like to be told they’re pretty.
  6. Other __________.


Who taught you these things—your father, mother, or someone else? Were they true?



Joseph had been sold by his brothers against his will to be a slave in Egypt. He then made the best of a bad situation, grew in character and status, and earned the trust of his master. He also enjoyed a trusting and blessed relationship with God that kept it all going. When Potiphar’s wife lusted for him, Joseph’s answer—yes or no—put him at risk for trouble either way. Being a slave, Joseph had very little power compared to Potiphar or his wife.


God’s Story

Read aloud the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife in Genesis 39: 1-23.


Finding My Story in God’s Story

  1. Joseph was accused of doing something he didn’t do. When have you felt accused of something you didn’t do?


2. Sexual temptation is not sin but falling for it is. How did Joseph manage to resist falling for the sexual enticements of the boss’s wife?

  1. He kept largely to himself and avoided being alone with her.
  2. Out of respect for his master, Joseph would do him no harm.
  3. He did not mistake the blessings of God for blanket permission to do whatever.
  4. He would run away, even quit his job, before compromising his integrity.
  5. Other __________.


3. What boundaries have you set to keep yourself out of a sexually compromised position?

    1. I never dine or drive alone with a woman who is not my wife.
    2. I can’t help when pretty ones pass by, but I don’t let them nest in my head space.
    3. If she comes onto me, anything goes, and I go for all the gusto.
    4. I go as far as she’ll let me, but I respect that “No” means “No.”
    5. Other __________.


4. What do you suppose came between Joseph and Potiphar’s wife?

  1. Innocent flirting was meant only to satisfy her own ego needs.
  2. Her play for Joseph was meant to get Potiphar jealous or angry.
  3. Her play for Joseph was meant to trap him or bring him down.
  4. Joseph misread her body language; she misread his good intentions.
  5. The multi-colored dream coat got him in trouble, again.
  6. Other __________.


5. Potiphar was fond of Joseph and trusted him with all he possessed. What are the rules around violating a friend’s or boss’s trust?

  1. Trust only goes so far and must be earned each step of the way.
  2. Trust but verify, so Potiphar’s wife was there to keep an eye on Joseph.
  3. If you must have rules in place, you don’t have trust to begin with.
  4. Listen to both sides of a story; if Potiphar had, the outcome would have been different.
  5. Trust is won with many acts and promises kept but is lost with one mishap.


6. What factors do you think most affected this Joseph-Potiphar’s wife outcome?

  1. The power differential between him and her and Potiphar.
  2. The sheer proximity, spending so much time together.
  3. Their good looks: his well-chiseled muscles and her curvaceous beauty.
  4. God, who is blessing and protecting Joseph in ALL cases.
  5. Joseph’s fidelity to his boss, integrity of character, faith in God.
  6. Other __________.


Our Story


7. Have you ever been the target of sexual attention—whether welcome, unwelcome, or illusory? What level of power did you have in that situation? Describe what happened.


8. Have you ever pursued someone to whom you were attracted in the workplace? How did that turn out?

  1. Sadly, I discovered she did not feel the same way.
  2. It felt awkward, as we had to keep things so secretive.
  3. The power differential undermined our workplace romance.
  4. I made it a rule to never again date anyone from work.
  5. It worked out great; we got together and eventually got married!
  6. Other __________.


9. Describe the rules at your workplace regarding workplace romances and sexual harassment. Do you have a personal code that you follow? What is it?


10. From this Bible study and group discussion, what three lifelines will you take with you back to the home front or the workplace?


11. Close your group time in prayer for next steps as you appropriate those lifelines.