||Does "No" mean
A recent sexual assault on our campus
was a wake-up call to those who thought that our small-town university was
safe. But rape by strangers is only one aspect of the problem. What about
acquaintance rape and date rape?
One study found that 25% of the female
college students surveyed had at least one experience of forced intercourse,
and that 93% of these episodes involved acquaintances. College administrators
and campus police estimate that date rape or acquaintance rape happens to
one-fifth of college women, and one-fourth of college women will experience
either attempted or completed forced sex.
This is something we all need to discuss
and decide, one by one, what we can do about it. And Christians on campus
need to be prepared to offer more than scriptural Thou shalt
nots. Just say no is no more a panacea for
acquaintance/date rape than it is for the problem of illicit drugs.
Often, even when the woman says
No! or Stop! the guy doesnt stop, or even slow
down. He coaxes, pleads, and pressures. He may even ridicule, threaten, or
get rough. He thinks no means maybe and
maybe might just mean yes.
of the master keys to having a great relationship and having an abundance
of love is the ability to communicate well with the people in your
Here are some practical suggestions for
women. Decide what is your own personal, definite standard of how far is
acceptable, based on solid reasons drawn from morality (what is right?),
physiology (what will arouse beyond stopping?), and psychology (what might
he wrongly assume?).
Explore the potential mental conflicts
the dating situation might create. You may often find yourself trying to
weigh the value of maintaining your standards against the value of not hurting
his feelings, or of maintaining the relationship, or even of ensuring your
Learn from others the consequences of
not communicating your standards clearly and forcefully--before you learn
it from painful and bitter experience. Develop effective, assertive ways
of saying no or stop without lying, hurting, or
estranging. All of this thinking-through is best done alone, away from the
critical, split-second decision-making you might have to do on a date.
women think they are doing everything right and just can't figure out why
the man they love does not love them back.
Another important point to remember is
how often alcohol is connected with date rape. In fact, it is directly involved
in a large majority of cases. Guys looking for a new conquest know that even
a beer or two will lower your resistance. If you are aware of this ploy,
you can guard against it.
Of course, avoiding date rape is not
just the womans responsibility. Each man who dates must also develop
his own convictions. Decide how far is too far. Stop thinking of and treating
women as commodities and start esteeming them as persons with inestimable
worth. God sees each of them as one for whom Christ died (Rom.
14:15; 1 Cor. 8:11). How priceless, then, she must be!
Did you know that respect from you and
for you is one of the highest values most women want in a growing relationship?
Cultivate her respect by establishing your own standards rather than relying
on her to determine when to stop.
Resolve never to overcome No!
with coaxing, ridicule, or any kind of manipulation or coercion. Appreciate
the value of self-control as an important step you can take now toward becoming
a world-class lover when and if you get married.
The goal both of you have in most dates
is to develop a deeper, more satisfying relationship. Heterosexual intercourse
is designed by God to be the fullest and deepest expression of such a
relationship, provided it is experienced in an environment of concern, trust,
and mutual respect.
Such an environment only marriage can
provide. Here are three passages that will help you know where to draw the
Flee from sexual
immorality (1 Cor. 6:18). Is the activity you are engaged in on
a date coming closer and closer to fornication, or is it helping you stay
away from it?
The way some Christian students act on
a date, you would think the verse read Pursue sexual immoralityas
long as you dont catch it. They are what could be called,
Technical Virgins, avoiding intercourse, but engaging in everything
This is not fleeing from sexual immorality.
It is yielding to it, longing for it, and fantasizing about it. Those who
take such an approach to the dating scene can no longer call themselves pure
even if they are still virgins physiologically.
Not everything is beneficial
. . . . I will not be mastered by anything (1 Cor. 6:12). Jesus
must be our only master, not self, and certainly not libido.
If our sexual desires are so uncontrollable
that we are no longer submissive to Christ, we should follow Pauls
advice, It is better to marry than to burn with passion (1 Cor.
And whatever you do, whether
in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to
God the Father through him (Col. 3:17). Can you begin and end your
date with prayer, asking for Gods presence throughout the evening and
for His blessing on all that you two will do?
Are you willing for anyone who witnesses
what you do on your date to know that you are a Christian? When we are baptized
into Christ, we put on Christ, and for the rest of our lives, as we walk
in the light, we continue to wear Him.
If you are in the habit of taking Him
off, rolling Him up, and stuffing Him into your glove compartment or checking
him with the attendant at the door, know this: Christ will not be put off
many times before He refuses to be put on again. You insult Him whenever
you do it.
Excluding sexual foreplay and intercourse
from dating gives you a chance to explore each other in ways more important
in the long run, establishing the lines of communication that are the essentials
of every successful marriage. Ask your date these questions: "Who are you?
What are your core values? Name your top three ambitions. What do you like
to do? Whats your absolute passion? What do you like about yourself?
What do you despise in yourself or in others? What do you see in me worth
admiring?" Then say: "Do you know what I like about you? Allow me to get
out my list."
Singleton has written and edited several books and numerous
articles on subjects of interest to Bible students. He has taught Greek,
Bible, and religious studies courses Bible college, university, and adult
education programs. He has taught seminars and workshops in 11 states and
Go to his
Bible study resources, no matter what your level of expertise. Explore "The
Shallows," plumb "The Depths," or use the well-organized "Study Links" for
original sources in English translation. Sign up for Steve's free "DeeperStudy
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