Tag Archives: christian sex

The #1 Myth Christian Women Learned about Sex

With a title like that, it’s really not fair for me to withhold the answer, is it? But I should first admit that I have no research to back this up, just years and years of hearing from Christian women about what messages they absorbed in the culture around them—church and secular—about sex. And, sadly, they learned this:

Sex is for him.

This myth that God created sex more for men — and its corollary that He thus cares more about men’s sexuality than ours — has floated around like a dark mist that many wives struggle to wave away.

Did anyone say those words to us exactly? No, but it was the underlying message of a bunch of other advice we received. Did you, sweet wife, happen to hear any of the following Greatest Worst Hits?

The #1 Myth Christian Women Learned about Sex from Hot, Holy, and Humorous

Teen guys have a hard time stopping.

“Teen guys struggle with their sex drive, so you need to be the one to stop things from going too far. ” As if SHE doesn’t struggle too?

When I was sixteen years old, two married women in my church offered to teach a Wednesday evening class for young ladies. From a place of wanting the best for us, they warned us about the intensity of a teen male’s sex drive. It was described almost like a bucking bull just inside the rodeo chute; one crack in the gate, and all heck would break loose. (Don’t get the rodeo analogy? Watch the video below.)

And you know who had their hand on the latch? We young ladies.

Since their libidos were wild animals, we had to be in charge of making sure nothing broke out of the pen. Unfortunately, I recall sitting there in class wondering who was going to help me tame my inner beast. Because sex sounded really interesting to me too.

Even gals who didn’t have as strong a drive were at least curious. But since saying so might mean we were wayward young ladies, many of us either denied our drive, interest, curiosity or decided we were fighting a losing battle and should just unlatch the gate already.

Most boys/young men masturbate.

“Most teen boys masturbate because the resulting climax is so satisfying. “This practice might have been accepted, tolerated, or condemned, but it was presumed that he has a longing to experience the physical release of a climax. Ignoring that SHE would also like to know what it feels like to orgasm.

Females masturbate. Not with the frequency that males do, but when your goodies are all tucked away, it’s not so obvious or easy or even tempting to fondle yourself all the way to climax. Some girls do it anyway, and some don’t. 

But most gals are just as curious about what it would feel like to have a sexual orgasm as the guys are. And we are drawn to the physical pleasure and release of climax.

Should we masturbate? That’s a different question. But interest in experiencing the physical sensation of an orgasm? Women have it too.

If you don’t have sex regularly, your husband might cheat.

“You need to have sex regularly in marriage, to help him the avoid temptation to cheat.” Honestly, there’s a thread of truth in this one (see 1 Corinthians 7:5-9), but where is this admonition for husbands? Are we saying that he needs sex a lot, and SHE doesn’t?

And this makes sex sound like merely a preventative measure. Along the lines of “if you don’t need get a flu shot, you might end up horribly sick for a week” or “if you don’t floss your teeth, they’ll fall out.” You and your teeth don’t have equal choice, but in marriage-adultery, both sides are conscious actors. Adultery, therefore, would not be the wife’s fault just because the adulterer didn’t get his groove on as much as he wanted.

Interestingly enough, negative consequences are not a great motivator for positive action (see “What Motivates Employees More: Rewards or Punishments?” – Harvard Business Review). Strong warnings can work well in getting us to not do something — like smoke or cross the street at the wrong time — but not so well if we have to exert effort to prevent the bad thing from happening. So saying do not commit adultery and listing negative consequences makes far more sense than saying do have a lot of sex and listing adultery as a negative consequence. If we want a wife to engage in more sex, we should stress all the benefits to her and the marriage! Because there are plenty.

Men are turned on by looking at women.

“Men love to look at women; it’s just how God made them.” Also not so much a myth—though plenty of women are visual—but growing up, I never heard the other side of how God made women to be aroused. Which made it seem like we didn’t have our own temptations or our arousal didn’t matter as much.

Women are typically more turned on through the senses of hearing and touch. We tend to be auditory and tactile. I wish I’d known that a long time ago. I wish someone had acknowledged how we ladies get aroused, and how that can be both our struggle outside of marriage and our blessing inside of marriage.

I mean, my husband probably should be a little jealous of how in love I am with Dean Martin simply because of his singing voice (though him being dead certainly lessens the competition), but when my husband’s low, rumbling voice whispers in my ear?… 

Sorry, I had to go fan myself for a moment.

Never say no to your husband.

“Never say no to a sexual advance from your husband.” This one has come from so many different circles, I don’t really know where to begin. I understand how well-meaning the advice is, because it’s important for wives to be fully engaged in the sexual intimacy in their marriage. But seriously, never say no to your husband? Does that mean HER needs and desire in the moment don’t matter?

Also, there’s a convention-center sized group of higher-drive wives reading this right now and wanting to scream: Did anyone ever tell the men to never say no to their wife?! *waves to ladies* Yes, I see you there, and you make a great point: This advice tends to be lopsided.

If Corinthians 7:3-5 should teach us anything, it’s that sex in marriage is mutual. It matters for both husband and wife.

It’s a necessary act in marriage.

“It’s just what you have to do in marriage.” Sadly, some wives who never learned to fully embrace or enjoy sex themselves characterize sex as a clause in the marriage contract you cannot get out of — though you wish you could. As if it’s written somewhere: “The female party, referenced throughout as ‘Wife’ agrees to faithfully, industriously, and to the best of her skill, experience and talent, perform all of the duties required of the position, including that thing where he wiggles around on top you while you mentally make your grocery list.”

Every time I think about this attitude, I am caught between wanting to cry for the wives who believed or experienced sex like this and wanting to scream about the madness and misery of this myth!

Thank heaven that we’re dispelling that myth more and more these days. Thus freeing up wives to express their sexuality, pursue answers when they don’t experience pleasure or orgasm in the bedroom (their right, according to Scripture), and just revel in a good ol’ romp with their husbands.

Hopefully, by this point you’ve identified what wrong messages might have led you to believe, even in the smallest way, that sex is ultimately for him. It’s not, dear wife. It’s for you too.

God was well-aware of what He was creating when He made women — including her unique sexuality, her longings and desires, her mutual contribution to sexual intimacy in the marriage bed.

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.

Psalm 139:13-14 

Your body and your sexuality are fearfully and wonderfully made, and they matter. Sex is for your husband, created and delivered by God, but don’t buy the myth that sex was created mostly or exclusively for him. God longs for you to enjoy it too.

Ready to experience more sexual freedom, pleasure & excitement? Learn about God's design for sex in marriage. Click to buy Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God's Design, by J. Parker.

6 Ways to Score While You Watch Sports

Have you heard the term sports widow? That’s what they call a wife who receives little to no attention from her husband during one of more sports seasons. Some of you ladies are nodding your head right now.

Sports seasons can affect your sex life too. Either his sexual interest takes a back seat while he’s front-row fanning for his team, or he neglects the lead-up to sexual intimacy and wonders why you’re aren’t ready at the drop of a rah rah to get bedroom busy.

Mind you, some of you wives are the ones sucking in the sports season like slushie through a straw. And you don’t need to be neglect your sexy self either.

With the football playoff season, World Series coming up, and whatever else is going on — didn’t hockey season just start? — it’s time for some tips on how to keep sexual intimacy going during the sports season. And even tie the two together for more fun!

1. Kiss Every Time Your Team Scores.

Texas A&M University has long had a tradition that when you take a date to the football game, you are supposed to kiss him/her after a touchdown. That’s a good way to motivate fans to root for their team to put points on the board. If your team gets lucky, so do you.

Why not use this approach with your favorite sport and team? Let your husband know that you’ll be giving and/or expecting a kiss if and when your team scores. Then make it a worthwhile smooch, the kind that will having you both cheering on the team to score again … very soon.

2. Wear a Team Jersey—and Nothing Else.

Whether you watch the game with him, or just sit on the same couch and read your book or knit, show up wearing his team’s jersey and nothing else. For many husbands, that’s a good way to keep his eyes from being entirely glued to the game. After all, his gorgeous wife is inches away, looking and feeling sexy, which is well worth some divided attention.

If you want, you can give your husbands peeks from time to time, bending over just so to show off your cleavage, your bum, or something even more promising. Show him that you support his team, but even more … you want your husband to score.

3. Make Out During Commercials.

Do you really need to see another commercial for an automobile, beer, or Viagra? How about skipping those altogether and using the breaks for hot-and-heavy kissing?

There’s even something sexy about getting going and then having to stop when the game returns. With your kissing coming in spurts over the course of a couple of hours, you’ll likely both reach the end with breathless anticipation of what you can do together post-game.

4. Introduce Sexy Rewards.

Let’s say your team scores a run or a goal. What sexual favor does that get you or him or both of you? How about suggesting a sexy game to go along with your team’s performance?

Create a reward card defining out the team’s achievements will translate into something sexual for you two. Like this one for baseball:

SAMPLE

Each of you can have a card and keep track during the game, to see what you two will get to enjoy later. You could also make him/her cards, with different activities for each. You could make your reward more romantic, more specific, or whatever you want. Make it work for you! Below is a PDF that you can print and fill in for yourself.

playing-to-win

5. Play Strip Touchdown/Goal/Run.

You’ve heard of Strip Poker, right? When you lose a hand, you have to remove a piece of clothing. What if you played a positive version of Strip Poker, but with your sports team involved? Every time your team gets a touchdown, a goal, a run, or any other scoring achievement you negotiate, one or both of you remove clothing.

If your team has a great game, you’ll both end up naked by the time the final play happens. If not, you can look forward to finishing the task yourselves—which would be a nice way to soothe yourselves over the loss.

But what if you’re watching the game with other people around?

6. Tally Up the Score for Private Post-Game Activity.

You two can keep score without people around knowing that the team’s performance has an effect on what kind of sexual activity you’ll be having later. Make it something simple, like every time the team scores you wink at each other. Each wink is worth a kiss or sexual favor after the game ends and you finally get to be alone.

Or come up with a code word or phrase that doesn’t mean to them what it means to you. You could shout “That’s one for us!” with your friends/family thinking that’s one more score for the team, while you and your husband know that’s one more sexual activity for you two later.

After all, sports and sex shouldn’t be in competition with each other. They can both enhance your life and your bedroom. Just be intentional in making it happen!

I’ll be there! So should you. CLICK TO LEARN MORE!

Are You Dating Your Spouse Enough?

When my children were little, going out on a date felt like an excursion to the Orient. At least in terms of planning, preparation, and cost. Lining up a babysitter, buying movie tickets, getting kids ready, and forking out enough money to fund Mommy & Me classes for a month just for one night? Often didn’t feel worth it.

Especially when what hubby and I most wanted was just more sleep.

Fast forward to those children become teenagers, and it was so much easier to find our way out the door, sitting at a restaurant enjoying grown-up conversation, and having the energy to finish the night properly when we got home.

And now, we’ve just entered the Empty Nest stage, and dates are becoming more about dinners at home alone and sex, well, wherever we want to have it in this big house. (Don’t tell my sons. They may never sit on the living room couch again.)

But looking back, I realize that we needed dating at every stage of our marriage. Those times when we weren’t dating much? Things weren’t great in our marriage. We were in survival mode, rather than nurturing our connection.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t have ample family time and alone time, but being a couple now and then—without the demands or distractions of work, household, and parenting—reminds you why you fell in love. And why you should keep falling in love, over and over.

Research has even shown that we experience a boost of feel-good chemicals when we’re first falling in love that can be later mimicked by experiencing novel activities together. The typical dinner-and-movie probably won’t have that effect, but exploring your town together, taking walks in different places and in different seasons, or visiting new restaurants, museums, or sports activities can bring you closer together. You associate those feel-good times with the one who was with you — your beloved spouse.

But whatever season you’re in, how can you find the resources of time and money to date your spouse regularly? Here are a few ideas.

Organize a babysitting co-op.

Spock (husband) and I started dating again regularly when we joined our church’s babysitting co-op. Couples took turns babysitting groups of children, ages 2–11, using church facilities and a regular routine. For four hours, children played, watched a video, ate kids’ fare, and had adult supervision throughout. Meanwhile, couples who weren’t on call that night paid a few dollars for their kids’ meals and got those four hours to go out and do whatever they wanted. 

While we had the use of a gym and adjoining classrooms, you could organize a smaller co-op in couples’ homes or a church nursery. Adjust the ages to what works for you. Come up with a routine that appeals to kids and works for adults. See if area restaurants will deliver food or purchase grocery items that are easy to prepare, like frozen pizzas or sandwiches. Make sure you get parental permission to seek health care in an emergency and have good contact numbers for everyone.

If you can’t get that going, at least find another couple to swap with or ask around at your church for who the good, reasonably priced babysitters are.

Get creative about your dates.

My husband and I default to dinner-and-movie dates too. Or dinner and wandering through a store. But while those count for good maintenance, the dates that have brought us closest together and made for great memories are the more creative ones.

We’ve taken day trips to historical spots, visited various museums (many offer free admission on certain days), attended the Texas Renaissance Festival, cheered on our awesome Houston Astros at the ballpark, kayaked at our local town lake, and attended Shakespeare in the Park.

Google your town’s or your state’s tourist bureau and see what’s going on around you. Tour Pinterest for ideas on having a special date night at home. Also, check out The Dating Divas, which has a gazillion date-night ideas on their website. Just think outside the box!

Talk about expectations.

What does a “date” involve in your mind? It might not be what your spouse pictures. While dating before marriage, most of us expected the night to end with a kiss. Once married, a fair number of spouses expect a date to end with a roll in the hay.

Then there’s the romance/wooing factor. Let’s face it: some of you tried a lot harder when you were dating. Perhaps you got spiffied up, went out to a nice restaurant, and then went dancing, but now you think the local sandwich shop and a tour of Walmart should count. While your spouse is scratching their head and wondering, What happened to the romance?

Talk about what dating should look like. Discuss expectations, activities you can mutually agree on, and how the date might end. Figure out what will make you each feel more cherished and more connected to the other.

Attend a marriage event.

One of the best dates you can go on is a marriage enrichment event. That could be a regional conference, a ministry retreat, or a date night hosted by your local church. My husband and I have attended, and once coordinated, weekend marriage retreats for our church couples class, and they stick out in my memories as wonderful times we dedicated to nurturing out relationship. Not to mention we stayed in hotel rooms, a setting especially conducive to physical intimacy.

I have one particular event in mind, though. The Get Your Marriage On marriage conference is a single-evening event on Saturday, November 17, in St. George, Utah. And I’ll be delivering a keynote about sexual intimacy!

CLICK TO LEARN MORE

St. George is located in Southwestern Utah, with beautiful views and plenty of those novelty experiences to enjoy together. And you can stay in a hotel room at the Amira Resort & Spa at a discount, when booked through the conference. Then there are the presenters: marriage and family therapists, a professor providing relationship education, a massage expert, Tara Carson of The Data Divas, and yours truly (that’s me!).

The event is underwritten by the Ultimate Intimacy app, The Dating Divas, The Center for Couples and Families, and more. On top of all that, I’m crossing my fingers (cross yours with me, please!) that I’ll have my newest book, Pillow Talk: 40 Conversations to Have with Your Spouse about Sex, out in time for Get Your Marriage On. If so, that’s the first place print copies will be sold!

And now you’re all like: Oh my goodness, this sounds fabulous, but we could never afford it! Y’all, it’s only $99. For a couple. Seriously, this is a great value and investment for your marriage!

Yes, you’ll have additional costs with lodging, transportation, and meals. But if you can swing it, you’ll have an unforgettable experience. And you’ll meet not only me, but also my beloved Spock — the man crazy enough to marry me and stay married to me for 25 years.

Get Your Marriage On might be just the kick in your two pairs of pants to revitalize your dating life. Regardless, prioritize dating in marriage. It leads to greater connection, a stronger foundation, and yes, typically more sex.

How Your Comments Unintentionally Hurt Women

Guys, I’m talking to you today. I had a whole other post ready to go, but after hearing from various women about comments here on my blog and in my Facebook community, I need to address this:

I’ve lost female followers due to male commenters exhibiting little empathy for the experience of women.

I've lost female followers due to male commenters exhibiting little empathy for the experience of women. via @hotholyhumorous Click To Tweet

I am not blaming all men here. Believe me, I often feel like the champion for men. I get along well with most men. I find male biology and viewpoints fascinating. More of my friends in college were guys than girls. And I have lived with three guys for most of my adult life, whom I treasure thoroughly. I like men.

But while I make real efforts to consider the side of men in various situations, some of you struggle to put yourselves in the place of women. You love your wife and your sisters and your daughters, but you don’t really try to understand them. Or you consider them exceptions and feel the world out there—women generally, or those frustrating feminists—is against you.

What comments are problematic? Let me share some types, so you know that I’m talking about. And before you ask, yes, these issues occur with women too, but believe me, they’re far more common with men.

You don’t understand yourself like I do.

Sometimes a man comments with 100% certainty that he understands how a woman works more than she does. Whether that’s her thoughts, her feelings, or her sexuality, it takes some real chutzpah to have no credentialed expertise and tell a woman what she’s experiencing.

I’m not talking about those times when wonderful husbands offer their own experiences with their wives, what they’ve learned in the course of personal study, or biblical wisdom itself. Those can all be very helpful. Obviously I talk on this blog about how men work, because my position requires me to learn and study and know.

But there’s a tendency among some men to confidently instruct others in something they probably don’t know enough about. Some of this is just differences in gender communication (see my guest post for Generous Husband), but we should still pay attention to how we’re being heard. The type of commenting I’m talking about has been called “male pattern lecturing.” And you know what? It’s annoying to women. Especially when the subject is us.

In Stephen Covey’s wonderful book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he lays out this principle that we could all benefit from adopting in our lives: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” If you have an opinion, you can certainly express it, but first be open to hearing what others are saying and try to understand where they are coming from. If you’re talking about women, recognize that women themselves know more than you do about that subject because they are the subject.

Look, I will never pretend to fully understand the penis, because I don’t own the equipment. Likewise, please accept what women say about themselves, their bodies, and their sexuality.

My sin struggle is your fault.

It’s a poor strategy to blame others for your sin. God will not be impressed with that defense on judgment day. Consequently, these formulations just don’t work:

I lusted because women weren’t dressed modestly enough.

I watched porn because my wife turned me down.

I engaged in adultery because I was in a sexless marriage.

I speak up against women because they’ve spoken up against us.

Consider these verses instead:

If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it” (Genesis 4:7).

The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them” (Ezekiel 18:20).

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:7-8).

God’s not looking at the person to your right or left when He determines your righteousness. He’s looking at you (and hopefully Jesus, whom I pray you’ve embraced).

And if that isn’t convincing, remember what your mama told you: Two wrongs don’t make a right. If a woman is misbehaving in some way, that does not give you license to mistreat her or others. So those of you who’ve tried to argue otherwise, please stop. Consider what you’re saying! And be responsible for yourself.

Yes, but what about my issue?

Whataboutism is alive and well when it comes to discussions about gender! And it happens from time to time in the comment thread. It goes something like this:

Woman: I’m concerned about the sexual harassment so prevalent among men in the workplace!

Man: Yes, but what about the women who harass men. There are at least as many women as harass men, and we never talk about them. It’s women who are getting away with the worst infractions because men don’t report their harassment. Meanwhile, the #MeToo moment is taking down men everywhere, whether or not they’re guilty, and…

You get the point. I’m not saying this is how the conversation would go exactly, because the woman might say something that should be answered with appropriate information. But my-oh-my, some of you in the male species are quick to flip the tables and make your case for how men are mistreated.

Here’s the truth: In this broken world, no one makes it through this life unscathed by the mistreatment of others. Instead of coming to the comment thread with that chip on your shoulder, how about first asking whether the other person made a good point? Better yet, try to put yourself in their shoes. (Hopefully, she’s not wearing heels…)

Engage in real conversation, as if the person who wrote the post (usually me) or another commenter is sitting across from you at a table in the coffee shop. You are just discussing an important topic and hope to learn more about each other and the subject as you converse.

I’m just here to promote my cause.

Finally, some men simply tour marriage blogs and comment with long complaints about what they’re going through in their personal lives or their passionate position on XYZ.

For instance, a while back I had a nudist who wanted to argue with me on various posts that showing off your goodies in public was a wonderful idea for Christians. (It’s not.) I entertained several comments, then moved on. Because really, dude, you weren’t here to discuss the idea but merely advocate for your cause. See you later, and don’t let the door hit your bare butt on the way out.

I’ve gotten better at spotting these, but not always. Sometimes it can take several comments to realize that someone is just here to stir up controversy and use my platform to promote their ideas. If you’re here for any reason other than improving sexual intimacy in marriage, I suggest you find another place to go. Even better, a different hobby.

It’s Mostly Unintentional

With the exception of that last issue, most of these missteps are unintentional. You guys who’ve done this, I don’t think you know how you’re coming across. Not fully at least.

So I’m asking you to ask yourselves: Have I done any of these?

  • You don’t understand yourself like I do.
  • My sin struggle is your fault.
  • Yes, but what about my issue?
  • I’m just here to promote my cause.

Have I unintentionally made it more difficult for others to engage here because of my comments? In particular, have I made women feel they must in turn defend themselves or simply be quiet?

Hot, Holy & Humorous should be a place where men and women find common ground, ways to approach struggles we face, and strategies to support one another. We won’t always understand what the other gender is dealing with, but we can listen, support, and encourage one another. THAT is what I want my comment thread to be — for both husbands and wives.

Hot, Holy & Humorous should be a place where men and women find common ground, ways to approach struggles we face, and strategies to support one another. via @hotholyhumorous Click To Tweet

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” Ephesians 4:29.

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How Should We Treat Sexual Assault and Harassment Allegations?

From time to time, a story in the news opens up the opportunity to talk about sexual issues in our larger society. In the past, I’ve commented on other news stories involved sex: Forget Josh Duggar: What Ashley Madison’s Client Base Reveals about Husbands; How Parents Can Use This Election to Talk to Their Kids about Sex; Abuse in the Church.

In the past couple of weeks, the accusation made by Christine Blasey Ford that United States Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her during their high school years has been a focus of news, commentary, and conversation. If you have paid attention, you’ve heard a variety of opinions about what should happen next.

I’m not going to add to that conversation, because I personally don’t know what’s true at this point. I don’t feel like I have sufficient evidence to make a determination of what happened or didn’t happen back then.

But that brings me to the question I want to ask today: What should be our response to sexual assault or harassment allegations?

Again, I’m not talking about Kavanaugh/Ford, because I’ll let others work that one out. But this situation gives us a nudge to talking about the issue as a whole. How should we treat such accusations?

Take accusations seriously.

Too often in our past, we, as a society, have been too reluctant to believe accusations, to act on evidence, to support the victim. Whether you personally understand it or not, it can be very difficult for victims of sexual abuse, assault, and harassment to speak up, point the finger, and follow through with pursuing justice.

Most accusations are true. A 2010 analysis of various studies concluded that only 5.9% of rape reports were false. FBI statistics give a rate of 5% false allegations. That means that over 9 times out of 10, when someone says they were raped, that’s exactly what happened. And that doesn’t account for all the sexual assaults that don’t get reported!

Our tendency, therefore, should be to believe an accuser — that is, take the allegation seriously. By taking the attitude that a person will be listened to with an open mind and a charge fully investigated, we encourage victims to come forward, name their assailant, and receive justice and closure. We also cut down on future assaults by weeding out attackers among us.

Refrain from extraneous insults.

What was she wearing? Was she drinking? Had she gone back to his place willingly? Was she “asking for it”? I’m utterly horrified that these are questions that have been asked when a genuine victim of a sexual crime has come forward and told her story! I don’t care if the woman was previously table-dancing naked; if she was raped, she was raped.

We can advise people how to avoid risky situations, but leaving my front door unlocked or even wide open is not an invitation to steal everything inside my home. So let’s not attack the victim for being dressed or behaving in a way that might have been sexually appealing but was not an invitation to be harassed or assaulted.

Likewise, let’s not hurl insults of any and all kinds against the accused without sufficient information. Before we go calling someone a rapist, a liar, and the utter filth of the earth, let’s try to figure out if the event really happened. If you’re not in a court, your opinion doesn’t necessarily have to be “without a reasonable doubt,” but it should pass some standard of knowledge.  I wouldn’t call someone a murderer unless I had good reason to believe they pulled the trigger. 

Let’s remember there are actual people involved in this situation. Let’s focus on finding out the truth and then determine what justice should be meted out. And extraneous insults don’t help us get at the truth.

Recognize false accusations happen.

Remember the FBI statistics about the likelihood of an accusation being true? It’s still disturbing that, when it comes to rape allegations, 4,400 and 5,100 cases each year were determined to be untrue. And the false report rate for rape was five times higher than for most other offenses. Again, it’s it’s still around 95% likely that a rape occurred, but that 5% of falsehoods affect real people.

The Bible tells us the story of Joseph, sold into slavery in Egypt and working at the home of Potiphar, a royal official. Potiphar’s wife wanted Joseph to sleep with her, and when he refused, she falsely accused Joseph of sexual assault.

One day [Joseph] went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.

When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, she called her household servants. “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed. When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”

She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home. Then she told him this story: “That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me. But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”

When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is how your slave treated me,” he burned with anger. Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined.

Genesis 39:11-20

Without any investigation, defense, or due process, an innocent man was sent to prison. Scripture is clear that this was an injustice against Joseph, as it would be against anyone accused of a horrendous crime they did not commit.

As much as we want to hold the guilty responsible, we also don’t want to convict the innocent. We have a responsibility to do our best to figure out whether something really did or didn’t happen.

Seek out the truth.

The biggest challenge we often have with harassment/assault allegations is “he said, she said” — meaning no external witnesses can confirm or discredit an accusation.

The Old Testament law established this general standard for determining guilt: “One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses” (Deuteronomy 19:15). Yet three chapters later appears instructions about rape, including this one:

But if out in the country a man happens to meet a young woman pledged to be married and rapes her, only the man who has done this shall die. Do nothing to the woman; she has committed no sin deserving death. This case is like that of someone who attacks and murders a neighbor, for the man found the young woman out in the country, and though the betrothed woman screamed, there was no one to rescue her. 

Deuteronomy 22:25-27

How on earth would a woman alone in the countryside with a rapist have a second witness? She wouldn’t. And yet the Bible clearly states that her attacker should die for his crime against her. Somehow, the Israelites were expected to investigate a claim through other means, judge its veracity, and dole out justice. Perhaps the second “witness” in such cases was corroborating evidence. Similar allegations, physical evidence, or simultaneous reports are all considered in determining the truth of someone’s claim.

When a charge is made, let’s take the accusation seriously, knowing the vast majority of accusations are true; let’s refrain from getting into extraneous stuff that doesn’t illuminate the truth; let’s remember false allegations do get made, and let’s seek truth.

Maybe charges against someone you like are true. Maybe charges made by someone you like aren’t true. We have to be willing to set aside our earthly ideologies and care about what God cares about — truth and justice. If we cannot do that, we are not treating out citizenship in Christ with the honor it deserves. And consequently, not treating others the way we should.

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