“One day Dinah, the daughter Leah had given Jacob, went to visit some
of the women in that country. Shechem, the son of Hamor the Hivite who
was chieftain there, saw her and raped her. Then he felt a strong
attraction to Dinah, Jacob’s daughter, fell in love with her, and wooed
her. Shechem went to his father Hamor, ‘Get me this girl for my wife.’

Jacob heard that Shechem had raped his daughter Dinah, but his sons
were out in the fields with the livestock so he didn’t say anything
until they got home. Hamor, Shechem’s father, went to Jacob to work out
marriage arrangements. Meanwhile Jacob’s sons on their way back from
the fields heard what had happened. They were outraged, explosive with
anger. Shechem’s rape of Jacob’s daughter was intolerable in Israel and
not to be put up with.

Hamor spoke with Jacob and his sons, ‘My son Shechem is head over heels
in love with your daughter—give her to him as his wife. Intermarry with
us. Give your daughters to us and we’ll give our daughters to you. Live
together with us as one family. Settle down among us and make
yourselves at home. Prosper among us.’

Shechem then spoke for himself, addressing Dinah’s father and brothers:
‘Please, say yes. I’ll pay anything. Set the bridal price as high as
you will—the sky’s the limit! Only give me this girl for my wife.’

Jacob’s sons answered Shechem and his father with cunning. Their
sister, after all, had been raped. They said, ‘This is impossible. We
could never give our sister to a man who was uncircumcised. Why, we’d
be disgraced. The only condition on which we can talk business is if
all your men become circumcised like us. Then we will freely exchange
daughters in marriage and make ourselves at home among you and become
one big, happy family. But if this is not an acceptable condition, we
will take our sister and leave.’

That seemed fair enough to Hamor and his son Shechem.

…Three days after the circumcision, while all the men were still very
sore, two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, each with
his sword in hand, walked into the city as if they owned the place and
murdered every man there. They also killed Hamor and his son Shechem,
rescued Dinah from Shechem’s house, and left. When the rest of Jacob’s
sons came on the scene of slaughter, they looted the entire city in
retaliation for Dinah’s rape. Flocks, herds, donkeys,
belongings—everything, whether in the city or the fields—they took. And
then they took all the wives and children captive and ransacked their
homes for anything valuable.

Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, ‘You’ve made my name stink to high
heaven among the people here, these Canaanites and Perizzites. If they
decided to gang up on us and attack, as few as we are we wouldn’t stand
a chance; they’d wipe me and my people right off the map.’

They said, ‘Nobody is going to treat our sister like a whore and get by with it.'”—Genesis 34:1-18 & 25-31

Do you remember when I said that there would be a few chapters in this
series that would discuss how to do courtship all wrong? Actually, I
think my exact words were that “they didn’t always get it right (shout
out to Sarah), but they did provide us with lessons that can protect us
and spare us from future unnecessary heartache.” Well, without a doubt,
when it comes to learning how to do courtship in the complete face of
the flesh, Shechem and Dinah (and Judah and Tamar who are coming up in
the following chapter) are an excellent example.

I think one of the first things that we can learn from these two is
that when it comes to generational curses in the family, sexual
perversion is, without a doubt, one of them. I come from a line of it
and I have a ton of friends who have the exact same testimony. With
that said, remember that Dinah was the daughter of Jacob and Leah and
that her own parents consummated their union in perversion because
Jacob was tricked into sleeping with Leah.

We are gonna go a little deep here off top today, but I believe that I am going where God is leading so sit tight.

For a few years now, after hearing the tragic stories of many of my
male friends and their sordid lust tales, it has been my firm belief
that women are not the only people who can be raped. Of course, when I
share this theory with some of my male friends, more times then not
they laugh at me. I don’t know if the concept is a threat to their ego
or what, but if the textbook definition of “rape” holds to be true,
then yes, more times than not, this happens to a woman, BUT it can also
happen to a man (besides when a man is raped by another man):

Rape: an unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse
carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against the will usually
of a female or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable
of valid consent because of mental illness, mental deficiency,
intoxication, unconsciousness, or deception.

Yes, it is pretty difficult for a woman to rape a man by physically
overpowering him, but how many fellas have awakened the following
morning after being “on dem dranks” and wondered what the heck he did
the night before? How many men have had women lie to him—-on any
level for any reason—-to entice him into sexual activity? In the
Bible, Jacob and Leah, and while I think about it, Lot and his
daughters (see Genesis 19:30-38), are perfect examples of what “taking
advantage of a man” and his vulnerabilities can do.

Speaking of Lot and his girls, you know another one of the oldest
debates in the Church is if God has a problem with people drinking
alcohol. After all, Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine
(John 2), right? Well, I will just give you what the Word says. It’s
pretty extensive, but I didn’t want to leave any stone unturned (all of
these are NKJV translations, by the way):

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.”—Proverbs 20:1

“He who loves pleasure will be a poor man; He who loves wine and oil will not be rich.”—Proverbs 21:17

“Give strong drink to him who is perishing, and wine to those who are bitter of heart.”—Proverbs 31:6

“Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobles, And your
princes feast at the proper time— For strength and not for

es 10:17

“A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes merry; but money answers everything.”—Ecclesiastes 10:19

“Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own
sight! Woe to men mighty at drinking wine, woe to men valiant for
mixing intoxicating drink, who justify the wicked for a bribe, and take
away justice from the righteous man!”—Isaiah 5:21-23

“Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor, pressing him to your
bottle, even to make him drunk, that you may look on his nakedness! You
are filled with shame instead of glory. You also—drink! And be exposed
as uncircumcised! The cup of the Lord’s right hand will be turned
against you, and utter shame will be on your glory.”—Habbakkuk 2:14-16

“But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your
prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son [John the
Baptist], and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and
gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in
the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink.
He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s
womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their
God.”—Luke 1:13-16

“Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness,
not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.”—Romans 13:13

“It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which
your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.”—Romans 14:21

“But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a
brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a
reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a
person.”—I Corinthians 5:11

“…nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor
extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”—I Corinthians 6:10

“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord
is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be
filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and
spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the
Lord…”—Ephesians 5:17-19

“…that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in
love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in
behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good
things…”—Titus 2:2-3

“No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.”—I Timothy 5:23

So what conclusion did I come to? Well, no I don’t think drinking is a
sin. However, I do think that I Corinthians 6:12 sums the consumption
up of it perfectly: “All things are lawful for me, but all things are
not helpful.”

Let’s be real here for just a second: How many people are killing
themselves over whether it’s OK to drink a glass of something with
their dinner that’s “a beverage made of the fermented juice of any of
various kinds of grapes, usually containing from 10 to 15 percent
alcohol by volume”? Now you know most of us are trying to justify why
it’s cool to get on that hard liquor; that Crown and Coke, Vodka and
Cranberry Juice, Gin ‘N Juice, Screwdrivers, Cosmopolitans, Sex on the
Beaches, and, my personal favorite “sneaker upper”, Amaretto Sours.
And, most of us don’t crave it for the taste but for what the taste
creates: the buzz that takes you a little outside of yourself. To that,
all I have to say is that if you claim to be a follower of Christ, you
are to operate in the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) at all
times and one of those fruits is self-control. And, to have the desire
for the effects that alcoholic consumption creates, I just want to
remind you that the Word says:

“…you are not in the dark, so how could you be taken off guard by any
of this? You’re sons of Light, daughters of Day. We live under wide
open skies and know where we stand. So let’s not sleepwalk through life
like those others. Let’s keep our eyes open and be smart. People sleep
at night and get drunk at night. But not us! Since we’re creatures of
Day, let’s act like it. Walk out into the daylight sober, dressed up in
faith, love, and the hope of salvation.—-I Thessalonians 5:4

So why did I take us into a mini-seminar about drinking? Because as I
walk down the memory lane of a lot of my sexual relationships, about
half of the men I know were drunk with me at least 50% of the time. I
am strong enough in my self-esteem at this point to not be offended by
that because I see beyond the “Wow Shellie, did they have to get drunk
to even get down with you?” into the deeper issue. Remember, until we
denounce the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:29-30), our spirit is forever at war
trying to win over our flesh because “…it is the spirit which gives
life while the flesh profits us nothing” (John 6:63). Therefore, I
believe a lot of people have to be sexually active in a drunken or
intoxicated (to stupefy or excite by the action of a chemical substance
such as alcohol state) because in their right mind, their conscience
(the Holy Spirit) would speak far too loudly for them to partake in
those forbidden fruits.

How interesting that the Bible calls us to be wise as serpents (Matthew
10:16), but the dictionary’s definition of intoxicated is “to stupefy”.
Let me just say, there is enough out here in this world to trip you up
when you ain’t loaded. Why add an extra burden upon you by consciously
taking in a substance that could make you even more vulnerable to the
wiles of the Enemy? Bottom line, sex mixed with alcohol doesn’t make
the experience better, it just makes you dumber!

Whew! With that said, I will move on to the tale of Shechem and Dinah.
If you are not a survivor of rape, especially date rape (and I am), I’m
sure this story will come across and pretty confusing. How did Shechem
go from raping Dinah to falling in love with her? How do the two mix?

You know, I remember something stated so poignantly by former President
Bill Clinton in reference to his wife, Hilary as he was promoting his
autobiography on Oprah a little over two years ago. When she asked him
if he thought that he loved Hilary even in spite of cheating on her,
his response was, “I loved her. I just didn’t love her well.”

Can we pass the offering plate around one time for Bill? In those two
sentences, he summed up one of the biggest problems in all
relationships. Sure, we may “love” someone, but only through God can we
come to a clear, purposeful and beneficial (for both parties)
understanding of what that love is really supposed to be. Remember, as
we discussed in Chapter Six, the Enemy has ingeniously created a
counterfeit for the love that God wants us to have for one
another—-and it’s called lust.

Being that I have been in a relationship with a man who has had sex
with me against my will, all the while believing that, because we had
sex before and there was a history between us that he was fully
justified, I can understand (not agree with, but understand) how
Shechem could have thought that he was in love with Dinah. After all,
when you have sex with someone, it bonds you to them; however,he wasn’t
in love because love is patient and kind (I Corinthians 13:4). No, he
was soul tied.

So soul tied that he went to his father, Hamor and asked him to
convince Dinah’s family to let him marry her. And obviously, Shechem
came from a line of sexual dysfunction because rather than his father
rebuking his son for violating a young woman, he approached Jacob and
his sons saying:

“My son Shechem is head over heels in love with your daughter—give her
to him as his wife. Intermarry with us. Give your daughters to us and
we’ll give our daughters to you. Live together with us as one family.
Settle down among us and make yourselves at home. Prosper among
us.”—Genesis 34:8-10

Geeze. It sounds like a really bad Lifetime movie doesn’t it? The jock
football player date rapes a girl and his daddy comes to the school
justifying his behavior. Let me just tell you something: We spend so
much time talking about what happens sexually to a girl when her father
is either MIA or he sexually abuses her. Let me just tell you that when
a man is MIA for his son or he doesn’t teach him sexuality from a godly
perspective, that is just as devastating. No man should ever feel that
he has the right to a woman that God didn’t give him the right to
through marriage; the first people to teach him this fact should be his
parents. And, like a Mafia movie, rather than overlook it, Dinah’s
brothers plotted a way to get back at Shechem and his father for
harming her.

Next lesson: Anything you do outside of the will of God has a domino
effect on others. One of the greatest tools that the Enemy uses is
giving us the impression that accountability (responsibility to someone
or for some activity) is not necessary.

When I started asking God to “reveal and heal” my own sexual past, one
thing that he shared with me was the fact I needed to repent to
everyone that I slept with because everyone is not as spiritually
resilient (marked by the ability to recover readily, as from
misfortune) as I am. In other words, I may be able to sin and get back
on track, but sometimes—-more times than most of us care to
admit—-what we do can send someone on a road for which they may have
a very difficult time coming back from.

Ladies, have you ever seen a guy who swears he’s such the pimp? He
doesn’t want a serious relationship and in all actuality, the more
women he can “hit-n-split”, the better? If you ever get to the point of
being friends with him, catch him on a good day and ask him why. I’m
willing to bet that 7 times out of 10 his “take no prisoners” panty
rage has to do with some girl who broke his heart years ago. That very
girl may be happily married with three kids and a Winnebago now not
thinking anything about that dude, but her actions have caused him to
spew his bitterness on dozens of other unsuspecting women; all because
she didn’t hold herself and him accountable by refusing him years

If you have been sexually, or even just relationally irresponsible in
your past, while you can’t take the actions back, you have a duty to
assist those people on their road to healing and the best way to do
that is to confess your wrongs to them:

“Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and
pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The
prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be
reckoned with.”—James 5:16

Moving on.

Shechem is an awesome example of what a selfish activity can do.
Because he could not contain his carnal desires, his entire town had to
pay dearly with their lives. In the case of this tale, it was swords.
These days, many people could speculate that it’s STDs and AIDS.

Several years ago, I found myself self-diagnosing what I thought was a
yeast infection. After nearly buying stock in Monistat and getting no
lasting results, I went to the doctor. Come to find out, I had
Chlamydia and didn’t even know it. By this time, I had been sexually
active with another man (because it had been lying dormant in my system
for quite some time) besides the person who gave it to me. In many ways
we weren’t any different than Shechem. Shechem raped a woman and as a
result, her brothers took out an entire town of people. “He” and I had
illicit, irresponsible sex and as a result other people’s health were
put in danger.

As Christians, we are called to be preservers, not destroyers of life:

“For the wages which sin pays is death, but the [bountiful] free gift
of God is eternal life through (in union with) Jesus Christ our
Lord.”—Romans 6:23

When you are contemplating whether or not to do something, one of the
first questions that you should ask yourself is “In doing this, am I
helping life or hurting it?”

When you have the opportunity to tell your boss where to stick it, in doing so are you helping his life or hurting it?

When you are tempted to spend your tithe money on some new gear, are you helping your life or hurting it?

When your hormones are raging and you get that midnight phone call, in
driving over there (please tell me why we are usually the ones driving
to them, anyway?), are you helping his and your life or are you hurting

By violating Dinah, Shechem caused his father and all of the men in his
town to have their lives destroyed. Yes, one activity sent the snowball
of sexual violation into an avalanche of pain and heartache for
hundreds of people; not only did the men lose their lives, but their
wives and children lost their freedom (Genesis 34:29). Shoot, the guys
even got in a little looting in the process. The Bible goes on to tell
us that this caused an even greater domino effect:

“Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You’ve made my name stink to high
heaven among the people here, these Canaanites and Perizzites. If they
decided to gang up on us and attack, as few as we are we wouldn’t stand
a chance; they’d wipe me and my people right off the map.”—Genesis

All because Shechem couldn’t—-no, all because he chose not to—keep
his pants up. And while, I certainly cannot advocate what Dinah’s
brothers did, I do have one final lesson to share from today’s message.
When Jacob confronted his sons, their response was:

“Nobody is going to treat our sister like a whore and get by with it.”—Genesis 34:31

A male friend of mine called out of the blue to check on me last week.
After sharing some things that really touched me, I went on to tell him
just how grateful I was to have such a good group of platonic
(transcending physical desire and tending toward the purely spiritual
or ideal) male friends in my life right now…guys who look out for me
without an ulterior motive, guys who will let me know the real deal
when it comes to men and their issues, guys who have no problem putting
me in check if (more like “when” cause there are definitely times when)
I need it, guys who help set a standard of the kind of man I deserve to
have in my life as a lifetime partner.

Several days ago, a new male friend of mine and his manager took me to
a high-end restaurant. His manager told me that she prayed about where
to take me and they selected this particular place because it was where
the successful local industry people met and dined. I told her, “Let’s
go deeper. If Tim can take me to ‘The Palm’, I know I need to be
expecting my husband to do it!”

Say a word, say a word!

Ladies, don’t be so consumed with getting a husband that you miss out
on the joys that come with having platonic male companionship—-the
kind that you can only get from your brothers. When guys are at a place
where they don’t see you for your figure but your heart, then that is a
very comforting place to be because you know that they are looking out
for your very best interest.

Dinah wasn’t just “some girl” to Simeon and Levi. She was their sister
and any guy who treated her like some street corner hussy was going to
pay, plain and simple. I’m here to tell you from personal experience
that while I would love to have a husband some day, because it’s
becoming less and less of a mental obsession for me, I am coming to see
that even in my waiting season, God has not abandoned my need for male
companionship or protection. Until my husband comes a long he has given
me male friends and that ain’t nothin’ to feel gypped about:

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”—Proverbs 17:17 (NKJV)

So ladies, your homework for today? Get out a sheet of paper and write
down a list of all of your male friends. Then, give them a ring or
shoot them over an e-card (www.hallmark.com, www.dayspring.com) to let
them know how much you appreciate their presence in your life—you
never know just what they are sparing you from.

Then ask God to break the generational curses of sexual perversion in
the lives of all of us, but especially in the lives of young men.
Unfortunately, there are present-day Shechems who feel justified in
their actions because they’ve got “Hamors” for daddies who are more
concerned with their son’s flesh being satisfied than their souls being
saved. Let me just say that if you are a father, don’t give your son a
condom and call that sex education. Give him a sense of self-worth,
give him what the Word says he is as a man, give him your testimony
(good or bad—remember, we and others are saved by our testimony—I
Timothy 4:14-16) and give him reasons to want to wait and the tools for
doing so.

Finally ladies, stay holy so that your prayers can go beyond the
ceiling! We have a lot of work to do in the earth and so we need all of
the righteous (morally upright) people that we can get. Some of us are
praying and wondering why nothing is changing and it’s because we have
not changed:

“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open
to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do
evil.”—I Peter 3:12

Keep it tight, keep it right, my sistahs. As singles, we have great
work to do in the earth (I Corinthians 7:32). The “Dinahs” and the
“Shechems” are depending on it.

©Shellie R. Warren/2006