By Jack Ryan
Watchtower 1964 January 15 pp.63-4 Questions from Readers
According to the Bible at Deuteronomy 22:23-27, an Israelite engaged girl threatened with rape was required to scream. What is the position of a Christian woman today if faced with a similar situation? Is she to scream even if an attacker threatens her life with a weapon?-M. U., United States.
According to God's law an Israelite girl was under obligation to scream: "In case there happened to be a virgin girl engaged to a man, and a man actually found her in the city and lay down with her, you must also bring them both out to the gate of that city and pelt them with stones, and they must die, the girl for the reason that she did not scream in the city, and the man for the reason that he humiliated the wife of his fellow man." If, however, the attack took place in a field and the woman screamed and thus tried to get away from the attacker, she was not to be stoned, since she was overpowered and there was no one to rescue her.-Deut. 22:23-27.
But suppose the man had a weapon and threatened to kill the girl if she failed to lie down with him? These scriptures do not weaken the argument or alter the situation by citing any circumstance that would justify her in not screaming. It plainly says she should scream; hence, oppose the attack regardless of the circumstances. If she was overpowered and perhaps knocked unconscious and violated before help came in answer to her screams, she could not be held accountable. The thought of the scriptures apparently is that the girl's screaming, by attracting neighborhood attention, would frighten off her assailant and would save her, even though he threatened her life for not quietly complying with his wishes and passionate desires.
Such Scriptural precedents are applicable to Christians, who are under command, "Flee from fornication." (1 Cor. 6:18) Thus if a Christian woman does not cry out and does not put forth every effort to flee, she would be viewed as consenting to the violation. The Christian woman who wants to keep clean and obey God's commandments, then, if faced with this situation today, needs to be courageous and to act on the suggestion made by the Scriptures and scream. Actually this counsel is for her welfare; for, if she should submit to the man's passionate wishes, she would not only be consenting to fornication or adultery, but be plagued by the shame. There would be shame, not only from the repulsiveness of the experience, but of having been coerced into breaking God's law by having sex connections with one other than a legal marriage mate. Not only that, but she might become an unwed mother, or she may contract a terrible disease from her morally debased attacker.
It is true that a woman faces the possibility her assailant will carry out his threat; but, then, what guarantee does she have that such a desperate criminal would not kill her after satisfying his passion? In fact, such a one, perhaps already hunted by the law, may be more likely to kill her after the attack, since she would then have had a greater opportunity to identify him and would therefore be in a better position to supply a description of him to the authorities. In such case, following the Scriptural counsel of screaming could well save one's life by attracting attention and driving the attacker away at the outset, instead of causing him to feel that he must get rid of his victim for fear of being identified later.
In most instances it is doubtless a matter of calling the assailant's bluff, since the girl's screams could result in his arrest for attempted rape. Also, if he carried out his threat and committed murder, he would face the likelihood of apprehension and conviction for this even more serious offense. Of course, there is the possibility that instead of fleeing immediately, the attacker may strike his victim or inflict a superficial wound to silence the screams, yet would not the endurance of such physical punishment be insignificant compared to the disgrace and shame of submitting to an immoral man?
A Christian woman is entitled to fight for her virginity or marital fidelity to the death. Just how best she can defend herself against anyone who wants to defile her depends upon her courage and quick wits. At least, as has been mentioned, she should first try to frighten off the would-be rapist by screaming and making as loud and noisy a spectacle of the matter as she possibly can, in order to summon any convenient aid. This being unavailing, then she has a right to defend her virtue by whatever means she can.
The morals of this generation have indeed sunk to an unprecedented low, just as Bible prophecy foretold for these last days. The fact that over 15,000 women a year, about one every half hour, are raped in the United States alone emphasizes this fact. It also serves as a warning to women that they should exercise care so as to avoid dangerous situations. Since women are almost always attacked when they are alone, they should arrange to have a companion along, especially when they are out after dark. And in localities where it is considered dangerous for women even during daylight hours, women should not go out alone but should take along a companion. God's Word says: "If somebody could overpower one alone, two together could make a stand against him. And a threefold cord cannot quickly be torn in two." (Eccl. 4:12) For a Christian woman to persist in going out alone in a city or locality where women are frequently attacked is to invite trouble and needlessly endanger life. It is the part of wisdom to give thought to what could happen in a given situation and then take the necessary precautions. The wise person foresees danger and takes steps to avoid it. "The shrewd one considers his steps."-Prov. 14:15.
Watchtower 1968 June 1 pp.345-50 The Christian's View of Self-Defense
If you are a Christian woman, what should you do if, in spite of all precautions, you are set upon by a rapist? If you cannot deter him by reasoning, or by calling upon the name of Jehovah, then what? As a Christian you are under obligation to resist. This resistance includes screaming and creating as much disturbance as possible to try to frighten off the attacker and attract help. If the attack continues and you cannot break free to flee, then you would be justified even to inflict damage on your assailant if necessary. Resistance is imperative, because the rapist is after, not just money, but your virtue. An issue of integrity to Jehovah's laws is involved here. So by no means would it be proper quietly to submit to rape, as that would be consenting to fornication. -1 Thess. 4:3.
The principle is like that set out at Deuteronomy chapter 22. There it states: "In case there happened to be a virgin girl engaged to a man, and a man actually found her in the city and lay down with her, you must also bring them both out to the gate of that city and pelt them with stones, and they must die." Why would the girl have died under that Law covenant? The scripture continues: "The girl for the reason that she did not scream in the city." If she did not make the effort to scream, she was viewed as consenting to fornication. But if the woman screamed and resisted and nonetheless was overpowered, then she was not guilty of complicity: "The girl . . . screamed, but there was no one to rescue her."-Deut. 22:23-27.
Would it be different if the man had a weapon and threatened to kill you if you did not submit? No, the Scriptures plainly state that Christians are under obligation to "flee from fornication." (1 Cor. 6:18) It is true that you face the possibility of death in this case. But you have no guarantee that if you meekly submit, your assailant will not kill you anyhow to avoid identification.
Christian women are wise if they do all they can to avoid making themselves targets for rapists. Knowing that the morals of this generation are sinking to new lows, take every precaution. In unsafe areas avoid traveling alone after dark. As Ecclesiastes 4:12 states: "If somebody could overpower one alone, two together could make a stand against him. And a threefold cord cannot quickly be torn in two." Also consider how you dress. If a woman adopts the provocative, suggestive styles of dress now so prevalent, she indicates that she is a woman of loose morals, and in so doing she may invite trouble.
Awake! 1974 March 8 pp.13-16 Faced with the Threat of Rape
Scream! Scream! Scream! Is that good advice? It certainly is. Just how good this advice is can be seen from what happened on November 12, 1973, in one of Brooklyn's largest hotels.
Threatened with Rape
The rapist was a well-dressed man. He had the physique of a football player, being well over six feet tall and weighing about 250 pounds. He took the elevator to the tenth floor of the hotel and there began to molest a middle-aged woman tenant, who managed to escape his clutches by screaming. She at once called the police, who came but were unable to locate him in the building, he having fled to lower floors.
On the second floor he saw two fine young women housekeepers who asked him if they could help him. "Yes, you can," he said, and, pulling out a gun, ordered them into one of the rooms, upon which he double-locked the door. He assured them that they would not get hurt so long as they did not make any noise. He said that he needed a place to hide until things cooled off downstairs and that he would keep them there for an hour.
These two young women happened to be Christian ministers and they began to make conversation so as to release the tension. One of them asked him if they could read while they were waiting. He said Yes, and so she took a Bible study aid that was in reach, handed another to the other woman and started a Bible discussion on the subject of how long Noah had preached before the flood came, it being a subject that had come up the day before in her Christian field ministry. She noted that it must have been about forty years, but the man thought it had been about 200 years. From that discussion they went on to such subjects as the name of God, Jehovah, and the kingdom for which Jesus taught his followers to pray. They also told him that they were Christian witnesses of Jehovah and about the high standards of conduct the Witnesses have. The two women were not particularly frightened, for it seemed much like a typical Bible discussion that these girls often had, especially as the man kept expressing his own opinions on these subjects.
But after about forty-five minutes things suddenly took a disquieting turn. He looked at his watch and said that he would have to tie them up so as to give him time to get away. Although they assured him that it was not necessary, he ordered one of them to sit on the floor in a closet, upon which he tied her feet with a necktie, and her hands behind her back. He then turned off the light in the closet and closed the door. He ordered the other into the bathroom but then changed his mind and, warning her not to scream or yell, he reached for the zipper on her blouse. She exclaimed: "No! No! Not that!" and told him that if he touched her she would scream as he had never heard anyone scream before and that if he was going to shoot he might as well go ahead and shoot because if she did not scream she would be as good as dead anyhow.
She told him that marriage was honorable before God and that she was married, but that what he wanted to do was not honorable. Also, that if she did not scream she would ruin her relationship with Jehovah God and the Christian congregation; that then she would be disfellowshiped or excommunicated from it and that this would be worse than being killed as far as she was concerned. He looked puzzled. He did not understand and so asked her to repeat what she had said, which she did, scared and shaking though she was. As she later explained: "The situation sickened me and the mere thought of it all was so disgusting that I knew what I had to do." After all of this he again tried to put his arms around her, upon which she moved away, saying, "Don't you touch me or come near me."
This calls to mind a statement made by the Dallas, Texas, police department, namely, that "a woman's best defenses" are, among other things, "her wits" and "a scream."
Yes, this young woman in the Brooklyn hotel used her wits by courageously using her knowledge of the Bible, thereby diverting the would-be rapist from his evil intent. As a result, he pursued the matter no further with these two women but left after first ordering them not to leave the room for fifteen minutes.
Frustrated a second time, this rapist was not giving up. Coming out into the hallway, he saw another fine young woman and began engaging her in conversation, asking where the elevators were, the nature of the rooms on the floor, and so forth. Suddenly he moved close to her and tried to push her into one of the rooms the door of which was open.
What could she do? He was every bit a foot taller than she was and weighed at least twice as much. She did what the Bible indicates a young woman should do: she screamed, louder than she had ever screamed before. (Deut. 22:23-27) This was wholly unexpected by the rapist. Startled, he ran down the steps at the end of the hallway.
As the three young women told their story at the police station, their hearers, increasing from three to eight men and two policewomen, marveled at what they heard. They could not get over it that two of these young women had talked about the Bible to a would-be rapist. One of the women officers asked for more information about the beliefs of Jehovah's witnesses and stated that if more women took such a determined and firm stand there would be fewer such crimes.
Why the Increase?
The foregoing experience in a Brooklyn hotel last November is but one instance of this social crime that is increasing on every hand. And that increase is very real. As the editor of America's Campus Law Enforcement Journal said about this increase: "It's not just a question of more women reporting it. It has happened."
No doubt one of the main reasons for rapes has ever been the extreme selfishness of men who refuse to control their mating instinct. As Dr. Ralph Garofalo, of Massachusetts' Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Sexually Dangerous Persons, put it: 'Normal men find a socially acceptable outlet for their desires, while the rapist loses sight of all moral or legal considerations.' But why the great increase of rape in modern times and in recent years?
Discussing the reasons, a Seattle, Washington, police official in charge of the city's sex-crime investigation department stated: "Our whole moral climate, our attitudes toward sex and the dress of the women have to be causes." He also stated that the 'increased exposure to pornography has contributed to the rise in reported rapes.'
Womankind must share the blame. To begin with, until the age of five or six years, the most vital period, little boys have their personalities molded largely by women, their mothers. And as they grow up, it is usually the mother that has the most opportunities to inculcate in her son respect for womankind, both by word and by example. But far too many mothers have come short in this regard. Especially and specifically blameworthy are those female relatives, such as an aunt or even a mother, who have used boys as sexual playthings, thereby starting them on a road that leads to their having aggressive feelings toward women.
A new American motion picture star who aims to occupy the place once held by America's previous sex symbol brags about her charms and about her ability to arouse men by displaying herself in motion pictures. Such actresses must also share in the blame for the increase in rapes, for after men have seen them on the screen they frequently go out and attack a woman who may be a paragon of virtue. ...
The New York Times, November 26, 1973, told of two fifteen-year-old girls being forced, shortly after midnight, into a store by an employee of the store who kept them for four hours and repeatedly raped one of them until the police came and rescued the girls and arrested the kidnapper and rapist. But what business did two teen-age girls have on the streets around midnight?
And never should a single woman, or even two, for that matter, take a chance on hitchhiking with a strange man. Many have done so, to be not only raped, but even murdered.
Further, in view of the way that many men think, each virtuous woman should be careful to dress modestly. According to the Seattle, Washington, police lieutenant in charge of the department dealing with such crimes, women who "reveal everything" in the way they dress make themselves more vulnerable to rape. "You can't advertise a commodity and expect no buyers . . . A little modesty," he holds, would prevent some rapes.
Watchtower 1980 October 15 p.7 Avoiding the Tragedy of Rape
Back in March 1974, Awake! magazine described how a man with a gun had held two of Jehovah's Witnesses prisoner in a hotel room. As he reached for the zipper on one girl's blouse, she exclaimed: "No! No! Not that!" She told him that if he touched her she would scream as he had never heard anyone scream before. She explained that if she did not she would ruin her relationship with Jehovah God and the Christian congregation. (Compare Deuteronomy 22:22-29.) Her firm demand: "Don't you touch me or come near me" kept the rapist at bay.
This woman did the Scripturally proper thing, which actually is the best thing to do. A Christian woman is under obligation to resist, for the issue of obedience to God's law to "flee from fornication" is involved. (1 Cor. 6:18) By no means would it be proper for her willingly to submit to being raped.
Awake! 1984 February 22 pp.24-7 They Resisted Rapists
GENERALLY rapists try to get a woman in some isolated place where people are not around. At times they have a weapon and threaten to use it if the victim does not cooperate. Should a Christian quietly submit?
No, the situation is not the same as when a man simply is asking for money or other material possessions. A woman wisely would give him these. But the rapist is asking a person to break God's law by committing fornication. Under such circumstances a Christian is obligated to resist. -1 Corinthians 6:18.
'But could not resistance be dangerous?' someone may ask. Yes, it could be. Yet it may well be more dangerous not to resist, as a teacher of rape self-defense notes: "He just may kill you when he's done so you can't identify him later."
The comments of a leading spokeswoman on rape are noteworthy. She said: "Despite the popular myths of male violence and the alleged safety in submission, it has never been demonstrated that resistance on the part of a rape victim in an attempt to escape 'provokes' an assailant to commit an act of murder." The following experience illustrates this.
Two young women were in a Laundromat when a man came in and at gunpoint herded them into a room in the rear of the building. He ordered them to undress. They refused, praying aloud to Jehovah God for help. Finally, they told the now-confused gunman that they were Jehovah's Witnesses and that it was against their religious belief to do what he was demanding; they would not do it even if he shot them. Result? The frustrated gunman fled.
Treat Him Respectfully
The intended victim should remember that the rapist is a human. No doubt there are circumstances in his life that have precipitated his behavior. So although a woman should not cower in fear and permit a rapist to intimidate her, at the same time she should treat him understandingly, as a fellow human. A woman who lived in a housing project in New York City writes:
"I usually am careful when going into elevators. As usual, I checked this one out before entering, and all was OK. However, just before the door closed completely, a big man grabbed the door and opened it to come into the elevator with me. As he entered he threw a six-pack of beer at me, and I caught it. It took me by surprise.
"As the door closed he turned his back to me to do something with his pants. Then he turned around and faced me. I didn't look down at his pants but looked him in the eyes. I threw his six-pack of beer back to him, and said, 'Here is your beer.'
"At this moment, before he could do anything, I started to talk. I said I was one of Jehovah's Witnesses and was going up to the 13th floor to have a Bible study with a family who was waiting for me. I just kept talking and told him about our Bible educational work. We were half way up to the 13th floor by now, and as I kept right on talking I showed no fear, looking him straight in the eyes. Then a funny thing happened. He began to say that he loved the Bible and that he was from the South and his family loved God too.
"Meanwhile, we had reached the 13th floor, and he opened the door to let me out. He asked me if I would do him the honor of shaking his hand. I did, and he practically shook it off. Then he said he wanted to thank me because I was the first white woman that hadn't looked at him with scorn in her eyes, and that I was sincere in talking with him. He then said good-bye and wished me good luck on my Bible study."
Resisting in One's Home
Rapes that occur in one's own home can be particularly traumatic, since the surroundings are a constant reminder of the event. How much better, therefore, for one to resist! A mother who was able to avoid being raped in her home in Detroit, Michigan, tells how she did it.
"It was 5:30 a.m. when I was awakened by the sound of footsteps. At first I was unsure from which direction they were coming. I looked at my watch and saw that it was too early for my oldest daughter to be getting ready for school. My husband is a traveling musician and was away. I had been asleep downstairs. Since I knew no one was upstairs, I decided the sounds were coming from the front porch. So I turned on the porch light. Immediately I heard footsteps run down the stairs, and when I turned, there stood a strange man.
"Because the man had his hand inside his coat, as if he had a gun, I said, 'If you are going to kill me, do it.' He said he had a gun and would shoot me if I did not do everything he commanded. He told me to turn off all the lights and sit on the couch. I turned off the lights but refused to sit on the couch. He said he would kill me if I did not let him rape me. Then he started pushing me to the couch, so I quoted Matthew 16:26, which says: 'For what benefit will it be to a man if he gains the whole world but forfeits his soul? or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?'
"The man stopped pushing me and asked what the scripture meant. So I explained that if I resisted him and remained faithful to my God and my husband, and was killed for this faithfulness, I would have a hope of being resurrected to a Paradise earth and everlasting life. But if I gave in and he raped me, I would eventually die and have no hope of a resurrection.
"The intruder knew he was not going to talk me into letting him rape me, so he started pulling at my clothing. I remembered the scripture at Deuteronomy chapter 22 that says if you are attacked in the city and do not scream it is considered the same as consenting. I then said very loudly, 'Stop! Please! No! Don't do that! Mister, please leave my house!'
Awake! 1984 June 8 p.28 From Our Readers
I was deeply disturbed by the article "They Resisted Rapists." I am very upset that anyone would even consider a victim of rape guilty of fornication. The scripture at Deuteronomy that you quote only requires that the woman scream, not fight to the death! C. W., Indiana
Your article "They Resisted Rapists" disturbed me very much. I was raped by a man who attacked me with a knife. I could only scream once because of being choked and having a large hand pressed against my mouth. I fought until I was unconscious. Because I survived, it disturbs me that it is fornication on my part. You say to show a rapist respect. These men show no respect for their victim. They don't care that they are shattering a woman, leaving in her memory horror for the rest of her life. Unless you have personally experienced the horror of this crime, you can never truly understand. A. G., Massachusetts
For the victim to be considered guilty of fornication there would need to be proof of willing consent. Apparently the requirement of Deuteronomy 22:25-27 for the woman to resist by screaming would clear her from any suspicion of such consent on her part.
Awake! 1986 May 22 p.23 "Now You Are Going to Die!"
Why you should resist an attacker from the first moment:
1. Attacker may be startled and leave you
2. You may incapacitate attacker and be able to flee
3. Attacker may lose sexual urge or tire out and retreat
4. You can attract others to assist you
5. Your conscience will be clear. (Even if you are raped, you will not sacrifice your self-respect or cleanness before God)
6. Injuries you inflict on an attacker will help police identify him later (for example, bits of his skin under your fingernails)
Awake! 1989 August 22 p.24 RapeProtected by What She Read
WHAT should you do if confronted by a rapist? There is conflicting advice. Some claim that resistance only goads on an attacker, yet the Bible indicates a woman should resist. (Deuteronomy 22:23-27) What is the best advice?
A new study published in the January issue of The American Journal of Public Health suggests resistance. The article says: "The empirical research converges to support one important conclusion: resistance reduces the probability of an assault being completed." What happened last September to a woman in Japan illustrates this. She had just returned late at night to her home, where she lives alone. She explains:
"A rapist came into my house and locked the door. Because of being taken by surprise and being so terrified, I completely froze. The man tried to pull me into the bedroom, but I grabbed a pillar and resisted him.
"It was then that I remembered the scripture in Deuteronomy chapter 22. It says that if a woman does not cry out when attacked, it indicates she is submitting to the man and is committing a sin against Jehovah. Also, I remembered what I read in the Awake! article 'RapeHow Can You Protect Yourself?'October 8, 1980, Japanese edition; July 8, 1980, English edition.
"Anyway, I thought: 'I have got to scream and resist him for all I'm worth.' So I shouted: 'Jehovah, help me!' over and over again and kept it up. When the rapist pulled my hands to the right, I pulled to the left. When he pulled me forward, I pulled back, and when he covered my mouth to try to stop me from screaming, I bit him. At any rate, I kept on resisting him.
"Gradually I got tired. It was getting difficult for me to breathe, and I thought my heart was going to stop, but I continued to do all I could to resist him and kept on calling out to Jehovah to help me. As a result, the rapist gave up, walked hurriedly to the door, and went out.
"I believe that I was able to avoid being raped because of Jehovah's help and because of applying what I had read in Awake! Had I not read the Awake! article, I think that out of fear I would have kept quiet and most likely done just as the criminal said. Thank you very, very much."
Awake! 1980 July 8 pp.5-6 The Growing Terror of Rape
How Most Victims React
Understandably, a woman faced with the threat of rape may be terrified. In fact, two Boston College professors, after interviews with 80 rape victims, noted: "The primary reaction of almost all women to the rape was fear." And the problem is that such fear can be paralyzing.
The illustration was given by a rape victim: "Did you ever see a rabbit stuck in the glare of your headlights when you were going down a road at night? Transfixed-like it knew it was going to get it-that's what happened."
Often coupled with the fear is confusion and uncertainty. For example, a 19-year-old explained: "I never physically fought him off in any way, partly because I was frightened, mostly because in my navet I thought a girl has to do what she's told. . . . I was overwhelmingly confused and defenseless against the whole suddenness."
She reacted as many others have under similar circumstances. She submitted. Few are prepared to resist-to resist for all they are worth. Elizabeth R. Dobell, writing in the magazine Seventeen, made the surprising revelation: "In only one of the 4,057 rape cases reported in New York City in 1974 was there an act of resistance. . . . Profound terror in the face of physical threats simply renders most women helpless."
Watchtower 1983 March 15 pp.30-1 Honor Godly Marriage!
What do we understand here by "fornication"? The Greek word in this text is porneia. ... A male or a female who is forcibly raped would not be guilty of porneia.
Awake! 1986 September 22 p.28 From Our Readers
Thank you for your article "Now You Are Going to Die!" (May 22, 1986) I might note some concerns about the advice given, however. Some rapists are very angry and sadistic in their approach and come armed with weapons and the intent to use them if there is the least provocation. Our Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault suggests resistance, but if the woman is paralyzed by fear or her instincts tell her not to resist, we recognize that as appropriate . We would rather have someone live through the experience than be killed or seriously mutilated. P. R., United States
The Bible does support the thought that a woman attacked by a rapist should scream and resist. True, the woman has to respond according to her assessment of the danger to her life, and we believe that is covered in the advice given in the box on page 23 (May 22, 1986). It should be kept in mind that submitting to rape gives no guarantee that the victim will not be beaten or killed afterward. See the article "They Resisted Rapists" in our issue of February 22, 1984.-ED.
Awake! 1993 March 8 pp.4-5 The Reality of Rape
Rape myths create a false sense of security. In other words, if you can find some fault in the victim's behavior-she dressed in tight clothing or she went out alone at night or she really wanted to have sexual relations-you or your loved ones will be safe if that conduct is avoided; therefore you will never be raped. The alternative, that rape is a senseless act of violence that can happen to anybody, regardless of how she is dressed, is too terrifying to accept.
One woman, raped by someone she thought of as "nice, respectable," pleads: "The worst possible thing you can do is believe it won't happen to you."
Rape Myths and Realities
The following are some of the long-held misconceptions about rape that serve to blame the victim and to perpetuate attitudes that encourage the perpetrators:
Myth: Rape happens only when a woman is attacked by a stranger.
Fact: The majority of women who are raped are assaulted by someone they know and had trusted. One study found that 84 percent of victims knew their attackers and that 57 percent of the rapes happened on dates. One out of 7 married women will be raped by her own husband. Rapes are violent and emotionally traumatic whether the attacker is a stranger, a spouse, or a date.
Myth: It's rape only if a woman afterward shows evidence of resistance, such as bruises.
Fact: Whether they physically resisted or not, few women show visible evidence, such as bruises or cuts.
Myth: A rape victim bears part of the blame unless she actively resists.
Fact: Rape by definition takes place when force or the threat of force is used to gain sexual penetration, of any kind whatsoever, against a person's will. It is the rapist's use of force against an unwilling victim that makes him a rapist. Thus, a rape victim is not guilty of fornication. Like an incest victim, she may be forced to submit to an act she doesn't want because of the perceived power held over her by another person. When a woman is forced to submit to a rapist out of terror or disorientation, it does not mean that she consents to the act. Consent is based on choice without threat and is active, not passive.
Myth: Rape is an act of passion.
Fact: Rape is an act of violence. Men rape, not solely for sex, but to feel power over another person.
Myth: A woman can tease or lead a man on to the point that he can no longer control his sexual urges.
Fact: Men who rape do not have a stronger sex drive than other men have. Rather, one third of all rapists were unable to complete the sex act. In most cases rapes are planned acts, not spontaneous urges. Both stranger and acquaintance rapists usually set up their victims-the stranger by stalking the victim until she is alone, the acquaintance by arranging a situation where she is isolated.
Myth: Women lie about rape to get revenge on a man or because they feel guilty about having sex.
Fact: False reports of rape occur at the same rate as for any other violent crime: 2 percent. On the other hand, researchers agree that rape is grossly underreported.
Myth: A woman can "ask" to be raped by wearing provocative clothing, drinking alcohol, letting a man pay her way, or going to his home.
Fact: Using bad judgment, being naive or ignorant, does not mean that a woman deserves to be raped. Rapists bear sole responsibility for the rape.
Watchtower 2003 February 1 pp.30-31 Questions From Readers
Why does the Bible say that a person should scream if threatened with rape?
Anyone who has not personally experienced the horror of being brutally assaulted by a rapist can never truly understand how it can shatter one's life. The experience is so terrifying for the victim that it may trouble her for the rest of her life.* A young Christian woman who was attacked by a rapist some years ago relates: "Words cannot express the sheer terror I felt that night or the trauma I've had to overcome since." Understandably, many prefer not even to think about this frightening subject. Yet, the threat of rape is a reality in this wicked world.
The Bible does not shy from recounting some cases of rape and attempted rape that occurred in the past. (Genesis 19:4-11; 34:1-7; 2 Samuel 13:1-14) But it also offers counsel on what one should do when threatened with rape. What the Law says on the matter is found at Deuteronomy 22:23-27. This covers two situations. In the first case, a man found a young woman in a city and lay down with her. Even so, the woman did not scream or cry for help. Consequently, it was determined that she was guilty "for the reason that she did not scream in the city." If she had cried out, people nearby might have been able to come to her rescue. In the second instance, a man found a young woman in the countryside, where he "grabbed hold of her and lay down with her." In defense, the woman "screamed, but there was no one to rescue her." Unlike the woman in the first instance, this woman clearly did not give in to the actions of the attacker. She actively resisted him, crying for help, but she was overpowered. Her screaming proved that she was an unwilling victim; she was not guilty of wrongdoing.
Although Christians today are not under the Mosaic Law, the principles mentioned therein provide them with guidance. The above account underscores the importance of resisting and screaming for help. Screaming when threatened with rape is still viewed as a practical course. One expert on crime prevention stated: "If a woman is attacked, her best weapon is still her lungs." A woman's screaming may attract others, who can then assist her, or it may startle an attacker and make him leave. A young Christian woman who was attacked by a rapist stated: "I screamed with all my might, and he backed off. When he came toward me again, I screamed and ran. In the past I had often thought, 'How can screaming help me when some big man grabs me with only one thing on his mind?' But I've learned that it works!"
Even in the sad case where a woman is overpowered and raped, her struggle and screaming for help is not in vain. On the contrary, it establishes that she did all she possibly could to resist her attacker. (Deuteronomy 22:26) Despite going through this ordeal, she can still have an undefiled conscience, self-respect, and the assurance that she is clean in God's eyes. The horrifying experience might leave her with emotional wounds, but knowing that she did all she could to resist the attack will greatly contribute to her gradual healing.
In understanding the application of Deuteronomy 22:23-27, we must realize that this brief account does not cover all possible situations. For example, it does not comment on the situation where the attacked woman cannot scream because she is mute, unconscious, or paralyzed with fear or is forcibly prevented from screaming by a hand or tape over her mouth. However, since Jehovah is able to weigh all factors, including motives, he deals with understanding and justice in such cases, for "all his ways are justice." (Deuteronomy 32:4) He is aware of what actually took place and of the efforts the victim put forth to fight off her attacker. Therefore, a victim who was unable to scream but otherwise did all she could under the circumstances can leave matters in Jehovah's hands. Psalm 55:22; 1 Peter 5:7.
Even so, some Christian women who have been attacked and violated are incessantly pained by feelings of guilt. In hindsight, they feel that they should have done more to prevent the incident from happening. However, instead of blaming themselves, such victims can pray to Jehovah, ask for his help, and have confidence in his abundant loving-kindness.Exodus 34:6; Psalm 86:5.
Hence, Christian women who are presently coping with emotional wounds resulting from an encounter with a rapist can be confident that Jehovah fully understands the painful feelings they are dealing with. God's Word assures them: "Jehovah is near to those that are broken at heart; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves." (Psalm 34:18) Further help to cope with their trauma can come from accepting the sincere understanding and gentle support of fellow believers in the Christian congregation. (Job 29:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:14) Moreover, the victims' own efforts to concentrate on positive thoughts will help them to experience "the peace of God that excels all thought."Philippians 4:6-9.
[*Footnote] Although this article speaks about female victims, the principles discussed also apply to males who are threatened with rape.
By Jack Ryan
Sisters: Please start having more children.
Notice this quote from 2017 Watchtower Study page 4-8:
"The Bible does mention a Christian woman’s being “kept safe through childbearing.” (1 Tim. 2:15) But this does not mean that giving birth or having children results in gaining everlasting life. Rather, it refers to the fact that a woman’s having children to tend to, along with the other aspects of caring for a household, may keep her from falling into a pattern of gossiping and meddling in others’ affairs. (1 Tim. 5:13) However, she may still face tribulations linked to marriage and family life."
By Bible Speaks
Doing microphones as a sister in our English group in Slovenia! We just moved there because the need is great, so not enough brothers to cover all duties.”
Many Sisters rejoice to be used in this way to help out!Â
What are your thoughts? ??
Â You know, when the first man awoke to meet his mate for the very first time, he was so overwhelmed with GodÂ’s gift that he spontaneously broke into poetry. IsnÂ’t that romantic? As Jehovah guided Eve to her husband, the man said, in Genesis, Â“This is at last bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. This one will be called IshaÂ”, thatÂ’s pretty isnÂ’t it. Â“This one will be called women, because from man this one was takenÂ”. Isha means literally, female man. It was to show how closely related man and woman were to be.
Well itÂ’s been about six thousand years since that very tender romantic moment. What has happened to woman since then? Well, I think we would agree that we find woman in the 20th century with an identity crisis. There was a pole taken in this country and it said: Â“the underlying mood of women in America is one of conflict, frustration, deep division, and change.Â” Is that the way, sometimes, you sisters feel?
How does God view a woman? How does Jehovah want us to view you as brothers? How does Jehovah view you, as sisters? And how does Jehovah want you sisters to view yourself?
The bottom line that weÂ’ll probably emphasize a few times in our discussion is that there is only one kind of woman Jehovah can love. And thereÂ’s only one kind of woman that Jehovah can get close to. And that is a spiritual woman. ThatÂ’s the only kind of woman Jehovah can deeply be involved with.
Now the world would be happy to take your mind and mould your opinion of what you should be in a spiritual, emotional, physical or a mental status. Because as a matter of fact, in the late 60s and 70s, most of us are aware that women all over the world united and they had a womenÂ’s liberation movement. Why did women feel a need to be liberated? Well, in Denmark women wrote a manifesto and this is what they expressed. They said: Â“weÂ’re considered breeders. WeÂ’re oppressed. WeÂ’re abused. WeÂ’re exploited as cheap labor. Our only purpose is to enhance another manÂ’s life.Â” Have you ever given a woman a reason to feel that way?
Tens of thousands marched with a banner around a mockup statue of liberty and marched down New York City streets. And one of the reporters came over to this woman and said: Â“How come you have a statue of liberty with the banner around it Â‘women of the world uniteÂ’? Why are you using the statue of liberty?Â” And she said: Â“Because of the irony.Â” She said: Â“The woman is used to represent liberty, and here we are, as women, not free or liberated at all.Â”
Well some of the arguments that women had put forth in that movement are valid arguments. One of the things that women really object to is being used or viewed as sexual objects. And you canÂ’t deny that thatÂ’s the case. When you look at the advertising on TV a womanÂ’s body can sell anything even if it has nothingÂ… you know, thatÂ’s the old joke, that they use it to sell any product from cars to whatever it is, they will use a womanÂ’s appearance to make the sale.
Even modest commercials sometimes exploit women. You know; commercials that would rarely cause maybe an offence in our conscience? But, you know, Â I think of that one commercial thatÂ’s been on for years, and the hook line is: Â“Gentlemen prefer HanesÂ”, right? TheyÂ’ve said it so many times you would think that men were the ones that wore the nylons. But whatÂ’s the message that they try to get across in that particular advertisement? Well theyÂ’re telling you that if you want to be acceptable you must be physically desirable. ThatÂ’s the bottom line. You better look good if you want to be accepted, and a lot of women have really been put through the ringer. They say that certain, even mental problems that women have had just trying to look good, have caused them great emotional stress because of the pressure society has put on them to look just so.
Some feel the bible puts women down. If you ask some women whether God is dead, they will emphatically answer: No, SHEÂ’S not! And thatÂ’s the way they feel. I guess a lot of anger comes from exploitation and oppression and prejudice and lack of respect. But was this GodÂ’s fault? What was GodÂ’s purpose in creating woman? Well letÂ’s turn to Geneses chapter 2 verse 18 and notice what this account says: Â“Jehovah God went on to say, it is not good for the man to continue by himself. I am going to make a helper for him, as a compliment for him.Â” Do you see the two roles a woman was to play in being created? What were they? Just real briefly please. ---- Yes. To be a helper and a compliment. She wasnÂ’t simply to be a child breeder or a child bearer. Â She was to be a partner.
In Genesis 1:28 thereÂ’s a very interesting word used there. It says: Â“God blessed them and God said to, THEM, be fruitful, fill the earth, subdue it, and have in subjectionÂ” all the animals of the sea. Making this earth a paradise was not a one-man project. Adam and Eve were to do it together. He needed her and she needed him. Not just to fill the earth, but to make it a beautiful paradise, and to have all the animals in subjection.
We know that Eve was created from Adams rib. Of course a lot has been said about that. There was a poem that said that woman wasnÂ’t created from his head or from his feet, but from his side, so as to be his companion. But we donÂ’t know what significance there was for Adam to have lost a rib and to create eve from that. But I can tell you that the highest quality blood is produced in the marrow of the ribs. Maybe Jehovah was telling us that this is a high quality creation.
Of course when we look back at that account I think itÂ’s obvious to all of us that the first man and woman wanted something that could never be theirs. They wanted to supersede JehovahÂ’s power of determining what was right and wrong, and when they went that far to decide for themselves, they lost their spirituality. And do you get the point? They lost the only reason that Jehovah had for loving them, because the only kind of person Jehovah can love is a spiritual person. Â Of course the woman rebelled first didnÂ’t she? And some conclude that if it wasnÂ’t for women weÂ’d never be in this mess. WeÂ’d be in the garden.Â
But thatÂ’s not really accurate, after all man was the head. He should have steered in the right course. He had the greater responsibility. He has to share the greater guilt. Â Romans 5:12 confirms that. Â It says: Â“through one, MAN, sin entered into the world.Â”
Well as a result, both of them were cursed. In Genesis chapter 3 verse 16 it tells us the curse upon one woman. Â Some women; do you know what they think the curse is that they have to live with? Â They think its subjection, because itÂ’s one of the hardest things for them to do.
But I want you to notice what it says in verse 16: Â“To the woman he said Â“I shall greatly increase the pain for your pregnancy. Â In birth pangs you will bring forth children, your craving will be for your husband and he will dominate you.Â” Â See subjection wasnÂ’t the curse. If she remained in subjection sheÂ’d never get into trouble. The curse was domination; and some do suffer under that today. Â
Of course the curse on Adam was no less harmful to him. The bible says that heÂ’d have to scrape the dirt of ground to make a living. Â He had to work so hard to eke out a living that thatÂ’s all he did all day long. Â The ground was cursed and he could only get a little bit of food at a time for him and his children.
The bible says God cursed the ground to stall wickedness. He was so busy just trying to eat, to live; that they had no time to do anything that was bad. It was only after the flood that the groundÂ’s curse was lifted. Â They had a miserable life, both of them, due to being unfaithful and lacking spirituality.
Well I think we can be very happy that there are women that have exceeded their original mother, Eve. Â We have excellent examples of women who are truly spiritual women. Â We can think of the women who survived the flood. How many were there? How many women survived the flood? Pam ---[Pam from the audience answers:] Â“FourÂ” --- ThatÂ’s right. Can you picture them carrying signs lobbying to try and get on that ark? No, they were allowed on that ark because they were faithful. Â Some complain that we donÂ’t know the names of those women, but we know the names of the men. How come men are given better priority than women are?
Well, we didnÂ’t know the name of the son of God for 4,000 years. Â He didnÂ’t complain about that. When it was time for us to know who he was, we did. Well naturally, when those women come back in the resurrection, weÂ’ll know their names too, and what a privilege it well be to meet them.
The point that is important to establish here is that these women were not preserved simply to be breeders, to continue the human race. They were preserved because they were spiritual women, and Jehovah will never forget them, and he will bring them back. Â Maybe one day, if weÂ’re spiritual, we will have the privilege of being with them.Â
When we talk about spiritual women we canÂ’t leave out Sarah, because she is really a celebrated woman in the bible. Â She was strikingly beautiful. Â You havenÂ’t seen beauty as what Sarah had. I donÂ’t think you ever will until the new system. Â You know, Sarah, when men would see her, they would just long for her companionship. Â They craved her. Â They just couldnÂ’t get their eyes off of her. Â And these were prominent men.Â
When Abraham and Sarah left Ur they were going through Egypt. Pharaoh wanted her, and entertained her, courted her. Â Now hereÂ’s the man that had tens maybe millions of women at his disposal, and yet it was Sarah that he wanted. Â He just couldnÂ’t get her out of his mind until Jehovah struck him with the plague, and then he lost everything that he felt for her and told them to please get out because he didnÂ’t want to suffer anymore.Â
Do you know how old Sarah was at that time? Â 66. Â ThereÂ’s not many woman that age that really would pull that kind of attraction would they. Â And sometime later Abimelech, who was a king of an area, he too wanted her. Â He was very aggressive. Â Jehovah had to interfere again with the plague. You see Sarah, though she was very beautiful, never allowed men to make her an object of their sexual fantasies. And he just longed for her until Jehovah struck him with the plague. Â But do you know how old Sarah was at that time? About 89. Â So when I say you havenÂ’t seen beauty like Sarah, now you know why.
And even though Sarah was so beautiful, and obviously very strict in her discipline and the way she carried herself, what did she call her husband? Mary --- [Mary from the audience answers:] Â“LordÂ” --- ThatÂ’s right. It doesnÂ’t mean that she used that verbally. We donÂ’t know if she called him lord verbally, but she did deeply respect him in her heart.
Does that mean that Sarah and Abraham always got along and she was like a little cocker spaniel always panting at his every breath? Â Well, we know that they had their ups and downs in their marriage just like anyone else does. Â ItÂ’s an interesting account recorded for us in the book of Genesis chapter 21, where Abraham and Sarah came into a deep conflict in their marriage.
Sarah kept noticing something that Abraham didnÂ’t notice. She noticed that HagarÂ’s son, (and Hagar was AbrahamÂ’s concubine, maid servant, or secondary wife,) was poking fun at Isaac, and this wasnÂ’t simply teasing because Paul, in Galatians, equates it with persecution. That means that IsaacÂ’s life may have been threatened, you see, by Ishmael.
So it was a very serious thing, and Sarah wanted Ishmael and Hagar dismissed from the house and to be sent off. Â Well, Abraham was a loving man, and he just couldnÂ’t see doing this. Â Well in verse 12 of that chapter it says God said to Abraham, Â“DonÂ’t let anything that Sarah keeps saying to you be displeasing to you about the boy and about your slave girl. Â Listen to her voice, because it is by means of Isaac that what will be called your seed, will be.Â” Â
Well Jehovah told Abraham that he had to listen to Sarah, that she was right, that her perception was beyond AbrahamÂ’s at that point to appreciate that. Â You see, SarahÂ’s wasnÂ’t acting like a jealous woman who was in competition with this other woman and wanted her out of the house at this point. Â We have to remember that Sarah was a spiritual woman. Â She was especially concerned about the seed because the seed of promise was the means of deliverance for mankind, and it was extremely important that that seed be protected and guarded.Â
Sarah had the utmost concern for that seed. Â She was the one that suggested that Abraham have relations with Hagar. Â She was the one that suggested that with Hagar. Â It wasnÂ’t HagarÂ’s idea, it wasnÂ’t even AbrahamÂ’s idea, but when she was barren for so long, she said: Â“Abraham, the seed comes through you, so please make sure that you find a woman who can bear a son, that will eventually make this line possible. Â“ So she was a spiritual person. Was not jealous. Was not a catty woman. But when she saw the seed was endangered, well she took action, and Jehovah told Abraham to listen to her.
Well I think itÂ’s obvious by this account that you can see that Sarah was not simply a child bearer, a housekeeper. She was a vital link in the outworking of Gods purpose. Â This woman, Sarah, is used to represent JehovahÂ’s entire heavenly organization. Now thatÂ’s an honor given to one solitary sister in the bible. Â Jehovah used her, and He loves her, and will forever remember her, because she was spiritual. Â A spiritual woman is the only kind of woman Jehovah can deeply love.
ThereÂ’s another interesting example in 2nd Kings, maybe youÂ’ll remember this. This too is an unnamed woman, though I think weÂ’re gonna really delight if we have the privilege to meet her. In 2nd Kings chapter 4. She lived in Shunem, and I want you to notice where her spirituality was reflected.Â
In verse 8 of chapter 4, it says: Â“It came about one day that Elisha, when passing along to Shunem, where there was a prominent woman, and she began to constrain him to eat bread. It came about that as often as he would pass by he would turn aside there to eat bread. At length she said to her husband: Â“Here now I well know that it is a holy man of God that is passing by us constantly. Â Please, let us make a little roof chamber on the wall and put there for him a couch and a table and a chair and lamp stand, and it must occur that whenever he comes into us, he can turn aside there.Â”Â
ThatÂ’s interesting isnÂ’t it? Â WhatÂ’d you learn from that account? Â Elisha was a profit who traveled in a circuit. Â Maybe any woman would be satisfied if she simply entertained this profit each time he passed by, but you see, she was really a spiritual woman, and she told her husband that she would appreciate it very much if they could build an addition on to their house and furnish that addition, so that when he came by he would have a place to stay.
Why did she suggest that? Â Because she recognized that this was a holy man of God. Â Now how many people, how many women, would be willing to sacrifice some good clothes, perhaps a little vacation, maybe a better car, just to build an addition onto their house for one solitary profit who was a man of God? Â
It took sacrifice. She was a spiritual woman, see, and her husband recognized that, so he built the addition onto his home. Â A lesson for our husbands is; do we listen to our wives, when we examine this woman of Shunem or Sarah, do we recognize that weÂ’re working for the same goals? Do we feel our wives arenÂ’t as mentally keen as we are? Â Or do we really recognize theyÂ’re GodÂ’s given gifts, just like Abraham did, and just like this husband of this woman of Shunem did?Â
When women were submissive to JehovahÂ’s arrangements, when they were submissive to them, and werenÂ’t running ahead of JehovahÂ’s arrangements, Jehovah used them gloriously. Â ItÂ’s so obvious in the bible. Women were used as prophets in the bible. Can you remember one prophetess in the bible? --- Yes, that was in the Christian Greek scriptures, thank you. --- Yes thatÂ’s true too, weÂ’re gonna talk about her. And another famous one in the Hebrew scriptures, Deborah, that comes to my mind too. Â In Judges 5:7 she is spoken of as mother of Israel. How do you like that? A very prominent position. But do you know why? Â Because she was submissive to JehovahÂ’s arrangements. Â She didnÂ’t run ahead. She cooperated, and as a result of that, Jehovah really was able to use her, and exult her, and not humble her and bring her down to size. ItÂ’s good for us to reflect on these spiritual women in the bible.
You know what else is important? Is for sisters to know how they should view themselves. Â And you know who can help us with that? ItÂ’s Jesus Christ. Â His view of you sisters can help any sister to know how to view herself. And believe me, when Jesus came to the earth he had a real hard time dealing with this because in the first century, woman, according to the bible, it was just a terrible thing to happen to be born a woman.
A woman, according to Talmud, was lower than a pig. Â Imagine that. And you werenÂ’t even allowed to have a pig in your yard. As a matter of fact thereÂ’s a prayer in the Talmud, it says: Â“Thank you God, that you didnÂ’t create me a slave, an animal, a pig, or a woman.Â” Imagine that.
Â Well how did Jesus treat women? Â ThereÂ’s an interesting point mentioned. LetÂ’s reflect on it in the book of Luke chapter 11, see what we can learn from this together. In Luke Chapter 11 and verses 27 and 28 it says: Â“Now as he was saying these things a certain woman out of the crowd raised her voice and said to him Â“Happy is the womb that carried you and the breasts that you sucked.Â” Â But he said Â“No, rather, happy are those hearing the word of God and keeping it.Â”Â
Those are pretty strong words arenÂ’t they? Jesus was trying to get across a point to all women, including all Christian women today. Â Because this woman was just saying that because she felt that Mary must have been really proud that she had the privilege of giving birth to the second most important person in the universe, who happens to turn out to be the Messiah. Â Whose breasts he sucked and who she raised. [She] says: Â‘Your mother must be so proud of you, must be so happyÂ’ and Jesus could have said Â‘yeah mom is kind of happy with the way things turned outÂ’, but he didnÂ’t. He wouldnÂ’t give room for that thought. Â He said Â“Happy are those who hear the word of God and keep it.Â”Â
So the most important thing for women is not their children. It is not the most important thing to either have children, or to raise them. ItÂ’s your spirituality thatÂ’s the most important thing. Â ItÂ’s your relationship with God.Â
In Luke chapter 10 verse 39, Jesus gives another perspective to women to think about. Â You remember the story about Martha and Mary? Â And Martha was really running around. If Jesus was coming to your home I think you would make a fuss too. Â DonÂ’t tell me youÂ’d cook the same thing you would cook for your husband, because I wouldnÂ’t believe it. Â If the son of God was visiting your home, you would really be up in an uproar. Â Everyone would know what you were doing and where you were and you would be just flying around the kingdom hall, you know, just trying to figure out what you were going to prepare for the son of God, and you know it. Â So, you can be sympathetic with Martha at this point.
In verse 40 it says: Â“Martha, on the other hand, was distracted attending to many duties, so she came near and said: Â‘Lord does it not matter to you that my sister has left me alone to attend to things? Â Tell her therefore to join in helping me.Â’Â” Â Martha was positive that Jesus would support her in her effort to illicit some help from her sister. Â In answer the lord said to her, Â“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and disturbed about many things. A few things though are needed, or just one, for her part Mary chose the good portion and it will not be taken away from her.Â
Now Jesus wasnÂ’t belittling housework any more than he was belittling having children, but itÂ’s not the most important thing. And some sisters, they love their homes, and they love their children, and they center their lives around them, to the sacrifice of their spirituality, and it shows. Â And thatÂ’s what Jesus was telling us. Â That housework, our homes, the beauty of our homes, our childrenÂ…, itÂ’s important, but itÂ’s not [more] important than our relationship with God. Again, itsÂ’ what you are as a spiritual person. Please donÂ’t neglect that. Â DonÂ’t put yourself down by putting things ahead of your spirituality.
Jesus elevated women. He helped them to appreciate that they werenÂ’t simply breeders or housekeepers, or theyÂ’re simply to enhance another manÂ’s life. Â And we know that Jesus got this elevated view from Jehovah. Â We can be very thankful that in the Christian congregation we have sisters that really appreciate the role of a woman, as a sister and as a wife. Â In 1st Peter 3:5, it refers to women as being holy, and that expression is not to be taken lightly. Jehovah sees both men and women as dedicated, thinking individuals.Â
Now itÂ’sÂ’ true that men were given heavier responsibilities, but both were endowed with the four powerful attributes of love, justice, wisdom and power. Â In those qualities, women are in no way inferior to men, at least in their potential to develop those qualities, and I wanna prove that to you.Â
Turn with me to 2nd Corinthians chapter 3 verse 18. Â And I want you to notice the second word in that verse. It says: Â“and all of us, while we with unveiled faces reflect like mirrors the glory of Jehovah, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, exactly as done by Jehovah the Spirit.Â”
Did you notice that second word? Â“ALLÂ”. Men and women reflect, or can reflect, the glory of Jehovah. Â And what proves that they can do it to his satisfaction is that Jehovah chooses women just as he chooses men to be part of the 144,000, which is the highest honor in the universe.
So never feel that you are just a housecleaner or child bearer, or that you are here simply to enhance another manÂ’s life. Â God has a high loving regard for a spiritual woman. ThatÂ’s the only kind of woman he can really draw close to. The aid book made an interesting comment, it said: Â“your relationship to Jehovah as a woman is just as important as any manÂ’s relationship is with him.Â”
Well I think thatÂ’s really encouraging to review some of those thoughts, and it helps us to appreciate the high position and the honor that Jehovah gives to our sisters, and that should make a sister really feel good, recognizing she has a long lineage of faithful sisters to copy in their spirituality and their example. When a sister recognizes how much credit Jehovah gives to her, donÂ’t you think that enables her to also absorb the counsel that Jehovah gives to sisters that he does.
As we mentioned, one of the most difficult challenges of the 20th century Christian woman is to be in subjection; to be in subjection to her husband, whether he is a believer or a un-believer. And most importantly, to show subjection right here to the congregation and to its arrangement.Â
Now do we do that, and what encouragement does Jehovah give to us? Â LetsÂ’ talk about being in subjection to a husband. IÂ’d like you to turn to 1st Peter chapter 3. Â See what you think about this. 1st Peter chapter 3 and verse 5. IÂ’ve read it so many times but I think I only noticed this point after the 100th reading. It says, Â“For so, too, formerly the holy women who were hoping in God, used to adorn themselves,Â” now notice how, Â“subjecting themselves to their own husbands.Â”Â
Now subjection isnÂ’t easy, but what does the bible call it? It said itÂ’s your adornment. ThatÂ’s what makes you feminine. Â ThatÂ’s what makes a women look beautiful in JehovahÂ’s eyes Â is her subjection, so when she loses her submissiveness sheÂ’s losing the garment that makes her look pretty in JehovahÂ’s eyes. Â
Now naturally itÂ’s gonna be a lot harder for a woman to be in subjection where the man does not take the lead. ThereÂ’s no question that a man who takes his responsibilities seriously, really draws out of a woman her most feminine qualities, doesnÂ’t he. Â But if a man is not masculine, does that give an excuse for a woman not to be feminine?Â
In 1st Corinthians 11 verse 3, it set out very clearly the order that God felt we would be the happiest. Â We use this scripture to disprove the trinity but thatÂ’s not why it was written. It says: Â“I want you to know that the head of every man is the Christ, in turn the head of the woman is the man, and in turn the head of the Christ is God.Â”
Now we know some women in the world feel itÂ’s disparaging for a women to be in subjection to her husband. Â But if itÂ’s disparaging for a women to be in subjection to her husband, then that means it would also be disparaging for a man to be in subjection to the Christ, and it would have to be disparaging for Christ to be in subjection to God.Â
Well we say thatÂ’s ridiculous. It only makes sense that Christ be in subjection to God. Â And it certainly makes sense to most women that men should be in subjection to Christ. Â Well if those two points make sense then doesnÂ’t it make sense that a woman really is going to be happiest when sheÂ’s in subjection to her husband?
In 1st Peter chapter 3 verse 4, Jehovah specifically defines the attitude of subjection. See what you think of it. ItÂ’s not easy, but Jehovah is painting a picture of what he would really like to see in a woman. Â In verse 4 it says: Â“let it be the secret person of the heart in the incorruptible apparel of the quiet and mild spirit, which is of great value in the eyes of God.Â”Â
Quiet and mild. ThatÂ’s hard sometimes isnÂ’t it? Â But you can see that thatÂ’s the feminine quality that some women are afraid to show, because they feel they are going to get hurt if they are. Â Well sometimes we do get hurt, and Jesus was hurt too. Â JehovahÂ’s been hurt too. Â And He has a very quiet and mild spirit also. If he was a real angry, nasty personality we know weÂ’d all be dead a long time ago. Probably wouldnÂ’t even be here. Â Quiet and mild. It doesnÂ’t prevent us from expressing ourselves, it just tells us how to do it in a feminine way and thatÂ’s our adornment. ThatÂ’s what makes a woman look beautiful in JehovahÂ’s eyes. ItÂ’s of great value in JehovahÂ’s eyes, even if it may not be in the eyes of your own mate.
You know sometimes we have single sisters that are looking for brothers in the truth, and you know that if you are looking for a spiritual brother, do you know what kind of sister he is looking for? A spiritual sister. And you know, generally, a brother whoÂ’s looking for a sister to marry in the truth, do you know what they ask themselves? Â They wonder if sheÂ’s a happy person. If sheÂ’s openhearted and generous. If sheÂ’s friendly, mild tempered, sympathetic, humble, grateful, kind and maybe most important: self forgetful. Very rarely does a brother ask what can she do. They just want to know, what can she BE.
Of course, to please does not mean an unconditional surrender of oneÂ’s self. Â ThatÂ’s not the definition of it. It means giving the good of ourselves to others. It means creating an atmosphere of cheerfulness in the home, which is, in part, the responsibility of a woman. Â And thatÂ’s not simply a talent, and itÂ’s not simply with those who have a lot of energy. ItÂ’s for any woman who wants to be a spiritual woman; a spiritual sister. Â And thatÂ’s the only kind of woman that Jehovah can deeply love and be close to.Â
Of course, some sisters are married to unbelieving mates, and that sure doesnÂ’t make it any easier. If thereÂ’s opposition to the truth, discouragement, even non support, if Jehovah loves a spiritual woman, how can she maintain her spirituality? Â Well in the AID book under woman, I donÂ’t know if you sisters have ever read that, but it might be a good idea. Â It applies to you and I think youÂ’d find the subject fascinating. Â I only read it recently and maybe youÂ’d enjoy reading it too.Â
ItÂ’s in the AID book under woman. So you can write that down along with all your scriptures. Â And they gave a very interesting example of a woman who was married to an unbelieving mate. Â And I never thought of it, it was Abigail. Â She was married to Nabal. The bible says he was a good for nothing man. Â If the bible says that, that means it was Gods opinion of him. That means he must have been really no good. He was a disgusting despicable character. Few people are spoken of with more contempt than Nabal was. Â
And the account that they reflect on is when David was asking Nabal for some provisions, and David was the anointed of Jehovah. The woman of Shunem recognized that she should build an apartment on her house to house a holy man of God. Nabal wouldnÂ’t even give him anything to eat. Believe me, David was angry. He deserved it.
Abigail was a spiritual woman. She recognized that he was the anointed of God. She would not follow her husband in this course. Sure it was his decision, but he was wrong. And so she took a stand on this spiritual course and she gave David lots of provisions, secretly, without her husband knowing.
The next day she did tell him, and when she told him, the bible says that his heart became as hard as stone. Â It seems that he was affected by some paralysis, and the bible goes on later to say that Jehovah killed him within the week, so you know he wasnÂ’t a very good person. But she remained in subjection to him until it came to JehovahÂ’s law, and then she took her stand. Â And she was rewarded wasnÂ’t she? Â She fell in love with a real spiritual person.Â
Let me read this to you. It was in the Aid book under woman, it says: Â“the primary duty in Israel of all women was to have children.Â” Does that make sense? Â It shouldnÂ’t. Â Â“The primary duty in Israel of all women was to clean house? Â…to work? Â…to please her husband?Â” Â No. Â Â“The primary duty in Israel for all women was to please Jehovah in true worship.Â” Â ThatÂ’s what came first.
If that comes first in your life, whether you have a husband in the truth or out of the truth, that certainly will help each sister to remain spiritual so that she can remain in JehovahÂ’s love. Â Of course whether a sister is married to a believing or an unbelieving mate, she must show subjection to the congregation and to its arrangements. Â
Some of the strongest words in the bible directed to our sisters are in 1st Corinthians 14. Â I think it would be good for us to examine it. Â I tried to find the strongest expressions that were used and I thought itÂ’d be good for us to analyze it, just so we can understand it, because these words offend the ears of those who are not very spiritual. Â
1st Corinthians 14. Â Notice what it says in verse 34. Â“As in all the congregations of the holy ones, let the women keep silent in the congregations, for it is not permitted for them to speak, but let them be in subjection, even as the law says. Â If then, they want to learn something, let them question their own husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in a congregation.Â”Â
Now thatÂ’s strong isnÂ’t it? Â What does it mean? Â Does it mean that women canÂ’t say anything in the congregation? Â It couldnÂ’t mean that. Â In the first century women spoke in tongues, women prophesied, and they gave fine comments just like you sisters do here in the congregation. Â Let me read to you what it says about this verse in the Qualified to be Ministers book. Â It says: Â“Sisters should not try to give counsel to dedicated brothers. On this matter they have to be in silence. Â They must not argue or contradict brothers in the congregation or give instruction. Â If they want to learn something they may ask their husband at home. If unmarried ask a mature brother. But they should not be asking merely to bring out a point of correction to get the brothers or their husbands to correct the servant. No. Paul says, they may ask if they themselves want to learn something.Â” See, thatÂ’s what is said there.Â
Does that help to set the spirit of things in our mind right? Â Or does it rule out asking questions. Â It certainly doesnÂ’t rule out trying to get a better understanding of a situation. Â The thing thatÂ’s ruled out is the asking of questions in an argumentative way, challenging, or debating. That shows a lack of submission to JehovahÂ’s arrangements, and sometimes the way we say something, is where Jehovah feels weÂ’ve lost our adornment, not the fact that we say something. Â And then if we say something and we donÂ’t get an answer that we like, whatÂ’s going to be our attitude after that? Â Are we still gonna Â complain about something, or murmur about it, or wonder when itÂ’s going to be changed or fixed? Â You see, if we go too far, then the bible says weÂ’re acting disgracefully.
Now, it doesnÂ’t rule out commenting at meetings. Believe me; you sisters add depth, perception, warmth, and feeling to the truth, and we need you for that. Â And while a sister is not permitted to exercise that kind of authority in the congregation from the platform, a sister can teach. She can teach younger sisters. She can teach her own children. And our sisters do a tremendous job of teaching hundreds of people out in the field service.Â
You know, even Priscilla, with Aquila, helped Apollos out spiritually in Acts 18:26. Â If you ever feel a little frustrated about the way things are going in the congregation, you can talk to a brother about it, and just try to understand as best you can whatÂ’s happening, and then leave it alone not to badger the point, belabor it, or make it an issue. Â And if you feel sometimes that you have to make it an issue, Â‘there has to be something done about thisÂ…Â’, Â‘weÂ’ve gotta get this straightened outÂ…Â’. Â A good example to think about, that might help to temper our approach, is the one of Miriam.Â
If you turn to the book of Numbers, this is an interesting account, Miriam was a prophetess. Â I was impressed to read in Micah 6:4 that when Jehovah says he delivered the nation of Israel he says; Â“I used Moses, Aaron and Miriam.Â” Â Imagine that, she got mentioned with the two men. Â That she was used to deliver the nation of Israel.Â
Evidently she conveyed inspired messages to Israel. Jehovah spoke to her, as he spoke to Moses. She was older than Moses too you know. Â She was his older sister. She was the one that diapered him after she got him back from PharaohÂ’s daughter, so she really, in many ways, even suffered more than Moses did, because Moses was out in Median for 40 years, while she was trying to make bricks without straw. Â She had a harder life and she felt since she was a prophetess, inspired by God, her words are written in the bible, that she should have more of a say about how things are run in Israel. Â You see, she reasons in Numbers verse 2 of chapter 12: Â“They kept saying: Â“Is it by Moses alone that Jehovah has spoken? Â Is it not by us also that he has spoken?Â” Â And Jehovah was listening.Â”
What was JehovahÂ’s response to this? Well notice in verse 10, it says: Â“the cloud turned away from over the tent, and, look! Â Miriam was struck with leprosy as white as snow. Â Then Aaron turned toward Miriam, and, look! She was struck with leprosy.Â” Â Terrible. Her skin was falling off her body. Â Do you know why Jehovah struck her with leprosy? Â It was to show her how unattractive she looked out of place. Â
Moses and Aaron, they wanted Miriam to be made well. Jehovah said: Â“No. SheÂ’s offended me.Â” Â Now some sisters sometime feel, Â“Oh I would never do what Miriam did. Boy. That was terrible. I would have recognized that Moses was the head. Oh I would have never run ahead of Moses, he was a good man. Â IÂ’m not that kind of person. I wouldnÂ’t be caught in that situation. Â Look brother, what I see is real. It needs to be said. Miriam was wrong. What she saw was inaccurate. What I see is accurate.Â”
What if you do see something that you feel is not right and you feel something needs to be done. Â What position should a sister take in the congregation? Â LetÂ’s reflect on one more spiritual sister that can help us. Â ItÂ’s in the book of Luke chapter 2. Â This is Anna, and you know something, like Miriam she too was a prophetess. Â In Luke chapter 2 verse 36, we read about Anna. It tells us that she was a widow. She was only married for 7 years, so she was a widow for most of her life because at this point she was 84 years old, but notice in verse 37, it says she was never missing from the temple, she rendering sacred service night and day, with fastings and supplications. And in that very hour she came near and began returning thanks to God and speaking about the child to all those waiting for JerusalemÂ’s deliverance.
Why was Anna supplicating and fasting? Â You know why? Because she was a smart sister. Â She was a spiritual woman, and she knew that temple was so corrupt, and so disgusting, and so far away from JehovahÂ’s worship, that she was at that temple every day praying that one day Jehovah would straighten out this mess.
It doesnÂ’t say she went around bad mouthing the elders or bad mouthing the religious leaders. It doesnÂ’t say that she stayed away from that temple, because it was obviously corrupt and no good. She was there, she supported JehovahÂ’s arrangement, and she prayed [and] supplicated to Jehovah that someday it would be right. Â And you know what? She had the privilege of seeing the messiah, and when she saw that babe she said, Â“Now I know things will be rightÂ”Â
She had faith, and as we spoke about previously, faith helped her to be modest because she was no longer frustrated, she knew that Jehovah would straighten everything out in his own due time. Â She never lived to see it. She died before the messiah died himself. Â She was a spiritual woman though. Jehovah will never forget her. He deeply loved her. Â Maybe we will have a chance to meet her, and to really get to know her.
Jehovah loves a spiritual woman. Do you know what question we need to ask after that, is how lovable are you? How spiritual are you? Are you in subjection to the congregation and to its arrangements, and to your husband? Â Are you really putting spiritual things first in your life? ItÂ’s got top priority.
If you are, youÂ’re truly working toward being a good spiritual woman, and certainly a fine example for all of us as brothers. Â If your husband isnÂ’t in the truth. If your husband doesnÂ’t pray with you. If you are a spiritual woman; that will never stop you from praying fervently. Â If your husband doesnÂ’t go out in service that often; that wonÂ’t prevent you from being whole souled in service. Â If your husband doesnÂ’t go to meetings; that will never keep you home. Â If your husband doesnÂ’t study with you; that wonÂ’t keep you from being good students of the bible.
You see, thatÂ’s a spiritual woman. And you know something? We need spiritual women. Â Really, the truth is, we need each other. Â And to close our discussion IÂ’d like you to turn to 1st Corinthians chapter 11. Paul wraps up our feelings and our thoughts so beautifully. All of us, letÂ’s turn to 1 Corinthians chapter 11 and verse 11 and 12. Notice the wording.: Â‘Besides, in connection with the Lord, neither is woman without man nor man without woman. Â For just as the woman is out of the man, so also the man is through the woman: but all things are out of God.Â”
Well it was nice to be able to share that information with you and I hope that you really found it encouraging and helpful.
Milovsky Robert - Jehovah Loves a Spiritual Woman - excellent talk.mp3
By Jack Ryan
Regarding a change to a song title, the study article on page 7 paragraph 17 of November 2017 Watchtower explained, “The change of the title “Guard Your Heart” to “We Guard Our Hearts” was most considerate. Why? In the audience at our meetings, assemblies, and conventions are many new ones, interested ones, young ones, and sisters who by singing the words would be put in the awkward position of telling others what to do. So the title and the lyrics were modified.”
By Guest Nicole
The differences in men and women even extend to the way our brains are built.
In the largest study yet on sex differences in the physical makeup of the human brain, researchers from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland have shown that men and women do, in fact, have different brain structures and sizes. Women tend to have thicker cortices, which are associated with intelligence, whereas men’s brains tend to be bigger overall. Although these differences can’t prove that men and women behave differently, they could shed light on why some medications work better in men better than women, and vice versa.
Researchers looked at the brains of over 5,200 participants older than 40, roughly half men and half women. This group was part of the larger UK Biobank study, which is in the midst of collecting health data on over 500,000 individuals. For this particular study, patients lay down in a structural magnetic resonance imaging. These MRIs are able to parse out different types of brain tissues, like the neurons and the connections between them, which can give scientists a picture of the various brain regions.
They found that on average, men’s brains were larger. But women’s brains had larger subregions of the cortex—the cortical subregions are discrete parts of this particular brain section associated with memory, sensory input, learning, and making choices. Additionally, there was a lot of variation in the sizes of different brain regions in men; women’s brains tended to be more similar to each other. The research, which hasn’t yet been peer-reviewed, was published in BioArXiv earlier this month.
These findings aren’t brand new. But most neuroscience studies to date only looked at a sample size of a few hundred participants. The thousands of brains here validate a lot of previous work. The fact that men’s brains had more differences among them “fits with a lot of other evidence that seems to point toward males being more variable physically and mentally,” Stuart Ritchie, a psychologist and lead author of the paper, told Science. Similarly, it wasn’t surprising to find that women tended to have thicker cortices over all based on previous findings (paywall).
The differences between men and women’s brains were small enough that it’d be impossible for scientists to determine a person’s sex by looking at his or her brain alone. Brain size and composition are characteristics kind of like nose shape: they depend on a lot of different genetic factors, and can take on countless different forms. And although a lot of men have larger noses (and brains) than women, that’s not always the case.
And it’s important to consider that different brain sizes and regions don’t necessarily translate to actual behavioral differences, like intelligence. “Our manuscript is just about describing the differences, and we can’t say anything about the causes of those differences,” Ritchie told New York Magazine. Different environmental and social factors play a huge role in determining the ways we think and interact with each other.
Ritchie is confident, though, that understanding the structural variability can help determine why certain diseases affect men and women differently. Understanding variations in brain structure can help develop better, sex-specific treatments for them.
The Guardian November 29, 2016
To all incredible women who strive for excellence,
When I was growing up, I had a dream. I’m sure you did, too. My dream wasn’t like that of an average kid, my dream was to be the best tennis player in the world. Not the best “female” tennis player in the world.
I was fortunate to have a family that supported my dream and encouraged me to follow it. I learned not to be afraid. I learned how important it is to fight for a dream and, most importantly, to dream big. My fight began when I was three and I haven’t taken a break since.
But as we know, too often women are not supported enough or are discouraged from choosing their path. I hope together we can change that. For me, it was a question of resilience. What others marked as flaws or disadvantages about myself – my race, my gender – I embraced as fuel for my success. I never let anything or anyone define me or my potential. I controlled my future.
So when the subject of equal pay comes up, it frustrates me because I know firsthand that I, like you, have done the same work and made the same sacrifices as our male counterparts. I would never want my daughter to be paid less than my son for the same work. Nor would you.
As we know, women have to break down many barriers on the road to success. One of those barriers is the way we are constantly reminded we are not men, as if it is a flaw. People call me one of the “world’s greatest female athletes”. Do they say LeBron is one of the world’s best male athletes? Is Tiger? Federer? Why not? They are certainly not female. We should never let this go unchallenged. We should always be judged by our achievements, not by our gender.
For everything I’ve achieved in my life, I am profoundly grateful to have experienced the highs and lows that come with success. It is my hope that my story, and yours, will inspire all young women out there to push for greatness and follow their dreams with steadfast resilience. We must continue to dream big, and in doing so, we empower the next generation of women to be just as bold in their pursuits.
An open letter to Serena Williams about Jehovah’s Witnesses’ treatment of women.(from an ex-witness)
By Guest Nicole
Manbij women have been ripping off their burqas and burning them, smoking cigarettes, while men cut off their beards, all while rejoicing at their newly obtained freedom after the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) drove jihadists from the Syrian city.
By The Librarian
Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.
2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
5 I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.
6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?
7 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?
8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?
9 So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.
10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.
11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.
12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.
13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.
14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.
15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?
17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.
18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:
19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.
20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.
21 In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.
22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.
23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:
25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.
26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.
28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.
30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.
31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.
35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?
37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.
39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.
40 Let all things be done decently and in order.
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