No Means No (or does it?)

Let me preface this blog post with a few key points:

  1. – There will be little pictures (doesn’t need any).
  2. – There will be no food (only a napkin), places or adventures mentioned (but I promise it is still  good).
  3. – You may be offended or disagree by my generalization (more likely to happen if you can relate to this).
  4. – Do not judge me for my life experiences as you respond to this subject (Luke 6:37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.).

If you can accept all 4 and move beyond those, you may continue to read.  However, I caution you that you might not like what you read.  My heart hurts more for young, beautiful, strong women who succumb to peer pressure, become insecure with themselves and attach themselves to the pursuit of something they really don’t want.  I intend to unveil the cry in my heart right now… 

chicago deliciousBut before we begin, let me share with you a lighter note, a happy thought.  “Life should be delicious.” If I can describe something that is delicious without using the word “delicious,” I would say it is better than satisfying.  It’s amazing.  It excites and it intrigues.  Delicious is worth sharing and delicious is worth doing over and over for the overwhelming joy it bring.

So if life should be delicious, then we should make sure life excites, intrigues, is shared and filled with joy.   

Back on track – I have a cry in my heart tonight.  As I enjoy Chicago, take in the landscape, beauty and people, I find something so uniform through society that hasn’t changed in some time.  This is not only uniform in Chicago, or during this decade, but I remember, all to well, this society “norm” (if we want to call it that) that has or will haunt every strong, beautiful woman everyday.

No means no.  Should be easy right?  Wrong.  Way wrong.  So wrong.  As I enjoy a few drinks in Chicago (I’m not against drinking, but keep reading), I notice that no really doesn’t mean no.  Let’s role play an all to common situation…

  Molly is out with friends, meets Steve who is a regular and they seem to be talking it up.  Molly realizes she’s had a few drinks and is thinking slowing down will be best. (slow and steady wins the race are her thoughts) Steven on the other hand, enjoys Molly’s company and offers to buy her another drink.  Molly declines thinking on no big deal.  I’ve already had a few drinks with this guy.  Steve, who may or may not have alterior motives at this point, says “oh, common Molly.  Just another drink?  For ME?  We are having fun, right?”  Molly’s mind then goes in all directions thinking, oh he’s having fun with me.  one more drink won’t be too bad right?  What do I have to do tomorrow?  How many have I had so far? 

If Molly decides to stand her ground, Steve will push more.  Molly’s sweet “oh I’m good” comment with a smile and flirty body language is now a challenge.  So Steve pushes.  Molly will (most always do) give in.  She will have another drink and justify it.  Now Steve knows he has her. 

The alterior motive starts to develop.  Steve thinks ok I can get her to have another drink with me.  Maybe I can get her to kiss me or to come back to my place.  Molly’s alterior motive starts to develop too.  She thinks ok, I have someone to buy me drinks.  He’s cool and has cute friends and connections.  He makes me feel good.

Problem is fully developed.

The problem is that no does not really mean no.  It means No but ok.  Not well I guess.  Ok but then no more.  No I’m good (in an I really want more way). No but maybe.  So girls let their guards down lower and lower giving in to peer pressure.  –I’m completely guilty of this.  Without a doubt. Just tonight I even said 1 more because this is your bar but then that’s it.  He was satisfied with this answer for about 10 minutes until more drinks came… and at that point saying no after says yes becomes harder and harder to do. 

The 3 possible solutions to this scenario:

  1. If Molly give in and keeps drinking, she will eventually get to a point where she drank too much.  Or the drink buyer will try to take advantage of this girl.  Steve will say the same lines “let’s have fun at my place.  I thought we were having fun? We have something.” So Molly who knows she’s full of love and confidence and life, breaks down to a little girl, insecure in who she is in search of Steve’s affection.  She gives in and let’s just go all the way there – sleeps with Steve.  In the morning, how does she feel?  Most likely she feels crappy inside and out.  Most likely she doesn’t feel like the center of attention she felt the night before with Steve. Oh and wait, she made a promise to God and herself to honor her body as a temple.  She might not ever see Steve again and she’s now more lonely and heartbroken than before.  This is probably a very common scenario.   1Corinthians 6:19-20 “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own;  you were bought at a price.  Therefore honor God with your body.”
  2. If Molly stays her ground and no really means no, Steve will likely turn away from her and on to another girl.  She will feel rejected that she let someone down (remember Steve says “oh c’mon, for me?!”).  She had someone’s attention and SHE thinks she could lose him for saying no.  So she still feels crappy and now lonely.  This can only go on so long until she gives in and #1 kicks in.
  3. Finally, the last (and obviously best) solution is that Molly stays her ground AND is routed in the Word she knows she  is a beautiful, wonderful, independent daughter of God.  She won’t be lonely because she is fully filled by God’s Love.  She won’t feel sad or rejected because she is accepted and forgiven as who she is for every sin, past present and future by the God of the uniforms.  Wow that’s good.   That’s true love. 

Unfortunately, the most beautiful girls inside and out are looking to find acceptance and happiness in the wrong things.  Option 1 and 2 are all they ever knew.  They don’t need to look around a bar, but look up to the one who created us.  Our Father in Heaven.  So who’s to blame?  I don’t think we can blame anyone but ourselves.  Us, women, who have gone through our “college years” failed to uplift women younger than us to show them what real love is.  The church talks about God’s love but what about that temptation of the flesh that says I want others to like me.  Or (yes, are you ready for it), the guys peer pursuing the girls!

ok, breathe – He’s a pick I had taken after my run today!  BEAUTIFUL DAY!

chicago run

Ok, back to the blame game.  We can also blame the guys.  I saved this for last.  C’mon guys!!!!!  Can you bring up the male race a little bit more by teaching class.  Why would you want a drunk girl?  I know there are descent guys out there.  Please life up these other guys who see women as fun nights.  Why can’t you take No for No?  It’s unattractive, disgusting and demeaning to women to guilt them into drinking or pushing drinks in their faces.  If you don’t like me sober, you won’t like me ever.  If I’m not fun enough now, I never will be.  What’s even more interesting is that I have many (I could even consider most) of my guy friends as very respectful men.  It’s not us, it’s the college and high schoolers we need to focus on God to cherish women.

So this is a great perspective and all and you may or may not agree with me, but what now?  What do we, as women, do?  I can only offer a few suggestions that got me to the point of No really does mean NO. The ultimate goal of No mean No is the 3rd option.  Saying no and staying strong and proud.  Saying a double H2O on the rocks with a straw is a cool thing.  Leaving the bar confident and happy after a fun night of hanging out with friends.

    1. Surround yourself with people who will not pressure you to drink more than you want. I LOVE wine.  Probably too much.  However, I would never press and press to get my friends to keep drinking.  The people I surround myself with must be like me.

    2. If someone tries to guilt you into a drink and you don’t want it, don’t accept it.  Just don’t do it.  Saying yes to one extra drink turns into saying yes to one extra base real fast!   

    3. It’s OK if our definitions of FUN doesn’t mesh.  If my fun is eating great food, drinking a glad of wine, relaxing after a day of work and chatting about traveling, don’t tell me taking shots is fun.  It’s not!  If that’s your fun, that’s ok, but don’t force your fun on me.  It won’t work.  And ladies, if you notice this, don’t change who you are to mold to the crowd.  Stand tall and proud as the women God created you to be!   

chicago nightWoah so this was a lot longer than I had anticipated and my figures just kept typing.  The fact that I said no and moved forward with my evening empowered me to embrace the person God created me to me.  His beautiful daughter.  Just Read Proverbs 31.  That’s the women we can all be!

Ok, I’ve shared my heart now I need you to share this with others.  Share it with teenagers.  How do you respond?  What the hardest things for you?  Young college kids. Ask them.  What’s the hardest thing to juggle in college? 

Good night from the Windy City!

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