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Insights Blog

Cedarville Insights provides answers to your pressing questions about Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, as well as college undergraduate and graduate programs, theological and philosophical questions, and general purpose information.

Spiritual Abuse in Relationships

Today’s post is from Celeste Hurley, Cedarville University's Confidential Advocate from Family Violence Prevention Center.

woman pushing man awayPhilippians 2:3-5 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:”

One tactic that is used to gain power and control in a relationship is spiritual abuse. Spiritual abuse happens when someone uses spiritual or religious beliefs to hurt, scare, or control you. This could be accomplished through forcing someone to follow a particular religious script, restricting or mocking someone's beliefs, or using beliefs to limit and control the other person. This additionally impacts a person by isolating them from who Christ is and what it means to be loved in a genuine and noncontractual way.


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Posted in Title IX


What God Says to a Victim of Coercive Control

woman pushing man awayAs helpers, friends, and fellow image-bearers, the faith community needs to come alongside a person who is the victim of coercive control/abuse and use words and actions that show God’s heart to them.


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Posted in Title IX


The Heart of Coercive Control

woman pushing man away“I do what I do because I want what I want.” 
– paraphrase of James 4:1

Pastor and author (and Cedarville University grad!) Chris Moles has written extensively about the heart of abuse. What does he say is behind the heart of an abusive individual?


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Posted in Title IX


The Danger of Coercive Control

Coercive control can happen in any dating relationship. But what is coercive control, and why is it important for the body of Christ to understand it?


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Posted in Title IX


Think Before You Click: Using Dating Apps

Girl clicking on cell phoneDating apps have become popular among college students, but are they safe to use? Is it possible to use them in a God-honoring and self-protecting way? It is, but you should follow important safety guidelines.

Let's start with two general principles:

  1. Know the general reputation of a dating app before you sign up. Not all dating apps are created equally in standards of conduct and the culture of participation. There are some apps out there that wisdom would tell you to not even sign up and get started with a group that is not likely to be edifying.
  2. Make sure you are emotionally ready for a relationship. As an image-bearer, you are valuable and do not need anyone else to complete you. If you are not ready to date and navigate a relationship, that is OK. The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to not step into online relationship spaces while you are in a season of healing or when personal growth should be the priority.


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Posted in Title IX


Think Before You Click: Protecting Yourself as an Image-Bearer – Clues to Spot a Sexual Scam

Girl clicking on cell phoneSextortion … revenge porn … catfishing … Did you know that college students are at a very high risk for all of these? (Yes, even Cedarville students!) And not just women are at risk – college-age men are increasingly finding themselves victims of sexual scams. Read this full post to find out about protecting yourself as an image-bearer by identifying clues to spot a sexual scam.


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Posted in Title IX


Think Before You Click: Protecting Your Fellow Image-Bearers

Girl clicking on cell phoneAs we increasingly experience life through our online communities, we need to remember Jesus’ calling to love our neighbor as ourselves. Everyone on our social is our neighbor! Sexual harassment and abuse in our online spaces has dramatically increased. As image-bearers we cannot see online abuse as normal or less serious than what may happen in person. We each have the ability and voice to create a safe and respectful online space. But we must use it!

If you notice someone being harassed or abused in an online space, use methods of Bystander Intervention to Speak Up! for those who are experiencing online harassment and abuse.


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Posted in Title IX


Think Before You Click: Reflecting and Preserving the Image of God

Welcome to April! I love that in the month of April we get to experience how our Creator redeems the darkness of winter as He brings us the warmth and growth of spring. We have a God who seeks to renew and redeem the experiences of our lives, and He has called us to participate in His work of redemption as we bear His image to others. 

As we look for ways to participate in the work of redeeming the darkness, Cedarville University will be observing Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Our theme for this year is “Think Before You Click: Building Online Communities of Image-Bearers.”  

We have chosen this theme because as technology has become such a significant part of our everyday lives, a student’s risk to be exploited or experience harassment has increased. It is up to each of us at Cedarville to speak up to prevent sexual harassment and exploitation in the virtual community that we are currently living in.  

During this month we hope to provide practical tips on how to protect yourself from sexual scams and exploitation, how to protect others by understanding consent in the online world and through bystander intervention, and how to stay safe using dating apps.


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Posted in Title IX