Gen. 34:1-4 – "Now Dinah, the daughter Leah had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the women of the land. When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the ruler of that area, saw her, he took her and violated her. His heart was drawn to Dinah daughter of Jacob, and he loved the girl and spoke tenderly to her. And Shechem said to his father Hamor, 'Get me this girl as my wife.'"
- Shechem PUT HIS DESIRE BEFORE HONOR. Few people think of Shechem's love or tenderness toward Dinah. They think only of his violation of her. Since Shechem asked his father to get Dinah as his wife after he'd already taken her, the request lost some of its fervor. A desire fulfilled has no right to plead. Part of maintaining honor is maintaining desire.
- These men PUT GOSSIP BEFORE THE HARD TRUTH. Poor Jacob heard about his daughter's defilement before Shechem or his father had the decency to tell him face-to-face. However, instead of sending someone to the fields to inform Dinah's brothers – to spare them from hearing tongues wag the same way he had – Jacob waited. Did he suspect they'd hear the shepherd's gossip? When a hard circumstance presents itself, it's far better to confront the matter than to allow gossip and assumption to sprout half-truths and rampant anger.
- Hamor PUT HIS PROMISE BEFORE OTHERS' PERMISSION. Granted, he was king, but later we see he had to get approval from the elders at the gate for circumcision. Did he really have the authority to promise marriage, trade and property to Jacob and his family without the Shechemites' consent? How many times have I volunteered my husband or kids for a task or duty without clearing it with them first. Once is too many times in their opinions!
- Shechem TOOK POSSESSION BEFORE HE ASKED FOR OWNERSHIP. Asking for what he'd already taken was an insult to Jacob – especially when the stolen treasure was now defiled, as Jacob felt Dinah was. Shechem placed Jacob (and Dinah) in a no win situation – because no price can pay the debt of humiliation. It can be as simple as borrowing a shirt or cup of sugar without asking. The point is – respect dictates permission before we take.