Am I Enabling My Cheating Husband’s Sin by Staying with Him?

Our modern Christian culture actually looks down on and shames women who believe they do not have a right to divorce their husbands for their whoremongering ways. The real shame is not on these women for honoring their marriage covenants, despite their husband’s sinful ways. The real shame is on our modern church for how wrongfully tell them they are “enabling their husband’s sin” by staying.


Recently I received a comment from a woman calling herself Sarah. She wrote this comment in reference to an older article I wrote “Does the Bible Allow Divorce for Adultery?”. And this was her comment:


“This article has given my great comfort. My husband is openly and unrepentantly committing adultery with a teenager in our town. It’s common knowledge that he has rented an apartment where he spends three nights a week with her.

Everyone is telling me to leave him, even my pastor and my conservative Christian family, quoting Matthew to show that Jesus would approve. They claim by not imposing consequences I’m enabling his sin.

This doesn’t seem right to me. I stood at the alter and promised to love honour and obey him in, sickness and in health, till death us do part. Well, open fornication with a teenager sure sounds like a sickness of the soul to me. I’m to do this not because his actions deserve it, but because he is my husband and I am to submit to his authority. It is painful. At times I feel absolutely crippled with jealousy. Especially grueling is submitting to him in the bedroom, knowing how he spent the previous night.

I feel powerless, and ugly, and old, and saggy, and pathetic. But here’s the thing: in this state it’s hard enough to find the strength to be his helpmeet and mother to our three children — WITHOUT also suffering the condemnation of the entire community (much of it behind my back) for not separating. So thank you so much for the validation that I’m behaving in a godly manner.”

My Response to Sarah and Other Women With Whoremongering Husbands

Sarah – first and foremost I am glad that you saw what God’s Word actually says in Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9 and not what you wanted it to say. You saw that God only allows a man “to put away his WIFE” for fornication and that he makes no such allowance for women to put away their husbands for fornication.


Is your husband absolutely wrong in his actions of having an affair with this teenage girl? YES. But we need to be clear on something. He is not committing the sin of adultery; he is committing a different sin, but not the sin of adultery.


Our modern definition of adultery has been made gender-neutral to fit our cultural view that polygamy (or more specifically polygyny) is wrong. The fact is that God rewarded Leah with another child for giving her husband another wife in Genesis 30:18 and God expressly allows polygyny and set rules for its practice in Exodus 21:10-11, Deuteronomy 21:15-17, Deuteronomy 25:5-7. God even pictures himself as a polygamist husband to Judah and Israel in Ezekiel 23:1-5.


And God’s prohibition on bishops and deacons having more than one wife in 1 Timothy 3:2 & 12 is no different than his stricter marriage standards for priests in the Old Testament. For instance, in Ezekiel 44:22 priests were forbidden from marrying divorced women or widows (except widows of other priests) but these restrictions were not binding on the general population of men. So, the idea that because bishops and deacons – church officers – must be the husband of one wife, that all men must be the husband of one wife is absolutely false.


Not let me bring this back to our modern definition of adultery versus the Biblical definition adultery. Biblically speaking there is only one way that a man can commit adultery against his wife and it is not him having sex with another woman. The only way a man can commit adultery against his wife is by him wrongly divorcing her. This is exactly the situation that Christ is addressing.
But we have to assemble his statements together to see the full picture.


Matthew 19:3 gives us the full question that the Pharisees of asked of Christ – “The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?” The key phrase being “for every cause”. In other words, they were asking “Can a man divorce his wife for any reason he chooses?” And Christ’s answer was NO.
He told them that if a man divorces his wife “except it be for fornication” that he “committeth adultery”.


And then in Mark 10:11 Christ said “…Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her”.
Is Christ saying it is a sin for a man to marry another woman while he is still married? Some of have tried to twist this verse to say that to condemn polygamy. But God allowed polygamy and made no change on that in the New Testament – so we know he is not reversing his former allowance for polygamy. So, what is the sin in marrying another? It is him divorcing his wife to marry another. In other words, the woman he is seeking to marry is insisting on him divorcing his first wife. This scenario is seen in Malachi 2:14.


So if your husband is not committing adultery by having sex with other women then what sin is he committing – the answer is the sin of whoremongering. When a man has sex with women not his wife this is a sin against his own body and against God.


In 1 Corinthians 6:15 & 18 the Bible says “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid… Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. And in Hebrews 13:4 the Bible says “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge”.


Here is my point in all this. You must see your husband’s sin as it is. A sin against God and against his own body. God will judge your husband for his whoremongering, if not in this life, in the life to follow. And you must leave his sin to God and continue to do what is right as a wife.


If you can learn to frame your husband’s sin as the Bible does and not as your feelings as a woman lead you to, it will go a long way to helping you to be a better wife to your husband even as he remains in his sin. Your jealousy toward this other younger woman would disappear overnight if you realized that your husband’s sin is not in merely having sex with another woman, but that it is because he is unlawfully having sex with another woman. In Biblical times your husband could have legally married that teenage girl and taken her as another wife. You would be absolutely wrong and in sin to be jealous of your husband taking another younger wife. I would argue that your jealousy even now, is sin.

You do not own your husband; your husband owns you.


Many Christians falsely point to 1 Corinthians 7:2 to say that God gives husbands and wives equal ownership over one another. 1 Corinthians 7:2 states “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband”.


What most people do not realize is that there are two different Greek words for own in that passage. The first with the man is “heautou” which refers to exclusive ownership. The second Greek word with the woman in regard to her husband is “idios” and does not refer to exclusive ownership. It can actually refer to the one being owned.
Romans 14: states ““Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own [idios] master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.”


And since we know that the husband is the master of the wife according to 1 Peter 3:5-6, then we know what 1 Corinthians 7:2 is saying. It is saying each man should own his wife as her master and each woman should be owned by a master (her husband). In no way does it limit a man to just one wife. It is saying he should have at least one wife if he does not have the gift of celibacy.

Conclusion

If your husband is committing the sin of whoremongering should it bother you as his wife? Certainly. Whenever we see someone else sin it should bother us. But it should not bother you based on feelings of jealousy. If your reason for being upset at your husband is “Why am I not enough for you? Why do you need this other woman?” that is the wrong reason to be upset.

In fact, you are actually taking up an offense against God and being upset at your husband’s God given polygynous sexual nature.
Your husband’s actions are not wrong because you as his wife are not enough for him sexually. Your husband’s actions are wrong because he is having sex with a woman outside of marriage and he is committing the sin of whoremongering against God. In other words, your husband has allowed his sin nature to corrupt his God given polygynous sexual nature into causing him to commit the sin of whoremongering.


Yes, his sin should bother you. But it should bother you because it is a sin against God. Now if he leaves you for this woman, then the sin does become against both you and God. But do not worry yourself over it until it actually happens.
And remember how 1 Peter 3:1-2 (NASB) says you as a wife should respond to your husband’s sin:

“In the same way, you wives, be subject to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won over without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your pure and respectful behavior.”

Win him with your submission and your pure and respectful behavior toward him. In other words, attempt to win him back to God with your actions, not with your words.
And part of your pure submissive, pure and reverent behavior toward him is you freely and willingly (without an attitude) giving yourself sexually to your husband and putting all thoughts of that other woman out of your mind. Rid yourself of your jealousy

and give it to God.

To listen to the companion podcast for this article click on the link below to go to BGRLearning.com.

10 Things Every Christian Husband Must Unlearn

Below are 10 things every Christian husband must “unlearn” that men are taught by our post-feminist culture in order to unleash and fully realize the masculine nature that God designed him with:

  1. You must unlearn thinking that it is impossible for a man to support his family on his own.
  2. You must unlearn thinking that is wrong for a man to exercise complete control over the finances in his home.
  3. You must unlearn thinking that that it is wrong for you to try to control your wife.
  4. You must unlearn thinking that that it is wrong for you to rebuke and discipline your wife.
  5. You must unlearn thinking that you must get permission from your wife for anything.
  6. You must unlearn thinking that is wrong for you to help your wife formulate her worldview, including her view of how the roles of husband and wife play out in marriage.
  7. You must unlearn thinking that it is selfish to want to mold your wife to your preferences, including but not limited to – having her cook the food you like, wearing the clothes you like and keeping her hair the way you like it.
  8. You must unlearn thinking that it is selfish to want to spend time away from your wife whether just in solitude by yourself or with other men.
  9. You must unlearn thinking that it is selfish for you to spend time and money on hobbies you enjoy as a man.
  10. You must unlearn thinking that it is selfish to want sex from your wife whenever and however you so desire it, even when she is not in the mood.

To learn more about how to unleash and fully realize your God given nature as a man go to my podcast site BGRLearning.com. There you can listen podcasts that will teach you straight out of the Bible what it means to be man and you can let God’s Word wash away your post-feminist cultural conditioning.

Give Your Husband the Gift He Actually Wants for Christmas

The vast majority of wives get things like ties, shirts, pants and other such things for their husbands for Christmas.  But if men are honest with themselves this is not what they really want from their wives for Christmas.  The gift they want from their wives would not cost their wives any money. 

But what it would require is for their wives to sacrifice their pride and face their fears to truly seek to please their husbands. 

Many traditional wives would respond at this point “Hey I already willing give my body to my husband anytime he desires it! What more am I supposed to do?”

And that ladies, is the million-dollar question that I answer in this three-part podcast series from BGRLearning.com.  (And no, it won’t cost you a million bucks to find out the answers).

In Proverbs 5:19, God commands that husbands are to be ravished (literally intoxicated) by their wives.  And the wording of the passage does not mean “men – be content with whatever your wife is willing to offer in the bedroom”.  If you look in the slide show above, I show how the Hebrew words in the passage actually call for men to “drink their fill” of their wife’s body, to use her to satisfy all his desires and she is to be ravishing toward him.

But how does a wife go about ravishing (intoxicating) her husband? Does this mean she must initiate all the time? Of course not.  While it is certainly good and healthy for a wife to initiate with her husband at times, God has designed men to be the primary initiators in the marriage bed.

Being a ravishing wife is not about initiating all the time.   It’s about an attitude toward your husband and his God given masculine desires. 

Thankfully God did not just tell women to be ravishing toward their husbands in Proverbs 5:19. He also gave us an entire book of the Bible, The Song of Solomon, which shows women how to be ravishing wives.   In this three-part podcast series, I explore many metaphors in the book of Ecclesiastes to help women learn how to be ravishing wives.

Click here to to go to BGRLearning.com and listen to this series.

Is it Fair for A Fat Christian Man to Expect His Wife to Remain Fit?

There are few things that Egalitarians hate more than an old man married to a young woman or a fat man married to a fit woman.  But when it comes to men exercising their power over their wives, complementarians and even some patriarchists will join egalitarians in condemning the fat husband for expecting his wife to remain fit. But what does the Bible say about this situation?

 I have already given principles of what should guide a man’s weight in previous posts in this series on fitism as well as general principles that guide a woman’s weight. In this final post on this topic of fitism, we will apply principles I have previously established to this issue.

And for all my critics of my view of fitism – no my wife is not fit, neither do I expect her to be – she has big breasts and a big rear end just the way I like it.   We are both nearing our 50s and are overweight by government standards (CDC/NIH) standards.   My point is – no I am not the fat guy expecting my wife to remain fit.  My wife has never been fit since I met her and I like her fuller figure just fine.

Also, just for those who are wondering, I am pretty active physically despite having a sedentary job as a software developer.  I take walking breaks during my work day and I also walk at night after work.

So now let’s get to the million-dollar question.  And its actually a pretty quick and easy answer from a biblical perspective.

Is it fair for a fat man to expect his wife to remain fit?

It has always seemed strange to me that many traditional Christians reject egalitarianism in so many areas yet in this area of body fat percentage they lock arms with egalitarians.

A common statement we hear on the matter of weight and body appearance is that “Spouses need to keep their bodies sexually appealing for each other”.

Egalitarians, complementarians and even some patriarchists point to 1 Corinthians 7:4 to support an egalitarian view of sexual appeal – “The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.”

The claim is that 1 Corinthians 7:4 gives husbands and wives equal power over each other’s bodily appearance.  But this is false.  1 Corinthians 7:4 is condemning sexual denial in marriage.  It does not give a woman ownership over her husband’s body, it gives her access.

Another egalitarian argument which is also borrowed by complementarians and some patriarchists is “How can a fat man expect his wife to be fit? If he is fat then she should be able to be fat as well”.

All of these arguments show a denial of a crucial Biblical principle taught in 1 Corinthians 11:9 “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man”.

Man was not created to be woman’s companion, to support her in her career goals, to care for her children while she works or keep the house.  But rather, woman was created to do all these things for man.     

Man was not created to be beautiful for woman or to bring her sexual pleasure.  But rather, woman was created to do these things for man.

Some will ask “Why then does the Bible tell men not to deny sex to their wives?” The answer is that woman was created with a desire for sex and the ability to enjoy sex FOR man.   And God expects men to make full use of his design of sex in marriage.

Click here to go back to the beginning of this series on fitism

Biblical Principles Which Determine a Woman’s Weight

Some Christians believe women should “follow the science” and let the government (CDC, NIH) determine their proper weight.  Others believe that women should weigh whatever makes them feel good about themselves. But what does the Bible teach? What biblical principles should guide a Christian woman in her weight loss journey?

The Bible says in Ephesians 5:24 (KJV) “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing”.  And “every thing” includes how much a woman weighs.

Since God has given the husband complete control over his wife, including her body, what considerations then should guide the husband in determining the right weight for his wife? The answer is that her duties should determine her weight.

The three primary duties of a wife are to bear children (1 Timothy 5:14), keep her home (Titus 2:5) and bring sexual pleasure to her husband (Proverbs 5:18-19).  And all of these duties are to be done in complete submission to her husband.

A woman’s fertility can be hindered by a body fat percentage that is too high or too low.  Also, her ability to care for her home and her children may be impacted by a body fat percentage that is too high or too low. These are two important considerations for husbands.

After considering impacts to her fertility as well as her duties to care for their home and their children there is another very important consideration a man must take into account.  What weight on his wife most sexually intoxicates him? (Proverbs 5:18-19)

Some men prefer large breasts, large hips and large rear ends on their wives.  And this combination often requires these women to have a higher body fat percentage.  Other men prefer a smaller fit build with small breasts, small hips and small rear ends on their wives.

All women gain weight as a result of their pregnancies.  The question of them returning to their pre-pregnancy weight is completely up to the husband.  Does he like her post pregnancy body better or does he want her to lose the weight? The choice is his.

The four biblical principles that determine a Christian wife’s proper weight are as follows:

1. God wants wives to submit to their husbands. 

2. God wants wives to have children. 

3. God wants wives to be homemakers.

4. God wants wives to be sexually pleasing to their husbands.

If you as a woman are fulfilling all these tasks which God has given you with the weight you are at, then you have a healthy weight in the eyes of God.

In the final part of this series, we will discuss the scenario of a fat husband expecting his wife to remain fit

Click here to go to the final part of this series

Biblical Principles Which Determine a Man’s Weight

The CDC and NIH have their own definitions of health for men which primarily center around men maintaining a certain BMI and body fat percentage.  But the Bible defines health for a man differently than our world.

This is the 4th part of a larger series I have been doing on the modern view of health and fitness which have infiltrated the church. 

A Biblical Definition of Health for a Man

A man has the spiritual duties to rule over, lead, teach, rebuke and chasten his wife (Gen 3:16, Eph 5:25-27, 1 Cor 14:35 & Rev 3:19) and the physical duties of providing for her, protecting her, having sex with her and impregnating her (Eph 5:28-29, Exod 21:10, Gen 1:28).

A man has the spiritual duties to teach, bring to maturity, and chasten his children (Eph 6:4, Prov 13:40). A father has the physical duties to provide for and protect his children (Prov 13:22, Matt 7:9-11, Neh 4:14). 

A man has the emotional duty to show grace and compassion toward his wife and children just as God does toward his people (Psalm 86:15).  And all a man’s duties, whether they be spiritual, physical or emotional must flow from his love for his wife and children.

If a man sees that he being hindered in any part of his duties to his wife and children, whether that hinderance be spiritual, emotional or physical he should seek help from other qualified men to remove those hinderances from his life.

Traditional Christian fitists would likely agree with all or nearly all the principles I just outlined. The problem is that they go beyond what the Bible says and do what Christ warned about in Matthew 15:9 “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men”.

Rather than simply agreeing with God’s command that men must provide for and protect their wives and children, fitists do what the pharisees did and add a man-made list of standards men must meet to be considered as properly providing for and protecting their families.

Before the modern age, if you lived long enough to “see thy children’s children” (Psalm 128:6), your grandchildren, that was considered a good long life.  Today we say people who don’t live to see their great grandchildren have lived short lives.

This modern obsession with worrying about how long we will live based on body fat percentages goes contrary to what Christ said in Matthew 6:25 “…Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on”.

If your body fat percentage as a man is not hindering you from doing your daily duties as a husband and father then in God’s eyes you are a healthy man.  If your body fat percentage is high enough that it is hindering you from doing your duties, seek help to reduce it.

Conclusion

From a biblical perspective, if a man can fulfill all the duties of a husband and father, he is healthy in the eyes of God.  If he marries, has children and helps those children reach adulthood he has fulfilled the mission God gave to him.

In the next part of this series, we will discuss the Biblical principles which should guide a woman’s weight.

Click here to go to the next part of this series

Is it a Sin for a Christian Not to Live a Healthy Lifestyle?

Is it a sin for a Christian not to have a regimented diet and exercise program with the intended purpose of living as long as they possible can?  Many Christians believe this.   But the Bible had different definition of health than the world does.

This is part of three of my series on fitism.  In the first part of my series, I defined fitism as the belief that a requirement of godliness is that Christians must have regimented diet and exercise programs which should result in having toned bodies and flat stomachs.

Now some fitists reading this series were probably screaming “It’s not just about how you look – its about your heath!”  And in this third part of my series, I will address the health argument that fitists try to make.

Christian Fitists Cling to a Worldly Definition of “Health”

Jesus didn’t tell us to live by “every study that comes from the scientific community”, but rather he told us to live by “every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). 

It is a bit ironic that many traditional Christians have correctly rejected “scientific consensus” about the efficacy of the covid vaccines or the need for “gender affirming” surgeries yet when it comes to what is healthy weight they accept “scientific consensus” as gospel truth.

The “obesity epidemic” was declared by the CDC in the late 1990s.  It followed the fitness movement which started in the late 70s and early 80s.  Scientific studies began to be produced to promote the BMI (Body Mass Index) model as the central focus of human health.

When studies in the 2000’s emerged that began to question the BMI model as the central determining factor of one’s future health many in the scientific and medical community refused to hear this.  In their minds, the science around the effects of weight and obesity were settled.

Some studies in the 2000’s and 2010’s showed that a large percent of people who were classified as overweight or even moderately obese where actually healthier than those who fell in the normal BMI range.

See “Why Scientists Can’t Agree on Whether It’s Unhealthy to Be Overweight” (Is It Unhealthy to Be Overweight? – The Atlantic) from the Atlantic which has a pretty good summary of the debate between Scientists on this issue.

As Christians we must understand that the CDC BMI categories for “Underweight”, “Healthy Weight”, “Overweight”, “Obese” and “Morbidly Obese” (40+) are not the Biblical definition of health. These categories represent the opinions of one side.  And there is another side.

It is absolutely truth that there are some people who have unhealthy weights due to being underweight or weighing too much.  But the definition of what should be considered normal healthy weight is much larger than BMI shows today. 

A General Biblical Definition of Health

In 3 John 1:2 the Bible says the following:

 “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health even as thy soul prospereth”.

What was the Apostle John, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wishing for believers when said “be in health”?

Believers in fitism see the phrase “be in health” as meaning “Make sure you eat a balanced diet of only organic foods and that your physical activity and your calorie intake results in a BMI that stays between 18.5 to 24.9 and you maintain a flat stomach with a toned body”.

But when we take 3 John 1:2 as a whole, it is more likely that John is praying that God would grant the believers financial prosperity and God would not allow them to get sick rather than hoping they would follow some regimented dietary and exercise program

If God was prescribing through John that Christians have a regimented diet and exercise plan, he would not have said in 1 Timothy 4:8 “bodily exercise profiteth little” nor would he have said in Romans 14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness…”

The Bible says in Proverbs 3:1 & 6 & 8 “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments… Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding… It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones”.

And in Proverbs 17:22 the Bible says “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones” and Proverbs 14:30 says “A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones”. 

The Biblical prescription for having good health is not a regimented diet and exercise program always aiming to keep a particular weight and aesthetic.  Instead, the Bible teaches us that following God’s law, trusting in God and having a joyful and content heart are the most important factors in keeping one’s health.

Conclusion

As a husband and father, you may choose to base your decision as to what constitutes a healthy body weight for yourself, your wife and your children on CDC BMI guidelines. But what you should not do is judge or teach your family to judge other families who do not accept this.

If you as a husband and father want to add a more regimented diet and exercise program for your wife and children in addition to encouraging them to follow God’s commands, to trust God and have joyful and content hearts there certainly are benefits to this.

But we as husbands and fathers should never lead our wives and children to believe that our health is solely dependent upon diet and exercise.  The Scriptures make clear that maintaining a right mental and spiritual outlook is the foundation for having good health.

In my next part of this series on fitism we will discuss specific principles which will help a Christian man to determine if he is indeed healthy in the eyes of God.

Click here to go the next part of this series

Does Our Bodies Being the Temple of God Mandate That We be Fit?

Some Christians take a true doctrine, that our bodies are the temple of God and use it to teach a false doctrine that our bodies being the temple of God means that all Christians must be fit.

This the second part of my series on the false doctrine of fitism.  

Just a quick recap from part of one this series on fitism.  I am defining fitism as the belief that a requirement of godliness is being fit – meaning that Christians are required to have regimented diet and exercise plans for the purpose of having toned bodies and flat stomachs.

Despite the clear teaching of 1 Timothy 4:8 which separates physical exercise from godliness and the biblical condemnation of judging others based on their diets in Romans 14:2-4 fitists try to undermine these passages with another biblical teaching that our bodies are the temple of God.

Our Bodies Are Indeed the Temple of God

In 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 the Bible states “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”

Adherents of Fitism would claim that people who don’t have flat stomachs due to lack of a regimented diet and exercise plan are defiling the temple of God.    But Jesus told us something very different about what defiles our bodies.

In Matthew 15:11 Jesus said “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man”.  Christ said it is not the food which goes into our mouths which defiles our body, but it is when we use our body for sin – that defiles.

In 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 the Bible says “he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? … therefore glorify God in your body…”

Again, we see a common theme in the Scriptures when the principle that our bodies are the temple of God is mentioned.  And that theme is that we defile or sin against our body and against God when we use our body for sinful purposes. 

The Fitist would respond “Well engaging in gluttony is using your body for sinful purposes”.  And I would agree with that statement.  But the Bible would disagree with the fitist definition of a glutton being someone who does not have a flat stomach.

What Does the Bible Say About Gluttony

The Bible says in Proverbs 23:21 “For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags”.  The Hebrew word “Zalal” which is translated as “glutton” in this verse means “to be vile or riotous”.   The same Hebrew word is used in Proverbs 23:20 where it states “Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh”. 

Proverbs 25:16 gives us a clue as to what the Bible is actually condemning when it condemns zalal which we call gluttony.  It states “Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it”.   Gluttony is the sin of eating so much, that you feel like you’re going to vomit or you actually do vomit because of how much you have eaten. 

Gluttony in the Bible is riotous eating.  It is always closely linked with drunkenness.  It has to do with non-stop eating and drinking such as one would do at parties.  A glutton could be a skinny person or a fat person.  But being fat is not equal to being a glutton.

The Bible Shows Some Amount of Fat to Be a Good Thing

When Proverbs 28:25 says “…he that putteth his trust in the Lord shall be made fat” the Bible is not saying that only people who are overweight are trusting in God.  It uses the Hebrew word for fat, “dashen”, as a metaphor for prosperity.  But biblical metaphors matter.

For instance, in Proverbs 5:15 the Bible uses the picture of a man drinking water out of his own well as a metaphor for him having sex with his wife.  The metaphor is important – because it teaches us that sex is a need for a man, much like water is a need for the human body.

Many modern translations replace biblical metaphors with what the metaphors literally mean, thus robbing Christians of the additional truths that metaphors can teach us.  Every word of the Bible matters and every metaphor matters.

So, when the Bible uses the metaphor of someone being made fat to communicate that those who trust in the Lord will be made prosperous, we need to look at the metaphor itself, not just what it points to.  In Biblical times wealthy men and women were often overweight and this was a sign of prosperity.  

Metaphors can be used in positive and negative ways in the Bible.  And when God uses a metaphor to communicate something positive, such as when a man trusts in God he will be made to prosper, the metaphor is also something God approves of.

God is teaching us two truths in the last half of Proverbs 28:25. The most literal truth is that God will make the man who trusts in him to prosper.  The second truth found in the use of the metaphor is that God sees some form of fatness on a person as a good thing.

Now the fatness which God uses in a positive sense is not speaking of morbid obesity.  God does not make people weigh 600 pounds.  The sin of gluttony makes people weigh 600 lbs.  So, if God is not speaking positively of morbid obesity, what fatness on a person could be positive?

There is not an exact answer given in the Scriptures.  This area of body weight, like many other gray areas in the Bible, is left to husbands and fathers to decide as the interpreters and appliers of Scripture for their homes. 

Conclusion

The Bible never connects the principle that our bodies are the temple of God with us needing to meticulously care for our bodily health.   But rather it connects the principle of our bodies being the temple of God with us using our bodies for sin.

The Bible shows us that God sees some level of fatness as positive thing (Prov 28:25) while at the same time God condemns the sin of gluttony (Prov 23:21).  This teaches us the Biblical truth that it is possible to be fat and not be a glutton.

In part three of this series we will address the Biblical definition of health verses the worldly definition of health.

Click here to go to the next part of this series

Is Being Fat the Same as Being a Glutton in the Bible?

The short answer to this question is no – being fat is not synonymous with gluttony in the Bible.   Biblically speaking, sometimes fat people are gluttons and sometimes they are not.  It all depends on how fat they are as well as the reasons that they are fat.  But from a biblical perspective, it is also possible for a fit person to be a glutton as well.

This will be the first in a series of articles I will be doing on the errors of what I am calling “Fitism”.  Fitism is not a term that is original to me, however my use of the term for theological purposes is new (to the best of my knowledge).

Fitism as I am defining it for theological purposes, is the belief that part of being godly is being fit.  “Fitists” believe that God wants all people to have a strictly regimented diet and exercise program with the intended result of producing a toned body with a flat stomach.  Having any excess belly fat, as opposed to a flat stomach is “immoral” in the view of fitists.

William Spencer, of renofmen.com has a large following on Instagram (@renofmen) with traditional Christians.   Recently he wrote a post on Instagram entitled “Obesity, Christianity and Relationships Part 1”.  In this post Spencer wrote the following:

“The Bible doesn’t include specific guidance on physical fitness.  It talks about moral fitness and spiritual fitness, but apparently not physical fitness…

This poses a problem for those of us who care about these things. 

We know in our bones that fitness is moral.

  We also know in our bones that fatness is immoral.”

So, the synopsis of Spencer’s argument is “The Bible never tells Christians to have diet and exercise plans to have toned bodies and flat stomachs – but we fit people just known in our bones that being fit is moral and being fat is immoral.”

I have been meaning to write a series of posts on the Biblical view of health and fitness for a very long time.  And when I saw this post and that statement from William Spencer, it was like God was hanging a neon sign in front of me saying “Larry its time to write that series on a Biblical view of fitness and health”.

I originally did this series as a set of Instagram posts (my Instagram handle is @biblicalgenderroles).  This series for Biblicalgenderroles.com is mostly me porting that series back here with a little extra information in some places.

Not only will I be correcting the error of Spencer in his statements above with the Bible, but I will also in this series cover other arguments that fitists attempt to make in support of their false doctrine of fitism.

And finally, before we dive in deeper into this subject of fitism, I want to say one more thing.  I have friends, both on Instagram, this blog, Facebook and in person who are big time into fitness.  In the same way that I maintain that not all fat people are gluttons, I also believe that not all Christians who live a fit lifestyle are fitists.  But the sad truth is, many Christians who live a fit lifestyle are indeed fitists.

The Bible Actually Does Speak Directly to Fitness

A critical aspect of a fitness is having an exercise routine.  And the Bible speaks specifically to the relationship of bodily exercise to godliness in 1 Timothy 4:8 (KJV):

For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”

The Bible makes a clear separation between bodily exercise, one of the two pillars of physical fitness, and godliness.  God could have said “bodily exercise is part of godliness, but it is not the whole of godliness” or something like that.  But God completely separates and divorces the concept of Christians having exercise routines from them being godly.

In other words, having an exercise routine is not a requirement of being a godly Christian.

But what about the second pillar of fitness which is diet.  Does the Bible require that Christians have a regimented diet?  The answer is no.

The Bible Does Not Require Christians to Have a Regimented Diet

While there certainly were many dietary restrictions in the Old Testament, the New Testament lifts all dietary restrictions. 

Jesus said the following in Matthew 15:11(KJV):

Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.”

And the Apostle Paul wrote the following in Romans 14:2-4(KJV):

“For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.”

The New Testament is clear in the above passages that we as Christians are not to judge one another based on our diets. 

One of the common things I have seen with fitists I have dealt with in traditional Christian circles is that not only do they believe being fit is a requirement of godliness, but they also believe that Christians must eat only organic and foods and nothing artificial or processed.  

Again, there is nothing wrong with a man choosing to have an organic diet for himself or his family.  But it becomes sin when he adds this to the commands of God.

Conclusion

The two pillars of physical fitness which are having a regimented diet and exercise routine – are never prescribed in the Bible.  In fact, as we have shown in the previous Scripture passages, the Bible completely separates godliness from physical exercise and it condemns Christians who judge others based on their diets.

In part two of this series on the false doctrine of fitism, I will cover the fitist argument that our bodies being the temple of God requires that we be fit.

Click here to go to the next part of this series

Modern Polygamy Dating Site

A new dating site, ModernPolygamy.com, recently launched in February of 2022. It is not solely focused on Christian polygamy nor does it promote a Biblical patriarchal view of marriage. However, it could still be useful for Christians who believe that God never ended his Old Testament allowance for polygamy in the New Testament.

An Overview of ModernPolygamy.com

What follows is the overview I was given from one of the founders of ModernPolygamy.com:

“My wife and I started the site because we had been looking for years and feeling like there were no sites where we felt like we really had a realistic possibility of finding what we hoped for. In the end, we decided that if we truly wanted what we said we wanted then we were going to have to make a site to allow that to happen….for us and a lot of other people that were in the same boat.

After feeling that way for years, we finally decided to go ahead in 2021 and spent the next 8 months on development as everything is 100% custom from the ground up, front end and back. We launched the site in February of 2022.

We do our best to run a tight ship. The idea has always been for it to be the site we would want to join. That guided the design and architecture behind the scenes and continues to guide how we run the site.

We are not solely focused on Christian polygamy, and welcome those that come to this decision for their life by whatever path, but the site will remain firmly family focused both because that is what best serves our members and because that is the type of site we would want to join.

Aside from this different starting point, some key points to know about the site are:

Replying to messages is free (you can do this with a free account)
We have a ~50% rejection rate for new profiles. Pictures and actually writing something half decent is required.
If you have a Premium Membership and then cancel, you will still be able to keep talking with those you have messaged previously.

Premium Member benefits are:

Being able to send initial messages.
Appearing at the top of the search results.
Appearing in the “Recently Online” section of each member’s home page.
Being able to upload an introduction video.

We take privacy very seriously. Profiles and images can not be accessed by search engines. Your profile images are also time sensitive and URL’s will become invalid after 5 minutes.

Cancelation takes 2 clicks and is instant (a link is at the bottom of the Edit Profile page). And in case you are wondering, since it seems to be a thing now with a competing site, we don’t use message bots or fake activity. It is what it is, good or bad. Hopefully good.”

The Biblical Position on Polygamy

Before I give my review of ModernPolygamy.com, I want to give my readers a brief primer on polygamy from a Biblical perspective.

But before we can go to the Scriptures, we need to first define some terms. 

Polygamy refers to the practice of a one person having more than one spouse.  Typically, there are two forms of polygamy, one is polygyny where a man has multiple wives and the other is polyandry where a woman has multiple husbands.

The difference between polygamy and polyamory is that polygamy is gender specific with a group of women each being married to the same man (polygyny) or a group of men with each being married to the same woman (polyandry).  With Polyamory, everyone in the household essentially has intimate relations or is married to every one else. It is not gender specific.  So, in a polyamorous situation, you could have 3 men and 4 women being sexually intimate with each other.

Now that we understand the terms – we can look at what the Bible says about polygamy and polyamory.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 11:9 (KJV) that “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man”.  The Bible also states the following in Romans 7:2-3 (KJV) about women in relation to marriage:

“For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.”

In God’s design, woman was made for man, not man for woman.  And a woman can never be married to more than one man at time otherwise she is in violation of God’s law.  This makes polyandry (the practice of a woman having more than one husband) a perversion of God’s design for sex and marriage.

The Bible says the following in Romans 1:18-19 & 26-27 (KJV):

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them…

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”

In the passage above, the Bible calls sex “the natural use of the woman”.  When men use other men for their sexual pleasure or women abandon their design to be used by men for sexual pleasure and instead give themselves to other women to be used in this way – they violate God’s design for sex. 

Even beyond the sexual element, God meant marriage to picture the relationship between himself and his people.  In the Old Testament God pictures himself as a husband to the nation of Israel and in the New Testament he pictures himself a husband to the church. 

In Isaiah 54:5 (KJV) God said the following to Israel:

“For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.”

And in Ephesians 5:23-24 (KJV) the Bible says:

For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

The point here is clear.  This Scripture passages above make it clear that gay marriage and polyamory are both wicked perversions of God’s design for sex within marriage.

So, if polyandry, gay marriage and polyamory are all violations of God’s design for marriage, then what polygyny (a man having more than one wife)?

We will tackle that question next.

God’s Allowance, Regulation and Blessing of Polygamy in The Bible

The following facts based on the Scriptures shown below prove that not only did God allow and regulate polygamy, but that in fact he blessed the practice.

FACT #1 – God rewarded Leah with another child for giving her husband another wife (Genesis 30:18).  Some try to say she just thought God rewarded her but the Scripture does not EVER record God condemning her for this so we take the Scriptures at face value that God did indeed reward her for giving her maid to her husband as another wife.

FACT #2 – God expressly allows polygyny and set rules for its practice. (Exodus 21:10-11, Deuteronomy 21:15-17, Deuteronomy 25:5-7)

FACT #3 – God while allowing polygyny warns against Kings “multiplying wives” meaning they were not to horde wives as Solomon would later do. – (Deuteronomy 17:17)

FACT #4 – God tells tells David through his Prophet Nathan when he sinned and took another man’s wife (Bathsheba) that he had given David the wives of his master and would have given him more wives (II Samuel 12:8)

FACT #5 – Jehoiada the high priest gets TWO wives for the young king Joash (II Chronicles 24:2-3)

FACT #6 – God pictures himself as polygamist husband to Judah and Israel in (Ezekiel 23:1-5)

FACT #7 – God divorces his first wife which was Israel as nation (Jeremiah 3:8) and in his seeking of his second wife (the church) seeks to make his first wife Israel jealous (Romans 10:19) and one day his first wife Israel as a nation will also be restored in the New Kingdom of God.

Historically polygamy was the norm of the ancient world until the Romans passed laws eliminating the practice forcing those in their empire to adhere to their “romantic” view of marriage – meaning a man could only have one wife.  The truth is that Roman men still had multiple mistresses, they just could only have one legal wife.

For more a lot more detail on the subject of polygamy as well as answers to common Christian objections to the practice see my series on Biblical polygamy on Biblicalsexology.com

My point here is that while polyandry, gay marriage and polyamory are all wicked perversions of God’s design for sex and marriage, the Bible shows that God indeed allows and blesses men having marriages to multiple women.

A Word of Warning on Biblical Polygyny

Whenever I have taught on polygamy in the myriad of articles I wrote over the years or in my podcasts I always give this disclaimer.  Just because God created men with polygynous sexual natures and allows and blesses the practice of polygyny does not mean it is always wise for men to seek to pursue polygynous marriage.

The fact that our modern society has made it illegal and is morally opposed to it in most circles makes it very difficult to live this life.  For the most part it must be hidden from those around and this can create great stress on a man’s multiple marriages to multiple women.

It also involves much more responsibility for a man financially, emotionally and spiritually as he must spend time with each of his wives as well as all the children they will produce. 

The truth is there are few men in our modern area that are up to this task financially, emotionally and spiritually.

I myself have chosen to live the monogamous marriage lifestyle and not exercise my right as a Christian man to practice polygyny. 

But for the few Christian men who have the means and mind to be able to do this – that is where a dating site like ModernPolygamy.com may come in handy.

My thoughts on ModernPolygamy.com

ModernPolygamy.com looks like a well-designed dating site with many safe guards and protections for its users.   They also have many useful blog articles which talk about how polygamous relationships work.

But make no mistake ModernPolygamy.com is NOT a Christian site, so you won’t see them condemning polyamory, gay marriage other sexual perversions.  They also do not promote Biblical patriarchy – in fact from many of the articles I read they would seem to promote more of egalitarian marriage model and even in their view of polygynous polygamy the women having equal says in the marriage and actually “date” perspective sister wives both as a couple with their husband and by themselves.

This stands in stark contrast to the Biblical patriarchal view of marriage in which a man has the ultimate choice of if he will take on additional wives and who he will choose.  Yes, there are examples in the Bible of women encouraging their husbands to marry another woman (like Leah did with Jacob) – but this was not a restraint on the man’s ability to marry new wives.  It was just another optional way for him to have new wives.    In other words, under God’s design, a man does not have to involve in his first wife or any other wives in his choice to take on additional wives.

But if we look at ModernPolygamy.com like we would other secular dating sites like Match.com and Eharmony.com – realizing it is just another tool for finding perspective people for marriage while understanding they do not promote a Biblical view of marriage – then it can have value to us as Christians.