The Biblical and logical fallacies of Sarah Beesey’s Christian Feminism

ChristianFeministThinking

Contrary to the assertions of Sarah Bessey and her Egalitarian friends, Jesus was not in fact, a feminist. Last year Candace Cameron was in the news for proclaiming her unashamed beliefs about the Biblical idea of male headship. This sent a chill down the back of every feminist and egalitarian who heard her words, and Sarah Bessey, one of the most prominent of Christian feminists, just had to respond to this defense of this archaic and patriarchal worldview that has held women back for thousands of years.

Let me first state before I continue, that while Candace Cameron and I would agree on many issues when it comes to Biblical male headship and submission, Candace does not go far enough in many areas and tries to soften these teachings to make them more acceptable for a modern audience. She also appeals to the idea of complementarian marriages working better than egalitarian marriages.

Complentarian marriages are not perfect

I agree with Candace that there are many Complentarian marriages that work beautifully. But in the Complementarian marriages I have seen that do have problems – there are one of two problems that are the major causes:

Problem #1 The controlling husband

One reason complementarian marriages sometimes have problems is that the husband is not being a servant leader as Christ was, but is instead abusing his God given headship and is brow beating his wife with it(either mentally or physically), he tries to control every thought and action his wife has and this is not what God intended.

Problem #2 The rebellious wife

But in our modern era of full blown feminism, that vast majority of complementarian marriages that have problems are due in large part to the rebellion of modern women. Modern women (Christian or otherwise) have little to no concept of what respect and submission toward their husbands looks like. Many Christian women, while giving lip service to male headship and submission, actually attempt to dominate and manipulate their husbands and they constantly fight for control, until their husband finally gives in, or the woman seeks a divorce (70% of divorces today are filed by women).

Egalitarians like to paint this ugly and untrue picture that all Complementarian marriages have at their core mentally, or physically abused women. They believe that any relationship that calls on one person to be subject to the other could never in their view be a healthy one.

But Egalitarian marriages aren’t so perfect either

The dirty little secret about Egalitarian marriages and why they often “work”, is because the women actually run these homes. I have seen some of these relationships, and have talked with many Egalitarian couples online in Christian forums, as well as in person. What they all have in common are that the women actually dominate the men.

This domination is not always overt, but is often subtle. Egalitarian wives often go out of their way to fool the people around them, and even themselves into thinking their marriage is truly a 100% mutual relationship. They may even “allow” their husbands to get their way on an issue from time to time, so they can convince themselves of how “mutual” their relationship is.

The fact is the men in these relationships have surrendered their God given position of leadership, and their wives have “graciously” stepped in to fill the void. These husbands then get to pat themselves on the back and their wives can show them off for the “evolved” and “sensitive” men that they are.

Now let’s take a look at some of the attacks against Biblical male headship and patriarchy as well as Sarah’s defense of Christian feminism (or Egalitarianism as it often referred to).

Sarah Bessey’s full response to Candace Cameron can be found at http://sarahbessey.com/disagree-bure-biblical-marriage/

Just because it works does not make it Biblical

Let me begin with a statement by Sarah that I partially agree with:

“I believe that Candace Cameron Bure is wrong here. Of course, even simply scientifically, we know that there are millions of egalitarian marriages that “work” very well. But also, biblically, there are problems with her words.

This method or strategy may well be how her marriage works – and if so, lovely – but it’s not necessarily biblical”

Sarah is absolutely correct that just because something works, does not necessarily make it Biblical – Amen! I recently wrote a post on this subject of “if it works” in marriage called “What does a successful Christian marriage look like?”

I completely agree with the concept that just because the complementarian model works well in some marriages and the egalitarian marriage model works well in others, does not make either the correct model.

What makes something right, is whether it is Biblical or not. This is where my agreement with Sarah Bessey ends and where my disagreement begins.

Sarah then makes a statement that would make any Christian who holds to Biblical inerrancy and a literal interpretation of the Bible have their mouth fall open in disbelief:

The idea that a Man is the Head of the Home has its roots in secular ancient culture, not in the Word of God or the created order of humanity.”

ThinkingUnbelief

I guess these Scripture passages must be figments of our imagination?

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 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.”

Ephesians 5:22-23(KJV)

“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”

I Corinthians 11:3(KJV)

“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Titus 2:4-6(KJV)

“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands

I Peter 3:1(KJV)

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.”

Colossians 3:18(KJV)

Sarah continues:

“And the idea that, as a wife, I would need to “become passive” or smaller or somehow less in order to make my marriage work is damaging and wrong.”

Sarah’s idea here is one of the great flaws of feminist and egalitarian philosophy. Basically the philosophy goes, if one person (the wife in this case) has different rights, different privileges or must submit to the other person that somehow makes them less of a person.

Another way of stating this is, Egalitarians believe that unless all people have exactly the same rights and privileges, then those who have less rights or privileges are being treated as less than human. You will see this theme throughout most of her writings.

Feminists never consider the fact that in many adult relationships adults are required to submit to and follow the leadership of other adults. In the military, is an officer more of a human being (or “larger” to user Sarah’s logic) because he has authority over the officers and enlisted men in his command?

Is it “damaging” to a solider that he has to submit to his higher ranking officers?

Is it “damaging” to an employee that they have to submit to their manager?

Equal rights and privileges have nothing to do with equal personhood. A woman is just as much of a person as a man, even though God created woman for man, and calls on wives to submit to their husband’s headship in marriage and in the home.

Sarah then says:

“But don’t get me wrong: I believe in submission.

I just don’t believe that our call to submission in marriage is restricted to me.

I submit to my husband. And he submits to me, too. And together, we submit to Jesus.”

This false concept of “mutual submission” is another one the central tenants of Egalitarian teachings. Their teaching comes from a wrong interpretation of Ephesians 5:21:

“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”

Paul said this statement right before he said this in Ephesians chapter 5:

“22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 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. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

So Sarah and her Egalitarian friends say “See! Paul was telling husbands and wives to submit to one another, submission is not specific only to wives, but husbands are supposed to submit to their wives too”.

I would ask Sarah this question – you talk about how you submit to your husband, and your husband submits to you, and together you submit to Christ – does Christ submit to you and your husband too?

Because if we follow Paul’s logic in Ephesians 5 that a woman is to submit to her husband as the Church submits to Christ, then Christ must also submit to his church too then right? In other words Christ submits to you and your husband in the same way that you submit to him right?

Later Bessey has to basically admit that Peter and Paul actually did teach male headship, but only for this reason:

“Peter and Paul worked within imperfect systems because any outright challenge to the law of the land would bring persecution down upon the Church in great number. In fact, the Apostles “advocated this system, not because God had revealed it as the divine will for Christian homes, but because it was the only stable and respectable system anyone knew about” at the time, according to Carol A. Newsom and Sharon H. Ringe of the Women’s Bible Commentary.”

PeterAndPaulAfraid

Oh ok – so really a wife submitting to her husband was not a beautiful picture of the God’s people submitting to him, but instead was because Peter and Paul did not want to challenge the social laws of their time for fear of persecution?

Is any other student of the Bible, or even Christian history in general, not falling out their chairs at such a ridiculous statement? Or maybe the Apostles Peter and Paul were not as advanced as modern Christians like Sarah and other Egalitarians who know better than to have these outdated patriarchal systems right?

These kinds of statements from Christian feminists and egalitarians prove their own very weak view of the Scriptures. After all, the Bible is just a bunch of men’s opinions steeped in cultural bias and ignorance right? Oh except for the few parts of the Bible Christian Feminists and Egalitarians decide really are the inspired Word of God right?

Sarah states:

“Not only is the idea that wives alone are to submit to their husbands poor exegesis, it is damaging.

It is damaging to the image of God carried in women and in men. A woman who is held back, minimized, or downplayed is not walking in the fullness God intended for her as an image bearer”

Is it “damaging” for Church members to submit to their Church leaders?

“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”

Hebrews 13:17(KJV)

Is it “damaging” for children to submit to their parents?

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.”

Ephesians 6:1(KJV)

If the answers to both these questions are no, then somehow it is “damaging” for a woman to submit to her husband even though the God’s Word commands this multiple times?

But then we have the supposed “image bearer” problem Sarah presents. I just wrote an article “Is God more like a man, more like a woman, or a combination of the two?” on this topic of “image bearing”, and let me just summarize it, there is no problem with image bearing here for women. Woman was created in man’s image, not God’s image. Woman was created for man, not man for woman. So don’t worry Sarah, there is no minimization of a woman’s image when she obeys God’s command for her to submit to her husband.

In fact a woman “maximizes” the image God created her with, when she does what God designed her to do, and that is when she serves her husband to the best of her ability.

“For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man…Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”

I Corinthians 11:7 & 9(KJV)

In the end Sarah closes with this statement:

“In a Christian marriage, Christ is meant to be the head of our homes, and within marriage, we are meant to submit to one another – even as Candace Cameron Bure rightly defines it, “so, it is meekness, it is not weakness. It is strength under control, it is bridled strength.”

Yes, yes, it is. For both men and women.

My husband and I submit to one another as we both submit to Christ. We learned that from our Bibles.”

It is interesting how Sarah says she believes Christ is the head of her home which the Bible does teach, but she rejects another teaching of the Bible that Christ has given her husband leadership over her (“For the husband is the head of the wife” – Ephesians 5:23).

Also if you know the whole “head” argument of egalitarians it also kind of funny that she uses the term “head” in reference to Christ being head of her home. Whenever the Bible says man is head over woman – it just means “source”, but has nothing to do with leadership, or so Egalitarians would have us believe. But apparently when it comes to Christ, “head” actually means leadership.

In closing – Sarah, no you did not learn this false idea of mutual submission and lack of headship in marriage from your Bible, you learned it from the false teachings of your charismatic church and the many women in those charismatic churches who have in fact “usurped authority over the man”(I Timothy 2:12).

 

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Was Jesus Christ a Feminist?

WasJesusAFeminist

If you look online you will find multiple blogs and articles touting that Jesus was a feminist. In fact there are even books teaching that Jesus was a feminist. As Christians, the basis for our beliefs should never be our feelings or our culture but what the written Word of God says. So here we will examine the supposed “Biblical proofs” that show Jesus was a feminist.

Vicky Beeching has a post entitled “Christian Feminism is not an oxymoron” and I think she does a good job of summarizing the position held by many today that Jesus was in fact a feminist. Her full post can be found at http://vickybeeching.com/blog/christian-feminism-is-not-an-oxymoron/

Vicky Beeching states:

“Jesus was a feminism and so am I. The manner in which he treated women in his social era was revolutionary. He gave them respect, dignity and worth. His behaviour meshes perfectly with the definition of feminism:

“Feminism: a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing and defending equal political, economic, social rights and equal opportunities for women.”

First let me say where I agree with Vicky Beeching and many other Christian Feminists and Egalitarians. Women were often times mistreated or dishonored, both before, during and after the time of Christ. However, I will not concede that all men dishonored their wives or other women, but there were many that did.

I would also agree that that Paul’s call to men in Ephesians 5 to love their wives as their own bodies, and Peter’s call for men to “honor” their wives as “the weaker vessel” were revolutionary for their time.

Having said all that, there is a huge difference between telling men to love and honor their wives (and their mothers (Ephesians 6:2) and telling men that they had to make women equal in political, economic and social circles.

Let’s see if Vicky Beeching proves that Jesus Christ supported anything more than giving respect and honor to women:

“He broke numerous cultural traditions by taking women seriously and giving them equal respect and dignity.”

Agreed – Christ gave women equal respect and treated them with dignity, but I don’t see Christ telling his disciples that women had to be given equal social, economic or political rights anywhere in the Scriptures.

“For example, talking with the woman at the well while his disciples watched with total shock.”

Agreed – it was a shock for him to talking to a woman, and a non-Jew, and woman of disrepute as she was. He was treating a non-Jew and woman with equal respect and dignity, no question there. However I still don’t see him telling his disciples that she should have equal social, economic and political rights to men.

“Or having friends like Mary Magdalene whose past was dubious.”

Again – Yes Jesus was a friend to sinners, and the down trodden of society. However we don’t see Jesus advocating for equal social, economic or political rights, but only respect as a human being.

“Or choosing not to judge the woman caught in adultery.”

Jesus not allowing the woman caught in adultery to be punished for her adultery was an act of mercy, not a statement that women should be given equal social, economic or political rights to a man.

“Or choosing a woman to be the first person who saw his resurrected body.”

Yes Jesus allowed a woman (Mary Magdalene) to see his resurrected body first. But there is absolutely no evidence, no statement by him, saying that by this act he meant for women to have equal political, social or economic rights to men.

“Or choosing women to be among the group of disciples who followed him everywhere.”

Again the fact that Jesus allowed women to follow him may have been revolutionary for the time, but there is absolutely no evidence that he stated to anyone that this was a symbol of his support for equal political, social and economic rights for women.

Vicky states:

“Granted, there were no women chosen within the twelve disciples, but to me that is related to the culture of that era and the lack of education available to women, rather than being a doctrinal statement. There also weren’t any non-Jews chosen, so does that mean that only Jews can be Christians?! The disciples had brown hair, so does that mean blonde people can’t be Christians?! The logic is flawed.”

Here Vicky has been forced to make a big concession. If Jesus was in fact in favor of full equality for women, and he wanted to make this clear to all, then why would not even one of his twelve disciples be a woman? This a huge problem for Christian Feminists and they know this so has to address this problem.

Vicky talks about it having to do with “the culture of that era” –really? So Jesus would be a revolutionary but only to a certain point? He would allow women to follow him, which was not common, but would stop at making them one of his twelve?

Then Vicky talks about “lack of education available to women” – is she not aware that some of Christ’s twelve disciples were fishermen and not very educated?

She then talks about the fact that there were not any non-Jews chosen and makes a horrible statement that “does that mean that only Jews can be Christians?” If Vicky had studied her Bible more closely she would know why Christ only chose only Jews as his twelve disciples:

“He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”

John 1:11-12(KJV)

Christ came to his own, the Jewish people. After his resurrection he sent his Apostles to the gentiles (non-Jews), and Paul was given this main task to go to the gentiles (although some of the other Apostles did as well). That is why his twelve disciples were all Jews.

Then Vicky makes another ridiculous statement about the disciples all having “brown hair” – how does she know that? Maybe some of them had black hair?

I believe I have clearly shown that Vicky’s logic is the “logic that is flawed here”. She has not been able to answer why all of Christ’s twelve disciples were men if he was such a big feminist as she claims he was.

I would agree with her that it is not necessarily a doctrinal statement that Jesus had no female disciples, except that Vicky has built practically her entire case that Jesus was a feminist based on his behavior toward women. Not having a female disciple is a huge blow to a position that is built completely on example, and not on express commands.

Vicky states:

“Despite its reputation for being patriarchal, the Bible contains some pretty powerful portraits of women.”

The Bible does not just have a “reputation for being patriarchal” but it has clear statements supporting a Biblical concept of Patriarchy, and it even explains the reasons for Patriarchy while we live in these earthly bodies:

“22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 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. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:”

Ephesians 5:22-29(KJV)

The Word of God is crystal clear that not only is patriarchy God’s command for marriage, but in marriage it is a picture of Christ and the Church. The husband is to model Christ’s role in loving, leading, protecting and providing for his Church. The wife is to play the role of the church, submitting to her husband’s leadership in “every thing” as the Church is to submit to Christ in “every thing”. The woman places her dependence on her husband for his leadership, protection and provision, as the Church places its dependence on Christ for its leadership, protection and provision.

As far as “powerful women” goes that is a larger subject that I dedicated an entire post to – please see “Does the Bible allow for a woman to be President of the United States?”

Vicky continues:

“Far from not being central to the core of Jesus’ ministry, women were actively supporting the entire operation. “But they were helping administrate rather than teach”, you may say. Well, take another look at the story of Mary and Martha. Here Jesus gave teaching that was shocking to his era. Rather than affirming the cultural limitations of women doing domestic work, Jesus declares that Mary wanting to sit at his feet (as one learning from a Rabbi) and to engage in theological study was good and in his words ‘the better part’.”

Vicky is alluding to Luke 10:38-42 where Mary “sat at Jesus’s feet, and heard his word” (vs 39). The optimal word is -”heard”. Mary was hearing Christ’s word, while Martha was worried about serving and doing house work, which could have waited. She should have come and heard Christ’s word as well. But there is ZERO evidence that Mary taught anything, or engaged “in theological study” or even asked any questions. Even if she had asked a question, this is not the same as teaching.

So once again – Vicky has proven nothing here about women being able to teach men from this incident.

Near the end she alludes to Deborah, and then Proverbs 31. I have answered the “Deborah question” in the link I gave previously about a woman being President. I answer Vicky’s Proverb 31 assertions that this is a woman with a “powerful career” here “Can a woman work outside the home?”

Conclusion

In the end Vicky has not proven either by Christ’s words or example that he was a Feminist supporting equal political, economic and social rights for women with men. Yes Christ honored women, and he treated them better than many men of their age did. But Christ never said anything against Patriarchy – in fact he commanded it!

One of the biggest mistakes that Christian feminists make is in separating the words of Jesus Christ, from the words of Paul, Peter and other Biblical writers. When we understand that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (II Timothy 3:16) and the Scriptures are not “the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God” (I Thessalonians2:13) then we know when Christ’s Apostles wrote these words it was as if Jesus Christ himself said them:

When Paul said in Corinthians 11:3 that “the head of the woman is the man”, he was speaking the very Words of Jesus Christ, as he was inspired by God to do.

When Paul said in Ephesians 5:23 that “the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church” – he was speaking the very Words of Christ, as he was inspired by God to do.

When Peter said “ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands”, he was speaking the very Words of Jesus Christ, as he was inspired to do.

Because Christian Feminists and Egalitarians are loyal first their ideology of total equality for men and women in every area of life, they must sacrifice a belief in the inerrany of the Scriptures.

I have shown here, or in articles that have I have linked to, that Christian Feminism is in fact – an OXYMORON. In order to embrace Christian Feminism, you have to ignore the very clear commands of God’s Word as well as the divine inspiration of the Scriptures.

 

Is God more like man, more like woman, or a combination of the two?

IsGodBothMaleFemale

Does Genesis 1:27 tell us that “God created both man and woman equally in his image” as we are so often told by Christian Feminists, Egalitarians and even many conservative Bible teachers? Does this passage or the surrounding passages show that God split his attributes between man and woman – so that only together do they form the true image of God?

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

Genesis 1:27(KJV)

Every Word of the Bible is important, that is one of the tenants of our faith. I don’t want to lose you with technicalities, so we will look at the two most important words in this key passage of Scripture which will help to set the tone for this discussion. The words are “man” and “him”.

A quick Bible history lesson

The Old Testament was originally written in the Hebrew language. One of the words translated as “man” comes from the Hebrew word “adam”. “adam” is both the name of the first man, as well as a word used to reference all of mankind (all humanity, men and women). In Genesis 1:27, the Hebrew word here is “adam”.

Is the “adam” of Genesis 1:27 referring to “mankind” (all human beings) or is it referring particularly to Adam, and the male gender of humanity?

The exact Hebrew phrase here is eth haa-‘adam. “eth” literally means “this same”, and “haa” is similar to our English word “the”. Literally this phrase could be “this same man” or “the same man”. In any case, it refers very particularly to Adam, not mankind in general. This is why it is correct that that translators accurately add the phrase “created he him”. The “him” here, refers to a particular person – to Adam.

But what about “male and female created he them”?

The phrase “male and female created he them”, refers to the fact that God created both man and woman. It does not mean that he created them at the same time or that he created them both in his image. We can clearly see that this is not the case from Genesis chapter 2 when Eve was created from Adam’s rib.

So after a closer examination of the original language of Genesis 1:27 as well as the account of Eve’s creation in Genesis chapter 2, we can see that man and woman were NOT created equally in God’s image. Man was created in God’s image, and woman was created in man’s image.

Even if woman is not created in God’s image, but in man’s image, then is she not created in God’s image as well?

Ok so this would be the next logical question. Let me answer that question by first directing you to Genesis chapter 5:

“And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth:”

Genesis 5:3(KJV)

So the Bible says that Seth had a son “in his own likeness, after his image”, this language is practically identical to the language used in Genesis 1:26 & 27. So that leads us to the answer to this question. Seth was made in his father Adam’s image, but that does not mean they were identical. Seth looked different, talked different and I am sure had different strengths and weaknesses from his father Adam.

What image means is, similar nature. In the way that Adam was human and a male, so too his son Seth was human and male.

But just as Seth was not identical to his father, so too when God made woman from man he did not make her the same as man. The image that woman retains, is that of man’s humanity, not his maleness.

In Genesis chapter 2 we read:

“20 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help [EZER] meet [k’enegdo] for him… And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;”

Genesis 2:20(KJV)

Notice I have added two words in blocks – the phrase ezer kenegdo is what is literally translated as a “help meet” for Adam. I would refer to you to a larger discussion I had about this phrase in my post “What did God mean when he called woman a help meet for man?”. But the simple answer is this – woman was literally created as a human helper for Adam that would have a counter or opposite nature from him.

This is why woman in her humanity, does represent some of the image of God, but her femininity is not an accurate representation of God’s nature.

Further proof that God’s image is more closely resembled in masculine humanity, not a combination of masculine and feminine humanity

The apostle Paul confirms, and builds upon the Biblical concept that God’s image is reflected more in human masculinity and not in human femininity:

“For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.”

I Corinthians 11:7(KJV)

I Corinthians chapter 11, confirms that our understanding of the Genesis account is indeed correct. Man is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man.

Beyond the Genesis 1 and I Corinthians 11 accounts, we can also see that no angel of heaven is ever represented in female form, Angels are always male. While some have tried to argue that Holy Spirit of God is sometimes referred to using feminine wording, the vast majority of references to the Holy Spirit are in the masculine sense. We cannot use these few exceptions to try and say that the Holy Spirit has a nature closer to that of a woman than of a man.

Why does this matter?

Some will continue to reject what I have shown here from the Word of God, even though it is plainly in front of them. They will reject 99 percent of references to God in the masculine sense, and cling to those 1% of references to God that seem to be indicating a feminine sense.

But others who may accept this on face value, still might ask – “why does it matter if God’s image is more accurately represented in “masculine humanity” than in “feminine humanity”?

We don’t teach this belief to belittle women, or to say that men have more value to God than women. If any person is reading that into my words here, I have said no such thing. Every human being, whether they are male or female, have equal value to God. In fact in I Peter 3:7, men are commanded to honor their wives as “the weaker vessel” and we are told in Ephesians 6:2 to honor our mothers.

But understanding that God’s image is best reflected in that of masculine humanity, and not as well in feminine humanity is very important.

Today masculinity has come under massive attack because of modern feminism and egalitarianism, men are constantly called to be more like women. But would any Christian leaders today have the courage to say women ought to try and emulate men more?

How should women try to emulate the image of God in men more?

By “emulate men more”, I don’t mean women need to start dressing or acting exactly like men – we already have way too much that today! What I mean is that women ought to try and emulate the sense of duty that many men have, rather than living their lives completely by their feelings.

  1. Do your duty toward God, even when you don’t feel like it, or don’t feel his presence.
  2. Do your duty toward your husband, even when you don’t feel like it, or perhaps don’t feel an emotional connection with him.
  3. Do your duties as mother toward your children, even when you do not feel like doing them, and even when you don’t feel appreciated by your children.
  4. Do your duties toward your home, and keep up your home even when you don’t feel like it.

God’s love is more often seen as a love founded in a commitment of the will, a duty

When the Bible famously says in I John 4:8, that “God is love” it is literally saying God is “Agape”.

Agape love is a love of the will, of duty and commitment, and this is the way that God’s love is most often described, it is not a love based in emotion. It is the strongest kind of love, and an unconditional kind of love. The emotional type of love, Philia love, is used far less to describe the kind of love God has towards us, or that we are to have toward God.

This is another way in which women should try to emulate men more. Women most often love based on feelings, or how others make them feel. Men more often love from a sense of will, duty and commitment, this is the driving force of how God loves us. A woman should try to emulate this Agape love that men usually possess more naturally than women often do.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying women need to become exactly like men, God created women with the natures they have for a reason. God purposefully made woman both emotionally weaker and physically weaker (“the weaker vessel”) so that he could demonstrate his strength in woman’s weakness.

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

I Corinthians 12:9(KJV)

Just as God made all of humanity(both men and women), weaker than him, so that he could demonstrate his strength and glory in us, so too woman was made weaker than man, so that man could exercise the image of God within him, by being a strength for her.

Conclusion

I hope as both men and women, we will all seek to emulate God more each day in our lives. The battle with our sin and pride will never end until God takes us out of these sin cursed bodies. As Christians, we ought to honor true and Biblical masculine qualities, and not belittle them or engage in the misandry(hatred of all things male) that we too often see today in our TV shows, books and schools. But in our honoring of true Biblical masculinity, we ought never to dishonor women, but continue to honor them as the “weaker vessel” as the Apostle Peter commanded us to do.

What does a successful Christian marriage look like?

Roofer Working On Exterior Of New Home

What does a successful Christian marriage look like?

Some people say any marriage that does not end in divorce is a successful marriage. Still others say it is more than just not divorcing. Some say it is when two different people come together, and over time they become as one. But even this “oneness” in marriage is defined in many different ways.

Some say it is when a couple become best friends, when they barely if ever fight anymore and they become the very picture of unity. Still others say that not only is longevity a sign of a successful marriage, but a successful marriage is one that has passion and romance throughout its time.

Before I get into what the Bible shows is a successful marriage, let me give an illustration.

Let’s imagine that you are a servant of a king. He asks you to go and build him a beautiful house off in a faraway land he has a purchased. He gives you detailed plans for this house, and tells you that after you build this house, he wants you to live in it and take care of it for him until he comes to take possession of it one day. He says if you build the house according to his plan, and maintain it and keep it up for him, he will reward you greatly when he comes.

You reach the land the King has given you to build on, and you find that some materials he has requested are much harder to find than others. You also find that some parts of his design, are just very difficult to build in the fashion he has requested.

So you decide to alter his design, you build with different materials than he requested and you alter the design where it seems too difficult to build it the way he has requested. But eventually – you build what you believe to be a stable house, what works for you, and you begin to live in it and take care of that house.

Twenty years go by before the King finally comes to see this home you have built for him. You hear he is approaching, and you quickly go around and clean the house – ready and proud to show him this house you have built. This house has stood strong for 20 years, what else could he ask for right?

The King comes to your home, but instead of a look of delight, he has a look of sorrow. He asks “why did you not follow my design?” You respond “because my King, some of the materials were hard to find, and some of your designs were too hard to build”. The King responds – “I did not ask you to take the easy way out, I asked you to do the hard work, and to build the house exactly as I requested it”. You respond “but lord, this house has stood strong for 20 years, is that not good enough?” The King responds “each part of the house, each material and design, was meant to symbolize different things that are important to me – you have broken those symbols”.

When it comes to marriage – God does not care if a marriage just “works”, or that a couple never gets divorced. God had a very specific design and purpose for marriage.

So what does God consider to be a Successful marriage?

Let me first say what God does not consider a successful marriage (based on his Word).

A marriage is not a success in God’s eyes, simply because it does not end in divorce.

A marriage is not a success in God’s eyes, because a couple love one another, act in unison and rarely fight.

A marriage is not a success in God’s eyes, because a couple have passion and romance in their marriage.

The primary (spiritual) purpose for which God design marriage is found in Ephesians 5:22-33.

“22 Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, 23 for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. 27 He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless. 28 In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hates his own flesh but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, 30 since we are members of His body.”

31 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.

32 This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church.

33 To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband.”

God meant for a husband and wife to model the relationship between God and his people, in the New Testament this represented as the relationship between Christ and his Church. But even in the Old Testament, God’s relationship with Israel was often pictured in prophesy as the relationship between a husband and wife.

Christian Feminists and Egalitarians say marriage is a “partnership of equals”. I don’t know how anyone could read Ephesians 5:22-33 and come away with such an absurd idea. In the model of Christ and the Church, are Christ and his Church equal partners? Or is Christ the head of his Church? It’s a very simple question, with a very simple answer.

God cares about how we build our marriages, he cares how we model the relationship between Christ and his Church. That is why God wants man to model his leadership, his protection and provision in his relationship with his wife. It is also why God wants woman to model the submission, and servant attitude that he asks of his people toward himself.

It is not enough to say “well this works for our marriage”. Is it modeling what God has purposed for marriage? Is your husband following God’s distinct model for him? Is your wife following God’s distinct model for her?

The Secondary purposes for marriage

A companion and helper for man

“It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper as his complement.”

Genesis 2:18

There are definitely some secondary (temporal and physical) purposes for which God made marriage. God made woman as a companion and helper for man. Some have tried to make much to do about the “helper” “ezer kenegdo” saying it usually speaks of God helping.

The fact is God was not made for us, we were made for him. So in the context of Genesis 1, ezer kenegdo takes on a different meaning, because Eve was CLEARLY made for Adam, not Adam for Eve.

The New Testament confirms this interpretation when the Apostle Paul states “And man was not created for woman, but woman for man.”(I Corinthians 11:9).

A lover for man

“encourage the young women to love their husbands”

Titus 2:4

The phrase “to love their husbands” is a translation of the Greek word “Philandros” which literally means to be “lovers of their husbands”. This is not the Agape (love of the will, love of duty) that men are commanded toward their wives. This is a different kind of love, the Philandros love that women are commanded to have toward their husbands. This is an affectionate love, it pictures a woman showing affection, both physically and emotionally toward her husband.

A mother for man’s children, and caretaker for his home

“Therefore, I want younger women to marry, have children, manage their households”

I Timothy 5:14

In addition to creating a companion and lover for man, God also created in woman a mother and home manager for man. In very much the same way that we as believers go and make disciples for Christ, so to women make children for their husbands. In the same we follow Christ’s leadership in teaching young believers, so to a mother is meant to teach her children, as she is follows her husband’s leadership.

Woman – a person to be loved and cared for

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”

I Peter 3:7(KJV)

God purposefully created woman as the “weaker vessel”, so that man would have someone who would need his leadership, his provision, his protection and his love. God knew that men need a purpose, something to strive for, and something upon which to exercise their gifts. So God gave women to men, and he purposefully made them to need a man’s leadership, provision and protection. In the same way that God wants to be our hero – each husband should want to be his wife and children’s hero.

But what about romance and friendship in marriage?

Romance and friendship are wonderful things in marriage. But romance and friendship in God’s view are to marriage what in-ground swimming pools and central air are to homes. They are nice to have, they definitely make our homes more enjoyable, require a lot of maintenance, but are not ultimately required.

Don’t get me wrong, romance and friendship are wonderful goals to pursue in marriage – but if we pursue them at the cost of the primary purpose for marriage, our marriage will not be a success in God’s eyes.

This is why we have such a huge amount of divorce today – even in the Christian community. Because Christians are being led by their feelings, and not by the Spirit of God.

And as far as romance and friendship goes, very often what women find is, if they model the wife that God calls them to be, if they are submit to their husbands, respect their husbands and are affectionate lovers to their husbands – they will get at least some of that romance they desire.

Conclusion

We as believers, in America and around the world, need to return to God’s purposes for marriage, both the primary, and the secondary reasons. We need to keep each in their order of importance.

So how will you build your marriage? Will you build it upon the foundation of the Word of God? Will you build you marriage based on the model that God has given us in Ephesians 5:22-33? Or will you do “what you feel is right” or “what works for us”?

Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, played the role that God gave him to play as the Savior of mankind. It was not easy, but he played his role just as his father willed him to do. Are we today so wrapped up in our modern American ideas about equality, that we are too proud and too arrogant to play the roles that God has given to us based on our gender?

I leave you with the Apostle Paul’s words in I Corinthians 3:11-15 to mediate upon:

“11 For no one can lay any other foundation than what has been laid down. That foundation is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on that foundation with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, 13 each one’s work will become obvious, for the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire; the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. 14 If anyone’s work that he has built survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, it will be lost, but he will be saved; yet it will be like an escape through fire.”

 

All Scripture passages unless otherwise stated are quoted from the Holman Christian Standard Bible.

How should Christian women respond to their men looking at other women? Part 3

Guylooking2

In part 1 of this series, we established that men look and many women get jealous, hurt or angry. In part 2 we established that man has a polygynous nature both from biology and from Biblical example. In this final part of this three part series, we will look at how a Christian woman should alter her responses based on this knowledge of the men in her life (sons, brothers, husbands).

I realize a lot of Christian women – mothers, wives, sisters and daughters are reading this with smoke coming out their ears. Let me try and set your mind at ease, the best that I can.

All whore-mongers look, but most lookers do not engage in whore-mongering.

For most men look they may have found discreet ways to do it over the years so that you won’t notice but make no mistake they still look.

The Christian men that don’t look do so either because they are asexual (not attracted to women or men), have homosexual tendencies (so there not looking at you ladies, but they are looking elsewhere) or they have had it drilled into their head since they were young that it is a sin for them to enjoy the site of beautiful women other than their wife after they are married.

This last group of Christian men have been “brainwashed” of sorts, to be at war continually with their God given nature to appreciate female beauty.

I hear and read all the time from women who have had experience with a whore-mongering husband and they say things like “It was because he was looking at other women, and I never put a stop to it”.

While it breaks the heart of God when any man engages in whore-mongering the truth is that he did not engage in whore-mongering simply because he allowed himself to look at and enjoy the beauty of other women. He engaged in whore-mongering because he allowed the sin of covetousness to grow and take root in his heart and then he acted on it.

Another thing I want to mention here is – I am not giving men a complete free pass, please read the ending section I have speaking to Christian men about this issue of looking at other women.

But before I get to the men, Christian wife – you have a decision to make.

Instead of having these attitudes toward your husband:

whatdoyouthinkyourlooking

WhyDoTheyHaveToLook

menarepigs

Christian wife – Perhaps you would consider having these attitudes instead:

WomanAcceptingGod'sDesign

“My husband was built by God with the capacity to be attracted to, and to love multiple women, but he has chosen to only have one wife and that is me. I have absolutely no right to be jealous of the fact that my husband finds other women attractive in addition to me. I won’t give him a hard time for enjoying the site of beautiful women around him, as long as he doesn’t purposefully make it obvious, or compare me to other women or flirt with them as he has taken a pledge to make me his one and only wife.

I realize that because I am his one and only wife – I need to work that much harder to meet his needs for visual beauty by keeping myself beautiful and dressing in ways that are attractive to him”

The old adage “Men marry women hoping they will never change, and women marry men hoping that they will” is just as true for Christian woman as it is for others. Will you accept your husband as God has made him? Or will you continue to put him in the box you would have him in?

Christian Moms and sisters – don’t shame your son’s for their natural masculine attraction to female beauty. You may never fully understand it, but you need to honor it in the same way that men should honor the feminine nature with which God has designed woman.

Instead allow their fathers to help them experience the beauty of their masculinity, within the bounds of God’s law. In the last section coming up, I will discuss what men (including fathers) need to understand about expressing, experiencing their God-given male sexuality in a proper way, that does not dishonor God or women.

A final note to the Christian men reading this

Young business man enjoying the fresh air on a sunny day

Yes it is completely natural, part of God’s original design for you to look. It is perfectly natural, normal and not sinful for you to be aroused by the site of beautiful women around you, and no that does not stop when you get married! Many men falsely think this to be the case, but not long after they are married(sometimes 5 minutes afterwards), a beautiful woman walks by and their head turns – they immediately turn it back and wonder “why did I just do that? I love my wife and she is so beautiful to me!” The reason brothers in Christ is, you have a polygynous nature.

Many men don’t even realize they have a polygynous nature, or they simply dismiss these instances as part of their sin nature, because they have been conditioned from an early age to do so. They have never looked at Scriptures closely, or questioned anything they have been taught.

So to you man who thought it was wrong to look at beautiful women, other than you wife, I invite you to check out and truly research the evidences I have provide for you here, both from a biological standpoint, as well as Biblical standpoint. If after that God has convinced you that what I am saying is right, that he has freed you from the shackles of feminism and Christian legalism, that the real war is against Covetousness, not your natural male attraction to beautiful women then you truly will have a whole new world opened to you.

Don’t go crazy guys!!!

The Scriptures tell us:

“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.”

1 Corinthians 6:12(NASB)

What that means men is that while glancing at beautiful women may be natural for you, and give you pleasure, you have to make sure you are not mastered by this. Eating is something we are naturally driven to do as well, but we can eat too much, and too often, the same principle applies to our God-given male sexuality.

There is a difference between Glancing and Gawking

While I would say that woman are wrong for condemning men for taking discreet glances at other women, I would say men are equally wrong when they gawk at women. The classic seen of construction works whistling and saying obscenities to a random woman as she walks by is an example of unconstrained, uncontrolled male sexuality, and that does not honor God or women.

How we act when our women are present, and how we act when they are not should be different

I realize some Christians believe we ought to act the same at all times, and all places, and I understand where they are coming from. For instance, if I don’t swear on Sunday at Church, then I equally should not swear on Monday at work.

I am a Christian wherever I go, seven days a week, and that should be consistent. But the truth is, we all understand that certain things are appropriate at different times and places. The way a husband might talk to his wife when they are about to have sex, or during sex, and the way he may act in front of his children with her may be very different, and it should be different.

The same goes for men – when you are with a private group of guys and you happen to see a beautiful woman walk by – there is ABSOLUTELY NO SIN in you as men talking about how beautiful she is. But the difference between you and the construction worker example is – you are not whistling at her, or gawking at her and making her feel uncomfortable. You can “watch the game” and go over the instant replay after she is out of hearing distance. As long as you are not talking about trying to track that girl down, and have pre-marital sex with her, you are not lusting and you are NOT sinning.

The Apostle Paul wrote this very similar passage to first one I mentioned, later in the same book of I Corinthians:

“23 All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. 24 let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.

(I Corinthians 10:23-24(NASB)

Guys – if you are gawking at a woman, or making her feel uncomfortable by your staring, are you seeking her good, or your own?

Guys – if you are gawking at a woman, maybe even one that can’t see you gawking at her, but your mom, or your daughter, or your wife can see you do that – are you seeking their good, or your own?

So in conclusion guys, yes its natural for man to look and appreciate the beauty of women, but we must temper this natural desire by doing it in a discreet and appropriate way for the setting that we find ourselves in.

How should Christian women respond to their men looking at other women? Part 2

chrisPinestaringatlakergirl

In part 1 of this series, we established that men look, and many women get jealous, hurt or angry. In part 2 we will explore biological evidence and Biblical examples to show why men look at other women.

As believers in Christ, we understand that we all have a sin nature. But we also have a God given nature. In the Garden of Eden, before Adam and Eve ever sinned, God gave Adam a distinct and different male nature and he gave Eve a distinct and different female nature. He literally built Eve for Adam, and he made her nature almost completely the opposite of his.

Adam was built to lead, and God gave him dominion over the Garden, and had him name all the animals before Eve was ever made. God made a man’s mind to systemize, he made a woman’s mind to empathize.

So the question is – is man’s natural inclination to look at a variety of attractive women (even when he is in a committed relationship) a corruption of the nature God gave him in the Garden of Eden? All the ladies are saying “of course God never meant for a man to be attracted to more than one woman”.

Biological Evidence of man’s attraction mechanism

“the average man’s brain is sexually stimulated by visual cues and is built for variety…

Using functional MRI scans, researchers examined the brains of young men as they looked at pictures of beautiful women. They found that feminine beauty affects a man’s brain at a very primal level – similar to what a hungry person gets from a good meal or addict gets from a fix. One of the researchers said, “This is hard core circuitry. This is not a conditioned response.” Another concluded, “Men apparently cannot do anything about their pleasurable feelings [in the presence of beauty]”

Dr. Walt Larimore, MD – pg. 99 “His Brain, Her Brain”

MalelBrain

Even some Christian writers who take the “men just need to be trained to look away” approach admit this:

“Men’s sex drives are completely different from women’s sex drives…They really are primarily visual. If a man sees a pretty woman, his body automatically starts to respond, in the same way that if you were to walk in the front door, even if you weren’t hungry, and you smelled chocolate chip cookies just out of the oven, your mouth would start to water, whether you really wanted them or not. Even if you weren’t seeking it out, you respond. There’s nothing wrong with that…

If he’s noticing that a woman is attractive, and then he’s pulling his eyes away, he’s only being tempted. He’s not sinning. He hasn’t decided to do anything; in fact, he’s decided to turn from the temptation, which is exactly what he should be doing…

if your husband looks at other women, or comments on them, that’s hurtful…Tell him how you feel. Tell him you understand the temptation to look, but that he promised to love you and you alone. You’re worth it. And he has no right to look at anyone other than you. None of this “all men do it” garbage. We all are tempted towards sin; but we do not have to give into it.”

-Sheila Wray Gregoire

http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2011/03/husband-looks-at-other-women/

But as you can see from the last statement above, while the writer acknowledges man’s biological inclination to look, she sees it as part of his sin nature and a temptation he must be trained to pull “his eyes away” from.

Shelia then goes on to say that “he promised to love you and you alone…and he has no right to look at anyone else other than you.”

I could point to many more sources, and research , both from a biological standpoint, as well as psychological standpoint about man’s physical sexual attraction mechanisms, as well as his being wired for variety, but you get the point.

Biblical Examples of Man’s sexual nature

So at this point all the Christian ladies, and many Christian men are saying –“so what, man is naturally inclined to look at multiple women, but it’s part of his sin nature, and not part of God’s original design. Men just need to be trained to suppress, and flee from their sinful desire for variety – problem solved.”

But what about so many of the Patriarchs having more than one wife?

Abraham – the man of faith, the father of Jewish people, had multiple “concubines” (Genesis 25:6)

Jacob – The father of the twelve tribes of Israel, had all these sons through a combination of four wives (two free wives, two slave wives). The names of these twelve tribes are inscribed on the City of God for all time.

Gideon – the judge, great warrior and one of only a few men in the Bible to meet God in physical form (as the Angel of God), “had seventy sons of his own, for he had many wives.” (Judges 8:29-30)

David – “the man after God’s own heart”, had 18 wives. God scolded David for stealing a man’s wife (Bathsheba), and told him that he had given David his “master’s wives” and “and if that had been too little, I would have added to you many more things like these” (2 Samuel 12:8)

Notice I left out King Solomon. The reason for that is unlike Abraham, Jacob, Gideon and David, God condemned King Solomon for marrying many foreign wives who lead his heart astray. Also Solomon’s behavior was in fact, the “hording of wives” (having 700 wives and 300 concubines) which was condemned by God in Deuteronomy 17:17.

So in the Bible – we have Abraham, Jacob, Gideon and David, all great men of God, and if they had sinned by having more than one wife, if they had horded wives as Solomon did, then God would have said something, but he did not – as we said previously – God told David he gave him many wives!

Man’s polygynous nature (being drawn to more than one woman) is part of his original design by God

When we put together the fact that men are naturally wired for variety, and biologically conditioned to receive pleasure when seeing a variety of beautiful women – and we put that together with the fact that many great men of God had more than one wife we see a very different picture. Man’s wiring for a variety of women is actually part of the original design (before the fall) that God made man with.

The Adam and Eve argument

The argument that if God wired men for polygyny (to have the capacity for having multiple wives) then he would have gave Adam more than one wife does not hold water. If Adam’s monogamous relationship with Eve was meant to be God’s pattern for marriage, then we have two problems:

  1. Adam and Eve’s children had to marry each other – sibling marriage, something that God later condemned.   So did God mean for brothers and sisters to marry for all time, since brothers and sisters had to marry in the beginning?
  2. The second problem with the “God only gave Adam one wife, therefore that was his pattern for marriage” argument is that God pictures himself as a Polygamist husband in the book of Ezekiel when talking about his relationship with Israel and Judah:

“The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, 2 “Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother; 3 and they played the harlot in Egypt. They played the harlot in their youth; there their breasts were pressed and there their virgin bosom was handled. 4 Their names were Oholah the elder and Oholibah her sister. And they became Mine, and they bore sons and daughters. And as for their names, Samaria is Oholah and Jerusalem is Oholibah… 36 Moreover, the Lord said to me, “Son of man, will you judge Oholah and Oholibah? Then declare to them their abominations. 37 For they have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands.”

Ezekiel 23:1-4 & 36-37(NASB)

MansPolygynousNature

So if men looking is not the problem, then what is?

God made man with the capacity for polygyny – that’s why men whether they are in a committed relationship or not, are drawn to beautiful women. Many men throughout history have chosen not act on their polygynous capacity, while many did choose to act on it. It is interesting to note from a historical standpoint, that Israel was still highly polygamous at the time of Christ, as the Romans had trouble enforcing their monogamy laws in nations like Israel (but eventually their monogamy laws did end polygamy in Israel).

So since God made man with a capacity for polygyny, then it is not sinful for him to be visually drawn to multiple women even after marriage.

And no it’s not lusting for a man (single or married) to be aroused by the site of beautiful women, other than his wife. Lust in Matthew 5:28 is talking about sexual covetousness, meaning a man thinking about trying to get a woman to actually have sex with him outside of marriage.

So the problem is not man’s polygynous nature (his being drawn to many women), but with woman’s jealousy, anger and insecurity.

Many people attack the polygamy of the Patriarchs noting the problems with jealousy between their wives – but they never even consider the fact that the wives jealousy was the sin, not their husband’s polygyny.

In the final part of this series about Christian men looking at other, we will explore how women should handle this issue of men looking at other women.

Click here to go to the final part of this series