The Black Hole of Babydom

“It makes me sad to lose my friends and watch them throw away their promising careers and lives to enter the black hole of babydom” – my wife found this quote from a woman who wrote into an advice column that is featured in our local newspaper.

This advice column is written by a nationally syndicated columnist named Judith Martin a.k.a. “Miss Manners”.  Each week people write in asking her what is the correct way to handle different social situations.

This week a woman whom Miss Manners titled as a “Hater of baby showers” wrote  this to her about why she hated that her friends were having so many babies and baby showers:

I am also alarmed at the shocking number of otherwise intelligent people who, despite this being the First World with various forms of birth control widely available, still have unplanned pregnancies and make no secret of this fact...

For these reasons and others, I am generally not thrilled when my friends become pregnant. I love my friends, but once they have kids, they fall off the face of the earth. It makes me sad to lose my friends and watch them throw away their promising careers and lives to enter the black hole of babydom (which, despite common arguments to the contrary, almost all do).…”

You can read the full letter from this woman and Miss Manner’s advice to her here.

This letter is a pure and unabashed display of just how ugly modern feminism has become.

It is a direct contradiction to what God says about children.

“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” – Psalm 127:3 (KJV)

“He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.” – Psalm 113:9 (KJV)

While there has always been all kinds of wickedness in the world, never have we seen on such a wide scale the complete visceral hatred of motherhood as we do today.

God never intended for women to find their greatest fulfillment in a career, but rather he designed them to desire and be fulfilled in making and molding human lives.

Photo Source: Jason Ippolito  https://www.flickr.com/photos/jasonippolito/3686987657
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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What should a Christian Man’s highest priority be?

Many Christian husbands have struggled with this very important question. Should my wife come first? Should my children come first? Should my job come first? Should my ministry come first? Should my country come first? Should my health come first?

In my last article “The Five Biblical Priorities of a Christian Man” we established that God has given us as Christian men these five priorities – God, Family, Church, Country and Work.

In this article we will discuss Biblical principles that will help guide us in how to juggle these five priorities.

The difference between juggling and ordering priorities

Generally speaking when you “order” something you are setting a group of things in a set order. That order once established does not change. But when you are juggling a group of things, the order is constantly changing.

For the Christian husband the only priority that never changes its order is God. God is his foundation and that never changes.

“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” – I Corinthians 3:11 (KJV)

God is always to be our number one focus – his will and his purposes for our life must always be first.

But while we as Christian men must stand on our foundation in God we are still called by God to juggle these other four priorities of Family, Church, Country and Work.

What that means is at some moments our top priority may be our ministry at our local church.

But in another moment our wife or our children may be our top priority.

Still another time perhaps our parents or another relative may be our top priority.

If our country is attacked and we are called to war to defend it, then our country becomes our top priority at that time.

Every day when we go to work for those 8 or 10 hours a day our job becomes our top priority during that time.

Again let me remind the reader that when I say “top priority” this means our most important priority that is second only to our loyalty and service to God and his will.

Four Biblical principles for juggling priorities

Principle #1 – Don’t do things for people that they should do for themselves

We should not do things for people that they should could be reasonably expected to do for themselves. If we do we could possibly be enabling the sin of laziness.

“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

For every man shall bear his own burden.” – Galatians 6:2-5 (KJV)

Many Christians are confused when they come to this passage. In verse 2 Paul tells us to bear each other’s burdens and then in verse 5 he says every man should bear his own burden?

The first “burdens” in verse 2 is a translation of the Greek word “Baros” which means a heavy weight and troublesome burden. The second “burden” in verse 5 is a translation of the Greek word “Phortion” which in this context refers to a “load” like a freight container.

So what this passage of Scripture is saying is – we as Christians should help those around us with true burdens, true needs – things that they could not reasonably be expected to bare on their own. But people should be able to carry their own loads and carry their own weight.

Principle #2 – Don’t over commit to any priority

While we as Christian husbands and fathers are to try and model how God is a husband to the church and how God is a father to his children we must realize that we are NOT God. We cannot be everywhere as God can be and we do not have the limitless resources that God has. This means we have to be good stewards of the limited time, energy and financial resources that God has given us.

“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” – Ephesians 5:16 (KJV)

“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” – Psalm 90: 12 (KJV)

We can over-commit to any of our priority areas. If a man spends too much time with his family and does not work that does not honor God. If a man spends too much time working and not enough time with his family that does not honor God. If we spend too much time with our family but spend no time at our local church and do not regularly attend services then we are not honoring God.

Principle #3 – Ask God for wisdom to determine if the needs of two or priorities are equal

If we are confronted with multiple legitimate needs from two or more of our priority areas at the same time then we need to pray and use discernment to determine which need is most important at that moment.

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” – James 1:5 (KJV)

“Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” – Ephesians 5:17 (KJV)

Principle #4 – Order matters when the needs of priorities are equally important

When all things are equal – meaning both the needs of two or more priority areas are real and equal then we must use God’s order of importance to decide where we will allocate our time and resources. Our family’s needs come before our local church’s needs or our employer’s needs. In the priority of our family, our wife’s needs come before our children’s needs.

Applying these principles to real life situations

The reason we cannot order our priorities (put them in a fixed order that never changes) is because that is not the reality of how life works. Instead in most cases we must “juggle” our priorities instead.

Imagine if you are at your job and you spent the entire day talking on the phone to your wife. Now at that point you are making your wife feel like an important priority, but you are at the same time failing to make your work a priority.

The reverse could be said as well. If you as a man are constantly bringing your work home with you and never spending anytime at home talking to your wife and children but rather you are always working then you would be failing to make your family a priority.

Going back to the work scenario – what if you work in a job that sometimes requires you to work off hours. Perhaps you are a plumber who occasionally goes on 24 hour call. That means during that period that if someone has a plumbing problem, no matter if it is 3 AM – you have to go and service that customer. So during that 24 hour period your work trumps all other priorities. If your wife does not feel like you getting out of bed at 3 AM and tells you to call in, you have to tell her “No”.

But what if you are on 24 hour call for your plumbing company and your wife falls and breaks her ankle where she is need of medical assistance? In this case your wife’s emergency is a higher priority than an emergency at your job and in that case you may have to call in to your employer to get it covered by another worker.

Let’s say you and your wife are having an important discussion and you hear gunshots across the street and see that your neighbor has been shot? What is the greatest priority at that moment? Your wife or getting your neighbor medical assistance? Of course we understand that getting our neighbor medical assistance is the most important priority in that moment.

Perhaps you have just had back surgery and you must be very careful not to physically exert yourself or you risk causing damage to your back. You may not be able to work or do the duties you usually would around the house for some time and that needs to be ok. There are going to be sometimes that your health and recovery come before other priority areas.

There could be multiple examples where one priority bumps into another. And unless the needs are equal, the priority with the greatest need at that moment must be met. At the same time we cannot let any of our priorities completely fall through the cracks.

Conclusion

Juggling the priorities that God has given us as Christian men is not an easy task. Often times we are conflicted and we need to seek God’s will each and every day to know where to use our limited time and resources. Sometimes we may get resistance from a priority area that feels slighted. Maybe our manager at work feels we did not need to take time off for a family issue or maybe our manager does not like that we won’t work on Sundays. Maybe our wife felt we are working too much, but we know at this time it is necessary to do. Maybe our church friends don’t understand why we don’t do as much at church as we used to because of work and family commitments.

We need to realize that every day of our life will bring different challenges that are constantly changing where we will be asked to allocate our time and our resources. In the end we must seek the Lord’s wisdom and look at the priorities and order of importance he has given us.

The Five Biblical Priorities of a Christian Man

Many young Christian men and even some older Christian men struggle with knowing what things in life should be important to them. What should your priorities as a Christian man be? Even if you think you know what God says your priorities should be – how do order your priorities as a Christian man?

What is a Priority?

A priority is something that is important to us, something that we care about. If something is important to us, then we will show that by our deeds. For instance, the Bible tells us that if our faith is truly important to us, we will demonstrate that in our works.

“If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” – James 2:15-18 (KJV)

The Five Biblical Priorities of a Christian Man

Thankfully God has not left us to fend for ourselves as men, but he has given us his Word as a guide for our lives.

Unless a man is called to a life of celibacy in full time service to God, the Scriptures show us that every man has been given five areas of priority by God.

The five priorities that God gives to Christian men are God, Family, Church, Country and Work.

In this article we will discuss what these five priorities look like from a Biblical perspective. In my next article we will discuss Biblical principles that can help Christian men know how to juggle or order these five priorities that God has given them.

Priority # 1 – God

The Scriptures tell us plainly that serving God and his plan and design for our life should be our first priority.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Matthew 6:33 (KJV)

“He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” – Matthew 10:35 (KJV)

“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” – Acts 5:29 (KJV)

Serving God comes before every other consideration in our life including ourselves, our family, our church, our employer or our country. But part of what it means to serve God is taking care of the needs our country, our employer, our church, our family and even ourselves.

Priority # 2 – Family

If God has not granted a man the gift of celibacy for full time service to his Kingdom as he did the Apostle Paul and other men and women then a husband’s second priority after God becomes his family.

But what if a man does not want a family?

Many have asked “What if a man is not called to full time Christian service, can’t he just opt to not get married and pursue a single life?”

Well first and foremost let’s define “full time Christian service”. Often we think of full time Christian service as someone being a Pastor, a Missionary or a Christian school teacher. But there are many single people and I know personally from my church and other churches that work in secular jobs during the week but they are constantly working at the Church and volunteering for anything that needs to be done.   They dedicate the vast majority of their free time to God’s service since they don’t have families to attend to.

But where I believe that men go against God’s design is when they choose not to marry and have a family in order to purposefully avoid the responsibilities of having a family. They want to live for themselves.

God’s command to man and woman after he created them was to “Be fruitful, and multiply”(Genesis 1:28). God designed us as men for marriage and family. We were not designed to live for ourselves, but rather for his purpose and design.

Shouldn’t our time and resources go to Church first and then family second?

Some Christians have taught what I believe to be a false doctrine that the Church, and specifically the giving of our time and financial resources to our local church must come before we give our time and financial resources to our family.

This false belief comes from the idea that service to God ALWAYS means service to his church. But the truth is that while one of the ways we serve God is by serving his church it certainly is not the only way we serve God. We also serve God by serving the needs of our family. In fact God shows us in his Word that our service to our family comes before our service to our local church.

Christians who believe service to the their local church always comes before the needs of their family point to this incident which is recorded in Matthew and Luke:

“And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.” – Luke 9:57-60 (KJV)

While Christ’s words may seem harsh here, it makes more sense when we understand that Jewish burial processes had become overly complex by this time. It is most likely that his father had already been placed in his tomb or burial site, but the mourning process could take up to a year. Some Jews even practiced a “second burial” where a year after their loved one’s body had decomposed they would gather the remains into a box and do a final burial. This could also be what Christ was referring to as something that was not necessary for him to do.

But these same proponents of putting the Church before family miss another incident where Christ spoke on the family and Church priorities:

“Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:

But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;

Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.” – Mark 7:7-13 (KJV)

A man has the responsibility to care for his parents in their old age and our responsibility to give our time and financial resources to our family comes before our responsibility to give these things to our local churches. But in a broader context Christ was saying that our second priority after God, is our family. The Apostle Paul reiterates this same concept that Christ spoke on:

“But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God. Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day.

But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless.

But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” – I Timothy 5:4-8 (KJV)

Paul reiterates what Christ said that we have a solemn obligation to care for our relatives and family, but then he adds to this by telling us the first place we show “piety”(our faith, our religion) is in how we care for the needs of our family.

Paul tells us that if a man does not know how to manage his family, he is in no position to be a Pastor or Deacon in the Church:

“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)” – I Timothy 3:2-5 (KJV)

This is clear from the Scriptures – while God is our always our first priority, God himself tells us that family is our second priority before all other considerations – even the Church.

I remember about 20 years ago when I was a young newly married man I had a friend of mine who was in his 30’s who had a wife and children. He was usually at almost every Church service and activity. But at certain times of the year especially around Christmas and some other times I would not see him as much.

I asked him one time about this. He told me that at certain points of the year he had to work a lot more hours for the shipping company he was at and did not have as much time to spend with his family. So his involvement in Church services would lessen so he could spend his limited free time with his family. He told me a very important truth that is supported by the Scriptures. “God created the family, before he created the Church. The needs of my family come before my Church attendance and involvement.” I never forgot what he said there, and later I would discover that what he was saying was a Biblical concept.

But what about when Christ said we should not love family more than him?

Some might say “What about Matthew 10:35 and other passages where Christ tells us if we love our family more than him we are not worthy of him?”

When we take all of Christ’s words into account only then can we understand what he was saying. Christ was not telling us to neglect the needs of our family for service to our local churches. What he was saying is “if your family is asking you not to worship me, to deny me or to deny my Church or go against my laws then you must be willing to deviate from them on this.” Following God always comes first. But following God is not equivalent to doing everything at Church first, and then your family gets the left overs.

So the Scriptures are clear – God first, family second and everything else including service to our local Church comes after those two things.

But who comes first in our family?

As Christian husbands we have our wives, our children, our siblings, our parents and our wives’ parents and siblings. These are all family members for us.

So yes family comes second only to God, but which family members come before whom?

Our wives come second only to God

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” – Genesis 2:24 (KJV)

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:” – Ephesians 5:25 & 28-29 (KJV)

The Bible shows us by the “leave and cleave” concept of marriage that as husbands once we are married our parents now come second to our wife.   We as Christian husbands are to feed and care for the physical needs of our wives just as we feed and care for our own bodies.

So when all things are equal, while our wife comes second to God – she is to be our first priority amongst our family members and anyone but God himself. But I want you to notice a key phrase I use here “when all things are equal”. I will come back to what I mean by that in our next article on “What should a Christian Man’s highest priority be?”

Our children come after our wives but before other family members and priorities

Remember the passage from I Timothy 5:4-8 where the Apostle Paul tells us that the first way we put our religion in practice is in our home? The needs of our children come only after our service to God and then the needs of our wife.  But the needs our children come before other priorities like our work and our local church. In truth part of what it means to serve God is to serve the needs of our children.

“A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.” – Proverbs 13:22 (KJV)

“The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.” – Proverbs 20:7 (KJV)

“Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” – Colossians 3:21 (KJV)

“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” – Ephesians 6:4 (KJV)

“As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,” – I Thessalonians 2:11 (KJV)

As fathers we have a responsibility to care for the physical and spiritual needs of our children. In the same way that marriage is to be a model of the relationship between God and his people, so too the father/child relationship is yet another model of the relationship between our heavenly father and us as his children. We as fathers are not to discourage our children or needlessly anger them, but rather we are to bless them, exhort them, comfort them, discipline them, teach them in the ways of God and love them as God loves his children.

We should care for the needs of our parents and other extended family

So while the needs of our wife and children are to come before other family obligations that does not mean we don’t still care for the needs of our parents and other extended family.   We simply need to seek God’s guidance in where we expend our time and resources – I will get more into that in my next post “What should a Christian Man’s highest priority be?”

Don’t forget YOU are a part of your family

Often times in Christian circles believers are lead to believe that they can never think of their own needs. People over-commit, even to good things like family, work and church to the detriment of their own health. We need to rest. We need to see a doctor when we are sick. We need relaxation and down time for our brains to recharge so that we will be of better service in these other areas in which God calls us to serve.

If you have ever been on a plane they always tell you that in case of an emergency when the oxygen mask comes down put yours on first, then help those around you. The reason is that if you put on the masks of those around you first you may not be able to help them if you pass out before you can do it. This same principle applies to our lives in general. If we can’t breathe, than we are of no use to anyone around us.

Priority # 3 – The Church

So up till now we have established that Biblically speaking God is our first priority and our family is our second priority. While service to God does not always equal service to the Church – sometimes it does.

God calls us to serve our families as we have just discussed. Later we will discuss that God calls us to serve our employers and even the needs of our community and our country. But sometimes we can use these other God given priorities to make excuses for our neglect of the priority of service to God’s Church.

Not all of us can be Pastors, Deacons or Sunday school teachers. But God wants us all to serve his local Church in some capacity. For some their service may be more financial than time based. For others who have little to give financially, they have much more to give in the way of time or talents. But while we all serve God’s Church in different ways, the call to serve God’s Church is for every believer in Christ.

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.…

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ…

Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”

I Corinthians 12:4-6 & 12 &27 (KJV)

“Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” – Ephesians 3:21 (KJV)

“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” – Hebrews 10:23-25 (KJV)

The Scriptures are clear that God wants us to make his Church and the local assembling of believers together a priority for ourselves and our families as men of God. For some of us it may be no more than bringing our families faithfully to services each week to worship God and here the preaching and teaching of his Word and the giving of financial contributions to his work.

For others it may go beyond that in making meals for the church or driving a church bus. For others it may be teaching a Sunday school class or leading a youth group. Some are called to be Deacons to support the Pastor and weekly needs of the Church building and membership. Some are called to full time Christian service as Pastors who lead the local churches of God. We all have different callings, different gifts and different amounts of time or money available. But regardless of these differences – we are all called to make the Church of God a priority in our lives.

Having established that our local church should be a priority in our lives, I want to reiterate though that our service to God is not strictly through our local church. Many Christians serve God outside of the official ministries of their local church whether it is working in homeless shelters, Christian colleges and Universities and other evangelistic programs. I consider this blog to be a ministry for God even though it is not done as an official ministry under the direction of my church.

But my point is that I do not believe it would be right for me to only serve God outside his Church while neglecting his Church. It is not an either or proposition, it is both.

“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” – Galatians 6:10 (KJV)

Priority # 4 – Country

Despite the beliefs of some Christians, God says there is a time for war.

“A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” – Ecclesiastes 3:8 (KJV)

“The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is his name.” – Exodus 15:3 (KJV)

“Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.” – Proverbs 20:18 (KJV)

“And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.” – Nehemiah 4:14(KJV)

God has given men in general the ability to wage war and some men he gave a special ability in this area as he did King David:

“Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:” – Psalm 144:1 (KJV)

This is why some men are simply called to be soldiers like King David was. This “warrior spirit” is something that should never be discouraged in young men. Rather it should be encouraged and channeled in positive ways.

Other men while not being called to be soldiers may still have this “warrior spirit” which calls them into law enforcement positions, again this is something that we should be encouraging when we see this in our young men.

Some men are called to lead their communities, their cities, their states or even their countries. Countries need these types of men in order to maintain peaceful and orderly societies.

But all of us as men even if we don’t have the “warrior spirit” or the drive to serve in public office are should be willing to answer the call of our country.  During times of peace our service may be  limited to voting – which all Christians should do.  In times of crisis it might mean we are called to go to war to defend our nation. If there is a natural disaster that strikes our community, then we as men should be the first to step up and assist in our communities.

Priority #5 – Work

The Bible tells us as men that we were created to be workers. Our minds and bodies as men are specifically built for work. Some of us men are built for physically based labor while others are built for more intellectually based labor. But no matter our talents and abilities – we as men are built for work.

“And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” – Genesis 3:15 (KJV)

God built and designed man for work and the first thing he did after creating him was assign him to work and keep the Garden of Eden.

The scriptures tell us that as men of God we ought to dedicate ourselves to our work and find joy in our labor.

“Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.” – Psalm 104:23 (KJV)

“Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion…” Ecclesiastes 3:22 (KJV)

“Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment. Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” – Ecclesiastes 9:7-10 (KJV)

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;” – Colossians 3:23 (KJV)

“And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.” – Psalm 90:17 (KJV)

Men – the world is literally yours to command

“What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:

All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. “- Psalm 8:4-8 (KJV)

When we farm, we fish, we build and when we organize in all our conquests whatever they may be – this what God built us as men to desire, to strive for and to do.

I like what Dr. Emerson Eggerichs said about men and their work:

“The first question a man usually asks another man when they meet for the first time is, “What do you do?” … most men identify themselves by their work. God created men to “do” something in the field. Watch young boys as they pick up sticks and turn them into imaginary guns or tools. Recently a mother told us she had prevented her son from having any toy guns or using sticks as pretend rifles, but when he made his cheese sandwich into the form of a pistol and was shooting a friend, she cried out in exasperation, “I give up”.

Mothers should never give up because this is simply part of a boy’s nature. He is called to be a hunter, a worker, a doer. He wants to make his conquest in the field of life. The academic term for this is the “instrumentality of the male”. From childhood there is something in a male that makes him like adventure and conquest. He wants to go into the field to hunt or to work some way.”

Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, Pg. 168 “Love and Respect”

Work is not an option for a man

“Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.” – Ephesians 4:28 (KJV)

“…but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.” – I Thessalonians 4:10-12(KJV)

I know that we are all sinners and we each struggle with different sins more than others. Often I talk about how I believe it is the most unnatural thing in the world for a mother to drop her child off with strangers for 9 to 10 hours a day so she can pursue a more “fulfilling life” rather than caring for her child.

But I believe in the same way that it grieves the heart of God every time a mother hands her infant child off to a daycare worker by her own choice (rather than out of economic necessity) it also grieves the heart of God when a healthy able bodied man does not want to work. This goes against the very core of a man’s design when he does not want work.

Conclusion

We have shown here that God has given Christian men the five priorities of God, Family, Church, Country and Work. The first feat is just figuring out what our priorities should be – that we have done here. But for many of us the larger feat is figuring out how to order or really “juggle” these priorities that God has given us as Christian men.   In my next article “What should a Christian Man’s highest priority be?” we will talk about this “juggling act” that all of us as Christian men are called to.

Photo Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Happy_family_%281%29.jpg
Author: Catherine Scott https://www.flickr.com/people/46242866@N00

1 million pageviews in 17 months!

I just wanted to share this blessing that since I started writing for this blog in April of 2014 that we have now reached 1 million page views in 17 months!

I am so grateful for the impact that God has allowed this site to have.  We know that there are those that hate Biblical Christianity and they hate the doctrines of Biblical gender roles probably the most of all.

But God knew these times would come and the Christian faith has always been under attack both from the outside as well as the inside.  This is why is he had the Apostle Paul pen this words as encouragement to us to continue to fight for what is right:

“2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” – II Timothy 4:2-5 (KJV)

I pray that men and women will continue to find the truths of the Word of God, reject the teachings of feminism and  embrace God’s design for men to lead in their homes, their churches and their societies.

I pray that God will continue to open the eyes of Christian men as to the grave responsibility he has given them to love their wives and children by leading them, providing for them, protecting them, teaching them and disciplining them.

I  pray that God will continue to open the eyes of Christian women and help them to see and embrace the purposes for which God designed them in being a help meet to their husbands.  I pray that they will find joy in submission not only to God, but also to the man whom God places over them.  That they will experience the joy of being a wife and mother – the core purpose which God designed them.

I pray that many more Christian marriages will be blessed in the upcoming year and find the peace that God intends them to have by modeling their marriages after the relationship between Christ and Church.

“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:

30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” – Ephesians 5:22-33 (KJV)

Do we need to cut the Pauline Epistles from the Bible?

It is no secret that Christian feminists are no fan of the Apostle Paul. But often they try and make more subtle attacks on his authority to write God’s Word. Some like Skip Moen won’t outright deny Paul’s authority in general, but they will simply try to explain away anything he writes that condemns their false doctrine of Christian feminism.

But every once in a while a Christian feminist will come right out and make a full frontal assault on the Apostle Paul. It is refreshing to hear such honesty. A Christian feminist defender named Rosie posted this on my BiblicalGenderRoles Facebook page:

“Paul had NO authority to give commands, and he said it himself. He was a self appointed apostle NOT a prophet”

This statement alone shows the utter lengths those who wish to rebel against God’s Word will go to feed their selfish ambitions. Wow what a bold statement to make.

Paul was not a “self appointed apostle” – Jesus Christ himself appointed him on the road to Damascus:

“14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.

16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;” – Acts 26:14-16 (KJV)

In Paul’s first letter to the church at Thessalonica he wrote:

“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, THE WORD OF GOD, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” – I Thessalonians 2:13 (KJV)

Paul was clear that what he wrote was the very Word of God, and only in a few instances did he give his opinion apart from the Word of God(for instance he thought celibacy was good, but he knew it was not meant most people). But in NO way did he ever say he did not have authority from God – he made it clear everywhere he went that he was an Apostle of God with the authority to speak and write the very Word of God.

In fact Peter affirms the authority of the Pauline Epistles when he writes:

“And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved BROTHER PAUL also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also THE OTHER SCRIPTURES, unto their own destruction.” – II Peter 3:15-16 (KJV)

Notice he compares Paul’s epistles to “the other Scriptures” placing them on equal footing with all Scripture.

So in order for Rose and many other Christian feminists to have their heretical view of Christianity, to basically make up their own Bible – they have to tear out Paul’s 13 Epistles of the New Testament as well as Peters two epistles because he affirmed Paul’s writings as the Word of God. They have to tear out 15 of 27 books, more than half the New Testament in order to follow the selfish ambition and heresy of Christian feminism.

This is why I have said it time and time again. Can you be a Christian and believe in Christian feminism? Sure. If you believe that Jesus Christ was the perfect sinless Son of God, God in the flesh who died for the sins of mankind and specifically for your sin then you can be saved regardless of what other false doctrines you believe.

However you cannot be a Bible believing Christian, a believer in the inerrancy and perfection of Scripture, and be a Christian feminist. The two positions are mutually exclusive.

So as we can see based on her own statement Rose and other Christian feminists have made their choice to reject the Bible consisting of all 66 books as the Word of God. Instead they want their shortened version, the one where they get to take scissors and cut out whatever parts they want.

In their version of Christianity – this beautiful passage of Scripture is not in fact the Word of God, because it was written by a “self appointed Apostle” and a man that had “no authority to give commands”.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” – Ephesians 2:8 (KJV)

So which version of Christianity do you believe in? The modern Christian feminist version which is based on a shortened version of the Bible or the historic Christian faith which is based on ALL 66 books of the Bible?

Lindsey Graham says we need to import other country’s kids

I was watching the first part of the second Republican debate tonight and Lindsey Graham said something like this in response to questions about American concerns about illegal immigrants taking American jobs, driving down wages and affecting the culture at large:

“I am against illegal immigration, but I am for more legal immigration. We used to have seven people to every one retiree, soon we will only have 2 people to every retiree and system will not function.  We need more workers and people from other countries to help support our system.”

There is an ugly truth behind what he was saying that he would never say nor will any other politician have the courage to say.

We as a nation are not having enough children.

The reason we are not having enough children is not because of a bad economy.  American has had many economic down turns and still had a much higher fertility rate than we have now. We have had a declining fertility rate for decades.

The reason we are having less children is because of two things – feminism and materialism. We look at children as burden from a financial standpoint and as holding women back from their careers pursuits.

We need to bring back a culture that looks at families(big families) as an honor, not something to be mocked. Our tax system should encourage marriage and larger families(at least 4 children per family, as opposed to the average of 2 that we have now.) We need to encourage stay at home motherhood with massive tax incentives for married stay at home moms and tax penalties on woman who are married with children and work.

If we do this we will no longer need to import other countries children to keep our system from failing, but we will stand on our own and keep our culture in the process.

“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” – Psalm 127:3

4 Steps to confronting your husband’s sexual refusal

How should a Christian woman handle her husband’s sexual refusal? Many Christian women are embarrassed to even bring this subject up – let alone actually look for help.

Since the explosive popularity of my post “8 Steps to confronting your wife’s sexual refusal” I have had many requests by Christian wives to write “sister” article of sorts to that article since that was specifically targeted toward Christian husbands who experience sexual refusal from their wives.

Christian Wives – I want to be as clear here as I was when addressing this subject with Christian husbands. The situation I am addressing in this article is not your husband occasionally turning you down for sex (even with a bad attitude, as opposed to for health or other legitimate reasons). What I am addressing here is the husband who consistently and routinely denies his wife sexually simply because he does not need sex as much or he thinks he should not have to do it except when he is in the mood or he thinks his wife should have to earn sex with him by “putting him in the mood” by doing various things he expects or likes. You prayed about it for years but nothing has changed and your husband refuses to meet the obligations of his marital covenant.

Again this is about sexual denial on the husband’s part – not lack of sexual initiation. For reasons your husband may not be pursing you sexually see my post “12 Reasons your husband may NOT want to have sex with you”.  For many women they interpret their husband’s lack of sexual pursuit as sexual denial but this is not the case. In fact it is very common in many marriages where the couple is older that the man may not pursue sex as much and the woman actually pursues it more – so they switch roles (as in who is doing the chasing). To this I would say that a man still needs to pursue his wife sexually even as he ages, just as a woman should pursue her husband even when her desire is not there. Now the percentage of who pursues who more might change – but neither spouse should feel like they are the only ones that ever want sex.

So now that we have established what scenario these steps are addressing – let’s now establish the right of a woman to have sex with her husband.

A woman has the right to have sex with her husband, and the husband has a duty to have sex with his wife

Let me say that first and foremost God give a woman the right to initiate and have sex with her husband.

“10 If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.11 And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.” – Exodus 21:10-11 (KJV)

This passage when taken in context was talking about if a man decided to take another wife (exercise his right to polygamy) he must still provide food, clothing (shelter is implied as well) and sex (this is conjugal rights). If a man took another wife and neglected his first wife sexually her family members or other town elders could approach the man and tell him to release this neglected wife (give her a bill of divorce). But it provides though a general moral principle – that a wife has the right to have sexual relations with her husband in marriage.

God reiterates this command that a wife has the right to initiate sex and have sex with her husband in his first letter to the Corinthian church:

“Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 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.” – I Corinthians 7:3-4 (KJV)

Throughout the Bible the husband is consistently seen as the head of the wife, as the owner of the wife and we see here that even though he is her head and owner – she has certain rights as his wife that he may not deny and sex is one them.

So if a wife has the right to have sex with her husband – why don’t women (or men for that matter) want to talk about issue? We will discuss this next.

Why don’t women want to talk about sexual denial from their husbands?

There are two common reasons why Christian wives won’t are embarrassed to bring up this subject – either with their husbands or women from their churches, or even to their pastors.

The first reason is that sadly many Christian women were raised by their parents, or taught in the churches growing up that “only dirty women want sex”. Unfortunately the Church over its history has been complicit in this teaching as the Church fathers quickly fell into the error that sex was “dirty” and “fleshly” not long after the Apostles died.

The second reason is that many women feel to bring up this subject would be a bad reflection on them. “What husband would not want to have sex with wife? Men always want sex right?” They think it reflects badly on their appearance. “Perhaps he no longer finds me attractive” – a Christian wife might reason.

But the truth is neither one of these reasons should stop a woman bringing this issue up and confronting it when it occurs in her marriage.

On the issue of appearance and hygiene – these things are important for both a man and a woman. Both a husband and a wife should do their best to keep their bodies healthy and clean and available for sexual relations on a regular basis. If the man has problems with weight or ED (erectile dysfunction) it is his job to seek medical help so that he can sexually please his wife.

So once a Christian wife understands that sex with her husband is a right in marriage, and she overcomes her inhibitions to talking about this issue – how should she confront this issue in her marriage?

Before you can confront you husband’s sexual refusal you must know and accept your position

The Bible is not a “unisex” book. Yes God loves men and women equally – and a woman is no less human being than a man is. But God created men and women with different purposes and roles and this is seen throughout the Scriptures. So when we come to how a wife confronts sexual refusal from her husband and how a man confronts sexual refusal from his wife the steps will look different.

The biggest reason the steps are different is because a wife is not her husband’s authority. She is not spiritually responsible for him as he is for her. While his role is to love her by leading her, providing for her, protecting her and knowing her – her role is to submit to him, to serve him and to gently and respectfully share her wisdom with him(as the Proverbs 31 wife does).

I have written on this previously that Christian marriage is a type of Master/Servant relationship – but it is not a typical Master/Servant relationship in that a wife has many more rights than a servant, and this is a much more intimate Master/Servant relationship in that a husband is commanded to “know” his wife.

But in the context of a master servant relationship – the Bible tells us that servants have the right to bring grievances to their masters:

“If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me; What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him? Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?” – Job 31:13-15 (KJV)

Job tells us that his servants made in the womb – i.e. just as human as he was. You as a human being, and even more so as your husband’s wife have certain rights and when you believe he has violated those rights you have a right bring those grievances before him.

But you must always be respectful of your husband’s position and his authority over you when you bring your grievances before him.

Before you take any steps to confront your husband’s sin of sexual refusal check yourself first

Before you embark on this difficult journey, you need to first address any un-repented sin in your own life. You need to pray very hard and make sure you are doing the right thing. You need to confess any bitterness you have toward your husband over this issue before you can confront it. Perhaps there are some other wrong ways you handled it, things you have said or done that need to be confessed to God, and perhaps even to your husband if it directly affects him.

A common issue that women who are experiencing sexual refusal face is – they were the ones refusing their husbands earlier in their marriage. What happens is because of many years of sexual refusal on the part of his wife, a man simply stops pursing his wife sexually. Then one day the wife wakes up and realizes they have not had sex in months or even a year or more and she pursues him at which point he turns her down. Now is the husband right to do this? Absolutely not. But the wife must realize her part in this and confess her sin of sexual refusal before she can confront her husband’s sin of sexual refusal.

4 Steps to confronting your husband’s sexual refusal

Christ said this about confronting a brother (or sister) that has sinned against you:

“If your brother sins against you, go and rebuke him in private. If he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he won’t listen, take one or two more with you, so that by the testimony of two or three witnesses every fact may be established. If he pays no attention to them, tell the church. But if he doesn’t pay attention even to the church, let him be like an unbeliever and a tax collector to you.” – Matthew 18:15-17 (HCSB)

Matthew 18 gives us the first two steps a Christian wife must take to confront his husband’s sexual refusal.

Step 1 – Rebuke him privately

Rebuke your husband’s sin to him in private. A wife’s rebuke will look slightly different than a husband’s rebuke of his wife’s sinful behavior. A husband can speak “with authority” to his wife, as one under his authority. But a wife must remember her husband is her authority. You as a wife can bring your grievance to your husband in a respectful manner, you can plead with him to change his sinful pattern of sexual denial. This assumes you have already on several occasions tried to speaking gently to him about this issue. You have tried time and time again to find out if there is anything you can help him with, and anything you can do different. This assumes you have ruled out health problems, and or other mental problems and he simply has a stubborn and willful attitude toward sex in marriage and he does not think he needs to change.

Step 2 – Rebuke him before witnesses

If he is still defiant after rebuking him, privately ask him to go to a Christian marriage counselor, or maybe even a sex therapist if he is willing to go.

Step 3 – Bring him before the Church

If he will not listen to counselors, or refuses to go to counseling then bring him to your Pastor and his wife. If he will not listen even to them then he has chosen to act like an unbeliever, and now he will be treated as such.

Step 4 – Divorce your husband for the sin of sexual denial

Unlike a husband who has authority over his wife, a wife does not have authority over her husband. So unlike a husband in the same situation with his wife – a wife cannot stop going out with her husband on dates or stop doing her house hold duties or following his wishes. Your only option as a wife after confronting him with the Church is divorce.

But according to Exodus 21:10-11 you have the right to be freed from this marriage(and thus his authority) for his willful sexual denial.

“If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.” – Exodus 21:10 (KJV)

Under the theocracy of Israel – a husband was pressured by male relatives or elders of the town to give his wife a bill of divorce if he was neglecting her in any of these areas. Our government allows women to file this bill of divorce for themselves and there is no problem with this scripturally as the woman is divorcing her wife on Biblical grounds.