7 Steps to Dealing with a Lazy Wife

You come home from work to find piled up dishes from dinner the night before. Clothes are everywhere and nothing in the house has seemed to move while you were gone – including your wife. Your wife says “Honey I don’t feel like cooking – how about you run and get us some takeout?” How does God want a Christian husband to deal with this situation? Is laziness something that God wants men to confront in their wives or do they need to leave this between their wife and God? Even if they think they should confront this how can a Christian man go about this?

Before we answer these questions from a Biblical perspective I want to share a real life story that I received in an email.  The man who sent me this story goes by the name of Tom.

Tom’s Story

“First off, Thank you so much for seeking to dispel so many paradigms through your thorough study of Scripture.  I’ve spent too many years halfheartedly trying to be a “spiritual leader” in my home, and finally I’m just stepping up to be THE head of my home (as Christ is my head in everything).

I’ve had my share of struggling times, and a couple of the most recent ones I’ve started writing you drafts on!  However, after I get fed up, things seem to turn around before I have the chance to finish.

I’d like to ask of your wisdom when it comes to achieving a well-managed home.  My wife has stayed at home for our marriage, aside from a couple of brief casual jobs, and a part time one that lasted a few months.  We got married as egalitarians I believe, and though both of our parents were fairly traditional (both our moms at home, dads working), they never taught us about egalitarianism or complementarianism.  I think we absorbed a lot MORE than our parents taught simply through church and the culture around us.

Our house is usually messy.  We’ve had periods of incredible organization and tidiness, but it doesn’t seem to last.  I’ve gotten grief from believing / hoping that one day it could be habit for dishes to be cleaned up after a meal, rather than later in the day, or the next day.

My wife has made me some amazing meals, and gone to great lengths a few times to do so.  But more often, some frozen piece of food will be taken out and warmed up (starting at “supper time”) when there is fresh food in the fridge.  I’ve had to learn to shut up and get out of the kitchen more – I enjoy food, and when I have the time I’m willing to cook it.

Today was my “day off”, and my wife was booked away for lunch (a small job we agreed on).  As I’m ordering my kids around to unload/load the dishwasher, set the table, and help out a bit I started to get angry.  Cleaning a day or two of dishes so that I have space simply to make some noodle soup (my wife neither asked me to cook nor provided an idea/plan).   The last 2 days I’ve worked (while with kids for a couple hours) in my home office, and at a regular job.  I bought us a takeout meal on Friday, and cooked part of the meal yesterday.

My whole marriage I’ve resisted complaining, so though we’ve had arguments I’ve never gone to someone else to ask “is this normal”, or “can I not expect more in my marriage”, etc.  When we talk she gets grumpy, or complains that I’m micromanaging her, or if she sees that I really am getting fed up by something specific, she’ll say “Fine.” and go do it with an emotional cloud that I’m positive even the kids can feel in the room.  I come home, or come up from my home office and have to remind her about things that still haven’t been done – it makes me feel like a housewife; except I’m also working pretty full time.  When business is slow I will take a little time off, relax a bit, but also help tidy or put things away, cook, etc.

So many stupid little details that I’m sorry to bother you with, but the backlash I get from talking to her about any expectations is almost as wearying as living in this mess, and wishing I just had time to relax, to play with my kids (rather than stepping in when I can tell they’ve had no attention, few boundaries, or TV/tablets for much of the day). “

We’ve had bigger issues before, and got through them.  We have some great sex, some incredible days together.  But when it’s time to get back to work, I feel we should both work (me in my career, her in our home).  Then we can play together, rather than working in the house together to catch up by the time my work begins again.

After reading the manosphere, I’ve come to realize that idealism and self-awareness is something I’ve naturally pursued, and the fact that she doesn’t seem to pursue it (at least in her role as I do in my role) seems naturally “female”.

For the sake of my sanity, of my love for my children, and desire to have space & peace at home, what can I do?

We do have so much positive, but I’m tired of getting angry at home.

We’ve only ever had one full time income, so she’s noted (many times) that she doesn’t have a “budget” for much furniture (we may buy a few small pieces, or one large piece per year), or other home things.

I had to prioritize my business, and she wanted to start a family, which we began in our first year.  We love our kids, but definitely live simply.

I know you’ve mentioned discipline, but as we don’t have much discretionary income, it’s hard for me to see how I can withhold anything from her.  Family allowance etc. goes straight to her (which is good, she has become better at managing it).  It’s like my personal authority has its limits, and positional authority is better known than mentioned!”

My response to Tom and other men who face the issue of laziness in their wives

While both genders struggle with all types of sins including laziness there are some sins that are more prominent in one gender over the other.  For instance men often struggle with having a lack of empathy, grace and mercy in their personal relationships including their relationships with their wives and children. But on the other hand, one of the greatest struggles for many women is the struggle against the sin of laziness.

The reason for this is because women can often times allow themselves to be completely controlled by their emotions.  For many women if they feel like doing something then they do it and if they don’t feel like doing something then they don’t do it whereas most men are creatures of duty so whether they feel like doing something or not men will do their duty.

So if it could be said that men could learn or thing or two about empathy from women it could equally be said that women could learn a thing or two about duty from men.

Does a Christian husband have the authority to confront his wife’s laziness?

Imagine that your son or daughter left their bed a mess and left toys and clothes all over their room. Would you go in and make their bed and clean up their clothes and toys? If you did this would this be showing your child kindness, empathy, grace and mercy? I think we could answer this question with a resounding “no”.

Why? Because if we go and clean up their room we are not teaching them that it is THEIR responsibility to clean their room. We are in essence enabling the sin of laziness in our children when we allow them to keep their rooms messy.

But somehow our modern culture has a different standard when it comes to a woman keeping her home which is something the Bible clearly commands:

“4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

5 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)

“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” – I Timothy 5:14 (KJV)

Today we make excuses for women that we would never allow with our children to make when it comes to their chores. If a man complains about his wife being lazy a list of excuses and possible reasons for her not doing her duty are given.

We are told today that all of sudden in the age of dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, conventional ovens,  microwaves, refrigerators, electric irons and all of the other household tools women have at their disposal that they simply can no longer do the things women have been doing for thousands of years even now that they have these tools.

I wonder how many women would complain that they just “can’t do it all” if they were taken to some third world country with no electricity and they had do everything by hand. The fact is women today are spoiled and you know whose fault it is? It is the same person’s fault if a family has spoiled children – it is our fault men!

The Bible says “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church” (Ephesians 5:23) and Christ tells us regarding his churches that “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” (Revelation 3:19).

It is true that some leaders only have the power to influence those who follow their leadership but they have no authority to discipline those who follow them. Some falsely claim this how a husband leads his wife – by influence only.  But this is contrary to Biblical teaching. A husband is not only his wife’s leader but he is also her authority and she is subject to him in all things.

Consider these Scriptural teachings on the subjection of wives to their husbands:

“Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” – Ephesians 5:24 (KJV)

“1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives…

5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” – I Peter 1:1 & 5-6 (KJV)

God’s Word is clear that he has established men not only as leaders of their wives but also as authorities over their wives and with all authority comes the power to discipline those who are under that authority. A husband has the authority to discipline his wife and his wife’s submission is NOT voluntarily but rather a husband can and should compel his wife’s submission.  For more on the subject of the Christian duty of husbands to discipline their wives see these posts “Should a Christian husband make his wife submit?” and “7 Ways to Discipline Your Wife“.

So when it comes to laziness or other sinful behaviors by your wife, you as a Christian husband have not only the power but the responsibility to discipline your wife. In fact the act of a man disciplining his wife is a sacrifice on his part in much the same it is a sacrifice for a parent to discipline their child. No loving parent enjoys disciplining their child and no loving husband enjoys disciplining his wife.

The sacrifice of disciplining your wife

“25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” – Ephesians 5:25 (KJV)

Many Pastors, teachers and Christian women point to Ephesians 5:25’s phrase “and gave himself for it” as a way to dismantle everything the Bible tells wives about submission.  We are often told in churches across America “Sure women are told to submit to their husbands but men are told to sacrifice themselves for their wives”.  But this is only telling half the story.

What all these Pastors, teachers and women neglect is what it means for a husband to give himself for his wife.  This is explained in the next two verses:

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.” – Ephesians 5:26-27 (KJV)

A man is to sacrifice himself for his wife’s holiness and not to enable her sinful behavior. If a wife is acting lazy or selfish in some way a husband is not to enable this sin by doing what she should be doing or giving her aid where no aid is truly needed.

Men let’s be honest. Sometimes we just pick up after our kids because we want to avoid a confrontation and we don’t want to disturb the peace of the house at that moment. In the same way and really to a greater extent we “pick up” after our wives for the same reasons.

We come home from work and see the house in disrepair and when our wife asks that question about getting takeout we take the easy way out – we say yes and we go get it.  But what have we taught our wife in this situation? We have enabled her laziness and taught her it is ok to neglect her duties to her home when she does not feel like it.

Your wife’s laziness sets a bad example for your children

If your children see their mother leaving her house in disrepair what example does it set for them? There is a saying about how children learn things from their parents. With children things are often more “caught than taught”. What that means is if you say one thing and do another most likely your children will do what you do and not what you tell them they should do.

So in the case of allowing your wife’s laziness to go unchecked there are two things that you are teaching your children no matter what you say to them otherwise.  In the short term you are teaching them to leave their room a mess and not pick up after themselves.  Why? Because mom does keep up the house why should they keep up their room?

Think about how hilarious the following scenario is and it occurs in homes all across America each and every day. A mother yells at her children “your rooms are a mess – go and pick up your clothes and put your toys away” while right behind her as she says this there is a sink full of dishes that has sat there for two days and a laundry room with a pile of clothes that stands as tall as her children.

But there are even worse long term influences from allowing unchecked laziness in your wife to continue. We must remember as Christian parents that we are raising other people’s spouses.

If you don’t confront your wife’s laziness then you are teaching your sons that they should not confront their future wife’s laziness if that were to occur.  If you come home and constantly bail your wife out of her responsibilities by getting takeout or cooking yourself or doing the laundry you are teaching your son that it ok for them to enable sin in their future wives instead of confronting it.

If you don’t confront your wife’s laziness then you are teaching your daughters that it is ok for them to be lazy wives too. A lot of women follow the pattern of their mother.  So it is up to you to confront this laziness in your wife so that your daughter can see that the way her mother has been neglectful of her duties is NOT an example that God wants her to emulate.

Disability is not the same as laziness

Now I need to stop here and give the obvious exceptions. If your wife is sick or somehow physically unable to keep up with the affairs of the home then this is not a matter of laziness on her part but rather the inability to do these things.  In this case God has called us as husbands to lovingly step in and aid our wives.

For instance in the weeks before a woman gives birth she may be bedridden or she may be bedridden for weeks after giving birth or after other surgeries.  Of course in these instances we as loving husbands need to step in and render aid wherever it is needed.

My wife was in a very bad car accident 3 years ago that left her permanently disabled. She suffers from PTSD, depression and anxiety in addition to chronic pain as a result of that accident. She cannot physically do everything she used to do. So I have no problem as her husband stepping in and helping wherever that help is needed.

I have been asked to write on being a “caretaker spouse” by many Christians who deal with this situation and I plan on doing that very soon. But I will just say that even if we as husbands have a disabled wife – it is our duty as husbands to both help them and also push them to do what they can be reasonably expected to do.

For example – my wife for some time did not do much in the months that followed her car accident and that was completely understandable.  In the beginning I did not want her lifting a thing.  But as the months progressed and we got into a year from the car accident after physical therapy her doctors said that her lying around all the time was not good for her.  She needed to get up and move around and even force herself to engage in some light housework where she could even while enduring some pain.

I had to push her and sometimes we got into fights about it. But it needed to be done for the benefit of her spiritual and physical condition and the benefit of our home. Overtime as I saw she was able to do more I pushed her more. This is a tricky area when dealing with a disabled wife – but even in this case God wants us as husbands to exhort our wives to do whatever their best is in their current condition.

Grace and mercy should always accompany discipline

Guys – remember what I said about what we struggle with verses what our wives struggle with? Sure your wife might struggle with laziness but perhaps you may be struggling with grace and mercy. You truly need to look at the pattern of your wife’s behavior to know for sure how you should handle the situation.

Ask yourself this question – is it the norm for your house to be in disrepair or do you eat out every other day of the week because your wife does not want to cook?  Or are these things the exception? If they are the exception then you probably should consider showing your wife some grace and mercy during these rare times and give the woman a break.

Now that we have discussed the fact that husbands not only have the right but also the duty to discipline their wives for laziness now let’s discuss some practical steps men can take to accomplish this.

7 Steps to dealing with a lazy wife

Step 1 – Know beforehand that this will hurt her

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” – Proverbs 27:6 (KJV)

Very few women if any will take it well when their husband tells them he believes they have been lazy and neglectful in their duties to their home. But it must be said.  This is the sacrifice of discipline that you must make as a husband.

Step 2 – Speak the truth in love

“14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:” – Ephesians 4:14-15 (KJV)

The “L” word is not a swear word. In some Christian circles a man saying his wife is acting “lazy” is akin to him calling her a cuss word.  The KJV uses two words for laziness – one is “slothfulness” and the other is “idleness”:

“By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.” – Ecclesiastes 10:18 (KJV)

So yes speak the truth in love – but speak the truth.  If it walks like a duck and acts likes duck – it’s a duck. In fact the Bible says that a godly wife is NOT a lazy wife:

“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” – Proverbs 31:27 (KJV)

There is no sugar coating this gentlemen – if a wife is not keeping up with duties of her household she is being lazy and she must be called out on this.

I think that initially you should try and handle this in private with your wife away from your children and with most other issues.  But at a future point if she continues in this sin of laziness it will become evident to the children that mom is doing something wrong.  I will talk about this more later.

Step 3 – Make the consequences for her laziness clear

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” – Revelation 3:19 (KJV)

At first give her a warning. But let her know that if you come home and see the house is a mess, laundry is not done, the home is not clean or dinners are not being prepared there will be consequences for her laziness.

I have talked in more detail about how men can discipline their wives in my post “7 Ways to Discipline your wife”.

Step 4 – Follow through on disciplinary consequences if she fails to change her ways

“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” – Hebrews 12:11 (KJV)

If you thought confronting your wife about her laziness was the hardest part you would be wrong.  Following through on the consequences you promised will be the most difficult part.  But remember why Christ sacrificed himself? It was to make his bride holy and so to you must do this to try and yield the fruit of righteousness in your wife’s life.

Step 5 – Attempt private discipline first

Once you have examined “7 Ways to Discipline your wife” you will notice that most of these methods could be instituted in a way that does not draw attention to your wife from your children.  I would suggest you try these kinds of private discipline first.

One method of private discipline that I added as an update to “7 Ways to Discipline your wife” is using your time as a husband as a method of discipline.  This is especially important to men in Tom’s situation where finances are tight. Many women value their husband’s time more than almost anything else.  A man can use discretion with how much of his free time that he allocates to his wife as one method of discipline.

Step 6- Move to more public discipline if private discipline does not work

An example of public discipline would be turning off the internet or cable in your home. Perhaps you might lock these things out with a code only you know. If you need the internet for work or children need it for school you could put the new code only in your computer and theirs and not your wives so she will have no access while others can still use it.  If you have to do this to shake your wife from her laziness this will get the attention of your children as it affects them.

Contrary to what some Christian teachers may teach – you do not have shield your children from your correction and discipline of your wife especially if she puts you in the position to have to do things that are more publicly visible to the rest of the family.

Some might say that this type of discipline undermines a mother’s authority in the eyes of her children and dishonors her before them in direct contradiction to I Peter 3:7’s admonition for men to honor their wives. But this could not be further from the truth.

The mother has dishonored herself by placing her husband in the position to have to elevate his discipline of her from private to public. Matthew 18:15-17 teaches us this principle that first correction is to be attempted privately but if the person remains in unrepentance their sin is to be made public.  Wives and mothers are not an exception to principle.

Step 7 – If she spurns your discipline then bring her before the Church

“…How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof;” Proverbs 5:12 (KJV)

An now we come to the most public form of discipline a man might have to bring against his wife.

As husbands we have a duty to discipline our wives for sinful behavior. But whether it comes to our wives or our children there is only so much that we can do to discipline them and try and get them on the right path. If they despise our discipline and rebel then we must leave them in the Lord’s hands.

It is only when we have exhausted what we can do and if they continue in steadfast rebellion against our attempts to discipline them that we then should bring them before the church (Matthew 18:15-17).

But again they may not even listen to the church.

We must face the fact that discipline does not always yield the results that we want for those we love that are under our authority and spiritual care. But discipline requires two active parties for it to be successful. It requires the authority to perform the discipline and it requires the one under authority to learn from the discipline and change their way.

However, even if the wife does not learn from the discipline and change her ways this does not mean removing the disciplinary measures.  Once all measures have been taken those measures should stay in place until repentance is made.

How will things get done around the house while her laziness continues?

This is a very practical question and one we must carefully consider.  The laundry is not going to do itself, the dishes are not going to clean themselves and the meals are not going to make themselves.

The way you would handle this if you have no children and have plenty of money and the way you would handle this if you have children and little money are going to be very different.

If you have money then as a form of discipline you should have confiscated your wife’s credit cards and not given her weekly money. Hire someone to come in and help with the laundry and house work.  As far as meals go out to dinner by yourself and do not take your wife.  Make sure there are is some food for her in the house as that is something you are required to supply her with as her husband.  But it does not have to be fancy food.  Make her eat sandwiches.

If you don’t have money and especially if you have children then you won’t be able to hire a house keeper and you won’t be able to eat out.

Wash your clothes and wash your children’s clothes but purposefully leave your wife’s clothes for her to wash.  When you make dinner for you and your children do not make your wife a plate and be sure to discard any extra food at the end so she will be forced to make her own meal.

What if my wife works outside the home?

If you both work outside the home then the dynamics of who does what around the house may be slightly different. But it is still possible for a wife to be lazy in regard to her duties to her home even if she works outside the home.

The first question you need to answer is – did you approve of and agree to your wife working outside the home? If you did then you may need to pitch in and help out with things around the house.  But even in helping out your wife still needs to care for her home.

If you did not approve of this and she did this on her own against your wishes then she is responsible for all of the domestic duties of the home. You do not have to aid her going against your wishes by doing half the house work while she works outside the home against your wishes.

I find it interesting how many women point to Proverbs 31’s virtuous wife planting a field and selling clothing she has made in the market as proof that God is OK with women choosing to have careers outside the home. I have discussed why this does NOT in fact show a career woman in my post “Can a woman work outside the home?” What they miss is this woman did those things outside the home and then came home and did EVERYTHING inside the home.  Her husband came home to find a house where everything was in order.

Conclusion

These methods may seem harsh but really they are not – they are necessary.  Remember that your wife has brought this on herself and if you love her it will grieve you to have to do these things.

The sin of laziness is a serious sin before God – we as husbands must treat it as such even with our wives whom we love.

“For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” – II Thessalonians 3:10 (KJV)

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7 Steps for Christian parents to confront transgender and homosexual desires in their teenagers

“My daughter is 15 years old and told her counselor that she is having gender identity issues. She says she is a boy in a girl’s body. She knows her father and I believe what the Bible says and that we are not going to allow her to identify as a male. She recently told her teen counselor that she is depressed and had thought about suicide but does not intend to act on those thoughts. What do I do?”

I received this cry for help from a heart broken Christian mother. The issue of transgenderism as well as homosexuality has become front and center in American culture since the Supreme Court recently granted homosexuals the right to marry.  This has now opened the door for court battles regarding transgenderism.

What is the difference between homosexuality, bisexuality and transgenderism?

Homosexuality and Bisexuality refer to a person’s sexual orientation.

If a person has homosexual tendencies this means they are only attracted to people of the same sex. Some people have bisexual tendencies meaning they are attracted to both male and females and could carry on relationships with either sex.

Transgenderism has to do with what gender a person identifies themselves with as opposed to what gender they are attracted to.  Not all transgender people are homosexual or bisexual but many are. Conversely, just because a person has homosexual tendencies does not mean they want to be a different gender.

What does the Bible say about transgenderism?

The Bible clearly condemns transgenderism as a sin against God. Men must live and appear as men and women must live and appear as women.

“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.” – Deuteronomy 22:5(KJV)

In many ways transgenderism is even more difficult to deal with as a parent or loved one than homosexuality.  Homosexuality can be hidden. Transgenderism cannot be. If someone is transgender and they practice it at all it is like holding up a sign to the world “something is wrong with me”.

In the vast majority of cases even if a person with a sexual identity disorder has sex change surgery(or what they now are calling “gender confirmation surgery”) you can still sense their true sex. Just because you put breasts on a man does not make him look like a woman. If you remove a woman’s breasts it will not take away the curves of her hips or the feminine features of her face.

What does the Bible say about homosexuality?

The Bible clearly condemns the gay and lesbian lifestyles as a sin against God. Men are not to engage in sexual relations with men nor are women to engage in sexual relations with women:

“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” – Leviticus 18:22 (KJV)

“22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” – Romans 1:22-32 (KJV)

This issue of transgenderism and homosexuality is not a gray area in the Christian faith.

God calls it an abomination for a person to either dress like the opposite sex (transgenderism) or engage in sex with the one’s same gender (homosexuality).

We are living in an age when our culture thinks they are don’t need God anymore.  Our modern culture is now wiser than the God of some “old dusty book” as I often hear them tell me in emails.  But God says they have become fools.

Transgenderism – the next assault on God’s Word and religious liberty

The Supreme Court’s decision to grant the right of gay marriage in June of 2015 has opened the flood gates to assaults on religious liberty. Transgenderism is the next major battle in that assault.

For example, Michigan is one of many states considering granting new transgender rights to students in schools.

“Michigan’s State Board of Education has drafted a guidance that would push the state’s schools to allow all students, regardless of parental or doctoral input, to choose their gender, name, pronouns, and bathrooms…

“The responsibility for determining a student’s gender identity rests with the student. Outside confirmation from medical or mental health professionals, or documentation of legal changes, is not needed,” the guidance states…

The guidance informs schools that “Students should be allowed to use the restroom in accordance with their gender identity.”…

Locker rooms also should become inclusive of students’ many gender identities. “A student should not be required to use a locker room that is incongruent with their gender identity,” the guidance states… “Locker room usage should be determined on a case-by-case basis, using the guiding principles of safety and honoring the student’s gender identity and expression.”

http://dailycaller.com/2016/03/21/michigan-schools-to-let-students-choose-gender-name-and-bathroom/

This is the insanity and wickedness that we now face as a nation.

Now that we have identified transgenderism and homosexuality as abominations before God and we have also shown the reality of this threat to our culture we will now bring this back to Christian parents facing this issue.

This issue hits close to home for me

My brother is a practicing homosexual. He has a partner that he has been with for many years. In many ways my brother is one of the most decent men you would ever meet.  He is kind and generous to those around him. He has a very empathetic nature.

About 20 years ago when my brother first revealed he was a homosexual I faced a range of emotions from anger to hurt. My parents did as well. We were raised together in conservative Baptist churches and we knew the Word of God. My brother left the church and Christianity completely when he realized the faith he was raised in was incompatible with his homosexual lifestyle.  Later God revealed to me that I needed to stop shunning my brother and instead show him the love of Christ.

In my defense though – it was not all me. My brother was pretty belligerent there for a while throwing his lifestyle in our face and mocking and ridiculing our Christian faith.  So there was a time when I felt separation from him was justified. But over many years he came to act more respectful toward mine and my parent’s faith and we have learned to be able to have peaceful times with each other at various family gatherings.

I love my brother very much. There is no contradiction between the fact that I love my brother yet I hate the sin of homosexuality that he lives in. This is something that is very hard for many Christians to accept as well as homosexuals.

Homosexuals might ask “How can you love me but not accept my homosexuality?” and transgender’s might ask “How can you love me but not accept my gender change?” These kinds of questions are asked by many homosexual and transgender people to their Christian loved ones all the time.

The fact is we can love our homosexual and transgender relatives, coworkers and neighbors because this is how God loves us.  We love the sinner and hate the sin.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8 (KJV)

God loved us “while we were yet sinners” and that means we can love people who are homosexuals or transgender while they are yet sinners.

But I have never allowed my brother to cause me to compromise my faith.  He knows I would never attend a gay wedding if he and his partner had one and invited us. I will never tell him that I accept and approve of his homosexual lifestyle. I have taught my children since they were young that what their uncle is doing is a grave sin before God. My brother also knows I will not back away from endorsing political movements that will protect religious liberty for Christians in opposing homosexuality and transgenderism.

Now we will discuss ways that parents can confront transgenderism and homosexuality with their teenagers.

7 Steps for Christian parents to confront transgenderism and homosexuality in their teenagers

So you have just found out from your teenager that they are struggling with transgender tendencies or homosexual tendencies. Here are steps as a Christian parent that you should take.

Step 1 – Acknowledge your hurt and disappointment

The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” – Psalm 34:17 (KJV)

You cannot deny or suppress your hurt in this moment. You need to let it out. Cry out to God.  You need to cry.  You need to seek out the support of your Pastor and other close Christian friends.

Step 2 – Speak the truth in love

“14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:” – Ephesians 4:15 (KJV)

Speak the truth of the Word of God to your teen in a loving way. Explain to them from the Scriptures that God condemns this type of behavior – whether it be transgender behavior or homosexual behavior.

Step 3 – Tell them that God did NOT make them this way

“Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” – Psalm 51:5 (KJV)

“So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:” – I Corinthians 15:42 (KJV)

The Bible is clear that “male and female created he them”(Genesis 1:27) and throughout the Scriptures we find that any deviation we see in our world from this is a result of the corruption of sin in the world and in our bodies.  No gay, lesbian or transgender person can Biblically say “God made me this way”.

God did not make gays, lesbians or transgenders the way they are – sin made them that way.

The struggle your teen faces with gender identity disorders or homosexual temptations is not a struggle against cultural prejudices but rather it is a struggle against the corruption of sin that is in their body.

God did not make us with sinful habits and desires – we inherited that from our father Adam:

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” – Romans 5:12 (KJV)

Step 4 – Tell them that God wants them to be renewed their minds

“22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” – Ephesians 4:22:-24 (KJV)

In the same way that people with other defects must overcome their defects so too God calls on those who struggle with transgender and homosexual desires to see these desires as a sinful corruption of their mind and they must resist these urges and thoughts.

Step 5 – Tell them they cannot do this alone and they will need to depend on God and others for strength

“The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” – Psalm 18:2 (KJV)

Try and get them to a professional Christian counselor or Pastor that specializes in helping teens who struggle with transgender and homosexual desires.

Step 6 – Tell them that God can and will help them beat this temptation if they will let him

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” – I Corinthians 10:13 (KJV)

Many people act as if it is impossible for a person to overcome the temptations of transgenderism and homosexuality.  But there are many Christians who have done this and gone on to live normal lives that are pleasing to God. It might be helpful to lookup some Christian ministries and stories of gay and transgender teens that have gone on to live normal lives.

Pray with them daily and tell them to pray by themselves as well daily.  They need to bring their struggle to God on a daily basis.

Step 7 – Tell them that your love for them and God’s love for them has not changed because they struggle with this temptation

“38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39 (KJV)

We all face different temptations due to the corruption of our bodies by the presence of sin in the world and our inherited sin nature from Adam. We must show our children the love of God – he truly wants to help us and renew our minds if we will let him and depend on him.

My teen struggles with suicidal thoughts how should I deal with this?

This is extremely common for teens who struggle with transgender and homosexual desire to also struggle with suicidal thoughts.  This is yet another reason to get your teen into a good Christian counselor who can not only help them with their transgender or homosexual temptations but also the accompanying suicidal thoughts that come with it.

Even teens who struggle with transgender desires and homosexual desires who do not come from Christian homes struggle with suicidal thoughts. The reason for this is that even our corrupt world knows deep down that transgender behavior and homosexual behavior goes against the laws of nature. We can try and pretend that it does not – but we know it does.

Be ready for your faith to be tested

There are few things in this world that will test your faith more than when your own child tells you that you they are struggling with transgender or homosexual desires. It becomes even worse when they reject their faith and choose their transgender or homosexual desires over their faith.  They may even make you choose between your faith and accepting their new lifestyle. They may threaten to commit suicide if you do not deny your faith and embrace their sin.

But remember the words of Christ:

“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 10:37 (KJV)

You cannot deny your faith in order to appease your teen’s sin. Tell them you love them but you cannot deny God or his Word. If they choose to depart from you because you will not deny your faith then you must let them depart and give them over to God.

Conclusion

Dealing with transgenderism and homosexuality in one’s family or one’s church is not an easy thing to do. In fact is heartbreaking. I have personally experienced this with my brother and I also experienced this with people in the church I attend.  But even in the midst of the darkness – God can receive glory in these things. While it is so sad when some teens choose their corrupted sexuality over their faith, it is a glorious thing when other teens choose God over their flesh and he transforms their life.

“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.” – II Corinthians 12:9 (KJV)

Check out this link from Focus on the Family that has many helpful resources for helping people overcome transgender and homosexual temptations:

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/socialissues/sexuality/leaving-homosexuality/resources-for-men-and-women-with-unwanted-homosexuality

Would you leave your husband because he looks at other women?

“My Christian marriage is now “no more” because of the “staring” at other females that was going on in it.” This was part of a comment I received from a woman named Ellie in reaction to a series I wrote entitled “How should Christian women respond to their men looking at other women?

Here is Ellie’s full story.

Ellie’s Story

“My Christian marriage is now “no more” because of the “staring” at other females that was going on in it. In my opinion it is about one thing and one thing only…RESPECT…or lack of. I made my needs very clear.” Please stop doing that. I don’t like it because I don’t know what you are thinking when you are doing it.” We had prayer, promises, lengthy discussions lots of hurt and mistrust and anger (sin on my part) and after 18 months of more of the same.

I unceremoniously asked him to go.

A woman at our church who always showed an unhealthy interest in him showed him sympathy and then came the adultery. Oh joy. His excuse was that I threw him out and left him for dead.

Enough said. So as you can see. It is a very sore point with me.

Before my husband I met a lovely man but I chose not to marry him as he didn’t know the Lord. He did however know how to respect me in that I never once saw him looking or even glancing at other women. He may have done when alone but not when with me. He wasn’t asexual or homosexual or bi-sexual or similar. What he was, was RESPECTFUL.

I am currently separated from my husband but still married on paper. It’s a complete mess and it all started with staring. I am adjusting to life alone now. Being with a man who has such a lack of self-control just led me into sin. Anger suspicion bitterness resentment. I am more effective for God as a single woman I feel. I was very aware that my husband had body image issues and felt unhappy and I would never openly stare or glance at another guy as I know that it would fuel his insecurities. It’s a shame he couldn’t have the same awareness and respect.

I prefer to stay alone that be with any man who does this.

There you have it. Thank you for your article.”

My Response to Ellie and other Christian women who may face this situation

Based on this story from Ellie these 4 things happened:

  1. Ellie admitted that she reacted in sinful anger toward her husband for his behavior of staring at other women.
  2. Ellie separated from her husband because of this continued behavior.
  3. Ellie’s husband had an affair with a woman at his church.
  4. Ellie has resolved to remain single rather than going back to her husband.

Ellie’s husband’s sin

Before we tackle Ellie’s behavior in this situation we must will first acknowledge her husband’s sin.

On the issue of staring at other women – was he actually gawking or glancing? For some women a man taking quick glances of the women around him qualifies as “staring” when it really is not. So was he really staring or just glancing at women? We may never know for sure.

But let’s assume the worst case and he was actually standing around gawking at women.  If he did then this could have been considered rude and thus sinful behavior on his part.  As we have discussed often on this site there is no sin in a man simply looking at other women.  It is when men act rudely in how they do this that it can become sin.  Even if they are not gawking if they their looking turns into lust (sexual covetousness) then it can also be sin as well.

See my posts on “What does the Bible say about lust?” and my series on ““How should Christian women respond to their men looking at other women?” for more on this topic of men looking at women from a Biblical perspective.

Certainly what her husband did in having an affair with a woman at their church after she kicked him out was sin.  Even if her husband felt abandoned by his wife this did not justify his whore-mongering (having sex with a woman outside of marriage).

Ellie’s sin

By her own admission Ellie admits that she was driven to sinful anger over her husband’s staring at other women.

But the truth is there is much more to Ellie’s sin that this.  Even if her husband was truly standing around gawking at other women and acting in rude ways she is NOT his authority and he is not accountable to her for this.  He is accountable to God.

The Bible does not say “Christian wives when your husband does sinful things – badger him about it continually and demand that he stop whatever the offending behavior is.”   In fact the Bible says just the opposite in regard to wives dealing with husbands who are disobedient to God’s Word:

“1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.” – I Peter 3:1-2 (NASB)

This passage from I Peter goes completely and utterly against the sinful nature of most women if they are honest.

Even for women who acknowledge this Biblical truth it is a constant battle with the flesh. A wife’s sinful nature wants her to try and control her husband’s behavior but God has said “His disobedience is my domain – not yours.”

The Bible does not tell a wife to nag her husband into holy living.  It does not tell her to threaten to divorce him if he does not stop his rude behavior. It tells her to try and win him to God’s ways by practicing God’s ways herself! It tells her to win him “without a word” by her pure and respectful behavior toward him.

Now I just want to add one note.  I am not saying a wife should stay or keep her children in a situation with a physically abusive husband or a lazy husband who refuses to work and provide food and shelter for his family. I have addressed these topics in my posts “Does God allow divorce for abuse?” and “Does God allow a woman to divorce her husband for failure to provide?

But the fact is ladies – Biblically speaking if your husband is having sex with you, providing for you and your children and is not placing you or your children in physical harm you have absolutely NO right to send him away or separate from him.  Rather if he is doing all these things for you then you have a God given obligation to place yourself in complete subjection to him and you are to behave in a pure and respectful manner toward him – despite his many failings.

The second sin Ellie committed against her husband was in separating from her husband for unbiblical reasons as a result of her believing it was her right to try and change her husband’s disobedient behavior.

The third sin Ellie committed probably for most of her marriage to her husband was in comparing him to a previous man she had dated.  Here she was condemning her husband for looking at other women when she was comparing him to another man the entire time! This is the height of hypocrisy!

Sin leads to sin

“13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” – James 1:13-14 (KJV)

The Bible is clear that we are all responsible for our own sin.  We cannot blame our circumstances and we cannot blame others for our own sinful behavior.  But that does not mean that we are not responsible for sometimes putting people in tempting positions.  This is what happened with Ellie and her husband.

His rude and sinful behavior of staring at other women touched on her insecurities and jealousy.

She reacted to his sin with more sin in lashing out at him in anger and in her failed attempts to reform her husband and control her husband.  This completely went against God’s prescribed method for wives to deal with disobedient husbands.

She compounded her sinful reaction to him by ultimately sending her husband away without just cause which then put her husband in a tempting position.

Her husband reacted to his wife’s sin of unjustly kicking him out by sinning even more by engaging in whore-mongering with a woman at church when he should have kept his distance from that woman.

At each point both Ellie and her husband had a chance to stop the escalation of sin in their marriage and neither one chose to do so. Ellie’s husband could have chosen to stop staring at other women.  Even if he did not stop staring Ellie could have chosen to practice the I Peter 3:1-2 principle and given her husband over to God while continuing to faithfully serve him. That would have also required her to give her insecurities and jealousy of her husband over to God. Her husband could have chosen to stay away from that woman at church even after his wife had kicked him out.

An alternate theory of events

Up to this point we have just accepted the fact that Ellie’s husband was actually staring or gawking at women in some kind of rude and noticeable manner. But I believe based on Ellie’s story and this statement by her that the situation might have been different:

“We had prayer, promises, lengthy discussions lots of hurt and mistrust and anger (sin on my part) and after 18 months of more of the same.”

Notice the key word “promises”. This indicates to me that her husband had made some commitments to her to stop whatever this offending behavior was. Yet he continued to do it.

A man can promise not to stare or gawk at women and actually accomplish this change. This is very doable for us as men.  But if we are made to promise not to look or even glance at another woman this is impossible for most men and I would argue even many women.  We are naturally drawn to beauty as human beings.  Men are even more visually wired then women and we can be drawn into the beauty of a woman without even consciously realizing it. Even for the men that seem not to even glance at other women – a feat she says her previous boyfriend accomplished – often these men are simply very good at hiding their glances to where a woman would never notice.

But if this was the case that she was asking her husband to not even look at other women as opposed to staring and gawking at them then it was Ellie and not her husband that began this spiral of sinful behavior with her insecurities and jealousy.

What to do if you are faced with this situation as a wife

If you find yourself feeling bothered by your husband looking at other women you first need to ask yourself these questions.

How long is he looking at women around you? Is it just for second and then he looks in another direction or toward you?

If this is the case then this is by definition a “glance” and not the act of staring.  Even if he repeats his glances at a woman this is still not staring. Staring is a prolonged look and most people would agree that it takes longer than a second for someone to stare.

So if he is not staring you as a woman need to look inward. The truth you must face if you realize your husband is not staring but simply glancing at an attractive woman is you are bothered by the fact that he finds another woman attractive.

These are the reasons you may be bothered by your husband glancing (as opposed to staring) at other women:

  1. You have always felt insecure about your beauty even before you ever met your husband.
  2. You are feeling insecure about your body due to weight gain or natural aging.
  3. You are worried that your husband will cheat on you or leave you for another woman.
  4. You are not insecure about your beauty, in fact you feel that you are gorgeous. But you believe your womanly beauty is the only beauty your husband should take pleasure in.

Now let’s explore each of these reasons that your husband glancing at other women bothers you.

You have always felt insecure about your beauty even before you ever met your husband.

Realize this has nothing to do with your husband and everything to do with you. Men don’t typically marry women they don’t find attractive. Most men think their wives are beautiful but there feelings don’t make through their mouth.  Just know that your husband thinks you are beautiful unless he tells you otherwise and just because he finds another woman attractive does not mean he does not find you attractive.

You are feeling insecure about your body due to weight gain or natural aging.

Many women felt beautiful when they were younger but as they have children and age and their body changes they no longer feel beautiful.  Again husbands should attempt to verbally compliment their wives and assure them but the fact is many men struggle in this area to put their feelings into words.  Realize that your husband most likely still finds you beautiful.  He has aged with you. He may have even gained some weight with you.

So here is what is happening if your primary insecurity is over your weight gain. Every time your husband looks at another women, especially a woman closer to her optimal weight it is a painful reminder to you of the weight you have gained.  But realize the problem is not with him appreciating the beauty of those women – the problem is with you and your weight. The answer to your problem is not tell your husband he can no longer look at another women because it makes you realize how much weight you have gained.  The answer is to lose weight! Go on a diet and exercise. But realize even then he is still going to notice the beauty of other women but you won’t feel bad anymore.

You are worried that your husband will have sex with other women or leave you for another woman.

This is an insecurity that many women have regarding their husbands looking at other women and in most cases there is no logical reason a woman to have this fear.  For most men – if their wives are keeping them well feed in the sexual area with regular and enthusiastic sexual relations they are not going to go around sleeping with other women.

But if you are not keeping your husband well feed in the sexual arena you have every reason to fear that your husband in a moment of weakness may give into his sinful nature and engage in sexual relations with another woman.  If this is the source for your fear you can fix this issue! Have regular sexual relations with your husband! Keep him well feed in the area of sex.

It makes my head spin how many emails I get from men who tell me their wives won’t have regular sex with them but then they also get angry whenever they look at another woman.  This is utterly senseless on the part of women who do this!

You are not insecure about your beauty, in fact you feel that you are gorgeous.  But you believe your womanly beauty is the only beauty your husband should take pleasure in.

This attitude that some women have comes from one thing and one thing only – pride. All women want to feel beautiful and this is a natural desire they have been given by God. But there is a difference in a woman wanting to feel beautiful and a woman wanting her beauty to be her husband’s idol. That he must appreciate her beauty and her beauty alone.

If you find yourself feeling this way as a wife you need to confess this sin of pride to God. Realize you are not the only beautiful woman in the world and that it is natural and normal for your husband appreciate the beauty of other women.

For more on how to process you husband looking at other women in a way that honors God and your husband’s God given male nature please see my series “How should Christian women respond to their men looking at other women?

Why women don’t belong in politics

Do women belong in the political arena? Should we encourage our daughters to emulate the lives of women like Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin? Some Christians believe examples of women like the prophetess Deborah in the Bible answers this question with a resounding “Yes!” This was the position taken by a young Christian woman named Justice Forte who recently wrote a comment on my post “How to Help Women Learn Their Place”.

But does the example of Deborah and other prophetesses and prominent women in the Bible show us that God wants women involved in the political arena?

Before we seek to answer this question let me share Justice’s story.

Justice Forte’s Story

Larry Solomon,

While scrolling through my Facebook feed, I came across your intriguing post. Though I usually do not take the time to read articles shared by my friends, as I am a pre-law college student with hundreds of pages of reading assigned to me each night, the striking words “How to Help Women Learn Their Place” piqued my interest. I visited your blog and read the biographical information you provided and several of your comment threads. As a Catholic, made in the image of God, I share many of your beliefs and I have read most of the passages that you listed in your article during my years attending Catholic institutions. I have been fortunate in that I have had numerous mentors that have guided me in my faith, including my father, mother, and several teachers. I have had the opportunity to analyze philosophical and theological works, including those of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas with the great educators I encountered in my time at Pope John XXIII High School in Sparta, New Jersey. I have studied these topics with fervor, and I have strengthened my faith through constant inquiry, as my religion is not something that I take for granted.

However, I believe that your article reflects not only the loving messages given to us by God, but also several sexist attitudes embedded in our society. While it is clear that God created men and women with differing characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses, I do not think that it necessarily follows that the two genders must adhere strictly to narrow roles. While the Bible includes passages that guide women to be reverent and respectful to men, it also offers direction to men to love women and to treat them with kindness and understanding, and to acknowledge them as companions and partners in life.

As an 18 year old woman, I have struggled throughout my lifetime to discover exactly what your article claims to offer an answer to. I have struggled to learn my place in this world with this life that I have been given. The wave of feminism that you readily criticize has afforded me the ability to explore the vast possibilities of who I could be. It has allowed me to receive an education, and to read the works of insightful minds who have contemplated and established their places in life.

Through this education, I have found role models such as Deborah the fifth judge of the Old Testament referenced in Judges 4 and 5 and Hebrews 11:32-34. A thoughtful and effective leader, Deborah lifted the spirits of the downtrodden Israelites as she prophesied the word of the Lord under her famous palm tree. A courageous warrior, she led her army of 10,000 against the 100,000 Canaanites and proved victorious. The mother of Israel, the wife of Lapidoth, and the prophetess of God, Deborah serves as the ultimate example of a woman using her specific gifts to lead and to change the world in which she lived.

My education has also allowed me to ascertain and to ruminate on various attitudes and viewpoints regarding sexuality and gender roles that exist in the present day and to solidify my position on these crucial topics. Before beginning my studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, I had always referred to myself as a “traditionalist feminist.” I viewed myself as equal to my male classmates, as I had continually been able to interact and compete with them academically. However, I did not feel that I could properly call myself a feminist and all that this term has come to mean, as I agree with many of the roles set out for men and women. This internal conflict continued until I came across a page in my international relations textbook during my first semester at college which separated feminism into two distinct categories.

The definition of liberal feminism was familiar to me; it was an idea that I had heard recurrently, an idea that I could never bring myself to agree with. The theory of liberal feminism claims that there are no fundamental differences between men and women and that any perceived distinctions are merely the result of societal stereotyping.

To me, this theory seems entirely unrealistic, as I have experienced the inherent differences between the genders in countless situations, specifically during my time playing for the men’s ice hockey team at my high school. It is indisputable that I was not physically equal to the men on the ice, as I was mentally equal in the classroom. But, Authors Joshua Goldstein and Jon Pevehouse offer the definition of another strand of feminism, difference feminism, which focuses on “valorizing the feminine…valuing the unique contributions of women as women.” Difference feminism provides a way for a woman like me to both accept many gender roles and to work to compete academically and intellectually to shape their societies and to learn their places within them.

In your article, you stressed the need for parents, teachers, and pastors to teach young women how to behave as daughters of God and you argued that feminism has resulted in disrespectful behavior by women to their fathers and their husbands. Throughout my life, I have looked to my mother and father for guidance and they have been the measure against which I have evaluated myself. My mother is a devoted wife and homemaker, and she has worked tirelessly to instill in my brother and me values of compassion, kindness, and honesty. However, my mother has also served as my greatest advocate, and she has consistently demanded that I be afforded the same opportunities as my brother. She has taught me to be ambitious, and to embrace every task with passion and diligence.

My father, for whom I have immeasurable respect, has provided me with every possible chance to both better and challenge myself. He supported me throughout my eight year long career as a hockey player, understanding that this activity, though male-dominated, was important to me and would present many occasions for self-growth. It was my father who pushed me far beyond my own perceived limitations and encouraged me to apply to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a school 1,250 miles from my home, and it was him who all but forced me to accept my full tuition scholarship to attend this institution of higher education. While my mother and father have taught me what it means to be a daughter of God, bringing me to mass, showing me how to present myself in word, deed, and dress, and providing examples through their own lives, they have never allowed my gender to inhibit my desire to learn and participate in my society.

In concluding your article, you offered a list of Bible verses to be used by women to guide their behavior. While I disagree with the connotations of several of your brief summary headings, as I feel you have misinterpreted some of the text due to the gender biases that our society poses, I have tried to model my life based off of teachings and verses such as these. I work hard to be trustworthy, to show discretion when it is necessary, to speak with wisdom kindness, and love, to dress modestly, and to look to my parents and grandparents for guidance when I have needed it.

Though I have copious aspirations, including earning a college degree, attending and graduating from law school, and using all I will have learned to pursue a career in politics, I also hope one day to be a wife and mother.

Like your daughter, I look forward to fulfilling my role in God’s design and I intend to embark on that endeavor with the same ambition that I have put into my education, the same ambition that has been fostered for 18 years by my parents and teachers. I will treat my husband with respect and I will gladly support him in all that he does, and I will expect that he show me the love and kindness that God commands.

However, right now, I am an 18 year old woman, and I am subject and accountable to no one but my parents, educators, and myself. Right now I am a student and I intend to learn all that I can so that I may one day change my world, because my ambitions stretch far past the nuclear family unit and home. I urge you to contemplate my viewpoint, because I have combated attitudes similar to the one you expressed throughout my life. I have had boyfriends who claimed I showed them disrespect by simply having conversations with other males. I have had young men on opposing hockey teams cast disparaging remarks at me such as “make me a sandwich, bitch,” in an effort to help me learn what they think should be my place. I urge you to reflect on the possibility that there is more than one way for a young woman like myself, and like your daughter, to fulfill her role as a daughter of God and to learn their true place. I ask you to cogitate on my position because I feel it is imperative for today’s young women to understand that their faith does not have to stand in contrast with their aspirations, and you and I both have the power to spread this message. I respectfully ask you to take the time to read and respond to my post, as I would be interested to hear more about your perspective.”

My Response to Justice Forte

First and foremost Justice – I want to commend you for what I believe is a genuine faith in Jesus Christ and your belief in his Word.  I also want to commend you for your respect and admiration for your parents as this is something highly lacking in many young people today. I also commend you for listening to wise teachers and being curious about and studying schools of theological and philosophical thought. Being a critical thinker is never a bad thing but unfortunately in most generations there have been few of us that are critical thinkers.

What I want to do next is to zoom in on a few statements that you made and respond to them from the perspective of Christians who believe in a patriarchal view of society and marriage as well as more “strict” Biblical gender roles.

Prominent women in the Bible

First let’s take a look at some female characters that are often used by feminist Christians to assert that God encourages women to take active leadership in political and church arenas and see if any of these women resemble a modern feminist.

Miriam – prophet. – It never specifically says she exercised authority over men.

Deborah – prophet; judge; led the army of Israel into battle with Barak, their commander. She was a spiritual and moral leader. She did not seek to lead with Barak, he begged her to. She shamed him by telling him God would hand their enemies into the hands of a “woman”. It is interesting the Bible says she sat under a tree, and not at the city Gates as leaders typically did.

Hulda – prophet during the reign of Josiah. She served at a time when Israel had forsaken God, one of their darkest hours. Josiah sought to restore worship and the Word of God and sent messengers to her to seek the will of God.

Anna – a widow who became a prophet and pronounced Jesus to be the redeemer of Israel

Lydia – business woman in the Philippian Church, but the Bible never refers to her as a leader or a Pastor.

Priscilla – helped Paul while he was establishing churches at Corinth and Ephesus; with her husband Aquila, corrected Apollo’s preaching and helped him to learn of the new way in Christ.

Junias – contrary to feminist teachings, she was not an Apostle, but she was honored by the Apostles for her work in the Lord.

Phoebe – a servant in the Church at Cenchrea, She was not a deacon as feminists assert.

There is absolutely no Biblical evidence that any of these women sought to raise the social status of women or to challenge the role of a woman in the home and in her relationship with her husband.

Is Deborah a feminist role model for women?

Your Statement:

“Through this education, I have found role models such as Deborah the fifth judge of the Old Testament referenced in Judges 4 and 5 and Hebrews 11:32-34.”

I challenge you to present any Biblical evidence that Deborah was a “warrior”. She was nothing more than moral support and reluctant moral support at that.  If you look at the passage from Judges 5 Deborah only went with Barak because he asked her to and he refused to go if she would not go with him.  She was not the proud feminist that she is portrayed as.   In fact she said God would hand their enemy into the hands of a “woman” and this was not said in a proud way, but to shame Barak for refusing to go without her.  God did eventually give the honor of killing Sisera to a woman (Jael) to shame the men for their cowardly behavior.

The truth is this.  We have no evidence that Deborah neglected her duties to her home in her role as prophetess.  In fact we have no idea how old she was when God called her to this position. She may have been barren or raised her children and taken on this role much later in life after her children were grown and gone.

Women in leadership positions were the exception to God’s design not the norm

In no way does the Bible EVER paint women in leadership roles as a positive thing, but it is something God uses to shame the men into action.

“As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.” -Isaiah 3:12 (KJV)

God is allowed to make exceptions to his own rules

God made these exceptions to his own design at limited and specific times:

God allowed a donkey to speak to a Balaam in Numbers chapter 22.

God tells the prophet Isaiah to go and prophesy naked for 3 years in Isaiah chapter 20.

God tells the prophet Hosea to go marry a prostitute (something clearly forbidden for priests) in Hosea chapter 1.

God took Enoch (in Genesis 5) and Elijah (2 Kings 2) directly to heaven without them first experiencing physical death.

In the same way that God made these exceptions to his rules God has sometimes allowed women to occupy positions of spiritual authority in an effort to shame the men of their society into action and obedience to God.

Are “sexist” beliefs always wrong?

Your Statement:

“However, I believe that your article reflects not only the loving messages given to us by God, but also several sexist attitudes embedded in our society. While it is clear that God created men and women with differing characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses, I do not think that it necessarily follows that the two genders must adhere strictly to narrow roles. While the Bible includes passages that guide women to be reverent and respectful to men, it also offers direction to men to love women and to treat them with kindness and understanding, and to acknowledge them as companions and partners in life.”

Let me first address the term “sexist”.  This term is often used synonymously with “misogynist” but the two words really mean two different things.

The truth is that while all misogynists (haters of women) are sexists not all sexist people are misogynists.

If by “sexist” you mean a person who believes that one gender may typically excel in certain tasks over the other gender than I and those others who believe that men and women excel over one another in different areas could be labeled as sexists. For example, men generally speaking are better at most physical sports than women and women generally are better at tasks that require nurturing and empathy than men.

This is why if you take the typical woman and throw her in a sports game with men she will get beat.  It is also why if you put a man in a room with toddlers and infants he will not do as well caring for their needs as the typical woman.  Are there exceptions to these norms? Of course there are.  But exceptions do not negate norms.

But based on your belief in “Difference Feminism” I would guess that this is not something you are including in what you think are “sexist attitudes embedded in our society”. You accept these types of differences between genders.  However, you do seem to believe though that it is “sexist” for a person to believe that a woman’s place is in the home.  If that is what you mean by “sexist” then I plead guilty.

To be fair to your position – I recognize that you are not condemning women who choose to be homemakers as your mother was.

But you seem to feel that it is “sexist” for a person to believe God did not give women a choice but instead directly commanded that a woman should spend the majority of her time, talents and energy in direct service to her husband, her children and her home.

Coed Sports force men to violate their natural God given instincts toward women

You reference the fact that you played hockey – a sport you readily admit is dominated by men. The reason that hockey is dominated by men is because it is not only physically demanding but it also a very aggressive sport not unlike football although football is even more aggressive.

I have allowed and even encouraged my daughter to play basketball on a church league in our area – but it was not coed.  They have a separate league for girls and a separate league for boys. I would not encourage my daughter to do what your father encouraged you to do and play hockey with men.  There are two reasons I would not have done what your father did.

The first reason is that men will often instinctively hold back and do not play as aggressively when women are involved.  The second reason is that coed sports can also bring out frustration in men as they realize at a conscious or unconscious level that God meant for men to protect women and not to physically compete with women.  This is why I am firmly against any type of coed sports leagues because I believe anything that causes men and women to go against their God given gender specific design, nature or instincts is not something we should encourage.

This is also one of the reasons women do not belong in the military as men will instinctively afford more protection to female unit members which affects unit cohesion and effectiveness.

The Bible does not call a man’s wife his partner

You talked about a wife being her husband’s “companion and partner”.  While the Bible does refer to man’s wife as his companion it never refers to her as his partner – despite the NIV Bible translation which tries to use “partner” in some verses with no textual support for doing so. I dive into these passages in great detail in these posts.

https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2014/05/20/is-marriage-a-partnership-or-patriarchy/

https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2015/03/03/is-christian-marriage-a-master-servant-relationship/

7 Questions for young women with political ambitions

Question 1

How do you explain Biblical characters like Deborah as any more than an exception to God’s design and purpose for woman in light of the fact that God calls it a shame for women to rule over men (Isaiah 3:12), he calls it a shame for women to speak in the church (I Corinthians 14:34-35) and he says the head of the woman is the man (I Corinthians 11:3)?

Question 2

How can a woman occupy a position of political authority which would most like make her an authority over her husband when God calls women to be in subjection to their husbands in “everything” as the Church is subject to Christ in everything? (Ephesians 5:23-24, I Peter 3:1-6)

Question 3

How can a woman be the “keeper of her home”(Titus 2:5) and serve the needs of her husband, her children and her home while being gone 40 to 70 hours a week as most political jobs require?

Question 4

Do you think God is ok with other people raising your children and experiencing all the special firsts those children will have(like walking and talking) while you are gone pursing you political career 40 to 70 hours a week?

Question 5

If a woman pursues a career and her husband must dutifully stand behind her and support her in this career is this not a reversal of the creation order that woman was made for man, not man for woman (I Corinthians 11:9)?

Question 6

Could you honestly say if you pursue this course of action that you would be dedicating the majority of your time, talents and energy to serving your husband, your children and your home if you pursue this course of action?

Question 7

Are you willing to sacrifice seeing your child walk for the first time, talk for the first time and all those other special firsts as you most likely will if you are gone so much from your home?

I would invite you to read a recent post I did “Don’t fall for the feminist lie that women can “have it all”. In that post I show a comment I received from a woman who used to think as you do.  She believed she could have it all and found out years later that she was sacrificing her family and her marriage as well as not fulfilling the role God gave her by following her selfish ambitions. I encourage you to read her story.

Conclusion

Justice – there is nothing wrong with you having a love for studying the Bible and also other great writers in history. You could use your love of reading and desire to impact the world by teaching other women in your local church as Paul exhorts women to do (Titus 2:3-5). You might even consider having a Christian woman’s blog.

Neither of these uses of your talents would contradict with the primary mission God has given you.

For a man PART of his mission from God in this life is to lead, protect and provide for his home.  If he fails to model the love, leadership, provision, protection, teaching and discipline that God does for his people he will fail his mission.  But for a man the other part of his mission is to do what you are presuming to do and make an impact his world through his career.

For you as a woman your husband, your children and your home are not just a part of your mission as they are for a man. Your future husband, your future children and your future home ARE your mission.  Anything that takes away from your service to your husband, your children and you home must be put aside or you will fail your mission.

I encourage you to read my post “Young ladies – If you pursue a career you may fail the Christian race”.

Also see Does the Bible allow for a woman to be President of the United States?

Photo Sources:

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By Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46897599

Is International Women’s Day a time for Christians to celebrate or a time to mourn?

Have divorce rates risen or decreased as a result of women being given social equality with men? Have children been better taken care of by their mothers as a result of women being given social equality with men? The answers to these two questions are unequivocal NO.

The ugly truth is that the woman’s rights movement has decimated God’s institution of marriage and the family.

Is this something we should be proud of? A society in which women mock and ridicule the role for which God designed them?

In the book of I Corinthians we read about a situation of immorality in the Church.  A man took his father’s wife (his step mother) as a wife and they were proud of this immorality.  The Apostle Paul said this to them:

“you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning”

I Corinthians 5:2 (NIV)

Are we not doing the same thing as a Christian people today in regards to feminism? Are we proud of what feminism has done to marriage and the family when we should be in mourning?

This is why for us as Christian’s International Women’s Day should not be a time for us to rejoice, but rather a time for us to mourn for our nation and our culture.  It should be a time to confront this sin in our homes and in our churches.

But doesn’t the Bible honor women?

Absolutely! The Bible honors women and encourages us as men to honor women. Children are to praise their mothers and husbands are commanded to praise and honor and their wives.

“Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” – Exodus 20:12 (KJV)

“Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.” – Proverbs 31:28 (KJV)

“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)

Holidays like Mother’s Day and our wedding anniversaries call us to honor our women for the position of wife and mother – the roles for which God designed woman.  Christians should be honoring the women in their lives on these days for these roles that they play.

But honoring women for their roles as wives and mothers is NOT what International Women’s Day is about.

International Women’s Day is about women celebrating their rebellion against God and his design for them.

But hasn’t some good come from giving women equal rights with men?

I will not deny that some good has come from giving women equal rights with men.  In the areas of protecting women and their children from real domestic abuse it has helped. It has also helped in making sure that if women were wrongly tossed aside by their husbands that they could still see their children and get some financial support. It has also helped in allowing women to be able to be educated which is something the Bible never forbids.

But the good that has come from granting women social equality has been far outweighed by the damage that it has caused.

Instead of women just being able to divorce their husbands for real physical abuse and also being able to protect their children we have seen these new rights used for evil purposes more often than righteous purposes. We see women divorcing their husbands because their husbands refuse to bow down and worship them.  In fact the vast majority of divorces today occur not because of physical abuse but because of emotional reasons on the part of the woman.  Nearly 70% of all divorces today are filed by women.

Instead of women using their new found right to be able to be educated in the service of teaching their children and other women they now use it for their own selfish ambitions. They walk out of their responsibilities to their husband, their children and their home and they do it with PRIDE!

Instead of women regarding their bodies as belong to God and their husbands they see their bodies as belonging only to themselves. They go out and have promiscuous sex and then if they get pregnant they just go and have an abortion. Does this sound like something we ought to be celebrating or mourning as Christians?

The woman’s equality movement has warped marriage into something that would be unrecognizable to people just a few generations ago.

God’s original design of marriage as a duty based Patriarchy and a model of Christ’s relationship with his Church has been tossed aside for a feelings based equal partnership relationship which bears little resemblance to what God intended.

Opposing feminism and women’s equality is not equivalent to misogyny

“You Bible believing Christians are just a bunch of misogynists”

“You just want to control women and make them the slaves of men”

Let me tell you something in all honesty and sincerity and I know I speak for many of my Bible believing Christian friends. If God had stated in the Scriptures that men and women were to be social equals and equal partners in marriage that is what I would strive for. It is not about what I want or you want – it is about what God says he wants in his Word.

Christians who love the Word of God and practice the patriarchal form of marriage which models the relationship of Christ and his Church do not do so because of our hatred for women.  We do so because of our love for God.

“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” – I John 5:3 (KJV)

“You don’t view women as equal human beings”

This is another false accusation hurled at Bible believing Christians who embrace the Biblical patriarchal form of marriage. This is because our American and Western culture teaches us that all human beings (adult human beings that are not incarcerated) should have equal rights. If one set of human beings has any less rights than another it said the human beings with less rights are being treated as “less than human”.

But this thinking does not line up with the Scriptures. The Bible shows us God commanding that women have less rights than men:

“2 If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.

3 If a woman also vow a vow unto the Lord, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father’s house in her youth;

4 And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her; then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand.

5 But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the Lord shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her.

6 And if she had at all an husband, when she vowed, or uttered ought out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul;

7 And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her in the day that he heard it: then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she bound her soul shall stand.

8 But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and the Lord shall forgive her.” – Numbers 30:1-8 (KJV)

“1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives…

5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

7 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 3:1 & 5-7 (KJV)

The Bible clearly shows us that a daughter is under the authority of her father and a wife is under the authority of her husband. Women did not have equal social rights to men under God’s design. Yet men were called to honor their mothers and wives.  Women were not considered less than human in God’s view, but rather they were humans that occupied a different social status.

Conclusion

International Women’s Day should not be a cause for celebration for Bible believing Christians. Rather it should be a day for mourning and reflection on the sinfulness of our society. It should cause us to compel our nation and our culture to repent.  It should give us renewed reasons to preach what God’s word says even though it is extremely unpopular in our sinful culture.  We would do well to heed the words of the Apostle Paul to a young pastor named Timothy:

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

3 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;

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

Did the Bible allow men to have sex slaves?

Did the Bible allow men to acquire women whose sole purpose was for sex? The real question that we are asking is did the Bible allow men to have sex with a woman without making her his wife?  Many people, even Christians, wrongly believe the answer to this uncomfortable question is “Yes”.  The reason they believe that is because of the existence of concubines in the Bible.

Concubines are wrongly thought by some to have been the Biblical equivalent of sex slaves. But a closer of examination of the Scriptures reveals that this is not the case. The term “concubine” in the Bible refers to a slave wife. There were two classes of wives in the Scriptures – free wives and slave wives.

A free wife was a woman born to a free man. She was acquired as a wife when a man approached her father and offered him the bride price.  If her father consented he would give her as a wife to that man usually accompanied by some kind of wedding feast.  While both free wives and slave wives were considered to be the property of their husbands a free wife held a greater place of social honor and her children had inheritance rights that were required to be honored. The concubine’s children had no inheritance rights unless they were granted under special circumstances.

How were slave wives acquired?

Slave wives were acquired in much the same way slaves were acquired in general. Sometimes slave women were captured as prisoners of war and later converted to concubines (Deuteronomy 21:10-14). Sometimes poor women whose fathers, brothers or husbands had died sold themselves as concubines so they could be taken care of.  A man could sell his daughter as a slave to another man (Exodus 21:7-11).  That man could either continue to use her only as a servant or he could convert her to his concubine or give her as a concubine to one of his sons. Once a woman was converted to the status of a concubine she had the right to have sex with her husband.  Being a concubine in many ways was a step up for a slave woman.

Also it was common for fathers to give their daughters slave girls (hand maids) as gifts as was the case with Rachel and Leah. In many households the free wives ruled over the slaves wives while ultimately the husband was the master of the entire home. Sometimes free wives would give their husband their hand maids to produce more sons as we see in the case of Rachel giving her servant Bilhah to Jacob and Leah giving her servant Zilpah to Jacob(Genesis 30:4-9).  It interesting to note that Leah stated God had rewarded her by reopening her womb and giving her another son “because I have given my maiden to my husband”.

Concubines sometimes served as surrogate mothers

The story of Jacob and his sons shows another interesting scenario when it came to slave wives. Some free wives would use their slave wives to act as surrogate mothers and after the children were weaned raised the children as their own.  This is why even though some of the twelve sons of Jacob were born of slave women they were all equally considered his rightful heirs.

Did slave wives have any rights?

Today when we think of slavery in any form we think of a person who has absolutely no rights.  In fact because of the abuses of slaves throughout history we think all slaves were treated as nothing more than animals.  But while God allowed slavery he also required slave owners to respect the rights of their slaves.

A female slave whether she was a concubine or not could not be physically abused by her master

“20 And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished…

26 And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye’s sake.

27 And if he smite out his manservant’s tooth, or his maidservant’s tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth’s sake.” – Exodus 21:20 & 26-27 (KJV)

A concubine had to be provide with food, clothing and sex from her husband

“7 And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.

8 If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her.

9 And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters.

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 21:7-11 (KJV)

So as we can see here a slave if she were to be taken as a concubine then she was to be treated as a daughter by her husband’s father and treated by him as his wife. She would have the right to have sex with her husband (“duty of marriage”).  The pledge of “food, clothing and bed” which was often used in Jewish wedding ceremonies was based on this passage from Exodus 21.

For more confirmation of the fact that concubines were not just slaves but were also considered wives see how Keturah is referred to as the “wife” Abraham took after Sarah died in Genesis 25:1-4 but then she is referred to as his concubine in I Chronicles 1:32-33.  Even within the context of Genesis 25 we can see she is considered one of Abrahams “concubines”(Genesis 25:5-6) all of which he sent away after giving their children gifts because he was giving his estate to Isaac.

The reason Abraham sent away his concubines and their children as he knew his death was imminent was to make it clear that Isaac was the only rightful heir to his estate being the son of his first wife who was the only “free” wife he had.

Were concubinage, slavery and polygamy sins that God overlooked?

In this post we have discussed some topics that are all very offensive to our modern cultural values. This is the part of the article where 99% of Christian writers will tell you that the practices of concubinage, slavery and polygamy were all sins God overlooked for a time but then God rid of in the New Testament.

The truth is that God never condemned the practices of concubinage, slavery or polygamy. He gave strict rules as to how these things could be practiced but he never condemned the practices themselves.

I invite you to look at these two articles that explore all the passages on slavery and polygamy in the Bible and you may be surprised as at what you find.

Was polygamy a sin God overlooked in the Old Testament?

Why Christians should not be afraid of slavery in the Bible

Conclusion

While it is true that many pagan nations may have had “sex slaves” the people of God in the Bible were forbidden from such practices. If a man were to buy a slave woman (or acquire her in war) with the intent of having sex with her had to make the commitment of a husband to her.  He could not simply have sex with her and have no intent of making her his wife.

While it is true that a concubine was indeed a slave the truth is she was a wife as well.  Another way of stating this is truth is that in Biblical times all concubines were wives, but not all wives were concubines.

We have proven here from the Scriptures that God did not allow men to have sex slaves. They could have free wives or slave wives (concubines) but they had to grant the basic rights of a wife to any woman whom they desired to have sex with.

Is it wrong for Christian women to wear pants?

If a Christian woman wears pants is she violating the Bible’s command that “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man…” (Deuteronomy 22:5)? Are Christian woman essentially cross-dressing if they wear trousers? In this article we will seek to answer the question of the morality of women wearing pants.

The Bible is clear that God want’s women to dress like women and men to dress like men.

The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.” – Deuteronomy 22:5 (KJV)

This is something that the vast majority of Christians would agree about. But where the disagreement comes in is what is masculine dress and what is feminine dress?

Before we dive into this I just want to share a little personal history here.  I grew up in Independent Baptist churches for most of my life(and still attend one today).  Back in the 80’s and still well into the 90’s it was very common for Baptist preachers to preach against women wearing pants.  While they are fewer in number today – there are still some conservative churches and Christians that believe it is immoral for a woman to wear pants.

Did God command all men to wear pants in Exodus 28:41-43?

Some Christians contend that the following passage from Exodus 28:41-43 shows that God wants men to wear pants:

“41 And thou shalt put them upon Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him; and shalt anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office.

42 And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:

43 And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place; that they bear not iniquity, and die: it shall be a statute for ever unto him and his seed after him.” – Exodus 28:41-43 (KJV)

In Exodus 28:41-43 we see the first mention of “breeches” in the Bible. This English word was chosen to translate the Hebrew word “Miknac” which means:

     “underwear, drawers, trousers

a priestly undergarment of linen”

http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/hebrew/kjv/miknac.html

When we look at this passage in context God is telling priests that they had to wear breeches when they came near to the altar. These were commanded to be worn ONLY during their priestly duties around the altar.

There is nothing in the passage indicating that God meant for men to wear breeches outside of this very particular situation.

Who does the Bible mention wearing skirts?

While the Bible never commands all men to wear breeches it actually does mention the skirts of men:

“A man shall not take his father’s wife, nor discover his father’s skirt.” Deuteronomy 22:30 (KJV)

“And it came to pass afterward, that David’s heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul’s skirt.” 1 Samuel 24:5 (KJV)

The fact is that while there are some ancient examples of men wearing pants for the most part men did not wear breeches or pants as we call them throughout the entire Biblical time period except in limited instances where priests wore them in their priestly duties and some warriors may have worn some ancient forms of trousers when riding on horseback.

Most men and women wore tunics. Were the male and female tunics made in different styles? Yes. But both of them were continuous pieces of cloth that were sometimes worn with some type of belt – there were no pants involved. Sometimes men would wear a robe over their tunic as well.

Did God command women to always wear dresses in I Timothy 2:9?

Some Christians contend that this passage from I Timothy 2:9 commands that women should always wear dresses and it forbids them from wearing pants:

“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;” – I Timothy 2:9 (KJV)

The word “modest” here in I Timothy 2:9 is an English translation of the Greek word Kosmios, which means “seemly” or “appropriate”. In modern English, most people think of a woman dressing modest as a woman dressing in a non-sexual manner. But this was not the meaning of the original word used by the Apostle Paul. Can sexually revealing clothing be “unseemly” or “inappropriate” on a woman in certain situations? Yes. But the Greek word Kosmios is not specific to sexually revealing clothing.

The word “apparel” here in I Timothy 2:9 is an English translation of the Greek word Katastole, which comes from two Greek words, Kata and Stole. This literally refers to a “complete stola”. A stola in New Testament times was a one piece robe with holes for the head and arms. Often times a strap would be worn around the middle below the breasts to give the stola some form around the body. Sometimes a stola had sleeves, other times it was sleeveless.

The roman stola was a long flowing gown as pictured below in several varieties and was worn by women exclusively.

Men on the other hand wore togas or tunics which sometimes had an outer robe. A typical tunic that a roman man would wear is seen below.

The roman male version of the female formal stola would have been the toga as picture below.

RomanToga

The stola was typically worn by women for formal events such as weddings and other special occasions. But during their day to day work women typically wore tunics called peplos like men with the difference that a woman’s tunic typically went down to her feet where a man’s tunic might go to his knees at the most.

As we can see here from these pictures a Roman stola looks nothing like a modern dress that women might wear today. Likewise men don’t wear togas anymore. Paul was not saying that we had to have our clothing fashions frozen to Roman era dress. But the Apostle Paul was giving us three Biblical principles here regarding a woman’s dress:

Women are to wear clothing that is appropriate to the occasion

As we previously mentioned Paul by using the Greek word Kosmios is telling women they are to wear clothing appropriate to the occasion.

Women are to wear feminine clothing

Paul is remaining consistent with Deuteronomy 22:5 in admonishing women to wear clothing that pertains to women. While the roman stola may have been different than the clothing worn in Moses time he was enforcing the concept that whatever is considered feminine dress in our culture – that is what women should be wearing.

Women are to be fully covered for the occasion of worship

The context here of I Timothy 2:9 is referring to how women are to dress when they come to worship in the assembly. Paul is literally saying here in I Timothy 2:9 that women are not to look at the Church as a fashion show but in the same way they should not wear their normal work clothes to church. Rather they should wear a stola (clearly feminine clothing meant for special occasions) and make sure it is a complete stola or fully covering them when coming to worship in the Church.

Does I Timothy 2:9 apply to women in all occasions?

Some Christians have argued that Paul’s commands here regarding the “appropriate complete stola” which is literally what “modest apparel” is translating here applies to how Christian women should dress in ALL occasions.

The general principle that women should wear clothing that is appropriate to the occasion is a principle that women should apply to all areas of their life. The general principle that women should always wear clothing that pertains to a woman as stolas specifically pertained to women in Paul’s time should apply to all areas of a woman’s life.

But do women have to wear their best clothing – the modern equivalent of the stola every day of their lives? I don’t think this is what the Apostle Paul was saying and I will explain why.

Women typically did NOT wear stolas every day but rather they wore them only for special occasions like weddings or other more formal gatherings. Instead they wore much simpler “tunic like” peplos during their day to day lives as they went about their work.

A person reading this when Paul wrote this would have understood that Paul did not mean that women had to wear their complete stola every day but rather that they should wear it for the assembly as this was a special occasion.

Conclusion

Both the command for men to wear breeches in their duties as priests and for women to wear complete stolas when coming to the assembly for worship were clothing commands regarding SPECIFIC and special occasions.

Nowhere in the Bible does the Bible say that men must wear pants at all times or that women must wear dresses at all times nor does it say for a woman to wear pants is a sin in and of itself.

The only way it is sin for a woman to wear pants is if her father or her husband forbids her to wear them or if she wears pants to her church when her Pastor has made it clear that female church members are to wear dresses for church services and activities.

But if a woman’s father, husband or pastor allows her to wear pants then there is no sin in her doing this as long as the pants she wears pertains to a woman and not to a man.

Where do I stand on this as a Christian husband and father? I have no problem with my wife or daughter wearing pants for their day to day activities.   But when we go to Church or any other formal type of gathering I have them wear dresses. When my wife and I go out to a nice restaurant for a date I like her to wear a dress. If my wife does wear jeans for other occasions I like her to wear jeans the accentuate her figure and I don’t like baggy pants on her.

Was there a time in our culture when it would have been wrong for women to wear pants? Yes. When they were viewed as only male clothing. But as the decades have passed clothing styles have changed and pants have been designed in very feminine ways for women.

A Christian woman can definitely find pants that do indeed “pertain to a woman” that a man would not be caught dead in. For men who claim that no pants can look feminine on a woman I would bet you would never want to wear a pair of women’s slacks or skinny jeans because you know that they “pertain to a woman”.

In my previous post “7 Biblical Principles for how to dress as a Christian woman” I listed these principles for how Christian women should dress:

Principle #1 – Your physical beauty is symbolic of the spiritual beauty of the Church

Principle #2 – You should dress appropriately for the occasion

Principle #3 – You should dress in feminine clothing

Principle #4 – You should dress to please your husband

Principle #5 – Don’t be lazy with your appearance

Principle #6 – What others think does and does not matter

Principle #7 – Do not hide your beauty from other men for fear of causing lust

I encourage you to read that post where I explain each of these principles in more detail.

Also for a larger discussion on I Timothy 2:9 please see my post “What does Modesty mean in I Timothy 2:9?

Roman Toga Source:

By Klaus-Dieter Keller, Germany – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=721508