Why Christian men should NOT be ashamed of “locker-room talk”

Both Christian and non-Christian men need to stop apologizing for their masculine nature and specifically their masculine sexuality.  Men need to stop bowing down to Church leaders and feminists who have joined in an un-holy alliance against masculinity as God designed it.

Before I get into what the Scriptures say and don’t say about this subject of “locker-room talk” by men let’s first look at a couple of incidents that made national headlines in the last few months.

Donald Trump’s “locker-room talk”

The phrase “locker-room talk” made national headlines when a tape of Donald Trump was leaked where he engaged in sexual talk about women.  Donald Trump spoke of married women who he had sex with and grabbing women by their genitals. Later he made it clear he was just joking about these things.

Should Christians defend Donald Trump’s locker room talk? No way!

By Biblical standards it would be absolutely wrong for a Christian to engage in adulterous behavior with married women or randomly grab women by their genitals.

“So he that goeth in to his neighbour’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.”

Proverbs 6:29 (KJV)

Christian men should neither joke nor brag about such things or engage in such behaviors.

Should we as Christians take a stand against and discourage our sons from ever speaking even jokingly of sexually assaulting women? Of course, we should.

Should we as Christians take a stand against and discourage our sons from ever joking about trying to convince a woman to have sex with them outside of marriage (whether she is married or not)?  Of course, we should.

Clearly Donald’s Trump’s “locker-room talk” included joking about adultery and sexual assault.

But as many men could tell you there are plenty of types “locker-room talk” between men that do not include joking about committing fornication, adultery or sexual assault.

Another type of “locker-room talk”

Contrary to the assertions of raving feminists and others who see most men as potential rapists there are a lot of men that engage in types of locker-room talk that never includes talk about getting women to commit adultery against their husbands or groping women.

Below I have put together a sample of how some men might actually talk when they are away from women.

Just an additional warning for those reading this – I am going to be very real here in showing how men actually talk when they are away from parents, women and the general public.

These are examples of “locker-room talk” that do not include statements about fornication, adultery or sexual assault:

Teenage Boy #1 “What do you think about Mary and Jane?”

Teenage Boy #2 “Well I would rate Mary as 8 with 10 being best.  Jane is a probably a 6.”

Teenage Boy #1 “Why do you rate Mary higher than Jane?”

Teenage Boy #2 “I like bigger boobs.  Mary’s boobs are just bigger.”

Teenage Boy #1 “I think Mary’s butt is too big though.  I just can’t get past that. Jane has a smaller, yet still full butt.”

Teenage Boy #2 “So how would rate them Mary and Jane?”

Teenage Boy #1 “I would give Mary a 5.  She is just too big for me. I would give Jane a 7.  She has a really nice butt but her breasts are still a little too small to give her a higher rating.”

Teenage Boy #2 “What about Sarah? She has some sexy legs, doesn’t she? If I were rating her on legs alone I will give her a 10! But unfortunately, she has flat chest and a flat butt so I have to give her a 4”.

Teenage Boy #1 “I agree with your rating of a 4 for Sarah – fantastic legs but not much else going for her.”

Teenage Boy #2 “Now Andrea – you have to admit she has the perfect body.  She has boobs – not too big and not too small.  She has a perfectly sculpted butt and legs to die for. The problem is the face.  Her nose is huge and her eyes just don’t look right. She is the very definition of a “butterface”.  I guess I would have to rate her as a 7 although I could never see marrying her because for me a woman has to have a pretty face”.

Teenage Boy #1 “I would give Andrea a 10! I could overlook the face for that perfect of a body! And you did not even talk about her hair.  Come on from the back she has the most beautiful long hair you would ever see. Speaking of Andrea.  Yesterday she had the perfect blouse on. She came over near me in class to talk to one of her girlfriends and as she bent down on the desk to talk to her I got a glimpse of her cleavage. Holy cow did that make my day!”

Conversations like the one I have just described have occurred in various forms using different language among men both young and old, single and married all over the world since the beginning of creation.

So really, we have two types of locker-room talk that men engage in. One is limited to rating women’s sexual attractiveness by rating their various physical features.  The other goes beyond simply rating women’s sexual attractiveness and goes into joking about getting women to engage in sex outside of marriage or sexual assault.

The Harvard Soccer Team Scouting Report Scandal

“In what appears to have been a yearly team tradition, a member of Harvard’s 2012 men’s soccer team produced a document that, in sexually explicit terms, individually assessed and evaluated freshmen recruits from the 2012 women’s soccer team based on their perceived physical attractiveness and sexual appeal.

The author and his teammates referred to the nine-page document as a “scouting report,” and the author circulated the document over the group’s email list on July 31, 2012.

In lewd terms, the author of the report individually evaluated each female recruit, assigning them numerical scores and writing paragraph-long assessments of the women. The document also included photographs of each woman, most of which, the author wrote, were culled from Facebook or the Internet.

The author of the “report” often included sexually explicit descriptions of the women. He wrote of one woman that “she looks like the kind of girl who both likes to dominate, and likes to be dominated…

The document and the entire email list the team used that season were, until recently, publicly available and searchable through Google Groups, an email list-serv service offered through Google.”

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2016/10/25/harvard-mens-soccer-2012-report/

Harvard’s response was quick and strong:

“The men’s soccer team had performed impressively this season. Harvard was ranked first in the Ivy League, and fifteenth nationwide, within striking distance of both the league tournament and the national N.C.A.A. tournament. There was a strong sense on campus that they had winning left to do. However, after learning that the scouting report was not a unique artifact but part of a tradition that has continued for years, and that members of the team had been less than transparent in their initial interviews, the university decided to cancel the rest of the men’s soccer season.”

This was part of the reaction of the women’s soccer team at Harvard:

“In all, we do not pity ourselves, nor do we ache most because of the personal nature of this attack. More than anything, we are frustrated that this is a reality that all women have faced in the past and will continue to face throughout their lives. We feel hopeless because men who are supposed to be our brothers degrade us like this. We are appalled that female athletes who are told to feel empowered and proud of their abilities are so regularly reduced to a physical appearance. We are distraught that mothers having daughters almost a half century after getting equal rights have to worry about men’s entitlement to bodies that aren’t theirs…”

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2016/10/29/oped-soccer-report/

Here are some more other reactions to the scandal:

“Yet the soccer-team revelations are a sobering reminder that sexist behavior can’t easily be stamped out through rules, regulations, and imposed consequences alone. The problem with “locker-room talk,” whether it takes the form of Trump boasting about groping women or college students ranking the appeal of their peers, is that sexist speech normalizes sexist behavior. In the case of Harvard’s soccer team, what’s extraordinary is that the talk can’t be dismissed as casual or made in passing: it was co-authored, edited, and preserved as an official group record. While we might be resigned to encountering objectifying speech or behavior at a bar or a beer-soaked spring-break party, it’s sobering to see it codified in the form of a shared Google document. In effect, the scouting report became a set of instructions used, year after year, to dehumanize women.”

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-dehumanizing-sexism-of-the-harvard-mens-soccer-teams-scouting-report

“The nine-page report full of numeric ratings, photos, and evaluations is shocking in its mix of explicitness, thoroughness, and matter-of-factness. But it’s not surprising. The objectification of women combined with a male sense of entitlement is the kind of thinking that, taken a step further, leads to so many sexual assaults on so many college campuses…”

https://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2016/11/15/starts-with-locker-room-talk-and-then-gets-worse/H05PWvytDLaGmrP3kXr8mN/story.html

So, in summary the men’s soccer team at Harvard kept a list of how the men’s team ranked various members of the women’s soccer team. This was a tradition dating back several years.  The women’s bodies were ranked in detail according to their various physical attributes, assigned code names and what would be their best potential sexual positions.

Harvard’s response was quick and merciless. They suspended the entire team and canceled the remainder of their season.

Was the Harvard Scouting Report Scandal an attack on women or an attack on men?

Let me first say that I agree that at the very least the Harvard men’s soccer team acted stupidly by placing such a document on a such a public venue as Google groups.  But even though they acted stupidly in this regard – no evidence has been presented that shows these team members ever meant for the collection of their sexual thoughts about these women to become public.

But let’s say they had not put the document on Google groups where it could easily be found. What if they had kept the document a closely guarded secret of the team? Would that have made any difference? I believe the answer is YES.

I am by no means saying that every word in this document made by the team was right by Biblical standards.

But the concept of young men ranking women by their sexual attractiveness is NOT an immoral practice or a violation of Biblical principles.

It is also not a crime or an immoral act for young men to privately discuss amongst themselves various physical attributes they like about women whether they know them personally or do not know them personally.

Here is the real truth about this situation that happened at Harvard.  Make no mistake the outrage here was not about a soccer team sexually ranking their female counterparts on the women’s soccer team.  This incident was simply used as a vehicle with which to allow women to vent their hatred for male sexuality.

Examining key words from the detractors of Harvard Men’s Soccer Team

“reality”

Both women and men know this is the reality of how male nature operates.  While some men may not vocalize their thoughts and many even condemn themselves for having such thoughts both sides acknowledge this as a reality.

“frustrated”

It is not uncommon for detractors of the male nature to be frustrated by the fact that they cannot change man’s design.

“entitlement”

This word was used in the context of men feeling they were entitled to these women’s bodies. Now as I have shown countless times on the blog from a Biblical perspective a husband is in fact “entitled” to his wife’s body.  But that is not what we are discussing here. We are referring to young men who are not married to these women feeling entitled to these women’s bodies.

The problem with this “entitlement” attack against these young men is that there is no language that has been revealed so far that indicates such a thing. Rather this word would apply more to the detractors of men for ranking women by their sexual attractiveness.  You see there are many in our culture today that feel they have a right to control the thoughts and feelings of others.  The truth is they do not.  And only when men willingly give up power over their own thoughts as so many have for the past century can others take power over the thoughts of men.

“sexist”

Webster’s online dictionary defines “sexism” as:

“1   :  prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially :  discrimination against women

2    :  behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex”

The fact is that it is no more “sexist” for men to privately discuss amongst themselves the physical attributes of women around them and rank their sexual appeal than it is for women to privately talk amongst themselves about their feelings on any given subject.  In other words, telling men not to talk sexually is the equivalent of telling women not to talk emotionally with one another.  Yet our culture fully condemns the former while uplifting the latter.

 “dehumanize”

When people refer to men “dehumanizing women” or “objectifying women” they are saying the same thing. They are implying that when a man finds a woman sexually attractive and speaks of her body and its various parts that he has reduced her to an inanimate object to be used and discarded as we would any other inanimate object.

But what these attackers of masculinity miss is that it does not dehumanize a person to view them for their “function” rather than their “person”. We do this all the time in many areas of life without realizing it.

When both men and women get together to assemble their fantasy football teams they are not looking at these football players for their personhood, but rather for their sports function.  What are each player’s strengths and weaknesses as it pertains to football?  That is all that matters in this scenario.

When a military commander puts together a special operations team he is not looking at the personhood of these men but rather their military function.  Each man has unique abilities and functions that when put together serves their intended overall function.

There are countless other examples where we look at people all the time for the potential functional ability in any given scenario yet we do not look down at these other types of objectification.

So, it is ok to make a fantasy list of real football players and rank them based on their potential football ability yet it is seen as morally repugnant for men to make a list of women at their school and rank their bodies based on their sexual appeal and fantasize about their sexual ability?  Do we not see the inconsistency here?

The fact is it does NOT dehumanize a person to see them for their function – whether it be their potential athletic ability, singing ability, fighting ability (as in military members) or women for their sexual appeal and potential ability to bring sexual pleasure to a man.

Yes men naturally see women as objects to be enjoyed for their sexual pleasure. However it is precisely because the vast majority of men ALSO see women as persons that they do not  just grab women and try to have sex with them. Rapists only see women as objects of sexual pleasure and not also as persons and this is the huge difference.

“assault”

The last word I want to discuss from the detractors of male sexuality is the word “assault”.  The implication is that if men feel free to sexually rank women that this would lead men to sexually assault women.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  The same logic is used by those who attack men for looking at and enjoying pornography.  One of the attacks against porn use by men has been something like this “men who sexually assaulted women all report looking at some type of porn first”.  We are then lead to believe that one lead to the other.

But this is akin to saying “all rapists and molesters ate food.  Therefore, eating food causing people to become rapists”.  The point is this line of logic is utterly ridiculous.

If a man sexually assaults or rapes a woman it was because it was always in his heart to do this . It was only a matter of the right opportunity arising and him getting up the nerve to act on his evil desires.   Watching porn did not cause him to do it and neither did sexually ranking women cause him to do it.  It was there all the time.

The reality is that the vast majority of men who watch porn or sexually rank women never assault a woman and don’t even entertain fantasies of assaulting women.  They entertain fantasies of consensual sex – not rape.

What if the Harvard women’s soccer team had done something like this?

Imagine if the women’s soccer team had assigned each one of its members to research the personalities and various characteristics of each of the male soccer players and they made a similar list from a female perspective?

I am sure it would be have been far less sexual and more personality oriented.  This because of the difference of how women operate from men.  Women for the most part are relational and men are physical. I don’t doubt that on some level even if it was never documented that some of the women’s soccer team members did talk about various men on the men’s soccer team as to which ones they found attractive and why.

But I doubt even if the women had ranked the men’s team even in a more feminine(so more personality and less sexual way) nothing would have happened.  If the list was made public everyone would have had a good laugh and nothing would have happened.

The Christian response to “locker-room talk”

Karen Prior writing for Christianity today wrote the following comment in her article entitled “Call Out Locker Room Talk for the Sin That It Is”:

“Now the current debate over “locker room talk,” I’m happy to report, highlights our decreasing acceptance of the old, broken morality that “boys will be boys.” …

Not long ago, my husband, a public high school teacher and coach, was in a car with two of his students. One spotted a female jogger up ahead and made a couple of lascivious comments. To the boy’s surprise, my husband responded by pulling up alongside the jogger, lowering the passenger side window where the student was sitting, and saying to him, “I’d like you to meet my wife.”

It’s a funny story. But it’s funny only because of how it ended. That “locker room talk” turned into a teachable moment for a man-in-the-making: make that two men-in the making, because after driving away, the second boy, seated wide-eyed in the back seat the entire time, asked my husband if he was going to “beat up” the other boy for what he said. Instead, my husband sternly but lovingly lectured both students, first about respecting women and then about resolving conflicts peacefully. What my husband did in that moment is what all good men must rise up and do when locker room talk enters the conversation.”

http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2016/october/call-out-locker-room-talk-for-sin-it-is.html

The opinion of this Christian writer would probably be very common amongst most Christians.  “Locker-room talk” in all its forms whether it be comments like Donald Trump’s or even seemingly less comments about a woman’s behind are equally sinful their opinion.

She mentions that the young man made some “lascivious comments” about the jogger (which he did not realize was the coach’s wife). I am going to take a guess at what the young man may have said.

“Look at the body on that woman. Her butt is amazing”.

Now is this a “lascivious comment” by Biblical standards?

Lasciviousness” is the old English word for what we now call “sensuality”.  It was a translation of the Greek word “Aselgeia” which literally means “out of control” or “over indulgence”.  What it was referring to was someone who had an addiction or overindulged in some type of physical pleasure and it was not restricted to sexually related pleasure.  A drunkard would be guilty of engaging in “Aselgeia”. While thinking about sex or even enjoying the view of beautiful women whether in person or in print or on a screen is not sinful it can become sinful if it becomes obsessive and the central focus of our life.  When our pursuit of any earthly pleasure causes us to neglect our relationship with God, our spouse, our children or our other responsibilities then something that was not sinful at first can become sinful.

But make no mistake – a man enjoying the physical pleasure of a plate of food at his favorite restaurant as well as that boy enjoying the sight of that beautiful jogger is not lascivious, lustful or sinful.

There is a common belief amongst Christians that if a man is sexually aroused by, has thoughts about or speaks words reflecting his arousal and thoughts about a woman he is not married to that this is sinful behavior.  Some may not call it lascivious as this writer did.  They may instead call it lustful. But the problem with such thinking is there is absolutely no Scriptural backing for such a position.  It is based on culture, opinion and peer pressure alone.

The fact is that God designed male sexuality and no he did not originally design some magical switch in men that they would only be aroused by a woman once they were married.  Some people actually believe this ridiculous theory because they cannot accept the male visual and physical arousal mechanisms as God given. It is a sin, in their view, for a person to experience or exercise any part of their sexuality before being married. This is why they preach so hard against masturbation and sexual fantasy.

Now lest someone get the wrong idea.  I teach on this blog what the Bible teaches.  The only sexual relations God honors are between a man and woman in the holy covenant of marriage as the book of Hebrews states:

Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”

Hebrews 13:4 (KJV)

But young people experiencing and exercising their sexuality, rather than sexual relations, before marriage is NOT forbidden.  There is no sin in a young man or young woman experiencing sexual pleasure from a sexual dream or sexual thought about a person of the opposite sex.  It is what we do with those thoughts that become sinful.  It is when we allow our sexual arousal to turn in sexual covetousness which is what lust is. It is when we start thinking about how we can convince someone to have sex outside of marriage.

But aren’t men engaging in impure speech when they talk about sexually related things?

The most common phrase that is assigned by Christian leaders to men talking together about women in a sexual manner is the word “impure”.  These thoughts about women’s body parts or about sexual fantasies about women are said to be “impure”.

There are many articles on Christian websites that exhort men to not engage in any sexual thoughts(fantasies) or sexually explicit speech with other men so that they may remain pure.  Here are some common verses that are used to support this position.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. “

Philippians 4:8 (KJV)

But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”

Ephesians 5:3-5 (KJV)

So here is what happens in the typical church men’s youth group or young college men’s class.

They are told that sexual talk between men that compare’s women’s bodies or talks about women’s body parts or any talk of sexual fantasies is by definition “impure”, “filthy” or “dirty” talk.  Then the speaker will ask men “Can you honestly say when you are talking about those women’s bodies that are speaking in a pure way? Is that a lovely way to speak about women? Or is it dirty and disrespectful? We all know the answer that is impure speech based on impure thoughts”.

If you have been raised in most Christian churches you will recognize this speech or a variation of it.

If you as a Christian man ever hear this speech about Christian men engaging in impure speech in connection with men talking sexually about women here are some questions you should ask the teacher or speaker when they open the room for questions or discussion.

“How do you know that talking about women’s body parts is impure speech? Where does the Bible call such speech by men impure?”

If the teacher responds with Matthew 5:28 that “Well Jesus said that if a man looks with lust on woman then he is committing adultery in his heart”.  Then you can respond with these questions for your teacher about lust.

“But what is lust? Doesn’t the Bible tell us in Romans 7:7 that lust is covetousness? And isn’t covetousness the desire to unlawfully possess something that does not belong to us? Where does the Bible teach that sexual arousal, sexual fantasy or talking about women’s bodies or body parts is lust?”

At this point your teacher’s head will be spinning because unfortunately most Christian teachers simply parrot what they have been taught in their church, college or seminary.   I understand that many of these preachers and teachers are good men with good intentions.  They only want to please God with their lives. But because of how they been indoctrinated both by their church as well as our culture they cannot see sexual talk between men as anything less than dirty or impure.

They might for good measure throw one more verse at you to try and support their faulty belief that men sexually ranking women’s bodies is dirty and impure.

“I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?”

Job 31:1

There is actually a website called CovenantEyes.com that bases it’s mission on this verse. They and other Christians claim that Job was saying in this verse that he made a covenant with eyes never to think sexually about a woman he was not married to.

The problem is the Scripture don’t say that. We agree that men can have wrong thoughts about women.  But we disagree on what those wrong thoughts are. So here is how you answer you teacher if he brings up Job’s covenant with his eyes not to think upon a maid:

“Sir should we not be careful of adding to God’s Word? We know that Job was saying he would not think about something about a woman.  What does the Bible tell us we should not think about regarding women? It tells us not to think about seducing virgin women to have sex with us outside of marriage right? It tells us not to engage in prostitution right? So we should not think about seeing prostitutes right? It tells us not to think about seducing our neighbor’s wife right? So how can we add something to wrong thoughts that God never adds? Are you not adding a condemnation of men  talking about women’s bodies to God’s Word?”

I have actually had this conversation with several pastors both in email and some of my friends on the phone.  They never have clear answers to these questions because they have never questioned the Christian culture they have been raised in.

But isn’t it wrong to compare women’s beauty or say one woman is not as attractive as another?

There are some people – both Christian and non-Christian who believe it is morally wrong to ever directly compare two women and say one is more attractive than the other.  But the Bible shows us this is not the case:

“Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.”

Genesis 29:17 (KJV)

We don’t know exactly what “tender eyed” meant but we know whatever it meant – it is was the opposite of “beautiful and well favoured” which is what Rachel was.

God literally told us in his word that Rachel was hot and Leah was not.

But in this area of rating beauty we as men need to practice discretion. God was not saying we should walk up to two women and say to one “You know she is so much better looking than you!”.  That is not the right time and place for a man to express such a thought.

Now if you were with your guy friends alone and you wanted to express the fact that you thought one sister was hot and the other was not there would be no sin in that. Again, so many things in the Christian life come down to time and place.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”

Ecclesiastes 3:1 (KJV)

What was the lesson those boys could have learned?

If that coach had understood what the true meaning of lust and lascivious are in the Bible he could have had a very different conversation with those boys.  Instead of scolding that boy for his God given male sexuality he could have helped him to understand it and channel it.

The right way to handle that scenario could have gone as follows.

After the comments the boy made about how sexy the jogger was the coach still could have pulled over and introduced the woman as his wife.  Of course, the boy would blush and feel embarrassed as he did in the actual story.

Then when the other boy asked him if he was going to “beat him up” for what he said he could have said “Why would I beat him up for having the same thoughts about my wife that I did when I first met her?” He could have been honest about his male sexuality instead of hiding and condemning himself and every other man for having the same nature.  Contrary to popular belief today – the masculine sexual nature is not equivalent to the sin nature. Has man’s masculine nature been corrupted by sin just as woman’s feminine nature has been corrupted by sin? Yes.  But in its original design the masculine nature is a beautiful nature.

The coach could have then helped the boy who made the comments about his wife’s body with these words:

“It is normal for you to have these thoughts about women.  God gave you these desires.  God is the one who designed your brain to give you pleasure signals when you see a beautiful woman like my wife.  But you need to channel that God given gift and don’t misuse it. It is one thing for you to privately say to me and other guys what you find attractive in various women’s bodies.  But it would have been very different if you had yelled out the window to that jogger – “He babe you got a nice ass!” as you go barreling by in your car. That would be disrespectful behavior toward women.

Also, I want to address the whole “do I want to beat him up” question you asked. It is one thing If you know that a woman is married or in a relationship with the man you are with then you need to be careful of your words with him about her.  He may be sensitive about men complimenting his wife’s beauty.  Now if he seems to invite you to tell him what you find attractive about his wife then it may be ok but still be careful.

But there is a lesson for you if you are the man whose woman that is. How can you be angry at another man for having the EXACT same thoughts you know you had about your girlfriend or wife? It is extremely hypocritical and illogical for you to do so.  Now if that man is flirting with your girlfriend or wife or acting like he wants to seduce them that is a whole other story.  You have a right to be angry then.  But even then, we don’t settle these kinds of differences with violence.  We use our words – not our fists.

I also want you to realize that while it is ok for you to exercise your God given male sexuality by enjoying the sight of and thoughts about beautiful women and even masturbation – it is not ok to have sex outside of marriage.  You need to guard your thoughts from being just sexually pleasurable to being sexually lustful.  You need to keep yourself from being in sexually tempting positions with girls that you date where you will be tempted to have sex outside of marriage.”

Now what I have just described would have been a healthy and Biblically based conversation about male sexuality.  Instead those two boys walked away feeling condemned for being aroused by that beautiful jogger.

Conclusion

Male sexuality has been assaulted in many ways since shortly after the birth of Christian asceticism during the life of the Apostles. While Christianity today has shook off many parts of Christian asceticism remnants of it remain in our Christian culture.  Not only that but our secular cultural which has been poisoned by feminism attacks male sexuality as well.  So, in way men are getting double teamed by Church leaders as well as secular feminist leaders.

I can’t tell you how encouraging it has been to me to receive emails from Pastors, teachers and Christian men and women from all over the world whose are eyes are finally being opened to false attacks on male sexuality.

Young men are actually joining in small groups to discuss my writings on this subject of male sexuality from a Biblical perspective.

As I said earlier in this article –  I do not agree with Donald Trump’s “locker-room talk” comments.  He was joking about trying to get women to commit adultery and sexual assault and neither of these topics should be joked about by men.

But this does not make all “locker-room talk” by men sinful.  Men certainly need to practice discretion with how they engage in this talk.  The men’s soccer team at Harvard did not practice discretion when the put their “Scouting Report” on a publicly available server where someone might find it.

But if men practice the Biblical principle of “time and place”(Ecclesiastes 3:1) and speak about women’s bodies amongest themselves in way that does not joke about sinful behavior(as Donald Trump did) then there is no sin in this.  No man should ever be ashamed of such speech when it is done in the right place and right time.

And for my Christian friends who will say “whatever you say in private you should be able to say in public” there is no Biblical principle or command that backs up such a statement. In fact it is wise and godly to hold our tongue on a host of issues and speak to people privately about certain things.  And from a marriage front I would bet each and every one of these people would not want their private sexually related speech with their spouses made public.  So this argument that just because you need to reserve certain speech for controlled settings that it is wrong has no Scriptural basis whatsoever.

I do believe though that these events with Donald Trump and the “Scouting Report” incident at Harvard provide us with a great opportunity to call out the misuse of the male sexual nature but at the same time make a strong defense of the male sexual nature as God intended it to be.

 

55 thoughts on “Why Christian men should NOT be ashamed of “locker-room talk”

  1. There was at least one recent story where a woman landed in a lot of hot water because she foolishly made a list of all of her previous sexual partners and ranked them based on things like attractiveness, penis size, seduction skills, sexual skills, and all, and then emailed it to a friend, who emailed it to another friend, and so on. So I think that the girls’ soccer team would have gotten in trouble for making a list rating the hotness of the boys’ soccer team. But I think that we would still agree that there’s a big difference between bragging about illicit sexual exploits and talking about members of the opposite sex and how attractive each of them is. One is wrong no matter what. The second should be done discreetly, so as to avoid causing discomfort and hurt feelings, but it’s not sinful in and of itself.

    As for the rest of the article–well said!

    Finally, I’m wondering if you have any thoughts on why men condemn other men for checking out their wives or girlfriends. Is it because they’re being extra-vigilant about men attempting to seduce their wives? Is it simply a means of being protective? Is it a projection of their own shame? Is it a combination of all three, or something completely different?

  2. Alex,

    Thank you for that story about that woman. I agree with you that if you got in really sexual things on the rankings like penis sizes and sexual moves it probably would have not have gone over well for the girls. But what I was trying to get across in that particular section was what if the girls did a ranking and it really was sexually or physically based? What if there was a ranking of the men of the soccer team by their personalities instead? Like “He is quiet, this one is funny, this one, this one tries to be funny but is not, this one is loud and talkative, this one likes to talk politics, this on likes to talk to art…” In other words what if there was a complete personality workup done on each guy. What if each girl on the soccer team was assigned to investigate a member of the male team and work up a complete personality profile on him. Then the girls ranked the men by their personalities? Would we hear the uproar? Maybe some but I doubt it would be near as much.

    My point is that our culture – both the feminist and Christian side heavily frowns on people being ranked for their physical appearance and especially from a sexual perspective. Yet men are heavily programmed to do this. Before I published this article I talked to several Christian women and asked them if it is typical for women when they sit around alone together talking about men for them to try and guess men’s penis sizes and talk about their other particular physical attributes and they all told me “No”. I was told that they might say something at a very high level like “he is a good looking man” but they don’t get into ranking his specific body parts. I was told by my daughter that a few girls at her junior high talk like that but they are rare. She said when these few girls do talk really physical like trying to guess a guy’s penis size most of the other girls get really uncomfortable and don’t know what to say or they will pretend to think it is funny and laugh. My point is this is not a normal or comfortable way for most women to approach the topic of boys and why they like them.

    Yet this this physical rating and I mean very specific rating of various physical attributes is very much how men operate. Now yes some men are shy and won’t actually verbalize their thoughts like other men. But they are thinking the same thing and smiling when other men vocalize it for them.

  3. Alex,

    Your Statement:

    “Finally, I’m wondering if you have any thoughts on why men condemn other men for checking out their wives or girlfriends. Is it because they’re being extra-vigilant about men attempting to seduce their wives? Is it simply a means of being protective? Is it a projection of their own shame? Is it a combination of all three, or something completely different?”

    I think it is part cultural and part instinctive and given by God. Men are protectors. For instance I might be ok with my wife wearing certain clothes for a night on the town on my arm but I would not be so comfortable with her wearing those same clothes going to a rough part of town where there are a lot of evil men where it might attract their attention.

    So we as men may naturally scan another man to determine if he presents a threat to our woman(whether it be our wife or our daughter). If some guy is acting in creepy way it is very much legitimate for us to go into protection mode.

    But then there is other side of this. If a man feels no threat from the men around him he should be able to freely display his wife’s beauty as in this Biblical story:

    “10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king,
    11 To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on.
    12 But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s commandment by his chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him.”

    Esther 1:10-12 (KJV)

    So here we have a man not getting angry for men checking out his wife’s beauty – but instead he was mad at his wife for not coming out and displaying her beauty!

    So my point is I think in certain circumstances men are absolutely right in being protective of their wives or girlfriends. But under normal conditions I think when a man is fearful of ever allowing his wife to display her beauty or he gets upset with other men merely taking tasteful glances of his wife the problem is with him and not those men.

    It could be one of several things. One is that he has been conditioned to believe he should be the only one who enjoys his wife’s beauty. Another is that he is very insecure and thinks he might loose her to another man. And yet another is because he thinks it will make his wife happy. Some women get a thrill out of their husbands being very jealous of them. So if he gets mad at another man checking them out she is going to love it. Still other women have religious belief that no man may check them out except their husband. So by him getting angry at another man for this he is reinforcing his wife’s beliefs.

    So yes there is an instinctive side of this that I think is God given to men in regard to protecting their women. But many men take it too far and go from the instinctual side to the overly protective side.

    Just like I said in the example in the post – how can any man get upset at another man for checking out his wife or girlfriend and having the exact same thoughts he did when he first saw her? It is very hypocritical in my view for any man to treat other men in such a way.

  4. Thanks for your comments on why some men get upset about other men looking at their wives!

    As for your other comment, I do agree that it’s considered much more acceptable to rate people on personality than it is on looks. There might have been some issues if the list was made public and some of the boys on it got very negative ratings, but I don’t think that it would have been as controversial as a list ranking men or women on their physical appearance.

    I’d also agree that it’s not right to police anyone’s private thoughts or to try to police private conversations. If a conversation is kept private, then it’s not meant to be indiscreet or hurt anyone. And if one person does say something very wrong in the course of the conversation, then it’s up to the other people invovled to address it, not for eavesdroppers to do so. (Also, I looked it up this morning, and the story that I referred to was about a Duke alumna who wrote a mock senior thesis that she shared with one friend on her sexual escapades and including graphs and pie charts ranking their various, er, skills and attributes. The men on the list were, understandably, pretty offended because the list revealed a lot of private information, some of it unflattering, and she used their real names and in some cases their pictures.)

    Finally, I agree that the main issue here is one of discretion, not content. The content in and of itself was probably fine. But it shouldn’t have been written up in a place where it could be accessed by so many people and eventually distributed to a wider audience, including the people ranked. It’s one thing to comment privately on another person’s attractiveness or lack thereof. It’s another thing entirely to say those things to another person’s face. While
    The soccer team obviously didn’t think that this would get back to the people ranked, they did exercise a severe lack of judgment by compiling this list in the place and manner that they did, and I’d say that they are partially responsible for it getting out. All in all, this is an incident that shows the value of discretion, and it should be treated that way.

  5. Alex,

    I agree with you that this incident does show the need for discretion. I alluded to this in the post that the men of the soccer team made a bad judgement call by using google groups to house the document. It should have been kept on a private server or private email just for them alone.

    But lets imagine a different scenario. What if the team had kept this document locked. It was only emailed with a password so you had to have that to open the document. They took all the precautions necessary to keep their private discussions about the women private. Then let’s say that a “white knight” on the team who decided it was morally wrong for these men to ranking these women sexually took the document, removed the password and sent it to Harvard Crimson(news site).

    Would the reaction by the Harvard Crimson or the general public have been any different? I can assure it would not have been any different. In fact there was little to any mention of their failure to secure the document – the entire focus was on the content. “How could men rank women this way and objectify women this way” This was the entire center of the rage directed at these young men. This as not about their indiscretion – this was rage directed at masculine sexuality.

    In a way it was yet another way of imposing control over the thoughts of others. Something that liberals and feminists excel at. This is why men everywhere need to stand up against the misandry that was so blatantly on display in reactions to the Scouting Report incident.

  6. I agree. I also agree that in this case, it was in the best interests of everyone (including the young women ranked in the document) that it not be made public. We really don’t need to know everything that everyone thinks about us. Are there cases where it is necessary? Yes. But there are many cases where it is not. I’m reminded of a moment in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis where Lucy has the opportunity to cast a spell to find out what her friends really think of her. Of course, she overhears a conversation between two of her friends where they’re discussing her faults. And the implication is that this spell is a trap and a deceit, even though it reveals some truth. Everyone of us has faults that will occasionally annoy those around us, most especially those closest to us. We don’t need to know every negative thought that everyone has about us (or, for that matter, every sexual thought that someone has about us) because those thoughts aren’t representative of all that we are or all that anyone thinks of us. And sometimes, what we don’t know actually can’t hurt us.

  7. I agree with some of the points you have. However, in my experience, locker room talk goes hand in hand with hookup culture. “Suzy’s a 10, I’d love to bang her,” that kind of stuff. They’re not talking about after marriage… So while I agree that expressing how attractive you find certain women isn’t inherently sinful, I do think you have to address the fact that Christian men can’t get sucked into hookup culture when doing so. Sometimes it’s appropriate to say “that’s going too far.”

    Also, it’s easy for locker room talk to spill over into catcalling and unwanted advances on women, if you’re not careful. You sort of addressed that by condemning Trumpian locker room talk, but it seems to me that there’s a blurry grey area between the two.

  8. Jcromeskk,

    I respectfully disagree with you that locker room talk must go hand in hand with the hookup culture from a Christian perspective. For non-Christian men who engage in locker-room talk they may easily get into the type of language you discuss because they don’t believe it is wrong to have sex outside of marriage.

    I would even disagree with you that this statement is wrong for a Christian young man to make “Suzy’s a 10, I’d love to bang her”. The truth is he may feel she has perfect body and he would love to have sex with her. Neither of those sentiments are sinful for a man to feel. But saying “I would love to bang her”, and saying “I am going to bang her”(as in I am going seduce her into sex outside of marriage) are two VERY different things.

    I do believe not believe there is a “blurry grey area between the two”(wrong locker-room talk and right locker-room talk) but rather a solid wall between the two types of talk.

    We will find quiet often in life that the dividing line between whether something is right or wrong comes down just a one or two simple things. For instance if I am on a trip and I say to male friends “I can’t wait to get home and bang Suzie” and Suzie happens to be my wife their is no sin that statement. If however I say the same thing and I am not married to Suzie then it becomes sin. These things are actually much simpler that we make them out to be.

    In fact I would argue the statement “I can’t wait to bang Suzie” could be perfectly righteous if a man was saying this to his best man at his bachelor party and he is referring to his bride whom he will marry in a couple days.

  9. “I would love to bang her” is not synonymous with “I AM going to bang her, or work to try and bang her”. I would say that a guy, though it is somewhat coarse language, is not in error for such a statement because it’s merely fantasy. It’s like saying “oh man, I’d jack that guys motorcycle right now if I could!” because you see a guy on a slick bike – its not a statement based in reality, but is made with no real intent beyond “that would be cool”. Much like the argument made for fantasizing about a model or even the cutie one pew over, it’s not a statement of intent, its just guys being guys. Just my two cents.

  10. i have no issue with locker talk, i mean both sexes do it. My only issue is one the whole grab them by their privates comment made by trump- like you can just go up to a random woman and grab her by woman parts. I had a guys try to do that to me in high school and in college- its not cute or funny and when you tell them stop that wanna call you names. I am not that kinda of girl.

  11. Sapphire,

    You know often women call men pigs simply for having sexual thoughts or glancing at women’s bodies or talking about women’s bodies(amongest other men). But what you have described – a man randomly grabbing a woman in that way IS the very definition of a man being a pig. I would never tolerate my sons acting in such a way and neither should anyone else.

    As I said in this post – I do not defend Trump’s comment – even he was only joking as that is not something we should joke about.

  12. It may be just your “2 cents” but it just so happens to be 100% correct 😊
    I’ve always said that the Christian church with its rampant and hostile anti-sexuality has completely messed up so many men’s lives by equating lust with sexual desire, or merely to think sexual thoughts about attractive women is a sin worthy of hell fire
    The truth of the matter is it is completely normal, healthy and non sinful to look upon women and feel sexual stirrings and longings…..where it becomes sin is with INTENT….until a Christian decides that he’s actually going to purposely have sex with a married woman, he actually hasn’t sinned as its all sexual fantasy. ….the key word here is INTENT which agrees with the spirit behind the law
    Merely wanting to “bang” some hot woman is not INTENT it’s healthy desire

    That’s my 3 cents lol

  13. Amen shredifier. It is truly about the INTENT of the heart.

    “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

    Hebrews 4:12 (KJV)

    We are sinning when we have evil thoughts and intents. When we think about murdering someone or intend to murder them or when we think about committing fornication or intend to commit fornication. That is when we have sinned. But simply thinking about sex or fantasizes about sex is not sin. It is when we begin think and plan how we might have sex outside of marriage that we have wondered into sin.

  14. shredifier that is 100% correct. bgr I am with you, but want to add one distinction. The bible is crystal clear that being _tempted_ is not sin. A man who sees a married woman and who is even foolish enough to be tempted by committing adultery with her, has NOT sinned until he _decides_ to do it. If he decides to, then at that point he is guilty of sinning in his heart, whether the action ever comes to pass or not. He can think about it all he wants (and it would be dangerous and foolish to allow himself to), but the moment of sin occurs when he decides, not when he is tempted. The moment of sin occurs when he has failed the temptation. With all that said, I agree with you that the heart intent is what is critically important, so don’t think I am disagreeing with that in any way.

    A man could see a diamond ring he wishes he had. He could think about and even fantasize about stealing it and giving it to his wife, but he has NOT sinned until he _decides_ to steal it, which is then failing the temptation in his heart. Does this mean it is wise to be thinking about it or fantasizing about it? Absolutely not, but it is not sin yet.

    I am not disputing that wiser is the man who knows the Lord’s ways and keeps himself from temptation in the first place…

  15. Anonymous,

    I agree that just as sexual arousal and sexual fantasy are not lust, neither is being tempted to sin – i.e. have sex outside of marriage(whether it is fornication with a single woman or adultery with a married woman). I also agree with you that the wise man will not allow himself to dwell on tempting thoughts as they can over time move from mere temptation to actual lust(the desire to commit that sin) even if he never brings his plans to fruition.

    However, I have discussed in some of my dating articles that Christians are warned against purposefully putting themselves in tempting positions:

    “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”

    Romans 13:14 (KJV)

    What I have said is this. The more realistic the possibility of sexual relations with a woman are, the more likely we will be tempted to try and have extra-marital sexual relations with her. That temptation can quickly turn to lust and then lust can quickly turn to fornication.

    We see it all the time in the movies and TV shows where men take their girl friends to some secluded – yet “romantic” overview of some place. When a young man does this I believe this is the very definition of making provision for the flesh. He is putting himself in a position that his temptation which is already present will easily turn to lust and could quickly turn into actual fornication.

    That is why as “liberal” as I am accused of being with porn – on the other side I am uber conservative when it comes to dating because that is where I believe the true temptation to sin is. Very rarely does a random man and woman just find themselves having sex. There had to be a some previous emotional relational relationship between the two(no matter how short it was) before they will find themselves in the act of fornication. The exception to this would be a man seeking out a prostitute – but in that case he was tempted to do it, then he lusted(planned how he would do it) and then he made provision for his flesh(by seeking out a prostitute) and ultimately he commits fornication by having sexual relations with her.

    My point in all this is this – While I agree with you that being tempted to sin is not the same as lusting I believe that we as Christians should not place ourselves in positions where we may find temptation quickly turning to lust and lust quickly turning to fornication or adultery. We need to establish boundaries for ourselves that will keep our temptations in check make it harder for our temptation to convert to lust and fornication.

  16. @BGR,

    My husband and I were discussing some of your posts on lust being coveting this morning, including this one, and we ended up talking a lot about Matthew 5:27-28. One of the conclusions that we came to, especially after looking at Old Testament law on adultery, was that part of what what Jesus was actually doing that verse was reminding the Jews of the importance of the intention behind their actions and that attempts to sin, whether they filled or succeeded, were still sin. The Old Testament law makes a pretty clear distinction between rape and fornication and adultery and fornication, so it seems that both people have to consent for a full act of fornication or adultery to occur. But a man might very well decide to seduce a married woman, plan out his seduction, get closer to her, make a move, and then get rejected. But what Jesus seems to be saying is that a man who attempts adultery and gets rejected is just as guilty as a man who attempts adultery and succeeds. If he attempts it and she rejects him, then she’s the only reason that adultery didn’t occur, so she’s the only one not committing a sin in that scenario.

  17. I have a question – I’ve seen fornication defined as unmarried sex. Where in the OT is fornication defined? What does the OT have to say about fornication? Probably the only example of “premarital sex” included in the bible is in Exodus 22:16-17 – note that no sin is mentioned in these two verses. God’s direction is that they should marry unless the father refuses to give her to him.

  18. Anonymous,

    See my article https://biblicalgenderroles.com/what-is-fornication/ for more detail on fornication in the Bible.

    The Bible rarely says “this is that”. Most words in the Bible are defined both by a combination of what we know historically they were understood to mean and also the context of how they are used in the Bible. For instance a lot of egalitarians will take the Hebrew phrase “ezer kenegdo” which is translated as “help meet” in Genesis 2:18 and try and point to other uses of it in the Old Testament when it sometimes(not always) refers to God helping Israel to say it refers to a strong helper – someone in a superior position who helps a weaker person.

    However we must let the Bible define words – and we can see throughout the Scripture that God tells us man’s “ezer kenegdo” is in fact in a subordinate helper position to man.

    The same goes for fornication. We can tell what fornication is by the context of how it is used in the Scriptures. It covers all sex outside of marriage where adultery is a specific type of fornication that only occurs when a married woman sleeps with a man other than her husband – then they are both guilty of adultery(in the physical sexual sense of the word).

    I believe the easiest verse in the Bible which proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that all sex outside of marriage is sin is this one:

    “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”

    Hebrews 13:4 (KJV)

    The only sexual relations that God honors is that which occurs in marriage. Every other form of sexual relations that occur outside of marriage are by definition fornication and could also be adultery if the woman is married.

    “16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife.
    17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.”

    Exodus 22:15-17 (KJV)

    Your Statement:

    “God’s direction is that they should marry unless the father refuses to give her to him.”

    Here is the key – why would her father possibly refuse? Because the man has taken that which did not belong to him. The virgin daughter belonged to her father. So basically a man who seduced another man’s daughter had committed a property crime against him – theft of property. This is why he had to pay the bride price even if the father refused because he violated another man’s property. In this way seducing a man’s daughter was similar to adultery. It was a violation of another man’s property. It was obviously not a serious as adultery – but it was still theft which is a sin.

    If you read my site I make it clear I don’t believe wedding ceremonies and all these other things are necessary for marriage. But marriage cannot happen without proper consent of the parties involved. If a woman is a divorced or widowed she can give her own consent to marriage. But a virgin daughter still living her father’s home cannot give her own consent – only her father can approve this. I realize our legal system does not work that way today – but from a spiritual perspective that is God’s way.

  19. Unmarried sex is an oxymoron lol
    I take a different position on this whole topic that the act of sexual Intercourse IS marriage so there’s no such thing as “pre-marital sex”
    And certainly from my word study of fornication and it’s occurrences in the scriptures it’s very hard if not possible to make a case that fornication = premarital sex
    I welcome those who share a different opinion than me 😊 but it’s occurrence in Matthew 19:9 is very convincing that fornication CAN’T be sex before marriage because it’s talking about a couple already married and presumably enjoying sex so how is it possible to commit sex before marriage i.e fornication if you’re already married

  20. Just an addendum to my post
    It’s impossible to define what fornication is unless one is able to define HOW someone is to get married….once you define HOW one gets biblically married (which differs from how the world says) then you’re closer to working out the truth

  21. Shredifier,

    I think a more accurate definition for fornication would “sexual immorality”. Matthew 19:9 simply demonstrates that adultery is a type of fornication which is why a man could divorce his wife for fornication(adultery). We have some who comment here who believe that a man actually can’t divorce his wife for adultery – but that Matthew 19:9 only applies to a bethrothed woman having sex with another man before she consummated her marriage to her husband.

    But in my opinion and from my studies this is a misunderstanding of fornication. Adultery is a type of fornication, but there are many other types of fornication. When we understand that fornication simply means “sexual immorality” then we understand it encompasses all sexual sins. That is why I believe that fornication in marriage includes not only adultery but also sexual defrauding by one spouse toward the other. Any sexually related sin is a sin of fornication.

    As to your “how do define Biblical marriage” that is when a man and woman consent to marriage(they can do this in private or public) and then with the understanding that they have made this covenant they have sex.

    “16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife.
    17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.”

    Exodus 22:16-17 (KJV)

    Notice the order from Exodus 22:16-17:

    1. Man entices woman a virgin not betrothed to have sex with him.

    2. They are not married yet simply by this act of sex – otherwise God would have not have told him that he had to “endow her to be his wife”. How is what this man did not an act of pre-marital sex?

    3. The father had the final say. If a man seduced a woman who was virgin living in her father’s home he could not marry her without the father’s permission.

    So I see here a clear case of pre-marital sex here in Exodus – do you not see this? Also notice this is a property crime against the father. Sure it is not treated as serious as adultery – but the fact that he has to pay a hefty penalty and he may not even get to marry her says a lot.

    Also lets look at Hebrews:

    “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”

    Hebrews 13:4 (KJV)

    God says the only sex he honor is sex within the marriage covenant. So how can a man and woman have sex before they have made a covenant of marriage with each other(again this could be privately) without it being considered pre-marital sex?

    Again Exodus 22:16-17 shows pre-marital sex BEFORE the man endows a woman to be his wife.

    I would be interested in your take on both Exodus 22:16-17 and Hebrews 13:4.

  22. Shredifier,
    Your Statement:

    “Unmarried sex is an oxymoron”

    Another question I thought of for your based on this statement.

    When a man has sex with a prostitute is he then married to her? Does the Bible support such a notion? I don’t see that anywhere in Scripture.

    I look forward to you answers but I come at this from the opposite view of you I think(unless I am misunderstanding you). Only sex which occurs AFTER a marriage covenant has been made between a man and woman is by definition “married” sex. All other sex is fornication or adultery.

  23. When a man has sex with a prostitute is he then married to her?…..According to the scriptures YES!! check out 1st Corinthians 6:16-18 this is why Paul councils so strongly against uniting with a wore because you become ONE FLESH with her, notice that the ONE FLESH symbolism is the exact type when it refers to the original marriage covenant in Genesis 2
    With God ALL sex is a “marriage” the trick is to indulge in only the kind that HE approves of
    And like I said before until Christians learn what constitutes biblical marriage they will never understand what constitutes fornication….the reason for this is the bible supports marriage but it is entirely absent in telling couples HOW to get married, the bible might tell us it’s in our best interest to GET MARRIED but nowhere does the scriptures tell us HOW to get married in the first place
    I believe your definition BGR supports the biblical model….and I would suggest that the modern Western concept of marriage requiring a marriage certificate or licence, or marriage needing a priest to officiate/preside over, or marriages needing the States approval are ALL unbiblical and not supported by scripture…..since my maxim is true, any preacher/teacher condemning couples who cohabit together by claiming they are fornication are LIARS and don’t have a biblical mandate to condemn them

  24. Shredifier,

    I am feeling a bit of dejavu like we have had this conversation before. I will make sure I record my answers to you in a permenant page in my “Bible questions and answers” section in my top menu.

    With all due respect – I believe you are misinterpreting Paul’s words about men engaging in sex with prostitutes.

    “15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. 16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.”

    1 Corinthians 6:15-18 (KJV)

    Paul is not saying they are married to a prostitute when they have sex with her and there is no such concept taught in the Scriptures. He is saying they are making a mockery of God’s design of sex. He alludes back to the Garden of Eden when God created man, woman, and sex. He created sex for marriage – not for people to go around and casually have sex with one another or for people to pay for sex with prostitutes.

    All sex does NOT equal marriage – but God wants all sex to occur within a marriage covenant.

    Here are several questions I have for you as to your theory that “With God ALL sex is a “marriage”:

    1. Exodus 22:16-17 tells us a man seduces a woman BEFORE marriage and then God requires that he attempt to make her his wife unless her father disapproves. So here sex does not equal marriage – but instead requires marriage if the father so desires it.

    2. Hebrews 13:4 tells us sex in “marriage” is the only sex God honors. But fornicators and adulterers God will judge. By your theory of “with God all sex is “marriage”” how would that make sense? Clearly God is distinguishing between sex that occurs within marriage and sex that occurs outside of marriage.

    3. In your theory about a man becoming married to a prostitute which of her customers is her husband? Biblically speaking a woman can only have one living husband(Romans 7:2). But God says that if a woman sleeps with any man other than her husband while he lives she shall be called an adulteress(Romans 7:3). So only her first customer by your theory would be her husband and not any of her other customers.

    I don’t disagree with you that people do not need a state marriage license, or some fancy ceremony with a crowd of witnesses to be married. Where I disagree with you is that sex = marriage. A marriage covenant between a man and woman equals marriage.

    Please answer these questions I have given you – I am curious as to your answers.

  25. Shredifier,

    Here is another passage for you to meditate on:

    “14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. 15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. 16 For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.”
    Malachi 2:14-16 (KJV)

    This passage is speaking of men who were wrongly divorcing their wives. God only allows men to divorce their wives for sexual immorality or abandonment. These men were divorcing their wives simply because they did not get along with them or because they wanted to marry a heathen wife who wanted nothing to do with their Jewish wife. The point here for our discussion though is that God refers here to marriage a covenant relationship between a man and woman. A covenant is something that two parties consciously enter into. It does not just happen.

    So this is why I believe it is Biblically false to say that marriage = sex. Marriage requires a consciously made covenant between a man and a woman. It may be as simple as the man saying to the woman “I take you as my wife” and the woman saying “I take you as my husband” but it must be a conscious decision.

    So in regard to your comments about couples living together. If the couple has made a covenant of marriage – even as simple as the one I just gave then they are married and are not living in sin. But if a couple is simply living together and having sex and there is no conscious covenant of marriage between them then they are by definition fornicating and sinning against God.

  26. bgr, like you, I don’t agree that marriage = sex, and I agree that there are a lot of examples in scripture that support this.

    I do think that perhaps there is something deeper going on though. “whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” doesn’t exactly cover premarital sex. One concern I always have is putting a false yoke that scripture does not specify is the case. I always wonder why with all the rules given in Lev 18 about sex, why is there nothing about premarital sex, and wouldn’t the section have been a whole lot easier to just say “you must only have sex with your wife or wives”? The one example of premarital sex we are given does indeed show that the man took from the father, and he did have to make good by paying the bride price, but no sin is mentioned. I have a feeling that sin was not committed here. Is the situation where passion went too far a case of whore mongering? I don’t think so. I think the intentions are important. It is clear that God’s wish for this situation is a marriage covenant, but the father is allowed to override that if he wishes.

    Am I arguing for premarital sex? Absolutely not, but the bible does not specifically say that it is sin either for some reason when it could have easily. Obviously I think He prefers it when people marry first. Where I am going with this is that a marriage covenant is much more involved than sex alone, and that it is God’s wish that premarital sex is followed up with a marriage covenant where both husband and wife are honored. A husband who is responsible for his wife, loves her and takes care of her. A wife who is responsible to her husband, who obeys and follows him.

    I see hookup culture as mentioned above as a form of whore mongering. Men engaging in it can probably be considered whoremongers – while they may not be paying – there is likely deception that they have some intention of offering the responsibilities of marriage. There is why hookup culture is so damaging to women, and a huge mistake for them.

    Curiously, do you think Ruth had sex (of some type) with Boaz? If so, was it sin?

  27. anonymous,

    Your Statement:

    “I do think that perhaps there is something deeper going on though. “whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” doesn’t exactly cover premarital sex. One concern I always have is putting a false yoke that scripture does not specify is the case.”

    You are concentrating on the second part of Hebrews 13:4 while neglecting the first half:

    Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”

    God is literally comparing and contrasting sexual relations. Sexual relations in marriage are the only sexual relations between persons God honors. Do you see this differently? Sexual relations between persons are by definition a moral act. They are either honorable or not honorable. There is not some type of sexual relations that are in some neutral category. They are either legitimate or not. Sinful or not.

    Hebrews 13:4 is literally the “catch all” for God’s view on sex. Any sexual relations between persons that do not occur in marriage are by definition sinful. Are you saying God left some gray area in Hebrews 13:4 between marital sexual relations and fornication? I don’t see any daylight there.

    I also disagree with you that Exodus 22:16-17 does not condemn premarital sex. You don’t have to see the word “sin” there to know it is sin by the context. The daughter belonged to her father and that man who seduced her literally engaged in theft. He stole another man’s property. That is why he had to pay a huge penalty for doing it and he was required to marry her if her father consented to it. This was punishment against the man. You can’t just sleep with a man’s daughter. If you do there is a penalty to pay.

    Check out this passage:

    “If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.”

    Exodus 22:1

    So since the word “sin” is not mentioned in that passage where a man had to make restitution for stealing a man’s ox or sheep does this mean his act was not sinful? Of course it was. Theft is ALWAYS sin.

    In the same way when a man has sex with a woman who is not his wife – he is engaging in theft. It is a sin against the woman’s father and a sin against God.

    So yes I believe the Bible is crystal clear between Exodus 22:16-17 calling premarital sex theft calling for restitution to be made and Hebrews 13:4 where God says the only sexual relations he honors are those in the marriage bed the Bible does in fact condemn pre-marital sex.

    Your Statement:

    “Where I am going with this is that a marriage covenant is much more involved than sex alone, and that it is God’s wish that premarital sex is followed up with a marriage covenant where both husband and wife are honored.”

    It is not simply God’s “wish” or “preference” that people do not engage in sex outside of marriage. Again Hebrews 13:4 makes it clear the only sex God honors is that which is in marriage.

    I think the reason we have such a light view of pre-marital sex today is because of birth control. Before that advent of birth control every time a couple had sex there was the the possibility of creating an illegitimate child which would have had grave consequences for the woman and the man as well.

    Also a woman’s virginity in the Scriptures and saving that for her husband is symbol of purity in the Scriptures. The woman virginity was a gift to her husband once he had attained her from her father and then they consummated their marriage.

    You say God prefers that sex outside of marriage(pre-marital sex) be followed up with marriage. But what if it is not? Where does that leave the man and the woman? The woman has lost her virginity and she can never give that to the man she will eventually marry. The man who has sex with her has robbed or engaged in theft against the man she would eventually marry.

    I am sorry anonymous but I am passionate on this one. Pre-marital sex is THEFT. It is theft against the father of the woman, it is theft against her future husband and it is a violation of God’s design for sex which is why pregnancy is possible from the very first sexual encounter and God never ever intended for children to be born out of wedlock.

  28. No one here is disputing that *marriage is honorable in all and the bed undefiled* that much is a given….what we dispute is WHEN is a person married? and WHAT makes a person married?
    Me suspects that every time that the word “marriage” or “married” occurs in the scripture you and others reinterpret that in light of the Western concept of marriage instead of defining it the way God defines it….for e.g Isaac taking Rebekah into his tent and having sex with her constituted a real and legitimate “marriage” yet there were no witnesses, no priest, no wedding and no marriage certificate. ….if Isaac did that today 99% of Christians today would accuse him of fornication
    My argument is simply this, the only sex that God approves of is when it occurs during marriage but we best define WHAT and HOW someone gets married before we get on our high horse and condemn others for practicing pre marital sex when they arnt
    In my view any couple today living together in a committed relationship i.e cohabitation (key word here COMMITED) are not sinning, they are in fact married

    You asked me before if every time a man sleeps with a whore is he married to just the first one or all of them? My answer is he actually becomes married to ALL OF THEM……you say how can that be possible? It’s easy really, I defined one flesh/marriage by how the scriptures define it…..you defined it with the Western concept of marriage with it needing a certificate or a licence or a ring or a commitment or a priest or justice of the peace…..once you define marriage that way it becomes RIDICULOUS to believe that sex=marriage, but once you define one flesh the way the BIBLE DEFINES IT you realize why God is so against what’s called illigitimate sex because when you engage in sexual Intercourse with a woman you are joined to her whether she was yours for the taking or not
    In saying all this I DO NOT approve of hook up culture at all….it is destructive to both parties involved and is indeed sinful
    I hope you don’t see me as your enemy BGR or giving you a hard time…..it find your wisdom and insight into the scriptures invaluable, especially in regards to lust and porn, and you have helped me immensely
    May God continue to richly bless you and your work here ☺

  29. Shredifier,

    Your Statement:

    “I hope you don’t see me as your enemy BGR or giving you a hard time”

    I don’t see you as my enemy at all 🙂 There are lots of people on here who disagree with me on somethings while agreeing with me on others(AnnaMS is good example). As long as we all keep it civil and attack the argument and not the person making the argument I am all for good discussion.

    Your Statement:

    “You asked me before if every time a man sleeps with a whore is he married to just the first one or all of them? My answer is he actually becomes married to ALL OF THEM……you say how can that be possible?”

    That was not my question. Remember marriage goes both ways – it is between a man and woman. While a man can be married to multiple women – in God’s design a woman can only be married to one man at a time. So a prostitute becomes married to each man she sleeps with – which one is her husband? There in lies your problem.

    Your Statement:

    “Me suspects that every time that the word “marriage” or “married” occurs in the scripture you and others reinterpret that in light of the Western concept of marriage instead of defining it the way God defines it….for e.g Isaac taking Rebekah into his tent and having sex with her constituted a real and legitimate “marriage” yet there were no witnesses, no priest, no wedding and no marriage certificate. ….if Isaac did that today 99% of Christians today would accuse him of fornication”

    Shredifier – I have never disagreed with you brother that you don’t need witnesses, nor priest nor a wedding certificate. But you miss something very important parts of this story.

    In Genesis 24 we read that Abraham knowing he was getting old and ready to die sent his eldest servant back to his families land to get a wife for his son Issac. So Issac knows the woman that comes back with this servant will be his wife. Then the servant meets Rebekah and her brother Laban who was in charge of her(most likely because their father had died). The brother as her closest male relative gave direct permission for this woman to be given to Issac.

    “Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master’s son’s wife, as the Lord hath spoken.”

    Genesis 24:51 (KJV)

    So then Jacob sees Rebekah – knows she will be his wife and takes her into the tent to consummate their marriage. The point is it was understood before he laid a finger on that woman that she would be his wife. She was rightly attained from Laban her brother. I have always stated marriage is indeed a family affair and it is a covenant relationship.

    So let’s not waste time argueing about what we agree on Shredifier.

    Where we disagree and you have yet to answer me is this. I have asked you time and time again to answer this question and you never respond.

    Do you believe a man and woman must acknowledge one another as their husband and wife before having sex? Even if no one else is there and it is just them. It could be as easy as “I take you as my husband and I take you as my wife”? Marriage my friend – is a covenant relationship. Yes sex would seal the covenant – but it was known before hand that they were going to be man and wife.

    For instance it was common in middle eastern marriages that the Bride and Groom would have sex at the place of the wedding ceremony before they took their vows. After they had sex then they would make their vows and enjoy the reception. But it was known before they entered that bed chamber that they would become husband and wife.

    But what you seem to be suggesting is that a couple can just casually have sex and then they are just husband and wife with neither one of them acknowledging that or entering into a covenant with one another. The Bible does not support such a notion.

    But please answer the question above I have been trying to get you to answer.

  30. Is there truly any difference between those who by mutual consent agree to be in a serious relationship with each other with ALL that is implied, and those who “use the words” husband and wife before they sleep together?
    We also happen to live in the 21st century where a fathers consent is neither required or sought out for by 99% of women living in the West
    It seems to me with all the evidence I’ve presented that the lines between what you call casual sex and those who choose to live in a “marriage state” whether they actually use the words husband/wife to each other, are very blurred
    Is there really any REAL difference between a couple who live faithfully together for many years/decades even though they don’t see themselves as husband and wife, and those who get a divorce after 6 months even though they SAW themselves as husband and wife via a legal marriage
    It seems to me that the proof of who is genuinely married is in the pudding…..no one, unless mutually agreed upon beforehand, agrees to enter into a serious relationship with someone with the absolute conviction that it will end and they will move on with other people., yet they might find the terms “husband and wife” too constricting, even though technically that’s what they are
    I guess what I’m trying to say, is that it is extremely difficult to judge and determine who is having casual sex, from those who are in serious relationships YET THEY never made a direct commitment to each other by VERBALISING the words husband and wife together when they first met

  31. >You are concentrating on the second part of Hebrews 13:4 while neglecting the first half:
    >“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled
    >Sexual relations in marriage are the only sexual relations between persons God honors.
    >Do you see this differently?

    I do somewhat. I agree that sex in marriage is what God honors, but I’m not certain that that means that ALL sex outside marriage is sin, because this isn’t what it says. It could have easily said that, but it doesn’t. The first part of the verse is talking about marriage, and what it says is true, but the second part discusses two specific situations that will be judged.

    >There is not some type of sexual relations that are in some neutral category.

    What is your take on Ruth? She got gussied up and uncovered his feet? Not married. Then they got married. She was a widow, no longer under he father’s care, no longer under her husband’s authority.

    >So since the word “sin” is not mentioned in that passage where a man had to make restitution
    >for stealing a man’s ox or sheep does this mean his act was not sinful? Of course it was. Theft is
    >ALWAYS sin.

    Theft is always sin because we have it spelled out plainly in other places in the bible. This is more complicated. Look at Exo 22:16-17 and how it is worded. The *big deal* is that she is not pledged to be married. Whoremongering is not mentioned. Punishment is not mentioned. Sin is not mentioned. Was the usual punishment for theft that you simply pay for what you stole? No. Usually there is punishment or multiple times payment. This situation is a different one.

    >I think the reason we have such a light view of pre-marital sex today is because of birth control.

    I want to be clear; I don’t think premarital sex is no big deal, quite to the contrary, I see it as a huge deal. I see it as a thing that if passions went too far then they should marry. The difference is that I am not convinced the bible says it is sin if this happens.

    I hear what you are saying bgr, and I agree with much of it. The problem I have is that when one scripture verse is used to say something is sin, when that verse does not state that, and there are other things in scripture that seem to go against that interpretation, I am not convinced. In ways this is not unlike the assumptions made about Matthew 5:26-27. If God feels this way, why is it not in His law? Is the law not perfect? Is this not a big deal worth mentioning? Could He have a different feeling on the matter?

  32. This debate about “locker room talk” reminded me of an article I saw in a newspaper when the first series of the UK television series “Poldark” came out. The titular character was played by Aidan Turner, and one scene became famous for his topless scything in the field, arousing many middle-aged women. This article in particular carried a full-page picture of Turner, with labels attached to different parts of his body (Arms, Torso, Hair etc.) explaining exactly why each body part made him a perfect human specimen.

    When I first saw it (about a year ago now?), I felt a little awkward about these (female) journalists objectifying Turner, and the actor himself has spoken out about wanting to be taken seriously, not just seen as a sexy thing. I remember thinking, “If the male journalists did something like this to his female co-star – Eleanor Tomlinson, who plays Poldark’s wife Demelza – there would be an outrage.”

    Your blog implies (though I may be wrong) that you wouldn’t mind too much if you found out men were rating Tomlinson based on her body parts. But what about women rating Turner? Is it Biblically acceptable for a man to objectify a woman, but not acceptable for a woman to objectify a man? Isn’t there a double standard here? If men and women ought to give themselves to each other in marital sex, doesn’t that indicate that women can be turned on in the same way that men can? I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on this.

  33. Also, I thought it might be good for you to one day write an article about children’s toys. (When you’re able to, of course. I don’t want to put you under unnecessary stress.) For years, toy vehicles and war games have been advertised to boys, while baby dolls and Disney Princess merchandise have been advertised to girls. How do you feel about the “genderfication” of toys? Is it a practice you accept or advocate?

    Would it ever be okay for a girl to play with cars, or for a boy to play with dolls? Does the question of toys even matter that much? Is it harmless fun that doesn’t have a major impact on their lives? Or does it risk confusing gender roles, so that girls start wanting to join the military and boys start wanting to be stay-at-home dads (both of which I think you would disapprove of)?

  34. Rose,

    Your Statement:

    “Your blog implies (though I may be wrong) that you wouldn’t mind too much if you found out men were rating Tomlinson based on her body parts. But what about women rating Turner? Is it Biblically acceptable for a man to objectify a woman, but not acceptable for a woman to objectify a man? Isn’t there a double standard here? If men and women ought to give themselves to each other in marital sex, doesn’t that indicate that women can be turned on in the same way that men can? I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on this.”

    Is it acceptable for women to recognize men for the potential sexual function or the pleasure that their form brings to the eyes of a woman(objectify them)? It is absolutely fine. Why would it be wrong? Women can find certain physical traits in men attractive in the same way that men do.

    What I have said in many places on this blog is not that this is wrong – but it is less common in women for them to rate men in this way. Sure many women might say “he is a nice looking guy”. I am not denying that – most will. And I am not saying looks don’t matter to women because I know they do. But they have much less weight with most women – while yes there are some women for whom the physical appeal is just as important as it is to man. Some women may actually say things like “hey he has a nice butt, great pecks” and some may even say things like “I bet he has big package”. But the truth is those women are the rare ones. Most women do no operate this way. But if they do there is no sin in this.

  35. Rose,

    One other comment I wanted to make in regard to his statement you made:

    “Is it Biblically acceptable for a man to objectify a woman, but not acceptable for a woman to objectify a man?”

    I think we can see very clearly from the changes in our culture due to feminism’s influence over the last century that our culture is trying to get men to act more feminine in their sexuality(approach sex more from an emotional and relational perspective) and they want women to act more masculine in their sexuality(approach sex from a more physical perspective as men do). In essence we are trying to re-program men and women. So yes it is common in public schools and elsewhere for young women to be encouraged to talk like the boys in physical ways about sex – ways they would never naturally do on their without a lot of prodding to do.

    On the other hand boys are shamed into silence for doing this same thing which comes completely natural to them.

    Don’t get me wrong – I am not saying that women should not try to understand male sexuality to the point that they can be good lovers to their husbands or that men should not try to understand the feminine perspective of sex so they can sexually please their wives in marriage. We both should try and understand the opposite sex better. But trying to understand them – becoming the opposite sex in our thinking are very different things.

  36. Rose,

    Your Statement:

    “Would it ever be okay for a girl to play with cars, or for a boy to play with dolls? Does the question of toys even matter that much? Is it harmless fun that doesn’t have a major impact on their lives? Or does it risk confusing gender roles, so that girls start wanting to join the military and boys start wanting to be stay-at-home dads (both of which I think you would disapprove of)?”

    I think you should read my posts:
    https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2014/06/28/masculine-women-and-feminine-men-part-1/
    https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2014/06/28/masculine-women-and-feminine-men-part-2/

    If you read this posts you will see that I acknowledge the fact of masculine women and feminine men. These traits can manifest themselves early in lives many times. I believe that we as Christian parents are called to guide our children into the role for which God designed them.

    God said in Genesis 1:27 “male and female created he them“. Now again because of the corrupting influence of sin upon God’s creation children are born with defects in this corrupt world. Some are physical and some are emotional or psychological. Homosexual desires, gender identity issues, intersex children, as well as boys with a feminine nature and girls with a masculine nature are examples of corrupting influence of sin the world. God calls us on us to embrace the fact that he made male and female. If we are born male – we must embrace that role, if we are born female we must embrace that role. In the case of intersex children that may be more difficult to determine – but one way or the other they must realize God did not create a third gender – it is a defect in God’s creation because of sin in the world.

    So I say all this to say – Christian parents should strongly steer their children toward proper gender related toys and behavior. This should not be taken lightly.

  37. anonymous,

    Your Statement:

    “I do somewhat. I agree that sex in marriage is what God honors, but I’m not certain that that means that ALL sex outside marriage is sin, because this isn’t what it says. It could have easily said that, but it doesn’t. The first part of the verse is talking about marriage, and what it says is true, but the second part discusses two specific situations that will be judged.”

    The problem is you are assuming that “pornos”(which is what whoremongers is translating) does not include pre-marital sex. Literally it could be translated as “fornicators” – or “those who engage in sexually immoral acts”.

    So if we take another look at Hebrews 13:4 this is what it is saying:
    “Marriage is honorable in all and the sexual relations that happen in marriage are considered pure before God. But those who engage in sexually immoral acts and those men who have sex with married women and married women who have sex with men other than their husband will be judged by God.”

    The problem is you are trying to paint some gray area between those who engage in sexually immoral acts and adultery and those who engage in sexual relations in marriage. God says sexual relations are in marriage are honorable and pure. He then contrasts this with people who engage in sexually immoral acts. The language of the text is clear beyond a doubt. Only sexual relations that occur in marriage are considered both honorable and pure before God. All other sexual relations between persons are therefore dishonorable and impure.

    If an act is dishonorable and impure is it not sinful?

    There is not neutral act of sexual relations here. Nothing in between marital sex and fornication. You are creating an category that does not exist. You are asking for a specific statement that pre-marital sex is sin – and this is it. It may not be worded as specifically as you would like but it is here. And really it makes sense with the design of sex. God did not design man and woman to engage in casual sex. Sexual relations between a man and woman are a deeply emotional and spiritual act that can ultimately result in a child between the two. There is no way such act can occur between two people outside of marriage and God would not consider it sin.

    Can you honestly tell me based on this passage as well as the entirety of the seriousness of a woman’s virginity in the Scriptures that God is ok with a man engaging in this most intimate of acts with a woman not his wife? Is God ok with them possibly producing a child out of wedlock as well? Is God ok with this woman giving up her virginity(making herself impure) to a man not pledged to be her husband? I don’t know how you can see this is ok with God. You can say “well God prefers they marry but it is not sin” but that is not left as an option. It is either right or wrong – it is sin or not sin.

    There are some things in this world that God allows because of sin – he allows killing for defense or for the government to make someone pay for their crimes. He allows divorce because he knows spouses sin. It is not his plan but he allows it. But God never makes allowances for pre-marital sex the way he does for certain types of killing or for divorce due to sin.

    Your Statement:

    “What is your take on Ruth? She got gussied up and uncovered his feet? Not married. Then they got married. She was a widow, no longer under he father’s care, no longer under her husband’s authority.”

    There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Ruth and and Boaz had sex before marriage. In fact it would have been highly improper of them to do so and I would argue a sin against God. Her act of laying at his feet and uncovering them was a sign – a symbol that she wanted to be his wife – it was her proposing to him. She was allowed to do this because she was a widow. But he could take her as his wife until he made sure he could be her kinsman redeemer which happened later in the story. So since there is absolutely no evidence of sex we must regard them both as acting in purity and Boaz waiting until he was allowed to be her kinsman redeemer but the closer kin.

    Your Statement:

    “Theft is always sin because we have it spelled out plainly in other places in the bible. This is more complicated. Look at Exo 22:16-17 and how it is worded. The *big deal* is that she is not pledged to be married. Whoremongering is not mentioned. Punishment is not mentioned. Sin is not mentioned. Was the usual punishment for theft that you simply pay for what you stole? No. Usually there is punishment or multiple times payment. This situation is a different one.”

    Just because Exodus 22:16-17 does not show as great a punishment as other theft passages does not mean it was not punishment. If a man risked seducing a girl before her father had given consent to marriage he literally could be refused her hand in marriage and have to pay a half a years wages as a penalty! That is pretty stiff. The degree of punishment does not make something any less sinful.

    But there is another passage I forgot to mention in this discussion.

    “1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
    2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.”

    1 Corinthians 7:1-2(KJV)

    If pre-marital sex is not fornication then why is Paul so concerned that men and women should marry in order to avoid fornication? This passage has been rightly taught in many churches to encourage young couples that if they are tempted to have pre-marital sex and there is nothing preventing them marrying then they should do so quickly. I believe Stephanie(aka Dragonfly) had this exact situation happen with her and her husband to be – so they married quickly to avoid getting into pre-marital sex.

  38. shredifier,

    Your Statement:

    Is there truly any difference between those who by mutual consent agree to be in a serious relationship with each other with ALL that is implied, and those who “use the words” husband and wife before they sleep together?

    “Going steady” or “being in an exclusive relationship” is not the same as marriage. “Husband”,”wife” and “marriage” are not outdated words. They are Biblical words. Those who say they are in a in an “exclusive” or “serious relationship” but want to avoid terms like “husband”, “wife” and “marriage” are trying to skirt God’s law and God’s design. They want a commitment – but they don’t want to want to go as far as marriage. They want to retain their freedom, their “get out jail free” card.

    The biggest difference between a “serious relationship” and “marriage” is that a “serious relationship” has an indefinite period. It is not a lifelong commitment to one another – it is a relationship that simply lasts as long as the feelings are there. That is not marriage. That is not God’s design.

    Your Statement:

    “Is there really any REAL difference between a couple who live faithfully together for many years/decades even though they don’t see themselves as husband and wife, and those who get a divorce after 6 months even though they SAW themselves as husband and wife via a legal marriage”

    Yes there is a huge difference. Yes – the second couple who committed to one another as husband and wife and promised a lifelong commitment to one another did just that – they made a life-long commitment even though they failed to meet that commitment.

    The couple who never makes that commitment to one another but still stays with each other for life were afraid to make that commitment. There was no life-long commitment. They stayed not because of the commitment God commands – but because of feelings. Marriage is not based on feelings. It is based on a covenant that a man and woman make together. Will one or both of them break that commitment sometimes due to their sinful natures? Of course. But at least they tried to follow God’s will. The other couple never even made an attempt to do so.

    Again – I agree with you that no judge, no priest and no pastor are required for marriage. No state license is required for marriage in the eyes of God. But what is required is a life long commitment to one another – a covenant of marriage between the two. Those who are afraid to make this commitment to one another do not have the type of love God requires in marriage – instead they are living in fear of that commitment.

    “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

    1 John 4:18 (KJV)

  39. “Going steady or being in an exclusive relationship is not the same as marriage”……PROVE IT, as far as I’m concerned that’s just YOUR opinion and I sharply disagree with you
    There is NO biblical description for the word husband in the entire bible, it’s just a term reserved for those who are together….what you have done and what your cardinal error in this entire topic is, is that you have reinterpreted the terms “husband” “wife” “marriage” and filtered them through the lens of Western thinking
    Nowhere is it ever stated explicitly that marriage between man and a woman was a LIFETIME commitment, that is YOUR belief and not the scriptures.. This is why provision was made in the LAW to put away your wife Deut 24. How can there be laws governing divorce/remarriage if marriage was to be permanent? And considering how Polygamy is not just tolerated but endorsed by God, see Nathan’s reply to King David about God being the instrumental cause in giving David multiple wives, then which wife was the man to make a permanent life long commitment to?
    Considering the over 60% divorce rate with LEGAL MARRIAGES in Western countries your appeal to those in “actual” marriages verses “a serious commitment” type of arrangement are not only redundant but actually ridiculous to suggest that they are not as committed to each other
    You can not dispute this FACT
    What I find most distressing BGR is your remarkable liberal attitude towards porn and lust which I happen to agree with you on, and your rigid approach to what YOU define as pre marital sex despite all the evidence to the contrary
    I find your use of 1st Corinthians 7 as a proof text of fornication being pre marital sex grasping at straws….are we now suggesting that couples being tempted to have sex should have some nebulous formal verbal commitment to each other, just so they can have sex? How can having sex be a solution to not having sex i.e fornication? The whole thing becomes ridiculous

  40. >The problem is you are assuming that “pornos”(which is what whoremongers is translating)
    >does not include pre-marital sex. Literally it could be translated as “fornicators” – or
    >“those who engage in sexually immoral acts”.

    When I see pornos, which as I’ve read was poorly translated as fornication in some translations, and is more correctly translated as sexual immorality, I don’t make assumptions. I go to where the bible specifically discusses sexual immorality such as Lev 18. I don’t add to what is said there.

    >So if we take another look at Hebrews 13:4 this is what it is saying:

    “Marriage is honorable in all and the sexual relations that happen in marriage are
    considered pure before God. But those who engage in [acts mentioned in Lev 18] and those
    men who have sex with married women and married women who have sex with men other than
    their husband will be judged by God.”

    When Paul says marriage will keep people from sexual immorality, this is true, it can/will keep them from committing the acts in Lev 18.

    >There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Ruth and and Boaz had sex before marriage.

    Even conservative theologians will acknolwedge the meaning of her uncovering his feet.

    >In fact it would have been highly improper of them to do so and I would argue a sin against God.

    This is an assumption based on the theology you have… I believe that Ruth did have some type of sex with Boaz that night – and that it was not sin according to the law. We will just have to agree to disagree.

  41. shredifier, It is stated in the NT that a woman is bound to her husband for as long as she lives. David had a lifelong commitment of responsibility towards ALL of his wives. He was responsible before God for all of them. The NT says that divorce was allowed because of their hard hearts, but is not a normal thing. God does divorce Israel because she commits adultery, but had she not done this, God would have been her husband forever.

  42. Shredifier,

    Your Statement:

    “Nowhere is it ever stated explicitly that marriage between man and a woman was a LIFETIME commitment, that is YOUR belief and not the scriptures.. “

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

    Romans 7:2-3 (KJV)

    “14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. 15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.”

    Malachi 2:14-15(KJV)

    Marriage is a life long(Romans 7:2-3) covenant(Malachi 2:14-15) between a man and woman. This is not my opinion – it is specifically stated in the Word of God.

    Your Statement:

    “How can there be laws governing divorce/remarriage if marriage was to be permanent?”

    In the Garden of Eden God designed marriage to have no end in this life. But then sin entered the picture and he had to make an allowance for divorce because men and women would break the covenant of marriage. But he does not allow divorce for just any reason(like the feelings are not there anymore or we are just not getting along). He gives specific reasons why women may be freed from their covenant of marriage with their husbands and he gives specific reasons why man may be freed from the covenant of marriage with his wife.

    This would be very similar to a Supreme Court justice whose appointment is for life. Yet he can be removed from office(impeached) if he commits certain crimes.

    To fully understand marriage we must examine the whole Word of God. As we do this from the Old Testament to the New we will see that while marriage is a life long covenant between a man and a woman we will also see this is a conditional life long covenant.

    If a man fails to keep up this part of his covenant toward his wife she may be free of him(divorced from him):

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

    Exodus 21:10-11 (KJV)

    So if a man fails provide for his wife or sexually defrauds his wife then he has broken the covenant of marriage he has made with her and she may be free to leave him.

    To men this is what God said regarding the marriage covenant they have made with their wives:

    “But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.”
    Matthew 5:32 (KJV)

    So for a man if his wife commits sexual fornication(which includes all sexual sins like sexual defraudment or adultery) she has broken the covenant of marriage she made with him and he is free to divorce her.

    There is no contradiction in marriage being a life long covenant – yet it is a conditional covenant.

    Now do husbands and wives divorce for reasons that God does not allow? Sure they do – all the time. Often they divorce for the EXACT same reason that couples living in “serious relationships” do. Because “the feelings are not there any more” or they just don’t get along anymore.

    The difference is that first couple while in the covenant of marriage was not living in sin while having an intimate sexual relationship with one another – their sin was committed when they unlawfully divorced one another because “the feelings were gone”.

    The second couple who never made a life long commitment to one another as husband and wife – but just had a “serious relationship” were living in sin the entire time and in fact when they break up because “the feelings were gone” just like the couple that made an actual covenant this is when they STOP sinning because they are no longer having sex outside the covenant marriage.

    Now in the case of this second couple do I think God would rather them realize their relationship cannot be based on feelings for this couple to overcome their feelings and make a life long covenant of marriage together? Certainly he does. Then when they made this covenant their sexual intimacy would no longer be living in sin.

    Your Statement:

    “And considering how Polygamy is not just tolerated but endorsed by God, see Nathan’s reply to King David about God being the instrumental cause in giving David multiple wives, then which wife was the man to make a permanent life long commitment to?”

    I agree and have written many articles proving from the Scriptures that polygamy was not only allowed by God – but was part of God’s design of marriage and how men and women work so you will get no argument from me against polygamy.

    However your question shows a fundamental misunderstanding of Biblical marriage. Marriage is a life long covenant between a man and woman – but Romans 7:2-3 shows that marriage is only an exclusive relationship from the perspective of the woman and NOT the man. A man made a life long covenant to a woman that he would provide for her and any children they had together, that he would honor the inheritance rights of her children(Deuteronomy 21:14-17) and that he would continue to give her sexual relations. But his relationship with her was not an exclusive one because men are allowed to marry more than one wife.

    So again this is a misunderstanding of the covenant relationship of marriage. Yes marriage is a life long covenant from both the man and woman’s perspective. But it is only exclusive from the woman’s perspective. This concept is clearly showing the Scriptures.

    I realize this is a hot button issue for both us. I don’t mean to upset you and I know you don’t mean to upset me.

    So I will just sum up where I think we agree and disagree and leave the last word to you on this.

    1. We agree that marriage recognized by God does not require a priest, a judge or license from either a church or the state.

    2. You believe marriage is constituted by a man and woman having sex and being in a serious committed relationship – I on the other hand believe marriage takes more than sex and a serious relationship. It requires the couple to enter in a covenant of marriage with one another – a life long covenant. This covenant while being life long for both is only exclusive from the woman’s position to her husband. He may marry other women and enter into life long covenants of marriage with them as as well.

    3. I believe that the Scriptures show the marriage covenant can be broken by either the husband or wife for different reasons thus freeing the other from that marriage if they choose to exercise that option. But just because covenant of marriage can be broken by certain heinous sins does not make the covenant of marriage any less permanent just as a Supreme Court Justice’s life time appointment is no less permanent because he can be removed from office for committing certain crimes.

    I will leave it at that brother. Hopefully over the next couple days I will be able to take this discussion between us and convert to a permanent article in my questions and answers area in a couple articles on pre-marital sex and what constitutes marriage in God’s eyes.

  43. anonymous,

    Your Statement:
    “Even conservative theologians will acknowledge the meaning of her uncovering his feet.”

    I realize you and I are going to have to agree to disagree on the general subject of is sex outside of marriage . But I am very curious where you are getting your information about Ruth and Boaz. Can you supply me a quote from a conservative Bible theologian that states they believe Ruth initiated sex with Boaz that night?

    “4 And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do. 5 And she said unto her, All that thou sayest unto me I will do. 6 And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her.7 And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down. 8 And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet.

    Ruth 3:4-8 (KJV)

    We can see from the story that Ruth was given this advice to lay at his feet and uncover his feet. I am curious – if uncovering his feet was a euphemism for sex how did she do this while laying at his feet without waking him? So she had sex with Boaz while he was sleeping and he did not know it? Because the story clearly shows that he awoke to find a woman at his feet and he talked with her – he did not have sex with her.

  44. @anonymous,

    I’ve read interpretations of that story that agree that what Ruth did could be interpreted as sexually suggestive. (And they do have a point.) I’ve even read one that argues that Naomi was actually encouraging Ruth to seduce Boaz in order to preserve a lineage, as Tamar tricked Judah into propositioning her and Lot’s daughters deceived him into committing incest. (I don’t agree with that reading.) But even that interpretation argues that Ruth used the opportunity to make a legitimate proposal of marriage rather than to attempt a premarital or non-marital romp. So, it’s very possible that Ruth was hoping to make herself more sexually appealing to Boaz so that he’d have one more motive to marry her, aside from his concerns about familial obligations and his admiration of her character and sense of duty. But given that the Bible doesn’t mention them having sex and doesn’t mention Ruth molesting Boaz in his sleep (in contrast with the story of Lot’s daughters, where it’s very clearly spelled out exactly how Lot’s daughters take advantage of his drunken stupor), it sounds like they didn’t actually have premarital sexual contact. At most, Ruth behaved in a sexually suggestive way when making her offer.

  45. Isn’t it widely understood that uncovering a man’s legs or feet is an euphemism for sex? Just google it a bit, I found more than one link debating whether they had some type of sex or not. The story honestly doesn’t make a whole lot of sense otherwise. Waiting for him to be in a good mood, sneaking to where she wouldn’t normally be, not wanting her being there to be known. Him stating she has done him a kindness.

  46. anonymous,

    Your Statement:

    “Isn’t it widely understood that uncovering a man’s legs or feet is an euphemism for sex?”

    Actually it is not. There are a lot conspiracy theories on various discussion boards. But no serious conservative and recognized theologians have ever made such a claim.

    In fact every commentary I have read on this – both Jewish and Christian states there was absolutely no illicit sexual behavior by Ruth here. Nothing in the language indicates this. It is true that sometimes a phrase is a euphemism for sex like “uncovering nakedness” or sometimes laying with someone is a euphemism for sex.

    But this story is very specific about what she did. Her act was symbolic to show her interest in marriage to him.

    The “kindness” she showed him was not sex. It was her purposing marriage to him. He was much older than her and she could have gone after younger men but she did not:

    “And he said, Blessed be thou of the Lord, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.”

    Ruth 3:10 (KJV)

    The Scriptures clearly tell us what the “kindness” was that Ruth showed him. She did not run after young men – but chose Boaz who was older man. It showed her maturity – and that the fact that she chose him to save her family and redeem Naomi’s Husband’s land showed her spirituality.

    The story makes complete sense with no illicit sex being involved.

  47. anonymous,

    Another thing on the Ruth Boaz story and this discussion of pre-marital sex. Our modern world bases sex on romance and feelings. Men seduce women with kind and flattering words and women seduce men with their bodies. That is why our world’s view toward pre-marital sex has something very much in common with sexual denial marriage(a subject I talk a lot about on this blog).

    What they have in common is that our world thinks pre-marital sex and sexual denial in marriage are ok because both are based on our feelings. If two people have romantic feelings toward each other they should have sex(married or not – it matters not) – this the view of our world. In the same way if two people do not have romantic feelings toward each other in any given moment then they should not have sex. That is why our world sees no problem with women turning down sex to their husbands unless their husbands make them feel like having sex by flattering them and showing them romantic gestures.

    Again all of this is based on feelings. The Bible presents a very different view of sex. It presents a view of sex based on the commitment two people have made to each other and the life long covenant they have entered into it. It is what makes Biblical sex so much more powerful and so much more meaningful then sex based on the fleeting feelings of any given moment.

    That is why from our modern perspective the story of Ruth might seem silly without some pre-martial sex on her part. Because that is how we think now – that is how we operate. We can’t see that the story of Ruth and Boaz is beautiful because it is in fact so different from how relationships with men and women work today. This woman did not pursue a man because of his rugged good looks and youth. No she chose an older man – a man who was probably not as attractive. She did not choose him for romantic feelings at all. She choose him out of duty to her family – knowing he could save them. While men today humiliate themselves to impress women – she humbled herself by laying at his feet.

    Ruth acted so differently than women do today and that is why it is so beautiful. She acted from duty and commitment – not feelings and romance. That is the wonder of this story and why our world does not understand it.

  48. I’m sorry BGR but you’re engaging in double speak, you contend that marriage is a life long covenant yet you argue that it is also a CONDITIONAL covenant that can be broken….you can’t have it both ways
    Your use of Romans 7 and Malachi 2 to prove your position is dishonest and grasping at straws at best……NOWHERE and I mean NOWHERE in those passages does it support a life long covenant at all, it simply states and codifies the sin of BEING IN A MARRIED STATE WITH SOMEONE ELSE if your husband is still alive, this is consistent with the whole council of scripture because DIVORCE is not considered a sin, and it is never treated as a sin in the entire bible, there is no sin offering or penalty for divorce and that’s a fact….in fact laws were set up to govern divorces, which implys IMPLICITLY that a marriage can be ended, hence the rididiculous assertion by you that a marriage is only a “true marriage” if it’s entered into as a life time commitment right from the start
    The scriptures DO NOT support your position, so I would kindly suggest you alter your views, Romans 7 and Malachi 2 govern sexual transgression WHILST THE PARTNERS ARE STILL ALIVE, they are not proof texts for the length of marriages
    Marriage is a CONDITIONAL covenant which militates against your belief in it being for life, unconditional covenants on the other hand are PERMANENT and cannot be revoked and the scriptures are replete with examples, marriage is not one of them,
    Your assertion that a couple in a serious relationship are continuously living in.a state of sin, is not only repugnant but patently unbiblical, especially in light of the fact there is NO scriptural support, and there is no way to differentiate between them and a “legal” marriage that lasts only 6 months
    “Marriage is honorable in all and the bed undefiled” CAN NOT be used as a proof text either, as that verse merely covers sex in marriage, so in order to prove someone is in transgression you have to prove someone is NOT MARRIED, and the only way you can do that is to find scriptural support in HOW someone gets married….but it may surprise you to learn that the bible is relatively silent on the matter, it tells us what is marriage, but it nowhere defines how one is to get married…and this is extremely subjective in every culture
    I have established that
    1: Marriage is CONDITIONAL and not for life
    2: There is NO sin involved in divorce
    3: Your criteria for who is actually TRULY MARRIED or not is entirely subjective based on scant scriptural support
    4: There is NO SUBSTANTIAL difference between those in serious relationships from those legally married

    I think we might have to agree to disagree bgr on this issue as it looks like we’re BOTH entrenched in our views
    But I look forward to your upcoming article dealing with this subject in more depth

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