There are few things that Egalitarians hate more than an old man married to a young woman or a fat man married to a fit woman. But when it comes to men exercising their power over their wives, complementarians and even some patriarchists will join egalitarians in condemning the fat husband for expecting his wife to remain fit. But what does the Bible say about this situation?
I have already given principles of what should guide a man’s weight in previous posts in this series on fitism as well as general principles that guide a woman’s weight. In this final post on this topic of fitism, we will apply principles I have previously established to this issue.
And for all my critics of my view of fitism – no my wife is not fit, neither do I expect her to be – she has big breasts and a big rear end just the way I like it. We are both nearing our 50s and are overweight by government standards (CDC/NIH) standards. My point is – no I am not the fat guy expecting my wife to remain fit. My wife has never been fit since I met her and I like her fuller figure just fine.
Also, just for those who are wondering, I am pretty active physically despite having a sedentary job as a software developer. I take walking breaks during my work day and I also walk at night after work.
So now let’s get to the million-dollar question. And its actually a pretty quick and easy answer from a biblical perspective.
Is it fair for a fat man to expect his wife to remain fit?
It has always seemed strange to me that many traditional Christians reject egalitarianism in so many areas yet in this area of body fat percentage they lock arms with egalitarians.
A common statement we hear on the matter of weight and body appearance is that “Spouses need to keep their bodies sexually appealing for each other”.
Egalitarians, complementarians and even some patriarchists point to 1 Corinthians 7:4 to support an egalitarian view of sexual appeal – “The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.”
The claim is that 1 Corinthians 7:4 gives husbands and wives equal power over each other’s bodily appearance. But this is false. 1 Corinthians 7:4 is condemning sexual denial in marriage. It does not give a woman ownership over her husband’s body, it gives her access.
Another egalitarian argument which is also borrowed by complementarians and some patriarchists is “How can a fat man expect his wife to be fit? If he is fat then she should be able to be fat as well”.
All of these arguments show a denial of a crucial Biblical principle taught in 1 Corinthians 11:9 “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man”.
Man was not created to be woman’s companion, to support her in her career goals, to care for her children while she works or keep the house. But rather, woman was created to do all these things for man.
Man was not created to be beautiful for woman or to bring her sexual pleasure. But rather, woman was created to do these things for man.
Some will ask “Why then does the Bible tell men not to deny sex to their wives?” The answer is that woman was created with a desire for sex and the ability to enjoy sex FOR man. And God expects men to make full use of his design of sex in marriage.