The Husband’s Call to Love Is A Call to Rule

Are men never commanded to lead their wives in the Bible? This is the recent conclusion that Cane Caldo has come to.  Cane Caldo has been a warrior against Christian feminism for many years. But recently he has come to the belief that he fell into a trap in response to Christian feminist arguments on this subject and that he now realizes he was “fundamentally wrong” in telling men that the Bible calls them to lead their wives.

In his article entitled “CoE V: I Am Not Called to “Lead” in the Bible” Caldo states:

“Our age’s focus on a husband’s leadership is a clever redirect away from the Biblical command for wives to submit and obey. Every instance of Biblical instruction to husbands and wives say the same thing: Wives submit to and obey your husbands. Husbands love and care for your wives. That’s the instruction in 1 Peter 3, Titus 2, Ephesians 5, and Colossians 3; in every instance where the Christian home life is addressed

I’ve written many posts and comments about a husband leading his wife, and I was fundamentally wrong. Over the years it has come to be that the liberal progressives proclaim the right thing for the wrong reasons and the traditionalists fight back with nonsense, and I fell into it also. Christian Feminists (both overt and those undeclared and unwitting) are quick to point out that it is a wife’s duty to obey and not a husbands right to force her to submit. Traditionalists have tried to fight this by demanding husbands lead better, and by stealing the glory of obedient women for themselves; such as when a man says his wife follows him because of his good leadership.

And all of it–the progressive tactics and the traditionalist response–is meant to tangle us up so that a wife’s temptation to rebel and abandon is never the topic of discussion; so that no one says, “Wives, obey your husbands.”

 

Building on what Caldo said here, Darlock on his blog wrote in his article “Headship Sleight of Hand” the following comments:

“When I first read this it was obvious that Cane is right.  But I initially struggled to put all of the pieces together.  Scripture says the husband is the head of the wife.  We can then deduce from this that if he is the head, then he has an obligation to lead.  The Bible doesn’t state that husbands have this obligation, the husband’s stated obligation is to love his wife, and the wife’s stated obligation is to submit to her husband.  But leaders clearly have an obligation to lead.  The specific nature of this obligation is another question, but the basic deduction is solid.  However, modern Christians don’t stop there.  Next they turn the deduction around and run it backwards:

If the husband leads, he will be the head.

The reversed deduction is then substituted for the plain meaning of Scripture.  This is a masterful sleight of hand. From here, submission is likewise reworked:

If the husband leads well, the wife will submit.”

 

Darlock then displays a nice graphic which basically shows this progression:

The husband is the head; the wife is to submit to him becomes leaders have an obligation to lead.

Leaders have an obligation to lead becomes if the husband leads, he will be the head.

If the husbands leads he will be head becomes if the husband leads well, the wife will submit.

I Understand Where Caldo and Darlock Are Coming From

Let me first say that while Caldo, Darlock and I would have some disagreements in various areas we are all three would agree on the need to fight against the scourge of feminism and specifically Christian feminism in the churches.  In this regard I consider both these men brothers in arms and I have respect for their work.

And I can see where they are coming from on this topic.  Darlock painted the Christian feminist twisting of headship perfectly and showed how they arrive at their false conclusion that a wife only needs to submit to her husband if he leads well.

Caldo also was absolutely right when he about a husband’s call to love his wife being unconditional where he states “Likewise, a husband cannot be thwarted from loving his wife. Even if she does not obey him that is no bar to his God-given ability to love and care her despite her wickedness. If he loves and cares for her, and she refuses to obey he is clean. He did not fail to lead.”

Amen Caldo, Amen.

The Call to Love is a Call to Rule

Caldo points out that in every instance of the Scriptures where the husband wife relationship is addressed (1 Peter 3, Titus 2, Ephesians 5, and Colossians 3) that we find the formula of “Wives submit to and obey your husbands. Husbands love and care for your wives”.  And again, he is right in this regard.

But what he and Darlock are failing to see is what kind of love husbands are called to?

Each and every time the Bible calls husbands to love their wives it uses the word “Agape” in the Greek.  This is a love which originates in the will is not based on emotion or affection as “Phileo” love is.  Men are not supposed to base their love for their wife on their affection for her at any given moment, but on the basis that God has given them a duty to their love their wives.

But this agape love that a husband is called to have toward his wife is not just any agape love.  It is NOT the same type of agape love that we are to have toward our fellow church members, or even our children.  It is specifically defined for us in Ephesians chapter 5:25 when the Apostle Paul writes “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church…”.

The key word in that sentence is the tiny word “AS”.  This tells us what kind of agape love husbands are to have toward their wives.  The model for the love of a husband toward his wife is found in looking at how Christ loves his Church.

So, in this critical passage of the Scriptures Paul goes on to show us what is entailed in the agape love a husband toward his wife:

“25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;  26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church”

Ephesians 5:25-29 (KJV)

So here are key attributes of how Christ loves his Church that are given to husbands as a model in how God requires them to love their wives in Ephesians chapter 5:

  1. The call to love one’s wife is a call to sacrifice one’s self for one’s wife.
  2. The call to love one’s wife is a call to wash one’s wife, to wash her spiritual spots and wrinkles with the Word of God.
  3. The call to love one’s wife is a call to provide for(nourish) her physical needs.
  4. The call to love one’s wife is a call to protect(cherish) her.

It must be pointed out that the first two attributes in this list are tightly coupled together as the last two items in this list are tightly coupled together.

Christian feminists love that husbands are called to “give themselves up” for their wives as Christ did his Church.  Myriads of Christian feminist books and blogs have built false doctrines around the phrase “and gave himself for it”.  Basically, they twist this phrase into saying Christian men should give up any desires or ambitions they have in a life long quest to make their wives happy.

But what they fail to do is realize that God describes WHY Christ gave himself up.  It was to wash the spiritual blemishes, spots and wrinkles of his wife, the Church, to make her holy, not happy.

In fact, in the book of Acts we find out more about why Christ “gave himself up” for the Church”:

“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”

Acts 20:28 (KJV)

Christ did not “gave himself up” to appease or make happy his bride, the Church, but rather to purchase her with his own blood so he could then wash her and make her the glorious bride he intended her to be to him.

Now one of the mistakes that Caldeo makes that a lot of people make on both sides of this issue is that he confines the definition of the role a husband to “where the Christian home life is addressed”.  That is an exegetical mistake.  When Ephesians 5:25 tells husbands to love their wives “as Christ also loved the church” this tells we can look to any part of the Scriptures where Christ is interacting with his church or churches to understand how a husband’s love and interactions are to be with his wife.

To that end let’s now look to the book of Revelation.  Here we find Christ rebuking and threatening to discipline(chasten) six of his seven churches for disobedience in various areas.  At the conclusion of his rebukes and threats to chasten his churches he makes the following statement:

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

This passage is directed to his churches.  This is a depiction of Christ’s love for his Bride.  Therefore, it is absolutely correct to say that the call for husbands to love their wives as Christ loved his Church is a call for husbands to rebuke and discipline their wives.  Christ was literally washing his wife with the Word of God in the previous passages in Revelation just as he implores men to love their wives by washing them with the Word in Ephesians 5:26-27.

This washing with the Word, this rebuking and chastening of one’s wife as Christ did is his Church is in fact a call to rule one’s wife.  Only a person in a ruler can discipline someone or attempt to modify their behavior by imposing punishments for bad behavior.

The Bible even says that a man is to be “one that ruleth well his own house”:

“4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)… 11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.”

I Timothy 3:4-5 & 11 (KJV)

This passage above clearly states that God expects men to rule well their own homes and if a man cannot rule well his own house how can he rule the church of God?  The wives are mentioned separately below.  Some have wrongly inferred that only because the children are mentioned in the first part that wives are free of a husband’s rule and he has no responsibility to rule over them.  This would make absolutely no sense.  Are wives not part of a husband’s home? Are there people in the church that are not under the rulership of church elders? Such an interpretation is absurd to say the least.

Therefore, we can rightly conclude based on Ephesians 5:25-27, I Timothy 3:4-5 & 11 and Revelation 3:19 that the husband’s call to love his wife which is recognized by both Caldo and Darlock is also a call to rule one’s wife.

What is the Difference Between a Leader and A Ruler?

In my original version of this article I only used the word “leader” because I was trying to use the language Caledo and others were using.  But I have explained on this blog many times that there are different types of leaders.

There are leaders who people voluntarily follow who have no authority or disciplinary power over those they lead.   Then there are leaders who have authority over others and with that authority comes disciplinary powers.   A leader with authority and disciplinary powers over those under them is a ruler.

Another way to convey this truth is that while all rulers are leaders, not all leaders are rulers.

A ruler does not simply offer guidance, but they actually institute rules for those under their authority and use discipline for the breaking of those rules.  In some cases rulers actually own those under their authority as well and this is how the Bible presents the husband wife relationship where the husband is called the “baal” or master/owner of the wife throughout the Old Testament.   See my article “Is Christian marriage a master – servant relationship?” for more on this subject.

Conclusion

I want to return to Darlock’s process of where he thinks Christian feminism has added to God’s Word:

This first statement is absolutely Biblically true:

The husband is the head; the wife is to submit to him becomes leaders have an obligation to lead.

The husband is the head of the wife and the wife is to submit to him.  It is both IMPLIED in the husband being the head of his wife and EXPLICIT in a husband’s call to love his wife as Christ loves his Church, to wash her with the Word of God and chasten her that he is called to rule her.

But Darlock’s next statements is where feminism adds to the Word of God:

Leaders have an obligation to lead becomes if the husband leads, he will be the head.

If the husbands leads he will be head becomes if the husband leads well, the wife will submit.

Christian husbands absolutely have an obligation to lead their wives as Christ lead’s his Church.  However, those Christians who say a husband’s headship is contingent on his follow through of his duty to lead are in direct contradiction to what the Scriptures say about the basis for a husband’s headship.  The husband is the head of his wife whether he is rules as Christ does his church or utterly fails to model Christ’s leadership of his church.   This is the explicit teaching of the Word of God:

 “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.” – I Peter 3:1-2 (KJV)

So, unless a husband tells his wife to sin (Acts 5:29) she must obey him in ALL he commands her to do. The passage above leaves no gray area.  And no, it is not just talking about submission to non-Christian husbands who are disobedient. Later in this same conversation the Apostle Peter says the following of this kind of submission from wives toward their husbands:

“5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” – I Peter 3:5-6 (KJV)

Was Abraham a believer? You bet he was.  So, this means whether a woman’s husband is a believer or non-believer even if he is living a life that is disobedient to the Word of God and even if he utterly failing to love his wife and lead his wife as Christ does his church wives ARE TO SUBMIT.  Period.

Can You Follow the Courtship Model Without the Support of Christian Parents?

While Christian churches and civil governments have usurped authority over marriage for many centuries, the fact is God did not give either of these spheres any authority over people entering into marriage.  You will not find one passage of the Scriptures granting authority over marriage to either civil or church leaders. Not one.

You will however, find passages like the Exodus 22:16-17, giving fathers authority over their daughters in marriage:

“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 proves that God gave authority over marriage not to the civil government or the Church but to the family, and specifically to fathers.

God instituted the family as his first human authority structure.  And he never ever took away any authority he gave to husbands and fathers when he later instituted the spheres of civil government and church government.

While the Bible does not require men to have the approval of their parents for marriage the Scriptures do tell sons this regarding their parents:

“My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother”

Proverbs 1:8 (KJV)

“A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.”

Proverbs 15:20 (KJV)

“Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.”

Proverbs 23:22 (KJV)

So, I think it is Biblical to say that men should also seek the advice of their parents in seeking the spouse God has for them in the courtship process.

My point thus far in all the Scriptures I have shown is this.  God meant for the courtship process to be a family affair on both sides.  He wants the parents of the man and woman who are courting to be on the same page and comparing notes about their children.  This is not just a man and woman coming together in marriage, but it is also two families coming together.

Sin Sometimes Poisons the Courtship Process

Sin has infected every part of this world.  It has infected our bodies and natures as individuals.  It has also infected God’s institutions of marriage, family, civil government and even his institution of the Church.  Husbands physically abuse or abandon their wives.  Parents sometimes horribly abuse their children through physical abuse or neglect.  Civil authorities abuse their God given power, usurp authority over areas God did not give them and violate the natural property rights of individuals.  And church authorities are no less guilty of allowing sin to run rampant and abandoning the Word of God.

So, there will be times when a young person will not have the support in the courtship process God meant for them to have from their parents.

What happened with my grandparents is a prime example.

My paternal grandmother came from a home where her mother did not have a normal relationship with her children.  She was one of three children.  She had two brothers.  My paternal great grandmother was the matriarch of her family.   Her husband did whatever she said without question.

While it is not unheard of for wives to dominate their husbands and children (although it is sinful for them to do so) it is rare for a parent to forbid their children from ever marrying. That is what my paternal great grandmother did with her three children.  She expressly forbade them from seeking out marriage and insisted that her three children live with her and their father for the remainder of their lives.

She made her children feel that if they loved anyone other than her, their father or their siblings that they would be betraying their family in doing so.

We know when looking at the Bible that such parenting is against God’s design. God gave this command to parents regarding their children:

“Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.”

Jeremiah 29:6 (KJV)

And this command from Jeremiah is based on God’s first command to mankind when he created man and woman:

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

Genesis 1:28 (KJV)

Well you can probably guess that my grandmother went against her mother’s wishes for her to remain unmarried and live with her mother for life, else I would not be here.

Unfortunately, her brothers did not seek out marriage and they remained with their mother for the remainder of her life.  One son died in his thirties before his mother died and the other died single many decades after his mother died.  It is interesting to note that while these men never married they were both extremely sexually immoral and had sex with many women.  But they hid it from their mother, never brought any of these women home and never married so they kept their mother happy.

My grandmother was the polar opposite of her brothers.  She was not a loose girl.  She was a strong believing Catholic and she believed sex was strictly reserved for marriage.

No, my grandmother and grandfather did not court. This new “dating” thing was all the rage and that is what my grandparents did.  They dated in secret in the mid 1930’s a little more than a decade after woman’s suffrage was passed.

And just as I have warned people here about dating, my grandfather was trying to entice my grandmother into premarital sex while they were secretly dating.  But my grandmother held to her Christian faith and she insisted that my grandfather convert to Catholicism and marry her before he could have sex with her.

My grandmother not only insisted that they be married first before sex, but that they also be married by a Catholic priest.  They could not go to her Catholic church as her priest would have told her parents.  So they went further away from where she lived to a different Catholic church and even used different names and were married by the priest under different names as the church would report the marriage to local newspapers.

My father told me that when his father died when he was eleven his mother had a horrible time getting social security because her and my grandfathers’s names did not match on the wedding certificate.  She had to prove through the birth records of my father and his three older siblings and other church records that they had in fact married and she finally got her social security.

After they were married my grandmother let my grandfather start having sex with her but no one knew they were married.  She stayed with her mother and would secretly meet with my grandfather.  She asked my grandfather for time to break the news to her mother as she was still scared to death of her mother.  Eventually my grandmother and grandfather were overheard on a party line (people shared phone lines with their neighbors back then) and the secret was out and she left to live my grandfather as husband and wife.

Did my grandmother do everything right? No.  She dated a non-Christian man (He was actually raised Mormon). Also she did not immediately move in with her husband after they consummated their marriage.

But from a Biblical perspective, my grandmother was not sinning by seeking out a husband in direct disobedience to her mother.

Her father and mother were derelict in their duty as parents to encourage their children to marry and prepare them for marriage.   It would have been disobedience on my grandmother’s part to God’s marriage mandate if she did not seek marriage unless God had providentially call her to a life of celibacy in his service.

Conclusion

God’s ideal is that the seeking out of one’s spouse should be family affair. The courtship model reflects God’s ideal.  Ideally a man should seek out the approval and permission of a woman’s father to court her.  And ideally a woman should follow her father’s advice in whom she marries.  She sould seek out his blessing and approval.  But due to sin’s corruption in this world not everyone can fully follow all the aspects of the courtship model.

Father’s die leaving fatherless daughters.  Fathers or mothers refuse to allow their children to marry.  Some parents may not discourage their children from marriage, but they refuse to participate in the courtship process.

So, what is a young person to do in these situations where parents are derelict in their duties in the courtship process?  The answer is that you are only responsible for your own behavior.  You are not responsible for your parent’s bad behavior.

That means if you have no father or mother or you have parents but they want nothing to do with the courtship process then you do what you can.

As a man that means even if your parents think otherwise – you do not court until you are financially prepared to provide for a family.  And when you do court, you never allow yourself to be alone with the women you court.  If her father wants to participate in the courtship process then ask his permission.  And ask for his wisdom in knowing and understanding his daughter.  Guard your heart and keep physical and emotional intimacy for marriage.  Yes, it will be harder without parents to support you, but you can still do it with God’s strength and help.  It is a vast understatement that this entire courtship process, with or without parental participation, should be bathed in prayer.

As a woman that means when you are an adult even if you have parents that were derelict in their duty like my maternal grandparents you should seek out marriage.  It will be a must greater challenge for you as a woman than it is for a man as it was for my grandmother.  But you still need to have high standards.  Don’t just look for the first man who comes along.  Pray hard as you seek the man God would have for you.  It is sad that you as a woman are in this position, but you are here.

In a way this is similar to when a woman’s husband dies. A widow is the position of having to lead her children and provide for them as her husband did.  She has to carry a load God never designed women to carry.  But death in this world occurs because of sin in this world.

So, what does a widow have to do? She has to go out and get a job to support herself and her children.  In the same way if a young woman has parents who are sinning against God’s calling for parents to encourage and prepare their children for marriage then she should attempt to get a job and then leave their home.  Another option would be for her to move out of her parent’s house as an adult and move in with another Christian family.  Perhaps she can even see if another Christian father will stand in as her spiritual father and help her in the courtship process.

I do think though that Christian young men and women as a general rule should commit to honoring the wishes of the woman’s father in courtship.  Yes there will be exceptions like the one I have painted here and others.  But whenever possible, the father’s wishes regarding his daughter should be honored – especially if he is a Christian man who is fully engaged in helping his daughter to find the man God has for her.

Update 9/30/2018 – I let my Dad read this since a I published this a few days ago and he wanted to me to correct and add a few details of his mother and father’s dating and marriage story.  My great grandmother did not know about her two son’s whoring around – only my grandmother(their sister) knew.  Also I did not know the details of how they were married whether by a judge or a priest.  They were married by a priest at my grandmother’s insistence but they went to a different Catholic church than my grandmother attended regularly and they change their names so when the wedding announcements went out to news papers. 

New Studies Show Even Feminist Women Still Prefer Sexist Men

Women in general and even women who consider themselves strong feminists showed the same preference for sexist men over egalitarian men according to five studies carried out by scientists from the University of Kent and Iowa State University.  It turns out that no matter what political or philosophical background they come from, women prefer the muscular guy with money who opens doors for them to the weak and skinny egalitarian dude that will treat them just like one of the guys.

And in other breaking news a new study confirms that water is wet.  Ok that second study was fake.  But you get my point. Anyone who lives around women, works around women or has sisters knows what these studies concluded is just common sense.  Yes, there are those rare women, feminist or otherwise, that actually prefer the weak and skinny egalitarian dude that treats them like one of the guys but most women don’t operate that way.

Below are some conclusions the study found according to an article from the dailymail.co.uk:

“Benevolent means well-meaning or kind, and experts define the sexism as men who, for example, think women are more delicate or should be cherished or looked after by a man.

This is different to hostile sexism in which women are degraded, such as saying a woman’s place is in the kitchen.

Sexist attitudes were the norm for decades, particularly after the Second World War, and saw men as breadwinners and women as homemakers.

But this has shifted in recent years as gender attitudes change, more women focus on their careers, and couples increasingly share their parenting duties…

Women are more attracted to men who are sexist because they think they are more willing to protect them, provide for them and commit to a relationship, scientists say. Men who are considered to be sexist in a well-meaning way – for example if they are chivalrous or think women need a man to protect them – may be more attractive.

Even though women find these men patronising and can feel undermined by them, they are more likely to want to couple up with them than with men who don’t give them special treatment. Researchers say women may be hard-wired to think the benefits of being with a kind but sexist man outweigh the downsides.

The scientists maintain that, despite romantic and flattering elements of the relationship, even well-meaning sexism reinforces the idea women are inferior. And even women who consider themselves strong feminists showed the same preferences in the study by British and US researchers

In the study, women’s attraction to this willingness to invest is traced to a more basic hard-wired survival instinct, in which females choose mates in order to improve their children’s chance of survival.

A male who is more likely to be protective or provide food for the family would improve the chance of offspring surviving, the study explains.

This may have in turn shaped women’s psychology to make them subconsciously prefer men who are a bit sexist.”

The Great Lie of “Sexism”

In our American as well as other western cultures today, we are taught a great lie.  We are taught that if a person believes that someone’s gender determines what roles they should or should not perform in society that this person is holding an immoral belief.  The term “sexist” was coined in the late 1960’s by feminists and was employed as a scarlet letter of sorts to shame and ostracize anyone who held to such “unequal”, “outdated” and “unfair” beliefs about gender.

In fact, another word “misogynist” was used to ratchet up the heat on those who held to such “ancient” beliefs.  If you were a sexist, then you were also a misogynist or hater of women.  This same tactic was used in all kinds of social movements to paint anyone who believed in any different rights or privileges for anyone of any kind as being a “hater” of that group.

For instance, in 2018, we are told that if you believe both illegal and legal immigrants who are not United States citizens should not have the same rights and privileges as US citizens then you are a called a hater of immigrants.

But God’s Word shines a light on this great lie that believing men and women should have different rights and responsibilities somehow is hatred of women or immoral.  The belief that women should be “Barefoot and pregnant” or in other words get married, bear children and be homemakers is clearly backed up by the Bible:

“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”

1 Timothy 5:14 (KJV)

Were Sexist Attitudes the Norm Only After World War II?

“Sexist attitudes were the norm for decades, particularly after the Second World War, and saw men as breadwinners and women as homemakers.” Really? Every time I see statements like this it makes me laugh.  The reason it makes me laugh is because of this myth that people teach today that somehow these “sexist” views of men and women were somehow new after World War II.

For the entire history of mankind these were the roles that societies across the world cast men and women into.  Were there exceptions to this rule? Yes.  Did some women have higher educations and careers throughout history? Yes.  In other cases, did many women help their husbands out on their family farms or other such family businesses? Certainly.  Were there families that were so destitute that the woman was forced to go and work away from the home while the children were cared for by another family member? Absolutely.

But the point is that this was not seen by society as the ideal to strive for.  Societies across the world prior to the Second Wave feminism of the 1960s very much held what we call today a “sexist” belief that men are to be providers and women are to be homemakers.

Three Different Kinds of Sexists

These studies came up with two categories of sexist men.  One they labeled as a “Hostile Sexist” and the other as a “Benevolent Sexist”.  I actually agree with them that there are multiple categories of sexist men but I would expand it to three categories of sexist men as opposed to just the two.

The Hostile Sexist Man

This study says that a man has hostile sexist views toward women if he believes “a woman’s place is in the kitchen”. The truth of the matter is that God’s Word reveals that the “kitchen”, or in other words the caring for the food needs of the home, does in fact belong to the woman as we see in the passage below:

“She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.”

Proverbs 31:15 (KJV)

So, if believing in different roles for men and women is not the Biblical definition of being a hostile sexist what is? We can find the answer by looking the follow passages for the answer:

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

I Peter 3:1 (KJV)

“Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.”

Colossians 3:19 (KJV)

As we can see according to the Bible, a hostile sexist man is one who dishonors and has bitterness toward women. 

Now Christian feminists would seize upon those two words “dishonors” and “bitterness” to fill in their own definitions.  I have been accused by countless readers of showing dishonor toward women and being bitter at women.  But it is not dishonoring to women to teach what God teaches about women.  It is not dishonoring to women to teach that God did not give men and women equal rights and equal responsibilities.

It is not showing bitterness toward women to share of the hurts that I have suffered at the hands of my first wife when she committed adultery or my second wife when she has sexually denied me or disrespected me based on her feminist background.  It is no more bitterness toward women to share of these hurtful things women do toward their husbands than it is for a woman’s site to share stories of emotional or physically abusive husbands.

I have actually warned men on this site many times not to allow their hurt or even righteous anger toward sinful behavior on the part of their wives to turn into bitterness.  I have had men come through this site throughout the years and display actual hatred toward the female sex and I have condemned such hatred.

The truth is that all these false accusations of me hating women is just a cop out on the part of my detractors.  These false accusations are what is called “ad hominem attacks”.  This is when someone attacks the person presenting a belief or an argument rather than the belief or argument itself.  These kinds of false attacks actually display the weakness of those who oppose the beliefs I espouse based on the Bible.

Believing in gender roles and hating feminism does not equate to being hostile toward or hating women.  This is part of the great lie we are told today and as Bible believing Christians we must combat this lie with the Word of God.

The Benevolent Sexist Man

The studies we are discussing defined the benevolent sexist man as one who is “well-meaning or kind, and experts define the sexism as men who, for example, think women are more delicate or should be cherished or looked after by a man.

This Benevolent Sexist man displays no hatred toward women but on the contrary he practically worships women.

But is this behavior what the Bible calls for on the part of men toward women? The answer is no. Some might respond with the question “Doesn’t the Bible tell men to cherish their wives?” Yes, it does.  It is absolutely true that the Bible commands husbands to cherish their wives as we see from the Scripture passage below:

“28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church”

Ephesians 5:28-29 (KJV)

In the minds of most women today to cherish means to worship.  That really is the whole idea of romance.  Romance is about a man making a woman’s happiness the central focus of his life.  How many songs do we hear where men say things like “you’re the meaning in my life, you’re the inspiration”.

It is absolutely intoxicating for most women to hear men tell them that they can think of nothing but her.  They only have eyes for her.  Women love it, they just eat it up when a man tells them that their happiness is his most important goal in this world.

But the truth is that this is NOT what the Bible is saying when it tells men to cherish their wives. 

When the Bible tells men to cherish their wives it is telling them to protect their wives.  When it tells them to nourish their wives it is telling them to provide for their wives’ physical needs.  So yes, the Bible tells men to be providers and protectors of their wives but it never tells them to worship their wives or make their wives happiness the central focus of their lives.

This study reveals that women are attracted to these benevolent sexist men and why wouldn’t most women be attracted to men like this?  If a woman were to find a man who wants to provide for her, protect her and worship the very ground she walks on why would she not be attracted to this from a human perspective? Having someone who wants to be our servant, do whatever makes us happy and provide us with a house, food, clothes, money and also protect us from those who would do us harm would be attractive to many women and men for that matter.

A lot of Christian husbands today are actually benevolent sexists in how they date and in how they conduct themselves as husbands once they marry.  It is not wrong that they feel a duty to provide for and protect their wives.  It is not wrong that they want to display kindness toward women in general or their wives in particular.  Those traits are good traits that we as Christians should honor in men. But where these benevolent sexist Christian men fail is in worshiping their wives and making their wife’s happiness the central focus of their lives.

A Word on Fake Benevolent Sexist Men

Before I continue to the third type of sexist man we need to recognize the reality of men who fake being benevolent sexists. The truth is that many men while dating will play the part of the benevolent sexist only to reveal later on that they are actually a hostile sexist.  A lot of men know that worshiping a woman is the key to getting sex from her.  They have their mission, so they size her up and they do what it takes to get to their goal.  Some of these men go for the one-night stand where they worship a woman all night long acting like they want a long-term relationship only to disappear in the morning.  Others will see the relationship through until marriage and then after marriage their true hostile sexist mentality is revealed.  And just as a side note – there are men that fake being egalitarians too just to get in the ladies’ pants.  There are myriads of these men in Hollywood and across America.

The Biblical Sexist Man

The Biblical sexist man believes very much like the genuine benevolent sexist man that God wants him as a man to provide for, protect and commit to a woman in marriage.  He also believes God calls him to be kind and compassionate toward women in general and especially his wife in particular. 

This Biblical Sexist man does not act in hateful ways toward women as the Hostile sexist man neither does he engage in woman worship as the Benevolent sexist man does.

The Biblical sexist man worships God alone and at the same time shows proper love and honor toward his woman not only by providing for her and protecting her by also by leading her as Christ does his Church and  teaching her and correcting her by washing her spiritual spots and wrinkles with the Word of God.

He knows that to worship his woman or make her the central focus of his life would betray the purpose for which God made him, women and intimate relationships between men and women.

The Scriptures tell us God’s purpose in making male human beings in the Genesis account:

“26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. “

Genesis 1:26-27 (KJV)

The Apostle Paul gives us divine commentary from God further elaborating on the Genesis creation account:

“3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God…7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”

I Corinthians 11:3 & 7-9 (KJV)

Paul points out to us that God created man to be his image bearer and he created woman to help man in playing out his image bearer role. Man could only fully image God by being a husband and a father.  This is why God created woman and marriage to help man fulfill this task.   God shows us this purpose in marriage the same chapter that tells men to cherish(protect) their wives:

“22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church”

Ephesians 5:22-28 (KJV)

God created marriage so that man and woman could model the relationship of God to his people and thus this would help man to fulfill his purpose to image God.  God wants husbands to love their wives as he loves his people.  He wants men to sacrificially love their wives, he wants them to teach and correct their wives and so wash their spiritual spots and blemishes with the Word of God.  He wants men to care for their wives as they do their own bodies by protecting them and providing for them as they would their own bodies.

God also wants women to submit to and serve their husbands as mankind is to submit to and serve God.  A wife’s mission is her husband, her children and her home.  In regard to her husband, her mission is to help him fulfill the mission God has given to him.

The Biblical sexist man knows that to make his wife’s happiness the central focus of his relationship with her would be to betray his purpose to image God as a husband to his wife. He knows that he must lead her, teach her and correct her and this will not always make her happy.  He also realizes that as part of his leadership of his wife he must teach her to live out the truth that God made him to serve God by imaging him and he made her for him to help him in his mission.

In other words, one of the greatest duties a Biblical sexist man has in his marriage is to teach his wife that their marriage does not revolve her desires and her happiness.  Instead every Biblical sexist husband must teach his wife that he is to focus on his mission to image God and she is to focus on her mission to serve him and help him in his mission.

The Biblical sexist man also knows though that while his relationships with his wife and children are vital parts of his overall mission to image God they are not all God has for him to do.  God is not just a husband to his people or a father to his children but he is also an inventor, a builder, a teacher, a worker, an artist, a writer, a warrior and a ruler.  So too God calls men to be in these different roles and in doing so they image him.  The Scriptures tell us the following concerning men and their work:

“And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.”

Genesis 3:15 (KJV)

“Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.”

Psalm 104:23 (KJV)

“Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion…”

Ecclesiastes 3:22 (KJV)

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;”

Colossians 3:23 (KJV)

“And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.”

Psalm 90:17 (KJV)

Reclaiming Sexism For Christ

To often we as conservatives and Christians allow liberal Christians and non-Christians to define the language of our discussions.  Leftist and secularists are masters of taking words and twisting them for their perverted purposes.  Take the word “gay” which at one time simply meant “happy”.  This word was hijacked to represent homosexual men.

Some may be shocked at the title of this section “Reclaiming Sexism For Christ” because in our culture we associate Sexism with bad behavior.  But we as Christians serve a God who is in the business of reclaiming things for his purposes.  The cross was once a symbol of shame yet Christ took it and made it a symbol of hope and salvation.  Even the term “Christian” was once used as a derogatory term in labeling followers of Christ.  But again Christians took what was meant as badge of shame and made it a badge of honor.

In the same way we as Christians can redeem the Sexism and specifically the word “sexist” for Christ.  When people say they can’t stand “sexists” that is our opportunity as Bible believing Christians to share with them the truth of God.  I have actually done this on many occasions.  I have told people in these conversations that I am a sexist but when I explain to them what kind of sexist I am and why believe what I believe from the Bible often times they have never heard the Scriptures I present.

In fact I was just at a dinner recently with family where I shared why I was a sexist and one woman was astonished at the Scriptures I presented.  I explained to her that in no way do I hate women or ever want to see women as a gender demeaned or dishonored.  I explained to her that we as men should honor our mothers and our wives as God commands.  But I said I also believe that God created men and women for very different purposes.  I told her that because I believe men and women should do different things based on their gender that makes me a sexist.

She asked “Why have I never heard these Scriptures in Church before?” And I told her because our churches have been infested with feminism and the vast majority of Pastors have simply bowed to our culture.

I told her that God calls us as Christians to live counter to the culture.  He calls us to not conform to the patterns and thinking of this world but to be transformed by his Word.  In this way I was actually able to use the term “sexist” as a way to teach the truth of God’s Word.

Conclusion

The fact that women are attracted to sexist men who are strong and can provide for them is not simply some hardwiring left over by evolution.   As Christians we know this is by the design of almighty God.

The Bible tells us in I Corinthians 11:9 that “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man”.  Every part of a woman’s being was made for man and his benefit.  Woman was perfectly created for her task by God.  In doing this God created woman as “the weaker vessel” (I Peter 3:7) because God wanted her to need man’s strength as mankind needs God’s strength. God created woman to be beautiful and he created her to desire to be beautiful because God desires the beauty of his people (Psalm 45:11). He created her to be a companion and the bearer of his children.

God created every desire a woman has to help man fulfill his primary mission to image God.  God planted in the female human nature her desire for the strength, protection and provision of man.  He did this so that man could be the strong protector and provider to woman as God is the strong provider and protector to mankind. The man would desire to protect and provide for a woman and a woman would desire to be protected and provided for by a man.  It was a beautiful and glorious picture that God meant to be painted.  He setup the pieces perfectly.

But sin corrupted God’s plan for man and woman.  Sin warped and twisted a woman’s desire for the strength, protection and provision of man into a desire to make men their servants, rather than their masters as God intended it to be.  Instead of desiring to serve her husband and follow his leadership, her sin nature causes her to desire to control her husband (Genesis 3:16).

Application for Christian Men

  1.  Will you as a Christian man repent of any dishonorable behavior or bitterness that you have toward women as a gender or even particular women in your life?
  2. Will you as a Christian man accept that your desire to protect and provide for a woman is not wrong but is in fact right in God’s eyes?
  3.  Will you as a Christian man accept that your desire to lead a woman and your family is not wrong but is in fact right in God’s eyes?
  4.  Will you as a Christian man stop being ashamed of your masculine nature and accept that this is in fact the image of God in you?
  5.  Will you as a Christian man accept that worshiping women is just as much a sin in the eyes of God’s as being hostile toward women?

Application for Christian Woman

  1. Will you as a Christian woman accept all God’s design for you as a woman and not just the parts you like as in your attraction to strong men who are able to provide?
  2.  Will you as a Christian woman reject your sinful inclination to be worshiped by men?
  3.  Will you as a Christian woman reject your sinful inclination to be the center of your husband’s life?
  4.  Will you as a Christian woman accept that you were created for man and that he was not created for you?

Biblical Advice For Caregiver Husbands

How should a Christian husband who fully believes in what the Bible says about Biblical gender roles handle his disabled wife? Does God exempt such wives from his command in Titus 2:5 for them to be “keepers at home”? What about God’s command in Proverbs 5:19 to husbands regarding their wives to “let her breasts satisfy thee at all times”?  How should a Christian husband manage his sexual needs while also being considerate of his wife’s disabilities that might impact their having sexual relations?

These are some of the difficult questions that Christian husbands who want to follow God’s Word regarding Biblical gender roles and marriage must answer when they have a disabled wife.

Recently I received an email from a husband calling himself Bob who is struggling with how God would have him to handle his disabled wife.   Below is his story.

Bob’s Struggles With His Disabled Wife

“I’m 35 and my wife is 32. I have been married for 12 years and have three boys aged 10, 8 and almost 5. My wife has had health issues since she was 16 when she had her first cardiac arrest. She had another one at 19 but hasn’t had another since taking medication. I met her a year later and we married within six months.

My wife was keen to take on the role as homemaker but at times due to health issues would need taking care of herself by me and in turn I would need to take care of the household. After a year of working full time as a teacher, running a youth ministry two nights a week, running a Sunday night church service and taking care of my wife and now new baby I broke. I had to pull back from my passions through work and ministry. I was on antidepressants for a couple of years to repair my brain from living off adrenaline constantly. All that was left was looking after my family which made me feel miserable.

My wife injured her sacroiliac joints in her back when pregnant with our second child and was having injections every few months to help keep on top of the pain. After our third child I had a vasectomy as I did not have the capacity to take care of any more people in my life. This made my wife very sad. For three years she would get quite emotional as she longed for more children. Every time we had sex she would end up in tears.

She did get through this. I had to be strong with her about it. The problem after this was that her back issues increasing got worse. This means to ever have sex, which she would do sacrificially once or twice a month meant she went through a lot of pain.

I believe in male headship in a marriage. I feel lines get blurred when I’m required to serve my wife and kids day to day.  Sometimes I feel my wife has a sense of entitlement for me to do things for her because of her needs and pain. When I confront this there is the same old argument about respect, genuine pain and the gap between both our needs comes up.  I’m also incredibly frustrated being the homemaker and raising my boys. I believe these roles belong to a wife and mother. I feel caged as I grit my teeth waiting for life to progress whilst giving my boys the best chance possible to do well in life and love God.

We have hired a cleaner once a week and have recently hired someone to pick the kids up from school from time to time to try and help the situation.

I’m frustrated sexually as I fight to stay pure, I’m frustrated as a man, I’m frustrated because I want to be the best husband and dad God has designed me to be but feel the health issues in my wife have stolen the ability to follow the biblical pattern to achieve it. I know it’s not her fault, she sometimes feels guilty and says it would be better if I didn’t marry her or that she died at her first cardiac arrest.

Six years ago I planted a church and have been encouraging men to lead their wives and family and not to be influenced by toxic feminism that is destroying society.

If you have any wisdom or advise that would be helpful.”

My Story Is Very Similar Bob’s

I have spoke about my wife in various articles and struggles we have had.  But for a long time, I have been wanting to focus in on the aspect of my being a caregiver husband. Bob’s email was just the push I needed to do this and I hope this will be a blessing to other husbands out there who are caregivers to their disabled wives.

My wife was a nurse’s aide and then became a nurse and worked for the same hospital system for almost 20 years before she had her car accident at the end of 2012.  She struggled with her weight for years and had a gastric bypass in 2011 a little over a year after we were married in 2010 she was my second wife – I had to divorce my first wife in 2009 for adultery.  See my article “If We Treated Divorce Like Killing” for my exhaustive study and conclusions on divorce from a Biblical perspective.

The gastric bypass actually caused her to have cardiac issues (yes, it is strange and I did not know gastric bypasses could do that but they sometimes do).  She had what appeared to be a mild heart attack as a result of complications from the gastric bypass in early 2011. After this she would have times where she experienced light headedness.  She had to get on heart medication to regulate her heart.  Eventually she had to step down from her nurse manager position on a surgical floor to just being a regular floor nurse again on a contingent basis.   This let her work less hours and set her own schedule.

We thought she was doing better but it appeared that she had a black out, most likely caused by her heart condition, on her way driving to work one day on a highway.   She hit a free way barrier doing about 60 miles an hour (according to witnesses) and the car flew up in the air.  She could have died but thankfully the Lord saved her.  She did however suffer a traumatic brain injury and neck, shoulder and back issues because of the accident.  She has been in chronic pain ever since.

Also, the TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) caused changes in her personality.  Before the accident she was a strong and independent woman who liked to go to work and go shopping and visit friends and family.  After the accident she was a fearful woman and woman with great anxiety and depression.  Some of the depression was as a result of her losing her career as a nurse.   She really saw her whole value in her education (her nursing degree) and her job as a nurse.  She could not see her life not doing nursing.  It has taken years of counseling to get her to the acceptance of the new life she is in now. She has to have a rhizotomy done on each side of her neck for her neck pain (and she has done this for six years now). She has these two surgeries done within 2 weeks of one each other every six months.

I have to manage her pain medication for her and keep it locked up because when she had access to it she would abuse it because of her chronic pain.

So, I am in a similar boat to you – I cook a lot, I help with laundry and also with my children.  I have five children from a previous marriage and my wife has none. She was not able to have children with her previous husband.   My wife has hinted about adoption – but I told her after the accident I do not think that is wise because she cannot even care completely for herself let alone a child full time.  She loves babysitting my 2-year-old our 7-month-old nephews. But she can only do that for a few hours at time before being completely physically and mentally exhausted where she needs to retreat to our bedroom to recoup.  I call our bedroom her “Fortress of Solitude”.

God’s Ideal for Man, Woman and Marriage

The Scriptures clearly tell us the following regarding why he created men and women:

“7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”

I Corinthians 11:7-9 (KJV)

God created man to be his image bearer and thereby bring him glory.  In order for man to fully image God he had to have “a weaker vessel” (I Peter 3:7) for him to lead, provide for and protect just as God leads, provides for and protects his people.  Man needed children so he could play out God’s attributes as a father to his children. In order to help man fulfill his purpose he created woman as his helper and the institution of marriage to bind man and woman together.

Ephesians chapter five verses 22-33 paints this beautiful picture that he intended for man and woman to paint with marriage:

“22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”

Proverbs 31:11 tells us of the virtuous wife that “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil”.  As we can see by looking at the rest of the chapter that means that her husband does not have to worry about any of the domestic affairs of the home.  He can safely trust in the fact that as he goes about his work she has everything in order at home from food, to clothing and the care of his children.  The Scriptures tell us verse 27 of Proverbs 31 that “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness”.  Wouldn’t that be wonderful if that is what all Christian husbands could have in a Christian wife? But for myself, Bob and many other men we must come to accept that reality that sometimes husbands and wives don’t get to play out this beautiful picture.  The reason we do not is because of the corruption of sin in this world.

People get hurt, they get diseases, they have chronic pain and many other issues, both mental and physical, because of the presence of sin.  And please do not misunderstand me – I am not saying people have physical problems or defects because they sinned – but rather because of the general presence of sin in the world.   This brings me to my first piece of advice for Christian husbands who are caregivers to their wives.

Acceptance is Crucial

My first piece of advice to men like Bob who are trying to cope with being a caregiver husband is that we must come to a place of acceptance.  Really both we and our wife must accept that it is God who has brought this trial into our lives.  The Bible tells us the following regarding trials that God allows to come into our lives:

“2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

James 1:2-4 (KJV)

Bob – you stated that “All that was left was looking after my family which made me feel miserable.” Now someone who does not know or embrace what the Bible says about the roles of men and women would call you selfish and mean for saying what you just said.  They would say that you should consider being a caregiver husband to be a privilege and not some burden you must carry.

But people who would call you selfish are ignorant of how God made man and woman.  God made a woman to look after the needs of her husband, her children and her home.  So, a woman who makes a statement like yours longing to make her impact on the world outside the home and feels like she is not doing everything she could is actually selfish.  Her ambition is not in line with God’s design for her as the keeper of the home.   But you as a man were meant to go out and work in the world and make your mark on it.

For a woman the home is her mission, but for a man his home is only a part of his larger mission that God has given him. 

So, your feelings in this regard are completely normal and part of God’s masculine design in you.

You said “I was on antidepressants for a couple of years to repair my brain from living off adrenaline constantly”.   Feeling moments of great stress as caretaker husband is completely normal.  It will happen and it will happen more than once.

Trust me I know from experience that “joy” is not exactly what I have felt over the years in dealing with my wife’s health’s issues or the impact they have had on our marriage and family. But we can find joy in our trials when we step back and accept that nothing that happens to us that does not first go through the throne of God.

Yes, you had passions and ambitious plans.  So, did and I so did other Christian husbands who find themselves in our position as caregiver husbands.  But God asks us to step back and do what he has for us to do.  In our case a lot of our time and energy will go to caring for our wife and also to caring for the affairs of the home when she cannot.  It wills sometimes compel us to sacrifice our sexual needs for physical needs of our wife.

And here is a very important point that we as caregiver husbands should not miss.  While our marriage may not be able to fully paint the picture of Christ and his Church because our wife cannot fully serve our home and us as the Church is to serve Christ we as husbands can beautifully portray the sacrificial love of Christ by laying down our lives in our caregiving duties toward our wives.

Acceptance Is Not The Same as Apathy

I have just laid out the case for the fact that we as caregiver husbands must first come to a place of acceptance of the fact that we have a disabled wife whom God has given us the solemn duty and responsibility to care for.

But we must never mistake acceptance for apathy.  What I mean by this is that God has given us as husbands the solemn duty to lead our wives and part of leading them is to spiritually wash them as Christ does his Church in Ephesians 5:25-27:

“25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

I find it sad how many Pastors and teachers today skip right over verses 26-27 and go straight to verses 28-29.  Many Christian teachers today dismiss verses 26 and 27 of Ephesians chapter 5 as “descriptive of Christ’s work in the Church but not prescriptive for husband’s in regard to their wives”.  Really? I don’t know how they make such statements with a straight face.  When it comes to marriage modeling the relationship of Christ and the Church we must accept the complete model and not just the parts that we like in our culture today.

Verses 26 to 27 reveal a critical truth about marriage.  The purpose of a husband giving himself up for his wife as Christ gave himself up for the Church as seen in verse 25 is not for the happiness of his wife.  Today we hear the phrase “Happy Wife, Happy Life” and that our wife’s happiness should be our central goal in marriage.  But this is utterly unbiblical! The purpose of marriage is not to make a husband or wife happy, but rather it is to make us holy and conform us to God’s will.

Happiness can be a wonderful byproduct of doing marriage God’s way.  But it should never be the focus or goal of marriage. Some Christian teachers will admit that holiness rather than happiness is God’s goal for marriage.  But then they miss the target of that holiness – which is for man to model Christ and woman to model the church.  A husband and wife might be kind and loving toward one another and even sacrifice for one another. But if a husband and wife are not modeling the relationship of Christ and the Church as it is defined here in Ephesians chapter 5 they are not striving for the holiness God desires.  They are inventing their own target and their own mark.

So now let me return to what I said about not mistaking acceptance for apathy.  Yes, I must accept that my wife is disabled and so must you if your wife is disabled.  However, that does not mean I cease to care about her holiness.  My job as her husband is to teach her the Word of God and to wash her spiritual spots and blemishes with the Word of God.

Part of my job as her husband is to push my disabled wife to be the best she can be.  It is to push her outside her comfort zone to be the best wife she can be despite her disability.  Years ago, after my wife’s accident for a long time I did not push her to do anything around the house.  But after speaking with both her medical doctors and her therapists I was told that was not a good thing for me to do.  I needed to push her.  She needed to learn to push through the pain and do some things around the house.  She need to get out and get fresh air and not lay on the couch or in bed most of the day.   This was not good for her body or her mind.

Would she experience chronic pain for the rest of her life? Yes.  But she needed to learn to cope with that pain and still function.  We both needed to learn to cope with our situation.

So yes, that means my wife might experience a certain amount of pain just doing the dishes.  In fact, she often has to sit and rest after doing an hour or so of house work and that is ok. I help with lifting heavy things but my wife does cooking, cleaning and laundry all while suffering from chronic pain. She may only be able to do so much and then I have to step in but I make sure she is doing what she can depending on the week.

Another thing to remember when we are caregiver husbands.  Our wives are going to have good weeks and bad weeks.  I certainly am not going to push my wife and have her do house work right after a surgery.  But there are weeks when I can tell she is having a better week and I will push her to do more.

It is very common for people who deal with chronic pain to get lazy as a result of their chronic pain and depression that accompanies it.  We as their husbands have to help our wives push through these times.

What About Sex With A Disabled Wife?

In my case, my wife already had a bad attitude about sex long before she had the car accident.  She had the attitude that it was her body and I had to earn it and even then, she did not have to give it.  I was aggressively working on that sinful attitude she had and then she had her car accident.  I let it go for a while after the car accident and then I realized she was using the accident as an excuse to become entrenched in her position that she did not have to meet my sexual needs.

That was when I took her to task and made it very clear I would end our marriage based on the fact that sexual faithfulness in marriage is a two-sided coin.  On the one side if she were to go and have sex with another man that would be one form of unfaithfulness.  But how could she claim to be being sexually faithful to me while denying me sex? Such a claim is a contradiction.

Again, this comes back to the ideal way God meant things to be verses the way things actually are as a result of us living in a sin cursed world.  God’s ideal is that your wife would willing give you her body and joyfully have sex with you and experience pleasure and delight each time you have sex.  But in this sin curse world both men and women have physical and mental issues that make our sexual experiences in marriage less than ideal.  That means sometimes you might have to have sex with your wife knowing she is in pain.

But as you alluded to – not having sex with your wife puts you in a position to be tempted to fall into fornication.  Remember what the Scriptures say in I Corinthians 7:2 – “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.”

If you don’t use your wife’s body to meet your sexual needs eventually you will fall into true sexual sin.   And yes, the Bible refers to sex as “the natural use of the woman” in Romans 1:27. It might come down to you not looking at her face while having sex.  A lot of people take offense at me saying that as I have on many occasions.  But sometimes that is what we must do.  Sometimes while we are having sex we have to imagine a better scenario than the one we are actually in and that is ok.  That is one of the reasons God gave us as human beings the wonderful gift of imagination.

At the same time, I would highly recommend that you talk to your wife about “faking it”.  Again, this is a piece of advice many people disagree with me on.  But it is not a sin to fake it and I would argue that in some cases it might just be a sin if you don’t.

How many people go to work as a sales person or in some other customer facing job where it is required that they smile and put on a good front with their customers despite their pain or other personal problems?

I find it fascinating that a woman with back problems can go to work all day as a waitress smiling for each of her customers and hiding the pain for 8 hours and then she can’t come home and hide the pain for 20 minutes while she has sex with her husband? Are you kidding me? Do we not see the utter absurdity of this?

Your Children Need to Know Men Should Not be Homemakers

Bob, you said “I’m also incredibly frustrated being the homemaker and raising my boys. I believe these roles belong to a wife and mother”.  You need to make clear to your children where that frustration comes from because this is not God’s design, this is not God’s ideal.  You are only having to go outside God’s norm and his design due to your wife’s physical issues.

But again, they should see you pushing your wife to do her best – whatever that may be.  Unless your wife is paralyzed in a wheel chair she can do some things around house.  It may be painful for her – but none of us gets to live a life devoid of pain.

The same would go for women who have to work to provide for their families because their husbands become disabled.  The Children need to be told this is not God’s norm or design for the family.

The Entitlement Mentality of the Disabled Wife

Bob, you said “Sometimes I feel my wife has a sense of entitlement for me to do things for her because of her needs and pain. When I confront this there is the same old argument about respect, genuine pain and the gap between both our needs comes up”.  This all too common in disabled wives and my wife struggles with this from time to time.  One day she expresses her gratitude for all I do for her and the next day she will have a sense of entitlement and get mad because I forgot to pick up some medicine of hers.  This is a sinful flaw that we must diligently correct in the lives of our wives.  This is no different than when God had to remind Israel constantly of all he had done for her in the face ofs her ingratitude toward him.

Conclusion

Sometimes because we live in a sin cursed world we as men and women will not be able to fully play out the gender roles God has designed for us.  But each of us must do our best with what God has given us.  Specifically, as caregiver husbands to disabled wives we must first come to the acceptance of the situation God has placed us in.  That might mean we can’t pursue certain career or even ministerial ambitions because of our duties to be a caregiver to our disabled wife. It might mean we have to sometimes sacrifice our sexual needs because of the health issues of our wives.

But at the same time, we should never allow our acceptance of our wife’s condition to turn into apathy towards her spiritual condition.  We should not have the attitude as caregiver husbands that it does not matter what our wife does and that anything she does should be considered a bonus.  We have a God given duty to lead our disabled wives spiritually and that means pushing them to do their best whatever that might be depending on their condition.

It might even mean pushing our wives to work through the pain.  To wash the dishes even though it hurts.  To dust the furniture even though it hurts.  To put away clothes even though it hurts.  And yes, they have to learn to engage in sexual relations even if it hurts.  Yes, sometimes we as men need to forgo sexual relations for a small period if medically necessary – but it should not be allowed to become a long term or permanent thing.

Are Feelings A Better Basis For Relationships Than The Bible?

This video is the first part of a larger series I will be doing responding to this video by Rachel Oats:

In the video above Rachel Oates is taking on my recent article “Why God Wants You To Stay In An Abusive Relationship” from her atheist and secular humanist perspective.  She has a lot of statements that I want to address from a Christian perspective.

My goal in responding to her is to equip Bible believing Christians with answers to the assertions she makes as well as plant questions in the minds of non-Christians viewing this.

Also you can find the mp3 audio version of my video response in my audio section here.

Why the Bible Allows Forced Sex in Marriage

Is forced sex in marriage wrong? If you are like most American Christians your gut answer would be YES! Of course, the Bible says it is wrong! Up until very recently I used to think the answer was YES as well. But as God began to peel back my American cultural presuppositions I realized the answer might be something other than what I was comfortable with.

In my last article entitled “It is Not a Woman’s Consent That Matters, It is God’s”, I proved from the Scriptures that God does not allow a woman to say YES to sexual relations to a man she is not married to and he does not allow her to say NO to sexual relations to her husband whom she is married to.

But this raises another question for those Christians who accept that the Bible calls it sin for a woman to sexually refuse her husband. What if a woman does refuse her husband? Can the husband under God’s law physically force himself upon his wife who sinfully resists him?

Here are some answers I have given on this blog in the past. In one of the most popular articles on this blog entitled “8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal” I wrote this:

“I have not, nor would I EVER advocate for a husband to force himself physically upon his wife or to physically abuse her in any fashion. The issue being discussed is how a husband can confront a wife who chronically or willfully denies his sexual rights in marriage without just cause (be it legitimate health or mental conditions). He has the right, both under Biblical law, as well as under American law, to reason with his with his wife and try to convince her to willingly(even if grudgingly) yield herself to him, and thereby fulfilling one her most important duties in Christian marriage.”

And in my article entitled “The Rape Straw Man” I stated:

“Biblically speaking, there is no such thing as “marital rape” – HOWEVER, there is such a thing as physical abuse. While the Bible does not speak specifically to this case of a man forcing himself on his wife, I believe it is a case of physical abuse.

So what others call rape, I call abuse. In the same way that when someone is wrongfully killed it might be first degree murder, second degree murder or man slaughter what we call “physical abuse” and what we call “rape” is dependent on the relationship between the man and woman in question. There is no doubt a wrong has been committed. But what we call it, and how it is punished or dealt with is very different depending on the circumstances.”

My Change in Position on Forced Sex in Marriage

The emergence of the MeToo movement lead me to restudy and reconsider my understanding of what the Bible says about sexual consent. I have been pouring over the Scriptures for the last couple of months really asking God to reveal to me any presuppositions or cultural biases I might have on this subject and I have written many articles related to sexual conduct from a Biblical perspective recently. My last article “It is Not a Woman’s Consent That Matters, It is God’s”, not only traced the wicked origins of modern American sexual consent ideology but more importantly it laid the foundation for a Biblical view of when God consents to a man and woman entering into sexual relations.

Because of what God revealed to me through his Word in that study as of today I am officially changing my position on the issue of forced sex within marriage. My new position is as follows:

Forced sex within marriage by a husband toward his wife is not in and of itself a sin but it can be a sin under certain circumstances. The “Markland Letter” case which I addressed in my article “It is Not a Woman’s Consent That Matters, It is God’s” where the man forced sex on his wife after surgery would be an example of a husband sinfully forcing himself on his wife.

Now a lot of Christians at this point are shutting me down. But I want to encourage you and challenge the view you have been raised with in our culture with what God’s Word actually says on this very controversial subject.

Is All Forced Sex in Marriage Domestic Abuse and Sexual Abuse?

In their article entitled “What does the Bible say about spousal/marital rape?” GotQuestions.org states:

“Spousal or marital rape is a form of domestic violence and sexual abuse. In spousal rape, sex is forced on one spouse by the other. While the Bible does not specifically deal with spousal rape, it has plenty to say about the husband-wife relationship and its representation of Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:32)…

and God never condones rape.”

I want to quickly address the terminology I am using here. I am using the phrase “forced sex” and gotquestions.org is using “marital rape” or just “rape”. The reason I am using the term “forced sex” instead of “rape” is because the term rape in our language and culture not only denotes an action taken, but it also implies a moral condemnation of that action. Calling “forced sex” rape in our language and culture would be like referring to every instance of killing as murder. I am going to speak more to the term “rape” later on in this article.

Biblically speaking all instances of forced sex are not considered rape any more than all instances of killing are considered murder. It is the context which determines if a particular instance of forced sex is rape just as it is the context which determines if a particular killing is murder. The only forced sex the Bible ever condemns is forced sex OUTSIDE of marriage. The Bible actually addresses forced marriage and as a result of marriage forced sex in the book of Deuteronomy.

God Condoned Forced Sex in Marriage

God granted the right of men to take women as one of the many spoils of war as long as they were not one of seven forbidden nations in which everyone was to be killed:

“But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.”

Deuteronomy 20:14 (KJV)

In the next chapter God details the process by which men could take women as spoils of war:

“10 When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the Lord thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, 11 And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife;

12 Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house, and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

13 And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife.

14 And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her.”

Deuteronomy 21:10-14 (KJV)

So in summary God allowed men to take by force women as captives of war. However, unlike the nations around them – they were not allowed to have forced sex right there on the battlefield with their captive women. Instead God had a higher standard. God made the Israelite men wait one month to allow the woman to mourn the death of her loved ones.

Even after the month – the man had to take her as his wife, not simply his sex slave as other nations also did. God commands them “thou shalt go in unto her” which is a euphemism for sex in the Bible. Now some might say “Well that does not say forced sex, it just says sex” and that is absolutely true. A man “going in unto a woman” does not denote whether it was forced or not. However there is a key phrase at the end of this passage that DOES indicate forced sex: “because thou hast humbled her”.

God’s Definition of Rape

There are many euphemisms for sex in the Bible. Men “knew” their wives, they “lay” with their wives and as we can see here they “went in unto” their wives. However there is another euphemism for sex in the Bible that specifically denotes “forced sex” and that is the “humbling” of a woman by a man.

This same phrase is used when speaking of actions the Bible actually considers to be rape (as opposed to our modern understanding that all forced sex is rape):

“23 If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; 24 Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour’s wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you. 25 But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die.

26 But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter:

27 For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her. 28 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;

29 Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.”

Deuteronomy 22:23-29 (KJV)

In the above passage from Deuteronomy chapter 22 we find God’s definition of rape as opposed to our modern definition of rape. What does God call rape? Does he say it is simply when a man humbles (has forced sex) with a woman? The answer is NO. Instead we find that rape in God’s eyes is when a man has forced sex with a woman who is he not married to. The Bible covers both a betrothed (or married) woman and also virgin woman. In a follow-up article to this one I will be specifically addressing God’s command that a rapist had to marry the woman he raped.

My point in showing Deuteronomy 22:23-29 is twofold. First it gives God’s definition of rape which is the when a man has forced sex with a woman who is not his wife. Secondly in the context of the rape discussion God uses the term “humbled” to denote forced sex.

This English word “humbled” in these passages is a translation of the Hebrew word “anah” which means to “afflict”, “humble” or “force” in most instances.

Anah is used in reference to two famous rape stories in the Bible. The first is regarding the rape of Dinah, the daughter of Leah and wife of Jacob:

“1 And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. 2 And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled [anah] her.”

Genesis 34:1-2(KJV)

The second is the rape of Tamar by her half-brother Amnon:

“Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced [anah] her, and lay with her.”

2 Samuel 13:14 (KJV)

And again why was the ‘anah’ or humbling and forced sex of these women considered to be true rape and thus immoral? Because they broke God’s law in Deuteronomy 22:23-29 that condemned a man having forced sex with a woman that was not his wife.

The Humbling of a Woman in Marriage

And a final note on Deuteronomy 21:10-14 and the humbling of the captive woman who was taken by the divine allowance of God. Some have tried to say this humbling had to do strictly with the woman shaving her head. What these same people do not realize is that it was common in ancient Middle Eastern cultures for both men and women to either pull out their hair or shave their heads when horrible tragedies struck. I believe the loss of one’s entire family would qualify in this case.

Also saying that the humbling of the woman by the man does not refer to forced sex takes a very naïve approach to the situation. Can anyone with a straight face say they think most captive women after only one month would want to willingly and consensually have sex with the man who may have killed their family or at least was part of the army that did? The reality is we all know in this situation that in the vast majority of cases even after one month the man would be having forced sex with his new bride. That is just reality.

So we can as Bible believing Christians rightly say based on Deuteronomy 22:23-29 that God never condones rape which HE defines as a man having forced sex with a woman he is not married to. But we can equally say that God does in fact condone forced sex in marriage based on Deuteronomy 21:10-14.

Biblical Sex is Not Just about Giving, But Also about Taking

In their article entitled “What does the Bible say about spousal/marital rape?” GotQuestions.org states:

“Some people believe that a wife must be agreeable to sexual relations with her husband at any time and that she has no say in the matter. They often misuse 1 Corinthians 7:3–5 to support the erroneous view that a wife can never tell her husband that she would like to defer having sex for a time. Some men believe that the husband has a God-given right to just “take it,” in spite of his wife’s objections…

It is clear from the Bible that mutuality reigns in the bedroom. According to 1 Corinthians 7:1–5, a husband should provide sexual satisfaction to his wife, and a wife should provide sexual satisfaction to her husband. A wife does not have authority over her own body, and a husband does not have authority over his own body. They belong to each other. Does this mean that a husband can force himself on his wife anytime he so desires? Definitely not. What the passage teaches is that each spouse is to willingly, freely, lovingly submit to the other. The passage is about giving satisfaction, not demanding it. The focus is on pleasing one’s spouse. There is no selfishness involved. Forcibly taking what has not been offered is wrong and plainly against the Bible’s commands on love and marriage.”

I would not call GotQuestions.org a raging feminist site as they do speak on submission in marriage, even if at times they water it down quite a bit. However the term “mutuality” they use in this article is a favorite of Christian feminists. In fact some Christian feminists use this passage in 1 Corinthians 7:1–5 to try to cancel out all the Bible’s teachings on male headship in marriage and they say marriage is a “mutual partnership”.

I am not denying that there is not any mutuality taught in this passage as there clearly is. But it is a limited mutuality, not an all-inclusive mutuality.

The first part of this passage from I Corinthians shows that a husband and wife have a right to sexual access to one another’s bodies:

“3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.”

I Corinthians 7:3-5 (KJV)

The English word “power” here is a translation of the Greek word Exousiazo and can refer to authority or the right to do something. If we try and say here that God is saying a wife has literal authority over her husband’s body then this contradicts with the Scriptural teaching that the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church and the wife is to submit to her husband in everything as the Church is to submit to Christ in everything (Ephesians 5:23-24).

In the programming world in which I work we would call this an infinite loop. If a husband can command compel his wife to give her body to him yet she can command him not to give his body to her we can see where this ends up.

So when we take the whole of the Scriptures and especially Ephesians 5:23-24 into account we understand that the “power” of I Corinthians 7:3-5 actually refers to “the right”. A husband has the right to sexual access to this wife’s body and the wife has the right to sexual access to her husband’s body.

Are Christian Husbands Wrong for “demanding” Sex From their Wives?

GotQuestions.org claims The passage is about giving satisfaction, not demanding it. The focus is on pleasing one’s spouse and I don’t deny that this passage does reference giving one’s self to one’s spouse. When it uses the word “render” that is our duty as spouses to GIVE our bodies to our spouses for their sexual satisfaction. However it also talks about the “power” or “right” of the spouse toward their spouse’s body – this is clearly the power to TAKE or seek sexual satisfaction in one’s spouse’s body. GotQuestions.org does not like “take” to be anywhere in the conversation of sex but in this passage the giving AND taking aspects of sex as God designed it are clearly on display.

Finally as far as “demanding” sex is it is true that the wife can no more demand anything of her husband than the Church can demand something of Christ. Can she request sex from her husband as the Church can request various things of Christ? Yes. But she cannot demand anything of her husband. However, can and does Christ demand obedience from his Church in “everything” as Ephesians 5:23-24 shows? The answer is yes. Therefore since a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his Church he can demand obedience from his wife (including in the sexual arena) just as Christ demands obedience from his Church.

Do Wives Have to be “agreeable” to Sex at “at any time”?

GotQuestions.org claims that some Christians have an “erroneous view” that “that a wife must be agreeable to sexual relations with her husband at any time and that she has no say in the matter”. I would agree that I Corinthians 7:2-5 never specifically mentions sex on demand “at any time” from a wife. But there is another passage of Scripture dealing with sex in marriage that DOES:

15 Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. 16 Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets. 17 Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee. 18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee AT ALL TIMES; and be thou ravished always with her love.”

Proverbs 5:15-19 (KJV)

The Scriptures command husbands to “drink” or take pleasure from the sexual well that is their wife’s body. They are command let her breasts (symbolic of her whole body) satisfy them AT ALL TIMES or in the words of GotQuestions.org “at any time”.

Besides Proverbs 5:15-19 there is any even more powerful principle of Scripture that dictates what a wife’s response is to be to her husband in all matters:

“Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

Ephesians 5:24 (KJV)

So as we can see, the Bible commands that a wife should be “agreeable…at any time” to anything her husband asks her to do whether it is cleaning, cooking, paying the bills, putting children to bed and yes having sex with him. The only Biblical caveat to this would be if he asked her to do something sinful against God and then she has to obey God rather than her husband (Acts 5:29). It really is that simple.

But God never forces himself on his wife!

Some will take the relationship of Christ and his Church and claim “we never see Christ forcing his Church and therefore husbands may not force their wives”. Others will conflate salvation with marriage and say “God does not force us to come to him salvation, therefore a husband cannot force his wife to have sex with him.”

Let me address the latter claim first and then I will address the former. Two of the primary ways that God pictures our relationship to him is as a father and then as husband. Our relationship as individuals to God is pictured as that of a child to their father. Our relationship to God as a group, as the people of God, is pictured as that of a wife to her husband.

When God invites us to become his children this is presented as a choice:

“While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.”

John 12:36 (KJV)

Now of course we understand there is a consequence of that choice. If we do not choose to obey the Gospel of Christ this is what awaits those who disobey his Gospel:

“7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power”

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 (KJV)

But in the context of God’s relationship to his people as a whole he sometimes compels obedience by force. In the Old Testament the relationship of God to the nation of Israel was pictured as a marriage with God as the husband and Israel as his wife. When Israel rebelled against God just after making their marriage covenant with him the Bible tells us he humbled Israel:

“2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble[anah] thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. 3 And he humbled[anah] thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.”

Deuteronomy 8:2-3 (KJV)

Remember that in the context of the relationship of a man and woman when he humbles her this is the man forcing himself upon the woman. God forced Israel to yield to him and to learn that concept that “that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live”.

But Christ Never Forces His Church!

Some will say – “Well God’s relationship with Israel was different than his Church and Christ never forces his Church to do anything”.

Earlier I said the reason I don’t use the term rape in the context of marriage is because it is like using murder to refer to all killing. Only unlawful killing (unlawful by God’s law) is considered murder. Killing in self-defense or to save others is not wrong. Even in the case of wrongful forced sex in marriage like the Markland Letter case, such action is not rape but rather physical abuse.

But now I want us to look at the definition of rape. Here is the Webster’s 1828 dictionary definition of rape:

“In a general sense, a seizing by violence; also, a seizing and carrying away by force, as females.

In law, the carnal knowledge of a woman forcibly and against her will.

Privation; the act of seizing or taking away.”

http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/rape

Now someone reading this might say “See right there even in the old definition of rape it talks about a man taking a woman against her will!”. And that is very true. However as I explained earlier it is God who defines what rape is – not us. But I want you to zero in on the first definition where it says “a seizing and carrying away by force”.

Now let us turn to the New Testament. Before I give the next Scripture I want to set the stage a bit. In the Old Testament the marriage of God to Israel is pictured as a full consummated marriage after which Israel commits adultery with false gods and God divorces her for this.

In the New Testament the Church is pictured as a betrothed bride to Christ whose marriage has not yet been consummated:

“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

2 Corinthians 11:2 (KJV)

The “consummation” of the Church and Christ’s marriage is described in the passage below:

“16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (KJV)

The event described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 is what is known as the “rapture” of the Church.

Bible.org gives a brief background of the word “rapture”:

“Regarding the term rapture and its use in theology the following should answer your questions. It is taken from Ryrie’s Basic Theology, Electronic Media from Parsons Technology.

Our modern understanding of rapture appears to have little or no connection with the eschatological event. However, the word is properly used of that event. Rapture is a state or experience of being carried away. The English word comes from a Latin word, rapio, which means to seize or snatch in relation to an ecstasy of spirit or the actual removal from one place to another. In other words, it means to be carried away in spirit or in body. The Rapture of the church means the carrying away of the church from earth to heaven.

The Greek word from this term “rapture” is derived appears in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, translated “caught up.” The Latin translation of this verse used the word rapturo. The Greek word it translates is harpazo, which means to snatch or take away. Elsewhere it is used to describe how the Spirit caught up Philip near Gaza and brought him to Caesarea (Acts 8:39) and to describe Paul’s experience of being caught up into the third heaven (2 Cor. 12:2-4). Thus there can be no doubt that the word is used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 to indicate the actual removal of people from earth to heaven.”

https://bible.org/question/where-did-term-8216rapture%E2%80%99-come

Ryrie’s definition of harpazo actually leaves out a very important part of the definition. It is not simply to snatch, seize or take away – it is do these things “by force”

Strong’s #726: harpazo (pronounced har-pad’-zo)

from a derivative of 138; to seize (in various applications):–catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force).

https://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Lexicon.show/ID/G726/harpazo.htm

And if we look at the word origin of our English word “rape” we read:

“early 14c., “booty, prey;” mid-14c., “forceful seizure; plundering, robbery, extortion,” from Anglo-French rap, rape, and directly from Latin rapere “seize” (see rape (v.)). Meaning “act of abducting a woman or sexually violating her or both” is from early 15c., but perhaps late 13c. in Anglo-Latin.”

https://www.etymonline.com/word/rape

So now I will pull this all together for you. The Greek word which describes how Jesus Christ will take his church is harpazo which means to seize or take something or someone by force. When the Bible was translated into Latin (which Jerome finished in 405 AD) the word rapturo which was derived from the Latin word rapio (meaning to seize or snatch) was used to translate the Greek harpazo. Then in the 14th century the English word “rape” was created from the Latin to describe a man forcing a woman to have sex with him.

While English common law as well as previous laws held it was not wrong for a man to force his wife to have sex, over time the word rape came to be a derogatory term used not just of men forcing women they were not married to into sex, but also of husbands forcing their wives to have sex.

So the irony is that same word we rejoice of over – the “rapture” or seizure by force of the bride of Christ which his Church is the same word we use to condemn a husband for forcing his wife to have sex with him. Think about that. Let that settle in your brain a bit.

Is “Forced Sex” in Marriage an Oxymoron?

Now that I have proven from the Old Testament that God “humbled” or “forced” Israel to bend to his will and that Christ will actually rapture (take by force) his Bride which is the Church I want to come back to the address the following assertion from GotQuestions.org on this subject of forced sex in marriage:

“The truth is that sexual expression was designed by God to be an act of love within a marriage, and violence or coercion should never be a part of it. Forced sex is not love

When God humbled Israel would we call this anything less than an act of love on his part? The answer is we would indeed call it an act of love. Did God use violence on Israel when they disobeyed him in the dessert? You better believe he did. Did he use coercion to compel his wife to yield to his demands? You better believe he did. It is right there in the story of the marriage of God to Israel all throughout the Old Testament.

Even Christ when rebuking his Churches states:

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”

Revelation 3:19 (KJV)

Therefore we can conclude based on the example of God himself as a husband that forced sex in marriage is NOT an Oxymoron.

Forced Sex Scenarios

Now I want to give some scenarios with force to try and help you understand this concept better.

Forced Sex Scenario #1

Let’ say a husband comes home from a long trip, his wife has no idea when he will arrive. He comes in through the door as she is working in the kitchen, he picks her up in his arms and takes her to their bedroom. He tears through her clothes as fast as possible and has sex with her.

Now this was definitely a matter of force – he did not ask her permission or even say a word to her. But if she complies willing with his forceful gesture most people would say there was nothing wrong in that scenario. In fact some women would even find it romantic. In fact the picture I have just painted would be similar to what the Scriptures paint as the rapture of the Church by Christ who is her husband.

However, if during his attempt at forced sex his wife resisted in anyway now our modern society is up in arms. “He has violated her consent!” we are told. But from a Biblical perspective as we have shown in this article – if the wife resists her husband in the above scenario and he continues to force her to his will who has sinned? The husband, the wife or both? Biblically speaking it is the wife who has sinned and the husband is not sinning by forcing her to yield to his lawful demand.

Now if the wife resisted the husband in this scenario – if he loves her – is that what he wanted from her? Of course not. He wanted to be able to pick up his wife in his arms and for her to willingly give herself to him no questions asked. Just as Christ wants his Church to willing embrace him at the rapture. But make no mistake – Christ is not going to take “I am not in the mood today” from his Church when he comes. He is taking his Bride by force!

Forced Sex Scenario #2

Let’s say a man takes a woman as his wife who clearly did not want to be his wife. In the Bible this could be a scenario where a father gives his daughter to a man she does not want marry or it could be a man captures a woman as a captive during war. So on their wedding day he goes to have sex with her and she resists him. So he holds her down and forces her. In Biblical terms he has justly “humbled” his wife.

Again who is the one sinning in this scenario? Is the wife who sinning by resisting or is the husband sinning by forcing himself on his wife? Or is it both? We know the Biblical answer is that it is the wife who is sin and the husband is right and just in forcing his wife to have sex with him.

And once again – do men who truly love and have affection for their wives want it to be this way? No. We as men want what God wants from his wife – willing obedience, but if obedience is not given willfully we follow God’s example with Israel and humble our wives and take it by force.

Forced Sex Scenario #3

I was asked in a recent comment on my blog what I thought of the scenario of a “husband shoving his member down his wife’s throat”. In other words a husband forcing his wife to perform oral sex on him – is that a sin?

So a husband and wife are having sex and he decides to take his member up to his wife’s head for her to perform oral sex on him. She resists and turns her head away so he takes her head and forces her to perform oral sex on him.

We have given several principles in this article that answer this question.

The I Corinthians 7:2-4 principle teaches that a wife has a duty to render her body to her husband and it also gives him the right of sexual access to her body.

The Proverbs 5:18-19 Principle says a husband is to satisfy himself (literally drink his fill) of his wife’s body AT ALL TIMES.

The Ephesians 5:24 Principle says that a wife is to submit to her husband in EVERYTHING.

The Deuteronomy 8:2-3 Principle shows us that God humbled his wife Israel and forced her learn obedience to his will.

Therefore we can conclude based on the witness of the Scriptures that it is NOT a sin for a man to force his wife to perform oral sex on him as she has a duty to render her entire body to him to fulfill God’s command to him to satisfy himself with her body at all times. She is to submit to him in everything, not just the things she feels like doing or is comfortable with.

Ladies – I know for some of you this is a hard one to swallow (pun intended) but scripturally speaking the Bible does not condemn such actions by a husband toward his wife.

But Forced Sex is Selfishness!

The selfishness card is often used to dismiss not only a man forcing himself on his wife but also a man allowing his wife to consent to sex when she really is not in the mood. The reasoning goes – “if you see your wife is not in the mood for any reason, then if you were being selfless you would give up your desire or need.” Others have even tried to argue that if sex is ever desired in anyway other than to give pleasure to the other person it is by definition selfishness.

However the Biblical definition of selfishness is not simply doing things for one’s own benefit or desire. But instead it is when a person ONLY does things for their benefit or desire and never considers the needs of others.

“Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”

Philippians 2:4 (KJV)

The key phrase there in that verse which is also in the Greek is the word “also”. This verse is not saying it is wrong to look to our own needs or desire, but that we must ALSO look to the needs and desires of others well.

And I would remind anyone who says it is selfish for a man to have sex with his wife when she is not in the mood or to force her to have sex that this is selfishness to look to Proverbs 5:15-19 which commands a man to satisfy himself with his wife’s body “at all times”.

But Doesn’t Forced Sex Violate the Husband’s Duty to Care for his Wife’s Body?

It is absolutely true that Ephesians 5:28-29 teaches men as husbands that they are to care for their needs if their wife’s body. That is why what the husband did in the Markland Letter case was wrong because he violated this principle in causing severe damage to his wife’s body after surgery by forcing himself on her.

But outside of extreme conditions where a wife has not just had surgery we have to ask ourselves does forced sex in marriage by the husband toward his wife violate the Ephesians 5:28-29 principle? The answer I think in most cases is NO.

In most cases forced sex in marriage will hurt the woman’s pride, or in Biblical terms “humble her” more than anything else.

Some might ask “What about the risk of tissue tearing, bruising or rashes and other discomforts caused by forced sex?” Is there a risk of these things occurring? Yes. But who is it that is causing this risk? Is it the husband by exercising his lawful right to compel his wife to have sex or is it the woman who is causing this risk to herself by resisting her husband’s lawful demand?

Let me give some examples to illustrate what I am saying.

If a police officer pulls you over and asks you to produce your license and registration and you refuse and you refuse to get out of the car – can he use force to make you obey his lawful order? You better believe he can. And if you resist the officer in the course of his lawful actions and in the process you smack your head on the ground or get scrapes and cuts who was it that put you at risk? Was it him or was it you by your resisting his lawful actions?

If a parent goes to spank their child and in the process of resisting the child gets bumps, bruises and tears who was it that put themselves at risk and brought these injuries on themselves?

If a police officer has a warrant to enter your home and you resist and as he enters the home by force you or your home are damaged whose fault was that?

Am I Telling Husbands to Go Home and Force Themselves on Their Wives?

The answer is No. But you might be thinking – Wait you just said spent this entire article telling us it was not a sin for a man to force himself on his wife!

As you catch your breath let me explain a simple principle regarding Biblical rights. Just because we have the right to do something, does not mean it is always wise to do something.

Paul said that he had the right to take a wife yet he chose not to exercise that right:

“5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?…15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.”

1 Corinthians 9:5 & 15 (KJV)

He goes into more detail as to why he did not exercise his right to take a wife in the passage below:

“I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.”
1 Corinthians 7:26 (KJV)

So, Paul was saying because of “the present distress”, the horrible persecution of the church, he felt it was better for a man not to exercise his God given right to take a wife.

In the same way because of the present distress of feminism and the utter hostility toward Biblical marriage I personally do not think it is always wise for a husband to force himself on his wife even though it is his right as her husband, her head and her master to force her compliance to God’s commands in this area of sexuality.

Christ admonished us to be “wise” in a world which hates the God of the Bible:

“16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.”

Matthew 10:16-19 (KJV)

Gentlemen there is more than one way to skin a cat. If you use force against your wife, it may be right and just before God – but because of the wicked society we live in you run a very high risk of going to jail for violations of domestic abuse laws or the remove of the marital rape exemption in all 50 states. All your wife has to do is make a phone call.

Instead you need to be wise as serpents as Christ admonished us to be and use other means to discipline your wife. See my article “8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal” for ideas on non-physical ways in which you can discipline your wife. These are all non-physical methods of discipline that you can never be prosecuted for (despite feminist fantasies to the contrary).

For instance, no police officer anywhere is going to arrest a husband for spending less time with his wife because she refuses to submit to him sexually. No prosecutor is going to prosecute a case where a husband refused to pay for kitchen upgrades because his wife refused to sexually submit. No jury will convict a husband of marital rape because he refused to buy his wife some jewelry she wanted because she would not sexually submit to him.

If a woman complains about these non-physical things her husband is doing to a law enforcement officer they are going to tell her “If you don’t like it get a divorce”. I have had multiple police officers and others write me since I wrote that article (“8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal”) confirming this for me.

Using non-physical methods of discipline are ways that you can communicate your displeasure with your wife’s sinful attitudes but at the same time you can shield yourself from a world that is hostile to Biblical male headship.

A Final Exhortation to Christian Wives

Christian wife this all goes back to how you view yourself in God’s design of marriage.

“13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings”

Philippians 2:13-14 (KJV)

Imagine if you actually followed Ephesians 5:22-24’s admonition to submit to your husband “as unto the Lord… in everything”. Imagine if you submitted to your husband working in your body both to will and do of his good pleasure without grumbling or resisting him?

If you were to follow this pattern with your husband then the issue of forced sex in marriage would really be a non-issue.

Are Gender Roles a Distraction From the Gospel?

Should we stop teaching Biblical commandments regarding gender roles? Is the teaching of Biblical gender roles a distraction to spreading the Gospel and bringing people to Christ?

This is what a lot of Christians today believe.  In fact I personally know many preachers today who say they stand on the Word of God yet they take this approach that “teaching what the Bible says on gender roles distracts from reaching people for Christ”.

Some of these men are firm believers in Biblical inerrancy.  They would even be considered “conservative” in many aspects of their life and ministry.  They will preach on many subjects including the church, giving and general holy living topics. They don’t believe that preaching “thou shalt not bear false witness” or “thou shalt not covet” are distractions to the Gospel. But to them teaching women that God says Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing is a distraction from the Gospel.

Recently I received an email from a man calling himself Mike.  I believe his email is a very good representation of what I have actually heard from Christian ministers today even if he is not a minister. This issue needs to be addressed as we challenge our culture (sadly even our Christian culture) with the truth of God’s Word.

With that said below is Mike’s email.

“We have so many people that we Christians need to help simply cross the line into believing in God first and foremost that this is where our number one priority should be. Your site and others like it simply muddies the waters.

If you can’t even understand “Judge not lest ye be judged”, how in the world do you come to the conclusion that your interpretations are correct and everyone who doesn’t believe as you do is wrong?

Are you not seeing just how flawed as a human you are when you make statements concerning interpretations? I certainly know the sinner I am and would never presume to make the statements you do about scripture. Knowing the mind of God is beyond all our capabilities. When we get people to believe, HE will take care of the rest. People must make up their own minds WITH the gifts God gives them. That is between HIM and them. No one on this planet has the right to judge them on those beliefs except God.

I’m actually curious if you really believe that those who don’t share your interpretations are not going to be saved?

My above statement about helping people to make that commitment to believe becomes so much more important when I see these types of arguments on your site being batted back and forth. They become terrible distractions to the main mission! “Faith alone”, not works or anything else for that matter. We MUST focus on that. I have a brother I can’t even help understand Gods existence. Believe me when I say I understand my flaws. You should be helping your readers to understand yours.

Gender roles are simply not an important subject as long as men and women treat each other with respect. We can’t even get that done right! It just becomes another pointless distraction in the bigger picture of faith. Time passing alone changes things as they become more fully understood. I certainly don’t follow food instructions from the Bible, do you? This is precisely why we must get people believing FIRST, then LET God do his work within them. Remember that the “Judge not” statement literally covers all of scripture. I’m curious as to how or even if you will respond. I won’t hold my breath, but MY belief in God told me this needed to be said.

Respectfully Yours. Mike”

 

What follows is my response to several key statements Mike makes on this issue.  I think this will truly help to clarify these assertions that are so commonly made today by many Christians in our culture regarding the teaching of Biblical gender roles.

Shouldn’t the Gospel Be Our Number One Priority?

Mike’s Statement:

“We have so many people that we Christians need to help simply cross the line into believing in God first and foremost that this is where our number one priority should be.”

I very much believe that as believers in Christ our first priority should be reaching people with the Gospel of Christ.

Christ said this before his ascension:

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” – Matthew 28:19 (KJV)

If I teach someone about Biblical gender roles and they implement that in their marriage but they have not placed their faith and trust in Christ as their Lord and Savior their following of Biblical gender roles won’t benefit them in the eternal sense.  They will die and go to hell as all those who do not take Christ as their savior will do.

It is only when they place their faith and trust in Christ that their following of Biblical gender roles will have value not only in this world, but also in the world to come when they receive their reward for the race they have run in this life.

Do you have to believe in Biblical gender roles to be saved?

Mike’s Statement:

“I’m actually curious if you really believe that those who don’t share your interpretations are not going to be saved?”

Being baptized does not save us. Being part of a particular Christian denomination like Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran or Methodist does not save us and believing in and practicing Biblical gender roles does not save us.

This is what the Bible says saves us:

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” – John 1:11 (KJV)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16 (KJV)

“9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” – Romans 10:9-10 (KJV)

“1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” – 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (KJV)

It is believing in our heart that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, that he died for our sins, was buried and rose again the third day for our redemption that saves us.  If we receive Christ as our Lord and Savior we become children of God and have passed from death to life.

Isn’t it wrong to judge others for not following Biblical gender roles?

Mike’s Statement:

“If you can’t even understand “Judge not lest ye be judged“, how in the world do you come to the conclusion that your interpretations are correct and everyone who doesn’t believe as you do is wrong?”

Mike is displaying the common misinterpretation of the principle of not judging people.  Let’s see what Christ actually said about judging.

“1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” – Matthew 7:1-5 (KJV)

When Christ made his famous statement of “Judge not, that ye be not judged” he explained in the verses that follow the type of judging he was talking about.  He was talking about hypocritical judging.  That means if you are doing the same thing or worse you have no business telling someone they are wrong.  Fix your own house before your try to fix other’s houses.

Christ later actually COMMANDS us to judge in the passage below.

“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” – John 7:24 (KJV)

Paul later tells us not judge one another on disputable matters:

“1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. 2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. 3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. 4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.” – Romans 14:1-4 (KJV)

The Apostle Paul says we as Christians should not judge one another when it comes to disputable matters.  This has to do with personal applications of the Scriptures to our daily lives. For instance one person may feel they have the freedom to drink alcohol and another person may not because they were raised by alcoholics or have a fear they may succumb to alcoholism.  The one who drinks should not judge the one who does not believe they can drink and the one who does not drink should not judge the person who takes advantage of his freedom to drink.

There may even be some differences with how one husband applies the Biblical principles of male headship with his wife and how another applies it with his.  For instance one man may allow his wife to writing out the checks for the bills and another man may never allow his wife to see the bank account or check book. This is an example of a personal application the principle of male headship in marriage.

The point is on the subject of judging – we are actually commanded to judge by Jesus Christ himself.  We are simply commanded to do it in a righteous way.  It is not hypocritical judging or even judging on disputable matters to preach what God clearly says in his word about the distinct roles for which he made men and women and what he says about marriage.  If we compare God’s Word to what Christians and non-Christians alike say that directly contradicts with clear statements of the Scriptures that is not wrong judging, that is in fact righteous judging.

How can we as flawed humans presume to interpret the Bible for others?

Mike’s Statement:

Are you not seeing just how flawed as a human you are when you make statements concerning interpretations? I certainly know the sinner I am and would never presume to make the statements you do about scripture. Knowing the mind of God is beyond all our capabilities.”

I am well aware of my own person flaws and my sin nature. I encourage people here regularly to follow the psalmist’s words:

“23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” – Psalm 139:23-24 (KJV)

And yes we as human beings can never fully understand the mind of God as the Scriptures say:

“15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.” – I Corinthians 2:15-16 (KJV)

We can never fully understand God’s mind or his thoughts.  However we can understand through Christ and the Holy Spirit what God has revealed about himself through his Word.  And we are not responsible for what God has not revealed but only what he has shown us in his Word.

Christ called on us as flawed human beings to “judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24) as I pointed out to you earlier. God calls on us to submit to flawed human beings in government (I Peter 2:13-14). And God even calls on women to submit to flawed husbands (Ephesians 5:22-24, I Peter 3:1-6).

The men who gave us God’s word were flawed as well as the men who preached it after them. The difference was that Paul and the other Apostles and Prophets who gave us the Scriptures while being flawed sinners received perfect revelation from God.  He was one of the few men in the history of the world that God chose for this great privilege.   This is why the Apostle Paul wrote:

“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:13 (KJV)

But  God actually has given the gifts and offices of Pastor and Teacher to help people interpret the Word of God:

“11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:”- Ephesians 4:11-13 (KJV)

What we see here is God talking about gifts he has given for the edifying of the body of Christ. God has personally given me the gift of being a teacher and I have tried in my own imperfect way as he has given me grace to exercise that gift over the years. Whether it was when I taught Sunday school classes or other groups I was exercising my spiritual gift “for the edifying of the body of Christ”.

In fact Paul warns the young Pastor Timothy not to neglect his spiritual gift:

“14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” – 1 Timothy 4:14 (KJV)

God does not want me to stop preaching his Word or teaching the interpretation of the Scriptures.  He placed this gift in me for the edification of the body of Christ as he has done with many imperfect and sinful men for thousands of years.  Do I claim that all my interpretations and applications of the Scriptures are infallible? Of course not.  Only Christ and his Prophets and Apostles were infallible as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

But God wants me in my own imperfect way to exercise the gift he has given me and other men with similar gifts to do the same until we all reach heaven where we will be perfectly unified in our understanding as we are in the presence of God himself.

Does Anyone Have the Right to Correct or Rebuke Other’s Bible Interpretations?

Mike’s Statement:

“When we get people to believe, HE will take care of the rest. People must make up their own minds WITH the gifts God gives them. That is between HIM and them. No one on this planet has the right to judge them on those beliefs except God.”

Did Paul say this to a young Pastor named Timothy – “Timothy you are a flawed and sinful man and unlike me you have not received the authority and inspiration from God to write his Scriptures. Therefore, you cannot preach any interpretation of the Bible or correct or rebuke anyone else’s interpretations of the Bible.  Let everyone decide for themselves what God’s Word teaches.”

The answer is NO.  The Apostle Paul told this young Pastor just the opposite!

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” – 2 Timothy 4:2-5 (KJV)

Does “Faith Alone” Mean We Must Only Preach the Gospel and Nothing Else?

Mike’s Statement:

“My above statement about helping people to make that commitment to believe becomes so much more important when I see these types of arguments on your site being batted back and forth. They become terrible distractions to the main mission! “Faith alone”, not works or anything else for that matter.”

It is absolutely true that faith alone saves as the Scriptures state:

“8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)

But as Martin Luther famously said “We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone.”  The Scriptures tell us this regarding the life changing power of true faith:

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

So as we can see Martin Luther’s statement that the faith that saves is never alone perfectly aligns with the Scriptural view of salvation.

But what you are contending when you said “Faith alone” is that the only doctrine we should teach is that of the Gospel.  This is false.  Let me take you back to the great commission Christ gave and this time I will add his follow up statement:

“19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” – Matthew 28:19-20 (KJV)

Christ told us to preach the Gospel as well as well as  teach people everything he commanded.

And what was one of his commands?

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” – Matthew 4:4 (KJV)

Every word of the Bible sir comes from the mouth of God. We are to live by every word – not just those words concerning the Gospel and God gives us preachers and teachers of the Word to help us to understand all of God’s Word, not just the Gospel.

If God Canceled Some of His Laws Does That Mean He Canceled All of Them?

Mike’s Statement:
“Time passing alone changes things as they become more fully understood. I certainly don’t follow food instructions from the Bible, do you?

This is a classic argument that liberal Christians and even non-Christians make to write off parts of or even the entire Bible.  Sadly I have even seen some Christians who claim to believe in Biblical inerrancy write off the entire Old Testament based on this false argument.

No I don’t follow the food instructions that God gave to Israel as a theocracy.  Here are the reasons why:

On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: 10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, 11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:

12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. 13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. 15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” – Acts 10:9-15 (KJV)

“1 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary… 10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.” – Hebrews 9:1 & 10 (KJV)

The Old Testament contains three types of laws – Moral, Ceremonial and Civil.  The Ceremonial laws were for Israel as theocracy to worship God and make sacrifices – it also included dietary  and other cleanliness laws.  The Civil laws dealt with the punishment or restitution that was to be made for breaking God’s moral law under the theocracy of Israel.

When Christ ushered in the New Covenant with his death, burial and resurrection he did away with the first covenant including the ceremonial and civil laws of Israel. Now only the moral law of the Old Testament and all of the laws in the New Testament are binding on us as Christians.  Therefore as a Christian living under the New Covenant, I do not have to follow the dietary laws anymore.

But Biblical gender roles WERE part of the moral law of God in the Old Testament and they were even strengthen and further explained in the New Testament as I will show in the final section of this article.  So yes it is completely consistent for me to preach and teach that Christians must follow God’s gender rules and design for man and woman yet we no longer have to follow the dietary rules or other ceremonial rules and we are no longer under the civil penalties and restitutions mandated in the Old Testament.

Are Biblical Gender Roles an Unimportant Distraction From Gospel?

Mike’s Statement:
“Gender roles are simply not an important subject as long as men and women treat each other with respect. We can’t even get that done right! It just becomes another pointless distraction in the bigger picture of faith.”

Contrary to your assertion the teaching of Biblical gender roles is even MORE important when men and women are not treating each other as God has commanded them treat one another.  The Biblical doctrines of gender roles are critical to us living the lives God has called us to live.

Christ did not just die to save us from hell but rather he died so that we would live for him:

“And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”

2 Corinthians 5:15 (KJV)

While we are not saved by works, Christ calls us to live for him.  How can we say we are trying to live for him when refuse to follow the purpose for which he designed each gender?

God says he made man to image him and doing so bring him glory and he made woman for man to help him in his duty to image God:

“7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”

I Corinthians 11:7-9 (KJV)

God says that he made marriage to be a model of the relationship between God and his people:

“22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church” – Ephesians 5:22-29 (KJV)

Conclusion

To Mike and all those Christian teachers and preachers that refuse to teach the doctrines of Biblical gender roles to your people – you are in direct disobedience to the Word of God. You are not preaching the whole counsel of God when you preach only the Gospel.

I have never said here or elsewhere that if people reject the doctrines of Biblical gender roles that they are unsaved or not going to heaven.  We are saved by faith alone in Christ alone apart from works and not by following Biblical gender roles. But Christ did not save us so we could just live for ourselves anyway we want – he saved us so we could live for him in this life.

While we will not lose our salvation for refusing to follow the doctrines of Biblical gender roles and other doctrines concerning holy living we will in fact lose our reward for doing so.  If we do not run the race of this Christian life lawfully we will lose our reward in heaven as the Scriptures tell us:

“And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.” – 2 Timothy 2:5 (KJV)

“24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24 (KJV)

“11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” – 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 (KJV)

Finally, even besides the consequences in the next life(loss of rewards) we will and are seeing the consequences of not following Biblical gender roles both as individuals and as a society in general in this life.  Since Second Wave Feminism arose in the 1960’s divorce rates have skyrocketed in our country.  While they leveled off at around 50% which is still a horrible number, the only reason they did so was because more couples just decided to live together outside a covenant of marriage.

The point is the idea of a man and woman living together for life in the covenant of marriage is becoming less and less common in our society since we as a culture left the practice of Biblical gender roles.   Marriages today are now “feelings centered” and specifically “woman centered”.  “Happy Wife Happy Life” is just another way of saying “Your wife is the boss just do whatever she says”.  And what has been the result of men allowing their wives to take over for decades – the destruction of the family unit.