What Are Your Goals as a Husband for 2019?

As we approach the new year what do you see as areas where you see that you need to improve as a husband? In Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting”. Below are some suggested areas where we as husbands may need to improve.

Ten Duties of a Christian Husband

  1. Provide for HerEphesians 5:27-28 tells us that husbands are to “nourish” or literally provide for the physical needs of their wife as they do their own bodies. Are you providing for your wife’s needs to the best of your ability?  Remember that a man’s provision for his wife’s needs is a picture of God’s provision for his people.  If your wife is the primary provider, you are breaking the model God meant for you to display.  It is one thing if you are disabled or ran into some unforeseen financial crisis necessitating that your wife be the provider, but this should be the exception and not the norm.
  2. Protect HerEphesians 5:27-28 tells us that husbands are to “cherish” their wives. This does not mean what our modern “cherish” means which is to put your wife on a pedestal and worship her. It means to protect her.  God says that husbands should protect their wives as they do their own bodies.  That means we keep her safe from all kinds harm – both physical and spiritual.
  3. Discipline Her Ephesians 5:25-27 tells husbands that they are called to wash their wives’ spiritual spots and wrinkles with the Word of God just as Christ does his Church. This is the reason men are told to give themselves up.  Many men today give up their leadership for their wife’s happiness, when God calls them to lead which sometimes requires sacrificing their own and their wife’s happiness in the process.  In Revelation 3:19 Christ speaking of himself as a husband to his churches stated “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent”.  No woman is perfect just as no man is perfect.  That means if you never find yourself rebuking and chastening(disciplining) your wife then you are not loving her as Christ does his Church.
  4. Teach Her In 1 Corinthians 14:35 we read that women are to be taught in spiritual matters by their husbands in their home. Do you take an active and intentional role in teaching your wife the Word of God? This goes beyond the washing of the word for discipline.  This is taking a whole encompassing approach to teaching the whole counsel of God to your wife.
  5. Rule Over Her In 1 Timothy 3:4 we are told that men need to rule well their own homes. Are you the ruler of your home? This is about much more than being the discipliner or even teacher of your home.   The Ruler gives a vision and sets rules and policies in the home.  Your wife needs a clear vision from you so that she can help to manage your home around that vision.  For instance, some men delegate the paying of the bills to their wives and that is ok.  But you cannot delegate your responsibility to give your wife principles and policies by which to pay the bills.  You need to set the policies for how much will be saved, how much will be given to the church or other charities and how much will be used to pay off debts.
  6. Show Her Grace In Psalm 86:15 we are told that God is full of compassion and grace. We as men are called to image God in the lives of our wives.  Grace is unmerited favor. In marriage it means doing kind things for your wife not because she deserves it, but because in spite of the fact that she does not.  Compassion is showing sympathy for your wife’s sufferings and misfortunes even if sometimes she has brought these things on herself by her own bad decisions or wrong behavior.
  7. Show Her MercyIn Psalm 103:8 we are told that God is plenteous in mercy and slow to anger. Mercy means not giving someone the punishment or discipline they deserve. Maybe you have no problem ruling over your wife but are you are not so plenteous in mercy and are quick to anger with your wife. God calls us to picture his mercy in our wife’s life.
  8. Know Her In I Peter 3:7 we read that husbands are to live with their wives according to knowledge and if we don’t God will not hear our prayers as husbands. Do you take the time to know your wife? You cannot know her without speaking to her on a regular basis.  And you cannot wash her or teach her or rule over her without knowing her. If you will not hear your wife’s petitions God will not hear yours.  That does not mean we have to give our wives what they want just as God does not give us everything we ask for.  Also, knowing her is not just talking to her, but it is also having sex with her.  The Bible actually uses the same word “to know” for both knowing someone spiritually and emotionally as well as as sexually – see Genesis 4:1.
  9. Honor Her In I Peter 3:7 we read that husbands are to honor their wives and in Ephesians 6:2 we read that children are to honor their mother. Do you show proper honor to your wife? Do you make your children honor your wife as their mother?
  10. Praise Her In Proverbs 31:28 we read that the husband of the virtuous wife praises her and her children do as well.  Do you set the example for your children in praising your wife when she does something well? For instance, do you praise her for meals that are well cooked? Or when she redecorates the house do you notice? Do you praise her for being a good mother to your children? Do you praise her for doing well in the marriage bed? No woman is perfect and some are far less perfect than others. And we are not talking about praising her for doing nothing but breathing and taking up space.  If she is lazy in certain areas don’t praise her for things she does not do.  But many women at least do some things that are praiseworthy – do you find ways to praise your wife.

What about a husband loving his wife?

Someone might ask after reading the list above, where is the duty of a husband to love his wife?  If you read Ephesians 5:25-29 you will have your answer:

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”

These ten things I have just shown are the very definition of the love of a husband toward his wife according the God’s Word.  You see the problem we have today is that we only see love in one way, and that is in one person showing affection or kindness toward another.  Now affection and kindness are certainly not bad things and husbands should show love toward their wives in these ways as well.  But the Bible never defines affection as the definition of a husband’s love toward his wife.   A husband’s love for his wife is supposed to flow from his sense of duty, it is a love based in a conscious choice of the will, not one based in emotion.

So What Are Your Goals as a Husband for 2019?

Having read each of the 10 duties above – where do you see that improvement on your part needs to be made?  Maybe you are great at ruling, disciplining and teaching your wife but you are light on the mercy and grace side? Other Christian husbands might think they are great at showing mercy and grace but what they are really doing is failing to discipline and rule over their wives.  Too much discipline and ruling(control) can lead to tyranny but too much grace and mercy can lead to dereliction of duty and apathy.

Maybe you rule well over her, discipline her and teach her but you fail to ever praise her for anything that she does well.  Or maybe you allow your children to speak to her in disrespectful ways thus failing to honor her position as your wife and the mother of your children.

Maybe you are a great provider but you never take the time to know your wife.  So because you don’t know her current struggles you cannot properly teach her or wash her with the Word.

Maybe your family is harsh and unloving toward your wife.  Do you protect your wife from nasty relatives?  Maybe you live in a dangerous area where you should have a firearm in the home to make your wife feel safer.  Maybe on the spiritual front you need to protect your wife from harmful influences from friends or relatives? Maybe you need to protect your wife from herself? Perhaps she has some self-destructive tendencies?

Here Are My Goals as Husband for 2019

To help my fellow brothers in Christ get ideas for improvement I decided to share my list for this coming year. I have asked God to search my heart and this is what I came up with.

  1. I provide for my wife (we are a bit tight right now, but I can say I work as much as I can with all my responsibilities).
  2. I protect my wife by having a fire arm (locked in a safe of course), protect her from certain family members and also protect her from herself (she some anxiety and depression issues).
  3. I discipline her in correcting and rebuking her when she disrespects me or contradicts me in front of my children or other groups. I sometimes remove some free time I would have spent with her when she really gets out of line.
  4. I teach her the Word of God on a regular basis. Sometimes she feels it is too much, but she can’t say she does not learn about many parts of the Bible from me regularly.
  5. Ruling over her is an area that has been a continual need of improvement especially in the financial area. This is an area where I have not strictly enforced our weekly and monthly budget and that is one of my goals for 2019 to get our debt under control.  Some of it we cannot help because of her medical issues but we can do better.  I also want to give more to the church this year.
  6. Grace is one that may be just right or needing a little improvement. I do show my wife a lot of grace by doing things for her despite her lack of submission and sometimes just utter contentiousness. And no I don’t just mean doing things around the house.  I mean buying her things she does not need (but just wants).
  7. I think I show her a lot of mercy. If I took my wife to task for every disrespectful word or un-submissive attitude she displayed I would be disciplining her just about every day several times a day.  Let’s just say my wife is a strong willed, critical and stubborn person many times.  And believe it or not I am the one that everybody says is easy going and very patient and forgiving.  I know my detractors won’t believe that but it is the truth.
  8. In the area of knowing her I think I do that pretty well even if she would always like more of my time to veg with her. Wednesday night is date night for us.  It just works out good that way for me with my work schedule.  We often stay home because my wife does not like to go out as much as she thinks she does(LOL).  But even when we stay home it is us spending 4 to 6 hours alone in our room just watching shows and talking.  We also talk on other nights of the week as well, but it’s not as long and not just us as we will have my children around.
  9. In the area of honoring her I think there could be some room for improvement. You have to be careful though with honor as it can become a loaded term especially for Christian feminists.  Christian feminists will say if you rebuke your wife you are dishonoring her when that contradicts what the Bible says.  But where I see need for improvement is with my children.  One of my teens (he is autistic) has a real problem with my wife and is very disrespectful to her as his step mother sometimes.  I do take him to task and punish him from time to time.  The problem is that my wife sometimes just riles him up.  Also my wife is also hyper sensitive about disrespect from my kids.  This is a running joke between her and I where I have told her “If I was as sensitive toward your disrespect of me as you are at our teens you would never hear the end of it”.   But alas – I think I could be a bit harder on the kids about this.
  10. In the area of praise, I suppose there is always room for improvement. I do praise my wife when she does cook and tell her in detail what I liked about the meal.  I also praise her when she cleans the house.  I certainly praise her when she does well in the bedroom.  But I think sometimes I miss when does nice things and forget to praise her.  The problem with my wife is that she is disabled so I end up doing a big part of the laundry and cooking and other household things.  It also affects our love life as well more sometimes than others.  So sometimes it is very hard to find anything to praise her for when she has literally just laid around for days or a week and I have done most everything.  And it is hard to find opportunities to praise her for her performance in the bedroom when nothing has happened in a while or when the last few times were just phoned in. But again, this is an area that I as her husband can always improve on.

I look forward to hearing what you as Christian husbands are struggling with and where you think you need to improve.  As the Scriptures tell us in Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend”.

 

Can Christian Man Marry A Woman Intending to Tame Her?

Can a Christian man marry a feminist Christian woman with the intent of taming her like Petruchio did with Katherine in Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew”? Or must a Christian husband always seek a woman who is submissive and believes in and follows Biblical gender roles?

Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew”

Here are some excerpts from synopsis of Taming of the Shrew by www.sparknotes.com:

“In the Italian city of Padua, a rich young man named Lucentio arrives with his servants, Tranio and Biondello, to attend the local university. Lucentio is excited to begin his studies, but his priorities change when he sees Bianca, a beautiful, mild young woman with whom Lucentio instantly falls in love. There are two problems: first, Bianca already has two suitors, Gremio and Hortensio; second, Bianca’s father, a wealthy old man named Baptista Minola, has declared that no one may court Bianca until first her older sister, the vicious, ill-tempered Katherine, is married…

The Katherine problem is solved for Bianca’s suitors when Hortensio’s friend Petruchio, a brash young man from Verona, arrives in Padua to find a wife. He intends to marry a rich woman, and does not care what she is like as long as she will bring him a fortune. He agrees to marry Katherine sight unseen. The next day, he goes to Baptista’s house to meet her, and they have a tremendous duel of words. As Katherine insults Petruchio repeatedly, Petruchio tells her that he will marry her whether she agrees or not. He tells Baptista, falsely, that Katherine has consented to marry him on Sunday. Hearing this claim, Katherine is strangely silent, and the wedding is set.

On Sunday, Petruchio is late to his own wedding, leaving Katherine to fear she will become an old maid. When Petruchio arrives, he is dressed in a ridiculous outfit and rides on a broken-down horse. After the wedding, Petruchio forces Katherine to leave for his country house before the feast, telling all in earshot that she is now his property and that he may do with her as he pleases. Once they reach his country house, Petruchio continues the process of “taming” Katherine by keeping her from eating or sleeping for several days—he pretends that he loves her so much he cannot allow her to eat his inferior food or to sleep in his poorly made bed

Katherine and Petruchio soon return to Padua to visit Baptista. On the way, Petruchio forces Katherine to say that the sun is the moon and that an old man is really a beautiful young maiden. Since Katherine’s willfulness is dissipating, she agrees that all is as her husband says

At the banquet following Hortensio’s wedding to the widow, the other characters are shocked to see that Katherine seems to have been “tamed”—she obeys everything that Petruchio says and gives a long speech advocating the loyalty of wives to their husbands. When the three new husbands stage a contest to see which of their wives will obey first when summoned, everyone expects Lucentio to win. Bianca, however, sends a message back refusing to obey, while Katherine comes immediately. The others acknowledge that Petruchio has won an astonishing victory, and the happy Katherine and Petruchio leave the banquet to go to bed.”

A lot of Christians who are ignorant of history and even the Bible would say a person is wrong for marrying for economic reasons. If you believe that, I would invite you to read the story of Ruth in the Bible.  She married Boaz to redeem her mother-in-law’s husband’s family land.  We falsely have been taught today that a person must marry because they first “fall in love with a person” – that command is found nowhere in the Bible. It is wishful thinking, mostly on the part of women.   Some will say – what about Jacob? He loved Rachel so much he served seven years for her.  But again, this is not a command, it is an example. And why did he love her? Check the story – it was because of how beautiful she was.

And let’s not forget Jacob’s mother and father. What a whirlwind romance they had right? They just met each other and went into his mother’s tent had sex and became man and wife.  No long courtship, no discussion.   Isaac followed his father’s advice for him in finding a wife and Rebekah followed her father’s command for her to go back and marry Isaac.  It was that simple.

But the most important question the Taming of the Shrew presents us with is whether or not it is sinful or immoral for a Christian man to marry a rebellious woman with the intention of taming her into submission?

However, before we can answer this question, we must first answer another very important question for Christians.

Can a Christian Marry an Unbeliever?

In 2 Corinthians 6:14-17 the Apostle Paul gives the following command regarding Christians entering into relationships with non-believers:

“14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”

As we can see from the above Scriptures, it is clear that believers are not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.

This is why a Christian church has no business having an inter-faith conference with the Muslim church down the street. And it is also why a Christian man or woman can never enter into the most intimate of human relationships God ever designed which is marriage, with a non-believer.

Some Christians have falsely used 1 Corinthians 7:13-16 to say that the Apostle Paul was ok with Christians marrying non-Christians:

“13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.

16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?”

However, such an interpretation betrays the entire context of the passage which Paul states in verse 20 of this same chapter:

“Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.”

Paul is saying that if you become a believer and your spouses does not come to the faith as you have that you are to remain with them if they want to stay.  He is not saying it is ok for a Christian to purposefully marry a non-believer which would then conflict with what he said in 2 Corinthians 6:14-17.

Now that we have established this important principle of the Scriptures, we can go on to answer the question at the center of this article.

Can a Christian Man Marry a Christian Feminist Woman with the Intent to Tame Her?

Throughout the Bible God’s relationship with humanity is pictured in two different ways.  As individuals our relationship with God is pictured as a father and child relationship.  But God’s relationship with his people in the collective sense is always pictured as that of a husband to his wife.

We can see this concept shown where God pictures the nation of Israel as a treacherous wife in Jeremiah 3:20:

“Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the Lord.”

Notice how he refers to his wife – “O house of Israel”.

Now let’s look further in this book to Jeremiah 18:1-6:

“The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 2 Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.

3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. 4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

5 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.”

What do we see here? God presents the picture of a potter who had a marred, meaning it had defects.  So, he reshaped it against as a whole new vessel.  God tells Israel, his wife, that she is like that clay.  He saw defects in her and wanted to reshape her in another vessel but she would not allow him to do so.

Now let’s look to the New Testament 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.”

There is an important parallel here between God as a husband to Israel and Christ as a husband to the Church.  How does a potter shape his clay into the form he wishes it to be? He uses water.  In the same way we as Christian husbands are told to love our wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her so he could wash her with “water by the word”, so she would not have “spot, or wrinkle”, so he could present her to “himself a glorious church”.

Why did God want to reshape Israel as his wife? Because she was “marred” which parallels the “spot or wrinkle” shown to us here with Christ and his wife, the Church, in the New Testament.

The point is that God is a consistent husband.  Christ is not a different kind of husband to the Church than God was to Israel.  We as Christian husbands can learn just a much from God’s example as a husband to Israel as we can learn from Christ’s example as a husband to the Church.  This is a fundamental truth that all Christian husbands must embrace.

With that being said can a Christian man marry a Christian woman whom he perceives is marred by feminist tendencies with the intention that he is going to attempt to wash her of those tendencies?

The answer based on God’s own example with both Israel and the Church is a resounding YES!

Am I recommending Men Marry Feminist Women with the Intent to Tame Them?

I have proven the case from the Scriptures that nothing in the Scriptures stops a man from marrying a woman whom he genuinely believes to be a Christian but is marred by feminism.

I made the following statement about my second wife in a post I wrote a few years ago that include my story about how I met my second wife and married her:

“While we were dating, I detected feminist tendencies in her that she had from her upbringing (her mom was a career woman as well).  Her mom even told me on one occasion that she taught her daughters to “be independent and not need a man”.  So even though my wife had become a Christian a few years before she met me, the feminism ran deep in her.  I also detected that her job as a manager might cause some friction in her commitment to our marriage and our home.

But she was so different from my first wife, and such a good Christian woman with great character that I chose to overlook some of these areas that would later come back to haunt me, naively thinking I could help her to see what God says a Christian woman’s priorities should be in regard to her husband, her children and her home.

I mentioned in that same post that my wife displayed many marks of a true believer in Christ.  She was so dedicated to seeing people saved.  She witnessed to her friends at work and relatives and she was concerned for her lost loved ones.  She went on missions’ trips with her church.  I spoke with her Pastor and some deacons at her church and saw in her a woman that had many great character traits and a passion for God.  But she was a new Christian, saved only few years before I met her.

So, I believed when I saw the feminist tendencies in her that I could just teach her and help her to learn those ways were not right.  She told me she believed the passages about submission that I showed her. But she also believed that men and women were equal and she was trying to square that with what the Bible said about submission.

I thought I could wash this feminism from her, but alas after almost 9 years of marriage much of it remains.  There has been some progress and some change but not nearly as much as I had hoped.

The question though is this – does my failure to be able to wash away my wife’s feminism with the Word of God mean that no man could do this with another woman?

The answer is no.  It is in fact possible.

In the three years since I wrote about my story with my failure to completely wash away my wife’s feminism, I have had many men write me telling they had success with their wives in this.  I have actually even had many young women write me telling me that my writings helped to convince them that feminism was wrong and they came out of it on their own before marriage.

So, what is the variable that makes for success in the taming of a feminist Christian wife?  The answer is it comes down to whether the woman will recognize this sinful thought process in her own life and then allow her husband in conjunction with the Holy Spirit to wash it from her.

In James 1:23-24 the Bible tells us about a man looking in a glass seeing his reflection:

“23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.”

Now let’s apply what James is saying to a feminist Christian wife.  A man can take his wife to the spiritual mirror which is the Word of God.  He can show her the reflection of herself.  He can show her the sin of feminism all over her face.  But she must choose to humble herself before God and accept what she sees right there in the mirror.  She must then submit herself to her husband’s washing and see him as a God given instrument for sanctification in her life.

Some may argue “Well I am fine with trying to tame her before marriage, but you should not marry her until she is completely tamed of feminism”.  And I understand where that thinking comes from.   But just because something presents a lot more risk does not make it wrong.  Marriage itself is a risk.  Even marriage to a woman who seems to be a good Christian and one who fully embraces Biblical gender roles. It is simply a matter of how much risk is involved.

Is This a Change in My Position on Christian Men Marrying Feminist Women?

The answer is Yes. Throughout this ministry over the last four years I have made changes on several positions.  Really – over my entire Christian life I have made changes in my beliefs as the Lord has led me to do so.  We must never be so rigid or get to the point where God cannot change our position on something and teach us new things.

Up until now I have taught people on this blog as well as my own sons that I made a grave mistake in marrying their step mother with the intent to help her understand the errors of her feminist thinking.  I have taught young men on this blog and elsewhere that they should avoid interactions with feminist Christian women and at the first sign of feminist tendencies when dating or courting they should abandon such a woman.

If you or my sons want to follow the advice I have previously given there is no sin in following it still.  If you decide that the potential costs in this spiritual warfare to attempt to tame a feminist Christian wife is too much I completely understand and there is no sin in avoiding feminist women like the plague.

So here is my change. 

I have thought back to when I met my second wife and after I talked to all the people that knew her from her church as well as her family.  My intentions were noble.  I saw the potential in her for change.  I went into this marriage fully intent on washing her feminism away and believing she would allow me over time to do it. I believed her passion to see souls saved would result in a similar passion to conform herself as a wife to the will of God for her life. The problem was not in my intent, but in her continued unwillingness to fully yield to the Holy Spirit on this issue, so in turn she could not fully yield to me either.

If you find a woman who has the markings of a true believer in Christ as my second wife had, but this appears to be a blind spot in her life and you are intent on doing spiritual battle, even if takes the rest of your life married to her, to wash the spiritual wrinkles and spots of feminism from her then this is a noble cause. But be forewarned, this is not for the faint of heart. It could greatly affect your future children and in some cases the battle could even lead to divorce.

However, if you are marrying a feminist Christian woman with the intent that you are going to tolerate her feminism and will just give up your headship role over her then you are wrong.  As a Christian God does not allow you to surrender your position as head to your wife. So, if you know you are not willing to do battle to attempt to wash the feminism from a woman then you should not marry her.  You should only marry a woman who fully embraces Biblical gender roles before you marry her.

So here is the conclusion of the matter.  Is it a sin before God for a man to marry a Christian woman with the intent of taming her of her feminist tendencies and beliefs? The answer is no it is not a sin.

But I would leave any Christian man who intends to go into such a spiritual battle with this admonition from Christ found in Luke 14:31:

“Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?” 

Be sure before you go to war, that you count the costs that may be incurred on you in the process of that war.

Is the Wife the Holy Spirit of The Home?

During a revival meeting I was recently in at my church, the guest Pastor said “the wife is the Holy Spirit of the home”.  This Pastor had been married for more than 20 years and had previously talked about times in his marriage where his wife stopped him and corrected him when he was going down some wrong paths or about to make some wrong decisions.   He then went further after his statement and asked the men of the church to raise their hands to affirm that they agreed that their wives were the Holy Spirit for their homes.

Needless to say, my children looked at me when the Pastor said this and they knew where I stood on this and they knew such a statement was highly unbiblical and it actually was heresy.  My hand was glued down to my chair as many hands from other husbands went up across the auditorium.   I was pleased to see that many other men did keep their hands down though.  I could not see if my Pastor lifted his hand or not.

Let me just say that besides this statement and his having the men raise their hands about it everything else this Pastor taught both before and after it was very Biblical.  He taught a perfect message on the Gospel and he taught on holiness and us living our lives in a holy way in which we would not be ashamed when Christ returns.

I truly believe this Pastor loves the Lord, believes the Bible is the Word of God and believes the same Gospel I do.  He preachers hard against sin.  But like so many Pastors, even conservative Bible believing Pastors, he has had his thinking poisoned by the feminist ideals that have infested our churches.

Let me make something abundantly clear. The Scriptures never compare the wife to the Holy Spirit.  Such an analogy is borderline blasphemy.

The Bible Compares the Husband to God, Not the Wife

The Bible compares man to God in I Corinthians 11:7:

“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.”

Because man is God’s direct image bearer and woman is not, this is why God is very concerned with there always be a distinction made between men and women.  This is the reason that God condemns cross-dressing and transvestism in Deuteronomy 22:5:

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

In Ephesians 5:22-24 the Scriptures tell us that in marriage man represents Christ and woman represents the Church:

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

The Scriptures here are clear that the husband is the head of the wife AS Christ is the head of the church and that AS the church is subject to Christ in everything so to wives are to be subject to their husbands in everything.  In fact, the husband wife relationship is the only human authority relationship where God commands the one under authority to submit to their human authority “as unto the Lord”.

But Men Are Not God!

It is interesting to me that this Pastor and many Christian feminists would have no problem hearing a person say “the wife is the Holy Spirit of the home” but if you were to say “The husband is the Christ of the home” they would go nuts.  This is due in part to the misandry that we have allowed to fester in this nation since the start of second wave feminism in the 1960s.

Am I saying Husbands are Christ? Absolutely not! Men are God’s direct image bearers and in this world husbands symbolize Christ in the home but that does not mean they are Christ. Husbands are not sinless, all knowing or all powerful as Christ is.  Husbands do not have all the attributes of God as Christ does.

But men, and by extension husbands, have more in common with God than women do. And this is not by chance, but by the design of God.  This is why God is always referred to in the masculine sense.  This is why God is referred to as a husband, father and son and never as a wife, mother or daughter. The masculine human nature is a reflection of God’s nature and feminine human nature is not.  The feminine human nature was created to compliment and serve the masculine nature, not to image the nature of God.

The Husband is the Ruler, Leader and Guide to Wife

The Scriptures tell us in I Peter 3:1-2 & 5-6

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

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.”

The Scriptures tell us in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35:

“34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”

And in 1 Timothy 2:12 the Scriptures tell us:

“But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”

These passages smack our modern feminist ideals right in the face. But it is the Word of God.   God does not tell husbands to go to their wives to learn how to lead their home or understand the Word of God.  On the contrary it teaches women are to seek spiritual guidance from their husbands.

Should Husbands Listen their Wives?

In Genesis 3:17 the Scriptures tell us the first sin man ever committed:

“And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life”

If you ask most Christians “What was the first sin that man committed?” most will answer “eating the forbidden fruit”.  But Genesis 3:17 tells us the first sin man actually committed was listening to his wife when she was wrong.  Adam’s first failure was a failure of his duty to rule over his wife by rebuking her sin and then refusing to participate with her in it.  But he was more concerned with keeping her love and affection and so he listened to his wife when he knew she was wrong.

Job in many ways was the “anti-Adam”.  In Job 2:10 we read that when his wife asked him to sin against God he responded as Adam should have to Eve:

“But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.”

But the question is, are there times when husbands should listen to their wives? The answer from a Biblical perspective is yes.   In Genesis 21:12 the Scriptures tell us:

“And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.”

In Genesis 21:12 we see a situation where Abraham did not feel right about sending Hagar and Ishmael away as his wife was asking him to do.  And it was her advice to try and have an heir through Hagar that got him in this mess in the first place so I am sure he was at a point where he felt he should not listen to her.

But God knows Sarah is trying to clean up the mess she had made.  She knows there will be contention over the inheritance and leadership of the tribe between Ishmael and Isaac when Abraham dies if Ishmael is still there.  So, God intervenes and speaks to Abraham telling him in this particular case to listen to Sarah.

There are other stories in the Scriptures where we can see that husbands should have listened to their wives as in the story of Abigail and her husband Nabal in 1 Samuel 25 as well as the story of Pontius Pilate and his wife in Matthew 27:19.

The Scriptures tell us of the virtuous wife in Proverbs 31:26 that “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness”.  What that means is that a wise wife is meant to be asset to her husband, not a burden.  But she is to offer her wisdom to her husband and others in a kind and gentle way that is appropriate for women of good character.

The unfortunate truth is that often times intelligent women are more of a liability and burden to their husbands because they do not use their intelligence in a kind and respectful way with their husbands.  Instead they use it to badger and disrespect their husbands and often to try and usurp authority over their husbands.

So, the answer to the question “Should a husband listen to his wife?” is – it depends on the guidance of the Holy Spirit.   Sometimes the Holy Spirit will prompt us to follow our wife’s advice in a certain situation and other times he will tell us her advice is wrong and we must then go against her advice and in some cases it might actually require a rebuke toward her.

Should a Man’s Wife’s Advice Carry the Most Weight?

Many Christians including Christian feminists and even some complementarian Christians believe that the concerns and advice of a man’s wife should carry more weight for him than any other advisor in his life.  The Christian feminists argue this from their belief that marriage is a partnership of equals and therefore the husband and wife have equal say in all family decisions.  Many Christian complentarians while teaching male headship in marriage teach that a man’s wife’s concerns and advice should carry the most weight because he is in a one flesh relationship with her.

Some would argue that this passage below from I Peter 3:7 teaches that husbands should give the most weight to their wife’s advice:

“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.”

It is for these reasons above that many Christian wives are mortally offended when their husbands seek the advice of others and even follow that advice over the advice of their wife.

The question is what does the Bible say about this? Should a man’s wife’s advice carry the most weight in is decision making?

Before we answer this from the Biblical point of view let’s make something clear.  Contrary to what many Christian feminists teach we who believe in Biblical gender roles do not believe husbands are all knowing and that wives know nothing.  Such an attack is straw man argument.  The argument basically goes, if you believe a husband is the head of his wife and that a husband does not always have to listen to his wife then you believe husbands are never wrong, never make bad decisions and that they know all.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Bible exhorts men to seek the counsel of their parents in their old age as well as other men both older and the same age to get different points of view and learn from the experience and spiritual knowledge of others:

In Proverbs 23:22 the scriptures tell us this regarding a man’s mother and his father:

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

And in Proverbs 13:20 we read:

“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”

And finally, in Proverbs 27:17 the Scriptures state:

“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”

The Scriptures are clear from the passage we discussed earlier in Ephesians 5:22-24 that marriage is not an equal partnership between a man and a woman.  The Bible says the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church – are the church and Christ equal partners? The answer is no.  The Church is subject to Christ.  And as the Church is subject to Christ so too the wife is to be subject to her husband.  Therefore, Christian feminism does not have a Biblical leg to stand on.

But what about the Christian complementarian argument that because a husband and wife are in a one flesh relationship and the husband is to dwell with his wife according to knowledge (I Peter 3:7) that this means her advice should carry the most weight in his decision-making processes?

I Peter 3:7 does not teach men that their wife’s advice or concerns must carry the most weight in their decision-making processes.  When it warns of a man’s prayers not being heard, this is a warning to the husband that he must know his wife and at least hear her concerns.  He should hear his wife’s concerns the same way he wants God to hear his.  God is telling husbands – “if you won’t listen to your wife’s petitions, I won’t listen to yours”.

But let’s think of how prayer works.  Does God always do what we ask in our prayers? The answer is no.  Often his answer may be “no” or “wait”.   Sometimes we ask for things we should not ask for.  Sometimes we don’t realize we are wrong in asking for the things we are asking for. It is the same way with a husband and wife. Sometimes a husband’s answer to his wife will be “no” or other times it will be “wait”.  And sometimes women ask for things that are completely wrong or against the will of God.

Finally let’s address the “one flesh” argument for husband’s giving the most weight to their wife’s advice. Who is the head of this “one flesh” relationship? The man or the woman? We know from Ephesians 5:22-24 that the husband is the head of the “one flesh” relationship otherwise known as marriage.  That means the wife should be molding herself to and following her head.  The unity of the husband and wife is most dependent on a wife submitting to her husband even when he does not follow her advice or grant her wishes.

So, no the fact that a husband and wife are in a one-flesh relationship does not mean a husband must give the most weight to his wife’s advice.  What it means is that the wife after giving her advice must humble herself and realize she is but one of her husband’s many advisers.  It means she must humble herself and follow her husband even when he goes against her advice.  It also means that she needs to mold herself to her husband’s views over time.  Biblically speaking, a husband and wife become one as the wife molds herself more and more to her husband and his thinking.  As long as his thinking in any given area does not directly contract the Scriptures, the wife is to mold herself to her husband.

In other words, biblically speaking there is nothing wrong with a woman “loosing her identity in her husband”, but rather Biblically speaking that is exactly what a wife is supposed to do.   That is why wives are to take on their husband’s name and leave their father’s house behind.

“Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house;” – Psalm 45:10

Conclusion

The wife is not the Holy Spirit of the home.  But rather Christian husbands should listen to the true Holy Spirit of God and follow his guidance and he will guide husbands as he did Abraham as to when they should or should not listen to their wife’s advice or grant their requests.   Also, husbands should not feel that their wife should be their only advisor or that her advice must always carry the most weight.  Husbands don’t know everything just because they are men and neither do wives because they are women. It is good for men to have a multitude of counselors, especially other Christian men both older and of the same age who can offer spiritual advice and life experience.

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.