There are three habits that every newlywed Christian husband needs to form in his marriage beginning on his wedding day. And these are the habits of dominance, dialogue and delegation. In this new podcast I have produced for BGRLearning.com, I supply newlywed husbands with biblically based, practical ways to help them establish the regular habits of dominance, dialogue and delegation with their new wives.
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Many women today believe it is absolutely righteous for them to be jealous of their husbands. And they are even backed in their jealousy toward their husbands by many modern Christian preachers, teachers and counselors.
But such a teaching, that it is right for women to be jealous over their husbands, is found nowhere in the Scriptures. In fact, the Scriptures show the very opposite.
A woman entertaining and acting upon jealous feelings toward her husband is a sin because her jealousy is a complete rejection of God’s design of the masculine sexual nature and God’s allowance for polygamy.
A Husband’s Jealousy Over His Wife Is Righteous
In Ezekiel 16:38 (KJV) we read “And I will judge thee, as women that break wedlock and shed blood are judged; and I will give thee blood in fury and jealousy”. A husband’s possessive jealousy over his wife images God’s jealousy over his wife Israel and it is a righteous and holy type of jealousy.
The Husband Exclusively Owns His Wife, the Wife Does Not Own Her Husband
The Bible says the following in Deuteronomy 22:22 (KJV):
“If a man be found lying with a woman married [Hebrew: “baal” as pronoun – “owned”] to an husband [Hebrew: “baal” as noun “Master/Owner”], then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.”
This principle of the husband’s mastery over his wife is reinforced in the New Testament as well in 1 Peter 3:5-6 (KJV):
“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: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord [Greek “kurios” Master/Owner]: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”
In the Scriptures, for a woman to be married means for her to owned by a husband. He owns her, she does not own him. This is why the Bible allows husbands to have more than one wife (Polygyny),but forbids wives to have more than one husband (Polyandry). Regarding men taking second wives the Scriptures state the following:
“If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish”
Exodus 21:10 (KJV)
The Bible uses two different words for ownership. The Greek Word “heautou” always means exclusive ownership while the Greek word “idios” can mean someone being owned by another or someone having shared access to someone or something. Consider these uses of “idios”:
“For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own [idios] country.”
John 4:44 (KJV)
“Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own [idios] master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.”
Romans 14:4 (KJV)
Now let’s consider the following New Testament passage which so many Pastors today wrongly teach as husbands and wives mutually owning one another:
“Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own [heautou] wife, and let every woman have her own [idios] husband.”
1 Corinthians 7:2 (KJV)
When we consider the fact that the husband is the master and owner of his wife and the fact that God uses the word for exclusive ownership – “heautou” – when it comes to a man’s ownership over his wife – yet he uses the word idios which when used with masters means the very opposite – “owned” we see a very different picture than what is told to us in many pulpits today.
But while the husband is his wife’s master, she is not his slave. She is his wife. Exodus 21:10 as well as 1 Corinthians7:3-5 show us that a wife is to have shared access to her husband’s provision, protection and his body in the bed.
Many Christian women today comfort themselves in their possessive jealousy over their husbands by saying “God only made one wife for the first man”. Yet they ignore the fact that God made the second man marry his sister.
The fact is in order to understand God’s full design for marriage we must look at the complete revelation of God from Genesis to Revelation. Only when we do this will we will then understand that a man having one wife as well as a man marrying his sister were temporary. That later in the law of Moses God would take away his temporary allowance for sibling marriage while at the same time expanding on his allowance for polygamy. And God never removed his allowance for polygamy in the New Testament no matter how much many Christians would like to believe he did.
The evidence is all over the Bible – women do NOT have a right to be possessively jealous over their husbands but husbands absolutely have a right to be possessively jealous over their wives.
A wife’s jealousy over her husband’s thoughts or glancing at other women or liking certain actresses in movies or TV can cause a lot of problems in marriage. It is only when a wife’s sinful jealousy is confronted by both herself and her husband that men can be free to exercise their full masculine nature.
And what does a husband fully exercising his masculine polygynous nature look like? Does it mean he runs out and gets another wife? In most cases the answer is no – he is not going to do that. In 21st century America, it is rare for husbands to act on their right to take additional wives. It is a difficult life not only for financial reasons but also because of our societal condemnation of polygamy.
But here is what a man being free to fully exercise his God give masculine polygynous sexual nature will most likely look like. He won’t go out and get another wife – but he may ask his wife to engage in sexual role play acting like she is another woman. He might feel free to watch movies and TV shows with actresses he likes where before he would worry about incurring the jealous rage of his wife. He won’t have to look at the ground when he goes to the mall or especially the beach because he is afraid his wife might see him enjoying the beauty of other women around him.
Possessive Jealousy Verses Envious Jealousy
As I have shown throughout this article, possessive jealousy by a woman toward her husband is always wrong because this kind of jealousy reflects a rejection of God’s design of masculinity and marriage. But there is another type of jealousy, envious jealousy, which God was attempting to provoke in his wife Israel. In the context of speaking about his first wife Israel (whom he divorced for adultery) God said this about his new bride the Church:
“I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.” Romans 11:11 (KJV)
God in taking the church (a new spiritual body made up of believing Jews and Gentiles) was seeking to provoke his old wife (ethnic Jews – Israel) to envious jealousy. His goal is for the Jews who rejected him to see how well he treats the church so that Israel (ethnic Jews collectively) will one day want him back as her husband. And this is a way that wives can totally transform their possessive jealousy into an envious jealousy that drives them to be better wives to their husbands.
But to explain how women can do this I need to first give a brief review of love in marriage.
A husband’s love for his wife in the form of his leadership, provision, and protection towards her is unconditional. She does not have to earn that – he committed these things to her on the day he took her as his wife.
But most women confuse Agape love (committed love) with Phileo love (feelings love) and Eros love (sexual love). A woman does not have earn her husband’s committed love, but she very much has to earn his Phileo and Eros love by what she does toward him.
This is why the Bible commands that husbands are to be ravished (sexually intoxicated) by their wives in Proverbs 5:19. And this command requires the participation of both the husband and the wife. A husband cannot be ravished by a prudish wife and a wife cannot ravish a husband who ignores her attempts to ravish him.
So here is how women can transform their possessive jealousy into an envious jealously which fuels positive change in their marriage. Instead of being mad at him for checking out that woman in the mall – the ravishing wife takes what she saw and offers to role play being that woman in bed with her husband at home. Or maybe she sees some sexual acts in a movie her and her husband are watching and sees that he likes it – maybe later than evening or another night she seeks to recreate what they saw that he likes.
My point is that a woman’s jealousy can be used for good or for evil. And women should redirect and harness their jealousy for the good of their husbands and their marriages.
Why keep speaking on Polygamy?
A lot of my traditional Christian followers write me wishing I would stop talking about Biblical polygamy. It makes them uncomfortable.
I consider myself a traditional Christian. But unlike many traditional Christians today, my traditional beliefs are not based in 1950s American values.
My beliefs are based upon traditional values which started with the teachings and law God gave to Moses more than 3500 years ago.
And I fully recognize the progressive revelation of God and the fact that in the New Testament the Civil and Ceremonial laws of Israel are replaced with the new law of Christ. But the moral law of the Old Testament remains and acceptance of it is crucial for us to understand God’s view of marriage and sexuality.
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You don’t have to be a jock to be a godly masculine man. Nerds can also be godly masculine men as well.
Jocks are focused on building their physical capabilities and are often physically talented. Nerds are focused on building their mental capabilities and are often highly intelligent and creative.
God created two major variations of masculinity – the Warrior and the Wiseman. Jocks are the Warrior variant and Nerds are the Wiseman variant.
A man who has the Warrior variant of masculinity will be drawn to things like sports, body building, hunting or the military. And a man who has the Wiseman variant will be drawn to things like history, music, literature, math, science and computers.
Both the Warrior and Wiseman may make great business entrepreneurs, politicians or military leaders but will use different strengths to excel in these areas.
Many men exhibit attributes of both the Warrior and Wiseman as they should. But each man is either more of a Warrior or more of a Wiseman in his strengths and attributes.
King David was a Warrior and built his kingdom with his sword. In Psalms 144:1, David said “Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight”.
David’s son, King Solomon, was a Wiseman who built his kingdom with his mind. The Bible says in 1 Kings 4:29 “And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore.”
For a man to be a truly godly masculine man he needs to cultivate at least some of the qualities of both the Warrior and the Wiseman.
A Warrior cannot lead without gaining some knowledge and wisdom and a Wiseman cannot lead without having some of the firmness and strength of the Warrior.
Which man are you? The Wiseman or the Warrior?
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3000 years ago, the Bible declared in Proverbs 31:10 “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” In other words, long before feminism infested and poisoned every part of our modern society it was hard for a man to find a woman who thought and acted as God wants wives to.
So why was it hard even 3000 years ago for a man to find a virtuous woman? The answer is one word – sin. Sin corrupts the perfect masculine and feminine human natures that God created in Eden.
Sin corrupts us both mentally and physically. It also corrupts us differently as men and women. Sin is why we get sick and why we age and it is why we will eventually die. It is why people have mental illnesses including issues with depression and anxiety.
Women tend to suffer from some common corruptions of their feminine natures by sin. Women typically are affected by depression and anxiety issues at a much higher rate then men are.
God created women as feelings-based beings, rather than duty-based beings as men are. And sin corrupts the emotions of women causing them to fail in their duties as wives, mothers and keepers of their homes.
This is why the vast majority of women need their husband to love them as Christ loves his church by washing their spots and wrinkles, teaching them, rebuking them and chastening them in order for them to become the glorious wives God wants them to be.
Single Christian men – the Scriptures declare that it is nearly impossible to find a woman who will come to you prepackaged as a good wife. If you are looking for a woman that has everything in her life together, is disciplined and has her emotions completely in control you may find yourself one day being a 40-year-old virgin.
Are there single women who are not yet everything a good wife should be? Women who love God, believe they must live by his Word, believe in male headship, believe in women being keepers at home and aspire to become good wives one day with their help of their husbands and God? Yes. And those are the women Christian men should be looking for.
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
Ephesians 5:25-27 (KJV)
Virtuous women are rarely found that way. It is only after years of washing, teaching, rebuking and chastening by their husbands that that most women achieve this noble status.
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While it is not a sin for a man to help his wife out around the house from time to time, it absolutely goes against God’s design for a man’s life ambition to be a househusband while he has a wife that goes out and financially supports him.
God created the man, the male, to image him and thereby bring him glory (1 Cor 11:7). In Ephesians 5:29 the Bible says men are called to provide for and protect their wives as Christ provides for and protects his church.
He created the woman for the man to be a suitable companion (Gen 2:18), the bearer and caregiver for his children (1 Tim 5:14) and the keeper of his home (Titus 2:5). He created marriage to be between a man and woman ONLY with the man leading, providing for and protecting the woman (Eph 5:22-33) while the woman submits to the husband serving him as her earthly lord (1 Peter 3:5-6).
Why do certain men desire to be homemakers and care for the children while desiring their wives to be the primary breadwinners? Because of the corruption of sin within them. Some men may even look masculine on the outside while having very feminine natures on the inside. The same goes for women looking feminine on the outside but being very masculine on the inside. But God calls us as men and women to find this corruption of sin. If we are born into a male body, then we have a certain role to play and we are born into a female body then we have another role to play.
It is one thing if a man’s wife becomes disabled and he has to step into her role in the home or the husband becomes disabled and the wife has to step in his role as the breadwinner. That is not what we are talking about here. What we are talking about is when a man and woman plan and choose a life where he will be a househusband and she will be the breadwinner they are planning to break model of Christ and the church which they were both created to model in the institution of marriage which God created.
For a man to seek out the role that God specifically gave to woman is a sin against his creator.
It is very common in post-feminist Christendom to hear pastors and other Christian teachers teach that men should make themselves fully accountable to their wives. Men are told they should share all their passwords for their phones, laptops, other devices, social media accounts and bank accounts. Of course women are told to do the same with their husbands as well.
The rationale for this recommendation is that it helps husbands and wives to to defend their marriage against infidelity and other sins that either the husband or wife may be tempted by. And this is not just about sexual fidelity, it is also about things like diet, finances and parenting issues.
While I have a lot of respect for Dennis and Barbara Rainey from Family Life Ministries, this is one area where he follows the modern Christian crowd which has been poisoned by femininist ideology. On his website under an article entitled “Accountability With Your Spouse” Mr. Rainey writes:
“The wise preacher declared, “Two are better than one because … if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up” (Ecclesiastes. 4:9–10). That Scripture shouts the value of mutual support or accountability in marriage.”
Sorry Mr. Rainey, but no – that Scripture does not “shout .. accountability in marriage”. Ecclesiastes 4:9–10, while being widely read at weddings, is not a Bible passage specifically talking about marriage. It is talking about friendship. Now someone might respond to what I just said with the question “Do you think friendship is not part of marriage?” and I would answer that yes I believe friendship is a part of marriage. But there are different kinds of friendship – there is friendship between equals, like two men or two women being friends. And then there are friendships between authorities and those under them. The Bible speaks of this kind of friendship between those who are not equals in James 2:23 where the Bible says “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.”.
God refers to a woman as the companion of her husband (Malachi 2:14), but it never refers to her as his equal. Instead, the Bible makes clear that the husband is head (Ephesians 5:23) and master (1 Peter 3:6) of his wife. Therefore the friendship between a husband and wife will be and should be very different than a friendship between say two men or two women.
The Bible does encourage Christians to keep themselves accountable to other Christians in James 5:16 where the it says “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”.
So, the question is not whether husbands should keep themselves accountable, because they absolutely should. The question is whether husbands should keep themselves accountable to their wives. And the answer to this question is absolutely NOT.
Christian husbands should find other godly Christian men to keep themselves accountable with but certainly not their wives.
The reason husbands should not allow their wives to be their accountability partners is because such an arrangement breaks the model of marriage that God has designed. God did not design marriage as a partnership, but rather he designed it as a patriarchy. God designed marriage to model the relationship between God and his people and Christ and his church. Is Christ subject to his church or his church subject to Christ? We know the answer from the Scriptures (See Ephesians 5:24).
Wives however, are accountable to their husbands as the church is accountable to Christ and it is also good for women to find other godly women to keep themselves accountable with as well (see Titus 2:3-5).
Am I Saying Husbands and Wives Should Not Communicate At All?
Affirming the Biblical the truth that a husband making himself morally accountable to his wife breaks the model of the headship of Christ over his church does not mean that husbands should not communicate with their wives about their daily lives. Husbands should try to communicate their work schedules with their wives so that their wives can plan meals and other family events around the husband’s work. And while a husband does not have to reveal the complete family financial picture to his wife, he should communicate on a regular basis how much money the wife has to work with as she manages the domestic needs of the home. Husbands and wives also need to talk about things going on with their children.
And a husband must remember that while he is not morally accountable to his wife, she is in fact morally accountable to him. And that requires him to communicate with her on a regular basis to hear what she has been doing in her daily life.
Am I Saying Husbands Should Not Ask Their Wives For Forgiveness When They Sin Against Them?
If I had a dime for every time a woman wrote me with the comment “You know husbands are sinners too!” I would be a rich man. Of course husbands are sinners. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” and that “all” includes both men and women. The only person to ever walk this earth and be sinless was Jesus Christ.
But to you ladies who always write me that husbands are sinners too, do you not realize that God knew that when he told women in Ephesians 5:23-24 “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.Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing”.
God was saying to wives – “I know your husband is sinner just like you, but I want you to submit to him anyway. I want you to model the submission of the Church to Christ toward your husband, even though your husband is not sinless like Christ”.
I say all that to acknowledge the fact that yes husbands will sometimes sin against their wives. And when they sin against their wife, they need to ask God and their wife for forgiveness. A husband does not ask his wife for forgiveness of a sin against her because he is morally accountable to her, but rather he asks her for forgiveness because he is morally accountable to God and God wants him to seek the forgiveness of those he has sinned against.
In 1 Peter 3:7 the Bible says a man’s prayers may be hindered because of his mistreatment his wife and in Luke 17:3-4, Christ encouraged Christians to repent of their sins toward one another and for the offended party to receive that repentance and forgive the person for their offense.
Your Husband Does Not Have To Ask Your Forgiveness For Sins Not Directly Against You
Many Christian wives today see themselves as their husband’s priestess whom he must come to and confess his daily transgressions. Ladies you are not your husband’s confessor! Your husband must confess all his sins to God and only those sins to you which are directly against you. And yes if he has a male accountability partner, he may confess his sins to them, but he is not asking them for forgiveness but rather keeping them informed so they can pray for him and so he can receive encouragement to do better.
Just Because You Think It Is Sin, Does Not Make It Sin
A lot of wives today try to turn everything they think their husband does wrong into a sin against them. Whether it be things he does that they think she shouldn’t do, or things he does not do that they think he should – wives have a bad habit of assembling lists of sins in their minds that they think their husbands are committing.
Ladies listen up and listen good. You are not the spiritual authority of your home. You do not determine what is and is not sin. But rather it is God and the human spiritual head God has appointed over you, your husband, that determine what is sin in your home. Let me clarify that last part so it cannot be twisted. I am not saying that if your husband commands you to murder someone or have a threesome of with one of his guy friends from work that he can say those things are not sin and you must do it. Nor am I saying he may not actually be committing sin when you think he is.
But when I say that your husband does determine what is and is not sin in your home I mean that God has appointed him the spiritual interpreter and applier of the Scriptures for you as his wife. In 1 Corinthians 14:35 the Bible says of wives “And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home”.
That means if the Bible does not directly speak to something, but your husband applies Scriptural principles and determines a rule against or allowance for an activity – his rule for you is law. And if you break the law of your husband, you break the law of God.
Wives the conclusion of the matter is this – butt of his business and leave your husband to God.
In Hebrew and Greek, the original languages of the Bible, there is no word for husband. Instead, the Bible uses two words to refer to husbands and these words can refer to men that are not husbands as well.
In the Hebrew of the Old Testament husbands are often referred to as “ish” which means “a male human being” and the New Testament also uses the Greek equivalent word for male which is “aner” to refer to husbands. In other words, one of the ways to refer to a woman’s husband in ancient times was simply to refer to him as “her man”.
The second word which the Bible uses to refer to a woman’s husband is very offensive to modern ears. The Hebrew word “baal” is used 15 times in the Old Testament to refer to a woman’s husband. The Hebrew word “baal” means “master/owner”. There is also an adverb use of “baal” which means “owned”. The word is used to refer to masters, home owners, a pagan deity and to husbands.
The following passage from the book of Exodus illustrates the use of baal where it is not a referring to a woman’s husband.
“7 If a man shall deliver unto his neighbour money or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of the man’s house; if the thief be found, let him pay double.8 If the thief be not found, then the master [BAAL] of the house shall be brought unto the judges, to see whether he have put his hand unto his neighbour’s goods.
9 For all manner of trespass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any manner of lost thing which another challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbour.
10 If a man deliver unto his neighbour an ass, or an ox, or a sheep, or any beast, to keep; and it die, or be hurt, or driven away, no man seeing it:11 Then shall an oath of the Lord be between them both, that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbour’s goods; and the owner [BAAL] of it shall accept thereof, and he shall not make it good.
12 And if it be stolen from him, he shall make restitution unto the owner [BAAL] thereof.”
Exodus 22:7-12 (KJV)
Notice in the passage above that baal is translated as “master” in verse 8, then as “owner” in verses 11 and 12. The reason for this that baal in the context of a house meant the head of household or literally the master of the house. But in the context of goods being held or exchanged, baal referred to the owner of the goods.
Now let’s look at the following passage refers to a husband’s mastery and ownership over his wife:
“If a man be found lying with a woman married [BAAL used as verb] to an husband [BAAL used as noun], then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.
Deuteronomy 22:22 (KJV)
The phrase “a woman married to an husband” is most literally translated from the Hebrew as “a woman owned by an owner”.
In the Proverbs 31 regarding the virtuous wife, the Bible refers to her husband not as her “ish” (her man), but rather as her “baal” (her master):
“10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband [BAAL – master] doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil…
23 Her husband [BAAL – master] is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land…
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband [BAAL – master] also, and he praiseth her.“
Some Christians, unwilling to accept the Biblical teaching that a husband is the master and owner of his wife, have tried to claim that since “ish”(meaning man) is used more often than “baal” to refer to a woman’s husband that this is how God wants a wife to see her husband, as her man and not as her master. These Christian’s see a husband’s mastery over his wife as a result of sin and something God only temporarily allowed.
Some have even tried to point to the following Old Testament passage to say God’s preference is for women to see their husbands as their “man” and not “master”:
“And it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali.”
Hosea 2:16 (KJV)
In the passage above God was not giving up his mastery over his wife, Israel. But rather he saying he wanted her to see him as BOTH her man and her master. Ishi was the tender and affectionate way that women sometimes referred to their husbands. In essence, God wanted his wife Israel to say to him “You are not just my master, but you are my man”.
The passage below from the New Testament, settles once and for all whether or not a husband’s mastery over his wife was a result of sin or his design from the beginning of creation:
“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: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord [Greek KURIOS – “master”]: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”
1 Peter 3:5-6 (KJV)
The fact that the Apostle Peter commands women, Christian women, to follow the examples of Old Testament women like Sarah who called their husband’s “lord” (master) confirms for us that a husband’s mastery over his wife was God’s design from the very beginning of creation.
How Masters of Wives Became Husbands
Many centuries after the New Testament was finished, English, like other languages came up with a new word to refer specifically to the master and owner of a wife. Originally husband meant “master of the house”. So the early English translations of the Bible translated “baal” as “husband” instead of master as they believed it helped refer to a specific kind of master, the master of a wife.
In no way was the translation of a master of a wife as “husband” meant to weaken a man’s authority over his wife. English common law, following Biblical law, recognized a husband’s full ownership over his wife and children. When it came to his wife, a man could override any of his wife’s decisions and had complete control over her life, again in keeping with Biblical law (see Numbers 30, Ephesians 5:22-24:).
American Society Rejects the Mastery of Husband Over His Wife
The term “master” in our American society is seen as a very negative term and evokes images of slave masters acting cruelly toward their slaves. But in the Bible, the term master was not automatically associated with slavery or cruelty. It recognizes that there were just slave masters and cruel slave masters.
The Bible also recognizes a concept that we as 21st century Americans cannot understand. That to be owned and master by someone does not automatically make you a slave. In other words, while a husband is his wife’s master, meaning that he does own her and control her life, that does not make her his slave.
The Bible shows that husbands as masters of their wives have far greater responsibilities toward their wives than masters of slaves. In Ephesians 5:25-29, the Bible commands that husbands are to be willing to give their lives to protect their wives, they are to lead, teach, provide for and care for their wives as Christ does his church.
The Bible is clear that God wants Christian women to recognize their husband’s as more than their “life partners” or “friends” and even more than their leaders. God wants wives to recognize their husband’s as their earthly masters who have full control over their lives.
Full acceptance of the Biblical teaching of a husband’s mastery over his wife requires both a Christian husband and a Christian wife to reject the belief in the full autonomy of women. This modern belief that women have the same rights and freedom as men is enshrined in our American laws. But these laws giving women the same rights and freedom as men are null and void in the eyes of God and we as Christian husbands and wives must consider these laws null and void as well if we are to have marriages that are faithful to God’s design.
It will require great courage for Christian men to reclaim their birthright and responsibility of mastery over their wives in this post feminist era. And it will require great humility on the part of Christian women to fully embrace their husband’s mastery over them.
Let us pray for a courageous generation of Christian men and a humble generation of Christian women to return our society back to God’s design for marriage.
“Dear BGR, can you tell me if the Bible says it is a sin for a man to keep secrets from his wife? My wife thinks so and so does the pastor of our church. Let me give you some more context so you can understand better. My wife and I are born again, Bible believing Christians and have been married for 8 years and we have three children who are 6 and under. We met in the church we continue to attend to this same day.
My wife wanted to be a homemaker and I wanted to be a sole provider and we were both Christians and relatively conservative so it seemed to be a good match. My wife even said she believed in male headship in marriage while we were dating. But not long after we were married, I discovered that we defined “male headship” in very different ways. My definition of male headship came right of Ephesians 5:23-24 which says the husband is the head his wife as Christ is the head of his church and the wife is to submit to her husband in everything. Her definition of male headship was that a man leads his wife by his example but he is never a dictator. All decisions are made jointly with both compromising with one another and only in rare situations where the couple cannot agree then the husband will break the tie.
She says that is “male headship” but I see “equal partnership with only a slightly senior partner”.
Ever since we were married, I have found out that my wife is absolutely horrible with money. We would talk each week about the budget and it was very open and transparent. We would see my check, deduct the bills to be paid, and I would allot a certain amount each week for savings for emergencies and for vacations. We would discuss her allotted amount for shopping for food as well as clothing and incidentals for myself, my wife and the kids.
But time after time she would go over the budget with her ATM card. Each week she would eat up what I had tried to set aside for savings for emergencies and vacations. She always had excuses but the reality was she was spending money she did not need to spend. What I realized was she really did not respect or believe in what I was trying to do with budgeting for emergencies or vacations.
So, what would happen when emergencies, unforeseen expenses or vacation times came? We had to go into credit card debt.
About two months ago I finally had enough of what has been going on our entire marriage. I took my wife to our bank where we had a joint account and had her sign forms with me to close that account. I told her I was setting up a new bank account that would work better for us. She signed the forms with me and we closed our old joint account. When we got home, we cut up our old ATM cards together and threw them in the trash. She assumed she would be on the new account I would setup. She assumed wrong.
The next day during my lunch break at work I setup a new bank account that does not have my wife’s name on it and I redirected my direct deposit to that bank. When I got home from work my wife asked me when we were going to setup the new bank account. I said “I already did today”. She then asked “don’t I need to come down to sign to be on the account?” and I said “No, you are not going to be on the account”. You could have seen fireballs coming out of her eyes at me.
She said “This is not right! We are married! What is yours is mine and what is mine is yours! I have a right to see what is going on in our bank and to be on our bank account with you! You can’t do this!”. And my response was “I have tried for years to reason with you regarding the money and time and time again you have ignored my attempts. We have accumulated debt for vacations and other unforeseeable things over the years because you would not let me build any savings account. Now I am going to fix our finances, pay the debt off and build a savings. You do not need to see the bank, you need only trust that I am paying our bills and doing what is in our best financial interest as a family. I will give you a cash allotment each week for groceries and incidentals. If you need clothing for yourself or the kids, we can talk about that and I will get you more”.
I am happy to say that over the last 6 weeks I have been paying down on our debts and actually built a small savings for the first time in our 8-year marriage!
That is the good news. The bad news is that my wife has made my life a living hell for the past two months. She refuses to have sex with me and last week she called the pastor of our church and then he called me to have us come counsel with him.
I explained to him the situation, but he said I was wrong to deceive her into shutting our old joint account and then setting up a new one without her name on it. The pastor said we are “one flesh” so that means nothing should be separate and she should have equal access to see what is in the account and be able to have an ATM card just like me. He said we are “mutually accountable to each other”. He made a brief mention of her overspending like she could just fix that. I have given her a chance to fix it for 8 years! It was not going to be fixed.
He said my having a separate account that she could not see activity on and had no access to was me “having a part of your life that is secret from your wife. And God does not allow any secrets in marriage. What you are doing is sinning against your wife. You need to add her on your new account, give her full access to see its activity and get her an ATM card”.
When I asked him for scriptural support for what he said he arrogantly said “I already gave it to you. You are not two people; you are one flesh. That means one bank account. Equal access to all assets. And absolutely no secrets of any kind from each other, whether they are bank accounts or anything else”.
I googled “biblical gender roles” last week and found your site on the first page. I did a search on your search bar for “finances” and found your post “Can a Christian husband deny his wife equal access to his income?”. This was exactly what I needed and confirmed from the Bible what I was thinking was right. I went on to read your 20 doctrines of Biblical gender roles and many other posts. Thank you so much for all you are doing here for the cause of Christ. Your site must be a massive trigger for egalitarian Christians and non-Christians alike. I am sure you must get a lot of hate mail.
One last thing. I searched your blog for the larger issue our pastor brought up about husbands keeping secrets. I could not find anything on that. Have you written on that? If so, can you please send me the link?”
What you just read was emailed to me last week from a man named Travis.
Travis, the answer to your question is no, I have not previously written directly on the subject of husbands keeping secrets from their wives. I think I may have mentioned it in passing, but no dedicated articles for it. So, I guess will remedy that here.
Why it is NOT a Sin for Husbands to Keep Secrets from Their Wives
We are living in a “total transparency” culture where it seems everyone must know everything about everybody. Think of all the big brother type shows where people allow cameras into their homes and private lives. Tabloid journalism is built on this entire precept of everyone needing to know everything about everybody.
When it comes to intimate relationships, whether in dating or in marriage, we are told “there can be no secrets”.
And more often than not, in most intimate relationships it is the woman who is trying to pry every thought, feeling and action out of her man’s head under the guise that he is not allowed to keep anything back from her. In fact, if you watch TV shows you will often see that one of the biggest reasons women break up with men is because the men were not totally transparent with them in all areas of their life.
Keeping anything secret from the woman you are in a relationship with, whether you are dating or married, is considered a violation of the 11th commandment – “Thou shalt not keep any secrets from thy woman”.
The problem is that there is no 11th commandment that says any such thing. So those who believe men can hold nothing back from their women whether in thought or deed must try and find something the Bible does teach, and twist it to say that it means men cannot hold anything back from their women.
To accomplish this goal of convincing men that they can have no secrets from their women, some Christian teachers turn to the “one flesh” concept of marriage that is taught in the Bible. In Matthew 19:6 Christ said of husbands and wives in marriage “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh”. So, the argument goes, since man and woman are one in marriage, there can be no secrets between them and no thought or deed can be held back from the other. And if marriage were an equal partnership, that might make sense.
But in Ephesians 5:23-24 we read “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church” and 1 Peter 3:5-6 the Scriptures state that women are to be in “subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord”. This reveals that marriage in God’s design is not an equal partnership, but rather it is a patriarchy designed to model the relationship of God to his people with the husband symbolizing God and the wife symbolizing the people of God.
In Deuteronomy 29:29 the Bible states the following:
“The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law”.
In God’s relationship with his people he holds many things back from them. But it is the duty of his people to live by what he has revealed and leave to God what he has not revealed.
The application of this to marriage is clear. Women are to abide by and follow those things which their husband reveals to them realizing their husband’s secrets belong to him, not to them. It is not their business to spy on their husbands or try to find out his every thought and deed.
This tendency in women to want to know their husband’s every thought and deed is actually a core corruption of the feminine human nature that started with the first woman, Eve. In Genesis 3:6 the Bible says “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate…”. She wanted to know everything God knew, she wanted to know the secrets God was keeping from her. And women to this very day commit this same sin with their husbands trying to learn his secrets and being offended when he holds anything back from them.
Yes, the Bible teaches in multiple places that husbands and wives are indeed “one flesh” in marriage. And one of those passages is Ephesians 5:31 which states “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”. And the “cause” for which a husband and wife are called by God to come together as one flesh in marriage is given to us in the preceding verses – Ephesians 5:22-30. Men and women are to come together in marriage as one flesh for the cause of modeling the relationship of Christ to his church. Are Christ and his church equal partners? Does the Bible tell us Christ and his church submit to one another? The answers to both these questions are a resounding NO.
Does Christ keep secrets from his church? You bet he does! In Acts 1:7 Christ said to his wife “And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power”.
God calls men to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to wash her spiritual spots and wrinkles and to make her the glorious church, he wanted her to be. And wives are called to submit to their husbands in everything as the church is to submit to Christ in everything.
Travis is learning what it means to give himself up for his wife as Christ gave himself up for his church. Travis gave up the peace in his home knowing his wife would probably deny him sex and make his life miserable. But he knew it was the right thing to do for his family. Now he needs to get into that washing phase with his wife and correct her sinful lack of submission to him, not just in the area of finances but also in the area of denying him her body and using sexual denial as a weapon to manipulate him.
Jesus said in Matthew 10:36 “And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household”. Because we live in a sin cursed world, sometimes the person God meant to be our greatest spiritual ally as men becomes our greatest spiritual foe. In preparation for this spiritual battle with his wife, Travis should read my article “3 Ways Wives Try to Control Their Husbands”.
Finally, to Christian wives reading this. Do you get upset if your husband holds back his thoughts or feelings on anything? Do you have to track his every movement from work to home? If he were to lock down the finances where you could not see what is going on would that bother you?
If you answered yes to any of these questions then your heart is not in keeping with God’s law and his design for marriage. You need to go to the Lord in prayer and pray what King David did in Psalm 119:36 “Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness”. When you spy on your husband or get angry if he keeps anything from you, you are acting in covetousness just as Eve did when she coveted that forbidden fruit because she wanted to know the knowledge God was keeping back from her.
A question that I am sure many wives will bring up is “Are you saying husbands are not accountable for their actions?” And the answer to that question is no, that is not what I am saying at all. Husbands certainly are accountable to civil and church authorities in areas that God grants these authorities power. But husbands are not accountable to their wives anymore than their wives are accountable to their children. There is a clear line of spiritual authority declared by God. For more on this subject of accountability and husbands see my article “Why Husbands Are NOT Accountable to Their Wives”.
As a Christian wife, once you have totally surrendered your heart to God in this area of having to know everything your husband thinks or does, you will find peace in your marriage as the Scriptures say in Psalm 119:165 “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them”.
“How does a father provide for his children when his [ex] wife abandoned him? She returned to live with her mother. She took the kids without the father’s consent. Both the children and husband were deceived. She did not leave her parents and cleave to her husband, who moved the family, so he could best provide for his family. She didn’t like moving from her mother, and returned to her, thus abandoning and taking the children. My question is, does he pick-up from his stable career and leave his job, which provides for his children, to find employment near his children? He is struggling because he can better provide in an area where affluent jobs are abundant. Whereas if he returns to the area where his children, he is forced to find employment well below his earning potential (very rural America). What does God want the father to do? Is it more important for the father to be present in the children’s lives or more critical for him to be the provider for his children? Her abandonment turned the family upside down. Now the husband is being forced to make decisions, as the leader, to return to an area where gainful employment is scarce. There was no abuse, gambling, etc. from the husband. Please advise with relevant scripture, so that I do God’s will, not mine.”
This comment was recently sent to me by a man calling himself Darrin.
The sad reality of a post-feminist world is that the scales are massively tilted toward women. Our modern society no longer recognizes a man’s God given ownership over his wife and his children. So, in this sin-cursed and upside-down world what is a Christian man to do? Below is my answer to Darrin and other good men who face this type of wicked situation.
Should You Give Up Your Career for Your Children?
The first thing you need to do is focus on is why God created you. The purpose for your creation as a male human being is shown in the Scripture below:
“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.”
1 Corinthians 11:7-9 (KJV)
You were created by God to image him and thereby bring him glory. Your masculine human nature is meant to picture God’s nature. And one of the ways you image God is in your career.
A Man’s Career Is A Defining Aspect of His Masculinity
Your competitiveness and your desire to make your mark on the world in your career is part of the masculine image of God within you. The Bible says the following things about a man and his work:
“Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.”
Psalm 104:23 (KJV)
“Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.”
Psalm 22:29 (KJV)
“Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.”
Ecclesiastes 5:18 (KJV)
“Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.”
Proverbs 24:27 (KJV)
A man’s career is a defining aspect of who is he is as a man. That is why the first thing men ask each other is “What do you do for a living?” Our careers as men define us. They give us something to strive for, something to be diligent in and compete in. But they also give us the ability to do something else that is crucial for us as men. Our careers give us the ability to provide for our families.
I know the couple times I have been laid off from my job were some of the most miserable times in my life. As men it hurts us to our core when we cannot properly provide for our families. And that is by God’s design that we are so driven in this area.
Our provision as men for our wives and our children pictures God’s provision as a husband to his wife and as a father to his children as seen in the following Scriptures:
“For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church”
Ephesians 5:29 (KJV)
“9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”
Mark 7:9-11 (KJV)
It is not the man who is called to be a keeper at home, but rather the woman
It is not your place as a man to spend the vast majority of your time in your home or with your children. God has given that role to women.
“4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
Titus 2:4-5 (KJV)
A man is called to rule over and teach his children, not spend all his time with children:
“One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity”
1 Timothy 3:4 (KJV)
“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
Ephesians 6:4 (KJV)
Darrin, you can still be a presence and have a relationship with your children without physically being there all the time with them. I have known some men in your same situation, the wife took the kids back to the home state and the father could not leave the state he was in or they would all be impoverished. So, these men see their kids for 4 weeks in the summer and fly to see them a few times in between like around Christmas and other holidays. But here is the very important part. While they are not physically with their children, they are regularly, multiple times a week calling them on their phone and doing video calls with them.
And in this way, they are able to talk with their children about their daily lives and pour spiritual advice into their lives. They also regularly send their children gifts and make sure they are properly provided for.
For mothers the quantity of time in their children’s life is crucial especially at a young age. But for fathers it is not the quantity, but rather the quality of the time spent with their children that is so crucial.
A woman’s mission from God is her husband, her children and her home. But for a man, his wife, his children and his home are only a part of his larger mission.
The Scriptures tell us in 1 Corinthians 11:9 “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man” and in Psalm 127:3 we read “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward”.
You as a male human being were NOT made for your wife or your children. You were made for God to bring him glory by imaging him with your life (1 Corinthians 11:7).
So, the answer to your dilemma is you continue in your career where you are while at the same time using all your available resources to have as much of a presence as possible, even if virtual, in the lives of your children.
Christian husbands, we are called to image God with our lives as men. And in our marriages we are called to image God as a husband to our wives. The latter half of Proverbs 31 gives us the example of a good and godly wife. But it also in the end gives us an example of how a good and godly husband reacts to his wife’s righteous life.
He praises her.
The Bible is not talking about men praising women as the world would have us do today. It is not about praising women for accomplishments outside the home in places God never meant them to be in. It is not about praising women for acting like men.
It is about praising women for acting like women in the way God meant them to be.
Some today have the attitude that husbands should praise their wives simply for occupying the same space with them. Women don’t have to do anything worthy of praise in their actions, they are simply worthy of praise for being women. Such a concept of praise is not supported anywhere in the Bible. And if a man praises his wife when her actions are un-praiseworthy he does her and himself a disservice as her head.
Some men are really good at the praising aspect with their wives, while lacking in the correction and discipline area with their wives. For others, it is the opposite and it is all correction and discipline and absolutely no praise. We as Christians husbands need to find that balance.
Husband, make a concerted effort to praise your wife when she cooks well, when you come home to a beautifully kept home, when she makes herself beautiful for you and also when she performs well sexually. Also make sure you teach your children to compliment their mother as well.