Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love. Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well, never leaving the natural use of the woman.
If you are like the vast majority of Christians today the statement above will probably be very offensive to you to say the least. Thoughts like “women were not made for men”, “women are not things”, “women are not sex objects to be used by men” and “men should never use women to satisfy their sexual desires” might be rushing into your mind.
Some one-word reactions to the statement above might be “misogynistic”, “sexist” and “dehumanizing”.
You may recognize the use of “thee” and “thou” in the statement above and you might be frantically looking through the Bible to find the verse. I will save you the time. The statement above is a combination of quotations from 1 Corinthians 11:9, Proverbs 18:22, Proverbs 5:19, Proverbs 5:15 and Romans 1:27 (all from the KJV). I have only added one word and that is “never” (but it is in keeping with the negative use of the phrase following it from Romans 1:27).
Now that you have processed your initial reaction to the statement above let’s see if you feel more comfortable with what would be our typical cultural response to it:
“No human being was created for another human being’s “use” or “satisfaction”. No human being is another human being’s “well” from which they may satisfy their sexual thirst. Such treatment of any person by another person is inhumane.”
If you agree with this statement against the statement above then you are at least a partial humanist which the vast majority of Americans and even Christians today are. The entire idea that one set of human beings was made for another is completely contrary to one of the cardinal commandments of humanism which Mario Cuomo stated at the 1994 Democratic National Convention:
“thou shalt not sin against equality”
And this cardinal commandment of Humanism teaches a false concept of where human life gets its value and what it means to treat a human being justly according to God.
Being Created for God’s Glory Gives Us Value Not Social Equality
The Bible tell us where we should find our value as both men and women:
“6 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; 7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.”
Isaiah 43:6-7 (KJV)
God created us, both men and women, for his glory. But he created his sons to bring him glory in a different way than he created he daughters to bring him glory. And we see these two paths for glory clearly laid out in the following Scripture passage:
“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)
Did you ever wonder why God’s titles in the Bible are all masculine like husband, father, son, king and prophet? The answer is found in the passage above. God created man and gave him his masculine human nature for the express purpose of imaging God and thereby bringing him glory. In other words, God created man to display or live out his attributes.
But in order for man to fully live out God’s attributes he needed someone who would depend on him for his leadership, provision strength and protection. So, God created woman for man. Woman and by extension the feminine human nature was not created like man for the purpose of imaging God. Woman was created with her feminine human nature to be a man’s wife and the mother of his children.
God uses this imagery of the relationship between a husband and his wife throughout the Scriptures to symbolize his relationship to his people. In the Old Testament this is represented as God being a husband to Israel and in the New Testament this is represented as Christ being a husband to his church.
God even created a man’s sexual desire to image his desire for the beauty of his people (Psalm 45:10-11), his desire for oneness with his people (Ezekiel 16:7-8) and his desire to take pleasure in his people (Psalm 149:4).
But Doesn’t the Bible Say God Made Sex for Both Men and Women?
Some will point to the following passage to say that God made sex for men and women:
“2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. 5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.”
1 Corinthians 7:2-5 (KJV)
First and foremost, God’s Word never contradicts. 1 Corinthians 11:9 clearly states that “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man”. So, if God made woman for man, that means he made sex for man. It really is that simple. Everything about woman’s nature and body was meant to serve man, bring him glory and thereby bring God glory.
With that foundational understanding now let’s look at the passage above. The phrase in verse 1 Corinthians 7:2 “let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband” does not mean equal ownership of a husband and wife toward one another. There are different Greek words for the English word “own”.
When referring to a man having his “own wife” the original Greek word that is translated as ‘own’ is ‘heautou’. This word speaks of owning someone or something as your personal possession and this is consistent with the Hebrew phrase for marriage ‘baal’ which referred to a man coming to own his wife. For the wife having her “own husband” the original Greek word that is translated as ‘own’ is ‘idios’ which may or may not refer to ownership over someone or something. It depends on the context it is used in. When this word is used with a subordinate it can actually refer to the person being owned. See this passage below which illustrates this concept:
“9 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own [idios] masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again”
Titus 2:9 (KJV)
The word ‘servant’ refers to slaves in the original Greek. So, in the context of a slave and his Master who has possession of who? The answer is the master. And this is the same for wives. Wives do not own their husbands, but rather husbands own their wives. And why do husbands own their wives? Because God made a man’s wife for him, not him for his wife.
So, what is the rest of 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 talking about then? The answer is that God is telling men and women that they have a right to sexual access to one another’s bodies and they should not deprive one another except if they mutually agree for a short time of prayer and fasting. But unlike what the world and specifically humanism teaches today, the mutual consent is not to have sex, but to stop having sex for a brief period. In other words, if either person needs sex, the other should render their body.
And then we have the final question to answer on this passage. If God made sex for men then why does the Bible tell men not to deny their wives’ sexually which would indicate that women want sex too? For the answer we go back to the 1 Corinthians 7:9 principle. Why did God create woman? He created her for man. Therefore, everything about her, including her own sexual desire was created for man’s benefit. In other words, her desire for sex enhances his sexual pleasure. So, God is saying to men “Don’t deny your wife when she wants sex – I made her to want sex for you!”
The Bible tells us in passages like Isaiah 43:6-7 that all of us, both men and women, were created to bring glory to God. But 1 Corinthians 11:7-9 tells us that men and women were made to bring God glory in different ways. Man was created to bring God glory by imaging him, by living out God’s attributes with his life. And it is very clear that man was not created for woman, but woman for man.
And because woman was created for man, so too, sex was created for man.
It is absolutely true, according to Hebrews 13:4 ,that the only sexual relations God considers honorable and pure are those which occur between a husband and wife within the covenant of marriage. And it is equally true that God’s first command to mankind in Genesis 1:28 was for them to “Be fruitful, and multiply“.
However, there is more to the Biblical view of sex than just restrictions on when sex may occur and the call to having children. Unfortunately, some churches today fail to see to this.
On the other hand, a lot of churches today do teach that sex is about more than just the restrictions on it or for having children. But unfortunately these same churches usually give advice on sex which follows the humanist, feminist and egalitarian view of sex and not the Biblical view of sex.
Churches today often associate the the male sex drive with selfishness. Husbands are taught that they should not seek sex for their own satisfaction but only to please their wives. And if the whole point of sex is about a husband seeking to please his wife, then it would follow that a man should never seek sex with his wife when she is not in the mood or not enthusiastically desiring it. Most importantly, he should never coerce her into sex in any way as this would go against the entire point of sex in their view. And this view of sex perfectly aligns with the humanist, feminist and egalitarian views of sex.
But God’s Word says just the opposite. The Bible calls sex “the natural use of the woman” (Romans 1:27) and warns men against leaving this natural use. It calls on men to quench their God given sexual thirst by drinking from the well of sexual pleasure that is their wife’s body (Proverbs 5:15). Not only are they to quench their sexual thirst with their wife’s body, but they are to drink their fill of her, satisfying themselves “at all times” so much so that they are intoxicated by their wife’s body (Proverbs 5:18-19).
Some will contend that these Biblical truths makes women no more than sex slaves for men. And such a contention could not be further from the truth. To uphold the Biblical teaching that God created woman for man and by extension sex for man does not mean women are sex slaves. God created women for man’s companionship (Genesis 2:18, Malachi 2:14), to be the mother of his children (1 Timothy 5:14) and the keeper of his home (Titus 2:4-5) in addition to creating woman for man’s sexual use (Romans 1:27) and satisfaction (Proverbs 5:19).
We can affirm that God created woman for more than just the sexual pleasure of man without denying that one of the purposes for which he created woman was indeed the sexual pleasure of man. This is one of the oldest arguments in the feminist arsenal and many feminists have even referred to marriage in general as slavery for women. See my article “8 Biblical Differences Between Wives and Slaves” for a larger discussion of this important topic.
To proclaim these truths right of the Bible does not equal misogyny or hatred for women. This is what our world and sadly many churches today teach. The idea that such sacred teachings of the Bible are misogynistic is based on the false notion that equality is what gives human beings value. The Bible tells us our value comes not from our equality, but rather from our being created for God’s glory.
I know this is a lot to take in. It may go against everything you as a Christian have been brought up to believe because humanism has so infested most Christian churches today. It may violate your entire concept of “social justice”. But then you must answer God’s question to Job in Job 40:8 when he says “Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?”
If your answer is no, that you will not condemn God, his Word or his design of gender roles and sex as unjust, then you only have one choice as a believer and that choice is to follow God’s command below:
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Romans 12:2 (KJV)
It is only by being transformed by the renewing of your mind that you will be able to bring glory to God in the way he designed you to do.