Prayer for the Family – Pope John Paul II vs. Pope Francis

Kathy – I have many Catholic friends including you. I know that some believe you have to follow the teachings of the Pope wherever he leads no matter what he says, but I must respectfully disagree with those friends. I am glad that there are Catholics like you that recognize the Pope is actually capable of being wrong on certain things.

I really see this issue of homosexuality as one that has the potential to tear both Protestantism and Catholicism apart.

In both the Catholic and Protestant churches we have those who think Christianity needs to come to an acceptance of homosexuality and then those who believe that God’s moral law does not change even when society’s morals do.

For us as Protestants – we can leave those Protestant churches that have left the Word of God – but where does that leave Catholics since your Christian denomination does not allow you to question your church leadership? I say this with all due respect to your Catholic faith. But I am curious?

It's the Women, Not the Men!

Pope John Paul IIPope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II was Pope from 1978 to 2005. He was the first Polish Pope and was instrumental, along with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and U. S. President Ronald Reagan, in orchestrating the demise of the Communist Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

Pope John Paul was a holy man whose deep faith permeated everything he undertook. He was not a politician but singularly, and solely, God’s highest representative on earth. 

His continual support for the Christian family unit was one of Pope John Paul’s resounding legacies. He routinely expressed the need to reinforce the family as it was the primary entity responsible for the protection of the innocent children those marriages produced.

Here is one of Pope John Paul’s lovely prayers for the family.

For the Family

Lord God, from You every family in heaven, and on earth, takes…

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Good Guys – Catholic Author Steven W. Mosher Wonders If He and Pope Francis Are Living on the Same Planet!

Kathy,

I am glad that you and some of my other Catholic friends are willing to call the Pope out of these issues. I know other Catholics who feel they must defend each and every statement and action the Pope takes because he is the leader of the Church.

I know from you and from some of my other Catholic friends that some Catholics believe the Pope is only perfect on matters of Church doctrine, but he can error in other things as you have pointed out here.

But other Catholics believe that if he could error on anything(even political stances) then that would mean he is capable of error even on Church doctrine.

I am curious what my new Catholic friend Emily(who has recently visited the Vatican) will think of this post so that is why I am re-blogging it. Thanks again for you stand Kathy.

It's the Women, Not the Men!

Vatican in RomeVatican in Rome

I am a life long Catholic, as were ALL of my Irish ancestors, and yet I hate the blatant, irrational, and unsubstantiated political correctness with which the new Pope views the world, and with which he asserts his “authority.”

The last time I checked, Popes were simply and solely, the much-needed authorities on Church doctrine.

This Pope, on the other hand, envisions himself as a political “expert” on everything BUT Church doctrine. And, to make matters worse, his ill-conceived political “expertise” is routinely promulgated at the expense of Church doctrine.

Incredibly, the Pope continues to routinely spew geopolitical hogwash, despite the fact that Our Lady of Fatima herself specifically warned against this type of political overreach by priests.

Our Lady of FatimaOur Lady of Fatima

When Our Lady appeared to the three little shepherds in Portugal between 1916 and 1920, she said, “Priests must be pure, very pure. They should…

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“He Loves Me. He Loves Me Not.” – Finding Victory over Feelings of Insecurity

The Bible says “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” The heart is the wellspring of our feelings and because of our sin nature and corruption it can deceive us. Many marriages have been destroyed because people did what the world tells us to do “trust your heart”. God tells us not to trust our feelings – but to trust in him.

The Peaceful Wife

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(This post is not for women whose husbands are abusive, are involved in unrepentant infidelity or criminal activity, are initiating divorce with their wives, have uncontrolled mental health problems, or have active addictions to drugs/alcohol right now.)

Thankfully, most husbands are relatively decent men who truly love their wives and long for their wives to be happy, even if their wives can’t always decode that message (Shaunti Feldhahn “For Women Only”).

A minister at our church taught a class the 7 basic needs of husbands and wives a few years ago. The greatest need of a wife, according to him, was – security. I would have to agree!

How easy it is to let our emotions begin to convince us that we are NOT secure in our husbands’ love, or in a thousand other ways.

Doesn’t the enemy know exactly how to strike at us in our thoughts and how to…

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Does the Bible teach the concept of “Human Property”?

 

Now that we have discussed Biblical laws allowing and regulating slavery, I want to discuss the Biblical concept of “Human property”.  I realize that just the idea of thinking that a human being could be property is absolutely appalling to our modern western values. When we think of human beings as property, we imagine people being abused and hurt by their “owner”.  But what does the Bible say about the concept of human beings as property?

In the Bible a man’s wife and children were considered his property

Happy family hugging isolated on white

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” – Exodus 20:17 (NASB)

This is idea of a man’s wife and child being considered his “human property” is confirmed by these other teachings of the Bible:

A man paid a bride price to a woman’s father for her hand in marriage – the father did not have to consider his daughter’s wishes in the man he chose for her.

A man paid the bride price to a woman’s father if he had pre-marital sex with her, and the father still had the choice of whether he would give his daughter to this man in marriage. Pre-marital sex was considered a property crime against the father of virgin that had been defiled.

When a man committed adultery with another man’s wife he and she could be executed. This was considered a property crime against the woman’s husband. If a married man had sex with a prostitute this was not considered adultery, but rather the sin of Whoremongering as no property crime was committed.

The fact that a man was allowed under Biblical law to sell his son or daughter as a slave confirms that children were considered the property of their father (assuming he was a free man, and not a slave who had been given a wife by his master).

The only exception to this idea of a man’s wife and children being his property was if the man was a slave and his master gave him another slave as a wife. If the male slave were to freed, the master did not have to release his wife and children with him.

Different types of Human property

While all slaves Biblically speaking would be considered human property (unless they were a fellow Hebrew male and then only seed as a temporary hired worker), not all of those who are considered human property were slaves.

A wife while she her husband’s property, is not his slave. A child while is the human property of his father – is not his slave.

Even though Wives and children were also considered human property they had the same human rights as slaves and then even more rights.

The Bible gives an example of this difference of rights between those who were considered human property when it shows in Exodus 21:9-11 when a man gives his female slave to his son as a wife. The Bible states she must be given the full rights of a daughter and a wife – even though she remained human property.

The Treatment of Human Property

Most people in our modern society have the idea that if a person is regarded as human property, that the owner of that person can treat them any way they wish. This could not be further from the truth. I highly suggest that you read my post “Biblical Human Rights vs American Human Rights” and see the section entitled “8 Biblical Human Rights”. These are rights that every human being has, whether they are considered the human property of another person or not.

Children as Human property

Most Americans, while they might not like the use of the word “property” when referring to their children basically regard their children as their property. I would argue that they have a Biblical right to do so. That is why parents get angry when doctors or school officials do things without parental consent. “That is my child, and you did not have my permission to do this or that with them against my wishes” – this is a phrase that is heard quite often from parents, and our legal system for the most part supports this concept of parental consent.

As parents God meant for us to have complete control over things like our children’s education and medical treatment. God meant for us a parents to mold our children through discipline and training to respect and obey not only our authority as parents, but other authorities that God places in their life whether they are teachers in school, church authorities or civil authorities.

Because God places the greatest responsibility on a father and then secondarily to a mother, he gives parents the most power over a child’s life. This is why schools, churches and the government need to be careful to stay within the realm of authority God has given them when they are working with children as God has given the ultimate human authority in a child’s life to their father and mother.

Wives as Human property

Seeing a wife as the human property of her husband sounds degrading and insulting to most Americans and westerners. But there are still some devout men and women of the Christian faith that have no problem with this concept.

As believers we are told that we are not our own, that we belong to God. Christian Men, women and children – it makes no difference we all belong to God.

“…do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20(NASB)

Most Christians have no problem with the concept that we all belong to God. It is only when God delegates his ownership over us to a fallible human being that we begin to have a problem.

For Christians who reject the concept of male headship as taught in the Scriptures – it is impossible for them to even conceive of a wife being the property of her husband as they see marriage as an equal partnership.

But even for some Christians who embrace the concept of male headship as taught in God’s Word – they still struggle with this concept of a wife being the property of her husband. The reason is because they fear the abuse of such power and with good reason as many men have abused this power God has given them over their wives.

But the abuse of power by those in authority, whether in government, the church or the home does not negate the truth that God teaches about authority and ownership in the family. God has delegated his ownership of the family – the wife and the children to the husband and father.

God teaches that when women and children willingly submit to the authority of the husband and father in the home – he blesses them and it is a testimony to the world of God’s power. When a husband uses the power God has given him, not for his own sinful and selfish desires but for the glory of God he blesses his entire family through his leadership, provision and protection(I Peter 3:1-6).

Some Christian women who embrace the concept of male headship may ask for more direct evidence than the passages I supplied so far for God seeing a husband as the owner of his wife.

In the next couple of sections I will show more direct evidence from the Scriptures that husbands do in fact own their wives.

Ownership of wives shown in the Old Testament

There are two Hebrew words that the Old Testament translates for us in English as “husband”. The first one ‘ish’ literally means “man”, but it is translated a “husband” whenever the context is talking about a husband and wife. The second word that the Hebrew Scriptures use for “husband” is “baal” which literally means “Owner/lord”. This same Hebrew word is used to refer owner of something.

First here are some examples of the use of the Hebrew word “baal” that are not in speaking of a husband and wife:

“If a man opens a pit, or digs a pit and does not cover it over, and an ox or a donkey falls into it, the owner [baal – “owner”] of the pit shall make restitution; he shall give money to its owner [baal – “owner”], and the dead animal shall become his.” – Exodus 21:33-34 (NASB)

“Then the man, the owner [baal – “owner”] of the house, went out to them and said to them, “No, my fellows, please do not act so wickedly; since this man has come into my house, do not commit this act of folly.” – Judges 19:23 (NASB)

In Exodus 21:33-34 we see that “baal” refers both the owner of a piece of land and another owner of and ox or a donkey. In Judges 19:23 – “baal” refers the owner of a house.

Now let’s move on to examples of “baal” in reference to the relationship of a husband and a wife:

“Now Abraham journeyed from there toward the land of the Negev, and settled between Kadesh and Shur; then he sojourned in Gerar. Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is married [baal – “she has an owner”].” – Genesis 20:1-3 (NASB)

“If he comes alone, he shall go out alone; if he is the husband [baal – “owner”] of a wife, then his wife shall go out with him.” – Exodus 21:3 (NASB)

“If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband [baal – “owner”] may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide.” – Exodus 21:22 (NASB)

“An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.

 The heart of her husband [baal – “owner”] trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.

 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.” – Proverbs 31:10-12 (NASB)

There are more passages that use “baal” to refer to a husband being the lord and owner of his wife but I think the ones I have provided here are ample evidence to this Biblical teaching.

What about Hosea 2:16?

Some egalitarians actually will concede the inequality in the relationship between a husband and wife in the Old Testament. But they believe that Hosea 2:16, speaking of the coming Christ, shows that God makes the husband and wife relationship no longer a owner/owned relationship but rather and equal partnership.

“It will come about in that day,” declares the Lord, “That you will call Me Ishi[man]

And will no longer call Me Baali[lord/owner].” – Hosea 2:16 (NASB)

There is a problem with this egalitarian interpretation that God was going to change marriage from an owner/owned relationship to an equal partnership with coming of Christ. Apparently the Apostles Paul and Peter did not get the memo – because those Apostles wrote these passages under the inspiration of God:

“For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.” – Ephesians 5:23-24(NASB)

“In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior… For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands;  just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord” – I Peter 3:1-2 & 5-6 (NASB)

Peter was actually pointing back to the Old Testament’s use of “baal – lord/owner” in reference to a husband and he was reminding Christian women that the holy women of old treating their husband’s as their lords and owners was the example that God still wanted them to follow in marriage.

So what was God saying of his nation of Israel as his wife when he said they would no longer call him “Baali” but “Ishi” if he was not removing the ownership/lordship part aspect of what marriage is about?

The context of that statement is critical to properly interpreting it.  In the beginning of Hosea chapter 2 in verse 2 we see that God says of his wife Israel “For she is not my wife, and I am not her husband“.  This is in reference to the fact that God divorced Israel as his wife for her adultery(Isaiah 50:1 ,Jeremiah 3:8).

When we take the entire context of Hosea chapter 2  this is what we see.  A husband who has been badly hurt by his wife’s adultery with various lovers.  He tried to discipline her to bring her back to him but eventually he had to divorce her because she continued doing this.  But even after divorcing her he still loves his former wife and still provides for her even though she does not realize it.  In fact, she thinks her provision comes from her various lovers.

God decides to rip the carpet out from under his former wife and takes away everything she has and strips her even of the clothes off her back.  Leaving her naked, hungry and homeless.  In her nakedness and hunger she comes to the realization we see in verse 9 where she says “‘I will go back to my first husband,
For it was better for me then than now!’”  

God in love opens his arms to his former wife and takes her and speaks softly and kindly to her.  He allures her with his love and shows his grace and mercy.  His former wife falls madly in love with him again and this time even more than before.  She will no longer regard him simply as her Lord and owner(which all husbands are to their wives), but she will regard him as her “iysh” or in others words she will say “You are not just my Lord and owner, you are my man(ishi) whom I love“.

The Greatest evidence that God has made the husband the owner of his wife

I could have lead with this evidence as it is the strongest and most indisputable evidence that God has made husbands the owners of their wives. But I first wanted to show the pattern of husband’s being their wives owners throughout the Old Testament.

Many Christians will gladly accept the fact that God designed marriage as a picture of Christ and his Church as shown in Ephesians 5:22-33. In fact this is the favorite part of Ephesians 5 by those who take the equal partnership view of is this passage:

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Ephesians 5:25 (KJV)

But if we are going to accept the fact that marriage was designed by God to be a model of the relationship between Christ and his Church then we must accept ALL aspects of the relationship between God and his Church.

So what that means is if we fully embrace the fact that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved his Church then we must equally accept that the husband is the head of the wife and she must submit to her husband in “everything”(Ephesians 5:24).

Also in accepting the fact that marriage is a model of the relationship between Christ and his Church we must accept that the attributes of that relationship are not confined to Ephesians 5:22-33.  The attributes of that relationship are found throughout the New Testament from Matthew to Revelation.

Finally this brings us to a little known attribute of the relationship of Christ and his Church as found in the book of Acts:

“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)
And there it is. Christ purchased his wife(the Church) just as men purchased their wives in the Old Testament. Can anyone deny that Christ owns his Church?
You cannot accept that marriage is a model of the relationship between Christ and his Church and only accept certain aspects of that relationship.  You must accept all the attributes of that relationship or none of them.

Conclusion

I doubt I have changed the minds of any egalitarians or Christian feminists reading this since most of them reject Biblical inerrancy. But for those Christians who accepted the Biblical teaching of male headship before you came to this post – you now may be asking “Why does it matter that a husband is not only the head of his wife, but that he actually owns her?”

To Husbands

Husband – this truth that God has given you ownership of your wife and children should not cause your pride to rise, but rather it should humble you. The ownership God has given you is to be exercised for his glory – not yours. You should always remember that your wife and children are gifts from God to you.

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing And obtains favor from the Lord.” – Proverbs 18:22(NASB)

Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.” – Psalm 127:3 (NASB)

As Christian men we are responsible for our children AND our wife’s spiritual and physical well-being. We are also responsible for the behavior of our children AND our wife. Unfortunately many Christian men are negligent in ownership responsibilities over their families. God wants us as men to take ownership for the women and children he has given graciously us.

He wants us to love them by knowing them, honoring them, leading them, teaching them, correcting and disciplining them, protecting them and providing for them.

Let me add one caveat to these responsibilities that we as Christian husbands have for our wife and children.  God holds each of us responsible for he has given us power over.  So if our wife or child descends into spiritual rebellion against after we as husbands and fathers have exercised the authority God has given us to try and help them – then we are no longer responsible for their behavior.  What I am talking about is husbands or fathers who watch their wives or children descend into sinful behavior and tell themselves there is nothing they can do and they bare no responsibility to intervene. According to God’s Word as the Spiritual heads of our homes we do have a responsibility to spiritually intervene in the lives of our wives and children.

To Wives

Wife – this truth that God has given your husband owner over you might at first be scary. It’s scary because we all know that human authority can be abused. But God calls you to have faith in him, and faith in his design. This does not mean your husband will never mistreat you, or sin against you because he is a sinner just like you. Also know that just because God has made you the property of your husband this does not mean as “human property” that you have no rights.  You have certain human rights and additional rights as a wife that your husband must respect – otherwise God will hold him accountable.

God did not give your husband ownership over you to crush or dehumanize you, but to provide for you what he knows you need. Once you understand how God view’s a husband’s ownership over his wife – it should give you comfort that if he owns you the way that God owns us all, you have nothing to fear.

This will then free you to embrace your husband’s ownership over you. It will humble you and help you put aside that sinful pride that can often rise up in your heart. You will be able realize you are not your own – you were bought with a price, and God gave you to your husband.

“For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:20 (NASB)

“For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.” – I Corinthians 11:7(NASB)

Why Christians shouldn’t be ashamed of Slavery in the Bible

Many Christians wish this issue would just go away. Atheists and other Non-Christians often bring up the topic of slavery in the Bible as a way to discredit the Bible as the inspired Word of God. Even some who claim to profess faith in Jesus Christ use slavery in the Bible as a way to discredit Biblical commands regarding gender roles. How can we as Christians believe that slavery in America was immoral but at the same time defend slavery in the Bible? Isn’t this a huge a contradiction?

The typical response that most Christians give about slavery in the Bible

“Well God overlooked many sinful activities in ancient society like polygamy and slavery, but these were not his perfect will. Later in the New Testament he told Christians not to practice slavery and polygamy anymore.”

Even though this post is about slavery, I include polygamy in the above statement because usually these two issues are used together to attack the morality of Christianity. I won’t be dealing with Biblical polygamy here but I have written an entire series on it and I will provide a link to it at the end of this post .

The vast majority of Christians, and sadly even many Ministers of the Gospel of Christ simply concede the modern western world’s notion that slavery is ALWAYS immoral. The other concession they make which is even worse is that God tolerated or even regulated an activity (slavery) that he believed was sinful. What these believers are doing is actually accusing God of overlooking sin.

Whenever I hear Christians saying God overlooked the supposed sins of slavery and polygamy this passage of Scripture comes to mind:

“The Rock! His work is perfect,
For all His ways are just;
A God of faithfulness and without injustice,
Righteous and upright is He.” – Deuteronomy 32:4 (NASB)

The God I worship who gave commands that allowed for the practices of slavery and polygamy is just and righteous in all he commands.

If we say that God’s commands allowing polygamy and slavery were anything less than just and right – then we open the door to say that anything other commands in Scripture can be dismissed “sins God chose to overlook”.

Some Christians who reject any type of inequality – be it social or economic and especially Biblical inequalities between men and women – will say things like this:

“God always hated the sin of inequality in any sphere it appeared in society, but he wanted to reveal his will on these issues slowly and not turn society upside down by trying to explicitly take on on the “sin of inequality” that existed in practices like marriage,polygamy,slavery and capitalism.”

In fact for many Christians who reject Biblical inerrancy, they will claim that Jesus was Socialist and Feminist. I wrote some posts a while back refuting the idea that Jesus was a Feminist.

If we as Bible believing Christians surrender on issues like slavery and polygamy, and concede that they were sins God just “overlooked”, then we are at the same time surrendering the inerrancy of the Scriptures and the justice and righteousness of God in everything he commands.

But I understand that as a believer – you may need a little more than my word on this. So we will look at what the Bible says about slavery and also compare and contrast that with slavery as it was practiced in the United States.

One type of slavery is still constitutional in the United States

Before we get into what the Bible says about slavery I wanted to point to an interesting fact that most Americans are completely unaware of. Believe it or not, the United States still allows slavery.

The 13th Amendment to the Constitution passed in 1865 gives this exception to our prohibition of slavery:

“neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction”

When a person is sentenced to life with hard labor for a crime they commit – that is a form of slavery. There are still some prisons that have forced labor, but it is not as widespread as it once was.

I actually believe this remaining form of slavery should be expanded in the United States. Imagine if every car thief, every drug dealer and especially those white collar criminals all knew they were going to have to do hard labor during their sentences instead of just being confined to a cell and given time in a yard with three meals a day?

This could bring down crime rates as well as help with the costs of prisons.

Does the Bible actually allow slavery or is it just silent on the issue?

The Bible not only allows the practice of slavery but it also regulates slavery in the laws that Moses gave to the nation of Israel. There are two primary passages in Mose’s Law that give us God’s regulations for how slavery could be morally practiced.

“If a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to you that he sells himself to you, you shall not subject him to a slave’s service.  He shall be with you as a hired man, as if he were a sojourner; he shall serve with you until the year of jubilee.  He shall then go out from you, he and his sons with him, and shall go back to his family, that he may return to the property of his forefathers.  For they are My servants whom I brought out from the land of Egypt; they are not to be sold in a slave sale.  You shall not rule over him with severity, but are to revere your God.  As for your male and female slaves whom you may have—you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you.  Then, too, it is out of the sons of the sojourners who live as aliens among you that you may gain acquisition, and out of their families who are with you, whom they will have produced in your land; they also may become your possession.  You may even bequeath them to your sons after you, to receive as a possession; you can use them as permanent slaves. But in respect to your countrymen, the sons of Israel, you shall not rule with severity over one another. – Leviticus 25:39-46 (NASB)

“If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve for six years; but on the seventh he shall go out as a free man without payment.  If he comes alone, he shall go out alone; if he is the husband of a wife, then his wife shall go out with him.  If his master gives him a wife, and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall belong to her master, and he shall go out alone.  But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife and my children; I will not go out as a free man,’ then his master shall bring him to God, then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently. “If a man sells his daughter as a female slave, she is not to go free as the male slaves do. If she is displeasing in the eyes of her master who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He does not have authority to sell her to a foreign people because of his unfairness to her. If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her according to the custom of daughters.  If he takes to himself another woman, he may not reduce her food, her clothing, or her conjugal rights. If he will not do these three things for her, then she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money.” – Exodus 21:2-11 (NASB)

So it’s pretty clear in Moses’ Law that God not only allowed slavery, he regulated it. Slaves from pagan nations were automatically regarded as permanent property, and could actually be left as an inheritance to the children of their Hebrew slave owners.

But neither male or female Hebrew indentured servants could  be kept permanently.   We see that in this passage the following passage:

12 “If your kinsman, a Hebrew man or woman, is sold to you, then he shall serve you six years, but in the seventh year you shall set him free. 13 When you set him free, you shall not send him away empty-handed. 14 You shall furnish him liberally from your flock and from your threshing floor and from your wine vat; you shall give to him as the Lord your God has blessed you.”

Deuteronomy 15:12-14 (NASB)

The difference between male and female Hebrew indentured servants was that the woman had to be “redeemed“(Exodus 21:8) which is a reference to either her parents, brother or other male relative buying her back or another man purchasing her as a wife for himself.  But it is clear that God did not want Hebrew women being permanently kept as indentured servants but wanted them to have the opportunity to become wives and mothers.  So if the man did not want her for himself or one of his sons he had to allow her to be redeemed.

If a man bought a woman and gave her to his son he had treat her with the full rights of a daughter, and his son had to give her the full rights of a wife.

Biblical Rules for proper treatment of human property

“but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.” – Exodus 20:10(NASB)

“If a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod and he dies at his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, he survives a day or two, no vengeance shall be taken; for he is his property… “If a man strikes the eye of his male or female slave, and destroys it, he shall let him go free on account of his eye. And if he knocks out a tooth of his male or female slave, he shall let him go free on account of his tooth.” – Exodus 21:20 -21 & 26-27 (NASB)

“Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven.” – Colossians 4:1 (NASB)

Slaves were to be treated fairly and justly by their masters. They were to be given rest one day a week when the rest of the family rested and they were able to participate in the various festivals. They were not allowed to be physically abused or murdered.

Does the New Testament maintain slavery or get rid of it?

The New Testament maintains slavery as an acceptable practice before God, provided that slaves were treated justly and fairly.

Some Christians have tried to say that the Apostles and especially Paul wanted to abolish slavery because of an issue with a runaway slave. Paul wrote a letter to a Christian slave owner named Philemon.  Paul had mentored a man name Onesimus who became a believer in Christ. He did mission work with Paul and was “useful” to Paul .  But at some point Onesimus revealed that he was a runaway slave and Paul sent him back to Philemon with this exhortation:

I appeal to you for my child Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my imprisonment,  who formerly was useless to you, but now is useful both to you and to me.  I have sent him back to you in person, that is, sending my very heart,  whom I wished to keep with me, so that on your behalf he might minister to me in my imprisonment for the gospel;  but without your consent I did not want to do anything, so that your goodness would not be, in effect, by compulsion but of your own free will.  For perhaps he was for this reason separated from you for a while, that you would have him back forever,  no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

 If then you regard me a partner, accept him as you would me.  But if he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, charge that to my account;” – Philemon 1:10-18(NASB)

Some Christians point to this phrase “that you would have him back forever,  no longer as a slave, but more than a slave” to say Paul was commanding Philemon to free this slave, and by extension was against slavery and wanted him and all other Christian slave masters to free their slaves. But again whenever we look at a topic in Scripture, we have to look at everything written on that topic and not just one passage before we can truly understand God’s position on an issue.

Paul addresses Christian slave owners in these passages:

“All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against. Those who have believers as their masters must not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren, but must serve them all the more, because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. Teach and preach these principles.” – I Timothy 6:1-3 (NASB)

“Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven.” – Colossians 3:22 – 4:1 (NASB)

“Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ;  not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.  With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men,  knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.

 And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.” – Ephesians 6:5-9(NASB)

If Paul was against Christians owning slaves – he would have clearly said so.  He had every opportunity to tell at least Christian slave owners that they should free their slaves and stop using slavery in their businesses. Instead Paul exhorts Masters to treat their slaves with justice and fairness, and if they are believers to treat them as brothers in Christ even though they are still slaves. Some have said that Paul did not want to impede the Gospel by taking on slavery.  But this idea reduces the Pauline epistles to mere human letters – when in fact they were divinely inspired by God.  Remember what we said previously – every command of God is just and right and Paul was giving us God’s commands regarding slaves and their masters. If God had changed his mind about slavery from the law that he gave Moses, he would have said so through his Apostles, but he did not.

Paul tells slaves if they can be free, then be free but if they cannot they need to accept their condition as slaves:

“Were you called while a slave? Do not worry about it; but if you are able also to become free, rather do that. For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord’s freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ’s slave.” -1 Corinthians 7:21-22(NASB)

The Apostle Peter weighed in on slavery to when he told slaves they needed to submit even to Masters who were cruel.

Household slaves, submit with all fear to your masters, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel.” I Peter 2:18 (HCSB)

It is interesting in each of Paul’s exhortations to slaves, he always starts off with the slave needing to respect and obey their masters and then he goes to telling the masters to treat their slaves fairly. He also does the same thing when he speaks to wives and husbands.  He starts off telling wives to submit to their husbands and then ends telling husbands to treat their wives kindly.  The principle Paul was giving us under the inspiration of God was – our respect and obedience to our authorities is not dependent on how they treat us, but rather our obedience is to our authorities is based on our obedience to God.

I believe the New Testament Scriptures are clear – God did not get rid of slavery but simply made sure that Masters treated theirs slaves fairly and that slaves knew they needed to obey their masters.

Based upon the passages cited above, as well as other passages and principles of the Bible the test of whether a particular practice of slavery is moral is answered by the two sets of questions:

The First morality test of Slavery – How did the slave come to be owned by their master?

Did they voluntarily give themselves as a slave in exchange for protection and economic security?

Were they born from slave parents?

Were they sold as a slave by their father?

Did they voluntarily sell themselves to pay off debtors?

Were they forced into servitude by governing authorities either because of debts they owed or because of a crime they committed?

Were they captured as a prisoner of a just war?

Were they kidnapped and forced to be a slave?

Biblically speaking, if a person were to answer yes to any of the first six questions, then the way that they became a slave was not wrong. If however the person was kidnapped and forced into slavery, then this type of slavery would be immoral and wrong.

The Second morality test of Slavery – How is the slave being treated by their master?

Are food, clothing and shelter being provided to the slave?

Is the slave being treated justly and fairly?

Is the slave being given proper rest?

Is the slave not being physically abused?

If the answer to all these questions is yes regarding the treatment of slaves in a particular situation then this instance of slavery would be moral – Biblically speaking.

Comparing American Slavery to Biblical Slavery

As Americans we see the practice of slavery through the eyes of African Americans and how their ancestors were treated here in America. But we need to understand that the practice of slavery here in America was nothing like the slavery that God allowed and regulated in the Bible.

Before the modern era, people often had to choose between personal liberty and economic security in most cultures around the world.

For instance in Biblical times it was not uncommon for a father to have to sell one or more his children as slaves to a wealthier family. This served two purposes – it would ensure that his children would be feed and cared for and often times it would help to pull his own family out of poverty because of the money he would receive in return.

Other times young men who had lost their entire families and lived in poverty on the street might sell themselves to wealthy man in order to have food, clothing and protection guaranteed.

Another thing is the image we have of slaves. We have in our mind men, women and children in chains and rags working their hands to the bone each day. The truth is that in many instances in ancient Israel you might have had trouble distinguishing who in the household was a slave and who were family members.

On the other hand, the slavery in practice in America was completely different than the slavery that was allowed by the Bible. Chains were a very a common occurrence with slavery in America. It was based on the false ideology that one race was less human than others and they could be enslaved if for no other reason than their race.

The Bible dispels such a notion about slaves being less human than their masters:

“If I have despised the claim of my male or female slaves When they filed a complaint against me, What then could I do when God arises? And when He calls me to account, what will I answer Him?

“Did not He who made me in the womb make him, And the same one fashion us in the womb? – Job 31:13-15(NASB)

Job was clear that God made his slaves in their mother’s wombs just as he was made in his mother’s womb.

No person is less human than another, and no one deserves to be enslaved simply because of their race.

Besides American slavery being based on race – it massively failed the two tests of Biblical Slavery that I mentioned above. Africans were kidnapped from their homes. They were treated worse than animals and loaded on to ships without proper food, clothing and shelter. Many Africans died while on Ships coming to America. Many African women were raped by their owners, instead being given the full status of wives. They were often physically abused and even sometimes murdered. But because they were not considered fully human, no punishments were given.

Even in some American homes where slaves were treated more humanely – the origin of how they were brought here was tainted. Their parents did not nothing deserving to be enslaved, they were the product of kidnapping.

So here is the summary in regard to American slavery. The simple fact of one man enslaving another is not in and of itself an immoral act. The act of enslaving a person is not synonymous with treating that person as less than human if the enslavement occurs under just conditions as we noted earlier.

For instance prisoners being made into slave labors is not unjust and it is not treating them as a less than human by essentially turning them into a slave workforce.

But what the Bible did not allow in regard to slavery was simply kidnapping people and enslaving them based on their race. This was a violation of Biblical human rights and this was the first reason American slavery was evil and wrong.

The second reason American slavery was wrong was the treatment of blacks after they were enslaved. They were not just enslaved wrongly but in many cases they were treated more harshly than their owners treated their horses or their livestock.  This is why American slavery was evil and nothing like the slavery God allowed in the civil laws of Israel.

Was America wrong for outlawing slavery?

The Bible does not command that anyone must have slaves. It only allows slavery under certain conditions and then it stipulates what is considered fair and humane treatment for slaves.

I believe abolitionists were right in convincing Americans to end slavery (except for criminals as I mentioned previously) but as I have shown here in this post – I don’t believe all instances of slavery are immoral. However the slavery that was practiced here in America – both in how the slaves were acquired, and how they were treated as less than human was in fact immoral.

How should Christians respond to attacks on the Bible over the issue of slavery?

First know where the attacks on Biblical slavery will come.

Attack #1 against Slavery

“All instances of slavery abuses people and treats people as less than human, therefore slavery is immoral.”

Wrong – American slavery, and slavery practiced outside of Israel may have treated slaves as less than human and it was therefore immoral. But in Israel slaves were guaranteed certain human rights that God commanded.

Attack #2 against Slavery

“Even if Israel treated their slaves more kindly they still were treated as less than human because they did not have equal rights and were not free. All adult humans must have equal rights including full autonomy.”

Wrong – God is the one who grants our rights and while he has guaranteed certain human rights to all – he did not guarantee an equal amount of rights to all. It is not immoral, or treating someone as less than human to give some people more rights than others if we are following God’s Law in doing so.

I promised at the beginning of this post to give you the link to my series on Biblical Polygamy as this and slavery are often used together to attack Biblical morality.

Here is the series “Why Polygamy is not unBiblical part 1”

The battle Gay Rights advocates will never win

Many across the nation are hailing today’s 5-4 the Supreme Court’s decision in favor of creating a new civil right to gay marriage as a great victory for equality. As Bible believing Christians who believe in a higher power than the Supreme Court, we grieve for the further decline of our nation. To my fellow Bible believing Christians – you need to realize the gay rights assault on Christian values is not over with.

This has always been about more than gay marriage

Christian friend, if you think this battle was simply about gay marriage you would be sadly mistaken. This battle that has been actively and publicly waged since the mid 90’s for gay rights has always had its goal as the total acceptance of homosexuality in our culture. While there are some homosexuals who do not believe in forcing homosexual acceptance on Christians (or forcing Christians to service gay weddings) they are in the minority of homosexuals.

This was the progression gay rights advocates have used to try and accomplish their goal of total acceptance of homosexuality:

  1. First they argued against Sodomy laws(laws criminalized homosexual sex) as an invasion of privacy and they won with the Supreme Court overturning all Sodomy laws in the United States in 2003(Lawrence v. Texas).
  2. At the same time they wage a public relations campaign by pushing Hollywood producers to produce more films and TV shows with gay couples to subtly change public opinion about homosexuality.
  3. They then began to push for gay marriage as civil right, as right of equal protection through the Federal appellate courts. They picked the most liberal appellate courts first – and thus forced States where the will of the people had banned gay marriage – to go against their people and allow gay marriage.
  4. With most appellate courts coming down in favor of gay marriage – this pressured the swing vote of the Supreme Court, Justice Kennedy, to feel that he had to vote with the other 4 liberal justices to create a new civil right to Gay marriage.
  5. Shut down all public condemnation of homosexuality, all “gay to straight” conversion programs, and all Christian businesses that refuse to service gay weddings or events that honor homosexual relationships.

 

The 5th phase of the Gay Rights Advocates agenda of total acceptance had already begun before the Supreme Court today created the new “civil right” of gay marriage.

Consider these cases in the news in recent years:

A 70 year old florist being sued for refusing to provide flowers for a gay wedding

“The court also ruled recently that both the state and the same-sex couple, who each filed lawsuits against her, may collect damages and attorneys fees not only from her business, but from Stutzman personally. That means the 70-year-old grandmother may not only lose her business, but also her home and savings because she lives her life and operates her business according to her beliefs.

“The message of these rulings is unmistakable: The government will bring about your personal and professional ruin if you don’t help celebrate same-sex marriage,” said Kristen Waggoner, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, who argued before the court in December.

The decision against Stutzman sets a dreadful precedent against our first freedom in the Bill of Rights: religious liberty. The court says that she is free to believe what she wants, but not to practice her religious beliefs. The court has ruled that if she wants to run a business in the state of Washington, she must defy her conscience and participate in same-sex weddings. If she does not, then the full coercive power of the state — as well as civil liability — will be brought against her.“

http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/20/living/stutzman-florist-gay/

Mennonite Couple Refuses to Host Same-Sex Wedding; Files Lawsuit Against Iowa Civil Rights Commission

“A Mennonite couple that owns an art gallery in Iowa has filed suit against the state’s Civil Rights Commission over being threatened with punitive action for refusing to host a same-sex wedding on their property.”

http://www.christianpost.com/news/mennonite-couple-refuses-to-host-same-sex-wedding-files-lawsuit-against-iowa-civil-rights-commission-106308/

Christian bakery couple faces 135,000 in fines for refusing to bake wedding cake for gay couple

“Aaron and Melissa Klein ran a small bakery called “Sweet Cakes by Melissa” for seven years in Gresham, Oregon, but had to shut down their store in 2013 after Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman filed a civil rights complaint against them. Administrative judge Alan McCullough ruled Friday that the funds will go to Cryer and Bowman for “emotional, mental, and physical suffering.”

https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2015/04/27/christian-couple-faces-135000-fine/

Christian florist couple in Iowa get out of wedding flower services after legal battle over refusal to service gay wedding

“The Christian owners of a flower shop, restaurant and wedding venue in Grimes, Iowa, have decided to no longer offer any wedding-related services after facing a contentious legal battle following their refusal to host a gay couples’ ceremony.”

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/04/13/they-refused-to-host-a-gay-wedding-and-the-hateful-response-profoundly-damaged-them-now-they-say-god-has-given-them-no-fear-to-speak-out/

A Christian facility sued for not allowing same sex civil union to be performed on its premises

OCEAN GROVE, New Jersey, January 13, 2012 – A New Jersey judge ruled against a Christian retreat house that refused to allow a same-sex civil union ceremony to be conducted on its premises, ruling the Constitution allows “some intrusion into religious freedom to balance other important societal goals.”

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/judge-rules-christian-facility-cannot-ban-same-sex-civil-union-ceremony-on

Christian based adoption agencies may be forced to closed

“Adoption services that have, for 100 years or more, provided children with good, safe and traditional homes with a male husband and female wife are facing a take-it-or-leave-it scenario in the new legal landscape: Accept the sweeping social change in the most elemental compact in the history of mankind — the nuclear family formed by the marriage of one man to one woman — and abandon 2,000 years of dogma by continuing to find children homes through adoption services, including same-sex couples; or close up shop.”

https://www.osv.com/OSVNewsweekly/ByIssue/Article/TabId/735/ArtMID/13636/ArticleID/14666/Tough-times-for-Catholic-adoption-agencies.aspx

New Jersey outlaws gay to straight conversion therapy for children

“Licensed therapists are banned from using conversion therapy to try to change a child’s sexual orientation from gay to straight”

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/08/christie_signs_bill_banning_licensed_therapists_from_using_gay-to-straight_conversion_therapy_on_kid.html

I could show more cases – but you get the point. Gay rights advocates did not just want the freedom to have homosexual sex in private, nor just partner rights (such as power of attorney) or even what they won today – the right of gay marriage.

There end game is to force by law, and through the threat of total financial ruin and other penalties, the complete and total acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle on all of our society.

The battle gay rights advocates will never win

This final battle for the total acceptance and approval of homosexuality (which is what their end goal was the entire time) will never be won. Gay rights advocates will NEVER convince Bible believing Christians that they must accept gay marriage as moral and right, or that they must provide any type of wedding related or other services that honor homosexual relationships.

Notice I said “Bible believing” Christians. Gay rights advocates may be able to convince some liberal Christians who have abandoned a belief in the Bible as the literal Word of God to accept gay marriage – because these Christians have no anchor and thus they have no foundation for their version of Christianity.

If there is one thing that has been proven about Christianity over 2000 years – it is that persecution strengthens the Church.

When the Church is persecuted – that is when it grows and strengthens. This issue of gay marriage and Christians being sued over non-acceptance of homosexuality will serve as a lightning rod to galvanize Christians. Catholics, Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans and Christians of many other denominations will stand arm and arm against this assault on our faith.

Conclusion

So to gay rights advocates I say – you may have been able to convince a large part of our population to think there is nothing wrong with your way of life – but you will never convince or convert Bible believing Christians into accepting your lifestyle or to service your weddings or other events than honor homosexuality.

Christians have faced far greater persecution than what you or the courts can bring against us and in your futile attempt to force total acceptance of homosexuality – you will actually strengthen and galvanize Bible believing Christianity, and if you are not careful you may turn others against you as they see the results of your persecution of Christians.

Does the Bible teach “happy wife happy life”?

HappyWifeHappyLife

Husbands or engaged men – you may have heard the phrase “happy wife –happy life”. There are signs and plaques sold all over America, often bought for men to follow this advice as they enter marriage. Many churches have incorporated this idea into their marriage courses and counseling programs.

But the first question that any Christian man should ask is “what would God have me do?”

What does it mean to make your wife happy?

The first truth must understand is that you can’t “make your wife happy”. You can’t “make” anyone happy. People (including you), choose whether they will be happy or not. Some people choose to be happy in what most of us would consider the worst of conditions, while others are never able to be happy, no matter how much money or power or pleasures that may come their way.

Many who believe in the “happy wife-happy life” idea, would acknowledge the truth of what I just said. But they would clarify that what they mean is, “A husband should listen to his wife, and do what she asks. He should study what his wife likes and do those things for her to attempt to please her.”

So what’s wrong with trying to please your wife?

Nothing in and of itself. In fact most men have a natural desire to please their wives, especially in the dating period, engagement period and newlywed period. But for you as the Christian man, you have someone who you need to please more than your wife, and that person is God.

The Apostle Paul alludes to the choice every Christian husband must make in his first letter to Corinthian Church:

“I want you to be without concerns. An unmarried man is concerned about the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord.  But a married man is concerned about the things of the world—how he may please his wife— and his interests are divided…

Now I am saying this for your own benefit, not to put a restraint on you, but because of what is proper and so that you may be devoted to the Lord without distraction.” I Corinthians 7:32-33 & 35(HCSB)

Paul recognized that while marriage has it benefits, it also places a burden on men. Sometimes your wife may be your greatest ally in doing what you believe is right for your family before God. But even the best of wives, can at times cause a man to have to choose between what he believes would please God, and what he knows will please his wife.

A husband who chose to please God rather than his wife

“His wife said to him, “Do you still retain your integrity? Curse God and die!”

“You speak as a foolish woman speaks,” he told her. “Should we accept only good from God and not adversity?” Throughout all this Job did not sin in what he said.”

Job 2:9-10(HCSB)

Job is an example of man whose devotion to God was truly undivided. Job proved that it was possible to please God, and yet be married. He simply had to choose the courage to displease his wife (whose advice was sinful) and to please God.

A foolish wife destroys her home, and so does the husband that seeks to please her

“Every wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands.” – Proverbs 14:1 (HCSB)

It is your responsibility as a husband to please God, and in the best interests of your family, to discern whether your wife’s advice, or her wants and desires are foolish or wise. The fate of your home and your family depends on your discernment.

How can a man know if pleasing his wife will displease God?

Every decision a Christian husband makes must always start with God’s purpose of marriage as defined in the Scriptures:

“Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless. In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own flesh but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, since we are members of His body.”

Ephesians 5:22-30(HCSB)

Marriage is meant to be a model of the relationship of Christ and the Church. A wife is to submit to her husband, as the Church submits to Christ. A husband is to sacrificially love his wife, as Christ loves the church.

An important point to remember though is, sacrificially loving your wife does not translate to “doing whatever she wants”. After you have been married many years, you will actually find that sacrificially loving your wife sometimes means sacrificing her happiness, to make her holy. It sometimes means confronting your wife as Job confronted his wife.

When Job called out his wife’s foolishness, he was attempting to “make her holy” as Ephesians 5 calls a husband to do. When a man’s confronts his wife’s sinful behavior, instead of overlooking it, or going along with her, he is sacrificing his own happiness, because let’s face it, no man likes to see his wife unhappy.

Holiness, not happiness, should be a husband’s first concern

The first way that you can know as a husband if pleasing your wife would displease God is by asking yourself this question – “If I do as she asks, or do this thing that would please her – would it break the model of marriage? Would it be unholy?”

But let’s face it, not every situation is spelled out specifically in God’s Word. We must look at the principles and commands of God’s Word, and if we are still not sure, pray and seek his wisdom.

“Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.” – James 1:5(HCSB)

Sometimes God may reveal that you should in fact listen to your wife, or that your wife’s desire in a particular situation would not displease the Lord. But if God reveals that pleasing your wife in a certain situation would displease him, you must have the courage to displease your wife, and do what God has called you to do.

Conclusion

“Happy wife-Happy life” is neither wise, nor Biblical. In many ways “Happy wife-Happy life” is a form of idolatry, it makes a man’s wife’s desires the central focus of his life, taking his focus off God. Adam, the first man, listened to his wife when she asked him to eat from tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and we know that decision did not lead to a happy life for Adam. Samson listened to Delilah and it cost him his life. Solomon was led astray by his wives into idolatry.

Even if you do something for your wife, buy something for her, or make a decision that you believe will please your wife, it will only result in a temporary period of happiness. When the next time arrives that she needs something, or some life decision needs to be made (big or small), again her happiness will hinge on whether what you have done pleases her or not.

But if you instead base your decisions upon what you believe God would have your family do, then sometimes it might please your wife, and other times it won’t. But in the end, true joy comes from pleasing God, not from pleasing ourselves, or even from pleasing our wives.

Christian man, whether you are engaged to be married, or if you are already married, there is nothing wrong with trying to please your wife. Putting her needs before yours, is part of what is means to love her. But remember, pleasing your wife cannot be the central focus of your marriage if you want your marriage to honor God. If you want the true joy that only God can bring, then you must put his will first and foremost.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” – Matthew 6:33(HCSB)