Why God cares who does the dishes

“God does not care who does the dishes, the laundry, the cooking, or the changing of diapers and husbands and wives should share equally in these tasks of the home “– this is what is commonly taught in Christian circles.  Another thing we hear today is that “gender roles” are simply a cultural phenomenon and that the gender roles in the Bible were “temporary” and “for those cultures and times only”.   But a closer examination of the Scriptures reveals a very different answer to the question of whether or not gender roles are “cultural” or “Biblical”.

“This has been an issue since we have been married. I believe he works hard while at his job, but his work at home is inconsistent… I don’t resent the hard work, I just struggle with resenting him being OK with me racing around while he just sits there. I feel angry, and I feel hurt. I want to feel like we’re on the same team, working together.”

The previous statement is part of a story I received as a comment from a Christian wife who calls herself ‘M’.

M’s feelings are extremely common among many women today.  Whether they work full time outside the home or are stay at home mom’s many women bear the majority of the load in carrying for the affairs of the home (cooking, cleaning, laundry) and the care of the children.

In her full story below you will read that M has determined that her husband is lazy from the very beginning. This is not in question for her.  You will also read that she feels the domestic affairs of the home (cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry) and caring for the children should be a “team” effort between a husband and wife.

So how should M deal with her husband’s laziness and his lack of a team effort in tackling the affairs of their home? Before we answer M’s dilemma let’s look at her full story in it’s entirety.

M’s Story

“Do you have any advice for a wife with a lazy husband? Obviously since I am not the spiritual head of my household my response should be different. My husband works full time (36 hrs/wk as a nurse). I worked full time also for years but now stay at home with our 1 yr old son. This has been an issue since we have been married. I believe he works hard while at his job, but his work at home is inconsistent. He has been taking classes on and off while working, and he has done some renovations over the years as well, and he does do most of our financial management.

There are times where he has worked hard. But there are also large stretches of time where there is nothing other than his 36 hr/wk job, as well as a period of time between nursing school graduation and his first nursing job, and he contributes very little to the home. This includes the time before I was a stay-at-home-mom. When I was working full time, I was also doing all of the laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning, including basic picking up after him (dishes and trash and clothing left lying around).

Now, as a stay at home mom, I expect to do a majority of the housework, but I often feel alone and abandoned and like we’re not a team. I love a clean house, I love making meals from scratch, and I love to be organized, I love to be frugal, and I love to work hard.

But I do feel hurt when I wake up early in the morning on his days off to try to exercise and spend time with the Lord, and then try to wrangle the kid while I cook breakfast and clean up my husband’s messes from the night before and try to get laundry going, etc, while he just sleeps in. Sometimes I’ll have breakfast on the table and he won’t even get up out of bed to eat it with me (this isn’t unreasonably early, this is between 8 and 9 am), wasting the food that I just went through the effort to make.

Sometimes we’ll make plans to go to the park before the baby’s naptime on his day off, and I’ll be ready to go, and he won’t get out of bed to actually go with me. I feel like he is content to sit and watch movies or surf the internet while I am out of breath racing up and down the stairs juggling many different plates at once.

He does help some with the kid (he will change diapers and bath him sometimes, kind of resists if I ask him to read to the baby before bed). This afternoon, he came home from class and fell asleep on the couch and didn’t want to get up, I took the baby to small group by myself, he’s still on the couch now and has been sleeping for almost 6 hours.

We recently went on vacation, and I did the meal planning, all of the cooking, most of the dishes (he actually did help once or twice when I asked but this is very atypical), all of the cleaning and organizing, packing stuff for us and the baby when we’d go out on hikes and such, as well as being the one to wake up early with the child and during the night with the child.

He just sat on the couch watching TV the majority of the time we were in the cabin. After we got back from vacation, we invited some friends over last minute for dinner who were moving out of the country so that we could see them one last time. An hour before they were supposed to arrive, he laid down to take a nap while I cooked, cleaned, and took care of the kid. I said something so he ended up helping.

I don’t resent the hard work, I just struggle with resenting him being OK with me racing around while he just sits there. I feel angry, and I feel hurt. I want to feel like we’re on the same team, working together. My heart is to be a good helper to him, to be a hard worker for the Lord, and I am happy to serve him and take a load off of him, especially during times where he is taking a class or doing some project in addition to working, however, I feel like even when his load is light (such as between graduation and getting a job, or while on vacation, or when we were both working full-time), he’s content to just let me do it all while he relaxes. He loves to relax.

I wonder if I’m enabling him, but I want to be submissive and respectful, too. I’ve considered getting pastoral counsel on this, but, again, I don’t want to make him look bad, although I genuinely want the counsel as to how I should best respond. I don’t think I’ve ignored his headship and wandered out on some crazy limb away from his authority either and taken on some kind of heavy work load that he didn’t want me to take in the first place. For example, it’s not like I’m running some ministry he didn’t want me to take on in the first place and then complaining about how tired I am. I believe I’m operating in the vision that he has for our home. And my heart is not to nag him.

I’ve talked to him multiple, multiple times, but I feel like it doesn’t end well. He doesn’t get angry, but seems indifferent. He doesn’t seem very repentant, and if he apologizes, it’s the sort of forced-sounding, awkward apology that a young child would give. He tells me he’ll try to do better, and a few small things have changed over the years but largely things are the same. I feel nervous about having more children although we both want more. I don’t want to live in bitterness, but I fight bitterness almost every day over this issue.

What do I do? Should I just silently press on and fight to keep my heart in check and be a servant like Jesus? Set boundaries? Be vocal and ask for help? Talk to my pastor? We’ve gone to marriage counseling once with one of our pastors, and I’ve brought it up multiple times, but he seems indifferent and I finally gave up asking because I felt like I’d be taking the reins in our marriage if I pressed the issue. Should I just go alone to seek help on how I should personally deal with this (that feels weird to me)? I would really love some help. Thank you.”

My Response to M and other wives who feel their husbands should chip in more at home

M, I think it is wonderful that you love to work hard and take care of your home.  I think it is great that you love to make food from scratch which is a forgotten art in many homes today. I am sure you love caring for your child as well.

I know first-hand as a husband who has worked from home for almost a decade how difficult caring for all the affairs of the home can be including having to care for a child while you do other things.  I have watched my first wife and then my second wife have to deal with the affairs of the home sometimes under difficult circumstances.

I can also see in what you wrote a genuine desire to serve your husband and submit to his authority but I also see you struggling with frustration and bitterness toward him in this area of helping out at home and working more together as a “team” in tackling on the affairs of the home.

Before I continue I want to be clear on your husband’s schedule as a nurse. My wife was a nurse for about 15 years before she became disabled after a car accident.  During that time, she sometimes did the 36-hour schedule.  That meant she had to work 12 hours a day for three days in a row and then she was off work for 4 days. The hospital then pays nurses what they would normally make for a 40-hour work week because they worked three twelve hour shifts in a row.  Working that many hours a day for 3 days is very stressful and is much harder than working 8 hours or over 5 days.  Being a nurse is a very mentally and physically challenging job.  I just wanted to clarify that for my audience.

The heart of the matter

I think this statement from you below illustrates the core issue for you:

“I don’t resent the hard work, I just struggle with resenting him being OK with me racing around while he just sits there. I feel angry, and I feel hurt. I want to feel like we’re on the same team, working together. My heart is to be a good helper to him, to be a hard worker for the Lord, and I am happy to serve him and take a load off of him, especially during times where he is taking a class or doing some project in addition to working, however, I feel like even when his load is light (such as between graduation and getting a job, or while on vacation, or when we were both working full-time), he’s content to just let me do it all while he relaxes. He loves to relax.”

You are a hard worker.  You don’t mind doing it all when you see that your husband is busy with classes or projects around the house.  As long as you and he are both working everything is fine for you.  But it bothers you when he has a lighter load going on and he is just sitting there doing other things like surfing the web, watching TV or napping. That is what bugs you.

Before I directly address your feelings on this let me share a couple of stories to try and help put things in perspective.

The hard-working woman

A woman straps her child to her back and goes to the market to buy wool and cloth to make clothing for her family. She gets up early in the morning to prepare made from scratch meals for her family for the day. She goes and buys a field and plants it all while carrying for this child while she works. She then comes home and prepares dinner with the food she had prepared early that morning. Sometimes she stays up half the night working on her spindle making blankets or clothing. The extra blankets and clothing she makes she takes to the markets and sells. She takes the extra food she makes and gives to the poor around her.

You know what her husband is doing during all this? He is sitting as he leads their town and leads her home. When he comes home he has nothing to worry about because she has dinner hot and ready and their home in order.  It is her pride and joy to make sure he never has to worry about anything at home.

The story I have just described is based on the virtuous wife of Proverbs 31.

Does God care who does the dishes?

I remember several years ago, the Pastor of our church was talking to us as men about helping our wives around the house.  He made a comment about a mission trip he had been on to a foreign country.  He said something like this:

“Guys – I went to this foreign country [I can’t remember the country] on a mission trip.  I got up from the table to take my dishes into the kitchen and scrape my plate as I would at home with my wife.  The wife in this home literally stopped me and took my plate from me.  Now that might not seem strange except for the fact that her husband explained this was not just because I was guest in their home.  It was because in their culture men did not do house work – women would find it insulting for men to do anything in the house.

In his culture, men work outside the house and women work inside the house.  He said when he comes home he just puts his feet up and relaxes.  Gentlemen – you might wish your wife was like those women but you need to wake up! We live in a different culture here in America and our wives expect us to help them around the house. God does not care who does the dishes!

You know what that means?  It means when you get home from your job outside the home your job inside the home is just starting! In the same way, it is insulting to that woman in that foreign country for her husband to clean or help around the house – it is insulting to American women if a man comes home from work and just puts his feet up and does not help her around the house.  You are not done working until your wife is.

Christ was a servant leader who washed the feet of his disciples and admonished them to do likewise to their brethren.  If Christ washed his disciple’s feet, the least you can do as a husband is to wash the dishes and serve your wife in helping her to care for the affairs of your home.”

There are three things that are Biblically wrong with this Pastor’s philosophy.

Rebuttal #1 – The Bible trumps culture

There are many different types of cultures in the world.  Each nation, each state, each city or town and each family have their own cultures.  There are also religious and ethnic cultures that transcend all these boundaries.

As Christians, it is not wrong for us blend in with our culture where our cultural values do not conflict with the Bible. The Apostle Paul told us this regarding Christians working within their cultures:

“20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.”

1 Corinthians 9:20-21 (KJV)

However, the same Apostle Paul gave Christians this admonition:

“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)

Culture does not always determine what is right.  In fact, sometimes we may have to live as Christians in ways that are counter to our culture.

Rebuttal #2 – Women keeping the home is not just cultural – it is Biblical

So, that brings us to this question – Was this Pastor and the myriads of Christians who agree with him right that “God does not care who does the dishes”?

The Bible answers this question for us several passages of the Scriptures.

“10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil…27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”

Proverbs 31:10-11 & 27(KJV)

“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 2:5 (KJV)

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

I Timothy 5:14 (KJV)

Who has God given the responsibility for caring for the domestic affairs of the home? The answer as we can see from these passages is the wife.  Now I understand to our modern world this seems petty – and we think roles mean nothing.

But there are certain things God calls us to do as men and women that mean so much more than what we see on the surface.

When a man leads his family in following God’s Word, sets boundaries and limits and corrects them when they don’t live up to God’s Word he is symbolizing the leadership role that God has with his people. When a man provides for his family by working each day and providing the resources for his wife to buy food, clothing and shelter he is symbolizing God’s provision for his people. When he stands up for and protects his wife and children again is he symbolizing God’s protection of his people.

When a woman submits to her husband’s leadership – even when she does not agree or does not understand his positions she is symbolizing the way God’s people are to follow him. When a woman serves her husband by caring for the needs of his children, his home and his body she is symbolizing the service that God’s people are to give to him.

So, the Biblical answer to the question “Does God care who does the dishes?” is a resounding “YES”!

He wants the wife to do this as part of her service to her husband and this service to her husband is symbolic of the Church’s service to God. These women in “old fashioned” cultures around the world that insist on caring for the affairs of the home are not just following tradition – but they are following Biblical command and example toward women even if they don’t realize it.

Rebuttal #3 – Jesus washed his disciple’s feet but his disciples did not EXPECT him to do it

Many Pastors, teachers and other Christians attempt to use the “servant leadership” of Christ to cancel out a large portion of the Scriptures in regard to the duties God has given to wives. In fact, most Christian teaching today makes marriage into a “wife-centric” institution.

If we look at the life of Christ – did he spend the majority of his time cleaning people’s homes, serving people food and washing people’s feet? The answer is no.  It is interesting that even in the story of the feeding of the 5000 – Christ simply provided the food (as men do for their families) but he passed the serving of that food to others. Christ spent the vast majority of his time pursing his mission.

God has given each man a mission.  Some men are called to full time Christian service as Pastors, missionaries, Christian school teachers or other Christian ministries. But many other men are called by God into secular fields such as science, military, engineer, construction or other labors.  While a man’s home (the loving, leading, providing and teaching of his family) is a PART of his mission from God – it does not make up the entirety of his mission.

A man’s career is to do two things. It is to provide for his family and it is to make an impact on his world for God.  The Scriptures exhort us that “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might…” (Ecclesiastes 9:10a) and “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”(1 Corinthians 10:31).

So if a man is a carpenter – then God has called him to be the absolute best carpenter he can be. If he is an engineer – then God has called him to be the best engineer he can be. In his pursuit to do his job to the best of his ability this will sometimes require a man to work more hours or get more education in his off work time. If a man talks with his wife and children and spends time with them yet he fails to provide for his home or make an impact on the world outside his home then he has failed the primary mission that God has given to men in this life.

But for a Christian woman her primary mission from God is very different.  Unless God calls a woman to a celibate life in his service – her primary focus is to be on serving the needs of her husband, her children and her home.  If she becomes distracted by activities outside her home to the neglect of the needs of her husband, her children and her home then she has failed the primary mission God has given to wives.

This is not to say that Christian wives cannot have an impact outside their home for God.  But it can never come at the expense of their first duty to their home.  For instance if a woman has a great ministry at church teaching a woman’s Sunday school class but this causes her to neglect her husband or her children or her home she should step down from such a ministry.

Let’s now return to the topic of Christ washing his Apostle’s feet. You know what another very interesting part of Christ’s washing of his Apostles feet was? Did his Apostles expect him to do this? No.  In fact, they were shocked at him doing this and initially refused until they understood that he was trying to teach them a lesson.

So, what was the real lesson from Christ washing his Apostle’s feet? The lesson was twofold.  The first lesson is that those who are in authority should be willing to help those under their authority. The second lesson is that those under authority should ALLOW, but not EXPECT those in authority to help them with tasks that rightly belong to them.

The Bible tells us this regarding helping one another:

“2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For every man shall bear his own burden.”

Galatians 6:2-5 (KJV)

While the word “burden” appears in both verse 2 and verse 5 the Greek words behind these English translations are different. The First “burden” in verse 2 is a translation of the Greek word “Baros” which is a “heaviness” or “trouble” and the context indicates a burden that is beyond what someone could reasonably be expected to bear on their own. The second burden in verse 5 is a translation of the Greek word “Phortion” which in this context means a “load” as in the load that might be put on a ship or a cart.

So, when we combine Christ’s washing of his Apostle’s feet (John 13:14) with Paul’s admonition to bear each other’s burdens but also to carry our own load (Galatians 6:2-5) the truth of the Scriptures becomes clearer.

In the context of marriage, husbands should be willing to help their wives when they believe their wife is truly overburdened and in need of assistance. Every good leader should be willing to step in and help those under him when he sees a true need for help.  But those under authority should never EXPECT for their authority to step in and help them – especially when it is something that falls within their sphere of responsibility.  But if their authority wants to help – they should graciously accept this help.

Expectations verses Allowances

My father has said to me many times over the years that “expectations are marriage killers” and he is absolutely right. But let me clarify something.  It is not wrong for us to expect our spouse to do tasks which are part of the primary roles God has given to husbands and wives.

A wife is not having some unreasonable expectation when she is upset that her husband has been sitting on the couch and out of work for 6 months playing video games.  It is reasonable and Biblically backed for a woman to expect that her husband will do his best to provide for their family.

Can a wife have a reasonable expectation that her husband will give her leadership and guidance as to how to handle things in the home? For instance can she expect him to help set policies for their budget or how to discipline their children? Of course she can. Because that is a primary responsibility that God has given to husbands.

But on the flip side – can a wife expect that her husband will just come home from work and that he will just jump in and help with the dishes and making dinner? No she should not because that is not part of the primary responsibilities that God has given to a husband.  Now if he volunteers to help than by all means she should allow him to help.

Wives need to change their perspective and their expectations

M really it is all about perspective.  By your own admission when you feel your husband has worked hard and is busy with classes and other projects around the house besides his job you don’t feel bad about working hard because you know he has worked hard.  But where you feel resentful is when you feel that you are working harder than him and he should be helping you out.

You need to let go of this expectation.

M, earlier I described for my readers what a typical 36 hour week for a nurse looks like working three 12 hour shifts in a row.  I was not saying that your husband is not capable of helping you around the house and with the kids those other four days he does not work.  In fact, I know of many of my wife’s nurse friends who do the 36 hour work week and then during their other four days off they are taking care of all the needs of their home and caring for their children.

So the question is not whether or not your husband would be capable of jumping in and helping you on his days off. The question is do you have a right as his wife to expect this?

When you feel more like a maid than a wife

Let try and frame this another way. There is a popular Christian female blogger named Sheila Wray who runs a blog called “To Love Honor And Vacuum”.  The theme of Sheila Wray’s blog is “when you feel more like a maid than a wife and mother”.

How often do we hear women say things like “I feel more like a maid than wife and mom” or “I feel more like a nanny than a wife” or “I feel more like a sex slave than a wife”?

To her credit Sheila Wray does encourage women to care for the needs of their husbands, their children and their home. She often offers good advice to women in helping them to organize their days better. But there is also some feminist tendencies that poison her teachings. I disagree with her on the basis of Christian marriage, submission and her take on male sexuality (but that is for a whole other series of articles).  But now let’s examine these three common complaints from wives.

What is a maid?

It is a woman who cares for the domestic affairs of the home.  Sometimes maids cook, clean and do laundry. We have previously shown from the Scriptures (Proverbs 31:10-31, Titus 2:5, I Timothy 5:14) that God in fact does expect wives to do the very same things that maids typically do.

What is nanny?

A nanny is a person who cares for the needs of children.  She feeds them, bathes them and weens them.  Again the Scriptures show us that this is part of the primary responsibility that God has given to wives.

What is sex slave?

A sex slave is a woman who is purchased by a man for the sole purpose of having sex.  They is no intimate relationship between the two beyond the act of sex. There is no commitment by this man be a husband to this woman or to be a father to the children this woman might have as a result of their sexual relations.

Contrary to popular belief – the Bible never allowed men to have sex slaves. I wrote an entire article on this subject entitled “Did the Bible allow men to have sex slaves?” where I debunk the common belief today that concubines in the Bible were sex slaves.  If a man wants to have an intimate sexual relationship with a woman then he must take on the full responsibilities of the marriage covenant with that woman.  There are no half measures allowed by God when it comes to sexual relations between men and women.

Concubines were “slave wives”, not “sex slaves”.  In the Bible there were two kinds of wives. “free” wives and “slave” wives.

A “free” wife was a woman who was the daughter of a free man and another man would give her father the Bride price to purchase her as his wife.  Any children they had together would be legally entitled to certain inheritance rights and would bear his family name.  Sometimes a “free” wife was a widow or divorced woman. If a man had to marry his brother’s widow then their first child would carry his brother’s name and not his so that his brother’s line would not die out.

A “slave” wife was acquired in one of two ways.  Either she was purchased as a slave(simply to do domestic work) and the man then decided to take her as a wife or she was captured as a prisoner of war and brought back to be a man’s wife.  Husbands could elevate their “slave” wives to the status of a “free wife” in granting her children his family name and giving them full inheritance rights but they were not required to do so unless the woman was an Israelite servant girl whom they chose to make a wife.  They had to treat Israelite female slaves differently that foreign slaves in this regard.

But you know what both “slave” wives and “free” wives had in common? They were both required to have sex with their husbands whenever their husbands asked for it. He did not have to earn it by doing romantic things for them. It was his right. One of the primary responsibilities of a wife is to submit her body fully to her husband for his sexual pleasure.

So while husbands should never treat their wives as sex slaves – wives should realize that part of the primary duty as a wife is to fully submit themselves sexually to their husbands.

My point in covering these three categories of “maid”, “nanny” and “sex slave” is this:

A wife is called by God to perform the very same services that a maid, a nanny and a sex slave would be expected to do toward a man.

This does not mean she is a maid, a nanny or a sex slave – because a wife is so much more than these things.

Are maids and nannies called by God to submit to her master as unto God himself (Ephesians 5:22)?

No, but wives are.

Are maids and nannies called by God to give their bodies sexually to their masters and do they have the right to sexual access to their master’s bodies (I Corinthians 7:3-5)?

No, but wives have these responsibilities and rights.

Does God call on masters to know their maids and nannies and honor them as they would their wives (I Peter 3:7)?

No, but husbands have these responsibilities toward their wives.

What it really means when a woman says “I feel more like a ____ than a wife?”

When you as a wife allow this thought to go through your head – “I feel more like a [fill in the blank] than a wife” you really need to examine your thoughts closely. If you feel more like a maid than a wife this shows resentment toward the domestic affairs of the home to which God has called you. If you feel more like a nanny than a wife this shows resentment toward your duties to care for the needs of your children.  If you feel more like a sex slave than a wife this shows resentment toward your sexual duties to your husband.

Why do women often feel resentment in these areas? There are two answers to this question:

  1. Lack of praise and gratitude (in whatever form they like praise and gratitude) from their husband for their performance in these areas.
  2. The feeling that he is not doing what they expect is his part in these areas.

Should a husband praise his wife in her various roles as the keeper of his home, the mother of his children and his lover in the bedroom? Absolutely. The Bible gives us this example in Proverbs 31:28 where the husband praises his wife and I Peter 3:7 where the husband honors his wife.

But lack of praise from a husband does not grant a wife the right to harbor resentment in these areas.  Two wrongs never make a right. A woman should always remember that ultimately her service to her husband is her service to God.  While praise makes it easier and gives her energy to do even more – a woman should never use lack of praise from her husband as an excuse to allow bitterness and resentment to grow toward him.

In the same way perhaps a woman feels her husband could do more around the house or more to help the children.  Maybe she feels he could do more in the bedroom to sexually please her.  Again his real or perceived failures in these areas does not grant a wife the right to become bitter and resentful toward her husband.

Conclusion

Yes God does care who does the dishes, the laundry, the cooking and other cleaning around the house.  He cares about which gender is the primary caretaker of the children. He cares about who leads the home.  He cares about who provides for the home.

All of these gender specific responsibilities are symbolic of the relationship of God and his people.  They represent so much more than what we see on the surface.

Are there reasonable expectations that husbands and wives can have toward one another based on the roles God has given husbands and wives? Yes.

A woman can reasonably expect that when she goes to the grocery store to buy food that money will be in the account because her husband has provided it for her.  In the same way a man can reasonably expect that when he comes home from providing for his family that his wife will have dinner on the table and his house and children in order.

But in the context of this discussion of husbands helping with the domestic affairs of the home – wives should NEVER EVER expect this from their husbands. If their husbands want to help (without being nagged to do so) then they should allow them to help. But never should this be expected.

This expectation toward men in regard to the domestic affairs of the home has sown the seeds of resentment and bitterness in the hearts of many wives in culture today.

M – As exhausting as being a stay at home mom can be sometimes you will find that when you let go of these unbiblical expectations toward your husband and leave him to God you will have more energy to do these things.  When you realize these things are your task – and your task alone and any help you get from your husband in these areas is a BONUS and not a right you will feel like a weight has been lifted.

Image sources:

Hand washing fork – free image from pixabay.com

Woman with child on back in market -By Peter van der Sluijs – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Woman washing dishes in sink – Villalobos, Horacio, Photographer

Are women who want to submit to and serve their husbands mentally ill?

“The normal love that a woman feels for a man was seen as some sort of mental illness, any desire to submit to the natural authority of a man within a marriage was seen as ‘oppressive patriarchy’. ” This is how Emma, a young student from Australia, described what was taught to her in a gender studies course at a university in Australia.

What Emma is describing is  a sad but true reality in universities and colleges across not just America, but also the entire western world. See the rest of her comment below.

Emma’s Story

I just wanted to say how glad I am to find this site.

The reason I am moved to write to you is that I probably come from a ‘strange’ background for many of the people here.  I am a single, 23 year old woman, studying for an undergraduate degree at a liberal University in Australia.  I even did a unit of study in ‘genders studies’ last year !

Although almost all the students were women my age or younger who were vaguely interested in questions of gender and feminism, a large minority of us felt like quitting the course as we were amazed at the anti-male nature of the course.  The normal love that a woman feels for a man was seen as some sort of mental illness, any desire to submit to the natural authority of a man within a marriage was seen as ‘oppressive patriarchy’.  Some of the tutors even went so far as to say that ‘every woman’ was ‘raped’ whenever she had sex with a man:  the reasoning was that as women are oppressed, women cannot meaningfully consent, and therefore any sex is rape.

The other women who felt like me were in a minority, but not as few as you might think.  We know that women want to serve their husbands – everything from cooking nice food to pleasing him sexually.  Some of us had had premarital sex (not everyone is perfect) but we wanted our future husbands to be submissive to the will of Our Father, just as we will submit to the will and guidance of our husbands.   I have read everything on this website (although I knew most of the quotes already) and my feeling is that you are a Bible-believing Christian or you are not.  If you do say you are a Bible-believing Christian – the Bible is pretty clear on women submitting to their husbands.  Otherwise, it is a permanent battle for power that makes both people unhappy.

I am not married and am not even engaged.  But when I do, it will be to a man who is obedient to Our Father, as I will worship our Father by being obedient to my husband.  In my experience the women I know who have done this have been the happiest women I have seen, and live fulfilling and wholesome lives.

Emma

Australia

My Response to Emma

You are proof that God has reserved for himself a faithful remnant of women who who desire to remain faithful to God’s Word.  It is not a matter of us being perfect, but it is a matter of us recognizing that he is perfect, his Word is perfect and his design of men and women is perfect.  It is sin that has corrupted God’s design.

God speaks of those who would call good(women submitting to and serving their husbands) evil and evil(women’s rebellion toward their husbands) good:

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

Also we need to realize that the attack on men and masculinity in our culture is an attack on God himself as God says that men are the image and glory of God:

“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.”

I Corinthians 11:7 (KJV)

The rebellion against man’s authority over women is an attack against God’s authority over all mankind because the relationship between a husband and wife is symbolic of the relationship between God and his people:

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

Ephesians 5:22-24 (KJV)

Just remember Emma that we are not to be conformed to the wicked pattern of this world but rather we are to measure our lives by God’s Word:

“And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”

Luke 4:4 (KJV)

“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)

I pray God will give you the courage to continue to live according to his Word and his design and that you will be an example to the women around you.

 

The benefits of being a sexually obedient wife

“I’ve witnessed such an unexpected difference in my husband & I would like to know if you think it’s related to my new attitude regarding sexual obedience. The short story is: my husband has become so ambitious at work (and in life generally). He’s gotten a promotion. But, the biggest change is he’s always wanted to start his own business & he is now taking the steps to do it. He has talked about it for years & dreamed about it, but I’ve never seen an attitude like this. He’s become very alpha. He actually works less now. He’s in a management role & he delegates a lot of work. To hear him on the phone with his employees…it’s like a totally different man. He’s very assertive & authoritative. I must say, it is a turn-on for me & makes me want him more.”

I received this comment from a Christian wife who calls herself Wynter in response to my previous article “How a husband can enjoy sex that is grudgingly given by his wife”.

Over the months since I wrote that article I have been interviewed on a national radio show and have been contacted by people around the world about it. As you would expect I got a lot of hate mail over that article.  But over time I have received several kind emails telling me what an impact it has had in not only helping men to cope with bad situations but also in helping women to see the way they sometimes grudgingly give their husband’s sex through their husbands eyes.

I get people sending me in emails all the time asking “why do you have to talk about sex so much?” and the reason I tell them is because our sexuality whether before marriage or after marriage has such a HUGE impact on our lives even though many Christians don’t want to admit it.  We hear all the time about how we live in an “over-sexed” society and I can see why Christians feel that way because of all the modern imaging technology we have now and how much things that used to be in secret are now in our faces.

But let me assure you – long before the age of electricity and photographs and commercials sex has always played a large part in people’s lives.  The difference was it was hidden. Men and women were frustrated with their sex lives with their spouses since the beginning of mankind. Men and women have both acted sinfully because of wrong choices related to sex.

If we want to keep our young people from sinning sexually and if we want them to truly understand and embrace the gift of sex that God has given to most of his creation we must talk about this.  If we want strong marriages we must talk about this. Wynter’s story illustrates how big of an impact sex when done God’s way in marriage can truly bring new life to that marriage and to an entire family as a result.

Wynter’s Story

“I’ve been taking this seriously for the last six months and I just wanted to tell you & get your comments.

  1. I rarely deny my husband sex of some kind. (I say no sometimes; I’m not perfect). I give oral sex if intercourse is not possible.
  2. I’m SHOCKED at how much my husband wants to have sex. He wants it just about every day, sometimes twice a day. Now that he knows I won’t deny him, he gets into the shower with me often and we make love in there. I had no idea he liked that so much. We did it in the shower a few times when we first got married, but I wasn’t into it because I just wanted to hurry up & shower & get ready for my day.
  3. I’ve witnessed such an unexpected difference in my husband & I would like to know if you think it’s related to my new attitude regarding sexual obedience. The short story is: my husband has become so ambitious at work (and in life generally). He’s gotten a promotion. But, the biggest change is he’s always wanted to start his own business & he is now taking the steps to do it. He has talked about it for years & dreamed about it, but I’ve never seen an attitude like this. He’s become very alpha. He actually works less now. He’s in a management role & he delegates a lot of work. To hear him on the phone with his employees…it’s like a totally different man. He’s very assertive & authoritative. I must say, it is a turn-on for me & makes me want him more.
  4. I will say though that this has not been without sacrifice on my part. I used to work nights, but I changed my schedule to be available to him in the evenings, so I make less money than I used to. I also gave up some activities so I can rest more. A big part of my problem before I started this was I was tired all the time & was too exhausted for sex. But, also, and you’re probably not going to like this: it’s been difficult emotionally because I don’t like giving up control. Honestly, I’ve had to fight my own rebelliousness. Sometimes when he approaches me, I’m tired & lazy & just want him to leave me alone. Sometimes, I’m distracted & don’t want to drop what I’m doing. I don’t know how to put it, but it has been difficult to not have my way on this. That’s been the hardest part. I like being 100% in control of my body & now I have to make sacrifices, so, yes, it’s been difficult. Sexual obedience is a way of life. It requires a whole different mindset. My husband’s needs and fulfillment take up a lot more real estate in my brain now than they used to. It’s not as simple as stop, drop, and “do it” like I thought it was going to be. Am I making any sense?

I’d love to know your thoughts on my story.”

My Response to Wynter

It brings me great joy, God great joy and I am sure your husband great joy to see the change in your attitude toward meeting your husband’s sexual needs.

The “SHOCK” you felt once you opened up and allowed your husband free sexual access to your body is one that many women face when they truly give their husbands that free and unfettered access to their bodies that God demands(I Corinthians 7:3-5).

The way it usually works is like this.  When you are first married in the honeymoon phase of the relationship your husband is all over you if not every day at least several times a week.  But many young brides quickly get over the newness of the sex and feel they must “settle their man down” so when he comes to her she delays him with “not today, maybe tomorrow”.

Her husband then learns that there is a real possibility that every time he goes to initiate his wife may turn him down.   Now most women because of period issues or other medical issues will have to turn their husbands down from time to time and that is ok and husbands need to be understanding about this.

But if you were like most women you probably didn’t realize that if you turn your husband down for sex even for legitimate reasons it is YOUR job to get the sex moving again in your relationship.  Your husband does not want to keep coming and asking for sex hoping this is the night you will say yes.  For many men when their wives turn them down for sex it is like flipping an off switch on your sex life.

It is your job as a wife when you have to turn him down to go and turn the sex switch in your relationship back to ON. Most wives have no clue about this and they simply wait for their husband to initiate again and he may go several days or even a week until he decides to “risk it” again. Some women actually get a sick thrill out of making their husbands never really know if they will say yes or no to them. This is an act of emotional cruelty toward one’s husband.

In either case, when you turn your husband down over time your sex life goes down to one or two times a week eventually or just a few times a month before you know it.

But once you open yourself to your husband and let him know he truly has unfettered access to your body and if you do have to turn him down you do it gently and then as soon as you are ready you initiate to let him know sex is back on the table it will truly revolutionize your marriage as you have seen.

Sex has a huge impact on a man’s demeanor

On the issue of the change in your husband’s ambition and demeanor – Absolutely you giving your body freely and with a good attitude to your husband would definitely help with his ambition and attitude toward life.  Have you have heard the phrase “he just needs to get laid?” I know it sounds crass but it absolutely true.  When a man (or even a woman) feels sexually frustrated or they are not getting sexually feed at home it will affect every part of their life. Often times it will result in men being less ambitious and more irritable.

When a man feels like he can have sex with his wife whenever he wants and he feels like she desires him and he pleases her that same man will often feel like he can go out and conquer the world!

There is an old saying that “behind every great man is a great woman”.  I think that is often true when women truly support their husbands in the way God meant them to.  Forgive me for what I am about to do to that famous phrase but I think this is statement is equally true:

“Underneath every great man is a great a woman”

Think in the sexual arena and let your brain churn for a minute and you will get what I am saying.

Keeping your husband well feed sexually will not only benefit him in his endeavors outside the home but it will also benefit your marriage and your family by giving him the increased energy he needs to take on life’s daily tasks.

Christian Wives must save energy for their sex lives

On the issue of you being tired all the time before – that is absolutely true for many women. The greatest lie of feminism is telling women “You can have it all”.  That is utterly untrue. There are only so many hours in day and you only have so much energy to give.  If you spend 40 hours a week at your job and then another 10 hours a week commuting you are going to have very little energy left to give to your husband, your children and your home.

Many women today save little to no energy for their sex lives with their husbands.  Their jobs get their energy and what little energy they have after going out to their career they give to their children while they husband is left scrounging for scraps of energy from his wife for their sex life.

As you correctly point out – yes it is a sacrifice but I think you would agree based on the changes you have seen in your husband’s life that it was a sacrifice worth making.

I think it is great that you recognize your own rebelliousness and your desire to control your time and your body. At the same time though – don’t beat yourself up.  Recognize your sinful inclinations and then give those things to God.  We all face different types of sins and as men we have our own sinful inclinations as well that we must recognize and fight through God’s grace.

I just want to admonish you to keep up what you have been doing and realize that your sexual obedience is not just to your husband – but truly it is an act of worship to God himself for all he has done for you.  This is also a great testimony that other women can learn from and I want to thank you for sharing this with me and my audience – it is truly a blessing.

As the old song we learned in church goes “Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe”.

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” – II Corinthians 10:5 (KJV)

 

 

Why does God make some women with a genius level IQ if he wants all women to be homemakers?

“I am a neurosurgeon with three kids. With my first child, I thought that I would give staying home a chance. I hated it. For five years, I was miserable. I am not a homemaker or a cooker or a nurturer. Our child was not happy, and my partner and I were not happy. I went back to work and took only six weeks off after the birth of my other two children, and our life has been amazing. I have an IQ of 158. I need to use my brain. In addition, I have firsthand experience about what it is like to be a child and mother on both sides of the fence.” This was part of a story I received from a woman who calls herself Jess.

At the end of her comments she asked me a simple question in light of the Bible passages I have presented showing that God made women to be helpmeets to men, bearers and caregivers to the children and the keeper of the home.  Her question was “How do you explain me?”

Before I give my response to Jess and to the larger question of the existence of female geniuses in light of the role that God has given women in being wives, mothers and homemakers I want to share Jess’s complete story (as much as she shared that is).

Jess’s Story

“When I was a child, my mother did everything mentioned in this article, yet I hated my childhood. Kids need to be away from their parents. I asked my parents if they could back off. They agreed. After school, I went to a free child-care provider. I did not get any help with my homework. I spent at most 2 hours with my family a day. Guess what happened? I became emotionally stable. I became happy. My grades improved. I loved my life. That went on until I left home at 18.

Today, I am a neurosurgeon with three kids. With my first child, I thought that I would give staying home a chance. I hated it. For five years, I was miserable. I am not a homemaker or a cooker or a nurturer. Our child was not happy, and my partner and I were not happy. I went back to work and took only six weeks off after the birth of my other two children, and our life has been amazing.

I have an IQ of 158. I need to use my brain. In addition, I have firsthand experience about what it is like to be a child and mother on both sides of the fence.

I am a women and I:

Have no emotional intelligence. My husband says that I am about as emotional as a brick wall.

Don’t have soft hands, they are really very rough and scratchy.

I take risks all the time. I am a rock climber and I love paragliding and bungee jumping.

I have a body fat percentage lower than the average male, and I have basically no curves. I have barely any fat in my breasts, it’s mostly pecs.

I have a very hard time dealing with children.

How do you explain me?”

My Response to Jess and other highly intelligent or genius level women

You sound like a very intelligent woman and with an IQ of 158 that puts you just a couple points shy of Stephen Hawking. I do not deny the existence of high IQ women like you and I have talked about it on my site in several posts.

These are the facts about genius level IQ distribution by gender:

“For instance, at the near-genius level (an IQ of 145), brilliant men outnumber brilliant women by 8 to one. That’s statistics, not sexism…

Of course, in normal daily life, there’s not much real difference between a man with an IQ of 105 and a woman with an IQ of 100. The real difference only emerges as we rise up the IQ scale to the sort of level that the really top jobs require and as we drop lower down the scale – because men, as it turns out, have a much wider range of intelligence than women.

As a result, there are not only far more men with high IQs than there are women, but there are also, as I’m sure any woman would tell you, far more stupid men around than there are stupid women.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1274952/Men-ARE-brainy-women-says-scientist-Professor-Richard-Lynn.html#ixzz46QZ2qDGm

So the fact is that that men have a much broader range of IQs than women meaning there are more stupid men that stupid women – a fact that most feminists love to shout.  But on the other end of the spectrum there are more highly intelligent men than highly intelligent women and this is a fact that feminists fight to hide.  Often it is explained away as nothing more than cultural influences rather than a biological fact.

This also explains why men occupy roughly 75 percent of STEM jobs.

So how should we as Bible believing Christians respond to women that occupy that 1 out of 9 genius level spot?

If the Bible is a made up book of fables then you can just live your life as you please and when you die you will just fade away.

But if the Bible is the Word of God then that means each and every one of us has a soul that will live on after our body has died. It also means that one day each of us will stand and give an account for how we have lived our lives. If God’s Word is true then we must measure our daily and long term life decisions and actions by the Bible.

I don’t know if you are a Christian or not but if a young Christian woman came to me with your story and she wanted to live her life by the Bible believing she would one day stand before God and give an account of her life I would give her the following admonitions.

The Bible says that the presence of sin in the world has corrupted everything including our bodies even as we are formed in our mother’s womb.

 “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” – Psalm 51:5 (KJV)

“So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:” – I Corinthians 15:42 (KJV)

So anything in us whether it be our physical characteristics, our mental characteristics, our attitudes, our likes, our dislikes or our desires that do not measure up to God’s standards and expectations for our lives are to be regarded as defects caused by the corruption of sin in this world. These are things that we must overcome to bring our life into compliance with God’s will for our lives.

Now am I saying being smart is a defect because you are woman? No.

But an intelligent woman can use her intelligence in many ways.  An intelligent woman can write books from her home, write a blog, teach women’s Bible classes, teach and home school her children and when her children are grown and gone perhaps help other women in teaching their children. In some cases a woman may be able to run some type of small business out of her home if she has the intelligence, energy and will to do so.

The Bible does not say that women are only allowed to cook, clean the house, do laundry and care for children and the needs of the husband.  But what it does say is that these things are the primary mission of a woman and if she fails at these things a woman fails at her most important mission in this life.

The purpose for which God made women and the mission he has given to them

The Scriptures show us in these passages the reason for which he made women and their primary mission in life by which a woman will be considered a success or a failure in God’s eyes:

“And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” – Genesis 2:18 (KJV)

“Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” – I Corinthians 11:9 (KJV)

“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.” – Proverbs 31:11 (KJV)

“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” – I Timothy 5:14 (KJV)

“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 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)

“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” – Proverbs 31:27 (KJV)

God’s mission for woman is to serve the needs of her husband, bear and care for his children and care for the domestic needs of his home. 

The women who get an exemption from this mission are those who are called to a life of celibacy in service to God or are in some way providentially hindered from either finding a husband or having children.

Questions and observations I have based on your story

I would also say to a Christian woman who had your childhood experiences – “what caused you to hate your childhood so much and being around your parents so much?“ This is not normal social behavior for a child.

I realize you tried the homemaker role (which I commend you for) but I can guess why your child and your husband were not happy.  It was because you were not happy.  If you find things like cooking, nurturing and caring for your home and children on a daily basis to be a drudgery and waste of your abilities then of course it will show and then cause others in your home to be unhappy because you are constantly displaying unhappiness.

You say your life has been “amazing” but I doubt your children especially when they were younger thought it was so “amazing” not to have their mom around as much as they needed her.   No six week old baby goes “yeah my mom is leaving me and giving me some alone time”.  Children at this age desperately need their mothers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Yes children will adjust as they get older to not having their mother around but that does not make it good for them.  Some children in the most horrible of situations still turn out good sometimes in spite of their mothers or fathers not being as involved in their lives as they should have been.

What about your emotional and physical features?

If a Christian woman told me she had no emotional intelligence and had a hard time dealing with children I would tell her the same thing I tell women who say they simply don’t have a desire for sex with their husbands.  You need to cultivate a desire for these things and ask God to put these things in your heart and remove any desires in your heart that are contrary to his design for your life.

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

“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” – Ezekiel 36:26 (KJV)

On the issue of you having a manlier shaped and muscular body and rough hands – this is because of how you have chosen to live your life. It is good for a woman to be healthy and in shape and I am not saying anything against that.  But women are designed to have more fat then men and fat is what actually helps to give women some curves and softness to their body.  I am sure if you were to work out less and allow your body to have some of that natural fat that women are meant to have you would have a much more feminine appearance.

Now are there some women that don’t work out at all that still have muscular bodies? Sure. And if that is the case than this is the body God has given you and you will need to work with it. But in the vast majority of the cases where women have pectoral muscles as opposed to breasts it is because they are working out and exercising too much.

Conclusion

In the Bible there is something mentioned called “strife” or in newer translations it is called “selfish ambition”.

“For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” – James 3:16 (NIV)

God is not against women being ambitious. The Proverbs 31 wife was certainly an ambitious woman.  What God is against is selfish ambition. Selfish ambition is when a man or a woman are ambitious for something that God did not intend them to have.

God intended for you to marry a man and then serve him with all your heart to the very best of your ability. God intended for you to have children (if you are not barren) and to care for those children.  God intended for you to care for your home and make it a haven for your husband and your children.  This is not meant to be a life of drudgery but a life of honor and service.

The reason we have such disorder in our society today is because over the last century men have abandoned their authority over women and as a result women were allowed to abandon the role for which God made them in his creation. Women became envious of men and followed their selfish ambitions and this is why in the last century we have seen the highest divorce rates in the history of mankind and even the concept of marriage itself is being rejected in favor of people just living with another.

One of the many casualties of this selfish culture is our young infants and smaller children who cry in terror as they watch their mothers go off to live their “amazing” lives as they pursue their career interests outside the home.

How to help women learn their place

Women do not know or accept their place in God’s creation anymore. “A woman’s place is in the home” is just one of many truths that our society derides and mocks. “to ‘love, honor and obey’” has been stripped from most marriage vows as women no longer believe they must obey their husbands or be in subjection to their husbands as Sarah who called her husband “lord”(I Peter 3:5-6).

Feminism has been largely successful in eradicating the femininity that women once had. Churches have for the most part abandoned the practice of teaching Biblical gender roles that God has commanded for men and women.

We have women saying things in the wrong place or in the wrong way. Women showing no deference or respect toward men. Daughters showing little to no respect for their fathers and wives showing little to no respect for their husbands. Wives routinely shame their husbands in public not to mention in private. Daughters disobey their fathers and wives routinely disobey their husbands with impunity. Many women pursue selfish career ambitions instead of being ambitious for marriage, child bearing and homemaking.

We as Christians can turn this around by having the courage to speak the truth of God’s Word even if our world does not want to hear it. We need to show our young ladies from the Word of God what it truly means to be a woman of God.

The most important people in this endeavor are first fathers, then mothers and finally Pastors and teachers in our local churches. Fathers need to teach their daughters what it means to be Godly women and this needs to be enforced by their mothers and further enforced by church leaders.

My teenage daughter has been asking me for some time to put together a guide with Scripture passages that she can commit to memory as she shares these truths with other young girls she attends school with.  She looks forward to one day being the wife and mother that God designed her to be. This is dedicated to you my daughter! I love you.

Below are several Bible passages that teach women how God wants them to conduct their lives.

Her speech

She is not loud or boisterous but instead she is quiet and meek

“A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.” – Proverbs 9:13 (KJV)

“But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” – I Peter 3:3-4 (KJV)

She is not a gossip but rather she is a trustworthy confident

“And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.” – I Timothy 5:13 (KJV)

“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.” – Proverbs 31:11 (KJV)

She knows when and where to speak and when to hold her tongue

“As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.” – Proverbs 11:22 (KJV)

When she does speak she does so in a wise and kind manner

“She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” – Proverbs 31:26 (KJV)

Her ambitions

She is ambitious to be a wife, mother and homemaker

“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” – I Timothy 5:14 (KJV)

When she has a home she is ambitious toward the care of it and is never lazy or idle

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

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” – Proverbs 31:15 & 27 (KJV)

When she has children she is ambitious to be joyful in her care of them

“He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.” – Psalm 113:9 (KJV)

Her love

She shows compassion and empathy towards those in need around her

“She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.” – Proverbs 31:20 (KJV)

Second only to God, a woman’s greatest love and affection is reserved for her husband and her children

“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children” – Titus 2:4 (KJV)

Her sexuality

She protects her virginity for marriage and does not manipulate men with her sexuality

“For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adultress will hunt for the precious life.” – Proverbs 6:26 (KJV)

“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” – Hebrews 13:4 (KJV)

In marriage she ravishes her husband with her body and she never defrauds him

“18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.

19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.” – Proverbs 5:18-19 (KJV)

“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.” – I Corinthians 7:4-5 (KJV)

Her appearance

She dresses in a way that never places her femininity in doubt

“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.” – Deuteronomy 22:5 (KJV)

She dresses appropriate to the occasion (modestly)

“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;” – I Timothy 2:9 (KJV)

She cares for her beauty knowing that her husband desires it as God desires the beauty of his church

“So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.” – Psalm 45:11 (KJV)

“How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!” – Song of Solomon 7:6 (KJV)

Her submission

She has a submissive spirit as opposed to a contentious spirit

“It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.” – Proverbs 21:19 (KJV)

She embraces patriarchy (male authority over women) in the home, the Church and in society

“5 But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the Lord shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her.” – Numbers 30:5 (KJV)

“22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” – Ephesians 5:22-24 (KJV)

“11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” – I Timothy 2:11-12 (KJV)

“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” – I Corinthians 11:3 (KJV)

Her dependence

She looks to her father and later her husband for her provision

“For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church” – Ephesians 5:29 (KJV)

She embraces that fact that God has placed her in “the weaker vessel” and that she needs the protection of men

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” – I Peter 3:7

She looks to her father and later her husband for her spiritual guidance

“And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” – I Corinthians 14:35 (KJV)

Her place

She embraces the fact that God made her to be the helper to her husband, not him to be her helper

“Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” – I Corinthians 11:9 (KJV)

She sees her husband as her master and not her equal partner

“5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” – I Peter 3:5-6 (KJV)

Her methods of persuasion

She does not nag her husband into doing what is right

“A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.” – Proverbs 27:15 (KJV)

She wins her husband by her righteous behavior toward him in spite of his failings

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

2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.” – I Peter 3:1-2 (KJV)

Her reverence for her husband

She never makes her husband ashamed, but rather she brings him honor

“A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.” – Proverbs 12:4 (KJV)

She reverences her husband’s position despite the flaws of his person

“Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” – Ephesians 5:33 (KJV)

Her Influence

She influences and teaches other women to be good wives and mothers

“3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

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 2:3-5(KJV)

Her legacy

She realizes that her greatest legacy is built by what she does in her home and not what she does outside her home

“Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” – Proverbs 14:1 (KJV)

“Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.” – Proverbs 31:28 (KJV)

Should a Christian husband make his wife submit?

Is a wife’s submission to her husband voluntary? Does God want or allow a husband to compel his wife to submit to his leadership through various disciplinary practices? Does a husband’s headship over his wife come with enforcement powers?

There has been a debate in recent decades amongst those who believe in male headship about whether a husband has any ability to compel his wife to submit to his headship. The topic of “voluntary submission” is often raised in these discussions.

Does the Bible show that a wife’s submission to her husband is voluntary?

Carm.org (Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry) has a post that is a good example of this disagreement. CARM definitely believes in and advocates for male headship in marriage and they strongly encourage women to submit to their husbands as seen here:

“Women are not commanded to submit to their husband’s because God insures that men will be just or loving. When a woman submits unto her husband, she is actually submitting unto God (Ephesians 5:22). A woman, therefore, does not submit because her husband deserves it in his own merit. She submits because she knows it is pleasing to her Lord. There will be times when a woman needs to submit and her husband does not deserve it from a human perspective. But by divine right, God set the man as leader, and a woman can trust that God is good. She can also know that nothing escapes God’s notice, and a wicked man will be held accountable for his actions.”

https://carm.org/apologetics/womens-issues/what-does-it-mean-wife-submit-her-husband

But in this same article and another article on the topic of submission CARM takes the position that this submission by a wife is voluntary and cannot be compelled by her husband:

“The Greek word for submission is hupotasso, “to subordinate . . . put under . . . ” God exhorts women to voluntarily follow their husband’s leadership (Ephesians 5:22, 1 Peter 3:1). A woman is actively doing this–choosing to put herself under leadership, choosing to be subordinate in a circumstance or relationship. This is not forced upon her by the recipient.”

https://carm.org/apologetics/womens-issues/what-does-it-mean-wife-submit-her-husband

“First, submission is actually a voluntary action by the wife. Wives are commanded by the Lord to submit to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22, 1 Peter 3:1). This is a commandment from the Lord. However, there is nowhere in Scripture in which husbands command their wives to submit. A wife chooses to follow her husband’s leadership. Slaves, on the other hand, choose nothing. Their decisions are chosen by their master. When a woman submits to her husband, she is actually submitting to the Lord. It is an act of worship and love for her Savior, not as one of a weakened slave.”

https://carm.org/apologetics/womens-issues/wifes-submission-her-husband-slavery

Before we continue on here let me say where I agree with CARM on the issue of a wife’s submission to her husband. I agree with them that a wife submits to her husband, not because he necessarily has earned or deserves her respect, but because she respects the leadership position God has given him over her. I also agree that Biblical submission does not mean a woman is treated like a slave where she can say nothing and has no opinions about anything. A wife Biblically speaking is not a doormat.

But where I and other advocates of Biblical headship disagree with CARM (and others in their camp) is about the enforcement and disciplinary powers of a husband over his wife. CARM maintains that a husband has no power to compel his wife’s submission and that if his wife will not submit to his leadership a husband is powerless to act against his wife’s rebellion.

But before we can proceed we need to understand what the Greek word hupotasso means as it is used in the original language of the New Testament.

What does hupotasso mean?

The Greek word hupotasso is translated as “submit”, “subject”, “subjection” and “obedient” in our English translations of the Bible.

This is the definition of hupotasso according to Thayer’s and Smith’s Bible Dictionary:

“to arrange under, to subordinate

to subject, put in subjection

to subject one’s self, obey

to submit to one’s control

to yield to one’s admonition or advice

to obey, be subject

A Greek military term meaning “to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader”. In non-military use, it was “a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden”.”

So there are two uses of the hupotasso, one had the idea of military commands like dividing units under leaders and the other is a more voluntary or cooperative type of submission.

Hupotasso, not unlike many words changes its meaning based on the context in which it is used. CARM has chosen to take the second meaning of hupotasso in regard to a wife’s submission. But we need to look at the Scriptures to see if their application of the second meaning of hupotasso to submission in marriage is correct.

Paul’s letter to the Ephesians actually illustrates both uses of the Greek word hupotasso

First it is important to remember that the chapter and verse divisions of the Bible were added many centuries after the Bible was completed (Stephen Langton divided the Bible into chapters in the year A.D. 1227 and Robert Stephanus divided the chapters into verses in A.D. 1551). So the chapter and verse divisions are not given to us by divine inspiration and sometimes they actually cause confusion in understanding the meaning of many passages of the Bible.

In Ephesians chapter 4 Paul is speaking on the unity of the Church as well as the different gifts and offices God gives in the Church:

“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ…

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:” – Ephesians 4:4-7 & 11-13 (KJV)

Paul continues his discussion on the unity of the Church and the proper behavior of believers in the body through Ephesians chapter 5 verse 21:

“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” – Ephesians 5:19-21 (KJV)

Then in verse 22 of Ephesians Paul goes from his discussion of believers and their relationship to one another in the body of Christ to the family. Paul’s discussion on the Christian home begins in verse 22 of chapter 5 and does not end until Ephesians 6:4. So here is Paul’s jump from speaking on Church relationships to speaking on family relationships in context:

“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 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.

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.

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

For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 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.

This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

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

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” – Ephesians 5:19-33 & 6:1-4 (KJV)

So now let’s go back and revisit Paul’s use of the word hupotasso in Ephesians 5:21-24:

“21 Submitting [hupotasso] yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

22 Wives, submit [hupotasso] yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 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 [hupotasso] unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

Many who reject the concept of male headship in marriage attempt to soften Paul’s command to wives to submit with verse 21 that precedes his call to wives to submit to their husbands in verse 22. They teach a false doctrine of mutual submission and partnership in marriage.

I agree 100% that verse 21 of Ephesians chapter 5 is talking about mutual submission amongst believers within the assembly because of the context of the previous verses in which hupotasso is used.

But in the context of marriage hupotasso is not used in the “voluntary, cooperative” sense of the word, but rather it is used in the context of the military use of the term in which family members are given their various roles and responsibilities.

Wives are commanded to hupotasso their husbands because their husband is their head(leader) in the same way that Christ is the head(leader) of the Church. Wives are to hupotasso to their husbands in “every thing”.

Children are later told to obey both their mother and father in Ephesians 6:1.

“submit and obey” – a distinction without a difference

Ephesians 6:1 uses a different word than hupotasso, instead it uses the word “hupakouo”.

“Children, obey [hupakouo] your parents in the Lord: for this is right.” – Ephesians 6:1 (KJV)

This is the definition of hupakouo according to Thayer’s and Smith’s Bible Dictionary:

“to listen, to harken

of one who on the knock at the door comes to listen who it is, (the duty of a porter)

to harken to a command

to obey, be obedient to, submit to”

Some have tried to seize on the use of this word to show that women don’t have to “obey their husbands”, but rather “submit to their husbands”. What they say is “obedience is mandatory, while submission is voluntary”.   But in the Apostle Peter’s first letter he writes:

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

The Apostle Peter’s uses hupotasso and hupakouo interchangeably when speaking to the relationship of a wife to her husband. This tells us that those who try and say a wife is to submit to her husband, but not obey her husband are truly guilty of making “a distinction without a difference”.

Even in the case of a master and servant relationship hupotasso and hupakouo are used interchangeably in the Scriptures and no one would argue that slaves had no choice in obeying their masters.

“Exhort servants to be obedient [hupotasso] unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;” – Titus 2:9 (KJV)

“Servants, obey [hupakouo] in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God;” – Colossians 3:22 (KJV)

Just as a side note – Marriage is also pictured in Scripture as a type of Master/servant relationship – see my post “Is Marriage a Master/Servant relationship?”

In the context of Biblical authority structures whether they be kings, governors, church leaders, masters and yes even with husbands and parents the Bible interchangeably uses hupakouo and hupotasso – there is no difference. In the context of authority and subordinate relationships hupotasso ALWAYS means “mandatory submission” which is also synonymous with obedience.

Now that we have established that within the context of marriage submission by a wife to her husband is just as mandatory as obedience is from children to parents we will look at a husband’s role in regard to his wife’s submission.

So should a husband compel his wife to submit to his authority?

CARM says “there is nowhere in Scripture in which husbands command their wives to submit”. Really? While there are no passages in Scripture where a husband commands his wife saying “submit” there are passages in Scripture where a husband compels his wife’s obedience.

“Only acknowledge your guilt—

you have rebelled against the Lord your God,

you have scattered your favors to foreign gods

under every spreading tree,

and have not obeyed me,’”

declares the Lord.

“Return, faithless people,” declares the Lord, “for I am your husband. I will choose you—one from a town and two from a clan—and bring you to Zion“ – Jeremiah 3:13-14 (NIV)

Throughout most of the Old Testament prophesies God is pictured as the husband and Israel as his wife. God compels his disobedient and unfaithful wife to come back to him and turn to obedience to him.

So it seems in Scripture we have an example of a husband commanding his rebellious wife to return to him and obey him and whose is our example husband as Christian men? Is it not God himself?

In a followup post to this “7 Ways to Discipline your wife” we will discuss more Bible passages that prove that a husband can and should discipline his wife. In that post we will also discuss some practical ways that a husband can and should discipline his wife.

Conclusion

A Christian wife’s submission to her husband is not voluntary, it is mandatory and synonymous with obedience. A Christian husband has not only the power to discipline his wife, but he has a duty to do this.

The Black Hole of Babydom

“It makes me sad to lose my friends and watch them throw away their promising careers and lives to enter the black hole of babydom” – my wife found this quote from a woman who wrote into an advice column that is featured in our local newspaper.

This advice column is written by a nationally syndicated columnist named Judith Martin a.k.a. “Miss Manners”.  Each week people write in asking her what is the correct way to handle different social situations.

This week a woman whom Miss Manners titled as a “Hater of baby showers” wrote  this to her about why she hated that her friends were having so many babies and baby showers:

I am also alarmed at the shocking number of otherwise intelligent people who, despite this being the First World with various forms of birth control widely available, still have unplanned pregnancies and make no secret of this fact...

For these reasons and others, I am generally not thrilled when my friends become pregnant. I love my friends, but once they have kids, they fall off the face of the earth. It makes me sad to lose my friends and watch them throw away their promising careers and lives to enter the black hole of babydom (which, despite common arguments to the contrary, almost all do).…”

You can read the full letter from this woman and Miss Manner’s advice to her here.

This letter is a pure and unabashed display of just how ugly modern feminism has become.

It is a direct contradiction to what God says about children.

“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” – Psalm 127:3 (KJV)

“He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.” – Psalm 113:9 (KJV)

While there has always been all kinds of wickedness in the world, never have we seen on such a wide scale the complete visceral hatred of motherhood as we do today.

God never intended for women to find their greatest fulfillment in a career, but rather he designed them to desire and be fulfilled in making and molding human lives.

Photo Source: Jason Ippolito  https://www.flickr.com/photos/jasonippolito/3686987657
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/