Is it wrong to judge a Pedophile?

Does the Bible forbid us as Christians from feeling “a burst of rage” when we hear about cases of pedophiles molesting, raping or killing children? Are we putting ourselves in the “Judge’s seat” when we feel such special anger and rage toward people who would do such things to children?

A Christian blogger calling herself “SeriouslyServing” answers both of these questions with a firm “YES”.  In her view Christians are forbidden from feeling a burst of rage or anger or feeling any differently toward cases of child molestation than any other sin.

In her post “Thank You, Lord, That I am Not Like This Paedophile” SeriouslyServing writes:

“Every time a news story breaks about a new case of child sexual abuse or a child porn user, a slew of people rush to the comments section to declare their thoughts about the criminal.

“Scum of the earth…”

“Bring back the death penalty…”

“Let him stay with the general population in prison, see how he likes that…”

In one sense, I can relate. Nothing sickens me more than the thought of people hurting and abusing children, especially since I’ve had kids of my own. At times, I’ve read details of these horrific cases and felt a burst of rage, and contemplated what justice might look like for that person.

So we put ourselves firmly in the seat of Judge, and we mete out what we would consider Justice. I have to laugh at the incongruity here, given one of the maxims of our day is “don’t judge”…

“Don’t judge” – unless the person you’re judging is a paedophile.

“Don’t judge” – unless it’s someone who is clearly way worse than you.

“Don’t judge” – unless it’s publicly acceptable to do so.”

To be clear, SeriouslyServing, is admitting she has struggled with reacting to the actions of pedophiles differently than any other sin.  The rest of the article is her telling herself and us why she thinks she was wrong for feeling that way and why we should feel wrong as well.

And just a note – the different spelling of “Paedophile” has to do with the fact that SeriouslyServing is using the British spelling of the word.  The American spelling is “pedophile” so that is what I am using.

SeriouslyServing bases her premise that we are wrong to feel a burst of rage or any differently about what pedophiles do to children on this passage from the Gospel of Luke:

“9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

Luke 18:9-14 (KJV)

SeriouslyServing has completely misinterpreted the meaning of Christ’s parable that we have just read.  The emphasis was not on judging sin, but on a person, being self-righteous.

Christ said this in another part of the Gospels:

“When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Mark 2:17 (KJV)

Jesus was saying here that unless we see ourselves as sinners in need of the great physician which is Christ we cannot be saved.  This is the same message Christ was giving in Luke 18:9-14.  The Pharisee who thanked God “that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess” was showing God he did not see himself as a sinner before God.  He thought his good outweighed any bad he did and that his works made him righteous before God.

Luke 18:9-14 is actually a beautiful picture of what it takes for us to be saved.  I have used it many times in sharing the Gospel.  We cannot look at the good we do or compare ourselves to others and think because we do more good than some others that we are saved.  We cannot think that because we don’t do certain things others do that we are saved.  Each us must do what the Publican did and pray “God be merciful to me a sinner”.  This is the only way we can be saved.

Does God view all sins of equally?

Is it wrong for us to feel a special rage toward those who harm children or should we have no burst of rage or anger toward such sins and regard them as no different than someone getting a speeding ticket?

It is absolutely true that all sin condemns us to hell.

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned

Romans 5:12 (KJV)

Whether we sin little, or sin much the smallest sin will condemn us to hell.  But just because all sin equally condemns us to hell – this does not make all sin equally heinous before God.  The Scriptures show that God views some sins as more heinous than others.

When the Jews said that Jesus did his miracles by the power of Satan he said:

“31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”

Matthew 12:31-32 (KJV)

So, as we can see ascribing the miracles of God to Satan is something especially heinous to God and is set apart from other sins.

Jesus in speaking to Pilate said:

“Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

John 19:11 (KJV)

Christ was saying if Pilate sentenced him to death that would be a sin against God in that he would be sentencing an innocent man to death.  But the “greater sin” was committed by the Jewish leaders who handed him over to Pilate for death.  They were rejecting Christ as their Messiah and calling Jesus who was the sinless son of God a sinner worthy of death.  Theirs was truly the greater sin.

Again, in the New Testament Paul has a warning for those who are teachers of God’s Word:

“My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.”

James 3:1 (KJV)

If a person sins because they have been wrongly taught that it is ok to do something they will still be judged by God.  But God judges the teachers who taught others to do such things with a greater condemnation than those who simply followed the wrong teaching.

Here we see God specially targets sexual sin:

“Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.”

1 Corinthians 6:18 (KJV)

So, as we can see from the Scriptures – all sins condemn us to hell but not all sins are judged equally by God. Some sins receive a greater condemnation than others.

Is it wrong to judge?

But what about judging? Doesn’t the Bible say we should never judge others sin?

A lot of Christians and non-Christians alike misunderstand what Christ said about judging below:

Judge not, that ye be not judged.

2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

Matthew 7:1-5 (KJV)

If you look at the passage in its context Christ is condemning hypocritical judging, not all judging.  If we are doing the same things or worse things than what someone else is doing we have no business passing judgement on what they have done.

Besides hypocritical judging there is one other type of judging the Bible condemns as seen in the passage below:

“1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.

2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.

3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.

4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.”

Romans 14:1-2 (KJV)

We are not to pass judgement on our brothers regarding disputable matters.  There are some things in which we must seek the Lord’s will for personal decisions in our lives.  As Christians we may come to different conclusions on some matters and we must do what we believe is right before the Lord based on searching the Scriptures and seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

So, as we have shown from the Scriptures God condemns two types of judging – hypocritical judging and judging on disputable matters or matters of conscience.

But we are in fact commanded to judge righteously as opposed to judging hypocritically or in matters of conscience as seen in the Scriptures below:

“Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.

Leviticus 19:15 (KJV)

“Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.”

Proverbs 31:9 (KJV)

“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”

John 7:24 (KJV)

Too many Christians and non-Christians alike believe that no one can say anything against their sin. They say “the Bible says judge not lest ye be judged!” But they are absolutely wrong in their assertions of what the Bible says.  The Bible tells us not judge unjustly.  It tells us not to judge hypocritically.  It tells us not judge in matters of conscience.  But where God speaks clearly and we are not guilty of such things ourselves we are commanded by God to “in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor”.

This means that Christians can and must speak out against things like murder (including the murder of the unborn) rape and fornication including one of the most wicked and heinous forms of fornication which is child molestation.

Is it always wrong to get angry?

Like in the matter of judging, many Christians and non-Christians alike believe the Bible condemns all forms of anger or hatred based on passages like this one below:

“43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;  45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

Matthew 5:43-45 (KJV)

Was Christ condemning all forms of anger or hatred? The answer is no.  We can see from Christ himself that he acted in anger:

“13 And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:

15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; 16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.

17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.”

John 2:13–17 (KJV)

Like judging, not all anger is according to the Scriptures.   The New Testament tells there is a righteous form of anger:

“26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil.”

Ephesians 4:26-27 (KJV)

If we look back to the Old Testament we can understand what kind of anger is actually righteous in God’s sight:

“Ye that love the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.”

Psalm 97:10 (KJV)

“21 Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? 22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.”

Psalm 139:21-22 (KJV)

 

Many good men who had righteous anger toward wicked things that happen in our world have allowed their righteous anger to be turned into sinful bitterness and this is something we should always guard against in our lives as Christians.

However, there is a zeal, an anger or hatred for evil that is in fact righteous before God.  Christ demonstrated such righteous anger when he put a whip together and drove the money changers out of the temple.

So, if Christ was not condemning all forms of hatred in Matthew 5:43-45 what was he condemning? To find the answer to this question we must look to another of Christ’s statements later in the Gospel of Matthew:

“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.”

Matthew 24:9 (KJV)

Christ was saying that if we are hated for being Christians we would should use that as a way to minister toward our spiritual enemies. We should love those who hate us for being Christians and show them the love of Christ.  But this was not a condemnation of us being angry at evil or hating evil acts against innocents.

Christ had a special hatred for those who would harm children

In the same way that Christ had a zeal for those would abuse his father’s house he also had a righteous hatred toward those who would harm children:

“At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Matthew 18:1-6 (KJV)

Several times in the Gospels Christ told his disciples that in order to enter the Kingdom of heaven they needed to become as little children.  He was using children as a symbol of innocence.  Children are trusting.  Child place their dependence on others for their provision and protection.  Only if we humble ourselves as a child seeing ourselves in need of God’s forgiveness and grace can we be saved.

Christ then gives a stern warning against those who would offend (or harm or lead astray) one of these “little ones”.  He says it would be better for them to have a millstone hung around their neck and be cast into the see than to commit wickedness against one of these “little ones”.

This warning has multiple applications of course.  In its most literal sense as Christ holds a child in his arms he is talking about those who would commit wickedness against the innocence of a child. But he is also using this in the spiritual sense of those false teachers who would come along and lead believers astray with false doctrines.

Conclusion

We have demonstrated from the Scriptures some very important principles.

Luke 18:9-14 rather than being a condemnation of us being angered by the wickedness that others do is a condemnation of having a self-righteous attitude toward God in the matter of salvation.  We can only be saved when we see ourselves as wicked sinners and we must not think because we don’t do certain things or do certain things that this provides the justification for our salvation.

While Romans 5:12 shows us that all men have sinned and all sin equally condemns men to hell, other passages like John 19:11 and James 3:1 show us that there are in fact greater and lesser sins in God’s eyes.

On the subject of judging in the Scriptures we read that we are actually commanded to judge righteously (Leviticus 19:15 & John 7:24) while at the same time we are forbidden from judging from a place of hypocrisy (Matthew 7:1-5) or from judging other Christians in matters of conscious (Romans 14:1-2).

The Bible actually commands us to be angry at sin and hate evil acts (Ephesians 4:26-27, Psalm 97:10, Psalm 139:21-22).  Jesus Christ acted in zealous and righteous anger in whipping the money changers and driving them from the temple (John 2:13–17).  The Bible warns us against allowing our righteous anger to turn into bitterness.  Christ commands us to show love toward those who hate us for his name’s sake.

Finally, we showed that Christ did single out those who would commit wicked acts against the innocence of children.

So, we can rightly say using the principles that Christ laid out that it would be better for a man to have a large stone hung around his neck than for him to commit wicked acts against the innocence of a child.

It is absolutely true that God offers forgiveness, mercy and grace towards sinners including murders, rapists and yes even pedophiles. But God also commands us to judge from a righteous position these heinous acts.  Just because God offers forgiveness and grace does not mean he is not filled with anger and hatred toward such acts and he commands us to be “Be ye angry, and sin not”.

There is a reason that social workers, police officers and soldiers feel “a burst of rage” and a different kind of hatred when they find children having been abused, molested, raped or murdered. There is a reason that even the hardest of criminals feel this way toward pedophiles.  It is because children are one of God’s greatest symbols of innocence and when their innocence is violated in these heinous ways it should evoke a righteous anger and hatred in all of us, if it doesn’t that is the problem.

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Women Should NOT be Married at Age 10

It has been brought to my attention that a woman going by the name “Dana” has been attacking other Christian bloggers that support this blog falsely claiming that I am “the man who thinks it’s fine to marry off young girls as early as ten years old- just cause bleeding and boobs” and calls this blog the “Pedophile blog“.

Let me unequivocally state that this is FAKE NEWS and is more than that – it is libel.

Anyone can examine my writings and you will NEVER see me advocating for women to marry at age 10.  Here is an excerpt from a previous post I wrote entitled “Women’s ovaries don’t agree with Feminism” that Dana has twisted and maligned into trying to say I said something I did not:

“We hear people say things like, “we have to let children be children”, which basically means that our children have little to no real life responsibility until they reach 18, besides keeping up with their schooling in most cases. Even then we extend the childhood years with college, where they can party and have more fun for about 4 years before they graduate at 22 and are forced for the first time in their life to take on the full responsibilities of being an adult.

In pre-modern times, the idea of a child hood experience with absolutely no responsibility was a very short period. By the time children were 6 or 7 they were being taught the realities of life.

Boys hunted with their dads at a very young age, and girls learned to cook and make clothing at a very young age. By the time most children reached the age of 10, they knew what a hard day’s work was, the boys knew about hunting, farming and fighting, and the girls knew about caring for infants (helping their mother, or cousins or aunts) and they had seen many births. These girls were excited about the day when they would have their first period, and they were excited about when they would be able to marry and have children (usually around 13 or 14).”

So as anyone can clearly see I was having a discussion about the fact that children in premodern times had to grow up and take responsibilities in life far earlier than what we have children do today.  In many families we don’t make our children take responsibilities for their lives until they are in their early 20’s.

I talked about by “the age of 10” that boys had been learning hunting, fishing and farming and girls knew about caring for infants and had seen many births by that point. And yes these young 10 year old girls were looking forward to in just a few years them being betrothed and being married.  These were the priorities they were raised with.

But notice I did NOT say these girls were married at 10, but “usually around 13 or 14“.

So no never once on this blog have I ever advocated for 10-year-olds to be married.

What if a Girl has her First Period at 10 or Younger?

This is the logic Dana and perhaps some others have been following.  They reason that if I think that girls should be automatically married after their first period then what if she has her first period at 9 or 10 or even some girls might have it earlier?

The answer is that a girl’s first period was only ONE indicator of her being of allowable age for marriage.  If you look at previous articles I have written I have said these are all factors for deciding at what age a girl may marry:

  1. Ezekial 16:7-8 indicates that the girl must have outward indicators of puberty such as developed breasts and pubic hair to indicate it is “the time of love for her”.  In fact, in Song of Solomon 8:8 it seems to indicate that if a woman had no breasts it would be difficult to get a man to marry her.
  2. I Corinthians 7:36 uses the phrase “ if she pass the flower of her age” which is a reference to her having her first period(that she is literally “ripe”).
  3. Exodus 22:16-17 indicates that a woman’s father has the final say over when and who she will marry.

So it is not just one of these three factors that allows a girl to be married – it is ALL three.  Most girls do not start their periods until around age 12 and even if they do start earlier they have not developed breasts and pubic hair by that point.

But let’s say some girl is a miracle of nature and she has fully developed breasts, pubic hair and had her first period at age 10.  We still then have the discretion of the father in this case. I have mentioned on more than one occasion that the Jewish tradition outside the Bible held that the minimum age for a girl to be married no matter what her physical condition was age 12 and I agree with that.

I even mentioned at the time I wrote some of these articles that my daughter was 12 and I could not imagine allowing her to marry at that point because of the culture she and I was raised in and she was not ready for it.  I mentioned that perhaps by the time she was 15 or  16 if the perfect man came along that could provide for her and he was a good Christian man of good character I would consider allowing her to marry.  Realistically I doubt that will happen even as she approaches her 16th birthday next year.

But NEVER ONCE I have ever advocated on this blog for girls to be married off when they are 10 years old!

So Dana and others at least if you are going to attack me or other bloggers who support this ministry please do so based on what I have actually said without twisting my words.

And just for those who will say “Even if you are saying girls should wait till 13 or 14 to marry that still makes you a pedophile!” let me say this.  Let me educate you a bit.

Moving the Goal Posts on Childhood

Our culture has moved the boundaries God has set in many areas.  We now are told that a person’s gender is not determined by their actual biological sex characteristics but by whatever they feel they want to be.  In fact we are hearing people say they are “non-binary” as in neither gender.  I even heard on the news the other night that a white man wanted to be identified as a Filipino woman and they are labeling it “transracial“.

This is what you get when you base your society on the shifting sands of feelings and not the truth of God’s Word.

In this area of childhood we are no different.  We decided to move the goal posts on childhood. In times past a boy became a man at age 13 and most women became a woman at age 12 or it may have been LATER than 12 if her first period was delayed. Although boys became men at 13 they did not usually marry until between the ages of 18 and 20 as they had to be able to support a bride.

With that being said let me educate you on a few words:

Pedophilia – sexual attraction of those older than 19 to those under the age of 11.
Hebephilia – sexual attraction of those older than 19 to those 11 to 14.
Ephebophilia – sexual attraction of those older than 19 to those 15 to 19.

Before recent decades Pedophilia used to refer to adults that had attractions to prepubescent children which is something the Bible would also condemn as it does not allow children by this definition to marry.

But over the last few decades we moved the goal posts on the definition of Pedophilia to mean a person who is 18 or older finding young adults(those who have experienced the changes of puberty) attractive or wishing to date them.

We also set artificial age boundaries based on a modern principle of “mutuality” which we are told we must apply to relationships between men and women.   What this means is if an 18 year old is attracted to say a 16 year old we will tolerate that as a society.  But if a 28 year old is attracted to a 16 year old our society calls that “disgusting” and “creepy”.  But the reason we call it “disgusting” and “creepy” has nothing to do with logic or men’s biology or psychology.   It all has to do with women now taking over the narrative on what men should want in a woman.

According to women – men should only want women that are near their same age so they can have a “mutual” relationship with a woman who has shared the same life experience.  We are told that if a woman marries a man that it is significantly older(such as a decade or more) that it is like she is marry her father and that is creepy.

The fact is that this whole “mutuality” concept is built on the modern partnership style of marriage and not the Biblical patriarchy style of marriage.  In Biblical patriarchal marriage the husband much more resembles the woman’s father than her partner.  In fact he has MORE power and responsibilities toward her than her father did.  The father’s molding and shaping of his daughter is temporary in preparing her for her husband who will be the one who molds her for life.

With all that being said – this is why those Christian families today that still believe in Biblical patriarchal marriage strongly encourage their daughters to marry men that are at least 5 to 10 years older than them. It is also why they encourage women to marry young.  This makes it easier for the woman to respect her husband and it makes it easier for him to mold her into the wife he wants her to be.

But contrary to the artificial constraints that women have put on men over the last half century, the fact is men have always been attracted to youth and beauty.  It is built into the masculine nature for a variety of reasons one of which is the continuation of our species.  The older a woman is, the less fertile she is and the younger she is(within puberty of course) the more fertile she is.  The entire point of my post “Women’s Ovaries don’t agree with feminism” was this point about fertility:

“The biological reality that female fertility peaks in the teens and early 20s can be difficult for many American women to swallow, as they delay childbirth further every year, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. “

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/22/AR2010022203639.html

The cold hard fact that confronts our feminist society is that women’s ovaries don’t agree with feminism.  Also a woman’s ovaries  do not agree with our new definition of childhood, our concept of “mutuality” or with feminist ideals that women should be educated and have careers and then have children much later in life.

And do you know why a woman’s ovaries don’t agree with feminism or our new definitions of childhood? Because the one who created women and their ovaries along with the rest of their bodies doesn’t agree.

To my fellow Christian bloggers let me just end with this passage that gives me great comfort on a daily basis as I endure attacks simply because I am teaching what God says about the distinct reasons for which he created men and women:

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

Matthew 5:11-12 (KJV)

How men can protect themselves from being accused of sexual harassment

In the wake of a flood of sexual harassment charges that have been waged against famous men in recent months and the resulting #MeToo movement men need to truly examine how they can guard themselves from being accused of sexual harassment.

I am not against women coming forward to let people know about men who have sexually assaulted them.  If my 15-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted I would want to know and I would want her to report this to the police.

But I also have two older sons who are young adult men and I have two younger sons that will one day be men. I worry for both my daughter and my sons.  I don’t want my daughter to put herself in a position where a man could assault her but I equally don’t want my sons to put themselves in a position where they could be falsely accused by a woman of sexual assault.

This is Personal for Me

This issue of sexual harassment hits very close to home for me.  And no for all my detractors I have never ever sexually harassed or abused any person. I have never been accused of sexual harassment.   But the reason this hits close to home for me is because of three events that happened in my life. One of these events I have previously shared a little information on before but the other two I have not.  All of these are deeply personal to me but I feel in light of recent events it is time to share them.

When I was 9 years old my two 13 year old sisters(they are twins) falsely accused my father of sexual abuse.   They did this as part of a broad set of claims they brought against my mother and father about being physically abused. I along with my brother who was 8 at the time were removed from our parents home along with our sisters by social services. I spent several months in foster care while my parents were thoroughly investigated by social workers.

Just a little background on my parents.  They were strict fundamental baptists and they did spank us sometimes with a belt and other times with a paddle. But they did not abuse us.  They loved us and they were raising as they thought was right before God.

The social workers interviewed me, my brother and my sisters many times over several months.  My brother and I were pretty consistent about what we experienced and we did not report anything besides normal spankings from our parents.  My sisters on the other hand kept having inconsistencies in their stories.  Their stories would change every time they were interviewed.  Eventually they admitted that they lied about my father sexually abusing them and my mother physically abusing them because they thought my parents were “strict religious nuts”.   They just wanted out of my parents house.  It was also determined that my sisters had bipolar and schizophrenia disorders.

My brother and I were allowed to come back home to our parents and my sisters stayed in foster care until they were adults. The decision was mutual as they did not want to come home and my parents did not want them to come back home after they ripped our family apart and accused my father and mother of such horrible things.  Years later when they were adults they apologized to my parents and restored their relationship with them.

When I was 14 years old I was molested by a 17 year old boy in our youth group. He befriended me and I thought he was really cool. We would talk about video games that he and I both liked.  He would drive me to the Burger King at the corner near our church and buy me food. We used to sit up in the balcony of our baptist church where not a lot of people sat and at first it was just him slapping my thighs with his hands.  Then he would just put his hand on my thigh without slapping it and I would move away from him.  And finally one Sunday during church he actually grabbed my crotch. That was it.  I got up and never spoke to him again.  He knew what he did and I knew what he did.

Why didn’t I tell anyone? Was it because I was ashamed?  No – although I was very disgusted by the homosexual aspect of it.   I did not tell anyone because I felt despite him being a few years older than me that he was my peer.  It was not as though he was a teacher at my school or my boss at the restaurant I worked for. I did not want to ruin his life.  I felt him loosing my friendship was punishment enough and perhaps it would teach him not to do that again.

Another reason I did not try to get him in trouble was because I knew that if he were a 17 year old girl that I was friends with and a 17 year old girl touched me on the crotch I would not have been bothered by it.  Yes – I was a normal heterosexual 14 year old boy and no I was not sinless and most 14 year old boys would have to fight every instinct in their body to push a 17 year old girl’s hand off their crotch.

One other thing I want to say about what happened to me when I was 14.  I know I would have felt differently if I felt trapped or held down by that 17 year old boy or if he would have been someone much older than me such as a parent or teacher.  So I do not mean to diminish others who have been touched in similar ways under different situations.

When I was a young adult man in my early twenties my mom felt it was time to finally share with me a painful event that happened to her as a young teenage girl.  She was raped by her own grandfather. It so traumatized her and warped her view of men and sexuality that for the first few years of her marriage to my Dad they had a very dysfunctional sex life.  She gave my Dad sex anytime he wanted – but she did not enjoy it and she did her best to hide it from him.  It took time for her to finally be able to enjoy sex with my father knowing how much he loved and care for her and to move past the hurt and trauma of what happened to her with her grandfather.

The reason I have shared these three major events in my life is to show that I understand sexual molestation from a personal perspective, the effects of sexual assault from my mother’s perspective and the effects of being falsely accused of sexual assault from my father’s perspective.

And do you know which one these three events in my life grieved me the most of all? It was what I saw it do to my mother and father – especially my father when my sisters lied about them.  It tore him up. It tore me up. I did not really know or understand the sexual aspect of the charges until a few later when I was a teenager and my Dad told me.  I remember having supervised visitation with him and my mom when I was in foster care and it was some of the only times in my life I saw tears in my father’s eyes.

This is why I can honestly say I understand both sides of this issue.  It is why I am passionate about protecting my daughter from sexual predators and my sons from women who would lie to hurt them.

The Evil in Men’s Hearts Cannot be Legislated or Taught Away

The Bible says:

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV)

This is why if we as Christians truly understand what the Bible says about human nature when we hear of murder, mass murder, rape and molestation we know that no law and no education program will eliminate this behavior in mankind.

What we can do is protect ourselves against the inevitability of man’s evil nature – including our own.  In Romans 13:1-5 we see that the primary purpose which God has assigned to human government is to protect the people and punish evil doers.  In Nehemiah 4:14 men are encouraged to “fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses”.

So from a Biblical perspective, both the government and husbands and fathers have a responsibility to protect our families from those who would harm them.

This is why the answer to stopping mass shootings is not to outlaw guns or making more “gun free zones”.  This just makes it easier for evil men to kill more people. The answer is to account for evil men by having MORE citizens carry guns, not less.  This means we should have trained and armed citizens at every church and school in America and every other place that might be a considered a “soft target” for evil men.  You can’t have a mass shooting if the shooter gets shot after the first few bullets.  But when everyone in the building has no guns they are just sitting ducks waiting to be killed.

This same concept applies to sexual sin.

The “Romans 13:14 Rule” Protects us From Sexual Sin

An important thing that we must remember as Christians is sexual harassment, rape, molestation and sex outside of marriage between a man and woman are all forms of fornication.  It is all sexual immorality in God’s eyes and we must guard against it both in our hearts as well as from others.

Vice President Pence took a beating in the press a while back for his rule that he will not dine alone with other women unless his wife is present.  Billy Graham had a similar rule in that he would never allow himself to be alone with a woman that was not his blood relative.

The “Pence Rule” and the “Graham Rule” are actually based on a much older rule found in the Scriptures:

 “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof”

Romans 13:14 (KJV)

The phrase “and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” means “Do not put yourself in a position where you might be tempted to sin”.  I would even expand that principle further and a say we should not put ourselves in any position that would allow us to be tempted to sin against God or someone else OR put ourselves in a position that might allow someone else to sin against us.

In my article “12 Ways to transform modern dating into Biblical dating” I argued against the modern practice of dating and instead for the traditional practice of courting.  A large part of my argument for going back to courting is that dating makes “provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof”. It puts men and women alone together for various lengths of time and over time it will inevitably lead to sexual temptation. On the other hand, courting ensures that a woman always has family members with her when she is with a man to ensure her safety as well as to help keep her and the man she is courting from sexual temptation.

If we as men were to practice the Romans 13:14 rule or what has been called “The Graham Rule” and most recently “The Pence Rule” it would protect us against our own sinful natures as well as those of the women around us.  It would protect us from being tempted to sin with women who are not our wives and it would protect us from false allegations of sexual assault by women.

The “Pence Rule” Actually Hurts Women?

Tara Isabella Burton wrote an article for Vox.com entitled “Former Trump adviser says the “Pence rule” would have protected women from Weinstein. He’s wrong” asserting that the “Pence rule” actually hurts women:

“Likewise, the Pence/Graham rule can effectively ensure that the men who make a public point of following it are likewise “above suspicion.” The rule preserves their reputation, not so-called female virtue, and functions on appearances, not fact.

But we shouldn’t mistake the rule’s efficacy for unselfishness. It is a completely self-serving maxim, designed to protect men against women, and not the other way around. It does little for the women whose careers are stymied by a lack of access to good mentors and peers. A system in which private male-female interaction is treated as an automatic “red flag” is one that penalizes women for existing. In these scenarios, women may be more protected from harassment — just as their male counterparts are more protected from the specter of spurious allegations — but they are likewise barred from interactions that might benefit them professionally. Meanwhile, their male colleagues and superiors would suffer no such professional backlash, especially since men in the entertainment industry already tend to have powerful positions.”

Burton displays for us what the real problem is with our society – the worship of education and equality and the total denial of the reality of human nature and the differences between men and women.

Three Truths We Must Acknowledge About the #MeToo Movement

#1 – We must acknowledge the possibility that some of the sexual harassment and assault allegations we are hearing about in the news are true.
#2 – We must equally acknowledge the possibility that some of these sexual assault allegations are false.
#3 – This wave of allegations across industries and the political world will hinder women’s career advancements

Burton and other women may not like the third truth about this actually hindering women in their career advancements.  But there is a law of nature that applies to what is happening with the #MeToo movement and the flood of sexual assault allegations that are coming out.

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. 

With all the allegations of sexual harassment coming out it will definitely have an impact on women’s careers.  Many men whether in Hollywood, the business world or the political world will think twice about hiring  female subordinates. Corporations may put polices in place that forbid men and women from working alone together.

It is ironic that the #MeeToo movement and all the allegations of sexual assault against men may actually move us closer toward implementing the “Romans 13:14 rule” as a society for our own protection.  And from a Biblical gender roles perspective this is one good thing that will come out of this entire mess.

 

 

In Defense of Roy Moore

Roy Moore is not the first man to be falsely accused of sexual assault by a woman.  Thousands of years ago another Godly man named Joseph was falsely accused by his Master’s wife of sexually assaulting her as we read in the Genesis account below:

“6 And he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.

7 And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. 8 But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;

9 There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? 10 And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.

11 And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within. 12 And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.

13 And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth, 14 That she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice:

15 And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled, and got him out. 16 And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home.

17 And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me:

18 And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out.

19 And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled.

20 And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.”

Genesis 39: 6-20 (KJV)

So as we can see from this story women do falsely accuse good men of sexual assault.

In a previous post I took on the issue of Judge Roy Moore dating teenage girls while he was in his early thirties.  I showed from the Scriptures that an older man looking to court younger women was not sinful or wrong by Biblical standards.

In this followup article I want to address the accusations against Judge Moore as to whether I believe they should be believed.

First let me say in relation to Roy Moore dating girls in their teens (with their parents consent) he has stumbled greatly in his answers.  I think this is because he knows how politically incorrect it was. I think he should come forward and just set the record straight that he dated teenage girls while in his thirties with their parent’s consent.  There was nothing wrong with him doing that.

Judge Moore wanted a wife who was around 15 years younger than him.  Eventually he married a woman when he was 38 and she was 24(so 14 years younger than him).  There was nothing wrong with a man wanting this. And I know some will respond that “there is a big difference between a 38 year old marrying a 24 year old and a 30 year old dating a 14 year old”.  The only difference is in the way our sinful feminist culture looks on it.  See my previous article “Was Roy Moore violating Biblical commands in dating teenage girls?”

The biggest problem with the accusations against Roy Moore is not just that it took almost four decades for his accusers to come forward with these accusations.  I accept the premise that it is hard for women to talk about sexual assault because of feelings of shame or fear of a person in power. I can even accept that a woman might have held on to this for decades and only feels free to discuss it when she sees other women come out against the man who sexually assaulted her.

But in my view there is a huge glaring problem that is missed in all of this that makes me doubt the credibility of his five accusers.  If a man is a sexual predator it NEVER STOPS.  Once a predator, always a predator.  They cannot help themselves – it is a compulsion for them.

If we look at the Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey sexual assault allegations you have accusers spanning decades and even in the last couple of years.  They don’t stop. But when you have an isolated few years that a person was supposedly a sexual predator and then all of a sudden there is no one for the rest of their life this does not pass the smell test.

Now I am willing to admit that if they can show a pattern over his entire career of women accusing him of molestation and they can show even women over the past few years that come out then I will reconsider the allegations against Roy Moore.  But if they can only show women during that limited time period than this will not be enough to convince me that Roy Moore is a sexual predator.

Women never falsely accuse men of sexual assault?

There are two things we must accept about sexual assault.  The first is that men have been sexually assaulting women since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden.  Does that mean all men? Of course not.  Does it even mean most men? Of course not.  But there has always been a segment of men that were sexual predators.  Most Christians would agree to what I just said.

But what we forget is there are two sides of that coin. While there have always been a segment of men that were sexual predators there has also always been a segment of women that have falsely accused men of sexual assault.

Our country has gone from one extreme to another when it comes to sexual assault.  There was a time when women would hardly ever be believed about sexual assault.  But now we have gone to the other extreme where as a society many in our culture will not even entertain the idea that women actually do bring false accusations of sexual assault against men.

God condemns sex outside of marriage (which would include rape and sexual molestation) AND being a false witness. As we can see from the story of Joseph in the Bible, false accusations have been going on just as long as actual sexual assault.  We cannot acknowledge the reality of the one while ignoring the reality of the other.

5 Reasons women falsely accuse men of sexual assault

Women have been using sex as a way to manipulate men from the time of the fall. Whether it is through actual sexual relations with them or falsely accusing those of illicit sexual relations women have used sex to gain get what they want.

Here are 5 reasons women falsely accuse men of sexual assault:

  1. To hurt his reputation for personal reasons(they don’t like him or he offended them in some way)
  2. To manipulate him into doing what they want. They might want sex as with Joseph and Potiphar’s wife. They might want him to give them money or some position. It might be about child custody or other divorce issues.
  3. They are being paid by a third party to hurt his reputation for other reasons.
  4. If the person is famous, they want their moment in the spotlight.
  5. They are mentally ill.

Are those accused of sexual assault guilty until proven innocent?

One America’s most famous founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, once stated:

“That it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer, is a Maxim that has been long and generally approved.” [1]

This concept of “innocent until proven guilty” was enshrined into the American legal system by America’s founders.  This concept of innocent until proven guilty is actually firmly rooted in moral law in the Bible:

“15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.

16 If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong; 17 Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the Lord, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days;

18 And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother; 19 Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you.

20 And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you.”

Deuteronomy 19:15-20 (KJV)

If you look at the passage above we see that God requires multiple witnesses and never just one to any crime.  The fact that 5 women have come out against Judge Moore does not meet this threshold. These are 5 separate crimes he is accused of. Each crime only has one witness who is both the accuser and supposed victim.

By both Biblical principles of justice as well as America’s founding principles of justice Judge Moore must be declared innocent of these crimes unless there are witnesses to these crimes.

I want you to notice one more thing about the passage from Deuteronomy 19:15-20 that I just cited.  Do you notice how hard God was on someone being a false witness? He actually ordered that whatever punishment would have happened to the person they falsely accused should be done to them.  Imagine if we sent false witnesses to jail for as long as those they falsely accused?

The sad reality is that in recent decades this foundational principle of the American Republic has come under assault especially in the area of sex related crimes.

Many years back I was speaking with a lawyer who attended my church. I will just say that he was more liberal than the average person in our church but he and I used to have interesting conversations with me taking the more conservative position and him taking the more liberal position.

I asked him about sexual assault and the concept of “innocent until proven guilty”.  I threw out a question to him.  I said “Would you agree that the American legal system treats sex crimes differently than almost any other type of crime?” and he replied “what do you mean?”

I said “It appears to me that in our system of justice if you are accused of any type of sexually related crime you are considered guilty and must prove your innocence – would you agree with what I just said as a lawyer?”  His answer was “for the most part the answer is yes.”  I was shocked by his answer.  But he followed up that answer with something more disturbing.

He stated “I believe it is right to be that way.  Unlike other types of crimes such as murder or theft it often extremely difficult for the victim of sexual assault to prove it ever happened. Except for in the case of actual bodily fluids or hairs or skin under the finger nails such as in the case of rape you can’t always prove sex crimes.  For instance you can’t prove if a man just gropes or fondles a woman.   So I believe the law is right to put the burden of proof on the person being accused to show their innocence.”

He told me what made him believe as he did.  It was not adult women being assaulted by men.  It was the fact of child molestation that brought him to that position.   He said “children cannot defend themselves and often they cannot prove molestation and the state should put the burden on the adult who molested the child to prove their innocence.”  Eventually he realized if this applied to children who were victims of sexual assault then it must equally apply to adults that were victims of sexual assault.

All I can say is I was dumb founded by his answer. But the scary part is there are millions of Americans who want to make this exception to our country’s judicial principle of innocent until proven guilty.

So in essence when it pertains to sexual assault we have reversed Benjamin Franklin’s famous axiom and our culture is now willing to destroy the lives and reputations of or even incarcerate 100 innocent men rather than let one sexual assault go unpunished.

Conclusion

The fact is there are many crimes including murder, assault and theft that go unpunished.  This will always be the case because we are not God and we cannot be everywhere and see everything.  This sadly means that some victims of sexual assault whether it be rape or molestation will never see their perpetrators punished for the crimes they have committed.

But we cannot as a society do what the Bible warns against and “do evil, that good may come” (Romans 3:8).

Until I see multiple witnesses and a pattern of behavior over his entire life I will not believe these accusations against Judge Moore.  I believe he is threat to the establishment and both the Democrats and Republican establishment are trying to get this man out.  I hope he fights and stays in till the end.

If good men continue to bow out of politics because of false sexual assault allegations then we will not only loose in elections, but we will also loose justice in this nation.

References:

[1] BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, letter to Benjamin Vaughan, March 14, 1785.—The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, ed. Albert H. Smyth, vol. 9, p. 293 (1906)

Why does the Bible make me feel worthless as a woman?

Modern America teaches women that they should judge their own worth by how intelligent they are, how educated they are, how independent they are and by how successful they are in their career.

These new standards of a woman’s worth are a radical shift from the standards by which women have historically judged their own worth.  Consider the table below which illustrates stark contrasts between how women judged their own worth before the 1960’s and the new standards after the 1960’s.

The measure of a woman before and after the 1960’s

Pre-1960’s Post-1960’s
Beauty Intelligence
Potential for having children(age/health) Education Level(College/University)
Submissiveness Independence
Cooking/Home Keeping Skills Career/Income Potential

We can make two primary observations about the differences between these two lists.

The first observation is that before the 1960’s a woman’s sense of self worth was very much tied to what she had to offer a future or current husband.  After the 1950’s women were taught to stop centering their sense of worth on what they had to offer a future or current husband and to concentrate more on what they wanted for themselves regardless of how attractive or unattractive such pursuits or qualities made them to men.

The second observation we can make from these two lists is that the modern list for what woman are told should give them their sense of worth is identical to what men historically have been told should give them their sense of worth.

In other words, women today are told that they must compare themselves to men to have any sense of worth.  So for example, if a woman has a submissive spirit this is not seen as a quality adding to her worth, but rather one that takes away from her worth.  If a woman does not speak her mind whenever she has a disagreement but rather holds her tongue and shows deference to men this quality is not seen as a worthy one, but one that takes away from her worth.

And if a woman has no desire for a higher education or career ambitions, but rather seeks to find a man and serve him by bearing his children and caring for his home this women is viewed today as the most worthless of all.

Recently I received a heart felt plea as comment to my blog from a woman who stated she has recently become a believer in Christ. She said that as she reads the Scriptures I present on this blog on why God made woman she has found herself feeling depressed and worthless by the Biblical view of womanhood.

It actually is easy for me to understand why she might feel worthless after comparing herself to Biblical standards for what should give a woman her sense of worth because they are so different than our modern standards. It is like studying for one test, only to be given a completely different test.

The name she wrote under is Adrienne.

Adrienne’s Dilemma

“As a new believer who is desperately trying to pull myself out of the pit of feminism, I find myself becoming depressed reading some of the articles and comments on biblicalgenderroles.com. I had bought into all the lies about marriage being an equal partnership. The whole “we are a team” as opposed to the master/ servant relationship it really is. I completely understand that everything (including men and women) is made for God’s pleasure.

I struggle with the knowledge that everything I am is made for my husband’s pleasure. Kinda makes one feel worthless as a person. I feel like I am not allowed to have my own tastes or preferences in anything. Should I even bother having an opinion or should I ask my husband what my opinion is?

It also kind of makes me feel like God hates women. After all, there are no women in heaven, and probably never will be. The Godhead is male, the angels are male and from what I understand there will be no marriage or children in heaven/eternity so there will be no need for gender. The pastors I have talked to about this tell me either:

  1. all women will be turned into men at the final judgement.
  2. women have no souls/ no need for salvation and when we die we just cease to exist like the animals.

They said God only created us as women b/c He had to for reproductive purposes not b/c He wanted to. This all hurts and I have no idea what is biblical or not. I just started reading the bible and have not made it past exodus yet. How do I find joy in my role as a woman if I feel like I am nothing to God or anyone else?”

My Response to Adrienne and other women who feel worthless in God’s sight

Adrienne, I could summarize your concerns as a new believer with this statement:

Why does the Bible make me feel worthless as a woman?

The first reason that you feel “worthless”(or have low self-esteem) when looking at the Biblical view of womanhood is because you still have a faulty view of what gives a woman or people in general their worth.  The Bible tells us as Christians that we have been preprogrammed with faulty ways of thinking by both our sin natures as well as the cultures and families we were brought up in.

When we begin our walk with God we must recognize this daily and seek to unlearn what our sin natures, cultures and families have taught us and renew our minds with what is good, acceptable and perfect according to the will of God which is found in his Word.

“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)

Women definitely have souls

I know in past centuries there were some who threw around such rumors as a church doctrine that teaches women do not have souls.  But the Bible supports no such notion.  I am unaware of any Pastors or churches today that preach such nonsense.  I would be very curious to know who you spoke with or at least their denomination.

The Scriptures show us definitive proof that women have souls and here is just one example from Mary, the woman who God chose to give flesh to his Son Jesus Christ:

“46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.”

Luke 1:46-47 (KJV)

So yes there will be women in heaven and women in hell just as there will be men in heaven and men in hell.  Every soul goes to one of these two destinations.

Did God just create women for procreative purposes?

While the pursuit of motherhood for women is definitely honored and even commanded in the Scriptures (“be fruitful and multiply“– Genesis 1:28) that is not the only reason God made woman.  In fact God could have made men as asexually reproducing beings as other organisms on earth are.  He did not need to create a different type of human being for humans to reproduce.

Instead God created woman for a much more glorious purpose which we will explain next.

Equal personhood does NOT mean equal opportunity

One of the falsehoods we have been taught in American society is that if a certain class of people does not have equal rights or privileges with other classes of people then they are said to be treated as “less than human” or not as persons.

You will find no support for such a definition of personhood in the Scriptures.  In fact the Scriptures routinely show different rights for people based on various classes.  Free women had more rights than slave women.  Indentured servants had more rights than slaves but less rights than free men. Free men had more rights than free women, indentured male and female servants, male slaves, or female slaves.

In other words, in God’s view, our personhood is NOT determined by our social class or the rights we have or do not have.

But now let’s bring this back to men and women.

Every human being is given a soul by God which inhabits our “vessel” which is the word the Scriptures often use to speak to our bodies.  God made two types of vessels, one that is classified as the “weaker vessel” (I Peter 3:5) and thus the other by comparison is the stronger vessel.  The souls of women inhabit the weaker vessel and the souls of men inhabit the stronger vessel.

But then we must understand that God did not arbitrarily make one vessel weaker than the other.  He made one vessel stronger and one vessel weaker for a glorious purpose. The scriptures tell us that God made man to be his image bearer – to bring God glory by imaging him:

“7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”

I Corinthians 11:7-9 (KJV)

This passage of Scripture, which is part of a divinely inspired commentary on the Genesis account, tells us that God created man to bring him glory by imaging him.  God then created woman from man to glorify man.

But how does a woman fully bring glory to man as God intended in his purpose in creating her? We will answer that question in our next section.

How does a woman bring glory to her husband and thereby bring glory to God?

The scriptures reveal to us the full and glorious purpose for which God designed woman (and man) in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians:

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

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church”

Ephesians 5:22-29 (KJV)

Again just as with I Corinthians 11, we have here in Ephesians chapter 5 divine commentary from God regarding the Genesis creation account.  God did not create women as soulless creatures simply for procreative purposes but rather he created them for man to be able to fully image God.  Man needed someone to love as God loves mankind by leading them, protecting them and providing for them.  This is why we God made woman “the weaker vessel” (I Peter 3:7) because just as mankind is weaker than God and needs him for all these things, so too woman was designed to be weaker than man and need him for these things.

So how does a woman glorify her husband as God intended her too? By modeling what God desires from his Church in honoring, reverencing, submitting to and serving her husband as the Church is to serve Christ.

What is the measure of a woman’s worth by God’s standards?

As I said at the beginning of this post, God’s standard’s for what gives a woman her sense of worth and what our culture says gives a woman her sense of worth are two very different things.

The Scriptures tell us that a virtuous woman is worth more than rubies:

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.”

Proverbs 31:10 (KJV)

In another passage the Scriptures tell us that a virtuous woman is her husband’s crown:

“A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.”

Proverbs 12:4 (KJV)

Are rubies not of great worth? Is a crown not of great worth? We know these things are of great worth. But how does a woman make herself worth more than rubies to her future or present husband?

Seven ways a woman makes herself of great worth in God’s View

Do you as a woman want to be of great worth to your future or current husband?  If you reject the world’s definition of the worth of a woman and follow God’s definition you will have great worth both to God and to your husband.

Below are seven ways a woman can be a ruby and a crown in the eyes of God and her husband:

  1. She happily seeks to play her part in modeling the Church’s subordinate role to Christ. (Ephesians 5:22-33)
  2. She happily seeks to marry, bear children, and keep the house for her husband. (I Timothy 5:14)
  3. She happily seeks to be obedient to and submissive to her husband. (Titus 2:5, I Peter 3:1-6, Ephesians 5:22-24)
  4. She happily seeks to reverence her husband and never bring any shame to him or God by her behavior(Proverbs 12:4,I Timothy 5:14,Titus 2:5)
  5. She demonstrates her prudence and wisdom by being discreet and kind in when and how she shares her advice with her husband. (Proverbs 11:22, Proverbs 19:14, Proverbs 31:26, Titus 2:5)
  6. She makes both her inner person and her outer person beautiful to please her husband (Psalm 45:11, I Peter 3:3-6)
  7. She happily sees that God not only gave her to her husband to care for his children and his home, but also to bring him pleasure with her body and she never denies him a drink from the well which is her body. (Proverbs 5:15-19)

Is a wife allowed to have different opinions and tastes than her husband?

Adrienne, you asked “I feel like I am not allowed to have my own tastes or preferences in anything. Should I even bother having an opinion or should I ask my husband what my opinion is?”

Absolutely as a wife you are allowed to have your own opinions and “tastes” by which I think you mean preferences.  In fact the Scriptures say these two things are part of what makes a woman of great worth to her husband:

“House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the Lord.”

Proverbs 19:14 (KJV)

“She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”

Proverbs 31:26 (KJV)

So the Scriptures tell us that a prudent and wise wife are of great value to a man.  What is prudence? Prudence is planning for the future.  A wife who has things planned out for the needs of her home whether it be clothing needs or food needs or the other needs of the children is of great value to a man.  And wisdom is not just knowledge, but knowing how to use that knowledge in a right way.  This is also of great value to a man.

So yes you are absolutely allowed to have opinions and preferences and these can be beneficial to your future or current husband. But the key concept to understand is that you are not allowed to express your opinions and preferences in any way you want or at any time you want and you need to accept the fact that your husband may not always follow your opinions.

Let me give a few examples to better illustrate this.

The President of the United States has a chief of staff. The President delegates certain powers and responsibilities to the chief of staff to run the White House and represent the President publicly.  A good chief of staff certainly has his own opinions and preferences as to how the President should do certain things but he keeps those differences private and always shares them in a respectful and reverent way with the President.   If the President says “this is the way it will be”, then the chief of staff submits to that direction.

But from the outside world’s perspective – the chief of staff is always in lock step with his President.   One other thing about what makes a good chief of staff to a President.  The chief of staff realizes he is there to serve the President and not vice versa.  He realizes that he is there to help implement the President’s agenda – but never to set it.

This is the way a wife is to be toward her husband in regard to her opinions and preferences.  When she shares opinions and preferences with her husband she needs to ask herself “I am sharing this opinion or preference to help further his agenda or my own?”

For example – your husband may set these agenda items for your marriage and your family:

  1. He wants to have regular sexual relations with you at least 3 times a week.
  2. He wants the children to clean their rooms on a daily basis.
  3. He wants the children to do their homework on a daily basis.
  4. He wants to have certain budget priorities for the family.

I could come up with a much larger list but you get my point.  Now as a wife you could privately meet with him and share your opinion on how to best meet his agenda goals.  For instance in the sexual arena you could share your sexual preferences to help him better please you and thus have more sexual pleasure in the bedroom.  You could say maybe mornings work better than evenings sometimes for sex.   All of this is meant to further his agenda for you both to have a good sex life together as a couple and not simply to further some agenda that you have.  Maybe he wants oral sex – but you would prefer that he bathe before you do that.  You could share things like this with him in a private setting in a respectful manner.

In regard to the children – you could share your opinions on how to best implement his agenda items that they clean their rooms and do their homework.  The same goes for the budget.

One last thing in regard to your opinions and this would even apply to my chief of staff example with the President.  Sometimes a President will not accept the recommendation of his chief of staff.  Sometimes he may even accept the recommendation of another advisor over his chief of staff. In this same way you must accept that your husband will not always accept and act on your opinion or your preferences.

Your husband may actually take someone else’s advice against yours as his wife and you need to accept that and be OK with that.

A lot of Christian wives get offended by this.  But you need to realize as a Christian wife that if you are angered by your husband taking someone else’s advice over yours this comes from a place of pride.  You are one of his advisers, but not his only adviser as so many wives falsely see themselves.

The other thing to remember is that contrary to false teachings today you are not the Holy Spirit for your husband and your opinions, like his are not inerrant.  To put it bluntly, it is possible for a man to have a wife who is stupid in certain areas or a wife to have a husband that is stupid in certain areas.  But the chain of command remains.  I don’t get to say because my boss does something stupid that I no longer have to listen to him or respect him as my boss.  In the same way the chain of command in a family is not dependent on the husband’s intellect.  A wife must always submit to and obey her husband unless he asks her to directly sin against God.

Conclusion

I hope that if you are a Christian woman like Adrienne reading this that you will realize God has glorious plan in creating you as a woman.  You are not some soulless creature only made to procreate for mankind.  You were created to bring glory to God by bringing glory to man.  You are an indispensable part in helping to model the relationship of the Church to Christ with your future or current husband.

You need to come to reject the lies of this world.  You need to unlearn what the world has taught you gives women their worth and renew your mind according to God’s view of you – not this evil world’s view.

This world will tell you to compete with your future or current husband for power and equality rather than placing yourself in subjection to him so that you can fulfill the purpose for which God made you.

And here is the secret the world won’t tell you that I have heard from so many women through this blog and other ways. You need to realize that the woman God designed you to be, the nature that he gave to Eve is buried within you.  For someone women there is a little rubble to clear to get to it and for others there is a mountain of rubble to clear.  Some of the rubble simply comes from the corrupting influence of sin or to say it another way – some of the rubble you were simply born with.  But other parts of the rubble may have come from the corrupt teachings of our culture, or your parents or even your own bad life experiences.

Either way – you have to recognize this spiritual rubble and clear it away to see the woman that God truly designed you to be.  You need to clear that rock away from the ruby God meant you to be and then you will make yourself of great worth to God and your future or current husband.

7 Principles for Making Biblical Marriage Vows

It may surprise many Christians to know that while the Bible speaks a great deal on marriage it never actually gives any examples of marriage vows. But the Bible does give us principles and teachings about marriage that can help us to construct Biblically based marriage vows.

For many engaged couples writing marriage vows can be a very scary thing for a variety of reasons.  One is that it is hard for some people to express their feelings or put their feelings into words. Another might be that they are afraid they might say something that offends people at the wedding. Still another is that they may feel pressure to promise or say they something they know they can’t or won’t keep in the future.

My goal in this article is to help alleviate these concerns for you and help give you some Biblical principles to help you write your vows and also provide you with some real examples. I encourage you also to keep an open mind to what the Scriptures have to say on marriage.  There will probably be many things in this article that will challenge your preconceptions about marriage.  But as you read the Scriptures presented here I encourage you to remember what the Bible teaches us:

“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)

My prayer is that after you finish reading this article that you will come away with a renewed passion to not be conformed to our culture’s view of marriage, but rather to conform yourselves as a Christian couple to God’s view of marriage as presented in his Word.

Is it “marriage vows” or a “marriage covenant”?

First let’s clear up some confusion.  You may read Christian articles online or you may have even heard a pastor in your church say “Marriage is not based on vows, it is based on a covenant!” But what many Christian teachers fail to recognize is that while not all vows are covenants, all covenants are vows. The Scriptures prove this when God pictures his marriage to Israel:

“Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God, and thou becamest mine.”

Ezekiel 16:8 (KJV)

We can see here that when God entered in his covenant marriage with Israel – he swore unto her.  That he vowed unto her this covenant.

So then the answer to the question of “Is it “marriage vows” or a “marriage covenant”?” is that it is BOTH!

Some Christians try and teach that Christ outlawed the making vows but this is not the case.  I encourage you to read my article entitled “Is it wrong for Christians to make vows or oaths?” for more on this subject.

The conclusion I came to in that article regarding vows was that Christ was taking on the corrupt system the Jewish leaders setup allowing people to get out of their oaths based on what they swore the oath upon.  Christ was saying our word is our bond – if we make an oath then we must keep it. We should swear by nothing on this earth, but only by God as the Bible commands.  We should always consider our vows carefully and not easily enter into them.  And above all – we should never ever make a vow that we know up front we cannot or will not keep.

What type of love are Biblical marriage vows based on?

There are three types of Biblical love that may occur between a couple seeking marriage and then later these types of love should occur within marriage.

Phileo – Affectionate, feelings based loved – this is the love that is based on emotional attachment to another.  It is usually very strong in the beginning phases of a relationship especially during the engagement period and the first year or two of marriage.

Eros – Sexual love.  This is the love that has to do with physical attraction and desire toward one another.  Again as with Phileo love, this love is usually very strong at the beginning of a relationship and through the first year to two years of marriage.  And contrary to those Christian teachers who say this has no part in Christian marriage this type of love has an entire book of the Bible dedicated to it in the Song of Solomon.  But this love is one that must be contained and controlled until a couple enter into the covenant of marriage.  We see this warning in Song of Solomon 2:7:

“I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.”

Agape – Unconditional love of the will based in duty and commitment toward another.  Phileo and Eros love are often reactionary types of love to the attributes or actions of another. When Phileo love and Eros love fade because of changing circumstances, Agape love remains because it based in a choice.

Biblically based wedding vows should never be made with reference to Phileo or Eros love.  This is not because these two types of love are bad. Christian marriage can and should have both these types of love in it if it is to be everything God intended it to be. But the foundation of Christian marriage is Agape love because it will weather the storms of life and will remain in those times when Phileo love and Eros love may wane.

If you are a young Christian couple reading this – you may think your affection toward each other (Phileo love) and sexual attraction (Eros love) will never fade.  You are convinced of it! But don’t just take my word for it – ask five other Christian married couples that have been together at least 10 years or more.

The reason I ask you to ask five couples is because most likely you will get one or two that simply lie to themselves and others to put on a show.  But if you ask five married couples who have been married for a longer length of time most of them will admit to you that there have been many times in their marriage where their Phileo and Eros love toward each other has waned and the only thing that kept them going was their Agape love toward one another as Christians.  It was the commitment they made to each other before God when they entered into the covenant of marriage that helped them weather the storms of life.

One last part I want to add on this subject of love in marriage vows.  I am not saying a couple cannot say words of affection toward each other and express their Phileo love toward one another at their wedding ceremony. You certainly can do this.  But these words of affection should come before or after the marriage vows and should never be mixed into your vows.  Your vows should be based purely in Agape in love.

Do marriage vows have to include all the duties of marriage?

Nothing in the Scriptures say you have to reference all the various duties of husbands and wives toward one another when you enter into a covenant of marriage.

Your vows could be very concise and they need not be verbose.  In fact your vows could be as concise as the groom saying “I take you as my wife” and the bride saying “I take you as my husband”.

Nothing needs to be said about a covenant, the duration of marriage or the duties of husbands and wives to each other in marriage.  There does not need to be a priest or pastor present, nor does it have to be done in a church.  It does not even require a state marriage license.

On caveat I would add is that while the man needs no permission to enter into marriage from his parents if the woman is not a divorced or widowed woman and “being in her father’s house in her youth” then she and the man she wishes to marry must have her father’s blessing to marry.  In fact if they marry in secret and he finds out and disapproves a father has the spiritual authority to annul any of his daughter’s vows in including a vow of marriage – see Numbers chapter 30 for more on this.

However, just because marriage can be entered into so easily does not mean that it SHOULD be entered into easily.

The Scriptures tell us this regarding vows made to God (and vows of marriage would be included in this):

“2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. 3 For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.

4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. 5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.”

Ecclesiastes 5:2-5 (KJV)

It is foolish and wrong to hastily enter into any vow and to hastily enter into a vow of marriage is the perhaps the most foolish of all.

Let me mention something else on the “easiness” of entering into the marriage covenant.  In Biblical times not only was the father’s permission required for marriage, but a bride price was required.  For some men this was a half a year’s wages. Men were required to prepare a home for their bride to be able to demonstrate to her father he was ready to take her as his wife.

The idea today of two young people who just randomly decided to get married without the man being able to provide for his wife in one way or another was rare and not the normal practice.

Some might say “Well we are not compelled to live by examples in Biblical times of marriage customs”. That is true if the statement regarding marriage is descriptive, rather than prescriptive.  If a command is given that would impact marriage then this still stands. A father’s ability to override his daughter’s vows while she is in his house still stands.

Also Exodus 21:10-11 and Ephesians 5:29 show that a man is required to provide for the physical needs of his wife.  If a man seeks marriage to a woman but cannot yet provide for her then he must wait to enter into the covenant of marriage with her until he can provide for her.

One last thing on the subject of “concise vows”.  Make no mistake, even if the groom simply says  “I take you as my wife” and the bride simply says “I take you as my husband” you are still entering into a covenant of marriage together whether you say the word “covenant” or not.  It is God who defines the parameters of marriage not man.  Even though you are not mentioning any of the duties or purposes of marriage they still apply as much to you as if you had mentioned them in your vows.

Ignorance of God’s laws regarding marriage it is not an excuse for breaking God’s law regarding marriage.

That is yet another reason why couples should not hastily enter into marriage and should consider their vows carefully before making them.

We need to take great care with more verbose wedding vows

If you choose to have more verbose wedding vows that “I take you as my husband” or “I take you as my wife” then great care needs to be taken as you utter these words before God.

Verbose marriage vows should be an affirmation of what the Bible says are the distinct purposes, responsibilities and rights of the husband and wife in the marriage covenant. Nothing should be added or taken away from marriage as the Bible defines it. In fact not only is it sinful to add to or take away from what God has established regarding marriage, but any vow which adds or takes away what he allows or commands regarding marriage is null and void in God’s view. For example, to say “until death do us part” without quantifying that with God’s allowance for divorce in the case of certain sins is by definition taking away from marriage as God has defined it.

Now let just put a word in here on divorce.  I know there many good Bible believing Christians who disagree on God’s allowances for divorce.  If you are truly convinced before God that there is absolutely no allowance under any circumstances for divorce and with this conviction in mind you add “until death do us part” with no caveats then in my view this is not an intentional sin, but a sin of ignorance as I believe the Bible clearly does give allowances for divorce.

But if you see certain allowances for divorce in the Scripture as I demonstrate in my articles on that subject and then you add “until death do us part” without the Biblical allowances for divorce that is a greater sin in my view.  And this brings us to our next principle regarding the construction of Biblical marriage vows.

And now I want to share another crucially important principle in when it comes to making verbose marriage vows.

If you are going to write verbose marriage vows and you want them to be Biblically based you must account for sin in marriage just as God accounts for sin in marriage in the Bible.

If you are a woman – you must come to the realization that the man you so passionately love now is the same man you will sin against in the future.  There are going to be days when you do not submit to him as the Church submits to Christ. There are going to be days that you do not reverence him as you should and there will be days when you are contentious and angry with him.

If you are a man, you may not always have the passionate feelings of love that you do now toward your wife to be.  There are going to be days when you do not love her as Christ loves his Church. There may come a day when in a moment of cowardice you do not protect her from others or even protect her from herself.  There may come a day when you dishonor her and do not dwell with her according to knowledge as the Bible commands.

Please don’t fall for the lie that your heart tries to tell you that you will never fall short of your God given duties in marriage toward your spouse.  Because in one way or another you will.  The Bible tells us “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).  Your vows need to take into account the very real possibility of sin on your part as well that of your future spouse.

This is why in the example vows I will give I mention the sin nature and the inability for us to perfectly love our spouse as God would have us to.  This why we need to avoid terms like “always” and “never” in our wedding vows but instead we can use words like “try” or “endeavor” as we submit ourselves to the Lord on the daily basis.

Another important point to make is if you are going to have verbose marriage vows you need to reference the Biblical teaching that marriage is to be a model of the relationship of Christ to his Church.  This is a foundational principle for Christian marriage.

Critical components of this model include the duties of men to be a head and the leader of their wives as Christ leads his Church. Not only should references be made to Christ loving his Church and giving himself for her, but also the reason he gave himself for her to wash her spots and wrinkles and present her to himself a glorious church.

It is a husband’s sacred duty to wash his wife with the Word of God as Christ washes his Church with it and that involved him teaching her the Word and correcting her with the Word.

But we must not forget that husbands are to show grace and mercy to their wives as Christ shows grace and mercy to his church.

The duties of a husband to love his wife as his own body and thus protect and provide for his wife as Christ does his Church should be referenced as well.

In regard to the wife – even though it is extremely politically incorrect to do so – a great emphasis needs to be placed on her submission to him as her head and her reverence for her husband. The Scriptures teach this time and time again toward women and any Christian marriage vows that omit the requirements of submission, obedience and reverence of wives toward their husbands while speaking to the duties of a husband to love his wife as Christ loves the Church are telling half truths about Biblical marriage.

If you will not speak to the duty of the wife to submit to her husband in marriage your vows, then you cannot speak to the husbands love for his wife as Christ loves the Church either.  These are two sides of the same coin.

And again as I said before regarding concise marriage vows even if you don’t mention it in your marriage vows – these things are all required by God in marriage.   And with that being said below are is summary of everything we have discussed up to this point in regard to making Biblically based marriage vows.

7 Principles for Making Biblical Marriage Vows

  1. While all vows are not covenants, all covenants are vows. Marriage is based upon a vow or set of vows which together forms the covenant of marriage.
  2. The marriage covenant, like all other vows, should not be easily entered into it. It should only be done with contemplation and consideration before God.
  3. The Bible does not command that verbose marriage vows be made, nor does it require clergy to officiate, church authority or state authority in the form of marriage licenses. The only authority that may be required for a man and woman to enter the covenant of marriage together is that of the father of the bride if she is still young and living in her father’s house.  However, even if only concise vows are made this does not free the couple from all the responsibilities, rights and purposes of marriage.
  4. If a couple chooses to make verbose vows, then these vows should only affirm the teachings of the Bible regarding the purposes and distinct duties of husbands and wives toward one another in marriage. Christian marriage vows cease to Biblical and binding when they add or take away from the rights, responsibilities and purposes of marriage as defined in the Bible.
  5. When making verbose marriage vows, the sin nature of both the groom and bride should be taken into account in the vows. That means words like “always” and “never” should be avoided.  Instead words like “endeavor” or “try” should use when referencing the couple’s commitment to perform the duties of marriage toward one another.
  6. When making verbose vows, if you are going to add a phrase like “until death do us part” then great care needs to go into this. Unless you truly deny the Biblical allowances for divorce both in the Old and New Testament you need to add this to any statement about remaining together until death.
  7. When making verbose vows you should reference marriage being a model of the relationship of Christ and his Church. It is critical to mention not only Christ loving his Church and giving himself for her but also the submission of wives to the headship of their husbands as the Church is subject to Christ.

Examples of Biblical Marriage vows

Below are three examples I put together based on the principles we have discussed.  The first example of concise vows we already mentioned but I will put it here again for reference.

Example Vows #1 – Concise Biblical Marriage Vows

Groom

I take you as my wife.

Bride

I take you as my husband.

Example Vows #2 – Moderately Verbose Biblical Marriage Vows

Below is what I would call a “moderately” verbose set of marriage vows that build on the principles we have discussed.   Each set of vows below (one for the groom and one for the bride) are just under 200 words. Not too long, but definitely more expressive than the concise vows I showed in the first example.

Groom

I, [insert groom’s name], swear before God to enter into a covenant of marriage with you, [insert bride’s name] and by this covenant I take you as my wife.

I will endeavor to love you as Christ also loves his Church by leading you, giving myself up to wash you with the Word of God as well as showing grace and mercy towards you.

I will endeavor to love you as I love my own body by providing for you and protecting you and I will give my body to you in the marriage bed.

I will endeavor to dwell with you according to knowledge and honor you as my wife.

If you do not break our covenant of marriage I will remain by your side until death takes me.

On this day, I leave my father and my mother and cleave to you as my wife and we will no longer be two, but one flesh.

Bride

I, [insert bride’s name], swear before God to enter into a covenant of marriage with you, [insert groom’s name] and by this covenant give myself to you as your wife.

I will endeavor to reverence you as my head as Christ is the head of his Church.

I will endeavor to submit to you and obey you and as the Church is subject to Christ so too I will endeavor to make myself subject to you in everything.

I will endeavor to look well to the needs of our house and be the help meet and homemaker you need and that God has called me to be.

I will endeavor to love you and ravish you with my body in the marriage bed.

If you do not break our covenant of marriage I will remain by your side until death takes me.

Today I leave behind my own people and my father’s house and will become one flesh with you as my husband.

Example Vows #3 – Very Verbose Biblical Marriage vows

Below is a very verbose example of vows I have written.  Again this is just an example and you could add or take away as you see fit as long as you are following the 7 principles we discussed.  Also in this example set of vows I have included Scripture references next to most of the statements so you can further study those passages to see the principles of marriage that I am referencing.

Each of these sets of vows (one for the groom and one for the bride) are about a one page if you print them out.  I have seen couples use one page vows they have written so I don’t think these are two long if you want to have more verbose vows.

Groom

I, [insert groom’s name], swear before God to enter into a covenant of marriage with you, [insert bride’s name] and by this covenant I take you as my wife. (Ezekiel 16:8)

Even though at this moment it is my heart’s desire to perfectly love you as your husband I know that because I am a sinner, like my forefathers before me, I cannot make such a pledge because God forbids me from making vows that I cannot keep. (Ecclesiastes 5:2-5)

I can only pledge to endeavor, to try as I surrender myself daily to God’s will for my life and as I lean on him for his grace and power to love you in my own imperfect way. (Romans 7:18-25)

I will endeavor to love you 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. (Ephesians 5:25)

I will endeavor to present you to Christ and myself as a glorious wife, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but to help you to be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:26)

I will endeavor to be gracious, compassionate and merciful toward you as God is gracious, compassionate and merciful toward his people. (Psalm 86:15)

I will endeavor to teach you the Word of God in our home and to be the spiritual interpreter of the Word to you that God calls me to be. (1 Corinthians 14:35)

In my endeavors to wash your spiritual spots, blemishes and wrinkles I will endeavor to rebuke and chasten you from a place of love for you. (Revelation 3:19)

I will endeavor to love you as I love my own body by providing for your physical needs and protecting you as I would my own body. (Ephesians 5:29)

I will endeavor to provide my body to you as a kindness that is due toward you.  (I Corinthians 7:3)

I will endeavor to dwell with you according to knowledge, giving honor unto you as my wife and remembering that you and I are joint heirs of the grace of life. (I Peter 3:7)

As I end my vows of marriage to you I must acknowledge the possibility that in the same way I may sin against you in the future, you too may sin against me as well.

And while it is true that love covers a multitude of sins there are some sins a wife can commit which can break her marriage covenant with her husband. (1 Peter 4:8, Isaiah 50:1, Ezekiel 16:59, Jeremiah 3:8, Revelation 2 & 3)

It is for this reason that I must give to you a solemn warning like God gave to both Israel and his Churches regarding his covenant of marriage to them.

I swear before God to remain in this covenant of marriage with you for the remainder my life as long as you remain faithful to me. If you break this covenant by committing any type of fornication including defrauding me of your body or giving yourself to another or if you abandon me or seek to bring physical harm or death to me I reserve my right before God to end this covenant. (Matthew 19:9, I Corinthians 7:15, Exodus 21:26-27)

But I am hopeful of better things for us and I believe that in you I have found a good thing and also favor with God.  I look forward to rejoicing with you and living joyfully with you for the remainder of our days together as the Lord wills. (Proverbs 5:18, Proverbs 18:22)

On this day, I leave my father and my mother and cleave to you as my wife and we will no longer be two, but one flesh. (Mark 10:7-8)

Bride

I, [insert bride’s name], swear before God to enter into a covenant of marriage with you, [insert groom’s name] and by this covenant give myself to you as your wife. (Ezekiel 16:8)

Even though at this moment it is my heart’s desire to perfectly submit to you and love you as your wife I know that because I am a sinner, like the women who came before me, I cannot make such a pledge because God forbids me from making vows that I cannot keep. (Ecclesiastes 5:2-5)

I can only pledge to endeavor, to try as I surrender myself daily to God’s will for my life and as I lean on him for his grace and power to submit to you and love you in my own imperfect way. (Romans 7:18-25)

I will endeavor to remember in my thoughts, words and actions that God made me for you and not you for me. (I Corinthians 11:9)

I will endeavor to remember that I am not my own, but that I belong to you as the Church belongs to Christ. (Acts 20:28)

I will endeavor to remember that I am not your equal any more than the Church is Christ’s equal but rather I will reverence you as my head in the same way the Church is to reverence Christ as its head. (Ephesians 5:23 & 33)

I will endeavor to submit to you as I do unto the Lord and make myself subject to you in everything as the Church is subject to Christ. (Ephesians 5:22-24)

I will endeavor to obey you as Sara obeyed Abraham calling him Lord. (I Peter 3:6)

I will endeavor to meet your desire for me to make myself beautiful as God desires the beauty of his people not only through my outward appearance but also by having a gentle and quiet spirit. (Psalm 45:11, I Peter 3:3-4)

I will endeavor to satisfy you with my body and ravish you with my love. (Proverbs 5:19, Titus 2:4)

I will endeavor to be the homemaker God has called me to be and look well to the ways of our household. (Proverbs 31:27, Titus 2:5, 1 Timothy 5:14)

I will endeavor to submit to and seek out your guidance as my spiritual head in all matters of life and living including marriage and family issues. (1 Corinthians 14:35)

I will endeavor to share my advice with you not in a contentious or angry way, but rather with discretion, kindness and reverence. (Proverbs 9:13, Proverbs 11:22, Proverbs 21:19, Proverbs 31:26, I Peter 3:1-2)

I will endeavor to not shame you either with my words or actions but rather I will endeavor to be your crown and glory. (Proverbs 12:4)

As I end my vows of marriage to you I must acknowledge the possibility that in the same way I may sin against you in the future, you too may sin against me as well.

And while it is true that love covers a multitude of sins there are some sins a husband can commit which can break his marriage covenant with his wife.

It is with these sins in mind that I swear before God to remain in this covenant of marriage with you for the remainder of my life as long as you do not break the covenant of marriage you make with me today.  As a wife I reserve the right given me by God to consider myself freed from our marriage covenant if you defraud me by willfully refusing to provide me with food, clothing and your body in the marriage bed or if you seek to bring physical harm or death to me.  Also, if you abandon me either by divorcing me or by some other means I will no longer consider myself bound to this marriage covenant I make today with you.  (Exodus 21:10-11 & 26-27, Deuteronomy 24:1-2, Romans 7:2-3, I Corinthians 7:15)

But I am hopeful of better things for us and I look forward to rejoicing with you and living joyfully with you for the remainder of our days together as the Lord wills. (Proverbs 5:18, Proverbs 18:22)

Today I leave behind my own people and my father’s house and will become one flesh with you as my husband. (Psalm 45:10, Mark 10:7-8)

Is it wrong for Christians to make vows or oaths?

Some Christians believe that Christ outlawed the making of vows based on Matthew 5:33-37 and James 5:12.  They believe based on these passages it is wrong for Christians to swear allegiance to their country, to swear to tell the truth in court and even to make marriage vows.  But is this conclusion based on sound principles of Biblical interpretation?

First we will look at Christ’s words from the Gospel of Matthew on this subject of vows:

33 “Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.”

Matthew 5:33-37 (NASB)

I have used the NASB here because I think it communicates the language a little better than the KJV in this particular case.  But both the NASB and KJV accurately reflect a key phrase “But I say to you, make no oath at all” (NASB) and “But I say unto you, Swear not at all” (KJV).

So it appears based on this passage Christ is telling us that we should no longer make oaths or vows which are really the same thing.

Again, James writing under the inspiration of God states this about vows:

“But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment.”

James 5:12 (NASB)

He makes a clear statement here – “do not swear” which seems to echo Christ’s words on the subject.  Many Christians have taken these two passages as undeniable proof that Christians are forbidden from taking vows or oaths.

However, I will demonstrate that such a conclusion violates the following principles of Biblical interpretation:

  1. We must always take the context both of the passage itself and the historical context in which is stated into account as we make our conclusion on any doctrinal matter.
  2. We must always take the entire witness of the Scriptures on a particular subject taking into account both the Old and New Testaments while understanding that God can and does alter his laws from the Old to New Testaments.

What did the Old Testament say about making vows?

In the book of Genesis Abraham made his servant swear a vow to him when seeking a wife for his son Isaac:

“And I will make thee swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:”

Genesis 24:3 (KJV)

Later Moses would give these commands regarding oaths to the Israelites:

“Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.”

Deuteronomy 6:13 (KJV)

The Israelites were only forbidden from swearing falsely by God’s name falsely or using it in vain (as in a curse word) as seen in these two passages:

“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”

Exodus 20:7 (KJV)

“And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the Lord.”

Leviticus 19:12 (KJV)

New Testament Examples of Vows

The Book of Acts shows that Paul, one of James fellow Apostles and writers of the Scriptures, made a vow and fulfilled it:

“And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.”

Acts 18:18 (KJV)

Paul also made other vows – essentially swearing by God’s name that what he was saying was the truth:

“Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth.”

II Corinthians 1:23 (KJV)

“Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not.”

Galatians 1:20 (KJV)

For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.”

Philippians 1:8 (KJV)

These examples from the New Testament prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Christians are not forbidden from making oaths and swearing by the name of God that what they are saying is the truth. If that were the case than Paul sinned in penning the very Word of God in the examples I have shown and we know that can never be the case.

So what this tells is – we need to look a little deeper into what Christ and later his Apostle James were saying about swearing and taking oaths and vows.

Understanding Christ’s prohibition on vows and oaths in their historical context

A good way to understand what Christ was talking about in Matthew 5:33-37 is to look at what he later says in the same Gospel of Matthew:

“16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! 17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?

18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. 19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?  20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon.

21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. 22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.”

Matthew 23:16-22 (KJV)

What was happening is the Jewish leaders were saying if people swore by one thing – they could not be held to their vow, but by another thing they could be.  They were using things they vowed on as a way of tricking people and getting out of their vows.

So what was Christ telling us about swearing by God’s name and making vows and oaths? He was saying we should never ever knowingly make a false vow.  We should never make an oath or promise knowing we will later try to weasel out of it or break it.  Every oath or vow should be made with the genuine intent to fulfill that vow.

And we should never ever swear use God’s name falsely to say we are telling the truth when we are not.  But if we are telling the truth we may do as the Apostle did and swear by God’s name that we are indeed telling the truth.  So if we are asked in court to swear we are telling the truth, “So help me God” there is no sin in this.

Don’t play the games that the Jewish leaders were allowing people to play and be a man or woman of your word – who keeps your commitments – this is what Christ was saying.

A warning on making hasty and emotional vows

The Scriptures give a great warning about making rash vows, oaths and promises:

“2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. 3 For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.

4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.  5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.”

Ecclesiastes 5:2-5 (KJV)

God does not want us to be rash or hasty in making vows, oaths, commitments or promises.  Many good Christians with noble intents and the full intent of fulfilling a vow have made rash and hasty vows based on the emotion of a moment. This behavior is wrong for a Christian.  We should always take the time to pray and consider the consequences of any vow. We should make our vows based on leading of the Holy Spirit, not the leading of our emotions and feelings.

Far too often Christians with noble intentions in the passion of a moment make rash and hasty vows that they should not have made.  While both men and women struggle with this – in my life experience I have seen women struggling with this more than men because they are emotionally driven creatures.

Even in the case of well thought out vows (such as marriage vows), we often invoke emotion into our vows and make parts of our vows completely based on the emotion of the moment.  We do not consider the future or the fact that we are sinful creatures and will not be able to keep some of our emotionally driven vows.  I will speak more on marriage vows in an upcoming article on this subject.

It is a foolish Christian who makes vows hastily and often. A wise Christian rarely makes vows and oaths and when he does so he only does so after careful consideration.

When we make vows we should always be mindful that we do not control the future.  We should make realistic vows that we can keep.

For example, it is realistic to swear in a given moment that we will not lie.  I can swear in court that in that moment my testimony will be the truth before God. But what I cannot do is swear I will never tell a lie for the rest of my life.

It is utterly wrong for a Christian to vow things like “I vow before God to never do [fill in the sin]”. You can’t vow not to sin! You are a sinner and you will be one till the day you die.   But many Christians think if they vow not to do something – then they won’t do it any more for fear of breaking the vow. The problem is you are setting yourself up for failure and only compounding your sin when you make such vows.

It is also foolish to vow things like “I will always do [fill in the blank]”.

The fact is we should avoid terms like “always” or “never” in our promises, vows or oaths.

Instead we should say “I will endeavor (try hard) to not do such and such or to do such and such by God’s power as I submit myself to him”.  This is not absolute promise to do something or not do something, but rather a commitment to try with the Lord’s help to do something.

Making commitments and allegiances is a good thing – as long as it is done with careful consideration of this sinful world we live in and our own sinful natures.

Conclusion

In the Old Testament we see patriarchs like Abraham and others making vows in the name of God. In the Law of Moses God actually commands his people to swear by his name while at the same time warning them not to use his name in vain or swear falsely by his name.

Yes, God can and does change his laws.  There are some Old Testament laws such as the ceremonial and civil laws of Israel that are rescinded in the New Testament.  Some definitions of sin are even expanded such as when Christ spoke on adultery.

But the question is – did God change his law concerning the making of vows in the New Testament?

While at first glance it might appear that Christ took away the ability to make vows based on passages like Matthew 5:33-37 and James 5:12 if we look at the entirety of the New Testament we will find this cannot be the case.  Paul made a vow and kept it as well as he swore that he was telling the truth by the name of God several times.

We know that Scripture never contradicts Scripture so that means we must look deeper into what Christ was saying.  After looking at other parts of the New Testament as well as the history of the time we see that Christ is addressing the abuse of making vows – not vows themselves. He is addressing the false system the Jewish leaders had setup concerning vows that if you swore by certain things your vow did not count.  Christ was saying all vows count and that we should not swear by things on this earth or by heaven itself but only in the name of God as Paul did and only in a truthful manner. Our “yes” should truly mean “yes” and our “no” should truly mean “no”.  We should never ever make a vow knowing there is a good possibility we will break or that we intend to break it.

Also we should not make hasty vows.  This truly does come from the Devil.  Satan wants us to make rash and hasty vows that he knows we will break. Like when we vow not to sin anymore – he knows we will break that vow and he knows it compounds our sin when we do so.

Christians can make vows, oaths and promises.  However vows, oaths and promises should be rare for us and only in the most important of matters.  Our vows should be well thought out and always take into consideration the sinful world we live in – including our own sinful natures.  Also when we make vows we should not be afraid to add in many caveats and disclaimers should circumstances in the future change that make it too difficult or even impossible to keep such vows.