Some Christians believe women should “follow the science” and let the government (CDC, NIH) determine their proper weight. Others believe that women should weigh whatever makes them feel good about themselves. But what does the Bible teach? What biblical principles should guide a Christian woman in her weight loss journey?
The Bible says in Ephesians 5:24 (KJV) “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing”. And “every thing” includes how much a woman weighs.
Since God has given the husband complete control over his wife, including her body, what considerations then should guide the husband in determining the right weight for his wife? The answer is that her duties should determine her weight.
The three primary duties of a wife are to bear children (1 Timothy 5:14), keep her home (Titus 2:5) and bring sexual pleasure to her husband (Proverbs 5:18-19). And all of these duties are to be done in complete submission to her husband.
A woman’s fertility can be hindered by a body fat percentage that is too high or too low. Also, her ability to care for her home and her children may be impacted by a body fat percentage that is too high or too low. These are two important considerations for husbands.
After considering impacts to her fertility as well as her duties to care for their home and their children there is another very important consideration a man must take into account. What weight on his wife most sexually intoxicates him? (Proverbs 5:18-19)
Some men prefer large breasts, large hips and large rear ends on their wives. And this combination often requires these women to have a higher body fat percentage. Other men prefer a smaller fit build with small breasts, small hips and small rear ends on their wives.
All women gain weight as a result of their pregnancies. The question of them returning to their pre-pregnancy weight is completely up to the husband. Does he like her post pregnancy body better or does he want her to lose the weight? The choice is his.
The four biblical principles that determine a Christian wife’s proper weight are as follows:
1. God wants wives to submit to their husbands.
2. God wants wives to have children.
3. God wants wives to be homemakers.
4. God wants wives to be sexually pleasing to their husbands.
If you as a woman are fulfilling all these tasks which God has given you with the weight you are at, then you have a healthy weight in the eyes of God.
In the final part of this series, we will discuss the scenario of a fat husband expecting his wife to remain fit
Some Christians take a true doctrine, that our bodies are the temple of God and use it to teach a false doctrine that our bodies being the temple of God means that all Christians must be fit.
This the second part of my series on the false doctrine of fitism.
Just a quick recap from part of one this series on fitism. I am defining fitism as the belief that a requirement of godliness is being fit – meaning that Christians are required to have regimented diet and exercise plans for the purpose of having toned bodies and flat stomachs.
Despite the clear teaching of 1 Timothy 4:8 which separates physical exercise from godliness and the biblical condemnation of judging others based on their diets in Romans 14:2-4 fitists try to undermine these passages with another biblical teaching that our bodies are the temple of God.
Our Bodies Are Indeed the Temple of God
In 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 the Bible states “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”
Adherents of Fitism would claim that people who don’t have flat stomachs due to lack of a regimented diet and exercise plan are defiling the temple of God. But Jesus told us something very different about what defiles our bodies.
In Matthew 15:11 Jesus said “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man”. Christ said it is not the food which goes into our mouths which defiles our body, but it is when we use our body for sin – that defiles.
In 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 the Bible says “he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? … therefore glorify God in your body…”
Again, we see a common theme in the Scriptures when the principle that our bodies are the temple of God is mentioned. And that theme is that we defile or sin against our body and against God when we use our body for sinful purposes.
The Fitist would respond “Well engaging in gluttony is using your body for sinful purposes”. And I would agree with that statement. But the Bible would disagree with the fitist definition of a glutton being someone who does not have a flat stomach.
What Does the Bible Say About Gluttony
The Bible says in Proverbs 23:21 “For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags”. The Hebrew word “Zalal” which is translated as “glutton” in this verse means “to be vile or riotous”. The same Hebrew word is used in Proverbs 23:20 where it states “Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh”.
Proverbs 25:16 gives us a clue as to what the Bible is actually condemning when it condemns zalal which we call gluttony. It states “Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it”. Gluttony is the sin of eating so much, that you feel like you’re going to vomit or you actually do vomit because of how much you have eaten.
Gluttony in the Bible is riotous eating. It is always closely linked with drunkenness. It has to do with non-stop eating and drinking such as one would do at parties. A glutton could be a skinny person or a fat person. But being fat is not equal to being a glutton.
The Bible Shows Some Amount of Fat to Be a Good Thing
When Proverbs 28:25 says “…he that putteth his trust in the Lord shall be made fat” the Bible is not saying that only people who are overweight are trusting in God. It uses the Hebrew word for fat, “dashen”, as a metaphor for prosperity. But biblical metaphors matter.
For instance, in Proverbs 5:15 the Bible uses the picture of a man drinking water out of his own well as a metaphor for him having sex with his wife. The metaphor is important – because it teaches us that sex is a need for a man, much like water is a need for the human body.
Many modern translations replace biblical metaphors with what the metaphors literally mean, thus robbing Christians of the additional truths that metaphors can teach us. Every word of the Bible matters and every metaphor matters.
So, when the Bible uses the metaphor of someone being made fat to communicate that those who trust in the Lord will be made prosperous, we need to look at the metaphor itself, not just what it points to. In Biblical times wealthy men and women were often overweight and this was a sign of prosperity.
Metaphors can be used in positive and negative ways in the Bible. And when God uses a metaphor to communicate something positive, such as when a man trusts in God he will be made to prosper, the metaphor is also something God approves of.
God is teaching us two truths in the last half of Proverbs 28:25. The most literal truth is that God will make the man who trusts in him to prosper. The second truth found in the use of the metaphor is that God sees some form of fatness on a person as a good thing.
Now the fatness which God uses in a positive sense is not speaking of morbid obesity. God does not make people weigh 600 pounds. The sin of gluttony makes people weigh 600 lbs. So, if God is not speaking positively of morbid obesity, what fatness on a person could be positive?
There is not an exact answer given in the Scriptures. This area of body weight, like many other gray areas in the Bible, is left to husbands and fathers to decide as the interpreters and appliers of Scripture for their homes.
The Bible never connects the principle that our bodies are the temple of God with us needing to meticulously care for our bodily health. But rather it connects the principle of our bodies being the temple of God with us using our bodies for sin.
The Bible shows us that God sees some level of fatness as positive thing (Prov 28:25) while at the same time God condemns the sin of gluttony (Prov 23:21). This teaches us the Biblical truth that it is possible to be fat and not be a glutton.
In part three of this series we will address the Biblical definition of health verses the worldly definition of health.
The short answer to this question is no – being fat is not synonymous with gluttony in the Bible. Biblically speaking, sometimes fat people are gluttons and sometimes they are not. It all depends on how fat they are as well as the reasons that they are fat. But from a biblical perspective, it is also possible for a fit person to be a glutton as well.
This will be the first in a series of articles I will be doing on the errors of what I am calling “Fitism”. Fitism is not a term that is original to me, however my use of the term for theological purposes is new (to the best of my knowledge).
Fitism as I am defining it for theological purposes, is the belief that part of being godly is being fit. “Fitists” believe that God wants all people to have a strictly regimented diet and exercise program with the intended result of producing a toned body with a flat stomach. Having any excess belly fat, as opposed to a flat stomach is “immoral” in the view of fitists.
William Spencer, of renofmen.com has a large following on Instagram (@renofmen) with traditional Christians. Recently he wrote a post on Instagram entitled “Obesity, Christianity and Relationships Part 1”. In this post Spencer wrote the following:
“The Bible doesn’t include specific guidance on physical fitness. It talks about moral fitness and spiritual fitness, but apparently not physical fitness…
This poses a problem for those of us who care about these things.
We know in our bones that fitness is moral.
We also know in our bones that fatness is immoral.”
So, the synopsis of Spencer’s argument is “The Bible never tells Christians to have diet and exercise plans to have toned bodies and flat stomachs – but we fit people just known in our bones that being fit is moral and being fat is immoral.”
I have been meaning to write a series of posts on the Biblical view of health and fitness for a very long time. And when I saw this post and that statement from William Spencer, it was like God was hanging a neon sign in front of me saying “Larry its time to write that series on a Biblical view of fitness and health”.
I originally did this series as a set of Instagram posts (my Instagram handle is @biblicalgenderroles). This series for Biblicalgenderroles.com is mostly me porting that series back here with a little extra information in some places.
Not only will I be correcting the error of Spencer in his statements above with the Bible, but I will also in this series cover other arguments that fitists attempt to make in support of their false doctrine of fitism.
And finally, before we dive in deeper into this subject of fitism, I want to say one more thing. I have friends, both on Instagram, this blog, Facebook and in person who are big time into fitness. In the same way that I maintain that not all fat people are gluttons, I also believe that not all Christians who live a fit lifestyle are fitists. But the sad truth is, many Christians who live a fit lifestyle are indeed fitists.
The Bible Actually Does Speak Directly to Fitness
A critical aspect of a fitness is having an exercise routine. And the Bible speaks specifically to the relationship of bodily exercise to godliness in 1 Timothy 4:8 (KJV):
“For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”
The Bible makes a clear separation between bodily exercise, one of the two pillars of physical fitness, and godliness. God could have said “bodily exercise is part of godliness, but it is not the whole of godliness” or something like that. But God completely separates and divorces the concept of Christians having exercise routines from them being godly.
In other words, having an exercise routine is not a requirement of being a godly Christian.
But what about the second pillar of fitness which is diet. Does the Bible require that Christians have a regimented diet? The answer is no.
The Bible Does Not Require Christians to Have a Regimented Diet
While there certainly were many dietary restrictions in the Old Testament, the New Testament lifts all dietary restrictions.
Jesus said the following in Matthew 15:11(KJV):
“Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.”
And the Apostle Paul wrote the following in Romans 14:2-4(KJV):
“For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. 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. 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.”
The New Testament is clear in the above passages that we as Christians are not to judge one another based on our diets.
One of the common things I have seen with fitists I have dealt with in traditional Christian circles is that not only do they believe being fit is a requirement of godliness, but they also believe that Christians must eat only organic and foods and nothing artificial or processed.
Again, there is nothing wrong with a man choosing to have an organic diet for himself or his family. But it becomes sin when he adds this to the commands of God.
The two pillars of physical fitness which are having a regimented diet and exercise routine – are never prescribed in the Bible. In fact, as we have shown in the previous Scripture passages, the Bible completely separates godliness from physical exercise and it condemns Christians who judge others based on their diets.
In part two of this series on the false doctrine of fitism, I will cover the fitist argument that our bodies being the temple of God requires that we be fit.
The custom of women bowing to their husbands, otherwise known in older times as “obeisance”, goes back to the beginnings of human civilization. This custom is still regularly practiced throughout many African nations today as well as other parts of the world.
As Christians we know that not all cultural customs are Biblical. And we also know that the commands of the Bible transcend all cultures and times. In this post, I will prove that the ancient custom of wives doing obeisance toward their husbands is not simply a relic of ages past, but that it is indeed a command to wives found in the Bible.
But before we can present the Biblical command for wives to bow to their husbands, we must first present some other commands that form the foundation upon which this command is built.
The Bible Says Marriage Is to Picture the Relationship of Christ to his Church
In Ephesians 5:22-24(KJV) the Bible says the following:
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”
Ephesians 5:22-24 teaches us the important Biblical principle that God designed marriage to be a picture of the relationship of Christ and his church. This tells us that we can and should look, not just at Ephesians 5:22-33, but also at all other references to how Christ and his church interact with one another throughout the Old and New Testaments to understand how marriage should operate.
A marriage built only on the principles of Ephesians 5:22-33 will be missing key and important attributes of Christ’s marriage to his church mentioned elsewhere in the Bible. In other words, a marriage modeled exclusively after the attributes described in Ephesians 5:22-33 will not fully and completely picture the relationship of Christ to his Church.
For example, Ephesians 5:25-29 commands men to love their wives a Christ loves his church and lists several attributes of Christ’s love for his church including him sacrificing himself for her, him washing her spiritual spots and wrinkles with the Word of God and him providing for and protecting his wife as he would his own body.
But Revelation 3:19 mentions some other attributes of Christ’s love for his church not found in Ephesians 5:25-29. In Revelation 3:19 (KJV) the Christ said the following to his seven churches:
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”
A husband’s love for his wife includes not his spiritual washing of her, his provision for her and his protection of her – but it also includes his rebuking her and chastening her.
The Biblical truth that the wife is to picture the church in relationship to Christ and the husband represents Christs means that a wife is to obey all the commands of God to the church relating to Christ, with the notable exceptions of worshipping her husband or seeing him as her savior from sin. Those qualities belong to Christ alone and not earthly husbands. I will address the worship issue more as this post progresses.
And now that we have firmly established the Biblical principle that marriage is a picture of Christ and the church – we will explore another passage which shows other aspects of the relationship of Christ and the church which also apply to marriage.
Psalm 45 – A Picture of the Relationship of Christ to His Church
Psalm 45 is unmistakably a prophecy of Christ and his bride, the church.
The noble attributes of the king are mentioned first in verses 1-5:
“1 My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
2 Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.
3 Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty.
4 And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.
5 Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; whereby the people fall under thee. “
And then in verses 6 and 7 we see that this is clearly a reference to God the father appointing Christ as King:
“6 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.
7 Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”
And then in Psalm 45:10-11 the perspective changes from addressing the King to now addressing the bride who is about to marry the King:
“10 Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house; 11 So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.”
These two verses are filled with rich theology. While Ephesians 5:33 commands women to reverence their husbands – it is these two verses from Psalm 45:10-11 which help to show what the reverence of a wife toward her husband should look like.
But before we can apply what these verses are saying, we need to address a translation issue.
Is Psalm 45:11 Saying that Wives Should Worship Their Husbands?
At the latter end of Psalm 45:11 the KJV renders the verse as “for he is thy Lord, worship thou him”. Since this passage is a prophecy of Christ and his church and Ephesians 5:23 tells us the husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his church – is God commanding the wives should worship their husbands?
The answer to that question is found in many passages of the Bible but Revelation 19:10 gives us an extremely clear answer where John fell at the feet of angel to worship him:
“And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
We worship God and God alone. So, we know that Psalm 45:11 is not teaching women to worship their husbands. Does that mean we dismiss the latter part of Psalm 45:11 as not applying to human marriage at all? The answer to that is no as well.
To better understand how Psalm 45:11 applies not just to the spiritual marriage of Christ and his church, but also to human marriage we will look at this same passage in the English Standard Version of the Bible:
“Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear:
forget your people and your father’s house, and the king will desire your beauty.
Since he is your lord, bow to him.”
Notice the big difference? In the KJV it tells the woman to worship the king who will be her husband. In the ESV it tells her to bow to him. And if you were to see the wording of this you would also notice that the KJV capitalizes the word “Lord” while the ESV uses a lower case “lord”.
Why is the KJV translation of Psalm 45:11 different than the ESV translation?
The reason for the difference in translation has to do with the Hebrew word “Shachah”. The most literal meaning of Shachah is “to bow down”. But sometimes when someone bows down, they are not just showing reverence, but they are also engaging in worship. In other words, worship usually involves bowing of some sort, but not all bowing is worship. Sometimes bowing is just reverence.
The easiest way to illustrate this is when Moses did Shachah in two different occasions. In Exodus 18:7, Moses did Shachah toward his father-in-law so it is simply translated as “obeisance” which a synonym for reverence. However, in Exodus 34:8, when Moses did Shachah toward God – it was more than just reverence – it was an act of worship and it was translated as such.
Psalm 45 presents a dilemma for translators when it comes to translating Shachah. In this story, we see a King being married to the royal daughter of another king. But the story here is a prophecy of Christ being wedded to his church.
So, while the KJV would not normally translate someone bowing to a king as “worship” they decided to translate it here as worship and to capitalize the “L” in Lord to indicate it is a prophecy of Christ.
The ESV translated it as “bow down” instead of “worship” because while they agreed that this is a prophecy of Christ and his church that it is using a human story of a King marrying a royal daughter and therefore her bowing down would not be an act of worship, but rather an act of reverence.
I can see reasons for both translations. But in the end if we remember that marriage is a picture of Christ and the church than any reference to Christ and his bride has application to human marriage as well.
So, when applying this to human marriage and not the spiritual marriage of Christ and the church – Shachah must be understood in its most literal sense of bowing down in reverence.
Women Picture the Church Bowing to Christ When They Bow to Their Husbands
The full Biblical picture of the marriage of Christ and his church reveals much than his sacrificial provision for and protection of his wife, the church. It reveals more than his headship over the church. A full Biblical picture of the marriage of Christ and his church also demonstrates his lordship over his church and his discipline of his church.
A full Biblical picture of the marriage of Christ and his church shows us that women are not just commanded to submit to their husbands or even just respect them – but rather they are commanded to reverence their husbands as Ephesians 5:33 and 1 Peter 3:2 command.
Who is being commanded to acknowledge her husband as her lord and to bow to him in Psalm 45:11? It is the church.
When we tie together the principle that marriage is to picture the relationship of Christ to his church (Ephesians 5:22-33) and that the Bible commands women to acknowledge their husbands as their earthly lords (1 Peter 3:6) and to reverence them (Ephesians 5:33) then we can see beyond a shadow of a doubt that the command of Psalm 45:11 is given to wives just as it given to the church whom wives are to represent.
But Aren’t Women Worshipping Their Husbands If They Bow to Them?
Many Christians, even conservative Christians who believe in male headship and wives submitting to their husbands will object to this calling it a form of “husband worship” or a wife making her husband an idol.
But this objection to women bowing to their husbands is frankly rooted in cultural ignorance. In 21st century America when we think of the word “lord” or someone bowing to another we exclusively think of God and worship.
But if we were to go to Britain – they would not associate the word “lord” exclusively with God nor would they associate bowing exclusively with worship. Because in their society they have many lords who are of a nobility class and they bow to their Queen.
In Africa, it is an ancient custom still practiced today for women to kneel before their men when being proposed to:
And traditional African brides kneel before their husbands as part of the wedding ceremony and feed their husbands:
America was founded on the rejection of nobility classes and monarchies so our ancestors came to reject all forms of bowing to people or calling people lords.
However, the Bible does not reject calling people “lord”, which means master, nor does it reject the concept of people bowing to others as a form of reverence. In fact, in the case of a wife toward her husband it actually commands a woman to call her husband lord and bow to him.
As I mentioned previously the Bible shows Moses doing obeisance in Exodus 18:7 toward his father-in-law. In 2 Samuel 9:6 the Bible shows Mephibosheth kneeling with his face to the ground before King David:
“Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant!”
The word translated as ‘reverence’ here is the same as that translated as obeisance and means to bow.
This American rejection of calling anyone lord but God and bowing to no one but “King Jesus” goes directly contrary to the teaching of the Word of God in 1 Peter 3:5-6 and Psalm 45:11. And this American value, as old as it is, must be rejected by Christian husbands and wives.
Christian women must regard their husbands as their earthly lords and bow to them and Christian husbands must accept this from their wives.
The Difference Between Bowing in Reverence and Bowing in Worship
If bowing is not automatically a form of worship, which the Bible shows it is not, then what is the difference between a woman bowing in reverence to her husband and a woman bowing in worship to God?
The answer is found in the intent in the wife’s heart and how she sees her husband verses how she sees God.
Is the woman bowing to her husband in obedience to God’s command that she affirm her husband’s earthly lordship over her by bowing to him? If so, then her bowing to him is not worship which is reserved for God alone.
However, if a woman sees her husband as perfect, sinless and all powerful like God and that is why she is bowing to him – then she is engaging in an act of worship which is sin.
In other words, when we bow to God, we are and should be acknowledging his perfection, his sinlessness and his being the all-powerful sovereign of the universe.
I am often falsely accused by my detractors, whether they be Christians or non-Christians alike, of teaching that I think women should regard their husbands as gods. And nothing could be further from the truth.
Instead, I teach what the Bible says that God has placed sinful and imperfect men as the heads of sinful and imperfect women. God does not call women to submit to, reverence and bow to their husbands because these men are perfect and all-powerful beings. God calls women to submit to and bow to their husbands in spite of their imperfections and weaknesses because of the position God as ordained men to over women.
A woman’s acknowledgement of her husband’s earthly lordship over her by bowing to him is an acknowledgement of Christ’s lordship over all creation and his authority to appoint her husband as her lord.
Practical Ways That Wives Can Incorporate Bowing into Their Marriages
Now that we have established the Biblical command that wives should bow to their husbands – how can wives practically incorporate this in their marriages on a regular basis? This is the question we will address next.
The images below illustrate several ways in which a woman can bow in her husband’s presence.
The first would be her greeting him as comes home from work as seen below:
This image below from a vintage ad is routinely mocked as “sexist” yet this is very biblical behavior for women to do toward their husbands.
In many African countries today, it is still common for women to bow to their husbands when they bring them their daily meals as pictured below:
Last but certainly not least, is another way women can bow before their husbands regularly as an act of reverence and affirmation of his lordship over them.
The picture above is of an actual bride and groom on their wedding day “simulating” her performing oral sex on him as part of a series of otherwise normal wedding pictures. It is actually becoming a fad for couples to simulate this very pose as part of their wedding pictures.
I know I have extremely conservative readers and I hope you will have a sense of humor with the image above even if you don’t think a bride and groom should share such a picture. It shows absolutely nothing of what she is doing and leaves everything to the imagination.
I know many conservative Christians believe all intimate sexual acts, even if only simulated, must never be shown. But I disagree. I hope most of my readers can appreciate the humor in this image above even if you would never take such a photo at your wedding.
An interesting side note. While they did not see the actual act, it was the custom in Biblical times for two witnesses, one from the bride’s family and one from the groom’s family to stand directly outside the tent or room to hear the couple have sex.
The reason two witnesses would be just outside the door or the tent and could hear sex happening was because unlike today, sex was part of the wedding ceremony in ancient times. Sex actually occurred before the wedding vows were made to assure the woman’s virginity was intact. Then after having sex the couple would present a bloody cloth which would prove the woman’s virginity and it was kept by the bride’s family as a proof of her virginity and a memento from the wedding. This practice is alluded to in Deuteronomy 22:13-21.
And on the topic of a woman performing fellatio on her husband – yes this is mentioned in the Bible in Song of Solomon 2:3 (KJV):
“As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.”
The apple tree was used as a euphemism for a man’s genitals in middle eastern erotic poems. The top of the tree with branches and fruit represented the man’s testicles and the trunk of the tree represented his penis. This Biblical author is presenting a picture of a woman sitting in her husband’s shadow (so this her being beneath him) and her performing oral sex on him. She knelt before him and performed oral sex to completion with “great delight” and his fruit (his semen) was sweet to her taste.
And for those women who say “Song of Solomon 2:3 is simply descriptive, but it is not prescriptive (commanded) for women” and I would refer you to Proverbs 5:18-19 which states the following:
“Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.”
The Bible commands that husbands are to ravished (the Hebrew her literally means to be sexually intoxicated) by their wives. The English word “satisfy” is a translation of the Hebrew which literally means “drink your fill”. To fulfill the command for husbands to be drink their fill of their wives’ bodies and to be ravished by their wives requires the participation of BOTH the husband and the wife. It requires the husband to seek to be ravished by his wife and the wife to act in ravishing ways toward her husband.
My point here is that Proverbs 5:18-19 commands wives to ravish their husbands and the entire book of the Song of Solomon shows women how to ravish their husbands. It is absolutely true that Song of Solomon 2:3 is written in a descriptive form rather than prescriptive form. However, Song of Solomon 2:3 is part of a larger description of what it means for a wife to ravish her husband which is commanded in Proverbs 5:18-19. Therefore, Song of Solomon 2:3 is both descriptive and prescriptive for wives in marriage.
And even if one argued that they don’t see it as commanded – a husband can simply command his wife to do it and it becomes a command from God. It really is that simple.
And finally, on this topic of wives performing fellatio on their husbands, let me address the “selfishness” argument wives use to get out of performing oral sex or really having sex at all when they don’t feel like it. It is not selfish for a man to do what God commands of him. In Proverbs 5:19, God tells him to drink his fill of his wife’s body “at all times” and he commands that his wife is to ravish him.
Therefore, from a Biblical perspective it is not a man who is acting selfishly for desiring that his wife ravish him by performing fellatio on him, but rather it is the wife who acts selfishly by denying him his privilege to receive this from her as her husband.
To learn more about how you as a wife can fulfill the command to ravish your husband go to my podcast site BGRLearning.com and listen to my 3-part, 3-hour podcast series entitled “A Biblical Guide To Ravishing Your Husband”. In that series I do an extensive exposition of several passages of the Song of Solomon explaining the ancient sexual metaphors and helping wives apply them to ravishing their husbands.
God commands wives to imitate the behavior that he commands of the church toward Christ in Ephesians 5:22-33. And God commands the church to bow to Christ as her lord in Psalm 45:11. Therefore, wives in following God’s command to imitate the behavior of the church, must bow to their husbands as an affirmation of their husband’s earthly lordship which is also commanded in 1 Peter 3:5-6.
The act of a woman bowing is not simply a cultural relic of ages past, but rather it is a Biblical command as part of the wife picturing the church in reverence toward her husband.
And as long as a wife does not see her husband as a god, but rather she bows to her husband in obedience to the one true God, then this is not an act of worship nor is it making her husband into an idol, but instead it is simply an act of reverence.
And yes, this act of a wife bowing to her husband is extremely anti-American and goes against America’s long opposition to lords and kings. And it is extremely triggering to humanists worldwide. But it is Biblical. Therefore, Christian wives must learn to regularly do this and Christian husbands must learn to accept this from their wives.
This simple act of a wife bowing to her husband and him accepting this is a very tangible and visible way that we can bring reverence back into marriages. A woman bowing to her husband is something her children should see their mother do as well (except of course for her performing oral sex!).
And to learn more about other ways (besides bowing to him) in which you can and should reverence your husband go to BGRLearning.com and listen to my 2-part podcast series entitled “5 Biblical Ways To Reverence Your Husband”.
Many Christian women are told that it is immodest for them to consider any type of strapless wedding dress. The primary reason they are told strapless wedding dresses are immodest is because they expose a woman’s shoulders and draw more attention to her cleavage which in turn will cause the men at the wedding and reception to lust.
The problem with this condemnation of Christian brides wearing strapless wedding dresses is that it is based on a faulty understanding of how the Bible defines modesty and lust.
In my new article for BiblicalSexology.com entitled “Are Strapless Wedding Dresses Immodest for Christian Women” I answer this question from the Bible and show how some traditional teachings about lust and modesty are not actually in line with the Biblical definitions of lust and modesty.
The world and sadly many churches today tell women to leave their cheating husbands. But is this what the Bible tells women to do? How can a woman possibly stay with a cheating husband? How could she cope with this on a daily basis and have any kind of a relationship with her husband knowing what he is doing?
In my new podcast series on BGRLearning.com entitled “Four Biblical Ways a Christian Wife Can Cope with a Cheating Husband”, I first start out with an email from a Christian wife named Beth. She has been married 8 years and has three children. She recently discovered that her husband has been engaging in sexual sin while he is away on business trips.
I help her and other wives to navigate the range of emotions they are experiencing and point them to the Bible to put their husbands’ sin in a right Biblical perspective. It is only when a woman sees her husband’s sin from God’s perspective and that she can fully accept how God wants her to cope with her husband’s sin.
Whoremongering husbands are nothing new in the history of the world. Both men and women have been engaging in sexual sin since the beginning of mankind. And as with many things in the Bible, his instructions to wives in how to deal with and cope with their husband’s sin is different than his instructions for men.
It is possible for a Christian wife to have a good relationship, a loving relationship, with her whoremongering husband if she follows the commands and principles of the Word of God that I talk about in this series.
Many Christian women today may find this impossible to believe, but with God all things are possible.
Even if you are not married or are married and don’t have a whoremongering husband, the Biblical principles in this series will help to strengthen your marriage.
Click here to go to BGRLearning.com today and subscribe to listen to this series as well as hundreds of other podcasts on masculinity, femininity courtship, marriage and sex all from a Biblical perspective.
“A wife being submissive does not mean her being a doormat”. This phrase is commonly used even within traditional and conservative Christian circles which promote the submission of wives to their husbands and male headship. But this teaching, that wives should not allow themselves to be doormats for their husbands is totally unbiblical and instead finds its basis in modern humanist teachings.
“A doormat is a small rug placed just inside a doorway where people can wipe their dirty shoes before entering the house. The term doormat is also used figuratively to describe people who allow themselves to be (figuratively) walked on by others; that is, a doormat allows himself or herself to be abused, disparaged, or taken advantage of without mounting a defense. Since Jesus taught us to “turn the other cheek” (Matthew 5:39) and to “do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27), was He telling us to be doormats?
Jesus was not teaching His disciples to be doormats. Rather, He was teaching that, to glorify God and show ourselves to be His true children, we need to be pure inside and out and to be as accommodating as possible for the sake of a lost world. To “turn the other cheek” does not mean we place ourselves or others in danger or that we ignore injustice…
It may appear noble and Christlike when someone allows himself or herself to be used as a doormat, but there could also be a selfish reason behind it. For example, some people allow themselves to be doormats because of their own insecurities and low self-worth. They fear rejection, so they allow their personal boundaries to be violated by others in hopes they will be appreciated and loved. They are trying to gain validation by purchasing it with their compliance, in effect, expecting fallible people to tell them who they are instead of relying on God to do that….
Third, Christians can seek wise counsel about boundary-setting. The Bible is a book of boundaries and consequences. Healthy boundaries make for healthy relationships. The word no is powerful. We need to learn that enabling the sins or irresponsibility of others is not loving; it is self-indulgent. Selfish fear, rooted in a desire for others to love, appreciate, or need us, propels us to rescue those who should experience their own consequences.”
So, what is the synopsis of this false doctrine?
The modern doormat doctrine teaches that no Christian man or woman should allow themselves “to be abused, disparaged, or taken advantage of without mounting a defense” and to tolerate such mistreatment makes one guilty of the sin of being a “doormat”.
According to the Doormat doctrine, in order to avoid the sin of becoming a doormat, a Christian must learn to set boundaries with others and learn the concept that “The word no is powerful”. When one commits the sin of being a doormat, they are “enabling the sins or irresponsibility of others” and engaging in “selfish fear”.
And let’s not kid ourselves. The Doormat doctrine was invented as a result of the influence of feminism in modern churches. It was invented to give power to women that God never meant for them to have. And that is why in most cases, you will see this Doormat doctrine applied to wives in regard to their husbands.
A Little Truth Mixed in With the False Doormat Doctrine
Many false doctrines have at least a little bit of truth in them. This is what gets people to fall for false doctrines. And this is the case with the Doormat doctrine.
First, it is true that is not always wrong for Christians to say no, in fact sometimes it absolutely right to say no and resist wrong doing that is being done against us or others.
In Deuteronomy 22:23-27 God requires that a young woman say no and cry out and resist if a man who is not her husband tries to make her have sex with him. And the Apostles, when told not to preach the Gospel, said in Acts 5:29 “We ought to obey God rather than men”.
In Nehemiah 4:14 the God given right and responsibility of men to fight to defend their wives, their children and their homes is firmly established where it states “fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses”.
Even within the Christian church among the Apostles, we see that the Apostle Paul took a strong stand against injustice when he saw the Apostle Peter discriminating against the new Gentile Christians in Galatians 2:11-12:
“11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.”
The point is that sometimes we must absolutely say no and take a stand against certain sinful behaviors that are committed against us or against others.
And certainly, we all must set the boundary with others that we will never allow someone to make us do something which God forbids in his law.
The Errors of the False Doormat Doctrine
One of the foundational errors of the modern church’s false Doormat doctrine is that it utterly ignores the relational context of when someone is being “abused, disparaged, or taken advantage of”. But in the Bible, the relational context of when someone is being “abused, disparaged, or taken advantage of” is crucial to understanding what God wants our response to be in that situation.
For instance, if someone is threatening or committing harm against a man, his wife, his children or his property he has the God given right of self-defense (Nehemiah 4:14).
But what about someone who has a master? If they are being “abused, disparaged, or taken advantage of” what does God say they should do in that situation? Should they mount a defense? The answer is given to us in the following passage from 1 Peter 2:18-21:
“18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. 19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps”
So, what is God’s answer to those who have masters who are froward (cruel and unjust) toward them? Does he tell them to mount a defense? No, but rather he tells them that it is “thankworthy” and “acceptable with God” for them to endure such unjust treatment by their masters and that in doing so they emulate Christ who also suffered unjustly.
And then, immediately after saying this to slaves regarding their masters, he says the following to wives regarding their husbands in 1 Peter 3:1-2 & 5-6:
“1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear…5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement”
When taken together – 1 Peter 2:18 through 1 Peter 3:6 teaches that those who have masters, whether they be wives or slaves, are commanded to endure cruel and unjust treatment from their masters. And in doing so, those who endure mistreatment at the hands of their masters emulate Christ in his sufferings.
Why 1 Peter 2:18 through 1 Peter 3:6 Is So Hard for Americans to Accept
1 Peter 2:18 through 1 Peter 3:6 is a very difficult passage of the Bible for modern westerners, and especially Americans, to swallow. This passage really takes a sledge hammer to the individualist and humanist ideals which form the foundation for modern American values.
Below is a list of modern American values which 1 Peter 2:18 through 1 Peter 3:6 contradicts:
No person may be owned by another – to do so makes them a slave and slavery is always immoral under any circumstances.
No person may be controlled or coerced against their will to do something they do not wish to do. (Of course, the humanists make exceptions for parents with children and the government making people do certain things like paying taxes, giving up guns or taking vaccines).
Men and women have equal rights and should have equal opportunities in all areas of society.
No person should ever tolerate abuse from another person, they should always defend themselves against any unjust treatment by others.
The fact is that the Bible does not hold to any of these modern core American beliefs. The Bible explicitly allows the taking of slaves and the concept of human property in Leviticus 25:44-46. The Bible does not condemn slavery, but rather it condemns the unjust taking of slaves in Deuteronomy 24:7 (someone taking one of his fellow citizens and selling them). The Bible also condemns the physical abuse of slaves in Exodus 21:20-21 & 26-27. For more on the subject of slavery from a Biblical perspective see my article “Why Christians Shouldn’t Be Ashamed of slavery in the Bible”.
The Bible also teaches that a person can have a master (be owned) and yet not be slave. This concept is a real head-scratcher for modern Americans but it is very Biblical.
In the passage above from 1 Peter 3:6, God exhorts women to follow the example of Sarah who called her husband “lord”. The Greek word there is ‘Kurios’ which means “master/lord/owner” and throughout the Old Testament it was common for the Hebrew word ‘baal’ meaning “master/lord/owner” to be used in regard to a woman’s husband.
So, both wives and slaves have masters, yet wives are not slaves.
The primary difference in the relationship between masters and their wives and masters and their slaves is that the master of a wife has a much greater set of responsibilities toward his wife than that of a master of a slave. The master of a wife is to love her as Christ does his church and to provide for her and protect her as he does his own body. A master of a wife is to give his body to his wife in the bed. He is to be willing to lay down his life to save hers. He has a responsibility to mold her and teach her how to emulate the church and to be the glorious wife she needs to be. A master of a slave has none of these responsibilities toward his slave. For more on this subject of the Biblical comparison of wives to slaves see my article “8 Biblical Differences Between Wives and Slaves”.
And this is why passages like 1 Peter 2:18 through 1 Peter 3:6 is almost impossible for modern Christians to fully comprehend without first understanding that some of our core American values are in fact unbiblical.
But Aren’t Wives Enabling Sin If They Don’t Confront Their Husbands?
This is a very popular aspect of the modern false Doormat doctrine. It teaches that if wives allow their husbands to sin against them by mistreating them that they are enabling their husband’s sin and thus sinning against God themselves in doing so.
But I encourage you to look throughout the Scriptures to find God calling a woman to go to her husband and rebuke him to his face about his sin. You won’t find one passage. Yes, we have Pilot’s wife warning him about a vision she had about Christ in Matthew 27:19 – but that was not a rebuke – it was a plea. And even with Abigail in 1 Samuel 25 when she acted to save her family from her husband’s evil deeds, she did not rebuke her husband to his face.
So, what is so different about the husband/wife relationship which forbids a wife from rebuking her husband? The answer is found in Ephesians 5:22-24:
“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.”
The husband/wife relationship is different than any other human relationship. It is a sacred institution created by God. The husband represents God and the wife represents the people of God. For the wife to rebuke her husband would symbolize the church rebuking Christ.
Now some would argue that husbands are not perfect like Christ and that is true. Christ was the only sinless man to ever walk this earth – amen.
But the Biblical prescription for how women should handle sin in their lives of their husbands shows us that even though husbands are sinners, God has not given wives the right to rebuke or chastise their husbands for their sin.
The prescription for how a wife is to handle sin in the life of her husband, whether it is toward her or others, is found in 1 Peter 3:1-2. The wife is to win her husband without a word, by her behavior (that is what conversation means in the KJV translation of 1 Peter 3:1).
However, the situation is very different with a husband in regard to his wife. The Bible tells husbands to love their wives as Christ does his church in Ephesians 5:25 and in Revelation 3:19 Christ says to his churches “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent”. Therefore, we can rightly say that is a sin for a wife to rebuke her husband but on the other hand it is a sin for a husband not to rebuke his wife because the husband and wife have different positions and responsibilities.
The Doormat doctrine, the doctrine that wives should never allow themselves “to be abused, disparaged, or taken advantage of without mounting a defense” is completely contradictory to the Biblical teachings of 1 Peter 2:18 through 1 Peter 3:6.
The Bible says it is “acceptable with God” (1 Peter 2:20) for those with masters, which includes wives, to “endure grief, suffering wrongfully” (1 Peter 2:19). In other words, it is acceptable and honoring to God for wives to be doormats when it comes to their husbands. And in doing so, wives emulate Christ when he suffered unjust treatment.
Rather than rebuking their husbands for each and every offense, 1 Peter 3:1-2 teaches wives to win their husbands without a word by their behavior which includes their pure actions, their submission and their reverence toward their husbands.
Can and should Christian wives have any boundaries with their husbands? Yes.
Not all forms of abuse must be taken by Christian wives. The prohibition against masters abusing their slaves from Exodus 21:20-21 & 26-27 absolutely applies to masters (husbands) of wives. And women can be freed from their husbands if their husbands do anything that risks serious bodily harm to them. Women can also take actions to defend themselves and their children against imminent harm that their husband’s actions pose against them or their children as Abigail did in 1 Samuel 25.
Women can and should establish the boundary with their husbands that they will never do anything which God forbids in his Word. That means if a husband asks his wife to engage in a threesome with their neighbor or asks her to help him rob a bank, she must respectfully decline in obedience to God which is her higher authority.
This really is the big difference between the Doormat doctrine and what the Bible teaches. The Doormat doctrine teaches that wives should not tolerate any abusive behavior from their husbands, while the Bible teaches that women should tolerate most kinds of abuse but not all abuse from their husbands.
And a final note on husbands and their sin. Many will ask – “If a wife cannot confront her husband on his sin than who can?” And then answer is other men. Whether it be fellow male church members, his brothers, his wife’s brothers, his father or his wife’s father other men absolutely have a right and responsibility to confront one another about their sinful treatment of their wives.
Nowhere in the Scriptures does the Bible condemn masturbation either by specific command or by a general principle. Yet, since the days of the early post apostolic church, Christian theologians have waged a war on this aspect of masculine sexuality as well as masculine sexuality in general. And they continue to to so to this day.
An unfortunate truth of church history is that even while the Apostles were still alive asceticism (the belief that seeking anything that is physically pleasurable is sin) began to infest the church like a plague. The Apostle Paul tried to address the growing asceticism in Colossians 2:20-23 but his words fell on deaf ears.
The popularity of asceticism would lead early church fathers like Clement to declare that a husband’s sexual desire for his wife was a desire of the flesh(the sin nature). And Augustine would later declare a husband’s sexual desire for his wife to be a venial fault.
The modern church for all its faults (and they are many) has rightly recognized part of the errors of the early church in that they no longer believe the Bible condemns a husband’s sexual desire toward his wife (nor that of a wife toward her husband).
But the church still clings to view that masturbation is still a sin that men and women may only experience sexual pleasure together as husbands and wives and they are absolutely forbidden to experience any kind of sexual pleasure by themselves as individuals.
To be sure, church leaders have attempted to use some Scriptures to support their false position on masturbation. And in this podcast I address all the faulty uses of Scripture to attempt to condemn the practice of masturbation.
The sad reality is – this teaching has placed a burden of guilt and shame on men for nearly 2000 years. It is time for this shaming of the masculine nature as God designed it to end. As you listen to this podcast and the Scriptures I present, you will see that you can be free from this burden placed upon you as a man.
We are called as Christian men to wage a daily war against our sin nature – not our masculine nature as God designed it. This is the truth this video presents.
I also briefly speak to the secular “No Fap” movement occurring in the manosphere today.
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Why should a Christian wife be receptive to Christian Domestic Discipline (CDD) and rough sex from her husband? Where does the Bible support Christian Domestic Discipline? Where does the Bible allow men to have rough sex with their wives? What should a wife expect when her husband first implements CDD? What should she expect when he first has rough sex with her? Is there an intersection between CDD and rough sex? What are the Biblical limits for CDD and rough sex? How is CDD different from BDSM?
In this podcast, “A Wife’s Guide to Receiving Domestic Discipline and Rough Sex”, I answer all those questions that Christian wives may have about CDD and rough sex in marriage.
Previously I have shown Domestic Discipline to be both a Biblical concept as well as a historical practice amongst husbands for thousands of years on my Instagram page @biblicalsexandiscipline and on my blog Biblicalgenderroles.com as well as podcasts series on BGRLearning.com.
This new 3-part podcast series is not a like any of my previous writings on the subject of Domestic Discipline. It is not a defense of Domestic Discipline. I have already done that in my previous posts like “The Biblical Case for Domestic Discipline” . This podcast series is about the practical application of Domestic Discipline. It is based on my real-world experiences doing personalized mentoring programs with more than 20 husbands over the past 4 years. Most of these husbands never believed their wives would ever accept CDD, but today the majority of their wives do.
How does a Christian man go about introducing Domestic Discipline into his marriage and what techniques actually work? What kinds of reactions can he expect from his wife as he introduces this into his marriage and how should he respond to his wife’s reactions? All of these questions and more are answered in this podcast series.
Not only do their wives accept the particular program of domestic discipline that I teach – but through this particular domestic discipline program these husbands have achieved 100 percent submission from their wives. In other words, they have achieved complete dominion over their wives as God commanded of Adam and all husbands in Genesis 3:16.
And let me be clear what I mean by “100 percent” submission. I don’t mean their wives are perfect and sinless. What 100% submission means is these wives have eliminated the phrase “I am not comfortable with that” from their speech to their husbands. And if they fail to submit or they fail in other duties as wives – they willingly accept Domestic Discipline.
Click on the image at the top or you can click here to go BGRLearning.com to subscribe and listen to this series as well as hundreds of other biblical gender roles related podcasts.