Why God meant for people to be clothed

Why God meant for people to be clothed

I believe that it was God’s intention for man and woman to be clothed whether or not Adam and Eve ever sinned – the proof is that we will be clothed in the eternal state.

Humans have no natural protection from elements

We as human beings in our natural state are exposed, and thus we are meant to be clothed. Clothing protects our skin from extreme temperatures (hot and cold), and from being cut and scraped. This why we wear clothing and shoes.

Symbolic Purposes for Clothing

It is clear from the Bible that God loves symbols. Marriage while have practical purposes in this life, is also a symbol of the eternal relationship between God and his people. Yeast was symbolic of sin. Boaz redeeming Ruth was a symbol of Christ’s redemption of all mankind. There are countless symbolisms in Scripture, and clothing is no exception. While clothing has practical purposes that we have previously pointed out, clothing also has symbolic purposes.

Being clothed separates mankind from all other creatures

God could have designed people with a super durable and protective exterior to the extent that we did not need clothing, but he did not. The reason was that he wanted to separate us out as special from all his other creations. Every other creature on this planet does not need clothing, but they are given custom clothing by God himself. Birds have feathers, bears, dogs and cats have fur. Some creatures have scales, while others have extremely thick skin. Turtles have shells.

In the Scriptures God made a man to be like an animal for sinning against him:

“The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.”

Daniel 4:33(KJV)

King Nebuchadnezzar sinned against God, and God made him go about as an animal for a time, because of his sin. The phrase “his body was wet with the dew of heaven” is acknowledged by many commentators as meaning he was naked. He replaced his clothing with excess body hair, in the same fashion as an animal, or more specifically like eagle’s feathers.

As we saw in the first section, the temporal reasons for clothing are practical ones.

Clothing is symbol of righteousness, while nakedness is symbol of shame

In Revelation chapter 19 we see that clothing is a symbol of the righteousness of the saints:

Job shows us that his righteousness was a clothing:

“I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem.” – Job 29:14(KJV)

John tells us in the book of Revelation that clothing was symbolic of the righteousness of the saints:

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” – Revelation 19:7-8(KJV)

In Revelation chapter 3 we see that clothing covers the shame of nakedness:

“I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” – Revelation 3:18(KJV)

Clothing is a symbol of salvation:

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” – Isaiah 61:10(KJV)

While clothing has many positive symbolisms in the Bible, nakedness is often associated with poverty or shame:

Christ spoke about nakedness as symbol of poverty:

“For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” – Matthew 25:35-36(KJV)

The scripture also see nakedness as symbolic of shame:

“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” – Revelation 16:15(KJV)

Conclusion

In this third second article in our “Biblical Nudity” series, we have established why God always meant for mankind to be clothed (even if the fall had never happened). We can see that unlike other creatures in God’s creation, man was not made with a natural and durable covering to brave the elements and protect his body from damage. We can see there is great symbolism in man being clothed, and it separates and distinguishes us from all the rest of God’s creation on earth.

Clothing, for the most part, has a very positive symbolism in Scripture being symbolic of things like righteousness, salvation and prosperity. Nakedness on the other hand, is often associated with shame, disgrace and poverty.

In our next article in this series, we will discuss “Why nudity is not always shameful”.

See these other related posts in this series “Biblical Nudity”:

Why did nudity become shameful after the fall?

Is it wrong for Christians to pose nude, or paint and photograph nudes?

Lawlessness, God’s Law and Tradition – Which one do you and your Church serve?

historic white church on the hill, bodega, california

In many Christian Churches today, we see one of two extremes. We see churches preaching against traditionalism (or legalism as it often referred to today) but not preaching against lawlessness. We also see churches preaching against lawlessness, but many of these same churches fail to preach against traditionalism (legalism). It is becoming less and less common in our culture to see Churches that neither go to the left nor the right of God’s law.

Do not turn to the right or to the left

This subject of not going to the right or left of God’s law seems to be a very important theme in the Scriptures.

“Be careful to do as the Lord your God has commanded you; you are not to turn aside to the right or the left.”

Deuteronomy 5:32 HCSB

This phrase of not turning to “the right or the left” of God’s commands is repeated 7 more times in the Scriptures(Deuteronomy 17:20, Deuteronomy 28:14, Joshua 1:7, Joshua 23:6, 2 Kings 22:2,2 Chronicles 34:2,Proverbs 4:27).

God also uses another phrase to express this same sentiment:

“You must not add anything to what I command you or take anything away from it, so that you may keep the commands of the Lord your God I am giving you.”

Deuteronomy 4:2 HCSB

This same phrase of “not adding or taking anything” away from God’s law is repeated in Deuteronomy 12:32.

So in total, 10 times, count them – 10 times God says he does not want us to go the left of his law, or to the right of his law, he does not want us to add to his law, or take away from his law.

When we go to the left of God’s law, and we take away from God’s law, we get lawlessness. When we go to the right of God’s law, we add to God’s law and we get tradition.

LawlessnessGodsLawManslaw

Jesus Christ himself reserved some of his most vehement scolding for Jewish teachers of the Law who added to God’s laws and taught their traditions as being equal to God’s law when he quoted from Isaiah:

“In this way, you have revoked God’s word because of your tradition. 7 Hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied correctly about you when he said:

8 These people honor Me with their lips,

but their heart is far from Me.

9 They worship Me in vain,

teaching as doctrines the commands of men.””

Matthew 15:6b -9 HCSB

The Apostle Paul, when fighting against a new false teaching that added rules to God’s Word spoke these words:

“8 Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on Christ… 16 Therefore, don’t let anyone judge you in regard to food and drink or in the matter of a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of what was to come; the substance is the Messiah. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on ascetic practices and the worship of angels, claiming access to a visionary realm and inflated without cause by his unspiritual mind. 19 He doesn’t hold on to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and tendons, develops with growth from God.

20 If you died with the Messiah to the elemental forces of this world, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations: 21 “Don’t handle, don’t taste, don’t touch”? 22 All these regulations refer to what is destroyed by being used up; they are commands and doctrines of men. 23 Although these have a reputation of wisdom by promoting ascetic practices, humility, and severe treatment of the body, they are not of any value in curbing self-indulgence.”

Colossians 2:8 & 16-23 HCSB

The Three types of spiritual slavery in the New Testament

In the passage we just quoted from Colossians 2, Paul talks about human tradition taking us captive. He has used this concept of captivity with lawlessness as well when he states:

“19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption, since people are enslaved to whatever defeats them.”

2 Peter 2:19 HCSB

Paul talks about another type of slavery, a positive type of slavery:

“16 Don’t you know that if you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of that one you obey—either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were transferred to, 18 and having been liberated from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. “

Romans 6:16-18 HCSB

So we have three masters we can serve, Lawlessness, God or Tradition. Being a captive of Lawlessness or Tradition are both equally sinful activities.

Examples of the difference between Lawlessness, God’s law and Tradition

LawlessnessGodsLawManslaw2

What if I or my Church practice some of these traditions, am I sinning?

Please don’t misunderstand me. We all have some rules for ourselves, or as parents for our children that may fall into some of the categories I have mentioned above. Even some Churches may have some rules that are not found in the Bible.

It is one thing to have a rule or standard for one’s life, one’s family, or even for Church activities, and another to teach these things as doctrines of Scripture that all men must follow, else they are sinning.

For instance, if I personally have a rule for my family that we won’t drink alcohol in our home, there is no sin in that. But if I teach that the drinking of any alcohol is wrong for all people, and sinful for all people – then I am being a slave to tradition and I am sinning by adding to God’s Word. God’s Word condemns drunkenness, not drinking.

Perhaps you believe that God wants you and your family to tithe, to give 10 percent of your gross income to your local church. There is no sin in this belief, as long as you understand that it is not sinful for others give less than 10% to their local churches, because tithing was never instituted as a method of giving for the New Testament Church. Anyone who teaches this as a doctrine for the New Testament Church is being a slave to the traditions of men, and is adding to the New Testament which clearly says with New Covenant, we are no longer under the old law.

I could go on, but you get the point. There is nothing wrong with having traditions that you follow, as long as those traditions do not cause you to violate the commands of God, and as long you never equate those traditions with the commands and doctrines of God’s Word.

So the question is what master will you serve? Lawlessness? God or Tradition?

This has been the first in series of posts I wanted to write relating to traditionalism. In this first post I wanted to compare and contrast following lawlessness, God’s law and the traditions of men. This is not just some theoretical exercise, I grew up in Churches that believed in many of the traditions I listed, and they held strong convictions that anyone who did not embrace these traditions as the commands of God, were in fact sinners under the judgment of God.

Many times on this blog I have been accused of being a traditionalist myself, because of my strong convictions regarding Biblical Gender Roles. But the major difference between mine and millions of Christians who believe in Biblical Gender Roles and these traditions I listed above is – there are ample Scriptural commands that teach Biblical Gender Roles, there are no Scriptural commands that teach any of the traditions I have shown above. They are built on conjecture, and opinion, not on clear Scriptural commands.

In upcoming posts I will be reviewing actual doctrinal statements from a church website that one my blog readers referred to me where this Church teaches many of these traditions as the commands of God, rather than the traditions of men.

 

Was Jesus Christ a Feminist?

WasJesusAFeminist

If you look online you will find multiple blogs and articles touting that Jesus was a feminist. In fact there are even books teaching that Jesus was a feminist. As Christians, the basis for our beliefs should never be our feelings or our culture but what the written Word of God says. So here we will examine the supposed “Biblical proofs” that show Jesus was a feminist.

Vicky Beeching has a post entitled “Christian Feminism is not an oxymoron” and I think she does a good job of summarizing the position held by many today that Jesus was in fact a feminist. Her full post can be found at http://vickybeeching.com/blog/christian-feminism-is-not-an-oxymoron/

Vicky Beeching states:

“Jesus was a feminism and so am I. The manner in which he treated women in his social era was revolutionary. He gave them respect, dignity and worth. His behaviour meshes perfectly with the definition of feminism:

“Feminism: a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing and defending equal political, economic, social rights and equal opportunities for women.”

First let me say where I agree with Vicky Beeching and many other Christian Feminists and Egalitarians. Women were often times mistreated or dishonored, both before, during and after the time of Christ. However, I will not concede that all men dishonored their wives or other women, but there were many that did.

I would also agree that that Paul’s call to men in Ephesians 5 to love their wives as their own bodies, and Peter’s call for men to “honor” their wives as “the weaker vessel” were revolutionary for their time.

Having said all that, there is a huge difference between telling men to love and honor their wives (and their mothers (Ephesians 6:2) and telling men that they had to make women equal in political, economic and social circles.

Let’s see if Vicky Beeching proves that Jesus Christ supported anything more than giving respect and honor to women:

“He broke numerous cultural traditions by taking women seriously and giving them equal respect and dignity.”

Agreed – Christ gave women equal respect and treated them with dignity, but I don’t see Christ telling his disciples that women had to be given equal social, economic or political rights anywhere in the Scriptures.

“For example, talking with the woman at the well while his disciples watched with total shock.”

Agreed – it was a shock for him to talking to a woman, and a non-Jew, and woman of disrepute as she was. He was treating a non-Jew and woman with equal respect and dignity, no question there. However I still don’t see him telling his disciples that she should have equal social, economic and political rights to men.

“Or having friends like Mary Magdalene whose past was dubious.”

Again – Yes Jesus was a friend to sinners, and the down trodden of society. However we don’t see Jesus advocating for equal social, economic or political rights, but only respect as a human being.

“Or choosing not to judge the woman caught in adultery.”

Jesus not allowing the woman caught in adultery to be punished for her adultery was an act of mercy, not a statement that women should be given equal social, economic or political rights to a man.

“Or choosing a woman to be the first person who saw his resurrected body.”

Yes Jesus allowed a woman (Mary Magdalene) to see his resurrected body first. But there is absolutely no evidence, no statement by him, saying that by this act he meant for women to have equal political, social or economic rights to men.

“Or choosing women to be among the group of disciples who followed him everywhere.”

Again the fact that Jesus allowed women to follow him may have been revolutionary for the time, but there is absolutely no evidence that he stated to anyone that this was a symbol of his support for equal political, social and economic rights for women.

Vicky states:

“Granted, there were no women chosen within the twelve disciples, but to me that is related to the culture of that era and the lack of education available to women, rather than being a doctrinal statement. There also weren’t any non-Jews chosen, so does that mean that only Jews can be Christians?! The disciples had brown hair, so does that mean blonde people can’t be Christians?! The logic is flawed.”

Here Vicky has been forced to make a big concession. If Jesus was in fact in favor of full equality for women, and he wanted to make this clear to all, then why would not even one of his twelve disciples be a woman? This a huge problem for Christian Feminists and they know this so has to address this problem.

Vicky talks about it having to do with “the culture of that era” –really? So Jesus would be a revolutionary but only to a certain point? He would allow women to follow him, which was not common, but would stop at making them one of his twelve?

Then Vicky talks about “lack of education available to women” – is she not aware that some of Christ’s twelve disciples were fishermen and not very educated?

She then talks about the fact that there were not any non-Jews chosen and makes a horrible statement that “does that mean that only Jews can be Christians?” If Vicky had studied her Bible more closely she would know why Christ only chose only Jews as his twelve disciples:

“He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”

John 1:11-12(KJV)

Christ came to his own, the Jewish people. After his resurrection he sent his Apostles to the gentiles (non-Jews), and Paul was given this main task to go to the gentiles (although some of the other Apostles did as well). That is why his twelve disciples were all Jews.

Then Vicky makes another ridiculous statement about the disciples all having “brown hair” – how does she know that? Maybe some of them had black hair?

I believe I have clearly shown that Vicky’s logic is the “logic that is flawed here”. She has not been able to answer why all of Christ’s twelve disciples were men if he was such a big feminist as she claims he was.

I would agree with her that it is not necessarily a doctrinal statement that Jesus had no female disciples, except that Vicky has built practically her entire case that Jesus was a feminist based on his behavior toward women. Not having a female disciple is a huge blow to a position that is built completely on example, and not on express commands.

Vicky states:

“Despite its reputation for being patriarchal, the Bible contains some pretty powerful portraits of women.”

The Bible does not just have a “reputation for being patriarchal” but it has clear statements supporting a Biblical concept of Patriarchy, and it even explains the reasons for Patriarchy while we live in these earthly bodies:

“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)

The Word of God is crystal clear that not only is patriarchy God’s command for marriage, but in marriage it is a picture of Christ and the Church. The husband is to model Christ’s role in loving, leading, protecting and providing for his Church. The wife is to play the role of the church, submitting to her husband’s leadership in “every thing” as the Church is to submit to Christ in “every thing”. The woman places her dependence on her husband for his leadership, protection and provision, as the Church places its dependence on Christ for its leadership, protection and provision.

As far as “powerful women” goes that is a larger subject that I dedicated an entire post to – please see “Does the Bible allow for a woman to be President of the United States?”

Vicky continues:

“Far from not being central to the core of Jesus’ ministry, women were actively supporting the entire operation. “But they were helping administrate rather than teach”, you may say. Well, take another look at the story of Mary and Martha. Here Jesus gave teaching that was shocking to his era. Rather than affirming the cultural limitations of women doing domestic work, Jesus declares that Mary wanting to sit at his feet (as one learning from a Rabbi) and to engage in theological study was good and in his words ‘the better part’.”

Vicky is alluding to Luke 10:38-42 where Mary “sat at Jesus’s feet, and heard his word” (vs 39). The optimal word is -”heard”. Mary was hearing Christ’s word, while Martha was worried about serving and doing house work, which could have waited. She should have come and heard Christ’s word as well. But there is ZERO evidence that Mary taught anything, or engaged “in theological study” or even asked any questions. Even if she had asked a question, this is not the same as teaching.

So once again – Vicky has proven nothing here about women being able to teach men from this incident.

Near the end she alludes to Deborah, and then Proverbs 31. I have answered the “Deborah question” in the link I gave previously about a woman being President. I answer Vicky’s Proverb 31 assertions that this is a woman with a “powerful career” here “Can a woman work outside the home?”

Conclusion

In the end Vicky has not proven either by Christ’s words or example that he was a Feminist supporting equal political, economic and social rights for women with men. Yes Christ honored women, and he treated them better than many men of their age did. But Christ never said anything against Patriarchy – in fact he commanded it!

One of the biggest mistakes that Christian feminists make is in separating the words of Jesus Christ, from the words of Paul, Peter and other Biblical writers. When we understand that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (II Timothy 3:16) and the Scriptures are not “the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God” (I Thessalonians2:13) then we know when Christ’s Apostles wrote these words it was as if Jesus Christ himself said them:

When Paul said in Corinthians 11:3 that “the head of the woman is the man”, he was speaking the very Words of Jesus Christ, as he was inspired by God to do.

When Paul said in Ephesians 5:23 that “the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church” – he was speaking the very Words of Christ, as he was inspired by God to do.

When Peter said “ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands”, he was speaking the very Words of Jesus Christ, as he was inspired to do.

Because Christian Feminists and Egalitarians are loyal first their ideology of total equality for men and women in every area of life, they must sacrifice a belief in the inerrany of the Scriptures.

I have shown here, or in articles that have I have linked to, that Christian Feminism is in fact – an OXYMORON. In order to embrace Christian Feminism, you have to ignore the very clear commands of God’s Word as well as the divine inspiration of the Scriptures.

 

What does a successful Christian marriage look like?

Roofer Working On Exterior Of New Home

What does a successful Christian marriage look like?

Some people say any marriage that does not end in divorce is a successful marriage. Still others say it is more than just not divorcing. Some say it is when two different people come together, and over time they become as one. But even this “oneness” in marriage is defined in many different ways.

Some say it is when a couple become best friends, when they barely if ever fight anymore and they become the very picture of unity. Still others say that not only is longevity a sign of a successful marriage, but a successful marriage is one that has passion and romance throughout its time.

Before I get into what the Bible shows is a successful marriage, let me give an illustration.

Let’s imagine that you are a servant of a king. He asks you to go and build him a beautiful house off in a faraway land he has a purchased. He gives you detailed plans for this house, and tells you that after you build this house, he wants you to live in it and take care of it for him until he comes to take possession of it one day. He says if you build the house according to his plan, and maintain it and keep it up for him, he will reward you greatly when he comes.

You reach the land the King has given you to build on, and you find that some materials he has requested are much harder to find than others. You also find that some parts of his design, are just very difficult to build in the fashion he has requested.

So you decide to alter his design, you build with different materials than he requested and you alter the design where it seems too difficult to build it the way he has requested. But eventually – you build what you believe to be a stable house, what works for you, and you begin to live in it and take care of that house.

Twenty years go by before the King finally comes to see this home you have built for him. You hear he is approaching, and you quickly go around and clean the house – ready and proud to show him this house you have built. This house has stood strong for 20 years, what else could he ask for right?

The King comes to your home, but instead of a look of delight, he has a look of sorrow. He asks “why did you not follow my design?” You respond “because my King, some of the materials were hard to find, and some of your designs were too hard to build”. The King responds – “I did not ask you to take the easy way out, I asked you to do the hard work, and to build the house exactly as I requested it”. You respond “but lord, this house has stood strong for 20 years, is that not good enough?” The King responds “each part of the house, each material and design, was meant to symbolize different things that are important to me – you have broken those symbols”.

When it comes to marriage – God does not care if a marriage just “works”, or that a couple never gets divorced. God had a very specific design and purpose for marriage.

So what does God consider to be a Successful marriage?

Let me first say what God does not consider a successful marriage (based on his Word).

A marriage is not a success in God’s eyes, simply because it does not end in divorce.

A marriage is not a success in God’s eyes, because a couple love one another, act in unison and rarely fight.

A marriage is not a success in God’s eyes, because a couple have passion and romance in their marriage.

The primary (spiritual) purpose for which God design marriage is found in Ephesians 5:22-33.

“22 Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, 23 for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. 27 He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless. 28 In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hates his own flesh but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, 30 since we are members of His body.”

31 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.

32 This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church.

33 To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband.”

God meant for a husband and wife to model the relationship between God and his people, in the New Testament this represented as the relationship between Christ and his Church. But even in the Old Testament, God’s relationship with Israel was often pictured in prophesy as the relationship between a husband and wife.

Christian Feminists and Egalitarians say marriage is a “partnership of equals”. I don’t know how anyone could read Ephesians 5:22-33 and come away with such an absurd idea. In the model of Christ and the Church, are Christ and his Church equal partners? Or is Christ the head of his Church? It’s a very simple question, with a very simple answer.

God cares about how we build our marriages, he cares how we model the relationship between Christ and his Church. That is why God wants man to model his leadership, his protection and provision in his relationship with his wife. It is also why God wants woman to model the submission, and servant attitude that he asks of his people toward himself.

It is not enough to say “well this works for our marriage”. Is it modeling what God has purposed for marriage? Is your husband following God’s distinct model for him? Is your wife following God’s distinct model for her?

The Secondary purposes for marriage

A companion and helper for man

“It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper as his complement.”

Genesis 2:18

There are definitely some secondary (temporal and physical) purposes for which God made marriage. God made woman as a companion and helper for man. Some have tried to make much to do about the “helper” “ezer kenegdo” saying it usually speaks of God helping.

The fact is God was not made for us, we were made for him. So in the context of Genesis 1, ezer kenegdo takes on a different meaning, because Eve was CLEARLY made for Adam, not Adam for Eve.

The New Testament confirms this interpretation when the Apostle Paul states “And man was not created for woman, but woman for man.”(I Corinthians 11:9).

A lover for man

“encourage the young women to love their husbands”

Titus 2:4

The phrase “to love their husbands” is a translation of the Greek word “Philandros” which literally means to be “lovers of their husbands”. This is not the Agape (love of the will, love of duty) that men are commanded toward their wives. This is a different kind of love, the Philandros love that women are commanded to have toward their husbands. This is an affectionate love, it pictures a woman showing affection, both physically and emotionally toward her husband.

A mother for man’s children, and caretaker for his home

“Therefore, I want younger women to marry, have children, manage their households”

I Timothy 5:14

In addition to creating a companion and lover for man, God also created in woman a mother and home manager for man. In very much the same way that we as believers go and make disciples for Christ, so to women make children for their husbands. In the same we follow Christ’s leadership in teaching young believers, so to a mother is meant to teach her children, as she is follows her husband’s leadership.

Woman – a person to be loved and cared for

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

I Peter 3:7(KJV)

God purposefully created woman as the “weaker vessel”, so that man would have someone who would need his leadership, his provision, his protection and his love. God knew that men need a purpose, something to strive for, and something upon which to exercise their gifts. So God gave women to men, and he purposefully made them to need a man’s leadership, provision and protection. In the same way that God wants to be our hero – each husband should want to be his wife and children’s hero.

But what about romance and friendship in marriage?

Romance and friendship are wonderful things in marriage. But romance and friendship in God’s view are to marriage what in-ground swimming pools and central air are to homes. They are nice to have, they definitely make our homes more enjoyable, require a lot of maintenance, but are not ultimately required.

Don’t get me wrong, romance and friendship are wonderful goals to pursue in marriage – but if we pursue them at the cost of the primary purpose for marriage, our marriage will not be a success in God’s eyes.

This is why we have such a huge amount of divorce today – even in the Christian community. Because Christians are being led by their feelings, and not by the Spirit of God.

And as far as romance and friendship goes, very often what women find is, if they model the wife that God calls them to be, if they are submit to their husbands, respect their husbands and are affectionate lovers to their husbands – they will get at least some of that romance they desire.

Conclusion

We as believers, in America and around the world, need to return to God’s purposes for marriage, both the primary, and the secondary reasons. We need to keep each in their order of importance.

So how will you build your marriage? Will you build it upon the foundation of the Word of God? Will you build you marriage based on the model that God has given us in Ephesians 5:22-33? Or will you do “what you feel is right” or “what works for us”?

Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, played the role that God gave him to play as the Savior of mankind. It was not easy, but he played his role just as his father willed him to do. Are we today so wrapped up in our modern American ideas about equality, that we are too proud and too arrogant to play the roles that God has given to us based on our gender?

I leave you with the Apostle Paul’s words in I Corinthians 3:11-15 to mediate upon:

“11 For no one can lay any other foundation than what has been laid down. That foundation is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on that foundation with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, 13 each one’s work will become obvious, for the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire; the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. 14 If anyone’s work that he has built survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, it will be lost, but he will be saved; yet it will be like an escape through fire.”

 

All Scripture passages unless otherwise stated are quoted from the Holman Christian Standard Bible.

Does a husband have to earn sex with his wife?

husband asks wife for sex

Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary published an article on Crosswalk.com in 2005 called “The Meaning of Sex”. In this article he states that “a woman has every right to expect that her husband will earn access to the marriage bed”.

The full article “The Meaning of Sex”, can be found at here.

Here is the larger context of how Dr. Mohler builds his foundation for the belief that God wants men to “earn access to the marriage bed”.

Dr. Mohler states:

“A biblical worldview understands that God has demonstrated His glory in both the sameness and the differences that mark men and women, male and female. Alike made in the image of God, men and women are literally made for each other. The physicality of the male and female bodies cries out for fulfillment in the other. The sex drive calls both men and women out of themselves and toward a covenantal relationship which is consummated in a one-flesh union.

By definition, sex within marriage is not merely the accomplishment of sexual fulfillment on the part of two individuals who happen to share the same bed. Rather, it is the mutual self-giving that reaches pleasures both physical and spiritual. The emotional aspect of sex cannot be divorced from the physical dimension of the sex act. Though men are often tempted to forget this, women possess more and less gentle means of making that need clear.

Consider the fact that a woman has every right to expect that her husband will earn access to the marriage bed. As the Apostle Paul states, the husband and wife no longer own their own bodies, but each now belongs to the other. At the same time, Paul instructed men to love their wives even as Christ has loved the church. Even as wives are commanded to submit to the authority of their husbands, the husband is called to a far higher standard of Christ-like love and devotion toward the wife.

Therefore, when I say that a husband must regularly “earn” privileged access to the marital bed, I mean that a husband owes his wife the confidence, affection, and emotional support that would lead her to freely give herself to her husband in the act of sex.”

Dr. Mohler is alluding to I Corinthians 7:4-6 when he states “, the husband and wife no longer own their own bodies, but each now belongs to the other”. He then alludes to Ephesians 5 where God commands husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the Church.

What part of I Corinthians 7 or Ephesians 5 state that men must “earn access to marriage bed”? The answer is NO part does. I invite the reader to study these passages closely. In fact that only “mutuality” about sex that Paul mentions is that married couples need to only cease having sex when they “mutually” agree to short time to stop for prayer and fasting.

Sex is to occur regularly, and anytime that either the wife needs it, or the husband needs it. The reality is that in most relationships the husband will need it far more often than the wife (but there are some exceptions to this).

The husband’s sex drive is much more physically based than the wife’s need as he has hormones that drive him to have a sexual release at least every 72 hours.

Dr. Mohler incorrectly paints the male sex drive as shallow and he paints the women’s view of sex (both emotional and physical) as the true intent God had for each sexual encounter between a husband and wife. This is why he sees that husbands must earn sex with their wives, because any sex that is only physically based, and not also emotionally based, is less than the sex God intends for marriage in his view.

The Biblical facts are these – NEVER once in all of Scripture is a husband commanded to “earn” sex in the marital bed by showing his wife affection and emotional support. Men are commanded to Agape love their wives – this is love of the will and of the mind, not an emotionally based affectionate love.

Dr. Mohler’s advice may sound great from a woman’s point of view, but it is far from a Biblical point of a view and it is teachings like these that are leading to the great divorce epidemic we have faced in this country for decades. Almost 70 percent of divorces today are filed by women, and the vast majority of them are filed because they believe their husbands are not “emotionally connecting” with them enough.

Dr. Mohler states “Alike made in the image of God, men and women are literally made for each other.” This statement could not be further from the truth. Read the passages below and tell me if Dr. Mohler’s belief lines up with God’s Holy Word:

“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…

 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”

I Corinthians 11:7 & 9(KJV)

Man is the image and glory of God, and woman is the glory of man. Man was not made for woman, but woman for man. This guiding principle of the roles of men and women in God’s creation, and in marriage has been all but lost in our modern society over the last 50 years. Even conservative Bible preachers have left God’s teachings behind because of pressure from Christian feminists within our churches.

No husband has to “earn access” to his wife’s body any more than a wife has to earn access to her husband’s body.

Often time’s sex is in fact purely physical for a man in that it helps him to relieve stress and it helps him to build fondness for his wife. So many times sex, even in a loving marriage, will be no more than two people getting physical relief.

But what Christian wives often discover is, when you do what God commands and offer your body freely to your husband, with no pre-conditions, your husband will often do what God does not command – and act affectionate toward you and give you some of the emotional support you crave. But you also have to realize your husband is not girlfriend. Some men can over time emotionally connect on a very deep level with their wives, perhaps as deep as their girlfriends. But what many women discover over decades of marriage is, most men simply are not wired by God to give a woman all the emotional support she needs, that is what good Christian lady friends are for.

If a woman makes full emotional support and connection a precondition for every sexual encounter with her husband, this will quickly cause friction in many marriages, and often leads to the destruction of the marriage.

Consider this historical fact. For thousands of years, before the last two centuries, many, if not most marriages were arranged. Either parents would arrange them, or a man would approach a woman’s father and ask for her to be his wife, he would offer her father something in trade and she would be made to marry that man.

The love they pledged in marriage was not an emotional love, but one of duty – based upon the Agape love defined in the Bible. It was not a friendship or romantic love, but it might grow into that over some time. But for a while, this new bride was having sex with a man she barely knew, and may or may not be physically attracted to. There was no emotional or affection preconditions to their having sex, it happened whenever the husband needed it. Society embraced the Biblical concept that man was not created woman, but woman was created for man.

But the smart women, those who accepted their role and position in society as God designed it, found that they could in fact earn their husband’s affection and emotional connection by freely offering their bodies and affections to their husbands. They looked for any way they could to please their husbands, both inside and outside the bedroom and they honored and respected their husband.

In time – they planted the seeds of passion and romance in their husband’s hearts which lead their husbands to give them the affection and emotional connection they craved.

So this leaves us with some questions and admonitions to Christian husbands and wives.

Wives – will you submit to God’s design and role for your life? Will you see yourself as beautiful gift that God created for your husband? If you have been taught these false teachings that your husband “must earn” access to your body in the marriage bed – will you repent of this false belief and give yourself fully, freely, and without condition to your husband?

Husbands, do you realize that when you follow the unbiblical advice given by many Christians teachers today (including Dr. Mohler), that you must earn sexual access to your wife, that you are in fact giving up the leadership of your home when it comes to sexuality? God commands you to lead your home in all areas, and that includes sexuality.

While in generations past Misogyny(hatred toward women), was the more prevalent problem, today the pendulum has swung completely in the other direction.  Dr. Mohler and many other Christian leaders, with their negative views toward male sexuality, are contributing to the growing Misandry (hatred of all things male) that has become so prevalent in our modern society. As Christian leaders in our homes, we as men have a duty to fight Misandry wherever we find it. No man ought to be made to feel that his God given “maleness” is some sort of liability, anymore than a woman should be made to feel that her God given “femininity” is a liability.

While it is true that a man’s God given sexual nature has the capacity to lead to sin if it is unbalanced and unchecked, it is also equally true that a woman’s God given emotional nature has the same capacity to lead her into sinful behavior as well.

God commands that sex is to happen regularly (I Corinthians 7) and the only “mutuality” that is commanded in the sexual arena is in ceasing to have sex for a short time of prayer and fasting and only if both mutually agree. If you need sex, you should initiate it with your wife. If your wife needs sex and initiates it with you, you are commanded to have sex with her. The emotions may or may not be there each time. Even if you don’t need sex, sex should happen regularly as a part of marriage. You as the husband, must take the lead in this area to make sure it happens often and regularly.

What should a Christian husband do if his wife refuses to submit to his leadership in this very important area of sex?

This is a part of a much larger discussion of how Christian husbands should handle unsubmissive wives.  When I complete that post, I will link it back to this post.  For now I will leave you with what God’s Word says about the need for regularly occurring sex within marriage.

Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

I Corinthians 7:3-5(KJV)

The 2 REAL reasons divorce and cohabitation rates are so high

DivorceCohabit

Divorce and cohabitation – what could they have in common? And how could anyone reduce the reasons for such complex things as divorce and cohabitation to just two sources? The answers are simpler than you think, and statistically they are staring you the face.

Look up any government or private surveys or stats on marriage, and while there may be many differences, they all agree that divorces rates are high, and so are cohabitation rates.

Divorces rates reached their peak in the 1980’s, and then declined a bit after that but they still hover around 50%. The dirty little secret is, the only reason divorce rates in the United States stabilized around 50% is because since the 1980’s cohabitation in the United States has dramatically increased.

“Three of four women in the U.S. have lived with a partner without being married by the age of 30, an increasing trend that suggests cohabitation is now a regular part of family life in the U.S., researchers said.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-04/unmarried-couples-living-together-is-new-u-s-norm.html

“The United States currently is witnessing a dramatic rise in the percentage of couples whose first union is not a marriage but cohabitation, a new federal government report confirms…

The report shows that while cohabiting couples often marry at some point, cohabitations frequently dissolve within five years or much less time. “Cohabitations typically are short-lived,” the report observes, though it stresses that cohabitations last somewhat longer now than 10 years ago.”

http://www.foryourmarriage.org/rising-cohabitation/

The reasons typically stated for high divorce and cohabitation in the United States

Many articles online and elsewhere will try and give various reasons for high divorce rates and high cohabitation rates. Often times high cohabitation rates are attributed to more economical reasons. Couples simple cannot afford to marry, or least no marriage before the age of 30.

Adultery and abuse account for only 10 to 20% of the reasons for divorce, while 80 to 90 percent of divorces today are for other reasons. Most divorces occur because of couples fighting over money or career issues, how to raise children, lack of intimacy and not spending time together.

The real 2 reasons for high cohabitation and divorce rates in the United States

The first reason that couples in the United States are increasing living together out of marriage, or married couples are divorcing at higher rates is because of one word – CHOICE.

I love freedom. Our American forefathers loved freedom. But the freedom they originally gave our new nation, enshrined in our original Constitution and Bill of Rights, was a limited freedom. It was difficult to divorce, and it was practically impossible to cohabitate in America as it was founded.

I love the freedom with which America was originally founded, not the perverted freedom (anarchy) that we have today.

Yes people still fornicated, as they always have since the beginning of mankind. But it was considered a shame, and it was kept secret, and the consequences could be dire to both parties if discovered.

It was rare for men to divorce their wives, and most women were never able to leave their husbands because of property laws and the fact if a woman divorced her husband, she would leave her children and everything behind.

CHOICE – People had no choice but to marry, and stay married, up until the mid-19th century with the rise of Feminism which then gave birth to the sexual revolution of the 1960’s.

The second reason we have such high divorce and cohabitation rates in the United States is actually the source for the first reason, the SECULARIZATION of our culture. We have given people the choice to cohabitate and divorce because we have left what used to form the basis for our moral values, and that was the Bible. Since we have no moral foundation, anything goes.

The nation of Israel in the Bible went through times like we see today when “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21:25(KJV)

Our founding fathers fought for religious liberty, not for removal of all religious influence on society.

“To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. . . . Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all blessings which flow from them, must fall with them.”

(Source: Jedidiah Morse, A Sermon, Exhibiting the Present Dangers and Consequent Duties of the Citizens of the United States of America (Hartford: Hudson and Goodwin, 1799), p. 9.)

It is no coincidence that as church attendance has declined in this country over the last century that divorce and cohabitation have spiked. We give people a choice to cohabitate and divorce because we have no moral center anymore – we can do whatever we want.

A man can go and impregnate as many women outside of marriage as he so chooses, as long as he pays the child support. Or if he is smart and uses a condom, he can sleep around with as many women as he wants with no worries, and no judgment from our society.

Women routinely place their education, careers and hobbies above the most important functions for which they were designed – being a wives and mothers. Because of modern birth control, women can freely sleep with as many men as they want as they pursue money and pleasure.

Conclusion

People are not cohabiting together because of economic reasons – the real reason is because we as a society have given people the CHOICE to live together outside of marriage.

Couples are not divorcing because of lack of intimacy, lack of romance, or disagreements over raising children or careers, the real reason people are divorcing is because we have given them a CHOICE to divorce for ANY reason(there are Biblical reasons for divorce, but they are few).

The reason we give people a CHOICE today to cohabitate and easily divorce is because we have allowed our nation to become SECULARIZED, we have pushed God completely out of our cultural and legislative institutions, and in our churches Pastors have so watered down the Word of God (because of fear of offending people or bucking cultural changes) that people no longer know right from wrong.

What can we do about this?

There is no question today that there has been a culture war going on within the United States for well over 100 years. There has been a war over what “freedom” means. Some choices that we used to have, that our nation was originally founded with, have been take away. Other choices that our founders never intended for us to have, and would have been considered immoral, have been granted and given the full protection of our local, state and Federal governments.

Some have fought for an idea of freedom that protects behavior that previous generations would have never have allowed. These same groups that have fought for these new found freedoms to commit immoral behavior, have in turn fought to restrict the freedoms that our for fathers originally fought for, especially in being able to publically call out immoral behavior exactly for what it is.

As individuals, it may seem that there is little we can do to change our culture back to the Godly culture it once was. What we can do is take responsibility for ourselves and our families. Men need to take a stand and teach their wives and children’s God’s Word. Then as we take back our families and marriages for Christ, we can then turn to taking back our Churches and encouraging our Pastors to preach the whole counsel of God, not just what they think will be politically correct.

Once our Churches and church leaders have been emboldened to stand for God, we can then begin taking back our neighborhoods, towns and eventually our State and Federal Government for Christ.

We used to have a government and culture that believed in freedom, but it was a freedom that was limited within the boundaries of a Biblical Christian worldview.

CHOICE is both the problem WITH and solution TO America’s cultural decline. We have to choose to follow a Biblical world view, no matter how socially or politically incorrect it may be. We need to influence our culture to remove the CHOICE to commit immoral behavior. But in order to do that, we need to agree on what immoral behavior is, and the only we can do that is by returning to a Biblical foundation as our standard for moral or immoral behavior.