Is wanting sex with your wife when she is not in the mood childish?

“Yes, God has given us the sex drive, but that doesn’t mean we must gratify it. We are not children any more…I can accept the sex drive to be almost impossible to resist when one is a teenager and the hormones are wild, but I cannot accept an adult man trying to excuse his adultery – or coerce his wife to have sex with him – by “I have a sex drive and my wife doesn’t!”.

This is an excerpt from a comment I received today from a Christian wife who calls herself ‘ketutar’. She was commenting on my post “Is a husband selfish for having sex with his wife when she is not in the mood?”.

This comment  is just another textbook example of the problem with the poisonous feminization of marriage that we see today throughout America and the Western world.

Here is her full comment.

Ketutar’s philosophy of sex in Marriage

“I’m OK with this, except for two things.

1) Your marriage doesn’t need sex. If it does, you’re doing it wrong. Due to my health, we have not had sex for several years now. Our marriage is not suffering in any way. We are very intimate, kissing, hugging, holding each other, petting each other – we give each other compliments and express our love in all kinds of manners, like doing small favors to each other, giving each other tokens of love, thinking about the other, sending each other messages and kisses and hugs. Marriage needs intimacy, not sex.

2) Yes, God has given us the sex drive, but that doesn’t mean we must gratify it. We are not children any more. We don’t use diapers, we wait until we can use the toilet. We don’t need snacks, we wait until the meal is served and eat by the table with the family at decided times. We don’t need a bedtime story, teddy and a glass of water before we can sleep. We get up in the morning even when it would be so nice to stay in bed. We don’t have a 2 mile present wish list, nor do we go and buy whatever we might want just because we could – no, we are adults, so we see if the thing fits our economy, home, family and plan. If it doesn’t, we forget the whim, not the family and plan. I can accept the sex drive to be almost impossible to resist when one is a teenager and the hormones are wild, but I cannot accept an adult man trying to excuse his adultery – or coerce his wife to have sex with him – by “I have a sex drive and my wife doesn’t!”.

Also, God gave your wife her sex drive, too… if she got less than you do, should she go against God’s will to adjust to yours? Or should you perhaps exercise not giving in to your animal instincts, bodily whims and yetzer hara?”

My response to Ketutar and other Christian wives who may think like this

You said – “Your marriage doesn’t need sex. If it does, you’re doing it wrong.”

No I am sorry Ketutar, but if your marriage does not need sex – you are in fact doing something wrong. The Bible shows sex as a need in marriage.

“If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.”  – Exodus 21:10-11 (KJV)

God compares sex with food and clothing which are both needs as well. In a marriage – sex is a need.  While it is true that no person has ever died from not having sex, it is equally true that plenty of marriages have died from lack of sex.

Your husband is commanded by God to seek sexual pleasure in your body, and for you to give it to him.

“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.” – Proverbs 5:18-19 (KJV)

A man wanting sex when his wife is not in the mood is NOT childish.

In fact I would argue that women are often the ones who are acting childish for the reasons they often turn down their husbands for sex.

A big part of what it means to be an adult and growing up is doing things when you don’t feel like it. It is getting up for work when you don’t feel like it.  It is talking to your spouse when you don’t feel like it.  And yes it is having sex with your spouse when you don’t feel like it.

That is what it means to be a Christian spouse and an adult in God’s eyes.

Sex is what separates marriage from friendship

It is one thing for a married couple to not be able to have sex for brief periods of time due to health issues, surgeries or being physically separated(like because of job situations). But if a couple simply chooses not to have sex anymore that is no longer marriage as God intended it.

Even if it is due to health reasons.  I am going to be frank here.  Unless it becomes a physical impossibly for a man to achieve an erection or for a woman to have vaginal penetration a couple ought to be having sex.  This goes to the core of marriage.  Even with ED issues or women having issues with vaginal penetration there are other ways for a couple to have physical sexual intimacy.

Ketutar – you and your husband have allowed the “one flesh” aspect of marriage to be neglected or basically removed.  You no longer have a fully functioning marriage as God designed it to be – instead you have at best a close friendship.

In fact I would take a guess and say that you have successfully converted your husband into your girlfriend.

The only way your husband is not suffering is because of one of these possibilities:

  1. He was and has always has been an asexual man. So when your health problems came along he was like “Yeah – I don’t have to have sex anymore”.
  2. He has homosexual tendencies. So when you were first married he had sex with you but he really did not like it – he just did it to please you. Then when your health problems came that burden was lifted off his shoulders. Now he just has to suppress his desires toward other men.
  3. He is simply doing a very good job of hiding his displeasure and frustration about not having sex with you. If this is the case he is probably relieving his sexual tension by looking at porn and masturbating. But this in no way can completely replace that physical sexual connection that he needs with you. He may also be hiding affairs or seeing prostitutes.

Adults don’t need snacks?

You said “We don’t need snacks, we wait until the meal is served and eat by the table with the family at decided times.”

Well I don’t know about you – but as an adult I still need a granola bar or other snacks in between meals.  In fact many studies have shown that eating 4 or 5 small meals a day is better than eating three big meals a day the way many of us do.

And yes as adults we need “sexual snacks” as well as “sexual meals”.

Sexual snacks are quickies. That is when you don’t have a lot of time and maybe only one of you is in the mood but the other needs it so you go have a quickie.  Every healthy marriage should have quickies as part of its sexual diet.

Sexual meals are the full treatment.  This is when both people are in the mood (or get themselves in the mood if one is not) and they take their time with foreplay and just enjoying one another’s bodies until they get to the actual act of intercourse. This is the kind of sex where you hold each other afterwards and just cuddle.

A Christian marriage needs both sexual snacks and sexual meals. Without sexual snacks and meals the marriage will starve to death and at best become a close friendship and nothing more – as your marriage has apparently become. At worst it will lead to sexual immorality and the marriage may end.

Is a woman going against God’s will if she has sex with her husband when she is not in the mood?

You said “Also, God gave your wife her sex drive, too… if she got less than you do, should she go against God’s will to adjust to yours? Or should you perhaps exercise not giving in to your animal instincts, bodily whims and yetzer hara?”

Ketutar – do you honestly tell yourself that you are going against God’s will if you have sex with your husband when you are not in the mood?

It is ABSOLUTELY God’s will that you give your body to your husband whenever he needs it!

“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)

I realize you may have some health problems.  But health problems are not an excuse to end sex in a marriage. They may be cause for brief delays and rainchecks, but they should never eradicate sex from the marriage.

Ketutar – you have defrauded your husband (I Corinthians 7:5) and he has sinned by not finding sexual satisfaction in your body (Proverbs 5:19).  It appears he has abandoned his leadership position at least in this sexual arena, if not others.  He has enabled your sin now for “years”.

I pray that you will both repent of this mockery you have made of marriage and that you will indeed become “one flesh” as God designed you to be.

Biblical Gender Roles featured on Daily Mail and the Huffington Post

While this is certainly not the first time Biblical Gender Roles has been featured on other blogs, it is probably the highest profile features that have been done on this blog.

I was contacted today by two reporters, one from the Huffington Post and one from Daily Mail regarding my post “How a husband can enjoy sex that is grudgingly given by his wife”.

I was pleased that both reporters fairly represented my views. Obviously they both did a negative spin on my views but I expected that.

Some might ask why I would be happy that my blog was featured based on an article I wrote telling men to not look at their wives faces if they are grudgingly giving sex.  The reason is because God’s Word was displayed on a very public stage.  I am not concerned with all those who will disagree, and the minions that disagree with me on a daily basis.  This ministry is for those few who will listen to what God’s Word says and will see their lives transformed as a result.

My critics ask all the time why I write about sex as if I am some sex obsessed person.  The truth is if you look over my blog carefully I talk about a lot more than sex here.  I talk about living as God designed us to and living according to his will and his purpose for our lives.

If I am able to spread the Word of God, especially as it relates to his distinct  plans for men and women that is all that matters to me.  I don’t care what vehicle God uses to do that.  As I have said here many times this is about way more than sex.  Sex is just the tip of the iceberg.  But once we realize what submission looks like in the area of sex in marriage, and accept our duty there – it then becomes easier for us to accept our duties to one another in many areas of marriage and life.

The two articles can be found here:

Christian website sparks fury for advising husbands to avoid wives’ faces during sex if their spouses don’t want intercourse – after saying there’s no such thing as marital rape

If Your Wife Hates Sex, Just Don’t Look At Her Face, Says Christian Blogger

Loving Through The Pain Episode 1

“To women who feel it is their right to refuse sex, I can only give my thought process. I can be quite the feminist when it comes to certain things, but I don’t think there’s any place for that in a marriage.” – This is a quote from a woman named Angel who recently started commenting on my blog.  I include her full story below that she emailed me and gave me permission to publish this.

I am hoping to make this a continuing series as I get testimonials from married couples who have continued to show physical and sexual love toward one another through various physical adversities they face.

The most amazing thing about her story is that she and her husband are not Christians.  But they instinctively knew what God put in their hearts(even if they did not know his word on the subject of marriage).

Their story reminds me of a passage from Romans:

“(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law.  They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)  This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares. – Romans 2:14-16 (NIV)

I am not saying that following God’s law regarding marriage gets you to heaven. The Scriptures are  clear For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. – James 2:10 (NIV)

None of us can keep God’s law perfectly and that is why despite her obedience to God’s laws in marriage(without even knowing it) Angel and her husband still need to trust Christ as their savior.  I hope they will see the wonderful savior we have in Christ as they explore his Word.

With that said here is Angel’s story.

Angel’s Story

Firstly let me just clarify that we are not a Christian couple. In fact, until I read your blog I was quite disparaging of the bible. It was only after reading your blog and seeing that Christian couples hold very similar views and morals to our own that this view is starting to change. I am now reading the bible as is my husband. I felt it important to let you know this from the start as I’m not sure if you are specifically interested in the religious aspect of our relationship.

I will tell you my story but will not be offended if, because we are not a Christian, you choose not to use it.

We have been married for 8 years, we always knew we wanted a traditional marriage, although I have to admit that the first year or two was quite difficult for me. It is one thing to say you want a leader and are happy to acquiesce to that leadership and another to put this into practice.

There are consequences for my behaviour as it is a reflection on his leadership. For instance, if I overspend one month, my budget with be cut the next. Again at first this was difficult to accept but, as we had both agreed before marriage that this is how we believed relationships work best, with a leader and a follower and we both felt the leadership role was the mans, it eventually worked out. I now enjoy the benefits of having a strong relationship and loving guidance. And get genuine pleasure from my husband’s praise, whether that be on how I look or having certain chores done when I’m having a difficult health day. I also feel genuinely sorry if I do something that makes him disappointed.

About a year into our relationship I found out I was pregnant, this ended in an ectopic pregnancy, the operation to remove the tube caused huge health complications which are ongoing. I will suffer severe pain for the rest of my life. Some days are better than others but at least once a month I will have a flare-up, this is the only time that I will ask him for a rain-check sexually, although I hardly ever have to as he is aware when flare-ups happen.

As the leader, he also leads in the bedroom and regularly brings up sexual discussions. How best to please him and how he can best please me. He needs sex or sexual release more often than I do, if we were to wait until I was sexually excited without any help from him, our sex life would be a lot slower.

Part of one of these discussions was me explaining to him that, for me, sexual arousal starts in the mind and so we regularly exchange naughty texts and he seems to delight in whispering naughty things in my ear to embarrass and excite me. He looks at me in a certain way sometimes and I know he wants me.  The upshot of these little things is that I am very regularly looking forward to bedtime without him ever having laid a finger on me.

However there are times when this doesn’t happen, where we get into bed and he makes his desires clear without having indulged in the mental foreplay beforehand. Sometimes I am aroused quickly and its not an issue but then there are times when I am tired or feel particularly sore.

It’s those times that I see it as putting in the effort to make my husband happy and make our marriage work. I could make him feel like I’m doing him a favour, but I don’t see it that way. It is my job as his wife and help-meet (I believe the term you used was help-meet and it resonated with me, that is how I see myself.) to do what I can to keep him satisfied.

In the first instance, if I am tired, I turn over and join in, completely. I’m lucky in that I have a husband who gets pleasure from giving me pleasure, he enjoys my orgasms (my face is red) immensely and very rarely just wants release. These times do happen obviously, sometimes he’s tired and just wants a quickie.  Again, I join in enthusiastically and make sure he goes to sleep satisfied.

When I am in more pain but am not having a flare-up, I make him aware that I am sore before we start. This used to stop him in his tracks until I explained that I only made him aware of it to make sure he treated me more gently. Sex is always painful at these times and so we have a certain position which allows penetration without adding to my pain and so that he cannot see in my face if it causes me more pain. This was my decision as I don’t want him to feel bad and stop.

I haven’t shared with him that I don’t get physical pleasure during these encounters as I would hate to make him feel guilty about something so natural. And again, I get pleasure from satisfying my husband. It may not be physical but it goes far deeper than physical. It can be difficult agreeing to sex during these times as I know it will hurt, but if I didn’t we would hardly ever have sex and I feel that would hurt our marriage far more than the physical discomfort I feel.

The longest he has had to go without sex is about 3 weeks, it was during a flare-up and I had asked for a rain-check but this flare-up just seemed to last so much longer than usual. He was good about it but I knew he was feeling frustrated. We discussed it and he finally allowed me to satisfy him in other ways. As soon as I was able to after everything had settled, I initiated sex and tried to make up for the length of time it had been. We have discussed it and he’s told me that he does get sexually frustrated during my flare-ups but that he doesn’t get cross with me because he knows that I would never refuse him without my pain being bad and that he would rather wait and be frustrated than to add to my pain.

I think it’s really important to have an active sex life. If I allowed my pain to get in the way of that it would change the way we are with each other. Sex is fun and makes you feel good (most of the time) but it’s also an intimate act, a way of strengthening your bond. We giggle during sex, usually about the funny noises our bodies make and the awkward positions we try out. Other people are not included in this, this is our time to be sexy and loving but also goofy and vulnerable. I think giving up sex would be giving up a huge part of the intimacy that keeps a couple strong.

To women who feel it is their right to refuse sex, I can only give my thought process. I can be quite the feminist when it comes to certain things, but I don’t think there’s any place for that in a marriage. You can say “we should only have sex when we both want it” but ultimately this can only damage a marriage. If you are regularly rejecting your husband it will affect his confidence, he will become insecure in himself and will think its because you don’t want him. That is a horrible thing to do to another person, especially the person you have chosen to spend the rest of your life with. And it will lead to affairs and/or divorce.

Just like you have the right to not want sex, he has the same right to want it, why should he have to constantly go without?  If you don’t feel in the mood, do you just not bother to cook for your children? Or go to work? Sometimes in life as well as marriage we have to do things we don’t want to. But the consequences for not doing it make us grit our teeth and do it anyway. And 9 times out of 10 when I’m just not in the mood and he makes advances, it will only take a kiss in a certain place or a (excuse the graphics) well placed finger, for me to become aroused.

Perhaps the next time you aren’t in the mood, make the effort anyway, you may be surprised at how quickly you will start to enjoy yourself. And it will make your husband feel loved and wanted again.  I was in a previous relationship where my partner regularly refused me, he just wasn’t into sex, it might not have had anything to do with me but it totally destroyed my confidence in my looks, personality and sexual ability. I would hate to do that to another person, even accidentally.

Angel

The sacrificial love that Angel’s husband shows to her during her flare ups would put many Christian  husbands to shame. The sacrificial love that Angel shows to her husband by having sex with him even through the pain at times or when she is not in the mood would put many Christian wives to shame.

The way that Angel willingly submits to her husband’s discipline in the area of finances is another thing that would put many Christian wives to shame.

Angel’s story shows that even when non-believers practice God’s design in marriage they reap the benefits of following his design.  If only more believers in Christ who have this plainly set before them in God’s Word would follow their example in this regard.

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.

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.

How to handle a perfectionist Wife

Angry woman shouting at man

How are you as a Christian husband to handle your perfectionist wife? Do you dread coming home from work because you know the moment you walk in the door your wife will complain about five things you have done or not done?

Why God makes perfectionists

Your wife’s perfectionist nature is not some mistake in God’s creation. It is by the design of God.  But what perfectionist wives don’t realize is, they need to channel their perfectionism into positive outlets and not be critical and inflexible with their husbands and children.

For instance a perfectionist wife may channel her perfectionism into how she keeps folds the clothing and puts it way. Often times the perfectionist wife is a great house keeper, planner and organizer. She can use these qualities in positive ways to help her family.

My wife is a perfectionist. Not everything about her perfectionism is a bad thing. When we go on vacations, she is extremely organized at getting our entire family packed up days ahead of time, and going to the store to get all the things she thinks we will need for the trip. I have seen very few women that can throw as good a baby shower or bridal shower as my wife, she is extremely organized and anticipates everything she will need ahead of time.

The negative hallmarks of a perfectionist

Being organized or wanting things done a certain way is not always the mark of perfectionist or a negative thing. But it is the inflexibility, the impatience, and the lack of mercy and grace toward those around them that mark the perfectionist. Perfectionists are often plagued by anxiety and insomnia because no one around them seems to live up to their expectations (including themselves) and they don’t know how to handle the imperfections in the world around them.

Perfectionist tendencies need to be left outside the home and personal relationships

This is one of those posts I can write, only because my blog is anonymous (and this is one of many reasons my blog is anonymous, so I can speak freely).

I wish I could say that my perfectionist wife, like my perfectionist Dad, had not only recognized her perfectionism, but recognized where it is appropriate to apply her perfectionism and where it is not appropriate to apply it – but this simply is not the case with her.

This is my second marriage and I met my wife after having been previously married and having children from that marriage. When we were dating she contained her complaints about me and my children for the most part, but after we were married her complaints came rushing out like water that breaks through a dam.

My wife recognizes her perfectionism, she will admit it before me, her family and my family. Her mother and sister have known this is how she always was.

But while my wife will admit her perfectionism before me and others, she will not always admit that it is wrong. Often she will state the typical perfectionist statement – “I am not wrong for wanting those around me to do things the right way”. I will get more into how I respond to that later.

I say all this, not to say my wife is some terrible person, but simply to say to those husbands reading this who may recognize these issues with their wives, you are not alone. In this post I am writing from my very personal experience.

Our heavenly father is NOT a perfectionist toward us

I want to make something very clear. God is perfect, but God does not act as a perfectionist toward us in the relationship he desires with us. Some Christian teachers over the centuries have incorrectly tried to say that God is a perfectionist toward us with passages like this (and others in the Bible):

“And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.”

Genesis 17:1(KJV)

But the idea God is trying to communicate in these passages, is for us to be “complete” in him. He wants us to walk with him, and to be complete in him. God does not want us to sin, but God knows we are sinners. Listen to God’s compassion here:

“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”

Psalm 103:9-14(NIV)

Being a compassionate wife and mother, is the opposite of being a perfectionist wife and mother. Your wife cannot be both. In the same way God recognizes our frailties and weaknesses, so too a wife ought to recognize these things with her husband and her children and be gracious about these things.

Are there times when my wife can be compassionate and loving? Absolutely! She has her moments. Your perfectionist wife may have some very soft and tender times. But then the perfectionism creeps back in and rears its ugly head. My wife’s soft and tender side is what drew me to her while we were dating. It was only after we were married that she removed the barrier and allowed her perfectionist critical side to come out in full fashion.

So how do you handle your perfectionist wife?

First of all as a Christian husband remember that two wrongs never make a right. It may be very tempting for you lash out at your wife’s perfectionist tendencies.   But if you are unkind and harsh with her, God may not bless your attempts to bring these issues to her attention.

In another article on How to handle a perfectionist husband, I wrote about a wife being criticized for how she cooks. What I was describing there was based on what has happened to me in real life with my perfectionist wife.

Unlike my Dad and many other men, I truly enjoy cooking, it can be a therapeutic experience for me. I enjoy looking up new recipes, and I have been known to watch a cooking show or two. In our home, my wife is more of the baker and crock pot person. If it gets baked or put in the crock pot, most of the time it is her making it.

I am the griller and stir fry person. If it is getting fried up on the stove, that is probably me. I cut and slice up meats and veggies, come up with different marinades and make many different Asian dishes. I also like to make pasta dishes and I have quite a few that my family enjoys. I am also the master pancake maker in my house – by my wife’s own admission.

But not long after we were married (and it may have even started softly and subtly when we were engaged and I cooked for her) – she started criticizing the way I cooked. She did not like how messy I was when I cooked, or that I did not mind if some splatter got on the stove or on the counter when I was mixing and making things.

Once we were married she became more aggressive with her criticism. She did not like how I did not clean while I was cooking, getting things out and putting them away as I cooked, the way she did. She keeps a clean kitchen while she is cooking, and directly afterwards has everything cleaned up and in the dishwasher. Why could I not just do things the way she did? This is something I often heard.

I wish I could say I never lashed out her, but that would not be true. In the first few years of our marriage I lashed out several times telling her to get out of the kitchen. I said she was ungrateful for me cooking and that many men would not make the effort to cook the way I did, and she should be grateful for that.

What I learned more recently in our marriage, is to contain my anger, recognizing this comes from her perfectionist mindset. I now calmly reminder her that we have had this conversation about 500 times since we have been married, and that I am not going to cook the way she does. Occasionally if her tone is off, and I will also address the issue as a matter of disrespect coming from her.

Some more examples of a perfectionist wife’s behavior

Again these come from real life experiences I have with my wife (whom I love dearly) but has a problem with bringing perfectionism into our home:

My wife is one the many perfectionists I have known, that is thrown off by a cereal box being left on the counter, or on the kitchen table. This drives her nuts. I do truly try to remember to put it away, and often I do. But with me and my kids (who are at my house 3 days a week), there is a very strong chance of a cereal box being left on the table or counter.

The cereal box being left out showcases a broader problem with the perfectionist mindset. Should the person of have put the cereal box away after they ate? Yes. But because a perfectionist cannot tolerate even the smallest failings of others this type of things drives them insane. Each person must do everything right, if they fail in the slightest degree, the perfectionist has the hairs on the back of their neck standing up.

Another thing my wife gets thrown off by is if any amount of water is on the bathroom floor or bathroom sink after someone takes a shower and brushes their teeth. This is another huge pet peeve for her. She will routinely hunt down the last person who was in the bathroom after a shower and ask them why they did not use a towel to wipe up the floor and wipe the counter.

Often perfectionists are thrown off by children rough housing, or yelling at one another. While I agree children need discipline, there should always be a time and place for them to just be who they are – children.

I basically have the rule that as long as there is no cursing, or bleeding (or broken bones) or hitting of girls – almost anything goes.

I have teenage boys and sometimes they fight. My daughter(who is younger than them) may get involved sometimes, but all the boys know they are not allowed to hit her because she is a girl. If she hits them, then they can bring it to me and I will discipline her for it if I think that is appropriate. So as long as there is no hitting of girls, no cursing, and no bleeding happening, I usually don’t get involved. I let my children play, rough house, and work out their differences.

For my wife, this often drives her nuts. She wants me to get involved in each and every scuffle and I have informed her that I do not believe this is the correct approach to fathering them. I will only get involved if I think it has risen to a level that needs some parental refereeing.

Being angry or worrying about small and trivial things is what causes many perfectionists to have horrible anxiety problems (my wife suffers from anxiety and sleeplessness and my father does as well – even though he has gotten better with age).

Don’t fall for the perfectionist wife’s justifications

When you try to address your wife’s perfectionist tendencies be prepared for these three justifications in defense of her perfectionist ways:

Justification #1: Her way is “the better way” or “the right way”

She might just try and tell you she was just trying to show you a better way, or the right way to cook. You need to let her know that her way might be what she thinks is the best way to cook, but you do not think her way is better and she needs to accept that.

Justification #2: Her way is not so hard

She might try and say her way is easier, or what she is asking you to do is not so hard, so why can’t you just do it the way she does? Again you need to respectfully let her know that you are not purposefully trying to upset her, you just have your way of cooking and she has hers.

Justification #3: Why do just want to keep doing things you know upset her?

This is the final weapon many perfectionist wives will pull out if all other attempts fail. “Why do you cook this way, or leave your tooth brush this way, or leave your clothes on the floor if you know it upsets me so much?” This is the perfectionist wife’s attempt to put you on a guilt trip, to make you feel that each and everything you do that is not done her way, is a personal attack on her.

You need to let her know that when you are cooking, you are not doing it differently to make her upset. You are doing it that way because it works best for you.

If you accidentally leave some clothing on the floor, or leave a cereal box on the counter, you were not doing it to upset her. You simply forgot to put the cereal away, or you missed the clothes hamper. If you has a father allow certain behavior she may not approve of, it is not to upset her. She needs to defer to your authority as the father and head of the home.

Whenever something is out of place, or you do something different than she would have done it, you need to gently and respectfully remind her that you are not her.

She has her way of brushing her teeth, and you have yours.

She has her way of folding clothes, and you have yours.

She has her way of cooking, and you have yours.

She has her way of driving, and you have yours.

She may want stricter rules for the kids, but you have decided to be more lenient in some areas. This is your prerogative as the father and head of your home.

I could go on with a 1000 examples of small things, but you get the point.

What is not a perfectionist wife?

Sometimes a husband may falsely accuse his wife of being a perfectionist.

A mom wanting her kids to pick up their clothes and put them in the hamper is not necessarily a perfectionist.    She may just trying to teach her kids good habits about cleaning up after themselves.

A mom asking her kids to scrape their plates and put them in the sink, or to perform certain regular chores like washing the dishes or cleaning the bathroom is not being a perfectionist. Again she is just trying to get her kids to clean up after themselves.

What I am NOT saying to Christian husbands who are married to perfectionist wives

I am not saying a Christian husband should not take his wife’s concerns into account.  Should a Christian husband try to clean up after himself? Yes. Should a Christian husband listen to his wife’s concern about the discipline of their children? Absolutely.

What I AM saying to Christian husbands who are married to perfectionist wives

But let’s face it, how a person cooks is not a moral issue. The way a person brushes their teeth is not a moral issue. Clothing not making it to the hamper is not a moral issue. The perfectionist wife cannot differentiate between these types of insignificant things, and the truly important things that have moral consequences.

Many Christian teachers have rightly said “you cannot be the holy spirit for another person”, and that is a very true statement. However, you as the head of your home, are the spiritual teacher of your home. This not only includes your children, but it also includes your wife. While you may approach your wife differently because she is not a child, she still a woman who is under your spiritual authority and you bare a responsibility for admonishing her with God’s truth.  A certain amount of perfectionism from one’s wife can be tolerated, but a certain point if she is being disrespectful and obstinate about it a husband may have to call out his wife’s rebellion.

You need to help your wife realize that you do not live in a museum or a military base, you live in a home. Yes a Christian home should have some discipline and order to it, but it should also be a place that showcases God’s love, compassion, mercy, acceptance and grace. It is your job as Christian husband, and the head of your wife, to help your perfectionist wife to see this truth.

Related article: How to handle a perfectionist husband

How to handle a perfectionist Husband

Couple having a quarrel

How are you as a Christian wife to handle your perfectionist husband? Do you sometimes dread the moment you hear his car pull up in the drive way, because within 30 seconds of him being in the door he will find five things to complain about?

Why God makes perfectionists

It is not a mistake that there are perfectionist people out there. It is by the design of God. There are many professions that demand a person of a perfectionist mindset. Perfectionists are detail oriented, and typically well disciplined. These types of qualities come in vary handy for military jobs as well science and engineering jobs.

Perfectionists are often great planners and organizers. If a perfectionist is good planner or organizer, these traits are not necessarily bad to bring into the home, in fact they can be beneficial, if applied in a loving and flexible way. The trick is, leaving room for differences. For instance, the perfectionist husband can often be tempted to have every detail of a vacation planned out, when maybe there needs to be some room left for spontaneity in a vacation.

My father is a perfectionist. He has worked as an aircraft parts inspector for many years and he is very good at his job finding flaws in aircraft parts he inspects. If my father were not such a perfectionist, the air planes on which his parts go might crash and people would die. God gave him the ability to be meticulous when he needs to be.

The negative hallmarks of a perfectionist

Being organized or wanting things done a certain way is not always the mark of perfectionist or a negative thing. But it is the inflexibility, the impatience, and the lack of mercy and grace toward those around them that mark the perfectionist. Perfectionists are often plagued by anxiety and insomnia because no one around them seems to live up to their expectations (including themselves) and they don’t know how to handle the imperfections in the world around them.

Perfectionist tendencies need to be left outside the home and personal relationships

My father had to learn the hard way early in his marriage and when we were growing up, that some of the perfectionist tendencies that made him a great worker, would make him a terrible husband and father if he brought them home with him. Occasionally these tendencies would start creeping back in, and my mother would have to lovingly remind him that we were not parts in his plant, but that we were his family whom he loved.

A perfectionist husband needs to leave his perfectionism at the door of his home. It should never come into his marriage or into how he interacts with and parents his children.

Our heavenly father is not a perfectionist toward us

I want to make something very clear. God is perfect, but God does not act as a perfectionist toward us in the relationship he desires with us. Some Christian teachers over the centuries have incorrectly tried to say that God is a perfectionist toward us with passages like this (and others in the Bible):

“And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

Genesis 17:1(KJV)

But the idea God is trying to communicate in these passages, is for us to be “complete” in him. He wants us to walk with him, and to be complete in him. God does not want us to sin, but God knows we are sinners. Listen to God’s compassion here:

“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”

Psalm 103:9-14(NIV)

Being a compassionate husband and father, is the opposite of being a perfectionist husband and father. Your husband cannot be both. In the same way God recognizes our frailties and weaknesses, so too a husband ought to recognize these things with his wife and his children and be gracious about these things.

When your perfectionist husband criticizes you for trivial things, he is not acting in a loving and compassionate way. God wants husbands to love their wives and in those moments of criticism he is doing the opposite of what God has asked him to do toward you.

So how do you handle your perfectionist husband?

First of all as a Christian wife remember that two wrongs never make a right. It may be very tempting for you lash out at your husband’s perfectionist tendencies.   But if you are unkind and disrespectful to him, God may not bless your attempts to bring these issues to his attention. It would be a mistake for you to try and take on the role of teacher to your husband, because he is your authority. But there is nothing wrong with those who are under authority conveying in respectful ways their grievances with their authorities.

“If I have denied justice to any of my servants, whether male or female,   when they had a grievance against me, what will I do when God confronts me?

What will I answer when called to account? Did not he who made me in the womb make them?

Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?”

Job 31:13-15(NIV)

So if God wants masters to humble themselves and hear grievances from their servants (as we see here in Job 31), how much more should a husband be willing to hear respectful grievances from his wife?

Let me give you an example. Let’s say you are cooking dinner for your husband and family. Your husband comes into the kitchen and begins complaining about how messy of a cook you are. He says something like “hey when I cook, there is no splatter on the stove, and I am careful how I stir and I clean and put away things as I am cooking, why do you have to leave everything out to clean up at some later point?”

You first instinct might be rage – you are justifiably feeling “how dare you come in here while I making our family a meal, and criticize the way I cook and tell me your way is better? How ungrateful! Why don’t you just cook the rest of this meal yourself?”

It might feel great to get that off your chest in that manner and storm off. But instead of losing it I admonish you to try this instead.

Ignore what he has said, say nothing to him in response.

If he asks why you are not saying anything, just calmly let him know you are trying to finish dinner and that you and he need to talk later.

Let him sit and think about what he has said to you, let him wonder what you will say to him later. After dinner is done and everyone has eaten, ask him to go to your bedroom or some private place away from the kids. This is where you can share your feelings and feel free to cry and let your feelings out in front of him. Being respectful, does not mean being unemotional.

Let him know how much it hurts you when he criticizes how you do cook.

Don’t fall for the perfectionist husband’s justifications

When you try to address your husband’s perfectionist tendencies be prepared for these three justifications in defense of his perfectionist ways:

His way is “the better way” or “the right way”

He might just try and tell you he was just trying to show you a better way, or the right way to cook. You need to let him know that his way might be what he thinks is the best way to cook, but you do not think his way is better and he needs to accept that.

His way is not so hard

He might try and say his way is easier, or what he is asking you to do is not so hard, so why can’t you just do it the way he does? Again you need to respectfully let him know that you are not purposefully trying to upset him, you just have your way of cooking and he has his.

Why do you just want to keep doing things you know upset him?

This is the final weapon many perfectionist husbands will pull out if all other attempts fail. “Why do you cook this way, or leave your tooth brush this way, or leave your clothes on the floor if you know it upsets me so much?” This is the perfectionist’s attempt to put you on a guilt trip, to make you feel that each and everything you do that is not done their way, is a personal attack on them.

You need to let him know that when you are cooking, you are not doing it differently to make him upset. You are doing it that way because it works best for you.

If you accidentally leave some clothing on the floor, or leave a cereal box on the counter, you were not doing it to upset him. You simply forgot to put the cereal away, or you missed the clothes hamper.

Whenever something is out of place, or you do something different than he would have done it, you need to gently and respectfully remind him that you are not him.

He has his way of brushing his teeth, and you have yours.

He has his way of folding clothes, and you have yours.

He has his way of cooking, and you have yours.

He has his way of driving, and you have yours.

I could go on with a 1000 examples of small things, but you get the point.

What is not a perfectionist husband?

Sometimes a wife may falsely accuse her husband of being a perfectionist. These false accusations of perfectionism usually come from lazy or rebellious wives. I know that it’s not easy sometimes as a wife and mom to keep up your home. There are just going to be those days where you feel like you were not able to get anything done because you were a mom-taxi cab or because of other things that happen with the kids.

But while I don’t think a husband should be coming home yelling at his wife, if a wife is lazy and sits around watching soaps all day and does nothing he has a right to say something (and as the head of his home, he must say something). But it needs to be done in the right way and this is not being a perfectionist husband. I will get more into this topic of lazy housewives in another post.

If your husband has rules for your children, you need to enforce those rules even if you don’t agree. Your husband is not being a perfectionist for expecting that you will enforce the family rules when he is not around. Of course there needs to be a place for mercy and grace when children break family rules but children do need discipline.

What I am NOT saying to Christian wives who are married to perfectionist husbands

I am not saying a Christian wife does not have to submit to and obey her husband. He is the authority in the home by the design of God. As I have said on other posts, a wife should listen to her husband as to how she keeps her hair, or what styles of clothing she wears and in many other areas she should seek his counsel. Especially when it comes to moral decisions of the home, she needs to follow his leadership.

What I am saying to Christian wives who are married to perfectionist husbands

But let’s face it, how a person cooks is not a moral issue. The way a person brushes their teeth is not a moral issue. Clothing not making it to the hamper is not a moral issue. The perfectionist husband cannot differentiate between these types of insignificant things, and truly important things that have moral consequences.

As a Christian wife, you need to in a loving and respectful way, be a helpmeet to your husband and help him not to be a perfectionist toward you or your children.

Related article: How to handle a perfectionist wife

Does God want a wife’s beauty hidden from world?

Standing girl in checked dress. Isolated with clipping path

Does God want women to hide their beauty in order to “save it” for their husband? Does God want women to hide their beauty so that other men may not lust after them?

While there are some subtle differences, this is actually one of a few things that Muslims, Jews and Christians have in common. The only difference is in how far each side goes with their teaching. The two reasons taught in Islam, Judaism and Christianity for a woman covering her beauty are these:

  1. A woman’s beauty belongs to her husband, or if she is unmarried, her future husband and it is his alone to enjoy in private.
  2. A woman should cover her beauty as to not cause other men to lust and thus sin against God even if only in their sexual thoughts.

Does the Bible say a woman’s beauty belongs to her husband?

Some might point to I Corinthians 7:4 to say that a wife’s body(and therefore her beauty) belongs to her husband.  I would have too in times past.  But if we look closely and examine this passage it is talking about the equal right of a husband and wife to have sexual access to each others body for the purposes of sex.

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.”

I Corinthians 7:4(KJV)

But this is not talking about exhaustive ownership of each other’s bodies in all ways because one who is to be in subjection(I Peter 3:1-2,Ephesians 5:22-24) – the wife, cannot own the one who is her master – the husband.

God made wives the property of their husbands

There are some relationships in Scripture where the submission of one to another does not involve the ownership of one by the other. Examples of this would be the Biblical admonition to citizens to submit to civil governments and for church members to submit to their church leaders.  God does not give governments ownership rights over their citizens and he does not give church leaders ownership rights over their members. These two spheres of authority are limited in their powers and jurisdictions.

But God established some spheres of human authority where ownership of human property is either allowed(such as slavery under certain circumstances) or ownership is simply implied such as the relationship between a father and his children or a husband and his wife.

The ownership of the wife by the husband is confirmed in the 10th commandment where a man’s wife is included in a list of his possessions:

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

Exodus 20:17 (KJV)

Again in the book of  Deuteronomy a man’s wife is included in his possessions:

And the officers shall speak unto the people, saying, What man is there that hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it. And what man is he that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not yet eaten of it? let him also go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man eat of it. And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her.”

Deuteronomy 20:5-7 (KJV)

These possessions all belonged to the man and he had the right to make use of them.  In fact he was encouraged to make use of these possessions.

There are many that falsely attack the Bible based on these and other passages saying that the Bible makes a woman a possession that is no more valuable than cattle(Exodus 20:17) and a peace of land(Deuteronomy 20:5-7).

Another way of saying their argument is “If a woman is owned by her husband then she has no value as a person”.

But this could not be farther from the truth.  While it conflicts with our modern values a person can be owned by another and yet have great value. The Bible says Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. (Proverbs 31:10). I don’t know about you – but I think rubies are far more valuable than a house, cattle or a vineyard!

Also the Bible calls on husbands to give honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel(I Peter 3:7).  So just because women are the property of their husbands does not mean husbands can treat them the same as their cattle.  This a false argument proposed by those who do understand the Biblical concept of human property verses the world’s concept of human property.

I find it utterly fascinating that people have no problem if you made this statement “Christ owns his Church” yet they go utterly bonkers if you say “A husband owns his wife”.  Yet the Scriptures clearly show that the husband/wife relationship was designed as a  picture of the relationship of Christ and his Church:

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

Ephesians 5:22-24 (KJV)

How does the Church relate to Christ? As an equal partner? No my friends.  The church relates to Christ as her owner and master. She conforms herself to his will.

The husband/wife relationship was not only the first human authority relationship that God designed, but it was in fact the most powerful human authority relationship that God ever designed. 

It surpasses the jurisdictions and powers of civil government, church government and even parents toward their children. In no other human relationship are we told that the one under authority is to submit to the other as “unto the Lord” or literally as unto God himself.

Our culture utterly rejects the concept of a husband owning his wife because we worship the false god of equality rather than the one true God of the Bible.

Fifty years ago what I am teaching here was heard in pulpits across America but now because of the rise feminism Pastor’s fear teaching these truths for fear of being called male chauvinists or misogynists. Many Pastor’s and Christian teachers have actually convinced themselves that these teachings of the Scriptures are for times past and do not apply to our modern era.  They live in a constant state of self-denial when it comes to the truth of the Scriptures in these matters.

As a result this capitulation to feminism, in the last half century the Church has made an unholy alliance with our culture and has allowed the husband/wife authority sphere to be made into the weakest of  all authority spheres. But God’s Word has not changed even if our culture has.

I say all that to say this. 

The Bible clearly teaches that wives are not only to submit to their husbands in everything but that they are in fact the property of their husbands. A wife’s body and her beauty does in fact belong to her husband.

So does a husband have the right to organize his wife’s appearance as he would the appearance his vineyard? Of course he does.

The Bible even shows that Christ molds his church to his own liking:

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.

Ephesians 5:25-27(KJV)

Again this passage is one that has been so twisted and warped because of feminist influences on our churches today.  We hear Pastors quote verse 25 of Ephesians chapter five telling husbands that they need to sacrifice themselves for their wives as Christ did the Church. But then they do not tell you what the point of his sacrifice was!

Was it to appease his Church and give her whatever she wants? Was it to let her do her own thing? Was it just to make her happy? No my friends it was not.  It was to make her holy and pleasing to him.  It was so he could present her to himself the way he wanted her to be.

I know it took us a while to get to this point but it was necessary for us to build this foundation first. The Bible is utterly clear that a wife is not only to submit to her husband but that she is his property. The Bible further confirms this ownership relationship by telling us that marriage was designed by God to be a picture of Christ and his Church and Christ conforms his church to his will and molds her as he would to present her to himself in all her glory.

So, not only in the area of sexuality, but in all areas of life a woman is to submit to her husband.  That means in the area of how a wife dresses and how she keeps her body and appearance her husband does have the ultimate authority. Her appearance should be made to please her husband – including what she wears.

Since a husband has authority over how his wife dresses, does this mean he is required to keep her beauty from the outside world and only for himself in private?

The Bible never commands a husband to hide his wife’s beauty from the world.

Except for if a husband asks his wife to do something sinful, he has absolute authority over his wife. So technically speaking, if a husband asks his wife to completely cover herself in a burqa Biblically speaking, she ought to obey her husband.

But the real question is – should he force his wife to completely cover her body from head to toe when she is outside their home or in the presence of non-family men?

My answer would to Christian husbands be NO. While a husband’s authority over his wife is almost absolute (besides him asking his wife to engage in sinful activity) – God commands a husband to exercise his authority toward his wife in love, in honor, and in knowledge of how she is made as a woman.

A husband is commanded to honor his wife and live with her in a knowledgeable way

“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)

Yes husbands have authority over their wives – but God gives a solemn warning to husbands. If a husband does not live with his wife in a knowledgeable way, and give honor to her, God will not hear his prayers.

One of the ways a husband is knowledgeable of his wife is by accepting her natural desire to be beautiful and to display her beauty. He honors her by displaying her beauty for all to see.

WomansBeautyGermanDirndl

Women have a natural desire to display their beauty

A common theme you see throughout this site is – God designed man and woman in distinctive ways to represent very important symbols. Yes beauty fades, as does our short lives here on earth, but God’s symbolism in man and woman existed long before we did, and it will continue long after we are gone.

God purposefully designed a woman to want to be beautiful, because he desires the beauty of his Church.

Psalm 45 which is a messianic prophecy of Christ and the Church says this:

So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him…The king’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold.  She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework…”

Psalm 45:13-14(KJV)

In this prophecy it shows that the King (symbolic of God) desires the beauty of his wife, the daughter (symbolic of the Church) is made “glorious” with clothing that is “gold” and “raiment of needlework”.

As we mentioned previously regarding Christ and the Church, Christ wants to  “present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing“(Ephesians 5:27)

Just as God wants his Church to be glorious, without spot or wrinkle, and without blemish, so too a woman naturally desires to keep up her appearance. Why do wrinkles and the aging process bother women more than men? Why do women want to cover up facial blemishes with makeup and most men could care less?

The reason is because a woman is wired to make herself beautiful, her desire to be physically beautiful is symbolic of the Church’s desire to be beautiful for God.

Does the Bible call on men to hide their wife’s beauty so other men will not lust?

Absolutely not!

Not one place in all of Scripture, does the Bible say a man has to hide his wife’s beauty from other men so they will not lust. There is nothing wrong with other men appreciating the beauty of another man’s wife. There is nothing wrong with other men even being sexually aroused by the beauty of another man’s wife. Lust occurs when a man thinks about how he may get another man’s wife to sleep with him, Biblically speaking, lust is covetousness.

See my post What does the Bible say about Lust for more the subject of Lust from a Biblical perspective.

But shouldn’t a woman take every step to not cause other men to stumble?

Since appreciation of a wife’s beauty can lead to sexual arousal, and sexual arousal might eventually lead to sexual covetousness (lust), shouldn’t we avoid even the possibility of that by keeping our women covered from head to toe?

Again – this is man adding his own logic to God’s ways. Paul even warns against adding human rules with this type of thinking:

“If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.”

Colossians 2:20-23(NASB)

We are not to take away from God’s law, and we are not to add to God’s law. Many have done this (adding to God’s law), even with good intentions. We are to follow God’s Law as it is written, we are not to stray to the left, or to the right.

Where the Scriptures are silent, and thus allow freedom, we should be silent and let each man decide in his conscious before God. Where the Scriptures speak clearly, we ought to speak clearly.

Does this mean husbands should let their wives run around naked?

Earlier I mentioned that a husband honors his wife by displaying her beauty for the world to see. That does not mean I think husbands should encourage their wives to walk everywhere naked for the world to see.

There are lines and even we as Christians may sometimes disagree as to where those lines are. Here are some opinions I have seen from those who believe in the strict covering of women, whether they be strict Christian men, or even strict Muslim men:

  1. If you’re going to let your wife show her hair and face in public, she might as well go around naked.
  2. If you’re going to let your wife show her bare arms or legs in public, she might as well go around naked.
  3. If you’re going to let your wife show cleavage on her shirt or blouse, she might as well go around naked.
  4. If you’re going to let your wife dress in tight clothes, or a tang top and shorts then you might as well let her go around naked.

I could list a lot more opinions on the subject, but I think these four make my point. Most Christians would not have a problem with a woman showing her face and hair publically, but many Muslims do, and they would use the exact logic I have above to be opposed to it.

I have attended Christian churches, and attend a Baptist church now, where many men in including our Pastor, would embrace the opinion in point number four above. I personally disagree with all 4 points above.

WomansBeautyInShorts

I believe there is a time and place for different types of dress, but if it is a hot day and we are playing volley ball and my wife were to wear a tang top and shorts, I would have no problem with this whatsoever. There is no Scripture which forbids her from doing so, unless I as her husband and authority told her not to.

But what about women who don’t desire to be beautiful, or to publically display their beauty?

Let’s come back to the symbolism in God’s design of man and woman. God designed man with a natural instinct to want to lead, provide and protect. But some men, because of either how they were brainwashed growing up, or because of sin they were born with, have no desire to lead, provide and protect. God still calls on these men to lead, provide and protect, whether they have a desire to or not.

It is the same way with women. Even if a woman does not have a natural desire to make herself beautiful, she should cultivate that desire because her beauty is much more than physical, it represents an eternal spiritual symbolism and that is what God wants her to do.

See my post 6 Reasons Why women hide their beauty for more on this subject.

Conclusion

The Bible does say a woman’s body belongs to her husband, but it never says that because her beauty belongs to him that it must be hidden from the world and only revealed to him in private. The Bible also tells men to lead their wives in love, in honor and in knowledge of their nature as a woman. A husband should not hide his wife’s beauty, but should proudly display it to the world as Christ seeks to display the glory of his Church to this world.

He should shower his wife with compliments of how beautiful she is. Even if his wife is shy, he should gently and lovely help to cultivate a sense of beauty in her that her beauty matters not only to him, but also to God.

Never in any passage, does the Bible tell women they need to cover themselves so as not to cause other men to lust after them. If a man lusts after a woman (sexually covets her) that is between him and God.

6 Reasons a woman may not want to display her beauty

Whywomenhidebeauty

Why would a woman not want to display her beauty? Why would she want to wear clothing that hides her skin, her form or even her face and hair? As part of a broader series on women’s dress and beauty I wanted to tackle these questions here in a separate post.

These are 6 reasons women typically hide their beauty:

Reason #1 – Some women believe God only wants their beauty displayed to their husbands privately

Many devout religious women, both Christian and non-Christian (such as the Muslim and Amish Christian women above), hide their beauty for religious reasons. They truly believe that God wants them to hide their beauty, and he only wants them to display it privately for their husbands.

Reason #2 – Some women believe they will lead men to sinful thoughts if they display their beauty

The same devout religious women who hide their beauty only for their husbands in private, often hide their beauty for a second reason. They believe if they display their beauty they may cause other men to have sexual thoughts towards them and thus fall into sin.

Reason #3 – Some women don’t want to be sexual objects for men’s viewing pleasure

Here we come to the first non-religious reason why some women hide their beauty. They hide it because they don’t want to be “objectified by men”. They don’t want men receiving pleasure from seeing their beauty.

Reason #4 – Some women don’t believe they are beautiful

Some women simply do not believe they are beautiful. They look around at other women they do not feel that they measure up, so they give up and hide their beauty.

Reason #5 – Some women are just plain lazy

Some women have no religious, political, or emotional reason for hiding their beauty. They are just simply lazy and do not want to take the time to properly display their beauty.

Reason #6 – Some women are forbidden by their culture or their husbands from displaying their beauty

Some women would love to display their beauty in public, but either their husband or their culture forbid them from doing so.

A plea to Christian women who hide their beauty on religious grounds

First and foremost, if you are not a Christian, I invite you to accept Jesus Christ as your savior, because he and his Word will change your life and outlook forever if you let him.

There is a simple undeniable truth in God’s creation – man was built for function, woman was built for beauty. A woman’s beauty is symbolic of the beauty of Christ’s Church.

God did not make you the beautiful creature that you are, only for you to hide your beauty. He meant for your beauty to be displayed to the world. As believers we may believe in different standards of how and where we display that beauty, but we should be able to agree that God meant a woman’s beauty to be on display for all to see.

God gave you the unique form you have, your beautiful hair, face, eyes, lips, breasts, hips and legs as works of art. He did not intend for you to wear clothing that is so baggy or bulky that someone could not discern your form as a woman.

Yes God call’s women to modesty (I Timothy 2:9), but modesty means “appropriateness”. It means you should wear clothing that is appropriate to the occasion that you are in. You certainly should not wear shorts and tang top to worship in Church. But this same clothing would appropriate for a summer picnic with friends or playing volleyball at the beach.

God does not want women dressing like prostitutes, but there is nothing wrong with a woman wearing a sexier form fitting dress for a night on the town with her husband.

Nothing in the Bible says anything about you dressing to not lead other men into lust (sexual covetousness) – check it out for yourself, this is never a motivator for a Christian woman dresses. You dress for God, and for your husband. Please read my post on What does the Bible say about Lust to learn what it actually says, verses what many churches teach on this subject.

Please see my post – 7 Principles for how a Christian woman should dress For Biblical guidelines to follow on how to dress as a Christian woman.

A plea to women who don’t want to be objects for men’s viewing pleasure

If you are this type of woman, I am most likely talking to a feminist. You don’t like how society sees women as sexual objects for men’s pleasure. Your dress style is a protest against the culture. If you are not a Christian, I invite you to call on Christ today to save you and let him change your life. If you are a Christian then I invite you to reexamine your world view in light of God’s Word. The Bible is clear that God made woman for man, and for many reasons. One of those reasons is for him to experience her beauty.

In the same way that God experiences pleasure from the beauty of his church, men are meant to experience pleasure from the beauty of women around them. God meant for women to want to be beautiful, and he wired men to appreciate that beauty.

Your war against God’s creation, and his design, will never make you happy. Only when you surrender to God’s will and his design, will you finally find peace.

A plea to women who don’t think they are beautiful

Perhaps you are a woman that never had a father to tell you that you were beautiful. Maybe you did have a dad, but he always made you feel bad about yourself. Maybe you have an idea based on what you see on TV or in the stores that you don’t measure up to what is considered “beautiful” in our culture.

If you did not have a father that made you feel beautiful, I am very sorry about that. But the good news is, you have a heavenly father who does believe you are beautiful. He created you, he thinks you are wonderful. He wants you to accentuate your beauty in the best way that you can.

Are some women more beautiful than others? Yes. To say otherwise, would be a blatant falsehood. But that does not mean that each woman cannot be beautiful in her own way.

I wrote an entire post on this subject of finding your beauty in – What if I don’t have an hour glass figure?

A plea to lazy women

So you simply don’t care how you look? Maybe you are married, maybe you are not. Even if you are not married, God calls you to do your best at whatever you do:

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord”

Colossians 3:23(NIV)

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

I Corinthians 10:31(NIV)

So whether you are married or single, God expects your best in all areas of your life. You need to make yourself as beautiful as you can, in honor of God. When you are married, then you have even more reason to keep yourself beautiful in honor and respect of your husband.

A plea to husbands who force their wives to hide their beauty

Husbands – God has given you a beautiful work of art in your wife. He did not intend for you take the gift he gave you and hide it away from the world. God made your wife to want to be beautiful, and for her to want to display her beauty to the world. God wants you to honor your wife by letting her display her beauty in tasteful ways that do not bring shame to him or you. Please see my post Does God want a wife’s beauty hidden from world? for more on this subject from a husband’s point of view.