What does the Bible say about anal sex? Is there a difference between Sodomy and anal sex in the Bible or are they one and the same? Is anal sex allowed between a husband and wife in marriage? What are the health risks of anal sex? What if a husband and wife disagree about anal sex? All of these questions are answered in my latest podcast that you can find on BGRLearning.com.
This podcast is designed for engaged, newlywed or even couples who have been together for many years but have never explored this topic of anal sex. The answers to some of these questions above might just surprise you.
The vast majority of wives get things like ties, shirts, pants and other such things for their husbands for Christmas. But if men are honest with themselves this is not what they really want from their wives for Christmas. The gift they want from their wives would not cost their wives any money.
But what it would require is for their wives to sacrifice their pride and face their fears to truly seek to please their husbands.
Many traditional wives would respond at this point “Hey I already willing give my body to my husband anytime he desires it! What more am I supposed to do?”
In Proverbs 5:19, God commands that husbands are to be ravished (literally intoxicated) by their wives. And the wording of the passage does not mean “men – be content with whatever your wife is willing to offer in the bedroom”. If you look in the slide show above, I show how the Hebrew words in the passage actually call for men to “drink their fill” of their wife’s body, to use her to satisfy all his desires and she is to be ravishing toward him.
But how does a wife go about ravishing (intoxicating) her husband? Does this mean she must initiate all the time? Of course not. While it is certainly good and healthy for a wife to initiate with her husband at times, God has designed men to be the primary initiators in the marriage bed.
Being a ravishing wife is not about initiating all the time. It’s about an attitude toward your husband and his God given masculine desires.
Thankfully God did not just tell women to be ravishing toward their husbands in Proverbs 5:19. He also gave us an entire book of the Bible, The Song of Solomon, which shows women how to be ravishing wives. In this three-part podcast series, I explore many metaphors in the book of Ecclesiastes to help women learn how to be ravishing wives.
In Song of Solomon 2:3 the Bible says “As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste”. These euphemisms in Song of Solomon 2:3 refer to a woman performing fellatio (oral sex) on her husband.
The Bible refers to sex as “the natural use of the woman” in Romans 1:27. And while many Christians throughout the centuries have claimed that fellatio is an “unnatural act” for a woman to do on her husband – both the Bible and biology show it not an unnatural act. In fact, God has specially designed woman to reap direct health benefits as a result of performing oral sex on her husband.
In my latest podcast for BGRLearning.com, I not only explain from the Bible why God wants women to perform fellatio on their husbands, but I also explain the relational and biological benefits of this for women as well as detailed techniques for doing this (and yes there are many ways this can be done).
Whether you are engaged, a newlywed or have been married many years this podcast will help women to better understand the significance of fellatio in marriage and the benefits not only to their husbands, but to them as well.
And if you already perform oral sex on your husband, but your struggle with feelings of shame while doing it this podcast can help you with that as well.
Go to BGRLearning.com to listen to this podcast as well as hundreds of other podcasts on gender roles, courtship, marriage and sex in marriage.
The Bible commands in Ephesians 5:33 that “the wife see that she reverence her husband”. But how does God want a wife to show reverence to her husband? In this article, we will show Christian wives five biblically based ways that they should show reverence for their husbands.
As Christians we should value (respect and honor) the institutions God has created. God has instituted civil authority, church authority, parental authority and the authority of husbands over their wives. To respect these positions is to show that we value them by our words and actions toward these authorities.
1 Peter 2:17 shows that respect (which is the same as honor) is owed to all people. Why does God want us to show by our words and actions that we value all people? The answer is found in Genesis 9:6 where God commanded that “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man”. Mankind, both men and women, are made in God’s image. That makes human life special and more valuable than all other life on earth.
Anytime I say men and women are made in the image of God – I must always add this note for people who get confused on this issue. The Bible shows us in 1 Corinthians 11:7-8 that while woman was taken from man (and thus she is also made in God’s image because of that) that it is only the male who “is the image and glory of God”. This is why God has masculine like “Father”, “Son” and “King” and not “Mother”, “Daughter” and “Queen”. It is why Jesus chose 12 male apostles and no female apostles. It is why priests in the OId Testament had to be male and why pastors in the New Testament must be male. And it why God has commanded that families are to be led by men.
I also talked about respect for the person verses respect for the position. We can honor and respect the position of king or president without having respect for his actions in his personal life or his policy positions. The same goes for children with their parents.
But God calls wives to do much more than just respect, honor and value their husband’s position.
Wives are called to reverence their husbands.
In Ephesians 5:33 the Bible states:
““Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
And in 1 Peter 3:1-2 the Bible states
“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.”
The Greek words being translated as “reverence” and “fear” in Ephesians 5:33 and 1 Peter 3:1-2 are Phobeo and Phobos. These two Greek synonyms in their most literal sense mean “fear” or “to be afraid” and they can also mean “to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience”.
But while Ephesians 5 richly describes the relationship of the husband and wife as God designed it to be, it is not exhaustive in all aspects of how marriage should operate. And while Ephesians 5:33 commands wives to reverence their husbands – it does not really describe how that reverence should look.
This is where Psalm 45 comes in to help us learn how wives can show reverence toward their husbands.
Psalm 45 – A Picture of the Relationship of Christ to His Church
Psalm 45 is unmistakably a prophecy of Christ and his bride, the church. The Psalm is written from the perspective of one of the King’s subjects writing a song about his King’s upcoming wedding. He spends verses 1 to 5 talking about the noble character of his great King:
“1 My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
2 Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.
3 Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty.
4 And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.
5 Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; whereby the people fall under thee. “
And then in verses 6 and 7 we see that this is clearly a reference to God the father appointing Christ as King:
“6 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.
7 Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”
Then in Psalm 45:10-11 the songwriter changes his perspective from speaking to the King to now speaking to the bride who is about to marry the King:
“10 Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house; 11 So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.”
These two verses are filled with rich theology. While Ephesians 5:33 commands women to reverence their husbands – it is these two verses from Psalm 45:10-11 which help to show what the reverence of a wife toward her husband should look like.
But before we can apply what these verses are saying to the command for women to reverence their husbands, we need to address a translation issue.
Is Psalm 45:11 Saying that Wives Should Worship Their Husbands?
At the latter end of Psalm 45:11 the KJV renders the verse as “for he is thy Lord, worship thou him”. Since this passage is a prophecy of Christ and his church and Ephesians 5:23 tells us the husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his church is God commanding that wives should worship their husbands?
The answer to that question is found in many passages of the Bible but Revelation 19:10 gives us an extremely clear answer where John fell at the feet of angel to worship him:
“And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
We worship God and God alone. So, we know that Psalm 45:11 is not teaching women to worship their husbands. So, does that mean we dismiss the latter part of Psalm 45:11 as not applying to human marriage at all? The answer to that is no as well.
To better understand how Psalm 45:11 applies not just to the spiritual marriage of Christ and his church, but also to human marriage we will look at this same passage in the English Standard Version of the Bible:
“Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear:
forget your people and your father’s house, and the king will desire your beauty.
Since he is your lord, bow to him.”
Notice the big difference? In the KJV it tells the woman to “worship” the king who will be her husband. In the ESV it tells her to “bow to him”. And if you were to see the wording of this you would also notice that the KJV capitalizes the word “Lord” while the ESV uses a lower case “lord”.
Why is the KJV translation of Psalm 45:11 different than the ESV translation?
The reason for the difference in translation has to do with the Hebrew word “Shachah”. The most literal meaning of Shachah is “to bow down”. But sometimes when someone bows down, they are not just showing reverence, but they are also engaging in worship.
In other words, all worship involves bowing of some sort, but not all bowing is worship. Sometimes bowing is just reverence.
The easiest way to illustrate this is when Moses did Shachah in two different occasions. In Exodus 18:7, Moses did Shachah toward his father-in-law so it simply translated as “obeisance” which a synonym for reverence. However, in Exodus 34:8, when Moses did Shachah toward God – it was more than just reverence – it was an act of worship and it was translated as such.
Psalm 45 presents a dilemma for translators when it comes to translating Shachah. In this story, we see a King being married to the royal daughter of another king. But the story here is a prophecy of Christ being wedded to his church.
So, while the KJV would not normally translate someone bowing to a king as “worship” they decided to translate it here as worship and to capitalize the “L” in Lord to indicate it is a prophecy of Christ.
The ESV translated it as “bow down” instead of “worship” because while they agreed that this is a prophecy of Christ and his church that it is using a human story of a King marrying a royal daughter and therefore her bowing down would not be an act of worship, but rather an act of reverence.
I can see reasons for both translations. But in the end if we remember that marriage is a picture of Christ and the church than any reference to Christ and his bride has application to human marriage as well.
So, when applying this to human marriage and not the spiritual marriage of Christ and the church – Shachah must be understood in its most literal sense of bowing down in reverence.
And now that we have shown how Psalm 45 presents a picture of the marriage between Christ and his church, we will now show four principles of reverence found in this passage that can help wives fulfill God’s command for them to reverence their husbands. And we will end with a 5th principle of reverence for wives found in Proverbs 12.
Principle #1 – A Reverent Wife Makes Her Husband Her Standard of Masculinity
Psalm 45:10 tells women “forget your people and your father’s house”.
For most young women (if they had a good relationship with him) their father is their standard of masculinity. For other women they may have other men in mind as to their standard of masculinity. But once a woman marries – her husband becomes her standard of masculinity and she should never compare him to any other man in her mind or in her words toward her husband.
One of the biggest destroyers of reverence that a woman might otherwise have for her husband is when she compares him to other men. Whether it be her father, her grandfather, her brothers or her sisters’ husbands.
The Bible shows us that there are two major variations of masculinity and your husband will most likely be more like one or the other. Those two variations could be classified as the “Warrior” and the “Wiseman”. In modern terms think of this as the “jock” and the “nerd”.
King David was a “warrior” type man while his son, King Solomon, was a “wiseman” type man. Another way to view the “wiseman” would be as a scholar. The wiseman is more cerebral in his activities and the warrior is more physical in his activities.
So maybe your father and brothers are avid hunters while you the man you married likes to read books and play strategy games. You cannot shame your husband because is he not like these other men you know. Or maybe it’s the opposite. Maybe your husband is not the reader your father was, but he is an avid hunter and sportsman. Again, you must respect him for the man he is.
Principle #2 – A Reverent Wife Addresses Her Husband as Her Earthly lord
Psalm 45:11 says “Since he is your lord…”.
There are two Hebrew words in the Old Testament used to refer to a woman’s husband beside “ish” which means “man”. Those two words are “baal” and “adown”. When baal is used it emphasizes the ownership of the husband and when “adown” is used it emphasizes the husband being ruler over his wife.
Psalm 45:11’s command to women to regard their husbands as their earthy lords perfectly connects with 1 Peter 3:5-6 which tells women to do the same thing:
“5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”
The most practical way a woman can verbally show her husband she regards him as her lord is by frequently say “Yes sir”. In our culture the word “sir” can take on many meanings. Sometimes it simply a polite way to address a man. Men will call each other sir all the time and women will call other men sir as well. But when a woman looks at her man and says “Yes sir” (and she does in a respectful way) he feels her reverence in that moment.
Some husbands might want their wives to use the word “lord” as it is in the Bible so their wives should say “Yes, my lord”, rather than “Yes sir”. But in either case – a woman should use what her husband deems shows him the most reverence in how she addresses him.
A husband and wife can work out the particulars of this and there is nothing wrong with a woman calling her husband “honey” or “my love” in various contexts just as the Song of Solomon shows. But especially when husbands and wives are having serious discussions and the husband has given his wife commands this is when “yes sir” or “yes, my lord” would absolutely be appropriate and a way wives can show reverence to their husbands.
Principle #3 – A Reverent Wife Kneels Before Her Husband
Psalm 45:11 says “Since he is your lord, bow to him”.
A minimalist view of bowing would look like the Japanese who routinely bow to one another out of respect. But I don’t think this is the kind of bowing that Psalm 45:11 has in mind for the wife with her husband when it calls her to bow to her husband as her earthly lord.
Instead, I believe the kind of Shachah, or bowing down, being pictured in Psalm 45:11 is closer to what Mephibosheth did in the presence of King David in 2 Samuel 9:6 where he “he fell on his face, and did reverence”. That is the kind of humility a wife should be having with her husband.
More evidence that God wants a woman to be comfortable being on her knees before her husband is found in Song of Solomon 2:3 where the wife states the following about her husband:
“As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.”
A godly woman finds “great delight” in in sitting down in the shadow of her husband. And one of the most reverent acts a woman can do as she sits in her husband’s shadow is to perform oral sex to completion on him which is what is being pictured in Song of Solomon 2:3.
Don’t misunderstand me – I am not saying every time a woman sits down below her husband she needs to try and do oral sex on him. Should she sometimes? Yes. Should she always if he wants it? Yes. But also, there may be times when she just delights to sit his shadow and look up to him as they converse.
Principle #4 – A Reverent Wife Appreciates Her Husband’s Desire For Feminine Beauty
Psalm 45:11 says “So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty”.
Why does the King desire her beauty? Because men are designed by God to be drawn to feminine beauty. A woman should never shame her husband for desiring to see her show off her beauty. How many conservative Christian women do this very thing to their husbands? This behavior is the very opposite of reverencing your husband.
Practically speaking, this means surprising your husband with some sexy lingerie is a form of reverence because you are affirming his desire for your beauty. It means if he so desires, wearing a sexy dress for date night with him. It could mean wearing a particular bathing suit he wants you to wear as you go to the beach. It means dressing the way he wants you to, and keeping your hair and makeup the way, he likes it. And it also means doing your best to keep your figure as it was when you first met.
And in a broader sense, when a woman shames her husband for noticing other beautiful women this is by definition an irreverent act on her part. Her actions shows that she despises her husband’s God given polygynous nature.
Principle #5 – A Reverent Wife Is Her Husband’s Greatest Fan
The final way that a wife should show her husband reverence does not come from this passage in Psalm 45 that we have been looking at – but rather it comes from Proverbs 12:4 which states the following:
“A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.”
A woman should always be her husband’s greatest fan and cheerleader, whether it is in private just with him and especially when others are around.
Women who argue with their husbands in private or in public are being irreverent toward them. Correcting him or contradicting him is being irreverent toward him.
A woman being critical of her husband is the very definition of an irreverent wife.
Listen to the Two-Hour Podcast Series Based on This Article to Learn More
I have produced a two-part podcast series, with each part being about an hour long, where I give more detail on these principles. In these podcasts I show other ways women can reverence their husbands and combat their own pride and insecurities as they do this.
The concept of wife spanking or really a man disciplining his wife even using non-physical means is abhorrent to our modern culture. The reason for this is because we in our modern culture have been conditioned to believe that discipline is only for children and that a man spanking his wife is him treating her like a child.
The truth however, both from a Biblical as well as a historic perspective is very different. The Bible teaches us that chastisement both in the form of corporal punishment as well as taking away various things is ordained by God for both civil government and especially the sphere of the home with the husband and father as its patriarch. And for thousands of years the practice of corporal discipline by husbands and fathers within the home and the marriage was an accepted behavior.
It was not until the rise of feminism in mid-19th century that the historic practice of what American courts called “domestic discipline” came into question.
I first started writing on the need for husbands to return to the Biblical and historic practice of disciplining their wives back in 2015 with my article entitled “7 Ways to Discipline Your Wife”. And in recent years I made a podcast series on my podcast site BGRLearning.com where expound more on that article.
As you can imagine, I get a lot of angry emails and comments related to my writings on domestic discipline. I also get the occasional catfishing emails where people send me outlandish discipline tactics which they are using to get my take and those emails go straight to my trash bin. But I also get emails which I believe to be genuine like one I received recently. And it always encourages me to see how God awakens men to the truth of his Word regarding discipline in general and the need for chastisement of wives in particular.
Recently I received such an email from a man calling himself Edward. Below his email that I hope you will also find encouraging.
Edward’s Email to BGR
I would like to share with you what the Lord showed me in the last couple of months, regarding disciplining one’s wife. You might already know all of this, but I thought you might find it interesting.
Firstly, I came to learn that discipline is a huge thing for the whole body of Christ – it’s so big that the very word the Lord chose for his followers (disciples) is even based on discipline! In fact, as one meditates on it, one find that just about the whole Bible deals with a lack of discipline, the consequences thereof and the Lord’s dealings with it – from the garden of Eden through to Revelations.
Here are some things I learned, before I share some additional scriptures.
1. Your point is correct: God rebukes and chastises those He loves. Man is obliged to do the same.
2. There is a great reward in accepting discipline. We should embrace it and actually ask for it.
3. It’s not really optional. As His children, He disciplines us because of His great love for us. In this world, we WILL be disciplined – either by His loving hand, or by consequencial circumstances. Of course, there is also the terrible alternative to be “handed over to satan” as Paul writes to the Corinthians.
The above is just a summary of my own observations. Following are some additional scriptures that you and others might find interesting – starting with general guidance and ending with an absolute clincher! I must just add that the Lord showed me these scriptures when I sought Him for council in this matter.
1. He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’ ”
This was a general scripture the Lord gave me that emphasised our responsibility as men to maintain discipline.
2. “…I am consumed by the blow of Your hand. When with rebukes You correct man for iniquity, You make his beauty melt away like a moth…
3. And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. Luke 12:47-48
I laughed when the Lord showed me this scripture in relation to a good spanking. He even tells us when a long, hard spanking is required: When the offence was committed “knowingly”…
4. This was a major eye-opener for me! The whole of Ezekiel 23 is the story of the rebellious sins and judgements of the two sisters Oholah and Oholibah. The chapter draws to a conclusion with this curious verse: “Thus I will cause lewdness to cease from the land, that all women may be taught not to practice your lewdness.” Ezekiel 23:48
Here is the (summarized) meaning and an explanation of the original Hebrew word for “taught” in this verse. It’s exactly the same word that is used for chastisement.
a) to chasten, discipline, instruct, admonish
b) to let oneself be chastened or corrected or admonished
c) to discipline, correct, to chasten, chastise
Strong’s Definition: A primitive root; to chastise, literally (with blows) or figuratively (with words); hence to instruct: – bind, chasten, chastise, correct, instruct, punish, reform, reprove, sore, teach.
The chapter refers to Samaria and Jerusalem as the two sisters, so the common teaching is that the reference to “all women” in the concluding verses should also be interpreted figuratively (as all tribes/nations). In my opinion, the Lord would not have stated it as such if it was not commonplace already to apply chastisement in order to teach women this/a lesson.
Hope you found this as interesting as I did.
Thank you for your obedience to the Lord in maintaining your site/blog. A great reward awaits you.”
There are three habits that every newlywed Christian husband needs to form in his marriage beginning on his wedding day. And these are the habits of dominance, dialogue and delegation. In this new podcast I have produced for BGRLearning.com, I supply newlywed husbands with biblically based, practical ways to help them establish the regular habits of dominance, dialogue and delegation with their new wives.
Click here to go to BGRLearning.com and subscribe to listen to this podcast and hundreds of other podcasts on the topics of masculinity, femininity, marriage, sex and discipline from all from a Biblical perspective.
Sadomasochism is a word used to represent two corruptions of the human nature by sin, sadism and masochism. In this article I wrote for Biblicalsexology.com, I show how sadism and masochism are actually a perversion of the God given desires of man to dominate his wife and the woman to be dominated by her husband.
The sad truth is that there are many Christian marriages, marriages built on the principles of Biblical patriarchy as well as the Biblical principles of Christian Domestic Discipline (CDD), that have fallen prey to this perversion of sadomasochism.
I have read articles elsewhere online about sadomasochism from a Christian perspective, but none of them compare and contrast the biblical practices of CDD and dominant sex with sadomasochism. In my article I clearly articulate the two styles of sex which God allows in marriage which are affectionate sex (i.e. making love) as well as dominant sex with the sinful practice of sadomasochistic sex.
While the Bible tells men to “leave” their father and mother when they enter marriage it uses a different word for women when they enter marriage. In Psalm 45:10-11 we read “Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house; so shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him”.
Psalm 45:10-11 is widely recognized as a prophecy concerning Christ and his church. But it is also very practical and applicable to marriage between men and women. Ephesians 5:23 tells us “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”.
I can’t tell you how many times I have had haters of the Bible’s teachings on gender roles say “You think men are gods and that is wrong!”. Each time I hear a variation of that statement I chuckle a bit to myself and remember 1 Corinthians 2:14 which states “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned”.
The Bible does not teach that men are gods. There is only one God. Men are not God, but God did create men to represent him in this world. This is the clear teaching of the Bible found in passages like Ephesians 5:22-33 and 1 Corinthians 11:1-16. So, when we understand this concept as Christians, we understand that women are not to worship their husbands or regard their husbands as their savior. We have one God and one savior whose name is Jesus Christ.
But after we set aside the last part from Psalm 45:10-11 concerning worship, what comes before that is very applicable to women in marriage.
The call to the young woman to regard her new husband as her lord is mirrored in 1 Peter 3:5-6 where the Bible states “For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement”.
Now we can zero on what is different in the call to women when they enter marriage. While men, in multiple Bible passages like Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:7 and Ephesians 5:31, are commanded to “leave” their father and mother when they enter marriage women are told in Psalm 45:10-11 to “forget” their people and their father’s house.
A woman’s forgetting of her father’s house is a critical part of the process of her becoming one with her husband. Her father may have taught her differently and conducted his home differently than the way her husband will conduct his home. And if she clings to the way her father conducted his home and constantly compares that to her how her husband leads his home there will be problems in the marriage.
How many women today refuse to follow this Scriptural admonition to forget their father’s house? How many women today even refuse to give up their father’s last name or hyphenate their last name? How many women respect their fathers more than their husbands? A woman who refuses to forget her father’s house, to clear the slate and let her husband redefine for her how their home will be conducted will never have the kind of unity in marriage that God calls for.
A final note to fathers. As Christian fathers, we should want our daughters to marry godly men and it is our God given right according to Exodus 22:17, to “utterly refuse to give” our daughters in marriage to men whom we do not approve of. But our culture no longer respects the rights of fathers and has given young women freedom to ignore the spiritual authority of their fathers in this regard. This is why it is so important for us as Christian fathers in this post-feminist culture to cultivate close spiritual relationships with our daughters to the point that they would never want to disappoint us.
My daughter is within 2 years of the time we have agreed she will begin courting, not long after she graduates high school. I am excited to see what God will do in her life. She is not perfect and has her flaws like we all do, but I am happy that God has blessed her with a meek and submissive spirit when it comes to the men in her life whether it be me or her grandfathers. But when it comes to other women, she is a warrior for God and stands on the front lines fighting against abortion and feminism.
I would never bless her marriage to a man who was not a Christian, a Biblicist and a firm believer in Biblical gender roles. However, I realize the man she marries may have many differences with me outside of these areas. And I have told her as much throughout the years. I have told her when she marries, she needs to forget my interpretations and applications of the Bible and how I conducted our house and instead fully embrace her husband’s leading in these areas.
It may surprise many Christians to know that while the Bible speaks a great deal on marriage it never actually gives any examples of marriage vows. But the Bible does give us principles and teachings about marriage that can help us to construct Biblically based marriage vows.
For many engaged couples writing marriage vows can be a very scary thing for a variety of reasons. One is that it is hard for some people to express their feelings or put their feelings into words. Another might be that they are afraid they might say something that offends people at the wedding. Still another is that they may feel pressure to promise or say they something they know they can’t or won’t keep in the future.
My goal in this article is to help alleviate these concerns for you and help give you some Biblical principles to help you write your vows and also provide you with some real examples. I encourage you also to keep an open mind to what the Scriptures have to say on marriage. There will probably be many things in this article that will challenge your preconceptions about marriage. But as you read the Scriptures presented here I encourage you to remember what the Bible teaches us:
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Romans 12:2 (KJV)
My prayer is that after you finish reading this article that you will come away with a renewed passion to not be conformed to our culture’s view of marriage, but rather to conform yourselves as a Christian couple to God’s view of marriage as presented in his Word.
Is it “marriage vows” or a “marriage covenant”?
First let’s clear up some confusion. You may read Christian articles online or you may have even heard a pastor in your church say “Marriage is not based on vows, it is based on a covenant!” But what many Christian teachers fail to recognize is that while not all vows are covenants, all covenants are vows. The Scriptures prove this when God pictures his marriage to Israel:
“Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God, and thou becamest mine.”
Ezekiel 16:8 (KJV)
We can see here that when God entered in his covenant marriage with Israel – he swore unto her. That he vowed unto her this covenant.
So then the answer to the question of “Is it “marriage vows” or a “marriage covenant”?” is that it is BOTH!
The conclusion I came to in that article regarding vows was that Christ was taking on the corrupt system the Jewish leaders setup allowing people to get out of their oaths based on what they swore the oath upon. Christ was saying our word is our bond – if we make an oath then we must keep it. We should swear by nothing on this earth, but only by God as the Bible commands. We should always consider our vows carefully and not easily enter into them. And above all – we should never ever make a vow that we know up front we cannot or will not keep.
What type of love are Biblical marriage vows based on?
There are three types of Biblical love that may occur between a couple seeking marriage and then later these types of love should occur within marriage.
Phileo– Affectionate, feelings based loved – this is the love that is based on emotional attachment to another. It is usually very strong in the beginning phases of a relationship especially during the engagement period and the first year or two of marriage.
Eros– Sexual love. This is the love that has to do with physical attraction and desire toward one another. Again as with Phileo love, this love is usually very strong at the beginning of a relationship and through the first year to two years of marriage. And contrary to those Christian teachers who say this has no part in Christian marriage this type of love has an entire book of the Bible dedicated to it in the Song of Solomon. But this love is one that must be contained and controlled until a couple enter into the covenant of marriage. We see this warning in Song of Solomon 2:7:
“I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.”
Agape– Choice love. This love is not based on feelings toward one’s spouse, and it is not based on sexual attraction toward one’s spouse. Instead it is based in the choice a person made when they entered into a covenant of marriage with their spouse. In choosing to enter into that covenant, they have committed to performing certain actions toward their spouse regardless of their feelings or sexual attraction at any given future time. This is why in addition to calling Agape a “choice love”, it is also a “commitment love” and an “action love”.
Biblically based wedding vows should never be made with reference to Phileo or Eros love. This is not because these two types of love are bad. Christian marriage can and should have both these types of love in it if it is to be everything God intended it to be. But the foundation of Christian marriage is Agape love because it will weather the storms of life and will remain in those times when Phileo love and Eros love may wane.
If you are a young Christian couple reading this – you may think your affection toward each other (Phileo love) and sexual attraction (Eros love) will never fade. You are convinced of it! But don’t just take my word for it – ask five other Christian married couples that have been together at least 10 years or more.
The reason I ask you to ask five couples is because most likely you will get one or two that simply lie to themselves and others to put on a show. But if you ask five married couples who have been married for a longer length of time most of them will admit to you that there have been many times in their marriage where their Phileo and Eros love toward each other has waned and the only thing that kept them going was their Agape love toward one another as Christians. It was the commitment they made to each other before God when they entered into the covenant of marriage that helped them weather the storms of life.
One last part I want to add on this subject of love in marriage vows. I am not saying a couple cannot say words of affection toward each other and express their Phileo love toward one another at their wedding ceremony. You certainly can do this. But these words of affection should come before or after the marriage vows and should never be mixed into your vows. Your vows should be based purely in Agape in love.
Do marriage vows have to include all the duties of marriage?
Nothing in the Scriptures say you have to reference all the various duties of husbands and wives toward one another when you enter into a covenant of marriage.
Your vows could be very concise and they need not be verbose. In fact your vows could be as concise as the groom saying “I take you as my wife” and the bride saying “I take you as my husband”.
Nothing needs to be said about a covenant, the duration of marriage or the duties of husbands and wives to each other in marriage. There does not need to be a priest or pastor present, nor does it have to be done in a church. It does not even require a state marriage license.
On caveat I would add is that while the man needs no permission to enter into marriage from his parents if the woman is not a divorced or widowed woman and “being in her father’s house in her youth” then she and the man she wishes to marry must have her father’s blessing to marry. In fact if they marry in secret and he finds out and disapproves a father has the spiritual authority to annul any of his daughter’s vows in including a vow of marriage – see Numbers chapter 30 for more on this.
However, just because marriage can be entered into so easily does not mean that it SHOULD be entered into easily.
The Scriptures tell us this regarding vows made to God (and vows of marriage would be included in this):
“2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. 3 For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.
4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. 5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.”
Ecclesiastes 5:2-5 (KJV)
It is foolish and wrong to hastily enter into any vow and to hastily enter into a vow of marriage is the perhaps the most foolish of all.
Let me mention something else on the “easiness” of entering into the marriage covenant. In Biblical times not only was the father’s permission required for marriage, but a bride price was required. For some men this was a half a year’s wages. Men were required to prepare a home for their bride to be able to demonstrate to her father he was ready to take her as his wife.
The idea today of two young people who just randomly decided to get married without the man being able to provide for his wife in one way or another was rare and not the normal practice.
Some might say “Well we are not compelled to live by examples in Biblical times of marriage customs”. That is true if the statement regarding marriage is descriptive, rather than prescriptive. If a command is given that would impact marriage then this still stands. A father’s ability to override his daughter’s vows while she is in his house still stands.
Also Exodus 21:10-11 and Ephesians 5:29 show that a man is required to provide for the physical needs of his wife. If a man seeks marriage to a woman but cannot yet provide for her then he must wait to enter into the covenant of marriage with her until he can provide for her.
One last thing on the subject of “concise vows”. Make no mistake, even if the groom simply says “I take you as my wife” and the bride simply says “I take you as my husband” you are still entering into a covenant of marriage together whether you say the word “covenant” or not. It is God who defines the parameters of marriage not man. Even though you are not mentioning any of the duties or purposes of marriage they still apply as much to you as if you had mentioned them in your vows.
Ignorance of God’s laws regarding marriage it is not an excuse for breaking God’s law regarding marriage.
That is yet another reason why couples should not hastily enter into marriage and should consider their vows carefully before making them.
We need to take great care with more verbose wedding vows
If you choose to have more verbose wedding vows that “I take you as my husband” or “I take you as my wife” then great care needs to be taken as you utter these words before God.
Verbose marriage vows should be an affirmation of what the Bible says are the distinct purposes, responsibilities and rights of the husband and wife in the marriage covenant. Nothing should be added or taken away from marriage as the Bible defines it. In fact not only is it sinful to add to or take away from what God has established regarding marriage, but any vow which adds or takes away what he allows or commands regarding marriage is null and void in God’s view. For example, to say “until death do us part” without quantifying that with God’s allowance for divorce in the case of certain sins is by definition taking away from marriage as God has defined it.
Now let just put a word in here on divorce. I know there many good Bible believing Christians who disagree on God’s allowances for divorce. If you are truly convinced before God that there is absolutely no allowance under any circumstances for divorce and with this conviction in mind you add “until death do us part” with no caveats then in my view this is not an intentional sin, but a sin of ignorance as I believe the Bible clearly does give allowances for divorce.
But if you see certain allowances for divorce in the Scripture as I demonstrate in my articles on that subject and then you add “until death do us part” without the Biblical allowances for divorce that is a greater sin in my view. And this brings us to our next principle regarding the construction of Biblical marriage vows.
And now I want to share another crucially important principle in when it comes to making verbose marriage vows.
If you are going to write verbose marriage vows and you want them to be Biblically based you must account for sin in marriage just as God accounts for sin in marriage in the Bible.
If you are a woman – you must come to the realization that the man you so passionately love now is the same man you will sin against in the future. There are going to be days when you do not submit to him as the Church submits to Christ. There are going to be days that you do not reverence him as you should and there will be days when you are contentious and angry with him.
If you are a man, you may not always have the passionate feelings of love that you do now toward your wife to be. There are going to be days when you do not love her as Christ loves his Church. There may come a day when in a moment of cowardice you do not protect her from others or even protect her from herself. There may come a day when you dishonor her and do not dwell with her according to knowledge as the Bible commands.
Please don’t fall for the lie that your heart tries to tell you that you will never fall short of your God given duties in marriage toward your spouse. Because in one way or another you will. The Bible tells us “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Your vows need to take into account the very real possibility of sin on your part as well that of your future spouse.
This is why in the example vows I will give I mention the sin nature and the inability for us to perfectly love our spouse as God would have us to. This why we need to avoid terms like “always” and “never” in our wedding vows but instead we can use words like “try” or “endeavor” as we submit ourselves to the Lord on the daily basis.
Another important point to make is if you are going to have verbose marriage vows you need to reference the Biblical teaching that marriage is to be a model of the relationship of Christ to his Church. This is a foundational principle for Christian marriage.
Critical components of this model include the duties of men to be a head and the leader of their wives as Christ leads his Church. Not only should references be made to Christ loving his Church and giving himself for her, but also the reason he gave himself for her to wash her spots and wrinkles and present her to himself a glorious church.
It is a husband’s sacred duty to wash his wife with the Word of God as Christ washes his Church with it and that involved him teaching her the Word and correcting her with the Word.
But we must not forget that husbands are to show grace and mercy to their wives as Christ shows grace and mercy to his church.
The duties of a husband to love his wife as his own body and thus protect and provide for his wife as Christ does his Church should be referenced as well.
In regard to the wife – even though it is extremely politically incorrect to do so – a great emphasis needs to be placed on her submission to him as her head and her reverence for her husband. The Scriptures teach this time and time again toward women and any Christian marriage vows that omit the requirements of submission, obedience and reverence of wives toward their husbands while speaking to the duties of a husband to love his wife as Christ loves the Church are telling half truths about Biblical marriage.
If you will not speak to the duty of the wife to submit to her husband in marriage your vows, then you cannot speak to the husbands love for his wife as Christ loves the Church either. These are two sides of the same coin.
And again as I said before regarding concise marriage vows even if you don’t mention it in your marriage vows – these things are all required by God in marriage. And with that being said below are is summary of everything we have discussed up to this point in regard to making Biblically based marriage vows.
7 Principles for Making Biblical Marriage Vows
While all vows are not covenants, all covenants are vows. Marriage is based upon a vow or set of vows which together forms the covenant of marriage.
The marriage covenant, like all other vows, should not be easily entered into it. It should only be done with contemplation and consideration before God.
The Bible does not command that verbose marriage vows be made, nor does it require clergy to officiate, church authority or state authority in the form of marriage licenses. The only authority that may be required for a man and woman to enter the covenant of marriage together is that of the father of the bride if she is still young and living in her father’s house. However, even if only concise vows are made this does not free the couple from all the responsibilities, rights and purposes of marriage.
If a couple chooses to make verbose vows, then these vows should only affirm the teachings of the Bible regarding the purposes and distinct duties of husbands and wives toward one another in marriage. Christian marriage vows cease to Biblical and binding when they add or take away from the rights, responsibilities and purposes of marriage as defined in the Bible.
When making verbose marriage vows, the sin nature of both the groom and bride should be taken into account in the vows. That means words like “always” and “never” should be avoided. Instead words like “endeavor” or “try” should use when referencing the couple’s commitment to perform the duties of marriage toward one another.
When making verbose vows, if you are going to add a phrase like “until death do us part” then great care needs to go into this. Unless you truly deny the Biblical allowances for divorce both in the Old and New Testament you need to add this to any statement about remaining together until death.
When making verbose vows you should reference marriage being a model of the relationship of Christ and his Church. It is critical to mention not only Christ loving his Church and giving himself for her but also the submission of wives to the headship of their husbands as the Church is subject to Christ.
Examples of Biblical Marriage vows
Below are three examples I put together based on the principles we have discussed. The first example of concise vows we already mentioned but I will put it here again for reference.
Example Vows #1 – Concise Biblical Marriage Vows
I take you as my wife.
I take you as my husband.
Example Vows #2 – Moderately Verbose Biblical Marriage Vows
Below is what I would call a “moderately” verbose set of marriage vows that build on the principles we have discussed. Each set of vows below (one for the groom and one for the bride) are just under 200 words. Not too long, but definitely more expressive than the concise vows I showed in the first example.
I, [insert groom’s name], swear before God to enter into a covenant of marriage with you, [insert bride’s name] and by this covenant I take you as my wife.
I will endeavor to love you as Christ also loves his Church by leading you, giving myself up to wash you with the Word of God as well as showing grace and mercy towards you.
I will endeavor to love you as I love my own body by providing for you and protecting you and I will give my body to you in the marriage bed.
I will endeavor to dwell with you according to knowledge and honor you as my wife.
If you do not break our covenant of marriage I will remain by your side until death takes me.
On this day, I leave my father and my mother and cleave to you as my wife and we will no longer be two, but one flesh.
I, [insert bride’s name], swear before God to enter into a covenant of marriage with you, [insert groom’s name] and by this covenant give myself to you as your wife.
I will endeavor to reverence you as my head as Christ is the head of his Church.
I will endeavor to submit to you and obey you and as the Church is subject to Christ so too I will endeavor to make myself subject to you in everything.
I will endeavor to look well to the needs of our house and be the help meet and homemaker you need and that God has called me to be.
I will endeavor to love you and ravish you with my body in the marriage bed.
If you do not break our covenant of marriage I will remain by your side until death takes me.
Today I leave behind my own people and my father’s house and will become one flesh with you as my husband.
Example Vows #3 – Very Verbose Biblical Marriage vows
Below is a very verbose example of vows I have written. Again this is just an example and you could add or take away as you see fit as long as you are following the 7 principles we discussed. Also in this example set of vows I have included Scripture references next to most of the statements so you can further study those passages to see the principles of marriage that I am referencing.
Each of these sets of vows (one for the groom and one for the bride) are about a one page if you print them out. I have seen couples use one page vows they have written so I don’t think these are two long if you want to have more verbose vows.
I, [insert groom’s name], swear before God to enter into a covenant of marriage with you, [insert bride’s name] and by this covenant I take you as my wife. (Ezekiel 16:8)
Even though at this moment it is my heart’s desire to perfectly love you as your husband I know that because I am a sinner, like my forefathers before me, I cannot make such a pledge because God forbids me from making vows that I cannot keep. (Ecclesiastes 5:2-5)
I can only pledge to endeavor, to try as I surrender myself daily to God’s will for my life and as I lean on him for his grace and power to love you in my own imperfect way. (Romans 7:18-25)
I will endeavor to love you as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. (Ephesians 5:25)
I will endeavor to present you to Christ and myself as a glorious wife, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but to help you to be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:26)
I will endeavor to be gracious, compassionate and merciful toward you as God is gracious, compassionate and merciful toward his people. (Psalm 86:15)
I will endeavor to teach you the Word of God in our home and to be the spiritual interpreter of the Word to you that God calls me to be. (1 Corinthians 14:35)
In my endeavors to wash your spiritual spots, blemishes and wrinkles I will endeavor to rebuke and chasten you from a place of love for you. (Revelation 3:19)
I will endeavor to love you as I love my own body by providing for your physical needs and protecting you as I would my own body. (Ephesians 5:29)
I will endeavor to provide my body to you as a kindness that is due toward you. (I Corinthians 7:3)
I will endeavor to dwell with you according to knowledge, giving honor unto you as my wife and remembering that you and I are joint heirs of the grace of life. (I Peter 3:7)
As I end my vows of marriage to you I must acknowledge the possibility that in the same way I may sin against you in the future, you too may sin against me as well.
And while it is true that love covers a multitude of sins there are some sins a wife can commit which can break her marriage covenant with her husband. (1 Peter 4:8, Isaiah 50:1, Ezekiel 16:59, Jeremiah 3:8, Revelation 2 & 3)
It is for this reason that I must give to you a solemn warning like God gave to both Israel and his Churches regarding his covenant of marriage to them.
I swear before God to remain in this covenant of marriage with you for the remainder my life as long as you remain faithful to me. If you break this covenant by committing any type of fornication including defrauding me of your body or giving yourself to another or if you abandon me or seek to bring physical harm or death to me I reserve my right before God to end this covenant. (Matthew 19:9, I Corinthians 7:15, Exodus 21:26-27)
But I am hopeful of better things for us and I believe that in you I have found a good thing and also favor with God. I look forward to rejoicing with you and living joyfully with you for the remainder of our days together as the Lord wills. (Proverbs 5:18, Proverbs 18:22)
On this day, I leave my father and my mother and cleave to you as my wife and we will no longer be two, but one flesh. (Mark 10:7-8)
I, [insert bride’s name], swear before God to enter into a covenant of marriage with you, [insert groom’s name] and by this covenant give myself to you as your wife. (Ezekiel 16:8)
Even though at this moment it is my heart’s desire to perfectly submit to you and love you as your wife I know that because I am a sinner, like the women who came before me, I cannot make such a pledge because God forbids me from making vows that I cannot keep. (Ecclesiastes 5:2-5)
I can only pledge to endeavor, to try as I surrender myself daily to God’s will for my life and as I lean on him for his grace and power to submit to you and love you in my own imperfect way. (Romans 7:18-25)
I will endeavor to remember in my thoughts, words and actions that God made me for you and not you for me. (I Corinthians 11:9)
I will endeavor to remember that I am not my own, but that I belong to you as the Church belongs to Christ. (Acts 20:28)
I will endeavor to remember that I am not your equal any more than the Church is Christ’s equal but rather I will reverence you as my head in the same way the Church is to reverence Christ as its head. (Ephesians 5:23 & 33)
I will endeavor to submit to you as I do unto the Lord and make myself subject to you in everything as the Church is subject to Christ. (Ephesians 5:22-24)
I will endeavor to obey you as Sara obeyed Abraham calling him Lord. (I Peter 3:6)
I will endeavor to meet your desire for me to make myself beautiful as God desires the beauty of his people not only through my outward appearance but also by having a gentle and quiet spirit. (Psalm 45:11, I Peter 3:3-4)
I will endeavor to satisfy you with my body and ravish you with my love. (Proverbs 5:19, Titus 2:4)
I will endeavor to be the homemaker God has called me to be and look well to the ways of our household. (Proverbs 31:27, Titus 2:5, 1 Timothy 5:14)
I will endeavor to submit to and seek out your guidance as my spiritual head in all matters of life and living including marriage and family issues. (1 Corinthians 14:35)
I will endeavor to share my advice with you not in a contentious or angry way, but rather with discretion, kindness and reverence. (Proverbs 9:13, Proverbs 11:22, Proverbs 21:19, Proverbs 31:26, I Peter 3:1-2)
I will endeavor to not shame you either with my words or actions but rather I will endeavor to be your crown and glory. (Proverbs 12:4)
As I end my vows of marriage to you I must acknowledge the possibility that in the same way I may sin against you in the future, you too may sin against me as well.
And while it is true that love covers a multitude of sins there are some sins a husband can commit which can break his marriage covenant with his wife.
It is with these sins in mind that I swear before God to remain in this covenant of marriage with you for the remainder of my life as long as you do not break the covenant of marriage you make with me today. As a wife I reserve the right given me by God to consider myself freed from our marriage covenant if you defraud me by willfully refusing to provide me with food, clothing and your body in the marriage bed or if you seek to bring physical harm or death to me. Also, if you abandon me either by divorcing me or by some other means I will no longer consider myself bound to this marriage covenant I make today with you. (Exodus 21:10-11 & 26-27, Deuteronomy 24:1-2, Romans 7:2-3, I Corinthians 7:15)
But I am hopeful of better things for us and I look forward to rejoicing with you and living joyfully with you for the remainder of our days together as the Lord wills. (Proverbs 5:18, Proverbs 18:22)
Today I leave behind my own people and my father’s house and will become one flesh with you as my husband. (Psalm 45:10, Mark 10:7-8)
“Real men provide Real women appreciate it” was a simple message posted on a billboard in Forysth County, North Carolina. 60 years ago such a sign would have been lauded by our communities. But now in our post-feminist culture this message is considered “a sexist comment”.
Molly Grace, a woman who organized opposition to the sign, made this statement:
“The very notion that there should be a man to provide and that no matter what a woman should just plain accept it and appreciate it, is a sexist comment,” said Grace, who is an outspoken critic against the billboard.”
She wants the anonymous person who paid for it to be posted to come to a local panel and “explain why they think the way that they do and try to shed some light on it for us”.
Some people thought the anonymous person who posted the sign was targeting men, not women.
“Donald Amos says he likes the sign and said he believes it’s directed toward men who are not fulfilling their promises.
“A lot of times, women have to go on their own and do this and take the role of a man and a women and it’s not right, but it happens and I think men ought to step their game up. Really they ought to and become men again instead of shoulda, coulda, wannabes,” Amos said.”
Perhaps it would have been considered less “sexist” to feminists if the sign had simply read “Real men provide”. But because the sign implied that real women appreciate men that can provide for them – that cannot be allowed to stand.
Why do some people think that real men should provide and real women should appreciate it?
If you are a person that thinks like Molly let me “shed some light” on this issue for you from the source that some Americans still hold dear and that is the Bible.
The man’s providing role is referenced in multiple passages of the Scriptures.
In Genesis after Adam and Eve sinned God said he would make both Adam and Eve’s primary roles more difficult:
“16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
Genesis 3:16-19 (KJV)
Woman would experience great pain now in child birth – one of her most important duties in her help meet role to man. It would not so easy for man to provide for his family, but instead he would have to work hard to get what he needed from the earth.
In addition because of woman’s new sinful nature she would make his other very important role, that of leading the home, much more difficult as she would seek to control him and the home instead of submitting to him as God had designed her to do.
But even though God made the man’s duty of providing and the woman’s duty to give birth more difficult he also provide them both with the gift of joy from the pain they had to endure in their labor:
“A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.”
John 16:21 (KJV)
“There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.”
Ecclesiastes 2:24 (KJV)
In the Law of Moses a man’s provision for his wife was deemed of such critical importance that if he failed to do so his wife could seek a divorce:
“10 If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. 11 And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.”
Exodus 21:10-11 (KJV)
The New Testament reaffirms and strengthens the distinct roles of man and woman
The New Testament tells us that a woman’s primary role is to be the bearer of children and the keeper of the home:
“4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
Titus 2:4-5 (KJV)
God reiterates his call for men to be providers and protectors to their wives in the Epistle to the Ephesians:
“28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:”
Ephesians 5:28-19 (KJV)
Husbands are called by God to provide for the physical needs of their wife as they would the needs of their own body. They are also called to protect their wife as they would their own body.
Was the Proverbs 31 woman a career woman?
Many Christians have tried to point to Proverbs 31 to show a defense of women having careers outside the home. There is no doubt that Proverbs 31 shows the woman going out to plant a field or sell in the market. But here is what people miss.
The Proverbs 31 wife did not leave anything undone in her home so as to go outside the home and provide. It tells us of her husband “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her…” (vs 11) and that she “She looketh well to the ways of her household…”(vs 27).
Proverbs 31 in no way paints the modern career women we see today. With the schedules that modern career women keep being gone from their home anywhere from 40 to sometimes 50 hours a week there is little to no chance they are also doing 100% of what they should be doing at home. Their duties to their home will slide or be neglected.
But can’t a woman and her husband just split the roles of provider and the duties of the home?
Well if we want to throw out the duties God has assigned to man and woman as well as then entire picture of marriage with man symbolizing God as the leader, PROVIDER and protector of the woman and woman submitting to her husband and serving him by bearing his children, caring for them and caring for the home then sure – it does not matter and husband and wives can split these roles.
But what if the man can’t work?
Because we live in sin cursed world husbands get sick, get disabled or lose their jobs. Sometimes because we live in sin cursed world unforeseen financial events occur where a man must ask his wife to work to provide additional income for their family to survive. These are not the kinds of situations we are talking about in this article. God understands this type of situation.
But what we are talking about here are young couples that marry and PLAN to have the wife be a career woman. We are talking about a man and woman literally agreeing to the fact that she will purposefully not devote herself entirely to her duties to bear children, care for them and care for the home.
These couples actually PLAN to split the duties of husbands and wives between themselves in direct contradiction to God’s design and his commands. There is no excuse for such plans of men and women which go against the very commands of God.
Real men provide
If you are a young man reading this I hope that it will help to show you that our culture has sinned against God in abandoning the gender roles he designed. I hope that you will purpose in your heart that you will not seek marriage to any woman until you can provide for her so that she can dedicate herself fully to the role God has given her as the bearer and nurturer of your future children and the keeper of your future home.
I am not saying you have to be rich when you get married. Please don’t misunderstand me. But you should be able to provide a modest life – with food and shelter. You don’t have to provide brand new cars and a big fancy house. If you can provide for her the basics of life so she can be the homemaker God wants her to be then you are doing what is right before God.
As a young man you should have a plan to further yourself anticipating that as your family grows so too the expenses will grow. This means that while you may be able to marry based on a certain wage you make – you need to plan on how you will provide more in the future as your family needs it.
And in the future should you ever lose your job – asking your wife to work outside the home should be your last resort. If you have to work two jobs to provide –then you should do so.
Real women appreciate a man who will provide for them
If you are one of these young women that were raised by your parents to be independent and not have to depend on a man you need to throw that thinking out in the trash. Your parents may have felt they were doing right by you and just looking out for you in case you don’t find a husband or in case your husband were to divorce you or die.
Yes because of sin in this world we are not always able to live up to God’s design for men, women and marriage. But we should not plan for the failure of God’s plan in marriage due to sin on our part or that of our spouse or the sinful circumstances of this world.
Instead we should plan for success.
As a young lady your goal should be this very goal given to you directly by God through the Apostle Paul:
“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”
1 Timothy 5:14 (KJV)
Will you follow the world’s pattern or God’s pattern?
To young men and women. You must decide before you seek out marriage. Will you follow the world’s pattern of partnership marriage and gender neutrality when it comes to the roles in your family or will you follow the pattern God has established for men and women?
The Bible tells us not to follow our culture when it conflicts with God’s design:
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Romans 12:2 (KJV)
Will you ask God to renew your mind today? To make you the man or woman he has called you to be? To play the role he has called you to? I hope that you will.
And let me tell you something – it will bring peace to your marriage if you follow God’s pattern especially in this area of the man being the provider for the home.
You see God has placed a desire in every man to provide for his woman and his family. For some men it is buried far beneath years of conditioning by our culture, but make no mistake it is there. That is why many men cannot marry a woman who makes more than them. It is not a pride issue, it is a God given man issue.
Its time to blunt about this
Sinful pride and ambition blinds us. When we are ambitious for what God has called us to do as men and women that is a great thing and blessed of God. So when a young man has career ambitions and ambitions of not only having a family and providing for them but also making his mark on the world that is from God himself and it is good. When a young woman has ambitions of marrying a godly man that can fully provide for her and her future children and she has ambitions for caring for those children and her home this again is from God and it pleases him.
But what about men that have ambitions to marry a woman who can provide for them as a man so they can care for the home and children? This ambition is a sinful one because it violates God’s design. What about a young man who has ambitions to marry a career woman knowing he will not be able to fully provide and knowing she will not be able to fully dedicate herself to their home as God wills? Again such an ambition is a sinful and selfish ambition.
Let me conclude with this warning to young couples who want to follow the path God has set forth in the Bible.
You have two choices in this life. You are either called by God to a life of celibacy in his service or you are called to seek out marriage. There are is no choice in between. Now notice I said “seek out marriage” because not everyone will find someone to marry. But if we are not given the gift of celibacy, we are called to seek marriage.
To young men:
If you have not been given the call of God to celibacy in his service and you have a desire to seek out marriage then you cannot seek out a career path that will never be able to fully provide for your future family. If your future plans for marriage involve your future wife having to work to help provide then your future plans are WRONG. Perhaps the career path you are thinking about will eventually be able to provide for a family but at first it will not be able to. Many men pursue apprenticeship jobs in fields that do not make enough to provide for a family but eventually they will. That is ok. But then you must wait for marriage until your career plans come to fruition and you are able to provide for your wife and future children.
And finally to young men – not only should you be able to provide but you should seek out a Christian woman that wants a man that believes he should be able to provide for her. You want a woman that appreciates this conviction and your desire for yourself and your future wife to follow God’s design for men and women.
In other words – don’t marry a career woman. And you know how to NOT fall in love with and marry a career woman? Don’t date one.
To young women:
If you have not been given the call of God to celibacy in his service and you have a desire to seek out marriage then you must not seek out a career. It is one thing to work and save money while you are seeking your future husband. In fact this could be a blessing to your future husband. But you must be able to drop whatever work it is you are doing the moment you find the man God has for you so that you can fully dedicate yourself to serving him in the role God has given you as his helper.
There is no sin in you as a young woman going to college while seeking that man that God has for you. But make sure that this will not saddle your husband with great debt. So that might mean going to a community college where it is more affordable and you can work a part time job and pay off the schooling as you take it. If your parents can pay for a better school while you look than that is fine as well as long as you will not be passing this debt to your future husband.
Your goal whether you go to college or just work a job while looking for him is to come into the marriage with little or no debt or perhaps a small savings from your work that you can bless your husband with as you enter the marriage together.
Seek out a godly man that can also provide for you as God wants every man to do for his wife and children. This is not a matter of “either or” as if you must choose between finding a godly man or a man that can provide for you. If the man you seek to marry truly understands God’s word and wants to live that out he will not want to marry you until he can provide.
I thank God for whomever anonymously paid for that message board. We will need more of those around our country to stir up this conversation and to help bring people back to the design that God has for men and women.