Does the Bible condemn premarital sex and pre-wedding sex?

I know you might be scratching your head right now asking “Isn’t premarital sex and pre-wedding sex the same thing?” Biblically speaking the answer is no they are not the same.  These are two separate and distinct things.

This topic is crucial for young Christian couples who are dating or engaged to consider in this age where sex before marriage has become so common that a couple is considered weird if they do not have sex before marriage.

Does sex automatically make a couple married in God’s eyes?

Some Christians have tried to argue that there is no such thing as “premarital sex” because they believe the act of sex automatically makes a couple married.  They reason based on this logic that the Bible does not condemn something that is impossible to happen.

But the Bible does not support this notion.

We will show here from the Scriptures that there really is such a thing as “premarital sex” and the act of sex itself does not automatically constitute marriage.  Later in this article we will distinguish “premarital sex” from “pre-wedding sex”.

So if sex does not automatically constitute marriage what does?

Biblical marriage may be constituted in one of four ways.

Marriage Method #1 – A man seduces a woman into sex and her father consents to marriage

“16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife.

17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.” – Exodus 22:16-17 (KJV)

One key word in this passage as it relates to the “does premarital sex exist” debate is the word “endow”.  This occurs AFTER the man has seduced the woman into having sex with him and BEFORE she actually becomes his wife (is married to her).

The word Hebrew word that “endow” is translating is Mahar which means “to obtain or acquire by paying purchase price, give a dowry” – http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/hebrew/kjv/mahar-2.html

So we have just proven from Exodus 22:16-17 beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is indeed such a thing as premarital sex in God’s view of sex.

In this passage God was saying that if a man seduced a virgin who was not betrothed to another man and he had sex with her that he had to pay her father the bride price and her father would decide if he would allow the man to marry his daughter.  The father had the power to refuse him even after the man seduced his daughter but he still had to pay the bride price because he violated the father’s property rights regarding his daughter.

But then the question must be asked – what is the lasting moral law here in Exodus 22:16-17 and what is the temporary civil law that applied only to Israel as a theocracy? There are two moral law parts in this passage and one civil law part in this passage.

The first part of God’s unchanging moral law in Exodus 22:16-17 is found here in this phrase:

“And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her”

Whether the woman is a virgin or not – God only honors sex AFTER the covenant of marriage has been established between a man and a woman:

“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” – Hebrews 13:4 (KJV)

All other sexual relations between a man and woman outside of marriage are either whoremongering or adultery.

The second part about of God’s unchanging moral law in Exodus 22:16-17 is found in this next phrase:

“If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him”

In Numbers 30:3-16 we see that the only way a woman had the power to make vows of her own (which would include marriage) that could not be overridden by her father or her husband were if she was a widow or divorced:

“But every vow of a widow, and of her that is divorced, wherewith they have bound their souls, shall stand against her.” – Numbers 30:9 (KJV)

A father’s authority over his daughter is further reinforced by the general principle of the headship of man over woman (not just a husband’s headship over his wife):

“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” – I Corinthians 11:3 (KJV)

This passage above was not talking about  marriage but rather that general authority of men over women and why women should wear head coverings in worship as a sign of women being under men. The marital status of the woman was irrelevant.

Under God’s moral law, a father transfers his ownership and authority over his daughter to her husband in marriage.  If the woman’s husband dies or he sends her away in divorce then the chain of authority is broken and she is free to marry whom she will.

What is no longer required is that a man be forced to marry a virgin he has sex with. This was a civil punishment as part of the law given to Israel a theocracy and the New Testament tells us that God’s Old covenant law with Israel a theocracy has been replaced by the new covenant that God has made with the Church(Hebrews 8:13)

This leads us to the second Biblical method of a man and woman entering into marriage.

Marriage Method #2 – A widow or divorced woman could consent to or seek marriage on her own

“And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.” – Ruth 3:9 (KJV)

We see this situation occurring with Ruth who approached Boaz to see if he wished to marry her in Ruth 3:9.  Since Ruth was a widow she had to the power to enter into marriage without seeking the consent of her father.

In the story of Ruth we see Levirate marriage being played out.  Deuteronomy 25:5-10 describes the process of Levirate marriage where a brother or near kinsman was required to marry the wife of the dead relative to raise up an heir for his dead relative’s estate.  Ruth had every right as the widow of a relative of Boaz to propose marriage to Boaz.

The only consent she needed was Boaz and then he confirmed with a nearer relative that he could in fact marry her.

Marriage Method #3 – A man rapes a woman and her father forces him to marry her

“28 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;

29 Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.” – Deuteronomy 22:28-29 (KJV)

This is a very controversial passage of the Scriptures that atheists and others who hate the Bible, hate the Jews and hate the Christian faith love to use to try say the Bible promotes immoral activity.  The argument basically goes “How could a loving God force a woman to marry her rapist?”

The problem is those who want to accuse the God of the Bible of issuing immoral commands are not looking at this from the perspective of the culture in which the command was given.  In the time period this was given a woman’s virginity was her most prized position.  Once that was taken she would have had a very difficult time getting married.  In a Biblical world view the greatest crime the rapist committed was not in forcing himself upon her against her will – but rather in taking her most prized possession. In a way rape was form of theft.

Remember this same woman who had been raped could have been forced to marry this SAME man before he raped her by her father.  Then she would have been compelled to have sex with whether she wanted to or not.

Some say there is no mention of the father’s consenting to marriage and that it must automatically happen.  But we must remember that no passage of Scripture stands on its own.  This passage does in Deuteronomy 22:28-29 must be understood in light of Exodus 22:16-17 which clearly shows a father must always consent to any marriage his daughter enters into (unless she is a widow or divorced).

So a father forcing the man to marry his daughter whom the man raped was a punishment against him and restitution for his daughter.  The man had to care for her the rest of her life and he could not divorce her for ANY reason.

Now this does not mean a father HAD to have his daughter marry her rapist – it was his discretion.

The real problem people have with this passage is NOT that a woman might have to potentially marry her rapist.  The real problem people have is the fact that God gives such power of a father over his daughter that he could force her to marry her rapist.

But again considering the culture of the time a father could be looking out for his daughter’s best interests.  In their culture the worst thing that could happen to a woman was not being raped, but instead not being able to get married.  If we understand this then we understand this is not something immoral that God is commanding.

Marriage Method #4 – Men could take women as captives of war and force them to be their wife

10 “When you go out to war against your enemies, and the Lord your God gives them into your hand and you take them captive, 11 and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you desire to take her to be your wife, 12 and you bring her home to your house, she shall shave her head and pare her nails. 13 And she shall take off the clothes in which she was captured and shall remain in your house and lament her father and her mother a full month. After that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife. 14 But if you no longer delight in her, you shall let her go where she wants. But you shall not sell her for money, nor shall you treat her as a slave, since you have humiliated her.” – Deuteronomy 21:10-14 (KJV)

This is another favorite passage of atheists and people who hate the Bible. God allows men to take women as captives of war and force them to be their wife.

A few things to mention about this.  It was actually a mercy that these men would take back some of these women as wives considering all the men and their families had been wiped out in war. They had nothing and they would probably have died on their own.

Can we guess again what the atheist’s biggest problem was? It was men forcing women to be their wives against their consent.  But God does not give people (including women) the same rights we do in our modern civilization.  And God is ALWAYS right.

Does this mean we have to take captives when we go to war and force them to be our wives? Of course not. This passage allows the taking of captive wives – it does not mandate it.

5 principles we learn from Biblical methods of entering into marriage

  1. A man may not marry a woman without seeking her father’s consent if he is still alive unless the woman is a widow or divorced.
  2. A woman may not consent to marriage without her father’s approval unless her father is dead, she is a widow or she is divorced.
  3. Based upon the 2 previously proven principles of God’s moral law sex by itself DOES NOT constitute marriage. So it is possible to have premarital sex which is a clear violation of Hebrews 13:4 where God says the only sexual relations he honors is between a man and woman in marriage.
  4. A father may force his daughter to marry a man without her consent based on his headship over her.
  5. Men may force women to marry them when they are captured during war. Again this is not something we are required to do by the Scriptures – it is only an allowance to do so.

What we don’t see in the Bible about entering into marriage is also very important

Some very important things we don’t see are any requirements to have clergy or judges conduct marriage ceremonies, requirements for marriages to occur before witnesses, or for couples to seek the approval of the government or a church.

Contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church and laws of the United States or most western countries neither the church nor the government have any authority over marriage God created the intuition of marriage long before the formation of governments or the church.

The authority to enter into marriage has always fallen under the authority of the family – and specifically that of the father, then the husband and only a woman if she is divorced or widowed and not a captive of war.

So is pre-wedding sex a violation of the Scriptures?

We have shown here conclusively from the Scriptures that premarital sex is a violation of God’s moral law. But what about “pre-wedding sex”?

Most of the time people enter in marriage at their wedding so we often confuse the too.  But a couple’s covenant of marriage and a couple’s wedding may be two separate events.  In fact a couple may enter into a marriage covenant without a state marriage license and without a wedding and the marriage may be considered binding and valid before God.

The only way such a “spiritual marriage” would not be valid is if the woman was not windowed or divorced and her father was still alive with her being under his authority.

So what this means is it would be perfectly Biblical if a man sought and received the consent of a woman’s father for marriage if the couple felt they could not wait for the wedding for them to enter into a covenant of marriage before God privately and then have sex BEFORE THE WEDDING.

Once the father has agreed to his daughter marrying a man the wedding date is only a formality.  At the moment of betrothal the woman is free to enter in a marriage covenant with her husband in private – just between them and God and then they may freely have sex.  The wedding at this point is only a formality to show the world their commitment to one another.  But the couple could choose not even to have a formal wedding.

Are there dangers in pre-wedding sex even if it is not unbiblical?

Yes but only if the man and woman do not see their vows made in private as just as binding as those that would be taken before witnesses.   But if a man and woman don’t see their marriage vows made in private as binding what makes us think they would take their vows made in public any more serious?

Conclusion

Premarital sex even amongst Christians today is at an all-time epidemic level. I believe we should look for all ways possible to take away temptations to premarital sex.  Previously I have talked about Biblical courtship and couples not allowing themselves to be alone together before marriage as a major method of preventing premarital sex.

But because our culture balks at courtship and limitations of being alone together I think that this option of “pre-wedding sex” which is made right before God by a couple entering into their covenant of marriage privately after they are engaged is a valid option that Christian couples should consider to avoid the sin of premarital sex.

Why should a couple put themselves under this pressure once they are engaged? A wedding is simply a date and a celebration of marriage.  It is not something that should hang over a couple’s head and possibly tempt them to sin because they think they have to wait to exchange vows until that day.

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12 Ways to transform modern dating into Biblical dating

What does the Bible say about dating? How can you as a young Christian man or woman date in a way that pleases God? Are their Biblical principles that can help young people find the right spouse?

Before we seek to answer these questions we need to look at how young men and women used to enter into relationships.

“Dating” as we know it today did not exist before the last century. Men did not have to romance women to get women to marry them. Men did not need pickup lines or any of the other tricks of getting women to show interest in them. Women did not need to “put out” before marriage to give the man a “taste of the goods”.

The two ways men acquired wives in pre-modern times

First let me address the word “acquired” which is a word usually associated with getting property. It is a well-known fact of history that women were considered the property of their fathers (or other male relative if the father was dead) and these property rights were transferred to husbands in marriage.

So it is historically correct to say that in the vast majority of cases men did not “win” their wives (by romancing them) but rather they acquired them by purchasing them from their male relatives.

The first way was the marriage was arranged by the parents when the man and woman were children and they were betrothed but the marriage was not consummated until the man had the ability to support the woman and had a home established for her.   Sometimes the arranged marriage was not from the time of the man and woman being children but was a quick arrangement when two sets of parents realized they had two adult children who were not yet married and they would have them to marry.

The second way was if a man found a woman attractive he would NOT approach the woman directly – instead he would approach her father, her brother or other male relative who was responsible for her. He would then demonstrate his ability to provide for the woman and then these two men would agree upon a bride price.

While a woman’s male relative might take her opinion into account of whether she wanted to marry a man often time’s women had little say in whom they married.

A third but rare way that men acquired wives

A third and very rare case would be if a woman had no male relatives in charge of her (no father, grandfather, brother or uncles). Only in this rare condition would a man have to deal directly with the woman herself to see if she would be interested in marrying him.

Even in this last rare case – the idea of dating did not typically happen because it was socially unacceptable for single women to entertain men who were not their husbands. If they did they might be seen as a prostitute or a whore.

There often was little to no romance involved even in the case of a man approaching a woman directly who had no male relatives in charge of her. He simply demonstrated his ability to provide for her and she would decide if she wanted to marry him.

My point in all this is, before the last century the vast majority of marriages were formed because of economic and political necessity – they were not formed based on men romantically pursing women as we see is the case today.

For these reasons you won’t find any reference to anything close to what we call dating in the Bible – it simply did not exist in pre-modern times.

The randomness and chaos of modern dating

As I have previously shown, in times past marriage was a very ordered ordeal. Parents or others elders that were looked up to often helped young people to find suitable spouses that would benefit one another economically or politically.

Today however, instead of marriages coming together on the grounds of spiritual, economic or political reasons – most marriages in the Western world come together because of pre-marital romantic feelings that a man and a woman share for one another.

Most young people enter what we now call “the dating world” without a clue of how to find a prospective spouse. They wonder aimlessly at school, college, work, church or other social functions hoping to bump into that right person.

Even when a person does “bump into the right person” or so they think – dating itself today is far from how God’s Word would have it to be.

Men pursue women by buying them gifts and make all kinds of romantic gestures to show their affection for the women they are with.  They continually have to come up with romantic words to flatter the women they are with.

Women often feel pressured to give sex not long after dating to “keep him hooked” on them.

In many ways modern dating and romance has become a form of idolatry. Listen to romance songs on the radio or watch romance movies. Are the things that these people say to each other often times not a form of worship and idolatry toward one another?

Even if a Christian couple has committed to not having sex before marriage often times our ideas of modern dating put Christian couples in very tempting positions with little to no safe guards against sex before marriage.

But there is a way to bring order to the chaos of modern dating and the answer is found in God’s Word.

12 ways to transform modern dating into Biblical dating

Here are several ways to apply Biblical principles to the modern concept of dating to bring it into line with God’s Word and it may also help you to find the right spouse that God has for you.

Dating is for marriage – not for sex or fun

Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” – Psalm 25:7 (KJV)

“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” – Hebrews 13:4 (KJV)

“Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” – I Corinthians 7:2 (KJV)

It is not wrong for a young person to desire to find a spouse and be married one day. In fact this is a noble and right desire and should be encouraged by all parents. When you as a young person desire to be with someone whom you know you would never marry – that is by definition a “youthful lust”. When you desire to possess something that God did not intend for you to have that is lust.

So unless you see someone as a potential spouse – you have no business seeking an intimate (emotional or physical) relationship with them.

Follow your spirit not your heart

The world will tell you the very opposite thing – “listen to your heart” is the theme of many romance songs and movies. But it has no basis in Bible.

Yes – God tell us to love him with all our heart:

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” – Matthew 22:37 (KJV)

But God also tells us that our hearts can deceive us:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” – Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV)

So instead of going with your heart which can lead you astray, instead you need to follow the spirit of God in your dating.

Test the Spirit by the Word

The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit of God will lead us in “all the truth” and that includes who we should date.

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth…” – John 16:13a (KJV)

But just as we can be lead astray by our hearts, we can also be lead astray by false spirits.

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world…We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” – I John 4:1 & 6 (KJV)

When the Bible refers to “false spirits” it is not restricted only to evil and demonic spirits. It is also referring to false teachers and those who would give us bad advice or advice that does not line up with God’s Word.

So how do we know if it the Holy Spirit leading us or some other false spirit or bad influence? It is by listening to the Word of God. The Holy Spirit of God will never lead us in a direction that is contrary to God’s Word.

It is amazing to me how many people, whether it is in dating or even religious practices who are doing things that are completely contrary to the Word of God and then claim “but the Spirit of God lead me to do this and gave me peace about it so it must be right”.

My response to these folks is – “Yes you were led by “A spririt”, but not “THE Spirit”.”

Young people you need the follow THE Spirit of God as you seek the spouse God would have for you.

Only date Christians

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” – II Corinthians 6:14-16 (KJV)

Contrary to popular belief – the Bible does NOT teach the concept of evangelistic dating. We are not to date or marry unbelievers.

This goes back to the previous points about not following your heart and testing the spirits. You heart and other false spirits will tell you – “It’s ok if they are not a believer in Christ, you can help them to be one”. Other false feelings you may have are “but they are such a good and kind person, surely God wants me to be such a good person”.

But the truth is the Bible says “what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?”

Prove that they are indeed a Christian

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:25 (KJV)

I tell my children the first two things they should ask about a person before they would ever consider dating them should be – “Are you a Christian?” and “Where do you go to Church?”.

Obviously each one of those questions needs more detail.

Does the person really understand what it means to be a believer?

Do you sense the Spirit of God upon their life?

Are they a faithful member of their church or do they only attend a few times a year around the holidays?

Guard your heart

So up to this point you if you have followed the previous steps you placed boundaries on yourself and made yourself accountable to your parents or other godly Christians in this dating process. You have determined that dating is for marriage, not for fun. You have sought to be led by the Spirit and not by your sinful heart. You have a found a person who claims Christ and faithfully attends Church.

But it is not yet time to let yourself “fall” for this person, or let your guard down.

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” – Proverbs 4:23 (KJV)

The phrase “keep thy heart” could also be translated as “guard your heart” as the NIV translates it. We need to be careful of whom we allow into our hearts. When we open our hearts to someone we can make rash decisions that we later come to regret.

The young woman who gives her virginity away to the man with flattering lips who promised to marry her but later leaves her after he gets what he wants will have many sorrows.

The young man who overlooked the fact that a young lady did not believe in God’s roles for Christian women but was simply captivated by her beauty will one day come to regret his decision.

Once a person passes the initial screening processes you need to truly investigate them. There is an old saying that “A man is known by the company he keeps” and the Bible has a similar statement to this:

“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” – Proverbs 13:20 (KJV)

Does he or she have wise and godly friends? When you talk to their friends what do they reveal about the character of this person you are dating?

Guard your body

Ok the cat is really out of the bag now. When I say “dating”, I am referring to a relationship between a man and woman that could potentially lead to marriage and I am referring to what is known as courtship. Now this is one even my teens have a very hard time swallowing because of the culture we live in.

Those who have read any of my posts on Biblical sexuality know that I do NOT believe we must suppress our sexuality even before marriage. Our sexuality is a gift from God meant to be experienced and enjoyed before marriage and after marriage.

I just read on another Christian site that young Christian men should avoid learning too many details about sex until just a few days before they are married for fear that they might have sexual fantasies about their wives to be.

What a ludicrous statement to make!

Yet many Churches all across America and the world teach this unbiblical philosophy of about sexual fantasy and sexual imagination.

HOWEVER – while we might be able to enjoy our sexuality before marriage through sexual imagination and even masturbation (which the Bible does NOT condemn) we are forbidden from pursing any kind of sexual relationship with a person before we have entered into a covenant of marriage with them. That includes cybersex, phone sex or any other kind of sexual activity.

People such as myself and others that embrace the idea of courtship believe that young people should not be allowed by their parents or themselves to be put in a position where they might sin sexually with one another.

I can hear all the teens and young college students yelling at me at this point.

But the Bible says we should not put ourselves in a position where we know we could possibly be tempted to sin:

“But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” – Romans 13:14 (KJV)

Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” – I Corinthians 6:18 (KJV)

I think the best policy is for parents and young people to agree that they will always be in a group setting, whether it is with a church youth group or college and career group or a least around a larger group of Christian friends or relatives at all times.

Agree on Biblical marriage roles

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

Husbands, love your wives, even 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, 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 5:22-27 (KJV)

“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” – I Timothy 5:14 (KJV)

There are many people who truly believe in Jesus Christ and are saved and regularly attend their churches but reject all the Bible’s teachings on God design of gender roles. They believe these teachings are outdated and were not meant for all time.

Listen to me young man. Listen to me young lady.

You can find the nicest person in the world, even a Christian who regularly attends church.

But if you do not agree on the doctrines of Gender roles as taught in Scripture you will be in for a lot of heart ache!

Seek your parents blessing

“Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.” – Proverbs 23:22 (KJV)

If your parents are believers – you should have their blessing before proceeding in marriage. Even if they are not believers – they may still have some helpful advice.

In most cases your parents are the ones who know you better than anyone else in this world. Even if everything seems to match up – your father and mother may see some incapability between the two of you that you did not notice.

In fact because Samson did not listen to his parents advice about a woman it ended up costing him his life in the end (Judges 14:3).

Now there are some cases where parents are wicked and unbelieving people. So please don’t think I am saying parents ALWAYS have to give their blessing. But I do think in most cases you should have your parents blessing before marrying someone.

Seek other Godly counsel

Before agreeing to marriage with this person seek wise and spiritual advice from those around you.

“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” – Proverbs 11:14 (KJV)

Bring the person you are dating around your Christian friends and then ask them afterwards privately what they thought of the person.

Pray and ask God to show you the right spouse

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” – Romans 8:26-27 (NIV)

Last but certainly not least you need to pray! This should be the first thing you do before you set out to date and it should be the last thing you to do before you open your heart to a person and let them in.

Even if you apply all these other Biblical principles there are so many variables when it comes to choosing the right spouse that God has for you. There are different types of personalities and differences in preferences. Pray and ask the Lord to guide you to that right person.

Premarital counseling with a Pastor is CRITICAL!

I know this is really tough – but even up this point you must still continue to guard your heart. I know of many Christian men and women who discovered things about their soon to be spouse in pre-marital counseling but they felt they were too invested with a wedding planned and the time they had spent with this person.

Please listen to me young person. It is NEVER too late to back out of an engagement. You may find in pre-marital counseling that your spouse does not really believe in Biblical gender roles. You may find out that they do not have a Biblical philosophy of sex in marriage. These are critical things that will affect you for the rest of your life.

Conclusion

So after reading all these 12 ways to transform the chaos of modern dating into Biblical dating the question you are probably asking is “When can I stop guarding my heart?” I believe the answer to that question is after you have completed premarital counseling and have determined that this person is a spiritual match for you in all the important ways I have mentioned here then you can begin to let your guard down.

But really I think until the day you are married and have entered in the covenant of marriage with this person – you need to be careful with your heart.

Even after marriage – do you realize how many people have allowed their spouses to lead their hearts astray from God? We must never allow that.

But after we are married that is when we can fully give our hearts and bodies to our spouses while still remembering that God must always be first in our marriage.

Please don’t misunderstand me. There is no perfect person out there. There is no person with whom you will agree on all things. There is no such thing as your “soul mate” – sorry to burst your bubble. But there are good Christian people out there who love the Lord more than anything including you and that is why they will always love you because of their commitment to God.

There are no perfect people, but there are men and women who truly believe in Christ and his Word and they embrace Biblical gender roles and want to live their life by the God’s Word. If you can find a person like that – this is the person you want to marry.

In some upcoming articles I will give some more gender specific things to look for in Biblical dating. But everything I have said here I think Biblically speaking applies to both men and women.

 

 

 

Christian Husbands – You don’t pay for the milk when you own the cow!

cow in front of a white background

As Christians who embrace God’s Word as the guide for our lives, we know that the Bible condones sex ONLY within the bounds of marriage. But unfortunately, since the sexual revolution of the 1960’s our culture has embraced the idea that pre-marital sex is the norm, and that we actually need to try out the person sexually before we are married to make sure that we are sexually compatible.

Our culture’s acceptance of pre-marital sex has been one of the major contributing factors to the decline in marriage, and the rise in cohabitation rates.

Why buy the cow, when you can get the milk for free?

This phrase was coined to reflect the reality that when you make sex outside of marriage culturally acceptable, less people will marry, and the statistics today prove it. The most literal and historical meaning of this phrase meant “why marry a girl, when she will give you sex without marriage?”

I remember growing up in my Church youth group, hearing speakers sometimes say this phrase about the milk and the cow. Obviously they would always start with the Scriptures that forbid fornication – which includes (but is not limited to) sex outside of marriage. But then they would follow up the Scriptural commands, with some practical reasoning, especially to the young ladies, exhorting them to “make these crazy hormone driven boys to wait for marriage” before giving up “the milk”.

I can hear it now – “What about those boys! This is not fair that all the pressure is on the women”. Yes the Scriptures command BOTH men and women to not engage in sex before marriage, and yes they did speak to us as young men about being godly men of integrity, about being gentlemen. However, if you examine the Scriptures closely, you will see that God places the greater burden on the woman to refuse the man. In the Old Testament law, a woman could be executed for not being a virgin when she was married, whereas there was no such punishment for a man that was not a virgin. I realize this goes against our modern “gender equality” ideas, but the Bible supports no such notion.

But once you have bought the cow, you ARE supposed to get the milk for free

One of the problems we face today in the Christian community (but it certainly is not limited to Christians) is that often times, even after we have waited, and “bought the cow” (married our wives), our wives expect us to “buy the milk” as well. I recently wrote a post responding to a Christian teacher’s false belief, that in marriage men do in fact have to “buy the milk”(earn sex), even after “buying the cow”(marrying a woman).

A quick word on the “cow analogy” before we continue – in no way am I meaning disrespect toward women, or saying that cows are somehow equal to women, or that women are less human than men. But Biblically speaking, a wife does belong to her husband (men paid a “bride price” and one the terms for husband in the original languages of the Bible is “baal” which means “owner or master” (e.g. Proverbs 31). I Peter 3 says Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord[master].

The fact is, in marriage, neither the husband, nor the wife, should have to earn sex. While husband’s denying their wives sexually is a problem sometimes, the vast majority of the time it is the wife denying her husband. Ask any pastor (and I have many pastor friends) and they will confirm this. Ask any marriage counselor, and they will confirm this as well.

But there is a difference between flat out denial, which some wives are guilty of, and a woman making her husband earn sex (but both are equally wrong). I once knew a Christian couple, where the only way the man got sex from his wife was when he did the dishes and picked up the house. For other men, it might be buying flowers for your wife, or taking her out to dinner. Please don’t misunderstand me, I don’t think it wrong for a husband to do these kinds of  things for his wife, but these things should NEVER be a prerequisite to sex.

The sinful sexual pattern of modern women

Husbands listen to me, engaged men please hear me. There is a pattern that takes place in a lot of Christian marriages (and non-Christian marriages). At the beginning of the sexual relationship between a man and woman (which should begin after marriage, but sometimes it sinfully starts before marriage), women will give their husbands all the “free milk” they want. She lets him “taste the goods” so to speak.

But not long into the marriage, the milk is no longer free of charge, it now comes at a cost. That cost looks very different from woman to woman, but there is a cost of some sort. For some Christian men, it might simply be household chores, for others it is buying jewelry or other gifts. For other husbands, it is making a decision the way their wife wants it, but they do not think is best.

What all these different prerequisites have in common is, they require a man to transfer his God given authority over his home, his children, and his wife and yes even his wife’s body to his wife. Only if they do the bidding of their wife, will she give them “the goods”.

How to stop this wicked pattern

For you engaged men, or newlywed husbands it will be much easier if you spot this change in your wife and nip it in the bud right away. If you allow this pattern to go on for years of marriage, it only becomes harder (but not impossible) to break. Whether you have been married 6 months, or 6 years, the fix is still the same.

When your wife tells you “If you do ___________ for me, then I will do that for you”, you need to sit down and take out the Word of God. You must see this as God sees it, as an act of rebellion against your authority over her (and her body), and by extension as an act of rebellion against God himself, because he has given her to you. You need to rebuke your wife’s sinful behavior.

Take her to I Corinthians and read the Word of God to her:

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

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

Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” – I Corinthians 7:3-5(KJV)

The Bible places absolutely NO preconditions on sex between a husband and wife within the bounds of marriage (contrary to what many Christian books and teachers teach today). In fact the only mutual agreement a couple is called to is, when they STOP having sex for a given period.

As the head of your home, and the authority of not only your children, but also your wife, you will be called from time to time to confront a sinful attitude or behavior in your wife, just as Job confronted his wife’s sinful behavior.

“Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.

But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.” – Job 2:9-10(KJV)

I remember one time in Church my Pastor referenced this passage, and he said “Sometimes we as husbands need to call out our wives sinful behavior, but it might be a good idea to back up a bit before you do, I think Job might have.”

What about the aftermath?

This is a form of discipline, and discipline is never pleasant, but all authority figures must discipline those who are under their authority from time to time. Before anyone goes nuts here, I am not talking about physical discipline here, but there are other forms of discipline that are not physical.

After you confront your wife’s rebellion (not only towards God’s command to her, but by extension the authority he has given you) – she is not exactly going to be in the mood, if you know what I mean. It may feel as though you have been unloving to her, but you are in fact loving your wife when you call out her sin, and call her to repentance, just as God calls to all of us.

In what is often called “the love chapter” of Scripture, where love is defined by God’s standards it says this:

“Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth.” – I Corinthians 13:6(HCSB)

Your wife’s rebellion against your sexual authority over her body is by definition “unrighteousness”. You would in essence, be “unloving” to your wife, from God’s perspective, if you allowed her sinful attitude to go unchecked.

But should you still have relations with your wife after such a confrontation?

I believe the answer is yes, if she yields to you (even with the wrong attitude). When I first had to confront my wife with these types of issues, I would confront her, and then just leave the sex to happen another night, because after all, I like most men don’t prefer to have sex with my wife when she acts grumpy about it.

But I realized that the sex still needs to occur, that sex is not about being in the mood, and it is not about feelings, it is about doing what is right. I agree whole heartedly that the best sex a Christian couple can have is when they are spiritually, emotionally and physically connected all at once. But the truth is there will be many times when we don’t have all that in place, but we must still have sex. God wants us to do the right thing, even when we don’t feel like it.

This probably won’t be a onetime thing

As a Christian husband, and really just as a Christian, we must realize that we all from time to time slip back into patterns of sinful behavior. Please don’t think that if your wife seems to submit to your sexual authority over her body after confronting her with the truth of God’s Word, that this rebellion will never seep back up again in her life. This has definitely not been a onetime thing with my wife, and I have also talked with other Christian men who have told me it is the same with their wives as well.

Whenever we see sinful behavior crop backup, whether in ourselves, or wives or children we need to address it.

We as husbands must also realize that, there will be less of a chance of re-occurrences of rebellious behavior by our wives and children when they see that we ourselves are submitting to God’s authority over us. If we are keeping our families in the Word, and in Church this can greatly help to keep the “flare ups” from happening as often.

But if you are husband trying to submit to and follow God’s will for your family, don’t think everything should just fall in place. Your wife may have had a very different upbringing, and there may be some very bad habits and attitudes that are deeply ingrained in your wife’s person, that she has to battle with the help of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis.

Can my Christian wife ever say no to my sexual advances?

This is the logical question you as a Christian husband (or engaged man) might ask after everything we have just looked at. The answer to this question is a Christian wife should never give her husband a flat no, BUT she can humbly and gently ask for a delay. There may be legitimate physical or other issues that might prompt your wife to ask you for a delay.  But this must be done humbly and respectfully, and always with the attitude in mind that her body does belong to her husband. But a Christian wife should ALWAYS make good on her “rainchecks” with her husband. Also these “delay requests” from wives should be the exception, and not the normal response to a husband’s sexual advances.

This has been part 3 of our series “How to be a godly husband”. In the next parts of this series we will address the topics of “Is a husband selfish for having sex with his wife when she is not the mood?” and “How to handle your wife’s sexual refusal”.

Previous Posts in this series:

Does the Bible teach ‘Happy wife, Happy life’?

7 ways to let your wife manage your home

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7 ways to let your wife manage your home

Portrait of pretty female cooking salad with her husband near by

Christian husband – the Bible clearly states that you are the head of your wife and your home. But did you know that the Bible calls your wife the “manager” of your home? These roles do not conflict, but instead they complement one another.

For those who don’t know the Bible’s teaching on male headship over women here is a small primer:

God has established the headship of man over woman

“But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ.” – I Corinthians 11:3(HCSB)

“For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything.” – Ephesians 5:23-34(HCSB)

“One who manages his own household competently, having his children under control with all dignity.” – I Timothy 3:4(HCSB)

The Scriptures are clear here, as well as in multiple other passages (both Old and New Testaments), that a husband has authority over his wife and his family (contrary to popular teachings of our Egalitarian and Christian Feminist friends).

You are to be the head of your home, but your wife is to be the manager of your home

“Therefore, I want younger women to marry, have children, manage their households, and give the adversary no opportunity to accuse us.” – I Timothy 5:14(HCSB)

“Encourage the young women to love their husbands and to love their children, to be self-controlled, pure, homemakers, kind, and submissive to their husbands, so that God’s message will not be slandered.” – Titus 2:4-5(HCSB)

The phrase “manage their households” in I Timothy 5:14, is an English translation of the Greek word “Oikodespoteo”, which comes from two Greek words “oikos” (house) and “despoteo” (to rule). This literally means to “to occupy one’s self in the management of a household”. The King James Version translates this as “a guide to house”, which is also an accurate translation.

Titus 2:4, a companion passage to this subject of women and the home, calls women to be “homemakers” (translated as “keepers at home” by the KJV). This is a translation of the Greek word “Oikouros” which literally means “watcher or keeper of the house” or “caring for the affairs of the house”.

Proverbs 31 shows a wife taking care of all the affairs of the home while her husband Is away.

7 Ways to let your wife manage your home

So up to this point we have established two foundational truths about the home that are taught in Scripture. The husband is the head of the home, but the wife is the manager of the home. The wife being manager of the home, is a delegated authority from her husband, but it is an authority that God wants men to give to their wives. Below are ways that you, as a Christian husband can encourage, and delegate the management of your home to your wife.

  1. Your wife picks the appliances, you fund them and have them delivered.
  2. Your wife picks the paint color for the house, you fund it, and put it on the walls where she wants it.
  3. Your wife picks how the walls of your home are decorated, again you fund it, and hang it till she thinks it looks straight on the wall.
  4. Your wife decides the style of all furniture, your job is to fund it and get it in the house where she wants it.
  5. You can make dinner requests, but don’t ever tell her how to cook – that’s her domain.
  6. Your wife picks out the clothing for the members of her house, you are simply there to fund said clothing, and hold the bags as she shops.
  7. While you are the ultimate decider of the discipline policies and other things regarding the teaching of your children, a wise man will always hear what the mother(and manager) of his children has to say before making any determinations.

I will just say one thing about “funding”. Husband, as the head of your home, it is your job, and it is a moral responsibility for you to set the funding policies of your home. Your wife comes to you with a need in the home, you discuss the need, and determine the appropriate level of funding. Many men have spent themselves and their homes into financial ruin by not setting any spending limits on themselves, or their wives, and this ought not to be the case in a Christian home.

But having said all that – if you as a Christian husband will simply stand back and let your wife manage your home(without trying to interfere and micro manage her as she does this) you will find that God has naturally equipped your wife to make your home the best it can be. The concept that “a home is not truly a home without a woman’s touch” is not only a true statement, it is also a Biblical one.

This has been the second part of our series “How to be a godly husband”. Check back for more updates to this series.

The 7 Reasons why God made Sex

Young people flirting and having fun at bed

Why did God create sex? Was it only for procreation or did God have other purposes for sex?  Does God speak of his specific purposes for sex in the Bible?

There is no single passage of Scripture where God says “I created sex for these purposes…”. God created man in his image to show his attributes and display his glory. God created woman as a helper for man (Genesis 2 & I Corinthians 11). God tells us why he created marriage in Ephesians 5, as a symbol of the relationship between Christ and the Church.

So yes we know why God created us, and why God created marriage. But why did God create sex?

Happy family

One of God’s purposes for sex was for reproduction

There is no doubt that one of the reasons for God creating sex was as a method for procreation.

In fact it is one of the first commands God gave to the first man and woman in the Garden of Eden:

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it:”

Genesis 1:27-28(KJV)

When God created Adam and Eve the first command he gave them was to have sex! Go make babies!

Wedding, Happy couple in love

God commands that sexual relations between a man and woman are to be only within the institution of marriage

“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”

Hebrews 13:4(KJV)

 

How God could have handled reproduction in human beings

Up to this point, we have seen that one of the purposes for which God created sex was procreation. We then see that God wanted sex only to occur within marriage. When you put together what we have so far, you can see that God only wants children being produced between and a man and a woman within the confines of marriage.

But God could have created marriage without sex. He could have made man and woman having the same relationship as the Bible defines, with man leading, protecting and providing for his wife as Christ does the Church, without giving him the capability of having sex. He could have still created woman as the helper to man, with her symbolizing the role of the Church in submitting to her husband, as the Church submits to Christ, without designing her to have sex with a man.

All of this could have been done without needing any sexual contact between a man and a woman.

In fact God could have made humans like fish, where the female lays eggs and the male comes by and fertilizes the eggs, and they do this with no physical contact.

Even if God wanted us to have sex just for reproduction, he could have made us like many animals that just go into heat once or twice a year for a short period. During this limited period they have sex for reproductive purposes only and then they are done.

How God made our sexuality tells us a lot about his purposes for sex

In Paul’s letter to the Romans we are told that God reveals his design and purposes for many things by looking at how he created things:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse”

Romans 1:18-20(KJV)

The context of this passage from Romans chapter 1 is talking about sexual depravity.

“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another”

Romans 1:26-27(KJV)

But even though Romans 1 is talking about sexual depravity, it also reveals some other truths.  We can see the phrase “the natural use”, referring to human sexuality. The truth we can see about Romans 1 is, God has revealed his purposes for sex by looking at human sexuality from a biological perspective. 

So what does our biology tell us about our sexuality?

Let me be clear that as with any other area of Bible study, God’s explicit commands regarding sexuality must be our starting point. But God’s Word does not give us express commands about every area of our sexuality, he has left some things for us to discover by us looking at our own biology.

The first thing that is abundantly clear  from the human body, is that one the purposes of certain human body parts is for sexual pleasure.  For instance, God could have gave us the same feeling in our erogenous zones(genitals) as we have in our fingers. Instead, he gave us thousands more nerve endings in these special areas that are especially sensitive to touch and can generate great pleasure. Biologically speaking, if our genitals were created only for relieving ourselves and procreation there would be no need for these extra nerve endings. If God only intended sex for procreation, there would be no need for the human orgasm.  Yet he built the human body with all these wonderful characteristics.

Next we will explore the distinctive differences in sexuality that God designed in man and woman.

God created men and women with very different sexual natures

PolygamyPic1

Man’s Sexual Nature

A man is created with a polygynous capacity for fathering multiple children with multiple women at the same time. Men are capable of fathering children until the day they die, there is no expiration period on their reproductive capability. So every time a man has sex (baring physical abnormalities or surgeries), he has the capacity for reproduction.

Not only is a man’s body capable of impregnating multiple women at the same time, but his mind is also polygynous in nature, where his brain draws him to a variety of women. After the Roman empire eliminated polygamy in most of the western world, men had to adjust to monogamous marriage, even though they still retained a polygynous nature and polygynous biological capacity. Some men chose not to adjust and kept mistresses besides their wife(as some men still do today).

I realize many women reading this may be shocked at this because of the modern monogamous marriage culture we have been brought up in. I have written many posts on this blog dealing with the subject of polygamy and man’s sexual nature and I encourage you to step outside your cultural conditioning and read them.  My most recent post dealing with this subject is “How a Christian woman should handle her man looking at other women”.

The male sexual nature is primarily visually and physically based on his need to release his semen, and it is only secondarily based in his emotions. The typical male is biologically driven to release his semen at least every 72 hours, for some men it might be less. A man’s sexual chemistry is driven by his testosterone, and the typical male has 10 times more testosterone flowing through his body than the typical woman.

pregnant belly

Woman’s Sexual Nature

A woman can only be impregnated by one man at a time and she can only carry one man’s child at a time. Unlike a man, a woman’s ability to bare children comes with an expiration date as she ages and reaches menopause. God did miraculously allow exceptions to his design with Sarah and some other women in the Bible, but this is not the norm of his design.

Just as a woman’s sexual reproductive system is built for monogamy (for her to have only one husband), so too her sexual nature and desire is designed to match her body being monogamous in nature. A woman’s sexual drive is primarily driven by her emotions, and only secondarily by her physical need for release.

How God designed our our minds and bodies tells us his intentions for our sexuality

 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made…” – Romans 1:20a

When we do what God tell us to do in Romans chapter 1 and look at how God has designed men and women’s minds and bodies differently we can then see other purposes for which God designed sex.

The fact that most men and even some women are aroused and receive pleasure in their brain from seeing the form of the opposite sex tells us that God gave us sex not only for reproduction, but also for visual pleasure.

“7 “How beautiful are your feet in sandals,
O prince’s daughter!
The curves of your hips are like jewels,
The work of the hands of an artist.” – Song Of Solomon 7:1 (NASB)

In the Song of Solomon we see how man sees a woman’s body as a work of art.

In Psalm 45 – a prophetic song about Jesus Christ we see how he desires the beauty of his Church:

So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.” – Psalm 45:11 (KJV)

Our God truly is a marvelous God.  There is so much symbolism in the way he has designed us.  The fact that men receive pleasure from and desire to see the beauty of women is no accident.  It is by the design of God and is a symbol of God’s desire for the beauty of his church.

The fact that men and women both have certain zones of their body that give them great pleasure from touch tells us that God gave us sex not only for reproduction, but also for physical pleasure.

“6 How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!

This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes.

I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples;” – Song of Solomon 7:6-8 (KJV)

The human ability to have an orgasm(present in both men and women) tells us that God gave us sex not only for reproduction, but also as a mental and physical release from the stresses of daily life, and to comfort one another.

“And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.” – Genesis 24:67 (KJV)

A woman’s emotionally connected sexual nature tells us that God gave us sex not only for reproduction, but also to emotionally draw a couple closer together.

A man’s sexual nature tells us that God intended sex to occur in marriage with or without emotional connection, as men are fully capable and drawn to sex without the need to first emotionally connect. Many men do not connect emotionally with their wives, until AFTER they have had sex with them.

This last point is one that many in our modern age would contend with. But the fact is, aside from newlywed couples, if normal married couples only had sex when they were feeling emotionally connected, sex would occur far less often. Just like the foundation of marital love is Agape love (love from duty and commitment, not from emotion), so too God wanted sex to come first from duty and commitment, and only secondarily from emotion.

This is not to say that men should not try and connect with their wives on an emotional level, because they certainly ought to. I Peter 3:7 tells men to “dwell with them according to knowledge”. The Greek Word that we translate in English as “dwell” has the idea of a man living with and having sex with a woman (it was used interchangeably with a man living with his wife or his mistress in Biblical times). But when you put it together with the phrase “according to knowledge” it has the idea of getting to know your wife.  If you get to know your wife then you would at some points emotionally connect with her.

In fact in the Old Testament often times a word that was used as a euphemism for sex was literally the word “knew”. Like in Genesis 4:1 when God says “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived”. But other times the Bible describes sex as simply “laying” with one’s wife.

The difference between “Making Love” and “having sex”

The Bible never uses the term “making love”, it is a modern term. But I think you could describe this as the times when a man and a woman are more emotionally connected, and then they are physically connected in the act of sex. There is no doubt that if we take I Peter 3 where God tells men they need to know their wives, that God does want us to make love (to be emotionally and physically connected) as a husband and wife.

However, from the rest of Scripture we can also see that God does not want the only time we have sex to be when we are emotionally connected. Sometimes we have to physically connect first, so that we can emotionally connect at a later point.

God does not place an “emotional connectedness” prerequisite on sex in marriage.

This is something that a lot of Christian women struggle with, because of how they have been preconditioned by our culture, and many Christian marriage books falsely teach this notion of “emotional connectedness” as a prerequisite for on sex in marriage.

See Paul’s words about not sexually depriving one another here in I Corinthians:

“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)

Sex in marriage calls us out of our comfort zones and calls us to empathize with our spouse

God made men and women with different strengths and weakness, and this is no different when it comes to our sexuality. God does not scold a man for his sexual nature, but he also wants a man to see sex through his wife’s eyes. God does not scold a woman for her sexual nature, but he also wants a woman to see sex through her husband’s eyes.

CoupleConnecting

What this looks like for a Christian husband is, he will not always try to “just have sex” with his wife, but will look for opportunities to emotionally connect with her first, so that they can truly “make love”.

What this looks like from a Christian wife’s perspective is, she will not demand that her husband emotionally connect with her every time before they have sex. She will gladly accept his nature that sometimes he just needs to have sex, and that God has uniquely equipped her to have sex whether she is emotionally connected, in the mood or not.

No Christian wife ought to have prerequisites her husband must do before he can have sex with her, her body belongs to him, just as his body belongs to her.

Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying. A man may not always be able to get his wife in the mood emotionally for sex, but he should always prepare his wife physically for sex through some type of foreplay, in the sense of making sure she is lubricated(either through natural means or artificial means) enough for intercourse, otherwise this could be a painful experience for her.

But just as a man is commanded to “dwell with his wife according to knowledge”, a woman is commanded to be “a lover of her husband” in Titus 2:

“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children…”

Titus 2:4(KJV)

The phrase translated in English as “to love their husbands” is an interesting one. It is the only time in the entire Bible that a woman is specifically commanded to love her husband. In most other cases women are commanded to submit to, or obey, or respect their husbands but this is the only instance of a command to wives to love their husbands.

LoverOfHusband1

The Greek phrase here is “philandros”, which literally means “a lover of her husband”. This has the idea of an affectionate, even sexual love of a wife toward her husband. What we also see from Titus 2:4 is a woman must be “taught” to be a lover of her husband, something that sadly many Christian’s mothers do not pass down to their daughters, as they ought to.

In the same way that a Christian wife wants her husband to attempt emotional connectedness in the sexual arena, so too a man wants his wife to attempt to understand the visual and physical side of his sexual nature.

See a post I wrote a while back called The 10 actions of the sexually intelligent wife, this goes into this area in a lot more detail.

The 7 Reasons God made Sex

Based on the Biblical and biological evidence I have shown I believe there are 7 reasons that God made sex.

  1. For Procreation
  2. For Unity (to bring a couple close together, but this unity may not always come before sex, but may come later as a result of sex).
  3. For visual pleasure
  4. For physical pleasure
  5. For relief of physical and emotional stress, to comfort one another
  6. Sacrifice & Submission – husbands are called to sacrifice themselves by giving their bodies to their wives when they need it, and wives are command to submit their bodies to their husbands as they need it.
  7. To bring us out of our comfort zone, to be able to love our spouse not as we would desire to be loved, but as they would desire to be loved(e.g. sexual preferences).

The difference between the relational aspect of sex and our individual sexuality

Many Christians believe that our human sexuality was meant only to be experienced within the relational context of marriage.  These Christians believe that all forms of sexual pleasure that are enjoyed before marriage and not in direct reference to one’s spouse is sin.

They believe all non-marital based sexual pleasure we experience is a result of natures being corrupted by the fall.

In practical terms this means all these experiences regarding our human sexuality are sinful in their view:

  1. A young teenage boy gets an erection when he happens to catch a glance of a girl’s cleavage.
  2. A young boy has a sexual dream about a woman.
  3. A young boy has a fantasy while awake about a woman.
  4. A single person or married person masturbating by themselves.

The problem with this type of thinking is – there is NO scriptural support for it whatsoever. The Bible does not condemn sexual arousal and it never says that we cannot enjoy or experience any part of sexual natures that God has gifted us with apart from our spouse in  the marriage bed.

The Bible ONLY restricts the relational aspect of our sexuality to the covenant of marriage.

It does NOT restrict the other aspects of sexuality such as receiving visual pleasure from viewing the opposite sex, the physical pleasure of masturbation or using masturbation as way to give one’s self relief.

See these  other posts I wrote on the related subjects of lust, sexual arousal and sexual fantasy from a Biblical perspective.

What does the Bible say about Lust?

Is sexual arousal lust?

Is sexual fantasy outside a relational context sinful?

 

 

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.

You were made for Him

Joy and freedom

“…all things were created by him, and for him Colossians 1:16(KJV). All of us, both men and women were made for the glory of God. As a woman, you were also made for another “him”, for your current or future husband, unless you are one of the few women God has called to life of celibacy in his service.

Just as mankind was made for the glory of God, so to you as a woman were made for the glory of man.

“For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.”

I Corinthians 11:7(KJV)

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

I Corinthians 11:9(KJV)

The fact that you were made for you husband answers all these “why” questions:

Why do I have to submit to him? Because you were made for him.

“Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

Ephesians 5:22(KJV)

Why do I need to follow him if his job moves him to a new city? Because you were made for him.

Why do I have to follow his rules for discipline with our kids, whether they are stricter or more lenient than I would like them to be? Because you were made for him.

Why do I not get an equal say in all decisions of the family? Because you were made for him.

Why do I have to have sex with him even when I don’t feel in the mood? Because you were made for him.

Why do I have to wear the clothes he likes me to wear, or keep my hair the way he likes it? Because you were made for him.

Why do I have to stay home and care for our children? Because you were made for him.

Why do I have to obey him? Because you were made for him.

Why do I have to respect him? Because you were made for him.

Conclusion

Whether you are engaged, a newly wed, or have been married for many years, this principle, that you were made for your husband can and will change the way you approach your marriage. You won’t find yourself fighting for control, or your fair share in the decision making processes of your home, you will instead find peace.

Please don’t misunderstand me, this is not to say a wife should never tell her husband what she thinks, because she should.  Proverbs 31:26 tells us the virtuous wife openeth her mouth with wisdom, and a husband should be able to listen to his wife’s wisdom.  But on the other hand, we all know that there are many instances in the Bible where husband should NOT have listened to his wife.  A Godly man will judge his wife’s advice by God’s Word, and by his own judgement and exercise proper leadership.

Happiness is found when we live the way God designed us to. If you go throughout your marriage and you follow the principle that you were made for the glory of God, and God made specifically made you for your husband, I can promise you that you will have a wonderful marriage. This comes straight from our owner’s manual – the Bible.