The Root Cause of Antinatalism in America

Within the span of just a few days we have had a congressional representative ask “is it okay to still have children?“ and yesterday we saw Democratic senators blocking a vote to protect infants that survive abortion attempts.  As Christians and as pro-life advocates we speak out against such evil ideologies as we should.  But many Christians and pro-life advocates fail to even recognize, let alone address the root cause of America’s Antinatalism.

Yes, Having Children is a “moral question”

Fox News reported the following about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “legitimate question” that she asked just a few days ago:

“Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said young people have to ask a “legitimate question” in the wake of climate change and mounting student loan debt: “Is it okay to still have children?”

“Our planet is going to face disaster if we don’t turn this ship around,” she said, as she chopped sweet potatoes. “And so it’s basically like, there is a scientific consensus that the lives of children are going to be very difficult and it does lead, I think young people, to have a legitimate question. Ya know, should—is it okay to still have children?

She continued: “Not just financially because people are graduating with 20, 30, 100 thousand dollars of student loan debt so they can’t even afford to have kids in the house, but there’s also just this basic moral question, like, what do we do?””

I actually agree with Miss Ocasio-Cortez that the decision to have children is a “basic moral question”.  And I am glad she framed it that way as a moral question and not a just a “personal decision” as we so often hear. So, here is the answer to Miss Ocasio-Cortez’s question – It is not only “okay to still have children” but it is actually commanded by God:

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

Genesis 1:28 (KJV)

God’s very first command to mankind was to “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” and until he rescinds that command, we are obliged to obey it.

For young men that means working toward a career that can support a wife and children and as soon as they can support a family seeking out a wife for marriage.

For young women they should be working with their fathers to find godly husbands who can support them and then getting married not long after high school or even dropping out of high school for marriage if their father finds a man earlier and that he approves of.

But whenever we talk about God’s first command and its continuing relevance for our lives today, we must also talk about his exception to that command which is celibacy.

“7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. 8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I.  9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.”

I Corinthians 7:7-9 (KJV)

God gives some people the gift of celibacy for undivided service to him.  Celibacy is not meant as a “get out of marriage free card” as some like to use it.  It is not meant to allow one to live a selfish life free of the responsibilities of marriage and children. It is meant for undivided service to God and is the ONLY exception to God’s command to be fruitful and multiply which means – get married, have sex and have children.

Abortion on Demand is a Natural Consequence of Giving Woman Equal Rights with Men

What I said previously about young women seeking marriage right after high school or even dropping out of high school for marriage may be offensive even to some pro-life people reading this.  But you must understand that God did not command that women have college educations and careers but rather he commanded that they marry and have children:

“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)

Our society’s push for women’s equality with men and independence from men, whether it be in education, careers or voting has directly led to some very tragic realities that are all but buried by our media and sadly even our churches today.

Before the woman’s rights movement began in the mid 1800’s, divorce rates were 3 percent.

By the time of the passage of Woman’s Suffrage in 1920 the divorce rates had jumped to 13 percent.

In the mid 1980’s divorce rates had peaked at 53 percent.  The only reason they eventually fell to the mid 40 percent range since the 1980’s is because of the wide scale abandonment of marriage.

Today, 60 percent of people ages 18 to 34 are not married. And the majority of this critical age group is not even cohabitating.

Based on all the statistics we know about increased divorce rates and falling marriage rates since the beginning of the woman’s rights movements in the mid-19th century, we must admit the following truth:

Male/female relationships and most importantly the institution of marriage itself has been decimated by the woman’s rights movement in America.

Over 60 million divorces have occurred since the women’s rights movement began pushing for women’s legal and financial independence from men.  And if you are pro-life you probably know that over 60 million abortions have taken place since the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe vs. Wade.

Please hear me as a fellow pro-life advocate, you cannot separate abortion from the woman’s rights movement.  Abortion rights were simply the logical consequence of making women equal with men and making women financially and legally independent of men. God never meant for women to be social equals with men anymore than he meant for children to be social equals with their parents.

The Bible tells us God’s social order in the following Scripture passages:

“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)

“But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”

1 Timothy 2:12 (KJV)

But we in America and Western civilization thought we knew better.  We over turned God’s social order and we have reaped what we have sown.

Abortion leads to Infanticide

Yesterday, we had Democrats blocking the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act” as reported by Fox News:

“Senate Democrats on Monday blocked a Republican bill that would have threatened prison time for doctors who don’t try saving the life of infants born alive during failed abortions, leading conservatives to wonder openly whether Democrats were embracing “infanticide” to appeal to left-wing voters.

All prominent Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls in the Senate voted down the measure, including Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Kamala Harris of California, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. The final vote was 53-44 to end Democratic delaying tactics — seven votes short of the 60 needed…

The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act would have required that “any health care practitioner present” at the time of a birth “exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age.””

As a society we have placed women’s rights on such a high pedestal that we are now literally willing to sacrifice the life of not just unborn children, but even those who have been born.  When will we open our eyes to this evil?

Conclusion

We cannot continue to avoid this question.  How did we as a society come to a point where on February 25th, 2019 the United State’s Senate actually blocked a bill protecting infants that are born alive from being allowed to simply die on a table with no help?

The root of this issue started on July 19th, 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York with the first women’s rights convention. After this conference new rights were given to women in divorce making divorce easier and less painful for women which lead to a spike in divorces even before the passage of Woman’s Suffrage in 1920.

Women from 1848 and forward began to rebel against the authority of their fathers and their husbands.  This led to the rejection of courtship and the embrace of the new practice of dating.   Dating led to rampant sex outside of marriage and a jump in out of wedlock births which eventually peaked at what we have today which is a 40 percent out-wedlock birth rate.

This change to woman-centric marriages and relationships also lead to a 53 percent divorce rate at its peak in the 1980’s.  After divorce rates peaked at 53 percent the next generation began rejecting marriage and even dating became dysfunctional to the point that in our current culture 60 percent of people ages 18-34 are not married.

So, we can see the natural progression.

Giving women more rights and control over their lives, bodies and who they married led to more divorce, more sex outside of marriage, more children born out of wedlock, abortion and finally now in 2019 legalized infanticide.

When will we admit the root of all this evil?  When will we admit that overturning God’s design and his social order of men ruling over women was a colossal mistake? How far must we go as a society before we will come to our senses?  Will our civilization have to collapse before we will undo all the rights we have given to women since the Seneca Falls convention in 1848?

Why Millennials Need A Kick in The Rear

In 1968, about 40 percent of young adults aged 18 to 24 were married and living on their own. As of 2018 that number has plummeted for this group to around 7 percent. A third of young people in the US, 24 million of those aged 18 to 34, still live with their parents.  About 9 percent of this 18 to 24 age group that does not still live with their parents cohabitates rather than marrying.

All of these statics I have just stated can be found in two Census Bureau studies.  The first is from a study entitled “Living with an Unmarried Partner Now Common for Young Adults” just released on November 15th, 2018.  The second is from a study entitled “Jobs, Marriage and Kids Come Later in Life”  which was released August 9th, 2017.

Here are some more observations about millennials from the study we have just mentioned entitled “Jobs, Marriage and Kids Come Later in Life”:

“What was once ubiquitous in their 20s is now not commonplace until their 30s – a trend that some demographers describe as a new stage between childhood and adulthood. They call it “emerging adulthood.”

A look at this new generation of young adults:

1 in 4 young people aged 25 to 34 living in their parents’ home (about 2.2 million) neither go to school nor work.

Most Americans believe educational and economic accomplishments are extremely important milestones of adulthood. In contrast, marriage and parenthood rank low: over half believe that marrying and having children are not an important part of becoming an adult.

Young people may delay marriage but most still eventually tie the knot. In the 1970s, 8 in 10 married by the time they turned 30. Today, not until the age of 45 have 8 in 10 people married.

In 2005, the majority of young adults lived independently, which was the predominant living arrangement in 35 states. By 2015, the number of states where the majority of young people lived independently fell to just six.

More young men are falling to the bottom of the income ladder. In 1975, only 25 percent of young men had incomes below $30,000 a year. By 2016, that share rose to 41 percent (incomes in both years are in 2015 dollars).

    Between 1975 and 2016, the share of young women who were homemakers fell from 43 percent to 14 percent.”

These statistics confirm what I and many other older adults have observed about millennials in their everyday lives.

Millennials value education and economic accomplishments more than marriage and children.

When you couple this with the fact than one third of millennials still live with their parents it tells us two other things about Millennials.  They are both fearful and selfish.  They are afraid to go out on their own and struggle financially as most young adults have done since the beginning of mankind.  Millennials in their 20s think they need to make what their parents do in their 40s before they can marry and have a family.

But if you really talk to many Millennials as I have you will also find that for a lot of them while they will say they can’t afford to have a family the truth is they “Just want to have fun and enjoy their life. Marriage and children can wait for much later in life”.

Another problem with millennials is the utter lack of ambition in millennial men.  They are willing to take their sweet time climbing the economic latter and live with mommy and daddy for a decade or more into adulthood with no shame about it.  This is one reason young men’s incomes have dropped compared to what they once were.

The other problem with millennial men is that they don’t want to get their hands dirty.  Many of them want a cushy office job with corner view and a nice parking space.  The skilled trades like carpentry, plumbing, electrical and welding jobs are screaming for young people to come and be apprentices.  The older generation that did all this work is not retiring and its ranks have not been replenished.

My 19-year-old son starting apprenticing as plumber just before he turned 18.  He has worked hard doing all the dig-ups and dirty work but at the same time he was hungry to learn the finer parts of the trade.  Now just over a year later he has excelled so well and learned so much that they are gave him his own plumbing truck and he is now working on commission. He is looking forward to eventually getting his journeyman’s card.

My son told me a story about when he was apprenticing and shadowing another plumber.  They were working on bathroom at a local high school where the plumbing had backed up and they were fixing the issue.  As with many plumbing jobs it was messy.

One of the teachers walked by with a few young men and as they saw the mess in the bathroom, the teacher made the following comment “Boys – that is why you want to stay in school and go to college, otherwise you will end up doing that kind of work”.  The older plumber whispered quietly to my son “And I make twice what that teacher does. So, who is the smarter one?”

My 20-year-old son recently finished his two-year IT certification program at a local community college and he is now working full time in IT.  He was shocked to find out at his new job that the overwhelming majority of young men there who were in their late 20’s still lived with their parents.  My son knows that he needs to be preparing to go out on his own soon.  I have been preparing him for this his whole life.  The goal I have set for my sons is for them to be on their own and financially independent by age 22 or 23 at the latest. If they can do it earlier so much the better.  The way I reached that number was giving them 4 years after high school to get a degree or go through some trade school or apprenticeship program and by then they should be ready.

My sons would view themselves as failures as men if they were still living with me by their late 20s.

Millennials Were Brought Up Wrong by Their Gen X Parents

The Gen X generation, my generation, also bears much culpability for problems we see with millennials today.  For instance, the idea of a parent sitting down and setting life goals with their sons and daughters as I have done with mine is foreign to most parents today.  “It is their life” after all and we as parents have no business telling them what they should or should not do. That is what we are told and have been told for decades.

The Gen X parents have raised a bunch of fearful, selfish and entitled young people and my generation even encouraged their children to take their time, wait to marry and have kids and “just do whatever makes you happy”.

These Gen X parents of one third of millennials are culpable by allowing their children to remain in their home at such late ages.

Parents have a duty to teach their children and prepare their children to go out in the world.  As parents we should be doing this from early teen years on.  We should be preparing our young men and young women for the responsibilities of adult hood which includes marriage and having children.

When Does a Person Become an Adult?

From a biological development perspective, girls begin the process of puberty at age 10 or 11 and typically finish puberty between 15 and 17.  Boys typically start puberty at 11 to 12 years of age and finish by the time they are 16 or 17.  This is why it was common in older civilizations for a girl to be entering womanhood by age 12 (because most girls would have their first period before this age)   and for a boys would be considered to be starting manhood by 13 because they would be showing signs of puberty before that age.

But the question we are posing is not one of biological adulthood, but rather one of social adulthood.

I want to return to this statement from the Census Bureau study I cited above:

“Most Americans believe educational and economic accomplishments are extremely important milestones of adulthood. In contrast, marriage and parenthood rank low: over half believe that marrying and having children are not an important part of becoming an adult.”

So, by our modern standards, if a person finishes college and has a good job and a nice new car in the drive way, they are considered to be an adult.  Whether they still live with mommy and daddy is secondary.  And even for those who consider that a person must move out of their parents to be considered full adults, many today do not consider marriage and having children a critical part of becoming an adult.

But this thinking is in stark contrast to what has defined social adulthood throughout the history of the world.

Before the millennial generation, young men learned their trades from an early age and in their early teens they were often working full time in their trade.  By no later than the early 20s in most cases, and often times earlier, young men had saved enough money to build or buy a home and then they went and took on a wife to have children.

Young women often married in their early or mid-teens and became wives and mothers. Unlike how we raise our girls today, they witnessed child birth at much younger ages, learned to cook and sew and they were excited about and looked forward to marriage.

It was marriage and then having children that were considered critical milestones in becoming a full adult man or adult woman.

Today these milestones have been cast aside by millennials and Gen X parents’ bare responsibility for utterly failing to teach their children the importance of striving for these two milestones as soon as possible.

Secular Humanism Has Corrupted Parenting

What we are experiencing today can be very much explained by the definition of Secular Humanism found in the article “What is Secular Humanism?” from secularhumanism.org:

“Secular humanism is comprehensive, touching every aspect of life including issues of values, meaning, and identity. Thus it is broader than atheism, which concerns only the nonexistence of god or the supernatural. Important as that may be, there’s a lot more to life … and secular humanism addresses it.

Secular humanism is nonreligious, espousing no belief in a realm or beings imagined to transcend ordinary experience.

Secular humanism is a lifestance, or what Council for Secular Humanism founder Paul Kurtz has termed a eupraxsophy: a body of principles suitable for orienting a complete human life. As a secular lifestance, secular humanism incorporates the Enlightenment principle of individualism, which celebrates emancipating the individual from traditional controls by family, church, and state, increasingly empowering each of us to set the terms of his or her own life.

What do we see today as America has immersed herself in secular humanism for more than a century and removed all these “traditional controls”?

We see sons and daughters freed from the control of their parents.

We see wives freed from the control of their husbands.

We see church members freed from the control of their Pastors.

We see anarchists marching in the streets wanting to take down nations and borders.

The result of removing all these controls has been the devastation of marriage and the family unit not to mention the devastation of personal morality.

While the Bible absolutely shows certain “inalienable rights” as the United States Declaration of Independence states, it does not grant the rights that our modern American society has given its members.  God instituted the spheres of authority of the family, the church and the civil government.  He gave to each of these spheres different controls for the betterment and stability of society.  And now that we have removed all of these “traditional controls”, we are reaping the consequences of those choices.

Now I want to bring this back to Gen X parents.  The Gen X generation has helped advance the ideals of secular humanists more than any other generation of American parents.  Who could have imagined back in 1960s or 70s that gay marriage would not only be legal, but that gays and transgenders would then take their new-found freedom to launch an all-out assault on religious liberty in this country in only half a century?

The Gen X parents took off the controls of family, church and the state. It told its children they could do anything they wanted.  They could live with their parents as long as they wanted.  Get married or don’t get married.  Have children or don’t have children. Get a job or don’t get a job.  They taught their children to worship the false American gods of equality, education and the pursuit of individual happiness to the detriment of society.

And now we are reaping what the Gen X parenting generation has sown.

Feminism Has A Lot to Do with The Problems with Millennial Men

While Feminism had its origins in the egalitarian movements of the mid-19th century its most devasting blow to the institutions of marriage and the family were not felt until the rise of second-wave feminism in the 1960s.  Up until that point feminism had only been dropping small bombs on the God given institution of patriarchy in the home, the church and society.  But in the 1960s, second-wave feminism dropped the societal equivalent of a nuke on traditional gender roles and by extension marriage and the family.   It was also during second-wave feminism where feminism became more than just an equality for women movement, it became a full-on misandrist movement.

The Apostle Paul asked the following rhetorical question in I Corinthians 9:5:

“Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife?”

Now before anyone gets silly about this when he said “sister” he was referring to a “sister in Christ” meaning a Christian woman.  What he was saying is “Don’t we have the right to lead about a wife as long as she is Christian?”  Most new translations say “take”, “take along” or “be accompanied by”.   But the KJV’s translation is actually the most literal of commonly used translations when it says “lead about”.   It literally has the idea of man leading his wife through life. This is why in Biblical times and still some older cultures today when a man walks his wife walks behind him and then their children behind her.  This was a symbol in pre-modern cultures of the order of the family.

In Ephesians 5:23 the Bible tells us “the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church” and in Ephesians 5:29 we read that husbands have a sacred duty to “nourisheth” meaning “to provide for” and “cherisheth” meaning “to protect” their wives.

God has literally designed men with this natural instinctive desire to lead, provide for and protect women.  God also gave men a strong physically based sexual desire toward women and that is why in Proverbs 5:15 he commands them to liberally drink of the well that is their wife’s body and in Proverbs 5:19 he tells men regarding their wives to “let her breasts satisfy thee at all times”.  In the New Testament the Apostle Paul tells men in Romans 1:27 that sex is “the natural use of the woman”.

It is a statistical fact that the vast majority of married men with children go much farther and faster in their careers than men who never marry or have children.  Why? Because men are given a strong desire from God to seek out women so they can have sex with them, lead them, provide for them and protect them.   And without a woman and children to provide for most men are far less driven in their careers.

Feminism has robbed men of the ability to lead women, provide for them or protect them in marriage by making them independent of men.  It has robbed men of having wives who actually need their provision and appreciate it.  It has robbed men of having mothers to care for their children and homemakers to care for their homes so they can excel in their careers.  It has robbed men of their sexual rights in marriage.  It is a common joke today that the best sex and the most sex a man will ever get from a woman is before they are married.

Feminism has so radically redefined marriage, sadly even amongst many Christians today, that women no longer seek a leader, provider and protector in a husband.  Instead they just want to “marry their best friend”.  Friends are great and even friendship in marriage is wonderful and should be a goal in marriage.  However, friendship is not the core purpose for which God designed marriage.  God designed marriage to paint a picture of Christ and the Church.  The husband is to emulate Christ in how he lovingly leads, provides for and protects his wife.  And the wife is to emulate the Church by following his leadership and submitting to him everything as the Church submits to Christ.

Before 19th and 20th century feminism economically freed women from men, women were highly dependent on men in order to survive.  Except for rare instances, women could not own property and it was difficult for women to work and make money except through their father or husband.

So it was primarily through economic means that a man acquired a wife.  Men did not have to “win the heart” of a woman in order to marry her.  They did not need to be the most handsome man .  They did not have to flatter the woman and tell her they wanted to worship her with her their lives.  They simply had to make enough money to support her and then if her father was impressed by his economic means then he would approve the marriage.

This is not to say that fathers did not often consider the character of a man to whom they would give their daughters in marriage in addition to his economic means.  But the point is, it was not the woman that the man had to impress in order to marry her, but rather it was her father.

But because of feminism there has been a massive paradigm switch in how men come to marry women.  No longer are fathers the ones who determine who marry their daughters, but it is the women themselves who set the terms.

And because women no longer want leaders, providers and protectors in men and because of how women routinely sexually deny men in marriage many men see absolutely no point in marrying.  Their core drivers to seek out marriage have been removed.

Marriage used to offer security for both men and women.  The man knew his wife would belong to him and him alone.  No other man would have her sexually or otherwise.  She would bear his children and care for them.  She would care for the domestic needs of his home.  The woman knew the man would provide for physical needs and the needs of her future children.  He would also be a source of protection for her and her future children.

But feminism has now all but shattered the security that marriage once offered to men.  Men risk a 50 percent chance their wives will grow tired of them and divorce them within the first four to seven years of marriage. And our society has made it so easy for women that in divorce they will walk away with half of everything the man has and most likely majority custody of the children unless the husband fights hard for 50/50 custody.

Sex is the most powerful driving force for men to seek women for marriage, but now that women freely offer sex outside of marriage men can get that need met without risking the damage women can do to them in marriage.

So, it for these reasons that we see many millennial men giving up on the institution of marriage altogether.

So How Do We Turn the Millennials Around?

So how can we turn back the tide of secular humanism and feminism that has so poisoned our millennial generation?

First and foremost, we need to pray for our nation and our world each and every day.  We need to pray that God will bring about a revival amongst his people.  That he will raise up a new generation of young pastors who call out secular humanism and feminism as ideologies that are evil and opposed to Biblical values.

And even many who are not Christians in America would agree that the Biblical values we once held as a nation resulted in far better marriages and families and individuals than what we have today.  People in America used to respect their parents and their country. They were proud of their families and their country.  They proudly served in the military.  And they were excited as young people to marry as soon as they could and start a family and raise children.

Millennials are not focused on finding a person who would make a good spouse to them and a good parent to their children. Starting a family is for “older people”.  It is not surprise that more and more millennials do not marry until they reach their late 20’s or earlier 30’s if they ever marry at all.

They are focused on what video game is coming out, what movie is coming out and talking with their friends on the phone or online.  They are focused on parties and taking trips around the country or even around the world.  They are obsessed with education and material things.  Homes get bigger and fancier each year and so do cars.  And these new fancier homes and cars come with much higher price tags that many millennials are willing to pay.

And to get and do all these things millennials sacrifice what matters most in this world – God, marriage and children.

But there are some other things that we who believe in Biblical values can do. We can encourage the young people we meet to do what is right.  We can tell them about what truly matters in the world.  We can teach them the Biblical concept that you will never be happy focusing your life on yourself and your own desires.

Millennials need to be taught that true happiness only comes by serving God and serving others for his glory and honor.

In my personal life I have made an effort both with my son’s young college age friends and even the young men I work with at my job to encourage and admonish them to do their duty that first to God and then to their society.  I have a duty to pay forward what their parents did for them and what their grand parents did for their parents.  They have a duty to marry, have children and love their spouses and children.  They have a solemn duty to the next generation.

Many of these young people will at first laugh and joke when I say these things.  They will say things like “So do you think it’s wrong to have fun and enjoy life?”.  I have told them absolutely not! Its not wrong to have fun and enjoy life.  The Bible teaches us that God has given us things that were meant for our pleasure and joy in this life:

 “18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. 19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.”

Proverbs 5:18-19

“3 Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. 4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. 5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”

Psalm 127:3-5

“18 Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion. 19 Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.”

Ecclesiastes 5:18-19

God has blessed us so richly and has given us many sources of happiness or “fun” as younger folks would call it.  God has given us companionship and sex in marriage.  Sex was definitely meant by God to be a source of fun! But God also gave us children and he tells us directly in Psalm 127:5 that he meant children to be a source of happiness for us.  I can tell you as a father of five children, while it can be hard sometimes, my children have been a great source of happiness and even fun.

I was a big computer game player in my youth.  But you know what is more fun than just playing video games? Its playing video games with your children! But we also watch movies together and go places together and we enjoy life together.  We learn about God’s Word together.

And God wants us to truly enjoy the fruit of our labors.  We don’t have feel bad if the Lord provides so that we can take a nice vacation with our family.

But what is my point to these young people? The point is the lie of this world is that marriage and children hold you back.  They keep you from truly being happy.  They tell you living for yourself is the only way to be happy. That is a lie! It is a lie straight from the devil himself.

We can serve God, marry, have children and serve our families and have a great joy in doing what God has designed us to do.

But when I speak to these young millennials whether at my house or at my job, I also express to them the darker consequences of the way they are living their lives.   I show them the fact of the fertility crisis that the world faces.  I show them UN studies that show by 2300 if the world continues living as American and Western millennials live the world population will drop to 25 percent of what is today.  And if no change is made in the selfish life style choices of future generations the world will die out within few centuries after that.  Literally the human race could become extinct by 2600 if the rising tide of secular humanism is not turned back.

I tell them this is why it is their duty to God, their parents, grandparents and other ancestors as well as their nation to marry and be fruitful and multiply.

A Message for Millennial Men Who are Afraid of Marriage

If you are millennial man who is a Christian reading what I just wrote on how feminism has robbed men of the security marriage you might have been saying “Amen! That is exactly why I am not getting married.”  While that might be an option for non-Christians, as a Christian man you don’t get to run away from marriage because it is scarier now than it is has ever been for men since the creation of the world.

God’s rule is marriage and his exception is celibacy for service to him. If you are trying to use God’s allowance for celibacy as your excuse to get out of marriage you need to re-read your Bible.

God’s first command to mankind in Genesis 1:28 was “Be fruitful, and multiply”.  He never rescinded that command, even in the New Testament.  In Hebrews 13:4 we read that “Marriage is honourable”.  In the New Testament he offers an exception to this command for service to him, not because one is afraid of the commitment of marriage or has a fear of divorce, but rather for undivided service to him.

The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:9 that “it is better to marry than to burn” with sexual desire. If you have the gift of sexual desire then you do not have the gift of celibacy.  God does not give these two gifts together because they are contradictory to one another.

God wants you to marry, have sex and have children.  He wants you to find a woman so that together you and that woman can do what he designed you both to do together and that was to model the relationship of Christ and his Church.

Even if Millennials Do Not Listen Things Can Get Better

Many people write me accusing me of being such a huge pessimist about our current culture and our immediate future and I plead guilty to that accusation.  I am extremely saddened and discouraged by many things I have seen happen over the last couple decades in this country.  And our immediate future, as in the next few decades or even next half century does look very grim.  It will get much worse before it gets better.

But I also find hope in the fact that not all millennials have gone down this selfish path.  Many millennials when they get a little older return to church.  And traditional minded millennials are far out-breeding liberal millennials.  So, it is very possible that we could sit back and watch as the conservative and Christian millennials who actually marry and have many children raise up the next generation.

In the same way that socialism can only survive on the back of capitalism, so too liberalism which is anti-natal at its core can only survive on the back of pro-natal religious conservatives.  Another way of putting this is, liberals need conservatives to have babies with the hope that they can convert those babies to liberals by they time they reach adulthood.

This is how secular liberals use their church, the American public education system, to indoctrinate the youth of conservative born children into their secular humanism.

For many years this insidious agenda was hidden and naïve conservative parents who failed to teach their children the lies of secular humanism would eventually find by the end of high school or college that their children had become converts of secular humanism.

Thankfully over the past couple decades with the rise of conservative radio and TV media this insidious agenda has been exposed.  Many conservative parents are now inoculating their children from the disease that is secular humanism.  They are prepared for the secular humanist arguments and can even challenge their teachers and professors.  The tide has turned and this is what has progressives more frightened today than ever.

They can’t reproduce by converting children from native born conservative homes any more. Even some liberals are sounding the alarm on this.  They see the demographic writing on the wall. The many children of conservative millennials could far outnumber the few children of liberal millennials in the next generation resulting in a sea change in this nation.

This is also why liberals are for the allowance of mass immigration from poor countries with people that are far less educated and dependent on government.  These people are much easier to indoctrinate into liberal ideology and it will often not be until the the third generation of these immigrants that their children may turn from liberal ideology to conservative ideology.

But the Scriptures give us this hope for our millennials and the next generation they will give birth to:

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14

We need to continue to pray for a revival in our land and pray that God will bring up a godly future generation to replace the secular humanist society that has come to dominate America.

Why God Wants You to STAY in an Abusive Relationship

Stay in an abusive marriage? Stay with an abusive father or mother? To assert anyone should ever stay in an abusive relationship is counter to everything our culture teaches.  We are to confront or flee abusive situations but we should never ever endure abusive situations or so we are told today even in the vast majority of Christian circles.

In my previous article “What Does The Bible Say About Abuse?” I talked about what abuse is from a Biblical perspective.  I stated that the word abuse literally is “ab + use” which means to misuse or mistreat someone or something.  I also talked about both emotional (including verbal) abuse and physical abuse as they are spoken to in the Bible with a specific emphasis on what abuse looks like in marriage and the family.

But what I did not cover were two important areas on this subject of abuse.  The first is what role does God grant to the government in dealing with abuse?  The second is how family members, including husbands, wives and children, should respond when they are abused by one another in various ways.

Did God Grant Government the Power To Determine What Abuse Is?

Many Christians instead of looking to the Bible for their definition of abuse instead look to their feelings, their culture and most commonly their civil government.

First we must understand that it is God who defines the responsibilities, rights and limitations of the spheres of authority of the civil government, the church and the family. Abuse is a moral issue and it is God and not culture or government that defines what is moral and what is immoral.

Many Christians have been wrongly taught that civil government is an unlimited power established by God.  This comes from a false understanding of passages like the one below:

“13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.”

I Peter 2:13-14 (KJV)

Passages like the one above must be taken into context with the entirety of the Scriptures.  Christ himself stated that civil government is in fact limited in its scope and authority:

“And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.”

Mark 12:17 (KJV)

Jesus did not say “Give to God what is God’s and everything else belongs to Caesar”.  His words were carefully measured.  He said to give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s which tells us God actually intends for civil government to be limited.

So the next question we must ask is “What is the scope of responsibility and power that God has given to civil government?”  The answer is found in Romans chapter 13:

“For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

Romans 13:4 (KJV)

The government is God’s “revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil”.  It is the civil government’s job to ENFORCE God’s moral law – not to MAKE moral law on its own. Murder is not wrong because the United States government or our State governments say it is wrong.  Murder is wrong because God says it is wrong. So when police officers or other law enforcement officers arrest murderers to stand trial and ultimately face punishment they are acting as God’s ministers. When the judge or jury hand down the sentence they are acting as God’s revenger executing “wrath on him that doeth evil”.

Now our punishments for breaking God’s moral law may be different in each state, province or country but the moral law of God itself cannot be added to or changed by anyone but God himself.

The civil government must always be respectful of its limitations when it enters the sphere of the church or the home.  This means that they must never usurp or take authority in matters which God has not given to the government but instead he has given to the church or the home.

When the government attempts to usurp authority in the church or the home Christians have the God given right and in most cases the responsibility to exercise civil disobedience against such usurpation.

God has appointed Pastors as the interpreters of God’s moral law in the church assembly and he has appointed husbands as the interpreters of God’s moral law in the home. God states this regarding our obedience to church leaders:

“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”

Hebrews 13:17 (KJV)

When I walk into my church assembly I must always recognize that God has given my Pastor the spiritual oversight of that assembly.  That means if I were to teach Sunday school in my church or teach from our pulpit in his absence I should not teach contrary interpretations to his that would cause division. This is one reason that I have not taught in the church I attend in many years and I would not because I might easily come into conflict with my Pastor’s interpretations on many doctrinal issues.  Also I and my family follow whatever rules my pastor sets for dress standards for church activities if those standards are more conservative.

But think of how absurd it would be for me to go to my local mayor or state governor and ask them their interpretation of the scriptures and also what they think the rules for behavior within my church assembly should be.  Imagine if I brought these interpretations back to my church and in direct defiance of my pastor began trying to implement them. Not only would these actions be absurd on my part – but they would be in direct contradiction to the Word of God.  Those civil authorities have no authority in these matters in my church.

By the same token God does not tell wives when they have a moral or spiritual question to go seek out their Pastor, local mayor or state governor.  Instead he tells them to seek out the spiritual head of their home:

“34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (KJV)

This is why it is highly inappropriate for government or church officials to come into a home and give wives or children instructions on morality that are counter to the teachings of the husband who is the head of that home.  In fact, the husband is the only human authority in all the Scriptures where God commands the one under his authority to submit to him “as unto the Lord”:

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”

Ephesians 5:22 (KJV)

It is a sad testament to the wicked times we live in that husbands, the most powerful of all human authorities that God ever established, have had their spiritual authority completely usurped and gutted by both our civil and our church authorities.

The Government Has Nullified God’s Law With Its Domestic Abuse Definitions

The Scriptures tell us this regarding God’s law:

“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”

Deuteronomy 4:2 (KJV)

As we previously established, the government has absolutely no right to add or take away from God’s moral law.  None whatsoever.  Also Christ spoke against human laws which nullify God’s laws:

“Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.”

Mark 7:13 (KJV)

This is what our current US Justice Department definitions of domestic abuse do – they literally attempt to add to God’s moral law and in effect nullify God’s moral law in regard to this issue of domestic abuse. With that said I will briefly address some of this addition to and nullification of God’s law in current US Justice Department definitions of domestic abuse which you can find at https://www.justice.gov/ovw/domestic-violence. Also keep in mind that all these definitions have to do with domestic violence – meaning what is considered abuse in the home between members of the home.

The Government’s Definition of Abuse Vs The Bible’s Definition of Abuse

 Physical Abuse: Hitting, slapping, shoving, grabbing, pinching, biting, hair pulling, etc are types of physical abuse. This type of abuse also includes denying a partner medical care or forcing alcohol and/or drug use upon him or her.”

The first problem with this definition is that it completely negates any type of physical discipline which is commanded by God for children (Proverbs 23:13-14) and is also allowed by God for adults (Deuteronomy 25:1-3, Proverbs 19:29 and Proverbs 26:3).  Under this definition of physical abuse spanking of one’s child or one’s wife would be consider abuse (See my article “Does the Bible Allow Wife Spanking” for more on that issue).  A mother or father slapping their rebellious child even with an open palm (front handed) would be guilty of physical abuse under this definition.

I agreed in my previous article on abuse that things like shoving and punching have no place in the home not even as methods of discipline because they risk serious bodily injury or even death in violation of God’s law regarding limits on discipline (Exodus 21:26-27). I also agreed that things like biting, kicking and hair pulling have no place in the home as methods of discipline as it should be done in love and in control and not as brawl or a fight.  But again overall the biggest problem with the government’s definition of physical abuse is that its definition negates physical discipline in the home which God allows.

 “Sexual Abuse: Coercing or attempting to coerce any sexual contact or behavior without consent. Sexual abuse includes, but is certainly not limited to, marital rape, attacks on sexual parts of the body, forcing sex after physical violence has occurred, or treating one in a sexually demeaning manner.”

First we will address where this government definition of sexual abuse aligns with God’s moral law and that is regarding children.  A parent has absolutely no right under God’s law to touch their child in a sexual way, to coerce them or force them to have sex.  This is a violation of God’s moral laws regarding incest (Leviticus 18:6).

But really the heart of this definition is directed at husbands in regard to how they engage in sexual activity with their wives.  And when applied to the husband/wife relationship this definition of sexual abuse for the most part nullifies God’s Word.

This government’s definition of sexual abuse as with physical abuse nullifies a husband’s God given sexual rights to his wife’s body in marriage.  It also nullifies his right to discipline her for sexual refusal.  The Bible says that sex is both a right and responsibility in marriage (Exodus 21:10-11, Proverbs 5:18-19, I Corinthians 7:3-4) and that the only thing that must be mutually agreed upon in the area of sex is when a couple will NOT have sex (I Corinthians 7:5) for a short time.  See my articles on sexual refusal, sexual consent and forced sex in marriage for more on what the Bible says about these topics.

Emotional Abuse: Undermining an individual’s sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem is abusive. This may include, but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one’s abilities, name-calling, or damaging one’s relationship with his or her children.

While we need to be careful of how subjective this government definition of emotional abuse is I think for the most part it aligns with what the Scriptures say that we should generally be trying to build people up and not tear them down(Ephesians 4:29,James 3:8-10). See my article on “What Does the Bible Say About Abuse?” for more on the subject of emotional abuse.

Economic Abuse: Is defined as making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding one’s access to money, or forbidding one’s attendance at school or employment.

This government definition of “Economic Abuse” is a complete addition to God’s moral law and it also nullifies a husband’s rights toward his wife under God’s law.  And again let’s not kid ourselves that they are speaking equally to husbands and wives. This is an attack on patriarchy and men having their wives being economically dependent on them.

The fact is this definition of Economic abuse is exactly the opposite of God’s moral law on this issue.  In Exodus 21:10-11 we are told that if a man does not provide his wife with food and clothing she may be free of him (divorced from him).  God considers it economic abuse when a man forces his wife to economically independent of him, not when he forces his wife to be economically dependent on him.

And yes husbands under God’s law can absolutely forbid their wives from going to college or seeking careers as wives are to be subject their husbands in EVERYTHING as the Church submits to Christ in everything (Ephesians 5:24).

Also as far as household finances go – whether a husband allows his wife to work or not all the financial decision making comes under his direction.  If he wants to take away his wife’s ATM card he can do that under God’s law.

Psychological Abuse: Elements of psychological abuse include  – but are not limited to – causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner’s family or friends; destruction of pets and property; and forcing isolation from family, friends, or school and/or work.

If read in a certain way, the government’s definition of psychological abuse may actually align with the Scriptures.  God does forbid the use of threatening (Ephesians 6:9).  If a husband or wife threatens to kill themselves or their children or pets or to destroy property if they don’t get what they want that is the very definition of threatening behavior which is condemned by the Word of God.

However a warning from an authority toward one under them of the consequences of their actions is not engaging in threatening or psychological abuse. If I isolate my teen son from friends that are bad influences on him is that psychological abuse? The answer is no.  It all depends on my motivation.  Is my intent simply to exert my power over him or is it actually for his own good? If it is the latter there is nothing immoral about this from a Biblical perspective.

Many people would agree that the example I gave is not immoral.  But what if I replaced my son in that example with my wife? OH NO – that is completely different right? Why? Because she is an adult? The Bible however makes no such distinction when it comes to the discipline of wives and children.  If my wife was talking to or hanging out with other women who were bad spiritual influences on her affecting her morals, relationship with God or with me I have absolutely ever right before God as her spiritual authority to restrict her access to those women.

The Bible teaches a clear social order – the husband, an adult male, is the head of the wife, an adult female and children are under the authority of their parents(Ephesians 5:23-24, Ephesians 6:1-3).

And for all you feminists out there the practice of a husband exercising his spiritual authority over his wife in these ways does not infantilize her or make her equal with her children.  God has granted a wife and mother more rights than he has her children.  She has sexual rights to her husbands body and she is given the position of manager of the home and of the children which are sacred and honored roles.  She of course exercises these positions under the authority of her husband but by no means does the Bible make wives and children equals with another.

So when we throw out the straw-man argument that a husband exercising control over his wife infantilizes her we come to the real heart of the issue.  Feminists don’t like the fact that while God gives women more rights than children he does not give women equal rights with men.  In other words, its not about women be treated as children but its about women be treated as women.  Feminists want women treated as men.

When Are Women Allowed To Approach Civil or Church Authorities About Abuse?

A wife and mother should only go around her husband who is her spiritual authority in the gravest of circumstances. If a husband violates the Exodus 21:26-27 principle and threatens or actually causes serious bodily harm or what he is doing has the potential of causing death to her or her children a wife has every right to approach her church authorities and civil authorities.

In I Samuel 25 we see that Abagail went against her husband’s wishes to save her family from his wicked actions that would have had them killed.  This teaches us that if a woman finds out her husband is involved in some criminal or otherwise wicked activity that endangers the life of her family she has every right to go to the civil authorities to protect her life and the life of her children.

Also if a wife finds out that her husband has been sexually abusing one of her children in violation of the Leviticus 18:6 principle she has every right to turn her husband over to both the church and civil authorities.  When husbands commit such heinous acts they invalidate their ownership and headship over their wives and children allowing their wives and children to be freed from them.

Why God Wants You to Stay in an Abusive Relationship

The natural follow up question to what we have just said about a woman and her children being able to free from a man who physically abuses them(by Biblical standards of course) is What about non-physical abuse like emotional and verbal abuse? What recourse does a wife have in such situations?

First I will fully agree that men can abuse their wives in non-physical and less extreme ways than what I have previously mentioned. A husband may not be a drug dealer who places his family’s life in jeopardy by his wicked lifestyle and he may not ever lay a hand on either his wife or children in a sinful manner.  But perhaps he has a problem with anger and flying off the handle and saying hurtful things.

Maybe he has a problem with bitterness and taking that out on the family in various emotional or verbal ways.  Maybe he is hyper critical toward his wife and children and never uplifts them.  Maybe he even abuses his authority and gets off on power kicks and trying to humiliate his wife or children by various unreasonable demands. Maybe he isolates his family not for their protection but to project his power over them.  There could be a myriad of ways that a husband either verbally or emotionally abuses his wife and children or he simply abuses his power to meet his own ego needs.

I also want to stop here for a second and make a very important point on this subject of abuse.  Often times we center these discussions of domestic abuse on husbands and fathers but we forget that wives and moms can and do physically, verbally and emotionally abuse their husbands and children as well.   Do wives or moms sometimes engage in hypercritical behavior toward their husbands or children? You bet they do.  Do some wives or moms even punch, shove or engage in other forms of physical abuse toward their husbands or children? You bet they do. Do some wives play emotional games with their husbands and insult their manliness or sexual ability? You bet they do. Do some women push their husbands away sexually which is a form of emotional abuse toward men?  Absolutely there are many women who engage in these behaviors.

Also children sometimes abuse their parents in various ways. Do children steal money from their parents? Yes they do. Do children despise and curse their parents? Yes they do. Do some children strike their parents? Yes they do.  Do children reject their parent’s authority over them? This happens all the time in our day and age.

But let’s now return specifically to the subject of wives and children enduring emotional, verbal and other forms of abuse that are not the physical or life threatening types of abuse we have previously mentioned that would warrant outside intervention and in many cases divorce.

As I mentioned at the introduction of this article our modern culture has an attitude that we should never endure any kind of abuse from anyone whether it be someone who is our equal and especially from someone who is our authority.  We are told to confront the person and then flee the relationship if the abuser does not repent and change their ways.

But when we read the Scriptures we see a very different view of how we should respond to abuse:

“18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. 19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”

I Peter 2:18-24 (KJV)

When we endure grief or suffer wrongly at the hands of others, in other words when we endure mistreatment which is abuse and take it patiently the Scriptures tell us “this is acceptable with God”.  God is not excusing the actions of the abusers.  But God is saying when we are on the receiving end of various kinds of abuse and we take it patiently that this is acceptable with God.

Such a thought is foreign to our thinking but the Scriptures tell us “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8).

We often talk on this blog about how God likes to image or model things.  Man was created to image God and thereby bring him glory (I Corinthians 11:7) and woman and by extension marriage was created to help man fully image God as a husband and father (I Corinthians 11:9, Ephesians 5:22-33).  When it comes to this matter of suffering abuse – we, both men and women, actually model Christ when we suffer abuse from others taking it patiently as he did. And that is why God wants you to stay in an abusive relationship.

Now again we must look at this passage in light of the entirety of the Scriptures.  I have already shown that God does not expect us to stay and endure physical abuse that could risk serious injury or death from Exodus 21:26-27.

There were certain areas Jesus would not go into during his ministry because he knew the Jews there sought to kill him (John 7:1) and it was not yet his time to die.  Although Paul suffered great persecutions he also sought to avoid them at times (II Corinthians 11:33).  But did Christ or Paul run from “verbal and emotional abuse” as we often hear people telling us to do today? No. They were fleeing the threat of serious bodily injury or in most cases death.

So what this means on a practical level is this.  As a wife or as a child there are going to be days when your husband or your father may act in the flesh and not in the spirit.  He may say hurtful things.  He may raise his voice for what appears to be no reason at all.  He may act sinfully toward you by being verbally or emotionally abusive.  But his wrong actions do not justify wrong actions on your part.  Not only should you never return insult for insult or repay any type of verbal or emotional abuse but you must also never forget your subordinate place as either the wife or the child.

It is not your place to rebuke your husband or our father for emotional or verbal abuses.

Now does that mean that a wife or child can never express grievances they have with their husband or father? No. I don’t think that is wrong but it should never come across as if they are they are equals and are teaching the husband or father.  In the book of Job we read:

“13 If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me; 14 What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him? 15 Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?”

Job 31:13-15 (KJV)

This is a teaching which applies to those of us who are in authority over others no matter what sphere it is in including the home.  We as husbands must realize that if we have truly wronged those under us God allows them to bring their grievances to us.  If we do not act justly toward those under us it is God who will rise up against us. That is why God warns husbands that if they mistreat their wives he will not hear their prayers (I Peter 3:7).

When it comes to expressing grievances we must realize this can abused as well.  Remember that God tells wives in I Peter 3:1-2 to win their husbands who are disobedient to the word by their subjection and reverent behavior.  If you as a wife are expressing your grievances with your husband every five minutes you are not “taking it patiently” as I Peter 2:20 exhorts you to do.

The same goes for children.  Far too often in our culture we make children feel completely comfortable confronting their parents with accusations of unfair treatment on a regular basis.  Again we need to teach our children that they too need to be “taking it patiently” and following the example of Christ in suffering what they believe to be wrong doing.

Wives and children also need to be reminded of something on a regular basis.  Just because you feel you have been mistreated does not mean you actually have been mistreated.  Sometimes your feelings can blind you to reality that is going on.  You need to step back and look objectively at what has occurred to see if what actually happened was in fact fair treatment that was warranted because of your behavior.

Should Authorities Allow Abuse From Their Subordinates?

But now we come to the issue of husbands, fathers and mothers who might suffer abuse at the hands of those God has placed under their spiritual authority. Should authority figures react to abuse from their subordinates in the same way that their subordinates should react to abuse from them? Should they simply endure and take patiently all forms of abuse from their subordinates as long as they are not being physically abused or having their life threatened?

To answer these questions we must first understand that all authorities God has instituted have not only a right but also a responsibility to discipline those under their authority.  Church leaders have a right and responsibility to discipline those within their assemblies, civil authorities have a right and responsibility to discipline those within their local, state or national jurisdictions and husbands and parents have a right and responsibility to discipline those in their home.

In the case of the family if a husband or parent allows all mistreatment of themselves by their wife or children to go unpunished then they would be violating the spiritual duty God has given them to rebuke and chasten those under their authority(Proverbs 23:13-14, Revelation 3:19).

So for instance if a man’s wife or child is cursing him, or disrespecting him or telling him they do not have to obey him then he is called by God to discipline them.  Yes these actions are an abuse toward him and mistreatment of him.  They are hurtful and unkind. But for the husband or father in this situation they must remember that this is not about their feelings of hurt after being mistreated by their wife or child.  It is about their solemn responsibility as the head of their home to discipline their family members.  That is why husbands and fathers must always realize that true Biblical discipline should never be an act of revenge for some incurred abuse, but rather it is an act of love to discipline the other and perhaps cause them to repent and change their ways.

Notice earlier that I said a husband or parent should not allow “all” mistreatment of themselves but the key word is “all”.  As human authorities we cannot read or control the thoughts and feelings of those who are our subordinates.  We can only hold our subordinates accountable for their words and actions, not their thoughts and feelings.

So we may see that our wife or child does the right thing after being disciplined but they still seem to have an attitude of bitterness toward us.  No husband wants to be despised by his wife and no father or mother wants to be despised by their child.  But at these times we must enter in prayer for our wives and children knowing that we can only seek to correct the outward actions as human authorities and only God can correct the heart.

If you as a husband or father live to always feel liked and loved by your wife or children then you will not discipline them as God has called you to and you will fail to be the husband and father God wants you to be.  Not being liked at times is part of the job description gentlemen.

14 “What If” Questions About Marriage

What if my spouse makes fun of my looks on a regular basis?

What if my spouse hurls insults at me on a daily basis?

What if my spouse is hyper critical toward me on a daily basis?

What if my spouse is bipolar or has some other mental illness and refuses to get professional help?

What if my spouse has some type of addiction?

What if my husband abuses his power and gets off on using his power to make me do ridiculous things?

What if my husband is a selfish lover and never asks me what I want in our sex life?

What if my husband never talks to me and only wants sex?

What if my wife is a contentious and brawling woman toward me on a daily basis?

What if my wife is like a constant dripping water and nags me on daily basis?

What if my husband is a workaholic?

What if my wife is never satisfied with anything I buy her (our house, her clothes, our car…etc.)?

What if my wife always gives me grudgingly given sex?

What if my wife is a selfish lover and only wants sex her way?

The answer to all these “What If” questions is the same.  Search the Scriptures and you will find there is absolutely no allowance for divorce in any of these situations.  All of these situations are hard to live with if you are the spouse who has to endure them.  But God does not give us an easy way out but instead he tells us this regarding the trials we face in life:

“3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope”

Romans 5:3-4 (KJV)

Often times the greatest trials we face in life are a result of the actions of those closest to us. It might be our spouse whose behavior tries our faith on a daily basis.  It might be our child. It might be our parents.  But in all these cases God does not allow us to simply push the eject button and leave these relationships because they are hard to endure.  He calls us to lean on him for strength knowing that his grace is sufficient to get us through each day of these trials.

When we as husbands or wives continue to live with a spouse that verbally or emotionally abuses us or they just make life difficult for us we not only follow Christ’s pattern in taking such abuses patiently on a regular basis,  but we also honor God by showing our commitment to his institution of marriage.  This is why staying in an abusive relationship can actually bring glory and honor to God.

Is It Wrong to Feel Hurt Because of Abuse?

This is a very legitimate question.  Even if we as Christians set out to follow Christ’s example in taking patiently the abuse we may suffer from others does this mean it is wrong for us to allow ourselves to experience anguish or hurt because of past or even future abuses we know are going to happen?

Again we have Christ’s example to answer this question for us:

41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”

Luke 22:41-44 (KJV)

You think your husband’s verbal and emotional abuse is bad? You think your parent’s emotional or verbal abuse is bad? Think of the abuse Christ suffered.  And because he was God in the flesh he knew before he suffered exactly what he was going to suffer.   Christ was literally in “agony” knowing what he was about to face.  He asked his father if it was his will that he would remove this coming trial – yet he prayed not his will, but his father’s be done.

So again Christ is our model in dealing with abuse that we suffer from others.  It is not wrong to feel hurt about past abuses or impending abuse that we know we will continue to suffer on daily basis from our family member. It is not wrong to agonize over these things.  We are not called to suppress our feelings.  Christ did not suppress his.  But Christ controlled his feelings, he did not let them control him.   We should all follow Christ’s example when suffering abuse asking God to remove the abuse perhaps by changing the heart of the abuser.  But we should always end such prayers the same way Christ ended his – “nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done“.

Conclusion

Our culture teaches us a one size fits all approach to when others mistreat us (abuse us). They teach us we should never allow any type of mistreatment from others to go unchecked and unchallenged. We are told we must confront all forms of abuse from wherever they come and they make absolutely no distinctions between a husband and wife, a parent and child, an employer and employee, a church member and a Pastor or a citizen and his government.

We have literally created “grievance industries” within our political arenas, business arenas, churches and families where people air their grievances both big and small and real or imagined with one another on daily basis.  There is very little following of Christ’s example in regard to abuse to “take it patiently”.

So from our world’s perspective children are encouraged to correct and rebuke their parents for every harsh word they may speak toward them. Wives are encouraged to confront every harsh word their husband speaks toward them. And this pattern is seen in churches as well as nations. In other words – every perceived or actual injustice is encouraged to be confronted no matter where it is or how it occurs.

The Biblical approach to us handling mistreatment which is abuse is not a “one size fits all approach”. The type of abuse and the sphere it occurs in whether in marriage and the family, the church or in society with government are handled differently if we are following Biblical principles in these areas.

Those in authority must confront sinful words and actions of those under them whether those words or actions are direct abuses toward the authority themselves or toward others.  But these actions of discipline are not to be a repayment of sorts for abuses incurred but rather they are meant to be corrective actions taken in love to help that person better conform themselves to God’s moral law.

Those under authority while having the right to address grievances with their authority should not over use this right.  The over usage of the ability to respectfully air grievances with one’s authority goes against Christ’s example of “taking it patiently”.  Also specifically when it comes to wives, if a wife is airing grievances ever five minutes with her husband she is violating the I Peter 3:1-2 principle that she is to win her husband who is being disobedient to the Word with her subjection and reverence, not her contentions.

So on the one hand Biblically speaking we do not have to suffer or allow every kind of abuse from every sphere in our life but on the other hand the Bible does not allow us to or encourage us to do what the world says and confront EVERY kind of abuse or mistreatment toward us no matter what the offense is or where it comes from.

We all need to look to Christ’s example of “taking it patiently”.

What Does The Bible Say About Abuse?

How does the Bible define abuse? Specifically within the context the context of marriage and the family does the Bible say anything about abuse? If it does not, are there general Biblical principles that we could apply to form a Biblical view of what constitutes abuse?

The Bible does speak to abuse but it does not do it all in one place in an exhaustive manner.  There is no one chapter of the Bible dedicated to abuse.   Instead we find verses and passages through the Bible that speak to abuse in parts and we then must connect all these dots together to get the full picture of the Biblical view of abuse.

But before we look at the Biblical view of abuse we need to define what we are talking about when we use the English word “abuse”.

The word abuse is defined by Meriam-Webster online dictionary as “a corrupt practice or custom… improper or excessive use or treatment… language that condemns or vilifies usually unjustly, intemperately, and angrily… physical maltreatment”.

But I think the best definition of abuse actually comes from the origin of the English word itself which literally is “ab + use” which literally means to “misuse”.

So abuse is when we misuse or mistreat someone or something.  For the purposes of this article we confine the subject of abuse to emotional and physical abuse in marriage and the family.

How does the Bible define Emotional Abuse?

Sometimes we can mistreat or abuse others without laying a finger on them.  Instead we use a tool that God gave us that can be used for great blessing or great destruction – the tongue.   The Bible says this about our tongue:

“8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.”

James 3:8-10 (KJV)

Our words should be used to build others up, not to tear others down as the Scriptures command us to do:

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

Ephesians 4:29 (KJV)

Husbands can Emotionally Abuse their Wives

The Bible gives the following command toward husbands regarding their wives:

“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)

There is much debate in Christian circles as to what a man honoring his wife looks like. A few years ago I wrote an article entitled “12 Ways to Honor Your Wife” where I took my stab at the issue from what I see in the Scriptures.  In that article I referenced Proverbs 31:28 which tells of the virtuous wife that her husband “praiseth her”.  Some of us Christian husbands are really good at telling our wives when they do wrong (which is a part of our job as her spiritual head) but we are horrible at praising our wives when they do right and that should not be the case.

There will be times when we must call out our wife’s foolish behavior as Job did:

“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 2:10 (KJV)

But Job’s words toward his wife were a spiritual rebuke toward her done in love to correct her wrong doing.  He was not running around calling his wife names with malicious intent.  He was not using his wife as his emotional punching bag when he had a bad day at work. Sometimes we may even need to correct our wives in front of our children when she does something in front of them that warrants that public correction.  But we must always be cognizant of honoring our wife’s position as our wife and as the mother of our children.

In Ephesians 5:25-27 the Scriptures give us this admonition as husbands toward our wives:

“25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

Ephesians 5:25-27 (KJV)

Husbands are called to wash their wives spiritual spots and blemishes with the Word of God and hurling emotional dirt on them does exactly the opposite of what God is calling husbands to do.  A husband’s correction is to be done in love – not with vitriol and spite.

The Bible gives husbands this command about acting in love rather than in bitterness toward their wives:

“Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.”

Colossians 3:19 (KJV)

This is why men need to remember that as disobedient or rebellious as their wives may be and no matter how their wives may hurt them in many ways – husbands never have a license from God to act from a place of bitterness and spite toward their wives.

The discipline of a husband toward his wife should never be an act of revenge, but rather it is to be a conscious and controlled act of love.

And husbands need to realize that God is watching how they treat their wives and he says of husbands who mistreat their wives that their prayers will be hindered before him (I Peter 3:7).

Parents Can Emotionally Abuse their Children

The Bible gives the following commands to fathers regarding their children:

“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

Ephesians 6:4 (KJV)

“Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.”

Colossians 3:21 (KJV)

Why did God address these commands only to fathers? Can mothers not provoke their children to anger as well and cause them to be discouraged? The answer is that mothers can do this just as easily as fathers but God is addressing fathers because they are the spiritual head of their home. Fathers set the example and fathers can and should address this wrong behavior not only in themselves, but also in their wives as the mothers of their children.

So how can fathers and mothers provoke their children to wrath and discourage them? Perhaps by showing favoritism between their children. Maybe they constantly tear down and call their children names and hurl insults at them.  Maybe it is that they do not discipline in love, but rather in anger or in malice. Perhaps they constantly threaten instead of warn.  Maybe they use no measure or control in their discipline.  Fathers may be too over protective or possessive not realizing that their ownership over children is a temporary stewardship God has given unlike the lifelong ownership of a husband over his wife.

Sometimes Words That Will Hurt Must Be Said

From a Biblical perspective it is not always wrong to say things to others that we know may hurt other’s feelings:

“5 Open rebuke is better than secret love. 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”

Proverbs 27:5-6 (KJV)

Sometimes a tough word must be spoken and for the moment it will bring some emotional pain but it is for our own good.  In fact the Bible tells us that a rebuke can sometimes be an act of love:

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”

Revelation 3:19 (KJV)

So in summary on this issue of emotional abuse – if we say things simply to hurt someone that is sinful. If however we speak words of rebuke that may cause hurt but it is done for the edification of the other person this may in fact be a righteous act depending on the context.

How Does The Bible Define Physical Abuse?

Physical abuse is when we mistreat others in a physical manner.  But here is the million dollar question – how do we define what is the physical mistreatment of others?

In an article entitled “Responding to Physical Abuse” Dennis Rainey writes what I would consider to be a typical Christian Pastor’s definition of physical abuse:

“Let me begin by saying that I cannot think of a circumstance in a marriage or family that could justify abuse of any kind—emotional, mental, physical, or sexual. Abusive behavior was never and can never be a part of God’s plan for a marriage or a family.

For the sake of clarity, I’m going to limit this answer to physical abuse. And by this I mean assaulting, threatening, or restraining a person through force. It would include hitting, slapping, punching, beating, grabbing, shoving, biting, kicking, pulling hair, burning, using or threatening the use of weapons, blocking you from leaving a room or the house during an argument, driving recklessly, or intimidating you with threatening gestures.

Also, I think it’s important to note that I do not, like some others in today’s culture, automatically classify spanking of children as abuse. I believe that loving, controlled physical discipline is biblical, and beneficial for a child. In some cases it can turn abusive when performed with anger or malice, and in those cases it must be stopped.”

I respect Dennis Rainey and his ministry and I agree with him in many areas of Biblical interpretation.  While I think he is definitely to the right of many Pastors and teachers today on the subject of Biblical gender roles he still does not fully embrace all the Bible’s teachings on gender roles.  On this subject we are discussing of physical abuse – I am going to partially agree and partially disagree with his definition of physical abuse and I think the best way to take it is word by word.

Before I do that I want to draw attention to the end of his definition where he states this regarding the spanking of children:

 “I believe that loving, controlled physical discipline is biblical, and beneficial for a child. In some cases it can turn abusive when performed with anger or malice, and in those cases it must be stopped.”

That last statement I believe would be absolutely Biblical except for him limiting physical discipline to children.  The Bible specifically allows for the physical discipline of adults in Exodus 21:20-21 & 26-27 and Deuteronomy 25:1-3. The Bible even encourages physical discipline for those who act in foolish manners when it states in Proverbs 26:3 “A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.”

But I 100% agree with Dennis Rainey that physical discipline should always be done in a “loving” and “controlled” way as opposed to an angry or malicious way.

When speaking about a father disciplining his son God said:

“He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”

Proverbs 13:24 (KJV)

Christ when speaking about disciplining his churches said:

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”

Revelation 3:19 (KJV)

God when speaking about disciplining the nation of Israel (pictured as his wife) said:

“For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet I will not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.”

Jeremiah 30:11 (KJV)

So as we can see the Bible full supports the idea that two critical ingredients of any godly form of discipline are love and control (measure).  With said as introduction to this area of physical abuse I will now look at key words in Dennis Rainey’s statement on what he believes constitutes physical abuse.

“Assaulting”

By definition assaulting is any type of unlawful touching of another person’s body.  But the key word is “unlawful”.  If a police officer chases down a person who he has just witnessed commit a crime and wrestles him to the ground to put hand cuffs on him is that unlawful? The answer is NO. In the same way if a husband engages in physical discipline toward his wife or a father engages in physical discipline toward his child this is not automatically physical abuse.  In fact this activity could be lawful in God’s eyes if it is done in a loving and controlled manner and not done with malicious intent.

“Threatening”

The Bible tells masters not to engage in “threatening” in Ephesians 6:9. The difference between a threat and a warning is that threats demonstrate a lack of control and simply seek to intimidate people into compliance with one’s wants.  When someone exercises the Biblical authority God has given them, whether it be a governor, an employer, a master, a Pastor, a husband or a father or mother discipline measures should be just, fair and well thought out.  Warnings regarding impending discipline if one breaks certain rules should be done in a controlled manner.  So in the area of threatening – I agree with Mr. Rainey because the Bible tells Biblical authorities not to engage in threatening which is very different than giving warnings which authorities should give.

“Restraining a Person Through Force”

Again I could back to my police officer example that it depends on if the restraining is lawful according to God’s law. There are plenty of times that a child or an adult may need to be restrained by force.  Adults in mental hospitals have to be restrained by force all the time.  What about when a parent has to pick up their screaming child and take them out of church or a store? Is that unlawful in God’s eyes? Of course it is not.

But what Dennis Rainey is really talking about is a husband restraining his wife by force.

Again the principles of love and control determine whether this action by a husband is right or wrong.  Let me give you a few examples that I have received via email to illustrate this.

A man’s wife is mentally ill.  She grabs a bottle of pills and pours it in her mouth to swallow them so she can die.  He grabs his wife forces his hand in her mouth and pulls the pills out throwing them on the floor.  He physically restrains her until she calms down after which he calls for help and takes her to a mental health facility. Was that wrong for him to restrain his wife by force in this case? Absolutely not.  Such restraint was an act of love.

A man’s wife is angry at him and in rage she comes at him to strike him.  He grabs her, bear hugs her and hold her by force until she calms down.  Again – was his action of restraining her by force in this case wrong? No it was not.  Rather this was an act of love on his part in restraining his wife from doing the evil she was intent on doing.

Now there are some men who get off on exercising power over their wives.  If a husband comes by and pushes his wife into a clothes closet and locks the door simply for the thrill of confining her this is an abuse of his God given power.  This is not a just use of force against his wife.  The same principle would apply to parents over their children as well.  There have been horror stories in the news of parents chaining their children to beds and locking them in rooms for years.  This is not the loving, controlled and measured discipline the Bible allows.  Such actions are sadistic and evil.

“Hitting, Slapping, Punching, Beating”

The Bible tells us in Proverbs 23:13 “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die”.  But there is such a thing as a controlled beating and an uncontrolled beating.  An uncontrolled beating is done in rage or anger but a controlled beating is done as an act of discipline.  The object of a Biblically based beating is to try to change one’s behavior, not to seriously injure or kill someone. That is why when God prescribed flogging as a method of discipline in the book of Deuteronomy he placed several controls on it.

“If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked. 2 And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number. 3 Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee.”

Deuteronomy 25:1-3 (KJV)

First the judge himself, or someone he directly appointed was to perform the beating.  The beating was to be witnessed and controlled by the judge who had imposed the punishment.  The man was to lie down and we know from other passages that this was face down and the stripes were applied to his back.  Why? Because there is a risk of hitting one’s face or genitals.  Typically speaking the human body is much better suited to taking a beating from the back side rather than front and this is the pattern God gives us for physical discipline.

Also the discipline was to be measured in that God did not allow them to strike more than 40 times.  The Jews in order to make sure they did not accidentally go over 40 imposed a policy of only using 39 stripes.  Paul alludes to this when he was beat for preaching the Gospel when he stated in 2 Corinthians 11:24 that “Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one”.

What about punching? I do not believe God allows punching as a form of discipline.  The closed fist is weapon to be used in combat and it is not a tool to be used for discipline.  Where do I get this belief from? Let’s look at the passage below from the book of Exodus:

“26 And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye’s sake. 27 And if he smite out his manservant’s tooth, or his maidservant’s tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth’s sake.”

Exodus 21:26-27 (KJV)

This passage tells us that God commanded that a male or female slave that had lost their sight or lost a tooth as a result of a beating from their Master had to be freed. But there are some greater principles we learn from this passage.  Some Christians will point to the fact that Christ endured physical abuse and so did the Apostles and so too we should endure it wherever it may occur.  But I would respectfully disagree with my brethren on this.  There is a time and place to endure physical abuse when it is directly for the cause of Christ and the Gospel.  But that does not mean Christians may not flee physical abuse in various situations.  Christ fled (Matthew 12:14-16) and Paul fled as well (II Corinthians 11:33).

But in the context of punching I think this passage from Exodus 21:26-27 prohibits us from using our fists and especially punching people in the face as a form of discipline.  Think about it – how easy is it to break a tooth if you punch someone in the face? Ask any boxer it is really easy to do.  So in most cases how would a master break his slaves tooth or damage his eye? It was most likely because he punched him in the face.

On the other hand when it comes to slapping with an open hand a palm has a much smaller chance of causing any serious injury to a person.  The only way it could is if excessive force was used but then this violates the Biblical concept of using control and measure in discipline. But there is no prohibition in the Scriptures against an authority using a controlled slap across the cheek as a form of discipline.

“grabbing, shoving”

The rightness or wrongness of grabbing someone very much depends on the context.  How many parents can say they have never grabbed their child’s arm whether to keep them from harm or even to discipline them? Where is the condemnation of grabbing someone as a form of discipline that is done in a loving and controlled way? The answer is there is no condemnation of this action when done in a right manner.

But what about shoving? This I think is more akin to punching.  It has a very large chance of causing serious injury.  In fact if you were to shove someone and they fall and hit their head they could have a various serious injury as a result or even die.  Shoving someone is another way that someone could fall and break a tooth or loose the sight in their eye.  Therefore, for the same reason I think God would condemn punching as a form of physical discipline, so too I think he would condemn shoving as a form of discipline as we in authority are not to place those under our authority in danger of serious injury.

“biting, kicking, pulling hair”

When we are talking about biting, kicking and pulling hair these actions do not describe discipline but rather a fight between two persons.  Discipline is to be administered in a loving and controlled way – not in the form of a brawl.  If discipline is administered in the form of a fight it risks causing serious harm or even death to the person being disciplined.

“using or threatening the use of weapons”

Threatening to use or using weapons as form of discipline is forbidden as a form of discipline based on the fact that Biblical discipline is to be done from a place of love and control and its object is to change behavior without causing serious harm or placing the person in danger of losing their life.

“blocking you from leaving a room or the house during an argument”

From a Biblical perspective there is no prohibition on a husband or father prohibiting his wife or child from leaving the room or house during an argument.  For instance if a father or mother sends their child to their room because an argument or a husband sends his wife to their bedroom after an argument there is nothing in the Scriptures that would forbid this action.

I have actually received emails from people and heard stories elsewhere of men blocking their wives from leaving when they were in a manic state.  To allow someone to drive a car in such a state would not be wise and such an action is actually an act of love on the part of the husband.

I am not saying it is wrong for a husband to let his wife leave to cool off, but it is also not forbidden for him to make her stay.

Conclusion

It is not the Church and it is not the government that defines what is and what is not abuse.  It is God speaking through his Word, the Bible, that defines what abuse is within the spheres of the Church, Civil Government and the Family.

We have shown from the Bible that abuse is when we mistreat someone as mistreatment is defined by the Word of God.  When we mistreat someone we have sinned against that person and against God who is our creator.

We can emotionally mistreat others by hurling insults at them and speaking unkind or untrue things about them(James 3:8-10, Ephesians 4:29).

Husbands can emotionally mistreat their wives by acting in a spirit of bitterness and spite toward them (Colossians 3:19) or dishonoring their position as their wife and the mother of their children (I Peter 3:7).

Fathers can emotionally mistreat their children by provoking them to wrath and causing them to be discouraged (Colossians 3:21, Ephesians 6:4) instead of encouraging them and teaching them in the ways of God.

But sometimes husbands and fathers must use tough words and call out sin in their wives and children(Job 2:10) and even though these words hurt  if they are done for the edification of the wife or child then they are holy and righteous before God.  In other words, it is not automatically emotional abuse for a husband or father to verbally confront or call foolish or sinful the actions of his wife or child.

Verbal rebukes on the part of husbands and fathers toward their wives and children that come from a place of love and control should never ever be conflated with emotional abuse.

Not only does the Bible allow and even encourage verbal rebukes as a form of discipline but it allows physical discipline not only for children (Proverbs 13:24) but also for adults as well (Exodus 21:20-21 & 26-27 and Deuteronomy 25:1-3).

But again as with verbal discipline, physical discipline must be performed by husbands and fathers toward their wives and children from a place of love and in a controlled and measured manner(Jeremiah 30:11).

Physical discipline on the part of husbands and fathers toward their wives and children that comes from a place of love and control and is properly exercised within the boundaries of God’s law should never ever be conflated with physical abuse.

Verbal Rebukes or Physical discipline that does not come from love or is not controlled in keeping with God’s boundaries is by Biblical definition abuse.

A husband and father who comes home after having a bad day at work hurling insults and corrupt words at his wife or children is acting in an emotionally abusive way toward his family.  Even if he is not hurling insults or cursing at them – if he rebukes them from a place of bitterness and spite as opposed to love and control this may be emotionally abusive behavior on his part.

When a husband or father physically disciplines his wife from a place or rage, revenge anger or bitterness  as opposed to love and control he is engaging in physical abuse by Biblical standards.

Actions like punching, shoving, kicking, hair pulling, biting and threatening the use of weapons violate the Biblical principles of love and control which are to govern all instances of physical discipline.

A Word Of Caution On The Issue Physical Discipline

It is one thing to know what God’s Word says about the differences between physical abuse and discipline – that is knowledge.  But wisdom is knowing what to do with that knowledge.  As parents we have the God given right to use physical discipline with our children in a loving and controlled manner.  But we must also be cognizant of the evil world we live in where any type of physical discipline – even toward children is frowned upon.  Not only that – we have social service organizations that are just waiting to come in and take children if there is any hint of what they regard as child abuse even if that definition does not match the Scriptural definition.

So in the case of using physical discipline with children I believe we as parents need to follow Christ’s admonition to be “wise as serpents” (Matthew 10:16) and exercise this right with some caution.  That means it is probably not best to be spanking our children in the middle of a store in front of 30 people. It may mean if a child is acting unruly that we pick them up, leave our grocery cart, and take them to our car and take them home and then give them the physical discipline that is due.

I am a firm believer that small children need to be spanked.  At very young ages they really don’t understand other forms of non-physical discipline.  Obviously as parents we need to do this in love and with measure.  That would mean you don’t spank a one year old on the bottom with the same force that you do a four year old.  But as children get older there are other non-physical forms discipline we can use in taking away things like video games, TV time, computer time, tablets and phones and grounding them from friends.

On the matter of husbands spanking their wives – that is a much larger topic by itself.  Please see my article “Does the Bible Allow A Husband to Spank His Wife?”.  I originally wrote this article in September of 2016.  I have completely rewritten that article over the last couple weeks to be a companion piece with this article.

President of American College of Pediatricians calls transgenderism “mental illness”

This week Michelle Cretella, M.D., president of the American College of Pediatricians,  called transgenderism “mental illness” and the promotion of transgenderism among children and teens “ institutionalized child abuse”.

In article on the Daily Signal Dr. Cretella writes:

“I have witnessed an upending of the medical consensus on the nature of gender identity. What doctors once treated as a mental illness, the medical community now largely affirms and even promotes as normal…

The transition-affirming view holds that children who “consistently and persistently insist” that they are not the gender associated with their biological sex are innately transgender.

(The fact that in normal life and in psychiatry, anyone who “consistently and persistently insists” on anything else contrary to physical reality is considered either confused or delusional is conveniently ignored.) …

The crux of the matter is that while the transition-affirming movement purports to help children, it is inflicting a grave injustice on them and their nondysphoric peers.

These professionals are using the myth that people are born transgender to justify engaging in massive, uncontrolled, and unconsented experimentation on children who have a psychological condition that would otherwise resolve after puberty in the vast majority of cases.

Today’s institutions that promote transition affirmation are pushing children to impersonate the opposite sex, sending many of them down the path of puberty blockers, sterilization, the removal of healthy body parts, and untold psychological damage.

These harms constitute nothing less than institutionalized child abuse. Sound ethics demand an immediate end to the use of pubertal suppression, cross-sex hormones, and sex reassignment surgeries in children and adolescents, as well as an end to promoting gender ideology via school curricula and legislative policies.

It is time for our nation’s leaders and the silent majority of health professionals to learn exactly what is happening to our children, and unite to take action.”

We know as Christians that transgenderism is a corruption of our God given nature in the same way that physical deformities and mental illness is corruption caused by sin in the world.  The President of the American College of Pediatricians has just made the same case from a scientific perspective.

We need to pray that God will raise up more medical professionals who will stand up against the lies and dilutions of transgenderism and call it what doctors always knew it was until recently – mental illness. She is absolutely right that medical professionals (and I would also argue parents) who encourage transgenderism in their children are committing child abuse.

The scriptures tell us “male and female made he them” (Genesis 1:27), not “male and female and transgender made he them”.  We know as Christians that this is not just a mental illness – but it is sin. When a person rejects the gender of the body God has placed them in they are sinning against God himself who created this world.  We as Christians should stand up and make clear to our politicians that we will no longer tolerate the lie of transgenderism and the abuse that it brings on our children and teens.

 

Being a stay at home mom should be illegal?

“We should make it a legal requirement that all parents of children of school-age or older are gainfully employed…So long as we as a nation cling to the lie that only a stay-at-home mum is best placed to assume the responsibilities of caregiver then working fathers will continue to feel insecure about stepping off the corporate treadmill to spend more time with their children.” This is the advice given by Australian journalist Sarrah Le Marquand writing for the Daily Telegraph in Australia.

Her advice comes as a result of public outcry in Australia regarding a study that recommended stay at home moms would be better off in the work place then at home:

“It’s the topic of stay-at-home mums. More specifically, the release of any data or analysis that dares recommend Australian women should get out of the living room/kitchen/nursery and back into the workforce.

So the outcry has been predictable in the wake of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) recent report which had the audacity to suggest stay-at-home mums would be better off putting their skills to use in paid employment.”

Now to be fair to Sarrah Le Marquand she has advocated for women to be able to choose to stay at home with their children until they reach school age:

“And yes, the role played by parents in the early months and years following the birth of a child is vital and irreplaceable. It also stands to reason that for many (but certainly not all) families, it is the mother who opts to take time off work during this period to solely focus on caring for her baby.

Once again, there is nothing wrong with this. In fact, that time at home should be a privilege afforded to more new mums, which is why a few years back I was a lone voice in supporting Tony Abbott’s grossly misunderstood and thus ill-fated paid parental leave scheme, which proposed all female employees receive their normal salary for six months.”

So this is Sarrah Le Marquand’s full position – she is arguing in this article that while women should have the choice to stay at home with their children while they are infants and younger, once they reach school age they should be forced by law to enter the work force full time alongside their husbands.

Near the end of the article she reveals what the ultimate goal of her advocating for forcing stay at home moms back into the workforce is:

“Only when the tiresome and completely unfounded claim that “feminism is about choice” is dead and buried (it’s not about choice, it’s about equality) will we consign restrictive gender stereotypes to history.”

The last line says it all. Forcing stay at home moms to enter the work force would be the final assault on gender roles as God designed them.

This is the logical progression of equality movements.  When you don’t get the results you want, then you use the government to force the results you want.  When you don’t have of the racial or ethnic representation in a given area whether it be higher education or certain areas of employment you force it through government quotas. When women don’t make the same amount as men you force it by taking away merit based pay systems. And when some women refuse to try and make themselves equal with their husbands by working outside the home like their husbands – you force it upon them.

Is it really better for both genders when women leave the home for careers?

I get emails and comments on a regular basis from women who after years have pursuing careers outside the home have come to regret that decision.

Recently I received the following comments from a woman that had what she described was her “dream job” as the chief editor of a newspaper only to realize the devastating impact her career had on her children and her marriage.

“Since the advent of feminism, women have in fact become slaves to the status quo and materialism. Children are being raised by institutions and strangers and, frankly, the consequences of that alone have been terrifying to watch unfold. Homes are falling apart and marriages are crumbling. Every woman struggles with going back to work after having a baby…

I am a mother to three girls, and over the past 11 years, I’ve worked and stayed home for periods of time. I am currently working in what I thought was my “dream job” as the chief editor of a newspaper, but this decision has brought my family and marriage nothing but pain and stress. My husband and I have prayerfully decided that, after the end of this year, I will stay home again and care for our family, permanently this time. I will not return to work again.

Although our budget is tighter when we don’t have two incomes, we are infinitely happier and, as this is God’s will for our family, He always provides abundantly for us.”

This woman’s experience is by no means unique. It happens to millions of women across the western world who buy into feminism’s lie to women that “you can have it all”.  When we break God’s gender roles that he has assigned to man and woman we will reap the consequences both on an individual level as well as a societal level.

But there is more than just anecdotal evidence to support the premise that the mass exodus of women from being keepers at home to career women has been bad for western culture.

See these comments from a study entitled “THE RISE OF DIVORCE AND SEPARATION IN THE UNITED STATES, 1880–1990”:

“Marital dissolution for reasons other than widowhood has increased dramatically over the course of the past century. Only about 5% of marriages contracted in 1867 ended in divorce, but over one-half of marriages contracted in 1967 are expected to end in divorce (Cherlin 1992; Preston and MacDonald 1979). Scholars and commentators have consistently explained this change as a product of the changing sexual division of labor. Writing in 1893, Durkheim (1960 [1893]) pointed to the sexual division of labor as a source of interdependence between men and women, producing what he called “organic solidarity.”

Less conservative scholars use different terminology, but most stress the same agent of change. They argue that the rise in economic opportunities for women was a necessary condition for the increase in divorce and separation (Cherlin 1992; Degler 1980; McLanahan 1991; Ross and Sawhill 1975). According to this interpretation, women in the past who lacked independent means of support were often trapped in bad marriages; as the opportunities for female wage-labor expanded, women were increasingly able to escape and live on their own. Thus, the rising economic power of women undermined patriarchal authority and destabilized marriages

The rise of individualism associated with urbanization and industrialization has meant increasing emphasis on self-fulfillment and growing intolerance of unsuccessful marriages. In essence, the cultural argument suggests that marriages in the past tended to be governed more by social norms and less by rational calculation to maximize individual happiness. Since the nineteenth century, increasingly individualistic values could have simultaneously contributed to rising female market-labor participation and to rising marital instability.”

The key phrase that from the analysis of women working as it relates to marriage stability is this one:

“the rising economic power of women undermined patriarchal authority and destabilized marriages”   

I would go a step further.

The Bible tells us that it is God, not man that instituted patriarchal authority:

“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)

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

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church”

Ephesians 5:22-24 & 28-29 (KJV)

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

The Bible clearly establishes patriarchy – male headship over women.  It establishes the relationship of man to woman in clear and unequivocal terms.  Men are to be the leaders, protectors and providers for women. Women are to be dependent upon their fathers and then ultimately their husbands for leadership, provision and protection in the same way the Church is to depend on Christ for these things.

Western culture, and really the cultures of the entire world used to embrace this basic principle of society.  Only since the mid 19th century with the rise of egalitarianism which spawned feminism did the Western world turn its back on God’s design and we are reaping the natural consequences of that decision.

What if we reversed Sarrah Le Marquand’s advice?

What if instead of making it illegal for stay at home moms to stay home after their children reached school age we made it illegal for married women to enter the workforce at all? I know GASP! That is crazy right.  What if we restored by law the dependence of women upon men and reversed all the so called “progress” of the woman’s rights movement?

The fact is we know from the history of mankind that if we made it more difficult for women to work outside the home or own property husbands would once again have the help meets God designed for them and children would have their mothers back.  Women would once again be able to fully concentrate on their homes rather than dealing with the struggle between work life and home life balance that feminists like Sarrah Le Marquand think is so great but other women know has a horrible effect on their lives and that of their families.

Yes there would be some negatives. Some women would again be trapped in bad marriages or abusive situations.

But we have to ask ourselves this question.  Which was better for society? Was society worse off by having a patriarchal authority or by eliminating patriarchal authority to address injustices against women? I would argue that if the measure of a society is the strength of the family unit and not the size of our homes or bank accounts we have the answer to that question.

I have said it before and I will say it again.  Feminism will come to end one way or the other.  Either governments will abolish feminism before they collapse due to its negative effects on their cultures or those governments will collapse giving rise to new governments that will have the courage to do what must be done.

The Sacrifice God Calls Christian Wives To

Many young Christian women today have been raised their whole lives to believe feminism’s greatest lie – “You can have it all”.  “You can have a career, a husband and children and you should never sacrifice any part of your dreams”.  This is the core of feminism today and it is the primary reason that the family unit has been so decimated over the past century.

Even in Churches today women are taught a corrupt and twisted view of the Scriptures using passages like Psalms 37:4 to tell them God wants them to have all “the desires of thine heart” and it is a male dominated society that has held them back from having everything they want – not God.

Sacrifice is a part of God’s will for both men and women

The Bible tells us in the New Testament letter to the Hebrews that Moses sacrificed his position as a prince of Egypt and all the pleasures and riches that came with that position to follow God’s will for his life even though it would involve suffering and pain and perhaps even the loss of his dreams as a prince.

“24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.”

Hebrews 11:24-26 (KJV)

Many Christian women today struggle with a similar choice to sacrifice their career ambitions to follow the path God has for them in their home. Recently I received some emails from a woman who is experiencing this very struggle and I thought it might be beneficial for my readers to hear her story.

Courtney was on a successful career path to becoming a doctor later this year and looking forward to having a husband and many children along with that career. As a young Christian woman, Courtney had been raised all her life to believe the greatest lie of feminism – “you can have it all.”

Then she found this site and it has completely rocked her world to say the least.  It has caused a conflict in her where none existed before.  It has caused her to question how she has lead her life up to this point and if it was all a waste.  Why did no one ever show her the Scripture passages she found on this site? Why did no one ever share with her God’s design of Biblical gender roles and what they represent? To say that she is now very frustrated and hurt would be an understatement.

So, with that as an introduction here is Courtney’s story.

Courtney’s Story

“I’ve recently become enthralled with your website but the more I read the more I just wonder what this life is supposed to be. Why give us the capacity to learn so much, dream big and have talents if, we were would later be forced to break our own hearts.

I thought having a happy family was what God wanted but now after reading the Bible passages you present I know it’s more than that. To say a woman can’t have it all is not true if you look at it in the same lens that most of us do. Happy family that never wants for anything great kids that excel in everything they do, a loving husband and happy functional home. To know that “having it all” as I just mentioned and how God wants it, don’t even run parallel just hurts.

I’m in my fourth year of med school and I’m in my ophthalmology rotation, but it means nothing and it’s worth nothing. To be told your ambition is misguided sucks, I’m not doing this for selfish reasons. I genuinely love medicine and helping people. It’s not fair, but hey none of it was meant to be right?

I was taught in church that loving God with my mind consisted of striving for academic success because it would bring honor to my family and God, but why say that if it’s not true. Why did I even go to school? I read about history and I think this would hurt less if we lived in biblical times when women didn’t know they had the capacity to learn how to do things. By June I’ll be a doctor but for what? I’ve interviewed for residencies and dined all this work, was it a waste of time?

As a Christian I know that being a parent is the greatest responsibility you could ever bare, but why does having a career have to diminish that? Honestly it seems easier to be a man because your role is as a provider and a man can have his career goals and his family but women have to choose not because someone will be unhappy but it seems like God expects us to. It just hurts.

One of the doctors that I’ve shadowed is an oculoplastics surgeon and her husband is the head obstetrics in another clinic. They meet for lunch several days out of the week, they even kind of brag on each other, they have 3 kids the youngest is a year old. I’ve asked how she does it and she has said it is hard but she makes time. She sees about 12 to 14 patients in a half day 3 times a week, surgery once a week and a day at the county clinic once a week.

She makes it to every recital and soccer game. When she gets home, she cooks and she typically gets home around 4 or 5 most days.  She and her husband always look like newlyweds even though they are going on 8 years. The kids send videos from home doing cute stuff like coloring or dancing or playing a game. She and her husband are never on call at the same time so when that comes once a month the kids sleep in bed with either parent. Of course, they have conferences to go to on occasion so grandparents may keep the kids if one parent accompanied the other. Her life was my definition of “having it all”.

I believe any child if asked if they could have their mother stay at home would say yes, but I never believed that it was a necessity. I know what the duties of a man are, but when I say it’s easier I’m referring to the fact that he doesn’t have to choose between his passions and curb his ambitions. I’ve never been materialistic, things would not be how I kept my children happy. No one forced me into being a doctor. My mom stayed at home and yes it was great so I know what could come of it I choose to do so, but to find out now that I’m simply not allowed to choose to have both (a career as well as a husband and children) makes me wish that I was born in a time when ignorance was bliss. When women had no rights, no voice, and weren’t allowed to have an education. Women knew what they were allowed to know to keep them in line and didn’t have false hope.

It’s like a carrot has been dangled in front of me my whole life. I’ve always said I wanted 6 kids, 2 boys to protect their 2 younger sisters then adopt two more boys. I have to decide between having a family or being doctor which means a loveless life and eventually dying alone.

Oh, I’m dating an orthopedic surgeon resident too he’s been super supportive, we’ve talked about me staying at home and he said he’d support me no matter what. His mom stayed home too but he also believes that women with carriers are admirable. I never thought that this was part of my salvation, is it really though? As I write this I cry. I cry because I thought I had a plan, I thought that what I was doing was honorable unto God and I’m upset because I thought Psalms 37:4 meant I could have this career as a doctor and also have a family, but I was wrong. Why didn’t God warn me before I took this path, or give me a sign, because now I’m in pain. Does God favor men? Is this a test? Because if it is my body aches with frustration and disappointment.”

My Response to Courtney and other women who face this situation

Courtney – I know the knowledge I have presented from the Scriptures troubles you. You never heard it before.  You want to run from it.  And you could.  You could find 100 different articles on line or Christian books that will tell you that you are perfectly fine to live your life as you planned it before finding out these truths.

But please realize it is not my words that have convicted you, but rather the Word of God. God tells us that the Bible has this spiritual power to convict:

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Hebrews 4:12 (KJV)

As you know from the posts you have read on this site the Scriptures are clear that if a woman is married her top priority, her most important priority is her service to husband, her children and her 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 2:4-6 (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)

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”

Proverbs 31:27

 

Proverbs 31 shows us the most detailed example of what God expects from wives and it tell us all the things “she” – the wife does.  Many women have tried to say servant girls could do all these things but the Bible shows her doing these things.  Yes, she may go out of the house to plant a field or buy and sell in the market.  But she never does these things at the expense of her household, but rather she does these things after she makes sure the needs of her household are cared for.

In no way does this picture a woman spending 40 to 50 hours a week away from her home delegating her home duties to others to care for while she was gone.  It also does not even tell us at what point in her life the woman was leaving her house to do these things.  Since we know there is no way a woman can care for her infant and toddler children while at the same time spending many hours and days away from the home each week this tells us her activities outside the home are when her children are older and or perhaps gone and not in need of her care.

In any case, the modern notion of a career woman having a baby and then leaving her infant child with a caretaker (even her husband) while she goes out to pursue a career has no Biblical support whatsoever. Every wife and mother is faced with a choice.  Will she be a full-time career woman and part time wife and mother or will she be a full-time wife and mother as God has called her to be.

Now I want to directly respond to a few statements you made.

Your Statement:

“I never thought that this was part of my salvation, is it really though?”

I wanted to tackle this first as I think it is the most important one to address.

We are not saved based on how we run the different races God has given us to run as men and women. In other words, we are not saved by adhering to Biblical gender roles.  But on that same note, we are not saved by giving to the poor, going to church, giving to our church or obeying God’s moral law in other areas. We are saved by the grace of God.  Many Christians do not run the race “lawfully” as the Bible talks about but instead they make up their own rules of the race and run it the way they want to. Will they lose their salvation? No because if they did then their salvation would be based upon their works and not by God’s grace through faith alone in Christ alone.

But even though it will not cost us our salvation – it will cost us our honor and reward in heaven. So, if you choose the celibate life in service to God as an ophthalmologist you will receive reward and honor from God for the race you ran because you did it lawfully. If you chose to give up your career as an ophthalmologist to marry a man, have six children and serve your family for the rest of your life as a wife and mother you will receive a reward and honor from God at the end of your life.

If, however you chose to change the rules of his race and make your own rules thus trying to have the husband, children and career which will cause you to not be able to fully dedicate yourself to your husband, your children and your home you will as the Scriptures say “shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire”.

 Your Statement:

“I was taught in church that loving God with my mind consisted of striving for academic success because it would bring honor to my family and God, but why say that if it’s not true.”

This false teaching is common in many churches today.  The church has been poisoned by the philosophy of the feminist world around that says a woman’s must have a formal education and a career for her life to have full value. In fact, while you love and respect your mom for staying home to care for you many in this world do not respect stay at home moms anymore.  They are regarded as lazy and ambitious.

But what does the Bible tell us a wife and mother’s greatest ambition was? It was her serving her husband, her children and her home.  It was her service to her family, not her career, that caused her children to bless her and her husband to praise her as the Scriptures tell us:

“Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.”

Proverbs 31:28 (KJV)

Your Statement:

“One of the doctors that I’ve shadowed is an oculoplastics surgeon and her husband is the head obstetrics in another clinic. They meet for lunch several days out of the week, they even kind of brag on each other, they have 3 kids the youngest is a year old. I’ve asked how she does it and she has said it is hard but she makes time. She sees about 12 to 14 patients in a half day 3 times a week, surgery once a week and a day at the county clinic once a week.

She makes it to every recital and soccer game. When she gets home, she cooks and she typically gets home around 4 or 5 most days.  She and her husband always look like newlyweds even though they are going on 8 years. The kids send videos from home doing cute stuff like coloring or dancing or playing a game. She and her husband are never on call at the same time so when that comes once a month the kids sleep in bed with either parent. Of course, they have conferences to go to on occasion so grandparents may keep the kids if one parent accompanied the other. Her life was my definition of “having it all”.

I realize you may have looked at this couple as the model for the life you want.  But let me break down what is really happening in this dream scenario this couple has painted for you.

Five times a week, sometimes for an entire day and others for half the day or more this woman leaves her most important duties of the home God has given her not because she has to, but because she chose to. Because she wants to.

Also, do you realize that people sometimes paint pictures of their lives for themselves and others that are often not true? I know this to be true with family members I have had that are career women.  They might say they normally cook at home but when you really drill down they may cook once or twice a week at home the vast majority of the time they are ordering carrying out because both they and their husband are too exhausted from their work day to cook.

Often career women are completely zapped for energy when it comes to having sex with their husbands.  When they get home whatever energy they have left is given to the children and their husbands are left with next to nothing. Even what they give to their children is not the best they would have to offer if they did not have a career outside the home.  Do you know how often we find that the couples who appear to have everything in order and are madly in love are just one step away from giving it all up and seeking divorce? It happens all the time.  But they lie to themselves for years telling themselves it is all ok when it is not.

But let’s say that everything this woman has told you is true.  That they truly have this perfect mix of family and career and she gets the best of both worlds working as a doctor and being a wife and mother and there are no real issues in neglecting their marriage or their children.  Even if all this were true it would still be wrong.

While God says “Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.” (Psalm 104:23) he calls on wives to be “keepers at home” (Titus 2:4-6). This paints a stark contrast between the life of a wife and mother and that of her husband and there are more than physical reasons for this.  There is a spiritual reason for this.

This relationship of man going out to work and providing for his wife, leading her and protecting her is a picture of God providing for the needs of his people.

“22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…

29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church

Ephesians 5:22-29 (KJV)

You see it is not just about following the letter of the law, but the spirit of the law. A woman might be able to be like your friend and try and cook meals every day, do laundry and never miss a kids’ soccer game.  She can have sex with her husband regularly and then do her career as well.  But being a husband and wife is not just about checking things off a list so we can go do what we want to do.  It is about modeling the relation of Christ and his Church.

A wife’s dependence on her husband for his leadership, protection and provision creates a beautiful picture for the world to behold. When a wife is less than fully dependent on her husband for his leadership, his protection and his daily provision for her it breaks the model that the Church should be fully dependent on Christ for her spiritual leadership, her protection and her provision.

We live in a sin cursed world that does not always allow us to keep this picture of marriage that God desires for us.  Husbands die, become disabled or take downgrades on their jobs that may force them to have to ask their wife to work for a short period of time or longer. Divorce happens and women have to go and out work.  All of these things break the model of marriage but they may not be the fault of the woman.  She did not choose to have to go and work – this was forced upon her and God understands this.

But for a woman before marriage to purposefully plan that she will not even attempt to keep this model but will go about her own way by making her own model is a direct affront to God’s will and even more so if she knows this is what God’s Word shows.

Your Statement:

“Why didn’t God warn me before I took this path, or give me a sign, because now I’m in pain. Does God favor men? Is this a test? Because if it is my body aches with frustration and disappointment.”

I wonder if Moses had the same thought? God let him live 40 years in ignorance as a Prince of Egypt believing that was the life for him before God put it in his heart that the Israelite slaves were his brethren and he knew the difficult path he had to choose.

I know you are troubled now.  You are hurt by the hard choice you know you must make based upon the Word of God.

But there are other Christians who face heart breaks like yours but for very different reasons.  Below is a fictional story I have written to illustrate such a scenario.

A new Christian learns a painful truth about his life

Robert is a man that was raised by a pair of Lesbian mothers.  They loved him and cared for him his whole life.  While he is a teenager he realizes, he is sexually drawn to men and is a homosexual. As a young man in college he meets a man named Andrew who becomes his lover and eventually Robert marries Andrew.  Robert and Andrew even adopt a baby girl together that they name Anna .

Then he meets a man named John at his work who is a Christian.  Over the next year Robert becomes good friends with John and they often go to lunch together. John talks about his wife and children and Robert talks about his husband Andrew and his daughter Anna. Eventually through various conversations John shares his faith in Christ with Robert.  Robert becomes more and more interested in John’s faith and John begins sharing various Scripture passages about the creation account, how sin entered the world and how God sent Christ to die for the sins of mankind.

Over the course of a few months Robert feels the call of God.  The next day at lunch he is asks his friend at work “I want to become a Christian, I want to be saved.  What must I do to be saved?” and Robert shares with him Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

Robert is so excited as he calls on Christ to save him.  John and Robert embrace and John welcomes him to the body of Christ.  John tells Robert the next step is for him to get baptized, join a local church and engage in his own personal study of the Scriptures to understand God’s moral law and will for his life. John knows that Robert will soon learn a difficult truth about how he is currently living his life.

Robert begins to intensely study the Scriptures as is common for many new Christians. He wants to learn everything he can about God and God’s will for his life. He decides to start out studying the book of Romans, because after all it was Romans 10:9 that taught him how to be saved. So he starts at the beginning with Romans chapter 1 and he comes across this passage:

“24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.26 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:

27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;”

Robert cannot believe what he is reading.  He had heard some Christians opposed homosexuality but he thought they were just bigots.  He thought they were just ignorant and prejudiced.  He reasoned to himself “But John never mistreated me because I was a homosexual. He never said anything to me about it. Am I misreading this?” Robert can’t wait for the next day at work during lunch to get the answer to his questions.  He calls his friend Robert and insists they talk.

John agrees and comes over to Roberts house to talk.  Robert shows him the passage from Romans 1 he has just read. Robert says “Is it true? Is my lifestyle a sin against God? Is my relationship with Andrew a sin against God? Was the relationship of the women who raised me a sin against God?”  John replies with a heavy heart to Robert – “Yes”. At this point Robert is overcome with grief and begins to cry. Robert asks John “Do I have to give up Andrew and our family together with Anna to become right with God?” John again answers him – “Yes”.

Robert still weeping asks John “Why did you not tell me this before I came to Christ?” John replies “Because it was not for me to try and clean up your sin before you accepted Christ. Christ died for while were we yet sinners.  He asks us to repent, to acknowledge our sin before him and our need for his salvation.  When you were first saved you asked God to forgive you of the sins you knew – that you had lied or cheated or mistreated others.

But you did not know your homosexual lifestyle was a sin.  After salvation God begins to show us sins in our lives we never knew were there.  His spirit searches us and reveals what is in our hearts.   After we are saved then he does the work of changing our lives and conforming us to his will.  For many Christians, especially those who are saved as adults, this is change can be a painful process.  But God calls us all to progressive sanctification, to daily die to our old sinful natures and to try with the help of the Holy Spirit to be people God called us to be.”

Sometimes God reveals to us some painful truths.  Sometimes he reveals things to us that will cause us to have to make very difficult and painful choices. In the Scriptures God did this with the children of Israel when they sinned by taking foreign wives in Ezra chapter 10. Israelite men literally had to send their foreign wives and children back to the lands they came from.   How heart breaking that must have been.  But it was necessary to make the people right with God in the same way we as Christians must sometimes make painful choices to make ourselves right with God and his will for our lives.

Conclusion

Moses though serves as a model for us in following God’s will for his life by giving up what he thought would be his life in service to a greater purpose that God had for him. Moses wanted to run the race God had for him, not a race of his own making or one based on his own rules. He valued the rewards of heaven over the riches and pleasure of this world. I hope that you will make that same choice.

God only gives you two choices at this point in your life. You can choose to live in celibate service to God as a doctor and as a result give up your dreams of having a husband and children or you can choose to be a wife and mother.  But you cannot do both.

But I believe the passion you have for children and a husband outweighs your passion for medicine and God may have provided you with a man who will allow you to follow God’s will for your life in the home. I believe that if your heart is truly to be the wife and mother God called you to be that one day you will look back over the years you spent loving and serving your husband, your children and your home and the pain of this sacrifice will be forgotten.

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)