Not All Abuse Must Be Taken

No, God does not call us as Christians to take all kinds of abuse.  99 percent of Christians would agree with that statement and I would be one of them.  But very few Christians would agree with me on this next statement regarding abuse:

God does call us as Christians to take and bear SOME kinds of abuses.

What is the key word there? The word is “SOME”.

But in our world today we are taught, sadly even by many Christian teachers, that we don’t have to take ANY abuse from anyone.

However the Scriptures contradict this attitude of “I don’t have to take any kind of abuse from any one at any time”:

“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”

I Peter 2:19-23 (KJV)

Our culture hates the passage I just quoted because it goes against our idea of a society where no one should ever have to tolerate the least amount of pain or suffering.  We are living in a society of people with feelings as fragile and as easily damaged as egg shells.

We have actually reached a point where some people are so fragile that they cannot hear an opposing view point without being so mortally offended that they must seek out therapy.

About a year ago I published an article entitled “Why God wants You to STAY in an abusive relationship” and as I write today that article has received almost 70,000 views since I first posted it. If you just google the title of that same article you will find many YouTube videos as well as other sites commenting on it.

I received thousands of comments or emails most by people who did not read past the first few paragraphs and others who did not read past the title.  I am not a stranger to receiving death threats for various articles I write simply expounding on the teachings of the Bible.  But this article has generated even more hatred than usual.

But do I see myself as victim? No.  I daily remember these words of Christ to those who preach his Word:

“11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

Matthew 5:11-12 (KJV)

So, when I read negative reviews on both Atheist and Christian blogs or when I receive false accusations and death threats via email or comments to my blog because of I preached the Word of God and called out the sins of generation do I frown? Do I get upset?

Well from a human perspective I don’t like false accusations and I wish I could correct each and every one of them.  But I know I can’t do that.  So I must leave that in the Lord’s hands.  And do I take the death threats seriously? You bet I do and that is why I started this blog anonymously and take great pains to keep myself anonymous.   Even my closest online friends do not know my real identity.

But at the end of the day I strive, be it ever so imperfectly, to rejoice when I am persecuted as Christ admonished us to do.

Now does that not mean that I don’t get angry at the sinful ways of our society?  Do I not get angry at the way people so easily speak blasphemy against God and his Word as I see on a daily basis in comments to this blog? Of course some of these things make me angry.   But I do try and follow God’s rule to Be ye angry, and sin not (Ephesians 4:26).

So why I am writing this companion article? Today I received a comment followed up by an email from the same person that was probably one of the most respectful disagreement emails that I have received regarding my article on abuse.   And I felt this was a good opportunity to help clarify some important Biblical principles I have been trying to teach about how we as Christians should respond to abuse.

Christ Does Not Call Us to Be “perpetual victims and punching bags”

Below is the complete email I received from a concerned reader calling himself “John”.

“I read your article about God’s will to remain in an abusive relationship. You presented your argument in a well studied manner in which you used Scripture to justify remaining in an abusive relationship. At the same time I must disagree with you.

While the Bible teaches enduring hardships and tribulations, I don’t see anywhere Jesus expected us to be perpetual victims and punching bags. There has to be a point where either one of two things will occur: the abusive spouse will repent and begin to turn things around, or the situation will become worse to the point of either death or divorce.

At one time I would have agreed with you and even taught along similar lines. Then I went through the experience. I suffered marital problems where I was berated by my wife, criticized at every turn, denied love and affection, then it escalated to where my bank account was drained and finally adultery (the one grounds that we can agree on) was confirmed.

At what point do we say enough is enough? Are we supposed to continue to just take the abuse and never stand up for ourselves and our family members who also must endure this? How many households must suffer financial ruin, physical injury, mental anguish, or ultimately death at the abuser’s hands?

Having been at one time a minister in an abusive church, I witnessed first hand how these teachings hurt families. When we force wives or husbands to remain in an abusive relationship, we as Christians aren’t much better than the Muslims whose record of condoning violence against their wives is well documented. This is one reason why more Christians avoid church than attend. We failed in providing real solutions to help abuse victims. We just throw the victims back in the shark tank to be eaten afresh.

Moving from the marriage into the church in general, there are many accounts of believers forced to leave a church and pastor because of abuse. In some cases it was sexual. Other times it was emotional or financial. Some pastors exercised control over the congregants’ daily lives to where every waking moment revolved around the church and its leadership. God called pastors to be shepherds, but instead many so called pastors became kings over their own little kingdoms.

I followed the Biblical route here and brought my grievances to the elders and pastor. I even went to the point of proposing reform so ALL of us would be accountable. My ideas were completely rejected, and the pastors continued their abuse unrepentant. I was finally left with no option but to leave.

Years later I found myself in another church situation. I saw unbiblical activity and reported it to the leadership, only to the kicked out of the church. I could have suffered in silence and gone along with it, but God does not want me to roll over and be the perpetual victim.

Until we realize victims need real help and not just being told all this suffering is God’s will, more lives will be ruined.”

Now I will address a couple key concerns of this reader.

“How many households must suffer financial ruin, physical injury, mental anguish, or ultimately death at the abuser’s hands?”

No household must perpetually suffer financial ruin because of a spouse who abuses the family finances.  But how this is dealt with is different depending on whether it is the husband or wife. As I stated in my previous article on this subject of abuse the Exodus 21:10-11 principle applies to a wife whose husband fails to provide (i.e. brings the family to financial ruin) either because of his laziness or some type of addiction (drugs or gambling).  So, no, she does not have to stay and take this kind of abuse but rather she can be free of him in divorce.

Now does the husband have the right to divorce his wife because of her financial abuse  such as overspending which may cause financial ruin for the family? No, he does not have the right to divorce her, but based on upon Christ’s example with his wife the church in Revelation 3:19 he does have the right to discipline her.  And that means he gets a new bank account without her name on it and locks her out of the finances completely.  Even if that means he has to do the family grocery shopping and clothing shopping.

Regarding serious physical injury or life-threatening situations, the “Abigail Principle” of I Samuel 25 applies.  God brought Abigail to go against her husband’s evil actions which literally placed her family in mortal danger to save her family and he blessed her for it. And there is no reason this would not apply to men as well if their wife was engaging in actions that could bring serious bodily harm or death to them or their children.

So, in either the case of the husband or the wife, if there is a situation where one spouse is causing great bodily harm or placing the family in danger of death by their actions then the other spouse should get out with the children and contact the civil authorities.

But then what about mental anguish?

This one is different than the others. What did Christ do when he was in mental anguish?  He went to be alone with his father.

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 22:44 (KJV)

The Bible  does not allow for the dissolving of a marriage based solely on mental anguish.  Are there some other remedies offered though for mental anguish caused by one’s spouse’s abusive behavior? Yes, we find a couple other remedies in the book of Proverbs:

“It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.”

Proverbs 21:9 (KJV)

“It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.”

Proverbs 21:19 (KJV)

So, if you have a wife who berates you, constantly criticizes you and denies you the love and affection God commands of her the remedy is simple.   First follow Christ’s example as a husband in Revelation 3:19 and “rebuke and chasten” your wife.  If she fails to respond to your chastening with repentance, then find your “corner of the housetop”, i.e. your office or man-cave and leave her in her sin.  Perhaps go to your “wilderness” whether that be hunting or other activities with other men.  And when you get alone in these places – pray earnestly as Christ did in the garden.

A wife may also need to find her “corner of the housetop” sometimes if she is dealing with a husband who constantly berates her.  She may need to go to her room sometimes or just take a drive to be alone with her thoughts and also pray and seek the Lord’s strength to do what he has called her to do in spite of her husband’s sin.

But in the case of the wife – she does not have the spiritual authority to rebuke and discipline her husband, but rather she is called to win her husband without the word by her reverent and submissive behavior toward him (I Peter 3:1-2).

What About Abuse by Church Leaders?

John made this statement about abuse he has witnessed in Churches:

“Moving from the marriage into the church in general, there are many accounts of believers forced to leave a church and pastor because of abuse. In some cases it was sexual. Other times it was emotional or financial. Some pastors exercised control over the congregants’ daily lives to where every waking moment revolved around the church and its leadership. God called pastors to be shepherds, but instead many so called pastors became kings over their own little kingdoms.”

I have witnessed similar abuses to this in many churches I know of both local and across the nation.  Supposed Bible preaching pastors who are found to be sexually abusing young people in the church.

One of the Baptist churches I attended growing up had a Pastor who came up with a bright idea of “Paycheck Sundays”.  Basically, he demanded that all his church members sign over their entire pay checks to the church ever so often – I think it might have been every two months.  My father opposed such a demand and even told the church he disagreed and we left shortly thereafter.

I have heard of situations where Pastors tried to tell wives they had greater spiritual authority over them than their husbands which violates the explicit teachings of the Scriptures that the husband is the wife’s greatest spiritual authority (Ephesians 5:23-24 & 1 Corinthians 14:35).

And yes, I have seen churches that do exactly as you describe and you follow the Biblical process of bringing sin or concern to the church only to be turned down or have it turned on you as if you did something wrong for bringing sin to their attention.

But here is the thing about churches and marriages.  Some things they have in common, but many other things are VERY different between these two God given institutions.  What they have in common is that both have sinners in them and both are flawed because of the presence of sin.  Both are to have their authorities exercise spiritual discipline over those under their authority.

But church membership and marriage are very different when it comes to how their association is dissolved.  A covenant of marriage is not easily broken in God’s design.  But God does not tell us we must remain at a particular local church indefinitely.

We might leave a local church for no more reason than we found one that is closer to home.  We might leave a local church over differences in music style or many other reasons. God wants us in church, but he does not tie us to a particular local church.  Now do I think we should church hop constantly? No. Church hopping is not good for our children.  But if there are serious reasons or legitimate reasons for moving from a church than we can do that.

John – I hope this answers your concerns.

John Locke’s Invention of the “Adult” Social Class

John Locke was a 17th century English philosopher who could rightly be called the father of individualism and by extension the modern age.  It is difficult to overstate the influence he had on America’s founding fathers and all of Western civilization.  The following phrase from the Declaration of Independence was basically a summary of Locke’s concepts from his “Two Treatises of Government” published in 1690:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Before John Locke’s individualism took over Western civilization, Patriarchy was the norm of society.  Duty to one’s faith, family and country was paramount and overrode concerns for individual happiness.  People saw themselves more as part of a collective whole, part of their family, part of their tribe, their faith and their nation rather than only as individuals.

The Origins of Locke’s Individualism

Many philosophies throughout history have been born out of a reaction to other philosophies and this was the case with John Locke.  John Locke actually wrote his “Two Treatises of Government” in 1690 in response to Sir Robert Filmer’s “Patriarcha; or the Natural Power of Kings” which was published in 1680. The central thesis of Filmer’s book was that the divine right of Kings was derived from the natural authority of parents with Adam being the first parent and first King of mankind.

So, it would be correct to say that Locke’s Individualism was born out a response to Filmer’s peculiar brand of Paternalism as applied to kings.

But from a Biblical perspective, both Locke and Filmer were wrong.

Kings Are Not Fathers

Filmer was absolutely wrong in saying Adam was the first king of mankind.  Nothing in the Scriptures teaches this concept.

The following passage which was used to try and support the divine right of Kings theory is found in the Apostle Paul’s letter to Romans:

“1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

4 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.

5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.”

Romans 13:1-6 (KJV)

Filmer and others interpreted this passage to mean that Kings had absolute authority over their subjects as a father has over his children.  In effect, Filmer’s philosophy reduced all the rights of the citizens of a nation to that of children.

But Filmer was wrong in his understanding of Romans 13:1-6.  This passage is speaking of God’s institution of civil government and his purpose for it.  God created civil government to praise and uphold good behavior based on his law and to punish those who break God’s moral law.  God instituted civil government to protect the rights he had given to man, not to infringe upon those rights as so many Kings had done for thousands of years.

The passage above from Roman’s actually tells us why we pay “tribute” or taxes to government.  It is to pay for our government’s protection of our rights and property.  The purpose of taxes is to pay for things like the salaries of our national, state and local leaders as well as our policemen, firemen, courts and our military.  God did not intend for taxes to be for the enrichment of our rulers or the redistribution of wealth between the upper, middle and lower income classes.  The duty of charitable giving to the poor was given to the churches and to individuals through free will giving.  God never assigned this task to his institution of civil government.

How many rulers throughout history terrorized those who did good works? Many.  How many rulers did not look out for the good of their people, but rather for their own selfish greed they stole and pillaged from their own people? Many.  How many rulers violated the sacred rights of husbands and fathers over their wives, their children and their other properties? Far too many.

Jesus gave us the following statement regarding civil government:

“And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.”

Luke 20:25 (KJV)

The civil government does not have God’s absolute and unlimited authority.  No human authority has unlimited power. Christ told us only to give to the civil government what belongs to the civil government.  And when the civil government usurps its authority and steps outside God’s limits on it, we as Christians have not only a right, but a responsibility to practice civil disobedience to such encroachments.  The Apostle Paul speaks to the Christian’s right and responsibility to practice disobedience to government laws which violate God’s law which would include his purpose for and limits upon civil government:

“27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, 28 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.

29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”

Acts 5:27-29 (KJV)

So, as we have seen from the Scriptures, Filmer’s theory of the Divine Right of Kings and kings as fathers to their subjects has no Scriptural merit and actually violates the purposes for which God instituted civil government.

Locke Was Wrong in His Response to Filmer

But as wrong as Filmer was about his theory of kings being like fathers to their subjects, so too Locke was wrong in his approach to Filmer’s arguments.

Locke, instead of centering his attack on the false premise that kings are like fathers, instead chose to center his attack on the authority of fathers so as to limit the authority of kings.

Consider the following statement from John Locke’s “First Treatise of Civil Government” where he addresses the arguments of “our author” speaking to Sir Robert Filmer:

“For had our author set down this command without garbling, as God gave it, and joined mother to father, every reader would have seen, that it had made directly against him; and that it was so far from establishing the monarchical power of the father, that it set up the mother equal with him, and enjoined nothing but what was due in common, to both father and mother: for that is the constant tenor of the scripture, Honour thy father and thy mother…

The rule is, Children, obey your parents; and I do not remember, that I any where read, Children, obey your father, and no more: the scripture joins mother too in that homage, which is due from children; and had there been any text, where the honour or obedience of children had been directed to the father alone, it is not likely that our author, who pretends to build all upon scripture, would have omitted it: nay, the scripture makes the authority of father and mother, in respect of those they have begot, so equal, that in some places it neglects even the priority of order, which is thought due to the father, and the mother”

John Locke made what is perhaps one of the earliest arguments for feminism in this passage by making the father and mother equal in their authority over their children.  Locke actually made a false argument that is easily refuted that the father has no more authority over the children than the mother.  The following passage from the book of Numbers disproves Locke’s assertion of the equal authority of father and mother over their children:

“3 If a woman also vow a vow unto the Lord, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father’s house in her youth; 4 And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her; then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand. 5 But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the Lord shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her.”

Numbers 30:3-5 (KJV)

The context here is of a young adult woman still under her father’s roof. Nothing here is mentioned of the Mother’s authority to override the young adult daughter’s decisions.  It is only the father that has such authority.

Consider also this passage from the book of Exodus:

“16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. 17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.”

Exodus 22:16-17 (KJV)

It is the father which must give permission for marriage and no mention of the mother is made.

The previous two passages prove Locke wrong in his assertion that there are no passages of the Scriptures where “obedience of children had been directed to the father alone”.

Locke goes on to make the following statement about husbands and wives in his “Second Treatise of Civil Government”:

“But the husband and wife, though they have but one common concern, yet having different understandings, will unavoidably sometimes have different wills too; it therefore being necessary that the last determination, i. e. the rule, should be placed somewhere; it naturally falls to the man’s share, as the abler and the stronger. But this reaching but to the things of their common interest and property, leaves the wife in the full and free possession of what by contract is her peculiar right, and gives the husband no more power over her life than she has over his; the power of the husband being so far from that of an absolute monarch, that the wife has in many cases a liberty to separate from him, where natural right, or their contract allows it; whether that contract be made by themselves in the state of nature, or by the customs or laws of the country they live in; and the children upon such separation fall to the father or mother’s lot, as such contract does determine.”

So here is John Locke’s argument about husbands and wives.  Men and women have an equal say over their own lives, but because their wills sometimes are different on certain family matters it is necessary for one to have “the last determination” meaning somebody has to have the tie breaking vote.  So, this falls to man as “the abler and stronger”.  That last statement is one that causes some feminists to dismiss all of Locke’s writings, while many other feminists are willing to overlook Locke’s “sexism” for all the rest of the equality proclamations he makes.

But then he makes this statement which feminists absolutely love that “the husband no more power over her life than she has over his; the power of the husband being so far from that of an absolute monarch”.

So, in his first treatise Locke assaulted the God given authority of the father making his authority equal with the mother when God granted no such thing and now in his second treatise he attacks the God given authority of the husband over his wife.

Locke’s assertion that “the husband no more power over her life than she has over hisis easily disproven by the follow Scripture passage:

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

Ephesians 5:22-24 (KJV)

In no other human authority relationship is the one under authority told to submit to the one over them as unto the Lord.  In no other human authority relationship is the one under authority told to be subject to that authority as the church is subject to Christ in EVERYTHING.

Locke was completely wrong in his assertion that “the power of the husband being so far from that of an absolute monarch”.  But rather the truth of the Scriptures is that is a king’s power is so far from that of a husband.

Biblically speaking, the most powerful human authority God ever established was that of a husband over his wife with the second most powerful human authority being that of a father over his children and especially his daughters. 

The civil government or king’s power comes after that of a husband and father Biblically speaking.

Now again we need to understand spheres of authority.  A husband cannot encroach upon the sphere of powers God has given to government in the same way the government cannot encroach in areas God has given to husbands.

A practical example of this would be that I cannot tell my wife to break the speed limit.  That speed limit comes under the authority of civil government.   However, the civil government cannot tell my wife that she may disobey my order to vote for the candidate that I tell her to.

Before we can tie this all together with one more statement from Locke to show how he invented a new social class, we need to look at the social classes God designed.

God’s Original Design of Four Social Classes

When God created humanity, he designed it with three primary social classes.  These three primary social classes were Men, Women and Children.  After the flood, God caused a fourth hybrid social class, the Citizen, to form from his creation of nations.

In the Old Testament we read that God set the man over the woman making him her owner and master.

“Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”

Genesis 3:16 (KJV)

“6 And if she had at all an husband, when she vowed, or uttered ought out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul; 7 And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her in the day that he heard it: then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she bound her soul shall stand. 8 But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and the Lord shall forgive her.”

Numbers 30:6-8 (KJV)

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

Exodus 20:17 (KJV)

“If a man be found lying with a woman married to an [literally “owned by”] husband [“an owner”], then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.”

Deuteronomy 22:22 (KJV)

And contrary to the false teachings of some Christians today, man’s headship over woman was not a result of the fall, but rather it was God’s design from the beginning before sin entered the picture and was meant to picture the relationship between God and his people or Christ and his Church as I showed previously from Ephesians 5:22-24.

The Bible does not get rid of the submission and ownership of wives in the New Testament, but rather it explains it more and calls women to emulate the obedience that Old Testament wives had to their husbands calling them “lord” which can also means “master”:

“5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”

I Peter 3:5-6 (KJV)

So, as we can see from looking at both the Old and New Testaments, God created a definite social class distinction between men and women.  Even young adult daughters could have their decisions overridden by their fathers as I showed previously from Numbers 30:3-5 and Exodus 22:16-17.

Now that we have established the first two social classes God designed, those being Men and Women, now we come to the third social class that God designed which was Children:

“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 127:3-6 (KJV)

“1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”

Ephesians 6:1-3 (KJV)

So, as you can see from all the Scriptures presented, God created three primary social classes and those are Men, Women and Children.  Men are the owners of their wives and children.  Children are to obey their father and their mother with the father being the head of the home and having the ultimate veto over all decisions of both his wife and his children as well as his adult daughters.

Together the three social classes of Men, Women and Children form the family unit.  But God wanted to create one more unit of humanity and that was the nation.

God’s Fourth Class of Citizen

The Scriptures tell us that God is the one who caused the spread of humanity across the globe and the first nations to form.

“6 And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. 8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.”

Genesis 11:6-8 (KJV)

“7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. 8 When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.”

Deuteronomy 32:7-8 (KJV)

“24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 26 And hath made of one blood all nations [Greek ethnos] of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;”

Acts 17:24-26 (KJV)

The “number of the children of Israel” from Deuteronomy 32:7-8 refers to the 70 people who went with Jacob to Egypt.  So, what these passages are telling us together is – God separated humanity into 70 different ethnic groups (that is literally what the Greek word for nation means), gave these ethnic groups different languages and sent them across on the face of the earth determining where they would eventually settle.

In causing nations to form, God also caused the social class of citizen to form.  A citizen is a member of a nation, a group with shared ethnicity and shared language.  In the next social class we will discuss, we will see that God had different rules for how citizens and non-citizens could be treated in the theocracy of Israel.

God Allowed a Fifth Social Class Because of War and Poverty

Because of the presence of sin in the world which lead to poverty and wars, God allowed for a fifth social class which was that of a slave.  He did not allow for citizens to enslave their fellow citizens, but only those who were foreigners.  And there were two ways that the Israelite citizens were allowed by God to acquire slaves.

The first way God allowed for slavery was that he allowed the Israelites to buy children from their foreign parents either living in Israel or in the nations around Israel:

“39 And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bondservant: 40 But as an hired servant, and as a sojourner, he shall be with thee, and shall serve thee unto the year of jubile. 41 And then shall he depart from thee, both he and his children with him, and shall return unto his own family, and unto the possession of his fathers shall he return.  42 For they are my servants, which I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: they shall not be sold as bondmen. 43 Thou shalt not rule over him with rigour; but shalt fear thy God.

44 Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. 45 Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. 46 And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.”

Leviticus 25:39-46 (KJV)

Standing where we are in 21st century America, we may not be able to fathom why a parent would ever sell their child as a slave.  But the reason in most cases was simple and that was poverty.  If you had four children and your family was starving and by selling one of those four children as a slave you could save the rest of your family this made perfect sense.

This money you would receive would help you and your other children to escape poverty and make sure that all your children were provide for.  Even the child sold as a slave would have to be properly provided for and taken care of by their new master as God’s law demanded.

The second way God allowed slavery was to make prisoners of war slaves for Israel:

But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.”

Deuteronomy 20:14 (KJV)

But God did not allow slavery by kidnapping.  Kidnapping is condemned in the following passage:

“And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.”

Exodus 21:16 (KJV)

The passages I have just cited prove God’s allowance for this fifth social class, that being a slave with restrictions of course.  For more on this subject of slavery from a Biblical perspective see my article entitled “Why Christians shouldn’t be ashamed of Slavery in the Bible”.

The Creation of the Nobility and Royal Social Classes

John Locke was right about the fact that man in his natural state was designed to be free. But he was designed to be free within the limits of God’s law.  And what freedom looks like for God’s social classes of men, women and children is very different.

Far too often though, men have willingly given up their freedom whether it be for security or to be like others around them.  This is exactly what Israel did.  They begged God to let them have a king even after he warned them that kings would encroach upon their freedom.  You see before God allowed kings in Israel, the nation was ruled through prophets and judges.  These prophets and judges did not take away the wealth of the people, or seize their sons and daughters, but rather they taught God’s will and organized the people for common defense.  They settled disputes between families and they judged when people committed crimes. Israel only lost its freedom when God allowed other nations to invade because of the sin of Israel.  But when they would regain their freedom, they were free indeed. The men of Israel were as free as they would ever be before they insisted on having a king so they could be like other nations.

So, before God allowed it, he gave them a warning of what kings would do:

“11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots. 12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.

13 And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.

14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.  15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.

16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. 17 He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.

18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day.”

1 Samuel 8:11-18 (KJV)

Is this not a perfect description of what many kings have done throughout history? Kings and other nobility classes have consistently violated the property rights of men and when a man’s property is taken or violated by the government, his freedom is taken as well.

But the royal and nobility classes of men were never part of God’s original design.  He meant for all men, male human beings, to be equal and free as his image bearers.

He meant for all men to share in the joys of owning all these things which he warns men not to covet of other men:

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

Exodus 20:17 (KJV)

And God actually calls the enjoyment of a man’s labor his gift to him:

“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 5:19 (KJV)

So, God only designed three primary classes of people – Men, Women and Children along with a fourth hybrid class of citizen.  But in 1690 John Locke would take a hammer to God’s social class structure.

Locke’s Invention of the “Adult” Social Class

In his “Second Treatise of Civil Government” Locke makes the following statement regarding the authority of parents over their children:

“The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions

Children, I confess, are not born in this full state of equality, though they are born to it. Their parents have a sort of rule and jurisdiction over them, when they come into the world, and for some time after; but it is but a temporary one. The bonds of this subjection are like the swaddling clothes they art wrapt up in, and supported by, in the weakness of their infancy: age and reason, as they grow up, loosen them, till at length they drop quite off, and leave a man at his own free disposal…

The power, then, that parents have over their children, arises from that duty which is incumbent on them, to take care of their offspring, during the imperfect state of childhood. To inform the mind, and govern the actions of their yet ignorant non-age, till reason shall take its place, and ease them of that trouble, is what the children want, and the parents are bound to; for God having given man an understanding to direct his actions, has allowed him a freedom of will, and liberty of acting, as properly belonging thereunto, within the bounds of that law he is under. But whilst he is in an estate, wherein he has not understanding of his own to direct his will, he is not to have any will of his own to follow: he that understands for him, must will for him too; he must prescribe to his will, and regulate his actions; but when he comes to the estate that made his father a free man, the son is a free man too.”

So, what was Locke saying? He was saying that all fully matured human beings, adult human beings, are in fact equal in their freedom.  The subjection of children to their parents is only temporary until they come to full maturity and then when they are adults, they are all equal and free.   When taken together with Locke’s former statement from this same treatise that the husband has no more power over his wife’s life than she does over his he believed that men and women possess equal rights and equal freedom.

So, Locke, with his invention of this new social class, the Adult, based on the maturity of a human being regardless of their gender, effectively eradicated the former social classes of Men and Women which God created in the Garden of Eden.

The founding fathers took a more limited view of Locke’s equality ideas rejecting his views of equal freedom for women.   In fact, John Adams said that giving women the right to vote and total equality with men would lead to “the Despotism of the Peticoat”, in other words the complete domination of women over men.  He told his wife Abigail Adams, one of America’s early feminists before feminism became very fashionable, that many men were already the subjects of their wives in their homes and were “Masters” in name only.

And John Adams was absolutely right.  Giving women the right to vote and fulfilling the Lockean vision of society did lead to “the Despotism of the Peticoat”.  In most cases, women have complete control of male/female relationships whether they be dating, cohabitation or marriage.  And women have made great strides in the business and political world and have been exhibiting huge amounts of influence to the point that most men are absolutely terrified to stand up to this “Despotism of the Peticoat” that has now been fully realized with the last 50 years.

It took a little more than a century for America to fully dismiss the warnings of John Adams of what would happen if women were given total equality with men, but eventually America did.  And now we have reaped the consequences with the destruction of marriage and the institution of the family.

Practical Application for Christian Male/Female Relationships

Whether it is a father with his daughter or a husband with his wife this modern notion of “I am an adult” is something we as men will be confronted with on a regular basis.  Many Christian men have no idea how to respond to the following types of statements from the women in their families:

A daughter to her father:

“You can’t tell me who I can see or not see or who I can marry, I am an adult!”

“Stop treating like a child! I am an adult! I make my own life decisions!”

“It’s my body, I can do with it as I wish.  I am an adult!”

A wife to her husband:

“You can’t tell me what to do. You are not my father.  I am an adult!”

“Stop treating me like one of our children! I am an adult!”

“It’s my body, I can do with it as I wish.  I am an adult!”

So how do we as Christian men address these “I am an adult” statements that we may hear from our wives and daughters?

Suggestion Response for a Father to his Daughter

“I recognize that you are a fully formed postpubescent human being, or an adult human being, but you are still a woman and I am still a man. The fact that you are an adult does not change the fact that I am your father and God has given me a special responsibility to love you by leading you, protecting you, providing for you, teaching you, correcting you and preparing you for your future husband.  Sometimes protecting you means protecting you from your own bad decisions. I have the very serious and important tasks of helping you to maintain your sexual purity and giving my blessing to the man that I believe God would have you to marry.  So no, I am not treating you like a child, but rather I am treating you like a woman and a daughter according to God’s Word.”

Suggestion Response for a Husband to his Wife

“I recognize that you are a fully formed postpubescent human being, or an adult human being, but you are still a woman and I am still a man. The fact that you are an adult does not change the fact that I am your husband and God has given me a special responsibility to love you by leading you, protecting you, providing for you, teaching you, correcting you and helping you to be the wife God has called you to be to me.  Sometimes protecting you means protecting you from your own bad decisions.  God has given you and your body to me for my use and my pleasure.  He also has commanded that I not deny sexual relations to you as well.   So no, I am not treating you like one of our children, but rather I am treating you like a woman and like a wife according to God’s Word.”

The War on the Citizenship Class

Our modern society is truly looking to eradicate all social classes except that of Adults and Minors – they even want to eradicate the social class of Citizen. This is the battle that has been playing out over immigration policies in America. On one side you have nationalists who want to protect our culture and the sovereignty of our nation and on the other side you have globalists who want to eradicate the concept of nations and the concept of citizenship is actually evil in their view because it treats a citizen different than a non-citizen.

Conclusion

Do I think John Locke was an evil man and that everything he taught was wrong? No.  He and the founders were imperfect men just as all men are imperfect.  But they were absolutely right that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”.  All men, male human beings, are created equally in God’s image to be his image bearers, but women are not created equal to men.

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

1 Corinthians 11:7 (KJV)

Merriam Webster’s online dictionary defines “unalienable” as:

“incapable of being alienated, surrendered, or transferred”

And that really is a perfect description of our God given rights.  The men of America’s past had no right to surrender or transfer their rights to women.  They sinned against God in doing so. And we as Christian men have no right to surrender our God given rights either.  In fact we must fight to reclaim what we have lost.

Each of us has our part to play.   It starts in our marriage. Then in our teaching to our sons and daughters in what it means to be men and women of God.  It means getting out and voting for candidates who support Biblical morality.

It will be a long fight for many decades to come, but it can be won.  It more than a century for America to turn against God’s design in gender roles and social classes and it may take a century or more to return to them.

The questions for Christians reading this are these:

Will you accept what the Bible teaches and reject the false “Adult” social class constructed by John Locke?

Will you return to and accept God’s social order of Men, Women and Children?

Will you stand with those who say it is evil to follow God and his ways and his social classes? Or will you stand with God and serve him?

The choice is yours.

15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Joshua 24:15 (KJV)

Feminism – The Return to the Sin of Eden

The first sin woman ever committed in the Garden of Eden was not accepting the limits God had placed upon her.  She wanted equality.  The first sin man committed was in knowingly abdicating his authority over his wife and following her in her sinful desire rather than rebuking her sin.

The scriptures show us that woman was deceived by her sinful desire for equality:

“1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”

Genesis 3:1-6 (KJV)

Later in divine commentary given to him by God, the Apostle Paul gives us further detail on the Genesis account:

“And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”

1 Timothy 2:14 (KJV)

So what Paul is telling us is that Eve was deceived by her desire for equality while Adam went into the sin fully knowing what he was doing.  His sin was not a desire for equality with God, but rather a failure to live out his role by leading his wife and rebuking her sinful request to him.  God tells us man’s first sin when he states:

And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;”

Genesis 3:17 (KJV)

Many years later the righteous man Job would do with his wife what Adam should have done with Eve when Job’s wife enticed him to sin against God as Eve enticed Adam to sin to against God:

“9 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. 10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.”

Job 2:9-10 (KJV)

Job did not follow his wife’s sinful request – but instead he rebuked his wife as God would later rebuke his wife Israel (Hosea 2:2-23) and Christ would later rebuke his wife the Church (Revelation chapters 2 & 3).

God warns Adam just as he would later warn Cain

In Genesis 4 we read of God’s warning to Cain regarding his sin nature:

“If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

Genesis 4:7 (KJV)

When God speaks of “his desire” he is speaking of Cain’s sinful nature.  His sin nature wanted to control his actions and make him sin against God.  But God told him instead of letting his sin nature rule over him, he must rule over his sin nature.

This exact same phrase is used by God regarding a woman and her relationship to her husband:

“16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

Genesis 3:16 (KJV)

In this case sin’s desire is replaced by the woman’s desire toward her husband.  What we find in Genesis chapters 3 and 4 is that man must fight against two powerful forces that desire to control him and would have him sin against God.  He must rule both over his own sinful nature as well as the sinful nature of his wife.

“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)

A woman’s sinful desire causes her not only to seek equality with man – but also to usurp authority over man thus reversing the created design of God in regard to the two genders.

After 6000 years woman and man return to their original sins

Men and women have sinned against God in many ways since that fateful day in the Garden of Eden around 6000 years ago. And women have rebelled against their authority in man for all that time in many different ways.

But while man sinned against God in many ways since that day in the Garden there was one command that for the most part man followed:

“thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” Genesis 3:16 (KJV)

Men for all of human history up until the mid-19th century followed God’s command for them to rule over women. Sometimes they did so in harsh and imperfect ways, but for the most part they did not fail to exercise this mandate. Men were fully cognizant of a woman’s sinful desire for equality with man as she sinfully desired equality with God in Eden. Men, for the most part, were cognizant of a woman’s sinful desire to control man and men kept women in their place even when they sought to rebel.

But around the mid-19th century an equality cult was born. It was this equality cult, or egalitarianism as it is now called, which gave rise to the birth of feminism.  The equality movement taught that if one person did not have the same rights and privileges as another then this was treating that person in an inhumane and unjust manner.  Feminism seized on this principle applying it specifically to women calling the inequality of women to men an injustice.  The Bible was even twisted and mangled to support this false notion of injustice.

Just as Eve reached for that forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden women were once against reaching for the forbidden fruit of equality. But men having stood their ground against this sinful inclination in women for 6000 years relented and they once again did what God condemn Adam for.  They abdicated their mandate to rule over women and “hearkened unto the voice” of women.

This movement cast aside the patriarchal family structure that had served mankind since creation itself. This feminist movement eventually infected the Church and attacked the very foundations of God’s design of the genders and of his divine institution of marriage.

The result of the equality cult and his spawn of feminism has been the downfall marriage and the family over the last century.  God’s institution of marriage is routinely mocked by couples engaging in casual sex. Divorce is rampant and couples living sin together is the norm. Children having two moms and dads is now the way of life.

But as Christian Churches and as Christian men and women we can return to God and his will and design for our genders if we so choose and he will heal our land if we do so.

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV)

Returning to Biblical Gender Roles

In order to return to living by Biblical gender roles we must return to “the book” as a young Israelite King did.

“10 And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. 11 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes. 12 And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Michaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah a servant of the king’s, saying, 13 Go ye, enquire of the Lord for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us.”

2 Kings 22:10-13 (KJV)

The “book” alluded to in the story above is the Word of God.  Like young Josiah said of his ancestors, our American “fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us.” Our Ancestors starting in the mid-19th century began to lose their way when they followed the false teachings of egalitarianism and feminism.

Now we must return to the teachings of “this book” if God is to heal our land, our churches, our families and our marriages. This is the primary mission of this site – BiblicalGenderRoles.com.

With that being said we will start with the divine commentary on the Genesis account as given by the Apostle Paul:

“3 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…

7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. ”

I Corinthians 11:3 & 7-11 (KJV)

This passage teaches four critical Biblical principles if we are to understand God’s design of man and woman in this world.

Biblical Gender Principle #1 – Man was made to image God

Man is “the image and glory of God” meaning he is God’s direct image bearer and he was made to bring glory to God by playing out the image of God.

So what does this mean? It means the masculine traits given to men before the fall and those masculine traits which are honored by God are things that men should freely and abundantly exercise to the best of their ability.  Man’s desire to lead, provide and protect.  His competitive nature, his desire to build, his desire for respect and his desire for beauty and pleasure all come from God. Man’s desire for all these things is not simply for himself, but ultimately it is so that he will fulfill the purpose of his design which was to be God’s direct image bearer.

Women today complain that men just don’t act like men anymore and you know what – they are right! But it is men, not women that must decide for themselves that they will act like men.

“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”

1 Corinthians 16:13 (NASB)

It is men who must decide to take back their mantle of responsibility. Will they work hard and provide for their families or will they be deadbeats? Will they love their wives and children by leading them, correcting them, teaching them, providing for them and protecting them as God does for his people or will they abuse their families and abdicate their responsibilities? Will men follow the mandate to rule over their wives or will they let their wives rule over them? Will they image God or not? These are the choices men must make for themselves.

Biblical Gender Principle #2 – Woman was made to help man image God

There are many Christians on both sides of the aisle that teach that men need women to help them be what God intended them to be.   But most of these Christians do so from the false premise that woman by nature is spiritually and morally stronger than man and they in essence teach that men need their wives to act as a mother figure to them to help them to fully image God as a husband and father.

Christian Feminists and Egalitarians on the left make no secret of their belief that men need women to keep them in line. They have no problem with women usurping authority over their husbands wherever a woman feels her husband is wrong.

But there are many Christian groups which on the surface seem to oppose women usurping authority over men but then they encourage feminine usurping through the back door.  Focus on the Family is a good example of this.  In one statement they will say they believe in male headship and that women should submit to their husbands.   But then they completely undermine Biblical patriarchy by teaching women they may usurp authority over their husbands by “placing boundaries” on their husbands.  Women placing boundaries on their husbands is just another way of saying women can correct and discipline their husbands as a mother would correct and discipline her son.

In a way the teachings of groups like Focus on the Family, that supposedly support Biblical male headship yet subtly undermine it, are more dangerous than that of Christian feminist groups because they are mixing their heresy with some truths from God’s Word.

So how should a woman help her husband?

From a Biblical perspective a woman helps a man image God not by being his mother and teacher but instead by giving her husband the respect she gave her own father and seeing her husband as her teacher. Only when a woman rids herself of all pride realizing that every part of her God given physical and mental design was meant to serve and bless her husband can she help him image God.

It is when a woman expresses her respect for her husband, her need for his leadership and guidance and when she fully submits her mind and body to his will making herself one with him in this way that she fully helps him to image God.

Woman was made in man’s image to bring him glory and by doing so she brings God glory. God made woman the “weaker vessel” (I Peter 3:7) so that she would need man as mankind needs God. Woman was made from man (I Corinthians 11:8) so that she would share in common with man a human nature.  In their common human traits men and women both reflect the nature of God but woman’s nature deviates from God’s nature in her distinctively feminine traits. Every attribute of a woman’s feminine nature was given to her not as a reflection of God’s image, but rather as a way to help man fully reflect God’s image by being an object upon which man can fully play out his role as the image bearer of God.

Biblical Gender Principle #3 – Only through marriage can man and woman fully live out their design

Men and Women are given a natural pull and complementary needs toward one another so that they will play out the roles given them by God.  This is why I Corinthians 11:11 tells us “Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.” – meaning that God made men and women interdependent on one another. Many liberal Christians and those who reject Biblical principles will not have a problem with this third principle.  They like that men and women need each other.  It sounds nice.  But what they don’t like is WHY the Bible teaches here that men and women need each other.

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

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

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

30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” – Ephesians 5:22-33 (KJV)

It is “for this cause” (vs 31), the cause of fully playing out the roles that God has given to men and women that we enter into marriage.  Ephesians 5 shows us that God made man the image bearer and woman for man to play out his role as the image bearer in marriage. In God’s divine institution of marriage man plays the role of God and woman plays the role of mankind.

Men “need” women as objects upon which to play out their God given image traits. On the other hand – every need of the God given feminine nature (before the corruption of Eden) is given to a woman to help man play out his God given attributes.

In other words the reason God gave women a desire to be beautiful was not for themselves but it was because men desire beauty.  Women were not given sexual desire for themselves, or the ability to derive sexual pleasure for themselves.  They were given sexual desire and the ability to experience sexual pleasure to please their husbands for whom they were made. A woman was not given the desire to bear and nurture children for herself, but rather she was given these desires to please her husband and help him fully play out his God given image as both husband and father.

In summary regarding this third principle – there are some things God has given us to do that we cannot do without cooperation with someone else. It is only through God’s divine institution of marriage that men and women can fully play out the design for their genders.  Man cannot fully image God without becoming a husband and father and woman cannot fully live out her role as the being created specifically for man without finding a man to serve as his wife and mother to his children.

Biblical Gender Principle #4 – Celibacy is God’s exception to his design for two genders

In the rare case of celibacy, God allows in his sovereignty for some men and women not to fully play out the roles he designed for each gender.

God’s rule – “Be fruitful, and multiply” (Genesis 1:28) is that man plays out his image and that woman is the object upon which man plays out his image.  His exception to this rule is that he has given some the “gift” of celibacy (I Corinthians 7:7) so he does not put in them the independency upon the opposite sex referenced in I Corinthians 11:11. This gift is given for service to God.  But we must remember this is the exception to God’s design and not the norm of his design for man and woman.

Conclusion

Unfortunately our American ancestors have returned us to the original sins committed by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Eve sought an equality that was not hers to have and Adam abdicated his responsibility to rule over his wife and followed her sinful request. But like young King Josiah – we too can return to God’s ways if we return to the teachings of “the book” – the Word of God.  It starts with us as men and women as individuals returning to God’s Word and then with husbands teaching their wives and fathers teaching their children.  When our families are rebuilt on the Word of God then we can take back our Churches for God and eventually our nation for God.

Update 6/10/2017:

I made a minor change in my text to reflect the earth is 6000 years old by Biblical chronology, not 7000 as I originally put.

See this excellent article on the subject of the age of the earth:

https://answersingenesis.org/age-of-the-earth/how-old-is-the-earth/

Does a Christian wife have to submit to a sinful request from her husband?

Should a Christian wife have to participate in a threesome or abort her child because her husband tells her to? Some Christians teach that women should submit to any and all requests their husbands make even if they believe that in doing so they would be directly sinning against God. Other Christians believe that if a husband is not living a righteous and holy life he has no authority over his wife at all regardless of whatever requests he asks of her.

How should a Christian wife handle such situations?

The Two Extremes on Submission

When it comes to the submission of wives to unrighteous husbands there are extremes on both the left and the right side of this issue.

On the left we have Christians who believe women only have to submit to husbands that are righteous and treat them right (as they see right).

This comment I recently received from a Christian woman illustrates the left position on wives submission to their husbands:

“In your blog you speak a lot about women submitting to the authority of her husband. Even when her husband is sinning (i.e.denying her sex, which you admit is her right to have) she must still submit to him. She cannot do as men and deny him dates, gifts, etc. Here you say a husband should show love toward his wife and can please his wife, but he must please God above her. I agree with that. However, isn’t a woman’s duty to please God before her husband also? If he isn’t treating her as a Christian husband should, should she follow an unrighteous man?

Authority is given from God, if we do not follow God we lose the power that comes with that authority. Therefore, his authority becomes useless. Would a sinful man have her well-being in mind? I would think not. I agree a man is the leader of the home, but I also believe a woman is only obligated to submit to her husband’s righteous desires the same as a man should only please a woman when her desires are righteous.”

There are so many things wrong with this statement it is hard to know where to begin.

I have never stated that a wife has to stay with her husband if he sexually denies her.  I have shown from the Bible that a Christian wife may divorce her husband for these 4 reasons:

If he fails to provide her with food and clothing (shelter is implied with clothing).

If he refuses to have regular sexual relations with her (sexual defraudment).

If he physically abuses her or makes attempts on her life.

If he abandons her.

For a detailed discussion on each of these four items please see my article “For what reasons does God allow divorce?

However this woman is not looking for serious reasons she may divorce her husband.  She is looking for reasons that she does not have to submit to him. These grave sins I have described are not reasons for a wife to stop submitting to her husband’s authority – they are reasons to end the marriage so he is no longer her husband. If the woman chooses to stay even if he is chronically sexually denying her, physically abusing her or refusing to work then she must continue to submit to him.  As long as he is her husband she must submit to him.

So if a woman were to come to me and tell me “I am not divorcing my husband for refusing to work and playing Xbox 7 days a week while he sends me out to work.  But I won’t submit to him either.” –  I would tell that woman she is wrong.  She has two choices – submit to her husband or end the marriage so he is no longer her husband.  Those are her only two choices.

A wife does not submit to her husband because he is “treating her as a Christian husband should” or because he has “her well-being in mind”. She submits to her husband because God has commanded it.  A husband, Christian or non-Christian, does not lose his authority over his wife if he does not follow God’s Word.

This woman and a whole host of Christians today ignore this passage from Peter on the subject of submission of wives to unrighteous husbands:

“3 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.”

I Peter 3:1-2 (NASB)

This passage makes it crystal clear – wives are to submit to sinful and disobedient husbands.  Whether your husband is a Christian, a non-Christian or a professed Christian who is living in disobedience if you are his Christian wife you are to submit to him despite his sinful behavior.

This attitude toward submission is by far the biggest problem today with Christian’s attitudes toward marriage.

But there is another extreme – the far right extreme.   And while this far right extreme may be a small minority and some think it is not worthy of our time even to address their false teaching – as Christians we must also stand for the truth and stand against false teaching.

It does not matter if many people are teaching a false doctrine or just small groups are teaching it – false teaching is false teaching and it must be exposed.

Should we not talk about exceptions to submission?

Some of the people on the far right of on this topic of Biblical submission believe we should not talk about exceptions to submission.  This is demonstrated in recent comments by the blogger Deep Strength:

“You’re falling prey to the same trap that women do. It’s an obvious diversion! You don’t answer the question to an obvious diversion or if you do then you have to tie it back to righteous attitude and actions.

Good answers to a question like “But what if my husband commands me to sin?” are:

  1. “lf that ever happens, feel free to call me at any time and we’ll look through the Scriptures to discuss it. Now, as I was saying about submission…”
  2. “When’s the last time you heard a husband command his wife, much less to sin? Now, as I was saying about submission…”
  3. “You should find where it says it is a sin in the Scripture. Then you come to him with a respectful and submissive attitude and say: ‘Hey, I think this may be against what God says in the Scripture here and my conscience. Is there anything else I can do instead to make it up to you? Now, as I was saying about submission…”

The point is to stay on topic because the desire to divert a topic away from uncomfortable Truths is one of the strongest temptations that women have which is the desire to be rebellious. Submission is righteous and holy. Discussing it is good, and diversions away from it are to play right into temptation.”

Deep Strength argues that it is a “diversion” and a “temptation” to even discuss exceptions to a wife’s submission to her husband.  He acts like it is so rare and unfathomable that a husband would ask his wife to sin.   Does he forget how many Christian women are married to unbelieving husbands? Husbands that might ask their wives to do drugs? Husbands that might as their wives to have sex with their friends or participate in a threesome? Yes these things happen.

And yes even professing Christian husbands may ask their wives to do sinful things.  Just because it is rare does not mean it does not happen.

I really don’t see the fear these men have of discussing exceptions to submission.  Since when is the truth a “distraction” or “temptation”?

It is actually very easy to address these exemptions and then continue on in the topic of submission. We don’t ever have to be afraid of the truth as Christians.

Now are there Christian bloggers who add to the exemptions to submission like the way the female commenter did above? Yes and they do it all the time.  But just because people add to God’s Word does not mean we can take away from it.

We are to teach the whole counsel of God.  We are not to go to the left or the right:

“Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.”

Proverbs 4:27 (KJV)

People on the left and right extremes of submission both have something in common.  They both dismiss those passages they don’t like and they both add things to the text that are not there.  But we are not to take away from God’s Word or to add to it – but instead we are to follow the entire Word of God:

“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)

So truth about the submission of wives to their husbands is very simple. A wife is to submit to her husband in all areas of her life and everything he wishes her to do or not do as long as he does not ask her to sin against God. Even if he asks her to sin against God she should respectfully refuse his request but this does not mean she stops submitting in every other way. Even if her husband is living a sinful life either as a Christian or non-Christian she must submit to him.  She is not responsible for his sin, she is only responsible for hers.

But this then brings us to the final part of submission to sinful requests by husbands to their wives.

Is a wife responsible for doing something sinful if her husband commands her to do it?

This statement was made by the blogger Moose Norseman in his post “For clarity’s sake

But perhaps the last one tells the most. Do these blogs and ministries teach young women to be obedient to their husbands, or do they teach things like this:

“Submission does not mean that the men in authority, whether in the church or in the home, are always right. They aren’t. They’re sometimes and often wrong. They sin, as do we. Submission does not mean blind obedience. It does not mean that we sin in order to submit. It doesn’t mean that you overlook sin in the authority. “(emphasis in original)

And this:

Now, what if he asks her to participate in a threesome, abort her baby, or help him commit robbery by stealing from a bank? Should she submit in these instances? NO!

A reminder about headship and covering: The one that is covered bears no iniquity. It is the authority that bears the iniquity.

Moose first presents a false dichotomy – If a Christian teacher teaches that there are any exceptions to God’s command that wives are to submit to their husbands then the person is said to be negating the entire Biblical teaching of the submission of wives to their husbands.

So according to Moose – a Christian wife should participate in a threesome, abort her baby, help her husband commit a robbery and do anything else her husband requests of her even if she believes that action would be a sin against God.  If she does God will not hold her accountable – in fact he honors her for participating in acts she believes are sinful if her husband asks her to do it.

This teaching by Moose Norseman is not just simply absurd – it is the very definition of heresy.  Any teaching that tells someone it is ok to sin against God is heresy.

As believers we will often disagree on Bible interpretations and what is and what is not sin.  But to acknowledge that something is a sinful activity and then say God is ok with us doing that sinful activity under certain circumstances is the height of heresy.

The Apostle Peter made this point abundantly clear:

“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

Acts 5:29 (KJV)

Moose bases his heresy on a passage from the book of Numbers which is linked from the phrase “the authority that bears the iniquity.”

“13 Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void.

14 But if her husband altogether hold his peace at her from day to day; then he establisheth all her vows, or all her bonds, which are upon her: he confirmeth them, because he held his peace at her in the day that he heard them.

15 But if he shall any ways make them void after that he hath heard them; then he shall bear her iniquity.

16 These are the statutes, which the Lord commanded Moses, between a man and his wife, between the father and his daughter, being yet in her youth in her father’s house.”

–  Numbers 30:13-16 (KJV)

The key verse Moose is pointing to is verse 15 of Numbers chapter 30:

“But if he shall any ways make them void after that he hath heard them; then he shall bear her iniquity.

This is a great passage of Scripture that I have spoken about several times on my blog. I do not disagree that this passage demonstrates the headship of man over the women in his family whether it be his wife or his daughters.

But what it does NOT show is that a husband can ask his wife to directly participate in an activity that she believes is a violation of God’s law and that God would honor her for obeying his sinful command and participating in these kinds of sin.

In this case with her broken vow the husband by not overriding the vow his wife has made when she made it has taken on the penalty for her not fulfilling that vow if he stops her from doing it.  If he tells her he has changed his mind and does not want her to fulfill the vow she made then he bears what would have been her sin.  It is his sin now since he approved her vow.

A simpler way to say this is – when a woman makes a vow to do something in her husband’s presence and he either remains silent or actively agrees with her vow then as her husband he takes on the responsibility and the penalty if he stops her from fulfilling that vow.

Conclusion

God’s Word teaches us two important principles as it relates to the submission of wives to their husbands. God tells wives to submit to their husbands in “everything” (Ephesians 5:24) but the Apostles when told to disobey God said that “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).  So when we take the whole counsel of God on the matter of submission we see that wives are to obey their husbands in all things unless their husband directly tells them to do something that would violate God’s law.

It really is that simple.

Christians on the left of Biblical submission want to find every way they can out of submission so they abuse the principle that “We ought to obey God rather than men” by saying things like if your husband chooses a church you disagree with you don’t have to follow him there which is utterly false. But then on the far right of Biblical submission we have those like Moose who claim that there are no exceptions for wives submitting to their husbands and even if their husband asks them to participate in a threesome or kill their child they must do these things.

The people of God must avoid all extremes.  We must instead walk the straight path – following the whole counsel of God and not veer either to the left or the right.

Why “Marital reboots” are necessary for healthy marriages

Any successful Christian marriage is going to require “reboots” from time to time. Troubled marriages are often the marriages that suffer from a lack of regular reboots or if they do reboots they do them in an unhealthy manner.

An example of “reboots” in the computer world

A “reboot” in the computer world is when a computer is completely shut down and then restarted.  From a technical perspective when a computer reboots everything in the RAM (Random Access Memory) is cleared out and then when the computer restarts the RAM is repopulated by reloading the operating system and other applications from the hard drive back into the RAM.

I work in the IT industry as a developer and sometimes as a system administrator (I wear many hats). In our industry we know that regular reboots of computers are essential to the health and performance of a computer and that is why we actually schedule them on a regular basis.

Sometimes a computer may have processes “hang” in between reboot cycles so we may have to do “off schedule” reboots.

All healthy marriages need reboots

In the same way that computers regularly need reboots so too our marriages often need reboots. Just like a computer our marriages can sometimes get to a point where they “hang” and do not properly work.

6 Examples of everyday situations that require marital reboots

  1. The husband has a bad day at work or a hard time fighting traffic and he comes home and speaks sternly to his wife not because of anything she has done but really because of his own bad mood.
  2. The husband has a fine day at work but his wife has had a stressful day with the kids and rips his head off the minute he comes in the door.
  3. A husband has to correct his wife’s sinful behavior and she does not take it well and storms off.
  4. A wife shares a grievance she has with her husband and he does not take it well and storms off or he cuts her off and ends the discussion abruptly.
  5. A husband goes to initiate sex with his wife and she turns him down even if for a legitimate reasons.
  6. A wife tries to talk with her husband and he tells her he is busy with something else at the time and can’t talk.

There are many more examples that could be given but I think these examples give us an idea of situations in marriage that may require marriage reboots.

The reason for reboots

The reason for a reboot is to restore full functionality to a computer and in the same way marital reboots are needed to restore full functionality to a marriage. Just as a computer is designed to function in certain ways God designed marriage to function in specific ways.  When these functions are performed properly then Christian marriage rightly resembles the relationship between God and his people, but when any of these functions are lacking then our marriages are not functioning as God designed them to and we cease to properly model the relationship between God and his people.

These are key “functions” that God expects from every marriage:

  1. The wife is to submit unto her husband as unto God in everything (Ephesians 5:22-24)
  2. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church and sacrifice himself in many ways to help make his wife holy (Ephesians 5:25-27)
  3. The wife is to reverence her husband (Ephesians 5:33)
  4. The husband is to love his wife as he loves his own body and protect her and provide for her as he would his own body (Ephesians 5:28-29)
  5. The husband and wife have a duty to come together as “one flesh” in the act of sexual relations (I Corinthians 7:3-5)
  6. The wife has a right to bring grievances and concerns before her husband in a kind and respectful manner. (Job 31:13-15)
  7. The husband has the right and responsibility to discipline his wife in an attempt to make her holy (Ephesians 5:25-27 & Revelation 3:19)
  8. The husband has a responsibility to live with his wife according to knowledge and this means he must talk with her and spend time with her so he can know her (I Peter 3:7)

The costs of not rebooting a marriage

When we do not reboot our marriages after experiencing any kind of friction or when we have delayed fulfilling our marital duty to our spouse that can break the fellowship and harmony between a husband and wife that God intends there to be in all marriages.

In the same way that a computer lags, slows down or freezes when it is in need of a reboot this is what happens when we delay reboots in our marriages.  Both verbal and physical communication between a husband and wife suffer as a result. Some marriages go on like this for weeks, months, years and sometimes even decades!

Imagine that you never rebooted your computer at home for a year? In most cases that computer would not be operating in a healthy manner as it was intended to. But too often we allow our marriages to go on for great lengths of time without the reboots that are needed to restore the fellowship and harmony in a marriage.

The cost of rebooting improperly

A computer does not just need to be rebooted regularly, but it also needs to be rebooted in the right way. Rebooting your computer improperly over a long length of time will cause even more problems that not rebooting the computer.

If you just abruptly turn off a computer by unplugging the back of it you may cause corruptions to the hard drive of the computer. You may also cause problems to other components of the computer doing this. Instead you need to properly reboot your computer by shutting it down through the computer interface in an orderly manner.

In the same way some couples improperly reboot their marriages.  There are two primary ways that couples improperly reboot their marriages:

  1. The silent treatment – This where either one or both spouses are upset or angry at the other and communication ceases for a period. Then after several hours or even days of this silence they just start talking again like nothing happened.
  2. End of discussion – This is where one of the spouses gives the “end of discussion” flag and refuses to discuss the situation any further but normal communications continue afterward without any period of silence between the couple.

Obviously the silent treatment is not good for any marriage but I want to discuss the “End of discussion” reboot method. There are some times especially as husbands with our wives or as parents to our children that we may have to throw an “End of discussion” flag out there. Anyone who has a teenager has had to use this flag in a conversation many times.

Husbands though are often afraid to use this with their wives but I think there are sometimes where a wife will continue going on and on and men have to use this “End of discussion” flag with their wife.  I saw with my parents as well as many other couples when a wife would continue arguing with her husband especially in front of people and husbands have to throw out that “End of discussion” flag to their wives.

But as husbands we need to careful to not over use the “End of discussion” flag as a way not to ever hear grievances from our wives or even our children. But we must convey to our wives and children that grievances need to be made in a respectful way and in the right setting.

The wife’s use of the “End of discussion” flag with her husband is a little more problematic. Imagine if your teen abruptly stopped you as you were telling them something you did not like that they did and they tried to use the “End of discussion” flag with you.  Most parents would have no part of that.  In the same way I don’t see a way where God allows a wife to cut her husband off when he is discussing a problem he has with something she has done.

However, there is nothing wrong with a wife saying “lets agree to disagree” as a husband cannot control his wife’s beliefs or feelings on an issue. He can and should though attempt to control and mold her actions through proper discipline. What that means is a husband and wife may disagree on whether something was right or wrong that happened in the past.  They may disagree on what to do about something going forward.

But here is the key – the wife even though she may still disagree with her husband about what to do going forward must submit to his way unless he is asking her to directly sin against God.

6 Ways to properly reboot your marriage

Now that we have discussed the need to reboot our marriages and the wrong way to do reboots we will now discuss the RIGHT way to reboot you marriage in these common situations.

  1. If you as a husband had a bad day at work and you come home and yell at your wife you need to reboot your marriage by going to your wife and apologizing to her.
  2. If you as the wife had a bad day at home and you rip your husbands head off you need to reboot your marriage by going to your husband and apologizing to him.
  3. If you as a husband realize that you just cut your wife off with an “End of discussion” while she was trying to share a grievance she had with you (and this was not something you have previously discussed where she is nagging about the same thing over and over) you need to reboot your marriage by going to her and apologizing and then let her express her concern or grievance.
  4. If you as a wife had a strong disagreement with your husband and walked off in an angry manner you need to reboot your marriage by going to your husband and apologizing.  If you still have an honest disagreement with him tell him that even though you still disagree you WILL continue to follow his leadership and you will NOT continue to badger him about your disagreement over the issue.
  5. If you as a husband turned your wife away when she needed to talk you need to reboot your marriage by coming to her as soon as you can and asking her what she needed to talk about.
  6. If you as a wife turned down your husband for sex for wrong reasons you need to reboot your marriage by apologizing to him and then you need to initiate sex with him. Even if you turn you husband down for sex for legitimate reasons you still need to reboot the marriage by initiating sex with him as soon as you can.

What all six of these methods have in common is they require us as husbands and wives to truly examine ourselves and compare our actions with God’s Word and his model for marriage. When a husband and wife have broken fellowship their marriage is not operating as God intended it to.

The importance of sexual reboots

While all six points I just mentioned where reboots are needed are important if we had to rank them Biblically speaking the “sexual reboot” is the most important. Some people might say “well you are just saying that because you are a man” but that could not be further from the truth.

God warns men in I Peter 3:7 about not knowing their wives (talking to them and spending time with them) telling men that God will not hear their prayers if they ignore their wives in this area.  But if we look at I Corinthians it seems to convey a great sense of urgency of not allowing a lot of time to go between times of sexual intimacy:

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

Ladies remember – God calls marriage a “one flesh” relationship and at the heart of this one flesh relationship should be regular sexual relations.

Also a lot of women wrongly think if they gently and kindly give their husbands a rain check that he should just come back and ask for sex again at another point.

But what women fail to realize is that initiating sex for most men puts them in a very vulnerable position.   When a man initiates sex with his wife it is the equivalent of an animal rolling on its back and showing its soft underbelly. So when a woman turns her husband down when he is in this vulnerable state even for legitimate reasons it really sets some men back.  They need to know that it is ok to make themselves vulnerable in this way once again.

Men need to be able to trust that when they initiate sex and make themselves vulnerable that their wives will not turn them away.  Each time a woman denies or even delays her husband that trust from her husband is weakened.  This is why it is so important for a woman to restore her husband’s trust that she will meet his sexual needs by initiating sex with him as soon as possible after giving him a rain check.

Also a reminder on sexual rainchecks – some women give rain checks far too easily when they could meet their husband’s sexual needs in other ways.  So what that means practically speaking for you Christian ladies is if your vagina is “out of service” due to medical reasons (pregnancy, periods, infections) God gave you other ways to help you husband.  This should make sexual rain checks extremely rare in one’s marriage.

Some marriages require a “reinstall” rather than just a “reboot”

Sometimes an operating system on a computer is simply defective or corrupted. Anybody remember Windows Vista? Ok for those of you who are not in the computer world Windows Vista was probably the worst version of Windows Microsoft ever had and they quickly had to scrap it and move to Windows 7 shortly thereafter.

In the same way with marriages some marriages have a faulty operating system.  For example a man and woman might have married as unbelievers so they went into marriage using the egalitarian “operating system”.  Other Christians may simply have had a corrupt or substandard form of complentarian marriage.  In either case sometimes a Christian couple when they truly want to honor God with their marriage may have to do a “reinstall” of their entire marriage operating system.

I have received several emails over the past two years from couples that have told me they had to do just that – a reinstall. It takes work from both sides.  It is difficult for men who have never lead their homes to suddenly lead and it is difficult for women who have never submitted to their husbands to suddenly submit.  But I thank God every time I receive an email from Christian couples who have decided to take this “reinstall” approach to make their marriage be what God intended it to be.

Conclusion

Well after reading this article you may have come away with two good things – how to keep your computer healthy and how to keep your marriage healthy.

But in all seriousness – we as believers in Christ need to examine ourselves daily and constantly be looking to see if we as the husband or the wife need to reboot our marriage. It requires humility and obedience to God in order to do this.

7 ways to let your wife manage your home

Portrait of pretty female cooking salad with her husband near by

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

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

God has established the headship of man over woman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7 Ways to let your wife manage your home

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

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

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

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

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

What does a successful Christian marriage look like?

Roofer Working On Exterior Of New Home

What does a successful Christian marriage look like?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So what does God consider to be a Successful marriage?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Secondary purposes for marriage

A companion and helper for man

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

Genesis 2:18

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

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

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

A lover for man

“encourage the young women to love their husbands”

Titus 2:4

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

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

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

I Timothy 5:14

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

Woman – a person to be loved and cared for

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

I Peter 3:7(KJV)

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

But what about romance and friendship in marriage?

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

 

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