Are Feelings A Better Basis For Relationships Than The Bible?

This video is the first part of a larger series I will be doing responding to this video by Rachel Oats:

In the video above Rachel Oates is taking on my recent article “Why God Wants You To Stay In An Abusive Relationship” from her atheist and secular humanist perspective.  She has a lot of statements that I want to address from a Christian perspective.

My goal in responding to her is to equip Bible believing Christians with answers to the assertions she makes as well as plant questions in the minds of non-Christians viewing this.

Also you can find the mp3 audio version of my video response in my audio section here.

Why God Wants You to STAY in an Abusive Relationship

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I Peter 2:13-14 (KJV)

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

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

Mark 12:17 (KJV)

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

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

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

Romans 13:4 (KJV)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hebrews 13:17 (KJV)

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

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

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

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

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (KJV)

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

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

Ephesians 5:22 (KJV)

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

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

The Scriptures tell us this regarding God’s law:

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

Deuteronomy 4:2 (KJV)

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

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

Mark 7:13 (KJV)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why God Wants You to Stay in an Abusive Relationship

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I Peter 2:18-24 (KJV)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Job 31:13-15 (KJV)

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

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

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

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

Should Authorities Allow Abuse From Their Subordinates?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

14 “What If” Questions About Marriage

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

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

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

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

What if my spouse has some type of addiction?

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

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

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

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

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

What if my husband is a workaholic?

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

What if my wife always gives me grudgingly given sex?

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

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

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

Romans 5:3-4 (KJV)

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

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

Is It Wrong to Feel Hurt Because of Abuse?

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

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

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

Luke 22:41-44 (KJV)

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why the Bible Allows Forced Sex in Marriage

Is forced sex in marriage wrong? If you are like most American Christians your gut answer would be YES! Of course, the Bible says it is wrong! Up until very recently I used to think the answer was YES as well. But as God began to peel back my American cultural presuppositions I realized the answer might be something other than what I was comfortable with.

In my last article entitled “It is Not a Woman’s Consent That Matters, It is God’s”, I proved from the Scriptures that God does not allow a woman to say YES to sexual relations to a man she is not married to and he does not allow her to say NO to sexual relations to her husband whom she is married to.

But this raises another question for those Christians who accept that the Bible calls it sin for a woman to sexually refuse her husband. What if a woman does refuse her husband? Can the husband under God’s law physically force himself upon his wife who sinfully resists him?

Here are some answers I have given on this blog in the past. In one of the most popular articles on this blog entitled “8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal” I wrote this:

“I have not, nor would I EVER advocate for a husband to force himself physically upon his wife or to physically abuse her in any fashion. The issue being discussed is how a husband can confront a wife who chronically or willfully denies his sexual rights in marriage without just cause (be it legitimate health or mental conditions). He has the right, both under Biblical law, as well as under American law, to reason with his with his wife and try to convince her to willingly(even if grudgingly) yield herself to him, and thereby fulfilling one her most important duties in Christian marriage.”

And in my article entitled “The Rape Straw Man” I stated:

“Biblically speaking, there is no such thing as “marital rape” – HOWEVER, there is such a thing as physical abuse. While the Bible does not speak specifically to this case of a man forcing himself on his wife, I believe it is a case of physical abuse.

So what others call rape, I call abuse. In the same way that when someone is wrongfully killed it might be first degree murder, second degree murder or man slaughter what we call “physical abuse” and what we call “rape” is dependent on the relationship between the man and woman in question. There is no doubt a wrong has been committed. But what we call it, and how it is punished or dealt with is very different depending on the circumstances.”

My Change in Position on Forced Sex in Marriage

The emergence of the MeToo movement lead me to restudy and reconsider my understanding of what the Bible says about sexual consent. I have been pouring over the Scriptures for the last couple of months really asking God to reveal to me any presuppositions or cultural biases I might have on this subject and I have written many articles related to sexual conduct from a Biblical perspective recently. My last article “It is Not a Woman’s Consent That Matters, It is God’s”, not only traced the wicked origins of modern American sexual consent ideology but more importantly it laid the foundation for a Biblical view of when God consents to a man and woman entering into sexual relations.

Because of what God revealed to me through his Word in that study as of today I am officially changing my position on the issue of forced sex within marriage. My new position is as follows:

Forced sex within marriage by a husband toward his wife is not in and of itself a sin but it can be a sin under certain circumstances. The “Markland Letter” case which I addressed in my article “It is Not a Woman’s Consent That Matters, It is God’s” where the man forced sex on his wife after surgery would be an example of a husband sinfully forcing himself on his wife.

Now a lot of Christians at this point are shutting me down. But I want to encourage you and challenge the view you have been raised with in our culture with what God’s Word actually says on this very controversial subject.

Is All Forced Sex in Marriage Domestic Abuse and Sexual Abuse?

In their article entitled “What does the Bible say about spousal/marital rape?” GotQuestions.org states:

“Spousal or marital rape is a form of domestic violence and sexual abuse. In spousal rape, sex is forced on one spouse by the other. While the Bible does not specifically deal with spousal rape, it has plenty to say about the husband-wife relationship and its representation of Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:32)…

and God never condones rape.”

I want to quickly address the terminology I am using here. I am using the phrase “forced sex” and gotquestions.org is using “marital rape” or just “rape”. The reason I am using the term “forced sex” instead of “rape” is because the term rape in our language and culture not only denotes an action taken, but it also implies a moral condemnation of that action. Calling “forced sex” rape in our language and culture would be like referring to every instance of killing as murder. I am going to speak more to the term “rape” later on in this article.

Biblically speaking all instances of forced sex are not considered rape any more than all instances of killing are considered murder. It is the context which determines if a particular instance of forced sex is rape just as it is the context which determines if a particular killing is murder. The only forced sex the Bible ever condemns is forced sex OUTSIDE of marriage. The Bible actually addresses forced marriage and as a result of marriage forced sex in the book of Deuteronomy.

God Condoned Forced Sex in Marriage

God granted the right of men to take women as one of the many spoils of war as long as they were not one of seven forbidden nations in which everyone was to be killed:

“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)

In the next chapter God details the process by which men could take women as spoils of war:

“10 When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the Lord thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, 11 And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife;

12 Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house, and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

13 And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife.

14 And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her.”

Deuteronomy 21:10-14 (KJV)

So in summary God allowed men to take by force women as captives of war. However, unlike the nations around them – they were not allowed to have forced sex right there on the battlefield with their captive women. Instead God had a higher standard. God made the Israelite men wait one month to allow the woman to mourn the death of her loved ones.

Even after the month – the man had to take her as his wife, not simply his sex slave as other nations also did. God commands them “thou shalt go in unto her” which is a euphemism for sex in the Bible. Now some might say “Well that does not say forced sex, it just says sex” and that is absolutely true. A man “going in unto a woman” does not denote whether it was forced or not. However there is a key phrase at the end of this passage that DOES indicate forced sex: “because thou hast humbled her”.

God’s Definition of Rape

There are many euphemisms for sex in the Bible. Men “knew” their wives, they “lay” with their wives and as we can see here they “went in unto” their wives. However there is another euphemism for sex in the Bible that specifically denotes “forced sex” and that is the “humbling” of a woman by a man.

This same phrase is used when speaking of actions the Bible actually considers to be rape (as opposed to our modern understanding that all forced sex is rape):

“23 If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; 24 Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour’s wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you. 25 But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die.

26 But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter:

27 For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her. 28 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;

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

Deuteronomy 22:23-29 (KJV)

In the above passage from Deuteronomy chapter 22 we find God’s definition of rape as opposed to our modern definition of rape. What does God call rape? Does he say it is simply when a man humbles (has forced sex) with a woman? The answer is NO. Instead we find that rape in God’s eyes is when a man has forced sex with a woman who is he not married to. The Bible covers both a betrothed (or married) woman and also virgin woman. In a follow-up article to this one I will be specifically addressing God’s command that a rapist had to marry the woman he raped.

My point in showing Deuteronomy 22:23-29 is twofold. First it gives God’s definition of rape which is the when a man has forced sex with a woman who is not his wife. Secondly in the context of the rape discussion God uses the term “humbled” to denote forced sex.

This English word “humbled” in these passages is a translation of the Hebrew word “anah” which means to “afflict”, “humble” or “force” in most instances.

Anah is used in reference to two famous rape stories in the Bible. The first is regarding the rape of Dinah, the daughter of Leah and wife of Jacob:

“1 And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. 2 And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled [anah] her.”

Genesis 34:1-2(KJV)

The second is the rape of Tamar by her half-brother Amnon:

“Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced [anah] her, and lay with her.”

2 Samuel 13:14 (KJV)

And again why was the ‘anah’ or humbling and forced sex of these women considered to be true rape and thus immoral? Because they broke God’s law in Deuteronomy 22:23-29 that condemned a man having forced sex with a woman that was not his wife.

The Humbling of a Woman in Marriage

And a final note on Deuteronomy 21:10-14 and the humbling of the captive woman who was taken by the divine allowance of God. Some have tried to say this humbling had to do strictly with the woman shaving her head. What these same people do not realize is that it was common in ancient Middle Eastern cultures for both men and women to either pull out their hair or shave their heads when horrible tragedies struck. I believe the loss of one’s entire family would qualify in this case.

Also saying that the humbling of the woman by the man does not refer to forced sex takes a very naïve approach to the situation. Can anyone with a straight face say they think most captive women after only one month would want to willingly and consensually have sex with the man who may have killed their family or at least was part of the army that did? The reality is we all know in this situation that in the vast majority of cases even after one month the man would be having forced sex with his new bride. That is just reality.

So we can as Bible believing Christians rightly say based on Deuteronomy 22:23-29 that God never condones rape which HE defines as a man having forced sex with a woman he is not married to. But we can equally say that God does in fact condone forced sex in marriage based on Deuteronomy 21:10-14.

Biblical Sex is Not Just about Giving, But Also about Taking

In their article entitled “What does the Bible say about spousal/marital rape?” GotQuestions.org states:

“Some people believe that a wife must be agreeable to sexual relations with her husband at any time and that she has no say in the matter. They often misuse 1 Corinthians 7:3–5 to support the erroneous view that a wife can never tell her husband that she would like to defer having sex for a time. Some men believe that the husband has a God-given right to just “take it,” in spite of his wife’s objections…

It is clear from the Bible that mutuality reigns in the bedroom. According to 1 Corinthians 7:1–5, a husband should provide sexual satisfaction to his wife, and a wife should provide sexual satisfaction to her husband. A wife does not have authority over her own body, and a husband does not have authority over his own body. They belong to each other. Does this mean that a husband can force himself on his wife anytime he so desires? Definitely not. What the passage teaches is that each spouse is to willingly, freely, lovingly submit to the other. The passage is about giving satisfaction, not demanding it. The focus is on pleasing one’s spouse. There is no selfishness involved. Forcibly taking what has not been offered is wrong and plainly against the Bible’s commands on love and marriage.”

I would not call GotQuestions.org a raging feminist site as they do speak on submission in marriage, even if at times they water it down quite a bit. However the term “mutuality” they use in this article is a favorite of Christian feminists. In fact some Christian feminists use this passage in 1 Corinthians 7:1–5 to try to cancel out all the Bible’s teachings on male headship in marriage and they say marriage is a “mutual partnership”.

I am not denying that there is not any mutuality taught in this passage as there clearly is. But it is a limited mutuality, not an all-inclusive mutuality.

The first part of this passage from I Corinthians shows that a husband and wife have a right to sexual access to one another’s bodies:

“3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.”

I Corinthians 7:3-5 (KJV)

The English word “power” here is a translation of the Greek word Exousiazo and can refer to authority or the right to do something. If we try and say here that God is saying a wife has literal authority over her husband’s body then this contradicts with the Scriptural teaching that the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church and the wife is to submit to her husband in everything as the Church is to submit to Christ in everything (Ephesians 5:23-24).

In the programming world in which I work we would call this an infinite loop. If a husband can command compel his wife to give her body to him yet she can command him not to give his body to her we can see where this ends up.

So when we take the whole of the Scriptures and especially Ephesians 5:23-24 into account we understand that the “power” of I Corinthians 7:3-5 actually refers to “the right”. A husband has the right to sexual access to this wife’s body and the wife has the right to sexual access to her husband’s body.

Are Christian Husbands Wrong for “demanding” Sex From their Wives?

GotQuestions.org claims The passage is about giving satisfaction, not demanding it. The focus is on pleasing one’s spouse and I don’t deny that this passage does reference giving one’s self to one’s spouse. When it uses the word “render” that is our duty as spouses to GIVE our bodies to our spouses for their sexual satisfaction. However it also talks about the “power” or “right” of the spouse toward their spouse’s body – this is clearly the power to TAKE or seek sexual satisfaction in one’s spouse’s body. GotQuestions.org does not like “take” to be anywhere in the conversation of sex but in this passage the giving AND taking aspects of sex as God designed it are clearly on display.

Finally as far as “demanding” sex is it is true that the wife can no more demand anything of her husband than the Church can demand something of Christ. Can she request sex from her husband as the Church can request various things of Christ? Yes. But she cannot demand anything of her husband. However, can and does Christ demand obedience from his Church in “everything” as Ephesians 5:23-24 shows? The answer is yes. Therefore since a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his Church he can demand obedience from his wife (including in the sexual arena) just as Christ demands obedience from his Church.

Do Wives Have to be “agreeable” to Sex at “at any time”?

GotQuestions.org claims that some Christians have an “erroneous view” that “that a wife must be agreeable to sexual relations with her husband at any time and that she has no say in the matter”. I would agree that I Corinthians 7:2-5 never specifically mentions sex on demand “at any time” from a wife. But there is another passage of Scripture dealing with sex in marriage that DOES:

15 Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. 16 Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets. 17 Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee. 18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee AT ALL TIMES; and be thou ravished always with her love.”

Proverbs 5:15-19 (KJV)

The Scriptures command husbands to “drink” or take pleasure from the sexual well that is their wife’s body. They are command let her breasts (symbolic of her whole body) satisfy them AT ALL TIMES or in the words of GotQuestions.org “at any time”.

Besides Proverbs 5:15-19 there is any even more powerful principle of Scripture that dictates what a wife’s response is to be to her husband in all matters:

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

Ephesians 5:24 (KJV)

So as we can see, the Bible commands that a wife should be “agreeable…at any time” to anything her husband asks her to do whether it is cleaning, cooking, paying the bills, putting children to bed and yes having sex with him. The only Biblical caveat to this would be if he asked her to do something sinful against God and then she has to obey God rather than her husband (Acts 5:29). It really is that simple.

But God never forces himself on his wife!

Some will take the relationship of Christ and his Church and claim “we never see Christ forcing his Church and therefore husbands may not force their wives”. Others will conflate salvation with marriage and say “God does not force us to come to him salvation, therefore a husband cannot force his wife to have sex with him.”

Let me address the latter claim first and then I will address the former. Two of the primary ways that God pictures our relationship to him is as a father and then as husband. Our relationship as individuals to God is pictured as that of a child to their father. Our relationship to God as a group, as the people of God, is pictured as that of a wife to her husband.

When God invites us to become his children this is presented as a choice:

“While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.”

John 12:36 (KJV)

Now of course we understand there is a consequence of that choice. If we do not choose to obey the Gospel of Christ this is what awaits those who disobey his Gospel:

“7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power”

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 (KJV)

But in the context of God’s relationship to his people as a whole he sometimes compels obedience by force. In the Old Testament the relationship of God to the nation of Israel was pictured as a marriage with God as the husband and Israel as his wife. When Israel rebelled against God just after making their marriage covenant with him the Bible tells us he humbled Israel:

“2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble[anah] thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. 3 And he humbled[anah] thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.”

Deuteronomy 8:2-3 (KJV)

Remember that in the context of the relationship of a man and woman when he humbles her this is the man forcing himself upon the woman. God forced Israel to yield to him and to learn that concept that “that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live”.

But Christ Never Forces His Church!

Some will say – “Well God’s relationship with Israel was different than his Church and Christ never forces his Church to do anything”.

Earlier I said the reason I don’t use the term rape in the context of marriage is because it is like using murder to refer to all killing. Only unlawful killing (unlawful by God’s law) is considered murder. Killing in self-defense or to save others is not wrong. Even in the case of wrongful forced sex in marriage like the Markland Letter case, such action is not rape but rather physical abuse.

But now I want us to look at the definition of rape. Here is the Webster’s 1828 dictionary definition of rape:

“In a general sense, a seizing by violence; also, a seizing and carrying away by force, as females.

In law, the carnal knowledge of a woman forcibly and against her will.

Privation; the act of seizing or taking away.”

http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/rape

Now someone reading this might say “See right there even in the old definition of rape it talks about a man taking a woman against her will!”. And that is very true. However as I explained earlier it is God who defines what rape is – not us. But I want you to zero in on the first definition where it says “a seizing and carrying away by force”.

Now let us turn to the New Testament. Before I give the next Scripture I want to set the stage a bit. In the Old Testament the marriage of God to Israel is pictured as a full consummated marriage after which Israel commits adultery with false gods and God divorces her for this.

In the New Testament the Church is pictured as a betrothed bride to Christ whose marriage has not yet been consummated:

“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

2 Corinthians 11:2 (KJV)

The “consummation” of the Church and Christ’s marriage is described in the passage below:

“16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (KJV)

The event described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 is what is known as the “rapture” of the Church.

Bible.org gives a brief background of the word “rapture”:

“Regarding the term rapture and its use in theology the following should answer your questions. It is taken from Ryrie’s Basic Theology, Electronic Media from Parsons Technology.

Our modern understanding of rapture appears to have little or no connection with the eschatological event. However, the word is properly used of that event. Rapture is a state or experience of being carried away. The English word comes from a Latin word, rapio, which means to seize or snatch in relation to an ecstasy of spirit or the actual removal from one place to another. In other words, it means to be carried away in spirit or in body. The Rapture of the church means the carrying away of the church from earth to heaven.

The Greek word from this term “rapture” is derived appears in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, translated “caught up.” The Latin translation of this verse used the word rapturo. The Greek word it translates is harpazo, which means to snatch or take away. Elsewhere it is used to describe how the Spirit caught up Philip near Gaza and brought him to Caesarea (Acts 8:39) and to describe Paul’s experience of being caught up into the third heaven (2 Cor. 12:2-4). Thus there can be no doubt that the word is used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 to indicate the actual removal of people from earth to heaven.”

https://bible.org/question/where-did-term-8216rapture%E2%80%99-come

Ryrie’s definition of harpazo actually leaves out a very important part of the definition. It is not simply to snatch, seize or take away – it is do these things “by force”

Strong’s #726: harpazo (pronounced har-pad’-zo)

from a derivative of 138; to seize (in various applications):–catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force).

https://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Lexicon.show/ID/G726/harpazo.htm

And if we look at the word origin of our English word “rape” we read:

“early 14c., “booty, prey;” mid-14c., “forceful seizure; plundering, robbery, extortion,” from Anglo-French rap, rape, and directly from Latin rapere “seize” (see rape (v.)). Meaning “act of abducting a woman or sexually violating her or both” is from early 15c., but perhaps late 13c. in Anglo-Latin.”

https://www.etymonline.com/word/rape

So now I will pull this all together for you. The Greek word which describes how Jesus Christ will take his church is harpazo which means to seize or take something or someone by force. When the Bible was translated into Latin (which Jerome finished in 405 AD) the word rapturo which was derived from the Latin word rapio (meaning to seize or snatch) was used to translate the Greek harpazo. Then in the 14th century the English word “rape” was created from the Latin to describe a man forcing a woman to have sex with him.

While English common law as well as previous laws held it was not wrong for a man to force his wife to have sex, over time the word rape came to be a derogatory term used not just of men forcing women they were not married to into sex, but also of husbands forcing their wives to have sex.

So the irony is that same word we rejoice of over – the “rapture” or seizure by force of the bride of Christ which his Church is the same word we use to condemn a husband for forcing his wife to have sex with him. Think about that. Let that settle in your brain a bit.

Is “Forced Sex” in Marriage an Oxymoron?

Now that I have proven from the Old Testament that God “humbled” or “forced” Israel to bend to his will and that Christ will actually rapture (take by force) his Bride which is the Church I want to come back to the address the following assertion from GotQuestions.org on this subject of forced sex in marriage:

“The truth is that sexual expression was designed by God to be an act of love within a marriage, and violence or coercion should never be a part of it. Forced sex is not love

When God humbled Israel would we call this anything less than an act of love on his part? The answer is we would indeed call it an act of love. Did God use violence on Israel when they disobeyed him in the dessert? You better believe he did. Did he use coercion to compel his wife to yield to his demands? You better believe he did. It is right there in the story of the marriage of God to Israel all throughout the Old Testament.

Even Christ when rebuking his Churches states:

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

Revelation 3:19 (KJV)

Therefore we can conclude based on the example of God himself as a husband that forced sex in marriage is NOT an Oxymoron.

Forced Sex Scenarios

Now I want to give some scenarios with force to try and help you understand this concept better.

Forced Sex Scenario #1

Let’ say a husband comes home from a long trip, his wife has no idea when he will arrive. He comes in through the door as she is working in the kitchen, he picks her up in his arms and takes her to their bedroom. He tears through her clothes as fast as possible and has sex with her.

Now this was definitely a matter of force – he did not ask her permission or even say a word to her. But if she complies willing with his forceful gesture most people would say there was nothing wrong in that scenario. In fact some women would even find it romantic. In fact the picture I have just painted would be similar to what the Scriptures paint as the rapture of the Church by Christ who is her husband.

However, if during his attempt at forced sex his wife resisted in anyway now our modern society is up in arms. “He has violated her consent!” we are told. But from a Biblical perspective as we have shown in this article – if the wife resists her husband in the above scenario and he continues to force her to his will who has sinned? The husband, the wife or both? Biblically speaking it is the wife who has sinned and the husband is not sinning by forcing her to yield to his lawful demand.

Now if the wife resisted the husband in this scenario – if he loves her – is that what he wanted from her? Of course not. He wanted to be able to pick up his wife in his arms and for her to willingly give herself to him no questions asked. Just as Christ wants his Church to willing embrace him at the rapture. But make no mistake – Christ is not going to take “I am not in the mood today” from his Church when he comes. He is taking his Bride by force!

Forced Sex Scenario #2

Let’s say a man takes a woman as his wife who clearly did not want to be his wife. In the Bible this could be a scenario where a father gives his daughter to a man she does not want marry or it could be a man captures a woman as a captive during war. So on their wedding day he goes to have sex with her and she resists him. So he holds her down and forces her. In Biblical terms he has justly “humbled” his wife.

Again who is the one sinning in this scenario? Is the wife who sinning by resisting or is the husband sinning by forcing himself on his wife? Or is it both? We know the Biblical answer is that it is the wife who is sin and the husband is right and just in forcing his wife to have sex with him.

And once again – do men who truly love and have affection for their wives want it to be this way? No. We as men want what God wants from his wife – willing obedience, but if obedience is not given willfully we follow God’s example with Israel and humble our wives and take it by force.

Forced Sex Scenario #3

I was asked in a recent comment on my blog what I thought of the scenario of a “husband shoving his member down his wife’s throat”. In other words a husband forcing his wife to perform oral sex on him – is that a sin?

So a husband and wife are having sex and he decides to take his member up to his wife’s head for her to perform oral sex on him. She resists and turns her head away so he takes her head and forces her to perform oral sex on him.

We have given several principles in this article that answer this question.

The I Corinthians 7:2-4 principle teaches that a wife has a duty to render her body to her husband and it also gives him the right of sexual access to her body.

The Proverbs 5:18-19 Principle says a husband is to satisfy himself (literally drink his fill) of his wife’s body AT ALL TIMES.

The Ephesians 5:24 Principle says that a wife is to submit to her husband in EVERYTHING.

The Deuteronomy 8:2-3 Principle shows us that God humbled his wife Israel and forced her learn obedience to his will.

Therefore we can conclude based on the witness of the Scriptures that it is NOT a sin for a man to force his wife to perform oral sex on him as she has a duty to render her entire body to him to fulfill God’s command to him to satisfy himself with her body at all times. She is to submit to him in everything, not just the things she feels like doing or is comfortable with.

Ladies – I know for some of you this is a hard one to swallow (pun intended) but scripturally speaking the Bible does not condemn such actions by a husband toward his wife.

But Forced Sex is Selfishness!

The selfishness card is often used to dismiss not only a man forcing himself on his wife but also a man allowing his wife to consent to sex when she really is not in the mood. The reasoning goes – “if you see your wife is not in the mood for any reason, then if you were being selfless you would give up your desire or need.” Others have even tried to argue that if sex is ever desired in anyway other than to give pleasure to the other person it is by definition selfishness.

However the Biblical definition of selfishness is not simply doing things for one’s own benefit or desire. But instead it is when a person ONLY does things for their benefit or desire and never considers the needs of others.

“Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”

Philippians 2:4 (KJV)

The key phrase there in that verse which is also in the Greek is the word “also”. This verse is not saying it is wrong to look to our own needs or desire, but that we must ALSO look to the needs and desires of others well.

And I would remind anyone who says it is selfish for a man to have sex with his wife when she is not in the mood or to force her to have sex that this is selfishness to look to Proverbs 5:15-19 which commands a man to satisfy himself with his wife’s body “at all times”.

But Doesn’t Forced Sex Violate the Husband’s Duty to Care for his Wife’s Body?

It is absolutely true that Ephesians 5:28-29 teaches men as husbands that they are to care for their needs if their wife’s body. That is why what the husband did in the Markland Letter case was wrong because he violated this principle in causing severe damage to his wife’s body after surgery by forcing himself on her.

But outside of extreme conditions where a wife has not just had surgery we have to ask ourselves does forced sex in marriage by the husband toward his wife violate the Ephesians 5:28-29 principle? The answer I think in most cases is NO.

In most cases forced sex in marriage will hurt the woman’s pride, or in Biblical terms “humble her” more than anything else.

Some might ask “What about the risk of tissue tearing, bruising or rashes and other discomforts caused by forced sex?” Is there a risk of these things occurring? Yes. But who is it that is causing this risk? Is it the husband by exercising his lawful right to compel his wife to have sex or is it the woman who is causing this risk to herself by resisting her husband’s lawful demand?

Let me give some examples to illustrate what I am saying.

If a police officer pulls you over and asks you to produce your license and registration and you refuse and you refuse to get out of the car – can he use force to make you obey his lawful order? You better believe he can. And if you resist the officer in the course of his lawful actions and in the process you smack your head on the ground or get scrapes and cuts who was it that put you at risk? Was it him or was it you by your resisting his lawful actions?

If a parent goes to spank their child and in the process of resisting the child gets bumps, bruises and tears who was it that put themselves at risk and brought these injuries on themselves?

If a police officer has a warrant to enter your home and you resist and as he enters the home by force you or your home are damaged whose fault was that?

Am I Telling Husbands to Go Home and Force Themselves on Their Wives?

The answer is No. But you might be thinking – Wait you just said spent this entire article telling us it was not a sin for a man to force himself on his wife!

As you catch your breath let me explain a simple principle regarding Biblical rights. Just because we have the right to do something, does not mean it is always wise to do something.

Paul said that he had the right to take a wife yet he chose not to exercise that right:

“5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?…15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.”

1 Corinthians 9:5 & 15 (KJV)

He goes into more detail as to why he did not exercise his right to take a wife in the passage below:

“I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.”
1 Corinthians 7:26 (KJV)

So, Paul was saying because of “the present distress”, the horrible persecution of the church, he felt it was better for a man not to exercise his God given right to take a wife.

In the same way because of the present distress of feminism and the utter hostility toward Biblical marriage I personally do not think it is always wise for a husband to force himself on his wife even though it is his right as her husband, her head and her master to force her compliance to God’s commands in this area of sexuality.

Christ admonished us to be “wise” in a world which hates the God of the Bible:

“16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.”

Matthew 10:16-19 (KJV)

Gentlemen there is more than one way to skin a cat. If you use force against your wife, it may be right and just before God – but because of the wicked society we live in you run a very high risk of going to jail for violations of domestic abuse laws or the remove of the marital rape exemption in all 50 states. All your wife has to do is make a phone call.

Instead you need to be wise as serpents as Christ admonished us to be and use other means to discipline your wife. See my article “8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal” for ideas on non-physical ways in which you can discipline your wife. These are all non-physical methods of discipline that you can never be prosecuted for (despite feminist fantasies to the contrary).

For instance, no police officer anywhere is going to arrest a husband for spending less time with his wife because she refuses to submit to him sexually. No prosecutor is going to prosecute a case where a husband refused to pay for kitchen upgrades because his wife refused to sexually submit. No jury will convict a husband of marital rape because he refused to buy his wife some jewelry she wanted because she would not sexually submit to him.

If a woman complains about these non-physical things her husband is doing to a law enforcement officer they are going to tell her “If you don’t like it get a divorce”. I have had multiple police officers and others write me since I wrote that article (“8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal”) confirming this for me.

Using non-physical methods of discipline are ways that you can communicate your displeasure with your wife’s sinful attitudes but at the same time you can shield yourself from a world that is hostile to Biblical male headship.

A Final Exhortation to Christian Wives

Christian wife this all goes back to how you view yourself in God’s design of marriage.

“13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings”

Philippians 2:13-14 (KJV)

Imagine if you actually followed Ephesians 5:22-24’s admonition to submit to your husband “as unto the Lord… in everything”. Imagine if you submitted to your husband working in your body both to will and do of his good pleasure without grumbling or resisting him?

If you were to follow this pattern with your husband then the issue of forced sex in marriage would really be a non-issue.

It is Not a Woman’s Consent That Matters, It is God’s

The Bible’s teachings on when sexual relations may occur between a man and a woman are in direct conflict with the American Sexual Consent ideology that sadly even many Christians believe in. Some Christians are simply ignorant about what the Bible says regarding when sexual relations may occur.  Other Christians actually know what the Bible says about when sexual relations may occur and they choose to ignore such passages or explain them away as being irrelevant for our society.

If you are a Christian who knows what the Bible says about when sexual relations may occur between a man and woman and choose to ignore it or explain it away this article may do little to change your mind.  I pray that you will repent – but it is in God’s hands and not mine.

But my primary focus in this article is to talk to Christians, especially young Christians, who have grown up in Churches that have abandoned the teachings of the Bible.  I hope that when you are exposed to the teachings of God’s Word regarding sexual relations between a man and a woman you will open your heart and mind to what God has to say and let it change your life.

It is interesting to watch the civil war in feminism caused by the MeToo movement play itself out in feminist circles. On one side we have feminists like Christina Cauterucci at Slate.com arguing that MeToo has made “little progress” since its inception and much more needs to be done.  But on the other side we have feminist writers like Daphne Merkin at the New York Times that admit to having “misgivings” about the MeToo movement and its impact on male female relationships and especially on things like flirting and how men and women enter into sexual relationships with one another.

Daphne Merkin makes the following statement in her article entitled “Publicly, We Say #MeToo. Privately, We Have Misgivings.”:

“What happened to women’s agency? That’s what I find myself wondering as I hear story after story of adult women who helplessly acquiesce to sexual demands. I find it especially curious given that a majority of women I know have been in situations in which men have come on to them — at work or otherwise. They have routinely said, “I’m not interested” or “Get your hands off me right now.” And they’ve taken the risk that comes with it.

The fact that such unwelcome advances persist, and often in the office, is, yes, evidence of sexism and the abusive power of the patriarchy. But I don’t believe that scattershot, life-destroying denunciations are the way to upend it. In our current climate, to be accused is to be convicted. Due process is nowhere to be found.

And what exactly are men being accused of? What is the difference between harassment and assault and “inappropriate conduct”? There is a disturbing lack of clarity about the terms being thrown around and a lack of distinction regarding what the spectrum of objectionable behavior really is. Shouldn’t sexual harassment, for instance, imply a degree of hostility? Is kissing someone in affection, however inappropriately, or showing someone a photo of a nude male torso necessarily predatory behavior?

I think this confusion reflects a deeper ambivalence about how we want and expect people to behave. Expressing sexual interest is inherently messy and, frankly, nonconsensual — one person, typically the man, bites the bullet by expressing interest in the other, typically the woman — whether it happens at work or at a bar. Some are now suggesting that come-ons need to be constricted to a repressive degree. Asking for oral consent before proceeding with a sexual advance seems both innately clumsy and retrograde, like going back to the childhood game of “Mother, May I?” We are witnessing the re-moralization of sex, not via the Judeo-Christian ethos but via a legalistic, corporate consensus.”

While Daphne Merkin raises many good points in the above article the point I wanted to zoom in on is her statement that Expressing sexual interest is inherently messy….

And why is expressing sexual interest a “messy” endeavor today? I submit to you the reason for the messiness of expressing sexual interest lies squarely at the feet of the Free Love movement in America that begin in the mid-19th century as a theory that eventually became an American cultural reality in the 1960s’.

The majority of this article will be spent showing how the whole “sexual consent” philosophy in America finds its roots in rebellion against God.  I will also show how it directly conflicts with the Biblical view of how men and women are to enter into sexual relations with one another.  At the end of this article I will show why God’s appointed way for men and women to express sexual interest in one another is not “messy” like methods of showing sexual interest are today. In fact God’s way in this regard is far less complicated.

The Roots of “Sexual Consent” ideology and the Free Love Movement in America

One of the founding fathers of Feminism as well as the Sexual Consent and Free Love ideologies in America was a man named Moses Harman (1830-1910).

William Lemore West penned an article entitled “The Moses Harman Story” for the Kansas Historical Society on Mr. Harman’s life and his accomplishments.

In that article he states of Moses Harman that he “not only denounced all forms of government and religion, but added a new dimension in reform by advocating that women be freed from sexual slavery by abolishing the institution of marriage. Harman did not develop these views until comparatively late in his life.”

West also alludes to Harman’s name change on the publication he would later gain fame for:

“The publication changed title again in 1883. Harman maintained that subscribers objected to the term “Kansas” in the paper’s title because the name was local in character. His subscribers also opposed the term “liberal” since so many newspapers and journals used the term in their titles. For these reasons he changed the publication’s title to Lucifer the Light Bearer (hereafter called Lucifer). The title was selected, stated Harman, because it expressed the paper’s mission. Lucifer, the name given the morning star by the people of the ancient world, served as the symbol of the publication and represented the ushering in of a new day. He declared that freethinkers had sought to redeem and glorify the name Lucifer while theologians cursed him as the prince of the fallen angels. Harman suggested that Lucifer would take on the role of an educator. “The god of the Bible doomed mankind to perpetual ignorance,” wrote Harman, “and [people] would never have known Good from Evil if Lucifer had not told them how to become as wise as the gods themselves.”

West shows us Harman’s defining belief in “equal freedom”:

“”Yes, I believe in Freedom — equal freedom. I want no freedom for myself that all others may not equally enjoy. Freedom that is not equal is not freedom. It is, or may easily become, invasion, and invasion is the denial or the death of freedom. The Spencerian formula — ‘Each has the right to do as he pleases so long as he does not invade the equal right of others,’ tells what freedom means. It is equivalent to saying that liberty, wedded to responsibility for one’s acts, is the true and only basis of good conduct, or of morality.” — From a “Free Man’s Creed,” by Moses Harman. The picture and quotation were copied from the Memorial of Moses Harman.”

West shows Harman’s animosity toward religion and “particularly Christianity”:

“Religion, particularly Christianity, came under heavy verbal attack by Harman. He contended that religion was based on ignorance of nature’s methods and fear of the unseen powers that were supposedly warring over human destiny. Religion was dangerous, declared Harman, because “fear begets hate, and hate results in oppression, war, and bloodshed.” [55] Later he suggested:

Cling not to the cross of a dead god for help in time of trouble, but stand erect like a man and resolutely meet the consequences of your acts, whatever they may be. . . . Every man [and woman] must be his own physician, his own priest, his own god and savior, if he is ever healed, purified, and saved. [56]”

West speaks to Harman’s hatred of the institution of marriage below:

“Harman opposed the institution of marriage because he considered it an unequal yoke. [65] He maintained that marital rights were limited to the rights of the husband, with the wife being but a slave to her master husband. [66] The promises of marriage to “love, obey, and honor,” said Harman, were immoral because there was no reasonable assurance that the two persons would be able to carry out the promises. [67] Love and freedom were supposedly destroyed by marriage. “If love survives marriage,” alleged Harman, “it is not because of it but in spite of it.” [68]”

West presents Harman’s vision of a “rational” family:

“He believed that the abolition of marriage would result in the birth of fewer children since children would be welcomed and cared for by mutual affection. He looked forward to the emergence of a new “rational” family where each member would “drop to his place like stones in an arch when artificial props are removed.” [72] This new family would be under the domination of the mother. [73]”

West shows Harman’s view that women needed financial independence from men:

“On another occasion he stressed that women would never have political independence until they earned enough money to command respect. This was not possible, said Harman, because women spend most of their good years bearing and rearing children. [75]”

David S. D’Amato in his article “Free Love: Moses Harman” for Libertarianism.org writes that Harman’s views formed the basis of a “lexicon” for the values that Americans now hold today:

“Moses Harman was a dauntless and pioneering early voice for feminism, sexual and reproductive freedoms, and free expression. His periodical Lucifer was arguably the most important publication of the free love movement, so important a part of latter nineteenth century American radicalism. Harman’s work anticipates much of a lexicon we now take for granted in the public conversation on women’s rights and family planning.

Fighting censorship and the oppression of women, Harman finds victory today through the strength of his ideas and their legacy, even if he often lost to the forces of reaction and authority in his own time. Harman thus offers a glimmer of hope to libertarians, to a group that looks forward to a freer and more tolerant society, yet realizes that it likely waits far off, beyond the horizon. For while Harman was widely considered an insane old crank in his lifetime, he is vindicated in the present.

 

Moses Harman And the Invention of Marital Rape

Wendy McElroy wrote an article for Foxnews.com entitled “Spousal Rape Case Sparks Old Debate” arguing against the historical marital rape exception that has existed in Western law until recent decades. In this article she alludes to who was responsible for first nationwide discussion of the possibility of marital rape:

“Western jurisprudence has a long tradition of absolving husbands from the possibility of rape. The first significant discussion in America of forced sex within marriage being categorized as rape, and of the need for a legal remedy, may well have been “The Markland Letter,” which was published in 1887 in a Kansas newspaper.

The letter read, “About a year ago F——— gave birth to a baby, and was severely torn by the instruments in incompetent hands. She has gone through three operations and all failed…last night when her husband came down, forced himself into her bed, and the stitches were torn from her healing flesh, leaving her in worse condition than ever...

The Markland letter became nationally notorious largely because its graphic description of violence left little doubt that the husband was a rapist despite the law.”

 

The “Kansas newspaper” she alludes to was Moses Harman’s “Lucifer the Light Bearer”.

Merril D. Smith in her book “Sex Without Consent: Rape and Sexual Coercion in America” gives us some more detail on the Markland letter:

“A good example is provided by Dr. W.G. Markland who sent Moses Harman, the editor of Lucifer, Light Bearer a letter from a close female friend which described the experiences of a woman who had recently given birth. Because of the incompetence of her attending physicians she suffered lacerations and subsequently endured several painful operations to correct her condition. While she was recuperating from her latest experience under the surgeon’s knife, Markland reported, her husband “forced himself into her bed and the stitches were torn from her healing flesh, leaving her in a worse condition than ever.” Incensed by this behavior, Markland was even more irate that the wife had no legal recourse to punish her attacker. “Will you point to a law that will punish this brute?” he rhetorically asked is reader. “If a man stabs his wife to death with a knife,” he continued, “does not the law hold him for murder?” But if he “murders her with his penis, what does the law do?”” – page 214

And from this letter from Dr. Markland published in Harman’s Lucifer the Light Bearer publication a national debate was started about the possibility of marital rape. Harman would quickly receive many letters from others that would claim there was an epidemic of women across America dying as a result for forced sex from their husbands.  Merril D. Smith concedes that there were many who doubted the accounts and many who believed the Free Lovers contention that “thousands” of these events were happening across the nation were exaggerations:

“Throughout the nineteenth century critics of the Free Lovers were quick to deny their claims of the prevalence of marital sexual abuse in the Victorian bedroom. In 1854, for example, Adin Ballou Argued that these sexual radicals “are prone to exaggerate the evils of dual marriage. They seem to think the best half of their battle is won, if they can only make these evils appear sufficiently dreadful. Accordingly, they harp incessantly on this string.” As part of their project to eliminate marriage, the Free Lovers clearly had a stake in publicizing these incidents of abuse.  They did not, however, make them up.” – page 218

The problem with the Markland Letter case was not with its condemnation of the husband’s behavior. I think the vast majority of Christians would agree both then and now that what he did to his wife was wrong.

As a Bible believing Christian and a firm believer in God’s institution of marriage and a husband’ sexual rights to his wife’s body I can easily show that God condemned the behavior of the husband in the Markland Letter based on the Biblical principle that husbands are to care for the needs of their wife’s bodies as they do their own.

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

Ephesians 5:28-29 (KJV)

Would the advocates of the false proposition of marital rape agree with us as Bible believing Christians that what the husband in the Markland Letter did was physical abuse even to the point of possibly endangering his wife’s life? Of course, they would.

But from a Biblical perspective it is absolutely impossible for a man to rape his wife because a man can only rape a woman he is not married to.  

In other words, from a Biblical perspective forced sex within the confines of marriage is not and cannot ever be classified as rape, but only forced sex outside of the confines of marriage can rightly be considered rape.

Also I need to point out something very important for Christians to understand about rape.  The world says rape is immoral because it violates a woman’s consent to sexual relations but the Bible shows us rape is wrong because it violates God’s consent for a man to have sexual relations with a woman.  God only consents to a man having sexual relations with a woman if he has entered into a covenant of marriage with her and then he may have sex with her “at all times” as Proverbs 5:19 commands.

However, Ephesians 5:28-29’s command for men to care for the needs of their wife’s body is a Biblical caveat to Proverbs 5:19’s exhortation for men to sexually satisfy themselves with their wife’s body at all times.   

While we as Christians should reject the false construct of marital rape we should certainly recognize the possibility of a husband physically abusing his wife and this Markland Letter case shows the husband did just that.  A woman’s genitals need time to heal after giving birth.  Even if the surgery was for something different than complications after child birth – if a husband forces himself on his wife with complete disregard for the damage it may cause her after surgery this is a clear violation of the Ephesians 5:28-29 principle that he is to care for the welfare of his wife’s body.

The truth is that free love advocates and feminists had (and still have today) a more insidious agenda.  They did not want to simply condemn physical abuses which occurred in this marriage situation or others.  They wanted to condemn the entire concept of Christian marriage itself with the husband as the head of the wife as an abusive relational construct and they wanted to eliminate traditional marriage from American society.

Now that we have shown the evil roots and true agenda of the Free Love and Sexual Consent ideologies we will now look at the fruit of these wicked movements in the form of modern “Sexual Consent” teachings.

The Biblical View of Sex Vs the Sexual Consent Ideology

Planned Parenthood has an article on their website entitled “Sexual Consent” which I think is a good representation of the tenets of modern Sexual Consent Ideology.  Below I will take several of those tenets they list and compare these tenets to what the Bible says about sexual relations between men and women.

Marriage is in Agreement to Sexual Activity

Sexual Consent Ideology says “Sexual consent is an agreement to participate in a sexual activity” but the Bible says Marriage IS an agreement to participate in a sexual activity:

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

I Corinthians 7:3 (KJV)

“If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.”

Exodus 21:10 (KJV)

Before You Can Be Sexual With Someone You Must Marry Them

Sexual Consent Ideology says “Before being sexual with someone, you need to know if they want to be sexual with you too” but the Bible says before being sexual with someone you need to be married to them first:

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

Hebrews 13:4 (KJV)

The Only Sexual Consent Required in Marriage is Consent to NOT have Sex

Sexual Consent Ideology says “Both people must agree to sex — every single time — for it to be consensual.” But the Bible says both people within a covenant of marriage must agree to NOT have sex.  Yes, sir and Yes mam you read that right.  The only mutual agreement regarding sex the Bible speaks to is the cessation of sex for short periods of mutually agreed time and then the couple is admonished to come back together in sexual union again:

“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)

A Man Has God’s Consent to Have Sex with His Wife at All Times

Sexual Consent Ideology says “Without consent, sexual activity (including oral sex, genital touching, and vaginal or anal penetration) is sexual assault or rape” but the Bible says God has given a man his consent to have sex with his wife “at all times” regardless of her consent:

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

Proverbs 5:18-19 (KJV)

Sex in Marriage is a Duty, NOT a Choice

Sexual Consent Ideology says “Consenting is a choice you make without pressure, manipulation, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol” but the Bible says sexual relations within marriage are a duty that the spouses have towards each other, not a choice (Exodus 21:10, I Corinthians 7:3).

Wives are to Sexually Submit to Their Husbands in Everything

Sexual Consent Ideology says “When it comes to sex, you should only do stuff you WANT to do, not things that you feel you’re expected to do” but the Bible commands wives to be in subjection to their husbands in everything:

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

Ephesians 5:24 (KJV)

The only exception to “every thing” is Acts 5:24’s exception that “We ought to obey God rather than man”.  That means if a woman’s husband asks her to participate in a threesome with another man she can rightly refuse his request because that would be a sin against God.  If, however he as her husband asks her to manually stimulate him, perform oral sex on him or have intercourse or other types of sexual activity with him this would fall under Ephesians 5:24’s “every thing” clause.

The Implicit Sexual Consent of the Marriage Covenant is Non-reversible

Sexual Consent Ideology says “Anyone can change their mind about what they feel like doing, anytime. Even if you’ve done it before, and even if you’re both naked in bed” but God says sexual consent which is given in the marriage covenant is NOT reversible but rather is a lifelong commitment:

“For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.”

Romans 7:2 (KJV)

You Don’t Get the Final Say Over Your Body, God Does

Sexual Consent Ideology says “You get the final say over what happens with your body” but God says your body belongs to him and in marriage he has given your body to your spouse for their sexual use:

The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
Psalm 24:1 (KJV)

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”

1 Corinthians 6:19 (KJV)

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

I Corinthians 7:4 (KJV)

The entire American concept of “It’s my body I can do what I want with it” flies directly in the face of a central tenet of Biblical Christianity that the world and all of us who live in it or have ever lived belong to God.  This false philosophy of bodily autonomy was a foundational building block of the Sexual Revolution and also formed the basis of heinous so called “abortion rights”.

I am fine with God having authority over my life and body, but no man is going to tell me what to do!

Many Christian women have this attitude toward male headship in marriage and they refuse to see the utter contradiction such an attitude is with the clear teachings of the Scriptures.

It is absolutely true that the Bible says “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (II Corinthians 3:17) and there is no doubt in my mind that the spirit of the Lord was present at the founding of the United States of America.

On June 28, 1813 America’s second president John Adams wrote these words in a letter to America’s third president Thomas Jefferson:

The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”

The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Washington D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. XIII, p. 292-294.

As we previously pointed out, one of the general principles of Christianity is that we are not our own and that God has authority over our person and our bodies (Psalm 24:1, 1 Corinthians 6:19).   But many Christians reject the fact that God as our owner can and does delegate authority over us to other human beings.

Yes – God has made us free, both men and women, but we are warned not to use our freedom to serve our own selfish and sinful desires:

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”

Galatians 5:13 (KJV)

God has not freed us so that we can serve our own selfish desires, but he has freed us to serve him. King David spoke of the relationship between the freedom God wants his people to have and the service to his law:

“And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.

Psalm 119:45 (KJV)

What this means is – we are free to serve God and live our lives within the bounds of his law. Moses Harman’s ideology that “Freedom that is not equal is not freedom” does not match up with the Biblical teaching of what freedom actually is.  Sadly a lot of American Christians over the last century or so have bought into Harman’s false philosophy that everyone must have equal rights or they are being treated as less than human or in an unjust manner.

The Bible actually teaches that there are several classes of people to whom God gives different rights.  The slave class was the lowest social class and contrary to assertions otherwise God did give slaves rights(Exodus 20:10, Exodus 21:26-28, Job 31:13-15 & Colossians 4:1) .

The Bible teaches that slaves were to be taken care of and treated justly and fairly by their masters.  It tells masters that just as they came from their mother’s womb, so too did their slaves reminding them to treat them as fellow human beings. The Bible condemned masters who killed their slaves and if they seriously injured their slaves they were required by God to grant freedom to those slaves.

So in this way the slave class of the Bible actually formulates basic human rights under God’s law.  Every social class above the slave class has these same rights and then more rights. Other Biblical social classes include indentured male and female servants, children, slave wives(concubines), free wives and finally free men.  Free men had the most rights of any social class under God’s order.

Even in the New Testament slaves are still commanded to obey their masters and the Apostle Paul even returned a runaway slave(Philemon 1:10-18). Wives are still commanded to submit to their husbands(Ephesians 5:22-24) and children are still commanded to obey their parents(Ephesians 6:1-3) clearly proving that these social classes remain as part of God’s order.

The point is that the Bible in direct contradiction to Moses Harman and the modern American philosophy that “Freedom that is not equal is not freedom” shows us that freedom is not in fact based in equality.

God calls slaves “freedmen” in the sense that they were spiritually free but yet he told them to accept their earthly position as slaves while if they could be free to take that opportunity.

“20 Each man must remain in that condition in which he was called. 21 Were you called while a slave? Do not worry about it; but if you are able also to become free, rather do that. 22 For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord’s freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. 24 Brethren, each one is to remain with God in that condition in which he was called.”

I Corinthians 7:20-24 (NASB)

For more on what the Bible actually says about slavery see my article “Why Christians should not be ashamed of slavery in the Bible“.

But in the context of the discussion of this article – men and women do not have the same rights and freedoms under God’s law yet they are both considered to be free.  God does not base our human value on our equal rights and freedoms with one another – but instead he bases it on the fact that we were created for his honor and glory and our value comes from fulfilling the role he has given us to play.

Isn’t it Selfish For a Man to Have Sex With His Wife When She is Not in The Mood?

Now some Christians at this point may be asking “Even though men and women have different rights under God’s law, isn’t it a selfish desire for a man to want sex with his wife when she tells him she is not in the mood?”  One of the most popular articles I ever wrote on the blog addresses that topic and it is entitled “Is a husband selfish for having sex with his wife when she is not the mood?” I hope you will take the time to read it with an open heart and an open mind. The answer I show from the Scriptures in that article is NO it is not selfish for a man to desire sex with his wife when she is not in the mood.

The Giving and Taking of Women in Marriage

Now I will demonstrate from the Scriptures that God’s law regarding a woman’s consent to sexual activity does not resolve around her choice, but rather it is based in God’s consent and the consent of the men whom he has placed in authority over women.

We start with the fact that God has granted ownership to a father over his daughter. Under God’s law, a father could sell his daughter as an indentured servant (Exodus 21:7-11) with the possibility that his daughter could become a wife to the man or a son of the man she was sold to.

In fact, in the Scriptures there is a consistent teaching that women are GIVEN in marriage (mostly by their fathers) and TAKEN in marriage by their husbands.

God commanded men to take wives for themselves and to give their daughters in marriage and take wives for their sons as well:

Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.”

Jeremiah 29:6 (KJV)

Jesus recognizing this principle of men taking women in marriage and women being given in marriage stated:

“For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.”

Matthew 22:30 (KJV)

So yes ladies – that cute tradition of a father walking his daughter down the isle and giving his daughter away in marriage is not just tradition – it is by the command of God and has been practiced in one form or another since the beginning of creation.

Now that we have shown the ownership of the father over his daughter we will now discuss the ownership of a husband over his wife.

The sad fact is many Christians in American society refuse to accept that the Bible is crystal clear in its language that marriage is in fact a transfer of ownership of a daughter from her father to her husband.

The Hebrew Word ‘baal’ meaning “owner/master” in noun form or “to be owned” in verb form is often used when referring to a woman’s husband and it is always used when speaking of marriage occurring between a man and woman. While there are many Old Testament examples that prove this the follow passage from the book of Deuteronomy demonstrates the noun and verb uses of ‘baal’ and the ownership of a husband over his wife:

“If a man be found lying with a woman married [‘baal’ verb “owned by”] to an husband[‘baal’ noun “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)

Ephesians 5:22-31 clearly states that God created marriage to be a model of the relationship of God to his people with man representing God and woman representing the people of God. In the Old Testament this was pictured in God’s marriage to Israel and in the New Testament this is pictured in Christ’s relationship to his Church.

The fact is that even in Christ’s relationship to his Church it is clear that he “purchased” his bride (Acts 20:28) as all other husbands had since the beginning of creation.

Many Christian feminists while proudly claiming that men should follow Ephesians 5:25’s admonition for husbands to love their wives AS Christ loved the Church then in the same breath deny what the verses in front of it just said that the husband is the head of the wife AS Christ is the head of the Church and that wives are to submit to their husbands AS the Church submits to Christ.   Ladies – you can’t have your cake and eat it too.  You can’t take one part of what God says about his design for marriage in Ephesians chapter 5 while rejecting the other parts of it.  You take it all or you reject it all.

A Biblical Case Study in Sexual Consent

In the book of Exodus, we find a very interesting case study into the mind of God regarding the issue of sexual consent.

“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)

In verse 16 we are told that if a man entices a virgin (literally he seduces her) into having sexual relations with him we are told he has an obligation to make her his wife which would require him to enter into a covenant of marriage with her.  But then in verse 17 we read that God allows the father to “utterly refuse to give her unto him”.

When you look closely these two verses handle two different situations.  The first verse covers “Casanovas” or what we today would call “players”.  The second verse covers the “forbidden love” scenario.

God Condemns the Scheming Ways of Casanovas and Players

When the Bible commanded that the man must make the woman he enticed into extramarital relations his wife this was civil punishment and restitution that had to be made for his breaking of God’s moral law. This covers the Casanova who tries to have that “one-night stand” with a woman.  This covers the playboy who thinks he can seduce women into having sex with him outside of a covenant of marriage.

So, in this first scenario the man had no intention of marrying the woman – he just wanted to get some and he may have used all kinds of emotional trickery on the woman to convince her into having sex with him.  He may even have told her he loved her and wanted to ask her father’s hand in marriage.  He just wants a “taste” of the goods and then he will ask her father – or so he told her.

The next day after she naively gives herself to him he acts as if it never happened leaving her with the loss of her virginity and ruining her for other men.   This is the situation God was meaning to address by forcing the man to marry the woman he had just enticed.

Most men and women would call this first man I have just described a pig.  We would all be equally disgusted by his deceitful actions toward these young virgins while at the same time we must recognize these women also sinned by allowing him to entice them into sexual relations outside of a marriage covenant.

God Also Condemns Forbidden Love

But in verse 17 we see another scenario God is addressing.   This is a scenario that has played out in many “romance” stories over the years. Perhaps a daughter comes to her father and tells him of a cute young man that she wishes for him to arrange marriage for her to.  Her father refuses.  His reason might be character issues with the man or it might simply be economic issues.   The father may have told his daughter that he had a few other men in mind that were wealthier and could care for her better than this man she is attracted to.  Perhaps her marriage to one of these other men will provide a political or business alliance that will benefit her father. She tells her father “but I am not attracted to any of those men and I love this other man”.

Her father puts his foot down and tells his daughter “Enough! You are not marrying that man and I will hear no more of it.  I will let you know which of these other men I have chosen for you shortly.”  So, the daughter decides to take things into her own hands.  She decides she will go and have sex with the man she loves (lusts after) believing her father will be forced to give her to him in marriage.  Perhaps this man who also wants her for his wife has planted the idea in her head that her father will give her to him rather than refuse and risk her never marrying.

So, she comes to the man whom her father has refused and gives herself to the man who has so desperately wanted her.  At this point in the story most women and even a lot of men – Christian men and women would be rooting for the poor girl as she should have been able to chose the man she wanted right? WRONG.  The young virgin woman had absolutely NO right under God’s law to consent to sexual relations with that man. This entire scheme would be wicked before God.

This is why God grants father’s the right of refusal even if a man entices their daughter into sexual relations which means she has freely given herself to him (she was not forced).  This part of God’s law would work as deterrent to women who thought they could control their own sexuality or control what man they would marry.

This law taught women “If you give yourself to a man outside of lawfully approved marriage by your father – you might end up an old maid that never marries”.  So, a woman would be faced with this scenario – “Do I want to risk my father saying no because I sinned against him and God and risk being single the rest of my life or will I simply follow my father’s wishes and marry a man I am not attracted to but at least I will not be alone and I will have a husband and children?”

Men Can Make Women’s Virginity Precious Again

The sad commentary on our time is that a woman’s virginity is no longer the precious commodity to our culture that God declared it to be in the Scriptures.  Women have no fear that losing their virginity could relegate them to a lonely life with no marriage and no children as the women in the Bible feared.

We as Christians and especially young men and have allowed this to occur.  In the same way we men allowed feminism to rise we gave up the preciousness of a woman’s virginity by dating women who are not virgins.  Imagine if every Christian man made a commitment that he would never date or marry a woman who was not virgin unless her virginity was lost under these conditions:

  1. It was lost to her husband who died.
  2. It was lost to her husband from whom she was divorced (and she was the innocent party).
  3. It was lost because she was raped.

Would this not motivate young women to greatly guard their sexual purity? And yes, I know what all the egalitarians are saying – “what about the men?” Could these same rules be applied to men in order to promote sexual purity among young men as well? I think the answer is yes with the caveat that under Biblical law men may not be virgins when they marry a woman because they can have more than one wife.  But that is part of a larger discussion on polygamy which I have had elsewhere.  Another caveat in applying this to men is that as we have discussed in regard to young virgins living in their father’s home it is not the daughter that sets criteria for potential spouses but the father.

And just to be clear on this passage from Exodus – the man being forced to marry the woman he enticed to have sex with him and also the payment of the bride price even if the father refused were part of the civil laws of Israel.  These were restitutions that had to be made for breaking God’s moral law in either of the two scenarios we just described.

That’s just the Old Testament!

There are many Christians right now that have completely tuned out everything I have just written with the following thought in their head:

“Well that is just Old Testament and we as Christians are no longer under the Old Testament so Christian fathers have no right over their daughters sexual or marriage choices! Do you still stone people for adultery and do you still eat pork? If you don’t do these things then don’t talk to me about fathers control over their daughter’s decisions with their own bodies and their own lives. These decisions are between women and God.”

If you actually want to understand how the Bible works and the difference between the moral, ceremonial and civil laws of Israel and the fact that the Jesus Christ himself asserted the moral laws of the Old Testament I encourage you to read these articles I have written on the subject.

What is the distinction between the Moral, Ceremonial and Civil laws of the Old Testament?

What are the Moral Laws of God in the Old Testament?

Conclusion

The sad commentary on our time is that David S. D’Amato is absolutely right that our society has almost completely embraced the ideologies of Moses Harman with the big exception of his anarchist views. Feminists and Free Lovers actually went the opposite way on government and used the power of government to impose their views on American society.

Harman’s views of Christianity, men and women, gender roles and marriage which were considered “insane” a little more than a century ago are now “taken for granted” as truths that may no longer be questioned.

In the beginning of this article I alluded to Daphne Merkin’s statement in her New York Times article that “Expressing sexual interest is inherently messy…” in our modern American culture and I said I would explain at the end of this article why God’s appointed method of men and women expressing sexual interest is not messy at all but actually it is very easy when we do things his way.

Previously I alluded to several important passages of the Scriptures that directly speak to sex in marriage and they are Exodus 21:10, Proverbs 5:18-19, I Corinthians 7:2-5 and Ephesians 5:22-24.

Proverbs 5:18-19 teaches that a husband is commanded by God to sexually satisfy himself with his wife’s body at all times. Exodus 21:10 teaches that a husband has an obligation to provide his wife sexual access to his body.  I Corinthians 7:2-5 teaches that in marriage sex is both a right and responsibility for both the husband and the wife. Ephesians 5:22-24 teaches that wives are to submit to their husbands in everything and that includes their husband’s sexual preferences as long as he does not ask them to engage in sinful sexual acts (I gave the example a husband asking his wife to have sex with another man as an example of a sinful sexual request).

I also talked about God’s process for how men and women are to enter into sexual relations.  I showed how God only consents to a man and woman having sexual relations in the covenant of marriage.  I also showed God’s process for men and women entering into marriage after which they are allowed and are in fact commanded to have sexual relations with one another.

In modern America men have to flirt with women, flatter women or otherwise try and romance them to even have a chance of having having sex with them.  It is actually a very risky proposition for men and in the advent of the MeToo era it is even riskier as it might cost you your job. It truly is a “messy” process as Daphne Merkin calls it.

But in God’s design men did not have to flirt with women, flatter women or romance them to get them to have sex with them but rather they purchased the women they desired as Christ purchased his Church in Acts 20:28.

This was the process under normal conditions.  A man went to the woman’s father and expressed his interest in his daughter.  If he agreed to give his daughter to the man the man would return and present the bride price at which time the father would give his daughter to the man and he would then consummate the marriage by taking her sexually as his wife. From that point on he would take his wife sexually anytime he pleased and the wife would also have sexual access to his body as well.

A little note on the bride price.  While a man did not literally have to die to purchase his wife as Christ did to acquire his Church many men often had to save a half a years wages to purchase a wife.  That could take them several years to save. The Bible tells us of Jacob that he purchased Rachel by giving sevens years of labor to her father:

And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.”

Genesis 29:20 (KJV)

The Bible tells us that Rachel was a beautiful woman and her sister was something other than “beautiful and well favoured”.

Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.

Genesis 29:17 (KJV)

The Hebrew phrase that is translated as “beautiful and well favoured” in the KJV is not as literal to Hebrew text.  In the Hebrew it it reads yâpheh[beautiful,lovely,fair] tô’ar [form, figure, shape] yâpheh[beautiful,lovely,fair] mar’eh[sight, vision, appearance].  So when we take this phrase together it said Rachel had “a beautiful figure and was lovely to look at”.  In modern terms we would say “Rachel had a hot body and was easy on the eyes”.

So apparently Rachel was so hot that Jacob served not one year or two years but seven years to purchase her as his wife!

But as we can see with God’s method of men and women entering into sexual relations with one another there is no mess, no fuss and no games. Some might argue that there was in fact a game that was played by Laban when he tricked Jacob into taking Leah as his wife first.  But that was a false contract and was sin before God. Regardless though Jacob being a noble man still kept Leah as his wife.

The point is it is a lot less complicated than what Daphne Merkin described as the MeToo movement’s goal of sex as “the childhood game of “Mother, May I?”.

What that means in practical terms is since I married my wife I can come touch her sexually any time I want.  If I want to come up behind her in the kitchen and cup her breasts in my hands as she washes the dishes I can do that.  I don’t have to ask her permission to do so.  If I want to slide my hands down her thighs and touch her groin area I don’t have to ask her permission to do so. If I want to slap her on the rear end as I walk by her, again I don’t have to ask her permission to do so. And finally, if I want to initiate sexual relations with her I don’t have to ask her permission before doing so.

In the same way if my wife wants to come by and grab my groin she has every right to do so as my wife.  If she wants to come by and slap me on the rear end she has every right to do so.   If while I am sleeping in the morning my wife decides to get on top of me and start having sex with me she has every right to do so as God has given her sexual access to my body.

Now we also understand that there is a Biblical caveat to our sexual access to our spouse’s body in that we are to care for the wellbeing of our spouse (Ephesians 5:28-29).  That means as Christians we can rightly condemn the actions of the husband who forces himself on his wife after surgery or child birth and thus endangers her by do so but at the same time we can uphold a husband’s right to have sex with his wife even if she may simply not be in the mood.

My point is if we enter into sexual relations following God’s design there is absolutely no chance of sexual harassment ever happening.  It is impossible for me to grope my wife (because she belongs to me) or for her to grope me (because God has given her sexual access to my body).  There is no messiness to sex in marriage when we remove the world’s evil ideas about sexual consent.

It is only when we bring the tenets of sexual consent ideology into sexual relations in marriage that sexual initiation then becomes “messy”.  If a husband has his hand slapped away by his wife she is sinfully making sexual initiation “messy” for her husband and sadly many women do that today.  If a husband would rather look at porn and masturbate than have sex when his wife reaches for him that makes sexual initiation “messy” for his wife.

And finally, on this topic of sexual consent – I have demonstrated here with conclusive proof that both in their origins and their agendas that the Sexual Consent and Free Love movements were founded in evil philosophies that were directly opposed to the God of the Bible and God’s institution of marriage.

God does not consent to two men or two women having sexual relations with one another even if they have given their “free” and “enthusiastic” consent to one another.

God does not give his consent to a man and woman having sexual relations with one another because they have both freely and enthusiastically given consent to one another.

God ONLY gives his consent to a man and woman having sexual relations when they have lawfully entered into a marriage covenant according the Scriptures.  Once a man and woman have entered into the covenant of marriage, not only does God consent to them having sexual relations but he commands it.

As Christians we would agree with the MeToo movement that men should not be making unwanted sexual advances in the work place or implying that their female coworkers or subordinates need to perform sexual acts to get promotions or keep their jobs.

But while we agree with MeToo that these actions by men are wrong – we very much disagree as to WHY these actions are wrong.  MeToo following the false Sexual Consent ideology says these unwanted sexual advances are wrong because they violate a woman’s consent.  For MeToo – if the woman expressed clear consent to having sexual relations with a coworker or even her boss then there is no wrong committed by the man in responding to her.

However, for us as Bible believing Christians a man making unwanted sexual advances toward a woman he is not married to whether in the workplace or elsewhere is wrong not because it violates the woman’s consent, but because it violates God’s consent to him having sexual relations with that woman.

We can all agree that physical abuse does occur in some marriages even if we might debate what actually constitutes physical abuse. Also as Christians we can agree that Ephesians 5:28-29 condemns husbands physically abusing their wives.  But as Christians we may never classify any physical abuse in marriage as rape because the false construct of marital rape implies that a wife may reject her husband’s sexual advances.

The Scriptures show that a woman may only resist a man’s sexual advances if she is not married to him and in the case of the man not being married to her she is required to resist his advances. That is why from a Biblical perspective a woman’s consent to sexual relations is really an oxymoron. Before marriage she has no choice but to say NO and after marriage she has no choice but to say YES.

It is not the woman’s consent that matters, it is Gods.

 

Why Christians Should Be Proud Sexists

This last Thanksgiving I was visiting with my in-laws.  During that visit I made this statement to my sister-in-law “Yes mam, I am a proud sexist!” Why would I say such a thing? Isn’t being a sexist inconsistent with Christian values?

Before I explain why I made that statement in front of many family members let me first give a little background on my wife and her family. My mother and father in-law are really good salt of the earth people who are kind and generous. Truly they have treated me far better than my first wife’s parents ever did and I actually get along with them very well.  They really do not look for confrontation and for the most part try to stay out of my marriage to their daughter.

And just for those Christian’s and others who are concerned about the phrase I just used “first wife” – I divorced her for a specific type of fornication which was adultery and God allows this(see Matthew 19:9 and also my article “If We Treated Divorce Like Killing” for an exhaustive study on Biblical divorce).

In regard to my in-laws, as kind and as loving as my mother and father in-law are – they are feminists. Don’t get me wrong, they are not drooling at the mouth, man-hating feminists and they would not even call themselves feminists. They certainly would never march in a feminist parade. My in-laws just believe in equality for men and women, partnership marriage and my mother in-law told me she taught her daughters to and I quote “be independent and not need a man”. Their father worked in a factory but he wanted better for his daughters and he encouraged them to get a higher education and have successful careers like their mother who was an accountant.

My wife and her sister are actually on different sides of their parents on this issue.  My wife’s sister is more feministic than her parents and my wife is less feministic than her parents.  My wife will at least tell people she believes in male headship in the home and she tries to a certain degree to fight her own feminist tendencies.  But it is extremely difficult for my wife because of the combination that she is very intelligent, strong willed and she was raised by parents who instilled feminist principles in her. So there are days when she full on gives into the dark side and goes full blown feminist on me.  Those are the days when she says “you can’t tell me what to do – you are not my father”.  Other days I can tell she is truly trying and waging a war against the dark side in her that she knows in her heart conflicts with the Bible and what God wants for her.

On the other hand, my wife’s sister is a completely different story. She fully embraces her dark side (aka feminist tendencies).  Her sister is also a Christian and is actually very involved in her church. She believes in partnership marriage and that her husband does not have any more say in the marriage than she does. For a very brief time when she was on the verge of her second divorce she tried to embrace submission in order to save that marriage.  But in the end the marriage still died and he divorced her.

In the beginning of her third marriage she was very submissive to her husband, but about a year or so into that marriage she returned to her old ways and fully embraced her feminist attitudes of the past.  My sister-in-law believes in the Christian feminist doctrine of “mutual submission” between a husband and wife.  One of her favorite Bible verses is Ephesians 5:21 which states “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” She uses that verse to try and explain away the next three verses in Ephesians chapter five.

Now if you are wondering how I – Mr. Biblical Gender Roles himself, ended up marrying into a feminist family that is a longer story for another day.  To that end I will just say this.  There is an old saying that “You learn more from your mistakes than from your successes” and that is especially true when it comes to choosing who you marry. And yes it was a mistake that I chose to marry into a feminist family.

But God used my mistake for his glory.  Let’s say I had never married into a feminist family and had a feminist wife.  What if I married into a traditional, conservative Christian family and found a woman that completely embraced Biblical gender roles? What if I had little conflicts with her because our world values just meshed up? If that had happened then this site probably would have never existed.

But God used my mistake as the inspiration for this site that I started back in April of 2014. And that mistake I made of marrying a feminist woman raised in a feminist household lead to this ministry reaching over 3 million people who have made more than 5 million views on this site by the end of 2017.

So with all that said as a background on my in-laws here is why I made the statement “Yes mam, I am a proud sexist!”

We were sitting around the family room as we usually do after we eat dinner together for the holiday. We usually just make small talk about how all the family members are doing and generally avoid political or religious topics as my in-laws are not very religious people and they don’t normally discuss politics.  But every now and then my sister-in-law who is a bit feisty will say something or I might make a joke about something. We both know where we stand on things.

So my sister-in-law brings a situation to my attention.  Her husband was not there because he had to work. She asked me about a disagreement she and her husband had about their kids.  He has a son from a previous marriage that is 17 and she has two daughters from her second marriage that are 14 and 16. I won’t go into the details here but I will just summarize it by saying she thought he was not protective enough of his son and allowed him too much freedom. I told her I agreed with her husband and that I allowed my sons at that age to have almost full freedom except for my four rules.  No girls in their bedrooms, no drugs and no drinking in my house or on my property and if they drove one of my vehicles in an intoxicated state I would ask for the keys and they would not drive it again.

I also added that my sister in-law needed to support her husband even if she disagreed with him.

So she turned it on me. She said “will you do the same with your daughter who will soon be turning 16?” I told her “no I will not” to which she replied “That is not fair! You can’t treat your daughters differently than your sons” and then her 14 year old daughter replied “that is sexist!”  So here we have a room with my sister-in-law, my mother and father-in-law and my five children along with my wife and I – and I have just been called on the carpet by my sister-in-law and her 14 year old daughter.

My response was “Yes mam, I am a proud sexist! I fully believe that women need added protection from their fathers until they are married to their husbands. Sons when they become men don’t need the protection of their fathers but daughters do.”

My sister-in-law’s only response was “Well admitting it is the first step.” What she meant was that she thought I was admitting to doing something wrong. Many Christians would say no Christian should say what I said and that no Christian should be proud to be a sexist.  In this article we will explore if such a condemnation of sexism matches up with the Bible.

The Birth of “Sexism”

For 2000 years Christians were proud of their Holy Scriptures that are commonly referred to as the Bible. But about 150 years ago Christians began to start apologizing for things in the Bible.  It began with Christians apologizing for the Bible allowing and regulating the practice of slavery. Eventually with the rise of feminism which was built off the abolitionist movement Christians began to apologize for the “unfair” treatment of women by the Bible.

In the 1960’s during the rise of Second Wave Feminism a new word was coined.  This new word, “sexism”, was as actually built using the fight against racism as a model.

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines “Sexism” as:

“1 : prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially : discrimination against women

2 : behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex”

Now some may contend that sexism always existed – it just did not receive an official label until the mid-1960’s.  But we need to realize that along with this new label “Sexism” came a new set of morals not previously recognized in human history.

Is Discrimination Always Wrong?

Since the creation of mankind women were in fact discriminated against.  But here is a truth that every Christian must realize – discrimination is not always wrong.  To discriminate against someone is to treat someone differently based on certain demographic characteristics.

For instance we don’t allow people put in prison to vote.  That is a form of discrimination.  We don’t allow children to vote and we allow parents to make decisions for their minor children.  This another form of discrimination (age discrimination). We also only give welfare assistance to people who make under a certain amount of money – if you make over that amount you won’t get assistance.  That is discrimination on the basis of how much you money you earn. There are many college scholarships that are only available to you if you are an African American – that again is a form of discrimination based on race.

The point is, we as a society have made judgements as to what types of discrimination are moral and just and what types of discrimination are immoral and unjust.  The question for us as Christians is – does the Bible agree with American standards of what is just and or unjust discrimination?

Is Stereotyping Always Wrong?

Stereotypes are another example of something that is not always wrong. Stereotyping is simply recognizing patterns of human behavior or social norms. If you were to open a small market store in the middle of a Hispanic neighborhood than it would be silly for you not to have in stock food that Hispanics typically eat. If you were to open your store in a predominantly Chinese area it would be equally silly for you to not stock up on foods that Chinese people typically eat.  In fact in the business world – if you do not stereotype your customer base you will go out of business.

The New Anti-Sexist Movement Was Used to Condemn Historic Social Norms

This new “Anti-Sexist” movement contended that that women could no longer be seen as house keepers and mothers.  In the 1950’s and 1960’s it was extremely common for employers to choose men over women for open positions. The reasoning went that men were providers to families and women belonged in the home.  Only if there were no men contending for a position and it needed to be filled would a woman have any chance of getting that position. Even then some positions would be closed to women no matter what.

But under these newly defined social morals of Second Wave Feminism, if a business chose to hire men over women that was now classified as an immoral form of discrimination and labeled with the new term “sexist” or “sexual discrimination”.  In the same way if a person was to contend that a woman’s place was in the home as it had been since the beginning of human civilization – this would be called immoral stereotyping.

The New Feminist Formula –> Sexism = Misogyny

So if you felt as the vast majority of people up to that point had felt that women did not belong in politics, the military or most other occupations outside the home you were now labeled with this new term “Sexist”.  And the term “Sexist” was equated to “Misogynist” which means “a hater of women”.

It really was a masterful PR campaign by feminist groups.  If you dared to believe in the historic views of the roles of men and women in society you were now labeled a hater of women.

This tied into the larger egalitarian movement.  If you believed any class of human beings should rightly have any less rights or privileges than another you were now a “hater” of that group of people.  You were “dehumanizing” that group of people. This thought pattern of the 1960’s would eventually lead us to open immigration policies and to legalizing gay marriage and criminalizing any form of discrimination against homosexual and transgender people because to be human is to have equal rights and opportunities with all other humans.

Christians Who Are Ashamed of Their Own Bible

It is very common for Christians today to apologize for the Bible treating men and women differently because to do so is now considered “sexist”.  The most common way people make “apology tours” for the Bible is to say something like “God did not condone everything in the Bible”.   Others say “God just went along with the cultural customs of the times even though he did not really approve of things like patriarchy, slavery, polygamy or genocide”.

While it is true that God did not condone everything that occurred in the Bible whatever he gave commands to do or to allow he did in fact CONDONE.  God does not command or allow sin in his law.  Not Ever. The real truth that so many Christians run from and cower at is that God did in fact command or allow patriarchy (Genesis 3:16, Ephesians 5:22-24, I Peter 3:1-6), slavery (Leviticus 25:39-46), polygamy (Exodus 21:10-11, II Samuel 12:8) and genocide (Deuteronomy 20:16–18, I Samuel 15:2-3).  I encourage you to read each of the passages I just listed to confirm what I have just said.

And on this subject of sexism, God does in fact make statements and commands in the Bible through his Prophets and Apostles that are considered today to be the very definition of “sexist”.

10 Sexist Biblical Statements or Commands

1. Only Men are Made in God’s Image, Not Women

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

I Corinthians 11:7 (KJV)

2. Women Were Made for Men, Not Men for Women

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

I Corinthians 11:9 (KJV)

3. Women Were Executed for Lying about the Loss of their Virginity, Men were Not

“20 But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: 21 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.”

Deuteronomy 22:20-21 (KJV)

4. Women Ruling a Nation Are No Better than Children Ruling a Nation

“As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.”

Isaiah 3:12 (KJV)

5. Wives Are Regarded as the Property of Their Husbands

“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)

6. Women Are Commanded to Submit to Their Husbands

“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)

7. Women Can Have their Decisions Overridden by their Fathers and Husbands

“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…

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 30:5 & 8(KJV)

8. Women are Called Weaker Than Men

“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)

9. Women Are Forbidden From Teaching Men or Taking Authority Over Men

“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)

10. A Woman’s Place Is in The Home

“4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Titus 2:4-5 (KJV)

The Choice Every Christian Is Faced With

If this is the first time you as a Christian have read these Scripture passages showing that God did in fact commanded or allow things like patriarchy, slavery, polygamy and genocide and also the 10 passages where God made sexist statements and commands your head is probably spinning.

You are faced with a moral dilemma.

You must either condemn God or condemn the American culture you have been raised in.  Before you make your decision I highly recommend you read Job chapters 38 to 40.  These three chapters are some of the most humbling chapters in all the Bible.  Simply put, they put us as human beings in our place.

In Job chapter 40 God says this to Job:

“1 Moreover the Lord answered Job, and said, 2 Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.

3 Then Job answered the Lord, and said,4 Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. 5 Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.

6 Then answered the Lord unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,7 Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. 8 Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?

Job 40:1-8 (KJV)

Before you make your decision let me try to help give a little relief in that decision process.

On the subject of slavery, God only allowed slavery under a particular set of circumstances and it was not based on viewing one race as subservient to all races as the slavery of Africans in the Americas was.  For more on this huge topic of slavery see my previous article “Why Christians shouldn’t be ashamed of Slavery in the Bible”.

Also on the subject of genocide I want you to think about this more.  In the book of Joshua we read:

“17 And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the Lord: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent…

21 And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.”

Joshua 6:17 & 21 (KJV)

Literally God commanded through Joshua that every man, woman and child was to be killed in that city with the exception of Rahab and her family who helped the Israelite spies.  This was a command to commit genocide against these people.

But before we so quickly condemn the Israelite people and God for his commands to them let us remember that the United States dropped atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima for the good of the American nation.  The United States indiscriminately killed over 75,000 people at Nagasaki and over 150,000 people at Hiroshima.  This included men, women and children.  This included pregnant women and infants.

During war sometimes it is necessary to utterly wipe out those in an enemy territory but like slavery this is a much larger discussion for a separate article that I will write in the future (justified war and its tactics).

But this still leaves things like patriarchy, polygamy and sexism which God commanded in the case of patriarchy and sexism and then polygamy which he allowed. For those who may be able to swallow patriarchy but not polygamy I encourage you to read my previous article “Was polygamy a sin in the Old Testament that God overlooked?”  I will give you a sneak preview of that with the conclusion I show in that article based on the Scriptures.  Polygamy was NOT a sin God overlooked – God cannot overlook sin nor can he allow for it.  So those Christians who condemn polygamy as allowed in the Bible are assaulting the righteousness and justice of God in order to appease their own hatred of the practice of polygamy.

Conclusion

The Bible shows us that feminism’s assertion that Sexism = Misogyny is false.

The Bible shows that God honored women like Sara (Hebrews 11:11) and Rahab (Hebrews 11:31) and that he used women as Prophetesses like Deborah and Hulda in his service. But none of these women challenged his design and order that women were made for men and that God called only men to be Priests in the Old Testament and then Bishops and Pastors in the New Testament.

The fact is Jesus was sexist in how he chose his twelve disciples.  If a modern Christian feminist were following Jesus around back then they would have said “he had twelve slots to fill and he could not find one woman to fill any of those slots! What a sexist!”

God was even a sexist in finding Judas’s replacement. He chose another man (Matthias) to replace Judas as the twelfth disciple (Acts 1:16-26) to which the Christian feminist would say “come on God – you had an opportunity to correct your sexist hiring practices and you went and did it again!”

The truth is that God tells us to honor our mothers (Exodus 20:12).  God tells us to honor our wives (I Peter 3:7).  But what really throws of “Sexism” propaganda pushers is that God actually calls men to honor their wives for their weakness in comparison to men! This means we don’t mock or belittle women for being weaker, softer and gentler than us as men but instead we honor them for it.  We honor women, not for trying to compete with men, but for humbly assuming the supporting role God has given them in his creation as wives and mothers. We honor widows and other women who choose to serve in the church in ways which do not conflict with his rules for men and women in the Church (I Timothy 5:3).

Should we as Christians be ashamed of the fact that God tells us he made men to be his image bearers and women to be help meets to his image bearers by being in subjection to them? Should we be ashamed of the fact that God says a woman’s place is in the home bearing children, caring for them and caring for the needs of her home?

Jesus Christ made this statement that should send shivers up the spines of those who seek to apologize for the Bible’s Sexist treatment of women:

“38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Mark 8:38 (KJV)

Now many Christians will immediately respond – “Well Jesus was not speaking in any of those 10 Scriptures you quoted so he was not talking about being ashamed of those words!”

Well my feminist Christian friends let me educate you on some other things that Christ said.

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4 (KJV)

“17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:17-19 (KJV)

Jesus Christ is the very Word of God (John 1:1).  He spoke his Word through his Prophets before him and he spoke his Word through his Apostles after him.  That is why Paul could make the following statement given to him by God:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”

2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)

The Scriptures are clear on this matter. The Bible teaches us that it is not misogyny(hatred of women) to be a sexist and it shows us that God is in fact a sexist while at the same time loving the women he created.  If we are ashamed of the Bible teaching sexism then we are ashamed of God himself who authored every word of the Bible.  And if we are ashamed of God he will be ashamed of us at his coming. This is why as I said to my in-laws during a thanksgiving family get together that “I am a proud sexist”.

I am a proud sexist because I am proud of my God and his Word.

And on a closing side note – God used that discussion for me to have an opening to share the truth of God’s Word with my 14 year old niece.  She came to my house during the break between Christmas and New Years to spend time with my wife (her aunt). She and I get along well and we joke with each other all the time.  Despite what occurred earlier during thanksgiving my niece does have a lot of respect for me and she knows that I know the Bible very well.

She made another joke while she was at my house when talking to my wife and she said something like “that’s just because Uncle Larry is a sexist”.  I was able to take that opportunity and to talk with her.  I explained to her that when I said that earlier I meant it and it was not a joke to me.  I explained to her that being a sexist from a Biblical perspective means believing that men and women should be treated differently because men and women have different roles to play in God’s design.  I was able to have a quick Bible study with her where I took her through Genesis 1, Genesis 2, I Corinthians 11 and Ephesians 5.  I opened a world to her that she never knew existed.  She had never heard why God created men and women and why God created marriage.  She had never heard that God created women for men or that God created marriage to be a picture of the relationship of God to his people.

It was a lot for her to take in and her first response was the typical response you would expect from a 14 year old girl raised by a feminist mother – “but that’s not fair! Why would God do that? Men are not perfect like Christ and they will abuse their power over women.”  She added “plus women are usually smarter than men”.

This is what our children have been raised with.  A society that teaches them God is unfair to women, men abuse women and women are smarter than men and women should be in charge of the home.

This is spiritual war we must wage for the hearts and minds of our young people.

“3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (KJV)

Was Roy Moore violating Biblical commands in dating teenage girls?

Does the Bible condemn the practice of older men dating teenage girls? With the revelations in the news about Alabama Republican senate candidate Roy Moore having dated teenage girls decades ago when he is was in thirties this question has been raised amongst Christians.

Now let me be clear as a Bible believing Christian in regard to the sexual molestation accusations against Judge Moore.  If it can be proven that Judge Moore engaged in any type of sexual touching or sexual relations with these woman outside of marriage that would be by definition fornication and something that the Bible clearly condemns.

But that is not the question I am discussing here.  The fact is, even if Judge Moore did not engage in any extramarital sexual relations with any of these women there are many in our culture, including Christians, who would condemn him simply for dating teenage girls while he was in his early thirties and this is the question we will tackle in the article.

What is the minimum age for women to marry in the Bible?

There are two factors for determining a woman’s minimal age for marriage.

A woman must reach puberty first before she can marry

Two Bible passages, one from the Old Testament and one from the New indicate that the minimal age for marriage of woman is when she reaches puberty.

“7 I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare.

8 Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God, and thou becamest mine.”

Ezekiel 16:7-8 (KJV)

In the passage above from Ezekiel we read of God’s love story with Israel.  He presents himself as a wealthy man who finds an infant girl who had just been born and is left for dead in a field.  He takes her as ward in his home and when she reaches puberty (grows breasts and pubic hair) he declares that “thy time was the time of love” and he takes her as his wife.

In the New Testament the Apostle Paul tells of a similar story of a man with a young woman who is his ward whom he has an attraction to:

“36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.”

I Corinthians 7:36 (KJV)

When it says “pass the flower of her age” it literally means “ripe” as when a fruit is ready to be plucked and eaten.  Like Ezekiel 16:7-8 it refers to the fact that she has reached puberty and is now ready for marital love.

So according to both the Old and New Testaments a girl must first reach puberty before she can marry and when a girl reached puberty she was no longer considered a child but was now considered a woman.

A father determines at what age his daughter marries

There was a second factor in determining a woman’s age at the time of her marriage and we find this in 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)

Today our culture treats a father’s blessing for his daughter to marry as a cute tradition and nothing more. Fathers are expected to rubber stamp any man their daughter says she wants to marry because after all it is her life, her body and her choice right?  Fathers have had their authority over whom their daughters marry completely removed.  However, we can see in the Scriptures that this was not just some tradition but we see that God grants fathers the authority over whom their daughters may marry.

Now a word caution on this.  A father’s authority over his daughter while being similar to that of a husband over his wife is different in some key aspects. A father’s authority is temporary.  He is there to raise her and prepare her for her future husband.  His authority and ownership over his daughter is not meant to be for life as a husband’s authority is meant to be for life.   So if a father is inhibiting his daughter from marrying well into her adult life in order to keep her in his home he has failed in the role God has given him.  He is sinning against God and his daughter by inhibiting his daughter from following God’s first command to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28).

The State has no authority over marriage

Many Christians mistakenly think that God has given civil government nearly unlimited authority.  Most Christians think unless the government literally tells us to sin that they can pass any laws they want.  They site passages like this to bolster their belief:

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

1 Peter 2:13-14 (KJV)

But they neglect the fact that Christ recognizes the concept of limited authority for civil government:

“They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”

Matthew 22:21 (KJV)

 

Christ said “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s”.  That means “Obey the civil government in the areas that God has given to civil government”.

Romans 13:1-5 and 1 Peter 2:13-14 teach us that the role of government is to protect the people and punish evil doers according to God’s law. Search the Scriptures and you will find that the only authority God gives in marriage is to the family and specifically to the father.  Of course we know that the father is still under God’s authority in regard to marriage and he must regard his ownership of his daughter as a temporary stewardship in preparing her for her future husband.

What this means in practical terms is state marriage licenses are not required by God.  A marriage is valid in God’s eyes if a man has the permission of a woman’s father or if her father is gone and she is living on her own she consents to marriage.  He can enter into a covenant of marriage with her in private and that marriage is just as binding in God’s eyes as if they had a public ceremony with a pastor or priest and state marriage license.

This also means whether states outlaw all marriage under the age of 18 or even 21 Christians may disregard such laws as the usurping of authority over the family by the civil government.  Christians can and may practice civil disobedience against such laws.

How our culture mocks God’s laws

Julie Zauzmer, writing for the Washington Post recently published an article entitled “Roy Moore allegations prompt reflections on fundamentalist culture in which some Christian men date teens”.  In this article she assembles a chorus of opponents of the practice of older men dating teenage girls.

Here are some excerpts from that article with people mocking God’s laws:

“That courtship of underage girls is especially common in conservative religious communities.

“We should probably talk about how there is a segment of evangelicalism and home-school culture where the only thing Roy Moore did wrong was initiating sexual contact outside of marriage. 14 year old girls courting adult men isn’t entirely uncommon,” Kathryn Brightbill, who works for the Coalition for Responsible Home Education, tweeted Friday, prompting a flurry of responses from other people who also had watched teenagers date much older Christian men…

Ashley Easter, who grew up in a fundamentalist Baptist church where courting was the norm for teenagers, said, “That was the first thing I thought of with Roy Moore.” In her church community in Lynchburg, Va., Easter said, fathers had complete control over whom their daughters were allowed to date, and she could see how a father might set his teen daughter up with a much older man.

A woman’s role is to be a wife, a homemaker and someone who births children. The man’s role is generally to be established and someone who provides the full income,” said Easter, who runs the Courage Conference for survivors of church sexual abuse. “It may take longer for a man to reach stability. While a woman of 15 or 16, if she’s been trained for a long time looking after her younger siblings, in their eyes she might be ready for marriage.” [1]

While regrettably I was not able to have my children homeschooled for a variety of reasons I do consider myself a part of that “segment of evangelicalism and home-school culture where the only thing Roy Moore did wrong was initiating sexual contact outside of marriage”.

Many of my friends growing up were homeschooled before they came to the Christian School I attended in high school. My parents homeschooled my niece and nephew who they adopted and I have cousins that have homeschooled their children as well.  And yes I grew up in Bible believing fundamental Baptist churches that while being imperfect did teach that “fathers had complete control over whom their daughters were allowed to date” according to the Word of God.  The sad thing is that many of these Baptist churches that formerly stood on the doctrines of Biblical gender roles have in recent decades abandoned these doctrines to appease feminists both inside and outside their churches.

What has been the result of the abandonment of courtship and the authority of the father over his daughter in regard to marriage? A massive increase in promiscuity among our young people who favor dating for fun instead of courtship for marriage. In many cases a huge delay of the marriage of young women well into their middle or late 20’s and a decrease in the size of Christian families. Young women are often more interested in their education and careers than in performing the main function God created them for which was to be wives and mothers.

Ashley Easter mock’s the fact that she was taught that “A woman’s role is to be a wife, a homemaker and someone who births children. The man’s role is generally to be established and someone who provides the full income”.

The sad part is Mrs. Easter growing up in a fundamental Baptist church knows the Scriptures actually support that very definition of a woman’s role that she mocks:

“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”

1 Timothy 5:14 (KJV)

The false “Child Marriage” narrative

I and other Christians who do not oppose marriage for women under the age of 18 are opposed to child marriage.  But we are opposed to child marriage as God defines it in the Scriptures and not how our culture defines child marriage.

My readers know I am no stranger to writing on controversial topics especially as they relate to the Bible and marriage and I know on this subject I may have some disagreement from even some of my strongest supporters.  But I would like you to truly consider something.

In the Scriptures we read:

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Romans 12:2 (KJV)

What the Bible calls “child marriage” and what our culture calls “child marriage” are two different things.  God says a girl is a child before she reaches puberty and that after she reaches puberty it “was the time of love” (Ezekiel 16:8) – in other words time for marriage. She was no longer considered a child, but was now considered a woman.  God forbids men from marrying a young girl who has not “passed the flower of her age” (I Corinthians 7:36) or in other words a girl who has not reached puberty.  She is still considered a child and is not eligible for marriage.

So yes if a man wants to marry some prepubescent girl he is in fact in violation of God’s law and that is “child marriage” we can all agree is wrong.

But our feminist and egalitarian culture has expanded the definition of how long girls remain children.  Our culture has expanded childhood for girls past the onset of puberty all the way to age 18.

In an article entitled “Why can 12-year-olds still get married in the United States?”, Fraidy Reiss writing for the Washington Post states:

“Unchained At Last, a nonprofit I founded to help women resist or escape forced marriage in the United States, spent the past year collecting marriage license data from 2000 to 2010, the most recent year for which most states were able to provide information. We learned that in 38 states, more than 167,000 children — almost all of them girls, some as young 12 — were married during that period, mostly to men 18 or older. Twelve states and the District of Columbia were unable to provide information on how many children had married there in that decade. Based on the correlation we identified between state population and child marriage, we estimated that the total number of children wed in America between 2000 and 2010 was nearly 248,000.

Despite these alarming numbers, and despite the documented consequences of early marriages, including negative effects on health and education and an increased likelihood of domestic violence, some state lawmakers have resisted passing legislation to end child marriage — because they wrongly fear that such measures might unlawfully stifle religious freedom or because they cling to the notion that marriage is the best solution for a teen pregnancy…

Regardless of whether the union was the child’s or the parents’ idea, marriage before 18 has catastrophic, lifelong effects on a girl, undermining her health, education and economic opportunities while increasing her risk of experiencing violence.” [2]

Reiss throws in marriages as young as 12(even though the majority were age 15 or higher) to really get the hairs on the back of people’s necks up.

If you were to tell people in Biblical times that a girl did not become a woman until she was 18 they would have laughed so hard at you they would have fallen over. Let me give you a little bit of historical backdrop on this before we condemn twelve year olds marrying:

Rev. Dr. Eugene Weitzel stated this about the Jewish view of early marriage:

    “As we noted above, the Jews clearly understood that the first command that God gave to Adam and Eve was “increase and multiply” (Gen 1:28). In fact one rabbi firmly believed that “A bachelor is not truly a man at all.” Furthermore, celibacy was looked upon as an anomaly, almost a disgrace.  Now keep in mind that Jesus Christ, a devout, practicing Jew who dearly loved his Jewish faith, grew up with this view of celibacy.  He also knew that his people believed in early marriage.  Many rabbis, even during Jesus’s time, taught that eighteen was the ideal age for marriage for a man but certainly not later than twenty-four. He knew too that girls were ready for marriage as soon as they were physically ready to conceive and bear children, which according to the law was twelve and one-half years. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was probably no more than fourteen years old when she gave birth to the Son of God.” [3]

Lucien Deiss in his book “Joseph, Mary, Jesus” writes:

    “How old could Mary have been? Young girls usually were betrothed as soon as they became a woman.  It was believed they reached puberty at about twelve or twelve and a half. Boys it was believed reached the age if puberty a year later. Marriage could take place one year after puberty a year later. In general, it was held that men could wait until the age of eighteen or twenty before marrying so that they could have time to build a house and plant a vineyard.”[4]

My point is that is highly likely from a historical perspective that Mary was betrothed to Joseph at 12 years old and most likely gave birth to Jesus by the age of 14. Now we know in the case of Mary that Jesus’s conception was of the Holy Spirit.  But under normal circumstances young women were commonly giving birth to their first child by age 13 or 14.

So are we willing to condemn Joseph the father of Jesus for child marriage because he most likely betrothed Mary at such a young age?  Worse yet are we as Christians willing to condemn God the Holy Spirit for conceiving a child in Mary at such a young age? Is God guilty of child abuse?

Reiss laments about the lack of nationwide state bans on marriage under the age of 18 “because they wrongly fear that such measures might unlawfully stifle religious freedom”.  Sorry mam – but that is exactly what such restrictions on marriage would be – a stifling of religious freedom.  But sadly I fear that Reiss and her allies may someday get such legislation passed.  We have seen in the last 20 years an onslaught of legislation that assaults religious liberty whether in the form of taking parental rights or giving new rights to the homosexual and transgender movements.

Another Christian blogger who goes by the name “nickducote” wrote the following in an article entitled “Jonathan Lindvall and Child Marriage: The Maranatha Story”:

“Marrying girls off so early does several things. For one thing, it precludes them having other options. They have not finished their academic education and are not qualified for anything besides homemaking. And even then, what fifteen-year-old is truly ready to run a home in today’s world? For another thing, such early marriage means a girl marries before she has time to completely mature and form her own outlook on life. But then, sadly, that’s rather part of the point. This sort of arrangement, after all, functions not as an independent adult making her own decisions but rather as a property transfer—and it is explicitly stated as such.” [5]

While I disagree with his positions and his values I think this blogger has actually done a very good job of concisely saying what those who oppose marriage of young women really have a problem with.  They have a problem with girls not having “other options”.  They have a problem with women not being “qualified for anything besides homemaking”. They have a problem with a woman not having “her own outlook on life”. They have a problem with marriage being “a property transfer”.

I am not against women having an education nor do I think the Bible is. But our society has turned education – especially higher education and college into a human right.  We have turned education into a false god that our culture worships.  It is not a human right according to the Word of God.

Education is fine as long as it is a help and not a hindrance to the primary tasks God has given us to do.  In the case of men education is often a help in one of their primary God given duties which is to provide for their families.  Education can be a help to women as well in being able to homeschool their children in the future.  But far too often education for women because more of a hindrance than a help to them pursuing their primary mission that God has given them.

A lot of women delay marriage for many years in the pursuit of higher education and often they are tempted to pursue careers before marriage.  The result is a large amount of women marrying well into their mid to late 20’s past their prime fertility years.  I wrote an article a few years back on this issue of women’s fertility entitled “Women’s ovaries don’t agree with Feminism” and I encourage you to read that article if you have not already.

It is not a crime against humanity if a woman does not receive a higher education or for that matter does not even finish high school and is only “qualified” for homemaking. This is one of the primary purposes for which God designed woman.  A lot of Christians misuse Proverbs 31 to try and teach that God approves of the modern concept of a career woman while ignoring this key verse in that passage:

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

Proverbs 31:27 (KJV)

How many career women actually look well to the ways of their household? How many career women instead barely cook for their families and leave their houses in disarray? How many are too tired to care for their children because they have dedicated all their energy to strangers outside the home? How many career women look at their husbands as their help meet instead of looking at themselves as their husband’s help meet?

The Proverbs 31 wife did go outside the home and buy and sell things but her focus was always on serving her home and her husband.  That was the center of her life – that was what gave her life meaning and fulfillment.  That is how she brought glory to both God and her husband.

Do women really need to form their “own outlook on life” before they marry?

God is portrayed as the potter to the clay in three different ways in the Bible.

In the New Testament God is portrayed in his sovereign creator role as the potter and individuals humans are the clay:

20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?”

Romans 9:20-21 (KJV)

We also see the children of Israel regard God as their father being their potter:

“But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.”

Isaiah 64:8 (KJV)

But there is a third role in which God pictures himself as the potter of the clay.  It is as a husband to his wife Israel:

“The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,

2 Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.

3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. 4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

5 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.”

Jeremiah 18:1-6 (KJV)

And for those that wish to challenge that this is God talking to Israel as his wife I challenge with this other passage from earlier in the book of Jeremiah:

Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the Lord.”

Jeremiah 3:20 (KJV)

God literally equates “O house of Israel” with a wife who treacherously departs from her husband.   If you look at how the phrase “O house of Israel” is used in other Old Testament prophecy books it is always used in the sense of Israel as a nation – the wife of God.

So if a Christian rejects the idea of a husband being able to mold his wife as the potter molds the clay from this analogy of God and Israel they do so only from a position of pride and a rejection of the husband/wife relationship as it is pictured in the Bible.

When Christians bloggers like nickducote say women need to form their own outlooks on life before marrying he is saying they should be firm in who they are and what they believe before they marry.  The problem with this is that just as God wanted his wife Israel to be moldable to the way he wanted her to be – so too young women should be moldable to the way their husbands want them to be.

In a previous article I wrote entitled “Why unity in marriage has more to do with the wife than the husband” I dove into this concept that unity in marriage primarily has to do with the wife being moldable to her husband.

This does not mean a woman can never have her own opinions or even that young women cannot and should not have strong faiths even as young ladies before they marry.  My daughter who will be turning 16 in a few months has a strong Christian faith.  But I have taught her to keep herself moldable for her future husband and be prepared for the fact that he may see some things differently than I do as her father.  I only have a temporary stewardship over my daughter and one day I will give her to the man that will be her husband for life. It is to that man, and not me that she must mold herself.  It is with that man that she must become one flesh.

For decades Christians have done just as this blogger has recommended and encouraged women to have higher educations, form their own outlooks on life and ultimately marry much later.  And what has the result been? We have produced generations of contentious and brawling wives as the Bible warns against:

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

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

Proverbs 21:9 & 19 (KJV)

Christian marriages now have the same divorce rates that non-Christian marriages have because we have rejected Biblical gender roles as taught in the Scriptures and Churches in mass have fully embraced modern feminist ideologies.

Is it wrong to view marriage as “a property transfer”?

Ever since Roe vs Wade and Second wave feminism the entire concept of a women belonging to men whether it be their fathers or their husbands was thrown out the window.  Women for decades have chanted “it’s my body and I can do with it as I want” whether in reference to abortion or even in sexually denying their husbands.

While it may seem appalling to our feminist and egalitarian culture marriage is in fact classified as a transfer of property in the Bible.  The Hebrew word used to speak of a woman getting married or being married or a man marrying a woman was the verb form the Hebrew “baal” which was literally “to be owned”.  The noun form of the Hebrew word “baal” was used to describe a husband which was literally “owner”.  See below this passage which described adultery and the penalty for it:

“If a man be found lying with a woman married[baal – verb] to an husband[baal-noun], 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)

So we could literally take the first part of Deuteronomy 22:22 and translate it as “If a man be found lying with a woman owned by an OWNER/MASTER…”

In Deuteronomy 24:1 where we read about divorce and the first part references marriage where it states “When a man hath taken a wife, and married her” this again uses the verb form of baal for marriage.  It literally could be translated as “When a man hath taken a wife and owned her…”

Even Proverbs 31 which Christian feminists like to use to falsely teach that women can have careers and abandon their duties to the home to others shows the ownership of a husband over his wife.

“10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

11 The heart of her husband[baal – noun] doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.”

Proverbs 31:10-11 (KJV)

So verse 11 of Proverbs 31 literally says “The heart of her OWNER/MASTER doth safely trust in her”.

My point is this blogger and many other Christians and non-Christians alike may not like it – but the Word of God frames marriage itself as an owner/owned relationship.  When a man marries a woman he takes ownership of her.  He becomes her master.  Biblically speaking, marriage under normal circumstances is absolutely a transfer of property in the sense of a father giving away his daughter in marriage to her husband.

Now we know as Christians that a husband is not to abuse his position as his wife’s master but that he is to love her as Christ loves the Church and washes her spots and wrinkles as Ephesians 5:25-27 states.  But husbands are the masters, the owners and the heads of their wives just as Christ is the master, owner and head of his church.

That’s just the Old Testament!

A lot of Christians and non-Christians alike will criticize any use of the Old Testament as a found for moral teachings especially as it relates to marriage.  This is huge topic but I will just give you a few pointers that defuse the false argument that there is no more binding moral law in the Old Testament.

Jesus Christ said of the Old Testament:

“17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:17-19 (KJV)

That Apostle Paul wrote:

“Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”

Romans 3:31(KJV)

Later in the New Testament we are told in Hebrews 7:12 “For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law” and this in in reference to the fact that under the new priesthood of Christ the ceremonial and civil laws given to Israel as a nation are removed for the Church.  The Church unlike Israel is not a physical nation but rather a spiritual nation made up all peoples from all nations.

So for those who want to say “well if you belief daughters are owned by their fathers and wives are owned by their husbands then why are we not stoning kids for being rebellious or wives committing adultery?”  Great question and the answer is a very easy answer.  The answer is that adultery and rebellion of children toward their parents are still just as much sins against God as when he stated this thousands of years ago.  It is the penalty for these sins that has changed in the New Testament since the Church is not a nation it cannot exercise these types of punishments.

I will end with this passage from the Scriptures for those who find the Old Testament or the Bible repugnant to their modern American values. For you Christians who put more faith in studies conducted by man that say women should not do what God created them to do because it is “unhealthy” or “catastrophic” for them.

“Let God be true, but every man a liar”

Romans 3:4 (KJV)

References:

[1] Zauzmer, Julie. (2017). Roy Moore allegations prompt reflections on fundamentalist culture in which some Christian men date teens. The Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/11/13/roy-moore-allegations-prompt-reflections-on-fundamentalist-culture-in-which-some-christian-men-date-teens/

[2] Reiss, Fraidy. (2017). Why can 12-year-olds still get married in the United States. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/02/10/why-does-the-united-states-still-let-12-year-old-girls-get-married/?utm_term=.fd7b3878c31f&tid=a_inl

[3] Weitzel, Eugene. J. (2010). I Want to Be a Husband and Father for Life and a Catholic Priest Forever. U.S.: Xilbris Corporation. p. 113

[4] Deiss, Lucien (1996), Joseph, Mary, Jesus, Liturgical Press, p. 25, ISBN 978-0814622551

[5] nickducote. (2017). Jonathan Lindvall and Child Marriage: The Maranatha Story. Jonathan Homeschoolersanonymous.org. https://homeschoolersanonymous.org/2013/12/02/jonathan-lindvall-and-child-marriage-the-maranatha-story/

Why does the Bible make me feel worthless as a woman?

Modern America teaches women that they should judge their own worth by how intelligent they are, how educated they are, how independent they are and by how successful they are in their career.

These new standards of a woman’s worth are a radical shift from the standards by which women have historically judged their own worth.  Consider the table below which illustrates stark contrasts between how women judged their own worth before the 1960’s and the new standards after the 1960’s.

The measure of a woman before and after the 1960’s

Pre-1960’s Post-1960’s
Beauty Intelligence
Potential for having children(age/health) Education Level(College/University)
Submissiveness Independence
Cooking/Home Keeping Skills Career/Income Potential

We can make two primary observations about the differences between these two lists.

The first observation is that before the 1960’s a woman’s sense of self worth was very much tied to what she had to offer a future or current husband.  After the 1950’s women were taught to stop centering their sense of worth on what they had to offer a future or current husband and to concentrate more on what they wanted for themselves regardless of how attractive or unattractive such pursuits or qualities made them to men.

The second observation we can make from these two lists is that the modern list for what woman are told should give them their sense of worth is identical to what men historically have been told should give them their sense of worth.

In other words, women today are told that they must compare themselves to men to have any sense of worth.  So for example, if a woman has a submissive spirit this is not seen as a quality adding to her worth, but rather one that takes away from her worth.  If a woman does not speak her mind whenever she has a disagreement but rather holds her tongue and shows deference to men this quality is not seen as a worthy one, but one that takes away from her worth.

And if a woman has no desire for a higher education or career ambitions, but rather seeks to find a man and serve him by bearing his children and caring for his home this women is viewed today as the most worthless of all.

Recently I received a heart felt plea as comment to my blog from a woman who stated she has recently become a believer in Christ. She said that as she reads the Scriptures I present on this blog on why God made woman she has found herself feeling depressed and worthless by the Biblical view of womanhood.

It actually is easy for me to understand why she might feel worthless after comparing herself to Biblical standards for what should give a woman her sense of worth because they are so different than our modern standards. It is like studying for one test, only to be given a completely different test.

The name she wrote under is Adrienne.

Adrienne’s Dilemma

“As a new believer who is desperately trying to pull myself out of the pit of feminism, I find myself becoming depressed reading some of the articles and comments on biblicalgenderroles.com. I had bought into all the lies about marriage being an equal partnership. The whole “we are a team” as opposed to the master/ servant relationship it really is. I completely understand that everything (including men and women) is made for God’s pleasure.

I struggle with the knowledge that everything I am is made for my husband’s pleasure. Kinda makes one feel worthless as a person. I feel like I am not allowed to have my own tastes or preferences in anything. Should I even bother having an opinion or should I ask my husband what my opinion is?

It also kind of makes me feel like God hates women. After all, there are no women in heaven, and probably never will be. The Godhead is male, the angels are male and from what I understand there will be no marriage or children in heaven/eternity so there will be no need for gender. The pastors I have talked to about this tell me either:

  1. all women will be turned into men at the final judgement.
  2. women have no souls/ no need for salvation and when we die we just cease to exist like the animals.

They said God only created us as women b/c He had to for reproductive purposes not b/c He wanted to. This all hurts and I have no idea what is biblical or not. I just started reading the bible and have not made it past exodus yet. How do I find joy in my role as a woman if I feel like I am nothing to God or anyone else?”

My Response to Adrienne and other women who feel worthless in God’s sight

Adrienne, I could summarize your concerns as a new believer with this statement:

Why does the Bible make me feel worthless as a woman?

The first reason that you feel “worthless”(or have low self-esteem) when looking at the Biblical view of womanhood is because you still have a faulty view of what gives a woman or people in general their worth.  The Bible tells us as Christians that we have been preprogrammed with faulty ways of thinking by both our sin natures as well as the cultures and families we were brought up in.

When we begin our walk with God we must recognize this daily and seek to unlearn what our sin natures, cultures and families have taught us and renew our minds with what is good, acceptable and perfect according to the will of God which is found in his Word.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Romans 12:2 (KJV)

Women definitely have souls

I know in past centuries there were some who threw around such rumors as a church doctrine that teaches women do not have souls.  But the Bible supports no such notion.  I am unaware of any Pastors or churches today that preach such nonsense.  I would be very curious to know who you spoke with or at least their denomination.

The Scriptures show us definitive proof that women have souls and here is just one example from Mary, the woman who God chose to give flesh to his Son Jesus Christ:

“46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.”

Luke 1:46-47 (KJV)

So yes there will be women in heaven and women in hell just as there will be men in heaven and men in hell.  Every soul goes to one of these two destinations.

Did God just create women for procreative purposes?

While the pursuit of motherhood for women is definitely honored and even commanded in the Scriptures (“be fruitful and multiply“– Genesis 1:28) that is not the only reason God made woman.  In fact God could have made men as asexually reproducing beings as other organisms on earth are.  He did not need to create a different type of human being for humans to reproduce.

Instead God created woman for a much more glorious purpose which we will explain next.

Equal personhood does NOT mean equal opportunity

One of the falsehoods we have been taught in American society is that if a certain class of people does not have equal rights or privileges with other classes of people then they are said to be treated as “less than human” or not as persons.

You will find no support for such a definition of personhood in the Scriptures.  In fact the Scriptures routinely show different rights for people based on various classes.  Free women had more rights than slave women.  Indentured servants had more rights than slaves but less rights than free men. Free men had more rights than free women, indentured male and female servants, male slaves, or female slaves.

In other words, in God’s view, our personhood is NOT determined by our social class or the rights we have or do not have.

But now let’s bring this back to men and women.

Every human being is given a soul by God which inhabits our “vessel” which is the word the Scriptures often use to speak to our bodies.  God made two types of vessels, one that is classified as the “weaker vessel” (I Peter 3:5) and thus the other by comparison is the stronger vessel.  The souls of women inhabit the weaker vessel and the souls of men inhabit the stronger vessel.

But then we must understand that God did not arbitrarily make one vessel weaker than the other.  He made one vessel stronger and one vessel weaker for a glorious purpose. The scriptures tell us that God made man to be his image bearer – to bring God glory by imaging him:

“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.”

I Corinthians 11:7-9 (KJV)

This passage of Scripture, which is part of a divinely inspired commentary on the Genesis account, tells us that God created man to bring him glory by imaging him.  God then created woman from man to glorify man.

But how does a woman fully bring glory to man as God intended in his purpose in creating her? We will answer that question in our next section.

How does a woman bring glory to her husband and thereby bring glory to God?

The scriptures reveal to us the full and glorious purpose for which God designed woman (and man) in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians:

“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”

Ephesians 5:22-29 (KJV)

Again just as with I Corinthians 11, we have here in Ephesians chapter 5 divine commentary from God regarding the Genesis creation account.  God did not create women as soulless creatures simply for procreative purposes but rather he created them for man to be able to fully image God.  Man needed someone to love as God loves mankind by leading them, protecting them and providing for them.  This is why we God made woman “the weaker vessel” (I Peter 3:7) because just as mankind is weaker than God and needs him for all these things, so too woman was designed to be weaker than man and need him for these things.

So how does a woman glorify her husband as God intended her too? By modeling what God desires from his Church in honoring, reverencing, submitting to and serving her husband as the Church is to serve Christ.

What is the measure of a woman’s worth by God’s standards?

As I said at the beginning of this post, God’s standard’s for what gives a woman her sense of worth and what our culture says gives a woman her sense of worth are two very different things.

The Scriptures tell us that a virtuous woman is worth more than rubies:

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.”

Proverbs 31:10 (KJV)

In another passage the Scriptures tell us that a virtuous woman is her husband’s crown:

“A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.”

Proverbs 12:4 (KJV)

Are rubies not of great worth? Is a crown not of great worth? We know these things are of great worth. But how does a woman make herself worth more than rubies to her future or present husband?

Seven ways a woman makes herself of great worth in God’s View

Do you as a woman want to be of great worth to your future or current husband?  If you reject the world’s definition of the worth of a woman and follow God’s definition you will have great worth both to God and to your husband.

Below are seven ways a woman can be a ruby and a crown in the eyes of God and her husband:

  1. She happily seeks to play her part in modeling the Church’s subordinate role to Christ. (Ephesians 5:22-33)
  2. She happily seeks to marry, bear children, and keep the house for her husband. (I Timothy 5:14)
  3. She happily seeks to be obedient to and submissive to her husband. (Titus 2:5, I Peter 3:1-6, Ephesians 5:22-24)
  4. She happily seeks to reverence her husband and never bring any shame to him or God by her behavior(Proverbs 12:4,I Timothy 5:14,Titus 2:5)
  5. She demonstrates her prudence and wisdom by being discreet and kind in when and how she shares her advice with her husband. (Proverbs 11:22, Proverbs 19:14, Proverbs 31:26, Titus 2:5)
  6. She makes both her inner person and her outer person beautiful to please her husband (Psalm 45:11, I Peter 3:3-6)
  7. She happily sees that God not only gave her to her husband to care for his children and his home, but also to bring him pleasure with her body and she never denies him a drink from the well which is her body. (Proverbs 5:15-19)

Is a wife allowed to have different opinions and tastes than her husband?

Adrienne, you asked “I feel like I am not allowed to have my own tastes or preferences in anything. Should I even bother having an opinion or should I ask my husband what my opinion is?”

Absolutely as a wife you are allowed to have your own opinions and “tastes” by which I think you mean preferences.  In fact the Scriptures say these two things are part of what makes a woman of great worth to her husband:

“House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the Lord.”

Proverbs 19:14 (KJV)

“She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”

Proverbs 31:26 (KJV)

So the Scriptures tell us that a prudent and wise wife are of great value to a man.  What is prudence? Prudence is planning for the future.  A wife who has things planned out for the needs of her home whether it be clothing needs or food needs or the other needs of the children is of great value to a man.  And wisdom is not just knowledge, but knowing how to use that knowledge in a right way.  This is also of great value to a man.

So yes you are absolutely allowed to have opinions and preferences and these can be beneficial to your future or current husband. But the key concept to understand is that you are not allowed to express your opinions and preferences in any way you want or at any time you want and you need to accept the fact that your husband may not always follow your opinions.

Let me give a few examples to better illustrate this.

The President of the United States has a chief of staff. The President delegates certain powers and responsibilities to the chief of staff to run the White House and represent the President publicly.  A good chief of staff certainly has his own opinions and preferences as to how the President should do certain things but he keeps those differences private and always shares them in a respectful and reverent way with the President.   If the President says “this is the way it will be”, then the chief of staff submits to that direction.

But from the outside world’s perspective – the chief of staff is always in lock step with his President.   One other thing about what makes a good chief of staff to a President.  The chief of staff realizes he is there to serve the President and not vice versa.  He realizes that he is there to help implement the President’s agenda – but never to set it.

This is the way a wife is to be toward her husband in regard to her opinions and preferences.  When she shares opinions and preferences with her husband she needs to ask herself “I am sharing this opinion or preference to help further his agenda or my own?”

For example – your husband may set these agenda items for your marriage and your family:

  1. He wants to have regular sexual relations with you at least 3 times a week.
  2. He wants the children to clean their rooms on a daily basis.
  3. He wants the children to do their homework on a daily basis.
  4. He wants to have certain budget priorities for the family.

I could come up with a much larger list but you get my point.  Now as a wife you could privately meet with him and share your opinion on how to best meet his agenda goals.  For instance in the sexual arena you could share your sexual preferences to help him better please you and thus have more sexual pleasure in the bedroom.  You could say maybe mornings work better than evenings sometimes for sex.   All of this is meant to further his agenda for you both to have a good sex life together as a couple and not simply to further some agenda that you have.  Maybe he wants oral sex – but you would prefer that he bathe before you do that.  You could share things like this with him in a private setting in a respectful manner.

In regard to the children – you could share your opinions on how to best implement his agenda items that they clean their rooms and do their homework.  The same goes for the budget.

One last thing in regard to your opinions and this would even apply to my chief of staff example with the President.  Sometimes a President will not accept the recommendation of his chief of staff.  Sometimes he may even accept the recommendation of another advisor over his chief of staff. In this same way you must accept that your husband will not always accept and act on your opinion or your preferences.

Your husband may actually take someone else’s advice against yours as his wife and you need to accept that and be OK with that.

A lot of Christian wives get offended by this.  But you need to realize as a Christian wife that if you are angered by your husband taking someone else’s advice over yours this comes from a place of pride.  You are one of his advisers, but not his only adviser as so many wives falsely see themselves.

The other thing to remember is that contrary to false teachings today you are not the Holy Spirit for your husband and your opinions, like his are not inerrant.  To put it bluntly, it is possible for a man to have a wife who is stupid in certain areas or a wife to have a husband that is stupid in certain areas.  But the chain of command remains.  I don’t get to say because my boss does something stupid that I no longer have to listen to him or respect him as my boss.  In the same way the chain of command in a family is not dependent on the husband’s intellect.  A wife must always submit to and obey her husband unless he asks her to directly sin against God.

Conclusion

I hope that if you are a Christian woman like Adrienne reading this that you will realize God has glorious plan in creating you as a woman.  You are not some soulless creature only made to procreate for mankind.  You were created to bring glory to God by bringing glory to man.  You are an indispensable part in helping to model the relationship of the Church to Christ with your future or current husband.

You need to come to reject the lies of this world.  You need to unlearn what the world has taught you gives women their worth and renew your mind according to God’s view of you – not this evil world’s view.

This world will tell you to compete with your future or current husband for power and equality rather than placing yourself in subjection to him so that you can fulfill the purpose for which God made you.

And here is the secret the world won’t tell you that I have heard from so many women through this blog and other ways. You need to realize that the woman God designed you to be, the nature that he gave to Eve is buried within you.  For someone women there is a little rubble to clear to get to it and for others there is a mountain of rubble to clear.  Some of the rubble simply comes from the corrupting influence of sin or to say it another way – some of the rubble you were simply born with.  But other parts of the rubble may have come from the corrupt teachings of our culture, or your parents or even your own bad life experiences.

Either way – you have to recognize this spiritual rubble and clear it away to see the woman that God truly designed you to be.  You need to clear that rock away from the ruby God meant you to be and then you will make yourself of great worth to God and your future or current husband.