Do you still hold the “I am not comfortable with that” card?

Christ wife do you still hold the “I am not comfortable with that” card in your Christian marriage? If you do you need to get rid of it.  Let me explain what I mean.

You might consider yourself to be a wife who believes in submission to your husband.  You may even be able to show proof of your belief by showing times where you and your husband have disagreed on financial decisions or decisions regarding his career where you have simply followed him.

But then you hold on to the “I am not comfortable with that” card especially when it comes to you being asked to do things by him you are not comfortable with.  And we are not talking about things that are clearly outlined as sinful in the Bible like him asking you to commit adultery with another man or to murder someone or steal from someone.  We are talking about things he is asking you to do that are outside your comfort zone.

For instance, what if he decided it was ok for your young teens to watch a TV show or movie you did not think they should watch? What if he allowed them to play a game you think they should not play? And he wanted you to allow them to do these things even when he is away.

On a more personal level, what if he asked you to wear certain clothing in the bed room? What if he asked you to wear certain clothing in public (think going on a date or going to the beach)?  What if he asked you to change your makeup?  What if he asked you to do something uncomfortable in bed?

Do you pull out the “I am not comfortable with that” card as an exception to God’s command to submit to your husband “in everything”? Or have you convinced yourself that you not feeling comfortable with something equals that thing being sinful?  If you have done this you need to remember that God has made your husband your spiritual authority and instructor in his Word.  The Scriptures say to wives in 1 Corinthians 14:35 that “if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home”.

Christian wives, Ephesians 5:24’s command for you to submit to your husband “in every thing” means throwing out your “I am not comfortable with that” card.

A Woman Should Disobey Her Husband for the Gospel

The Bible tells wives in Ephesians 5:24 to be subject to their husbands “in everything”. So what is a Christian wife to do if her husband commands her not to speak of the Gospel to her children? Does God want her to obey that command?

My inspiration for this article came from a comment I recently received from a woman calling herself Alice. She had been talking about how her husband had left the Christian faith and she worried about her children:

“BGR, my husband is not requiring me to abandon my faith or church, so I do not need to do anything. I really do believe if I keep my mouth shut, God will lead him home. If he wants me to accompany him to religious services at a Buddhist temple, I will, but I do worry about the children. I do not contradict him in front of them, but I am worried because he is very vocal about his disdain for Christianity.

They are in Catholic school and he does not want them to move, but his point of view is in direct contradiction of what they are learning and I don’t know what to do. I don’t tell them privately that their father is wrong, that seems like the height of disrespect toward my husband, but I also don’t want my children thinking Christianity is wrong. I also know it is not my place to teach my husband anything spiritually, so I mostly try and steer conversations away from religion. Politics is always a good foil!”

There are three separate issues here that this Christian wife is faced with.  How does a Christian woman evangelize her unbelieving husband?  How does she evangelize her children? And should she attend the temple of false god with him? First let’s tackle how she evangelizes her husband.

Wives Should Win Their Husbands With Their Behavior, Not Their Words

The Apostle Peter wrote the following to wives whose husbands are disobedient to the Word of God (this covers both unbelieving husbands and professing Christian husbands who are disobedient):

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.”

I Peter 3:1-2

So the Scriptures make clear that wives are not to try and win their husbands by preaching the Gospel at them but instead they are to win them by their subjection, and their pure and respectful behavior toward their husbands.

A key phrase that many people miss in I Peter 3:1 is the word “Likewise”.  What this means is the Apostle Peter is referring to another group he was just talking about.  In the previous chapter just before speaking to wives Peter speaks to slaves where he says something very similar:

“Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the forward.”

I Peter 2:18

Peter was telling slaves or servants to set the example of Christ with their master’s even if their masters were cruel and made them suffer.  The point was that by setting the example of Christ they may win some of their masters by their behavior.

Is Peter saying wives are identical to slaves? No.  But what he is saying is that “likewise” or in the same way he had just told slaves be in subjection to their masters, even masters who mistreated them and caused them to suffer, so too wives are to use this approach with their husbands to try to win them to Christ.

Let’s bring this back to Alice now.   Alice is exactly right in keeping her “mouth shut” with her husband.   She needs to win him by her subjection and reverent (fearful respect) behavior. But what about her children?

God Sent A Woman Behind Her Husband’s Back

While her husband is allowing them to stay in Catholic school, he is directly contradicting everything they learn about the Christian faith. And Alice worries that she cannot go behind her husband’s back to them their father is wrong.  So what should she do? What if she did go behind his back and he found out and forbid her from sharing the truth of the Gospel with her children? How should a Christian woman in Alice’s position handle this situation?

The answer to this question can be found in two passages of the Scriptures.  The first is found in New Testament in the book of Acts.  The Apostles had been imprisoned by the Jewish High Priest for going around preaching the Gospel but the Angel of the Lord came by night and freed them and total them to continue preaching the Gospel.  The High Priests have them captured again and brought before them where the following conversation took place:

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

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

Acts 5:27-30

So we see here that when our earthly authority commands us to not speak the Gospel we have a higher authority in God which compels us to.  Some may argue – “Well these were men and not wives”.  There is absolutely no reason this same principle would not apply to a woman or a wife as well.

Sometimes even a wife must go against her husband for the sake of God or to save the lives of her family members from her husband’s evil actions.  For an example of this we will look to an Old Testament woman named Abigail.

In I Samuel chapter 25 we read of a man named Nabal who has a wife named Abigail. The Bible tells us he was an evil man. David and his men were in need of food and water so he sent some men to ask for help from Nabal.  Nabal rudely turned David’s men away refusing to help and asked who David thought he was to ask for such help.

David hears of this and rally’s 400 of his men to go and kill Nabal and all the men of his house.  Abigail hears of the evil her husband had done and the impending death that that was coming for all the men of her household at the hands of David and his men.

She tells the servants to get food together to go to meet David and his men.  In I Samuel 25:19 we read “But she told not her husband Nabal”.  She literally secretly went behind his back to do what was right to save her family.

She met David and told him her husband was wrong and she was going to make amends for her husband’s evil actions.  David tells her in I Samuel 25:32 – “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me”.

This was not mistake, or some sin on the part of Abigail that she needed to confess later.  God wanted her to act against her husband’s evil to save the men of her house from certain death due to her husband’s evil ways.

Again let’s bring this back to Alice and her children.  While she should remain silent directly toward her husband as I Peter 3:1-2 indicates the situation is different with her children.  Why is it different? The reason is that her children are not her authority. Notice in I Peter 2 and I Peter 3 Peter is speaking to how we speak and act toward those above us.  He tells slaves or servants to win their masters with their behavior and he says the same of wives toward their husbands.

But did this mean a slave or servant could not and should not share the Gospel with a fellow servant? Absolutely not! They have a God given obligation to do so.  In the same way a Christian mother has an obligation to share the Gospel with those who are her equals or and especially with her children who are under her care.

What about attending the Temple of a False god?

Alice made the following statement about attending a Buddhist temple with her husband:

“If he wants me to accompany him to religious services at a Buddhist temple, I will”

But this is what the Scriptures tell us:
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”

2 Corinthians 6:14-17

It is one thing if your husband wants you to attend a different Christian denomination then you have been.  Perhaps you were Presbyterian and he converts to Baptist.  Then you should follow him to the Baptist church.  Or maybe you were Baptist and he converts to Presbyterian, then should follow him to the Presbyterian church.

And while I know some will disagree with me – if you were Protestant and your husband converts to Catholicism you should follow him to the Catholic Church.  Why? Then answer is found in the following Scripture passage:

“1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”

I John 4:1-3

All churches have some doctrinal errors and some churches have more doctrinal errors than others.  But a Christian teacher and a Christian church is defined by one thing.  Those who confess and preach that Jesus was the Messiah, the Savior and God in the flesh are Christian churches and those who deny any part of this are not.  Period.

We can and will have strong disagreements between Christian Churches.  But we need to be very careful of ever saying someone, or a church that believes Jesus was the Messiah, the Savior and God in the flesh and died for our sins on the cross cannot be called a Christian  or a Christian church.

Conclusion

Christian wives have clear direction on how to handle an unsaved husband and father to their children.  In regard to him they should place themselves in subjection to their husband and try to win their husband not with words, but with their pure and reverent behavior.  But in regard to their children or others they may come in contact with they should follow the Abigail example of going behind their husband’s back to do what God has commanded.

They should share the Gospel with others and most importantly their children.

Abigail acknowledged her husband was wrong in a particular area, and so too a Christian mother can maintain the respect for the children’s father but at the same time teach them the godly principle that we must always “obey God rather than men”.  If anyone tells us not to tell others the Gospel, we can and must disobey such a command because God is our higher authority.

Also in following this same principle of obeying “God rather than men” I do not think a woman in Alice’s situation should attend a Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic or other non-Christian house of worship.   The Scriptures are clear when they state And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?…Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

It is one thing if a woman’s unbelieving husband wants to live with her in peace.  The Bible tells us she should in I Corinthians 7:13 where it states And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

But she cannot go against her Lord whether it be in sharing her faith with others including her children or in attending the temple of idols.  The Scriptures are clear that we must love Christ more than our family and for a Christian wife that would include her husband:

36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.”

Matthew 10:36-38

Lastly – I want to stress that this kind of situation where a wife must go behind her husband’s back as Abigail did should be the rarity.  This should be for a life and death situation and not just for any disagreement.  And the Gospel is a life and death situation.  Your children’s eternal life hangs in the balance.

The Husband’s Call to Love Is A Call to Rule

Are men never commanded to lead their wives in the Bible? This is the recent conclusion that Cane Caldo has come to.  Cane Caldo has been a warrior against Christian feminism for many years. But recently he has come to the belief that he fell into a trap in response to Christian feminist arguments on this subject and that he now realizes he was “fundamentally wrong” in telling men that the Bible calls them to lead their wives.

In his article entitled “CoE V: I Am Not Called to “Lead” in the Bible” Caldo states:

“Our age’s focus on a husband’s leadership is a clever redirect away from the Biblical command for wives to submit and obey. Every instance of Biblical instruction to husbands and wives say the same thing: Wives submit to and obey your husbands. Husbands love and care for your wives. That’s the instruction in 1 Peter 3, Titus 2, Ephesians 5, and Colossians 3; in every instance where the Christian home life is addressed

I’ve written many posts and comments about a husband leading his wife, and I was fundamentally wrong. Over the years it has come to be that the liberal progressives proclaim the right thing for the wrong reasons and the traditionalists fight back with nonsense, and I fell into it also. Christian Feminists (both overt and those undeclared and unwitting) are quick to point out that it is a wife’s duty to obey and not a husbands right to force her to submit. Traditionalists have tried to fight this by demanding husbands lead better, and by stealing the glory of obedient women for themselves; such as when a man says his wife follows him because of his good leadership.

And all of it–the progressive tactics and the traditionalist response–is meant to tangle us up so that a wife’s temptation to rebel and abandon is never the topic of discussion; so that no one says, “Wives, obey your husbands.”

Building on what Caldo said here, Dalrock on his blog wrote in his article “Headship Sleight of Hand” the following comments:

“When I first read this it was obvious that Cane is right.  But I initially struggled to put all of the pieces together.  Scripture says the husband is the head of the wife.  We can then deduce from this that if he is the head, then he has an obligation to lead.  The Bible doesn’t state that husbands have this obligation, the husband’s stated obligation is to love his wife, and the wife’s stated obligation is to submit to her husband.  But leaders clearly have an obligation to lead.  The specific nature of this obligation is another question, but the basic deduction is solid.  However, modern Christians don’t stop there.  Next they turn the deduction around and run it backwards:

If the husband leads, he will be the head.

The reversed deduction is then substituted for the plain meaning of Scripture.  This is a masterful sleight of hand. From here, submission is likewise reworked:

If the husband leads well, the wife will submit.”

Dalrock then displays a nice graphic which basically shows this progression:

The husband is the head; the wife is to submit to him becomes leaders have an obligation to lead.

Leaders have an obligation to lead becomes if the husband leads, he will be the head.

If the husbands leads he will be head becomes if the husband leads well, the wife will submit.

I Understand Where Caldo and Dalrock Are Coming From

Let me first say that while Caldo, Darlock and I would have some disagreements in various areas we are all three would agree on the need to fight against the scourge of feminism and specifically Christian feminism in the churches.  In this regard I consider both these men brothers in arms and I have respect for their work.

And I can see where they are coming from on this topic.  Darlock painted the Christian feminist twisting of headship perfectly and showed how they arrive at their false conclusion that a wife only needs to submit to her husband if he leads well.

Caldo writes “Likewise, a husband cannot be thwarted from loving his wife. Even if she does not obey him that is no bar to his God-given ability to love and care her despite her wickedness. If he loves and cares for her, and she refuses to obey he is clean. He did not fail to lead.”

And here is

The Call to Love is a Call to Rule

Caldo points out that in every instance of the Scriptures where the husband wife relationship is addressed (1 Peter 3, Titus 2, Ephesians 5, and Colossians 3) that we find the formula of “Wives submit to and obey your husbands. Husbands love and care for your wives”.  And he is right in this regard.

But what he and Dalrock are failing to see is what kind of love husbands are called to?

Each and every time the Bible calls husbands to love their wives it uses the word “agape” in the Greek. 

Agape love, unlike phileo love, is not based on an emotional connection with or affection for someone.

Agape love, unlike storge love, is not like the instinctual love a parent has for their child or a child has for their parent.

Apape love, unlike eros love, is not based on sexual attraction to another person.

Agape love is love based on a commitment or choice to love another person. It is the choice to perform certain actions toward that person not because of how they make us feel, that they are family, or that we are sexually attracted to them. This is why sometimes Agape love is rightly referred to as an “action love”.

The minimum actions of Agape love are described for us in the Bible below:

Charity [agape] suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity [agape] vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity [agape] never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (KJV)

And God commands men to have this agape type of love toward their wives in Ephesians 5:25 when the Bible says “Husbands love [agape] your wives…”.

Men are not supposed to base their love for their wife on their feelings toward her at any given moment. But instead, their continued love for their wife is based on the choice they made to enter into a covenant of marriage with their wife.

But this agape love that a husband is called to have toward his wife is not just any agape love.  It is NOT the same type of agape love that we are to have toward our fellow church members, or even our children. 

The specific type of Agape love that men are to have toward their wives is described in exact detail in the passage below:

“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 5:25-29 (KJV)

So a husband’s agape love for his wife includes all the actions of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 but it is also includes some additional actions not required in all forms of agape love. Husbands are to agape love their wives “AS” Christ agape loves his church.

So here are key attributes of how Christ loves his Church that are given to husbands as a model in how God requires them to love their wives in Ephesians chapter 5:

  1. The call to love one’s wife is a call to sacrifice one’s self for one’s wife.
  2. The call to love one’s wife is a call to wash one’s wife, to wash her spiritual spots and wrinkles with the Word of God.
  3. The call to love one’s wife is a call to provide for(nourish) her physical needs.
  4. The call to love one’s wife is a call to protect(cherish) her.

It must be pointed out that the first two attributes in this list are tightly coupled together and the last two items in this list are tightly coupled together.

Christian feminists love that husbands are called to “give themselves up” for their wives as Christ did his Church.  Myriads of Christian feminist books and blogs have built false doctrines around the phrase “and gave himself for it”.  Basically, they twist this phrase into saying Christian men should give up any desires or ambitions they have in a life long quest to make their wives happy.

But what they fail to do is realize that God describes WHY Christ gave himself up.  It was to wash the spiritual blemishes, spots and wrinkles of his wife, the Church, to make her holy, not happy.

In fact, in the book of Acts we find out more about why Christ “gave himself up” for the Church”:

“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”

Acts 20:28 (KJV)

Christ did not “gave himself up” to appease or make happy his bride, the Church, but rather to purchase her with his own blood so he could then wash her and make her the glorious bride he intended her to be to him.

Now one of the mistakes that Caldeo makes that a lot of people make on both sides of this issue is that he confines the definition of the role a husband to “where the Christian home life is addressed”.  That is an exegetical mistake.  When Ephesians 5:25 tells husbands to love their wives “as Christ also loved the church” this tells us we can look to any part of the Scriptures where Christ is interacting with his church collectively or churches individually to understand how a husband’s love and interactions are to be with his wife.

To that end let’s now look to the book of Revelation.  Here we find Christ rebuking and threatening to discipline(chasten) six of his seven churches for disobedience in various areas.  At the conclusion of his rebukes and threats to chasten his churches he makes the following statement:

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” – Revelation 3:19 (KJV)

This passage is directed to his churches.  This is a depiction of Christ’s love for his Bride.  Therefore, it is absolutely correct to say that the call for husbands to love their wives as Christ loved his Church is a call for husbands to rebuke and discipline their wives.  Christ was literally washing his wife with the Word of God in the previous passages in Revelation just as he implores men to love their wives by washing them with the Word in Ephesians 5:26-27.

This washing with the Word, this rebuking and chastening of one’s wife as Christ did is his Church is in fact a call to rule one’s wife.  Only a person in a ruler can discipline someone or attempt to modify their behavior by imposing punishments for bad behavior.

The Bible even says that a man is to be “one that ruleth well his own house”:

“4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)… 11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.”

I Timothy 3:4-5 & 11 (KJV)

This passage above clearly states that God expects men to rule well their own homes and if a man cannot rule well his own house how can he rule the church of God?  The wives are mentioned separately below.  Some have wrongly inferred that only because the children are mentioned in the first part that wives are free of a husband’s rule and he has no responsibility to rule over them.  This would make absolutely no sense.  Are wives not part of a husband’s home? Are there people in the church that are not under the rulership of church elders? Such an interpretation is absurd to say the least.

Therefore, we can rightly conclude based on Ephesians 5:25-27, I Timothy 3:4-5 & 11 and Revelation 3:19 that the husband’s call to love his wife which is recognized by both Caldo and Dalrock is also a call to rule one’s wife.

What is the Difference Between a Leader and A Ruler?

In my original version of this article I only used the word “leader” because I was trying to use the language Caledo and others were using.  But I have explained on this blog many times that there are different types of leaders.

There are leaders who people voluntarily follow who have no authority or disciplinary power over those they lead.   Then there are leaders who have authority over others and with that authority comes disciplinary powers.   A leader with authority and disciplinary powers over those under them is a ruler.

Another way to convey this truth is that while all rulers are leaders, not all leaders are rulers.

A ruler does not simply offer guidance, but they actually institute rules for those under their authority and use discipline for the breaking of those rules.  In some cases rulers actually own those under their authority as well and this is how the Bible presents the husband wife relationship where the husband is called the “baal” or master/owner of the wife throughout the Old Testament.   See my article “Is Christian marriage a master – servant relationship?” for more on this subject.

Conclusion

I want to return to Darlock’s process of where he thinks Christian feminism has added to God’s Word:

This first statement is absolutely Biblically true:

The husband is the head; the wife is to submit to him becomes leaders have an obligation to lead.

The husband is the head of the wife and the wife is to submit to him.  It is both IMPLIED in the husband being the head of his wife and EXPLICIT in a husband’s call to love his wife as Christ loves his Church, to wash her with the Word of God and chasten her that he is called to rule her.

But Dalrock’s next statements is where feminism adds to the Word of God:

Leaders have an obligation to lead becomes if the husband leads, he will be the head.

If the husbands leads he will be head becomes if the husband leads well, the wife will submit.

Christian husbands absolutely have an obligation to lead their wives as Christ lead’s his Church.  However, those Christians who say a husband’s headship is contingent on his follow through of his duty to lead are in direct contradiction to what the Scriptures say about the basis for a husband’s headship.  The husband is the head of his wife whether he is rules as Christ does his church or utterly fails to model Christ’s leadership of his church.   This is the explicit teaching of the Word of God:

 “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.”

I Peter 3:1-2 (KJV)

So, unless a husband tells his wife to sin (Acts 5:29) she must obey him in ALL he commands her to do. The passage above leaves no gray area.  And no, it is not just talking about submission to non-Christian husbands who are disobedient. Later in this same conversation the Apostle Peter says the following of this kind of submission from wives toward their husbands:

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

I Peter 3:5-6 (KJV)

Was Abraham a believer? You bet he was.  So, this means whether a woman’s husband is a believer or non-believer even if he is living a life that is disobedient to the Word of God and even if he utterly failing to love his wife and lead his wife as Christ does his church wives ARE TO SUBMIT.  Period.

Does a Christian Wife Have to Submit to an Unbelieving Husband?

“Does the bible say anything about women being with men who aren’t followers of God? Is a man who doesn’t even believe in God still entitled to a submissive wife or am I now exempt from that?” – These questions and others were recently asked to me in an email I received from a newly married young Christian woman calling herself “D”.

D’s Story

“Hi there, If you don’t mind may I call myself “D?” I am a 27 year of woman and I have been quietly reading your blog for a while after I stumbled upon it while I was seeking out some answers online about my lifestyle. While I cannot say that I live a lifestyle that is completely working in tandem with the things you talk about, I do find your insight interesting and honest. I appreciate the thought and honesty even if I don’t always understand or want to agree with some of the things being said. If you don’t mind, I was wondering if you could help lend some insight on something that has been troubling me? I don’t really know where to go to find answers as it seems society throws people left and right, often even shaming people for wanting to understand.

I would like to start by explaining my lifestyle dynamic first so you can gain an understanding of where I am coming from. This might seem long and drawn out but stay with me, it’s sort of complicated. I do not attend church, well I have not committed myself to a church yet but I do go from time to time. I would consider myself a Christian, even if my choices didn’t always show that. While believing in God there has always been a somewhat liberal understanding of how things worked for me. As I grow older I realize how confused I really am, I was brought up one way, society tells me something else, while my heart yearns for more knowledge.

I have been happily married for 2 and 1/2 years, but here is where most Christians are going to frown down on me…

My husband doesn’t believe in God, we are intermixed in that way and I know that’s not the ideal circumstance! I will clear things up by mentioning it’s basically a mirror image of how my dad was, not believing in God while my mother did, it’s what is normal to me so I felt comfortable doing it. I wonder, did I mess up, am I wrong for this?  I love my husband and I would NOT like to be one of the couples that ends up in a divorce due to our differences and arguing over stupid petty things. I hope that one day he can change his mind about God, I really have hope for that. Still in the back of my head I wonder am I wrong to be with him because of our religious differences, will we fail for this reason? I want to ensure that I won’t end up in a divorce, we really only fight about petty things for the most part.

Generally he tells me that “I don’t listen” or that “I argue with him too much.” His solution is just that I should do what he says. I feel that isn’t a reasonable for our situation for us though because our marriage isn’t exactly founded on those biblical principles, so why is he still asking for them? It frustrates me and even angers me sometimes.

Does the bible say anything about women being with men who aren’t followers of God? Is a man who doesn’t even believe in God still entitled to a submissive wife or am I now exempt from that? How do I deal with this? This is just such a strange situation and I don’t know what to do. Part of me says “I should do what he says so he is happy and we don’t fail in our marriage” while the other part says “well he is clearly wrong he doesn’t even believe in God, therefore he has no idea what he is talking about.” Also, I wonder which is worse for a Christian to be married to a non-Christian or for that couple to get in a divorce?

I would like to thank you for your time, I hope this didn’t sound too confusing. I know that you base most of your dealings with couples who are both Christians but it would mean a lot to me if you could look into my situation as well as it has been eating a way at me for a while now. If you’d like to use my story as a concept for your blog, I would be okay with that too. I wonder if there are other people struggling with my situation.”

Below are the answers to D’s concerns.

The First and Most Important Question Is Are you a Christian?

D’ Statement of her faith:

“I would consider myself a Christian, even if my choices didn’t always show that. While believing in God there has always been a somewhat liberal understanding of how things worked for me. As I grow older I realize how confused I really am, I was brought up one way, society tells me something else, while my heart yearns for more knowledge.”

I have said many times on this blog that the most important doctrine of the Bible and really the most important question of life is this:

Have we truly accepted the one true God, the God of the Bible and his Son Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior believing that he died for our sins, was buried and rose again on the third day?

So, if you cannot answer with a clear and resounding yes to that question I encourage you to reach out in faith to God today and place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ today as your Lord and Savior.

The Gospel is NOT the Only Important Doctrine We Need to Accept

Just because the Gospel is the most important doctrine in the Bible does not mean it is the ONLY important doctrine in the Bible.  Many Christians and Churches today falsely believe that if they are preaching the Gospel and the Gospel alone that they are doing all God requires.  They believe everything else should be left alone for each individual Christian to figure out on his or her own.  But God did leave us to wonder on our own as believers and the Scriptures tell us he gives us teachers to teach us in his Word:

“11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”

Ephesians 4:11-13 (KJV)

While the office of Apostle was temporary to start Christ’s Church and true Prophets will probably not appear till the end of days we do today still see God call men to serve him as evangelists, pastors and teachers.  I believe God has placed a calling on my life to be a teacher of his Word and this how I minister to his people through this blog.

The Bible also tells us that husbands are to be spiritual teachers of their wives:

“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 14:34-36 (KJV)

The Scriptures exhort husbands to follow Christ’s example and wash their wives with the Word of God and again this requires teaching, correction and sometimes rebuke:

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

Ephesians 5:25-27 (KJV)

Also, Christ when speaking to his Churches of which the Bible pictures him as their husband stated this:

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

Revelation 3:19 (KJV)

Having started with this as our foundation, let us now move on to questions for true believing Christian wives who are living with unbelieving husbands.

Which is worse for a Christian to be married to a non-Christian or for that couple to get in a divorce?

There are three ways a Christian could end being with an unbelieving spouse:

  1. They were not a Christian when they married and neither was their spouse. Then they became a Christian after marriage.
  2. A Christian marries another person who claims to be a Christian but the person reveals later that they never truly were a Christian.
  3. A Christian willfully and knowingly marries a non-believer.

There is no sin on the part of a Christian who ends up with an unbelieving spouse because of the first two scenarios.  However, if a Christian knowingly marries a non-believer than that Christian has a committed a sin against God according to the following passage:

“14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

2 Corinthians 6:14-16 (KJV)

However, the Scriptures tells us this if we find ourselves with an unbelieving spouse (not matter the circumstances of how we came to that position):

“13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. 15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace…

39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.”

I Corinthians 7:13-15 & 39 (KJV)

So here is what the Apostle Paul is stating by the inspiration of God in the above passage.  If a man or woman find themselves with a spouse that is not a believer and that unbeliever wants to stay married to them they must stay in that marriage.  However, if the unbelieving spouse wants to depart then they may let them depart and the believing brother or sister are not bound to that marriage in those cases.

When we look at verse 39 in the context of verses 13-15 of this chapter as well as passages like Exodus 21:10-11 then we understand that if a Christian woman’s unbelieving husband provides her with food, clothing, shelter and sexual relations and he wants to remain married to her she is bound to him for life and may not leave him.

So, if your unbelieving husband matches that criteria – you cannot leave him.  You are bound to him for life.

So, even if you willingly married a non-believing husband (which was a sin) if you divorce him without just cause that God allows for you are compounding that sin and doing something even worse.  The fact is God can forgive you of the sin of marrying a non-Christian and he may even use you to win him to Christ as we will talk about in the next section.

Is a man who doesn’t even believe in God still entitled to a submissive wife or am I now exempt from that?

The Bible directly answers this question of yours in the following text:

“1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

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

I Peter 3:1-6 (KJV)

So, the Scriptures tell you as a Christian woman to do something that very much goes against your sin nature.  If your husband is doing something your believe is disobedient to God whether it is how he conducts various aspects of his personal life or even how he treats your or your children your sinful response is to try and correct him, rebuke him and then free yourself from his authority.

But the Scriptures tell you to attempt to win your husband into obedience to God whether by accepting Christ as his savior or getting his life right with God if he is a Christian.  It tells you to win him without the word, without preaching at him and instead win him by your subjection to him, your living a pure life before him and your reverencing him.

The False Teaching that I Peter 3:1-6 Only Applies to Unbelieving Husbands

The key phrase “if any obey not the word” refers to husbands who are disobedient to the Word of God.  This would cover unbelieving husbands who “obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:8) as well as those husbands who claim Christ as their savior but are disobedient to his Word in various ways.

I have heard many Christian women say “if any obey not the word” is strictly speaking about unbelieving husbands and does not apply to Christian husbands who are disobedient to the Word in various ways.  So, they literally try and have us believe that I Peter 3:1-6 does not apply at all to wives married to Christian husbands and they have thereby nullified the Word of God.   In other words, they believe if their Christian husband is disobedient to God in his lifestyle in anyway they deem too serious they have the right to free themselves from his authority.  His spiritual authority in their view is now forfeit.

The problem with this interpretation is that verse 5 blows it out of the water:

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

After Peter describes the type of submission that wives are to have to their husbands who are disobedient to the Word he then writes a key phrase “For after this manner” and then he goes on to talk about the holy women of old times like Sara who obeyed Abraham calling him lord.  Was Abraham an unbeliever? We know he was not an unbeliever as the Bible presents him as a man who “believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness” (Romans 4:3).

Therefore, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt based on the full context of this passage that the phrase “if any obey not the word” absolutely applies to both unbelieving as well as believing husbands who are disobedient to the Word of God.

Can My Unbelieving Husband Demand My Submission to Him?

Another false teaching among egalitarians and sadly even most complementarians today is that a husband (whether he is a believer or not) cannot in any way compel his wife’s submission to him.  In fact, that is why most complementarians in our modern times reject a husband’s authority to discipline his wife for her failure to submit to his authority.  They teach the Biblical submission of a wife to her husband is completely voluntary and the part of the wife and this should not be any concern of the husband.

This false teaching comes from a faulty understanding The Greek word hupotasso which is translated as “submit”, “subject”, “subjection” and “obedient” in our English translations of the Bible.

This is the definition of hupotasso according to Thayer’s and Smith’s Bible Dictionary:

    “to arrange under, to subordinate

to subject, put in subjection

to subject one’s self, obey

to submit to one’s control

to yield to one’s admonition or advice

to obey, be subject

A Greek military term meaning “to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader”. In non-military use, it was “a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden”.”

So, like many words in the Bible, the context in which hupotasso is used determines if it is a voluntary attitude of giving in and cooperating with someone who is an equal verses the military use of the word which is an involuntary submission to one’s authority.

In Ephesians 5:19-24 we read the following:

“19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

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.”

If you notice above I have put a separation in the text between verses 21 and 22.  In the NIV and many modern translations they will be put a separation between verses 20 and 21 and the NIV even puts a note above verse 21 making it seem as though verse 21 is speaking to the husband wife relationship.

Again, just like we discussed with I Peter 3:1-6 context is key.  Here in Ephesians 5:1-21 Paul is speaking to Christians in the Church in general about holy living.  He then ends his general call to holy living for Christians with a call for Christians to submit to one another – this is not the military type of submission of one under authority to another, but it is the voluntary submission of equals serving and cooperating with one another.

Then he turns to the subject of marriage and the family in Ephesians 5:22.

First and foremost you will never find one passage in the Scriptures that tells a husband to submit to his wife.  Not one. You will see egalitarians try and throw smoke up about God telling Abraham to listen to Sarah regarding Hagar (Genesis 21:12).  But this was not God telling him to submit to his wife, but rather for him in this instance to act on her advice.  Nothing in the Scriptures forbids wives from making requests of their husbands and giving them advice.  And sometimes God will lead us as Christian husbands to act on our wife’s advice but this is not a husband submitting to this wife.  This is no different than a King who grants the request of one his servants or follows the advice of one his advisors.

So how do we know what kind of submission it is that God calls wives to regarding their husbands? The found in the words surround the call for wives to submit to their husbands.  First in verse 22 God calls wives to submit to their husbands “as unto the Lord”.  In no other passage of Scripture do we find God calling someone to submit to a human authority as unto God.  But only in the husband wife relationship do we see this comparison.  Verse 23 further bolsters this by telling wives that their husbands are their head as Christ is the head of the Church and then in verse 24 he tells wives to submit to their husbands as the Church is to submit to Christ in everything.

So which kind of submission is God calling for? The voluntary type of serving submission between equals or the military type of submission where one is called to submit to and obey the one in authority over them? The answer is clear and indisputable.  God is calling for the military type of submission from a wife toward her husband.

When egalitarians and even complentarians say that a wife’s submission in this passage is the voluntary submission between equals they are breaking the model that is being setup here.  God is basing a wife’s submission on the model of our obedience to him and the Church’s obedience to Christ.  Are Christ and the Church equals? We know they are not.  Christ is the authority of the Church and he demands his Church’s obedience to him.

Therefore, we can say beyond a doubt that the submission that God calls wives to toward their husbands is the military type of submission which is mandatory. And just as commanders in the military must be concerned with and compel the submission of those under their authority so too husbands must compel their wife’s submission to them.

A husband who refuses to compel his wife’s submission to his authority is just as delict in his duty before God as the wife is who refuses to submit to her husband’s authority.  They both are failing to model the relationship of Christ to his Church where he compels the obedience of his Church and the Church submits herself to Christ.

Conclusion

You stated this regarding your unbelieving husband’s insistence that you stop arguing with him so much and simply do what he tells you to do:

“Generally he tells me that “I don’t listen” or that “I argue with him too much.” His solution is just that I should do what he says. I feel that isn’t a reasonable for our situation for us though because our marriage isn’t exactly founded on those biblical principles, so why is he still asking for them?”

Based on all the Scriptures I have presented to you in this article I hope you realize that your husband’s motivation for asking for your submission is irrelevant in God’s view.  God wants you to submit to him whether he asks for your submission or not.  Your husband may want you to submit for totally selfish reasons but God wants you to submit to him, not to make him happy, but for two reasons.  The first is just as I Peter 3:1-2 states that you may be able to win him to Christ by your submission, pure life and reference for him. The second is that by submitting to him you fulfill your role to model the Church’s obedience to Christ even if your husband is not fulfilling the role of loving you as Christ loves his Church.

So, D – you should absolutely listen more, talk less and don’t argue with your husband.  It is one thing to give him respectful advice or make a request and let him decide what to do.  It is another to argue with him.  D – do you realize how if you completely changed your attitude on this and truly just talked less and submitted more that this change could cause your husband to inquire of you what happened? Then you could share with him how God changed your heart on this matter and that God showed you he wants you to submit to your husband and serve him as the Church submits to and serves Christ.

This will also remove a lot of your frustration.  Because then you will realize this is not about you.  This is about Christ.  In way you are being just as selfish as you believe your husband is being.  You are making your marriage about you.  It’s not about you and your personal happiness.  It’s about God and his plan for your life.  Your service and submission to your husband is your service and your submission to God.

I pray that you and all Christian women who read this and who live with disobedient husbands will humble themselves today and truly submit to their husbands as unto the Lord.

Why God Wants You to Seduce Your Husband

Most Christian wives today are taught that their husbands must earn sex with them by romancing them. What if the Bible taught the opposite? What if wives were required to seduce their husbands?

I know it sounds crazy. The Bible couldn’t possibly tell women they need to seduce their husbands, right?

Well if you give me a few minutes of your time the answer might surprise you.

In my article “How the Church Made Sex Dirty” I explain how Church fathers like Clement of Alexandria made sexual desire, even in marriage, to be dirty and sinful. This false doctrine infected the churches like a disease shortly after the Apostles death.  I show in that article that the Bible in fact has a very positive view of sex and in no way, does the Bible support the false teaching that sex is only for procreative purposes.  This false teaching is still alive and well in Christian churches all across the world today.

The negative view of sex was even worse when it came to women than to men. Women were taught to view sex as dirty and women who expressed any pleasurable thoughts about sex were condemned as whorish.

This brings us to how women view sex today in our modern era.

Six Modern Feminine Views of Sex

Below are six views of sexuality that women have today. I know some people hate to be boxed into categories.  But if you are a woman reading this, and you are honest with yourself or asked your husband to be honest with you, you would find that you will come closer to one of these categories than the others.

The Frigid Wife

This Frigid wife views sex as a dirty activity that is a necessary evil for conceiving children.  She has no desire to be touched in a sexual way or to touch her husband in a sexual way. If her husband presses her for sexual relations outside the context of trying to conceive a child she may reluctantly and grudgingly agree to do this “dirty” act with him.  But she will have a nasty look on her face and be lifeless as he has sex with her.

The Submissive Wife

The Submissive wife has regular sexual relations with her husband whenever he desires it because she believes God tells her to and she believes this will help keep him from sexual temptation. But she views sex from the female perspective as more of a “receptive” position.  She does not take any proactive steps to sexually arouse her husband or seduce her husband. She may actually enjoy sex sometimes with her husband but never enough to want to initiate it with him – she always waits for him to initiate sex.

The Romantic Wife

The Romantic wife loves sex but only views sex from a relational, romantic and feelings oriented position. She would reject the view of the Frigid wife that sex is only for procreation and she would also reject the view of the Submissive wife that a woman should just be in a submissive position to have sex with her husband whenever he desires it.

The Romantic wife believes her husband must earn each sexual encounter with her by romancing her.  If for any reason, she does not feel like having sex then sex will not occur. Like the Submissive wife though, she rarely if ever initiates sex with her husband because she believes sex in a marriage should always center on a husband romancing his wife.

The Nympho Wife

The Nympho wife is a woman that has a sexual nature that is more similar to that of a man than a woman in that her sex drive is more physically oriented than relationally oriented. This type of woman could easily be having sex with multiple men in the same period in her unending quest for sexual pleasure.

The Nympho wife’s primary goal in sex is not procreation nor is it to please her husband but rather to meet her own sexual desires. She really has no desire to take the time or energy to seduce her husband or to truly concentrate on giving her body to him for his pleasure.  She just wants the clothes off and to have him pleasure her and fulfill her sexual desires – him getting his sexual needs met is of little to no concern to her.

The Evil Seductress Wife

The Evil Seductress wife uses her body and her sexual charms to get what she wants.  She uses sex to lure her husband into marrying her and then afterwards uses her sexual charms to control him and manipulate him for the remainder of their marriage.  The Evil Seductress wife sees sex primarily as a tool for power and only secondarily as an activity for procreation or pleasure. Her goals in seduction may be just to have control of the man and his money or it may also include her desire for him to be a sperm donor to give her children.

The Good Seductress Wife

The Good Seductress wife is one who views sex primarily through the lenses of pleasing her husband sexually, not just submitting herself to her husband sexually. She goes much further than the Submissive wife in that she takes an active role in trying to please her husband sexually rather than just taking a passive role and waiting for him to initiate sexual relations.

The Good Seductress wife makes herself a student of her husband’s sexual preferences.  She learns what turns her husband on and what turns her husband off sexually. She not only learns all these things about her husband – but she acts on this knowledge. The Good Seductress wife realizes that she cannot fully please her husband sexually unless she finds a way to truly enjoy sex herself so she becomes a student of her own body as well helping herself to work in concert sexually with her husband to bring him the maximum sexual pleasure that she can.

Which of these views of sexuality are most common among women?

I would say based on what I have read and observed through real life interactions and emails that the majority of women in American come closest to the Romantic wife position on sex.  There are also probably a good number of women who come somewhere between the Submissive wife position and the Romantic wife position in that they will sometimes give into their husband’s request for sex even though they feel he has not really earned it.

The Nympho wife’s are a rarity but sadly there are more Frigid wives and Evil Seductress wives than people generally realize.

In the realm of Christianity Romantic wives are extremely common but in more conservative circles there are more Submissive wives.  The Good Seductress wife is the rare jewel alluded to in Proverbs 31:10.

Now that we have presented these common feminine views of sex we now to need to measure these views against the Scriptures as we should all our beliefs about life.

Sex is both a Responsibility and Right in Marriage

First we need to establish the fact that under God’s law sexual access to one’s spouse is both a responsibility and a right within marriage for both the husband and wife.

The Scriptures teach both the responsibility to give sex and right to have sex in marriage:

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

I Corinthians 7:3-5 (KJV)

I once heard a Pastor say to the young women of the church “If you don’t want to have sex three to four times a week for the better part of your life then don’t get married.”  Unlike many Pastors today – he had a Biblical view of sexuality in marriage. A person who wants to get married and not have much sex is like a person who joins a baseball team but does not really want to play baseball.

It is absolutely amazing to me how many Pastors and Christian teachers today question this very clear Scriptural command. They look for all kinds of ways to give spouses (primarily women) excuses for denying their spouse sex in marriage.

Sex is not just a right a responsibility in marriage – it is like water for men

I think it is very telling that God chose to use water to describe a man’s desire for sex.  God could have chosen to compare a man desiring to have sex with his desiring meat but humans can survive on just fruits and vegetables.  God chose something that is necessary for all life on earth and something that we cannot live without to describe a man’s sex drive.  In this one verse God makes it clear to both men and women – sex is a need for men, not just a want.

From a larger societal point of view while men on an individual level will not die from not having sex, the human race would die out if men don’t have sex with women. Even on a relational level, if a couple stops having sex the relationship often dies.

But here in Proverbs 5 we see that God is showing us that sex is a need on a very personal level for a man in comparing it to water.

But there is another principle God is teaching us about the masculine sex drive.  Water is not just necessary for life but it is also beautiful in its natural state.  Just imagine a beautiful lake, a mountain stream or an ocean view – water is one of God’s most beautiful creations. A man’s sex drive which is often thought of as “dirty” is actually said by God to be a pure as water.

As human beings, we don’t just need to take in water to survive, but we are mostly water – human beings are 60% water! In the same way that human beings are mostly water men are mostly sexual beings.  It is a very important and defining aspect of who men are.

This brings up an important distinction between men and women.  While both men and women desire sex – a core defining attribute of men is their sexual nature.  For women, the core defining attribute of who they are is their relational nature. A man’s sex drive fuels all aspects of his life and gives him energy for him to go out and build, explore and conquer his world.

A man’s desire to touch, taste and experience a woman’s body on a sexual level is as pure and beautiful as water and like water is a defining part of who we are as human beings so too a man’s sexual nature is a defining aspect of his person.

So some women might be reading this and saying “Ok you proved your point that my husband has a right to have sex with me and I need to give myself to him for sex.  But that is a far cry from me having to seduce him! Where is that in the Bible?”

We are almost to that answer, but first we have to talk about a special type of command in the Bible.

Some Biblical commands require a team effort to be fulfilled

There are commands in the Bible that we as individuals can fulfill without help from anyone else.  For instance the Bible tells us not to steal, not to covet and not to murder. It tells us to be kind and caring to others. We each are responsible on our own for fulfilling these commands. A wife is told to submit to her husband and she can do this regardless of his behavior toward her unless he tells her to sin.  A husband is to provide for and protect his wife and he can do this regardless of her lack of submission or other sins she may commit toward him.

However there are certain commands in Scripture which require two or more people to act in concert with one another. God’s very first command to mankind requires that husbands and wives work together.

“27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

Genesis 1:27-28 (KJV)

So what must happen for men and women to fulfill God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply”?

  1. A man and a woman must agree to a covenant of marriage.
  2. A man and a woman must willingly come together in sexual union to create offspring.

If men and women do not marry and do not have sex this first command of God cannot be fulfilled.  A man cannot fulfill this on his own and neither can a woman but only in working together can man and woman fulfill this command of God.

Sex in marriage is not just for procreation or to avoid sexual temptation

Most Christian married couples do not know is that God gave another command that can only be fulfilled by husbands and wives working together:

“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 & 18-19(KJV)

Proverbs 5 shows the third principle of sex that is often ignored in Christian circles.  Most Christians will agree that God’s command in Genesis 1:28 to” Be fruitful, and multiply” tells us that one of the reasons God wants us to have sex is for procreation.  Most Christians would also agree that I Corinthians 7:2 tells us that we should have sex in marriage “to avoid fornication”.

But what most Christians do not realize is that God wants men to satisfy themselves – to drink their fill of their wives’ body for their pleasure. This principle of God wanting us to seek sex for its pleasure is routinely denied by Christian writers today.  Sue Bohlin, writing for Probe.org, displays the typical attitude of Christian writers who down play pleasure as a major motivating factor in sex:

“If the purpose and goal of sex is primarily pleasure, then other people are just objects to be used for sensual gratification. Since people are infinitely valuable because God made us in His image, that is a slap in the face whether we realize it or not. The Christian perspective is that the purpose of sex is relational, with pleasure as the by-product.

https://www.probe.org/what-god-says-about-sex/

The truth is that men primarily seek sex from the physical (or pleasurable aspect of it) and women primarily seek sex from the emotional (or relational aspect of it).  Christianity and Feminism both falsely teach that the female perspective of sex “that the purpose of sex is relational, with pleasure as the by-product” is the right perspective and that men have it all wrong and need to become more like women in their sexual natures.

These same people who deny that God intended for men to freely seek sexual pleasure in their wife’s body try and reinterpret the command in Proverbs 5:19 for men to be satisfied by their wife’s breasts as it teaching that men should be content with whatever their wives do.

They actually reverse the true meaning of this passage and use this passage to excuse laziness and lack of effort on the part of a wife to please her husband sexually. If she gained excessive amounts of weight, dressed in frumpy clothes and failed to have basic hygiene that husbands were to make themselves satisfied with her and ravished by her.  If she only liked to have sex in one position and only once a week with the lights turned off, again men were required to be satisfied by whatever their wife did or did not do.  Rachel Pietka, writing for relevantmagazine.com, shows a common Christian attitude that God does not care about Christians making a good effort to have great sex:

“Although sex is indeed God’s gift to us, Christians are not directly commanded by God to have great sex. Couples may find themselves incompatible in the bedroom, and they should not be bombarded with pressure from the Christian community to start having good sex and lots of it.”

http://archives.relevantmagazine.com/life/relationships/christians-are-not-called-have-amazing-sex

But I will demonstrate to you that this modern interpretation and application of this passage is false.

 “Let her breasts SATISFY thee at all times”

The English word “satisfy” is a translation of the Hebrew word “Ravah” which literally means “to be satiated or saturated, have or drink one’s fill or to drench, water abundantly, saturate”.

So when we understand that “breasts” are symbolic of her whole body this is what God is saying to men regarding their wives:

“Drink your fill of your wife’s body whenever you are sexually thirsty and drink until you are satisfied”

So as we have shown here – the teaching that men are just to be content with whatever their wives do or don’t do in the sexual arena goes in direct contradiction to what this phrase actually teaches.  Men are to drink their fill and drench themselves sexually in their wife’s body.

This flies in the face of modern teachings about sex in marriage that men should just be content with however much their wives want to have sex.  It also contradicts the idea that husbands should be content with whatever their wives want to do sexually. “You should only have your wife do what she feels comfortable doing sexually” – is that not what we are told today? If a man desires anything more from his wife than what she is comfortable with then he is told that he is going too far and is being selfish.

But this passage tells us husbands are to drink their fill of their wife’s body!  Am I saying there are absolutely no limits? Of course not.  I have written about these limits in my previous articles. In my article “Does a Christian wife have to submit to a sinful request from her husband?” I stated that a wife does not have to submit to her husband wanting her to participate in orgies or sex with other men. In my post “Do Christian wives have to submit to requests for anal sex by their husbands?” I showed why I believe that Christians should not engage in anal sex because the anus is not designed for sexual penetration and wives do not have to submit to these requests from their husbands.

But let’s be honest – these are extreme cases but some wives try and use these types of extremes to justify any limitations they want to put on their sex lives. For instance I have heard of cases on the other extreme where wives do not feel “comfortable” touching their husband’s penis.  They literally have never placed their hands on their husband’s penis.  These types of “uncomfortableness” have no Biblical backing and women with these types of issues should be challenged by their husbands to change their behavior and thinking.

“and be thou ravished always with her love”

The English word “ravished” is a translation of the Hebrew word ‘Shagah’ which has to do with drunkenness or intoxication.  Literally husbands are called to be intoxicated with their wife’s sexual love.

We associate drunkenness with wrong doing and most of the time it is.  But the Bible tells us certain types of intoxication are not wrong.  Listen to what Paul says about the Holy Spirit:

“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;”

Ephesians 5:18 (KJV)

Paul is telling us not to be drunk with wine – but be drunk with the Spirit of God!  In the same way men are not to be intoxicated by whores but instead they are to be intoxicated by their wife’s sexual love.

It is critically important to point out that God tells husbands and wives that sex is not just for procreation as so many Christians have been wrongly taught in churches for centuries. Sex was also designed for pleasure and enjoyment. In this passage from Proverbs, God tells a man that he is to be satisfied by his wife’s breasts (symbolic of her entire body) and that he is to be ravished(intoxicated) by her love which is clearly erotic love based on the context of the passage.

Great sex in marriage is a team effort

The modern formula for sexual relations is that a man seduces a woman into having sex by romancing her.

The Biblical formula for sex is a woman makes herself affectionate as the loving hind” and beautiful as the “pleasant roe” and available “at all times” and she ties her affection, her beauty and availability together to make herself sexually intoxicating to her husband.  In other words – in the Biblical model of marriage a woman seduces or sexually entices her husband to come to his well and drink of the waters of her body and by doing this she intoxicates him, or ravishes him with her sexual love.

Now the team effort is that the husband must respond – to her affection, her beauty and availability.  He must choose to “drink his fill” of his wife so that he may be intoxicated by her sexual love.

So as we can see, these commands require a husband and wife to work together in the same way they must work together to follow God’s command to be fruitful and multiply.

Solomon tells us here in Proverbs that the answer to a man not running after strange women (whores) is for him to find satisfaction in his wife’s body and be ravished with her sexual love.

But how can a man be intoxicated with sexual love for his wife if she makes no attempt to be affectionate toward him and she does not make herself beautiful and she does not show him that her body is always available to him?

The answer to that question is the same answer to this question – how can a man be fruitful and multiply if he can’t have sex with his wife? It is impossible.  In the same way, for a man to be sexually ravished by his wife and sexually satisfied by her body she has to give him something to be ravished and satisfied by.

And this is not the only passage in the Bible speaking of erotic love between a man and woman.  The entire book of the Song of Solomon is dedicated to this type of erotic, physical and sexual love that God commands there to be between a husband and wife in Proverbs.

“7 This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes. 8 I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples; 9 And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.”

Song of Solomon 7:7-9 (KJV)

I also want to bring up one passage that does not speak specifically of sexual love in marriage but would still apply to how a woman shows her husband sexual love in marriage:

“She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”

Proverbs 31:12 (KJV)

This passage above from Proverbs speaks of the virtuous wife.

If a wife denies her husband sexually is she doing him good or evil?

She is doing him evil.

If a wife has sex with her husband, but does so in a grudging manner is she doing him good or evil?

She is doing him evil.

If a wife has sex with her husband but does so in a frigid manner is she doing him good or evil?

She is doing him evil.

If a wife refuses to make a good faith attempt to cause her husband to be satisfied with her body and be ravished with her sexual love by getting to know his sexual preferences and acting on those things is she doing him good or evil?

I would argue that a woman who fails to make a good faith attempt to know her husband’s sexual desires and satisfy them to the best of her ability in order to cause him to be ravished by her sexual love is in clear violation of the Word of God.

But why does God want women to seduce their husbands?

We have shown from Proverbs 5:19 that God wants wives to seduce their husbands to help fulfill the command that their husbands be ravished by them. But why did God setup such a paradigm wherein women must seduce their husbands to cause them to be ravished in their wives?

To answer that question, we have to ask another question first.  Why does the Bible say God created the world?

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”

Revelation 4:11 (KJV)

God created the world and his most precious creation mankind, to bring him glory and honor and for him to exercise his power.  Not only does God have power over our lives – but he is worthy to receive that power by his very position as creator.  But God did not just make his creation to receive glory, honor and power – but he also created it for his own pleasure.

Like an artist or engineer that receives pleasure from their own creations God himself receives pleasure from his creations.

In this same way, God created woman to give man honor and glory and to allow him to exercise his power.

 “7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.”

I Corinthians 11:7-10 (KJV)

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

Proverbs 12:4 (KJV)

And God has also created woman to be a source of comfort, blessing and pleasure for man:

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

Genesis 24:67 (KJV)

“25 Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:”

Genesis 49:25 (KJV)

“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)

Conclusion

God has created woman to be a source of comfort, blessing and pleasure for man and this is why he commands that husbands are to find sexual satisfaction in their wife’s bodies and be ravished by their wife’s sexual love.

But a husband cannot fulfill this command on his own any more than he can fulfill God’s command to be fruitful and multiply on his own.  For a husband to find satisfaction in his wife’s body and for him to be ravished by his wife’s sexual love requires active participation rather than just passive participation on his wife’s part to accomplish these goals.

In order to do this a wife must make her husband to believe and feel that her body is available to satisfy his sexual desires whenever he wishes.  She must seduce him with her body and her sexual love for him.

A woman who simply spreads her legs and gives sex in a frigid manner is not cooperating with her husband to fulfill the command of God which requires BOTH their participation to fulfill. Wives must not just submit to sexual relations with their husbands but they must also give their husbands something to be ravished by!

In this article, we simply showed the command of God found in Proverbs 5:19 that women should sexually satisfy their husbands with their bodies and seduce their husbands with their sexual love. But we did not talk about how a woman could act out this command and set about to seduce her husband.

Many times, in the Scriptures God not only give us commands but he also give us examples to help us understand ways in which we can act out those commands.  For instance, in 1 Timothy 5:14 God tells women to “guide the house” and then if we look back to Proverbs 31 he gives a detailed example of how a woman can fulfill her duty to “guide the house”.

In the same way in the area of a wife seducing her husband God has not left women without an example.  In fact, God has given us not only a chapter like Proverbs 31, but an entire book in the Song of Solomon! In our next post, we will assemble a series of examples and principles found in the Song of Solomon that can act as sort of “A Biblical Guide to Seducing Your Husband”.

Should a Christian Wife Worship her Husband?

 

The Bible tells us that Ruth laid at the feet of Boaz(Ruth 3:7-8) and it calls on women to follow Sarah’s example who called her husband ‘lord'(I Peter :6).  There are still parts of the world today where women bow before their husbands and even kneel before their husbands each day to put his shoes on before he goes out to work.  The Bible tells wives to submit to their husbands “as unto the Lord” in Ephesians 5:22.

All of the Biblical passages on a wife’s submission to her husband leads us to this very question that was recently asked by one of my readers:

“Is it wrong to worship my husband? I love him and want to please him in a way that worship is the only way I can describe it.”

I can’t tell you how many emails I have received from people over the years saying that I am telling women they must worship their husbands.  In this article I will give what I believe the Biblical answer to this question is.

What does “worship” mean?

Here are three definitions of “worship”:

“: the act of showing respect and love for a god especially by praying with other people who believe in the same god : the act of worshipping God or a god

: excessive admiration for someone”

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worship

“  1. reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.

2. formal or ceremonious rendering of such honor and homage:

They attended worship this morning.

3. adoring reverence or regard:

excessive worship of business success.

4. the object of adoring reverence or regard.

5.(initial capital letter) British. a title of honor used in addressing or mentioning certain magistrates and others of high rank or station (usually preceded by Your, His, or Her).”

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/worship

“the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity.”

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=definition+of+worship

So we can see in these definitions from three dictionary sources that worship has to do with reverence, adoration, and deities.  I personally believe Google’s summary definition of “the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity.” most accurately reflects the correct understanding or our English word “worship”.

Does the Bible command wives to reverence their husbands?

“reverence” is defined as:

“: honor or respect that is felt for or shown to (someone or something)”

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reverence

1. a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe; veneration.

2. the outward manifestation of this feeling:

to pay reverence.

3. a gesture indicative of deep respect; an obeisance, bow, or curtsy.

4. the state of being revered, or treated with respect tinged with awe.

5, (initial capital letter) a title used in addressing or mentioning a member of the clergy (usually preceded by your or his).

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/reverence

“1.deep respect for someone or something.”

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=reverence+

As we can see our English word “reverence” has to do with “deep respect”, “awe” and “veneration”.  It is pictured by someone bowing down to another.  You would show reverence when you meet the President or a governor.  People coming before a King would do so in reverence.

So the answer to the question “Does God call women to demonstrate reverence as we have just seen it defined toward their husbands?” is YES.

“Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”

Ephesians 5:33 (KJV)

God tells wives to reverence their husbands in Ephesians 5 where he has just finished explaining that marriage symbolizes the relationship between God and his people, between Christ and his Church. In the beginning of his discussion on marriage he told wives this:

“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)

Paul tells wives they are to submit to their husbands “as unto the Lord”.  While the Greek word is “kurios’ in the original text of the Scriptures is “lord” the reference here is not to “a lord” as in an earthly master.  The reference is to “THE Lord” as in God himself. So it is would be entirely correct to say Biblically speaking wives are to submit to their husbands as they would to God himself.

There is no other human relationship, whether it be the parent/child relationship, servant/master or citizen/governor that calls for this type of submission. The submission of a wife to her husband is the most powerful and all-encompassing submission of any human relationship God designed.

The casualness of marriage today

Reverence and respect are foreign words today in marriages and in homes in general.  Children no longer respect their parents and wives no longer respect their husbands.  We have very casual way in which we now approach one another – whether it be in how children approach their parents or in how wives approach their husbands.

The result of this is that children often talk to their parents in very disrespectful manners and wives often talk to their husbands in disrespectful manners.  To put it bluntly – both women and children have forgotten their place.

People in favor of a more casual approach to God as well as to marriage will often point to passages like these from the Bible showing that God calls us his friends:

“Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”

John 15:14 (KJV)

“And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.”

James 2:23 (KJV)

What they do not realize is the concept that there are friends that are equals, and friends that are not equals.

“He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.”

Proverbs 22:11 (KJV)

If you are friends with a coworker or fellow student at school then it is a friendship of equals.  In this type of relationship you can be more casual because of your equal positions. But if you are on friendly terms with your boss at work, your teacher, or even your governor, President or King this is not an equal friendship and this must always be kept in mind by those under authority.

This is the continual balance that must be kept between those in authority over others and those under authority.

Today when people say “I want to marry my best friend” – most often what they are really saying is they do not want a patriarchy style of marriage but rather a partnership style of marriage which is a violation of God’s design for marriage.

Am I saying it is wrong for a wife to call her husband her best friend or husband to call his wife his best friend? No.

I think it is possible for a Christian couple to fully practice the Biblical Patriarchal form of marriage and also consider each other to be friends.  The Bible calls us friends of God so I see no reason why a wife could not be a friend of her husband.

But in that friendship it must never be lost on a wife that her husband is more than her friend – he is her superior and her authority. That means sometimes he will have to correct her, discipline her and do things that she will not like or agree with.

What this means in practice is that a wife should treat her husband as her king. 

Can she be friends with her king? Of course.  Can she respectfully give advice to her king? Certainly.  Can she respectfully bring her grievances before her king? Definitely.  But in her relationship with him she never forgets her position or his.

So now that we have established that the Bible does teach that wives are to reverence their husbands we will now move on to the subject of wives adoring their husbands.

Does the Bible command wives to have adoration toward their husbands?

“adoration” is defined as:

“: strong feelings of love or admiration”

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/adoration

“1. the act of paying honor, as to a divine being; worship.

2. reverent homage.

3.fervent and devoted love.”

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/adoration

“deep love and respect.”

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=adoration+definition

I think Webster’s dictionary definition of “strong feelings of love or admiration” for adoration best describes it.

So does the Bible say a wife should have deep feelings of love and admiration for her husband? YES.

“3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 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 2:3-5 (KJV)

The English phrase “to love their husbands” could also be translated as “lovers of their husbands”.  This is deep and passionate love that a wife has toward her husband.

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

Proverbs 12:14 (KJV)

A wife is not only called by God to passionately love her husband, but she is also called to be his crown.  A crown brings a king glory as it adorns his head.  A wife is called to do the same for her husband.  This is why God says “the woman is the glory of the man.”(I Corinthians 11:7).

So we can see clearly from the Scriptures that God commands women to have adoration for their husbands.

So if women are to have reverence and adoration toward their husbands then should they worship their husbands?

Now we come to the answer to this question of wives worshiping husbands.  As we have seen from the definition of worship in most cases it involves three things – reverence, adoration and a deity.  Yes wives are to reverence and adore their husbands.  But the Bible is clear that we are to worship God and God alone:

“And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

Revelation 19:10 (KJV)

The context of Revelation 19 is that an angel of God had shown John all these wonderful things and I am sure the angel was a glorious sight so he bowed to worship him.  But he was forbidden from doing this and reminded that worship is reserved for God and God alone.

It is Biblically accurate to say that a husband’s position and authority over his wife is in fact the closest human authority to God’s authority over all mankind.  But while a husband’s position may closely resemble God’s authority – it is not identical to God’s authority.   God’s authority has no limits while every sphere of human authority does have it is limits – including the authority of a husband.

Should a wife submit unto her as unto God as the Scriptures exhort her? YES.

Should a wife show reverence toward her husband? YES.

Should a wife show adoration toward her husband? YES.

Should a wife worship her husband? NO.

God and God alone deserves our worship.

Is it wrong for a woman to bow to her husband as shown in the picture?

Now that I shown from the Scriptures that women are not to worship their husbands do I believe what the woman in the picture at top of my article was doing is wrong? NO.

Women should have that kind of respect and adoration for their husbands that they could bow before him and not feel like this is wrong.  Bowing before an authority, whether it be a king of a country, or the king of your home is not an act of worship. It is a deep sign of respect.

When women in some countries kneel before their husbands each day to put his shoes on before he goes to work this is a sign of deep respect.

But doesn’t a wife bowing before her husband dishonor her?

No it does not.  The Bible does call on husbands to honor their wives, but this honor is given relevant to her subordinate position.

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

I Peter 3:7 (KJV)

There is an interesting contrast in Scripture that most Christian teachers and preachers miss today.

Wives are called to submit themselves unto their husbands in this way:

“as unto the Lord”

Husband are called to give honor unto their wives in this way:

“as unto the weaker vessel”

Now I want you to stop and think about that contrast. Literally what the Bible is saying is a woman should give her husband the same type of submission as it would be appropriate to give to God.  Where a husband is called to give his wife honor that is appropriate to her subordinate position as the weaker vessel.

So yes husbands should honor their wives as the husband of Proverbs 31 did that praised his wife for her accomplishments in his home.  But a husband ought not to give his wife honor that is above her position as some men do today.

Today the biggest problem we face is not women wanting to worship their husbands as this reader’s question might suggest. The biggest problem we face in our modern culture is very much the opposite.

Today instead of husbands giving honor unto their as wives “as unto the weaker vessel” they now give honor unto their wives “as unto the Lord”.  

Just look at a random selection of romantic cards for women in a card shop and tell me I am wrong. Look at the lyrics to most romance songs today and tell me I am wrong. Watch a typical romance movie today and tell me I am wrong.

So yes women ought not to worship their husbands. But it is equally true that husbands ought not to worship their wives and this is by far the greater problem we face in our world today.

Are women who want to submit to and serve their husbands mentally ill?

“The normal love that a woman feels for a man was seen as some sort of mental illness, any desire to submit to the natural authority of a man within a marriage was seen as ‘oppressive patriarchy’. ” This is how Emma, a young student from Australia, described what was taught to her in a gender studies course at a university in Australia.

What Emma is describing is  a sad but true reality in universities and colleges across not just America, but also the entire western world. See the rest of her comment below.

Emma’s Story

I just wanted to say how glad I am to find this site.

The reason I am moved to write to you is that I probably come from a ‘strange’ background for many of the people here.  I am a single, 23 year old woman, studying for an undergraduate degree at a liberal University in Australia.  I even did a unit of study in ‘genders studies’ last year !

Although almost all the students were women my age or younger who were vaguely interested in questions of gender and feminism, a large minority of us felt like quitting the course as we were amazed at the anti-male nature of the course.  The normal love that a woman feels for a man was seen as some sort of mental illness, any desire to submit to the natural authority of a man within a marriage was seen as ‘oppressive patriarchy’.  Some of the tutors even went so far as to say that ‘every woman’ was ‘raped’ whenever she had sex with a man:  the reasoning was that as women are oppressed, women cannot meaningfully consent, and therefore any sex is rape.

The other women who felt like me were in a minority, but not as few as you might think.  We know that women want to serve their husbands – everything from cooking nice food to pleasing him sexually.  Some of us had had premarital sex (not everyone is perfect) but we wanted our future husbands to be submissive to the will of Our Father, just as we will submit to the will and guidance of our husbands.   I have read everything on this website (although I knew most of the quotes already) and my feeling is that you are a Bible-believing Christian or you are not.  If you do say you are a Bible-believing Christian – the Bible is pretty clear on women submitting to their husbands.  Otherwise, it is a permanent battle for power that makes both people unhappy.

I am not married and am not even engaged.  But when I do, it will be to a man who is obedient to Our Father, as I will worship our Father by being obedient to my husband.  In my experience the women I know who have done this have been the happiest women I have seen, and live fulfilling and wholesome lives.

Emma

Australia

My Response to Emma

You are proof that God has reserved for himself a faithful remnant of women who who desire to remain faithful to God’s Word.  It is not a matter of us being perfect, but it is a matter of us recognizing that he is perfect, his Word is perfect and his design of men and women is perfect.  It is sin that has corrupted God’s design.

God speaks of those who would call good(women submitting to and serving their husbands) evil and evil(women’s rebellion toward their husbands) good:

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

Also we need to realize that the attack on men and masculinity in our culture is an attack on God himself as God says that men are the image and glory of God:

“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)

The rebellion against man’s authority over women is an attack against God’s authority over all mankind because the relationship between a husband and wife is symbolic of the relationship between God and his people:

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

Ephesians 5:22-24 (KJV)

Just remember Emma that we are not to be conformed to the wicked pattern of this world but rather we are to measure our lives by God’s Word:

“And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”

Luke 4:4 (KJV)

“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)

I pray God will give you the courage to continue to live according to his Word and his design and that you will be an example to the women around you.

 

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

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

How should a Christian wife handle such situations?

The Two Extremes on Submission

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If he abandons her.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I Peter 3:1-2 (NASB)

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

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

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

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

Should we not talk about exceptions to submission?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Proverbs 4:27 (KJV)

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

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

Deuteronomy 4:2 (KJV)

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

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

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

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

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

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

And this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Apostle Peter made this point abundantly clear:

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

Acts 5:29 (KJV)

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

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

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

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

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

–  Numbers 30:13-16 (KJV)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

It really is that simple.

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

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

Should a man risk divorce to confront his wife’s rebellion?

Should a Christian man risk his wife divorcing him to confront her feminist and rebellious tendencies? Or is it an act of sacrificial love for a husband to submit to his wife in order to save his marriage? Should a husband attempt to discipline his wife until she accepts her place in God’s design knowing that she might leave him and take his children?

These are the kinds of questions that are raised by a story I received from a man who identifies himself as “John” in response to my post “Fathers can save our families from feminism”.

John’s Story

“My wife and I married as equals. We were not Christians in a true sense, but had cultural ties to Christianity. I believed in feminism when I married. After we had our first child something changed. Looking into my new daughters eyes awakened something in me. I knew at that point that there absolutely was a Creator God and there was NO WAY this child was a random event. I began searching in earnest for God and He found me and saved me on May 1st 2005.

Any Christian reading this will understand when I say that my journey with Christ has been wonderful, challenging, exciting, and unexpected! Unfortunately my wife, who I adore, had not joined me yet😔. Also I have come to understand the perils of feminism and the benefits of a biblical family structure. When I have tried to lead I’ve been shut down entirely. She has threatened divorce thrice and hired a lawyer once. I believe she is serious about not only not being submissive but about calling the shots as she has also rejected her own ideals of equality.

My lawyer told me she would get the kids and everything. So I’ve submitted to protect my family. I can accept the insinuations on this website that I am weak or pathetic or groveling or whatever. These are just unkind words. But I’m convicted by the thought that I’m disobedient to God in my stance. I’m truly confused now. I accept that feminism is a lie, that the bible is truth, and I’m ready and willing to act in that way and lead my wife. I wish to do so sacrificially and gently by putting her first. Her adamant refusal and willingness to blow up the family gives me pause. Our children will be hurt and taken from me, their father, if this happens. From the frying pan into the fire! Help!…”

John let me say first and foremost that my heart goes out to you and the millions of men who have to deal with this kind of situation you are dealing with in regard to your wife’s rebellion toward you as the authority God has placed over her.

Egalitarian or “partnership” marriages are based on a lie

Your statement:

 “My wife and I married as equals. We were not Christians in a true sense, but had cultural ties to Christianity. I believed in feminism when I married.”

What I think you mean by the phrase that you “married as equals” is that you embraced the modern belief that marriage is an equal partnership. You were feminists and egalitarians.

Your statement:

“I believe she is serious about not only not being submissive but about calling the shots as she has also rejected her own ideals of equality”

Your wife’s behavior proves a truth that I have said many times on this site.  In most so called “equal partnership” marriages the woman is actually the head of her husband and her home.  In a few “equal partnership” marriages the man is actually the head but he is much more subtle about his leadership than men are in traditional or Biblical marriages. Your wife does as you say and “calls the shots”. This makes her the dominant and you the submissive.

Egalitarianism is a lie that many people believe and your wife is one of them. One person will always be more dominate than the other.  This is the nature of human relationships.  She has lied to herself as so many women do and convinced herself that she truly believes in and acts as an equal partner in your marriage when she clearly does not.

A marriage will either be a “subtle” patriarchy (male lead) or a “subtle” matriarchy (female lead) – there is no such thing as true partnership marriage.

The only difference between the subtle matriarchy in most self-proclaimed egalitarian marriages and the overt patriarchy practiced in traditional and Biblical Christian marriages is that the wife tries to convince herself and her husband that she is not really leading the relationship and the family.  But make no mistake she is the matriarch.

Even if true partnership marriages existed – they would exist in direct violation to God’s design of marriage and the family.

Sometimes your Christian faith may cost you your marriage

Your story of the birth of your daughter bringing you to Christ is one I have heard before.  For many it is not until they see the beauty of new human life that they realize there truly is a God and he really does have a plan for our lives.  I am so glad you came to place your faith and trust in Christ.

The Bible tells us that sometimes our faith, especially when we start to live it and put it into practice will make enemies even in our own home!

“34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” – Matthew 10:34-38 (KJV)

We can see in the words of Jesus Christ that sometimes our Christian faith will bring us into direct conflict with those closest to us – even those whom we love.  Your wife, the woman you love, has become your spiritual “foe”. Some may object to me saying this about your wife but the words of Christ could not be clearer here.

Now God also wants you to love your enemies and pray for them:

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” – Matthew 5:44 (KJV)

But remember what Christ said in verses 37-38 of Matthew 10? Yes you are to love your enemies and pray for them but you are not to love them more than God.  What Christ means here is if you allow your family (and this includes your wife) to cause you to sin against God or not to follow God’s commands for your life then you are not worthy of Christ.  The phrase “worthy of me” does not mean you will lose your salvation as some Christian teachers falsely teach.  It means you are not living your Christian life in a way that is worthy of what Christ has done for you.  Christ is admonishing you to run the Christian race (live the Christian life) in a way that is worthy or befitting of what he has done for you.

Paul speaks of a person’s faith and the impact it has on their unbelieving spouse causing divorce in I Corinthians:

“13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.” – I Corinthians 7:13-15 (KJV)

Here is the truth – God commands that you lead your wife:

“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 5:23-24 (KJV)

He also calls on you to sacrifice yourself in effort to make your wife holy as Christ gave himself to make his church holy:

“25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” – Ephesians 5:25-27 (KJV)

God does not call on you to keep your wife in the marriage at the cost of you disobeying his commands to lead your home. If she wants to depart you must let her depart.  Will it cause a lot of emotional pain to you and your children in doing this? Absolutely it will.  But this is a sacrifice that God has called you to make in obedience to him. If you fail to do this then you are in essence loving your marriage and family more than you love God.

Your children will be hurt in either case

I just spoke about the hurt that divorce will cause your children.  But realize that your children will be hurt in either case.

If you stay your children will be hurt by the bad example they see of their father submitting to their mother. This completely breaks the model of marriage and it goes against the natural relationship that God created there to be between a man and woman.

And no Ephesians 5:21 is NOT talking about husbands submitting to their wives in marriage.  This heresy is wide spread in the Church today but it flies in the face of the Scriptures.

I encourage you and my other readers to read my post “Should a Christian husband make his wife submit?” Where I extensively deal with Ephesians 5:21 in its proper context.

The short answer is this. The Greek word hupotasso which is translated as submit, obedient, submission and subjection in the KJV is a military term meaning to “to arrange under, to subordinate, to subject, put in subjection, obey” and in most cases it is referring to obeying one’s authority. But there are some cases where it used in the sense of “voluntary cooperation” and this is the sense it is used in Ephesians 5:21 when speaking of the relationship between church members in the assembled church.

But it is impossible to see hupotasso having this same meaning of “voluntary cooperation” in the relationship of a husband and wife because God pictures the husband and wife relationship as that of Christ and the Church.  Are Christ and his Church equal partners? Does Christ submit to his Church? The answer from Scripture are clearly NO.

This is why it is the height of absurdity to say that husbands are to submit to their wives in the sense of laying down their authority that God commands them to take in marriage.

Children need to see a strong father who leads his family and a mother who demonstrates what submission to authority looks like. In this way they learn both what proper leadership looks like and what proper submission looks like.

If you stay in your marriage your children will have a very warped view of what masculinity and femininity mean and what leadership and submission are to look like in God’s design.

In essence you are standing your ground with your wife not only because of your higher allegiance to God and his commands for your life but also for the betterment of your children.  Right now and for the next year or so it will be very tough on them.  But eventually they may come to faith in Christ (if they have not already) and come to respect that stand you took for God.

You won’t lose your kids and you won’t lose everything

Your Statement:

“My lawyer told me she would get the kids and everything.”

John if your lawyer told you that then you need to get a new lawyer. There was a time when women used to get full custody of the kids in most divorce cases and Dads only got two weekends a month at best. Thankfully that has changed as men have fought back and law associations dedicated to fighting for men’s rights have come to the rescue. Courts are less likely to award alimony and if they do it is only temporary. Yes you will have to part with half your physical assets but you will be able to start over.

Yes you will have to pay child support but I would fight alimony.  In divorce whoever is the most patient usually wins.  In most cases court appointed arbitrators will try and scare you into a settlement but it is your right to take your case all the way to the judge. Unless they can prove that you would be an unfit parent you can file for joint custody.

I have joint physical and legal custody of my kids and I know several of my friends that also share joint legal and physical custody with their ex-wives.

There are two keys to getting what you want from divorce – patience and steadfastness.  Make sure what you want is realistic and then stand your ground and do not be pressured by your lawyer, her lawyer or a court arbitrator to agree to anything less.

I would suggest you turn your wife’s divorce threat around on her.  Tell her if she divorces you that will mount a “scorched earth” campaign against her if you feel you are being unfairly treated in the divorce.  Tell her a “scorched earth” campaign means if she does not agree to a fair division of the assets and joint legal and physical custody up front you will hire the most expensive lawyers you can find to drain every asset you have.  You are willing to lose your home and everything to your name in this effort.  You will drag this out in court for years if you have to. Turn the tables on your rebellious wife. Be the man that God meant for you to be.

I pray that God will give you the courage to take the tough actions ahead you need to take and to stand firm and like a man.

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

I Corinthians 6:13 (NASB)

Other related posts:

10 ways to know if you are sacrificing your faith for your wife