7 Steps to Grooming Your Young Christian Wife

“I have read your site for some time, but this is my first time writing you.  My wife and I have been married a year.  She is 18 and I am 24. Now I am trying to get my wife to follow her role as I begin to assume my role as leader.   I am six years older than her, but that seems to just make it worse.  She keeps saying “You are not my father!”  She was raised in a strict family and I guess she thinks now that she is married, she is free from all authority.   I have recently put both of us on a budget.  I have created a budget and I keep my side, but she keeps overspending on hers. 

I read your article on 7 ways to discipline your wife and you recommend taking away her debit card.  I know I could do this, but in my view, that should be the last option.   I am considering starting spanking her.  I have mentioned it to her, not on the budget, but in general and she is against it.  She thinks spanking is treating her like a child. 

I read your warning about a wife reporting a husband for spanking her and my wife would not do that.  She was taught to resolve family issues inside the family.   She complained to her mom about something in our marriage a few months into our marriage and her mom told her she did not want to hear about it; “You and your husband need to work that out” is what her mom told her. 

My question to you is, do you think I am making a mistake trying to incorporate spanking as a form of discipline in our marriage?  Should I just take away her debit card and give her some limited cash?

We are very early in our marriage and I know this is the time when we will set the pattern for the rest of our marriage and I really would appreciate your guidance in how to do that.”

What you just read was an email I received from a young Christian husband calling himself Robert.

Whether or not he realizes it, what Robert is really asking is “How can I as Christian husband groom my young wife?”

Grooming is Sinful in Humanism but Sacred in the Bible

Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary defines the verb definition of groom as “to clean and maintain the appearance of (an animal), to make neat or attractive, to get into readiness for a specific objective” and this fits with the traditional understanding of this word.

But humanists see grooming as one person conditioning another person to allow them or someone else to abuse them.  The term is often associated with pedophiles preying on children, sex traffickers conditioning women for prostitution or husbands conditioning their wives to allow them to abuse them.

According to SecularHumanism.org, a core tenant of humanism is the freeing of “the individual from traditional controls by family, church, and state, increasingly empowering each of us to set the terms of his or her own life”.   This is why the concept of one person exerting control over another is heresy to a humanist while conversely consent is sacred. 

And this is why “grooming” is a trigger word for humanists. 

But from a Biblical perspective, grooming when used in the sense of a husband conditioning his wife to be in complete subjection to him and molding her behavior to his preferences is not evil or immoral.  But rather, these actions are righteous, holy and required of husbands by God.

Remember that Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary definition of grooming was “to clean and maintain the appearance of (an animal), to make neat or attractive, to get into readiness for a specific objective” and now let’s compare that definition to what the Bible calls husbands to do toward their wives in Ephesians 5:25-27:

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

Look at the striking parallels between the way God requires husbands to love their wives as Christ loves his church and what grooming actually is.  So, we can rightly say as Christians that the Biblical call for husbands to wash their wives with the Word of God to present their wives to themselves in a glorious fashion is a call for husbands to groom their wives.

And one thing I want to mention for my humanist friends out there that are in major trigger mode right now.  Some of them may be hung up on the word “animal” in the definition of grooming.  If you look at the definition here you will see these examples of grooming “an impeccably groomed woman, was being groomed as a presidential candidate”. So no, this term is not exclusively used of animals.

Important Prerequisites to Grooming Your Young Bride

Now that we have established that it is not wrong, but actually a man’s God given duty to groom his bride as Christ grooms his Church we need to talk about the prerequisites that should be met before a Christian husband attempts this grooming process with his wife.

Prerequisite #1 – You and Your Young Bride Must Both Be Believers

While there are certainly unbiblical and worldly ways to groom a young bride for her husband, the steps given in this guide are based upon the Biblical view of marriage as God designed it.  They will only work for a Christian husband and a Christian wife.  See my article “What is the Gospel” for more on what it means to be a believer in Christ.

Prerequisite #2 – You and Your Wife Need to Be Biblicist Christians

There are two kinds of Christians today.  Humanist Christians and Biblicist Christians.  Humanist Christians only believe the parts the Bible that do not conflict with the morals and values of humanism.  They rationalize this by saying they believe many parts of the Bible are “cultural” and were not meant for all peoples and all times.  Other humanists attempt to play the words of Christ in the Gospels against the words of the Apostle Paul not realizing that these words are equally the Word of God.

But for this grooming guide to work you must be Biblicist Christians. You and your young bride must believe what 2 Timothy 3:16 states that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”.  And you both must believe that God commands you to live “by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

Prerequisite #3 – Your Wife Needs to Be Young

Even if you are both Biblicist Christians, age is a major factor in a man grooming his wife. I have consistently heard from mentoring couples I have spoken with that the grooming of a bride has the most success in women under the age of 25.  After that the chances of success radically fall, even with believing wives.  I was given examples of Christian wives in their 30s and 40s trying to get into these mentoring programs.  At the beginning of the program they really seemed like they wanted to change, but in the vast majority of the cases they exit the programs not long after entering them when they cannot make the changes necessary.

If you and your wife meet these three prerequisites you will have a great chance of success in grooming your young bride.

7 Steps to Groom Your Young Bride

Now that we have discussed the prerequisites to being able to groom your young bride, we can now discuss the steps you as a Christian husband need to take.

Step #1 – Un-learn What Your Culture Has Taught You

“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)

God calls us to un-learn the false teachings of this world that we have been conditioned with our entire lives.  This will require a radical world view change for both you and your wife.  One of the hardest changes to make for many couples is the rejection of the “adult/child” paradigm.  Our modern culture teaches us that there are only two primary social classes, adults and children.  Children have limited rights until they reach adulthood and then they have full autonomy.   The Bible does not recognize the adult/child paradigm but rather it specifies three primary classes of people within society and those are men, women and children.  Under God’s law, the social class of men are the only ones who have full autonomy.  Women are to be under the authority of men in the home, the church and society at large.  And children are to honor and obey their fathers and mothers. 

It is impossible to fully embrace the teachings of the Bible concerning gender roles without a husband and wife first being willing to fully reject the modern teaching of the adult/child paradigm.  When a Christian wife comes to reject the adult/child paradigm, the whole “you are not my father” and “you are treating me like a child” will quickly disappear.

For more on this subject see my article “John Locke’s Invention of the “Adult” Social Class”.

Step #2 – You Must Learn and Embrace Biblical Gender Roles

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

An understanding and full acceptance of the doctrines of the Bible concerning gender roles is a critical first step for you as a husband to begin the grooming process with your wife.   You can find the Scripture references for all these doctrines on my main “Biblical Gender Roles” page.

Step #3 – Seek out a Male Spiritual Mentor

“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”

Proverbs 27:17 (KJV)

Finding a wise and godly man to mentor you will be crucial to helping you as you seek to groom your young bride.

Step #4 – You must teach your wife Biblical Gender Roles

“And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home…”

1 Corinthians 14:35 (KJV)

God calls you to be your wife’s primary spiritual teacher.  Once you have fully absorbed and embraced the teachings of the Bible concerning gender roles, you must then teach each of these doctrines to your wife.  I would suggest you use the order I give on my Biblical gender roles page, as each doctrine builds on the previous one given.  You should also seek advice from your mentor as to how to approach each of these important doctrines with your wife.

Step #5 – Get Your Wife A Female Spiritual Mentor

“The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;  that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Titus 2:3-5 (KJV)

The Bible does not just support the concept of female mentorship, but it actually commands it.  You may hear some horror stories from older men whose wives were actually led astray by ungodly advice from their girlfriends at church or elsewhere.  But mentoring by good and godly women who fully embrace and live out Biblical gender roles can have life changing effects on women.  I have heard this from mentoring couples I have spoken with and seen it firsthand with younger Christian couples that I know.

Step #6 Mold Your Wife into the Glorious Wife You Want Her to Be

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

Ephesians 5:25-27 (KJV)

Christ did not give up his life for his wife’s happiness.  He gave up his life to purchase his wife (Acts 20:28) so that he could groom her into the wife he wanted her to be.  And this is what God has called you as a Christian husband to do.  In 1 Corinthians 11:7 the Bible tells us that “…the woman is the glory of the man” and in Proverbs 12:4 we read “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband…”.  In 1 Corinthians 11:9 the Bible says “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man”.  These Scriptures teach that God created your wife for you, to bring you glory and when your wife brings you glory this brings God glory.  So, you as a man bring glory to God by your submission and service to him and your wife brings glory to God by her submission and service to you.

What this means practically speaking is that you need to begin to mold your wife to your preferences for her behavior.  You should never feel guilting in desiring your wife’s submission and service to you, but rather you should enjoy this as God enjoys our submission and service to him.

So, what are some practical ways that you can groom your wife into the glorious wife you want her to be?

You can make her modify her clothing style to the styles you prefer.  You can make her learn to cook the foods you enjoy.  You can make her watch the TV shows you like to watch.  And in Proverbs 5:18-19 we read one of the greatest ways a husband is actually commanded to groom his wife:

“Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. 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.”

While husbands are commanded not to deny sexual relations to their wives in Exodus 21:10-11 in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, the Bible never commands wives to make their husbands satisfy them sexually.  It does however command men to do just that in the passage above.

A Christian wife’s grooming, her God ordained subjection to her husband, is never complete until she has been groomed to be loving, pleasant and completely sexually satisfying to her husband.

Step #7 – Discipline Your Wife

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

Revelation 3:19 (KJV)

The verse above is Christ speaking to his churches after having just rebuked them and threatening to discipline them if they did not repent.  Christ associates his rebuke and chastening with his love for his churches.  In Ephesians 5:25 the Scriptures tell us “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it”.  So, if a husband is loving his wife as Christ loves his church, then he will rebuke and discipline his wife.  Otherwise he is not loving her as Christ loves his church.  Discipline from you toward your wife is crucial for the grooming process to work in the life of your wife.

There are many ways to discipline your wife. 

Ten years ago, I would have been against wife spanking as the concept was so foreign to me.  I did not know any Christians who engaged in it.  But since I started this blog back in 2014, I have had the opportunity to interact with many Christian couples who engage in wife spanking which is commonly referred to as Christian domestic discipline or CDD for short. 

I have also had the opportunity to interact with some Christian husband/wife mentor teams who help teach husbands how to spank their wives and also teach the wives how to accept and embrace this kind of physical discipline from their husbands.

Based upon what I have learned and seen over these last few years I can now say the following. 

I used to be against wife spanking, then I was neutral to it as I could see no condemnation of it in the Bible and now over the last couple of years I come to see it as the most effective tool a husband can use in his role as a human instrument of sanctification in the life of his wife.  And this is not a newly invented disciplinary tool of husbands, but rather wife spanking was fairly common throughout history before the last 50 years or so.

Whenever I speak on wife spanking, I must issue the following cautionary note. 

While it is a husband’s God given right to use spanking as a form of discipline on his wife (with or without her consent), a husband should be wise in regard to the hostile culture we live in.  We live in culture which denies almost all the rights that God has given to a husband including his right to discipline his wife.   That means that if you do not have your wife’s consent to spank her and she calls the police on you, you may go to prison for domestic abuse. 

Some of the women who have contacted me over the years were raised in homes where their father spanked their mother and they expected it and even embraced the concept as they entered into their marriages.  Others learned of the benefits of CDD for their marriage from other wives and embraced this practice later in life.

But then there are wives who are conditioned to accept and receive spankings from their husbands through mentoring programs.  These are programs where the husband and wife work together with a husband/wife mentoring team and over time a couple learns to incorporate wife spanking into their marriage.

One of the most important things I have learned from these wife spanking mentoring couples is that it is very difficult and rare to get a wife to accept wife spanking if she is past her mid-20’s and especially into her 30’s.   So, it is important to reach women with these mentoring programs while they are still young and moldable.

For more on the subject of wife spanking see my article “Does the Bible allow a husband to spank his wife?

And whenever I teach on wife spanking, I always get asked if I spank my wife.  The answer is no.  And the reason is because my wife comes from a moderate feminist background and she is in her mid-40s which makes her a far less moldable wife.  She would never submit to wife spanking or even a mentoring program with another couple.   Again, this is not to say that we as Christian husbands cannot or should not engage in discipline toward our wives even if they are older and far less moldable than younger wives.  It just means we have to use a different set of non-physical disciplinary tools with our wives.  I outline some of these tools in my article “7 Ways to Discipline Your Wife”.

Conclusion

Robert’s question of how to handle his wife’s statement “You are not my father!” will go away quickly once she begins to understand based upon the Bible that she must reject the entire adult/child paradigm that our culture has taught her.  When she replaces that with that knowledge that her husband’s authority over her is actually greater, not less than what her father’s authority was things will fall nicely into place.

And Robert’s concern of the six-year age difference is also a result of modern cultural conditioning.  Before our post-feminist society, a man being older than his wife was considered an asset, not a liability.  It made it easier for him to exercise his authority over her and it made it easier for her to submit to him and respect him.

Another great asset for Robert is his wife’s parents.  Too many parents today undermine the authority of their daughter’s husband.  But thankfully this is not something Robert will have to worry about.

On the question of whether to pull her debtor card or spank her.  I have recently had this question come up from another husband and my answer to him was “both”.  While I think that spanking is the most effective disciplinary tool husbands can use with their wives, that does not mean husbands should dismiss other disciplinary tools.  Especially when the infractions are financially related, taking away the debtor card is a punishment that truly does fit the sin the wife has committed.

Finally, any husband reading this needs to accept the possibility that his grooming attempts will be met with complete rejection by his wife. Even if she claims to be a Biblicist Christian and even if she is young. This is because sin corrupts us all in different ways.

The feminine human nature that God designed was a submissive one, one which desired to be dominated by the masculine human nature. But sin corrupted both the masculine and feminine human natures that God designed. And sin corrupts these natures in many different ways. Sin can sometimes corrupt the feminine nature making it more dominant than submissive while at the same time it can corrupt the masculine nature making it more passive or submissive rather than dominant as God designed it to be.

All women have their God given submissive natures corrupted to one degree or another. But some have their natures so corrupted that there is little to nothing left of the sweet and submissive nature God meant for women to have.

So, if you find after years of attempting to groom your wife that you are running int a brick wall with her should you just give up on trying to incorporate Biblical gender roles in your marriage? The answer is NO.

You as the man are responsible before God to do everything you can do on your end. If your wife will not submit to spankings as a form of discipline then you move to non-physical forms of discipline like removing the debit card and credit cards while still providing for all her basic needs. You call her out when she disrespects you even she does not receive this. You limit her access to your free time. You lead even if your wife will not follow.

But one thing you never do is surrender to her desire to control your marriage.

And do not fall for the lie of partnership marriage. No marriage is ever a true partnership. Marriage is always a patriarchy or a matriarchy. It might be a soft patriarchy or soft matriarchy where no one explicitly acknowledges being in charge, and the one in charge might actually allow great freedom to the other. But make no mistake, someone is ALWAYS in charge in a marriage. Power vacuums are never left unfilled.

And if you have to dig in for a real spiritual battle with your wife, you must be prepared for the weapons she may attempt to you use against you. You can find out more about that in my article entitled “3 Ways Wives Try to Control Their Husbands“.

Career Women Are Failures in the Sight of God

When I make the bold claim, which I will support with the Bible, that career women are a failures in the sight of God I am not talking about women who are forced to work to feed their families. I am not talking about the women who tried for years without success to find a husband and simply needed to support themselves. I am not talking about women whose husband’s became disabled, died or abandoned them. In other words, I am not talking about women who did not choose to have to have a career outside the home.

I am talking about women who planned on it from the time they were teenagers.

For these women their dream was their career. And they may or may not have wanted a husband and some kids to go on the side with that career. These are the women that are utter and colossal failures in the sight of their creator whether they realize it now or not. And one day they will stand before God ashamed of the fact that they did not fulfill the purpose for which he created them.

In Galatians 1:10 the Bible says “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ”. This Biblical principle should be at the forefront of our minds as Christians each and every day in the decisions we make.

Recently a young woman calling herself Shary wrote me about her concerns about being seen as a failure in the eyes of her family:

“Can’t God use certain women through their careers for His will. For example I’m going to be a freshman college student starting this fall (with the intention of becoming a doctor) after taking a gap year to work. I feel conflicted because over the past several months I have been reading your blog and you write a lot that women should strive to be keepers at home. I would like to get married and have children, but at the same time I feel like I need to go to school or else I’ll just be a huge disappointment to my family. I don’t know if this is because I’ve been conditioned to think this way all my life or for some other reason, I just feel that if I don’t go to school and become a doctor I’d be a failure.”

My Response to Shary And Other Women Facing this Conflict

Shary, you asked if God can use women through their careers for “his will”? The last part of that question is the key to finding the answer to your question. So how do we know God’s will for women? For that we need to look to the Bible.

The Bible tells us for what purpose he created women in Genesis 2:18 when it states “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him”. So, we learn from Genesis 2 that God created woman as companion and helper suitable for man. The only way she could be suitable to be man’s life companion and helper was for her to have a human nature as he had. That is why God took the woman from the man.

But what kind of companion and helper did God intend for woman to be for man? Was she intended to be his equal partner and for both of them to do the same things and go and pursue their own missions?

The answer is found in Titus 2:4-5 where the Bible states “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed”.

God created woman not as an equal partner with man to have equal rights and to pursue a career outside the home as he does. But rather, the Scriptures are explicit on this that God intended for a woman’s life focus to be on serving the needs of her husband, her children and her home.

What About the Proverbs 31 Wife?

Some Christians who want to try and get around God’s explicit command for women to be keepers at home will attempt to skirt it by pointing to passages like Proverbs 31:16 which states “She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard”. They say “See – there is a career woman in the Bible! She is a land developer”.

As Bible believing Christians, we know that the Scriptures never contradict. So, we know that there is no conflict between the Bible saying in Titus 2:5 that women are to be keepers at home and Proverbs 31:16 showing a woman buying a piece of land and farming it for food. Those who say Proverbs 31 shows a career woman are reading something into the text that is not there and also ignoring the overall theme in the passage that the focus of her life is serving her husband and his home. Does it say she spends 50 or 60 hours a week buying and farming fields? No, it does not. It says she buys “a field”. Does it say she does not bring her children to help farm the field with her? No, it does not. Does it say she leaves her children with her maidens to watch them while she pursues her career in farming? Again, no it does not.

Those who read a career woman into Proverbs 31, a woman who spends upwards of 50 hours a week pouring her energy into things outside her home, are in error. They are ignoring not only the clear command of Titus 2:5 for women to be keepers at home, but also other parts of the same passage in Proverbs 31, like verse 27 which states “She looketh well to the ways of her household…”.

It is Impossible to be a Keeper at Home and a Keeper at a Career

It is impossible, utterly impossible, for a woman to be a keeper at home and at the same time spend 50 hours a week or more giving her energy to things outside her home.

Feminism sells women this lie. And sadly, even most of our modern churches today have bought this lie. They tell women they can spend 50 hours a week outside their home “following their dreams” while having a husband and kids on the side at home. What they don’t tell them is what really happens.

They don’t tell them about the anguish many of these women feel when they have to leave their young infants with others when they know an infant needs its mother. They don’t tell them about the anguish they will feel when their home is in utter disarray because they have such little energy to keep up with it. They don’t tell them about the fights they will have with their husband over who does what. They don’t tell them about when her career moves conflict with his career. And then after handling the job, the house and the kids many career women have little energy left for their husbands. And then marriages die.

Of course, there are the women who are “without natural affection” as 2 Timothy 3:3 alludes to. These women actually care more about themselves than their children or husbands. These are the women that murder their children by aborting them for the sake of their career ambitions. If these women do have children, they have absolutely no problem dropping off their crying infants with others to pursue their selfish ambitions. They have no problem donating the vast majority of their waking hours to endeavors outside their home and giving only the scraps left of their time to their children and their husbands.

And these women are a “success” in the view of our modern humanist and feminist culture.

Conclusion

So, we just described two types of women. The first group are women who after believing the lies of feminism later come to feel remorse for the decisions that they made. But now they are trapped because they have made their economic situation dependent on their income. Then we have the second group of more sinister women who lack natural affection and have absolutely no remorse for the impact that there career takes on their husbands, their children or their homes.

Are you one of these women that lacks natural affection? Could you drop your two-month-old infant off without it bothering you a bit? Could you see the stress your career places on your home, your children and your husband and be happy with giving them only the scraps left of your time and energy each day?

But there is something even more important to consider than just the impacts of a career on your future husband, children and home.

The Scriptures tell us in 1 Corinthians 11:9 “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man”.

The following statement I make to women who are not keepers at home by their own choice and design, and not because of circumstances outside of their control.

If you as a woman are not a keeper at home (and you have no desire to be so), if the majority of your time and energy are not spent supporting your husband in his career, meeting his needs sexual and otherwise, bearing his children, caring for his children and caring for the needs of his home then your life will be a failure in the sight of the one who created you.

So, are you as a woman more concerned with being seen as a failure in the eyes of our humanist culture, your parents and friends or are you more concerned with being a failure in the eyes of God?

The last subject I want to briefly touch on is celibacy.

God’s rule for men and women is marriage and having children. His exception his celibacy. And God only calls us to celibacy “that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction” (I Corinthians 7:35). Celibacy is to be used for service to the kingdom of God, not for selfish ambitions or to avoid the risks or responsibilities of marriage and having children.

So, could a woman decide to dedicate her life to God by helping on mission fields or by being a doctor, a nurse, a school teacher or other such profession? Yes. But she needs to make sure that she is doing this for the right reasons.

See these two articles I previously wrote for more these subjects:

For what reasons does God allow celibacy?

Why does God make some women with a genius level IQ if he wants all women to be homemakers?

You Are One Flesh, So Be One Flesh

In Mark 10:7-9 we find a familiar passage that is often read at weddings.  In that passage Christ states “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. what therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

When a husband and wife come together in marriage – this new relationship takes precedent over all other earthly relationships.  Before they were married their greatest earthly relationship was with their parents and now it is with each other.

There are three important concepts about this unity in marriage that Christ talks about:

“And they twain SHALL be one flesh”

 “so then they ARE no more twain, but one flesh”

“What therefore God hath joined together, let NOT man put asunder.”

Biblically speaking in marriage, a husband and wife are one flesh from the moment of their marriage covenant, yet they are to be becoming one flesh more and more the longer they are married and they are not to stop being one flesh as long as they both live.

In a way, this concept of being one flesh in marriage mirrors our salvation.  From the moment, we are saved we receive Christ’s righteousness and are declared justified by God.  But the Bible tells us “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25) exhorting us to progressive sanctification.  In essence the Bible is telling us “You are holy, so be holy”.  In the same way, the Bible tells couples in marriage “You are one flesh, so be one flesh”.

5 Steps to Becoming One Flesh in Marriage

Step 1 – A husband and wife are to have sexual relations on a regular basis

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

I Corinthians 7:3-4 (KJV)

The act of marriage or the consummation of marriage is sexual union.  This is the most literal meaning of the Biblical phrase “one flesh”.  Sex is to occur regularly in marriage.  An interesting biological fact of sex is that it releases two bonding hormones (oxytocin and vasopressin) which God designed to draw a couple closer together.

On this subject of sexual relations in marriage Christian and non-Christian counselors are usually in fully agreement.  The regularity of sexual relations is the first indicator of how healthy a relationship is. While it is possible to have regular sexual relations but still have disunity in a marriage – it is impossible to have full unity in a marriage without regular relations.

Step 2 – A husband is to know his wife

“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)

For husbands this is the first step in cultivating oneness with their wife. A husband cannot love his wife as God intended without knowing her and this involves him talking with her and spending time with her.  God thought it was so important for a man to get to know his wife that in the law he gave to Moses for Israel he gave this rule for newlywed couples:

“When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.”

Deuteronomy 24:5 (KJV)

God literally forbade men from going off to war or going away on business trips for the first year of their marriage.  Couples literally had a one year honey moon in Israel!

So, this leads us to another question – why does a husband need to know his wife? The answer is found for us in the last part of I Peter 3:7 “that your prayers be not hindered.” What God is basically saying is “Husbands if you do not hear the concerns, needs and requests of your wife God will not hear your concerns, needs and requests”.

God wants all authorities whether they be Kings, governors, parents, masters, or employers to hear the concerns, needs and requests of those under them. This does not mean that a husband must give his wife whatever she wants or makes the decisions the way she wants him to.  Sometimes God answers our prayers with a “yes”, sometimes he answers them with a “no” and sometimes he answers them with a “wait”. It is the same with a man and his wife.

When a man hears the concerns and requests of his wife and truly knows how she thinks, even if he does not act as she would like after hearing her this helps to build unity in the marriage.

Also, when a husband knows his wife he knows her passions and her interests.  As long as those her interests do not conflict with her primary duties as a wife, mother and keeper of the home he should encourage her in these things.  For example, maybe his wife likes to paint or to sing in church. Maybe she has desire to write for a woman’s blog, maybe she likes to write poetry.  Perhaps she has a desire to run in home daycare.  None of these things would automatically contradict with her primary duties as a wife, mother and keeper of the home.

However if a woman has a passion to be a mega news giant superstar and wants her husband to stay at home and take care of the home and kids(like Fox News star Meghan Kelly for example) her passions and ambitions are at direct odds with the role for which God designed her.  This is by definition an example of selfish ambition on the part of a woman.

See “I wanted a wife and so did she – Ex-husband of Megyn Kelly speaks out about his marriage to the FOX News star” for more on this feminist superstar.

Step 3 – A wife is to learn how her husband thinks

“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 14:35 (KJV)

Not only in spiritual matters, but in all matters of life a wife is to learn how her husband thinks and what makes him tick. A wife knowing how her husband thinks is critical to building the unity God desires for marriage between a man and his wife.

Step 4 – A wife is to submit to her husband

“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)

The inevitable result of a woman getting to know how her husband thinks is that she will discover ways that he thinks that she disagrees with.  Now a woman has two choices when she realizes these differences.  One is to try and correct or change her husband’s thinking and the other is to submit.  God calls women to do the latter and submit even when they disagree with their husbands.  As long as a husband does not directly ask his wife to sin she must submit to him everything.

A wife should offer her advice in a kind way, not in a contentious way

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

Proverbs 31:26 (KJV)

In the previous step, we discussed that in order to maintain the unity in marriage that God desires for couples to have a wife must submit to her husband especially when she disagrees with him. But this does not mean that wives are forbidden from sharing any wisdom they have with their husbands.

But the attitude and method in which a woman shares her wisdom with her husband is very important. The Bible warns against wives being contentious with their husbands:

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

Proverbs 21:19 (KJV)

Even if the words of a wife to her husband are wise, if they are delivered in a contentious or angry manner to her husband they will lose their intended effect and will cause the unity in the marriage to decline rapidly.

Also, a woman should always understand the position from which she offers advice.  She is not her husband’s mother, his teacher or his authority. He is her authority and Biblically speaking his authority over her is even greater than that of her father’s.

A woman should view herself as a subject which gives counsel to her King and remember the Scriptures exhortation to wives to be “in subjection unto their own husbands”(I Peter 3:5).

Step 5 – A wife is to be her husband’s crown

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

Proverbs 12:4 (KJV)

The Bible tells us that a wife should be a crown to her husband.  What is a crown? A crown brings glory and honor to its recipient. So, what the Bible is saying is that a wife by being her husband’s crown is one who should bring him glory and honor.  She is to be his greatest cheerleader and supporter. The unfortunate truth is that many wives today are more of a dunce cap than a crown to their husband.  Just as a wife being contentious with her husband breaks the unity of the marriage so too a wife failing to honor her husband for the man that he is will quickly break the unity of the marriage.

But there is another interesting aspect of a crown – especially that of a king. It was very common in ancient times that when a King conquered another land he would take the crown of the conquered King and put it on his head to show his ownership and authority over his newly conquered lands.

But what if a King liked the crown of another ruler and wanted to wear it more often but it did not fit his head well? Perhaps it was two small and would almost fall off his head or maybe it was too large for the diameter of his head and it would slide down in front of his face.  So, what would the King do? He would give the crown to his craftsman and have them resize the crown to fit his head perfectly.  Perhaps he would have them add some additional gems and take some gems away that he did not like.  The point is that the crown would be molded to the King’s liking and made to fit his head perfectly.

In the same way wives need to move beyond mere submission to their husbands in their quest to truly be one flesh with their husbands.

Wives need to mold themselves over time more and more to their husbands likes and dislikes and to his various positions on the issues of life.  They need to support and understand his passions whether it is his passion for his job, his ministries at church or his hobbies. This even more just mere submission – will bring the true unity that God desires to the marriage.

This does not mean that a wife may ever come to love everything her husband loves or hate everything her husband hates.  There are some passions he may have that she will never be able to bring herself to share.

But a wife should pray hard each and every day that God would help her to mold herself and fit herself so that in the same way a crown needs to fit the head of the King who wears it – so to a wife needs to fit herself to her husband.

Husbands Wash Your Dirty Wives

When we think of a woman being “dirty” outside the literal meaning we will usually think of a woman acting in a sexually inappropriate manner.    And while there certainly are whorish women who do act in whorish ways there is another type of dirtiness in women that has nothing to do with a woman acting whorish.

When a woman speaks disrespectfully to her husband or does not show proper deference to her husband, that is her acting in a dirty way toward her husband.   When a wife refuses to submit any part of her life to her husband’s spiritual leadership that is her acting in a dirty way.   Sometimes it may not be her actions, but it may in fact be her attitudes and beliefs that are dirty.

Christian husbands, to love your wife as Christ loves his church requires that you wash her spiritual spots, wrinkles and blemishes with the Word of God.  You are to wash her dirty attitudes, beliefs and actions with the Word of God.

You could liken this to how you might wash your car.  You look over that car and make sure every dirt spot and blemish are gone and that it shines so good you can see your reflection in it.  It is the same idea with your wife spiritually.  After you wash her, her views and behaviors should be a reflection of the things you have taught her from God’s Word.

The washing of your wife requires a combination of knowing her, listening to her, teaching her, correcting her and yes disciplining her.   The washing of your wife will sometimes require great sacrifice on your part as the washing of his wife required great sacrifice on the part of Christ.  Sometimes it means temporarily sacrificing the peace in your home to rebuke your wife.  It might mean sacrificing time you might have spent doing things that were more enjoyable.  But it is a sacrifice that is necessary on the part of every Christian husband.

1 Peter 3:7 Why Are a Husband’s Prayers Hindered?

After addressing the submission of wives to their husbands in 1 Peter 3:1-6 the Apostle turns his discussion toward husbands and the treatment of their wives in verse 7 when he states “Likewise, ye husbands”.  He then caps the commands toward husbands with a warning to them of what will happen if they do not treat their wives as he has just stated when he says “that your prayers be not hindered”.

Before we discuss how the Apostle Peter, writing under the inspiration of God, tells husbands to treat their wives, we must first address whose prayers are being hindered.

Whose Prayers Will be Hindered?

Mathew Henry in his famous commentary stated the following about verse 7 of 1 Peter 3:

“The reasons are, Because she is the weaker vessel by nature and constitution, and so ought to be defended: but then the wife is, in other and higher respects, equal to her husband; they are heirs together of the grace of life, of all the blessings of this life and another, and therefore should live peaceably and quietly one with another, and, if they do not, their prayers one with another and one for another will be hindered, so that often “you will not pray at all, or, if you do, you will pray with a discomposed ruffled mind, and so without success.”

The key phrase in Matthew Henry’s statement above is “if they do not, their prayers one with another and one for another will be hindered”.    The “they” and “their” he is referring to is both the husband and wife.

Matthew Henry was taking the position that this phrase “and as being heirs together of the grace of life” was addressing both the husband and wife and therefore the warning “that your prayers be not hindered” was addressed to both husbands and wives.

But this is where we must remind ourselves that no commentator, no matter how famous or respected, is inerrant in their interpretation or application of the Scriptures.

I have read writings of many of the great men of the reformation like Martin Luther, John Calvin and John Knox.  I loved reading the commentaries of Spurgeon as a young man.  But a realization I had to come to was, none of these men were more inerrant than any Christians before them or after them except for those men who spoke and wrote the very Word of God.  Only the Old Testament Prophets, Jesus Christ and his Apostles after him were inerrant in their writings and understanding of God’s will.

This blog is in essence an online commentary, not unlike that of Matthew Henry or Charles Spurgeon.  I could be wrong in my interpretation and applications of the Scriptures just as Matthew Henry or Charles Spurgeon could be wrong in theirs.   Each of us must look at the Scriptures, and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, use our knowledge of the original language of the Scriptures as well the historical and grammatical context in which various passages are written to come to what we believe is the correct interpretation and application of the Scriptures.

Some have argued that Matthew Henry’s interpretation is correct because of the Greek word “hymōn” or “Humon” (transliterated) that is in the phrase “that your [Humon] prayers be not hindered”.    They argue that since humon is always used in a plural sense to speak to a group, that it is talking to both the husband and the wife.

While it true that humon is always speaking to a group, we must look to the context to know what group it is speaking to. In the same passage we are discussing, the apostle Peter begins his conversation on marriage by first speaking to wives in 1 Peter 3:1-2:

“Likewise, ye wives [gynaikes], 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 [humon] chaste conversation coupled with fear.”

The English word “wives”, is a translation of the Greek word used to address women in the plural sense which is “gynaikes”.  From the passage above, whose “chaste conversation couple with fear” is the Apostle addressing? It is clear from the context that it is that of the wives.

Peter uses the Greek word which refers to men in the plural sense “andres” to refer to husbands, when he writes the passage we are looking at:

“Likewise, ye husbands [andres], 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 [humon] prayers be not hindered.”

There is nothing in the language of 1 Peter 3:7 which would indicate the prayers being hindered are anyone other than that of a husband’s prayers in the same way that the chaste and fearful behavior of verse 2 is referring strictly to wives in reference to their husbands.

Therefore, we can rightly conclude that 1 Peter 3:7 in its entirety is speaking to husbands and not both husbands and wives.

So, Peter is saying that if husbands don’t do the things, he commanded them toward their wives, their prayers will be hindered.  Now let’s look at how husbands are commanded to treat their wives.

Three Things God Commands of Husbands Toward their Wives

“dwell [sunoikeo ] with them according to knowledge[Gnosis],”

Sunoikeo refers to domestic association, people living together but it also was commonly used as euphemism for sexual intercourse between a man and a woman.  And the Greek word gnosis means exactly what is translated as – knowledge.  It is to know about something or to know someone intimately depending on the context.    So, we can see the Apostle is saying “Husbands as you live together with your wives in this intimate and sexual relationship, do so according to knowledge”.  So, the question is what knowledge is he talking about?  Is it just a general knowledge of God and His Word? Is it also knowing your wife’s strengths and weaknesses and where she needs spiritual instruction? And could it also be knowing her fears, her concerns and her requests?  I will give the answer after we finish looking at the last two parts of this verse.

Peter then moves on to tell men two ways in which they must give proper honor their wives.  The first way is mentioned below:

“giving honour unto the wife [gune], as unto the weaker [Asthenes] vessel [Skeuos],”

The Greek word Asthenes means “weak, infirm or feeble” and Skeuos literally refers to vessels like household utensils including bowls or pitchers.  Skeuos is a common euphemism for the human body in the New Testament and our souls are seen as indwelling our vessels.

What this means is that husbands are to give honor to their wives as is appropriate for their station as the weaker vessel. But why would we honor someone for being weaker?

The answer is found in 2 Corinthians 12:9:

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

If we remember that God created men to image his attributes, including his strength, and woman to image mankind and our weakness and dependence upon God then this makes perfect sense.  In the same way that we should glory in our weakness and need of God’s strength, so too women should glory in their weakness and dependence upon man’s strength.  And thus, we as men should not demean women who demonstrate their need of our strength, but instead we honor women for doing this.

The honoring of the weaker vessel also means we honor women for fulfilling the complete role that God designed the weaker vessel to play.  In Proverbs 31:28 after showing all the wonderful ways in which the virtuous wife serves her husband, his children and his home the Bible tells us the following:

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

Now that we have covered the first way men are commanded to honor their wives, we can now move on to the second way men are commanded to honor their wives.

“and as being heirs together of the grace of life”

Wives are to be accorded the honor that is due to fellow believers and husbands should never forget that their wives are not only their wives, but sisters in Christ. In Romans 12:10 we read the following of how we are to treat our brethren in Christ:

“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another”.

So, we see three things men are commanded to do toward their wives:

  1. Live with them in an intimate and sexual relationship according to knowledge.
  2. Honor them for the part in God’s master design that he has designed them to play as the weaker vessel.
  3. Honor them as fellow believers and sisters in Christ.

What knowledge do men need to have with their wives?

In 2 Peter 3:18 we read “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen”.  There is no doubt that first and foremost the goal of every Christian should be to grow in the knowledge of Christ and then apply that knowledge to everything we do in this life including how we conduct our marriages.

But 1 Peter 3:7 does not say “dwell with them according to the knowledge of God” or “dwell with them according to the knowledge of Christ”.  It simply says dwell with them according to knowledge. And since the treatment of wives by their husbands is the subject Peter is addressing it strongly suggests that knowledge is indeed a husband’s knowledge of his wife.

And this idea of a man needing to know his wife on a spiritual level is seen in Ephesians 5:25-27:

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

How can a man wash his wife’s spiritual spots and wrinkles if he does not know his wife’s mind? Again, in Ephesians 5:28-29, we read the following of husbands toward their wives:

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

How can a man know his wife’s needs without knowing her mind? Without talking to her?

And finally, our greatest indicator of what “knowledge” husbands are supposed to have as they live with their wives is found in the warning given to husbands:

“that your prayers be not hindered”

In 1 Peter 5:7 the Bible tells us “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you”.  We are called to cast our cares, our concerns and our fears upon God because he cares for us.  Is that not a huge part of our prayers to God?

So as husbands if we want God to hear our cares and concerns why would we think we can do so while turning a deaf ear to our wife’s cares and concerns?

God Sometimes Will Not Hear Our Prayers and so Too Husbands Will Not Hear Their Wives

Now the principles I have just laid out from the Scriptures about men needing to hear their wife’s concerns in the same way that they want God to hear their concerns could certainly be abused.  In fact, it has been abused by the modern church today which has been infested with feminism.

If we remember that man images God in the life of his wife then we must also remember that God sometimes will not hear our prayers because of our sin.  In Isaiah 1:15, God says to his wife Israel, “And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood”.  Because Israel was in open sin against God, her husband, he hid himself from seeing her needs and he would not hear her requests.  In the same way, when a wife is acting in unrepentant sin against her husband, she cannot expect that he will hear her requests.

In James 4:3 we read “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts”.  So, when we ask God with wrong motives or ask with selfish ambition, he will not hear such requests and in the same way if a husband sees his wife asking for something with wrong motives or from a position of selfishness, he has every right to turn down such sinful requests.

Finally, in John 5:14 the Bible states “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us”.   Just as husband should know his wife’s mind, so too a wife should know her husband’s mind.  And a wife should never ask her husband for something she knows goes against his will on a matter just as we should never pray to God for something we know goes against his will especially as recorded in the Bible.

Conclusion

1 Peter 3:7 is written to husbands, not husbands and wives.  The prayers that will be hindered are not the prayers of both the husband and wife, but of the husband alone.  God tells men they must dwell with their wives according to knowledge, honor them in their station as the weaker vessel, and honor them as fellow believers and sisters in Christ.  If a husband fails to do these three things, God will not hear his prayers.

When we look at God’s command of husbands in Ephesians 5:25-27 to wash their wife’s spiritual spots and wrinkles with the Word, we know that part of the knowledge Peter alludes to in 1 Peter 3:7 is of a man knowing his wife’s spiritual character.  He cannot wash what he does not know.

When we look at God’s command of husbands in Ephesians 5:28-29 for them to love and care for the needs of their wife’s body and protect her as they would their own body then we also know that part of the knowledge Peter alludes to in 1 Peter 3:7 is a man knowing his wife’s requests for her physical needs.

In 1 Peter 3:5-6, which directly proceeds the passage we have been studying, the Apostle Peter writes “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: 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”.   A woman, if she is following the example given to us by God of the women of old is to regard her husband as her lord.

The Greek word kurios translated as “lord” in 1 Peter 3:6 can also be translated as “master” as it is in Colossians 4:1 where the Bible states “Masters [Kurios], give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master [Kurios] in heaven”.  In many ways 1 Peter 3:7 repeats this same concept of Colossians 4:1 with husbands toward their wives.   We as husbands must remember that just as we are a master to our wives, we also have a master in heaven who watches how we treat her.

This does not mean that if a man’s wife is divorcing him or other bad things are happening that it automatically means he is not living with his wife according to knowledge or not honoring her as the weaker vessel and as a fellow sister in Christ.  We must remember that wife’s can and do act in evil ways against their husbands just as Israel acted in evil ways against her husband who was God.  In Isaiah 1:15 God hid his eyes from Israel and closed his ears to her prayers because she was in sinful rebellion against him.

No wife can expect to have her husband’s ear while she stands in rebellion against him.

Also, God makes it clear in John 5:14 that we don’t get everything we request from him, but only what is in accordance with his will.  And this is no different with a husband and wife situation.   A husband hearing his wife’s requests and granting them are two very different things.  And once a woman knows her husband’s mind on something, she ought not to continue asking for that same thing knowing it goes against his will.

The Scriptures warn us in Proverbs 4:27 “Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil”.  And on this matter of the treatment of wives, like most other moral subjects, there is a far left and a far right position that are both wrong and the Bible stands in the middle of the two.

On the one hand, a man knowing his wife’s spiritual mindset, her cares and her concerns is not the same as him having to run all family decisions through his wife first.  Nothing in the Scriptures gives this requirement of men.  Marriage is not a partnership, but rather a patriarchy.  When the Scriptures refer to a man dwelling with his wife according to knowledge, it is in regard to him knowing her personal spiritual and physical needs, not him getting her vote on family decisions.

On the other hand, A man knowing his wife’s spiritual condition, knowing her mind, knowing what her physical needs are, hearing her cares and concerns, honoring her station as the weaker vessel and honoring her as a fellow sister is not him putting his wife on a pedestal.  It is him obeying the Word of God.  And if he does not obey the Word of God on these matters God will not hear his prayers.  This is the express teaching of 1 Peter 3:7.

If You Love Your Wife, You Will Discipline Her

We are told in Ephesians 5:25 that husbands are to love their wives “even as Christ also loved the church” and in Revelation 3:19 Christ after rebuking his churches says “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent”.  This shows us as Christian husbands that an indispensable part of us loving our wives as Christ loves his church is that we rebuke and discipline our wives.

A husband who will not rebuke or discipline his wife for sinful behavior is no better than a parent who will not rebuke and discipline their child for sinful behavior. 

And no, a husband disciplining his wife is not him treating his wife as a child, it is him treating his wife as a woman and women are under the authority of men in God’s order.   And no, God does not recognize the modern invention of the “adult” social class.  So, the notion we hear so often in churches that “he is an “adult” and responsible for himself before God and she is an “adult” and responsible for herself before God” is completely unbiblical.  The humanist invention of the “adult” social class is a perversion and attempt to give women the same rights, responsibilities and privileges as men, something God never did.

For more details on the how a husband can go about disciplining his wife in a way which follows Biblical principles for discipline see my article “7 Ways To Discipline Your Wife“.

Husbands If You Don’t Hear Your Wife, God Won’t Hear You

Christian husbands, God says you must know your wife, and not just in the sexual sense of the word.  You are also called to know her on a spiritual and emotional level.  This does not mean you have to become an emotional being like a woman, or “get more in touch with your feelings”.  It simply means talking to your wife and listening to her fears, her concerns and her requests in the same way you want God to listen to your fears, concerns and requests when you bring them to him.

Does listening to your wife mean you will always do what she wants? Of course not.   God listens to our prayers but he does not always grant our requests or do things in the way we would like him to do them.  Sometimes God corrects us and shows us later that what we were asking for was not right.  And sometimes after a husband listens to his wife, he may need to correct her thinking, just as God corrects our thinking through the Holy Spirit and through his Word.

And finally, husbands, remember that if you will not hear your wife’s fears, concerns and requests God will not hear yours.  So, if you sense that you are being shut out by God, perhaps you are doing the same thing to your wife.

Appeasement is Never an Option for Christian Husbands

What follows is an email I received from a man named Mark.

“BGR- I have been reading your articles for about two years now. Been married to my wife over 16 years and we have children together, our oldest of which is a teenager.  My background includes being raised in the church and my father was a pastor. For the first 14 years of our marriage I pretty much went along with whatever my wife wanted with a few times where I went against what she wanted.  And now let me share what my wife did on the occasions when I did something she was opposed to.

She fought me over career moves that I deemed were necessary; she didn’t work at all and so I was the main and only provider. When we did move away every day, she would just complain about being there and tell me to take her home. Every. Day.  After a year and a half of hearing it I finally did. It cost me tens of thousands of dollars in moving fees and lost wages.

I have tried to reason with her in several different ways but she simply would not hear it.  It was her way or no way.  At times I even withdrew myself and gave her the silent treatment which you have recently wrote on.  She was not having that either.  Her response to my silent treatment toward her was to literally go nuts and start throwing things around the house.

On one specific occasion when I refused to speak to her, she literally (and I mean literally as in the sense it is supposed to be used, not metaphorically) destroyed the house. Pulled shelves down. Ripped up books. When that didn’t work, she attacked me. I mean physically. I ended up calling the police after I couldn’t take it and could feel that I was starting to get angry. She got in her car and drove away before they got there and they did nothing but laugh at me. If it was the other way around, I’d have been hauled off in handcuffs. That isn’t the only time but the time I called the police which only taught me not to since they’ll do nothing.

And then of course there are the problems we have had with sex over most of our 16-year marriage.  At one point we had sex only 8 times over 15 MONTHS. She has told me on several occasions that she has to “feel” connected before having sex and I don’t just get to “use her body for sex” for sex when I feel like it. I have responded to her opposition to me wanting “use her body for sex” with the fact that she has no problem at all “using my body to provide food, housing, shelter, clothes, entertainment etc.”

She complains that I’m not verbal enough or I don’t leave notes telling her how great she is enough and not meeting her “love language” and I point to the other things I do – like never miss a payment on a bill, don’t cheat, drink, do drugs, beat on her, protect her from any threats and it still isn’t good enough.

My wife has told me that I just need to change my communication style and how I hear her. She says that “God intends for marriage to be consensual and loving and that we should want to please each other and do things not from duty but because we want to do them”. And course when she says “loving” she does not mean the Biblical definition of love, but rather love that comes from feelings and emotions.  So, in other words she is saying that God intends for marriage to be based on feelings and consent and not on duty.  I tried in vain to find a verse in the Bible that states what she has said to me about marriage.

So, over many years I had just accepted that his would be my life with her.  For the most part, aside from completely changing my personality for her, I would do whatever she wanted.  I worked where she wanted me to, did what she wanted with the kids, let her buy what she wanted and of course had sex when she wanted which was far less than what I wanted.

Then about two years ago my wife had said she wanted to be more “devout”. I took that as a sign that she wanted to you know, actually obey what the Bible said.  So, I started to actually read what the text of scripture says in regard to marriage and husbands and wives and I really dug deeper into it I found that there were indeed specific roles given and there are reasons for those roles.

I had Googled “biblical gender roles” in the sense of what does the Bible say about gender roles because I was looking for more information when it sent me to your site which I would read alone or away from my wife. It clarified and articulated what I was trying to tell her. Eventually she found out that I was reading your site and it caused nothing but a conflict about how disgusting and horrible the material is…. which is straight from the Bible.

This is when it all went south then all hell broke loose.

We went and sometimes still go to the same pastor and his wife for counseling. This is a really sweet couple that really does care about people. Yet the pastor’s wife once told me that I was unloving and gave an example from I Corinthians 13. I told her that those were beautiful words indeed…and the guy who wrote them 6 chapters earlier said that the wife’s body doesn’t belong to her but to her husband. I have tried telling them over and over – my wife included – and quoted scripture VERBATIM but they will not hear it.

Another guy who’s training for the ministry told me flatly that I was “not wrong” regarding what the Bible says about gender roles and the way marriage should be and then he followed that up with “But would you rather be in a relationship or be right?”

I’ve caught her with credit cards that she opened without my knowledge and confronted her on those. She refused to even tell me what she spent the money on and continues to refuse to this day. The pastor advised that I just forgive and let it go. And then I wrote a check for the credit card account. I don’t know if that was the best option but in trying to “work on the relationship” I did it to try and move forward.

You see, it isn’t just people on the political Left that don’t believe. It is the so-called Christians – who I call CHINO – Christians In Name Only, that don’t believe. They swear up and down that they love Jesus and the Bible is God’s word…and then when I point out what it says it’s like I am the heretic speaking blasphemy and was the Devil himself. This includes the pastor, who I am friends with and care about. I once heard the pastor tell a group I was in that he was his wife’s “helpmate”…I literally spoke up and said that it does not say that; it says it in the reverse and I can read it to you in the Hebrew if you have any questions. It was not well received.

The pastor – a conservative evangelical pastor who if you asked him he would swear up and down the Bible is THE word of God – won’t stand up for what their very own scripture actually says. They allow women to preach and teach; why would they even bother to tell a wife she has to “submit to her husband” in ANYTHING?

These are people who are “devout” Evangelicals. These aren’t leftist socialists or liberals. They aren’t rabid atheists or raging feminists. They say they believe in the Bible. They are liars. But that changes nothing.  And the Bible, my wife doesn’t believe a word of it based on her actions to the contrary of everything it says about marriage.

I sought out a divorce attorney to see what my options were.  We did the math together.  I would literally end up homeless sleeping in my work vehicle. I couldn’t afford even to rent a studio apartment after the state has taken everything.

See, in the state I live in they will give her half of everything. I have worked our whole marriage and provided for her. I have protected her, loved her, given her children. She only started working in the last year and a half. I would lose my children because the state would automatically award her custody for no other reason than she is a female. She would be entitled to alimony payments, child support, and she would get the house.

So, I have gone back to the way things were before I tried to actually apply the Bible to our marriage two years ago because I’m left with no other recourse and there is no help coming.

I grind my teeth, curse her false shepherds, and pray that Ragnarok come and wipe all of this out. Then I smile and do whatever she asks. If she wants to go on a vacation – we go. If she wants something – she gets it. If she wants sex – it happens when she allows it.

It’s all backwards and reverse.

Recently she told me that “we wasted the last couple years fighting” to which I thought, but dare not say, “uh, YOU wasted the last couple years rebelling”. She once told me “F*$k off; I will NEVER submit to you.” This is from a woman who has a bible degree, went to bible college, attended evangelical “bible believing” churches almost all her life.  And yes, I still go to our church only because if I don’t, she will rage and it will adversely affect our children.

And believe it or not, despite all of these things I have just told you about, I still do love her. We have really great kids together.

So, I’m not sure what the answer is. I’ve only seen a society that favors women. I have long thought of writing you on these points and finally brought myself to do so. Perhaps there’s a lesson in there for others and for other husbands and wives and the state of the conservative church.

Mark”

Why Publish Such a Sad Story?

Lately I have been absolutely flooded with emails from MGTOWs. Stories like this one from Mark feed right into their beliefs of why the modern feminized form of marriage is so bad for men.  It would have been easier not to publish this man’s story knowing the MGTOW reactions it would get.

I am sure I will get many MGTOWs writing me saying “yeah there’s a lesson there and the lesson is men should not get married”.

The Christian feminists reading Mark’s story will come away with another lesson.   In their view Mark just needs to go back to where he was before he discovered what the Bible says about the roles of husbands and wives.  He needs to just do what his wife said and work on his “communication style” and “hear her” better.  And of course, his wife mentioned the Christian feminist and humanists’ favorite word which is CONSENT.   And when all else fails, Mark should just fall back into the appeasement mode with his wife, because after all “Happy Wife” = “Happy Life” right?

But despite the predictable reactions I knew would come from the Christian feminists on my left flank and the MGTOWs on my right flank I really felt the Lord leading me to publish this man’s story and he is right that there are lessons that can be learned from his story not just for other men, but for Mark himself.

Before I get into the lessons that can be learned as well as advice in dealing with this kind of marital situation Mark faces, I just want to make a few things crystal clear.

The philosophies of MGTOW on the right and Christian Feminism on the left are unbiblical philosophies.   See my previous articles “Was Jesus Christ a Feminist?” and “Why MGTOW Is an Unbiblical Philosophy”.

Also, in regard to the false humanist philosophy of “consent” please see my previous article “It is Not a Woman’s Consent That Matters, It is God’s”.

With that being said lets first tackle some lessons that can be learned from Mark’s story and then I will give some advice based on Biblical principles for a husband dealing with a contentious and angry wife.

Lesson #1 – We Must Continue to Speak Out Against Error in Our Churches and Our Homes

What Mark did in challenging his Pastors and teachers at his church as well as his wife in his home is exactly what we as Christian husbands are called to do as seen in the Scripture below:

“2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

2 Timothy 4:2-4 (KJV)

I know that Mark is feeling discouraged after doing just what this passage commands and not seeing the results he expected.  But it is not the results that matter, but only our obedience to God’s commands.  God is the only one who can truly change the hearts of men and women, we are only his messengers.

Lesson #2 – While Preaching Against Error We Must Not Add to the Gospel

We who still believe in, practice and defend the doctrines of Biblical gender roles must remember how the Gospel is presented in the Scriptures:

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Romans 10:9-10 (KJV)

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;  By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”  

I Corinthians 15:1-4 (KJV)

The Gospel is clear in the Bible.  If we believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, that he was the sinless Son of God in human flesh and that he died for our sins and rose again we will ARE saved.  We have passed from death to life.  The following Scripture passage actually describes the process by which we come to trust in Christ and are saved:

“12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.  13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”

Ephesians 1:12-14 (KJV)

We heard the Gospel, believed the Gospel and then we were sealed with the Holy Spirit which is our guarantee that one day we will see our Savior face to face.   And our belief in the Gospel and the subsequent indwelling of the Holy Spirit has a transforming effect on our lives as the Scriptures state below:

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”

2 Corinthians 5:17

But the Apostle Paul tells us of the sad reality that there will always be divisions in the church, whether it be on a local level or on a universal church level:

“18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. 19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.”

1 Corinthians 11:18-19 (KJV)

And this is why God gave us the various church offices and spiritual gifts:

“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)

This is why we have different Christian denominations.  This is why even within each Christian denomination we have opposing schools of thought on many different doctrines whether it is the interpretation or application of such doctrines.

So, there are two extremes.  One is to say “Unless you agree with me on every doctrinal interpretation and application of the Bible then you are not saved and you have no business calling yourself a Christian”.  The other extreme is to say “No one knows what is right or wrong and no Christian should ever teach that another Christian’s behavior or interpretation or application of the Bible is wrong”.  We as Bible believing Christians can and should call out unchristian behavior and false interpretations of the Bible by other people who call themselves Christians.  And we can do so without questioning their faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

So, we can rightly and vehemently condemn the false philosophies of Christian feminism and MGTOW without saying Christians who believe in these philosophies could not possibly be Christians.  This is a very important distinction that must be made.

To say that a Christian must have no blind spots and have the correct interpretation of every passage and doctrine of the Bible is to add to the Gospel and we have no right to do that.

The next logical question that could be asked in this would be “How then can we know that we are correctly understanding and applying all the Scriptures relating to gender roles? Or in other words how can we know that the traditional understanding of Christian gender roles was right?”

The answer can be found in one Scripture passage we already mentioned and another passage we have not mentioned:

“For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

1 Corinthians 11:19 (KJV)

“The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.”

Matthew 11:19 (KJV)

The Bible tells us that their must be false interpretations of doctrines in the Bible so that the true interpretations of the Bible can be clearly seen as right and approved by God.   And Jesus said “Wisdom is justified by her children” or in other words our correct interpretation and application of the Bible can often be proven by the results that it yields.

And what has abandoning the traditional gender roles based on the Biblical passages regarding gender roles produced? Has it been shown to be something that God approves of? The fact that divorce rates shot up from about 3 percent to almost 50 percent, sex outside of marriage became common place, and millions of babies have been slaughtered under the banner of “women’s rights” shows us God does not approve of the modern liberal and feminist interpretation that there are no more gender roles for Christians.  And truly Feminism has not been justified by her children.

Lesson #3 – The Seeker Sensitive Church Philosophy is not Approved by God

And this brings us to the third lesson we can take from Mark’s story.   The seeker sensitive church is not approved by God nor has the children that this movement has produced proven it to be wise.  The seeker sensitive church movement is based on false interpretation of Scripture passages like the one below:

“21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”

1 Corinthians 9:21-22 (KJV)

Basically, what churches are doing is they are setting up their churches to be as “non-offensive” to non-believers and even professing believers as they can so that they can “by all means save some”.  Many of these churches have completely stopped preaching against homosexuality or even sex outside of marriage.  Many of them don’t even preach against sin at all.  A lot of them just basically preach “self-help” messages that you could find outside of church.   And they have lots of fun activities for children, teens and adults.

Now some of these seeker-sensitive churches don’t completely abandon all the doctrines of the Bible.  They might even say like Mark’s church that the Bible is the Word of God and they may even preach that Jesus is the only way to salvation.

But what all these seeker-sensitive churches have in common is that they all have completely and utterly abandoned the doctrines of Biblical gender roles.  Every single one of them.  You show me a church that has abandoned the doctrine of Biblical gender roles and I will show you a seeker-sensitive church.

And Mark is absolutely right that many of these churches claim to be “Bible believing” and they even proudly wear the label “Conservative” while still utterly abandoning all teaching on Biblical gender roles in an effort to please both unbelievers and professing Christians that come to their churches.

And what have these churches produced? They have produced a lot of people who are not even true believers and of those that are true believers they remain babes in Christ.  They remain this way because they are never given the meat of God’s Word.

And what else has this seeker sensitive church movement produced? It has produced wide scale divorce within the churches.  It is a shame before God that Christians in America have the same divorce rate as non-believers and in some surveys it shows higher.  Now for those secularists who say “see the traditionalist Christian philosophy of marriage does not work” let me help you out.  First secularists don’t marry at the same rate that Christians or religious people in general do.  There is a lot more long-term cohabitation amongst secularists than Christians.   So, since Christians marry younger and at higher rates the chance of divorce would higher because the incidence of marriage is higher.

But what is the reason for the higher divorce rate amongst Christians? It is for the very fact that the Christians who divorce were NOT following Biblical gender roles.  If a man is loving his wife by leading her, providing for her needs, protecting her, correcting and teaching her as Christ does his church and the wife loves her husband, submits to her husband in everything and reverences her husband and she takes care of the needs of the home they won’t get divorced.   You show me a Christian couple that got divorced and I will show you a Christian couple that may have started doing these things, but one or both of them began to fail in doing these things God has commanded.

And even when failings occur, God has not granted the concept of no-fault divorce.  There are limited reasons for which God allows divorce and the vast majority of Christian divorces do not take place for reasons God allows.

Again, I will refer the reader back to what the Apostle Paul told Timothy.  We are called to preach God’s Word, all of God’s Word even if some parts are not popular in our culture.

Now we will move from the “lessons learned” to speaking to how Mark and other Christians should deal with a contentious and angry wife.

How Should Mark Deal with his Contentious and Angry Wife?

First and foremost, this is not just a contentious and angry wife that Mark is dealing with.  This is a wife who sexually denies her husband.  Now in many cases a contentious and angry wife is also a wife who sexually denies her husband.  But this is not always the case.  I know of many a Christian man whose wife will give him her body, even if it is grudgingly given, in order to keep him in the marriage while still maintaining her contentious and angry spirit.

So, I will say from the beginning that sexual denial, on either the part of the woman or the man, is one of the few reasons for which God allows divorce.  See my previous articles “8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal” and “4 Steps to confronting your husband’s sexual refusal” for more on those subjects.

Here is the truth of the matter though, even if a wife is sexually denying her husband there are some men who just do not feel that God wants them to divorce their wife.  Others feel they must stay with their wife for the benefit of their children.  And still others are afraid to leave for fear of the financial devastation it will cause them.  We can see in Mark’s story that he seriously considered divorce from his wife but he saw the damage it would cause to himself personally as well as his children.

We can also see in the story of Mark’s 16-year marriage and especially the last 2 years that he has tried the following four approaches:

  1. Directly confronting his wife by showing her from the Bible she was wrong.
  2. Counseling sessions with church Leaders who told him he was wrong in his interpretation of the Bible.
  3. The silent treatment.
  4.  Appeasement.

And from this email we have shown here, as well as other subsequent emails I have received from Mark none of these approaches have worked to change his wife’s behavior nor helped her to recognize the error of her ways.

So lets talk about his approach that he has settled back into and that is appeasement.

Appeasement on the part of a husband toward his contentious and angry wife may bring peace, but it is peace at the expense of obedience to God.

God calls husbands in Ephesians 5:25-27 to love their wives “even as Christ also loved the church” and we see that Christ’s love for his church is seen in his washing his wife’s spiritual spots and wrinkles with the Word of God.  This concept again is seen in Christ speaking to his churches when he states in Revelation 3:19 “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent”.

So, we can rightly say that a husband who does not rebuke and discipline his wife is a husband who is in disobedience to God’s command to husbands to love their wives as Christ loves his Church.  And a husband like Mark who is dealing with this kind of wife is a perfect example of how a man must sometimes sacrifice his own happiness to do spiritual battle in his home.  The easier and the less painful approach in many cases is to take the path of appeasement.  But this is not an option for a Christian husband.

My recommendation in these cases is to use the same approach God used with his wife Israel in the Old Testament.  First, he confronted her sin and rebuked her for it calling her to repentance. After she utterly refused to repent (as your wife has done) then he engaged in the silent treatment toward Israel as I recently wrote about.  Mark might say “I tried that but she went nuts”.

Let me ask you a question.  If your child threw a temper fit whenever they did not get what they wanted would it be ok for you to appease them so they would not throw a fit? The answer is no.  And the same answer goes for your wife when she throws a temper fit.  When she starts doing that leave the house.  Get your keys, get in the car and leave.  Go some place and park for a couple hours and just take a nice nap in the car.  Or go to a park and enjoy the peace. Sometimes it might be so bad that you just need to find a friend or relatives house to stay at for the night.

Remember how the Bible advises men to deal with contentious and angry women?

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

Proverbs 21:19 (KJV)

In other words, it is better to live out of your car than in a house with contentious and angry wife.

And one other thing I would like to add. You need to be VERY consistent in your disciplinary approach with your wife just as you need to be very consistent in your disciplinary approach with your children.  So, the approach is, you rebuke her and she fails to repent and just keeps arguing with you then you walk away and engage in the silent treatment.  If she becomes violent you leave the home for a few hours or even for the evening.

This consistent behavior toward her will result in one of three actions on her part:

  1. She will completely change her behavior.
  2. She will file for divorce.
  3. She will at least stop the raging so you won’t leave.

And if she does file for divorce – I would highly recommend that you speak to multiple attorneys.  There are a lot of bad divorce attorneys out there.  You need to find a good attorney that specializes in divorce from a man’s perspective.  You also need to get recordings of her raging as that will not play well in divorce court for her.

Not All Abuse Must Be Taken

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

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

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

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

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

“19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.

20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously”

I Peter 2:19-23 (KJV)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Matthew 5:11-12 (KJV)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But then what about mental anguish?

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

And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Luke 22:44 (KJV)

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

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

Proverbs 21:9 (KJV)

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

Proverbs 21:19 (KJV)

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

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

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

What About Abuse by Church Leaders?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John – I hope this answers your concerns.

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

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

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

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

The Origins of Locke’s Individualism

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

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

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

Kings Are Not Fathers

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

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

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

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

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

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

Romans 13:1-6 (KJV)

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

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

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

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

Jesus gave us the following statement regarding civil government:

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

Luke 20:25 (KJV)

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

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

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

Acts 5:27-29 (KJV)

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

Locke Was Wrong in His Response to Filmer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Numbers 30:3-5 (KJV)

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

Consider also this passage from the book of Exodus:

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

Exodus 22:16-17 (KJV)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ephesians 5:22-24 (KJV)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God’s Original Design of Four Social Classes

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

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

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

Genesis 3:16 (KJV)

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

Numbers 30:6-8 (KJV)

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

Exodus 20:17 (KJV)

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

Deuteronomy 22:22 (KJV)

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

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

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

I Peter 3:5-6 (KJV)

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

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

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

Psalm 127:3-6 (KJV)

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

Ephesians 6:1-3 (KJV)

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

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

God’s Fourth Class of Citizen

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

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

Genesis 11:6-8 (KJV)

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

Deuteronomy 32:7-8 (KJV)

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

Acts 17:24-26 (KJV)

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

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

God Allowed a Fifth Social Class Because of War and Poverty

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

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

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

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

Leviticus 25:39-46 (KJV)

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

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

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

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

Deuteronomy 20:14 (KJV)

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

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

Exodus 21:16 (KJV)

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

The Creation of the Nobility and Royal Social Classes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 Samuel 8:11-18 (KJV)

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

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

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

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

Exodus 20:17 (KJV)

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

“Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.”

Ecclesiastes 5:19 (KJV)

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

Locke’s Invention of the “Adult” Social Class

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Practical Application for Christian Male/Female Relationships

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

A daughter to her father:

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

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

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

A wife to her husband:

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

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

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

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

Suggestion Response for a Father to his Daughter

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

Suggestion Response for a Husband to his Wife

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

The War on the Citizenship Class

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

Conclusion

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

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

1 Corinthians 11:7 (KJV)

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

“incapable of being alienated, surrendered, or transferred”

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

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

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

The questions for Christians reading this are these:

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

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

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

The choice is yours.

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

Joshua 24:15 (KJV)