Is nudity shameful? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Genesis goes on to tell us that the man and woman were both naked and unashamed. Why would this need to be said? Because Moses knew about his own time, (Presuming he wrote this which is secondary to the point anyway) and he knew that there was shame in his day.
That shame has extended to our day. Why is it this way? Is the body something we ought to be ashamed of to hide before everyone else?
Genesis ends with a favorite verse that says “What you intended for evil, God intended for good.” Indeed. Unfortunately, what God intended for good, the human body, is often used for evil.
Of course, you could ask why that would be the case today. Why would people be concerned about how their bodies look? Do people still think that way?
Hey. Have you seen that show with all the hot females in skimpy clothing?
Odds are, you might have thought, “Which one?”
That’s the problem.
I want to focus on women first because most women I know tend to have this problem. When I hear news stories about concerns about people struggling with image due to Instagram or Facebook, it’s teenage girls. They look at all the other girls around them and they think they don’t measure up.
These women tend to shame themselves with their bodies. They might think there is always someone prettier out there. The truth is in some aspects, someone will always be better at you in something out there. No human today is a master of everything.
However, the #1 person to compete against is really yourself. Are you doing enough to make yourself a better person today? Not just a physically beautiful person, but an internally beautiful person. That is the most important beauty.
And ladies, if you are married, you no longer have to compete. Your husband already chose you. If he tells you he thinks you’re beautiful, believe him.
Of course, there is that one exception.
Guys. Stop watching porn, especially if you’re already married. Whether you mean it or not, you are telling your wife that she is inadequate. Yes, women. In that case, I fully understand you distrusting your husbands. Their actions and their words are not lining up.
Some women unfortunately go the other way. They go all out freely offering their bodies to most anyone who comes along. The idea of nudity is really saying how much you trust someone. The problem is people are saying “I trust you totally with my body, but I don’t trust you totally with a lifelong commitment.” It’s a way of being used.
When a man and a woman come together in matrimony and are engaged in sex, what they are saying is they alone are the ones who trust each other entirely with their bodies. Marriage is the place for that total trust and commitment. Marriage is where that promise has already been made and then the action of sex lines up with that promise. It is a way of saying that here there is no shame.
It is a recreation of Paradise. When you have covenant love fully going on, you are to have Paradise. In this way, some secular artists do have it right. Intimate love is often compared to Heaven and Paradise. They’re right in that this is a microcosm of what God has for us. They’re wrong in thinking that this is indeed Heaven and Paradise. The finger is great to point at the moon, but it is horrible to mistake the finger for the moon.
Now on to men.
Yes. Men themselves struggle with this. I have had my own difficulties. I weigh just a little under 130 and I am 5’7″. Technically, I am underweight, but I am incapable of gaining weight too much due to the steel rod on my spine being designed for a certain weight.
I well remember as a man in my 20’s working at a grocery store in the back room on break and seated with the girls and here them talk about some guy going by and one of them jumping up to pursue him because “You’re so hot.”
Yeah. I’m just some guy in the room.
Guys worry that they don’t compete with other guys as well. Maybe not as much as women do, but that is there. Men have a tendency to want to one-up one another in anything. It might be the stupidest kind of contest ever, but we want to be #1.
Years ago I remember working at the Christian Research Institute and sitting in the break room with some of the guys there and we were talking about painful physical experiences in our lives. Slowly, I noticed that after one of us told our story, another guy had to come and say “This is my story.” We weren’t just sharing stories. It was along the lines of, “You think you went through a lot? Let me tell you what I went through!” It was as if the bigger man had the bigger story.
By the way, I think I won when I brought up my back surgery.
When I was married, I remember going to the Titanic museum in Pigeon Forge with my ex-wife. There, you could stick your arm in water that was the temperature that the water was around the iceberg when it was hit by the Titanic. I thought I would roll up my sleeve and show her what a man I was by putting my arm in there as long as I could.
I think I lasted about a minute.
So yes, guys do have those insecurities, but I noticed when I was married, I had none of that around my ex-wife. In my mind, I was already accepted. Why hide? Not all guys are like that. Insecurity is real.
Shame has distorted what God meant for good.
We somehow think if our bodies are less in some way, we are less in some way.
Our values are not determined by if we have a super hourglass figure or how tall we are or if we have six-pack abs or how much we weigh on a scale. These can matter to some extent, as we should try to be healthy, but they don’t determine our value. Our value is found in being in the image of God.
Every marriage is meant to be a microcosm of the love of God and man together. This includes even a secular marriage. Just because it wasn’t done in a church doesn’t mean it’s not something from God.
We are to have no shame before God. We are to have no shame before our spouses. Treating the body like it’s just something common and anyone can see is a false view as not everyone is worthy of that covenant relationship. Marriage is a way of saying one person is.
Treat your body well. Respect it, and save it for someone who is worthy of it. You are worth that too.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
Is it hateful to think men and women are different? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
I have said before that I am a gameshow junkie. As I sit here, I have my smart TV in my room playing Buzzr, which plays old classic gameshows. The one on in the morning for me normally is Supermarket Sweep, the original one from the 90’s. This one involves answering questions about various products found in a grocery store.
The final round that determines the winner is based on a race through the store. Up until that point, the questions have been based on earning time for the run. Then, each pair of contestants selects one of them who will run through the store and try to get as much in their cart as possible with some stipulations (No more than five of one item) and rack up the highest total. The winner goes on to have a chance at the prize of $5,000.
All things being equal though, if all players had the same amount of time, I’d generally give earning the most through shopping to the men. There are exceptions, but I generally expect that men will be more capable in this area. Why? Because men are usually the ones who by nature are stronger and faster.
Now in all fairness, I generally think that if it comes to strategy, many a woman might shop smarter. Many women know how to budget very well and how to do smart shopping and generally tend to enjoy shopping more. However, having a good plan doesn’t matter as much if you don’t have the same speed and strength to pull it off.
Unfortunately, in our day and age, it’s automatically assumed that what I have said must be sexist. Consider it like the professor several years ago who said women don’t do as well as men at certain mathematical skills. The outcry was tremendous and while I was not involved in apologetics yet, I remember having one question.
Is he right?
If that is what the evidence shows, then that is what the evidence shows and complaining about it won’t change it. You might say you want to live in a world where that is the case, but if that is not so then that is not so. Now if a woman can improve her skills in this area, that’s wonderful and she can do so if she desires.
Keep in mind also that all that I have said is generalities. There are many women I know personally who are brilliant in mathematics. When I was in high school, I nicknamed our calculus teacher the goddess of mathematics. On the other hand, I know that there are many women who are stronger than I am physically.
And if we’re talking about traits considered masculine and feminine, there are differences. Many men in the gaming sphere like I am in are usually very surprised to encounter a female who has a great interest in video games. Meanwhile, when I was learning to drive, my Dad and I always had communication problems as he would tell me to park next to the Subaru or pull out after the Nissan went by. I would say “What?” and then he would clarify with “The blue car” or something similar. To this day, I couldn’t recognize any of those cars.
The problem too often is that if I say men and women are different, somehow we get an idea in our head that that means one is better than the other and one is superior. There is definitely one area of superiority. Men are superior at being men and women are superior at being women. Unfortunately, in our day and age, we are getting close to the point where men are superior at being women as well.
Men are usually superior when it comes to physical prowess. Again, this is a generality and as has been said about stereotypes, they are always wrong and generally helpful. Women, however, tend to be superior at empathy and gentleness and are superior in beauty. This isn’t just me saying that as a man. Even women are more impressed with their own beauty than that of the male.
Many of us remember when growing up what parent we went to for what. If we fell and skinned our knee and needed someone for that, we went to Mom. Mom was gentle normally and would bandage it and hug us and tell us it would be alright. If we wanted to do something risky, we went to Dad who was more likely to agree to something like that.
We’re now in an age though that is starting to think that someone can change their gender just by changing their physical body, which is also a process of mutilation. Then, men who transition into women can engage in sports that are meant for women to participate in and lo and behold, somehow they seem to win. If this keeps up, we will see the end of women’s sports. Keep in mind I don’t say this as someone who cares for sports at all.
That’s because we now live in a world that wants to blur all the distinctions away. However, even if one does that, someone will always be superior in someway to another and inferior in someway to another. Even identical twins have their differences like this. True equality in that everyone is 100% alike is impossible, and thank God it is. I wouldn’t want to live in a world where everyone was 100% like me. That would be boring.
We are also sadly being moved into a position where the transgender movement cannot be questioned. This is odd since so many skeptics of Christianity think that many Christians grow up in a faith that they are not allowed to question. Sadly, in a large number of cases I am sure this is true. We should always welcome and allow questions.
Suppose we look at a scientific question like evolution. Many scientists will say that the question on evolution is settled. They could be right. However, I would hope that they would not say that the theory cannot be questioned. Where are we if any scientific idea cannot be questioned? The questions could be answered wrongly, but they will likely lead us to other areas of knowledge.
If transgenderism cannot be questioned, then we are in an area of a dogma, a more secular dogma. The left then has their own inquisition. If you dare question the dogma, then you are the heretic (Bigot or whatever other name you want) and have to be shut down. Your ideas are not allowed.
We should ask the questions. Chesterton years ago said before you take down a fence, find out why it was put up in the first place. Why do we say men and women are different? What makes them different? What would happen if we really tried to erase those differences? What would happen if we tried to treat boys like girls and vice-versa?
Men and women really are different, and that’s a good thing. Men are generally stronger in some areas and weaker in others and vice-versa. There are exceptions as there are in most any area, but those are the exceptions that prove the rule. In the past, Gamaliel warned the Jews that by persecuting the apostles, they could find themselves fighting against God. We could find ourselves fighting against reality and that will turn out just as disastrous.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
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Are there any adults in the room? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Recently, a school in district 211 in Illinois allowed for a transgender boy to have full access to the girls’ locker room. This was voted on by people who are called adults and after, you see the boy crying as he’s so happy about this decision. You see another student crying, but it’s for a different reason and she’s a girl, so what do we care. Right?
You see, this girl actually has some concerns about being naked around a boy, and in particular a boy she doesn’t know. You could say for all we know many of these girls get naked around boys often, but that would be by their own decision. Outside of marriage, I still think it’s wrong, but nevertheless, it is something different.
The girl in the video is scared about this prospect and who can blame her? Many women have a hard enough time getting naked in front of other women. Just yesterday I was reading an article by Shaunti Feldhahn on how she encourages women to let their husbands see them. Leave the lights on and don’t hide from him. Why bring that up? Because even Christian women in Christian marriages to Christian husbands have a hard time sharing their bodies sometimes.
After years of being married to a woman, I have come to the conclusion that when a woman shares her body willingly with a man, something sacred is going on. It is the ultimate message of trust that she is giving him. She is putting everything on the line knowing she could be rejected and the more freely she does it, the more she sends the message that she knows she won’t be. (Hint women. That’s very appealing to us men when you’re confident in yourself.)
Keep in mind that in marriage, this is talking about adult women.
The school district has teenage girls.
Who’s going to protect them?
It used to be a thing of chivalry for a man to protect a woman. Feminists might get angry with me, but I don’t care. I still hold open the door for a woman when I go somewhere. When I used to work at a movie theater and we would all get off work at midnight, I would walk out with everyone else and I told the girls the same message. If someone comes after us, run. Don’t look back. Don’t worry about me. You just run and protect yourself. After all, the theater was at a mall and who knows who could be out there late at night?
Who was supposed to protect this girl and others like her in District 211? Adults.
Where were they?
You see, most of us still hold to the common-sense reality that a boy is a boy and a girl is a girl. You don’t change your sex based on how you feel any more than you can change your age or your height or your weight. We still hold that we need to show love to people who say they are transgender, but we’re not doing favors by giving into what we think is a delusion.
We also know that this has no end really. So this boy who identifies as transgender gets to have access to the girls’ locker room. How many guys in that school district now are saying to the others, “Hold my beer.”? (And again, they shouldn’t be drinking, but we know it happens.) How many will identify as girls just because, well, this might be a shock to you, but men and boys typically enjoy seeing naked females?
Who is to say that these boys aren’t transgender after all? Could they not claim discrimination? What is the test for someone who is truly transgender and who isn’t? Hint. There isn’t one. All we have is their say so.
These adults who voted were supposed to protect the girls in their district. They didn’t. If the girls feel betrayed, it is for good reason. They are being told that their feelings are subservient to those of a boy. Are you listening feminists out there?
The district should be ashamed of itself for this horrid treatment of the women and especially the young women in their midst, but what can be done? Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it. What can be done to help stop the insanity?
First, protesting peacefully is always good. Let the district know what you think. Contact Congressmen and Senators. Pull your children out and homeschool them or get them in other schools.
Second, if you’re a student at the school, do what you can to protect. Try to encourage real manliness at your school if you’re a man. You see, if a real man wants to see a woman’s body, he wins her heart. He doesn’t claim to be transgender to get a free peep show or ask for sexts from her or sit at a computer watching pornography. A real man protects a woman’s body and allows her to share it when she wants to and with who she wants to.
Third, if you’re a girl, if you have to quit the sports teams. You can practice at a gym elsewhere and if the sports start losing support, the school starts losing support. If you don’t change anything, then nothing is going to change.
Ultimately, most of this falls with the parents. There weren’t adults in the room apparently when this vote took place. Be the adults. If you need to, run for school board yourself. Take charge of what is going on around you. Be as gungho for reality as others are for a delusion.
There was an age when men protected women.
We can still have that age.
What do I think of Andrew Bartlett’s book published by IVP? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
This book is about the different viewpoints of complementarians and egalitarians. I will state upfront that I consider myself to be much more of a soft complementarian. I do believe in men leading, but at the same time, when it comes to the household, if a man is the king of his castle, his wife gets treated like a queen.
Bartlett approaches the question not wanting to take either side and using a more judicial approach to looking at the issues. This is really a very interesting read where you will think you have a good argument for a position and Bartlett has a way of slicing right through it. Practically every issue in the debate is covered.
Bartlett has also done his homework well. He knows the views of some of the fathers, such as Chrysostom. He has also looked at the writings on this issue from the leading scholars today. He takes shots at arguments on both sides throughout the work.
No one can also say that this work is not thorough. There are several chapter devoted to many of the passages in the New Testament. 1 Cor. 14 and 1 Tim. 2? Got them covered. Bartlett tends to start from a position of seeing if we have brought any unspoken assumptions to the text that might be working against us.
He’s also got a problem with people taking some implications from Scripture as if they were the main message itself. This is often done by taking old creation and assuming that this is the way it is supposed to be in the new creation. There is an interesting turn around in the book where Bartlett takes the verses that we often cite to be seen as keeping women down, and actually pictures them in a world where women are in charge and that each of them actually argues the case for female leadership. It’s a really ingenious approach.
I will freely grant that this is one issue I have not read much on, although I do try to read on marriage issues very regularly. On those lines, Bartlett points out that many complementarians seem to sadly avoid 1 Cor. 7. In that passage, when it comes to sexual relations in marriage, Paul says both husband and wife are to give to one another without denying one another except by mutual consent and even then for only a short time. He shared a humorous saying that apparently exists about differences in marriage of “Man is head except in bed.” That’s one that will stick with you.
I think it could be interesting to see how complementarians and egalitarians both respond to this work. Both of them will have something to reply to. Bartlett ultimately hopes we drop those labels entirely and I gather he thinks there’s some truths that each side has.
One other thing he advises also is not making this a gospel issue, as if one side just isn’t taking the Scripture seriously and the other is. Unless we have information to the contrary, let us try to assume that our fellow Christians are trying to take Scripture seriously. If you think Scripture teaches one side, you should hold to that side.
Those interested in this debate should not pass up this book.
What do I think of Mike Bechtle’s published by Revell books? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
So why would I, a married guy, read a book written for women on how to understand men? Because a married man likes myself is always trying to understand myself as well. We guys are often seen as simple creatures, and to some extent we are, but there are also facets about ourselves that we don’t understand.
Bechtle’s book helps to bring these out. One rule he starts off with seems obvious, but it’s one we often forget. Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking. They’re usually wrong and will only lead to trouble. Don’t bother. Try to find out in their own words what they’re thinking.
He also points out that women usually see men as having faulty thinking. It’s amazing that in our culture, men are told that they need to be more like women in the name of “equality”, but strangely enough, women don’t get the opposite message.
Bechtle says that we need to also not focus on our differences, but first on what we have in common. Those are far greater. Some of those differences, after all, will never change because one person is male and the other is female. At this point, it’s good to point out that the material in this book is not just good for husbands and wives, but other relationships, like mothers and sons.
If you want to see the other person changed, don’t try to change them directly. Don’t try to fix them. No one likes that. Instead, show them they’re loved and accepted as they are and give them a safe place. Many a man will change on his own.
It’s also important to note that Bechtle writes what he does assuming good and healthy males. This does not apply to a situation where abuse is taking place. If this is you in a relationship, this book is not for you and you need to get some help immediately.
Another recurring theme is that when men are little boys, they want an audience to see what they’ve done. I remember I wanted to show my parents my beating video games and when I got together with the other boys, I was always happy to show them how it was that you were supposed to beat the boss. Well, what happened to that boy when he grew up? He got taller. He’s still the same boy and especially in a marriage, he’s more often than a woman realizes trying to say to his wife, “Look at me! Look at me!”
In the marriage relationship, which will be my primary focus, this is another reason a man will often want to do anything to make his wife happy. He is still trying to impress her and if he feels rejected, it strikes him greatly. This is another point. All men are really insecure. We put on a brave face, but there’s a hidden insecurity.
Every man is in competition it seems with every other man. To go back to video games, this is one area where my friends and I constantly challenged one another growing up. I remember I got Chronotrigger after my best friend at the time had had it for a week. We were still in a competition to see who could finish it first. Naturally, the only reason I bring up that competition is to point out that I did finish it first. I think four hours before he did actually.
This is why praise from a woman means so much to a man. It tells him that the relationship is still good. If men experience or don’t experience something in a relationship that leads them to think something is wrong, they’re not as able to function. Their mind is going back to what they think a problem is and trying to fix it. We aim to impress.
There are also several quotes he has from men that they wish women knew. The ideas are ones I’ve felt in my own marriage. We think you’re pretty as you are and mean it so please stop arguing with us when we say it. We understand you put on make-up, but we think you look great naturally. Confidence is extremely beautiful to us and we want you to have confidence around us.
He also pointed out that men connect with activity, which did help me understand some things. Why is it that I want to watch that TV show only when my wife is around? Because it’s not just about the show, but it’s also about connecting with her. This is something we do together.
Also, men want to feel desired. We don’t just want to be a duty necessity that you have to please. If you flirt with us, it can change our outlook for the day. For me, something I like is holding my wife close and just having her rest her head on my chest. It means a lot. It tells me she feels safe with me, something I thought a woman would never ever think.
Men also tend to be more singularly focused. Now this might not apply to me as I do tend to multitask in everything that I do, but it does explain why we can zone out. Have a man watching a game and his wife talking to him and he won’t hear everything going on. She doesn’t understand it. For him, he’s just caught in another world. He’s not trying to be rude.
Men also have a desire to be a hero. Listen to a news story about a guy who suddenly becomes a hero one day, like Sully. What is every man thinking? “I want to be that guy.” Look at the video games he plays and the movies he watches. Those usually involve a hero the guy wants to be like. (It’s also amazing how many times the hero does something to impress the woman. That’s how men see romance.)
So ladies, your man might not ever be a Sully and receive worldwide acclaim for something, but you know what will suffice for him? If he gets to be your hero. If you treat him as the man who has rescued you and swept you off your feet, you will leave him walking tall.
Let’s go a step further. Your guy could be the hero to everyone else out there, but if he doesn’t think he’s your hero, he doesn’t care. None of it matters. Your man wants to be your hero more than anyone else’s. He would rather be a failure to everyone else and a hero to you than vice-versa.
This also means ladies that be very careful about criticizing your man. If he goes and cleans the dishes for you and does it wrong, if you start immediately telling him what he did wrong, he will get the opposite message. He has been criticized and his ability, which means his masculinity, has been called into question. It’s safer to not risk that again.
Start off with praise first. Praise is huge to a man. Give him praise when he does good and he will listen. Praise him when he does the dishes and then show him how he can make it even better and he will wash the dishes every time for that praise.
This is definitely true ladies. As I heard a man say years ago, many a man will do something absolutely stupid and reckless just to hear some other guy say, “You the man!” It means that much to us.
Some women will also wonder why their husband was Prince Charming when dating but turned into a slob when they married or just didn’t seem to take it as seriously. Let me also bring out something Becthle doesn’t mention. Many men I know say “My wife couldn’t keep her hands off of me when we were dating and now that we’re married she’s suddenly switched.” Yeah. It frustrates us also. Men do this because we are better at conquering than maintaining. We got your heart. We won the prize. We tend to think it’s time to go on to the next endeavor in the relationship. (I will say I do not think I am like this. I am still always trying to sweep my Princess off her feet.)
Also, for the most part, men don’t understand emotions. They tend to have fear or anger as their main emotions. Be aware of this in disagreement.
Also, men do connect with doing as I said, but men all still like to play. They want to play with the women in their lives. This doesn’t mean just sex, although it sure does include that, but it means any activity together. Maybe it might not seem like fun to you, but it does to him. We want the relationship to be fun.
Men also do indeed need sex in a marriage, but something they want more is passion. They want to know you’re excited. You see sex with them as a privilege and not just a duty. Think about it women. How many of you want your guy to treat you to a dinner date and then just say, “Well let’s just make this quick” or “I guess if we have to go out we have to.” You want him to really enjoy his time with you and consider it a chance to connect. That’s how your man views sex and when you are passionate and eager for him, it tells him that he is desirable. When you are not and he is just duty sex, it tells him he’s not. Actions speak louder.
Becthle’s book is full of great insights. Not just women need to read this. Men do too. Perhaps even, dare I say it, husbands and wives go through this together. I can imagine a wife many times saying “Is that true?” and hearing “Yep” and being amazed. Men are simple creatures, but maybe we’re not as simple as you think.
What do I think of David Murrow’s book published by Thomas Nelson? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
I’m someone active in ministry and I strive to live a holy life before Jesus, but honestly, church can seem like just doing my duty often. I sit there and I hear the same thing I’ve heard over and over and think about what’s on TV when I get home or a game I’d like to play. I could often easily go with skipping all the music and going straight to the sermon, but then when we get to the sermon, it can be just as boring for me.
If David Murrow is right, and I think he is, I’m not alone. Men don’t really care for church. Christianity is the only major world religion that has a shortage of men in it. Why is it that we don’t care for church? Is it we don’t really believe in God or we don’t really care about Jesus?
Murrow contends that one of the most important things in the mind of a man is to be a man. A man does not generally want to do anything feminine. If there was something like that, he would only care if he knew he was connected with other men with a similar interest. Being one of the guys is of great importance to a man.
This is also something that is not just shut off. Men are constantly trying to prove themselves and show what they are made of. Challenges are taken very seriously in the world of a man. The problem is that church often doesn’t fit into that. Church has become very feminized.
Please understand. Murrow is in no way saying the Gospel is feminine. He is also not saying we make any change whatsoever in the content of the Gospel. How we present the Gospel and what we emphasize of the Gospel is often what really needs to be changed.
Consider what I said earlier. Men hear the same things repeatedly in a church service. What are they usually about? Relationships. It’s not that men are opposed to relationships. We have plenty of them. It’s that men don’t really define themselves by their relationships. You won’t have two guys out hiding in some trees in the woods hunting deer and one of them says, “Hey man. I think we need to sit down sometime and talk about our relationship.” (And especially not since the other man likely has a loaded gun.)
Many churches become all about the family of God, which is true, but not about the Kingdom of God, which is more outwardly focused. Men who tend to be aggressive want to go out and do things. We don’t just want to be internally focused.
The music is often also not really pleasing to a man. Much of the music relies on an emotional high of sorts and are really songs sung to Jesus that could be sung to your boyfriend as well. Many CCM stations play songs to reach women.
We also have a problem when we present gentle Jesus meek and mild. Jesus was certainly the Lamb of God, but He was also the Lion of Judah. Look at the pictures of Jesus on many covers of Bibles and in Christian bookstores. This Jesus often looks like a wimp to men. Men don’t want to follow a wimp.
This doesn’t mean either that we chase out the women. Not at all. Women need to be in church and when men start going, women start going more as well. Statistically, if you want to reach the average family for Jesus, focus on the father. There is even research that one of the leading factors in keeping a teenager of either sex from apostasizing is if their Dad takes his Christianity seriously.
If you’re looking at this and thinking it’s about the patriarchy or something like that, then you are missing the point. If anything, you’re giving men the picture that to be true Christians, they should cease being men. It’s not going to work to reach them.
Instead, make church a place that lets men be men. The book even ends with Murrow asking a group of pastors how many of their churches had more men than women. Only one pastor raised their hand. Not only that, that pastor had nail polish on her hand.
This was a woman who had read Murrow’s book and took it seriously. She took out feminine decor in the church and removed a lot of songs and got others like “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” and “Onward Christian Soldiers” and allowed days for guys to even wear sports jerseys to church. She started preaching sermons about guy topics including a series on “God loves sex.” Result? Her church grew among men and women both.
Murrow’s book is the kind of book I wish I could put in the hands of every pastor in the country. It’s a book I thoroughly enjoyed and when I had to interrupt my reading of it, I was always looking forward to getting back into it. It is one of the most important books I think I have read and I highly recommend it.
How does a man best honor the women in his life? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
In my last post, I wrote something to the women. Now I’d like to say something to the men. First off, let’s start by clearing up the fear of many out there who think Christians are a bunch of prudes and don’t find any joy in sex whatsoever and it’s kind of a necessary evil. Not at all. Sex is a fabulous and awesome and wonderful gift from God, but it’s meant to be saved for marriage.
Now some of you might think “Well I will save actual sex for marriage, but I sure want to see the women beforehand.” That would be a mistake. A woman is a beautiful and glorious being. You really will be better off if your first time to see a woman is in fact on the wedding night or sometime shortly after (Since some couples don’t have sex on the first night due to exhaustion).
By the way, let me be clear on this. I know that there are many women who struggle with porn. I cannot really relate to your experience not being a woman. I don’t want to downplay what you’re going through so please don’t think I don’t care about your struggle. I just want to say something to the men today but hopefully, you can get something out of it.
Men. Porn is really a cheap way to go and it’s dehumanizing to every woman you meet out there. The desire for sex and to see the female body is not wrong. It’s something that’s built into us men. What you do with it can be wrong, but the desire itself is not the problem. It is a lack of control over the desire.
When you watch a woman in a porn video, you are watching someone created in the image of God. You are also watching someone’s daughter. This person doesn’t know you. They don’t care about you. You don’t matter. They’re not doing anything special for you.
The reality is you’re cheating every woman out there. You’re learning right there to treat women as objects and objects whose purpose in life is to meet your sexual desires. Again, there is a way this could be understood. One of the purposes of marriage in 1 Cor. 7 is to fulfill one another’s desire for sex. If you burn, it is better to marry. In marriage, this means essentially, make sure to have sex with your spouse regularly. That’s part of the covenant.
However, if you view porn, you learn to treat women as if they are simply bodies and nothing more. This isn’t to downplay their bodies, which were made to be beautiful, but remember that is the body of a person. That is a person to be loved and treasured for who they are. Sex is a way married couples express that love, but that love needs to be present. Actually, in a good marriage, it’s a wonderful spiral. Having sex builds up the love. Increase in love leads to having sex. Having sex then leads to more love. You get the picture.
Porn will also damage your idea of what healthy sex is like. This might sound like a shock, but sex is never really like what you see on the movies or on TV. Again, not downplaying it, but everything in media always works perfectly in sex. It’s not like that for most married couples. Things are wonderful, but they can be awkward and things can go wrong sometimes or anything else. If you have false expectations, it will damage the reality.
Also, it will take more and more to turn you on eventually. Pornography has you treat the unrealistic as it if was the norm. It’s not. There are sadly some men who have damaged their minds so much that they have to be looking at a porn magazine just to make love to their wives. Their wife is no longer enough to turn them on, and this is not a position you ever want to be in.
One of the problems is that for a man, if we are aroused, we feel like men indeed. If you want that, the best way to get the feeling of being the real man is to go out there and get a real woman. With pornography, you get the sensation of manhood, without any risk. You don’t have to put your manhood on the line by actually talking to a real woman. Sadly, this will also mean you won’t be able to as much fully enjoy the gift of real sex when the time comes.
When you get to that point in your life, you really only want to have your wife’s body in your head. Guys. We all have enough temptations. We know it. You see that girl in the grocery store or at the bank or that you work with at the office and your mind can quickly go to wondering what she looks like underneath those clothes. It’s a battle we all have to fight. Ladies. Even seeing pictures on Facebook can be hard for a man and not to mention women in the media. Even if you’re married, you still have to fight temptation. Marriage does not shut off temptation. (By the way wives, this is one more reason it’s also good to be sexual with your man a lot so that he can avoid temptation easier because he’s thinking so much about all the joy you bring him.)
If you want to beat this kind of thing, I recommend getting good accountability partners. Find a support group if you have to. A website like XXXChurch also has great tools you can use on your browser to block websites and that will send notifications to people on your list to let them know that you have been to those websites.
This applies even if you don’t ever plan to marry, but remember if you’re a Christian man, then you are also saying if you don’t plan to marry that you will be celibate your whole life. If you’re willing to live with that, more power to you. If you do plan to marry, why on Earth would you want to spoil your sex life by spending your time gawking at women that you will never get to be with at all?
(I would be amiss to point out that many women in the porn industry are also there against their will. Watching porn then can give more power to the whole human trafficking problem. Do you want to give an incentive for that as well?)
Sex is a pure and wonderful gift from God. Treat it the way it deserves to be treated as something sacred. When you get married, enjoy the gift as much as you can. It’s God’s gift to you. Until then, honor and respect the gift. Even if you plan on remaining single, you still honor sex by recognizing its proper place in marriage and not treating the women around you as objects.
What value can be placed on a human? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Last night, Allie and I went to the home of another couple from our church for a small group. We got there early so Allie could fix a pizza. I was in the living room with the father and two of his daughters when somehow, the topic came to one of them talking to her boyfriend and how she hopes to get married. She then said it probably wouldn’t happen anytime soon. I asked why.
I got two reasons. The first is that they’re both too young with him being 20 and she 18. It’s not too young, but if that was the only concern, I could understand. The second was that he said he wanted to travel first. That one told me, as I said to her, that this is a guy who is more interested and going and having his fun first and then coming back to you. You are not a top priority then and don’t expect that to change.
This led into a talk on marriage and the importance of honoring ourselves. Many Christians can have an attitude that what we do with our bodies doesn’t matter. This is not a Christian position. Your body is important. It is the place where the Holy Spirit dwells and you have to decide what kind of temple you’re going to give Him. Granted, I’m still not the best at this, but it is something my wife and I are both working on with both of us.
When Paul says this in 1 Cor. 6, he’s mainly talking about sex. Some people were saying it’s no big deal to sleep with a prostitute. This was because for many people in the ancient world, sleeping with a prostitute didn’t really constitute adultery. It was just a way of relieving excess passions. Paul will not agree with this. Sleeping with someone is making yourself united to that someone regardless. That’s why he goes on in 1 Cor. 7 to say that men and women who burn with desire should get married so they do have a place for those passions and when married, they should not withhold from one another except for by mutual consent and even then, only for a short time so they will not be tempted. Blatantly, Paul says one of the reasons to get married is so that you can have sex and that is part of the deal.
So I told this girl about the dangers of our society. If you live together before marriage, you are more likely to have a divorce. When you do that, you’re essentially testing one another and that in an area of immense intimacy. It can’t be a place of freedom and trust then because you know somewhere you’re always being judged. Of course, some people can bring this attitude to marriage and if so, that needs to be eliminated.
I also said that two groups of people were talked to about the idea of living together. One group said that this is a stepping stone and they were working on getting married. The second group said that things are going fine and they see no change in the future. She didn’t get what I was asking when I asked who made up what group. Allie then said, “Which group was the men and which one was the women?” It wasn’t hard to figure out that the women are group one and the men are group two.
You ladies might not have figured it out, but men tend to be very very interested in sex. There’s a saying that women will give sex to get love and men will give love to get sex. Of course, a marriage relationship is a great place for the exchange of sex and love together and in that relationship, it forms an increasing spiral. The more you have sex, the more the love builds. The more the love builds, the more you have sex. On and on it goes. Sex is not the foundation for the marriage, but it sure plays an important part.
Unfortunately, too many women think that if they just give the guy the sex, that will be an incentive to him to marry them. The sad reality is more often than not, it’s an incentive not to. After all, he’s already got what he wants. Why should he give more? This is especially so since he doesn’t want to wind up paying child support and alimony someday. He can get all the thrills he wants without a commitment.
So I told her that she is the one who sets the value in the market. Men are more often than not the pursuers and women the ones being pursued. She determines how much her body is worth before she gives it to a man. Is she worth dinner and a movie? A week of dating? A month? Three months? A year? Engagement? Or is she worth a lifelong commitment and she’s not budging until he says “I do.”?
Now ladies, if your man truly desires you and thinks you worthwhile, he will do whatever it takes. If he doesn’t, he won’t. Too many men will be tempted to view you like their XBox. You’re great to have around when they want to have some fun, but it doesn’t mean they’re interested in a long-term commitment where they genuinely care about you.
And if he cares about you, well yes, he will care about the sex and he will want the sex and he will still do most anything for that, but he will care about you as a person too. He will put your needs and feelings and thoughts above his own. He will be willing to sacrifice. In essence, he will love you as Christ loved the church.
And ladies, you are worth it. You are sacred. You are Princesses. You do not deserve to be treated in a common manner. Every single lady out there is a treasure and if she wants to marry, she does not need to settle. She needs to find a guy who will treat her honorably and be making sure she will treat him honorably as well. I say this mainly to the women because this is largely a woman’s issue. There is plenty more to be said to the men and that’s another blog post.
So if you want to hear something for the men, just wait. There’s plenty my own sex needs to do as well. For now, please don’t let yourself be used at all ladies. You’re worth more than that.
Is it wrong for a woman to study theology? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Alyssa Poblete has written a piece at The Gospel Coalition on why women need good theology. I find this piece very important and inspirational, but at the same time, I find it puzzling. Poblete starts somewhere, but I don’t really see the connection in her argument with where she starts. She starts with talking about studying theology and remarking about starting a blog for women on theology to a pastor who told her,
“Just be careful. You don’t want women becoming spiritual leaders in the home or, even worse, wanting to become pastors.”
Now notice the pastor never condemned the blog. The pastor never condemned the study of theology. If he did, Poblete makes no mention of it. What he said was he didn’t want women usurping the role of men in the home or becoming pastors.
Now I happen to be a complementarian and Poblete says she has no problem with complementarianism. In fact, she says that she loves it. I also agree with her that the feminist movement wanted equality in some areas where women should have had equality, but it has gone too far with an effort to eliminate all distinctions between the sexes. This is simply just a denial of the simple reality we see all around us that men and women are different. Yet, I want to point out that I can easily hold to the following beliefs.
Women need to study theology.
Men should lead the household.
Women should not be pastors of churches.
Now could I be wrong about those last two? Sure. I could be. The point is that there is no necessary contradiction between those and a woman studying theology. In fact, Poblete herself says that she holds to those. As she herself says.
So I do not think women should be pastors or spiritual leaders in the home, and I would be devastated if anyone used this article to argue such points.
So since we all agree on that, I cannot help but wonder what the problem is. Perhaps it should be important to state that the reason for the stance that I hold in this regard is that it is a respect issue. Biblically, if a man is meant to lead his household, if the wife usurps on the spiritual matters, that is a lack of respect to her husband, and that is a lack of respect that will burn at his soul and eat away at his notions of his masculinity. A woman can be a great help however even if she has more spiritual knowledge and she can give her viewpoint to her husband, but the respect issue is letting him have the final say.
I definitely however do want to highlight that I agree with Poblete. Women should study and her reasons are excellent. Jesus did encourage women studying and that was something revolutionary about him. He not only traveled with male disciples, but He also traveled with female disciples.
Poblete is also right that it’s for the joy of women. What greater joy can there be for a Christian woman (Or any woman for that matter.) than knowing God? For those who think doctrine and theology should be no part of our study, then what is the point of worship? How can you really worship God if you do not know who He is? Will not having a full and rich doctrine of God lead you to a greater worship and appreciation. Having a greater knowledge of God will help you when difficult times come in your life and it will help you when it comes to raising your own children as well and being the supportive wife you need to be.
Finally, I agree that it is for the glory of God. Our goal in life is to know God and we should be seeking to get started on that. God is glorified when we glory in Him and we can do that more and more if we come to know Him as He is. Men are not the only sex created to give glory to God. Women are as well. Women also give glory to God through ways other than having sex with their husbands, making babies, and raising children. A woman can be single all her life and give glory to God based on how she lives her life. All women, married or single, should be seeking to embrace the reality of God and know Him better.
So in the end, I think Poblete has made some excellent points, yet I wonder why she is upset over what the pastor said. The pastor was not at all condemning the study of theology by women. If he was, I would have had a problem with him as well. The pastor was simply giving a good complementarian viewpoint. Now again, he could be wrong in his viewpoint, but that does not mean that he is being inconsistent.