A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Study Bible Notes are Not Scripture – A Case Study in the CSB Study Bible

We must handle “study Bibles” very carefully, always remembering that the notes and articles are not the Word of God. The following article appears in the Holman Christian Standard Bible, Study Bible edition and it is also in the newer edition, the CSB, published by Holman in 2017.

 

The article convinced me that I will not use or recommend the HCSB Study Bible or the CSB Study Bible. The author of the article is Daniel L. Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, North Carolina. There are huge, troubling problems with what Akin writes here. I have interspersed my comments into the article.

The Bible and Sexuality, Daniel L. Akin

God created men and women as sexual creatures. Therefore sex should be viewed as a good gift from a great God. Sex as God designed it is to be enjoyed within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman. It should be good, exciting, intoxicating, powerful, and unifying.

Comment: I certainly would have clarified the opening sentence here. “God created human beings as male and female. One important aspect of humans is their sexuality.” As you will see in the rest of this article, Akin gives far too much weight to the importance of sex, and in particular male sexuality. Men and women, human beings, are far more that “sexual creatures.” At best, Akin is unclear in his opening sentence.

Akin continues [bold-facing is mine]:

This “one-flesh” relationship (Gn 2:24) is the most intense physical intimacy and the deepest spiritual unity possible between a man and woman. It should remind both partners of the even more remarkable oneness that the human spirit can experience with God in spiritual new birth through faith in Jesus Christ (Jn 3). God approves of sexual relations within marriage alone, where husband and wife are to serve each other and meet each other’s physical needs in sexual intercourse (Pr 5:15-21). Paul indicates that sexual problems in marriage can hamper the Christian life, especially prayer (1Co 7:5). Both husband and wife have equal sexual needs which are to be met in marriage (1Co 7:3), and each is to pursue the needs of the other and not his or her own (Php 2:3-5).

Comment: Notice very, very carefully that some of the most sweeping statements in this paragraph are simply stated and not supported in Scripture. For example, the sentences above which I have boldfaced are simply never taught in Scripture. Oh sure, Akin lists a couple of Scripture references, but neither teach what he is saying.

Think it through. Where does this sex as “deepest spiritual unity” leave a husband and wife who for reasons beyond their control cannot have sexual relations? I can tell you. Akin leaves their relationship at second rate.

And he just keeps on making sex much, much more than the Lord ever intended it to be. Listen to him again: “It should remind both partners of the even more remarkable oneness that the human spirit can experience with God in spiritual new birth through faith in Jesus Christ.” As Barbara Roberts noted when she read this, it is really virtual heresy. This is just the kind of thing that is used, through its perversion of Scripture, to justify all kinds of weird “spiritual” practices. I say once more, Akin did not find this teaching in the Bible.

Akin again:

Though the Bible is not a book on sex, it does contain a complete theology of sexuality: the purposes for sex, warnings against its misuse, and a beautiful picture of ideal physical intimacy (see especially the Song of Songs). Below are some of the Bible’s most important teachings on human sexuality.

• God’s Purposes for Giving Us the Good Gift of Sex Knowledge (Gn 4:1) Intimate oneness (Gn 2:24) Comfort (Gn 24:67) The creation of life (Gn 1:28) Play and pleasure (Sg 2:8-17; 4:1-16) Avoiding temptation outside marriage (1Co 7:2-5)
• God’s Commands to the Husband He is to find satisfaction in his wife (Pr 5:19) He is to find joy in his wife (Ec 9:9) He is to concern himself with meeting her unique needs (Dt 24:5; 1Pt 3:7)
• God’s Commands to the Wife She is to be sexually available to her husband (1Co 7:3-5) She is to prepare and plan to capture her husband’s heart (Sg 4:9-15) She is to show sexual interest in her husband (Sg 4:16; 5:2) She is to be sensitive to his unique masculine needs (Gn 24:67)

Comment: Do you conclude what I have concluded from Akin’s words here? That the husband (because he is a man) has ‘unique masculine needs” and it is the wife’s duty to see that she meets those needs. The verses that Akin cites here in no way support what he claims Scripture teaches. And I believe I am being objective when I conclude that Akin sees the wife as having far, far more responsibility to sexually please her husband than her husband has to please her. Oh yes, I know Akin threw in the “He is to concern himself with meeting her unique needs” caveat. But I find it interesting that Akin went into far more sexual detail regarding the wife’s duties to her husband than the husband’s duties to his. Am I imagining that? I think not.

Akin continues, claiming in his sub-title that the principles he is about to lay on us are biblical:

Biblical Principles to Govern Sex

• Sexual relations within marriage are holy and good.
• God encourages intimate relations and warns against their cessation (1Co 7:5).
• Pleasure in sexual relations is both healthy and expected.
• The bodies of both parties belong to the other (Pr 5:15-19; 1Co 7:4).
• Sexual pleasure is to be guided by the principle that one’s sexuality is to be other-oriented. “Rights” over one’s body are given in marriage to our mate (Php 2:3-4).
• Sexual relations are to be regular and normal. No exact number of times per week is prescribed, but the biblical principle is that both parties are to provide adequate sexual satisfaction so that both “burning” (sexual desire) and temptation to find satisfaction outside marriage are avoided (1Co 7:9).
• The principle of satisfaction means that each party is to provide sexual enjoyment (which is “due” him or her in marriage) as frequently as the other party requires. Other biblical principles (moderation, seeking to please another rather than oneself, etc.) also come into play. Consideration of one’s mate is to guide one’s requests for sexual relations.
• In accordance with the principle of “rights,” there is to be no sexual bargaining between married persons (“I’ll not have relations unless you . . .”). Neither party has the right to make such bargains. This is a form of “marital prostitution” and must be avoided.
• Sexual relations are equal and reciprocal. The Bible does not give the man superior rights to the woman or the woman superior rights to the man. Mutual service is the goal.
• Whatever is safe, pleasing, enjoyable, and satisfying to both is acceptable. The body of each belongs to the other (1Co 7:4). Neither should demand from the other what is painful, harmful, degrading, or distasteful to him or her.

Comment: Alright, as we always do here at ACJF, let’s put ourselves in the place of a woman who is an abuse victim. What is Akin telling her? She MUST yield her rights whenever he wants sex. Her husband’s lust is her duty to control. She must give him sex whenever he wants it. She is prohibited from setting any boundaries with her abuser! If she does, she is a prostitute.

As I said, Akin throws in a couple of caveats, as he does in the last bullet point above. But the fact is that this entire article is steeped in testosterone and very light on the estrogen. What I am getting from Akin is that men need sex a lot more than women do, that it is the duty of the wife to meet those needs no matter what, and in the end what is communicate is that if her husband is abusing or adulterating or porning, well, it is her fault.

And remember now how serious this all is. This article appears in the pages of Holy Scripture in the Holman Christian Standard Bible!! Someone in charge down there at Holman picked Akin to write on this subject and agreed with what he wrote. In addition, there are other PhD’s from the halls of Christian academia who wrote other articles in this Bible, whose track record in rendering real justice in abuse cases is anything but spotless.

[This article has been quoted from the Holman Christian Standard Bible Study Bible, published by Holman Bible Publishers, 2010, Nashville, TN]. The same essay appears in the newer Christian Standard Bible, Study Bible published by Holman in 2017].

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42 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    And God forbid the wife put any weight on.

    This is a great post. Thanks Jeff.

  2. Gany T.

    Yep, as should the MacArthur study Bible be re-evaluated (tossed, IMO), in light of the recent news of The Master’s College student who was horrifically raped in 2006, then TMC covered it up, further abused her, and still to-this-minute are doing so. MacArthur’s teachings on women, marriage/divorce, forgiveness, “the sufficiency of Scripture alone” (aka rejection of all secular wisdom or authority) are definitely tainted.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Agreed!

    • H

      Does anyone have a link that would summarize this stuff? I’d like to know more…. I’m trying to gather evidence of teachers such as MacArthur who have wildly unbiblical and distasteful teachings on abuse/marriage/divorce, etc. I’ve never heard of the case of that poor student.

      • Gany T.

        p.s. about The Master’s College student – ACFJ’s Facebook post https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1107107992752665&id=196307250499415 is where I first learned of it.

        Some excellent points and conversation there, too, esp. from a woman who directly spoke to MacArthur about the spiritual abuse she suffered from her former pastor (a Master’s seminary grad) while “counseling” her and her almost-fatally-abusive (now ex-) husband.

      • ER

        Wartburg Watch has a series with links to sources. Barbara was commenting on the articles, so I hope this is an okay recommendation.

      • Here are links at which you can find articles about Jane’s story of being drugged and raped and how when she dislcosed the rape to leaders in The Master’s College they mistreated her, and also leaders at Grace Community Church mistreated her. She names the leaders who mistreated her: John MacArthur, Ps Rick Holland, Joe Keller, and the RO of the dorm in which Jane was living at Master’s. Jane names that RO as Leslie; it has become clear from various articles and comments about this story that Leslie is Leslie Davis, the wife of Eric Davis.

        If you are checking out the follwing links, I suggest you click on each link and then scroll down a fair bit so as to find and read the earliest articles first. The first article published is called “Do You See Me?”

        The public FB group DoYouSeeUs, The Master’s University?

        You can also search on FB with the tag #DoYouSeeUs — many people are using that tag when they post or comment on their own FB pages about this story.

        The twitter tags #DoYouSeeUs and #IbelieveJane

      • H

        Thank you all for digging those up for me!

  3. TuffEnuff

    I reckon Exodus 21:10-11 allowing the wife to leave the marriage if her husband neglects conjugal relations with her would blow this guy’s mind, then.

    • Lea

      “If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights.”

      It occurs to me, if women were using the same interpretative properties on this passage as men often use on ones about sex, whole books would be written about the evils of depriving women of their right to shop.

      • CeeKay

        LOL!

  4. Suzanne

    This is another example of the doctrines of men being held up as Biblical truth. What chutzpah this man has to place his false teaching in the pages of the Word of God! The Word says what it says, his embellishments do nothing for our understanding of its true meaning, and they may be used to justify abuse. His interest in sex, so evident in his commentary, appears to exceed that which is scriptural or seemly.

  5. Lea

    “the deepest spiritual unity possible between a man and woman”

    I find the spiritualization of sex somewhat creepy, in general. sometimes the way they talk about it sounds almost pagan.

    Using Song of Songs to dictate what a wife is supposed to be doesn’t feel right to me, either. People like Akin never think of a woman’s pleasure.

    • Charis

      I agree.
      I was taught that party line my entire life – from high school/college on up. Straight from the pulpit. I never understood it then and after marriage, well, it still didn’t seem to live up to the hype. I beat myself up over that thinking I wasn’t “connecting” or spiritual enough to understand what I was missing. Until the truth came out about my exh’s 30yr porn addiction and compulsive sexual behavior. Then everything made sense. No wonder sex was always just…sex. No matter how hard I tried.

      And, I’m not convinced it will ever be different for me should I be inclined to marry again (which I’m not). I think that is a weight too heavy for sex to bear – that it is the “deepest form of spiritual unity between a man and a woman.” In fact, I find it false and cheap – taking the easy way out. True intimacy is based on emotional maturity and authenticity – something most adults struggle with or refuse to enter into (especially abusive men).

    • Stronger Now

      I’d say they think that a woman’s pleasure should be entirely derived from pleasuring their man. In other words, she should enjoy sex strictly on the basis of how much her husband is enjoying it, with no effort required from him to please her.

      It’s clear from Akin’s comments that a woman’s pleasure is little more than an afterthought. Not an imperative, just “if you wanna bother to do this, yeah, it’s fine, but not really necessary.”

      • Stronger Now

        Just an addendum here, because my train of thought sort of jumped the track there. This view of sex regarding women being satisfied just because they were able to satisfy the man, comes straight from pornography. The idea that women are (or should be) always ready and eager to satisfy a man’s sexual urges is fundamental to porn. (It was the basis of my husband’s insistence on using my body 10 times a week for his pleasure, and his conviction that I needed to be punished whenever his urges were not satisfied. As well as his relentless criticism of me for not being enthusiastic enough as I was being raped.)

        What does that (potentially) tell us about Akin?

  6. Herjourney

    Sex for a woman is much more than the physical act. It’s a union of emotional intimacy.
    If the woman is being used for the mans sexual pleasure only.. the woman will have difficulty in the marriage as a whole. A woman wants and needs a godly man who will protect her. …. Pray with her! Honor her! Respect her! When the man follows God. The woman will follow her man. When all of the above is evident. Sex will be a beutiful thing. God will be honored and glorified.

  7. Abigail

    Never got it why the song of Solomon is so special and elevated as Solomon had over 900 women available to him.

    • Stronger Now

      Bingo!

  8. H

    Lea, your comments are spot on! I agree that the spiritualization of sex is creepy and pagan… honestly where do people get that from in the Bible?? And I also noticed the questionable hermeneutics of using Song of Solomon to gather universal commands and norms for sexual experience. It’s a poetic account of one couple’s experience, for goodness sake, not a logical treatise on sex itself!!!

    There are so many serious things wrong with his unsupported statement that sex is the “deepest spiritual unity possible between a man and a woman.” Where does he get the idea that in the act of sexual intercourse, spiritual unity is necessarily happening? Spiritual things are regarding the gospel, God’s glory, God’s character, etc. It’s definitely more than possible to have sexual intercourse and to not at all in the slightest think about those things or even be aware of them. Certainly I experienced no such thing having sex with my blaspheming, scorning, wicked abuser. I experience much more spiritual unity with men engaging in a Spirit-led Bible study or time of worship. “Spiritual unity” has nothing to do with a physical act of our bodies. He honestly does sound like someone who thinks sex itself is spiritual and worshipful, which reeks of paganism.

    What’s sad is that this view is so prevalent and thousands of Christian men are taking this in without scrutiny because it speaks to their sin nature instincts and then we wonder why this stuff continues to spread and grow and Christian men struggle with porn just as much as non-Christians. We’ve taught them that their “unique sexual needs” are spiritual and don’t need to be restrained or tempered in any way, but must be met and satisfied, and that the primary reason for a woman’s sexual function is to meet those needs.

    One more thing that bothers me is it’s sad that he frames this all in terms of “needs.” It gives more authority to what he is saying about women meeting those “needs.” So if you disagree with him, then you are as uncaring as a person arguing that it’s not that important to feed starving orphans (since eating is also a need).

    I’m sorry if this is shocking news to him, but sex isn’t a “need.” You won’t die if you don’t have sex. You also won’t die if your sex life with your wife is less than 100% satisfying at all times to your “needs.” Then he says sex in marriage is all about husbands and wives “serving” each other and “meeting those needs.” He sounds like a Pharisee laying out burdensome regulations about marriage as if its primary experience is a slave-like meeting of another’s “needs.” It’s so repulsive. How about sex in marriage is a joyful expression of love and delight in each other, in the same way that to smile and laugh is the natural and good physical expression of your internal feeling when someone you love tells you a funny story?

    • Suzanne

      When I read your post to Lea the remark about the Song of Solomon reminded me of something I heard years ago. It was a recording of a sermon preached on the S of S that veered into an illustration of what it doesn’t mean for couples. A pastor married a young couple in his church. The bride was a virgin and very innocent. On her wedding night her husband demanded she fulfill all of his sexual fantasies, ugly things he’d seen in pornography. The next morning the bride was emotionally devastated and in shock and didn’t even want to remain married. To his credit the pastor explained that this man had misused his position as a husband and demanded something he had no right to require of his wife. I often think about that woman and wonder if she remained in the marriage. I hope not.

  9. Helovesme

    From the first sentence I think this guy is way off. We are so much more than sexual creatures. It is a high priority, but without a doubt we (even as Christians) can get so carried away about it. As a young girl, I recall my impressions &/or influences about sex came from the world–books, TV shows, movies, etc. That is a startling, scary statement right there–and my mind was warped for such a long time. Some of this man’s attitude and words about sex lean heavily towards the very dangerous, wrong things I picked up on from the entertainment community.

  10. I cannot unsee what I see now

    Well, didn’t you hit a hot button, Jeff! Not only was sex with an covert narcissistic abuser incredibly lonely but now that I am single again, I need to know that the highest expression of spiritual connection is no longer available. Great… Now I can add second rate Christian to the shame of the divorce my church wants to place on me. What does this author suggest the formerly married Jesus-loving people do with the “awesome” gift of sexuality? In marriage it is a super important expression of our very person-hood. Now that pleasure and part of ourselves is to be non-existent. I find this to be an incomplete understanding of what it means to be created in God’s image. Obviously I don’t have many answers but I think I have some good questions.

    Sex with a “Christian” abuser is awesome if you can overlook the porn, the contempt of the narcissist and the burdens put on a wife to keep her man on the straight and narrow. Not so much. Never met a woman hot enough to make her husband make the right choices.

    My pastor said, “I’m really surprised X (a church elder) hasn’t had an affair. I have listened to him complain about you for 2 years.” When I asked X why the pastor might have said that, he replied, “I have no idea. Just be thankful I haven’t!” (i.e. you deserve to be cheated on but I’m too good of a man to do that.) I do not miss that crazy world for one minute!!!!

    One “benefit” is that after 3 decades of this life there isn’t much sense of sexuality left…

    • anony

      “Great… Now I can add second rate Christian… ” 😊

      That’s so funny. I love that you said that.

  11. cindy burrell

    During my 20-year marriage to an abuser, sex was another source of fear, guilt and shame for me. How can a woman be completely sexually vulnerable when she doesn’t feel emotionally safe? My then-husband was going to take what he wanted whether I felt loved and appreciated or not. I didn’t feel like my husband’s beloved, I felt like his prostitute. How would the commentator address such situations?

    Men who write such commentaries generally teach that not having enough sex may be a primary source of marital problems so it follows that having a lot more sex will be helpful in solving marital problems. The truth is that what transpires between a husband and wife during the day will be reflected in what happens between a husband and wife at night.

    My husband and I take time to touch base, demonstrate affection and remind one another of our love in little ways every day. Years ago we joked about how we have all-day foreplay…

  12. Rambling Rose Inspiration

    Boy did I have to deal with that ” you have to please me any time , anywhere, any way I want or I’ll look for it somewhere else” mentality of entitlement in my NPD first husband. When his affair partner realized she was jeopardizing her job ( nurse for our Doctor) she broke off her affair with him but blamed me for “not keeping him home”! Excuse me, adultery is a two-way street that I didn’t build! God has worked overtime to affirm me, thank HIM, in the face of continued verbal and emotional abuse from the narc.

  13. Loretta

    ugh! Just wow. 😛 (The bible study notes teachings…)

  14. I am publishing this comment on behalf of one of our readers who asked that it be published anonymously.
    Trigger warning.

    My “fine upstanding Christian” ex husband was a secret sexual sadist whose behaviour gradually got worse with time. I cannot remember most of what happened in that area because it was so traumatic I blocked it all out long ago. One of the few things I do remember is fighting for my life as he deliberately obstructed my breathing, and the sick, evil grin on his face as I fought for breath. After that I stopped letting him ever come near me, because I was afraid that next time I might die. For this reason I am called a prostitute and told that it was sinful to not meet my husband’s “masculine needs”?

    • This information gives an important perspective on these misogynists posing as bible teachers.

    • Reality is not nearly so nice as bible teachers like Akin are trying to tell people.

      And by teaching their interpretation of the scriptures about marital relations, those bible teachers are helping to support men who are sexual sadists.

    • H

      So sad for what this reader has been through. 😦 I can’t begin to imagine how traumatizing that was. I’m offering up prayers for you,

  15. NJ

    I would be shocked and appalled if Daniel Akin ever condoned something like marital rape, for example, but I suspect he doesn’t. This is probably a case of somebody who personally has had a good experience of sex within marriage, being called on to write about what is assumed to be the majority experience. That said, this is a good example of why I don’t buy study bibles of any sort.

    • Jeff Crippen

      NJ – The catch is that while these kind of church leaders would not overtly condone abuse and in fact in their own minds they deny that they would, in fact the reality is seen when, say, a victim of marital rape comes to them for help. Then we see what they actually believe about it. And generally, what they believe is that, well, it’s not such a big deal.

      • Hello Sunshine

        Agreeing that there are plenty of “nice guys” in church leadership who would never overtly condone rape or abuse, but who have some very dark beliefs that come out when they are called on to help. There are seriously misogynist ideas ingrained in many people’s theology. I’ve heard very likable church elders, who pride themselves on their character and counseling skills, say things that are absolutely ghastly. When you go to one of these guys for help, they do harm. And all while convincing you that they’ve got the truth on a platter but you’re too… well, female…to get it.

      • There are seriously misogynist ideas ingrained in many people’s theology.

        Here are two examples of misogyny, both from recent articles by Valerie Hobbs, PhD.

        “A friend told me to talk to a leader in the PCA, explaining, ‘You and he have the same goals!’ During our conversation, this person who’d been described as someone who ‘cares about women’ referred to abused women whose churches fail them as ‘collateral damage.’ According to this man, he and other church leaders choose the ‘long view.’ In short, many leaders choose not to challenge their friends. Instead, they believe that these friendships, these relationships are the key for planting seeds of change. And what of the women who suffer along the way? Well, they say, what can we do except hope there isn’t too much damage in the meantime.”
        Beyond Symbolic Gestures: The PCA and Underprivileged WomenCollateral damage: Abused women whose churches fail to minister to and care for them.

        “Jessica had been abused by her husband, treated unjustly by her church leadership and was now refusing to be treated thus again. She wouldn’t give up. She wouldn’t be quiet or submissive. What woman behaves this way? Something is wrong with her.
        “Jessica began to feel ever more invisible. Desperate to be seen and heard, she painted a dress with all of the names the clerk had called her and wore it to presbytery. She began carrying a sign reading ‘Justice not abuse’ with her to church and placing it at her feet during worship as a form of lament. She showed up unannounced at the small group who had turned her out and shared her struggles as a prayer request. She began speaking publicly about her complaints on social media. Unsubstantiated rumors sprang up in abundance out of the false peace she had unsettled and began to fly: She carries a gun; she is dangerous; I’m afraid of her. The portrait of Jessica as a deviant oppressor took on flesh in abundance.”
        Portrait of a Deviant Woman. Vulnerable members of the church are frequently portrayed as abnormal and even deserving of suffering

      • NJ

        I have no idea if Akin ever had anyone come to him in that situation, only to be spiritually abused, or if Akin has ever been asked about this subject. I’m fairly certain he either doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, or else just he doesn’t care. I agree that he has some erroneous ideas that should never have shown up in a study bible.

        “In addition, there are other PhD’s from the halls of Christian academia who wrote other articles in this Bible, whose track record in rendering real justice in abuse cases is anything but spotless.”

        This reminded me of Augustine. He was perhaps the biggest contributor to Western theology, as well as being a bishop. His recorded views of women were atrocious, even post-conversion. For example, having a husband was the only way a woman could be even partially seen as being in the image of God. Then there’s Calvin, whose treatment of women is recorded in the Geneva consistory records. That hasn’t stopped the Reformed world from lionizing him as their greatest theologian. On the purely Catholic side, Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica repeated centuries old Aristotelian views of women. Akin is nowhere near these guys, but Church history leaves me with no surprise about the results of the creation of the CSB study bible.

  16. Sarah

    I notice that many of the comments are about husbands who want more sex from their wives even if it means abusing their wives to get their way. What about the reverse situation, where the husband neglects and completely avoids his wife sexually on the ground that she is not attractive, fat, not sexy etc. to the point they don’t have any children. Is it sin if the husband genuinely believes that his wife is not attractive and thus has no desire to engage sexually with her? What is God’s word on this type of situation. How would God view the husband’s conduct?

    • Jeff Crippen

      Sarah – unless there is truly a factual valid case that the wife has become so repulsive (I don’t like that word, there probably is a better one) that the husband’s objection has a basis in truth, then such a husband is failing to love his wife. That is to say, a wife for example who decides she isn’t going to attend to basic hygiene or who decides that she wants to cover herself with tattoos or get the really weird piercings we so often are seeing today, has no right to complain if her husband is repulsed. But for a husband to refuse to love his wife because she, in his opinion, is not as attractive as he once thought her to be (and who isn’t as the years go by, right?) is a very superficial man who is violating the marriage covenant he entered into at marriage.

      Furthermore, such a husband would do well to ask himself if there are things he is doing or not doing that are contributing to the problem. That is to say, could there be things within his own realm of responsibility in the marriage that he is not fulfilling and thereby causing his wife to be discouraged?

      • Suzanne

        So many men impose standards of attractiveness on their wives that are all but impossible to achieve. Things like weight, wrinkles, grey hair, or anything that destroys the illusion that they are still married to a twenty-something can be used to justify neglect or even adultery. I personally know of one man who made his fiancé sign an agreement never to get fat! That should have been a red flag for her before their wedding. Meanwhile, these men never seem to see that they aren’t the vision of manly beauty they were on their wedding day. It all goes back to the idea of women as sex objects whose value to their husband depends on physical attractiveness or other things that fade with time. Godly conduct, beauty of spirit, loyalty, sacrifice, hard work, etc., are unimportant to these shallow and self-centered men.

  17. Chrysanthemum

    My husband often brags that men can look ugly and out of shape but they will have no problems finding mates. He went on to say that this is the reality of life and we ladies must accept this. I sometimes wonder if he really knows Jesus or if he is a pretend Christian. He indulges in various activities that are forbidden by the Bible yet he can be seen praising God in church on Sundays. When confronted, he says that no one is perfect and that is why Jesus had to die for us. …

    I am not sure what to do. Leaving him may not be an option as I have children. But continuing to live with him is a nightmare as he controls the money – my money and wants a final say in all financial matters. He has no money as he has not worked for decades. …

    My pastor lambasted spouses who “are not one flesh” with their partners meaning they have separate accounts or secret funds or other activities that their spouse is unaware of. These kind of sermons make me feel bad and condemned and I worry if I am displeasing God in some way. …

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