Today we're discussing the Bible verses that back up what Michael teaches. Honestly, I'm not too excited about this section. Once, my husband's ex-coworker (and ex-best friend, now), and I had a disagreement. I had a problem with my husband going to his house for a game day with a whole bunch of guys. I had a lot of reasons (I was mentally unstable at that point, the wives were literally expected to serve the men, the men smoked cigars and drank alcohol) that I emailed to him as kind of a rationale why it upset me when my husband went. In lieu of a reply to my points, he sent EVERY single Bible verse that talks about submitting to the husband, and how the man is the head of the house. This is why he is an ex-friend to my husband, and why I am so against Christian Patriarchy. Because my reasons for wanting something didn't matter at all, and weren't important enough to even garner attention. Instead, I was "put in my place" by a man who wasn't my husband, wasn't in authority over me, and had only met me 6 times. But enough about me. Let's get to the Bible!
Text is in purple. All emphasis is Michael's. Even the blurbs under the scripture are ellipses he inserted to explain the text.
What Saith the Scriptures?
Below are the most significant Bible passages on marriage from a man's perspective. I am not going to offer a detailed commentary on all of them, but the texts are printed for your perusal and highlights are noted. You will find it helpful to organize a Bible study for men around these passages.
God was married to Israel just as Christ is betrothed to the church.
5-For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called
6-For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith they God.
7-For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee
8-In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.
I've never understood the whole God is married to Israel and the church is the bride of Christ thing. Can someone explain it in a nutshell, please?
I don't have much to say, except when I was religious, Isaiah 54:7,8 were my favourite. I always took them to mean that even though things are super crappy right now, God has my best interest at heart and things will get better. I wonder if Michael views those verses in the same way?
Marriage is a one-flesh union until death (Romans 7:1-3)
7-For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;
8-And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.
9-What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Ugh. I'm 2 sections in, and am getting sick of being bashed over the head with the Bible. I'm just going to abridge the next few parts. I will link to Bible verses. If you are interested, click away. If you aren't, then read the highlights.
Keep it in your pants
-Satisfy your sexual thirst at your wife's fountain
-Don't share sex with anyone else
-Don't embrace the bosom of a stranger
-Live joyfully with the wife you love all the days of your life
I would like to add that, as a fountain, your wife has a right to turn off the water whenever she wants. She's not a waterfall that's always ready. In fact, she should have some say in this matter. Something Michael fails to add.
-He made them one flesh for a purpose of producing a godly seed
-God hates divorce
There are worse things than divorce. Being married to someone who abuses you and/or your children in any way. Marriage to someone that plays mind games...you would think that a God that "loves all his children" would put in provisions for when those children aren't treating their families righteously. But if he does, Michael sure doesn't share them! Just divorce is evil, forever and for everyone.
She owns your body; don't withhold it
1 Corinthians 7:1-6
-The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband. And vice versa.
-Don't defraud (abstain), unless it's to fast and pray for a season, and then join together again.
Considering this culture teaches women be always available, it's interesting that Michael warns against men withholding nookie. I'm curious how a woman with a higher libido than her husband would respond. Wouldn't her initiating all the time, and being told he wasn't in the mood, be emasculating her man?
Do not grow bitter
18-Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord
19-Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
Michael has explained very well what a bitter wife looks like, but is oddly quiet when it comes to bitter men.
God's Marriage Outline for Men
The volatile apostle Peter must have learned a lot from his own marriage experience, for he gives us six verses commanding a woman to submit to her husband, followed by seven verses defining a man's responsibility to his wife. We won't scrutinize the passages containing God's commands to wives. This book will fill up all to quickly just looking at what God says to husbands.
Thank goodness, is all I'm saying.
1 Peter 3:7-13
7-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.
8-Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
9-Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing, but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
10-For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
11-Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
12-For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
13-And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?
Drawn form 1 Peter 3, above, here is a Biblical outline of how a husband should relate to his wife. This list enumerates a husband's responsibility to his wife. Note the passage is addressed to husbands in particular (v.7).
1)Dwell with them-no divorce or separation.
Except the Michael-sanctioned separation when a man is in jail for abuse. But I guess that doesn't count because he's repenting in the big house, and the wife will gladly take him back. I have a hard time believing that God would rather a woman be hurt (physically, mentally, verbally, sexually) than be alone. Or-worst of all-finding a new man!
2)Dwell with them according to knowledge that they are the weaker vessel. It would take at least three full-time servants to do what most wives are called upon to perform alone.
Please do not compare your wife to a servant! Servants get paid to do the dirty work. Plus, serving in any relationship should be mutual. If one person is doing all the serving, especially as Michael has pointed out how much work most wives feel obligated to do, then something needs to change! Why not ask your wife what you can do to help? Then do it. And not just for stay-at-home wives. If anyone in the partnership feels like they are in servitude to the other, then please, discuss it. Because that's not a healthy relationship, and it is very unfulfilling for the one serving.
3)Giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel.
Also, the whole weaker vessel thing ticks me off. Because if you go into a relationship thinking that one party is weaker, then it will never be a relationship of equals! Separate will never be equal. Claiming women are weaker than men will not cause men to honour their wives. It will cause them to treat them like children, dogs, or breakable glass. Honouring means giving reverence. It is very hard to revere a person you feel is beneath you.
4)Have one mind and function so as to maximize your relationship as heirs together of the grace of life.
Nowhere in this verse did it say "only the man's mind." Which is funny, because that is what most conservative Christians take from this. That one mind and one function is acquiescing to the half of the marriage with a penis-I mean authority from God to rule the household.
5)Love and show pity and be courteous.
This is a good one. Courtesy is never in bad taste.
6)Do not respond to railings with railings or to evil with evil, but rather blessings.
Another good point. I'm interpreting railings to mean yelling and escalation. So in my head, this means that if my husband is stressed and snappish, that I shouldn't snap back. Or do sneaky, manipulative things when I'm upset or don't get my way. Goes back to courtesy.
7)Refrain your tongue from evil and guile.
8)Avoid and flee from evil, and do good.
These nine points would form the basis of a good Bible study.
The rest of these are great things to do in any relationship, not just marriage. What is sad, though, is that so many people get caught up in the "obeying" and "submitting" parts of the Bible, that things like respect and courtesy go out the window.
Does anyone else find it odd that, earlier in the book, Michael took pages and pages to explain traits of the types of men, but for things like this list of good points for a marriage, he just lays 'em out and says "Study them at your leisure!" You would think that, since this is a book for marriage, there would be a bit more emphasis on the MARRIAGE part of the relationship. But I guess that once a man knows his type (and what he needs), and his wife's type (and how to "mold" her to his needs), that whole marriage part will work itself out, right?
I'm stopping here, because I've had enough Bible for one day.