Satan is Attacking Ephesians 5:33

Are churches prioritizing the defense of the Christian marriage?

Satan must destroy the marriage relationship to achieve his goal of denying God by preventing his children from glorifying Him. So doing, Satan has created two echo chambers to promote his deceptions: a social echo chamber that deceives women into believing that all men are toxic – the Feminist Movement being his minion, and a theological echo chamber that convinces Christian Pastors, Counselors, and Church Elders that marriage is nothing more biblically significant than a trivial battle-of-the-sexes, just a transactional relationship where the battling partners are best counseled to go take a crash course in conflict resolution, and to go home and practice 1 Corinthians 13 – Leaders within the body of Christ have unknowingly become his minions.

 

SATAN’S GAME PLAN

Setting the Stage: At the Fall of Adam and Eve, Satan instilled selfish self-absorption into all of God’s children. This seed sprouts within our hearts even today, available to be leveraged again by Satan. To understand how this leverage works, we turn to Calvin for insight as to the relationship that every Christian has with the Devil:

  • Adrian Hallett[1] provides this interpretation: “Since [Satan] was the adversary of God, he attempted to subvert the order established by Him, and because he could not drag God from His throne, he assailed man, in whom His image shone. His attack on God’s truth is not just to injure God, but also to destroy man.”

Thus attacking God by attacking God’s truth on marriage would be an excellent choice. All Satan needs to do is to leverage the selfish self-absorption that he has available in all our hearts, providing we have chosen to not stand firmly anchored in the Spirit, standing against our natural tendency to be self-absorbed (Philippians 1:27-28), that’s not paying careful attention to what we’ve been told (Hebrews 2:1).

FIRST: DECEPTIVELY SPREAD HATE

Satan’s most productive tactic in attacking God’s truth on marriage is to first use his leverage to normalize marriage as nothing more significant than a trivial battles-of-the-sexes, simply nothing more theological meaningful than two spouses engaged in transactional conflict for leadership. Oh yes, transactional conflict can get nasty! Maybe even physical, but in this normalized view, conflict is just the outworking of sin (satanically instilled self-righteousness).

While this above description being the normalized, superficial description, superficial because it does not speak to the deeper, underlying heart causes of spousal conflict, it does point to Satan’s use of leverage: All spousal conflict breeds hate within the hearts of the self-absorbed, the second use of his leverage. That’s Satan’s ultimate goal. He craftily employs his leverage in his quest to destroy marriages.

To execute, Satan created two powerful echo chambers to evangelize his deceptions. His cultural echo chamber employs the feminist movements to reverberate his deception of universal hate for men — all men are domineeringly oppressive and patriarchally mansplaining — and thus repressively toxic to all women — women feeling oppressed will now resonate and thus hate her oppressor. Per pressures of the “sisterhood” promotes Satan’s goal, his minions.

SECOND: DECEPTIVELY DESTROY BIBLICAL TRUTH

Satan’s theological echo chamber biblically reverberates his deception that marriage has no biblical significance than just a trivial conflict. Doing so, he’s employed some heavy hitting theological artillery to normalize this deception among Christian Pastors, Elders, and Counselors. This insures that when an oppressed Christian wife does seek situational awareness, and a possible escape from oppression, the Christian Pastor will tell her to just buckle-up buttercup, take a class in conflict resolution, follow 1 Corinthians 13 and Ephesian 5:21; now “go home, love him more.”

Already suffering from CPTSD, these women know better. They very likely conclude: “God is not on my side.” Now being “on the edge,” with just a nudge, they now fall away from the Christian Faith. The nudge is the “sisterhood’s” engulfing hate. Satan can’t be more over joyed!

WHAT MAKES EPHESIANS 5:33 SATAN’S MOST IMPORTANT TARGET?

Paul comments in v. 5:33 refer, as he often does, to Genesis. In v. 5:33 his comment is the application meaning as to why God created Eve from Adam (Genesis 2:22). His command that husbands “must love his wife as he loves himself” is his concluding proclamation of instructions to husbands that they should move from traditional Pagan governance using spousal domination to Christian governance by spousal nurture and cherishment (Ephesians 5:25-33). Simply, to love (agapaō) your wife the way you love yourself is the ultimate in nurture and cherishment!

Importantly, agapaō in v. 5:33 is a present tense verb, expressing, in an active voice, an imperative or MUST DO command – that’s an explicit God order, it’s not just an indicative verb, a simple statement of fact. Likewise agapaō is used in v. 5:25 – Husbands, love (agapaō) your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her — again the same MUST DO command; an explicit God order, but this time refined to love in a sacrificial way. Taken together, Paul has positioned his “love command” as a component of the marriage covenant: Should a husband to not obey he breaks the covenant.

Having subscribed, however, to the notion that marriage is nothing more than the battle-of-the-sexes, there likely is little incentive for theologians to suspect what Paul may have been thinking when he stated v. 5:33. However, Paul does provide us with an overarching clue:

Informing husbands to abandon Pagan domination and now govern by nurturing (Ephesians 5:25-33), he adopts the simile of us being members of Christ’s body in vv. 5:29-31 as his proof of concept (underlined below):

After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church — for we are members of his body.  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh

— Paul’s overarching clue being his direct quote of Genesis 2:24!

PAUL’S SUBMISSION LINKS WITH GENESIS 2:22

In spite of this direct clue, the reverberations of Satan’s theological echo chamber have effectively blocked theologians from “seeing” Ephesians 5:33 as the application meaning of Genesis 2:22. Evidenced by this July 2019 article[2] adapted from Crossway’s ESV Expository Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Volume 11), this article comprehensively addresses the meaning of submission in Paul’s Ephesians 5, and while noting the above clue, the article missed observing the application linkage of v. 5:33 with Genesis 2:22.

After all, Ephesians 5 “submission” is to Christ-like leadership. And just what is this leadership?

  • Leadership is the spiritual strength in which we find rest for our souls! (The overarching motif of the Book of Psalms, for example.)
  • Submission is when the wife can rest her soul in her husband’s spiritual strength, the application meaning of Ephesians 5:33 as it applies to Genesis 2:22.

Paul’s application message again is completely missed.

PAUL’S APPLICATION MESSAGE ENABLES PROGRESSIVE SANTIFICATION

But truth be known, by logically unionizing Ephesians 5:33 with Genesis 2:22, Paul actually is informing us, by his “how-to-love” statement, exactly how progressive sanctification in marriage is to work:

  1. The merging of Ephesians 5:33 with Genesis 2:22, annotated by Song 8, defines the motivation for spouses to desire to improve upon their union, a motivation that underlies God’s entire thesis of marriage, which is:
  2. Two sinners are joined together in the closest of relationships humanly possible. By experiencing rapture (the application message of a unionized Ephesians 5:33/Genesis 2:22/Song 8), they are motivated to be each other’s accountability partner. Why? By improving upon their relations, they increasingly savor and delight in each other, enjoying an even deeper rapture — and consequently by having improved upon their relationship, they honor God by becoming more fully prepared for the ultimate in relationships to be experience in Heaven.
  3. Marriage is God’s design that uniquely builds upon Ephesians 5:33/Genesis 2:22/Song 8 LOVE BONDING in order to achieve mutually motivated, progressive sanctification.[3]

Returning to Ephesians 5, Paul also informs us as to God’s intent of progressive sanctification — Ephesians 5:25-26:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

Song 8 foreshadows these above words of Paul: The core message of Song 8, clarified by Paul’s Ephesians 5:33 application message, is that because of the husband’s spiritual strength and the resting of her soul in this strength (definition of submission), she’s cleansed [just like Christ’s cleansing of his church] to be without stain or wrinkle, or any other blemish, holy and blameless.

  • And because of mutual accountability, her husband also is also so cleansed.
  • Thus, destruction of Ephesian 5:33 is an imperative for Satan.

COUNTER ATTACKING

Shouldn’t Churches already have engaged themselves in counter attacking? Shouldn’t churches be taking preemptive action by educating their flock to become a stronger bulwark to withstand Satan (Hebrews 5:13-14)? After all, Peter warns church leaders (and us) that: “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour,” (1 Peter5:8).

And Paul specifically commanded (a MUST DO) the Ephesian Elders to be proactively on alert, on guard, taking heed, being aware, to protect not only themselves, but importantly, their flock (Acts 20:28-31). Shouldn’t Paul’s command still apply to all Christian Elders today?

Church missions surely must include preparing, by instruction, husbands as to exactly how they are to love their wives per Ephesians 5:33, Genesis 2:22, and Song 8. After all, our struggle is … against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12b). Consequentially shouldn’t churches prioritize the teaching of spouses how a loving relationship counters Satan’s desire for spousal hatefulness – a direct benefit to both them and especially to their children by their godly parental role modeling?

  • Could it be that Pastors and Elders are reluctant because, generally speaking, culture brands such marriage instruction, especially one that includes Song, delivered within a church as “politically incorrect,” perhaps one that’s even too sensitive for parishioners’ ears?
  • Or maybe some Pastors just don’t believe that they “have problems;” after all, the Spirit’s presence during worship services always works to mitigate sin.

But somehow, attracting sinners to worship often seems to be a higher priority, perhaps because churches are always looking for more human and financial resources in support of their outreach missions. Unfortunately gaining members often results in churches chasing after culture:

PHILOSOPHICALLY SPEAKING

  • Culture today is embraced by narcissistically inclined folks who are self-defining creatures (Pelagianism plus a touch of the Arminianism’s points[4] on Free Will and Resistible Grace), folks who feel entitled to self-gratification guided only by relativism (the doctrine that knowledge, truth, and morality exist only in relation to culture itself, and are not absolute, an anti-God belief).
  • Being however, selfish, self-absorbed, self-defining creatures, it also follows that our culture promotes moral subjectivism: Unlike moral relativism, the individual decides morality — morals are based on personal tastes, feelings, and opinions, the practical definition of self-defining creatures.

Thus, chasing rabbits down this cultural rabbit hole means that the quality of the “spiritual entertainment” churches provide[5] tops the list of features needed to encourage folks to select a church and hopefully become a committed member. “Resonating” with “spiritual entertainment”[6] (that’s being just a Jesus FAN,[7] not a Jesus FOLLOWER), has become the important criteria in checking-off Sunday’s to-do box. Unfortunately, this cultural chase often results in Sola Gratia being short-changed,[8] thus sin is not being mitigated as some pastors expect.

The antidote? Gratitude[9], an emotional byproduct of the worship service,[10] promotes Sola Gratia.

Aside: A recent poll[11] found that 30% of the millennials (ages 23-38) reported as having “no best friends” and were “lonely.” This compares to 20% of the Gen X, and 15% of the Baby Boomers. Can we say that this increasing “loneliness trend” is in someway coupled with decoupling effects of folks increasingly seeing themselves as self-defining creatures?

INTENT

This paper’s intent is to encourage changes in spousal attitudes, particularly the attitudes of husbands towards their wives, while also encouraging church leaders to rethink how they are instructing their flocks. Thusly, this paper is organized around three distinct, yet interdependent motifs:

1.       The “Wake-Up Call:” This motif demonstrates that Satan is on attack, deceptively employing our cultural and religious norms as his minions, attacking in multiple modes.

2.       Answers the Question: Why is Ephesians 5:33 so very important to Satan? This motif explains, in a pictorial format, how v. 5:33 drives progressive sanctification by spouses experiencing one-flesh rapture, obviously a must-defeat imperative for Satan.

3.       Salt and Pepper: This third motif, relating Song 8, conveys God’s definition of rapture – how the wife’s soul finds rest in her husband’s spiritual strength – this spiritual interdependency is why spouses desire to work collaboratively together in achieving progressive sanctification.

The tapestry, thus woven, can be employed by churches to defeat Satan via education of their flocks.

MOTIF #1 — THE WAKE-UP CALL

Second Thessalonians 2 is our entry gate: Not that the coming of the “man of lawlessness” is being foretold, but rather this motif’s viewpoint is more in-line with Paul’s observation that Satan’s on-going activity is, in this case, deceptions consistent with what Christ addressed in his Olivet Discourse: And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another (Matthew 24:10, ESV[12]). Satan’s deceptive ways are to instill “hate” within Christian families and to encourage oppressed wives to “fall away (or drift away).” Satan desire is to break-up marriages, thus denying God his glory for generations to come.

SATAN ORGANIZES HIS CULTURAL ECHO CHAMBER OF HATE

Ever since 2nd Wave Feminism, the Bible’s ordained marital relationship and male masculinity have been under a vigorous and direct attack. Now, in 4th Wave Feminism, this attack has turned vicious; masculinity is being declared culturally toxic as reflected by this meme that circulated recently on Twitter:

First Wave Feminism had achieved EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY (no discrimination based upon race, gender, or national background as everyone has an equal chance to succeed). Fourth Wave Feminism has upgraded the goal to be EQUALITY OF OUTCOMES. This equates to women being fully equivalent to men, with men’s rights being dissolved, “an ideological purity … imposed upon our society without regard for dissent,” [13] renders men as unnecessary for the cultural good, encourages men to become wussies:

  • Being unnecessary, men are recast into the new role of non-leader, that’s being wussies in relationships with females (wussiness does not override their self-absorbed tendency to govern wives by dominance, dominance is the reaction to being wussied).
  • With feminism being his minion, Satan simply is following his playbook from the Fall (Genesis 3:1-7), where he had successfully recast Adam in the role of a wuss. Adam was turned into a spectator/follower, a non-masculine avoider, refusing a spousal intervention that would have protected her from spiritual harm,[14] — the strong masculine, holistically protective man having been God’s original role assigned to Adam at creation.
  • Even Satan’s minions at the American Psychology Association (APA) have joined the re-casting bandwagon by setting new secular counseling guidelines, rationalizing:
  • Socialization conforming to traditional masculine ideology has been shown to limit males’ psychological development, constrain their behavior, result in gender role strain and gender role conflict, and negatively influence their mental and physical health.[15]

The APA continues, noting: The conflicts men face are “related to four domains of the male gender role” — [domains that have been] wrongly sociologically determined for them since birth. These include:

  1. “Success, power, and competition (a disproportionate emphasis on personal achievement and control or being in positions of power);
  2. “Restrictive emotionality (discomfort expressing and experiencing vulnerable emotions);
  3. “Restrictive affectionate behavior between men (discomfort expressing care and affectionate touching of other men); and
  4. “Conflict between work and family relations (distress due to balancing school or work with the demands of raising a family.)”

To address these sociologically determined wrongs, APA’s advises secular psychologists to make sure they counsel men to be wussies, that masculine competitiveness, emotional suppression, avoidance of the gay look, and being unable to manage opposite sex conflict, all are consequences of their toxic upbringing. Having been taught an incorrect gender role, they now need correction, to become “softy relatable,” to be a wuss for the betterment of their mental and physical health.

“SINCE BIRTH” — IMPLIES INCORRECT PARENTING?

With this APA “since birth” remark, this author concludes that the APA minions likely didn’t read their individual Bibles: Their declaration that masculinity is culturally constructed “since birth” to be toxic is (biblically) the consequential pathology of “Ownership Parenting,” not God’s desire for “Ambassadorship Parenting.” [16]

Ø  Ownership Parents cannot disciple children to fear God. If boys were discipled by Ambassador Parents, they would have acquired a correct view of their godly gender role – solid masculinity that’s respectfully protective in relationships with women, plus being the solidly masculine holistic protector of their future wife, where the wife will find rest for her soul. Toxic masculinity, as such, would have no traction: zero, zip, zilch.

  • Satan’s social echo chamber of toxic masculinity that recasts men as wussies. Un-discipled as how to relate to women (and wives), these men respond according to their natural (the self-absorption growing in their hearts) role of oppressive dominance, and governance by patriarchally oppressive dominance (mansplaining). This consequential behavior feeds back onto men being toxic to women, an unnecessary nuisance to society.
  • Thus Satan has, via his social echo chamber, created a positive feedback loop that’s in exact contravention to God’s Ephesians 5:33/Genesis 2:22 positive feedback loop (see the Motif #2 discussion below).
  • The Feminist 4th Wave Movement is an anti-Christian minion.

APA’s WRONGFUL TARGETING

The APA simply has locked sites onto the wrong target! The correct target is encouraging Ambassadorship Parenting. If they need a logical, neurological-based rational for so doing, there’s no need to look any further than Dr. Perry’s motivational chapter in the textbook on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology:[17]

(Paraphrased) During the first eight months of life there is an eight-fold increase in synaptic density as the developing neurons in the brain are “seeking” their appropriate connections. This explosion of synaptogenesis allows the brain to ultimately acquire the flexibility to organize and function within a wide range of potential. Due to the rapid and important neural changes taking place in this first year, this is the time of remarkable vulnerability to trauma and to PARENTAL NEGLECT.

Here comes the linkage with Song: Dr. Perry is pointing exactly at why parent-child bonding by godly Ambassador Parents during this period is so critical, a point that, unsurprisingly, Song 8:3 symbolizes (see the Motif #3 discussion below).

  • The entire propose of Ambassadorship bonding of parent/child is to develop the foundation for interdependent soul care: girls are role-modeled to seek spiritually strong husbands within whom their can rest their soul, and boys are role-modeled to be spiritually strong, muscularly protective husbands within which their future wife can find rest for her soul. This interdependent parent/child soul-care bond is what’s to be transferred from family to marriage (Genesis 2:24).

Satan’s tactic in fostering parental neglect via the Feminists Movement, backed by the clout by the APA, is devastating to the developmental problems imposed upon the child, and guarantees an identical outcome in ALL subsequent generations. Perry cites a few examples:

  • A chaotic, inattentive and ignorant caregiver can produce a myriad of developmental problems affecting adult behavior – language, fine and large motor developmental delays, impulsivity, disorganized attachment (which results in adults who are inflicted with neurotic narcissism), dysphoria, attention and hyperactivity, and so forth.

Satan can’t be more overjoyed with the success of his social echo chamber!

SATAN ORGANIZES HIS THEOLOGICAL ECHO CHAMBER OF BIBLICAL DECEPTION

Ever since the advent of 2nd Wave Feminism, we’ve been observing the gradual emergence of radical feminism — the viewpoint that society is fundamentally patriarchal, and that men dominate and oppress women.[18] Thus men are toxic.

By 1974, the 2nd Wave movement had evolved into direct attack upon the Bible as evidenced when Susan Foh published her ground-breaking paper in the Westminster Theological Journal, a paper that redefined God’s matrimonial relationship to be nothing more biblically significant than a trivial battle-of-the-sexes,[19] a redefinition consistent with the cultural proverb that there’s always “two sides to every story” — that any assumption of one-sided power domination (marital abuse) is without biblical merit, observing that this conclusion fits her personal observations (see p. 379, Endnote #19).

Trivializing Genesis 3:16, Foh indirectly denied the biblical depth of the matrimonial union ordained by Genesis 2:22. However, this ordained meaning of Genesis 2:22 had not been overlook by Focus on the Family,[20] in the obvious and a far deeper theological reason as to why women “desire/yearn” to return to their man, as God states in Genesis 3:16b (see also the NIV, AMP Bibles which reflect Focus on the Family’s biblically correct interpretation).

Despite Focus on the Family’s interpretation (posted on their web site in 2003), Foh’s feminist-motivated eisegesis misstep made the NLT Bible plus being adopted by the most respected, interpretatively rigorous ESV Bible — Foh’s viewpoint was incorporated in Crossway’s 2016 Revision of the ESV Permeate Text; the ESV is now conforming with the previously adopted (1987) foundational affirmation (Section 4.1) of Complementarianism,[21] an affirmation of Foh’s feministically driven, trivialized interpretation of marriage, backed by theologically heavy artillery.[22]

Satan has masterfully created a theological echo chamber to reverberate his deceptive trivialization, reverberations so loud and weighty to be subscribed to and adopted by many, if not all Christian Pastors, Biblical Counselors, and Church Elders.

HOW DID THIS DECEPTION WORK?

Even though Foh flagged her feminist intentions in the paper’s preamble, somehow both Complementarians and the NLT and ESV Bible translators overlooked them.

The phenomena that Satan had masterfully deployed in blinding Foh and subsequent Bible interpreters is called: Failure to validated one’s Naked Eye Observations – that’s failing to validate the Naked Eye Observation of a Genesis Word Picture contextually within the motif of relevant passages,[23] then within the Book’s motif, and finally within the Canon’s overarching relevant motif. Had her naked eye interpretation been thusly validated, Foh’s interpretation would have been invalidated by Genesis 2:22. [24]

 

  • Recognizing that exegesis at the grammatical level can lead to incorrect understandings unless validated by the Bible’s motifs, presents an opportunity for Pastors to CHANGE THEIR MINDS as to their methodology in biblical instruction.

THUS FAR

Satan’s accomplishments have insured that 4th Wave Feminism has radicalized patriarchal and domineering men[25] as being the common source of all discriminatory power (especially in businesses), applying Intersectional Social Justice[26] as a means of branding all men as relationally toxic to women, to hate men! (Can you recall seeing in the May/June 2019 time frame, feminist voices on social media calling women to a sex strike as the sisterhood’s response to “men” having passed various anti-abortion state laws?)

The hateful toxicity of 4th Wave Feminism undermines the bonds of family.[27] For girls growing up today, this per-pressure (sisterhood) persuades women to view all men, even husbands, as threats, viewing men as having replaced marital trust with control, a viewpoint that’s self-consistent with Foh’s 2nd Wave Feministic determination that marriage is nothing more weighty than the trivialized battle-of-the-sexes.

Satan’s accomplished trivialization means that when oppressed, frustrated wives seek out Church or biblical counseling, they will be informed that they just sinfully lack in godly conflict resolution: Just “go home, humbly submit yourself, and love him more” (Ephesians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 13).

But these wives know better; they’ve been coping with oppression. They’ve been walking on eggshells, trying to please him more and more, hoping and praying that he will change. Pleasing is their only perceived means of escape from his oppression; they are physically suffering from stress induced cortisol[28] plus anxiety in anticipation of another scary rage.

These oppressed women want to understand what’s happening. Why? Is this my fault? What could I have done wrong? Will he ever change? Is there an escape from his oppression? Will I emotionally heal? What can I do? Will God ever intervene? Can you at least please try a Matthew 18:15-17 intervention?

  • Instead, being told to buckle-up buttercup has simply communicated: God is not on my side! His church can’t help me! Satan’s echo chamber of (sisterhood) hatefulness now seeps into their hearts; they may even start to hate God.
  • Sadly, unaware pastors and counselors have just compounded the mental illnesses these women are enduring — CPTSD.

Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) is a psychological disorder that develops in response to prolonged, repeated experiences of interpersonal trauma in the context where the individual has little or no chance to escape [lack of sufficient independent financial resources and/or job skills to be self-supporting; children to raise; public shame in admitting personal failure (the social myth being that there are always two sides to every argument); lacking an emotionally supportive family and/or friends; hoping that he will somehow change; and strong religious beliefs; to cite a few].

To sweep-up these now hateful hearts, Satan strategically created the feminist groupthink that promotes the vicious hate-attack upon all men as “toxic.” This engulfing feminist hate-wave, authoritatively validated by the APA, is what sweeps-up these women into falling-away (or drifting-away) – see Hebrews 5:11-12, 6:4-6 (fall-away); 2:1-3 (drift-away).

  • Recognition that marriage is not the battle-of-the-sexes is an opportunity for Pastors and Elders to CHANGE THEIR MINDS.[29]

WHAT IT MEANS, “TO FALL AWAY”

Every Christian woman who is “at risk” of falling away (or just drifting away) is frustrated (see Endnote #24), frustrated because she is being denied her yearning to relish oneness with her man (Genesis 2:22/Focus on the Family). When falling in love, she likely anticipated being holistically protected, an expectation that sparked her marital desire. Was it her suitor’s brotherly – Christ-like [30] – tender and caring deportment, just like any older brother would be of his younger, little sister from which she anticipated having a rapture-like relationship?

Something misfired. Had she inadvertently projected her desire onto the relationship, thus misreading his deportment? Did her desire override recognition of his red flags? Now oppressed and abused, she’s being inflicted with very deep emotional wounds. She seeks situational understanding and escape:

Absent proper godly pastoral or counseling guidance, oppressed women fall away by choosing one or more of the following pathways:

  1. They can choose to in-situ adapt by accepting an emotionally barren, transactional roommate relationship, noetically rationalizing financial security and/or the-sake-of-the-kids. (To stay in an abusive relationship with kids without taking corrective action, is CHILD ABUSE, see Perry, Endnote #17.)
  2. They can choose to escape in-situ: Perhaps with comfort food, alcohol, drugs, their job, or even church volunteerism, and so forth.
  3. Or they can choose to escape by filling the void with an outside emotional and/or sexual relationship.

By not providing knowledgeable support and help (1 Corinthians 12:27-29; Romans 8:26-27), churches unknowingly function as satanic co-conspirators, his minions. Unknowingly, these pastors effectively have abandoned the oppressed members of their flock.

THE WAKE-UP CALL FOR PASTORS AND ELDERS

  • “In a church of 400 people (with 160 adult women and 20 teenage girls) 20 women would be experiencing physical abuse. And if you factor in emotional or verbal abuse, 80 women would be currently suffering, 60 men would have assaulted their partner at one time or another,” CCEF’s Darby Strickland.[31]
  • “Tragically, at least one in four women experiences abuse from her partner at some point in her adult life,” Justin and Lindsey Holcomb, Biblical Counselors.[32]

Recognizing that CPTSD is acquired over years, a few churches respond to this wake-up call by preemptively raising congregational awareness, publicizing (in a short-message format) “alerts” of covert/overt actions that might indicate the existence of spousal oppression (including a contact for more info). This strategy “intercedes” (Galatians 6:1-2) in these “at risk” unions.

For example, using Malachi 2:16 as the straw-man, not only can the verse itself be explained but also the many KJV versus where “violence” is translated into the numerous covert and overt narcissistically abusive behavioral attributes that can be highlighted and explained. This could easily equate to a three-month awareness program, while at the same time, providing Peter’s and Hebrews’ recommendations to impart KNOWLEDGE.

One abuse activist group in Minnesota, when faced with a Pastor who didn’t believe that his church had problems, advertised to his congregation a web site that published oppressive overt and covert attributes and contact info. The numerous web responses turned this pastor into a believer.

  • Recognition that their church statically has a problem is an opportunity for Pastors to CHANGE THEIR MINDS. Oppressed women naturally are reluctant to come forward; pastors need to move towards them.

MOTIF #1 SUMMARY: PETER’S GROUP-THINK WARNING

Feminism embraces the cultural philosophy of self-creation and unrestricted, unfettered free choice, a cultural philosophy that springs from Pelagius theology.[33], [34] Thus feminism has distorted God’s free choice; women are self-defining creatures, creatures that don’t need toxic men in their lives.

This is precisely the kind of group-think that leads in the opposite direction – away from freedom and into bondage. Just as Peter has warned: “They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved(2 Peter 2:19, ESV). This group-think denies Christian women from living a highly satisfying lifestyle, enslaving them to the denial of their own Creation. Could our “at risk” believers be denying this created truth in order to gain (sisterhood) acceptance?

MOTIF #2: ANSWERS THE QUESTION

While Genesis 2:22 sets forth God’s foundation of marriage, Paul’s Ephesians 5:33 adds actionable detail as to how husbands are to precisely go about loving their wives, an action plan implementing the theological message of Genesis 2:22:

  • His wife’s innate willingness to trust and respect him is her natural response as to how he loves her: His governing heart attitude that guides his approach to love making — a heart attitude that tenderly recognizes that she’s returning to her origin — love actions by which he’s expresses his delight in being able to welcome her back — to be delighted in satisfying her yearning to return. His heart is communicating his authentically, resulting in her consequential respect of his masculine (spiritually) protective strength, his loving spiritual leadership within which her soul rests. This is SPOUSAL LOVE BONDING.

Restating: LOVE BONDING is spiritual interdependence: See’s seeking soul rest (holistic protection) and he’s delighted in providing her the masculine spiritual strength she seeks.

  •   This is an opportunity for husbands to CHANGE IN ATTITUDE as to the way they view their relationship towards their wives.

CAN CHURCHES COMMUNICATE THIS MESSAGE TO THEIR FLOCK?

Since the first Books of Genesis are Word Pictures, we must turn to other clarifying scripture, seeking high-resolution color overlays to the charcoal sketches. (The “equation” below is expressed using set theory):

 


Here’s the graphic that results from the logical (set theory) union of Genesis 2:22 with Paul’s Ephesians 5:33

THIS GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATES GOD’S DESIGN FOR PROGRESSIVE SANCTIFICATION

Progressive sanctification is scripture’s overarching motif for marriage. Progressive sanctification works here because the above graphic is a positive feedback loop. Positive feedback is the process by which the end product of the originating action causes more of that same action to reoccur, thus amplifying itself in magnitude with increasing repetitions.

Positive feedback loops are actually quite common in God’s design of us. Often the pituitary gland is the controller. For example, platelets, responsible for stopping bleeding by forming clots, are activated, and activated platelets activate more platelets in a positive feedback loop until the bleeding stops.

In this graphic, the brain’s pleasure center, rather than the pituitary gland, controls this positive feedback system. Within the brain is where, in response to love making, oxytocin, dopamine, and other pleasure and stress relaxing hormones are released. Consequentially, spouses feel good about themselves and towards each other. Oxytocin, called the “bonding hormone,” is this principle driver.[35]

Dopamine is released as each spouse’s “pleasure reward.” This is the brain response that motivates spouses to move towards each other repetitively in love. Yes. Spouses can become “addicted” to their love bonding because of this hormone. This is why, when one spouse passes, it can be very traumatic for the remaining spouse.

This positive feedback loop is the basis for the following statement regarding progressive sanctification back at the beginning of this paper:

  • Two sinners are joined together in the closest of relationships humanly possible. By experiencing the rapture of Ephesians 5:33/Genesis 2:22/Song 8, they are motivated to be each other’s accountability partner. Why? By improving upon their relations, they will increasingly savor and delight in each other. They will enjoy an even deeper rapture – and consequently honor God by becoming more fully prepared for the ultimate in relationships they will experience in Heaven.

The bolded text above refers to the components of progressive sanctification: The experience of rapture motivates spouses to mutually improve upon their relationships so that they will increasingly delight and savor even greater rapture, thus becoming more fully prepared to enter Heaven.

  • Recognition that bible study is more than understanding scripture verse by verse, rather the bible is better understood top-down starting with overarching motifs, is an opportunity for Pastors to CHANGE THEIR MINDS.

HISTORIC THEOLOGICAL OBSERVATIONS OF EPHESIANS 5:33

Calvin’s observation (early 1500’s) regarding Ephesians 5:33, was: “Where reverence does not exist, there will be no subjection.” Continuing, Calvin observed: “husbands are required to love their wives” in is this very special way, so that in turn “wives to [will] fear (φοβὢται) their husbands” and follow their leadership. To fear (reverence in this context) is to trust and thus respect his biblical leadership, the leadership that provides her soul care, it’s rest.

Scottish theologian John Eadie (mid 1800’s) instructively added a footnote to Calvin’s commentary that, expressing in old Scottish English: “What is necessary to direct and hallow [to honor as Holy] such an instinct [her creation response to his loving ways] is inculcated [instilled by persistent instruction – that’s why it’s a God command].” Eadie continues: “The woman loves in deep, undying sympathy [her created being yearns for oneness]; but, to teach her how this fondness [her creation response] should know and fill its appropriate sphere [to become immersed by rapture], she is commanded to obey and honor. The man, on the other hand, feels that his position is to govern; but, to shew [British spelling of show] him what should be the essence and means of his government, he is enjoined [ordered] to love.”

However, Eadie’s comment, above, that the wife “is commanded to obey and honor” is a biblically incorrect interpretation of her created natural response to being lovingly and delightfully welcomed home. As stated above, her natural yearning is to return in oneness to her origin. To do so does NOT require a command. (Eadie’s incorrect “command” is where other interpreters also have biblically erred.[36])

  • Recognition that overarching motifs can challenge traditional biblical interpretations is an opportunity for Pastors to CHANGE THEIR MINDS.

In fact, the Greek word for respects in Ephesian 5:33 is a verb in the subjunctive mood, the mood of possibility and potentiality. This means that the action described may or may not occur, depending upon circumstances: Do the husband’s love actions truly encourage the rapture of SPOUSAL LOVE BONDING as described above? If not, he earns no respect!

THEOLOGICALLY SPEAKING: DIVING INTO THE GREEK

Paul summarizes God’s ordained marital relationship in one sentence – Ephesians 5:33:

  • Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband (NKJV).

Let’s parse the grammatical structure of Paul’s statement – v. 5:33 is two propositions joined together by the Greek conjunction ἵνα (pronounced hin’-ah/Strong’s #G2443). Thus, the grammatical structure of v. 5:33 is:

  • Actionἵναpurpose of the action (the dependent proposition).

Paul’s propositional constructions generally are either: a) action/result (Ephesians 5:33), or b) action/purpose (1 Corinthians 9:20-22).[37] Suffice it to say that in Matthew the KJV translates hina some 29 times as “that,” two times as “because,” and once as “to.”

Now here’s three of Paul’s:

1 Corinthians 9:20-22 (NKJV) – and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; 22 to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some

The NKJV underlines, above, are words NKJV translators inserted for readability.  All five ἵνα’s in these versus are translated by the NKJV as “that.”

This Greek conjunction ἵνα connects Paul’s action with his purpose, the result he’s expecting. In 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, Paul’s overarching message to us is the essential need to be authentic, to be authentic is vital to Paul in order for him gain the trust of the person/group he’s ministering to [the purpose as to why he’s acting as such], and thus their acceptance of his message [the consequence, his success].

  • Authenticity is a key attribute of God’s masculine male: The authentic leader.
  • Authenticity in loving the wife is another CHANGE IN ATTITUDE husbands need to adopt as to the way they love their wives.

In Ephesians 5:33, above, ἵνα is translated as SEE THAT. The husband is COMMANDED to love his wife as his own flesh, “because” (reflecting a Matthew translation) by so doing, he earns in return her respect.

MOTIF #2 SUMMARY: AUTHENTICITY AND ONENESS

By authentically loving her according to Genesis 2:22/Ephesians 5:33, he’s encouraging her to respond to him in accord with her Genesis 2:22 creative intent.

  • If the husband fakes God’s loving actions, pretending that they are heart felt, he’s narcissistically manipulating her for selfish gain, for personal aggrandizement.

These are the points Satan strives to promote: Marriage is nothing more than a transactional physical satisfaction. Genesis 2:22 is dead!

Satan can’t be more overjoyed with his success; Ephesians 5:33 is dead!

MOTIF #3: SALT AND PEPPER

As every gourmet chief does, he enhances the flavor his meal just before serving with a pinch of salt and a spot of pepper. Song likewise favors God’s marriage ordnance, enhancing our experience of relationship rapture.

THE UNTOLD STORY

God made men and women in his image, to be sexually attracted to one another. So what does God’s masculine male really look like? Paul Harvey, in his famous “So God Made a Farmer” speech he delivered at the FFA Convention back in 1978,[38] gives us an everyday picture of God’s masculine male. Here’s a key refrain with masculine attributes italicized:

  • “I need somebody with arms strong enough to wrestle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild; somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery [industrious with the perseverance to overcome obstacles], come home hungry, have to await lunch until his wife’s done feeding visiting ladies [patient, puts needs of others first before personal needs], then tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon, and mean it [authentically supportive of wife’s needs]. So God made a farmer.” – Paul Harvey

To observe the sensual side of the masculine male, turn to Song 4:1-7; 6:4-10; and 7:1-9 where the masculine male is describing his eros desire for his wife’s total being, her essence, using poetically sensual descriptions (called wasfs). [Note: That whenever scripture repeats something three times, we are called to pay very close attention.] Likewise, we can note the sensual side of God’s soft and desirably attractive female — a damsel in distress, a damsel in need of protection by a muscularly strong and very masculine male.

Observe Song 5:10-16. Here she’s summarizing the masculine qualities that draw her to him, as she comments in her wasf:

  1. He’s radiant and ruddy (rugged like Paul Harvey’s “farmer”)
  2. His eyes are like doves (his soul is soft and conveys restful warmth)
  3. His lips are like lilies dripping with myrrh (he’s very sensual, he turns me on)
  4. His arms are rods of gold (strong)
  5. His body is like polished ivory (built and rippled)
  6. His legs are pillars of marble (he can press 500 lbs.)
  7. This is my beloved, THIS IS MY FRIEND (friendship – Song’s My Sister motif – is the foundation stone for her attraction to him)

Here’s another Twitter meme that’s an everyday summary of the above:


SO JUST WHAT IS THIS LOVE “AS-MY-OWN-FLESH” REALLY LIKE?

Song 8:5a images the spiritual definition of “loving my wife as-my-own-flesh” in one unique Hebrew word, a word that is used only this once in their Bible — the word singularly pictures rapture as found in oneness.[39]

Why is this rapture experienced? By being her holistic protector, he’s demonstrating his protective self by the way he acts — cherishing, nurturing, and delighting in her being, her essence, treasuring her sexuality, treasuring her as one might treasure and care for a very fine piece of delicate, heirloom crystal.

The Septuagint translates this Hebrew word in v. 8:5a as “επιστηριζομένη,” where its use beyond the OT is limited to just four times in the Book of Acts: Acts 14:22; 15:32, 41; and 18:32. Here’s Acts’ best example of the contextual meaning of επιστηριζομένη:

Acts 14:21-22 — 21 They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, 22 strengthening [επιστηριζομένη] the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.

In all of Acts’ four verses, the contextual meaning of επιστηριζομένη is clearly one of spiritual strengthening — to stay strong, to stand strong against hardships, to remain true to the faith:

  • The most important role for all husbands is to stand as his wife’s strong, masculine, holistically protective leader, whose top priority is to sustain and strengthen her spirituality, remain true to her faith, and secondly, his children.
  • Spiritual strengthening is another CHANGE IN ATTITUDE husbands need to adopt as to how they related to their wives.

The Hebrew word, itself, points to rest, her soul’s rest to be found in his spiritual strength.

  • This is were cultural feminism “shoots itself in the foot.” By labeling masculinity as toxic, they chop-off the only relationship that strengthens each women, individually as a spiritual person, as an embodied soul.
  • Feminism is unquestionably a force of satanic origin!

HERE’S WHAT HUSBANDS FORGOT, OR PERHAPS WERE NEVER TOLD

How to love “my-own-flesh” begins with Song’s overarching teaching of the FRIENDSHIP motif. Friendship is love’s relational foundation, the trinitarian-like foundation established during the courting period. This is when the suitor is proving to his betrothed that he will, in all circumstances (unlike wussy Adam), unfailingly protect her. Demonstrating by predictable behaviors – emulating Paul’s authenticity – he earns her trust, and in return gains her respect. [Unsurprisingly, this also is the foundational attribute of all effective corporate leaders, being “water boys” (servant-leaders) as Coach Vince Lombardi has famously characterized his great leadership.]

Establishing this trust/respect dynamic is Song’s “My Sister” theology as told in Song 1 – 5. The importance of the “My Sister” is underscored by Song’s three admonishments (vv. 2:7, 3:5, and 8:4); remember, any three times scripture repeats something, we are being called to pay very close and careful attention:

  • I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, until he please [KJV v. 8:4].

HOW GOD PROTECTS WOMEN FROM PREDICTORS

Factually, until he pleases is God’s Word spoken to be a “guard-band;” God’s wisdom spoken to emotionally guard and protect women from falling for narcissistic love bombing,[40] the manipulative tactic all narcissistic men use when they begin courting a new target.

Concurrent with love bombing, they also mirror your desires. This mirroring is to convince you that they are your “soul mate.” They are manipulating you to fall in love with yourself, your own qualities, and your own dreams. Thus you quickly fall in love with you. This manipulation reflects the narcissus’ need for instant gratification. The narcissus can’t wait.

The phrase “until he pleases” means that he is demonstrating his holistic protection by “older-brother-like” My Sister actions — in so doing, he emulates Christ. Becoming predictable equals Paul’s authenticity. This takes time; the My Sister accomplishment cannot be rushed.

  • The motif of Song’s My Sister theology is how God intends that women are to be protected from predators.

YEARNING FOR LOVE (GENESIS 2:22)

The poem “Yearning for Love” (vv. 8:1-4)[41] speaks directly into Song’s “My Sister” motif (italic emphasis is the author’s):

1 If only you were to me like a brother,
who was nursed at my mother’s breasts!
Then, if I found you outside, I would kiss you,
and no one would despise me.
2 I would lead you
and bring you to my mother’s house—
she who has taught me.
I would give you spiced wine to drink,
the nectar of my pomegranates.
3 His left arm is under my head
and his right arm embraces me.
4 Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you:
Do not arouse or awaken love
until it so desires
.

If only you were to me like a brother” expresses the essence of her expected marital (brotherly) relationship, the foundation being that brotherly – Christ-like – holistically protective, tender and caring person, like any older brother would be of his younger, little sister.

SONG DEFINES LOVE

Song 8:5b-7 is the most powerful poem in the Book, being the Book’s overarching view of exactly what Paul’s Ephesians 5:33 love-command is all about.

Verse 8:5a (discussed above) is the introduction of this poem where the Women of Jerusalem comment as they observe the couple’s return from the wilderness after relishing in sexual oneness. “Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning on her beloved?” [Obviously commenting upon the wife’s relationship towards her husband, and his responsive support of her.]

The Hebrew verb raphaq (the Greek equivalent being “επιστηριζομένη”) translated as leaning (a Hithpael participle) points to rest, the consequence of spiritual strengthening as interpreted by the Greeks.

  • Raphaq encapsulates, in a singular word picture, the couple’s intimate physical and spiritually dependent
  • She’s resting in his pastoral care.[42] (Eadie had referred to this soul rest as to “fill its appropriate sphere.”)
  • Simply: Paul’s love command results in spouses feeling connected [43] – his spiritual strength is providing rest for her soul, the ultimate in holistic protection – each deriving delight in being thusly interconnected and interdependent.
  • This interconnected and interdependent reflects Paul’s Ephesians 5 submission, except in Song it’s a mutually flavored “submission” – he provides spiritual strength/she rests in his spiritual strength/both delight in their so doing – as described in the above bullet point.

Here’s vv. 8:5b-7:

(She is Speaking)

5bUnder the apple tree I roused you [to my love, AMP];
there your mother conceived you,
there she who was in labor gave you birth
.

Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame
[a most vehement flame the very flame of the Lord! AMP]

Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot sweep it away.
If one were to give
all the wealth of one’s house for love,
it
[he] would be utterly scorned.”

The analogy of “seals” describes the transference of emotional bonding (God’s meaning of Genesis 2:24, the transference of the parental bond to the spousal bond). Seals, in those times, were either a cylinder or stamp, rolled over or pressed into soft clay. This impression would include some symbolic characterization of personal identity.[44]

LOVE’S BOTTOM LINE

In v. 8:6a, “Place me like a seal over your heart,” she’s asking him to imprint her identity upon his heart, to identify with and become one with her (she desires to experience spiritual rest), and thus, like Christ is to his Church, to serve and commit himself to her [being her biblical leader, her spiritually strong pastor, her spiritual rock[45]] — as well as symbolizing his single-minded “ownership” of her in the sexual context.

To understand this sexual context, turn back to v. 7:10 where we find her climatic reaction to the expression of his érōs desire for her (his wasf in vv. 6:13-7:9), his desire for her essence. Her response:

I belong to my beloved,
and his desire is for me.

She wants to be sexually owned!

Importantly, the Hebrew word for desire, above, is same Hebrew word translated as desire in Genesis 3:16b. This means that her desire in v. 3:16b is seeking a total rapture-like emersion, which can only be experienced in sexual oneness, and is fully consistent with Genesis 2:22, (per Focus on the Family’s interpretation; see also Endnote #24), not Foh’s trivialization that marriage is just the “battle-of-the-sexes!”

  • Marriage is soul care.

One can only wonder how Pastors, Elders, Counselors, Bible Translators, and Complementarians have missed this enormously deep biblical meaning of the unionized Genesis 2:22/Ephesians 5:33/Song 8’s, the foundation of God’s marriage ordinance — ordaining marriages that are to function according to a positive feedback system — A SYSTEM THAT INCLUDES GAIN, meaning that these unions stay glued together for lifetimes, achieving the best possible outcomes in progressive sanctification!

Also in v. 8:6a, “place me like a seal upon your arm” signifies transference bonding (Genesis 2:24), the mutual transference of their parental bonds (as babies we all were held in the arms of our parents, learning to bond with them and them with us – note how he cradles his betrothed in v. 8:3, above; especially note this paper’s previous references to Perry’s work, above; see also Endnote #17), and upon your arm also symbolizes her return to him, having come from a rib from under his arm (Genesis 2:22).

To define what Paul’s Ephesian 5:33 agápē-glued love bond is like, Song employs three similes in vv. 8:6b-7:

  • Jealousy unyielding – love tolerates no rivals (Deuteronomy 32:21); love is tenacious (Hosea 8:8-9), love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8), I am a jealous God (Exodus 20:5).
  • Very flame of the Lord – love is intense, “god-awful” hot (Isaiah 29:6), on-fire.
  • Rivers cannot sweep it away – THE MOST IMPORTANT SIMILE: Recall Genesis 2:22 where woman was made from man’s rib, the Hebrew for made means to build a HOME. The “trinitarian love” of HOME is the “rock” referred to in Luke 6:48, the “rock” that keeps HOME foundationally steadfast, no matter how furious are the outside forces attempting its destruction, the agápē-glued LOVE BONDING (the Ephesians 5:33/Genesis 2:22 graphic) is rock solid! Rivers cannot sweep it away!

BOTTOM LINE: MOTIF #3

Verse 8:7b sums up how love comes about: Love cannot be bought; love is not for sale; love is only freely given, love is grace given. Think of this while you re-read the “A Real Man” meme, above. Got it?

ON MORE THING

To think that “love” is a language, as one author proclaims,[46] is a biblical blunder when viewed through the unionization of Genesis 2:22/Ephesians 5:33/Song 8: God’s marital love is defined biblically as very specific set of actions  – not by words, but by actions (reflecting sacrificial heart felt attitudes) as to how the husband is to behaviorally relate to and make love to his wife. The only “biblically approved” love language in the Bible is the wasf – wasfs are God’s preambles[47] to his love actions.

FINAL SUMMARY

Women, who subscribe to the thesis of 4th Wave Feminism that men are toxic, have cut-off all linkages to achieving wholeness as a godly person and are at risk to falling away from God.  Sadly, humans are naturally receptive to these satanic tactics: Satan planted his seed of self-absorption in all of God’s children – thus Satan knowingly plays to women’s vanity and knowingly plays to man’s tendency to be a wussy, an avoider of interpersonal conflict.[48] Rather man’s natural response is to selfishly fallback in honor of his own self-love of his self-absorption, and be the patriarchally dominating oppressor of his wife.

Two questions now beg an answer:

  • Are Churches prepared to counter attack? Are they up to taking preemptive action? – That’s following both Paul’s and Hebrews’ suggestion to educate their flock!
  • Are they prepared and willing to instruct their flock as to exactly how men are to love their wives per Ephesians 5:33, Genesis 2:22, and Song 8, even though, such instruction delivered within a church defies “politically correctness?”

Hank Miiller lives in Newton, Penn., attends the Riverstone Church, Yardley, Penn., and is a Biblical Marriage Counselor specializing in helping those in abusive relationships.

 

 

ENDNOTES

[1] Adrian Hallett, THE THELOGY OF JOHN CALVIN. PART THREE: THE CHRISTIAN’S CONFLICT WITH THE DEVIL, Churchman 105/4 1991. See p. 3. http://archive.churchsociety.org/churchman/documents/Cman_105_4_Hallett.pdf

[2] https://www.crossway.org/articles/what-does-it-mean-that-women-are-to-submit-to-their-husbands-ephesians-522-33/

[3]We must still see fallen man as an image-bearer of God, but as one who by nature, apart from the regenerating and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, images God in a distorted way. In the process of redemption that distortion is progressively taken away until, in the life to come, we shall again perfectly image God.” — Anthony Hoekema, (1913-1988) was a Christian theologian of the Dutch Reformed tradition who served as professor of Systematic theology at Calvin Theological Seminary for twenty-one years.

[4] The Five Points of Calvinism and Arminianism, https://www.fivesolas.com/cal_arm.htm

[5] Facilitating “spiritual entertainment” has become a business. For example, see: http://www.clark.is/

[6] Chris Hume, FIVE REASONS PASTORS SHOULD NOT ALLOW THE PSALMS TO BE SUNG IN CHURCH, https://www.theaquilareport.com/five-reasons-pastors-should-not-allow-the-psalms-to-be-sung-in-church/

[7] Kyle Idleman, NOT A FAN, BECOMING A COMPLETELY COMMITTED FOLLOWER OF JESUS, Zondervan, 2011. See p. 56 for a description of those coming to church looking to “resonate” with the service, and are not looking to be followers. Idleman paraphrases Luke 14:25-26 as to what Jesus would have said to the crown following him if he was looking attract FANS, not FOLLOWERS: “What a great crowd! I want everyone to go invite one friend and come back tonight for a carnival. We’ll have live music. All the loaves and fish you can eat. We’ll have a ‘water to wine’ booth. I may even get in a dunk booth. And whoever invites the most friends gets one free miracle. Let’s pack the hillside out!”

[8] Carl R. Trueman, GRACE ALONE: SALVATION AS A GIFT OF GOD, Zondervan, 2016. Sola Gratia, Grace Alone — Hearing the spoken Word, speaking of the promise of Christ who’s the manifestation of God’s grace, and coalescing the spoken Word with present reality, is the means for deliverance of grace. as the agent of grace, the Spirit is tied to the Word, seizing hold of the sinner.

[9] Only the emotional feeling of gratitude can open the heart to the Works of the Spirit so that Sola Gratia functions. See Hank Miiller, HOW SHOULD WE UNDERSTAND GENESIS 3:16b — THE ROLE OF GRATITUDE, THE EMOTION THAT PREVENTS ABUSE (Part 4), https://www.theaquilareport.com/how-should-we-understand-genesis-316b-the-role-of-gratitude-the-emotion-that-prevents-abuse-part-4/

[10] Keith Getty and David Robertson, 10 REASONS YOUR CHURCH SHOULD SING SONGS, https://www.theaquilareport.com/10-reasons-your-church-should-sing-psalms/

[11] See https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2019/8/1/20750047/millennials-poll-loneliness

[12] All scripture is from the NIV unless otherwise noted.

[13] Frank Cannon, “Planned Parenthood’s Leana Wen Wasn’t Woke Enough And Nor Are You,” Human Events, July 18, 2019, https://humanevents.com/2019/07/18/planned-parenthoods-leana-wen-wasnt-woke-enough-and-nor-are-you/

[14] God designed his children, male and female, to be a masculine male (a strong protector and thus attractive to females) and a feminine female (soft, desirably attractive, and a damsel in need of masculine protection). Why? See Genesis 1:28! Adam was not only Eden’s Priest (Eve’s pastor and spiritual leader) but he also was the physical caretaker and protector of Temple Eden [see G. K. Beale, THE TEMPLE AND THE CHURCH’S MISSION, New Studies in Biblical Theology (D. A. Carson, series editor), IVP Academic, 2004]. To do so, God give Adam authority both as the Priest, and as the ruling authority (See Genesis 2:19-20 — So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. Naming rights in ancient times signified ownership/authority over those named — God gave Adam ownership/authority over ALL the animals on Earth, including the serpent/snake that slithered into Eden to carry out that infamous conversation with Eve.

  • Adam had the authority to forbid the snake to even speak with Eve, much less to question her as to what God said, for which she had no first-hand knowledge. Priestly Adam had the requisite first-hand knowledge to engage in such a debate. Thus, Adam could have terminated the serpent’s conversation with Eve, taking it away from Eve, being her Spiritual Leader/Protector, or Adam even could have exercised his commanding authority and caused the snake to simply depart Eden.
  • Instead, Adam chose to stand passively, not intercede, assuming the role of a non-protective, non-masculine male spectator (aka, an avoider of entering into THE CONSTRUCTIVE CONFLICT OF MERCY, Slavic grace that a narcissus can never give).
  • Adam was a WUSS, a total, self-absorbed narcissistic looser.
  • Then, following Eve’s suggestion, eating the apple was his “confirmation” ceremony into “wuss-hood.”

[15] See https://thefederalist.com/2019/01/09/american-psychological-association-says-traditional-masculinity-pathological/

[16] Paul David Tripp, PARENTING, 14 Gospel Principles That Can Change Your Family, Crossway, 2016.

[17]  Bruce Perry, M.D., Ph.D., Child Maltreatment: A Neurodevelopmental Perspective on the Role of Trauma and Neglect in Psychopathology, Chapter 8, CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHOLOGY, Edited by Theodore Beauchaine and Stephen P. Hinshaw ,John Wiley, 2008, pp. 93-129. https://childtrauma.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Perry_Psychopathology_Chapter_08.pdf

[18] See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radical_feminism

[19] See: https://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/ted_hildebrandt/otesources/01-genesis/text/articles-books/foh-womansdesire-wtj.pdf

[20] Focus on the Family did not miss this linkage: “For what reason is man to marry a wife? Because woman was originally a constituent part of man, she must return to become one with him again, so that the full expression and design of God’s image in human beings can be revealed.” https://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/gods-design-for-marriage/marriage-gods-idea/the-divine-order-to-marriage Authored by David Kyle Forster

[21] Danvers Statement, Affirmation 4.1: “In the home, the husband’s loving, humble headship tends to be replaced by domination or passivity; the wife’s intelligent, willing submission tends to be replaced by usurpation or servility.” https://cbmw.org/about/danvers-statement

[22] Note: Complementarians observe that marital abuse and oppression are superficially the out workings of sin infecting the battle of the sexes.

[23] For Foh to accomplish her feministic eisegesis trivialization, she had to discard the third usage of the unique Hebrew word translated as desire, used but three times in the Hebrew Bible. To do so, she rationalized employing only parallels in grammatical structure in order to restrict her reinterpretation to only two usages: Genesis 3:16 and nearby in v. 4:7, dismissing out-of-hand, Song 7:10. This Satan had her failing to validate of one’s interpretation by all relevant scripture, validating one’s interpretation by harmonizing with all overarching motifs.

[24] Hank Miiller, HOW SHOULD WE UNDERSTAND “HER DESIRE” IN GENESIS 3:16b? 2018. https://www.theaquilareport.com/how-should-we-really-understand-genesis-316b/

[25] Some politicians have refined this to be “white males.”

[26] Feminist scholar Kimberle´ Crenshaw coined the term intersectionality in 1989. [Crenshaw is a Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and the University of California, Los Angeles, co-founder of the African American Policy Forum, and Director of the Columbia Law School’s Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies (CISPS)]. Crenshaw created this metaphoric framework in order to visualize (re-conceptualize by individually framing) each of the contributing components of discrimination and disadvantage so that Social Justice can properly and individually addresses them before the Court. See: Kimberle’ Williams Crenshaw, MAPPING THE MARGINS, Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color, pp. 93-118, THE PUBLIC NATURE OF PRIVATE VIOLENCE, edited by Fineman and Mykitiuk, Routledge, 1994. https://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/mapping-margins.pdf

[27] Rachel, who has a BS plus an MS in Biology tweeted (@RachelBock9) on 2/12/19 (10:40 PM) the following: “When I was a feminist I didn’t understand: ‘feminists destroy the family.’ Science progressed. I worked 70+ hour weeks, checking experiments at 3 AM, in the lab at Christmas …. My friends had children. Now they have families and I have publications. Don’t make my mistake.”

[28] Christopher Bergland, CORTISOL: WHY THE “STRESS HOROME” IS PUBLIC ENEMY NO. 1, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201301/cortisol-why-the-stress-hormone-is-public-enemy-no-1

[29] For biblical counselors, CCEF (Christian Counseling and Education Foundation) the counseling affiliate of Westminster Seminary, has just introduced a course on Counseling Abusive Marriages. https://www.ccef.org/course/counseling-abusive-marriages/

[30] Here are numerous Gospel examples of Christ-like “older brother” relationships:

  1. John 4:1-30 – Jesus emotionally supports the sexually compromised Samaritan woman;
  2. John 8:7 – Jesus physically protects the woman caught in adultery from an unwarranted death;
  3. John 11 – Jesus, showing emotionally tender compassion, deals with the raw emotions of Martha and Mary after their brother’s death;
  4. Matthew 9 – Jesus spiritually commends the faith of the woman suffering from unrelenting menstrual bleeding;
  5. Matthew 19 – Jesus physically protects women from both the emotional harm of an unwarranted divorce, and the financial ruin of becoming destitute.

Jesus demonstrates “older brother love” within a culture that devalues and exploits women. By so doing, he displays the meaning of Ephesians 5:33 in such a dramatically stark contrast that it’s impossible for us to avoid missing his teaching.

[31] Darby Strickland, IDENTIFYING OPPRESSION IN MARRIAGES, The Journal of Biblical Counseling, 30:2 (2016), p. 9. https://www.ccef.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2-IdentifyingOpression-Strickland-Preview.pdf

[32] Justin S. and Lindsey Holcome, DOES THE BIBLE SAY WOMEN SHOULD SUFFER ABUSE AND VIOLENCE, Journal of Biblical Counseling, 2014, pp. 9-12. https://www.ccef.org/shop/product/bible-say-women-suffer-abuse-violence/ (CCEF Cost is $1.99)

[33] Pelagius (c. AD 360 – 418) was a theologian of British origin who advocated free will and asceticism. Augustine of Hippo and others accused him of denying the need for divine aid in performing good works. Pelagius’ theology is the philosophy of self-creation and unrestricted, unfettered free choice, offering an escape from God. Why, then, is Pelagius’ theology important to understand in regards to feminist philosophy? It’s how Pelagius answered the following question: “If humans beings are free to sin or not sin, and thereby to merit God’s favor or punishment on their own, then what’s the purpose of the Atonement?

Pelagius’ theology has no need for Jesus having come to earth! Simply, by our being fully free to choose to sin or choose to not sin, we are, in Pelagius’ theology, self-defining creatures.

Pelagius quite obviously denies the theology of “original sin,” which notes that man has no capability to not sin,” and that Jesus atoned for this family-of-origin weakness that we all have inherited via our own ancestral line of family-of-origins.

The pedestrian (and atheist) view that God is a tyrant explains the persistence of Pelagianism in the Christian world. For further study, see: https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/ericnelson/files/nelson_the_bargain_basis.pdf

[34] Joshua Hawley: “We stand at one of the great turning points in our national history, when the failure of our public philosophy and the crisis of our public life can no longer be ignored. And what we do about these needs will define the era to come.

“For decades now our politics and culture have been dominated by a particular philosophy of freedom. It is a philosophy of liberation from family and tradition, of escape from God and community, a philosophy of self-creation and unrestricted, unfettered free choice.”

“It is a philosophy that has defined our age, though it is far from new. In fact, its most influential proponent lived 1,700 years ago: a British monk who eventually settled in Rome named Pelagius. So thoroughly have his teachings informed our recent past and precipitated our present crisis that we might refer to this era as the Age of Pelagius.”

“But here is the irony. Though the Pelagian vision celebrates the individual, it leads to hierarchy. Though it preaches merit, it produces elitism. Though it proclaims liberty, it destroys the life that makes liberty possible.”

“Replacing it and repairing the profound harm it has caused is one of the great challenges of our day.” THE AGE OF PELAGIUS, Christianity Today, June web only.  https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2019/june-web-only/age-of-pelagius-joshua-hawley.html

[35] James K. Childerston, BEYOND CHEMISTRY, UNDERSTANDING THE NEUROBIOLOGY OF SEX, Christian Counseling Today, Vol. 21, Iss. 1, pp. 10-15. http://flashpaper.aacc.net/Archived/CCT/Christian%20Counseling%20Today%2021-1/index.html#10

[36] Emerson Eggerichs, LOVE AND RESPECT, Thomas Nelson, 2004.

[37] David Naselli, HOW TO UNDERSTAND AND APPLY THE NEW TESTAMENT, P&R Publishing, 2017, pp. 124-129.

[38] See https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/paulharveysogodmadeafarmer.htm

[39] Timothy Keller, with Kathy Keller, THE MEANING OF MARRIAGE, Dutton, 2011. See chapter 8, SEX AND MARRIAGE, pp. 219-236, noting especially their comment “that sex between a man and a women can be sort of embodied out-of-body experience. It’s the most ecstatic, breathtaking, daring, scarcely-to-be-imagined look at the glory that is our future.” (p. 236) This summary is exactly the meaning of Song 8:5a!

[40] Suzanne Degges-White, Love Bombing: A Narcissist’s Secret Weapon, A whirlwind romance should never feel like a manipulation of your heart. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/lifetime-connections/201804/love-bombing-narcissists-secret-weapon

[41] The poetic organization adopted by this paper tracks that of Tremper Longman III, SONG OF SONGS, NICOT Series, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 2001.

[42] Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him; and Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him (Psalm 62:1, 5)

[43] Often you hear a wife saying “I feel connected to …” or “I don’t feel any connection to …” The wife is referring to the spiritual connection of her heart with his, even though she’s expressing it as an emotion. Why? The language of her heart is her emotions.

[44] In the story of Tamar, Genesis 38:8-26, she retained Judah’s “seal and staff” as a security deposit until he delivered a young goat as payment of her sexual services, identification which was to kept her from being burned to death for prostitution.

[45] Recall, the husband/father is God’s stand-in in his earthly families.

[46] Gary Chapman, THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES: HOW TO EXPRESS HEARTFELT COMMITMENT TO YOUR MATE, Northfield Publishing, 2015.

[47] Hank Miiller, HOW SHOULD WE UNDERSTAND GENESIS 3:16b LOOKING THROUGH THE LENS OF SONG of SONG? (Part 3), https://www.theaquilareport.com/how-should-we-understand-genesis-316b-looking-through-the-lens-of-song-of-song-part-3/

[48] The theological notion here is: THE CONSTRUCTIVE CONFLICT OF MERCY. The willingness to step-up and protect his wife, Adam being the example of the husband who failed.