In A Christian understanding of attraction, we noted that both attraction and sexual desire is naturally created from God’s command to take dominion/authority over the earth, and of the dominion/authority of the husband over the wife in marriage.
We also noted that a lack of dominion in the lives of Christian men often lends toward sin. Those that are unable to control their lust often pedastalize women or become entrapped in things such as pornography. Those that cannot control their gluttony may become unhealthy and obese. And the like.
Aquietmimic noted in the comments that this parallels with what Jesus did on earth. God sent Jesus in order to be a sacrifice in order that for their to be dominion over sins such that through Jesus there would be a way to the Father.
We also know how the story ends as well. Ultimately, Jesus will return a second time and will bring dominion over all of the earth. Then the old creation will pass away.
Revelation 21: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.
In any case, the question we need to consider now that we understand the paradigm correctly is in what way should this impact our lives?
- God does not promise a spouse to Christian men or women.
- Regardless of whether we are married in this lifetime, God requires that all Christian men and women become mature Christians.
- Being a mature Christian consists of walking out the Great Commission through loving God and loving others.
Dominion of the earth
I’ve spent a rather large amount of time attempting to discern where to head with this topic because it’s important to know what God says about what we should be doing in this lifetime. This blog is primarily focused on teaching men, especially Christian men that want to marry, so that’s a toughter topic to discern in the context of what we are supposed to do according to Scriptures.
In A Christian Understand of Attraction, I discussed that the nature of attraction from a Christian perspective is rooted in the concept of authority or dominion. This is because we understand that Authority is good.
This then is the sequence of events regarding dominion:
- In the beginning, God gave man authority over the earth (Gen 1:26-31).
- When man disobeyed God and obeyed Satan, the earth became the dominion of Satan (John 12:31, Eph 2:2, 2 Tim 2:26, 1 John 5:19, 2 Cor 4:4).
- But God sent Jesus to become a sacrifice in order to redeem us from sin (John 3:16-21, Col 1:13).
- After Jesus’ sacrifice — death, burial, and resurrection — God redeemed the authority from Satan and granted it to Jesus. Thus, all authority in heaven and on earth was granted to Jesus, and His command to us as His disciples is to spread the Good News (Matt 28:18-20, 1 Cor 15).
- Jesus retains this authority, although Satan is still allowed to act in this world, until He comes again (Matt 24:14, Rev 1:7).
I find this story particularly fascinating. The chain of authority was passed on through the series of events. Instead of man taking dominion over the earth, man is supposed to taken dominion over the earth in the name of Jesus.
Mathew 28:18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 [e]Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you [f]always, even to the end of the age.”
Now, let’s take a look at the husband and wife relationship.
Dominion in marriage
The reason why I deemed a Christian understanding of attraction so important is because the quintessential nature of attraction in understanding the hierarchical relationship of marriage.
I started writing about this on Donal’s Making it worth the Investment.
Essentially, I think the easiest way to explain this to those of you that read this blog is to understand Christian marriage from results oriented approach. Thus, we will examine the desire result — the truth of marriage — and using backward induction to examine the consequences.
- Optimal result: marriage
- Preparing for marriage: the best way to prepare yourself for marriage is to examine the roles and responsibilities of marriage and to cultivate within yourself the roles and responsibilities that are required.
- What are the roles in marriage?: From Scripture. We know, for men, that a potential husband is to develop himself into the head, who weilds his authority in love, not embittered, honor as co-heirs. We know, for women, that a potential wife is to molding herself into a helpmeet, is willing to be submissive to her husband, respect, etc. If you truly understand all of the aspects within these roles, everything flows out of the nature of this hierarchical relationship because authority is good.
- How to cultivate the roles: Here’s where understanding a Christian nature of attraction rears its head. Men need to cultivate within themselves dominion or authority. This is the same authority that we see in Jesus’ ministry (Matth 7:29, Mark 1:22), and in Him taking His disciples. Here’s the question to ask yourself — would Jesus’ disciples have been attracted to him and willing to become His disciples if Jesus was not moving in authority (exousia) and power/works (dunamis)?
- By another analogy: Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
This is the reason why I was so excited by the Christian understanding of attraction.
Agapao love can only be demonstrated by those who have power. Christians are able to do this because of the Holy Spirit indwelling within us allowing us to do love and do good through the mighty working of His power.
By the same measure, if your goal is to be married then you need to be able to demonstrate dominion/authority in love. For women attraction is rooted in this dominion. If she respects/reverences (phobeo) you — that is she respects your authority just as we are in reverence and fear to God — then we know she is attracted. And attraction naturally lends itself to sex.
Put another way, it is a man’s dominion/authority which initially attracts a woman to him — and makes her want to be his helpmeet and put herself under his authority — and in marriage this attraction helps to drive the lynchpin of marriage which is sex. Sex results in unity.
In this we understand the hierarchical nature of God (Father>Jesus>Spirit) even though He is unified in Himself, the trinity. This accurate reflects the hierarchical nature of marriage (Holy Spirit(indwelling)>husband>wife>children) and the unity of God.
When a woman rebels against the authority of her husband she will lose attraction for him and avoid sex like the plague. However, when she abides by her husband’s authority over her and submits to her she is attracted to him and desires sex and unity with Him.
Everything flows out from the nature of authority. If you reject authority then you reject God and nothing about marriages makes any logical sense. You can see why as I came upon the true nature of authority I was able to more clearly see and understand the nature of attraction and marriage and how God created things to be.
Jesus and His disciples
Logically, it makes sense to examine Jesus and His disciples as an example of understanding and working your way toward marriage as a single Christian man or woman. Scripturally, this is supported by the gold standard set forth in Ephesians 5 for marriage. Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the Church.
What many fail to realize is that Jesus is not currently married to His Church, as His Church is not yet prepared (make disciples of all nations, gospel must be spread to the ends of the earth and then the end will come). However, it is not an incomplete analogy because we know that Jesus is perfect, and His perfect example prior to marriage will be continued when He actually unites with His Church at the second coming.
Logically, this means that Jesus’ interactions with His disciples, His bride-to-be, are prior to marriage. Indeed, Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, and sending of His promised Holy Spirit as a seal (Eph 1:13, 2 Cor 1:22) is of the same nature as an engagement. Christians, who have declared we will submit to Him and obey His commands, have been sealed in Him as His bride-to-be, and we have much work to do to prepare ourselves fully as His bride before His second coming (see: parable of the ten virgins, Matthew 25).
Chad makes an excellent point in Donal’s thread linked above:
I’m unsure if the disciples anf Christ works for what Donal is describing.
The disciples had alread acknowledged through words and actions that they were Christ’s, following his word, and becoming the men he desired them to be.
Single women haven’t done any of that. The closest you get before marriage is a very involved traditional courtship or engagement.
Otherwise I think you’d have to fall back to the non-jewish believers who were healed by faith. They were not chosen, but 5heir devotion compelled Christ to act.
How often do men feel compelled to act, not from their own desires, but from the objective actions, faith, and desire of the women they meet?
The reason why modern Christians will have trouble understanding this concept of Jesus and the disciples is akin to a potential husband to his potential wife is because the current world is so distorted that reality does not mesh with what the Scriptures command us to do. Men are to become like Jesus and women are to become like the Church if they desire marriage.
Understanding this analogy is simple. Christian men are to exert dominion/authority over themselves and in their envionment (which starts to build attraction) and then make women an offer if they are interested in her (“come follow me”). You let those that choose not to “follow you” go their own way. Jesus allowed those who didn’t believe (Pharisees, etc.) and those for whom the commitment was too much (rich young ruler) to walk away too. But a woman that will choose to follow you and want to explore the possibility of marriage is like what Jesus had with His disciples.
Your potential wife essentially becomes one of your disciples. She sets herself on the path to become your — and not anyone else’s — helpmeet.
If you’re still having trouble understanding this then consider why the boss-secretary relationship often results in attraction and sex. It’s akin to husband-wife head-helpmeet relationship.
What is discipleship?
I noted this before thoroughly in Jesus and the Church is husbands and wives:
I think the best way to think of it is in terms of the Scriptures, and of the outlined roles and responsibilities set forth in the Scriptures of husbands and wives in marriage.
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is [a]inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for [b]training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
Jesus teaches His disciples, He reproofs/rebukes them, He corrects them, and he trains them in righteousness.
Teaches — His disciples asked Him the meaning of parables (Mark 7; Luke 8, 18; Matthew 13).
Reproofs/rebukes — Rebukes Peter (“get behind me Satan” Matt 16; Mark 8), Disciples hinder the little children and Jesus rebukes (“Let the little children come to me” Matt 19; Mark 10; Luke 18), James and John for wanting to call down fire on the Samaritans (“You do not know what kind of spirit you are of, for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” Luke 9).
Corrects — Jesus chastises His disciples for their lack of faith. Jesus calms the storm (Matt 8), walks on water (Matt 14), unbelief (Matt 17), lack of understanding discipleship (John 4, 6).
Trains — Jesus instructs them on discipleship and sends out the 70 (Luke 10).
Indeed, when Jesus speaks of what discipleship means we have two different takes from Matthew and Luke on the matter.
Matthew 10:24 “A [v]disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house [w]Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!
Luke 6:39 And He also spoke a parable to them: “A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 A [x]pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will [y]be like his teacher. 41 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.
There are two major points here.
The master-disciple relationship embodies the same hierarchical authority that is present in the triune God and in the marriage relationship. The disciple learns from and grows from the master and is not above Him. But, like the passage in Matthew states, it is enough that a disciple can become like his master. The is the Spirit with which 1 Peter 3:7 is written: husbands should honor their wives as the weaker vessels because they are co-heirs in Christ. As Jesus states in John 15, slaves don’t know their master’s business but now He has called us friends.
The Luke passage I find interesting because Luke apportions the judgment verses here in order to teach a different lesson. This is the nature of personal responsibility. In order to not be a hypocrite, a man must first examine himself. This is also a direct analogy to dominion/authority. If a man has not mastered himself or his envionment, then how is he going to be able to be the head of a wife?
The part I find quite ingenous is the nature with which God created these things to be in the physical world. The parable of the talents/minas provides a direct insight into this thought process. Those that were responsible with much will be given more and share in their master’s happiness. Those that were not responsible had what they were given taken away.
Nice guys, who haven’t mastered their pride, lust, envy, gluttony, etc., do not demonstrate dominion/authority in their lives or their environments. Obesity is the most straightfoward example. Hence, it should be a no brainer why women are not attracted to them. Whereas those that obtain more in their lives through dominion (themselves) may obtain a helpmeet (a wife) which may lead to more (children) along with the increased responsibility that is imbued in such a role. Of course, this is not to say that those married are ultimately more responsible than those who are single, but it is a general theme of life.
While you may not use “discipleship” in terms of what it means to have a “courtship” that is the type of concept you should be thinking about in terms of instructing a woman to be your helpmeet.
As you can see, the themes of dominion and authority runs through God Himself, the Scriptures and the earth, and through the marriage relationship.
The fundamental assumptions are important which is that God promises no one a spouse. However, as I desire a wife and I’m sure many of you do we recognize that the route to become a mature Christian and preparing ourselves for marriage is one in the same.
I think that the concept of master-disciple is a much better frame of reference for a man to have in regard to women if he wants to be married. When men typically think of women our feelings get involved, but what is more important is how we act. Instead of getting pulled into a frame of what we feel is right (which is often wrong), we need to get into the frame of doing what is right. For men that means cultivating dominion over your life and your environment as a witness for Christ, and extending an invitation to women if you desire them to be your helpmeet.
Understanding the nature of this authority and the relationship is also a good reminder to keep your mind on godly things rather than earthly things.
Comments and critique are appreciated.
Another deep and thought provoking post. And I hadn’t even finished chewing on the last one….
Great stuff DS!! “For women attraction is rooted in this dominion. If she respects/reverences (phobeo) you — that is she respects your authority just as we are in reverence and fear to God — then we know she is attracted. And attraction naturally lends itself to sex.” From a female perspective I can’t stress how much truth is in this statement.
1) Can this be Scripturally proven? What exactly does happen if one does not marry exactly? They just live in chastity and love God? I think there’s a good reason why nuns and priests exist today DS.
2&3) In maturing into a holy Christian, I’d say eliminate sin, grow in virtue and live in the presence of God. Loving one does work but knowing the other virtues can help. You have the root of the tree but knowing the other branches helps. (Bad analogy here).
“What many fail to realize is that Jesus is not currently married to His Church…” (etc etc)
Possibly a theological discussion. But I need to know something…
We can assume that the Church is the Body of Christ.
We can also assume that the Church holds all Christians who are going to be saved.
Can we assume that the Church is alive in the earth if Christians live in this Earth today?
And if Jesus, our savior is in Heaven, who on Earth has dominion over all of these Christians who live here today?
Otherwise pretty deep article DS. I’ll have the meditate on this article for a while.
1. There is no Scriptures in the Bible that promise a spouse to anyone. In the Proverbs there are verses such as Proverbs 18:22 “The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the LORD.”
Here are some others but none that promise one to us:
2&3, Yep, take off the old and put on the new. Eliminate the sin, and put on godliness.
4. I think the easiest way to explain it is that the Church is currently betrothed to Christ, and that He has delegated to us — with the authority that He has received from the Father — to go and spread the Good News (make disciples, baptize, and teach) until the end of the age.
The analogies to me always seem a bit weird, but that’s because we are dealing with a perfect God and perfect Jesus whereas we as humans are imperfect. And what I mean by weird is that our understanding seems off because such things are is odd to our human experience.
For example, we know that God regards sex in marriage as that which is Holy. Jesus is there wherever two are more are gathered in His name. As such Jesus is there when you’re having sex with your spouse, and He looks on it it as good.
That’s really weird to us because of our preconceived notions and feelings about sex, and it’s only partially because we live in a warped culture. This is different to how God looks on sex in marriage.
Also from a female perspective… + 1000 on what Robyn said.
I just had a seemingly random thought as I read this… when Jesus approached his soon-to-be disciples, He didn’t *ask* them to follow Him, He *told* them to follow Him. Compare this to a guy *asking* a girl out. Add in this taking dominion thing. I just got this mental image of some guy extending his hand or arm for me to take, and saying something like “come with me”. I take it and say “ok, where are we going?”, and he says “out to _______”… not asking me, but telling me. I can’t even describe how compelling that would be.
**note ~ I’m not trying to tell any guys how to ask a girl out. Nor am I claiming this will work in all situations. It just came to mind and relates to the post, so I decided to share it. YMMV.
Dr. Karl Menninger was a psychiatrist who founded the Menninger Clinic and authored a dozen books.
“According to Dr. Karl Menninger, for every woman who complains to her psychiatrist about the brutality of her man there are a dozen who complain about his weakness, dependency and impotence–a dozen who want their men to be more dominant, not less.”
Quote is from Chapter 4 of The Garbage Generation by Daniel Amneus:
This was a very interesting read! Much appreciated for the time it took to put this together.
*noted* we’re not promised a spouse.
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