Most men want the maiden
without any sort of cost to themselves. They want all the joys of the beauty
without any of the woes of the battle. This is the sinister nature of pornography,
enjoying the woman at her expense.
Pornography is what happens
when a man insists on being energized by a woman. He uses her to get a
feeling that he is a man. It is a false strength, as I've said, because
it depends on an outside source rather than emanating from deep within
his center. And it is the
of selfishness. He offers nothing and takes everything.
We are warned about this
sort of man in the story of Judah and.Tamar.(daughter
of David and Maachah),.Onan
and his brother.Er,
a story that if it weren't in the Bible you would have thought I
drew straight from a television miniseries.
Judah is the fourth son born
to Jacob. You might remember him as the one who came up with the idea to
sell his brother Joseph into slavery:.Genesis
Judah has three sons himself.
When the eldest becomes a man, Judah finds a wife for him named.Tamar.
For reasons not fully explained to us, their 'marriage' is short-lived.."But
Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the LORD'S sight, so the LORD put
him to death"....Genesis
38:7. Judah gives his second son to.Tamar,
was the law and custom of that time.
to raise up children in his brother's name, but he refuses to do it. He
is a proud and self-centered man who angers the Lord,."so
he put him to death also"....Genesis
38:10. You're beginning to get the idea here: selfish men, a woman
wronged and the Lord is mad.
God favors women very greatly,
as He did here:.Numbers
Judah has one son left, named
Shelah. The boy is the last of his strength and Judah has no intention
of spending it on Tamar's behalf. He lies to.Tamar,
telling her to go back home and when Shelah is old enough he'll give him
to her as her husband. He does not.
What follows is hard to believe,
especially when you consider that.Tamar.is
a righteous woman. She disguises herself as a prostitute and sits by the
road Judah is known to use. He has sex with her, but is unable to pay.
Tamar takes his seal and cord and staff as a pledge. Later, word gets out
that Tamar is pregnant. Judah is filled with what he insists is righteous
indignation. He demands that she be burned to death, at which point Tamar
produces the witness against him.."See
if you recognize whose seal and cord and staff these are.".Judah
is nailed. He more than recognizes them; he realizes what he's been doing
is more righteous than I, since I wouldn't give her to my son Shelah"....Genesis
A sobering story of what
happens when men selfishly refuse to spend their strength on behalf of
the woman. But the same thing happens in all sorts of other ways and starts
very early in life.
Pretty women endure this
abuse all the time. They are pursued, but not really; they are wanted,
but only superficially. They learn to offer their bodies but never, ever
their souls. Most men, you see, marry for safety. They choose a woman who
will make them feel like a man but never really challenge them to be one.
A young man whom I admire
is wrestling between a woman called Rachel who he is now dating and one
named Julie he knew years ago and is also now dating. Rachel is asking
a lot of him; truth be told, he feels in way over his head. Julie seems
she would be the perfect mate:.Proverbs
Life with Rachel is tumultuous.
Life with Julie seems calm and tranquil.
"You want the Bahamas" I said. "Rachel is the North Atlantic. Which one
requires a true man?" In a brilliant twist of plot, God turns our scheme
for safety on us, requiring us to play the man.
Why don't men offer what
they have to their women? Because we know down in our guts that it won't
be enough. There is emptiness after the debacle
with Adam, Eve and God. Eve feels empty. No matter how much you pour into
her she will never be filled. This is where so many men falter.
Either they refuse to give
what they can or they keep pouring and pouring into her and all the while
feel like a failure because she is still needing more.(and
so the relationship box begins
"There are three things that
are never satisfied", warns Agur son of Jakeh
30:15,16 "...four things that never say,
'Enough!': the grave, the barren womb, land, which is never satisfied with
water and fire, which never says, 'Enough!"
The barrenness of Eve you
can never hope to fill. She needs God more than she needs you, just as
you need him more than you need her. So what do you do? Offer what you
have. "I'm afraid it won't work" a client said to me when I suggested he
move back toward his wife. "She's given up on me coming through for her"
he confessed "and that's good". "No it's not" I said. "That's awful". He
was headed to a family reunion back east and I suggested he bring his wife
with him, make it a vacation for the two of them.
"You need to move toward
her." "What if it doesn't work?" he asked. So many men are asking the same
question. Work for what? Validate you as a man? Resurrect her heart in
a day? Do you see now that you can't bring your question to Eve? No matter
how good a man you are you can never be enough. If she's the report card
on your strength then you'll ultimately get an F. But that's not why you
love her, just to get a good grade. You love her because that's what you
are made to do; that's what a real man does.
EVE TO ADAM
My friend Jan says that
a woman who is living out her true design will be 'valiant, vulnerable
and scandalous'. That's a far cry from the 'church ladies' we hold up as
models of Christian femininity, those busy and tired and rigid
women who have reduced their hearts to a few mild desires and pretend
everything is going just great. Compare their femininity with that of the
good women named during the time of the genealogy
In a list that is nearly
all men, Matthew mentions four women: Tamar,
and Uriah's wife, Bathsheba....Matthew
1:3,5,6. That Bathsheba.goes
unnamed tells you of God's disappointment with her and of his delight in
these three whom he takes a notable exception to name in an otherwise all-male
cast. Tamar, Rahab and Ruth whoa; this will open up new horizons of "biblical
femininity" for you.
Tamar we now know. Rahab.(a
in the 'hall of fame of faith' in Hebrews 11 for committing treason.
That's rightóshe hid the spies who were coming in to scope out Jericho
before battle. I've never heard a woman's group study Tamar or Rahab. But
what about Ruth? She's
often held up as a model at women's studies and retreatsóbut not in the
way God holds her up.
The book of Ruth is devoted
to one question: How does a good woman help her man to play the man? The
answer: She seduces him. She uses all she has as a woman to arouse him
to be a man. Ruth, as you'll remember, is the daughter-in-law of a Jewish
woman named Naomi. Both women have lost their husbands and are in a pretty
bad way. They have no man looking out for them. Their financial status
is below the poverty line and they are vulnerable in many other ways as
well. Things begin to look up when Ruth catches the eye of a wealthy single
man named Boaz. Boaz is a good man, this we know. He offers her some protection
and some food. But Boaz is not giving Ruth what she really needsócommitment.
So what does Ruth do? She seduces
scene: The men have been working dawn till dusk to bring in the barley
harvest; they've just finished and now it's party time. Ruth takes a bubble
bath and puts on a knockout dress; then she waits for the right moment.
That moment happens to be late in the evening after Boaz has had a little
too much to drink:."When
Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits . . ."....Ruth
3:7. 'Good spirits' is in there for the more conservative readers.
The man was drunk, which is evident from what he does next, pass out. He
went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile ...Ruth 3:7.
What happens next is simply
the verse continues, "Ruth
approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down."
There is no
possible reading of this passage that is 'safe' or 'nice'. This is seduction.(Song
of Solomon 5:4-7:13).pure
and simple and God holds it up for all women to follow when God not only
gives Ruth her own book in the Bible but also names her in the genealogy.
Yes, there are folks that'll
try to tell you that it's perfectly common for a beautiful single woman
'in that culture' to approach a single man.(who's
had too much to drink).in
the middle of the night with no one else around.(the
far side of the grain pile).and
tuck herself under the covers. They're the same folks who'll tell you that
the Song of Solomon is nothing more than a 'theological.metaphor
referring to Christ and his bride'. Ask 'em what they do with passages
of Solomon 7:7,8 "Your stature is like that of the palm and your breasts
like clusters of fruit. I said I will climb the palm tree; I will take
hold of its fruit.".Song
of Solomon 2:14-17; 5:2,4.
That's a Bible study, right?
What did Ruth and Boaz do
that night? He was drunk and fell asleep. So maybe no sex. Maybe
she wanted to see what it's like to be close with him, to get a feeling
of connectedness. Maybe. Did she wait for him to awake? Maybe. She did
stay there with him till he did? This was no nicey, nicey religious fellowship,
'serving the Lord' potluck. Get real!
Religion has really crippled
women when it tells them that their 'beauty is vain'.(Proverbs
they are at their feminine best when they are . . . 'serving others'???
. . . What idiocy is this? Gimmee a break!
A woman is at her best when
being a woman.
Boaz needs a little help
getting going and Ruth has some options. She can badger
him: All you do is work, work, work. Why won't you stand up and be a man?
She can whine
about it: Boaz, pleeeease hurry up and marry me. She can emasculate
him: I thought you were a real man, I guess I was wrong. Or she can use
all she is as a woman to get him to use all he's got as a man. She can
arouse, inspire, energize . . . seduce him. Ask your man what he'd prefer.
Let's get relationships on