Plucking and Cutting:

An Examination of Matthew 5:27-32

 

Rich Lusk

 

This is an old article article, being republished for the blog.

 

 

While sex happens in private, it has public implications and so biblical law has quite a bit to say about it. We cannot keep God’s law out of our bedrooms. But neither can we keep God’s law out of our hearts. And so the Scripture also has quite a bit to say about sexual desire, most famously in Matthew 5:27-32.

Servant-leadership, as commonly understood in evangelical circles, has taken quite  beating in recent years, and rightfully so. I have already addressed this issue in other places, but the problems should be spelled out more fully, especially for marriage.There are many Christian husbands who believe they are Jesus-like "servant leaders" when in reality they are abdicating their position as ruler of their households. There are many Christian wives who think they are submissive, when really their hearts are in rebellion against God's ordained authority structure and disrespectful towards the place Scripture assigns their husbands.

Sexual Desire and Sexual Refusal in Marriage:

A Pauline Theology of Consent

Rich Lusk

 

This is an article especially for married men.

 

I was going through my bookshelf the other day and came across Werner Neuer's Man and Woman in Christian Perspective. I first read it in college, probably about 1993 or so. It was recommended to me by Peter Doyle, the pastor at Trinity Presbyterian Church of Opelika, AL. Dr. Doyle used to do a college men's Bible study and it was one of the most impactful things in my life -- especially my view of men and women. Dr. Doyle gave us all kinds of great counsel on relationships; 25+ years later I'm realizing just how much I appreciate what he taught me and how it saved me from really colossal mistakes I would have otherwise made. You could say he permanently inoculated me against feminism. I remember him telling us, "Marry a woman who dresses like a woman. Marry a woman who wears dresses and skirts, not pants." Even in 1993, he was, shall we say, politically incorrect. Dr. Doyle also wrote a series of kids' adventure books that had very strong male/female stereotypes. He also did a really fine American history series for kids. As a preacher, he was simultaneously bold and jovial -- he'd slice your conscience up with a grin on his face. But he always pointed us to Christ as our sure hope of forgiveness. Anyway -- back to the Neuer book. Neuer is a German theologian and I remember being surprised when Dr. Doyle assigned it to our group it since I did not expect a conservative work on the sexes to come from a contemporary European theologian. But I was surprised. Happily surprised. It really is a superb book, especially in the way it integrates Scripture with what we know from the created order. I relied on Neuer extensively in my May, 2000 essay on men and women.

"Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one."

- Marcus Aurelius

This is a follow up to my sermon for men who want to hear more on their duties as husbands and fathers.

 

My sermon Sunday on the pair of family psalms, Psalm 127 and Psalm 128, deserves a bit more comment. I will focus here especially on Psalm 128. (Video of the sermon is available here -- the sermon starts about the 17 minute mark; audio is available here.)

The first part of the sermon focused on the man in these psalms and that's what I want to look at further here. If we want to know what it means to be a blessed man, perhaps we need to start with manhood itself. What does it mean to be a man? How are men different from women? How does a man's masculinity feed into his duties/roles as a husband and father? What shape should a man's rule over his home and in the world take?