In this post, I am going to talk about some things that the church tends to be hush-hush about. First of all, God created sex. It is not wrong to talk about sex. God created sex to be kept within the boundaries that He has set. When people go outside of God’s boundaries, then there is a problem.
I highlight certain issues, not for the sake of gender wars. It is the opposite. I desire unity. There is a spiritual problem in the world. This spiritual problem sometimes manifests as disunity and contempt between men and women. God is love. I would much rather see things done His way in love. This is why I speak out on various issues.
That said, there are some bad analogies out there. One such analogy is that a man hunts a woman the way a lion hunts it’s prey. A lot of men refer to men as hunters, even in reference to pursuing a woman. They use the word “hunter” when encouraging women to allow themselves to be pursued by a man. As I stated, I have even heard the lion/prey analogy.
There are different ideologies behind phrases and analogies. I think the context in which many use the word hunter in these cases is not meant to be predatorial. However, I believe it is important to watch what we say, because whether we realize it or not, words are seed and take root in people’s minds.
Therefore, words plant ideas, and ideas produce behaviors. We should be mindful of what we say.
There is nothing wrong with being a hunter, but a man should not hunt a woman down, as if he is a beast looking to devour her as prey. While I agree with the principle that a man should initiate pursuit and a woman should respond, I do not view a man as a hunter, and a woman as his prey.
A woman is to be treasured as a valuable human being. The man who desires her should pursue and woo her in an attempt to win her over.
There should be nothing predatorial about the relationship dynamics between a man and a woman. I have also taken note that when referring to sexual activity, plenty men use violent words to describe the act. I do not believe that God’s intent was violence. It is supposed to be real intimacy, mutual giving, mutual pleasure, and in many cases, reproduction.
In my mind, some of the people who use aggressive terminology are well-meaning, no doubt. I think it is just lingo they picked up from society’s influences. Historically, women have been objectified and sexuality has been viewed as a power dynamic; a conquesting event where the man conquers the woman who surrenders to him.
The vocabulary used has often been of a violent and aggressive nature. Descriptions of the pursuit of a woman by a man includes analogies such as hunting, the way a lion hunts. Descriptions of sexual activity are sometimes described as something a man does to a woman, instead of with a woman. Do we see a problem with this?
Words used to describe the man’s actions are “banged”, “nailed”, “broke”, etc. Naturally, harsh, animalistic verbs describe the treatment of the woman. These words are not typically used to describe actions that affect the man.
For some, sex is about the man’s power, conquest, and the woman’s surrender.
Characteristics describing men’s anatomy are powerful words such as rod, hammer, and stick, while women’s anatomy is referred to with weaker words such as an alternative for the word cat. Hmmm. Interesting. There is nothing weak about a woman’s anatomy! She gives birth and goes through an awful lot. Her body can do too many amazing things to be described using weak terminology!
I believe the reason so many people have a toxic view of sexuality and some women end up feeling used, sexually repressed, and objectified is because of the unhealthy, imbalanced way some people view relationships and sexual dynamics. There seems to always be a sort of power struggle.
This is not God’s intent. God made everything good and beautiful. The adversary aims to distort and pervert it. This post is to shed light on some things that people carelessly say and do. Certain things said are harmful to our interpretations of and perspectives on the good things God has created. Consequently, these toxic perspectives have aided in toxic behaviors.
Keep in mind the context of the following verse, and keep in mind the first and second great commandments and the golden rule at the same time.
Remember, Jesus said these are the two greatest commandments:
Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord.
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’
The second is equally important:
‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
The two great commandments are important to remember, because 1 Corinthians 7: 4 can be, and has been used out of context to imply that a man and a woman are allowed to harm each other’s bodies or do whatever they want to each other. It has especially been the case that some men have implied that a man gets to do what he wants sexually, whenever he wants with his wife.
This is not true, because if this were the case, it would defy the 2nd great commandment and golden rule. Instead, 1 Corinthians 7: 4 is proof that the husband and wife give themselves to each other, for the sake of mutual pleasure and intimacy, and reproduction.
It is a love thing. There should be no taking, forcing, or harm inflicted. There should be no power struggle, but mutual giving and receiving. The man is made to initiate in the giving.
I am also highlighting this, because even some professed Christian men have a strange, power- seeking and distorted view of the dynamics between a husband and wife. This includes men who are public figures. They perpetuate their ideas. They preach to the masses.
Some people eagerly adhere to their harmful ideologies. There are women who end up feeling used and objectified. Then some men wonder why their wife may not be as sexually responsive as they hope she would be. God did not wire women to be positively responsive to, or attracted to being objectified.
We are to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. We are to love others as we love ourselves. This means that we don’t get to harm other people for our own selfish gratification. It means that we don’t try to force or demand our way, because we would not want someone to do that to us. Yet, each person should have a selfless attitude.
While in compliance to the two great commandments, this is to be accepted and enjoyed also: “The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.” 1 Corinthians 7: 4. As we can see, God’s design is balanced, beautiful, and beneficial.
Used with permission from Petrina Ferguson.