12. Unisexual Commandments?
Some commandments in the Bible are for men and women, some for men, and some for women. An argument used by those against plural marriage is that passages specific to one gender apply, in fact, to both genders. This doctrine is called 'gender mutuality'. However, this is obviously not true for all commandments where different rôles are given by Yahweh to men and women, respectively.
"If a woman has a discharge, and the discharge from her body is blood, she shall be set apart seven days ... if any man lies with her at all, so that her impurity is on him, he shall be unclean seven days" (Lev.15:19,24, NKJV).
One of the laws of sexual purity that Yahweh has given is that a husband shall not have sexual intercourse with his wife while she is menstruating. Now obviously this only applies to women since men don't menstruate! Similar laws apply to women concerning purity after birth:
"Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the children of Israel, saying: 'If a woman has conceived, and borne a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days; as in the days of her customary impurity she shall be unclean ... She shall then continue in the blood of her purification thirty-three days. She shall not touch any hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary until the days of her purification are fulfilled. But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her customary impurity, and she shall continue in the blood of her purification sixty-six days" (Lev.12:1-5, NKJV).
When Yahweh cursed the world after the Fall in Eden, men and women were cursed in different ways:
"To the woman He said: "I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you." Then to Adam He said, "Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it': "Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return"" (Gen.3:16-19, NKJV).
The headship of the man over the woman, which we discussed earlier, is clearly stated. The woman is to bring forth children and be ruled by him, and he in his turn is to have the responsibility of being the family provider. For both it will not be easy.
The monogamy-only people often claim that Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) changed everything. They often say that Christ has annulled the curse so that the man is no longer the head of the woman - husband and wife are now coequal, they claim, which somehow implies only monogamy is acceptable. The lie is, however, given to this assertion by the Apostle Paul who declares:
"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord (Yah'shua/Jesus). For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church (messianic community); and He is the Saviour of the body. Therefore, just as the church (messianic community) is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything" (Eph.5:22-25, NKJV).
Has the relationship between husband and wife/wives changed? No it has not. It is exactly the same under the New Covenant as in the Old. Man is still the head and man still has the right to take one or more wives. Only now an extra responsibility falls upon the man:
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the Church (Messianic Community) and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious Church (Messianic Community), not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself" (Eph.5:25-28, NKJV).
It is wrong, furthermore, to say that male headship is a fruit of the Fall. It isn't. The husband was head of the wife before the Fall, and will be so in eternity. Genesis plainly states that Eve was made as a helper or assistant for Adam (Gen.2:20) and it was the woman who was brought to the man, not the man to the woman, or both to each other (v.22). Helpers or assistants are always subordinate to those they are helping or assisting.
The only gender mutuality found in the Bible concerns salvation:
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Yah'shua the Messiah (Christ Jesus)" (Gal.3:28, NKJV).
This passage does not revoke husband-wife rôles. If it did, it would contradict what Paul said to the Ephesians, and Scripture does not contradict itself. Men and women are equal before Yahweh - of exactly the same worth, and receive salvation on precisely the same terms - but in the marriage relationship the husband is the head as Christ is the head of the Church (Messianic Community).
This page was first created on 1 March 2003
Last updated on 25 February 2009
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