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Msindisi Newsletter # 113

February 3, 2014

SALVADOR & DIANNE’S MSINDISI MONTHLY

NUMBER: 113 Feb 2014

PO BOX 1481
VRYHEID 3100
KWAZULU NATAL
SOUTH AFRICA

+27 (0) 728311008
+27 (0) 815836288

Email: msindisi@gmail.com,
salv.di@gmail.com

KwaZulu Mission Website: http://www.kwazulumission.com

Dear Friends and Family,

We have currently started travelling around South and will be resuming the tour that we had to postpone in December due to the tragic happenings at our home. We started the new year house sitting in Vryheid and then returned to the homestead. Phumlani is doing much better and, though he has still a little pain, he is pretty much back to normal. Babhekile’s children have both gone to live with her mother in Newcastle. We took Asimbonge there on the 10th January so that he would be able to get ready for his new school. Some brethren from the UK and New Zealand had contributed some generous financial assistance towards the care and schooling of Asimbonge and his sister Noluncedo. So we were able to pass that on to Babhekile’s mother when we visited.

Over the month of Jan, Di helped at Carebear for Belinda for a week. This was to help with enrolments and admin work.

We started teaching at kids club again in the month and resumed the cell group on the Monday evening and the Friday night bible study. This year we have discussed and decided to join the two groups together and meet on the Friday night only. We will continue to go from house to house and share a meal together, sing, prayer and then study the word. Salvador has been asked to preach a couple of Sundays for the Zulu congregation which he did before we went on our trip.

Phumlani and Salvador have finished preaching through one of the areas of Cibilili with the gospel. On one occasion a lady in our assembly, called Thukuzile came out to witness also. We thank the Lord for the willingness of her to be involved in spreading the gospel of Yeshua. We also have been continuing with kid’s club and Salvador has now ventured into the New Testament with the New Tribes Mission material after such a long time of working through the Old. The Lord also opened an opportunity for Salvador to preach the word at a local school in an area called Alpha Village. He spoke on the vanity of chasing riches without being rich toward God. Such riches are temporal but the condition of the soul has eternal repercussions. On one of the Saturday evenings we celebrated the Jewish feast of Tu B’Shvat with Phumlani and Gogo. It was a great opportunity to share the gospel by noting the parallels between the types of fruit and the types of hearers of the word in the parable of the sower. We urged Gogo to be soft on the outside and on the inside concerning her reception of the seed of the word.

We were asked by a family that we are good friends with to come for their daughter, Bianca’s, wedding which was to be held in Pretoria. Upon their request we arrived two days early but not before visiting Secunda and our wonderful friends, Jozua and Veronica. Salvador taught a bible study there with a friend of theirs called Debbie visiting. We are always spoiled by their love and blessed by their continued love and prayers for us. The day after we arrived in Pretoria. Bianca  had  already asked Di to do her hair, as Di was both a professional hairdresser and tutor in hair dressing before coming to South Africa. Salvador was asked to take the wedding. However Bianca’s family are Afrikaans and her husband’s family is from Holland and speak very little English so Salvador had to have her brother, Riaan, interpret for him. The wedding went very well and the Gospel was preached. We wish Braam and Bianca every happiness. They are a very young couple but have maintained a wonderful testimony throughout their courtship.

The day after the wedding we headed off to Pretoria north to visit our brethren in the home fellowship there. Some brethren from the Randfontein fellowship turned up. By the leading of the Holy Spirit, as some of the brethren in that assembly rose the issue, the whole meeting turned into a biblical discussion concerning marriage and how to deal with marital problems. This was a true edifying experience with us all being sharpened and challenged to support one another and to affirm marriages among the brethren. After the meeting we visited another brother who has been having a hard walk before heading off to Springs to be with Allen and Sue Wells. On the Sunday morning we had fellowship in their home with Bianca’s family visiting from Pretoria to fellowship together. Salvador shared the word while two of Allen and Sue’s children led the time of collective worship in song. We are just about to resume the trip we started in December by heading off to Kokstad in the morning to stay with Mark and Marie Anne’s son, Jed Van Niekerk and his wife. Salvador should be speaking on the Wednesday evening at their baptist church. After Kokstad we will be spending the weekend at Port Elizabeth with Alan Mackenzie and all the brethren at the two assemblies he is involved with. Salvador should be ministering there also.

The following week we stay a couple of evenings with a Jewish believer and her husband in Sedgefield before visiting Dave and Lyn Royle in Swellendam. This will be the first time for a long time since we have seen them and look forward to catching up. We go on from there to Cape Town to stay with a fellow student of Salvador’s, Paul Grobler and his wife. After this we go to Bloemfontein and visit Chris De Wet before going back to Springs to break up the trip back to Vryheid. Please pray for our trip and the people that we will be visiting that the Lord may guide all our steps.

For all who pray for and support us may the Lord lead you, bless you and keep you.

In Yeshua,

Salvador and Di

Please pray for:

Gogo’s Salvation

Phumlani’s full recovery

Thabi’s health and her walk

Our visiting of Brethren around South Africa

Phumlani as he continues to minister while we are away

CHAPTER 4

The Equal Value of the Male and Female

Gen 1:26-28

26Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.28God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 

Male primacy should be acknowledged. Man is first because God created the man first. In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul takes this premise and argues that a man does not cover his head while praying or prophesying because he is the image and glory of God. Therefore this ‘imago dei’ (being made in the image of God) applies in a special way to men BUT look at what the above verses say. God says “Let us make man in our image, and let THEM rule over the fish of the sea. And God made man in His own image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them.” It is very clear that both men and women are in the image of God. Therefore there is an equality between the man and the woman.

In this chapter we will focus on what the New Testament teaches concerning this quality. But to understand the significance of this equality it is important to understand what marriage was like in the Greek world. What was their view of marriage? E.A Judge had a group of essays published concerning the social life of the 1st Century Greek and Roman societies.1 His findings concerning the notion of marriage in Greek society can be summarised as follows:

  1. Marriage, in Greek society, was the transferral of property and therefore the woman was a possession. She was transferred and had no power to transfer herself.

  2. Men wanted wives for two main reasons: They wanted a son who would be a rightful heir and they wanted the dowry that came with the wife and this dowry would then come into the husband’s family. Thus if a wife gave birth to a newborn daughter some people would leave the child out to die in order to escape from the responsibility of having to pay a dowry later on.

Now let us scan the progression of thought concerning marriage from the fourth century BC to the time of the New Testament.

In the fourth century BC there were two main philosophers, Plato and Aristotle. Plato (Born:428BC and died:347BC) claimed that the interests of the community are more important than those of the individual. Plato wanted to create a council of women that would act as social workers. These women would supervise couples and the training of children. One of the main reasons Plato wanted to do so was that he claimed that there was too much population growth. Thus he wanted to use these women to achieve this end. Aristotle (Born:384BC and died:222BC) also agreed that there was too much population growth but he argued that the baby in the womb did not have a soul up to a certain point and therefore it was okay to abort them. But Aristotle also believed that women are dangerous. He claimed that women are inferior by nature and thus, they are destined to be subjugated. He thought that women were not intelligent enough to rule, men must keep women in the kitchen to lessen her contamination of society and that a man’s authority over his wife was to be compared to a royal authority that a man has over his children. That is the way Aristotle saw things but at least men should be faithful to their wives or they should lose their civil rights. At the same era, another philosopher called Diogenes said that Marriage was a purely human invention and therefore, as it is against nature, marriage is dangerous. You do not see dogs, frogs and cats getting married so it is unnatural. He therefore claimed that men (not women) should be sexually free and able to share their wives and children with others. Therefore there were different currents of ideas concerning women and marriage in Greek cultural thought.

In the third century (300-200BC) you had a guy called Zeno (Born:334BC and died:262BC). Zeno argued that nature allowed for polygamy. There are male animals that have many different mates. According to Zeno society invented monogamous marriage and therefore men should be free to marry more than one wife but such freedom should be restricted to those who were wise as only they could handle it. There was also another chap by the name of Chrysippus (Born:280BC and died:206BC). Chrysippus was different for he stated that marriage was important. For the sake of society, even of humanity a man should perform his duty to become a husband and a father. Then there was Epicurus (Born:341BC and died:270BC) who claimed that love and sex were dangerous and are harmful to the soul. Love and sex will contaminate a person but a wise man should marry nonetheless so as not to stand out from the crowd as this would bring greater trouble to him. Thus marriage would be the lesser of the two evils.

Then in the second century BC (200-100BC) there was another gentleman by the name of Polybius (Born: 200BC and died:118BC). By his time the ideas and policies of Plato and Aristotle, which had curbed population increase through birth control, had brought about a dangerous decrease in population. Polybius therefore stated that the fall in birthrate had weakened society. He thus claimed that marriage was important for the good of society in order to strengthen society. Polybius was not the only person to express such alarm. Antipater of Tarsus (Born: 200BC and died:130BC) was so alarmed at the fallen birthrate that he proposed that one should not hold the office of a prefect if he did not have a wife and children.

In the first century (0-100AD) society was well into the Roman Empire and saw the rise of the Apostolic era and what is commonly referred to as the Church. A contemporary of Paul, Seneca (Born: 4BC and died:65AD), spoke highly of his mother and sister because he thought their virtues were unusually high for women because they were corrupters of men. Moral degeneration is the fault of women but men are still called upon to be faithful to their wives. In contrast to Seneca’s view of women there was someone who espoused a view closer to that of the New Testament. That guy was called Musonius Rufus (Born:30AD and died:120AD). He thought that women should be educated because they have the same reasoning powers as men. There should be total commitment in marriage between both the man and woman and he grounded this in the intention of the creator which was made known through the mutual desire of men and women. He also advocated divorce if that desire was not there but apart from his view on divorce he comes closer to the teaching of the New Testament. However Musonius Rufus was not typical of Roman/Greek thought and Plutarch (born:46AD and died:120AD) thought otherwise. Plutarch stated that women must subordinate emotions and ideas to those of their husbands but a man must show more respect to his wife than anybody else.

Though there are links to the thought of New Testament teaching on women, the Greek view generally held that women are by nature inferior to men because they lack intelligence and are emotionally inferior. They also believed that the husband owns his wife and uses her to father children and with the exception of Musonius Rufus they held that Marriage is not about the wife’s pleasure but is a duty for the good of society. Thus you had all this different ideas circulating at the time of the early Messianic assemblies. Some people would claim that Greek thought is generally similar to New Testament teaching. But when you understand what the beliefs were in secular society, during the New Testament period, you can more easily see the clash of the New Testament teaching against the prevailing world-view. And even where there is apparent similarity with the Pagan world-view it has a completely different foundation. Remember that the basic reason that man has headship from a biblical viewpoint is not because of his superiority in intelligence but it is because Adam was created first. The basis is in creation. This takes the issue away from man’s intrinsic worth.

To whom more is given, more is required

God is a just God and therefore never does anything unjustly. Therefore, if God gives you more authority, or more knowledge, or more of whatever, He requires more of you.

Luke 12:42-48

42And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and sensible steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time? 43Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. 44Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45But if that slave says in his heart, ‘My master will be a long time in coming,’ and begins to beat the slaves, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk; 46the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers. 47And that slave who knew his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes, 48but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.

If any Christian man is beating his wife, especially when that wife is a fellow servant, it is a VERY dangerous place to be in. But the one who knows his master’s will and does not do it will be punished with a greater punishment. Without getting into the discussion of whether there are different levels of punishment in hell the thing to note is that the principle of responsibility still stands. If God has given me more authority or more influence He is going to require an accounting of that influence or of that authority. Have I done what He called me to do? That puts the whole issue of male primacy in perspective.

Romans 1:16

16For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 

Romans 9:1-4

1I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, 2that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. 3For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, 4who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises,

All these blessings belong to Israel and as such Israel has a key place. Regarding this we may understand why the gospel is to the Jew first.

Romans 2:9-11

 9There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, 10but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11For there is no partiality with God.

Because God is a just God therefore He brings judgement to the Jew first and then to the Greek. He is not a God of favouritism. This is why God requires more of Israel than He does of the nations. Now to those of us who are saved, God requires more of us than He even does of unbelieving Israel. Thus the principle extends even to marriage.

Equality of Man and Woman in Salvation

Galatians 3:26-29

26For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.

The first thing to note from these verses is that there is one way to salvation, which is Messiah. There is not a separate way for Jews than for Gentiles. The same way a man gets saved is the same way a woman gets saved. Any Jew who does not accept this way is not going to heaven, even though they have a privileged position as a Jew before God. God is exclusive. Yeshua is unique. The world tries to deny this exclusivity of the Gospel. They claim that all religions lead to the same God. That is a lie. We can only get to the Father through Yeshua.

The second thing to note from these verses is that even the women are referred to as sons. We are all sons of God. Women in Messiah are regarded as sons.

The third thing to note from these verses is that we are all heirs. In the Old Testament, which Jews call the Tenack, a woman would only be an heir if there were no sons in order to keep the inheritance in the father’s line. But women were not regarded as heirs in the normal state of affairs. But when it comes to the gospel and God’s eschatological (end times), both men and women are heirs. They both have an inheritance waiting for them.

But, of course, this equality does not mean that you stop being a man or a woman when you get saved. Neither does it mean that you stop being culturally Gentile or culturally Jewish when you get saved. God has a special purpose for you as a woman or as a man.

1 Corinthians 7:17-24

17Only, as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each, in this manner let him walk. And so I direct in all the churches. 18Was any man called when he was already circumcised? He is not to become uncircumcised. Has anyone been called in uncircumcision? He is not to be circumcised.19Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God.20Each man must remain in that condition in which he was called.21Were you called while a slave? Do not worry about it; but if you are able also to become free, rather do that. 22For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord’s freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ’s slave. 23You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. 24Brethren, each one is to remain with God in that condition in which he was called.

As long as what you were doing was not unbiblical you continue in the manner of life you lived in before you were saved. If you were a slave before you got saved, stay a slave unless you can legitimately gain your freedom. If you were Jewish before you got saved remain living as a Jew. If you were Gentile before you got saved remain living as a Gentile.

We also see this emphasis on the quality between man and woman as heirs of the grace of life elsewhere in scripture.

1 Peter 3:7

7You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

Because we are fellow heirs scripture teaches men to honour their wives. Thus, being an heir means that believers are destined for honour. I should not dishonour any brother or sister in Messiah.

Equality of Man and Woman in our Personal Origin

We have already read that God made male and female in His image. But we see that man was still created first and the woman was taken from the man. Thus Scripture advocates male primacy on this account. But there is something else to be borne in mind that Paul teaches.

1 Corinthians 11:7-12

7For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 8For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; 9for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake. 10Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God.

This is the passage that says that a man should not have his head covered, whatever that head covering was, while praying or prophesying because he is the glory and image of God. However the woman should have her head covered for she is the glory of man. This is why men have first place but then look at how Paul continues his discourse. Both men and women depend on each other for their birth. So Paul is bringing some perspective on the area of male primacy. It is true that men have primacy, but knowing what Greek society was like and how his argument would be construed Paul wants to temper his claim with another perspective. Paul does this so that men will not take his teaching and use it to propagate abuse against their wives nor think that they are any better than women. He is in effect saying, “No, wait! Before you get carried away. Remember, you need women as much as they need you.” Male headship is not because, the men alive today are made in the image of God more than women are. Men carry the significance of being the image and glory of God because Adam was made first. It goes back to creation and is not an absolute statement. This is why Paul says this about men. Eve had her origin in Adam. Eve was taken from the man. But today every man originates from a woman. Therefore there is an equality between men and women. Every man and every woman comes from a man and a woman. Therefore male headship is positional, or a role that God ordained, on the basis of creation alone. It has nothing to do with the intrinsic worth, and little to do with ability, inherent in a man or of a woman. Why do I say ‘little to do with ability’? Have you ever seen a man giving birth to a baby? Have you seen a man breast feeding a baby? Man lacks the ability to perform these motherly functions in any natural way. Often in marriages you will find that a woman is more able than the guy in intellect or in certain skills. It is not about the person’s worth. Paul is very clear, we need each other. No one is independent and no one can say that they do not need anybody else. Thus, if you need someone you had better treat them with respect. We are therefore equal in our personal origin.

Equality in Qualities and Callings.

These are things that God is desiring to cultivate equally within men and women.

1 Peter 2:13

13Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority,

So we are to submit ourselves to every human institution and authority. So there is this context of authority and submission. We are to submit ourselves to these authorities.

1 Peter 2:18

18Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable.

So we have servants that are urged to submit themselves to their earthly masters, to respect them and not only to masters who are good to them but also to those who are unreasonable. And then from verses 19 – 25 it talks about suffering unjustly but to do it as unto the Lord.

1 Peter 3:1

1In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives,

This first verse starts with the word, likewise or ‘in the same way’. The servants are to submit to their masters when the masters are not following the Lord and are unreasonable. In the same way wives are to be submissive to their husbands even when their husbands are disobedient to the Lord. Thus the theme of submission continues through out this section in comparison to what has gone on before. The word likewise, is very important.

1 Peter 3:7

7You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

This verse also starts with the word ‘likewise’. Thus, in the same way as their wives are to submit, so men are to display the same mindset of submission in the act of loving their wives even in times of suffering. But who would the submission of the man be unto? The submission here would be unto the Lord for Peter threatens them that failure to submit would result in their prayers being hindered. God is watching, God is listening, and if you do not treat your wife with respect, even if she is not doing what she is supposed to be doing, God will not hear your prayers. It is the same characteristic that God is looking to develop in the man as He is looking to develop in the woman. There is an equality here even in the sphere of the different roles that God has called the husband and wife to fulfil. God is requiring submission from all of us but in different contexts. Servants to their masters. I am not going to be a servant to that master because I am not his legal servant. But his servant is to be submission. When I was a kid, I remember I swore in front of my dad and my dad chastised me. When I protested that other kids swore all the time my dad replied that I was his son and what other parents allowed their children to do was a different matter altogether. Thus the context of a wife’s submission to her husband and the husband’s submission to God are different but they all have a common denominator and that is that they are deal with submission which applies to everyone. We are all in the same boat even in those different contexts. Thus there is an equality there.

1 Peter 3:8-9

8To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kind hearted, and humble in spirit; 9not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.

This kind of sums it all up for everybody. These are the characteristics that apply to us all equally and we all need to foster. We are to be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kind hearted, humble in spirit and not returning evil for evil, nor insult for insult. So when your wife insults you, you bless her back. When your husband insults you, bless him back. It applies to everyone. When your employer insults you, bless them back as unto the Lord. It equally applies to everybody. You cannot say, “Because I am the man it does not apply to me.” Neither can the woman say, “Because he is a man, he has the responsibility to set the example so him first.”

But not only is there an equality of characteristics that the Lord wants to instil into us. There is also an equality in characteristics or qualities that the Lord hates within us.

Romans 1:26-27

26For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

So it is all the women’s fault? No, it is equally men and women who gave themselves up to depravity. Unlike Aristotle, who saw women as the contaminators of society and the source of society’s ills, Paul claims that men and women are likewise in the same boat. Likewise the men did the same thing. In these first few chapters, Paul is demonstrating that there is no one righteous and all are equally under the wrath of God. All have turned aside, and all do not seek God. That is the equality of our sinful state. We have the same sinful nature. The men and the women were just the same. Men and women are equally in rebellion to God and therefore Jesus had to die for men and women equally.

Titus 2:1-8

1But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. 2Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance. 3Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. 6Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; 7in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, 8sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.

This, likewise, concerns having godly character, living up to sound doctrine in holiness, reverence and sensibility which brings honour to God’s word. In some areas these qualities apply differently to men than they do to women but the characteristics and the calling God is calling us to is the same: godliness, holiness, not being silly but rather sensible and clear minded people who are based on God’s word. The applies equally to each one of us and therefore you cannot shirk this, acting like this is God’s calling for someone else.

The Equality within Marriage.

There is an equality within marriage. What we find is that, once we have looked at all of this male primacy, we come into a situation where we now have to shift our perspective into thinking that we are in this thing together. In marriage a man and wife are seeking for the same things. They are both to help each other attain to the same Christlike characteristics so that God can fill our lives and glorify His name through us. We therefore proceed from all this and must then acknowledge that despite the different roles that the Lord has called us to, there is a sphere of equality within marriage. This is to be seen highlighted in 1 Corinthians 7:2-4, 32-34.

1 Corinthians 7:2-4.

2But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband. 3The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband.4The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.

These verses deal with sexual relations within the marriage. These Corinthians were living in the worst pagan society in the world at that time. If you called someone a Corinthian, you were basically accusing them of being sexually immoral. So Paul was saying that as they lived in such a society marriage is a very good option because it is a way to exercise sexual relations within God’s boundaries and therefore to live above the immoral standards of this world. In these verses Paul claims that a husband has a duty to his wife just as the wife does to her husband. This is very different to the Greek perspective where it is for the women is to be there for the husband, to work in the kitchen and to rear his children. In biblical thought, the man also has a duty to his wife. She is not there simply to gratify his needs, he is also there to gratify her needs.

1 Corinthians 7:32-34.

32But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; 33but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife,34and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

When Paul speaks of the world in this context he is not speaking about something sinful. Rather Paul is signifying the temporal nature of marriage. The things of the world are passing away. Your marriage is not going to last forever. It is “till death do us part”. Therefore it is a temporal thing. So the one who is married is concerned about the things of this world, how he may please his wife and his interests are divided. The unmarried woman is concerned about the things of the Lord. When you are married you cannot be constantly serving in outreach, quiet time etc. especially when you have a family. You cannot just shoot off to the mission field when you feel like. You have responsibilities and you have a spouse and kids to think about. You must please your spouse and that is the way God intended it to be. Someone like Paul could serve the Lord in a way that Peter could not. Paul worked in making tents by day and ministering in the body every spare moment that he had during the week. Peter had to have time with his wife. Paul could go out, being beaten, shipwrecked, stoned etc. without the worry of “What is going to happen to my wife?” Peter would have had such a concern. A man thinks about how he may please his wife. A woman is thinking about how to please her husband. Paul deals with the considerations of both husband and wife, equally. Paul never implies that a woman has a greater responsibility to please her husband. It is an equal responsibility to care for one another’s needs and to seek each other’s gratification. Marriage is not about taking. Marriage is about giving and that is why there has to be an equality within these spheres of marriage. For there to be this giving and receiving relationship within marriage there needs to be an equal commitment to giving from both partners if a marriage is going to experience this dynamic being fostered, nurtured and fulfilled.

1Scholar, David M. [ed] (2008) Social Distinctives of the Christians in the First Century: Pivotal Essays by E.A. Judge Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers.

The House where Asimbonge and Noluncedo have gone to live at.

The House where Asimbonge and Noluncedo have gone to live at.

Babhekile's Mother and Noluncedo.

Babhekile’s Mother and Noluncedo.

Kid's Club Jan 2014

Kid’s Club Jan 2014

New Tribes Mission material. We are now in the New Testament

New Tribes Mission material. We are now in the New Testament

Phumlani Preaching in Cibilili

Phumlani Preaching in Cibilili

The Tracts we use

The Tracts we use

Bianca and her father entering the building.

Bianca and her father entering the building.

The Wedding

The Wedding

Braam and Bianca

Braam and Bianca

The Brethren in Pretoria

The Brethren in Pretoria

The Ladies in the Pretoria assembly

The Ladies in the Pretoria assembly

Fellowship with Allen and Sue Well's with Bianca's family

Fellowship with Allen and Sue Well’s with Bianca’s family

Allen and Sue's Kids do dishes

Allen and Sue’s Kids do dishes

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