Intimate Clarity

Clarity On Equal Partnership

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: IC

Program Code: IC180101A

00:30 Welcome to "Intimate Clarity"
00:32 I'm Jason Bradley and here with me today is
00:35 Jennifer Jill Schwirzer
00:36 She is a licensed, professional counselor and today we are going
00:39 to be talking about a sensitive topic,
00:42 but it's a conversation that
00:43 we need to have because the world is talking about it...
00:46 and it's not always from a Biblical perspective.
00:49 When God created marriage and sexuality, do you think that
00:54 He created it to be equal Jen?
00:57 I think so... we see this wonderful paradox
01:00 in Genesis 1:27, it says, "God created man in His image;
01:05 in the image of God created He him."
01:07 And then it says, "Male and female created He them."
01:11 So on one side of the symmetry, we have God created
01:15 man and woman and everything God creates is what?
01:18 It's good, God is good. All the time.
01:21 All the time. God is good. That's right!
01:23 So everything God creates is good and He pronounces it good.
01:27 So He never wanted to seem like one of the genders
01:29 is superior to the other; that would be against
01:32 the Biblical model of creation of the genders.
01:35 But on the other hand it says, "Male and female created
01:39 He them," so we are equally good, but at the same time,
01:43 we are different and what we need to do is maintain
01:47 the tension between those two things because on
01:49 the one hand - some forces in the world today say that
01:53 one is better than the other, and on the other hand,
01:57 there's an effort to completely obliterate the differences,
02:01 and so we need to keep that tension carefully.
02:04 Now, I personally believe that when God created
02:08 man and woman, it was a horizontal relationship,
02:12 and I'm going to explain where I'm coming from
02:14 and give you some evidence, but I want to acknowledge
02:17 up front that people feel differently about this.
02:19 There are different interpretations and ideas,
02:22 but this is mine... That God created man and
02:24 woman in a horizontal configuration;
02:27 there was no need for one to leave the other because
02:30 there was no conflict because there was no sin.
02:33 So there was really no need for hierarchy in
02:36 in that relationship - in my thinking.
02:38 But unfortunately, as a result of sin, there was a
02:42 subjection - subjugation, I should say, of the woman
02:45 to the man and I get that from Genesis 3:16...
02:48 where God gave Eve the punishment that would come
02:51 upon her or the consequences of her sin and they were
02:54 basically three things... Okay
02:56 "You'll have pain and toil in childbearing,
02:58 your desire will be toward your husband,
03:01 and the third is... he will rule over you."
03:04 It's very interesting to unpack that...
03:06 The pain and toil of childbearing is huge.
03:09 Oh man, it looks like it. It is.
03:11 And you never have been through that and you never will,
03:14 but I can assure you, having been through two births
03:16 with no anesthesia - God wasn't kidding when He said that. Wow!
03:21 But I think that that's referring, by the way,
03:22 to a lot more than just the birth process.
03:24 I think it's referring to ALL the difficulties that come upon
03:27 women because of their reproductive ability;
03:31 PMS, perimenopause and menopause, all those things
03:35 have symptoms and difficulties.
03:36 PLUS, I think it's talking about the social aspects
03:38 of it where women are always caring for children,
03:42 and for people that might not be biologically children,
03:46 might act like children - women are the caregivers
03:49 in the whole system.
03:50 So there's a lot of pain and suffering that is entailed
03:53 in those roles, but beyond that it says...
03:56 Your desire will be towards your husband,
03:58 and that's an interesting word, it's "teshuqah,"
04:01 and it means... "To stretch out after."
04:03 We only see it in two other places in the Bible.
04:06 We see it in "Song of Solomon," where it's talking about
04:08 marital love and desire, but also in Genesis 4
04:12 where it's talking about SIN, desiring to have Cain
04:16 in the sense of tempting him.
04:18 It's a very mysterious word, but what I think
04:20 what it's referring to, in my opinion,
04:22 is this innate drive women have to acquire
04:25 the approval of their husband.
04:28 And then the third part of that consequence of sin
04:30 that came upon Eve was that he would rule over her.
04:33 So, I can't go to an extreme and say that there's no
04:37 hierarchy after the fall, I can see that in the marital
04:41 relationship and I could see it in the New Testament too
04:44 where women are enjoined to submit to their husband.
04:46 Let me ask you this... Do you think that both
04:48 parties, you know - the man and the woman both
04:52 want approval from each other?
04:54 I do... I think the marital relationship is so close
04:57 and that person knows you better than anyone.
05:00 But I think women especially are inclined to give up
05:04 their own selves that even to the point of
05:06 giving up their own consciences
05:08 for the approval of their husbands and we call that
05:10 "codependency or enabling," Wow!
05:12 and it's common in both, but it's more common in
05:15 women in my opinion, in my observation.
05:17 So that third part, "he will rule over you,"
05:19 is the part that feminists really don't like to hear.
05:22 I'm probably in the middle somewhere,
05:25 I'm not into patriarchal kind of configurations in the
05:29 home - that can be very oppressive and controlling.
05:32 But I also have to acknowledge the Bible does say...
05:35 "Women submit yourself to your husband,"
05:37 so it's interesting it never says, "Husbands
05:39 make your wives submit," so it's always
05:41 a voluntary submission. Yes
05:43 And that tells me that the quality of the submission
05:46 is a free-will submission. Um hm
05:50 And so it seems that there would be something
05:52 in that husband that would elicit that submission
05:55 from the wife and I believe that that's servant leadership.
05:58 It speaks to the leadership style. Exactly!
06:01 There are so many leadership styles...
06:03 There's your dictator and then there's that servant-leader.
06:08 That's exactly... and that servant-leader makes that
06:11 woman want to submit, and if you think about it,
06:14 in a dangerous world, the woman caring for her
06:16 children is a very vulnerable little unit there,
06:19 and she needs the protection of a leader as well.
06:22 So that's how I think it works out.
06:24 I think that originally we were configured this way,
06:26 as a result of the fall there an accommodation made,
06:29 but through servant leadership, the way servant
06:32 leadership works is it lifts people back up
06:34 to that horizontal configuration where it's appropriate.
06:38 Obviously, we're not equal with God,
06:39 so even though He's a servant-leader in our lives,
06:41 we're never going to be equal with Him,
06:42 but in that original design, they were equal
06:46 and I think that's God's ideal that we should strive for that..
06:49 to obtain as close to the Edenic model as possible.
06:53 Does that make sense? That does.
06:55 That does make a lot of sense and I thank God
06:58 that we are different. Yes, I know!
07:00 I'm thankful for those differences!
07:02 Makes life much more interesting!
07:03 It does, you know, you don't want to be the SAME
07:06 as... yeah, that definitely doesn't work for me. Yeah!
07:09 But I like that there are differences,
07:12 and I like that servant-leader.
07:13 And in the healthiest marriages, there is both
07:16 an equality partnership kind of spirit between
07:20 the two or they work together on solving the
07:22 problems that are entailed in raising a family...
07:25 And at the same time, there is a respect for those
07:27 differences and that's an acknowledgement that we're
07:29 not exactly the same and you're naturally going to prefer
07:31 certain things and I'm going to naturally prefer other things.
07:35 So a beautiful quote here, this is from
07:37 "Patriarchs and Prophets" and it's a book written by
07:40 "Ellen White" and she nailed it.
07:42 She wrote this quite a while ago, but she said...
07:44 "In the creation, God had made her, Eve, the equal of Adam;
07:49 had they remained obedient to God, in harmony with
07:52 His great law of love, they would ever have been
07:54 in harmony with each other, but sin had brought discord
07:58 and now their union could be maintained and harmony
08:01 preserved only by submission on the part of one or the other.
08:05 Eve had been the first in transgression;
08:07 she had fallen into temptation by separating from her
08:10 companion contrary to the Divine direction.
08:13 It was by her solicitation that Adam sinned and she was
08:16 now placed in subjection."
08:18 So this happened after the fall.
08:21 It wasn't before the fall or why would it have been
08:23 assigned after the fall, but now she was placed
08:26 in subjection.
08:27 Had the principles enjoined in the Law of God been
08:31 cherished by the fallen race, this sentence though growing
08:35 out of the results of sin, would have proved a
08:38 blessing to them, so God's curses become
08:40 blessings in Christ.
08:42 And it would have been a blessing to them,
08:43 but man's abuse of the supremacy thus given him
08:48 has too often rendered the lot of woman
08:51 very bitter and made her life a burden.
08:53 So, man has abused that advantage and it has been
08:56 to the demise and to the harm of everyone
08:59 involved and especially the women.
09:00 I think that sexuality takes us back to Eden in a way,
09:05 and that equality that we see was God's original design
09:10 is something that we experience in the full extent
09:13 in an intimate relationship with our spouse...
09:16 And there are many opportunities that we have
09:19 in that intimate relationship to exercise that servant
09:23 leadership, that self- sacrificing principle within
09:26 the context of the relationship.
09:29 Women have a slower response cycle than men.
09:34 They just move more slowly in an intimate situation.
09:38 Women can be 30 to 40 minutes.
09:40 Men, they can be anywhere from 10 to 15 or 20,
09:43 sometimes 5 if it's a really young man,
09:46 and so that gives the members of that couple an opportunity
09:51 to really minister to each other even though we're different.
09:55 There are other differences; women are more complicated.
09:58 The word that is used to describe the creation of woman
10:02 really, literally means "architect."
10:04 God architected Eve, if I can say it that way.
10:06 But the word for His creation of Adam means sculpted,
10:10 like a potter sculpts clay. Okay
10:12 So that "architect," it sounds a lot more complicated
10:14 to me and women are more physically complicated
10:17 particularly in the sexual department...
10:20 And so it behooves men to learn how women work,
10:23 and how do we learn how each other works?
10:25 We learn by communication and by being willing
10:29 to sacrifice for one another and understand one another
10:33 even though we're different. Yes!
10:34 Yes, so what you're saying is there is a certain complexity...
10:40 That's right. ... to the woman, the way that
10:42 she was formed, the way that she was architected.
10:48 So there's a certain complexity there and there are
10:51 differences between the male and female. Yes
10:53 Okay. And those differences give us
10:55 an opportunity to serve one another and to understand
10:59 and empathize and stretch ourselves to know someone
11:03 who is vastly different from us.
11:05 And that's really the core of unselfishness,
11:08 is being able to stretch ourselves out and understand
11:11 someone who is different than us. Yeah
11:13 And women and men are very, very different in unique
11:17 and complimentary ways. Praise the Lord for that!
11:19 In a good way. Yeah, ha, ha, ha.
11:21 Another area is that women's sexuality is accessed
11:25 through their emotions.
11:27 Men's sexuality is accessed more directly.
11:31 So, if a man expects a woman to access the way he does,
11:35 he's going to make her sometimes feel violated
11:38 or like a sex object. Um hm
11:41 But if a woman, on the other hand, doesn't appreciate
11:44 the fact that her husband is just a little more direct
11:46 in his sexuality, she can make him feel dirty or somehow
11:50 out of line and so we need to understand
11:52 we're different - appreciate the differences,
11:54 but be willing to stretch.
11:56 So like finding that balance. That's right.
11:58 That's gotta be a difficult thing to find
12:01 is that balance. Yes
12:03 Another area is that men tend to have a higher sex drive.
12:06 They tend to, you know, have higher levels of testosterone.
12:10 And in both males and females, testosterone is what drives
12:13 the sex drive, so men tend to want sex more than women,
12:18 and this proverbial thing in marriage like "not tonight dear,
12:20 I have a headache," it's usually the woman saying that,
12:23 sometimes it's the man, but usually, stereotypically,
12:26 it's the woman because women's sex drive tends to be
12:29 a little lower than a man because they have lower
12:31 levels of testosterone.
12:33 Well what are we going to do with that?
12:35 For men, sexual fulfillment in a marriage is very, very
12:38 important, but for women it's not usually.
12:41 Now it can be different and I've counseled couples,
12:44 it's amazing how many times this thing is reversed,
12:47 but I'm talking about generalities here.
12:49 I'm not trying to pigeonhole anyone, but generally
12:52 men are gonna have a higher sex drive, particularly
12:54 when they're younger and what are we going to do with that?
12:57 Are we going to accommodate one another and appreciate
12:59 one another and let the woman subdue the man's sex drive
13:03 and let the man draw the woman out or are we going to
13:06 put each other down because somehow being different
13:08 means that you're inferior.
13:10 No, we need to appreciate and value one another.
13:13 This is my thinking... Absolutely! Yeah
13:15 So do you think that, like in those situations
13:18 where it's flipped around, that there may be some kind
13:20 of testosterone deficiency in the male?
13:24 There can be... there can be a sexual
13:27 addiction; there can be depression;
13:30 there can be medications that the man can be on that
13:32 can cut down his sex drive.
13:34 There can be a lot of things going on,
13:35 that's where counseling comes in - you can kind of
13:37 unpack it and get to the core
13:39 of what's going on, but it does happen.
13:41 Wow Jen, in this short amount of time, we really unpacked a lot.
13:45 Give us a quick summary of what we talked about. Sure.
13:48 God created man and woman equal, but He created
13:52 them different and sexuality gives us an opportunity
13:57 to experience both the equality of the mutuality,
14:01 the horizontality of that relationship, but also the
14:05 differences. Wow! Yeah
14:06 You know what really jumped out to me was the whole
14:08 servant leadership model and that's how Christ
14:11 loves the church and that's how the man should
14:13 love the woman. Amen
14:14 Well it's been great sitting here and talking to you.
14:17 And I hope that you will join us
14:18 next time on "Intimate Clarity"


Revised 2018-07-10