Monday, January 12, 2015

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

"For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does."
(1 Corinthians 7:4)

The Bible is full of passages about love, justice & compassion which have inspired billions over the centuries, and drawn critical acclaim.  And then there are a few New Testament passages about gender roles ("women should remain silent in church") and power between spouses ("women should submit to their husbands") that have drawn much debate (and even led to abuse that God would never condone!).  I'm not going to get into those now.

However, I read in interesting passage today from 1 Corinthians 7:4... Paul reminded spouses that their bodies don't really belong to them.  Instead, they are to be for their spouse!  and it goes both ways - a woman's body is for her husband, but also a husband's body should be for his wife.  It seems like word had got to Paul that some were "withholding conjugal rights" from their mates (for whatever reasons).  So Paul reminded them that sexual passion & sexual fulfillment was a big part of marriage & should be freely experienced between married couples.

That, in itself, it kind of a cool statement.  It's not about you, it's about your spouse.  Your body should be available to meet the intimacy needs of your spouse.  That's awesome.

But my thinking went a little deeper.  In my own marriage I know that my wife often has sore & tight muscles.  She has a monthly appointment with a masseuse.  From time to time I give her "amateur" massages.  But if I take this passage from 1 Cor. seriously, I should be MORE EAGER to massage, caress & help alleviate the pains of her body.  Because, deep down, it's really my body, too.  And I'm saying this beyond the sexual relationship, of course.  Taking care of "our bodies" is something that both spouses should be concerned about.  Wow.  Cool.

No comments: