Late last week I found a post on the page ‘A Voice for Men’ that I responded to. The post was regarding the shaming of men who view adult content and the grief and problems it causes in the forms of overwhelming guilt and depression. I’ve made it pretty clear on my blog how I feel about adult content and what the bible has to say about the issues of lust, so I won’t go into that in this post (feel free to ask about it in the comments or find my other post on this blog).
One of the responses to my response, however, was from a guy who is, apparently, part of the MGTOW movement. If your not familiar, the “Men Going Their Own Way’ is a movement of guys who have basically decided that marriage and women in general are a no win situation. Many of them have vowed to never marry (though they still try to get sex whenever they can) while others have determined to drop any and all sexual interaction with women – period.
The response from the person was pretty clear: “God understands MGTOW.”
So, let’s look. Does God understand MGTOW? Or, rather, does He approve of the MGTOW mindset of avoiding and ‘giving up’ on women altogether?
First things first, let us understand that God gave us, men and women, a sex drive. That sex drive is a biological demand to satisfy the desire for intercourse, whether with another or by self stimulation. The bible shows us that God forbids men from satisfying this desire with another man, forbids satisfying this desire with blood family members and forbids men or women from satisfying this desire with animals.
God gave us this desire to fulfill His commandment to us in Genesis:
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
God gave mankind the commandment to ‘be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth’. In order to do this He gave us marriage and sex, marriage being the proper forum for the act. Now, some people do not believe that this is a commandment but rather a blessing, but I think the text (taken from the KJV) shows pretty plainly that there are two things going on here.
- God blessed them
- God said unto (told) them
Whether you think its a commandment or not, it is obvious that God wants man to multiply, and He provided the avenue for it to take place.
Because of this commandment I don’t see how God would condone the MGTOW movement. Now, Jesus does tell us that some are born without the desire for sex while some are made this way by men (ie: castration):
11 But He said to them, “All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given: 12 For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.”
Even still, there are others who are celibate for the kingdom of heaven’s sake, not for the sake of ditching out on women because they are angry with them. Paul himself appears to be one of these, as he states in one of his letters:
1 Corinthians 7:
Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me:
It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2 Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. 3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 But I say this as a concession, not as a commandment. 7 For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that.
8 But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; 9 but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
The first thing to note is that Paul plainly says that his words with regards to it being good for a man not to touch a woman are HIS words and not a commandment from the Lord. He reinforces his feelings on this by saying that it is good for the unmarried and widows to remain as he is for this reason:
1 Corinthians 7:
32 But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord—how he may please the Lord. 33 But he who is married cares about the things of the world—how he may please his wife. 34 There is[a] a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world—how she may please her husband. 35 And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.
Notice that in v35 he reinforces the fact that his suggestions are not meant to make the married feel as though they did something wrong, but as merely advice for those who seek to serve the lord! Earlier in the chapter he reinforces his assertion that those who are married or seek to be married have committed no wrong in doing so:
1 Corinthians 7:
25 Now concerning virgins: I have no commandment from the Lord; yet I give judgment as one whom the Lord in His mercy has made trustworthy. 26 I suppose therefore that this is good because of the present distress—that it is good for a man to remain as he is: 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 But even if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Nevertheless such will have trouble in the flesh, but I would spare you.
The important take away from all of this is that Paul’s recommendation to remain unmarried is for one purpose only: To better serve the lord, and not over being angry with women or the current situation in society.
Because of Gods commandment for man to ‘be fruitful and multiply’, and Jesus’s assertion that few are those who have no sexual urges and Paul’s assertion that one should choose to remain unmarried only to concentrate on service to the Lord I don’t see how God would ‘understand’ or condone the MGTOW movement – from Christians! Naturally those who are not Christians are not held to Christian standards, and are free to do whatever they please, regardless of. As Christians we should do our best to adhere to the Lords commandments.
If ones sex drive is extremely low or nil then perhaps you are called to serve the Lord rather than marry, otherwise you may find it extremely difficult to suppress your natural sex drive, which could lead to sinful acts. This is why Paul suggests marriage instead of ‘burning’. Being married doesn’t mean you cannot serve the Lord, it simply means your priorities will be split between the Lord and your wife/family, which can lead to difficult times, but that never stopped those whom the Lord chose to use in the bible from fulfilling His purpose.
What do you think? Talk about it in the comments below!
(As an aside note, the AVFM page admin said that I was coming ‘dangerously close’ to being banned from their site for my comment, which was religious in nature. Though they allow SOME religious references, they do not allow preaching or proselytizing, which is fine and understandable, but my comment was relevant to the post, which pointed out the church as one of the entities shaming men for porn use. I don’t think I will be posting any other comments to their page.)
EDIT: I want to make clear that a low sex drive AFTER getting married doesn’t mean that God suddenly has decided that you should be serving the kingdom. If you are married your body belongs to your spouse, and if they want sex from it then they get it because you have committed yourself to be that avenue for satisfaction. Claiming a dwindling libido is caused by God wanting you to suddenly become a stronger Christian by denying your spouse sex is counter-intuitive and counter to Gods word, so I don’t recommend using it as an excuse.