Or, vex not.
I have often thought of it as one of the most barbarous customs in the world, considering us as a civilized and a Christian country, that we deny the advantages of learning to women. We reproach the sex every day with folly and impertinence; while I am confident, had they the advantages of education equal to us, they would be guilty of less than ourselves.
One would wonder, indeed, how it should happen that women are conversible at all; since they are only beholden to natural parts, for all their knowledge. Their youth is spent to teach them to stitch and sew or make baubles. They are taught to read, indeed, and perhaps to write their names, or so; and that is the height of a woman’s education. And I would but ask any who slight the sex for their understanding, what is a man (a gentleman, I mean) good for, that is taught no more? I need not give instances, or examine the character of a gentleman, with a good estate, or a good family, and with tolerable parts; and examine what figure he makes for want of education.
The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond; and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear. And ’tis manifest, that as the rational soul distinguishes us from brutes; so education carries on the distinction, and makes some less brutish than others. This is too evident to need any demonstration. But why then should women be denied the benefit of instruction? If knowledge and understanding had been useless additions to the sex, GOD Almighty would never have given them capacities; for he made nothing needless. Besides, I would ask such, What they can see in ignorance, that they should think it a necessary ornament to a woman? or how much worse is a wise woman than a fool? or what has the woman done to forfeit the privilege of being taught? Does she plague us with her pride and impertinence? Why did we not let her learn, that she might have had more wit? Shall we upbraid women with folly, when ’tis only the error of this inhuman custom, that hindered them from being made wiser?
The capacities of women are supposed to be greater, and their senses quicker than those of the men; and what they might be capable of being bred to, is plain from some instances of female wit, which this age is not without. Which upbraids us with Injustice, and looks as if we denied women the advantages of education, for fear they should vie with the men in their improvements.
[They] should be taught all sorts of breeding suitable both to their genius and quality. And in particular, Music and Dancing; which it would be cruelty to bar the sex of, because they are their darlings. But besides this, they should be taught languages, as particularly French and Italian: and I would venture the injury of giving a woman more tongues than one. They should, as a particular study, be taught all the graces of speech, and all the necessary air of conversation; which our common education is so defective in, that I need not expose it. They should be brought to read books, and especially history; and so to read as to make them understand the world, and be able to know and judge of things when they hear of them.
To such whose genius would lead them to it, I would deny no sort of learning; but the chief thing, in general, is to cultivate the understandings of the sex, that they may be capable of all sorts of conversation; that their parts and judgments being improved, they may be as profitable in their conversation as they are pleasant.
Women, in my observation, have little or no difference in them, but as they are or are not distinguished by education. Tempers, indeed, may in some degree influence them, but the main distinguishing part is their Breeding.
The whole sex are generally quick and sharp. I believe, I may be allowed to say, generally so: for you rarely see them lumpish and heavy, when they are children; as boys will often be. If a woman be well bred, and taught the proper management of her natural wit, she proves generally very sensible and retentive.
And, without partiality, a woman of sense and manners is the finest and most delicate part of God’s Creation, the glory of Her Maker, and the great instance of His singular regard to man, His darling creature: to whom He gave the best gift either God could bestow or man receive. And ’tis the sordidest piece of folly and ingratitude in the world, to withhold from the sex the due luster which the advantages of education gives to the natural beauty of their minds.
A woman well bred and well taught, furnished with the additional accomplishments of knowledge and behavior, is a creature without comparison. Her society is the emblem of sublimer enjoyments, her person is angelic, and her conversation heavenly. She is all softness and sweetness, peace, love, wit, and delight. She is every way suitable to the sublimest wish, and the man that has such a one to his portion, has nothing to do but to rejoice in her, and be thankful.
On the other hand, Suppose her to be the very same woman, and rob her of the benefit of education, and it follows—-
- If her temper be good, want of education makes her soft and easy.
- Her wit, for want of teaching, makes her impertinent and talkative.
- Her knowledge, for want of judgment and experience, makes her fanciful and whimsical.
- If her temper be bad, want of breeding makes her worse; and she grows haughty, insolent, and loud.
- If she be passionate, want of manners makes her a termagant and a scold, which is much at one with Lunatic.
- If she be proud, want of discretion (which still is breeding) makes her conceited, fantastic, and ridiculous.
- And from these she degenerates to be turbulent, clamorous, noisy, nasty, the devil!
The great distinguishing difference, which is seen in the world between men and women, is in their education; and this is manifested by comparing it with the difference between one man or woman, and another.
And herein it is that I take upon me to make such a bold assertion, That all the world are mistaken in their practice about women. For I cannot think that God Almighty ever made them so delicate, so glorious creatures; and furnished them with such charms, so agreeable and so delightful to mankind; with souls capable of the same accomplishments with men: and all, to be only Stewards of our Houses, Cooks, and Slaves.
Not that I am for exalting the female government in the least: but, in short, I would have men take women for companions, and educate them to be fit for it. A woman of sense and breeding will scorn as much to encroach upon the prerogative of man, as a man of sense will scorn to oppress the weakness of the woman. But if the women’s souls were refined and improved by teaching, that word would be lost. To say, the weakness of the sex, as to judgment, would be nonsense; for ignorance and folly would be no more to be found among women than men.
I remember a passage, which I heard from a very fine woman. She had wit and capacity enough, an extraordinary shape and face, and a great fortune: but had been cloistered up all her time; and for fear of being stolen, had not had the liberty of being taught the common necessary knowledge of women’s affairs. And when she came to converse in the world, her natural wit made her so sensible of the want of education, that she gave this short reflection on herself: “I am ashamed to talk with my very maids,” says she, “for I don’t know when they do right or wrong. I had more need go to school, than be married.”
I need not enlarge on the loss the defect of education is to the sex; nor argue the benefit of the contrary practice. ’Tis a thing will be more easily granted than remedied. This chapter is but an Essay at the thing: and I refer the Practice to those Happy Days (if ever they shall be) when men shall be wise enough to mend it.
Source: Daniel Defoe, 1719. Daniel Foe (1659/61-1731), was an English writer, journalist, and pamphleteer, who gained fame for his novel Robinson Crusoe. Defoe is notable for being one of the earliest proponents of the novel, as he helped to popularize the form in Britain and is among the founders of the English novel. A prolific and versatile writer, he wrote more than 500 books, pamphlets and journals on various topics (including politics, crime, religion, marriage, psychology and the supernatural). He was also a pioneer of economic journalism.
A great lover must be committed to satisfying his wife’s unique needs.
When asked to describe the purpose of romance, a woman will use words such as friendship, relationship, endearment, and tenderness. Given the same question, a man will answer with one of the shortest words in the English language—sex. For him, physical oneness and affirmation of his manhood equal romance.
Can two people with such different perspectives have their expectations met? Absolutely! But creating adventurous romance requires planning and enthusiastic effort. The relationship has to be a top priority. One reason so many marriage beds are frozen over or boring is that couples just don’t have time for romance and sex. Too many husbands and wives try to work sex in between the evening news and late night talk shows.
Let’s face it. Many of our activities and other important things get the best of our resources and energy. Jobs get our best. Children get our best. Church work gets our best. But are we saving any of our best for romance in marriage?
When we had children at home, Barbara and I worked hard to save some of our best for each other. Our children learned over the years that Mom and Dad often like to have quiet evenings alone. When the children were younger, we occasionally turned the kitchen into a famous big-time restaurant called the Rainey Rainbow Room and let each child order a special meal from a special menu. Barbara and I served as chef and waiter, and the kids had a great time learning a little bit about how to eat out.
Later in the evening, they knew they were to go to their rooms and stay there, not coming out for anything except bathroom runs. At 8 p.m., Barbara and I turned our bedroom into our own romantic cafe, complete with a small table, candles, and flowers (when I remembered to pick them up). There we would eat, talk, and relax. As we communicated, we were reminded of what attracted us to each other, and romance had an opportunity to ignite. We didn’t have to worry about a babysitter and didn’t have to leave the house to get away alone.
To make anything like this work, you must schedule it and then take the time to follow through. If I have learned anything in marriage, it is that romance, our relationship, and sex take time. And they deserve our best.
I have spent the better part of my marriage learning and adjusting the following summary of a woman’s romantic needs. The list was developed through much observation and conversation with Barbara and other women. I also have learned a great amount from the best book ever written on romance, passion, and sex—the Song of Songs in the Old Testament. Obviously, a woman has more than five romantic needs, but I consider these to be the top five:
Romantic Need #1: To be spiritually ministered to by her man
Are you surprised that something to do with candy and flowers isn’t number one? A woman wants a man eager to be her protector, someone who cares not just about her security and physical needs but also (and even more importantly) about her spirituality, the well-being of her very soul.
A husband can be a spiritual protector and advocate for his wife by praying with and for her daily, putting his arms around her, and saying, “I want to ask God to bless you. I want to take any needs you have in your life right now to the Lord. And I’m going to pray for you throughout this day.” A wise husband takes the lead in sharing Scripture and eagerly initiating conversation on spiritual issues.
A husband can contribute to his wife’s spiritual well-being by giving her some time to pursue her spiritual growth. For example, he might take care of the kids by himself for the evening while she attends a Bible study.
I suggest that every young husband who wants to better understand his wife and his job description should read The Christian Husband, a book by my friend and colleague Bob Lepine.
Romantic Need #2: To feel safe and secure with her husband
A woman needs to feel her husband’s covenantal commitment to stay married and to love her and accept her. Then she feels safe to give him the gift of who she is in the marriage relationship. The Shulammite woman, who was the object of Solomon’s passion, said, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (Song 6:3). She obviously had a strong sense of contentment and security.
A wife needs to know that romantic intimacy is just between her and her husband, that he will not share any personal details with his friends. She should not feel pressured or fearful, experiencing the love that casts out all fear (1 John 4:18).
Romantic Need #3: To share intimate conversation
According to something I read recently, the typical couple spends only four minutes a day in meaningful conversation with each other. A lot of us husbands don’t realize that for our wives to consider us romantic, we first of all have to be a great friend and a conversationalist.
Grunts and one-word answers to questions just don’t cut it! Too many women don’t feel that their husbands really need them, and bare-bones conversation confirms their sense of low personal value. Many men who were accomplished at romantic, deep conversation during courtship seem to lose this talent later. You can rediscover the groove! Make a commitment to learn to make intimate conversation a priority with your wife. You need to talk and fill her in on the details of your life—not just facts, but feelings.
When a husband sincerely shows his desire for conversation and a deepening relationship—emotional intimacy—he will find that his wife is much more interested in sexual intimacy. Her dreams, hopes, desires, and disappointments then are not divorced from the marriage bed but are a part of it.
Romantic Need #4: To receive a tender touch and hear gentle words
Before marriage, two people in love can hardly keep their hands off each other because they find the touch of their beloved thrilling. What happens after the wedding? Some couples married for a while would find a firm handshake a wildly intimate encounter. This should not be the case in a marriage. There is great power in tender touch, even if it’s just a long, full-body hug or a lingering kiss. Or the touch may be a gentle caress of her face that has no motive to make sexual demands but communicates, “I love you, Sweetheart, and I care for you tenderly.”
Gentle words have similar power. I have made a partial list of some things that I think any husband could use in complimenting and praising his wife: charm; femininity; faithfulness to God, you, your children; hard work; beauty; personality; her love, including her receptivity and responsiveness to you as a man; her advice and counsel; character; desirability; friendship—and that’s just a start. What wife won’t respond to a husband who praises her regularly with gentle words for all these qualities?
Romantic Need #5: To be pursued and set apart by her man
A wife wants a husband who will sweep her off her feet, carry her away to the castle, and say, “Let’s spend time together.” Focused attention is like precious gold in a relationship.
One time Barbara and I had a little unresolved argument over a weekend. A couple of days later we went on our customary weekly date. We finally had the time and environment to fully discuss and resolve our differences. What it took was several hours away from phones, papers and bills, and the needs of our children. Your wife craves this focused attention from you.
A Great Lover
One of my favorite stories is of an interview with one of Hollywood’s biggest male stars, a man known for his prowess with the opposite sex. At one point he was asked, “What makes a great lover?”
“Two things,” he replied. “First of all, it is a man who can satisfy one woman over a lifetime. And it is a man who can be satisfied with one woman for a lifetime.”
That was a great answer! To build a strong marriage where you and your wife are experiencing oneness, you must be committed to satisfying her physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. I hope you both enjoy a lifetime of satisfaction!
Original article: 5 Romantic Needs of a Woman
In Genesis 3 we have neither allegory, myth, legend, nor fable, but literal historical facts set forth, and emphasized by the use of certain Figures of speech (see Appendix 6).
All the confusion of thought and conflicting exegesis have arisen from taking literally what is expressed by Figures, or from taking figuratively what is literal. A Figure of speech is never used except for the purpose of calling attention to, emphasizing, and intensifying, the reality of the literal sense, and the truth of the historical facts; so that, while the words employed may not be so strictly true to the letter, they are all the more true to the truth conveyed by them, and to the historical events connected with them.
But for the figurative language of verses 14 and 15 no one would have thought of referring the third chapter of Genesis to a snake: no more than he does when reading the third chapter from the end of Revelation (chapter 20:2). Indeed, the explanation added there, that the “old serpent” is the Devil and Satan, would immediately lead one to connect the word “old” with the earlier and former mention of the serpent in Genesis 3: and the fact that it was Satan himself who tempted “the second man”, “the last Adam”, would force the conclusion that no other than the personal Satan could have been the tempter of “the first man, Adam”.
The Hebrew word rendered “serpent” in Genesis 3:1 is Nachash (from the root Nachash, to shine), and means a shinning one. Hence, in Chaldee it means brass or copper, because of its shining. Hence also, the word Nehushtan, a piece of brass, in 2 Kings 18:4.
In the same way Saraph, in Isaiah 6:2, 6, means a burning one, and, because the serpents mentioned in Numbers 21 were burning, in the poison of their bite, they were called Saraphim, or Seraphs.
But when the LORD said unto Moses, “Make thee a fiery serpent” (Numbers 21:8), He said, “Make thee a Saraph“, and, in obeying this command, we read in verse 9, “Moses made a Nachash of brass”. Nachash is thus used as being interchangeable with Saraph.
Now, if Saraph is used of a serpent because its bite was burning, and is also used of a celestial or spirit-being (a burning one), why should not Nachash be used of a serpent because its appearance was shining, and be also used of a celestial or spirit-being (a shining one)?
Indeed, a reference to the structure of Genesis 3 (on page 7 in The Companion Bible) will show that the Cherubim(which are similar celestial or spirit-beings) of the last verse (Genesis 3:24) require a similar spirit-being to correspond with them in the first verse (for the structure of the whole chapter is a great Introversion). The Nachash, or serpent, who beguiled Eve (2 Corinthians 11:3) is spoken of as “an angel of light” in verse 14. Have we not, in this, a clear intimation that it was not a snake, but a glorious shining being, apparently an angel, to whom Eve paid such great deference, acknowledging him as one who seemed to possess superior knowledge, and who was evidently a being of a superior (not of an inferior) order? Moreover, in the description of Satan as “the king of Tyre” ¹ it is distinctly implied that the latter being was of a super-natural order when he is called “a cherub” (Ezekiel 28:14, 16, read from verses 11-19).
His presence “in Eden, the garden of ‘Elohim” (verse 13), is also clearly stated, as well as his being “perfect in beauty” (verse 12), his being “perfect in his ways from the day he was created till iniquity was found in him” (verse15), and as being “lifted up because of his beauty” (verse 17).
These all compel the belief that Satan was the shining one (Nachash) in Genesis 3, and especially because the following words could be addressed to him:—”Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee” (verse 17).
Even supposing that these things were spoken to, and of, an exalted human being in later days (Ezekiel 28), still “the king of Tyre” is not compared to a being who was non-existent; and facts and circumstances which never happened are not introduced into the comparison.
There is more about “the king of Tyre” in Ezekiel 28:11-19 than was literally true of “the prince of Tyre” (verses 1-10). The words can be understood only of the mightiest and most exalted supernatural being that God ever created; and this for the purpose of showing how great would be his fall. The history must be true to make theprophecy of any weight.
Again, the word rendered “subtle” in Genesis 3:1 (see note) means wise, in a good sense as well as in a bad sense. In Ezekiel 28:12 we have the good sense, “Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom”; and the bad sense inverse 17, “thou hast corrupted thy wisdom” (referring, of course, to his fall). So the word rendered “subtle” is rendered “prudent” in Proverbs 1:4; 8:12; 12:23; 14:8; and in a bad sense in Job 15:5. 1Samuel 23:22. Psalm 83:3.
The word “beast” also, in Genesis 3:1, chay, denotes a living being, and it is as wrong to translate zoa “beasts” in Revelation 4, as it is to translate chay “beast” in Genesis 3. Both mean living creature. Satan is thus spoken of as being “more wise than any other living creature which Jehovah Elohim had made”. Even if the word “beast” be retained, it does not say that either a serpent or Satan wasa “beast”, but only that he was “more wise” than any other living being.
We cannot conceive Eve as holding converse with a snake, but we can understand her being fascinated ¹ by one, apparently “an angel of light” (that is to say, a glorious angel), possessing superior and supernatural knowledge.
When Satan is spoken of as a “serpent”, it is the figure Hypocatastasis (see Appendix 6) or Implication; it no more means a snake than it does when Dan is so called in Genesis 49:17; or an animal when Nero is called a “lion” (2 Timothy 4:17), or when Herod is called a “fox” (Luke 13:32); or when Judah is called “a lion’s whelp”. It is the same figure when “doctrine” is called “leaven” (Matthew 16:6). It shows that something much more real and truer to truth is intended. If a Figure of speech is thus employed, it is for the purpose of expressing the truth more impressively; and is intended to be a figure of something much more real than the letter of the word.
Other Figures of speech are used in verses 14, 15, but only for the same purpose of emphasizing the truth and the reality of what is said.
When it is said in verse 15, “thou shalt bruise His heel”, it cannot mean His literal heel of flesh and blood, but suffering, more temporary in character. When it is said (verse 15), “He shall crush thy head”, it means something more than a skull of bone, and brain, and hair. It means that all Satan’s plans and plots, policy and purposes, will one day be finally crushed and ended, never more to mar or to hinder the purposes of God. This will be effected when Satan shall be bruised under our feet (Romans 16:20). This, again, will not be our literal feet, but something much more real.
The bruising of Christ’s heel is the most eloquent and impressive way of foretelling the most solemn events; and to point out that the effort made by Satan to evade his doom, then threatened, would become the very means of insuring its accomplishment; for it was through the death of Christ that he who had the power of death would be destroyed; and all Satan’s power and policy brought to an end, and all his works destroyed (Hebrews 2:14, 1 John 3:8, Revelation 20:1-3, 10). What literal words could portray these literal facts so wonderfully as these expressive Figures of speech?
It is the same with the other Figures used in verse 14, “On thy belly shalt thou go”. This Figure means infinitely more than the literal belly of the flesh and blood; just as the words “heel” and “head” do in verse 15. It paints for the eyes of our mind the picture of Satan’s ultimate humiliation; for prostration was ever the most eloquent sign of subjection. When it is said “our belly cleaveth unto the ground” (Psalm 44:25), it denotes such a prolonged prostration and such a depth of submission as could never be conveyed or expressed in literal words.
So with the other prophecy, “Dust shalt thou eat”. This is not true to the letter, or to fact, but it is all the more true to truth. It tells of constant continuous disappointment, failure, and mortification; as when deceitful ways are spoken of as feeding on deceitful food, which is “sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth shall be filled with gravel” (Proverbs 20:17). This does not mean literal “gravel”, but something far more disagreeable. It means disappointment so great that it would gladly be exchanged for the literal “gravel”. So when Christians are rebuked for “biting and devouring one another” (Galatians 3:14, 15), something more heart-breaking is meant than the literal words used in the Figure.
When “His enemies shall lick the dust” (Psalm 72:9) they will not do it on their knees with their literal tongues; but they will be so prostrated and so utterly defeated, that no words could literally depict their overthrow and subjugation.
If a serpent was afterward called a nachash, it was because it was more shining than any other creature; and if it became known as “wise”, it was not because of its own innate positive knowledge, but of its wisdom in hiding away from all observation; and because of its association with one of the names of Satan (that old serpent) who “beguiled Eve” (2 Corinthians 11:3, 14).
It is wonderful how a snake could ever be supposed to speak without the organs of speech, or that Satan should be supposed able to accomplish so great a miracle.¹
It only shows the power of tradition, which has, from the infancy of each one of us, put before our eyes and written on our minds the picture of a “snake” and an “apple”: the former based on a wrong interpretation, and the latter being a pure invention, about which there is not one word said in Holy Scripture.
Never was Satan’s wisdom so craftily used as when he secured universal acceptance of this traditional belief: for it has succeeded in fixing the attention of mankind on theletter and the means, and thus blinding the eyes to the solemn fact that the Fall of man had to do solely with the Word of God, and is centered in the sin of believing Satan’s lie instead of Jehovah’s truth.
The temptation of “the first man Adam” began with the question “Hath God said?” The temptation of “the second man, the Lord from heaven” began with the similar question “If Thou be the Son of God”, when the voice of the Father had scarcely died away, which said “This IS My beloved Son”.
All turned on the truth of what Jehovah had said.
The Word of God being questioned, led Eve, in her reply:
- to omit the word “freely” (3:2, compare 2:16); then
- to add the words “neither shalt thou touch it” (3:3, compare 2:17); and finally
- to alter a certainty into a contingency by changing “thou SHALT SURELY die” (2:17) into “LEST ye die” (3:3).
It is not without significance that the first Ministerial words of “the second Man” were “It is written”, three times repeated; and that His last Ministerial words contained a similar threefold reference to the written Word of God (John 17:8, 14, 17).
The former temptation succeeded because the Word of God was three times misrepresented; the latter temptation was successfully defeated because the same Word was faithfully repeated.
The history of Genesis 3 is intended to teach us the fact that Satan’s sphere of activities is in the religious sphere, and not the spheres of crime or immorality; that his battlefield is not the sins arising from human depravity, but the unbelief of the human heart. We are not to look for Satan’s activities to-day in the newspaper press, or the police courts; but in the pulpit, and in professors’ chairs. Wherever the Word of God is called in question, there we see the trail of “that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan”. This is why anything against the true interests of the Word of God (as being such) finds a ready admission into the newspapers of the world, and is treated as “general literature”. This is why anything in favor of its inspiration and Divine origin and its spiritual truth is rigidly excluded as being “controversial”.
This is why Satan is quite content that the letter of Scripture should be accepted in Genesis 3, as he himself accepted the letter of Psalm 91:11. He himself could say “It is written” (Matthew 4:6) so long as the letter of what is “written” could be put instead of the truth that is conveyed by it; and so long as it is misquoted or misapplied.
This is his object in perpetuating the traditions of the “snake” and the “apple”, because it ministers to the acceptance of his lie, the hiding of God’s truth, the support of tradition, the jeers of the infidel, the opposition of the critics, and the stumbling of the weak in faith.
Original article: The Serpent