Why is there no fidelity test for husbands in the Bible?

Author: BibleAsk Team


Automatic Transcript Generated:

Why is there no fidelity test for husbands in the Bible?

Speaker 1

Alden is asking. Thank you for answering my question last week, for your thoroughness, but it occurs to me that only one of the marriage partners was to be tested. Why is there no fidelity test for husbands?

Speaker 2

Well, Alden, I appreciate your follow up question to your first question, which was talking about the book of numbers, chapter five, and there was a specific law called the law of jealousy. So I’m just sharing this for our other viewers, maybe that didn’t hear it. So, basically, in numbers, chapter five, there is a law called the law of jealousy, where basically, if a husband suspected his wife of committing adultery with somebody, there was a test that she could do where she drank special water, and if she was innocent, nothing would happen to her. But if she was guilty, then her stomach would swell and said her thighs would rot, and then he would know for sure that, yes, she was indeed committing adultery. However, if nothing happened, he would know that for sure she was innocent and there would be peace in that home. And so my answer was, basically, I believe that God did this to protect the women, especially in this time in earth’s history, because women didn’t really have the same rights as men did, especially back in that time. And man typically tends to be much stronger than a female. And so it’s very possible that he could have hurt her or abused her in some way.

Speaker 2

And I believe this was God’s method of intervening to protect women in this time and also just bringing peace to families. If a man was jealous and he suspected something, that if there was nothing to be worried about, he would just know, and again, it would restore the family and restore that relationship. And so the follow up question is that, why was it only for a woman and not for a man? And I will repeat that in the Bible, in the book of Leviticus, chapter 20, verse ten, the consequence of adultery was the same for both male and female. It says, a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. So basically, it was a very serious sin in the time of Israel, and it was the same punishment for the man and the woman. And the same thing goes for the law of God. The 7th commandment that you read about in Exodus, chapter 20, says, thou shalt not commit adultery. Period. Goes, for men and women. It’s the same requirement, and it’s the same punishment that you see in the Old Testament, in the mosaic law, which would be books of Leviticus, numbers, deuteronomy.

Speaker 2

And so which is where you read these laws back in the time of ancient Israel. Now, why might there have been only this test for wives and not for husbands listed in the Bible? I’m not 100% sure. I think God is very. He’s always trying to reach us where we’re at, and he’s always trying to reach us in the cultural and the time of earth’s history that we are in. And honestly, I think if there was going to be any reason, I think for one, it didn’t need to happen, because if the woman was demonstrated that she was unfaithful, then it would be very clear then that she’d have to express who she was unfaithful with, and so both would have been exposed. It wasn’t necessary, in a sense. And second, based on what I read in the Bible, I feel that we don’t see this today, but I really feel in a biblical sense that men were held to a higher standard. And I think that the call for men and their fidelity was so great that it was just kind of a thing where it was a system of honor. And I think men were called to a higher standard than, I want to say, even to females, but they were called to a higher standard.

Speaker 2

And you see this especially when you read in the Old Testament, like in the book of proverbs, talking about, he literally says, my son, listen to me. In proverbs, chapter six, verse 20, he says, my son, keep your father’s commandment and do not forsake the law of your mother, which would be the Ten Commandment law, which law seven says, do not commit adultery. And he starts speaking about, be careful, avoid loose women, basically, in the following verses. And you go down to verse 32, he says, whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding. He who does so destroys his own soul. And so again, there is no verses like this towards women in the Bible. He’s literally saying, you need to, obviously, male or female, if you’re committing adultery, it is going to destroy your soul because sin leads to death and the second death, which is utter destruction. And so he also talks about, though I think this is where it’s kind of interesting in this chapter, it almost seems like it’s tied to that law of jealousy. Because he talks about, if you commit adultery with a woman, don’t think you’re going to not be avenged.

Speaker 2

Her husband is going to avenge this. And he says, because people don’t despise a thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he’s hungry. But he says, but if you commit adultery with a woman. Her husband is not going to forgive you. He will avenge this. It says in verse 25, he’ll accept no recompense nor will he be appeased, though you give him many gifts. And so the Bible is very clear that men were to be held to a higher standard. They were to commit adultery. And you see this especially even in the teachings of Jesus. In the book of Matthew, chapter five, verses 27, he says, you have heard that it was said to those of old, you shall not commit adultery. So Jesus quotes the Old Testament here. He quotes the commandment and jesus adds to it because he’s like, it’s not enough just to know, commit adultery with somebody as a man. He says, but I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. And so Jesus is very clear, hey, men, this is a problem that you might have, and I’m holding you to a higher standard, which is to not only not commit adultery, but to also watch your eyes, watch your heart, watch your mind, and that you don’t even start down that road because you are held to a higher standard, which is the honor of God’s glory and God’s character.

Speaker 2

And so again, like I said, I think the biblical standard for men is a higher standard to be upheld. I think that’s maybe why God had different things for men as well as for women. He addresses us in different ways. And I also think, too, when I look at how things were decided in the Old Testament as well as even in the New Testament, there was a system of casting lots. I’m sure you’ve probably seen that even in Christ’s crucifixion, they cast lots for his garments, which was just basically like a throw the dice. And they just believed that if they prayed and God show us through the casting of lots what was right or what was wrong, that God kind of revealed his will through that way. So I think that was kind of more how men operated in biblical times as well. So it was just a different system and a different time and a different culture. But we’re both held accountable, men and women. Yes. And if anything, like I said, biblically, I think men are held to a higher standard in some ways, in the words of Jesus himself, where he’s saying, hey, men, you need to watch your heart and your eyes and your mind because this is serious.

Speaker 2

And you cannot just simply keep yourself from committing adultery with your body, but also keeping your heart and your mind pure. So that would be my best answer. You could give. And Jay or Wendy, any other thoughts on that?

Speaker 3

Boy, I really appreciate your balanced approach on this. And I guess one just quick thought, which is really interesting, and it relates to a question Robert actually asked maybe a few weeks ago, and we didn’t get to answer. He said, what’s the difference between jealousy and envy? And you talked about, like, these are the laws of jealousy. And I never knew this, but I looked it up. And jealousy is when you sort of get upset about something you’re about to lose. So you have a relationship and you might have lost it, whereas envy is desiring that which you don’t have. And when I saw them, like, oh, that makes so much more sense. So, like, the laws of jealousy, a husband, a spouse, a God is sad or about to lose something. That’s what they’re worried about potentially.

Speaker 2

Absolutely.

Speaker 3

Yeah. Great explanation.

Speaker 2

Praise God. And it’s so beautiful when you think about how God is a jealous God. He says, and it’s not that. And that’s beautiful to plug that into that verse in that God, he is a jealous. Not that he’s saying, like, I’m trying to control you in any way, but rather he’s like, I don’t want to lose you. I love you. I want you to be my people. I want to be your God. And this is a God of love anyways. Yeah. God’s word is deep and beautiful.

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