Feminists and Church leaders have taught a false dichotomy that men must choose between seeing women either as people or as objects of sexual pleasure. We are constantly warned in the media as well as our churches and educational institutions of the supposed need to combat the “sexual objectification of women”. We are told this is a flaw in the masculine nature that must be rooted out. But is this behavior a flaw in the masculine nature or could it actually be by the design of God?
Recently I received a letter from a Christian husband who told me that his wife stopped having sex with him and this has gone on for a long length of time. One of the reasons she cited for her stopping sex with her husband was that she felt he wrongly treated her as a “sex object”. He agreed to go to a Christian counselor and the counselor agreed with the wife that her husband was treating her as a sex object. I am writing this article as a prelude to a second article where I will give the full text of his letter and address some other issues he is facing with his wife.
The main objective of this article is to prove both from logic and the Scriptures that men seeing women as objects of sexual pleasure does not mean they are “dehumanizing women” as we are so often told. I am also going to prove from a Biblical perspective that a man’s natural inclination to see women as sex objects is not part of his sin nature, but part of his God given nature.
In the following sections I am going to build a logical and Biblical argument in a step by step fashion proving that it is not morally wrong for men to see women as sex objects and even to use them as sex objects under the right conditions.
What are Objects?
Dictionary.com defines an object as “anything that is visible or tangible and is relatively stable in form.” Are human beings visible? Are human beings tangible? Do human beings have a relatively stable form? The answer to all those questions are YES. Therefore, human beings are in fact objects and please take note that I said “human beings” which means BOTH men and women are objects.
But then we have two types of objects – animate objects and inanimate objects. Animate objects are objects which are alive and inanimate objects are things which do not possess life. A hammer is an inanimate object. A dog is an animate object and so is a human being.
Objects Made in the Image of God
While dogs and human beings are both animate objects – a human being is so much more than a dog because human beings are directly or indirectly made in the image of God.
The Bible tells us regarding man that “he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man” (1 Corinthians 11:7). Man is God’s direct image bearer and woman is God’s indirect image bearer because of her shared human nature with man from whom she was made.
Because of their common humanity men and women are so much more important to God than animals as Matthew 6:26 tells us:
“Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”
Now that we understand what objects are and that human beings are actually objects this leads us to the next truth we need to discuss.
Human beings use other human beings every day
Whether we realize it or not, every day we use other human beings as objects. When we get in a taxi we are using that taxi cab driver (an animate object) in conjunction with his car (an inanimate object) to take us to the destination we need to go to.
When you go to a sandwich shop and have the worker construct your sandwich just as you like it – you are using that person as an object to make your sandwich. When you go to get you hair cut – you are using that barber or hair dresser as object to cut and style your hair.
Farmers use human beings as objects all the time. During the harvest season a farmer may hire many temporary workers to harvest his crops before they go bad. He may have machines (inanimate objects) to do some harvesting and for other harvesting he may use animate objects (human beings).
These are just a small fraction of the way we use other human beings in our everyday lives.
Now that we have discussed that human beings are indeed objects and that human beings may use other human beings for various purposes we now need to discuss the rules and boundaries for the use of animate or inanimate objects.
We must have the right to use objects
Whenever we use an object, we must have the right to use that object. If we use an object without having the right to use that object that is a form of theft. For instance, if my lawn mower were to break down and I just went into my neighbors shed without asking my neighbor and used his lawn mower that is a form of theft. Even if I intended to put it back, I have no right to go on his property or use his lawn mower without first having his permission.
The right to use a certain object may also come with certain limitations. My neighbor may allow me to use his lawn mower, but he may allow me to use it with certain conditions. He may insist that I check the fuel and make sure it is filled back to where it is when I am done. He may insist that I agree to repair any damage to it should that occur during my use. He may give me a time limit to use it and a time I must return it by.
In the same way, even if we are given the right to use various human beings as objects we may have stipulations on how we may use them. For instance in my sandwich shop analogy – I can ask the worker to make my sandwich but I cannot ask him to go change the oil in my car. If I want that done, then I need to go to an oil change place where I can rightly use a human being there as an object to change my oil.
So we have shown up to this point that human beings are objects which may be used by other human beings but that in each use we must have the right to use another human being and we must use them only within the conditions we are allowed to use them. Next we need to discuss who gives us the right to use objects and who sets the conditions for the use of various objects.
Who gives us the right to use various objects and the terms under which we may use those objects?
The Bible tells us in Psalm 24:1 that “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” which means every object on this planet, whether it is animate or inanimate belongs to God. As human beings, we are simply stewards of what God has given us – including our own bodies.
But as stewards God has given us certain usage rights over both inanimate and animate objects (including our own bodies). But he commands that we use these various objects within the limits and boundaries of his law.
So going back to my analogy of the lawn mower – why do I have to ask my neighbor’s permission to use his lawn mower? The reason is that God gave him the right to earn a living, to buy and own property (including that lawn mower) and God expects us to respect the private property rights of others. In fact, respect for private property rights are so important to God that he dedicated two of the Ten Commandments he gave to Moses to the subject of private property rights.
“Thou shalt not steal.”
Exodus 20:15 (KJV)
“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”
Exodus 20:17 (KJV)
Basically God was saying this in the 8th and 10th commandments:
“Do not violate another man’s private property rights by taking what is his private property and don’t even THINK about violating another man’s private property rights.”
Christ affirmed private property rights again in the parable of the land owner who hires men to work his fields when he stated of the land owner in Matthew 20:15:
“Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?”
When Christ speaks as the landowner saying “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?” he is pointing back to the Law of Moses which protected private property rights.
So let’s now update the tally as to what we have learned about objects. There are living and non-living objects. Human beings are living objects, human beings can use other human beings as long as they have the right to do so for the use they want to use them for and who determines how humans may use all objects (including their own body)? It is God himself. God has given us stewardship over various objects and he determines the boundaries and rights to those objects that we have as stewards of his creation.
Must we account for human feelings before using another human being?
We have shown that God determines what our usage rights are when it comes to all types of objects both animate and inanimate. But just because we have the right to use another human being – does that mean we can do so without regard for their feelings of whether they wish to be used or not?
In most cases human feelings are irrelevant when it comes to the use of one human being by another.
Let me illustrate this point by going back to some previous examples and adding in some new examples as well.
When I go to my favorite sandwich place must I take into account the feelings of the sandwich maker when I use him as an object to make my sandwich? The answer is no.
He has agreed to work for a certain wage and both his employer and I as his customer have the right to use him to make sandwiches regardless of his feelings. He might be having a bad day because of personal issues at his home. He may just be feeling tired because he did not sleep well the night before. He could have just been insulted in the back room by one of his fellow employees. There could be a million reasons why at this particular time he does not feel like making my sandwich. But his feelings are irrelevant. It is his DUTY to make my sandwich both on account of his employer and to me as his customer.
Do we have to take into account the feelings of our barber or hair stylist before we use them as an object to cut our hair? The answer is no.
Do we have to take into account the feelings of the worker at our local oil change place before we drive in to have him change our oil? The answer is no.
And now some examples for the ladies.
If you hired a photographer to photograph your wedding and on the day of the wedding he just had a fight with his wife or girlfriend and does not feel like working that day is it ok if he does not take your wedding photos? Do you have to take his feelings into account to use him as an object to take photos of your wedding? The answer is no. In fact you would expect him to have a smile on his face and not trouble you with his personal problems on your wedding day. He was hired to do a job and he should do his duty regardless of his personal feelings or issues.
What if you and are your girlfriends planned a day to go to your favorite nail salon. Just before you get there the three ladies who would do your nails got into a big fight and they just want to go home and not do anyone’s nails. Would that be ok with you? Or would you expect them as their employer would expect them to do their duty with a smile on their face? We know the answer to this. You would expect them to do their duty with a smile on their face and for them to hide any ill-will or bad feelings they had as you used them as object to do your nails.
So here is the truth of the matter as far as humans using other humans is concerned. If one human has the right to use another human being for a specific purpose then then human being using the other human being has no obligation whatsoever to take into account the feelings of that human being as to whether they want to be used for that function. And from the perspective of the human being who is to be used for a certain purpose – they must always realize that their duty to perform their function as an object always trumps their feelings.
Earlier I said in most cases human feelings are irrelevant when it comes to one human being who has the right to use another human being for a specific task. I said that duty in these cases always trumps feelings and in fact the one being used should not trouble the person using them for a certain task with their feelings.
But there are some times when feelings are part of the determination of whether someone can use another person. If I call up my guy friend on the phone to go out to dinner I might say something like “Hey do you feel like going out to dinner with me tonight?” He has no obligation or duty to go out to dinner with me as his friend. He may feel like it or he may not feel like it. What am I doing when I call my friend and ask him to go to dinner? In most cases it is because I want to use him as a companion object to talk with and interface with. To share my life stories and perhaps hear his as well. Now in some cases I may not want to use him at all – maybe I know he has been having a rough time and I want to freely offer my services as a sounding board to him.
If my children ask me on a Friday night to take them to a certain movie – do I have an obligation and duty to take them that movie? Basically they want to use me as an object to take them to the show, buy their tickets and spend time with them at the movie. But I have no duty or obligation to let them make use of me in this way and it depends on how I feel at the moment. Now sometimes I might not feel like going to the movies but as an act of love and grace and I take them anyway despite my feelings.
So now let us tally once again what we have learned up to this point. Objects are both living and non-living. Human beings are living objects. Human beings may and can use other human beings as objects for various uses as long as they have the right to do so. God determines how human beings may use various objects (including other human beings as well as our own bodies). In the vast majority of cases when one human being uses another human within their rights to do so – they do not have to take into account the feelings of the human being that is being used for a particular task.
This brings us to the primary subject of this article.
God created woman as a sexual object for man’s use and much more
“Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”
I Corinthians 11:9 (KJV)
The Scriptures are clear throughout the Old and New Testaments that woman was created for man, not man for woman. These are the uses for which God created woman for man:
Subordinate Helper (Genesis 2:18, I Peter 3:1-6)
Sex Object (Proverbs 5:15-20, Romans 1:27)
Companion (Malachi 2:14)
Comforter (Genesis 24:67)
Mother and Caretaker of his children (Genesis 49:25, Psalm 128:1-4, 1 Timothy 5:14)
Keeper of the Home (Proverbs 31:10-31, Titus 2:4)
Weaker vessel to need his love, leadership, strength, protection and provision (Ephesians 5:22-33, I Peter 3:7)
The fact that God created woman for man, not man for woman is extremely offensive to our modern feminist and egalitarian society but it the truth of God’s Word.
From time to time I peruse other blogs or look for mentions of my blog on other blogs. I found this comment from a man on what he thinks is the only reason men should get married and why he got married:
“Companionship and sharing were the main reasons I got married…most men marry because they have found someone they enjoy being with, not to have sex.”
I wanted to find a bucket to barf in after reading this statement from this feminized man!
He literally sounds like a woman. But the truth is that there are millions of men in the western world that will make statements like this man every day. And while some of these men may just be asexual or have lower levels of testosterone so they are more like women – some of these men are normal men with normal levels of testosterone and they just have been trained their whole lives to suppress their true God given masculine desires towards women.
The fact is that without societal conditioning that tells men their wants and desires are evil and selfish and women’s desires are noble and righteous we would be hearing some very different things from men.
Men marry women for sex. They marry women for companionship. They marry women to bear their children, care for their children and care for their home while they go to work. Men want to have a beautiful sexy wife to come home to each day who makes their home warm and inviting and has dinner on the table each evening. They want to know that whenever they wish they can drink from sexual well that is their wife.
These are desires that God has placed in man and no man should ever be ashamed having these desires towards a woman. Some Christian sites talk about things like “when you feel more like a maid than a wife” when the reality is part of being a wife IS being a maid. Other sites talk to women who feel like they are “more of a sex object than a wife”. Are they kidding themselves? Being a wife and sex object are not mutually exclusive things. A wife was designed by God to be a sex object to her husband.
The Scriptures are crystal clear that sex is “the natural use of the woman” (Romans 1:27) for the man and that he is to drink from the sexual well that is his wife and satisfy himself sexually with his wife’s body whenever he wants (Proverbs 5:15-20).
Is there a difference between seeing wives as sex objects or women in general as sex objects?
This is a question that is sure to come up in the context of women being seen as sex objects by men. The fact is that men see ALL women (whether they are married to them or not) to a greater or lesser degree as sex objects excluding their blood relatives like their mothers, daughters or sisters. If the woman is less attractive to the man based on his preferences than he may see her less as a sex object and if she fits his preferences of sexual attraction he will see her much more as a sex object.
Some Christians reading this may not have a problem with men seeing their wives as sex objects but object to men seeing women that are not their wives as sex objects. But such a distinction is false. For the most part, every man who asks a woman on a date does so because he is sexually attracted to her and sees her as an object that could bring future sexual pleasure to him. If he did not – he would never have asked her out in the first place.
Now sexual attraction is not the only reason men choose women as potential mates, but it is often the first reason. Men also choose women based on what type of mother they think she would be, what kind of homemaker they think she would be and also how submissive she will be. For many men – a woman could be a very attractive woman but if she appears to be a contentious and high maintenance woman they won’t go near her. This is why many women who have high power jobs have a hard time finding men and when they do in most cases they have to find men who are softer and more submissive.
What About Men Using Women As Objects for Their Sexual Fantasies?
The Scriptures are clear that a man may only engage in sexual relations with a woman that he has entered into a covenant of marriage with as we see in Hebrew 13:4:
“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”
In other words, it is a sin for a man to use a woman for sexual relations if he is not married to her. So if it is a sin for man to use a woman for sexual relations if he is not married to her, is it also a sin for him to use thoughts or images of her for his sexual fantasies?
Another way to frame this question would be, “Do sexual fantasies = sexual relations?”
The answer in most Christian circles would be “yes having sexual fantasies about someone is the same as having sexual relations with them”. And the reason most Christian believe this is because Jesus said in Matthew 5:28 “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart”.
But what does “to lust after her” mean ? Most Christians assume that “to lust after her” means to “entertain any sexual thoughts or fantasies about her”. But most Christians would be wrong in that assumption.
The Bible actually defines what lust is in Romans 7:7 when it states:
“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”
So what is lust? To lust is to covet. And the Bible tells us covetousness is defined in the 10th commandment found in Exodus 20:17:
“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”
If coveting a man’s house meant having thoughts about how it would be to live in that house or desiring to buy his house then all real estate transactions since the beginning of creation would have been sin. The point is the 10th commandment, which defines covetousness which is also lust, is not condemning mere desire, sexual or otherwise. It is condemning a wrong desire.
Now let’s return to Matthew 5:28. What wrong desire is Christ addressing in men? He was condemning the desire to commit adultery, not sexual desire alone. He was saying “It is not just sin for a man to actually commit the physical act of adultery, but rather it is a sin to even entertain thoughts of committing adultery”.
Some are thinking right now “Well if a man is imagining what it would be like to have sex with a married woman then that is him thinking about adultery!” Wrong. Adultery involves enticement on either the part of the woman or the man or both. So unless a man is entertaining thoughts of how he might entice a woman into having sex outside of marriage or how she might entice him into sex outside of marriage where he would accept then there is no sin.
In other words, thoughts of adultery and fornication involve more than just thoughts of sexual relations, but rather they involve thoughts of enticement to illicit sexual relations as well.
The Bible never condemns thoughts of sex, it only condemns thoughts of illicit sex.
For more on this subject of sexual fantasy and masturbation from a Biblical perspective, see my article Sexual Arousal and Fantasy are Not Sin.
Can men go too far in sexually objectifying women?
Any behavior, even a God given behavior in man or woman, can be taken to an extreme so of course it is possible for men to go too far in sexually objectifying women. For instance, if a construction worker sees a nice-looking woman walking down the side walk in front of him and he is sexually aroused by her form and has sexual thoughts about her this behavior is holy and by the design of God. In fact, maybe he sees this woman walk by his work site every day for many weeks and then gets the courage to talk to her and ask her out on a date based on his sexual attraction toward her. Again, this behavior is by the design of God and is holy and just.
However, if this same construction worker instead of asking her out and talking to her in kind way starts whistling at her and saying sexually suggestive phrases about her then he has now gone too far in sexually objectifying this woman. The same would go for men that try and sexually touch or use inappropriate sexual language with female coworkers or other female acquaintances.
I know of a young man in his early twenties that tried to have vaginal intercourse with his wife only a week after she gave birth to their first child. He caused her a lot of medical problems by doing this. Most doctors advise that men wait 6 to 8 weeks to allow their wives to properly heal after child birth before trying to resume vaginal intercourse.
Now as I have mentioned elsewhere on this blog – I think a wife can help her husband sexually in other ways during this waiting period for intercourse. But this young man was wrong knowing the potential damage it could cause his wife and still doing it anyway. Yes, God made his wife as a sex object for him – but God also says that a husband is to protect and care for his wife’s body as he would his own (Ephesians 5:29) and he failed to do that.
So yes, men can sometimes go too far in sexually objectifying women.
Application for women
If you as a woman are reading this and you are angry or hate that fact that your husband or men in general see you as a sex object this is what you need to do. You first need to realize that your feelings on this issue are not holy and justified but are based in your own sinful pride. You may not even have realized how you feel about being a sex object for men is based in the sin of pride because of what our culture tells you every day.
The Bible tells us this regarding our cultural conditioning:
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Romans 12:2 (KJV)
God calls you to reject your cultural conditioning that goes in direct opposition to his word. Once you have resolved to allow God to transform your thinking you need to mediate on these principles:
You as a woman were created for man, man was not created for you. (I Corinthians 11:9)
In keeping with your created purpose for man – you are in fact a sex object to men. God reserves the sexual use of your body for marriage (Hebrews 13:4) but when you are married your husband may fully use you as a sex object (Proverbs 5:15-20).
While you are to guard your virginity as a sacred treasure for marriage – you should never scold men for being sexually attracted to you or for simply glancing at your female form.
When you are married you should never allow yourself to have negative thoughts of being sexually used by your husband. In fact, you need to recondition your mind to WANT to be sexually used by your husband because that is one the purposes for which you were designed by God.
Finally, on the subject of feeling sexually used by your husband.
I always find it fascinating how many Christian women pray that God will use them but they only want to be used in the way they want to be used. They have these grand visions and really selfish ambitions of how they want God to use them.
But to be used as a maid, a cook, a mother for his children and an object of sexual pleasure for a man – well that is just beneath them and they will have no part in this.
If you are having negative feelings about being “sexually used” by your husband you need to realize that such thoughts and feelings come not from your spirit, but from your sinful nature (your flesh). Such feelings are not only unbiblical, they are in fact illogical and they fully based in sinful pride.
Why would you feel angry at your husband for using you for one of the purposes for which God made you? Getting angry at your husband for using you for sex would be like your wedding photographer getting angry at you for using him to take pictures at your wedding. It is part of your function, your design and your intended use.
I encourage and admonish you as a woman to pray the prayer of Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Once you give your pride to God, humble yourself before and fully accept his design for your life you will truly find the peace and joy that God intended for your life.
Application for Men
Both the secular world and sadly even the much of the Christian world today tells men that their God given masculine desires are based in pride. If a man desires for his wife to submit to his authority and not argue with him all the time we are told this desire of his is based in his wicked “male pride”. If a man desires to be the primary bread winner or sole provider for his family again we are told this is based in his wicked “male pride”. Finally, if a man desires to have sex with his wife anytime he wishes as opposed to only when his wife is in the mood and mutually desires sex he is told this is wicked “male pride” and “selfishness” on his part.
Christian men hear me now. The teaching that these God given masculine desires are wicked and sinful on the part of men is a teaching straight from the pit of hell. The prophet Isaiah speaks of the false teachers we see today in Isaiah 5:20:
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”
Today they teach that God given masculine desires are evil and feminine sinful desires are good!
I do not deny that some men do deal with sinful pride in other areas – but a man desire the things I have mentioned from a woman is not sinful in the least bit. It is holy and by the design of God.
The biggest problem for Christian men today is not pride – but cowardice.
We as men are too cowardly to call out those who attack the masculine human nature which makes man the image bearer of God (I Corinthians 11:7). We as men need to realize there is a reason why the world attacks the masculine nature while elevating the feminine nature. It is symbolic of mankind’s rejection of God himself. When we take the “weaker vessel” (woman) and elevate her above the image bearer(man) we are spitting in the face of almighty God himself.
So, to all you men out there I give you this advice – ask God to give you the courage to stand firm in the faith and act like a man!
“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”
1 Corinthians 16:13 (NASB)
Stop apologizing for your God given masculine nature whether it be your logical thinking, your competitiveness, your desire to lead a woman or you strong physically based sexual desire toward women.
You need to do as I encouraged the women to do and let go of the cultural conditioning you have grown up with that has taught you to hate your God given masculine nature. You need to mediate on these Scripture principles:
God created you as a man to image him (I Corinthians 11:7). This means that your masculine nature is the direct image of God where the feminine nature only indirectly images God in our shared humanity as men and women. You image God by living out and acting out your various masculine traits. When you compete with other men in various forms you image God’s competitive nature. When you exercise your protective masculine nature by desiring to train yourself or buy weapons for protection you image God’s protective nature. When you find women beautiful and desire sex with women you image God’s desire for beauty and pleasure.
Do not be ashamed of the fact that woman was created for man (I Corinthians 11:9), and specifically that your future or current wife was created by God for your blessing and pleasure. She was created by God for you to help you fully image God as a husband and later a father to your children. Embrace this and rejoice in this Biblical truth!
Have the courage to fully act on your sexual desires toward your wife. There are many men that have great courage whether it be on the battlefield or in their careers or in sporting events but they cower like children when it comes to their sexual desires toward their wives. Many men cover their sexual cowardice toward their wives under the guise of “being sensitive and unselfish” toward their wives. But such thinking runs directly contrary to the command of God in Proverbs 5:15-20 toward men to liberally and freely satisfy themselves sexually with their wife’s body.
Women – stop having sinful pride against one of God’s purposes in your design and that is your design as a sex object. You need to fully embrace the fact that a big part of your design was to bring visual and physical sexual pleasure to men and specifically your husband in marriage. Stop judging men and scolding men for noticing your female beauty but rather rejoice in how God has made man and your purpose in his creation.
Men – stop having sinful cowardice in regard to your God given masculine nature. Stop apologizing for how God designed you as men and the God given desires you have toward women. Fully image God by fully embracing your masculine human nature. Do not feel guilty for wanting a woman to sexually please you, bear your children and care for your home. All of these are God given desires and are part of your imaging the very nature of God. Especially if you are married – have the courage to fully and completely act on your sexual desires toward your wife and stop allowing the world to tell you that you are selfish in engaging in the God designed “natural use of the woman”.