First podcast. Would like your comments or any ideas it stirs up. The beginnings of God’s love story…It’s a peek into how He made us and what we’re looking for as women.
I will be sharing the writings of my partner in this writing who passed away 4 weeks ago. I hope it will add further understanding of the topics I will discuss in the future and give a ‘man’s’ perspective. Rick was a brilliant man and scholar and so I offer his writings to those who may find a better perspective or perhaps, even some challenging questions to ponder and grow. So here goes…
THE MYSTERY OF INTIMACY: A theological and philosophical perspective
October 17, 2012 by Rick Mittelstedt
IS PERFECTED LOVE POSSIBLE BETWEEN MAN AND WOMAN?
In 1 Corinthians 11 the Apostle Paul speaks of a divine order of intimate love between יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים the Creator, the Messiah or Anointed Man, and every spiritual man [Ish] and spiritual woman [Ishah] within the ecclesia. This divine order of intimacy cannot be experienced by mere natural men or women of the world. This spiritual and supernatural intimate love defines the flow of the anointing or character of the Elohim through those men and women who have been “called out” to make up His ecclesia. Intimate love is possible, but only through divine insight and revelation.
In 1 Corinthians 11:3 the Apostle Paul writes:
It is my will that you come to an understanding [of the divine order of intimacy], that the source [head] of intimate love for every man is the Messiah or Anointed Man, and man is the source [head] of intimate love for woman, and the source[head] of intimate love of the Messiah is God the Father.
This statement contains the mystery of intimacy. An intimate love that the Elohim commanded, that woman were created to receive and that all men desperately need to learn to give.
Paul says that it is his personal will that all would know or obtain an understanding of this divine order of intimacy.
Yet few women and men ever experience this intimate love in their lives and thus never fulfill the purpose of their existence. The love relationship between man and woman never reaches its possible perfection. Men are frustrated and women remain unfulfilled or worse abused, neglected or dominated.
Many religious traditions have used this statement to justify man’s dominance and authority over woman. But nothing could be further from the truth and all that do insure that the intimacy that the Elohim commanded remains hidden.
Paul declares the interrelationship of this divine order and hints at the responsibility within it when he writes:
The head of intimate love for all men is the Anointed Man or the Messiah.
The word “kephale” is usually translated “head’ and is interpreted by many religious traditions to refer to the authority or dominance the Messiah has over men. However, the same religious men do not submit to that authority or acknowledge the Messiah’s right to express his will over themselves. At the same time they are more than eager to exercise authority and dominance over woman. The word “kephale” is primarily used in ancient literature to denote what is first or foremost in position. Like the mouth of a river that is the source of its course. In like manner the head of the body is prominent in the body because of its position and responsibility. In this position it is the source of life for the body. Here Paul is not emphasizing the idea of authority at all, but rather position and responsibility. The Messiah bore the responsibility in his life, through his words and actions, to be an example of what men should be and can be in their words and deeds. In this capacity or position, he is the source of the Father’s intimate love and anointing available to all men. Of course this idea is expressed clearly in other Pauline passages, most notably Ephesians 1:22f, 4:15, 5:23; Colossians 1:18-20; and 2:19.
In Ephesians, Paul emphasizes that the same anointing the Messiah experienced is available to men and women who have formed an intimate spiritual union with him. This is most often expressed by the term ‘en christo’ or ‘in the anointing” and is found 27 times in Ephesians alone. Those who form a spiritual union with the spirit of Messiah are known as the ecclesia or “called out ones.” They are called out to be the object of his intimate love.
In 1:22 the Anointed Man is again called the “kephale” or head of the ecclesia which is expressed as “his own body.” This is an expression that is often repeated to define the intimate relationship of love between spiritual men [Ish] and spiritual women [Ishah] within the ecclesia. In his position as the “head” it is the Messiah’s responsibility to be the source of intimate love between himself and his body or bride, which is to be “the fullness or completion of him.” But the bride can never be the fullness or completion of him, without him assuming the position and responsibility of being the source of intimate love for her.
This fullness or completion expresses the intimate love between the Messiah, the head, and his own body or bride, the ecclesia. In 4:15 this intimacy is expressed clearly, “This is a spoken truth, we all [as ecclesia, men and woman alike] are to mature in love just like him.” The goal is that his body or bride reaches the maturity of love found in her source, or head, the Messiah. The ultimate expression of this maturity is the intimate love the Messiah himself received from God the Father. This flow of intimate love from God the Father to Messiah, from Messiah to spiritual men, and from spiritual men to woman is exactly what the Apostle Paul so desperately desires to reveal in 1 Corinthians 11:3. The purpose and ultimate aim of this giving and receiving has remained a mystery for far too long. In fact, the Apostle declares in 5:32: “this is a MEGA MYSTERY.” As a result the relationship between man and woman has failed to become what God the Father intended it to be from the beginning because it remains a mega mystery.
When Paul declares in 1 Corinthians 11:3
that man is the head[or source of intimate love] for woman,
he is not declaring that men have authority or dominance over woman, rather he is expressing the same responsibility man has to be the source of intimate love for his own body, woman, as the Messiah has to his body, the ecclesia. This is precisely what is written in Ephesians 5:23.
“For the husband is the head for his wife, in the same way as the Messiah is the head for the ecclesia, for he is her deliverer.”
This brief passage 5:23-33, reinforces no less than four times the position and responsibility of spiritual men to step up and be the source of intimate love to their spiritual counterpart, their “ishah” or woman. Spiritual men alone are in the position to deliver woman from the historical cruelty of religious and cultural dominance.
In 1 Corinthians 11, the Apostle reveals something long hidden from the religious world of all faiths in all places at all times. Few women, and even fewer men, have ever understood the importance of the creation of woman and the significance of her role in the redemptive plan of the living God. In most cultures throughout history, she has be relegated as an object of lust and seen primarily as the vehicle of procreation. Women have been limited to a life of cleaning, cooking and bearing children. Yet, when one studies the ancient texts a different picture emerges. She was to be not only the bearer of life, but of redemptive life. She was to be the object of the intimate love of God the Father, the Messiah and spiritual men. Yet it is these same ancient texts, which have been misunderstood and misused to subjugate woman into a life of submissiveness and silence. The writings of religious men throughout history are rife with words that impede the will of God the Father. They are pawns of malevolence in the cosmic struggle between good and evil.
“As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active power of the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of a woman comes from defect in the active power….”
“And a man will choose…any wickedness, but the wickedness of a woman…Sin began with a woman and thanks to her we all must die”
“And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleased God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her.”
As a result of such theological prejudice against woman, a perverted authoritative view has developed in the thinking of men and accepted in the minds of woman concerning the divine order between God the Father, the Messiah and men and women. The picture most often accepted is a medieval feudal system of dominance, control and authority. That God the Father Lords it over the Messiah and Messiah lords it over men and men lord themselves over woman. Here woman is at the bottom of some militaristic command structure, with no recourse but to listen and obey or pay the consequences.
Messiah. Anointed man
This is not in any way what the Apostle Paul is expressing in 1 Corinthians 11:3. What Paul is revealing is a mystery hidden through time. This is not a chain of command but an interdependent relationship. And woman is not at the bottom of some feudal system in servitude, but rather the ultimate object of all that God the Father, Messiah and spiritual men are to give, intimate love. Why? Cause the woman is the life bearer, the life giver, and ultimately, in fulfillment of what God the Father spoke in Genesis 3:15, it is her seed that brought redemptive life to the cosmos, not the seed of Adam. It is “the seed of woman” that crushes the head of the one who introduced death and destruction to the cosmos.
In great error, a view has emerged from the beginning that has all but eliminated the will of God the Father, to establish a course of relationship where his own intimate love flows freely, unhindered from himself through his creation and then to return to him. Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 11:3 should not be represented by a vertical authoritative configuration. Paul is not suggesting that at all. He views this connection as a horizontal flow of the Creator’s intimate love.
God the Father, Messiah, Anointed Man and Women
In this view, the Messiah is both a receiver of his Father’s love and a giver of it to all mankind. Spiritual men too, are both a receiver of the Messiah’s love and a giver of it to his spiritual counterpart, woman. What about woman? Is she merely the final receptor of God’s love through man? No. She is not merely at the end of an interdependent relationship, but is uniquely created to hold the most important position of all. It is true, it is the weakest of positions, because she is somewhat dependent upon the flow of God’s anointing and love through man, but at the same time it is the most important position.
‘For the spiritual man [ish] is to live with his spiritual woman [ishah] in this understanding: although she is in a weaker position, yet she is ishah and the Ish is to grant her honor as an equal heir of the Father’s faithfulness of life so that their[God, Man and Woman] communion will not be hindered.’ 1 Peter 3:7
Despite the fact she appears to be at the end of this movement of intimate love, she alone, like the Father, is able to bear and give life. In this capacity she becomes the reflection of the glory of the Father she has received through man. Without her it is impossible for the Father to ever be fully glorified in heaven and earth.
God the Father, Messiah, Anointed Man, & Women
This is exactly the principle that the Apostle is addressing in 1 Corinthians 11:7, 8, 9 alluding to the creation of Adam and Chava in Genesis, when he writes:
“For a man is not obligated to have his head covered, since he initiates the image and glory of God the Father, BUT woman is the glory of man. For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man, for INDEED, man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake.”
Obviously man was created for God’s sake. But what is this need man has? That the Father saw it necessary to create woman for his sake? Of course Adam was alone and had no one like himself. But Chava is more than a mere physical companion. She was to be the very spiritual manifestation of whatever anointing he received from God the Father. Why? So that the flow of intimate love, the instruction of his very character, might be received by the Adam then given to the woman, then through the woman back to the man and ultimately back to God the Father from which it originated. Why? So God the Father can be fully glorified in all of his creation. The Apostle expresses this completion of intimate love by saying: “That every individual member of the whole is filled with fullness.”
What emerges is interdependency between God the Father, anointed man [Ish] and his spiritual counterpart [ishah] woman. In this interdependency receiving and giving are integral actions of the flow of the intimate love that originates in God the Father. Without it the flow is hindered and every part of the whole is not filled with the love of the Father, and consequently he is not glorified throughout creation. By subjugating woman into a life of submission and silence, man finds himself literally working hand in hand with the one who diminished the glory of God in the Garden of Eden, the CORRUPTOR.
Why? What is it that hinders or impedes this flow of intimate love? It is primarily ignorance. But it is also the inability of man to receive revelation concerning his role in this interdependency. Man is in a greater position than woman. Not in the sense of domination or authority, but rather in responsibility. For the most part, man has never lived up to his position or his responsibility. Both of which are clearly demonstrated in the words and deeds of Y’shua the Messiah concerning his own bride. But for the rest of the sons of Adam, they have failed to become both receiver and giver of the intimate love of the Father. Without supernatural revelation Man cannot fully appreciate his role as a receiver, or the bride of Messiah. Such a man cannot then turn to the woman and fully appreciate her as receiver. Man must first see himself as the feminine [ishah] of his husband, the anointed man, Messiah, before there can be any hope of him being the husband of a woman. In his rebellion, man cannot see this truth or understand the mega mystery of intimate love the Apostle describes in Ephesians 5:23-33. The consequence of this ignorance and rebellion is that men can never fully relate to the needs of a woman. They have difficulty in understanding why woman are never fully satisfied physically or spiritually. They are at a loss of why the marriage relationship is so frustrating and miserable.
Are women completely innocent in this rebellion against the flow of the intimate love of God? No. For women have failed to seek out and find the truth of intimate love. They have become complacent with the status quo. They have accepted the lie of their inferiority. They willingly in most situations place the noose of domination and cruel authority over their own precious necks. They help perpetuate their own servitude by raising their own children to accept what they have endured from the beginning.
To correct this great injustice against God the Father and woman, the concept of spiritual man [ish] and spiritual woman [ishah] must be explained. The responsibility and position of both in the love relationship must be understood. The flow of intimate love between the two must become experiential knowledge.
I always wondered what the true meaning of being bathed in the Word encompassed and I believe I’m beginning to understand it. There are many libraries filled with books and hospitals or counseling sessions overpacked with clients that remember the power of a bad word; Some include the power of a good word in changing a person’s life, but I believe the foundation all begins in the basic relationship that begins a family and extends itself into the world.
As a new believer I thought that bathed in the Word was me drowning myself in the Word of God and succeeding in giving an appropriate word to someone else in time of need; but truly, it is simpler than that and perhaps goes unnoticed. I think the Father sets the example in creation by attending to every detail and as the Word reiterates that He, Yeshua, sustains all, upholds all of creation. The word of a spiritual man is intended to surround and sanctify an environment for a spiritual woman to grow, to trust, and to learn about love. In return, a spiritual woman gives a good word to build up and invest in the spirit of the one who has given her life by his word and the keeping of his word.
In the Word, a spiritual man is commanded to love a woman as Christ loves the church and as his own body. Doesn’t seem too hard except that the spiritual man must have already received that love from Christ in order to give it to her. He must truly love her from head to toe and declare it. When was the last time, your man kissed your feet and it wasn’t because he wanted sex with you, but because he just adores you…your soul, your spirit, YOU!
Some would say that’s for young love or going too far, but I suggest that we don’t go far enough because we fear ridicule or judgement or we don’t know the love of Christ and therefore can’t really give anymore than what we already do. We are stretched between responsibilities we have taken on in the world for the ones we love and truly taking the time to find out who they are and how to love them. Is it possible to sit down believers and face the mirror of Christ and see if we are doing as He did? Do we love like He loves? Hate what He hates; or do we make excuses for our failures, imperfections, weariness and give up the challenge of pressing toward the higher calling in Christ…to lay down our life for love?
To all the unmarrieds, single by choice and happily married. Tell me how you define love. How does intimacy manifest itself within that love? How did you know the one you married was THE ONE! Did you know that? What determines a good relationship or a bad one? Do you find times when love seems to be lacking?
There have always been ‘foxes in the vineyard’ per se that corrupt or attempt to destroy the unity within a relationship. We are all familiar with the cheaters, users, liars, players, promisers, accusers and pretty much what most people describe as “you know that’s just being a man” or “what do you expect from a woman?” How does love evolve from a wedding day of beautiful promises and bright futures to a knock down, dragged out, man- and- woman- hating divorce in mere weeks? Recently, in rag tags we see the Kardashian saga of a 72 day marriage and the world all begins to tear at the pieces of shredded vows left behind. Of course, all this wrapped up in a prenuptial bow with two successful business people who discovered business and love don’t mix.
In a ‘perfect’ world, happily ever after is eternal. In our present world, however, broken relationships occur as often as speed bumps in a parking lot. They are a temporary nuisance that slows us down but somehow we never seem to learn and continue onto the next speed bump in a parking lot of relationships where the spaces are all labeled handicapped. We have drive thru combos in relationships otherwise known as friends with benefits and a new generation that determines the definition of virginity by the type of sex they choose to have without actually ‘going all the way’. All these definitions seek to help us maintain our sense of civility or social status, but when we lay alone at night (even with someone in the bed), we know, we yearn, we hope that this will be the last lonely night and that the next day or the next date will turn our bad luck romance into happily ever after…but it doesn’t come. So we satisfy ourselves with the crumbs from the table where we believe the more beautiful, the more talented, the young and confident dine while we WAIT and clean the table. We develop a type of aromatherapy observing others who seem happy and in love while we drown in ice cream and self-gratifying methods to bide us through the long desolate days and nights as our lives continue trodding along. HELP!!!
Is there anyone out there who truly has been loved and loves the way God does? The kind of love that sees you in the morning with bad breath and hair that resembles a rat’s nest and definitely not the coiffeured hairdo we normally wear when upright, and looks at us marveling at how beautiful we are, how lucky they are that WE are there beside them.
Why is it that death or sickness is usually the impetus that propels us to show the best side of love? Why do we take love for granted until we are about to lose it? What life is left when the one or ones we love are gone? What reason is there to live for? So today, ask yourself: When was the last time you actually looked into the eyes of the one/ones you love and blessed them? When was the last time you made love with the lights on and looked for the pleasure, the joy you gave them in those precious moments? Take time today to do just that and tell me what life it brings to you.