The books of Ezra and Nehemiah in the Bible appear to take a very intolerant attitude toward foreigners. More than a hundred men who married foreign wives caused a great scandal that ended in mass divorce. But in the book of Ruth, Boaz becomes the hero by marrying Ruth, a foreigner.
People who think the Bible is full of contradictions have a field day. As always, a careful look at everything the Bible has to say resolves the apparent conflict. Ezra 9-10 and Nehemiah 13 describe the scandal of foreign wives. We need to understand other passages in the Bible to put these chapters in perspective.… Read the rest
Proverbs 31 ends with a description of a virtuous wife. More than one Christian woman has confessed a love-hate relationship with that chapter. Men have their own frustrations with it.
Here is a caricature that captures the problem: this wonderful woman possesses every virtue. She effortlessly runs the household. And a prosperous business. Everyone respects her. Her husband adores her, but he spends all his time hanging around the city gate chattering with his buddies.
Many women look at her in frustration, because some of her stellar characteristics are completely absent from their lives. Many men look at her in frustration because their own wives fall so far short of that ideal.… Read the rest