The patristic era of the church is considered to have run from AD 150 – 500.
All surviving evidence shows that the early church unanimously believed that only men are in the image of God. Origen, Tertullian, Jerome, Augustine, and others all wrote of men alone being the image of God. The women of the early church knew they were not in the great and glorious image of God like their husbands, and consequently they would have no reasonable basis to claim equality with men. Furthermore women were not only looked upon as lesser and weaker vessels, but they were in fact viewed as a source of uncleanness and defilement, the original source of transgression against God, and prone to giving in to their passions and their ever emerging lustful desires.
Women are worse than animals because they are continuously full of lust. ~ Origen AD 184 – 253
Woman is the root of all evil. ~ Saint Jerome AD 347 – 420
…it is still Eve the temptress that we must beware of in any woman. ~ Saint Augustine AD 354 – 430
Introduction to the topic
Some of the early church fathers were swayed by the great influence in their culture of the stoics and ascetics to adopt a very anti-sex position, that has carried over into today’s Catholic churches demand for celibacy amongst their clergy. Instead of viewing married sex as sanctified, always due at your spouses request, and a protection against temptation, as the apostle Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 7:2-5, some instead viewed all sex as a weak failing of resolve to restrain the flesh, and thought that only God’s command of procreation could render it permissible. Thus they erroneously rationalized all forms of sexual contact to be evil, if conception wasn’t the primary goal. The goals of not defrauding your spouse of their due, and keeping temptation at bay, were apparently overlooked. Along with verses like:
Off topic already. LOL
Proverbs 5:18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. 19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.
Based upon the rest of proverbs 5 the “fountain” is fairly clearly being used as a euphemism for the man’s sexual organ.
I think the churches historical anti-sex drift has led to many teachings in the Bible concerning sex to remain obscured. bowdlerized! For example just prior to the husband being told to let his fountain be blessed, and all that, we are told:
Proverbs 5:15 Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.
What if Solomon, who was given wisdom from God, wasn’t instructing us to refuse to drink any literal water when away from our own well? Nobody I know even practices that literally. Lapping waters from thine own well makes far more sense and is on topic as another pretty graphic euphemism. I’ll let you figure out what he just described. Hint: men have a fountain, women have a well. LOL I believe Solomon is instructing us to fully enjoy our exclusive marital sexuality, (leave every other man’s well alone) and that is in keeping with the apostle Paul’s teaching that frequent marital sex helps to prevent temptation including thirst for adulterous liaisons.
And now, back to our topic…
The “Problem That Has No Name” was described by Betty Friedan in the beginning of ‘The Feminine Mystique’. The problem lay buried, unspoken, for many years in the minds of American women. It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction, a yearning [that is, a longing] that women suffered in the middle of the 20th century in the United States. Each suburban [house]wife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries … she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question — “Is this all?”
Why the dissatisfaction? Because Betty doesn’t think her husband is a god. That’s why. As a Feminist, Betty’s husband is at best seen as an “equal”, not someone she can look up to, but most likely seen as an undeserving and inferior person that she is enslaved to. She doesn’t reverence her man, and so she doesn’t reverence her mission, which is to serve her husband. Having lost respect for her man, she also naturally loses interest in keeping him, keeping his home, and keeping his children that she had together with him. She is dissatisfied with her lot, serving her “equal”. Needless to say this explains why she is also going to ‘dead-bedroom’ him, and only begrudgingly condescend to allow him some lackluster sex when, if ever, she feels like it. Her natural sexual instinct is craving a man that she can reverence, but she has deluded herself into believing that her own husband is not such a man. Perhaps she thinks, somewhere out there is a man who is more. And so she is attracted to confident men who project that they are something more than other men. She keeps hoping to find a “god” to serve.
So why was the Patristic prevailing wisdom that women were insatiable sexually?
My theory is that when women see themselves as beneath men, because they are taught from childhood that all men exclusively are gods, images of God most high. Then every married woman has a man whom she always has great reason to look up to and reverence. And serving him and bearing him children, becomes a divine privilege and a very worthy purpose. No other purpose is needed if women are taught the truth correctly, from God’s word. Marrying a god is likely a great source of “insatiable” female sexual desire. Men alone being images of God is the satisfaction to most of a woman’s hypergamy. Every woman can marry a man who is hopelessly above her by nature of his very creation as a god. During the Patristic age Christian women were taught that, and those who recorded church history found the wives then to be sexual aggressors, desiring their husbands “insatiably”. We would all reap benefit from ending this God emasculating heresy of imagining women into the image of God our Father.