One word changes everything
Centuries ago, English translators perpetrated a fraud in the New Testament, and it’s been purposely hidden and covered up ever since … the Greek word for slave (doulos) had been mistranslated in almost every English version- going back to both the King James Version and the Geneva Bible that predated it … translators … had obscured a precious, powerful, and clarifying revelation by the Holy Spirit. Undoubtedly, the cover-up was not intentional – at least not initially. Yet its results have been dramatically serious … I have no doubt that this perpetual hiding of an essential element of New Testament revelation has contributed to much of the confusion in evangelical teaching and practice.
– Excerpts from Slave: the hidden truth about your identity in Christ by John MacArthur.
The mistranslation of one word completely changes how we see ourselves in relation to Christ. Doulos, the Greek word for slave is often mistranslated ‘servant’ or ‘bondservant’ in our English Bibles. This has a profoundly undermining effect on how we view Christ and our salvation.
Some compelling biblical evidence for Adult Nursing Relationships is found in Proverbs 5:19, which in the original Hebrew reads “Let her breasts drench you at all times.” According to Strong’s Hebrew, the word translated ‘satisfy’ in v. 19 of many English versions is yə-raw-wu-ḵā, whose root is ravah, Strong’s number 7301, which according to his Exhaustive Concordance and other concordances, means to bathe, make drunk, take the fill, satiate, abundantly satisfy, soak, water abundantly, slake the thirst (occasionally of other appetites), drench, drink, drink its fill and fill.
Don’t just skip to the next paragraph. Actually click on the three links above, especially the third one, and read the evidence for yourself. Notice that Proverbs 5:19 is only the third verse cited in the Englishman’s Concordance section.
Just like the mistranslation of the word doulos might be a reason some people now think Jesus is their “homeboy,” one mistranslated Old Testament word has undermined the marriage relationship through the centuries.
To prevent heresy, it is of utmost importance that the Bible be read in context, so if we look at the fifth chapter of the Book of Proverbs in its entirety, with words and phrases like fountains, wells, springs, streams of water and drinking from one’s own cisterns, we observe that it speaks volumes of the fact that God has ordained wives to be wellsprings of refreshment to their husbands. Verses 18-20 read
18 “Let your fountain be blessed,
and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
19 a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts drench you at all times;
be led astray always in her love.
20 Why should you be led astray, my son, with a forbidden woman
and embrace the bosom of a foreign woman?”
The biblical evidence for Adult Nursing Relationships hardly gets any clearer than the preceding.
I think the preceding verses and Strong’s definition constitute sufficient evidence in any case for ANRs, but there’s even more biblical and extra-biblical evidence that strongly suggests God had a specific purpose when He created breasts and the institution of marriage.
Though his sexual greed was certainly not divinely endorsed, King Solomon, with his thousand wives and concubines might have known a thing or two about how to maintain passion in the bedroom. ABF appears to have been a common practice in his day, but translators most likely obscured the nursing reference, likely to make the verse more palatable to readers.
Song of Solomon 7:8 likens breasts to clusters of the vine. What’s the resemblance of breasts to clusters of grapes? None. Except they both produce a sweet liquid. In my opinion, this most likely refers to Adult Breastfeeding. (I personally prefer the term Couples Nursing, as it sounds more biblical than the two commonly used terms, and I’d love it if we Christians could popularize it).
In Song 8:2, the bride says “I would lead you into my mother’s house, to the room of she who taught me. I would give you spiced wine squeezed from my pomegranate”, an obvious reference to Couples Nursing, since a pomegranate resembles nothing on a woman’s body except her breasts.
The PRIMARY reason God gave women breasts is to breastfeed. Not to feel sexy when stepping out showing cleavage, or to sell Victoria’s Secret bras. Simply to produce breast milk. Now, many would agree with this but assert that the milk is strictly for babies, which is why milk production starts during pregnancy. If breast milk were meant for husbands, they might add, God would cause wives to start lactating immediately couples become intimate. On the surface, this seems like a valid argument, but let’s remember that men are involved in the childbirth process. Without men, it would be 99.999% impossible for women to lactate naturally.
A biblically knowledgeable woman on ANRSpace said if breastfeeding were for babies alone, breasts won’t develop until pregnancy, then they’ll quickly shrivel up after the child is weaned. Women who aren’t pregnant or breastfeeding would be as flat as an ironing board. I couldn’t agree more.
What if God wants husbands to continue long after babies are finished, or even induce before they’re born? Another ANR-loving woman opined “to have breasts almost all your life only to use for less than two years on each child is a waste.”
It’s also important to note that humans are the only creatures whose mammary glands permanently remain in a protruding state once developed. Even secular Wikipedia says “the constantly protruding breasts of the adult human female, unusually large relative to body size, are a unique evolutionary development whose purpose is not yet fully known… other mammals tend to have less conspicuous mammary glands that protrude only while actually filling with milk.” As an ANR-loving Christian, I felt vindicated reading that. Could it be the evolutionary purpose will never be known because there isn’t any? God’s sovereign plan is to confound human intellectual arrogance.
Verses like Proverbs 5:19, Ezekiel 23:3, 8 and 21 tell us that breasts also serve a secondary sexual purpose. So the only functions of breasts are to nurture and provide sexual pleasure, and the only way to combine both functions is to nurse one’s husband. As we’ll read further down, there’s no logical reason to keep the two separate.
I came across a believer online who reminds us that God could easily have created women to lactate only after giving birth, but the fact that lactation can be induced hints at some additional purpose for lactation, and the long time it takes to successfully induce and produce enough milk (sometimes up to 6+ months) weakens the counter argument that induction is only for feeding adopted babies, since these babies would likely starve to death or grow out of their need for milk by then.
In Matthew 21, Jesus Christ cursed the fig tree that didn’t bear fruit, and in the parable of the talents, the worthless servant who failed to multiply the only talent he was handed eventually got cast into the outer darkness, where there’s weeping and gnashing of teeth. God is extremely serious about His creation multiplying His gifts and bearing fruit. In His economy, nothing goes to waste. Not even our body parts.
Throughout the gospels, we see Jesus prioritizing people’s physical needs over the foolish legalism of the Pharisees, as He healed the sick on the Sabbath. Contrary to what some modern-day Pharisees assert, verses that tell us to flee sexual immorality don’t command us to suppress our beautiful, God-given desire for physical intimacy. God, the author of the Law and Creator of our bodies, cares about the Spirit of the Law just as much as the letter.
1 Corinthians 1 tells us God frustrates the wisdom of the “wise”. He uses things that seem foolish and simple to judge them but save His people. ANR definitely seems foolish to most. Men doing something associated with babies, and women feeding men in the most intimate way possible flies in the face of all we’re told to believe in our ultra-modern world. God, however, cherishes child-like simplicity and submissiveness. Verses 27-29 inform us that “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; He chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” The Reformation Study Bible makes the following remarks on verse 21: “This passage is filled with intense irony. Those who are wise according to the standards of the world think the gospel is foolish. But even the most ‘foolish’ thing about God is wiser than human wisdom (vv. 25, 27). God can use the simplicity of the gospel to demonstrate that real foolishness belongs to those who oppose Him (v. 27). The arrogance of human wisdom blinds unbelievers to the truth. Jesus thanked the Father for His good pleasure in hiding these things from the wise and learned but revealing them to little children (Matt. 11:25, 26).”
This “foolish” act brings unparalleled stability and unity to marriages, and non-Christians also make this claim. One woman noted how it’s the single most stabilizing force in her marriage.
More women would participate in ANRs if not for the submissiveness they imagine it requires from them. One Christian woman actually admitted to this being the deterrent for her. Initially shocked to learn about a sister in Christ nonchalantly admitting her aversion to submission, the very thing God requires of wives, I later saw this as a watershed moment. Perhaps the heart of the matter is that our society has instilled in some women a rebellious attitude towards God’s mandate to voluntarily submit to their husbands’ loving leadership. Another Christian woman listed one of her excuses as not wanting the commitment an ANR requires to interfere with her corporate career. At the root of excuses made to avoid an ANR usually lies sin. These two refusers only strengthened my resolve to marry an ANR-desiring woman.
From their objections, it’s clear many Christian women are heavily influenced by our 21st century culture, rather God’s unchanging Word.
My experiences mostly relate to women who reject ANRs but I know millions of men are also turned off by the idea, and in their case, the two things responsible, I think, are pride and insecurity. Women aren’t the problem. Men aren’t either. The real problem is that we’ve all been systematically deceived ever since Adam fell.
Though the saying “idle hands are the devil’s workshop” isn’t found verbatim in the Bible, its origins lie in it. In the case of ANRs, we can say idle breasts are the devil’s workshop, and society confirms God’s take on idleness as we use breasts for all the wrong purposes, everything except their natural function. It’s actually quite troubling how society is desensitized to this inconsistency and cries foul when breasts are used for their God-given purpose, as illustrated in the picture below.
So if we agree that
- God’s primary reason for creating breasts is to produce nourishing milk, and
- God hates it when His creation is unproductive,
then it follows logically that every married woman should be lactating or actively trying to lactate, which is logically equivalent to saying that after a woman’s first pregnancy, it makes more biblical sense to continue to use her breasts to serve her nearest and dearest, namely her babies and husband, rather than the false productivity of having them serve as dry, self-image boosting tools or advertising props. While reading an apologetics book, I learned about intrinsic versus instrumental worth. Human beings have intrinsic worth because we were made in the image and likeness of God. A screwdriver, on the other hand, only has instrumental worth. A woman who uses her breasts to nurture while strengthening her bond with the object of her nurturing realizes her breasts’ intrinsic worth while one who uses them to get attention, increase her self-esteem, or manipulate male co-workers is deceived into viewing her breasts as instruments, as means to an end. Sadly, many ladies have believed the enemy’s lies. Thank God for His Truth that sets them free.
As mentioned elsewhere on this blog, roughly 90% of women on ANR dating sites are well-endowed. This strongly suggests that the more aware we are of our blessedness in any given area, the greater our craving to make use of those gifts with which we’ve been blessed. It’s simply how God has designed His creatures, to bring to Himself the maximum glory.
It is my belief that the longing to nurse her husband lies buried deep within every woman. Well-endowed women are leading the CN revolution because this yearning tends to be strongest in them.
I’ve come across a few ANR women who are birth doulas. ‘Doula’ happens to be the female form of the Greek term for slave discussed in the opening paragraph. This finding is extremely biblical, because the words doulos or doula appear throughout the original Greek New Testament. As John MacArthur reminds us in the aforementioned Slave, Christians by identity are slaves of Christ. We are also called to be servant-hearted towards our fellow human beings. I realized this ANR-doula discovery was no coincidence and was pleased with it, as I was to find out many women with ANR interests are involved in the nursing profession. It’s also no coincidence that these two biblical terms that seem suspiciously mistranslated are somehow connected.
There are several health reasons for engaging in an ANR. If female participants maintain their normal diet, they lose hundreds of calories daily. Since many women struggle with their weight and men burn calories faster, the idea is heaven-sent: transfer excess calories to your husband and he’ll burn them for you. To me, it appears to be a particularly efficient system, and there’s even more symbiosis occurring than that. God loves interdependence among believers.
Additionally, breastfeeding women have a lower risk of developing breast cancer, and ANRs mean women are more mindful of everything they ingest, as they’re eating for two. What unspeakable intimacy and consideration. Even a nonbeliever remarked “the bond is so deep, it’s spiritual.” There are monetary benefits as well, because an ANR couple can save up to $100 a month on food. I know that’s a very different way to look at it, but the savings really do add up.
There is a personal health benefit for me. Among many health-promoting ingredients, breast milk contains something that directly helps in my healing. What’s more interesting, the health problem I have makes it more difficult to prepare meals. 🙂
That I never heard of any couple who tried an ANR for a significant amount of time and had negative reviews, but have only witnessed the opposite, is evidence that there’s something uniquely special about this bond. It appears that for the most part, there’s only a one-way flow of traffic into the ANR lifestyle.
I have noticed the plethora of biblical qualities in ANR women: they tend to be traditional, very comfortable with their femininity, homemakers, very family-oriented, warm, dearly love their husbands and include them in everything, generous, humble, honest, simple, self-giving (not takers), down to earth, nurturers, comforters, caring, sweet, positive-minded, voluntarily submissive, sexual, bold, and the list goes on. In short, I’m convinced that godly women who love ABF are extraordinarily well-rounded and make the best wives, bar none. They exude much inner and outer beauty. They’re the truly beautiful women of old that our society wants us to forget.
Speaking of being comfortable with their femininity, I came across two ANR bloggers who although well-endowed, hate wearing bras and only wear them in public. I pondered that for a little while and eventually came to the conclusion that it’s a praiseworthy lifestyle choice. I’ve also noticed that some ANR women include their men even in areas that most people deem off-limits to husbands, such as assisting with childbirth. These women realize that most men are reasonable and also need some TLC, and reject our culture’s insistence that all men should be treated harshly.
Simply knowing she’s providing her husband something good, knowing she has a man who looks forward to literally and figuratively drawing the sweetness out of her, boosts a woman’s self-image in a very meaningful, non-superficial way.
Also, ANR wives preach the gospel without words. Breastfeeding isn’t always smooth sailing, but as Christ “took one” for His spouse on the cross, they also make sacrifices for the good of their marriage.
God loves the unity that ensues from an ANR. Genesis 2:24 says the two become one flesh. One couple said their ANR makes them more in tune to each other’s needs. Each time a CN wife’s heart beats, it goes to work for her husband, as it pumps nutrients throughout her bloodstream, some of which eventually wind up in his.
ANR fans tend to be very passionate people who desire the deepest intimacy. I think these qualities point to God because He is the ultimate exemplar of passion and intimacy. He doesn’t mildly hate sin or slightly love His redeemed. A Christian husband and wife should similarly model this passion, and I believe the Bible teaches that Christian couples should be as intimate as humanly possible in every sense: spiritually, physically, emotionally, sexually, psychologically, and in every other way because Ephesians 5 tells us this reflects the intimacy Christ has with the church, plus the perfect intimacy in the Trinity isn’t a bad thing to emulate. Dr. RC Sproul in the Reformation Study Bible again comments on Ephesians 5:28-32: “A person’s union with his or her own body is intimate and permanent, and marriage creates a similar union (Gen. 2:24). Christ has joined the church to Himself through the bonds of the covenant He fulfilled, and this intimate union forms an analogy for Christian marriage.”
People just can’t seem to get over the hang up that breastfeeding is supposedly for babies alone. Babies are adorable, but bear with me for a second. Imagine for a moment that they don’t exist. Let’s further imagine that all women lactate all the time. In this scenario, we quickly see that ANRs would be inevitable. We also see that there’s nothing wrong with a man enjoying a sweet, nutritious fluid from his wife. Again, lactation can be induced, which means no pregnancy or babies necessary for milk to flow. Besides, real life ABF sessions are nothing like most people imagine them: a horny husband – who some picture wearing diapers – moving a hungry baby aside in order to help himself. In the majority of real ANRs, there’s no baby at all in the picture. No diapers either, just two married, consenting adults bonding on a level that can’t be matched by anything except the spiritual disciplines.
I’ll venture to say people who can’t leave babies out of the ABF picture are really the ones with difficulty suppressing intrusive thoughts. Those who insist on mentally inviting children into the ANR bedroom are the real pedophiles, they’re the ones with some psychological attachment issues, not us. Please forgive my bluntness but I also really think ANR bashers are being prudes. I don’t think milk from a breast has ever killed anyone, or caused any psychological damage.
Sexual attitudes change over time. I haven’t done my research but I’m quite sure there was a time in antiquity when kissing was seen as taboo and the mouth as being only meant for its basic functions such as talking and eating. More recently, as recently as the ’50s, oral sex was widely viewed as part of the domain of prostitutes, far beneath the moral standards of “righteous” folks. Times have really changed because it’s now ubiquitous and is often referenced on TV shows and in song lyrics.
There is evidence ABF is gradually coming out of the margins of society. I think in fifty to a hundred years, it will be mainstream, like other formerly taboo forms of intimacy that are now commonly practiced.
It will finally be the norm again, as it most likely was in biblical times.
Although the Bible contains an abundance of references to breastfeeding, even multiple hints at Couples Nursing, to the best of my knowledge, Song 8:2 is the only explicit, incontrovertible, unassailable Scripture reference that encourages it. Proverbs 5, especially verse 19, and Song 7:8 are also extremely strongly suggestive. The marital stability, deeper bond, loving comfort, better sex and increased mutual empathy that ANR-practicing couples of all faiths often report provide extra-biblical evidence of the divine gift of Couples Nursing. Further, if we consider the whole counsel of God, His character, His perfectly harmonious triune intimacy, His just desire to be glorified, His command that His creation be productive, the great love He has for His children, how much He values loving-kindness and warmth among Christians, how much He values good sex among married Christians, and weigh all those in light of the positive reviews ANR-practicing couples always give their relationship, we see that an Adult Nursing Relationship is nothing if not biblical and Christ-honoring.
P.S.: This blog as a whole aims to defend ANRs from a biblical standpoint, although some posts such as the one you just read and others listed here have that exclusive goal. Throughout the blog are more biblically compelling reasons to engage in an Adult Nursing Relationship only within the bonds of marriage. I invite you to read all posts on Christ-centered ANR for more ANR evidence from Scripture.