I’ve stated before that one major objection I’ve gotten to the idea of promoting Christian ANRs is that the Bible never places as much an emphasis on it as I do. But those who level such accusations never take the time to consider the whole counsel of God.
A related example is the fact that I know multiple professing Christians who struggle with confidence and assertiveness. One went further to describe his desire to avoid being prideful. He makes a good point, and his desire for humility is commendable.
But the indisputable fact is that God commands us to be confident and assertive. It’s explicit in verses like 2 Timothy 1:7 and implicit throughout Scripture. God wants believers to be unafraid of any mortals, and bold enough to look a bully in the eye to compel them to change their behavior.
In Exodus, Moses and Aaron fearlessly confronted Pharaoh and told him God says “let my people go.”
David confronted Goliath with smooth stones and a slingshot.
Peter and John confronted the Sanhedrin, letting them know they’ll obey God rather than man.
Paul confronted his Jewish opponents, false apostles, Roman governors and leaders.
It’s absolutely unquestionable. God uses confident and fearless believers to perform his mighty acts of salvation. Being confident, assertive and fearless is clearly commanded throughout God’s word, sometimes explicitly, but very often tacitly.
As Christians, we’ve waived our rights and desires and submitted them to Christ. But there’s nothing wrong with having desires, or graciously asserting our rights. When dealing with their adversaries, Paul and Jesus knew and firmly insisted on their rights. Knowing one’s rights for salvific purposes is encouraged in scripture, e.g. when Paul asserted his status as a Roman citizen after he was flogged without trial (Acts 22:25, 16:37), and when Jesus firmly defended himself from accusations of blasphemy in John 5:17. This article offers great biblical insights on assertiveness and self-defense.
Similarly, that God wants couples to be as close and intimate as humanly possible cannot be overstated. It’s clear from passages like Genesis 2:24, Ephesians 5:22-33, Proverbs 5, Song of Solomon and 1 Corinthians 7. It’s also implicitly commanded in several passages like Genesis 1:28, 9:7, Deuteronomy 24:5, Psalm 128:3, Proverbs 6 and 7, Matthew 28:20, 1 Thessalonians 4:3 and many others.
Since God knows our nature and tendency to abuse his gifts, he carefully, and repeatedly, commands us to use these gifts — only for gospel purposes. I think he avoids making an explicit emphasis on these commands because he knows most of us tend to run to the other extreme.
The whole counsel of God considered, I think it’s abundantly clear God exhorts us to do lots of nursing in marriage.