7 Ways to Discipline Your Wife

Biblically speaking all those who are under various authorities can and should be disciplined by those authorities. The husband wife relationship is no exception to this rule. So how should a Christian husband go about his duty of disciplining his wife whom God has placed under his authority? This is a question that we will seek to answer here.

When we hear the word discipline in the context of wives this can be a scary term for many. It invokes images of husbands beating their wives and knocking them around or locking them in closets. It might invoke images of husbands standing over their wives yelling and screaming at them and using all kinds of obscenities. This is not the type of discipline that we are talking about in a Biblical context. Men who behave in such ways will answer to God for this abusive treatment of their wives.

Arguments against the discipline of wives by their husbands

Before we can get into how to discipline your wife as a Christian husband we need to address the arguments against any form of discipline by husbands toward their wives.

Argument #1 A Partner cannot discipline their other partner

The first and most common argument against Christian husband’s disciplining their wives is the belief that a husband and wife are equal partners in marriage. The Bible does not show marriage as a partnership, but rather a Patriarchy (male lead hierarchy). See my post “Is Marriage a Partnership or a Patriarchy?” for all the Scriptures that present marriage as a Patriarchy and not a partnership.

Argument #2 Discipline infantilizes a wife

Some would argue that if a man disciplines his wife in any way that this is treating her (an adult) as a child. This could not be further from the truth. The discipline of a wife is certainly different than that of a child and we will discuss that later in this post.

But discipline is something that applies to adults as well as children. Governments have the power to discipline their adult citizens, military commanders have the ability to discipline adults under their command, Churches have the power to discipline their adult members, and employers have the right to discipline their adult employees. Discipline applies to all of us as adults – both men and women.

No one would argue against discipline in these other spheres of authority or say that it infantilizes these adults.   Certainly there is also the potential to abuse one’s authority and discipline in wrong ways, but the exercise of discipline itself is not wrong, only the abuse of it is.

Argument #3 A wife’s submission to her husband is voluntary, therefore he cannot discipline her

Even some Christian complementarians and others who believe in male headship in marriage reject the husband’s right and responsibility to discipline his wife. They do so based on their belief that while a wife is commanded by God to submit to her husband, this is a voluntary submission on her part and cannot be compelled from her husband.

So in their reasoning if a husband cannot compel his wife’s submission, he cannot discipline her for failure to submit to his leadership. I have shown how the Scriptures refute the idea that a wife’s submission is voluntary but rather they show that her submission is mandatory and synonymous with obedience. See my previous post “Should a Christian husband make his wife submit?” for more on this subject.

Argument #4 Christ does not discipline his bride

Some Christians, both complementarians and egalitarians, have attempted to argue that since we have no examples of Christ disciplining his bride (which is the Church) that husbands ought not to discipline their wives. This is actually not true.

Throughout the Scriptures God pictures his relationship with his people in two primary ways. The Bible pictures our relationship with God as individuals as that of a Father and his children. The Bible pictures God’s relationship with his people as a group as that of a husband and a wife with God being the husband and the people of God being his wife.

In the Old Testament God made a covenant with and married Israel as a nation (Ezekiel 16:1-14). Later he shows he had to divorce Israel because she failed to repent of her wicked ways and return to him (Jeremiah 3:8) despite the discipline that he had brought on Israel.

In the New Testament God has a new bride which is foretold in the Old Testament prophecies. But the Church (which a new body compromised of the remnant of Israel and Gentile believers) is pictured as bride that is betrothed to her husband which is Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 11:2). The marriage and consummation of the Church with Christ is seen in the marriage supper of the lamb in Revelation 19:9.

Even as a betrothed bride, Christ disciplined his Church through his Apostles who acted as the protector and guides of his bride.

“I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.” – II Corinthians 11:2 (NIV)

“What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit?” – I Corinthians 4:21 (NIV)

When speaking to his seven churches in Revelation (chapters 2 & 3) Christ rebukes and disciplines all but one because of their failings and Christ says this to his churches:

“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.” – Revelation 3:19 (NIV)

So my point in all this is – Those who say God does not discipline his bride are ignoring passages of Scripture that show both in his previous marriage to Israel as well as his current betrothal to the Church that he in fact does discipline his bride.

Different Types of Discipline for Different Spheres of Authority

The discipline from each authority that God has established looks very different. The types of discipline that a government can bring on its citizens looks very different than the discipline that church authorities can bring on their members. The discipline of an employer toward his employees looks very different than the discipline of parents toward their children. In the same way a husband’s discipline toward his wife will look different that the discipline used in these other spheres of authority.

But what all these spheres of authority have in common is this:

In every sphere of authority God has established that the authority has not only the right, but the duty to discipline those under their authority.

Discipline makes us a better person

The Bible has a lot to say about discipline. These are just a few of those passages.

“Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.” – Proverbs 10:17 (NIV)

“Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored.” – Proverbs 13:18 (NIV)

“Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.” – Proverbs 15:32 (NIV)

Discipline should be measured

“I am with you and will save you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only in due measure; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.’” – Jeremiah 30:11 (NIV)

As husbands our discipline should always start off gently and then move toward harder forms of discipline. So for instance, if your wife rarely speaks in a disrespectful or demeaning tone to you then if she slips up gently let her know that her tone was demeaning or disrespectful. If she apologizes then no further action is needed.

But what if your wife is acting defiant or publicly speaks disrespectfully toward you as her husband? In this case a Christian husband may be compelled to use harder forms of discipline.

Discipline is about holiness

Christ did not sacrifice himself for his bride (the Church) in order for her to follow her own selfish ways, but rather he sacrificed himself to make her holy.

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

– Ephesians 5:25-27(KJV)

As we previously mentioned God says this to his churches in Revelation:

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” Revelation 3:19 (KJV)

No man who truly loves his wife takes pleasure in disciplining her. We as Christian’s husbands naturally want to see our wives happy we don’t want to rock the boat needlessly. This is why discipline on the part of a husband toward his wife if he is truly acting in love is a sacrifice on his part. It saddens him to have to take these measures with his wife whom he loves.

Discipline is about maintaining Order

I think the comparison of the family structure to military ranks is both Biblical as hupotasso (the Biblical term for submission in marriage) is a military term and it helps us to understand the discipline in the home as well.

God is like our General (4 star). In the home the husband would be like a Lieutenant General (3 star), and the wife would be like a Major General (2 star). The children would be the enlisted men. Imagine that a 4 star General came along and saw a 2 star General publically degrading her 3 star General in front of other officers or the enlisted men. What do you think the response would be from that 4 star General?

That 4 star General would first scold the 2 star General for her disrespect and then he would probably scold the 3 star General for allowing the disrespect to go on. It is the same with God as he looks at the relationships of husbands and wives.

He has given us different positions and we are to exercise and play out those parts he has given us. As a Christian husband you cannot allow your wife’s demeaning or disrespectful behavior to go unchecked because it is an affront to God’s established order. You are responsible for teaching both your wife and your children the ways of God. You are equally responsible for disciplining your wife and children when they rebel against God’s ways.

So now that we have addressed the arguments against a Christian husband disciplining his wife as well as the intended purpose of a husband disciplining his wife we can now look at practical examples of how a Christian husband can discipline his wife.

7 Ways to Discipline Your Wife

Discipline toward your wife should always start with the gentlest approach first and only move toward harder forms of discipline if the gentle approach does not yield results. Warnings should always be given before harder types of discipline are implemented. You should always pray and seek the Lord’s guidance before bringing these types of discipline on his wife.

Here are 7 ways you can discipline your wife if a gentle rebuke does not work:

#1 For Disrespect

If your wife is speaking in disrespectful and demeaning ways in public in front of others (whether this is toward you or others) this might require a public rebuke of her tone and actions.

#2 For Overspending

If your wife is spending money against your wishes – this may require confiscation of her credit cards and ATM cards. Of course this can be done in measured amounts. Perhaps you might just take away one or two cards that she has abused and if her spending continues to get out of control you would move toward removing the ATM card as well. This does not necessarily mean she would have no money, but you could give her a cash allowance each week.

#3 For failing to care for your children or contradicting your authority with your children

If your wife is failing to do her duties as a mother toward your children or she is continuing to contradict your authority with the children then perhaps you might put off buying that new car for her and have her continue driving her older car for a while as long as it is safe for her to drive. If you have to purchase another car – you could downgrade the type of car she will be able to get or buy her a used one instead. Maybe you put off the purchase of that new dishwasher she has been wanting.

#4 For too much TV watching

If your wife is watching too much TV you could cancel the cable or satellite TV and just have antenna service.

#5 For too much online time

If your wife is spending too much time online (like Facebook or other social outlets or online shopping) then if she does not respond to your warnings about this you could change your internet code on your router so that her devices will not have access to the internet.

#6 For neglect of the home

Maybe your wife is not watching too much TV or spending too much time online but she is still neglectful toward her duties in your home. If your wife is being neglectful of her duties to care for your home then you might put off that new living room furniture set you have been talking about or those new window dressings she has been wanting.

#7 For sexual denial

If your wife is un-submissive in the sexual arena and chronically denies your sexual advances (without legitimate medical or psychological reasons for doing so) then perhaps that upcoming trip you were going to take her on gets canceled. Maybe that wardrobe upgrade your wife was looking forward to gets downsized or canceled. The Bible says a man has to supply his wife with clothing, but it does not say it has to be the expensive clothing she wants!

Some of these disciplinary procedures may affect the family as a whole, but sometimes it is necessary to do this in an attempt to bring your wife to repentance.

These are just some examples of non-abusive ways that a Christian husband can discipline his wife in a way that honors God and his design for the home.

Conclusion

God not only give husbands the power to discipline their wives, but he also gives them to the duty to do this. Men should not discipline their wives out some sort of power trip or prideful arrogance. Instead men should discipline their wives from a place of love in order to bring about holiness and order in their homes. Even if a wife rejects her husband’s discipline as Israel did God as her husband – he should still discipline her and pray that God will bring his wife to repentance.  One issue I did not cover here was the topic of wife spanking.  I wanted to lay the  foundation for the discipline of wives by their husbands first here.   I have written an entire article on the subject of wife-spanking that you can read here –  “Does the Bible allow a husband to spank his wife?

Update 10/20/2015

Answers to readers questions

What if a wife works and makes her own money or even makes more money than her husband?

Many have emailed and asked me “What if a wife works and makes her own money or even makes more money than her husband – wouldn’t that take the teeth out of most of these types of discipline?”

Discipline is about trying to motivate someone to choose to do the right thing.

I hear from women all the time – “well if you took this away, I would just do this…and so on”.  Yes whether they be young adults (teens) or older adults we all must decide if we will submit to and learn from discipline what the person in authority is trying to teach us.

Wives must choose to submit to discipline – there is no question.  I am not saying it is optional or voluntary, God requires women to submit to the discipline of their husbands. But let’s face it, there are many ways women can sinfully resist and work around their husband’s discipline.

But even in these cases where wives attempt to resist or work around the various discipline methods of their husbands, the husband is still required to do as much as is in his power to do as her husband to bring discipline into her life that will show her the right path.  And when a husband has done everything he can do as his wife’s immediate authority, then he leaves her in the hands of her higher authority which is God himself.

One last thing on the area of finances.  Yes your wife might work.  Yes she may make more money than you. But if she is mishandling the money you have an obligation to a least separate your money from hers so she will not be able to use it for sinful or reckless purposes.

But won’t discipline attempts by a husband toward his wife ultimately lead to divorce?

Other husbands have emailed in and asked “But won’t these types of discipline ultimately lead to divorce?”

Divorce is always a very real possibility in any marriage, whether discipline takes place or not.

But God does not call us as husbands to abdicate our role as the head of our wives in order to keep our marriage together at all costs. Christ did not sacrifice himself for his church to enable her sin, but to make her holy.

If you allow your wife to believe the threat of divorce will get you to let her continue in whatever sinful behavior she is doing she will use it every time.

In fact the two most powerful tools in the hands of most modern rebellious wives is that of the threat of divorce or the removal of sex.

There are many men in American and western cultures that have been brought to their knees in submission to their wives using one or a combination of these two evil weapons.

Now on the threat of divorce – threats of divorce are not always evil.  If a woman threatens to divorce her husband because he is physically abusing her or her children, or because he refuses to work or provide for his family she is Biblically justified in doing so (there are other valid reasons for divorce as well).

But if she threatens divorce because of unbiblical reasons this makes the threat of divorce a weapon of evil.

At the end of the day you as a husband must stand against sin in your home and your marriage regardless of what consequences may come.  Your wife will then be left with the choice of whether she will rebel against your discipline (and therefore against God’s authority) or she will submit to your discipline and learn from it and the fruit of it will be righteousness in her life.

“Can’t you just talk to your wife like an adult? What is all the need for this discipline stuff?”

I have received many variations of this question since I first posted this article. The answer to that question if you actually read this post is that a husband should always speak to his wife gently at first.

So for instance if a husband thinks his wife is mishandling the credit cards his first action is not to take away the cards.  It is to first speak with her gently.

With many Christian wives the gentle approach is all that is needed.

But are we so naïve to think that every wife will respond to these gently conversations and turn from her sinful behavior, whatever that may be? Is there no such thing as an unrepentant and rebellious sinful wife who tells her husband “where he can stick it” anytime he brings things to her attention?

Many Christians and even non-Christians would have us to believe that wives who do the things I mentioned above do not exist.  The existence of these wives is equivalent to big foot, it’s just a myth in their view.

Others will acknowledge the existence of these kinds of women. But many Christians will say that all a man can do is pray for his unrepentant wife, he is not allowed by God to bring any kind of discipline into her life.  I believe in the power of prayer, and a husband should always pray about discipline he is bringing into his wife’s life.

But if you asked these same Christians if they had a rebellious child or teen if they should do nothing and just pray about it – they would have a very different answer.  The reason is because many Christians have made this “carve out” this special class for wives where they are immune to discipline.

Even a husband is not immune to discipline. But rather his discipline comes from the Church or from civil authorities.  For instance if a wife is being physically abused by her husband she has every Biblical right to go to her husband’s authorities in the Church and in civil government to seek help and for them to discipline him.

Update 3/29/2016

What if finances are tight is there any other way a wife can disciplined?

As of today, this post by itself as received almost half a million views since I first published it back in October 2015. I have had countless emails from Christian men asking me to clarify things as well as address their specific situations.

One of the issues that has been raised is how can a man discipline his wife if the finances are tight? What if you are living on a shoe string budget and there is no money for the niceties she may be wanting or what if as I previously mentioned she works and has her own money to do what she wants?

The answer Christian husbands is TIME. Really this could be considered “the 8th way to discipline your wife”. Most women want three things from their husbands – money, time and tokens of affection.  Some women will go without the money, others may even go without the tokens of affection (flowers, jewelry, and other gifts). But few women except for those who married only for money will go without their husband’s time.

So no matter how poor you are Christian husband – in most cases you have a precious and costly item to your wife in the form of your time.  Certainly God wants you to spend time with your wife. In Deuteronomy 24:5 we read that newlywed men were not to go away to war or for any kind of business for the first year of their marriage in order to “cheer up” or as some translations render it “make happy” their wives. I Peter 3:7 tells men to “dwell with their wives according to knowledge” – You can do this without spending some time with her.

I say all this to say that in no way am I saying that you can completely ignore your wife as a form of discipline.  One wrong does not make another wrong right. But you can use discretion with your time.  If you give your wife 5 hours of your free time a week for just the two of you cut it back to 3 hours.  Perhaps there are some TV shows you watch with you wife that you have zero interest in but you just watch them to spend some time with her.  Stop doing this.  There may be upgrades around the house that require more of your time than your money. Perhaps it is repainting rooms.  Leave handy man tasks alone unless they are absolutely necessary.

My point is you know your wife best and where she wants your time – use those times to show her your displeasure in her wrong actions.  You would be surprised at how quickly just the removal of some of your time with her will get the gears in her brain running.

 

149 thoughts on “7 Ways to Discipline Your Wife

  1. AnnaMS,

    Certainly some of those attributes of a husband and father would also be attributes of believers toward one another in the Church – I don’t disagree with that.

    However it is not the Churches primary responsibility to provide for, protect and teach or discipline a man’s wife and children – it is first and foremost is his responsibility. Only when there is no husband present or when he fails in his duties is it sometimes necessary for the Church to step in. Of course sometimes by no fault of his own a man may become disabled, but other times it is neglect on his part.

    To align more with the roles of husband and wife I would change what you said about wives to this:

    What about the Wife’s role toward her husband? Here are the ones on that list that my husband has requested from me.
    -Sacrificing myself for his needs
    -Working for my husband in whatever capacity he deems fit. Whether that be in the full time care of our home and children, or if economic necessity dictates it working out side the home. Biblically speaking a wife does not “provide for her husband”, she works for her husband in whatever capacity he thinks is right.
    -Advising on boundaries for him – ultimately he is not responsible to you, he is responsible to God. He may have certain addictions that he allows you to help him with and if does that is fine.
    -Advising on areas you think might be sinful. Again ultimately he as the spiritual head is responsible to God for this.
    -Advising him on my needs and wants at any given moment
    -Knowing him and talking to him
    -Reverencing him (Ephesians 5:33)
    -Making sure the children respect his authority and honor him as their father
    -When all things are equal, his needs come before others (he knows as a nurse that i can’t just call off on a whim, but when I have days off, he knows he is my #1 priority)
    -Has sex with him.

  2. BGR, I don’t think it’s so much that ‘some’ of the duties overlap as it is that seemingly all of them, except for sex, overlap from one relationship to the next. And your point about how a husband has a greater responsibility towards his wife and children than the church does was exactly what I was trying to get at in my follow-up post (which my husband mainly worded for me). I entirely agree with that. My point in saying that was that a husband doesn’t treat his wife and children any more similarly than a wife treats her husband and children. At the point where either spouse is correcting the other the same way they would correct their child, something is wrong. The duties of relationships will often be the same (again with the exception of sex), but how those duties are played out will change significantly from one relationship to the next. Please read my follow up post, because my husband IMO did a very good job writing that for me.

    As for the change in wording, a lot of it i wouldn’t have an issue with at all. I am confused about what you mean by Biblically speaking a wife doesn’t provide for her husband. I agree that in Biblical times they didn’t, but i don’t see how that means that they never do or can. My paycheck covers our apartment (rent, electric, and gas), the credit card payment (which covers our grocery bill, gas, dates, and most of the odds/ends), our car payment, and our school debt payments. That would seem to be a lot of providing, but maybe i’m misunderstanding you. That is definitely not my intent. However, as my husband pointed out, I am also called to help provide for him emotionally and be his sole provider sexually, even with physical provision aside.

    I think that everyone: male/female, single/married, adult/child, is ultimately responsible to God (Matt 12:36). That doesn’t mean that we do not have people in this world that we are also responsible to. My husband might not be required from God to be accountable to me with his struggles (although the Bible does suggest a multitude of counselors and i should hope that a spouse would make that list), but our relationship wouldn’t have progressed without it. It was his idea to be very open about his struggles with lust, and that i was to have access to any internet searches I wanted, and that I could ask him at any point (obviously privately) as to how that struggle was going. He volunteered that at the very same time that he first told me he had struggled with porn. If he hadn’t been so open and willing to involve me in this journey, I likely wouldn’t have continued the relationship.

  3. AnnaMS,

    I agree with your husband that many of our relational responsibilities overlap.

    What distinguishes relationships from one another are two things words – role and priority. Role is what determines priority.

    My role in my relationship as a father to my children is what determines the priority they have in my life as far as my time and resources. It also determines my responsibilities to them. I don’t have a responsibility to go around the whole world teaching, providing for and disciplining other people’s kids. I may help other people’s kids in many ways, but that in no way is the same as my responsibilities to my children as a father.

    My role in my relationship as a husband to my wife again determines how I prioritize my time and resources towards her.

    It is right for my wife and children to look to me as their earthly provider, protector and leader. Other people’s wives and children should not be looking to me for that, they should be looking to their husband or father.

    So getting back to the distinguishing between a husband and father – I maintain that a man’s wife and his children should be able to look to him as their provider, protector, leader, teacher, boundary setter and correcter. While I agree there is some difference in how a husband might correct his wife from children – there may be times when he has to correct them both at the same. I know I have had to do this with my wife and kids at times. I try to speak to my wife separately from the kids as often as possible, but that sometimes I feel lead to confront them together.

    I am alluding to Insanities example of the camping trip with her husband and I have had to do that myself.

    When all things are equal, my wife is to be second priority only to God, then my children are a close third to her.

    I talked about priorities in this post https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2015/09/24/the-five-biblical-priorities-of-a-christian-man/

  4. AnnaMS,

    On the issue of “providing”. It is great that you are helping your husband by working. I realize it may seem like just silly Semantics. But this is truly a symbolic thing.
    Biblically speaking a husband provides for his family, and a wife works for her husband. She is his helper, not his provider. She helps in whatever way he thinks best. So I would interpret your situation with your husband as him delegating to you work for him in the work force to pay for your apartment, gas, date…ect. I know a woman who runs a daycare of her home at her husbands direction so that they can afford vacations and other odds and ends.

    The reason this is important is remember that the relationship of a father to children and husband to his wife is symbolic of God’s relationship to his people. Do we provide for God or does God provide for us? We certainly work for God and we certainly serve God but we do not provide for God.

    I Just think that it is important to see what we do through the models God wishes us to live in. I think when a woman comes to sees herself as being a provider for her husband it can confuses the roles and model which God has set forth.

    But in the same token – and I mean nothing bad toward you and your husband and I don’t know your financial situation. I am sure your husband is doing everything he can to provide for you and his child that is coming. But there are some men who have no problem being dependent on their wife to provide the majority of the income to their families for the foreseeable future and I do not believe that is right. The reason that it is not right is because again – it breaks the model. Is the husband and father primary provider? If he is not there is a problem. (Obviously if he is disabled or unable to work that is different, but if he is able bodied that is another story).

  5. AnnaMS,

    I hope this won’t turn into a rabbit trail – but I just wanted to mention one thing. While I don’t agree with some things in Christian books and programs about porn addiction, one thing I do believe and I have seen play out with Christian friends of mine is the accountability part. It is absolutely true that to overcome any addiction you need an accountability partner. However when it comes to porn one thing I agree with many of the Christian books and programs is – the last person that should be your accountability partner is your wife. This has nothing to do with headship. It has to do with gender differences and the relationship and jealousy.

    In any battle with addiction there are going to be setbacks and failures. It is very very hard for wives to deal with their husband’s failures regarding porn addiction. In fact I have seen it tear Christian marriages apart.

    Now maybe you are way different than most women. But for most women they take it VERY PERSONALLY and become EXTREMELY jealous if they find out their husband has and addiction to porn. So if he slips up at all each time he does it destroys her faith and trust in her husband. But when a man has a male accountability partner, he works with him confesses to God and confesses to him. His accountability partner is not going to take his failure personally, but most of the time his wife will.

    What happens often is the husband will confess to his wife because he feels guilty – and this shocks and hurts her. He sees how distraught it makes his wife and she asks to help him be accountable after her initial hurt but now he knows he can never share any downfalls with her again. To do so would hurt her like this again. So he goes underground. You might think you know what he is doing, but he finds other ways. Only when he has a male accountability partner – one he can talk to that will not be hurt the way his wife is when he falls, can he have true accountability and then get back up again to do what he believes is right.

  6. BGR, the issue with that is that I don’t work for my husband, I work for a hospital. That means that my husband is not my boss, or the one who gives me my paycheck, sets my hours, determines an appropriate amount of maternity leave, etc. That means that if my husband decides he doesn’t like me working any more night shifts, if the hospital schedules me for them, I am LEGALLY obligated to work those night shifts unless I find a replacement (which is statistically not likely) or am unable to for health or emergency reasons. Logistically, I would love to work for my husband, but that’s just not feasible right now. I realize that you didn’t mean by ‘work for your husband’ that your husband was your employer so i’m not trying to strawman you here, but once a husband isn’t the employer, they are giving up a lot of work authority. Nursing might be unique here, but I doubt it’s the only profession, and it is dominated by women so it will affect a lot of wives. This of course doesn’t mean that I don’t involve my husband at all. He decides how to handle the finances (including the money I make), and often when I am tired at work and I want to quit, I think of him and our baby as motivation to keep going. So in a motivational sense, i do work for him as in he and our baby are a key reason that I work at all. But I am not responsible to him in my work, I am responsible to my boss, the hospital, and state nursing laws in general.

    We are hoping that my husband will be able to make more money in the future (he is pursuing a PhD program for that precise purpose), but since he is an adjunct professor for a university, the pay is small and uncertain. That also means that our health insurance (and by extension this pregnancy’s and ultimately our baby) is covered by me. However, this has not caused me to not seek to submit to him or to respect him. It does mean that our relationship looks a little different than a typical marriage might. Since he works from home and I don’t get home till close to 8pm, he makes most of the dinners and sweetly serves me by volunteering to do the dishes especially after stressful work days.

    I did read Insanity’s camping illustration. I would not have appreciated my husband handling it that way. I would have suggested that he take a couple minutes to listen in (without necessarily appearing to do so), so he could decide how it should be resolved. If he were to mainly side with his wife, he could have stepped in and settled it then. If he thought that his daughter had legitimate issues, he could have asked them to set it aside for a little bit, and then subtly taken her aside and given her his input on how he wanted to settle it. If she still didn’t agree with him, hopefully she would submit to his authority. If she is refusing to do so, there are likely deeper issues at stake and counseling is (and probably was previously) in order. That would have 1: actually solved it (rather than just putting a bandaid on it, which Insanity admitted was what happened), 2: kept from treating his wife the same as his child. 3: remained just to his daughter (which he has a Biblical obligation to do) without demeaning his wife. Both of my parents did this with me when I was growing up and I always appreciated that they were willing to step in in my defense as needed, but also that they respected each other enough to do it in private. That really was very important to my sense of security as a child.

    I don’t think there are areas where a husband or a wife needs to address issues with each other in front of the children. I would like to think that if i were to speak rudely of my husband in front of our child one day, I would go back to our child and tell him/her that I should not have spoken to his daddy that way. I would hopefully also apologize to my husband in front of our child. None of that is likely if my husband embarrasses me in front of them. Just because both me and my child are under my husband’s authority, does not mean that we are equal under there, so my husband should not act in a way that suggests that we are. If nothing else, that would seem to go against what you said earlier of encouraging your children to respect their mother. I get that sometimes you might feel led to correct both at once, but I wonder if that is the devil speaking to you or an urge for your children to see that daddy doesn’t let himself be spoken to that way by their step-mom (which i would argue is sinful pride and is likely to get in the way of your pursuit of respect from your wife, which I still think you should be given). I could be wrong here, but the whole ‘if your wife disrespects you publicly, rebuke her publicly’ kinda reeks of that.

  7. BGR, thank you for your advice about the porn addiction. I think that I am just as likely to be jealous as the next women. My husband would definitely agree that a wife should not be the sole accountability partner, but one of the nice things about being involved like that is I know when it is not happening. Sure in your scenario, the wife is supposedly in some happy land of unaware, but in reality, she is more likely to live in constant worry about whether or not it is happening. Since my husband has included me in this since the very beginning of our relationship, I have known that he has not looked at anything since he has met me, and he has only been sorely tempted to once. We have talked about slip-ups and the real chance of it happening, and we have discussed positive and negative ways for me to react. Hopefully we will not get to that point, and if we do, hopefully I will respond well. But the best benefit has been that I don’t have to worry about the unknown. Porn use, whether the husband intends it or not, is always going to be personal for the wife. To me that seems more of a fact than a problem to work around.

  8. @Loura,

    Replying to your October 6 comment:

    You linked and referenced a private website as “evidence” that Biblical Gender Roles was encouraging other people to disobey Government Laws. The opinions of a private website are not Federal Law. FAIL on your part. Deception on your part.

    Your October 6 comment (which I can not directly Reply to) tries to reframe the conversation by discussing whether the private website you linked to has “facts” or “opinions”. The issue is Laws and Biblical Authority, not “facts”. Your reframe attempt failed.

  9. Hello Anna,
    Disregard my previous post, I accidentally pressed post before I was done!
    But yes, as I said, I disagree with Larry’s view on your husband watching porn. From what I can tell, when men watch porn they actually imagine themselves in the situation of the video they are watching. And Jesus said merely looking at a person who you are not married to in a lustful way is ‘lust of the eyes,’ so what do you think pornography is? In Christianity, it’s the intentions, just as much as the actions, that are important. Because God knows what is in our heart, mind and soul, and it’s weighed almost equally to our actions. So, if even looking at someone in a sexual way is lust, then is it really too far a stretch for me to claim that porn is similar to adultery? I mean, just think about it, when someone watches porn, they are imagining themselves with another women, are they not? It’s adultery, and no woman, Christian or otherwise, should have to stand for it. This is not jealousy, it is much more than that, and whatever qualms you have about it are valid and natural. My boyfriend had this issue as well, and to date it’s the only time I got myself involved in his business, because watching porn is a breach of our relationship, and his relationship with God.

  10. Paul speaks to 4 groups of people: 1. Wives be subject to your own husbands 2. Husbands love your wives as Christ love His Church. Love her as you love yourself. 3. Children obey your father and mother. 4. Slaves obey your masters. You are combining instructions given to children and slaves with the instruction given to wives.
    The relationship of a husband and wife is that of companions. “Because the LORD has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously; yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant” (Malachi 2:14). It is not a parent / child relationship where the parent is training a child in the proper way to live. Husbands are not instructed to train their wives. It is not the relationship of a master to a slave. A marriage is a covenant freely entered into by equals. Nor is it a relationship where evil-doing is punished by the husband. The problem with the concept of a husband disciplining his wife is that it changes the relationship between the husband and wife into one never intended by God.

  11. You aren’t claiming that husbands and wives should be on equal grounds as companions? After all, there are many other verses that encourage us to submit to our husbands: Colossians 3:18, Ephesians 5:22-24,Titus 2:1-5, Corinthians 11:3. All of these verses clearly establish that the husband is the head of the household, just as Christ was the head of the church. And yes, should we require it, husbands are in charge of training us, teaching us and disciplining us. That is what submission means. There is no way you can claim the Bible does not assign wives a role of submission when there are many verses like: “Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.” Think of the analogies. Christ, as the head of the church. A king, as a ruler of a country etc.
    BGR has never said that wives are just servants. You are not compelled to love or take care of your servant, to put their needs before your own. You are not compelled to teach them. The relationship between a husband and wife is completely unique.
    Are wives companions? Of course! The Bible also says that husbands and wives should love each other, to put the other’s need before their own, to not deny each other sexually, to help each other and guide each other.
    A wife is a combination of a companion, a servant, a lover, a child and much more.

    Anyway, it is completely true that God made men more suited to leadership, and us more suited to submission. Honestly, I think we as Christian women will find joy in filling the role that God has assigned for us, rather than trying to seek joy in chasing equality in everything. That will only lead to an unstable, unhappy relationship.

  12. No she isn’t a combination of all those things, or a husband would also be a combination of all those things as well (he’s just human) and should require dicipline as well. As a matter of fact, women are more cognitively mature than men, and have more wisdom than males. In the book of Wisdom, wisdom is referred as femine. More males have learning disabilities, Autism, and ADHD, than females. There are more females in college than males. Men are not as smart as they would like females to think, which is why claiming “authority” over females is important to men. According to sociology, the man’s physical strength was given to them for hard labor. Men are not working hard labor anymore; they are now working in offices. If a huband and wife are going to be treating each other like children, then they shouldn’t be married af all! Adult married couples treat each other with love and respect, and teach their children to love and respect each other, peers, relatives and friends. Parents set the example for their children by the way they treat each other.

  13. ‘BGR. I would like to point out two things.1. You keep referring to a wife’s body as a “body.” My wife’s body, his wife’s body, a wife’s body. It is true that when your wife dies, it will be a body, and you can do whatever you want to with it. In the meantime, a wife is a “person” made of flesh and bone like you, and very capable of feeling pain like you, if not more. Paul instructed husband’s to treat their wife as if it were his own. You don’t want be disciplined, then don’t discipline her; if you don’t like pain, then don’t inflict pain on her, either. 2. In order to discipline her, she has to be in agreement to surrender her paycheck over to you “before” you get married. For example: A boyfriend who proposes marriage to a female Pediatrician, he would have to make it clear that she is going to have to give him, her $500,000 per year salary, and he would handle her money as he sees fit, and only give he an allowance. a.) so he could use it coercion against her, and, b.) in the event she may want to divorce him, he could withdraw all of it from the bank, and keep it for himself, stealing her hard earn money. Do you really think, she would do that? Do you see a woman who’s net worth is $30,000,000 handing her money to her husband? Not! You have a very low idea of a woman’s intelligence and very unrealistic expectations.

  14. “Paul instructed husband’s to treat their wife as if it were his own. You don’t want be disciplined, then don’t discipline her.”

    Actually, within a Christian context we are supposed to be of a completely different mindset. Proverbs 3:11-12 tells us, “My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights”

    Discipline can be totally about love, not control or abuse.

  15. Your husband isn’t your Lord! He didn’t die for you at the cross 2,000 years ago; Christ did. You’re husband didn’t give you your life either. Also, Jesus was the Head of the Apostles, and He never diciplined any of them, nor did He ever make His Apostiles submit to Him. It was their choice to follow him, and when Peter betrayed Jesus 3 times, Jesus asked Peter, if he loved Him three times and Peter answerd three times. Where was the dicipline?

  16. As I’ve said perhaps half a dozen times, “discipline” actually means “to teach.” Those who followed Christ were called “disciples,” from the same root word.

    If one has a very authoritarian, fear- based response to the very concept of submission, than I suppose it would be very difficult to understand that both submission and discipline can be voluntary acts based on love, not on oppression and control.

  17. Oh ok, so they weren’t the 12 Apostles, they are called Disciples. (The Acts of the Disciples.) It was my understanding that there were 12 Apostles and disciples that followed Jesus Christ. Yes, Jesus was their teacher, but Jesus taught his “disciples” by modeling and example. He never took authority over them or disciplined them. Good husbands model and set examples to their wives and children. Nevertheless, when a husband has a problem with his wife, he should cast her and the problem over to Gods, and let God handle his wife and problem, and have faith that He will take care of your problem for you. If, you are taking it into your own hands, then you are not allowing God to lead in your life, which can and will lead to problems. My husband and I are egalitarians. We’ve known each other for over 35 years, and we’ve been married 26 years. I think I have some knowledge about marriage. Also, I don’t know what God you have that disciplines you, but my God is an awesome God!!! He showers my family and me with happiness, love, prosperity, peace, good health, unity in family and protection! He is above me, under me, behind me, on front of me, to my right and to my left. I turn to God for everything, and He’s never let me down. I feel sorry for those of you who have such little faith in God, that you feel compelled to take things into your own hands!

  18. Rose,

    I did not combine the instructions about submission and obedience for wives and husbands, parents and children and master and slaves – God did. Anyone can examine Ephesians 5:22-33 and then continue on into Ephesians 6:1-9 to see that God speaks to each of these authority groups in successive order. That does not mean I think that the husband/wife authority group is the exactly the same as the parent/child(although it bares some similarities) or that the husband/wife authority group is the same as the master/servant group although again it bares some similarities.

    Yes one aspect of marriage is indeed companionship. It is not good for man to be alone, so God made him a help meet. Amen. Companion in Malachi 2:14 comes from the Hebrew word “Chabereth” and this word does not denote anything about equality between two persons. It simply means they are going along together. A master and his servant could be companions as they walk down the road together.

    The command for husbands to train their wives is implied in this statement of Scripture:

    “25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
    26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
    27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
    Ephesians 5:25-27 (KJV)

    How are husbands told to love their wives? As Christ loved the Church. Then we see some of the ways Christ loved his Bride, the Church.
    He gave himself for her to wash her by the Word of God, to make her holy. He did not sacrifice himself for his bride to leave her as she was, but to make her better than she was before he found her. This is the kind of sacrificial love a husband is to have for his wife.

    Does Christ punish evil doing by his Church? We see in the Scriptures that Christ made some of his Church members sick and other he killed for abusing communion in Church services:

    “29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
    30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.” – I Corinthians 11:29-30 (KJV)

    In the book of Revelation chapters 2 to 3 Christ rebukes 7 of his 6 Churches and warns them of further discipline if they do not repent and change their ways. At end the of warning each of those Churches he tells this to his Churches:

    “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” – Revelation 3:19 (KJV).

    How do we know what God intended for man and woman? We know it by his Word. Not by how we feel, not by what our culture says is right or wrong. You continue to tell us how you feel marriage should be, and how you think God intended it be but ignore God’s Word on the subject. I pray that one day you will come to embrace the Word of God, all of his Word, instead of following your own feelings of what you think marriage should be.

  19. Emily,

    This is a great statement that you made:

    “A wife is a combination of a companion, a servant, a lover, a child and much more.”

    That is an absolutely Biblical statement to make. Christian feminists and egalitarians(represented here by Rosie) don’t have a problem with the companionship aspect of of being a wife, nor the lover aspect necessarily(although they may define it differently). But they have a big problem the wife being presented as her husband’s servant or that her relationship to her children could in any way resemble that of a child toward their parent. But it is undeniable that that Bible does in fact show that Marriage is a type of master/servant relationship when Peter exhorts wives to follow Sarah’s example as she “obeyed Abraham, calling him lord” I Peter 3:6. But as I point in on my post on that subject it is certainly not a typical master/servant relationship and there are many things about marriage that would make it different as you pointed out so well above. But the master/servant dynamic is one aspect of marriage.

    I know many women take offense at making any similarities between the husband/wife relationship and the parent/child relationship and thus the oft repeated statement of wives toward their husbands when they are in rebellion against them “you are not my father!”. But there are some similarities and overlaps even though the relationships are not quite identical. In the same way that a child looks to their parents for leadership, provision, protection, teaching and discipline so to a wife looks to her husband for these very things if she has humbled her heart before God and submitted to his design for her life and her marriage.

    Now as I pointed out in my two posts on this subject we are discussing – a husband always needs to make clear to his children that their mother is not on the same level with them, she is their authority and they owe her their honor and obedience as their mother. This is why husbands need to be careful of how they discipline their wives, that they do not do so in a way that would cause the children to start thinking that somehow they are equal with their mother.

  20. Rosie,

    If you study IQs testing men have a greater spectrum across the IQ measurement. The majority of women fall in the range of average intelligence, while for men their are more below average intelligence men than below average intelligence women, but there also more above average intelligence men than above average intelligence women. That is why there are 8 male geniuses to every 1 female genius.

    But what you also miss is that God does not setup authority structures based on intelligence. He setups them up based on order and the models he has designed. Even a below average intelligence man can be a great leader. There are many below average intelligence men that run their own businesses(restaurants, storefronts…ect). It is not always a man’s intelligence that make him a great leader, but rather his masculine nature. His ability to breakdown and compartmentalize problems and to separate his emotion from his duty and his ability to take greater risks is what makes a man often times a much better leader than a woman. But this is not to say that there are not some great women leaders. But we must remember that the position of leadership in marriage is not based on talent or ability, it is based on positions and roles that God had defined VERY clearly in his Word.

    Also do you realize that some children are actually much more intelligent than their parents? Especially as they get into their early teens this can often be seen. Does this give the child the right to go around their parents or take over the family or be on equal footing with their parents because they are smarter? Of course not.

    And yes Rosie if you study the what husbands are to be to their wives and wives are to be to their husbands in Scripture – Emily is exactly right in her statement. Again her statement is not based upon her feelings, but upon the written Word of God.

  21. Rosie,

    I absolutely want to be be disciplined. And yes discipline is not always pleasant at the time it is occurring and it can in fact be painful as the Bible points out:

    “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” – Hebrews 12:11 (KJV)

    But look at what God says when we submit to discipline it “produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
    I am grateful for the discipline my parents brought into my life, even though at the time it was unpleasant, but it was part of what made me the man I am today. I am thankful for the discipline that my teachers in school brought into my life that also made me the man I am today. I am thankful for my first employers who were tough on me and disciplined me – it made me a better worker. Most of all I am thankful for the discipline that God has brought into my life at various stages of my life to teach me things and keep me on the right path.

    So no I and other Bible believing Christians do not fear discipline as you do, we embrace it.

    Again a woman’s intelligence has NOTHING to do with her submission to her husband. The most intelligent woman in the world could submit to the least intelligent man if she had humbled herself before God and embraced his roles in marriage. In this case she would happily submit to him. But if a woman is in rebellion against God’s design than of course it would be unrealistic to think she would willingly submit and in all likelihood because of her sinful rebellion and selfish ambition against God’s design.

  22. Rosie,

    Yes Rosie there are many men in this world who would be willing to surrender their God given role as their wife’s head and enable her selfish ambition and rebellion against God. Many men(both unbelievers and professed believers in Christ) do this every day. So yes a woman does not have to settle for a man who wants to honor God’s design for marriage and an instead find one that will enable her in her sin against God’s Word.

    A woman who is virtuous by God’s standards(and not by our sinful and fallen world’s standards) is a woman whose price is worth “far above rubies.” But as to women who do not follow God’s design for their lives “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.” Proverbs 21:19 (KJV)

  23. Rosie,

    Actually God says you are to regard your husband as your lord:

    “For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
    Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord” – I Peter 3:6 (KJV)

    The Bible tells women they are to submit to their husbands “as unto the Lord”(Ephesians 5:22).
    Now this does not mean your husband is God, but God has placed him in authority over you as your earthly head and master(lord) and God expects you to follow him as you follow God. This is the same idea as Military general who leaves another officer in command of his men. His men are to obey their commanding officer just as they would the General himself.

    And again Rosie you are wrong about Jesus Christ. He did in fact discipline his Apostles and here is an example of that:
    “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
    But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” – Matthew 16:20-24 (KJV)

  24. Rosie,

    Jesus never took authority over his disciples? I guess you missed the Great commission.

    “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)

    Your statement:

    Also, I don’t know what God you have that disciplines you, but my God is an awesome God!!!

    My Response:
    Rose the God we know, as opposed to god you know said this about discipline:
    “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.” – Hebrews 12:7:10 (NIV)

    According to God’s Word, if you don’t have a God who disciplines you “then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all”. This is why as believers in Christ we embrace discipline, we do not run from it.

    Having physical prosperity, good health and a happiness in your marriage and family is not an indication that God agrees with how you have lived your life or how you have chosen to arrange your marriage.

    “…for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” – Matthew 5:45 (KJV)

  25. Rosie,
    I know many other Christian women who believe that our happiness lies in egalitarianism, and if you want to chase that dream that’s fine. Just know that there is no basis for that in the Bible. A few years ago I used to think the same, but now I realize that there is nothing in the Bible to support the notion that we are equal to our husbands in every way. I personally think that I will find true joy in my marriage by following the Biblical model, because I trust in God’s wisdom.

  26. Excuse me Emily! “If I want to chase that dream?” Did you not understand that I’ve been married for 26 years? Are you brainwashed by BFR and his followers? I thought you said, you are Catholic.

  27. Catholics are complimentarians, their not extremist like Biblical Gender Roles. Now, if you really believe that you are subordinate, subservient human being who is to be used and abused by your husband, than that’s what you should do. By all means!

  28. @ Amy. BGR is not Catholic, and all of his articles are based on his own opinion, which teaches extreme Patriarchy; he is not a Pastor, a vast majority of Republicans do not practice what this author teaches. As a matter of fact, this type of teaching falls into the 2-3% of the population in the United States. If you really want good advice on complimatarian marriages, I recommend, you watch some videos on youtube by Pastor Matt Chandler. “A Beautiful Design / Women” Video #7. He also has a lot of videos you may want to watch on gender roles. Matt isn’t a Catholic, but he does teach about complimentarian relationships and marriages, which is what your religion advocates. – my former religion.

  29. Yes, well I disagree from a Catholic perspective with BGR all the time. But not on this issue. Complimentarians believe that the wife should have a supporting role, to what degree is left unclear but it certainly isn’t egalitarianism. The male is clearly the head, even in a Catholic household. Look at how the church operates, the leader is always a male, we have a supporting position, because God assigned that role to us, and it’s in a supporting role that we will find happiness.
    I live w my boyfriend (we are sexually abstinent and will get married next year.) I listen to everything he says, and he has never used or abused me. Idk why you have such a negative opinion of men!

  30. I don’t have a negative opinion on men. I have a negative opinion on extreme Patriarchy. I’m in an egalatarian marriage right now, but it didn’t start that way. I wanted to be a housewife and mother, and I was for 6 years, but my husband was always putting me down, and he was always wanting sex and the use of toys. We had sex up to three times a night and 6 times per day on the weekends, even while I was sleeping! This went on for years, and I never said no. Also during this time, my husband was sleeping with prostitutes and gave me crabs. He also ended up putting drugs in my drinks, so he could video tape me, and sexually do whatever he wanted with me (I found the videos.) Sometimes, I would wake up in the living room all naked with a severe headache and no knowledg of what had happened. My children could have walked in and seen me all naked. Finally, I ended up in the ER to a reaction to a drug, he had put in my drink. This is when I realized my husband was drugging me, and I could have died. He was taking my life into his own hands, and just because I was married to him, did not give him the right to do whatever, he wanted with me. Be was also always arguing with me, and placing demands on me. My husband would threaten to kill me, if I told anyone what was going on in our house. But I did it anyways. I told my family and his family what was going on. They feared for my life, and recommend I separate from him. It lead to a long-term separation. During this separation, I went back to college and obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders, and I’ve been very successful. Also, when my husband and I got back together, he still wanted to continue to treat me however he wanted. There were a few more separations because of his controlling and abusive behavior. It’s been a long battle, but he did change. Now he’s a very loving and caring husband and father. I love him more, than I ever have before. There is a lot of peace and love in my home, and I thank Jesus for transforming my husband into a good man. Nevertheless, my daughters will never forget. I do not discourage my daughters from getting married. I actually encourage it, but I do tell my daughters (who are 22 & 25 years old) to get a college education, just in case, they should find themselves in an abusive marriage. I dated my husband for 9 years, before we got married, and I never expected what was to happen.
    If you have any further comments for me, please keep them to yourself. I will not be coming back to BGR’s blog or Facebook page. Just reading all of his articles brings back bad memories and feelings. I’m just going to continue focusing on Jesus. Good luck in your future marriage Emily. May our God Father in heaven bless you, take care 🙂

  31. Rosie,

    You have shared with me in another post the abusiveness of your husband. You did not share some of these things there. I get women privately emailing me all the time about issues like yours and if I received such an email from a woman that her husband was still doing these things to her(and had not changed the way your husband did) I would recommend she at least separate from him and if there was no change in this kind of behavior that she should divorce him.

    What your husband did cannot be blamed on Biblical patriarchy, but rather an abuse of power. I really am sorry that your husband abused you the way he did, but that is no reason to blame God or his design or throw out the Bible, the Church and make up your own version of Christianity where the Holy Spirit specially speaks to you where you believe you don’t need the Bible anymore.

  32. Rosie sorry for what happened to you. I grant you, some men are not deserving, or fitted to, the power that God gives them as our husbands. I myself would have done the same as you did in your situation – except much much earlier. And I admire that you are still together and did not divorce. I would like to note that submission does not mean we should tolerate abuse. God commands submission of us, and love from the husbands. Either of the two are not present, then the marriage is not sacramental.

  33. To me this seems more like a marriage that would work between two people who previously agree on a dominant/submissive marriage. If you agree to these rules and punishments before marriage I would not necessarily consider it abuse as there are people who are into the traditional gender roles. I would consider this abusive however if you were to implement these forms of discipline after being married or demand a woman to become submissive after you two marry. Communication is key.

    Also, a few semi random questions I am curious about your opinion on:
    1. Should a married couple never use birth control and should women after menopause stop having sex because the purpose of sex is to reproduce?
    2. Should an infertile male or female not have sex because they cannot reproduce children, which is the main point of having sex?
    3. Should a male ever be disciplined by his wife?
    4. Isn’t divorce not allowed except for a few reasons and not for the reason you stated about God divorcing Israel?

    I am an atheist and would never enter into this type of marriage but I love studying religions and learning about different points of view. Therefore, I am curious about your answers and point of view. Also, if possible may you include quotes from the bible in answering these questions?

  34. Michelle,

    There are actually are some Christian couples who agree to disciplinary procedures before marriage, and I agree that it makes things much easier in that case. Christian men should not purposefully look for a woman who rejects the Biblical model of headship(and yes discipline) but should try and find women who have the same beliefs. However in an imperfect world men can sometimes be blinded by women’s beauty or their own insecurities and marry women to whom they know thy are unequally yoked(don’t share the same beliefs). Some men don’t realize what headship and discipline are until long after they are married.

    Biblically speaking discipline does not require the consent of those under authority. The discipline is to occur regardless. Obviously communication vital in a marriage and I do not advocate these forms of discipline I have given should be be done lightly or without warnings first. These types of discipline should happen when a woman will not listen and continues do these things mentioned.

    As to your questions your have about sex I have answered them in a previous post I wrote:
    7 Reasons Why God made Sex – https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2015/02/10/the-7-reasons-why-god-made-sex/
    The short answers though to your questions are no God did not make sex only for reproduction, so no sex should not stop after menopause.
    Fertility is a non issue when it comes to marital sex, procreation is not the only purpose of sex.
    But see the post above for more detail on why God made sex.

    No a husband should never be discipline by his wife – because only one in authority can discipline a person under their authority. A wife can bring her grievances to her husband but she cannot discipline him. If a husband is abusing his wife or children or failing to provide for them then she should seek out his authorities(Civil or Church) and let them know so they can discipline him. She may need to separate herself and her children from him if he is acting in these sinful ways.

    See these articles I wrote on Biblical reasons for divorce:
    https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2015/08/16/why-does-god-allow-divorce/
    https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2015/08/16/does-god-allow-divorce-for-adultery/
    https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2015/08/16/does-god-allow-a-woman-to-divorce-her-husband-for-failure-to-provide/
    https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2015/08/16/does-god-allow-divorce-for-abuse/
    https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2015/08/16/does-god-allow-divorce-for-spousal-abandonment/

    All of these posts include quotes from the Bible as you requested.

  35. http://www.justice.gov/ovw/domestic-violence

    That wasn’t hard. While I admit most of the solutions here don’t really seem to qualify as abuse by the DoJ’s definitions, at least #1 and #2 qualify.

    #1. “…a public rebuke of her tone and actions.” DoJ: “…Undermining an individual’s sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem is abusive.”

    #2. “…confiscation of her credit cards and ATM cards.” DoJ: “attempting to make an individual financially dependent”

    These two are clear-cut domestic violence, straight from the DoJ website.

    The rest of these ride a fine line, particularly of financial abuse. Most of these ‘disciplinary actions’ are simply keeping money and goods from your significant other. That is, in essence, keeping them financially dependent, and “…maintaining total control over financial resources.” If the husband in this scenario has the sole income, maybe, just maybe, he’d have an argument. But the law views you as equals. Biblical authority matters little to the DoJ.

  36. The 7 listed misbehaviors can also be exhibited by husbands. How can this be addressed?

    This article completely ignores the case of a working wife/mother, which is incredibly common nowadays. Is it your position that the money a working woman earns is completely under the control of her husband? If not, how could the husband confiscate access to the money she earns?

  37. Breanna,

    I just posted an update to the bottom of this post in which I answered some reader’s questions. I answer the question of the case of women working and having their own money.

    One thing that I did not answer in that update is your question about is her money under the control of her husband. The answer according to Ephesians 5:24 is that “wives should submit to their husbands in everything” and I would think “everything” includes the money they earn from their jobs. Now I do think that a husband under normal circumstances should do as the husband of Proverbs 31 did and “Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.”(Proverbs 31:31) and let her have some of her earnings to spend as she wishes.

    But ultimately the husband is in charge of everything that occurs in his home, including the earnings of his wife.

    Now that is all from a Biblical perspective. As I said in the update I posted today at the bottom of the post – a man can’t really force his wife to do anything. If she wants to hold back her money or retain control of it and act in rebellion against her husband as her authority there is nothing he can do about that from a legal perspective except one thing – He can give her all the bills that are in her name to pay out of her money.

  38. “the husband is in charge of everything that occurs in his home, including the earnings of his wife.” And yet, both Proverbs 31 (as you point out) and the sentiment of a wife being manager of the home, indicate that the wife is in charge of everything that occurs in the home.

  39. Loura,

    I actually wrote a post several months back on this top of men letting their wives be the manager of her home as God calls her to be.

    “7 ways to let your wife manage your home” https://biblicalgenderroles.com/2015/04/24/7-ways-to-let-your-wife-manage-your-home-2/

    A woman is in charge of her home and I agree husbands should allow wives to manage their home. I give examples in that post how men can allow their wives to exercise their duties to manage their homes. But the wives’s authority in home always comes under the umbrella of her husbands authority. It is not separate and apart from her husbands authority. Read that post and let me know what you think.

  40. So if she undermines her husband in public, shames him or ridicules him doesn’t that conform to “Undermining an individual’s sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem is abusive”? Seems like it to me.

    If the wife spends the family into bankruptcy would that conform to ““attempting to make an individual financially dependent”?

    We have some very fine feminist “Christians” running to secular authority these days. How telling.

  41. So if the wife is in charge of everything in the house does that mean that the house doesn’t conform to the will of God?

    The wife is to submit to the husband, so where does that put authority over the house? To the wife, under the husband, under God.

  42. “So if she undermines her husband in public, shames him or ridicules him doesn’t that conform to “Undermining an individual’s sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem is abusive”? Seems like it to me.”

    Of course it is abusive, as is financially bankrupting one’s family on purpose. As I wrote elsewhere on this page, the author of this blog leaves the interpretation for “disrespectful” wide open. Regardless, if someone is harming you or your children or dependents, it is in everyone’s best interest to leave.

    Care to explain how abuse is Godly? Romans 13:1-7 states,

    “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. … “

  43. I really liked the article until you got to the examples of disciplining a wife. You gave examples of how to descipline a wife, however you didn’t give examples of ways to fix the sin together. “She spends too much” I think you should encourage people to fix this. Talk with her, try to understand why she feels she needs to spend this much. What is the money going to? Find ways to use more coupons and buy certain things only when they go on sale. Promote husbands to look over coupons with her. Promote husbands to go online and help her find good deals. Encourage her to come to her husband when she has something she would like to buy that isn’t nessasary and find ways to help her overcome the sin. being told of a sin and disciplined for the sin but not being encouraged to fight the sin, is never good enough!! When a person falls into sin, they need help to overcome it.

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