It has been said that “there is no such thing as bad publicity” but some would question the truth of that based on the barrage of attacks my site has received in the last few days since a post I wrote “How a husband can enjoy sex that is grudgingly given by his wife” has gone viral online.
What I find very interesting is the articles written about my teachings on the Huffington Post and the Daily Mail were actually more honest portrayals than an article written by Florence Taylor (a professed Christian) at ChristianityToday.com.
In an article entitled “Why BiblicalGenderRoles.com does not represent the true Christian view of sex” Taylor writes:
“News outlets around the world have picked up on BiblicalGenderRoles.com, a website which claims that men should not tolerate their wives refusing sex, and that husbands should invoke fear – “a healthy or ‘soft dread'” – in their wives.”
First of all that term ‘soft dread’ is not even a term I coined or use often on my site if she were to look at more than one article. That is actually the first time I have ever used that term on my site and it was in response to a site called TheRationalMale.com which like my site attacks feminist teachings.
I was attempting in that post to compare and contrast my views with those of Rollo Tomassi who is the founder of TheRationalMale.com. I made this statement in the post when I was trying to compare Tomassi’s dread teachings to the Scriptures:
“You [Rollo Tomassi] talk about “dread” and I read your posts on that subject. In the Christian faith we have a similar concept when it comes to God that we are to “fear” him. This is not some sort of scary fear (like God is a monster), but it is a reverent fear.
This is why the Bible tells women to submit to their husbands “as unto the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22) – literally a wife is to submit to her husband as she would unto God himself. She is commanded by God to “see that she reverence her husband” (Ephesians 5:33). The English word “reverence” in that passage is a translation of the Greek word “Phobeo” which literally means “to fear or be afraid” or “to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience”. In fact most of the time that Greek word “Phobeo” is translated as “fear” throughout the New Testament.
So should a wife Biblically speaking have a little healthy fear or dread of her husband?
Today most Christian wives have ZERO fear or dread of their husbands even though the Bible commands them to. In fact I would argue that in most Christian marriages men are the ones who fear their wives.
Men show their wives they are either afraid to lose them (be alone) or afraid of the prospect of divorce and the financial or child custody repercussions that it may bring. “
But later I disagreed with his “dread” (or otherwise known as “The Red Pill”) approach when I commented:
“I don’t think I am ready to swallow the Red pill. It’s not that I think everything in red pill ideology is wrong, I believe red pill has some points about feminism as well as how men should not run around like puppy dogs with their wives trying make her happy at every moment. I agree with red pill that some women are sexual extortionists (whether they consciously realize it or not)…
One the bigger parts about Red Pill that is very hard me to swallow is the dread notion. I do believe as pointed out in this post that God wants women to have a reverent fear for their husbands. But I do not think that fear should be based in the fact that a husband plants subconscious ideas in his wife’s head that he might cheat. I don’t agree with married men flirting.”
I have stated on several occasions – Rollo and I may agree on some of the problems with feminism and its impact on marriage, but we certainly do not agree on the solution to the problem!
It would be more correct to say if you read more than one post on my site that I believe regular sexual relations between a husband and his wife should be based on ‘Agape’ Love which is the strongest type of love and the one most used in the Scriptures. It is a love that does not find its foundation in emotion and feeling, but rather in duty and commitment. It is a love based in the will, a choice. This is what allows a husband to continue loving a wife who mistreats him, or a wife to continue loving a husband that mistreats her.
I Corinthians 7 clearly and unequivocally states that God views sex in marriage as a duty and an obligation to one’s spouse(it is an equal right for both the husband and the wife):
“Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” – I Corinthians 7:1-5 (KJV)
Miss Taylor trots out her Rape straw man to knock down
A “straw man argument” is when a person does not wish to, or cannot refute what it is a person is arguing for. So instead they add things to what that person has said, and then attack what they themselves have added. Miss Taylor employs this approach against me.
Rather than trying to refute what I said that it is wrong for wives to consent but then give sex grudgingly from the Bible – Miss Taylor turns to a Gender justice specialist to fight against the straw man of rape instead.
“The real danger lies for those living within conservative Christian contexts where traditional gender roles are taught. It’s possible that Solomon’s website could be used to justify the manipulation of this teaching, Collins said.
She said women who are suffering abuse and read the website may well be made to think their situation is acceptable.
“It is reinforcing rapists’ views and giving a Christian justification and spin in support of rape and normalising it,” Collins said. “The negative effect could result in people being raped or women feeling like rape they are suffering is not rape.””
Parading as a Biblical world view, Collins said the site is perpetuating “rapists who are using the Bible to justify their actions, and therefore normalising them.”
So I have just one question for Miss Taylor and her Gender justice specialist Natalie Collins.
Should Christian Pastors and Christian teachers stop teaching I Corinthians 7:1-5 which clearly states a husband has power over his wife’s body and the wife has power over her husband’s body because some men may use that to support the idea that they can force themselves on their wives?
Just because the Scriptures talk about something and that teaching can be perverted for wrong does not mean we should stop teaching what the Bible says.
I have made this statement before and I stand by it:
Biblically speaking, there is no such thing as “marital rape” – HOWEVER, there is such a thing as physical abuse. While the Bible does not speak specifically to this case of a man forcing himself on his wife, I believe it is a case of physical abuse.
So what others call rape, I call abuse. In the same way that when someone is wrongfully killed it might be first degree murder, second degree murder or man slaughter what we call “physical abuse” and what we call “rape” is dependent on the relationship between the man and woman in question. There is no doubt a wrong has been committed. But what we call it, and how it is punished or dealt with is very different depending on the circumstances.
But make no mistake – I do not condone what I call physical abuse (a man forcing himself upon his wife) and what others call rape in marriage. A husband should NEVER EVER force himself upon his wife.
But those who actually read what I write in its entirety and its context know I don’t condone rape or a husband physically abusing his wife by forcing himself on her.
The real problem is submission
Taylor continues her discussion with Collins:
“However, she also noted that the media coverage could also have a positive effect, prompting a “wider debate about how the church actually thinks about women and their treatment.”
The true Biblical message is an “amazing truth of liberation for women” from oppression, Collins added.
“The Bible shows us that one of the consequences of the fall is patriarchy and dominion, but that in Jesus the curse of sin and death was removed for freedom – we should be living a redeemed reality as equals honouring one and other.”
Debunking Solomon’s ‘biblical’ argument, Collins said “a fundamental of the Christian faith is that we are given free will, and therefore any gender mandate or biological argument that trumps free will and honour and respect is not Christian.”
The real problem that people have with my site underneath all the baseless accusations of me advocating for men to rape their wives is the idea of Biblical submission.
Patriarchy was not a consequence of the fall as Collins and her feminist Christian friends would love to believe. Patriarchy was prescribed by God before the fall and after the fall and even after Christ came and redeemed us.
The real problem is not even sexual issues in marriage. We in America and in other Western nations do not like authority. We don’t like duty. We want to live by our feelings and emotions instead.
Especially in the home, no one wants to be told what to do. Not the kids and certainly not the wives. Even husbands don’t want to be told by the Church that they need to lead their homes, provide for their homes and protect their homes. Men don’t want to be told that they have to step up and be spiritual leaders. Men are afraid to confront sin their homes – whether it be with themselves, their wives or their children.
So when some crazy preacher in Church or some Christian blogger says that women have a duty and obligation to submit to their husband in all ways (including in the sexual arena) the hairs on the back of their necks stand up.
Yes God gave us a free will, but he also gives us consequences based on how we choose to exercise that free will. He does not want us to use that free will to rebel against our authorities.
“Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God…
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;” – I Peter 2:13-16 & I Peter 3:1
So I invite my readers and every Christian reading this to examine the Scriptures for themselves.
Is Patriarchy (male headship) something that was “one of the consequences of the fall” and something that Christ came to “redeem” us from? Or was it an institution designed by God from the very beginning of creation to be a shining symbol of the relationship between God and his people?
Is sex an obligation and duty in marriage? Does God give any prerequisites a man must do toward his wife or wife must do toward her husband in order to earn sex? Search the Scriptures for yourselves.
Whose teaching comes closest to the Scripture? Mine or Miss Taylors? You be the judge.
I agree with what Taylor and Collins said here:
“However, she also noted that the media coverage could also have a positive effect, prompting a “wider debate about how the church actually thinks about women and their treatment.”
They are right! We need to have a debate about whether the feminist and emotional view of marriage that has permeated western society has made for stronger marriages or weaker marriages?
Do people get married more or less now than they did a century ago when what I am teaching would have been mainstream?
Do people get divorced more or less since we made emotions the foundation of marriage as opposed to duty and commitment based in Agape Love?
I have added new permanent page – “The Rape Straw Man” in the top menu making my position opposing rape and physical abuse clear for all to see. You can see it here.
31 thoughts on “ChristianityToday.com takes on BiblicalGenderRoles.com”
I’ll leave the scriptural gymnastics to you, but from the secular side the answer to this Straw Man is something I addressed in my first comment to you about that post:
For going on 5 decades now there has been a calculated effort in Christian culture to replace the “Holy Spirit” with the Feminine Imperative. Taylor’s presumptuous criticism is something I’ve seen and discussed with Dalrock for years now; whatever benefits the feminine, whatever is correct in a feminine-primary sense is conflated with “God’s Will”. You will see this is glaringly evident in the advice given by many mainstream Christian marriage and relationship counselors.
I attribute the mass exit of men from the church for exactly this reason, there is never a circumstance where that man isn’t responsible or at fault, in part or in whole, for every problem a couple might experience. The secular presumption of women being default victims, irrespective of conditions takes precedent, and the context of feminine correctness is now conflated with being God’s will. If you countermand or even criticize that presumed correctness you are in effect defying God.
Taylor’s first presumption is that all men are de facto, potential rapists, and that any consideration of how dread works in a relationship is automatically an endorsement of (in this case marital) rape. As I stated before dread is not fear, but the inference she wants to make is that dread is some precursor to or tactic of rape.
It is not, and certainly not within the context I used in my comment to you. Taylor presumes dread in only one context; an overt, ultimatum of impending consequence or potential violence if that wife doesn’t comply sexually with her husband. Thus the appeals to domestic violence survivors, etc. What she’s unaware of is that some state of dread inspires every intersexual relationship we have. Men use it, women use it, but they call it by another name.
Dalrock has covered the divorce porn narrative saturated in Christian culture niche movies for years now, but his most recent series of post are an example of exactly how feminized Christian culture and its complicit male marriage counselors use dread.
In a feminine-primary condition of default female correctness, where the Holy Spirit is replaced by the Feminine Imperative, the dread is one of men complying with that feminine-correctness at the risk of their wives divorcing them, all supported by a feminine-primary Christian culture.
For them to stop teaching that passage, they’d have to currently be teaching it. This passage was brought up exactly one time when we were going through pre-marital counseling, but I have never in 30-plus years of being a Christian heard it mentioned from a pulpit.
It is true that in many liberal and feminized Churches that do not teach the Bible anymore. Thankfully in my Church my Pastor teaches from this passage when speaking on marital duties and he also frequently uses it in marriage counseling.
At this point it doesn’t matter what scriptures you teach or do not teach. Pastors will put the bible through the filter of feminism as they teach it, and if they don’t, the women of the congregation will filter it for him in their own minds. I had posted, on my own blog, my own feelings on how every American Christian woman is a feminist simply by the fact that they have been raised in a society that makes them such. Even the most ‘devout’ Christian woman will have some feminist leanings because they have been told from birth that they are just as good as men, or better! They are princesses! When faced with the reality of scripture it just doesn’t compute unless it’s run through the filter first! Therefore, when being told that her body is not her own, but under the power of her husband, she cannot compute it without remembering one of feminisms many commandments: ‘A woman’s body is her own, to do with as she pleases’. It would take a very strong woman (real strong, not feminist strong) to look at bible teachings and understand that God’s template for marriage is there for her benefit, not her enslavement.
Also, I always thought of ‘dread’ as either active (pua – invoking dread via flirting, threats, etc.) or passive (ie: being the best man you can be, thereby causing your wife or girlfriend to have fear of losing a good thing simply because she knows you are a good thing.). I can see a Christian man using passive dread simply by keeping himself in shape. Personally I don’t think women, even Christian women, care about how a man follows Christ. It seems to play no part in keeping a woman around if she chooses to go AWOL, and I cant think of any women who give it more than a passing glance when considering a husband or boyfriend, as long as he has money or looks.
They get married less… statistics back that up.
What’s in it for men these days? When everything is about the woman, when she can turn him down for sex every night, when they’re living in a passionless, lack of affection kind of marriage? What man would want a wife like the ones the Christian churches are creating?
Oh Lord Insanity… I thought you and BGR settled this last thread.
Settling it in a thread is one thing. Settling it in a culture is quite another. As long as one finds fault (and reasonably so) with a culture, it is always worth considering possible causes of that problem. Ignoring them to save peace is never going to work, nor is it something you seem to do on your blog. Do you Dragonfly truly live in fear of your husband? Does he regularly exercise dread to keep you in line? Or is that something to be saved for other women?
Let me see if I can clear up this “fear” issue.
“Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
But in every nation he that feareth[Phobeo] him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” – Acts 10:34-35 (KJV)
“For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid[Phobeo] of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid[Phobeo]; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” – Romans 13:3-4 (KJV)
“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
There is no fear[Phobos] in love; but perfect love casteth out fear[Phobos]: because fear hath torment. He that feareth[Phobeo] is not made perfect in love.” – I John 4:16-18 (KJV)
“Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence[Phobeo] her husband.” – Ephesians 5:33 (KJV)
“Honour[Timao] all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour[Timao] the king.” – I Peter 2:17(KJV)
Ok Insanity – I just gave you several Scripture passages using three key words we need to discuss – Phobos, Phobeo and Timao.
As you can see from Romans 13:3-4 & I Peter 2:17 Phobeo and Timao are both used in reference to Kings and rulers. Timao is also used in speaking of honoring parents throughout the New Testament. Yet God chose Phobeo, and not Timao to talk of how a woman is to be toward her husband in Ephesians 5:33. The root of this word is far more than mere honor, but a reverent fear and veneration. The same word Phobeo is translated as the “fear” toward God.
I think the use of Phobeo in Romans 13:3-4 can also help us to understand how a wife is to ‘Phobeo’ her husband. Notice there is no fear of the authority if we do what is right, it is only if we do evil that we have to fear anything from our authority.
I don’t think a wife needs to walk around constantly being afraid of her husband(for any reason). Mine certainly does not. But she does need to have a reverence toward him. She should also fear rebelling against him. If a woman has no fear of rebelling against her husband, and believes she can threaten him with leaving him or divorce there is a problem. If she has no fear of disrespecting her husband especially in public there is a problem. This is why I alluded to the “there’s the door” method in a previous post. A wife needs to realize that if she rebels against her husband and threatens to leave he has no fear of this and will call her bluff. A wife needs to realize that if she is unfaithful to him by having sex with another man, or by not giving herself to him in the act of sex she will also find the door waiting.
So do you think women should not have this fear for their husbands that I have just described above? Yes Perfect love casteth out all Phobos, yet women are commanded to Phobeo God and Phobeo their husbands. There is no contradiction when we understand because God has loved us and because what Christ did for us we don’t have to fear the judgement or hell. This is talking about our eternal destiny. But in this life while we walk in these mortal bodies and we still sin in the here and now we certainly should fear the temporal consequences of opposing our rulers, including women fearing the consequences of rebelling against their husbands.
Well I have give it another try here to explain my position. Also you have a question from AnnaMS.
“Do you Dragonfly truly live in fear of your husband? Does he regularly exercise dread to keep you in line? Or is that something to be saved for other women?”
Hi AnnaMS, I actually believe I answered these things on the thread about Rollo’s topic if you want to know, and went into detail about our marriage there. I also agree pretty much 100% with BGR’s description above about a wife “fearing” her husband, so that probably answers 95% of what you’re asking me.
I think respect is very very fundamental (even on a primal level) for a woman to feel attraction to her mate. So I agree that a woman has to “look up to” her man. Per words like “fear” “dread” and “duty” once again, words have different meanings and I think since people are pretty set in their personal paradigms they tend to interpret them differently. I “fear” my husband’s displeasure to I want to please him, but really I’m not motivated by fear…I like to please him. I have a “duty” to have sex with him but I’m not motivated by duty, I want to have sex with him (and even when I’m not in the mood I like to please him). Because I VALUE him this ultimately works to MY advantage…placing a high value on my spouse feeds attraction and connection.
I remember a blogger not so long ago (no one here) wrote some things on Dragonfly’s site that made me think she thought of her husband as a child. Not long after that, on her own blog she extolled the virtues of celibacy in marriage. I think one thing had a lot to do with the other.
Side note: And of course (as I mentioned before) I agree a wife has an obligation to have sex with her husband (and well) on a regular basis. I can’t understand anyone who thinks otherwise. If that’s slavery well, the husband is a slave to the wife and family as well and there are a LOT more obligations on him than her. It’s called marriage.
Side note and head’s up:
A couple of folks (Rollo and Emily) have mentioned I am a different person here than over at Rollo’s. I don’t see it (beyond bawdy humor), but I’m open to criticism so I thought I’d bring it to your attention. I don’t want to misrepresent myself and everything I say here is true (as well as what I say there).
I don’t post at Rollo’s very often (more in the last couple of days than I ever have though). I don’t intend to be a regular poster there either, I’m not a fan of unmoderated forums and it’s a man’s place anyway.
Liz, apparently I’m a different woman as well here lol. I don’t see it with you – you’re the same wherever I see you comment, just with more humor at times, especially that wonderful Aussie site 😀 ❤ I really love that site, and I think it brings out a sillier side of me than anywhere else.
I do feel more comfortable explaining things on BGR's site for sure, I really love his site, love how to talks to people, and love his posts… so I do think it brings out a different side of me, one that shows I adore him & actually enjoy commenting here and with him.
Hee hee Thanks Dragonfly! 🙂
I like Swithy’s, and this site, as well.
Environments are obviously going to have an impact on demeanor kind of like making everyone wear a suit and tie versus “anything goes”. People DO act differently depending, but again I don’t want to misrepresent myself.
Reading IB’s response above, I almost wonder if it’s a male brain versus female brain “thing” that makes people interpret words differently. What she says here is very much like how most women I know would interpret words like “dread” and “duty” and so forth. Men are direct, women tend to be more nuanced. Maybe it’s because I’ve been around “direct” men for so long (and I was raised by a really “direct” old school Dad who grew up on a farm and was a Colonel) I don’t interpret those words the same? I dont’ know. Interesting to consider.
Well said. Amen.
I am sorry but you are flat wrong that “Christ did not use fear and dread to compel others to follow him”. It is true that Christ spoke on God’s love and the Kingdom of heaven. But many Churches today leave off his warnings about hell and damnation for those who remain in rebellion against God.
Christ DOES in fact use fear and dread as one of his methods to compel people to follow him.
“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” – Matthew 10:28 (KJV)
“49 So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, 50 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” – Matthew 13:49-50 (KJV)
“40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ 41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44 Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” – Matthew 25:40-46 (KJV)
Christ tells his Church (his bride) in Revelation that if they do not repent and follow him:
“4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” – Revelation 2:4-5 (KJV)
My point is that Christ uses both the carrot(rewards and eternal life) and stick(punishment and damnation) approaches both with us as his children and with his people collective(the Church) as his bride.
The “hell and damnation Jesus” is simply not popular today in Churches, in the same way that submission, discipline and obedience are not popular in Churches today either. But the fact remains while we have a loving God, we also have a God of wrath and justice as well.
Leadership in the home, and discipline toward one’s wife and children is not about crushing them. It is about molding them to be in the image that God has designed them to be. Obviously a husband must keep himself in check as well, and be sensitive to the Spirit as he searches his own heart for sin. Husbands are not perfect, husbands are not sinless anymore than wives and children are sinless.
But God places imperfect and sinful people over other imperfect and sinful people, whether it is church leaders or men leading their homes.
There is no contradiction between a husband loving his wife as his own body, and him disciplining her as he disciplines himself.
Paul talks about us disciplining ourselves as an athlete disciplines his own body to make it stronger and better. If I love my wife as my own body, then I discipline her as I should myself because God has placed her under my authority and I have his example in how he deals with his people(his bride).
Insanity – just because something can be abused does not make it wrong to teach. The only way my words could be abused is the same way the words of Scripture could be abused – if they are taken out of context or not taken as part of a larger teaching. The Bible tells us God loves us. But it also tells us he disciplines us. The Bible tells us he wants us to have eternal life. But it also tells us if we choose wrongly we will have eternal damnation.
A woman who does as you and several of these other Christian wives does and respects her husband and gives him that physical and sexual love he needs has nothing to fear. But a woman who constantly rebels against her husband, disrespects him and sexually denies him does have something to fear. This is no different than the approach that God uses with us as children, or the approach he used with Israel as his bride or the Church as his bride.
My husband and I recently had a discussion on “fear” and “dread”. Let me preface by saying that neither of us are practicing any faith. I was brought up as a Methodist and he explored a multitude of religions as his parents were atheist.
He and I work together and use our commutes as our main talking time (1.5 hours of driving each way). I had remembered a sermon from childhood about marriage and obligations and was explaining that to him. We talked about submission, and what that meant in our marriage and he remembered something about a Pastor once telling wives that there should be a ‘healthy bit of fear’ in their marriages. He said that this phrase made him recoil, even at 12 years old.
I explained to him that I agreed with that statement. This is basically what I said to him: I fear that one morning when I come to make sure you’ve woken up – that you don’t. I fear that one day, our ability to communicate will be broken or that an argument we may have over some trivial matter puts a crack in our “marital armor” that can’t be repaired because of our mutual stubbornness. I fear that one day, something one of us does or says to the other because we weren’t thinking hurts the other. And, I dread the day that one of us passes and the other is left to cope alone. It’s because of this fear, that I try to stay mindful of what I say to you, and how I treat you and that you always know that you are my priority always.
He thought of having fear as a bad thing – but it’s not. It has multiple levels and meanings. Although I do not actively participate in religion, I still believe in what I was brought up with and it instilled in me the need to treat my husband with respect as well as expect respect in return. He is stronger than I am in many areas, just as I am stronger than he is in many other areas – together, we are two halves of a whole and make each other stronger than either of us could be on our own.
The website with this article is “Christian Today”, a UK based webzine.
Dragonfly, I’m sorry if I missed something in the last thread. I was working a ton and the comments kept getting shifted around so I’m sure I did. However you definitely did answer “95%” of my question, so thank you. Do you think a terrible husband should ever be afraid of his wife leaving?
BGR, I must admit that I am really confused here but also rather hopeful. In a comment you made to Insanity (that looks like it might have been removed), you mentioned that as long as she is submitting to her husband, she has no reasons for fear. From your initial post about fear however, it seemed like you were saying that every married woman should fear her husband. If it is truly just those who have no desire to act well in a marriage and are a terrible wife, than yes I would agree that they should fear their husband leaving (assuming of course that they care whether he stays or goes which is unfortunately not always the case). However, this works both ways, too. If a husband is a terrible husband to his wife, he should fear that she should leave as well (again, assuming he cares). This isn’t a gender issue, it’s more of not taking your spouse for granted especially in today’s world.
People say that they fear authority, but in the vast majority of time, what they really fear is what the authority can do. I am not afraid of police. But when I was pulled over, I was definitely afraid of getting a ticket. My husband is not going to do anything that should cause me to have fear for him.
Is this a correct understanding of what you were trying to say? It seems like so many people have their own definition of what ‘fear’ and ‘dread’ mean and what is or is not okay in a marriage.
I have removed some comments from Insanity and I am no longer allowing her to post comments here. I will write a post when I get some time explaining that decision more in depth.
AnnaMS – I can completely understand how you might be confused by what I wrote about fear. The first thing you have to realize is that entire section was me trying to compare and contrast my beliefs about the relationship between husbands and wives with Rollo and his “dread” teachings.
I believe the Scriptures are clear that a wife is to “fear” her husband and this is what I mean by it. It is really a two pronged “fear”.
The first way a wife is to “Fear” her husband is by having a reverent respect for him. If a police officer came to your house asking questions about one of your neighbors you would have a “reverent fear” of him – you would be very respectful of his position. If the mayor of your town came to your home you would have a “reverent fear” of him based on his position. If you met the President of the United States you would have a “reverent fear” of him because of his position. I was saying this type “reverent fear” of wives toward their husbands has been lost.
The second way you are to fear your husband is more what you just alluded to in your comments. You should fear that if you chronically and willfully sexually deny your husband he may divorce you. You should fear that even if you don’t physically deny him, but just grudgingly give him sex he may not want to spend as much time with you outside the bedroom. You should fear if you disrespect your husband in public he may actually call you out in public for it, or even if he waits to confront you private this is going to cause a fracture in your relationship.
Certainly if a husband is acting sinful toward his wife should he have some reasonable fear that she might also act sinfully? Sure. If a husband is mistreating his wife(according to God standards, not the worlds) should he fear that she might leave him? Yes. For instance if a man is refusing to provide for his wife and sits home playing video games all day collecting an unemployment check he should be very afraid that she may rightly divorce him if this goes on for years. Yes a husband should fear that his wife might leave him if he physically assaults her -absolutely he should fear that.
So in a sense, yes this kind of fear that a spouse may leave because of sinful behavior might not be a gender specific issue.
You are right fear is not always a bad thing. Oftentimes we associate fear with abusive parents or abusive husbands. But there is a good kind of fear, a healthy kind of fear that you allude to that pushes us to be better spouses to our mates.
Ok, if you’re associating fear with respect than yes, I definitely have respect for my husband. However, this is different than what you were referring to with the police officer. If an officer shows up at my door, I fear what he has the authority as a police officer to do (give me a ticket, arrest me, etc.). Since my husband can’t do any of these to me (and I should add he has no desire to), it doesn’t really look the same. My husband, Tobias, is writing the rest of this response.
One of the issues that comes up here is the nature of authority. The authority of a police officer derives from the state, thus the officer is a medium of the state’s authority, and his ability to act is limited (or should be limited) by what the state allows him to do, if he oversteps these bounds then he is breaking the law and should be punished by the authority of the state. Similarly, as a husband my authority derives from God–I am a medium of God’s authority to Anna. Thus, what I can and should do is limited by God’s will. Thus, just as Anna would not fear the officer that came to our door, but may fear what that officer could mean (i.e. that we have done something illegal and will be lawfully punished for it), she should not fear me, but fear offending God. In some ways an offense to God may be expressed through me, but this is limited by God’s will. For instance, I cannot punish Anna by leaving her as divorce is not in God’s will (i.e. it is not God’s desire or his intent even if he may not condemn human failings in this area in specific circumstances [such as sexual immorality]). So, saying that a woman should fear that her husband will leave her is simply unbiblical.
Further, we can accept that a husband as a medium of God’s authority to his family does have some legitimate responsibility for the actions of his wife and children. However, as Anna has pointed out before, the way a man treats his wife and his children is not the same. He may have similar responsibilities to each, but the way in which those responsibilities are fulfilled is very different. For instance, I have a responsibility to lead Anna and to lead our future children. However, discipline is a part of how I lead my children, and that discipline may involve punishment (i.e. spanking, time out, etc). However, if I were to bend Anna over my knee and spank her for misbehaving this would demean her and disrespect our relationship because she is my partner, not my child. I may lead her by pointing out areas where she has done wrong (and I do), but it is God’s responsibility to actively discipline her in this, not mine. My responsibility is to guide and lead her because God has not given me the responsibility to active discipline her (i.e. spanking her, time out, taking away funds, etc). My wife is not my child and I shouldn’t treat her like my child. Similarly, my wife is not my child and she should not act like my child. These are both fundamentally true, but they are not linked to one another insofar as my wife acting like a child does not justify my treating her as a child, nor does my treating my wife as a child justify her acting like a child.
So, her fear of God’s authority does apply to me in a sense. That sense being that she should fear God’s chastisement, and should fear disappointing God by the way she respond to or treats me. Further, she should fear disappointing me because she loves me and doesn’t want to disappoint me. Similarly, I should fear disappointing her because I love her and don’t want to disappoint her. I should also fear God’s chastisement when I treat her poorly. For both of us this is primarily a fear of God’s chastisement, not a fear of the other person, or a fear of failing one that we love, not a fear of the other person.
“Do you think a terrible husband should ever be afraid of his wife leaving?”
That’s really a complicated question, and I’ll tell you why.
Obviously, you would think the answer would be “yes, a terrible husband SHOULD be afraid of his wife leaving.” But that would just reinforce some very devastating beliefs in our society (even Christian culture).
Let’s look at the divorce rate currently, over 70% of divorces are initiated by the wife, and the majority of these men are not “terrible.” The wives however, I’m certain believe their husbands are terrible… terrible for not giving in to their every whim, for trying to lead as they see fit and having their wives hate submitting to any of their decisions. Terrible because the wives are bored and want to pick and complain about any and everything. But upon looking into a lot of these stories further, I’ve found that the men are good men, albeit no one is perfect, but they usually tried everything to save their marriage before divorce – divorce that was initiated by their wife and because they suddenly decided their husband wasn’t good enough anymore.
So if I go on record agreeing that “terrible husbands” have something to be afraid of, then I’m in effect saying that what all those women (70%) did when they divorce-raped their husbands for very trivial reasons, is okay. I’d be adding confirmation that women need to be catered to in marriage, that they need to be “happy’ and that they’re husbands are “terrible” if their wives can’t grow up and be mature enough to work trivial things out (or find happiness for themselves).
On the other hand, the answer is yes, soft dread is basically a man with a great wife – possibly even great looking – not taking it for granted. Soft dread is him not feeling lax and letting his body go if he has a wife that’s hot. Soft dread is him feeling pressure to work – not become a bum – because he knows that she’d leave him. Hopefully you can see the difference.
Dragonfly, when I referred to “terrible” husbands, I meant husbands that were truly terrible, not just whose wives were bored by them. I think you referred to them as AAA men on your blog, if i’m remembering correctly. I agree that there are plenty of women that choose to divorce for stupid and petty reasons, and I’d argue in those instances that they are the “terrible” people. I’m sorry, I should have made that more clear. I’m mainly wondering if the fear that isn’t code-word for the ‘reverence’ or ‘respect’ that wives should have for their husbands (I prefer using those words because of the negative connotations associated with the word ‘fear’, but as long as we’re on the same page, that’s what’s important), isn’t so much something wives should have for their husbands, but rather something that inadequate (for lack of a better word) people should have for their adequate spouse. I still don’t condone that concept as something to take advantage of, but it would at least seem more logical if it worked both ways.
These feminazi’s all use the same tactis, twist your words in an attempt to discredit you. They can’t even make a sound biblical argument for their secual humanist positon. A position that has only been around for the past 100 years…a lot less than that if anything.
Isn’t it interesting that all the people attacking your website are women? Coincidence? I have yet to see a male auther refute your doctrinal stance on gender roles.
I hate to burst your bubble but there are some men out there that try and use Scripture to refute the traditional Biblical gender roles I espouse her. Skip Moen is a big one. He was writing long before me supporting Christian feminism so its not really that he was refuting me personally, just the traditional roles of men and women. There are actually many Christian feminist male writers.
But you are right that from the perspective of the last three articles done on my site(Daily Mail, The Huffington Post, and Christianity Today) these were all women and all feminists.
Sorry I did read your husbands words here the other night but it got lost in my long list of things to respond to. 😉
Your husband’s statement:
To the lucky husband of AnnaMS:
Thank you first and foremost for the gracefulness of your disagreements with me(something that is sorely lacking these days in many circles).
I do not agree with men spanking their wives, giving them corner time or sentences to write as some Christian men do. In fact I do not even use those types of discipline with my older teens boys(17 and 16) or my teenage daughter(13). I believe the discipline you use with a child, verses a teen(a young adult), and then a wife are all very different.
But with all due respect – you are more than a leader, you are an authority over your wife. There are some leaders that have actual authority, and then there are leaders who have no authority but simply inspire others. Biblically speaking you are not only to lead(inspire and guide) your wife, you are to actively exercise your authority over her. This not some domineering thing, but it is a solemn responsibility we have as husbands.
I remember some time back, a woman in our church stood up and said some very disrespectful things to the Pastor. The Pastor’s response was a Biblical one – he exhorted her husband to “get his wife in line”.
If that man had not told his wife to sit down and be quiet he would have been abdicating his authority role over his wife. Authority and discipline go hand and hand. You do not have one without the other. If you do not have the authority to discipline, then you do not have authority at all.
That’s ChristianToday.com, not ChristianityToday.com.