Why the Bible Allows Forced Sex in Marriage

Is forced sex in marriage wrong? If you are like most American Christians your gut answer would be YES! Of course, the Bible says it is wrong! Up until very recently I used to think the answer was YES as well. But as God began to peel back my American cultural presuppositions I realized the answer might be something other than what I was comfortable with.

In my last article entitled “It is Not a Woman’s Consent That Matters, It is God’s”, I proved from the Scriptures that God does not allow a woman to say YES to sexual relations to a man she is not married to and he does not allow her to say NO to sexual relations to her husband whom she is married to.

But this raises another question for those Christians who accept that the Bible calls it sin for a woman to sexually refuse her husband. What if a woman does refuse her husband? Can the husband under God’s law physically force himself upon his wife who sinfully resists him?

Here are some answers I have given on this blog in the past. In one of the most popular articles on this blog entitled “8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal” I wrote this:

“I have not, nor would I EVER advocate for a husband to force himself physically upon his wife or to physically abuse her in any fashion. The issue being discussed is how a husband can confront a wife who chronically or willfully denies his sexual rights in marriage without just cause (be it legitimate health or mental conditions). He has the right, both under Biblical law, as well as under American law, to reason with his with his wife and try to convince her to willingly(even if grudgingly) yield herself to him, and thereby fulfilling one her most important duties in Christian marriage.”

And in my article entitled “The Rape Straw Man” I stated:

“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.”

My Change in Position on Forced Sex in Marriage

The emergence of the MeToo movement lead me to restudy and reconsider my understanding of what the Bible says about sexual consent. I have been pouring over the Scriptures for the last couple of months really asking God to reveal to me any presuppositions or cultural biases I might have on this subject and I have written many articles related to sexual conduct from a Biblical perspective recently. My last article “It is Not a Woman’s Consent That Matters, It is God’s”, not only traced the wicked origins of modern American sexual consent ideology but more importantly it laid the foundation for a Biblical view of when God consents to a man and woman entering into sexual relations.

Because of what God revealed to me through his Word in that study as of today I am officially changing my position on the issue of forced sex within marriage. My new position is as follows:

Forced sex within marriage by a husband toward his wife is not in and of itself a sin but it can be a sin under certain circumstances. The “Markland Letter” case which I addressed in my article “It is Not a Woman’s Consent That Matters, It is God’s” where the man forced sex on his wife after surgery would be an example of a husband sinfully forcing himself on his wife.

Now a lot of Christians at this point are shutting me down. But I want to encourage you and challenge the view you have been raised with in our culture with what God’s Word actually says on this very controversial subject.

Is All Forced Sex in Marriage Domestic Abuse and Sexual Abuse?

In their article entitled “What does the Bible say about spousal/marital rape?” GotQuestions.org states:

“Spousal or marital rape is a form of domestic violence and sexual abuse. In spousal rape, sex is forced on one spouse by the other. While the Bible does not specifically deal with spousal rape, it has plenty to say about the husband-wife relationship and its representation of Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:32)…

and God never condones rape.”

I want to quickly address the terminology I am using here. I am using the phrase “forced sex” and gotquestions.org is using “marital rape” or just “rape”. The reason I am using the term “forced sex” instead of “rape” is because the term rape in our language and culture not only denotes an action taken, but it also implies a moral condemnation of that action. Calling “forced sex” rape in our language and culture would be like referring to every instance of killing as murder. I am going to speak more to the term “rape” later on in this article.

Biblically speaking all instances of forced sex are not considered rape any more than all instances of killing are considered murder. It is the context which determines if a particular instance of forced sex is rape just as it is the context which determines if a particular killing is murder. The only forced sex the Bible ever condemns is forced sex OUTSIDE of marriage. The Bible actually addresses forced marriage and as a result of marriage forced sex in the book of Deuteronomy.

God Condoned Forced Sex in Marriage

God granted the right of men to take women as one of the many spoils of war as long as they were not one of seven forbidden nations in which everyone was to be killed:

“But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.”

Deuteronomy 20:14 (KJV)

In the next chapter God details the process by which men could take women as spoils of war:

“10 When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the Lord thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, 11 And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife;

12 Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house, and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

13 And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife.

14 And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her.”

Deuteronomy 21:10-14 (KJV)

So in summary God allowed men to take by force women as captives of war. However, unlike the nations around them – they were not allowed to have forced sex right there on the battlefield with their captive women. Instead God had a higher standard. God made the Israelite men wait one month to allow the woman to mourn the death of her loved ones.

Even after the month – the man had to take her as his wife, not simply his sex slave as other nations also did. God commands them “thou shalt go in unto her” which is a euphemism for sex in the Bible. Now some might say “Well that does not say forced sex, it just says sex” and that is absolutely true. A man “going in unto a woman” does not denote whether it was forced or not. However there is a key phrase at the end of this passage that DOES indicate forced sex: “because thou hast humbled her”.

God’s Definition of Rape

There are many euphemisms for sex in the Bible. Men “knew” their wives, they “lay” with their wives and as we can see here they “went in unto” their wives. However there is another euphemism for sex in the Bible that specifically denotes “forced sex” and that is the “humbling” of a woman by a man.

This same phrase is used when speaking of actions the Bible actually considers to be rape (as opposed to our modern understanding that all forced sex is rape):

“23 If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; 24 Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour’s wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you. 25 But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die.

26 But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter:

27 For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her. 28 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;

29 Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.”

Deuteronomy 22:23-29 (KJV)

In the above passage from Deuteronomy chapter 22 we find God’s definition of rape as opposed to our modern definition of rape. What does God call rape? Does he say it is simply when a man humbles (has forced sex) with a woman? The answer is NO. Instead we find that rape in God’s eyes is when a man has forced sex with a woman who is he not married to. The Bible covers both a betrothed (or married) woman and also virgin woman. In a follow-up article to this one I will be specifically addressing God’s command that a rapist had to marry the woman he raped.

My point in showing Deuteronomy 22:23-29 is twofold. First it gives God’s definition of rape which is the when a man has forced sex with a woman who is not his wife. Secondly in the context of the rape discussion God uses the term “humbled” to denote forced sex.

This English word “humbled” in these passages is a translation of the Hebrew word “anah” which means to “afflict”, “humble” or “force” in most instances.

Anah is used in reference to two famous rape stories in the Bible. The first is regarding the rape of Dinah, the daughter of Leah and wife of Jacob:

“1 And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. 2 And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled [anah] her.”

Genesis 34:1-2(KJV)

The second is the rape of Tamar by her half-brother Amnon:

“Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced [anah] her, and lay with her.”

2 Samuel 13:14 (KJV)

And again why was the ‘anah’ or humbling and forced sex of these women considered to be true rape and thus immoral? Because they broke God’s law in Deuteronomy 22:23-29 that condemned a man having forced sex with a woman that was not his wife.

The Humbling of a Woman in Marriage

And a final note on Deuteronomy 21:10-14 and the humbling of the captive woman who was taken by the divine allowance of God. Some have tried to say this humbling had to do strictly with the woman shaving her head. What these same people do not realize is that it was common in ancient Middle Eastern cultures for both men and women to either pull out their hair or shave their heads when horrible tragedies struck. I believe the loss of one’s entire family would qualify in this case.

Also saying that the humbling of the woman by the man does not refer to forced sex takes a very naïve approach to the situation. Can anyone with a straight face say they think most captive women after only one month would want to willingly and consensually have sex with the man who may have killed their family or at least was part of the army that did? The reality is we all know in this situation that in the vast majority of cases even after one month the man would be having forced sex with his new bride. That is just reality.

So we can as Bible believing Christians rightly say based on Deuteronomy 22:23-29 that God never condones rape which HE defines as a man having forced sex with a woman he is not married to. But we can equally say that God does in fact condone forced sex in marriage based on Deuteronomy 21:10-14.

Biblical Sex is Not Just about Giving, But Also about Taking

In their article entitled “What does the Bible say about spousal/marital rape?” GotQuestions.org states:

“Some people believe that a wife must be agreeable to sexual relations with her husband at any time and that she has no say in the matter. They often misuse 1 Corinthians 7:3–5 to support the erroneous view that a wife can never tell her husband that she would like to defer having sex for a time. Some men believe that the husband has a God-given right to just “take it,” in spite of his wife’s objections…

It is clear from the Bible that mutuality reigns in the bedroom. According to 1 Corinthians 7:1–5, a husband should provide sexual satisfaction to his wife, and a wife should provide sexual satisfaction to her husband. A wife does not have authority over her own body, and a husband does not have authority over his own body. They belong to each other. Does this mean that a husband can force himself on his wife anytime he so desires? Definitely not. What the passage teaches is that each spouse is to willingly, freely, lovingly submit to the other. The passage is about giving satisfaction, not demanding it. The focus is on pleasing one’s spouse. There is no selfishness involved. Forcibly taking what has not been offered is wrong and plainly against the Bible’s commands on love and marriage.”

I would not call GotQuestions.org a raging feminist site as they do speak on submission in marriage, even if at times they water it down quite a bit. However the term “mutuality” they use in this article is a favorite of Christian feminists. In fact some Christian feminists use this passage in 1 Corinthians 7:1–5 to try to cancel out all the Bible’s teachings on male headship in marriage and they say marriage is a “mutual partnership”.

I am not denying that there is not any mutuality taught in this passage as there clearly is. But it is a limited mutuality, not an all-inclusive mutuality.

The first part of this passage from I Corinthians shows that a husband and wife have a right to sexual access to one another’s bodies:

“3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 4 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.”

I Corinthians 7:3-5 (KJV)

The English word “power” here is a translation of the Greek word Exousiazo and can refer to authority or the right to do something. If we try and say here that God is saying a wife has literal authority over her husband’s body then this contradicts with the Scriptural teaching that the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church and the wife is to submit to her husband in everything as the Church is to submit to Christ in everything (Ephesians 5:23-24).

In the programming world in which I work we would call this an infinite loop. If a husband can command compel his wife to give her body to him yet she can command him not to give his body to her we can see where this ends up.

So when we take the whole of the Scriptures and especially Ephesians 5:23-24 into account we understand that the “power” of I Corinthians 7:3-5 actually refers to “the right”. A husband has the right to sexual access to this wife’s body and the wife has the right to sexual access to her husband’s body.

Are Christian Husbands Wrong for “demanding” Sex From their Wives?

GotQuestions.org claims The passage is about giving satisfaction, not demanding it. The focus is on pleasing one’s spouse and I don’t deny that this passage does reference giving one’s self to one’s spouse. When it uses the word “render” that is our duty as spouses to GIVE our bodies to our spouses for their sexual satisfaction. However it also talks about the “power” or “right” of the spouse toward their spouse’s body – this is clearly the power to TAKE or seek sexual satisfaction in one’s spouse’s body. GotQuestions.org does not like “take” to be anywhere in the conversation of sex but in this passage the giving AND taking aspects of sex as God designed it are clearly on display.

Finally as far as “demanding” sex is it is true that the wife can no more demand anything of her husband than the Church can demand something of Christ. Can she request sex from her husband as the Church can request various things of Christ? Yes. But she cannot demand anything of her husband. However, can and does Christ demand obedience from his Church in “everything” as Ephesians 5:23-24 shows? The answer is yes. Therefore since a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his Church he can demand obedience from his wife (including in the sexual arena) just as Christ demands obedience from his Church.

Do Wives Have to be “agreeable” to Sex at “at any time”?

GotQuestions.org claims that some Christians have an “erroneous view” that “that a wife must be agreeable to sexual relations with her husband at any time and that she has no say in the matter”. I would agree that I Corinthians 7:2-5 never specifically mentions sex on demand “at any time” from a wife. But there is another passage of Scripture dealing with sex in marriage that DOES:

15 Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. 16 Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets. 17 Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee. 18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee AT ALL TIMES; and be thou ravished always with her love.”

Proverbs 5:15-19 (KJV)

The Scriptures command husbands to “drink” or take pleasure from the sexual well that is their wife’s body. They are command let her breasts (symbolic of her whole body) satisfy them AT ALL TIMES or in the words of GotQuestions.org “at any time”.

Besides Proverbs 5:15-19 there is any even more powerful principle of Scripture that dictates what a wife’s response is to be to her husband in all matters:

“Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

Ephesians 5:24 (KJV)

So as we can see, the Bible commands that a wife should be “agreeable…at any time” to anything her husband asks her to do whether it is cleaning, cooking, paying the bills, putting children to bed and yes having sex with him. The only Biblical caveat to this would be if he asked her to do something sinful against God and then she has to obey God rather than her husband (Acts 5:29). It really is that simple.

But God never forces himself on his wife!

Some will take the relationship of Christ and his Church and claim “we never see Christ forcing his Church and therefore husbands may not force their wives”. Others will conflate salvation with marriage and say “God does not force us to come to him salvation, therefore a husband cannot force his wife to have sex with him.”

Let me address the latter claim first and then I will address the former. Two of the primary ways that God pictures our relationship to him is as a father and then as husband. Our relationship as individuals to God is pictured as that of a child to their father. Our relationship to God as a group, as the people of God, is pictured as that of a wife to her husband.

When God invites us to become his children this is presented as a choice:

“While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.”

John 12:36 (KJV)

Now of course we understand there is a consequence of that choice. If we do not choose to obey the Gospel of Christ this is what awaits those who disobey his Gospel:

“7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power”

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 (KJV)

But in the context of God’s relationship to his people as a whole he sometimes compels obedience by force. In the Old Testament the relationship of God to the nation of Israel was pictured as a marriage with God as the husband and Israel as his wife. When Israel rebelled against God just after making their marriage covenant with him the Bible tells us he humbled Israel:

“2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble[anah] thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. 3 And he humbled[anah] thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.”

Deuteronomy 8:2-3 (KJV)

Remember that in the context of the relationship of a man and woman when he humbles her this is the man forcing himself upon the woman. God forced Israel to yield to him and to learn that concept that “that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live”.

But Christ Never Forces His Church!

Some will say – “Well God’s relationship with Israel was different than his Church and Christ never forces his Church to do anything”.

Earlier I said the reason I don’t use the term rape in the context of marriage is because it is like using murder to refer to all killing. Only unlawful killing (unlawful by God’s law) is considered murder. Killing in self-defense or to save others is not wrong. Even in the case of wrongful forced sex in marriage like the Markland Letter case, such action is not rape but rather physical abuse.

But now I want us to look at the definition of rape. Here is the Webster’s 1828 dictionary definition of rape:

“In a general sense, a seizing by violence; also, a seizing and carrying away by force, as females.

In law, the carnal knowledge of a woman forcibly and against her will.

Privation; the act of seizing or taking away.”

http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/rape

Now someone reading this might say “See right there even in the old definition of rape it talks about a man taking a woman against her will!”. And that is very true. However as I explained earlier it is God who defines what rape is – not us. But I want you to zero in on the first definition where it says “a seizing and carrying away by force”.

Now let us turn to the New Testament. Before I give the next Scripture I want to set the stage a bit. In the Old Testament the marriage of God to Israel is pictured as a full consummated marriage after which Israel commits adultery with false gods and God divorces her for this.

In the New Testament the Church is pictured as a betrothed bride to Christ whose marriage has not yet been consummated:

“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

2 Corinthians 11:2 (KJV)

The “consummation” of the Church and Christ’s marriage is described in the passage below:

“16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (KJV)

The event described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 is what is known as the “rapture” of the Church.

Bible.org gives a brief background of the word “rapture”:

“Regarding the term rapture and its use in theology the following should answer your questions. It is taken from Ryrie’s Basic Theology, Electronic Media from Parsons Technology.

Our modern understanding of rapture appears to have little or no connection with the eschatological event. However, the word is properly used of that event. Rapture is a state or experience of being carried away. The English word comes from a Latin word, rapio, which means to seize or snatch in relation to an ecstasy of spirit or the actual removal from one place to another. In other words, it means to be carried away in spirit or in body. The Rapture of the church means the carrying away of the church from earth to heaven.

The Greek word from this term “rapture” is derived appears in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, translated “caught up.” The Latin translation of this verse used the word rapturo. The Greek word it translates is harpazo, which means to snatch or take away. Elsewhere it is used to describe how the Spirit caught up Philip near Gaza and brought him to Caesarea (Acts 8:39) and to describe Paul’s experience of being caught up into the third heaven (2 Cor. 12:2-4). Thus there can be no doubt that the word is used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 to indicate the actual removal of people from earth to heaven.”

https://bible.org/question/where-did-term-8216rapture%E2%80%99-come

Ryrie’s definition of harpazo actually leaves out a very important part of the definition. It is not simply to snatch, seize or take away – it is do these things “by force”

Strong’s #726: harpazo (pronounced har-pad’-zo)

from a derivative of 138; to seize (in various applications):–catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force).

https://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Lexicon.show/ID/G726/harpazo.htm

And if we look at the word origin of our English word “rape” we read:

“early 14c., “booty, prey;” mid-14c., “forceful seizure; plundering, robbery, extortion,” from Anglo-French rap, rape, and directly from Latin rapere “seize” (see rape (v.)). Meaning “act of abducting a woman or sexually violating her or both” is from early 15c., but perhaps late 13c. in Anglo-Latin.”

https://www.etymonline.com/word/rape

So now I will pull this all together for you. The Greek word which describes how Jesus Christ will take his church is harpazo which means to seize or take something or someone by force. When the Bible was translated into Latin (which Jerome finished in 405 AD) the word rapturo which was derived from the Latin word rapio (meaning to seize or snatch) was used to translate the Greek harpazo. Then in the 14th century the English word “rape” was created from the Latin to describe a man forcing a woman to have sex with him.

While English common law as well as previous laws held it was not wrong for a man to force his wife to have sex, over time the word rape came to be a derogatory term used not just of men forcing women they were not married to into sex, but also of husbands forcing their wives to have sex.

So the irony is that same word we rejoice of over – the “rapture” or seizure by force of the bride of Christ which his Church is the same word we use to condemn a husband for forcing his wife to have sex with him. Think about that. Let that settle in your brain a bit.

Is “Forced Sex” in Marriage an Oxymoron?

Now that I have proven from the Old Testament that God “humbled” or “forced” Israel to bend to his will and that Christ will actually rapture (take by force) his Bride which is the Church I want to come back to the address the following assertion from GotQuestions.org on this subject of forced sex in marriage:

“The truth is that sexual expression was designed by God to be an act of love within a marriage, and violence or coercion should never be a part of it. Forced sex is not love

When God humbled Israel would we call this anything less than an act of love on his part? The answer is we would indeed call it an act of love. Did God use violence on Israel when they disobeyed him in the dessert? You better believe he did. Did he use coercion to compel his wife to yield to his demands? You better believe he did. It is right there in the story of the marriage of God to Israel all throughout the Old Testament.

Even Christ when rebuking his Churches states:

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”

Revelation 3:19 (KJV)

Therefore we can conclude based on the example of God himself as a husband that forced sex in marriage is NOT an Oxymoron.

Forced Sex Scenarios

Now I want to give some scenarios with force to try and help you understand this concept better.

Forced Sex Scenario #1

Let’ say a husband comes home from a long trip, his wife has no idea when he will arrive. He comes in through the door as she is working in the kitchen, he picks her up in his arms and takes her to their bedroom. He tears through her clothes as fast as possible and has sex with her.

Now this was definitely a matter of force – he did not ask her permission or even say a word to her. But if she complies willing with his forceful gesture most people would say there was nothing wrong in that scenario. In fact some women would even find it romantic. In fact the picture I have just painted would be similar to what the Scriptures paint as the rapture of the Church by Christ who is her husband.

However, if during his attempt at forced sex his wife resisted in anyway now our modern society is up in arms. “He has violated her consent!” we are told. But from a Biblical perspective as we have shown in this article – if the wife resists her husband in the above scenario and he continues to force her to his will who has sinned? The husband, the wife or both? Biblically speaking it is the wife who has sinned and the husband is not sinning by forcing her to yield to his lawful demand.

Now if the wife resisted the husband in this scenario – if he loves her – is that what he wanted from her? Of course not. He wanted to be able to pick up his wife in his arms and for her to willingly give herself to him no questions asked. Just as Christ wants his Church to willing embrace him at the rapture. But make no mistake – Christ is not going to take “I am not in the mood today” from his Church when he comes. He is taking his Bride by force!

Forced Sex Scenario #2

Let’s say a man takes a woman as his wife who clearly did not want to be his wife. In the Bible this could be a scenario where a father gives his daughter to a man she does not want marry or it could be a man captures a woman as a captive during war. So on their wedding day he goes to have sex with her and she resists him. So he holds her down and forces her. In Biblical terms he has justly “humbled” his wife.

Again who is the one sinning in this scenario? Is the wife who sinning by resisting or is the husband sinning by forcing himself on his wife? Or is it both? We know the Biblical answer is that it is the wife who is sin and the husband is right and just in forcing his wife to have sex with him.

And once again – do men who truly love and have affection for their wives want it to be this way? No. We as men want what God wants from his wife – willing obedience, but if obedience is not given willfully we follow God’s example with Israel and humble our wives and take it by force.

Forced Sex Scenario #3

I was asked in a recent comment on my blog what I thought of the scenario of a “husband shoving his member down his wife’s throat”. In other words a husband forcing his wife to perform oral sex on him – is that a sin?

So a husband and wife are having sex and he decides to take his member up to his wife’s head for her to perform oral sex on him. She resists and turns her head away so he takes her head and forces her to perform oral sex on him.

We have given several principles in this article that answer this question.

The I Corinthians 7:2-4 principle teaches that a wife has a duty to render her body to her husband and it also gives him the right of sexual access to her body.

The Proverbs 5:18-19 Principle says a husband is to satisfy himself (literally drink his fill) of his wife’s body AT ALL TIMES.

The Ephesians 5:24 Principle says that a wife is to submit to her husband in EVERYTHING.

The Deuteronomy 8:2-3 Principle shows us that God humbled his wife Israel and forced her learn obedience to his will.

Therefore we can conclude based on the witness of the Scriptures that it is NOT a sin for a man to force his wife to perform oral sex on him as she has a duty to render her entire body to him to fulfill God’s command to him to satisfy himself with her body at all times. She is to submit to him in everything, not just the things she feels like doing or is comfortable with.

Ladies – I know for some of you this is a hard one to swallow (pun intended) but scripturally speaking the Bible does not condemn such actions by a husband toward his wife.

But Forced Sex is Selfishness!

The selfishness card is often used to dismiss not only a man forcing himself on his wife but also a man allowing his wife to consent to sex when she really is not in the mood. The reasoning goes – “if you see your wife is not in the mood for any reason, then if you were being selfless you would give up your desire or need.” Others have even tried to argue that if sex is ever desired in anyway other than to give pleasure to the other person it is by definition selfishness.

However the Biblical definition of selfishness is not simply doing things for one’s own benefit or desire. But instead it is when a person ONLY does things for their benefit or desire and never considers the needs of others.

“Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”

Philippians 2:4 (KJV)

The key phrase there in that verse which is also in the Greek is the word “also”. This verse is not saying it is wrong to look to our own needs or desire, but that we must ALSO look to the needs and desires of others well.

And I would remind anyone who says it is selfish for a man to have sex with his wife when she is not in the mood or to force her to have sex that this is selfishness to look to Proverbs 5:15-19 which commands a man to satisfy himself with his wife’s body “at all times”.

But Doesn’t Forced Sex Violate the Husband’s Duty to Care for his Wife’s Body?

It is absolutely true that Ephesians 5:28-29 teaches men as husbands that they are to care for their needs if their wife’s body. That is why what the husband did in the Markland Letter case was wrong because he violated this principle in causing severe damage to his wife’s body after surgery by forcing himself on her.

But outside of extreme conditions where a wife has not just had surgery we have to ask ourselves does forced sex in marriage by the husband toward his wife violate the Ephesians 5:28-29 principle? The answer I think in most cases is NO.

In most cases forced sex in marriage will hurt the woman’s pride, or in Biblical terms “humble her” more than anything else.

Some might ask “What about the risk of tissue tearing, bruising or rashes and other discomforts caused by forced sex?” Is there a risk of these things occurring? Yes. But who is it that is causing this risk? Is it the husband by exercising his lawful right to compel his wife to have sex or is it the woman who is causing this risk to herself by resisting her husband’s lawful demand?

Let me give some examples to illustrate what I am saying.

If a police officer pulls you over and asks you to produce your license and registration and you refuse and you refuse to get out of the car – can he use force to make you obey his lawful order? You better believe he can. And if you resist the officer in the course of his lawful actions and in the process you smack your head on the ground or get scrapes and cuts who was it that put you at risk? Was it him or was it you by your resisting his lawful actions?

If a parent goes to spank their child and in the process of resisting the child gets bumps, bruises and tears who was it that put themselves at risk and brought these injuries on themselves?

If a police officer has a warrant to enter your home and you resist and as he enters the home by force you or your home are damaged whose fault was that?

Am I Telling Husbands to Go Home and Force Themselves on Their Wives?

The answer is No. But you might be thinking – Wait you just said spent this entire article telling us it was not a sin for a man to force himself on his wife!

As you catch your breath let me explain a simple principle regarding Biblical rights. Just because we have the right to do something, does not mean it is always wise to do something.

Paul said that he had the right to take a wife yet he chose not to exercise that right:

“5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?…15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.”

1 Corinthians 9:5 & 15 (KJV)

He goes into more detail as to why he did not exercise his right to take a wife in the passage below:

“I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.”
1 Corinthians 7:26 (KJV)

So, Paul was saying because of “the present distress”, the horrible persecution of the church, he felt it was better for a man not to exercise his God given right to take a wife.

In the same way because of the present distress of feminism and the utter hostility toward Biblical marriage I personally do not think it is always wise for a husband to force himself on his wife even though it is his right as her husband, her head and her master to force her compliance to God’s commands in this area of sexuality.

Christ admonished us to be “wise” in a world which hates the God of the Bible:

“16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.”

Matthew 10:16-19 (KJV)

Gentlemen there is more than one way to skin a cat. If you use force against your wife, it may be right and just before God – but because of the wicked society we live in you run a very high risk of going to jail for violations of domestic abuse laws or the remove of the marital rape exemption in all 50 states. All your wife has to do is make a phone call.

Instead you need to be wise as serpents as Christ admonished us to be and use other means to discipline your wife. See my article “8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal” for ideas on non-physical ways in which you can discipline your wife. These are all non-physical methods of discipline that you can never be prosecuted for (despite feminist fantasies to the contrary).

For instance, no police officer anywhere is going to arrest a husband for spending less time with his wife because she refuses to submit to him sexually. No prosecutor is going to prosecute a case where a husband refused to pay for kitchen upgrades because his wife refused to sexually submit. No jury will convict a husband of marital rape because he refused to buy his wife some jewelry she wanted because she would not sexually submit to him.

If a woman complains about these non-physical things her husband is doing to a law enforcement officer they are going to tell her “If you don’t like it get a divorce”. I have had multiple police officers and others write me since I wrote that article (“8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal”) confirming this for me.

Using non-physical methods of discipline are ways that you can communicate your displeasure with your wife’s sinful attitudes but at the same time you can shield yourself from a world that is hostile to Biblical male headship.

A Final Exhortation to Christian Wives

Christian wife this all goes back to how you view yourself in God’s design of marriage.

“13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings”

Philippians 2:13-14 (KJV)

Imagine if you actually followed Ephesians 5:22-24’s admonition to submit to your husband “as unto the Lord… in everything”. Imagine if you submitted to your husband working in your body both to will and do of his good pleasure without grumbling or resisting him?

If you were to follow this pattern with your husband then the issue of forced sex in marriage would really be a non-issue.

75 thoughts on “Why the Bible Allows Forced Sex in Marriage

  1. Great article and biblically grounded, as far as I can tell (I will probably go and do a little research myself). The only problem I can see is that this, much like everything else you speak about on your blog (and I on my own) hinges on Christian men AND women accepting that husbands/fathers have an authority over their wives/daughters that takes them much to far out of their comfort zone. Its a difficult thing because in one paragraph you tell Christian men to be wise and, though they have the God given right to do such a thing, it would be unwise to exercise it, yet the entire post hinges on something that is a mans God given right (authority), yet it becomes almost unwise to use that right in todays modern society. I’m not saying anything negative about the post, simply pointing out the dilemma Christian men are in.

    I think its also important to recognize and remind women that the majority of Christian men would likely be remiss to force themselves on their wives in modern society. I’m not so sure about the “barbaric” biblical times. Its like the whole “corporeal punishment” issue. 99.8% of Christian men would never even consider smacking their wives bottom, while .1% might consider it and another .1% might actually do it. Because of this the definition of “abuse” has been expanded to include weird junk like emotional abuse. Its almost as if, “Since we can’t get the men to hit us lets widen the definition into something they can’t avoid”. This is the same way: “Husbands don’t really force their wives into sex or ‘rape’ them, so lets expand the meaning of rape into something that becomes more difficult for men to avoid but simpler for women to latch on to if they need to”. This is not how Christians should be acting.

  2. No so much as “A husband has the authority to do so”. Do mothers have the right to spank their children? That is also the application of physical force in order to exact compliance. Now, of course, women aren’t children, but women are under the authority of their husbands, just as children are under the authority of their mother and father. Should every husband force sex from their wives? No, probably not, but that doesn’t remove his authority to exact sex from his wife if he see’s fit, and to me that seems more the goal of this article than “Hey, guys! You can force sex from your wife and its not sin! Get to it!” BGR’s goal with his blog seems to be more along the lines of explaining how God designed marriage to work and how we, as Christians, should understand our roles as husbands/wives.

    And just to be sure, I want to ask you to confirm that our wives have the right to use sex to break us or as punishment? Because that has been going on for a long, long time and is, in fact, the butt of many a joke. Weaponized sex is seen as a tool for women, but brutality for men. That should bother people. Instead its a punch line.

  3. My entire life I’ve been a realist I see things from my own perspective and then from the perspective of the person that actually had the experience or speaking on subject. So have women weaponized sex, without a doubt yes we have. Do I understand why, yes i do. I won’t lie I’ve done some things to get dresses, jewelry and even my car. However that’s my husband so we both benefited.

    Throughout history, prior to the rise of feminism, men have taken advantage of women not all men but a lot did. Preying on a woman’s natural tendency to serve and want to care. Women used what was between their legs when they realized that men didn’t care about what was coming out of the lips attached to their mouths. Do I blame them for it not, really because they lived in a time when woman’s word did not equate to that of a man’s so they used the little power they had over men to get the things they needed and wanted. I don’t condone this but they were desperate to be heard and desperate to get out of bad situations.

    Now in today’s society you have a combo of scorned women and psychos. The scorned women consist of women that pursued relationships that they knew were unhealthy and those who fell for some good actors. Truth be told I think those women need to find peace and move on, but I understand why they are angry.

    No I’m not your equal but I would like to be treated as though I matter and have some value.

    To address your comment regarding emotional abuse I find that appalling, because you’ve not only dismissed women that get called everything by their husbands except for what’s on their birth certificate, but you’re dismissing children that have been verbally abused by their parents whether they are insulting them or tell the them they’ll never amount to anything that effects people especially when it comes from the people that are suppose to care and support you. This article doesn’t surprise me really.

    My husband just said to that he doesn’t even know why I’m commenting because he would never do that to me. That makes me appreciate him so much more, because I just don’t see the God I’ve studied and learned about my entire life in this article. Its a blow to my faith honestly, and that is something I’ll have to work through.

  4. >No I’m not your equal but I would like to be treated as though I matter and have some value.

    Women should be treated with respect, kindness, and dignity. With that said, It doesn’t mean they are always right or should always get what they want. The bible says there is no male or female in Christ Jesus.

    The article covers what I will call a hard biblical truth, and biblically, I am unable to argue with it. I can see how women might have a problem with this, but much of that is a learned culture thing. They have been lied to and told they have this thing called consent that they can wield and use at their discretion (often sinfully), when God never granted them such a thing. Truly this consent does them much more harm than they realize. I wonder if the women of the past, say 200+ years ago would even bat an eye at this article.

    God designed woman specifically for man. This is why they were created. If it were fine for men to be alone, women would not exist at all. You have to wrap your mind around that to fully understand the bible on this issue. Women were created for and have a very specific purpose, just as men were also created for and have a very specific purpose. Men are created in the image of God to glorify Him by reflecting His nature. Women are created in the image of man so he will not be alone in his purpose of glorifying God. In today’s world, women are lifted up to Godlike status, but this is not God’s plan. God’s plan is that they will be saved and blessed by serving their husband in his calling. There are far worse things than being humbled in marriage, such as being completely and utterly lost.

    With all this said, patience is the mark of a man who follows Jesus. Not endless patience, but good patience.

    I would take a guess that these days there is much more pain for husbands who are being refused than there is for wives are being humbled. My advice to these husbands is to make it perfectly clear that they will not accept the situation, and if the marriage needs to end because their wife is wayward and not true to her husband that that is a very real option.

  5. The term “humbled” also refers to humiliating a woman and injuring her dignity by enticing her to sex outside of marriage, which is what I believe Deuteronomy 22:28-29 refers to, not to rape. In doing this, the man takes the woman’s greatest personal treasure from her by enticing her to commit such a shameful act of sin against God, and her father, which is why he had to pay the father for her, take her as a wife, and never divorce her for this as he committed a great evil himself.

    Also, regarding the shaving of heads as a custom of many cultures back then when tragedies happened, that may be true, which in the Bible shows us God honors the customs of man as long as they don’t contradict Him. The Bible is written, however, from His perspective, and we need to be careful not to imply any of it is based on man’s in any way. Not saying I think you did, but I just think that someone reading and misunderstanding could be led to that conclusion, and it isn’t true. As to the scenarios of forced sex, a man taking his right by force indeed isn’t sinful.

    But that is not forcing her to submit to his will, its forcing her to submit to disciplinary punishment to break her sinful spirit and entice her to submit to his unsinful will in the future as it was with God when he made Israel wonder 40 years in the wilderness. The discomfort and humiliation of being forced to have sex just once may be all it takes to entice her not to sinful rebel in that way again.

    Very interesting article, BGR. Keep up the good work! 🙂 @Snapper No. a wife doesn’t have the right to sue to sex as a punishment or to break her husband as she is not an authority figure to whom he is subject, and therefore has no right to take such action against him.

  6. What women need to realize is that a man that would only use this if it was truly necessary. I know that may sound harsh but it can be done as an act love, done any other way and the man is playing with his wife and with God and that has serious consequences.

    I grew up in a small religious sect that believes strongly in male autonomy and headship. One thing that young men were taught early on is to make a woman submit and extract her obedience. The reason we were taught this was because marriages were arranged and girls would often cry from their wedding to weeks down the line, but they didn’t know that we as men weren’t always happy about it either however we were cultivated to suck it up and accept our futures.

    I tried to convince her that I wanted to know her and this didn’t have to be a bad thing and I tried to be patient but she wanted nothing to do with me. I did this and it broke her and I regretted it because I thought she wouldn’t recover and would view me as a monster forever, but with the humiliation, hurt pride and hurt feelings a wall came down. I was able to raise her up, show her who I am truly and I got her to show me who she really was and then we became happy.

    I’ve never had to use this throughout our marriage because I do understand that sometimes she is tired or not feeling well so I allow her to rest, but if you know your husband and he does this believe me it was probably his last resort.

  7. My question is where do we or where does God draw the line between the husband that is humbling his wife and the man that finds pleasure in causing his wife pain? Does that mean that women have to constantly submit to rough and painful sex? If I decided I wanted to physically restrain my wife every time I have sex with her because I like it that way, would that be deemed acceptable? If God can use violence why can’t a husband? Abuse does not exist here. God created women to be extremely sensitive yet he gave men the power to break them physically, emotionally, psychologically and we do. To be a Christian seems like a very complicated and difficult role.

  8. SnapperTrx,

    Your Statement:

    “Its a difficult thing because in one paragraph you tell Christian men to be wise and, though they have the God given right to do such a thing, it would be unwise to exercise it, yet the entire post hinges on something that is a mans God given right (authority), yet it becomes almost unwise to use that right in todays modern society. I’m not saying anything negative about the post, simply pointing out the dilemma Christian men are in.”

    I know that last part will be difficult for some to understand. I spent a lot of time writing and rewriting that statement and especially this line:

    “I personally do not think it is always wise for a husband to force himself on his wife even though it is his right as her husband, her head and her master to force her compliance to God’s commands in this area of sexuality”

    The key words in my statement are “personally” and “always”. In saying this I was saying I do NOT condemn any man for choosing in a particular situation to exercise this right over his wife. Now a man should truly be doing this from a place of love and wanting to wash his wife as Ephesians 5:25-27 exhorts husbands. Every husband and wife situation is different and each husband should pray and seek the Lord’s wisdom in exercising this right over his wife. I just wanted to let men know there is more than one way to skin a cat and we can be wise as serpents as Christ said and know how the system works and still exercise our God given duties and rights in a smart way.

  9. I’m going to have to chew on this one a bit. Maybe months and years. The idea certainly makes me uncomfortable, but that is no basis for a hermeneutic.

    My initial reaction is that a husband might spank a refusing wife until she ceases her defrauding. Now I understand in the evil day in which we live that is called abuse, but as you pointed out Christ disciplines those whom He loves. So a spanking a wife to stop her sinful actions and bring her to repentance seems like love to me and perhaps more effective than forced sex. Is that wisdom or me being squeamish? I’m not sure at this point.

    Much to think on, may the Holy Spirit illuminate the Word for us all!

  10. Derick,

    Your Statement:

    “My question is where do we or where does God draw the line between the husband that is humbling his wife and the man that finds pleasure in causing his wife pain?”

    I am glad you brought up this point. I thought about this subject while I was writing this article but it was already so long I figured someone would ask in the comments and I could address that here.

    I have personally dealt via email with some Christian husbands who have admitted to me they have a problem with this while others are not sure it is a problem. I have assured them all IT IS A PROBLEM. There are men that I would argue have a corruption of their God given male sexual nature that actually derive pleasure from either their wife’s resisting sex or from causing their wife’s pain. They may even have their wive’s play out realistic rape fantasies or they knock their wives around during sex to get pleasure from causing them pain. This a wicked and evil abuse of a man’s sexual rights over his wife.

    When God used violence and force against Israel it was out of love for her, to correct her and bring her back to him. Can a husband spank his wife(this is an act of violence)? The Biblical answer using the same principles we have seen here is yes.

    The Line you are asking for really comes down to a man’s intentions in using force as well as a man must always remember that his rights over his wife’s body and his rights to discipline her are also balanced by his duty to protect and care for her body.

    Abuse does exist – but abuse is not simply hurting a woman’s feelings as we are told today. Abuse is not hurting a woman’s pride. Abuse is not a man bending his wife over his leg and spanking her. Abuse is not a man smacking his wife who got his face mouthing off to him and disrespecting him. Abuse IS when a man goes and forces himself on his wife after she had multiple surgeries on her vagina and he tears her open risking her life as in the Markland Letter case.

    It really is not as complicated you may think. Does it require prayer and somethings seeking wisdom from other godly men? Sure. But when we as men are acting in love following the principles of marriage outlined in Ephesians 5:22-33 as well as the entirety of the Scriptures it actually becomes clear how we should act in certain situations.

  11. Jonadab,

    I totally appreciate you being uncomfortable with my conclusion – I was uncomfortable with it as I said in the intro to the article. I really had to think and pray on this and ask God to search my heart on this. Was my discomfort culturally based, or based on my own preference or from the Spirit? In the end for me I believe my discomfort was both culturally and personally based. I myself have never and would never feel comfortable exercising the right of forced sex as a husband.

    But we had an interesting comment a man calling himself Dane that really played out in real life what I see the Scriptures teaching. He had an arranged marriage where his wife refused to have sex with him. He waited on her and tried to be patient – but eventually he knew he had to force the issue even though it was uncomfortable for him to do. Did it humble his wife? Yes. Did it upset her pride? Yes. But eventually she came to see he was acting in love toward her and breaking through her pride.

    Another thing I wanted to mention here is that I am not looking at forced sex as a form of discipline like “hey you did not do the dishes – pull you pants down and bend over”. To me forced sex would happen because the man needs to break the sexual stalemate in the marriage. Simply spanking her may not break that stalemate and neither may other types of discipline. In some cases – such as Danes – what may be required to break the sexual stalemate is fir forced sex to occur.

    Also to me spanking(physical discipline) and forced sex are intrinsically linked. If one is allowable than the other is allowable and if one is not allowable, then the other is not allowable.

    Another thing was looking at the historical reality of forced marriage. For thousands of years most marriages were either arranged by parents or forced because captive of war situations as we see in the Bible. We have to know that there a certain percentage of those marriages where women were stubborn and would refuse their husbands on their wedding night or at other points. Would the man allow this to happen to his shame and the shame of his family? I doubt that. I believe he would rightly use forced sex and that is why up until the last 150 years no one blinked at forced sex by husbands in marriage.

    Again I know you need to think on this – but that was my process.

  12. 1. There is no such thing as marital rape. Sex, itself, cannot be illicit in marriage. Therefore, there is no such thing as rape in marriage.

    2. At best, using force is unwise. It is most likely sinful though.

    First, the vast majority of the time the one using the force violates the fruits of the Spirit such as love (e.g. 1 Cor 13 keeps no record of wrongs), peace, patience, and self control.

    Second, there are typically better ways of ‘leading’ (or if the wife is the one being denied then persuading) in order to get a similar result. Although it can still end up in rebellion in the end in which you have bigger problems than no sex.

    Third, force eliminates free will and the desire that comes with it and usually builds resentment leading toward worse results in the future.

    Fourth, “do not give the appearance of evil.” 1 Thess 5:22

    Thus, as a Christian, while there is no such thing as marital rape, I would never advise any type of forced sex due to the other concomitant circumstances surrounding it.

  13. I don’t know if this was a coincidence or not, before I even knew BGR was going to do this article, but just the other day I was thinking to myself, after looking around at what I see as a “sexual wilderness” for men out there, men being refused relationships because of the extremely fussy standards that women erect in choosing a partner, the refusal of wives to have sex with their husbands in marriage etc

    And I was looking around, and I thought what would happen if women all over the world just said NO, they said, nope, we’re refusing to have sex….I mean a complete blanket denial, a sexual “fast” as it were…what would happen? and what would happen if it was permanent?

    I believe there would be MASS FORCED SEX on a world wide scale…..Biologically in order to propagate the species, in time men would take women by force if necessary in order to confront this vile evil of a woman’s refusal to disobey what she was created for

    It’s like the old saying, “we can do this the hard way, or we can do it the easy way”……..And not once did I feel in my Spirit, that this would be wrong
    A lot of readers here will be horrified and think I am advocating rape, but I’m not , I don’t see forced sex as “rape”….I see the women’s refusal however to propagate the species as sinful and needs to be confronted with force if necessary
    Unfortunately we have been too conditioned by society to see that as a bad thing

    Now the ideal of course, is for the women to submit, and for men to be gentle in getting sex, but there’s a greater picture here, than a woman’s hurt pride, it is the inherent nature of a woman to resist ALL forms of male authority, to listen to the JEZEBELIC spirit that seeks to viciously control and manipulate man through sex, to use sex as a weapon

    Now my hypothetical scenario might not ever play out on a grand scale, but it does on a smaller scale….women continue to refuse to have sex with their husbands by using the “I’m not in the mood card”, and this can be an infinite loop a man can’t get out of, he can show Christ like patience, self control etc, but in the end, a woman can create the infinite loop by saying not tonight hun, I’m really not in the mood every time he approaches her for sex
    As Christian men, we need to be strong and refuse to accept that situation, and sometimes forced sex is the only viable solution, after other measures have been taken
    That is why I say to women who wish to get married “Don’t get married and destroy your husband’s soul, if you don’t want to have sex”

    The reason we have “Slut walks”, and out of control promiscuous sexual behavior by WOMEN, is women want to set the terms and conditions for when they have sex, but what they don’t realize is that “sex” is not a choice, it is a command from GOD to indulge in within the confines of “marriage” in order to propagate the species and to raise “godly seed” for the next generation Malachi 2:15

    This is why women were traditionally NEVER allowed to choose a man as her husband, that choice was made by her father, because if women had their way, they would never choose any one, she would be the victim of her own impossible standards, and indecisiveness
    In fact the whole idea of “dating” today is patently un biblical, the very idea that we allow women to choose who they want to marry is stupid and sinful….Nope, what happens, is if a man see a desirable and attractive woman, he goes and asks her father the permission to take her as wife, if she refuse, who cares, it’s not up to here anyway…..That’s how it should be, that’s what works best for society as a whole, and in fact, it is still widely practiced today in a lot of cultures like the Middle East and India

    Thoughts anyone?

    Was I too harsh?

  14. Let’s be very clear I don’t think this is what God wants us to do at all it is something that still makes me cringe and my wife and I try not to talk about it ever. Even with constant “I’m not in the mood” I don’t think this would be the answer because a deeper discussion should be had to figure out what is going on to make you not want to do something so good for the both of us. If your wife doesn’t want to have sex with you later on in the marriage I wouldn’t really try this because there may be something going on, something more than her simply being mean. Whether its hygeine, are you selfish in and out of bed, do you degrade her daily. I think we as men need be a bit more sympathetic to a person who is completely powerless, because if you were stripped of your power some way you would be hesitant too. Is this an excuse for a woman’s sexual refusal no, but forced sex shouldn’t become a perpetual punishment then she’ll fear you in a way that taints her loving submission towards you.

  15. Basically I think it’s a drastic measure and God allows it because it is after that has taken place that you see the woman’s resistance is gone. My wife has apologized to me about this over the years because she realized her losinf her virginity could have been a beautiful thing but it was somwthing else entirely and I don’t really fault her for that because she joined our religious community at 15. She thought she would fall in love when she was ready and it would be this organic fairytale. We have that fairytale now. It doesn’t hurt that I’m attractive as well.

  16. I thought smacking a woman in the mouth was epitome of abuse but ok. To most virgin women putting a penis I their mouth is not what they would consider a sexy thing, so am right to cut off her air supply, pull her by her hair and put it in her mouth. If she bites me can I hit her in the mouth a few times? Does she have to comply? If abuse is only what happened in the Markland letter then I guess some of these women that are covering up black eyes need to quit complaining. Remember this coming from a nonreligious man they believes in wife spanking. Is she wrong for walking away from me if she no longer wants to have rough or painful sex at all times. That is the reason I said that being a Christian wife seems like a difficult time, not to be disrespectful.

  17. BGR, as usual your writings are very thought provoking and I always look forward to being challenged by them. You have helped me a lot in my understanding of the Word and I appreciate it. As for this topic, like some of the others you have written, it is going to take me a while to digest it and come to my own conclusion about it but was sidetracked by this one issue and I just have to address it. I have seen you allude to something in this and some of your other writings and I am suprised that for someone as sharp as you are and with the talent for the exegesis of God’s word you show, that you still have not had your eyes opened to the truth of The Doctrines of Grace.

    You stated above (as I have seen you say similar things in other writings) that “Others will conflate salvation with marriage and say “God does not force us to come to him salvation…” and “When God invites us to become his children this is presented as a choice:”

    The truth of the matter is, and I can tell you this without a shadow of a doubt, when God approaches someone with salvation, they DO NOT have a choice in the matter. John Calvin understood it correctly when he penned his 5 points. Once you understand these truths, it will help you with the rest of God’s Word and you will see these truths on every other page of the Bible and will wonder how you ever missed them before.

    To me, they all hinge on the understanding of: HOW LOST IS MAN? How you answer that question will determine so much of how you view God and interpret His Word. If you can properly understand that man (in his unregenerate state) is DEAD spiritually and utterly unable to respond to the things of God, then it makes the rest come much easier. Ephesians 2:1 says “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins…”. Dead men cannot see, they cannot hear, they cannot smell, they cannot taste, they cannot feel, they cannot think, they cannot breath, they cannot move. Not only do they not have the capacity to respond in any way, shape, fashion or form, they don’t even have the capacity to know that there is anything there to respond to! They are DEAD! Hence Romans 3:11 “There is none who understands, There is none who seek for God.”

    In Christianity, we do have free will, but it is in relation to how we respond to Christ and the Word of God ONCE we are saved but when it comes to salvation, there is NO CHOICE. John 6:44 (Jesus talking) says that “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;…” and John 6:33 says “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.”

    NO ONE COMES TO CHRIST UNLESS GOD DRAWS HIM FIRST. ALL WHO GOD DRAWS, WILL COME TO CHRIST. No room for our choice there.

    I am not going to try and go through the whole thing here. There are far too many resources out there that can explain it better and deeper than I can but for those that have difficulty seeing the truth of The Doctrines of Grace, then what do you do with all of the verses in the Bible that deal with Election and Predestination? When I was raised in the Baptist church we all just tried to ignore them but that is not something that any real student of the Word can do in good conscience. You have to deal with them. The Bible does not contradict itself, every part of it fits perfectly with every other part of it and where do you fit these verses in if you believe that you have free will in salvation?

    Ephesians 1:4-6 “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.”

    GOD CHOSE US BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD. HE PREDESTINED US. HE ADOPTED US. ACCORDING TO HIS INTENT AND HIS WILL. Where can there be ANY room for us to have a choice there?

    Ephesians 1:11-12 “also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.”

    WE WERE PREDESTINED FOR SALVATION ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE AND WILL.

    Romans 8:29-30 “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”

    HE FOREKNEW US. HE PREDESTINED US TO BECOME CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON.
    THOSE WHOM HE PREDESTINED, HE CALLED, THOSE HE CALLED, HE JUSTIFIED, THOSE HE JUSTIFIED, HE GLORIFIED. Where in those verses does it seem like we have any choice in the matter? The answer is, we don’t.

    You are a highly intelligent man BGR and you have already show the ability to have your mind (understanding) changed on some issues. This is a MUST have character trait for true students of God’s Word. I challenge you to dig into this doctrine and pray that the Holy Spirit will open your eyes to these amazing and wonderful truths.

  18. kryptonian51
    How we view and understand the major Doctrines of the Bible have EVERYTHING to do with how we interpret the rest of God’s word.

  19. Kryptonian51,

    I don’t want this to turn into a Calvinist debate – but I do understand why Trey asked the question and I will briefly answer him and then put this Calvinism discussion to bed.

    Patience Grasshopper.

  20. I agree with kryptonian, because 5 point Calvinism is unrelated to this topic and from what I’ve read simply wrong.

  21. Since honesty is fully accepted here I think another reason why I find this pretty scary is because I was born with what is called an imperforate hymen. That means there I did not have an opening there for sex or blood to flow through when menstruating. My parents are highly uneducated and believed a surgery to fix it would equate to me losing my virginity so I believed it too. Fast forward to meeting my husband and when I told him he said he would support me. Now imagine a man taking a woman by force and her having a closed vagina. My husband waited two months past our wedding to have sex with me after the procedure. That is why this seems barbaric to me. Now back in the day women just had to take the pain. Clearly medical technology has come far but just like my parents weren’t educated enough there are others that are the same way. This just doesn’t seem like the way to handle things. And Derick had a good question where is the line between abuse and humbling her. Can you lovingly choke your wife or slap in the face. The same with your children?

  22. Trey,

    I knew when I wrote that phrase “God does not force us to come to him salvation” it would be like throwing fresh meat to a junk yard dog if you were a Calvinist reading it. I have many friends both online and offline that are Calvinists including Jonadab who comments frequently on this blog. And I actually USED to be a Calvinist for about 4 years while I was in my mid 20s. I grew up in Baptist churches where I heard a little here and there about Calvinists but it was mostly just little jabs that they did not believe we had a choice in salvation.

    Then in my early 20’s I went on a spiritual search for myself, not just on Calvinism, but all of my beliefs including distinctive baptist beliefs as well as general Christian doctrines. I read the greats like Augustine and other early church fathers then I moved on to Calvin, Luther, Wesley, and Spurgeon. Charles Spurgeon was probably my favorite and most influential Christian author when I was a young man. So long story short I discovered the Doctrines of Grace and became a die hard Calvinist for about 4 years.

    Then one day I read this simple passage that I had read so many times before and God revealed to me that Calvinism had it wrong.

    “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
    John 3:18 (KJV)

    Then God lead me to this passage that I had also read so many times over the years:

    “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”
    1 Peter 1:2 (KJV)

    These two passages of Scripture brought Calvinism tumbling down for me.

    While the Bible speaks much to election and predestination – the call of the Bible throughout the Old and New Testaments is to “believe”. Men are born condemned not because they were not chosen, but they are born condemned because they have not believed. We were chosen according to the foreknowledge of God because he KNEW we would believe. I was literally chosen to be used of God in this life and be transformed and enter heaven in the next because God saw before the beginning of time that I would believe on him.

    Does God’s Holy Spirit influence us to believe on him? You bet he does. But does God allow people in his sovereignty to resist his Holy Spirit’s call? You bet he does:

    “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.”
    Acts 7:51 (KJV)

    One of the issues I also really have Calvinism is with the doctrine of Total Depravity. I do not disagree that we all wicked and evil sinners in the sight of a holy God. Romans states:
    “They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
    Romans 3:12 (KJV)

    But while Paul stated in Romans that “there is none that doeth good” Christ before him said this:

    “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”
    Matthew 7:11 (KJV)

    The truth is that yes we were dead in our sins and then the Holy spirit quickened our spirit and made us spiritually alive – Amen. However God reveals in his Word that even in sinful man there remains elements of the perfect human nature he designed in Eden. This is why even a wicked non Christian mother or father will sacrifice themselves to save their children’s lives. This is why despite our utter wickedness – unsaved and unregenerated human beings still do good things all the time. This is why we as unregenerated human beings can reach out to God when his spirit influences us and we can believe! Amen.

    Then as the Scriptures say this process happens:

    “11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
    13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
    Ephesians 1:11-14 (KJV)

    The above passage covers the entire process of salvation. As believers we were predestined to receive an inheritance(eternal life) in accordance with his purpose and part of his purpose was electing us based on his foreknowledge that we would believe. When the moment in time came – that moment God knew from before time began when we would actually trust in him it was then that were were sealed with his Holy Spirit.

    God does not regenerate men who do not believe – he regenerates men BECAUSE they believe – this also a big issue I see in Calvinism. The old Calvinist line goes “how can a dead man do anything?” and it is based on this passage:

    “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;”
    Colossians 2:13 (KJV)

    When the Bible says were dead in our sins – it refers to our spirit being dead and our flesh(sin nature) being the only controlling influence in our lives. It also refers to the fact our eternal destination – that we are destined for the second death. But it is not saying man is incapable of any good as Christ clearly said even evil men are capable of some good. We are capable in bodies that have been corrupted by sin of responding to the spirits call – still buried under all that sin is a corrupted version of that beautiful and perfect human nature that God created in Eden. This is actually a major theme of this blog – that the perfect masculine and feminine natures that God designed man and woman with in Eden were corrupted by the fall and I am sorting out here from the Bible what parts of our nature were part of our original design from God and what parts are corruptions from the fall.

    I love the fact that God is sovereign and you will see a great amount of me referencing God’s sovereignty in my writings. God can do anything he wants to do. Everything God does is just and righteous. God knows the beginning from the end. I believe God influences mankind and works through history like a master planner.

    I believe that the entirety of history unfolds within the knowledge and control of God. He uses both the good and evil of men to accomplish his will. He sometimes restrains evil men from doing the evil they would do and when it suits his purpose he allows evil men to do the evil they will do for a season yet God is never the author of sin or evil. In the same way God influences us to do the good he would have us to do.

    I do not see the sovereignty of God and the free will of man as contradictory things that must be one way or the other – God is so great and powerful that he can accomplish his will THROUGH INFLUENCING the free will choices of man.

    So with that being said I will give you this advice Trey as well as a friendly warning. I have deep respect for many Christian brothers I know that are Calvinists like Jonadab and many others online and offline. But I respectfully disagree with your assertion that I cannot rightly interpret the Bible without accepting the doctrines of Calvinism.

    I also would not say that a Calvinist could not rightly interpret the Bible because of his Calvinist beliefs. Jonadab and I agree and disagree on many things – but we agree on the basic tenants of Biblical gender roles. He being a Calvinist and I not being a Calvinist. Part of spiritual maturity is accepting good men of God can have these differences.

    My warning to you is this – this blog is centering on the Biblical gender roles and marriage. I do not want to divert efforts away from that primary focus to argue the tenants of Calvinism that good men of God have argued on both sides for centuries. There are plenty of other blogs where you could go and argue about that if you want. So please accept our difference on this and let us stick to the topics at hand.

    Thank you

  23. I think this can be a productive discussion but we do need to be on topic and take this seriously. This is a very sensitive subject to many and the female readers need to understand that this not something they should fear. Tamara I pray that you don’t allow this shift the foundation of your faith or your perception of who and what God is. Yes this a hard truth but God does not love you less nor is it a curse to be a woman. God called you precious and you have to believe that.

  24. Dane,

    These are the five points of Calvinism:

    Total Depravity – This is the belief that man is so depraved that he cannot believe on God without the Holy Spirit first regenerating him. I and other Christians disagree with this belief seeing the teaching of the Bible is we are regenerated as result of our belief – we are not regenerated so we can believe.

    Unconditional Election – This is the belief that man was not elected because God foresaw he would believe, but he was elected TO believe. I and other Christians believe we were elected because God foresaw we would believe.

    Limited Atonement – This is the belief that when Christ died on the cross he only died for his elect and not for the whole world. I and other Christians believe as the Scriptures state that he died for sins of the entire world but that his atonement is only effectual to those who believe.

    Irresistible Grace – This is the belief that we cannot resist the Holy Spirit’s call to salvation. This is built upon the previous points that because we are elected to believe, therefore we cannot resist that belief otherwise we would be able to distort the plan of God. But for those of us Christians who reject Total Depravity and and unconditional election as false beliefs this is not a problem. Because when we understand that God elected us based on his foreknowledge that we would believe then irresistible grace becomes a non-issue. God knew what would happen and when – it was not that we could not resist his grace, but that he knew we WOULD NOT resist his grace.

    Perseverance of the Saints – this the belief that God will not loose any of his elect. I actually agree with the fact that God will not loose any of his elect. But that is because his spirit sustains our belief in us once we believe. In other words, I don’t think a person can loose their salvation.

    You can google the five points of Calvinism to learn more from the Calvinist perspective.

  25. From my perspective I also think about women being born with vaginal defects and how that can effect the situation. I had to have surgery to fix an imperforate hymen and I was very appreciative of my husband for supporting me through the process and waiting for sex past our wedding day. Dane your story is very intriguing and I have to say from way you speak I can’t write you off as a bad man. This is something most women will struggle with as they read it but it shouldn’t tear them away from Christ.

  26. BGR,

    Thank you for the respectful and detailed response. I think many who read here will find value in it. Understanding where you are coming from, and how you got there is very helpful for me in understanding you and your writings better.

    I do agree with you that “Part of spiritual maturity is accepting good men of God can have these differences.” It is also very true that regarding Calvinism, “good men of God have argued on both sides for centuries.” Differences accepted.

  27. Thanks BGR for allowing me to share my story. When women read this and see what we men of God have to say on the matter they shouldn’t see comments calling them vile or statements that trivialize female behavior and please stay on the subject. To Derick what BGR is referring to regarding smacking a woman in the face, is something kind of like a crime of passion. That is the best way I have of putting it. He is not condoning a man perpetually hitting his wife in the face because that is abuse. Choking your wife to submit to performing oral sex on you is also wrong. This method is harsh enough without beating and choking women that is completely out of line.

  28. Your Statement:

    “This just doesn’t seem like the way to handle things. And Derick had a good question where is the line between abuse and humbling her. Can you lovingly choke your wife or slap in the face. The same with your children?”

    Who said anything about a man choking his wife? Choking is very dangerous as it can crush someone’s air way and kill them.

    However, A slap across the face is not going to kill someone.

    “31 If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments;
    32 Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.
    33 Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.”
    Psalms 89:31-33 (KJV)

    “If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked. 2 And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number.
    3 Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee.”
    Deuteronomy 25:1-4 (KJV)

    The Bible says:

    “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”
    Prov. 13:24 (KJV)

    “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”
    Prov. 22:15 (KJV)

    “13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
    14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.”
    Prov. 23:13-14 (KJV)

    The point in all these passages is – the Bible is very much pro physical punishment. But it also says there should be limits. We can’t beat our children, or criminals or even our wives within an inch of their lives. Those who spank – whether it be there children or their wives should do so out of love for them to correct the wrong behavior, the pride and the sin at the moment. But this is also balanced by their duty to protect their loved ones and not cause them serious harm or put their lives in danger by such discipline.

    When I talk about a slap across the face – I am not talking about a man constantly punching or slapping his wife around. This is the scenario I am speaking to:

    A wife or child gets in the husband or fathers face challenging their authority and disrespecting them. That is is worthy of a slap. Nothing to serious – but something to remind the child or wife of their place. Is a slap across the face humbling? You bet it is. And that is what it is meant to be. But God does not condemn a husband or father slapping his wife or child for direct challenge to their authority or disrespect.

    The burden is on those who say this is wrong – where does the Bible condemn such an action? Does it frown on physical punishment? No. It encourages it. It simply says physical punishment should not go too far or be too much. And it must be done for righteous and just cause – not simply because someone wants to take out their anger on their wife or child and treat them like punching bags.

  29. Dane,

    Your Statement:

    “To Derick what BGR is referring to regarding smacking a woman in the face, is something kind of like a crime of passion.”

    I actually think a slap can be done in a controlled manner. If you have a child or wife that has a problem with getting in the face of the father or husband and challenging them and disrespecting them that child or wife may need a calculated and controlled slap to remind them of their place. I don’t believe this violates any Biblical principle in doing so. It does not risk great bodily harm to them nor does it risk putting their life in danger(as choking always does).

  30. In his last comment the question he was basically how much force is too much. One of his examples was the case of a woman refusing oral sex. Giving the scenario of a man cutting of a woman’s air supply so She has to open her mouth. No one answered his question so I did. Basically stating that yea it is very wrong.

  31. I see people often present extreme situations and many cases I think they are trying to test us on some kind of way or discredit us as Christians. But I think it is a good thing they comment so we can show people outside of our faith we aren’t the monsters we are often portrayed as.

  32. Dane,

    If you look at this passage from Deuteronmy it gives us a principle that we can go too far with physical discipline:

    “If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked. 2 And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number.
    3 Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee.”
    Deuteronomy 25:1-4 (KJV)

    Also if you look at corporal punishment of slaves it places limitations:

    “26 And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye’s sake.
    27 And if he smite out his manservant’s tooth, or his maidservant’s tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth’s sake.
    Exodus 21:26-27 (KJV)

    Remember that the rights of slaves in the Bible form the foundation for basic human rights for all people. If something could not be done to a slave, it could also not be done to someone of a higher social status like the child or wife of a free man.

    Exodus 21:26-27 shows us that discipline should NEVER cause permanent or serious damage to the person. A simple cut or bruise as a result of controlled discipline is not wrong or abuse. Also if we look at this passage if man damaged his servant’s eye that he could no longer see, or broke his tooth – what was he most likely doing? He was punching him the face. I believe this passage not only shows us a larger principle that discipline should not cause serious and permanent harm to the body or place the person in danger of loosing their life – but we also should not punch people in the face as a form of discipline. That is why I would never condone a husband punching his wife or his children. Spanking with a paddle, a rod or an open hand in a controlled manner is one thing. Even a controlled slap with open hand is not on this level. But punching with a closed fist is a whole other story.

  33. Dane,

    I agree these are all tests. But they give us a chance to further reveal God’s truths as well. Really if I could boil all this down to two words it would be:

    1. Intent
    2. Knowing Biblical limits.

    Is our intention to mold and shape our wife or child to God’s will out of love for God and love for them or are we doing something out of revenge, spite or because we love exerting power over others?

    Even if our intention is noble – Is our discipline within the bounds of God’s law or have we stepped outside those bounds? Do we remember that just as God has called us to discipline our wives and children that he has also at the same time called us to protect them as well? Those two principles must always balance each other out.

  34. I think the best way to follow this is to go into why God gave husbands and fathers the power to do such things including this, how we as leaders of households can convey the message that we did it out of love and how we can bring our wives and children into us instead of creating distance. I FEEL LIKE I’M TALKING TOO MUCH!

  35. I am unintrested in debating Calvinism, it has never been the single most important issue in my outlook and frankly the calvinists who do want to constantly debate it are in my estimation straing at gnats and swallowing camels whole in their approach.

    The first principle in Biblical hermenutics is humility. One must know that they have not known the mind of God or been His counselor. Humility requires us to be willing to change what we think we know simply because the Word is constantly cutting away our flesh and seperating bone from marrow. Just when we think we have it right the Word can come along and adjusts our thinking. Some call this the hermenutical spiral. This is true for our soteriolgy as well as our ethics. In the former we must confess that there is a certain amount of mystery as to how God works. We often speak more than we know when we state with certainty things not fully revealed. Humility also requires us to accept that soteriology is not the last word on christian living, for we were saved unto good works. Just as justification is not complete without adoption so we move past the initiation and on to being the just who LIVE by faith.

    Christian ethics have less mystery but require humility of application. Much of the current malaise of the church can be traced back to a rejection of biblical gender roles. What is most frustrating is the so called family ministries and conservative voices that have created hermenutics that promote a worldly approach to sexual realations and gender roles. For example when Al Mohler says that a husband must earn the marriage bed, he is in fact making every wife a prostitute that names her price. His teaching leads the husband to submit to his wife and his wife to lead him by his testicles. Talk about you low-t church. Bare in mind that he is not just a loud voice in christendom he is a trainier of pastors who inturn propagate this role-reversal.

    Another example is the christen husband exception in hermentics. I have been told by those who say they oppose feminism that wives of christian husbands are exempt from 1 Pe 3 because “do not obey the Word” is an idom for non-believers. So no submission or obedience without a word is necesssary for wives married to christen men. In fact they say that if a christian husband is sinning it is their duty to confront him and if he does not repent bring him before the elders. Jay Adams the father of noutheteic counseling tells wives that nowhere in scripture are wives commanded to love thier husbands. Yet the Bible tells them to love the brethren, their neighbor and even their enemy, yet somehow these teachers exempt husbands. Talk about the wrong use of nowhere in scripture! These are but two of the examples of how Biblical ethics reguarding gender roles has been corrupted by white knight thinking. On a more personal note I had a pastor tell me that “God called me to celebacy”. Bare in mind I am married to a healthy wife. When I questioned how he came to this special revelation he replied that he doubted if I was even a christian. When I informed him that condition of 1 Cor 7 have not been met and that his statement was in direct opposition to the Bible I recieved a threat of discipline. He is no longer my pastor.

    These white knight defenders of christo-feminism put the “her” in hermenutics. Under scrutiny these hermenutics cannot hold up, but the one doing the scrutiny better prepare for personal attacks, for these strongholds do not come down easily by those who are self assured in their christo-feminism. When I have used Eph 5:22 I have been told that I do not have the right to do so because Eph 5:21 and because all passages that deal with wives are written to wives exclusively. That is, no men allowed to teach these because submission is voluntary. I usually answer, so is not murdering written only to murders, do we not strongly compel folks to volentarily not murder, and do we not teach non-murders to not murder too. In the defense of christo-feminism the church has forsaken the Word and logic.

    So while there is a thread connecting soterology and ethics they can be addressed as distinct and seperate, if we in humility affirm the mystery of the former and seek out undiluted biblical wisdom of the later. It is my opinion that BGR is executing these principles with more humility and courage than nearly anyone else, at least that I am aware of. We must have the courage to go where ever the Bible leads, never appologizing for God but in fear and reverence give obedience, knowing that His ways are higher than mine. On occasion BGR may make you uncomfortable, but isn’t that what the Word is supposed to do? Change of mind and heart is not comfortable, but it is biblical. At the very least it is a chance to scrutinze our own understandings and test if they hold up under the light of scripture knowing that we all still have much to learn.

  36. Jonadab,

    You last statement was well said and I especially like this that you said in the beginning:

    “The first principle in Biblical hermenutics is humility. One must know that they have not known the mind of God or been His counselor. Humility requires us to be willing to change what we think we know simply because the Word is constantly cutting away our flesh and seperating bone from marrow. Just when we think we have it right the Word can come along and adjusts our thinking.”

    This passage of Scripture for me speaks the same principle:

    “11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
    12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
    13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”
    Ephesians 4:11-13 (KJV)

    We will not have perfect knowledge of God or understanding of his Word in this life. This is why God gives us teachers and even the teachers help one another. We are constantly changing to align ourselves with what God is trying to teach us. But we won’t all be 100% unified in our thinking until we shed these earthly bodies are given our perfect heavenly bodies in which there is no sin.

    And on the subject of teachers – we must always realize that no teacher is ever 100% correct on all his teachings and understandings of God’s Word aside from the prophets and Apostles of God and Christ himself when speaking the Word of God. I know for myself that I do not 100% agree with with any of my theological mentors(both living or dead). I agree with each of them in different areas. And then I have some ideas that I can find in none of my mentors – and that is OK too. If we place a limit on interpretation and application that it must have been held by someone else before us that is not good either.

  37. BGR, this article is so relevant for me right now. I’ve had to deal with a wife who has limited our sexual encounters or lately flat our refused me sexually, claiming that romance needs to happen first for any sex to be had. Well, at first I fell into that trap and gave until my cup was empty. I could not do enough or well enough for her to justify sex. Her defacto response was always ” I love you but you’re not getting any”. I felt rejected and at one point prayed that God would take my sex drive completely so that I wouldn’t even want sex and feel the emptiness of nearly complete rejection. I felt like my wife married me for the things she could get from me and nothing else. I felt like her personal ATM. In my prayers, I heard from God and the answer I was getting was “back away”. This was foreign to me as I was taught to be a giver. After some bible reading (and finding the manosphere, the better sites) I tried backing away and I didn’t feel like I was being used as bad as before. I called her out on using me and her using sex as a bargaining chip by telling her not to threaten withholding because I wasn’t going to ask for any sex up front. She degrades any try to be sexual by calling sex dirty. I believe that she has learned this from her mother, who had her first child at 15.

    BGR, I believe that you are spot on with what you have wrote here. I agree with you that forced sex is risky in today’s modern times, but that there are ways to let her know that things will be put right, one way or another. My plan is to take away everything that I bring to this relationship so that she must ask for it and thereby become humble. I only have to keep her alive and healthy, nothing more. God never gives his rebellious children everything they ask for or want. They get what God gives them. He may not keep them all around, but he at least keeps a remnant, just enough to keep his promise and fulfill his will.

  38. Mr. E,

    Your Statement:

    “BGR, I believe that you are spot on with what you have wrote here. I agree with you that forced sex is risky in today’s modern times, but that there are ways to let her know that things will be put right, one way or another. My plan is to take away everything that I bring to this relationship so that she must ask for it and thereby become humble. I only have to keep her alive and healthy, nothing more. God never gives his rebellious children everything they ask for or want. They get what God gives them. He may not keep them all around, but he at least keeps a remnant, just enough to keep his promise and fulfill his will.”

    You are absolutely right as I said in this article that in today’s culture which is hostile toward the rights of husbands and hostile toward the Bible it is extremely risky to exercise this right and there are non-physical ways to force the issue. You can say the same thing to her that she says to you “I love you but you’re not getting any” as in you are not getting any extra time or money or other things you would like from me until you give to me what God has commanded to you to give”.

    And don’t let anyone, especially Christians who reject all forms of discipline in the Bible, tell you that you are simply paying evil for evil. You are not. Is a parent repaying evil for evil when they take away things from a disobedient child? Of course not. You are her spiritual authority and God wants you to wash her with his Word and show her the evil of her ways.

    I wish you the best and please if you don’t mind give us updates on your progress with her. And you need to be prepared that she may dig in and become worse before it gets better or she may actually threaten divorce. That happens all the time when women get challenged in their rebellion.

  39. BGR, I’ve already used her line back towards her and she does not like it one bit. Funny how things work when they are reversed. Your blog has been a Godsend for me. Thank you. I will keep you posted as things progress. I know that she will get worse as things are deprived from her, I only hope to not completely shut down the relationship to where the household doesn’t function. I wish I had found this blog years ago, it would have saved me so much wasted time and effort.

  40. I think the funniest thing about this new age of feminism and female sexual enlightenment is the fact that women still don’t express what they want in the bedroom. CLOSED MOUTHS DO NOT GET FED!!! Men like romance to but eventually you both get complacent and things tend to slow down, but when that begins to register in your brain you need to get up and put in the work. Living life without an orgasm on a regular basis sounds like a nightmare. If the sex boring, say something, if it hurts say something, if you want it to hurt but it doesn’t say something. If you’re not having enough or it’s long enough speak up but don’t allow to get stale because both of you lose.

  41. Tamara,

    Your Statement:

    “I think the funniest thing about this new age of feminism and female sexual enlightenment is the fact that women still don’t express what they want in the bedroom. CLOSED MOUTHS DO NOT GET FED!!! Men like romance to but eventually you both get complacent and things tend to slow down, but when that begins to register in your brain you need to get up and put in the work. Living life without an orgasm on a regular basis sounds like a nightmare. If the sex boring, say something, if it hurts say something, if you want it to hurt but it doesn’t say something. If you’re not having enough or it’s long enough speak up but don’t allow to get stale because both of you lose.”

    While as you know I deeply despise the age of Feminism and its horrible impacts on the family I also have no love for the Christian Asceticism that took over after the Apostles died with the early church fathers. Sometimes good things come even out of horrible events and I think in this area the sexual revolution said it was OK to talk about sex which the Bible says too(Read the whole book of Song of Solomon). God wants husbands and wives to freely discuss their sexual desires toward one another as the couple of Song of Solomon did. Sure there is a place and time and way we should go about it but should be discussed.

    What I find so often in people writing to me is that they have not clearly communicated to their spouses their sexual preferences(whether it is positions and methods desired or frequency of sex). So we find people deeply sexually frustrated but often it is of their own doing – they are expecting their spouse to be a mind reader. In my experience with emails I have received over the past few years – it is more often the woman than the man that fails to communicate her preferences.

    Another way of putting this is – when it comes to enjoying sex women are often their own worst enemies.
    Whether is psychological hangups they have from previous bad sexual encounters or simply that they do not understand their own bodies it is often women that make sex miserable for themselves.
    Most men would love to hear their wives lovingly and softly to guide them in what gives her pleasure. The key is for a woman not to come off as her husband’s mother instructing him – nothing kills male libido faster than that.

  42. It’s like the meme about the scene from the notebook with Ryan Gosling asking “what do you want !!” Lol. There seem to be really sex forward women and then really prude women. When the two mix they start talking about They want in the bedroom, how things could be improved and their fantasies. However if asked well have you told him that they gasp and clutch their pearls. Revolution, yeah that was a lie.

  43. While I have received A LOT of hate mail and threats for posting this article I have actually received several emails supporting what I have said here. Below I just want to want to give a few excerpts from mails I received and I will be protecting their identities by just giving them letters:

    From A:

    “I showed my husband that article last night you just wrote recently, and as Bible believing Christians we agree with it….There have been times where he feels he has kind of ‘forced’ himself on me… but it was NOT rape or anything violent or painful… more just I was definitely not in the mood (but not going to say no because I adore him) and he just kind of pushed his way and immediately I responded by getting into it and getting wet and thrusting etc. But I’m sure if any of those psycho feminist women read that, they’d think I was being raped or something.”

    From B:

    “My ex-wife told my children that I raped her while we were still married. What happened was while we were going through marriage problems before our divorce she had left me to go back to her home state where her parents were. So I came to visit her and I offered to pay for a hotel so her and I and the kids could have some time apart from her parents. I had not had relations with her in months. She agreed to sleep with me in the bed while the children slept in the living area on the floor. While we were in bed we were spooning and yes as a husband I was desperate for my wife. I began rubbing against her and she pushed me away and said no. So I continued just gently rubbing against her and eventually I thought I wore her down because she stopped resisting. Then I just slid it in and did my thing as we were spooning. Then I come to find out after divorce she says what I did was rape! This is the messed up world we are living in!”

    From C:

    “I am a 30 year old Christian woman and I have been married ten years and my husband and I have three beautiful children. I would not be here if my father had not forced himself on my mother. My mother and father came from completely different homes. In my father’s Christian home growing up his parents and family discussed sexual issues and they were not prudish at all. The only reason I know this story is because my father made it clear in his home sex was not going to be a taboo subject like it was in my mother’s home and he told it to me and my younger siblings when we got older and were teenagers.

    In my mother’s home growing up they were extremely prudish and sex was considered dirty and never to be discussed. Because of this my mother was scared to death of sex. On their wedding night my mother told my father he was going to have to wait and give her some time. It might be days, it might be weeks or it might be months. She would let him know when she was ready. Well in my father’s home not only were they open about sex, but they also believed that men are to take charge of their women. So my father was not having any of this “waiting business”. He was going to have his wife on their wedding night! His brothers would be expecting a report when he got back and he was NOT going to tell them he did not have sex with his wife on their wedding night!

    So he got some wine and they drank that together and watched some TV and talked a bit. As they were talking he would sometimes put his hands on various places on my mother’s body and she would immediately swat his hand away and tell him “stop”. Eventually he started to kiss her and she somewhat went along with that but as soon as his hands started moving other places she stopped him again. At this point my father had felt he had been patient enough. So he forced her. And boy was she angry at him. He told her afterwards “I love you and am I sorry our first time had to be that way. But God wants a husband and wife to have sex and we were not married in God’s eyes till the deed was done. Now we are married!” He also made it clear to my mother he would try and make sex as pleasant for her as possible but it was going to happen one way or the other. She could choose the easy way or hard way.

    They had sex several more times on their honeymoon and fast forward 9 months later and I was born. I am thankful for my father’s leadership as a Christian man. I thankful that my father figuratively and literally broke through the sinful attitude toward sex my mother had been raised with. He is truly a man’s man. He showed me the kind of man I wanted in a husband and thank the Lord he gave me a man very much like my father. But thanks to my father’s positive view of sex I was not scared on my wedding night. I was excited!!!”

  44. You know at first when I read this I was kind of sad but through some of the comments I am starting to change my mind on this subject. From the 2 examples of this that are listed the men really seem like they want the best for their wives and their relationships, but had to make a tough decision. Maybe this isn’t as bad as it sounds on paper, if you examine the intentions of the husband.

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