Many Christians believe the only way a woman can be unfaithful to her husband is by having sex with men other than her husband. Today we call this adultery. But in the Bible adultery was a two-sided coin. In the book of Ezekiel the prophet writes the following concerning Israel’s unfaithfulness to her husband which was God:
“You adulteress wife, who takes strangers instead of her husband!”
Ezekiel 16:32 (KJV)
In the above passage we see there are two parts to adultery, or what we would call marital unfaithfulness on the part of a wife:
- When a wife takes men other than her husband.
- When a wife does not take her husband.
It is utterly ludicrous to say as so many Christian teachers have falsely taught – that if a woman does not take other men yet refuses to take her husband she is still being faithful to him. If she does not take her husband she guilty of unfaithfulness to him.
In the church we are often taught that sexual immorality, otherwise known as fornication, has to do with sexual acts God does not allow like homosexual acts, premarital sex and adultery. But the Bible clearly teaches that there is a type of sexual immorality that we can actually commit by NOT having sex.
We find this teaching in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian Church:
“2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 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. 5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.”
I Corinthians 7:2-5 (KJV)
So how does a man and woman “avoid fornication” according to God’s Word? In two ways:
- Have sexual relations with your spouse on a regular basis to avoid fornication OUTSIDE marriage.
- Do not deny sex to your spouse to avoid fornication both INSIDE marriage (by denying them their right) and also OUTSIDE marriage (by tempting them to have sex outside marriage by your denial).
The False “Mutual” Teaching of Sex
Today we have many Christian teachers who actually ask us to ignore the very words we have just read in I Corinthians chapter 7. While it is true that I Corinthians 7:2-5 teaches that both men and women need sexual relations it does not teach sexual relations between a man and woman are based upon mutual desire. In fact, it teaches the very opposite. This passage teaches that sex in marriage is both a right and a responsibility of both the husband and the wife. The only decision which must be mutual regarding sex is the mutual decision by both the husband and wife to discontinue sex for a short period only.
Why I teach So Much on the Sexual Immorality of Sexual Defraudment
As a Christian I believe the Gospel of Christ, the reality of Heaven and Hell and the teaching that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God are perhaps the most important doctrines we as Christians must teach and affirm. However, that does not mean these are the only important doctrines. And while we do have a lot of false Gospels being spread today as there were in the early church era, thankfully there are still preachers and teachers who are faithful to the true Gospel of Christ and the inerrancy of his Word.
We even have a lot of Christian preachers and teachers today teaching that God does not want us to follow the evil ways of our culture. To this I say Amen and Amen! The Apostle Paul gives us this very command not to conform to the sinful ways of our culture in his letter to the Christians at Rome:
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Romans 12:2 (KJV)
So, we will hear a Pastor teach from his pulpit that we should not have sex outside of marriage as our culture encourages. Great! We say amen to that! But then this same Pastor preach doctrines that conform to our American cultural values and at the same time directly contradict Biblical commands. These Pastors will condemn men for not loving their wives while remaining sinfully silent on the wife’s call to submit to her husband in everything. These Pastors will condemn men for having sexual thoughts while at the same time remaining sinfully silent on the sexual immorality of wives sexually defrauding their husbands.
The unfortunate truth is that today even among those who preach the true Gospel of Christ and the inerrancy of the Bible there is almost a complete and utter neglect or in many cases an explaining away of the Biblical doctrine of gender roles. There is actually an ongoing war on masculinity, patriarchy and male sexuality. All of this is being done to appease feminism which has infested even many conservative Bible preaching churches today.
This is why God lead me to create this blog back in April of 2014. God lead me to stand in this gap and to call my fellow Christian brothers and teachers back to the true teachings of God’s Word regarding gender roles as well as sexuality from a Biblical perspective. This is why many of my teachings on this site focus on a defense of masculinity, patriarchy, male sexuality and sexual rights from a Biblical perspective.
Empowering Christian Men with Steps to Confront their Wife’s Sexual Defraudment
In May of 2015, I published an article entitled “8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal”. In this article I detailed 8 steps that Christian men could take in confronting sexual defraudment on the part of their wives. This article has since become one of the top 5 viewed pages on this blog and this page alone has had about 800,000 views since I first published it. I made some edits to this article over the last few years but essentially it has remained the same. Here are the 8 steps I list for men in confronting their wife’s sexual refusal:
Step 1 – Rebuke her privately
Step 2 – Stop taking her on dates or trips
Step 3 – No unnecessary household upgrades
Step 4 – Stop doing the little extra things
Step 5 – Remove her funding
Step 6 – Rebuke her before witnesses
Step 7 – Bring her before the Church
And then I gave the 8th and final step for husbands if these 7 steps did not bring their wife to repentance:
“What if none of these 7 steps work?
If your wife remains willfully defiant, yet she has not left you, it could be for a variety of reasons. She may not want to lose how she lives with you and she knows that after a divorce her lifestyle will be severely affected, and she does not want to deal with the consequences of divorce. Perhaps she may have some genuine care for you left as well as your children but she simply cannot see the error of her ways and will hold out indefinitely with the hope that one day you will fold and give her back the money, the dates, the trips, the house hold upgrades and she will not have been forced to change her ways.
But you have a final step you may take, one that you need to pray long and hard about before you do.
You have the option to divorce her for her sexual immorality.
“But I tell you, everyone who divorces his wife, except in a case of sexual immorality, causes her to commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” – Matthew 5:32(HCSB)”
A Real Story of a Man Exercising These 8 Steps
Not long after I published my article “8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal” I received many emails from men eager to exercise these steps to confront the sinful fraud going on in their marriages. I have published some of those men’s stories on this site over the past few years. One of those men wrote me calling himself “M’s Husband” and his story was the inspiration for my article entitled “Sometimes “Sexual Interventions” are needed in a Christian marriage”. In this article I began with this excerpt from his email:
“Been married two years and we are both Christian. Our marriage is good, outside the bedroom. We have no children. My wife consented to sex once in the last year and that was six months ago. She refuses any kind of counseling. We abstained prior to marriage and from the first day of our marriage, she has always avoided sex and never enjoyed it.”
Throughout the rest of the article I encouraged and admonished M’s Husband to have a sexual intervention in his wife’s life. Over the last three years he has updated me on his situation with his wife as he has exercised the first 7 steps I gave to confront his wife’s sexual defraudment. Both in his letter that I published and as well as other letters he sent to me since anyone can see the love he had for his wife and his wish that their marriage could be made whole.
The sad reality is, just as Israel refused to repent and turn from her unfaithfulness to God as her husband so too after 5 years of sexual defraudment M’s Husband’s wife has refused to repent and turn from her unfaithfulness to her husband.
M’s Husband Letter to his Church Exposing His Wife’s Sin
What follows are excerpts from emails I have received over the last month from M’s Husband.
“Here is the sad update on my marriage. You know that I have been struggling with her rejection since we were married and started writing to you in early 2016.
I think this will be the final act in the drama/tragedy unless she repents and goes to therapy for sex aversion. I spoke for a while with my pastor and he is in agreement with my action.
Here is the letter that I wrote to those in my church and others whom I know. She was served with divorce papers today, so I have made this letter public. I am still keeping the door open for repentance and reconciliation, but I have strong terms that she must fill.
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
MY LETTER TO MY CHURCH REGARDING MY WIFE’S SEXUAL DEFRAUDMENT
My wife, M is guilty of willful, continuous and unrepentant sexual immorality. After being deprived for 107 days, she threatened divorce if I continued to pursue my marital right with her. M proclaimed that she will never grant me my marital right. She has informed me that her decision is final and will not change. She has forsaken her duty and obligation to our marriage since the first day we were married by depriving me, rejecting me, defrauding me and forsaking me of my marital right. (Matthew 5:32)
She reluctantly went to Christian marriage counseling with me last year for four months. She rejected all the advice and suggestions that were given to her about chastity in marriage. Our marriage counselor gave up on us because M has an aversion to sex and strongly refused any and all kinds of professional help for that. I subsequently tried to get her to go to therapy and she strongly and angrily refused therapy and denied that she has a psychological aversion to sex.
I have been advised since late 2015 that divorce is a Biblical option. I had resisted that because I love M. M has not gone to her church for six months and she has hardened her heart toward me and has broken her marriage vow of being “one flesh” with me (Genesis 2:24).
Because I do not see any change in that attitude, because of her proclamation to never fulfill her marriage vow again, because of her willful disregard for the commands of God (1 Corinthians 7:2-5, Proverbs 5:19) and because she continues to rebel against God and against me (Ephesians 5:22-24, 1 Peter 3:5-6, Titus 2:5) I see no alternative except divorce. M and I have been nothing more than roommates as she has continuously violated the Biblical law of chastity in marriage (Hebrews 13:4). M has proclaimed to never fulfill the vow of marriage again.”
A few weeks after that letter, about a week ago, I received this update from M’s Husband:
As we continue through the process of separation and divorce, M has started reading Christian blogs and sends me some of them with comments. Too bad she started now, it would have been constructive for her to do that prior to our separation.
Yesterday she sent me one and stated how unloving I was and that she had “done it all” with the communication that she had really gone the extra mile and tried to love me with all her heart. Since submission to me (Eph 5:22) and allowing me to have sex more than once a month (with her acting as if she is being raped with anger and resentment) was forgotten by her, I became angry and wrote her an angry response. It is possible, that I write my best letters when I am angry. I try never to sin in my anger.
Here is the letter that I wrote to her yesterday.
MY LETTER TO MY WIFE M AFTER FILING FOR DIVORCE
I know that you tried to love me. But you decided that one aspect of our marriage would be under your own rules and not under God’s commands.
As your husband and leader of the family, I tried to lovingly bring you to the place that God commands a wife to be in the family. Submissive to me in all things as to the Lord himself. But you rebelled. Sarah submitted and obeyed her husband and called him “lord.” You decided to lead your husband in certain aspects of our marriage. Sinfully, Eve lead Adam. Jezebel lead Ahab. There were others in Scripture who did that. All with disastrous results.
Above all, you made your own rules for sex and rejected the commands of God. Rejecting the command to be “one flesh.” Rejecting the command to not deprive each other. Rejecting the command to satisfy me with your breasts ALWAYS. Think about that word always. The verse in Proverbs does not say sometimes. It does not say, when you feel like it. It does not even say once a week. It says ALWAYS. You denied your breast to me always. I wanted to give you thrills and pleasures through your breasts, but they were off limits to me ALWAYS. But that verse is not speaking only about breasts. “The wife does not have authority over her own body.” Considering that verse makes breasts an analogy for your whole body. You are to satisfy me with your WHOLE BODY ALWAYS. Always…all the time. Kisses always. Kisses on your forehead, your nose, your neck, your throat, your mouth, your tongue, your vagina and everywhere else always. I have authority over your whole body ALWAYS. Not once a week. ALWAY!
You rejected that….always. You rebelled, even as I was patient. For years I was patient. Then after being a “gatekeeper” you shut me down completely. Then you decided that your body, which I have authority over….always, will be off limits to me and by your decision and your rebellion you have commanded to me that we are going to have a sexless marriage, for the rest of our lives. The anger and resentment from you, during attempts at sex, broke my heart.
I did not marry you to be a roommate and I did not take a vow of celibacy when I married you. I loved you and I love Jesus. Paul wrote that it is better to marry than to burn with passion. I thought that if I could be satisfied with you, whenever I want you (which is what always means to me in this context) then I would not give in to the temptation to be satisfied anywhere but in your arms. But you rebelled. You stopped wearing clothes that appealed to me. (Remember, authority over your body gives me authority to dress you in what appeals to me). You would not wear lingerie that I liked, ever. You would not drive us to secluded places for wonderful sessions in the back seat. Not necessarily sex but just deep kissing and petting would have thrilled me. I liked watching you pee (authority over your body) but you refused. I wanted to shower with you, but you rebelled and refused that. You brought anger and resentment to our marriage bed. You let me know that you wanted to be anywhere else but in our marriage bed. I could not comprehend as someone could ever choose a television and computer game over sex with her husband.
I expected sex every day of our honeymoon, starting with the second night (first night on Maui). You refused every time except once in Maui and once in Las Vegas. I NEEDED sex at least twice a week at home, but you made yourself a gatekeeper and pulled your body away from me, so that we had sex four times, in the year after we returned from our honeymoon. Then you made me live as an involuntary celibate husband for sixteen months from May, 2014 until November,. 2015 with a total of one time. That time in the hotel room in Daly City. Not even sex in Memphis, when we were there for four nights and we were married less than a year.
Soon after I realized that you were a gatekeeper I tried to have sex with you but was rejected. “But since sexual immorality is occurring,” I was tempted. My urge and prayer was to be satisfied in your arms every time but you drove me away. I could have waited for you to finish your day’s work but your gate was closed all week, when I needed you every day. So…….I gave in to the temptation. It was only as far as my computer and the porn would not refuse me. You refused me over and over but the porn never refused me. It was there for, to take the place of the wife that God gifted me but who refused me, though I have authority over her body.
My marital right was refused as you did not keep your obligation and duty as a wife. I was more important than your work. Your husband is your top priority. You were great at cooking for me and keeping my stomach full. If I ate all that you gave me, I would have gained weight. But your top priority is sex with your husband. Your father is not your priority, your husband is. You kept the fourth commandment but broke many commandments that a wife has to keep for her marriage. Now look where our marriage is. You were usually unloving in the marriage bed. You were often angry and resentful in the marriage bed.
You tried to love me but you fell short in keeping the commands of a wife. I was patient but ran out of patience, particularly when you shut the gate on sex totally, completely and permanently on May 20, 2018.”
Anger and Discipline Because of Sin is Not Sinful
There are many weak and feminized Christians who would read the letters M’s Husband wrote saying that his acts toward his wife were unloving and not what God wants in a husband toward his wife. But those who says such things are completely and utterly ignorant of what actual love in marriage is by God’s standard and they are utterly ignorant concerning the character of God as a husband.
The Bible tells us the following in the book of Ephesians:
“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath”
So right there in the text we can see there is such a thing as godly anger. It is not a sin to be angry at sinful behavior in others. God exhibits this anger toward sinful behavior throughout the Scriptures.
God brought all kinds of travesty on his wife Israel because of her disobedience before he finally had to divorce her for her failure to repent:
“6 And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord. 7 And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. 8 So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord.”
Amos 4:6-8 (KJV)
In the book of Revelation Christ warns his churches that he will remove their candlesticks if they failed to repent. At the end of his threats toward his disobedient churches he states:
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”
Revelation 3:19 (KJV)
I do want to add one word of caution about anger that I have told to M’s Husband. As Christians we may have righteous anger toward sin as M’s Husband has toward his wife’s sin. But we must always guard against our righteous anger turning into bitterness which then becomes sin.
The False Use of the Hosea Example
Many Christian preachers and teachers teach a false doctrine based on the following passage from Hosea:
“The beginning of the word of the Lord by Hosea. And the Lord said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the Lord.”
Hosea 1:2 (KJV)
In this story Hosea takes on a whorish wife who leaves him to commit adultery and then he goes and takes her back. Many Christian teachers and preachers today teach that this is showing God wants Christian husbands to tolerate and continue to stay married to their unfaithful wives while trying to softly win them back. They teach men that living in sexless marriages with defrauding wives actually is honoring to God!
Other Christians will use a passage I have used often on this site to admonish us a Christians to suffer for Christ:
“20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps”
1 Peter 2:20-22 (KJV)
They will say that this means God calls men to suffer sexual defraudment from their wives and “take it patiently”. I have previously written that yes we has husbands are called to suffer many kinds of abuse from our wives. Our wives may disrespect us and disobey us in many ways. Our wives may shame us by their behavior. Now when I say “suffer” this does not mean we as husbands cannot or should not discipline our wives for these things. I have written extensively on the discipline of wives in my article “7 Ways to Discipline Your Wife“. But when I say “suffer” I mean we may have to accept the fact that we are going to have to live with these sinful tendencies in our wives and we cannot look to divorce them because of them.
However there are certain sins we are NOT called to suffer from our wives and to do so makes a mockery of the model of marriage. In fact the final remedy God allows for sexual immorality on the part of one’s wife is divorce.
When a man simply stands by as his wife commits sexual immorality against him either by having sex with other men or by refusing to have sex with him he shames himself and he shames the God who made him to image him.
In the book of Hosea rather then presenting himself as a passive husband quietly suffering his wife’s sexual immorality God shows himself as tough husband who divorces his wife and then threatens to strip her and publicly expose her after the divorce!
“2 Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts;
3 Lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that she was born, and make her as a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst. 4 And I will not have mercy upon her children; for they be the children of whoredoms. 5 For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink.”
Hosea 2:2-5 (KJV)
Does the above passage sound like a husband who tolerated his wife’s unfaithfulness to him? The answer is absolutely not!
God said he “put away” or in other words divorced his wife Israel because of her whoredoms and adulteries. He clearly says “she is not my wife, neither am I her husband” meaning the divorce is now final. Yet he still loves his ex-wife and will still bring even more punishments on her to break her from her sin so that one day she may return to him again.
I want you to zero in on a key phrase God says when he states “Lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that she was born”. That is a powerful statement! God is saying he is going to shame Israel and expose Israel for her unfaithfulness to him.
This is what M’s Husband is doing with his wife. He is following God’s example with his unfaithful wife Israel. Yet the vast majority of Christians today, so woefully ignorant of the God of the Bible and so poisoned by feminism which has weakened the minds and resolve of men would condemn M’s Husband for his actions.
Let us pray that God give M’s Husband the resolve he needs to see this through to its completion. Let us pray that God will send a revival in the hearts of Christian men to see that God calls us to model him as husbands in our marriages.
A big part of modeling God as husbands in our marriages is to model his discipline toward his wives (both Israel and the Church). Men who tolerate willful and blatant sexual immorality in the form of sexual defraudment on the part of their wives are not modeling God as a husband to his people.
I pray that if you see your own weakness as a husband to confront your wife’s sexual defraudment that you will do so today as M’s Husband has done with his wife.
40 thoughts on “The Need to Expose Wives’ Sexual Defrauding Before the Church”
This is a sad and unfortunate tale. Any input on how his wife got to this point? Was she abused as a child? Taught that sex was “dirty”? Or was she just plain mean?
I dont understand how the church go so turned off of sex! Honestly, isn’t it one of the greatest gifts God gave us on this planet? It’s a gift – from God! He tells us to use it and enjoy it! Use it for fun! Use it for utility! Just USE IT IN MARRIAGE! Instead of promoting it the church turns it into a dark alley, talk in hushed voices subject that has had a negative effect on the body for years and years! I would feel better about church ladies getting together and having one of those “pleasure parties” and talking about how to please their husbands and get in the mood for more sex than most of what the DO end up talking about, which is typically junk. What a shame.
Thank you for the well written commentary on sexual defrauding in marriage. I think this can also apply to husbands who defraud their wife.
Absolutely the I Corinthians 7 principle of defrauding one’s spouse applies to husbands who defraud their wives as well. The steps though are a bit different because the woman is not the husband’s spiritual authority. I wrote an article on this as well back in 2015 that you can find here:
BGR, I do not dispute your writing. Once again your work is thoughtful, biblically solid and desperately needed. However, allow me to share a little perspective from one who is defrauded.
I not so long ago had a pastor with whom I began to meet with to share the situation in my marriage so that he could shepherd us with understanding. I shared that my wife had been defrauding me for decades and that I battled my own reactions including self-pity and bitterness. I shared how it played a pivotal part in my being disposed from ministry, the disbanding of the church I shepherded and the social exile with which I was subject. This pastor looked me straight in the face and pronounced that God had called me celibacy. Not that God was calling my wife to repentance and we would make a strategy to lead her, but that I a husband with a healthy wife was to live out my days as a eunuch. I of course challenged him on how God had revealed this to him, was it a dream, a vision, did an angel come and visit him? He rebuked me for being “sarcastic”. Yet I was not sarcastic at all; if a pastor is to make a claim so obviously antithetical to the scriptural ethic understanding his source is paramount in importantance. I further challenged him with 1 Cor 7 3-5 and what was said next to this day still astounds me. He said that Paul in 1 Cor 7 makes provision for married men to be celibate. (I think he found the penumbra of emmination hiding in the pretext! ok that last bit is sarcastic) I a man trained to defend the Word again challenged him that the conditions for such a celibacy were 1) temporary 2) in order to fast and pray and 3) only by mutual consent. I pointed out that I most emphatically did not and do not consent to being defrauded. He responded that he doubted that I was a Christian. He then began to outline steps that he would purse toward bringing me under discipline. Not that he used those words, but I know Presbyterian process and that was clearly his aim.
So I did take it to the church and the church took it out on me. I left that church because the Word was clearly not the pastors guide to life and faith. If I had stayed, I would have been duty bound to bring this pastor’s misconduct to the presbytery and the craven spineless failure of the session to act like elders. I did give my word at one point that as much as depended on me to live at peace with all men and so that guided my course of action to leave rather than fight.
After I gave written notice of my departure from that church this pastor wrote a letter containing a litany of slanders against me. It arriaved by the us mail on my wedding anniversary, but I was out of town. My wife opened it and read the defamatory words and they inflamed her rejection of me and served to further harden her heart.
So is it correct to take it to the church, yes! But it may not be helpful. The church is charged to be the ground and pillar of truth, but she has exchanged the truth for a lie. She has sold her inheritance for mess of feminist pottage. The examples of even the most conservative pastors promoting feminism over scripture is legion, few have not been taken captive by this deceit.
My current personal position is that I vowed to love my wife regardless of her actions toward me, in this way I can model Christ and His faithfulness. I constantly meditate on how the testing of my faith is worth more than treasure, that God is using this ongoing trial to sanctify me and that is the better thing. It has been a bitter pill to swallow and the stench of my dying flesh is my constant companion. I once wished that the Lord would take me home for hope seemed nonexistent, but I now look at this as my mission. I have been called to love one who despises and rejects me, this is as Christ-like as I can perceive. Christ was despised and rejected by those whom he loved. Everyday is a new opportunity to kill my flesh and take up that cross again. I do not condone my wife’s sins and I have told her such. I hope and pray for her to repent, but I cannot allow her sin to cause me stop loving her or break a vow that stipulates for better or worse until death. I would have preferred better, but I must learn like Paul to be content no matter the circumstance. Here I stand, I can do no other.
These situations are heartbreaking. I really see feminism and bad teaching as a huge force in this destruction, it tells wives that they are free of any and all responsibilities and can behave in any way they like and that everyone around them has to simply grit their teeth and put up with it.
The worst is when these bad ideas are supported and bolstered by others, but unfortunately they often are. His comment about her putting her father before him as her husband is very telling – I can’t help but wonder if her father is supporting her in the wrong direction she has sinfully and rebelliously decided on. No real leave and cleave is a disaster for any marriage.
As you’ve brought up before bgr, it can also be a church or even a pastor who supports a wife committing sin against her husband in this way. It is the result of culture and what the culture teaches, which we know is against God.
One thing I want to do is commend M’s husband for his strength. He has ended up where husbands need to begin, willing to do everything possible to lead his wife to holiness. Whether she follows is on her, but she can’t say that he did not fight for her.
Marriages can grow into proper biblical gender roles, but sometimes they don’t. It is better if the tone is set early on, before dating gets serious, before engagement. If she goes running then, then divorce can be avoided.
Thank you for sharing your story again. I know you have shared it before and each time it is shared must be painful for you. I know we have probably talked about this before but if you don’t mind may I challenge your position one more time? I have written on this site many times that marriage vows can neither add to or take away from the parameters around which God designed marriage.
For instance if a man says as part of his marriage vows that he will submit to his wife is this vow valid? I would argue it was invalid from the moment it left his lips. We cannot “vow” away our position or rights in marriage. It is God who assigns the responsibilities and rights of marriage and we cannot alter them with a vow. Now you might respond that this is true but we don’t have to exercise all our rights and that is true as well.
However – when it comes to this issue of sexual unfaithfulness in marriage that is a different story. Often we think of sexual denial only in terms of the man’s physical frustration. But this is about so much more than that. It rises far above that. There is a critical spiritual symbolism to marital unfaithfulness whether it is a wife having sex with other men or a wife refusing to have sex with her husband which is simply the flip side of the same coin of marital unfaithfulness.
So if we look at God’s example – he could not allow his marriage to Israel to continue in the face of her unrepentant unfaithfulness. Her unfaithfulness was making a mockery of their covenant of marriage.
I have always believed that if what I believed or what I was doing was God’s will and was Biblical then it could be proven to be Biblical time and time again. Each time my belief was challenged it would stand the test because it was right. However if what I was doing was had some cracks in it, or was not based on solid footing then this may be exposed one day and I would then have to reconsider that position.
So here is where I as your brother in Christ once again challenge your position on your wife’s defrauding of you. Yes Christ was despised by those whom he loved – the people of Israel. Yet it was these same people whom God divorced. You see God still loved Israel even though he had to divorce her. He has never stopped loving her. But he could not remain with his unfaithful wife as it would have dishonored him to do so.
When you say you are killing your flesh each day – you are making this simply about your sex drive. First and foremost we would agree your sexual desire for your wife is no sin, therefore it is not part of your fleshly(sinful desires). There is nothing therefore to kill in this regard. This about so much more than your sex drive – it is about the symbolism of marriage. You not following God’s example in marriage. Yes every husband should give his wife a chance to repent of her unfaithfulness as God did with Israel and as M’s Husband did with his wife. However if a woman remains in defiant unrepentant adultery(marital unfaithfulness) if you stay with her and refuse to divorce her then you are not following God’s example as a husband to his wife.
So my question for you after all this is – why do you think God wants you to not follow his example and divorce your unfaithful wife? How does you staying in a marriage that God would not stay in honor God or follow his example as a husband?
1) I am keeping my vow, that does honor God.
2) What God has joined no man should tear asunder, it is not mine to dissolve. As I have been bought with a price and am not my own so the marriage is not my own to do with as I please.
3) A divorce would devastate my children
4) God is really patient with His own, I can be be also in the hope she will repent
5) I can find no command to divorce, but I see plenty of commands to keep vows, love and suffer patiently. That does not mean that I have not voiced my disapproval to my wife for her behavior, I have and I do. I do not condone nor remain mute.
6) A rush to judgement, (not making an evaluation, but in acting a final response) cuts off the opportunity for the Holy Spirit to work repentance in my wife. My greatest duty is the sanctifcation of my wife. I must allow the Holy Spirit time and space. If I err I will err on the side of too much patience, too much love, too much suffering.
7) My life is already lost in many ways. A divorce will not bring restoration or joy to my wife, my children, the church or myself. It would, in my case, only be another source of failure, shame, and pain. There is no picking up the pieces from there, only the hope for a quick death. I cannot fathom how Christ would be honored in my divorce but I readily see how He honored in my perseverance. It may be that my wife will divorce me, but be that as it may, I remain resolute to love, with the help of the Spirt, until this body dies. I want my children to see that God is faithful even when we are not, that God loves His own even when we don’t love back. That God does not approve our unfaithfulness, yet He remains faithful. I want my children to see joy in the face of shame and sorrow, that the testing of their faith is more precious than any earthly pleasure.
It is much more than my sex drive that is causing the trial and mortification of my flesh. I have lost position, calling, friends, and am an outcast among my former colleagues. When I attend a worship service I attend alone. The sweetness of worship and thanksgiving is accompanied by sorrow of being rejected by a wife and the church (and in a sense by God as His shepherd). I keep my fellowship to an bare minimum to prevent my own slander of my wife or to put my shame on display. The flesh is pride, that is what is dying for a pure devotion, the seeing things as they relate to me first instead of how they are first to Christ. Sure I have lost sex, but that is not even the tip of the iceberg. It has been difficult to find hope and meaning in the rubble. My eternal hope is secure, but what do I do in the remaining days of my life amongst the ashes? No BGR, sex may have been the detonator but the explosion is so much more and the impact much greater.
Well I challenged you once again and you have answered that challenge. You very much seem to be acting in full faith that the approach you are taking is the right one. This was the statement of yours I liked the best:
“If I err I will err on the side of too much patience, too much love, too much suffering.”
I think even among Christians like ourselves who may disagree about when and if God allows divorce in various situations I think what we all should be able to agree on is that divorce is not allowed simply to avoid any suffering or hardship in marriage.
As you know from my writings I am married to a disabled woman who had a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) due to a car accident and even before that she was a moderate feminist. I have had so many doctors tell me of divorces that occur because of TBIs because it literally changes the personality of the person often times. Others would not be able to stand being in a house with a woman who so often challenges a Biblical world view with their feminist worldview.
While I don’t get outright denied sex and my wife has gotten a bit better on this front she still does not consider her body to be “mine” but it is hers “to give to me as she pleases”. Between her chronic pain and sometimes just a her attitude of not being in the mood I don’t always get to have sex with a woman who is enjoying the experience as I am. Now that is not to say there are not great sexual times we experience with one another a few times a year(when the stars align, her pain is at a minimum and her mood is right) and I am sure someone in your position would rather have that than nothing at all.
My point is two fold. First – We each have our cross to bear and the suffering that God calls us to that builds character in our lives. Second – We each must decide if the example or model we are displaying in a given situation is the one which God wants us to display.
I did actually have one more followup question for you if you don’t mind. Putting the divorce question aside as you have amptly given your reasons for remaining in your marriage, what types of active discipline do you use with your wife? See my specific questions on this subject below:
1. How often do you tell her that you do not approve of her actions toward you regarding sex?
2. Do you still take her on dates or weekend getaways? If so what is your reasoning for this?
3. Do you give her unlimited access to your free time or do you limit her access to it?
4. Do you give her full access to your money or do you limit what she can or cannot purchase?
In the Scriptures we see God engaging in active discipline until their is repentance on the part of his wife, do you disagree with Christian husbands modeling God as a husband in this way?
Q1: I have repeatedly told her that she in sin. In the last couple of years when I state such she becomes angry and accusatory. IOW – she know in spades!
Q2. I do not take her out except if she comes along as part of a family outing. There is no reward for defrauding.
Q3. Currently she wants nothing to do with me, time is not an issue. BTW I am currently driving a truck over the road so there is little time these days we are in the same zip code.
Q4. This is a bit more complicated. She is an accountant and does manage the household books. She has always been a scrupulously careful spendthrift, so I have seen very little abuse or selfish discretionary spending. At this time however she desires to move into a new home closer to the locus of my children’s activities. I have so far said “no” at least until I am convinced that a new house would be and remain my home too. (She once said she did not love me, didn’t want to be with me and divorce me but I don’t earn enough to support two households.). I have strong reservations any move is a move away from me. Any way she ignored my concern, so I continue to hold the line.
I whole heartedly support a husband disciplining his wife. But I am also not so foolish as to think the church, the courts and pretty much the whole world except you would accuse me of abuse and cry out to remove me from my home, my children and perhaps even my freedom if I were use physical discipline. I wish the church would show McClintock rather than Fireproof to show how to love a woman like Christ. As much as I regret my wife’s attitude and actions, she is a victim of the churches malfeasance. The church is culpable and the greatest obstacle to her repentance.
Well done BGR
This article needs to be compulsory reading in every single church and bitches like Mr M’s wife need to be publicly named and shamed in church for defrauding their husbands of his right to have sex
Women like this utterly disgust me and it’s high time we name them and shame them….these defiant, wicked rebellious women who avoid sex are a curse upon a man and a blight upon any prospective husbands looking for a wife
BGR and Jonadab,
I’m truly grieved to hear of the sorrows you suffer in your marriages. I’m also grieved to hear of the treachery and cowardice of Jonadab’s Presbyterian pastors and ruling elders. I know he runs in “conservative” Presbyterian circles (PCA or OPC). Still, they are rotted at the core with feminism. I’m in a supposedly “conservative” Calvinistic SBC church, and the pastors also seem cowardly and infected with feminism.
The sexual relationship between my wife and myself is bad, but not as bad as yours. I get basic prudish duty sex once or twice a month. Every once in a while sex happens around ovulation time, and she enjoys it too.
I always figured that denial of sex was adequate justification for taking a second wife (Biblical Law clearly permits men to have more than one wife), but didn’t think it justified divorce. BGR, you have got me seriously thinking about that possibility. Were a wife to say “we will never have sex again”, I think divorce would be permissible. For the frustrated man getting monthly duty sex, it probably isn’t.
Divorce is a terrible thing, but sexual unfaithfulness is worse. In a world where men have had so many of their options stripped and stolen by feminism and governments, they still have divorce. Divorce can be biblical if it meets biblical criteria. Be careful husbands before discounting or putting away this option, it may be the only one you have left. A wife in sin who thinks there is no downside, punishment, discipline, will almost certainly stay exactly where she is instead of growing out of sin. God Himself divorced Israel for a reason. Honestly, if a wife knows that this is something that very well may happen to her, it may go a long way to encouraging her to get right. Personally, I think by time the call out gets to the public level or the church, it should be indicating to them that the wife is in sin and that if this sin continues, divorce will be inevitable.
Jonadab – I understand you are in a terrible situation, and brother, my heart aches for you and you have my prayers on your behalf. You have to do what you feel is right and I admire you strength. At the same time, be open that God could have a different plan, one where you could go to church and praise Him with a wife on your arm. The vow you made was for and to a wife who it sounds like is refusing to be a wife.
It is interesting to note that God uses the term “defraud” in the KJV, Whereas all other false versions of the bible use the word “deprive”
The KJV is correct of course because in GOD’S eyes when a wife refuses to meet her husband’s need for sex she is actually cheating /defrauding him out of his right to sexual intimacy
Yes the Greek word behind the English translation “defraud” in the KJV literally means “to keep back what is owed” and it is often used to speak of an person who hires workers to do work, they do the work and then they hold back the pay which is owed. It is very fitting for describing men or women who hold back sex from their spouse. It is fraud clear and simple.
Yes I have said many times on this site that “bad sex” or sex less frequently than we would like is not cause for divorce. There is a difference between bad sex and less frequent sex and a woman who shuts the door on it which is to defraud her husband. Divorce is not the answer in these situations, but discipline is. A Christian husband can use the discipline methods I prescribe on this site to help his wife see their is a correlation between her bad behavior in the bedroom and what she will receive from him outside the bedroom.
You see we are called to love our wives unconditionally by leading them, teaching them, correcting them, providing for them and protecting them regardless of their bad behavior toward us. However our affection for them, just as God’s affection for his people, is NOT unconditional.
So when a man continues giving his wife all the niceties she desires, the fancy clothes, the weekend getaways to nice places and full access to his free time and his money in the face of her continued sin against him he sends the wrong message. He sends the message it is OK for her to continue in living in sin. But when he as her spiritual authority removes these things, not from a position of spite or bitterness, but as method of tough love and discipline – he shows that her living in sin is not acceptable before him or before God.
This is what I suggest for you brother, not divorce, but discipline.
I am glad to hear that you are using some forms of discipline with your wife. I agree that neither our civil governments or church governments are on the side of men in most cases as is clearly demonstrated in your story. M’s Husband actually got the support of his Pastor in doing this with his wife which is very rare.
It is interesting that you spoke of being an over the road trucker and not being home often. We were just having that conversation with a relative who used do over the road trucking. He said it is a real marriage killer if you have a good marriage but if you have a horrible marriage it can offer a great deal of relief from the constant fighting and problems of a bad marriage. I think in your case when you have a wife who has such anomosity towards you and when you know whenever you are around her there will simply be tension and fighting perhaps what you are doing is best to relieve that short of her having a break through with God and repenting.
You talked about Church’s showing McClintock as opposed to Fire Proof and I totally agree. Another suggestion I would have is the movie “The Quiet Man”. That is an awesome movie that shows what men used to be like with their wives before most western men had their spines removed by feminists in the church and society over the last century.
You are absolutely right that feminism has infected God’s churches across all denominations. I too attend a Baptist Church(Independent Missionary Baptist) and although our Pastor strongly preaches against many sins and he strongly preaches the Gospel and inerrancy of the Bible he is silent on the issue of feminism. Privately he may mention women needing to submit to their husbands. Once or twice a year he speaks on marriage from Ephesians 5 but when you hear the message he will try and get out of the submission section for women as fast as he can so he can race into how men should be loving their wives and he will spend the majority of his time there. Why? Because it is appeases the women in our church and most men think it is politically acceptable to spiritually brow beat men and say little to nothing to women.
He actually has said from the pulpit that it is his wife’s choice as to whether she works or not – sometimes she takes part time jobs for money and other times she does not. Really? It is her choice? Where is his spiritual headship over her?
One of his favorite lines is that “God does not want husbands to be dictators over their wives!” I actually took him to task on that in a private phone conversation one time. I told him something along these lines:
My Pastor had little to say after that.
Thanks for your comments. By the way, I’m not thinking of divorce for myself. Our sex life is pretty poor, but it is not nonexistent. There is a huge difference. My wife is willing to work on improving our sexual relationship. I can tell she is trying.
Moreover, my wife is VASTLY more submissive in both action and attitude than almost all “church” women I know. Firstly, my wife gives strong evidence of being a regenerate Christian believer. She wants to follow Christ. Secondly, my wife is Japanese (she came here for college, and that was where we met 20+ years ago). Japanese women certainly have a sinful nature, but they are far more feminine than American women overall. One of the Japanese words for husband literally translates as “lord”. Feminism isn’t as bad in Japan as it is here.
By the way, the comments you shared with your pastor were excellent. Ultimately, the problem with feminism isn’t just that it undermines the authority of husbands. Ultimately, it is a direct attack on the Lordship of Jesus Christ Himself. Marriage reflects the relationship of Christ and the Church. Telling wives not to submit to their husbands gives people the idea that Christ isn’t really Lord. That is cosmic treason. Jesus Christ is Lord of all!
It is sad that many ministers seem to fear offending women more than they fear offending the One who can cast body and soul into hell. We should fear Him.
Amen! This could change things for good in the church faster than a lot of other things. (Am looking for an email address to contact you. Thanks!) Your posts really hit the nail on the head very quickly. They are very helpful and even convicting!
My email address is in my contact section – but I will save you the click. Its BiblicalGenderRoles@gmail.com
Here’s a question for those suffering from sexual denial from their wives, and I intend it to be serious: Given that some of you are regulars here at BGR’s site and in agreement with him on a lot of things, what is to keep you from seeking a second wife? I mean, sure, legally, you could not marry another woman, but nothing legally prevents you from taking another wife sans legal certification. It is your right, given to you by God to have more than one wife provided you can afford to provide for them both. If worse comes to worse your current wife would not be happy and end up leaving and divorcing you via a court of law, but you would be doing no wrong and still be adhering to your desire to remain faithful to the word of God. In this case you are left with a wife more than happy to provide sex and free of one who was a thorn in your side! At best the denying wife is spurred into action and your cup runneth over!
It might be a difficult thing to do, but you’re already suffering and putting effort into trying to get someone who isn’t willing to have sex into having sex. You’re effort would likely be better received elsewhere, though I understand finding a woman willing to become married to an already married man in a period of time when monogamy is pretty widespread might be difficult, but I’ll bet dollars to donuts that there is a cute widow somewhere who is having a rough time making ends meet that would be more than happy to trade sex and companionship for a home and some financial stability, and there’s nothing wrong with that!
Just a question.
While the Word of God does not prohibit polygyny, both the civil magistrate and the church do. If one is to, in as much as it depends on them, live in peace with all men, such things that are indeed permitted but not expedient ought not be exercised for the sake of peace, not stumbling the weaker brother and to avoid a cell-mate named “Bubba”.
What a great question and I am glad you asked it. I agree with Jonadab that the Scriptures in Romans 12:18 call us to “live peaceably with all men”. Jonadab’s emphasis and that of other Christians will be on the phrase “as much as lieth in you“. They may believe(and Jonadab feel free to elaborate and correct my interpretation of your understanding of this) that unless we are cornered and have no choice but to act we cannot exercise our rights.
But I think though that we cannot dismiss the phrase “If it be possible”. You see I can let my church leaders, my government leaders and even my neighbors trample my God given rights for the sake of peace and in some cases perhaps that it is the right course of action. But there are times that it is more than about our God given rights being trampled – it is about the principle that if we simply lay down and do nothing it sets a precedent for more and more abuse and more wickedness.
Remember that the same Jesus who willing laid down his life for our salvation, the same Jesus who “was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth”(Isaiah 53:7) is the same Jesus who “cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers” (Matthew 21:12).
Jesus Christ’s differing actions demonstrated for us this truth taught in Ecclesiastes 3:8 that there is “A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”
How many good Christian men for the sake of peace of stood quietly by as we have watched our churches embrace feminism for decades? How many husbands for the sake of peace of have watched their wives be unfaithful to them and make a mockery of marriage as God designed it? How many parents for the sake of peace have endured disrespect and dishonor and disgrace from their children for the sake of peace?
I believe that we as husbands should be just as disgusted by weakness and feminist appeasing philosphies of our churches as Jesus was at the temple being profaned by the money changers.
I have said many times on this site that the fight to take back our families and our churches will start with men realizing they must fight. We cannot reclaim our churches from the evil philosophies of feminism and egalitarianism unless men first reclaim their God given birthright as his image bearers. These same men must reclaim the institution of marriage and then and only then can we take back our churches and then our nations for Christ.
Yes there is a time for peace. There things we don’t need to go to war over. But this issue of feminism, and its accompanying assault on God’s image bearers(men) and his institution of patriarchy must be stood against. This is a time for spiritual warfare.
We as Christian men need to realize why this fight is so important. This is not about our feelings being hurt as men(even though men of us have suffered great hurt). This is not about us being sexually denied by our wives and how frustrating that may be. This is not about our pride. It cannot be about these things. Why did Jesus overturn the money changers tables? It was to defend God’s honor.
We as men represent God – we our his image bearers(I Corinthians 11:7). When we allow masculinity as a whole to be disrespected and disgraced we allow God to be disgraced. When we allow our wives or children to disrespect us we allow God to be disrespected. When we allow our wives to be unfaithful and make a mockery of the marriage covenant they made with us we symbolize that it is OK for God’s people to be unfaithful to him. This should not be the case Christian brothers.
Again I want to stress that there is a place for grace and mercy and peace. I practice this often in my own marriage because I believe in my case this often is the right course of action. But I have seen some marriages brought to my attention over the years where I very much advice that it is a time of war for these men. There wives make an utter mockery of marriage and God’s image bearer and just as Christ could withstand the dishonoring of God’s temple so to we as men cannot withstand the mockery of God’s image bearer in these cases.
So now to the heart of your question. I believe that if a man has the financial means to do wage war in this way then he should. A man can take a second wife as the civil government and church have no say in God’s institution of marriage(even though they both have tried to usurp authority in these areas and we have allowed them to do so). Now my suggestion would be that she would be a spiritual wife and not one with a marriage certificate(which is not required by God). In most states(except Utah with its strict anti-polygamy laws) you cannot be tried or convicted for polygamy unless you have a state marriage licenses showing you as husband to more than one wife. So you simply don’t get a state certificate for the second wife and you are legal. In the eyes of the state she is your mistress which is completely legal, while you know in the eyes of God she is your second wife.
But the practicality is that not many Christian women would enter into this type of situation. If a man has the means and opportunity to do so and especially if he has a belligerent wife who mocks him as God’s image bearer and mocks God institution of marriage by being unfaithful this is certainly an alternative.
I assume by the term “civil magistrate” that you are not in the United States? As such I cannot say what the laws consist of “across the pond”, but my heart laments for you, friend. The solution to your problem sounds like one God has aptly provided, but, yes, a sex-friendly wife will do you no good in a prison cell. I will pray, then, that if your wife will not give in to her God assigned duties then God offer His solution to you in a manner that will not land you in trouble with the law. As for the church itself, I, personally, wouldn’t care two flips about what they permit, as they are moving further and further away from the truth of the gospel. Recent news indicates one denomination no longer permitting gendered pronouns in the scripture. If this is the way of the church now, then they are not the church of Christ, and their permissions mean little.
Also, take note that if it is certainly permitted in the Word it is hardly a stumbling block for the weaker brother, but rather an affirmation of something God has given man that man has made not-permissible. Adding restrictions to His word, as I hear it, is quite the dangerous hobby.
Why go through all that potential difficulty when you can rightly divorce a sexually unfaithful wife? If God divorced Israel and the bible says this is a valid reason for divorce, then it might be the right thing to exercise it.
It may even be that God takes a second wife so that Israel will come back to Him, but in these times with modern attitudes, I wonder if it would just fuel more anger in a human wife.
It is absolutely true that God divorced Israel for her unfaithfulness while still very much loving her and then took on a new bethothed bride in order to make his divorced unfaithful wife jealous. The Scriptures plainly tell us this:
So God says exactly what you have said – when a man takes on another wife it can very provoke the first wife to jealousy and anger. But this is not wrong. Contrary to what we have are told today – our decisions as husbands are not constrained by “Will this make my wife jealous? if not don’t do it or “Will this make my wife angry?” if not don’t do it.
There are going to be many decisions even outside of this issue of taking a second wife that will make our wives angry. When we take stands as husbands against things our wives are doing wrong in our home it is sure to cause anger in them – but it is right to do. Really we must ask ourselves what is the cause of this anger? It is sinful pride within them.
A while back I wrote an article entitled “How to train your wife not be jealous” you can find it here:
In that article I distinguish between two kinds of jealousy – one is “possessive” and the other is “envious”. Men may and should have a possessive jealousy of their wives as God did of his wife Israel and Christ does of his Church. We own our wives as God owns his. But while possessive jealousy in men toward their wives should be encouraged possessive jealousy by wives toward their husbands is wrong. It is wrong because she does now own or possess her husband, he possesses her. Yes he must provide her with his body for sex and care for other physical needs, but she does not have ownership over him while he has ownership over her. Envious jealousy is a different story. Envious jealousy is what God is trying to provoke Israel to by taking the Church as a new wife. Envious jealousy can actually propel a woman to be a better a wife. She is envious of the affection shown to a new wife so she works that much harder to earn her husband’s affection. This can be very healthy for making a marriage better – if and only if the woman has totally submitted herself to God.
But yes many women because they bought into the lies of our culture about romance(one man, one woman marriage) will immediately have an eruption of possessive jealousy(sinful) and sinful anger at even the thought of their husband taking another wife.
But there are reasons a man may take on a second wife if rather than divorce his wife. You may have a wife that does not completely defraud you, but gives sex far less often than you you desire. Perhaps she gives it 3 times a month and when she does she just makes the experience not very enjoyable. So you may feel that you don’t have a case for defrauding, yet she makes your life miserable from a sexual perspective. An option in this case is to take on a second wife. In this way you are still being faithful to you first wife and caring for her needs while taking on a second wife that will be better at meeting yours.
Also another reason many men might consider taking on a second wife rather than divorce is because a lot of Christian men think they may never divorce their wives and divorce is always a sin. If she divorces them that is one thing(that is her sin), but they cannot divorce her. So in this case their only option for change is to take on a second wife and yes this may prompt the first wife in her sinfulness to divorce them. They are ok with that as long as it is her doing it and not them.
But for me personally, if I were in M’s Husband’s situation I would do exactly what he is doing and simply divorce my wife and take another. Is there a situation where I would consider taking a second wife while staying married to my first? Yes.
But it would require two things to happen that are not presently happening for me. First my wife would have to be in complete rebellion on the sexual front(which she is not). She would have to be “gaming me”. By that she knows what my divorce trigger is and she stops just short of triggering that. So she gives me miserable sex a few times a month to meet the minimal standard. I can’t in good conscious divorce her and she knows it. Secondly I came into some money. I am making enough to more than support two households. In this case I could take another wife easily while still taking care of my first wife as is my Biblical obligation. But that is the only way I would consider taking another wife and of course the second wife would be a spiritual wife, not a wife recognized by our legal system since our system does not follow the Bible.
The apostle Paul sees it a little differently. Not everything that is permissible is expedient, but it may also be a sin against Christ if exercised publicly. Observe:
Eating food once offered to idols was not in itself a sin and would normally fall under Christian liberty. However, there were those in Corinth who were newer converts who were doing all that they could to distance themselves from pagan religion to increase their fidelity to Christ. On the one hand they were naive and ignorant, but on the other they were childlike tender and easily offended. Paul does not tell the more mature to offend them and so by push the weaker brother to maturity by a hardening of his conscience, neither does he declare that eating such meat is sinful. He appeals to the more mature brother to love the weaker by not exercising his liberty in a manner that might offend the one for which Christ died, even if that meant never eating the meat offered to idols.
That certainly does not mean that the lowest common denominator becomes the rule. It does offer a challenge to love, teach, and deny self in the face of personal liberty.
When it comes to polygyny, I believe the following prerequisites should be accomplished before practice.
One, teach the church so that she may repent of the idols of the courtly-love and monogamous chivalry of the sort that is found not in scripture but in romance literature.
Two, work to change the laws so that such practice is protected and not likely to get the family head imprisoned, leave the women unprotected and the children fatherless.
Three, any man considering polygyny should carefully consider the ramifications including amplified conflicts in the home and examine his own desires to determine if he is advancing the kingdom of Christ or indulging a haram fantasy, which is his kingdom not Christ’s.
Just because you can does not mean you should.
I can’t believe that M ‘
threatened divorce’ Most husbands would take her up on the offer gladly and grant her a divorce when she ‘threatens’ it since she is the one who isn’t interested in being married to him.
Mrs M’s husband should be the one who threatens leaving her if she doesn’t make an effort to change. To have a husband who hangs in there because he loves her must be a very special man. She mistreats him ever since and he still wants to stay with her? Wow! My heart goes out to M’s husband. I am sure there are a lot of women who would happily take M’s place and have a wonderful life with a husband who is that devoted.
I just received an update from him about a week ago and his divorce is finally final and he has left this woman in her sinful unrepentance.
I think the key issue here, per polygamy in a Christian household, is as Jonadab points out the matter of the civil magistrate. Prior to the Mormon laws in the ¿1830s? there were polygamous marriages in the U.S. from time to time, I believe. It was very rare, but I don’t think it was unheard-of, even among Christians. The State may forbid that which God hasn’t Himself forbidden, and we are to be in obedience to its authority (even in the matter of marriage licensure), except when it commands that which is forbidden (like bowing to idols, or celebrating the GLTs’ paedophilic grooming in our kids’ schools), or forbids what is commanded (like disciplining our kids or declaring the Gospel). If taking multiple wives was not illegal, a Christian could do so (provided each marriage was properly maintained) as a citizen in Afghanistan or Kuwait where Islamic law allows up to four wives concurrently. But not in America, as much as some of us might prefer.
I cannot believe everyone sees no issue with either divorce or polygyny, as it can be seen from Scripture that these are not allowed to a Christian.
There’s clear command from the Lord against divorce:
1 Cor 7:10-11 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.
Furthermore, both indirectly and directly, polygyny is not permitted to the Christian:
1 Cor 7:2 But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.
If a husband would have multiple wives (polygyny), than the husband would cease to be ‘her own’ husband to the wife, but she would rather share a husband.
Indirectly; Genesis before the Fall shows the pattern for husband-wife relationship we should follow: the two will become one flesh. Not three, four, or more. This is also reflected in the binary number of sexes; there was one man, woman was taken out of him to make two sexes, and in marriage the two will become one again.
And to comment at the issue: it’s terrible to be in a situation like that. What’s more, it’s sin on the part of the wife. What’s even worse: churches fail to recognize it as sin, refuse to condemn it as sin, and will not make it a matter of church discipline.
Tragically, does this behavior between wife and husband not accurately describe the relationship between those churches and Christ?
A more correct – and less feminist/anti-polygyny – translation of 1 Corinthians 7:2 would be something like this: (translation by me from Greek)
“But because of fornication, let each man have a wife to himself, and let each woman have her own husband.”
The Greek word translated “to himself” is “ἑαυτοῦ” (heautou), which is a 3rd person singular masculine reflexive pronoun. English has exactly one of those, and it’s “himself”. The Greek word translated “own” in the phrase “let each woman have her own husband” is the Greek word “ἴδιος” (idios) However, it doesn’t indicate exclusive ownership in many cases. For example:
>>Matthew 9:1 – Getting into a boat, Jesus crossed over the sea and came to His own (idios) city.
>>John 4:44 – For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own (idios) country.
>>Acts 2:6 – And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own (idios) language.
In each case, idios indicates non-exclusive ownership of something. By no means were they the only ones who laid claim to “their” city/country/language. They had a legitimate claim, but it certainly wasn’t an exclusive claim… much like wives in polygynous marriage. 1 Corinthians 7:2 definitely doesn’t prohibit polygyny when you understand Biblical Greek.
As for the translation; not only is “ἑαυτοῦ” (heautou), “a 3rd person singular masculine reflexive pronoun”, but it is specifically in the genitive case, which always indicates a possessive relationship, “of”, never “to”. “To himself” is therefore not a proper translation, “of himself” would be proper.
As for ‘idios’, it means “own”, even if it does not always mean ownership, or exclusive ownership. However, the meaning is dictated by context. Let’s see what others say about it:
2398 ídios (a primitive word, NAS dictionary) – properly, uniquely one’s own, peculiar to the individual. 2398 /ídios (“uniquely one’s own”) is “stronger than the simple possessive pronoun (‘own’). This emphatic adjective means ‘private, personal’ ” (WS, 222).”
It’s “stronger than he simple possessive pronoun (“own”). Let that sink in.
Interpreting “own” as something uniquely personal is also not contradicted by your examples.
One’s “own” city refers to the city of origin, of which there can only be exclusively one. City itself is of course already a collection of individuals, so it does not talk about “ownership”. Therefore multiple people can claim the city their exclusive “own” place of origin.
Similarly for language, it is a collective construct of many people, but in this case it means “mother tongue”, of which there can be only exclusively one to each individual. Similarly for country, which is also a collective.
As for “husband”, that is not a collective, but a single individual only. Your “own” husband, means “uniquely personal one’s own”. How can that be if it the husband is to be shared with another wife and husband is not to be understood as a collective?
Furthermore, the Greek has “each (man) the of-himself wife/woman let have”. Notice “the wife”, which is singular. Not wives. Not a wife (as in “one of multiple”). The wife (as in “singular”).
Of course this verse in isolation does not tell you everything you need to know about marriage, husbands and wives. But the language in this singular verse even on its own strongly indicates monogamy, and does not seem to allow any room for polygamy/polygyny/polyandry. Let alone the Genesis text which talks about one husband-one wife as the pattern for all marriages, and which is confirmed by Jesus in e.g. Mt 19.
Men, why are we looking at Hosea under the old covenant when we have Jesus dealing with the church of Laodicia in Rev 3 under the new covenant in the power of the Holy Spirit poured out? Here are Jesus’ 8 steps:
1. He’s always faithful to her and creates her world
2. She’s hot (e.g. angry) and cold (e,g. sexually frigid) towards him – sound familiar?
3. She thinks she doesn’t need him, so he lets her get into a real mess, including about to get even more messed up sexually it seems (she’s already naked AND the shame of her nakedness is about to be revealed – to be explained at the end)
4. With perfect timing, he counsels her in a letter perhaps to “buy” (come to his market not the other guy’s) an array of real practical help to get her out of her problems. She doesn’t know how to answer.
5. So he stands at her door and knocks, he wants to have dinner with her.
6..THEN after dinner, he tells her because he loves her he will rebuke and discipline her (by now she might know she actually needs this)
7. He challenges her to accept him for who he is and change her mind about him, and come home.
8. If she overcomes her issues he tells her she will be restored to be beside him always
Does this formula always work? No but a divorce court is guarenteed not to end well. But we all have to be led by the Holy Spirit like sons of God. Every marriage is the same but different. But at least the steps above show us Jesus heart towards our wife, what kind of love we have to love her with as Christ loves his church. And the Spirit knows our weaknesses and makes intercession for us, a very present help in time of trouble!
A note on the no-sex driver of divorce: Paul said when we feel defrauded by our wife, we get tempted – BECAUSE WE LACK SELF CONTROL. That’s not her fault, it’s our problem too, But she has the same problem, which is why she’s starting to get sexually crazy in Jesus’ step 3 above. I know she shut down on you man but you’ve got to read 1 Cor 7:2-5 again. It tell us the four parts of sexual desire which you must believe. (1) wife surrenders body to husband – she may be disobedient but the desire is there which will tempt her if she doesn’t surrender to you (2) husband takes power over her body (3) husband surrenders his body to wife (4) wife takes power over his body ALL AS AN EXPRESSION OF BENEVOLANCE. Otherwise it still feels good but somehow empty.
Now here’s the thing. If any one of those four parts are missing we get unrequited love in our marriage, feel defrauded. But that’s not all, the lack of surrender means within your wife’s hard shell is a big vaaucum desiring to surrender and built up pressure wanting to take. That’s what causes the tempation to be so powerful, and why the shame of her nakedness is about to be revealed. You better be there to save her. She needs you, She might change her mind. Or are you too bussy taking her to court?
And here’s a big tip: Virgins are really hard to find so the bonds in the four parts are not always strong. But with repitition those neural pathways can be built up. Love is patient right?
And remember, Jesus was in charge because he took the initiative and spewed her out, yet was always there for her, waiting for the moment.
I believe the biggest problem is that the modern church ignores the book of Titus. A Short book that plainly teaches how God’s church must function:
Titus 1:5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you
:10 For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers,
:13 … Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith,
:14 not giving heed to (feminist) fables and commandments of (wo)men who turn from the truth.
:15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled.
:16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.
Titus 2:1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine:
:3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— 4 that they admonish (must teach!) the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
Who is supposed to teach the young women?
The older women!
What are they to teach?
It’s not to be just a social meeting (like most churches have become today).
It’s not just another Bible study – but for women!
It actually, very specifically commands older women to teach the younger women
to LOVE THIER HUSBANDS and OBEY THEM (husbands).
If this is not happening in your local assembly then you are participating in – blaspheming God’s Word
(and therefore God Himself)!
Who is to instruct the older women?
Titus! But he is dead now. So that responsibility falls squarely on the Elders!
(or whatever you want to call your church leadership.)
Who stands in the pulpit of your local church?
Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor,
especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. 1 Timothy 5:17
… so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. John 6:27
“Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” John 21; 15 & 17
“Then I will set over them one shepherd, My servant David, and He will feed them;
He will feed them Himself and be their shepherd. Ezekiel 34:23
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. John 10:11
But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd; one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. John 10:12
In the overwhelming number of churches — Isn’t the preacher/evangelist, just a hireling!? And the ‘so-called’ elders, want it this way!
And they are fleeing from the wolf (Falsely tolerating female wolves – feminist!)
Even most of the ‘conservative women’ in churches today are rebellious feminist in God’s eyes –
examine the scripture!
Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. Acts 20:28
The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: 2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; 4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away. 1 Peter 5:1-4
The first responsibility of an elder: feeding God’s flock! After His resurrection, the Lord Jesus instructed His apostles to teach new disciples obedience to His commands (Matt. 28:20).
The earliest record of church history shows how carefully this was observed as the believers “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching….” (Acts 2:42).
Paul’s parting words to the elders at Ephesus in Acts 20; as he is looking back, he reminds them:
“I Have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God” (vs. 27), then exhorts them to follow
his example; “Take heed . . . to feed the church of God” (vs. 28).
— Notice — he didn’t say hire — or tell — the evangelist to do this job!
— Notice also in this passage the he did not call on the evangelist or deacons!
When the Son of Man comes again, will He find any who have faith on the earth? Luke 18:8
(Doesn’t sound good.)
For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:38
Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:40-42
(Anyone who is not obeying the commands of the New Testament is practicing lawlessness!)
The Son of Man goes as the Scriptures say he will. But how horrible it will be
for that person who betrays the Son of Man Matthew 26:24
(Judas was not the only one betraying Jesus!)
Matthew 12:45-47 “Who here qualifies for the job of overseeing the kitchen? A person the Master can depend on to feed the workers on time each day. Someone the Master can drop in on unannounced and always find him doing his job. A God-blessed man, I tell you. It won’t be long before the Master will put this person in charge of the whole operation.
48-51 “But if that person only looks out for himself, and the minute the Master is away does what he pleases—abusing the help and throwing drunken parties for his friends—the Master is going to show up when he least expects it and make hash of him. He’ll end up in the dump with the hypocrites, out in the cold shivering, teeth chattering.” (There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.)
The 8 steps are great, especially withholding time. A man’s response is not manipulation when the wif decides she wants to be roommates, i.e. no sex. Personally, I would lighten up on the begging, quoting verses, pointing out her sin, or trying to discuss her into it. I suggest more practical-functional methodologies. ALWAYS be polite in response to her, but stop initiating conversation. When the weekend roles around, fill it up with man stuff. Friday night cookout and load up a video instead of a night out. If she invites herself, fine. Saturdays are for going to the gym all morning by yourself, yard-work all afternoon, then another night on the grill, once again fine if she invites herself. Sunday mornings a man can stretch church out till noon with or without your roommate/wife, her choice. Work on the motorbike and ride with buddies for the rest of the afternoon. Sunday evenings, don’t you have some work-work to get prepared for? If she wants to have a non-sexual roommate relationship, you lead one. Be gracious, be polite, be endearing, but SHE is the one dictating the terms so just be the man who never does anything he had to regret. Be able to eventually leave without regrets, never having done anything out of revenge or manipulation.
I agree that a husband should never beg for that which belongs to him – his wife and her body. But Ephesians 5:25-27 calls husbands to wash their wife’s words, deeds and thoughts with the Word of God. So I think Husband’s should absolutely be quoting verses toward their wives’ sinful words, deeds or thoughts. Having said that – do I think men need to preach the same sermon every day to their wives? No. But on the other side I don’t think the husband says it one time and then never again for the next 5 years.
I agree with you that disciplining her through your actions of just filling up your time with other things is a great step. It shows her there are consequences for her actions and hold her accountable before God as husbands are called to do of their wives. But while I don’t think a husband needs to be preaching the same sermon every day to his wife, he should from time to time give her refresher courses. I am a big believer though that if she directly engages him complaining that he is not spending enough time with her – he needs to remind of her why that is and needs to use the Scriptures to explain to her why she is wrong and what he is doing as a Biblical response to her behavior.