Oral Sex – A sin, An Option or a Requirement in Christian Marriage?

Is oral sex in Christian marriage a sin? If it is not a sin is it optional or is it a requirement for Christian husbands and wives in marriage?

Recently on another article I wrote, totally unrelated to the topic of oral sex, I had a commenter named Trey make the following statement about how a man should require that his wife demonstrate her submission and respect toward him after she has denied him sex simply because she was “not in the mood”.  He said she should be required to do this before she would be allowed back in the marriage bed:

“Denial of sex by a wife is the ultimate form of disrespect and control of her husband. If she has denied you sex (for no good reason), sex should be required before she is allowed back into your marriage bed. Oral sex while on her knees before you seems very appropriate and swallowing is a must. Spitting you out is also a form of disrespect.”

I then had these comments come in.

Lost&Found wrote in response to Trey:

“You say, “Oral sex while on her knees before you seems very appropriate and swallowing is a must. Spitting you out is also a form of disrespect.”

Why would swallowing be a “must,” and spitting be “disrespect”? How is it you have come to that conclusion? And how is a husband going to force his wife not to spit?

To me, the fact that sperm are a man’s seed and when combined with a woman’s egg will create a baby, makes the thought of a woman swallowing it absolutely repugnant.”

Bruce went even further than Lost&Found in his response to Trey:

“Don’t know about 1,2, &4 but 3 is totally wrong. Lisa should not allow her husband to put his penis in her mouth (or anus for that matter). This is sodomy or, at best, sodomitic mimicry. Her husband’s penis and semen belongs in her vagina not her digestive tract. If Lisa is reading this: you are NOT to obey your husband in this – obey God first.”

So, we can definitely see some strong views on the matter of a woman giving her husband oral sex in the three comments I have just mentioned.

With Trey we see the view that a woman a should not only give her husband oral sex, but that she should swallow and not spit out his semen when he finishes.

With Lost&Found we see the view that perhaps oral sex is ok for a woman to do for her husband, but that swallowing should not be required.

With Bruce we see a complete rejection of oral sex and his lumping it in with anal sex and categorizing oral sex and anal sex as Sodomy.  He maintains that both a husband’s penis and his semen belong in his wife’s vagina and not “in her digestive tract”.  Bruce even went as far as to tell the woman who I was responding to that she should not obey her husband regarding oral sex, but rather obey God first.

So, which of these commenters is right? As always, to find the answer to all moral questions we must first look to the Scriptures.

Do the Scriptures teach that the Penis and Semen May Only Go in the Vagina?

I am willing to bet that Bruce is most likely Catholic as his view of oral sex is more common among Catholics than any other Christian denomination.  The teaching of the Catholic Church is that all sex must be “procreative” or “open to life” or the orgasm must be “genital to genital”.  In other words, all sexual relations between a man and his wife must end with his penis ejaculating in her vagina.

Now Catholics differ on whether a woman can orally pleasure her husband and the rule is only that he must finish in her vagina.

The problem is that the Bible never teaches this doctrine. It is a completely man-made doctrine.

Some have wrongly attempted to teach that the story of Onan in the Bible confirms that God only allows sex that is penile-vaginal intercourse and that the man must finish in his wife’s vagina each and every time:

“8 And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.  9 And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. 10 And the thing which he did displeased the Lord: wherefore he slew him also.”

Genesis 38:8-10 (KJV)

Onan was not killed simply for spilling his semen on the ground – i.e. “pulling out”. He was killed by God because of WHY he pulled out.  He pulled out to avoid impregnating his dead brother’s wife which was his duty before God.  So, Genesis 38:8-10 proves nothing in regard to God requiring men to always have penile-vaginal intercourse that ends with an ejaculation in the woman’s vagina.

Are oral sex and anal sex for that matter called out as “Sodomy” in the Bible? The answer is no. If you look at the story of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis chapter 19 you will find no mention of oral or anal sex.  What you will find mentioned is men wanting to have sex with men – homosexuality.

Later in the Old Testament you will find the term “sodomite” used like in the following passage:

“There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.”

Deuteronomy 23:17(KJV)

The English word “sodomite” is a translation of the Hebrew word “Qadesh” which literally means “male prostitute”.  So, when we take together the story of Sodom and Gomorrah along with the use of Qadesh what can we say that Sodomy is from a Biblical perspective? It is when men engage in homosexual behavior or prostitute themselves out.

Oral sex is not wrong because Sodomites engage in it anymore than penile-vaginal sex is wrong because unmarried men and women engage in it.  It is the context which makes sexual acts, including oral sex, right or wrong.

I will briefly address anal sex near the end of this article after I have fully covered oral sex from a Biblical perspective.

We must then ask the question, is there any passage of the Bible which looks negatively upon oral sex? And the answer is no.  But the answer to the next question I will pose may surprise many Christians. Does the Bible ever speak positively of oral sex? And the answer is YES.

The Bible Speaks in a Positive Manner Regarding Oral Sex

After I show you this next passage of the Bible, you will never look at a tree, especially an apple tree, the same again.

“As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.”

Song of Solomon 2:3 (KJV)

In ancient middle eastern poetry, the apple tree was a euphemism for a man’s genitals.  Consider the parts of the tree in the image below and how they correlate to a man’s genitals.

The image that the woman “sitting under his shadow” portrays is that of a man standing over top of his wife with his shadow over her and her down below him performing Fellatio which is oral sex performed on a man and is commonly referred to today as a “blow job“.  The Scriptures tell us she did this “with great delight” or in other words with enthusiasm and desire.  What is the fruit of his tree? It is his semen. The woman says of her husband’s semen that it was “sweet to my taste”.

But what about oral sex on a woman? Again, the Bible speaks to this as well.  And just as I warned you with the apple tree, you will no longer look at a cluster of grapes or a pomegranate the same ever again after reading the next few Scripture passages.

“7 This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes

12 Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves.”

Song of Solomon 7:7 &12 (KJV)

This picture being presented above is that of a man wanting to see his wife’s breasts and genitals becoming aroused with grapes representing her breasts and pomegranates representing her genitals.

See the image below of a pomegranate and you can definitely see the resemblance to a woman’s genitals:

Now look below at what the wife asks her husband do with her “pomegranate”:

“I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother’s house, who would instruct me: I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate.”

Song of Solomon 8:2 (KJV)

Drinking of the juice of her pomegranate is a euphemism for Cunnilingus which is oral sex performed on a woman.

Another reference to the wife requesting oral sex from her husband is found below:

“Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.”

Song of Solomon 4:16 (KJV)

If you ever wondered where “going south” on a woman or “eating out” a woman came from – you can find it right there in there in Song of Solomon 4:16. The imagery of this passage is unmistakably referring to cunnilingus with the “spices” that “may flow out” referring to the natural secretions that come from a woman’s genitals when she is aroused or stimulated.

So yes, we can say beyond a doubt that the Bible speaks positively, not negatively, of oral sex as long as it occurs as all sexual acts should – within the proper context of marriage.  We can now at this point completely dismiss as totally unbiblical Bruce’s position that oral sex is a sin and that women should disobey their husbands if this is requested.

So Oral Sex is an Option for Christian Spouses, But Is It Also Required?

Up to this point we have proven that oral sex is definitely an option for men and women within the covenant of marriage.  The next question we must ask though is this.  Is oral required in marriage in according to the Bible?

None of the references to oral sex in the Song of Solomon are written in the form of a command, but rather they are written in the form of a positive example.  Examples of various behaviors and actions in the Bible when presented in a positive light show us that God allows us to do that particular thing, but examples do not require us to do a certain thing.

In other words, positive Biblical examples allow while Biblical commands compel.

But while Song of Solomon contains no commands about oral sex, there are other passages which do give us commands about sex in general.

“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.”

1 Corinthians 7:3-5 (KJV)

The passage above from 1 Corinthians teaches us several important Biblical principles about sex:

  1. Sex is both a right and duty in marriage of both the husband and the wife.
  2. The husband does not have the power to deny his body to his wife for sex nor does the wife have the power to deny her body to her husband for sex.
  3. The only thing that requires “consent” in the Biblical world view of sex is consent by both of them to stop having sex for a brief period of time.

The Biblical principles above fly in the face of our modern individualist and secular humanist view of human autonomy today.  But we as Christians are commanded to reject whatever values our culture has which conflict with the Word of God:

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 now let’s apply the principles of I Corinthians 7:3-5 to the topic of oral sex.

If a man wants his wife to perform oral sex on him – does she have the right to refuse? According to 1 Corinthians 7:4 the answer is no she does not have such a right.  But the same goes for woman.  If a woman wants her husband to perform oral sex on her, does he have the right to refuse? Again, the answer according to I Corinthians 7:4 is no, he does not have such a right.

So, the answer to our question is that oral sex can be both optional and required. 

It is optional in the sense that if neither spouse wants to engage in oral sex than it is not required.  Is required in the sense that if either spouse wants to engage in it, then the other spouse must cooperate and render themselves accordingly.

Now of course we must balance the right to have sex with one’s spouse and the responsibility to have sex with one’s spouse with other Scriptural principles.

For instance, the Bible teaches the following to husbands regarding their wife’s body:

“28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church”

Ephesians 5:28-29 (KJV)

A man must care for the needs of his wife’s body as he would his own. In the sexual arena, that means he should never do anything to his wife that would misuse or cause harm to his wife’s body.

Sometimes vaginal sex may be need to cease for a time if the woman is having medical conditions that warrant such a ceasing, a good example of which would be right after she has had a child.  There may also be times when oral sex may need to cease because the man or woman has had some type of dental work or oral surgery.  There may be other times when it would not be conducive for a man to perform oral sex on his wife, for instance when she has her period or when she has some type of infection in her genital area.

Is it Healthy for A Woman to Swallow Her Husband’s Semen?

Under normal circumstances oral sex between a husband and wife within the confines of marriage presents no health risks whatsoever.  What do I mean by normal? If a man and woman follow God’s design for marriage and they both wait for all sexual activity (including oral sex) until marriage there is no chance of them contracting any STDs from one another due to oral sex.

On the subject of a man’s semen.  Many women are grossed out by a man’s semen while others absolutely love it.  So, what is in this mystery fluid that is ejected from a man’s body when he has an orgasm?

On average men ejaculate about a teaspoon of semen.

Sperm makes up only about 2 to 5 percent of a man’s semen.

The overwhelming majority of a man’s semen is fructose(sugar), along with vitamin C, zinc, protein, lactic acid, magnesium, calcium chlorine, citric acid, creatine, potassium, vitamin B12, sodium, nitrogen, and phosphorus.

Basically what that means is your husband’s sperm has about the same ingredients as the breakfast plate pictured below.

So, no it absolutely not unhealthy for a woman to swallow her husband’s semen.  In fact, it is very healthy both for her physically and for him psychologically. And we will tackle the male psychological side of oral sex next.

How Fellatio Affects a Man’s Psyche

There are two ways that a woman can approach oral sex with her husband.  The one is to “well I do this because I know he likes it but this is gross and he better not finish in my mouth!” In other words, the idea of her husband’s penis and especially his semen in her mouth utterly grosses her out.

Even outside of oral sex, some women just find their husband’s semen gross and immediately after sex they are running to the bathroom to do this extensive cleaning process or even taking a bath in some cases.

Other women crave their husband’s semen.  These women perform oral sex to actually be able to taste their husband’s semen.  This is the type of wife that is pictured in Song of Solomon 2:3.

For most men who have not been conditioned to be ashamed of their sexual desires, they want their wife to be like the wife of Song of Solomon 2:3.  They want their wife to crave their semen.  Whether it be wanting it on their face, in their mouth, on their breasts and certainly in their vagina.  Why? Because a man’s semen is an extension of himself.  Semen, unlike other bodily biproducts from a man, represents life.  It represents the man’s life and who he is.

So yes, many men find it disrespectful and unloving when their wife finds their semen to be gross whether inside or outside her body or she refuses to swallow.  But most men have been conditioned by our society (including the churches) to remain silent about this and to tell women what they want to hear that it is “not important” to them.

A wife shows her submission to her husband when she kneels before him and takes his “apple tree” in her mouth.

A wife shows her full acceptance of her husband when she does this act with “great delight” showing her husband that she craves the “sweet” taste of his fruit.

A wife shows her sacrificial spirit when after performing fellatio on her husband to its natural completion she asks for nothing in return.

Why Cunnilingus is Important for Women

Multiple studies have confirmed that many women cannot have orgasms from penile-vaginal intercourse alone.

Consider these numbers from an article on Psychology Today entitled “Why So Many Women Don’t Have Orgasms”:

“For men, rates of orgasm varied only slightly based on how many of these three actions they’d reported:

One (just intercourse): 96 percent of the men had orgasms.

Two (hand massage and intercourse): 95 percent.

Three (hand massage, fellatio, and intercourse): 98 percent.

But for women, rates of orgasm varied considerably based on the number of actions:

One (just intercourse): 50 percent of the women reported orgasms.

Two (hand massage and intercourse): 71 percent.

Three (hand massage, cunnilingus, and intercourse): 86 percent.

In summary, the number above show that 96 percent of men can have an orgasm through penile-vaginal intercourse without any manual stimulation of their genitals or oral sex.

But only 50 percent of women can have an orgasm from penile-vaginal intercourse alone.  For many women they must have their genitals massaged along with receiving oral sex in order to have an orgasm.

So why is cunnilingus important for women? Because there is a large chunk of women that cannot have an orgasm without it.

The Importance of Allowing Oral Sex

It is rare but I do sometimes hear from both men and women that they do not really want to allow their spouse to perform oral sex on them but their spouse really wants to.

What these men and women need to understand is that giving oral sex can be a huge turn on for many men and women and it is a crucial part of foreplay for them even if orgasm is not reached through it.

From the emails I have received, it is more often women that are opposed to their husbands performing oral sex on them then men opposing their wives performing oral sex on them.

Sometimes it is because they just always feel dirty in their genital area, even after they wash.  Some women just don’t want their husband’s mouth on their genitals simply because they think it is gross.  For some women it might be because their husband performed oral sex once and he was too rough.

If it is just a matter of the husband changing his technique, this can be accomplished through communication between the wife and her husband.

But in either case, a man or woman opposed to having oral sex performed on them by their spouse needs to address whatever issues are hindering them in this area.  Because they are holding back a portion of themselves that they ought not to be from their spouse.

What About Anal Sex?

Earlier we talked about how some Christians like Bruce link oral sex with anal sex and associate both these practices with the Biblical condemnation of Sodomites.  I have a written an entire article on the subject of Anal sex entitled “Do Christian wives have to submit to requests for anal sex by their husbands?”.   I won’t go into all the details here as you can just read that article but I will just summarize my position on it here.

The anus, unlike the vagina and the mouth, is not designed for penetration.  It is designed as an “exit-only” orifice.

WebMD states this about anal sex:

“The anus lacks the natural lubrication the vagina has. Penetration can tear the tissue inside the anus, allowing bacteria and viruses to enter the bloodstream… Using lubricants can help some, but doesn’t completely prevent tearing.

The tissue inside the anus is not as well protected as the skin outside the anus. Our external tissue has layers of dead cells that serve as a protective barrier against infection. The tissue inside the anus does not have this natural protection, which leaves it vulnerable to tearing and the spread of infection

Even if both partners do not have a sexually-transmitted infection or disease, bacteria normally in the anus can potentially infect the giving partner. Practicing vaginal sex after anal sex can also lead to vaginal and urinary tract infections

Now some have argued that “God has designed many parts of the body with a primary function and many secondary as well” and that is absolutely true.  The mouth has the primary purpose of acting as the intake for food and drink for the body but it has a secondary purpose of allowing for kissing and oral sex.  In the same way the vagina has the purpose of being able to give birth to a child, but it has another purpose of being able to receive a man’s penis for penile-vaginal intercourse.

Some have tried to argue that the anus in women, like the vagina is created by God for a dual purpose as well. They argue that a woman’s anus is designed by God for evacuating waste from the body but also receiving a man’s penis for anal intercourse.

The problem with this dual-purpose theory for a woman’s anus is that we know that it is a medical fact that the anus is NOT designed for penetration.  It does not have the thick elastic lining of either the mouth or the vagina.  It has much thinner skin that is very easily torn and can easily become infected.

Another thing which separates oral sex from anal sex is cross contamination.   There are no medical issues with a man receiving oral sex from his wife and then him placing his penis in her vagina.  There are however great risks of spreading harmful bacteria from man having anal sex with his wife and then putting his penis in her vagina afterwards as this can cause infections in the vagina.

It is for all these reasons that I believe anal sex is in fact a misuse of a woman’s body and it stands apart from oral sex.  Oral sex does not have any health risks under normal circumstances while anal sex is considered by health practitioners to be the “riskiest form of sexual activity” that there is.

Again, you can read my full article on anal sex by reading my article “Do Christian wives have to submit to requests for anal sex by their husbands?”.

Conclusion

From a Biblical perspective, oral sex is not equivalent to Sodomy any more that penile-vaginal intercourse is equivalent to fornication.  Just as penile-vaginal intercourse is only fornication if it occurs outside a marriage covenant between a man and woman, so too oral sex is only sodomy if it occurs in the context of two men having sex.

The Bible never restricts sexual relations between husbands and wives to only penile-vaginal intercourse. It actually presents oral sex, both fellatio and cunnilingus in a positive light.

We have also shown that oral sex is more than just an option for Christian husbands and wives.  The 1 Corinthians 7:4 principle that husbands and wives must fully surrender their bodies to one another for sex can make oral sex a requirement and not just an option in marriage if either spouse wants it.

Men should not be repulsed by the thought of performing oral sex on their wives and women should not be repulsed by the thought of performing oral sex on their husbands.

Women should understand that it is not gross or unhealthy in anyway for a them to swallow their husband’s semen.  It is actually very healthy and it is a powerful bonding tool for a wife to use with her husband.

When a woman has wrongfully denied her husband sex the idea of her kneeling before him, performing fellatio and then swallowing his semen is probably the best apology a wife could ever give her husband for such a sin.

But a wife must realize that her performing fellatio as well as her swallowing is not simply something she should do as an apology for sexual denial.  It is something that should be done regularly to show her love, full acceptance and submission to her husband.

Finally, for those who might be concerned that I am promoting oral sex over penile-vaginal sex.  Nothing could be further from the truth.   While I think fellatio and cunnilingus should be utilized by couples on a regular basis for foreplay or with cunnilingus to help a wife have an orgasm, I do believe that the vast majority of sexual encounters between a husband and wife should end in penile-vaginal intercourse with him ejaculating in his wife’s vagina.

You don’t have to be a doctor or a biologist to see that a man’s penis and a woman’s vagina are perfectly designed to come together.  When a man and woman come together in penile-vaginal intercourse this is them becoming “one flesh” in the most literal sense of the Biblical phase.

But what we have known since creation simply by common observation has also been proven scientifically in that penile-vaginal intercourse results in a release of 400% percent more prolactin  in men and women than any other form of sexual activity (like oral sex or masturbation). Prolactin is what give us the sense of satisfaction from having sex.

However, it is one thing to say that penile-vaginal sex is the best form of sexual relations a husband and wife can have and another to say it is the only kind of sexual relations a husband and wife can have.

38 thoughts on “Oral Sex – A sin, An Option or a Requirement in Christian Marriage?

  1. Is marriage worth bothering with? I’m surrounded by mediocre marriages, I don’t see anyone or at best very few who have a marriage that I would want to have. My sister has been married a short time and she tells me how hard it is and it seems like so much difficulty with so little reward.

  2. AngloSaxon,
    Most things that are worth doing are hard. Raising children is hard but it is most definitely worth doing. The same goes for marriage. It’s a journey that will teach you a lot about yourself and about how to love someone else unconditionally. It can also be a lot of fun with the right person.

  3. Oral sex is a requirement if the husband asks his wife for it. We need to understand that 1 cor 7 is within the confines of a proper husband-wife relationship and that is the wife submits to her husband in everything. Yes, he needs to provide his body to her, but I always think about how it might have worked with husbands who had multiple wives.

    Could one of them demand out of the blue to have sex any way she wanted it with her husband? The answer is no. He was responsible to provide her sex, and I think a man is designed naturally to do this. I also think this is why the warning against multiplying wives. So, I don’t see 1 cor 7 as an equality argument though it seems to be written that way. I think it fits within the confines of proper husband/wife relationship.

    The question that will probably come as a result of this post is what if the wife wants oral sex, but her husband doesn’t want to give it? My first answer is that I would think most men would want to give it, and I think he should think hard before denying her request. Ultimately though I think he could say no to her and not sin. I am sure some will disagree.

    To address the other post where someone was using oral sex as some sort of punishment; I think that is a huge mistake on many levels. There is certainly a time for rebuke and even punishment, but I don’t think I would make sex a punishment. I get where he is coming from that a wife may get out of order thinking she is somehow above or equal to her husband, but I think there are better ways to go about correcting that.

    I think the attitude about sex needs to be we will come together when it is desired or needed and the hard thing there is that a wife may have to have sex even if she is in a disagreement with her husband and not happy with him for some reason.

  4. Anm1
    1 Corinthians does say that the woman’s body is now the husband’s property, and then follows that up with the rule that the husband’s body is, in turn, property of the wife.

  5. Anm1,

    Your Statement:

    “To address the other post where someone was using oral sex as some sort of punishment; I think that is a huge mistake on many levels. There is certainly a time for rebuke and even punishment, but I don’t think I would make sex a punishment.”

    I would agree that sex should not be used as punishment. However, in the context of a woman denying her husband sexually it is absolutely right that she should give sex as a restitution for what she has done. The Scriptures teach us the principle that if you steal from someone you are to pay back what you stole five times over:

    “If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.”
    Exodus 22:1 (KJV)

    So it makes perfect sense to me that if a wife sexually denies her husband that she should absolutely initiate sex with him and do so in a way that best pleases him to make restitution for her theft(of herself) against him.

  6. Anm1,

    Your Statement:

    “Oral sex is a requirement if the husband asks his wife for it. We need to understand that 1 cor 7 is within the confines of a proper husband-wife relationship and that is the wife submits to her husband in everything. Yes, he needs to provide his body to her, but I always think about how it might have worked with husbands who had multiple wives.

    Could one of them demand out of the blue to have sex any way she wanted it with her husband? The answer is no. He was responsible to provide her sex, and I think a man is designed naturally to do this. I also think this is why the warning against multiplying wives. So, I don’t see 1 Cor 7 as an equality argument though it seems to be written that way. I think it fits within the confines of proper husband/wife relationship.”

    I agree with your statement above. I Corinthians 7 must be taken into account with the Biblical principles found in Ephesians 5:23-25 and I Peter 3:1-6 that the husband is the head of the wife, that she is submit to him and regard him as her master. Certainly he has responsibilities to provide “her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage” as Exodus 21:10 clearly states. But she cannot be demanding in the sense of the exact timing of how and when he provides these things. It is simply that he has a duty to provide them.

  7. Rick,

    If you closely examine that passage – it never uses the word “property”.

    “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 7:4 (KJV)

    While that Greek word “Exousiazo” – translated “power” can often refer to one having authority over another it can also simply mean “right” as in you have a right to access something.

    This is where we must remember the Scriptural principle that the Bible never contradicts itself. If “the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church” (Ephesians 5:23) and he is to be regarded as her master (I Peter 3:6) than she cannot be his authority in an any way. So it is for this reason that we understand I Corinthians 7:4 as stating that the wife has a right to her husband’s body, but she is not have authority over him nor is his body her property.

    If anything the picture we should present which is consistent with the entirety of the Scriptures and taking into account God’s allowance for polygamy is one of a drinking fountain. The wives have to get in line and he has to grant them access.

  8. Anm1,
    You said “where someone was using oral sex as some sort of punishment…”. I am not talking about just punishment (for punishments sake). I am talking about discipline and the appropriate (and sometimes necessary) use of humiliation to the process of discipline.

    Websters1828 Dictionary:
    PUN’ISHMENT, noun – Any pain or suffering inflicted on a person for a crime or offense, by the authority to which the offender is subject, either by the constitution of God or of civil society.

    DISCIPLINE, noun [Latin , to learn.]
    1. Education; instruction; cultivation and improvement, … and due subordination to authority.
    2-4 does not apply here.
    5. Correction; chastisement; punishment intended to correct crimes or errors;

    And on the subject of “humiliation”. Most believe in our Western culture that for someone to “Humiliate” someone else is a heinous crime.. a sin even. I would contend that it is not.

    Websters1828
    HUMILIA’TION, noun The act of humbling; the state of being humbled.
    1. Descent from an elevated state or rank to one that is low or humble.
    2. The act of abasing pride; or the state of being reduced to lowliness of mind, meekness, penitence and submission.

    I can tell you that some of the most important and lasting lessons that I have been taught in life came as the result of being humiliated by someone. I can think of instances right off the top of my head where I was humiliated by my father, my mother, my pastor, my Jr. High principle, my first boss (when I was in Jr. High), my first boss out of college and others. The lessons that I was taught THOUGH those humiliations have stuck with me though a lifetime and I am appreciative of those who cared enough for me to train me in that way.

    All of those are examples of being humiliated by people who cared for me and did what they did out of love for me. I can even think of a few instances where I was humiliated by people who did not love me and their motives were to hurt me but I also benefited by having my pride knocked down so that I could learn something. Humiliation, like many other things can be used for evil or for good and in certain instances, it can be one of the most loving things a husband can do… to humiliate his wife… to bring down her pride… so that she can see things more clearly… so that in the humility, she can learn something that she needs to learn… and be better off for it for the rest of her life.

    No matter how upset I have been with my wife, I have never wanted to PUNISH her. I just wanted her bad behaviour to stop. I have learned from this site (and others) that it is appropriate for a husband to discipline (TRAIN) his wife and I can tell you from experience that IT was what was missing in my marriage for the first 25 years. I wish I knew 30 years ago what I know now. Both my wife, and my children would have been much better off if I had.

  9. Trey,

    I agree that humiliating someone is not always wrong. In fact it can be holy and right. For instance parents who have teenagers knows this is true. Teens must often be humbled by their parents and reminded of their lower rank within the household. In fact, in some ways our wives can sometimes resemble our teenagers in challenging our authority and forgetting their place within the home.

  10. Trey, I hear where you are coming from. Each of us has to learn how to lead those entrusted to us in the most effective ways, but also with love and patience. You may have learned that a soft approach isn’t as effective, but there are others who might learn that a harder approach to begin with causes more bitterness than is necessary. I prefer a step it up approach somewhat the way Matthew 18 confronts sin (which I know is not in the context of the family, but the church). Start with rebuke. If that doesn’t work, step it up more and more until it becomes effective. I see the marriage bed as a place where couples should find relief and enjoyment with each other and not a place I would choose right off to apply correction. I’m not saying if the sin fits that it can’t be, just that it wouldn’t by my first choice.

  11. Anm1,
    I agree with the step it up approach 100%. A husband should deal with his wife in the same way the Lord deals with him. I know that the Lord has dealt with me very patiently over the years with lots of grace and mercy applied. He uses (harsh) discipline as a last resort. A husband should deal with his wife the same way, no doubt but he can’t be afraid to step it up when she is not responding, or worse, double down on her sin.

    My comment was in effect me telling her husband (and any other man in a situation like that) that it was time to step it up. What prompted my comment (which in hindsight was not very well written) was somewhat of a visceral response to a woman who was complaining about her husbands very measured and reasonable response to HER ONGOING sin. That woman’s pride was so overwhelming that she could not see that what her husband was doing was loving and reasonable, yet she used shaming language calling him “childish and manipulative”. That lit a fire in me and it was clear (to me at least) that it was time for him to step it up.

    It took me 25 years to start to deal with my wife correctly but it should have only taken a few. I still suffer greatly internally over my failure as a husband and a father…. the fact that I allowed such chaos to exist in my family for so many years (real and lasting damage was done to my daughter) because I bought into the lies of feminism and left my wife to herself to run amuck instead of understanding that it was my responsibility to be washing her in the water of the Word to remove her spots and blemishes. My only solace, is that at the time (around year 5), I sought help from my parents and from the wisest man I knew, our pastor, the man who married us but neither provided any help whatsoever. I do not want other men (and their families) to suffer the way mine did for lack of knowledge on how to deal with their wives in a Godly manner… the same way that Jesus deals with His bride, the Church.

    It would have been even better if I had, before we got married (as you suggested in an earlier comment) explained how I expected things to go instead of just making sure she was a “Christian” before I married her and assumed she was on the same page as I was regarding the important inner-workings of a Christian marriage. Any man considering marriage today would be most wise to follow your advice.

  12. Thank you for this excellent article! I’m wondering…, I enjoyed your interpretation of the Song of Solomon and would like to know if you have source material for the Jewish interpretations of the various sexual metaphors used in the Song?

  13. Trey, brother I am with you fully. I agree that the biggest mistake men make is one of inaction. It started in the garden with Adam.

  14. HigherQuest,

    You can look into these two books to give you some insight: The first one actually says some similar things to what I have said about the apple tree being a phallic symbol in certain contexts as well as the garden being a reference to a woman’s vulva. There are some differences of course of interpretation but the main point is a “a garden” is not really talking about a garden and an “apple tree” is not really talking about an apple tree.

    The Song of Solomon was actually the most controversial book in the Old Testament. The Jewish leaders and scholars recognized that it if were viewed literally it was an erotic story between two lovers. Most chose to reject that as they did not understand how God would allow this in his Word, although it had been their for many centuries. So in order to keep in the Jewish canon they adopted the allegorical approach and said it was an allegory of God and his being a husband to Israel. They even forbid most men from reading it or made them wait until at least they were married because they knew the sexual imagery of the book would become obvious.
    Christian scholars later tried to make it an allegory of Christ and his Church.

    It is interesting to note that the Jewish Scholar who is credited with helping to keep the Song of Solomon in the Jewish canon(and this keeping it as part of the Christian Bible as well) – Rabbi Akiva (50–135 AD) is said to have acknowledge that the words of Song of Solomon for centuries had been sung in Taverns as erotic songs. He hated that and strongly pushed for the allegorical view – but he maintained that it was the Word of God and must remain in the canon.

    It is only over the past two centuries that Song of Solomon was finally freed from the attempts by earlier Jewish and Christian scholars to bury its true erotic nature.

    Obviously marriage was created by God to symbolize the relationship of him to his people, so even in sex we can see God showing how he desires to be united with his people. But the Song of Songs when read literally of the story of two lovers shows us that God is not a prude! God loves sex because he designed it! And it is unfortunate that past generations of Jewish scholars and Christian scholars had such a prudish view of sex.

    Forbidden Fruit: Ancient Near Eastern Sexual Metaphors (1999)
    Ronald A. Veenker
    Hebrew Union College Annual
    https://www.jstor.org/stable/23508866?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

    How Men Have Read “The Song of Songs” (1909)
    George Holley Gilbert
    The University of Chicago Press

  15. Thanks for the reference book recommended. I will study it carefully.
    I am completely in agreement that the vast majority of Christians, and perhaps most especially Conservative Evangelicals, have allowed the historical tradition of Augustine and Jerome to cast an undeserved negativity towards all things sexual, including oral sex. To be set free to appreciate God’s plan for sexual enjoyment, within the bounds of His clearly defined laws, is a huge deliverance from oft preached fears of many Evangelicals. In so many ways God has revealed His desire for His people to enjoy sexual pleasures, including the erotic imagery of much of that which is poorly described as pornography. To identify all erotic imagery with the term “pornography” is just an example of the unwarranted connection to fornication. Oral sex, as a prominent theme of much erotic imagery, is finally coming (pun intended) into its own, and because of such erotic imagery millions of people worldwide are learning to stop fearing it and enjoying God’s design for sex in marriage.

  16. I have absolutely read your blog on this subject and I fully agree with all you have written. Recently I found another blogger who says very similar things to what you have written. Here is a link to it: http://www.christiansexdeception.com/the-reality-of-pornography

    I am convinced the body of Christ needs a major “rethink” of this whole area. It believes what it does far more largely based on the unstudied opinions of people who approach Scripture eisegetically rather than from good hermeneutic principles. We live in a day of such study laziness among believers who are far more led by their emotions than prayer and solid research.

    Of course you stand out in the minds of most Christians as a Heretic. How could you be seen otherwise, given their shallow “sheepified” approach to the things you have shared. They’d rather be told what to believe than study it honestly for themselves. I believe one of the most difficult things for modern believers is to set aside their preconceived notions of sex and take a fresh look at it from other biblical perspectives. The naked body and the enjoyment of viewing it and the acts of sex between loving couples is an incredible example of the nature of God and His design for human sexuality. We are designed to be spiritually inspired by and appropriately sexually stimulated by these expressions. To make it dirty and unChristian is a terrible travesty that needs to be exposed for the error it is. Fortunately we live in a day where so many excellent studies are available to the seeker of truth on the Internet. Of course there is a vast amount of material that is pure garbage, but there is also a great treasure trove of information that is capable of realigning hearts with the truth and setting captives free from false teachings.

    Keep writing my friend…you are a blessing to sooo many!

  17. @BGR
    In the above discussion there is some confusion over similar but different concepts. The distinctions may appear to be subtle, but they are profound.
    The whole topic of belonging to, possessing authority over, one’s property etc is worth it own post. I have some thoughts and distinctions that may be helpful, but they can wait for the right posting on the subject.

  18. Jonadab,

    Feel free to post your thoughts on “belonging to, possessing authority over, one’s property” here. It may actually spawn a new post from me. This post was actually spawned from comments on the previous post about the silent treatment by husbands and then comments on this post about oral sex spawned another article about marriage being worth it. Its fine with me. Fire away with whatever your thoughts are.

  19. When we consider the relationships of “family” we use words of possession. We say things like “my parents, my family or my wife”. We “belong” to social groups and are members of that group. Unlike a political party or the PTA we do not belong to our family by simple affiliation, nor just an association of a common trait, but by covenant. A wife belongs to her husband by a covenant bond and testified to by a vow. God has made the two one. No other human relationship is like marriage. Not even a child being knit in its mother’s womb has the same lifelong bond of marriage. Marriage is beyond shared DNA or a common address and shared tax return. A wife is made one with her husband by God and she is his every bit as much as the children in the household are his. She takes his mark (a ring) and bears his name. These tokens tell the world that she belongs to him and no other man may have her. It is sin for another to covet her, because she belongs to no other man, only to him. Although two are made one, she is an individual, but not independent. (1 Cor 11:11). Her identity is hers and yet it is in her husband, she bears his name, his children and he is her head. He posses her because she is his. He has possession of her body for the purpose of the union of sex ( 1 Cor 7: ).

    Paul intentionally conflates marriage with the relationship of Christ and the church to tell us how strong the resemblance is between the type and the antitype; that is between marriage of a man and woman and the marriage of Christ and the church. As Christ is head of the church so also the husband is the head of the wife. As Christ unconditionally loves His church, so a husband is love his wife, unconditionally. As Christ suffered because of the sins of his bride so also husbands suffer because of the sins of their wives (husbands suffering are not an atoning, where Christ’s are). We have no problem saying that the church belongs to Christ or that it is His possession. So we should have no issue saying the same about a wife belonging to her husband and being her possession. In a similar fashion the church claims Christ as her own, that He is her Lord. By saying that Christ is our Lord we convey that we belong to Him and He to us, and that He is the authority of the relationship. Likewise Sarah is commended as an example to be followed in 1 Peter 3 for calling her husband “Lord”. She is confessing that Abraham is hers, she is his wife and he is her authority, warts and all. For Abraham’s part Sarah is his wife warts and all. He is the patriarch of Issac and Jacob, the father of a great multitude and a sinner who was on occasion not the best of husbands. Sarah was the mother of Issac and Israel, the laugher at God and the instigator of a polygynist marriage who chased off her rival because of jealousy. These two sinners are held up in scripture as covenant parents. We still sing “Father Abraham had many sons….”. And Peter says of Sarah “whose daughter you are…”. So it is not the lack of sin that we belong to them or they to us, but by covenant. It is the work of God that unites us to our spiritual grandparents and to our spouse. It is by covenant.

    Scripture tells us Christians that we have been bought with a price, that we are not our own. This goes even further that just belonging or possessing. Scripture often uses terms like dulos translated slave or in the nicer versions since 1865 “bondservant”. It would be inconceivable for a Christian to blanch at such language as being bought because were bought out of bondage at a exceedingly high price. We were bought and made members into the household of Christ. Do we complain that we are slaves? No, we know that we deserve something far worse and yet are purchase is not for our labor and works, but for our sonship. We delight to serve our Lord and we rejoice that we are children of the most high.

    Feminist complain that a wife under patriarchy might be treated as a slave. After all she was “purchased” by the bride price or dowery, that this is equivalent to being a slave bought at auction, or so they fear. But she is not a slave; she is her husband’s most prized possession. She is not a mere object of property anymore than his children are like his golf clubs. Such anxiety over “slave” language is like the church complaining that Christ saved us unto good works. What are we just His slaves to fight for his kingdom? Or that if a wife fully submits she will lose her identity. Yet in the antitype the church does not lose her identity, she finds it. A Christian wife images the gospel when she imitates the church and confesses that she belongs to her husband, he is her little “l” lord to which she fully and in faith submits and his possession. For all the complaints that feminists make, they really seem to be fighting against the idea that God made them one, they are afraid that they will lose their identity, autonomy and volition. But when we are claimed by Christ we find our identity, we seek holiness not autonomy, and as we are sanctified our volition becomes harmonious with Christ. I think this is why 1 Peter 3:6 commends wives not giving quarter to this fear. Those who lose their life for Christ’s sake will find it.

    In the context of the OP, because the wife is her husband’s possession to care for and love, her mouth too is his. (I’ll just leave it at that). He cannot intentionally do her harm, although she may find many things unpleasant and temporarily painful. Exercise is like that, not harmful but most do not find it pleasant. I think Lima beans are unpleasant, but I’m told they are good for health.

    When a wife says “I do” she is saying she is his, his possession and his responsibility. She has no legal or spiritual right to claim her independence or resist his rule or his spiritual shepherding. (Personally I object to her attending a different church or getting her spiritual fix from women’s groups. She is to ask her husband about such questions not christo-feminist blogs or focus on the family). She does, however along with protection and provision, have the right and privilege to insist on sex. Of course she in turn must respond positively every time her husband seeks her for sex. Yes a blessed marriage is sexually intoxicating. It as if the church submits under the rule and authority of Christ and may celebrate their union with Him in communion whenever they desire. The church is His possession, bought with a price, she is His. And so also the wife ….

  20. Well said and Amen Jonadab. And you my friend have inspired another article. You actually mentioned something I have had in my stack to write on for a couple years now and it kept falling off to the side. I won’t say what is here to keep a little suspense, but I will just say it is something I have been meaning to address for a while.

  21. Jonadab,
    Thank you for that most excellent overview. You brought something to light in my mind that I have previously missed in that “As Christ suffered because of the sins of his bride so also husbands suffer because of the sins of their wives…”. Such a simple truth, but one that never occurred to me before.

    I can say that I have suffered greatly (27 years) because of the sins of my wife and always felt that it was so unfair… but when compared to how my sin caused Christ to suffer, it causes her sin toward me (and the unfairness of it) to pale in comparison.

    You see although my wife has changed her behaviour and she (virtually) sins against me no more and she has become a huge help and blessing in my life, she still has not dealt with her past sin in that she has not confessed it (to me at least) or asked for my forgiveness. Because of this, I still struggle with whether or not her change is true and lasting and we have not been completely reconciled in that I cannot trust her as I once did. I also still struggle under the hurt of it all and the lasting damage that it has done to our kids and myself.

    All that to say, I am not sure if there is such a thing as levels when it comes to forgiving someone, but if there are, you just enabled me to forgive my wife on an even deeper level than I have been able to before and I think that in reading that simple sentence, I felt more of the pain of the past dissipate as I contemplate the pain that I have caused Christ. Thank you for that.

  22. Trey,

    Sometimes our wives will apologize with their actions, rather than their words. My wife did just last week apologize with words for some disrespect she showed, but more often then not she will not apologize with words but with her actions. She will initiate sex or she does some other kind thing for me that I know is her apology. While it is nice to get both – the words first, admitting total fault and asking forgiveness, and then the change following up those words – If I can only get one I will take the actions every time.

    And I have heard of both men and women that have struggle with deeper hurt caused by their spouse – the spouse changes their hurtful behavior and truly turns around. But yet wordy and detailed apology is never given and the hurt spouse even though things have truly changed never forgives the other. You do truly need to let go and give your past hurts to Christ. You may never get the exact apology you are looking for, but if he she has changed her actions toward you – be thankful to God for that. That is more than many men get.

  23. BGR,
    You say “Sometimes our wives will apologize with their actions, rather than their words. … While it is nice to get both – the words first, admitting total fault and asking forgiveness, and then the change following up those words – If I can only get one I will take the actions every time.”

    I am not sure this is the best thing. If I get words first (confession and a request for forgiveness) and then a change in actions… it seams real and genuine to me. Actions alone are confusing and could just be a form a manipulation.

    You also said “You may never get the exact apology you are looking for…”

    I am not looking for an apology per say. In fact I am not looking for an “apology” at all as I put little weight in apologies. Below is an excerpt from an article I found online (years ago and I forget where) that sums up why.
    ——————————————————————-
    “When we apologize, we are saying that we are expressing regret or remorse for a slight or injury. But there’s a secondary meaning and it is giving a defense or vindication for something. Many people’s apologies are a mixture of the two. They have remorse for the result of what they did, but not for what they did.

    Forgiveness, on the other hand, is a pardon for something that has been done. When we ask for forgiveness it takes humility because we have to admit we’ve actually done something wrong with a view to repent from that act. It’s why God uses forgiveness of sin to save, not sorrow. God is plenty sorrowful over our sins but without forgiveness, we’re doomed.

    As Christians, we are to extend forgiveness as many times as it is asked of us (Matthew 18:21-22). But an apology is not asking for forgiveness. It’s being sorrowful or remorseful for what someone did. It’s what Judas and Cain did and look what that got both of them. It’s not taking responsibility for it which is what asking for forgiveness entails.”
    ——————————————————————–

    The Bible does not tell us to apologize for our sins, it tells us to confess them and ask for forgiveness and it tells us to do this both to God (1 John 1:9) and to the one that we have sinned against (Matthew 5:23-24). I am more concerned with what is truly going on inside of my wife’s heart; if her change is real and lasting and if she is following the instructions given us in Gods word regarding sin and forgiveness.

    You see, I know that I am a Christian and I know what it feels like when I have been truly convicted of a sin and what true repentance looks like. Not only is there a change in behavior but there is also regret, sorrow and pain, sometimes to the point of tears. There is the ability to take responsibility for the wrong actions and it is easy to talk about them and discuss them openly with others. True repentance is more than just changing your behaviour.

    1 John 1:9 says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Confession of sin has to come before forgiveness of sin. John Stott says in his book “The Message of the Sermon on the Mount”,
    ——————————————————————-
    “When we are ourselves involved in a quarrel, there will be either the pain of apologizing to the person we have injured or the pain of rebuking the person who has injured us. Sometimes there is the nagging pain of having to refuse to forgive the guilty party until he repents. Of course a cheap peace can be bought by cheap forgiveness. But true peace and true forgiveness are costly treasures. Jesus said, ‘If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.’ How can we forgive an injury when it is neither admitted nor regretted?”
    ——————————————————————-

    Websters1828 definition of “repent” says:
    ——————————————————————–
    REPENT’, verb intransitive [Latin re and paeniteo, from paena, pain. Gr. See Pain.]
    1. To feel pain, sorrow or regret for something done or spoken;
    2. To express sorrow for something past.
    3. To change the mind in consequence of the inconvenience or injury done by past conduct.
    4. Does not apply here
    5. In theology, to sorrow or be pained for sin,
    ——————————————————————-

    She has turned from her sinful ways but she has shown zero regret, sorrow or pain for them. She has also not taken any responsibility whatsoever for her past actions and she will not talk about them openly. Now she was a terrible Passive-Aggressive personality (which kept me confused about her for so many years) and I understand that is one of their defining characteristics (not being able to accept responsibility for their actions), but I am confused as to how she could have such a change in behaviour without experiencing true regret and confessing her sin and asking for forgiveness. I do forgive her (for as much as it depends on me) but how can we both experience that forgiveness, if she has neither admitted nor shown regret for her past sins. This is (obviously) something I still struggle with.

    I am thankful to the Lord for a wife that no longer contends with me, who does everything she can to help me each and every day, one who makes me her priority and shows me great respect, one who obeys me (in virtually everything) and does so with a joyous spirit (most of the time). I just don’t fully understand it (the 180 degree turn in her behavior) outside the light of repentance.

  24. Trey,

    Your Statement:

    “I am not sure this is the best thing. If I get words first (confession and a request for forgiveness) and then a change in actions… it seams real and genuine to me. Actions alone are confusing and could just be a form a manipulation.”

    I agree with you 100% that a woman simply correcting her actions like turning from disrespect to respect, turning from contentiousness to quietness, and turning from rebellion to obedience and in the bedroom turning from denial to totally giving her body without first confessing her sins in these areas and asking forgiveness is not “the best thing”. Amen and Amen. And we absolutely should be most concerned with what is going on in wife’s heart, that it is not just a change of action, but a change of heart.

    My wife sounds a bit like yours. It is EXTREMELY difficult for me to get her to clearly confess with no excuses and ask forgiveness. This has happened only on only rare occasions in throughout our marriage. She will instead change her actions and attempt to do things for me to show she knows she did something wrong which I full agree is not really repentance on her part.

    However we live in a sin cursed world as I say all the time on this blog. And whether it is our wives or our children, we may never get perfect obedience from them no matter how we discipline them. Some women could give you the most beautiful confession of sin you would ever want to hear along with asking for your forgiveness and then the next day or the next week go back to doing exactly the sinful they were doing toward you. Because words come easier to them then changed actions. And yes we know if their actions do not change then their were words were hollow and meaningless.

    However because of pride and a whole host of other factors some women are able to modify their actions far easier than making a full confession and asking for forgiveness. So they take that path instead. Even then some women do not change their actions out of true repentance, but they do so simply to make peace in the marriage. That is perhaps what your wife did.

    Now you could go discipline your wife and go to war with her for a full and detailed confession and her asking forgiveness. That is your prerogative as her husband.
    But what might the results be if you did that? You know your wife better than me. Would it drive her from you? Would it bring out rebellion in her and undo all the changed behavior she has toward you? I do not know. Each man knows his wife best and how best to discipline her.

  25. BGR,

    No, I have no thoughts of trying to apply discipline to this situation. At least for me, it only makes sense for those in authority (husbands, fathers, bosses, civil authorities, military leaders, etc.) to apply discipline to wrong “actions”. That is not to say that discipline cannot (also) effect “heart” change in a person when it is being applied to them for their wrong actions but I cannot see trying to apply discipline if there are no actions that need correcting.

    No, I will just continue to pray that God will open her eyes and do His work on her heart (or correct mine) in His time and be thankful for the peace that is now at long last in my home.

  26. Trey,

    Again you and I are in 100% agreement that “it only makes sense for those in authority (husbands, fathers, bosses, civil authorities, military leaders, etc.) to apply discipline to wrong “actions””.

    I have said it many times on this blog – as human authorities we can and should discipline those under our authority for their actions which violate God’s law, but a person’s thoughts, feelings and intents of the heart are judged by God and God alone.

    “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”
    2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV)

    “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
    Hebrews 4:12 (KJV)

    “23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
    24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
    Psalm 139:23-24 (KJV)

  27. If I may…Regarding the duty of a wife to yield beautifully and easily and quickly and joyfully to her husband’s sexual needs and desires (or any need or desire), I think of that ‘eager readiness’ with which we, the bride of Christ, are to both anticipate His coming and diligently seek His pleasure by obeying His word while we await His coming.

    Just as I await, with great anticipation, the coming of my Lord Jesus Christ and seek to make myself lovely with obedience that I might please Him when He comes, and long for the holy consummation of Christ and His bride, I must, as a wife, eagerly await and prepare for the presence of my husband, seeking to make myself lovely with obedience to his words (requests, wishes, commands), and long for the continual consummation of our marriage in the joining together of our bodies.

    Thinking of these parallel duties as such has made me, by God’s power and grace in my life, a much more sweet and yielding wife, able to truly see my place as beneath my husband, so that I may love, please, support, respect, obey and pleasure him in every way. I feel compelled to add that this is only possible by the transforming power of the the Holy Spirit of God in my sinful heart and corrupt mind to make me into the woman and wife God has called me to be.

    Thank you for this helpful blog.

  28. This is an excellent article. Thank you. I would agree that neither husband nor wife should deny this from the other; but to broaden it out a bit, we could say husband and wife should both seek to satisfy the other, physically and emotionally, oral included.

    As a happily married man, I can also attest to your points about how a wife giving oral to her husband aids in her submission. I find it helps a woman grow in this, both the kneeling before her man, who is her lord, and pleasuring him. If she cares to please her man, she will find satisfaction in it, even if she doesn’t like every element of the act. It is also appropriate to have her pleasure her man after he has corrected her for a wrong. It helps her express the right attitude for that moment.

    To the man who was distressed by the number of bad marriages out there, I am one who is married who has joy and peace in it. There is great harmony between us. One major reason why is because we have built our marriage on the truths of the Bible, and were both committed to them before we got married. Our marriage is founded on God’s way and we want to give glory to Him. So our personalities are not the foundation. This helps a lot, as I wouldn’t want to trust in my own personality to have a lasting and happy marriage, or anyone else’s We just try to put into action God’s Word. Our own personal desires are subordinate to that.

  29. To the commenter who said that the wife “must” give her body to her husband on request, but the husband didn’t really need to do so: This is in conflict with 1 Corinthians 7. This passage clearly teaches they both must share their bodies, and that they both have authority over the body of the other.

    This is no way in conflict with the headship-submission arrangement, as headship includes real responsibilities toward those under you. For example, your employer needs to pay you at the appointed time, the government needs to send you your tax return. So there is no conflict with the man’s headship here to say it works both ways. It is a basic right husband and wife have to receive intimacy from the other.

    Granted, the woman also could never deny it because of her husband’s headship, but that does not change the mutuality in practice. The responsibility to share intimacy is indeed both ways if you take 1 Corinthians 7 at face value, which I hope we all do. A good leader fulfills his responsibilities to those under him.

    As a married man who has clear-cut leadership in my home, with a wife who is happy to be submissive, I take her pleasure as my responsibility. It is not a threat to authority at all. It is something I owe her. I would do wrong to deny it.

  30. I’m not sure if it was me or someone else you are commenting on, but I’ll put it this way – even if Jesus has a responsibility to the church, the church is in no place to specify when and how that responsibility is to be met. I think this is how the bigger picture fits into it. That was all I was really getting at. Maybe bgr will do an article on it and some deeper meaning study of the Greek words used, I would fine that interesting. I have a feeling that 1 cor 7 is really saying she should meet her responsibilities and he should meet his responsibilities, not that a wife truly has authority over her husbands body [in possibly everything]. That doesn’t make any sense to me in so many ways given other scripture.

  31. Hi Anm1, Thank you for your comment. Yes, I believe it was your comment I responded to. I am speaking of 1 Corinthians 7:2-5. Clearly, taken at face value it instructs both husband and wife to share their bodies freely. It is a responsibility for both of them. It also clearly teaches that each spouse has authority over the body of the other.

    I think perhaps some get confused and think this “authority” the wife has could threaten the husband’s authority in the home. Yet it is a different kind of authority, otherwise we’d be looking at a contradiction. It is speaking of authority in the sense that the body belongs to us, and we can expect the other to share it. The context is the marriage bed, so it doesn’t need to be stretched beyond that.

    Just as my rightful expectation of the government to send me my tax return does not threaten the government’s authority, a wife’s expectation of the husband to share intimacy in the marriage bed does not threaten his authority. She is simply expecting something that belongs to her in the first place, and the man is simply doing his responsibility for his wife, as those with authority also have responsibilities to those under them.

    If we recognize that it speaks of authority in a different sense, and regarding the marriage bed, I think it’s easy to see how it all fits together.

    I think you are expecting too much detailed similarity in the model of Christ and the Church. For while it never says Christ must answer His children’s prayers or petitions at a particular time, this passage DOES say that both husband and wife must not deprive the other, except by mutual agreement for spiritual purposes. So I think we need to rest on the plain instructions in the passage itself.

    That said, I DO agree that the wife cannot really “command” it, as she does not have command authority. Of course. That would be presumptuous of her. However, she CAN request it, and have every expectation that the request will be met, just as I can request my paycheck at the end of the week, and have every expectation I will receive it. I don’t need to “command” my boss to do it. I simply ask and know I will receive it. It would be unjust for him not to give it to me — barring very extraordinary circumstances of course.

    I hope you see the distinction I make. Perhaps we don’t really disagree much here. There is a true mutual responsibility in this passage, but it remains only the man who has command authority in marriage.

  32. Tom – I think we are in the same place in this. Exodus 21:10-11 states that the duty of a man toward his wife:

    “If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.”

    A man has a duty to provide for the the bodily needs of his wife including food, clothing and sex.

    The New Testament addresses these three requirements that God has made of a husband toward his wife again, but in two different passages:

    “28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
    29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church”
    Ephesians 5:28-29 (KJV)

    “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 7:3-5 (KJV)

    Your analogy of paycheck is actually spot on with the text. The word “render” in vs 3 is a translation of the Greek word “Apodidomi” which basically means to “pay what is owed” and it was often used of Business owners paying their laborers what was owed for a job. So yes both men and women have a paycheck in the form of sex which is owed to one another. But as you said we must also take into account the rest of the Scriptures in regard to a husband’s authority over a woman. If we do this then we see that a wife cannot command her husband as he absolutely can command her.

    For instance, a husband could find his wife in the kitchen doing dishes and starting messing with her and command her to stop and go have sex with him in their room. In other words, he can as her head command her to stop what she is doing and have sex with him. However, the same cannot be said for a wife. If she finds her husband in his study perhaps finishing up a report for his job he has been working on several hours, she cannot command that he stop what he is doing and come have sex with her. She can request it, but cannot command it. But if he says “not now” he must remember that he has a duty to render what is owed to her and he needs to make that payment soon – perhaps that very night or at the latest the next morning.

    So there is some difference in how this command toward husbands and wives is practically carried out. It is important to understand this distinction – because I have seen some Christian feminists mangle and twist this passage about the wife’s authority over his body into things the Bible never meant.

  33. I do Tom; I think we are on the same page. i completely accept the mutual responsibility in that passage. I will add that there are a lot of responsibilities a husband has towards his wife that he would be in sin if not meeting. My real problem with it is that it can be interpreted is that a wife has some sort of command authority over her husband when I see nothing else in scripture that teaches such a thing. Whenever I see these “one offs” in scripture that don’t quite fit with other teaching, I ask myself if there is a translation or context that needs to be properly applied and understood.

  34. >It is important to understand this distinction – because I
    >have seen some Christian feminists mangle and twist this
    >passage about the wife’s authority over his body into
    >things the Bible never meant.

    Exactly my concern as well. Husbands and wives are both due sex in marriage, but this does not change the roles and some feminists launch on this as an equality argument to try to undo everything else the bible teaches about it. It isn’t rewriting other roles, it fits within them.

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