A Newlywed Christian Husband’s Experience with Incorporating Domestic Discipline

About 4 months ago I received an email from a newlywed Christian husband calling himself Robert.  He is 24 and his wife is 18.  They had been married for about a year.  So yes, she was 17 when they got married (with her parents’ consent of course).  He was experiencing a lot of rebellious tendencies with his young bride and I told him it was not too late for him to make a course correction in their marriage.  In fact, the newlywed phase (the first four years of marriage), is really the best time and the most crucial time to make these kinds of changes.  After the newlywed phase, it becomes much more difficult to make major structural changes in a marriage.

So, in response to Robert’s questions I wrote my article “7 Steps to Grooming Your Young Christian Wife”.  This article of course drove humanist Christians and atheists mad and I received a lot of hate mail from them expressing their feelings on what I wrote.  But at the same time I received many thankful emails over these last few months from the faithful remnant of Christians who rightly reject the humanist philosophies of individualism, egalitarianism and feminism as contrary to the Word of God.

I am happy to say that I was able to get Robert and his wife in with one of the mentoring couples I work with.  And by the way, I have had several Christian husband’s reach out to me asking about mentoring couples in their area and I will just tell you here the same thing I told them.  Right now, I only have a limited number of mentoring couples that I refer to and they only mentor online and not in person. 

There is a strict vetting process that I go through to vet mentoring couples to make sure they are trustworthy Christians who not only believe in Biblical gender roles, but they actually live these doctrines on a daily basis to the best of their ability.  Then I vet each couple that comes to me looking for a referral for mentoring and finally the mentoring couple themselves have their own vetting processes.  

The first reason we take all of these precautions is because we know as Galatians 2:4 says that there are “false brethren” who come to “spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage” to their false belief systems.    But the second reason we do this is that even with some Christian couples who are genuinely looking for help, sometimes either one or both of them are not in a right place to go through these mentoring programs.

Some couples pass the initial vetting process but soon must leave the mentoring program because one or both of them were not honest about where they were spiritually before they started the program or because they simply were not willing to make the changes that were necessary.  In other words, not every couple is a success story. 

One other thing I want to answer that has been asked a lot of me recently.  And that is whether having a mentoring couple is required to incorporate domestic discipline and other concepts of Biblical gender roles into marriage.  And my answer is no, it is not required, but rather it highly recommend.  It will be difficult, especially for the woman, without having a female mentor.  But it is possible.

It really comes down to the strength of a husband’s will and his convictions.  If he recognizes the changes he needs to make in his own life, which include him becoming courageous enough to confront and discipline his wife despite her tears and every other emotional manipulation she may throw at him, then yes, it is possible for husband to incorporate this into his marriage without the help of a mentoring couple.

I have tracked Robert and his wife (Sarah) in their progress with great delight over the past 4 months and in the last week both of them felt they were finally at a place where they were ready to share their testimonies as to how God has transformed their marriage through the incorporation of domestic discipline into their marriage with the help of a mentoring couple.

I asked each of them to break up their testimonies into multiple parts.  We will examine the first part of their testimonies here on Biblicalgenderroles.com and the primary focus here will be on the initial incorporation of domestic discipline into their marriage.  Then on Biblicalsexology.com, we will examine the second part of their testimonies showing how this husband used domestic discipline to bring about the full sexual obedience that was lacking in their marriage.

If you know some young Christian men and women who will be looking to marry soon or who are newlyweds these perspectives from both the newlywed husband’s point of view and then his newlywed wife’s point of view will be invaluable.

I also want to clarify what I mean when I use the historic phrase “domestic discipline”.  Often today when the term is used, we can think of it as being synonymous with wife spanking.   And many times, when I use it, I am specifically referring to the practice of a husband spanking his wife.  But historically speaking, domestic discipline was understood to incorporate more than just wife spanking.  It also referred to a husband’s ability limit his wife’s spending, what friends she could see or even things like him sending her to her room without dinner for the evening due to her behavior.

And I think from a Biblical perspective we must see domestic discipline in an even broader sense as part of a husband’s duty to wash his wife with the Word of God (Ephesians 5:25-27) as well as to rebuke and chasten her (Revelation 3:19) as Christ does with his church.

With all that being said, below is the first part of Robert’s testimony.

A Newlywed Husband’s Perspective on Domestic Discipline

“After I contacted Larry with my question concerning keeping my wife on budget and considering spanking her, he referred me to a husband and wife couple that mentors young Christian couples in living as commanded in scripture.   They were quite helpful as we implemented spanking in our marriage.   While I know my wife had more change on her side, I wanted to share some of the changes from the husband’s side too.  

I had to learn how to spank my wife in a way that would punish her, but not risk real harm or leave marks that would be embarrassing for her to explain if someone saw them.   Mentally, I had to adjust to the concept that I was going to be spanking her.   The first few times, it was really strange and I felt like I was just going through the motions.  After that, it got to where both my wife and I accepted that I was going to spank her when she needed it.  

Much of the growth I did took me outside my comfort zone.   However, I know that my wife was being taken even further outside her comfort zone.   She stays on the monthly budget now.  Although it did require several spankings at new weekly budget reviews that the mentor husband recommended.   She is careful to speak to me respectfully, even when we disagree.  

But the biggest change was in an area that I had not even initially requested assistance, the bedroom.  Like many couples, I have a higher sex drive than my wife.  Prior to the mentoring, my wife was having sex with me too infrequently, often just once week.   Now she makes herself available most anytime I request sex.  Without going into too much detail here, the range of sexual activities has expanded too.   Overall, these changes have been very beneficial for our marriage.   I would recommend this process to any young couple that are bible believers.   Change is often hard, but we are living as God designed in our marriage now.”

What We Learn from This Husband’s Testimony

As we can see from Robert’s testimony there were several stages in how this newlywed husband incorporated domestic discipline in his marriage.   First both the he and his wife needed to accept the realization that he was going to spank his wife.  This was brand new for him, and brand new for her.  They had no examples in either of their parents for this because our society almost completely abandoned the practice of husbands spanking their wives by the 1960s.

Next, Robert had to figure out techniques for spanking his wife in a way that would not violate the Ephesians 5:28-29 principle that he must care for his wife’s body and provide for it and protect it as he would his own. And the first few times he did it, it fell strange to him as the one giving the spanking.  And why did it feel strange for him? If Robert were living in 1820 or even 1920, spanking his wife would not have felt strange at all to Robert because it was a very common practice of husbands toward their wives.  He would have known that his father spanked his mother and that other men around him spanked their wives.  But in 2020, the practice of domestic discipline has been all but abandoned for more than half a century and this explains why at first it felt very strange for Robert to spank his wife.    

In order to overcome that strange feeling of spanking his wife as a method of discipline, Robert had to abandon the false adult/child paradigm that our humanist culture teaches us and instead embrace the historic and Biblical societal classes of men, women and children.  He had to realize that spanking his wife was not him treating her as a child, but rather it was him treating her as a woman, as his wife.

And whether a practice is popular as it once was, or not popular as of today is irrelevant.  God’s Word transcends cultural changes and it remains a consistent standard to guide our decisions and behavior in this life.

Another thing that Robert had to realize is that spanking applies to all areas of marriage.  It must be incorporated as a way of life, not just something you do in extreme situations.  And yes, it is right for a husband to chasten his wife for failure to be 100% submitted to him in the sexual arena.  Robert will get more into what that submission looks like in his marriage as he continues his testimony on Biblicalsexology.com.

But as you can see from this first part of his testimony, after 4 months of incorporating domestic discipline into his marriage his wife submits to him in all areas of their marriage including the financial and sexual arenas.  She also shows him the respect that men require from their wives.

Our modern society and sadly even the church have robbed men of their God given birthright and responsibilities toward their wives.  They have robbed men of the tools God has given them to mold and shape their wives into the glorious wives they can be as they learn to submit to God and their husbands.   But as Robert’s story shows, men can be taught to reclaim their birthright and responsibilities toward their wives as well be taught to reincorporate the ancient and Biblical practice of domestic discipline.

And Robert saw the promise of God’s Word realized in his marriage.

“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”

Hebrews 12:11 (KJV)

6 thoughts on “A Newlywed Christian Husband’s Experience with Incorporating Domestic Discipline

  1. I’m not a fan of domestic discipline but if both spouses are on board that’s fine. Nice testimony and I’m glad their marriage is thriving. I’m interested to hear the wife’s testimony. It’s nice seeing a biblical marriage thrive, God bless.

  2. When do we get the wife’s side of this story? Intrigued to hear from her as he was more for it than her in the beginning.

  3. I’m curious about how a husband’s feelings toward his wife might change when she becomes more submissive to him. For example, does he feel more loving and protective toward her?

  4. Cristina,

    By “loving” I think you mean more affectionate as that is how most women first think of love. But that is only one form of love, phileo love as the Bible refers to it. Agape love, love based not in affection or feelings but based on commitment and duty forms the foundation of marriage. This duty based love is seen in Christ’s rebuke and chastening of his wife, the church as seen in Revelation 3:19 “As many as I love [agape], I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent”.

    So to answer your question, when a husband spanks his wife out of agape love for her, his duty to discipline her, and then she shows submission as a result ofd receiving his discipline as an act of love – this does generate phileo love(affectionate love) in the heart of a husband for his wife.

  5. Thank you, BGR. Differentiating between those two different kinds of love really helps me make sense of my own journey, and my husband, and the bigger picture of what works in our marriage.

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