Appeasement is Never an Option for Christian Husbands

What follows is an email I received from a man named Mark.

“BGR- I have been reading your articles for about two years now. Been married to my wife over 16 years and we have children together, our oldest of which is a teenager.  My background includes being raised in the church and my father was a pastor. For the first 14 years of our marriage I pretty much went along with whatever my wife wanted with a few times where I went against what she wanted.  And now let me share what my wife did on the occasions when I did something she was opposed to.

She fought me over career moves that I deemed were necessary; she didn’t work at all and so I was the main and only provider. When we did move away every day, she would just complain about being there and tell me to take her home. Every. Day.  After a year and a half of hearing it I finally did. It cost me tens of thousands of dollars in moving fees and lost wages.

I have tried to reason with her in several different ways but she simply would not hear it.  It was her way or no way.  At times I even withdrew myself and gave her the silent treatment which you have recently wrote on.  She was not having that either.  Her response to my silent treatment toward her was to literally go nuts and start throwing things around the house.

On one specific occasion when I refused to speak to her, she literally (and I mean literally as in the sense it is supposed to be used, not metaphorically) destroyed the house. Pulled shelves down. Ripped up books. When that didn’t work, she attacked me. I mean physically. I ended up calling the police after I couldn’t take it and could feel that I was starting to get angry. She got in her car and drove away before they got there and they did nothing but laugh at me. If it was the other way around, I’d have been hauled off in handcuffs. That isn’t the only time but the time I called the police which only taught me not to since they’ll do nothing.

And then of course there are the problems we have had with sex over most of our 16-year marriage.  At one point we had sex only 8 times over 15 MONTHS. She has told me on several occasions that she has to “feel” connected before having sex and I don’t just get to “use her body for sex” for sex when I feel like it. I have responded to her opposition to me wanting “use her body for sex” with the fact that she has no problem at all “using my body to provide food, housing, shelter, clothes, entertainment etc.”

She complains that I’m not verbal enough or I don’t leave notes telling her how great she is enough and not meeting her “love language” and I point to the other things I do – like never miss a payment on a bill, don’t cheat, drink, do drugs, beat on her, protect her from any threats and it still isn’t good enough.

My wife has told me that I just need to change my communication style and how I hear her. She says that “God intends for marriage to be consensual and loving and that we should want to please each other and do things not from duty but because we want to do them”. And course when she says “loving” she does not mean the Biblical definition of love, but rather love that comes from feelings and emotions.  So, in other words she is saying that God intends for marriage to be based on feelings and consent and not on duty.  I tried in vain to find a verse in the Bible that states what she has said to me about marriage.

So, over many years I had just accepted that his would be my life with her.  For the most part, aside from completely changing my personality for her, I would do whatever she wanted.  I worked where she wanted me to, did what she wanted with the kids, let her buy what she wanted and of course had sex when she wanted which was far less than what I wanted.

Then about two years ago my wife had said she wanted to be more “devout”. I took that as a sign that she wanted to you know, actually obey what the Bible said.  So, I started to actually read what the text of scripture says in regard to marriage and husbands and wives and I really dug deeper into it I found that there were indeed specific roles given and there are reasons for those roles.

I had Googled “biblical gender roles” in the sense of what does the Bible say about gender roles because I was looking for more information when it sent me to your site which I would read alone or away from my wife. It clarified and articulated what I was trying to tell her. Eventually she found out that I was reading your site and it caused nothing but a conflict about how disgusting and horrible the material is…. which is straight from the Bible.

This is when it all went south then all hell broke loose.

We went and sometimes still go to the same pastor and his wife for counseling. This is a really sweet couple that really does care about people. Yet the pastor’s wife once told me that I was unloving and gave an example from I Corinthians 13. I told her that those were beautiful words indeed…and the guy who wrote them 6 chapters earlier said that the wife’s body doesn’t belong to her but to her husband. I have tried telling them over and over – my wife included – and quoted scripture VERBATIM but they will not hear it.

Another guy who’s training for the ministry told me flatly that I was “not wrong” regarding what the Bible says about gender roles and the way marriage should be and then he followed that up with “But would you rather be in a relationship or be right?”

I’ve caught her with credit cards that she opened without my knowledge and confronted her on those. She refused to even tell me what she spent the money on and continues to refuse to this day. The pastor advised that I just forgive and let it go. And then I wrote a check for the credit card account. I don’t know if that was the best option but in trying to “work on the relationship” I did it to try and move forward.

You see, it isn’t just people on the political Left that don’t believe. It is the so-called Christians – who I call CHINO – Christians In Name Only, that don’t believe. They swear up and down that they love Jesus and the Bible is God’s word…and then when I point out what it says it’s like I am the heretic speaking blasphemy and was the Devil himself. This includes the pastor, who I am friends with and care about. I once heard the pastor tell a group I was in that he was his wife’s “helpmate”…I literally spoke up and said that it does not say that; it says it in the reverse and I can read it to you in the Hebrew if you have any questions. It was not well received.

The pastor – a conservative evangelical pastor who if you asked him he would swear up and down the Bible is THE word of God – won’t stand up for what their very own scripture actually says. They allow women to preach and teach; why would they even bother to tell a wife she has to “submit to her husband” in ANYTHING?

These are people who are “devout” Evangelicals. These aren’t leftist socialists or liberals. They aren’t rabid atheists or raging feminists. They say they believe in the Bible. They are liars. But that changes nothing.  And the Bible, my wife doesn’t believe a word of it based on her actions to the contrary of everything it says about marriage.

I sought out a divorce attorney to see what my options were.  We did the math together.  I would literally end up homeless sleeping in my work vehicle. I couldn’t afford even to rent a studio apartment after the state has taken everything.

See, in the state I live in they will give her half of everything. I have worked our whole marriage and provided for her. I have protected her, loved her, given her children. She only started working in the last year and a half. I would lose my children because the state would automatically award her custody for no other reason than she is a female. She would be entitled to alimony payments, child support, and she would get the house.

So, I have gone back to the way things were before I tried to actually apply the Bible to our marriage two years ago because I’m left with no other recourse and there is no help coming.

I grind my teeth, curse her false shepherds, and pray that Ragnarok come and wipe all of this out. Then I smile and do whatever she asks. If she wants to go on a vacation – we go. If she wants something – she gets it. If she wants sex – it happens when she allows it.

It’s all backwards and reverse.

Recently she told me that “we wasted the last couple years fighting” to which I thought, but dare not say, “uh, YOU wasted the last couple years rebelling”. She once told me “F*$k off; I will NEVER submit to you.” This is from a woman who has a bible degree, went to bible college, attended evangelical “bible believing” churches almost all her life.  And yes, I still go to our church only because if I don’t, she will rage and it will adversely affect our children.

And believe it or not, despite all of these things I have just told you about, I still do love her. We have really great kids together.

So, I’m not sure what the answer is. I’ve only seen a society that favors women. I have long thought of writing you on these points and finally brought myself to do so. Perhaps there’s a lesson in there for others and for other husbands and wives and the state of the conservative church.

Mark”

Why Publish Such a Sad Story?

Lately I have been absolutely flooded with emails from MGTOWs. Stories like this one from Mark feed right into their beliefs of why the modern feminized form of marriage is so bad for men.  It would have been easier not to publish this man’s story knowing the MGTOW reactions it would get.

I am sure I will get many MGTOWs writing me saying “yeah there’s a lesson there and the lesson is men should not get married”.

The Christian feminists reading Mark’s story will come away with another lesson.   In their view Mark just needs to go back to where he was before he discovered what the Bible says about the roles of husbands and wives.  He needs to just do what his wife said and work on his “communication style” and “hear her” better.  And of course, his wife mentioned the Christian feminist and humanists’ favorite word which is CONSENT.   And when all else fails, Mark should just fall back into the appeasement mode with his wife, because after all “Happy Wife” = “Happy Life” right?

But despite the predictable reactions I knew would come from the Christian feminists on my left flank and the MGTOWs on my right flank I really felt the Lord leading me to publish this man’s story and he is right that there are lessons that can be learned from his story not just for other men, but for Mark himself.

Before I get into the lessons that can be learned as well as advice in dealing with this kind of marital situation Mark faces, I just want to make a few things crystal clear.

The philosophies of MGTOW on the right and Christian Feminism on the left are unbiblical philosophies.   See my previous articles “Was Jesus Christ a Feminist?” and “Why MGTOW Is an Unbiblical Philosophy”.

Also, in regard to the false humanist philosophy of “consent” please see my previous article “It is Not a Woman’s Consent That Matters, It is God’s”.

With that being said lets first tackle some lessons that can be learned from Mark’s story and then I will give some advice based on Biblical principles for a husband dealing with a contentious and angry wife.

Lesson #1 – We Must Continue to Speak Out Against Error in Our Churches and Our Homes

What Mark did in challenging his Pastors and teachers at his church as well as his wife in his home is exactly what we as Christian husbands are called to do as seen in the Scripture below:

“2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

2 Timothy 4:2-4 (KJV)

I know that Mark is feeling discouraged after doing just what this passage commands and not seeing the results he expected.  But it is not the results that matter, but only our obedience to God’s commands.  God is the only one who can truly change the hearts of men and women, we are only his messengers.

Lesson #2 – While Preaching Against Error We Must Not Add to the Gospel

We who still believe in, practice and defend the doctrines of Biblical gender roles must remember how the Gospel is presented in the Scriptures:

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Romans 10:9-10 (KJV)

“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;  By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”  

I Corinthians 15:1-4 (KJV)

The Gospel is clear in the Bible.  If we believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, that he was the sinless Son of God in human flesh and that he died for our sins and rose again we will ARE saved.  We have passed from death to life.  The following Scripture passage actually describes the process by which we come to trust in Christ and are saved:

“12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.  13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”

Ephesians 1:12-14 (KJV)

We heard the Gospel, believed the Gospel and then we were sealed with the Holy Spirit which is our guarantee that one day we will see our Savior face to face.   And our belief in the Gospel and the subsequent indwelling of the Holy Spirit has a transforming effect on our lives as the Scriptures state below:

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”

2 Corinthians 5:17

But the Apostle Paul tells us of the sad reality that there will always be divisions in the church, whether it be on a local level or on a universal church level:

“18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. 19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.”

1 Corinthians 11:18-19 (KJV)

And this is why God gave us the various church offices and spiritual gifts:

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

Ephesians 4:11-13 (KJV)

This is why we have different Christian denominations.  This is why even within each Christian denomination we have opposing schools of thought on many different doctrines whether it is the interpretation or application of such doctrines.

So, there are two extremes.  One is to say “Unless you agree with me on every doctrinal interpretation and application of the Bible then you are not saved and you have no business calling yourself a Christian”.  The other extreme is to say “No one knows what is right or wrong and no Christian should ever teach that another Christian’s behavior or interpretation or application of the Bible is wrong”.  We as Bible believing Christians can and should call out unchristian behavior and false interpretations of the Bible by other people who call themselves Christians.  And we can do so without questioning their faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

So, we can rightly and vehemently condemn the false philosophies of Christian feminism and MGTOW without saying Christians who believe in these philosophies could not possibly be Christians.  This is a very important distinction that must be made.

To say that a Christian must have no blind spots and have the correct interpretation of every passage and doctrine of the Bible is to add to the Gospel and we have no right to do that.

The next logical question that could be asked in this would be “How then can we know that we are correctly understanding and applying all the Scriptures relating to gender roles? Or in other words how can we know that the traditional understanding of Christian gender roles was right?”

The answer can be found in one Scripture passage we already mentioned and another passage we have not mentioned:

“For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

1 Corinthians 11:19 (KJV)

“The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.”

Matthew 11:19 (KJV)

The Bible tells us that their must be false interpretations of doctrines in the Bible so that the true interpretations of the Bible can be clearly seen as right and approved by God.   And Jesus said “Wisdom is justified by her children” or in other words our correct interpretation and application of the Bible can often be proven by the results that it yields.

And what has abandoning the traditional gender roles based on the Biblical passages regarding gender roles produced? Has it been shown to be something that God approves of? The fact that divorce rates shot up from about 3 percent to almost 50 percent, sex outside of marriage became common place, and millions of babies have been slaughtered under the banner of “women’s rights” shows us God does not approve of the modern liberal and feminist interpretation that there are no more gender roles for Christians.  And truly Feminism has not been justified by her children.

Lesson #3 – The Seeker Sensitive Church Philosophy is not Approved by God

And this brings us to the third lesson we can take from Mark’s story.   The seeker sensitive church is not approved by God nor has the children that this movement has produced proven it to be wise.  The seeker sensitive church movement is based on false interpretation of Scripture passages like the one below:

“21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”

1 Corinthians 9:21-22 (KJV)

Basically, what churches are doing is they are setting up their churches to be as “non-offensive” to non-believers and even professing believers as they can so that they can “by all means save some”.  Many of these churches have completely stopped preaching against homosexuality or even sex outside of marriage.  Many of them don’t even preach against sin at all.  A lot of them just basically preach “self-help” messages that you could find outside of church.   And they have lots of fun activities for children, teens and adults.

Now some of these seeker-sensitive churches don’t completely abandon all the doctrines of the Bible.  They might even say like Mark’s church that the Bible is the Word of God and they may even preach that Jesus is the only way to salvation.

But what all these seeker-sensitive churches have in common is that they all have completely and utterly abandoned the doctrines of Biblical gender roles.  Every single one of them.  You show me a church that has abandoned the doctrine of Biblical gender roles and I will show you a seeker-sensitive church.

And Mark is absolutely right that many of these churches claim to be “Bible believing” and they even proudly wear the label “Conservative” while still utterly abandoning all teaching on Biblical gender roles in an effort to please both unbelievers and professing Christians that come to their churches.

And what have these churches produced? They have produced a lot of people who are not even true believers and of those that are true believers they remain babes in Christ.  They remain this way because they are never given the meat of God’s Word.

And what else has this seeker sensitive church movement produced? It has produced wide scale divorce within the churches.  It is a shame before God that Christians in America have the same divorce rate as non-believers and in some surveys it shows higher.  Now for those secularists who say “see the traditionalist Christian philosophy of marriage does not work” let me help you out.  First secularists don’t marry at the same rate that Christians or religious people in general do.  There is a lot more long-term cohabitation amongst secularists than Christians.   So, since Christians marry younger and at higher rates the chance of divorce would higher because the incidence of marriage is higher.

But what is the reason for the higher divorce rate amongst Christians? It is for the very fact that the Christians who divorce were NOT following Biblical gender roles.  If a man is loving his wife by leading her, providing for her needs, protecting her, correcting and teaching her as Christ does his church and the wife loves her husband, submits to her husband in everything and reverences her husband and she takes care of the needs of the home they won’t get divorced.   You show me a Christian couple that got divorced and I will show you a Christian couple that may have started doing these things, but one or both of them began to fail in doing these things God has commanded.

And even when failings occur, God has not granted the concept of no-fault divorce.  There are limited reasons for which God allows divorce and the vast majority of Christian divorces do not take place for reasons God allows.

Again, I will refer the reader back to what the Apostle Paul told Timothy.  We are called to preach God’s Word, all of God’s Word even if some parts are not popular in our culture.

Now we will move from the “lessons learned” to speaking to how Mark and other Christians should deal with a contentious and angry wife.

How Should Mark Deal with his Contentious and Angry Wife?

First and foremost, this is not just a contentious and angry wife that Mark is dealing with.  This is a wife who sexually denies her husband.  Now in many cases a contentious and angry wife is also a wife who sexually denies her husband.  But this is not always the case.  I know of many a Christian man whose wife will give him her body, even if it is grudgingly given, in order to keep him in the marriage while still maintaining her contentious and angry spirit.

So, I will say from the beginning that sexual denial, on either the part of the woman or the man, is one of the few reasons for which God allows divorce.  See my previous articles “8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal” and “4 Steps to confronting your husband’s sexual refusal” for more on those subjects.

Here is the truth of the matter though, even if a wife is sexually denying her husband there are some men who just do not feel that God wants them to divorce their wife.  Others feel they must stay with their wife for the benefit of their children.  And still others are afraid to leave for fear of the financial devastation it will cause them.  We can see in Mark’s story that he seriously considered divorce from his wife but he saw the damage it would cause to himself personally as well as his children.

We can also see in the story of Mark’s 16-year marriage and especially the last 2 years that he has tried the following four approaches:

  1. Directly confronting his wife by showing her from the Bible she was wrong.
  2. Counseling sessions with church Leaders who told him he was wrong in his interpretation of the Bible.
  3. The silent treatment.
  4.  Appeasement.

And from this email we have shown here, as well as other subsequent emails I have received from Mark none of these approaches have worked to change his wife’s behavior nor helped her to recognize the error of her ways.

So lets talk about his approach that he has settled back into and that is appeasement.

Appeasement on the part of a husband toward his contentious and angry wife may bring peace, but it is peace at the expense of obedience to God.

God calls husbands in Ephesians 5:25-27 to love their wives “even as Christ also loved the church” and we see that Christ’s love for his church is seen in his washing his wife’s spiritual spots and wrinkles with the Word of God.  This concept again is seen in Christ speaking to his churches when he states in Revelation 3:19 “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent”.

So, we can rightly say that a husband who does not rebuke and discipline his wife is a husband who is in disobedience to God’s command to husbands to love their wives as Christ loves his Church.  And a husband like Mark who is dealing with this kind of wife is a perfect example of how a man must sometimes sacrifice his own happiness to do spiritual battle in his home.  The easier and the less painful approach in many cases is to take the path of appeasement.  But this is not an option for a Christian husband.

My recommendation in these cases is to use the same approach God used with his wife Israel in the Old Testament.  First, he confronted her sin and rebuked her for it calling her to repentance. After she utterly refused to repent (as your wife has done) then he engaged in the silent treatment toward Israel as I recently wrote about.  Mark might say “I tried that but she went nuts”.

Let me ask you a question.  If your child threw a temper fit whenever they did not get what they wanted would it be ok for you to appease them so they would not throw a fit? The answer is no.  And the same answer goes for your wife when she throws a temper fit.  When she starts doing that leave the house.  Get your keys, get in the car and leave.  Go some place and park for a couple hours and just take a nice nap in the car.  Or go to a park and enjoy the peace. Sometimes it might be so bad that you just need to find a friend or relatives house to stay at for the night.

Remember how the Bible advises men to deal with contentious and angry women?

“It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.”

Proverbs 21:19 (KJV)

In other words, it is better to live out of your car than in a house with contentious and angry wife.

And one other thing I would like to add. You need to be VERY consistent in your disciplinary approach with your wife just as you need to be very consistent in your disciplinary approach with your children.  So, the approach is, you rebuke her and she fails to repent and just keeps arguing with you then you walk away and engage in the silent treatment.  If she becomes violent you leave the home for a few hours or even for the evening.

This consistent behavior toward her will result in one of three actions on her part:

  1. She will completely change her behavior.
  2. She will file for divorce.
  3. She will at least stop the raging so you won’t leave.

And if she does file for divorce – I would highly recommend that you speak to multiple attorneys.  There are a lot of bad divorce attorneys out there.  You need to find a good attorney that specializes in divorce from a man’s perspective.  You also need to get recordings of her raging as that will not play well in divorce court for her.

Is the Silent Treatment Always Wrong?

“Dear BGR, my husband sometimes goes to sleep on the couch in his man-cave-office when he is angry at me for something I have done toward him. Even the next day he will speak very little if any to me basically giving me the silent treatment.
Sometimes we may have had a heated discussion or argument which we could not resolve but other times it is just that he felt I was disrespectful to him in something I said or did. Sometimes it is because I turned him down for sex when I am not in the mood.
If I apologize to him then he will return to our bed and our relationship will return to normal. If I do not apologize, this (him sleeping in his man-cave-office) can go on for several days, even sometimes a week before he will finally stop his silent treatment and return to our bed without me apologizing.

I must admit that in most cases this does work and gets me to the point of apologizing to him for whatever wrong he thinks I committed. There are some times I don’t think I did anything wrong and I think he is just being too sensitive so I let him stay in his man-cave-office until he finally comes back to our bed a few days or even a week later.

Either way, I don’t think this is a healthy thing for our relationship. I think it is childish and manipulative. Does the Bible approve of husbands giving their wives the silent treatment to get them to admit fault and ask forgiveness?

Lisa”

There are some in Christianity and even outside of Christianity that believe to give someone the silent treatment is always wrong, no matter the circumstances under which it occurs.

However, there are many things in life that can be right or wrong depending on the circumstances under which they occur. Some of my fellow conservative Christian brothers reject this concept calling it “situational ethics”. But the truth of the Scriptures is that the same action can be right or wrong depending on the circumstances under which that action occurs.

Consider the following rule in the Old Testament regarding a man killing a thief:
“1 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. 2 If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. 3 If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.”
Exodus 22:1-3 (KJV)

The passage above tells us if a man breaks in at night to a person’s home and the home owner kills him at night this is not a crime and is considered a justified killing. But if a person kills a thief in their home by day, then it is considered murder.

The reason a person could justly kill a thief breaking in at night is because under the cover of darkness you cannot tell what a person’s intentions are. They could be there to harm you or your family, or simply to steal. But in the day light you can see exactly why they are there for and if they are just there to steal – they can be apprehended, but not killed. And it tells us the thief must make restitution for what he was trying to steal which could be 4 to 5 times the value of whatever he was going to steal. If he could not pay this penalty, then he would be sold as an indentured servant for 6 years and in the 7th year he would have to be freed (Deuteronomy 15:12).

The point is, whether an action is right or wrong often depends on the situation under which it occurs.

Now we will tackle a word often associated with the silent treatment and that is one Lisa mentioned which is “manipulative”. Can the silent treatment be a form of manipulation? Yes. If it is a person under authority trying to change their authority’s behavior by doing something that makes life difficult for their authority then yes it can very much be a form of manipulation and a wrong behavior.

For example, think of the child who holds their breath until their parent gives them what they want? Or what if the child refuses to eat until they get what they want? Or they cry until they get what they want?

And of course, if a child engages in the silent treatment toward their parents until the parents give in and give them what they want this would be a classic form of manipulation and is absolutely wrong from a Biblical perspective as children are commanded to obey their parents.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.”
Ephesians 6:1 (KJV)

In the same way if a wife were to give her husband the silent treatment until he gave her what she wanted, whether it is agreeing to her position from an argument they had or just giving her an apology such behavior toward her husband would also be a form of manipulation toward her husband and is condemned by the Scriptures. The Bible also commands wives to obey their husbands:
“5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”
I Peter 3:5-6 (KJV)

The same Greek word is used for both children and wives in regard to their relationship with their fathers and husbands. The Greek word “Hupakouo” is translated “obey” in Ephesians 6:1 for children toward their parents and “obeyed” in I Peter 3:6 referring to a wife’s behavior toward her husband.

God wants women to be obedient to their husbands just as he wants children to be obedient to their parents.

Does this mean husbands are always right in what they say or do? Of course not. They are sinners just as women are. And there are some extreme conditions where a wife may have to choose between obeying God and obeying her husband and in such cases Acts 5:9 tells us that women should “obey God rather than men.”

But a wife does not have the right to disobey her husband simply because he acts in any sinful way toward her or he sins against God. In fact, the beginning of I Peter chapter 3 teaches that wives are to have submissive spirits toward their husbands who sin against God:
“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.”
I Peter 3:1-2 (KJV)

In other words, just because a woman’s husband sins against her or against this does not invalidate his God given position of authority over her as her husband.

Now someone might say “What about I Peter 3:4?”:
“4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”

There is a difference between a woman having a “meek and quiet spirit” toward her husband and her giving him the silent treatment. One type of quietness comes from a woman’s spirit of reverence, submission and love toward her husband and the other comes from spite.

Here is the point we have clearly established from the Bible. There is stark contrast between a woman using the silent treatment toward her husband to control him and thus control their relationship and a woman winning her husband to God without a word by her pure and reverent behavior.

And now we come to the question at the center of Lisa’s email to me.

Is it Wrong for a Husband to Use the Silent Treatment with His Wife?

As I said in the beginning of this article, the silent treatment can be wrong or right depending on the circumstances under which it occurs. The Bible gives husbands the following command toward their wives:
“Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.”
Colossians 3:19 (KJV)

If a husband’s silent treatment toward his wife comes from a place of bitterness toward her then his silent treatment toward her is wrong.

However, the Bible show us that God as a husband to Israel used the silent treatment as one of his methods of discipline toward his wife:
“1 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”
Isaiah 59:1-2 (KJV)
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
II Chronicles 7:14 (KJV)

And we as husbands are called to follow Christ’s example toward his church in washing our wives with the Word as he does his Church:
“25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
Ephesians 5:25-27 (KJV)

Also, we as husbands are called to rebuke and discipline our wives as Christ does his churches:
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”
Revelation 3:19 (KJV)

But we must also remember as husbands that God forgives sin and shows mercy:
“Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.”
Micah 7:18 (KJV)

We as Christian husbands must follow God’s example in not holding on to our anger forever, no matter how righteous that anger might be. The Scriptures tell us the following regarding righteous anger:
Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath
Ephesians 4:26 (KJV)

So even if our wife does not apologize, we need to let our anger go. However that does not mean our wife is free from the consequences of her actions. We as husbands can continue disciplinary action whatever that may be long after our anger has subsided.

But we must also show our wives that while we may sleep in another room for a few nights that we will never forsake them just as Christ will never forsake his church:
“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Matthew 28:20 (KJV)

Conclusion

Let’s review a key statement from Lisa’s email to me that cannot be overlooked:

“Sometimes we may have had a heated discussion or argument which we could not resolve but other times it is just that he felt I was disrespectful to him in something I said or did.”

This statement by Lisa makes it clear that her husband is not unwilling to have a basic conversation with her. But when the argument goes on and on and they cannot agree or she begins to start acting disrespectful toward him during the discussion this is when he shuts the discussion down and exits the discussion.

This is actually good as in most cases it is counterproductive to keep a discussion going when it gets too heated and keeps going around and around.

Of course, we will also have people saying “So you think a wife can never tell her husband what she thinks?” and I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth.

The Bible tells us of the virtuous wife in Proverbs 31:26 that “in her tongue is the law of kindness” and it also tells us in Proverbs 12:4 that she is never one to “maketh ashamed” her husband. The Bible also tells us in Proverbs 19:14 that “a prudent wife is from the Lord” and then it tells us in Proverbs 21:19 that “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman”.

My point is that there is nothing wrong with a wife sharing a different point of view with her husband as long as it done with kindness and respect. But there is a big difference between a wife kindly sharing a different point of view with her husband and her entering into a contentious argument with him. The first type of behavior is to be commended; the second type of behavior should be condemned.

And now we come to a husband’s use of the silent treatment in response to his wife’s contentious spirit with him.

The Scriptures tell us in Proverbs 21:9 that “It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.” We can directly relate this to our discussion and say based on the Scriptures it is better for a husband to go to his “man-cave-office” then to dwell with his brawling wife elsewhere in the house.

And the silent treatment can be a very effective tool especially with women. Why? Because most women are “Empathizers” (as confirmed by a recent Cambridge study of over 671,000 men and women ) meaning that they are driven to know the thoughts and feelings of those around them and especially the thoughts and feelings of their husbands.

In other words, in most cases, it will drive a wife nuts when she does not know what her husband is thinking. And in a lot of cases she will do anything it takes to remedy the situation to restore communications with her husband.

But then again sometimes a wife will remain in her stubborn sinful state, and sometimes we as husbands may be called to show mercy after some time apart or perhaps switch to a different disciplinary technique.

And finally, I just want to quickly address this other key statement by Lisa:

“Sometimes it is because I turned him down for sex when I am not in the mood.”

A woman turning her husband down for sex simply because she is “not in the mood” as opposed to having some serious medical condition is a serious violation of her marriage covenant:
“3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.”
I Corinthians 7:3-4 (KJV)

Men primarily give and receive love in marriage through sex. It is what bonds them to their wife. Where as women primarily give and receive love by talking and sharing feelings and this is how women feel bonded to their husbands. This is not to say that men cannot feel bonded to their wives by talking and sharing feelings nor is this to say women don’t feel bonded to their husbands through sex. But we are talking about primary means of bonding verses secondary means of bonding which are different in men and women.

Ladies, let me translate this for you. Imagine you had a rough day with the kids and lots of other things going on at home. You can’t wait to put the kids to bed and just talk and share your day with your husband and also find out about his day. So, you get the kids to bed and slip into bed with your husband. You start talking to him about your day and he stops you “Babe, I am really not in the mood tonight” and then he rolls over and goes to sleep.

That frustration you would feel as a woman if your husband did this to you is exactly what a man feels when his wife tells him she is not in the mood for sex.

So, Lisa – yes God absolutely approves of your husband using the silent treatment with you as long as he does not let a root of bitterness grow in his heart. And by your own admission, it often works to bring you to repentance as you seek to restore your fellowship with your husband.

How Should a Christian Wife Deal with A Cheating Husband?

“My husband is having an emotional affair with his ex-girlfriend whom he got  pregnant during our separation. How does the Bible say a wife should deal with a cheating husband?” This question was posed in one of two emails I have received recently from two different Christian wives.

This question above was part of an email I received from a woman that has commented on this blog calling herself “Soul Fruit Sister”.  Below is larger excerpt from her email to me.

“My husband is having an emotional affair with his ex-girlfriend whom he got  pregnant during our separation. How does the Bible say a wife should deal with a cheating husband? His ex-girlfriend also has a boyfriend and another child with the man she is with now as well.

I saw text messages from her to my husband asking our marriage was and him writing back that it has been stressful between us. I also saw texts from my husband telling her how great she is, how gorgeous she is, etc. Meanwhile, he has pretty much emotionally abandoned me, although he still has sex with me and requires me to give him oral sex whenever he feels like it.

I’ve tried talking to him about talking to her this way multiple times, calmly, and at first, he said he would stop. His mother even spoke to him about it, and he told her he would quit but as of recently he still continues to speak with her on a daily basis about things he should only be talking with me about. I found this out by looking at one of his old phone’s that he recently had switched over. I don’t normally go through his phone because he keeps it on him at all times and he would be furious if I tried too.

It is now to a point where I’ve tried talking to him about it, telling him how it hurts me and how I would like for him to start setting boundaries that would reestablish trust between us, but he just ignored me.

The Scriptures command us to expose evil.  And in Matthew 18 we are told if a believer sins against us and refuses to repent after we have brought that sin to their attention, we should bring it to the church.

My husband claims to be a Christian, but his actions are clearly not those of a believer and he does not attend church. So, what then should my actions be?”

Below is another email I recently received from another Christian wife calling herself “Martha”:

“Dear BGR,

My husband claimed to be Christian many years ago when we got married. He was actually very active in our church and taught Sunday School at one point.  But over the years he has fallen away from the church but still claims to be a Christian.  He has not been to church now in several years.  While he never drives drunk (but rather has me drive him), I am still not happy with the amount of drinking he does or how foolish he gets when he drinks.  He also gets very flirtatious when he drinks.

So here is my problem, my husband travels for work often and recently he even admitted that some of his buddies have taken him to a strip club a few times when he has been away for work.  He claims he did nothing with the girls, but how do I know that? I have seen places on your blog where you have said that a man going to a strip club is him having virtual sex even if he never touches the woman. My husband has at least had virtual sex with these strippers and in the worst case he actually engaged in physical sexual activity with them.  How does the Bible say I should handle this as a Christian wife?”

So, what is the Biblical answer to the difficult situations that both these women find themselves in? What does the Bible say a Christian wife’s response should be to her cheating husband? Before we can answer this central question that both these wives are asking, we must put their question in perspective from a Biblical world view.

 

The Biblical Definition of a “Cheating Husband” is Different Than Our Modern Definition

Today most people, including Bible believing Christians, would define a cheating husband as a married man that is emotionally or physically intimate with a woman other than his wife.  They will refer to such a man as an “adulterer”.

There are a small number of wives today that would not feel their marriage is threatened by their husband having an emotionally intimate relationship with another woman while the vast majority of women would feel threatened by this.

And the reality is that often when a man shares his emotions with a woman, eventually she shares her body – at least in the beginning of a new relationship between them.  So, this concern that emotional intimacy between a husband and a woman other than his wife might lead to physical intimacy, is actually well founded.

But for most wives, it is not just the worry of their husbands engaging in physical intimacy with another woman.  Most wives want be the person that their husband shares all of his feelings with from his joys to his sorrows and his worries.

Let me put this another way.  For many women, their husband could never go near another woman emotionally or physically but if he holds back things from her, they also consider this to be “a breach of trust”.

It is not uncommon to hear of women divorcing their husbands, not because of sexual infidelity or abuse, but because of a breach of trust.  Either the husband lied to his wife about various things or he held things back from her.  Many wives want to know everything their husbands are thinking or doing and this is the center piece of marital faithfulness for many women.

I have actually heard of women that have no problem with their husbands going to strip clubs as long as they take their wife with them.  Other women don’t even have to go with their husbands, as long as the husband always tells her when and where he is going.  Some women even go so far as allowing their husbands to have sex with other women as long as the wife is present.   The common denominator in these situations is simply that there are no secrets between the husband and wife and nothing is held back.

Again, this comes back to a woman’s concept of marital faithfulness which starts with complete and utter openness, no secrets, nothing withheld and then in most cases it extends to physical intimacy as well.

In other words, for the overwhelming vast majority of women today, their concept of marital faithfulness is that they own their husband’s heart and his body.

But as Bible believing Christians, we must test everything we believe or feel by the Word of God as the Scriptures exhort us to “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

Christian ladies, this is one of those times I am going to ask you to brace yourselves and take off your cultural lenses.

Nowhere in all the Bible is a married man called an adulterer simply because he is emotionally intimate or sexually intimate with a woman not his wife.  But rather he is called an adulterer for the following three reasons:

  1. If he has sex with another man’s wife and then his sin of adultery is committed against the husband of that wife, not his wife. (Leviticus 20:10, Deuteronomy 22:22)
  2. If he wrongly divorces his wife. (Matthew 5:32)
  3. If he marries a woman who wrongly divorced her husband. (Mark 10:12)

In other words, based on the Biblical definition of an adulterer, a married man who has sex with an unmarried woman is NOT an adulterer, but rather he is a whoremonger.  A married man can only be labeled as an adulterer if he has sex with another man’s wife or if he wrongly divorces his wife.  Another way of putting this is the only way a married man’s behavior can Biblically be labeled as the sin of adultery against his wife is if he wrongly divorces her.

The Scriptures recognize this distinction between whoremongers and adulterers in Hebrews 13:14 where we read “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge”.

Some Christian wives may be reading this and saying “ok fine so my cheating husband is called a whoremonger by God and not adulterer.  Who cares? He is still a cheating husband and committing marital unfaithfulness by his actions.”

 

But then we must ask what is the Biblical definition of marital faithfulness of man toward his wife?

A lot of Christian teachers online and in Christian pulpits across America say that a man having sex with women other than his wife is him committing adultery against her, an act of marital unfaithfulness and grounds for divorce.  They say this based on Matthew 5:32 which we previously referenced:

“But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.”

Matthew 5:32 (KJV)

The problem is they are ignoring the gender specificity of this statement by Christ. Christ says a man may “put away his wife” for “fornication”.

And now comes a Biblical truth that completely conflicts with our American cultural values.

While Scripturally speaking, marital faithfulness for a woman toward her husband does hinge upon on her exclusively giving herself sexually to her husband there is no Biblical warrant for making the same statement of husbands toward their wives.

The reason that emotional and sexual exclusivity is never given as a criterion of marital faithfulness of a husband toward his wife is found in the following passage of the Bible:

“10 If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. 11 And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.”

Exodus 21:10-11 (KJV)

And there you have it right there in the Scriptures.  The reason emotional and sexual exclusivity is never given as a criterion of marital faithfulness of a husband toward his wife is because God allows men to practice polygamy or specifically polygyny.

I realize there is a lot of opposition in the Christian world and elsewhere to polygamy.  Often Christian preachers will say “polygamy was a sin God overlooked for a time”.  But such a statement is an assault on the holy character of God.  God never condones, regulates or allows something he considers to be sinful.

In Genesis 30:18, God rewarded Leah with another son because she gave her handmaid to her husband as another wife. God expressly set forth rules for the practice of polygamy in Exodus 21:10-11, Deuteronomy 21:15-17 and Deuteronomy 25:5-7. While God warned against Kings hording wives in Deuteronomy 17:17 as Solomon would later do, he told David in II Samuel 12:8 when he sinned with Bathsheba that he had given David many wives and would have given him many more wives.

In Ezekiel 23:1-5 God pictures himself as a polygamist husband of two wives, those being the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah.  And in Romans 10:19 we read that God is taking on a new wife in the form of the Church to make his first wife, the nation of Israel, jealous so that she may return to him.

Those who oppose polygamy as an allowable extension of God’s design for marriage and insist that “God’s design was for a man to be married to one woman as seen in his creation of one wife for Adam” must then say God violated his own design in allowing and regulating the practice of polygamy for Israel.

And those who say “well God allowed divorce to and that was not part of his design” fail to recognize that God said he hates divorce in Malachi 2:16 but never in all the Scriptures does he say he hates polygamy or that he had to allow it because of sin.

And before we move on from this subject of polygamy back to the Biblical definition of martial faithfulness, I want to quickly address one other argument against the practice of Biblical polygamy.  Some may say “Well maybe God allows polygamy for men, but the laws of various nations including the United States do not.  Therefore, even though God allows men to practice polygamy they cannot because it is illegal by the law of the United States.”

The problem with this belief is that is built upon the false teaching that civil authorities are unlimited in their power.  Many Christians believe the government can regulate and legislate any area of our lives as long as that regulation or law does not ask us to sin against God (Acts 5:29).  But Christ taught us that civil government is actually limited in its scope when he made the following statement below:

“And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.”

Mark 12:17 (KJV)

Jesus did not say render to God everything that is God’s and everything else render to Caesar.   No, my friends, he told us to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. God never granted authority over marriage to the either the civil government or the Church. Instead he granted authority over marriage to the family and specifically to fathers. This is why it is consistently seen throughout the Scriptures that fathers give or refuse their daughters for marriage (Jeremiah 29:6, Exodus 22:16-17) and neither the civil government nor church has any part in this.

For more on the subject of Biblical polygamy see my five part series on Polygamy which starts with “Why Polygamy Is Not Unbiblical Part 1”.

 

Now, having proven from the Scriptures why emotional and sexual exclusivity is never given as a criterion of marital faithfulness of a husband toward his wife we will return to what God defines as marital faithfulness of a husband toward his wife.

Unlike how God defines marital faithfulness for a woman, marital faithfulness for a man has nothing to do with the exclusivity of his relationship with his wife, but rather it centers on his loving provision for his wife.

Marital faithfulness of a husband toward his wife is defined by God in Exodus 21:10-11 as a husband providing his wife with food, clothing and sexual relations.   

So, we can see by looking at the Scriptures that like many other things today, our definition of a cheating husband is very different than God’s definition of a cheating husband.

God’s definition of a cheating husband is a man that does not provide his wife with the necessities of life including sexual relations.

The New Testament repeats the concepts we just read in Exodus 21:10-11 where we see these responsibilities of a husband toward his wife repeated in the following 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)

The word “nourisheth” has the idea of provision which would correlate back to Exodus 21:10’s command that a man provide food for his wife.  The word “cherisheth” does not carry the modern romantic definition of this word which has come to mean “putting one’s wife on a pedestal”.  It actually has the idea of a mother hen keeping her eggs protected and warm which correlates back to Exodus 21:10’s command for a man to properly cloth his wife which would protect her body from the elements.

And Exodus 21:10’s call for men to perform their marital duty with their wives, or in other words give them sexual relations is restated in the passage above from I Corinthians 7:3-5.

 

Are You Saying it is OK for Husbands to Have Sex with Other Women?

Unless your husband is properly practicing Biblical polygamy in which he intends to continue to provide for you and new wives he takes no it is not OK for him to simply have sex with other women. To do so is by definition whoremongering which God says he will judge in Hebrews 13:4.

The reality is that most men in western culture will not or cannot practice Biblical polygamy because of cultural and financial obstacles to doing so.  It does not make it wrong for the few men who can overcome both these obstacles, but the majority of men simply cannot.

Neither of the husbands mentioned in the two emails I received are attempting to practice Biblical polygamy.

Martha’s husband who is going to strip clubs is definitely engaging in a least virtual sexual relations in these clubs, if not actual physical sexual relations.  Therefore, he being a whoremonger which is a sin against God’s law.

But what about Soul Fruit Sister’s husband and his emotional affair with his ex-girlfriend? That one is a bit trickier.  Is he engaging in a virtual form of sexual relations with her? Right now, the answer appears to be no.

Is what he is doing still inappropriate? Yes.  And here is the reason why.

While he may not be having virtual or physical sexual relations with this other woman, he may still be guilty of making “provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Romans 13:14) and putting himself in a position where some type of illicit sexual relationship could happen and this is why is actions are wrong.

How Should These Two Wives Deal with Their Husband’s Sins?

As I just stated, Martha’s husband by attending strip clubs is definitely committing the sin of whoremongering by engaging in at least virtual or physical sexual relations with strippers.

Soul Fruit Sister’s husband is making provision for himself to fall into sexual sin which is a sin in and of itself.

In the case of Martha’s husband which is clear cut case of sexual sin it would not be inappropriate for her to bring this to her church elders if her husband was church member.  But my reasoning for this is not based on Matthew 18 which Soul Fruit Sister alluded to.

First let’s look at Matthew 18:15-17 (KJV):

“15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”

Some Christians have wrongly interpreted Matthew 18:15-17 to mean we can go to our church elders anytime anyone in the church does even the slightest thing to us.  If they won’t admit their fault to us in private, we can run to the church elders and tattle on them.   But this is not what Christ is saying at all when we look at the entirety of the New Testament witness.

As Christians we must balance two principles.

On the one hand we are called to follow the Scriptural principle and example of Christ which in I Peter 2:19 states “For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully”. So, if our first instinct every time we are wronged in any way by a fellow believer is to run to the church and tattle on them then we are not following Christ’s example in suffering wrongly.

So, what is the standard of bringing one before the Church for Church discipline?  The standard is given to us in the following passages of the Bible:

“11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. “

1 Corinthians 5:11-13 (KJV)

 “And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.”

2 Thessalonians 3:14 (KJV)

So, if a person is living an openly sinful lifestyle which includes him being a fornicator or if a person is a church member and telling people not to follow the Bible such people can be brought before the Church for discipline and possible expulsion if they refuse to repent.

So, in the case of Martha’s husband if he were a member of a church than his fornication at strip clubs would constitute an assault on the purity of the church.  Therefore, she would be right in bringing his sin to the church.

But here is a key concept that must be understood.  His sin of fornication is against God, not his wife.  But that is the opposite of how most churches and Christians would approach this sin today.

Remember we have shown from the Scriptures that a husband can only commit adultery against his wife in one way and that is by seeking to divorce her for a reason other than her being sexually unfaithful to him. So, if a man wants to put his wife away, because his girl friend wants him to dump his wife and marry her this is absolutely something that should be brought before the church if he is a church member as it is a direct sin against his wife and also against God and the purity of the Church.

But in the case Soul Fruit Sister’s husband putting himself in a possible position to sexually sin I am not sure this rises to the level that she would bring this to the church if he were a member.

However, whether these husbands were both church members or not must realize the most the church can do is condemn their actions and expel them from the church if they will not repent.  In either case of them being members or not of churches, the wives will still be left with the aftermath.

So how should a Christian wife deal with her husband’s whoremongering or even putting himself in a possible position to sexually sin because of inappropriate emotional intimacy with another woman?

The answer is found in the following passage of the Bible:

“1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”

I Peter 3:1-6 (KJV)

Would the two wives who wrote me agree that their husbands are not obeying the Word of God in the behavior they are engaging in? I think they absolutely would agree.

So then it would follow that If they agree that their husbands are in fact being disobedient to the Word of God then they must also agree with God’s prescription for how Christian wives should deal with the disobedience of their husbands including but not limited to the sin of whoremongering or making provision for the flesh to fulfill its desires.

And Gods prescription for how wives should deal with their disobedient husbands is to win them to God without preaching the Word at them, nagging them and shaming them.  But rather he wants them to wind them by their pure and reverent behavior and to adorn themselves with a quiet and meek spirit.

This prescription for wives in dealing with the sin of their husbands is the exact opposite of what a wife’s sin nature will tell her to do and unfortunately it is also the exact opposite of what many Christian pastors and teachers will tell wives to do.  But it is the truth of the Word of God.

Do I Still Have to Have Sex With My Whoremongering Husband?

I have seen many women throughout the years try and take the approach that since their husband is whoring around and might give them some sexually transmitted disease, even one that is fatal like the AIDs virus, that this gives them a free ticket to divorce their husband or at the very least refuse to have sex with him until his whoring stops and he is tested for STDs.

But let’s change the situation a bit.  What if a woman’s husband worked for the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) or some other medical group where he traveled around the country or even around the world and it might be possible for him to contract a whole host of infectious diseases non-fatal and fatal alike? Would it be right for his wife to say she does not have to have sex with her husband because it might be too risky?

Now from a non-Biblical, secularist world view the answer here is simple.  Your happiness as well as physical and mental health are the most important thing in the world.  You don’t owe your husband sex or anything else for that matter that you don’t want to do. In fact if makes you happier, just leave the bum.

But God gives this command to both husbands and wives in marriage:

Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

I Corinthians 7:3 (KJV)

Except for limited agreed upon times for prayer, fasting or medical conditions like surgery, child birth or other things like that – a wife has no Biblical warrant to refuse to render under her body under her husband in the act of sex.

And if you are a woman that believes that God created you for a purpose and that the Bible is the Word of God and the guide for your life then your personal happiness and even health should not be your greatest concern.   Your greatest concern should be to bring glory to God and sometimes that means suffering wrongly because of others wrong actions.  We see the following example of Christ given to us in the Scriptures:

21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”

I Peter 2:21-24 (KJV)

Just as Christ bore the consequences of our sins, sometimes a wife must bare the consequences of her husband’s sins.

 

The Reality of Whoremongering Husbands Reveals A Sinful View of Marriage in Women

Often times in life one person’s sin will also reveal another person’s sin.  For instance, sometimes we will find out after a man engages in whoremongering that his wife was sexually denying him for years before he ever committed the acts.  This in no way justifies his sin, but this is an example of one sin in one person revealing the sin another person.

The central question of this article was how Christian women should deal with what our culture calls a “cheating husband”.  There is no doubt that a whoremongering husband is sinning against God as we have pointed out here and we have just outlined the Biblical prescription for how Christian wives should deal with this.

However, the sinful reality of a whoremongering husband can also reveal our culture’s faulty and unbiblical view of marriage. And many Christian wives today have that sinful view of their marriage whether their husband ever engages in whoremongering or not.  It is simply that whoremongering by a husband brings this faulty type of thinking of wives to the surface for all to see.

And that sinful view of marriage is rooted in the false belief that wives are entitled to their husbands centering their hearts, minds and affections solely on them.   It is their belief that they are entitled to total transparency, to know their husbands every feeling and every thought. That in essence their husband’s heart, mind and life should belong to them exclusively.

God speaks of this sinful inclination in women in Genesis 3:16:

 “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”

A lot of Christians do not understand what that last phrase means when God said to the woman “thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee”.  Many people have seen the woman’s desire to her husband as a loving desire and Christian feminists present the phrase “he shall rule over thee” as saying man’s headship over woman was only because of the fall.

Both of the above interpretations of this very important passage of the Bible are wrong.  God knew his words in Genesis 3:16 would come to be distorted so he used similar phrasing just one chapter later when speaking to Cain in Genesis 4:7:

“If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”

Was God saying Sin’s desire for Cain was good? Absolutely not! Sin’s desire was to dominate and control him.  God knew this so he told Cain that he must rule over his sin nature, otherwise his sin nature would desire to control and dominate his life.

So, looking back at Genesis 3:16 in light of what God said to Cain, what kind of sinful desire was God saying a woman would have toward her husband?

The sinful desire God is referring to in women is their desire to know their husband’s every thought and to have his complete desire, affection and really life’s focus be on them and them alone.

The scary thing is – what I have just stated is now the central philosophy of modern marriage counseling and teaching both within the church and outside the church. And it this modern ideology which totally turns the Biblical model of marriage upside down.  Does the Bible say the husband was created for his wife or does it say his wife was created for him?

The Scriptures have an unambiguous answer for this question.

“Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”

I Corinthians 11:9 (KJV)

Conclusion

In the case of a whoremongering husband a wife may have to bring this to the Church if he is a church member.  But her motive in doing this should not be from a position that he has sinned against her in his whoremongering or adultery if he has been with another man’s wife.  But rather that he has sinned against God and possibly another man in taking his wife and his sin is polluting the purity of the Church.

But if he is not a church member or he has been excommunicated from the Church she has no biblical right to divorce him.  Instead God calls her to continue to submit to him and attempt to win him to God by her reverence and pure life style that she displays before him.

And a wife must also remember that often as God reveals the sinful actions of her husband, he may also reveal the sinful inclinations in her heart to be possessive and controlling toward her husband thus forgetting her place in God’s creation order.

Not All Abuse Must Be Taken

No, God does not call us as Christians to take all kinds of abuse.  99 percent of Christians would agree with that statement and I would be one of them.  But very few Christians would agree with me on this next statement regarding abuse:

God does call us as Christians to take and bear SOME kinds of abuses.

What is the key word there? The word is “SOME”.

But in our world today we are taught, sadly even by many Christian teachers, that we don’t have to take ANY abuse from anyone.

However the Scriptures contradict this attitude of “I don’t have to take any kind of abuse from any one at any time”:

“19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.

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: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously”

I Peter 2:19-23 (KJV)

Our culture hates the passage I just quoted because it goes against our idea of a society where no one should ever have to tolerate the least amount of pain or suffering.  We are living in a society of people with feelings as fragile and as easily damaged as egg shells.

We have actually reached a point where some people are so fragile that they cannot hear an opposing view point without being so mortally offended that they must seek out therapy.

About a year ago I published an article entitled “Why God wants You to STAY in an abusive relationship” and as I write today that article has received almost 70,000 views since I first posted it. If you just google the title of that same article you will find many YouTube videos as well as other sites commenting on it.

I received thousands of comments or emails most by people who did not read past the first few paragraphs and others who did not read past the title.  I am not a stranger to receiving death threats for various articles I write simply expounding on the teachings of the Bible.  But this article has generated even more hatred than usual.

But do I see myself as victim? No.  I daily remember these words of Christ to those who preach his Word:

“11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

Matthew 5:11-12 (KJV)

So, when I read negative reviews on both Atheist and Christian blogs or when I receive false accusations and death threats via email or comments to my blog because of I preached the Word of God and called out the sins of generation do I frown? Do I get upset?

Well from a human perspective I don’t like false accusations and I wish I could correct each and every one of them.  But I know I can’t do that.  So I must leave that in the Lord’s hands.  And do I take the death threats seriously? You bet I do and that is why I started this blog anonymously and take great pains to keep myself anonymous.   Even my closest online friends do not know my real identity.

But at the end of the day I strive, be it ever so imperfectly, to rejoice when I am persecuted as Christ admonished us to do.

Now does that not mean that I don’t get angry at the sinful ways of our society?  Do I not get angry at the way people so easily speak blasphemy against God and his Word as I see on a daily basis in comments to this blog? Of course some of these things make me angry.   But I do try and follow God’s rule to Be ye angry, and sin not (Ephesians 4:26).

So why I am writing this companion article? Today I received a comment followed up by an email from the same person that was probably one of the most respectful disagreement emails that I have received regarding my article on abuse.   And I felt this was a good opportunity to help clarify some important Biblical principles I have been trying to teach about how we as Christians should respond to abuse.

Christ Does Not Call Us to Be “perpetual victims and punching bags”

Below is the complete email I received from a concerned reader calling himself “John”.

“I read your article about God’s will to remain in an abusive relationship. You presented your argument in a well studied manner in which you used Scripture to justify remaining in an abusive relationship. At the same time I must disagree with you.

While the Bible teaches enduring hardships and tribulations, I don’t see anywhere Jesus expected us to be perpetual victims and punching bags. There has to be a point where either one of two things will occur: the abusive spouse will repent and begin to turn things around, or the situation will become worse to the point of either death or divorce.

At one time I would have agreed with you and even taught along similar lines. Then I went through the experience. I suffered marital problems where I was berated by my wife, criticized at every turn, denied love and affection, then it escalated to where my bank account was drained and finally adultery (the one grounds that we can agree on) was confirmed.

At what point do we say enough is enough? Are we supposed to continue to just take the abuse and never stand up for ourselves and our family members who also must endure this? How many households must suffer financial ruin, physical injury, mental anguish, or ultimately death at the abuser’s hands?

Having been at one time a minister in an abusive church, I witnessed first hand how these teachings hurt families. When we force wives or husbands to remain in an abusive relationship, we as Christians aren’t much better than the Muslims whose record of condoning violence against their wives is well documented. This is one reason why more Christians avoid church than attend. We failed in providing real solutions to help abuse victims. We just throw the victims back in the shark tank to be eaten afresh.

Moving from the marriage into the church in general, there are many accounts of believers forced to leave a church and pastor because of abuse. In some cases it was sexual. Other times it was emotional or financial. Some pastors exercised control over the congregants’ daily lives to where every waking moment revolved around the church and its leadership. God called pastors to be shepherds, but instead many so called pastors became kings over their own little kingdoms.

I followed the Biblical route here and brought my grievances to the elders and pastor. I even went to the point of proposing reform so ALL of us would be accountable. My ideas were completely rejected, and the pastors continued their abuse unrepentant. I was finally left with no option but to leave.

Years later I found myself in another church situation. I saw unbiblical activity and reported it to the leadership, only to the kicked out of the church. I could have suffered in silence and gone along with it, but God does not want me to roll over and be the perpetual victim.

Until we realize victims need real help and not just being told all this suffering is God’s will, more lives will be ruined.”

Now I will address a couple key concerns of this reader.

“How many households must suffer financial ruin, physical injury, mental anguish, or ultimately death at the abuser’s hands?”

No household must perpetually suffer financial ruin because of a spouse who abuses the family finances.  But how this is dealt with is different depending on whether it is the husband or wife. As I stated in my previous article on this subject of abuse the Exodus 21:10-11 principle applies to a wife whose husband fails to provide (i.e. brings the family to financial ruin) either because of his laziness or some type of addiction (drugs or gambling).  So, no, she does not have to stay and take this kind of abuse but rather she can be free of him in divorce.

Now does the husband have the right to divorce his wife because of her financial abuse  such as overspending which may cause financial ruin for the family? No, he does not have the right to divorce her, but based on upon Christ’s example with his wife the church in Revelation 3:19 he does have the right to discipline her.  And that means he gets a new bank account without her name on it and locks her out of the finances completely.  Even if that means he has to do the family grocery shopping and clothing shopping.

Regarding serious physical injury or life-threatening situations, the “Abigail Principle” of I Samuel 25 applies.  God brought Abigail to go against her husband’s evil actions which literally placed her family in mortal danger to save her family and he blessed her for it. And there is no reason this would not apply to men as well if their wife was engaging in actions that could bring serious bodily harm or death to them or their children.

So, in either the case of the husband or the wife, if there is a situation where one spouse is causing great bodily harm or placing the family in danger of death by their actions then the other spouse should get out with the children and contact the civil authorities.

But then what about mental anguish?

This one is different than the others. What did Christ do when he was in mental anguish?  He went to be alone with his father.

And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Luke 22:44 (KJV)

The Bible  does not allow for the dissolving of a marriage based solely on mental anguish.  Are there some other remedies offered though for mental anguish caused by one’s spouse’s abusive behavior? Yes, we find a couple other remedies in the book of Proverbs:

“It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.”

Proverbs 21:9 (KJV)

“It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.”

Proverbs 21:19 (KJV)

So, if you have a wife who berates you, constantly criticizes you and denies you the love and affection God commands of her the remedy is simple.   First follow Christ’s example as a husband in Revelation 3:19 and “rebuke and chasten” your wife.  If she fails to respond to your chastening with repentance, then find your “corner of the housetop”, i.e. your office or man-cave and leave her in her sin.  Perhaps go to your “wilderness” whether that be hunting or other activities with other men.  And when you get alone in these places – pray earnestly as Christ did in the garden.

A wife may also need to find her “corner of the housetop” sometimes if she is dealing with a husband who constantly berates her.  She may need to go to her room sometimes or just take a drive to be alone with her thoughts and also pray and seek the Lord’s strength to do what he has called her to do in spite of her husband’s sin.

But in the case of the wife – she does not have the spiritual authority to rebuke and discipline her husband, but rather she is called to win her husband without the word by her reverent and submissive behavior toward him (I Peter 3:1-2).

What About Abuse by Church Leaders?

John made this statement about abuse he has witnessed in Churches:

“Moving from the marriage into the church in general, there are many accounts of believers forced to leave a church and pastor because of abuse. In some cases it was sexual. Other times it was emotional or financial. Some pastors exercised control over the congregants’ daily lives to where every waking moment revolved around the church and its leadership. God called pastors to be shepherds, but instead many so called pastors became kings over their own little kingdoms.”

I have witnessed similar abuses to this in many churches I know of both local and across the nation.  Supposed Bible preaching pastors who are found to be sexually abusing young people in the church.

One of the Baptist churches I attended growing up had a Pastor who came up with a bright idea of “Paycheck Sundays”.  Basically, he demanded that all his church members sign over their entire pay checks to the church ever so often – I think it might have been every two months.  My father opposed such a demand and even told the church he disagreed and we left shortly thereafter.

I have heard of situations where Pastors tried to tell wives they had greater spiritual authority over them than their husbands which violates the explicit teachings of the Scriptures that the husband is the wife’s greatest spiritual authority (Ephesians 5:23-24 & 1 Corinthians 14:35).

And yes, I have seen churches that do exactly as you describe and you follow the Biblical process of bringing sin or concern to the church only to be turned down or have it turned on you as if you did something wrong for bringing sin to their attention.

But here is the thing about churches and marriages.  Some things they have in common, but many other things are VERY different between these two God given institutions.  What they have in common is that both have sinners in them and both are flawed because of the presence of sin.  Both are to have their authorities exercise spiritual discipline over those under their authority.

But church membership and marriage are very different when it comes to how their association is dissolved.  A covenant of marriage is not easily broken in God’s design.  But God does not tell us we must remain at a particular local church indefinitely.

We might leave a local church for no more reason than we found one that is closer to home.  We might leave a local church over differences in music style or many other reasons. God wants us in church, but he does not tie us to a particular local church.  Now do I think we should church hop constantly? No. Church hopping is not good for our children.  But if there are serious reasons or legitimate reasons for moving from a church than we can do that.

John – I hope this answers your concerns.

Pastor Publicly Rebukes Drag Queen in Church Service

Antonio Rocquemore, Pastor of Power House International Ministries in Chicago, publicly rebuked a member of his church dressed in drag and then asked him to leave the service.  Not surprisingly the LGBTQ community is up in arms about this.

During the service the Pastor made the following statement just before calling out the young man in drag:

“if you stop believing, standing for something, you will fall for anything. And God can’t move the way he wants to because of the standard. He set a standard. Stand by him, even if it costs you friends because you’ll always be approved by heaven. I’m at a point in my life where I’d rather heaven be pleased with me than people speak to me…”

He then pointed to the young men and made the following statement to him:

“Can you step out into this aisle. Please. Can you leave my church and go put on man clothes. And don’t come dressed like that no more.  I hold a standard in here. Whatever you do on the outside is your business, but I will not let drag queens come in here. And if you’re gonna come in here you’re gonna come in here dressed like a man … If you’re a man, dress like a man. If you’re a woman, dress like a woman. I’m not going to allow it … you will not be wearing weaves and heels and fooling people up in here.”

You can view a partial cell phone video of what happened here.

After many false accusations against him regarding his public rebuke of the young man dressed in drag, Pastor Rocquemore, posted a video reply to all his critics clarifying why did he what he did and reemphasizing that he had no regrets about doing it.

In that clarification he makes the following facts known.

The young man in question was a member of his church.  Not some random stranger off the street.  The Pastor also makes clear the when coming to join the church as a member the young man told the Pastor he wanted to learn how to be a man.  The Pastor made clear to him the rules of the church including dress codes for both men and women for the services. He told him he could not dress as a woman while attending their services but what he did outside of the service was between him and God.

This Pastor even tried to love on this young man and gave him some of his own money. The young man showed up in women’s attire a few times after joining and the Pastor quietly pulled him aside and told him he needed to stop doing this.  The young man finally stopped wearing women’s clothing for a period of time.

Someone, outside or inside the church, encouraged this young man to defy the Pastor by wearing full drag again to a service.  This time after several quiet and private admonishments, the Pastor felt that he needed to take a public stand against what this young man was doing as he was challenging the Pastor’s position on men wearing women’s clothing.

You can watch Pastor Rocquemore’s full video reply here.

Now that we have the full truth about what happened in this church let’s look at what the Bible says about this.

The Bible Condemns Transvestism

In Deuteronomy 22:5 the Scriptures tell us:

“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.”

So, we can see here that God’s unchanging moral law makes it crystal clear, beyond any reasonable doubt, that a man is never to wear that which pertains to woman or try to change his appearance in anyway to look like a woman.  The same goes for women – a woman is forbidden from changing her appearance to look like a man.

Deuteronomy 22:5 then is a clear and concise condemnation of transvestism, cross-dressers and transsexuals going through sex changes.

But the Bible Forbids Us from Eating Shellfish and it Condones Slavery!

Among the myriad of comments on line attacking this pastor we will see people dismissing passages like Deuteronomy 22:5 on the basis that the Bible condones slavery and it commands us not to eat shellfish or wear mixed fabrics. If I had a dime for every person, some sadly even professing Christians, who throws this tired old argument at me I would be a rich man.  This is an argument that comes from a complete and utter ignorance of the Scriptures.

The goals of those who use this argument are two-fold.  The first goal is to say “Well you don’t follow all the laws of the Old Testament; therefore, you cannot use any Old Testament passages as a basis for morality.”  A second goal in this attack is to discredit the Bible as a source of moral truth on the basis that it allows for things that our society considers to be immoral like slavery (Leviticus 25:39-46) or forcing a woman to marry her rapist (Deuteronomy 22:28–29).

I have written several articles and even done a You Tube video refuting these false arguments which attempts to either dismiss all Old Testament laws or even the entire Bible on these grounds.  See these links below:

What is the distinction between the Moral, Ceremonial and Civil laws of the Old Testament?

What are the Moral Laws of God in the Old Testament?

Why Christians shouldn’t be ashamed of Slavery in the Bible

Shellfish, Mixed Fabrics And Slavery – Oh My!

The short answer to these false arguments against Biblical authority and specifically the authority of the moral laws of the Old Testament is as follows.

God gave moral laws all throughout the Old and New Testaments.  He gave moral laws before Abraham or Moses were ever born and before he instituted the nation of Israel as a theocracy.  But when he gave the new nation of Israel it’s laws, he repeated moral laws he had given before and also gave new moral laws as well.  In addition to his moral laws, God also instituted civil laws for the nation of Israel which were mostly the punishment or restitution to made for the breaking of his moral laws.  He also instituted ceremonial laws which included laws about the priesthood, tithes, festivals, clothing, diet and the sacrificial system.

In the New Testament with the coming of Christ the ceremonial laws are put away because Christ is the fulfillment of God’s law.  He was the sacrifice that believers had always looked for.  The civil laws were also done away with because those were given for the physical nation of Israel and not the spiritual nation called the Church.  God would eventually dissolve what was left of Israel within a century of Christ’s death the Jews would be dispersed throughout the world.

So, the point is that Deuteronomy 22:5 is moral law that is still standing today.

But while Deuteronomy 22:5 could stand on its own the Apostle Paul repeats God’s condemnation of men appearing like or acting like women in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10:

“9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

But Jesus Did Not Condemn the Adulterous Woman

In the Gospel of John 8:3-11 we read the story of the woman taken in adultery. The scriptures tell us she was found “in the very act” (John 8:3).  The Pharisees wanting to see what Jesus would do threw her before him and reminded him of Moses’s law that commanded that she be stoned.  But Jesus said to them “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” (John 8:7).   And then when all her accusers left by one by one Jesus finally tells the woman “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:11).

This passage is used by many unbelievers and even professing Christians to say unless we are sinless, we as Christians have no business passing judgement on other’s sins.  But again, such an argument is based on an ignorance about the teachings of the Scriptures.

Some have pointed to the fact that the Pharisees had not brought the man whom she was caught in the act of adultery with to be stoned as well.   The Bible commanded that both the man and woman caught in the act of adultery must be killed (Deuteronomy 22:22).  So, they were not completely following the law by letting the man go and only taking the woman to be judged.

But aside from their half following of Moses law, Christ was trying to demonstrate two important principles to them.  He first was showing his authority as he had previously stated that “that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins” (Matthew 9:6).  Secondly, in exercising his authority to forgive sins he was demonstrating to them mercy and forgiveness as he commanded us all to have toward each other:

“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you” – Matthew 6:14

Pastor Rocquemore demonstrated Christ’s example perfectly toward this young man. He tried to quietly address the issue with this young man.  He forgave him on multiple occasions but in the end the young man became more defiant than ever and the Pastor had to take action.  People often will cite the first part of the story of the woman taken in adultery but they miss Christ’s final words to that woman “go, and sin no more”.  This was exactly what this Pastor did when he told that young man “go put on man clothes. And don’t come dressed like that no more”.

But Doesn’t the Bible Tell Us Not to Judge?

There are a lot of comments by those detractors of what this Pastor did stating that what he did was a violation of God’s prohibition on Christians judging other Christians.

Jesus said “Judge not, that ye be not judged” in Matthew 7:1, but John 7:24 Jesus also said “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.  The Apostle Paul said “Let us not therefore judge one another any more …” in Romans 14:13 but he also said in 1 Corinthians 5:12 “For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?”.

So, we can clearly see that both Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul are condemning one type of judging but commanding another type of judging.  What they are condemning is hypocritical judging or engaging in judgement over those whom we have no authority to do so.

In 1 Corinthians 5:1-2 we read of a serious situation happening in the Church of Corinth:

“It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. 2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.”

So, at the Corinthian church a man had his father’s wife (his step mother) and the church was proud of this! This is no different than many so-called churches today that are “proud” of their gay members, transsexual or transvestite members. But unlike so many false Christian churches today the Apostle Paul did not tell them they were right in not judging this couple living in open immorality, but instead he called on them to JUDGE this couple as he had already done before he arrived.

In 1 Corinthians 5:3-7 Paul gives the church the remedy for dealing with those who try to enter the assembly whilst being in open sin against God:

“3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

Paul literally commands that the Church gather together as an assembly and publicly hand this person living in open immorality over to Satan.  He commands them to “purge” such people from the assembly of believers.

The Apostle Paul then goes on to clarify for them those whom they are to judge as a church and those who they cannot judge as a church in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13:

“9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:

10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.  11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.”

Paul makes it clear that that righteous judgement has to do with those whose claim to be brothers in Christ but are proudly living in some type of sin. We are to having nothing to do with such wicked professing believers and we are to put away such people from the assembly of God.

So, we can see based upon the clear teaching of the Scriptures that what Pastor Rocquemore did in this instance was righteous judgment according to the Word of God.

But Doesn’t the Bible say “Come as you are”

Another common argument in the comments condemning Pastor Rocquemore’s actions toward the man dressed in drag at his church is that his actions violated the Biblical principle that we can come to God as sinners.  In other words, we can come to God as we are.

The Bible tells us in Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”.  It also tells us in Revelation 22:17 “Come! Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely”.

The problem with this argument is that it mixes apples and oranges.  The “apple” in this case is coming to God and taking freely of the water of life by calling on Christ for salvation.  The “orange” in this case is fellowship within the assembled church.

God absolutely takes us as we are, wicked sinners.  But we cannot remain in this state.  If we do remain in sin then we prove we never truly accepted the salvation he so freely offers us.

The Scriptures tell us this:

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” – Romans 6:1-2

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

It is absolutely Biblically true that we can come to God as we are – wicked sinners.  In fact, there is no other way we could come as we cannot cleanse our own sin, only Christ’s shed blood on the cross and the work of the Holy Spirit within us can do this.  But if we truly believe, then our minds will be renewed.  We come as we are but we cannot and will not remain the same if we are truly in Christ.

While God invites all to come as they are for salvation, he only invites those who are not as they were, those who are new creatures in Christ, into to the assembled church.

This Crisis is the Result of the Seeker-Sensitive Church Movement

The fact that it is even debatable as to what this Pastor did in openly rebuking and expelling this man from his church is a direct testament to the massive damage that has been done to many churches by the seeker-sensitive church movement.

The false philosophy of the seeker-sensitive church takes God’s command to the Church to preach the Gospel to the world (Matthew 28:19 & Mark 16:15) and uses it to cancel out all other commands given to the Church.

God did more than just command the Church to spread the Gospel.  In 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 God commanded that the holiness of the church assembly be kept above all other concerns and that those who would live in sinful lifestyles while trying to be part of the assembly be expelled from the assembly.  In Ephesians 4:11-15 we read that a core purpose of the church is “the perfecting of the saints” which means helping Christians to learn the doctrines of the faith and apply these doctrines to their lives. And in 2 Timothy 4:1-5 God commands that the Church is to “Preach the word” and “reprove, rebuke, exhort” those in assembly.

The modern seeker-sensitive churches cast aside all these other commands given to the church in order to make their churches more appealing to the outside world and unbelievers in their midst.  They refuse to preach against sin, to rebuke those who sin in their assembly and to keep the church only for those who are new creatures in Christ.

The Bible tells us:

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” – James 4:4

These seeker-sensitive churches value friendship with the world and being loved by the world more than faithfulness to God’s commands to keep the holiness of his Church.  As a result, these compromising churches find themselves filled with people who are not new creatures in Christ.

As Christian Churches we may disagree on various doctrines.  But standing for the holiness of the church cannot be one of them.  We must stand together on this.

A War on Christianity Has Begun

As Christians we must realize that within our culture a war is being made on Christianity.  Just a few days ago the following news was reported in an article on CBNNews.com entitled “Incoming Democratic Congress Has Hobby Lobby in Their Sights, Hoping to Force Abortion Funding“:

“Having just won back control of the House in this year’s midterm elections, Democrats now have their sights set on an issue near and dear to people of faith: the sanctity of life.

As they prepare to take over the chamber, 50 Democrats have agreed to co-sponsor legislation that would effectively cripple the 25-year-old Religious Freedom Restoration Act. That brings the total number of Democratic House legislators supporting the bill to 172.

According to The Washington Examiner, H.R. 3222 would make it so LGBTQ rights and other progressive causes would take precedence over religious freedoms.

In addition, supporters say the bill would reverse the Supreme Court’s rulings in the Hobby Lobby and Masterpiece Cakeshop cases.”

The enemies of true Christianity are trying to force church ministries and Christian owned businesses to provide abortion services as part of their health insurance for their employees.  Homosexuals purposefully go into Christian bakeries, florists and wedding photographers to set them up for lawsuits. And now we see transvestites forcing their perverted actions and beliefs on local churches.  I have no doubt that if not in this case that in the future we will see homosexuals suing churches to force them to allow them to be members.

Those who do this believe they fight for civil rights and social justice.  But God grants no such right to live in these wicked ways or do these wicked things.  Thus, they stand in opposition against God and his Word.  Many falsely compare the fight for equal treatment for those of different races in the 1960’s with the fight now for LGBTQ rights.  But the difference is that one was based on race and the other is based on one’s actions.  These two things are as different as night and day. Those who falsely believe they will force by the power of civil law full acceptance of the LGBTQ community on  Bible believing Christians are in for a very rude awakening.

We know what the Scripture tell us when civil authorities pass laws which contradict God’s laws:

Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” – Acts 5:29

Christians have been dying for centuries for their belief and adherence to the Word of God and now will be no different than then.  When the time comes, the true believers in Christ will be willing to lose their businesses and even in their lives for the cause of following the Word of God.   But as Churches and other Christian organizations continue to be taken to court many Christians and non-Christian alike in America will grow tired of this. And the fight for the soul of our nation may boil to a point we have not seen since the Civil War.

The Need to Expose Wives’ Sexual Defrauding Before the Church

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:

  1. When a wife takes men other than her husband.
  2. 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:

  1. Have sexual relations with your spouse on a regular basis to avoid fornication OUTSIDE marriage.
  2. 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:

Larry,

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

M,

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”

Ephesians 4:26 

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.

Why God Wants You to STAY in an Abusive Relationship

Stay in an abusive marriage? Stay with an abusive father or mother? To assert anyone should ever stay in an abusive relationship is counter to everything our culture teaches.  We are to confront or flee abusive situations but we should never ever endure abusive situations or so we are told today even in the vast majority of Christian circles.

In my previous article “What Does The Bible Say About Abuse?” I talked about what abuse is from a Biblical perspective.  I stated that the word abuse literally is “ab + use” which means to misuse or mistreat someone or something.  I also talked about both emotional (including verbal) abuse and physical abuse as they are spoken to in the Bible with a specific emphasis on what abuse looks like in marriage and the family.

But what I did not cover were two important areas on this subject of abuse.  The first is what role does God grant to the government in dealing with abuse?  The second is how family members, including husbands, wives and children, should respond when they are abused by one another in various ways.

Did God Grant Government the Power To Determine What Abuse Is?

Many Christians instead of looking to the Bible for their definition of abuse instead look to their feelings, their culture and most commonly their civil government.

First we must understand that it is God who defines the responsibilities, rights and limitations of the spheres of authority of the civil government, the church and the family. Abuse is a moral issue and it is God and not culture or government that defines what is moral and what is immoral.

Many Christians have been wrongly taught that civil government is an unlimited power established by God.  This comes from a false understanding of passages like the one below:

“13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.”

I Peter 2:13-14 (KJV)

Passages like the one above must be taken into context with the entirety of the Scriptures.  Christ himself stated that civil government is in fact limited in its scope and authority:

“And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.”

Mark 12:17 (KJV)

Jesus did not say “Give to God what is God’s and everything else belongs to Caesar”.  His words were carefully measured.  He said to give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s which tells us God actually intends for civil government to be limited.

So the next question we must ask is “What is the scope of responsibility and power that God has given to civil government?”  The answer is found in Romans chapter 13:

“For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

Romans 13:4 (KJV)

The government is God’s “revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil”.  It is the civil government’s job to ENFORCE God’s moral law – not to MAKE moral law on its own. Murder is not wrong because the United States government or our State governments say it is wrong.  Murder is wrong because God says it is wrong. So when police officers or other law enforcement officers arrest murderers to stand trial and ultimately face punishment they are acting as God’s ministers. When the judge or jury hand down the sentence they are acting as God’s revenger executing “wrath on him that doeth evil”.

Now our punishments for breaking God’s moral law may be different in each state, province or country but the moral law of God itself cannot be added to or changed by anyone but God himself.

The civil government must always be respectful of its limitations when it enters the sphere of the church or the home.  This means that they must never usurp or take authority in matters which God has not given to the government but instead he has given to the church or the home.

When the government attempts to usurp authority in the church or the home Christians have the God given right and in most cases the responsibility to exercise civil disobedience against such usurpation.

God has appointed Pastors as the interpreters of God’s moral law in the church assembly and he has appointed husbands as the interpreters of God’s moral law in the home. God states this regarding our obedience to church leaders:

“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”

Hebrews 13:17 (KJV)

When I walk into my church assembly I must always recognize that God has given my Pastor the spiritual oversight of that assembly.  That means if I were to teach Sunday school in my church or teach from our pulpit in his absence I should not teach contrary interpretations to his that would cause division. This is one reason that I have not taught in the church I attend in many years and I would not because I might easily come into conflict with my Pastor’s interpretations on many doctrinal issues.  Also I and my family follow whatever rules my pastor sets for dress standards for church activities if those standards are more conservative.

But think of how absurd it would be for me to go to my local mayor or state governor and ask them their interpretation of the scriptures and also what they think the rules for behavior within my church assembly should be.  Imagine if I brought these interpretations back to my church and in direct defiance of my pastor began trying to implement them. Not only would these actions be absurd on my part – but they would be in direct contradiction to the Word of God.  Those civil authorities have no authority in these matters in my church.

By the same token God does not tell wives when they have a moral or spiritual question to go seek out their Pastor, local mayor or state governor.  Instead he tells them to seek out the spiritual head of their home:

“34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (KJV)

This is why it is highly inappropriate for government or church officials to come into a home and give wives or children instructions on morality that are counter to the teachings of the husband who is the head of that home.  In fact, the husband is the only human authority in all the Scriptures where God commands the one under his authority to submit to him “as unto the Lord”:

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”

Ephesians 5:22 (KJV)

It is a sad testament to the wicked times we live in that husbands, the most powerful of all human authorities that God ever established, have had their spiritual authority completely usurped and gutted by both our civil and our church authorities.

The Government Has Nullified God’s Law With Its Domestic Abuse Definitions

The Scriptures tell us this regarding God’s law:

“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”

Deuteronomy 4:2 (KJV)

As we previously established, the government has absolutely no right to add or take away from God’s moral law.  None whatsoever.  Also Christ spoke against human laws which nullify God’s laws:

“Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.”

Mark 7:13 (KJV)

This is what our current US Justice Department definitions of domestic abuse do – they literally attempt to add to God’s moral law and in effect nullify God’s moral law in regard to this issue of domestic abuse. With that said I will briefly address some of this addition to and nullification of God’s law in current US Justice Department definitions of domestic abuse which you can find at https://www.justice.gov/ovw/domestic-violence. Also keep in mind that all these definitions have to do with domestic violence – meaning what is considered abuse in the home between members of the home.

The Government’s Definition of Abuse Vs The Bible’s Definition of Abuse

 Physical Abuse: Hitting, slapping, shoving, grabbing, pinching, biting, hair pulling, etc are types of physical abuse. This type of abuse also includes denying a partner medical care or forcing alcohol and/or drug use upon him or her.”

The first problem with this definition is that it completely negates any type of physical discipline which is commanded by God for children (Proverbs 23:13-14) and is also allowed by God for adults (Deuteronomy 25:1-3, Proverbs 19:29 and Proverbs 26:3).  Under this definition of physical abuse spanking of one’s child or one’s wife would be consider abuse (See my article “Does the Bible Allow Wife Spanking” for more on that issue).  A mother or father slapping their rebellious child even with an open palm (front handed) would be guilty of physical abuse under this definition.

I agreed in my previous article on abuse that things like shoving and punching have no place in the home not even as methods of discipline because they risk serious bodily injury or even death in violation of God’s law regarding limits on discipline (Exodus 21:26-27). I also agreed that things like biting, kicking and hair pulling have no place in the home as methods of discipline as it should be done in love and in control and not as brawl or a fight.  But again overall the biggest problem with the government’s definition of physical abuse is that its definition negates physical discipline in the home which God allows.

 “Sexual Abuse: Coercing or attempting to coerce any sexual contact or behavior without consent. Sexual abuse includes, but is certainly not limited to, marital rape, attacks on sexual parts of the body, forcing sex after physical violence has occurred, or treating one in a sexually demeaning manner.”

First we will address where this government definition of sexual abuse aligns with God’s moral law and that is regarding children.  A parent has absolutely no right under God’s law to touch their child in a sexual way, to coerce them or force them to have sex.  This is a violation of God’s moral laws regarding incest (Leviticus 18:6).

But really the heart of this definition is directed at husbands in regard to how they engage in sexual activity with their wives.  And when applied to the husband/wife relationship this definition of sexual abuse for the most part nullifies God’s Word.

This government’s definition of sexual abuse as with physical abuse nullifies a husband’s God given sexual rights to his wife’s body in marriage.  It also nullifies his right to discipline her for sexual refusal.  The Bible says that sex is both a right and responsibility in marriage (Exodus 21:10-11, Proverbs 5:18-19, I Corinthians 7:3-4) and that the only thing that must be mutually agreed upon in the area of sex is when a couple will NOT have sex (I Corinthians 7:5) for a short time.  See my articles on sexual refusal, sexual consent and forced sex in marriage for more on what the Bible says about these topics.

Emotional Abuse: Undermining an individual’s sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem is abusive. This may include, but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one’s abilities, name-calling, or damaging one’s relationship with his or her children.

While we need to be careful of how subjective this government definition of emotional abuse is I think for the most part it aligns with what the Scriptures say that we should generally be trying to build people up and not tear them down(Ephesians 4:29,James 3:8-10). See my article on “What Does the Bible Say About Abuse?” for more on the subject of emotional abuse.

Economic Abuse: Is defined as making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding one’s access to money, or forbidding one’s attendance at school or employment.

This government definition of “Economic Abuse” is a complete addition to God’s moral law and it also nullifies a husband’s rights toward his wife under God’s law.  And again let’s not kid ourselves that they are speaking equally to husbands and wives. This is an attack on patriarchy and men having their wives being economically dependent on them.

The fact is this definition of Economic abuse is exactly the opposite of God’s moral law on this issue.  In Exodus 21:10-11 we are told that if a man does not provide his wife with food and clothing she may be free of him (divorced from him).  God considers it economic abuse when a man forces his wife to economically independent of him, not when he forces his wife to be economically dependent on him.

And yes husbands under God’s law can absolutely forbid their wives from going to college or seeking careers as wives are to be subject their husbands in EVERYTHING as the Church submits to Christ in everything (Ephesians 5:24).

Also as far as household finances go – whether a husband allows his wife to work or not all the financial decision making comes under his direction.  If he wants to take away his wife’s ATM card he can do that under God’s law.

Psychological Abuse: Elements of psychological abuse include  – but are not limited to – causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner’s family or friends; destruction of pets and property; and forcing isolation from family, friends, or school and/or work.

If read in a certain way, the government’s definition of psychological abuse may actually align with the Scriptures.  God does forbid the use of threatening (Ephesians 6:9).  If a husband or wife threatens to kill themselves or their children or pets or to destroy property if they don’t get what they want that is the very definition of threatening behavior which is condemned by the Word of God.

However a warning from an authority toward one under them of the consequences of their actions is not engaging in threatening or psychological abuse. If I isolate my teen son from friends that are bad influences on him is that psychological abuse? The answer is no.  It all depends on my motivation.  Is my intent simply to exert my power over him or is it actually for his own good? If it is the latter there is nothing immoral about this from a Biblical perspective.

Many people would agree that the example I gave is not immoral.  But what if I replaced my son in that example with my wife? OH NO – that is completely different right? Why? Because she is an adult? The Bible however makes no such distinction when it comes to the discipline of wives and children.  If my wife was talking to or hanging out with other women who were bad spiritual influences on her affecting her morals, relationship with God or with me I have absolutely ever right before God as her spiritual authority to restrict her access to those women.

The Bible teaches a clear social order – the husband, an adult male, is the head of the wife, an adult female and children are under the authority of their parents(Ephesians 5:23-24, Ephesians 6:1-3).

And for all you feminists out there the practice of a husband exercising his spiritual authority over his wife in these ways does not infantilize her or make her equal with her children.  God has granted a wife and mother more rights than he has her children.  She has sexual rights to her husbands body and she is given the position of manager of the home and of the children which are sacred and honored roles.  She of course exercises these positions under the authority of her husband but by no means does the Bible make wives and children equals with another.

So when we throw out the straw-man argument that a husband exercising control over his wife infantilizes her we come to the real heart of the issue.  Feminists don’t like the fact that while God gives women more rights than children he does not give women equal rights with men.  In other words, its not about women be treated as children but its about women be treated as women.  Feminists want women treated as men.

When Are Women Allowed To Approach Civil or Church Authorities About Abuse?

A wife and mother should only go around her husband who is her spiritual authority in the gravest of circumstances. If a husband violates the Exodus 21:26-27 principle and threatens or actually causes serious bodily harm or what he is doing has the potential of causing death to her or her children a wife has every right to approach her church authorities and civil authorities.

In I Samuel 25 we see that Abagail went against her husband’s wishes to save her family from his wicked actions that would have had them killed.  This teaches us that if a woman finds out her husband is involved in some criminal or otherwise wicked activity that endangers the life of her family she has every right to go to the civil authorities to protect her life and the life of her children.

Also if a wife finds out that her husband has been sexually abusing one of her children in violation of the Leviticus 18:6 principle she has every right to turn her husband over to both the church and civil authorities.  When husbands commit such heinous acts they invalidate their ownership and headship over their wives and children allowing their wives and children to be freed from them.

Why God Wants You to Stay in an Abusive Relationship

The natural follow up question to what we have just said about a woman and her children being able to free from a man who physically abuses them(by Biblical standards of course) is What about non-physical abuse like emotional and verbal abuse? What recourse does a wife have in such situations?

First I will fully agree that men can abuse their wives in non-physical and less extreme ways than what I have previously mentioned. A husband may not be a drug dealer who places his family’s life in jeopardy by his wicked lifestyle and he may not ever lay a hand on either his wife or children in a sinful manner.  But perhaps he has a problem with anger and flying off the handle and saying hurtful things.

Maybe he has a problem with bitterness and taking that out on the family in various emotional or verbal ways.  Maybe he is hyper critical toward his wife and children and never uplifts them.  Maybe he even abuses his authority and gets off on power kicks and trying to humiliate his wife or children by various unreasonable demands. Maybe he isolates his family not for their protection but to project his power over them.  There could be a myriad of ways that a husband either verbally or emotionally abuses his wife and children or he simply abuses his power to meet his own ego needs.

I also want to stop here for a second and make a very important point on this subject of abuse.  Often times we center these discussions of domestic abuse on husbands and fathers but we forget that wives and moms can and do physically, verbally and emotionally abuse their husbands and children as well.   Do wives or moms sometimes engage in hypercritical behavior toward their husbands or children? You bet they do.  Do some wives or moms even punch, shove or engage in other forms of physical abuse toward their husbands or children? You bet they do. Do some wives play emotional games with their husbands and insult their manliness or sexual ability? You bet they do. Do some women push their husbands away sexually which is a form of emotional abuse toward men?  Absolutely there are many women who engage in these behaviors.

Also children sometimes abuse their parents in various ways. Do children steal money from their parents? Yes they do. Do children despise and curse their parents? Yes they do. Do some children strike their parents? Yes they do.  Do children reject their parent’s authority over them? This happens all the time in our day and age.

But let’s now return specifically to the subject of wives and children enduring emotional, verbal and other forms of abuse that are not the physical or life threatening types of abuse we have previously mentioned that would warrant outside intervention and in many cases divorce.

As I mentioned at the introduction of this article our modern culture has an attitude that we should never endure any kind of abuse from anyone whether it be someone who is our equal and especially from someone who is our authority.  We are told to confront the person and then flee the relationship if the abuser does not repent and change their ways.

But when we read the Scriptures we see a very different view of how we should respond to abuse:

“18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. 19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.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: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”

I Peter 2:18-24 (KJV)

When we endure grief or suffer wrongly at the hands of others, in other words when we endure mistreatment which is abuse and take it patiently the Scriptures tell us “this is acceptable with God”.  God is not excusing the actions of the abusers.  But God is saying when we are on the receiving end of various kinds of abuse and we take it patiently that this is acceptable with God.

Such a thought is foreign to our thinking but the Scriptures tell us “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8).

We often talk on this blog about how God likes to image or model things.  Man was created to image God and thereby bring him glory (I Corinthians 11:7) and woman and by extension marriage was created to help man fully image God as a husband and father (I Corinthians 11:9, Ephesians 5:22-33).  When it comes to this matter of suffering abuse – we, both men and women, actually model Christ when we suffer abuse from others taking it patiently as he did. And that is why God wants you to stay in an abusive relationship.

Now again we must look at this passage in light of the entirety of the Scriptures.  I have already shown that God does not expect us to stay and endure physical abuse that could risk serious injury or death from Exodus 21:26-27.

There were certain areas Jesus would not go into during his ministry because he knew the Jews there sought to kill him (John 7:1) and it was not yet his time to die.  Although Paul suffered great persecutions he also sought to avoid them at times (II Corinthians 11:33).  But did Christ or Paul run from “verbal and emotional abuse” as we often hear people telling us to do today? No. They were fleeing the threat of serious bodily injury or in most cases death.

So what this means on a practical level is this.  As a wife or as a child there are going to be days when your husband or your father may act in the flesh and not in the spirit.  He may say hurtful things.  He may raise his voice for what appears to be no reason at all.  He may act sinfully toward you by being verbally or emotionally abusive.  But his wrong actions do not justify wrong actions on your part.  Not only should you never return insult for insult or repay any type of verbal or emotional abuse but you must also never forget your subordinate place as either the wife or the child.

It is not your place to rebuke your husband or our father for emotional or verbal abuses.

Now does that mean that a wife or child can never express grievances they have with their husband or father? No. I don’t think that is wrong but it should never come across as if they are they are equals and are teaching the husband or father.  In the book of Job we read:

“13 If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me; 14 What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him? 15 Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?”

Job 31:13-15 (KJV)

This is a teaching which applies to those of us who are in authority over others no matter what sphere it is in including the home.  We as husbands must realize that if we have truly wronged those under us God allows them to bring their grievances to us.  If we do not act justly toward those under us it is God who will rise up against us. That is why God warns husbands that if they mistreat their wives he will not hear their prayers (I Peter 3:7).

When it comes to expressing grievances we must realize this can abused as well.  Remember that God tells wives in I Peter 3:1-2 to win their husbands who are disobedient to the word by their subjection and reverent behavior.  If you as a wife are expressing your grievances with your husband every five minutes you are not “taking it patiently” as I Peter 2:20 exhorts you to do.

The same goes for children.  Far too often in our culture we make children feel completely comfortable confronting their parents with accusations of unfair treatment on a regular basis.  Again we need to teach our children that they too need to be “taking it patiently” and following the example of Christ in suffering what they believe to be wrong doing.

Wives and children also need to be reminded of something on a regular basis.  Just because you feel you have been mistreated does not mean you actually have been mistreated.  Sometimes your feelings can blind you to reality that is going on.  You need to step back and look objectively at what has occurred to see if what actually happened was in fact fair treatment that was warranted because of your behavior.

Should Authorities Allow Abuse From Their Subordinates?

But now we come to the issue of husbands, fathers and mothers who might suffer abuse at the hands of those God has placed under their spiritual authority. Should authority figures react to abuse from their subordinates in the same way that their subordinates should react to abuse from them? Should they simply endure and take patiently all forms of abuse from their subordinates as long as they are not being physically abused or having their life threatened?

To answer these questions we must first understand that all authorities God has instituted have not only a right but also a responsibility to discipline those under their authority.  Church leaders have a right and responsibility to discipline those within their assemblies, civil authorities have a right and responsibility to discipline those within their local, state or national jurisdictions and husbands and parents have a right and responsibility to discipline those in their home.

In the case of the family if a husband or parent allows all mistreatment of themselves by their wife or children to go unpunished then they would be violating the spiritual duty God has given them to rebuke and chasten those under their authority(Proverbs 23:13-14, Revelation 3:19).

So for instance if a man’s wife or child is cursing him, or disrespecting him or telling him they do not have to obey him then he is called by God to discipline them.  Yes these actions are an abuse toward him and mistreatment of him.  They are hurtful and unkind. But for the husband or father in this situation they must remember that this is not about their feelings of hurt after being mistreated by their wife or child.  It is about their solemn responsibility as the head of their home to discipline their family members.  That is why husbands and fathers must always realize that true Biblical discipline should never be an act of revenge for some incurred abuse, but rather it is an act of love to discipline the other and perhaps cause them to repent and change their ways.

Notice earlier that I said a husband or parent should not allow “all” mistreatment of themselves but the key word is “all”.  As human authorities we cannot read or control the thoughts and feelings of those who are our subordinates.  We can only hold our subordinates accountable for their words and actions, not their thoughts and feelings.

So we may see that our wife or child does the right thing after being disciplined but they still seem to have an attitude of bitterness toward us.  No husband wants to be despised by his wife and no father or mother wants to be despised by their child.  But at these times we must enter in prayer for our wives and children knowing that we can only seek to correct the outward actions as human authorities and only God can correct the heart.

If you as a husband or father live to always feel liked and loved by your wife or children then you will not discipline them as God has called you to and you will fail to be the husband and father God wants you to be.  Not being liked at times is part of the job description gentlemen.

14 “What If” Questions About Marriage

What if my spouse makes fun of my looks on a regular basis?

What if my spouse hurls insults at me on a daily basis?

What if my spouse is hyper critical toward me on a daily basis?

What if my spouse is bipolar or has some other mental illness and refuses to get professional help?

What if my spouse has some type of addiction?

What if my husband abuses his power and gets off on using his power to make me do ridiculous things?

What if my husband is a selfish lover and never asks me what I want in our sex life?

What if my husband never talks to me and only wants sex?

What if my wife is a contentious and brawling woman toward me on a daily basis?

What if my wife is like a constant dripping water and nags me on daily basis?

What if my husband is a workaholic?

What if my wife is never satisfied with anything I buy her (our house, her clothes, our car…etc.)?

What if my wife always gives me grudgingly given sex?

What if my wife is a selfish lover and only wants sex her way?

The answer to all these “What If” questions is the same.  Search the Scriptures and you will find there is absolutely no allowance for divorce in any of these situations.  All of these situations are hard to live with if you are the spouse who has to endure them.  But God does not give us an easy way out but instead he tells us this regarding the trials we face in life:

“3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope”

Romans 5:3-4 (KJV)

Often times the greatest trials we face in life are a result of the actions of those closest to us. It might be our spouse whose behavior tries our faith on a daily basis.  It might be our child. It might be our parents.  But in all these cases God does not allow us to simply push the eject button and leave these relationships because they are hard to endure.  He calls us to lean on him for strength knowing that his grace is sufficient to get us through each day of these trials.

When we as husbands or wives continue to live with a spouse that verbally or emotionally abuses us or they just make life difficult for us we not only follow Christ’s pattern in taking such abuses patiently on a regular basis,  but we also honor God by showing our commitment to his institution of marriage.  This is why staying in an abusive relationship can actually bring glory and honor to God.

Is It Wrong to Feel Hurt Because of Abuse?

This is a very legitimate question.  Even if we as Christians set out to follow Christ’s example in taking patiently the abuse we may suffer from others does this mean it is wrong for us to allow ourselves to experience anguish or hurt because of past or even future abuses we know are going to happen?

Again we have Christ’s example to answer this question for us:

41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”

Luke 22:41-44 (KJV)

You think your husband’s verbal and emotional abuse is bad? You think your parent’s emotional or verbal abuse is bad? Think of the abuse Christ suffered.  And because he was God in the flesh he knew before he suffered exactly what he was going to suffer.   Christ was literally in “agony” knowing what he was about to face.  He asked his father if it was his will that he would remove this coming trial – yet he prayed not his will, but his father’s be done.

So again Christ is our model in dealing with abuse that we suffer from others.  It is not wrong to feel hurt about past abuses or impending abuse that we know we will continue to suffer on daily basis from our family member. It is not wrong to agonize over these things.  We are not called to suppress our feelings.  Christ did not suppress his.  But Christ controlled his feelings, he did not let them control him.   We should all follow Christ’s example when suffering abuse asking God to remove the abuse perhaps by changing the heart of the abuser.  But we should always end such prayers the same way Christ ended his – “nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done“.

Conclusion

Our culture teaches us a one size fits all approach to when others mistreat us (abuse us). They teach us we should never allow any type of mistreatment from others to go unchecked and unchallenged. We are told we must confront all forms of abuse from wherever they come and they make absolutely no distinctions between a husband and wife, a parent and child, an employer and employee, a church member and a Pastor or a citizen and his government.

We have literally created “grievance industries” within our political arenas, business arenas, churches and families where people air their grievances both big and small and real or imagined with one another on daily basis.  There is very little following of Christ’s example in regard to abuse to “take it patiently”.

So from our world’s perspective children are encouraged to correct and rebuke their parents for every harsh word they may speak toward them. Wives are encouraged to confront every harsh word their husband speaks toward them. And this pattern is seen in churches as well as nations. In other words – every perceived or actual injustice is encouraged to be confronted no matter where it is or how it occurs.

The Biblical approach to us handling mistreatment which is abuse is not a “one size fits all approach”. The type of abuse and the sphere it occurs in whether in marriage and the family, the church or in society with government are handled differently if we are following Biblical principles in these areas.

Those in authority must confront sinful words and actions of those under them whether those words or actions are direct abuses toward the authority themselves or toward others.  But these actions of discipline are not to be a repayment of sorts for abuses incurred but rather they are meant to be corrective actions taken in love to help that person better conform themselves to God’s moral law.

Those under authority while having the right to address grievances with their authority should not over use this right.  The over usage of the ability to respectfully air grievances with one’s authority goes against Christ’s example of “taking it patiently”.  Also specifically when it comes to wives, if a wife is airing grievances ever five minutes with her husband she is violating the I Peter 3:1-2 principle that she is to win her husband who is being disobedient to the Word with her subjection and reverence, not her contentions.

So on the one hand Biblically speaking we do not have to suffer or allow every kind of abuse from every sphere in our life but on the other hand the Bible does not allow us to or encourage us to do what the world says and confront EVERY kind of abuse or mistreatment toward us no matter what the offense is or where it comes from.

We all need to look to Christ’s example of “taking it patiently”.