Below are 10 things every Christian husband must “unlearn” that men are taught by our post-feminist culture in order to unleash and fully realize the masculine nature that God designed him with:
You must unlearn thinking that it is impossible for a man to support his family on his own.
You must unlearn thinking that is wrong for a man to exercise complete control over the finances in his home.
You must unlearn thinking that that it is wrong for you to try to control your wife.
You must unlearn thinking that that it is wrong for you to rebuke and discipline your wife.
You must unlearn thinking that you must get permission from your wife for anything.
You must unlearn thinking that is wrong for you to help your wife formulate her worldview, including her view of how the roles of husband and wife play out in marriage.
You must unlearn thinking that it is selfish to want to mold your wife to your preferences, including but not limited to – having her cook the food you like, wearing the clothes you like and keeping her hair the way you like it.
You must unlearn thinking that it is selfish to want to spend time away from your wife whether just in solitude by yourself or with other men.
You must unlearn thinking that it is selfish for you to spend time and money on hobbies you enjoy as a man.
You must unlearn thinking that it is selfish to want sex from your wife whenever and however you so desire it, even when she is not in the mood.
To learn more about how to unleash and fully realize your God given nature as a man go to my podcast site BGRLearning.com. There you can listen podcasts that will teach you straight out of the Bible what it means to be man and you can let God’s Word wash away your post-feminist cultural conditioning.
The concept of wife spanking or really a man disciplining his wife even using non-physical means is abhorrent to our modern culture. The reason for this is because we in our modern culture have been conditioned to believe that discipline is only for children and that a man spanking his wife is him treating her like a child.
The truth however, both from a Biblical as well as a historic perspective is very different. The Bible teaches us that chastisement both in the form of corporal punishment as well as taking away various things is ordained by God for both civil government and especially the sphere of the home with the husband and father as its patriarch. And for thousands of years the practice of corporal discipline by husbands and fathers within the home and the marriage was an accepted behavior.
It was not until the rise of feminism in mid-19th century that the historic practice of what American courts called “domestic discipline” came into question.
I first started writing on the need for husbands to return to the Biblical and historic practice of disciplining their wives back in 2015 with my article entitled “7 Ways to Discipline Your Wife”. And in recent years I made a podcast series on my podcast site BGRLearning.com where expound more on that article.
As you can imagine, I get a lot of angry emails and comments related to my writings on domestic discipline. I also get the occasional catfishing emails where people send me outlandish discipline tactics which they are using to get my take and those emails go straight to my trash bin. But I also get emails which I believe to be genuine like one I received recently. And it always encourages me to see how God awakens men to the truth of his Word regarding discipline in general and the need for chastisement of wives in particular.
Recently I received such an email from a man calling himself Edward. Below his email that I hope you will also find encouraging.
Edward’s Email to BGR
I would like to share with you what the Lord showed me in the last couple of months, regarding disciplining one’s wife. You might already know all of this, but I thought you might find it interesting.
Firstly, I came to learn that discipline is a huge thing for the whole body of Christ – it’s so big that the very word the Lord chose for his followers (disciples) is even based on discipline! In fact, as one meditates on it, one find that just about the whole Bible deals with a lack of discipline, the consequences thereof and the Lord’s dealings with it – from the garden of Eden through to Revelations.
Here are some things I learned, before I share some additional scriptures.
1. Your point is correct: God rebukes and chastises those He loves. Man is obliged to do the same.
2. There is a great reward in accepting discipline. We should embrace it and actually ask for it.
3. It’s not really optional. As His children, He disciplines us because of His great love for us. In this world, we WILL be disciplined – either by His loving hand, or by consequencial circumstances. Of course, there is also the terrible alternative to be “handed over to satan” as Paul writes to the Corinthians.
The above is just a summary of my own observations. Following are some additional scriptures that you and others might find interesting – starting with general guidance and ending with an absolute clincher! I must just add that the Lord showed me these scriptures when I sought Him for council in this matter.
1. He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’ ”
This was a general scripture the Lord gave me that emphasised our responsibility as men to maintain discipline.
2. “…I am consumed by the blow of Your hand. When with rebukes You correct man for iniquity, You make his beauty melt away like a moth…
3. And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. Luke 12:47-48
I laughed when the Lord showed me this scripture in relation to a good spanking. He even tells us when a long, hard spanking is required: When the offence was committed “knowingly”…
4. This was a major eye-opener for me! The whole of Ezekiel 23 is the story of the rebellious sins and judgements of the two sisters Oholah and Oholibah. The chapter draws to a conclusion with this curious verse: “Thus I will cause lewdness to cease from the land, that all women may be taught not to practice your lewdness.” Ezekiel 23:48
Here is the (summarized) meaning and an explanation of the original Hebrew word for “taught” in this verse. It’s exactly the same word that is used for chastisement.
a) to chasten, discipline, instruct, admonish
b) to let oneself be chastened or corrected or admonished
c) to discipline, correct, to chasten, chastise
Strong’s Definition: A primitive root; to chastise, literally (with blows) or figuratively (with words); hence to instruct: – bind, chasten, chastise, correct, instruct, punish, reform, reprove, sore, teach.
The chapter refers to Samaria and Jerusalem as the two sisters, so the common teaching is that the reference to “all women” in the concluding verses should also be interpreted figuratively (as all tribes/nations). In my opinion, the Lord would not have stated it as such if it was not commonplace already to apply chastisement in order to teach women this/a lesson.
Hope you found this as interesting as I did.
Thank you for your obedience to the Lord in maintaining your site/blog. A great reward awaits you.”
“Should a man attempt CDD with a woman that has serious mental illness?”, “Is it ok to begin implementing CDD on my honeymoon or should I wait?” and “Is it ok to use bondage as part of CDD?” These were some of several great follow up questions that husbands emailed me after listening to my new podcast “A Husband’s Guide to Implementing Christian Domestic Discipline”.
In this follow-up podcast I answer these listener questions and several others that were sent to me. You definitely need to listen to the first 3-part guide on CDD before you listen to this podcast as this is really an add on to that.
Previously I have shown Domestic Discipline to be both a Biblical concept as well as a historical practice amongst husbands for thousands of years on my Instagram page @biblicalsexandiscipline and on my blog Biblicalgenderroles.com as well as podcasts series on BGRLearning.com.
This new 3-part podcast series is not a like any of my previous writings on the subject of Domestic Discipline. It is not a defense of Domestic Discipline. I have already done that in my previous posts like “The Biblical Case for Domestic Discipline” . This podcast series is about the practical application of Domestic Discipline. It is based on my real-world experiences doing personalized mentoring programs with more than 20 husbands over the past 4 years. Most of these husbands never believed their wives would ever accept CDD, but today the majority of their wives do.
How does a Christian man go about introducing Domestic Discipline into his marriage and what techniques actually work? What kinds of reactions can he expect from his wife as he introduces this into his marriage and how should he respond to his wife’s reactions? All of these questions and more are answered in this podcast series.
Not only do their wives accept the particular program of domestic discipline that I teach – but through this particular domestic discipline program these husbands have achieved 100 percent submission from their wives. In other words, they have achieved complete dominion over their wives as God commanded of Adam and all husbands in Genesis 3:16.
And let me be clear what I mean by “100 percent” submission. I don’t mean their wives are perfect and sinless. What 100% submission means is these wives have eliminated the phrase “I am not comfortable with that” from their speech to their husbands. And if they fail to submit or they fail in other duties as wives – they willingly accept Domestic Discipline.
Click on the image at the top or you can click here to go BGRLearning.com to subscribe and listen to this series as well as hundreds of other biblical gender roles related podcasts.
In this third article in our series on domestic discipline, we will be looking at a few 19th century judicial decisions on the lawfulness of husbands practicing domestic discipline toward their wives. We will start with two cases which upheld the right of a husband to practice corporal chastisement on his wife and then move to a decision which overturned these precedents.
1834 – Calvin Bradley vs The State of Mississippi
In this case of a husband being charged with battery against his wife the Supreme Court of Mississippi referenced the ancient common law to affirm the right of “domestic discipline” by husbands:
“It is true, according to the old law, the husband might give his wife moderate correction, because he is answerable for her misbehaviour; hence it was thought reasonable, to intrust him, with a power, necessary to restrain the indiscretions of one, for whose conduct he was to be made responsible
I believe it was a case before Mr. Justice Raymond, when the same doctrine was recognised, with proper limitations and restrictions, well suited to the condition and feelings of those, who might think proper to use a whip or rattan, no bigger than my thumb, in order to inforce the salutary restraints of domestic discipline.
Family broils and dissentions cannot be investigated before the tribunals of the country… let the husband be permitted to exercise the right of moderate chastisement… without being subjected to vexatious prosecutions, resulting in the mutual discredit and shame of all parties concerned. Judgment affirmed.”
In the case of Calvin Bradley vs The State, the court affirmed what it called “the ancient common law” right of a husband to use “moderate chastisement” with his wife referring to this practice as “domestic discipline”. It also respected the limits of civil government interfering in the affairs of the family and stated husbands should not be subjected to prosecutions for exercising their right to domestic discipline as long as they did so in moderation.
1864 – State Of North Carolina vs Jesse Black
In this case the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled as follows:
“A husband is responsible for the acts of his wife, and he is required to govern his household, and for that purpose the law permits him to use towards his wife such a degree of force as is necessary to control an unruly temper and make her behave herself; and unless some permanent injury be inflicted, or there be an excess of violence, or such a degree of cruelty as shows that it is inflicted to gratify his own bad passions, the law will not invade the domestic forum or go behind the curtain.”
As in previous cases, the court affirmed that the husband’s right to chastise his wife flows from his responsibility to govern all in his household and his wife is part of his household. The court affirmed that it is improper for the civil government to “invade the domestic forum”.
In this decision, the court did recognize limits on the husband’s power to use corporal punishment to chastise his wife. They said that a husband’s chastisement of his wife should not cause any “permanent injury” or be excessively violent and that he should not discipline his wife for his own sadistic pleasure. The court’s view in this case aligns with the Scriptural command to husbands in Ephesians 5:28-29 that they are to care for and protect their wife’s bodies as they would their own.
1871 – The Year American Courts Invaded the Domestic Forum
It was in 1871, that a state court did what others had warned against decades earlier. The court invaded the domestic forum, the sphere of authority given to men as the heads of their households. It not only overturned decades of American court precedent, but invalidated ancient common law rights of husbands upon which those precedents were built.
In 1871 the case of Fulgham V. State, the Alabama Supreme court ruled as follows:
“Since then, however, learning, with its humanizing influences, has made great progress, and morals and religion have made some progress with it. Therefore, a rod which may be drawn through the wedding ring is not now deemed necessary to teach the wife her duty and subjection to the husband. The husband is therefore not justified or allowed by law to use such a weapon, or any other, for her moderate correction. The wife is not to be considered as the husband’s slave. And the privilege, ancient though it be, to beat her with a stick, to pull her hair, choke her, spit in her face or kick her about the floor, or to inflict upon her like indignities, is not now acknowledged by our law”
Two key words stand out in the first sentence and those words are “humanizing” and “progress”.
What does it mean to “humanize” someone? And to what “progress” were they referring? To understand these concepts, we have to compare and contrast the social classes of the post enlightenment age with those that came before it.
When God created mankind, he ordained three core social classes and those were men, women and children. After sin entered the world, he allowed for a fourth social class of slaves (both male and female) because of poverty and war.
Humanists rejected these four social class structures and instead sought to bring about a new model of society that had only two social classes which we know today as “adults” and “children”. The abolitionist humanists first targeted the slave class for elimination. Then some female abolitionists broke off and organized the first womens rights conference in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York.
When they talked about “humanizing” people, they were talking about making women and slaves equal with free men. In other words, they were seeking to eliminate the social classes of men, women and slaves and replace those classes with one new social class, that of a “human” or “adult” while leaving the child class intact.
This is why today if any adult is seen has having less rights than another adult, it is said that the person with less rights is being “dehumanized”.
The ultimate goal of humanists of the late 19th century was to build an “internationalist” or what we call today “globalist” society. No men, no women, no slaves, no rich, no poor, no Christians, no Muslims, no Jews, no Americans, no Mexicans, no British.
And it is this march toward a one world society with no nations, no religions, no genders, no rich and no poor that humanists refer to as “progress”. And this is why leftists today refer to themselves as “progressives”.
Humanists knew that their master plan would take decades and perhaps more than a century to bring about. And they knew they had to do it in small incremental pieces. This is why if you notice in this ruling, the court still acknowledged that a wife had a duty to be in subjection to her husband. It would have been too much for American society to accept all at once that a husband could not use corporal punishment on his wife and that a wife did not have a duty to obey her husband.
The court was simply taking away a primary means of him enforcing that subjection, his ability to use corporal chastisement on his wife. And by reducing the ability of husbands to enforce their rule over their wives, women were given more power.
In other words, taking away a husband’s right to use corporal discipline upon his wife was one of the first steps in dismantling patriarchy.
The court falsely equated a man using moderate correction with a rod to him having a right “to pull her hair, choke her, spit in her face or kick her about the floor”. This is what leftists do, they use extremes and abuses of authority, or this case chastisement, to get rid of all chastisement and in essence to get rid of an authority’s ability to chastise.
While Tennessee was the first state to outlaw “wife beating” in 1850, the vast majority of states did not do so until after this ruling in the 1870s.
But even though the courts and state legislatures had invaded the domestic forum by the late 19th century, local law enforcement officials rarely enforced these laws. In other words, most local police did not feel right about invading the domestic forum even though state laws and court decisions would allow it.
It would not be until more than a century after the first laws denying husbands’ rights to use corporal punishment on their wives, that a new “Domestic Violence” movement would arise in the early 1970s. It was then that new domestic violence laws were passed and edicts came down from state and local governments forcing police to invade the domestic forum.
We have shown here that early 19th century jurisprudence respected ancient common laws giving husbands the right to use corporal punishment as part of domestic discipline with their wives.
The courts showed great deference to the domestic forum, recognizing it was not right for civil authorities to intervene in domestic affairs, except under the gravest of circumstances, as husbands were to have supremacy in the affairs of their homes.
Later courts, following humanist philosophies, broke this sacred rule and launched a full-scale government invasion of the domestic forum with the attack on corporal punishment of wives being only one of the first battles in this invasion.
In this second article in our series on domestic discipline, we will be looking at the 19th century suffragette (feminist) view of domestic discipline. To do this we will look at two primary sources. The first is the Declaration of Sentiments which was issued from the first woman’s rights conference in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York.
The second source we will be looking at is a book entitled “History of Woman Suffrage: 1848-1861”, written by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan Brownell Anthony and Matilda Joslyn Gage in 1881. This book is also a valuable resource in understanding the historical view of domestic discipline. Less than 20 years before this book was published, state courts in America were still upholding a man’s right to use corporal punishment with his wife. It was only in the 1870s that courts began striking down this common law right and later states would begin enacting laws against it.
The Declaration of Sentiments
The Declaration of Independence was America declaring its independence from England and the Declaration of Sentiments was women declaring their independence from men. Below is a portion of the Declaration of Sentiments issued from the first woman’s rights conference in 1848:
“The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has made her, morally, an irresponsible being, as she can commit many crimes, with impunity, provided they be done in the presence of her husband. In the covenant of marriage, she is compelled to promise obedience to her husband, he becoming, to all intents and purposes, her master – the law giving him power to deprive her of her liberty, and to administer chastisement.”
As Bible believing Christians, we can and should recognize the 1848 Declaration of Sentiments for what it was and still is today. A declaration of war on God’s institution of patriarchy. And the sad truth is, that more than 170 years later that war has been mostly won by feminists. Those who still hold to God’s design of patriarchy have been forced into hiding, with their only option to fight a spiritual guerrilla warfare against those who seek to eradicate the last pockets of resistance to the reigning humanist regimes.
“In the covenant of marriage, she is compelled to promise obedience to her husband”
The common laws of the land in this case were strongly aligned with the Word of God as seen in Titus 2:4-5:
“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, OBEDIENT to their own HUSBANDS, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
In fact, we can rightly say that the Declaration of Sentiments complaint against women being compelled by common law to be obedient to their husbands was blasphemy against the Word of God.
The Husband is “to all intents and purposes, her master”
Again, the Scriptures are crystal clear on this point calling women to regard their husband’s as their earthly lords (their masters) in 1 Peter 3:5-6:
“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: 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.”
The Greek word used in 1 Peter 3:6 is “kurios” which means master. It is used in reference to kings, governors, slave masters, husbands and to God himself in the Bible. All of these masters were authorities instituted by God over different spheres, but God is the LORD and master of all. The Hebrew equivalent of the Greek kurios is “baal” which means “owner, lord, master”.
In Deuteronomy 22:22 we see the following example showing the husband’s ownership over his wife:
“If a man be found lying with a woman married [‘baal’ used as verb] to an husband [‘baal’ used as noun] , then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.”
The passage above demonstrates that under God’s law a married woman is an owned woman, and her owner is her husband.
The Husbands power “to administer chastisement”
The power to chastise is a critical element of authority. If a person can tell others what to do, but they have no means of enforcing what they have commanded then they really are not an authority. And this is why the early woman’s rights movement targeted the common law recognition of the husband’s right to chastise his wife. If they could remove his power to chastise her, they knew they were effectively removing his authority over her.
History of Woman Suffrage: 1848-1861
The women who wrote “History of Woman Suffrage: 1848-1861” lived in the era when wife spanking was still widely practiced and culturally accepted so their perspective is valuable in the historical sense, even with their moral position on the rights of women and husbands chastising their wives being completely unbiblical and wrong.
In pages 88-89 the History of Woman Suffrage: 1848-1861 states:
“In those early days a husband’s supremacy was often enforced in the rural districts by corporeal chastisement, and it was considered by most people as quite right and proper – as much so as the correction of refractory children in like manner…The laws made it his privilege – and the Bible, as interpreted, made it is his duty.”
If you go to the average Christian today in the average Christian church, even most conservative evangelical churches, and you started talking about domestic discipline they would have no clue what you are talking about. I know if you would have mentioned it to me 7 or 8 years ago, I would have been one of those people with a blank look. And if you mentioned “wife spanking” they would look at you like you are crazy. I know I would have.
But I am happy to have been challenged on this subject. Because it caused me to really have to research this out. I already showed in my first article in this series on domestic discipline, “The Biblical Case for Domestic Discipline”, that the Bible fully supports two important concepts.
First it supports the concept of corporal punishment for both children and adults. Secondly, it supports husband’s chastening their wives as we see God chastening his wife Israel in the Old Testament and Christ chastening his wife, the church, in the New Testament.
But then we come to the historical side of this. Before the 20th century, most Christians believed according the Bible that husbands had a right and duty to chasten their wives using corporal punishment. The common laws of the land supported this right. And except for the left-wing feminists of the 19th century, Christian women fully accepted this too.
Chastisement Was Seen as Good for A Wife’s Moral Development
On page 599 the History of Woman Suffrage: 1848-1861 states:
“By the common law of England, the spirit of which has been but too faithfully incorporated into our statute law, a husband has a right to whip his wife with a rod not larger than his thumb, to shut her up in a room, and administer whatever moderate chastisement he may deem necessary to insure obedience to his wishes, and for her healthful moral development! He can forbid all persons harboring or trusting her on his account. He can deprive her of all social intercourse with her nearest and dearest friends. If by great economy she accumulates a small sum, which for future need she deposit, little by little, in a savings bank, the husband has a right to draw it out, at his option, to use it as he may see fit.”
A husband chastising his wife was seen as a healthy and moral thing for a marriage. But his powers of chastisement were not limited just to corporal punishment. But he could also literally ground his wife as a parent grounds their child and send her to her room. This was the normal accepted practice under common law.
Domestic Discipline Outlawed in the Late 19th Century
On page 792 the History of Woman Suffrage: 1848-1861 states:
“Wife-beating is still so common, even in America, that a number of States have of late introduced bills especially directed to the punishment of the wife-beater. Great surprise is frequently shown by these men when arrested. “Is she not my wife” is cried in tones proving the brutal husband had been trained to consider this relationship a sufficient justification for any abuse.”
“Chastisement” did not have enough sting to it. In fact, even in the late 19th century, the word “chastisement” in America was seen as a positive word. So then feminists went from speaking about husbands chastising their wives to calling men “wife-beaters”. That had a much better ring to it. And they declared that a husband chastising his wife in any form was “abuse”.
Now to be sure, there were some men who took their right to chastise their wives too far causing serious or permanent injuries to their wives. And this of course was the case throughout the history of mankind and was by no means unique to America. But the exact same thing could also be said for parents, whether they were fathers or mothers who chastised their children, that some abused their God given authority to administer corporal chastisement.
But that fact that some husbands abused their power to exercise corporal chastisement did not give civil governments the right to remove this God given power from husbands. What they should have done was deal with those extreme cases on a case by case basis.
In this second article we have shown that the early feminists declared war on Biblical patriarchy from the very beginning of their movement in 1848. They utterly rejected God’s design of male headship over women.
These early feminists or “suffragettes”, knew they had to play on the emotions of the American people to win their cause. And they did exactly that. They found the most extreme and outlandish cases of abuse they could find to bring before courts and state legislators to prove that all men were potential abusers or “wife-beaters” and the only way to protect women from the abuses of men was to completely strip men of their power of corporal chastisement over their wives.
But we also learned something else in this article. Something that husbands and wives of today needed to see. This idea of a husband using corporal punishment to chastise his wife is not some recently invented behavior by some far-right Christians. It is not just some kinky BDSM thing. But rather, before the late 19th century it was the protected law of the land and Christians believed husbands had a Biblical right and duty to exercise corporal chastisement on their wives for the good of their wife’s moral development and the health of their marriages.
What is the Biblical view of domestic discipline (aka wife-spanking)? What were cultural views of wife spanking in America before the modern era? These are two different questions that we will be answering in this new series.
There are many behaviors and teachings that were the norm from ancient civilizations to just before the modern age that we as Bible believing Christians would disagree with. I have written on my own disagreements with some of the teachings and practices of the early church fathers, the reformers and even traditions of my own church upbringing in Independent Fundamental Baptist churches.
In other words, I would be the first to say just because something was taught or practiced in past eras does not make it moral or right. On the other hand, just because our modern culture thinks something is moral or immoral does not make it so. The question then becomes how can we determine the morality of a given belief or practice?
Jesus Christ answered this question of how we can determine the morality of a belief or practice when he said in Matthew 4:4 “…Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God“.
And the Apostle Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 2:13 “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe”.
The Word that God gave to the Prophets before Christ, the Word that Christ himself spoke and the Word of God given to the Apostles after Christ collectively form the Scriptures. In 2 Timothy 3:16 we read that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”.
The Scriptures then are what we are to build our beliefs and practices upon. However, does that mean history has no value? Of course not. We can learn from past civilizations and compare their behavior to moral standards found in the Word of God. We can then see how some past cultural practices which align with the teachings of the Bible helped to keep those cultures strong. And we can also see how past cultural practices which violated Biblical principles or commands ultimately led to the weakening and downfall of those earlier civilizations.
In this first article we will demonstrate how the practice of domestic discipline aligns perfectly with Biblical principles and commands regarding marriage. And then after that we will spend several articles looking at cultural views of domestic discipline in America before the modern age.
The Biblical Case for Domestic Discipline
Throughout the Bible, God pictures his relationship with us in one of two ways. As individuals God pictures his relationship to us as father to his children. But he pictures his relationship to his people as a group as that of a husband and wife.
In Isaiah 54:5 God said to Israel “For thy Maker is thine HUSBAND; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called”. And he consistently referred to the nation of Israel as his wife. When Israel was unfaithful to him, God stated in Jeremiah 3:20 “Surely as a WIFE treacherously departeth from her HUSBAND, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the Lord”.
In Deuteronomy 8:3-5 God speaks of his humbling and chastening of his wife, the nation of Israel:
“And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live. Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years. Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God CHASTENETH thee.”
So, God shows us that a husband chastens his wife as he would his child. So how does God say a child is to be chastened in the following passages:
“Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.”
Proverbs 23:13 (KJV)
“Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.”
Proverbs 19:18 (KJV)
And now let’s move from the Old Testament to New Testament.
In the Gospel of John we read the following account of Jesus Christ:
“13 And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: 15And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables”
John 2:13-15 (KJV)
Jesus Christ showed that he had absolutely no problem with the Old Testament commands and practices regarding corporal (physical) punishment, aka beating someone with a whip or rod as a form of punishment.
Later in the New Testament, in Ephesians 5:25 the Bible states “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it”. Most churches today stop at verse 25 and bastardize the Scriptural command to say God wants husbands to “give themselves up for their wife’s happiness”. This of course plays right into the false doctrine of feminism which so infects the churches today.
It is absolutely true at times that a husband must sacrifice himself for his wife. But his sacrifice is not for her happiness, but rather his sacrifice is for her holiness. See the full passage from Ephesians 5:25-27 that most churches today ignore:
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 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.”
The Scriptures above are clear. Husbands are to model their love for their wives by how Christ demonstrates his love for his church. That means husbands are to wash their wives spiritual spots and wrinkles with the Word of God.
In Revelation 3:19 we see that this washing involves a husband rebuking and chastening his wife:
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”
In the Old Testament, we read in Deuteronomy 8:5 that God said he chastened his wife, the nation of Israel, “as a man chasteneth his son”. And God tells parents to use corporal punishment on their children in Proverbs 19:18 & Proverbs 23:13.
In the New Testament, we read in Ephesians 5:25 that husbands are to love their wives “even as Christ also loved the church” and Christ says of his churches in Revelation 3:19 “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent”.
The case could not be more clear that the practice of a man using corporal punishment on his wife, also known as wife-spanking or domestic discipline, very much aligns with the teachings of the Bible. A man using corporal punishment on his wife images God’s behavior as a husband to his wife, the people of God.
If you as a husband are interested in learning more about how to implement domestic discipline into your marriage in a safe and effective manner which stays within the bounds of God’s law please consider subscribing to my podcast site. At BGRLearning.com, I have hundreds of podcasts about the teachings of the Bible related to gender roles including the podcast “A Husband’s Guide to Implementing Domestic Discipline” which you may find very helpful. There is also a companion episode for in the Christian women’s subscriptions entitled “A Wife’s Guide to Receiving Christian Domestic Discipline and Rough Sex“.
Because of the wicked post-feminist and humanist society we now live in, I must always give this warning when writing on the subject of a husband using corporal punishment to chasten his wife.
First, let me be clear that God’s law no more requires a husband to get his wife’s consent to chasten her than he does a parent to get their child’s consent to chasten to them.
But Jesus Christ also told us as Christians to be “wise as serpents” in Matthew 10:16. This means that we need to be careful in the exercise of our rights as husbands.
Applying this principle of being wise as serpents to domestic discipline means you first need to educate your wife on the Biblical command for husbands to chasten their wives as God chastens his. And only after your wife fully accepts this as part of the Christian faith, and by extension Christian marriage, and consents to you incorporating this into your marriage should you attempt to do this.
If you attempt to do this with a wife who rejects the principle of Christian domestic discipline, you could land in jail.
If you have a wife who rejects the Biblical allowance for a husband to use corporal punishment to chasten his wife, or even if she rejects all forms of chastening, I would refer you to my article “7 Ways To Discipline You Wife“. That article will teach you how to use non-physical means to fulfill your Biblical obligation as a husband to chasten your wife.
“I have read your site for some time, but this is my first time writing you. My wife and I have been married a year. She is 18 and I am 24. Now I am trying to get my wife to follow her role as I begin to assume my role as leader. I am six years older than her, but that seems to just make it worse. She keeps saying “You are not my father!” She was raised in a strict family and I guess she thinks now that she is married, she is free from all authority. I have recently put both of us on a budget. I have created a budget and I keep my side, but she keeps overspending on hers.
I read your article on 7 ways to discipline your wife and you recommend taking away her debit card. I know I could do this, but in my view, that should be the last option. I am considering starting spanking her. I have mentioned it to her, not on the budget, but in general and she is against it. She thinks spanking is treating her like a child.
I read your warning about a wife reporting a husband for spanking her and my wife would not do that. She was taught to resolve family issues inside the family. She complained to her mom about something in our marriage a few months into our marriage and her mom told her she did not want to hear about it; “You and your husband need to work that out” is what her mom told her.
My question to you is, do you think I am making a mistake trying to incorporate spanking as a form of discipline in our marriage? Should I just take away her debit card and give her some limited cash?
We are very early in our marriage and I know this is the time when we will set the pattern for the rest of our marriage and I really would appreciate your guidance in how to do that.”
What you just read was an email I received from a young Christian husband calling himself Robert.
Whether or not he realizes it, what Robert is really asking is “How can I as Christian husband groom my young wife?”
Grooming is Sinful in Humanism but Sacred in the Bible
Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary defines the verb definition of groom as “to clean and maintain the appearance of (an animal), to make neat or attractive, to get into readiness for a specific objective” and this fits with the traditional understanding of this word.
But humanists see grooming as one person conditioning another person to allow them or someone else to abuse them. The term is often associated with pedophiles preying on children, sex traffickers conditioning women for prostitution or husbands conditioning their wives to allow them to abuse them.
According to SecularHumanism.org, a core tenant of humanism is the freeing of “the individual from traditional controls by family, church, and state, increasingly empowering each of us to set the terms of his or her own life”. This is why the concept of one person exerting control over another is heresy to a humanist while conversely consent is sacred.
And this is why “grooming” is a trigger word for humanists.
But from a Biblical perspective, grooming when used in the sense of a husband conditioning his wife to be in complete subjection to him and molding her behavior to his preferences is not evil or immoral. But rather, these actions are righteous, holy and required of husbands by God.
Remember that Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary definition of grooming was “to clean and maintain the appearance of (an animal), to make neat or attractive, to get into readiness for a specific objective” and now let’s compare that definition to what the Bible calls husbands to do toward their wives in Ephesians 5:25-27:
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 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.”
Look at the striking parallels between the way God requires husbands to love their wives as Christ loves his church and what grooming actually is. So, we can rightly say as Christians that the Biblical call for husbands to wash their wives with the Word of God to present their wives to themselves in a glorious fashion is a call for husbands to groom their wives.
And one thing I want to mention for my humanist friends out there that are in major trigger mode right now. Some of them may be hung up on the word “animal” in the definition of grooming. If you look at the definition here you will see these examples of grooming “an impeccably groomed woman,was being groomed as a presidential candidate”. So no, this term is not exclusively used of animals.
Important Prerequisites to Grooming Your Young Bride
Now that we have established that it is not wrong, but actually a man’s God given duty to groom his bride as Christ grooms his Church we need to talk about the prerequisites that should be met before a Christian husband attempts this grooming process with his wife.
Prerequisite #1 – You and Your Young Bride Must Both Be Believers
While there are certainly unbiblical and worldly ways to groom a young bride for her husband, the steps given in this guide are based upon the Biblical view of marriage as God designed it. They will only work for a Christian husband and a Christian wife. See my article “What is the Gospel” for more on what it means to be a believer in Christ.
Prerequisite #2 – You and Your Wife Need to Be Biblicist Christians
There are two kinds of Christians today. Humanist Christians and Biblicist Christians. Humanist Christians only believe the parts the Bible that do not conflict with the morals and values of humanism. They rationalize this by saying they believe many parts of the Bible are “cultural” and were not meant for all peoples and all times. Other humanists attempt to play the words of Christ in the Gospels against the words of the Apostle Paul not realizing that these words are equally the Word of God.
But for this grooming guide to work you must be Biblicist Christians. You and your young bride must believe what 2 Timothy 3:16 states that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”. And you both must believe that God commands you to live “by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
Prerequisite #3 – Grooming works best with young wives
Even if you are both Biblicist Christians, age is a major factor in a man grooming his wife. In my experience, the grooming of a bride has the most success in women under the age of 25. After that the chances of success radically fall, even with believing wives. But with that said, I have seen instances where husbands and wives married more than two decades have been able to make these changes. It really comes down to husbands finding their courage and women humbling themselves before God and their husbands.
7 Steps to Groom Your Young Bride
Now that we have discussed the prerequisites to being able to groom your young bride, we can now discuss the steps you as a Christian husband need to take.
Step #1 – Un-learn What Your Culture Has Taught You
“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)
God calls us to un-learn the false teachings of this world that we have been conditioned with our entire lives. This will require a radical world view change for both you and your wife. One of the hardest changes to make for many couples is the rejection of the “adult/child” paradigm. Our modern culture teaches us that there are only two primary social classes, adults and children. Children have limited rights until they reach adulthood and then they have full autonomy. The Bible does not recognize the adult/child paradigm but rather it specifies three primary classes of people within society and those are men, women and children. Under God’s law, the social class of men are the only ones who have full autonomy. Women are to be under the authority of men in the home, the church and society at large. And children are to honor and obey their fathers and mothers.
It is impossible to fully embrace the teachings of the Bible concerning gender roles without a husband and wife first being willing to fully reject the modern teaching of the adult/child paradigm. When a Christian wife comes to reject the adult/child paradigm, the whole “you are not my father” and “you are treating me like a child” will quickly disappear.
Step #2 – You Must Learn and Embrace Biblical Gender Roles
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)
An understanding and full acceptance of the doctrines of the Bible concerning gender roles is a critical first step for you as a husband to begin the grooming process with your wife. You can find the Scripture references for all these doctrines on my main “Biblical Gender Roles” page.
Step #3 – Seek out a Male Spiritual Mentor
“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”
Proverbs 27:17 (KJV)
Finding a wise and godly man to mentor you will be crucial to helping you as you seek to groom your young bride.
Step #4 – You must teach your wife Biblical Gender Roles
“And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home…”
1 Corinthians 14:35 (KJV)
God calls you to be your wife’s primary spiritual teacher. Once you have fully absorbed and embraced the teachings of the Bible concerning gender roles, you must then teach each of these doctrines to your wife. I would suggest you use the order I give on my Biblical gender roles page, as each doctrine builds on the previous one given. You should also seek advice from your mentor as to how to approach each of these important doctrines with your wife.
Step #5 – Get Your Wife A Female Spiritual Mentor If You Can Find One
“The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
Titus 2:3-5 (KJV)
The Bible does not just support the concept of female mentorship, but it actually commands it. You may hear some horror stories from older men whose wives were actually led astray by ungodly advice from their girlfriends at church or elsewhere. But mentoring by good and godly women who fully embrace and live out Biblical gender roles can have life changing effects on women.
Unfortunately in our post feminist society, it is extremely difficult to find a good Christian female mentors. Even among many traditionalist female bloggers, they do not fully teach the complete mastery of the husband over his wife and often in sexual areas will give women “outs” so that they do not have to fully submit to their husbands in this area.
Having said that there a couple of female bloggers on Instagram who offer daily messages for women teaching them how to be godly wives and those are thetransformedwife and biblicalfeminitybootcamp on Instagram. I don’t agree with these ladies on everything and both do not speak about wives receiving the discipline of their husbands – which is a big gap in their teaching. But on general submission issues and day to day struggles for wives they are pretty good.
Having said all this about female mentors, I do not want you as a husband to think if you can’t find a female mentor that you can’t groom your wife on your own, because you certainly can. A female mentor who supports Biblical gender roles including the critical aspect of a husband’s discipline of his wife, is a gem and makes it much easier, but you can do it without a female mentor.
Step #6 Mold Your Wife into the Glorious Wife You Want Her to Be
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 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)
Christ did not give up his life for his wife’s happiness. He gave up his life to purchase his wife (Acts 20:28) so that he could groom her into the wife he wanted her to be. And this is what God has called you as a Christian husband to do. In 1 Corinthians 11:7 the Bible tells us that “…the woman is the glory of the man” and in Proverbs 12:4 we read “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband…”. In 1 Corinthians 11:9 the Bible says “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man”. These Scriptures teach that God created your wife for you, to bring you glory and when your wife brings you glory this brings God glory. So, you as a man bring glory to God by your submission and service to him and your wife brings glory to God by her submission and service to you.
What this means practically speaking is that you need to begin to mold your wife to your preferences for her behavior. You should never feel guilting in desiring your wife’s submission and service to you, but rather you should enjoy this as God enjoys our submission and service to him.
So, what are some practical ways that you can groom your wife into the glorious wife you want her to be?
You can make her modify her clothing style to the styles you prefer. You can make her learn to cook the foods you enjoy. You can make her watch the TV shows you like to watch. And in Proverbs 5:18-19 we read one of the greatest ways a husband is actually commanded to groom his wife:
“Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.”
While husbands are commanded not to deny sexual relations to their wives in Exodus 21:10-11 in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, the Bible never commands wives to make their husbands satisfy them sexually. It does however command men to do just that in the passage above.
A Christian wife’s grooming, her God ordained subjection to her husband, is never complete until she has been groomed to be loving, pleasant and completely sexually satisfying to her husband.
Step #7 – Discipline Your Wife
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent”
Revelation 3:19 (KJV)
The verse above is Christ speaking to his churches after having just rebuked them and threatening to discipline them if they did not repent. Christ associates his rebuke and chastening with his love for his churches. In Ephesians 5:25 the Scriptures tell us “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it”. So, if a husband is loving his wife as Christ loves his church, then he will rebuke and discipline his wife. Otherwise he is not loving her as Christ loves his church. Discipline from you toward your wife is crucial for the grooming process to work in the life of your wife.
There are many ways to discipline your wife.
Ten years ago, I would have been against wife spanking as the concept was so foreign to me. I did not know any Christians who engaged in it. But since I started this blog back in 2014, I have had the opportunity to interact with many Christian couples who engage in wife spanking which is commonly referred to as Christian domestic discipline or CDD for short.
I have also had the opportunity to interact with some Christian husband/wife mentor teams who help teach husbands how to spank their wives and also teach the wives how to accept and embrace this kind of physical discipline from their husbands.
Based upon what I have learned and seen over these last few years I can now say the following.
I used to be against wife spanking, then I was neutral to it as I could see no condemnation of it in the Bible and now over the last couple of years I come to see it as the most effective tool a husband can use in his role as a human instrument of sanctification in the life of his wife. And this is not a newly invented disciplinary tool of husbands, but rather wife spanking was fairly common throughout history before the last 50 years or so.
Whenever I speak on wife spanking, I must issue the following cautionary note.
While it is a husband’s God given right to use spanking as a form of discipline on his wife (with or without her consent), a husband should be wise in regard to the hostile culture we live in. We live in culture which denies almost all the rights that God has given to a husband including his right to discipline his wife. That means that if you do not have your wife’s consent to spank her and she calls the police on you, you may go to prison for domestic abuse.
Some of the women who have contacted me over the years were raised in homes where their father spanked their mother and they expected it and even embraced the concept as they entered into their marriages. Others learned of the benefits of CDD for their marriage from other wives and embraced this practice later in life.
But then there are wives who are conditioned to accept and receive spankings from their husbands through my podcasts on discipline for wives on bgrlearning.com. I have separate podcasts for men where I teach them about how to apply discipline in their marriage and then podcasts for wives teaching them how to properly receive and learn from the discipline of their husbands.
And whenever I teach on wife spanking, I always get asked if I spank my wife. The answer is no. And the reason is because my wife comes from a moderate feminist background and she is in her mid-40s which makes her a far less moldable wife. She will never submit to wife spanking. Again, this is not to say that we as Christian husbands cannot or should not engage in discipline toward our wives even if they are older and far less moldable than younger wives. It just means we have to use a different set of non-physical disciplinary tools with our wives. I outline some of these tools in my article “7 Ways to Discipline Your Wife”.
Robert’s question of how to handle his wife’s statement “You are not my father!” will go away quickly once she begins to understand based upon the Bible that she must reject the entire adult/child paradigm that our culture has taught her. When she replaces that with that knowledge that her husband’s authority over her is actually greater, not less than what her father’s authority was things will fall nicely into place.
And Robert’s concern of the six-year age difference is also a result of modern cultural conditioning. Before our post-feminist society, a man being older than his wife was considered an asset, not a liability. It made it easier for him to exercise his authority over her and it made it easier for her to submit to him and respect him.
Another great asset for Robert is his wife’s parents. Too many parents today undermine the authority of their daughter’s husband. But thankfully this is not something Robert will have to worry about.
On the question of whether to pull her debtor card or spank her. I have recently had this question come up from another husband and my answer to him was “both”. While I think that spanking is the most effective disciplinary tool husbands can use with their wives, that does not mean husbands should dismiss other disciplinary tools. Especially when the infractions are financially related, taking away the debtor card is a punishment that truly does fit the sin the wife has committed.
Finally, any husband reading this needs to accept the possibility that his grooming attempts will be met with complete rejection by his wife. Even if she claims to be a Biblicist Christian and even if she is young. This is because sin corrupts us all in different ways.
The feminine human nature that God designed was a submissive one, one which desired to be dominated by the masculine human nature. But sin corrupted both the masculine and feminine human natures that God designed. And sin corrupts these natures in many different ways. Sin can sometimes corrupt the feminine nature making it more dominant than submissive while at the same time it can corrupt the masculine nature making it more passive or submissive rather than dominant as God designed it to be.
All women have their God given submissive natures corrupted to one degree or another. But some have their natures so corrupted that there is little to nothing left of the sweet and submissive nature God meant for women to have.
So, if you find after years of attempting to groom your wife that you are running int a brick wall with her should you just give up on trying to incorporate Biblical gender roles in your marriage? The answer is NO.
You as the man are responsible before God to do everything you can do on your end. If your wife will not submit to spankings as a form of discipline then you move to non-physical forms of discipline like removing the debit card and credit cards while still providing for all her basic needs. You call her out when she disrespects you even she does not receive this. You limit her access to your free time. You lead even if your wife will not follow.
But one thing you never do is surrender to her desire to control your marriage.
And do not fall for the lie of partnership marriage. No marriage is ever a true partnership. Marriage is always a patriarchy or a matriarchy. It might be a soft patriarchy or soft matriarchy where no one explicitly acknowledges being in charge, and the one in charge might actually allow great freedom to the other. But make no mistake, someone is ALWAYS in charge in a marriage. Power vacuums are never left unfilled.
And if you have to dig in for a real spiritual battle with your wife, you must be prepared for the weapons she may attempt to you use against you. You can find out more about that in my article entitled “3 Ways Wives Try to Control Their Husbands“.
Sexual denial, threats of divorce and threats of suicide. These are the three primary ways that wives use to manipulate and gain complete power over their husbands and their homes. The first way which works with the majority of men is sexual denial. Women use sex as a reward system. If the husband follows his wife’s wishes in whatever she wants to do in the home she will give him sex as a reward for his submission to her. At the slightest resistance of the husband to anything the wife wishes, she will turn off the sexual tap.
But for some men, the attempts of their wives to manipulate them with sex does not work. But rather it reinforces their resolve with their wives. These men might even engage in disciplinary tactics like taking away credit cards, access to the bank or canceling date nights or other things the wife wants. So, then the wife moves on to her next method of control. The threat of divorce. And for many women, it is not just a threat, but indeed it is a promise.
And this willingness of women to so easily divorce their husbands because of their own selfish ambitions should not surprise us. Millions of women each year murder their unborn children because of their selfish ambitions. And it is with this same self-centered attitude, that millions of women each year subject their children to disunity, fighting and ultimately the divorce of their parents. These women only care about one person and one person alone – themselves.
But some women are unwilling to deal with the prospect of their husband marrying another woman or having to share joint custody with him where his new wife raises their children. They want their husband; they want their children and they also want to retain their power over the decisions of the family. So, after sexual denial and threats of divorce don’t work to bring their husbands into submission to their will, they turn to the ultimate weapon. They threaten suicide.
Recently I received an email from a man calling himself Alex. Alex has gone through all three of these attempts at manipulation that wives use to take power in their homes and bring their husbands into subjection. Below are excerpts from that email.
“My wife recently threatened that she may commit suicide if I do not back down from exercising my spiritual authority over her as her husband. This was her last-ditch effort to get me to retreat. And that is exactly what I did – I retreated.
I met my wife in a good Bible believing and Bible preaching church. My church is actually one of those five percent of churches you talk about that still preach gender roles and male headship. My wife is a stay at home mom who homeschools our children while I am the sole provider for our home.
We have been married about 10 years now. When we were dating my wife seemed to be a good, submissive and Christian woman. But after we married her true nature began to reveal itself. Her stubbornness and her unwillingness to listen to me on even the smallest matters was evident. And if I mounted even the slightest challenge to what she wanted to do in our home she would deny me sex and that combined with a very cold shoulder for days would get me to bend and apologize to her every time.
In order to maintain the peace in our home and have any chance at sex I completely caved. I never confronted her about anything anymore. What she wanted to spend we spent. What she wanted to teach the kids we taught them. What she allowed them to do or not do that is what we did.
About 2 months ago, after my Pastor taught a series on the duty of husbands to lead their homes and properly exercise their spiritual authority over their wives God convicted me in my heart that I had been a coward all these years. I had been a coward for the sake of peace and for the sake of sex.
I came and had a private meeting with my Pastor. I described what had been going on in my marriage for years. He told me I was involved in a spiritual battle. And I need to take back the spiritual leadership in my home and challenge my wife’s sinful rebellion and stubbornness.
So, I implemented his advice. I opened a new bank account and changed my paycheck to deposit into that new account. I called all of our credit cards of which I am the primary and she is only secondary and had her name removed from the accounts. I reported all our cards missing so her cards would be useless. I shredded my cards and ordered new ones.
She went to use one our credit cards to purchase something online as she does often and it was declined. She called the credit card company and they told her she was no longer active on the account and then I was the next phone call she made. I told her we would talk when I got home.
When I got home from work that evening, I sat her down and explained what I was doing and why I was doing it. That it was because she was in complete rebellion against my spiritual authority as the head of our home. That she spent money she should not spend. That she did not listen to me regarding the teaching and discipline of our children. That she denied her body to me in our marriage bed.
Then she threatened divorce.
My pastor had prepared me for that threat. I told her “Go ahead. If you want to see me married to another woman and raising your children with her and only seeing them every other week go for it. Because trust me, I will mortgage this house and burn through every savings and investment we have to make sure I get full joint custody of our kids with equal parenting time.” She stormed out without saying another word.
Days went by and then it turned into weeks. We basically were in a cold war footing. I did my thing and she did hers. I slept in our bed and she slept in our guest room. Barely any words were spoken except those which were absolutely necessary.
Finally, when sexual denial and threats of divorce did not work, she moved to her final weapon against me which was threats of suicide. She claimed she would rather die than witness her children being raised by another woman and she would rather die than live under my “tyrannical rule”. My Pastor had not prepared me for that. And that weapon worked. I caved. I retreated. I gave her back access to our bank and credit cards and ultimately the reigns of our home.
Was my pastor’s advice wrong? It did not seem to work. If it was not wrong, how do I deal with her threats of suicide? Can I really start this battle all over again? Is it worth her possibly losing her life?”
What follows is my response to Alex and other men on how to deal with these kinds of manipulation tactics from wives who resist the authority which God gives to their husbands and commands them to exercise over their wives.
How to Deal with Your Wife Using Suicide as a Weapon to Keep or Seize Power
I agree with your Pastor that you need to break her will, or I would say more accurately, break the stubborn spirit your wife has. But at the same time, you need to speak truth into her life. Your attempts at exercising your spiritual headship over her in these areas where you see problems is not an act of tyranny.
Today our humanist dominated culture defines tyranny in marriage as a husband trying to exercise any control whatsoever over his wife . But Biblically speaking, tyranny is the cruel, unreasonable, or arbitrary use of power or control, not control itself.
A man exercising control over his wife is one of the greatest sins to a humanist, whether they be a Christian humanist or an atheist humanist. While a woman exercising control over a man is seen more as a minor transgression in the world of humanism.
For us as Biblicist Christians, a man exercising control over his wife is one of the greatest virtues a man can exhibit in his life. And likewise a man who allows his woman to “usurp authority” (1 Timothy 2:12) over him sins against God and denies part of the core purpose for which he was created, which was to image God with his life.
A man who does not exercise control over his wife is not a man in God’s eyes. God created woman to be in subjection to man, to be controlled by man. He created her to give man someone upon whom he could exercise all the attributes of God that are within his masculine human nature.
So, no this not about you as a husband acting in a tyrannical manner toward your wife. It is about doing what God has commanded you to do. And it is all about framing the narrative, that is so important. Constantly refocusing her thoughts and redirecting them toward a proper perspective.
Now to your wife’s threat of suicide.
Make no mistake that is what is going on. It is a power struggle. And it is not just a power struggle, but it is a spiritual war going on your family.
The Bible says the following in Ephesians 6:12-18:
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints”
You need to realize that the real battle you are in is not with your wife, but with the sin that is in your wife’s heart. Satan is using your wife as an instrument of sin and spiritual oppression against you. He is using your wife as an instrument to launch his fiery darts at you.
Being firm is not being harsh. It is being firm. Being harsh is being cruel. Sometimes when as men we are firm with our wives it may appear that we are being harsh and they may try and frame it that way saying things like “Why do you have to be so mean and so harsh?” but again that is just the wife trying to twist the narrative. Remember having the right perspective and constantly re-framing the narrative for both yourself and your wife is critical.
The Bible commands men to be firm when it states in 1 Corinthians 16:13 (NASB) “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong”. There is a spiritual war going on in your home and this was simply one battle in that war. You fired the first salvos to begin to wage war on your wife’s lack of submissiveness and her spirit of stubbornness. She first tried firing the divorce darts at you. It did not work as you were prepared for that. So she opened fire with threats of suicide. You were not prepared for that and you buckled under her fire and retreated. You lost your resolve and you are no longer standing firm in the faith, acting like a man and being strong in the face of your wife’s threats and rebellion.
So, the question is will you continue to give way to fear? Will you allow her to continue to manipulate you with fears of suicide or divorce? Or will you reorganize and get back into this spiritual warfare God has called you to?
Jesus talked about the cost of following him and the cost of obedience to God. He asked in Luke 14:31 “Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?” You must know and fully accept the consequences of waging spiritual warfare in obedience to God. You must be fully prepared for the onslaught of threats or even the consequences of if your wife carries through with those threats and you must have firm resolve in the face of those threats.
So here is my advice for dealing with your wife’s threats of suicide whenever you attempt to exercise your God given and God commanded authority over her. You do the same thing as if she had a true mental health disorder and had suicidal tendencies. You take her to the ER of a hospital in your area where they have a mental ward. You explain to the nurses that your wife is threatening suicide.
I know of many Christian husbands who have done this with great success. And there is one particular instance that comes to mind that I think will give encouragement to men who find themselves with these kinds of manipulative wives.
I heard this story from a pastor friend of mine. A member of his church took his wife to the local ER after she threatened to commit suicide if he would not surrender to her wishes in the home. She wanted an egalitarian marriage and he would not give it to her. He told her they were going to have a patriarchal marriage or no marriage at all. He showed her the door and said she was free to leave at any time. At this point she threatened suicide if he would not bow to her wishes and this was when he took her to the ER. And he made sure the hospital he took her too had a mental ward.
His wife told him how she was going to tell the ER people how horrible of a husband he was. So, when he got to the ER, she did just that. She railed on and on to the nurses about horrible of a husband he was. Then they asked him to leave the room. This was probably the time they asked her if she was being physically abused by him or if she felt trapped in her home. Eventually they had a psychiatrist come down from the mental ward of that hospital who interviewed her and then recommend that she be committed. He even persuaded the wife it would be good for her and she agreed and signed the papers. He said it would be for just one week.
So, the husband gets a call in the middle of the week to come down for session with the psychiatrist and his wife. He went over all the discussions he had with his wife. The psychiatrist told the husband all of his wife’s concerns and asked him if he would be willing to go to marriage counseling and modify their marriage so it would be more pleasing for his wife. The husband gave the psychiatrist a flat answer of “NO”. He was unwilling to see any counselor. His beliefs as to how marriage was to be conducted were firmly based upon his Biblical beliefs and would not change.
The psychiatrist asked him if he was holding her at home against her will or if he had ever physically abused her. The husband’s response was “No sir. Never laid a finger on her. I have told my wife she is free to leave our home and our marriage at any time. But if she wants to stay, I will not change my beliefs on how marriage is to be conducted”.
At this point the psychiatrist turned to his wife and said the following. “You have told me in our private sessions that your husband has never raised a hand to you. That he has never made you feel trapped in your home. You just want him to change right?” And her answer was “Yes.” At this point the psychiatrist turned to the wife and said “You and your husband are clearly incompatible. He will not change and neither will you. It is unhealthy for you to continue in this relationship if you cannot agree to a common framework of marriage. But threats of suicide are never the answer. Divorce may be an answer, but suicide is not.”
His wife was released from the mental ward a few days later. She hated being in that mental ward. And she never threatened suicide again. So, when his wife saw that threats of sexual denial, divorce and suicide did not work she eventually came to an acceptance of her husband and the way he conducted their marriage. She did not always agree and still gave him much grief at times. But she realized her husband was a man who was immune to her tactics of manipulation.
If you are a husband dealing with a situation like this with your wife you need to think on and answer the following questions for yourself.
Are you willing to see that you retreated from a spiritual battle with your wife, but also that the war is not over with? You can reorganize, you can steel your resolve and you can disarm her tactics of trying to manipulate you through fear.
Will you put on the whole armor of God? Will you realize that what you are fighting for is righteous in the sight of God and your wife’s resistance to your authority is an act of sinful rebellion against God?
Will you take the shield of faith and hold it up when she fires darts at you like threats of sexual denial, divorce or suicide? Will you take the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, and cut through your wife’s evil thought patterns?
Will you use God’s Word to speak truth in your wife’s life? And will you resolve that obedience to God is more important than temporary peace in your home? That it is so important you are willing to risk losing your marriage or your wife?
The Bible tells us in 1 Timothy 2:12 “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence”. How long will you continue to allow your wife to usurp authority over you as the man of your house in direct contradiction to God’s commands?
These are the decisions you must face.
Will you be the man God has called you to be? Or will you cower in fear for the remainder of your days? The choice is yours. But I pray you will make the right one.
When we think of a woman being “dirty” outside the literal meaning we will usually think of a woman acting in a sexually inappropriate manner. And while there certainly are whorish women who do act in whorish ways there is another type of dirtiness in women that has nothing to do with a woman acting whorish.
When a woman speaks disrespectfully to her husband or does not show proper deference to her husband, that is her acting in a dirty way toward her husband. When a wife refuses to submit any part of her life to her husband’s spiritual leadership that is her acting in a dirty way. Sometimes it may not be her actions, but it may in fact be her attitudes and beliefs that are dirty.
Christian husbands, to love your wife as Christ loves his church requires that you wash her spiritual spots, wrinkles and blemishes with the Word of God. You are to wash her dirty attitudes, beliefs and actions with the Word of God.
You could liken this to how you might wash your car. You look over that car and make sure every dirt spot and blemish are gone and that it shines so good you can see your reflection in it. It is the same idea with your wife spiritually. After you wash her, her views and behaviors should be a reflection of the things you have taught her from God’s Word.
The washing of your wife requires a combination of knowing her, listening to her, teaching her, correcting her and yes disciplining her. The washing of your wife will sometimes require great sacrifice on your part as the washing of his wife required great sacrifice on the part of Christ. Sometimes it means temporarily sacrificing the peace in your home to rebuke your wife. It might mean sacrificing time you might have spent doing things that were more enjoyable. But it is a sacrifice that is necessary on the part of every Christian husband.