Is sexual fantasy outside a relational context sinful?

Is it wrong for a man to have sexual fantasies about a woman he has no intention of pursuing as potential wife in marriage? Does God condemn sexual imagination that does not have as it’s focus either a real potential spouse or one’s current spouse if they are already married?

Many Christians believe the answer to both of these questions is a resounding “YES”. AnnaMS, a regular commenter here on BiblicalGenderRoles.com, recently represented this popular position in response to some comments on my post “Are some wives tempting their husbands to lust?”.

AnnaMS’s Statement on Sexual Fantasy

“Yes men are going to desire sex with a woman they are not currently married to. Both genders should have a healthy desire for sex although of course a man’s will normally be stronger. This desire needs to be channeled.

If the woman he is thinking about is a girlfriend or a fiance, he should channel that into excitement about a future marital sexual relationship. That is desiring sex in marriage.

If the woman is not someone he is in a relationship with but wants to be, he should channel that into trying to start a relationship which will hopefully lead to marriage (assuming other requirements like her being a Christian, both of them being single, etc. are all worked out). That is also desiring sex in marriage.

If the woman is someone he is extremely unlikely to ever be married to (like the guy at the supermarket who is married already and will likely be married for quite some time still), he should channel that desire into something that he can put sexual focus on (a wife), or if that is not possible, something that will distract him (like sports, or whatever). That desire is not sex in marriage because any sex that might happen between them will not be in marriage cuz they are extremely unlikely to ever be married.

So redirecting his attention to sex in marriage or something else entirely if that is not an option, is his best bet. Imagining being married to someone we are never in a million years going to be married to is hardly the same thing as actually pursuing a woman as a future wife.”

Sex is reserved for marriage

First let me state where I and most Christians like AnnaMS would agree. Sexual acts whether they be intercourse, oral sex or manual sex are strictly reserved for marriage. The Bible makes this clear in the book of Hebrews:

“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” – Hebrews 13:4 (KJV)

God is clear that the only sexual relations between a man and woman that he honors is that which occurs in the covenant of marriage.

If the physical acts of sex itself are reserved for marriage, then aren’t thoughts of sex reserved for marriage as well?

This is the logical question and conclusion that many Christians have come to and one that AnnaMS holds. Now there are some divisions within this group. Some Christians believe it is ok to have sexual fantasies about a potential spouse (someone you are dating or engaged to) while others believe all sexual fantasies before marriage are sinful. I believe taking the statement above as well as others I read from AnnaMS that she believes it is ok to have sexual fantasies about someone you are pursing for marriage, but sexual fantasies and thoughts without this context are sinful in her view and the view of many Christians.

This leads us into the key area of this discussion of sexual fantasy – and that is the thought life of a believer.

Does God care about our thoughts?

One of the things that distinguishes the Christian faith from others is that it shows us that God cares not only about our actions – but also our thoughts and intentions.

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

So Biblically speaking our thought life is VERY important to God.

Most people think that Jesus was the first one to speak on the fact that God judges not only our actions – but out thoughts as well. But they would be wrong. Moses actually elaborated on how important our thoughts are to God when he wrote the 10th commandment:

“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.” – Exodus 20:17 (KJV)

Covetousness is a thought sin. It is thinking something God does not want us to think. Envy is also a thought sin along with hatred. Lust is synonymous with covetousness as we see here from the Apostle Paul:

“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” – Romans 7:7 (KJV)

Coveting something is not the same as finding it desirable. You can find someone’s home, their car or even their wife to be desirable and there is no sin that. Coveting is when you desire to take possession of something God did not intend you to possess. So in the case of your neighbor it is when you desire to take possession of his wife sexually that you are lusting (coveting) after her.

Christ spoke again on this matter of coveting a man’s wife and he even classified it as a new form “mental” adultery when he stated:

“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” – Matthew 5:27-28 (KJV)

So yes as we can see from Moses first mention of coveting, God very much cares about our thoughts.

So how does God judge our sexual fantasies?

Up to this point we have proven two things that are clear from the Scriptures – the physical acts of sex are reserved for marriage and God does indeed care about our thought life.

But where the gulf begins between believers on this issue of sexual fantasy is what thoughts God judges as sinful, and what thoughts God honors?

God definitely does not want us thinking about how we can get another man’s wife to have sex with us or how we can get some single girl into bed with us without being married to her first. That is something we can all agree on from Scripture. But what about our imagination?

How men and women imagine differently

Just like in many other areas, men and women tend to exercise their imaginations in different ways. Now this is not to say that some men don’t have imaginations similar to that of women and that some women don’t have imaginations similar to men but there are some distinct differences between the genders in this area.

Let me frame this outside the sexual arena first.

I have loved science fiction from the time I was little. I grew up on Star Wars and all the Star Trek TV Shows and movies. I was a big fan of the Lord of the Rings books and was thrilled to go and watch each one at the movie theaters. I loved and still love the Marvel and DC comic super heroes and there is are few super hero movies that I have not seen.

Is it a coincidence that the majority of Science fiction and fantasy fans are men? I don’t think so. I am not saying there are not women who are into these things as well because I know of them. But they are the minority.

Now some men may not be like me and they may hate sci-fi. But often they have some other area that they spend a great deal of time imagining about like sports, hunting, combat or architecture.

Women have been brought more into the fantasy worlds with series like the Twilight saga and other books but the way they are brought in is because of the romance and relational aspects.

So as we can see while both men and women do engage in various forms of imagination – men’s imaginations tend to be “action” based while for most women their imaginations tend to be “relation” based.

Let me say this another way – we as men imagine ourselves doing things like fighting the bad guy in a superhero or war movie or flying that star fighter while women typically imagine relational things like a man kissing them, or their wedding, or how they will decorate their house or holding their child for the first time.

Now let me bring this back to the sexual arena. A man imagines having sex with a woman much in the same way he might imagine himself scoring that touch down in the super bowl, firing that sniper shot that killed the bad guy or flying the millennium falcon in Star Wars. These are all actions to him.

A man can imagine having sex with a woman completely outside the context of any kind of relationship.

I am going to make a statement here that will make a lot of women upset but it is the truth about how a man’s mind works by the design of God.

A man can imagine having sex with an attractive woman in the same way he can imagine driving that speed boat he sees in the dock of some harbor.

Yes men see women as sexual objects to be used for their pleasure.

But we also see women as people too. These two things are NOT contradictory and every woman needs to realize this truth.  Every man needs to be honest with himself about this as well.

The fact that we as men see women as people too is the reason why men don’t just grab and have sex with every woman they see. It is why husbands don’t try to have sex with their wives when they are sick or after they have had a baby. It is why Christian men do their very best to not engage in sex before marriage. But make no mistake, we as men see women as objects of sexual pleasure – it is built into our DNA by God himself.

This is where men and women’s imaginations sharply differ. For most women – they cannot imagine sex with someone without a relational context and this is something that women cannot grasp about men how they can do this.

So in the same way that a man would NEVER be Iron Man but can imagine himself flying through the sky in that suit he can also imagine having sex with an actress in that same film that he will probably never meet and he has no intentions of pursuing for marriage.

So is sexual imagination outside a relational context sinful?

This brings us to the answer to our question. Are Christians like AnnaMs and many others right that God intended for our sexual imagination to always have a relational aspect to it(it must be about a person who we could actually marry or are currently married to) or can a man imagine sex with a woman totally outside of any relational context?

God created, understands and honors our ability to imagine things and he only dislikes wicked imaginations:

“And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.” – I Chronicles 28:9 (KJV)

“These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:

A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,

A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” – Proverbs 6:16-19 (KJV)

So as long as we are not imagining doing something evil – then we are free to imagine whatever we like. Whether that be with flying a space ship, scoring a touchdown or having sex with a woman outside of any relational context.

Sex is a good thing to imagine about. God designed us to imagine sexual situations – especially as men even more than he did women. We are hardwired to imagine every physical aspect of sex.

It is only when we add the relational context to a sexual thought that it becomes sinful or not sinful. If you imagine having sex with a woman by itself there is no sin.

But when you imagine having sex with her in the relational context of actually getting her to have sex with you outside of marriage then you have just had a covetous and wicked imagination. But if the relational context you add is that of marriage and you possibly could marry this woman there is no sin that either.

The answer to the question posed at the beginning of this post is this.

Relational contexts are NOT required for sexual imaginations any more than contexts are required for us imagining ourselves to be Iron Man or superman.

The scriptures never constrain sexual imagination to be limited to potential or current spouses in marriage.

Our ability to imagine things whether it be being a super hero or having sex with that beautiful blonde on the cover of that magazine is not something to be suppressed or something we need to distract ourselves from – no my friends it is a gift of almighty God.

To Christian young men and old men alike reading this. You have a choice. You can continue walking around the rest of your life condemning yourself for any sexual thoughts you have outside a relational context or you can embrace the fact that you have the ability to have sexual imaginations outside a relational context and this is a gift from God.

The enemy is not your sexual imagination, rather the enemy is lust which is covetousness.

Do not let other Christians, even well-meaning Christians steal your freedom to imagine or put constraints on your imagination that God has not placed, but rather do as the Apostle Paul admonished the Galatians:

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage… For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” – Galatians 5:1 & 13

Freely imagine my brothers, but do not allow your imagination to turn into covetous or evil thoughts. Your desire and ability to imagine the female form in all its splendor is a gift from God, just don’t allow your sin nature to corrupt this gift into thoughts of premarital sex or adultery.

Are some wives tempting their husbands to lust?

Kristen Clark, a writer for the website CovenantEyes.com, asserts that a wife showing her husband a magazine with a half-naked woman’s body on it was an example of a wife causing her husband to lust. Most likely by “half naked” she probably means the woman was wearing a bikini or a bra and panties.

In her article entitled ““When Wives Unknowingly Tempt Their Husbands Toward Lust“ Kristen Clark writes:

“I was standing in line at my local grocery store when an obnoxious magazine caught my eye. I’m used to seeing half-naked women on the cover of tabloids, but this image seemed even too edgy for a tabloid.

A small wave of anger rushed over me as I thought of the innocent children and husbands who were being exposed to this, as I call it, “tabloid porn.” As I tried to refocus my thinking on something more positive, a middle aged couple got in line behind me.

I watched in curiosity as the wife reached over and selected that magazine off the rack. I watched even more curiously to see what she would do with it. To my shock, the wife held that magazine cover up to her husband’s face and said, “Wow, wish I had a body like that!”

Her husband chuckled as he happily perused the cover until she removed it.

I quickly glanced forward, realizing I had been staring. I tried to wrap my head around what I just saw. “Why would a wife want to intentionally show her husband a partially naked woman?” “Why would a wife want to help her husband peruse another woman?

As I thought about that puzzling scene over the next few days, I began to wonder…maybe that wife didn’t understand the value of sexual purity in her marriage. Or maybe that wife was clueless about lust and temptation. Or maybe she wanted to prove her “security” by appearing non-jealous. I don’t know.”

Read the full article here.

Answering Kristen’s questions

Kristen’s first question:

“Why would a wife want to intentionally show her husband a partially naked woman?”

The answer to Kristen’s first question:

Because the wife accepts and embraces the fact that God designed her husband to appreciate the female form and not just HER form and her from alone.

The wife in that grocery line most likely understood the difference between lust and sexual arousal far better than Kristen Clark and many Christians today understand it.

Many Christians point to Matthew 5 in defining lust:

“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” – Matthew 5:27-28 (KJV)

Then they go on to say “Lust is sexual arousal or sexual fantasy about someone you are not married to”.

Did you see that definition of lust in that passage? No you did not.

So how about we let the Bible define what lust is instead of letting our culture and churches define what lust is:

“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” – Romans 7:7 (KJV)

This wife in that checkout line understood there is no sin in her husband appreciating or even being aroused sexually by the form of another’s woman’s body. She understood that lust is covetousness and that her husband was not going to covet this woman by thinking of how he could find her and sexually possess her outside of marriage.

So rather than condemning this woman as Kristen Clark as has done, we as believers should be applauding this woman for her actions. Instead of scolding her husband for his visual nature and appreciation of the female form – she shows him that God’s creation of his visual nature and attraction to the female form is GOOD.

Kristen’s Second Question:

“Why would a wife want to help her husband peruse another woman?”

The answer to Kristen’s second question:

I will answer her question with another question of my own and then answer it for her.

Why would a woman not just let her husband peruse another woman, but also give her to him as another wife?

“Then Leah said, “God has rewarded me for giving my servant to my husband.” So she named him Issachar.” – Genesis 30:18 (KJV)

In Genesis chapters 29 & 30 we that Leah is very jealous of her husband’s affections as he prefers Rachel to her. But eventually Leah overcomes her jealousy of her husband to the point that she gives him her servant Zilpah so that she can bare him more sons.

So the answer to my expanded version of Kristen’s second question is – This wife was putting her husband’s needs ahead of her own.

It is interesting how in many churches we will hear about how Sarah gave her servant Hagar to Abraham and how that ended so badly – yet we hear nothing of how God blessed Leah for giving Zilpah to Jacob.

The fact is these were two very different situations. In the one God told Sarah she would give Abraham a son and an heir.  She did not believe God and instead sought to get him an heir through another means.  Now there would have been nothing wrong with Abraham marrying another woman and he in fact married several more women later in life.

The problem was in Sarah trying to get him his heir through this method when God had said the heir would come through her.

With all due respect to Kristen Clark – it is she and so many Christians like her today that are in fact “clueless about lust and temptation”.  The Bible is clear what lust is as I have previously pointed out and what Kristen describes in that checkout line was NOT a wife tempting her husband to lust.  It was a wife loving and fully embracing her husband’s God given visual nature and appreciation for a variety of beautiful women.

Here is a list of things Kristen does to keep her husband from enjoying the form of any other woman but her:

“I sort the mail and throw away the immodest/sensual ads so he doesn’t have to see them.

I don’t ask my husband to watch movies with me that have immodest women in them (i.e. most chick flicks).

I intentionally leave all magazines, books, etc. out of my home that have immodest/sensual images or ads in them.

If I know a certain restaurant has immodest waitresses, I don’t suggest eating there.

I don’t ever take my husband into a lingerie store. I’ve seen many wives do this, and from what I hear, it’s not helpful for the men.”

I know where Kristen is coming from and I understand that her actions might not be coming from a place of trying to deny her husband any pleasure that God has given him to enjoy.  She simply has been wrongly taught that the Bible forbids her husband from enjoying the view of any other woman’s body other than her own.  So she must take every step possible to make sure he is never sexually aroused by the form of any other woman real or imagined.

She has been taught that when a man has sexual imaginations about a woman he is not married to (whether that his girlfriend, fiancé or some other woman after he is married) that these are by definition “impure thoughts” and thus her constant references to purity in marriage.

But the fact is that a man enjoying the sight of a woman’s form whether he is married to her or not IS PURE. It is pure and holy because that is how God designed him to be.

It is only when he allows those pure thoughts about the female form or even sex itself to turn into covetous thoughts of ways to possess a woman outside of marriage that his thoughts become impure and sinful.

But while Kristen and many other Christian may sincerely practice these things with good intentions toward God and their husbands – they are in fact sincerely WRONG.

How some wives DO tempt their husbands to lust

Up to this point we have shown why Kristen’s story does not show a wife tempting her husband to lust, but rather shows a wife honoring and show acceptance of her husband’s appreciation and desire to view the female form.

One of the biggest problems with all this focus on men not looking at images of women or real women is that it takes our eyes off the REAL dangers of men being tempted by their wives to lust.

Here are ways a wife can actually cause her husband to lust:

  1. When she sexually denies him – the more a man is denied by his wife sexually the more tempted he will be to actually lust (have covetous thoughts about getting women to meet his sexual needs outside of marriage).
  2. Even if she does not directly sexually deny him – if she does not sexually fulfill him he may be tempted to lust. Things like not letting him see her naked, refusing to wear lingerie or refusing to perform certain acts that the Bible allows (like oral sex or having sex in different positions) may tempt him to lust.

These are the real dangers where wives can have a direct impact in tempting their husbands to lust. These are where we should be focusing the battle against lust.

“Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

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.  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)

Christian wives – you want to help your husband to not be tempted to lust? Then stop worrying about the woman on the magazine cover in the supermarket aisle and focus on the woman who should be giving her body fully and freely to her husband (that’s you!).

 

How doing LESS for your wife can make your marriage better

Christian men are told in counseling offices and churches across America that if they would just do more for their wives that their marriages would get better. But the truth is that sometimes doing LESS for your wife can actually improve your marriage.

But before we can address the men who need to do LESS for their wives, we need to address the men who actually need to do MORE for their wives.

Some men might need to do MORE not less for their wives

The Bible does tell men that they need to spend time with their wives and know them:

“When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out with the army nor be charged with any duty; he shall be free at home one year and shall give happiness to his wife whom he has taken.” – Deuteronomy 24:5 (NASB)

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” – I Peter 3:7 (KJV)

“If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.” – Exodus 21:10-11 (KJV)

Gentlemen – we as husbands are required to provide food, clothing and shelter to our wives. We are required to give them regular sexual relations. We are required to spend time with them, talk to them, know their needs and concerns and give them proper honor as our wife. This is the Biblical definition of what it means for a man to unconditionally love his wife.

This is a tall order and each of us as men fail in this duty from time to time. I think as men often times we can be great at providing our wives with food, clothing, shelter and sex but we fail in the areas of honoring her and knowing her. We can become too wrapped up in our jobs and hobbies to the point where we never talk to our wives.

If you are failing to spend time with or talk to your wife then you are not a husband that needs to do less, but instead you need to do MORE.

A little clarification on the phrases “spend time”, “talk” and “honor”

By “spend time” and “talk” I do not mean you have to spend every waking hour, or every amount of free time you have from your job with your wife. There is no sin in a man having hobbies and interests that do not involve his wife. In fact this is actually a healthy thing for a man to do. But what it means is that you on a regular basis – even if it just a half hour or hour a day you check in with your wife to find out how her day went.

Perhaps find a sitcom or some game show you watch together and just talk. I don’t have my kids during the week (because they are with my ex-wife during the week), so my wife and I watch Family Feud each night and that is our talk time before I go do more work, run errands or blog. If you have kids this will probably be something you do at the end of the night when the kids go to bed. You discuss her concerns or maybe just talk about current events or whatever she needs to talk about. Some nights neither one of you will have anything to say and you can just enjoy the silence, other nights things will need to be discussed. This is how you come to “dwell with your wife according to knowledge”, this is how you know her.

By “honor” when it comes to your wife I mean not constantly criticizing her and not running her down in front of others. If you are a highly critical husband that needs to be put in check. Yes as husbands sometimes we are called to confront our wife’s sin, but that does not mean crushing her spirit by constantly making her feel like a failure.

Don’t get me wrong – I do NOT believe that a man needs to give his wife unwarranted compliments. If your wife rarely cooks you don’t have to brag and pretend how she cooks all the time. But when she does cook – then praise her. You don’t have to praise your wife sitting in her sweats with her un-kept hair and tell her how beautiful she is. But when she does clean herself up and make herself beautiful for you – recognize it!

Some men need to do LESS not more for their wives

Now if you can answer to the previous section that you are in fact providing for your wife’s physical needs(food, clothing, shelter and sex) as well as spending time with her, talking to her and honoring her then you may be need to do LESS for your wife in order to have a marriage that honors God.

But this works for our marriage so why do I need to change this with my wife?

Maybe as a Christian husband you feel that you have a great marriage with your wife. You enjoy eachother’s company, you go out on dates, you have regular sex and you just love doing things for your wife like buying her flowers, giving her jewelry doing housework, taking care of the kids so she can get out and a whole host of other things. These are all good things a husband can do for his wife – so why would he want to do them less?

The reason you may need to do less is because you may be spoiling your wife and enabling her sinful behavior.

The title of this post was “How doing LESS for your wife can make your marriage better” and what makes a marriage “better” will be defined differently if you don’t have a Biblical worldview.

The world which rejects all the Bible’s teachings on gender roles will say there are many ways to have a better marriage. Whether the man leads, the woman leads or even if those is no leader (which is never really true) then that is all fine. Whether a woman gives her husband sex because he basically has become her servant that waits on her hand and foot and worships the ground she walks on or a man stays home and is Mr. Mom to their kids – any arrangement is fine as long as the couple agrees on the parameters.

In other words – a good marriage, a better marriage in the world’s view is one where a couple simply gets along and comes up with their own arrangement that works for them.

But this is not considered a “better marriage” in God’s view.

Only a marriage that models the relationship between Christ and his Church and adheres to the Biblical commands regarding the roles the husband and wife play in this symbolism can be considered a “better marriage”.

The spoiled wife scenario

Sometimes as husbands we can make the same mistake with our wives that parents make with their children.

Not many people would argue with the concept that you can do too much for your child. A child needs to learn to clean up after themselves as well as do their chores around the house. A child needs to do their homework and do their very best in school and their other extracurricular activities. A child must show proper respect for their parents and their teachers and other authorities.

Some parents actually run around pickup after their children, they clean their rooms for them they even help them with their homework to the point where they are practically doing it for the child. Some parents simply ignore their children’s disrespect and disobedience.

Then after all these things they do for their child they heap unearned praise and rewards on the child telling the child how wonderful they are when nothing in their behavior warrants this praise and reward. They go and buy their children whatever toys and video games they want.

Most people would agree that such a child is being spoiled and the parents are in fact not doing right by the child.

However if we were to apply this same scenario to the husband/wife relationship all of a sudden we have a very different reaction as if it is impossible for a man to spoil his wife in the same way a parent can spoil a child. But it is actually is very possible for a man to spoil his wife. Many men both Christian and non-Christian alike spoil their wives.

Imagine a husband who buys his wife flowers every week, takes her on dates every week, spends absorbent amounts of money on jewelry and weekend getaways.

He tells his wife every day she is so beautiful despite the fact that she has gained 100 lbs., rarely showers or combs her hair and sits on the couch in her big tee shirt and sweat pants with a bag of Cheetos in her lap.

He tells her how great a cook she is and brags to others how great a cook she is when she cooks 20% of the time and he cooks 80%. He cleans the house while she sits around on a couch talking to her girlfriends on the phone, Facebooking or watching TV. He does most of the laundry. He lives for his wife’s immediate happiness above all other concerns.

Some men in this situation may not do all the house work, but instead they hire a maid so their wife can continue to sit on her throne.

Why is it wrong to spoil your wife?

Maybe this describes you wife exactly, maybe it is close but not the same. Maybe she takes great care of her appearance but neglects her duties to care for the home.   Maybe she is a career woman who works but is still neglectful of her duties to you and your home.

You might say – “wait – this works for me and my wife. I do all this and she gives me all the sex I want. That is all I want.” I have received several emails from men who have this kind of relationship with their wives. I have also seen it first hand with some relatives and coworkers.

I am going to repeat a statement I have said often on this blog:

There is more to marriage than sex, but a marriage without sex is not a marriage.

Many times when we are talking about sexual denial we emphasize the second part of that statement. But in this scenario we need to look at the first part of that statement.

Marriage is not just about doing whatever it takes as a man to get your sexual needs met. It is about modeling the relationship between God and his people, between Christ and his Church.

The example I have just described above is an example of a husband spoiling his wife in the same way parents can spoil a child. It is NOT modeling the example of the relationship between Christ and his Church.

If you as a husband see yourself anywhere in this description I have just mentioned – you need to be doing LESS for your wife, not more.

You spoil your wife when you do things for her that she ought to be doing. When you step into her role as a wife and do for her what she ought to be doing for you – that is spoiling her. When you reward her with unwarranted compliments, unlimited access to your free time, dates, trips, gifts and house hold upgrades when she has not earned them by her behavior you are spoiling your wife.

Is there a place for graciousness with your wife where you give her things she did not earn? Yes. But to do this all the time is to move from being gracious to enabling sinful behavior on the part of your wife.

But when you give up your leadership and authority position to your wife in order to get sex you have reversed the God given roles of husband and wife and you are now acting as the wife and your wife is now acting as the husband.

But aren’t husbands and wives to supposed to serve one another?

Yes – but husbands and wives are to serve each other in different ways. A man primarily serves his wife by leading her, providing for her, protecting her and meeting her sexual needs. A wife primarily serves her husband by following his leadership, caring for the domestic needs of his home, bearing his children, caring for his children and meeting his sexual needs.

Stop enabling your wife and start sacrificing for her holiness

Men are called to sacrifice themselves for their wife’s holiness, not to enable their sin.

“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)

No parent who loves their child wants to see them unhappy, any more than a man who loves his wife wants to see her unhappy. But God places our call to holiness, over our happiness. When you as a husband take a stand and start doing less for this wife you have spoiled she is going to be angry. She may start to sexually deny you in order to get you to start doing these things again. This is the sacrifice you will have to make. You must be willing to sacrifice your own sexual needs in order to try and get your wife to conform to God’s design for her as a wife. You cannot sacrifice your faith, God’s word or the headship position God has given you just so you can get sex from your wife.

Maybe you are doing all these things but still being denied sexually

Now many men do all the things I described above in a vain effort to get their wives to stop denying them sexually. They tell themselves “maybe if I do this more, or that more then she will give me sex”.

If you find yourself in this position – know that this will NOT work.

Some wives routinely dangle the possibility in front of their husbands that if you just do “this or that more, then I might do that more”.

Don’t buy it, don’t fall it.

The same thing applies to the husband who is actually getting sex by doing all the things you are doing in vain. I know if you are living in a sexless marriage you want so desperately to believe if you just do a little more or something different it will change.  But this is a false hope.  You must realize that.

STOP DOING THEM.

Do less, not more for your wife if you are going to have any hope of repairing your marriage and bringing your bringing into conformity with God’s design .

10 Ways to “un-spoil” your wife

Now that we have established why you cannot spoil your wife even if you are getting regular sex or you are spoiling her in a vain attempt to get more sex here are 10 ways you can “un-spoil” your wife.

Start leading spiritually

Spend time in prayer with the Lord and ask for guidance as you take over the leadership of your home in accordance with his will. Are you going to a church because your wife picked it but you don’t agree that this is the best church for your family? Then lead your family to the church you believe God would have you attend. Has your wife been teaching your children doctrines and beliefs that you believe are unbiblical? Then you need to let her know this and correct these errors with your children.

Start leading financially

Have you gotten into debt in order to appease her? Take the credit cards away and put a budget together. Perhaps you have not been giving to your Church as you should, go to the Lord in prayer and seek his guidance in how to reorder your finances.

Start leading in sex

Make it clear to your wife that regular sexual relations are a duty and responsibility in marriage that you expect of her and she can expect from you. The only precondition to your sexual relations was met on the day you were married and made your vows before God. No preconditions remain.

Start leading by disciplining your wife

If your wife has been speaking to you in disrespectful ways especially in front the children or in other public venues then you need to rebuke her for that. If your wife has been sexually denying you, or starts to sexually deny you as a result of “un-spoiling” her you may have to take additional disciplinary steps.

See my article “7 ways to discipline your wife” for more on the subject of discipline.

Start leading in disciplining the children

Has your wife been being too lenient with the kids in your view? Has she been too hard on the kids in your view? As the father you are to set the tone of the discipline in your home. Go to the Lord in prayer and ask for his guidance in how to discipline your children.

Stop giving her unwarranted compliments

Even if she fixes herself up do not compliment her every time, instead give your comments in measured amounts.

Stop doing the household chores

It is one thing to do these kinds of things when your wife is sick or medically unable to do them. But simply to do them all the time is you doing what she should be doing in her role as your wife.

Stop taking her out wherever and whenever she wants to go

It’s ok to say no. This is not a right, this is not a requirement of a husband. Do this only in measured amounts and this should correlate to her doing her duties as a wife.

Stop buying her things that she does not need

Whether it be flowers, jewelry or any other “want” type items. Do this only in measured amounts and this should correlate to her doing her duties as a wife.

Stop giving her unlimited access to your free time

Find some hobbies you can do on your own or with your guy friends. If you have children and have been neglecting them in order to spoil her – then give them some of your free time. Give her some of your free time in measured amounts and this should also correlate to her doing her duties as a wife.

But if I do this my wife will divorce me!

After you have sought the Lord’s will in prayer in all these areas and have formulated a plan you need to have a discussion with your wife.

The first thing that you should do is apologizing for not leading your home as you should have. Now that you are taking on the leadership responsibility of your home there are going to be some changes. Go through those changes with her and be clear what you believe your Biblical duties are as a husband and father and what her Biblical duties are as a wife and mother.

Your wife will have one of four reactions to this meeting:

She will eventually repent and change and become the wife that God wants her to be.

She will cry and make you feel as though you are being mean and unloving in attempt to emotionally manipulate you into backing down.

She will give you the silent treatment and cut you off from sex hoping you will eventually back down.

She will threaten to leave or divorce you if you do not back down.

Obviously you as her husband are hoping for the first reaction. But don’t be surprised if at first she has one of the other negative reactions but eventually repents and changes her ways.

But if your wife does have one of the negative reactions (which is highly likely) – you cannot give in to any of these forms of manipulation. Your wife may actually leave and threaten divorce. She may stay and give you the cold shoulder for weeks, months or even years in an attempt to get you to break – in this case you may actually have to divorce her for sexual denial.

But in the end, sometimes it is Biblically right to do LESS, not more for your wife.

Stories of Sexual Denial in Marriage Episode 9

“Being a newlywed I thought marriage was going to be all rainbows, I had quite a rude reality check very early on, and it’s embarrassing to talk about your new husband not desiring you anymore… I am always the one who has to initiate sex, and EVERY time I’m shot down, my normal response is to clam up and avoid him, which often leads to a fight. It’s gotten to a point where he will even refuse to hold my hand or hug me.” This is an excerpt from an email I received from Hannah, a young Christian newlywed wife.

While sexual denial most often occurs with the wife denying her husband, there have been many women throughout history who have been sexually denied by their husbands. Over 3000 years ago men were sexually denying their wives prompting God to give this command through his Prophet Moses:

“If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.” – Exodus 21:10-11 (KJV)

God made it clear, whether a man had one wife or many – he was not allowed to sexually deny any of his wives. Here is Hannah’s full story.

Hannah’s Story

“I just wanted to thank you for your blog, I have searched all over the internet for a CHRISTIAN based blog on sexual relations between a husband and wife, and none would address the issues that you do here. It has helped my perspective so much, especially with the sexual denial posting. I have been experiencing this from my husband in my own marriage. I have tried everything and nothing has helped. We haven’t been sexually active in 10 months and we’ve only been married for 11 months.

I prayed for my husband for eight years, we met when I was 14 and it was love at first sight. After eight years of an off again, on again relationship, God answered my prayer and brought us together. I never truly dated anyone else but him, I knew in my spirit he was created to be my husband.

Being a newlywed I thought marriage was going to be all rainbows, I had quite a rude reality check very early on, and it’s embarrassing to talk about your new husband not desiring you anymore.

Right after we were married, I got pregnant and lost the baby when I was six weeks along, since then all affection and intimacy has stopped. I’ve talked to him, reasoned with him, even pleaded with him to change or tell me what I should do differently. I have felt like something is so incredibly wrong with me. It’s been a heartbreaking experience and I’m so glad to learn and see in scripture that I’m not alone or a “lustful” woman for desiring my husband.

I have tried getting him to go to counseling but he continually brushes it off. We currently don’t have a home church of our own. My former pastor that I served under in ministry for several years has announced he is homosexual and left the church. This was a shock to all of us and left us very hurt, so getting him to find a new pastor to council with is very difficult. After we lost the baby it has been a downhill spiral. I am fighting feelings of bitterness towards him which I know is wrong. It’s just so hard to deal with the rejection. There have been moments of weakness where I wanted to leave or pursue someone else, but my Spirit (thankfully) overrided my flesh.

Do you have any practical advice as to how I should react to his sexual rejection?

I am always the one who has to initiate sex, and EVERY time I’m shot down, my normal response is to clam up and avoid him, which often leads to a fight. It’s gotten to a point where he will even refuse to hold my hand or hug me. It annoys him when I try to show affection, not just in public but even if we’re alone. Now if in want a kiss or to hold his hand I have to ask permission. He says it’s because he’s not ready after the miscarriage but it’s been several months since we lost the baby.

I have respectfully poured my heart out to him several times about the issue, he listens, and then nothing is ever fixed. There is always an excuse why he doesn’t want sex and they change each time. I really don’t know what to do. I was raised in a strict Christian home that does not condone divorce between Christians. After reading your post I am viewing my right as a Christian woman in a completely different light. I am so glad to know I have a biblical right to divorce if this doesn’t change and that God has given me this right. I love my husband and I am willing to stick this out, but it is very hard.

Please if you have any advice, I would love to hear from you. Thank you again for your blog, it’s been such a blessing.”

My Response to Hannah

Hannah I just want to say how sorry I am for the loss of your first child. My first wife and I lost our first child to a miscarriage as well – it was a tubal pregnancy. My niece lost her first child two days after she was born without any indication there was problem last year. The loss of a child can have a traumatic effect on a marriage and sometimes takes years to recover from.

For some couples the loss of a child bring them closer together, while for others it may tear them apart. Some couples have even divorced over the loss of a child when one or both of them cannot move past it. The reason for this is that sometimes a person allows their spouse to be a constant reminder of the loss and only by leaving them do they feel they can truly leave the death behind.

It sounds like based on your story that you husband had to great disappointments one with the loss of a child and another with loss of your Pastor in such a terrible way.

Your husband is a broken a man. He is bitter at God for all these disappointments in his life.

Your husband pushing you away shows that he is directly associating the death of your child with you. Your face might be a constant reminder to him of the loss of your child. Only through intense counseling will your husband be able to disassociate you from the death of your child.

But let me assure you that your feelings of wanting to be close and intimate with your husband are completely normal. Many people deal with the loss of a child very differently and you wanted to comforted in your husband’s arms – but instead have been pushed away. That must be heartbreaking for you.

How you should handle your husband’s sexual denial

First and foremost if your husband won’t go to church you at least should get yourself in a good Bible preaching church. Seek out a counselor on your own even if your husband won’t go so you can talk about how you are feeling. Make sure it is a Christian that holds to your same world view and faith.

If you don’t have some good Christian girlfriends, make some friends. Spend time with family and friends and draw strength from them for the battle you have ahead.

I realize it is a horrible feeling to be rejected for physical intimacy by the man you love but continue to make occasional attempts to be intimate with him realizing he may continue to reject you.

At the same time you need to have a serious talk with your husband. Let him know that you love him and you want to repair your marriage and move past the loss of your first child. Continue to offer to go to counseling with him, or even if he wants to go by himself to see a counselor that will be fine to.

Be sure to pray for your husband daily.

But you also need to let your husband know that your marriage is broken. The covenant of your marriage is broken while there is no physical intimacy between the two of you. You are no longer one flesh and this is not pleasing to God. Tell him you will only allow this grave sin to go on for so long until you will exercise your right to divorce him for this breach of your marriage.

I would recommend giving him at least a year or so with occasional respectful requests to him to get help he needs.

If over the next year you see no forward progress and he still refuses counseling or any to talk to the Pastor of the new church you will find then you probably need to file for divorce.

But filing for divorce does not necessarily mean the end of your marriage. For some filing for divorce shakes them out of their sinful stubbornness and bitterness and helps them to see what they are about to lose. For others they will only sink deeper into the abyss of their bitterness.

The two possible outcomes of your attempts to confront your husband’s sin

The best outcome, and the one you are praying for is that you husband will allow God to free his heart of the bitterness that has poisoned him.

But if your husband refuses to repent and give his heart back to God – you are free to go because he has chosen to remain in his sin and refuses to be one flesh with you as his wife.

Realize though that many conservative Churches that would condemn your husband for sexually denying you would also condemn you for divorcing him over sexual denial. They will try and teach you a false doctrine that God wants you to just live in a celibate marriage potentially for the rest of your life if he never changes.

 “Celibate Marriage” is a huge oxymoron.

While there is more to marriage than sex, a marriage with no sex is not a marriage. There is a reason why marriage is called a “one flesh” relationship as opposed to a “one mind” or “one soul” relationship.

You must be convinced of this right you have before God knowing that your Pastor may not agree.

I pray the Lord will give you the strength you need for the battle ahead.

Here is another post on this subject:

4 Steps to Confronting your husband’s sexual refusal

Stories of Sexual Denial in Marriage Episode 8

“I have read your article entitled, “8 Steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal” and you are not a 100% right – but 150% right if that is possible.  I can say this with confidence because I am an actual text book case — this happened to me.  No theory here.” – This is part of an email I received today from a man who calls himself Andrew J(not his real name).

Feminists and other Christians who just want this issue of sexual denial to be swept under the rug want this to go away. They want my site to go away – but it continues to grow because this is a real problem and part of the larger problem of feminism and emotionalism invading and destroying our marriages.

Good men, men who love their wives and children and provide for them both physically, spiritually and emotionally  are being defrauded in their marriages.

I love Andrew J’s writing style and he was very adamant about sharing his story and making sure other men don’t suffer alone and think there is nothing they can do to combat this evil.   So with all that being said here is his story.

Andrew J’s Story

I have read your article entitled, “8 Steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal” and you are not a 100% right – but 150% right if that is possible.  I can say this with confidence because I am an actual text book case — this happened to me.  No theory here.

I was married 22 years before getting divorced in 2013.  During my marriage, I never cheated on my wife, I brought home a very large income and let my wife get anything she needed.  We had started out with nothing together and by the time we were married 17 years, I had brought home enough that she didn’t have to work, even with 5 children and could afford a big house.

I always made sure that I was kind and a real marriage partner to my wife and a good father by being a Godly role model, reading the bible to my children, etc. as I am to this day.  I only required sex one day a week.  I never hit or raised a hand to her.  My parents set a great example to me as marriage partners and parents.  (They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last year).  I do not gamble, have a drinking problem, nor do I spend much.  I am quite thrifty.  My parents had nothing and taught my sister and I to work hard and save, be loyal and not get divorced but work things out.  I have been working since the 7th grade.  What I am trying to say, is that there was no legitimate reason why what was about to happen to me should have ever occurred based on my behavior.

In May of 2009, my wife at the time informed me that if I really “loved her” that I would not ask for sex.  She asked for a “break from sex”.  Her reasoning was that I wanted sex all the time and that she had been unhappy during the entirety of our past 17 years of marriage.  She made me feel like a sex maniac.  At the time, we just moved into a new big house and we had everything in life you could want – great kids, the best house in the town, etc.  She also refused to sleep in our bed and instead slept on the couch.  She also stopped going to church.

I tried everything I could to get her to have sex with me.  I asked for forgiveness for anything that could have made her mad at me.  I asked her what I could to make the situation better. What I didn’t realize is that this only made the situation worse.  Once she figured that she had me over a barrel, she began to disrespect me, take advantage of the situation and made me feel terrible about myself.  She also began ignoring me (would not go on dates with me) and wanted to go out with friends.  What happened was this:  now that she could get away with this, she figured she could get away with a lot of other stuff.

I was heartbroken.  In July, we met with the Pastor’s right hand man at our church, which had no effect on her.  He was not firm enough with her.  In September of 2009, we went to her father’s recommended Christian counselor, she also was not firm enough.  I went to this counselor from September 2009 to December 2010.  My ex-wife came a few times but hardly said anything.

When she did speak, she kept saying how I always wanted sex.  She also said that when I demanded more sexual positions beside the missionary position and oral sex, that I made it worse.  (We had done the missionary position for 7 years straight when I asked for this.)  The counseling did nothing to change her mind about sex.  The counselor never said she was wrong or called it sexual immorality like you so correctly noted.  My ex-wife’s father, who is a very religious man and divorced twice, kept putting the onus on me to change.  He told me (at the time he was divorced a second time) that he hadn’t had sex for months so I shouldn’t feel so bad (I was married at the time.)  (This is a man who claims he knows the bible inside-out and goes to a large size church.) In summary, everyone made me feel like the bad guy on her side, except her uncle who told me he suspected an affair going on by her, because this is sex we are talking about, not a need, like food or water – except when my parents when they found out.

My parents opened my eyes to the truth about sex as you so pointed out in your article.  My sister, who is happily married, also did.  I realized that wanting sex is not a sin.  My desire was not wrong.  I also read the book, “His Needs, Her Needs,” which says that a man’s number one need is sex in marriage.

In summary, I essentially did steps 1 to 3 in your article during this period.  Intuitively, I realized later after my divorce that I should have done essentially what you said in steps 4-7.  When I read your article yesterday, it only confirmed what I believe should have been my right course of action — I should have done steps 5 to 7.  It sounds wrong but you are totally right.  As you can see by what I did, by not doing steps 4 to 7, I only made things worse because I was trying to be the “nice guy.”

To finish my story, she did not want to divorce me because financially she was “living it up.”  A divorce would only lead to a monetary loss for her.  My life consisted of getting up at 530 am for an hour and half commute to Manhattan, working all day and into the evening and then getting home at 7 or 8 pm.  After a while, she wasn’t even making me dinner – as I mentioned she began to see that she could get away with this too.  Then I would go upstairs to sleep alone.  During this time when I still was living in the house and she would not have sex with me (September 2009 to December 2010), I did not cheat on her or go to any topless bars.  I only masturbated to get through this.  (I am giving you the dates of when things happened so you can see I really tried to work things out and just didn’t give up right away.)

In October 2010, I informed her that I would have to do the unthinkable – divorce her if she did not stop denying me.  This phased her for about one day.  In December 2010, she asked that I leave the house for the “children’s sake.”  She did this so she could go sleep in what was supposed to be our bedroom and have free reign of the household.  My oldest daughter also told me that she had an affair with the mechanic who was a neighbor at our old house.  I thought that such was occurring and confronted this man twice about staying away from our house, when I lived there.  This is the man that her uncle warned me about.  She berated me for this action telling me he was just trying to help us with house repairs.  I clearly see now that all of this was deception using religion, “love” and other reasons to show me that I was wrong (and sex was wrong to demand) and she was right.

But as you pointed out, she was sexually immoral and I was right. I don’t believe in divorce.  It was the most difficult thing for me to do.  After I moved out, I lived with my parents from January 2011 to June 2013.  I finally filed for divorce in August 2011 with my sister coming with me to do it.  I asked God for forgiveness.

I realize by your article that I actually divorced based on sexual immorality and you set me free from that condemnation.  I filed because things only got worse and she enjoyed the lifestyle and didn’t care that I was around.  The last straw occurred when I was informed that I was going to lose my job in July 2011 and she didn’t really care about me.  Just the job and the money.  I realized the marriage was over.

I am taking the time to write all this because I want other men to know that a wife needs to have sex with her husband.  Yes, husbands, need to be Godly men but sex is not a favor you get for being a “good boy.”

I want men to know that tough love is required.  Anything else doesn’t work for when she denies you sex.  That sex is not a bad thing that religion and love have nothing to do with showing that sex is wrong.  Sex is a great thing created by God for man and his wife.  That getting divorced for sexual immorality is the only choice you have if she won’t change!

For me, I had to get divorced — it was because I was devastated emotionally and physically.  I was falling apart.  It was good that I left the house because she was literally toxic to my health and well-being.  I lost weight, I could not concentrate, I felt awful and cried constantly.  During this time, I went to church and never blamed God for any of this.  He got me through the divorce and the aftermath today.  My parents, friends and the Lord built me up to where I am today.  I have no problem letting married people know that should have sex and that no sex in a marriage means “no marriage” as my sister put it.

I thank God for you to have the courage to speak the truth about this matter.  I have no problem with you publishing this article.”

My Response to Andrew J

First of all Andrew I want to thank you so much for sharing your story. So many men suffer in silence with this and think they are the only ones who do, or that even if other men suffer with this there is nothing they can do about it.

As you pointed out often times counselors either give bad advice about this or they are not hard enough on the woman and usually tend to make an unending list of excuses for her sexual denial.

This is why we must be as the Bereans who “searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so”(Acts 17:11).

There are still Churches(especially among the Baptist denomination that I am a part of) that will take a hard stand on this in marital counseling.  But even in those churches there are few who would condone a man divorcing his wife over the sin of sexual refusal.   This is because most Churches see only two Biblical reasons for divorce – adultery and abandonment.

What they fail to recognize,and I am glad that you did, is the fact that  Biblical marital faithfulness is truly a two sided coin.   On one side of it you cannot have sex with someone other than your spouse. But on the other side you MUST have sex with your spouse.

I am glad that you realize that your wife was sexually immoral both before she had that affair near the end and even before that when she was sexually denying you.

The acts of sexual defrauding AND adultery are acts of sexual immorality.

Often times if a woman is capable of one of these, she is capable of the other.  Many women because they are completely lead by their emotions and passions instead of their duty to their husbands will begin with defrauding their husbands first.

They do this because they feel he has not earned the “emotional right” to have sex with them. This only serves to further alienate their husbands.  Then after this denial goes on for sometime they seek to have their passions fed by other men who will worship them and tell them whatever they want to hear at which point they then give their bodies to those men in the act of adultery.

Your ex-wife is a textbook case of this scenario which is occurring in marriages across America and the Western world each and every day.

I am glad your family and especially your sister were there to comfort you and help you to see the evil that was being committed against your marriage by your wife.

I am sure you would admit that you were not the perfect husband.  But God does require men to be the perfect husbands for wives to fulfill a core and foundational requirement of marriage  which is to give their bodies to their husbands for their sexual needs.

You have also demonstrated what I have stated on this blog that the “Mr. Nice Guy” approach does not work.  

As Christian husbands we should never appease sinful behavior, rather we must confront it head on.

You sound like a man of good Christian character, one who loved his wife and tried everything he could to repair the marriage and confront the mockery that his wife was making of his marriage.

I don’t know if you are dating or remarried, but If you are not I pray that God will give you the courage to seek out another wife.  You have every right to, and can hold your head high knowing you did what was right before the Lord.

But remember the lessons you have learned from your first marriage and apply them to your next marriage.  Yes as a husband you should love your wife by leading her, providing for her, protecting her, knowing her and honoring her.  But on the flip side of that you must also discipline your wife and use correlation to show her that sinful behavior whether it is blatant disrespect or disobedience or sexual denial will not be tolerated.

Before you get engaged to a woman – your understanding  of the Biblical duties of a husband and wife should be made clear to her.

A good Christian woman will respect all these attributes in Christian husband.

May God be with you and bless you.  Thank you again for sharing your story.

My reaction to my interview with Alan Colmes

Well it finally happened and I had my interview on the Alan Colmes radio show on Fox News Radio.

As I stated previously – Alan Colmes is a liberal and I did not expect him to affirm my Biblical beliefs at all.

I was somewhat taken by surprise when he started off our interview accusing me of being anti-sematic (hating Jews) for their having Christ crucified. He was referring to a quote I have on my About Me page:

“The pen name I write under is Larry Solomon. The reason I do not use my real name is the same reason that Christ hid himself from Jews:

“Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.” – John 8:59 (KJV)

It was not Christ’s time to die and it’s not my time to go public. And no – I don’t have a Messiah complex! But the Scriptures tell us:

“Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” – I John 2:6

I am not the Savior, but rather I want to walk as my Savior walked as he grants me the grace to do so. I am not a prophet nor a preacher. I am simply a man saved by the sacrifice of his savior, a sinner saved by grace. A forgiven man with a Bible in his hands teaching his children and whomever wants to listen – the Word of God.”

The “they” in John 8:59 were Jesus’s fellow Jews taking up stones to kill him for claiming to be God.

This is the passage with more context added.

56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?

58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.” – John 8:56-59 (KJV)

It is crystal clear from this passage that it was his fellow Jews that wanted to stone him.

Also we can see here that the Jews were the ones who asked the Romans to crucify Jesus:

“22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.

23 And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.

24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.” – Matthew 27:22-25 (KJV)

He continued to say that my position that the Jews killed Jesus was wrong and offensive to Jews at which point I told him it was offensive to Christians to be told that the New Testament was wrong about who had Jesus crucified. While the Romans did the actual killing, it was the Jews who demanded it.

To say the Jews were not just as guilty for his death as the Romans would be like saying if you hired a hitman to kill someone you are not complicit in their murder. It is absurd to make such a claim.

But just because the Jews had Christ killed does not mean I hate Jews! I love the Jews. God wants to save them and he wants them to accept their Messiah. Some Christians in centuries past and some even today have shown hatred toward the Jews and that is absolutely wrong!

On a more personal note, if I hated the Jews – I would by hating my own ancestors (great great grand parents) who were Jewish Germans that immigrated to America.

When we got to the subject of marriage he asked me if I thought marriage was an equal partnership and I told him “No – the Bible never shows marriage as a partnership, but rather as a patriarchy”.

Alan tried to pull the verse that all Christian feminists use to try and cancel out every other passage of Scripture that shows marriage as a patriarchy and that is Ephesians 5:21.

Alan accused me of “cherry picking” because I said Ephesians 5:21 was speaking about submission of church members in the assembly and it was not speaking of the relationship between husbands and wives.

21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

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

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” – Ephesians 5:21-24 (KJV)

But the truth is he and those who take his position that the Bible presents marriage as an equal partnership are wrong. They are the ones who are misapplying the Scriptures. You cannot take Ephesians 5:21 and cancel out what is said in the next verses about how a wife is to submit to her husband in “everything” or every other passage of Scripture that tells women to submit to their husbands. Now who is cherry picking?

My wife when she heard Alan about submission said “This is basic Christianity 101 – if you read your Bible you know women are to submit to their husbands. Now we might not always feel like it and we might not always do it – but we know we are supposed to”.

I so wished he would have given me more time to elaborate on the fact that while wives are to submit to their husbands, husbands are to love their wives sacrificially and provide for them and protect them as they would their own body.

I am going to try and get that out the next time I talk to him.

Oh and for lady that said the NIV translation of the Bible does not show a wife submitting let me show you.

“22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” – Ephesians 5:22-24 (NIV)

Yep  – its there.

Now the NIV does not always get the translation right and they do mess up some other verses where they are not faithful to literal Greek rendering. But this is not one of those cases.

It was brought up by some callers after my interview ended that in Christian marriage husbands are to be servant leaders as Christ himself was a servant leader.

I don’t disagree that Christ was a servant leader or that husbands should be servant leaders.  But the way we are to serve our wives and the way our wives are to serve us according to God’s Word is very different.

Yes Jesus washed his apostles feet and he broke bread for them at the last supper.  But Jesus did not spend the majority of this time washing people’s feet and serving tables. He spend the vast majority of his time doing the work of his ministry – doing his mission as all men should do.

So as husbands yes we ought to serve our wives.  Sometimes that might mean taking care of them when they are sick, or helping out with some things around the house when they are overwhelmed. But the majority of a husband’s service is not in these areas – it is to be in the areas of leading his wife, providing for her, teaching her and protecting her.

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)

On the wife’s side – the way she is to primarily serve her husband is clear in the Scriptures:

“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” – I Timothy 5:14 (KJV)

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 2:4-5 (KJV)

The primary way a wife serves her husband is by bearing and caring for his children and his home.

The husband and wife serve each other by meeting each others sexual needs.

I think overall the interview went well considering I was in hostile territory.

 

Feminism destroys a Church and a Marriage

“While preaching against the prevailing feminism of our day from 1 Peter, I was accused by a member with an egalitarian disposition of having a low view of women and a dismal view of marriage… A month later I was deposed from office, the church was disbanded and I was informally exiled from the denomination… I have been and am being defrauded by my wife, betrayed by my son, removed from my career along with over a decade of preparation, education and experience…” – this is just part of a story I received from a former minister in response to my post “How a husband can enjoy sex that is grudgingly given by his wife”.

It gets worse, much worse as you read this man’s story.

Jonadab the Rechabite’s Story

“BGR

Warning: what follows is a verbose, blubbering, whiny tale of a beta’s misfortune and malfeasance. Read at your own risk and don’t say I didn’t warn you!

You write on an issue that is a very present and painful agony in my life. I too know well the pain of sexual rejection; it is my constant companion that accompanies me like my shadow. It brings with it many bitter fruits. In my case my wife said that she did not want to have sex with me, because she did not respect me (she just could not have sex with a man she did not respect). That was over 25 years ago and the situation has not really improved.

Back then I, thinking of myself as a Christian man of honor and valor convinced myself of three things:

1) That I was called to love my wife no matter what; better or worse till death.

2) Suffering was often a part of love. That to take up my cross daily and that being rejected and despised was simply my sharing in the fellowship with the suffering of Christ, which He did out of love for His bride. So if Christ suffered for a church that would not honor Him or worship Him in Spirit and truth, then I could suffer for my bride who would not respond to me sexually or give me due honor and respect. So I recommitted to love my wife, even when she was unlovely, to be patient, caring and helpful, hoping that she would repent if I gave her time and space.

3) I would honor my vows unto death and that meant I would not be a rapist nor a beggar for sex, I would neither abandon my wife by divorce nor have an adulterous affair, so I was left with either a life as a eunuch or finding sexual release on my own, alone. I chose the latter and found that the use of visual aids were helpful. Mind you, if my wife responded to my overtures positively, she was my only sexual object, and she had all of my love and attention, but if she did not desire me, then I granted to her, her wish and I discretely found release and pleasure on my own.

I struggled with the accusation that visual aids were the same thing as adultery. I was concerned at the thought of the deceitfulness of my own heart in the matter, but I reasoned that my use was not to covet another women, but to remain with the woman I married. Still, the continuous outcry by the Christian community against porn had my spirit often vexed and confused. The church was screaming condemnations against male sexuality and porn while welcoming divorce and mute on defrauding. Women were viewed as holy and men as sinners, I knew if I went to the church to help my marriage, they would fail miserably to correct my wife and most likely point her to the path of divorce.

We would have sex a few times a year (2-6) and as a result I have five children. But as she got wind of my porn use and she became even more bitter toward me. I was/ am confounded about her anger of my porn use, she didn’t want sex with me, but she also did not want me to have a sex-drive. I believe that it was her desire to control me and control my desires, that provoked her to scorn me and despise me even more.

On the rare occasions we would have sex, I judged that she was “sand-bagging”. I believe she was intentionally making it as bad as she could so I would cease my overtures, while avoiding the charge of totally defrauding me. She resisted my attempts at foreplay, she would not touch me below the navel, would not kiss back etc. It seemed that her approach was “get on – get off -and get off —and make it fast!” In time I came to look at her as the destruction and desolation of my sex, she was the miserly and uptight killjoy – constantly on the prowl lest I have any enjoyment in life. She would not have sex with me and I had to be out of her presence have even a modicum of pleasure from the sexual consolation of masturbation. I realized that porn was not primarily about me desiring hot T and A, but me wanting to be desired. Paul said better to marry than to burn, I was married and I was burning with no way to quench the fire, only escape the flames for a short while.

It wasn’t always a total desert. During a time that she was a little more responsive, I as a result went porn free and I believed that we were on the road to lasting improvement. At the end of that extended time things were more tolerable and I became an elder in my church with a clear conscience. Eight years later the church commissioned me to plant a church and to become fully ordained, which I did. Things were going well, in fact a survey of the congregation had each household reporting that the prior year of participation at the church plant was the most intense year of spiritual growth of their life.

While preaching against the prevailing feminism of our day from 1 Peter, I was accused by a member with an egalitarian disposition of having a low view of women and a dismal view of marriage. That accusation was escalated to my presbytery would have gone nowhere, (my exegesis and application were biblically solid), except that at the same time my oldest son was feeling distressed about his mother’s growing expressions of contempt toward me.

A man who is fancies himself a “white knight” and super husband, liked to go hunting with my son, convinced him that the only possible reason for my wife’s discontent was that I was a lousy, unloving husband and therefore unfit for the ministry. That same man who had previously played a role in the destruction of two other churches, called a member of my presbytery accusing me of a “porn addiction”. An investigation ensued which was little more than just a few phone calls and when I was asked about my sex life, my wife or porn, I spoke the truth as plainly and forthright as I knew how with as little spin and humility as I could muster.

A month later I was deposed from office, the church was disbanded and I was informally exiled from the denomination. When I was first ordained, I vowed to submit to my presbytery and so I have heeded their discipline, even if I have disagreements with the process. (If I cannot submit to the church how can I expect my wife to submit to her husband?) Besides I no longer believe that I rule my household well, which is a biblical qualification to enter the ministry and some contend to remain in it.

To sum up: I have been and am being defrauded by my wife, betrayed by my son, removed from my career along with over a decade of preparation, education and experience, and most of the same people I prayed and agonized over daily will not talk to me. The blame me for the destruction of a very tight knit church.

One of the former members of the church was tried and convicted for an offense committed years ago when he was a minor and he had to go through the courts, jail and now prison with no pastor to comfort him, because I was deemed unfit to be a minister of the word and sacrament. I get teary eyed every time I think of that loneliness and doubt he had to endure and no one was not there for him when he really needed a pastor.

My wife and I went to a nouthetic counselor who just validated my wife’s feelings of contempt and condemned me as a “porn addict”, even though I hadn’t used porn for a over a year and a half. He dropped us after a few visits, never admonishing her to repent of her 25 years of sexual defrauding. She became convinced that she has grounds for a biblical divorce because the white knight community has bellowed their scripture abuse in her ear: that to look another woman with any sexual desire is the same as committing acts of adultery and any act of adultery is grounds for a christian wife to divorce her husband and destroy the home.

Except for an anonymous blog using a pseudonym, I cannot repeat what I just described to anyone including my family, the former members of my church or even my current church; to do so would constitute a catastrophic failure to protect my wife and my son’s reputation. My mother and siblings think I am a failure and maybe some kind of pervert. I cannot correct them or defend myself, I must let them think what they will, even if I am a reproach to them. I am now woefully insufficiently employed, working a job with long hours for low pay, mostly alone and that requires me to miss worship most weeks.

A deposed pastor even with graduate degrees in computer science and in pursuit of a doctorate of ministry is not in market demand. Nobody really cares that I taught church history, christian worldview, was published or preached to large crowds. My public positions against popular sins of the day have made me anathema to many potential employers. Add to that a downcast spirit and … well you get the idea. I have lost the role of head in my home and live under the threat of divorce.

I live in a sexless marriage where the marriage bed is defiled and cold, a symbol of decades of defrauding. Unlike the divorced man who has to pick up the pieces and get on with a broken life, I live daily feeling anew the fresh agony of a ongoing defrauding and a life lost of purpose. In moments of weakness, I feel alone, unwanted and useless. This is the fruit of a defrauded marriage. I wonder if I broken my vows and had gotten a divorce if I would be nearly so despised.

I know that all things work together for good, but right now I am having a difficult time seeing how it will all work out.

Lord I believe! Help thou my unbelief!”

My response to Jonadab

Jonadab – I am so very sorry to hear how the poisonous influences of feminism in both your church and your marriage have essentially destroyed the life you once had.

After I read your story this passage of Scripture came to mind:

 “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.” – Psalm 27:10 (KJV)

Just substitute mother and father with wife, son and church.  The Lord will take you up my friend. He can be a comfort to you during this difficult time.

I have a dear friend who some years back lost his ministry to false accusations.  I knew him from high school.  He got a degree in ministry and was so excited about serving the Lord and then he like you was betrayed.

I too have experienced and I know many who have experienced the unbiblical counseling that often goes on in Churches and other Christian ministries.

But believe it or not there are still some Bible preaching churches that would give you comfort and support.  You might need to change denominations to do it, but they are out there.  If you told your story to my Pastor you would have a very sympathetic ear.  He would have issues with the porn, but everything else you have stated he would be right with you.  He takes a hard stand against sexual denial in marriage when he does marriage counseling and he believes very strongly in Biblical authority in marriage.

Your story shows how feminism is not only destroying marriages, it is destroying churches as well.  It has seeped into every area of our lives in America and Western cultures. That is why we must take a stand against it.

You can’t go back and undo the past, but you can influence the direction of the future.  You may not be able to save your own marriage or your church, but you might be able to save other people’s marriages or other churches with these warnings.

You need to take a stand

Jonadab – there is something more that you can do.  Yes we need to warn others and yes there are some things we can’t change.  You won’t get your old ministry or old church back.

But you still have a marriage that needs you to be its head.  We are all sinners and we all make mistakes.  I am sure you have made other mistakes in your marriage and parenting but just from reading your story here are things that were NOT sin and NOT mistakes:

You preaching against feminism from I Peter was NOT a sin. You followed God’s Word and his leading.  You have nothing to apologize for.

You using “visual aids” to give yourself sexual release because your wife was failing to meet your sexual needs was NOT a sin. The Bible lust which is covetousness, it does not condemn sexual arousal or sexual imagination or use of images.

It sounds to me like you tried to serve your wife and please her to the best of your ability and I am sure you were not always perfect in this, but this in no way justifies her behavior or her contempt toward you as her husband.

Your wife is acting in wicked rebellion toward you and God. In her selfish and self-conceited sin she thinks she is the only woman you may look at and she is determiner of where and when you are allowed to experience you God given sexuality as a man.  She is completely wrong on this.

You need to get off your knees stand up and be the man God has called you to be. You must take back the leadership and authority in your home that you have abandoned for years.

If you want to know the area you have sinned in (based on your story) – it is in the abandonment of your duty to be the leader and authority in your home.  I do not say this to shame you, but to encourage you to get up and do what is right. You have enabled sin in your wife and son’s life.  Even if they do not recognize your authority to lead – you must lead anyway.

So the first thing you must do is a full self-examination with the Lord. Allow God to search your heart and reveal any sins you have committed and confess those to him. If you need to confess some actual sins (as opposed to perceived sins) against your wife or son then confess that to them as well.

Ask the Lord to give you courage because you are going to need it my friend.

stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” – I Corinthians 16:13 (NASB)

You stood firm in the faith in your church and lost your church because of it. But you have not stood firm in the faith in your home – because I think you might fear to lose that as well.

But you must be prepared to take a strong stand that may result in your wife divorcing you (or you divorcing her) and further alienation of your son. But you must put God’s ways first.  You must take a strong stand against sin.

I know in the beginning you believed that God called you to suffer with your wife’s sin of disrespect and denial. But I think now you realize that you have been enabling sin all these years.  You have not used the tools that God gives to husband as the head of his wife and his home.  Now you have the knowledge of what is right – you have only to act on it.

Find a Bible preaching church in your area – one where feminism is preached against without fear. Find support there and then begin the hard work of disciplining your wife.

See these two posts I wrote on the subject of Biblical discipline.

8 Steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal

7 Ways to discipline your wife

May God be with you brother.  Remember – even when your own family stands against you, God will be there to lift you up.