A Biblical Guide To Implementing Sexual Role Play In Christian Marriage

In this new 3 part series from BGRLearning.com I discuss why sexual role play is not only acceptable, but also beneficial in Christian marriage in addition to discussing Biblical boundaries on sexual role play as well as giving ideas husbands can try out with their wives.

In Part 1 of this series, I lay the Biblical foundation for sexual role play in marriage and show how it can strengthen a woman’s appreciation and respect for her husband’s masculine sexual nature which is very different from her own.

In Part 2 of this series, I give Biblically based boundaries for husbands when they are designing role play scenarios for themselves and their wives.

In Part 3 of this series, I give 9 Biblically based role playing scenario ideas for husbands which can lay the groundwork for unlimited variations on these scenarios to be enjoyed in Christian marriage.

Go to BGRLearning.com and subscribe today to listen to this series.

Verbal Consent Not Required In Biblical Marriage

Nowhere does the Bible condemn by explicit command or even by general principle a man using force to make his wife have sex in marriage.  In other words, the Bible does not recognize the 19th century feminist invention of “marital rape”.

A woman going by the handle @_DearSister_ has an Instagram page where she teaches a conservative and Christian patriarchal view of marriage to women.

On that page she recently had a discussion about marital rape, and specifically the idea of some feminists saying that if a wife does not give verbal consent to her husband with each sexual encounter that the sex that follows is to be considered rape. 

In other words, what they are saying is, if the husband just starts trying to have sex with his wife and she allows it but did not say yes – this is rape.

I came on her page and went further than she did.  I said the Bible does not recognize that rape can occur within marriage.  In other words, Biblically speaking – “marital  rape” is an oxymoron.

What follows is a discussion I had with another woman on @_DearSister_ page who goes by handle @chellechristiansen.   We had some discussion before this point. But it was these comments from her that drove my more detailed response. I will show a screen shot her comment and then give my response that I have to her below it (of course for Instagram I had break up my response into a lot of small pieces).  And if you are not following me on Instagram (@biblicalgenderroles) – I highly recommend you do as the vast majority of my new content is there or on my podcast site (BGRLearning.com) and I slowly work it back here to my blog.

I have had this discussion with liberal women for years and they always go to the same tired humanist and feminist arguments. But the discussion I had with chellechristiansen was interesting because it was with a very conservative Christian woman who believes in submission and actually thinks Christian wives saying no to sex is sinful (a breath of fresh air). She just thinks it is wrong for a husband to force his wife to have sex even though she is sinfully refusing.

So my conversation with her was intended to reach other Christian women like her who are actually much closer to the truth on this issue of how sex should happen in a Biblical marriage.

My Response to chellechristiansen

I realize in my last comment I said I was done and would give you the final word in our discussion. I did not want to go round and round about the same arguments.  But as I have pondered your last comment here the for a few days – I realize there are some different questions from you here and a slightly different argument that you are making against a husband forcing his wife to have sex in marriage. 

I know what I showed you before and the new facts I will show you now may not change your mind.  10 years ago, I would have agreed with every word you are saying here because I did know about the history of humanism, feminism and the invention of “marital rape” by feminists in 19th century. I did know the history of how the early church fathers and later medieval chivalry codes changed our views on the acceptable treatment of wives by their husbands. 

I did know that up even into the 19th century that courts including English and American upheld the Biblical principal that husbands were masters and owners of their wives in keeping with 1 Peter 3:5-6 and that they upheld the husband’s right to use force and discipline to compel his wife’s obedience “in everything” (Ephesians 5:24) just as Christ compels the obedience of his church through discipline in Revelation 3:19.  They even referred to these rights as ancient rights of men practiced in all cultures.

I don’t even need Deuteronomy 21:10-14 where God expressly allows men to take captive women and force them to be their wives to defend the position I am taking here.  There is a larger position I am taking which goes beyond forced sex in marriage.  And that is that husbands have not only right, but the responsibility to use all means at their disposal to compel their wives’ obedience just as Christ uses discipline to compel their obedience of his church.

Now as someone else pointed out here in this thread, men no longer have these “ancient rights” as one court referred to them.  Feminists have won many court battles over the last century and convinced legislatures to strip men of their mastery over their wives and their ability compel their wives to obey by use of force. 

In other words, a man in our modern age who simply attempts to follow the Biblical example of God in disciplining his wife (as God did Israel and Christ did the church) could land himself in jail.   This is why I do NOT recommend that most Christian men use physical force of any kind in our day in age with their wives. However, there are a small minority of Christian wives still raised with these ancient Biblical truths and if they are then their husbands can exercise these rights in marriage.

You asked about me saying there is no such thing as marital rape and yet saying marital rape is expressly condoned in the Bible in Deuteronomy 21:10-14.  I apologize for not being precise in my language.  Before the 19th century, the English term “rape” did mean “forced sex”, but rather it was a more precise term that meant “forced sex outside of marriage”.  Then 19th century feminists invented the concept of “marital rape” and eventually just the word “rape” meant all forced sex whether in marriage or outside of marriage.   

A good way to understand the difference between forced sex and rape is to compare it with beating someone.  Are all incidents of one person beating someone immoral according the Bible? The answer is no.  In fact, the Bible expressly condones both adults and children being beaten as chastisement in these passages (Deut 25:3, Prov 26:3). 

And lest you think this only Old Testament, Christ condoned physical chastisement of adults in Luke 12:46-48 and so does the Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 2:18-20.  And in for course the Bible expressly prescribes physical discipline for children as well in Proverbs 23:13 and Hebrews 12:5-11.   

As I have shown from the previous Scripture references, the Bible expressly allows and even condones the beating of adults and children by their authorities.  As Christians then we should call beating someone unlawfully “assault” while biblically we must call a God ordained authority beating someone as discipline – “chastisement”.   It is the same with forced sex.  Forced sex Biblically speaking should be called “rape”, only if that forced sex was of a man who was not a woman’s husband.   

So, to be clear, what I am saying is the Bible expressly condones forced sex within marriage in Deuteronomy 21:10-14 and it also implicitly condones forced sex by making the husband responsible for compelling his wife’s obedience as her ruler and master and as Christ compels his wife, the church.  (See Gen 3:16, 1 Peter 3:5-6 and Rev 3:19).

You argued that a husband forcing his wife to have sex, even when she sinfully has said no, is a violation of the fruits of the spirit.  But is it really? First and foremost, Galatians 5:22-23 listing of the fruits of the spirit is not exhaustive.  Jesus Christ exhibited another fruit of the spirit – righteous anger when he fashioned cords to make a whip and beat the money changers, turned over their tables and drove them from the temple in John 2:13–17.  Paul also exhibited this righteous anger when he asked the disobedient church at Corinth if he needed to bring a rod to discipline them in 1 Corinthians 4:21.

Could a man be violating the fruits of the spirit in some cases of forcing his wife to have sex? Yes.  If his wife is ill, just had surgery, has just given birth or has some other condition like this then yes this would be a lack of self-control, seeking his own at the expense of her need (selfishness).  If a man always forces sex on his wife (as some men actually sinfully prefer) and is never gentle with her – this too would be a violation of the fruits of the spirit.

Should there be some room also for mercy for the wife? That even at times when she sinfully says no (as opposed to graciously asking for a rain check when she is ill) that even in this sinful situation he shows mercy and does not force her? Yes.

But if a husband allows a pattern of willful sin on the part of his wife, where she can say “no” to sex with no fear of any consequences – such a man is derelict in his duty before God to discipline his wife as Christ does his church (Rev 3:19).  And yes, forced sex by a husband can absolutely be a form of discipline in marriage. 

You said at the end of your comment “Let her be in sin and guide her to repentance”.  This is utterly unbiblical.  God did not let his wife Israel remain in sin, but rather he disciplined her to try and bring her out it.  Christ does not allow his wife (his church), to remain in sin, but rather he disciplines her to try and bring her out of it.

And it is this false philosophy of “Let her be in sin and guide her to repentance”, which originates in faulty think of Christians from the medieval chivalrous period, which actually laid the foundations for 19th century feminism.  And now we have as Western civilization reaped the consequences of two centuries of undisciplined wives.  Men are expected to wash their wives as Christ does his church (Ephesians 5:25-27) as well as rebuke and chasten them as Christ does his church (Revelation 3:19).

Chastisement is to be Welcomed by Wives and Practiced By Husbands

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.

In the last couple years, I have been expanding my writings on the Biblical and historic practice of wife spanking.  Some of those articles include “The Biblical Case for Domestic Discipline”, “A 19th Century Suffragette View of Domestic Discipline”, “19th Century Judicial Precedents Regarding Domestic Discipline” and early articles like “Does the Bible allow a husband to spank his wife?

In addition, I wrote “A Christian Husband’s Guide to Grooming His Young Wife” for newlywed husbands which includes discipline as part of a larger Biblically based grooming process that Christian husbands should practice with their wives.

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

“Dear Sir,

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.’ ”

Luke 13:6-9

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…

Psalms 39:10-11

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.

H3256

Original: יסר

Transliteration: yâsar

Phonetic: yaw-sar’

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.”

Four Biblical Ways a Christian Wife Can Cope with a Cheating Husband

The world and sadly many churches today tell women to leave their cheating husbands.   But is this what the Bible tells women to do? How can a woman possibly stay with a cheating husband? How could she cope with this on a daily basis and have any kind of a relationship with her husband knowing what he is doing?

In my new podcast series on BGRLearning.com entitled “Four Biblical Ways a Christian Wife Can Cope with a Cheating Husband”, I first start out with an email from a Christian wife named Beth.  She has been married 8 years and has three children.  She recently discovered that her husband has been engaging in sexual sin while he is away on business trips.

I help her and other wives to navigate the range of emotions they are experiencing and point them to the Bible to put their husbands’ sin in a right Biblical perspective.  It is only when a woman sees her husband’s sin from God’s perspective and that she can fully accept how God wants her to cope with her husband’s sin.

Whoremongering husbands are nothing new in the history of the world.   Both men and women have been engaging in sexual sin since the beginning of mankind.  And as with many things in the Bible, his instructions to wives in how to deal with and cope with their husband’s sin is different than his instructions for men. 

It is possible for a Christian wife to have a good relationship, a loving relationship, with her whoremongering husband if she follows the commands and principles of the Word of God that I talk about in this series.

Many Christian women today may find this impossible to believe, but with God all things are possible. 

Even if you are not married or are married and don’t have a whoremongering husband, the Biblical principles in this series will help to strengthen your marriage.

Click here to go to BGRLearning.com today and subscribe to listen to this series as well as hundreds of other podcasts on masculinity, femininity courtship, marriage and sex all from a Biblical perspective.

Why Sadomasochism Is Unbiblical

Sadomasochism is a word used to represent two corruptions of the human nature by sin, sadism and masochism. In this article I wrote for Biblicalsexology.com, I show how sadism and masochism are actually a perversion of the God given desires of man to dominate his wife and the woman to be dominated by her husband.

The sad truth is that there are many Christian marriages, marriages built on the principles of Biblical patriarchy as well as the Biblical principles of Christian Domestic Discipline (CDD), that have fallen prey to this perversion of sadomasochism.

I have read articles elsewhere online about sadomasochism from a Christian perspective, but none of them compare and contrast the biblical practices of CDD and dominant sex with sadomasochism. In my article I clearly articulate the two styles of sex which God allows in marriage which are affectionate sex (i.e. making love) as well as dominant sex with the sinful practice of sadomasochistic sex.

You can read the full article here on Biblicalsexology.com.

There is no word for “husband” in the original languages of the Bible

In Hebrew and Greek, the original languages of the Bible, there is no word for husband. Instead, the Bible uses two words to refer to husbands and these words can refer to men that are not husbands as well.

In the Hebrew of the Old Testament husbands are often referred to as “ish” which means “a male human being” and the New Testament also uses the Greek equivalent word for male which is “aner” to refer to husbands. In other words, one of the ways to refer to a woman’s husband in ancient times was simply to refer to him as “her man”.

The second word which the Bible uses to refer to a woman’s husband is very offensive to modern ears. The Hebrew word “baal” is used 15 times in the Old Testament to refer to a woman’s husband. The Hebrew word “baal” means “master/owner”. There is also an adverb use of “baal” which means “owned”. The word is used to refer to masters, home owners, a pagan deity and to husbands.

The following passage from the book of Exodus illustrates the use of baal where it is not a referring to a woman’s husband.

If a man shall deliver unto his neighbour money or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of the man’s house; if the thief be found, let him pay double. If the thief be not found, then the master [BAAL] of the house shall be brought unto the judges, to see whether he have put his hand unto his neighbour’s goods.

For all manner of trespass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any manner of lost thing which another challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbour.

1If a man deliver unto his neighbour an ass, or an ox, or a sheep, or any beast, to keep; and it die, or be hurt, or driven away, no man seeing it: 11 Then shall an oath of the Lord be between them both, that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbour’s goods; and the owner [BAAL] of it shall accept thereof, and he shall not make it good.

12 And if it be stolen from him, he shall make restitution unto the owner [BAAL] thereof.”

Exodus 22:7-12 (KJV)

Notice in the passage above that baal is translated as “master” in verse 8, then as “owner” in verses 11 and 12. The reason for this that baal in the context of a house meant the head of household or literally the master of the house. But in the context of goods being held or exchanged, baal referred to the owner of the goods.

Now let’s look at the following passage refers to a husband’s mastery and 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.

Deuteronomy 22:22 (KJV)

The phrase “a woman married to an husband” is most literally translated from the Hebrew as “a woman owned by an owner”.

In the Proverbs 31 regarding the virtuous wife, the Bible refers to her husband not as her “ish” (her man), but rather as her “baal” (her master):

10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

11 The heart of her husband [BAAL – master] doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil…

23 Her husband [BAAL – master] is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land…

28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband [BAAL – master] also, and he praiseth her.

Some Christians, unwilling to accept the Biblical teaching that a husband is the master and owner of his wife, have tried to claim that since “ish”(meaning man) is used more often than “baal” to refer to a woman’s husband that this is how God wants a wife to see her husband, as her man and not as her master. These Christian’s see a husband’s mastery over his wife as a result of sin and something God only temporarily allowed.

Some have even tried to point to the following Old Testament passage to say God’s preference is for women to see their husbands as their “man” and not “master”:

“And it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali.”

Hosea 2:16 (KJV)

In the passage above God was not giving up his mastery over his wife, Israel. But rather he saying he wanted her to see him as BOTH her man and her master. Ishi was the tender and affectionate way that women sometimes referred to their husbands. In essence, God wanted his wife Israel to say to him “You are not just my master, but you are my man”.

The passage below from the New Testament, settles once and for all whether or not a husband’s mastery over his wife was a result of sin or his design from the beginning of creation:

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 [Greek KURIOS – “master”]: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”

1 Peter 3:5-6 (KJV)

The fact that the Apostle Peter commands women, Christian women, to follow the examples of Old Testament women like Sarah who called their husband’s “lord” (master) confirms for us that a husband’s mastery over his wife was God’s design from the very beginning of creation.

How Masters of Wives Became Husbands

Many centuries after the New Testament was finished, English, like other languages came up with a new word to refer specifically to the master and owner of a wife.   Originally husband meant “master of the house”. So the early English translations of the Bible translated “baal” as “husband” instead of master as they believed it helped refer to a specific kind of master, the master of a wife.

In no way was the translation of a master of a wife as “husband” meant to weaken a man’s authority over his wife. English common law, following Biblical law, recognized a husband’s full ownership over his wife and children.  When it came to his wife, a man could override any of his wife’s decisions and had complete control over her life, again in keeping with Biblical law (see Numbers 30, Ephesians 5:22-24:).

American Society Rejects the Mastery of Husband Over His Wife

The term “master” in our American society is seen as a very negative term and evokes images of slave masters acting cruelly toward their slaves.   But in the Bible, the term master was not automatically associated with slavery or cruelty.  It recognizes that there were just slave masters and cruel slave masters. 

The Bible also recognizes a concept that we as 21st century Americans cannot understand. That to be owned and master by someone does not automatically make you a slave.  In other words, while a husband is his wife’s master, meaning that he does own her and control her life, that does not make her his slave.

The Bible shows that husbands as masters of their wives have far greater responsibilities toward their wives than masters of slaves.  In Ephesians 5:25-29, the Bible commands that husbands are to be willing to give their lives to protect their wives, they are to lead, teach, provide for and care for their wives as Christ does his church.

Conclusion

The Bible is clear that God wants Christian women to recognize their husband’s as more than their “life partners” or “friends” and even more than their leaders. God wants wives to recognize their husband’s as their earthly masters who have full control over their lives.

Full acceptance of the Biblical teaching of a husband’s mastery over his wife requires both a Christian husband and a Christian wife to reject the belief in the full autonomy of women. This modern belief that women have the same rights and freedom as men is enshrined in our American laws. But these laws giving women the same rights and freedom as men are null and void in the eyes of God and we as Christian husbands and wives must consider these laws null and void as well if we are to have marriages that are faithful to God’s design.

It will require great courage for Christian men to reclaim their birthright and responsibility of mastery over their wives in this post feminist era. And it will require great humility on the part of Christian women to fully embrace their husband’s mastery over them.

Let us pray for a courageous generation of Christian men and a humble generation of Christian women to return our society back to God’s design for marriage.

Do you still hold the “I am not comfortable with that” card?

Christ wife do you still hold the “I am not comfortable with that” card in your Christian marriage? If you do you need to get rid of it.  Let me explain what I mean.

You might consider yourself to be a wife who believes in submission to your husband.  You may even be able to show proof of your belief by showing times where you and your husband have disagreed on financial decisions or decisions regarding his career where you have simply followed him.

But then you hold on to the “I am not comfortable with that” card especially when it comes to you being asked to do things by him you are not comfortable with.  And we are not talking about things that are clearly outlined as sinful in the Bible like him asking you to commit adultery with another man or to murder someone or steal from someone.  We are talking about things he is asking you to do that are outside your comfort zone.

For instance, what if he decided it was ok for your young teens to watch a TV show or movie you did not think they should watch? What if he allowed them to play a game you think they should not play? And he wanted you to allow them to do these things even when he is away.

On a more personal level, what if he asked you to wear certain clothing in the bed room? What if he asked you to wear certain clothing in public (think going on a date or going to the beach)?  What if he asked you to change your makeup?  What if he asked you to do something uncomfortable in bed?

Do you pull out the “I am not comfortable with that” card as an exception to God’s command to submit to your husband “in everything”? Or have you convinced yourself that you not feeling comfortable with something equals that thing being sinful?  If you have done this you need to remember that God has made your husband your spiritual authority and instructor in his Word.  The Scriptures say to wives in 1 Corinthians 14:35 that “if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home”.

Christian wives, Ephesians 5:24’s command for you to submit to your husband “in every thing” means throwing out your “I am not comfortable with that” card.

I was never attracted to my husband does God want me to fake it?

I received a letter today from a woman who married a man she was never attracted to when both he and she were not believers. She said she married him for wrong reasons.   Now she has become a believer and he is still an unbeliever.

She has embraced the Bible’s teachings on the submission of wives to their husbands and wants to serve her husband and see him come to Christ if it is God’s will. But she greatly struggles with her lack of physical attraction to him. In fact she is so un-attracted to him that it makes having sex with him very difficult.

When she was an unbeliever she did not try to meet his sexual needs but now she has changed her behavior and given herself freely to her husband – a man she has absolutely no physical attraction to. She does her best to fake it, sometimes even holding back tears.

He has no idea that she has absolutely no physical attraction to him. In fact he is excited by her renewed interest in having sex with him and is very excited about how their relationship has changed and asking if it was good for her and what he can do better.

But if there is no physical attraction what can she do? Should she continue to fake it as she has been? Should she hide her lack of physical attraction to her husband? Is she being disingenuous to him and herself by carrying on like this? Should she tell him the truth that she has never been attracted to him and she just fakes enjoyment when having sex with him?

She also made it clear she knows God wants her to stay with him for life and she has no intention of leaving him as she once did when she was an unbeliever. But what should she do? This was her question to me. We will just call her “Amanda” even though that is not her real name.

This was the email I sent back to Amanda

Amanda – let me say first and foremost that I am so happy you came to Christ and accepted him as your savior.

I am also so happy that you accepted God’s will and plan for your life that marriage is for life and that God means for you to honor, obey and love your husband despite your lack of attraction to him.

Now I will answer your questions with a story.

There was a young man from Kentucky who heard from a missionary to Japan speaking in his church one Sunday.  The missionary spoke of the need for Christian missionaries in the country of Japan. The young country boy immediately felt the calling of God on his life to be a missionary to Japan.  He graduated high school went to Bible college and learned the skills he needed to be a missionary. He learned the language. But one thing that he was always scared of was the food!

He was a fried chicken and steak man.  Japan is seafood country and he hated seafood with a passion! The smell of it disgusted him.  The texture of it disgusted him.  The taste of it disgusted him. He told himself that God would work it out – after all they still have hamburgers in Japan right?

Well the years went by and that man married a wonderful woman and had his first child and was on his way to Japan as a missionary. Once he was there in Japan the first thing he looked for were restaurants that would sell beef and chicken!   He was so happy to find them.  But as he began his ministry to the people of Japan he found himself constantly being offered various seafood dishes by people who came to his ministries and he would politely turn him down.  A fellow missionary took him aside and told him that his constant turning down of the Japanese food was hindering his ministry and was offensive to many people.

He prayed and ask God to help him to do two things.

“Lord the first thing I am asking you for is to help me cultivate a desire for seafood even though I am disgusted by it so that I can serve your people here in Japan better.   The second thing I am asking for is for you to help me fake that I like it until I actually do.”

Amanda – this applies to you.  The most important mission God has given you is serving your husband.  You may actually be able to help bring him to Christ by continuing to submit to him as you have been doing.  You need to pray that same prayer that missionary to Japan did.  Your lack of attraction and your repulsion to your husband is hindering your ministry to him.  I would suggest you pray this prayer and pray it often:

“Lord the first thing I am asking you for is to help me cultivate a desire and attraction to my husband even though I have no attraction to him so that I can serve this man you have given me to serve and perhaps he will come to you because of my respectful behavior toward him.   The second thing I am asking for is for you to help me fake that I like it until I actually do.”

Amanda – I believe these two passages of Scripture speak to what you need to do with your husband:

“1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” – I Peter 3:1-6 (KJV)

“And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him…

For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?” – I Corinthians 7:13 & 16 (KJV)

Conclusion

I believe many Christian men and women can learn from Amanda’s story and her courage to do what is right despite their feelings.  Some may have married a spouse who they were never attracted to.  Maybe they were attracted at one point and lost their physical attraction over many years.

But I think that we need to do our best to cultivate an attraction toward our spouse – the person we have made a life long commitment to before God. We need to ask God for help in this area.  Maybe we will never be fully attracted to them but God can help us fake it when we need to.

As I have said many times on this site “faking it” whether it be in things our spouses likes to do, attraction to our spouse or even in the bedroom is all part of being an adult. It is part of what it means to be a Christian.  We need to put a smile on and do what God has called us to do even when we don’t feel like it.

Now does this let spouses off the hook who totally let themselves go and don’t have good hygiene? No.  We have an obligation to keep ourselves as clean an attractive as we reasonably can for our spouses.  There are times where we may need to delicately speak about things like excessive weight gain and lack of basic hygiene. But I don’t think God wants us to just tell our spouse there is no physical attraction and there never will be.  There is no way that this would build a relationship and make it better.

If a Kentucky man who loves chicken and hamburgers can learn to enjoy eating octopus in Japan a woman can over time learn to enjoy sex with her husband to whom she currently has no physical attraction.

Should a man risk divorce to confront his wife’s rebellion?

Should a Christian man risk his wife divorcing him to confront her feminist and rebellious tendencies? Or is it an act of sacrificial love for a husband to submit to his wife in order to save his marriage? Should a husband attempt to discipline his wife until she accepts her place in God’s design knowing that she might leave him and take his children?

These are the kinds of questions that are raised by a story I received from a man who identifies himself as “John” in response to my post “Fathers can save our families from feminism”.

John’s Story

“My wife and I married as equals. We were not Christians in a true sense, but had cultural ties to Christianity. I believed in feminism when I married. After we had our first child something changed. Looking into my new daughters eyes awakened something in me. I knew at that point that there absolutely was a Creator God and there was NO WAY this child was a random event. I began searching in earnest for God and He found me and saved me on May 1st 2005.

Any Christian reading this will understand when I say that my journey with Christ has been wonderful, challenging, exciting, and unexpected! Unfortunately my wife, who I adore, had not joined me yet😔. Also I have come to understand the perils of feminism and the benefits of a biblical family structure. When I have tried to lead I’ve been shut down entirely. She has threatened divorce thrice and hired a lawyer once. I believe she is serious about not only not being submissive but about calling the shots as she has also rejected her own ideals of equality.

My lawyer told me she would get the kids and everything. So I’ve submitted to protect my family. I can accept the insinuations on this website that I am weak or pathetic or groveling or whatever. These are just unkind words. But I’m convicted by the thought that I’m disobedient to God in my stance. I’m truly confused now. I accept that feminism is a lie, that the bible is truth, and I’m ready and willing to act in that way and lead my wife. I wish to do so sacrificially and gently by putting her first. Her adamant refusal and willingness to blow up the family gives me pause. Our children will be hurt and taken from me, their father, if this happens. From the frying pan into the fire! Help!…”

John let me say first and foremost that my heart goes out to you and the millions of men who have to deal with this kind of situation you are dealing with in regard to your wife’s rebellion toward you as the authority God has placed over her.

Egalitarian or “partnership” marriages are based on a lie

Your statement:

 “My wife and I married as equals. We were not Christians in a true sense, but had cultural ties to Christianity. I believed in feminism when I married.”

What I think you mean by the phrase that you “married as equals” is that you embraced the modern belief that marriage is an equal partnership. You were feminists and egalitarians.

Your statement:

“I believe she is serious about not only not being submissive but about calling the shots as she has also rejected her own ideals of equality”

Your wife’s behavior proves a truth that I have said many times on this site.  In most so called “equal partnership” marriages the woman is actually the head of her husband and her home.  In a few “equal partnership” marriages the man is actually the head but he is much more subtle about his leadership than men are in traditional or Biblical marriages. Your wife does as you say and “calls the shots”. This makes her the dominant and you the submissive.

Egalitarianism is a lie that many people believe and your wife is one of them. One person will always be more dominate than the other.  This is the nature of human relationships.  She has lied to herself as so many women do and convinced herself that she truly believes in and acts as an equal partner in your marriage when she clearly does not.

A marriage will either be a “subtle” patriarchy (male lead) or a “subtle” matriarchy (female lead) – there is no such thing as true partnership marriage.

The only difference between the subtle matriarchy in most self-proclaimed egalitarian marriages and the overt patriarchy practiced in traditional and Biblical Christian marriages is that the wife tries to convince herself and her husband that she is not really leading the relationship and the family.  But make no mistake she is the matriarch.

Even if true partnership marriages existed – they would exist in direct violation to God’s design of marriage and the family.

Sometimes your Christian faith may cost you your marriage

Your story of the birth of your daughter bringing you to Christ is one I have heard before.  For many it is not until they see the beauty of new human life that they realize there truly is a God and he really does have a plan for our lives.  I am so glad you came to place your faith and trust in Christ.

The Bible tells us that sometimes our faith, especially when we start to live it and put it into practice will make enemies even in our own home!

“34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” – Matthew 10:34-38 (KJV)

We can see in the words of Jesus Christ that sometimes our Christian faith will bring us into direct conflict with those closest to us – even those whom we love.  Your wife, the woman you love, has become your spiritual “foe”. Some may object to me saying this about your wife but the words of Christ could not be clearer here.

Now God also wants you to love your enemies and pray for them:

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” – Matthew 5:44 (KJV)

But remember what Christ said in verses 37-38 of Matthew 10? Yes you are to love your enemies and pray for them but you are not to love them more than God.  What Christ means here is if you allow your family (and this includes your wife) to cause you to sin against God or not to follow God’s commands for your life then you are not worthy of Christ.  The phrase “worthy of me” does not mean you will lose your salvation as some Christian teachers falsely teach.  It means you are not living your Christian life in a way that is worthy of what Christ has done for you.  Christ is admonishing you to run the Christian race (live the Christian life) in a way that is worthy or befitting of what he has done for you.

Paul speaks of a person’s faith and the impact it has on their unbelieving spouse causing divorce in I Corinthians:

“13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.

14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.” – I Corinthians 7:13-15 (KJV)

Here is the truth – God commands that you lead your wife:

“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 5:23-24 (KJV)

He also calls on you to sacrifice yourself in effort to make your wife holy as Christ gave himself to make his church holy:

“25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” – Ephesians 5:25-27 (KJV)

God does not call on you to keep your wife in the marriage at the cost of you disobeying his commands to lead your home. If she wants to depart you must let her depart.  Will it cause a lot of emotional pain to you and your children in doing this? Absolutely it will.  But this is a sacrifice that God has called you to make in obedience to him. If you fail to do this then you are in essence loving your marriage and family more than you love God.

Your children will be hurt in either case

I just spoke about the hurt that divorce will cause your children.  But realize that your children will be hurt in either case.

If you stay your children will be hurt by the bad example they see of their father submitting to their mother. This completely breaks the model of marriage and it goes against the natural relationship that God created there to be between a man and woman.

And no Ephesians 5:21 is NOT talking about husbands submitting to their wives in marriage.  This heresy is wide spread in the Church today but it flies in the face of the Scriptures.

I encourage you and my other readers to read my post “Should a Christian husband make his wife submit?” Where I extensively deal with Ephesians 5:21 in its proper context.

The short answer is this. The Greek word hupotasso which is translated as submit, obedient, submission and subjection in the KJV is a military term meaning to “to arrange under, to subordinate, to subject, put in subjection, obey” and in most cases it is referring to obeying one’s authority. But there are some cases where it used in the sense of “voluntary cooperation” and this is the sense it is used in Ephesians 5:21 when speaking of the relationship between church members in the assembled church.

But it is impossible to see hupotasso having this same meaning of “voluntary cooperation” in the relationship of a husband and wife because God pictures the husband and wife relationship as that of Christ and the Church.  Are Christ and his Church equal partners? Does Christ submit to his Church? The answer from Scripture are clearly NO.

This is why it is the height of absurdity to say that husbands are to submit to their wives in the sense of laying down their authority that God commands them to take in marriage.

Children need to see a strong father who leads his family and a mother who demonstrates what submission to authority looks like. In this way they learn both what proper leadership looks like and what proper submission looks like.

If you stay in your marriage your children will have a very warped view of what masculinity and femininity mean and what leadership and submission are to look like in God’s design.

In essence you are standing your ground with your wife not only because of your higher allegiance to God and his commands for your life but also for the betterment of your children.  Right now and for the next year or so it will be very tough on them.  But eventually they may come to faith in Christ (if they have not already) and come to respect that stand you took for God.

You won’t lose your kids and you won’t lose everything

Your Statement:

“My lawyer told me she would get the kids and everything.”

John if your lawyer told you that then you need to get a new lawyer. There was a time when women used to get full custody of the kids in most divorce cases and Dads only got two weekends a month at best. Thankfully that has changed as men have fought back and law associations dedicated to fighting for men’s rights have come to the rescue. Courts are less likely to award alimony and if they do it is only temporary. Yes you will have to part with half your physical assets but you will be able to start over.

Yes you will have to pay child support but I would fight alimony.  In divorce whoever is the most patient usually wins.  In most cases court appointed arbitrators will try and scare you into a settlement but it is your right to take your case all the way to the judge. Unless they can prove that you would be an unfit parent you can file for joint custody.

I have joint physical and legal custody of my kids and I know several of my friends that also share joint legal and physical custody with their ex-wives.

There are two keys to getting what you want from divorce – patience and steadfastness.  Make sure what you want is realistic and then stand your ground and do not be pressured by your lawyer, her lawyer or a court arbitrator to agree to anything less.

I would suggest you turn your wife’s divorce threat around on her.  Tell her if she divorces you that will mount a “scorched earth” campaign against her if you feel you are being unfairly treated in the divorce.  Tell her a “scorched earth” campaign means if she does not agree to a fair division of the assets and joint legal and physical custody up front you will hire the most expensive lawyers you can find to drain every asset you have.  You are willing to lose your home and everything to your name in this effort.  You will drag this out in court for years if you have to. Turn the tables on your rebellious wife. Be the man that God meant for you to be.

I pray that God will give you the courage to take the tough actions ahead you need to take and to stand firm and like a man.

“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” 

I Corinthians 6:13 (NASB)

Other related posts:

10 ways to know if you are sacrificing your faith for your wife

How to help women learn their place

Women do not know or accept their place in God’s creation anymore. “A woman’s place is in the home” is just one of many truths that our society derides and mocks. “to ‘love, honor and obey’” has been stripped from most marriage vows as women no longer believe they must obey their husbands or be in subjection to their husbands as Sarah who called her husband “lord”(I Peter 3:5-6).

Feminism has been largely successful in eradicating the femininity that women once had. Churches have for the most part abandoned the practice of teaching Biblical gender roles that God has commanded for men and women.

We have women saying things in the wrong place or in the wrong way. Women showing no deference or respect toward men. Daughters showing little to no respect for their fathers and wives showing little to no respect for their husbands. Wives routinely shame their husbands in public not to mention in private. Daughters disobey their fathers and wives routinely disobey their husbands with impunity. Many women pursue selfish career ambitions instead of being ambitious for marriage, child bearing and homemaking.

We as Christians can turn this around by having the courage to speak the truth of God’s Word even if our world does not want to hear it. We need to show our young ladies from the Word of God what it truly means to be a woman of God.

The most important people in this endeavor are first fathers, then mothers and finally Pastors and teachers in our local churches. Fathers need to teach their daughters what it means to be Godly women and this needs to be enforced by their mothers and further enforced by church leaders.

My teenage daughter has been asking me for some time to put together a guide with Scripture passages that she can commit to memory as she shares these truths with other young girls she attends school with.  She looks forward to one day being the wife and mother that God designed her to be. This is dedicated to you my daughter! I love you.

Below are several Bible passages that teach women how God wants them to conduct their lives.

Her speech

She is not loud or boisterous but instead she is quiet and meek

“A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.” – Proverbs 9:13 (KJV)

“But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” – I Peter 3:3-4 (KJV)

She is not a gossip but rather she is a trustworthy confident

“And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.” – I Timothy 5:13 (KJV)

“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.” – Proverbs 31:11 (KJV)

She knows when and where to speak and when to hold her tongue

“As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.” – Proverbs 11:22 (KJV)

When she does speak she does so in a wise and kind manner

“She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” – Proverbs 31:26 (KJV)

Her ambitions

She is ambitious to be a wife, mother and homemaker

“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)

When she has a home she is ambitious toward the care of it and is never lazy or idle

“She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens…

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” – Proverbs 31:15 & 27 (KJV)

When she has children she is ambitious to be joyful in her care of them

“He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.” – Psalm 113:9 (KJV)

Her love

She shows compassion and empathy towards those in need around her

“She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.” – Proverbs 31:20 (KJV)

Second only to God, a woman’s greatest love and affection is reserved for her husband and her children

“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children” – Titus 2:4 (KJV)

Her sexuality

She protects her virginity for marriage and does not manipulate men with her sexuality

“For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adultress will hunt for the precious life.” – Proverbs 6:26 (KJV)

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

In marriage she ravishes her husband with her body and she never defrauds him

“18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.

19 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.” – Proverbs 5:18-19 (KJV)

“4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” – I Corinthians 7:4-5 (KJV)

Her appearance

She dresses in a way that never places her femininity in doubt

“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.” – Deuteronomy 22:5 (KJV)

She dresses appropriate to the occasion (modestly)

“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;” – I Timothy 2:9 (KJV)

She cares for her beauty knowing that her husband desires it as God desires the beauty of his church

“So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.” – Psalm 45:11 (KJV)

“How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!” – Song of Solomon 7:6 (KJV)

Her submission

She has a submissive spirit as opposed to a contentious spirit

“It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.” – Proverbs 21:19 (KJV)

She embraces patriarchy (male authority over women) in the home, the Church and in society

“5 But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the Lord shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her.” – Numbers 30:5 (KJV)

“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 5:22-24 (KJV)

“11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” – I Timothy 2:11-12 (KJV)

“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” – I Corinthians 11:3 (KJV)

Her dependence

She looks to her father and later her husband for her provision

“For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church” – Ephesians 5:29 (KJV)

She embraces that fact that God has placed her in “the weaker vessel” and that she needs the protection of men

“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

She looks to her father and later her husband for her spiritual guidance

“And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” – I Corinthians 14:35 (KJV)

Her place

She embraces the fact that God made her to be the helper to her husband, not him to be her helper

“Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” – I Corinthians 11:9 (KJV)

She sees her husband as her master and not her equal partner

“5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” – I Peter 3:5-6 (KJV)

Her methods of persuasion

She does not nag her husband into doing what is right

“A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.” – Proverbs 27:15 (KJV)

She wins her husband by her righteous behavior toward him in spite of his failings

“1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.” – I Peter 3:1-2 (KJV)

Her reverence for her husband

She never makes her husband ashamed, but rather she brings him honor

“A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.” – Proverbs 12:4 (KJV)

She reverences her husband’s position despite the flaws of his person

“Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” – Ephesians 5:33 (KJV)

Her Influence

She influences and teaches other women to be good wives and mothers

“3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

5 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)

Her legacy

She realizes that her greatest legacy is built by what she does in her home and not what she does outside her home

“Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” – Proverbs 14:1 (KJV)

“Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.” – Proverbs 31:28 (KJV)