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Is forced sex in marriage wrong? If you are like most American Christians your gut answer would be YES! Of course, the Bible says it is wrong! Up until very recently I used to think the answer was YES as well. But as God began to peel back my American cultural presuppositions I realized the answer might be something other than what I was comfortable with.
In my last article entitled “It is Not a Woman’s Consent That Matters, It is God’s”, I proved from the Scriptures that God does not allow a woman to say YES to sexual relations to a man she is not married to and he does not allow her to say NO to sexual relations to her husband whom she is married to.
But this raises another question for those Christians who accept that the Bible calls it sin for a woman to sexually refuse her husband. What if a woman does refuse her husband? Can the husband under God’s law physically force himself upon his wife who sinfully resists him?
Here are some answers I have given on this blog in the past. In one of the most popular articles on this blog entitled “8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal” I wrote this:
“I have not, nor would I EVER advocate for a husband to force himself physically upon his wife or to physically abuse her in any fashion. The issue being discussed is how a husband can confront a wife who chronically or willfully denies his sexual rights in marriage without just cause (be it legitimate health or mental conditions). He has the right, both under Biblical law, as well as under American law, to reason with his with his wife and try to convince her to willingly(even if grudgingly) yield herself to him, and thereby fulfilling one her most important duties in Christian marriage.”
And in my article entitled “The Rape Straw Man” I stated:
“Biblically speaking, there is no such thing as “marital rape” – HOWEVER, there is such a thing as physical abuse. While the Bible does not speak specifically to this case of a man forcing himself on his wife, I believe it is a case of physical abuse.
So what others call rape, I call abuse. In the same way that when someone is wrongfully killed it might be first degree murder, second degree murder or man slaughter what we call “physical abuse” and what we call “rape” is dependent on the relationship between the man and woman in question. There is no doubt a wrong has been committed. But what we call it, and how it is punished or dealt with is very different depending on the circumstances.”
My Change in Position on Forced Sex in Marriage
The emergence of the MeToo movement lead me to restudy and reconsider my understanding of what the Bible says about sexual consent. I have been pouring over the Scriptures for the last couple of months really asking God to reveal to me any presuppositions or cultural biases I might have on this subject and I have written many articles related to sexual conduct from a Biblical perspective recently. My last article “It is Not a Woman’s Consent That Matters, It is God’s”, not only traced the wicked origins of modern American sexual consent ideology but more importantly it laid the foundation for a Biblical view of when God consents to a man and woman entering into sexual relations.
Because of what God revealed to me through his Word in that study as of today I am officially changing my position on the issue of forced sex within marriage. My new position is as follows:
Forced sex within marriage by a husband toward his wife is not in and of itself a sin but it can be a sin under certain circumstances. The “Markland Letter” case which I addressed in my article “It is Not a Woman’s Consent That Matters, It is God’s” where the man forced sex on his wife after surgery would be an example of a husband sinfully forcing himself on his wife.
Now a lot of Christians at this point are shutting me down. But I want to encourage you and challenge the view you have been raised with in our culture with what God’s Word actually says on this very controversial subject.
Is All Forced Sex in Marriage Domestic Abuse and Sexual Abuse?
In their article entitled “What does the Bible say about spousal/marital rape?” GotQuestions.org states:
“Spousal or marital rape is a form of domestic violence and sexual abuse. In spousal rape, sex is forced on one spouse by the other. While the Bible does not specifically deal with spousal rape, it has plenty to say about the husband-wife relationship and its representation of Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:32)…
and God never condones rape.”
I want to quickly address the terminology I am using here. I am using the phrase “forced sex” and gotquestions.org is using “marital rape” or just “rape”. The reason I am using the term “forced sex” instead of “rape” is because the term rape in our language and culture not only denotes an action taken, but it also implies a moral condemnation of that action. Calling “forced sex” rape in our language and culture would be like referring to every instance of killing as murder. I am going to speak more to the term “rape” later on in this article.
Biblically speaking all instances of forced sex are not considered rape any more than all instances of killing are considered murder. It is the context which determines if a particular instance of forced sex is rape just as it is the context which determines if a particular killing is murder. The only forced sex the Bible ever condemns is forced sex OUTSIDE of marriage. The Bible actually addresses forced marriage and as a result of marriage forced sex in the book of Deuteronomy.
God Condoned Forced Sex in Marriage
God granted the right of men to take women as one of the many spoils of war as long as they were not one of seven forbidden nations in which everyone was to be killed:
“But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.”
Deuteronomy 20:14 (KJV)
In the next chapter God details the process by which men could take women as spoils of war:
“10 When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the Lord thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, 11 And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife;
12 Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house, and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;
13 And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife.
14 And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her.”
Deuteronomy 21:10-14 (KJV)
So in summary God allowed men to take by force women as captives of war. However, unlike the nations around them – they were not allowed to have forced sex right there on the battlefield with their captive women. Instead God had a higher standard. God made the Israelite men wait one month to allow the woman to mourn the death of her loved ones.
Even after the month – the man had to take her as his wife, not simply his sex slave as other nations also did. God commands them “thou shalt go in unto her” which is a euphemism for sex in the Bible. Now some might say “Well that does not say forced sex, it just says sex” and that is absolutely true. A man “going in unto a woman” does not denote whether it was forced or not. However there is a key phrase at the end of this passage that DOES indicate forced sex: “because thou hast humbled her”.
God’s Definition of Rape
There are many euphemisms for sex in the Bible. Men “knew” their wives, they “lay” with their wives and as we can see here they “went in unto” their wives. However there is another euphemism for sex in the Bible that specifically denotes “forced sex” and that is the “humbling” of a woman by a man.
This same phrase is used when speaking of actions the Bible actually considers to be rape (as opposed to our modern understanding that all forced sex is rape):
“23 If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; 24 Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour’s wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you. 25 But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die.
26 But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter:
27 For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her. 28 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;
29 Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.”
Deuteronomy 22:23-29 (KJV)
In the above passage from Deuteronomy chapter 22 we find God’s definition of rape as opposed to our modern definition of rape. What does God call rape? Does he say it is simply when a man humbles (has forced sex) with a woman? The answer is NO. Instead we find that rape in God’s eyes is when a man has forced sex with a woman who is he not married to. The Bible covers both a betrothed (or married) woman and also virgin woman. In a follow-up article to this one I will be specifically addressing God’s command that a rapist had to marry the woman he raped.
My point in showing Deuteronomy 22:23-29 is twofold. First it gives God’s definition of rape which is the when a man has forced sex with a woman who is not his wife. Secondly in the context of the rape discussion God uses the term “humbled” to denote forced sex.
This English word “humbled” in these passages is a translation of the Hebrew word “anah” which means to “afflict”, “humble” or “force” in most instances.
Anah is used in reference to two famous rape stories in the Bible. The first is regarding the rape of Dinah, the daughter of Leah and wife of Jacob:
“1 And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. 2 And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled [anah] her.”
The second is the rape of Tamar by her half-brother Amnon:
“Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced [anah] her, and lay with her.”
2 Samuel 13:14 (KJV)
And again why was the ‘anah’ or humbling and forced sex of these women considered to be true rape and thus immoral? Because they broke God’s law in Deuteronomy 22:23-29 that condemned a man having forced sex with a woman that was not his wife.
The Humbling of a Woman in Marriage
And a final note on Deuteronomy 21:10-14 and the humbling of the captive woman who was taken by the divine allowance of God. Some have tried to say this humbling had to do strictly with the woman shaving her head. What these same people do not realize is that it was common in ancient Middle Eastern cultures for both men and women to either pull out their hair or shave their heads when horrible tragedies struck. I believe the loss of one’s entire family would qualify in this case.
Also saying that the humbling of the woman by the man does not refer to forced sex takes a very naïve approach to the situation. Can anyone with a straight face say they think most captive women after only one month would want to willingly and consensually have sex with the man who may have killed their family or at least was part of the army that did? The reality is we all know in this situation that in the vast majority of cases even after one month the man would be having forced sex with his new bride. That is just reality.
So we can as Bible believing Christians rightly say based on Deuteronomy 22:23-29 that God never condones rape which HE defines as a man having forced sex with a woman he is not married to. But we can equally say that God does in fact condone forced sex in marriage based on Deuteronomy 21:10-14.
Biblical Sex is Not Just about Giving, But Also about Taking
In their article entitled “What does the Bible say about spousal/marital rape?” GotQuestions.org states:
“Some people believe that a wife must be agreeable to sexual relations with her husband at any time and that she has no say in the matter. They often misuse 1 Corinthians 7:3–5 to support the erroneous view that a wife can never tell her husband that she would like to defer having sex for a time. Some men believe that the husband has a God-given right to just “take it,” in spite of his wife’s objections…
It is clear from the Bible that mutuality reigns in the bedroom. According to 1 Corinthians 7:1–5, a husband should provide sexual satisfaction to his wife, and a wife should provide sexual satisfaction to her husband. A wife does not have authority over her own body, and a husband does not have authority over his own body. They belong to each other. Does this mean that a husband can force himself on his wife anytime he so desires? Definitely not. What the passage teaches is that each spouse is to willingly, freely, lovingly submit to the other. The passage is about giving satisfaction, not demanding it. The focus is on pleasing one’s spouse. There is no selfishness involved. Forcibly taking what has not been offered is wrong and plainly against the Bible’s commands on love and marriage.”
I would not call GotQuestions.org a raging feminist site as they do speak on submission in marriage, even if at times they water it down quite a bit. However the term “mutuality” they use in this article is a favorite of Christian feminists. In fact some Christian feminists use this passage in 1 Corinthians 7:1–5 to try to cancel out all the Bible’s teachings on male headship in marriage and they say marriage is a “mutual partnership”.
I am not denying that there is not any mutuality taught in this passage as there clearly is. But it is a limited mutuality, not an all-inclusive mutuality.
The first part of this passage from I Corinthians shows that a husband and wife have a right to sexual access to one another’s bodies:
“3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.”
I Corinthians 7:3-5 (KJV)
The English word “power” here is a translation of the Greek word Exousiazo and can refer to authority or the right to do something. If we try and say here that God is saying a wife has literal authority over her husband’s body then this contradicts with the Scriptural teaching that the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church and the wife is to submit to her husband in everything as the Church is to submit to Christ in everything (Ephesians 5:23-24).
In the programming world in which I work we would call this an infinite loop. If a husband can command compel his wife to give her body to him yet she can command him not to give his body to her we can see where this ends up.
So when we take the whole of the Scriptures and especially Ephesians 5:23-24 into account we understand that the “power” of I Corinthians 7:3-5 actually refers to “the right”. A husband has the right to sexual access to this wife’s body and the wife has the right to sexual access to her husband’s body.
Are Christian Husbands Wrong for “demanding” Sex From their Wives?
GotQuestions.org claims “The passage is about giving satisfaction, not demanding it. The focus is on pleasing one’s spouse” and I don’t deny that this passage does reference giving one’s self to one’s spouse. When it uses the word “render” that is our duty as spouses to GIVE our bodies to our spouses for their sexual satisfaction. However it also talks about the “power” or “right” of the spouse toward their spouse’s body – this is clearly the power to TAKE or seek sexual satisfaction in one’s spouse’s body. GotQuestions.org does not like “take” to be anywhere in the conversation of sex but in this passage the giving AND taking aspects of sex as God designed it are clearly on display.
Finally as far as “demanding” sex is it is true that the wife can no more demand anything of her husband than the Church can demand something of Christ. Can she request sex from her husband as the Church can request various things of Christ? Yes. But she cannot demand anything of her husband. However, can and does Christ demand obedience from his Church in “everything” as Ephesians 5:23-24 shows? The answer is yes. Therefore since a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his Church he can demand obedience from his wife (including in the sexual arena) just as Christ demands obedience from his Church.
Do Wives Have to be “agreeable” to Sex at “at any time”?
GotQuestions.org claims that some Christians have an “erroneous view” that “that a wife must be agreeable to sexual relations with her husband at any time and that she has no say in the matter”. I would agree that I Corinthians 7:2-5 never specifically mentions sex on demand “at any time” from a wife. But there is another passage of Scripture dealing with sex in marriage that DOES:
“15 Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. 16 Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets. 17 Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee. 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 5:15-19 (KJV)
The Scriptures command husbands to “drink” or take pleasure from the sexual well that is their wife’s body. They are command let her breasts (symbolic of her whole body) satisfy them AT ALL TIMES or in the words of GotQuestions.org “at any time”.
Besides Proverbs 5:15-19 there is any even more powerful principle of Scripture that dictates what a wife’s response is to be to her husband in all matters:
“Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”
Ephesians 5:24 (KJV)
So as we can see, the Bible commands that a wife should be “agreeable…at any time” to anything her husband asks her to do whether it is cleaning, cooking, paying the bills, putting children to bed and yes having sex with him. The only Biblical caveat to this would be if he asked her to do something sinful against God and then she has to obey God rather than her husband (Acts 5:29). It really is that simple.
But God never forces himself on his wife!
Some will take the relationship of Christ and his Church and claim “we never see Christ forcing his Church and therefore husbands may not force their wives”. Others will conflate salvation with marriage and say “God does not force us to come to him salvation, therefore a husband cannot force his wife to have sex with him.”
Let me address the latter claim first and then I will address the former. Two of the primary ways that God pictures our relationship to him is as a father and then as husband. Our relationship as individuals to God is pictured as that of a child to their father. Our relationship to God as a group, as the people of God, is pictured as that of a wife to her husband.
When God invites us to become his children this is presented as a choice:
“While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.”
John 12:36 (KJV)
Now of course we understand there is a consequence of that choice. If we do not choose to obey the Gospel of Christ this is what awaits those who disobey his Gospel:
“7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power”
2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 (KJV)
But in the context of God’s relationship to his people as a whole he sometimes compels obedience by force. In the Old Testament the relationship of God to the nation of Israel was pictured as a marriage with God as the husband and Israel as his wife. When Israel rebelled against God just after making their marriage covenant with him the Bible tells us he humbled Israel:
“2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble[anah] thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. 3 And he humbled[anah] thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.”
Deuteronomy 8:2-3 (KJV)
Remember that in the context of the relationship of a man and woman when he humbles her this is the man forcing himself upon the woman. God forced Israel to yield to him and to learn that concept that “that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live”.
But Christ Never Forces His Church!
Some will say – “Well God’s relationship with Israel was different than his Church and Christ never forces his Church to do anything”.
Earlier I said the reason I don’t use the term rape in the context of marriage is because it is like using murder to refer to all killing. Only unlawful killing (unlawful by God’s law) is considered murder. Killing in self-defense or to save others is not wrong. Even in the case of wrongful forced sex in marriage like the Markland Letter case, such action is not rape but rather physical abuse.
But now I want us to look at the definition of rape. Here is the Webster’s 1828 dictionary definition of rape:
“In a general sense, a seizing by violence; also, a seizing and carrying away by force, as females.
In law, the carnal knowledge of a woman forcibly and against her will.
Privation; the act of seizing or taking away.”
Now someone reading this might say “See right there even in the old definition of rape it talks about a man taking a woman against her will!”. And that is very true. However as I explained earlier it is God who defines what rape is – not us. But I want you to zero in on the first definition where it says “a seizing and carrying away by force”.
Now let us turn to the New Testament. Before I give the next Scripture I want to set the stage a bit. In the Old Testament the marriage of God to Israel is pictured as a full consummated marriage after which Israel commits adultery with false gods and God divorces her for this.
In the New Testament the Church is pictured as a betrothed bride to Christ whose marriage has not yet been consummated:
“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”
2 Corinthians 11:2 (KJV)
The “consummation” of the Church and Christ’s marriage is described in the passage below:
“16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (KJV)
The event described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 is what is known as the “rapture” of the Church.
Bible.org gives a brief background of the word “rapture”:
“Regarding the term rapture and its use in theology the following should answer your questions. It is taken from Ryrie’s Basic Theology, Electronic Media from Parsons Technology.
Our modern understanding of rapture appears to have little or no connection with the eschatological event. However, the word is properly used of that event. Rapture is a state or experience of being carried away. The English word comes from a Latin word, rapio, which means to seize or snatch in relation to an ecstasy of spirit or the actual removal from one place to another. In other words, it means to be carried away in spirit or in body. The Rapture of the church means the carrying away of the church from earth to heaven.
The Greek word from this term “rapture” is derived appears in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, translated “caught up.” The Latin translation of this verse used the word rapturo. The Greek word it translates is harpazo, which means to snatch or take away. Elsewhere it is used to describe how the Spirit caught up Philip near Gaza and brought him to Caesarea (Acts 8:39) and to describe Paul’s experience of being caught up into the third heaven (2 Cor. 12:2-4). Thus there can be no doubt that the word is used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 to indicate the actual removal of people from earth to heaven.”
Ryrie’s definition of harpazo actually leaves out a very important part of the definition. It is not simply to snatch, seize or take away – it is do these things “by force”
“Strong’s #726: harpazo (pronounced har-pad’-zo)
from a derivative of 138; to seize (in various applications):–catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force).
And if we look at the word origin of our English word “rape” we read:
“early 14c., “booty, prey;” mid-14c., “forceful seizure; plundering, robbery, extortion,” from Anglo-French rap, rape, and directly from Latin rapere “seize” (see rape (v.)). Meaning “act of abducting a woman or sexually violating her or both” is from early 15c., but perhaps late 13c. in Anglo-Latin.”
So now I will pull this all together for you. The Greek word which describes how Jesus Christ will take his church is harpazo which means to seize or take something or someone by force. When the Bible was translated into Latin (which Jerome finished in 405 AD) the word rapturo which was derived from the Latin word rapio (meaning to seize or snatch) was used to translate the Greek harpazo. Then in the 14th century the English word “rape” was created from the Latin to describe a man forcing a woman to have sex with him.
While English common law as well as previous laws held it was not wrong for a man to force his wife to have sex, over time the word rape came to be a derogatory term used not just of men forcing women they were not married to into sex, but also of husbands forcing their wives to have sex.
So the irony is that same word we rejoice of over – the “rapture” or seizure by force of the bride of Christ which his Church is the same word we use to condemn a husband for forcing his wife to have sex with him. Think about that. Let that settle in your brain a bit.
Is “Forced Sex” in Marriage an Oxymoron?
Now that I have proven from the Old Testament that God “humbled” or “forced” Israel to bend to his will and that Christ will actually rapture (take by force) his Bride which is the Church I want to come back to the address the following assertion from GotQuestions.org on this subject of forced sex in marriage:
“The truth is that sexual expression was designed by God to be an act of love within a marriage, and violence or coercion should never be a part of it. Forced sex is not love”
When God humbled Israel would we call this anything less than an act of love on his part? The answer is we would indeed call it an act of love. Did God use violence on Israel when they disobeyed him in the dessert? You better believe he did. Did he use coercion to compel his wife to yield to his demands? You better believe he did. It is right there in the story of the marriage of God to Israel all throughout the Old Testament.
Even Christ when rebuking his Churches states:
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”
Revelation 3:19 (KJV)
Therefore we can conclude based on the example of God himself as a husband that forced sex in marriage is NOT an Oxymoron.
Forced Sex Scenarios
Now I want to give some scenarios with force to try and help you understand this concept better.
Forced Sex Scenario #1
Let’ say a husband comes home from a long trip, his wife has no idea when he will arrive. He comes in through the door as she is working in the kitchen, he picks her up in his arms and takes her to their bedroom. He tears through her clothes as fast as possible and has sex with her.
Now this was definitely a matter of force – he did not ask her permission or even say a word to her. But if she complies willing with his forceful gesture most people would say there was nothing wrong in that scenario. In fact some women would even find it romantic. In fact the picture I have just painted would be similar to what the Scriptures paint as the rapture of the Church by Christ who is her husband.
However, if during his attempt at forced sex his wife resisted in anyway now our modern society is up in arms. “He has violated her consent!” we are told. But from a Biblical perspective as we have shown in this article – if the wife resists her husband in the above scenario and he continues to force her to his will who has sinned? The husband, the wife or both? Biblically speaking it is the wife who has sinned and the husband is not sinning by forcing her to yield to his lawful demand.
Now if the wife resisted the husband in this scenario – if he loves her – is that what he wanted from her? Of course not. He wanted to be able to pick up his wife in his arms and for her to willingly give herself to him no questions asked. Just as Christ wants his Church to willing embrace him at the rapture. But make no mistake – Christ is not going to take “I am not in the mood today” from his Church when he comes. He is taking his Bride by force!
Forced Sex Scenario #2
Let’s say a man takes a woman as his wife who clearly did not want to be his wife. In the Bible this could be a scenario where a father gives his daughter to a man she does not want marry or it could be a man captures a woman as a captive during war. So on their wedding day he goes to have sex with her and she resists him. So he holds her down and forces her. In Biblical terms he has justly “humbled” his wife.
Again who is the one sinning in this scenario? Is the wife who sinning by resisting or is the husband sinning by forcing himself on his wife? Or is it both? We know the Biblical answer is that it is the wife who is sin and the husband is right and just in forcing his wife to have sex with him.
And once again – do men who truly love and have affection for their wives want it to be this way? No. We as men want what God wants from his wife – willing obedience, but if obedience is not given willfully we follow God’s example with Israel and humble our wives and take it by force.
Forced Sex Scenario #3
I was asked in a recent comment on my blog what I thought of the scenario of a “husband shoving his member down his wife’s throat”. In other words a husband forcing his wife to perform oral sex on him – is that a sin?
So a husband and wife are having sex and he decides to take his member up to his wife’s head for her to perform oral sex on him. She resists and turns her head away so he takes her head and forces her to perform oral sex on him.
We have given several principles in this article that answer this question.
The I Corinthians 7:2-4 principle teaches that a wife has a duty to render her body to her husband and it also gives him the right of sexual access to her body.
The Proverbs 5:18-19 Principle says a husband is to satisfy himself (literally drink his fill) of his wife’s body AT ALL TIMES.
The Ephesians 5:24 Principle says that a wife is to submit to her husband in EVERYTHING.
The Deuteronomy 8:2-3 Principle shows us that God humbled his wife Israel and forced her learn obedience to his will.
Therefore we can conclude based on the witness of the Scriptures that it is NOT a sin for a man to force his wife to perform oral sex on him as she has a duty to render her entire body to him to fulfill God’s command to him to satisfy himself with her body at all times. She is to submit to him in everything, not just the things she feels like doing or is comfortable with.
Ladies – I know for some of you this is a hard one to swallow (pun intended) but scripturally speaking the Bible does not condemn such actions by a husband toward his wife.
But Forced Sex is Selfishness!
The selfishness card is often used to dismiss not only a man forcing himself on his wife but also a man allowing his wife to consent to sex when she really is not in the mood. The reasoning goes – “if you see your wife is not in the mood for any reason, then if you were being selfless you would give up your desire or need.” Others have even tried to argue that if sex is ever desired in anyway other than to give pleasure to the other person it is by definition selfishness.
However the Biblical definition of selfishness is not simply doing things for one’s own benefit or desire. But instead it is when a person ONLY does things for their benefit or desire and never considers the needs of others.
“Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”
Philippians 2:4 (KJV)
The key phrase there in that verse which is also in the Greek is the word “also”. This verse is not saying it is wrong to look to our own needs or desire, but that we must ALSO look to the needs and desires of others well.
And I would remind anyone who says it is selfish for a man to have sex with his wife when she is not in the mood or to force her to have sex that this is selfishness to look to Proverbs 5:15-19 which commands a man to satisfy himself with his wife’s body “at all times”.
But Doesn’t Forced Sex Violate the Husband’s Duty to Care for his Wife’s Body?
It is absolutely true that Ephesians 5:28-29 teaches men as husbands that they are to care for their needs if their wife’s body. That is why what the husband did in the Markland Letter case was wrong because he violated this principle in causing severe damage to his wife’s body after surgery by forcing himself on her.
But outside of extreme conditions where a wife has not just had surgery we have to ask ourselves does forced sex in marriage by the husband toward his wife violate the Ephesians 5:28-29 principle? The answer I think in most cases is NO.
In most cases forced sex in marriage will hurt the woman’s pride, or in Biblical terms “humble her” more than anything else.
Some might ask “What about the risk of tissue tearing, bruising or rashes and other discomforts caused by forced sex?” Is there a risk of these things occurring? Yes. But who is it that is causing this risk? Is it the husband by exercising his lawful right to compel his wife to have sex or is it the woman who is causing this risk to herself by resisting her husband’s lawful demand?
Let me give some examples to illustrate what I am saying.
If a police officer pulls you over and asks you to produce your license and registration and you refuse and you refuse to get out of the car – can he use force to make you obey his lawful order? You better believe he can. And if you resist the officer in the course of his lawful actions and in the process you smack your head on the ground or get scrapes and cuts who was it that put you at risk? Was it him or was it you by your resisting his lawful actions?
If a parent goes to spank their child and in the process of resisting the child gets bumps, bruises and tears who was it that put themselves at risk and brought these injuries on themselves?
If a police officer has a warrant to enter your home and you resist and as he enters the home by force you or your home are damaged whose fault was that?
Am I Telling Husbands to Go Home and Force Themselves on Their Wives?
The answer is No. But you might be thinking – “Wait you just said spent this entire article telling us it was not a sin for a man to force himself on his wife!”
As you catch your breath let me explain a simple principle regarding Biblical rights. Just because we have the right to do something, does not mean it is always wise to do something.
Paul said that he had the right to take a wife yet he chose not to exercise that right:
“5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?…15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.”
1 Corinthians 9:5 & 15 (KJV)
He goes into more detail as to why he did not exercise his right to take a wife in the passage below:
“I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.”
1 Corinthians 7:26 (KJV)
So, Paul was saying because of “the present distress”, the horrible persecution of the church, he felt it was better for a man not to exercise his God given right to take a wife.
In the same way because of the present distress of feminism and the utter hostility toward Biblical marriage I personally do not think it is always wise for a husband to force himself on his wife even though it is his right as her husband, her head and her master to force her compliance to God’s commands in this area of sexuality.
Christ admonished us to be “wise” in a world which hates the God of the Bible:
“16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.”
Matthew 10:16-19 (KJV)
Gentlemen there is more than one way to skin a cat. If you use force against your wife, it may be right and just before God – but because of the wicked society we live in you run a very high risk of going to jail for violations of domestic abuse laws or the remove of the marital rape exemption in all 50 states. All your wife has to do is make a phone call.
Instead you need to be wise as serpents as Christ admonished us to be and use other means to discipline your wife. See my article “8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal” for ideas on non-physical ways in which you can discipline your wife. These are all non-physical methods of discipline that you can never be prosecuted for (despite feminist fantasies to the contrary).
For instance, no police officer anywhere is going to arrest a husband for spending less time with his wife because she refuses to submit to him sexually. No prosecutor is going to prosecute a case where a husband refused to pay for kitchen upgrades because his wife refused to sexually submit. No jury will convict a husband of marital rape because he refused to buy his wife some jewelry she wanted because she would not sexually submit to him.
If a woman complains about these non-physical things her husband is doing to a law enforcement officer they are going to tell her “If you don’t like it get a divorce”. I have had multiple police officers and others write me since I wrote that article (“8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal”) confirming this for me.
Using non-physical methods of discipline are ways that you can communicate your displeasure with your wife’s sinful attitudes but at the same time you can shield yourself from a world that is hostile to Biblical male headship.
A Final Exhortation to Christian Wives
Christian wife this all goes back to how you view yourself in God’s design of marriage.
“13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings”
Philippians 2:13-14 (KJV)
Imagine if you actually followed Ephesians 5:22-24’s admonition to submit to your husband “as unto the Lord… in everything”. Imagine if you submitted to your husband working in your body both to will and do of his good pleasure without grumbling or resisting him?
If you were to follow this pattern with your husband then the issue of forced sex in marriage would really be a non-issue.
The Bible’s teachings on when sexual relations may occur between a man and a woman are in direct conflict with the American Sexual Consent ideology that sadly even many Christians believe in. Some Christians are simply ignorant about what the Bible says regarding when sexual relations may occur. Other Christians actually know what the Bible says about when sexual relations may occur and they choose to ignore such passages or explain them away as being irrelevant for our society.
If you are a Christian who knows what the Bible says about when sexual relations may occur between a man and woman and choose to ignore it or explain it away this article may do little to change your mind. I pray that you will repent – but it is in God’s hands and not mine.
But my primary focus in this article is to talk to Christians, especially young Christians, who have grown up in Churches that have abandoned the teachings of the Bible. I hope that when you are exposed to the teachings of God’s Word regarding sexual relations between a man and a woman you will open your heart and mind to what God has to say and let it change your life.
It is interesting to watch the civil war in feminism caused by the MeToo movement play itself out in feminist circles. On one side we have feminists like Christina Cauterucci at Slate.com arguing that MeToo has made “little progress” since its inception and much more needs to be done. But on the other side we have feminist writers like Daphne Merkin at the New York Times that admit to having “misgivings” about the MeToo movement and its impact on male female relationships and especially on things like flirting and how men and women enter into sexual relationships with one another.
Daphne Merkin makes the following statement in her article entitled “Publicly, We Say #MeToo. Privately, We Have Misgivings.”:
“What happened to women’s agency? That’s what I find myself wondering as I hear story after story of adult women who helplessly acquiesce to sexual demands. I find it especially curious given that a majority of women I know have been in situations in which men have come on to them — at work or otherwise. They have routinely said, “I’m not interested” or “Get your hands off me right now.” And they’ve taken the risk that comes with it.
The fact that such unwelcome advances persist, and often in the office, is, yes, evidence of sexism and the abusive power of the patriarchy. But I don’t believe that scattershot, life-destroying denunciations are the way to upend it. In our current climate, to be accused is to be convicted. Due process is nowhere to be found.
And what exactly are men being accused of? What is the difference between harassment and assault and “inappropriate conduct”? There is a disturbing lack of clarity about the terms being thrown around and a lack of distinction regarding what the spectrum of objectionable behavior really is. Shouldn’t sexual harassment, for instance, imply a degree of hostility? Is kissing someone in affection, however inappropriately, or showing someone a photo of a nude male torso necessarily predatory behavior?
I think this confusion reflects a deeper ambivalence about how we want and expect people to behave. Expressing sexual interest is inherently messy and, frankly, nonconsensual — one person, typically the man, bites the bullet by expressing interest in the other, typically the woman — whether it happens at work or at a bar. Some are now suggesting that come-ons need to be constricted to a repressive degree. Asking for oral consent before proceeding with a sexual advance seems both innately clumsy and retrograde, like going back to the childhood game of “Mother, May I?” We are witnessing the re-moralization of sex, not via the Judeo-Christian ethos but via a legalistic, corporate consensus.”
While Daphne Merkin raises many good points in the above article the point I wanted to zoom in on is her statement that “Expressing sexual interest is inherently messy…”.
And why is expressing sexual interest a “messy” endeavor today? I submit to you the reason for the messiness of expressing sexual interest lies squarely at the feet of the Free Love movement in America that begin in the mid-19th century as a theory that eventually became an American cultural reality in the 1960s’.
The majority of this article will be spent showing how the whole “sexual consent” philosophy in America finds its roots in rebellion against God. I will also show how it directly conflicts with the Biblical view of how men and women are to enter into sexual relations with one another. At the end of this article I will show why God’s appointed way for men and women to express sexual interest in one another is not “messy” like methods of showing sexual interest are today. In fact God’s way in this regard is far less complicated.
The Roots of “Sexual Consent” ideology and the Free Love Movement in America
One of the founding fathers of Feminism as well as the Sexual Consent and Free Love ideologies in America was a man named Moses Harman (1830-1910).
William Lemore West penned an article entitled “The Moses Harman Story” for the Kansas Historical Society on Mr. Harman’s life and his accomplishments.
In that article he states of Moses Harman that he “not only denounced all forms of government and religion, but added a new dimension in reform by advocating that women be freed from sexual slavery by abolishing the institution of marriage. Harman did not develop these views until comparatively late in his life.”
West also alludes to Harman’s name change on the publication he would later gain fame for:
“The publication changed title again in 1883. Harman maintained that subscribers objected to the term “Kansas” in the paper’s title because the name was local in character. His subscribers also opposed the term “liberal” since so many newspapers and journals used the term in their titles. For these reasons he changed the publication’s title to Lucifer the Light Bearer (hereafter called Lucifer). The title was selected, stated Harman, because it expressed the paper’s mission. Lucifer, the name given the morning star by the people of the ancient world, served as the symbol of the publication and represented the ushering in of a new day. He declared that freethinkers had sought to redeem and glorify the name Lucifer while theologians cursed him as the prince of the fallen angels. Harman suggested that Lucifer would take on the role of an educator. “The god of the Bible doomed mankind to perpetual ignorance,” wrote Harman, “and [people] would never have known Good from Evil if Lucifer had not told them how to become as wise as the gods themselves.”
West shows us Harman’s defining belief in “equal freedom”:
“”Yes, I believe in Freedom — equal freedom. I want no freedom for myself that all others may not equally enjoy. Freedom that is not equal is not freedom. It is, or may easily become, invasion, and invasion is the denial or the death of freedom. The Spencerian formula — ‘Each has the right to do as he pleases so long as he does not invade the equal right of others,’ tells what freedom means. It is equivalent to saying that liberty, wedded to responsibility for one’s acts, is the true and only basis of good conduct, or of morality.” — From a “Free Man’s Creed,” by Moses Harman. The picture and quotation were copied from the Memorial of Moses Harman.”
West shows Harman’s animosity toward religion and “particularly Christianity”:
“Religion, particularly Christianity, came under heavy verbal attack by Harman. He contended that religion was based on ignorance of nature’s methods and fear of the unseen powers that were supposedly warring over human destiny. Religion was dangerous, declared Harman, because “fear begets hate, and hate results in oppression, war, and bloodshed.”  Later he suggested:
Cling not to the cross of a dead god for help in time of trouble, but stand erect like a man and resolutely meet the consequences of your acts, whatever they may be. . . . Every man [and woman] must be his own physician, his own priest, his own god and savior, if he is ever healed, purified, and saved. ”
West speaks to Harman’s hatred of the institution of marriage below:
“Harman opposed the institution of marriage because he considered it an unequal yoke.  He maintained that marital rights were limited to the rights of the husband, with the wife being but a slave to her master husband.  The promises of marriage to “love, obey, and honor,” said Harman, were immoral because there was no reasonable assurance that the two persons would be able to carry out the promises.  Love and freedom were supposedly destroyed by marriage. “If love survives marriage,” alleged Harman, “it is not because of it but in spite of it.” ”
West presents Harman’s vision of a “rational” family:
“He believed that the abolition of marriage would result in the birth of fewer children since children would be welcomed and cared for by mutual affection. He looked forward to the emergence of a new “rational” family where each member would “drop to his place like stones in an arch when artificial props are removed.”  This new family would be under the domination of the mother. ”
West shows Harman’s view that women needed financial independence from men:
“On another occasion he stressed that women would never have political independence until they earned enough money to command respect. This was not possible, said Harman, because women spend most of their good years bearing and rearing children. ”
David S. D’Amato in his article “Free Love: Moses Harman” for Libertarianism.org writes that Harman’s views formed the basis of a “lexicon” for the values that Americans now hold today:
“Moses Harman was a dauntless and pioneering early voice for feminism, sexual and reproductive freedoms, and free expression. His periodical Lucifer was arguably the most important publication of the free love movement, so important a part of latter nineteenth century American radicalism. Harman’s work anticipates much of a lexicon we now take for granted in the public conversation on women’s rights and family planning.
Fighting censorship and the oppression of women, Harman finds victory today through the strength of his ideas and their legacy, even if he often lost to the forces of reaction and authority in his own time. Harman thus offers a glimmer of hope to libertarians, to a group that looks forward to a freer and more tolerant society, yet realizes that it likely waits far off, beyond the horizon. For while Harman was widely considered an insane old crank in his lifetime, he is vindicated in the present.”
Moses Harman And the Invention of Marital Rape
Wendy McElroy wrote an article for Foxnews.com entitled “Spousal Rape Case Sparks Old Debate” arguing against the historical marital rape exception that has existed in Western law until recent decades. In this article she alludes to who was responsible for first nationwide discussion of the possibility of marital rape:
“Western jurisprudence has a long tradition of absolving husbands from the possibility of rape. The first significant discussion in America of forced sex within marriage being categorized as rape, and of the need for a legal remedy, may well have been “The Markland Letter,” which was published in 1887 in a Kansas newspaper.
The letter read, “About a year ago F——— gave birth to a baby, and was severely torn by the instruments in incompetent hands. She has gone through three operations and all failed…last night when her husband came down, forced himself into her bed, and the stitches were torn from her healing flesh, leaving her in worse condition than ever...”
The Markland letter became nationally notorious largely because its graphic description of violence left little doubt that the husband was a rapist despite the law.”
The “Kansas newspaper” she alludes to was Moses Harman’s “Lucifer the Light Bearer”.
Merril D. Smith in her book “Sex Without Consent: Rape and Sexual Coercion in America” gives us some more detail on the Markland letter:
“A good example is provided by Dr. W.G. Markland who sent Moses Harman, the editor of Lucifer, Light Bearer a letter from a close female friend which described the experiences of a woman who had recently given birth. Because of the incompetence of her attending physicians she suffered lacerations and subsequently endured several painful operations to correct her condition. While she was recuperating from her latest experience under the surgeon’s knife, Markland reported, her husband “forced himself into her bed and the stitches were torn from her healing flesh, leaving her in a worse condition than ever.” Incensed by this behavior, Markland was even more irate that the wife had no legal recourse to punish her attacker. “Will you point to a law that will punish this brute?” he rhetorically asked is reader. “If a man stabs his wife to death with a knife,” he continued, “does not the law hold him for murder?” But if he “murders her with his penis, what does the law do?”” – page 214
And from this letter from Dr. Markland published in Harman’s Lucifer the Light Bearer publication a national debate was started about the possibility of marital rape. Harman would quickly receive many letters from others that would claim there was an epidemic of women across America dying as a result for forced sex from their husbands. Merril D. Smith concedes that there were many who doubted the accounts and many who believed the Free Lovers contention that “thousands” of these events were happening across the nation were exaggerations:
“Throughout the nineteenth century critics of the Free Lovers were quick to deny their claims of the prevalence of marital sexual abuse in the Victorian bedroom. In 1854, for example, Adin Ballou Argued that these sexual radicals “are prone to exaggerate the evils of dual marriage. They seem to think the best half of their battle is won, if they can only make these evils appear sufficiently dreadful. Accordingly, they harp incessantly on this string.” As part of their project to eliminate marriage, the Free Lovers clearly had a stake in publicizing these incidents of abuse. They did not, however, make them up.” – page 218
The problem with the Markland Letter case was not with its condemnation of the husband’s behavior. I think the vast majority of Christians would agree both then and now that what he did to his wife was wrong.
As a Bible believing Christian and a firm believer in God’s institution of marriage and a husband’ sexual rights to his wife’s body I can easily show that God condemned the behavior of the husband in the Markland Letter based on the Biblical principle that husbands are to care for the needs of their wife’s bodies as they do their own.
“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)
Would the advocates of the false proposition of marital rape agree with us as Bible believing Christians that what the husband in the Markland Letter did was physical abuse even to the point of possibly endangering his wife’s life? Of course, they would.
But from a Biblical perspective it is absolutely impossible for a man to rape his wife because a man can only rape a woman he is not married to.
In other words, from a Biblical perspective forced sex within the confines of marriage is not and cannot ever be classified as rape, but only forced sex outside of the confines of marriage can rightly be considered rape.
Also I need to point out something very important for Christians to understand about rape. The world says rape is immoral because it violates a woman’s consent to sexual relations but the Bible shows us rape is wrong because it violates God’s consent for a man to have sexual relations with a woman. God only consents to a man having sexual relations with a woman if he has entered into a covenant of marriage with her and then he may have sex with her “at all times” as Proverbs 5:19 commands.
However, Ephesians 5:28-29’s command for men to care for the needs of their wife’s body is a Biblical caveat to Proverbs 5:19’s exhortation for men to sexually satisfy themselves with their wife’s body at all times.
While we as Christians should reject the false construct of marital rape we should certainly recognize the possibility of a husband physically abusing his wife and this Markland Letter case shows the husband did just that. A woman’s genitals need time to heal after giving birth. Even if the surgery was for something different than complications after child birth – if a husband forces himself on his wife with complete disregard for the damage it may cause her after surgery this is a clear violation of the Ephesians 5:28-29 principle that he is to care for the welfare of his wife’s body.
The truth is that free love advocates and feminists had (and still have today) a more insidious agenda. They did not want to simply condemn physical abuses which occurred in this marriage situation or others. They wanted to condemn the entire concept of Christian marriage itself with the husband as the head of the wife as an abusive relational construct and they wanted to eliminate traditional marriage from American society.
Now that we have shown the evil roots and true agenda of the Free Love and Sexual Consent ideologies we will now look at the fruit of these wicked movements in the form of modern “Sexual Consent” teachings.
The Biblical View of Sex Vs the Sexual Consent Ideology
Planned Parenthood has an article on their website entitled “Sexual Consent” which I think is a good representation of the tenets of modern Sexual Consent Ideology. Below I will take several of those tenets they list and compare these tenets to what the Bible says about sexual relations between men and women.
Marriage is in Agreement to Sexual Activity
Sexual Consent Ideology says “Sexual consent is an agreement to participate in a sexual activity” but the Bible says Marriage IS an agreement to participate in a sexual activity:
“Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.”
I Corinthians 7:3 (KJV)
“If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.”
Exodus 21:10 (KJV)
Before You Can Be Sexual With Someone You Must Marry Them
Sexual Consent Ideology says “Before being sexual with someone, you need to know if they want to be sexual with you too” but the Bible says before being sexual with someone you need to be married to them first:
“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”
Hebrews 13:4 (KJV)
The Only Sexual Consent Required in Marriage is Consent to NOT have Sex
Sexual Consent Ideology says “Both people must agree to sex — every single time — for it to be consensual.” But the Bible says both people within a covenant of marriage must agree to NOT have sex. Yes, sir and Yes mam you read that right. The only mutual agreement regarding sex the Bible speaks to is the cessation of sex for short periods of mutually agreed time and then the couple is admonished to come back together in sexual union again:
“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 7:5 (KJV)
A Man Has God’s Consent to Have Sex with His Wife at All Times
Sexual Consent Ideology says “Without consent, sexual activity (including oral sex, genital touching, and vaginal or anal penetration) is sexual assault or rape” but the Bible says God has given a man his consent to have sex with his wife “at all times” regardless of her consent:
“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)
Sex in Marriage is a Duty, NOT a Choice
Sexual Consent Ideology says “Consenting is a choice you make without pressure, manipulation, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol” but the Bible says sexual relations within marriage are a duty that the spouses have towards each other, not a choice (Exodus 21:10, I Corinthians 7:3).
Wives are to Sexually Submit to Their Husbands in Everything
Sexual Consent Ideology says “When it comes to sex, you should only do stuff you WANT to do, not things that you feel you’re expected to do” but the Bible commands wives to be in subjection to their husbands in everything:
“Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”
Ephesians 5:24 (KJV)
The only exception to “every thing” is Acts 5:24’s exception that “We ought to obey God rather than man”. That means if a woman’s husband asks her to participate in a threesome with another man she can rightly refuse his request because that would be a sin against God. If, however he as her husband asks her to manually stimulate him, perform oral sex on him or have intercourse or other types of sexual activity with him this would fall under Ephesians 5:24’s “every thing” clause.
The Implicit Sexual Consent of the Marriage Covenant is Non-reversible
Sexual Consent Ideology says “Anyone can change their mind about what they feel like doing, anytime. Even if you’ve done it before, and even if you’re both naked in bed” but God says sexual consent which is given in the marriage covenant is NOT reversible but rather is a lifelong commitment:
“For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.”
Romans 7:2 (KJV)
You Don’t Get the Final Say Over Your Body, God Does
Sexual Consent Ideology says “You get the final say over what happens with your body” but God says your body belongs to him and in marriage he has given your body to your spouse for their sexual use:
“The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.”
Psalm 24:1 (KJV)
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”
1 Corinthians 6:19 (KJV)
“The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.”
I Corinthians 7:4 (KJV)
The entire American concept of “It’s my body I can do what I want with it” flies directly in the face of a central tenet of Biblical Christianity that the world and all of us who live in it or have ever lived belong to God. This false philosophy of bodily autonomy was a foundational building block of the Sexual Revolution and also formed the basis of heinous so called “abortion rights”.
I am fine with God having authority over my life and body, but no man is going to tell me what to do!
Many Christian women have this attitude toward male headship in marriage and they refuse to see the utter contradiction such an attitude is with the clear teachings of the Scriptures.
It is absolutely true that the Bible says “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (II Corinthians 3:17) and there is no doubt in my mind that the spirit of the Lord was present at the founding of the United States of America.
On June 28, 1813 America’s second president John Adams wrote these words in a letter to America’s third president Thomas Jefferson:
“The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”
The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Washington D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. XIII, p. 292-294.
As we previously pointed out, one of the general principles of Christianity is that we are not our own and that God has authority over our person and our bodies (Psalm 24:1, 1 Corinthians 6:19). But many Christians reject the fact that God as our owner can and does delegate authority over us to other human beings.
Yes – God has made us free, both men and women, but we are warned not to use our freedom to serve our own selfish and sinful desires:
“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 5:13 (KJV)
God has not freed us so that we can serve our own selfish desires, but he has freed us to serve him. King David spoke of the relationship between the freedom God wants his people to have and the service to his law:
“And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.”
Psalm 119:45 (KJV)
What this means is – we are free to serve God and live our lives within the bounds of his law. Moses Harman’s ideology that “Freedom that is not equal is not freedom” does not match up with the Biblical teaching of what freedom actually is. Sadly a lot of American Christians over the last century or so have bought into Harman’s false philosophy that everyone must have equal rights or they are being treated as less than human or in an unjust manner.
The Bible actually teaches that there are several classes of people to whom God gives different rights. The slave class was the lowest social class and contrary to assertions otherwise God did give slaves rights(Exodus 20:10, Exodus 21:26-28, Job 31:13-15 & Colossians 4:1) .
The Bible teaches that slaves were to be taken care of and treated justly and fairly by their masters. It tells masters that just as they came from their mother’s womb, so too did their slaves reminding them to treat them as fellow human beings. The Bible condemned masters who killed their slaves and if they seriously injured their slaves they were required by God to grant freedom to those slaves.
So in this way the slave class of the Bible actually formulates basic human rights under God’s law. Every social class above the slave class has these same rights and then more rights. Other Biblical social classes include indentured male and female servants, children, slave wives(concubines), free wives and finally free men. Free men had the most rights of any social class under God’s order.
Even in the New Testament slaves are still commanded to obey their masters and the Apostle Paul even returned a runaway slave(Philemon 1:10-18). Wives are still commanded to submit to their husbands(Ephesians 5:22-24) and children are still commanded to obey their parents(Ephesians 6:1-3) clearly proving that these social classes remain as part of God’s order.
The point is that the Bible in direct contradiction to Moses Harman and the modern American philosophy that “Freedom that is not equal is not freedom” shows us that freedom is not in fact based in equality.
God calls slaves “freedmen” in the sense that they were spiritually free but yet he told them to accept their earthly position as slaves while if they could be free to take that opportunity.
“20 Each man must remain in that condition in which he was called. 21 Were you called while a slave? Do not worry about it; but if you are able also to become free, rather do that. 22 For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord’s freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. 24 Brethren, each one is to remain with God in that condition in which he was called.”
I Corinthians 7:20-24 (NASB)
For more on what the Bible actually says about slavery see my article “Why Christians should not be ashamed of slavery in the Bible“.
But in the context of the discussion of this article – men and women do not have the same rights and freedoms under God’s law yet they are both considered to be free. God does not base our human value on our equal rights and freedoms with one another – but instead he bases it on the fact that we were created for his honor and glory and our value comes from fulfilling the role he has given us to play.
Isn’t it Selfish For a Man to Have Sex With His Wife When She is Not in The Mood?
Now some Christians at this point may be asking “Even though men and women have different rights under God’s law, isn’t it a selfish desire for a man to want sex with his wife when she tells him she is not in the mood?” One of the most popular articles I ever wrote on the blog addresses that topic and it is entitled “Is a husband selfish for having sex with his wife when she is not the mood?” I hope you will take the time to read it with an open heart and an open mind. The answer I show from the Scriptures in that article is NO it is not selfish for a man to desire sex with his wife when she is not in the mood.
The Giving and Taking of Women in Marriage
Now I will demonstrate from the Scriptures that God’s law regarding a woman’s consent to sexual activity does not resolve around her choice, but rather it is based in God’s consent and the consent of the men whom he has placed in authority over women.
We start with the fact that God has granted ownership to a father over his daughter. Under God’s law, a father could sell his daughter as an indentured servant (Exodus 21:7-11) with the possibility that his daughter could become a wife to the man or a son of the man she was sold to.
In fact, in the Scriptures there is a consistent teaching that women are GIVEN in marriage (mostly by their fathers) and TAKEN in marriage by their husbands.
God commanded men to take wives for themselves and to give their daughters in marriage and take wives for their sons as well:
“Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.”
Jeremiah 29:6 (KJV)
Jesus recognizing this principle of men taking women in marriage and women being given in marriage stated:
“For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.”
Matthew 22:30 (KJV)
So yes ladies – that cute tradition of a father walking his daughter down the isle and giving his daughter away in marriage is not just tradition – it is by the command of God and has been practiced in one form or another since the beginning of creation.
Now that we have shown the ownership of the father over his daughter we will now discuss the ownership of a husband over his wife.
The sad fact is many Christians in American society refuse to accept that the Bible is crystal clear in its language that marriage is in fact a transfer of ownership of a daughter from her father to her husband.
The Hebrew Word ‘baal’ meaning “owner/master” in noun form or “to be owned” in verb form is often used when referring to a woman’s husband and it is always used when speaking of marriage occurring between a man and woman. While there are many Old Testament examples that prove this the follow passage from the book of Deuteronomy demonstrates the noun and verb uses of ‘baal’ and the ownership of a husband over his wife:
“If a man be found lying with a woman married [‘baal’ verb “owned by”] to an husband[‘baal’ noun “owner”], 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)
Ephesians 5:22-31 clearly states that God created marriage to be a model of the relationship of God to his people with man representing God and woman representing the people of God. In the Old Testament this was pictured in God’s marriage to Israel and in the New Testament this is pictured in Christ’s relationship to his Church.
The fact is that even in Christ’s relationship to his Church it is clear that he “purchased” his bride (Acts 20:28) as all other husbands had since the beginning of creation.
Many Christian feminists while proudly claiming that men should follow Ephesians 5:25’s admonition for husbands to love their wives AS Christ loved the Church then in the same breath deny what the verses in front of it just said that the husband is the head of the wife AS Christ is the head of the Church and that wives are to submit to their husbands AS the Church submits to Christ. Ladies – you can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can’t take one part of what God says about his design for marriage in Ephesians chapter 5 while rejecting the other parts of it. You take it all or you reject it all.
A Biblical Case Study in Sexual Consent
In the book of Exodus, we find a very interesting case study into the mind of God regarding the issue of sexual consent.
“16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. 17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.”
Exodus 22:16-17 (KJV)
In verse 16 we are told that if a man entices a virgin (literally he seduces her) into having sexual relations with him we are told he has an obligation to make her his wife which would require him to enter into a covenant of marriage with her. But then in verse 17 we read that God allows the father to “utterly refuse to give her unto him”.
When you look closely these two verses handle two different situations. The first verse covers “Casanovas” or what we today would call “players”. The second verse covers the “forbidden love” scenario.
God Condemns the Scheming Ways of Casanovas and Players
When the Bible commanded that the man must make the woman he enticed into extramarital relations his wife this was civil punishment and restitution that had to be made for his breaking of God’s moral law. This covers the Casanova who tries to have that “one-night stand” with a woman. This covers the playboy who thinks he can seduce women into having sex with him outside of a covenant of marriage.
So, in this first scenario the man had no intention of marrying the woman – he just wanted to get some and he may have used all kinds of emotional trickery on the woman to convince her into having sex with him. He may even have told her he loved her and wanted to ask her father’s hand in marriage. He just wants a “taste” of the goods and then he will ask her father – or so he told her.
The next day after she naively gives herself to him he acts as if it never happened leaving her with the loss of her virginity and ruining her for other men. This is the situation God was meaning to address by forcing the man to marry the woman he had just enticed.
Most men and women would call this first man I have just described a pig. We would all be equally disgusted by his deceitful actions toward these young virgins while at the same time we must recognize these women also sinned by allowing him to entice them into sexual relations outside of a marriage covenant.
God Also Condemns Forbidden Love
But in verse 17 we see another scenario God is addressing. This is a scenario that has played out in many “romance” stories over the years. Perhaps a daughter comes to her father and tells him of a cute young man that she wishes for him to arrange marriage for her to. Her father refuses. His reason might be character issues with the man or it might simply be economic issues. The father may have told his daughter that he had a few other men in mind that were wealthier and could care for her better than this man she is attracted to. Perhaps her marriage to one of these other men will provide a political or business alliance that will benefit her father. She tells her father “but I am not attracted to any of those men and I love this other man”.
Her father puts his foot down and tells his daughter “Enough! You are not marrying that man and I will hear no more of it. I will let you know which of these other men I have chosen for you shortly.” So, the daughter decides to take things into her own hands. She decides she will go and have sex with the man she loves (lusts after) believing her father will be forced to give her to him in marriage. Perhaps this man who also wants her for his wife has planted the idea in her head that her father will give her to him rather than refuse and risk her never marrying.
So, she comes to the man whom her father has refused and gives herself to the man who has so desperately wanted her. At this point in the story most women and even a lot of men – Christian men and women would be rooting for the poor girl as she should have been able to chose the man she wanted right? WRONG. The young virgin woman had absolutely NO right under God’s law to consent to sexual relations with that man. This entire scheme would be wicked before God.
This is why God grants father’s the right of refusal even if a man entices their daughter into sexual relations which means she has freely given herself to him (she was not forced). This part of God’s law would work as deterrent to women who thought they could control their own sexuality or control what man they would marry.
This law taught women “If you give yourself to a man outside of lawfully approved marriage by your father – you might end up an old maid that never marries”. So, a woman would be faced with this scenario – “Do I want to risk my father saying no because I sinned against him and God and risk being single the rest of my life or will I simply follow my father’s wishes and marry a man I am not attracted to but at least I will not be alone and I will have a husband and children?”
Men Can Make Women’s Virginity Precious Again
The sad commentary on our time is that a woman’s virginity is no longer the precious commodity to our culture that God declared it to be in the Scriptures. Women have no fear that losing their virginity could relegate them to a lonely life with no marriage and no children as the women in the Bible feared.
We as Christians and especially young men and have allowed this to occur. In the same way we men allowed feminism to rise we gave up the preciousness of a woman’s virginity by dating women who are not virgins. Imagine if every Christian man made a commitment that he would never date or marry a woman who was not virgin unless her virginity was lost under these conditions:
- It was lost to her husband who died.
- It was lost to her husband from whom she was divorced (and she was the innocent party).
- It was lost because she was raped.
Would this not motivate young women to greatly guard their sexual purity? And yes, I know what all the egalitarians are saying – “what about the men?” Could these same rules be applied to men in order to promote sexual purity among young men as well? I think the answer is yes with the caveat that under Biblical law men may not be virgins when they marry a woman because they can have more than one wife. But that is part of a larger discussion on polygamy which I have had elsewhere. Another caveat in applying this to men is that as we have discussed in regard to young virgins living in their father’s home it is not the daughter that sets criteria for potential spouses but the father.
And just to be clear on this passage from Exodus – the man being forced to marry the woman he enticed to have sex with him and also the payment of the bride price even if the father refused were part of the civil laws of Israel. These were restitutions that had to be made for breaking God’s moral law in either of the two scenarios we just described.
That’s just the Old Testament!
There are many Christians right now that have completely tuned out everything I have just written with the following thought in their head:
“Well that is just Old Testament and we as Christians are no longer under the Old Testament so Christian fathers have no right over their daughters sexual or marriage choices! Do you still stone people for adultery and do you still eat pork? If you don’t do these things then don’t talk to me about fathers control over their daughter’s decisions with their own bodies and their own lives. These decisions are between women and God.”
If you actually want to understand how the Bible works and the difference between the moral, ceremonial and civil laws of Israel and the fact that the Jesus Christ himself asserted the moral laws of the Old Testament I encourage you to read these articles I have written on the subject.
The sad commentary on our time is that David S. D’Amato is absolutely right that our society has almost completely embraced the ideologies of Moses Harman with the big exception of his anarchist views. Feminists and Free Lovers actually went the opposite way on government and used the power of government to impose their views on American society.
Harman’s views of Christianity, men and women, gender roles and marriage which were considered “insane” a little more than a century ago are now “taken for granted” as truths that may no longer be questioned.
In the beginning of this article I alluded to Daphne Merkin’s statement in her New York Times article that “Expressing sexual interest is inherently messy…” in our modern American culture and I said I would explain at the end of this article why God’s appointed method of men and women expressing sexual interest is not messy at all but actually it is very easy when we do things his way.
Previously I alluded to several important passages of the Scriptures that directly speak to sex in marriage and they are Exodus 21:10, Proverbs 5:18-19, I Corinthians 7:2-5 and Ephesians 5:22-24.
Proverbs 5:18-19 teaches that a husband is commanded by God to sexually satisfy himself with his wife’s body at all times. Exodus 21:10 teaches that a husband has an obligation to provide his wife sexual access to his body. I Corinthians 7:2-5 teaches that in marriage sex is both a right and responsibility for both the husband and the wife. Ephesians 5:22-24 teaches that wives are to submit to their husbands in everything and that includes their husband’s sexual preferences as long as he does not ask them to engage in sinful sexual acts (I gave the example a husband asking his wife to have sex with another man as an example of a sinful sexual request).
I also talked about God’s process for how men and women are to enter into sexual relations. I showed how God only consents to a man and woman having sexual relations in the covenant of marriage. I also showed God’s process for men and women entering into marriage after which they are allowed and are in fact commanded to have sexual relations with one another.
In modern America men have to flirt with women, flatter women or otherwise try and romance them to even have a chance of having having sex with them. It is actually a very risky proposition for men and in the advent of the MeToo era it is even riskier as it might cost you your job. It truly is a “messy” process as Daphne Merkin calls it.
But in God’s design men did not have to flirt with women, flatter women or romance them to get them to have sex with them but rather they purchased the women they desired as Christ purchased his Church in Acts 20:28.
This was the process under normal conditions. A man went to the woman’s father and expressed his interest in his daughter. If he agreed to give his daughter to the man the man would return and present the bride price at which time the father would give his daughter to the man and he would then consummate the marriage by taking her sexually as his wife. From that point on he would take his wife sexually anytime he pleased and the wife would also have sexual access to his body as well.
A little note on the bride price. While a man did not literally have to die to purchase his wife as Christ did to acquire his Church many men often had to save a half a years wages to purchase a wife. That could take them several years to save. The Bible tells us of Jacob that he purchased Rachel by giving sevens years of labor to her father:
“And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.”
Genesis 29:20 (KJV)
The Bible tells us that Rachel was a beautiful woman and her sister was something other than “beautiful and well favoured”.
“Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.“
Genesis 29:17 (KJV)
The Hebrew phrase that is translated as “beautiful and well favoured” in the KJV is not as literal to Hebrew text. In the Hebrew it it reads yâpheh[beautiful,lovely,fair] tô’ar [form, figure, shape] yâpheh[beautiful,lovely,fair] mar’eh[sight, vision, appearance]. So when we take this phrase together it said Rachel had “a beautiful figure and was lovely to look at”. In modern terms we would say “Rachel had a hot body and was easy on the eyes”.
So apparently Rachel was so hot that Jacob served not one year or two years but seven years to purchase her as his wife!
But as we can see with God’s method of men and women entering into sexual relations with one another there is no mess, no fuss and no games. Some might argue that there was in fact a game that was played by Laban when he tricked Jacob into taking Leah as his wife first. But that was a false contract and was sin before God. Regardless though Jacob being a noble man still kept Leah as his wife.
The point is it is a lot less complicated than what Daphne Merkin described as the MeToo movement’s goal of sex as “the childhood game of “Mother, May I?”.
What that means in practical terms is since I married my wife I can come touch her sexually any time I want. If I want to come up behind her in the kitchen and cup her breasts in my hands as she washes the dishes I can do that. I don’t have to ask her permission to do so. If I want to slide my hands down her thighs and touch her groin area I don’t have to ask her permission to do so. If I want to slap her on the rear end as I walk by her, again I don’t have to ask her permission to do so. And finally, if I want to initiate sexual relations with her I don’t have to ask her permission before doing so.
In the same way if my wife wants to come by and grab my groin she has every right to do so as my wife. If she wants to come by and slap me on the rear end she has every right to do so. If while I am sleeping in the morning my wife decides to get on top of me and start having sex with me she has every right to do so as God has given her sexual access to my body.
Now we also understand that there is a Biblical caveat to our sexual access to our spouse’s body in that we are to care for the wellbeing of our spouse (Ephesians 5:28-29). That means as Christians we can rightly condemn the actions of the husband who forces himself on his wife after surgery or child birth and thus endangers her by do so but at the same time we can uphold a husband’s right to have sex with his wife even if she may simply not be in the mood.
My point is if we enter into sexual relations following God’s design there is absolutely no chance of sexual harassment ever happening. It is impossible for me to grope my wife (because she belongs to me) or for her to grope me (because God has given her sexual access to my body). There is no messiness to sex in marriage when we remove the world’s evil ideas about sexual consent.
It is only when we bring the tenets of sexual consent ideology into sexual relations in marriage that sexual initiation then becomes “messy”. If a husband has his hand slapped away by his wife she is sinfully making sexual initiation “messy” for her husband and sadly many women do that today. If a husband would rather look at porn and masturbate than have sex when his wife reaches for him that makes sexual initiation “messy” for his wife.
And finally, on this topic of sexual consent – I have demonstrated here with conclusive proof that both in their origins and their agendas that the Sexual Consent and Free Love movements were founded in evil philosophies that were directly opposed to the God of the Bible and God’s institution of marriage.
God does not consent to two men or two women having sexual relations with one another even if they have given their “free” and “enthusiastic” consent to one another.
God does not give his consent to a man and woman having sexual relations with one another because they have both freely and enthusiastically given consent to one another.
God ONLY gives his consent to a man and woman having sexual relations when they have lawfully entered into a marriage covenant according the Scriptures. Once a man and woman have entered into the covenant of marriage, not only does God consent to them having sexual relations but he commands it.
As Christians we would agree with the MeToo movement that men should not be making unwanted sexual advances in the work place or implying that their female coworkers or subordinates need to perform sexual acts to get promotions or keep their jobs.
But while we agree with MeToo that these actions by men are wrong – we very much disagree as to WHY these actions are wrong. MeToo following the false Sexual Consent ideology says these unwanted sexual advances are wrong because they violate a woman’s consent. For MeToo – if the woman expressed clear consent to having sexual relations with a coworker or even her boss then there is no wrong committed by the man in responding to her.
However, for us as Bible believing Christians a man making unwanted sexual advances toward a woman he is not married to whether in the workplace or elsewhere is wrong not because it violates the woman’s consent, but because it violates God’s consent to him having sexual relations with that woman.
We can all agree that physical abuse does occur in some marriages even if we might debate what actually constitutes physical abuse. Also as Christians we can agree that Ephesians 5:28-29 condemns husbands physically abusing their wives. But as Christians we may never classify any physical abuse in marriage as rape because the false construct of marital rape implies that a wife may reject her husband’s sexual advances.
The Scriptures show that a woman may only resist a man’s sexual advances if she is not married to him and in the case of the man not being married to her she is required to resist his advances. That is why from a Biblical perspective a woman’s consent to sexual relations is really an oxymoron. Before marriage she has no choice but to say NO and after marriage she has no choice but to say YES.
It is not the woman’s consent that matters, it is Gods.
It has been said that “there is no such thing as bad publicity” but some would question the truth of that based on the barrage of attacks my site has received in the last few days since a post I wrote “How a husband can enjoy sex that is grudgingly given by his wife” has gone viral online.
What I find very interesting is the articles written about my teachings on the Huffington Post and the Daily Mail were actually more honest portrayals than an article written by Florence Taylor (a professed Christian) at ChristianityToday.com.
In an article entitled “Why BiblicalGenderRoles.com does not represent the true Christian view of sex” Taylor writes:
“News outlets around the world have picked up on BiblicalGenderRoles.com, a website which claims that men should not tolerate their wives refusing sex, and that husbands should invoke fear – “a healthy or ‘soft dread'” – in their wives.”
First of all that term ‘soft dread’ is not even a term I coined or use often on my site if she were to look at more than one article. That is actually the first time I have ever used that term on my site and it was in response to a site called TheRationalMale.com which like my site attacks feminist teachings.
I was attempting in that post to compare and contrast my views with those of Rollo Tomassi who is the founder of TheRationalMale.com. I made this statement in the post when I was trying to compare Tomassi’s dread teachings to the Scriptures:
“You [Rollo Tomassi] talk about “dread” and I read your posts on that subject. In the Christian faith we have a similar concept when it comes to God that we are to “fear” him. This is not some sort of scary fear (like God is a monster), but it is a reverent fear.
This is why the Bible tells women to submit to their husbands “as unto the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22) – literally a wife is to submit to her husband as she would unto God himself. She is commanded by God to “see that she reverence her husband” (Ephesians 5:33). The English word “reverence” in that passage is a translation of the Greek word “Phobeo” which literally means “to fear or be afraid” or “to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience”. In fact most of the time that Greek word “Phobeo” is translated as “fear” throughout the New Testament.
So should a wife Biblically speaking have a little healthy fear or dread of her husband?
Today most Christian wives have ZERO fear or dread of their husbands even though the Bible commands them to. In fact I would argue that in most Christian marriages men are the ones who fear their wives.
Men show their wives they are either afraid to lose them (be alone) or afraid of the prospect of divorce and the financial or child custody repercussions that it may bring. “
But later I disagreed with his “dread” (or otherwise known as “The Red Pill”) approach when I commented:
“I don’t think I am ready to swallow the Red pill. It’s not that I think everything in red pill ideology is wrong, I believe red pill has some points about feminism as well as how men should not run around like puppy dogs with their wives trying make her happy at every moment. I agree with red pill that some women are sexual extortionists (whether they consciously realize it or not)…
One the bigger parts about Red Pill that is very hard me to swallow is the dread notion. I do believe as pointed out in this post that God wants women to have a reverent fear for their husbands. But I do not think that fear should be based in the fact that a husband plants subconscious ideas in his wife’s head that he might cheat. I don’t agree with married men flirting.”
I have stated on several occasions – Rollo and I may agree on some of the problems with feminism and its impact on marriage, but we certainly do not agree on the solution to the problem!
It would be more correct to say if you read more than one post on my site that I believe regular sexual relations between a husband and his wife should be based on ‘Agape’ Love which is the strongest type of love and the one most used in the Scriptures. It is a love that does not find its foundation in emotion and feeling, but rather in duty and commitment. It is a love based in the will, a choice. This is what allows a husband to continue loving a wife who mistreats him, or a wife to continue loving a husband that mistreats her.
I Corinthians 7 clearly and unequivocally states that God views sex in marriage as a duty and an obligation to one’s spouse(it is an equal right for both the husband and the wife):
“Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 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 7:1-5 (KJV)
Miss Taylor trots out her Rape straw man to knock down
A “straw man argument” is when a person does not wish to, or cannot refute what it is a person is arguing for. So instead they add things to what that person has said, and then attack what they themselves have added. Miss Taylor employs this approach against me.
Rather than trying to refute what I said that it is wrong for wives to consent but then give sex grudgingly from the Bible – Miss Taylor turns to a Gender justice specialist to fight against the straw man of rape instead.
“The real danger lies for those living within conservative Christian contexts where traditional gender roles are taught. It’s possible that Solomon’s website could be used to justify the manipulation of this teaching, Collins said.
She said women who are suffering abuse and read the website may well be made to think their situation is acceptable.
“It is reinforcing rapists’ views and giving a Christian justification and spin in support of rape and normalising it,” Collins said. “The negative effect could result in people being raped or women feeling like rape they are suffering is not rape.””
Parading as a Biblical world view, Collins said the site is perpetuating “rapists who are using the Bible to justify their actions, and therefore normalising them.”
So I have just one question for Miss Taylor and her Gender justice specialist Natalie Collins.
Should Christian Pastors and Christian teachers stop teaching I Corinthians 7:1-5 which clearly states a husband has power over his wife’s body and the wife has power over her husband’s body because some men may use that to support the idea that they can force themselves on their wives?
Just because the Scriptures talk about something and that teaching can be perverted for wrong does not mean we should stop teaching what the Bible says.
I have made this statement before and I stand by it:
Biblically speaking, there is no such thing as “marital rape” – HOWEVER, there is such a thing as physical abuse. While the Bible does not speak specifically to this case of a man forcing himself on his wife, I believe it is a case of physical abuse.
So what others call rape, I call abuse. In the same way that when someone is wrongfully killed it might be first degree murder, second degree murder or man slaughter what we call “physical abuse” and what we call “rape” is dependent on the relationship between the man and woman in question. There is no doubt a wrong has been committed. But what we call it, and how it is punished or dealt with is very different depending on the circumstances.
But make no mistake – I do not condone what I call physical abuse (a man forcing himself upon his wife) and what others call rape in marriage. A husband should NEVER EVER force himself upon his wife.
But those who actually read what I write in its entirety and its context know I don’t condone rape or a husband physically abusing his wife by forcing himself on her.
The real problem is submission
Taylor continues her discussion with Collins:
“However, she also noted that the media coverage could also have a positive effect, prompting a “wider debate about how the church actually thinks about women and their treatment.”
The true Biblical message is an “amazing truth of liberation for women” from oppression, Collins added.
“The Bible shows us that one of the consequences of the fall is patriarchy and dominion, but that in Jesus the curse of sin and death was removed for freedom – we should be living a redeemed reality as equals honouring one and other.”
Debunking Solomon’s ‘biblical’ argument, Collins said “a fundamental of the Christian faith is that we are given free will, and therefore any gender mandate or biological argument that trumps free will and honour and respect is not Christian.”
The real problem that people have with my site underneath all the baseless accusations of me advocating for men to rape their wives is the idea of Biblical submission.
Patriarchy was not a consequence of the fall as Collins and her feminist Christian friends would love to believe. Patriarchy was prescribed by God before the fall and after the fall and even after Christ came and redeemed us.
The real problem is not even sexual issues in marriage. We in America and in other Western nations do not like authority. We don’t like duty. We want to live by our feelings and emotions instead.
Especially in the home, no one wants to be told what to do. Not the kids and certainly not the wives. Even husbands don’t want to be told by the Church that they need to lead their homes, provide for their homes and protect their homes. Men don’t want to be told that they have to step up and be spiritual leaders. Men are afraid to confront sin their homes – whether it be with themselves, their wives or their children.
So when some crazy preacher in Church or some Christian blogger says that women have a duty and obligation to submit to their husband in all ways (including in the sexual arena) the hairs on the back of their necks stand up.
Yes God gave us a free will, but he also gives us consequences based on how we choose to exercise that free will. He does not want us to use that free will to rebel against our authorities.
“Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God…
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;” – I Peter 2:13-16 & I Peter 3:1
So I invite my readers and every Christian reading this to examine the Scriptures for themselves.
Is Patriarchy (male headship) something that was “one of the consequences of the fall” and something that Christ came to “redeem” us from? Or was it an institution designed by God from the very beginning of creation to be a shining symbol of the relationship between God and his people?
Is sex an obligation and duty in marriage? Does God give any prerequisites a man must do toward his wife or wife must do toward her husband in order to earn sex? Search the Scriptures for yourselves.
Whose teaching comes closest to the Scripture? Mine or Miss Taylors? You be the judge.
I agree with what Taylor and Collins said here:
“However, she also noted that the media coverage could also have a positive effect, prompting a “wider debate about how the church actually thinks about women and their treatment.”
They are right! We need to have a debate about whether the feminist and emotional view of marriage that has permeated western society has made for stronger marriages or weaker marriages?
Do people get married more or less now than they did a century ago when what I am teaching would have been mainstream?
Do people get divorced more or less since we made emotions the foundation of marriage as opposed to duty and commitment based in Agape Love?
I have added new permanent page – “The Rape Straw Man” in the top menu making my position opposing rape and physical abuse clear for all to see. You can see it here.
“Is my husband raping me?” This is a question that was asked of me recently by a Christian wife. She sent me her story as an anonymous comment on my article “Is a husband selfish for having sex with his wife when she is not in the mood?”. I have made some grammar and spelling fixes to the comment but it remains true to what this Christian wife stated about problems in her marriage.
“My husband and I have been married for 9 years. When I was pregnant with our first child we sat down and had a discussion about sex. I told him while I was pregnant there would be times when I probably would not want to have sex and if he did I understood and I would be willing to fulfill my duty and his desires………well it all went downhill from there.
I understand what the Bible states. I am a Christian however he is not. That being said when sex began to be painful because of pregnancy he did not care. I would receive the comment “It will only take a few minutes, and I’ll be quick.” Whatever, I took it. Did not hold a grudge. Got past it. The problem is, it has never stopped.
My husband has sex with me whether I want it or not, all of the time. It has tainted our marriage and our sex life to the point of disgust. Even when I would cry, he would still have sex with me. I can read a book and he will still have sex with me. I have tried to tell him how this makes me feel, I have begged and pleaded with him, not to do this to our marriage, that I feel like his whore, or his piece of trash, he does not care.
I have told him this is not love, this is not biblical love, I do not feel loved and he does not care. I hate when he touches me. It literally makes me sick to my stomach. I became so deep in depression because of it. I will be so sad and heartbroken after we have sex sometimes and he actually will ask, “What is your problem?”
I even went as far as to get drunk so I could have sex with him. Guess what….he thought that was the best idea ever, so he would make sure I would have enough alcohol in me to have sex. Even when I said I wanted to stop drinking, he would always make sure the fridge is full.
When I would beg to see a counselor, I would get a guilt trip of 100 reasons why I shouldn’t or cannot. Now I am so numb to it all, I put a pillow over my face, and say just get it over with. And still I am trying to be a Godly wife.
So please tell me how this is not sin. How this is not rape, or abuse of some sort. Because in my mind I feel like I am living with my molester every day. Yes he says he is sorry, he does try to get me in the mood. You can definitely tell when he want wants it, it is the only time he comes up behind me and holds me, and the nonstop sexual comments like “Why don’t you come sit on my lap?” Gross. And If I don’t have sex with him the sighing and whining is sooo overwhelming. It becomes a punishment.
When I’m upset after we have had sex, I get “You told me to do it, I don’t know why you are so upset”. I can go on and on. So as a Christian women do I just keep taking it and keep the smile on my face pretending everything is ok when it is killing me inside? And just a side note, I am not a feminist, I am very biblical when it comes to God’s way, and not being in this world but of this world. So I do get what you are saying about not denying your husband of sex.
But what do you do when it has turned into what yes I would call rape?”
My response to this wife and other Christian wives who face similar situations
I am going to take what I see in her story, and try and break it up into various questions that are raised both by her husband’s behavior as well as hers.
Question 1 – Was the husband wrong for having sex with his wife while she was pregnant and in pain?
It depends. Had he just had sex with her in the last few days? Then perhaps he should have put her need to not experience more pain and discomfort ahead of his need for sex. But if she had been in pain for weeks or a month and he finally came to her and said “Babe I need this, I promise I will make it quick” – then she should have put his need for sex above her need to not experience additional discomfort.
Sometimes though a woman cannot have vaginal intercourse for medical reasons beyond just discomfort. For instance most doctors advice women not to have vaginal intercourse for 6 to 8 weeks after giving birth. If a man were to try and have vaginal sex with his wife during this period it would be highly painful for her and it might cause complications with her healing process. But that does not mean a woman cannot meet her husband’s sexual needs in other ways during this time. God has given her the ability to manually or orally satisfy her husband in order to meet his sexual needs. Christian wives ought to do this for their husband’s during this post birth period, and for that matter any other period when they may not be able to physically have sexual intercourse with their husbands.
Question 2 – Was the husband wrong for having sex with his wife even when he knew she did not want to?
As I have said before, I have never advocated for a Christian husband to force himself upon his wife. But contrary to what feminists and other marital rape accusers say – there is difference between a husband convincing his wife to let him have sex with her and him physically forcing himself upon her.
Rather than hash this out again here – I have answered this entire issue from a Biblical perspective in the my article “Is a husband selfish for having sex with his wife when she is not in the mood”. But the short answer is no he is not being selfish for having sex with his wife simply because she is not in the mood. The Bible is clear that for the purposes of sex “The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.” – I Corinthians 7:4.
Question 3 – Was her husband treating her like a whore?
“He treats me like a whore”, “He treats me like a prostitute” and “He only wants me for sex”. These are three common statements that we hear from wives (Christian and otherwise) about their husbands frequently online and elsewhere. What wives who make these statements are actually saying is “He does not romance me anymore, he does not talk to me enough and spend time with me outside the bedroom enough”. When wives express these sentiments it comes from a place of them feeling like their husbands have not earned the right to have sex with them. Only when their husband makes them feel the way he once did, then and only then will they be able to have sex with him without feeling like “a whore”, “a prostitute” or “just plain used”.
A husband should know his wife, and part of knowing one’s wife is talking to one’s wife. I wrote an entire post on this subject entitled “10 ways to know your wife”. So if this woman’s husband was failing to talk to his wife(outside of when he wanted sex), but rather on a daily basis – getting to know what was going on in her life a daily basis – then he was in the wrong. Also as part “knowing one’s wife” he would know if he listened to her that she needs to be touched on a regular basis, and not only in a sexual manner when he wants sex.
But where this point of “I feel like my husband’s whore” falls woefully short is two wrongs never make a right. Her husband doing the right thing – talking to her on a daily basis and knowing her better is NOT a prerequisite to sex in marriage. She seems to have been very grudgingly yielding to her husband, and while a Christian husband can accept grudgingly yielded sex – it does not make it right on the part of the wife to have such a horrible attitude.
The two greatest lies Satan tells women regarding sex and marriage
The Scriptures state:
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” – Ephesians 6:12
We are in a battle with Satan – who uses our sin nature to try and deceive us each and every day. The devil wants to destroy marriage because marriage represents the relationship between God and his people. He wants to make a mockery of it.
The first lie Satan tells to unmarried women:
“If he makes you feel loved, then by all means give your body to him, enjoy great sex based on your passion for one another. You don’t need to be married, follow you feelings wherever they lead you. The minute he stops making you feel loved, dump him and move on to another new romance. This does not make you a whore. Whores have sex with men just to have sex, you are having sex based on your feelings of love and that is noble and right. But remember my golden rule – don’t do anything you don’t feel like doing. ”
The second lie Satan tells to married women:
“Remember what I told you when you were single. That applies when you are married too. If he makes you feel loved and is passionate and romantic and you feel like having sex with him, then by all means have sex. But if he does not make you feel loved, or if the passion fades stop having sex with him and make it clear he has to make you feel loved and romanced like he did when you first together. If a long time goes by and the feelings of love don’t come back, dump him (divorce him) and move on to the next guy. Even if your husband does make you feel loved, you never should have sex with him if you don’t feel like it, never forget my golden rule – don’t do anything you don’t feel like doing.
Remember you were wondering if you were being a whore by sleeping with men when you were single? Well you know what a real whore is? It is a wife who has sex with her husband when she does not feel like it, and especially when she does not feel loved or romanced.”
These two lies of Satan play out in almost every TV show and drama movie that we see today. I pray to God that the Christian women of this world will repent of believing these lies of Satan. A woman who has sex with her husband, even when she does not feel like it, even when her husband is not doing everything he should, is doing EXACTLY what God wants her to do. She is living according to the Spirit, and not according to the flesh.
Was her husband wrong for getting her drunk for sex?
This is an easy answer – yes he was wrong. It is never right to encourage drunkenness in someone as that is sinful. Does this wrong rise to the level of allowing for divorce? No. In this case she needed to exercise restraint and not engage in getting drunk.
Is her husband raping her or abusing her by having sex with her when she is not in the mood?
Aside from his physically harming her by forcing himself upon her no he is NOT abusing his wife from a Biblical perspective. Even if he did physically force himself upon her – it is IMPOSSIBLE Biblically speaking for a man to rape his wife. Abuse? Yes. Rape? No. For a larger discussion of the Biblical impossibility of marital rape I refer you again to my post “Is a husband selfish for having sex with his wife when she is not in the mood”.
If he convinces her to yield her body to him, then no sin has been committed on his part. But it is very possible that even if she yields to him – there is still sin on her part. If she acts disgusted by him and acts like he has no right to have sex with her – then the sin lies squarely in her court. She needs to eliminate the terms “rape” and “molester” from her vocabulary regarding her husband’s sexual advances toward her.
Should her husband go to counseling with her?
Yes I believe he should, but they should see a Christian marriage counselor that will exhort her to do what she should as Christian wife and perhaps they can lead her husband to Christ in the process. This is her best bet to having her husband change some of his selfish ways. But she will not be able to even have a chance of convincing him to go to counseling until she does what God commands wives to do toward their unbelieving husbands.
“Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.” – I Peter 3:1-2 (NIV)
Perhaps if Christian wives in the situation described in this story would go to God and ask him to remove all bitterness in their hearts, submit themselves spiritually, mentally and sexually to their husband’s with a right heart they may have a chance of bringing their husband’s to Christ and as a result of that God can do wonderful things with their marriage.
I have shown here that Biblically speaking this woman’s husband was not raping her. Did he sin in other ways? Yes. Is it possible for a husband to abuse his wife? Yes. Is it possible for him to rape and molest his wife? From a Biblical perspective the answer is NO. Christian wives must eliminate the terms “rape” and “molester” from their vocabulary were it references their relationship with their husband.
Feminists and even some women who would not consider themselves feminists believe it is selfish for a man to have sex with his wife, knowing she is not in the mood. In fact some claim if a man has sex with his wife when she is not the mood this is rape. This is a question that many Christian men are afraid to ask. Here we will try to answer this very important question, from a Biblical perspective.
I have several “disclaimers” on this hot topic throughout the post but I will put this most important one at the top in red so one thing is crystal clear since I have been falsely accused of promoting rape and physical abuse to women:
I have not, nor would I EVER advocate for a husband to force himself physically upon his wife or to physically abuse her in any fashion. The issue being discussed here is about whether a man should take sex from his wife IF and ONLY IF she yields to his request for sex, even though she does so grudgingly and is not really in the mood, or does not feel he has earned it.
In our last post in this series on “How to be a godly husband”, we established the fact that as a Christian husband you do not have earn sex with your wife, any more than your wife has to earn sex with you. I took a beating from several people, even from some Christians who might 95% agree with me, because they thought I was not adding enough disclaimers about this right of sex in marriage.
But I stand by what I wrote, I feel that today we make far too many excuses for the sin of sexual denial in marriage, and as men of God we must address this issue without pulling punches.
In my last post “Christian Husbands – You don’t pay for the milk when you own the cow!” I did add some disclaimers at the end that some people missed about this issue of sexual denial:
“The answer to this question is a Christian wife should never give her husband a flat no, BUT she can humbly and gently ask for a delay. There may be legitimate physical or mental issues that might prompt your wife to ask you for a delay. But this must be done humbly and respectfully, and always with the attitude in mind that her body does belong to her husband.”
There are also “disclaimers” sections here you will see as you read on reasons a wife might not be in the mood.
Now we need to establish the key Biblical teachings about sex.
Sex is both a Right and a Responsibility in marriage
Moses, speaking under the direct inspiration of God was the first to speak of the importance of sex in marriage:
“If he takes an additional wife, he must not reduce the food, clothing, or marital rights of the first wife. And if he does not do these three things for her, she may leave free of charge, without any exchange of money.” – Exodus 21:10-11(HCSB)
The phrase translated in English as “marital rights”, literally refers to conjugal rights – Sex.
In this passage, Moses establishes sex as the right of a wife, and the responsibility of a husband.
The Apostle Paul later in the New Testament, elaborates on this right and responsibility of sex in marriage making it clear that both husbands and wives have the right TO and responsibility FOR sex in marriage:
“A wife does not have the right over her own body, but her husband does. In the same way, a husband does not have the right over his own body, but his wife does. Do not deprive one another sexually—except when you agree for a time, to devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again; otherwise, Satan may tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” – I Corinthians 7:4-5(HCSB)
The phrase “A wife does not have the right over her own body, but her husband does.” could not be clearer. A wife does not have the right to stand and deny her husband access to her body. As I said in the previous post, a wife can humbly ask for a “delay”, or “raincheck”, but only for legitimate physical or psychological reasons and the judge of what is legitimate or not is her husband.
Not only does the Apostle Paul start out with the sexual rights and responsibility of both men and women in marriage, he then tells us that if we disobey God by denying the sexual rights of our spouse, we open our marriage to temptation and danger.
The Apostle Paul pulls no punches here, Christian couples should only abstain from sex for short, mutually agreed upon periods of time. Christian husbands and wives should regularly be having sex. Not having sex for a long length of time, should be the exception, and not the norm in a Christian marriage.
But sex is supposed to be about feelings not duty right?
I understand to people who have not read the Scriptures, everything I have stated up to this point and in previous posts in these series seems cold, and unfeeling. But you need to understand that our modern western culture has the idea of marriage and sex backwards from God’s design.
This the Modern Western formula regarding sex:
Feelings of fondness between a man and a woman leads to sex
This is God’s formula regarding sex:
Sex leads to feelings of fondness between a man and a woman
Some people might respond to this saying “it is not always true that sex leads to fondness between a man and a woman” and they would be right. But let’s consider why it would not. I have one word for you – its called pride. A wife may actually be more annoyed at her husband after sex, then she was before if she does not release her feelings of pride during sex and give herself fully, both mind and body to her husband.
Exercising the right and responsibility of sex in marriage results in feelings of fondness between a man and a woman ONLY when both the man and the woman humble themselves first before God, and then before each other, realizing he has given their bodies to one another.
I am not saying it’s wrong that married couples have sex when they have feelings of fondness toward each other. This is a good thing and what we want to see in our marriages. But we must be careful that we don’t over time come to think that this is a prerequisite of sex, but rather we see it as a benefit of sex in marriage.
You as a husband are NOT being selfish for initiating sex with your wife
You are not being selfish when you act on your God given sexual urges and initiate sex with your wife. Even if your wife is not in the mood, but she yields to your advance anyway, you ought to take it.
It is not selfish for you as husband to do what God commands you to do in his Word:
“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)
God commands men to find sexual satisfaction in their wife’s body “at all times”.
You should NEVER, EVER feel guilty for initiating sex with your wife.
Remember this principle when it comes to sex in your marriage. It is not just you, or your wife that need sex as individuals, but your marriage needs sex. While sex levels may go up and down from time to time, when sex completely ceases in a marriage the marriage will die. Sure you may still live together, but the connection between the two of you will be gone, and you both will expose yourselves to dangerous and sinful temptations by doing so.
Let me also be clear, that much of this advice I am giving to you is for Christian couples, where both the husband and wife profess faith in Christ, and believe the Bible is the Word of God. See my next post 8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal where some of the steps could also apply to an unbelieving wife.
What I mean by “not in the mood” and by “you ought to take it”
The haters of the fact that God says sex is to occur if either the husband or wife want it will immediately scream “Rape” when I tell you as a Christian husband, that you ought to take the sex from your wife even if she is not in the mood.
The little phrase they neglect that I have stated is “if she yields”.
I am NOT advocating for a husband to physically force his wife to have sex with him.
I will address the situation if she does not yield in my next post.
But I will say this, despite American laws to the contrary, Biblically speaking, there is no such thing as “marital rape”. In the Scriptures, the only way rape occurs is if a man forces himself on a woman who is not his property (not his wife, or concubine). A man’s wives, his concubines (slave wives taken as captives of war or bought) could be made to have sex with him, no questions asked.
Now the Bible states that if a man did take one of his female slaves, he had to make her at least a slave wife (a concubine), which gave her a certain status above a normal slave. She had the right to be fed, clothed and the right to regular relations with him even he had other wives. She also had to be given the full rights of a daughter, if her father-in-law had purchased her for his son. I realize this entire scenario is appalling to our modern western notions, but I choose to not challenge God’s wisdom in the laws he gave. If you want to argue with God about this at the judgement, be my guest.
Two types of “not in the mood”
Really there are two classes of “not in the mood”, one is because of legitimate health reasons, perhaps she is experiencing painful intercourse or perhaps psychological issues and you should encourage your wife to seek medical assistance in these cases. But the other reason women are often not in the mood is because of “attitude issues”, basically adding up to “what has he done to earn this?” – This second reason is the “not in the mood” that I am primarily aiming at.
Reactions a wife might make to her husband’s sexual advances
The reaction every man wants to hear when he approaches his wife for sex
“Sure babe, let’s get it on.”
This is the way it should be the vast majority of the time.
The First type of “not in the mood”
“We have not spent any time talking lately and you want to have sex?”
“I am really not feeling up to it babe, I am really sorry can I give you a raincheck for tomorrow?”
How you should react to “not in the mood” type 1
If your wife expresses a need to talk, then by all means sit down and talk with your wife. Perhaps she has had a rough day, and just needs to vent, or perhaps there is an unresolved conflict between the two of you that she would like to discuss. I think there needs to be a compromise here between husbands and wives, that sometimes we as guys can cool our testosterone jets just for a little bit and connect verbally with our wives when they need that prior to sex.
But wives need also to understand that sometimes a man has a rough day, and all he wants to do is have sex and forget his troubles, he does not want to talk about it. Your wife needs to respect this, and should not ALWAYS insist that you have to first connect verbally, she also should try to see sex from your perspective too – that sometimes you won’t be ready to talk until after you have had sex.
If you see that your wife is genuinely not feeling well(and not the classic “I have a headache” excuse), and she politely asks for a rain check, then by all means as a Christian husband be gracious and allow her that. Now if she is asking for a rain check every other day, then you may need to explore what is happening, and if there is a deeper issue.
The Second type of “not in the mood”
“I am not really in the mood, but let’s just get this over with”
Then we have the classic “What have you done for me lately?” reasons for not being in the mood:
“When was the last time you took me out?”
“Did you buy me anything at the jewelry store this week?”
“How are those dishes looking?”
Then we have the – “how often do i have to do this” not in the mood reactions:
“Really? We just did it a week ago?”
“I have a headache”
How you should react to “not in the mood” type 2
Many of us husbands, but not all, will take the grudging acceptance, where she yes, but with a bad attitude.
Believe it or not, I have seen bloggers and others online say that a man is raping his wife if he has sex with her, knowing she is not in the mood, even if she grudgingly yields. Anything short of her happy consent in their view, is rape. I have asked several good Christian women about this, including my wife and sister-in-law and they just laughed at such a ridiculous notion.
But if your wife’s reaction is anything but a happy or grudging yield to your sexual advance, you need only follow up her response with “is that a no?”
And perhaps throw in “do we need to sit down and refresh our minds with what God’s Word says about sex in marriage?” If your wife is not a Christian, a reference to the Scriptures may fall on deaf ears so you may just want to leave it with the first question “is that a no”, and then see my next post that will deal with how to handle unbelieving wives.
Your wife has two choices
Her first choice is to react to your “is that a no” question by grudgingly giving in. This is what I mean by, if she is not in the mood, but yields anyway, then just take it, knowing that both you and your marriage need the sex.
Her second choice is to react to your “is that a no” with a “Yep, it’s a no”. In that case you have to move to a different strategy that with I will address in my next post, “8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal”.
But a woman can’t physically have sex when she is not in the mood
I added this section to the original post to address the emails and comments I got claiming a woman can’t physically have sex unless she is in the mood. Basically the argument goes like this. When a woman desires to have sex with a man, her vagina will start to lubricate itself in anticipation of intercourse. If there is no desire, then there is no lubrication and therefore if she is not in the mood she will automatically have dry and painful intercourse.
Just because I am saying it is OK if a woman grudgingly yields to her husband for sex he should take it, this does NOT give him the right to just “go for it”. He ought to use foreplay and touch various parts of her body and massage her in an attempt to relax her. He could also use oral sex as a way to help her get lubricated, and if that is not working use an artificial lubricant to help. There are ways to make sure a woman is sufficiently lubricated, even if she is not in the mood for sex.
Christian husbands the ball is in your court
So as a Christian husband you have quite the task on your shoulders. God wants sex to be a regular part of your marriage. Unless you are one those rare guys with little to no sex drive, you want sex in your marriage. Your wife may or may not want sex, or she may want it far less frequently than you do. But regardless of either of your sex drives, sex is to be a regular occurrence when you are married.
You need to pray and ask for God’s guidance in trying to truly discern if your wife’s “not in the mood” problem is a true mental or physical health issue (and if so seek help), or is it an attitude issue in which case as I said previously – if she yields (even grudgingly), you ought to take it. Do not feel bad and don’t let her make you think you being selfish for wanting sex with her, when the truth from God’s perspective is that she is the one being both rebellious and selfish.
The next post in this series will address “How to handle it when your wife refuses to have sex”. After that we will tackle what it means to “live with your wife according to knowledge”, “what it means to honor your wife” and many other topics related to being a godly husband.