A Newlywed Wife’s Experience with Incorporating Domestic Discipline

In my article, “A Newlywed Husband’s Experience with Incorporating Domestic Discipline”, we discussed a newlywed husband’s experience with incorporating domestic discipline in his marriage.  In this article we will give the other side of that experience with a testimony from his newlywed wife. Her name is Sarah. 

Sarah grew up in a relatively conservative Christian home and as you will see from her testimony she was spanked as a child as is normal for conservative Christians.  But even among conservative Christians today, wife spanking is no longer a common practice as it once was.  So this experience was as strange and new for her as it was for her husband.

Like the first part of her husband’s testimony, this first testimony from Sarah will primarily deal with the introduction of domestic discipline into their new marriage from her perspective as well as the impacts it has made from a high level.  In a follow-up testimony on Biblicalsexology.com, we will get a more detailed look at the changes in the sexual arena of their marriage.  Below is Sarah’s testimony. 

A Newlywed Wife’s Perspective on Domestic Discipline

“When my husband told me that he had located a mature Christian woman to mentor me as instructed in Titus 2:3-5, I did not know what to expect.  The wife of the mentor team first took time to get to know me and my Christian background.   Then she took me through a few weeks of learning the biblical doctrine on the role of the wife.   There is a lot more all throughout the Bible about Biblical gender roles than I knew.   Then came applying it to our marriage.  You can’t just read it and learn it, you have to apply it, she told me. 

I always believed in the value of parents spanking their children, but it was foreign to me to consider a husband spanking his wife.   The mentor wife patiently took me through the scriptural support of it and she followed that up with the historical fact that the practice of wife spanking was fairly common until around 100 years ago.  After that, I told the mentor wife that I agreed that my husband has authority to spank me, but I don’t think he will much because I am don’t do much wrong.  I then told my husband that same day that accepted his authority to use physical punishment with me, in other words I consented to my husband spanking me as he saw fit.   

It turns out, my husband was just not addressing everything that I did wrong.  

The first time he spanked me, it was not physically real hard, but it was emotionally hard for me.  It was a mix of feeling guilty for disappointing him as well as a blow to my pride to accept the spanking.   It brought back memories of when I was spanked as a child too.  The later spankings were physically more painful.  But I can assure you, while they are quite painful in the moment, they did not physically injure me.  Injure my pride, yes, physically no.  However, I now knew he had this authority, so I submitted to his authority and I grew from it.     

All this change has been hard and I am truthfully still adjusting to some of it.   These changes have not only included learning new things, but also unlearning some old things.   I don’t want to go into too much detail here, but there has been a great deal of changes in our sexual relationship too.   Some of the things my husband requires that I do conflict with how I was raised.   I had to learn to put away what I was taught in my father’s house and fully submit to my husband’s authority over me.   The mentor wife also pointed me to an article on the difference between being what I saw as slutty to being sexy; it comes down to one word: Marriage.  

The mentor husband had a number of exercises he suggested to my husband to help me become more sexually submissive.  Many of these exercises conflicted with how I was raised, but I learned I needed to submit to my husband.   I have also realized that I was turning my husband down too often when he initiated sex and I have corrected that.

One time I was struggling with a specific hurdle.   My husband wanted me to do something sexual that I was uncomfortable with.  The mentor wife worked with me for days and we discussed it in detail, it was not sinful, but I did not want to do it.   Finally, the mentor wife really showed me how my disobedience in this was sinful and I needed to change.   I was somewhat stuck.  I couldn’t bring myself to do it, but I couldn’t live with the spiritual conviction either.  Finally, I asked my husband to spank me to force me over this hurdle.   I know this sounds really strange, but it worked.  It was a huge blow to my pride to ask my husband to spank me like that, and then to submit to doing what he had requested.

However, looking back several months later, I see how this has been so helpful to our marriage.   My obedience even when I did not agree was a critical step.   Notice I did say obedience, not submission.  By submission, I mean having my feelings agree with my obedience.   At first, I learned to obey, then over time my emotions begin to catch up and I learn to truly submit.   It is all part of the growth experience.  I am glad I have the mentor wife working patiently with me as I go down this road she has already traveled.  I am proud to say that every month I have stayed on budget too.  That was the initial issue that brought my husband to BGR, but we have grown in so many ways beyond that one issue.  Do I recommend this lifestyle change to other women?  Yes.  It is hard to change, but this more closely aligns with how God designed marriage.   I trust that He knows what He is doing.”  

What We Learn from This Wife’s Testimony

As with her husband, the incorporation of domestic discipline into their marriage has not been easy for Sarah. Obviously as the one receiving the discipline it has been much harder for her.  The changes in being responsible with the money were easy compared to other changes that were required.  The most difficult changes have been those in the area of sexual submission.  This is an area that all the mentoring couples I work hit hard on.  And there is a very important reason that they do this and that reason is a husband’s headship over his wife begins in the marriage bed.

Unfortunately, most Christian teachers today deny a husband’s headship over his wife’s body. Pastor Jonathan Parnell, lead pastor of Cities Church in Minneapolis–St. Paul, Minnesota, wrote a prime example of this all too common false teaching.

In an article he wrote entitled “When the Sex Should Stop” for DesiringGod.org, Pastor Parnell writes:

“The mutuality of sex seen in 1 Corinthians 7:1–5 is clear. The husband’s authority over his wife’s body is no greater than her authority over his. It is a terrible mistake to apply the pattern of gender roles to this issue of sex in such a way that the husband, by virtue of his headship, requires the wife to submit to him sexually…

The church doesn’t need Christian gigolos, but men who willingly lay down their lives, and when called for, their sexual desires, for their wives.”

The statement above that this Pastor wrote is contrary to the teachings of the Bible despite his assertions otherwise.  In fact, I have referred to the article above as “a treasure trove of heresy” in a three-part series that I did on this article for my podcast site, Bgrlearning.com where I cover many other false doctrines he teaches in that article.  

The Scriptures are clear that the husband is the most powerful of all earthly human authorities as shown below in Ephesians 5:22-24:

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

In no other human authority relationship, except that of the husband/wife relationship, is the one under authority told to submit to their human authority “as unto the Lord”.  Wives are told to submit to their husbands “in every thing”.  There is no exception given for the marriage bed nor would it make any Biblical sense for a husband’s headship to end at the bedroom door.

The Bible does teach mutuality in sex, but not in the way this pastor tells it as seen below in 1 Corinthians 7:1–5:

“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.”

The passage above teaches us that it is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman if he has the gift of celibacy (1 Corinthians 7:7), but it is “better to marry” if one has the gift of sexual desire (1 Corinthians 7:9).  It then tells us that sex is both a right and a duty in marriage for both the husband and the wife.

The only thing “mutual” about sex in marriage according to this passage is that neither the husband nor the wife has the power to deny sexual relations to the other and that they must mutually agree to cease having sex for a short period and then come together again soon so they will not be tempted to have sexual relations outside of marriage.

There is absolutely nothing in 1 Corinthians 7:1–5 that teaches a wife must mutually agree with her husband as to when or how they engage in sexual relations neither does it limit the husband’s headship in the bedroom.

Modern Christian teachers like Pastor Parnell ignore a central Biblical truth and its application to sex in marriage.  In Corinthians 11:9 the Bible says:

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

When we apply that truth to sex, we can rightly say that sex was not created for the woman, but rather sex was created for the man.  Everything about woman, including her ability to give and receive sexual pleasure was created for man.

The Bible affirms this truth in Romans 1:27 when it calls sex “the natural use of the woman”.  It never refers to sex as “the natural use of the man”.  Why? Because man was not created for woman’s use, but rather woman was created for man’s use.

The Bible also explicitly tells men to have their wives satisfy their sexual desires in Proverbs 5:18-19:

“Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.”

The passages above show us that the Bible actually teaches the very opposite of what Pastor Parnell and so many other Christian teachers teach today. 

A man’s headship does not end at the marriage bed, but rather the marriage bed is where a husband’s headship begins.  A man who is not master of his wife’s body, is not master of her at all.

This is why I only refer newlywed Christian couples to Christian mentoring couples who not only fully embrace Biblical gender roles, but also those who understand that biblical gender roles begin in the marriage bed.  

Often as couples go through these mentoring programs, they will update me on their progress from time to time.  And I always smile when I see the same patterns of learning occur with these young wives.

It goes in stages. In most cases, it is not too difficult for young newlywed husbands to train their young newlywed wives in the first level of submission regarding finances, things around the home and simply saying yes to sex whenever he wants it if the woman is a true Bible believing Christian.

However, the difficulty emerges when the husband begins to ask for new things in the sexual arena, things the wife is not comfortable with.  It is at this second stage of sexual submission that many wives will look for the escape hatch.  They will say things like “I am doing what he wants with the finances and the keeping of the house and I never say no to sex anymore – why can’t he just be happy with that?”.   

But the answer to these young wives is always the same.  Ephesians 5:22-24 tells us that marriage was created by God to model the relationship of God to his people and in the New Testament of Christ to his church.  In verse 24 of Ephesians 5 the Bible says “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing”.  

Notice the Bible does not say wives should be subject to their husbands “in every thing they are comfortable with” but rather it simply says “in every thing”.  Of course, we understand that wives should not submit to sinful requests of their husbands (Acts 5:29).  But a husband asking his wife to do something sexually that is outside her comfort zone does not equal him asking her to sin.

And now a final word to newlywed husbands reading this.   In 1 Corinthians 11:7 the Bible says “…woman is the glory of the man” and in Proverbs 12:4 the Scriptures state “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones”

God meant for your wife to be your crown, your glory. And by bringing you glory; your wife brings God glory.  So how does a woman bring glory to her husband? By both her inner and outer beauty.  And the most important aspect of a woman’s inner beauty is her full submission to her husband in all things.

In Esther 1:9-12 we read the following story:

“Also Vashti the queen made a feast for the women in the royal house which belonged to king Ahasuerus. On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king, To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on. But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s commandment by his chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him.”

Queen Vashti had an opportunity to bring glory to her husband by simultaneously displaying her inner beauty, her submission, and her outer beauty, her body, to her husband’s guests.  But as she hosted her own party with the women, she was filled with pride.  She may have had the same thought that many women both Christian and non-Christian alike have today.  She probably thought “I am not his sex object to parade around for his friends to drool over”.  And being filled with pride in the presence of her female friends she refused her husband’s command and in doing so she did the very opposite of what God created wives to do.  Instead of being her husband’s crown, she became his shame.

My point to newlywed husbands is this.  It is not selfish on your part for you to desire from your wife what God created her for, which was to bring you glory through both the inner beauty of her submission to you and the outer beauty of her body.  And it is not selfish for you to discipline your wife to accomplish this purpose, to make your wife the glorious wife God wants her to be toward you. 

But make no mistake, this work will require great courage on your part as a newlywed husband.  It means having the courage to push your wife outside her comfort zones both inside and outside the bedroom.  It means not letting her tears sway you from molding her into the wife to you that God wants her to be.  It means being honest with yourself as to what you desire from your wife and as long as that desire is not sinful, bringing these desires to pass in your wife through washing her with the Word of God, rebuking and chastising her as Christ does his church.

And it also means being willing to stand alone against many Christians who will call you selfish for daring to fully exercise your headship in all areas of your marriage, including your headship over your wife’s body.

A Newlywed Christian Husband’s Experience with Incorporating Domestic Discipline

About 4 months ago I received an email from a newlywed Christian husband calling himself Robert.  He is 24 and his wife is 18.  They had been married for about a year.  So yes, she was 17 when they got married (with her parents’ consent of course).  He was experiencing a lot of rebellious tendencies with his young bride and I told him it was not too late for him to make a course correction in their marriage.  In fact, the newlywed phase (the first four years of marriage), is really the best time and the most crucial time to make these kinds of changes.  After the newlywed phase, it becomes much more difficult to make major structural changes in a marriage.

So, in response to Robert’s questions I wrote my article “7 Steps to Grooming Your Young Christian Wife”.  This article of course drove humanist Christians and atheists mad and I received a lot of hate mail from them expressing their feelings on what I wrote.  But at the same time I received many thankful emails over these last few months from the faithful remnant of Christians who rightly reject the humanist philosophies of individualism, egalitarianism and feminism as contrary to the Word of God.

I am happy to say that I was able to get Robert and his wife in with one of the mentoring couples I work with.  And by the way, I have had several Christian husband’s reach out to me asking about mentoring couples in their area and I will just tell you here the same thing I told them.  Right now, I only have a limited number of mentoring couples that I refer to and they only mentor online and not in person. 

There is a strict vetting process that I go through to vet mentoring couples to make sure they are trustworthy Christians who not only believe in Biblical gender roles, but they actually live these doctrines on a daily basis to the best of their ability.  Then I vet each couple that comes to me looking for a referral for mentoring and finally the mentoring couple themselves have their own vetting processes.  

The first reason we take all of these precautions is because we know as Galatians 2:4 says that there are “false brethren” who come to “spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage” to their false belief systems.    But the second reason we do this is that even with some Christian couples who are genuinely looking for help, sometimes either one or both of them are not in a right place to go through these mentoring programs.

Some couples pass the initial vetting process but soon must leave the mentoring program because one or both of them were not honest about where they were spiritually before they started the program or because they simply were not willing to make the changes that were necessary.  In other words, not every couple is a success story. 

One other thing I want to answer that has been asked a lot of me recently.  And that is whether having a mentoring couple is required to incorporate domestic discipline and other concepts of Biblical gender roles into marriage.  And my answer is no, it is not required, but rather it highly recommend.  It will be difficult, especially for the woman, without having a female mentor.  But it is possible.

It really comes down to the strength of a husband’s will and his convictions.  If he recognizes the changes he needs to make in his own life, which include him becoming courageous enough to confront and discipline his wife despite her tears and every other emotional manipulation she may throw at him, then yes, it is possible for husband to incorporate this into his marriage without the help of a mentoring couple.

I have tracked Robert and his wife (Sarah) in their progress with great delight over the past 4 months and in the last week both of them felt they were finally at a place where they were ready to share their testimonies as to how God has transformed their marriage through the incorporation of domestic discipline into their marriage with the help of a mentoring couple.

I asked each of them to break up their testimonies into multiple parts.  We will examine the first part of their testimonies here on Biblicalgenderroles.com and the primary focus here will be on the initial incorporation of domestic discipline into their marriage.  Then on Biblicalsexology.com, we will examine the second part of their testimonies showing how this husband used domestic discipline to bring about the full sexual obedience that was lacking in their marriage.

If you know some young Christian men and women who will be looking to marry soon or who are newlyweds these perspectives from both the newlywed husband’s point of view and then his newlywed wife’s point of view will be invaluable.

I also want to clarify what I mean when I use the historic phrase “domestic discipline”.  Often today when the term is used, we can think of it as being synonymous with wife spanking.   And many times, when I use it, I am specifically referring to the practice of a husband spanking his wife.  But historically speaking, domestic discipline was understood to incorporate more than just wife spanking.  It also referred to a husband’s ability limit his wife’s spending, what friends she could see or even things like him sending her to her room without dinner for the evening due to her behavior.

And I think from a Biblical perspective we must see domestic discipline in an even broader sense as part of a husband’s duty to wash his wife with the Word of God (Ephesians 5:25-27) as well as to rebuke and chasten her (Revelation 3:19) as Christ does with his church.

With all that being said, below is the first part of Robert’s testimony.

A Newlywed Husband’s Perspective on Domestic Discipline

“After I contacted Larry with my question concerning keeping my wife on budget and considering spanking her, he referred me to a husband and wife couple that mentors young Christian couples in living as commanded in scripture.   They were quite helpful as we implemented spanking in our marriage.   While I know my wife had more change on her side, I wanted to share some of the changes from the husband’s side too.  

I had to learn how to spank my wife in a way that would punish her, but not risk real harm or leave marks that would be embarrassing for her to explain if someone saw them.   Mentally, I had to adjust to the concept that I was going to be spanking her.   The first few times, it was really strange and I felt like I was just going through the motions.  After that, it got to where both my wife and I accepted that I was going to spank her when she needed it.  

Much of the growth I did took me outside my comfort zone.   However, I know that my wife was being taken even further outside her comfort zone.   She stays on the monthly budget now.  Although it did require several spankings at new weekly budget reviews that the mentor husband recommended.   She is careful to speak to me respectfully, even when we disagree.  

But the biggest change was in an area that I had not even initially requested assistance, the bedroom.  Like many couples, I have a higher sex drive than my wife.  Prior to the mentoring, my wife was having sex with me too infrequently, often just once week.   Now she makes herself available most anytime I request sex.  Without going into too much detail here, the range of sexual activities has expanded too.   Overall, these changes have been very beneficial for our marriage.   I would recommend this process to any young couple that are bible believers.   Change is often hard, but we are living as God designed in our marriage now.”

What We Learn from This Husband’s Testimony

As we can see from Robert’s testimony there were several stages in how this newlywed husband incorporated domestic discipline in his marriage.   First both the he and his wife needed to accept the realization that he was going to spank his wife.  This was brand new for him, and brand new for her.  They had no examples in either of their parents for this because our society almost completely abandoned the practice of husbands spanking their wives by the 1960s.

Next, Robert had to figure out techniques for spanking his wife in a way that would not violate the Ephesians 5:28-29 principle that he must care for his wife’s body and provide for it and protect it as he would his own. And the first few times he did it, it fell strange to him as the one giving the spanking.  And why did it feel strange for him? If Robert were living in 1820 or even 1920, spanking his wife would not have felt strange at all to Robert because it was a very common practice of husbands toward their wives.  He would have known that his father spanked his mother and that other men around him spanked their wives.  But in 2020, the practice of domestic discipline has been all but abandoned for more than half a century and this explains why at first it felt very strange for Robert to spank his wife.    

In order to overcome that strange feeling of spanking his wife as a method of discipline, Robert had to abandon the false adult/child paradigm that our humanist culture teaches us and instead embrace the historic and Biblical societal classes of men, women and children.  He had to realize that spanking his wife was not him treating her as a child, but rather it was him treating her as a woman, as his wife.

And whether a practice is popular as it once was, or not popular as of today is irrelevant.  God’s Word transcends cultural changes and it remains a consistent standard to guide our decisions and behavior in this life.

Another thing that Robert had to realize is that spanking applies to all areas of marriage.  It must be incorporated as a way of life, not just something you do in extreme situations.  And yes, it is right for a husband to chasten his wife for failure to be 100% submitted to him in the sexual arena.  Robert will get more into what that submission looks like in his marriage as he continues his testimony on Biblicalsexology.com.

But as you can see from this first part of his testimony, after 4 months of incorporating domestic discipline into his marriage his wife submits to him in all areas of their marriage including the financial and sexual arenas.  She also shows him the respect that men require from their wives.

Our modern society and sadly even the church have robbed men of their God given birthright and responsibilities toward their wives.  They have robbed men of the tools God has given them to mold and shape their wives into the glorious wives they can be as they learn to submit to God and their husbands.   But as Robert’s story shows, men can be taught to reclaim their birthright and responsibilities toward their wives as well be taught to reincorporate the ancient and Biblical practice of domestic discipline.

And Robert saw the promise of God’s Word realized in his marriage.

“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”

Hebrews 12:11 (KJV)

19th Century Judicial Precedents Regarding Domestic Discipline

In this third article in our series on domestic discipline, we will be looking at a few 19th century judicial decisions on the lawfulness of husbands practicing domestic discipline toward their wives.  We will start with two cases which upheld the right of a husband to practice corporal chastisement on his wife and then move to a decision which overturned these precedents.  

1834 – Calvin Bradley vs The State of Mississippi

In this case of a husband being charged with battery against his wife the Supreme Court of Mississippi referenced the ancient common law to affirm the right of “domestic discipline” by husbands:

“It is true, according to the old law, the husband might give his wife moderate correction, because he is answerable for her misbehaviour; hence it was thought reasonable, to intrust him, with a power, necessary to restrain the indiscretions of one, for whose conduct he was to be made responsible

I believe it was a case before Mr. Justice Raymond, when the same doctrine was recognised, with proper limitations and restrictions, well suited to the condition and feelings of those, who might think proper to use a whip or rattan, no bigger than my thumb, in order to inforce the salutary restraints of domestic discipline.

Family broils and dissentions cannot be investigated before the tribunals of the country… let the husband be permitted to exercise the right of moderate chastisement… without being subjected to vexatious prosecutions, resulting in the mutual discredit and shame of all parties concerned. Judgment affirmed.”

In the case of Calvin Bradley vs The State, the court affirmed what it called “the ancient common law” right of a husband to use “moderate chastisement” with his wife referring to this practice as “domestic discipline”.    It also respected the limits of civil government interfering in the affairs of the family and stated husbands should not be subjected to prosecutions for exercising their right to domestic discipline as long as they did so in moderation.

1864 – State Of North Carolina vs Jesse Black

In this case the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled as follows:

“A husband is responsible for the acts of his wife, and he is required to govern his household, and for that purpose the law permits him to use towards his wife such a degree of force as is necessary to control an unruly temper and make her behave herself; and unless some permanent injury be inflicted, or there be an excess of violence, or such a degree of cruelty as shows that it is inflicted to gratify his own bad passions, the law will not invade the domestic forum or go behind the curtain.”

As in previous cases, the court affirmed that the husband’s right to chastise his wife flows from his responsibility to govern all in his household and his wife is part of his household.   The court affirmed that it is improper for the civil government to “invade the domestic forum”. 

In this decision, the court did recognize limits on the husband’s power to use corporal punishment to chastise his wife.  They said that a husband’s chastisement of his wife should not cause any “permanent injury” or be excessively violent and that he should not discipline his wife for his own sadistic pleasure.  The court’s view in this case aligns with the Scriptural command to husbands in Ephesians 5:28-29 that they are to care for and protect their wife’s bodies as they would their own.  

1871 – The Year American Courts Invaded the Domestic Forum

It was in 1871, that a state court did what others had warned against decades earlier.  The court invaded the domestic forum, the sphere of authority given to men as the heads of their households.  It not only overturned decades of American court precedent, but invalidated ancient common law rights of husbands upon which those precedents were built.

In 1871 the case of Fulgham V. State, the Alabama Supreme court ruled as follows:

“Since then, however, learning, with its humanizing influences, has made great progress, and morals and religion have made some progress with it. Therefore, a rod which may be drawn through the wedding ring is not now deemed necessary to teach the wife her duty and subjection to the husband. The husband is therefore not justified or allowed by law to use such a weapon, or any other, for her moderate correction. The wife is not to be considered as the husband’s slave. And the privilege, ancient though it be, to beat her with a stick, to pull her hair, choke her, spit in her face or kick her about the floor, or to inflict upon her like indignities, is not now acknowledged by our law

Two key words stand out in the first sentence and those words are “humanizing” and “progress”. 

What does it mean to “humanize” someone? And to what “progress” were they referring? To understand these concepts, we have to compare and contrast the social classes of the post enlightenment age with those that came before it. 

When God created mankind, he ordained three core social classes and those were men, women and children.  After sin entered the world, he allowed for a fourth social class of slaves (both male and female) because of poverty and war. 

Humanists rejected these four social class structures and instead sought to bring about a new model of society that had only two social classes which we know today as “adults” and “children”.  The abolitionist humanists first targeted the slave class for elimination.  Then some female abolitionists broke off and organized the first womens rights conference in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York.

When they talked about “humanizing” people, they were talking about making women and slaves equal with free men.  In other words, they were seeking to eliminate the social classes of men, women and slaves and replace those classes with one new social class, that of a “human” or “adult” while leaving the child class intact.

This is why today if any adult is seen has having less rights than another adult, it is said that the person with less rights is being “dehumanized”. 

The ultimate goal of humanists of the late 19th century was to build an “internationalist” or what we call today “globalist” society.  No men, no women, no slaves, no rich, no poor, no Christians, no Muslims, no Jews, no Americans, no Mexicans, no British.

Just humans.    

And it is this march toward a one world society with no nations, no religions, no genders, no rich and no poor that humanists refer to as “progress”.  And this is why leftists today refer to themselves as “progressives”.   

Humanists knew that their master plan would take decades and perhaps more than a century to bring about.   And they knew they had to do it in small incremental pieces.  This is why if you notice in this ruling, the court still acknowledged that a wife had a duty to be in subjection to her husband. It would have been too much for American society to accept all at once that a husband could not use corporal punishment on his wife and that a wife did not have a duty to obey her husband.

The court was simply taking away a primary means of him enforcing that subjection, his ability to use corporal chastisement on his wife.  And by reducing the ability of husbands to enforce their rule over their wives, women were given more power.

In other words, taking away a husband’s right to use corporal discipline upon his wife was one of the first steps in dismantling patriarchy. 

The court falsely equated a man using moderate correction with a rod to him having a right “to pull her hair, choke her, spit in her face or kick her about the floor”.   This is what leftists do, they use extremes and abuses of authority, or this case chastisement, to get rid of all chastisement and in essence to get rid of an authority’s ability to chastise.

While Tennessee was the first state to outlaw “wife beating” in 1850, the vast majority of states did not do so until after this ruling in the 1870s.

But even though the courts and state legislatures had invaded the domestic forum by the late 19th century, local law enforcement officials rarely enforced these laws.  In other words, most local police did not feel right about invading the domestic forum even though state laws and court decisions would allow it. 

It would not be until more than a century after the first laws denying husbands’ rights to use corporal punishment on their wives, that a new “Domestic Violence” movement would arise in the early 1970s.  It was then that new domestic violence laws were passed and edicts came down from state and local governments forcing police to invade the domestic forum.

Conclusion

We have shown here that early 19th century jurisprudence respected ancient common laws giving husbands the right to use corporal punishment as part of domestic discipline with their wives. 

The courts showed great deference to the domestic forum, recognizing it was not right for civil authorities to intervene in domestic affairs, except under the gravest of circumstances, as husbands were to have supremacy in the affairs of their homes.

Later courts, following humanist philosophies, broke this sacred rule and launched a full-scale government invasion of the domestic forum with the attack on corporal punishment of wives being only one of the first battles in this invasion.

A 19th Century Suffragette View of Domestic Discipline

In this second article in our series on domestic discipline, we will be looking at the 19th century suffragette (feminist) view of domestic discipline.  To do this we will look at two primary sources.  The first is the Declaration of Sentiments which was issued from the first woman’s rights conference in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York. 

The second source we will be looking at is a book entitled “History of Woman Suffrage: 1848-1861”, written by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, ‎Susan Brownell Anthony and ‎Matilda Joslyn Gage in 1881.  This book is also a valuable resource in understanding the historical view of domestic discipline.   Less than 20 years before this book was published, state courts in America were still upholding a man’s right to use corporal punishment with his wife.  It was only in the 1870s that courts began striking down this common law right and later states would begin enacting laws against it.

The Declaration of Sentiments

The Declaration of Independence was America declaring its independence from England and the Declaration of Sentiments was women declaring their independence from men.    Below is a portion of the Declaration of Sentiments issued from the first woman’s rights conference in 1848:

“The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has made her, morally, an irresponsible being, as she can commit many crimes, with impunity, provided they be done in the presence of her husband. In the covenant of marriage, she is compelled to promise obedience to her husband, he becoming, to all intents and purposes, her master – the law giving him power to deprive her of her liberty, and to administer chastisement.

As Bible believing Christians, we can and should recognize the 1848 Declaration of Sentiments for what it was and still is today.  A declaration of war on God’s institution of patriarchy.   And the sad truth is, that more than 170 years later that war has been mostly won by feminists. Those who still hold to God’s design of patriarchy have been forced into hiding, with their only option to fight a spiritual guerrilla warfare against those who seek to eradicate the last pockets of resistance to the reigning humanist regimes.

“In the covenant of marriage, she is compelled to promise obedience to her husband”

The common laws of the land in this case were strongly aligned with the Word of God as seen in Titus 2:4-5:

“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, OBEDIENT to their own HUSBANDS, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

In fact, we can rightly say that the Declaration of Sentiments complaint against women being compelled by common law to be obedient to their husbands was blasphemy against the Word of God.

The Husband is “to all intents and purposes, her master”

Again, the Scriptures are crystal clear on this point calling women to regard their husband’s as their earthly lords (their masters) in 1 Peter 3:5-6:

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

The Greek word used in 1 Peter 3:6 is “kurios” which means master.  It is used in reference to kings, governors, slave masters, husbands and to God himself in the Bible.  All of these masters were authorities instituted by God over different spheres, but God is the LORD and master of all.  The Hebrew equivalent of the Greek kurios is “baal” which means “owner, lord, master”. 

In Deuteronomy 22:22 we see the following example showing the husband’s ownership over his wife:

“If a man be found lying with a woman married [‘baal’ used as verb] to an husband [‘baal’ used as noun] , then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.”

The passage above demonstrates that under God’s law a married woman is an owned woman, and her owner is her husband.

The Husbands power “to administer chastisement”

The power to chastise is a critical element of authority. If a person can tell others what to do, but they have no means of enforcing what they have commanded then they really are not an authority.  And this is why the early woman’s rights movement targeted the common law recognition of the husband’s right to chastise his wife.  If they could remove his power to chastise her, they knew they were effectively removing his authority over her.

History of Woman Suffrage: 1848-1861

The women who wrote “History of Woman Suffrage: 1848-1861” lived in the era when wife spanking was still widely practiced and culturally accepted so their perspective is valuable in the historical sense, even with their moral position on the rights of women and husbands chastising their wives being completely unbiblical and wrong.

In pages 88-89 the History of Woman Suffrage: 1848-1861 states:

“In those early days a husband’s supremacy was often enforced in the rural districts by corporeal chastisement, and it was considered by most people as quite right and proper – as much so as the correction of refractory children in like manner…The laws made it his privilege – and the Bible, as interpreted, made it is his duty.”

If you go to the average Christian today in the average Christian church, even most conservative evangelical churches, and you started talking about domestic discipline they would have no clue what you are talking about.  I know if you would have mentioned it to me 7 or 8 years ago, I would have been one of those people with a blank look. And if you mentioned “wife spanking” they would look at you like you are crazy.   I know I would have. 

But I am happy to have been challenged on this subject.  Because it caused me to really have to research this out.  I already showed in my first article in this series on domestic discipline, “The Biblical Case for Domestic Discipline”, that the Bible fully supports two important concepts. 

First it supports the concept of corporal punishment for both children and adults.  Secondly, it supports husband’s chastening their wives as we see God chastening his wife Israel in the Old Testament and Christ chastening his wife, the church, in the New Testament.

But then we come to the historical side of this.  Before the 20th century, most Christians believed according the Bible that husbands had a right and duty to chasten their wives using corporal punishment.  The common laws of the land supported this right. And except for the left-wing feminists of the 19th century, Christian women fully accepted this too.

Chastisement Was Seen as Good for A Wife’s Moral Development

On page 599 the History of Woman Suffrage: 1848-1861 states:

“By the common law of England, the spirit of which has been but too faithfully incorporated into our statute law, a husband has a right to whip his wife with a rod not larger than his thumb, to shut her up in a room, and administer whatever moderate chastisement he may deem necessary to insure obedience to his wishes, and for her healthful moral development! He can forbid all persons harboring or trusting her on his account.  He can deprive her of all social intercourse with her nearest and dearest friends.  If by great economy she accumulates a small sum, which for future need she deposit, little by little, in a savings bank, the husband has a right to draw it out, at his option, to use it as he may see fit.”

A husband chastising his wife was seen as a healthy and moral thing for a marriage.  But his powers of chastisement were not limited just to corporal punishment.  But he could also literally ground his wife as a parent grounds their child and send her to her room.  This was the normal accepted practice under common law.

Domestic Discipline Outlawed in the Late 19th Century

On page 792 the History of Woman Suffrage: 1848-1861 states:

“Wife-beating is still so common, even in America, that a number of States have of late introduced bills especially directed to the punishment of the wife-beater. Great surprise is frequently shown by these men when arrested. “Is she not my wife” is cried in tones proving the brutal husband had been trained to consider this relationship a sufficient justification for any abuse.”

“Chastisement” did not have enough sting to it.  In fact, even in the late 19th century, the word “chastisement” in America was seen as a positive word.  So then feminists went from speaking about husbands chastising their wives to calling men “wife-beaters”.  That had a much better ring to it.  And they declared that a husband chastising his wife in any form was “abuse”.   

Now to be sure, there were some men who took their right to chastise their wives too far causing serious or permanent injuries to their wives.  And this of course was the case throughout the history of mankind and was by no means unique to America.   But the exact same thing could also be said for parents, whether they were fathers or mothers who chastised their children, that some abused their God given authority to administer corporal chastisement.

But that fact that some husbands abused their power to exercise corporal chastisement did not give civil governments the right to remove this God given power from husbands.   What they should have done was deal with those extreme cases on a case by case basis.

Conclusion

In this second article we have shown that the early feminists declared war on Biblical patriarchy from the very beginning of their movement in 1848.   They utterly rejected God’s design of male headship over women. 

These early feminists or “suffragettes”, knew they had to play on the emotions of the American people to win their cause.  And they did exactly that.  They found the most extreme and outlandish cases of abuse they could find to bring before courts and state legislators to prove that all men were potential abusers or “wife-beaters” and the only way to protect women from the abuses of men was to completely strip men of their power of corporal chastisement over their wives.

But we also learned something else in this article.  Something that husbands and wives of today needed to see.  This idea of a husband using corporal punishment to chastise his wife is not some recently invented behavior by some far-right Christians.  It is not just some kinky BDSM thing.  But rather, before the late 19th century it was the protected law of the land and Christians believed husbands had a Biblical right and duty to exercise corporal chastisement on their wives for the good of their wife’s moral development and the health of their marriages.

The Biblical Case for Domestic Discipline

What is the Biblical view of domestic discipline (aka wife-spanking)? What were cultural views of wife spanking in America before the modern era? These are two different questions that we will be answering in this new series.

There are many behaviors and teachings that were the norm from ancient civilizations to just before the modern age that we as Bible believing Christians would disagree with. I have written on my own disagreements with some of the teachings and practices of the early church fathers, the reformers and even traditions of my own church upbringing in Independent Fundamental Baptist churches.

In other words, I would be the first to say just because something was taught or practiced in past eras does not make it moral or right. On the other hand, just because our modern culture thinks something is moral or immoral does not make it so. The question then becomes how can we determine the morality of a given belief or practice?

Jesus Christ answered this question of how we can determine the morality of a belief or practice when he said in Matthew 4:4 “…Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God“.

And the Apostle Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 2:13 “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe”.

The Word that God gave to the Prophets before Christ, the Word that Christ himself spoke and the Word of God given to the Apostles after Christ collectively form the Scriptures. In 2 Timothy 3:16 we read that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”.

The Scriptures then are what we are to build our beliefs and practices upon. However, does that mean history has no value? Of course not. We can learn from past civilizations and compare their behavior to moral standards found in the Word of God. We can then see how some past cultural practices which align with the teachings of the Bible helped to keep those cultures strong. And we can also see how past cultural practices which violated Biblical principles or commands ultimately led to the weakening and downfall of those earlier civilizations.

In this first article we will demonstrate how the practice of domestic discipline aligns perfectly with Biblical principles and commands regarding marriage. And then after that we will spend several articles looking at cultural views of domestic discipline in America before the modern age.

The Biblical Case for Domestic Discipline

Throughout the Bible, God pictures his relationship with us in one of two ways.  As individuals God pictures his relationship to us as father to his children.  But he pictures his relationship to his people as a group as that of a husband and wife. 

In Isaiah 54:5 God said to Israel “For thy Maker is thine HUSBAND; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called”.  And he consistently referred to the nation of Israel as his wife.  When Israel was unfaithful to him, God stated in Jeremiah 3:20 “Surely as a WIFE treacherously departeth from her HUSBAND, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the Lord”.

In Deuteronomy 8:3-5 God speaks of his humbling and chastening of his wife, the nation of Israel:

“And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.  Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years. Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God CHASTENETH thee.”

So, God shows us that a husband chastens his wife as he would his child.  So how does God say a child is to be chastened in the following passages:

“Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.”

Proverbs 23:13 (KJV)

“Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.”

Proverbs 19:18 (KJV)

And now let’s move from the Old Testament to New Testament.

In the Gospel of John we read the following account of Jesus Christ:

13 And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: 15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables”

John 2:13-15 (KJV)

Jesus Christ showed that he had absolutely no problem with the Old Testament commands and practices regarding corporal (physical) punishment, aka beating someone with a whip or rod as a form of punishment.

Later in the New Testament, in Ephesians 5:25 the Bible states “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it”.  Most churches today stop at verse 25 and bastardize the Scriptural command to say God wants husbands to “give themselves up for their wife’s happiness”.  This of course plays right into the false doctrine of feminism which so infects the churches today.

It is absolutely true at times that a husband must sacrifice himself for his wife.  But his sacrifice is not for her happiness, but rather his sacrifice is for her holiness.  See the full passage from Ephesians 5:25-27 that most churches today ignore:

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

The Scriptures above are clear. Husbands are to model their love for their wives by how Christ demonstrates his love for his church. That means husbands are to wash their wives spiritual spots and wrinkles with the Word of God.

In Revelation 3:19 we see that this washing involves a husband rebuking and chastening his wife:

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”

Conclusion

In the Old Testament, we read in Deuteronomy 8:5 that God said he chastened his wife, the nation of Israel, “as a man chasteneth his son”. And God tells parents to use corporal punishment on their children in Proverbs 19:18 & Proverbs 23:13.

In the New Testament, we read in Ephesians 5:25 that husbands are to love their wives “even as Christ also loved the church” and Christ says of his churches in Revelation 3:19 “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent”.

The case could not be more clear that the practice of a man using corporal punishment on his wife, also known as wife-spanking or domestic discipline, very much aligns with the teachings of the Bible. A man using corporal punishment on his wife images God’s behavior as a husband to his wife, the people of God.

WARNING

Because of the wicked post-feminist and humanist society we now live in, I must always give this warning when writing on the subject of a husband using corporal punishment to chasten his wife.

First, let me be clear that God’s law no more requires a husband to get his wife’s consent to chasten her than he does a parent to get their child’s consent to chasten to them.

But Jesus Christ also told us as Christians to be “wise as serpents” in Matthew 10:16. This means that we need to be careful in the exercise of our rights as husbands.

Applying this principle of being wise as serpents to domestic discipline means you first need to educate your wife on the Biblical command for husbands to chasten their wives as God chastens his. And only after your wife fully accepts this as part of the Christian faith, and by extension Christian marriage, and consents to you incorporating this into your marriage should you attempt to do this.

If you attempt to do this with a wife who rejects the principle of Christian domestic discipline, you could land in jail.

If you have a wife who rejects the Biblical allowance for a husband to use corporal punishment to chasten his wife, or even if she rejects all forms of chastening, I would refer you to my article “7 Ways To Discipline You Wife“. That article will teach you how to use non-physical means to fulfill your Biblical obligation as a husband to chasten your wife.

Why it is NOT a Sin for Husbands to Keep Secrets from Their Wives

“Dear BGR, can you tell me if the Bible says it is a sin for a man to keep secrets from his wife? My wife thinks so and so does the pastor of our church.  Let me give you some more context so you can understand better.  My wife and I are born again, Bible believing Christians and have been married for 8 years and we have three children who are 6 and under.  We met in the church we continue to attend to this same day.

My wife wanted to be a homemaker and I wanted to be a sole provider and we were both Christians and relatively conservative so it seemed to be a good match.   My wife even said she believed in male headship in marriage while we were dating.  But not long after we were married, I discovered that we defined “male headship” in very different ways.  My definition of male headship came right of Ephesians 5:23-24 which says the husband is the head his wife as Christ is the head of his church and the wife is to submit to her husband in everything.  Her definition of male headship was that a man leads his wife by his example but he is never a dictator.  All decisions are made jointly with both compromising with one another and only in rare situations where the couple cannot agree then the husband will break the tie. 

She says that is “male headship” but I see “equal partnership with only a slightly senior partner”.

Ever since we were married, I have found out that my wife is absolutely horrible with money.  We would talk each week about the budget and it was very open and transparent.  We would see my check, deduct the bills to be paid, and I would allot a certain amount each week for savings for emergencies and for vacations. We would discuss her allotted amount for shopping for food as well as clothing and incidentals for myself, my wife and the kids.

But time after time she would go over the budget with her ATM card. Each week she would eat up what I had tried to set aside for savings for emergencies and vacations.  She always had excuses but the reality was she was spending money she did not need to spend.  What I realized was she really did not respect or believe in what I was trying to do with budgeting for emergencies or vacations.

So, what would happen when emergencies, unforeseen expenses or vacation times came? We had to go into credit card debt.

About two months ago I finally had enough of what has been going on our entire marriage.  I took my wife to our bank where we had a joint account and had her sign forms with me to close that account.  I told her I was setting up a new bank account that would work better for us.  She signed the forms with me and we closed our old joint account. When we got home, we cut up our old ATM cards together and threw them in the trash.   She assumed she would be on the new account I would setup.  She assumed wrong.

The next day during my lunch break at work I setup a new bank account that does not have my wife’s name on it and I redirected my direct deposit to that bank.  When I got home from work my wife asked me when we were going to setup the new bank account.  I said “I already did today”.  She then asked “don’t I need to come down to sign to be on the account?” and I said “No, you are not going to be on the account”.  You could have seen fireballs coming out of her eyes at me.

She said “This is not right! We are married! What is yours is mine and what is mine is yours! I have a right to see what is going on in our bank and to be on our bank account with you!   You can’t do this!”.  And my response was “I have tried for years to reason with you regarding the money and time and time again you have ignored my attempts.   We have accumulated debt for vacations and other unforeseeable things over the years because you would not let me build any savings account.  Now I am going to fix our finances, pay the debt off and build a savings.  You do not need to see the bank, you need only trust that I am paying our bills and doing what is in our best financial interest as a family.  I will give you a cash allotment each week for groceries and incidentals.  If you need clothing for yourself or the kids, we can talk about that and I will get you more”.

I am happy to say that over the last 6 weeks I have been paying down on our debts and actually built a small savings for the first time in our 8-year marriage!

That is the good news.  The bad news is that my wife has made my life a living hell for the past two months.  She refuses to have sex with me and last week she called the pastor of our church and then he called me to have us come counsel with him.

I explained to him the situation, but he said I was wrong to deceive her into shutting our old joint account and then setting up a new one without her name on it.  The pastor said we are “one flesh” so that means nothing should be separate and she should have equal access to see what is in the account and be able to have an ATM card just like me.   He said we are “mutually accountable to each other”.  He made a brief mention of her overspending like she could just fix that.  I have given her a chance to fix it for 8 years! It was not going to be fixed.

He said my having a separate account that she could not see activity on and had no access to was me “having a part of your life that is secret from your wife.  And God does not allow any secrets in marriage. What you are doing is sinning against your wife.  You need to add her on your new account, give her full access to see its activity and get her an ATM card”.

When I asked him for scriptural support for what he said he arrogantly said “I already gave it to you.  You are not two people; you are one flesh.  That means one bank account. Equal access to all assets.  And absolutely no secrets of any kind from each other, whether they are bank accounts or anything else”.

I googled “biblical gender roles” last week and found your site on the first page. I did a search on your search bar for “finances” and found your post “Can a Christian husband deny his wife equal access to his income?”.  This was exactly what I needed and confirmed from the Bible what I was thinking was right.  I went on to read your 20 doctrines of Biblical gender roles and many other posts.  Thank you so much for all you are doing here for the cause of Christ.  Your site must be a massive trigger for egalitarian Christians and non-Christians alike.  I am sure you must get a lot of hate mail.

One last thing.  I searched your blog for the larger issue our pastor brought up about husbands keeping secrets.  I could not find anything on that.  Have you written on that? If so, can you please send me the link?”

What you just read was emailed to me last week from a man named Travis.

Travis, the answer to your question is no, I have not previously written directly on the subject of husbands keeping secrets from their wives.  I think I may have mentioned it in passing, but no dedicated articles for it.  So, I guess will remedy that here.   

Why it is NOT a Sin for Husbands to Keep Secrets from Their Wives

We are living in a “total transparency” culture where it seems everyone must know everything about everybody.  Think of all the big brother type shows where people allow cameras into their homes and private lives.  Tabloid journalism is built on this entire precept of everyone needing to know everything about everybody.    

When it comes to intimate relationships, whether in dating or in marriage, we are told “there can be no secrets”.

And more often than not, in most intimate relationships it is the woman who is trying to pry every thought, feeling and action out of her man’s head under the guise that he is not allowed to keep anything back from her.  In fact, if you watch TV shows you will often see that one of the biggest reasons women break up with men is because the men were not totally transparent with them in all areas of their life. 

Keeping anything secret from the woman you are in a relationship with, whether you are dating or married, is considered a violation of the 11th commandment – “Thou shalt not keep any secrets from thy woman”.

The problem is that there is no 11th commandment that says any such thing.  So those who believe men can hold nothing back from their women whether in thought or deed must try and find something the Bible does teach, and twist it to say that it means men cannot hold anything back from their women.

To accomplish this goal of convincing men that they can have no secrets from their women, some Christian teachers turn to the “one flesh” concept of marriage that is taught in the Bible.  In Matthew 19:6 Christ said of husbands and wives in marriage “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh”. So, the argument goes, since man and woman are one in marriage, there can be no secrets between them and no thought or deed can be held back from the other.  And if marriage were an equal partnership, that might make sense. 

But in Ephesians 5:23-24 we read “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church”  and 1 Peter 3:5-6 the Scriptures state that women are to be in “subjection unto their own husbands:  Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord”.   This reveals that marriage in God’s design is not an equal partnership, but rather it is a patriarchy designed to model the relationship of God to his people with the husband symbolizing God and the wife symbolizing the people of God.

In Deuteronomy 29:29 the Bible states the following:

“The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law”. 

In God’s relationship with his people he holds many things back from them.  But it is the duty of his people to live by what he has revealed and leave to God what he has not revealed.

The application of this to marriage is clear.  Women are to abide by and follow those things which their husband reveals to them realizing their husband’s secrets belong to him, not to them.  It is not their business to spy on their husbands or try to find out his every thought and deed.

This tendency in women to want to know their husband’s every thought and deed is actually a core corruption of the feminine human nature that started with the first woman, Eve.  In Genesis 3:6 the Bible says “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate…”.  She wanted to know everything God knew, she wanted to know the secrets God was keeping from her.  And women to this very day commit this same sin with their husbands trying to learn his secrets and being offended when he holds anything back from them.

Conclusion

Yes, the Bible teaches in multiple places that husbands and wives are indeed “one flesh” in marriage.  And one of those passages is Ephesians 5:31 which states “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh”.  And the “cause” for which a husband and wife are called by God to come together as one flesh in marriage is given to us in the preceding verses – Ephesians 5:22-30.  Men and women are to come together in marriage as one flesh for the cause of modeling the relationship of Christ to his church.  Are Christ and his church equal partners? Does the Bible tell us Christ and his church submit to one another? The answers to both these questions are a resounding NO.

Does Christ keep secrets from his church? You bet he does!  In Acts 1:7 Christ said to his wife “And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power”.

God calls men to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to wash her spiritual spots and wrinkles and to make her the glorious church, he wanted her to be.   And wives are called to submit to their husbands in everything as the church is to submit to Christ in everything. 

Travis is learning what it means to give himself up for his wife as Christ gave himself up for his church.  Travis gave up the peace in his home knowing his wife would probably deny him sex and make his life miserable.  But he knew it was the right thing to do for his family.  Now he needs to get into that washing phase with his wife and correct her sinful lack of submission to him, not just in the area of finances but also in the area of denying him her body and using sexual denial as a weapon to manipulate him.

Jesus said in Matthew 10:36 “And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household”.  Because we live in a sin cursed world, sometimes the person God meant to be our greatest spiritual ally as men becomes our greatest spiritual foe.  In preparation for this spiritual battle with his wife, Travis should read my article “3 Ways Wives Try to Control Their Husbands”.

Finally, to Christian wives reading this.  Do you get upset if your husband holds back his thoughts or feelings on anything? Do you have to track his every movement from work to home? If he were to lock down the finances where you could not see what is going on would that bother you?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then your heart is not in keeping with God’s law and his design for marriage.   You need to go to the Lord in prayer and pray what King David did in Psalm 119:36 “Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness”.  When you spy on your husband or get angry if he keeps anything from you, you are acting in covetousness just as Eve did when she coveted that forbidden fruit because she wanted to know the knowledge God was keeping back from her. 

A question that I am sure many wives will bring up is “Are you saying husbands are not accountable for their actions?”  And the answer to that question is no, that is not what I am saying at all.  Husbands certainly are accountable to civil and church authorities in areas that God grants these authorities power.  But husbands are not accountable to their wives anymore than their wives are accountable to their children.  There is a clear line of spiritual authority declared by God.   For more on this subject of accountability and husbands see my article “Why Husbands Are NOT Accountable to Their Wives”.

As a Christian wife, once you have totally surrendered your heart to God in this area of having to know everything your husband thinks or does, you will find peace in your marriage as the Scriptures say in Psalm 119:165 “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them”.

7 Steps to Grooming Your Young Christian Wife

“I have read your site for some time, but this is my first time writing you.  My wife and I have been married a year.  She is 18 and I am 24. Now I am trying to get my wife to follow her role as I begin to assume my role as leader.   I am six years older than her, but that seems to just make it worse.  She keeps saying “You are not my father!”  She was raised in a strict family and I guess she thinks now that she is married, she is free from all authority.   I have recently put both of us on a budget.  I have created a budget and I keep my side, but she keeps overspending on hers. 

I read your article on 7 ways to discipline your wife and you recommend taking away her debit card.  I know I could do this, but in my view, that should be the last option.   I am considering starting spanking her.  I have mentioned it to her, not on the budget, but in general and she is against it.  She thinks spanking is treating her like a child. 

I read your warning about a wife reporting a husband for spanking her and my wife would not do that.  She was taught to resolve family issues inside the family.   She complained to her mom about something in our marriage a few months into our marriage and her mom told her she did not want to hear about it; “You and your husband need to work that out” is what her mom told her. 

My question to you is, do you think I am making a mistake trying to incorporate spanking as a form of discipline in our marriage?  Should I just take away her debit card and give her some limited cash?

We are very early in our marriage and I know this is the time when we will set the pattern for the rest of our marriage and I really would appreciate your guidance in how to do that.”

What you just read was an email I received from a young Christian husband calling himself Robert.

Whether or not he realizes it, what Robert is really asking is “How can I as Christian husband groom my young wife?”

Grooming is Sinful in Humanism but Sacred in the Bible

Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary defines the verb definition of groom as “to clean and maintain the appearance of (an animal), to make neat or attractive, to get into readiness for a specific objective” and this fits with the traditional understanding of this word.

But humanists see grooming as one person conditioning another person to allow them or someone else to abuse them.  The term is often associated with pedophiles preying on children, sex traffickers conditioning women for prostitution or husbands conditioning their wives to allow them to abuse them.

According to SecularHumanism.org, a core tenant of humanism is the freeing of “the individual from traditional controls by family, church, and state, increasingly empowering each of us to set the terms of his or her own life”.   This is why the concept of one person exerting control over another is heresy to a humanist while conversely consent is sacred. 

And this is why “grooming” is a trigger word for humanists. 

But from a Biblical perspective, grooming when used in the sense of a husband conditioning his wife to be in complete subjection to him and molding her behavior to his preferences is not evil or immoral.  But rather, these actions are righteous, holy and required of husbands by God.

Remember that Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary definition of grooming was “to clean and maintain the appearance of (an animal), to make neat or attractive, to get into readiness for a specific objective” and now let’s compare that definition to what the Bible calls husbands to do toward their wives in Ephesians 5:25-27:

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

Look at the striking parallels between the way God requires husbands to love their wives as Christ loves his church and what grooming actually is.  So, we can rightly say as Christians that the Biblical call for husbands to wash their wives with the Word of God to present their wives to themselves in a glorious fashion is a call for husbands to groom their wives.

And one thing I want to mention for my humanist friends out there that are in major trigger mode right now.  Some of them may be hung up on the word “animal” in the definition of grooming.  If you look at the definition here you will see these examples of grooming “an impeccably groomed woman, was being groomed as a presidential candidate”. So no, this term is not exclusively used of animals.

Important Prerequisites to Grooming Your Young Bride

Now that we have established that it is not wrong, but actually a man’s God given duty to groom his bride as Christ grooms his Church we need to talk about the prerequisites that should be met before a Christian husband attempts this grooming process with his wife.

Prerequisite #1 – You and Your Young Bride Must Both Be Believers

While there are certainly unbiblical and worldly ways to groom a young bride for her husband, the steps given in this guide are based upon the Biblical view of marriage as God designed it.  They will only work for a Christian husband and a Christian wife.  See my article “What is the Gospel” for more on what it means to be a believer in Christ.

Prerequisite #2 – You and Your Wife Need to Be Biblicist Christians

There are two kinds of Christians today.  Humanist Christians and Biblicist Christians.  Humanist Christians only believe the parts the Bible that do not conflict with the morals and values of humanism.  They rationalize this by saying they believe many parts of the Bible are “cultural” and were not meant for all peoples and all times.  Other humanists attempt to play the words of Christ in the Gospels against the words of the Apostle Paul not realizing that these words are equally the Word of God.

But for this grooming guide to work you must be Biblicist Christians. You and your young bride must believe what 2 Timothy 3:16 states that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”.  And you both must believe that God commands you to live “by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

Prerequisite #3 – Your Wife Needs to Be Young

Even if you are both Biblicist Christians, age is a major factor in a man grooming his wife. I have consistently heard from mentoring couples I have spoken with that the grooming of a bride has the most success in women under the age of 25.  After that the chances of success radically fall, even with believing wives.  I was given examples of Christian wives in their 30s and 40s trying to get into these mentoring programs.  At the beginning of the program they really seemed like they wanted to change, but in the vast majority of the cases they exit the programs not long after entering them when they cannot make the changes necessary.

If you and your wife meet these three prerequisites you will have a great chance of success in grooming your young bride.

7 Steps to Groom Your Young Bride

Now that we have discussed the prerequisites to being able to groom your young bride, we can now discuss the steps you as a Christian husband need to take.

Step #1 – Un-learn What Your Culture Has Taught You

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Romans 12:2 (KJV)

God calls us to un-learn the false teachings of this world that we have been conditioned with our entire lives.  This will require a radical world view change for both you and your wife.  One of the hardest changes to make for many couples is the rejection of the “adult/child” paradigm.  Our modern culture teaches us that there are only two primary social classes, adults and children.  Children have limited rights until they reach adulthood and then they have full autonomy.   The Bible does not recognize the adult/child paradigm but rather it specifies three primary classes of people within society and those are men, women and children.  Under God’s law, the social class of men are the only ones who have full autonomy.  Women are to be under the authority of men in the home, the church and society at large.  And children are to honor and obey their fathers and mothers. 

It is impossible to fully embrace the teachings of the Bible concerning gender roles without a husband and wife first being willing to fully reject the modern teaching of the adult/child paradigm.  When a Christian wife comes to reject the adult/child paradigm, the whole “you are not my father” and “you are treating me like a child” will quickly disappear.

For more on this subject see my article “John Locke’s Invention of the “Adult” Social Class”.

Step #2 – You Must Learn and Embrace Biblical Gender Roles

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

An understanding and full acceptance of the doctrines of the Bible concerning gender roles is a critical first step for you as a husband to begin the grooming process with your wife.   You can find the Scripture references for all these doctrines on my main “Biblical Gender Roles” page.

Step #3 – Seek out a Male Spiritual Mentor

“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”

Proverbs 27:17 (KJV)

Finding a wise and godly man to mentor you will be crucial to helping you as you seek to groom your young bride.

Step #4 – You must teach your wife Biblical Gender Roles

“And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home…”

1 Corinthians 14:35 (KJV)

God calls you to be your wife’s primary spiritual teacher.  Once you have fully absorbed and embraced the teachings of the Bible concerning gender roles, you must then teach each of these doctrines to your wife.  I would suggest you use the order I give on my Biblical gender roles page, as each doctrine builds on the previous one given.  You should also seek advice from your mentor as to how to approach each of these important doctrines with your wife.

Step #5 – Get Your Wife A Female Spiritual Mentor

“The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;  that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Titus 2:3-5 (KJV)

The Bible does not just support the concept of female mentorship, but it actually commands it.  You may hear some horror stories from older men whose wives were actually led astray by ungodly advice from their girlfriends at church or elsewhere.  But mentoring by good and godly women who fully embrace and live out Biblical gender roles can have life changing effects on women.  I have heard this from mentoring couples I have spoken with and seen it firsthand with younger Christian couples that I know.

Step #6 Mold Your Wife into the Glorious Wife You Want Her to Be

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

Ephesians 5:25-27 (KJV)

Christ did not give up his life for his wife’s happiness.  He gave up his life to purchase his wife (Acts 20:28) so that he could groom her into the wife he wanted her to be.  And this is what God has called you as a Christian husband to do.  In 1 Corinthians 11:7 the Bible tells us that “…the woman is the glory of the man” and in Proverbs 12:4 we read “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband…”.  In 1 Corinthians 11:9 the Bible says “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man”.  These Scriptures teach that God created your wife for you, to bring you glory and when your wife brings you glory this brings God glory.  So, you as a man bring glory to God by your submission and service to him and your wife brings glory to God by her submission and service to you.

What this means practically speaking is that you need to begin to mold your wife to your preferences for her behavior.  You should never feel guilting in desiring your wife’s submission and service to you, but rather you should enjoy this as God enjoys our submission and service to him.

So, what are some practical ways that you can groom your wife into the glorious wife you want her to be?

You can make her modify her clothing style to the styles you prefer.  You can make her learn to cook the foods you enjoy.  You can make her watch the TV shows you like to watch.  And in Proverbs 5:18-19 we read one of the greatest ways a husband is actually commanded to groom his wife:

“Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.”

While husbands are commanded not to deny sexual relations to their wives in Exodus 21:10-11 in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, the Bible never commands wives to make their husbands satisfy them sexually.  It does however command men to do just that in the passage above.

A Christian wife’s grooming, her God ordained subjection to her husband, is never complete until she has been groomed to be loving, pleasant and completely sexually satisfying to her husband.

Step #7 – Discipline Your Wife

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent”

Revelation 3:19 (KJV)

The verse above is Christ speaking to his churches after having just rebuked them and threatening to discipline them if they did not repent.  Christ associates his rebuke and chastening with his love for his churches.  In Ephesians 5:25 the Scriptures tell us “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it”.  So, if a husband is loving his wife as Christ loves his church, then he will rebuke and discipline his wife.  Otherwise he is not loving her as Christ loves his church.  Discipline from you toward your wife is crucial for the grooming process to work in the life of your wife.

There are many ways to discipline your wife. 

Ten years ago, I would have been against wife spanking as the concept was so foreign to me.  I did not know any Christians who engaged in it.  But since I started this blog back in 2014, I have had the opportunity to interact with many Christian couples who engage in wife spanking which is commonly referred to as Christian domestic discipline or CDD for short. 

I have also had the opportunity to interact with some Christian husband/wife mentor teams who help teach husbands how to spank their wives and also teach the wives how to accept and embrace this kind of physical discipline from their husbands.

Based upon what I have learned and seen over these last few years I can now say the following. 

I used to be against wife spanking, then I was neutral to it as I could see no condemnation of it in the Bible and now over the last couple of years I come to see it as the most effective tool a husband can use in his role as a human instrument of sanctification in the life of his wife.  And this is not a newly invented disciplinary tool of husbands, but rather wife spanking was fairly common throughout history before the last 50 years or so.

Whenever I speak on wife spanking, I must issue the following cautionary note. 

While it is a husband’s God given right to use spanking as a form of discipline on his wife (with or without her consent), a husband should be wise in regard to the hostile culture we live in.  We live in culture which denies almost all the rights that God has given to a husband including his right to discipline his wife.   That means that if you do not have your wife’s consent to spank her and she calls the police on you, you may go to prison for domestic abuse. 

Some of the women who have contacted me over the years were raised in homes where their father spanked their mother and they expected it and even embraced the concept as they entered into their marriages.  Others learned of the benefits of CDD for their marriage from other wives and embraced this practice later in life.

But then there are wives who are conditioned to accept and receive spankings from their husbands through mentoring programs.  These are programs where the husband and wife work together with a husband/wife mentoring team and over time a couple learns to incorporate wife spanking into their marriage.

One of the most important things I have learned from these wife spanking mentoring couples is that it is very difficult and rare to get a wife to accept wife spanking if she is past her mid-20’s and especially into her 30’s.   So, it is important to reach women with these mentoring programs while they are still young and moldable.

For more on the subject of wife spanking see my article “Does the Bible allow a husband to spank his wife?

And whenever I teach on wife spanking, I always get asked if I spank my wife.  The answer is no.  And the reason is because my wife comes from a moderate feminist background and she is in her mid-40s which makes her a far less moldable wife.  She would never submit to wife spanking or even a mentoring program with another couple.   Again, this is not to say that we as Christian husbands cannot or should not engage in discipline toward our wives even if they are older and far less moldable than younger wives.  It just means we have to use a different set of non-physical disciplinary tools with our wives.  I outline some of these tools in my article “7 Ways to Discipline Your Wife”.

Conclusion

Robert’s question of how to handle his wife’s statement “You are not my father!” will go away quickly once she begins to understand based upon the Bible that she must reject the entire adult/child paradigm that our culture has taught her.  When she replaces that with that knowledge that her husband’s authority over her is actually greater, not less than what her father’s authority was things will fall nicely into place.

And Robert’s concern of the six-year age difference is also a result of modern cultural conditioning.  Before our post-feminist society, a man being older than his wife was considered an asset, not a liability.  It made it easier for him to exercise his authority over her and it made it easier for her to submit to him and respect him.

Another great asset for Robert is his wife’s parents.  Too many parents today undermine the authority of their daughter’s husband.  But thankfully this is not something Robert will have to worry about.

On the question of whether to pull her debtor card or spank her.  I have recently had this question come up from another husband and my answer to him was “both”.  While I think that spanking is the most effective disciplinary tool husbands can use with their wives, that does not mean husbands should dismiss other disciplinary tools.  Especially when the infractions are financially related, taking away the debtor card is a punishment that truly does fit the sin the wife has committed.

Finally, any husband reading this needs to accept the possibility that his grooming attempts will be met with complete rejection by his wife. Even if she claims to be a Biblicist Christian and even if she is young. This is because sin corrupts us all in different ways.

The feminine human nature that God designed was a submissive one, one which desired to be dominated by the masculine human nature. But sin corrupted both the masculine and feminine human natures that God designed. And sin corrupts these natures in many different ways. Sin can sometimes corrupt the feminine nature making it more dominant than submissive while at the same time it can corrupt the masculine nature making it more passive or submissive rather than dominant as God designed it to be.

All women have their God given submissive natures corrupted to one degree or another. But some have their natures so corrupted that there is little to nothing left of the sweet and submissive nature God meant for women to have.

So, if you find after years of attempting to groom your wife that you are running int a brick wall with her should you just give up on trying to incorporate Biblical gender roles in your marriage? The answer is NO.

You as the man are responsible before God to do everything you can do on your end. If your wife will not submit to spankings as a form of discipline then you move to non-physical forms of discipline like removing the debit card and credit cards while still providing for all her basic needs. You call her out when she disrespects you even she does not receive this. You limit her access to your free time. You lead even if your wife will not follow.

But one thing you never do is surrender to her desire to control your marriage.

And do not fall for the lie of partnership marriage. No marriage is ever a true partnership. Marriage is always a patriarchy or a matriarchy. It might be a soft patriarchy or soft matriarchy where no one explicitly acknowledges being in charge, and the one in charge might actually allow great freedom to the other. But make no mistake, someone is ALWAYS in charge in a marriage. Power vacuums are never left unfilled.

And if you have to dig in for a real spiritual battle with your wife, you must be prepared for the weapons she may attempt to you use against you. You can find out more about that in my article entitled “3 Ways Wives Try to Control Their Husbands“.

Why Compromise in Marriage is Sacred in Humanism and Sinful in the Bible

If you study the Bible and look at Biblical principles of marriage there is one word that is noticeably absent regarding how to have unity in marriage.   And that word is compromise.

In humanism, compromise is a sacred tenet of any relationship, especially in marriage.   The reason it is sacred is because of humanism’s beliefs in individualism and equality.  For individualism and equality to flourish, compromises must constantly be made.  A marriage where one person calls all the shots on moral issues and big decisions of the family is considered “toxic” in the humanist view. This is because they believe marriage is an equal partnership.

But the Bible presents a very different view of marriage.

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”

1 Peter 3:1 (KJV)

The Bible shows in the passage above from 1 Peter 3:1 that God did not design marriage as a partnership, but rather as a patriarchy.  And in the passage below from Ephesians 5:23 we can see that not only is marriage a patriarchy, but it was intended by God to be a direct reflection of the relationship between Christ and his church.

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

Ephesians 5:23 (KJV)

So the question is does Christ compromise with his church on his will, his plans and his moral decisions? The answer is absolutely not.  And neither should husband’s compromise with their wives in these areas.

The first recorded sin of a male human being, Adam, was when he compromised his moral beliefs and listen to wife.

 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life”

Genesis 3:17 (KJV)

Adam’s compromise of his morality to please his wife brought sin into the world.  Job shows us what Adam should have done when his wife asked him to compromise his morality:

Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.  But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.”

Job 2:9-10 (KJV)

When a man compromises his moral beliefs to please his wife he breaks the picture of Christ and his church and he exposes his family to possible consequences of that decision.

Now don’t get me wrong – when it comes to things that have nothing to do with morality compromise in marriage is a good thing.  Like when we choose where we go to dinner that is not necessarily a moral decision.  How much is spent on dinner is a moral decision, but whether we have a hamburger or pizza is not.

But I think in most cases what we call compromise on these non moral things is just us being selfless and putting the other person first and that is a good thing.

But when it comes to moral decisions, including financial decisions, career decisions, what church is attended, religious beliefs, discipline and teaching of the children, decisions about sex and other things like this there can be no compromise. A husband is always called by God to do what is he believes is right before God.

My Husband Has Left the Faith, What Should I do?

How should a Christian wife handle it when her husband abandons his Christian faith? How should she deal with her children in regard to their father? Recently one of my regular commenters, a woman who goes by the handle livinginblurredlines, wrote the following about her husband who once professed faith in Christ:

“hubby has decided to become a philosophical Odinist….meaning he doesn’t believe Odin and all the other Norse gods actually exist, but that there is an All-Father that encompasses all faiths that believe in a high deity, and he follows modern Odinism philosophies that embrace strength of self, traditional families, helping your fellow, and nationalism. So, he has no desire to find or attend a church, anymore. So, what shall I do concerning this and our children? When I married him 20 years ago I never thought I’d be faced with this issue!”

What follows are answers to several important questions that Christian wives who find themselves in this situation may be asking.

Can I leave My Unbelieving Husband?

The answer to this question is found in 1 Corinthians 7:13-16:
“And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?”

So, as you can see from the Scripture above, if your unbelieving husband wants to stay in the marriage with you, God wants you to stay with him. And the Bible tells us that in staying with him, you may actually win him to Christ.

Regarding the case of a woman whose husband has left the faith he once professed. We must realize that a true believer can never leave the faith as they are kept by the power of God. In 1 John 2:19 we read the following of those who made professions of faith and then abandoned them:
“They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”

So, in this way as a Christian wife, you must forget your husband’s past participation in church or other Christian activities. Do not dwell on it. Wipe the slate clean in your mind and deal with him as you would someone who has never dawned the doorstep of a church.

Does God Still Want to Me to Submit to My Unbelieving Husband?

The answer to this question is found in 1 Peter 3:1-2:
“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; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.”

So, the answer to this question is yes, God absolutely wants you as a Christian wife to submit to your husband who is disobedient to the Word. You win a husband, whether he be an unbelieving husband or a Christian husband who has some areas where he is disobedient to God in some way. You win him without a word, without preaching at him, nagging at him or complaining at him. You win him with your actions and your life before him. You win him with your submission, your pure life and your reverent attitude toward him.

My mother is a living example of 1 Peter 3:1-2. My mother became a Christian while married to my father. She completely changed her ways toward him. She submitted to him, lived a different life in front of him and reverenced him. And these actions by my mother brought him to Christ and this enabled me to be raised by both a Christian father and a Christian mother. My father would go on to study the Word of God and become my mother’s teacher. This can work ladies!

Can I still teach my Children the Gospel?

In Acts 5:26-29 we read the following story about the Apostles:
“Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned. And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”

We can see from the story above that even if your husband forbids you from teaching your children the Gospel you can and should still do that. I would suggest you do this in private settings with your children. But you can show them you love and respect their father, but that this is something that goes beyond your relationship with their father and that having a relationship with God is the most important relationship we can have in this life.

What If My Husband Forbids Me from Taking the Kids to Church?

If your husband forbids you from going to church, you can privately seek the teaching of God. While he is at work, watch sermons from Bible teachers online. And you should privately read your Bible and pray. Let your children watch Bible teaching when Dad is not around. Have them watch Christian movies and shows that teach them about God.

But Isn’t It Wrong to Keep Secrets From My Husband?

A tenant of humanism is “complete transparency in any relationship”. No secrets. None at all. But this is not how God sees things. God keeps secrets from us, and sometimes it is necessary for us to keep secrets from each other.

In Proverbs 28:13 the Bible says He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy”. But then in Proverbs 27:12 we read “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished”.

And then in Matthew 6:1-6 Jesus made the follow statements:
“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”

Jesus reveals that it is not wrong to do good things in secret. Whether it is doing good for others or even good in obedience to God. It is only wrong to do evil things in secret or to try and cover something that is a sin against God.

Conclusion

The humanist atheist and the humanist Christian would both find the advice given here to be absurd because they hold individualism as the highest ideal. Nothing is more important than each individual being able to live their lives out in the open, exactly as they want to live it (as long as that life style does not violate humanist principles in any way of course).

Humanists love the word “transparency” and regularly apply it to relationships. They don’t like secrets. Whether it is the government keeping secrets from its citizens, husbands keeping secrets from wives or wives keeping secrets from husbands.

Of course, humanists always have some exceptions to their rules. For instance, humanists have no problem with women not being transparent with their husbands about murdering their unborn children. But I digress.

So, the humanist would say “If the husband and wife cannot find a way to openly live out their beliefs with one another and tolerate their differences then they should just divorce. But by no means should the wife have to live a secret life as a Christian or keep these kinds of secrets from her husband”.

But for us a Biblicist Christians, we know that there are more important things than our individual wishes and desires. We know that the institution of marriage is more important than the individual happiness of either the husband or wife. We know that marriage is based on a covenant, not total transparency. And we know that we can also find joy in the midst of less than ideal circumstances.

In Matthew 6:1-6, Jesus tells us that being totally transparent in regard to our thoughts or actions is not always the best thing. In fact, he tells us that doing good things toward God, for God or for others in secret can be virtuous. And in Proverbs 27:12 we read that it is “prudent” to sometimes hide ourselves or our actions.

It is utterly disappointing for any Christian wife to hear from her husband that he has left the faith and he is not the believer she thought he was. But God can still greatly use such a Christian wife in the life of her unbelieving husband. And she can still have a vibrant personal faith and have an impact for Christ on her children and on others.

God tells Christian wives in 1 Corinthians 7:13-16 that they must remain with their unbelieving husbands if the husband is willing to stay.

And yes, it will be more challenging in the area of submission. But God makes it clear in 1 Peter 3:1-2 that wives still have to obey unbelieving husbands and he says that wives may win their husbands by their submission, pure lives and reverent behavior.

Christian wives who find themselves married to unbelieving husbands may have to practice their faith in secret. But Jesus shows us in Matthew 6:1-6 that not only is it not a sin to do good toward God and others in secret, but that such actions can be virtuous.

Some Christian wives abuse the Acts 5:29 principle that “We ought to obey God rather man” in order to openly defy their husbands at every turn. But as a Christian wife married to an unbelieving husband, you should make every effort to not have to openly defy your husband.

Wives Forget Your Father’s House

While the Bible tells men to “leave” their father and mother when they enter marriage it uses a different word for women when they enter marriage.  In Psalm 45:10-11 we read “Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house; so shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him”.

Psalm 45:10-11 is widely recognized as a prophecy concerning Christ and his church.  But it is also very practical and applicable to marriage between men and women.  Ephesians 5:23 tells us “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

I can’t tell you how many times I have had haters of the Bible’s teachings on gender roles say “You think men are gods and that is wrong!”.   Each time I hear a variation of that statement I chuckle a bit to myself and remember 1 Corinthians 2:14 which states “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned”.

The Bible does not teach that men are gods.  There is only one God.  Men are not God, but God did create men to represent him in this world.  This is the clear teaching of the Bible found in passages like Ephesians 5:22-33 and 1 Corinthians 11:1-16. So, when we understand this concept as Christians, we understand that women are not to worship their husbands or regard their husbands as their savior.  We have one God and one savior whose name is Jesus Christ.

But after we set aside the last part from Psalm 45:10-11 concerning worship, what comes before that is very applicable to women in marriage.

The call to the young woman to regard her new husband as her lord is mirrored in 1 Peter 3:5-6 where the Bible states “For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement”.

Now we can zero on what is different in the call to women when they enter marriage.  While men, in multiple Bible passages like Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:7 and Ephesians 5:31, are commanded to “leave” their father and mother when they enter marriage women are told in Psalm 45:10-11 to “forget” their people and their father’s house.

A woman’s forgetting of her father’s house is a critical part of the process of her becoming one with her husband.  Her father may have taught her differently and conducted his home differently than the way her husband will conduct his home.  And if she clings to the way her father conducted his home and constantly compares that to her how her husband leads his home there will be problems in the marriage.

How many women today refuse to follow this Scriptural admonition to forget their father’s house? How many women today even refuse to give up their father’s last name or hyphenate their last name? How many women respect their fathers more than their husbands?  A woman who refuses to forget her father’s house, to clear the slate and let her husband redefine for her how their home will be conducted will never have the kind of unity in marriage that God calls for.

A final note to fathers.  As Christian fathers, we should want our daughters to marry godly men and it is our God given right according to Exodus 22:17, to “utterly refuse to give” our daughters in marriage to men whom we do not approve of.   But our culture no longer respects the rights of fathers and has given young women freedom to ignore the spiritual authority of their fathers in this regard.   This is why it is so important for us as Christian fathers in this post-feminist culture to cultivate close spiritual relationships with our daughters to the point that they would never want to disappoint us.

My daughter is within 2 years of the time we have agreed she will begin courting, not long after she graduates high school.  I am excited to see what God will do in her life.  She is not perfect and has her flaws like we all do, but I am happy that God has blessed her with a meek and submissive spirit when it comes to the men in her life whether it be me or her grandfathers.  But when it comes to other women, she is a warrior for God and stands on the front lines fighting against abortion and feminism.

I would never bless her marriage to a man who was not a Christian, a Biblicist and a firm believer in Biblical gender roles. However, I realize the man she marries may have many differences with me outside of these areas.  And I have told her as much throughout the years.  I have told her when she marries, she needs to forget my interpretations and applications of the Bible and how I conducted our house and instead fully embrace her husband’s leading in these areas.