Why Women Should Eat The Fruit of Their Husband’s Apple Tree

In Song of Solomon 2:3 the Bible says “As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste”.  These euphemisms in Song of Solomon 2:3 refer to a woman performing fellatio (oral sex) on her husband.

The Bible refers to sex as “the natural use of the woman” in Romans 1:27.   And while many Christians throughout the centuries have claimed that fellatio is an “unnatural act” for a woman to do on her husband – both the Bible and biology show it not an unnatural act.  In fact, God has specially designed woman to reap direct health benefits as a result of performing oral sex on her husband.

In my latest podcast for BGRLearning.com, I not only explain from the Bible why God wants women to perform fellatio on their husbands, but I also explain the relational and biological benefits of this for women as well as detailed techniques for doing this (and yes there are many ways this can be done).

Whether you are engaged, a newlywed or have been married many years this podcast will help women to better understand the significance of fellatio in marriage and the benefits not only to their husbands, but to them as well.

And if you already perform oral sex on your husband, but your struggle with feelings of shame while doing it this podcast can help you with that as well.

Go to BGRLearning.com to listen to this podcast as well as hundreds of other podcasts on gender roles, courtship, marriage and sex in marriage.

Why Women Should Eat the Fruit of Their Husband’s Apple Tree – BGRLearning

5 Ways to Show Your Husband Reverence

The Bible commands in Ephesians 5:33 that “the wife see that she reverence her husband”.  But how does God want a wife to show reverence to her husband?  In this article, we will show Christian wives five biblically based ways that they should show reverence for their husbands.

In my previous article, “A Biblical View of Respect and Reverence”, I showed that while respect and honor are synonymous in the Bible – that reverence is much more than just respect or honor

As Christians we should value (respect and honor) the institutions God has created.  God has instituted civil authority, church authority, parental authority and the authority of husbands over their wives.  To respect these positions is to show that we value them by our words and actions toward these authorities.

1 Peter 2:17 shows that respect (which is the same as honor) is owed to all people.  Why does God want us to show by our words and actions that we value all people? The answer is found in Genesis 9:6 where God commanded that “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man”.  Mankind, both men and women, are made in God’s image. That makes human life special and more valuable than all other life on earth.

Anytime I say men and women are made in the image of God – I must always add this note for people who get confused on this issue.  The Bible shows us in 1 Corinthians 11:7-8 that while woman was taken from man (and thus she is also made in God’s image because of that) that it is only the male who “is the image and glory of God”.  This is why God has masculine like “Father”, “Son” and “King” and not “Mother”, “Daughter” and “Queen”.  It is why Jesus chose 12 male apostles and no female apostles.  It is why priests in the OId Testament had to be male and why pastors in the New Testament must be male.   And it why God has commanded that families are to be led by men.

I also talked about respect for the person verses respect for the position.  We can honor and respect the position of king or president without having respect for his actions in his personal life or his policy positions.  The same goes for children with their parents.

But God calls wives to do much more than just respect, honor and value their husband’s position.

Wives are called to reverence their husbands.

In Ephesians 5:33 the Bible states:

““Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”

And in 1 Peter 3:1-2 the Bible states

“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.”

The Greek words being translated as “reverence” and “fear” in Ephesians 5:33 and 1 Peter 3:1-2 are Phobeo and Phobos.  These two Greek synonyms in their most literal sense mean “fear” or “to be afraid” and they can also mean “to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience”.

But while Ephesians 5 richly describes the relationship of the husband and wife as God designed it to be, it is not exhaustive in all aspects of how marriage should operate.   And while Ephesians 5:33 commands wives to reverence their husbands – it does not really describe how that reverence should look. 

This is where Psalm 45 comes in to help us learn how wives can show reverence toward their husbands.

Psalm 45 – A Picture of the Relationship of Christ to His Church

Psalm 45 is unmistakably a prophecy of Christ and his bride, the church.  The Psalm is written from the perspective of one of the King’s subjects writing a song about his King’s upcoming wedding.  He spends verses 1 to 5 talking about the noble character of his great King:

“1 My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.

2 Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.

3 Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty.

4 And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.

5 Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; whereby the people fall under thee. “

And then in verses 6 and 7 we see that this is clearly a reference to God the father appointing Christ as King:

“6 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.

7 Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”

Then in Psalm 45:10-11 the songwriter changes his perspective from speaking to the King to now speaking to the bride who is about to marry the King:

“10 Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house; 11 So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.”

These two verses are filled with rich theology.  While Ephesians 5:33 commands women to reverence their husbands – it is these two verses from Psalm 45:10-11 which help to show what the reverence of a wife toward her husband should look like.

But before we can apply what these verses are saying to the command for women to reverence their husbands, we need to address a translation issue.

Is Psalm 45:11 Saying that Wives Should Worship Their Husbands?

At the latter end of Psalm 45:11 the KJV renders the verse as “for he is thy Lord, worship thou him”.  Since this passage is a prophecy of Christ and his church and Ephesians 5:23 tells us the husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his church is God commanding that wives should worship their husbands?

The answer to that question is found in many passages of the Bible but Revelation 19:10 gives us an extremely clear answer where John fell at the feet of angel to worship him:

“And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

We worship God and God alone.  So, we know that Psalm 45:11 is not teaching women to worship their husbands.  So, does that mean we dismiss the latter part of Psalm 45:11 as not applying to human marriage at all? The answer to that is no as well. 

To better understand how Psalm 45:11 applies not just to the spiritual marriage of Christ and his church, but also to human marriage we will look at this same passage in the English Standard Version of the Bible:

“Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear:

  forget your people and your father’s house, and the king will desire your beauty.

Since he is your lord, bow to him.”

Notice the big difference? In the KJV it tells the woman to “worship” the king who will be her husband.  In the ESV it tells her to “bow to him”.  And if you were to see the wording of this you would also notice that the KJV capitalizes the word “Lord” while the ESV uses a lower case “lord”.

Why is the KJV translation of Psalm 45:11 different than the ESV translation?

The reason for the difference in translation has to do with the Hebrew word “Shachah”.  The most literal meaning of Shachah is “to bow down”.  But sometimes when someone bows down, they are not just showing reverence, but they are also engaging in worship. 

In other words, all worship involves bowing of some sort, but not all bowing is worship.  Sometimes bowing is just reverence.

The easiest way to illustrate this is when Moses did Shachah in two different occasions.  In Exodus 18:7, Moses did Shachah toward his father-in-law so it simply translated as “obeisance” which a synonym for reverence.  However, in Exodus 34:8, when Moses did Shachah toward God – it was more than just reverence – it was an act of worship and it was translated as such.

Psalm 45 presents a dilemma for translators when it comes to translating Shachah.  In this story, we see a King being married to the royal daughter of another king.  But the story here is a prophecy of Christ being wedded to his church. 

So, while the KJV would not normally translate someone bowing to a king as “worship” they decided to translate it here as worship and to capitalize the “L” in Lord to indicate it is a prophecy of Christ.  

The ESV translated it as “bow down” instead of “worship” because while they agreed that this is a prophecy of Christ and his church that it is using a human story of a King marrying a royal daughter and therefore her bowing down would not be an act of worship, but rather an act of reverence.

I can see reasons for both translations.  But in the end if we remember that marriage is a picture of Christ and the church than any reference to Christ and his bride has application to human marriage as well.  

So, when applying this to human marriage and not the spiritual marriage of Christ and the church – Shachah must be understood in its most literal sense of bowing down in reverence.

And now that we have shown how Psalm 45 presents a picture of the marriage between Christ and his church, we will now show four principles of reverence found in this passage that can help wives fulfill God’s command for them to reverence their husbands. And we will end with a 5th principle of reverence for wives found in Proverbs 12.

Principle #1 – A Reverent Wife Makes Her Husband Her Standard of Masculinity

Psalm 45:10 tells women “forget your people and your father’s house”.

For most young women (if they had a good relationship with him) their father is their standard of masculinity.  For other women they may have other men in mind as to their standard of masculinity.  But once a woman marries – her husband becomes her standard of masculinity and she should never compare him to any other man in her mind or in her words toward her husband.

One of the biggest destroyers of reverence that a woman might otherwise have for her husband is when she compares him to other men.  Whether it be her father, her grandfather, her brothers or her sisters’ husbands. 

The Bible shows us that there are two major variations of masculinity and your husband will most likely be more like one or the other.   Those two variations could be classified as the “Warrior” and the “Wiseman”.  In modern terms think of this as the “jock” and the “nerd”.

King David was a “warrior” type man while his son, King Solomon, was a “wiseman” type man.  Another way to view the “wiseman” would be as a scholar.  The wiseman is more cerebral in his activities and the warrior is more physical in his activities.

So maybe your father and brothers are avid hunters while you the man you married likes to read books and play strategy games.  You cannot shame your husband because is he not like these other men you know.  Or maybe it’s the opposite.  Maybe your husband is not the reader your father was, but he is an avid hunter and sportsman.  Again, you must respect him for the man he is.

Principle #2 – A Reverent Wife Addresses Her Husband as Her Earthly lord

Psalm 45:11 says “Since he is your lord…”.

There are two Hebrew words in the Old Testament used to refer to a woman’s husband beside “ish” which means “man”.  Those two words are “baal” and “adown”.  When baal is used it emphasizes the ownership of the husband and when “adown” is used it emphasizes the husband being ruler over his wife.

Psalm 45:11’s command to women to regard their husbands as their earthy lords perfectly connects with 1 Peter 3:5-6 which tells women to do the same thing:

“5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”

The most practical way a woman can verbally show her husband she regards him as her lord is by frequently say “Yes sir”.  In our culture the word “sir” can take on many meanings.  Sometimes it simply a polite way to address a man.  Men will call each other sir all the time and women will call other men sir as well.  But when a woman looks at her man and says “Yes sir” (and she does in a respectful way) he feels her reverence in that moment.

Some husbands might want their wives to use the word “lord” as it is in the Bible so their wives should say “Yes, my lord”, rather than “Yes sir”.  But in either case – a woman should use what her husband deems shows him the most reverence in how she addresses him.

A husband and wife can work out the particulars of this and there is nothing wrong with a woman calling her husband “honey” or “my love” in various contexts just as the Song of Solomon shows.  But especially when husbands and wives are having serious discussions and the husband has given his wife commands this is when “yes sir” or “yes, my lord” would absolutely be appropriate and a way wives can show reverence to their husbands.

Principle #3 – A Reverent Wife Kneels Before Her Husband

Psalm 45:11 says “Since he is your lord, bow to him”.  

A minimalist view of bowing would look like the Japanese who routinely bow to one another out of respect.  But I don’t think this is the kind of bowing that Psalm 45:11 has in mind for the wife with her husband when it calls her to bow to her husband as her earthly lord. 

Instead, I believe the kind of Shachah, or bowing down, being pictured in Psalm 45:11 is closer to what Mephibosheth did in the presence of King David in 2 Samuel 9:6 where he “he fell on his face, and did reverence”.  That is the kind of humility a wife should be having with her husband.

More evidence that God wants a woman to be comfortable being on her knees before her husband is found in Song of Solomon 2:3 where the wife states the following about her husband:

“As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.”

A godly woman finds “great delight” in in sitting down in the shadow of her husband.  And one of the most reverent acts a woman can do as she sits in her husband’s shadow is to perform oral sex to completion on him which is what is being pictured in Song of Solomon 2:3.

Don’t misunderstand me – I am not saying every time a woman sits down below her husband she needs to try and do oral sex on him.  Should she sometimes? Yes.  Should she always if he wants it? Yes.  But also, there may be times when she just delights to sit his shadow and look up to him as they converse. 

Principle #4 – A Reverent Wife Appreciates Her Husband’s Desire For Feminine Beauty

Psalm 45:11 says So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty”.

Why does the King desire her beauty? Because men are designed by God to be drawn to feminine beauty.  A woman should never shame her husband for desiring to see her show off her beauty.  How many conservative Christian women do this very thing to their husbands?  This behavior is the very opposite of reverencing your husband.

Practically speaking, this means surprising your husband with some sexy lingerie is a form of reverence because you are affirming his desire for your beauty.  It means if he so desires, wearing a sexy dress for date night with him.  It could mean wearing a particular bathing suit he wants you to wear as you go to the beach.  It means dressing the way he wants you to, and keeping your hair and makeup the way, he likes it.  And it also means doing your best to keep your figure as it was when you first met.

And in a broader sense, when a woman shames her husband for noticing other beautiful women this is by definition an irreverent act on her part.  Her actions shows that she despises her husband’s God given polygynous nature.

Principle #5 – A Reverent Wife Is Her Husband’s Greatest Fan

The final way that a wife should show her husband reverence does not come from this passage in Psalm 45 that we have been looking at – but rather it comes from Proverbs 12:4 which states the following:

“A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.”

A woman should always be her husband’s greatest fan and cheerleader, whether it is in private just with him and especially when others are around. 

Women who argue with their husbands in private or in public are being irreverent toward them.  Correcting him or contradicting him is being irreverent toward him.

A woman being critical of her husband is the very definition of an irreverent wife.

Listen to the Two-Hour Podcast Series Based on This Article to Learn More

I have produced a two-part podcast series, with each part being about an hour long, where I give more detail on these principles. In these podcasts I show other ways women can reverence their husbands and combat their own pride and insecurities as they do this.

Chastisement is to be Welcomed by Wives and Practiced By Husbands

The concept of wife spanking or really a man disciplining his wife even using non-physical means is abhorrent to our modern culture. The reason for this is because we in our modern culture have been conditioned to believe that discipline is only for children and that a man spanking his wife is him treating her like a child.

The truth however, both from a Biblical as well as a historic perspective is very different. The Bible teaches us that chastisement both in the form of corporal punishment as well as taking away various things is ordained by God for both civil government and especially the sphere of the home with the husband and father as its patriarch.  And for thousands of years the practice of corporal discipline by husbands and fathers within the home and the marriage was an accepted behavior.

It was not until the rise of feminism in mid-19th century that the historic practice of what American courts called “domestic discipline” came into question. 

I first started writing on the need for husbands to return to the Biblical and historic practice of disciplining their wives back in 2015 with my article entitled “7 Ways to Discipline Your Wife”.  And in recent years I made a podcast series on my podcast site BGRLearning.com where expound more on that article.

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

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

As you can imagine, I get a lot of angry emails and comments related to my writings on domestic discipline.  I also get the occasional catfishing emails where people send me outlandish discipline tactics which they are using to get my take and those emails go straight to my trash bin.  But I also get emails which I believe to be genuine like one I received recently.  And it always encourages me to see how God awakens men to the truth of his Word regarding discipline in general and the need for chastisement of wives in particular. 

Recently I received such an email from a man calling himself Edward.  Below his email that I hope you will also find encouraging.

Edward’s Email to BGR

“Dear Sir,

I would like to share with you what the Lord showed me in the last couple of months, regarding disciplining one’s wife. You might already know all of this, but I thought you might find it interesting.

Firstly, I came to learn that discipline is a huge thing for the whole body of Christ – it’s so big that the very word the Lord chose for his followers (disciples) is even based on discipline! In fact, as one meditates on it, one find that just about the whole Bible deals with a lack of discipline, the consequences thereof and the Lord’s dealings with it – from the garden of Eden through to Revelations.

Here are some things I learned, before I share some additional scriptures.

1. Your point is correct: God rebukes and chastises those He loves. Man is obliged to do the same.

2. There is a great reward in accepting discipline. We should embrace it and actually ask for it.

3. It’s not really optional. As His children, He disciplines us because of His great love for us. In this world, we WILL be disciplined – either by His loving hand, or by consequencial circumstances. Of course, there is also the terrible alternative to be “handed over to satan” as Paul writes to the Corinthians.

The above is just a summary of my own observations. Following are some additional scriptures that you and others might find interesting – starting with general guidance and ending with an absolute clincher! I must just add that the Lord showed me these scriptures when I sought Him for council in this matter.

1. He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’ ”

Luke 13:6-9

This was a general scripture the Lord gave me that emphasised our responsibility as men to maintain discipline.

2. “…I am consumed by the blow of Your hand. When with rebukes You correct man for iniquity, You make his beauty melt away like a moth…

Psalms 39:10-11

3. And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few.  Luke 12:47-48

I laughed when the Lord showed me this scripture in relation to a good spanking. He even tells us when a long, hard spanking is required: When the offence was committed “knowingly”…

4. This was a major eye-opener for me! The whole of Ezekiel 23 is the story of the rebellious sins and judgements of the two sisters Oholah and Oholibah. The chapter draws to a conclusion with this curious verse: “Thus I will cause lewdness to cease from the land, that all women may be taught not to practice your lewdness.” Ezekiel 23:48

Here is the (summarized) meaning and an explanation of the original Hebrew word for “taught” in this verse. It’s exactly the same word that is used for chastisement.

H3256

Original: יסר

Transliteration: yâsar

Phonetic: yaw-sar’

a) to chasten, discipline, instruct, admonish

b) to let oneself be chastened or corrected or admonished

c) to discipline, correct, to chasten, chastise

Strong’s Definition: A primitive root; to chastise, literally (with blows) or figuratively (with words); hence to instruct: – bind, chasten, chastise, correct, instruct, punish, reform, reprove, sore, teach.

The chapter refers to Samaria and Jerusalem as the two sisters, so the common teaching is that the reference to “all women” in the concluding verses should also be interpreted figuratively (as all tribes/nations). In my opinion, the Lord would not have stated it as such if it was not commonplace already to apply chastisement in order to teach women this/a lesson.

Hope you found this as interesting as I did.

Thank you for your obedience to the Lord in maintaining your site/blog. A great reward awaits you.”

Submissiveness, Reverence, Trustworthiness and Sexiness – 4 Habits Every Newlywed Wife Needs

There are four habits that every newlywed Christian wife needs to form in her marriage beginning on her wedding day.  And these are the habits of submissiveness, reverence, trustworthiness and sexiness.  In this new podcast I have produced for BGRLearning.com, I supply newlywed wives with biblically based, detailed and practical ways to help them establish these habits.

And on the term “sexiness”.  A lot of traditional women would have no issue with the habits of submissiveness, reverence and trustworthiness be required for wives but they would immediately raise their eyes at the thought that they must be sexy for their husbands.  Some think it is “un-lady like” or immodest for a wife to act in sexually arousing ways toward her husband.  Other women might say “I know I have to be submissive to my husband’s sexual desires – but where does the Bible say I have to be sexy toward him?”

In this podcast I show the answers to these questions and concerns from the Bible and practically apply these truths for newlywed Christian wives.  And while this podcast is primarily directed at newlywed Christian wives, it is never too late for Christian women who have been married many years to learn to incorporate these habits in their marriages as well.

Click here to go to BGRLearning.com and subscribe to listen to this podcast as well as gain access to hundreds of podcasts on the topics of masculinity, femininity, courtship, marriage and sex all from a Biblical perspective.

Dominance, Dialogue and Delegation – Habits Newlywed Husbands Need To Implement in Marriage

There are three habits that every newlywed Christian husband needs to form in his marriage beginning on his wedding day.  And these are the habits of dominance, dialogue and delegation.  In this new podcast I have produced for BGRLearning.com, I supply newlywed husbands with biblically based, practical ways to help them establish the regular habits of dominance, dialogue and delegation with their new wives.

Click here to go to BGRLearning.com and subscribe to listen to this podcast and hundreds of other podcasts on the topics of masculinity, femininity, marriage, sex and discipline from all from a Biblical perspective.

Listener Questions About Implementing Christian Domestic Discipline Answered

“Should a man attempt CDD with a woman that has serious mental illness?”, “Is it ok to begin implementing CDD on my honeymoon or should I wait?” and “Is it ok to use bondage as part of CDD?” These were some of several great follow up questions that husbands emailed me after listening to my new podcast “A Husband’s Guide to Implementing Christian Domestic Discipline”.

In this follow-up podcast I answer these listener questions and several others that were sent to me. You definitely need to listen to the first 3-part guide on CDD before you listen to this podcast as this is really an add on to that.

Click here to go to BGRLearning.com to subscribe and listen today!

Why Sadomasochism Is Unbiblical

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

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

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

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

12 Ways to transform modern dating into Biblical dating

What does the Bible say about dating? How can you as a young Christian man or woman date in a way that pleases God? Are their Biblical principles that can help young people find the right spouse?

Before we seek to answer these questions we need to look at how young men and women used to enter into relationships.

“Dating” as we know it today did not exist before the last century. Men did not have to romance women to get women to marry them. Men did not need pickup lines or any of the other tricks of getting women to show interest in them. Women did not need to “put out” before marriage to give the man a “taste of the goods”.

The two ways men acquired wives in pre-modern times

First let me address the word “acquired” which is a word usually associated with getting property. It is a well-known fact of history that women were considered the property of their fathers (or other male relative if the father was dead) and these property rights were transferred to husbands in marriage.

So it is historically correct to say that in the vast majority of cases men did not “win” their wives (by romancing them) but rather they acquired them by purchasing them from their male relatives.

The first way was the marriage was arranged by the parents when the man and woman were children and they were betrothed but the marriage was not consummated until the man had the ability to support the woman and had a home established for her.   Sometimes the arranged marriage was not from the time of the man and woman being children but was a quick arrangement when two sets of parents realized they had two adult children who were not yet married and they would have them to marry.

The second way was if a man found a woman attractive he would NOT approach the woman directly – instead he would approach her father, her brother or other male relative who was responsible for her. He would then demonstrate his ability to provide for the woman and then these two men would agree upon a bride price.

While a woman’s male relative might take her opinion into account of whether she wanted to marry a man often time’s women had little say in whom they married.

A third but rare way that men acquired wives

A third and very rare case would be if a woman had no male relatives in charge of her (no father, grandfather, brother or uncles). Only in this rare condition would a man have to deal directly with the woman herself to see if she would be interested in marrying him.

Even in this last rare case – the idea of dating did not typically happen because it was socially unacceptable for single women to entertain men who were not their husbands. If they did they might be seen as a prostitute or a whore.

There often was little to no romance involved even in the case of a man approaching a woman directly who had no male relatives in charge of her. He simply demonstrated his ability to provide for her and she would decide if she wanted to marry him.

My point in all this is, before the last century the vast majority of marriages were formed because of economic and political necessity – they were not formed based on men romantically pursing women as we see is the case today.

For these reasons you won’t find any reference to anything close to what we call dating in the Bible – it simply did not exist in pre-modern times.

The randomness and chaos of modern dating

As I have previously shown, in times past marriage was a very ordered ordeal. Parents or others elders that were looked up to often helped young people to find suitable spouses that would benefit one another economically or politically.

Today however, instead of marriages coming together on the grounds of spiritual, economic or political reasons – most marriages in the Western world come together because of pre-marital romantic feelings that a man and a woman share for one another.

Most young people enter what we now call “the dating world” without a clue of how to find a prospective spouse. They wonder aimlessly at school, college, work, church or other social functions hoping to bump into that right person.

Even when a person does “bump into the right person” or so they think – dating itself today is far from how God’s Word would have it to be.

Men pursue women by buying them gifts and make all kinds of romantic gestures to show their affection for the women they are with.  They continually have to come up with romantic words to flatter the women they are with.

Women often feel pressured to give sex not long after dating to “keep him hooked” on them.

In many ways modern dating and romance has become a form of idolatry. Listen to romance songs on the radio or watch romance movies. Are the things that these people say to each other often times not a form of worship and idolatry toward one another?

Even if a Christian couple has committed to not having sex before marriage often times our ideas of modern dating put Christian couples in very tempting positions with little to no safe guards against sex before marriage.

But there is a way to bring order to the chaos of modern dating and the answer is found in God’s Word.

12 ways to transform modern dating into Biblical dating

Here are several ways to apply Biblical principles to the modern concept of dating to bring it into line with God’s Word and it may also help you to find the right spouse that God has for you.

Dating is for marriage – not for sex or fun

Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” – Psalm 25:7 (KJV)

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

“Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” – I Corinthians 7:2 (KJV)

It is not wrong for a young person to desire to find a spouse and be married one day. In fact this is a noble and right desire and should be encouraged by all parents. When you as a young person desire to be with someone whom you know you would never marry – that is by definition a “youthful lust”. When you desire to possess something that God did not intend for you to have that is lust.

So unless you see someone as a potential spouse – you have no business seeking an intimate (emotional or physical) relationship with them.

Follow your spirit not your heart

The world will tell you the very opposite thing – “listen to your heart” is the theme of many romance songs and movies. But it has no basis in Bible.

Yes – God tell us to love him with all our heart:

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” – Matthew 22:37 (KJV)

But God also tells us that our hearts can deceive us:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” – Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV)

So instead of going with your heart which can lead you astray, instead you need to follow the spirit of God in your dating.

Test the Spirit by the Word

The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit of God will lead us in “all the truth” and that includes who we should date.

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth…” – John 16:13a (KJV)

But just as we can be lead astray by our hearts, we can also be lead astray by false spirits.

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world…We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” – I John 4:1 & 6 (KJV)

When the Bible refers to “false spirits” it is not restricted only to evil and demonic spirits. It is also referring to false teachers and those who would give us bad advice or advice that does not line up with God’s Word.

So how do we know if it the Holy Spirit leading us or some other false spirit or bad influence? It is by listening to the Word of God. The Holy Spirit of God will never lead us in a direction that is contrary to God’s Word.

It is amazing to me how many people, whether it is in dating or even religious practices who are doing things that are completely contrary to the Word of God and then claim “but the Spirit of God lead me to do this and gave me peace about it so it must be right”.

My response to these folks is – “Yes you were led by “A spririt”, but not “THE Spirit”.”

Young people you need the follow THE Spirit of God as you seek the spouse God would have for you.

Only date Christians

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” – II Corinthians 6:14-16 (KJV)

Contrary to popular belief – the Bible does NOT teach the concept of evangelistic dating. We are not to date or marry unbelievers.

This goes back to the previous points about not following your heart and testing the spirits. You heart and other false spirits will tell you – “It’s ok if they are not a believer in Christ, you can help them to be one”. Other false feelings you may have are “but they are such a good and kind person, surely God wants me to be such a good person”.

But the truth is the Bible says “what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?”

Prove that they are indeed a Christian

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:25 (KJV)

I tell my children the first two things they should ask about a person before they would ever consider dating them should be – “Are you a Christian?” and “Where do you go to Church?”.

Obviously each one of those questions needs more detail.

Does the person really understand what it means to be a believer?

Do you sense the Spirit of God upon their life?

Are they a faithful member of their church or do they only attend a few times a year around the holidays?

Guard your heart

So up to this point you if you have followed the previous steps you placed boundaries on yourself and made yourself accountable to your parents or other godly Christians in this dating process. You have determined that dating is for marriage, not for fun. You have sought to be led by the Spirit and not by your sinful heart. You have a found a person who claims Christ and faithfully attends Church.

But it is not yet time to let yourself “fall” for this person, or let your guard down.

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” – Proverbs 4:23 (KJV)

The phrase “keep thy heart” could also be translated as “guard your heart” as the NIV translates it. We need to be careful of whom we allow into our hearts. When we open our hearts to someone we can make rash decisions that we later come to regret.

The young woman who gives her virginity away to the man with flattering lips who promised to marry her but later leaves her after he gets what he wants will have many sorrows.

The young man who overlooked the fact that a young lady did not believe in God’s roles for Christian women but was simply captivated by her beauty will one day come to regret his decision.

Once a person passes the initial screening processes you need to truly investigate them. There is an old saying that “A man is known by the company he keeps” and the Bible has a similar statement to this:

“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” – Proverbs 13:20 (KJV)

Does he or she have wise and godly friends? When you talk to their friends what do they reveal about the character of this person you are dating?

Guard your body

Ok the cat is really out of the bag now. When I say “dating”, I am referring to a relationship between a man and woman that could potentially lead to marriage and I am referring to what is known as courtship. Now this is one even my teens have a very hard time swallowing because of the culture we live in.

Those who have read any of my posts on Biblical sexuality know that I do NOT believe we must suppress our sexuality even before marriage. Our sexuality is a gift from God meant to be experienced and enjoyed before marriage and after marriage.

I just read on another Christian site that young Christian men should avoid learning too many details about sex until just a few days before they are married for fear that they might have sexual fantasies about their wives to be.

What a ludicrous statement to make!

Yet many Churches all across America and the world teach this unbiblical philosophy of about sexual fantasy and sexual imagination.

HOWEVER – while we might be able to enjoy our sexuality before marriage through sexual imagination and even masturbation (which the Bible does NOT condemn) we are forbidden from pursing any kind of sexual relationship with a person before we have entered into a covenant of marriage with them. That includes cybersex, phone sex or any other kind of sexual activity.

People such as myself and others that embrace the idea of courtship believe that young people should not be allowed by their parents or themselves to be put in a position where they might sin sexually with one another.

I can hear all the teens and young college students yelling at me at this point.

But the Bible says we should not put ourselves in a position where we know we could possibly be tempted to sin:

“But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” – Romans 13:14 (KJV)

Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” – I Corinthians 6:18 (KJV)

I think the best policy is for parents and young people to agree that they will always be in a group setting, whether it is with a church youth group or college and career group or a least around a larger group of Christian friends or relatives at all times.

Agree on Biblical marriage roles

“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.

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 5:22-27 (KJV)

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

There are many people who truly believe in Jesus Christ and are saved and regularly attend their churches but reject all the Bible’s teachings on God design of gender roles. They believe these teachings are outdated and were not meant for all time.

Listen to me young man. Listen to me young lady.

You can find the nicest person in the world, even a Christian who regularly attends church.

But if you do not agree on the doctrines of Gender roles as taught in Scripture you will be in for a lot of heart ache!

Seek your parents blessing

“Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.” – Proverbs 23:22 (KJV)

If your parents are believers – you should have their blessing before proceeding in marriage. Even if they are not believers – they may still have some helpful advice.

In most cases your parents are the ones who know you better than anyone else in this world. Even if everything seems to match up – your father and mother may see some incapability between the two of you that you did not notice.

In fact because Samson did not listen to his parents advice about a woman it ended up costing him his life in the end (Judges 14:3).

Now there are some cases where parents are wicked and unbelieving people. So please don’t think I am saying parents ALWAYS have to give their blessing. But I do think in most cases you should have your parents blessing before marrying someone.

Seek other Godly counsel

Before agreeing to marriage with this person seek wise and spiritual advice from those around you.

“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” – Proverbs 11:14 (KJV)

Bring the person you are dating around your Christian friends and then ask them afterwards privately what they thought of the person.

Pray and ask God to show you the right spouse

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” – Romans 8:26-27 (NIV)

Last but certainly not least you need to pray! This should be the first thing you do before you set out to date and it should be the last thing you to do before you open your heart to a person and let them in.

Even if you apply all these other Biblical principles there are so many variables when it comes to choosing the right spouse that God has for you. There are different types of personalities and differences in preferences. Pray and ask the Lord to guide you to that right person.

Premarital counseling with a Pastor is CRITICAL!

I know this is really tough – but even up this point you must still continue to guard your heart. I know of many Christian men and women who discovered things about their soon to be spouse in pre-marital counseling but they felt they were too invested with a wedding planned and the time they had spent with this person.

Please listen to me young person. It is NEVER too late to back out of an engagement. You may find in pre-marital counseling that your spouse does not really believe in Biblical gender roles. You may find out that they do not have a Biblical philosophy of sex in marriage. These are critical things that will affect you for the rest of your life.

Conclusion

So after reading all these 12 ways to transform the chaos of modern dating into Biblical dating the question you are probably asking is “When can I stop guarding my heart?” I believe the answer to that question is after you have completed premarital counseling and have determined that this person is a spiritual match for you in all the important ways I have mentioned here then you can begin to let your guard down.

But really I think until the day you are married and have entered in the covenant of marriage with this person – you need to be careful with your heart.

Even after marriage – do you realize how many people have allowed their spouses to lead their hearts astray from God? We must never allow that.

But after we are married that is when we can fully give our hearts and bodies to our spouses while still remembering that God must always be first in our marriage.

Please don’t misunderstand me. There is no perfect person out there. There is no person with whom you will agree on all things. There is no such thing as your “soul mate” – sorry to burst your bubble. But there are good Christian people out there who love the Lord more than anything including you and that is why they will always love you because of their commitment to God.

There are no perfect people, but there are men and women who truly believe in Christ and his Word and they embrace Biblical gender roles and want to live their life by the God’s Word. If you can find a person like that – this is the person you want to marry.

In some upcoming articles I will give some more gender specific things to look for in Biblical dating. But everything I have said here I think Biblically speaking applies to both men and women.

 

 

 

Stories of Sexual Denial in Marriage Episode 9

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

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

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

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

Hannah’s Story

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Response to Hannah

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

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

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

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

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

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

How you should handle your husband’s sexual denial

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

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

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

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

Be sure to pray for your husband daily.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 “Celibate Marriage” is a huge oxymoron.

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

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

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

Here is another post on this subject:

4 Steps to Confronting your husband’s sexual refusal

How much pain would you endure to have sex with your husband?

How much pain would you endure to have sex with your husband? What if you could not consummate your wedding vows on your wedding night? If you are having painful intercourse should you tell your husband?

In some previous posts on stories of sexual denial where I have shared reader’s stories – the subject of painful intercourse has arisen several times whether in public comments or private emails.  This is a topic that many Christian engaged couples who are trying remain pure for marriage never consider might happen to them. This issue affects wives across the spectrum from newlyweds to elderly wives.

I recently received this email from a woman named Anna, and she asked me to make her story public.  Just a heads up – this conversation will get a little more “graphic” than I usually get when talking about sex but I think as you read Anna’s story you will understand the need to speak frankly and openly about these issues.

Anna’s Story

“I’ve been reading your blog for a couple months now and have taken special interest in your posts about a husband/wife’s sexual duties to each other. While I don’t necessarily agree with everything else you post, I think you are right on the money here.  I wanted to send you my story because I think it might be an encouragement to women, but of course whatever you choose to put on your blog is up to you.

My husband and I were married a little over a month ago, and I had assured him multiple times prior to marriage that he didn’t need to worry about my freezing him out in the bedroom later on in our marriage. He appreciated that, but i had no idea at the time what wall would be required to keep that promise. When we arrived at our apartment on our wedding night, I was ready to start, and he definitely was. However, it didn’t exactly go according to plan as my body was way too tight for him to enter. I was in tears from the massive pain but kept telling him to try again. My sweet husband prioritized my needs over his and nixed that idea.

However, there are other things a woman can do and I was able to give him one orgasm right then, and another later that evening. We left for our honeymoon later with me fighting (more like losing to) guilt and depression. On our honeymoon, we tried pain medications, alcohol (neither of us were remotely drunk but I still do acknowledge that this idea is not for everyone), and about 5 different kinds of lube, and nothing worked. He knows that I normally hate going to doctors, so I assured him that as soon as we got back home, I’d book an appointment with a gynecologist to see what was wrong. He wasn’t particularly interested in trying intercourse until then as each session resulted in me breaking down in tears at the slightest attempt.

I got back to work (i’m a nurse with a particularly open group of co-workers!) and shared my plight with a few of my closer nurses and my manager as well.  I told them that i was going to see a gynecologist and was hoping to have a ‘snip surgery’ done that would help open me up. Every single one of them (most of whom are also professing Christians) recoiled in horror and told me how much that would hurt and asked why in the world I would ever do that. My answer was simple: he was my husband, I had made marital vows to him (to have and to hold???), and I had no intention of backing down.

Thankfully the gynecologist said nothing was physically wrong and encouraged me to try a vaginal dilator set. We also booked an appointment with a sex therapist who encouraged the same thing. The dilator set was the worst pain I have ever experienced. I tried them each night after work and would send my husband out of the room because I didn’t want him to see me crying and feel guilty (the therapist encouraged me to let him stay so I did after that).

It took over a month of trying, but yesterday we were able to have sex for the first time. Our marriage is definitely stronger for the initial struggles,and I have so much respect for my husband who was always so sweet, supportive, and patient through the whole thing.  It never occurred to me that i had an option other than trying all these things because as a married person, I had responsibilities…simple as that. My husband and I have a lot of work left to do on our sexual relationship (although i’m not sure if a couple ever stops learning in that area!), but we are both very happy to be past that initial hurdle. God is good!”

What a powerful story of faith and commitment to marriage! It is often said that our faith is revealed not in the good times, but in the bad times and this story is no exception to that rule.

This story starts off with a young newlywed couple unable to consummate their marriage on their wedding night. How frustrating that must have been for both of them!

This young bride was an example for all Christian wives

First she recognized that even though they could not have intercourse, she needed to take care of her husband’s sexual needs in other ways. Bravo! So many Christian women would have quit there and told their new husband he would just have to wait – or he could go take care of himself. Her compassion for husband’s needs – despite her own frustrations is to be commended.

Secondly is the fact that she recognized that this was HER problem, not his. So many women jump to blaming their husbands when they have any type of difficulty in the bedroom. While sometimes it may be an issue of foreplay on the husband’s part, often times it may be physical or mental conditions on the part of the wife and she has a duty as wife to seek out medical or psychological help for herself. This young bride did just that. She saw a doctor and a therapist and fought through the pain to get herself to the point where she could have vaginal intercourse with her husband.

This young husband was an example for all Christian husbands

The young husband in this case is also a model for us as believing husbands. Contrary to all the slanderous statements that have been thrown my way – I do not believe a husband should ever force himself upon his wife. A loving husband who sees his wife is in pain will not want to cause her more pain.

This husband demonstrated love and compassion for his wife and waited until she was ready – a very admirable thing to do in this scenario. Yes I am sure his wife continued to help him out using manual or oral methods (as she should have). But as any man or woman can attest to, there is no sex like sexual intercourse. It is the most intimate and physical joining of a man and woman in marriage. When the Bible speaks of a husband and wife becoming “one flesh” in marriage, while it has spiritual and emotional implications – it’s most literal meaning is their bodies merging as one during the act of sexual intercourse.

Vaginismus – the cause of Anna’s pain

The condition that caused Anna not to be able to have sexual intercourse with her husband is called “Vaginismus” and this is what healthyplace.com says about it:

“Vaginismus is an involuntary spasm of the muscles surrounding the vaginal opening which occurs whenever an attempt is made to penetrate the vagina…

What causes this to occur? In most cases, this is not due to a physical deformity or disorder. Instead, it is an emotional condition that occurs because of psychological reasons but manifests itself in a physical response. The majority of women with vaginismus believe that intercourse will be very painful; often thinking that their vagina is too small to accommodate the penis and therefore, their vagina will be ripped or stretched too far. Consequently, they develop a phobic response to the penis; associating it with pain. Other women have indeed experienced some type of trauma to the vagina or genital region, such as rape, sexual abuse, or surgery, which then leads to a fear of intercourse. And, unfortunately, for some women, it is their first pelvic examination that causes them to be fearful. Lack of sensitivity on the physician’s part, or neglecting to adequately inform the patient what she can expect, has sometimes contributed to the pelvic exam being a negative experience for women; causing them to fear sexual intercourse….

However, in a small number of cases, physical factors (such as the presence of a rigid hymen, or deformities of the vagina) can make penetration of the vagina impossible. Additionally, although physical conditions, such as endometriosis, vaginal infections, or an episiotomy are not directly responsible for a woman experiencing vaginismus, they may, through association, contribute to vaginismus indirectly through conditioning. What this means is if a woman experiences pain upon intercourse, or with a pelvic exam, this may lead to a self-protecting tightening of the vaginal muscles the next time she attempts to have intercourse…

Treatment for vaginismus consists of a combination of relaxation training and various behavioral exercises in helping the woman overcome her fear of intercourse. The husband or partner’s participation in treatment and his emotional support are considered very important to the success of treatment. Sometimes, in addition to the above treatments, individual and/or couples therapy is recommended as well.”

http://www.healthyplace.com/sex/female-sexual-dysfunction/vaginismus-women-who-cant-have-intercourse/

Another site dealing with Vaginal Dilators (which helped Anna) states this:

“Together with appropriate exercises, as women consciously and consistently squeeze and relax the PC muscles with dilator insertions, they learn how to override the involuntary muscle contractions that had previously caused tightness or closed the entrance to the vagina to sex. The process helps create new ‘muscle memories’. Through the proper use of dilators, women can more easily develop control over involuntary tightness and simultaneously desensitize their vaginal muscles, body and mind to the sensation of having something in their vagina. This is all done as transition preparation for inserting the “real thing” (i.e. the man’s penis) without pain or tightness. Together with appropriate exercises, they help women retrain their bodies to respond correctly to penetration and to transition to fully pain-free intercourse.”

https://www.vaginismus.com/faqs/dilator-questions/vaginal-dilators-treating-vaginismus

A National Institutes of Health study revealed there is no clinical difference between dyspareunia and vaginismus.

Vaginismus and dyspareunia: is there a difference in clinical presentation?

The purpose of this exploratory study was to identify clinical similarities and differences in patients with vaginismus and dyspareunia. Thirty patients who were referred to an outpatient clinic for psychosomatic gynecology and sexology, with either of these two diagnoses, were investigated by means of a standardized interview, physical examination and self-rating questionnaires. Based on the interview, no significant differences were demonstrated between patients with vaginismus and dyspareunia, in the ability to insert a finger into the vagina or to have a gynecological examination. No differences were found in the reported level of pain during coitus (or attempted coitus), inserting one finger into the vagina, or during gynecological examination. Patients with vaginismus, however, more often reported that coitus was impossible. The physical examination and self-rating questionnaires showed no differences at all between patients with vaginismus and dyspareunia in palpated vaginal muscular tension and reported anxiety or tension during the examination. Moreover, in both groups redness and painful areas on the vulva were equally common. Redness and pain on the same location were more frequently present in the dyspareunia group. Patients with dyspareunia reported higher levels of pain during the examination. In conclusion, neither the interview nor the physical examination produced useful criteria to distinguish vaginismus from dyspareunia. A multi-axial description of these syndromes is suggested, rather than viewing them as two separate disorders.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11076336

Beyond the above basic classifications, physicians and specialists may use other medical terms referring to vaginismus such as:

Apareunia

Apareunia is a general term that refers to a condition where one is unable to have sexual intercourse. Vaginismus is one type of apareunia (if it is completely preventing penetrative intercourse).

Dyspareunia

Dyspareunia is a general term that refers to a condition where there is pain during sexual intercourse. Vaginismus is considered to be one type of dyspareunia, but is closely associated with all types of sexual pain.

https://www.vaginismus.com/faqs/vaginismus-questions/primary-and-secondary-vaginismus-differences

How Anna cured her Vaginismus(Apareunia)

Anna rightly gave all the praise to God for curing her Vaginismus. But in truth she does deserve some credit for taking aggressive action and enduring the mental and physical pain and discomfort to get herself to the place where she could finally have vaginal sex with her husband. God can miraculously heal people – he does it all the time without a doctor touching a person. But God directed Anna to see a doctor and a sex therapist and I think that as we can see that was his will for her and he worked through these people to help Anna. We need to realize as believers that God has gifted medical professionals and counselors to be able to help us if we will seek the help.

There are many other posts online and in medical journals about Vaginismus. But from these and many others we can see that more often than not Vaginismus is not usually caused by a physical deformity of the vagina.

What is most often the case is a woman’s fear based upon bad memories of doctor’s exams, her upbringing about sex, sexual abuse or just a phobia of anything being inserted into her vagina. So her body reacts in what seems to be an involuntary way with muscle contractions that close off the vagina and protect it from penetration.

This is why often it takes a combination of counseling and perhaps a vaginal dilator as Anna used to help train her mind and muscles to allow things – including the most important thing of all – her husband’s penis – to be inserted into her vagina.

Vaginismus reveals major differences between men and women in regard to sex

But what I think this reveals about women that is so different from men is – for a woman her mind, even her unconscious mind and her unconscious fears have a huge impact not only her ability to enjoy sex, but even on her ability to have sexual intercourse at all!

I am sure that on a conscious level Anna wanted nothing more than have sex with her husband on her wedding night. She may have had NO conscious fears about doing this. But on some unconscious level her mind and her body were fearful of penetration. She had to train her mind and body to think differently about sex.

How many women today who do not face Vaginismus still need to have their mind and body conditioned to think differently about sex? How many women would enjoy sex better with their husbands if they could only let go of what is holding them back? How many women would benefit from the counseling Anna sought?

Men can learn from this story too

Just because this story is from the perspective of wife having a sexual dysfunction does not mean we as men cannot learn from this as well. For men ED (erectile dysfunction) would be closest equivalent to a woman having Vaginismus except for the pain. Men certainly experience emotional pain from ED, but not the physical pain women experience from Vaginismus.

But for us as men – ED is usually more physically based than emotionally based. While it is true that some men cannot achieve erections due to issues in the marriage, or issues from their childhood most of the time it is a physical issue and matter of blood flow. Thankfully today there are kinds of treatments for ED and we as Christian husbands have the same obligation to our wives as Anna felt to her husband to seek treatment to help our ED. We can’t just give up and throw in the towel.

What if the pain could not be stopped?

But let’s face it – not every story of Vaginismus has a happy ending like this one did.   What if the cause was a physical issue that could not be repaired or changed? What if we were living a century ago without the help of modern medicine and counseling?

So these are the questions I leave for Christian wives reading this:

What if you had this kind of painful intercourse and there was nothing there was not medical or psychological help for you – Would you still have intercourse with you husband?

If sex is not mutually pleasurable for both the man and the woman should it sex cease in a marriage?

Maybe you don’t have Vaginismus – but would you stop having sex with your husband over other kinds of pain?

Should a wife always tell her husband when she has painful intercourse or are there times a wife should not reveal this to her husband?

And finally the question that is title of the article – How much pain would you endure to have sex with your husband?

I look forward to your answers and comments.

Photo Source: Rachel Titiriga https://www.flickr.com/photos/pocait/3589329865/in/photolist-qwXWfH-7P8Fkm-de5gm-cq89q3-8xbjPZ-H6k7k-cUqief-tbeUF-hgPux-gJ4e-gHZV-i2mh-66njL4-7PwRd2-8DkJho-gHYr-gNo1-gJ3N-pZDMzS-4LLfEM-6tbfHF-gJ4D-gKBM-gJ1j-gHYu-gJ4o-oxurem-52mEJW-4NcLTb-eqQG7N-mpALdt-gNjE-gHYL-6MRpy2-gNmH-gNkZ-epUmSR-epUhFa-rq2jDu-brKSri-gNnK-gHZw-gHZr-865s9A-5oRUGd-atspmj-hwymEm-4QYU4k-4VrBru-tvHqxb
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