The Benefits of Being a Sexually Obedient Wife

“I’ve witnessed such an unexpected difference in my husband & I would like to know if you think it’s related to my new attitude regarding sexual obedience. The short story is: my husband has become so ambitious at work (and in life generally). He’s gotten a promotion. But, the biggest change is he’s always wanted to start his own business & he is now taking the steps to do it. He has talked about it for years & dreamed about it, but I’ve never seen an attitude like this. He’s become very alpha. He actually works less now. He’s in a management role & he delegates a lot of work. To hear him on the phone with his employees…it’s like a totally different man. He’s very assertive & authoritative. I must say, it is a turn-on for me & makes me want him more.”

I received this comment from a Christian wife who calls herself Wynter in response to my previous article “How a husband can enjoy sex that is grudgingly given by his wife”.

Over the months since I wrote that article I have been interviewed on a national radio show and have been contacted by people around the world about it. As you would expect I got a lot of hate mail over that article.  But over time I have received several kind emails telling me what an impact it has had in not only helping men to cope with bad situations but also in helping women to see the way they sometimes grudgingly give their husband’s sex through their husbands eyes.

I get people sending me in emails all the time asking “why do you have to talk about sex so much?” and the reason I tell them is because our sexuality whether before marriage or after marriage has such a HUGE impact on our lives even though many Christians don’t want to admit it.  We hear all the time about how we live in an “over-sexed” society and I can see why Christians feel that way because of all the modern imaging technology we have now and how much things that used to be in secret are now in our faces.

But let me assure you – long before the age of electricity and photographs and commercials sex has always played a large part in people’s lives.  The difference was it was hidden. Men and women were frustrated with their sex lives with their spouses since the beginning of mankind. Men and women have both acted sinfully because of wrong choices related to sex.

If we want to keep our young people from sinning sexually and if we want them to truly understand and embrace the gift of sex that God has given to most of his creation we must talk about this.  If we want strong marriages we must talk about this. Wynter’s story illustrates how big of an impact sex when done God’s way in marriage can truly bring new life to that marriage and to an entire family as a result.

Wynter’s Story

“I’ve been taking this seriously for the last six months and I just wanted to tell you & get your comments.

  1. I rarely deny my husband sex of some kind. (I say no sometimes; I’m not perfect). I give oral sex if intercourse is not possible.
  2. I’m SHOCKED at how much my husband wants to have sex. He wants it just about every day, sometimes twice a day. Now that he knows I won’t deny him, he gets into the shower with me often and we make love in there. I had no idea he liked that so much. We did it in the shower a few times when we first got married, but I wasn’t into it because I just wanted to hurry up & shower & get ready for my day.
  3. I’ve witnessed such an unexpected difference in my husband & I would like to know if you think it’s related to my new attitude regarding sexual obedience. The short story is: my husband has become so ambitious at work (and in life generally). He’s gotten a promotion. But, the biggest change is he’s always wanted to start his own business & he is now taking the steps to do it. He has talked about it for years & dreamed about it, but I’ve never seen an attitude like this. He’s become very alpha. He actually works less now. He’s in a management role & he delegates a lot of work. To hear him on the phone with his employees…it’s like a totally different man. He’s very assertive & authoritative. I must say, it is a turn-on for me & makes me want him more.
  4. I will say though that this has not been without sacrifice on my part. I used to work nights, but I changed my schedule to be available to him in the evenings, so I make less money than I used to. I also gave up some activities so I can rest more. A big part of my problem before I started this was I was tired all the time & was too exhausted for sex. But, also, and you’re probably not going to like this: it’s been difficult emotionally because I don’t like giving up control. Honestly, I’ve had to fight my own rebelliousness. Sometimes when he approaches me, I’m tired & lazy & just want him to leave me alone. Sometimes, I’m distracted & don’t want to drop what I’m doing. I don’t know how to put it, but it has been difficult to not have my way on this. That’s been the hardest part. I like being 100% in control of my body & now I have to make sacrifices, so, yes, it’s been difficult. Sexual obedience is a way of life. It requires a whole different mindset. My husband’s needs and fulfillment take up a lot more real estate in my brain now than they used to. It’s not as simple as stop, drop, and “do it” like I thought it was going to be. Am I making any sense?

I’d love to know your thoughts on my story.”

My Response to Wynter

It brings me great joy, God great joy and I am sure your husband great joy to see the change in your attitude toward meeting your husband’s sexual needs.

The “SHOCK” you felt once you opened up and allowed your husband free sexual access to your body is one that many women face when they truly give their husbands that free and unfettered access to their bodies that God demands(I Corinthians 7:3-5).

The way it usually works is like this.  When you are first married in the honeymoon phase of the relationship your husband is all over you if not every day at least several times a week.  But many young brides quickly get over the newness of the sex and feel they must “settle their man down” so when he comes to her she delays him with “not today, maybe tomorrow”.

Her husband then learns that there is a real possibility that every time he goes to initiate his wife may turn him down.   Now most women because of period issues or other medical issues will have to turn their husbands down from time to time and that is ok and husbands need to be understanding about this.

But if you were like most women you probably didn’t realize that if you turn your husband down for sex even for legitimate reasons it is YOUR job to get the sex moving again in your relationship.  Your husband does not want to keep coming and asking for sex hoping this is the night you will say yes.  For many men when their wives turn them down for sex it is like flipping an off switch on your sex life.

It is your job as a wife when you have to turn him down to go and turn the sex switch in your relationship back to ON. Most wives have no clue about this and they simply wait for their husband to initiate again and he may go several days or even a week until he decides to “risk it” again. Some women actually get a sick thrill out of making their husbands never really know if they will say yes or no to them. This is an act of emotional cruelty toward one’s husband.

In either case, when you turn your husband down over time your sex life goes down to one or two times a week eventually or just a few times a month before you know it.

But once you open yourself to your husband and let him know he truly has unfettered access to your body and if you do have to turn him down you do it gently and then as soon as you are ready you initiate to let him know sex is back on the table it will truly revolutionize your marriage as you have seen.

Sex has a huge impact on a man’s demeanor

On the issue of the change in your husband’s ambition and demeanor – Absolutely you giving your body freely and with a good attitude to your husband would definitely help with his ambition and attitude toward life.  Have you have heard the phrase “he just needs to get laid?” I know it sounds crass but it absolutely true.  When a man (or even a woman) feels sexually frustrated or they are not getting sexually feed at home it will affect every part of their life. Often times it will result in men being less ambitious and more irritable.

When a man feels like he can have sex with his wife whenever he wants and he feels like she desires him and he pleases her that same man will often feel like he can go out and conquer the world!

There is an old saying that “behind every great man is a great woman”.  I think that is often true when women truly support their husbands in the way God meant them to.  Forgive me for what I am about to do to that famous phrase but I think this is statement is equally true:

“Underneath every great man is a great a woman”

Think in the sexual arena and let your brain churn for a minute and you will get what I am saying.

Keeping your husband well feed sexually will not only benefit him in his endeavors outside the home but it will also benefit your marriage and your family by giving him the increased energy he needs to take on life’s daily tasks.

Christian Wives must save energy for their sex lives

On the issue of you being tired all the time before – that is absolutely true for many women. The greatest lie of feminism is telling women “You can have it all”.  That is utterly untrue. There are only so many hours in day and you only have so much energy to give.  If you spend 40 hours a week at your job and then another 10 hours a week commuting you are going to have very little energy left to give to your husband, your children and your home.

Many women today save little to no energy for their sex lives with their husbands.  Their jobs get their energy and what little energy they have after going out to their career they give to their children while they husband is left scrounging for scraps of energy from his wife for their sex life.

As you correctly point out – yes it is a sacrifice but I think you would agree based on the changes you have seen in your husband’s life that it was a sacrifice worth making.

I think it is great that you recognize your own rebelliousness and your desire to control your time and your body. At the same time though – don’t beat yourself up.  Recognize your sinful inclinations and then give those things to God.  We all face different types of sins and as men we have our own sinful inclinations as well that we must recognize and fight through God’s grace.

I just want to admonish you to keep up what you have been doing and realize that your sexual obedience is not just to your husband – but truly it is an act of worship to God himself for all he has done for you.  This is also a great testimony that other women can learn from and I want to thank you for sharing this with me and my audience – it is truly a blessing.

As the old song we learned in church goes “Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe”.

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” – II Corinthians 10:5 (KJV)

 

 

Should a Christian husband make his wife submit?

Is a wife’s submission to her husband voluntary? Does God want or allow a husband to compel his wife to submit to his leadership through various disciplinary practices? Does a husband’s headship over his wife come with enforcement powers?

There has been a debate in recent decades amongst those who believe in male headship about whether a husband has any ability to compel his wife to submit to his headship. The topic of “voluntary submission” is often raised in these discussions.

Does the Bible show that a wife’s submission to her husband is voluntary?

Carm.org (Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry) has a post that is a good example of this disagreement. CARM definitely believes in and advocates for male headship in marriage and they strongly encourage women to submit to their husbands as seen here:

“Women are not commanded to submit to their husband’s because God insures that men will be just or loving. When a woman submits unto her husband, she is actually submitting unto God (Ephesians 5:22). A woman, therefore, does not submit because her husband deserves it in his own merit. She submits because she knows it is pleasing to her Lord. There will be times when a woman needs to submit and her husband does not deserve it from a human perspective. But by divine right, God set the man as leader, and a woman can trust that God is good. She can also know that nothing escapes God’s notice, and a wicked man will be held accountable for his actions.”

https://carm.org/apologetics/womens-issues/what-does-it-mean-wife-submit-her-husband

But in this same article and another article on the topic of submission CARM takes the position that this submission by a wife is voluntary and cannot be compelled by her husband:

“The Greek word for submission is hupotasso, “to subordinate . . . put under . . . ” God exhorts women to voluntarily follow their husband’s leadership (Ephesians 5:22, 1 Peter 3:1). A woman is actively doing this–choosing to put herself under leadership, choosing to be subordinate in a circumstance or relationship. This is not forced upon her by the recipient.”

https://carm.org/apologetics/womens-issues/what-does-it-mean-wife-submit-her-husband

“First, submission is actually a voluntary action by the wife. Wives are commanded by the Lord to submit to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22, 1 Peter 3:1). This is a commandment from the Lord. However, there is nowhere in Scripture in which husbands command their wives to submit. A wife chooses to follow her husband’s leadership. Slaves, on the other hand, choose nothing. Their decisions are chosen by their master. When a woman submits to her husband, she is actually submitting to the Lord. It is an act of worship and love for her Savior, not as one of a weakened slave.”

https://carm.org/apologetics/womens-issues/wifes-submission-her-husband-slavery

Before we continue on here let me say where I agree with CARM on the issue of a wife’s submission to her husband. I agree with them that a wife submits to her husband, not because he necessarily has earned or deserves her respect, but because she respects the leadership position God has given him over her. I also agree that Biblical submission does not mean a woman is treated like a slave where she can say nothing and has no opinions about anything. A wife Biblically speaking is not a doormat.

But where I and other advocates of Biblical headship disagree with CARM (and others in their camp) is about the enforcement and disciplinary powers of a husband over his wife. CARM maintains that a husband has no power to compel his wife’s submission and that if his wife will not submit to his leadership a husband is powerless to act against his wife’s rebellion.

But before we can proceed we need to understand what the Greek word hupotasso means as it is used in the original language of the New Testament.

What does hupotasso mean?

The Greek word hupotasso is translated as “submit”, “subject”, “subjection” and “obedient” in our English translations of the Bible.

This is the definition of hupotasso according to Thayer’s and Smith’s Bible Dictionary:

“to arrange under, to subordinate

to subject, put in subjection

to subject one’s self, obey

to submit to one’s control

to yield to one’s admonition or advice

to obey, be subject

A Greek military term meaning “to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader”. In non-military use, it was “a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden”.”

So there are two uses of the hupotasso, one had the idea of military commands like dividing units under leaders and the other is a more voluntary or cooperative type of submission.

Hupotasso, not unlike many words changes its meaning based on the context in which it is used. CARM has chosen to take the second meaning of hupotasso in regard to a wife’s submission. But we need to look at the Scriptures to see if their application of the second meaning of hupotasso to submission in marriage is correct.

Paul’s letter to the Ephesians actually illustrates both uses of the Greek word hupotasso

First it is important to remember that the chapter and verse divisions of the Bible were added many centuries after the Bible was completed (Stephen Langton divided the Bible into chapters in the year A.D. 1227 and Robert Stephanus divided the chapters into verses in A.D. 1551). So the chapter and verse divisions are not given to us by divine inspiration and sometimes they actually cause confusion in understanding the meaning of many passages of the Bible.

In Ephesians chapter 4 Paul is speaking on the unity of the Church as well as the different gifts and offices God gives in the Church:

“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ…

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:” – Ephesians 4:4-7 & 11-13 (KJV)

Paul continues his discussion on the unity of the Church and the proper behavior of believers in the body through Ephesians chapter 5 verse 21:

“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” – Ephesians 5:19-21 (KJV)

Then in verse 22 of Ephesians Paul goes from his discussion of believers and their relationship to one another in the body of Christ to the family. Paul’s discussion on the Christian home begins in verse 22 of chapter 5 and does not end until Ephesians 6:4. So here is Paul’s jump from speaking on Church relationships to speaking on family relationships in context:

“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

22 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.

So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 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.

This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

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

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” – Ephesians 5:19-33 & 6:1-4 (KJV)

So now let’s go back and revisit Paul’s use of the word hupotasso in Ephesians 5:21-24:

“21 Submitting [hupotasso] yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

22 Wives, submit [hupotasso] 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 [hupotasso] unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

Many who reject the concept of male headship in marriage attempt to soften Paul’s command to wives to submit with verse 21 that precedes his call to wives to submit to their husbands in verse 22. They teach a false doctrine of mutual submission and partnership in marriage.

I agree 100% that verse 21 of Ephesians chapter 5 is talking about mutual submission amongst believers within the assembly because of the context of the previous verses in which hupotasso is used.

But in the context of marriage hupotasso is not used in the “voluntary, cooperative” sense of the word, but rather it is used in the context of the military use of the term in which family members are given their various roles and responsibilities.

Wives are commanded to hupotasso their husbands because their husband is their head(leader) in the same way that Christ is the head(leader) of the Church. Wives are to hupotasso to their husbands in “every thing”.

Children are later told to obey both their mother and father in Ephesians 6:1.

“submit and obey” – a distinction without a difference

Ephesians 6:1 uses a different word than hupotasso, instead it uses the word “hupakouo”.

“Children, obey [hupakouo] your parents in the Lord: for this is right.” – Ephesians 6:1 (KJV)

This is the definition of hupakouo according to Thayer’s and Smith’s Bible Dictionary:

“to listen, to harken

of one who on the knock at the door comes to listen who it is, (the duty of a porter)

to harken to a command

to obey, be obedient to, submit to”

Some have tried to seize on the use of this word to show that women don’t have to “obey their husbands”, but rather “submit to their husbands”. What they say is “obedience is mandatory, while submission is voluntary”.   But in the Apostle Peter’s first letter he writes:

“For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection[hupotasso] unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed [hupakouo] Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” – I Peter 3:5-6 (KJV)

The Apostle Peter’s uses hupotasso and hupakouo interchangeably when speaking to the relationship of a wife to her husband. This tells us that those who try and say a wife is to submit to her husband, but not obey her husband are truly guilty of making “a distinction without a difference”.

Even in the case of a master and servant relationship hupotasso and hupakouo are used interchangeably in the Scriptures and no one would argue that slaves had no choice in obeying their masters.

“Exhort servants to be obedient [hupotasso] unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;” – Titus 2:9 (KJV)

“Servants, obey [hupakouo] in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God;” – Colossians 3:22 (KJV)

Just as a side note – Marriage is also pictured in Scripture as a type of Master/servant relationship – see my post “Is Marriage a Master/Servant relationship?”

In the context of Biblical authority structures whether they be kings, governors, church leaders, masters and yes even with husbands and parents the Bible interchangeably uses hupakouo and hupotasso – there is no difference. In the context of authority and subordinate relationships hupotasso ALWAYS means “mandatory submission” which is also synonymous with obedience.

Now that we have established that within the context of marriage submission by a wife to her husband is just as mandatory as obedience is from children to parents we will look at a husband’s role in regard to his wife’s submission.

So should a husband compel his wife to submit to his authority?

CARM says “there is nowhere in Scripture in which husbands command their wives to submit”. Really? While there are no passages in Scripture where a husband commands his wife saying “submit” there are passages in Scripture where a husband compels his wife’s obedience.

“Only acknowledge your guilt—

you have rebelled against the Lord your God,

you have scattered your favors to foreign gods

under every spreading tree,

and have not obeyed me,’”

declares the Lord.

“Return, faithless people,” declares the Lord, “for I am your husband. I will choose you—one from a town and two from a clan—and bring you to Zion“ – Jeremiah 3:13-14 (NIV)

Throughout most of the Old Testament prophesies God is pictured as the husband and Israel as his wife. God compels his disobedient and unfaithful wife to come back to him and turn to obedience to him.

So it seems in Scripture we have an example of a husband commanding his rebellious wife to return to him and obey him and whose is our example husband as Christian men? Is it not God himself?

In a followup post to this “7 Ways to Discipline your wife” we will discuss more Bible passages that prove that a husband can and should discipline his wife. In that post we will also discuss some practical ways that a husband can and should discipline his wife.

Conclusion

A Christian wife’s submission to her husband is not voluntary, it is mandatory and synonymous with obedience. A Christian husband has not only the power to discipline his wife, but he has a duty to do this.