Should A Christian Wife Submit to Her Husband’s Sexual Sadism?

“What do you do as a spiritual wife if you know that your husband is aroused by your pain (sexual sadism). And that it is inflicted purposefully? How much of this type of pain is it our duty to endure?”

These were some questions that were sent in on my article “Why A Wife Should Endure Painful Sex with Her Husband”.

What is Sexual Sadism?

The overwhelming vast majority of men would be turned off by their wife expressing any symptoms of pain during sexual intercourse.  This natural response is by the design of God.   Whether it be with our wives, our children, other human beings or even animals the natural human response to pain is that we are uncomfortable with seeing it.

A sadist is one who actually enjoys causing pain, or watching pain being caused to others. A sexual sadist is one who is sexually aroused by causing pain to others.  Some sexual sadists cannot be aroused to sex by any other way except causing the person they are about to have sex with pain. And to continue their arousal during sex they need to continually be causing pain to that person as they are having sex with them.

Unfortunately, though, pain is apart of living in this sin cursed world.  We all experience lesser or greater amounts of pain from various activities.  Some people experience chronic types of pain every day of their lives.  Many common chronic types of pain revolve around neck, back, shoulder, and joint paint that people suffer on a daily basis especially as they age.

Many couples have to overcome chronic neck, shoulder and back pain in order to have sex.

And in some situations, husbands must overcome how their wife’s chronic pain inhibits their sexual arousal. They take no joy or arousal from their wife’s pain, and they must block it out to find any enjoyment in sexual intercourse with her.  They must train their minds to take pleasure from sexual intercourse with their wife DESPITE her pain for the proper bonding of their marriage and to keep from sexual temptation.

A husband who is a sexual sadist is one who is aroused by the pain his wife is having both before or during sex, and he is most aroused by pain that he inflicts on her.  A husband who is not aroused by his wife’s pain, but has sex with her DESPITE her pain for the good of their marriage cannot be classified as a sexual sadist.

The Bible Condemns All Forms of Sadism

The Bible condemns sadism in several passages including the following passage from Mark 7:20-23:

“20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”

The English word “wickedness” found in verse 22 is a translation of the Greek word ‘’Poneria” not to be confused with “Porneia” which refers to sexually immoral acts.  This word refers to taking pleasure from causing others pain.

The English phrase “evil eye” also found in verse 22 is a translation of the Greek words “Poneros” and “Ophthalmos”.  What this phrase refers to is one who derives pleasure from watching another person cause pain to others.

God shows us in Revelation 21:4 that suffering and pain are a result of the corrupting influence of sin on this world:

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” – Revelation 21:4

A man who seeks to cause his wife pain to arouse himself sexually is engaging in wickedness.  1 Corinthians 11:9 tell us of man that he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.  The Scriptures tell us as part of this sacred duty for men to live out the attributes of God that they are to paint a picture of the relationship between Christ and his Church with their wives:

“25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself f or it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.  29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church” – Ephesians 5:25-29

Can we honestly say that Christ gets a kick out of needlessly causing the church pain? The answer is no! While it is absolutely true that Christ disciplines his churches as seen in Revelation 3:19 he does this for their holiness, not because he gets his kicks from causing them pain.

God does not cause his people pain to arouse himself or amuse himself.

A husband is who causes his wife pain to sexually arouse himself is not protecting his wife’s body as he does his own.  When a man causes his wife pain for his own arousal or amusement he is doing the exact opposite of what God calls him to do in Ephesians 5:29.

Husbands Who Use Misuse Biblical Truths to Satisfy their Sadism

Some Christian men take the doctrines of Biblical gender roles and use them for evil instead of for the purposes for which God intended them.  The Scriptures tell us the following principles regarding the roles for which God created men and women:

Principle # 1 – Man is the Head of Woman and Woman Was Made for Man

“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God… Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” – I Corinthians 11:3 & 9

Principle # 2 – Part of God’s Purpose in Making Woman was For Man’s Pleasure

“Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.” – Proverbs 5:18-19

Principle # 3- Women are to Submit to their Husbands in Everything

“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.” – Ephesians 5:22-24

Principle # 4- Women are to Submit Even to Husbands Who Disobey God’s Word

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… For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” – I Peter 3:1-2 & 5-6

Some Christian husbands use these four Biblical principles for evil and not for the purposes for which God intended them.  Instead of using their God given position to image God and paint the picture of Christ and his Church with their wife they use their position for their own evil desires.  And as we have said previously if a man seeks to be aroused by his wife’s pain this is an evil desire.

Some Christian husbands abuse their authority to convince their wife to do horrible and heinous things.

I have corresponded with Christian husbands, professing the name of Christ, who have admitted that they forced their wives to strip naked in the presence of other men and then encouraged those other men to masturbate and ejaculate on their wife.  They would convince their wife that she was not actually having sex with the man because he never physically touched them. Yes this really happened and does happen.

I have conversed with husbands via email who force their wives to endure horrible pain through vaginal fisting or rough anal sex and the more pain they cause their wives the more it turns them on.

Some sadist husbands’ men whip their wives or hurt them in ways that will only leave bruises in places people cannot see and they tell themselves as long as they don’t break any bones or cause a permanent damage this is all fine before God.

I have conversed with men via email who have forced their wives to purposefully wear very revealing clothes to public places and forced them to show nipples to waiters or other men.

These actions of these husbands causing both pain and humiliation to their wives are textbook examples of sexual sadism.

They justify all this behavior by twisting the principle that God made their wives for them and that their wife must obey them in everything.  They convince their wives that even if they ask them to sin, that she bears no consequences and the consequences are all on him.  These men  take their wives through mental conditioning courses breaking down their opposition to these heinous acts teaching them that I Peter 3:1-2 absolves a woman from all sin that her husband commands her to do.

Some men literally have used I Peter 3:1-2 to convince their wife to have full sexual intercourse with other men for their amusement.

So, what has my response been to these men who misuse Biblical truths to get their wives to submit to their sexual sadism?  My response from one man who claims Christ to another who claims Christ has been simple.   REPENT.  What you are doing is wicked and you are perverting what God meant for his glory and not your desire for sin. You must recognize that if you are a Christian man with sadist tendencies these tendencies are NOT from God.  They are a corruption of the sexual nature he designed in you.

You need to repent both to God and to your wife for this evil you have committed against her.  And as a failsafe against you giving into your evil desires again, you need to tell your wife that she must resist your sadism with all her ability if this happens again.  You need to explain to her the principles I will now outline for wives in dealing with their husbands who have sadist desires.

How Should a Christian Wife Respond to Her Husband’s Sexual Sadism?

In a previous article I wrote entitled “Why God Wants You to STAY in an Abusive Relationship” I made the following statements:

“So on the one hand Biblically speaking we do not have to suffer or allow every kind of abuse from every sphere in our life but on the other hand the Bible does not allow us to or encourage us to do what the world says and confront EVERY kind of abuse or mistreatment toward us no matter what the offense is or where it comes from.

We all need to look to Christ’s example of “taking it patiently”.

What I was tackling in that article was the American “abuse” industry.  We are told here in America that we are not to tolerate any kind mistreatment by others.

Many people did not actually fully read that article and did not see the disclaimers I made.  I made it clear that if a person feels their life is threatened, or they are suffering serious physical abuse that causes permanent damage they should get out.  They should seek out the proper authorities for help.

But today we have people saying if a husband or wife calls the other person a name that is “verbal abuse” and they need to get out of that relationship.

Now let’s relate this to a husband engaging in sexual sadism with his wife.  This is definitely an abuse or mistreatment toward his wife.  God did not give a man his wife so that he could arouse himself by causing her pain.  This is evil and wicked in the sight of God.

So how should a Christian wife respond? Some Christian teachers would say she should separate from him and tell him if he does not seek counseling to address the issue, she will divorce him.  The problem with that advice is that it is completely based on emotion and not one ounce of Scripture.  That Bible does NOT allow a person to be divorced or free from their marriage for just any kind of mistreatment by their spouse.  See my article “For what reasons does God allow divorce” for the Scriptural reasons that God allows divorce.

Other Christians teachers will say that a wife must patiently and quietly take sexual sadism from her husband and that she is following Christ’s example in suffering in doing so.

But I would argue when it comes to sexual sadism that if a wife offers no resistance that she is in effect partaking in her husband’s sin.  And that is something the Bible forbids for us to do:

“And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.  But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.  For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

Ephesians 5:2-7

Many women today wrongly believe they are to be the Holy Spirit for their husbands.  They believe they must try to correct their husband’s every sin. This is unbiblical and false. The Apostle Peter gave wives what was to be their default behavior toward their husbands when they acted in disobedient ways against God’s Word:

“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.” – I Peter 3:1-2

So rather than constantly rebuking and chastising their husbands, which is out of place for a wife, she is to win her husband without a word by her submission and reverent behavior toward her husband.

However, there is another Scriptural principle that I Peter 3:1-2 must be balanced against.  The same Apostle Peter who told wives to win their husbands without a word by their submission and reverent behavior also stated the following:

“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” – Acts 5:29

So how do these two Biblical principles harmonize?

If a husband’s disobedience does not require his wife’s participation in his sin, and does not place her life or her children’s lives in imminent danger or risk of serious bodily harm then she is to say and do NOTHING.  She is not to preach the Word at her husband and tell him that he needs to repent.  She is to submit to him and attempt to win him with her life and actions, not her words.

Now what I just said there is a VERY hard pill for most American women, including Christian women, to swallow.  But it is the truth of God’s Word.  You are not his mother, you are not his equal partner, you are his wife which is his subordinate helper.

But if you as a Christian wife are asked to fulfill your husband’s sadist desires by letting him purposefully cause you pain to arouse himself the Ephesians 5:7 principle that you are not to be a partaker in other’s sin comes into play.  You must resist your husband to the best of your ability. 

What I just said I do not say lightly. Just as husbands can abuse their Biblical authority over their wives so too women can abuse God’s rare allowance for them to disobey their husbands.

Christian women – God calls on you to submit to your sinful and disobedient husbands, but you are not to be a willing partaker in his sin, including his sin of sadism.

“Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.” – 1 Timothy 5:22