This article has been moved to my new blog dedicated exclusively to the study of sex from a Biblical perspective. You find it here.
Both Christian and non-Christian men need to stop apologizing for their masculine nature and specifically their masculine sexuality. Men need to stop bowing down to Church leaders and feminists who have joined in an un-holy alliance against masculinity as God designed it.
Before I get into what the Scriptures say and don’t say about this subject of “locker-room talk” by men let’s first look at a couple of incidents that made national headlines in the last few months.
Donald Trump’s “locker-room talk”
The phrase “locker-room talk” made national headlines when a tape of Donald Trump was leaked where he engaged in sexual talk about women. Donald Trump spoke of married women who he had sex with and grabbing women by their genitals. Later he made it clear he was just joking about these things.
Should Christians defend Donald Trump’s locker room talk? No way!
By Biblical standards it would be absolutely wrong for a Christian to engage in adulterous behavior with married women or randomly grab women by their genitals.
“So he that goeth in to his neighbour’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.”
Proverbs 6:29 (KJV)
Christian men should neither joke nor brag about such things or engage in such behaviors.
Should we as Christians take a stand against and discourage our sons from ever speaking even jokingly of sexually assaulting women? Of course, we should.
Should we as Christians take a stand against and discourage our sons from ever joking about trying to convince a woman to have sex with them outside of marriage (whether she is married or not)? Of course, we should.
Clearly Donald’s Trump’s “locker-room talk” included joking about adultery and sexual assault.
But as many men could tell you there are plenty of types “locker-room talk” between men that do not include joking about committing fornication, adultery or sexual assault.
Another type of “locker-room talk”
Contrary to the assertions of raving feminists and others who see most men as potential rapists there are a lot of men that engage in types of locker-room talk that never includes talk about getting women to commit adultery against their husbands or groping women.
Below I have put together a sample of how some men might actually talk when they are away from women.
Just an additional warning for those reading this – I am going to be very real here in showing how men actually talk when they are away from parents, women and the general public.
These are examples of “locker-room talk” that do not include statements about fornication, adultery or sexual assault:
Teenage Boy #1 “What do you think about Mary and Jane?”
Teenage Boy #2 “Well I would rate Mary as 8 with 10 being best. Jane is a probably a 6.”
Teenage Boy #1 “Why do you rate Mary higher than Jane?”
Teenage Boy #2 “I like bigger boobs. Mary’s boobs are just bigger.”
Teenage Boy #1 “I think Mary’s butt is too big though. I just can’t get past that. Jane has a smaller, yet still full butt.”
Teenage Boy #2 “So how would rate them Mary and Jane?”
Teenage Boy #1 “I would give Mary a 5. She is just too big for me. I would give Jane a 7. She has a really nice butt but her breasts are still a little too small to give her a higher rating.”
Teenage Boy #2 “What about Sarah? She has some sexy legs, doesn’t she? If I were rating her on legs alone I will give her a 10! But unfortunately, she has flat chest and a flat butt so I have to give her a 4”.
Teenage Boy #1 “I agree with your rating of a 4 for Sarah – fantastic legs but not much else going for her.”
Teenage Boy #2 “Now Andrea – you have to admit she has the perfect body. She has boobs – not too big and not too small. She has a perfectly sculpted butt and legs to die for. The problem is the face. Her nose is huge and her eyes just don’t look right. She is the very definition of a “butterface”. I guess I would have to rate her as a 7 although I could never see marrying her because for me a woman has to have a pretty face”.
Teenage Boy #1 “I would give Andrea a 10! I could overlook the face for that perfect of a body! And you did not even talk about her hair. Come on from the back she has the most beautiful long hair you would ever see. Speaking of Andrea. Yesterday she had the perfect blouse on. She came over near me in class to talk to one of her girlfriends and as she bent down on the desk to talk to her I got a glimpse of her cleavage. Holy cow did that make my day!”
Conversations like the one I have just described have occurred in various forms using different language among men both young and old, single and married all over the world since the beginning of creation.
So really, we have two types of locker-room talk that men engage in. One is limited to rating women’s sexual attractiveness by rating their various physical features. The other goes beyond simply rating women’s sexual attractiveness and goes into joking about getting women to engage in sex outside of marriage or sexual assault.
The Harvard Soccer Team Scouting Report Scandal
“In what appears to have been a yearly team tradition, a member of Harvard’s 2012 men’s soccer team produced a document that, in sexually explicit terms, individually assessed and evaluated freshmen recruits from the 2012 women’s soccer team based on their perceived physical attractiveness and sexual appeal.
The author and his teammates referred to the nine-page document as a “scouting report,” and the author circulated the document over the group’s email list on July 31, 2012.
In lewd terms, the author of the report individually evaluated each female recruit, assigning them numerical scores and writing paragraph-long assessments of the women. The document also included photographs of each woman, most of which, the author wrote, were culled from Facebook or the Internet.
The author of the “report” often included sexually explicit descriptions of the women. He wrote of one woman that “she looks like the kind of girl who both likes to dominate, and likes to be dominated…
The document and the entire email list the team used that season were, until recently, publicly available and searchable through Google Groups, an email list-serv service offered through Google.”
Harvard’s response was quick and strong:
“The men’s soccer team had performed impressively this season. Harvard was ranked first in the Ivy League, and fifteenth nationwide, within striking distance of both the league tournament and the national N.C.A.A. tournament. There was a strong sense on campus that they had winning left to do. However, after learning that the scouting report was not a unique artifact but part of a tradition that has continued for years, and that members of the team had been less than transparent in their initial interviews, the university decided to cancel the rest of the men’s soccer season.”
This was part of the reaction of the women’s soccer team at Harvard:
“In all, we do not pity ourselves, nor do we ache most because of the personal nature of this attack. More than anything, we are frustrated that this is a reality that all women have faced in the past and will continue to face throughout their lives. We feel hopeless because men who are supposed to be our brothers degrade us like this. We are appalled that female athletes who are told to feel empowered and proud of their abilities are so regularly reduced to a physical appearance. We are distraught that mothers having daughters almost a half century after getting equal rights have to worry about men’s entitlement to bodies that aren’t theirs…”
Here are some more other reactions to the scandal:
“Yet the soccer-team revelations are a sobering reminder that sexist behavior can’t easily be stamped out through rules, regulations, and imposed consequences alone. The problem with “locker-room talk,” whether it takes the form of Trump boasting about groping women or college students ranking the appeal of their peers, is that sexist speech normalizes sexist behavior. In the case of Harvard’s soccer team, what’s extraordinary is that the talk can’t be dismissed as casual or made in passing: it was co-authored, edited, and preserved as an official group record. While we might be resigned to encountering objectifying speech or behavior at a bar or a beer-soaked spring-break party, it’s sobering to see it codified in the form of a shared Google document. In effect, the scouting report became a set of instructions used, year after year, to dehumanize women.”
“The nine-page report full of numeric ratings, photos, and evaluations is shocking in its mix of explicitness, thoroughness, and matter-of-factness. But it’s not surprising. The objectification of women combined with a male sense of entitlement is the kind of thinking that, taken a step further, leads to so many sexual assaults on so many college campuses…”
So, in summary the men’s soccer team at Harvard kept a list of how the men’s team ranked various members of the women’s soccer team. This was a tradition dating back several years. The women’s bodies were ranked in detail according to their various physical attributes, assigned code names and what would be their best potential sexual positions.
Harvard’s response was quick and merciless. They suspended the entire team and canceled the remainder of their season.
Was the Harvard Scouting Report Scandal an attack on women or an attack on men?
Let me first say that I agree that at the very least the Harvard men’s soccer team acted stupidly by placing such a document on a such a public venue as Google groups. But even though they acted stupidly in this regard – no evidence has been presented that shows these team members ever meant for the collection of their sexual thoughts about these women to become public.
But let’s say they had not put the document on Google groups where it could easily be found. What if they had kept the document a closely guarded secret of the team? Would that have made any difference? I believe the answer is YES.
I am by no means saying that every word in this document made by the team was right by Biblical standards.
But the concept of young men ranking women by their sexual attractiveness is NOT an immoral practice or a violation of Biblical principles.
It is also not a crime or an immoral act for young men to privately discuss amongst themselves various physical attributes they like about women whether they know them personally or do not know them personally.
Here is the real truth about this situation that happened at Harvard. Make no mistake the outrage here was not about a soccer team sexually ranking their female counterparts on the women’s soccer team. This incident was simply used as a vehicle with which to allow women to vent their hatred for male sexuality.
Examining key words from the detractors of Harvard Men’s Soccer Team
Both women and men know this is the reality of how male nature operates. While some men may not vocalize their thoughts and many even condemn themselves for having such thoughts both sides acknowledge this as a reality.
It is not uncommon for detractors of the male nature to be frustrated by the fact that they cannot change man’s design.
This word was used in the context of men feeling they were entitled to these women’s bodies. Now as I have shown countless times on the blog from a Biblical perspective a husband is in fact “entitled” to his wife’s body. But that is not what we are discussing here. We are referring to young men who are not married to these women feeling entitled to these women’s bodies.
The problem with this “entitlement” attack against these young men is that there is no language that has been revealed so far that indicates such a thing. Rather this word would apply more to the detractors of men for ranking women by their sexual attractiveness. You see there are many in our culture today that feel they have a right to control the thoughts and feelings of others. The truth is they do not. And only when men willingly give up power over their own thoughts as so many have for the past century can others take power over the thoughts of men.
Webster’s online dictionary defines “sexism” as:
“1 : prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially : discrimination against women
2 : behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex”
The fact is that it is no more “sexist” for men to privately discuss amongst themselves the physical attributes of women around them and rank their sexual appeal than it is for women to privately talk amongst themselves about their feelings on any given subject. In other words, telling men not to talk sexually is the equivalent of telling women not to talk emotionally with one another. Yet our culture fully condemns the former while uplifting the latter.
When people refer to men “dehumanizing women” or “objectifying women” they are saying the same thing. They are implying that when a man finds a woman sexually attractive and speaks of her body and its various parts that he has reduced her to an inanimate object to be used and discarded as we would any other inanimate object.
But what these attackers of masculinity miss is that it does not dehumanize a person to view them for their “function” rather than their “person”. We do this all the time in many areas of life without realizing it.
When both men and women get together to assemble their fantasy football teams they are not looking at these football players for their personhood, but rather for their sports function. What are each player’s strengths and weaknesses as it pertains to football? That is all that matters in this scenario.
When a military commander puts together a special operations team he is not looking at the personhood of these men but rather their military function. Each man has unique abilities and functions that when put together serves their intended overall function.
There are countless other examples where we look at people all the time for the potential functional ability in any given scenario yet we do not look down at these other types of objectification.
So, it is ok to make a fantasy list of real football players and rank them based on their potential football ability yet it is seen as morally repugnant for men to make a list of women at their school and rank their bodies based on their sexual appeal and fantasize about their sexual ability? Do we not see the inconsistency here?
The fact is it does NOT dehumanize a person to see them for their function – whether it be their potential athletic ability, singing ability, fighting ability (as in military members) or women for their sexual appeal and potential ability to bring sexual pleasure to a man.
Yes men naturally see women as objects to be enjoyed for their sexual pleasure. However it is precisely because the vast majority of men ALSO see women as persons that they do not just grab women and try to have sex with them. Rapists only see women as objects of sexual pleasure and not also as persons and this is the huge difference.
The last word I want to discuss from the detractors of male sexuality is the word “assault”. The implication is that if men feel free to sexually rank women that this would lead men to sexually assault women.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The same logic is used by those who attack men for looking at and enjoying pornography. One of the attacks against porn use by men has been something like this “men who sexually assaulted women all report looking at some type of porn first”. We are then lead to believe that one lead to the other.
But this is akin to saying “all rapists and molesters ate food. Therefore, eating food causing people to become rapists”. The point is this line of logic is utterly ridiculous.
If a man sexually assaults or rapes a woman it was because it was always in his heart to do this . It was only a matter of the right opportunity arising and him getting up the nerve to act on his evil desires. Watching porn did not cause him to do it and neither did sexually ranking women cause him to do it. It was there all the time.
The reality is that the vast majority of men who watch porn or sexually rank women never assault a woman and don’t even entertain fantasies of assaulting women. They entertain fantasies of consensual sex – not rape.
What if the Harvard women’s soccer team had done something like this?
Imagine if the women’s soccer team had assigned each one of its members to research the personalities and various characteristics of each of the male soccer players and they made a similar list from a female perspective?
I am sure it would be have been far less sexual and more personality oriented. This because of the difference of how women operate from men. Women for the most part are relational and men are physical. I don’t doubt that on some level even if it was never documented that some of the women’s soccer team members did talk about various men on the men’s soccer team as to which ones they found attractive and why.
But I doubt even if the women had ranked the men’s team even in a more feminine(so more personality and less sexual way) nothing would have happened. If the list was made public everyone would have had a good laugh and nothing would have happened.
The Christian response to “locker-room talk”
Karen Prior writing for Christianity today wrote the following comment in her article entitled “Call Out Locker Room Talk for the Sin That It Is”:
“Now the current debate over “locker room talk,” I’m happy to report, highlights our decreasing acceptance of the old, broken morality that “boys will be boys.” …
Not long ago, my husband, a public high school teacher and coach, was in a car with two of his students. One spotted a female jogger up ahead and made a couple of lascivious comments. To the boy’s surprise, my husband responded by pulling up alongside the jogger, lowering the passenger side window where the student was sitting, and saying to him, “I’d like you to meet my wife.”
It’s a funny story. But it’s funny only because of how it ended. That “locker room talk” turned into a teachable moment for a man-in-the-making: make that two men-in the making, because after driving away, the second boy, seated wide-eyed in the back seat the entire time, asked my husband if he was going to “beat up” the other boy for what he said. Instead, my husband sternly but lovingly lectured both students, first about respecting women and then about resolving conflicts peacefully. What my husband did in that moment is what all good men must rise up and do when locker room talk enters the conversation.”
The opinion of this Christian writer would probably be very common amongst most Christians. “Locker-room talk” in all its forms whether it be comments like Donald Trump’s or even seemingly less comments about a woman’s behind are equally sinful their opinion.
She mentions that the young man made some “lascivious comments” about the jogger (which he did not realize was the coach’s wife). I am going to take a guess at what the young man may have said.
“Look at the body on that woman. Her butt is amazing”.
Now is this a “lascivious comment” by Biblical standards?
“Lasciviousness” is the old English word for what we now call “sensuality”. It was a translation of the Greek word “Aselgeia” which literally means “out of control” or “over indulgence”. What it was referring to was someone who had an addiction or overindulged in some type of physical pleasure and it was not restricted to sexually related pleasure. A drunkard would be guilty of engaging in “Aselgeia”. While thinking about sex or even enjoying the view of beautiful women whether in person or in print or on a screen is not sinful it can become sinful if it becomes obsessive and the central focus of our life. When our pursuit of any earthly pleasure causes us to neglect our relationship with God, our spouse, our children or our other responsibilities then something that was not sinful at first can become sinful.
But make no mistake – a man enjoying the physical pleasure of a plate of food at his favorite restaurant as well as that boy enjoying the sight of that beautiful jogger is not lascivious, lustful or sinful.
There is a common belief amongst Christians that if a man is sexually aroused by, has thoughts about or speaks words reflecting his arousal and thoughts about a woman he is not married to that this is sinful behavior. Some may not call it lascivious as this writer did. They may instead call it lustful. But the problem with such thinking is there is absolutely no Scriptural backing for such a position. It is based on culture, opinion and peer pressure alone.
The fact is that God designed male sexuality and no he did not originally design some magical switch in men that they would only be aroused by a woman once they were married. Some people actually believe this ridiculous theory because they cannot accept the male visual and physical arousal mechanisms as God given. It is a sin, in their view, for a person to experience or exercise any part of their sexuality before being married. This is why they preach so hard against masturbation and sexual fantasy.
Now lest someone get the wrong idea. I teach on this blog what the Bible teaches. The only sexual relations God honors are between a man and woman in the holy covenant of marriage as the book of Hebrews states:
“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”
Hebrews 13:4 (KJV)
But young people experiencing and exercising their sexuality, rather than sexual relations, before marriage is NOT forbidden. There is no sin in a young man or young woman experiencing sexual pleasure from a sexual dream or sexual thought about a person of the opposite sex. It is what we do with those thoughts that become sinful. It is when we allow our sexual arousal to turn in sexual covetousness which is what lust is. It is when we start thinking about how we can convince someone to have sex outside of marriage.
But aren’t men engaging in impure speech when they talk about sexually related things?
The most common phrase that is assigned by Christian leaders to men talking together about women in a sexual manner is the word “impure”. These thoughts about women’s body parts or about sexual fantasies about women are said to be “impure”.
There are many articles on Christian websites that exhort men to not engage in any sexual thoughts(fantasies) or sexually explicit speech with other men so that they may remain pure. Here are some common verses that are used to support this position.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. “
Philippians 4:8 (KJV)
“3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5 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.”
Ephesians 5:3-5 (KJV)
So here is what happens in the typical church men’s youth group or young college men’s class.
They are told that sexual talk between men that compare’s women’s bodies or talks about women’s body parts or any talk of sexual fantasies is by definition “impure”, “filthy” or “dirty” talk. Then the speaker will ask men “Can you honestly say when you are talking about those women’s bodies that are speaking in a pure way? Is that a lovely way to speak about women? Or is it dirty and disrespectful? We all know the answer that is impure speech based on impure thoughts”.
If you have been raised in most Christian churches you will recognize this speech or a variation of it.
If you as a Christian man ever hear this speech about Christian men engaging in impure speech in connection with men talking sexually about women here are some questions you should ask the teacher or speaker when they open the room for questions or discussion.
“How do you know that talking about women’s body parts is impure speech? Where does the Bible call such speech by men impure?”
If the teacher responds with Matthew 5:28 that “Well Jesus said that if a man looks with lust on woman then he is committing adultery in his heart”. Then you can respond with these questions for your teacher about lust.
“But what is lust? Doesn’t the Bible tell us in Romans 7:7 that lust is covetousness? And isn’t covetousness the desire to unlawfully possess something that does not belong to us? Where does the Bible teach that sexual arousal, sexual fantasy or talking about women’s bodies or body parts is lust?”
At this point your teacher’s head will be spinning because unfortunately most Christian teachers simply parrot what they have been taught in their church, college or seminary. I understand that many of these preachers and teachers are good men with good intentions. They only want to please God with their lives. But because of how they been indoctrinated both by their church as well as our culture they cannot see sexual talk between men as anything less than dirty or impure.
They might for good measure throw one more verse at you to try and support their faulty belief that men sexually ranking women’s bodies is dirty and impure.
“I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?”
There is actually a website called CovenantEyes.com that bases it’s mission on this verse. They and other Christians claim that Job was saying in this verse that he made a covenant with eyes never to think sexually about a woman he was not married to.
The problem is the Scripture don’t say that. We agree that men can have wrong thoughts about women. But we disagree on what those wrong thoughts are. So here is how you answer you teacher if he brings up Job’s covenant with his eyes not to think upon a maid:
“Sir should we not be careful of adding to God’s Word? We know that Job was saying he would not think about something about a woman. What does the Bible tell us we should not think about regarding women? It tells us not to think about seducing virgin women to have sex with us outside of marriage right? It tells us not to engage in prostitution right? So we should not think about seeing prostitutes right? It tells us not to think about seducing our neighbor’s wife right? So how can we add something to wrong thoughts that God never adds? Are you not adding a condemnation of men talking about women’s bodies to God’s Word?”
I have actually had this conversation with several pastors both in email and some of my friends on the phone. They never have clear answers to these questions because they have never questioned the Christian culture they have been raised in.
But isn’t it wrong to compare women’s beauty or say one woman is not as attractive as another?
There are some people – both Christian and non-Christian who believe it is morally wrong to ever directly compare two women and say one is more attractive than the other. But the Bible shows us this is not the case:
“Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.”
Genesis 29:17 (KJV)
We don’t know exactly what “tender eyed” meant but we know whatever it meant – it is was the opposite of “beautiful and well favoured” which is what Rachel was.
God literally told us in his word that Rachel was hot and Leah was not.
But in this area of rating beauty we as men need to practice discretion. God was not saying we should walk up to two women and say to one “You know she is so much better looking than you!”. That is not the right time and place for a man to express such a thought.
Now if you were with your guy friends alone and you wanted to express the fact that you thought one sister was hot and the other was not there would be no sin in that. Again, so many things in the Christian life come down to time and place.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (KJV)
What was the lesson those boys could have learned?
If that coach had understood what the true meaning of lust and lascivious are in the Bible he could have had a very different conversation with those boys. Instead of scolding that boy for his God given male sexuality he could have helped him to understand it and channel it.
The right way to handle that scenario could have gone as follows.
After the comments the boy made about how sexy the jogger was the coach still could have pulled over and introduced the woman as his wife. Of course, the boy would blush and feel embarrassed as he did in the actual story.
Then when the other boy asked him if he was going to “beat him up” for what he said he could have said “Why would I beat him up for having the same thoughts about my wife that I did when I first met her?” He could have been honest about his male sexuality instead of hiding and condemning himself and every other man for having the same nature. Contrary to popular belief today – the masculine sexual nature is not equivalent to the sin nature. Has man’s masculine nature been corrupted by sin just as woman’s feminine nature has been corrupted by sin? Yes. But in its original design the masculine nature is a beautiful nature.
The coach could have then helped the boy who made the comments about his wife’s body with these words:
“It is normal for you to have these thoughts about women. God gave you these desires. God is the one who designed your brain to give you pleasure signals when you see a beautiful woman like my wife. But you need to channel that God given gift and don’t misuse it. It is one thing for you to privately say to me and other guys what you find attractive in various women’s bodies. But it would have been very different if you had yelled out the window to that jogger – “He babe you got a nice ass!” as you go barreling by in your car. That would be disrespectful behavior toward women.
Also, I want to address the whole “do I want to beat him up” question you asked. It is one thing If you know that a woman is married or in a relationship with the man you are with then you need to be careful of your words with him about her. He may be sensitive about men complimenting his wife’s beauty. Now if he seems to invite you to tell him what you find attractive about his wife then it may be ok but still be careful.
But there is a lesson for you if you are the man whose woman that is. How can you be angry at another man for having the EXACT same thoughts you know you had about your girlfriend or wife? It is extremely hypocritical and illogical for you to do so. Now if that man is flirting with your girlfriend or wife or acting like he wants to seduce them that is a whole other story. You have a right to be angry then. But even then, we don’t settle these kinds of differences with violence. We use our words – not our fists.
I also want you to realize that while it is ok for you to exercise your God given male sexuality by enjoying the sight of and thoughts about beautiful women and even masturbation – it is not ok to have sex outside of marriage. You need to guard your thoughts from being just sexually pleasurable to being sexually lustful. You need to keep yourself from being in sexually tempting positions with girls that you date where you will be tempted to have sex outside of marriage.”
Now what I have just described would have been a healthy and Biblically based conversation about male sexuality. Instead those two boys walked away feeling condemned for being aroused by that beautiful jogger.
Male sexuality has been assaulted in many ways since shortly after the birth of Christian asceticism during the life of the Apostles. While Christianity today has shook off many parts of Christian asceticism remnants of it remain in our Christian culture. Not only that but our secular cultural which has been poisoned by feminism attacks male sexuality as well. So, in way men are getting double teamed by Church leaders as well as secular feminist leaders.
I can’t tell you how encouraging it has been to me to receive emails from Pastors, teachers and Christian men and women from all over the world whose are eyes are finally being opened to false attacks on male sexuality.
Young men are actually joining in small groups to discuss my writings on this subject of male sexuality from a Biblical perspective.
As I said earlier in this article – I do not agree with Donald Trump’s “locker-room talk” comments. He was joking about trying to get women to commit adultery and sexual assault and neither of these topics should be joked about by men.
But this does not make all “locker-room talk” by men sinful. Men certainly need to practice discretion with how they engage in this talk. The men’s soccer team at Harvard did not practice discretion when the put their “Scouting Report” on a publicly available server where someone might find it.
But if men practice the Biblical principle of “time and place”(Ecclesiastes 3:1) and speak about women’s bodies amongest themselves in way that does not joke about sinful behavior(as Donald Trump did) then there is no sin in this. No man should ever be ashamed of such speech when it is done in the right place and right time.
And for my Christian friends who will say “whatever you say in private you should be able to say in public” there is no Biblical principle or command that backs up such a statement. In fact it is wise and godly to hold our tongue on a host of issues and speak to people privately about certain things. And from a marriage front I would bet each and every one of these people would not want their private sexually related speech with their spouses made public. So this argument that just because you need to reserve certain speech for controlled settings that it is wrong has no Scriptural basis whatsoever.
I do believe though that these events with Donald Trump and the “Scouting Report” incident at Harvard provide us with a great opportunity to call out the misuse of the male sexual nature but at the same time make a strong defense of the male sexual nature as God intended it to be.
It is all too common today for women to see their desires as deep and meaningful “needs” while their husband’s desires are selfish “wants”. The truth is that God designed men and women to come together as “one flesh” and in it’s most literal sense “one flesh” refers to sex.
“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.”
Ephesians 5:31 (KJV)
While both men and women have a desire for physical and emotional intimacy men typically have the strongest desire for physical intimacy and women typically have the strongest desire for emotional intimacy.
A woman must respect her husband’s stronger desire for sexual intimacy as much as she wants her husband to respect her stronger desire for emotional intimacy.
All of us as men and women better understand one another when we can relate our different needs to one another. For instance one thing I mentioned in the list above is that a man desires to know his wife’s body in the same way a woman desires to know her husband’s heart.
If wives were to really think about that they might better relate to their husband’s desire in this way. Ladies your husband wants to explore(and re-explore) every part of your body in the same way that you want to explore(and re-explore) every part of his heart. Often times when women hold back parts of their body or refuse to let their husbands see them naked they will find that he will in turn hold back parts of his heart from them.
In the list above I have tried to tastefully, yet symbolically show several distinct areas of sexuality that are important to most men. If you need a translation for each one then let me know – but I think you all should get the point.
The main point to take away from this is, if you as a wife want to have a successful marriage you must view your husband’s sexual needs as outlined above as just as important, deep and meaningful as your desires which I compared them too.
Also don’t fall into the trap of – “well he does not do all those things(or any of those things), so when he does all those things then I might do some of those things”. This should not be the attitude of a godly Christian wife. I encourage you to view these things as not only an act of love, but also as an act of submission to your husband.
Wives- God commands that your husband be ravished(intoxicated) by your body and your sexual love toward him. But he cannot be intoxicated by that which is held back or not freely given to him.
“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 5:19 (KJV)
This post has been updated and moved to my new site dedicate exclusively to the topic of sex from a Biblical perspective. You can find the updated version of this article on that new site here.
Any successful Christian marriage is going to require “reboots” from time to time. Troubled marriages are often the marriages that suffer from a lack of regular reboots or if they do reboots they do them in an unhealthy manner.
An example of “reboots” in the computer world
A “reboot” in the computer world is when a computer is completely shut down and then restarted. From a technical perspective when a computer reboots everything in the RAM (Random Access Memory) is cleared out and then when the computer restarts the RAM is repopulated by reloading the operating system and other applications from the hard drive back into the RAM.
I work in the IT industry as a developer and sometimes as a system administrator (I wear many hats). In our industry we know that regular reboots of computers are essential to the health and performance of a computer and that is why we actually schedule them on a regular basis.
Sometimes a computer may have processes “hang” in between reboot cycles so we may have to do “off schedule” reboots.
All healthy marriages need reboots
In the same way that computers regularly need reboots so too our marriages often need reboots. Just like a computer our marriages can sometimes get to a point where they “hang” and do not properly work.
6 Examples of everyday situations that require marital reboots
- The husband has a bad day at work or a hard time fighting traffic and he comes home and speaks sternly to his wife not because of anything she has done but really because of his own bad mood.
- The husband has a fine day at work but his wife has had a stressful day with the kids and rips his head off the minute he comes in the door.
- A husband has to correct his wife’s sinful behavior and she does not take it well and storms off.
- A wife shares a grievance she has with her husband and he does not take it well and storms off or he cuts her off and ends the discussion abruptly.
- A husband goes to initiate sex with his wife and she turns him down even if for a legitimate reasons.
- A wife tries to talk with her husband and he tells her he is busy with something else at the time and can’t talk.
There are many more examples that could be given but I think these examples give us an idea of situations in marriage that may require marriage reboots.
The reason for reboots
The reason for a reboot is to restore full functionality to a computer and in the same way marital reboots are needed to restore full functionality to a marriage. Just as a computer is designed to function in certain ways God designed marriage to function in specific ways. When these functions are performed properly then Christian marriage rightly resembles the relationship between God and his people, but when any of these functions are lacking then our marriages are not functioning as God designed them to and we cease to properly model the relationship between God and his people.
These are key “functions” that God expects from every marriage:
- The wife is to submit unto her husband as unto God in everything (Ephesians 5:22-24)
- The husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church and sacrifice himself in many ways to help make his wife holy (Ephesians 5:25-27)
- The wife is to reverence her husband (Ephesians 5:33)
- The husband is to love his wife as he loves his own body and protect her and provide for her as he would his own body (Ephesians 5:28-29)
- The husband and wife have a duty to come together as “one flesh” in the act of sexual relations (I Corinthians 7:3-5)
- The wife has a right to bring grievances and concerns before her husband in a kind and respectful manner. (Job 31:13-15)
- The husband has the right and responsibility to discipline his wife in an attempt to make her holy (Ephesians 5:25-27 & Revelation 3:19)
- The husband has a responsibility to live with his wife according to knowledge and this means he must talk with her and spend time with her so he can know her (I Peter 3:7)
The costs of not rebooting a marriage
When we do not reboot our marriages after experiencing any kind of friction or when we have delayed fulfilling our marital duty to our spouse that can break the fellowship and harmony between a husband and wife that God intends there to be in all marriages.
In the same way that a computer lags, slows down or freezes when it is in need of a reboot this is what happens when we delay reboots in our marriages. Both verbal and physical communication between a husband and wife suffer as a result. Some marriages go on like this for weeks, months, years and sometimes even decades!
Imagine that you never rebooted your computer at home for a year? In most cases that computer would not be operating in a healthy manner as it was intended to. But too often we allow our marriages to go on for great lengths of time without the reboots that are needed to restore the fellowship and harmony in a marriage.
The cost of rebooting improperly
A computer does not just need to be rebooted regularly, but it also needs to be rebooted in the right way. Rebooting your computer improperly over a long length of time will cause even more problems that not rebooting the computer.
If you just abruptly turn off a computer by unplugging the back of it you may cause corruptions to the hard drive of the computer. You may also cause problems to other components of the computer doing this. Instead you need to properly reboot your computer by shutting it down through the computer interface in an orderly manner.
In the same way some couples improperly reboot their marriages. There are two primary ways that couples improperly reboot their marriages:
- The silent treatment – This where either one or both spouses are upset or angry at the other and communication ceases for a period. Then after several hours or even days of this silence they just start talking again like nothing happened.
- End of discussion – This is where one of the spouses gives the “end of discussion” flag and refuses to discuss the situation any further but normal communications continue afterward without any period of silence between the couple.
Obviously the silent treatment is not good for any marriage but I want to discuss the “End of discussion” reboot method. There are some times especially as husbands with our wives or as parents to our children that we may have to throw an “End of discussion” flag out there. Anyone who has a teenager has had to use this flag in a conversation many times.
Husbands though are often afraid to use this with their wives but I think there are sometimes where a wife will continue going on and on and men have to use this “End of discussion” flag with their wife. I saw with my parents as well as many other couples when a wife would continue arguing with her husband especially in front of people and husbands have to throw out that “End of discussion” flag to their wives.
But as husbands we need to careful to not over use the “End of discussion” flag as a way not to ever hear grievances from our wives or even our children. But we must convey to our wives and children that grievances need to be made in a respectful way and in the right setting.
The wife’s use of the “End of discussion” flag with her husband is a little more problematic. Imagine if your teen abruptly stopped you as you were telling them something you did not like that they did and they tried to use the “End of discussion” flag with you. Most parents would have no part of that. In the same way I don’t see a way where God allows a wife to cut her husband off when he is discussing a problem he has with something she has done.
However, there is nothing wrong with a wife saying “lets agree to disagree” as a husband cannot control his wife’s beliefs or feelings on an issue. He can and should though attempt to control and mold her actions through proper discipline. What that means is a husband and wife may disagree on whether something was right or wrong that happened in the past. They may disagree on what to do about something going forward.
But here is the key – the wife even though she may still disagree with her husband about what to do going forward must submit to his way unless he is asking her to directly sin against God.
6 Ways to properly reboot your marriage
Now that we have discussed the need to reboot our marriages and the wrong way to do reboots we will now discuss the RIGHT way to reboot you marriage in these common situations.
- If you as a husband had a bad day at work and you come home and yell at your wife you need to reboot your marriage by going to your wife and apologizing to her.
- If you as the wife had a bad day at home and you rip your husbands head off you need to reboot your marriage by going to your husband and apologizing to him.
- If you as a husband realize that you just cut your wife off with an “End of discussion” while she was trying to share a grievance she had with you (and this was not something you have previously discussed where she is nagging about the same thing over and over) you need to reboot your marriage by going to her and apologizing and then let her express her concern or grievance.
- If you as a wife had a strong disagreement with your husband and walked off in an angry manner you need to reboot your marriage by going to your husband and apologizing. If you still have an honest disagreement with him tell him that even though you still disagree you WILL continue to follow his leadership and you will NOT continue to badger him about your disagreement over the issue.
- If you as a husband turned your wife away when she needed to talk you need to reboot your marriage by coming to her as soon as you can and asking her what she needed to talk about.
- If you as a wife turned down your husband for sex for wrong reasons you need to reboot your marriage by apologizing to him and then you need to initiate sex with him. Even if you turn you husband down for sex for legitimate reasons you still need to reboot the marriage by initiating sex with him as soon as you can.
What all six of these methods have in common is they require us as husbands and wives to truly examine ourselves and compare our actions with God’s Word and his model for marriage. When a husband and wife have broken fellowship their marriage is not operating as God intended it to.
The importance of sexual reboots
While all six points I just mentioned where reboots are needed are important if we had to rank them Biblically speaking the “sexual reboot” is the most important. Some people might say “well you are just saying that because you are a man” but that could not be further from the truth.
God warns men in I Peter 3:7 about not knowing their wives (talking to them and spending time with them) telling men that God will not hear their prayers if they ignore their wives in this area. But if we look at I Corinthians it seems to convey a great sense of urgency of not allowing a lot of time to go between times of sexual intimacy:
“Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” – I Corinthians 7:5 (KJV)
Ladies remember – God calls marriage a “one flesh” relationship and at the heart of this one flesh relationship should be regular sexual relations.
Also a lot of women wrongly think if they gently and kindly give their husbands a rain check that he should just come back and ask for sex again at another point.
But what women fail to realize is that initiating sex for most men puts them in a very vulnerable position. When a man initiates sex with his wife it is the equivalent of an animal rolling on its back and showing its soft underbelly. So when a woman turns her husband down when he is in this vulnerable state even for legitimate reasons it really sets some men back. They need to know that it is ok to make themselves vulnerable in this way once again.
Men need to be able to trust that when they initiate sex and make themselves vulnerable that their wives will not turn them away. Each time a woman denies or even delays her husband that trust from her husband is weakened. This is why it is so important for a woman to restore her husband’s trust that she will meet his sexual needs by initiating sex with him as soon as possible after giving him a rain check.
Also a reminder on sexual rainchecks – some women give rain checks far too easily when they could meet their husband’s sexual needs in other ways. So what that means practically speaking for you Christian ladies is if your vagina is “out of service” due to medical reasons (pregnancy, periods, infections) God gave you other ways to help you husband. This should make sexual rain checks extremely rare in one’s marriage.
Some marriages require a “reinstall” rather than just a “reboot”
Sometimes an operating system on a computer is simply defective or corrupted. Anybody remember Windows Vista? Ok for those of you who are not in the computer world Windows Vista was probably the worst version of Windows Microsoft ever had and they quickly had to scrap it and move to Windows 7 shortly thereafter.
In the same way with marriages some marriages have a faulty operating system. For example a man and woman might have married as unbelievers so they went into marriage using the egalitarian “operating system”. Other Christians may simply have had a corrupt or substandard form of complentarian marriage. In either case sometimes a Christian couple when they truly want to honor God with their marriage may have to do a “reinstall” of their entire marriage operating system.
I have received several emails over the past two years from couples that have told me they had to do just that – a reinstall. It takes work from both sides. It is difficult for men who have never lead their homes to suddenly lead and it is difficult for women who have never submitted to their husbands to suddenly submit. But I thank God every time I receive an email from Christian couples who have decided to take this “reinstall” approach to make their marriage be what God intended it to be.
Well after reading this article you may have come away with two good things – how to keep your computer healthy and how to keep your marriage healthy.
But in all seriousness – we as believers in Christ need to examine ourselves daily and constantly be looking to see if we as the husband or the wife need to reboot our marriage. It requires humility and obedience to God in order to do this.
This article has been updated and moved to my new site dedicated exclusively to the topic of sexuality from a Biblical perspective. You can find the updated version here.
I received a letter today from a woman who married a man she was never attracted to when both he and she were not believers. She said she married him for wrong reasons. Now she has become a believer and he is still an unbeliever.
She has embraced the Bible’s teachings on the submission of wives to their husbands and wants to serve her husband and see him come to Christ if it is God’s will. But she greatly struggles with her lack of physical attraction to him. In fact she is so un-attracted to him that it makes having sex with him very difficult.
When she was an unbeliever she did not try to meet his sexual needs but now she has changed her behavior and given herself freely to her husband – a man she has absolutely no physical attraction to. She does her best to fake it, sometimes even holding back tears.
He has no idea that she has absolutely no physical attraction to him. In fact he is excited by her renewed interest in having sex with him and is very excited about how their relationship has changed and asking if it was good for her and what he can do better.
But if there is no physical attraction what can she do? Should she continue to fake it as she has been? Should she hide her lack of physical attraction to her husband? Is she being disingenuous to him and herself by carrying on like this? Should she tell him the truth that she has never been attracted to him and she just fakes enjoyment when having sex with him?
She also made it clear she knows God wants her to stay with him for life and she has no intention of leaving him as she once did when she was an unbeliever. But what should she do? This was her question to me. We will just call her “Amanda” even though that is not her real name.
This was the email I sent back to Amanda
Amanda – let me say first and foremost that I am so happy you came to Christ and accepted him as your savior.
I am also so happy that you accepted God’s will and plan for your life that marriage is for life and that God means for you to honor, obey and love your husband despite your lack of attraction to him.
Now I will answer your questions with a story.
There was a young man from Kentucky who heard from a missionary to Japan speaking in his church one Sunday. The missionary spoke of the need for Christian missionaries in the country of Japan. The young country boy immediately felt the calling of God on his life to be a missionary to Japan. He graduated high school went to Bible college and learned the skills he needed to be a missionary. He learned the language. But one thing that he was always scared of was the food!
He was a fried chicken and steak man. Japan is seafood country and he hated seafood with a passion! The smell of it disgusted him. The texture of it disgusted him. The taste of it disgusted him. He told himself that God would work it out – after all they still have hamburgers in Japan right?
Well the years went by and that man married a wonderful woman and had his first child and was on his way to Japan as a missionary. Once he was there in Japan the first thing he looked for were restaurants that would sell beef and chicken! He was so happy to find them. But as he began his ministry to the people of Japan he found himself constantly being offered various seafood dishes by people who came to his ministries and he would politely turn him down. A fellow missionary took him aside and told him that his constant turning down of the Japanese food was hindering his ministry and was offensive to many people.
He prayed and ask God to help him to do two things.
“Lord the first thing I am asking you for is to help me cultivate a desire for seafood even though I am disgusted by it so that I can serve your people here in Japan better. The second thing I am asking for is for you to help me fake that I like it until I actually do.”
Amanda – this applies to you. The most important mission God has given you is serving your husband. You may actually be able to help bring him to Christ by continuing to submit to him as you have been doing. You need to pray that same prayer that missionary to Japan did. Your lack of attraction and your repulsion to your husband is hindering your ministry to him. I would suggest you pray this prayer and pray it often:
“Lord the first thing I am asking you for is to help me cultivate a desire and attraction to my husband even though I have no attraction to him so that I can serve this man you have given me to serve and perhaps he will come to you because of my respectful behavior toward him. The second thing I am asking for is for you to help me fake that I like it until I actually do.”
Amanda – I believe these two passages of Scripture speak to what you need to do with your husband:
“1 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.
3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
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.” – I Peter 3:1-6 (KJV)
“And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him…
For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?” – I Corinthians 7:13 & 16 (KJV)
I believe many Christian men and women can learn from Amanda’s story and her courage to do what is right despite their feelings. Some may have married a spouse who they were never attracted to. Maybe they were attracted at one point and lost their physical attraction over many years.
But I think that we need to do our best to cultivate an attraction toward our spouse – the person we have made a life long commitment to before God. We need to ask God for help in this area. Maybe we will never be fully attracted to them but God can help us fake it when we need to.
As I have said many times on this site “faking it” whether it be in things our spouses likes to do, attraction to our spouse or even in the bedroom is all part of being an adult. It is part of what it means to be a Christian. We need to put a smile on and do what God has called us to do even when we don’t feel like it.
Now does this let spouses off the hook who totally let themselves go and don’t have good hygiene? No. We have an obligation to keep ourselves as clean an attractive as we reasonably can for our spouses. There are times where we may need to delicately speak about things like excessive weight gain and lack of basic hygiene. But I don’t think God wants us to just tell our spouse there is no physical attraction and there never will be. There is no way that this would build a relationship and make it better.
If a Kentucky man who loves chicken and hamburgers can learn to enjoy eating octopus in Japan a woman can over time learn to enjoy sex with her husband to whom she currently has no physical attraction.
While this is certainly not the first time Biblical Gender Roles has been featured on other blogs, it is probably the highest profile features that have been done on this blog.
I was contacted today by two reporters, one from the Huffington Post and one from Daily Mail regarding my post “How a husband can enjoy sex that is grudgingly given by his wife”.
I was pleased that both reporters fairly represented my views. Obviously they both did a negative spin on my views but I expected that.
Some might ask why I would be happy that my blog was featured based on an article I wrote telling men to not look at their wives faces if they are grudgingly giving sex. The reason is because God’s Word was displayed on a very public stage. I am not concerned with all those who will disagree, and the minions that disagree with me on a daily basis. This ministry is for those few who will listen to what God’s Word says and will see their lives transformed as a result.
My critics ask all the time why I write about sex as if I am some sex obsessed person. The truth is if you look over my blog carefully I talk about a lot more than sex here. I talk about living as God designed us to and living according to his will and his purpose for our lives.
If I am able to spread the Word of God, especially as it relates to his distinct plans for men and women that is all that matters to me. I don’t care what vehicle God uses to do that. As I have said here many times this is about way more than sex. Sex is just the tip of the iceberg. But once we realize what submission looks like in the area of sex in marriage, and accept our duty there – it then becomes easier for us to accept our duties to one another in many areas of marriage and life.
The two articles can be found here:
Rollo Tomassi runs “The Rational Male” blog and his “Red Pill” teachings have become very popular in the manosphere (He also has a couple of books). He attacks the falsehoods of feminism primarily from a sociological and psychological perspective as opposed to the way I attack feminism on this blog primarily from a theological perspective and only secondarily from a psychological and sociological perspective.
He recently sent in a comment on my post “How a husband can enjoy sex that is grudgingly given by his wife”. Rather than just post a comment to him there, I felt my response to Rollo warranted its own post because I think it would be beneficial for my readers to see where Rollo and I agree and disagree on how men can tackle feminism in their marriages.
“While I might not endorse overt Dread for Christian men… http://therationalmale.com/2012/03/27/dread-games/
I would advise they become more aware of the opportunities that passive Dread represents in their marriages: http://therationalmale.com/2013/05/13/soft-dread/
Most Beta Christian men (which is to say 90%+) will proactively try to diffuse the sexual anxiety and tension necessary to inspire the ‘desired’ sex you describe here. They believe the pro-feminine lie that rapport, comfort and familiarity is what leads to sexual desire so they make every attempt to convince their wives that they have no need to worry or feel insecure that any other woman would want them sexually, much less appreciate them for being ‘good christian men’.
What they fail to grasp is that passionate sex inspired by genuine desire is the result of insecurity, anxiety and sexual tension. Most Christian men are conditioned to bypass this phase in seducing their wives, thinking that comfort and security are what will prompt her to being more sexual, but in doing so they kill the vibe before it can build. Comfort and rapport are post-orgasm, oxytocin effects, but Christian men believe they are prerequisites for sex. For the most part they are deathly afraid to embrace and exaggerate the uncertainty, spontaneity, anxiety and tension women need to feel sexual urgency.
You make sex another chore for a woman when you negotiate for her desire. Genuine desire cannot be negotiated. If you find yourself in a sexless (or passionless sex) relationship with your wife you need to embrace using soft dread situations to prompt her imagination. A woman’s imaginings are the best tool in you seduction toolbox, learn how to inspire them.
Make your wife unintentionally uncomfortable. Sexuality is spontaneous chemical reaction between two parties, not a process of negotiation. By its very nature passionate, desired sex is a result of being uncomfortable, uncertain and urgent. It might be an uncomfortable truth to most Christian men, but the best, most memorable, married sex you have won’t be the result of a pre-planned “Date Night” where you stage manage every event and nuance in advance; it will be the rough, hard-core, make-up sex you never thought you’d have after a near breakup inspired by the anxiety of the thought of never having you around anymore. “
My Response to Rollo
I have read many articles on your blog and I do find some truth about male/female interactions in what you say there. You and I would agree there are many lies propagated by feminism, some of them psychological and others sociological. Your blog is proof that that you need not be a Christian or even crack open a Bible to see feminism is a poisonous ideology.
The Biblical purposes of Marriage
But for me as a Christian, I have to look at marriage from a Biblical point of view. If I truly believe the Bible is the Word of God, then I embrace him as my creator and designer. He designed man, he designed woman and he designed marriage.
The spiritual purpose of marriage in God’s design (from a Biblical point of view) was for it to be a symbol of the relationship of God to his people. The temporal (earthly) reasons for marriage would include companionship, procreation, provision, protection and pleasure.
In this design he made man to be a symbol of himself and man plays out this symbol by leading her, protecting her, providing for her, teaching her and disciplining her. In this same design woman plays the part of humanity in how we are to depend on God for his leadership, his protection, his provision, his teaching and his discipline. This is why a woman’s submission to her husband is so emphasized throughout Scripture, because it is symbolic of the submission that humanity is to have toward God.
Should Christian wives fear their husbands?
You talk about “dread” and I read your posts on that subject. In the Christian faith we have a similar concept when it comes to God that we are to “fear” him. This is not some sort of scary fear (like God is a monster), but it is a reverent fear.
This is why the Bible tells women to submit to their husbands “as unto the Lord” (Ephesians 5:22) – literally a wife is to submit to her husband as she would unto God himself. She is commanded by God to “see that she reverence her husband” (Ephesians 5:33). The English word “reverence” in that passage is a translation of the Greek word “Phobeo” which literally means “to fear or be afraid” or “to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience”. In fact most of the time that Greek word “Phobeo” is translated as “fear” throughout the New Testament.
So should a wife Biblically speaking have a little healthy fear or dread of her husband?
Today most Christian wives have ZERO fear or dread of their husbands even though the Bible commands them to. In fact I would argue that in most Christian marriages men are the ones who fear their wives.
Men show their wives they are either afraid to lose them (be alone) or afraid of the prospect of divorce and the financial or child custody repercussions that it may bring.
Should men flirt with other women to invoke dread in their wives?
From a Christian perspective, I don’t agree with a man flirting with other women in order to invoke fear (or dread) in his wife. I actually believe that is dangerous because when men flirt or talk inappropriately to other women it leaves open a doorway to possible affairs.
However I think there is a grave difference between a man casually talking to a woman and flirting with her. Some wives are so jealously possessive of their husbands that if they say two words to another women they get “the look”. This ought not to be the case .
Also as I have stated many times on this blog a man should never be made to feel ashamed of his God given wiring to desire to look at beautiful women around him(whether in person, on TV or online).
The rules I teach to my teenage sons and the advice I give to other men is “glance, don’t gawk”. To gawk is to be rude not only to the women you are with, but also to the woman you are gawking at. To glance is to do what God wired every man’s brain to do and there is no shame in taking pleasure from tasteful glances of beautiful women.
The “there’s the door” method of invoking fear in one’s wife
I do think there are other ways to invoke a healthy or “soft dread” in a woman from a Biblical perspective. One of these methods is the “there’s the door” method. If a wife feels her husband is afraid to lose her or that he is afraid of what she would do to him in a divorce (financial and child custody repercussions) then she will never have that reverence (fear) for her husband that God commands women to have in Ephesians 5:33.
So when a woman acts out in rebellion toward her husband and tries to act as if she does not need her husband or that other men would treat her better the Christian husband should tell his wife “there’s the door”. Will some women be foolish enough to walk out that door? Yes. But the moment a man allows his wife to put him in a position of fearing her, rather than her fearing him the relationship has just changed from the design God intended it to be.
Meeting your wife’s needs versus her wants
From the perspective of sexuality and getting your wife to desire sex with you I advise Christian men to demonstrate to their wives by their actions that there is a direct correlation between a wife reverencing and ravishing her husband and her getting some of her wants met. And I emphasize “some”.
As Christian husbands we are required by God to provide our women with food, clothing, shelter and sex. These provisions along with our leadership, protection, teaching and discipline of our wives is what the love of a Christian husband looks like. We are also required to know our wives (talk with them) and give them proper honor as our helpmeet.
The only Biblical ways a husband is released from these requirements and may put his wife away (divorce her) is if she abandons him, physically abuses him, physically denies him the act of sex or if she has sex with another man.
But while we are required to know our wives and talk to them, that does not mean we need to spend every bit of our free time in conversation with them. We do not need to hang on every word our wife says. While we are required to give them food, clothing and shelter – that food does not have be the fancy food she wants, that clothing does not have to be the fancy clothing she wants and that house does not have to be the fancy house she wants.
Connect reverencing and ravishing with her wants being met
Reverencing was a concept we already talked about from Ephesians 5:33. A wife ravishing her husband has to do with her being sexually intoxicating to her husband based on Proverbs 5:19 “let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love” and Christian wives have the wife in the Song of Songs as an excellent example of how a woman can show physical love to her husband.
So rather than a man pursing his wife by buying her flowers, taking her on dates and weekend getaways, buying her jewelry or just giving her more of his time he shows his wife that after and only after she does the right things – then these things come.
And I don’t just mean she just rocks his world one night, and then he lavishes her with all these things. No – she sees that in order to get “some” of her wants met she must FIRST reverence her husband outside the bedroom and she must ravish him inside the bedroom and this becomes the pattern of her behavior toward her husband. If either the reverence or ravishing goes down, he pulls back on these other things so she understands the correlation.
But even if a woman does reverence and ravish her husband as she should the husband must make his wife realize that this is never a way to control him. Some women are devious and they actually reverence and ravish their husbands in a manipulative way to get what they want or control all his time. This is something a Christian husband cannot allow his wife to do.
Grace and Mercy in Christian marriage
I wanted to say something about the Christian concepts of grace and mercy and how they apply to us as Christian husbands. For us as Christian husbands in our representation of God in his relationship with his people we also need to show grace and mercy toward our wives. This means sometimes we show them grace by giving them things they have not earned by their behavior and other times we show them mercy by not bringing the discipline on them that their behavior merits.
So Rollo – I think you and I agree on many of the problems, we just differ a bit on the solutions to those problems. But I do think where you and I agree is that a man must not run around trying to earn his wife’s reference and ravishing but rather he should constantly be showing her through various actions that her having her wants met(as opposed to needs) is directly related to how well she serves him as her husband.
From a Christian perspective a wife ought to be reverencing and ravishing her husband simply because God commands it. But it also helps to show that there is a correlation in the here and now when she does.
“You said we shouldn’t feel guilty to have sex even if it’s grudgingly but how can you? I would probably just cry and try to sleep.” – This was a question I got this week from a young husband who has been married a few years and is now experiencing a lack of sexual desire from his wife. He also needed me to help clarify the differences between sexual refusal, sexual rain-checks and sexual desire.
As I started to respond to his email I thought it would be good if I included this for my readers.
This is when a wife just comes out and says “NO!” or pushes your hands away. As I said in my post on “8 steps to confronting your wife’s sexual refusal” you as a husband should not tolerate refusal. If your wife says “NO” and slaps your hand away that is a disrespectful and unloving response by your wife to your sexual initiation and there is no sin in you trying to initiate sex with your wife.
This is when you go to initiate sex with your wife and she responds kindly and gently. Perhaps she says something like “Honey, I know you really need it, but I am just really sick tonight, can I make it up to you tomorrow?” There are other reasons of course that a woman might legitimately ask for a rain-check of course like after the birth of a child, or surgeries, chronic pain flare-ups, deaths in the family and other reasons like these.
This is her actually wanting to have sex with you and obviously this is what every man who loves his wife would prefer from his wife at every sexual encounter. But women are not like men are when it comes to sexual arousal. They just don’t instantly get horny and want to have sex. In most cases a woman’s desire for sex must be cultivated either by her husband, herself or a combination of the two.
“But I want my wife to desire and enjoy sex with me!”
We as men are programmed by God to want our wives to have pleasure when we are having sex with her. When your wife looks (or sounds) like what you are doing is giving her pleasure that is what makes sex the best! That is what makes it the most fulfilling in not just a physical manner, but also a psychological manner.
But then we have the conundrum, women don’t always feel like having sex. Even women that have a healthy view of sex don’t always feel like having sex as much as their husbands do. Then we have the women who do not have a healthy view of sex and see it as “dirty” or just something you do to have babies.
So how do we solve this conundrum? He wants her to desire and enjoy sex and she may desire sex far less frequently or not at all.
Those who reject the Biblical concept that sex is both a gift and a duty in marriage solve this problem by saying “They should only have sex when they BOTH desire to have sex”. But that is not God’s answer.
“Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” – I Corinthians 7:3-5 (KJV)
The only time sex should not occur is when both the husband and wife give mutual consent not to for a short period of time.
As a husband you can attempt to cultivate desire for sex in your wife by doing what God has commanded you to do outside the bedroom – and that is to know your wife(I Peter 3:7). That means talking to her and hearing about her day and her concerns. It might also mean giving her a foot massage or a back massage after a rough day. Every woman is different and as husbands we need to get to know what makes our wife’s tick and not just for sexual purposes but to know her as God would have us to know her.
But a husband is NOT 100% responsible for cultivating all of his wife’s sexual desire. A woman bears some responsibility for cultivating her own sexual desire. The Bible says this about women:
“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” – Titus 2:4-5 (KJV)
That phrase “to love their husbands” is based on the Greek word philandros and it is the only time that word is used in the Bible. Unlike Agape love which is the most common word for love in the New Testament, philandros love speaks of an affectionate love that a wife is to have toward her husband. Some have wrongly tried to suggest that this is exactly the same as the love women are told to have for their children because the roots are the same. But in Greek usage this word took on the context of a woman being “a lover of her husband” and yes it meant in the sexual context, not just simple affection.
Women are commanded by God to be their husband’s lovers (in every sexual and affectionate sense of that word).
We need only look to the Song of Solomon to see a woman giving us an example of how a wife can be a lover to her husband.
But in the end – your wife has to realize that the greatest impediment to her own enjoyment of sex may be her own mind! A woman’s mind can literally put her body in lock down mode and she may not enjoy any touch from you in that mindset. She must let go and focus on her body and understand how it works before she can truly enjoy sex.
But until your wife truly overcomes her impediments to sex should she fake it? I believe the answer is yes. I think as a husband you can let her know it is ok to “fake it until she makes it”. I have written a companion post to this post for wives entitled “Should Christian wives fake it?” that talks to women about this.
You need to stop pressuring your wife for “the truth”
But if your wife agrees to “fake it till she makes it” then you need to let her do that.
“Was it really good or were you just faking for me” – those words need to be erased from your vocabulary as a husband. If your wife appeared to have a good time leave it there.
I realize you might think you are just trying to figure out what works. Also I am not saying it always wrong to talk about sex with your wife, but few women want to do a post-game analysis.
Women don’t always want to talk to you about specific technique in most cases, they just want to show you what they want and you need to watch for her nonverbal guidance during sex. If your wife actually expresses a desire to talk about some specifics when it comes to foreplay and the act itself than by all means have that conversation with her.
You need to talk to your wife about helping her with her desire, but I am talking about things outside the act of sex itself. I mean ways you can help her relax BEFORE sex so she will have an easier time mentally preparing herself for sex.
But what you don’t want to do is constantly annoy your wife for “scorecards”.
Things like “So what was my rating for that time babe? Or “Did you like that special thing I did?” or any of these types of things will annoy and bother most wives.
Should your wife complement your sexual performance? Absolutely! But if you have to ask for a compliment then it’s not really a compliment is it?
Your wife knows you love her. She knows you want to please her. If she has accepted the truth that she has to understand her own body and then show you the way she will do it. You just need to do your best to watch for her signals and simply enjoy that your wife is trying to please you and make you feel loved!
Stop prying. Just enjoy. Even if your wife is in touch with her body will there still be times when she fakes it? Sure. But rest assured that for women sex is not considered a complete failure if she does not have an orgasm every time.
“So HOW do I have sex with my wife knowing she is not in the mood?”
But what if you have tried everything you can as husband but your wife refuses to do her part and look inward at things she can change in herself to help herself enjoy sex more and cultivate a desire?
What if she agrees to sex grudgingly and refuses to “fake it” but instead displays her displeasure the entire time?
First of all, your reaction of being upset at the displeasure on your wife’s face during sex that she has grudgingly agreed to is completely normal.
You need to realize that this is a physical need that you have as a man. You also need to realize that whether your wife knows it or not she needs to have sex too. Your marriage needs sex at regular intervals. If you don’t have sex with your wife at regular intervals, even sometimes when she is not in the mood but consents anyway, you will open yourself to temptation. You will find yourself becoming distant from your wife, because this is the primary way that you as man feel closeness with your wife.
But even if you realize and accept this truth that you need sex and it needs to happen even if your wife refuses to “fake it” and bury her wrong attitude then what?
The secret of enjoying grudgingly given sex from your wife
Focus your eyes on her body, not her face. Focus on the visual pleasure you receive from looking at her body and physical pleasure you receive from being inside your wife.
I know you love your wife, most of us as men love our wives. You want to connect with her physically AND emotionally during sex. But your wife is the one refusing to connect with you emotionally, so you have to concentrate 100% on the physical side.
Let me try and explain this in another way. In Greek mythology there was a monster woman named Medusa. She was a cursed and hideous creature and if men looked upon her face they were turned to stone.
I know you love your wife, most men love their wives. But sin is ugly. Your beautiful bride’s face becomes ugly during this sinful time that she is grudgingly giving you sex as she grimaces wanting you to “just hurry up and get it over with”.
So like the men who could not look at Medusa’s face otherwise they would be killed, realize that if you look on your wife’s face when she is displaying a sinful attitude toward sex it will kill your sexual pleasure and may actually make it much more difficult for you to achieve the physical connection and release that you need. Again you know you want that emotional connection too, but your wife is the one who is in sinful rebellion against God’s design for sex in your marriage and is refusing to emotionally connect with you.
It is sad that any husband ever has to do this. This is not what God intended sex to be. But we live in a sin cursed world – we are sinners and so are our wives. Sometimes we have to work around the sinful behavior of our wives and this will be one of those times.
Yes this a way to cope with and deal with your wife’s sin but at the same time keep sex happening in your marriage. But don’t stop trying to work with your wife outside the bedroom, and remember to pray for your wife every day that God will work in her heart and change her wrong attitude toward his wonderful gift of sex.