5 Ways to Show Your Husband Reverence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wives are called to reverence their husbands.

In Ephesians 5:33 the Bible states:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Since he is your lord, bow to him.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Principle #3 – A Reverent Wife Kneels Before Her Husband

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Verbal Consent Not Required In Biblical Marriage

Nowhere does the Bible condemn by explicit command or even by general principle a man using force to make his wife have sex in marriage.  In other words, the Bible does not recognize the 19th century feminist invention of “marital rape”.

A woman going by the handle @_DearSister_ has an Instagram page where she teaches a conservative and Christian patriarchal view of marriage to women.

On that page she recently had a discussion about marital rape, and specifically the idea of some feminists saying that if a wife does not give verbal consent to her husband with each sexual encounter that the sex that follows is to be considered rape. 

In other words, what they are saying is, if the husband just starts trying to have sex with his wife and she allows it but did not say yes – this is rape.

I came on her page and went further than she did.  I said the Bible does not recognize that rape can occur within marriage.  In other words, Biblically speaking – “marital  rape” is an oxymoron.

What follows is a discussion I had with another woman on @_DearSister_ page who goes by handle @chellechristiansen.   We had some discussion before this point. But it was these comments from her that drove my more detailed response. I will show a screen shot her comment and then give my response that I have to her below it (of course for Instagram I had break up my response into a lot of small pieces).  And if you are not following me on Instagram (@biblicalgenderroles) – I highly recommend you do as the vast majority of my new content is there or on my podcast site (BGRLearning.com) and I slowly work it back here to my blog.

I have had this discussion with liberal women for years and they always go to the same tired humanist and feminist arguments. But the discussion I had with chellechristiansen was interesting because it was with a very conservative Christian woman who believes in submission and actually thinks Christian wives saying no to sex is sinful (a breath of fresh air). She just thinks it is wrong for a husband to force his wife to have sex even though she is sinfully refusing.

So my conversation with her was intended to reach other Christian women like her who are actually much closer to the truth on this issue of how sex should happen in a Biblical marriage.

My Response to chellechristiansen

I realize in my last comment I said I was done and would give you the final word in our discussion. I did not want to go round and round about the same arguments.  But as I have pondered your last comment here the for a few days – I realize there are some different questions from you here and a slightly different argument that you are making against a husband forcing his wife to have sex in marriage. 

I know what I showed you before and the new facts I will show you now may not change your mind.  10 years ago, I would have agreed with every word you are saying here because I did know about the history of humanism, feminism and the invention of “marital rape” by feminists in 19th century. I did know the history of how the early church fathers and later medieval chivalry codes changed our views on the acceptable treatment of wives by their husbands. 

I did know that up even into the 19th century that courts including English and American upheld the Biblical principal that husbands were masters and owners of their wives in keeping with 1 Peter 3:5-6 and that they upheld the husband’s right to use force and discipline to compel his wife’s obedience “in everything” (Ephesians 5:24) just as Christ compels the obedience of his church through discipline in Revelation 3:19.  They even referred to these rights as ancient rights of men practiced in all cultures.

I don’t even need Deuteronomy 21:10-14 where God expressly allows men to take captive women and force them to be their wives to defend the position I am taking here.  There is a larger position I am taking which goes beyond forced sex in marriage.  And that is that husbands have not only right, but the responsibility to use all means at their disposal to compel their wives’ obedience just as Christ uses discipline to compel their obedience of his church.

Now as someone else pointed out here in this thread, men no longer have these “ancient rights” as one court referred to them.  Feminists have won many court battles over the last century and convinced legislatures to strip men of their mastery over their wives and their ability compel their wives to obey by use of force. 

In other words, a man in our modern age who simply attempts to follow the Biblical example of God in disciplining his wife (as God did Israel and Christ did the church) could land himself in jail.   This is why I do NOT recommend that most Christian men use physical force of any kind in our day in age with their wives. However, there are a small minority of Christian wives still raised with these ancient Biblical truths and if they are then their husbands can exercise these rights in marriage.

You asked about me saying there is no such thing as marital rape and yet saying marital rape is expressly condoned in the Bible in Deuteronomy 21:10-14.  I apologize for not being precise in my language.  Before the 19th century, the English term “rape” did mean “forced sex”, but rather it was a more precise term that meant “forced sex outside of marriage”.  Then 19th century feminists invented the concept of “marital rape” and eventually just the word “rape” meant all forced sex whether in marriage or outside of marriage.   

A good way to understand the difference between forced sex and rape is to compare it with beating someone.  Are all incidents of one person beating someone immoral according the Bible? The answer is no.  In fact, the Bible expressly condones both adults and children being beaten as chastisement in these passages (Deut 25:3, Prov 26:3). 

And lest you think this only Old Testament, Christ condoned physical chastisement of adults in Luke 12:46-48 and so does the Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 2:18-20.  And in for course the Bible expressly prescribes physical discipline for children as well in Proverbs 23:13 and Hebrews 12:5-11.   

As I have shown from the previous Scripture references, the Bible expressly allows and even condones the beating of adults and children by their authorities.  As Christians then we should call beating someone unlawfully “assault” while biblically we must call a God ordained authority beating someone as discipline – “chastisement”.   It is the same with forced sex.  Forced sex Biblically speaking should be called “rape”, only if that forced sex was of a man who was not a woman’s husband.   

So, to be clear, what I am saying is the Bible expressly condones forced sex within marriage in Deuteronomy 21:10-14 and it also implicitly condones forced sex by making the husband responsible for compelling his wife’s obedience as her ruler and master and as Christ compels his wife, the church.  (See Gen 3:16, 1 Peter 3:5-6 and Rev 3:19).

You argued that a husband forcing his wife to have sex, even when she sinfully has said no, is a violation of the fruits of the spirit.  But is it really? First and foremost, Galatians 5:22-23 listing of the fruits of the spirit is not exhaustive.  Jesus Christ exhibited another fruit of the spirit – righteous anger when he fashioned cords to make a whip and beat the money changers, turned over their tables and drove them from the temple in John 2:13–17.  Paul also exhibited this righteous anger when he asked the disobedient church at Corinth if he needed to bring a rod to discipline them in 1 Corinthians 4:21.

Could a man be violating the fruits of the spirit in some cases of forcing his wife to have sex? Yes.  If his wife is ill, just had surgery, has just given birth or has some other condition like this then yes this would be a lack of self-control, seeking his own at the expense of her need (selfishness).  If a man always forces sex on his wife (as some men actually sinfully prefer) and is never gentle with her – this too would be a violation of the fruits of the spirit.

Should there be some room also for mercy for the wife? That even at times when she sinfully says no (as opposed to graciously asking for a rain check when she is ill) that even in this sinful situation he shows mercy and does not force her? Yes.

But if a husband allows a pattern of willful sin on the part of his wife, where she can say “no” to sex with no fear of any consequences – such a man is derelict in his duty before God to discipline his wife as Christ does his church (Rev 3:19).  And yes, forced sex by a husband can absolutely be a form of discipline in marriage. 

You said at the end of your comment “Let her be in sin and guide her to repentance”.  This is utterly unbiblical.  God did not let his wife Israel remain in sin, but rather he disciplined her to try and bring her out it.  Christ does not allow his wife (his church), to remain in sin, but rather he disciplines her to try and bring her out of it.

And it is this false philosophy of “Let her be in sin and guide her to repentance”, which originates in faulty think of Christians from the medieval chivalrous period, which actually laid the foundations for 19th century feminism.  And now we have as Western civilization reaped the consequences of two centuries of undisciplined wives.  Men are expected to wash their wives as Christ does his church (Ephesians 5:25-27) as well as rebuke and chasten them as Christ does his church (Revelation 3:19).

41 y/o Masculine Christian Man Seeking a Young Feminine Christian Virgin Sister

Below is a profile I recently received from a Christian man seeking a Christian wife who is a sister in Christ as fully believing the doctrines of the Bible concerning Biblical patriarchy.

Daniel’s Profile

“My name is Daniel.  I reside in North Carolina.  And I am a virgin man.  Yes, I am.  My mom taught me to not have sex until I was married and by the grace of God, I kept to this commitment.  I was saved 16 years ago and believe that all Christians should uphold Hebrews 13:4 highly and live it out in their lives as faithfully as possible.  The marriage bed should remain undefiled before and even after marriage.  Sexually purity is crucial for a happy marriage.

I am in the process of becoming a homeowner and desire a godly wife who wants to be a submissive homemaker and who desires a large family (like at least 10 children).  When God said to be fruitful and multiply, he meant it.  This woman should already be involved in church activities and be held accountable or be discipled by a more seasoned Christian woman who interacts with her on a weekly & monthly basis.

I work with my hands as a handyman, landscaper and mechanical repair man. (Auto and home appliances to be exact).  I also have skills in electrical and plumbing work.  I am physically fit and hope the woman I marry would at least value her health enough to stay active in some productive way too.  I don’t want a lazy woman.

I am pro-marriage, pro-gun (self-defense), pro-biblical gender roles.  And I am also for Biblical Patriarchy, I just believe it should be practiced the way the Church and Christ practice it in their relationship.

Lastly, I love to cook, dance, sing, read books, host people over for meals, evangelize my neighbors and community and even have a online Christian ministry.  I currently serve as the ‘precinct chair’ in my community and I am politically conservative and desire the same in my bride. 

I am reformed in theology and presbyterian in church government.  I am anti-abortion, anti-feminism, anti-LGBTQ alphabet monster and anti-socialism/communism. There’s more, but this is a good start.”

Contacting Daniel

If you are a Christian woman who believes in Biblical patriarchy and is interested in speaking further with Daniel please email me and give me a little of your background and testimony and what you are looking for in marriage. Important details to include are your age, general location (like what state you live in) and background on your faith (please include the Christian denomination you were raised in) and family.

Four Biblical Ways a Christian Wife Can Cope with a Cheating Husband

The world and sadly many churches today tell women to leave their cheating husbands.   But is this what the Bible tells women to do? How can a woman possibly stay with a cheating husband? How could she cope with this on a daily basis and have any kind of a relationship with her husband knowing what he is doing?

In my new podcast series on BGRLearning.com entitled “Four Biblical Ways a Christian Wife Can Cope with a Cheating Husband”, I first start out with an email from a Christian wife named Beth.  She has been married 8 years and has three children.  She recently discovered that her husband has been engaging in sexual sin while he is away on business trips.

I help her and other wives to navigate the range of emotions they are experiencing and point them to the Bible to put their husbands’ sin in a right Biblical perspective.  It is only when a woman sees her husband’s sin from God’s perspective and that she can fully accept how God wants her to cope with her husband’s sin.

Whoremongering husbands are nothing new in the history of the world.   Both men and women have been engaging in sexual sin since the beginning of mankind.  And as with many things in the Bible, his instructions to wives in how to deal with and cope with their husband’s sin is different than his instructions for men. 

It is possible for a Christian wife to have a good relationship, a loving relationship, with her whoremongering husband if she follows the commands and principles of the Word of God that I talk about in this series.

Many Christian women today may find this impossible to believe, but with God all things are possible. 

Even if you are not married or are married and don’t have a whoremongering husband, the Biblical principles in this series will help to strengthen your marriage.

Click here to go to BGRLearning.com today and subscribe to listen to this series as well as hundreds of other podcasts on masculinity, femininity courtship, marriage and sex all from a Biblical perspective.

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

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

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

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

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

Why God Wants Wives To Be Doormats

“A wife being submissive does not mean her being a doormat”.    This phrase is commonly used even within traditional and conservative Christian circles which promote the submission of wives to their husbands and male headship.    But this teaching, that wives should not allow themselves to be doormats for their husbands is totally unbiblical and instead finds its basis in modern humanist teachings.

The Modern Church’s False Doormat Doctrine

GotQuestions.org, in an article entitled “How can a Christian avoid being a doormat for other people?”  makes the following statements which accurately represent the modern Doormat doctrine:

“A doormat is a small rug placed just inside a doorway where people can wipe their dirty shoes before entering the house. The term doormat is also used figuratively to describe people who allow themselves to be (figuratively) walked on by others; that is, a doormat allows himself or herself to be abused, disparaged, or taken advantage of without mounting a defense. Since Jesus taught us to “turn the other cheek” (Matthew 5:39) and to “do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27), was He telling us to be doormats?

Jesus was not teaching His disciples to be doormats. Rather, He was teaching that, to glorify God and show ourselves to be His true children, we need to be pure inside and out and to be as accommodating as possible for the sake of a lost world. To “turn the other cheek” does not mean we place ourselves or others in danger or that we ignore injustice…

It may appear noble and Christlike when someone allows himself or herself to be used as a doormat, but there could also be a selfish reason behind it. For example, some people allow themselves to be doormats because of their own insecurities and low self-worth. They fear rejection, so they allow their personal boundaries to be violated by others in hopes they will be appreciated and loved. They are trying to gain validation by purchasing it with their compliance, in effect, expecting fallible people to tell them who they are instead of relying on God to do that….

Third, Christians can seek wise counsel about boundary-setting. The Bible is a book of boundaries and consequences. Healthy boundaries make for healthy relationships. The word no is powerful. We need to learn that enabling the sins or irresponsibility of others is not loving; it is self-indulgent. Selfish fear, rooted in a desire for others to love, appreciate, or need us, propels us to rescue those who should experience their own consequences.”

So, what is the synopsis of this false doctrine?

The modern doormat doctrine teaches that no Christian man or woman should allow themselves “to be abused, disparaged, or taken advantage of without mounting a defense” and to tolerate such mistreatment makes one guilty of the sin of being a “doormat”.

According to the Doormat doctrine, in order to avoid the sin of becoming a doormat, a Christian must learn to set boundaries with others and learn the concept that “The word no is powerful”.  When one commits the sin of being a doormat, they are “enabling the sins or irresponsibility of others” and engaging in “selfish fear”.

And let’s not kid ourselves.  The Doormat doctrine was invented as a result of the influence of feminism in modern churches.  It was invented to give power to women that God never meant for them to have.  And that is why in most cases, you will see this Doormat doctrine applied to wives in regard to their husbands.

A Little Truth Mixed in With the False Doormat Doctrine

Many false doctrines have at least a little bit of truth in them.  This is what gets people to fall for false doctrines.  And this is the case with the Doormat doctrine.

First, it is true that is not always wrong for Christians to say no, in fact sometimes it absolutely right to say no and resist wrong doing that is being done against us or others.

In Deuteronomy 22:23-27 God requires that a young woman say no and cry out and resist if a man who is not her husband tries to make her have sex with him.  And the Apostles, when told not to preach the Gospel, said in Acts 5:29 “We ought to obey God rather than men”.      

In Nehemiah 4:14 the God given right and responsibility of men to fight to defend their wives, their children and their homes is firmly established where it states “fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses”.

Even within the Christian church among the Apostles, we see that the Apostle Paul took a strong stand against injustice when he saw the Apostle Peter discriminating against the new Gentile Christians in Galatians 2:11-12:

“11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.”

The point is that sometimes we must absolutely say no and take a stand against certain sinful behaviors that are committed against us or against others.

And certainly, we all must set the boundary with others that we will never allow someone to make us do something which God forbids in his law.

The Errors of the False Doormat Doctrine

One of the foundational errors of the modern church’s false Doormat doctrine is that it utterly ignores the relational context of when someone is being “abused, disparaged, or taken advantage of”.  But in the Bible, the relational context of when someone is being “abused, disparaged, or taken advantage of” is crucial to understanding what God wants our response to be in that situation.

For instance, if someone is threatening or committing harm against a man, his wife, his children or his property he has the God given right of self-defense (Nehemiah 4:14). 

But what about someone who has a master? If they are being “abused, disparaged, or taken advantage of” what does God say they should do in that situation? Should they mount a defense?  The answer is given to us in the following passage from 1 Peter 2:18-21:

“18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.  19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps”

So, what is God’s answer to those who have masters who are froward (cruel and unjust) toward them?  Does he tell them to mount a defense? No, but rather he tells them that it is “thankworthy” and “acceptable with God” for them to endure such unjust treatment by their masters and that in doing so they emulate Christ who also suffered unjustly.

And then, immediately after saying this to slaves regarding their masters, he says the following to wives regarding their husbands in 1 Peter 3:1-2 & 5-6:

“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…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”

When taken together – 1 Peter 2:18 through 1 Peter 3:6 teaches that those who have masters, whether they be wives or slaves, are commanded to endure cruel and unjust treatment from their masters.  And in doing so, those who endure mistreatment at the hands of their masters emulate Christ in his sufferings. 

Why 1 Peter 2:18 through 1 Peter 3:6 Is So Hard for Americans to Accept

1 Peter 2:18 through 1 Peter 3:6 is a very difficult passage of the Bible for modern westerners, and especially Americans, to swallow.  This passage really takes a sledge hammer to the individualist and humanist ideals which form the foundation for modern American values.

Below is a list of modern American values which 1 Peter 2:18 through 1 Peter 3:6 contradicts:

  1. No person may be owned by another – to do so makes them a slave and slavery is always immoral under any circumstances.
  2. No person may be controlled or coerced against their will to do something they do not wish to do. (Of course, the humanists make exceptions for parents with children and the government making people do certain things like paying taxes, giving up guns or taking vaccines).
  3. Men and women have equal rights and should have equal opportunities in all areas of society.
  4. No person should ever tolerate abuse from another person, they should always defend themselves against any unjust treatment by others.

The fact is that the Bible does not hold to any of these modern core American beliefs.  The Bible explicitly allows the taking of slaves and the concept of human property in Leviticus 25:44-46.  The Bible does not condemn slavery, but rather it condemns the unjust taking of slaves in Deuteronomy 24:7 (someone taking one of his fellow citizens and selling them). The Bible also condemns the physical abuse of slaves in Exodus 21:20-21 & 26-27.   For more on the subject of slavery from a Biblical perspective see my article “Why Christians Shouldn’t Be Ashamed of slavery in the Bible”.

The Bible also teaches that a person can have a master (be owned) and yet not be slave.  This concept is a real head-scratcher for modern Americans but it is very Biblical.

In the passage above from 1 Peter 3:6, God exhorts women to follow the example of Sarah who called her husband “lord”.  The Greek word there is ‘Kurios’ which means “master/lord/owner” and throughout the Old Testament it was common for the Hebrew word ‘baal’ meaning “master/lord/owner” to be used in regard to a woman’s husband.

So, both wives and slaves have masters, yet wives are not slaves. 

The primary difference in the relationship between masters and their wives and masters and their slaves is that the master of a wife has a much greater set of responsibilities toward his wife than that of a master of a slave.   The master of a wife is to love her as Christ does his church and to provide for her and protect her as he does his own body.  A master of a wife is to give his body to his wife in the bed. He is to be willing to lay down his life to save hers.  He has a responsibility to mold her and teach her how to emulate the church and to be the glorious wife she needs to be.  A master of a slave has none of these responsibilities toward his slave.  For more on this subject of the Biblical comparison of wives to slaves see my article “8 Biblical Differences Between Wives and Slaves”.

And this is why passages like 1 Peter 2:18 through 1 Peter 3:6 is almost impossible for modern Christians to fully comprehend without first understanding that some of our core American values are in fact unbiblical.

But Aren’t Wives Enabling Sin If They Don’t Confront Their Husbands?

This is a very popular aspect of the modern false Doormat doctrine.  It teaches that if wives allow their husbands to sin against them by mistreating them that they are enabling their husband’s sin and thus sinning against God themselves in doing so. 

But I encourage you to look throughout the Scriptures to find God calling a woman to go to her husband and rebuke him to his face about his sin.  You won’t find one passage.  Yes, we have Pilot’s wife warning him about a vision she had about Christ in Matthew 27:19 – but that was not a rebuke – it was a plea.  And even with Abigail in 1 Samuel 25 when she acted to save her family from her husband’s evil deeds, she did not rebuke her husband to his face.

So, what is so different about the husband/wife relationship which forbids a wife from rebuking her husband? The answer is found in Ephesians 5:22-24:

“22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 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. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

The husband/wife relationship is different than any other human relationship.  It is a sacred institution created by God.  The husband represents God and the wife represents the people of God.   For the wife to rebuke her husband would symbolize the church rebuking Christ.  

Now some would argue that husbands are not perfect like Christ and that is true.  Christ was the only sinless man to ever walk this earth – amen.  

But the Biblical prescription for how women should handle sin in their lives of their husbands shows us that even though husbands are sinners, God has not given wives the right to rebuke or chastise their husbands for their sin.

The prescription for how a wife is to handle sin in the life of her husband, whether it is toward her or others, is found in 1 Peter 3:1-2.  The wife is to win her husband without a word, by her behavior (that is what conversation means in the KJV translation of 1 Peter 3:1).  

However, the situation is very different with a husband in regard to his wife.   The Bible tells husbands to love their wives as Christ does his church in Ephesians 5:25 and in Revelation 3:19 Christ says to his churches “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent”.  Therefore, we can rightly say that is a sin for a wife to rebuke her husband but on the other hand it is a sin for a husband not to rebuke his wife because the husband and wife have different positions and responsibilities.

Conclusion

The Doormat doctrine, the doctrine that wives should never allow themselves “to be abused, disparaged, or taken advantage of without mounting a defense” is completely contradictory to the Biblical teachings of 1 Peter 2:18 through 1 Peter 3:6.

The Bible says it is “acceptable with God” (1 Peter 2:20) for those with masters, which includes wives, to “endure grief, suffering wrongfully” (1 Peter 2:19).  In other words, it is acceptable and honoring to God for wives to be doormats when it comes to their husbands.  And in doing so, wives emulate Christ when he suffered unjust treatment.

Rather than rebuking their husbands for each and every offense, 1 Peter 3:1-2 teaches wives to win their husbands without a word by their behavior which includes their pure actions, their submission and their reverence toward their husbands.

Can and should Christian wives have any boundaries with their husbands? Yes.

Not all forms of abuse must be taken by Christian wives.  The prohibition against masters abusing their slaves from Exodus 21:20-21 & 26-27 absolutely applies to masters (husbands) of wives.  And women can be freed from their husbands if their husbands do anything that risks serious bodily harm to them. Women can also take actions to defend themselves and their children against imminent harm that their husband’s actions pose against them or their children as Abigail did in 1 Samuel 25.

Women can and should establish the boundary with their husbands that they will never do anything which God forbids in his Word.  That means if a husband asks his wife to engage in a threesome with their neighbor or asks her to help him rob a bank, she must respectfully decline in obedience to God which is her higher authority.   

This really is the big difference between the Doormat doctrine and what the Bible teaches.  The Doormat doctrine teaches that wives should not tolerate any abusive behavior from their husbands, while the Bible teaches that women should tolerate most kinds of abuse but not all abuse from their husbands.

And a final note on husbands and their sin.  Many will ask – “If a wife cannot confront her husband on his sin than who can?” And then answer is other men.  Whether it be fellow male church members, his brothers, his wife’s brothers, his father or his wife’s father other men absolutely have a right and responsibility to confront one another about their sinful treatment of their wives.

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

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

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

Why Sadomasochism Is Unbiblical

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

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

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

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

Being A Christian And Being Married Is Hard

After decades of being a Christian and being a husband – whenever I hear a new Christian or a new husband or wife say that the Christian life or Christian marriage in particular is easy – I just laugh.  Why do I laugh? Because anyone who says the Christian life or marriage is easy has not yet experienced the trying of their faith or their marriage.

This is why the Bible forbids churches from allowing new converts to become pastors in the church when it says they cannot be “…a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil” (1 Timothy 3:6).   The Greek word translated as “novice” means “newly planted”, meaning a new convert.

The idea here is that a new Christian who has not experienced many years of the trying and testing of his faith may become conceited and lifted with pride.  But it is only through the trials of life as a Christian that we gain both the humility and wisdom enough to be good teachers of the faith.

It is not easy to be the good husbands and wives or Christians that God calls us to be.  It is hard.  It is a constant daily struggle with our sin nature.  It takes a daily recommitment to God knowing that we may have failed in our duties to God or our spouse in some way just the day before.

The Apostle Paul stated the following about his struggle with his old man, his sin nature, which warred against his new spiritual nature given him by Christ:

“… for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do…
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”
Romans 7:18-19 & 24-25 (KJV)

Being a follower of Christ and a good Christian spouse is about more than making a one-time commitment to serve God and saying “no” to our flesh.   It is about so much more than mere will power.  It is about daily depending on Christ and the Holy Spirit and constantly recognizing where we fail, confessing our sin, and seeking to do the good that God would have us to do.

A Husband’s Guide to Implementing Christian Domestic Discipline

Previously I have shown Domestic Discipline to be both a Biblical concept as well as a historical practice amongst husbands for thousands of years on my Instagram page @biblicalsexandiscipline and on my blog Biblicalgenderroles.com as well as podcasts series on BGRLearning.com.

This new 3-part podcast series is not a like any of my previous writings on the subject of Domestic Discipline.  It is not a defense of Domestic Discipline.  I have already done that in my previous posts like “The Biblical Case for Domestic Discipline” .  This podcast series is about the practical application of Domestic Discipline.  It is based on my real-world experiences doing personalized mentoring programs with more than 20 husbands over the past 4 years. Most of these husbands never believed their wives would ever accept CDD, but today the majority of their wives do.

How does a Christian man go about introducing Domestic Discipline into his marriage and what techniques actually work?  What kinds of reactions can he expect from his wife as he introduces this into his marriage and how should he respond to his wife’s reactions?  All of these questions and more are answered in this podcast series.

Not only do their wives accept the particular program of domestic discipline that I teach – but through this particular domestic discipline program these husbands have achieved 100 percent submission from their wives.  In other words, they have achieved complete dominion over their wives as God commanded of Adam and all husbands in Genesis 3:16.

And let me be clear what I mean by “100 percent” submission.  I don’t mean their wives are perfect and sinless.  What 100% submission means is these wives have eliminated the phrase “I am not comfortable with that” from their speech to their husbands.  And if they fail to submit or they fail in other duties as wives – they willingly accept Domestic Discipline.

Click on the image at the top or you can click here to go BGRLearning.com to subscribe and listen to this series as well as hundreds of other biblical gender roles related podcasts.