Do I Condone Marital Rape or Abuse?

My blog is written for women. It is my desire to fulfill my calling in Titus 2:3-5 to point other wives to Christ and His Word and His design for us as wives in our marriages. Of course, lots of men read my blog, too. I welcome them here. Many of them have found hope and healing in Christ. And many husbands use my site to “reverse engineer” things that are helpful to them or to better understand the challenges their wives face. I have seen God heal quite a few marriages and work miracles when a number of husbands focused on walking in obedience and submission to Christ themselves and on loving their wives in a godly way – and I am so thankful for that!

There is a small percentage of men who twist my blog and my words to attempt to force and demand respect and submission from their wives and to justify marital rape, violence, and/or corporal punishment in marriage. There are some women who think that is what I am saying, as well. How anyone could read what I write and deduce this, I cannot imagine! I know that it is only a small minority of people that I am addressing here, but, this issue is too important for me to ignore.

This upsets me GREATLY.

Let me be as clear as I possibly can about this.

  • I NEVER condone violence, abuse, screaming, cussing, throwing things, insults, hatred, threats of divorce, threats of violence, unforgiveness, resentment, disrespect, manipulation, control, deception, addictions of any kind, bitterness, cruelty, self-righteousness, pride, idolatry, apathy, passivity, greed, pornography use, self loathing, arrogance, malice, slander, gossip, infidelity or any sin of any kind being committed against any husband or wife.
  • God hates all sin. I hate all sin. I don’t want anyone to be sinned against. Sin always hurts the sinner, the one being sinned against and grieves God’s heart. Any sin is destructive.
  • I don’t condone one spouse trying to force or coerce the other spouse to have sex against his/her will or involving violence.
  • I don’t condone any spouse withholding sex to punish, using sex as a weapon, demanding money or things in exchange for sex, or using sex to manipulate his/her spouse.
  • I NEVER condone violence of any kind.
  • I do NOT give permission to anyone to use my words to support these selfish, destructive, abusive and sinful acts.

Love does no harm to a neighbor… Romans 13:10

SIGNS OF AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP

My prayer and desire is that every husband and wife would give and receive love, honor and respect to and from each other.

I want everyone to have healthy, joyful, vibrant marriages! And I want everyone to grow and flourish in their walk with Christ. That is why I do this ministry. We are ALL wretched sinners, desperately in need of Jesus in our lives. He is able to give us victory over sin as we fully submit to Him as Lord and yield control of our lives to Him!

I write for women, primarily for women with a tendency toward being Type-A, controlling, outspoken, and take-charge. I have never been abused by my husband. In fact, he doesn’t even raise his voice at me. And he didn’t raise his voice, even when I was at the height of my disrespect.

I am not writing for women whose husbands are abusive, violent, mentally ill, addicted to drugs/alcohol, or involved in active infidelity. I know that God’s Word always applies to all of us. But I don’t have the experience or the training to handle severe situations and I know that my blog is not a good fit for many wives in such situations. These precious women are going to need very specialized, experienced counseling that I just cannot give.

HOW GOD REQUIRES AND COMMANDS ALL BELIEVERS TO TREAT OUR SPOUSES AND EVERYONE ELSE:

Every husband and wife could put his or her name in the place of love in the passage below. That is how God wants us to treat our spouse.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. I Corinthians 13:4-8

This is the “agape” love of God with which God commands us all to love every other human being. And this is the word for “love” that is used in the commands God gives to husbands in Ephesians 5 to love their wives as Christ loved His church and gave Himself up for her.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, Ephesians 5:25-33a

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

THE EXAMPLE OF CHRIST (So that I present a balanced view of marriage for any wife who may have missed this, husbands have responsibilities, too. Many more responsibilities and much more accountability to God than wives have)

  • A husband is to imitate the very example of Christ’s selfless, humble, powerful, sacrificial love for His church in Ephesians 5:22-33.
    Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. I Peter 3:7
  • Jesus is always a Gentleman. “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” Rev. 3:20
  • Jesus doesn’t force Himself on us spiritually. He does not force spiritual oneness and intimacy on anyone. He waits for us to invite Him in.
  • A godly husband never forces himself on his wife physically. He treats her with honor and gentleness because of His love for Christ, his willing submission to Jesus as Lord and out of obedience to God’s commands for him as a husband.

BEING A GODLY WIFE HAS TO BE A VOLUNTARY DECISION JUST LIKE BEING A GODLY HUSBAND HAS TO BE A VOLUNTARY DECISION – WE EACH ONLY CONTROL OURSELVES!

We don’t get to force our decisions on other people! Each person has his/her own free will given to him/her by God. Each person has the right to make his/her own choices.

I do write about women joyfully and voluntarily respecting and honoring their husbands’ leadership. But that is not something that a husband can force his wife to do. He can ask her. But he is not free in Christ to beat her, sin against her, abuse her, or rape her to make her do what he wants. Her respect and biblical submission are an act of her free will and these are to be based on her love and reverence for Christ, not because she is being threatened with violence or some kind of awful punishment.

Please note that in Ephesians 5:22-33, wives are given commands to do certain things of their own accord in the marriage. Husbands are given commands to do certain things themselves in the marriage. There is no command for “husbands to force their wives to respect and submit.” And there is no command for “wives to force their husbands to love them as Christ loves the church.”

A wife who is forced by violence into “respect and submission” is being mistreated, not like a woman with equal dignity, value and worth. That is very wrong! That is NOT God’s design for marriage. A wife in a situation like this needs to seek godly, experienced help. If anyone, a husband or a wife, is actually being abused, please seek safety and appropriate counsel ASAP!

I do write about wives seeking to be available sexually to their husbands, in accordance with I Corinthians 7:1-5. But…

There is a world of difference between a wife voluntarily making herself available sexually to her husband and a husband forcing himself on his wife.

Here is a video about this.

REV. WEAVER’S CLASS NOTES ON SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY – THIS PART IS FOR HUSBANDS

There are at least three requirements for an individual to properly operate as a delegated authority.

1. He must remember that all authority comes from God. They are therefore only a representative of God.

2. As God’s representative, the person must deny himself.

3. The person must constantly keep in fellowship and communion with God.

We should always remember that since we are only representing God and not ourselves, that all individuals in authority will be held to a higher standard of accountability for the proper conduct of their responsibilities in leading others.

The most comprehensive statement defining the basis of the levels of authority is stated in the I Corinthians 11:3 passage quoted above. This is a principle of Scripture that transcends time and culture. This delegated authority by God is based on His sovereignty, His glory, and for our good. It is not based on the value or merit of any individual over another individual or one gender over the other.

A godly man will respond to being in a position of delegated God-given authority with great humility.

RELATED:

Please note how gentle, kind, thoughtful, loving, soft-spoken and humble my husband is in his post.

Why Don’t I Address Women Who Are Abused? – please also check out the resources readers share in the comments in this post as well as the post you are reading

Do I Condone BDSM or “Christian Domestic Discipline?”

What Place Should Hatred, Rage, or Violence Have in a Christian Marriage?

RESOURCES:

Focus Ministries

National Hotline for Abuse

25 Comments on “Do I Condone Marital Rape or Abuse?”

  1. Timmy the Tool Tells Truth to Tomboys
    May 22, 2016 at 8:35 am #

    Walk with Christ? There is no such thing as “marital rape” that is a feminist lie….not to imply anything but, are you responsible for deleting comments or has nobody at all stopped by to say anything?!

    Women should submit in the bedroom ! Now, of course, men should be selfless and provide for his wife, and treat her as Christ would the church….but I don’t know, if she is going to get cranky and withhold sex, I think the husband is justified in taking what he wants from her.

    Dime to a dollar she ends up enjoying it because she is (at least sexually) fulfilling the mystery of man and woman, dominance and submission….take my meaning?

    Yeesh

    Like

    • Peacefulwife
      May 22, 2016 at 2:45 pm #

      Timmy the Tool Tells Truth to Tomboys,

      Thank you for sharing your perspective and your concerns.

      Scripture doesn’t specifically address marital rape. True.

      However, Scripture does address how believers are to act, what our character is to be like, how we are to treat others. We do not throw away the rest of the New Testament in order to somehow justify a husband violently forcing his wife into sex and physically hurting her to do so.

      Husbands do represent Christ and His selfless, sacrificial, humble, loving leadership. Wives are to honor and submit to their husbands’ God-given leadership (Eph. 5:22-33). Both spouses are to selflessly be available to each other sexually (1 Cor. 7:3-5).

      But, Jesus didn’t spiritually force Himself on people. He didn’t use violence to force people to worship and follow Him. He “stood at the door and knocked” and waited to be invited in to people’s lives to be one with them spiritually. T

      he sexual relationship in marriage is a picture of the spiritual relationship and oneness Christ shares with His church. The people of the church have free will. They can ignore Jesus. They can refuse to spend time with Him. They can choose not to abide in Him. That is unwise, of course, and there are consequences to neglecting the Lordship of Christ. But Jesus doesn’t force Himself into our lives against our will. He respects our decisions. We assume accountability for our decisions and the appropriate consequences later.

      Jesus’ definition of spiritual leadership is that those who want to lead should be servants of all. (Mark 9:35)

      And, when we look at 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and Galatians 5:22-23 about how we are each to treat others – there are qualities that God commands us to have like:

      – selflessness
      – humility
      – patience
      – kindness
      – gentleness
      – goodness
      – not dishonoring others
      – not demanding our own way
      – not being easily angered
      – protecting others
      – gentleness
      – self-control

      And, of course, Jesus calls His disciples to die to ourselves daily, to take up our cross and follow Him. It is impossible for me to reconcile these qualities of a believing spouse and one spouse forcing himself/herself on the other with violence.

      Why use violence anyway when gentleness, kindness, and tenderness is much more effective to draw our spouse to us?

      I don’t see anywhere in the New Testament where Jesus commands or condones a believer taking something by force when someone won’t give him what he wants.

      I believe that you and I have very different definitions of headship and submission. It seems that you may equate male headship with male domination, perhaps? I believe that male domination is a sinful distortion of godly leadership in marriage. For more on what male headship is, I invite you to check out The Danvers Statement and Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood edited by Wayne Grudem and John Piper.

      You are welcome to search my home page for posts on biblical submission.

      What Place Should Rage, Violence, and Abuse Have in Our Lives as Believers in Christ?
      Spiritual Authority
      Husbands Are Never the Absolute Authority
      Do I Condone CDD or BDSM?

      Like

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