Duty sex is a terrible thing

The Jacob, Rachel, and Leah story is instructive.

Genesis 29:31 Now the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, and He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. 32 Leah conceived and bore a son and named him Reuben, for she said, “Because the Lord has seen my affliction; surely now my husband will love me.” 33 Then she conceived again and bore a son and said, “Because the Lord has heard that I am unloved, He has therefore given me this son also.” So she named him Simeon. 34 She conceived again and bore a son and said, “Now this time my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore he was named Levi. 35 And she conceived again and bore a son and said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” Therefore she named him Judah. Then she stopped bearing.

In this case, Jacob is actually banging his wife a lot (well, at least 4 times but probably way more given the statistical amounts of sex needed to conceive). But Leah is unloved because he is just going through the motions with her when his desire is for Rachel.

These days it’s mostly wives giving their husbands duty sex, and it is still a terrible thing. Sadly, I don’t think the husbands and wives that give duty sex know how terrible it truly is for the other spouse.

Such is the problem with only obeying the “letter of the law” like the Pharisees instead of the “Spirit of the law” as new creations in Christ.

1 Corinthians 7:3 The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

I’m a firm preacher against duty sex when I am able to talk with it in person with people in real life. Act like you actually care about your spouse and don’t be ruled by your own feelings.

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40 Responses to Duty sex is a terrible thing

  1. Abiding Dude says:

    Has anyone reading this ever been the giver of duty sex? Not the “I was tired that night/morning but still saddled up to the task” type duty sex that is probably fairly common in even the most healthy marriages. I’m talking about consistent lack of desire/excitement for sex with your spouse that spanned months or years.

    If so, how did it get to that? Is it different now? What changed? Can one, in that situation, consciously change how they feel from duty sex to something more mutual or loving? To clarify, this is directed toward both men and women.

  2. CT says:

    If you are completely turned off sexually by your spouse, sex is pretty tough; even duty sex. The spouse you were attracted to when you married him or her may no longer be attractive to you. How do you get that desire back? You can’t force yourself to be attracted to someone; you can pray about it, try your best to rekindle the flame, fake desire until you’re blue in the face but if it isn’t there, it isn’t there. Desire is not negotiable. One may love their spouse and have absolutely no interest in having sex with them; in fact, they may be repulsed by the idea. I don’t think this is always caused by some deep seated psychological problem; I think sometimes you just are not longer sexually attracted to your spouse. I can tell you from talking to other people that this is not unusual. It usually is the woman who is no longer sexually attracted to her husband and husband just can’t understand this lack of sexual desire. So what’s the answer when a woman can’t bear the thought of having her body penetrated with the accompanying sweating, thrusting, groaning, sweating, etc., etc.? She ends up dreading duty sex but does it anyway because, well, it’s her duty. She knows she’ll have to do this 3-4 times a week for the rest of her life and it fills her with despair. She wishes she was attracted to her husband but one can’t demand one’s self to be attracted to someone. Men are unhappy with duty sex and it’s not enough; they want an “enthusiastic” sexual partner. I don’t think they have any idea that their wife can barely get through duty sex without cringing and counts the minutes until it’s over. If you’re a man, imagine having sex with a female that you have absolutely no attraction to; in fact, having sex with that woman is repulsive to you. That may be how your wife feels and let me tell you, she hates feeling that way.
    She agreed to sex when she got married so she needs to suit up and do it but men often think that when their wife resists having sex it’s because she is using it as some tool when in fact she can barely stomach the idea. It’s a problem for many women and I certainly don’t know the answer.

  3. Joe2 says:

    I agree “Duty Sex” is a terrible thing. Unfortunately, some (many?) Christian women believe duty sex is good, the norm and what should be expected in marriage.

    Christian woman #1 said that for the first six months of marriage we’ll have our (she meant you’ll have your) fun and then we’ll start a family. And after that what happens? Nothing, that’s it. Christian woman #2 said that she knows it is her duty to have sex and she would never deny sex, but she would never touch my penis nor should I expect her to do so. No further discussion.

    I appreciate their honesty and conclude that they never had any sexual desire for me. I believe they never realized how terrible it truly would be for me because both seemed to believe that I was being unreasonable or had unrealistic expectations.

  4. fuzziewuzziebear says:

    Sex is the one thing that makes a marriage different from being roommates. At present, women seem to lose desire for their husband, so they make a choice that affects both. This is not working too well.

  5. fuzziewuzziebear says:

    I have a confession to make. I was watching a video on Youtube from Rebel Media of David Menzies interviewing women waiting in line to see the equivalent of The View. They were asked about the recent firing of a long time host on Hockey Night in Canada. They were all gloating and they were nearly all post menopausal harpies. They don’t want men to have any joy in life, not even a night to watch hockey. I found them repulsive and it had to be mostly for their attitude. I could not imagine duty sex.
    Watching this video is optional.

  6. @ CT

    That is definitely a problem, but 99% of the time it’s fixable because it’s almost always obesity related or just lack of trying (flattering clothing, style, etc.).

    My experience is that most of the time there is a lack of knowledge or effort about understanding what each spouse finds attractive and being unselfish and working toward wanting to be attractive for them.

    Most of the cases are also both spouses are becoming unattractive, not solely just either the man or woman. There are exceptions though.

  7. CT says:

    @ DS
    If it’s fixable 99% of the time, why aren’t couples fixing it? Women not wanting sex seems to be an enormous problem so I suspect it isn’t that easy to fix but I could be wrong. The women I know who struggle with this problem would do about anything to fix it and just are not sexually attracted to their husbands despite their attempts to remedy things. Interestingly, the husband is often in good shape ( not obese) and well groomed, etc. I truly believe that most women want to be attracted to their husbands and want to enjoy sex with them.
    It seems that the biological differences (sex drive) must account for some of the disparity, particularly after menopause. I don’t know what the reason is but it certainly is a problem; if it wasn’t, perhaps duty sex wouldn’t be such an issue.

  8. @ CT

    If it’s fixable 99% of the time, why aren’t couples fixing it? Women not wanting sex seems to be an enormous problem so I suspect it isn’t that easy to fix but I could be wrong. The women I know who struggle with this problem would do about anything to fix it and just are not sexually attracted to their husbands despite their attempts to remedy things. Interestingly, the husband is often in good shape ( not obese) and well groomed, etc. I truly believe that most women want to be attracted to their husbands and want to enjoy sex with them.

    There’s a few reasons.

    1. Because of things like this:

    I. Contempt
    II. Ungratefulness
    III. Disrespect

    As wives become more grateful and thankful for their husbands and actually respect them, they become more attracted to them.

    This is heavily exacerbated by the culture (and even the Church) that we live in which constantly disrespects husbands and fathers.

    This is a CHOICE for women.

    2. Their husbands aren’t that attractive themselves.

    This is fairly obvious in most cases where a husband is obese, but less obvious when he’s more handsome and muscular. Usually in these cases, the husband is acting like a beta soyboy in the marriage and caving to whatever she says instead of acting as the head.

    Weak men make women as limp as obese women make men limp.

    This is an issue with the husband obviously, and in the case of obesity is fairly easily fixable with lifting and nutrition. It’s harder when there are ingrained dysfunctional patterns like the “complementarianism” dynamic where the husband is the figurehead but the wife is really running things.

    Women do have a choice in this though. As Cane says, if the husband ducks, the wife can duck lower. You can always submit more and more and praise your husband’s choices until he regains the confidence and headship.

    3. Women’s own attractiveness affects their men wanting to do them enthusiastically and sometimes also affects their husband to kick his own butt into shape too..

    This is also fixable by women.

    Even if a woman does not have a naturally high sex drive, these things foster the correct dynamic in marriage which is everything for women. That’s why the Bible commands the husband to be the head (headship-submission dynamic is attractive to women) and commands wives to respect their husbands (wives who respect their husbands increase their own attraction toward them).

  9. CT says:

    @ DS
    The first things you mention (contempt, ungratefulness, disrespect) are certainly things that would affect a marriage negatively all the way around. I think you have a good point about the dysfunctional dynamics affecting sexual attractiveness. Food for thought, certainly.

  10. Casey says:

    I was once a wife who had “duty sex” to satisfy my husband.

    Lack of excitement, i.e. performing like a porn star at first in my marriage was directly related to excruciating back/pelvic pain during intercourse from a prior undiagnosed gymnastics injury. As a virgin I had no clue what was happening and assumed this was what all married women endured during sex. My husband cared enough about my absence of pleasure and lack of overactive participation and actually had a conversation with me about it. I was confused at first because I was taught that sex is for a man’s pleasure only. Through the assistance of an excellent orthopedic surgeon and a pelvic floor physical therapist sex is now nearly pain free and enjoyable and I accept that my body is capable of receiving pleasure from my husband.

  11. @ Casey

    Yeah, that highlights why it’s a good idea to talk about sex both prior to marriage and in marriage as unexpected things can happen.

    My wife had back pain during lots of different activities and thought it was normal until we were talking one time and I told her it wasn’t. We got her some physical therapy and she has no back pain now, but it was crazy to think that because she had it a lot that she thought it was normal.

    Pain during sex is one of those things that can get helped.

  12. @ CT

    Yes, usually that is the biggest one.

    Attitude is very important to how we view the world. That’s why the Christian walk with the Holy Spirit is focused on peace, joy, hope, and gratitude.

    When you get into a cycle of negativity, it often increases stress, kills sex drive, and turns you against others.

  13. Bee says:

    The late Marabel Morgan taught Seminars for Wives interested in improving their marriage. Her number one rule for sex was, Always Keep Your Hands Moving (AKYHM). She found that the physical movement and participation would overcome boredom and tiredness.

    Her book is out of print but used copies are available:
    https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?sts=t&cm_sp=SearchF-_-home-_-Results&kn=&an=Morgan&tn=The+Total+Woman&isbn=

  14. Joe2 says:

    @Bee

    Thanks for the posting.

    Marabel Morgan is still alive; she is 82 years old and apparently is working in the health industry. Her book Total Woman sold more than 10 million copies and was the best selling nonfiction book of 1974. She was a regular guest on the Phil Donahue Show, was featured on the cover of Time Magazine and was named one of the most influential women in America by People Magazine.

    Of course her books were severely criticized by feminists. I wonder what kind of reception she would receive in the evangelical churches today, considering the inroads of some 45+ years of feminism? As an example, DS’s comment about obese women may be considered abusive, controlling and body shaming. This is based on my experience on an evangelical women’s blog where I was told that even if your wife ate 1/2 gallon of ice cream a day and gained 200 lbs you would be out of place to say or do anything to change her behavior.

  15. Bee says:

    Joe2,

    Thanks for the correction. I appreciate getting the story straight.

  16. Paul says:

    Duty sex still beats no sex, hands down (no puns intended).

  17. Paul says:

    @DS “Usually in these cases, the husband is acting like a beta soyboy in the marriage and caving to whatever she says instead of acting as the head. ”

    Oh boy. Thanks for disrepecting all husbands out there trying to get their wives in check.
    Men do NOT need to ACT as the head, they ARE the head. It’s the wife’s duty to acknowledge that and act according to it. You have obviously still no idea on the depth of the rebelliousness of many women. I cannot explain it differently as part of the curse, where the desire of the woman is to take over the authority of her man, no matter what, and continuously. Until a wife understands this pattern and is willing to control herself by submitting, there’s not a lot a man can do, if he’s not in a church that will address such behavior as sinful and act accordingly. Good luck finding such a church.

  18. Paul says:

    As for “duty sex”; an estimated 25% of all marriages are sexless marriages (less than 10 times sex a year). It seems Paul’s instructions in 1 Cor 7 that indicate each spouse should comply with the other spouse sexual needs, as each spouse has authority over the body of the other, is effectively working against marriages turning sexless. That message is somehow lost to the modern church. Whatever you think of duty sex, I think all sex is both pleasure AND duty, given the instructions in the NT.

  19. @ Paul

    Oh boy. Thanks for disrepecting all husbands out there trying to get their wives in check.

    Men do NOT need to ACT as the head, they ARE the head. It’s the wife’s duty to acknowledge that and act according to it. You have obviously still no idea on the depth of the rebelliousness of many women. I cannot explain it differently as part of the curse, where the desire of the woman is to take over the authority of her man, no matter what, and continuously. Until a wife understands this pattern and is willing to control herself by submitting, there’s not a lot a man can do, if he’s not in a church that will address such behavior as sinful and act accordingly. Good luck finding such a church.

    Thank you for twisting the point out of context.

    Husband are the head, and they need to ACT as the head BECAUSE GOD SAID SO. Not because I said so.

    A husband not acting as the head does not excuse bad behavior of the wife, but neither does it excuse bad behavior of the husband.

  20. Paul says:

    I don’t think I’m twisting anything here, you stated “Their husbands aren’t that attractive themselves […] when he’s more handsome and muscular. USUALLY in these cases, the husband is acting like a beta soyboy in the marriage and caving to whatever she says instead of acting as the head.”

    The point is that you state that it “usually” the fault of the husband even if he is attractive, that his wife is not attracted to him. You even call such husbands soyboys. You’re still missing the obvious fact that many wives are plain rebellious. It’s Eve’s curse. You should know that by now having read countless testimonies in the manosphere.

    And I emphasize again, being the head is about position, not about actions. Nowhere does God command men to act like the head. It is important that men understand their position of authority, and understand their primacy in the family, to be better able to serve God and their families. It’s the primary responsibility of teacher of the Church to learn men about it. Again, good luck finding such a church.

  21. Sharkly says:

    Paul,
    You are right on! I don’t know what has gotten into Deep Strength lately, but he has recently made a lot of blue-pilled churchian sounding statements, and then he accuses the folks who call him on it, of taking his words out of context or twisting his words. He is free to take the time and clearly and unambiguously write what he means, if he doesn’t actually mean what so many of us can see in his writing. I believe somebody hinted that he may have recently become married, and perhaps that has had an enthralling effect on him. Some men marry women who are easily controlled and easily guided, and they foolishly act as though all who have difficulty with their wives are retards or at fault. They don’t comprehend what happened with (most righteous man)Job’s wife, (Loved like God)Hosea’s wife, (uber-Alpha lord of hand-to-hand combat and captain of Pharaoh’s personal guard)Potiphar’s wife, and Etc. And instead of learning based upon God’s word, that you can’t be righteous enough, you can’t be loving enough, you can’t be masculine enough, to prevent an evil woman from indulging in wickedness, they fall into the trap of assuming other women are as easily manipulated as their own wife. Like so many “Christian counselors” they cannot fathom a marital problem being entirely one sided, a wife’s sin, a wife’s failure to submit to Christ-like leadership, a wife continually returning evil for good to a longsuffering husband. Their internal worshipful belief in the moral superiority of women takes precedence in their mind above God’s word. And so out of the abundance of their heart, comes these statements reflexively blaming men as “usually” guilty when a wife is clearly in rebellion to God’s clear commands. They blame the man who has been wronged to absolve the woman of at least some of the guilt of what she has done to him. It is easiest to heap scorn on the most righteous of men, because they usually leave their vengeance to the Lord. And heaping scorn on righteous men anonymously over the internet, well that takes even less courage. I wish Deep Strength could just stand up against Feminism without the cowardly need to appease women. He does all men a disservice by groveling on our behalf. I, for one, am innocent of my wife’s wickedness. And like Job, I know it. If Deep Strength can’t wrap his head around the fact that a man can be everything he should be, and still be hated for it, then perhaps he needs to be reminded of the mobs of Jerusalem screaming out for the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus, and how his own disciple betrayed him to death with a kiss. Until Deep Strength informed me, I didn’t realize the Lord must have been eating soy products. /S

  22. @ Paul

    Incorrect, I’m addressing potential area(s) where husbands have issues that can influence their wife toward rebellion.

    Again, it’s still on the wife to CHOOSE rebellion (and many do), but influencing her a certain way is not good either.

    I’ve said this numerous times, but apparently it’s not getting through.

  23. @ Sharkly

    This is a Christian’s men blog. These past few months posts have focused on Christian men and husbands to find any area(s) or blind spots where they may be influencing their women/wives toward rebellion rather than away.

    It’s a no brainer that some women/wives will choose rebellion even if the husband was acting perfectly like Jesus. I’ve said that a zillion times. However, 99% of the time this ain’t the case anyway. I’m frankly tired of your incorrect assumptions, so this is a warning to you.

    If you can’t handle these topics because it hits too close to home or you think I’m “blaming men for the rebellion of women” (which I’ve never done), please don’t read and don’t comment on them.

  24. Sharkly says:

    Deep Strength,
    I don’t know if you’re trying to bait me with a comment like: “It’s a no brainer that some women/wives will choose rebellion even if the husband was acting perfectly like Jesus. I’ve said that a zillion times. However, 99% of the time this ain’t the case anyway.

    Whatever do you mean. Not to boast, but throughout my education I have scored at the very top in reading comprehension. And as somebody who is exceptionally gifted in reading comprehension, your statement their is possibly blaming men or ambiguous enough that it could be construed that way. And at least in my state’s system of contract law, any ambiguity in a written instrument is construed against the party that produced the instrument. In this case we might just say that it is not the readers duty to be able to read your mind. So what are you saying? That 99% of the time the wife won’t choose rebellion? That 99% of the time when the wife chooses rebellion it is because of a fault on the husbands part? Or just that 99% of the time there is a fault on the husband’s part. That 99% of the time the wife’s rebellion is justified? that 1% of the time the wife is wrong to choose rebellion? That 1% of the time the husband is acting as perfect as Jesus? your couplet could have a few meanings more still. If you’re tired of people(not just me) making incorrect assumptions, why not try to write in a way that is less ambiguous and more definite as to what you mean.

    1 Corinthians 14:8 And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle?

    The teaching you do here at this Christian men’s blog, is a high enough calling that you should try to do your best. And don’t tire of correction. The Bible tells us what sort of man doesn’t like correction.

    I wasn’t going to comment on this post, because I’m 100% with Paul on this, that duty sex is much preferable to being completely defrauded, and there are a lot of us in that same boat as he also pointed out. I know Paul to be a very intelligent man and he is not overly contentious, and I was just chiming in to support what he was saying because I too read your comments exactly how he did. And I’ve had those exact same sort of comments thrown at me by churchians before, so it is not out of the realm of possibility that you are inadvertently coming off sounding like a churchian. If multiple intelligent people take issue with what you are writing,(wrongly you say, but yet all interpreting your comments exactly the same way) at what point do you bear any responsibility for how you wrote it, if we are all similarly taking it wrong? As you mentioned you have had this issue before: https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2019/10/29/the-goal-for-christian-husbands-whose-wives-deny-them-should-not-be-sex-but-their-wifes-repentance/
    And yet you try to personalize this to me Like a Saul Alinsky tactic. 13. “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”
    You’re not being very gracious about receiving instruction. And neither Paul nor I want to harm you or your ministry. We are trying to make sure other people don’t also leave with the wrong idea about what you wrote, since it sounded like you were blaming men to us.

  25. Sharkly says:

    Deep Strength says: These past few months posts have focused on Christian men and husbands to find any area(s) or blind spots where they may be influencing their women/wives toward rebellion rather than away.

    Oddly enough that is part of what you get every single service including Christmas and Easter from the Churchians. So unless a complete Noob is reading here, who has never met a churchian or happened across their millions of websites, all the possible ways men can be wrong and leading their wives towards rebellion gets saturation coverage. As one of your loyal readers, I’d prefer you provide the counterpoint to them and point out where the mainstream churchian doctrines have been soiled by Feminism. Or some other unique thing that a zillion other websites don’t offer. That’s just a suggestion though.

  26. Derek Ramsey says:

    “I wasn’t going to comment on this post, because I’m 100% with Paul on this, that duty sex is much preferable to being completely defrauded, and there are a lot of us in that same boat as he also pointed out.”

    I concur as well. Moreover, there are so many possible reasons for duty sex (a few alternatives have already been mentioned) and not all are rebellious. Blanket preaching against all duty sex is misguided, as the alternative may be worse.

    “It’s a no brainer that some women/wives will choose rebellion even if the husband was acting perfectly like Jesus. I’ve said that a zillion times. However, 99% of the time this ain’t the case anyway.”

    As Sharkly pointed out, I’m not sure what meaning was intended here. Many possibilities are flatly wrong, so clarification would be helpful. Wives are rebellious way more than 1% of the time, and men acting perfect like Jesus happens 0% of the time, so it’s really confusing.

    DS: “These past few months posts have focused on Christian men and husbands to find any area(s) or blind spots where they may be influencing their women/wives toward rebellion rather than away.” Sharkly: “Oddly enough that is part of what you get every single service including Christmas and Easter from the Churchians.”

    And Father’s Day. Especially Father’s Day. If modern churches are good at anything, it’s telling men to “man up” and lead their wife by example. I wonder what percentage of marriages include a rebellious wife who would actually respond to her husband influencing her away from rebellion? But more importantly, in what percentage of marriages is the husband actually influencing his wife towards rebellion? If he isn’t influencing her towards rebellion, then telling him to man up necessarily victim blames him.

    If your audience is primarily men falling down on their responsibilities, then go for it. Maybe you should specify at the top of your article who the intended audience is, Sigma Frame style, so we know that this stuff doesn’t apply to us.

  27. Paul says:

    @DS First of all, I really appreciate your blog and your work, it’s a great place to think and discuss about man-wife relationships from a biblical perspective.

    Some of us read your comments as:
    1. a man is objectively attractive
    2. his wife finds him inattractive
    3. usually/99% of the time, this is *because* these men are *being* unattractive, because:
    a. he is insufficiently taking the lead/acting as the head
    b. he is a soyboy
    c. he is caving in to her
    d. he is causing/influencing his wife towards rebellion
    4. only *some* women choose rebellion even if their husbands act like Jesus

    Let’s for the moment assume some of us have not understood you correctly, as you insist. Can you clarify what you mean instead?

  28. Paul says:

    Sharkly, you’ve shared your situation with your wife in many places for all to read, and I sympathize with what you are enduring. For me it is one of the clear examples of rebellious wives, of which there are many. Heck, 70% of divorces are initiated by women, that should tell you the epidemic size of this problem.

  29. @ Sharkly

    You’re not being very gracious about receiving instruction. And neither Paul nor I want to harm you or your ministry. We are trying to make sure other people don’t also leave with the wrong idea about what you wrote, since it sounded like you were blaming men to us.

    Or maybe I’m not gracious about “receiving instruction” because I told you that was not what I meant, yet you keep saying that is what I meant.

    In addition, I’ve noted that my wording can be poor at times and that if I come off like I am talking “all” marriages when it’s most (though I usually say most or majority if I mean that instead of “all” but I’ll give that the benefit of the doubt).

    It’s up to you guys to be more gracious when I already said that I did not mean those things or that I may have worded things poorly. So far, I am not seeing it.

    I’m done talking about this topic though. I won’t fault someone if they want to point out how my wording makes it seem like I’m blaming men, but they know that is not what I meant. But if anyone says I’m blaming men anymore, they’re getting a warning and then a ban.

  30. Paul says:

    @DS You acknowledge you might have worded things poorly, yet you accused me of twisting your words out of context. Furthermore you ask for us to handle you graciously when you say that you did not mean it, while you don’t clarify your position when asked about it. And suddenly your done talking about this topic, and threaten to ban commenters. It appears you’re having double standards.

    This doesn’t give me a good vibe at all. Be careful how you proceed, keep your integrity at all cost, and you will be more respected for it.

  31. @ Paul

    You acknowledge you might have worded things poorly, yet you accused me of twisting your words out of context.

    These two things are not mutually exclusive.

    I claimed that people were interpreting things out of context. If enough people interpret something out of context, I will assume that I worded things poorly.

    Furthermore you ask for us to handle you graciously when you say that you did not mean it, while you don’t clarify your position when asked about it.

    This is just flat out false. I clarified my position several times.

    How many times do I have to say that men/husbands are not responsible for their wives’ sin, but they are responsible for acting as the head as God requires and influencing their wives in a godly manner. Hmm. At least 10+ times in this comment field alone.

    Yet which one of you acknowledges this?

    And suddenly your done talking about this topic, and threaten to ban commenters. It appears you’re having double standards.

    This doesn’t give me a good vibe at all. Be careful how you proceed, keep your integrity at all cost, and you will be more respected for it.

    This is just funny. I’m out of patience because people aren’t listening to what I’m saying.

    If people aren’t going to listen after being repeatedly warned, like jason, they will get the boot. Ain’t got the time for saying the same thing 10+ times.

  32. Paul says:

    @DS This is just flat out false. I clarified my position several times.

    No, you haven’t. You’ve only repeated that ‘you don’t blame men for women’s rebellion’. However, multiple commenters have pointed out, and I spelled it out explicitly, that you seem to imply that it mostly the behavior of men that is triggering rebellion in women (although women can choose to not rebel). You have not responded thus far to such questions for clarification. I’m still being generous here and allow you to clarify yourself.

    Or maybe you don’t see such a distinction. In that case us commenters need to clarify what we mean.

    These two things are not mutually exclusive.
    Well, theoretically indeed no, but only if you clarify which parts you did mean as just as you wrote them down, and which parts you should have worded differently.

    I’m out of patience because people aren’t listening to what I’m saying.
    Well, you have the opportunity to take a deep breath and make your point more clear, apparently some of us do not seem to understand you.

  33. @ Paul

    No, you haven’t. You’ve only repeated that ‘you don’t blame men for women’s rebellion’. However, multiple commenters have pointed out, and I spelled it out explicitly, that you seem to imply that it mostly the behavior of men that is triggering rebellion in women (although women can choose to not rebel). You have not responded thus far to such questions for clarification. I’m still being generous here and allow you to clarify yourself.

    Triggering/causing no. Influencing, yes.

    If a man acts unmasculine (or beta soyboy if you want to use my previous words) and implicitly or explicitly shirks the reigns of headship, this can INFLUENCE a wife toward rebellion.

    On the other hand, if a man acts masculine and takes the reigns of headship, this can INFLUENCE a woman toward godliness.

    Women would still have to choose to rebel or obey whether a man acted poor or good. But God still calls each spouse to act toward good, regardless of the behavior of the other. Husbands and wives should obey God to influence their spouses toward godliness, regardless if they’re acting badly or not.

    Should we assign some “blame” to husbands or wives if they influence their spouse poorly or shirking their Biblical marital roles and responsibilities? Yes This is their choice to act that way. Should we fault them for the sin of their spouse? No. This is not their choice to act that way.

    I think that should be abundantly clear and in line with the Bible.

  34. Novaseeker says:

    Should we assign some “blame” to husbands or wives if they influence their spouse poorly or shirking their Biblical marital roles and responsibilities? Yes This is their choice to act that way. Should we fault them for the sin of their spouse? No. This is not their choice to act that way.

    I think that should be abundantly clear and in line with the Bible.

    Precisely.

    It’s the same when a spouse has an affair.

    The spouse who strays is the only one responsible for the sin of adultery — they are the spouse who committed that sin, and they solely bear responsibility for that sin.

    However, the “cheatee” spouse bears responsibility for anything he/she may have done or not done that may have led the straying spouse to a place where they became tempted to commit the sin of adultery.

    These are different sins. It doesn’t mean that the “cheatee” spouse is “responsible for” the adultery — not at all. That is solely the responsibility of the adulterous spouse. But the “cheatee” spouse is responsible for what he/she may have done or not done that led the adulterous spouse onto the path of being tempted to commit the sin of adultery.

    Lots of people struggle with this apparently, it seems.

  35. Anonymous Reader says:

    If a man acts unmasculine (or beta soyboy if you want to use my previous words) and implicitly or explicitly shirks the reigns of headship, this can INFLUENCE a wife toward rebellion.

    On the other hand, if a man acts masculine and takes the reigns of headship, this can INFLUENCE a woman toward godliness.

    In other words, a man has a burden of performance within a marriage in multiple ways, and the marriage will work better if his frame of reference is solid and he does not make her happiness his mission. Is that a reasonable restatement?

  36. @ AR

    In other words, a man has a burden of performance within a marriage in multiple ways (1), and the marriage will work better if his frame of reference is solid (2) and he does not make her happiness his mission (3). Is that a reasonable restatement?

    1. Yes, but wives are also responsible for their influence on their husbands and their own marital roles and responsibilities. 1 Peter 3 is clear on this.

    2. Yes, a man’s “frame” should be to please God by doing what God has called him to do

    3. Yes. There’s nothing wrong with doing things to make someone happy, but it is important to recognize that when you are in a dysfunctional pattern that this often goes awry because it makes it seem like you’re trying to appease or cater to someone. This often makes the dysfunction worse. Happiness is a fleeting emotion and you can’t change people’s feelings and attitudes.

  37. @ Nova

    Good summary.

    I think the waters get easily muddied because we live in a culture that says victim blaming is a thing, and it influences our opinions when there are “sin” matters present.

    As I always say, there’s usually no one in any relationship or marriage that has no “fault” in some way or another when there is some sort of grave sin. Usually there was a dysfunctional pattern where they were influencing each other negative repeatedly until something really bad happened.

    There’s enough blame to go around, but each spouse should still focus on getting right with God for their own sin/blame/fault in the matter (even if that fault was small), and focus on obeying God and their own marital roles and responsibilities so that they can influence their spouse in a godly direction from there.

    I know I’ve lost my patience with my wife and said some snarky things at times (instead of holding my tongue), which may influence/tempt her to sin against me too. Even repenting of the small things is very beneficial in getting you on track with partnering with the Holy Spirit and not letting these things devolve into bigger issues.

  38. Jacob says:

    Genesis 3 makes it clear that Adam’s sin did not excuse Eve’s. A wife’s sin cannot be imputed to her husband. However, the world still generally holds husbands accountable for their wives behaviour, especially when it relates to sex. For whatever reason, the burden of performance has always been more on the husband than the wife. In churches, Eph 5:22-33 is often the only passage referred to in sermons in support of this. It’s also more often than not accompanied by modern chivalrous bafflegarble.

    It’s worth emphasizing that for Christians the burden of performance is given by God for His sake and not just to husbands but to all members of the body. That is, the burden on a husband to love his wife, namely to steer her away from sin and back to God, is like the one given to Christ and the church. Since we’re all members of the body of Christ, the burden is given to all brethren for the sake of each other. Eph 5:22-33 gives examples of how this is done.

    Happiness is most certainly not the mission in marriage, although it may be something a husband might want to achieve with his wife to make life easier for himself. ‘Happy wife happy life’ is a terrible slogan, but it’s a wise husband who seeks to make his burden lighter. Doing this in godly ways is a worthy challenge, just as hospitality and ‘belonging’ ministries are in church.

    The burden on wives is slightly different but not less. Wives are to respect their husbands and submit to their authority (and teach their children about living God’s way,) but they also share the burden of brotherhood. A Christian wife is still a member of Christ and the church. She must therefore seek to look out for other’s interests as well as her own and take care not to influence others to sin. Her own sin will affect not just herself and the brother she’s married to, but the whole church, especially if it’s not dealt with properly. The safety of the church is certainly her concern, perhaps a more grave one than her marriage but also inclusive of it.

    Each person is responsible for his/her standing with God, but sin is everyone’s problem, especially undealt-with sin. In marriage, when one or the other spouse neglects their responsibility, it’ll likely lead to dysfunction in the marriage if it’s not dealt with. More broadly, it’ll find its way into church eventually. The metaphor of yeast spreading in bread to describe sin in the church is used with good reason: “don’t you know a little yeast permeates the whole dough” (1 Cor 5:6). Sin is contagious. Helping the brethren remove sin from their lives is a key on-going function of the church and its membership.

    Plenty of Christians want to place the burden of performance in marriage on husbands, but they are wrong. Nothing we do in Christ is ever on our shoulders alone.

  39. Sharkly says:

    Deep Strength says: I think the waters get easily muddied because we live in a culture that says victim blaming is a thing, and it influences our opinions when there are “sin” matters present.

    Victim blaming has always been offensive to almost everyone, especially God, even the heathen were given a conscience. Back in Bible times when you laid undue guilt on somebody other than the guilty, it was called injustice. Behaving justly is a fundamental requirement of the Lord:

    Micah 6:8 He hath shown thee, O man, what is good: and what doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.

    Although I get your point, some of us live afflicted like Hosea. We might be far better husbands, than some who live with peaceable and submissive wives, and yet our best efforts are repaid with evil. We are tried continually in the fire of adversity and humiliation while showing the sacrificial love of Christ. No we are not perfect, but we have endured far more for loving like Christ than some who speculate about our failings. And because of our trials and having learned through such prolonged grief, we would surely go the extra mile to see that we don’t unduly implicate good husbands in the wickedness of their unrepentant wives. Have they not suffered enough for being Christ to their wives that they would need additional scorn? We are just asking you to be more careful to not seemingly lay blame on those who are sharing in the sufferings of Christ. There is a terrible price to be paid for doing that:

    Psalm 69:19 Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonor: mine adversaries are all before thee. 20 Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.

    26 For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded. 27 Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness. 28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.

    We just ask you to take more care to not implicate the righteous when they are sinned against by their wayward wives, like how Christ was not received by His own, but was instead crucified. When we ask our Christian brothers to take pity on us, we should find them willing, if in fact they are brothers in Christ.

  40. Stephanie says:

    This was such a good comment, Sharkly. I agree 100% with all of it.

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