Sexual authority is only for sex and not against sex

I’ve seen this often from complementarians and egalitarians but was just reminded of it from Full Metal Patriarch’s post on Doug Wilson’s quaduple-speak.

He quotes from Doug’s book:

Yes, she must have sex whenever you want it. And you must refrain whenever she wants to refrain. You have authority over her body, but never forget that she also has authority over your body.”

Fidelity, pp. 109-110

Let’s actually read the passage, shall we?

1 Corinthians 7:3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

The intent of the passage starts in verse 3 where each spouse to fulfill their marital duty to the other. Thus, verse 4 speaks that each spouse should rightfully give their spouse sex when they desire it. Verse 5 continues along this theme of not depriving each other except for a special situation where both agree to it for spiritual purposes.

It’s an absolutely contradictory reading of the passage to suggest that husbandly authority over the wife’s body and the wifely authority over the husband’s body means that that she should have sex with you but her authority over your body means she can stop you from that. The whole passage including each verse is about fulfilling the marital duty not refraining from it, and refraining from it is only by mutual consent and prayer. The authority is indicated to have sex, but there is no authority to not have sex.

It’s no better than the egalitarian cherry pickers saying that Eph 5:21 “and [church members should] submit to one another in Christ” also applies to the marriage verses. It’s just bad exegesis of the text.

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27 Responses to Sexual authority is only for sex and not against sex

  1. Great catch. Hard to believe that he reads the passage that way. On his take, Paul should have just said, “Only have sex when you both really want to.”

    “It’s no better than the egalitarian cherry pickers . . .”

    Be an egalitarian! Because Ephesians 5 says Jesus and the church are mutually submissive or something . . .

  2. princeasbel says:

    On the point of sexual authority, Wilson is as off kilter as Sheila Wray Gregoire, and she’s a raging feminist. Wilson says:

    Yes, she must have sex whenever you want it. And you must refrain whenever she wants to refrain. You have authority over her body, but never forget that she also has authority over your body.”

    And Sheila likewise says:

    If her husband’s body belongs to her, then she has the ability to also say, “I do not want you using your body sexually right now with me.”

    When it comes to letting wives deprive their husbands, both a raging feminist and a (supposedly) Christian patriarch are in full agreement that this is appropriate and backed by Scripture, yet they are both 100% wrong. This is why Wilson shut down his comments section. Stuff like this is too easy to call him out on.

  3. jorgen says:

    If only Paul had learned to write this wouldn’t be a problem. Canonizing a horrendous writer as infallible is a mistake. Even when he is right he’s still misleading, because he sucks as a writer and 99.9% of people will misinterpret him upwards of 90% of the time. Anyone who won’t admit that is basically aiding wokeism.

  4. @ jorgen

    If only Paul had learned to write this wouldn’t be a problem. Canonizing a horrendous writer as infallible is a mistake. Even when he is right he’s still misleading, because he sucks as a writer and 99.9% of people will misinterpret him upwards of 90% of the time. Anyone who won’t admit that is basically aiding wokeism.

    Nah. What he wrote is pretty clear.

    It’s people trying to warp what he wrote that are off.

    2 Peter 3: 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

  5. @ princeasbel

    When it comes to letting wives deprive their husbands, both a raging feminist and a (supposedly) Christian patriarch are in full agreement that this is appropriate and backed by Scripture, yet they are both 100% wrong. This is why Wilson shut down his comments section. Stuff like this is too easy to call him out on.

    Yeah, I see Shiela’s stuff brought up a decent amount by Christians here and there and I’m always like… are they reading the Bible and reading what she’s writing?

    It’s sounds good to itching ears like most of feminism, but it’s definitely not Biblical.

  6. I love that passage from 2 Peter. I also point out to Paul-haters that they are tipping their hands when they ignore that the writings were from Paul AND the Holy Spirit. Not sure of Jorgen’s views, but when I come across “Christian” Leftists they’ll freely quote Paul when it suits them yet pretend the Holy Spirit wasn’t involved in the verses they don’t like.

  7. cameron232 says:

    One wonders if he’s writing this because he assumes that if he doesn’t, Christian “patriarchs” (what he’s presumably trying to create) will start “raping*” their wives. And he’ll be blamed or something.

    * Yes, I realize a few generations ago it wasn’t possible to commit forcible rape against your wife.

  8. cameron232 says:

    Jorgen’s coming at it from the other end. Paul’s too woke/lefty, not insufficiently woke.

    Paul wrote most of the NT. Kinda hard to imagine throwing him out – it seems even stranger than throwing out James like some proposed.

  9. Lexet Blog says:

    This is the result of a biblical hermeneutic that spiritualizes all passages, and makes 0 attempt to read them in a consistent, coherent manner.

  10. thedeti says:

    Yes, I realize a few generations ago it wasn’t possible to commit forcible rape against your wife.

    I am sure this is putting too fine a point on it but I’ll make it anyway. Yes, you could have nonconsensual sex with your wife, but it wasn’t “rape”. Rape is a legal term and it has a specific meaning. Before “marital rape”, the legal converged with Christian viewpoints on marriage You couldn’t rape your wife because married women were considered to have given “standing consent” to their husbands for sex (consistent with St. Paul’s admonitions).

    Second, at law, married women were considered “joined to” their husbands – take two individual humans and unite them as one, per consent. You couldn’t rape your wife because that would be raping yourself, which is a legal impossibility. You couldn’t conspire with your wife to commit crimes, because conspiracy requires at least two actors. You and your wife comprise one entity. You cannot conspire with yourself. Regardless of whatever sex a man was having with his wife, it could never be rape.

    The only vestige of the “two become one” theory of marriage in law is the marital privilege, but not really because you can’t communicate with yourself. The marital privilege says statements husbands and wives make to each other are legally privileged against discovery in civil or criminal trials. Spouses cannot be compelled to testify against each other. One spouse may assert the privilege and prohibit the spouse from testifying to communications during the marriage. The rationale is that we as a society want to encourage marriage. We want to encourage people to get married, so they can have a quiet place for repose, solace, and trust. So we privilege marital communication to promote full, frank, candid, and explicit communications between spouses without fear that those communications later might be used against them. We as a society want to promote marriage and the marital relationship; and allowing spouses to snitch would injure those relationships.

    Too bad that there’s not much of a quiet place for repose, solace, and trust anymore.

  11. cameron232 says:

    Deti, yes consent to marriage was considered consent to sex. The phrase “marital rape” if spoken would have been met with confusion. Women now use it to mean a husband who pesters her into sex not just one who physically forces her.

  12. Oscar says:

    @ Cameron

    One wonders if he’s writing this because he assumes that if he doesn’t, Christian “patriarchs” (what he’s presumably trying to create) will start “raping*” their wives.

    It was a response to accusations of supporting marital rape.

    DS is misinterpreting what Pastor Doug wrote. He’s saying that, yes, the Bible requires wives to have sex with their husbands (and vice versa), even when they don’t want to, but no, the Bible doesn’t authorize husbands to physically force wives to have sex.

    Here’s another way to put it. A wife that withholds sex from her husband is sinning. A husband that physically forces his sinning wife to have sex with him is also sinning.

    I mean, does anyone think the Bible authorizes husbands to physically force their wives to have sex?

    Pastor Doug is not saying that wives have the authority to withhold sex from their husbands.

  13. cameron232 says:

    Yeah I dont know much about the celebrity pastors Oscar. Thanks for the background.

    I wouldn’t enjoy having sex with a woman if I had to force her so I’d take a raincheck on that one.

  14. Anonymous Southern Churl says:

    A husband forcing his wife to sex is not committing a sin. He has full authority to force his wife to do anything. His wife is supposed to be in full submission to him. And she is supposed to have a quiet spirit, not rebellious. If he is sinning in another manner, her quiet spirit is supposed to win him over; the lack of her speaking is supposed to have victory over him in Christ. Not talkback, not rebellion, not help from strangers (such as cowardly feminist preachers).

    Oscar is mistaken. I have seen your line of thought many places. Husband’s have full authority given to them by God to lead and command their wives, regardless of their wives’ feeling. Forcing your wife to do something is not sinning. A loving husband is not going to hurt his wife, even in the act of forceful pleasure. A married man is no stranger to what needs to be done before the act of penetration, and for the unknowledgeable I am referring to proper lubrication, to be blunt. Women, even in bad moods, can be made to produce lubrication on demand, and this being a “redpill”-tier blog, a woman will probably become such a way simply in the act of being forced. The husband is no stranger to her, she is just in rebellion to him.

  15. thedeti says:

    Anon South Churl

    What do you mean by “forceful pleasure”? What do you mean by forcing your wife to have sex? What exactly is an acceptable level of force to be applied?

    I look at it this way. God could force us to submit to Him. He could make us do whatever he wanted. But He will never ever do that. He wants us to give Him our hearts. He wants us to submit willingly to Him because we love Him.

    If we will not do that, he will not force us. He will do all kinds of other things, like

    –allow natural consequences to occur

    –require us to bear those natural consequences in our bodies, minds, and memories

    –withdraw His provision and protection

    –absent Himself from us, withdraw from us

    –go silent, refuse to respond to us

    –take away freedoms, liberties, rights, and privileges

    — give us over to ourselves, other people, or Satan

    –allow our hearts to become hardened and our consciences to become seared such that we can no longer respond to Him

    –eventually He will separate Himself from us permanently

    All of these, though, are not a result of His compulsion. They’re a result of our choices.

    So it is with men and Red Pill advice. What do you do with a recalcitrant, stiff necked wife?

    –leave her to her own devices

    –withdraw provisioning and protection (tighten control over finances, put her on a budget, separate out finances to allow her to spend only what you permit and no more)

    –withdraw time, attention, labor, and affection

    –spend time away from her

    –refuse to respond to her requests, demands, temper tantrums, and sh t tests

    –impose consequences (no vacation, no spending, no going to the In Laws for the weekend)

    –eventually, permanent separation in the form of the end of the relationship/marriage

    That’s how you compel a wife to get back in line. Eventually if she won’t, then no more marriage.

  16. Oscar says:

    Anonymous Southern Churl is wrong, and Deti is right. In fact, ASC contradicts himself. First he writes…

    A husband forcing his wife to sex is not committing a sin. He has full authority to force his wife to do anything.

    Then he writes….

    A loving husband is not going to hurt his wife

    If you’re not hurting the other person, or at least threatening them with hurt, then you’re not forcing them to do anything. In fact, you can hurt some people a whole lot, and still not force them to do anything.

    So, ASC, answer Deti’s question. Just how much physical force are you authorized to use against your wife, if she doesn’t want sex? Why that level of physical force, and not more?

    @ Cameron

    I wouldn’t enjoy having sex with a woman if I had to force her so I’d take a raincheck on that one.

    That’s because you’re a decent man.

  17. @ Oscar

    DS is misinterpreting what Pastor Doug wrote. He’s saying that, yes, the Bible requires wives to have sex with their husbands (and vice versa), even when they don’t want to, but no, the Bible doesn’t authorize husbands to physically force wives to have sex.

    Not sure I can see that from the context of the quoted passages.

    I agree that it’s likely sinful to force your wife and vice versa though.

  18. Jonadab-the-Rechabite says:

    There is confusion due to a lack of consensus on the meaning of “force”. It plays into the feminst’s frame of “abuse”, “doormat” and victimhood. Is persuade, compel, or insistence force? Is it the evil patriarchy at work when a refusal to acknowledge the withdrawal of consent as anything but covenant breaking sin? Why does the knee-jerk reaction bring up rape and not defrauding?

  19. Jack says:

    “Why does the knee-jerk reaction bring up rape and not defrauding?”

    Because rape is the rebellious wife’s point of view. Defrauding is the suffering husband’s point of view. In bizarro world, women are encouraged to be outspoken and men are supposed to remain silent. No one is permitted to point this out without being branded a misogynist. DS and I wrote about this last year.
    https://sigmaframe.wordpress.com/2020/06/10/explaining-the-double-standards-around-sex/

  20. info says:

    Its for this reason “Marital Rape” is an oxymoron. What’s the point of marriage if you have to keep signing a consent form?

  21. Oscar says:

    @ Jonadab-the-Rechabite

    There is confusion due to a lack of consensus on the meaning of “force”. It plays into the feminst’s frame of “abuse”, “doormat” and victimhood.

    Then be clear about it. Don’t use the word “force” to describe “persuade, compel, or insistence”. Use it to describe physical force, and the threat thereof. Otherwise, you’re playing into the feminists hands.

    @ DS

    I agree that it’s likely sinful to force your wife and vice versa though.

    “Likely”? Under what circumstances would using physical force to make your spouse have sex with you not be a violation of the commandment to love one another?

  22. locustsplease says:

    Yes she can order him to work 70hrs a week as a married incel. While simultaneously sitting at home eating bon bons and any of his grievances are unbiblical. Thats mutual authority gods plan for marriage. Its disgusting to read adult men writing articles because their wives want them to.

    Wilson is one thing. The vast majority of american women believing this kind of stuff is the real problem.

  23. @ Oscar

    “Likely”? Under what circumstances would using physical force to make your spouse have sex with you not be a violation of the commandment to love one another?

    She likes for no but wants you to push through her resistance anyway? There’s a rather decent sized minority of women like this.

    I’m also not God so I’m not going to claim what is and what isn’t a sin. But off the top of my head I don’t think there are many (any?) circumstances where it probably isn’t sinful if a wife actually means no, at least given the motivations of a husband heart (or wife if it’s the other way around).

  24. Oscar says:

    @ DS

    I’m also not God so I’m not going to claim what is and what isn’t a sin.

    You’ve literally claimed “what is and what isn’t a sin” in innumerable posts. And, if you claim that you’re only reporting what God claims is a sin; guess what? It’s effectively the same thing. God commands you to “love your neighbor as yourself”, and “love one another”. To violate those commandments is sin. You have to figure out which actions violate those commandments, because God never gave you an exhaustive list of every single action that could possibly violate those commandments.

    She likes for no but wants you to push through her resistance anyway?

    You’re playing into feminists’ hands. If she wants you to have sex with her, then you’re not forcing her.

    Face it, brother. If you’re using physical force to make your wife have sex with you when she doesn’t want to, then you’re violating God’s commandment to love your wife as Christ loves the church. The same would be true if a wife forced her husband (love one another, love your neighbor as yourself). I don’t understand why it’s so difficult for you to admit that obvious truth.

  25. @ Oscar

    You’ve literally claimed “what is and what isn’t a sin” in innumerable posts. And, if you claim that you’re only reporting what God claims is a sin; guess what? It’s effectively the same thing. God commands you to “love your neighbor as yourself”, and “love one another”. To violate those commandments is sin. You have to figure out which actions violate those commandments, because God never gave you an exhaustive list of every single action that could possibly violate those commandments.

    If you got that impression then that might be my mistake for things that are not explicitly called sin in the Bible then.

    For instance, in my post on divorce I combed the Scriptures as thoroughly as possible and came to conclusions I think best represents the intentions of God/Jesus/Scripture with ancillary evidence from Church fathers. Others think otherwise. I encourage people to read the Bible and seek wise counsel and come to their own conclusions or default to whatever your Church’s authority teaches for RCC or Orthodox.

    I’m obviously going to point out and argue why I think something is a sin or not based on my understanding and the various Biblical arguments for it.

    Face it, brother. If you’re using physical force to make your wife have sex with you when she doesn’t want to, then you’re violating God’s commandment to love your wife as Christ loves the church. The same would be true if a wife forced her husband (love one another, love your neighbor as yourself). I don’t understand why it’s so difficult for you to admit that obvious truth.

    So basically you’re getting hung up on the fact that you want me to say *all*? lol.

    It wasn’t God’s intention to ever have divorce in the Law of Moses per Jesus, yet God divorces Israel in Jeremiah. Why is God going against his intention then? It’s also the case where people say all lying is bad, but there are certain cases like in Exodus 1 where lying to save babies is permitted.

    I already said I don’t think there are many (or any) circumstances where it’s not a sin given the motivations of people’s hearts. To make it clearer for you: for all intents and purposes, I think *all* is a good term here.

    I personally would never recommend forcing your wife or husband to have sex as it’s going to have negative effects in improving a marriage.

  26. cameron232 says:

    I’ll just say that I’m glad that I have an aversion to the idea of forcing a woman to have sex with me so that I don’t have to deal with whether or not it’s a sin. For practical purposes, if something has zero temptation for you it doesn’t really matter if it’s a sin or not. I understand the need for hypothetical discussions but I’m glad it’s purely hypothetical to me.

    I have seen a few movies with rape scenes (e.g. the original “Death Wish”) and even though they’re fake they DEEPLY disturbed me – honestly more than anything else I’ve ever seen in a movie and I’ve seen some pretty bad stuff.

  27. info says:

    If a wife consistently refuses sex with her husband as a dead bedroom. The marriage is practically over. Because its a form of sexual immorality as much as adultery.

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