No, I am not talking about the wife of Hosea here:
2 When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, “Go, take for yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the Lord.” 3 So he went and took Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.
Instead, I am talking about something else: married women who use sex as a source of power over their husbands. The problem of wives denying their husbands sex is a rather common topic in the manosphere. Some prominent bloggers have asked why Christian women won’t have sex with their husbands. Others have addressed this situation as well recently. I suspect there are several reasons why this topic keeps coming up:
1) Many of the members of the manosphere experience or have experienced it.
2) Many members of the manosphere have heard of other men being cut off by their wives.
3) Many members of the manosphere are worried that if they marry they too would be the subject of a wife’s sexual denial.
4) This topic is one that is largely ignored by most of society, and when it is addressed the results are not helpful.
Bad advice and commentary is especially prevalent in Christian circles, where husbands are usually advised to love their wives more, as if that will fix the problem. Unfortunately, most Christians in the West have adopted a whole lot of foolish narratives and beliefs about sex and women which get in the way of the truth. This is especially troubling in light of the fact that the New Testament has pretty specific guidelines about sexual denial:
Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is well for a man not to touch a woman.” 2 But because of cases of sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another except perhaps by agreement for a set time, to devote yourselves to prayer, and then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
Of course, this set of guidelines is usually ignored or disregarded in Churchian circles, and even more sound congregations and denominations will often skip over it. However, every now and then you will find those who are willing to call out this sexual denial for what it is: sin. Somewhere in my travels across the internet landscape I came across the websites Acts 17:11. Therein I found a particularly powerful and direct attack on this particular sin. It was so potent that I couldn’t help but blog about it. Bolded parts are mine:
As to frequency, I suppose people differ. But it is not for an outsider to say in any case. If one partner wants sex, then God’s command for marriage is clear enough: “no refusal” is permitted unless mutually agreed to for a time of prayer. That is the command of scripture. Your body belongs to her, and vice versa.
First, search your own heart and see if you have not “destroyed your own household” (Pv 14:1) in terms of normal sexual response and desire. We deal with this in another posting, but for our purposes here you must honestly ask yourself the question if you have contributed to her frigidity. Have you brought pornography into your marriage bed, for example, or thoughts of another woman? Have you been a lover or just a user of your wife’s body? In other words, if you have been sinning and are just reaping the harvest of your ways, then there is no time like the present to repent, ask for forgiveness, and seek God for healing. But if your conscience is clear, and she is sinning by “holding out”, this is also a grievous sin that directly disobeys the word of God, and she must be confronted about it.
Practically, this needs to be worked out some other way than by the letter of the law; but the law has its “ministry” (of condemnation). The law won’t change her, in other words, but will serve to bring proper conviction into her life. Confront her with the word, in private, as commanded by Jesus Himself. If this does not work, bring two or three to confront her of her sin. Hopefully, she will see her sin and repent. Perhaps the shame of having her secret sin exposed will goad her to take seriously her covenantal responsibilities. God has told you what to do if you find your brother (or sister, in this case) in sin (Mt 18:15-17). Go to her, just the two of you, and confront her. If she does not repent, then go with two or three. This is the command of your Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
More than a few women have a problem in this area. Not to be overly dramatic, but these women are prostituting themselves within marriage. For one reason or another, such women like to have their husbands sex starved so they can blackmail them, control them, humiliate them, dole out the favors on their terms, get what they want, etc. They are prostitutes, in other words, who happened to be married. Husbands can do the same thing, and have, as a form of control; but it is more often women who fall into this pathology of sin. Of course, there is always the excuses and contingencies, as with any sin. But God looks to the heart of the matter, to what is really going on. Whenever sex is bartered, it is prostitution; and no money need change hands. Married people belong to each other. A wife in disobedience has become a married prostitute with a single customer. God is not mocked. Such is a great offense and thus the warnings of the scriptures above.
While at first this article seems to possibly go the Churchian route, the impression doesn’t last for long. For one, the author clearly establishes that it is “your” conscience which matters, not hers. This is good, because submitting yourself to your wife’s judgment about your conduct is a sure fire way to always fail to measure up to her standards. Rather than loving your wife, you end up trying to find ways to make her feel loved. This is guaranteed to fail. Thankfully this article avoids that folly. Now, I am not sure about the rest of the site; it could be Churchian everywhere else. But it doesn’t even buy into the servant leadership nonsense. Instead, it doesn’t pull any punches. Really, there isn’t much to say that it doesn’t already say.
A singular exception might be the unusual awareness of the mercenary nature of women which this article displays. That attitude is something which I suspect comes as a bit of a shock to most men when they first take the Red Pill. The truth depth of it can be both highly disturbing and highly difficult to accept. Which is why it is rare to see this kind of admission, or something like it, from a Christian perspective. Far more common is the idea that women are all sugar and spice and all things nice. While I hope that this kind of message will become more prevalent as time passes, part of me knows this is unlikely, as the cancer of feminism continues to spread its tentacles throughout Western Christianity.
[I thinking about working on a companion post that addresses this issue from the perspective of the husband, not sure when it will be completed though]