When Sex Becomes Abusive in Marriage by J. Slattery
There are men who identify as Christian who think the Bible teaches they are owed sex by their wives. They cherry pick and distort one or two Bible verses to try to prove this point (although the Bible says 1. the husband’s body is not his own but belongs to his wife and 2. though it is fine for a couple to abstain from sex).
There’s this guy who runs a very sexist blog where he claims that wives owe men sex, and if they don’t “put out” that the husband should punish the wife. This guy claims to be a Christian, and his blog posts are so “over the top” that people can’t figure out if he’s serious or a troll or a Poe.
I have read Christian men online who claim there is no such thing as “marital rape,” though there is such a thing (laws in our nation even recognize it and outlaw it), and God does not condone of marital rape, of men taking a wife forcefully, or guilt tripping or manipulating her into sex, or threatening to punish her financially or in some other manner to get sex.
There is a lot of male entitlement among Christian men, and in certain denominations, theologies, or churches. Some preachers actually encourage this male entitlement. They twist the Scriptures to tell women that it’s God’s design for their spouse to rule over them, to get every whim and need satisfied when and how he wants it, and so on.
Many men – and this includes a lot of Christian ones – mistakenly believe that woman’s only role is to serve men, cater to men, whether that be sexually, to do nothing but cook and clean for a spouse, to bolster a man’s ego, to give them encouragement.
Never do these selfish, sexist male oafs consider how they can pamper the women around them, give encouragement to women, or meet a woman’s sexual needs and desires.
One of my disagreements in this otherwise fine piece I link you to below and offer a few excperts is where the author says that the Bible calls the husband to be “the leader” in the home – actually, no, it does not. That is a traditionalist, or complementarian type of interpretation of certain passages.
Here are off-site links to pages by Christians who have interpretations that dispute the traditional or complementarian view of marriage:
- (Link): Headship Madness: An Introduction to “Headship” (Part 1)”
- (Link): Headship Madness (Part 2) – there is also a part 3, 4, and 5 on their site.
Without further ado, here are excerpts from “When Sex Becomes Abusive in Marriage” by J. Slattery.
(I don’t want to copy the entire article, so be sure to use the link here to visit their page to read the entire article, if this sort of topic interests you – I have placed portions of the article I found especially pertinent in bold face):
(Link): When Sex Becomes Abusive in Marriage by J. Slattery
- Sexual abuse can happen in marriage. Here are a few ways to identify it.
Sexual abuse within marriage can be quite a confusing concept. After all, doesn’t the Bible teach that a wife’s body belongs to her husband, and her husband’s body belongs to her?
Specifically, it says, “The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife” (1 Corinthians 7:4). Husbands have been known to quote such biblical teaching as a justification for sexually abusing their wives or demanding sex as a God-given right, but this verse seems to leave both a woman and man open to unwanted sex.
- The recent popularity of BDSM (which stands for Bondage, Dominance, Sadism, and Masochism) has blurred the lines of consensual sex even more. A couple that may begin by consensually experimenting with one person dominating the other in the bedroom may end up violating the will of the “submissive” spouse. This is simply sexual abuse by a chic name.
- It’s critical to be able to recognize when your marriage has become abusive in the bedroom.
The dictionary defines the verb abuse as “to use something to a bad effect or for a bad purpose.” God did not create sex to be a weapon used to harm, manipulate, or coerce.