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Bible Study Sex In Marriage: A Serious Question!

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BEI491962

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Recently a female friend and I came upon this topic when discussing her ex-fiancée. Her ex-fiancée admitted to using the Bible to force his ex-wife into sleeping with him. Well, when she brought this topic up I was FURIOUS to say the least. Of course, she showed me the passage of Scripture he used to justify his actions and I was, to say the least, flabbergasted.

1 Corinthians 7:3-6-- Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

So does this mean that a husband can PRESSURE/MANIPULATE his wife to have sex with him whenever he pleases as he should not be deprived of that right? Does this mean that her ex-fiancée was right in his actions towards his ex-wife? And, if all of this is true, then doesn't that relegate the status of a partner in marriage to nothing more than a tool to be used for sexual gratification?

Bah... I guess I hate the fact that he could be right as well as the fact that the Bible seems to advocate forceful sex-- Even if it's against the other person's will. Yes, the Bible does say that the couple can abstain from sex if by mutual consent, but what happens when one person wants to engage in sex and the other doesn't? After all, isn't it in your 'marital duties' to always perform when your significant other wants you to...

I guess I am confused as well as angry.

Could anyone explain this for me?
 
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txbkldy

Guest
As a wife it has not always been easy for me to read this particular scripture in the bible. But, I think now that I may have a better understanding of the scripture because of Ephesians 5:22-24 and 25, 28-30. Your friends ex-fiancee took that scripture in Corinthians and manipulated it to mean what he wanted it to. We,as women, are to submit to our husbands as we do to the Lord. And the husbands must love their wives with the same love that Christ showed the church. So, as women how do we submit ourselves to the Lord? Is it out of pressure and strong arm tactics that we do what Jesus tells us to do? No, it's out of our desire to be obedient to Him. We don't follow Him because we have to, we follow Him because we want to. Are husbands supposed to treat their wives like sex slaves and make them submit whenever their human desires want? How does Jesus love the church? Is He demanding that "she" give in to His will. No. He gently guides her and desires for her attentions.
The scripture reference in 1 Corinthians shows me that it's to be a mutual consent relationship. The wife should not withhold sex from her husband, and a husband should respect his wife and her choice about having sex with him.
Your friends ex-fiancee has a neanderthal look at life, apparently. God's Word is not meant to cause dissention in a relationship. It's supposed to be a guide to bring them together.
 

lovely

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I think maybe he should have asked himself why she didn't want to. Find out what is wrong...communicate...and restore their marriage and love.

The thing is, unless a wife is sick, or for fasting and prayer...which might be occuring because of a serious need...like a sick child or something, then why wouldn't she want to make love to him?

It seems to me that there may be a communication problem. It is hard for a wife to desire her husband when there is a problem between them...and then to have to force herself under those circumstances makes her feel like he doesn't care about her, just sex. On the other hand, if she is not honoring her husband properly...possibly giving into negative thoughts about him which change her perception of the man she married, and maybe withholding because she doesn't feel like it, or because she has taken her eyes off of him for whatever reason...she is not right either.

If you love someone, how can you take your eyes off of them...how can you not desire them? Some where along the line...he stopped loving her and protecting her, and she stopped loving and honoring him. That is why they are divorced.

Frankly, I think we should all be doing our best to obey that scripture...it is wonderful for a marriage. It keeps a couple close and loving...and the desire not to make love is a sign that something needs to be communicated and solved...then makeup!
 
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Rick W

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BEI491962 said:
I was FURIOUS to say the least.
You certainly had grounds to be furious.

txbkldy said:
Your friends ex-fiancee took that scripture in Corinthians and manipulated it to mean what he wanted it to.
No doubt.
This kind of stuff goes on with little regard of scripture's true maening to get something people want. Taking scripture out of context is as irresponsible as not reading the warning label on a medicine bottle focusing only on "take twice daily".

Many cults do the same thing. When pointing out other verses concerning what's really being said the claims of misinterpretation, mistranslation or some other excuse comes to the surface.

Your example of scripture abuse is not uncommon.
 
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Gary

Guest
This is a long copy-n-paste but I hope it helps..... (in context!)

Celibacy Is Wrong for Married Persons

Let the husband fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 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. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again lest Satan tempt you because of your lack of self–control. (1 Corinthians 7:3-5)
That celibacy is wrong for those who are married should be an obvious truth, but it was not obvious to some of the Corinthian believers. Because of their erroneous belief in the spiritual superiority of total sexual abstinence, some members in the church practiced it even within marriage. Some overzealous husbands apparently had decided to set themselves apart wholly for God. In doing so, however, they neglected or even denied their responsibilities to their wives, especially in the area of sexual relations. Some wives had done the same thing. The practice of deprivation probably was most common when the spouse was not a believer. But Paul applies his command to all marriages, as is clear from vv. 10–17. Married believers are not to sexually deprive their spouses, whether or not the spouse is a Christian.

The apostle made no exception to the instruction that the husband fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. God holds all marriage to be sacred and He holds sexual relations between husband and wife not only to be sacred but proper and even obligatory. Paul makes it clear that physical relations within marriage are not simply a privilege and a pleasure but a responsibility. Husbands and wives have a duty to give sexual satisfaction to each other. There is no distinction between men and women. The husband has no more rights in this regard than the wife.

In verse 4 Paul reinforces the mutuality of obligation. 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. God honors sexual desire and expression within marriage. In fact, failure for Christian husbands and wives to submit sexually to the authority of their spouses brings dishonor to God because it dishonors marriage.

The present tense of exousiazei (have authority over) indicates a general statement that is always true. Spouses’ mutual authority over each other’s bodies is continuous; it lasts throughout marriage. In the normal realms of life, a Christian’s body is his own, to take care of and to use as a gift from God. And in the deepest spiritual sense, of course, it belongs entirely to God (Romans 12:1). But in the marital realm, it also belongs to the marriage partner.

Sexual expression within marriage is not an option or an extra. It is certainly not, as it has sometimes been considered, a necessary evil in which spiritual Christians engage only to procreate children. It is far more than a physical act. God created it to be the expression and experience of love on the deepest human level and to be a beautiful and powerful bond between husband and wife.

God intends for marriage to be permanent and for the sexual relationship within it to be permanent. His original plan for marriage did not allow for divorce or for celibacy. Christians are not to forsake unbelieving spouses (vv. 12–17), and they are not to sexually deprive spouses, whether believing or unbelieving. The prohibition is inclusive: Stop depriving one another. It is an emphatic command. Sexual relations between a husband and his wife are God–ordained and commanded.

The only exception is both mutual and temporary: by agreement for a time that you may devote yourselves to prayer. As in the case of fasting, if both partners agree to abstain from sexual activity for a brief period to allow one or both of them to spend time in intensive prayer, they may do so. Both the ideas of a specific period of time and of a specific purpose for prayer are implied. The length of time for physical separation and the specific need and purpose of the prayer should be agreed on in advance.

God may give us a strong burden about a person or a ministry, a burden that requires our undivided attention and concentrated prayer. Grief or serious illness, for example, may lead to this. Or we may fall into a particularly harmful sin and need to withdraw for awhile to get straightened out with the Lord.

After the covenant at Sinai had been given, the Lord planned to come down and manifest Himself before Israel “in a thick cloud, in order that the people may hear when I speak with [Moses].†In preparation for His coming, the people were to consecrate themselves by washing their clothes and by abstaining from sexual intercourse for three days (Exodus 19:9-15).

Hundreds of years later, in response to Judah’s extreme wickedness, the Lord commanded:

Return to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, weeping, and mourning; and rend your heart and not your garments Now return to the Lord your God, … Who knows whether He will not turn and relent, … Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders. Gather the children and the nursing infants. Let the bridegroom come out of his room and the bride out of her bridal chamber. (Joel 2:12-16)

The need of forgiveness was so great that even brides and grooms were to leave their nuptial chambers to join in national mourning and penitence.

When Jesus Christ returns He will “pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, … the land will mourn, every family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves†(Zechariah 12:10-12). Marriage relations will be forsaken during that time of mourning.

But when such urgent spiritual needs are past, normal marital relationships are to resume. Husbands and wives then are to come together again.

The reason for coming back together is explicit: lest Satan tempt you because of your lack of self–control. When the time of concentrated prayer is over, normal desires and temptations will return, often with greater intensity. Satan knows that Christians can be especially vulnerable after a mountaintop experience. Our defenses are apt to be down and our pride may be up. Or, because of the experience, we may simply not have the desire for sex for a while afterward. Our spouse, on the other hand, especially if he or she has not shared in the prayer, may have developed a particularly strong desire during the separation. As a guard against falling into temptation ourselves, or of causing our marriage partner to fall into temptation, sexual relations are to resume immediately.

Unless it is by mutual consent, for a specific prayer need and for a brief period of time, sexual abstinence can become a tool of Satan. It is never to be used as pretense for spiritual superiority or as a means of intimidating or manipulating one’s spouse. Physical love is to be a normal and regular experience shared by both marriage partners alike, as a gift from God.

Source: MacArthur, John F., 1 Corinthians: The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, (Chicago: Moody Press) 1984.
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TheStudent

Guest
Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allâh has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means. ... (Qur'an 4:34)

[30:21]. Among His proofs is that He created for you spouses from among yourselves, in order to have tranquility and contentment with each other, and He placed in your hearts love and care towards your spouses. In this, there are sufficient proofs for people who think.
 
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Gary

Guest
The sickness which is Islam

So while the Qur'an holds the works of men and women in equal regard and acknowledges that they are completely interdependent as to their very existence, they are not regarded as having equal worth as people. The men are a step above the women and superior to them as is clear from the following two verses.

  • "And it is for the women to act as they (the husbands) act by them, in all fairness; but the men are a step above them."(Q. 2:228) Rodwell

    "Men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other."(Q. 4:34) Dawood.

The famous commentator Ibn Kathir commented on (Q. 4:34) saying:

"Men are superior to women, and a man is better than a woman."[Ibn-Kathir, commenting on Q. 4:34]

But it gets worse....

A man (in Islam) may BEAT and SEXUALLY DESERT his wife!

Want proof? Read on...
http://debate.domini.org/newton/womeng.html#prerog

:o :o :o
 
B

BEI491962

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Gary Bee:

I understand what the verse says as I have read it multiple times. However, my question was as follows:

Does this passage of Scripture mean that a husband can force his wife to sleep with him (And vice versa) whenever he pleases-- Regardless of his wife's personal feelings at that moment in time? The Bible states that a woman's body is no longer hers alone and that a husbands body is no longer his alone and, as such, they are to submit to the will of the other. Still... Wouldn't that mean that each partner becomes nothing more than a sex tool, solely existing for the others sexual gratification? I would find this wrong as sometimes you honestly don't feel like engaging in any sexual activities (Just like you don't always feel like cooking, cleaning, driving to work etc.). That doesn't mean that you should be made to do something that you don't want to do :\ Not to mention that being forced into it when you just don't feel like it would defeat the purpose of engaging in any sexual activity. At least, that's what I think.

Anyway, I probably rambled on. I am still a bit mad at the fact...
 
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yesha

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So does this mean that a husband can PRESSURE/MANIPULATE his wife to have sex with him whenever he pleases as he should not be deprived of that right?
No it means that the husband, or wife, should never HAVE to force/manipulate.

Does this mean that her ex-fiancée was right in his actions towards his ex-wife? And, if all of this is true, then doesn't that relegate the status of a partner in marriage to nothing more than a tool to be used for sexual gratification?
I doubt that people get married solely to exploit a command.

Bah... I guess I hate the fact that he could be right as well as the fact that the Bible seems to advocate forceful sex--
Forceful sex? The bible advocates submission, not force.

Even if it's against the other person's will. Yes, the Bible does say that the couple can abstain from sex if by mutual consent, but what happens when one person wants to engage in sex and the other doesn't? After all, isn't it in your 'marital duties' to always perform when your significant other wants you to...
Christianity is about denial of self.
Should you act rightously even when you feel like sinning?
Of couse, and in the same way one partner should deny themselves if the other wishes it.

On the other hand, the husband should respect his wife, and knowing that she, lets suppose, doesn't like sex, I think he should refrain himself to an extent for her sake, unless he feels it may lead to sexual immorality on his part. If both parties would stop thinking about themselves, and instead focus on trying and meet the needs of their spouce, then the biblical concept is in my opinion best realized.

1 Pet 3:7
7 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.
(NIV)
 
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Gary

Guest
BEI491962, I think the passage has been explained very well by John MacArthur. Rather than about if it is right for one of the partners to force themselves upon the other partner, the passage is talking about responsibilities and duties of a partner.... not to withhold sexual relations. Paul explains why we should not.

As always, the passages should also be seen in fuller context. Again, I believe that John MacArthur did that. He explained the context of that particular passage as it applies to the Corinthian believers; "their erroneous belief in the spiritual superiority of total sexual abstinence."

In the context of the whole Bible, marriage is instituted to inspire human happiness. Genesis 2:18

Marriage is instituted to express love intimately. Proverbs 5:15-20 SongofSolomon 2:3-3 SongofSolomon 8:5-7

Each partner has responsibilities. The husband should be devoted to his wife's good Ephesians 5:25 Colossians 3:19 1 Peter 3:7

... and the wife submissive to her husband Ephesians 5:22 Colossians 3:18 1 Peter 3:1

But it is also important to remember that they have equal responsibility 1 Corinthians 7:32-35

Marriage is a union for life and should therefore not be entered into lightly Matthew 19:3-9 Romans 7:2-3 1 Corinthians 7:39

:)

yesha said:
Christianity is about denial of self.
Should you act rightously even when you feel like sinning?
Of couse, and in the same way one partner should deny themselves if the other wishes it.

On the other hand, the husband should respect his wife, and knowing that she, lets suppose, doesn't like sex, I think he should refrain himself to an extent for her sake, unless he feels it may lead to sexual immorality on his part. If both parties would stop thinking about themselves, and instead focus on trying and meet the needs of their spouce, then the biblical concept is in my opinion best realized.
I agree totally.

:)
 
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BEI491962

Guest
Gary_Bee said:
BEI491962, I think the passage has been explained very well by John MacArthur. Rather than about if it is right for one of the partners to force themselves upon the other partner, the passage is talking about responsibilities and duties of a partner.... not to withhold sexual relations. Paul explains why we should not.
Ummm... Therefore you are saying that it's right to force oneself upon your partner as one should not withold sex from their partner?

Sorry, but that's what I got out of that entire article.
 
K

KnarfKS

Guest
It is far more than a physical act. God created it to be the expression and experience of love on the deepest human level and to be a beautiful and powerful bond between husband and wife.
These are probably the 2 most important parts of that article for you BEI, love is much more important than the physical, it is to be beautiful. If it is forced it is neither loving nor beautiful.

Bah... I guess I hate the fact that he could be right as well as the fact that the Bible seems to advocate forceful sex-- Even if it's against the other person's will. Yes, the Bible does say that the couple can abstain from sex if by mutual consent, but what happens when one person wants to engage in sex and the other doesn't? After all, isn't it in your 'marital duties' to always perform when your significant other wants you to...
Noooo!!!, it does not say these things at all. It does not advocate forceful sex, it advocates loving sex. It is not the duty of the partner to have sex every time the other wants it, thats bull. Where does it say that??? Don't deprive one another, that doesn't mean that a person can't say no every once in a while, just not for extreme lengths of time that would cause the husband or wife to stumble.

The ex-fiance sounds like a moron, and I'm glad he is an ex for your friend's sake. Anyone willing to forsake love for sex and twist scripture along the way to do it has some issues.
 
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Gary

Guest
BEI said:
Ummm... Therefore you are saying that it's right to force oneself upon your partner as one should not withold sex from their partner?
Nope. I have never said that nor have I suggested that. Read what KnarfKS and Yesha have written as well. I agree with both of them. None of us (nor the Bible) have spoken about "forced" sex. You have introduced a concept which is neither in the Bible nor expounded by any of us. In fact, ALL of what we have written is about a loving, full, beautiful relationship in which each partner is giving to the other. As Yesha said "If both parties would stop thinking about themselves, and instead focus on trying and meet the needs of their spouse, then the biblical concept is in my opinion best realized."

Please focus on the giving side of this teaching. You mentioned "I would find this wrong as sometimes you honestly don't feel like engaging in any sexual activities (Just like you don't always feel like cooking, cleaning, driving to work etc.)"

Let us consider the analogy. I sometimes do not feel like driving to fetch the kids or helping with the cooking or taking out the garbage...... but I almost always do it. Why? Because I LOVE my wife and children! Often in doing these small things for them, I come to appreciate them even more. I do these thing for them because I love them; I expect nothing in return.

Please don't take this analogy too far... but I am sure you get the idea.

:)
 
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