by Suzanne Titkemeyer
Trigger warnings – rape culture, purity culture, marital rape and ownership of women
All quotes from “Biblical Gender Roles” at his blog Biblical Gender Roles.com – Christian Husbands you don’t pay for the milk when you own the cow and Is a husband selfish for having sex with his wife when she’s not in the mood?
Vyckie Garrison and others shared this man’s blog on Facebook over the last few days and it’s had well over 5,000 shares. The thoughts contained are pretty awful on all levels. So awful I had to take a look at who owned that domain name, thinking this was likely some incarnation of Minthegap – Adam Gregorian, former blogger at the site that featured scantily clad teenage girls pretending to be clucking over their immodesty but secretly lusting over the photos. This feels like that. But whoever is behind the Biblical Gender Roles blog has very curiously chosen to hide all of their information. So there’s no telling who or what ministry this advice that is just one shade away from rape is coming from.
Here’s where dangerous amounts of red flags started for me when I read this blog:
Why buy the cow, when you can get the milk for free?
This phrase was coined to reflect the reality that when you make sex outside of marriage culturally acceptable, less people will marry, and the statistics today prove it. The most literal and historical meaning of this phrase meant “why marry a girl, when she will give you sex without marriage?”
I remember growing up in my Church youth group, hearing speakers sometimes say this phrase about the milk and the cow. Obviously they would always start with the Scriptures that forbid fornication – which includes (but is not limited to) sex outside of marriage. But then they would follow up the Scriptural commands, with some practical reasoning, especially to the young ladies, exhorting them to “make these crazy hormone driven boys to wait for marriage” before giving up “the milk”.
I can hear it now – “What about those boys! This is not fair that all the pressure is on the women”. Yes the Scriptures command BOTH men and women to not engage in sex before marriage, and yes they did speak to us as young men about being godly men of integrity, about being gentlemen. However, if you examine the Scriptures closely, you will see that God places the greater burden on the woman to refuse the man. In the Old Testament law, a woman could be executed for not being a virgin when she was married, whereas there was no such punishment for a man that was not a virgin. I realize this goes against our modern “gender equality” ideas, but the Bible supports no such notion.
But once you have bought the cow, you ARE supposed to get the milk for free
One of the problems we face today in the Christian community (but it certainly is not limited to Christians) is that often times, even after we have waited, and “bought the cow” (married our wives), our wives expect us to “buy the milk” as well. I recently wrote a post responding to a Christian teacher’s false belief, that in marriage men do in fact have to “buy the milk”(earn sex), even after “buying the cow”(marrying a woman).
Whoa, whoa, waitaminute! The last time I heard that hateful statement “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free” it was coming out of my late father’s mouth, who was a young man in the pre “Mad Men” era of the 1950s. When men genuinely thought that women weren’t allowed to have free agency, that they belonged first to the father and then later to a husband. When he uttered it I laughed at him and had to point out the obvious, that women are not cows or any other commodity.
This is the exact type of thinking that used to drive pornography – women as commodities to be used or consumed, not human beings with their own thoughts, wants, needs and freedom. This type of purity culture thinking leads straight to rape culture. While the author goes on in both pieces to claim he’s not talking about raping your wife, that is exactly what he’s saying. Put out or else he’ll take it. In his world you are an object.
Husbands listen to me, engaged men please hear me. There is a pattern that takes place in a lot of Christian marriages (and non-Christian marriages). At the beginning of the sexual relationship between a man and woman (which should begin after marriage, but sometimes it sinfully starts before marriage), women will give their husbands all the “free milk” they want. She lets him “taste the goods” so to speak.
But not long into the marriage, the milk is no longer free of charge, it now comes at a cost. That cost looks very different from woman to woman, but there is a cost of some sort. For some Christian men, it might simply be household chores, for others it is buying jewelry or other gifts. For other husbands, it is making a decision the way their wife wants it, but they do not think is best.
What all these different prerequisites have in common is, they require a man to transfer his God given authority over his home, his children, and his wife and yes even his wife’s body to his wife. Only if they do the bidding of their wife, will she give them “the goods”.
Again, neither women or sex are a commodity! While withholding affection from your spouse, either sex, to ‘get’ something or to punish someone is wrong, but that’s usually not why someone says no or is less than enthusiastic towards marital relations. I suppose it never entered this man’s mind that if women are not giving up sex all the time to the husband that there is usually a reason for that, most of the time a good reason. Who wants to be romantic and engage in some sexual frolicking when they’ve spent the entire day doing something such as caring for a sick child, wiping up vomit, helping the other children with their homework or homeschooling, running kids to and from Little League followed by making dinner, serving dinner and clearing up? There are just going to be times when the wife is so completely exhausted by the lifestyle of being the perfect Evangelical Christian wife and mother that crawling into the bed long after everyone else and passing out is the only option. When your life looks like that no wonder getting any household help from the husband can translate into sex. You’re not too exhausted to enjoy it if he helps you out.
To use another hoary old chestnut of a cliche: You catch more flies with honey instead of vinegar.
Here he’s speaking of having confronted the wife with the Bible and telling her she has no right to withhold sex because he owns her AND her body and she is in sin by attempting to get him to do anything to earn sex.
I believe the answer is yes, if she yields to you (even with the wrong attitude). When I first had to confront my wife with these types of issues, I would confront her, and then just leave the sex to happen another night, because after all, I like most men don’t prefer to have sex with my wife when she acts grumpy about it.
But I realized that the sex still needs to occur, that sex is not about being in the mood, and it is not about feelings, it is about doing what is right. I agree whole heartedly that the best sex a Christian couple can have is when they are spiritually, emotionally and physically connected all at once. But the truth is there will be many times when we don’t have all that in place, but we must still have sex. God wants us to do the right thing, even when we don’t feel like it.
As a Christian husband, and really just as a Christian, we must realize that we all from time to time slip back into patterns of sinful behavior. Please don’t think that if your wife seems to submit to your sexual authority over her body after confronting her with the truth of God’s Word, that this rebellion will never seep back up again in her life. This has definitely not been a onetime thing with my wife, and I have also talked with other Christian men who have told me it is the same with their wives as well.
Enjoy your rape or there’ll be more raping?
After being called out for the rapey feel of his first post Biblical Gender Roles back pedals in his next blog posting, saying that rape is wrong and forcing your spouse to have sex is not at all what he meant. Yeah, well, too late. We already read your purity culture/rape culture words.
Feminists and even some women who would not consider themselves feminists believe it is selfish for a man to have sex with his wife, knowing she is not in the mood. In fact some claim if a man has sex with his wife when she is not the mood this is rape. This is a question that many Christian men are afraid to ask. Here we will try to answer this very important question, from a Biblical perspective.
No matter how you spin it or put disclaimers on it any time one party forces someone else to have sex against their will it is rape.
This the Modern Western formula regarding sex:
Feelings of fondness between a man and a woman leads to sex
This is God’s formula regarding sex:
Sex leads to feelings of fondness between a man and a woman
I realize at this point some people may say “it is not always true that sex leads to fondness between a man and a woman” and they would be right. But let’s consider why it would not. I have one word for you – its called pride. A wife may actually be more annoyed at her husband after sex, then she was before if she does not release her feelings of pride during sex and give herself fully, both mind and body to her husband.
No, it’s not ‘pride’. I don’t know what it is but his version of sex in Christian marriage sounds way more like a Biblical booty call with no emotional attachments than the sacred act of loving.
You are not being selfish when you act on your God given sexual urges and initiate sex with your wife. Even if your wife is not in the mood, but she yields to your advance anyway, you ought to take it.
You should NEVER, EVER feel guilty for initiating sex with your wife.
Remember this principle when it comes to sex in your marriage. It is not just you, or your wife that need sex as individuals, but your marriage needs sex. While sex levels may go up and down from time to time, when sex completely ceases in a marriage the marriage will die. Sure you may still live together, but the connection between the two you will be gone, and you both will expose yourselves to dangerous and sinful temptations by doing so.
Everyone’s marriage is different, even Evangelical marriages, with differing needs for differing levels of sexual activity. You should feel guilty for attempting to force sex on someone who is simply not ready for whatever reason. It’s cruel, not behaving in a loving manner toward your spouse, and not respectful of their needs. If your marriage connection is only maintained by penis to vagina there is something fundamentally wrong with your fragile connection. Marriage is so much more than sex, and one thing I have learned from my twenty nine years of marriage is this – marriage is compromise. Any time you have two human beings together they aren’t going to be in sync with each other 100% of the time. You give, you take and that extends to sex.
Hoping that very few people out there read this man’s words and take them to heart. The original author clearly has some hangups about sex.
I am reminded of this week’s ‘Game of Thrones’ episode where Ramsey Bolton rapes his bride Sansa Stark on their wedding night. Clip below. Huge trigger Warnings!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-LmxiYHTeQ
I leave you with this. A more balanced view of sex in Christian marriage. Tim Fall – The Legalistic Nonsense of Marriage and Sex on Demand
Suzanne Titkemeyer is the admin of NLQ and also the wife of a man who had sense enough to recognize their church as a cult before dragging her out. She is a crazy old cat lady keeps busy with her grown children, her rescue animals, foster care animals and her love of all things art. Contrary to Fundy-Belief she’s usually smiling, laughing or smirking while swilling diet coke and dispensing sarcasm. She blogs at What Would Roger Sterling Do? and True Love Doesn’t Rape and adores “Mad Men” and “Game of Thrones”