Quoting Quiverfull: Part 2 – Have Sex With Me Or Else!

Quoting Quiverfull: Part 2 – Have Sex With Me Or Else! May 29, 2015

quotingquiverfullby Biblical Gender Roles from BiblicalGenderRoles.com – 8 Steps to Confront Your Wife’s Sexual Refusal

Editor’s note: Again this is all about forcing compliance from someone who obviously has reasons not to have sex with her husband. Put out or else. I bought you. You owe me. All horrible messages without adding in the bible verses written by a confirmed bachelor Paul. Taking sex advice from Paul is like listening to a deaf person explain why you shouldn’t listen to a certain type of music.

But what about the husband refusing to have sex with his wife?

I have received several comments from people asking why I have not addressed the issue of a husband’s refusal to have sex – yes it is equally clear in these passages that he cannot refuse her. But I am saving that for my series “How to be a godly wife”, once I finish this series “How to be a godly husband”. Far too often in this discussion the knee jerk reaction is for women to say “but what about the man?” – Yes he has responsibilities too (and not just sexual ones), and I will be addressing these in this series.

Also some have tried to say “well if the wife has power over his body too, then she can decide to use that power to say she does not want his body having sex with her”. This is an absolutely ridiculous notion as it goes against the entire context of the passage. The entire point the Apostle Paul was making is that husbands and wives may NOT deprive one another of sex, unless they both mutually agree to a cessation of sex for a limited time.

What about Paul’s “concession” in I Corinthians 7:6?

Also some have tried to take the entire power out of this passage in I Corinthians 7 because of verse 6 where Paul writes “I say the following as a concession, not as a command.“ So did Paul just get done telling husbands and wives not to deprive one another sexually, only to say – “Well this is my opinion on how sex should be, but if you want to deny one another – go ahead”?

“Now in response to the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have relations with a woman.”But because sexual immorality is so common, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband. A husband should fulfill his marital responsibility to his wife, and likewise a wife to her husband. A wife does not have the right over her own body, but her husband does. In the same way, a husband does not have the right over his own body, but his wife does. Do not deprive one another sexually—except when you agree for a time, to devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again; otherwise, Satan may tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 I say the following as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all people were just like me. But each has his own gift from God, one person in this way and another in that way.” – I Corinthians 7:1-7(HCSB)

When we look at Paul’s statement in context, his concession is not about husbands and wives not denying one another sexually.

His concession(or opinion) is about celibacy. He is prefacing the statement he is about to make as his opinion – that he wished everyone could be celibate like he was as there are many advantages to serving God as single person. But he realizes that celibacy is a gift God has only given to a chosen few, while the rest of men and women ought to marry.

What he is stating in this passage is, if you don’t have the gift of celibacy and you do get married, you have a solemn obligation to have sex with your spouse, you cannot deny them unless it is mutually agreed by both of you for a short period of time.

Part 1

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders, cultural enforcers and those that seek to keep women submitted to men and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull and Spiritual Abuse honestly and thoughtfully.

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NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession by M Dolon Hickmon


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • KarenH

    Yet another, in a long, long list, of reasons NOT to have a “Christian” marriage. I’ll take egalitarianism and self-autonomy, thank you.

    Edited to add quotes around “Christian”. Jennifer L is right.

  • SAO

    I wonder how many men drive their wives away with this kind of crap.

  • Antoinette Herrera

    This is an apologia for marital abuse and rape. No niceties. This article on “Biblical” marriage is full of manipulation, deceit, and misogyny.

    What in bleeding H? I’m surprised the writer didn’t mention putting the wife to death. Though maybe that would be giving the game away…?

  • jennabobenna

    “Taking sex advice from Paul is like listening to a deaf person explain why you shouldn’t listen to a certain type of music.”

    So much this. I am endlessly amazed by fundies’ willingness to stay stuck in an era where things are done as they were 2000 years ago. No progress. No change. Heck, if it were up to them, they probably wouldn’t mind having a slave or two to help out with the kids…

  • Poster Girl

    But they’re perfectly happy to use the internet to get their antediluvian messages out.

  • Jennifer L.

    I’m thinking “Christian” should be in quotes there. I am a Christian who does not believe in complementarianism, and the kind of marriage this man describes in his post is just sickening. Also, I think that author needs mental help.

  • Mrs. Sunshine

    If I don’t want to have sex then my husband agrees not to have sex with me. Is that mutual agreement enough?

  • I’m just waiting for the jackwagon to start giving scripts like some horrible parody of Captain Awkward… my “favorite” was the implicit threat in “you know I *could* just rape you, but I won’t because I know that it wouldn’t help and would just make things worse…”
    .
    *headdesk* Like the freakin damage isn’t done already through coercion.

  • Hard to drive her away when she has 6+ kids and no work experience…

  • You shouldn’t deny your husband sex, but he sure can deny your consent. Sounds like a great marriage. Where do I convert?

  • Astrin Ymris

    Threatening rape to gain a woman’s “consent” IS rape. The man has already stated his intention to do so, he’s just saying it’ll be more painful for her if she doesn’t go along with his playacting. It’s like a mugger who tells his victim that if she doesn’t give him all her money he’ll take it anyway AND beat her up on top of that.

    I’m convinced that a lot of the women who “give in” to Pick-Up Artist “techniques” do so under this same understanding. He’s already shown that he doesn’t feel obligated to accept her “no”; the implication is that “We can do things the easy way or the hard way… and the easy way will be a lot more comfortable for you.”

  • I see this so many times in this reasoning: “What he is stating in this passage is, if you don’t have the gift of celibacy and you do get married, you have a solemn obligation to have sex with your spouse, you cannot deny them unless it is mutually agreed by both of you for a short period of time.” The interpretation conflates “deny” and “deprive.” They are actually two different things, and the word in the Greek text definitely has the meaning of “deprive” — to take something away completely for an extended period. “Not tonight, honey,” really isn’t what this is about.

    Secondly, yes– Paul was talking about the goodness of celibacy, and so he was telling married people they couldn’t just decide that they wanted to go all “spiritual” and take a vow of celibacy even though they were married; that this wasn’t right or fair to their spouse. A little understanding of early church culture would make this plain.

    For this passage to be used for one spouse to force the other to have sex is simply against the entire spirit of the passage, which is about not forcing the other to be celibate!

  • Baby_Raptor

    What you’re saying isn’t much better. Married or otherwise, nobody is required to let another person use their body for any reason, even if this means “depriving” someone of sex for an extended period of time.

    For this passage to be used for one spouse to force the other to have sex is simply against the entire spirit of the passage, which is about not forcing the other to be celibate!

    Those are the same thing. Either wording someone is being forced to have sex.

  • Ah, but see, if the mugger uses the implicit threat to make the victim *give up* their valuables, then it becomes a “gift” and they cannot be legally held accountable for the coercion involved. *eyeroll* Or so goes the theory, I think.
    .
    I happen to agree with you, it’s a horrible, awful thing to do to a person. “I *could* do this horrible thing to you if you don’t go along with what I want. I won’t, but I totally could if I weren’t such an upstanding person, and I’d be completely justified in doing so since you’re being such a stick-in-the-mud. Now reward me for my restraint. I want my cookies, damnit!”

  • KarenH

    Done. Well, the quotes anyway; I have no control over the dude’s mental issues 😉

  • I disagree. I don’t think Paul intended his letters to be turned into rules and laws to force people into unwilling compliance. The fact that people do that now reflects an interpretive principle that I think violates the overall trajectory of the letter in its context.

  • Gypsy Rose B

    You’re probably right about pick-up artists’ “success”. Women wind up feeling like they don’t have agency so they may as well get it over with. That is so sad and I hadn’t thought about it that way before.

  • Gypsy Rose B

    On the other hand, you don’t need to have the gift of hearing to understand the Insane Clown Posse is terrible.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Even if he didn’t expect them to be turned into laws he’s still advising that females be treated like property and nobody ever deny sex to their spouse.

    Law or not that’s a harmful attitude. Even moreso because it came from a person in a position of power.

  • Again, I think you’re misreading the text. It keeps addressing men, then women, then men, then women, in a deliberately parallel fashion. The point is not that women are the property of men (though that was certainly an assumption of the culture that Paul’s parallelisms, looked at in that light, seem to challenge), and it certainly isn’t that nobody is ever to deny sex to their spouse. It’s that men and women who are married should have mutual consideration for one another’s needs, and not make unilateral decisions against the other spouse’s will. It’s worded in terms of celibacy because that was a major focus of the early church, in a way that doesn’t make sense to us now. Today, perhaps, it would be worded in terms of not forcing one another to have sex. But for the early church, the problem wasn’t husbands forcing wives to have sex; it was husbands deciding to live celibate even though married. A lot of early Christian texts focus on a husband’s sexual duty to his wife (women were considered the ones who couldn’t control their urges, not men!) despite his supposedly more virtuous preference for no sex.

  • Baby_Raptor

    (though that was certainly an assumption of the culture that Paul’s parallelisms, looked at in that light, seem to challenge)

    Yup, telling women to submit to their husbands sure challenges the idea that women are property.

    It’s that men and women who are married should have mutual consideration for one another’s needs, and not make unilateral decisions against the other spouse’s will.

    And you honestly don’t see how that is problematic? You’re telling me that Paul says that I’m not allowed to make decisions about my own body without A) consulting my (hypothetical) husband and B) that would be “against his will.”

    There is absolutely nothing okay or moral about this. My body is MINE, marriage or not. Marriage does not entitle someone to power over their spouse’s body.

    It’s worded in terms of celibacy because that was a major focus of the early church, in a way that doesn’t make sense to us now. Today, perhaps, it would be worded in terms of not forcing one another to have sex.

    That’s a jump that you have absolutely no evidence to support. We’re talking about a passage that tells women to submit to their husbands written in a culture where women had no rights. How do you get “Do not rape” out of that?

    I get that this is a passage that Liberal Christians want to twist or ignore but damn, can’t you at least be honest about it?

  • But this is not a passage that tells women to submit to their husbands. It’s a totally different passage, in a totally different letter, written to a totally different church. THIS passage is a set of deliberately reciprocal parallelisms addressing women, then men, then women, then men, about sex, celibacy, and marriage. Given the context of its time, and other writings from and about the early church, the focus on celibacy is completely justified. I’ve written a blog post myself about it here that sets out the historical evidence, among other things:

    http://krwordgazer.blogspot.com/2015/01/christian-cliches-do-not-deny-one.html

    The letter to the Corinthians was written between AD 30 and AD 60. Jesus, their hero and founder, the one they sought to imitate, was still fresh in memory and had lived a celibate life. Celibacy was glamorized by these early Christians; that’s documented fact, in light of which this passage needs to be understood. You don’t have to agree, but you might respect my viewpoint.

    Yes, my body is MINE, marriage or not. Yes, my husband’s body is HIS, marriage or not. (Paul’s wording about “authority” over one another’s bodies needs to be reconsidered in light of today’s moral and social understandings, IMO.) And no, neither of us should force or guilt the other into sex– but I still disagree that that’s what this passage is about. The fact remains that I would find it cause for divorce if my husband suddenly told me, “I’ve decided to take a vow of celibacy, and we’re not having sex anymore for the foreseeable future.” If he didn’t want to consider my needs and wants as well as his own, he shouldn’t have gotten married. That’s what marriage is about, or it can’t work. And I think that’s the gist of what Paul was getting at.

    I’m going to be out visiting friends for the rest of the day and so won’t be able to continue this conversation until late this evening, so if you want to continue the discussion, please wait for me. Thanks!