Yes or No. In average - wives dictate the success of a marriage/husband-wife relationship.

SavedByGrace

Chicken
Woman
Orthodox Inquirer
Why would Christ be in control of your marriage? God gave you free will.
This may be hard to explain to a non-Christian and I can understand this question because when I was an unbeliever I felt the same way but let me try to explain it how I learnt it.

Yes we have free will. With that free will Christians strive to make Christ the head of their lives. He is the one who designed us, the Master Architect, with a purpose. So as believers, we surrender ourselves into submission to our Creator. To HIS will for our lives because we trust Him. We trust that what He has designed for us is far greater than what we could ever manifest for ourselves.

When you have the Creator's creation all making the Creator the centre, we are more focussed on His will for us rather than our own. So, as a result, when *ish* hits the fan and the husband or the wife is not acting right, pulling their weight, doing their part, or what have you... our focus is STILL on Christ because He is perfect and just and worthy of our trust.

We humans are fallible and will fall short of what is expected of us in a relationship. God will not. Therefore if we allow Him to be at the helm of our lives this includes our relationships. He will steward us back to what is right if we keep our eyes on Him and seek to honour Him in our relationships. Even though the hierarchy is:

God
Man
Woman
Child

...everyone has their own unique and intimately personal relationship with God. So when the man (who is submissive to God) eventually falters, the woman (who is also submissive to God above her husband) can turn to God to help her get through the situation with grace, patience and love until it is made right again. Likewise when the woman stumbles and lets her husband down, the husband can turn to God for what HE needs to carry them through while the woman is also seeking Gods stewardship and guidance on how to make it right within herself.

He is the best marriage counselor there is! As we keep God the main focus and strive to be more Christ like we naturally will be better in all areas of our lives.

I hope that helps and makes sense.
 

IconWriter

Woodpecker
Woman
Orthodox
Gold Member
May I add another caution? When deciding roles in a marriage, it is important that the word "submissive" doesn't mean that the man does only manly things and the woman the feminine ones. The harsh reality is, one spouse will die before the other, due to illnesse, age, disease, accident, etc. So, if the role of handling finances is done by her hubby, she should at least still know how it's done, how to manage finaces, pay bills, or mow the grass, or know whom to call for repairs, etc. Again, watch for the "red flag" if he is reluctant to share this information. On the other hand, the husband, if he leaves all of the cooking, cleaning, laundry, scheduling, child care, etc. to her, he will not know how to take care of himself or his children. I've seen it happen.
 

Pray_Everyday

Sparrow
Woman
Other Christian
This is how I feel about Anna Duggar. I could be wrong but it appears josh is extremely degenerate and has broken his vows many times. Anna just stands there smiling with vacant eyes. I think she is one of those woman that would stay even if he did something inappropriate with their children. Again divorce is wrong but there are times unfortunately when that happens and there is a line where you can at least separate until true repentance has come. Not keep on having children with a man who cheats on you with prostitutes and looks up child porn. The complete opposite of a woman who can’t shut up and does anything is just as bad. That’s when you get trampled on and used and abused. This is all so sad.

From what I understand, she believes that he was framed...

Knowing what I know now about the corrupt ways that the government sometimes operates, I have to admit that for a moment I did ponder the possibility that he was. But his past (the prostitutes, as you mentioned, as well as the innapropriate touching of his younger sisters as they slept when he was a teen) does make me think the possibility of his innocence is unlikely despite how much ongoing drama the family has had with the local government. And I've definitely noticed the vacant eyes...


I haven't watched their show or the spin off (never had cable), but I've seen clips on youtube channels that discuss the extended family in detail, and I then got curious and researched some more. Their situation is sad overall - it's such a shame when members of prominent Christian families display such a negative Christian testimony. The mostly-liberal critics of their family (and by association, Christianity) seem positively gleeful about the family's "downfall", and I worry that cases such as these can be used to attack things like homeschooling. (One particular youtuber was saying if/when he were to be released it would be illegal under Arkansas law for Anna to homeschool while he's living in the home. But she seemed more excited about the possibility that the children would have to go to an indoctrinating public school than actually protecting them from sexual abuse.)
 

fortyfive

Kingfisher
Other Christian
May I add another caution? When deciding roles in a marriage, it is important that the word "submissive" doesn't mean that the man does only manly things and the woman the feminine ones. The harsh reality is, one spouse will die before the other, due to illnesse, age, disease, accident, etc. So, if the role of handling finances is done by her hubby, she should at least still know how it's done, how to manage finaces, pay bills, or mow the grass, or know whom to call for repairs, etc. Again, watch for the "red flag" if he is reluctant to share this information. On the other hand, the husband, if he leaves all of the cooking, cleaning, laundry, scheduling, child care, etc. to her, he will not know how to take care of himself or his children. I've seen it happen.

Two months ago, my wife revealed to me the meaning of secret symbols on our washing machine. My life improved instantly.

Then I shared with her the mystery of high-pressure fuel injectors on engines, but she wasn't impressed.
 

Jive Turkey

Woodpecker
Orthodox Catechumen
I couldn't agree with this more!

I am a huge fan of traditional gender roles and always have been, even before being a Christian. But, to me, submission needs to be earned. Women will test men, sometimes in subtle ways and sometimes outright. In my opinion we are looking for good men and true leadership/stewardship. To feel safe enough to not be in control. If a man doesn't have his own stuff in order, how can we expect him to lead us. If a man is 'faking' his masculine characteristics a female will sniff it out in no time. Us women like to say "there are no good men out there" but how many of us are willing to truly submit to one if we found one? And if a man "let's us wear the pants" we will, and will lose respect in him as leader and head of the home in turn, which is terminal to the family.

Submission is not a duty it is a gift. For the giver and the receiver. But once it is given/earned, both parties have to continually work toward knowing and growing in Christ as well as their marriage. Not to become sloth like, entitled, gluttons which, is so easy to do once we become comfortable. Women, we need to play to our strengths of femininity, nourishing and nurturing. But we need to do it with so much grace toward the men in our lives as they learn a whole new language around how to navigate our emotions (and tests). Btw; I'm preaching to myself here.

Also, for the men reading this know that when a woman tests you it's not a negative thing our anything done out of malice. Rather, it is a good thing because we are giving you the opportunity to show us that you can handle yourself (and us) and in turn that allows us to feel safe and willing to offer up our submission and allow you to be in the rightful position as head of the family. And please note that sometimes WE don't even know we are doing it. For me in particular I get 'bratty' when I'm subconsciously testing/pushing boundaries. lol

I came across this post from a Christian husbands blog on tumbler and thought it illustrates this perfectly. (Note: there is some sensual nature in the post between a man and his wife; read at your own discretion)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Amused mastery often works well, and if the story is true the author handled the laundry situation well. But what about in situations more serious, where a woman is acting out over something more serious than the laundry. IE wants to get kid vaccinated, go out drinking with friends/coworkers, or if she insults you in front of friends or something etc?

I don't see how you are supposed to just "take it on the chin" in these instances. Even a good woman will be tempted from time to time, so then what?

Asking in a theoretical sense, but also would like practical answers as well from married men.
 

Pray_Everyday

Sparrow
Woman
Other Christian
But what about in situations more serious, where a woman is acting out over something more serious than the laundry. IE wants to get kid vaccinated, go out drinking with friends/coworkers, or if she insults you in front of friends or something etc?

I don't see how you are supposed to just "take it on the chin" in these instances. Even a good woman will be tempted from time to time, so then what?

Asking in a theoretical sense, but also would like practical answers as well from married men.

I know you asked for answers from the men, but here's my 2 cents as a wife (please disregard if irrelevant/unhelpful).

In my opinion, if issues such as vaccinating the kids, occasions to commit infidelity (going out drinking with friends/coworkers) or public disrespect are occurring then the marriage already has underlying issues that are more serious than a female trying to "test" the man. A Christian wife behaving in that way (the last two examples) is being incredibly disrespectful to her husband, and if he can't set her straight it seems like the sort of issues to be brought up to a pastor or priest.

The vaccination issue is trickier, because unfortunately some pastors or priests are in favor of it, though ultimately as the head of the household it should be the husband's final decision. A Christian wife should know this.

As a woman, I do acknowledge that I occasionally "test" my husband (never intentionally, and if I catch myself doing it I stop and apologize immediately), but I would never do it over issues as important as those you raised. Usually it's over something dumb like wanting attention while he's in the middle of a project or something. I don't know if he intentionally knows that he's not supposed to give in, or it just works out that way due to his personality, but yeah.

Maybe it depends on the woman, but responding in an indifferent or aloof way does not make me feel that I am not safe, but rather conveys that he's going to do his thing and it is up to me to submit.
 

messaggera

Pelican
Woman
Other Christian
They are actors after all…

Amber Heard is a horrible actor on the witness stand. Not one tear, but many faces.
It is frustrating to watch because her acting devalues the experiences of the real female victims who have been assaulted.

Sure it is Hollywood, but if a man is courting a woman and he does not approve of revealing clothing perhaps she is placing her sexuality over his request for modesty and respect. Does a respectful man really want his lady dressing like trollop?
 

Starlight

Kingfisher
Woman
Protestant
Amber Heard is a horrible actor on the witness stand.
I don’t think Heard or Depp were angels. I think they both would get drunk, doped up, high, whatever and then beat on each other.
Not one tear, but many faces.
It is frustrating to watch because her acting devalues the experiences of the real female victims who have been assaulted.
(Disclaimer: I haven’t picked any sides and am pretty unbiased as to the two people themselves. I don’t have any emotional interest in who wins this trial, like some other posters. I will admit, I have a tendency to sympathize with the “underdog” or those that the “general consensus” is against. That’s part of how I ended up on this forum to begin with.)

Anyway… The alleged events did happen nearly a decade ago and she’s probably talked about it ad nauseam with friends, counselors, lawyers, media, etc. so, *if* what she says is true, she’s most likely very emotionally numb to it. (Yes, a person can be emotionally numb to trauma events and still have PTSD). But how does a “numb” victim of domestic violence speak in front of a jury where they’re trying to convince them that what happened was real and true? They can’t just recall the events point by point. She knows everyone is watching her. That will absolutely affect her testimony. These aren’t fresh cuts but old scars. If the events happened as she said, she probably got all her crying out a long while ago (like most of us women…) but now she has to convince a jury with emotionally used up memories. It’s worth mentioning that *both* parties were taking psych-meds and alcohol is a contraindication for Lexapro which Depp was prescribed. The kinds of psych prescriptions that we saw on exhibit and prescriptions and drugs are contraindicated with *alcohol and marijuana” … Heard’s testimony today confirms what I posted here earlier where both parties would take drugs and then get out of control. In my personal opinion, seeing people, family and friends, blackout in violent drug induced rage … I would say it’s plausible that Depp absolutely could have harmed her “at least one time” imo... It’s just bound to happen…
This is a “civil defamation” where “highly probable” is the cut-off as opposed to a criminal case: “beyond reasonable doubt.”
Also, regarding Heard’s testimony, it is not unheard of for people like her (supposedly) to take a beta-blocker before a testimony.

Sure it is Hollywood, but if a man is courting a woman and he does not approve of revealing clothing perhaps she is placing her sexuality over his request for modesty and respect. Does a respectful man really want his lady dressing like trollop?
These are secular people/relationships and we cannot hold them to a Christian Standard. That being said Depp didn’t seem to have an issue with what Heard was wearing (or not) before they became a couple. I remember Depp when spoke about Heard, “that he just had to have her.” Like she was kind of doll or collectible… Depp was initially drawn to Heard because of her sexual attractiveness and that made him insecure because he knew other men would be attracted for the same reason.

Like I wrote before when I didn’t know anything of the trial: It’s Depp’s lust and Heard’s greed.
 
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NotaBene

Sparrow
Protestant
"every time one is in the bedroom with their spouse, God is also present - don't do anything you wouldn't want God to see"

You clearly have some kind of standards or assumptions here on what is appropriate in the marriage bedroom. I don't disagree with your statement, but I do question what this standard is. What is out of bounds as a married couple sexually? I'm asking because there are many wives who think limp, missionary, starfish, duty sex is the only thing permissible in God's eyes, even in marriage, and they of course don't like it much. It's certainly a continuum and I wouldn't be quick to judge here. The Bible makes it clear that our bodies are not our own, but does not specify a lot of detail in the other direction.

That said, the intent is never sexy, but put-together, feminine, classy, etc.

Of course not, in public. My point was that a wife should be *modest* outside the home, but often *immodest* inside, in private with her husband. She should understand what her husband likes for "dates" and wear those outfits, in private for his eyes only.

The wise wife is proactive about this, not passive. She will make time for her husband, not be always tired or busy, and will ask what he likes her to wear, and wear it without his always commanding or asking.

It's such a blessing not to have to badger my wife about this. She understands my needs and desires, and she knows she is the one and only woman I can go to in the world to have those needs met. Therefore she is not passive but active in scheming how to meet my needs and have a ton of fun at the same time. And I think a wife can have a ton of fun being sexy for her husband in many ways. Doesn't a wife want to be physically desired by her husband, even after years of marriage? I sure hope so.

This is the reason why, even back in my secular days, I've always hated "adult" material.

Again, you'd have to define this, but in general I think couples should have so much enjoyment with each other that "adult" material is a cheap copy of a beautiful reality. I have never been addicted to pornography, but if I saw it I would think it was disgusting. Why would you need that? I have everything I need in my wife. "May her breasts satisfy you always"

All I'm saying is that in addition to the "porn is bad" mantra, we also have to encourage great sex inside Christian marriages. The carrot and the stick.

Submission is not a duty it is a gift.

Disagree here, a wife's submission is definitely first and foremost a duty.

It is also a blessing and a gift, but obedience to God's commands comes first.

I love using army analogies for marriage. A soldier is first taught to obey and submit to authority - even to death. It is only after he learns this deep respect of authority that he can be a blessing (even a friend) of his commanders. Even Christ did not call his apostles "friends" until they had learned obedience and put it in practice for years!

Wives have a hard time with this because they don't naturally have the same respect as men do for each other. My friend once said to me, "You cannot love a man until you respect him". It's very true.

Also, for the men reading this know that when a woman tests you it's not a negative thing our anything done out of malice. Rather, it is a good thing

I agree that it's "natural" to test authority - to find the boundaries and limits - but I disagree that it's a good thing. The Israelites tested God in the wilderness, and it didn't turn out so well for them. There are a lot of "steady" or "nice guy" type husbands that simply do not assert their authority and will always seek to please their wives first. This can be a huge challenge for wives who actually want their husbands to be more dominant and make decisions. But to intentionally test him is not good. Rather, she should seek to figure out his will and submit, even before he demands or needs to "put his foot down".
 
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SavedByGrace

Chicken
Woman
Orthodox Inquirer
Disagree here, a wife's submission is definitely first and foremost a duty.

It is also a blessing and a gift, but obedience to God's commands comes first.
Perhaps I wasn't clear enough with this statement. Yes I agree it is a WIFE'S duty to submit and of course to be obedient to God first and foremost. But the submission is not a duty UNTIL it is with a husband. Meaning that in the courting phases that submissions needs to be earned/given first. It is not assumed, nor should it be, until it is within the bounds of a marriage. :)

I agree that it's "natural" to test authority - to find the boundaries and limits - but I disagree that it's a good thing. The Israelites tested God in the wilderness, and it didn't turn out so well for them. There are a lot of "steady" or "nice guy" type husbands that simply do not assert their authority and will always seek to please their wives first. This can be a huge challenge for wives who actually want their husbands to be more dominant and make decisions. But to intentionally test him is not good. Rather, she should seek to figure out his will and submit, even before he demands or needs to "put his foot down".
again, I should have clarified, the testing is 'mostly' within the pre-marriage stage (for me at least) while determining whether I feel a man could/would be a good, Godly leader of myself, family and home. Sure there are a lot of 'nice guys' who may seek to just please their wives first, if it is in the best interest of her, the marriage and the home. I may be speaking for myself but I certainly do not want a 'yes man'.

Sadly, it is an interesting dichotomy with our worldly influence paired with our desires to be Holy, set apart and striving to please God in all things. Women want a manly man (who isn't a jerk), can take charge without being controlling, emotionally available without being a wuss, pure enough but still have them feeling desired, have a strong love of God without being too pious, etc etc. Or perhaps that is just me lol I won't speak to what men want, because after reading some threads on here, it is clear I certainly don't know what they want.

But in all things, with prayer and supplication and thanksgiving we can bring all things to our God and know that He is faithful, patient and trustworthy. That while the Holy Spirit abides in us, HE will change our 'wants' to be those that are pleasing to Him and as such will grant us the desires of our hearts.

I am of the opinion now, that as long as we maintain our relationship with God first, unite with someone who does likewise, then all will be ok.
 

TexasJenn

Woodpecker
Woman
Orthodox
I am of the opinion now, that as long as we maintain our relationship with God first, unite with someone who does likewise, then all will be ok.
Generally I agree with your perspective on this matter.

I think you make an important point that a lot of men don't get. Women are designed to follow a good man's lead. We long for it and look for it. But that hinges on good, or at least decent, leadership.

A good analogy is dancing. When the follow is dancing with a strong, decisive lead, it's nearly effortless to follow gracefully - it's almost as if you're floating on air. But if the lead is weak and unclear, it's a fumbling, herky jerky dance and there's not much the follow can do to fix it.

If a man thinks his woman is not being a good follow, he should consider whether he's being a good lead.
 

NotaBene

Sparrow
Protestant
Women want a manly man (who isn't a jerk), can take charge without being controlling, emotionally available without being a wuss, pure enough but still have them feeling desired, have a strong love of God without being too pious

In other words, women want fried ice :) Worse, they want what they don't have because they are not thankful or content. Wives with "commanding" type husbands want a man who is more gentle and lets them get away with more; wives with simpy husbands who never put their foot down wish their husbands would just make a decision for once and tell them what to do!

Both these are the result of comparing notes with other wives, and the culture, and finding their own situation lacking. As I said before, "comparison is the thief of joy". Rather, a good wife thanks God daily for what she has been given, she is content and thankful.

Or perhaps that is just me lol I won't speak to what men want, because after reading some threads on here, it is clear I certainly don't know what they want.

As a man, I feel like men are easy. Respect him, do things he likes to do (even if you just sit there and admire his skills), feed him, put out a couple times a week. What else? Loyalty and a good mother. I can't think of anything else. Oh, keep yourself looking nice. It's a pretty short list.

Women understand all this instinctively. Just watch them when they are dating their future husband - how they act. They know all this stuff, and do it very well. It just takes more effort after marriage, but that doesn't make it complicated.

You can learn a lot from the Biblical commands to women vs men. Why are fathers commanded not to "exasperate" their children, while mothers are not? That kind of thing. I have learned a lot lately by mashing this concept together with "red pill" kind of stuff.

HE will change our 'wants' to be those that are pleasing to Him and as such will grant us the desires of our hearts.

I may be getting myself into trouble (again) here, but my intent is not to go against Orthodoxy. If I am, help me to understand why. A better way to put this is that God redirects our natural desires/motives to his purposes. I do not think he changes our inner motives, but only expects us to obey using whatever motives he can harness.

Any good teacher or trainer does exactly the same thing. Just think of a really good gym trainer. The end result is that you are like your teacher, but the clever trainer will use the motives of his student to achieve his ends. It just works better. I've been teaching music lessons for over 20 years, so I kind of understand this process of intrinsic motivation.

All you have to do is read the "punch lines" of Jesus' parables, some of them are quite striking and puzzling. He does not break the reed of human motive; he bends it to his will, making use of it.

A clever wife realizes that by putting into practice God's commands to wives - diligently, over time - will usually result in HER being happier in her marriage. I think her being excited by this is a great example of what I'm talking about. Do you see? She does it for herself, at least partially, because by doing so she will be rewarded - if not here on earth in the life to come, by God himself.

It is not assumed, nor should it be, until it is within the bounds of a marriage.

I see, yes of course I'd agree that submission is not "in effect" until after the vows are taken. However, in many cultures marriages are arranged, and that would be quite different - and much more faith required on the woman's part to submit to a man she did not even choose.

In the more homogenous cultures it's easier because pretty much everyone is on the same page about everything, but it still must be hard.
 

Pray_Everyday

Sparrow
Woman
Other Christian
You clearly have some kind of standards or assumptions here on what is appropriate in the marriage bedroom. I don't disagree with your statement, but I do question what this standard is. What is out of bounds as a married couple sexually?
Well, I think that body parts that God designed for a specific reason should not be used for what is almost literally the opposite...

Especially if there is conclusive "proof" that said acts lead to disease or worsened bodily - not just spiritual- health (Yes, even in marriage, I'm not speaking merely of veneral diseases here).

Bible verses that have to do with not defiling the temple of God would be relevant here like 2Cor7:1 (Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthyness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God); 1Cor3:16-17 (Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile te temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.)

Hebrews 13:4 (Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge) has been used by some to suggest all acts are permissible in marriage, while others have used it to suggest marital acts should only occur on a bed. Sometimes its important to pray on it and realize if one is using a verse to permit behavior that one knows, deep down, is sinful.

In our case, my husband and I have very strong convinctions about not engaging in the kind of marital behaviors that people "of the world" promote and consider acceptable. If anyone else is strongly convicted otherwise that person would not feel any judgment at all from anyone saying otherwise...

I'm asking because there are many wives who think limp, missionary, starfish, duty sex is the only thing permissible in God's eyes, even in marriage, and they of course don't like it much. Its certainly a continuum and I wouldn't be quick to judge here.

The word "cheerful" in cheerfully available is important here. I definitely don't believe that the wife is being respectful to her husband if she puts on a long face and makes it clear to her husband that she is unhappy/miserable during the act. At the same time, I don't believe the wife should be obligated to "enjoy it", especially if there is a difference in sex drives. Similar to how a wife may still be expected to put breakfast on the table even though she herself doesn't eat a meal until lunch, and there should be no negative attitude from her regarding this.

There is definitely a continuum, agree.

Also, i hope you meant "dead fish" sex - "starfish" sex is definitely impermissible (see first point above, apologies to everyone ahead of time).

The Bible makes it clear that our bodies are not our own, but does not specify a lot of detail in the other direction.

I Cor 7:4 (the wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife) is important here, because I've seen men use it to argue that the wife's body is the husband's, while completely ignoring the second half of the verse.

Of course not, in public. My point was that a wife should be *modest* outside the home, but often *immodest* inside, in private with her husband. She should understand what her husband likes for "dates" and wear those outfits, in private for his eyes only.
I apologize, in your original post the use of the word "dates" seemed to imply going out in public wearing revealing outfits.
And I think a wife can have a ton of fun being sexy for her husband in many ways. Doesn't a wife want to be physically desired by her husband, even after years of marriage? I sure hope so.

I'd like to preface this by saying that I am not trying to make any assumptions on you, your wife, or anyone else:

Anyway, my husband and I have had this discussion, and what matters the most to him physically is that his wife does not lose her figure. I definitely want to continue to be desired by my husband, and he has indicated to me that what he desires is a thin, in shape woman. No amount of "dressing it up" will hide an out--of-shape body, and he's not interested in any adornments. Like I said before, for some it may be a personal preference.

I agree that it's "natural" to test authority - to find the boundaries and limits - but I disagree that it's a good thing. The Israelites tested God in the wilderness, and it didn't turn out so well for them. There are a lot of "steady" or "nice guy" type husbands that simply do not assert their authority and will always seek to please their wives first. This can be a huge challenge for wives who actually want their husbands to be more dominant and make decisions. But to intentionally test him is not good. Rather, she should seek to figure out his will and submit, even before he demands or needs to "put his foot down".
I agree with you on this.

It's especially challenging if the relationship started out as a secular one (I know we're not supposed to be unequally yoked with unbelievers, but the past is the past), and there's a lot of "unlearning" to do. If both spouses are committed to God and the relationship then it is possible to turn it around and have a strong Christian marriage.
 

NotaBene

Sparrow
Protestant
Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge) has been used by some to suggest all acts are permissible in marriage, while others have used it to suggest marital acts should only occur on a bed.

Wow. I've never heard that interpretation before (the only on a bed thing). Seems very odd to me. I just read that verse "plainly", which (I think) means that only marital sex is acceptable - contrasted with the things that are NOT acceptable - sleeping with whores and other men's wives.

my husband and I have very strong convinctions about not engaging in the kind of marital behaviors that people "of the world" promote and consider acceptable

Taking your personal life out of it (because I don't want to appear inappropriate and it's not my business), even that is a bit nebulous. People of the world do all sorts of things, the whole range from "benign" to "depraved". Using a standard of "worldly" in this sense thus makes little sense to me.

I'm badgering you here because Christians like to judge others on this issue. Also it's extremely important because it causes a lot of guilt even between married people, and on the other hand lost opportunities for enjoyment of each other because "only depraved people do THAT".

I'm not saying I have all the answers about the continuum, just saying the line could be drawn a lot of places biblically.

Also keep in mind I have only ever known one woman, and been married over 20 years, and have had plenty of time to "explore" within what I believe to be God's playground of marital enjoyment. There are things I find repulsive, but to say they are objectively, morally wrong for everyone? I just don't know.

I definitely don't believe that the wife is being respectful to her husband if she puts on a long face and makes it clear to her husband that she is unhappy/miserable during the act. At the same time, I don't believe the wife should be obligated to "enjoy it", especially if there is a difference in sex drives.

I understand this would be very hard for a wife - to have sex out of a sense of duty, even when she doesn't feel like it. And I know my wife has done this many times - even initiated sex many times without particularly wanting it.

But one of her biggest blessings to me is that I usually can't tell the difference. She may start out with a sense of duty, but she joyfully puts into practice what she thinks God would have her do. And she always has fun despite herself.

I can't tell a wife to do something so hard, "just pretend to be happy about it". I can't because I would be the biggest hypocrite and scowl the whole time. Best I can do is try to reason with her (the imaginary wife in my head). Wouldn't it work out well for both of you if you just had some fun, even if you have to "fake it till you make it"? A good attitude and a thankful heart go a long way.

Also, i hope you meant "dead fish" sex - "starfish" sex is definitely impermissible

Yes, that's what I meant. I wasn't even aware there was another definition of "starfish" and I really don't want to know. Sometimes ignorance is the best thing in regards to evil.

what matters the most to him physically is that his wife does not lose her figure

100% agree, but if that is already in place there is so much a wife can do with clothing to bless her husband. I can't speak for ALL men, but again, consider the strip tease (I've never actually seen one, just saying) and why it's alluring to men. I see no problem with a wife dressing provocatively for her husband, in fact I think it's a great idea.

Again, mere nudity is not particularly sexy to me - it's about the marital dance of what is hidden becoming revealed.
 

Pray_Everyday

Sparrow
Woman
Other Christian
In other words, women want fried ice :)

That reminded me about that old joke about the building with husbands for sale and women never being happy no matter what...

People of the world do all sorts of things, the whole range from "benign" to "depraved". Using a standard of "worldly" in this sense thus makes little sense to me.

I'm badgering you here because Christians like to judge others on this issue. Also it's extremely important because it causes a lot of guilt even between married people, and on the other hand lost opportunities for enjoyment of each other because "only depraved people do THAT".

I'm not saying I have all the answers about the continuum, just saying the line could be drawn a lot of places biblically.

Also keep in mind I have only ever known one woman, and been married over 20 years, and have had plenty of time to "explore" within what I believe to be God's playground of marital enjoyment. There are things I find repulsive, but to say they are objectively, morally wrong for everyone? I just don't know.

Regarding guilt, I would propose that if a particular person feels guilt it may be because their conscience is telling them that it is unacceptable behavior...

Does this automatically give that person the right to tell others what to do? Of course not. But neither should they feel that they are somehow "missing out" by not partaking in behavior they consider sinful (or ignore their conscience), and acknowledging that one does not partake does not necessarily make it judgment on those that choose to do so. Doesn't the very term "judgment" have a negative connotation? So by feeling "judged" wouldn't the person engaging in the behavior be almost admitting that they (deep down) know they are doing something wrong? Just some things to ponder...

Romans 14:13-14 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

Sometimes ignorance is the best thing in regards to evil.
Indeed, ignorance - or innocence - is a blessing in regards to these matters.

Unfortunately, the things young people will find out from the internet (or their peers in public schools) are absolutely depraved and disgusting. While much is said about a woman's physical purity (and yes, this is very important), even women who have not engaged in promiscuous behavior may have seen things (sometimes through no fault of their own) or found out things that would be best left unsaid.

Ephesians 5:12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

I can't speak for ALL men
Just as I most definitely can't speak for all (or even most) women.

I think it's important to be able to share and exchange a variety of ideas with other Christians (because secular forums are a cesspool of depravity) and am very grateful for this opportunity for dialogue.
 

NotaBene

Sparrow
Protestant
if a particular person feels guilt it may be because their conscience is telling them that it is unacceptable behavior

Sure, it *may*. But it could also just be unnecessary guilt or even mere "discomfort". My wife and I were very... innocent when we got married at 20 and 21. A few years into our marriage, I suggested something new to try out. She was a bit freaked out at first, but more because it was something new and different, not because she had any moral qualms about it.

In the context of marital love and the boundaries set by God, there is a lot of freedom to "enjoy life with your wife, whom you love."

there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean

Well, that kind of verse is why I wouldn't judge a "missionary style only" type couple... if one spouse genuinely thought that anything else was immoral. But I'd also make darn sure a wife wasn't using her "conscience" as a means to get her way or weasel out of serving her husband. Big difference.

That verse (and Titus 1:15, and Song of Songs, and probably others) are passages I think lend themselves to being as permissive as possible in matters of marital sex. But on the other hand, limitations seem to be commanded mostly in matters of extra-marital sex (for instance, homosexual acts and adultery are expressly forbidden).

Indeed, ignorance - or innocence - is a blessing in regards to these matters.

"Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature."

Being virgins when married, marrying young, and being so completely ignorant/innocent (wife had never even kissed another guy), were blessings I wish all Christians could have. The sense of everything being new and having literally decades of time to figure things out - and yet never completely discovering everything. To learn together what is pleasing to each other. It's like Adam in the Garden - everything is new and wonderful.

This is why porn and promiscuity is so damaging. You can never get back lost innocence. It's literally like eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It leads to the death of marriage because everything sexual is an uphill battle.

This is also why I shelter my daughter from the world, because I want her (and her husband) to experience the same thing. I want her to know basically nothing except her duties to God. I hate our American "health" classes that teach kids about sex from the wrong point of view, which is one of the reasons we homeschool.
 

Pray_Everyday

Sparrow
Woman
Other Christian
If one spouse genuinely thought that anything else was immoral. But I'd also make darn sure a wife wasn't using her "conscience" as a means to get her way or weasel out of serving her husband. Big difference.
Even better when both spouses are in agreement over what behavior they believe is wrong...

Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed.

I realize it may not be the norm, but it is possible for a husband and wife to have enough open communication to discuss these type of matters, and I have no reason to believe my husband is lying to me about his beliefs. Believe it or not, it first occured to him to share with me that he believes certain behaviors are sinful, it had nothing to do with me wanting to "weasel out of" anything.

That verse (and Titus 1:15, and Song of Songs, and probably others) are passages I think lend themselves to being as permissive as possible in matters of marital sex. But on the other hand, limitations seem to be commanded mostly in matters of extra-marital sex (for instance, homosexual acts and adultery are expressly forbidden).

I would say behaviors that harm or defile our temple would also be wrong, and personal convictions matter. We'll just have to agree to disagree on this one, and luckily my husband and I are in agreement.

"Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature."

Being virgins when married, marrying young, and being so completely ignorant/innocent (wife had never even kissed another guy), were blessings I wish all Christians could have. The sense of everything being new and having literally decades of time to figure things out - and yet never completely discovering everything. To learn together what is pleasing to each other. It's like Adam in the Garden - everything is new and wonderful.

This is why porn and promiscuity is so damaging. You can never get back lost innocence. It's literally like eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. It leads to the death of marriage because everything sexual is an uphill battle.

This is also why I shelter my daughter from the world, because I want her (and her husband) to experience the same thing. I want her to know basically nothing except her duties to God. I hate our American "health" classes that teach kids about sex from the wrong point of view, which is one of the reasons we homeschool.
We're trusting in the Lord that our marriage will be spared from such a fate.

I agree that homeschooling is necessary to protect our children from filth (both from state-sponsored classes and their classmates). Unfortunately my parents did not have the foresight to do that, and both my sister and I were exposed to some horrible things at school. I really cannot express enough to other parents how important this issue is.
 

IconWriter

Woodpecker
Woman
Orthodox
Gold Member
We also throw into the mix the fact that schools, even elementary schools, are teaching our children inappropriate roles in relationships. Parents are discovering explicit books, with illustrations of all kinds of unnatural things, in school libraries. We can no longer shelter them.
 

messaggera

Pelican
Woman
Other Christian
We also throw into the mix the fact that schools, even elementary schools, are teaching our children inappropriate roles in relationships. Parents are discovering explicit books, with illustrations of all kinds of unnatural things, in school libraries. We can no longer shelter them.

Grooming is about accepting sexual gratification as the purpose for sexual activity: to promote sexual defilement, is it not?
 
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