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Do I Condone “BDSM” or “Christian Domestic Discipline”?

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I am talking about them because I know that Jesus can rescue and heal ANYONE in ANY circumstance and that no one is beyond His reach – how I praise God for that! The saddest thing to me is that (in my experience) these lifestyles tend to attract those who were abused in some way – those who don’t know what it means to be loved and valued in a godly way. How completely heartbreaking!

I also want to be clear that I do not endorse these lifestyles and that I believe they are generally counter to the Bible and God’s design for us as His children. I want us ALL to get to experience the  beauty of God’s good, wholesome, pure, lovely design for our lives and our marriages. There are many deviations that the enemy wants to use to drag us away from God and His truth. He wants to steal, kill, and destroy. But God has the paths that lead to the greatest blessing, joy, peace, wholeness, healing, and abundant spiritual life!

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Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:10

Because I use the word “submission” in my blog a good bit (referring to the biblical concept of submission of a wife honoring her husband’s God-given leadership), I often receive questions about if I support or teach “Christian Domestic Discipline” or “BDSM” (BDSM emphasizes a slave-like definition of “submission” of a woman to physical abuse  -with her consent. CDD emphasizes corporeal punishment of a wife by her husband, i.e.: spanking, sitting in a corner – punishments that usually would be something maybe a parent would do for a toddler who was disobedient). 

Greg and I do not ever – in any way – support or condone this idea of a husband spanking, beating, punishing, shaming, and/or humiliating his wife to “discipline her”or to treat a wife as if she were a slave or a child.

** We also do not condone wives treating their husbands this way and we don’t condone abusing children – or anyone- in any way: physically, emotionally, financially, sexually, or mentally.

We believe this world of twisted “submission” where women are taught to desire to be like children or slaves (rather than grown adults who have equal value, worth, and dignity, and who willingly and lovingly using their gifts, talents, wisdom, love, insights, and personalities to bless their husbands and participate as equals in God’s sight with their own unique complementary role) – is a perversion of God’s design for marriage.

I would strongly exhort believers in Christ NOT to read books/blogs, or watch movies that portray BDSM or “Christian domestic discipline.” 

The BDSM ideas (which are separate from CDD ideas) warp God’s design for masculinity, femininity, marriage, and sex, in my view. In this culture, both partners willingly adopt their roles. They are not forced into anything – it is about that some people enjoy physical abuse and masochism. Just because someone wants another person to physically hurt her does not mean that it is a healthy thing for her. As a pharmacist, if I have a patient who is cutting herself, I don’t get a razor blade and help her do that because she wants me to – I seek appropriate help for her and counseling so that she does not harm herself.

There are other, even more deviant mindsets and lifestyles where people do force pain, violence, and abuse on others against their will. This is completely heartbreaking to me.

SOME BRIEF DEFINITIONS

bondage

(generally the women, but sometimes men) voluntarily wear chains, shackles, handcuffs, etc… so that they look, feel, and act like prisoners

sadomasochism – (definition from Wikipedia)

Consenting partners willingly engaging in aspects of pain or humiliation for sexual pleasure.

sadism – (definition from www.thefreedictionary.com)

1. The deriving of sexual gratification or the tendency to derive sexual gratification from inflicting pain or emotional abuse on others.
2. The deriving of pleasure, or the tendency to derive pleasure, from cruelty.
3. Extreme cruelty.

masochism – (definition from www.thefreedictionary.com)

1. The deriving of sexual gratification, or the tendency to derive sexual gratification, from being physically or emotionally abused.
2. The deriving of pleasure, or the tendency to derive pleasure, from being humiliated or mistreated, either by another or by oneself.
3. A willingness or tendency to subject oneself to unpleasant or trying experiences.

dominance/submission

The dominant partner rules over and may abuse the submissive partner (sometimes there are limits to the abuse, sometimes there are not, depending on the situation). The submissive partner obeys the dominant one and allows herself (or himself) to be mistreated and abused.

Christian domestic discipline – (which is sometimes distinct from and sometimes part of BDSM)

Husbands are the “leaders of their homes” and are encouraged to administer corporeal punishment (spanking, hitting, giving “time-outs,” and other punishments) if their wives’ behavior is “out of line.” These wives believe that they “need” their husbands to discipline them harshly rather than depending on the power of God’s Spirit to give them self-control – is my understanding.

The fact that any of these lifestyles exist just makes me incredibly sad and grieved for those who are involved and the wounds and scars they have as well as the abuse many of them have endured.

 

God DOES give husbands the position of leader in the home (Eph 5:22-33, I Corinthians 11:3, Colossians 3:18-19, I Peter 3:1-7, Titus 2:3-5.)  Godly men are to lead and love selflessly, sacrificially, humbly, gently – in Christlike ways – not by lording over their wives or inflicting any kind of violence or abuse on them and not by treating them like slaves or young children. 

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From Wikipedia:

Abuse is the improper usage or treatment of an entity, often to unfairly or improperly gain benefit. Abuse can come in many forms, such as: physical or verbal maltreatment, injury, assault, violation, rape, unjust practices; crimes, or other types of aggression. (For more information on domestic abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, please click to this link from Wikipedia.)

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A wife of a Christian husband should be safe from all harm physically, emotionally, spiritually, and sexually in her home and in her husband’s arms – and a husband of a Christian wife should safe from all harm in his wife’s arms, as well.

There are many different personality types and leadership styles – different husbands will lead in different ways. But with a godly husband, a wife should be able to share her thoughts, ideas, needs, desires, and concerns freely and respectfully. She should feel safe to be vulnerable without any fear of humiliation, shame, or any kind of abuse whatsoever. Husbands should have these same freedoms in Christian marriages, as well.

Believing spouses should never inflict humiliation or abuse on their spouses even if the spouse asks for it. We should not be asking to be abused – if someone desires abuse, we need to get that person help ASAP! That is a sign of deep scars and wounds in a person’s soul.

We should be able to lovingly, gently confront one another about sin (Matthew 7:1-5, Matthew 18:15-17), and we should be able to all (husbands and wives) speak the truth in love to one another.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. Ephesians 5:3-12

I understand that women desire strong men to lead them. That is a good thing when a man is a godly man who deeply loves, protects, nurtures, cares for, honors, provides for, prays for, and seeks God’s best for his wife. The love I am talking about here is a I Corinthians 13:4-8a kind of love. There is no humiliation, shame, or emotional/spiritual/physical/sexual abuse, punishing a wife like a small child, treating a wife like a slave, or exploitation of any variety in godly love.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. I Corinthians 13:4-8a

God also commands believers to be filled with the Spirit and that our lives are to bring forth the fruit of the Spirit all the time in all circumstances:

love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23

Things that belong to the sinful nature are included here:

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry (putting things – like self, being in control, happiness, feeling loved, feeling respected, sexuality or anything else before Christ in our hearts) and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21

If these kinds of things are going on – it may be time to question:

  • Do we really belong to Christ?
  • What is our relationship with Him?
  • Why are our hearts not regenerated and being changed to become more like Christ?
  • Are we unbelievers? Or have we grieved the Spirit so much we do not hear His voice?

It is time to repent and turn to Christ if the sinful nature is in control, not the Spirit of God. There is much healing and hope available in Christ Jesus!

God’s design for husbands and masculinity:

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. 1 Peter 3:7

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church — for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself Ephesians 5:25-33a

I don’t find biblical support for Christian husbands to shame, humiliate, beat, spank, berate, abuse, or mistreat their wives (or vice versa). That is certainly not the example Christ gave in how He loves us, His church. There are times when sin needs to be confronted, absolutely. There may even need to be consequences. But that does not include corporate punishment, shaming, humiliation, or spiritual, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. Consequences might be things like –

  • Sometimes counseling is needed if there is dysfunction and severe emotional/spiritual wounds/scars that the couple cannot process alone.
  • Sometimes rehab is needed if there is an addiction.
  • Sometimes separation is necessary until an unrepentant spouse is willing to repent of something major like adultery. And then there will be a time when that spouse will need to be willing to be transparent and rebuild trust.
  • Sometimes a doctor’s help or a counselor’s help is needed if a spouse has uncontrolled mental health issues.
  • Sometimes a spouse who cannot control spending needs a budget and needs to not have credit cards and the couple needs to talk about that together in a loving, open, honest, collaborative, cooperative way. Perhaps a husband would even need to say, “I don’t want you to have credit cards anymore if you cannot control your spending. Please give them to me,” if a wife refuses to spend wisely and follow the family budget.

Some further resources:

Women and men have equal value, worth, and dignity in the sight of God and in marriage. Men and women are made in the very image of God (Genesis 2).

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:26-29

LET’S CHECK OUR MOTIVES

A good test would be to examine motives –

  • Why do I want to be treated this way?
  • Why do I want to treat my spouse this way?
  • Do I believe I deserve to be mistreated?
  • Do I believe I don’t have value?
  • Do I believe my spouse has no value?
  • Do I believe my spouse deserves to be mistreated?
  • Do I believe that God can’t love me?
  • Do I believe I am unlovable?
  • Am I hanging on to lies of the enemy? Or are my motivations firmly rooted in God’s Word and in His truth?
  • Am I seeking to treat myself and my husband with the greatest honor, worth, and dignity – because we are made in the image of God?
  • Do I understand that if I belong to Christ, my body is His temple, He dwells in me? All that I am and all that I have is His and I am to honor Him with my body and sexuality.
  • Am I treating my sexuality, my body, my spouse’s sexuality, my spouse’s body, and our marriage as something that is precious and sacred?
  • Is it the love of God that is motivating me?
  • Is my goal to greatly please Christ and to obey Him in all things and to bless my spouse, or is it something else?

God does command us as believers to be humble – to see ourselves properly compared to Himself – that He is big, holy, powerful, perfect, and righteous, and that we are small, sinful, and powerless apart from Him. But He does not command that we be humiliated and shamed. Jesus died to take all of the punishment we deserved for our sin. Now we are free to live in His power, goodness, and holiness. His Spirit empowers us to walk in obedience. Yes, other believers can help sharpen us and we may need a loving, gentle, firm rebuke at times if we are in sin – but others are not responsible to force “good behavior” on us. God’s Spirit gives us the ability and strength to walk in God’s holiness and righteousness.

Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. Colossians 2:23

  • Do I have deep wounds or scars that have warped my understanding of love for which I need to find healing?
  • Have I ever known godly, safe love where love did not involve humiliation, shame, and physical pain?

If not, perhaps I don’t really know what godly love looks like and I need to find out!

A WIFE SHARES HER STORY OF DELIVERANCE LATER THIS WEEK!

In a post next week, I plan to share the story of a wife who is healing from the world of “Christian domestic discipline” and “BDSM.” I praise God that no one is beyond the reach of God and that the blood of Christ is able to cleanse anyone from any sin!!! I don’t have the wisdom and power to heal people. But Jesus DOES!

Do I Actually Need a Spanking? – By OneSoLoved

MY STANCE:

The issues of BDSM and CDD, in my understanding, are a great stumbling block to many, and create confusion for many. Is it possible that some may be able to participate without sinning? Yes, I suppose that it could be possible in some circumstances. I don’t know everyone’s definitions of BDSM. I don’t know everyone’s definitions of CDD. I don’t know people’s hearts, minds, actions, words, or motivations.

But with so very many wives who are deeply wounded from these practices, I simply cannot condone BDSM or CDD. I don’t believe Scripture teaches or promotes either of these lifestyles. I also very much want those who have been hurt by these lifestyles to find healing, hope, peace, and new Life in Christ Jesus.

Please pray with me for those who are hurting and confused that they might find clarity, truth, love, acceptance, forgiveness, healing, mercy, and grace in Jesus Christ and that they might come to Him as both Savior and Lord and get to experience God’s beautiful design for them as women and wives.

RELATED:

Do I Condone Marital Rape or Abuse?

Why I Don’t Write for Women with Abusive Husbands

Prayer for Abusers and for Victims of Abuse

It IS Possible to Be Too Submissive

A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage

Spiritual Authority – God’s design for spiritual authority for believers in the government, the church, and the home by a minister at my church, Rev. Weaver

A Precious Example – a godly example of what the sexual relationship in marriage should look like from a couple who has been married many decades

David Platt – Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood www.radical.net

John Piper – Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood www.desiringgod.org

If you are in a truly abusive relationship as the abuser or the abused spouse, please, please seek godly, experienced, wise counsel. If you are not safe, please try to get to a safe place. I don’t want anyone to be harmed or in danger.

RESOURCES:

The Salvation Army has counselors that are available to  help women (and men) in abusive relationships and in a wide variety of issues

If you are in a consensual BDSM or CDD relationship and want to stop this lifestyle but don’t know how, please seek help from a trusted, godly pastor, a trusted Christian counselor, www.xxxchurch.org, or The Salvation Army. I don’t have all of the resources that wives who are truly abused will need. They will need very specialized, experienced, one-on-one counseling as they heal from abuse.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

59 thoughts on “Do I Condone “BDSM” or “Christian Domestic Discipline”?

  1. I wrote a post a year or so ago in response to a woman who continually disobeyed her husband by putting good knives in the dishwasher because he knew the dishwasher would ruin the knives. When the dishwasher broke, he refused to buy her a new one. The anger I received from this post was incredible! I do believe a husband has the authority as head over his wife to do this or cut up credit cards if his wife is spending too much and putting the family into debt or tell her to not hang out with ungodly friends who are turning her away from the things of the Lord. Yes, a husband absolutely is called to love and serve his wife but don’t you think he also has a responsibility to do what he can to turn her towards the Lord and His way so that “He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word…” I completely agree wholeheartedly that there should be NO form of physical punishment or abuse. The woman I shared with you wrote that her husband refused to buy her a dishwasher to “nip rebellion in the bud.” I would love your thoughts on this.

    1. Lori Alexander,

      I remember that post.

      You know – there are many, many different husbands with different personalities and leadership styles and there are many, many different wives with different personalities. And each marriage has its own unique challenges. I don’t know that there is one specific way that every husband should handle every possible situation – and if there were, I don’t know that I am the one to teach that, anyway!

      I know that my husband wouldn’t have refused to buy me a new dishwasher. I truly cannot fathom Greg doing anything that severe. But – does that mean that husband was wrong? Not necessarily. Our husbands will stand accountable to God for each decision and for their leadership and for each decision, motive, word, thought, and deed. We wives will also be accountable to God for our own motives, decisions, words, thoughts, and behavior.

      In my view, if a wife refuses to stop overspending – I would like to see a husband ask his wife to stop first and have a calm discussion about it. If she doesn’t stop, he may need to do some serious praying before addressing the issue with her in a more firm way. I would like to see him use the least amount of pressure necessary. Is it possible that it may be the best thing for a husband to cut up credit cards in some situations eventually? Yes, I think it is possible – if a wife continues to spend the family into debt and is recklessly using credit cards and refuses to stop.

      The dishwasher thing… I don’t really see how a wife putting knives in the dishwasher that could be ruined by the dishwasher means she deserves to not have a dishwasher again, myself. I can see not him not buying new expensive knives after the others got ruined – possibly. But – that is the husband’s decision to make. He will stand accountable to God for it. Is it possible that this could be a wise decision on his part in an effort to lead his wife? Perhaps. It is not abusive, demeaning, or degrading, in my understanding. It does seem like overkill, in my view. But – he doesn’t answer to me, so I don’t know that my opinion matters a whole lot. If my husband made a decision like that, I would seek to honor it.

      I also agree that husbands have the authority to ask their wives not to hang out with ungodly friends. I do offer a caveat here, though, because there are some emotionally/spiritually abusive husbands who do not allow their wives to speak with anyone else and do not let them read anything but the Bible. I don’t believe that is what it means to be a godly husband. But if there are some friends who are a bad influence, a husband can ask his wife not to spend time with them. Of course, a wife may share that she would prefer her husband not spend time with certain friends, as well – if she does so respectfully – and probably only once. If a husband or wife continues on in unrepentant sin, the couple may need to go talk with the pastor or a wise elder or godly mentoring couple together.

      There are times when a wife may not be able to submit to her husband, even if she wants to – if he is mentally unstable, if he is high/drunk, if he is involved in serious unrepentant sin, if he is asking her to do something illegal/immoral/sinful, if he is asking her to condone something illegal/immoral/sinful, if he is actually abusing her… in those times a wife may need to seek godly or appropriate (medical or legal) help. There is more info on this issue in the post “Spiritual Authority.”

      A husband does have authority in his home similar to what a store manager would have in his store, knowing that he answers to One who is higher than himself just like a manager answers to the district supervisor. He is not the ultimate authority – God is the ultimate authority. If a wife is sinning or doing something truly destructive – I pray that God will give the husband wisdom to confront her about that and I pray that husbands will be sensitive to God’s Spirit and His prompting. I also pray for wives to be sensitive to God’s Spirit and His prompting, as well.

      My greatest prayer is that we might all walk in full submission to Christ and in the power of His Spirit – then He can direct our every step in the best possible way in each circumstance.

        1. I have a couple of thoughts on this. There have been innumerable times when I haven’t gotten done what my husband wants me to do, or have persistently done things in a way he doesn’t want.

          Because I am literally on autopilot.

          There are days in which I literally cannot remember what I just did five, ten, fifteen minutes ago. If someone was to ask what had happened that day, I would be drawing a blank. Or, my husband will ask me something when I am in the thick of a mess, I acknowledge it, then after he has left I cannot remember what he said. Sometimes I have to call him five times a day to remember, I write the chore down, lose the paper.

          Some days are worse than others, but I have noticed that over the past years my memory has dwindled and I can’t keep my thoughts sorted correctly. I am on autopilot and my mind races every day, all day. By eight o’clock at night, I can’t handle even the smallest noise without blocking it out in some manner or taking a tranquilizer.

          A lot of men may think of this as manipulative behavior and decide it should have consequences. But for me, the responsibility of managing my entire home, making clothes for the girls, dealing with all the various chores, getting dinner on the table nightly and homeschooling turned out to be more than I could handle without understanding. Factor out the understanding, and I have some serious cognitive consequences for myself.

          Cognitively, I know I am functioning at about half the level I functioned before I was married. My capacity to multitask has diminished considerably. I don’t take medication every day like I used to, but only when the stress mounts too high, there is too much movement in the house, or my husband begins to give me a list of chores or a list of suggested improvements. I need medication to handle them without going into mental overload. I hate the mental overload because I find myself practically rooted to the floor and I can’t respond or seem to move. I never dreamed that living with a man and trying to meet his needs would be so stressful. After a weekend when he’s been home my brain is just shattered. I wish some of the guys who think their wives are unsubmissive would think about this possibility.

          1. Anonymous,

            My precious sister! Are you getting any sleep? Are you dealing with thyroid issues, or any learning disabilities or ADD? Are you on medications that are increasing your anxiety? Have you spoken with your doctor and had some testing done? Could you ask your husband to help you decide what to pare down on? It sounds like your load is way too heavy right now. As a pharmacist, I would strongly encourage you to share these things with your doctor. Something is certainly not right.

            I personally have to write things down, too, or I will forget. I have a lot on my mind and if my husband says something verbally, I know I need to put it in an email to myself or put it on the calendar or I will forget.

            My husband is so very different. He won’t ask me to do things, even when I want to do things for him. He doesn’t want to stress me out. He doesn’t even like me to ask what I can do for him. Every husband is unique. I am so sorry that things are so very stressful for you. I hope that you might be able to talk with your husband about this and see what suggestions he may have – and then write them down! 🙂

            Sending you a huge hug!

          2. I would get a full blood exam from your doctor. Hormones,vitamin levels. As much as they can test for. Are your kids helping with the chores? Are you eating good,nourishing food? Are you getting enough sun and sleep? Is there an activity you can drop to lighten the load? Do you have someone to offer help/support/encouragement? Try doing some puzzles to keep your mind active. Prayers for you and your family. 🙂

          3. Anonymous,
            I strongly encourage you to speak to your doctor about adrenal fautigue. And make sure the tests they give you are not one off blood tests in a single draw, but saliva & urine tests taken every day for a month. A good naturopath, one who accepts western medicine but has an understanding of natural medicine’s also might be a something to explore. Saved my wife’s life…hang in there. God bless-

          4. Preaching,

            Actually, I have been trying to find an affordable way to do just that, but the prices they charge are eye-popping. None of it is covered by our insurance plan (due to being considered alternative) and they wanted about two thousand dollars right up front. I didn’t have it. They would take a payment plan of $350 per month and I was just mind-boggled still — two thousand was what it cost to just have one home birth with midwife, and that was a little more involved.

            For continuing treatment, it was going to be two hundred per visit.

            I was stunned. Walked out thinking that the only people who can afford to try various treatments are rich people.

    2. Lori its crazy that people would get mad at you for siding with the husband. I side with him too. What is wrong with that woman? A wise woman buils up her housee but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands. Stay strong!

  2. Wow – what a good post! It grieves my heart as well, how popular this idea is becoming… especially with the book/movie that have done very well with audiences recently. I don’t have many ways to explain my feeling toward that other than frustrated, angry, grieved. How disappointing that so many are choosing a counterfeit rather than the design for love that God has for us! And as you said, many times it’s because they don’t even know there’s another way: that they truly CAN be loved without all that other mess… unconditionally and as an equal!

    Thanks again, for this beautiful post. It was a very touchy subject but was tastefully done. I have a feeling much prayer went into this post.

    1. blessedout,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, my precious sister! Yes, much prayer has gone into this post. And I am praying for many to be delivered from their shame, wounds, hurt, pain, and chains and into the glorious life Christ offers to us all. 🙂

  3. I agree, a very tasteful handling of this subject. At my church, we are encouraging everyone to boycott a certain movie that has just come out, because we do not want support to build for a movie that could teach our young people this kind of a sexual relationship, even in marriage is OK. Protect your daughters, this is not OK! It saddens me that a nephew of mine and his wife have already gone to see this movie, but I hope they are mature enough to see that what happened in it was not something they want in their life, and will make sure that none of their children grow up to think this is OK.

    1. Ellen,

      I think the thing that makes me the most sad is that submission is already a very difficult concept for women to accept given our own sinful nature, our culture right now, the media, and the poor influences we have seen in our lives many times. And now – how many millions of people think that “submission” means this degrading thing? It just makes it a lot more difficult for women to discover what real biblical submission is about and what it means to be a godly woman.

      Thank you for sharing!

  4. Thank you for speaking on this. When “the movie” came out there was a lot of talk on my Facebook. I was proud that many of my friends took a stand against it.

    My husband had no idea about any of it. He had not heard about the books so I told him what it was about and he said, “That is what is wrong with the world! People making perverse things seem normal. That is straight from satan! He normally doesn’t say much when I tell him about things so this really disturbed him.

    I wish more men would speak out publicly about it. Women need to realize that “real men” don’t treat women like that and wouldn’t want to.

    1. Daisymae,

      Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂 I appreciate your husband’s perspective, too. This is a fantastic opportunity for those of us who follow Christ to talk about what real femininity and real masculinity are and to demonstrate what godly marriage and love should look like. 🙂

  5. With the movie “50 Shades of Gray” out and selling to record numbers, I was wondering if something on your blog would respond to that.

    I don’t know if the reason for the existence of such things is always because of a history of outright abuse–I kind of doubt millions of women who got into that book/film that most men absolutely hate were all necessarily victims of abuse. There was even a riot of hundreds of underage girls because they weren’t allowed into a rated-R film.

    Just thinking of that movie/book phenomenon, the way I look at it is that–with post-feminist culture repressing and confusing masculinity/femininity so much–it just explodes out in very strange ways.

    Good post as usual, though, to be absolutely sure.

    1. JC,

      I’m sure that the millions who read the book and watched the movie didn’t all adopt the lifestyle and mindset that these subcultures endorse. But for those who truly live this out in real life – the ones I am familiar with – there was a history of abuse in childhood. What I am attempting to address here is actually the people who are living out BDSM and CDD primarily – although I do want to encourage other women not to read or watch this type of material because I believe it desensitizes us to deviations from God’s design for us. My site attracts people who endorse these definitions of “submission” and “leadership” – and I want to be sure I am clear and up front about what I am talking about so there is no room for misunderstanding.

      I think there is just so much confusion about what masculinity and femininity are – and people are looking for answers. Some women may think this lifestyle offers some type of “security,” perhaps? Maybe it seems more attractive than feminism to some and they like the idea of a strong man? Not totally sure. But I believe that would only be because they haven’t experienced God’s wise, beautiful, powerful design for masculinity and femininity and maybe they don’t know what it means to respect and honor a man and to follow the leadership of a godly man.

      Thanks for your comments!

      1. Ah, I didn’t call that one.

        Just the other day I heard another guy with the same old gripe that goes something like this: “why do women go for the guys who treat them badly instead of the nice guys?”

        Unfortunately masculinity just doesn’t have a good model in the modern West. I believe in a masculinity that is completely free and unchained, aggressive, passionate, determined, goal-oriented, dominant, and also sensitive, compassionate, gentle, and expressive–like Christ and other godly men. The best portrayals of this are found in Scripture, such as David, a ferocious warrior and king who could play beautiful music, with other godly men in the Bible. The other is Eastern media.

        From a woman’s standpoint, I can imagine the same problem: is she stuck between the “nice guy” who is agreeable to being walked on, lacks passion, strength and aggression, or the one who has those things but carries with him a contempt for weakness? This is something that I have observed in “macho” men in general, that they just hate weakness in men OR women and will show contempt for someone whose vulnerabilities are exposed.

        When I look for paradigms of masculinity, the last place I’m going to look for sure is mainstream Christianity, and the Western mainstream, but more toward the Bible and Easterners who aren’t stuck in the false dichotomies (or at least, not nearly so much).

  6. Hi April, I confess I didn’t read this post as the title disturbed me a little, but I do applaud you for taking on the hard topics for those who need to hear wisdom on such topics. My question is regarding a stressed husband who is grumpy and shutting out his family. My husband has started a new job this year and is bringing lots of work home. He doesn’t talk about what’s going on at work and my few questions annoy him. I feel so disconnected from him and need ideas on how to help him. Are there any posts on this subject?

    1. Charli,

      I totally understand that there are those who would rather not read about these topics. My prayer is that God might set many people free from these lifestyles to experience His beautiful design for them as men, women, and married couples. 🙂

      How were things going before the new job?

      How many hours is he working?

      Have you seen him this stressed before?

      Has he talked at all about what he needs?

      Is he able to spend time with y’all on weekends at all? Or evenings?

      It sounds like he may be feeling very overwhelmed. 🙁 I hope that this is just a temporary thing with this job – that soon he will be feeling more confident as he learns the ropes. I know you want to be able to talk with him and hear from him and bless him.

      Are there things he really appreciates? Like certain meals, or certain things done around the house? Quiet so he can think while he is working? A special dessert or coffee or tea or something?

      Praying for you both!

      1. Thanks April for your concern and prayers. I have seen him stressed like this before, but not over work. He is working until after dinner every night and then much of the weekend too. He is leaving church as soon as it’s finished to go home and work or not going to church at all. He’s regularly going to bed early without spending any time with me and only realised last night that i hadn’t been to work in 2 days because I’ve been sick (I rarely take days off). I’ve been cooking him meals he loves and know he wants peace and quiet. It’s hard to give him peace and quiet and the level he is demanding is higher than what we are capable of. I hope it’s all temporary too. We have a tropical ex cyclone passing over us here today in australia so it’s going to be loud anyway with our tin roof (we are not used to being house bound here)and we will have to find ways to help him relax. I guess prayer and being sensitive to his needs is key here so I’ll be more mindful about that. Thanks again April.

        1. Charli,

          I am so sorry to hear how overworked he is. What an incredible load of stress. Thank you for desiring to make this time as easy as possible for him right now. Is he able to say if he believes it will ease up a bit in the coming weeks?

          Praying for your safety today and for wisdom for all of you to be a blessing to one another.

          Sending you a big hug, my sweet sister!

          1. Thanks again April. He’s not sure if it will ease up, but is a bit of a perfectionist and says he wants to do his job well. Time will tell. We will be fine today. We will just get lots of rain and gusty wind.

          2. I am praying for God’s wisdom, strength, peace, joy, and direction for you and your husband. And I pray that God will use this to increase your faith in Him and to help you move closer to Him and toward spiritual maturity. I pray that God will use this trial to bring about great good for each of you in your family according to His will and His good purposes for you.

            Sending you much love!

  7. Over here in Australia, a couple of top secular media personalities decided to see the film ’50 shades of gray’. To see what the fuss was about. They hadnt read the books, so they didnt know what to expect. The first,a female morning show presenter said the movie was the worst she had ever seen. She thought the guy was a jerk. And that the film promoted domestic violence. She gave it 1 out of 5 stars only because the icecream she ate was the best part of the night. And she certainly would NOT be trying anything she saw with her husband.
    The male, a well respected critic said other than the direction, the film was garbage. And gave it 2 stars. Mainly because of the direction.
    Glad at least some non believers have some sense

  8. I think that Christian Domestic Discipline, in its correct form and intentions, is widely misunderstood. It is not meant to be tied into sexual relations or perversions, and it is not meant to be abusive or used to instill fear in the wife. It is not the same thing as a “BDSM” relationship.

    1. Mrs. G.,

      I do realize that sometimes CDD is separate from BDSM. But I am putting these concepts together because they both tend to use violence or humiliation to try to control women – and because I have often seen them used together. But, I know they are not always used in tandem. I don’t believe that either of these ideas are part of God’s design for marriage.

      If you have information about CDD that you believe is biblical that I am missing, I would be glad to hear about it. 🙂

      Thanks!

      1. I think that some would interpret the Bible’s passages of the husband ruling over the wife and having dominion over her to give permission for the husband to have authority over the wife in that regard. I think this is a grey area that is open to interpretation, since the Bible does not say that discipline of the wife in this manner is a sin, or not permissible. I know there are many arguments of practicing Christians who can give a better definition of CDD that do find it to be biblical and within the perimeters of a Christian marriage.

        Having said that, I do believe that it is something that cannot be used without mutual consent, nor should it be used for the husband to simply have complete power over his wife, as that is clearly not what God’s design for marriage is. I also do not believe that every marriage should have this type of dynamic, but I DO believe that wives are called to be submissive to their husbands, and that husbands are called to be the head of the family. I also believe that husbands are called to love and cherish their wives unconditionally, as they will have to answer to God for how they have lead their wife and their children.

        If people have had bad experiences in this type of marriage, or if they are in an abusive marriage where the wife is in fear of her husband, then this would definitely be deemed wrong in a Christian marriage and in the eyes of God. But if someone were to ask me what my opinion of CDD is, I could only answer based on how I feel God has revealed Himself to me in my own marriage. I don’t want to come across as if I am promoting something that people are strongly against or feel deep down is wrong for them. I am so very, truly blessed to have a wonderful marriage to a good man that I love and trust with all of my heart. I am also very lucky that he has always respected me and has never taken advantage of my vulnerability in any way. I do realize that many women are not at that same trust level in their marriage, or perhaps they have a lot of underlying issues, and so I would say that anything that seems like it is not coming from God or that feels wrong in any way most likely is.

        1. Mrs. G.,

          I appreciate your willingness to share your thoughts. I’m sure there are some who would agree with you. I do respect that this is a decision that is between you, your husband, and God. Certainly, no one will answer to me on this issue.

          However, to me at this point in time, this issue is not grey, it is much more black and white. And it is very difficult for me to imagine that Scripture supports this teaching of a husband spanking his wife as a disciplinary practice.

          There are 4 verses I know of that support spanking (the rod of discipline) in Scripture is about parents (with children, but not grown children, to my knowledge) in Proverbs. And even that is tempered by the New Testament teaching about fathers not exasperating their children. There is no room for abuse against anyone, certainly. I know you agree with that as you had mentioned. I suppose our definitions of abuse may differ. And there is a command for husbands not to be harsh with their wives but to treat them with honor in I Peter 3:7. And the passage in Ephesians 5 and the definition of agape love in I Corinthians 13:4-8 do not mention corporate punishment.

          I don’t find that God prescribes spanking for grown children, or for errant church members, for slaves, or for any adults in the family or the Body of Christ. I can understand that there could be times when young children, who cannot yet understand reason, who are doing something very dangerous may respond to spanking – that is not done in anger and that does not leave bruises or any damage. They cannot understand a lecture or be involved in a discussion. If a young child runs into the road, I can understand where it could be possible that a parent may give a spanking so he/she might learn not to do that very dangerous thing again and I can see that there may be Biblical support for that.

          However, in all of the information about conflict resolution and authority in the New Testament – disputes in the church, and in the home – nowhere do I find that corporal punishment is prescribed. We certainly don’t spank grown children – or, I have never seen that practice preached or condoned in any of the Christian circles with which I am familiar. I have never personally seen a pastor or Bible teacher that was reputable condone CDD either in marriage. Church leaders who have authority over church members do not spank them if they are involved in unrepentant sin. We have Matthew 18:15-17 to help us when a grown adult is involved in unrepentant sin. There is no need to spank someone with whom you can have a discussion and who can understand reason. And, if both spouses are believers, the command to wives to submit is something that the wife must do voluntarily as she has free will just like any grown adult. She will answer to God if she does not submit. A husband may give consequences and may seek to lead her in God’s will. But I do not see where submission is to ever be forced on a wife. And I do not find that a wife is to obey her husband in the same way that a child is commanded to obey his/her parents. I will share a Bible Scholar’s explanation of that in a minute.

          I realize that God gives government authority to carry out corporate (and even capital) punishment in Romans 13.

          It is my understanding that God does not force any adults to submit to Himself, or to submit to the government, or to the church leaders, or to authorities in the family. It is my understanding that submission for every believer is a choice he/she makes out of his/her own will to submit to God’s authority or human God-given authorities voluntarily out of his/her own reverence for God.

          I think this is a very important discussion. If there is biblical support for this concept, I am happy to hear about it. But at this point, I just don’t see biblical support for it.

          Much love to you and thank you so much for sharing!

          1. Ladies,

            Here is what a Bible scholar friend of mine writes in response to some of my questions about a husband’s authority in marriage (he is a PhD in Greek and New Testament) – may be interesting to prayerfully consider:

            “. . . I wonder if you can expand a bit more on hupotasso – so, the wife supports the husband in carrying his burden? Is that a more accurate understanding?” —-Yes, so all the variant verbs of hupotasso generally denote authority by indicating a willingness to yield to, defer, or follow another. So, they all carry an overtone of authority and subjection or submission BUT we must be careful to recognize that when used of humans none of them denote unbridled power. Thus, submission, but NOT obedience. Obedience is what Paul asks slaves and children to give their parents and masters but this is not what he asks of wives. So instead of asking wives to obey their husbands as a slave obeys a master who is more powerful, he is asking wives, as equals, to voluntarily yield to their husbands. This usage I see in lots of early Christian literature indicating voluntary yielding to another. I see the opposite at times too but I choose the former.

            “. . . . Would you please tell me, what is the word in Titus 2:5 where wives are “to be subject to their husbands so that the Word of God is not maligned”?” — So here we have hypotassomenas ὑποτασσομένας or “being subject” but that word is utilized in everything from: the demons are subject –to– the creation was subject –to—the younger women were subject to the older –to— our lowly bodies are subject to his glorious body

            “. . . That is so interesting about the word in I Corinthians 11:3. Source of love and comfort. Wow. That translation brings tears of joy to my eyes. So beautiful! Is that word used elsewhere?” —So, kephalē κεφαλὴ or head is used John 20:12;

            1 Corinthians 12:21; Ephesians 4:15; Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18; Colossians 2:10; Revelation 1:14

            “. . . 1 Peter 3 is more about oneness?” It is hard for me to wrap my head around that. It sounds like it is the wife’s respect and Spirit filled behavior and her willingness to honor her husband that God might use to draw the unbeliever to Himself. But that is not the picture?” —It is part of the picture BUT they are to cultivate the interior life (1 Pt 3:4 -oneness) instead of excessive concern with their appearance (1 Pt 3:3 –which is ALL most today are concerned about). They are one even if they don’t realize it/ want to be. Husbands who do not respect their wives will have NO success in prayer as those who, according to Paul, have no love: their prayers will be “a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal” (1 Cor 13:1). After all, whatever the social position of women in the world and in the family, they are equal recipients of the gift of God’s salvation. Paul is very clear on this point, too (see 1 Cor 11:11–12; Gal 3:28). I know you know all that.

            In the very early church, you see authority inherent in the marriage relationship but it conveys a softened authority that is best understood in terms of voluntarily yielding to another in love. Note for instance that Peter commands the younger men to submit to the older, but softens the authority indicated by following this command immediately with another, “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another” (1 Pet 5:5). We also see the limitation of authority by noting that this word is used of Christ being submissive to his earthly parents (Luke 2:51), and yet this statement comes shortly after he created great anxiety in his parents by going to the temple without notifying them. When his mother scolded him for this, he gently chided her (actually in some variants He rips her) in return for not anticipating that he would be attending to heavenly business that transcended his ties to his earthly family (Luke 2:48-49). Christ was submissive to his parents and he corrected them and did not conform to their demands.

            So, just some 30,000 foot observations:

            The New Testament significantly qualifies a husband’s authority so that male headship in marriage is not primarily about power over but about the responsibility to serve one’s spouse. Having said that, the New Testament does assign sometimes unique authority to the husband, and the wife does have a responsibility to willingly respond to her husband’s leadership. In healthy marriages in which husbands love and serve their wives sacrificially, wives respect their husbands, and both husband and wife seek the Lord on all decisions, there will be very few instances in which a couple comes to an impasse. I think I am correct to say that when these rare moments occur, the husband should not just go ahead and make a decision his wife is opposed to. However, many Christian marriages are not healthy and wives who desire to be obedient to Scripture need and deserve to have the extent of a husband’s authority clarified. In other words, a wife need not and must not surrender to her husband’s authority when obedience to him would violate a biblical principle (not just a direct biblical statement). For example, a wife must not submit to her husband when obedience to him would compromise her relationship with Christ; violate her conscience; compromise the care, nurture, and protection of her children; enable (facilitate) her husband’s sin –and very importantly a wife must not submit to physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, et. al. Taking action to NOT allow this to continue is good for a husband and one of the BEST ways to break through his distorted thinking because it stimulates repentance (–That is what we are ALL seriously praying for!) Also, it decreases the temporal and eternal consequences which accrue the longer a husband abuses (Hell is payment for sin. More sin, more payment. This applies to our criminal/ tort system too.) It helps to remember God hates abuse and abusers (Palms 11:5; Proverbs 6:16-19; Ezek 9:9-10) and has overwhelming serious judgment on abusers (Is 10:1-2; Ezek 22:11, 21; Joel 3:19; Amos 4:1-3; Micah 2:1-2; 3:9-12; Matt 18:5-6).

            —Everybody wins if we can somehow get it right.

            ——-

            Ladies,

            Also, please search my home page for the posts “Spiritual Authority,” “A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage,” “Biblical Submission,” “Biblical Submission Does Not = ‘The Husband Is Always Right’.”

            And, David Platt’s series on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood is excellent – available on Youtube or http://www.radical.net.

            I realize that a husband having authority in any way is not politically correct in our culture or popular today and that very few churches teach God’s Word on this issue. But it is so vitally important that we understand this issue correctly and live it out in order that the gospel might be displayed and Christ be glorified.

            PS
            I do think that we must be cautious as we talk about exceptions to submission – the post Spiritual Authority at the top of my home page addresses that in more detail.

          2. Thank you for looking into this further, April. Even though we are coming from different perspectives on this issue, I appreciate you giving me a voice and listening to my side of things, as I know this is a rather odd and controversial subject.

            I agree with you on what the church authorities’ teaching would most likely be on this matter. If a couple were questioning whether or not this was the path they wanted to take in their marriage, I am sure that any pastor or priest would never recommend this.

            Again, I only come from the perspective of one person and of how God has revealed truths to me about my own marriage. If I were to ever question the validity and sanctity of certain practices in my marriage, I would absolutely follow the Church’s teaching, as would my husband.

            Thank you for your support of all wives who are truly desirous of living out a harmonious, loving, and respectful marriage. Your blog will always be a great blessing to me, my dear sister 🙂

          3. Mrs. G.,

            I really appreciate the gracious, humble, respectful way you shared your thoughts. I love being able to have discussions on difficult subjects and being able to disagree and yet still have God’s Spirit of unity. I appreciate your willingness to share your perspective because I do think it is important for others to hear other perspectives, as well,not just my thoughts.

            I pray for God’s greatest glory in your marriage and for Him to continue to transform you into the image for Christ, my precious sister. 🙂

  9. I have been married to my husband for nearly 13 years. I am 37 years old and was introduced to a domestic discipline leaning church early in our courtship.
    My husband is clearly the HoH in our home and I am grateful for him being so. He expects me to do my best, we established “house rules” long ago, he encourages and provides for me and our two children, and allows me the freedom to pursue my hobbies – especially tennis! In return I am faithful and reverent to him.
    As far as discipline, yes, it is a part of our lives. My dear husband is not abusive but he has administered the occasional firm spanking or paddling when I step too far out of the boundaries we worked together to establish.

    (Some material has been censored by Peacefulwife)

    By the way, I am not always spanked for my indiscretions. I receive milder punishments like corner time, room time, revoked privilidges (no tennis – yikes – I’ll take a fair spanking instead!).
    God Bless You!
    Jenn

    1. Jenn,

      I am so pleased to meet you, my precious sister! 🙂 You are most welcome here. I thank you for sharing your story. I don’t want to be disrespectful toward your husband or your marriage in any way, so I am editing out some of what you shared for the sake of protecting your privacy as well as your husband’s privacy. And, I fully acknowledge that y’all don’t answer to me. You will answer to God for the way you handle things in your marriage. I respect that this is your choice to make.

      Here is one of my greatest concerns with CDD: in this situation, a husbands treats his wife like a child – a young child even – not like a grown woman. But as a woman and follower of Christ, you are responsible as a grown adult woman to God for your obedience to Him and for your sin against Him. Instead of depending on your husband to be your conscience and to provide negative motivation and consequences for you to behave well – you have the opportunity, if you belong to Christ, to have the Holy Spirit to provide the power you need to walk in obedience to Christ. The fruit of His Spirit includes self-control. That is what we are all to have as followers of Christ – the power of God’s Spirit to enable us to walk in holiness. God commands me “Do not be drunk with wine but be filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Eph. 5:18) So I don’t have to wait to see that my husband disapproves of me being intoxicated. I know what God commands and I obey Him through the power of His Spirit living in me because He changes my desires to match His own.

      The heart of my husband should be able to safely trust me. I am to do him good and not evil all the days of my life. (Proverbs 31)

      What is your walk with Christ like, my dear sister? How is your prayer life? How is God regenerating your spirit?

      A woman who belongs to Christ doesn’t need the threat of a husband’s punishment to keep her in line. She has the Holy Spirit. She wants to please and obey God above all. That is her primary and highest goal at all times. She knows she will be accountable to Him for her motives, her thoughts, her words, and her actions. If she does sin, and her husband gently, lovingly, firmly rebukes her as an equal in Christ and a sister in Christ (not as a father to a daughter), she will be grieved about her sin and will turn from it in genuine, humble repentance, and turn to Christ. There is no need for her to be punished like a small child.

      And, a woman who belongs to Christ is to be a mature, fully grown helpmeet to her husband. She has great power to influence and bless her husband as a joint heir in the Kingdom, as well as the role of occasionally gently, respectfully addressing issues in his life as she seeks to hear God’s Spirit and follow His prompting and timing. “A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage.” The post “Spiritual Authority” gives a fantastic foundation upon which to build the design of God for a husband’s authority by a minister at my church. A wife does need to be prepared not to obey her husband if he is asking her to clearly sin, or to condone clear sin, or to do something illegal, or if he is being abusive, or is not in his right mind (drunk, or high), or he is involved in severe unrepentant sin.

      A wife brings all of herself to the marriage – her personality, her strengths, her intellect, her personality, her maturity, her perspective, her ideas, her concerns, her strengths, her influence, her faith, and her wisdom. She shares with her husband as his dearest friend and advisor. If they cannot agree after she respectfully shares her thoughts about a decision, then she joyfully and willingly concedes to her husband’s leadership, following his decision and trusting God’s sovereignty to lead her through his decision.

      A husband would not be helped much by having another child in the family. He needs a woman. A real helpmeet. Someone who is equal to him in worth and value and who contributes to the marriage and supports him in his mission and calling in the world. She brings joy to him. She does not add greater burdens to him by expecting him to be her father or her conscience or the Holy Spirit.

      I would love to invite you to check out the story of the wife I will be sharing tomorrow. She has a post on her blog today about this very topic. http://www.onesoloved.com that I believe may greatly bless you “What’s So Wrong with Domestic Discipline?”

      I would also love to invite you to check out a few posts on my blog, as well:

      I Am Responsible for Myself Spiritually

      I Am Responsible for My Emotions

      Much love to you! I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you, your husband, and your marriage.

    2. Jenn thank you! My husband and I agree that spanking etc is ok. We have been married 12 yrs and it has worked for us. I’ve prayed about it felt peace about it and scriptures i read after praying..i feel God’s approval about it. I wish people weren’t so judgemental and assume abuse. It is Not.

      1. Karen,

        I hope you might read the wife’s story that I shared in the link in this post. She represents the majority of women I have encountered who have embraced CDD or BDSM. I am sure you can understand why I wouldn’t want to promote any wife to view marriage in the way that this wife used to.

        I believe it is entirely possible for husbands and wives to have very godly marriages and for wives to take spiritual responsibility for themselves without husbands having to employ any spanking or CDD style “punishment” at all. I don’t understand why wives would need to further burden their husbands with extra responsibility for the wives’ behavior and obedience to God.

        My stance here on this blog is that I don’t live either the CDD or BDSM lifestyles and I do not endorse or teach them.

        I am fully aware that I am not your Judge. You will answer to God, not to me. But I will answer to my Judge for what I teach, condone and endorse in this blog that thousands of women read from around the world. I hope, when you read this wife’s story, that you can understand why I cannot support CDD or BDSM.

        Thanks so much for sharing! I pray for God’s wisdom and His greatest glory in your walk with Christ and your marriage. 🙂

  10. This post perfectly touched on a topic I’ve struggled with for the past few years. I survived a lot of severe trauma throughout my life as a child and teenager, and only just last year finally managed to distance myself from that situation. However I’ve now found myself coming out of those years with my sexuality, personal identity, and many other aspects of myself so twisted, shattered, and entirely destroyed and so far removed from anything good or pure; that the process of healing for me has only just recently begun. There is healing and freedom in the power of Christ from all sin and bondage– and this post has helped to further open my eyes to the lies I have lived with my entire life, and has also helped me begin to weed out what is true and wholesome, from what is not. My perception is so skewed, it’s often nearly impossible for me to differentiate between the two– and your blog has been SUCH a lifeline for me as I begin this process! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

    -salahgrace

    1. Salahgrace,

      How I rejoice with you and with God Himself over the healing process that is beginning in your life! 🙂 WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!

      My heart just breaks to hear what you have endured and the abuse you have suffered as a child and a teenager. I cannot begin to fathom how much those things would twist and warp your understanding of the most basic parts of your identity as a woman, your understanding of romantic relationships, your understanding of marriage, your concept of God, what you believe about guilt…

      I’m so thankful that you are not beyond the reach of Jesus! I’m so thankful that His blood is so powerful that He can cleanse every stain in your life – just like He cleanses mine. We are on level ground at the foot of the cross. I am just as desperately in need of the blood, mercy, forgiveness, and grace of Christ Jesus as you are. 🙂 I know that with all my heart. My sin was just as damaging and just as deadly and just as destructive. Sin always leads to death. But PRAISE GOD! Jesus has provided a precious gift to all who hear His voice and will receive Him and come to Him as He opens our hearts to Himself by the power of His Spirit. In Christ, we are all dead to our old ways of life, our sin, ourselves, our old priorities, our old misunderstandings, our old snares and lies. Now, we have been crucified with Him, buried with Him, and raised to new Life in Christ Jesus! Now we are alive to God through Christ. Now, He lives in us. Now, we can count ourselves dead to sin and we can be instruments of righteousness. Now, He begins the process of transforming us to be more and more like Christ. We are New Creations. 🙂 WHAT VERY GOOD NEWS!!!!!!!!

      I’m so thankful that God is showing you the lies that held you captive and that you are choosing to believe the truth of His Word. I’m thankful for your boyfriend. I pray for God to continue to work in you both for His greatest glory!!

      I pray for the resources you need to continue to heal and to discover the beauty of what it means to be a godly woman, what godly masculinity means, what godly leadership is, what biblical submission means, what a Christlike marriage looks like, how to read and understand the Bible, and how to allow God’s Spirit to have control and to allow Him to radically transform you as you give Him full access to the darkest places of your soul, heart, and mind.

      Thank you so much for sharing, my precious sister! Sending you the biggest hug!

      1. Thank you, April! Your words of encouragement and love mean the world to a lonely heart! Your blog has been an incredible resource for me, and has offered a very different view of femininity and masculinity than I’ve ever seen presented before; it is so refreshing and gives me so much hope for my own relationship! God bless you and your work here for Him!

        -salahgrace

        1. Salahgrace,
          You are most welcome here, and on my other blog, as well http://www.peacefulsinglegirl.wordpress.com.

          I’m happy to walk beside you on this amazing journey with Christ. 🙂 Please let me know if you need to talk about anything. I’m so excited about the healing and wholeness you are going to get to experience!!!!! 🙂 Nothing brings me more joy than to celebrate over God’s work in people’s lives. Our God is so very good!

  11. I’m saddened that I emailed my experience about this topic but it was never added. I’m not sure if it’s because i disagreed and that i spoke of my relationship with the Lord (that after praying all scriptures pointed to approval for my husband and my situation). I’m a long time reader of your website so this really surprises me.

    1. Karen,

      I am aware that some believers in Christ will differ with me in this issue. But I am not, in good conscience, able to post anything condoning or supporting CDD, because I believe it will be a stumbling block to many for me to do so.

      You and your husband are free to conduct your marriage in this way. I am not going to try to force you to change. I respect your freedom to make this decision. However, I am not going to embrace CDD personally and I cannot teach or approve CDD without violating my conscience before God. I must do what I believe is right in God’s sight and what is most helpful and least harmful to my sisters in the Lord.

      I am going to need much more solid Scriptural support than feelings on such an important issue and an issue where abuse could be so easily introduced.

      This is my perspective on this issue:

      “Everything is permissible for me,” but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible” – but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. I Corinthians 10:23-24

      I am seeking the good of my sisters (and brothers) in the Lord in what I am teaching. I don’t find Scriptural support for CDD. I don’t believe that is God’s design. God’s design involves a husband being gentle with his wife and treating her with honor as a grown woman, not as a child. And God’s design involves a woman being responsible for her own sin and accountability before God. Why should I endorse something that is so unnecessary, not clearly taught or supported in Scripture, and that has the potential to cause great harm to many women?

      I’m sure there are many other things that we do agree about. I love you dearly as my sister in Christ. You are free to choose this lifestyle if you wish to. But I am going to have to respectfully disagree with you on this particular issue. You certainly have free will from God and may live however you believe God is calling you to live. I have no doubt that you have the best of intentions. I am sure that you love God wholeheartedly. I trust Him to make things clear to you if He desires you and your husband to change anything. I pray for His wisdom for you both.

  12. I can’t see Jesus spanking his disciples. That does not compute :

    I think we often underestimate how high a bar of accountability he expects, how responsive he expects us to be, to think on our feet in our following him with his leadership in mind.

    In the end he also called his disciples “friends,” no longer servants.

    Part of me wonders if one might be tempted to look at the “submissive” role as an escape from equal accountability. In general I think people can be tempted to defer personal independence for responsibility–“but the boss told me to.”

    I think a submissive woman embraces equal autonomy with equal responsibility. They aren’t given lists of rules or treated like children, BUT with it they embrace equal accountability, putting their energies into their submissive role with equal dignity and honor and personal pride. I have a particular example in mind I know very well! 🙂

    fwiw, if anything.

    1. JC,

      Thanks so much for this, my brother. Interesting to have a masculine perspective in the mix.

      I wonder, as well, about whether a wife being overly submissive and/or desiring her husband to punish her like a child would give her an “out” from responsibility and accountability to God and to her husband as a grown, mature, fellow believer and joint heir in Christ.

      Thanks for sharing your description of biblical submission. I really like that. I think there is so much confusion about what femininity and masculinity are today – and it is easy for us to go overboard one way or the other, sometimes not even realizing what we are doing, rather than to walk in the power of God’s truth and His Spirit.

      1. Yes, that’s what I meant. 🙂

        I don’t know what you’ll make of this, but I just considered the actions of Abigail.

        Maybe it’s disputable how much she could be seen as a truly righteous woman, but she did act in support and even self-sacrifice for her husband (i.e. acting for his sake), but did so outside the rules and with her own autonomy. I don’t think she “rebelled” against her husband, but also “thought outside the box” for his sake. Just another thought for you. 😉

        1. JC,

          Abigail’s husband was extremely disrespectful toward David and his actions would have gotten him and his entire household killed if it were not for Abigail’s quick thinking. She saw that what he was doing was wrong and that he was endangering everyone in their large household and she went ahead and gave provisions to David and his men before they could kill them all. Interestingly, God pronounced judgement on her husband shortly thereafter and her husband died. Then, Abigail became one of David’s wives.

          She is an example of times when a wife may need to go against her husband for the safety and good of the entire family. These kinds of situations will be rare, hopefully! But a godly wife is prepared to go against her husband if he is truly doing something dangerous, he is not in his right mind, or he is asking her to condone or commit clear sin against God and His Word.

          Thanks for the example!

  13. My dear sisters who support CDD,

    If you and your husbands willingly decide to be involved in CDD, I understand that it is not my place to try to change anyone. I am not writing about this topic in order to “preach” at women and try to make them do what I think is right. The Holy Spirit is plenty capable of doing that – and it is His job to convict, not mine. If you and your husband decide to live this lifestyle and you believe you are honoring God, that is your decision to make. I am not taking anyone’s God-given free will away. I am not trying to force my views on anyone.

    I present my views here because this blog is my ministry and I want to clarify what I am talking about when I talk about biblical submission and a husband’s headship/leadership/authority so that people will hopefully better understand what I am saying and what I am not saying. This post is all about clarifying what I am teaching vs. what I am not teaching.

    How you and your husbands live is entirely up to y’all and your husbands. You are most welcome to prayerfully consider the things that I say. But you do not have to defend your lifestyle choices to me or answer to me. I pray for God’s blessings on your walk with Christ, for His will, and His greatest glory in each marriage represented here.

    Lord,

    I lift up my precious sisters who support CDD and their husbands to Your throne room in the highest heaven. We have a disagreement about this important issue. They believe CDD honors You. I believe it does not. Ultimately, the only thing that matters is Your opinion of this or any issue, Lord. I have nothing but Your love for these women. I desire nothing but your absolute best for them, their husbands, their marriages, and their children. I entrust each of them to Your care. I pray that You might direct their steps. Thank You for Your Spirit’s work in those who belong to You. I pray that You might continue to transform and regenerate us all to be more and more like Christ so that Your Name and Your Gospel might be exalted. Thank You for their faith in You. Thank You for their desire to please You. Please continue to refine, prune, and sharpen us all. Show us Your heart, Your truth, and Your mind. May we have Your Spirit of unity and love even as we respectfully disagree with one another.

    How I pray that You might bring many to Yourself and that You might bring healing to those who are greatly hurting and who have lost their way. I pray that I might not be a stumbling block to my sisters, but that You might use me by Your power to point others only to You, Your love, Your Word, and Your truth.

    In the Name and power of Christ,
    Amen!

    Much love to each of you. 🙂

  14. I “happened” upon your blog tonight after seeing one of your videos in a link on Facebook. I just want to say that you are doing a good & right thing here. Please, keep it up.

  15. Here is a new post by OneSoLoved at http://www.onesoloved.com that I think may be a blessing called “Do I Actually Need a Spanking?“:
    ——————————————

    I’m ashamed to admit that I was very disrespectful to my husband this morning. I was really overwhelmed by my responsibilities at home and running on too little sleep and I sent him some disrespectful, blaming emails while he was at work. Even after he responded with gentleness and warned me to calm down, I responded with more disrespect. Then there was a quiet period… he wasn’t responding…

    A thought from our Domestic Discipline past snuck up on me while I waited and thought about what I had done – Did I go too far this time? Am I going to get a spanking?

    My phone vibrated and I checked my email: “I’m not going to continue talking with you until you apologize.”

    Phew.

    I knew he was right, and I apologized. Case closed, I was forgiven and had to spend some time talking to God about what I had done wrong.

    When we were involved in Domestic Discipline, my behavior definitely would have earned me a spanking. Is that actually what I need to help me learn to show respect though?

    In Galatians 5, the Apostle Paul talks about the fruit of the Spirit versus the works of the flesh. Included in the list of the works of the flesh is “fits of anger”. Included in the list of fruit of the Spirit are “gentleness and self-control”.

    Ouch. It doesn’t take much Bible-learnin’ to figure out that I was gratifying my “flesh” as Paul says, or to put it simply, acting out of my broken, sinful old nature, instead of bearing the fruit of the Spirit and living out of the new identity that Jesus gave me.

    Can a spanking help with that? If my husband had told me I was going to get a spanking for being disrespectful, it definitely would have stopped my disrespect in its tracks. It would have snapped me to attention and I would have felt dominated, afraid and humiliated, which is a nice cold bucket of water to pour on my arrogance and attitude.

    That’s not what God says I need, though. Not just because it’s an inappropriate consequence that works against the maturity He desires for me, but also because it’s useless to save me from my sinful nature. Paul says:

    But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

    (Galatians 5:16-17 ESVOpen in Logos Bible Software (if available))

    There’s no external motivator in the world that can touch the power of the Holy Spirit to change my heart and my behavior. I don’t need a humiliating punishment to modify my behavior. I need God INSIDE OF ME to heal my sinful heart and give me a new heart, a heart full of His love and peace. And He will!

    Jesus said:

    And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:9-13 ESVOpen in Logos Bible Software (if available), emphasis added)

    I am disrespectful, impatient, unkind, unloving, often out of control and rebellious. My husband knows it very well, how much more does my Father in Heaven know? He knows. And He nailed it ALL to the cross, broke all the power of my sin so that He could adopt me, and make His home in my heart, and work gently, lovingly to teach me how to be His daughter.

    He says I need to ask, seek, knock for the Holy Spirit just like a hungry child would ask her father for food, and, since He is the best Father in the universe, how eagerly will He answer my request for help!

    He will give me the good things I need to respect my husband, like patience, love and self-control.

    I don’t need a spanking. I need to ask, seek, and knock, and then open my arms to receive the good gifts my Father gives.

    What do you need to ask God for help with? Overspending? Laziness? Selfishness? Ask Him! As a loving Father, He longs to be your hero and come alongside you to help!

    ——————-

    From Peacefulwife – AMEN! AMEN! What we need is the power of God in our lives and the power of His Spirit to give us self-control and spiritual maturity. That is what Jesus died to provide for us – victory over SELF, victory over sin, victory over disrespect and anything else that tempts us.

    This is what I long for every wife to find – the power of God and His healing in her life!

    Much love to each of you!

  16. I must be sensitive to all because
    we don’t all agree.
    But I thank God that you hold fast to God’s Word, April.
    In many cases the husband is more sinful than the wives and could perhaps
    use a whipping himself.
    Yet God is not there beating him or spanking them as they sin against their wives and others daily.
    For God so loved the world,that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    Jesus died a horrendous long, torturesome death, being completely without sin Himself, because he loved us that much- there is no greater love.
    Yet, sinful husbands believe they are obligated or entitled to spank their wives and punish them because they have a God given right? They are obligated to lovingly address issues and faults of their wife, but they also need to lead by example. Show her Christ in his behavior, be a servant to her. Not proud and lofty. But humble.
    The scriptures are very clear in the commands to a husband in parallel with Christ and the church. The word talks about him loving and cherishing her,
    but people have their own interpretation
    of it, of punishments and discipline.
    I pray we all begin to have the mind of Christ in all things.
    God bless you richly!
    Thank you.

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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