reblogged from A Submissive Wife’s Journey
I received a message from a reader who said, “Beloved, you are in confusion and I pray to Jesus right now that He will deliver you.” The reader told me that the Bible does not say a husband should physically discipline his wife and cited Ephesians 5:28-30: “In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 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.”
This reader’s message is not uncommon amongst people who speak against Christian Domestic Discipline and wife spanking. The myths about CDD are plentiful, and it remains a mostly taboo subject criticized by individuals (generally feminists) who assume that, in a CDD relationship, the man is a controlling, abusive zealot while the woman is weak and desperately needs “saving.” Or, conversely, individuals criticize CDD by saying that it is an excuse for Christians to feel better about wanting to have BDSM sexual relationships. But the life my husband and I have chosen is one based in our belief of God’s word. CDD is a tool for growing our relationship in a godly manner.
Ephesians 5, to which my reader referred, is a complicated text. Verses 21 to 33 are treated as guidelines for how to uphold a Christian marriage. First, Paul directs wives to submit to their husbands: “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5:23-24). Then, Paul instructs husbands to love their 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” (Ephesians 5:24-27).
I’m not a theologian, but Ephesians 5 is just one of the texts in the Bible in which wives are told to be submissive. My favorite verse on this subject, Colossians 3:18, says, “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.” The Bible makes it clear that women are of men’s flesh and men are made in the image of God. I interpret this to mean that while women are not secondary in God’s eyes, we are expected to honor our husbands like children honor their parents. In 1 Corinthians 11:3, we are told, “The head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”
So what does this mean for CDD relationships? Why do I disagree with my reader?t is in
- Because the head of woman is man, my husband is responsible for my life and my soul. He takes this very seriously. If I need correction (which I often do), he is responsible for that.
- My husband does not beat me; I have consented to be disciplined as he sees fit. Scoldings, timeouts, and spankings are tools for redirection.
- He does not enjoy disciplining me. It hurts him to see me in pain, but he’d rather that I feel discomfort now than live for eternity in Hell because I am not following God’s word.
- Our lifestyle is not excuse for sexual play. My husband and I have a very fulfilling sexual relationship, but that time in the bedroom is completely separate from discipline sessions. We do not mix the two.
- CDD is meant to bring us closer together. I need guidance and reminders about how to be a good Christian wife. I rely on my husband to help me do that.
So, in short, I’m glad that my reader felt compelled to write me. But my husband and I are content with CDD because of many reasons. We are upholding God above all others. Discipline is a tool, not the focus.