Category Archives: Depriving Husbands of Sex

Refuting Sheila Gregoire’s Assertion That “Deprive is not the same as refuse”

1 Corinthians 7:1-5 has been a standard text that people like myself reference when arguing against feminists like Sheila Gregoire. Sheila is one among many feminists seeking to give wives an excuse for not giving their husbands what 1 Cor. 7:3 describes as their “conjugal rights”. While Sheila acknowledges that verse 5 clearly forbids both spouses from depriving one another, she had to devise some way around it. At least as far back as 2012, she has had this to say (bolding is mine):

First, let’s note what this verse does not say. Paul did not write:

Do not refuse one another, except by mutual consent and for a time…

He wrote do not deprive.

Deprive is not the same as refuse. I believe many people interpret this verse to mean refuse. Are women obligated to have sex every time a man wants it? Are we ever allowed to refuse?

Well, let’s look more closely at deprive.

If I were to say to you, “do not deprive your child of good food,” what am I implying? I’m saying that your child should get the food that is commonly recognized for good health: three healthy meals a day, with some snacks. I am not saying that every time your child pulls at your leg and says, “Mommy, can I have a bag of cheetos?” that you have to say yes. You are not depriving your child of good food by refusing a request for Cheetos.

Deprive implies that there is a level of sexual activity that is necessary for a healthy marriage.

What Does 1 Corinthians 7:5–Do Not Deprive Each Other–Really Mean? [https://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2012/10/what-does-1-corinthians-7-do-not-deprive-each-other-really-mean/]

More recently, this year in her new book The Great Sex Rescue, Sheila repeated this same assertion.

A Closer Look at “Do Not Deprive”

Let’s take a step back and ask, What is God really asking of us in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5?(…)what does it mean not to deprive, and what is it that we’re being asked not to deprive our spouse of?

Saying “Do not deprive” is not the equivalent of saying “Do not refuse.” When we say “Do not deprive,” we’re saying, “Someone has a need that has to be fulfilled.” But this is not the same thing as saying, “A person gets to have whatever they want.” God made us with a need for food. If your child asks, “Can I have Cheetos?” and you refuse because lunch is in an hour, you are not depriving her of food. The child’s need is for a healthy, balanced diet, not to eat anything she wants, any time she wants.

Likewise, the sexual need that God created us with is not for intercourse whenever we want or however we want. It’s for a healthy, mutual, fulfilling sex life, and sometimes that means saying no for a variety of reasons.

The Great Sex Rescue, 2021, Pages 173-174

As you can see, Sheila is quite attached to this assertion, but it remains just that. An assertion. Notice I did not call it an “argument”, and that’s because she argued for nothing. She claims that “Do not deprive” is not the equivalent of saying “Do not refuse,” but she never proves that. While we frequently use these two words interchangeably, Sheila insists they mean distinctly different things. Yet if one simply examines the word “deprive” in the dictionary, what do you find?

deprive [ dih-prahyv ]
verb (used with object), de·prived, de·priv·ing.
to remove or withhold something from the enjoyment or possession of (a person or persons): to deprive a man of life; to deprive a baby of candy.

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/deprive#

Dictionary.com explicitly refutes Sheila’s definition of ‘deprive’. Even her ludicrous comparison between a husband’s sexual desires and a child’s desire for Cheetos is debunked by this definition: “to deprive a baby of candy.” Clearly babies do not need candy, they merely want candy. And yet, to remove/withhold candy from a baby is still an act of deprivation. The word can be used either way, as can the word ‘refuse’.

In light of this, when we see 1 Corinthians 7:5 say, “Do not deprive one another,” its meaning is clear. Neither spouse in a marriage is permitted to refuse sex to the other. This interpretation doesn’t simply rest on the use of the word deprive, of course. Verses 1-5 flow together in an unbroken line of thought. Men and women are commanded to marry because of temptation to sexual sin in verses 1-2. Verse 3 follows up by describing access to your spouse’s body for sexual intercourse as a conjugal “right”. Not a reward or something you must first earn- it is a right, I.E. something each spouse is entitled to receive from the other. Verse 4 fortifies this by saying that both the husband and wife must have sex with each other because they don’t have authority over their own body, but their spouse does. Verse 5’s condemnation of depriving your spouse of sex except in highly exceptional circumstances is the final nail in the coffin.

That is how we can know how the word “deprive” is being used. The word in itself does not carry some special meaning that redefines what came before it. On the contrary, what came before it defines the meaning of that word. Sheila’s bare assertion ignores Paul’s flow of thought, ignores the interchangeable meanings of “deprive” and “refuse”, ignores how the words are defined in the dictionary, and hence, she doesn’t have a single leg to stand on.

Then again, why worry about such things when you think you know better than the Bible anyway? (From pages 177-178)

Rescuing and Reframing

  • Instead of saying, “Do not deprive your husband,” say, “Sex is a vital part of a healthy marriage relationship that you are both meant to enjoy.”(…)
  • Instead of saying, “You do not have authority over your body; your spouse does,” say, “God wants sex to be a mutual, loving experience.”
  • Instead of saying, “The only activity that is to break regular sexual relations is prayer and fasting for some specific cause, and this to be only by mutual consent for a very limited time,” say, “Our sexual needs are very important ones, but they are not the only ones. Show love to your spouse by caring for all of their needs.”

Interesting approach from a woman who wrote a book with the subtitle, “…How to Recover What God Intended” by telling people not to say what God himself said.

Debunking the Myth that “Marital Sex Is Not A Solution For Lust”

Bnonn & Foster sent out their latest newsletter yesterday titled, “Notes on manhood 2021 week #25″. In it they revealed that they’re still just as stunted in their views of biblical sexuality as your standard Christian feminist:

Let us leave behind magic numbers, and move onto wise principles for knowing whether a couple is ready for marriage. Here are five: (…) 5. Focus on training your sons and daughters to harness their sexual energy towards productive ends. So much of the young marriage stuff is motivated by parents who think their children can’t overcome lust and stay chaste into their early 20s. But marrying young is not a solution for this. Sex does not cure lust; it merely channels sexual energy licitly. A man who has not learned to control his eyes before marriage, for instance, is not going to do any better after marriage, and is frankly not marriage material.

This kind of attitude towards marital sex can be found everywhere. At Blazing Grace, Mike Genung wrote a scathing piece on this subject, but it can be summed up with this paragraph:

Continue reading

You Can’t Negotiate Genuine Desire, But That’s Not The Point.

Rollo Tomassi is correct when he says you can’t negotiate genuine desire. Femininely Mild isn’t arguing that you can. She’s denouncing women who take advantage of their husband’s sexual needs to exert control over him. While a husband can’t negotiate genuine desire on the part of his wife, she can use his genuine desire to force him into negotiations. That’s where chore lists come from, and why sex is listed as a reward for completing the list.

The proper response to that kind of sinful manipulation is straight-forward denunciation. The rebuke is not intended to generate genuine desire within the wife. It’s to confront her sin and exhort her to repent of what she’s doing. Repenting of this sin would lead to the wife giving her husband sex. Does this mean she’ll wind up having sex with him even though she doesn’t genuinely desire him? Most likely, yes, but that’s not the point. We’re all required to obey God whether we like it or not, and that includes wives. It’s not wrong to tell a frigid wife to have sex with her husband just because her doing so won’t make her want him. Hopefully that will happen, but if it doesn’t, that’s okay.

In fact, it’s a common phenomenon for Christians to experience sanctification in a begrudging manner. We can all think back to times when we realized we had to stop doing something we enjoyed because it would directly or indirectly violate God’s commands. Perhaps we hated it at first, but over time, that hatred waned and melted away. What a tragedy it would be if we were to refrain from obeying God because we thought we only had to obey Him if we felt like it first! So a wife isn’t attracted to her husband, and she doesn’t want to obey God. Is it better that she sins instead? Should she also miss out on the opportunity to develop those feelings over time because she’s not in the mood now? Of course not!

It’s true- we can’t negotiate genuine desire. Most Christians don’t know how to create it at all, let alone that negotiating for it won’t work. We should definitely learn how to go about that. However, if we don’t know how to do that right now, but in the meantime we obey God despite our desires to the contrary, then we’ve won, because that’s what matters most.

Nice Christian Ladies Will Ruin Your Marriage.

Most married Christian men have no clue what female Christian authors write in their books or web articles. Why would they? Reading a book about relationships by a woman sounds about as much fun as listening to her whine about her feelings and emotions. It’s too bad, because when Christian men do turn a critical eye to the written works of atheists and heretics, we can expose all manner of evil and warn others to stay away. Were we to treat books and other written works that so-called Christian women write in the same manner, we wouldn’t buy them. We certainly wouldn’t give their relationship advice to our wives for their edification.

Here’s a sampling of the kind of things you can expect your wife to be taught when she buys books by these nice Christian ladies who just want what is best for her (Page 121 of When Your Husband Is Addicted to Pornography: Healing Your Wounded Heart by Vicki Tiede).

I’m going to offer a few ideas for you and your husband to consider implementing when you are ready to be sexually intimate. Encourage your husband to verbally ask you if you’d like to be sexual with him. This will help you feel respected and will allow you the freedom to say no with honesty and without repercussion.

Here’s how a nice Christian lady will ruin your marriage. Think of some nice lady, perhaps a truly born-again believer, who is soft-spoken and polite in your company, and is enthusiastic about teaching women how to be Godly women. This is the kind of person who writes books like these. They’ll nicely and politely take your wife aside and teach her how to talk to you in a specific, manipulative manner so that she can get out of having sex with you. And feel unafraid in doing so. It’s also in the guise of a book with a pious-sounding title- healing your wounded heart. She just wants to help your wife!… Supposedly.

How about a web-article by Sheila Wray Gregoire? What Does 1 Corinthians 7:5–Do Not Deprive Each Other–Really Mean?

First, let’s note what this verse does not say. Paul did not write:

Do not refuse one another, except by mutual consent and for a time…

He wrote do not deprive.

Deprive is not the same as refuse. I believe many people interpret this verse to mean refuse. Are women obligated to have sex every time a man wants it? Are we ever allowed to refuse?

Well, let’s look more closely at deprive.

If I were to say to you, “do not deprive your child of good food,” what am I implying? I’m saying that your child should get the food that is commonly recognized for good health: three healthy meals a day, with some snacks. I am not saying that every time your child pulls at your leg and says, “Mommy, can I have a bag of cheetos?” that you have to say yes. You are not depriving your child of good food by refusing a request for Cheetos.

Isn’t this exactly the kind of advice you want your wife to be given unbeknownst to you? She’s instructing your wife to think of your desire for sex as akin to a kid who wants mommy to give him Cheetos. That way if she feels tempted to turn you down for sex, then it will be okay to do it. If this weren’t a female Christian author teaching this, you’d think this was some white-trash busybody, recklessly encouraging wives to hold their husbands in as much contempt as she holds hers. But, since she’s a nice Christian lady, she gets away with it.

How about another book, this one by Mary Kassian & Nancy Leigh DeMoss? This one is called True Woman 201: Interior Design – Ten Elements of Biblical Womanhood (Page number N/A.)

According to the Bible, a wife’s submission is her choice alone. A husband has no right to demand it or to try to extract obedience from her. His only responsibility is to love her, woo her, and humbly sacrifice himself for her as Christ did for the church.

Translation: “If your husband demands you obey him, he needs to mind his own business.” Isn’t that exactly how you want your wife responding to you when you remind her that she’s required to do things your way? Hey, Buddy, your only responsibility is to love, woo, and sacrifice. What do you think you’re doing trying to demand my submission??

Wives have enough difficulty accepting their God-given mandate to obey their husbands. The temptation to disobey is never not there. When a so-called nice Christian lady comes along and informs your wife that she has a way out of that, what do you think she’s going to do? She isn’t going to reply like an apologist and refute what the nice lady said. She isn’t going to say, “Wait- Christ demanded our obedience. In fact, he said in John 14:15 that if we love him we’ll keep his commandments, so I don’t think it’s out of bounds for my husband to do the same.” No. That’s how a man would respond, but your wife is not a man. Her struggle to obey you was difficult enough before this lady came along and encouraged her to give up the fight. Now she’s thinking it’s her perogative alone to submit, and if you try to enforce that, she can tell you to back off.

My advice? Don’t let your wife read female Christian authors. The nicest ladies in the world are going to politely and respectfully ruin your marriage if given the chance. Don’t let it happen.