Category Archives: Marital 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.

Wilson’s Quadruple-Speak: To Doug Wilson’s Defenders

The greatest difficulty in demonstrating the dishonesty of Doug Wilson lies in the very thing he does so well- speaking out of both sides of his mouth. On one hand he teaches plenty of things that tickle the ears of right-wing Christians. Fathers rule the home, and their wives should submit. That all sounds Godly and Biblical because it is. So, when someone comes along to appropriately point out how he undermines those things on a regular basis like some feminist-Christian, the typical reaction is disbelief or automatic dismissal. This article should hopefully lay it out for his readers as to why people like myself see him that way.

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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:

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Marital Sex MUST Be “Mutual”!

Sometime back Sheila was going on a Twitter-campaign to let the world know just how eeeeevil the book Love & Respect is.

I’m not interested in defending the book Love and Respect per say, but rather, this assumed belief Sheila has that sex must be mutually gratifying or mutually fulfilling in some manner.

I challenged Sheila to provide Scripture to prove this assertion of hers- that “sex should be mutual.”

Unsurprisingly, this stalwart rescuer of Christian women around the globe eventually just blocked me.

For a man standing behind what the Scripture says and only what the Scripture says, he can see Sheila’s nonsense with perfect clarity. The Bible never says that if you have sex purely for physical reasons that you are committing a sin. Nor does the Bible say that it’s a sin for a husband or a wife to have sex purely for their own satisfaction and not their spouse’s. On the fundamental level, there isn’t a verse that even hints at such a concept.

Sheila didn’t care to acknowledge this fact. Instead she resorts to good old-fashioned poisoning of the well. “It is pornography that talks about sex as being about a man taking what he wants.” No, Sheila. That’s the way God talks about sex. It’s straight out of the book of Proverbs:

Proverbs 5:15 (ESV) Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. 16 Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? 17 Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you. 18 Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, 19 a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love. 20 Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?

The Holy Spirit who inspired King Solomon to write this book felt quite comfortable talking about sex being about a man taking what he wants. The man wants sex, and so he is commanded to drink from his own cistern/well. He’s even being explicitly told to use his wife’s boobs to satisfy him at all times. No such mention of the mutual gratification/fulfillment on the wife’s part is mentioned, and for Sheila, that just won’t do.

Proverbs 5 “never once talked about how sex should be mutual and how it was created for her too” either. As you can see though, that isn’t important to Sheila. She never offered a verse proving what she kept asserting was a required feature of marital sex. Does that phase her? Not one wit, because the Scriptures simply don’t matter to her. If we’re going to talk about pure and simple abominations, I’d say that comes pretty darn close.

Is Sheila Gregoire An Expert on Marriage or Isn’t She?

Buckle up. We got a long one here.

I checked Amazon.com, and confirmed that Sheila really is writing another book about sex, and it’s set to be released on March 2nd, 2021. I gotta say, that’s a pretty blasé cover. This looks like some cheap cover you’d find printed back in the early 2000’s by a publishing company that didn’t have any faith in their product. Maybe Gregoire and co. haven’t made up their minds on the final design.

I’ll tell you one thing I can’t figure out about Sheila- has she even made up her mind on whether she’s an expert on marriage? She’s claimed to have an informed perspective on marriage since at least March 6th of 2012*. Take this description from The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex on Amazon: 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.