Is sex within marriage a privilege to be earned?


Thank you for the timely reply.

Though I do not agree with your comments, I find it interesting that you did not address the conclusion I stated about oral sex, cross dressing, etc. being acceptable if sex is reduced to a physical level only (which is what happens when the situation occurs as I described). We are spiritual being as well and part of the oneness that happens between mature adults who respect one another is a spiritual oneness during and because of physical intimacy.So, do you care to address my conclusion or dismiss it because of the word "rape" which you chose to use, not me. I was calling YOU to accountability for it's use. I consider the above mentioned situation to be "out of line" (unacceptable by scriptural standards); if you care to call that rape, so be it. I call it disrespectful.

The problem with the situations is not the intimacy or lack thereof; it is the disrespect the husband is displaying toward his wife. (It could be the woman in the wrong as well; I'm referring to husband because that is the original situation I mentioned.) The Good News is about restoring all things to proper balance and harmony. A person engaging in disrespectful sex is not keeping his covenant with his wife. In the case of pornography, it is adultery! Jesus said that to look upon a woman with lust is to have actually done it. To make the wife "act out" such a thing is part and parcel of pornography.

All privileges, including intimacy, are earned and retained with appropriate responsibility. Respect and trust are the ultimate responsibilities that allow the privilege of intimacy. Every privilege we have in Christ is earned by trust in Him and keeping His commandments; they are not rights.


I suppose my earlier answer was difficult to respond to, and so you feel you must turn the tables. Your original note began, "I strongly disagree with you about a husband raping a wife." You then proceeded to prove that a husband could be charged with rape in certain circumstances. In response I showed that the term rape does not apply in a relationship between a husband and a wife. Now you desire to say you never called it rape. Tsk, tsk! The record remains on this web site. Attempting to turn the tables to make me appear to be at fault just will not work in this case. It appears you now agree that the proper charge is not rape but dishonor as taught in I Peter 3:7.

Your basic line of reasoning is that if a husband is involved in certain sinful actions then it gives the wife the right to refuse sexual intimacy. Further, you stated that sex within marriage is a privilege that must be earned. In this you have departed far from the teachings of the Scriptures. Sex within marriage is consistently described as a duty within marriage -- true, it is a pleasant duty, but it remains a duty. "Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does" (I Corinthians 7:2-4). The word translated here as "due" comes from the Greek word ophelio, which is defined as "to owe, to be indebted, to be under obligation." It is a duty for a husband to satisfy his wife's sexual desires. It is a duty for a wife to satisfy her husband's sexual desires. Under the Mosaical Law, sex with marriage is described as a right (Exodus 21:10) that could not be denied to a wife.

Nowhere is sexual intimacy in a marriage described as an earned privilege. Respect and honor are required between a husband and a wife. "Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband" (Ephesians 5:33). However, the Bible does not teach that couples can withhold sex from their spouses to keep them in line.

There is another problem with the idea that when a husband is involved in certain sins the wife has the right to withhold sexual intimacy. Since sex is a duty within marriage and the withholding of sex violates the rules laid down by Paul in I Corinthians 7:1-8; therefore, you are saying that the committing of one sin justifies the sin of another. In reality you are arguing that it is proper to do evil (withhold sex from a spouse) so that good (correction of a sinful behavior) might result. Paul stated that that such reasoning is justly condemned (Romans 3:8). Wrong cannot be countered with wrong. "Repay no one evil for evil" (Romans 12:17, see also I Thessalonians 5:15 and I Peter 3:9).

In reality, what you are advocating is a form of personal vengeance. Yet the Bible warns, "Do not say, "I will do to him just as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work"" (Proverbs 24:29). Evil is fought by doing righteous deeds.

You have also twisted Matthew 5:28. Jesus did say, "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." However, the statement applies to desire a woman other than your own spouse. Having sex with your own wife is not adultery. Nor is having a strong desire for your own wife adultery. Instead, such a desire for your wife is encouraged. "Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love" (Proverbs 5:18-19).

Probably the most disturbing statement in your note is your claim, "The Good News is about restoring all things to proper balance and harmony." Such a statement is not found or hinted at in the gospels (which means "the good news"). Instead it is a silly mantra of those following "New Age" beliefs. Here is the proper definition of the gospel. "Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve." The good news is that the Lord of Heaven came to earth, lived, died, and was resurrected.

I recommend that you return to studying your Bible because only there will you find the proper guidance for your marriage.

Related items on this web site:

Spousal Rape
When was the spousal rape law passed?

Is it rape when a husband is influenced by alcohol, drugs, or pornography?

Is the Bible male oriented?
Can't a wife abstain from sex for a few days?

January 16, 2008