One may not think an apologetic article on marriage is appropriate. Yet, that is what this article is going to examine and expose. There appears to be a modern movement within Christianity where husbands are instructed to groom and employ domestic discipline of their wives. This discipline includes deprivation of financial freedom, spanking, and encouraging the idea and belief women are subordinate and inferior to their husbands.
This came about as I received an email notification on November 8, 2020 of an article published by Biblical Gender Roles. If you are familiar with Mormon Apologia, then you may have read my three part series responding to one of the articles on BGR’s website. If you have not – check out the following:
- An LDS Perspective on Why God’s Identification as Male is the Key to Understanding Life’s Meaning
- Part Two: An LDS Perspective on Why God’s Identification as Male Is the Key to Understanding Life’s Meaning
- Part Three: The Work and the Glory of God is to Bring to Pass Man’s Eternal Life and Immortality
Following the link to Biblical Gender Roles article – A Newlywed Christian Husband’s Experience with Incorporating Domestic Discipline – I read with interest and apprehension. The writer of this article (who appears to remain anonymous) linked another article entitled 7 Steps to Grooming Your Young Wife. This latter article was published on July 16, 2020.
Biblical Gender Roles So-Called Biblical Worldview
Here is what the website says regarding their so-called Biblical Worldview about gender roles and scripture:
In churches today the only thing most people hear about marriage is that God designed marriage to be an equal partnership between a man and woman. If gender is discussed at all, you will hear that God designed men and women equally in his image and that he has given men and women equal opportunity to do whatever they want with their lives.
The problem with all these teachings about marriage and gender in most modern churches today is that they are completely and utterly at odds with what the Bible actually teaches on gender and marriage. Our churches have completely abandoned a set of doctrines found in the Scriptures that impact not only our daily lives but also the plans we make in this life.
What are these set of doctrines that appear to have been completely abandoned by Churches today? Apparently, there are 20 Biblical doctrines that are not being taught in modern Christianity today. My attempt will be to address each one separately. Suffice it to say, the overall theme is that women are not equal to men in marriage. They are subordinate and under the authority of their husbands and it is the husbands authority over all aspects of a woman’s life. In fact, women are not only subordinate to the authority of their husbands, they are owned by their husbands:
In marriage God has not only placed husbands in authority over their wives, but he also given them ownership of their wives. The Hebrew word for marriage in the Old Testament is literally “to be owned” as in a woman coming to be owned by a man. When a man married a woman he became her “owner” and she became “owned by” him (Deuteronomy 22:22, Deuteronomy 24:1, Proverbs 12:4, Proverbs 31:10-11). In the New Testament we read that Christ “purchased” his bride, the Church as men had purchased their wives since the beginning of creation (Acts 20:28).
Considering the belief system espoused above, one wonders if this is reverting back to the colonial period and up to the late 19th and early 20th century regarding Women, marriage, and Equal rights. Take for instance the following from Women and the Law:
During most of American history, women’s lives in most states were circumscribed by common law brought to North America by English colonists. These marriage and property laws, or “coverture,” stipulated that a married woman did not have a separate legal existence from her husband. A married woman or feme covert was a dependent, like an underage child or a slave, and could not own property in her own name or control her own earnings, except under very specific circumstances. When a husband died, his wife could not be the guardian to their under-age children. Widows did have the right of “dower,” a right to property they brought into the marriage as well as to life usage of one-third of their husbands’ estate. Though a married woman was not able to sue or sign contracts on her own, her husband often did have to obtain her consent before he sold any property his wife had inherited.
Doctor Richard B. Makeover, M.D. published a four part series on Women as Property: An Existential Challenge in Psychotherapy where he discusses the psychological harm existing today among women seeking therapy and treatment. In his second part, Dr. Makeover states this:
In English Common Law the doctrine of coverture decreed that a woman was legally considered her husband’s chattel. Her property became his and she was prohibited from signing contracts or taking part in a business. The wedding itself is designed to acknowledge the transfer of property. In one traditional marriage ceremony, for example, the bride’s father “gives her away,” conveying his title to the new owner. Nobody has to give away the groom; he’s not a property. After the ceremony the bride who takes her husband’s name confirms her new property status. She then wears a second ring (the wedding band) that, like a real estate “sold” sign, signals she is now off the market. These various rituals and traditions of modern weddings might be considered only quaint vestiges of earlier and now-discarded markers of female status were it not for the current evidence of women’s property status.
Prior to this statement, he briefly summarizes the plight of women from primitive culture to modern day examples as being captured as slaves, sold, and used for sexually explicit means.
Sadly, Biblical Gender Roles support sexual exploitation within the confines of marriage. In the seventh step how to discipline your wife:
If your wife is un-submissive in the sexual arena and chronically denies your sexual advances (without legitimate medical or psychological reasons for doing so) then perhaps that upcoming trip you were going to take her on gets canceled. Maybe that wardrobe upgrade your wife was looking forward to gets downsized or canceled. The Bible says a man has to supply his wife with clothing, but it does not say it has to be the expensive clothing she wants!
As difficult as this is to comprehend, BGR posted an article over a year ago titled: It is not a Woman’s Consent That Matters, It is God’s where the author advocates for a husbands right to sexual relations with his wife with or without her consent. And when it comes right down to the root foundation of BGR’s belief system we find this:
Biblically speaking all those who are under various authorities can and should be disciplined by those authorities. The husband wife relationship is no exception to this rule. So how should a Christian husband go about his duty of disciplining his wife whom God has placed under his authority? This is a question that we will seek to answer here.
So, where does this leave us? Good question. BGR attempts to establish a Biblical justification for not only grooming one’s wife – to also justify disciplining ones wife.
Grooming is neither a humanistic or sacred Biblical teaching – it is Predatory and abusive
In the article – 7 Steps to Grooming Your Young Wife – the writer expresses justification of how this is compatible with Biblical teaching and standards. He uses the Online Merriam Webster Dictionary’s definition of Grooming:
Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary defines the verb definition of groom as “to clean and maintain the appearance of (an animal), to make neat or attractive, to get into readiness for a specific objective” and this fits with the traditional understanding of this word.
While I agree with this definition (as it is a positive form and appropriate use); BGR seems to lack consideration of the other forms of grooming that appear to be more in line with the established worldview. Grooming has come to be defined as a negative connotation with the sexual exploitation of children and adults.
According to the NSPCC Website grooming is defined as:
Grooming is when someone builds a relationship, trust and emotional connection with a child or young person so they can manipulate, exploit and abuse them.
And this may occur in romantic relationships, which includes marital relationships. It is quite surprising the writer appears to specifically target young women as appropriate for grooming and discipline:
Prerequisite #3 – Your Wife Needs to Be Young
Even if you are both Biblicist Christians, age is a major factor in a man grooming his wife. I have consistently heard from mentoring couples I have spoken with that the grooming of a bride has the most success in women under the age of 25. After that the chances of success radically fall, even with believing wives. I was given examples of Christian wives in their 30s and 40s trying to get into these mentoring programs. At the beginning of the program they really seemed like they wanted to change, but in the vast majority of the cases they exit the programs not long after entering them when they cannot make the changes necessary.
If you and your wife meet these three prerequisites you will have a great chance of success in grooming your young bride.
Another interesting note is that the writer does say that actual abuse is not Biblical yet justifies grooming and discipline as God ordained and Biblical. Even in one article – Why God Wants You to Stay in an Abusive Relationship – appears to expose the contradiction and justification of this particular worldview.
Regardless of BGR’s attempt at justifying grooming as a positive and sacred Biblical teaching – it is simply predatory. One may even conclude that the entirety of BGR’s supposed Christian Biblical Worldview is merely a how to Christian guide to predatory relationship within the confines of marriage.
Grooming is a tool that predators use to gain the trust of a target, and ultimately manipulate that trust to gain sexual, monetary, or other advantages. You may have heard the term as it applies to children, but adults can also groom other adults. In fact, some adults may use other adults, and particularly women, to help them in their grooming. As with other forms of manipulation, grooming is not a simple cut-and-dry technique. It plays on an individual’s insecurities and, even in a strong-minded person, can wreak havoc psychologically.
The effects of this process has short-term and long-term effects. Whether it is overtly abusive (emotionally, spiritually, and physically) or subtly abusive:
- Anxiety and depression
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Self-Harm and potential suicidal thoughts
- Unhealthy feelings of shame and guilt
- Relational issues and difficulties with family, friends, and potential co-workers
- Eating disorders
- Substance use related disorders
- Difficulty coping with stress
And despite the writer’s best efforts to justify Domestic Discipline as sacred and Biblical, it is merely smoke and mirrors of condoning and justifying spousal abuse. It negates the psychological effects this appears to have on young women:
Dr. Bahar says domestic discipline is a form of abuse that’s consistent with the three phases of abuse conceptualized in the late 1970s by psychologist Lenore Walker. These phases—sometimes called the cycle of violence— include:
Tension-building phase: the build-up to abuseAn Inside Look at Domestic Discipline and Its Abuse of Power
Acute battering episode: the spanking
Honeymoon phase: “after care” which may include remorse and making up
She adds that domestic discipline is a physical, mental, emotional, and sexual safety risk that impacts a person’s health and well-being. What’s more, it can be even more damaging if children observe these acts of violence.
As to the Biblical Justification of Domestic Discipline it is merely a means of Eisegetical interpretation of select scriptures. This is true when utilizing scripture to falsely justify this form of spousal abuse.
Addressing the 7-steps of grooming your young wife
Eisegesis is defined by Merriam-Websters online dictionary as follows: the interpretation of a text (as of the Bible) by reading into it one’s own ideas. Another definition is this: an interpretation, esp. of Scripture, that expresses the interpreter’s own ideas, bias, or the like, rather than the meaning of the text. This is what we find within the context of the various articles Biblical Gender Roles publishes. Instead of engaging in explaining or providing a critical explanation of a text (exegesis). Here, we will provide a brief examination of the scriptures used by BGR and expose how the text is misinterpreted and abused to justify grooming a wife for domestic discipline.
Step #1 – Transformation and Renewing of one’s mind
The first step explained is to Un-learn What Your Culture Has Taught You and quotes Romans 12:2.
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
BGR’s Eisegesis of Romans 12:2:
God calls us to un-learn the false teachings of this world that we have been conditioned with our entire lives. This will require a radical world view change for both you and your wife. One of the hardest changes to make for many couples is the rejection of the “adult/child” paradigm. Our modern culture teaches us that there are only two primary social classes, adults and children. Children have limited rights until they reach adulthood and then they have full autonomy. The Bible does not recognize the adult/child paradigm but rather it specifies three primary classes of people within society and those are men, women and children. Under God’s law, the social class of men are the only ones who have full autonomy. Women are to be under the authority of men in the home, the church and society at large. And children are to honor and obey their fathers and mothers.
It is impossible to fully embrace the teachings of the Bible concerning gender roles without a husband and wife first being willing to fully reject the modern teaching of the adult/child paradigm. When a Christian wife comes to reject the adult/child paradigm, the whole “you are not my father” and “you are treating me like a child” will quickly disappear.
Exegetical understanding of Romans 12:1-3:
Within most Christian expository teachings Paul’s epistle to the Christians in Rome establishes a systematic theological premise of Christian teachings and truths. These comprises Romans 1-11. The remaining chapters of the Epistle to the Roman Christians deal more with practical Christian living rather than doctrinal teaching and instruction. Adam Clarke’s commentary states this:
The apostle having now finished the doctrinal part of this epistle, proceeds to the practical; and here it may be necessary to take a view of his arguments in the preceding chapters.
John Calvin’s Commentary of Romans 12 also remarks this:
After having handled those things necessary for the erection of the kingdom of God, — that righteousness is to be sought from God alone, that salvation is to come to us alone from his mercy, that all blessings are laid up and daily offered to us in Christ only, — Paul now passes on, according to the best order, to show how the life is to be formed. If it be, that through the saving knowledge of God and of Christ, the soul is, as it were, regenerated into a celestial life, and that the life is in a manner formed and regulated by holy exhortations and precepts; it is then in vain that you show a desire to form the life aright, except you prove first, that the origin of all righteousness in men is in God and Christ; for this is to raise them from the dead.
Paul is not asking us to unlearn our presently held worldview regarding gender roles. Paul is stipulating that we as Christians are to present ourselves as living sacrifices by transforming and renewing our minds on what it means to follow Christ. In John Macarthur’s sermon – The Believers Supreme Act of Spiritual Worship – he teaches:
Now the central concept in these verses — look for a moment would you, to verse 1 — is the phrase “a living sacrifice.” That is a very important phrase. As I mentioned from 1 Peter 2:5, we are spiritual priests offering up spiritual sacrifices. The primary sacrifice we are called to offer, Paul says here, is ourselves. Now the language here is definitely Old Testament. It is the language of ritual offerings. It is the language of ceremony. It is the language of the Levitical system. It is the language of the priesthood. It is the language of sacrifice. And in the Old Testament, we know that an offerer would come to God bringing his lamb or his turtledove, whatever it was that he was going to sacrifice, he brought that sacrifice to the holy place. It was given over to the priest and the priest took it, slew it, put it on the altar and as it were, offered it to God.
That system has come to an end. God no longer desires that animals be offered to Him, any kind of animals. There is no more animal sacrifice pleasing to God. That era has ended. No more dead sacrifices. Now what God wants is what kind of sacrifices? Living ones. No more dead animals, but living men and women. And so the essential act of the Old Testament Jew’s life, his religious life, was the presentation of a sacrifice as an indication of the genuineness of his faith. The central act of a New Covenant believer is the presentation of his heart, his soul, his mind, all that he is, as a living sacrifice.
Transform and renewing of our minds means that we are changing our thoughts and way of perceiving to something higher and more developed through our devotion and spiritual worship to God. Both men and women are to present themselves as living sacrifices to our Heavenly Father through their faith in Jesus Christ. By which we gain greater understanding and awareness of our identity in who we are and our relationship with our Heavenly Father.
This includes the sacred covenant of marriage where husband and wife submit themselves to the authority of Christ and Heavenly Father.
Step #2 – Biased Biblical Gender Roles Justification
In this next step, BGR uses 2 Timothy 2:15 in an interesting way. Here is what it says:
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
BGR’s Eisegesis of 2 Timothy 2:15:
An understanding and full acceptance of the doctrines of the Bible concerning gender roles is a critical first step for you as a husband to begin the grooming process with your wife.
The writer links to the 20 supposedly Biblical doctrines of Domestic Disciplines. There does not really seem to be any explanation of how this scripture applies to grooming a young wife.
Exegetical understanding of 2 Timothy 2:15 in proper context:
One of the proper ways to interpret scripture is to look at the surro8unding verses related to the one being quoted. Here, we look at the context of 2 Timothy 2:15-21:
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
Based on the immediate context we see that the Apostle Paul is speaking about consistent studying of truth and knowledge that leads to moving from unrighteous way of living to living a more obedient and righteous life. Specifically, 2 Timothy 2:15 is referring to the personal ministry of Timothy under the approval of God and not men. Paul was admonishing Timothy’s duty and obligation to study and be equipped by God’s authority and minister in a manner where he will not be ashamed when examined.
This may also have application within the marriage as a husband and wife are to minister toward one another and study to show themselves approved unto our Heavenly Father. Both have a duty and obligation under God’s divine direction to minister to one another and their children.
Steps #3 and #5 – Integrity of Spiritual Mentoring
There are two steps BGR recommends in grooming a young wife. First, spiritual mentoring for the husband and second is the spiritual mentoring for the young wife. This is based on the interpretations of Proverbs 27:17 and Titus 2:3-5. While on the surface, it appears this does show a proper interpretation, we want to dig a bit deeper to see if it really is appropriate to make such an assertion.
In Step three, BGR quotes Proverbs 27:17:
Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend
Proverbs is known as Wisdom Literature and therefore is interpreted differently than those passages that are symbolic and allegorical, or letters (like the Pauline epistles).
BGR’s Eisegesis of Proverbs 27:17:
Here, the writer simply states: Finding a wise and godly man to mentor you will be crucial to helping you as you seek to groom your young bride.
While mentoring is a good thing, and every Christian believer ought to seek out proper mentors, the false advice here is to specifically seek out someone who has already groomed their wife and therefore is able to teach a husband on how to groom his wife. BGR even states the following:
There is a strict vetting process that I go through to vet mentoring couples to make sure they are trustworthy Christians who not only believe in Biblical gender roles, but they actually live these doctrines on a daily basis to the best of their ability. Then I vet each couple that comes to me looking for a referral for mentoring and finally the mentoring couple themselves have their own vetting processes.(see the link at the beginning of this article: A Newlywed Christian Husband’s Experience with Incorporating Domestic Discipline)
And for the women,
BGR’s Eisegesis of Titus 2:3-5:
The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
And here is the explanation BGR provides:
The Bible does not just support the concept of female mentorship, but it actually commands it. You may hear some horror stories from older men whose wives were actually led astray by ungodly advice from their girlfriends at church or elsewhere. But mentoring by good and godly women who fully embrace and live out Biblical gender roles can have life changing effects on women. I have heard this from mentoring couples I have spoken with and seen it firsthand with younger Christian couples that I know.
Do these two scriptures approve the interpretation Biblical Gender Roles gives for mentoring when it comes to husbands grooming and disciplining their wives? Does it condone and mandate that wives are to give over their permission to be groomed and mentored by women who have also been groomed by their husbands?
Exegetical understanding of Proverbs 27:17 and Titus 2:3-5 in proper context:
According to Dave Keehn’s March 2011 article on 3 Elements Needed for an Effective Mentoring Relationship there is a definitive standard throughout scripture that discusses proper mentoring. Another way of looking at this is the call upon all Christians to preach, call people unto repentance, and make disciples (see, Matthew 28:16-20). Making disciples, or mentoring, means we are teaching individuals a way to live differently.
Take for instance recovery based sober support meetings. They recommend individuals who are new to recovery and working to move away from active substance use to develop relationships with those who have a strong sober and recovery lifestyle. This is to teach them ways to live differently. express concerns, have feedback, to be called out on their behaviors, to be encouraged, and empowered, to grow and strengthen their own volition.
Same thing with Christians. we are exhorted to seek out those strong in their testimonies and faith to mentor us. This includes young married couples seeking out proper mentors.
In a devotional at Ligonier Ministries website – Sharpening One Another – we read:
Giving a tool the desired sharpness took time in the ancient world, as there were no electric whetstones or other sharpening devices. Persistent, careful striking of the tool against the sharpener was required, and the process lasted longer than a matter of seconds. Thus, the proverb is underscoring the importance of persistence in friendship. One man does not sharpen another with just one speech or dialogue, though words spoken in the right season can go quite far in helping improve another person. Instead, people sharpen one another over time, through years of friendship and all of the ins and outs that come with enduring relationships. A truly constructive friend is faithful over time to offer his criticism and instruction, and he does not give up the first time his friend does not heed his advice.
As faithful servants of our Heavenly Father, we are to seek to cultivate those enduring friendships where we are constantly growing in faith. Growing in truth. And growing in righteousness. We sharpen one another through exhortation, teaching, guidance, wisdom, and knowledge. Not to learn how to groom our wives to be servants and slaves to our authority.
As to Titus 2:3-5, one only looks to the nature and context of Titus 1-2 to fully understand that Paul was instructing Titus on how to exhort both men and women in their duty and obligations. This also lacks account of the cultural and social context of the first century. Here, Paul is instructing Titus in keeping with sound doctrine (Titus 2:1). Within the context of Titus chapter two, Paul also encourages Titus to exhort those who have master’s to be sober and serve righteously under sound doctrine.
Step #4 Misapplication of teaching one’s wife her Gender Role
Probably one of the most perverse misinterpretations of scripture is 1 Corinthians 14:35:
And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
BGR’s Eisegesis of 1 Corinthians 14:35:
Here, we see the full misuse of scripture to justify grooming and domestic discipline:
God calls you to be your wife’s primary spiritual teacher. Once you have fully absorbed and embraced the teachings of the Bible concerning gender roles, you must then teach each of these doctrines to your wife. I would suggest you use the order I give on my Biblical gender roles page, as each doctrine builds on the previous one given. You should also seek advice from your mentor as to how to approach each of these important doctrines with your wife.
1 Corinthians 14:35 is also popular among a movement to declare that women do not have right to become Pastors or preach within the Congregation.
Exegetical understanding of 1 Corinthians 14:35 in proper context:
This is far from what Paul was writing about to the Corinthian Church. The entirety of 1 Corinthians 14 is talking about the spiritual gifts of prophesying, speaking in tongues, and the interpretation of tongues. A careful study of 1 Corinthians 11-15 discusses the nature of women, their role, and what Paul was most likely referring too as it appeared that the Corinthian Church services seemed quite chaotic.
According to his thesis – Bringing Order to 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 – Philip J. Abbot writes the following abstract:
Contrary to the arguments of many, when read in context,1 Cor 14:34-35 is not a command for church-wide female silence. The passage is actually an appeal for theCorinthians to maintain an ordered worship,and fits within Paul’s overall section (ch. 11-14) regarding orderliness in the ekklesia. By contrast, however, the displacement of the passage in some manuscripts brings the passage out of context and makes it seem to be a direct command to church-wide feminine silence.
The Apostolic Fathersand early Greek Church Fathers did not understand the passage to mean universal female silence in the church. It was not until the late second century that Western Church Fathers began referencing the passage to silence women and combat the heretical Montanist sect which was known for its prominent women prophets. The citations of 1 Cor 14:34-35 in the late second century coincide with the emergence of the Western text-type which relocates 1 Cor 14:34-35 several verses later to follow 14:40. This work argues that Western Church Fathers repositioned the passage in the late second century to combat Montanism and to align Christianity with Roman social standards.
When we properly investigate and understand the context of scripture one will find that BGR is guilty of perverting Paul’s exhortation and instruction in a manner that is misogynistic.
Step #6 – Unhealthy and abusive means described to groom and discipline your wife
Here, we are exposed to the reality of what Biblical Gender Roles is asking husbands to commit to doing. Using the example of Christ and the Church, BGR goes so far to say that husbands have a spiritual duty and obligation to groom their wives as Christ grooms His Church:
Christ did not give up his life for his wife’s happiness. He gave up his life to purchase his wife (Acts 20:28) so that he could groom her into the wife he wanted her to be. And this is what God has called you as a Christian husband to do. In 1 Corinthians 11:7 the Bible tells us that “…the woman is the glory of the man” and in Proverbs 12:4 we read “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband…”. In 1 Corinthians 11:9 the Bible says “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man”. These Scriptures teach that God created your wife for you, to bring you glory and when your wife brings you glory this brings God glory. So, you as a man bring glory to God by your submission and service to him and your wife brings glory to God by her submission and service to you.
What this means practically speaking is that you need to begin to mold your wife to your preferences for her behavior. You should never feel guilting in desiring your wife’s submission and service to you, but rather you should enjoy this as God enjoys our submission and service to him.
And what does this practical ways to groom your wife into a woman who behaves according to your rule and authority?
- Make her wear clothes you approve of and like
- Make her learn to cook foods you desire and enjoy
- Make her watch only shows you enjoy watching
- Make her obligated to satisfy you sexually and not deny you sexual intimacy
- Discipline her when she misbehaves, denies sexual advances and consent, and undermines your authority
Essentially, BGR instructs young men to engage in predatory and abusive relationships with their wives. Further justifying such acts as “Godly Ordained” and “Biblically Mandated”.
None of these scripture passages, when properly interpreted in their historical, social and cultural, immediate, and literary context provide any justification for “Christian based domestic discipline”.
Step #7 – Domestic Discipline is Spousal Abuse and Toxic
The final step in BGR’s 7-Steps to grooming one’s young wife is the act of domestic discipline. Here, BGR quotes Revelation 3:19 equates what John is writing to the 7 churches in Asia to how husbands ought to rebuke, chasten, and discipline their wives:
The verse above is Christ speaking to his churches after having just rebuked them and threatening to discipline them if they did not repent. Christ associates his rebuke and chastening with his love for his churches. In Ephesians 5:25 the Scriptures tell us “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it”. So, if a husband is loving his wife as Christ loves his church, then he will rebuke and discipline his wife. Otherwise he is not loving her as Christ loves his church. Discipline from you toward your wife is crucial for the grooming process to work in the life of your wife.
And BGR states there are various ways a husband has a right to discipline his wife. This includes spanking her. What may warrant a husband to discipline his wife?
- Disrespect in public – requires public rebuke
- Overspending – requires confiscation of credit cards, access to funds through debit/atm cards
- Dereliction in motherhood duties or undermining your authority in front of children – depriving her of needs and comfort
- Watching too much television – requires to cancel services to cable and any streaming services
- Too much internet/social media – canceling of internet services, password access only
- Neglecting duties in the home – again, deprivation of things
- Denial of sexual intercourse/intimacy – denial of vacations/trips, nice clothing, or other comfort
All of the above steps to discipline your wife is abusive, power play, and manipulation to control and subdue her. It creates emotional, mental, spiritual, and toxic relationship within the marriage.
Justifying and condoning such practices is absurd. Domestic Grooming and Disciplining a young woman to be subservient to her husband is not what Scripture teaches or commands of husbands. It is toxic, devastating, and emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually abusive. No woman deserves to be groomed and disciplined as promoted by Biblical Gender Roles.
If you are in such a relationship, seek professional help. Contact your local domestic violence advocacy program or group. Connect with people who may have come out of such relationships. And understand that this is not what a sacred marriage entails.
Women are not property. They are not owned by their husbands. And God has not ever commanded that women be exploited and abused in such a perverse manner as what Biblical Gender Roles describes and teaches.