Okay, if you’ve done this correctly, you’ve read an introduction from Reality and Redemption. Then you went over to Unsolicited Advice for a bit of a Bible study. Now you’re here for a bit of personal commentary and discussion based on that scripture.
For people who have been reading me, it seems like this scripture would be a major tool get Arwyn to fly straight. As a Christian, it is her obligation and duty to follow and observe such scriptural teachings, right? I should be clubbing her over the head with this, night and day and day and night! Right?
Not really. In this same letter in the 13th chapter, Paul is going to give a lesson on love. It is a wonderful bit of scripture that is worth reading. But a better one is written in the 4th chapter of 1st John, where God is love and how love drives out fear. Love is the guiding principle here, and clubbing my wife with any scripture due to my own sense of entitlement is hardly a loving thing to do. It becomes a selfish thing to do.
Alright, I think I’m going to have to name a few names, here. No one get offended.
What so many of us struggle with is having a heart that is either prepared to give of ourselves or prepared to receive. KJ, after 20 years of having sex with her husband, is having a very difficult time maintaining a heart that is willing to give and share. She feels she is entitled to have something her husband has not been giving her. I’m not casting judgment so much on her, because my own story is about not getting something from my wife that I feel entitled to get. I’m merely framing her struggle against this scripture that says we are are supposed to submit to each other. My question about her is; is she struggling hard enough? Reconciling scripture with an affair is no small feat. It’s not enough to say that one sin is as bad as another. I’d like to think that I at least feel kind of bad about my sins. Maybe even repent and quit doing them.
Christian Husband has taken a mighty stab at squaring himself with God’s Will. In the context of 1 Cor. 7, he is trying to make it a truly mutual thing. His wife, OTOH, has been willing to submit to the letter of the law while not being so much in the spirit of it at times. Christian Husband has had to struggle with his own attitude on the matter. I’ve said time and again that I admire his effort. I have also acknowledged his struggle and identify strongly with the nature of it. I think the mistake many people make is equating a stellar sex life with being within God’s Will and a lousy sex life as being outside of His Will. This is akin to the prosperity preachers saying that poor people must be outside of God’s Will because they are not getting the benefits of His blessings. That is simply not true.
The only reason sex and money are important to God is because they are important to us. They are gifts FROM God TO us. We can enjoy them, spurn them, squander them or whatever. But God owns it all. He really does not care whether we have lots of sex or money in the grand scheme of things. They are gifts and they are tools.
I’ve learned that I can be married and not have sex with my wife. I’m presently struggling on learning to be content with that, which is the same exact struggle Christian Husband set out to conquer. It is a road that he does not have to travel for the time being, as long as his wife is open to sharing. His struggle has taken off in a different direction. That’s why I’m reading him, because I think I’m going to see a different version of the struggle coming up in his story as long as he is willing to continue sharing. He may very well be reaping blessings from having sown some good righteousness. He might also not be quite ready for the extended wilderness journey I’ve been traveling. I obviously still have some learning to do out here.
I think FTN, who is somewhat familiar with this struggle, comes fairly close to dealing with it almost constructively. While there is some pain and discomfort that come through from his wife’s lack of reciprocation, he mostly has a sense of humor about it. Or he at least projects humor about it. Sometimes a body just has to laugh. But I don’t think his wife gets the whole “mutual submission” bit any better than Arwyn or Christian Husband’s wife. These three women have a marked lack of interest in either having authority over their man’s body or allowing any authority to be had over their body, as Paul states that we ought to have. To answer FTN’s question, no, I don’t think his wife would care much if he masturbated. In fact, I’d wager Autumn would rather not know at all.
Which is why the chastity cage is a loser for Arwyn. She does not care if I masturbate. She dislikes smoking but not because of what it does to my body but the collateral things like the smell and the mess it leaves in my truck (I’ve never smoked in our house). It’s actual the intimacy derrived from someone caring enough to exert authority over my body that makes the chastity device so appealing. Someone who values and wants my sexuality for herself or for her and ONLY her. That might be an inherent appeal to the whole D/s scene where authority is so explicitly given and taken and exchanged. And along with it, trust.
Hmmm. This isn’t helping do much with my Sunday school lesson. Kinda hard to work in a question for discussion like that: “How does Paul’s view on marital sex lead into the BDSM lifestyle?”
If anyone else wants to discuss or extend this on their own blog, leave a comment and I’ll be happy to add a link here. FTN extended the concept of “mutual submission” here.