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Question:
My husband has been reading a lot of Christian “Domestic Discipline” where the husband has the duty not just to lead, but also to punish (including spanking) his wife. He says he feels led to bring this into our marraige as his duty. I have always been submissive to him, and obeyed just like my mother obeyed my father. Is “Domestic Discipline” really a Christian thing to do and must I submit to be a good wife?

Answer:

Proponents of this ridiculous, almost comical idea of “Christian Domestic Discipline” love to claim this is a Biblical practice that has gone on since Adam and Eve.

The “Christian” sites that promote this absurdity go to great lengths to emphasize that it is part of a “Biblical marriage” and that men must “love their wives as themselves” (a juvenile contradiction that would make for a great laugh if they weren’t actually being serious about it). It’s hard to even stomach a straight answer about something so utterly and blatantly unBiblical and clownish.

It’s rather revealing that the prominent “Christian” website that promotes this garbage never quotes the Bible in any way for support, but does quote all sorts of secular sources INCLUDING THE KORAN. Spend about five minutes researching the news about Muslim women who are raped, beaten, disfigured, discarded and abused all in the name of avenging some imagined disrespect or transgression determined by a man, often her own family.

It is also very enlightening that warnings about eroticism must be presented on these Domestic Discipline sites. Even the primary “Christian DD” site admits to the erotic element of this embarrassing practice. From my experience across the board, I would be very suspect of the sexual morality of any man who took this nonsense seriously because there is an obvious vein of sexual deviancy running through it.

There is NOTHING Biblical or Christian about a man who wants to exercise his “authority” over his wife by administering corporal punishment (or any sort of physical punishment) defined as spankings in three degrees: playful, maintenance and punishment.

Particularly disturbing is the idea of “maintenance spanking” where punishment is administered to establish authority, remind the woman of her place in the marriage, and punish her for infractions that may not have come to the attention of her husband.

I joke sometimes that I have give my kids a spanking once a week just in case I missed something. However, that joke doesn’t seem to be very funny anymore in light of the fact that there are people who actually do this, not only to their kids, but to their own wife.

This type of so-called “authority” is a gross and shameful misapplication of the true Godly authority and responsibilities of husbands to serve their wives and love them as Christ loves the church. It is not authority. It is perversion and dereliction of duty on the husband’s part.

Biblically, wives are to submit to their husband’s leadership as this is their ROLE in the marriage (Eph 5:22-24). It does not make them inferior or subservient to a childish husband who wants to spank his wife like a child to get her to behave. This role is part of God’s design to model our relationship with Christ and to counteract the effects of the sin curse within the marital relationship.

The GREATER duty and responsibility falls on the man to lead, serve and love his wife as Christ loves us. (Eph 5:25-33)

Men, this silly and destructive idea of Domestic Discipline in a Christian marriage is just that: silly and destructive. It appeals the domineering effects of sin on men: to lead without love, and rule without compassion.

NO CHRISTIAN MAN SHOULD EVER CONSIDER ENGAGING IN THIS PRACTICE, and I have no problems categorically stating that any Christian husband who does is sinning, destroying his marriage and shaming Christ (because you are supposed to be imitating Him in your marriage and home). There is no Biblical grounds or precedent for this practice, and plenty of Scripture to contradict it (take your pick of any passage about marriage, any passage about serving each other, any passage about love, any passage about relationship).

Any man who feels “led” to engage in this foolishness, is being “led” by his own pride, perversion or ignorance. Take your pick.

Am I being too subtle?

(If you want a great book on marriage, check out Rafe’s book on marriage listed below)

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