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Friday, 23 June 2017

Rape & Marriage

Lately I have read some articles about sex in marriage on my social media timeline and sincerely I have learned quite a lot from them. But I also came across a post where a young woman was asking for help on the note that she was raped by her husband. I had waited a while to see if someone would comment on that particular post cause it was on a group forum, but when none was forthcoming I decided to drop my thought. That same thought is what I will be sharing with you on today’s post by the special grace of God.

1 Corinthians 7:3-5
The husband should fulfil his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayers. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of lack of self-control. 

My first thought to this grave allegation of this wonderful wife is, what is her definition of rape? From what the dictionary says, rape is simply defined as "unlawful sexual intercourse." Can one then say that because a man who makes love or has sexual intercourse with his lawfully wedded wife without her consent has raped her? This is an issue that can be debated, but here is my own line of argument on it.
From what I have read in the scripture above, a man’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife, and in the same manner, a woman’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. Now for a man taking hold of his wife’s body which also belongs to him as her lawfully wedded husband without her consent, can we then call that rape based on the revelation of the word of God in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5. Now, is it possible to steal what you own because rape can actually be likened to theft. This is one of my reasons for questioning this woman’s grievous allegation from a wife to a husband and others like it.
Then we find again in 1 Corinthian 7:3-5 that a wife should not deprive her husband; neither should a husband deprive his wife except for mutual consent. From my own understanding of the word of God, what the Bible says requires consent is the abstinence from sex between a husband and his wife and not a wife requiring consent before she can have sex with her husband or a husband requiring consent in order to have sex with his wife. So this allegation is a bit ambiguous for me to accept. The Bible says a spouse must seek consent before abstinence of sex and the world system says a spouse must seek consent before sex takes place. If this issue of consent before sex is required between two adults that are not married then I will agree with it in totality. But when they are married, its a different ball game entirely going by the discovery made in the Bible. We should bear in mind that sex outside of marriage is forbidden by God. 
Now some of the comments that came after I posted my comment, argued contrary to my opinion, and the general consensus was that a man who loves his wife would not rape her or forcefully have sex with her. There are a lot of write ups posted from other websites that showed that marital rape is actually possible and it was also associated with domestic violence, and to men who lack respect and regard for women.
I don’t disagree with whatever ideology and logic given to the explanation of domestic rape, but I have based all of my life on the Bible approach and God’s interpretation has made more sense to me than anything else. A man who longs to have sex with his wife is a man who loves his wife enough to share his body with her and likewise a woman who seeks sex with her husband must love him enough to want to share her body with him unreservedly. It is when love is lacking that a man or woman will require consent from their spouse before they can engage in sex with them.  This man or woman could as well have shared his/her body with another woman/man outside of the marriage but choose his wife or her husband above all and I believe this gesture should appreciated and reciprocated. And going by what I am reading in the Bible a man or woman does not need the consent of their spouses for sex to take place. I do not mean to sound cruel, but this is what the Bible says.
But I need to add more to this so we can have a better understanding of the matter. Sex should be a show of love between married couples. Sex is the physical expression of the emotion of love between a husband and his wife. But sex is also a duty for married couples as we can understand from scripture above. So as a husband or wife you should to be up to your duty on all issues in your union including sex, in obedience to the will of God for your marriage. When you lack interest in this aspect of your duty or you lack motivation, it’s a thing worth praying to God about.
I was once in that phase in my marriage where I detested sex. But the moment I read the scripture in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 and realized that sex is a duty I owed my husband and lacked motivation in, I began to pray. I asked God for help and in His faithfulness God heard me and helped me and that aspect of my marital life is not lacking anymore. Because I made up my mind to always please my husband not because he deserved it or not, but because pleasing my husband means pleasing God who has asked me to submit to my husband as unto the Lord. Now I have overcome my dislike for sex. 
I appreciate that sometimes a woman or man may be stressed up either physically or emotionally and as such might not be inclined to sex at that time. But this should be for just a short period of time. The body needs rest in truth but its still not an excuse based on the Bible to abstain from sex. But if both agree to a short break to overcome fatigue, I believe there is nothing wrong with that.
But it is ungodly for a woman or man to use sex as a punitive tool in marriage. Prolonged abstinence from sex in marriage as a means to punish each other or for any other reason at all is not godly. For a woman or man to say that because he/she is upset or angry with her/his spouse and so they won’t make love with each other is absolutely wrong. Deal with your anger, pray that the Lord would help you manage your anger and then get together with your spouse. Jesus said you should not allow dawn to meet you angry with anyone at all least of all your spouse.
At the moment of sexual pleasure between married couples, all negative emotions are eroded; anger and hatred fades away at the point of intimacy and God in His wisdom says you two should not deprive one another that opportunity of reconciliation without verbal apology. He knows how sex can help your marriage grow, He put it there for a purpose and so He says do not deprive one another.    
Some others have put forward the fact that marital rape is associated with domestic violence. I have always maintained that domestic violence is an avoidable phenomenon in a marriage where God and wisdom is allowed to have free-play in. When a woman is submitting to her husband as unto the Lord in obedience to the word of God, she pleases God and pleases her husband too (and that is the hidden truth). By pleasing her husband she is attracting her husband’s love and when she is attracting her husband’s love, he will make her a priority in his life. When she is a priority in his life, he is caring for her and loving her and so he is pleasing her in return. When this is what plays out in your marriage, then domestic violence has no business in your union. Rape and disrespect for your woman dignity will have no place in your union. These are simple things that we have made so complicated due to pride of life, ignorance, lack of contentment, greed and hardness of heart. Otherwise this should not be. 

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