Do I Condone “BDSM” or “Christian Domestic Discipline”?

Posted on February 17, 2015 by


FullSizeRender-1

Warning – if you have never heard about these topics before, they are often very dark perversions of God’s design for sexuality, femininity, masculinity, and marriage. I am going to purposely leave out as much detail as I can. Some may prefer not to read about these issues at all. I am talking about them because I know that Jesus can rescue and heal ANYONE in ANY circumstance and that no one is beyond His reach – how I praise God for that! I want to see Him deliver many from these painful prisons. The saddest thing to me is that these lifestyles tend to attract those who were abused in some way as children – emotionally, spiritually, sexually, physically – those who don’t know what it means to be loved in a godly way. How completely heartbreaking!

I also want to be VERY, VERY clear that I do not endorse these lifestyles and that I believe they are completely counter to the Bible and God’s design for us as His children. I want us ALL to get to experience the beauty of God’s good, wholesome, pure, lovely design for our lives and our marriages. There are many deviations that the enemy wants to use to drag us away from God and His truth. He wants to steal, kill, and destroy. But God has the paths that lead to the greatest blessing, joy, peace, wholeness, healing, and abundant spiritual life! 

————-

Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:10

Because I use the word “submission” in my blog a good bit (referring to the biblical concept of submission of a wife honoring her husband’s God-given leadership), I often receive questions about if I support or teach “Christian Domestic Discipline” or “BDSM” (both of these subcultures emphasize slave-like definition of “submission” of a woman to physical/emotional abuse and corporeal punishment of her husband, in many cases). How it grieves my heart that the word “Christian” and the word “submission” are used with these ungodly, unwholesome, destructive lifestyles. The enemy is very pleased with this, I am sure. I am not going to put a link to Wikipedia about these lifestyles because even in the most general of descriptions, there is just too much detail given, in my view. It is not wholesome or edifying to study much about these issues for those who have not been exposed to them.

I always emphatically state that Greg and I do not ever – in any way – support or condone this idea of a husband/boyfriend spanking, beating, punishing, shaming, and/or humiliating his wife to “discipline her”or to treat a wife/girlfriend as if she were a slave or an abused child. (We also do not condone women treating their men this way, and we do not condone abusing children.)

We believe this world of twisted “submission” where women are taught to desire to be like sub-human slaves (rather than grown adults who have equal value, worth, and dignity, and who willingly and lovingly using their gifts, talents, wisdom, love, insights, and personalities to bless their husbands and participate as equals in God’s sight) – is a lie, a trap, a snare, and a sick perversion of God’s design for marriage.

I would strongly exhort believers in Christ NOT to read books, blogs, or watch movies that portray BDSM or “Christian domestic discipline.” They do not meet the Philippians 4:8 test of things about which we are to think that are pleasing to God.

The BDSM ideas warp God’s design for masculinity, femininity, marriage, and sex into hurtful, destructive mentalities that do not glorify God. In this culture, both partners willingly adopt their roles. They are not forced into anything. There are other, even more deviant mindsets and lifestyles where people do force pain, violence, and abuse on others against their will. I am not going to be discussing those lifestyles in this post – but they do exist, as well, which is completely heartbreaking to me.

SOME BRIEF DEFINITIONS

bondage –

(generally the women, but sometimes men) voluntarily wear chains, shackles, handcuffs, etc… so that they look, feel, and act like prisoners

sadomasochism – (definition from Wikipedia)

Consenting partners willingly engaging in aspects of pain or humiliation for sexual pleasure.

sadism – (definition from http://www.thefreedictionary.com)

1. The deriving of sexual gratification or the tendency to derive sexual gratification from inflicting pain or emotional abuse on others.
2. The deriving of pleasure, or the tendency to derive pleasure, from cruelty.
3. Extreme cruelty.

masochism – (definition from http://www.thefreedictionary.com)

1. The deriving of sexual gratification, or the tendency to derive sexual gratification, from being physically or emotionally abused.
2. The deriving of pleasure, or the tendency to derive pleasure, from being humiliated or mistreated, either by another or by oneself.
3. A willingness or tendency to subject oneself to unpleasant or trying experiences.

dominance/submission –

In this subcuture, the dominant partner rules over and may abuse the submissive partner (sometimes there are limits to the abuse, sometimes there are not, depending on the situation). The submissive partner obeys the dominant one and allows herself (or himself) to be mistreated and abused.

Christian domestic discipline – (which is sometimes distinct from and sometimes part of BDSM)

Husbands, as the “leaders of their homes,” are encouraged to administer corporeal punishment (spanking, hitting, slapping, giving “time-outs,” and other punishments) if their wives’ behavior is “out of line.” These wives believe that they “need” their husbands to punish them harshly to force them to behave well.

I HOPE THAT THIS IS OBVIOUS, BUT THESE LIFESTYLES ARE VERY FAR FROM GOD’S DESIGN!

God DOES give husbands the position of leader in the home (Eph 5:22-33, I Corinthians 11:3, Colossians 3:18-19, I Peter 3:1-7, Titus 2:3-5). One Bible scholar I know describes that the word for “head” or “authority” for husbands could be translated “source of all love and comfort.” Godly men are to lead and love selflessly, sacrificially, humbly, gently, in Christlike ways – not by lording over their wives or inflicting any kind of violence or abuse on them.

A wife of a Christian husband should be safe from all harm physically, emotionally, spiritually, and sexually in her home and in her husband’s arms.

There are many different personality types and leadership styles – different husbands will lead in different ways. But with a godly husband, a wife should be able to share her thoughts, ideas, needs, desires, and concerns freely and respectfully. She should feel safe to be vulnerable without any fear of humiliation, shame, or any kind of abuse whatsoever. Husbands should have these same freedoms in Christian marriages, as well. And believing spouses should never inflict humiliation or abuse on their spouses even if the spouse asks for it. We should not be asking to be abused – if someone desires abuse, we need to get that person help ASAP! That is a sign of deep scars and wounds in a person’s soul.

We should be able to lovingly, gently confront one another about sin (Matthew 7:1-5, Matthew 18:15-17), and we should be able to all (husbands and wives) speak the truth in love to one another.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. Ephesians 5:3-12

I understand that women desire strong men to lead them. That is a good thing when a man is a godly man who deeply loves, protects, nurtures, cares for, honors, provides for, prays for, and seeks God’s best for his wife. The love I am talking about here is a I Corinthians 13:4-8a kind of love. There is no humiliation, shame, or emotional/spiritual/physical/sexual abuse or exploitation of any variety in godly love.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. I Corinthians 13:4-8a

God also commands believers to be filled with the Spirit and that our lives are to bring forth the fruit of the Spirit all the time in all circumstances:

love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23

Things that belong to the sinful nature are included here:

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry (putting things – like sexuality or anything else before Christ in our hearts) and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21

God’s design for husbands and masculinity:

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. 1 Peter 3:7

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church — for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself Ephesians 5:25-33a

I don’t find biblical support for Christian husbands/boyfriends to shame, humiliate, beat, spank, berate, abuse, or mistreat their wives/girlfriends (or vice versa). That is certainly not the example Christ gave in how He loves us, His church. There are times when sin needs to be confronted, absolutely. There may even need to be consequences – on both sides of a marriage. But that does not include corporate punishment, shaming, humiliation, or spiritual, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. Consequences might be things like –

– Sometimes counseling is needed if there is dysfunction and severe emotional/spiritual wounds/scars that the couple cannot process alone.

– Sometimes rehab is needed if there is an addiction.

– Sometimes separation is necessary until an unrepentant person is willing to repent of something major like cheating. And then there will be a time when that person will need to be willing to be transparent and rebuild trust.

– Sometimes a doctor’s help or a counselor’s help is needed if a person has uncontrolled mental health issues.

Women and men have equal value, worth, and dignity in the sight of God and in marriage. Men and women are made in the very image of God (Genesis 2).

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:26-29

LET’S CHECK OUR MOTIVES

A good test would be to examine motives – Why do I want to be treated this way? Why do I want to treat my spouse this way? Do I believe I deserve to be mistreated? Do I believe I don’t have value? Do I believe that God can’t love me? Do I believe I am unlovable? Am I hanging on to lies of the enemy? Or are my motivations firmly rooted in God’s Word and in His truth?

Am I treating myself and my husband with the greatest honor, dignity, and value because we are both made in the image of God? And I seeking to honor God with my body and sexuality? If I belong to Christ, my body is His temple. He lives in me and I belong to Him and my life belongs to Him. I am not my own, I have been bought with a price. It is my duty and blessing to honor God with my body in every way.

Is it the love of God that is motivating me? Is my goal to greatly please Christ and to obey Him in all things and to bless my spouse, or is it something else?

God does command us as believers to be humble – to see ourselves properly compared to Himself – that He is big, holy, powerful, perfect, and righteous, and that we are small, sinful, and powerless apart from Him. But He does not command that we be humiliated and shamed. Jesus died to take all of the punishment we deserved for our sin. Now we are free to live in His power, goodness, and holiness. His Spirit empowers us to walk in obedience. Yes, other believers can help sharpen us and we may need a loving rebuke at times if we are in sin – but others are not required to force “good behavior” on us. God’s Spirit gives us the ability and strength to walk in God’s holiness and righteousness.

Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. Colossians 2:23

Do I have deep wounds or scars that have warped my understanding of love for which I need to find healing? Have I ever known godly, safe love where love did not involve humiliation, shame, and physical pain? If not, perhaps I don’t really know what godly love looks like and I need to find out!

A WIFE SHARES HER STORY OF DELIVERANCE LATER THIS WEEK!

Next week, I plan to share the story of a wife who is healing from the world of “Christian domestic discipline” and “BDSM.” I praise God that no one is beyond the reach of God and that the blood of Christ is able to cleanse anyone from any sin and from any scars!!! I don’t have the wisdom and power to heal people. But Jesus DOES!

WARNING

If you are in a truly abusive relationship as the abuser or the abused person, please, please seek godly, experienced, wise counsel. If you are not safe, please try to get to a safe place. I don’t want anyone to be harmed or in danger.

RESOURCES:

You can check out the post at the top of my home page at http://www.peacefulwife.com about “Do I Condone Marital Rape or Abuse?”

The Salvation Army has counselors that are available to help women (and men) in abusive relationships and in a wide variety of issues

If you are in a consensual BDSM or CDD relationship and want to stop this lifestyle but don’t know how, please seek help from a trusted, godly pastor, a trusted Christian counselor, http://www.xxxchurch.org, or The Salvation Army. Those who are abused will need very specialized, experienced, one-on-one counseling as they heal from abuse.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Advertisements