Every Day for a Year - the challenging conundrum of gender roles
In a few days I’m going to start a series of posts on the whole question of the gender roles and, in particular, the terrible damage that the egalitarian argument is doing to the church.
But first, just to get us all warmed up, here’s a story from last year....
Charla Muller was reading Galatians 5.22-23 in her Bible study group when she decided what she was going to get her husband, Brad, for his 40th birthday. Perhaps disappointingly for him, it wasn’t an iTunes voucher. Instead, she was going to give him the gift of sex for 365 nights.
That’s right, you read it correctly - sex every day for a year.
Now, immediately I can hear the feminists getting their quills sharpened. “It’s The Surrendered Wife all over again” I hear them say. “It’s not right. It’s a denial of…etc. etc.”
Thing is, when you actually read the articles, (interestingly in both the left-leaning Guardian and the right-wing Daily Mail you don’t see anything about women having stuff forced upon them. Nevertheless, the critics are firm in their views:
“It’s very passive aggressive,” says Rowan Pelling, former editor of the Erotic Review. “It’s like, ‘Here’s a lovely gift, but you have to do this every night on the dot - otherwise what kind of man are you?’ I hate everything about it.”
“There’s been a series of these kinds of books from the US,” says sex educator Petra Boynton of University College London. “They are very prescriptive and they may well end up making people feel guilty and inadequate.
But the experts are obviously not so expert, as Muller herself explains…
But did it change their marriage for the better?
‘It changed completely,’ says Charla. ‘We started being more attentive to each other, not just in bed, but about the trivial little things. Brad would offer to do some chore or run an errand, and I wouldn’t be thinking he was doing it to gain sex points.
‘We became so much closer. You can’t have that sort of regular intimacy in bed without it spilling over into the rest of life.
‘There was a lot less narking and sniping. You just can’t do that all day then want to get into bed with the person at night.
‘My self-confidence was greatly improved, too. I’d always been one of those women who told herself she would want sex more if she just lost 10lb and felt a bit more sexy.
‘Now, I realise feeling sexy isn’t about being thin or gorgeous. My husband desired me as I was - it was just a case of accepting that.’
Now, of course, Charla Muller was only putting into practice what we know is true. We know it’s true because God tells us clearly in the Bible:
1 Corinthians 7:3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 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. 5 Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
Let me put that in layman’s terms. If you’re married and your wife/husband wants to have sex, then have sex.
Confronted? Appalled? Thinking of throwing out terms like “marital rape” and “abuse” and “subjugation”?
If so then a couple of observations.
- It works! The anecdotal evidence from Charla Muller is that this choice has reaped wonderful benefits for her marriage.
- The instruction is always given to the unwilling party to make a choice, not to the willing party to enforce the choice. Submission is never forced.
- So, this is a choice that Charla made, not one forced upon her. True submission is the willing setting aside of our own desires for the benefit of the other. Charla has modelled this to us in a quite wonderful way.
In fact, I would suggest that it was Muller’s decision to keep on submitting that was so powerful and opened up for her a new understanding of her marital dynamic:
There were several occasions (Muller mentions two) when Brad was not up to their nightly tryst. On day 305, Charla came to bed as game as ever with teeth brushed, face freshly scrubbed and pulling her hair into a pony tail, only to find Brad behind a copy of Newsweek. “You know, sweetie,” he said, “I think I am going to pass tonight if you don’t mind. I’m tired, I have a big day tomorrow and we’ve been having a lot of sex lately.” In her book, she writes: “As if I hadn’t noticed. I would have ‘passed’ about 200 times by now if the offer had been the other way round.”
Like it or not, sex is a massive area of any married couple’s life. God speaks about this issue clearly because the outworking of our choices in this arena are so profound…
It wasn’t until they were having regular sex that Brad confessed he had been deeply hurt by her constant rejections.
‘He said he hated feeling that he was pleading for sex. I never thought of my rejecting that intimacy as rejecting him but, of course, it must have felt like that to Brad. Why didn’t I see that then?
‘I had always thought my marriage was so safe, so solid. I’d certainly never considered that Brad might stray, but he did confess to me that he understood why men would.
‘That was a bit of a wake-up call for me. I thought: “How inconsiderate have I been here?” ’
And that’s all I have to say on that.
Actually no. Let me just sum it all up.
Muller’s decision shows us, in a wonderful way, how right God is about our roles in marriage when He speaks to them in the Bible. By trusting what God says, not what society was telling her, Muller made a choice to submit and the benefits were many. Once again God’s word is proven to be right. Submission is not a dirty word. It’s one of the most wonderful things we can do.
And here’s the kicker - the egalitarians want to rob us, and particularly the women, of this great joy.
Share this story:
Recent Related Posts
Are you reading this?
Advertising on Stand Firm works!
Click here for details.