There is very often an honesty in secular media that is striking when compared with modern Christian teaching. Rare News reports on the ladies at the view discussing wives withholding sex to punish their husbands for disagreeing with them:
“Well, you shouldn’t have voted for Trump, okay?” she said. Behar cited one therapist who said her clients have “lost their sex drive since Trump won.” The therapist called it “Trump bedroom backlash.”
“You voted for that? I’m not sleeping with you,” Behar said.
“That’s what’s happening,” Sunny Hostin agreed.
This kind of story is sadly commonplace, as modern wives are given constant encouragement to use sex as a way to punish their husbands. Yet while secular culture is very open about this, Christian leaders, especially conservative Christian leaders, are anxious to deny what the ladies in The View are speaking openly about.
It isn’t just that conservative Christian leaders are denying what is happening, but that at the same time they reinforce the feminist message of The View. The Christian wife who watches The View and wonders if she should resist the temptation to use sex to punish her husband will most likely receive abominable counsel should she turn to conservative Christian leaders. Pastor Dave Wilson will teach her that when she denies her husband sex, she is expressing God’s will. Dr. Mohler will teach her the same basic message. Dr. Moore will teach her that if she is tempted to do this it must be because her husband is secretly viewing pornography.
Where could such a wife turn to for wise Christian counsel? If she reads Pastor Doug Wilson’s post The Suitor and His Porn she will receive a message that could easily come from Behar at The View; if they argue and she withholds sex, it is her husband’s fault:
Entitlement: if the young man in question has a sense of entitlement about things generally — grades, employment, standard of living, and so on — it should not be surprising that he is the kind of person who will just “expect” what is his due. If for some reason that drifts away from him, he will still feel entitled. The most common way this happens in marriage is that a man does not treat his wife right, they start to quarrel and drift apart, and this naturally includes their sex life, and he feels just as entitled as he ever did. And the computer is right there. If she is going to take away x, then I will compensate with y — and she can’t complain, because its really her fault. Like laziness, the root problem is abdication of responsibility. Identifying this as a possible problem beforehand should take the form of looking for a young man who seeks out and accepts responsibility, and who doesn’t make excuses.
Contrast Pastor Wilson’s statement above with Dr. Helen’s secular reaction to the women at The View:
If this is a girlfriend or fiance, get rid of her now. A person who would treat you this way and use sex as a weapon against you is not your friend. And you can bet that any future relationship you have with this woman will be a mistake with you taking the brunt of her anger when things don’t go her way.
While traditional, biblical, ideas like the “wifely duty” are unimaginable to conservative Christians, they periodically pop up in the strangest places. Now that Christians are religiously avoiding sharing the wisdom of the Bible, if a Christian wife wants this wisdom she will be forced to seek it out where you would least expect it. One such unexpected place is a 2003 article by Caitlin Flanagan in The Atlantic, aptly titled The Wifely Duty. Flanagan opens by arguing that sexless marriages are an epidemic:
Dr. Phil—who, like his mentor Oprah Winfrey, has an uncannily precise sense of what American women in the aggregate are thinking about—noted on his Web site that “sexless marriages are an undeniable epidemic.” Mass-circulation magazines aimed at married women rarely go to press these days without an earnest review of some new sexual technique or gadget, the information always presented in the context of how to relight a long-doused fire.
As I’ve shown, conservative Christian orthodoxy is that the root of the issue is husbands not being worthy. Some go so far as to argue that God is speaking to husbands in a sexual desert through their wives’ frigid vaginas, which act as a sort of modern day [non]burning bush. But Flanagan destroys this tenet of modern Christian orthodoxy, explaining that the culprit is not weak men screwing feminism up, but feminism itself!
The fix she proposes is as old as Scripture, and something that even secular scientists are discovering. Wives don’t need to overthink it, they simply should render unto their husband due benevolence:
Most important, though, is a recommendation based on exciting new “research” revealing that for many people, waiting for the urge to strike is pointless; better to bash ahead and hope for the best. Davis asks, “Have you ever noticed that although you might not have been thinking sexual thoughts or feeling particularly sexy, if you push yourself to ‘get started’ when your spouse approaches you, it feels good, and you find yourself getting into it?” Many of her clients have received this counsel with enthusiasm. “I really wasn’t in the mood for sex at all,” reports one of her advisees after just such a night, “but once we got started, it was fun. I really enjoyed it.”
This has Flanagan rethinking the bad old days before second wave feminism:
All of this makes me reflect that those repressed and much pitied 1950s wives—their sexless college years! their boorish husbands, who couldn’t locate the clitoris with a flashlight and a copy of Gray’s Anatomy!—were apparently getting a lot more action than many of today’s most liberated and sexually experienced married women. In the old days, of course, there was the wifely duty. A housewife understood that in addition to ironing her husband’s shirts and cooking the Sunday roast, she was—with some regularity—going to have relations with the man of the house. Perhaps, as some feminists would have us believe, these were grimly efficient interludes during which the poor humped-upon wife stared at the ceiling and silently composed the grocery list. Or perhaps not. Maybe, as Davis and her “new” findings suggest, once you get the canoe out in the water, everybody starts happily paddling.
But the real problem is not just a feminist unwillingness to relinquish control and do their wifely duty. The core problem is that feminism teaches women to have contempt for their husbands:
Women are left with two options: endlessly haranguing their husbands to be more womanly, or silently fuming and (however wittingly) launching a sex strike of an intensity and a duration that would have impressed Aristophanes.
Even worse, this ugly feminist mindset creates a scenario where the desired response from the husband will actually dissatisfy the wife:
The men who cave to the pressure to become more feminine—putting little notes in the lunch boxes, sweeping up after snack time, the whole bit—may delight their wives but they probably don’t improve their sex lives much, owing to the thorny old problem of la difference. I might be quietly thrilled if my husband decided to forgo his weekly tennis game so that he could alphabetize the spices and scrub the lazy Susan, but I would hardly consider it an erotic gesture.
This is all of course pure heresy for both feminists and the modern conservative Christian, since both desperately hope to leverage the wife’s frigidity to grant her power in the marriage. Flanagan makes this heresy even worse, by arguing that feminists are suffering from a profound misunderstanding of what is good:
What they don’t understand, and what women of an earlier era might have been able to tell them, is that when the little faucet turns off, it is time not to rat out your husband (is there anything more wounding to a man, and therefore more cruel and vicious, than a wife’s public admission that he is not satisfying her in bed?) but rather to turn it back on. It is not complicated; it requires putting the children to bed at a decent hour and adopting a good attitude. The rare and enviable woman is not the one liberated enough to tell hurtful secrets about her marriage to her girlfriends or the reading public. Nor is she the one capable of attracting the sexual attentions of a variety of worthy suitors. The rare woman—the good wife, and the happy one—is the woman who maintains her husband’s sexual interest and who returns it in full measure.