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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Can Marital Rape In Any Way Be Justified?

"The husband should fulfill 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."

My friend call me the other day and said that her husband of 20 years raped her. I could not believe he would/could do such a horrible thing. That's why I decided to ask that question here. Can Marital Rape In Any Way Be Justified? My answer is no it can not. Other religions or cultures may see women as property, but not our God. He calls us heirs. When we marry, we are not the property of our husband, but we are one with our husband. We give ourselves to our husbands just as they give to us. It's just beautiful. The believing husband is commanded to love his wife just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. He is commanded to love his wife as his own body because "no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church." What about if the wife is withholding sexual relations from her husband? Is that sin? Yes, it is. As Paul tells us, I should fulfill my marital duty to my husband. I should be concerned for his well-being. I should not be self-seeking. But can my sin "cause" his sin? Yes it can. What does love look like? 1 Corinthians 13 tells us--patient, kind, not self-seeking and always protecting. The very act of forcing a wife to have sex violates all of these commands: it takes instead of gives; it hates and hurts his own body; and it is the height of self-seeking, impatient harm.

"A husband who loves his wife as Christ loved the church will be selfless, not selfish...A selfless husband is always considering his wife's needs .. If he's in the mood for romance, he considers the kind of day she has had and does not insist that she be intimate with him. Rather than dwelling on his own needs, he considers her needs too."


  1. Hi Ann,

    This is a very significant issue, it happens much more often than is discussed.

    I have an aunt who pressed charges against her husband for rape more than 20 years ago, and he was prosecuted and found guilty.

    For me the answer is NO, NO, AND NO! Marital rape is just as despicable as stranger rape. There is no justification.


  2. That's just horrible! I'm sorry that happened to your friend.

    Here you have men like me, who couldn't even be with a woman because of losers like him.