The longer name for this post would be "Marital Coercion or Marital Consent?"
Often times I will use a title that is inflammatory or outrageous to make a point. This time I used one that understates. Or at least isn't inflammatory or outrageous.
The phrase "Marital Rape" really gets people's blood pumping. When the phrase it brought up it can completely shut down conversations. Not because it isn't an issue. But rather because it isn't understood. So today I'm not going to talk about "Marital Rape". Instead, we are going to talk about "Marital Coercion" which is not just some thing that is done in secret. It is something that is blatantly taught, out in the open, as an acceptable practice.
First we will look at part of a dictionary definition of 'coercion'
Coercion - The intimidation of a victim to compel the individual to do some act against his or her will by the use of psychological pressure, physical force, or threats.
Definition found here.
Now we are going to look at an old, well-documented quote from Mark Driscoll from his sermon "Sex: A Study of the Good Bits of the Song of Solomon". Okay, not a direct quote. But basically Driscoll told women in a Scottish church that Jesus commands them to orally service their husbands sexually.
Here is a link to the sermon in its entirety. Wish I could tell you at what point he utters this command from Jesus Himself so you don't have to wade through the entire stupid thing. But I don't know where it is and I don't expect you to take my word for it if you are new here.
The reason I bring this up is to point out that there are men who are not afraid to use psychological pressure, or even spiritual pressure to coerce women to comply to sexual demands. There are men, preachers and Bible teachers, who are not afraid to twist scripture in order to give men the tools they need in order to trample a woman's boundaries and rip away their voice in marriage when it comes to sex.
Fortunately, Driscoll has been called out for that wretched sermon and the things he said in it.
However, there is a CBA best seller that also promotes marital coercion. This book takes away the wife's voice and ability to give consent. Then on top of this, it gives husbands tools to guilt and manipulate a woman into having sex, not unlike Driscoll's more inflammatory methods.
This book, published by Thomas Nelson, teaches husbands how to compel their wives to have sex using psychological and spiritual pressure, threatening them that if they don't comply they are not following God's commands for marriage.
This book is none other than "Love & Respect" by Emerson Eggcriches.
And here is a more in depth look at how Emerson builds his case for 'biblical' marital coercion.
Love, Respect, & Consent
Thanks, Nick, for dissecting this terrible book.
Edited to add two more links.
Mark Driscoll and Christian Rape Culture.
Coercive Sex in Marriage: Her Story
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