Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bahama Mamas

I came across this article on this blog about a bill in the Bahamas that would make it illegal for a husband to rape his wife. I found this appalling: first, that a man would even consider raping his wife; second, that they would use the Bible to justify it; third, that others could use this as evidence for how backwards and cruel Christianity is. Here's a quote (of a quote):
"I disagree with the bill because I disagree that a man can rape his wife. The Bible tells me that a man's body is his wife's and her body is his. How could he rape her?" asked Ms. Sweeting.
True, the Bible says that (mostly):
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.
-- I Corinthians 7:4
First, note the "to her alone": the wife's body is not solely her husband's now, but belongs to both of them. Second, the context indicates that believers should not withhold sex from their spouses except in special times of prayer, so they will not be tempted (by sexual sin).

The biggest issue, though, is not found in this context but in another of Paul's writings: Ephesians.
... husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
-- Ephesians 5:28
This is written in the context of men being challenged to love their wives as Christ loved the church, giving Himself up for her. This passage is not about ensuring the sexual desires of the husband are met, but that he is focused on meeting his wife's desires.

When the Bible talks about the two bodies being one, it means that the husband should treat the wife's body as if it were his own, which he protects and cares for, not abuses. A rape of a woman would be analogous to--no, far worse than--being kicked in the groin over and over again. I know of no man, husband or not, who would wish that on himself.

Using the Bible to justify marital rape is distorting the entire text and the Message of Jesus: love. It is instead a feeble attempt by men to justify their desire to live for their own purpose rather than show sacrificial love.

1 comment:

Linda said...

It is appalling to think that some bill would be against that bill. Husbands and wives should respect each others bodies.