You are not property
A wife asked me this question: “My husband often comes home very late at nights or during the early morning hours and refuses to say where he has been. He often wakes me up wanting to make love. He feels I am insulting him when I ask where he has been. Is that right? Should I know where he went last night?”
You do have a right to know where your husband goes and why he comes home at such odd hours. It sounds as though you do not have a marriage. You and your husband are just cohabiting mates. You do have a right to know where he is all the time. In reality, if he respects and loves you, he will not go out to places without your knowledge and come home long after you have fallen asleep. He will voluntarily inform you where he was. He would not choose to go places that he knows would devalue you as his wife. Any husband who feels he can do whatever he wants in marriage and does not feel accountable to his wife is acting foolishly. Any wife who does the same is acting foolishly.
This kind of behavior usually comes from male chauvinists who have many false concepts about marriage.
• The wife belongs to the husband, not the husband to the wife.
• God gave the husband power over his wife.
• The husband has veto power over any decision his wife makes.
• Men are more intelligent than women.
• Husbands should make more money than their wives.
• Wives should obey their husbands.
• A woman’s place is in the home. She must never leave it unless the husband allows her to do so.
• A wife must please her husband sexually at all times, even when she is not in the mood.
• God created wives to be their husbands’ helpers and not the other way around. These false and erroneous beliefs about marriage and the role of husbands and wives have and are still destroying relationships today.
Too many men in our society have been taught very well by their forefathers and foremothers that women are nothing more than sexual property, maids, and childbearers and rearers. This belief goes back to the early centuries. Dr. John Bristow, in his book, “What the Bible Really Says About Love, Marriage and Family,” states that in the “Hebrew society and other neighboring cultures, girls were regarded as the property of their fathers and wives as property of their husbands. This is reflected in the law found in Numbers 30:3-5 – “When a young woman still living in her father’s house makes a vow to the Lord or obligates herself by a pledge and her father hears about her vow or pledge but says nothing to her, then all her vows and every pledge by which she obligated herself will stand. But if her father forbids her when he hears about it, none of her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand; the Lord will release her because her father has forbidden her.”
Note very carefully that although these laws protect women, these very laws were based on the concept of women as sexual property. To uncover a woman’s nakedness is regarded in the law as uncovering her husband’s nakedness. In other words, a wife’s body belongs to her husband, so that to misuse it is to trespass against his property.
Learning from the ancient Hebrews, the ancient Greek philosophers laid the foundation for the modern devaluing of women. In the Ancient Greek world, women could not sue or be sued. They did not appear in public with their husbands. A man’s list of assets included his wife. The Greek philosopher, Plato taught “Being born a woman is a divine punishment, since a woman is halfway between a man and an animal.” Aristotle taught, “a female is a deformed male.”
The Apostle Paul made it his mission to nullify the teachings of the Greek philosophers which were so prevalent in his day. He clearly states in Galatians 3:38 that “Male and female are one in Christ.” He strengthened the concept of equality and that women had equal voice, vote, and power when he said in 1 Corinthians 11:4 women as well as men are to lead in worship. He disqualified the idea that women did not have intelligence equal to men when he stated in 1 Timothy 2:11 that women are to learn.
Dear frustrated wife, if you are certain your husband is having sex with other women, you have a right to protect yourself from diseases by not having sex with him. Stand firm in a loving way. Be consistent. Many men continue to do what they do because too many wives enable their behavior by not saying a word or by not being consistent with their concerns. Therefore, the husbands think the wives are only bluffing. Insist that both of you seek counseling. Remember that you are not property.
Wives, God did not make you to be sexual property. He made both women and men complete, unique, special, and with a purpose.
• Barrington H. Brennen is a marriage and family therapist and board-certified clinical psychotherapist. Send your questions or comments to email@example.com or write to P.O. Box CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas, or visit www.soencouragement.org or telephone 242-327-1980.