As you will see, we have nothing to lose by trying this biblical basis for marriage, but everything to gain if it works for us. During our engagement, I threw a hellacious fit when my fiance had to go away for 3 weeks to Panama with the Army (in my defense, he was supposed to be out by then). He took me to a Christian pastoral counselor who told us that we had more conflict than any couple he had ever seen in pre-marital counseling and that he would not even marry us if we were to ask him. We have worked hard and tried to learn how to have a healthy marriage, but we just couldn’t seem to live in peace. When I hear the Shania Twain song, Looks Like We Made It, I think of that counselor telling us that our marriage was a mistake. I want us to “make it” and no single thing of this world (money, big house, land) matters if we lose our faith, our family, and each other.
[This is a comment which was sent to us via Email.]
What is Christian Domestic Discipline for us?
My husband and I are new to CDD. I tend to be, well let’s just say, a little square, pure…I don’t know (sometimes I get really uncomfortable watching certain scenes from rated R movies). So honestly, some of the comments on the sites and forums about implements kind of freaks me out. Plastic tubing???? That makes me wonder if this lifestyle has elements of being a game or fetish under the guise of biblical marriage. I get fearful that somehow there is an undercurrent of sadism (meaning–people that wish to experience pain?) and a lot of the posts seem to leave out the part that describes how and why the discipline is done in LOVE. It was the ‘Christian’ in CDD that got my attention for the web search and the words, “Loving wife spanking in a christian marriage”. All the matter-of- fact talk about how painful the implements are scares me. I asked my husband, G, to look over the forum with me. We read the posts about not being judgmental. We can obviously understand that, since after all, there is not another soul we know to whom I can say, “I disobeyed my husband yesterday and he put me over his knee and spanked my bottom.”
The first phase – the new thing
A poignant moment happened a few weeks ago where I realized that my husband was afraid of me. He wouldn’t even give me his opinion on where to plant a few flowers, figuring I would shoot down his ideas anyway. This made me very sad, because G is very smart and I realized that I was losing his creative input, which I value. Another time, when we were looking at some property, the Realtor, a male friend of ours, asked me, “Would you even let your husband make a decision?” Sometimes he would tease me about being in charge and I finally told him that I was not good at submitting. He mentioned something about a book or study called Love and Respect. His comments kept nagging at me though, because I knew that he was a Christian man that loves and adores his wife, and I wondered if he knew something that I didn’t.
Opening up in the marriage
Despite being a “good, Christian girl,” I always had a nagging secret that I withheld from my husband. While we were dating and engaged I clearly explained that I HATE being yelled at. It upsets me greatly and the fact that he ignored my explicit warnings and began yelling at me often, made me feel cheated and tricked. I was aware that I crossed the line occasionally, coming home really late for instance, but I never thought of it as disrespect. However, on the drive home, I would feel a nervousness, wondering if I might have pushed him far enough to pull me across his knee. Somehow, I had a dose of fear and respect about the chance that my husband could spank me and, deep down, I instinctively did not feel that it would be wrong.
In fact, on some level I knew that if he just knew this “secret”, he would be able to improve my behavior in a way that yelling could never touch. I was just too embarrassed and afraid to tell him, and the fact that I thought about spanking at all was downright disturbing to me. I did my share of “reaction” testing early in marriage. I have a very strong will anyway, so there were countless opportunities that my husband could have “taken me in hand,” but instead he withdrew or attacked (verbally) on a continuous cycle. Yes, I was waiting for him to “figure it out.” At some point, I realized that there was nothing I could do that would push my husband to spank or to “hit a girl” as he was so strictly taught not to do with six sisters. I suspected that his anger could push him to leave me, which was a much more terrifying prospect, given our six children.
My weird thoughts
Why I had thoughts such as these, I never could figure out. However, I grew up with no rules as a child with my self absorbed mother. My father gave me complete freedom as a teenager. I was generally a good and trustworthy young lady, but I did push the limits by coming in from dates at 5 a.m., just as my Dad was waking up. I also began missing school and skipping classes. I stayed up late and didn’t want to wake up in the morning (I still do this). My Dad may have mentioned it, but I did things my way and eventually dropped out in my senior year after being a straight A student (I still completed college).
I still have a strong fear of being paddled that stems from elementary school days (I was determined to never let that happen to me), but I think that deep down, I craved a strong hand to come down (maybe quite hard on my bottom) and help me control my willful ways. However, when I finally realized that G would never give me the ultimate security of boundaries and that I could pretty much walk all over him with no real consequences, I somehow lost respect for my husband. I began calling him a wimp in my mind and sometimes to his face if I was particularly feisty.
I thought that nursing babies lowered my sex drive, but now I think it was knowing that my husband was not “man enough” to control me….to be stronger than me, to spank me if I was deserving. I knew that my husband would never raise his hand against me (and I was grateful that I did not live in fear of abuse), so I no longer needed to test him in any way. However, that was no fun for me, because my mischievous, bubbly personality enjoyed testing (in the playful way) and teasing and getting no reaction (withdrawal) or grumpiness from my husband squelched my sparkle and left me with a perpetual sadness. I never deliberately tried to upset him, but even so, he was continuously angry and frustrated with me and I didn’t know why.
Recently, an incident happened that once again awakened my thoughts about being spanked by my husband. I wanted to buy some pine trees that were on sale. I took his van and he firmly told me that there had better be just one tree in it when I got home. When I got to the store, I couldn’t resist the great deal and then there was the cutest little Norway Spruce that could “grow up” with our children. They loaded three trees into the van and all the way home I thought of what I would say to explain the logic of my actions. I wondered if he would be angry and if possibly this would be the moment where he finally felt a spanking would be well deserved. In my mind, I couldn’t even dispute that and the familiar nervous stirring returned. When I went into the house, he asked, “How many trees are in the van?” I smirked, not knowing how to relate the news, and to my utter astonishment, he burst out laughing! I felt very loved in that moment, knowing that he accepted my strong willed personality and that he desired to give me the things that I want. However, the following evening, he had a major freak-out over a simple misunderstanding. I had moved a hose, just trying to help, but it was not what he thought I should do and somehow it struck a nerve with him. I suspected that it had more to do with the pine trees. I was confused by his reaction to my choice to disobey, since there were very few times when he had been so firm and clear about an expectation. I just kept buying plants after that and expecting him to plant them for me. I knew it drove him crazy, but I didn’t really care. I believed that someday, when our yard is a beautiful garden, he would thank me for creating all of that work for him.
Our journey toward Christan Domestic Discipline
I understood, what DD was about.
Suddenly I realized that after years of blaming my husband for being the problem and having no self control, that I had contributed to his anger by usurping his God-given instinct to be the leader in our home. I had constantly fought against his power and defeated both him and myself in the process. I went to G and told him that I understood why he was always angry and that my unwillingness to follow his lead, to submit, had left him perpetually frustrated without knowing why. My husband was aware that he was stressed out and raised his voice too easily, he just didn’t know how to make it stop, despite his desire to do so. When I told him that I now understood that I had not treated him with respect, it was if the Spirit spoke to him as well, because he became like a new man–strong and confident—before my eyes. He was instantly able to articulate things I did that frustrate and annoy him, and for the first time, I could hear, accept and understand. I told him about “Taken in Hand” and the CDD site and the concepts presented on them. I revealed the truth about my “healthy” fear of being spanked and how it could have helped when all seemed out of control. Of course, being raised to not hit girls made him a bit apprehensive about it, but it seemed that in just minutes, the idea was growing on him. He read a few articles on the CDD site and those made sense to him as well.
Amusingly, that first night he asked if I would like to “lay across his lap, just to see how it feels.” Suddenly he was spanking my bottom and I knew it was because of all the things he had just spoken about that I did that frustrate him, such as putting time limits on his mowing the property and buying 200 plants in one season. He said, “This is what your are agreeing to…smack….can you submit to this?” Later, after I had talked incessantly into the wee morning hours, as my brain could not stop processing all of the new information, my husband finally gave me my first “real” spanking right there in our bed. He had asked me repeatedly to be quiet and go to sleep, but when more words bubbled out (I’m what Gary Smalley calls a “babbling brook” and I just couldn’t seem to shut up) after his final warning, the sting of his hand firmly smacking my bare bottom pretty much erased all of those tumbling thoughts and I fell soundly asleep in my husband’s arms for the first time.
As I awoke and stretched the following morning, checking my slightly plump figure (it’s not easy being thin after six kids) in the mirror, I turned slightly to take a tentative peek at my bottom. I gently woke my husband and told him that even after being spanked the night before, I still loved him, despite the little pink circles on the curve of each cheek. “Let me see,” he said, “Ouch!” “Are you upset?” I asked, thinking he would feel guilty for leaving marks on me “No, you’ll heal,” he replied without a hint of remorse. Yes, he was a new man…with an emphasis on man. I was amazed that he jumped on board so readily. I told him that it was like he was taking the reins, whereas before I had been doing all the steering. I said, “You must believe somehow that this lifestyle of CDD is really true and that it will work.” He eloquently replied, “I guess I do. We took a real leap of faith last night. That’s not something that was easy for me to do. It goes against my nature to spank you. It was like being virgins on a wedding night and consummating our marriage. It was that big of a step.” He began to inform me if I was being disrespectful. He expected to lead and me to obey. His rule number one……No more buying plants! As for me, I had spent so much time being confused about which project of fifty made the most sense to start, that it was relaxing and joyful to trust my husband and follow his lead.
Struggling with Consistency
Currently, my husband is struggling with consistency as he tries to absorb these new leadership skills. I have to admit I have moments of “powerfulness” when another part of me wants to take advantage of his “weakness” and grasp control. I struggle with choosing to obey when I’d rather do something fun like taking the kids to the park or to a friend’s house to play. My intentions are good, thinking an hour or two won’t hurt, but then my entire day gets carried away on my whims. I get distracted by phone calls, computer time and even laundry instead of having the self discipline to follow the schedule. Of course, I catch myself being bossy or challenging G’s authority, but at least my conscience is kicking in. G is working hard to help our family become peaceful, productive and even playful. I realize the importance of a schedule to help get our home and family on track, but I am up against a lifetime of selfish habits. I told him early on, “Submitting and obeying are not in my nature.” “Just like spanking my wife’s bare bottom is not in my nature,” he said. Even so, here we are, exploring this new lifestyle as if we are newlyweds. It is definitely a new beginning. Once again we are holding hands and choosing to spend time together. Although it take a conscious effort, I truly desire to respect my husband and to submit to him because I believe God has called me to follow His plan for marriage. I have to say it is not as easy as I expected, but I have noticed my choices and behaviors changing for the better. As for my husband’s question of, “is it right or wrong,” I had to tell him, “If I did not know that I would be spanked, I would have skipped home schooling yesterday and taken the kids to the county fair.” G knows that chaos rules our home when I act on a whim, not following any kind of schedule for home school, meals, and chores. “Oh yeah,” he said emphatically, “you would have definitely gotten a spanking for that.” And as for the garden, I haven’t bought a single new plant….I know better than to do that!