Sometimes devotees have the misconception that householder life is an excuse to simply enjoy and be relaxed in terms of the rules and regulations of devotional life. However, Srila Prabhupada explains the actual standard for householders in the Bhagavad-gita, and exposes those who comprise these important principles of elevation simply for name and fame.
As far as dama (self-control) is concerned, it is not only meant for other orders of religious society, but is especially meant for the householder. Although he has a wife, a householder should not use his senses for sex life unnecessarily. There are restrictions for the householders even in sex life, which should only be engaged in for the propagation of children. If he does not require children, he should not enjoy sex life with his wife. Modern society enjoys sex life with contraceptive methods or more abominable methods to avoid the responsibility of children. This is not in the transcendental quality, but is demoniac. If anyone, even if he is a householder, wants to make progress in spiritual life, he must control his sex life and should not beget a child without the purpose of serving Krsna. If he is able to beget children who will be in Krsna consciousness, one can produce hundreds of children, but without this capacity one should not indulge only for sense pleasure.
Tapas, or austerity, is especially meant for the retired life. One should not remain a householder throughout his whole life; he must always remember that there are four divisions of life -- brahmacarya, grhastha, vanaprastha and sannyasa. So after grhastha, householder life, one should retire. If one lives for a hundred years, he should spend twenty -- five years in student life, twenty-five in householder life, twenty-five in retired life and twenty-five in the renounced order of life. These are the regulations of the Vedic religious discipline. A man retired from household life must practice austerities of the body, mind and tongue. That is tapasya. The entire varnasrama-dharma society is meant for tapasya. Without tapasya, or austerity, no human being can get liberation. The theory that there is no need of austerity in life, that one can go on speculating and everything will be nice, is recommended neither in the Vedic literature nor in Bhagavad-gita. Such theories are manufactured by show-bottle spiritualists who are trying to gather more followers. If there are restrictions, rules and regulations, people will not become attracted. Therefore those who want followers in the name of religion, just to have a show only, don't restrict the lives of their students, nor their own lives. But that method is not approved by the Vedas.