Christian Marriage, Complementarianism, Extra-Biblical Nonsense, Gender Roles, Marriage, Rick Thomas

Rick Thomas Wants Husbands to Rate Their Wives

Christian Marriage, Complementarianism, Marriage Advice, Rick Thomas


-by Kathi

There are things in life we rate. Customer service ratings help companies know how to improve their services. If you want to see a movie, you may visit Rotten Tomatoes to read the ratings. When you see a doctor, you might be asked to rate your pain.

Rick Thomas wants husbands to rate their wives. That’s right, husbands should give their wives a 1-10 rating based upon:

Give your wife a numerical rating from 1 to 10, with one being “a lot of work ahead” and ten being “the husband is on the job and getting things done.”

Her passion for Christ has increased – she is more transparent today than when you first married her.

She regularly confesses her sin to you – she is quick to seek forgiveness for her sins.

Her theological grasp of the Bible has increased – her desire to share the gospel with others continues to grow.

She is less fearful, anxious, and insecure – she worries less and has fewer doubts and regrets.

She is more content in Christ – she is at peace with where God has her.

She quickly processes disappointment through the lens of God’s sovereignty – she is more kind, loving, and gracious to others.

She is eager to share with you what God is doing in her life – she is eager to share with you and others where she is messing up.

She is eager to seek out your care and advice – she is eager to support you in your endeavors.

She loves people and bibically cares for them – she is not critical and cynical, but faithful and hopeful.

Now, I guess one could argue that this isn’t so bad because in the end, this article is really about the husband and whether or not he is fulfilling his “husbandry” duties assigned by God. But, a husband rating his wife to see if he’s doing a good job?! That seems flat out weird. This is a relationship we are talking about, not a transaction.

Let’s also talk about how completely arbitrary and subjective these ratings may be. A husband may give a low score on an area where others may rate her higher. How would the wife feel if her husband rated her poorly in multiple areas? Can you imagine how demoralizing this could be and may cause further harm in the relationship?

Here’s what Thomas leaves out…The wife should be able to rate her husband according to the same scale for the same reasons. That way the husband would receive an accurate rating and know where he needs to improve!

Husbands, these things on your list to rate aren’t your responsibility anyway. So, why not save yourself some stress in trying to figure out if your husbandry is moving in the right direction and simply do what Jesus said: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind and love your neighbor as yourself.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

59 thoughts on “Rick Thomas Wants Husbands to Rate Their Wives”

  1. “Your assessment of her is, to some degree, an evaluation of your leadership. How are you doing at learning, leading, and loving your wife? As you read this article, guard your heart against focusing on her.”

    I thought that was pretty well done. From reading him for a while now, I like his heart for women, his compassion.


  2. About a year before our therapeutic separation started, my husband had a typed list of all his complaints about me that he carried around in his briefcase. Lots of fun…not! About a year into the separation he asked me to move home because, “my contempt and disdain for you has mostly dissipated over the last year.” I was able to pass up the romantic offer and am gratefully divorced after 31 years of marriage. Divorce sucks…less than an abusive marriage. Rick’s whole shtick just isn’t working for me. Imagine if he saw wives as real people instead of projects to be evaluated.

    Liked by 9 people

  3. Thanks for sharing this, Kathi. I honestly don’t know how much
    more of this complementarian marriage
    nonsense I can read. A husband is not to be his wife’s Holy Spirit.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I wouldn’t want to be a “project” to my husband.

    Marrying someone with the intention of changing them is entering a contract under false pretenses. (My husband emphatically feels this way too.)

    If someone doesn’t love you as you are, and is always trying to change you, it’s not a healthy loving relationship.

    You can call it a parent-child relationship, or a therapist-patient relationship, but it’s not healthy.

    Of course spouses can encourage one another, but if that person doesn’t want to change in a certain area, that’s their choice. They are ultimately responsible to God and themselves for what they do with their life. (And you are responsible for your choices and decisions.)

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Just posted this on his blog:
    “It appears you have had a hard life and a meaningful spiritual journey. However, it appears you are so steeped in an ancient culture of patriarchy that goes back to a view of women as unclean and morally inferior and this meant for subjugation. It is not Christlike or in keeping with the essence of the Gospel which is to restore each of us to the image of God that we were created to be, all of us meant for shared “dominion” and freedom. Teaching husbands to rate their wives and to expect wives to confess their sins to and through their husbands (and not vice versa but both ways are crazy!) is irresponsible, diminishing and unChristlike. Please review your gender attitudes and be careful about not planting such paternalistic and irresponsible ideas into the minds of your clients. Thank you.”

    Liked by 3 people

  6. “Can you imagine how demoralizing this could be and may cause further harm in the relationship?”

    Yes. I absolutely can. Sans a literal scale, this was 25+ years of my life. I can still remember the first time he actually said I was a terrible wife. He said it nonchalantly. I was crushed, and even more so when I realized he wasn’t joking. As we continued the conversation, I realized what he was trying to say was that I didn’t rate very high on a housekeeping scale. (That was never my long suit nor my aspiration, and consider that I had a full-time professional job the whole time he knew and was married to me while he flitted through dozens of jobs and more often than not, didn’t have one.)

    I remember the sense of doom. Far worse than calling me, to my face no less, a terrible wife was the realization that that was what he thought “wife” meant. The life-crushing criticism continued for over 2 more decades. I can still feel it when I think back, although now it’s in contrast to freedom. My heart hurts for anyone living this way.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Thanks for the article Kathi. WOW! Where do these so called religious leaders come from, using the “business model” methodology in evaluating the “success” of their wives!?!

    It’s like attending a heavy shepherding/authoritarian church (been there, done that, never doing that ever again), where the salvation of the individual is dependent upon the pastor, church boards, deacons and deaconesses, and the small group leader!

    Cindy Brunson, you nailed it! No human being upon this planet, can replace the indwelling and work of God, the Holy Spirit within the life of a believer in Jesus Christ. It seems as though the western church system loves and worships its little gods……too many Trinity Broadcasting Network worshippers lurking around the churches these days, with many a heretic literally teaching that “we are little gods.”

    Who is Rick Thomas anyway? Never heard of him.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Couldn’t make it up if I tried.

    Only the Christian Industrial Complex comes up with this tripe.

    What a shame he isn’t encouraging his male followers to issue surveys to their wives to see how they’re all going with “loving their wives”.

    A) He cooks dinner
    B) He bathes the children
    C) He does the grocery shopping
    D) He changes diapers
    E) He gives me a back massage

    It’s worth noting: my better half does all of the above. We help each other. The only thing he doesn’t do is nurse our babies ha.

    I haven’t seen him read the bible ONCE in our close to 8 years of marriage.

    And yet he manages to love me still.

    I reckon if I asked him his thoughts on Complementarianism he’d laugh and ask me what that means.

    And so here we are.

    I’m amazed men like this even have an audience.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Is this the Rick Thomas that put Jane through the kangaroo counseling session?

    Remember he comes from John MacArthur’s circles that give this kind of marriage advice to husbands:

    “As your wife’s spiritual leader, you must help her with her sin.” (p. 206)

    “Unless you are asking your wife to sin, she is sinning if she refuses to do what
    you ask.” (p. 136)
    (From Exemplary Husband by Stuart Scott)

    So when Rick tells husbands to judge their wives according to whether
    “She regularly confesses her sin to you – she is quick to seek forgiveness for her sins”

    What he’s actually saying is that he wants wives to confess the supposed “sin” of having an opinion or making any choices of their own. I’d love to give Rick a Biblestudy on the one hundred Bible verses telling women to speak up and hundreds of other verses telling women to make their own choices without asking permission from anyone.

    For example James 4:17 tells women to go ahead and do right. It never adds the disclaimer that women first have to ask permission or seek “guidance” from someone else.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Why can’t Rick just teach what the Bible really says about marriage and women?

    Hearing this and reading a lot of Complementarian books remind me of something I read a while back. I like to read a lot of American history. There was something I saw once while studying the history of President John Quincy Adams. After leaving the White House he served many years in Congress, where he started a one man war against the slave trade.

    One day he was thinking in his diary about why can’t these Congressmen just let go of the evil system? Why can’t they just do the right thing?

    Adams realized the real reason, “At the bottom of their souls is pride in being the master.”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I know Rick Thomas well. He is an ACBC Fellow (formerly NANC), the “Fellows” are the high-ranking guys who are also ordained pastors and train nouthetic counselors-in-the-making.

    I used to think he was a really nice guy; he’s funny as heck. In 2010, I approached him about writing an endorsement for my first book, which was about eating disorder recovery. (I was, at the time, part of the ‘biblical counseling’ movement and many other well-known nouthetic counselors were raving about my manuscript). Rick basically ripped it to shreds; whether out of jealousy or what I don’t know. He claimed there was too much “emotionalism” in my testimony (I’ve actually received the opposite criticism from others – that I tend to be too didactic and emotionless in my writing). It was very hurtful and I never spoke to him again.

    I have found some of Rick’s writing to be helpful and insightful; he’s not a totally heartless person. But the view reflected in this article is, unfortunately, the product of his training and worldview: nouthetic counselors will never, EVER see women as equal to men; no matter how they dress it up in spiritual-sounding language. And women being abused? They will always, ALWAYS find a way to justify sending her back for more – cowed and silenced; with no evidence of real repentance on the part of the abuser. They will deny this, but no matter how cleverly they try to parse these teachings to make it sound “biblical”, that is their practical theology and it will always end in woman being forced to “reconcile”, no matter what. Rick is probably a fun guy at a party, but I’d avoid his teachings and all that come out of the nouthetic counseling movement.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Yes, imagine if Rick saw a wife as a real person. A living, breathing human being that has thoughts and feelings. Someone who deserves to be valued and respected.

    Then he wouldn’t have to use the ridiculous garden/farmer analogy in the article. Although, he’s not the first one that I’ve heard use that analogy.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Marie – Thanks for sharing! Occasionally I’ll skim over Rick’s articles. I didn’t know he was nouthetic, so it’s all making sense. Yes, he will never view a wife as an equal partner in a marriage because nouthetic/biblical counseling is heavily into gender roles.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Exactly. Yeah, he’s at the top of the heap in ACBC (I still call it NANC) but his writing and the way he talks put sort of a “kinder, gentler” face on nouthetic counseling. But underneath, it all boils down to the same theology regardless of the name change or attempts at image-rehaul.

    I find it ironic and almost amusing that their annual conference this year is to focus on abuse. There is probably no group/school of counseling that has done more harm psychologically and emotionally to abuse victims, and done less to help them.

    Hey, maybe they’ll sell my latest book: “Fractured Covenants: The Hidden Problem of Marital Abuse in the Church”!

    Oh no wait….they probably won’t. LOL!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Imagine what our religious world would be if, in the 1940’s-80’s, ministers had preached according to the red letters in the New Testament (Jesus’ words) so that men would have been brought up to love and accept all people equally! As Jesus did.The men who were growing up in that era and are now church leaders are the one’s who perpetuate to sinful exaggeration these patriarchal teachings. I don’t see it changing. The church is one of the slowest organizations to shift belief systems and embrace change. Take a look on Christian Book Store shelves to see who the best sellers are in the 21st century, who publishers are promoting. Ugh!


  16. I’m hearing pigs oinking in four-part harmony in the background…

    For a whole bunch of reasons, I have never married. I’m happily single and serving Jesus, and I’m not expecting any big changes now that I’ve just turned 60. But, if I had seen a rating scale like this prior to getting married, I would have fled. It’s absolutely demoralizing, almost like the wife has an employer/employee relationship with her husband. I don’t feel the love at all.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. While I would not have believed that rating system was truth or a good idea,
    I did believe that men who taught it were more powerful and knowledgeable than me. We who were faithful to church attendance, the decades of weekly brainwashing created deep conflict and confusion within us, as women, so that we married poorly. Poorly, meaning, marrying men who robbed us of equal acceptance and unconditional love.


  18. He doesn’t care about women at all, or at least his card about women is solely in relation to what it means for the important person in the marriage – the husband. You can tell because a rating of 10 is all about how great the husband is. Men yay, women meh.

    Liked by 5 people

  19. Give your wife a numerical rating from 1 to 10, with one being “a lot of work ahead” and ten being “the husband is on the job and getting things done.”

    GROSS. This entire thing is disgusting. Especially that a ‘ten’ just gives praise to the husband!

    I’m surprised he doesn’t just jump to a physical rating.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. So when Rick tells husbands to judge their wives according to whether
    “She regularly confesses her sin to you – she is quick to seek forgiveness for her sins”

    This part? Puts men as literally gods.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Can you say “Stepford Wives?”

    Relationships should not be robotic, practiced or graded, but loving, accepting and full of grace. This guy’s list is expectations is truly disturbing.

    So… what if a wife is struggling in her faith? What if she has doubts or fears or is not “eager” to share what she is learning or to share her faith? Can she expect her husband to inform her that she is a ‘3’? Where is the compassion and genuine care and support for her – wherever she is in her spiritual life?

    Furthermore, the way this piece is nuanced, a wife’s “eagerness” to confess her sin borders on shaming.

    Are there really believers out there endorsing this guy’s cruel and legalistic nonsense?

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Like Salty, I give my husband a 10. He cooks, cleans, does laundry, and this weekend he rubbed out a gigantic knot under my shoulder blade. And now that my daughter has moved out, there is no longer a drain on our bank account, so we don’t argue any more. I’m concentrating on playing the violin!


  23. It’s interesting how this theology all heads to the same place… In “Not Where They Should Be”, Douglas Wilson first talks about husbands taking their “federal” role as husband and leader of the family and accepting blame for the state of the house, yet, soon afterward, when things aren’t working out as the newly-minted patriarchal husband expects, it’s time to pull in the elders and throw the wife under the bus.

    So, interesting that this supposed focus on the husband as “leader” and “responsible” quickly dissolves into finger-point at the wife in front of the church. It’s just another Reformed double-somersault of flipping truth on its head.

    Instead of the husband’s Christ-like role being serving the family meaning being willing to do the most menial jobs (washing feet, perhaps), the husband’s Christ-like role is to tell the wife how to wash the dishes and then throw her in front of the elders if she somehow doesn’t meet his standards. Then HE’S THE VICTIM.

    So, it’s not surprising that the complementarian ACBC takes the same approach – that the husband is the victim when the wife doesn’t have his pipe, newspaper and favorite chair in front of the TV waiting for him, and the pot roast cooking in the oven when he comes home from his busy day of work.


  24. I think if they really believed that the husband was the leader, then the husband who brought his wife before the elders would be charged and excommunicated himself. If he isn’t the kind of husband his wife would willingly follow and submit to, then that should be evidence that he is not Christlike and therefore, must repent and turn from his wicked ways. So, how is this the wife’s problem?


  25. Well, if a husband doesn’t “grade” his wife, how will he know how to “correct” her as John Piper’s Desiring God exhorts husbands to do?


  26. Wow. I can’t even imagine being married to someone who would do this. Every flaw noted all day every day. Being constantly weighed in the balance and found wanting. Continual pressure to measure up to some unrealistic standard of perfection. And always feeling you are letting him down so he can’t feel good about himself either. You’d have to be apologizing non stop forever amen. What a horrible guilt filled miserable marriage that would be. I’m trying to imagine it and it just boggles my mind. On a positive note, reading this makes me very thankful for a loving appreciative husband who does NOT think he is my Holy Spirit :-).

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Now, how does this work? A single female is a big fat zero. Then, she gets married and her husband goes to work improving her and makes her, um, ahh ……… What????
    Why does Rick Thomas kind of a man have to go find a wife? Why doesn’t he just make him a wife from one of his ribs?


  28. My first husband, a Christian, told me once I hadn’t grow spiritually for five years. Goodness knows how he would have star rated me had it had been available back then in the 90’s. I’m very angry about Rick Thomas, he is propagating pure evil as a means to control women. What are we? Cattle? Rick why not put your star rating on TripAdvisor, or Amazon. After all, to you women are objects, like restaurants or books.
    I remarried btw. Not a Christian just a NORMAL guy. Been together 18 years.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Marie stated, “I find it ironic and almost amusing that their annual conference this year is to focus on abuse. There is probably no group/school of counseling that has done more harm psychologically and emotionally to abuse victims, and done less to help them.”

    Well stated Marie. You couldn’t have stated a more blatant truth regarding “religious counseling, aka nouthetic counseling.” Nouthetic counseling abuses the victim to a greater degree in brainwashing the victim into believing their individual person/soul doesn’t matter in the relationship, and ultimately, doesn’t matter to Christ.

    My husband and I visited a nouthetic counselor years ago. Her first priority was discussing payment for her services as she made it perfectly clear that she had expensive school loans to pay off, so she wanted one of us to sign a form of “mental instability” so that she could extract her extremely “high” fees from our insurance company. Both, the counselor and my husband looked at me with puppy dog eyes as if I was the one who should sign my life away, so she could pay off her college loans (she was a card member of the Covenant Church and promoted “covenantalism”), and my husband would look like the victim instead of the perpetrator. And when I said the word “no” to that wicked and evil business, our “counseling session” was cut short and my husband paid “cash” on the way out…..and I didn’t let the door hit me in the rear end on the way out.

    NEVER, never, never, ever, would I recommend nouthetic counseling to the women who are abused by their husbands in my neck of the woods, but point them to the secular professionals who actually care about the “individual,” rather than the “group think mentality,” which holds the “outward appearance” of the church in high esteem.”

    Perhaps the only reason these wolves are conducting conferences, is that they need to sell their books, tapes, cd’s, dvd’s, and their T-shirts at the door to increase their salaries….as in using the Name of our LORD and Savior in “vain” for their “gain.”

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Angie stated, “Well, if a husband doesn’t “grade” his wife, how will he know how to “correct” her as John Piper’s Desiring God” exhorts husbands to do?”

    What a great question Angie! In heavy shepherding/covenantal churches, women are regarded as underlings, especially from the hirelings. If many of us women were to have an intelligent conversation with Piper in which he actually “listened and understood” the lifestyles and faith of women, he would be totally beside himself, as his twisted view of the Holy Scriptures do not apply here.

    I personally, have given many a direction to “men” with regards to our farm location, otherwise they would end up in Timbuktu. According to the Piper lack of mentality, I would be considered disobedient, rebellious, a trouble maker, an outcast, and a “jezebel” for giving a man “orders/directions.” Piper would probably go into cardiac arrest if he knew of the instructions many a woman have had to give the hired help (all males), in getting the farm work done… in my neck of the woods, it’s not about gender in getting farm work completed, it’s about competence, intelligence, and endurance in completing the tasks at hand.

    And when Jesus refers to His chosen as “sheep,” there is no reference to gender. Absolutely none! Funny, how religious leaders of our day love to through their gender taro card into the mix of Christianity, due to their lack of having Jesus as their “Head” and “Leader.”

    I wonder if the Pharisees in the Holy Scriptures took out their “score card” in rating our LORD’S performance?


  31. Now, how does this work? A single female is a big fat zero. Then, she gets married and her husband goes to work improving her and makes her, um, ahh ………

    Nancy, I think given those choices I would stay happily unimproved!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. I think this falls into the trap Paul sets – he says if a women remains unmarried, she can focus on the things of God, and if she chooses to marry, she will focus on how she can please her husband.

    I think this in the typical Reformed scripture flipping completely ignores what Paul is saying, and instead makes it “focusing on the things of God” to “focus on how she can please her husband”. Which, as many have pointed out is a subtle shifting towards idolatry. The Reformed church makes idols out of the authority figures by claiming that obedience, submission and even, dare I say, worship of those figures by their subordinates is not only okay, but is somehow commanded by their being sort of an under-intercessor.

    What Paul seems to be getting at here is that marriage, while not sinful, is a distraction from full focus on God. Not what Piper et. al. are saying that somehow the husband is a vehicle of sanctification. When I was single, I had a consistent devotional routine. Now that I’m married, that is gone – because the time I set aside for the routine is the same time my wife wants to unwind and talk about her day. When I try other times, they conflict with the things that have to happen – preparing for school, work, whatever. So, on one hand, I’m less sanctified than I was when I was single. On the other hand, my wife and children highlight character flaws in me that would have never been exposed when I was single.

    I think, at best, this idea that husbands have some one-sided God-given role in sanctifying their wives is misguided. At worst, it’s a different gospel, and I put Wilson, Piper and Thomas pretty far beyond being simply misguided.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Mary27 wrote:

    “Being constantly weighed in the balance and found wanting. Continual pressure to measure up to some unrealistic standard of perfection. And always feeling you are letting him down so he can’t feel good about himself either. You’d have to be apologizing non stop forever amen. What a horrible guilt filled miserable marriage that would be.”

    Are you surprised? Why would a horrible guilt-ridden religion produce anything different?


  34. “Her theological grasp of the Bible has increased…” That’s one of the problems that my husband identifies in me. Now, I can ask him to back up his spiritually abusive claims, knowing that he can’t do it because it isn’t actually in the Bible. Being less fearful, anxious, and insecure and more content has made me less willing to comply with my husband, his pastor and his bishop when they try to use my fear and guilt to manipulate me. They don’t seem to think he’s done a good job in these areas; they seem to be very annoyed.

    No wonder they’re confused. It doesn’t make logical sense.


  35. I get my pseusonyms mixed up around here so maybe I am you! 🙂 My husband would have condescended to stay married if I would have been willing to “forgive and forget” what he says he never did. My mind and heart are getting more untwisted over time. Ex seeks to discredit me to my adult children and manipulate them so they aren’t as free as I one day hope they will be. So grateful to be off the “mind twister” ride I lived for more than 30 years.


  36. Muff Potter: Are you surprised? Why would a horrible guilt-ridden religion produce anything different?
    Me: If you are referring to the religion of those who push this nonsense I agree with you completely. But I’m quite sure that’s NOT what the Bible teaches.


  37. Is it just me, or did Savage give a completely different story in the interview today?. I was reading CNN and they reported he said it was flirtatious and there was making-out involved. It gave the impression that Jules was involved in a willing way. He totally contradicted her story!! I was amazed.
    If you give them enough rope….


  38. “Now, I guess one could argue that this isn’t so bad because in the end, this article is really about the husband and whether or not he is fulfilling his ‘husbandry’ duties assigned by God.”

    Please show me where in Scripture it says that a wife is a science fair project. Thomas’ test is a pile of dung with a few Bible verses stapled on.


  39. The idea of rating is good. Rick Thomas should rate his own performance as a husband. Am I acting like Jesus Who was meek and lowly in heart? Would I gladly die for my wife?

    A lot of these guys twist the Scriptures that say husbands should love their wives the way Christ loved the church. Instead they think it means: as a married man I AM Jesus Christ/God incarnate. How can I force my wife to give Me the worship I deserve.

    According to the Bible, if husbands lord it over their wives and treat them cruelly God won’t answer any of their prayers. I’m not a feminist either. Weird how arrogant control freaks who crush their nearest neighbors’ (wives’) spirits to build up their own egos read instructions for their wives and throw God’s instructions for husbands in the trash. A haughty spirit is a virtue–for men.

    King Rehoboam’s subjects asked him nicely to lift some of their tax burdens and go easy on them.

    He went to the mature men–his dad’s counselors. They said, “If you are a servant to the people they will be loyal to you forever.”

    He took advice from the younger princes and nobles who advocated a Mark Driscoll/Rick Thomas leadership model. “Be a total jerk. Show the peasants who’s boss! Ho ho ho.” Think Tim Taylor laughter only dark and sinister.

    Their idea appealed to his ego more than his rational facilities. (Men aren’t always rational. Did you know that?) He followed through and he lost the kingdom.

    Sadly the “complementarian” model is costing a lot of men their marriages.


  40. Find it interesting that the “build a pastor” model is for kids to go straight to seminary from college.

    The Rehoboam example is so telling. We have an epidemic of “young prince” pastors who have no life experience, no wisdom and are falling for the complementarian/authoritarian church model. And, as you say, the examples they look to are not the older, wiser pastors who have attained wisdom over the years, but the 30-something pastors.

    Then, in choosing a pastor, congregations seem to have this desire for energy and relevance. So, the 50 or 60-something pastor just isn’t going to cut it. They need someone who is going to be bold and get the job done by whipping the congregation into shape.

    Interesting how in most industries, companies have almost failed when they thought, “we don’t need these old, experienced, expensive guys. We can get the job done faster and cheaper by laying them off and replacing them with young energetic college grads!”, but the church still hasn’t learned.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. My dad is a retired pastor from the Church of Christ. Due to the odd dynamics of the COC power structure we treat our preachers more like hirelings or whipping boys than rock star celebrities. Our family was almost homeless 3 times while I was growing up since anyone could complain to the elders about Dad. The elders would talk about it–then often fire him for the most trivial stuff.

    At 67 he was rejected for a part time ministry in a church of mostly retired people. They said he was “too old.”

    Like some aging Don Juan who imagines he will get a 19 year old stripper since HE finds her attractive, these churches have a similar delusion that they’re entitled to a 30-year-old rock star dynamo. A Joel Osteen,except he reads from the Bible and will leap at the chance to earn $5 an hour while supporting the required wife-and-kids.


  42. My church was the complete opposite. The rules changed. Initially, a pastor could not even be tried in the local congregation if he was suspected of something. The elders could not fire him. The only way to remove him was for the congregation to vote to fire him, or for him to be tried at a higher level. When the rules changed, it became possible to try the pastor at the local level, but only with the approval of the higher governing board.

    It is less likely for a congregation to hire a “seasoned” pastor than some firey kid out of seminary, but it does happen. The more typical model is for the congregation to hire a seminary grad as an associate pastor, essentially a youth minister, which actually isn’t a bad model. When pastors retire, they either settle in an area where there are lots of churches and preaching opportunities, or they cover churches where the pastor has just left – in that situation, it often takes 6-12 months for them to find another pastor willing to move there.


  43. “The idea of rating is good. Rick Thomas should rate his own performance as a husband. Am I acting like Jesus Who was meek and lowly in heart? Would I gladly die for my wife?” written by Rachel hit the nail on the head. How DID Christ love us? By DYING for us. I don’t see dying even to self or ego in what Rick Thomas writes — for men.


  44. Totally creepy. The husband is being told to spiritually abuse his wife. Pretending she’s his pet project. Denying the boundary line around her as an individual. Denying the place and role of Jesus Christ ~ God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Playing God with his wife. That is vulgar, oppressive spiritual abuse. Massive disrespect for her and God by usurping God’s Place and Role.

    Of course, “Paul” is the super creep who taught this abuse. His letters should be burned as articles of satan.


  45. This guy’s view of marriage – and wives in particular – made me nauseous.

    According to Rick’s checklist, I guess my husband and I are both spiritual and marital failures. My husband and I simply love one another. We support and take care of each other. We enjoy one another’s company. We are best friends. And we love the Lord.

    We have never confessed our sins to one another. We do not hold to a plastic, obligation-laden view of faith. We have each gone through our share of difficult days and helped one another through them. There is no measuring stick, no guilt or shame in any of it. It’s not work, just a sweet and mutually supportive relationship.

    We would never want to live the way Rick and his poor wife have chosen to live. I feel sorry for them and any who are endeavoring to live that way.

    Self-appointed “marriage experts” like him give genuine people of faith – and God – a bad name.


  46. Cindy,
    You paint a beautiful picture of your marriage with words, as it should be. It reminds me of the beginning of Creation when our LORD says, “It was Good!”

    I am so happy for you and yours and appreciate you sharing as it gives some of us true Hope in our Lord Jesus.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Katy, you are very kind.

    The other side of our story is that both of us came from hard, broken marriages. I spent 20 years married to a verbal and emotional abuser. My now-husband was emotionally abandoned early in his first marriage, and his wife finally walked out after 18 years. We can attest that real love is an amazing, healing, life-changing thing. Blessings…


  48. In honesty, Cindy, I purchased your well written book in hopes of trying to understand my own abusive marriage of complementarian origin on my spouse’s part. I have a library of great publications (including yours), which have assisted greatly in helping me understand, cope, and heal from a plethora of abuse; physical, emotional/verbal, and spiritual in nature.

    I always believed that women/men were equals in relationship as this is how I grew up watching my own parents work back and forth to raise us children. The head of the house or lord it over concept was not the practiced religion in our home and I praise Jesus Christ for that. Both parents encouraged all of us siblings in every area of life, saying, “You can do anything. Follow your own hopes and dreams to fulfill your lives because you only have one life here on earth.” Gender roles were not shoved down our throats with a harsh mouth and a heavy hand, so naturally, when I married into a complementarian mindset (my own father-in-law loved cutting women down along with my own spouse on a regular basis, while I sat there and listened, much to the disgust in my mind), it was my “job” to follow their “lead” and “put up and shut up and be that proverbial dog wife and daughter-in-law in the family.

    After decades, I woke up to the abuse and toxic personalities within this religious/pseudo spiritual in-law family, and have literally gone no-contact, with the exception of my comp spouse. I finally gained a profound peace with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, understanding His Way for my life in knowing how He treated women and loved them with the Gospel context, which I believe, is in stark contrast to the complementarian paradigm being taught within many a c’hurch system.

    Thank-you for writing your book and sharing your experiences here, Cindy. While many of us many not agree on the complementarian teachings or way of life, I believe Jesus still leads His body to help those who are “the weak, the least of these, and carrying heavy burdens at various times in our own lives,” to move on and heal according to that still small voice of His Holy Spirit.

    His Blessings to you and yours, Cindy. You are truly an amazing woman of our Lord.

    Liked by 1 person

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