Book Review Series, The Excellent Wife, Martha Peace, Complementarian Doctrine, Abusive Behavior
This is a book review series of The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace. If you are just joining us, you may click on previous chapter reviews if you’d like to catch up.
Chapter One – Chapter Two – Chapter Three – Chapter Four – Chapter Five
After a lengthy pause, I’m back at learning how to be a most excellent wife. This chapter is all about God’s perfect plan for the wife. Let’s jump in!
Peace starts off with a list of “God’s perspective” for husbands and wives. These include that men and women are made in the image of God, however, due to the order of creation, woman was created for man, not man for the woman. She provides the following illustration to prove her point:
Because only men can bring glory to God, the husband will always be the head of the wife. Husbands are in charge of the home, but may not fully be in charge since he can delegate responsibilities to others in the home. What happens if the husband delegates responsibility, but is not pleased with the results? Since he is ultimately “in charge,” if something is not done exactly as he likes, is that a failure on the wife’s part to honor her husband? Can you see where a husband who holds power and control over his household could use this logic against his wife?
Practically, how can a wife bring glory to her husband? Peace offers the following:
1. Ask your husband, “What are your goals for the week?”
2. Ask your husband, “How can I help you to accomplish these goals?”
3. Ask your husband, “Is there anything that I can do differently that would make it easier for you?”
4. Be organized with cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, and cooking. As you fulfill your God-given responsibilities, your husband is then free to do his work.
5. Save some of your energy every day for him.
6. Put him first over the children, your parents, friends, job, ladies’ Bible studies, etc.
7. Willingly and cheerfully rearrange your schedule for him when necessary.
8. Talk about him in a positive light to others. Do not slander him at all, even if what you are saying is true.
9. Do whatever you can to make him look good, to accomplish his goals.
10. Consider his work (job, goals, hobbies, work for the Lord) as more important than your own.
11. Think of specific ways that you can help him accomplish his goals.
12. Consider the things that you are involved in. How do they glorify your husband? Ask his guidance.
13. Be warm and gracious to his family and friends. Make your commitment to him obvious to them.
14. Do and say things that build him up instead of tear him down.
15. Dress and apply your makeup in an attractive manner that is pleasing to your husband.
16. When your husband sins, reprove him privately and gently, always giving him hope and pointing him to the Lord.
17. Encourage him to use his spiritual gifts in ministry.
18. Realize that just as God is glorified when man obeys Him, your husband is glorified when you obey your husband.
In a healthy relationship, each person will care for and consider the needs of the other. However, given the underlying context of a wife not being equal to her husband, this list only serves the husband and offers little in return for the wife. How does a husband manage to make it through the day if the wife takes a trip to visit family? Or, does the wife not take that trip because she needs to consider his needs?
If I were to reply to this list, I have to laugh at some of these things that are expected of me as a wife. First off, I am up at 6 a.m. every day for work. As a non-morning person, I am not getting up earlier to put myself together and prepare breakfast for my husband before he goes to work (I would be grumpy all day). My job is equally important as his because my finances help our family (plus I get great stock options that he loves!). I never wear makeup because I hate the way it feels on my face and I usually wear jeans and sweatshirts every day (because I can!). Does my husband feel less loved and supported by me because I don’t follow the guidelines of “glorifying” my husband? I think he would answer no.
In the end, Peace maintains her position of the wife’s role:
Basically, we have said that the wife’s role is to glorify and submit to her husband. She was created to fulfill her role as “helper” for her husband.
And, this is where I continue to have a problem with this type of teaching. Wives have no autonomy because their only existence is to serve their husbands. The twisting of scripture is not surprising as this view has been around for a long time. I often talk to people about these views and they are shocked that this teaching is still being used today. However, we know that spiritual abuse can be a factor within domestic abuse due to the thought that wives are equal in creation, but not in function. It’s time for this thinking to change.
95 thoughts on “Book Review Series – “The Excellent Wife” by Martha Peace – Chapter Six – Perfect in Image, Lacking in Glory”
My favorite thing about all of these dumb man-centric books is how completely oblivious they are to the idea that a woman might not…be with any man? They don’t remember any time period when they weren’t married, or all that ‘glory’ goes to dad until they are? What if dad is dead? What if they have significant time period of being single. NONE OF THIS MAKES SENSE. Sheesh.
I love how crazy her image of glory going to man, and through man to god is. I guess my glory just goes into the ether?
Telling the truth is not slander, lady.
I think that’s where some people get caught up in this stuff. Yes, you should be a good partner, but BOTH people should be doing that. These things are SO one-sided and that list is so focused on the man. It’s twisted. She has internal thoughts and desires and will sometimes need supporting…There is no acknowledgement of personal needs.
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Good Morning Kathi! YIKES, I couldn’t sit down and comfortably read this book. In this case I would have to agree with the “book burning” folks in lighting the evening stick/log pile in the back forty. What a way to ruin an individual (in this case, the wife) that our LORD breathed His breath of life into and make her into a “non-human being/non-individual.” So much for the “uniqueness” and the “spiritual gifts” that He so freely bestows unto women as well. And it sounds rather “cultish” to me in the fact that this garbage may be eluding to the false teachings that a woman needs her husband to be her “spiritual covering” in order to secure her eternal place in the Presence of Jesus.
It is false teachings of “delegated authority” that cripples women into incompetence and insecurity, instead of building her up in her faith and her value to society. So what happens if the husband sadly passes away, and the woman described above has to deal with operating a business in addition to operating a successful household? How is this possible when her mind, body, soul, and identity are stolen from her with these manure pile philosophies/twisting of the Scriptures and our LORD’S true design for women/both genders for that matter?
Stock options from your workplace! That is awesome Kathi, and it brings a smile to me face that your husband delights in your business proposition! These are the kinds of real life stories that actually bring glory to our LORD in being resourceful with your lives/finances, no top down theology needed with little arrows pointing all over the place. In fact, the diagram shown above, reminds me of the visual we were shown in me former abusive Baptist c’hurch, where ESS was slithering in, in the form of “righteousness,” with god at the top, then a jesus figure, then man, below man was the woman, and at the bottom were children. That was the “ladder” of command and authority, and I could hardly believe me eyes when I saw that one…….it is no wonder the AOG trained pastor man was caught in lustful “sin” after married women, as these kinds of teachings are one of the bullet points of “cults.”
Jesus is the best and only Pastor that works for me, as He never lies or manipulates me into a “man-made” agenda. No wonder He is called “Living Water,” for Martha’s jesus speaks of “poisoned waters.”
So thankful you have a good sense of humor, Kathi, when sharing this with us!
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In order for males to have headship over women, Jesus Christ would have to share his Lordship with human men. If Jesus shared his Lordship with a man – husband or not – that man would become an earthly god.
But it appears that Martha Peace is advocating sole headship to the husband. What bothers me is that young women are buying this without any knowledge or understanding of how far women have come in the secular world, and even in the religious world.
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Isaiah 43:6b-7- “Bring My sons from afar And My daughters from the ends of the earth, Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.””
Isaiah 42:8- ““I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to [e]graven images.”
So, we see at the root of Peace’s complementarian theology is male idolatry. Instead, women and men (sons and daughters) are created for God’s glory, and he does not “delegate” that glory to the male head.
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Lea – Yes, it’s amazing how quick people are to use the word slander without considering the meaning.
Here’s what she should have said: It is not healthy for a wife to degrade and humiliate her husband in front of other people. That is emotional abuse. This is not the same as talking to a girlfriend in confidence and seeking advice about some of the issues that may be in your marriage.
What does a wife who is seeking counseling do? Does she only talk positively about her husband in the counseling session? In Peace’s mind, if she is there because her husband is abusive, is talking about the abusive behavior not okay?
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Katy – Believe me when I say I held back on the snark. Sometimes it’s a struggle! 🙂
At least Peace can acknowledge that women are created in the image of God. There are other women who write “godly wife” books that will not acknowledge that. The idea that woman is created in the image of man adds another layer of “less than-ness” for women.
I recently watched a Leslie Vernick video and she said the thing that makes spiritual abuse tricky is that the abuser always mixes some truth in with the lies. Then Leslie went on to say another way to discern if the person is being spiritually abusive is to look at their motive- are they trying to encourage you and to empower you?
OR are they trying to control you, condemn you, shame you?
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Yes, Kathi, I think they use it because it’s ‘biblical’ without bothering to actually think about what it means. Because it doesn’t suit their purpose.
Ruth, this is excellent. I think sometimes motivations are a good way to explain why one comment might feel off coming from one person and ok from another. We feel it in the gut, but can’t always explain intellectually.
To which I always first think “Serve” or “Service”?
AKA “Wives have no autonomy because their only reason for existence is to be Hubby’s 24/7 domestic servant, breeding stock, and sex toy.” (Tell me that isn’t the goal.)
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The scary thing is that this is the book used by the Biblical Counseling movement to counsel abused wives. Several different counselors went straight to this book to counsel my daughter in her years of suffering. Not much there to comfort or lift up a depressed, beat down, despised, feeling so worthless she wants to die, miserable, living in anguish, abused wife. Where is the love of God in this picture? Or doesn’t God love women?
As Mark said above, the diagram and the philosophy are just plan idolatry… worshiping the creation rather than the Creator.
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I have a bunch of Biblical Counseling quotes where the victim always has the tables turned on him/her. That’s always been my experience. Until my current pastor, when I share bits of my story, it’s always “what did you do to deserve it?” or “he’s the authority, so he must have had the right to do it”, or “well, of course, you said ‘no'”
Here’s an example (Mary Baker Eddy would be proud!): “Reframe her story. She is no longer a victim. In Christ she is a victor.” – https://biblicalcounselingcenter.org/when-counseling-the-sexually-violated/
Don’t slander him, even if it’s true. In other words, live in a lie. Because Jesus, the One Who spoke of whispers in inner rooms being shouted from rooftops, obviously loves lies. Surely they must know that an abused woman would be tyrannized by such a system. It’s self evident. I cannot fathom a person teaching this stuff and loving Jesus. These people are fools.
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I have read similar teachings in the past on the more patriarchal Christian sites when I started to embrace my Christian again and I found them quite disturbing having grown up in a modern marriage where my parents were equal partners, both worked outside the home and my father did and still does more of the cooking then my mother does. There was no husband’s tasks or wife’s task in my home. We attended church off and on as a child and I was involved in a youth ministry where one the ministers was a woman. I too was perplexed by the idea of the woman’s total existence was to serve a man in his goals, spiritual path, etc but she wasn’t allowed to have her own path, her own goals whatever they be. It was as if her identity was in her marriage and family. Some women seemed to buy into this even feeling guilty of desiring a “me time” for themselves because they are suppose to just serve her family’s whims and needs. Luckily, there are some complementarians that I’ve read more like very soft or moderate complementarians don’t buy into all of this either. In fact, some that I’ve read ideal’s slightly or fairly resembles an egalitarian marriage model. Good post. God Bless.
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Well, I’m glad that Kathi is slogging through this book for us. The more I read from Peace’s writing, the more I feel that I need a bucket handy. Or a little paper bag.
The 18(!) point list that Kathi quoted contained plenty of vomit-worthy advice. The note on “slander” jumped out at me right away. Another startling line was:
Whoa. The children are dependent on their mother, but she’s supposed to make her husband’s welfare more important? What is he, a child himself?
What if he’s abusing her, or those kids? Is she still supposed to put his needs first, at the expense of their safety?
I wonder whether Peace has thought any of this through.
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Lea – the sentence ‘woman was created for man not man for the woman’ is almost a verbatim quotation of scripture in 1 Cor 11 : 9. A couple of verses later Paul balances this up. Also, at the risk of stating the obvious, this book is addressed to wives, so it is not relevant to singles except to the extent they may be contemplating getting married.
That said, does anyone actually believe all this stuff and try to live it out? Much of it is foreign to me (there could be a reason for that!). Some of it seems redundant, some of it is common sense, some of it applies equally to hubby (or everybody such as ‘don’t slander’), and a lot of it seems to me to be reactionary. In watching secular society attempt to eliminate male/female distinctions this seems an attempt to over-regulate differences and roles. It might therefore succumb to going to far in the opposite direction.
Serving Kids – hope you are well! Not having read the book and not knowing all she said about it, putting husband before kids might be good advice. We’ve picked up good advice along the way to make sure you keep the husband/wife relationship centre, as having children can lead to you drifting slowly apart, almost without realising it. All your time and energy goes into bringing up the children. The truth of this is seen in cases where when the children finally leave home the marriage gets into trouble because the spouses have become to some extent estranged from each other, they have probably inadvertently neglected each other.
KAS—we lived it. At least, the women in the patriarchal hyper-Calvinist church we attended for two decades tried our best.
“Put husband first” and “never criticize” and “put his needs before yours and everyone else’s” is a recipe for creating a spoiled toddler. There’s little motivation for a coddled immature man to grow up.
In my experience, the more supportive and agreeable I tried to be, the more the essential “me” had to be squashed down until I became nothing. And the slightest disagreement on my part was met with an unfair and untrue “You’re ALWAYS disagreeing with me!”
By faithfully following this formula, I helped a somewhat nice guy, with potential to be better, to become an emotionally abusive SOB.
Men in this world are both ‘leaders’ of everything and giant man babies who need to be catered to in every way, SKIJ. Pathetic.
The way they talk about women extends to all women, whether they couch it as ‘wives’ or not. They have no relevant advice for singles (or widows, or divorced women, etc) because they prefer to pretend they do not exist usually. The problem here is that they treat grown women who are married as if they are not full individuals on their own. You should not be defending that, KAS.
The existence of fully realized women in any capacity gives the lie to their man centric position. Paul is indeed far more ‘balanced’ than this drivel. He is wildly misinterpreted imo.
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I’m so sorry. This is terrible advice she is giving for many reasons, and you expressed why very well. It hurts everyone in the long run, not just women.
“Do not slander him at all, even if what you are saying is true.” Umm, isn’t that an oxymoron? I thought slander, by nature, is untrue? Does she mean “gossip”? So don’t speak about what your husband does if it’s unpleasant, even if it’s true? Seems like what she really means is “keep the family secrets” even if they’re bad.
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Sorry, KAS, but I have to agree with Shy1, and others who touched on point #8. The phrase “even if it’s true” reduces the admonition against slander to complete and utter gibberish. Slander is, by definition, never true. And the truth cannot possibly be called slander.
I haven’t read Peace’s book, either. But I did read the article that she wrote for the CBMW a few years ago, the one now infamously known as the “soap-bubble submission” article. Knowing she wrote that piece of drivel, I don’t have much hope that anything she writes on “putting the husband first” is anything close to reasonable.
So she was the one who wrote ‘soap-bubble submission’. Was very biblical – you must have heard of wash whiter than snow or fuller’s soap in Malachi.
One of the key doctrines of the Detergent Church. 🙂
I’m sure she meant gossip, but gossip has been so misused and overemphasized that it was time to pull out a stronger word… whether or not that word is accurate.
KAS, yes, in the authoritarian US church, it’s built in not only as admonishment for the ones who are supposed to be subordinate, but also to inoculate their peers from having a listening ear.
So, for example when Peace talks about gossip/slander, she is not only telling wives not to say anything bad about their husbands (whether it is deserved or not), but she is also conditioning others in the church to be deaf to women asking for help.
I experienced the same sort of thing in an authoritarian religious non-profit. Within the non-profit, there was no mechanism for staff members to be heard, so they would call or e-mail board members, but then board members were told to direct staff members back to the chain-of-command. When I suggested creating an out-of-band mechanism for resolving conflict, I was told that was the stupidest idea they’d ever heard of (even though this is a typical method corporate boards use to allow whistleblowers to notify them of bad practices)
Lea – The problem here is that they treat grown women who are married as if they are not full individuals on their own. You should not be defending that, KAS.
I’m not defending that – not sure where you have got this from. It’s true that I don’t think you can have a marriage where you keep your autonomy, by definition that has to be diminished/restricted, but this applies to both husbands and wives. Spouses once they have walked down the aisle have someone else to consider and care about, and not just themselves.
I suspect that the obsession (?) these days with personal autonomy lies at the back of so much marriage breakdown, or an unwillingness to contract it in the first place. Might also go some way to explain why about 20% of the boomer generation never had children – didn’t want the responsibility and hassle, despite being generally the richest generation so far.
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I just noticed this tweet that I missed earlier. It makes me so angry.
Julie Anne – Ugh! This book – and the whole 18 point list – is crazy making and has a feel of gaslighting. Overlook your husband’s behavior because wife, you are there to support him as the God-ordained leader of your home. But, there’s a little bit of room for reproof. Just don’t go too far with it because you don’t want him to feel like he’s lost control. And, if everyone else outside of your home thinks he is too harsh and overbearing, smile and make them believe differently.
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KAS, “I suspect that the obsession (?) these days with personal autonomy lies at the back of so much marriage breakdown, or an unwillingness to contract it in the first place.”
This feels much, much more complicated than you’re giving it credit for. The concept of “respect” has only recently entered our dialogue as a right for all humans. Previously, respect was only for the powerful. So, now we have this interesting set of conflicts.
The traditionalists, like KAS, whine about the loss of our great institutions and the lack of respect for husbands, pastors and the growing “liberalism” of today. They are railing against our modern demand for respect which is happening on multiple fronts. They claim the centuries-old interpretations of certain passages create an authority structure, without which society will crumble.
The modernists, like RHE, and the new generations are seeing the traditional institutions as framed by the power brokers (e.g. complementation marriage) as a way to deny our right to respect and equal treatment. They believe the traditional interpretation of scripture has been corrupted over time to justify institutionalized mistreatment of the weak, poor and minorities.
Neither camp has the corner on Evangelicalism – there are those within both camps who believe scripture is inerrant, and those that don’t. There are all sorts of positions within that larger framework – some who refuse to take part in those institutions, and I don’t think it’s a push for personal autonomy as much as a rejection of traditionalism. Maybe the pendulum has swung too far towards individualism, but in that environment, the traditional church has dug in further to authoritarian/complementarian hierarchy, rather than return to scripture. For example, is “He must increase, but I must decrease.” conveying some sort of hierarchical truth where we sacrifice our worth for our authority, or is it specific to our relationship before Jesus? (c.f. “Consider his work (job, goals, hobbies, work for the Lord) as more important than your own.”)
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“what did you do to deserve it?”
— end quote —
I’ve written of this before on this blog, and I did _a blog post_ about it months ago, but this is one reason I cannot stand AA.
They are very victim blaming like that.
My brother was a member with AA for years, and when I tried to talk to him about bad things that happened to me (even if those bad things were not my fault),
he would trot out the question, “And what role did you play in that?,”
which sounds rather victim-blaming.
I asked him why he was asking me that question, and he said it’s one they get in AA all the time, in AA meetings.
And even though my brother knows I am what AA members call a “Normie” (a teetotler, I do not drink alcohol, nor have I ever).
I have learned in the years since not to discuss any of my personal problems with my brother (on those very rare occasions he may call), because I know he will merely trot out the Alcoholics Anonymous manner of victim blaming by asking me, “And what role did you play in that.”
No thank you.
— start quote —
Because only men can bring glory to God, the husband will always be the head of the wife.
I guess that I, as a never-married woman, am incapable of “bringing God glory.”
The fact that complementarianism is so obsessed with married women
-(single / widowed / divorced women are treated as non-entities of no concern)-
shows you that they are not about honoring God, following the Bible, etc, but merely with using a warped, self serving interpretation to justify male control of women.
-(That is a point that is always lost on KAS in these threads, by the way.
If your gender theology excludes large chunks of the population & is irrelevant to them (the single adults, the divorced, etc), that is a huge clue to you it is bogus).
Refugee to KAS
“Put husband first” and “never criticize” and “put his needs before yours and everyone else’s” is a recipe for creating a spoiled toddler.
There’s little motivation for a coddled immature man to grow up.
Yes. Those are characteristics of Codependency, too.
I did a post or two about it on my blog, such as:
_Christian Gender Complementarianism is Christian-Endorsed Codependency for Women (And That’s Not A Good Thing)_
God condemns codependent behaviors in the Bible,
but complementarians like KAS keep arguing that women should have those very codependent traits that God warns people against having.
Do you know what years of living Codependently does to a woman?
It causes or worsens depression and suicidal ideation, if she has suicidal ideation. Ask me how I know!
But KAS wants to think that his interpretation of the Bible and his resulting flawed sexist theology trumps my personal experience (it does not).
—-continued in part two—
Also, the dude I was engaged to was an absolute idiot, dumber than a box of rocks.
The idiot ex was also extremely self absorbed and acted like his mother was his wife – he always placed Mommy before me, even when she was unjustifiably rude to me.
I was very submissive to the idiot (that was back when I was a complementarian), and me being all lovey and non-critical and catering to his every whim did not cause him to treat me well.
Complementarians surely cannot expect women to defer to idiots with room temperature IQs.
_Gender Complementarianism Does Not Adequately Address, or Address At All, Incompetent, Loser, Or Incapacitated Men_
As to the rest of your post, Refugee, yep.
I have never married, but I was engaged.
I found that years of being super nicey nicey to people – lacking boundaries, never criticizing others, always showing respect (even when the person was mean, abusive, or selfish towards me)
did nothing but enable the awful behavior towards me to continue.
My ex fiance, ex co-workers, bosses, siblings, etc, walked all over me all the time.
Seems the nicer and more agreeable and submissive I was to all these people (both male and female) the MORE they used me, abused me, etc.
And you do lose yourself.
You are taught by Christians (especially of the complementarian variety) to spend so much of your time and energy catering to what OTHER people want and need, you lose your identity, and you no longer realize what YOU need and want.
It’s absolutely demonic teaching.
“Men in this world are both ‘leaders’ of everything and giant man babies who need to be catered to in every way, SKIJ. Pathetic.
Complementarianism contains many contradictory beliefs and teachings like that one.
In complementarianism (are you paying attention KAS),
Men, on the one hand, are supposedly superior to women in some fashion (smarter? or something), hence, only men should be leaders,
in the same belief set,
Men are big, delicate, sensitive babies who can be easily enticed to run astray by hussy women,
the men are big babies with delicate egos that must be tip toed around all the time,
the men cannot handle “feminine” churches that have pink colored carpet,
John Piper says a man’s ego is deeply wounded if a woman gives him driving directions, etc.
– – – — ~~ – – ——
I am so sorry, (going by complementarian logic here),
but if all men everywhere are such fragile little creatures that will fall apart if around women, or will fall apart if a woman gives them driving directions,
I do not think they are qualified to lead anything.
Kathi – Because only men can bring glory to God, the husband will always be the head of the wife.
I took a brief look at Peace’s site. Skim read some of it, With that proviso, Peace does think women can glorify God. I wonder if there is some confusion going on here with the apostle Paul’s statement that a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. I don’t understand the latter part of the sentence to mean a wife should glorify her husband. Rather that a loved, secure, thriving and contented wife is a kind of tribute to her husband – the sort of wife he boasts about in the gates where he praises her. Though of course I could be wrong ….
She discusses women glorifying God in chapter 14, so you have got your work cut out reviewing the book! 🙂
Mark – The traditionalists, like KAS, whine …
When I mentioned the obsession (?) with personal autonomy, I had in mind a broad generalisation about modern society. The worship of Self. I didn’t have in mind evangelicalism except to the extent evangelicals follow the culture around them.
That said, I do believe in traditional marriage. One man and one woman for life. For richer for poorer. Children, new life, family. The basic unit of any healthy society. Where parents are responsible for children, not the State and its agencies.
This has been under deliberate attack by the forces of secularism, in particular LGBT … who view it as oppressive. They have had a huge amount of success in destroying the family, hetero-normativity, aided and abetted by increasing levels of selfishness.
The older Christrian definition of love as being ‘caring for the interests of the other person’ has been redefined to mean ‘affirming me unconditionally and never making any judgement’. The shift from loving neighbour to loving self.
RHE and other so-called progressive Christians have played their part in this secular attack on the family by trying to make this acceptable. The Anglican church is now heavily compromised and joining in too, and getting increasingly intolerant of any who disagree. Advocating for these disordered ‘communities’, broken, fruitless, those who love death in their rebellion against God. This isn’t loving. It is extremely serious, and needs to be countered at every opportunity whether in season or not.
I may well not agree with Peace very often, but she is right to maintain a distinction between male and female, a distinction that modern society is blurring.
KAS – Just saw your comment as I’m heading out the door. I summarized her thoughts in this chapter, so let me look up the quotes about the wife glorifying the husband and address that. Interesting catch, though.
KAS, I think you’re view of modern society is far too simplistic here. There were a ton of issues in the past that got dealt with by just pretending they didn’t exist in marriages, like cheating, abuse, and just plain meanness. Selfishness is not new. That is silly.
What is new is women (without independent wealth – those women have always had more options) having the ability to leave truly terrible marriages and support themselves without being shunned by society. I don’t see that as a bad thing.
And hetero normativity is still a thing. We admit the existence of people who are gay, they have not been created out of thin air. They have always existed, with many entering into marriages where neither partner could truly be happy or themselves.
It’s such a cliché for older people to talk about the good old days, but they never really existed. There was always an underbelly, there were always people being marginalized or hurt or impoverished. I for one prefer the honest version of life, where we admit that Bob is gay and should probably not be married to Suzy, and that Janet’s husband was a drunk who beat her and she was justified in leaving. If that’s selfishness, than I’m all for it.
The other version, where men got to be terrible, terrible husbands and nobody called them on it? That wasn’t better.
And we still have work to do as a society in this regard of course. We still don’t support victims enough, witness everything on this site. We should always be trying to be better.
Kathi said: “What’s even better is that when you “rebuke” these people that are saying things in love, they will say that they are being condemned. Confronting abusers can be exhausting.”
Kathi, Someone challenged me on Twitter asking if I condemn people. I responded that if I am personally attacking and challenging their salvation, I sure would be condemning. But debating is not condemning. I invited him to search my Twitter feed. 🙂
Lea said to KAS,
— start quote —
It’s such a cliché for older people to talk about the good old days, but they never really existed. There was always an underbelly, there were always people being marginalized or hurt or impoverished.
KAS is from/in the UK, but this rosy view of the Olden Days is very common among American conservatives (especially older Christians),
who absolutely revere the 1950s,
where all women were June Cleaver, married to Ward, and were SAHMs.
But there never was a “good old days.”
There have been entire books written about this issue.
There have been articles written about it.
_The Way We Never Were_ by Stephanie Coontz,
on New Republic site
“For much of the century, traditional “family values” have been more myth than reality.”
The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap
Lea said to KAS,
— start quote–
I for one prefer the honest version of life, where we admit that Bob is gay and should probably not be married to Suzy, and that Janet’s husband was a drunk who beat her and she was justified in leaving. If that’s selfishness, than I’m all for it.
— end quote —
Years ago, I recall reading women writing into Dear Abby, saying they married to men who turned out to be homosexual.
Back when homosexuality was more condemned, a lot of homosexual men would marry women so as to appear “normal,” or some of them were trying to become hetero.
What often happened is that these homosexual men would have numerous affairs on their wives with other men. These wives either endured a homosexual husband cheating on them, or there was just no sex / warmth, etc.
Some of these women said they would’ve preferred not to have married these guys, because it brought a lot of heartache.
Some just went ahead and divorced, even though divorce was treated like this huge taboo in American culture, up through around the 1970s.
As far as KAS blathering on about “being selfish.”
I lived the flip side my whole life up to my early 40s.
I lived the life KAS says Christian women “should” live.
I was the opposite of selfish for many years.
I was always giving, always putting others first, I was the codependent (complementarian) doormat Christians say women “should” be.
And KAS will never acknowledge, and has never, that living life how he thinks women should live it does not work for the woman.
And I was not treated well during all those years I put myself last, met the needs of other people, etc.
Instead of my kindness being met with kindness…
I was exploited financially by other people, I was exploited emotionally, and was taken advantage of on and off the job by both men, women, and by co-workers, friends, siblings, church people, my ex fiance.
If you do not put you first, nobody else will.
If you do not look out for your own interests
(and the Bible actually tells you that you are supposed to put you first – it assumes you are getting your own needs met before you try to perform acts of charity for other people),
You will become exhausted, resentful, burnt out,
And, the truly selfish (or abusive) will target you for abuse, for exploitation, etc.
The opposite of being submissive and giving is not “being selfish.”
The opposite is having healthy boundaries, where you make sure your own needs are met, and if you have the time/ energy / ability, you may occasionally help other people.
it’s not a false choice as KAS is presenting it,
where either you ONLY help others all the time (which is what he is promoting),
OR you ONLY help yourself.
The Bible says it’s not an “either / or” situation like that.
Psychiatrists and psychologists whose books I’ve read have also said it’s not a mutually exclusive situation, unless you choose for it to be. But you can have healthy boundaries, be assertive, get your own needs met AND ALSO sometimes help other people.
Teaching people that normal, healthy behavior (such as having boundaries) is “selfish” is a recipe for creating people who will get depressed,
possibly develop physical health problems,
who will never get their own needs met, become resentful, and will be marked by abusers for abuse.
KAS, per usual, has no idea what he is talking about.
Complementarianism and being totally giving and self-less all the time with everybody, does not work or create harmony for anyone, and not within marriages.
Some of the biggest rates of divorce among American Christians are among the denominations that teach comp, such as the SBC.
There are studies and articles online about this. Go google them, KAS.
KAS, I agree with Lea that your view is too simplistic.
I think this is like our previous discussion. What the “right” promotes is a demonization of people. I can love the person without having to first label them as whatever. I can allow sinners to come into church and allow the Holy Spirit to convict them of sin. I don’t need to do the Holy Spirit’s work by getting in their faces and telling them God hates them. I don’t have to fat shame because I believe gluttony is a sin. I don’t have to get in the faces of drunks coming out of bars because I believe drunkenness is a sin.
LGBTQ people are still people and they need salvation, yes, but they also need societal protection. That’s because people like the above feel called to execute “God’s Judgment” against the unrighteous.
So, while I agree that one man, one woman marriage for life is the ideal, and I would like to remove any societal roadblocks for that, I also don’t want to force people into that. The forcing seems to create more issues than it solves.
I think there are a lot of issues with approving non-traditional marriages. The most significant of which is that, by their own admission, they don’t want marriage. For example, I’ve read articles where “straight couples” can learn about marriage from “gay couples”. What can they learn? Marriage is just whatever contract two people agree to – it can be monogamous or not, it can be lifelong or temporary.
That said, I think that there is a difference between hatred and tolerance. I don’t have to hate gay people to believe that they are living a sinful lifestyle. I don’t even have to TELL every gay person that I believe he is living a sinful lifestyle. My children are not automatically going to hell because they have LGBTQ friends.
Where I struggle is in the comparison. I’ve watched a wolf tear apart multiple churches. He was even under discipline in one church, but he wooed the next church and got them to ignore the past discipline. So, I really struggle with, as before, going through a list of qualifications and deciding which ones matter and which ones don’t. For example, I argued with a Reformed pastor who wanted to say that some qualifications were “aspirational” and some were “necessary”. So, in Titus… husband of one wife = necessary, but the rest are aspirational, and even “husband of one wife” is somewhat aspirational. So, for example, in a former church, an elder was a control freak. He was acknowledged as such, but it didn’t disqualify him.
So, why did the Evangelical church pick LGBTQ as the sword to die on when it permits an even promotes grace for all the other sins?
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“LGBTQ people are still people and they need salvation” – I am not saying that LGBTQ and salvation are mutually exclusive! All people need salvation, including LGBTQ.
There is a Revised Version of the 18 point list, compared with the most ancient authorities, and with some minor alterations and corrections:
Ask your wife, “What have you got on this week?”
Ask your wife, “Need a hand?”
Ask your wife, “Is there anything that I can do to help out, for example, by keeping out of your way?”
Even if she is not always the most organized with cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, and cooking, this is no excuse not to do your share of the chores. The reason you do the physically demanding jobs is because you were designed to supply the brute force and ignorance.
Save some of your energy every day for her.
Put her first over the children, your parents, friends, job (try not to be late from work too often), lads at the pub and football matches, etc.
Willingly and cheerfully rearrange your schedule for her when necessary. It’s not exactly ‘sacrificial’ to do so. Shows you appreciate her.
Talk about her in a positive light to others. Do not run her down at all, even if what you are saying is true. They don’t need to know and it won’t help.
Do whatever you can to make her look good, to accomplish her goals.
Consider (it’s in the bible) her work (job, goals, hobbies, work for the Lord) as equally important as your own.
Think of specific ways that you can help her accomplish her goals. The fact she is better at some things than you are is not a threat, but a benefit to the marriage.
Consider the things that you are involved in. How do they benefit your wife? Ask her opinion. If necessary, turn the TV off.
Be warm and gracious to her family and friends. Make your commitment to her obvious to them.
Do and say things that build her up instead of tear her down. (If you have said something insensitive and tears are in her eyes, it’s already too late, you idiot. Don’t let it happen in the first place.)
[Dress and apply your makeup in an attractive manner that is pleasing to your husband.] Hmmmn – two days of designer stubble do not make you George Clooney.
If your wife sins, point it out to her privately and gently, always giving her hope and pointing her to the Lord (love your wife and do not be harsh with her). Think of the number of times the boot has been on the other foot.
Encourage her to use her spiritual gifts in ministry. Enjoy watching her bless others.
Realize that just as God is glorified when believers obey Him, your wife will be glorious when you love her as Christ loved the church. It’s not rocket science, and you shouldn’t really have to read a book about it ….
KAS – Following up on Peace’s words for woman being the glory of man. I can’t give exact page numbers because I’m reading on a Kindle. But, she uses “God’s Blueprint for Biblical Marriage” by Buck Hatch, a retired professor from Columbia Bible College. This is from a class recording from 1980.
There are three points that come before the diagram I included in the post:
In the order of creation, man was created first. (Genesis 2:7, 18, 21-22, and 1 Timothy 2:13) – She states: “The order of creation has significance in the role of the husband and the wife. The husband was created to rule over the earth; the wife, later, was created to be a “helper” that would be suitable for him. Both, none-the-less, were created in God’s image, but each one was created to carry out a different role.”
*This is nothing new in comp theology.
Woman was created for the man, not man for the woman. (1 Corinthians 11:7-9) – She says: “The Apostle Paul is making reference to God’s original intent. Man is to glorify God and woman s to glorify the man.”
*After this the illustration is provided.
Then there is talk about the Trinity is a role-model for the Christian marriage. Again, this is nothing new in comp theology. She ends out point #3 with:
“So, just as Christ glorified the Father by doing the Father’s “work,” you are to glorify your husband by doing the husband’s “work.” Your role is to glorify your husband. You were created for him.
Again, the lack of autonomy for women is troubling to me. I truly do not understand how a woman is created by God yet does not glorify God. The woman was not created by man, so why does she glorify man? Does a single woman glorify God or does she glorify another man (i.e. her father)? If a single woman is able to glorify God, does that magically turn off when she marries?
And she made that bit up entirely.
I am interested to hear if she addresses this at all. I think the hardcore comp/patriarchy folks fall in a couple camps generally on singles. Ignore them. Transfer husbandish stuff to a father (which is super gross). Pretend they are all doing the god wrong by not being married.
The fact that they never reference is that the mere act of marriage will not change a person fundamentally. Anything she is capable of pre-marriage, she is capable of post. Why would her thoughts, dreams goals, etc, go away? They don’t.
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Lea and Mark – regarding being simplistic, I did say … personal autonomy, I had in mind a broad generalisation about modern society. Generalisation doesn’t mean universal. Not all family life is bad, and I don’t believe in a previous golden age … increasing levels of selfishness. There has always been selfishness, but I think it has got worse. It has been actively encouraged by the worship of Self. Me first. For men will be lovers of self …
Why is it that in surveys of contentedness and family stability in the major industrial nations the US and the UK vie with each other for bottom place?
I have had time and opportunity over the last couple of years to read a lot on English history. One instance a single village documented in detail from 1282! Life in 1382, and 1425 (Agincourt) and a very interesting book on social life at the time of Jane Austen (1800). I can say from this people don’t change much, and all current problems existed all the way through. Family life was more stable though, and Christianity under a broad definition had more influence. Worrying about ‘roles’ in marriage is a luxury largely only dating from the end of WW2. Outside the aristocracy, you mucked in together or risked going under.
Your chances of living to a ripe old age were very much less.
I have also read a very interesting book detailing the spiritual state and decline of the UK since about 1960. I’m not saying how much of that I can personally remember, but some of it! There is no doubt there has been a deliberate attack on the family unit in this period. The church has sometimes been guilty of aiding this or at least being weak in resisting it. LGBT have played a major part. Currently a supposedly Conservative govt wants the acceptability of homosexuality to be taught in schools down to 5 year olds. The Muslims are starting to resist – the institutional church leadership silent or compliant.
It is no coincidence that the decline of Christianity in the UK, a turning away from God for at least 100 years now, has led in more recent times to a marked increase in promiscuity and homosexuality. God’s wrath against this suppression of the truth about him is at the back of this. This does not mean though that the offer of forgiveness no longer applies right across the board to all who have sinned, i.e. everyone!
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@Lea -“Why would her thoughts, dreams goals, etc, go away? They don’t.”
Oh, but it sounds like they do go away. The 18 point list makes that very clear. Even though it’s not first on the list, she sets the tone with #4: “As you fulfill your God-given responsibilities, your husband is then free to do his work.”
The husband’s goals = the wife’s goals.
The wife is to work for his goals.
The wife needs to make him look good so he can accomplish his goals.
The wife needs to consider his work more important than hers. (How is a wife supposed to do #4 if her goals are his goals? #4 suggests that the wife has work to do so her husband can freely do his work. How can she do her work if her priority is his work?)
The wife needs to help him accomplish his goals.
I think what really bothers me most is #18 – “your husband is glorified when you obey your husband.” This is why I think the underlying message in comp theology is dangerous because it so easily plays into the hands of an abuser.
Let’s not pretend you have any kind of basis for this, though, KAS. There isn’t a study demonstrating this. People have always, and will always be selfish. The difference is we allowed men to be selfish in marriage to the point of cheating and sometimes truly hurting their spouse and blamed women for leaving, whereas we are now more willing to accept them pulling the plug on it.
You know what? Consequences for behavior, like someone leaving a marriage due to cheating or abuse, is more likely to promote better behavior.
Coddling someone’s bad behavior instead of calling them on it leads to MORE selfishness, not less. You are only looking at the end results, divorce in this instance, as an indication of selfishness, not the terrible often reprehensible and yes SELFISH behavior on the part of the other that might have led to it.
I also read this stuff and there is just…no room for any circumstances or nuance. Are there moments you should focus on your spouse more than your kids? Probably. Is that always true? Absolutely not! I used to have a professor who said the answer to every question is ‘it depends’ and I think that’s more right than wrong.
Adding to my comment above — In healthy relationships each person is going to respect the other and support them as best as possible. It’s not a one-sided, one person is in charge and the other responds appropriately. It should be a team. Otherwise, resentment builds up and the relationship doesn’t last very long or is a long toxic mess.
I think of the managers at work. There are those who micro-manage every bit of work and there are those who trust their team to do the work they’ve been hired to do. I’ve had both types of managers and the best ones are those who hold me accountable to my work and help me to achieve my goals and potential. In my current position, managers are expected to have career discussions with their direct reports at least twice a years. Managers are expected to help their direct reports reach their desired goals within the company.
If comp theology is going to be insistent upon the hierarchy within marriage, then husbands should be equally as concerned about the wife’s goals and dreams as she is to help him achieve his. There’s no reason why both can’t work at achieving their own goals and dreams with the support of each other.
If I accepted this whole workish analogy, ie that husbands are the ‘boss’ (which I absolutely do not), then I would still think the way comp portrayed the way they think this bossy relationship works would be examples of the WORST bosses I’ve ever had. The best bosses have much more functional relationships with their employees than comp portrays on the regular as ideal between men and women. It’s a mess. And the addition of intimacy beyond that of a workplace makes it downright abusive in many if not most cases.
Lea said, “Coddling someone’s bad behavior instead of calling them on it leads to MORE selfishness, not less.”
Brilliant statement Lea. And if I may expound upon your initial truth here, it actually creates a whole battalion of abusers who believe it is their “god given” right to rule over others, according to a false interpretation/false transcribing of our Holy Scriptures. On one hand we have Jesus Christ speaking words of not “lording it over others,” then we have other men, who are not Christ, speaking of creating authority and hierarchy within a religious/relational concept amongst people. It becomes quite confusing who we are to believe and who we are to follow.
I have witnessed the “coddling effect” within c’hurch systems and within marriages, and this “coddling” does nothing to mature an adult, but keeps them in proverbial “Pampers,” with the woman having to do extra work/extra responsibility in getting the jobs done.
I remember when my mother-in-law had a stroke and she required care upon her release from the hospital. We discussed her situation in our home, and my husband wanted “us” to care for her in our home as we would take care of her every other week along with his sibling and his wife, so she could attend doctoring and therapy locally. Well, the “we thing” turned into the “wife thing,” because he made every excuse under the sun and moon, NOT to take care of his own mother, for the husband is “entitled” to his own thing, rather than put his “big boy pants on” and attend to his own mother’s needs and healing. The “man/head” of the house (ya! right!) was far too busy, far too “special,” and far too “entitled” to care for the mother who raised him from his youth, because being the “head” of the household meant that he could “designate authority” to the “lesser beings” in caring for his own mother. That “job” was my responsibility, so instead of his “us” during our initial conversation, what he should have said was the truth, “it was going to be MY full time responsibility in caring for his mother, instead of him helping out 50/50, even though he had the time to help, equally.”
So when I read the word “help meet” in our Holy Scriptures, I do not understand it to mean that women are required to “do all of the work” in making their husbands look good, thus eliminating their (man’s) responsibility in sharing the work load. I see it as an honor and an opportunity to glorify Jesus Christ in that women are equal to their husbands, and that the work load should be shared equally, with both parties relying on one another in getting the job done. Jesus had no time for “power structures” as He confronted the Pharisees on a constant time table, and we, as believers are to follow His Ways in humility.
This is what is lacking amongst the visible c’hurch…..is humility, which I have been searching for since becoming born again in 1995. What does “laying your life down” really look like, especially amongst the male believers, for I have seen many a woman “lay down their lives” for the sake of the Gospel.
And even though, I took good care of my mother-in-law, loving her (even though she still continues to hate me), feeding her healthy meals (even though she never has said one kind word about my cooking), and working with her in re-learning the abc’s/writing/learning to read words/numbers/how to do general math/read recipes and cook/cleaning techniques/in addition to caring for herself independently, she will never acknowledge that I ministered to her in this important capacity. Also, my comp husband never thanked me for caring for his mother at a crucial time in helping her to heal and become and independent widow, caring for herself once again. The “we” thing, became a “me/wife” thing, so he lied to me from the beginning.
My comp husband does not know how to care for others, for the comp theology that he was raised in and still is a member of (now a Baptist c’hurch system), does not preach, nor teach the pew sitters how to literally “care for others.” That is something the “lower laity dogs/the “help-meet women” ” do, and the glory is turned up-side down with “men” receiving “the glory” in “doing it all.” How at odds this is with Jesus Christ, who placed no importance on gender.
I find comfort in that fact that Jesus says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8. Comp theology is not pure, it is not holy, and it is not the Way of my Master, but of a fallen system that still loves “lording it over others.” And Lea’s “coddling system” requires scores of pampers, huggies, luv’s, and tons of warm soapy cloths, diaper rash ointment, baby powder in keeping comp men’s egos, functioning.
As stated earlier in other posts, never even heard of “comp theology” growing up in a small, rural, poorer c’hurch. Only until I attended wealthy and “self-centered comp/selfish” c’hurches, did I learn of how important the “man” is in headship/lording it over the wife.
Never again, will I trust a “pastor man” to be my lord/interpreter of Scriptures, but will only rely on Jesus as being my One and Only Good Shepherd. And He truthfully says, that He will never “leave me nor forsake me,” for He has never lied to me yet.
“He (Jesus) restores my soul.” Psalm 23
From the article Daisy referenced: “In 1992 I critiqued the panic over growing family diversity. My skepticism about the doomsayers has since been proven correct. Despite the continuing rise in unwed births since 1994, juvenile crime rates have fallen by 60 percent. Domestic violence is also down 60 percent. Parents today spend more time with their children than in 1965.”
KAS, I do believe that there are absolute truths, but I no longer can listen to the pastors that bemoan our societal decline and try to link it with this or that event. In the US, it’s “since the Bible was removed from school”. Our society has shifted, yes, but some things have gotten better at the same time that some things have gotten worse. So, for example, #MeToo led to a societal discussion about sexual violence towards women – good, but a result of that is that some men are afraid of mentoring women in managerial and executive roles – not so good. We have access to a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips, due to the internet – good, but also porn – not so good.
For example, growing up, the teenage birthrate was a sure sign of societal decline. Sex education in schools was causing all these kids to sleep around. Not so much news now… Why?
“The national teen pregnancy rate (number of pregnancies per 1,000 females ages 15-19) has declined almost continuously over the last quarter century. The teen pregnancy rate includes pregnancies that end in a live birth, as well as those that end in abortion or miscarriage (fetal loss).* The teen pregnancy rate declined by 63 percent in less than 25 years — from 117.6 pregnancies per 1,000 females ages 15-19 in 1990 to 43.4 in 2013” (HHS.gov)
I think this is pastoral self-importance. Your pastor is latching on to some pervasive sin in society and then talking about how everyone “needs Jesus” otherwise society will slide down some slippery slope into oblivion. It’s the same thing I heard from the pulpit week after week. Us vs. Them. Government is our enemy, the police are our enemy, teachers are our enemy.
I’m not sold on police yet – don’t interact with them enough, but I’ve found government officials to be responsive and dedicated, and I’ve found teachers to care for my children and desire them to succeed. We don’t always agree on how the precious resources of time and money get allocated, but they’re doing the best they know how to.
Mark, what are the odds these men were ever doing ANY mentoring of women, aside from creeping on them before #metoo? This is just excuse making on their part, imo.
If you are a manager who is incapable of managing women you should be fired.
May I expound on Mark’s comment pertaining to the “Me Too” movement.
Mark, I, along with me husband, sat in a high powered lawyer’s office (alpha male type) for estate planning. After listening to this alpha lawyer’s montage of “women’s t-ts” and then whining about the “me too movement,” with his quote “because of the me too movement, guys are afraid of asking girl’s out,” in which my comp husband agreed……let’s count the cost…..two alpha comp males minus one beta female (I guess that is me), I spoke up and said (because frankly, I am sick and tired and just plain fed up with alpha males condemning the “me too” movement as they think they are entitled to speak of women as just “t-ts and a-s” and “s-x objects with no minds of their own”) this…..”I defend the “me too movement” because when I went in for a “well baby and a well mother check up,” the “professional, Covenant c’hurched doctor” asked me point blank, “Do you have an orgasm every time you have sex with your husband?” I looked at him with aghast, thinking to meself “what in the hell business is that of yours, you sick pervert doc!!!” I did not give him an answer and switched doctors immediately after that visit as the Holy Spirit sent red flags into me heart.
So I asked the “t-ts” lawyer this question in the presence of me comp husband, “If your wife or your daughter went to this pervert doctor and he asked them if they had an orgasm every time they had sex with you, the husband, or in the case of your daughter, her boyfriend, would your be pleased with the “performance” of your so called “professional doctor?”
The alpha male lawyer responded, and I quote, “I would do every thing in my power to have that doctor’s a-s, fired!” And to think that this sick doctor is doing physical exams on young girls/women…..makes me so righteously angry!!!!!!
So as far as the east if from the west, the “me too” movement has not really “intimidated the male ego” as far as I am concerned, it has simply sent a warning out to the entitled male population, that we, as women, are sick, tired, and just plain fed up with males disrespecting a huge population that Jesus loves…….for He was literally with His Father in the creation in the beginning.
Women are not defined by their physical attributes as religious men seem to believe, for we have minds, souls, bodies, and amazing faith in Jesus Christ as our LORD and SAVIOR.
And yes, women can and do minister to lawyers/comp men such as these in bringing awareness to how much our King Jesus, loves his “daughters.”
Side note……the high powered lawyer is asking me husband, “your wife doesn’t like coming here, does she?” Hmmmmmmmm, to the “educated lawyer,” I would ask, “Do you think?” 🙂
Next time, I will bring Pampers and diaper rash ointment to the alpha male meeting for the “toddler mentality” is alive and well amongst the so called professional elite. Smile! :)))
KAS, there are so many things to unpack in your comments on this thread, but time and energy permit me only to address a few, and briefly.
And do you think that’s a bad thing? If it will keep the children of gay parents, or the siblings of gay kids, from being harassed or bullied, how is that a negative?
By any chance, can you back up any of these claims with hard numbers? How would anyone even measure empirically an “increase in promiscuity and homosexuality”?
And as for autonomy, even husbands and wives need it. A married couple is “one flesh” in the eyes of God, but that doesn’t mean that the spouses cease to be two distinct people. They will share a lot, but they don’t have to share absolutely everything. And most certainly, the “one flesh” concept does not mean that a wife becomes nothing more than an extension of her husband — something that Peace seems to advocate in her disturbing list above.
SKIJ said to KAS
KAS, there are so many things to unpack in your comments on this thread, but time and energy permit me only to address a few, and briefly.
— end quote —
Yes, this is one problem I’ve had with KAS’ posts over the months (I do wish he’d stop posting here. Anyhow).
He brings up a thousand little points per posts, filled with so many wrong points that require ten page long rebuttals, so I end up replying to one post of his with ten of my own, or one very long one.
And then KAS has the nerve to complain on occasion that I write too many posts, or my posts are too long
I don’t think KAS grasps that his very own writing style creates the sort of responses he complains about.
Complementarianism is Christian- Sponsored Selfishness For Men and
Christian- Endorsed Codependency for Women.
Also, Gender Complementarianism does not work.
At the end of the day, this is what defeats Gender Comp, and it’s something that Comps such as KAS, John Piper, et al, cannot deny or excuse or argue away.
I used to be a Gender Comp myself, up until around my mid-30s, and it did not work for me.
Gender Comp created more problems for me in my life, it did not solve them.
Following Gender Comp beliefs did not make my relationship with my ex better but made it worse.
Gender Comps seem to either assume all women are robots and have no needs, or, they are demanding that women ignore their needs, including in relation to men.
Women are not robots.
Most women, like most men, have a desire and/or a need to receive emotional support, validation, and support in going after a goal (whether it is a career related goal, or what have you).
Complementarianism is a means where-by self-professing Christian men get to be selfish, and they argue that the Bible justifies their selfishness
In Comp, Christian women are taught by Comps that they do not have needs or “should” not – even though women are humans too and also have needs –
So, women are taught by comps to shove their needs down and repress them indefinitely.
Comps teach women that one of their only roles is to support a husband (and what of women who have no husband?).
It’s incredibly selfish for complementarians to teach women that only a man’s career or emotional support matters, and a woman’s does not.
It’s incredibly selfish to act as though support and attention goes one way, from woman to a man, and the man is never expected to meet the needs of the woman. But that is what complementarianism does.
(end of Part 1, continued…)
One of several reasons I broke up with my ex is because he never met my needs and did not care to.
I spent several years meeting my ex’s every need.
I congratulated him win his boss gave him kudos and he had successes at his job.
My ex financialy exploited me – was always getting me to pay his rent, truck payments, etc, but he never re-paid me or paid my bills.
Whenever I got Kudos from my boss at my job, my ex did not celebrate MY accomplishments. He would simply sit there in silence, which really bothered me. It hurt and angered me.
My ex never inquired about how my day was going when he phoned me.
My ex never asked about me, my interests, never asked about my job. He never once asked how he could help ME achieve MY goals and dreams in life.
But he expected me to do all that FOR HIM, which I did over a period of years.
And after several years of me meeting all his needs and him ignoring mine – which is what complementarianism teaches men and women is suposedly normal and “God’s design” for male-female relationships– I was sick and tired of it, filled with resentment, so I dumped my ex.
Being in a one-sided relationship, where one partner does most to all of the giving (of money, time, attention, emotional support, etc),
while the other partner does little to no giving but does all the taking is not going to be sustainable.
Women are not un-feeling robots.
We women too have feelings, needs, and desires.
One’s needs, dreams, and goals can be repressed for only so long before they cannot be denied any longer.
Complementarianism tries to give men “biblical” justification for being Selfish.
Complementarianism does not care about women or the needs, goals, and desires of women.
Complementarianism and all its characteristics played one role in the dissolvement of my relationship with my ex.
And that is something complementarians can never reconcile or defend.
Complementarianism may first appear as though it makes sense on paper,
complementarianism may “look pretty” on paper,
But Complementarianism does not work in Real Life.
And by the way, comp men never have to “give up their life” for their wife as Christ gave up his life for the church.
But women are asked on a daily basis, ’til the day they die, to always repress THEIR needs, goals, and desires for a man (or men generally).
It is a very lop-sided arrangement, where women are the losers and men are the winners. That is selfishness on the part of men, and to the women sell-outs (like Mary Kassian) who defend this garbage.
I really do think Complementarians misunderstand women or are in severe denial about women being more similar to men than they are different.
And this is a relationship-killer.
Many complementarian Christians tut-tut high divorce rates, but their very beliefs lead to a lot of divorce.
Complementarians are in denial, or are ignorant, that women have many of the same needs and desires that men do,
…and in a relationship, where the man is refusing to cater to those needs (or is too selfish or ignorant to do so),
the woman gets tired of it and divorces the husband, and/or starts up an affair with another man.
And this is true for marriage in general, not just complementarian or Christian ones, where the husband is selfish or there is a belief in traditional gender roles –
…divorce and extra-marital affairs are typically the outcome even for Non-Christian marriages where these complementarian-type of ideals play out.
I will follow up in part two of this with a real life example I just saw the other day.
Here is one example of what I mean, from real life.
And this is pretty common, it’s not that rare.
I’ve been watching a lot of True Crime television shows the last few months.
I’ve seen this over and over again:
You have a married couple (who may or may not be Christian),
where the husband starts taking the wife for granted, doesn’t support the wife in HER dreams / goals / career,
the husband doesn’t attempt to emotionally support or connect with the wife, and so…
The wife turns to the first man who gives her all that time, attention, emotional support, and so on.
The first man outside her marriage who pays her attention, flatters her, offers her emotional support (listens to her talk about HER problems and empathizes with her, all the things she wants from her husband but the husband is not providing),
who pays her more attention than he does to football…
And these women generally start a heated affair with that other man.
Just saw an episode yesterday where the couple got married, has two kids.
Both the wife and husband had jobs outside the home.
But, after the first year or so of the marriage, the husband emotionally checks out and starts ignoring his wife.
He starts to favor playing video games over his wife and kids
…(yet oddly, as the marriage falls apart, he starts complaining that he’s worried the wife will take the kids with her and away from him…
…well, what does he care, as he leaves all parenting to her anyhow on a daily basis. He mostly ignores his kids to go watch sports on TV and play video games.)
So, the husband starts going to his little office- “man cave” in the home, where he plays video games all day, the minute he gets home from his job.
The wife gets home from her job to care for the children.
She does the cooking, cleaning, makes dinner for the kids, while her spouse is playing War of Duty in another room.
She repeatedly asks the husband to come join her and the kids, he always says “in a minute dear,” but he never leaves the video games.
The husband in this particular episode ended up murdering his wife, by the way.
Before that point,
the wife was miserable in this marriage
–a miserable marriage most complementarians would approve of, where the husband is being selfish,
…because they would say it’s the wife’s responsibility to raise the kids alone in the first place,
… while it’s “God’s design” that the man in the family goes to his Man Cave to play Pac-Man all day, rather than feed the children and help the wife mop the floor.
Well, the TV show interviewed the female friends of the dead wife.
The friends of the dead wife said in the months before her murder,
she would phone them crying and/or complaining because the husband would sit his butt down in his office to play video games…
She could not get him to ‘be a husband’ to her.
The wife was needing the husband to be a friend and a help-meet TO HER, but the husband would not do so.
She was lonely. She was not getting companionship from her husband, who prefferred Cable Television and his X-Box video game system to her company.
She was exhausted and resentful of being the only care-taker for their children.
She told the female friend that she “felt like a single mother, she was raising the kids all alone.”
-But again, that is precisely what Complementarians endorse and support for marriage – they think it’s good, moral, normal, and “biblical”!
Complementarians think the man’s only “duty” is to have a 9 to 5 job, come home, sit his butt down on the sofa and watch TV,
… while the Little Wifey brings him a beer, does laundry, and caters to feeding and tending of The Kids.
But most shows I’ve seen about this, the wife grows to deeply resent this situation and dynamic.
And it drives the wife into having an affair.
That is what happened in this one show the other day.
The woman began an affair with a man ten years her junior, because he paid attention to her, he flattered her.
The television show never did specify what religion this married couple was, so they may not have been complementarian, but their marriage ended up resembling what complementarians dictate is the “best and most biblical” way of “doing marriage.”
This couple was doing marriage the complementarian-approved way,
…And it drove the wife into the arms of another man,
Her husband ended up murdering her.
You can read more about this particular couple here, on the Daily Mail site:
_ Husband accused of murdering his wife claims insanity by caffeine as defence_
Here’s another example of how complementarian endorsed ways of doing marriage ends up in Failure.
There was a reality show with the 600 pound man who was so huge he could not get out of bed, or not often.
Technically, the guy actually could get up and about, even though it was difficult, but I suspect the guy had depression, so he spent all day in bed.
He also seemed to be very self-absorbed.
His wife ended up being his care-taker more than a friend.
They had an adopted two year old kid together.
The obese man would not help his wife with housework or child care.
She was holding down a part time job and was also going to college part time, in addition to being his nurse-maid / cook, and in addition to caring for their toddler son.
In one episode of this show, she had asked him in the morning to please clean the dirty dishes in the sink.
He said Okay.
She gets home later that day and the same dishes are still piled in the sink.
So she had to clean them herself (you can see her anger, resentment and frustration rising)
– and her washing their dishes in the sink was after having been at a job all day, and in college classes, AND having to feed their toddler, too.
After the wife on this show got weight loss surgery, there’s a scene where they are in the den with the TV on.
The husband is stuffing his face with food, watching the television.
She politely asks him to please run up to Wal-Mart store to get her doctor prescribed pain-killer medication.
(She is in pain.)
He whines in a whiny voice, “Right now? Does it have to be right nooooow? You can’t wait?”
He sits there and complains about it.
He doesn’t want to go get her pills.
This is a woman who had been waiting on this idiot hand and foot –just like complementarians teach it’s supposedly a wife’s duty to do–
but this idiot could not be bothered to get his butt off the sofa to get pain killer meds for his wife!!!
Complementarians say that the husband is supposed to lay down his life for his wife the way Christ did for the church,
…but 99% of men out there are just like the Obese dude on this show and cannot be bothered to so much get up off the sofa to make a quick Wal-Mart run to get pain killer medication for his wife.
But there again, this is how complementarian- approved marriages work:
The husband gets to be a selfish brat,
and the wife’s needs are Ignored, shoved down or aside, or be-littled,
even if the wife has been to this point a “dutiful” complementarian- ideal- type of wife, waiting on the husband hand and foot.
All her hours of service to the husband never get her any pay-back from the husband.
Oh, and in this marriage, the wife ended up leaving the man.
She divorced the selfish, bratty, obese guy and took the kid with her.
I’ve seen tons and tons of examples of this sort of thing on reality shows, on true crime shows, and I’ve seen millions of examples in relationship advice columns for decades now, where women write to “Dear Abby,” or whatever advice columnist, to discuss their troubled marriages.
Or, Daisy, he likes to pretend he didn’t say the things he said. Or mean the things he clearly meant. When it suits him. Bah.
I’m glad SKIJ addressed some of the LGBT stuff, because it’s so off base I just couldn’t even.
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It is no coincidence that the decline of Christianity in the UK, a turning away from God for at least 100 years now, has led in more recent times to a marked increase in promiscuity and homosexuality.
—- end quote—
Christians and conservatives are no better at sexual purity than Non-Christians.
Some conservative and Christian think tanks are so obsessed with marriage and alarmed at falling sex and falling marriage rates that they are writing op/ed pieces LAMENTING that young, un-married (singles) people are NOT having more sex!!
One Christian sociologist wrote a paper a few years ago SHAMING single Christian women for refusing to marry porn-addicted Christian men, because he’s freaked out over declining marriage rates.
These Christian idiots are more concerned with RATES of marriage than with people living Godly and sexually pure lives, KAS.
Christianity has done nothing to increase the practice of celibacy among single adults.
Conservative Christians pay mere lip service to supporting sexual abstinence until marriage, but they don’t really care or do anything to support those of us who are actually abstaining.
Being a virgin until marriage (as I am) is a concept that has actually been UNDER ATTACK in the U.S.A. from conservative Christians, not just from secular liberals or from Christian liberals.
I am told by atheists, Christians, and by liberals and conservatives, that because I am still a virgin by choice after age 45, that I am “repressed,” a freak, a weirdo, and I am a “problem,” because I am “supposed” to be married and popping out one kid per year, and it’s just “not normal” to “not” be having sex.
Even Christians feel this way. It’s not just the liberal feminists and secular humanists mocking virgins for being virgins anymore.
Here in the U.S., there have been studies that show that large percentage of Christian marriages end up in divorce, that both male and female Christians view porn, have affairs, use cheating sites such as Ashley Madison, and…
_The Secret Evangelicals at Planned Parenthood
“They may demonize the health clinic in public, but throngs of young Christian women are patronizing it in private for birth control, preventative care, and, yes, even abortions.”
KAS, you Christians need to practice what you preach and clean your own house before throwing rocks at secular culture, the LGBT groups, feminists, etc, for their perceived short-comings.
Jesus and Apostle Paul would tell you to remove the log from your own eye before trying to remove the speck from someone else’s,
and they’d tell you to “police your own,”
rather than continually scold the Non-Christians for their sexual shenanigans.
Christians have just as many, if not more, sexual sins and beliefs on their side as the Non-Christians do.
This selfishness also leaps off the page anytime these men talk about sex.
Preacher Dude: Women should do everything for her husband in bed…dudes, you might want to take your wife shopping or something. Uh….
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Don’t know about the UK, but in the rest of the world, more people are having less sex, even in Non-Christian nations, such as Japan.
And lack of sex (and declining marriage) is causing American conservatives and Christians to Freak Out and complain about declining tax bases, being “out bred” by non-white, non-Christian groups, etc.
Even as a conservative myself, I find that obsession with marriage (and sex), even in the cause of having a bigger tax base to draw from, etc, to be very weird and distasteful.
_Why Are Young People Having So Little Sex? America is in a Sex Recession_
– via The Atlantic
_A Quarter Of Japanese Adults Under 40 Are Virgins, And The Number is Increasing_
– via Forbes
Daisy, “while it’s “God’s design” that the man in the family goes to his Man Cave to play Pac-Man all day, rather than feed the children and help the wife mop the floor.”
It’s more convoluted than that. The pastor will preach ’til he’s blue in the face that the husband has to sacrifice for his wife, and they may even tell the husband that he should get off his butt, but that’s the extent of it. It’s not “clear sin” and they aren’t going to discipline him for being a couch potato. What they WILL discipline for is the wife disobeying her husband, refusing sex, having an affair or getting a divorce.
If you read Piper’s article about what complementarianism is not… he does the same thing – he calls the husband out for requiring his wife to ask permission to use the bathroom, but he never says that the man was disciplined, nor did he tell his wife that she could tell him to go fly a kite if he ever mentioned it again.
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Or, Daisy, he likes to pretend he didn’t say the things he said. Or mean the things he clearly meant. When it suits him. Bah.
— end quote —
That’s one reason why it’s sometimes a good idea, if you’re on a desktop computer, as I am, to bookmark some of KAS’ posts in a folder labeled “KAS,” which I’ve done before.
Because he’ll deny he ever said, “X,” so you give him a link to the post where he said “X” three months ago, and you then sit and watch him waffle and them claim he was “misunderstood.”
Preacher Dude: Women should do everything for her husband in bed…dudes, you might want to take your wife shopping or something. Uh….
Yes, I’ve noticed that for years now.
Complementarians assume only men want and enjoy sex, and women are just emotional creatures who are not interested in sex.
And of course, the Bible teaches none of this stuff.
And comps actually dare to claim their teachings are all based on the Bible, what a bunch of hog wash.
I once heard a Baptist preacher on TV give a sermon on marriage and sex several years ago.
He was using a glass of water as an analogy.
He was telling married women in the audience that married sex was like that glass of water.
He was like,
“Ladies, imagine the only water your husband can get in the whole world is from you. You have a glass of water on your night stand, your husband is thirsty, and keeps asking for water, but you refuse to hand him the glass.”
I sat there and rolled my eyes.
I’ll try to keep this tasteful and clean, but let’s just say if one or either partner is “not in the mood,” there is the possibility of self-pleasure, shall we say.
Secondly, the assumption here is that wives do not like sex and try to avoid it, as though women do not have sex drives. But we do.
I cannot begin to count the number of articles and letters to advice columnists I’ve seen from WIVES (sometimes self professing Christian wive as well),
who are sobbing, crying, or angry as heck, because their husband never, ever wants to have sex with them!
Some of these women say they’ve been in a sexless marriage for YEARS, not just a few weeks.
But is this ever addressed by complementarians? Nope.
(Side note: if it was, the wives would just be told to “suck it up buttercup, because only a man’s needs matter.”)
I’ve heard the more sexist, perverted and sex-obsessed pastors, such as Mark Driscoll, go into some detail about specific sex acts that HE claims most men want from a wife…
Well, I’ve never heard the Driscoll types point out that (trying to be tasteful here about all this) that most women do not achieve climax through traditional “P in V” action – it’s usually to oral variety that helps a lady in that situation, shall we say.
Yet, I’ve never heard a complementarian pastor tell the husbands to find out from their wives if that is what their wife would prefer, or whatever other act would do it for her.
Nope. The assumption is always the man’s preferences in the bedroom matter, but not the woman’s. Only men want or like sex, but not women, so their thinking goes.
Years ago, I heard a different TV pastor discuss some of this on his show.
As for how husbands can be there for their wives, meet their needs, and turn them on, one thing he suggested was (I am not joking), running a bubble bath for their wife. That was one of his specific instructions.
I’m sorry, but what? Any doofus can turn a faucet to hot and dump a capful of soap in, and it takes less then five minutes.
And it seems rather stereotyped.
It’s like how so many conservative Christian Bible studies for women have flowery, girlie graphics printed on the cover, some have recipes printed in the back.
Just slap some flowers on whatever, run a bubble bath, and presto, you, a man, have supposedly met your wife’s deepest needs, sexual and otherwise.
It’s more convoluted than that. The pastor will preach ’til he’s blue in the face that the husband has to sacrifice for his wife,
and they may even tell the husband that he should get off his butt, but that’s the extent of it. It’s not “clear sin” and they aren’t going to discipline him for being a couch potato.
What they WILL discipline for is the wife disobeying her husband, refusing sex, having an affair or getting a divorce.
— end quote —
Complementarianism is just a set of beliefs telling women it’s their supposed God- given duty in life to tolerate, without complaint or resistance, a bunch of terrible, abusive, or selfish behavior from men generally or husbands in particular.
And yes, the women are held to account and disciplined in some way, but the men under these teachings just get told to “do better, guys!” The men generally don’t face any real penalties
Was it a Doug Wilson blog post about marriage, where he or some other complementarian, told the husband to “tattle on” his wife for not having done the dishes for several nights?
Some comp guy seriously was advising some husband to have the church elders come to their house and shame the wife to her face. That was in some blog post from a year or more ago that several of the spiritual abuse blogs (like this one) discussed.
Did the husband in that scenario have two broken arms that was preventing him from loading the dishwasher?
Why don’t the church elders in that case do the “Jesus washing feet thing,” and roll up their own sleeves, and do the dishes for that couple?
(You know what a lot of conservative Christians do is try to convince single adults it’s our God- given duty to do stuff like that for married couples, along with acting as free baby sitting services, but the marrieds are never asked how to help their single friends like this.
Single adults also have dirty laundry and dirty dishes, too.
That’s a whole other category right there.)
There has always been selfishness, but I think it has got worse. It has been actively encouraged by the worship of Self. Me first. For men will be lovers of self …
— end quote —
Yes, and complementarians tell men that it’s okay for men to worship themselves,
to put their own needs first,
that the man is the “god figure” to the wife,
…and the wife, complementarians say, should just put up with running around kissing the man’s butt and meeting all his needs but not concern him with HER needs.
Kathi – thank you for your reply above. Incidentally, when I said ‘something strange is going on here’, I wasn’t talking about your article, rather Peace. Her thing about a woman’s job is to glorify man is a) not all she has to say on this going by her blog, or b) a strange interpretation of Paul’s verse in 1 Cor 11. An interpretation that doesn’t sit easily with what she says elsewhere.
I think I differ from her in that I see mankind – both male and female – being co-regents over creation, together they exercise dominion. King and queen! I also see based on Genesis and Paul’s inspired commentary on it that there is a differentiation of role pre-dating the fall and rooted in creation. To some extent implied, to some extent stated.
…he [man] is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man I see this not as saying man glorifies God in what he does, but rather he is a glorious creation, the summit of what God created. Woman – and linguistically and in practice more than likely this applies to wives in 1 Cor 11, are something glorious when loved and provided for. Parallel with the church as the bride of Christ, something he makes glorious. I think that’s the right direction. In fact a wife being the glory of man is something the man is responsible for, not the other way round!
If a woman’s aim is to glorify her husband, it strikes me she could will make him into an idol. Or he might be tempted to make himself one. I don’t think this can be the intention. She is called to be his complement, his helper, his companion.
You mention talk about the trinity, which I think dubiously relevant to marriage. I don’t think the NT ever uses it this way off the top of my head.
Because only men can bring glory to God, Don’t agree with this.
the husband will always be the head of the wife. Explicitly stated.
Husbands are in charge of the home … Up to a point, but there is a vast literature on the word ‘head’ that is wearisome to the flesh. Just as some ignore the word ‘head’ others read too much into it. You do have that awkward little verse So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, rule [manage] their households, …
“There has always been selfishness, but I think it has got worse.”
Lea – Let’s not pretend you have any kind of basis for this, though, KAS. There isn’t a study demonstrating this.
In talking about societal decline in the UK, I have in mind a recently published book by Dr Clifford Hill. Evangelical Christian, filled with the Holy Spirit, minister of a church in a deprived area of east London for decades, former consultant to HM Government on integration of immigrants, PhD in and lecturer of sociology. Intimate with the last 4 Archbishops as a go-between the established church and the wider evangelical scene, in particular regarding evangelism (or the lack of it).
Author of various studies, including the detrimental affect of video nasties and family breakdown. Pilloried by the press for the former – a threat to the money that was being made from this.
A lot of what he says in his book, a personal reflection on the last half century of so, I can remember. Fascinating to see what was going on behind the scenes in the institutional church. Also reminded me of the deception the charismatic movement went into (shepherding, latter rain, Toronto, sundry “prophets”).
Yes, there has been a marked turning away from God, from Christian values, declining church attendance. There has been a steady assault on marriage and the family, incrementally enshrined in various pieces of legislation that he lists. A lot of it in the last 25 years and continuing. The institutional church leadership has been compromising, the LGBT agenda has been furthered.
So you are wrong that no-one suitably spiritually and academically qualified hasn’t made relevant, thoughtful studies of the changes in British society, along with others. Having experienced and watched some of the things he talks about, I think I at least have a right to express an opinion on what has been going on in my own country! And it is a desperately selfish society overall.
Doesn’t mean everything is bad, it’s not all bad news, not all the Christian capital has been used up, but there is a crying need for a realistic appreciation of what is going on in society, and a (small p) prophetic voice to speak to the church and the world around. A ministry that needs rescuing from the lunatic fringe.
Here we go again, as with the word “feminism,” regarding defining that word, the same can also pertain to the word “selfishness.” Each individual defining that word, according to their own set of standards/worldview, whether “secular” or “religious.”
Has society, generally speaking, ever been “unselfish?” Seriously? I hear continuously how our societies have digressed and are “getting worse” throughout the ages. However, in reading and studying the Old Testament, there’s some pretty ugly and grotesque truths being presented there regarding “the human heart.” Regarding the “self” highly, as in becoming one’s own god, was practiced just as effectively as we see this religious c’hurch phenom practiced today, nothing has changed much there.
What is defined as “selfish” to one person, may not be the same definition applied to another person. Walk into any c’hurch setting for a couple of weeks, and it becomes pretty clear whom the lower laity are supposed to “idolize” in terms of the leadership paradigm.
Also, as with Peace’s publication, it appears that she is aiding and embedding the “selfish” mentality picking and choosing certain Holy Scriptures, not used in context, as her weapon of choice.
Do the teachings of “complementarianism-which is not in our Scriptures,” promote “selfishness” or “unselfishness?” I believe comp theology lines up perfectly with “selfishness” and ministers not to the oneness of the Body of Jesus Christ.
KAS, it’s the data mining fallacy. Scientists are just as guilty of it as other professions, and I think especially clergy and theologians look back to the “good ole’ days” when there was one educated person in town, who was the local pastor/priest. He was the expert in everything, and you saw pastors (cough cough WILSON) writing letters to judges trying to manipulate their decisions one way or the other. The pastor was also, many times, the school teacher for the town, so oftentimes the most important person.
From that “pinnacle” we have churches where there are engineers, doctors, lawyers, professors, and all sorts of other people that are equally or more highly educated than the pastor, and his sphere of expertise has been shaved down to just theology, and even then, many people can read and watch approachable theology by far more competent and eloquent ministers.
So, not surprisingly, professional ministers are looking for relevance. They are trying to point out all these areas where society is failing and needs to be beholden to the church and church leaders for guidance and direction. They are trying to nitpick and poke holes in some of these movements, like #MeToo, because they didn’t first come from some theology book.
So, back to data mining. I can find all sorts of examples of evil, and I can put them all together to try and convince you of a directional pattern. That pattern may even be exactly the opposite of history. For example, is clergy sexual abuse becoming more and more of a problem, or is it becoming less and less of a problem because the church and media are now exposing perpetrators? Is the church in decline because it’s allowing LGBTQ ministers, or is it growing spiritually because it is finally having to come to terms with evils established for centuries?
I grew up in a Reformed church that thought that Westminster was the pinnacle of Christendom, and since then we’ve been backsliding steadily. There was always this or that article that could be used as evidence.
“There has been a steady assault on marriage and the family”
Christian men have promoted themselves as entitled kings/gods.
Christian men sh*t on women, children, raped women, raped children, abused women and abused children to make themselves feel good.
Christian fathers and Christian husbands make their families lives a living hell.
We are deciding we do not want to promote or condone Christianity because Christian men are selfish creepy life-ruining thugs on power trips.
“the LGBT agenda”
The Christian agenda is to make sure ever POS incel on the globe has a trapped, self-hating, miserable female slave that can’t tell him no to anything, especially sex. They also want these men to have helpless trapped little children to f*ck with.
It is Christianity that made me decide at age sixteen that I would rather die and go to hell that ever is married to a Christian man.
Christian men showed me they were not worth sex or worth marrying. And if I had a child with them it meant I hated my children.
Christians hate for other people to have the right to tell them no and to mind their own business. That is selfish.
People are leaving Christiandoom because of men like you KAS. None Christians look at you and feel about you the same way they do about these men https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2019/05/22/protesters-outside-uk-school-insist-god-created-women-for-mens-pleasure/
If your God brought you any contentment you would not be so obsessed with what none Christians are doing. It does not sound like your God gives you faith or peace.
It sounds like he gives you hatefulness, contempt, and selfishness.
Christianity ruined my life and my mother’s life. I wish I had never known my Christian father.
I wish my parents had never shown me their sicko bible or forced me to go to their toxic churches.
CH, I believe this is the fulfillment of “he will rule over you” – toxic masculinity. It isn’t limited to the church, but it is truly sickening and demonic when men use the Bible and Jesus to claim that they should be allowed to manipulate and control others. How can these men pray “your kingdom come” when the last thing they want is to give respect and worth to the downtrodden?
defer to his decisions
follow his leading
FreeAtLast: “In my humble opinion” preachers today have gone off track when they preach on marriage by latching on to one verse and forgetting the context and big picture of NT teaching. I believe a good marriage is built on all the “one another” verses: love one another, honor one another, give preference to one another, bear with one another, submit to one another, seek the good of one another, etc. Marriage is a relationship… not a hierarchy. Whatever “headship” means… it doesn’t mean boss and servant. The example Paul gives of Christ and the church makes it obvious that it’s built on relationship… nowhere does Jesus “lord it over” us. In fact, he taught very clearly that his model is the opposite.
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FREEATLAST – It sounds like this pastor has read this book or the husband’s companion book.
There is nothing in the Bible that says that the responsibility of leading the family is on the husband’s shoulder and was ordained by God. If a husband and wife work mutually in a marriage, this does not mean that there will be chaos in the marriage due to lack of “leadership.” This is pure nonsense.
I’m finishing up Almost Heretical’s podcasts on Gender and highly recommend listening to them.
Mark – the decline of Christianity in the UK is obvious and long-term. It’s not controversial. Hills analysis is eye-opening in this regard, especially the apostacy of the established churches and their Reverend Leaders. The cobwebby deadness of liberal theology. Calls for evangelicals to come out of such churches in the 60’s and 70’s largely went unheeded, and with hindsight I wonder if this was a mistake. The Church of England, for example, is rapidly de-christianising under its current Archbishop, and some evangelicals are making contingency plans to come out if present trends continue. They don’t want to keep financing unbelief and compromise.
The govts of both main parties have been following an increasingly anti-christian, secularist direction.
No-one is claiming there was ever a previous golden age, but it is legitimate to look at where we went wrong, and is there anything we can now do about it. I don’t believe govt on its own can achieve this, a moral and spiritual transformation is required, but the state could at least help by setting a legal framework that for example supports marriage, rather than making divorce ever easier and co-habitation financially much the same as being married. Family life is, without doubt, in a mess, and there is masses of material and evidence confirming family breakdown is at the back of so many social ills. The left is of course happy with this state of affairs, as they want the State to have the same control and influence over the population that the medieval institutional church did.
I don’t know where a return to stable family life is going to come from apart from the teaching and example of the church.
H comes home after hearing this “sermon”
AND tells me I am to do what he wants.
AND THAT HE IS ACCOUNTABLE TO GOD FOR ME!!!!!!!
I told him that I am responsible for myself!!!!!!
He disagrees because the pastor says God called out Adam in the garden, not EVE!!!!!!
I try and tell him my opinion..
I’m not going to do what you tell me to do…………
20 year pattern.
KAS, just saw this. The Western church was little more than a power grab by political entities. Once Constantine made Christianity the official religion in Rome, the powers-that-be saw the church as a way to create and maintain power and control. The persecuted church was more pure simply because there was no political advantage to being a Christian, in fact, quite the opposite. Every US president has claimed Christianity.
When we talk about “righteousness”, we have to be careful not to focus on externals. For example, in the US, you can look at the divorce statistics and freak out about the sanctity of marriage – that was a common topic. But, if ~50% of marriages end in divorce now and ~10% of marriages ended in divorce 70 years ago, is that really an indication that marriages are worse today – or some sort of cultural depravity? The church would have you think so, but the 1950’s were sort of the evangelical ideal – stay-at-home wives who had no means of support aside from their husbands and no means of divorce except for adultery-level offenses. I doubt that men are fundamentally less mature now than in the 1950’s – in fact, I think there is ironically a higher level of expectation of behavior now, despite the church wanting to deny that.
Think about it. You’re a pastor and church attendance is at an all-time low. Can you possibly believe that society can be MORE moral without church attendance? Of course not, so you’re going to look for every chink in the armor, while looking back to the glory days.
Divorce is high, not because marriages are fundamentally worse, but because there is not the level of social stigma attached to divorce that there once was. Church attendance is low, not because there are percentage-wise, less believers, but because society no longer freaks out when someone doesn’t attend church. Society appears less moral, because 70 years ago, society prided itself on the appearance of morality. You can even plot this from 1300 – https://ourworldindata.org/homicides
What page is that last quote found? I want to cite it in a paper, but I’m having trouble finding it in the physical book.
I am talking about this quote:
“Basically, we have said that the wife’s role is to glorify and submit to her husband. She was created to fulfill her role as “helper” for her husband.”
Hi Patience –
I read the 2005 10th anniversary edition of this book on Kindle. In Chapter 6, this quote is in the last paragraph of the section “Model of Christ and the Church – The Husband and Wife Roles.”