My Daughter Being Hilarious–and More!

My youngest has an awesome YouTube channel, and here’s her latest installment:

What Books Taught Her (that the authors never intended). I dare you to get through the Twilight rant without laughing:

And now for Katie being more serious:

Last week she was one of 15 quizzers from the Eastern Canada district of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church sent to the international competition for Bible quizzing, which was held this year just north of Toronto (yay! We didn’t have to travel much. Next year it’s in Minnesota). They were quizzing on the books of Romans and James in the English Standard Version.

My daughter at internationals quizzing

Her team made it to the finals of the Consolation A division, and ended up winning that quiz. You can watch the whole thing here (hit the video that’s 79 minutes long–the times when Katie is featured are listed in the next paragraph). The first part of the video is a 20 question quiz. You get 30 seconds to answer a question, and most questions are jumped on after two syllables (in the district meets throughout the year you tend to get the whole question out–but this is internationals). To “jump”, the kids are sitting on benches with a sensor that’s hooked up to a board, and when you take your weight off the sensor, your light goes off. So that’s how they know who got the jump.

At 2:00 Katie leads in the national anthem. Katie jumps and answers 4 questions correctly–at 14:30, 28:15, 30:50, and 40:40–to win the quiz. It’s really pretty awesome to watch how well these kids know these books! Like I said, they have to be able to answer after just two words.

Katie (the captain) congratulating one of her rookie quizzers on pulling an answer out of nowhere.

Katie (the captain) congratulating one of her rookie quizzers on pulling an answer out of nowhere.

Katie can quote ALL of Romans and James, word perfectly. And she can tell you any verse. So proud of her!

Katie jumped on basically nothing, just said an answer--and actually got it right. Here's her surprised look.

Katie jumped on basically nothing, just said an answer–and actually got it right. Here’s her surprised look.

She ended up 6th out of 120 quizzers, and top Canadian. (But before you Americans get too proud, last year the top quizzer WAS a Canadian. Booyah!)


A Note About the Comments Section

I just want to take a moment and say something about the comments.

I want this blog to be a safe place where women can get great encouragement and inspiration for their marriage, their sex life, and their parenting. I’ve thought and prayed a lot about my perspective, and I’m quite comfortable with it, as are my publishers and the many people who hire me to speak.

However, I’ve run into trouble over the last 3-4 years with commenters who completely disagree with my stance on many things–specifically people who think that women don’t do enough in marriage; that most porn use is due to women’s refusing sex; that women should not set boundaries, since that is the job of the man who is in authority; that divorce is almost always women’s fault; and that the aim of marriage seems to be hierarchy rather than oneness.

In general, these commenters have been male, and they tend to comment critically multiple times on posts–and on multiple posts.

What I started to notice about two years ago was that my regular commenters–the women who come here day in and day out–were no longer commenting because the comment section was getting so nasty. My comment section was actually more dynamic 3 years ago than it is today, largely because of the negative tone that took over.

I didn’t want that, and I finally banned about ten commenters who were really spreading dissension. There is absolutely no problem with people having their own viewpoint, but I want this to be a safe place for the women who come here. And if my regular, faithful readers–who are the target of this blog–are being chased from the comments section, that isn’t good.

My eyes were really opened at the meetup I did in Ottawa a few weeks ago, because those women–who read me everyday–in general don’t read the comments because they either don’t care what other people think, or they don’t like it being so negative.

So once again, I think it’s time to restate my policy. I do not want to spread a view of Christianity which I feel is wrong, because 9000 people a day arrive here from Google alone–people who may have no Christian background at all, or who may be searching. For these people, in particular, I want to portray a positive image of what I believe Christ wants for marriage.

If people want to spread another view, they are free to do so on their own blogs.

Therefore, I will delete comments that I feel are harmful to the mission of this blog. I will let through contradictory comments, but, in general, I will only let through one from each person on a blog post. I won’t let arguments go on and on. And if certain people insist on criticizing me on every blog post, I will ban them, too. If I believe that comments spread a view of marriage that I think will turn visitors off of the church, I will also delete them, because I care very much about the witness of this blog and its chance to influence those who don’t know Christ.

And now I’d like to let my husband say something. Here’s Keith:

The main problem (it seems to me) is that these men are relentlessly putting forward the erroneous teaching that Biblical headship mean absolute authority.  In their view, women should not be permitted to set boundaries for their husband as he is “in authority over them” (as one commenter put it) and thus wives must submit without question to all the husband’s demands regardless of his attitudes and actions, be they sinful or not .  They further go on to characterize women who do not submit in this extreme sense as being disobedient to God and try to convince people that women (like my wife, Sheila) who teach a more moderate view are not following proper Christian doctrine.

Now I know there is a great deal of debate about what headship means, but I think we can all agree on one thing: our model as husbands is our Lord Jesus Christ Himself.  But a subtle (and deadly) error has crept into these men’s teaching. They feel they ARE Christ to their wives and demand the same obedience from their wives that she would give to Christ Himself. This is a gross misinterpretation of Ephesians.  In my mind, although Christ is my model as a husband, I fully recognize that (unlike Him) I am prone to sin, error and selfishness.  I have no problem with my wife “calling me” if I am slipping.  I believe the VAST MAJORITY of Christian husbands feel the same way.  And I think we all feel the same disapproval of men who demand this kind of absolute submission from their wives.

When Sheila first told me there were men specifically coming to her blog to disagree with her on issues of submission, I couldn’t believe it.  Do they honestly have nothing better to do with their time than troll around on women’s websites looking for fights about this issue?  That would just seem pathetic to me if it hadn’t been so hurtful.  So to all the women who have been hurt by what these men have said: Please know they are not the majority opinion and they do not have the monopoly on Biblical truth that they claim.

A successful Christian marriage works best when God is the one in complete authority and both husband and wife, in submission to Him, are seeking each other’s best interest. True, God has given a role of leadership to husbands, but the clear model of Christ is servant-leadership, not despotic-leadership.  Rather than proof texting from specific verses, we need to look at the whole teaching of Scripture in this area.  The clearest commentary I have is this: Jesus said you would know them by their fruit.  The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  To me it is very clear which sort of home is more likely to provide an environment for these fruits to flourish.

May God bless you in your marriages as you seek to honour Him.

Comments

  1. Sheila, I love your blog. I am a faithful reader in KY. You have really helped my husband’ and my intimacy and having more open communication about sex. Thank you for your faithful work for Christ.

    • So glad, Amanda! I’ve got a post scheduled for a few weeks from now on 10 ways to tell your husband what you like in the bedroom. I’ve had so many questions about communication and sex lately that I thought I should deal with that. I hope you like it (and I’m hoping in the meantime I can come up with 10 ways… :) ).

  2. Butterflywings says:

    Thank you for sharing Keith’s comments. I think sadly some men will never listen to any woman (I know several men like this), and they sadly twist the biblical command of headship over their wife to think they have headship over all women and of course think headship means total control. It’s sad but necessary sometimes that men must speak to men for a message to be heard.

    As for the comments… my reasons for not commenting much for months is different. I haven’t stopped commenting regularly because of any negativity, just simply had a health crisis (which my husband has been amazingly supportive during) and haven’t had time to read even the original posts much. I hope maybe over the coming months to be able to catch up on all the great posts you have written Sheila. Maybe even comment on a few ;)

    It’s also a shame that so many men think that lack of the woman giving sex is the cause of men’s porn usage. The one frustrating ongoing problem in our marriage is still my husband’s lack of interest in sex. He admits he looks at porn at times still. I still initiate regularly and still get regularly rejected. Porn is definitely not solely from lack of female interest. There are definitely women out there who are craving sex, trying to initiate and being rejected, yet their husbands still turn to porn.

    If men don’t want to acknowledge this is possible, perhaps they need to stop projecting their situation onto others and assuming all men are just like them, and all women are like the women they’ve had in their lives.

    • I’m so sorry about your health problems, ButterflyWings! I have missed you in the comments section, and I’m glad to see you here again.

      I know that you’ve had this ongoing issue with your hubby, and I’m sorry it’s not getting better. I guess it is these things that drive us to God, when we realize that this earth will never be our paradise. But it sure is difficult in the meantime.

      Thanks for your kind words,
      Sheila.

  3. I just have to say how much I love you taking steps to ensure your website and the comment section remains a safe place. Also, I love, love, love what your husband wrote! What a great example of a good, Christian man!

  4. I had a bunch of ways in my head to say pretty much what Keith said. So instead I’lljust say I agree I truly enjoy your blog. Yours is one of 2 blogs I read regularly. I either learn from your posts, (most of the time) or I get to examine how I really feel about subjects. Both ways I learn. Thank you.

  5. I read much more than I comment. I am saddened that you’ll delete comments for two reasons. First, Proverbs 27:17 tells us that iron sharpens iron. If your view is correct and these men are wrong, then rather than censor them, wouldn’t you want to have the debate seen so that iron can indeed sharpen iron? Secondly, I have learned a lot from many of the commenters. According to site metric data, your audience is almost split male/female. If that is the case, then either you are missing your audience or you are reaching many more people than you think! So to ban these commenters simply because they are male is alienating half of your audience as well!

    I find this juxtaposition of your two post topics to be rather interesting. It’s almost as if you’re making an passive aggressive attack. That because your daughter has James and Romans it proves that you are the one who is interpreting their Bible correctly. I had major chunks of the Bible memorized as well while I was in High School, but that doesn’t mean I understood it. I didn’t realize the common thread of geneology of Jesus throughout the Bible until well after I had it memorized. So while I applaud her effort for memorization, please don’t use this to imply that you are more righteous than your other readers.

    Lastly, I encourage EVERYONE to read their Bible. It seems in the western world we have a sickness of reading other talk about the Bible but don’t actually crack that book open. I encourage all your readers to open their Bible. If you are on here for 2 minutes, spend at least 2 minutes in the Bible. If 5 minutes, open your Bible for 5 minutes.

    • Ummmm….I wasn’t trying to draw any comparison between Katie and the commenters. I already had the Katie post scheduled and then things happened yesterday on the blog and I had to run a disclaimer. That’s why it’s separate, at the bottom. The rest was already planned ahead of time. I didn’t want to write a separate post on Saturday because that would flood everybody’s email inboxes, and my Friday post goes out automatically to another 7000 subscribers, so today was the most logical time to run it. And why run Katie today? Because all of this happened last week. She uploaded the video right before we went to Internationals, and we got back on Sunday. Monday is Reader Question. Tuesday is top 10. Wednesday is Wifey Wednesday. Today was the first day to run anything on how Katie did–and I wanted to brag to my readers. So that’s the whole story about why all of this is up today. There was no nefarious plan.

      Incidentally, I was also going to post a picture of the blanket I’m currently knitting, but then the blog post got too long. I’ll probably post it next week instead. Today was going to be a “this is what has been going on in my life”. That’s all.

      I understand what you’re saying about iron sharpening iron, but this is the way I look at it: I think of my blog like an open house on my block. I’m asking people to come in and get to know each other and chat, and hopefully be a good Christian witness. But many people who come into my house are not Christian. (Probably about 40% of my readers aren’t Christian, either). Thus, I need to ensure that when they’re here, they get treated well and get a good view of Christ.

      If someone walks in and starts criticizing me and my guests, then they’re making everybody feel uncomfortable, and because it’s my home, I’m allowed to ask people to leave. That’s what I’m doing.

      If 100% of the people on my blog were already Christian it would be one thing. But they are not. And about 20% of my readers are from overseas where there is very little marriage ministry, and they’re looking for some help.

      All organizations that are engaged in evangelism monitor their message because they know they have to be careful of what they project so that they do not project a wrong view of Christ. That’s what I’m doing, and I think that’s good.

      As for my site metrics, I’m not sure where you’re getting that, but all my analytics data show that 90% of my readers are female–and 93% of my mailing list is female.

      I do have quite a few males who read regularly and are really supportive–I’m thinking Bob, Luke, two Matts, Mark, Donald, and I’m likely forgetting some–and I have no problem with men being here at all. It’s just the “feel” that I want the blog to have.

      I totally agree about reading Scripture. That’s absolutely essential, and obviously something that we stress in our family. Thanks for pointing that out!

      • I don’t doubt your daughter. It was your assertion that you are the one who is theologically correct because your daughter has it memorized.

        I challenge you to do some posts in which you actively challenge your readers to open their Bibles. I’ve read a lot of “you can read ME here, here and here” but I’m not sure I can recall any post when you said Open YOUR Bible. Granted, I don’t read everyday, so if you can direct me to such posts, I’d be much obliged.

        • I’m sorry, what do you mean? When did I say I was theologically correct because my daughter has it memorized? I wrote the first part separately from the second part, and didn’t reference either. They’re separate. I just don’t know what you mean.

          • You didn’t actually say it. You implied it. You did say that your commenters are wrong, and you are right. Otherwise you wouldn’t be banning them. And it conveniently carried on a post that your daughter has great chunks of Scripture memorized (not attacking your daughter). You are using a logical fallacy if A, then B. A is true that my family is so devoted to Scripture, so B is also true, that I am correct in interpretation and my other commenters are wrong.

            But you didn’t answer the second half of my question. Do you have posts where you actively challenge readers to open their Bible?

          • Yesterday’s post was full of Bible references. The most popular post on this blog BY FAR has always been The 50 Best Bible Verses to Memorize. I also have quite a few posts on how to do your devotions and how to start your morning routine with God.

            And I didn’t think I did imply that Katie’s memorizing meant I’m right. I thought I explained that. The first half was planned BEFORE the second half was added–and today was the only day to add the second half.

            I’m sorry you think so ill of me, but that’s the truth.

        • I am just not seeing this assertion you are referring to, could you point it out by quoting it? I don’t see it.

    • I didn’t see anything in this post that said she was going to delete all comments from men, or comments because they were written by a man. I believe she is going to delete comments that are rude, disrespectful, or meant to intimidate others, or meant to further a commenter’s own blog interests at the expense of the purpose of this blog. I think that is completely reasonable.

      It might surprise you to know that some of those commenters, who come here and go on and on trying to bully their own agenda into the comments here, do heavily moderate their own blogs and don’t allow any comments they feel are “disrespectful” which many times translates to simple disagreement or a commenter questioning them more than one time. I’m sure they would rail against perceived censorship here, but don’t think for a moment they don’t censor their own comment section. I think the intent I read here is that Sheila wants to avoid having the same commenters coming here and having the same argument over and over in the comments. Once she’s addressed it, it is time to move on and agree to disagree. This is a pretty common blog policy actually to keep blogs on topic.

    • Katie Gregoire says:

      Umm.. what? I’m sorry if you find the fact that my mother was proud of me for memorizing 9 books of the bible in the last 4 years to be offensive. Aren’t moms supposed to gush over their daughters? :/
      Also, I completely understand that Christianity is more than just reading and quoting words, which is why I make sure I really think about all the verses I learn each year, and also make my YouTube videos, to maybe show a new generation about Jesus. Of course, not all of my videos are about Biblical topics, but I always aim to create clean, Christ-like content.
      I know I’m only 17, but I think I’m still allowed to understand the Bible…?

  6. Thanks so much for the encouragement, everybody. It means a lot.

    As for those who have commented and whose comments I haven’t approved for this post, think about this: Why would ANYONE let through a comment that says that the blog owner’s teaching is wrong and responsible for the mess that marriage is in today? If you want to have a conversation, insulting the blog owner and telling people that if they read her posts and books they’ll be led completely astray is probably not the way to do it.

    Now, everybody–don’t you just think my daughter is ADORABLE? :)

  7. I love your blog and think your comment policy is very fair. As they say, “Haters are gonna hate.” I come back because this is a positive blog and it offers good dialogue. It’s about time that Christian women can talk about sex and “real” issues and have a safe haven to express their thoughts and concerns. Thank you!
    Heather recently posted…Lupita Nyong’o on beautyMy Profile

  8. Becca F. says:

    Hi Sheila- I am a daily reader from PA. I love your blog, and my husband reads posts as well sometimes. Your blog is the first one ever that I started following regularly (and I grew up with the internet so that’s saying something). We actually conceived our first child (by accident-whoops!!) while going through your 31 days to great sex e-book (which I recommend to everyone I know!!) and used to joke that we would have to hit you up for child support payments–unfortunately that pregnancy ended in a miscarriage so you guys are safe!! I discovered your blog shortly after getting engaged. It has been an answer to prayer and a great tool in helping our marriage stay God-centered. I am so thankful for the safe space that you create to discuss life issues from a biblical foundation, especially sex and intimacy topics which are not often discussed in the church. I don’t usually comment because I just take a long time to process my thoughts….by the time I would have anything to say it’s probably been a month. Thank you so much for all you do!!

    • Oh, Becca, you’re so welcome. I’m so sorry about your miscarriage, too, though it is a cool story about 31 Days. I miscarried my first as well. I assume from the way you said “first child” that you’ve since had another–so congratulations! But I know the pain is still there.

      So glad that you find the blog helpful!

      • Becca F. says:

        No second baby yet-but we’re working on it! Which is a 180 from where we were about a year ago… we were going to put off having kids for years at that point. God used your blog/book to do some huge things in our marriage. Congrats to your daughter!! I have trouble memorizing anything, so I find that very impressive.

        • So neat to see God using something I wrote to work in people’s lives.

          Her memorization is really impressive–but one thing I’ve noticed. She’s done this for years, and every year it gets easier to memorize and hold material in. I guess the brain is a muscle, just like everything else, and the more you use it, the more it can do. Really reminds me that if I just started memorizing more, it would get easier, too! I wanted to memorize James with her this year but I got too busy. Next year they’re doing Acts (I don’t think I can do Acts), but I may go back and do James anyway!

  9. Congratulations to your daughter. Your blog has helped my marriage in so many ways. I always enjoy reading your point of view.
    You handle difficult topics well. Keith’s statement was wonderful.

    • Thank you SO MUCH for the congrats for my girl! You have no idea how proud I am of her. :)

      I’m pretty proud of my hubby, too. :)

  10. Thank-you for keeping your “own house” safe. I think that’s very important. And really, how often does a long Internet debate actually change anyone’s mind??

  11. Three cheers for Katie, and a thank-you to Keith :D

    Julie G
    Julie recently posted…Woo-hoo!My Profile

  12. I found your blog just recently, but I appreciate this post. I think sometimes on the internet we forget that there is a big difference between having a theological debate vs. attacking/demeaning others in order to make a point of some sort. I think this post is spot on in addressing that difference and keeping your comment section a place of open discussion and not a free-for-all.

    I especially appreciated the insight from your husband. I think he articulated so well some of the problems we might see out there from misinterpretation of scripture.

  13. Again, I’m having comments left that I’m not letting through because they accuse me of lying and other things.

    I just want to point out something that perhaps people don’t understand: I am not actually interested in a long debate with commenters. I actually do talk quite a bit with people about submission and headship and wrestle through these issues, but I do so with people that I respect and know. I talk with the leaders of FamilyLife Canada. I talk with my pastor. I talk with the editors of magazines. I talk with publishers. I talk with dear friends. I talk with people who pray for me. I talk with my mom (who is brilliant). In other words, I do examine these things, but I do it with people that I know.

    I am really not interested in a fruitless debate online with people that I don’t know, with whom I am not in an accountability relationship, and who come here with an agenda. If I were to reconsider something (and I have often in my life), I will most likely do it because I have talked for hours over a campfire with a friend, as we wrestle through Bible passages. I remember doing that with my friends Bonnie and Shaun, for instance, when I totally changed my mind on a significant issue (though it wasn’t about marriage). The difference was that I knew these people; I knew they cared for me; they knew my family; and there was trust and camaraderie there.

    That is not present on the internet.

    And quite frankly I simply don’t have time. If I’m going to take the vast amount of time it would take to enter into debate, I’ll do it with those that I know, not those that I don’t know. I appreciate people commenting and reading, but you also have to understand that I already spend five hours a day at all of my online things–and that’s a lot. It’s hard to fit in speaking and writing books, and then I also still love to cook and keep my house cleaned and talk to my friends and run the quizzing program at my church…etc. etc.

    So people are saying, “why don’t you let my comment through so that we can debate?” I’ve already said pretty much everything that I believe on this blog and in my books. It’s very clear. And the commenters aren’t saying anything new. I don’t have time to debate things with people I don’t know.

    Debate is great, and searching is great. But I think most of that is best done in your Christian community–and that means people that know you and your family, and with whom you have accountability. If you want to wrestle these things through, then, I’d really advise you to find people to do that with in real life. I am not that person.

    The online world can be a place where people can find answers and gather together, and that’s what I’m trying to do here, especially with regards to sex and marriage. But it can never replace the real life Christian community. That’s where these debates should happen, and please trust that if I am really off base, someone in my large circle will tell me.

    • Hang in there, Sheila,
      Your analogy to an Open House is spot on. When I’m a guest at my in-laws I don’t open a debate about their beliefs, try to convince them they’re wrong about (fill-in-the-blank), or criticize. And Jenny is right – many of the commenters who troll other blogs to start arguments HEAVILY moderate comments on their own blogs. (eye roll)
      I’ve found you very gracious the few times I’ve disagreed with something or other – can’t even remember what, now! At any rate, THANKS :D
      Julie
      Julie recently posted…Woo-hoo!My Profile

      • Thanks, Julie! Just want to point out that the commenters I haven’t let through today–I don’t actually know if they have their own blogs or if they moderate comments. So I wouldn’t want to accuse them personally of that (not that you’re doing that; you don’t know the individuals I’m not letting through either). But that certainly was the case with those I banned earlier, and it certainly is the case with many who have tried to comment here.

        I hope I always was gracious to you! :)

      • Yes to everything you’ve said, Julie. I would never go into someone’s home and challenge them in a mean-spirited way re: their convictions and I wouldn’t appreciate that in my home either. We’d just have to respectfully disagree. Besides, contentiousness (especially with a brother or sister in Christ) never serves anyone well.

  14. Kimberly says:

    Thank you for posting about your daughter’s blog and event. Very inspiring!

    • I know! I’m in awe of her. My oldest daughter did quizzing in high school, too, and made the international team three times. They both rock!

  15. Hi Sheila,

    1. Your daughter rocks!!! I wish I had time to watch the entire competition. I watched the first 10 minutes or so, but need to get back to business. ☺

    2. Your husband rocks too!!! Thank him for us! I am thankful for him and other men who appreciate the role God has given them as our protectors, lovers and spiritual leaders. I am blessed, too, with a man of godly character who respects and enjoys our partnership in life.

    3. Last but not least, you rock too Sheila!!! Your courage and conviction are inspiring! Thank you for inviting us into your house and thank you for politely showing the door to those who make a mess of it. Your Christian values, I have no doubt, make Jesus smile.

    God bless you and yours!

    In Him,

    Toni

  16. Sheila, I’ve read your blog on and off for about a year now and I have noticed the negative tone lately and to be honest, I haven’t wanted to visit here as often. I could actually feel a heaviness that would come over me as I’d read some of the nasty comments. I could say more yet I won’t. The bottom line is that this is your blog. Your goal is to minister to women, not to debate with men. Anyway, I do appreciate all your hard work and balanced perspective and want to thank you for not calling people out by name the way I’ve seen on a few other blogs recently. That’s just plain wrong and unChristian, in my humble opinion.

    BTW, that kid of yours is indeed funny and smart. Does she get that from Mom or Dad? :-)

    • Definitely from both! :)

      Thanks, Elena, for validating what I really felt was a strong undercurrent that was happening here. I talked with my assistant to get her vibe and some other people before writing the new comments post, and they agreed that the tone was changing and people were being chased away again (as they were last summer before I did a big purge). So thank you for that.

  17. Your blog and your book radically changed my marriage (The good girls guide to great sex) for the better. I don ‘t know what else to say but thank you!
    Congrats to your daughter!
    KAtie

  18. Thanks for what you do Sheila. Often times the internet is filled with people who are on extremes ends of an issue or position (parenting, eating, marriage, schooling, medicine, etc.) but a moderate view point is missing. I agree with your insight after your face to face meeting with readers. Most of your readers keep coming back because they have the same point of view as you or appreciate your point of view but just aren’t engaging with or are actively avoiding the comments section. I have found myself writing replies to some of your “attackers” and then just leaving because it is not worth getting into it with them. However, that often leaves you looking like no one agrees with you but you know from your real life relationships that that is not the case. Just so you know there are many, many people out there (and I am one of them) who have the same views as you. I just don’t feel the need to defend my position but unfortunately that leaves you alone defending yourself and I am sorry for that. Keep up the good work! You are making a difference in marriages and for the Kingdom.

  19. Katie- I think it’s awesome that you’ve memorized that much scripture! When I was your age I had memorized a lot of verses, but no complete books. When I’m having a hard time God has a way of bringing to my mind scriptures that I’ve memorized that apply to what I’m going through. I hope you have that happen as well!

  20. I just want to say one more thing to the commenters that I haven’t let through today.

    I thank you that your main concern is that Jesus’ word be spread, and that He be lifted up. I do believe that you mean that, as do I.

    And so can I make a suggestion (and a request?) If that is your aim, then how about just simply praying for me? Trying to point out everywhere that I may be wrong, and accusing me of misleading people and lying, is not going to change my mind. But if my mind needs to be changed, I am fully convinced that God can do that.

    So why don’t you pray that God’s perspective will be lifted up on this blog? In fact, I would covet EVERYONE’s prayers in that regard. I don’t want to do anything that would detract from what God is trying to do in marriages, and I want what I say to be uplifting. So why don’t you take the energy that you’ve been spending in critical blog comments and turn it to prayer? I pray daily over this blog and over my social media that Jesus will be lifted up appropriately, and that is my heart. If I am wrong, then, I trust that God will show me. I just ask that you have the faith to believe that I can be teachable, too, and thus turn your comments into prayers. That’s really more effective for the kingdom.

    • I love this. I will pray for you today and I think I’ll also take a moment to pray for those commenters as well.

  21. Wow! It looks like there is quite a debate going on here about the commenting policy already. I didn’t read through the comments made so far, but I totally agree with you that you should have total discretion about what comments you let through and what you don’t. My understanding in owning a blog is that when you let a comment through, you are actually publishing that comment, so you might have some legal responsibility for the content of that comment on your blog. I think you are totally in the right to only let comments through that will be helpful to your readers and create a positive environment. As one blogger (Middle-Aged Mormon Man) frequently says to commenters, “My blog, my rules.” Also, I find it extremely frustrating that people on the internet seem to have no sense whatsoever that the person running a blog is an actual person with feelings that might be hurt. In fact, even on Facebook where people know the people they are talking to in real life, they seem to totally forget what their actual relationship with that person is when they make online comments. They say things that they would NEVER say to that person if they were face to face. And comments also sound more hurtful online than they do if you were speaking face to face as you can’t soften them with facial expressions or voice inflections or touch. Anyway, Sheila – keep up the good work! I love your blog and your books!
    I also enjoyed Keith’s comments. There is an excellent article on the blog The Marriage Bed about what it means for the husband to be the head of the family. If you’re interested, you can find it here: http://site.themarriagebed.com/bible/what-the-bible-says/headship
    Laura recently posted…Why I Believe by MarkMy Profile

    • Yes, people really do become strange online. I’ve seen that phenomenon on Facebook, too. It makes me wonder how teens will handle interpersonal relationships, since they are growing up almost entirely online. I wonder if we’ll just become a crasser culture?

  22. There’s a certain amount of irony that your post on boundaries upset some people, and that handling the comments the way you see appropriate (it is YOUR site, after all!) is also an issue of setting boundaries.
    You do a lot of good here and reach a wide spectrum of people. Those who inherently disagree with you in core ways are a. never going to be convinced by you to change their thoughts or b. convince you to change yours. People can change when something is shown to them when they are ready, not by reading a blog in a combative state of mind. I think by discouraging the small percentage of people who have widely different views (and are free to have their own blogs to espouse those views) you’re protecting the space for the remaining larger percentage of people who are here for information, support, and guidance, more so than a theological debate. Keep on, Sheila!

  23. First of all, Katie’s video is HILARIOUS and I can totally relate, since I’ve read many of the same books. (The thing about Ma’s waist size in the Little House books? Yeah, that one confused me too.) Also, Katie, WAY TO GO with the quizzing! I am super-impressed and your parents have every right to gush over you. Keep up the good work. :)

    Also, Sheila, I haven’t been commenting for a while but I haven’t been reading or commenting on really any blogs for a while. (Got my first full-time job a couple months ago… my blog-reading time is sadly very tiny now.) But when it comes to comments and people who write them, I agree with you 100%. This is your space. You literally own it. You open it up to the public to visit and comment on what you say, which is a huge privilege for anyone who gets to share their opinion. You have the right to invite who you want to this space and to not allow people who are mean and rude to you or any of your other guests. No need to apologize for that!

    Keep writing, dear Sheila, and keep up the ministry. You are a blessing to so many, and God is using you in awesome ways!
    Jaimie Ramsey recently posted…Back to blogging, and a new normalMy Profile

    • Thanks, Jaimie! Have missed your comments, but I wish you all the best in this exciting new stage of your life!

      Thanks for your encouragement.

  24. Colleen Shah says:

    I can’t believe this…MY son was at the same international quiz meet and he KNOWS your daughter! Please tell Katie that Deven Shah says hello and will see him at the ACAC tournament in January!

    • Oh, cool! Will do! Were you there, too? I know a lot of WPA parents were (Katie totally hangs out with WPA almost more than ECD. ECD she sees all the time, but WPA she only sees at Nats and ACAC!)

  25. Hey Sheila! You need a “like” button! I read a lot of comments on here, and sometimes I just want to say, “hey, I agree with you. Good post.” Without actually having to make a comment when I don’t have anything to add. I think that people who DO read the comment section, but don’t want to get involved could at least sort of “weigh in” that way.

  26. Christina says:

    I love your site and thank you for sharing your husband’s words! I love how you’re standing up for the witness of your blog! I was blessed to hear you at MOMcon (MOPS International’s conference this past October) and you were hilarious and so much fun! We’re planning on showing your video that came in this year’s group experience kit to our MOPS group and I can’t wait!

  27. I’m a pretty new reader, but I just want to simply thank you for writing this blog– I feel that your wisdom is helping set my new marriage on a good footing. I’ve learned a lot particularly about how to express loving submission to my husband– sometimes I want to take charge out of insecurity/fear and need to control things, and learning to say, “I trust you to take care of this” and “I know you’ll make a good choice for us” has been quite freeing! I feel that it’s both Biblical and healthy for our relationship; it builds trust between us. I am pretty sure he likes it, too. :)

    P.S. Your daughter’s skill and devotion to quizzing is quite impressive. I want to congratulate her on how well she did and her hard work!

  28. I think you’re doing the right thing filtering your comments.

    The Internet is a big, big playground and there are many sites MUCH better suited for debate – for example, a FORUM. Or a blog that is run by someone whose gifts/personality is more compatible with arguments.

    I relate to one commenter who said the feel of the blog has shifted recently to be heavier, and I think that comes from two places – the negativity of the commenters, but also the reality that you, Shelia have a specific heart and calling for wounded people and you are emotionally more affected by the negativity than other bloggers, who will engage, ignore, or even provoke the debates for fun. Let the commenters find better blogs for them.

    From reading your archives, I know you’re more than willing to have commenters disagree with you and go back and forth, it has everything to do with whether they are respectful about it.

    Just an idea – but maybe you could consider returning to some of the earlier topics of this blog and your books, like a review? I found your blog after reading Good Girls Guide, and my first reads were some of your challenges to wives who are sexual gatekeepers / refusers. Reading those early posts, I can’t comprehend recent commenters who think you are hard on men or don’t encourage women to bless their husbands! But a relatively new reader might get that impression more because the blog has been addressing issues of specifically hurt/overwhelmed wives, or reacting to negative male commenters. Your longtime readers know that you have always challenged wives as well!

    • After glancing over the recent posts, I should clarify my concluding suggestion. From the perspective of someone who found your blog recently as an engaged woman and literally read every.single.post in a short period of time, I think the tone has shifted from challenging wives to understand and serve their husbands/kids/friends, to backing the wives, many of whom are in really difficult situations. It’s not that the latter is bad at all, and if that’s your heart and where God is leading you, great. But maybe I’m a sucker for conviction, I really liked feeling confronted to be a better wife!

  29. Congratulations to Katie! I did Bible Quizzing and went to internationals 4 times but the highest I placed was 9th. This was back in the early 2000s though. I’m from south Atlantic, and my sister actually coached for Ohio valley this year. Just being there is a fantastic experience and I made lifelong friends!

    • Awesome, Mary! My older daughter is actually really good friends with a bunch of people from South Atlantic. And we probably saw your sister! Small world. I do love Bible quizzing; it’s done great things in our family.

  30. Though I’ve only been reading your blog for a while now, I do love it. I remember being so surprised the first time you responded to me, because that never happens when I reach out for help. I don’t know you personally, but I have really come to like you. I’m glad you are doing something about those negative comments, because I have noticed this more just over the last few weeks.
    As far as people being upset, its not like if they walked into a church and started yelling at the pastor that what he is preaching is wrong, it would be tolerated. Why do they think your ministry is different simply because it is on-line?
    Though I know you understand this submission thing, I’ll admit I’m still figuring it out. Two really good things I have learned about this, preached by men by the way are: 1) just because the Bible says the wife is to submit to her husband this does not mean she must submit to other men. Therefore this sexist thinking that all men are above all women is not Biblical. 2)In the Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage videos the male pastor explains that being the head does not mean you have to handle it all by yourself and treat the wife like she is not valuable. He gives the example of Joseph who basically ran Egypt for Pharoah. Yes, Pharoah was in charge and ultimately responsible for his people, but he gave Joseph authority. Therefore a woman can handle things at home and in the marrige, this does not mean she is the head or not being submisive. Not sure I explained that as well as Mark Gungor does, but it makes a lot of sense when he does.
    Sheila, keep up the good work! God bless you, because you have really blessed me.

  31. Sheila – like you, I’ve done copious amounts of research on the topics of respect, submission, headship, etc. I’m so sorry you’ve been dealing with this. I had a publicist at Thomas Nelson tell me that you’re really no one of influence until the “haters” show up. Hang in there gorgeous! :) I love the way you dish truth. Anyone who disagrees needs to realize that there’s a way to disagree in a winsome way (which is what Christians are called to do when they disagree) but many like to start swinging – is it no wonder so many are confused about why we would bother with a relationship with Christ? Where’s the fruit? I don’t disagree with your policy. I don’t do it on my blog, but I’m not as well known as you are, either.

    Love to you, baby! :) Don’t quit. Stand firm.
    Nina
    Nina Roesner recently posted…I Hurt A Sweet Woman…My Profile

  32. 1redthread says:

    About a year ago, I was reading around the Internet and I noticed that you were linked on a “game” site – one of those men’s sites where they try to learn to “game” women emotionally and physically. They really ran you down. I would assume that that is where your detractors have come from.

    • Yeah, I found out about that a while ago, too. And now I just don’t follow any rabbit trails to see how people get to me so that I don’t read all that stuff. I don’t need to know what they’re saying. And I’m much happier because I ignore it!

  33. all I can say is “thank you”. Thank you for standing for Truth, for speaking it plainly, bluntly and lovingly. Your perspective and articulation of what God intended marriage and the married relationship to be-an image of Christ and the church-has changed my marriage for the better in the past 4-5 years! Thank you!
    Tascha recently posted…my soul must be stillMy Profile

  34. 1redthread says:

    Katie, do you you’re any applications or tricks to help you memorize? I’d like to get my 11 year old son into memorization and don’t know how to start.

  35. Abby Jensen says:

    Thanks so much for your blog! You are so full of truth and encouragement. I also feel like you do a very good job of NOT making it sound like you have all the answers and you are very fair. You always give qualifiers like, “All situations are different,” and “Pray about it.”

    Do you say things that I question or disagree with? Sure, at times. But I know you want the best and wouldn’t say anything intentionally harmful nor say anything that could cause major problems for people. So I just think to myself, “Well, we could hash this out and I could share my point of view and you could share yours and we would probably realize that this was all a miscommunication,” and if you were my sister or best friend, we probably would. But- in the most respectful way- you are an author and blogger. It’s not worth your time nor mine.

  36. Wow. Excuse me for saying it in this way, but you are one heluva family. Kudos to all of you! You are a strong, Christian family with values we should all try to emulate. As a husband who reads your blog (and hopes to get my wife reading it more often), just wanted to say you’re all doing a fantastic job, and truthfully – it’s your site/blog…you can administer it however you want. Full support and approval from this reader. Thanks for your ministry and keep up the good work. Very helpful to … I’ll just say “most” of us.

    • Thanks so much, Joe! And I know that MOST guys who read this blog are very supportive. Appreciate your comment!

  37. Alchemist says:

    Thank you for your beautiful blog Sheila. And I’m glad you banned those guys.
    I swear, they really do just pop out of no-where and say the same thing over and over and over. It’s like they’re obstinately misinterpreting your writing. I’ve seen some of those same people doing the same stuff on other sites too.

    Again, thanks for your lovely blog. It’s really helped me through a dark year.

  38. Well DONE, my Sister! Well Done.And Keith, My Brother, thank you for standing strong and firm in the faith. Cant’ wait to meet you all in person one of these days this side of Heaven. With Love and constant Prayers for all of your family, Holly
    Holly Smith recently posted…A Quick Update with PicsMy Profile

  39. The thing 1redthread mentioned about the ‘game’ site is disgusting. I’m constantly amazed at the depths of the proverbial barrel on the internet.

    Thank you for cleaning up the comments section. I know babysitting the comments is likely no fun and tedious, but I appreciate it. I too was avoiding the comments because there was that feeling of brutality in them. Today I was hopeful and dared to enter the comments and immediately got sucked into reading about how you’re so much holier than men because your daughter has a superb memory ;) I nearly ran, but decided to skim a little further and found mostly encouraging comments. Phew.

  40. Thank you Sheila & Keith! Having grown up in a family where submission meant subservience , this is something I feel very strongly about. My mother literally cannot form an opinion on anything without consulting my father. I was so surprised when I discovered that my husband wanted – even expected – me to use my own head. I was also surprised to discover that he would do dishes, iron himself a shirt and even bath the baby! My father viewed those sort of tasks as a bit beneath him. I have learned a lot from your blog – particularly to consolidate things that I was beginning to learn from my husband and from my bible studies on marriage and women. Specifically. – sex is to be enjoyed! and boundaries are QUITE biblical thank you!

  41. When I was newly married four years ago I found your blog on pinterest and I’ve been reading it ever since. I love how balanced your views on submission and other tricky topics are. I really feel it helped to shape my marriage in a positive way. Thank you for all that you do!
    Claire recently posted…10 Dates of Summer ~ Saturday in SaxapahawMy Profile

  42. sabrina says:

    Loved this post! Your daughter has brains and beauty….she is fearfully and wonderfully made. You and your husband have done a wonderful job in raising and homeschooling her. You both must be so proud of her!
    Sheila, I always appreciate your view on life’s issues and it was so nice to have your hubby guest post today and hear is godly take on the ‘comments’ issue.
    May the Lord continue to bless you and your family.

  43. Danielle G says:

    Hi Sheila,
    I think I started reading your blog last year? I am not sure. I was doing a google search on happy marriages during a very difficult time and since then I’ve been hooked. I just want to say that your articles and the books you have recommended have changed my behaviour and turned me into a respectful wife (my husband talks about this change all the time). A lot of times, when you are just married, people give all sorts of unsolicited advice that, quite frankly, is very damaging to a relationship. I just want to thank you for your blog which has been a useful resource for someone like me, who had no marriage example to follow.
    And as to the comments? I have never commented before because that is generally not my thing (I follow a lot of blogs). However, the few times that I might have posted, I was very turned off by the tone of the commenters. Thank you for addressing that.

  44. First comment ever. I’ve been reading your blog for a while and I really enjoy it. You have a unique voice in the Christian community and I really enjoy the way you write and I like your style. I too have noticed the negative commenters, and I have actually been stunned that fellow Christians would criticize and berate you the way that I’ve seen. I understand that everyone has differences of opinions, but they were, in my opinion, out of line. I have read that none of us can fully encompass, articulate, contain, etc the beauty that is Christ, and I wish some Christians would realize that. I find it ironic that they are calling you out, and yet, they are doing it in the most un-Christ like way. Anyway, I enjoy your blog!!

  45. I read your blog regularly and find much encouragement from it. I love how practical you are. You address difficult topics with such wisdom. I often repost or forward your blog for my friends to read because it’s just good stuff!

    I commend you on monitoring comments. I don’t really spend much time reading comments but when you allow negative commenters to post, you are just giving those people “free” exposure to an audience that you have have worked hard to earn. I applaud you on protecting your mission.

  46. Congrats to Katie! She’s awesome.
    I totally agree about the comment section. I also enjoyed reading your husband’s input on the issue. You have a wonderful family and ministry. May God continue to bless you in all you do. Thanks, Sheila, for all you do!
    :)

  47. Your daughter is HILARIOUS. And she’s really good at videos! Engaging and funny and presents her materiel in an effective manner. :-) And I’m with her on the Twilight thing. I don’t get the appeal. I tried. I truly did. But I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. Team Edward or Team Jacob? How about Team They’re Both Idiots and Really Need to Move On Because Bella Needs to Figure Out What She Wants? LOL

  48. Daniel Smith says:

    Dear Sheila and Keith:

    My apologies if you found my recent comments on some older posts negative or overly critical. I only found your site a few days ago and only started posted a few comments yesterday. For the record, I have no issue whatsoever on the issue of authority and have nothing to do with any despicable persons who have been recently targeting you or your ministry. For what it’s worth, the more I have read the more I have found to my liking. I have also read some parts to my wife and she was very interested in hearing more (except the kids interrupted us and then family came over).

    Just please, please be very careful when writing from inside a man’s head. As a man I cannot get inside the head of my wife (the woman I know most well) anymore than she can get inside mine and either of us be right more than about 50% of the time. I see too much of this on your site that simply isn’t accurate or representative of all men (from a cursory visit even). That said, negative comments and criticisms trying to create a fight should not be tolerated. I support you 100% on doing whatever you have to in order to properly manage your site and ministry. But please also prayerfully consider what is being said – what I as a completely new and independent voice have discovered in a mere two days of browsing maybe a dozen posts on your site – and treat it as constructive criticism to identify possible areas in need of growth. And if it’s not constructive (as I hope you’ll find my comment – whether posted or only reviewed) then delete/ban.

    Blessings!

  49. KellyK(@RNCCRN9706) says:

    Congrats to Katie!!! WAY TO GO GIRL!!! I know you are extremely proud of her Sheila and rightfully so! I’ve watched most of her YouTube videos..girl is HILARIOUS! I’ve forwarded some of them to my soon-to-be 16 year old niece Alicia. Can’t believe the little baby girl I held on my chest and rocked to sleep and who was my littlest flower girl at only 8 months old is going to be Sweet 16 in less than 2 months…but I digress.

    I don’t know where I’ve been lately…busy with life, I guess. I know I’ve told you this before Sheila but your post on how divorce REALLY affects kids saved my marriage almost 3 years ago! I had every biblical reason to divorce my husband but after reading that post, I chose not to do so. So, thank YOU! We still aren’t 100% where we need to be but we aren’t where we used to be either :) Enjoy your summer, it’s almost over :(

    • Thanks so much, Kelly! I really do appreciate you, and I’m so glad that I can encourage you, too!

  50. I really enjoy reading your blog it has helped me in my new marriage. It has honestly been helpful to me in working on being more submissive in a biblical way as well as working on our intimacy and such. I appreciate reading topics posed that so often are taboo to talk about in church circles but that we need to be talking about and learning what God and the bible say about these things rather than what the world tells us to do.

    I truly thank you for your stance on working even more to keep this a safe space for your visitors who are really wanting to learn, grow and have sincere discussions. As someone who reads and participates in a lot of blogs that cover topics and ideas that tend to go against what the world finds acceptable. I see all to often how people will “troll” the comments section of blogs or sites of topics they don’t agree with or understand just to cause dissension and bash the person or people who are there. It isn’t even that they are coming with a sincere heart it is just that they feel the need to bring down something that they don’t understand or agree with. I think that taking a stricter stance on the commenting policy is spot on and especially in spaces that handle very personal issues it is a way to keep your readers safe and the discussion healthy and productive.

    I am in so much awe of your daughter Katie. I would LOVE to have whole books of the bible memorized and reading about her above has inspired me to crack down and work even harder to hide the word of god in my mind through memorization so that I can always have it when I need it. I love that you are so proud of her (and you have EVERY right to be!!) that is an amazing achievement and one that many wouldn’t be able to do! I wonder is there a certain way that Katie uses to memorize or is it just by reading it repetitively?

    Anyway thank you so much for such a great blog and for keeping your readers safe in the comments section.
    Blessings!!!

Comment Policy: Please stay positive with your comments. If your comment is rude, it gets deleted. Any comment that espouses an anti-marriage philosophy (eg. porn, adultery, abuse and the like) will be deleted. If it is critical, please make it constructive. If you are replying to another commenter, please be polite and don't assume you know everything about his or her situation. If you are constantly negative or a general troll, you will get banned. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Sheila Wray Gregoire owns the copyright to all comments and may publish them in whatever form she sees fit. She agrees to keep any publication of comments anonymous, even if you are not anonymous on this board.

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