Tragically, too often in “Christian” teaching women’s views are ignored, or “gaslighted”.

It’s time for a new To Love, Honor and Vacuum podcast, and this one’s a doozy, and a bit of a departure from my normal podcasts.

Recently, readers sent to me an email and a blog post that Emerson Eggerichs, the author of Love & Respect, had written, and they wanted to get my take on it.

I didn’t want to write about it in a blog post, because I’ve already written four posts explaining the faulty and dangerous teaching in the book.

It was such a horrendous blog post, though, that I thought it was worth doing a podcast on, because that’s where I get to share in the most depth. I showed Keith the blog post, and he asked to record this podcast with me. So we read Eggerichs’ blog post, paragraph by paragraph, and dissected the trouble with it.

Please listen in. It’s a longer one, but it’s important.

If this isn’t your cup of tea, that’s okay. Regular programming will resume next week! But we felt this simply had to be addressed (and thank you for those of you who sent it in! I wouldn’t have seen it otherwise).

Here’s Keith and me:

A woman is writing in saying that Love & Respect caused the men in her group to become condescending and dismissive of their wives.

In the blog post, Emerson Eggerichs explains why the women are wrong.

Here’s the question that he was asked:


This material is excellent and much needed. We have read the book and attended a conference and been blessed by the material. We have just completed facilitating our first small group DVD teaching. We are hesitant to do another until we deal with the following issue. There is one area we are having difficulty with and want very much to discuss it with someone. For the most part the men in our small group are not “getting” that their wives have insight also. There being a scriptural command to respect and value men does not give license for them to disregard what their wives think. If there is one weakness in the material, we are finding it is the omission of the value of a woman’s insight; not as the leader but as an integral part of information gathered for the decision-making. . . . While this is not a problem in our own marriage, it seems to be a major one for the other couples. Listening to the material seems to have swung the pendulum the other direction so far. How to love your wife is being translated into a condescending attitude. Hope you can help.

Basically, she’s saying that the book study made the husbands act worse. And then Eggerichs replies, telling the woman that all of these wives’ perceptions are most likely off, likely because they’re being contentious and nagging.

Many of you have asked for transcripts of the podcast, and I haven’t done any so far. But for this podcast, we did have notes. We copied his entire blog post, and then paragraph by paragraph inserted what we wanted to say. So if you would like to read our notes, you are more than welcome. These are not a transcript of the podcast; we didn’t say everything that was here, and we said lots that isn’t here. But the main stuff is all here.

His blog post is in black; all the other colours are from different members of my team, who all collaborated on this document. Feel free to download these notes and follow along, or read them on their own!

A few other things mentioned in the podcast that you may find helpful:

And if you’re in a marriage where your spouse is treating you in a condescending way, or emotionally abusing you (or abusing you in other ways), see these resources:


We said so much in the podcast I can’t repeat it all here.

But I will say this:


  • If a pastor/writer/teacher tells you that disagreeing with them means that you’re disobeying Scripture or rejecting God, that’s wrong. It’s okay to examine things for yourself.
  • If a pastor tells you that you shouldn’t listen to your instincts (really the Holy Spirit’s voice inside of you), because you’re more easily deceived, that’s wrong.
  • If you go to a pastor/leader with a problem because you’re feeling dismissed and vulnerable, and you’re told that you have no reason to feel that way because no one is doing anything wrong to you, and the problem is you, that’s wrong. You matter, and what you feel matters.
  • If a pastor/leader tells you that it’s understandable if someone treats you badly simply because you didn’t ask in the right way, that’s wrong.
  • If a pastor/leader puts more onus on one person to act like Jesus than another, that’s wrong.
  • If a pastor/leader gives one person in the relationship the power to determine if the other person is acting according to Christ, that’s wrong. Whether or not you’re doing right is about whether you’re acting like Christ, not whether or not someone approves of you.
  • If a pastor/leader tells you that the way you follow Jesus is by following another person, that’s wrong.

Please, church. We can do better than this. We must do better than this.

I made an effort in 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage to give a balanced view of marriage, to show what marriage would look like when you’re dedicated to serving and loving the other person, but you’re also dedicated to intimacy and truth, which involves sharing your feelings, growing together, and not enabling sin. This is what marriage should look like.


Are you GOOD or are you NICE?

Because the difference matters!

God calls us to be GOOD, yet too often we’re busy being nice. And sometimes, in marriage, that can actually cause problems to be even more entrenched.

What if there’s a better way?

Next week, we’ll be starting a new segment on the podcast, where the last podcast of every month is directed at men. And this month’s is going to be a fun one! So we’ll be back to regular programming. But I feel as if, since I’ve spoken up on this stuff at length, I now  have an obligation to speak out again when I see things that are really heinous. So thank you to those who brought this to my attention, and I pray for a day when there is no need to make a podcast like this one, because we are all once again focused on Jesus, not focused on the man being in charge.

Did you listen to the podcast? Tell me what you think. And Keith really wants to know, too. I’m so glad he wanted to do this one with me! Let’s talk in the comments.

Other Posts in our Love and Respect Series:

Plus our Resource Pages:

The Biggest Supporter of Love & Respect is Focus on the Family

They publish the book and heavily promote it, and promote video series with Emerson Eggerichs. They also heavily promote his book Mothers & Sons, which primes the next generation of boys to feel they deserve unconditional respect, regardless of how they act. Please consider your giving to Focus on the Family, and contact them about your concerns. Without Focus on the Family's support, the Love & Respect ministry would dwindle considerably.

The Following People Have Endorsed Love & Respect

  • "Millions of lives and marriages – and in many ways, our whole culture – are completely different today because of the work of Emerson Eggerichs and Love and Respect ministries." Shaunti Feldhahn, best-selling author of For Women Only
  • "Occasionally I run into somebody whose material, what they’re teaching, and the quality of the person rocks my world." Dave Ramsey
  • "probably the most helpful [marriage book and seminar] we have ever experienced." Michael Hyatt
  • "With his Love and Respect concept, Emerson Eggerichs has discovered what can only be described as the Holy Grail of marital counseling." Eric Metaxas
  • "Dr. Emerson Eggerichs …is … balancing this scale [towards respect]" Dr. James Dobson
  • "People around the world, in every kind of business need to hear this simple yet life changing message." Anne Beiler
  • "I couldn't recommend Dr. Eggerichs highly enough. I call him the Billy Graham of marriage." Kendrick Vinar, lead pastor Grace Church of Chapel Hill

If any of these people would like to rescind or qualify their endorsements, please reach out, even confidentially. If any would like a confidential conversation about the problems with Love & Respect, please reach out. 

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Sheila is determined to help Christians find BIBLICAL, HEALTHY, EVIDENCE-BASED help for their marriage. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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