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It’s Time to Celebrate–and also Refocus on Christ

In the last podcast of 2021 I was very, very tired. I took two weeks completely offline, knit a ton, and rejuvenated.

And then we had some really good news (including hitting 1,000,000 downloads of the podcast on December 31!), and I decided it was time to open the year celebrating what has happened, and reminding us why we’re doing all of this: so that we can put Christ back at the centre.

Plus there was an awesome Twitter thread I just had to share with you! So listen in:

Or, as always, you can watch on YouTube:

 

Timeline of the Podcast

0:10 2021 in Review
3:10 Summarizing GSR/Christian Climate
18:10 Discussion on the life of male evangelicals
29:00 Interview with Scott and Melissa Coley
1:00:30 What will your belief outcomes be?
1:05:15 Keith discusses men in the church

Celebrating What’s Happened with The Great Sex Rescue!

Rebecca and I open up the year with a bit of a victory lap–plus we tell the story of The Great Sex Rescue. I realized that I tell the story so often when I’m on other people’s podcasts, but I rarely tell it on our own. We talk about elements of the book, but we don’t summarize the book as a whole. So I thought it was time to do that, and explain the four big teachings we found that were detrimental to women’s sexual and marital satisfaction:

  • Women are obligated to have sex when their husbands want it
  • Women should have frequent sex with their husbands to keep them from watching porn
  • All men struggle with lust; it’s every man’s battle
  • Boys will push girls’ sexual boundaries

We talked about how it all got started when I read Love & Respect–and we created some merch to set the record straight on that, too!

Does Christian Marriage advice make life so easy for men?

In December, Scott Coley, from the Faith, Philosophy and Politics podcast (here’s my episode with him!), published an awesome Twitter thread where he talks about how, if you follow Christian marriage advice about gender roles, life becomes so easy for Christian men. There’s no sacrifice. You get everything you want and you get to do anything you want:

Here’s the whole thing:

While we’re on the subject of virtual church:

What’s striking about large swaths of the American evangelical church is that if you’re a white American man with conventional tastes and modest abilities, being an evangelical Christian is just. so. easy.

In fact, if you’re a white male in the US just looking out for your own personal interests, you’d be crazy to choose any other way of life.

To start with, you get to just show up and start theologizing from your own point of view, that just counts as ‘theology’.

You get married and then you never have to make your bed or do laundry or cook ever again.

And you get to be the decider of things.

And you get to gain as much weight as you want but she can’t because if she does then you get a pass on infidelity—well not a *totally* free pass but she’s not allowed to get properly angry with you because she let herself go, so she kinda had it coming.

And all you really have to do, basically, is just keep the womenfolk in their place and the cultural interlopers at bay, and don’t look at pornography—unless the wife lets herself go, in which case you still shouldn’t do it but it’s a as much her fault as yours at that point.

So except for lusting after women that aren’t your wife—which shouldn’t be a problem if the missus is doing her part—you just do all the stuff you’d want to do anyway as a white American man, and it counts as Christianity.

No cross to bear.

No hating your father and mother.

No meaningful sacrifice.

No effort to understand perspectives that make you uncomfortable.

In short, it’s just nothing like the life that Christ tells his followers to expect.

So a lot of white evangelical men were doing virtual church long before live streaming came along.

And surely it’s of no matter whether such men attend virtual church in person or online.

Scott Coley

Twitter Thread

Scott and Melissa Coley joined me to talk about how this isn’t a Christian view of marriage or gender roles, and how we have to get back to putting Jesus at the centre.

The Network of people who preach these things

Rebecca and I then talked about how these types of ideas get promulgated, and I made reference to this chart created by Josiah Hawthorne on Twitter (he gave me permission to share it):

Network of Complementarianism

I know it’s hard to read–you can see a bigger version here! A couple of things: the Bible that’s at the bottom is the English Standard Version, the one that was translated deliberately to obscure the importance of women and to subjugate them (more on that here). And my favourite part is Kevin Bacon at the bottom for no reason.

Reader Question: I have to have sex with my husband to control his irritability

Keith joined me for this one, where we had a disturbing reader question: 

A few years into our marriage, I read a book that recommended not going more than 3-4 days without sex. My desire to be a good wife and to take care of my husband’s needs led me to follow that advice. It actually made a lot of sense to me because it seemed then (and still seems today) like after 3-4 days without sex, my husband would become so irritable and grumpy. I have to think through family plans with that in mind. For example, if we are doing a fun family day on Saturday, I need to make sure he gets sex on Friday night so that he will be most agreeable and pleasant with me and the kids the next day. After 16 years of marriage, my mental clock still keeps track and if sex doesn’t happen, the kids and I pay the price with having to deal with a crabby dad/husband.

My husband will complain sometimes that sex just seems like something else on my to-do list. He is right. And while I enjoy it, I definitely would not want to do it so often but he is just easier to deal with when he has it on a frequent basis. Also I find that if I need to talk to him about something or there is a problem we need to work on, we need to have sex first so that he is more likely to be emotionally available.

Also, I have mentioned to him that he can seem irritable when he hasn’t had sex but he insists it is because physical touch is his love language.

Keith and I talked about how this doesn’t look anything like Christ–and how too often our advice looks nothing like Christ.

So we want to put Christ back in Christian marriage advice in January, and we decided to end the podcast with that perspective:

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:1-11

Things Mentioned in This Podcast:

 

Podcast Making Christian Marriage focused on Christ
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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