On my Friday Round-Ups I like to focus on things that have happened around the web on social media, because that’s where so much conversation takes place.
And you can miss it if you only watch the blog!
There are two big things from my own social media I want to share with you today, but the main thing I’d like to do is introduce you to Rebecca’s Instagram. She doesn’t post that often, because she’s so busy with the two babies and it’s all she can do to get the chapters for our mother-daughter book drafted.
But every now and then she does (It’s a video so hit play if you can):
I think people sometimes forget that we wrote The Great Sex Rescue without an office, without real funding, without much of anything. Rebecca and Joanna were raising babies and birthing babies (literally) and even losing babies (which was heartbreaking). I was sitting in my yellow chair.
We are not powerful. But we are changing the conversation because what we’re saying is resonating. People know it’s right. And so you all are amplifying, and we’re becoming one big voice.
But when people paint us as bullies, I have to laugh, because they have huge organizations and media outlets behind them, and we have….this.
For those of you who can’t read Rebecca’s caption, I’ll print it out here too:
THIS is what I spend most of my time doing.
Cleaning my kitchen.
Breastfeeding my daughter.
Reading to my son.
Taking care of my home.
There are some big-name authors who talk about me as if I’m some big evil mastermind, like there’s some huge conspiracy against them, like they’re somehow the victims when they’re the ones who are propped up by the largest organizations in Evangelicalism today. The ones who have made their living off the backs of women who have been bruised and beaten by their false teachings.
I hate to break it to them, but it’s not true—I’m not anyone special. I’m just a mom who wants better for her kids.
I’m just a mom who refuses to allow her son to grow up in a church who sees him as a lustful animal who needs women to keep him honest.
I’m just a mom who refuses to subject her daughter to soul-destroying teachings that her body is a problem, and her role is to be second to a man.
I’m just a mom who sees the poison you are pouring into her children’s milk, and is finally standing up.
I think they have to see us as some big mastermind threat. Like some huge, powerful enemy.
Because the alternative is way scarier.
The alternative is that we are just normal women. And we aren’t taking your crap anymore.
She did not learn about our sin nature in having babies.
Here’s another of her posts that really resonated when I shared it in my own Instagram stories:
Again, if you can’t read the caption (it doesn’t always come through on all the RSS feeds), here it is:
My kids are good.
Yes the baby cries. Yes she bites me every now and then.
Yes Alex spills his milk when he doesn’t pay attention. Yes he has big emotions when he gets overwhelmed.
But these are not “badness.” These are necessary parts of learning. My kids aren’t just “good kids”—my kids are an example of goodness.
They remind me every day that although I’m still learning, I was born with the same goodness my kids have.
The goodness that drives them towards connection.
The goodness of the look of joy when they learn something new.
The goodness in satisfaction and contentment found in everyday needs being met.
I love getting to see that goodness flourish. I don’t have to break their spirits, “beat the devil out of them,” or see them as dirty rotten sinners.
My job is to foster that goodness. To rejoice when they run towards love, towards Christ, and not get in their way.
“Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matt 19:14
Now for me–A Man’s Sex Drive is Not Like a Bedridden Woman Needing Someone to Get Her Water
On Facebook this week I shared a post by Ed Young, a megachurch pastor from Fellowship Church, who last week talked about sex in his sermon. He recorded a one minute video about how to understand a man’s sex drive–how it’s like a bedridden woman wanting her husband to give her water, and he keeps refusing.
It was absolutely awful.
Here’s what I said about it:
No, Ed Young, a woman saying no to sex is not equivalent to a husband not giving a bedridden wife the water she needs to stay alive.
People often tell me that I’m making too big a deal out of the problems with how the evangelical church teaches sex, and it’s not as bad as I say it is.
Well, this is what Ed Young, a megachurch pastor of Fellowship Church, posted JUST TWO DAYS AGO.
Let’s go through the big things that are totally wrong with this message:
- A person will die without water after 3 days. Nobody dies from lack of sex.
- He frames this as talking about a “man’s sex drive.” But in 19% of marriages SHE has the higher sex drive, and in 23% it’s shared. We need to stop making this gendered.
- He totally neglects to point out that the spouse the most likely to be deprived, if we simply count orgasms, is actually the woman. We should not be pressuring women to have sex without first saying that sex needs to be MUTUAL, INTIMATE, and PLEASURABLE FOR BOTH. We have a 47 point orgasm gap. Deal with that first.
- There is NEVER a reason to deprive a sick, bedridden person of water. There are plenty of times in a marriage where sex should be off the table, such as the postpartum period; recovery from pornography; recovery from betrayal trauma; a period of grief; when dealing with depression or anxiety; when dealing with abuse; even when trying to develop a healthy view of sex and needing some space to examine what you were taught.
- He elevates his sex drive over anything she may be feeling. 22% of evangelical women have experienced primary sexual pain (vaginismus being the most common) and 27% have experienced pain with sex after childbirth. To say that his need for sex is the equivalent of denying a sick person water without mentioning that she has needs too is negligent, to put it mildly.
- This reinforces the OBLIGATION SEX MESSAGE. When she believes the obligation sex message, her chance of experiencing vaginismus increases by the same rate as if she had been abused; she is 4 times less likely to frequently orgasm; she is 4 times less likely to say her husband makes her sexual pleasure a priority (among many other problems). When HE believes it? He is twice as likely to admit he doesn’t make his wife’s pleasure a priority (and other bad stuff, including a lower chance of his wife reaching orgasm).
- This makes it sound like women just say no to sex for no reason. But on the contrary: When there is high marital satisfaction; when she feels emotionally close to her husband during sex; when there is no porn use; when there is no sexual dysfunction; and when she frequently orgasms? Frequency takes care of itself. Pressuring women to have more sex WITHOUT talking about these underlying issues completely ignores her experience and centers sex around the man–which is ALSO one reason why women have low libidos.
And it’s not like it’s hard to talk about this in a healthy way! We showed how to reframe these messages in The Great Sex Rescue, and in the upcoming books The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex (totally revised!) and The Good Guy’s Guide to Great Sex, we build from the ground up a healthy marital sexual ethic.
Simply say, “Sex is a beautiful thing that God gave us, and it’s an important part of a healthy marriage. It’s meant to be MUTUAL, INTIMATE, and PLEASURABLE for both. But sometimes one of us has a higher felt need for sex than the other. Love and cherish each other outside the bedroom, and learn to be giving inside the bedroom, but remember that sex is the culmination of a wonderful relationship; it cannot, and it should not, build that relationship all on its own.”
The comment section was great too! Plus you have to see the original video (and go comment on his page as well. Let’s call him out for this!).
What if you're NOT the problem with your sex life?
What if the messages that you've been taught have messed things up--and what if there's a way to escape these toxic teachings?
It's time for a Great Sex Rescue.
I Fixed Owen Strachan for You!
Owen Strachan was prominent with the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and in his manifesto last week, Keith talked about how Owen’s response to hearing that Ravi Zacharias was a serial sexual predator was to say, “that could have been me.” And Keith agrees. It could have been, because the things Owen believe naturally lead to this kind of behaviour. They are the root. So we believe Owen.
Here’s the Fixed It For You where I talked about Keith’s post:
Here’s what I said about it:
Dear Owen: WE BELIEVE YOU when you say that you identify with abusers.
When you hear about the Ravi Zacharias scandal, and how he sexually abused many women and even sex trafficked many internationally, and how he viewed these women as “rewards” for his years of service to God–
–and your first thought is, “That could easily have been me…”
We totally believe you.
Recently on the blog my husband Keith wrote his “manifesto”, asking Christian men to realize how dangerous so much evangelical rhetoric has become for women, and asking men to jump out of the boiling water.
If even after all I have said, you still can’t let go of the idea of male preeminence, then please know this:
To those of us who have jumped out of the boiling water, when you shout about women needing to submit while failing to work on your own moral failings, we do not see a protector of Biblical truth. We see a scared little boy trying to feel strong by making others feel weak.
Similarly, when you shame and chastise women for immodest dress and “being a stumbling block”, we do not see those women as the harlots you try to paint them. Instead, we see you as a man who is not safe to be around.
And, most of all, when you push patriarchy and male privilege and then say you could EASILY become an abuser, know this: WE BELIEVE YOU.
(Read Keith’s whole Manifesto)
Interestingly, Owen actually jumped into the comments on Instagram (you have to root around, it’s buried in threads) to accuse us of slander. I think that’s kind of funny.
Owen says: I could have been an abuser.
We say: We agree with everything you say. We think you could have been an abuser too.
Owen says: That’s slander.
It would be funny if it weren’t so sad and serious!
So that’s it for my Friday roundup!
On Monday our Launch Team for The Good Guy’s Guide to Great Sex and the ALL NEW TOTALLY REVAMPED Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex launches! We’ve got an amazing preorder bonus with results from our men’s survey that aren’t even in the book. We’ve got an evangelical sex report card! Plus on the launch team you get an exclusive Facebook group with lots of Facebook lives and chances to interact with me and Rebecca and Keith, and a chance to get the books RIGHT NOW.
Want to reserve your spot on the launch team? Just email me your receipt for your preorder and you’ll get everything you need!
Anything stand out to you today? What do you think about what Rebecca said about babies? What about what Ed Young said about water? Let’s talk in the comments!
Sheila Wray Gregoire
Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum
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