On Fridays I like to take a look at what’s been happening on social media this week, because often most of the writing/thoughts end up on Facebook or Instagram, and if you mostly read the blog you may miss them.

So let’s go:

Let’s talk Kissing Before Marriage!

I posted this on Facebook: 

Let’s talk kissing before marriage!

One of the things I shared at Colorado Christian University last week: For the last twenty years in certain evangelical circles we’ve been saying that the ideal, the standard, the norm is no kissing before marriage.

But in our data of 20,000 predominantly Christian (and mostly evangelical) women, the vast, vast majority kissed before marriage.

Over 60s? 100% did.

In their 50s? Over 98% did.

It isn’t until you get to the under 30s that it starts to go up–but even then, 88% of women did.

The vast majority of people teaching that you should not kiss before marriage actually did kiss before marriage.

And we couldn’t even measure if NOT kissing before marriage was harmful (it looks like it likely was) because the results weren’t statistically significant, BECAUSE THERE WERE SO FEW OF THEM.
We talk like this is normal; but even with I Kissed Dating Goodbye selling millions of copies, people still kissed!

Kissing is not sex.

Sheila Wray Gregoire


Interesting comments! Some were claiming that at least not kissing meant that you didn’t have sex (insinuating that if you did kiss, you likely had sex). Well, Joanna since ran the numbers for me, and when you look at couples who only ever had sex with each other, 71% who kissed before marriage did wait for the wedding.

So again–kissing isn’t sex!

Keith really brings it home in his video about the church justifies abuse

This was part of our podcast last week, but so many people asked for just this segment that we posted the video on Facebook and YouTube for you to share if it was too hard to share the whole podcast!

And if you’d rather share the text, it’s based on his post from last week about male power leading to abuse. 


And remember to share it!

I’ve had some amazing feedback on my podcast from this week about attachment to God.

If you haven’t listened to our podcast with Krispin Mayfield, please do. The part on the wordless book is so important. The reason so many people feel so unlovable and have such shame is not due to sin they’ve committed but instead sin that’s been done to them. And yet we make people feel as if they are horribly tainted so much that God can’t stand to look at them. Is this really the message we need? How can we have a message of God that incorporates our sin, yes, but also considers the far more likely thing that many of us have been marred by pain? And what if our theology about connection is keeping us from God, rather than our sin? 

One woman left this comment on Facebook about it:

Shelia, I’m listening to the podcast and feel just dumbfounded. How could the church have so missed that most of us have broken attachments and therefore interpreted all this poorly-stated or just plain heretical theology in a really damaging way? How did they say they know we’re all broken without Jesus but somehow just not see me? Because so many others grew up hearing what I did but will say “I didn’t take it that way” or “Well, yeah, but also. . . ” I heard exactly the words said and took them for what they literally meant in English and ran HARD after Jesus—finding every fault I could correct, cutting off any and all feelings so I wouldn’t have “bad” ones–and it almost killed me. If feeling far from God was my fault and God wouldn’t heal my depression, then there was no hope for me. The Gospel was strong enough for everyone else but not me. I was too screwed up for the Good News to be good, for the Loving Father to feel loving, for the Hope of the World to lift me out of despair. It’s taken me a DECADE to open my Bible voluntarily without choking feelings of fear or shame.

How do I rage against the harmful theology that is hurting so many when people keep saying, much like they tell you about your marriage critiques, “Oh, you’re just not interpreting that right” or “Oh, well I wasn’t writing for wounded people”?????

When people leave comments that aren’t quite the “own” they think it is

I tweeted this out:


For those who can’t read it (who receive my newsletter by email), it says: “So…a guy just left a one-star review on The Great Sex Rescue because we said that men shouldn’t be satisfied sexually unless their wives are also satisfied. Apparently women should be more sacrificial. I don’t think that’s the own he thinks it is.”

Honestly, the three of us were really laughing over that review. And just a reminder–if you’ve read The Great Sex Rescue, or the new Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex and the Good Guy’s Guide to Great Sex, reviews on Amazon and/or Goodreads make such a difference!


I think we all need to sit with this a while.

I left this image on Facebook and Instagram, with the caption below:

Jay Adams about Divorce
Imagine compassion being a BAD thing!
I used to recommend that women who wrote into my blog in distress in their marriage talk to their pastor.
I can’t do that anymore. I’ve heard from far too many women who did that and it ended disastrously. I’ve seen studies that over 90% of women who escaped abusive marriages would not recommend going to their pastor, because of how badly it went for them.
I know some churches do it right. But look at this quote from Jay Adams, the founder of biblical counseling, and remember that many churches rely on biblical counseling (instead of licensed, integrated Christian counseling which uses best practices of research).
Women, if you need help, go to the people who love you and your kids the most. Who are invested in your well-being (not just your appearances). Who you can trust.
Sometimes that will be family. Sometimes it will be friends. And rarely it will be the church.
But most churches have male only elder boards. The elders are friends with your husband. They may be abusers themselves (27% of religious men who believe in male headship admit to perpetrating intimate partner violence on their current partner). And many churches won’t let you divorce for abuse. Focus on the Family doesn’t. John MacArthur doesn’t. It’s bad.
And please note: If your church isn’t safe for women in abusive marriages, then your church isn’t safe period. Let’s start growing the safe churches, so that in future church will be a safe place to recommend.
Sheila Wray Gregoire

Facebook and Instagram

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 know I meant to share some great comments that came in this week, but I can’t remember which ones I promised to now! So if you remember me saying anything like “I should share that on Friday”, remind me what it was and I’ll make a post out of it next week!

In the meantime, remember you can help us out by:

  • Leaving reviews of our books on Amazon and/or Goodreads
  • Becoming a Patron as to support our work on two peer-reviewed papers this summer
  • See if your church/university/women’s group wants to host an event with me next year! Anywhere on the mid-to-east United States (like Texas and east). (Other events can also be arranged, but we’ll be down with our RV).
  • Leaving a 5-star review of the Bare Marriage podcast wherever you listen–and downloading our podcast to listen to help our download numbers as we look for sponsorships

Thank you, and have a great weekend!

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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