Jesus did not come to redeem men, so that men could then in turn redeem women.
Jesus is not more relatable to men than to women, and men are not more in the image of God than women.
And yet this week there were all too many examples that tried to make Christianity into a religion that is primarily for men, where women are appendages.
That makes me angry. It reminds me of the real reason that Jesus threw out the moneylenders. They were operating in the temple courts, which is where women and the Gentiles were allowed to congregate to be near God. And by using the temple courts, the money lenders were preventing them from seeking God or coming near God.
Jesus gets angry when we prevent people from coming near Him.
Today’s a special day for me personally.
Rebecca and I have been working all week finishing up our manuscript for our mother-daughter book (tentatively titled She Deserves Better), and by mid-afternoon today I will be DONE.
I will not have something else I need to do because I’m under deadline. I will not have another big project in the pipeline.
For the first time in 2 1/2 years, I will honestly be done. You have no idea how excited I am!
Connor just about has our new website ready to go, and we’ll be doing a migration in a month or so (that’s been a huge project too), and I have a lot of cleaning up on the back end of my blog and my email list (have you joined my email list, by the way?) and I’m so looking forward to that!
I feel so relieved.
But at the same time, it’s been a weird week, and I didn’t realize how weird until I started to look at my social media and see how it intersected with Keith’s post this week on how Christian masculinity isn’t about being a bully, and the podcast that went with it.
On Fridays I like to share what’s been happening on social media, because a lot of the engagement in this community happens not on the blog, but elsewhere.
First, the two fixed it for yous!
And my caption that went with it:
Our survey of 20,000 women found that when husbands make the final decision in the marriage, even if they consult with their wives first, the chance of divorce increases 7.4 times.
And when women feel as if their opinions don’t count, orgasm rates plummet and marital satisfaction plummets.
The idea that marriage is supposed to be a hierarchy is just simply poison. It has terribly bad fruit.
Marriage and sex should be a deep “knowing” of each other, a deep intimacy. You cannot have intimacy with another person if one person matters more than the other. If one matters more, then the other person’s needs and wants are erased. It’s no longer a knowing.
When we see doctrine like this, we need to reject it. And we need to start questioning those who quote people like Doug Wilson, despite his toxic views on women. If he thinks this about marriage, what else is he terribly wrong about? (Perhaps slavery, because Wilson thinks that wasn’t that bad).
We can do better, church.
Then Owen Strachan joined the party and tweeted out something so ridiculous Twitter erupted.
I actually had another Fixed it For You planned for this one, but so many already did their own versions of what I had planned! So I went another route instead.
Keith’s response when he saw Owen’s original tweet was to think:
When in human history did God stake everything on one individual?
And the most obvious answer was with Esther. The king was planning a genocide of the Jewish people, and God put Esther in a place “for such a time as this” to intervene.
Then let’s not forget that when Jesus rose, He appeared to Mary in the garden, and told HER to go tell the disciples. So the first witness of the resurrection was a woman, and He sent the woman to tell the men and set the wheels in motion. Sure sounds like God uses women, too!
But the big thing is that JESUS is our foundation, not men. What Strachan and Wilson seem to be preaching (and Partridge and Morse from Ketih’s article) has little resemblance to Christianity, and seems instead to be an ideology that justifies male supremacy. It’s anti-Christ.
Turning to something different, a number of podcasts that I’ve been on dropped this week!
I’ll mention just one–Bodies Behind the Bus. It’s a podcast telling stories of people hurt by Acts 29 churches, specifically due to spiritual abuse or the covering up of sexual abuse.
The hosts had me on even though I don’t specifically talk about the Acts 29 network (which was formed by Mark Driscoll and now headed up by Matt Chandler), but they thought The Great Sex Rescue spoke to some common themes.
(Incidentally, the best incident that most encapsulates the abuse in these churches was when Matt Chandler sent emails to the whole church and publicly disciplined and chided Karen Hinkley, a parishioner, for wanting to annul her marriage to her husband, who was addicted to child sexual abuse materials and had been even before they were married. He hadn’t disclosed this to her, and she felt this made their marriage invalid.
Chandler insisted they do marriage counseling and reconcile.
When the story hit the national news, about how they had been hounding her, even though she had left the church and rescinded her membership (they said she wasn’t allowed to do that since she had signed a membership contract), he finally relented.
On the podcast, we discussed the underlying themes of the way the evangelical church frames sexuality that lead to situations like these:
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.
But in all of that, I’ve also had a really encouraging week.
Our book is good. Really good. It won’t be out for a long while yet, but I’m excited! We’re going to change things.
And I’ve heard from so many new pastors this week who liked The Great Sex Rescue! Another woman told me that she got on the library committee of her church so that she could clean out the marriage books and replace the bad ones with good ones.
Another woman told me that reading The Great Sex Rescue saved her marriage, because she went into such a downward spiral after reading Every Man’s Battle last year, thinking that her husband was a monster and was irredeemable, and she had to protect her kids from being raised by a man. Knowing that the authors did NOT speak for every man, and that masturbating in gym parking lots or to sleeping teenage sisters-in-law is NOT normal was a major relief for her, and she feels as if she’s finally, slowly, coming back.
Things are changing. And the response to Owen’s tweet was so overwhelmingly negative that it seems as if people aren’t afraid to call out the bad stuff anymore. This gives me hope. We’re making a difference!
And now I’m going to sign off and go finish the last mother-daughter exercises for She Deserves Better!
Sheila Wray Gregoire
Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum
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