Lord God, as well, I pray for those men who are here that are cowards. They are silent passive impish worthless men. They are making a mess of everything in their life. And they are such sweet little boys that no one ever confronts them on that. I pray for the women who enable them, who permit them to continue in folly, those who are mothers, sisters, girlfriends and wives. I pray Lord God for men who are chauvinists. Those who are mean who are brash who are rude who are harsh. Who Lord God think they are tough when in fact they are satanic…
–Pastor Mark Driscoll’s prayer* in front of an audience of men and women after reading the instruction to husbands in 1 Peter 3:7
Commenter Michael identified the most potent snare in the Stepping Up™ advertisement:
Why does the husband have to be “harangued by his ballbusting wife”?
Answer: Because he is not doing what he is supposed to do. He isn’t taking the initiative with his son. He isn’t being a man. He’s a fat slob parked on the couch watching T.V. eating Cheeto’s and drinking beer.
This guy, this fat Dad with a bad back, this guy isn’t a real man. He is a lazy ball-less slob.
The advertisement dangles a poor example of a Christian husband in front of the audience, and invites the audience to tear down the position of husband in Christian marriage and excuse feminist rebellion. This is of course exactly what a number of commenters proceeded to do. Matthew King fired the first salvo on Christian headship in defense of feminist rebellion (emphasis his):
…when men begin acting like men, women will follow their command. It is our fault, it is our responsibility, that is the message they are trying to get across. But you would rather defend the prerogative of middle-aged adolescent parasites because, like, feminism and stuff.
In another comment he continued, failing to see the irony of his accusing others of excusing while himself excusing feminist rebellion:
Men can just assert their prerogatives and the rest will fall into place. If they wanted to. But you are adding excuse upon excuse upon excuse for their ongoing lethargy, for the thousand reasons why it never should have come to this…
Matt not only excuses feminist rebellion if husbands aren’t good enough, he is an armchair husband with boasts of courage he has never displayed in the face of risks he has never confronted:
But what if she doesn’t listen? What if she goes her own way? What if she files for divorce, takes my kids? Or calls the police? What if she writes a mean blog post about how horrible a husband I am? These are phantoms, fantastical fears you would rather have direct you in the abstract hypothetical than confront them in the face and thereby demonstrate they are not real.
Fellow armchair husband and thirty-something peterpan manboy Earl soon joined Matt in excusing feminist rebellion against the Bible because Christian husbands aren’t perfect:
Women’s rebellion only happens because a strong man isn’t there to guide her.
Men are the representation of God on earth. When men rebel against God…women rebel against men. It starts with the father…and continues with the husband.
Most women only get evil in this day and age because men are afraid what would happen if they stand up by taking the good side.
For all of their hollow bluster about men’s obligation to lead women, neither of these two men considered the fact that their own writings are leading women into sin. They wrote these words to an audience of married men and women. They know modern Christian women are strongly tempted to rebel against the biblical instruction to wives to submit to their husbands, and like the serpent in the garden they whisper words of temptation instead of encouraging them to remain faithful.
If your husband were a worthy man like me, you wouldn’t feel tempted to rebel.
Make no mistake, there is no courage in this act of treachery. What takes courage, obedience, and faith is to witness a failing Christian husband and remember that the Bible is clear that husbands are the head of the household, and wives are called to submit to their husbands even if the husband is not leading her as Christ leads the Church.
These men are overcome by their own pride and a desire to curry favor with the wives they are speaking to. In the case of Pastors who sin this way it is to strengthen their position of leadership over their congregation, and this is by far the most damaging act of treachery. In the case of the omegas circling the camp hoping to find a shortcut to manhood by currying favor with unhappy wives, the treachery is no less real but it is far less damaging because these men are failures whom neither men nor women respect. But either way, this is how feminist rebellion is sold to modern Christians, and it perfectly explains why movies like Fireproof and Couragous are so eagerly accepted. Christian women in feminist rebellion are eager to hear a message which absolves them of the clear instruction to submit to their husbands, and far too many Christian men are looking to ingratiate themselves to the women in rebellion.
*H/T Robert Yates