They’re too traditional to submit to their husbands.

Submitting to the Lord sometimes involves drawing clear boundaries and enacting consequences when a husband sins.

–Mary Kassian

As I noted the other day, complementarians have a brilliant tactic to put wives in charge of their husbands.  They support their favorite sin by claiming they are merely objecting to sin.  If you don’t support making Christian wives the rulers of their husbands, you must be an advocate of men sinning with pornography!

For another example of this, see His Dearly Loved Daughter Ministries. Click on the link to see the disturbing pictures of what complementarian marriage looks like (scroll down for more at the bottom). Her thoroughly broken and traumatized husband looks like a kidnap victim trying to signal for help.

The dominating wife in the pictures is Esther Hosea (blog handle).  In her post What should I do about his porn problem? 8“First Steps” for Wives she explains that wives who submit to their husbands instead of dominating them via the wake-up call model are guilty of the sin of idolatry.  They must fully prepare themselves to divorce their husband if he doesn’t submit to their authority:

Step Three – Surrender Your Pride and Your Idols to God

This one is hard. This one hurts a little bit. (Or if you’re like me, a whole lot!) But it’s one of the most important steps for those seeking true healing. I’m going to ask you a few questions. They’re hard questions. Please take your time, seek God, and answer them as honestly as you can.

1.) Does the thought of your marriage ending bother you more than the thought of living with this sin forever?

2.) Are you more horrified by the idea of everyone knowing you “failed” at your marriage than you are at the idea of there being a secret sin in your marriage that no one knows about but you and your husband?

3.) Do you believe God would prefer for you to be abused than divorced?

4.) What’s more important to you, obedience to God, or the approval of Christians?

Once Christian wives repent of the sin of making an idol of their marriage, they will be prepared to set and enforce boundaries on their husbands:

Step Seven – Make Strong, Clear, Biblical Boundaries

I could write a whole book on the importance of Biblical boundaries… oh, wait. I have!

[Promo for her book at Amazon]

What does the Bible say about relational boundaries? Find answers to that question and many others. Learn how to define, establish, and implement healthy, God-honoring boundaries in your own life with the Biblical Boundaries Workbook. Available now on Amazon!

You guys, second only to seeking God, this is the most important step on this list! And frankly, if you’re seeking God, He IS going to lead you to make strong boundaries that honor Him.

If you have no idea where to start, check out this series I wrote: Biblical Boundaries, or just buy the workbook, which takes all the information in the series and adds tons of interactive questions to help you figure this issue out for yourself. If you know you need to make boundaries, but you have no idea where to start, or how to do it in a way that honors God, this book will show you where and how to find the answers! By the time you finish it, I guarantee you’ll have good solid boundaries ready to go and know everything you need to know about how to keep them.

The whole site is packed with statements like this.  For example, from one of the posts in the Biblical Boundaries series she links to she explains that at times she is tempted to waver in dominating her husband.  But then the Bible reminds her that wives must dominate their husbands (emphasis mine):

This is probably the area I struggle most in. It doesn’t “feel” loving to say, “If you do x, I will have to ask you to leave our house for 90 days.” It feels mean.

The thing is, I can see it easily with my children. I totally get that setting strong boundaries with them and enforcing painful consequences when they disobey is a loving way to set them up for success in life. I can understand that as a result of my delight in them, I will faithfully discipline and correct. But my husband is not my child. My friends, my parents, extended family members are not the same as my children. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like I have a right to “discipline” those people.

Then I read a passage like 1 Corinthians 5. Wow!

Sisters, God has commanded us to establish and enforce boundaries around morality with all believers! Why? As an act of love. Verse 5 shows us that disciplining such violations will basically force the person to hit rock bottom, which is the most likely way to see him restored.


Posted in Complementarian, Threatpoint, Too traditional to be traditional, Traditional Conservatives, Turning a blind eye, Ugly Feminists, Wake-up call | 123 Comments

Academics understand that chivalry isn’t Christian

I came across a page on Chivalry and Courtly Love the other day.  It appears to be lecture notes from DePaul University, and is dated 1998.

What nearly all conservative Christians now falsely believe to come from Christianity (chivalry) is of course a mockery of Christianity (emphasis mine):

Chivalric or Courtly Love (known in medieval France as “fine love” or fin amour) originated with the so-called troubadours of the late eleventh century. Promoting a suave new form of paganism which they called Gai Saber (literally, “the happy wisdom” or “gay science”), these colorful figures from the Provence region of southern France effectively challenged and sought to redefine traditional Christian ideals of love, marriage, manhood, virtue, and femininity. Under the sponsorship of powerful nobles like Eleanor of Aquitaine and Marie de Champagne, their influence gradually spread throughout France and eventually into England and Germany. By the middle of the 13th century, the troubadour philosophy had become practically institutionalized throughout the courts of Europe, and “fine love” had become the basis for a glamorous and exciting new style of life.

Courtly love (what we call chivalry) is a tempting game for conservatives of all stripes to play with:

Couples engaged in a courtly relationship conventionally exchanged gifts and tokens of their affair. The lady was wooed according to elaborate conventions of etiquette (cf. “courtship” and “courtesy”) and was the constant recipient of songs, poems, bouquets, sweet favors, and ceremonial gestures. For all these gentle and painstaking attentions on the part of her lover, she need only return a short hint of approval, a mere shadow of affection. After all, she was the exalted domina–the commanding “mistress” of the affair; he was but her servus–a lowly but faithful servant.

Posted in Chivalry, Courtly Love, New Morality, Traditional Conservatives | 144 Comments

“Look what he made me do!” as a murder defense.

Submitting to the Lord sometimes involves drawing clear boundaries and enacting consequences when a husband sins.

–Mary Kassian

Fox News explains that a wife who shot and killed her husband was trying to give him a wakeup call in Arkansas woman convicted of killing husband for his refusal to quit porn

Hill was infuriated that her husband had repeatedly subscribed to a porn channel on their Dish Network, despite her protests, Hill’s attorney said in court Monday.

…She said she didn’t know that shooting at his feet could kill him as he bent over. She said she only meant for the shooting to get his attention.

In other words, this was about power and control.

According to a local news story, her attorney explained that she shot her husband because what he was doing was an affront to her and God:

James said Frank Hill’s watching pornography was a “personal affront to her (Patricia Hill) and to her god. She told him over and over again to stop, and he said he would but went right back to doing it.”

According to People, Patricia Hill was found guilty and sentenced to 12 years.

Not surprisingly, none of the news stories I’ve found on the trial frame Patricia Hill as a domestic abuser who killed her victim in a fit of rage when she couldn’t exert power and control over him.  Yet if the sexes were reversed this would be a textbook case of the Duluth model.  As the founders of the Duluth model explain, domestic violence is always an expression of men feeling entitled to dominate and punish their women, which they blame on Christianity:

The underpinnings of the Duluth curriculum do come from a historical analysis. When Europeans came to this continent, they brought religion, laws, and economic systems that institutionalized the status of women as the property of men through marriage. From the church to the state, there was not only acceptance of male supremacy, but also an expectation that husbands would maintain the family order by controlling their wives. Various indiscretions committed by wives were offenses to be punished by husbands.

…Violence ends arguments. Violence is punishment—it sends a powerful message of disapproval.

That her own attorney felt free to present her desire to exert power and control over her husband as wholly natural speaks volumes.  The reality is that nearly everyone in our society wholeheartedly supports domestic violence so long as the wife is the one exerting control.  Hill’s offense in the minds of most is not her desire to dominate her husband.  That is seen as good by everyone from feminists to complementarians.  Her offense is the method she used to achieve power and control.  Flying into a violent rage and breaking things would have been the preferred complementarian reaction, and Kathy Keller smashing the couple’s wedding china with a hammer is offered up as the model for Christian wives to follow. As Family Life explains, often times a wife has to result to violent measures to ensure that an “issue” is resolved.  From Cycle of Unresolved Issues:

“What will it take to get your attention?” In the book The Meaning of Marriage, authors Tim and Kathy Keller relate how Kathy got Tim’s attention by lining up some of her good china, and as soon as Tim walked in the door, breaking it with a hammer. She got his attention!

Posted in Complementarian, Domestic Violence, Duluth Model, FamilyLife, Mary Kassian, Tim and Kathy Keller, Too traditional to be traditional, Turning a blind eye, Ugly Feminists, Wake-up call | 87 Comments

Too traditional to be traditional

I’ve created a new category to tag posts:  Too traditional to be traditional

So far only three posts (aside from this one) are tagged with it, but the thought process is common so I’m sure more are to come:

I’ve probably missed some existing posts that fit into the category. Feel free to let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions.

Posted in Too traditional to be traditional, Traditional Conservatives | 11 Comments

They’re too traditional to stay married.

Rollo kindly shared a New Yorker article that he thought I’d be interested in:
A Sociologist of Religion on Protestants, Porn, and the “Purity Industrial Complex”

The article is an interview with sociologist Samuel L. Perry, who is looking at modern Christian culture from the outside.  One of his observations is that “complementarian” wives are twice as likely as other women to divorce their husbands for viewing pornography:

Conservative Protestants tend to be what we would call “complementarian”…

Conservative Protestant women are twice as likely to divorce their husband because of his pornography use. And it’s not because their husbands are looking at porn any more often than non-conservative Protestant husbands. It’s because they draw a hard line, and they consider pornography use not just analogous to but literally adultery, or a betrayal, or a perversion. And so the consequences of pornography use for their relationships are extreme compared to consequences for anybody else’s relationships.

You’ve got these marriages that are blowing up because of pornography. With the survey data, I’m able to see the severity of consequences over the general population, but I’m not able to hear the stories. So what was so powerful to me was when Christian women would describe what it was like to discover their husband was looking at pornography: the anger that they felt, the betrayal that they described, and how they were processing it, how they called it adultery, and how they said it was betrayal. Or the husbands would describe getting caught and talk about how their wives didn’t talk to them for two weeks and threatened divorce. One of them came home to bags packed on the front porch.

Coming from the outside, what he doesn’t understand is this is about power.  Complementarians pretend that they believe in biblical headship, but in practice the foundation of complementarianism is the wife is in charge.  Pornography threatens a cherished lever of power for complementarian wives, which is denial of sex.  This lever of power isn’t unique to complementarian wives, as all wives are tempted to use it.  See for example Alyssa Milano’s recent call for a sex strike over abortion.

Athol Kay explained how porn threatens this lever of power, and why wives using denial of sex to manipulate their husbands have a much more violent reaction to their husbands viewing porn than other wives do in his post Wives Denying Sex and The Porn Firewall:

Here’s the situation…

After several months or a few years of his wife denying sex, the husband ends up seeking some kind of sexual solace in using porn to masturbate to. Typically he carefully hides this activity from his wife, because he knows the reaction it will get.

Sure enough though, eventually he slips up and she discovers the porn. Whereupon she reacts just the way he knew she would – with a huge explosion of rage. Porn, it will be explained to him, is demeaning to women, disgusting, immoral, wrong, disappointing, revolting and hurtful. It’s also very likely to be explained to him that his use of porn has now put the relationship back several steps, just as she was starting to feel like she could open up to him, but of course now she can’t, and it’s all his fault.

Thus The Porn Firewall is created.

The unmet need for sex is a powerful impulse, and to keep a physically healthy male in an intimate relationship, but deny him sex, requires a heavy hand of control…

It’s an old behavioral technique to smack down hard on a person making a minor infraction, to intimidate then into never even considering a major infraction.

Complementarians are coy about this, but they play by the same script.  Pastor Doug Wilson explains in The Suitor and his Porn that the problem with pornography is that it makes husbands lazy, and therefore they won’t be willing to work hard enough to earn sex from their wives:

Laziness: real sex takes real effort. Sometimes it requires two or more jobs — because the children must be fed. If the only effort for the young man’s sexual gratification is the effort his parents put out in getting a wireless connection down to the basement, then the chances are good that he will have come to believe that sexual release is low-hanging fruit, because in his lazy world, it has been. Marriage won’t fix sexual laziness because marriage won’t fix laziness. Marriage often makes laziness worse. But laziness as a character deficiency can be publicly identified. Marriage spurs the right kind of man to work hard, and encourages the wrong kind of man to slack off.

Entitlement: if the young man in question has a sense of entitlement about things generally — grades, employment, standard of living, and so on — it should not be surprising that he is the kind of person who will just “expect” what is his due. If for some reason that drifts away from him, he will still feel entitled. The most common way this happens in marriage is that a man does not treat his wife right, they start to quarrel and drift apart, and this naturally includes their sex life, and he feels just as entitled as he ever did. And the computer is right there. If she is going to take away x, then I will compensate with y — and she can’t complain, because its really her fault. Like laziness, the root problem is abdication of responsibility.

Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, explains the problem with pornography in a strikingly similar way in his Christian Post article The Seduction of Pornography and the Integrity of Christian Marriage, Part 2 (emphasis mine):

The emotional aspect of sex cannot be divorced from the physical dimension of the sex act. Though men are often tempted to forget this, women possess more and less gentle means of making that need clear.

Consider the fact that a woman has every right to expect that her husband will earn access to the marriage bed…

…when I say that a husband must regularly “earn” privileged access to the marital bed, I mean that a husband owes his wife the confidence, affection, and emotional support that would lead her to freely give herself to her husband in the act of sex.

Put most bluntly, I believe that God means for a man to be civilized, directed, and stimulated toward marital faithfulness by the fact that his wife will freely give herself to him sexually only when he presents himself as worthy of her attention and desire.

Perhaps specificity will help to illustrate this point. I am confident that God’s glory is seen in the fact that a married man, faithful to his wife, who loves her genuinely, will wake up in the morning driven by ambition and passion in order to make his wife proud, confident, and assured in her devotion to her husband. A husband who looks forward to sex with his wife will aim his life toward those things that will bring rightful pride to her heart, will direct himself to her with love as the foundation of their relationship, and will present himself to her as a man in whom she can take both pride and satisfaction.

Pastor Dave Wilson takes a slightly different approach, explaining that God communicates his displeasure with husbands through their wives (non) burning bush:

According to Pastor Dave Wilson and his wife, Ann, a man’s relationship with God is key to unlocking the mystery of marital intimacy.

Dave:  Yes. Here’s all you need to know about that night—the thing that changed our marriage is when Ann was sharing with me what she felt—I had a pretty unique encounter with God. I sensed God was speaking to me, through Ann;

The complementarian response to men viewing pornography isn’t about the threat pornography poses as a sin, it is the threat pornography poses to one of complementarians’ favorite sins.  Key to understanding this is to remember that the Bible teaches that husbands and wives are not to deny each other sex, because this would create temptation for sexual sin.  This comes in the same passage where the Apostle Paul explains that Christians who experience sexual temptation should marry and have sex (1 Cor 7:1-5, ESV).

 7 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Complementarians have inverted Scripture, because what Paul tells us is prohibited (denial of sex) is a cherished tool for complementarian wives.  In this sense it is a sin being used to further another sin (not submitting to their husbands).  Husbands viewing porn threatens this cherished complementarian sin, and so it must be eradicated. But again, the reason for the intense focus on pornography isn’t to forsake sin in general, it is to pave the way for other sins that complementarians are heavily invested in.

One way to cross check this is to see if the complementarian response to women using pornography is similar.  Complementarians don’t teach that a husband’s sexual attraction to his wife is God’s method of making his wife submit to him.  Moreover, in the same New Yorker interview sociologist Samuel L. Perry explained that complementarian husbands don’t threaten their wives if the wife is viewing pornography.  In that case, the sin this is ostensibly about is not nearly the problem:

Of the women who were watching porn, was it more that they themselves were feeling guilty, as you hinted at? Or was it that their husbands were also mad at them?

I had very few interviews where a Christian wife was looking at porn. In the heterosexual relationships in which I interviewed conservative Christians, it was almost always the man who was looking at porn. The Christian women who were looking at porn that I interviewed were primarily single college girls. I guess when women were married, the temptation to look at pornography was not quite the same.

But I will say this: the statistic that I gave you about conservative Protestant women being twice as likely to divorce their husbands as non-conservative Protestant women—the reverse is not true. The data that I have shows that men almost never divorce their wives because they’re looking at pornography. It’s just not something that they draw a hard line about, or get offended by, the way women do.

This is, I have to admit, a very clever tactic by complementarians.  They are able to frame their own sin as merely a dislike for sin, and frame anyone who notices what is really going on as advocating for men to sin.  Moreover, that this is wholly insincere doesn’t change the fact that pornography is a problem in itself.

Posted in Albert Mohler, Attacking headship, Christian Post, Complementarian, Dave and Ann Wilson, Divorce, Non burning bush, Pastor Doug Wilson, Rollo Tomassi, Threatpoint, Too traditional to be traditional, Turning a blind eye, Ugly Feminists, Wake-up call, Weak men screwing feminism up | 179 Comments