Horrible Sexist Blog Post from John Piper’s Desiring God Site: ‘Husbands Get Her Ready for Jesus’
My Twitter acquaintance Teresa R. first sent me a Tweet of this stupid complementarian based essay which is on Desiring God’s site and was written by one Bryan Stroudt, who should feel so embarrassed by this that he should stop blogging for six months or more.
Soon after Teresa sent me a tweet of this, I started seeing references to it pop up all over the internet, by Christians who felt it was terrible.
Here it is with reflections of how awful it is below, by me and by others:
(Link): Husbands, Get Her Ready for Jesus by Bryan Stoudt
Here are a few excerpts from Stoudt’s work, before we get to the corrections of it:
(In which Stoudt discusses how Christian husbands – being the “male head” – should correct their wives and prepare their wives to meet Jesus):
A Call to Correction
It’s crystal clear: God calls husbands to be instruments of his sanctifying work in the lives of our wives.
…Just as Jesus set his church apart from sin through his sacrificial, loving death on the cross, husbands are to do everything in their power to promote their wives’ holiness.
This can take many forms. We can pray for our wives, read the Bible with them, and make space for them to pursue meaningful spiritual friendships with other women.
At times, though, it will also include correction. We all still fight with sin. We all need to be progressively sanctified. Even the most Christlike wives will sometimes need an honest, loving word to get back on course.
Some of you, perhaps aided by your upbringing and temperament, count it all joy to correct others. You may feel like it’s your obligation to continually speak up to help your wife grow in Christ. After all, you may think, If I don’t do it, who will?
I can remember one guy who, under the umbrella of “headship and submission,” was routinely giving his wife correction laced with frustration. He was in violation of Paul’s command, “Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them” (Colossians 3:19).
Angry, critical words reveal a heart that is concerned not with God’s glory, or our wife’s holiness, but our own selfish agenda.
More common in our day, I suspect, is the tendency for Christian husbands to remain silent.
Like I did.
….Silent types appear much nicer than their critical counterparts. But it’s also true that what doesn’t come out of the mouth proceeds from the heart. Just like angry husbands, timid husbands are motivated not by their wives’ holiness, or God’s glory, but by preserving their own kingdom.
…A Glorious, Temporary Calling
Like us, one day our wives will meet Jesus and be perfect, “without spot or wrinkle or any such thing . . . holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:27). But until that day, until death do us part, husbands have the staggering privilege of getting our wives ready for Jesus, their true husband.
//// stop quotes
This guy’s view leaves no room for never married, widowed, or divorced women. On that basis alone, his essay is pure garbage.
I don’t care for this “Jesus is your husband” talk. I can (Link): do without it, thanks.
I’m over 40, haven’t married yet, and thus far have not needed a man to “correct” me.
My ex fiance’ was very dim. He was barely literate (he needed my help reading menu items to him and the like), but guys like Stoudt want a doofus like my ex to “correct” me or teach me the Bible, even though my I.Q. was a lot higher than my ex’s? That doesn’t make any sense.
The Bible does not say anywhere that possession of a penis, stubble, or testicles renders one more apt or capable of leadership, reading, study, correction or anything else, for that matter.
As I’ve noted on older blog posts, marriage does not sanctify anyone and everyone, and the Bible says that sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit in a believer.
If it were true that a spouse were needed for sanctification, Paul would not have written in 1 Cor. 7 that it is better not to marry.
I grew up with a hyper-critical father who loved to fault find, so no, should I marry, I most certainly don’t need some guy to constantly point out what he thinks I’m doing wrong.
In literature by experts on verbal abuse and people pleasing, it’s noted that constant nit picking at another person in a relationship, the very sort of action that Stoudt is recommending, is a sign of verbal or emotional abuse.
So, if you’re in a marriage where your spouse is always pointing out your mistakes, no matter how good he or she may feel the motive to be (e.g., making you “‘more holy”), he (or she) is a perfectionist and is emotionally abusing you.
The motive behind this behavior is irrelevant, because it produces a bad outcome.
Consistently pointing out someone else’s shortcomings and mistakes is not “sanctification,” it’s abuse and can be a morale drainer and can lead a person to falling into clinical depression.
Actor Tom Cruise, who is a Scientologist, put his dates through some of the very same parameters that Stoudt is advising for husbands to perform on wives: constant nit picking and religious-based fault finding. You can read about that and its harmful effect (Link): here.
As for me, I have no desire to marry a Christian guy, particularly not one who believes it’s his God- given duty or responsibility to “correct” me all the day long.
Good lord no. Most, but not all, of my family of origin felt it was their God-given right or duty to correct me, remind me all the time I was not good enough, criticize everything I said, did, and find fault with anything I did.
I sure as hey do not need to marry a guy who also does all that sort of stuff. It does not make you a better person but fills you with self doubt and low self esteem, even if you grew up “knowing Jesus”.
Several people wrote rejoinders to this yuck fest by Stoudt including:
(Link): My Wife Has a Savior and I’m not Him by Tim Fall
(Link): Husbands, you don’t need to get her ready for Jesus—a response to Desiring God by Rebecca Davis
(Link): THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF HUSBANDS IN EPHESIANS 5 by Marg
Someone named “Insanity Bytes” wrote this:
(Link): Husbands, get her ready?
A husband is not going to lift up his wife by being less priestly so she doesn’t feel insecure or over-powered. If his priest-liness is about more, about moral superiority, about robbing her of her own, than it isn’t “priestly” at all.
In order to understand scripture properly, we have to take abuse totally out of the equation. We cannot read and understand scripture properly if in the back of our minds we are always thinking, so what can go wrong here?
…Men sometimes withdraw emotionally, sometimes they will just let their wives do it all, carry the whole emotional load.
/// stop quotes
No, we cannot and should not take abuse out of the equation, or what can go wrong with stupid complementarian teaching, because a lot of complementarian assumptions about marriages and the genders and how they assume the genders should relate is at the core of abuse.
Many abusers would find complementarian teachings about marriage, and how women should unilaterally submit to a man, or that would encourage men to be forever fault finding in a wife, to be very appealing, for reasons that should be self evident.
I just pointed out above how mental health professionals explain in their literature I’ve read that when you’re in a marriage (or any relationship) where one party is constantly fault-finding (and motive here is irrelevant), that this is one type of emotional abuse.
It’s not healthy behavior for the target. But here we have complementarians actually recommending this very behavior as though it’s good or godly.
Secondly, contrary to Insanity Byte’s post, the Bible does not teach that husbands are “priests.”
The Bible says there is only ONE (high) priest between mankind and God, and that is Jesus Christ.
All believers are part of a priesthood, which would include women, whether married or single.
Additionally, Insanity Bytes is also over-looking divorced, widowed, and never married women in his or her take on things. I’m over 40, never married, and I have made it thus far in life without a husband to “over see” me, to foster my spiritual development, etc., and so on.
A husband is unnecessary for a woman to grow spiritually, or in other ways.
This Insanity Bytes person is also confusing topics. The topic of Stoudt’s post was about husbands supposedly sanctifying wives (though “correcting” them), but sanctification is the job of the Holy Spirit, not a spouse.
Stoudt’s post was not really about husbands “emotionally withdrawing” from their wives – that would be a separate topic for another time and day.
One wonders if Stoudt ever plans on doing a follow up post where turn about is fair play, and he advises married women to “correct” their husbands.
(Link): How Christians Have Failed on Teaching Maturity and Morality Vis A Vis Marriage / Parenthood – Used as Markers of Maturity Or Assumed to be Sanctifiers – Also: More Hypocrisy – Christians Teach You Need A Spouse to Be Purified, But Also Teach God Won’t Send You a Spouse Until You Become Purified
(Link): The Selfish, Lazy Husband Who Kept Blowing Off His Stressed Wife to Go on World War 2 Reenactments – Male Entitlement in Relationships: Why Women Divorce Men – and Churches and Culture Support This Male Entitlement
(Link): Update on Christian Rapist Man Who Used Christian Mingle Site To Pick His Victims (he liked to discuss Jesus and the Bible with them before raping them – other details in update) Equally Yoked Teaching IS A FARCE