The Path Forward

As we head into a new year, I’d like you ladies to help guide where this blog goes. 

The Path Forward

I’m not looking to make any major changes, but I’m not closed to doing that if a compelling case is made for doing so. Mostly I’m looking for suggestions and feedback. What have I not written about that you would like me to cover? Have I said things that seem useless? Have I missed the mark? Have I skimmed over things that need more explanation?

My reason for doing this is that I want all of you to have better marriages. How can I help facilitate that?

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I’m listening

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79 Comments on “The Path Forward

  1. How do I encourage Hubby in good habits? I’m not his mother, so I don’t want to go about doing it the way I do it with our young sons. I’ve got bad habits, and I have ways I try to address them, and they all involve other women and community. He is involved at church, and a Bible study and I have no idea if they talk at all about bad habits and how we curb/change them. I talk with Hubby about my own ideas of my bad habits and what I need to do to change them, and every now and then I hear something from him on his own bad habits. But we certainly don’t talk about them the same way, nor approach them in the same way. Is this a guy-gal thing, or a personality thing? Would enjoy your thoughts on this!

    These are not moral issues, like porn or such. Just general daily life, like making sure we get good exercise, we eat well, screen time, and how we use our time. Neither of us are totally off base on any of this, but we can both use some improvement.
    Rachael recently posted…Sales Post-ChristmasMy Profile

    • @Rachael – That can be tough. What you’re doing sounds like a good approach, but I gather it’s not working.
      I’d say there are both gender and personality issues at play. There’s also your pasts. Probably the biggest issue is when he’s not ready to deal with something. Nudging him towards something you need, or that’s good for him would make a good post or three.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Let’s Make 2018 The Year of Margin!My Profile

  2. I’d like to know what men think wifely submission looks like and what respecting your husband looks like.

    • I think Paul will have a different opinion than a great many christian husbands so do you want to know what he thinks or christian husbands?

      • Both, actually. I am sure it means different things to different men. I know lots of Christian men who are happy to equally partner with their wives, and I know others who are happy with quiet, subservient, obedient wives.

      • I detest the subservient wife notion. It is a cultural appropriation necessary for the time when it was written, the same as Paul talking to slaves. We no longer think that slavery is acceptable, so we don’t tell them to be subservient to their masters anymore, treating women like they are property has gone the same way.

        Respecting on the other hand, I believe holds a lot of validity. The way that many women interact with one another would be considered disrespectful among men, so they act shocked when their husband reacts very differently to their girlfriend over the same thing.

        • mykidsmademedoit,
          I disagree strongly. STRONGLY. Submission is repeatedly and strongly taught in scripture for wives. I’m sure most modern christian women would consider me a relic of many hundreds of years ago. A brute of a man who is abusive and selfish and you name it. Things is I believe just as strongly in husbandry love towards a wife. Most can’t get past the first because they rarely see the second, or in the case of the modern church are outright taught to be unsubmissive and encouraged in that direction.

          If both are lived out and taught side by side, which is exactly what the Bible teaches, than all is good. If one side is lived out or both are approached half hearted or we use what we see around us to intrepret what the bible says then we get in trouble.

          • It’s cultural. Total nonsense in modern times. Women can teach men, and wives are not subservient to their husbands. The fundamentalist love of this idea is akin to how Islam treats women. I’m sure we won’t take DNA evidence as rape either because the Old Testament said if she didn’t cry out it wasn’t rape. When we start applying the same literal rules on divorce, no reason except sexual immorality, I’ll start listening to a literal interpretation on the roles of women, until then it’s irrelevant.

            • So you will pick and choose the aspects of the Bible you want to follow and think are important? Remind me again who and which one of the three of you in your relationship is God?

              • Bob, I am curious what you think Biblical wifely submission looks like. I am also curious as to what you think being a real man/manly man looks like.

                I promise, I am not setting you up or being negative. I simply want to know.

                • Libl,
                  I believe that wifely submission is being a helpmate to her husband. The husband, following Christ’s teachings and his giftings, set the mission/direction and she helps him accomplish this while he does all he can to love, cherish, protect, comfort and care for her along the way. I believe it means obedience, but I’m not speaking about micromanaging what is for dinner or the color of carpet. In fact, he probably concerned with only 5 or 6 main facets- things like the faith of the family, family direction, provision of the family, how to educate the children giving her wide delegated powers to use her brains and giftings to accomplish running the home daily and raising the kids. Yes, at the end of the day submission equals obedience (unless he is asking you to sin) but it’s done in the environment that when you are doing that, and usually when you are not, you are being loved, protected, cherished, provided for and washed in God’s Word.

                  As far as being a real man/manly man looks like. First it means finding your strength, peace, wisdom and hope in Jesus Christ. Second, it means being competent. Competent in providing for your family, loving-caring-raising your family, competent in running your home. You are not just full of grace but strong, in charachter and action, even if God did not make you the biggest man on earth. That means you not only learn how to be a spiritual leader, a good lover, a dedicated father, an earnest provider, but someone that knows how to protect his family in most situations, is not afraid to ask a question, change a tire, fix a sticky door, invest money and write a meaningful letter to a loved one. In other words a humble, loyal, never give up, conqueror who loves the Lord, his family and neighbor and has the strength to keep going in a world that will try to crush such a man every single day.

        • I believe that you believe a husband should concentrate 100% on servant leadership. Leadership that encourages and loves the wife and puts her best interest ahead of his own. That largely what what many believe about submission was time and culture based. That their is headship, but it is all about responsibility.

          • “Servant leadership” is one of those terms that gets thrown around as a replacement for headship. The formula is as follows: Headship = Leadership = Servant Leadership = Servant = Subservient Whipped Husband.

            Submission starts with a recognition of 1 Timothy 2:11-15:

            “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.”

            No amount of re-translation is enough (re: NIV replaces “exercise authority” with “assume authority) to prevent this passage from being toxic to feminists. You have to discard it as @mykidsmademedoit obviously discards anything in scripture that doesn’t fit their preconceived notions. Either this passage is true or it is not. Paul’s justification for women not teaching is not based on some culturally based pragmatic assessment on how receptive men are to women preachers. It is based on what happened thousands of years before Jesus walked the earth. It is based on the fact that Eve was deceived and not Adam. What does a feminist do with that? What can they do with that? The only thing is to simply say the Apostle Paul was a sexist pig and discard his words entirely from Romans all the way to 2 Timothy. Eradicate the epistles and be Red Letter Christians like Tony Campolo. That is the only way.

            • @MitchG – The problem with your reading of that verse is that it’s in conflict with what Paul and other Apostles actually did. So either they said one thing and did another, or your interpretation is off. I’m going with the latter.
              Paul Byerly recently posted…You Can’t Beat the OddsMy Profile

          • @Bob – Your first two sentences are dead on. And given they are what Jesus did and continues to do, I feel I’m on solid ground. I would clarify “here best interest”. That not about what she wants, it’s about what God wants for her.
            I believe the Bible teaches headship and submission, but what most think when they read those words is not found in the NT. Culture certainly put its stamp on headship and submission, but the problems we have are not about the culture of the time of the Bible.
            The thing about submission is it’s not just for women. The Centurion who talked to Jesus understood submission – he was both in authority and under authority. He had authority because he submitted to authority. I see a lot of men who are not under authority screaming about women not submitting. It’s a clear case of refusing to deal with the log in their eye.
            There are times when a husband needs to say yes or no regardless of what his wife thinks. His wife needs to honour these things even if she thinks he is wrong. Even if he IS wrong. However, unless the wife is an idiot or the man is a tyrant, this will happen rather rarely.
            The Proverbs 31 woman’s husband trusted her to make business decisions without consulting him. If that doesn’t fit into someone’s theology it’s not the Bible that is wrong. We have build a doctrine of headship and submission which is full of things not in the Bible and weak on some of what is in the Bible.
            Headship is not all about responsibility, but responsibility is a major part of it. Those who fail to understand that can’t possibly be the kind of head God intended. At best they make a mess, at worst they are dangerous.
            Paul Byerly recently posted…You Can’t Beat the OddsMy Profile

            • There are times a wife needs to say disobey, too. For example, our toddler fell and broke his arm. My motherly instinct said broken. Hubby said I was being over dramatic and seeing what I wanted to,see. A week of obeying hubby later, I decided to take him in to the doctor. Sure enough, our child had a broken arm.

  3. I get bored with your material. You are under the constraints of not having anonymity and religious modesty. You can’t use some great sexual trigger words or get too detailed out your own personal intimacy. Now how you change that to make the material more compelling, I have not a clue. You are in your own paradigm of sorts.

    Thanks for all your hard work though.

    • I would disagree here, I think Paul takes on some pretty challenging topics, and does go against the traditional wisdom. Go read where he retracted in a statement that women in porn were forced into it, that is the traditional christian retort, but it is nonsense, and Paul goes back and tells everyone it is not true. I have respect for being willing to say that.

      We might disagree with the specificity of the message, but overall I think he gives solid advice. On this side(XY), he has to craft the argument into one in which women will actually read it. If he were to really give the word for word of what men think, women wouldn’t read it and it would be wasted effort. By making it palatable to them, he is able to engage them better than someone like myself, who would just give the answer without any tact.

      Additionally, Paul hasn’t had a ton of experience doing the stuff most of the rest of us did in college or our 20s, so he does his best to relate to a guy who went buckwild for a decade or didn’t grow up a Christian. So he can’t give his perspective on strip clubs or lap dances, but he hears from others of us who have done that stuff and the comments are usually a good supplement to the article.

      • @mykidsmademedoit – Keeping it relevant for women is always a challenge. Lori is a huge help for that, and I have a couple of lady bloggers who will gladly tell where I’ve gone wrong if I ask. (Or even if I don’t, which I value a great deal.)
        You’re right that my experience with sex outside of marriage is limited. But I have more second-hand information than most men. Not sure how that works out. The real struggle for me is I didn’t do most of those things because I really didn’t want to. Yeah, I was curious, but not enough to overwhelm my natural opposition. So I don’t fully understand the desire/motivation.
        Paul Byerly recently posted…Let’s Make 2018 The Year of Margin!My Profile

    • @Kevin McDermott – Personally I have no real modesty, religious or otherwise. But I understand cultural standards and make an effort to not offend. I do suspect the readers of this blog are not easily offended, and I could probably go further. Might be worth a survey to find out.
      I don’t usually talk about my sex life with Lori. We decided early on this would be very close to inviting others to watch us have sex. But I do slip in things from our personal life when I talk about a couple we know. Much of that is other people, but occasionally it’s us.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Let’s Make 2018 The Year of Margin!My Profile

  4. I would love if you incorporated more advice on husbands with low sex drive. I am the higher drive spouse in our marriage. I don’t know what to do a lot of the time. I struggle with respecting his drive versus wanting to feel wanted.

  5. Our physical appearance and how important it is to a husband. Anything from our weight to whether our hair is colored or not . Do these matter at all.

    • @RR – for this husband, these matter very little. What matters is being attentive, having an adventurous, enthusiastic attitude (especially in bed), and participating with me in life.

      • I disagree with your first sentence but agree with the rest. To me it very much matters that my wife does not become morbidly obese-some weight is okay, she dresses feminine and classy- even at home, keeps her hair fairly well done and wears makeup regularly.

      • I agree with Bob, kind of. It matters to a point. Do I care if my wife gains or loses 10lbs? Not really. Do I care if she gains 50, yes, quite a bit.

        I 100% second the adventurous, enthusiastic attitude (especially in bed) as 50x more important that how you style your hair or what shoes you wear.

        • It’s tough, but I get that there is a level of physical attraction that needs to be maintained. I’ve known husbands who have left their wives or become merely roommates because they were injured or endured cancer and the husbands no longer find their scarred, altered bodies sexually attractive. That’s scary to me, and why I do support a level of feminism….women being able to live on their own and support themselves. Unfortunately, the number of wives I know who have lost husbands to such circumstances, or abuse, or infidelity is scarily high. One husband I know told his wife to her face after she was in a disabling accident that he didn’t sign up to be married to a cripple. He is now living with another woman and she is living in helpless poverty.

    • @RR – As you can see from the men who have commented, this one is all over the board. I knew a woman who’s husband left her because she stopped putting in a dozen plus hours a week at the gym and lost the body you can only have by doing that. She was still fit and trim, but she wasn’t sculpted the way he wanted. On the other side, there are men who seem to be totally blind to it.
      Sheila of https://tolovehonorandvacuum.com does a good job on these issues. Which reminds me I need to be better about pointing to other blogs here.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Let’s Make 2018 The Year of Margin!My Profile

      • Paul,
        I do not always agree with you on everything but very, very rarely do I think say something that could cause damage. Respectfully, the blog you sent this person to does that. I work in ministry. I know dozens of men who have tried reading that blog. 3 out of 4 find it not only maddening & frustrating, but damaging, and more than a few of their wives also. The majority are well meaning husbands who love Christ and try loving their wives as the Bible speaks of. All different ages, backgrounds, theological stances and denominations.

        • Really?? Sheila’s blog is biblical and full of healthy insight into all aspects of marriage including sexuality.

          I often notice that when a man becomes maddened or frustrated over something they read it’s often because they feel convicted for their behaviors and/or actions, women too. My abusive ex used to hate certain marriage blogs I read or even people from our church because their advice and/or message brought great conviction to him, and therefore in his eyes those people were terrible and ungodly, when in reality it was him who acted ungodly.

          IMHO
          Amy recently posted…Speak the truthMy Profile

          • I won’t discuss rather she is biblical or not. I would guess we would disagree on several points. I could quote scripture and you could quote scripture and since we don’t know each other and each other’s character we will just think the worst of a brother or sister in the Lord as you did of me and my brothers without even knowing us or how we treat our wives.

            But I will give this, once a week she gives one or two paragraphs of an email to her readers. Enough information that someone can identify with the writer of the email. Then without knowing the person, speaking to the other person in the marriage, knowing none of the background, subtleties or even being able to look the writer in the eye and see if they are honest and well meaning she gives definite advice that she recommends you act on.

            Life altering advice is given. Advice that often can tear a family apart. To both the original writer and the other hundreds of those identifying with the original writers few sentences. Certain advice, direction and “biblical truth” is laid out.

            So I will ask this: what counselor would operate like that? What counselor would not consider that reckless and endangering? What type of judgement does that show? How prideful is it to know and give direction after a handful of sentences that take professionally trained counselors and ministers dozens and sometimes hundreds of hours with someone in person and their mate to see the reality of the situation and give advice.

            There are several things just like this that I have personally seen do great damage in a handful of marriages because of only this one day a week. Some has been able to be repaired, but not all. That is only one day per week. There are other aspects that are just as damaging.

            • Okay, I never assumed the worst of you, sorry you somehow took that away from my comment. I was just surprised at your response re: Sheila’s blog.
              It’s sad that you personally know so many people negatively affected by her blog and advice, that’s terrible.
              Amy recently posted…Speak the truthMy Profile

        • Oh it’s you again Bob! I remember your comments on Sheila’s blog. If I remember right, you’re the one who got blocked on one of her posts. I was saddened by some of the things you believe (or more the WAY you presented them) and the damage it could cause to women and marriages! It’s too bad. While I don’t ALWAYS agree 100% with everything she writes, I do agree with the way she teaches women to walk in the freedom that is theirs in Christ. I came out of a very legalistic background that held up the law over grace and freedom in Christ. God cares about me as a person and I don’t have to go through my husband or dad to get to the Lord nor do I have to measure up or be good enough to win His favor. Jesus took care of it all for me. I submit to God first, then to my husband out of LOVE for Christ and a desire to please Him. Not because I’m forced to or because I need my husband in order to get to God. Submission isn’t something husbands get to hold over their wives and demand of them as if they are somehow better. Being the leader of the home is simply a different role– it’s a responsibility and a privilege. The wife has an equally important role. One is not better than the other. Submission is not the trump card you get to pull every time your wife doesn’t agree with you and it’s not something you use to “put her in her place.” She has thoughts, feelings and cautions that are important, too. Submission in my marriage comes naturally and joyfully…i dont even have to think about it. The way my husband loves me he never has (and he never would) to demand it. If a husband has to force his wife into submission, something is very, very wrong. I don’t know your intentions, but you come across very harsh. Where’s the loving your wife attitude you claim to preach just as strongly? I haven’t heard much of that….seems you were too busy making a fuss about women being submissive.

          • Maam, Respectfully you know absolutely nothing about me, my beliefs or how those beliefs are worked out in loving my wife. Since we are on the internet how can I prove it even if I were to lay out my case? So let me ask some questions of your response theologically, first stating we have some common ground based upon your statements that both are equally important and loved by God their creator, thankfully and amen!

            First, what was Adam’s mistake in the garden? When did sin enter the world? Remember that in a sinless world, one in which Adam had not sinned, Eve ate of the fruit. What was the correct response by Adam once that had happened? We know it wasn’t to follow her in her actions and eat of the fruit because that led to the death of humans since. But it was not Eve who God held accountable but Adam. Why is that? It is because of headship. Even in the garden it was Adam naming both animals and Eve and after the fall it was once Adam ate that God did what He had to do and held accountable, while both receiving the consequences. So is not part of Adam’s responsibility to so no this is not right, set the correct and godly path or as you put it “demand submission.”

            What do you mean by “demand submission”? Does not God demand our submission to Him? Yes, He loves us and cares for us but does not also God demand our submission to Him? Ultimately does not even God lay out eternal death and punish for those who do not submit to Him? So if this “demanding of submission” is a godly behavior, what or how far can a husband go down that road before he tries to be God and not husband and is sinning. 0 steps? 1 out of 100 steps? 10 steps? We already know God holds the husband accountable for what happens in his family and that a good husband is supposed to have control of his family from 2 Timothy elders qualifications.

            I think you think I think it is 100 out of 100 steps. You’d be wrong. I’m probably be more in the 10 category. But since modern christendom outside of a few “freaks” like me is at zero I come across as a hardliner. I do believe it’s a 100 out of 100 steps on the love side of things as Christ laid down His life.

            Maam, I will remind you, you know nothing about me. But I can tell you this I expect twice as much out of myself in love towards my wife then I ever expect out of submission in her towards me and that has been lived out in our marriage for a couple decades. But I’m just a guy on the internet how is that proved? How do you prove you’ve laid down your life for your wife over the internet daily for twenty years? How do you prove your wife smiles more than any other woman? How do you prove you have little old ladies tap you on the back in church and say, “I just want you to know I’ve watched you two and the love you show for each other makes me tear up.”

            I can’t, I simply can’t. So I will ask again, if submission comes so natural to you the bride. Why does the ultimate husband and groom, Jesus Christ, have such a hard time getting submission from his bride the church? I am a pitiful husband compared to my Lord who is perfect in majesty, love and strength and yet I look around at His church and few submit to Him and even the most pious man would say it does not come natural. Even the apostle Paul admits his daily struggle with submitting to the Lord. How is it that submission to your husband comes so natural and easy for you? I’m sure your husband is a far better husband than I, but still, he cannot be in the company of Jesus Christ.

            I think many make a lot of assumptions about what I believe, filling the very large gaps with their own background and prism they view through. Much like the saying goes from Orwell, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

            I can’t prove to you I am a godly loving husband. My wife can type, would you believe her? I can list the churches who have ordained me or tell our testimony that blows most experts/bloggers/etc out of the water as a testimony of love, but still would you believe me? No, those who believe me already because they believe what I do would believe me and those who don’t would not. It is the internet after all. Why don’t we just look at God’s Word together and let that be our guide? Is it not what God says in the end and not anyone else?

            God bless-

            • I’m sort of with Bob on the Sheila thing, especially with her recent post. I think she addressed it very poorly and is doing damage to a fellow brother in Christ and ministry because of it. I think she read too far into it and using strong emotion and buzz words to garner support. She is vomiting the same few arguments to those who disagree and call her out, and slashing at opponents with words like “heresy.” Those are big accusations, especially without having first asked the author for clarification.

              This raises red flags for me. I had to leave her blog before for things I thought weren’t kosher.

              Her overall idea and theme is good….helping women succeed in their marriages, especially sexually, but I do see her jumping a bit too far into a feminist band wagon. She receives so very many emails from abused, hurting women, I could see where she would start leaning too far to the left, so to speak.

              As a side note, Bob, I envy your wife for her smiles. I don’t have very many smiles in my marriage, and the ones I do are typically forced or by God’s grace. If every man loved their wife as you do, submission would be so much more a joy than a trial. It would be a garden instead of trench warfare. It would be uplifting rather than exhausting.

              • Libl,
                I thank you for the kind words but I want to encourage you the first decade was trench warfare for us also. It was really rough. My wife truthfully and lovingly tells folks we made it by God’s grace and her husband being the most stubborn man on earth and being unwilling to give up. Trust me, if we can make it and become blissfully happy on the other side, you guys can also. Don’t give up. The Lord does heal. Usually we have to come to the end of ourselves first though and it’s usually quite a ways past what we though the end of ourselves was. Find your strength, joy and peace in Him in the meantime. God bless-

          • Thank you for sharing, HM. I actually had a longer reply to Bob ready to submit last night but decided against it. I suspect he is also the man who has visited another blog I read and who is upset over the information and advice given there too.

            The thing in his reply to me was how someone who is in ministry as he says would think the worst of someone else because they do not agree with his way of thinking or theology. Kind of made me sit back and go, hmmmmm??
            Amy recently posted…Speak the truthMy Profile

        • @Bob – I don’t agree with everything Sheila says, but dangerous? Really? And then you tell me that all ages, genders, and theological groups have a problem with her, which is overkill and pretty much must be dismissed as a rant.
          Paul Byerly recently posted…A Woman of True BeautyMy Profile

          • Paul,
            I did not say all ages, genders or theological groups. I said of the men I know and have spoke to 3/4 of them and some of their wives. Of those men, they span 20-75, Methodists to Lutheran’s. Now that is dozens of men but I tend to run in the more manly of men (but who serve and love Christ & their wives) group and does filter out a great deal of folks. Sample size 50 men really discussed it with them. 100 on a broader less in depth range.

            Dangerous, yes. I do not agree with you on everything- women being ordained, spectrum of headship falls, sometimes with abuse- but you do not highlight those things weekly and only very rarely. You play to your strengths, teaching folks to be generous to one another and love one another.

            She highlights things that are theologically wrong and dangerous on an ever increasing basis. Sheila, six years ago dangerous. No. Sheila the last three. Yes. The bias she shows towards men and how interprets scripture relating to men I believe is dangerous. It has become a man hating zone that not only undercuts some important scripture and super highlights scripture important to her, but sows discontent and mistrust of men. To put it simply she has man issues and it shows not only in the way she relates to men, but to her Father and His Word. I’ve seen it happen to too many women after reading her. I stand by exactly what I said.

            Do you believe the counseling she does is not dangerous? Would you counsel people off one email?

            • @Bob – I don’t see what she is doing as counselling. She addresses a problem using an email as a starting place. I don’t believe she thinks, and she certainly has never claimed, that she has a full understanding of the situations. I just looked at the last two reader questions she posted. One answer starts with “Looking at this scenario as she’s laid it out” and later has “I don’t know…”. The other is full of “I think”, “I don’t think” and “It sounds like”. That’s plenty of “We may not be getting the whole story” and “I could be wrong.” I also see a whole lot of “pray” and asking what God’s will is. Granted that’s just the last two, but they don’t read like what you suggested.
              Reader questions are a common way of addressing a general issue. Plenty of bloggers do it, myself included. We all know we are getting half the story and that half is being put in the best light possible. From what I’ve read Sheila gets that.
              Paul Byerly recently posted…A Woman of True BeautyMy Profile

            • “…a man hating zone…”??? Then why do you bother going there and reading what she writes?? LOL Such craziness. Sheila is hardly a man hater but you see this is where my original comment came from, because I still believe that when men start calling a woman a man hater (my ex used to do that all the time) or when a man gets angry about advice they don’t like being given, it’s because it hits too close to home for them. I know, I’ve personally experienced this.

              And BTW, you did actually say this in reply to my comment above: “All different ages, backgrounds, theological stances and denominations.”
              Just gotta say, it just amazes me how many people you seem to know who have been greatly hurt by Sheila’s blog, that’s just a little too far fetched for me.
              Amy recently posted…Speak the truthMy Profile

            • 100% agree with Paul that on this one. She doesn’t “counsel”, she addresses situations from questions. With plenty of caveats that only a very unsympathetic reading could interpret as “dangerous counseling”.

              I’ve read a whole lot of her material and she’s pretty orthodox. Conservative even.
              Saying she’s a man-hater is really too rediculous. She won’t even describe herself as a feminist, because she disagrees with the mysogonist elements in the movement.

              What I think you and your kind is missing is her actual demographic. She gets a lot of emails and comments from women who has suffered under doormat, women-are-inferior, “submission” (really servility), spiritually abusive teachings. So her direction in the last few years has been to emphasize that women are also the image of God, that we are co-heirs of Christ, that are primary allegiance is to Christ etc. Naturally, that could come across more liberal to some. But these are all sound, biblical doctrines.

              None of your accusations against her are backed by concrete examples, or scripture. It’s all appeal to authority (I’ve been in the ministry so long, these men who have been Christian’s for so many years say, these ministers feel). None of these are actual arguments. The priest molesting kids were also “in ministry”. Anyone can claim to be “Christian”, or “in ministry”

              • She is not even close to orthodox. She’s a woman whose father left her as a child, her fiance left her, who once believe all sex is rape and very much identified as a feminist until doing so effected getting her message across because of the pro-choice affiliation with the word. In fact she openingly and regularly says she is different than the standard christian teaching. She says it, not me. She has changed the definition of the word submit to fit her narrative. She has man issues and because of this she has God issues.

                I have a lovely wife. As far as I’m considered the finest wife on earth. I’m not a mad man whose wife reads this and am frustrated because of the message. My wife can’t read her, quite literally it puts her in a depression to see God’s Word and men treated the way the are and women’s ears tickled.

                There is not room enough in the comments here to discuss all the issues. I asked Paul not to send a sister in the Lord to go to this site. It will not help her marriage. I was going to leave it at that but then was accused of being a sinful abusive man just for doing so. I didn’t come here ranting about a different blog until it was mentioned as a good site for wives. Well I’ve spoken to dozens of folks who would say otherwise. I don’t intend to convince her followers. I’ve spoken my piece now and won’t address it further out of respect for Paul and his site.

                • @Bob
                  1) One of the great truths of the Bible is that we are not slaves to our past. Telling me about her past doesn’t tell me who she is. Honestly, it looks like character assassination.
                  2) Much of “the standard Christian teaching” is not found in the Bible, and some of it is in opposition to what the Bible actually says. I don’t care what your church teaches or what your great-grandfather thought. I care about what the Bible says.

                  As I said, I don’t agree with Sheila on everything. I don’t agree with anyone on everything, including who I was a decade ago! However, I know marriages that have been helped by what Sheila has written. I’m open to hearing from those who have a different experience, but honestly what you’ve said is so over the top it’s difficult to take it seriously.
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                • Paul,
                  Alright, I guess I will add this since you put it that way. Why is it so over the top to take seriously when I say it, but when she goes on her weekly tirade against doctrine that you could find at any Baptist or Lutheran church and she calls it dangerous I don’t see you showing up and saying it is over the top and hard to take serious (seeing how you are affiliated with her and promoting her) . So it appears that you’d take her doctrine over the Baptist or Lutheran doctrine down the street? Am I reading that correctly?

                • @Bob – I don’t read much of what Sheila writes, so I have no doubt missed some things. I have pushed back in the comments on occasion. I am more likely to contact her directly, as many of the bloggers do when we have a concern.
                  There are blogs I have stopped linking to in the past, and there will be more in the future. No one is perfect, so it’s about how much real harm I think could come from a blog. Given how you and I differ on headship I would expect you to see Sheila as far more dangerous than I do.
                  I can’t think of a denomination or church that I don’t have some doctrinal difference with. Likewise, for every blog I can think of. It’s not a matter of choosing one group’s doctrine over another, it’s about comparing them to what the Bible says and accepting or rejecting them on that basis. For example, I’ve had Southern Baptists tell me it’s a sin to drink alcohol. The Bible doesn’t say that, and their arguments either butcher the Bible or show a total lack of basic scientific or historical understanding. If they feel they should not drink, that’s fine. If they want to add “Thou shalt not drink” to the Bible I’m going to have words with them.
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                • Paul,
                  But that is not what you said. You said my concerns were over the top and hard to take serious. A rant. I’ve been an ordained Methodist and am a Lutheran elder. That is pretty mainstream.

                  Even in these comments a long time female reader of hers states I might be on to something.

                  So why is I’m over the top and hard to take serious, yet when she WEEKLY, says a doctrine of mine that has been around I believe 2,000 years but without a doubt, no disputing, 500 years and considered mainstream is dangerous, abusive, etc that is not over top and dangerous top you promote her.

                  Again, I was not the one promoting her. You were. I did not bring this up out of the blue. You took sides, own up to it or apolagize.

                  Lastly, I did not appreciate your crack below “gotta watch what the women are being taught.” Again, why is it you can be concerned, she can be concerned, but the poor sap out there on the front line with a wive, daughter, mother, sisters in the Lord, who happens to also be marrying and burying folks cannot be concerned? Why do you get the corner on the market of what you think is wrong in theological teaching?

                • Okay Paul, you rarely read her but you know I’m wrong….
                  That’s quite the solid footing sir. Thanks for the discussion.

                • @Bob – I used to read everything she wrote.The last couple of years I skim a good deal of it, but don’t fully read most posts. Because of that it’s possible she has changed and I’ve missed it. That is why I asked you to point to some of the things you say she does every week. If you don’t want to do that, no problem.
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                • Paul,
                  You are affiliated with her and promoting her and you want me to take hours and hours to copy, paste and document into your comment section? Seriously?

                  How much space do I get? Joking of course. Paul, sure there are dozens of sentences here and there that are deeply troubling. But more so it’s the general tone and theme, both the articles and her comments . Also what she doesn’t dispute by others. You simply do not have space in your comment section to make the case.

                  Read Libl’s comment above. I’ve seen her comment there for quite a long while and she thinks I might be on to something.

                  I have a family, a business, a church, a homestead- sorry you aren’t getting hours of my time to reread material and document for you. You are the one affiliated and promoting. You go and do your own homework.

                • Paul is affiliated with Sheila?? How is he affiliated with her? I never knew that. If you are saying he’s affiliated with her because he shared a link to her site for someone to go to, that’s not an affiliation, that’s simply him pointing someone to another blog to read.
                  It’s honestly a sincere question because I never knew that.

                  And just because one woman says you may be on to something doesn’t suddenly mean you are right in your thinking about Sheila or what she writes. I used to frequent Sheila’s blog too and leave comments, but over the past couple years have gotten away from reading her blog so I cannot say for sure if she has changed her approach or what she believes or how she writes. But I do know that several months ago she did a series re: abuse in marriage and I thought she did an excellent job at addressing it. I wonder if perhaps some of those posts she did is what sparked so much debate and issue over Sheila’s writing. She took a strong stance against abuse, what constitutes it, how to recognize it in your marriage and steps to take to leave if necessary. There are a lot of people who would disagree with her advice/beliefs about that subject and I was myself subjected to many wrongful teachings from Christian people when I was in an abusive marriage. So I found her advice/posts refreshing as she dared to take on a rather controversial subject among Christians.

                  “…accused of being a sinful abusive man just for doing so.”
                  BTW, if this statement you left in your comment above to Paul is directed at me, I never once called you abusive or sinful, I was simply sharing my thoughts from my experience. But interestingly, you replied back how you would think the worst of me (and me of you) if we started talking about scripture in regards to Sheila. That actually blew me away since you are in ministry as you put it and to think you would think badly of someone else for disagreeing with you is really more telling than anything else you’ve written. And it shows. The only person on this thread you hold in a good light is Libl because she agreed with you.

                  Interestingly though, when Paul has asked you to provide some examples of Sheila’s posts which you do not like or agree with, you keep avoiding doing so. You do not need to spend hours upon hours providing a couple examples of something she has written. I see nothing wrong with a debate about a subject but when you called Sheila’s blog dangerous that truly was over the top especially if you cannot provide an example of what makes her writing so. Just saying that it’s ruined all these marriages and made men you know frustrated and angry over what she is saying to wives, does not prove anything.
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                • @Bob – You keep saying I’m affiliated with her. What do you mean by that?

                  If she is doing a weekly rant, it shouldn’t take you hours to post an example or two. (BTW, your frequent use of hyperbole is part of why I find it difficult to take you seriously.)

                  When I first start “promoting” someone, I do a lot of reading to know who they are. This is why I’m slow to add new people – they must have enough written for me to get a good feel for then, and I have to make the time to wade through it all. When I first started pointing to Sheila, I checked her out and felt she was fine. Recently my reading of her has been irregular, so I could have missed something. That’s why I asked you to point out a couple of things you find dangerous.

                  I do know I point to Sheila less often than I once did. That means less of what she writes is relevant to my audience. In part that is because of a change of direction she mentioned recently which is less often focused on marriage.

                  I’m perfectly open to the possibility that someone has changed and I’ve not seen it. I’ve dropped half a dozen bloggers over the years because I felt they moved to much towards or away from something. Because of your comments, I will read Sheila a bit more closely to see if I’ve missed something.

                  BTW, on the issue of Methodist theology, I have a long time Methodist minister friend who reads and likes Sheila. And no, he’s not one of those universalist types who wants to ordain homosexuals.
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                • Amy,
                  Yes, Paul is affiliated with Sheila through the CMBA. Of which I believe he is the founder and president and she is a member.

                  As far as your comment you said this to me, “I often notice that when a man becomes maddened or frustrated over something they read it’s often because they feel convicted for their behaviors and/or actions, women too. My abusive ex used to hate certain marriage blogs I read or even people from our church because their advice and/or message brought great conviction to him, and therefore in his eyes those people were terrible and ungodly, when in reality it was him who acted ungodly.”

                  Which if I tell someone I and the men around me get frustrated and angry when I read this and you respond that in your experience men who get frustrated and angry are only so because they were convicted like my ex husband who was abusive, it does tend to paint a picture and tell a story. I’m just using your logic against you. You are correct, sometimes. Sometimes in scripture for example we see men convicted and then act that way. We also see just as often men of God frustrated and angry over the fact that folks around them are twisting God’s word. You in your last post pretty much state I’m lying or crazy or both.

                  Amy, I have seen your comments on many blogs through the years. Respectfully, I don’t know you. All I know is that majority of your posts say that you were abused. It is the focal point and the prism through which all your comments focus. I’m willing to bet that I have read at least a hundred such posts by you, but probably far more than that number.

                  Please understand because I don’t know you I don’t know what to think. I know women that have been abused and I feel horribly for them. When I had a chance to do something for women in the same circumstances I certainly have. From give physical protection, to give money so they have a safe place to stay, etc.

                  But as a man I have also experienced in just as many cases of women either claiming things as abuse that are not, or worse, lying about abuse entirely. Which in itself is as bad as any abuse that does not cause bloodshed or bruises. Being a woman you might not understand that, but you might imagine if someone lied about you abusing your children.

                  So I do not believe such women automatically. I’m conditioned to withhold judgement unless I can see it in her eyes, know her character and have some facts. Further, when it’s been mentioned as much as you have mentioned it I tend to think you are viewing the teaching through such a prism that because of the abuse is skewed to the point we would not be able to agree on such an issue.

                  So in closing I don’t expect to ever see eye to eye with you on this. I’m sure you are a very nice christian woman and I rejoice that you are happy and safe, but we aren’t going to agree on this. You won’t ever believe that I believe woman are of equal value in the eyes of God but entirely different in purpose. Nor will you ever believe that I believe in a husband should lay down his life for his wife, from a position of authority, for his wife daily and ultimately is called to do so. You’ve got history. And as I stated above, I’ve got history. We can even read the same passage and come to two different theological stances. I don’t even have a problem with Sheila not believing in headship and trying to make sure women know they are loved, valued and safe- the latter is an admirable thing. I have a problem with the weight she gives the first contributing to all problems women have and the tone in which men are spoken of on her blog. She’s become full on Duluth, and Duluth is of Satan to put it simply.

                  Now even without copying and pasting dozens of blog posts and comments I’ve managed to hog and take up far too much time and space here. Any and all can have the last word but for the second time, I’m done. Thank you and God bless.

                • @Bob – A correction.
                  I am neither the founder nor the president of the CMBA, I have no idea why you think I am. Lori and I were invited by several others to help start the CMBA, so it would be fair to say we are among the founders. The CMBA is run by a group of equal members, of which I am one. There are places where our direction has not been what I would have done if I were in control. Nothing I find wrong, just a matter of preference.
                  That said, while Shiela is a member, she is no longer showing that fact on her blog.
                  So yes, Sheila and I both belong to the CMBA. So we are affiliated the same way you are affiliated with every member of your chosen denomination.
                  And a question, when did Duluth MN become the home of Satan?
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                • I hate to break my promise but this is too important. Please tell me you know what I mean when I say Duluth. Please, I pray you are making a joke. If that is not the case it is the Duluth Model/Paradigm aligns almost perfectly with how she views men/the world and is the go to overarching way both judges & legal system including law enforcement view domestic relationships and surprisingly what is taught in psychology and women studies- of which don’t forget she holds a degree in. That nor anything I’ve said has been hyperbole. If you want to speak further I’d prefer to do it in another format. I believe I’ve said what needs to be said. My comments are not appearing in the order they are being entered according to other posters and it’s tough to make necessary comments addressing things as they need to be.

                • You make a lot of assumptions, Bob, about what I’ve written in my comments and about me personally, all of which are not even close to being true.

                  You have told me you would think the worst of me if we disagree about scripture and that you are using my own logic against me. Pretty nice coming from someone in ministry.
                  And you’ve read more than 100 posts by me over the years (wow, that’s incredible and pretty far fetched I would say) and how abuse is the focus of all my comments. Hardly. I actually laughed when I read that. You are so full of yourself it’s not even funny, it’s rather sickening.

                  Then you have the nerve to insinuate I’m lying about being in an abusive marriage and again being over the top in saying you’ve not only known women who were abused, but know just as many who have lied about abuse. But me, being a woman, would not understand how destructive that could be unless I myself was accused of abusing my children.

                  You have no idea what I have lived through nor my children. You have no idea the lies I’ve had to wade through hurled at me from godly people who claimed to be such holy Christian people. Do not assume to know me.

                  And yes, my years of abuse have given me a new prism, as you call it, to look through but you can be sure my view is not skewed at all. My eyes are open wide and my view is one of discernment and truth. If I’m just one voice speaking up about abuse, then I will continue to speak out, being a voice of hope and encouragement.

                  I know responding back to you is a mute point and this is the last I will be commenting here.
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                • @Bob “But as a man I have also experienced in just as many cases of women either claiming things as abuse that are not, or worse, lying about abuse entirely.”

                  Wow Bob, really? You think half of the women who say they have been abused are lying about it?
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                • Have you ever spoken to a divorce attorney? It’s an open secret that such claims are made by vast sums to influence the outcome. Those are only the ones that are coached and don’t figure it out on their own.

                  I always wonder why folks who instinctively “know” that a man will use his “power” to a woman’s harm but refuse to accept that women will use the power at her disposal to harm men, including the the laws of the land and perception and optics by people.

              • @Bob – Yes women getting a divorce lie. So do men getting a divorce. And both make false claims. And it’s all wrong. But that in no way proves that half of all abuse claims are false. Among other things, most abuse claims have nothing to do with a divorce.
                It sounds to me like you think women as a whole are less honest than men as a whole.
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                • Paul,
                  No I think men and women are both fallen, sinful creatures in the same amount. Which is why I can easily see through my years in the ministry talking with folks and my discussions with law enforcement, lawyers and judges that women will be just as destructive, mean, evil, deceitful and harmful as men. Many women will try abuse, physical and emotional, but unlike men they also have the arsenal of the police state at their disposal and many of them use it, regularly. Just as men regularly do much harm to women. All in all, I think there is no one good, no not one outside of Jesus Christ and even when we’ve given our life to him many of us are in a battle with Satan until the day we die and a great many days Satan wins in our lives, sadly.

                  You seem to think because I do not think women are better than men- less sinful and damaging- that I think less of women then men. On the contrary I think they are basically equal in evil and rotten deeds which allows me to see clearly the damage they can do. You have a blind spot in this regard.

                • Paul,
                  As Stalin said, it all depends on who is counting the votes. In the first four pages of Google I can find a range from 2%-90% of domestic abuse claims being false. Shockingly when women rights groups count them it’s 2% and when men’s rights groups count them it is 70-90%.

                  Which is why I gave first hand statistics of what I have seen with my own eyes and heard with my own ears.

                  But we are finally getting to the heart of the matter. What each of us believes about men. About women. And about God. Our own blindspots, biases and prejudices influence influence what we believe in God’s Words, which studies we believe, which people we believe and ultimately how we go about life and interpret information.

                • @Bob – Anyone who claims to know how many are false is lying. Proving something is false takes a lot of effort, and no law enforcement agency has the time or manpower for that. I have no idea how the low-end figures are contrived. The high-end numbers come from saying any report not proven to be abuse is a false report. Pretty dishonest.

                  Of course, the problem goes way beyond reported abuse. A great deal of abuse is not reported. Most lying about abuse is not claiming it when it didn’t happen, but rather saying it did not happen when it did. Injuries that could not possibly come from a fall are reported to the police, and the victim swears it happened when she fell.
                  My concern here is Christain leaders who downplay abuse. It is not their intention, but they help to convince women the abuse is her fault and give men cover for abuse. Broken people hear things in what we say that we don’t intend, or they twist what we say to support what they are doing.
                  We live in a country where about 1,000 women a year ARE KILLED by domestic abuse and millions a year are physically harmed. Talking about false reports without talking about the horrific reality of abuse is wrong. Jesus would not have been silent about this, and I won’t either.

                  I think there should be significant legal penalties for false accusations. I’d be for mandatory jail time. But proving a claim is false is difficult at best and usually impossible.
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                • Paul,
                  First, I didn’t bring up abuse. Another commentator did. And by their own accounts it was not physical abuse, which you jump right to, skipping the fast majority of what most “abuse” claims are anymore.

                  Secondly, by your own words you claim it’s almost impossible to prove false claims but then claim you know that half of all claims be false is not accurate. So it appears you are the one and only that has the secret sauce to determine what is indeed true and what indeed is false? You state the higher end range is false because of anything that is not provable is considered not false. But you didn’t state the other side of that coin. Less than a third of all claims are prosecuted and even less are convicted- yet those are counted as “abuse.” Why does provability only count on one side of the statistics for you?

                  I gave the complete range. I did not shade the facts in my direction. In fact I stated I did not believe the upper range.

                  So again, you want to talk about ALL aspect of abuse apparently. Not just false claims which was brought up. Fair enough, lets speak about ALL aspects of abuse. Do you respect that most studies and polls, not done with a bias to achieve a predetermined outcome, state that domestic abuse is done in almost equal amounts by both men and women? You stated a few months ago men in western countries might even have it worse when it comes to abuse then women. So you must understand that when a woman claims abuse, true or not, she is usually believed and offered help, safety and protection- both physically and legally. Are men afforded the same in whether folks believe them, help, safety and protection? In church, in society, legally?

                • @Bob – I’m tired of playing. Abuse is far too common in the church, and some would rather ignore it or downplay it than deal with it. Jesus said what we do and do not do to the least of these we do and do not do to Him. I would say those who are abused by a spouse are the least of these.
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                • Agreed, but you are missing in this power structure battle that influences the “least of these” is the perceptions of men & women and even furthermore the laws and legalities of the land. Which is why I stated what I stated about false claims. It is an attempt at power, control & hurt and in our country today it is far easier to get control this way than even in those most patriarchal of churches which make up a small minority of churches in our day and age. We aren’t discussing Africa. We are discussing the United States. The majority of the land is matriarchal in both law and deed, ruled not by biblical submission from wife to husband or even if you believe such things as male evolutionary power over women. No it is lived at the barrel of the gun of matriarchal laws and open feminist rebellion. Which is why you see society and more importantly the christian church crumbling around us.

                  Now you might think by reading this I think it’s all women’s fault and you’d be wrong. Much like in the garden of eden men have willing abdicated their rightfully God ordained position. They’ve chosen to be weak, lustful, slothful and selfishly lazy. What they’ve failed to mostly is tell themselves no first and their women no second . For no matter what story you give credo to, creational Biblical or evolutionist, the minute man wants it to stop it will stop. Whether women like it or not man rules the earth and his home the minute a handful of them get together and say so. And it can’t come soon enough. My fear is the backlash because of christian feminist teaching is going to be harsh and the pendulum will swing not to godly christian loving husbandry patriarch but to harsh patriarchy due to the backlash of being sold down the river by those teachers teaching such wrong, unbiblical and damaging teaching.

                  I’m out, those reading can come to their own conclusions. Thanks for the discussion, heated as it may be.

                • @Bob ” The majority of the land is matriarchal in both law and deed…”

                  Well that explains our difference Bob. And why you can’t hear what I am trying to say. Still, you may get there. Twenty years ago I had this same argument a number of times, except I was on the other side. I said what you have said and argued what you have argued. And I was wrong. Even if all my facts had been right, I was wrong because I lacked the love and compassion that Jesus has for the millions of spouses who are terrorised, beaten, and killed by men who supposedly love them.

                  And yes, I’m painting that on you, and it might not be fair. But I’m not seeing love and compassion in your words any more than I see it in me when I said the same things.
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                • Paul,
                  This is what you are missing completely. I have love and compassion on the ones that are abused and will have love and compassion on the ones that will be abused. What you are missing is that there is a whole flip side of the coin and that is having love and compassion on those that are taken advantage of (the men, women, children, families) by painting things the way you are- which is a much larger portion of the population on a whole than the segment you are trying to give love and compassion to. Let’s do BOTH. See what I am suggesting is to take each case individually, based on the facts on the ground, interpreted through scripture. Let’s hold everyone accountable and give love and compassion. But let’s not tell a fraction of the story, assume someone simply based on their gender and let’s not abuse what the Bible says to get to our own ends or explain it away as cultural to get to our own ends. The Bible has a lot of tough teaching it. But I’ll take God as God is and not make Him into the God I think He should be and I’ll take men and women as He says and not how I think they should be- for I know this, He is far smarter and better than I.

  6. I find it interesting that so many men have had such strong opinions of the content and direction of this blog when the blog is written for women. Hmm…

    @Paul- A while back you wrote a post saying you had been told by a female friend that you had gotten away from the original intent of the blog…explaining men to women. I’ve noticed you have moved back in that direction some, but not completely. I’m not sure I care either way, but you may want to consider changing the name of the blog if that’s no longer your primary focus. Just a thought.

    In regards to the looks/maintenance issue some husbands have with their wives, do you consider this to be an area where double standards are generally at play? Why or why not?

    I’m not sure I agree time use and busyness are the main culprits of low drive in men when the result is a sexless marriage (10 or fewer times per year). If there is some semblance of regular sex, you may be correct in that assumption. I’d like to see more distinction of what low and high drive actually mean. There is way too much subjectiveness to these terms.

    I’d also like to see you do posts dispelling the idea of “normal” men/husbands (and women/wives, but again the focus of this blog is explaining husbands to wives). Too many times that term is used in the comments (usually in regards to sexual needs and desires). What is “normal” and who among us actually fits the criteria of “normal”? Weren’t we all created as beautifully, unique individuals?

    • @Anonymous – Gotta watch what women are being told! ;-)

      Yes, I’ve moved back that way, but it’s not all I’m doing. Maybe a change to the tagline?

      In surveys on a lack of sex tiredness, busyness, and stress are always the top reasons given. Everything else is way down the list.

      Normal is always a difficult target. If the vast majority does or feels a certain way, it’s the norm. But there are still those who are outside the norm.
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      • And we outside the norms tend to be quite vocal about it…..lol! Pail, thanks for putting up with me commenting.

      • Yes, a tag line change should do the trick. 😊

        Did you purposely not answer my looks/maintenance question, or was that an oversight? I would really like to know what you think about it.

        I don’t doubt that’s the answer given most in surveys, but how many of those men are refusing sex to the extent of a sexless marriage? I don’t think the majority of men only agreeing to sex at most 10 times per year are the ones taking these types of surveys. I stand by original assumption. Also, I wonder how many of the men answering these surveys also watch porn regularly. If they are, that could skew their answers without them even realizing it or being willing to admit to that as the cause.

        The problem with “normal” is the assumptions that go along with the use of the word to describe individual people. Context is key here. What I tend to see in comments is “normal men…” in reference to a woman’s comment or question about her husband’s lack of sex drive. This phrase in those situations serves no good purpose. Also, just because something is normal doesn’t make it right. Based on the norms, we could probably say it is normal for Christian women to dislike sex. When the assumption is normal is good and abnormal is bad, this means Christian women who dislike sex are the standard to which we should all aspire. We could also say a history with porn is the norm for men. Therefore, “normal men” enjoy porn.
        If you were to ask neuroscientists about normal brains, they would say abnormal is the norm. We are talking about real individuals with many mitigating factors coming into play. Generalizations based on norms are fine until they are used to label an individual without any consideration for the factors that contribute to that person being “abnormal”.

  7. I’d like to see you cover some variations of how men think. Gender behavior falls more along a bell curve, and it’s truly helpful to cover that middle ground where most men are. However, it’s also helpful to cover the other situations to help those wives relate and not feel like something is wrong in their marriages when it is not.
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  8. You can put the word abuse in quotation marks all you want, but it does not make abuse less than real. I do not have statistics about how many cases of abuses towards women are real or how many men are abused each year or how many women lie about being abused, be it physical, psychological or spiritual. What I do know for a fact, 100% truth, is my own case. And I am no liar, I am a survivor.

    Yes, I am the commenter who brought up abuse, but you, Bob, were the one to turn this thread into being about abuse. You who are in ‘ministry’, as you state, able to marry and bury folks and yet unable to show love and mercy. You think of yourself as an authority based on what you deem some higher calling of ministry to be able to determine who is and who is not lying. You believe yourself to be judge and jury, withholding any judgement supposedly until you have looked in to someone’s eyes and been able to determine with some divine, God-ordained power who is really telling the truth. You, think to highly of yourself.

    What I’m about to write has nothing to do with you, Bob, nor is directed at you entirely, although it came about because of the comments you made. I said in my last comment I was done with this thread and commenting to you, but I will have one last say before this post gets pushed to the next page. My last word is not for you, Bob, because that would be fruitless and fall on deaf ears as rest of my words and others’ have too. No, my words are for the women who come here and may find themselves reading judgmental, unloving, uncaring words such as from Bob, who to me speaks much like the Pharisees of Jesus’ time.
    Abuse is very real. And so is the fact that some people may cry abuse where there is none. But let me assure you that speaking the very word is often the most difficult thing to do. It is often far easier to lie to protect the abuser than to speak the truth of abuse happening behind closed doors of a home. It is often far easier to lie about the truth of being abused to protect oneself from the naysayers, especially in the absence of physical abuse. It is often easier to not speak the truth for fear of others making you feel you are blowing things out of proportion. It is often far easier to lie to oneself that abuse is occurring towards you and your children because the truth is, often the church doesn’t want to get involved and shoves unbiblical doctrine down a woman’s throat to keep her in a marriage. It is often far easier to continue sweeping eggshells under the rug and tiptoeing over them to keep the peace than speak the truth and try to get help which often leads to more tension and yes, even violence. And sometimes, a victim is so very tired and worn down, and not speaking up about the very thing which has worn her out mentally, emotionally and often spiritually, is far easier than having to explain herself to people who sit on their thrones and look down on her for not being godly enough, submissive enough or having enough respect for her husband who is to be lord over her. Sometimes, it’s just easier not to speak the truth of abuse in one’s life.

    So, those that throw around the word abuse so easily and often, might very well not be
    telling the truth. Because even if, and when, divorce may become necessary, an abusive victim may still be wary about openly sharing, just wanting to get it over with while her abuser taints her, twists the truth and manipulates things to get his own way.

    Sadly, the very place a woman worships, which should be a safe place for her, often isn’t. When she finally chooses to ask for help, she is met with hushed whispers, people turning away from her, and reprimands of not reconciling and forgiving and forgetting. She is asked in a curt manner what the problem is, was she ever hit?? And made to feel like a too-sensitive woman if her answer is no and she cannot produce visible bruises as proof. The very people a woman thinks she can trust to turn to for support, for help, for advice, often only encourage her to forgive and forget because after all “we are all sinners” and she needs to submit and respect more, and then he will change his ways. Most often, abuse victims, especially women, do NOT get support from the church, let alone anywhere else.

    And if a woman does finally have the courage to share her story, usually in a trepid whisper at first, she is often not believed or helped. Or the ‘help’ offered is joint counseling sessions which only prove to cause more harm than good or in my case, the men of the church surround the husband to help him see the wrong of his ways and turn the victim aside because she does not choose to place herself or her children back in harm’s way ever again.

    God made man in His image and made woman from man. One is not better or superior from the other, and while God called the wife to submit unto her husband’s authority, while both husband and wife submit first unto God, He put the larger responsibility on the husband – to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He is the head of the home and his wife is the body, and a husband is to love his wife as his own body, taking care of it and not harming his body or treating it destructively. He should be demonstrating the utmost Christ-like behavior towards his wife. And do you know what Jesus did? He himself took on the role of servant. He washed his disciples’ feet, he showed care and compassion for the sick and impoverished. So therefore, a husband needs to take on the role of servant towards his wife, washing her feet and laying his life down for her. Both man and wife are called to love one another and serve one another, the head and body working together.

    A husband should not be taking such an authoritarian role as to insist on things his way and his way only. When I read comments from wives whose husbands only allow certain things in the marriage bed, forgoing her pleasure and making it all about himself, that is NOT headship, that is selfishness and not acting Christ-like. Or a husband not allowing a wife to seek medical care for a child as was shared in a small comment I found nestled among all the other comments on this thread, was horrifying to read, because that is NOT headship, that is an uncaring man who seeks control and is not willing to let his wife use her brain or common sense to take care of their children as she sees fit. And THAT, folks, is abuse.

    When I’m told how I would not understand the severity of a woman crying abuse where there is none, all because I am a woman, and perhaps the only way I could understand the destructiveness of such a lie is if someone accused me of abusing my own children – I’m appalled. Yes, I am a woman. Yes, I have lived with abuse for 20 years or more of my life. And yes, I have witnessed firsthand the destructiveness of someone abusing my children all in the name of headship. I have had unspeakable lies spoken about me and used to ruin me. Believe me, I do understand, even if I am a woman. I understand all too well the destructiveness of lies and hatred, and unloving men towards their families. I do understand better than most anyone here.

    And what really bothers me more than anything, which at first, I could not put my finger on, is the attempt to diminish the seriousness of abuse by relabeling it as something like headship or trying to put the focus on false cases of abuse. This attempt to keep women silent about abuse by taking the focus off the real problem and putting it under the guise of headship, only serves to bring more harm and destructiveness to marriages. Please dear women, you are not less than your husband, you are equal in the sight of God, and you are a daughter of our King. If you are living with abuse, please seek help. Do not let others, especially those in ministry, try to rename what is happening in your home as headship or label you an ungodly wife for speaking out.
    Pray, seek God’s will and know that true suffering in the name of righteousness happens when evil is exposed, not by keeping it hidden.
    Amy recently posted…Speak the truthMy Profile

    • @Amy – I do understand that some woman lie about abuse. My problem is the “prove you were abused” thinking of some. Women are further abused and sometimes killed because of that thinking.
      It’s a very tricky thing. The accused abuser is innocent until proven guilty, but the accuser’s claims must be considered true until proven false. That makes for an impossible situation. The possibly abused must be protected with as little impact on the possible abuser as possible. I see removal from the house without proof as necessary; imprisonment without proof it wrong.
      In some circles claiming abuse bring immediate benefits. Not just protection, but benefits. That’s part of the problem. There are men who assume any claim is false unless they see obvious visible signs of injury. That’s also part of the problem.
      And yes the church, as a whole, has failed on this issue, to the determent of many women and children.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Your Wife Isn’t a NarcissistMy Profile

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