Is the problem a lack of listening or a lack of submitting?

In She Only Acted Crazy To Get Her Own Way, Dalrock asserted:

There is another point worth bringing up in this episode, and that is the meaning of the complementarian expression “listen to your wife”.  This is another case where the complementarian expression means something quite different than what the words would suggest on their face.  Just like “servant leader” doesn’t mean headship, and “submission” means rebellion, “listen to your wife” doesn’t mean simply listen to her.   When spoken by a complementarian, “listen to your wife” means do as she says”

In Just Shut Up and Listen, I tested the validity of Dalrock’s assertion by examining one of the most popular Christian marriage curricula of the present day, The Art of Marriage, and found that Dalrock’s assertion was confirmed.  I then reiterated how this listen to your wife=obey your wife teaching directly contradicts the Bible by inverting the Christian marital hierarchy of headship and submission.

Insanitybytes took exception and asserted that the problem isn’t wives throwing tantrums to get their own way but rather husbands who abuse their wives by not listening to them. She commented (highlighting mine):

Sometimes men don’t understand the seriousness of the situation and women need a way to get their attention. Men like Dalrock have no idea WTH they are talking about and “never listen to your wife” is so anti biblical it makes my blood boil. Men are to love their wives like Christ loves the church. Does God not hear our prayers? Does God not listen to us? Does God not preserve our mental health?

I’ve addressed this several times. Not listening to your wife is psychological abuse. Not being heard sent this woman into an emotional crisis, one in which she was destroying her wedding china.

So, we all agree that examples of wives wildly acting out are highlighted by the Christian media as worthy of emulation.  What we obviously don’t all agree on is what is causing this acting out.  Thus the question we need to answer is this: Are these out-of-control behaviors caused by (as Dalrock asserts) wives who want to get their own way or by (as IB asserts) husbands who won’t listen to their wives at all?

In other words, is this a lack of listening or a lack of submitting?

Let us find another example of a wife exhibiting multiple instances of acting out in a rather unhinged manner.  My example for this post comes from As For Me and My House: Crafting Your Marriage to Last by Pastor Walter Wangerin (you can click the title above to read the parts I quote from in this post via google books):

The first thing to note is that Pastor Wangerin is not part of the evangelical marriage industry.  He has been a Lutheran pastor for many years, serving for a number of years in an inner-city congregation.  He is also a fantasy author, well known for The Book of the Dun Cow, among others.  I’m very fond of Pastor Wangerin’s writings, and about five years ago I read his book on marriage.  There is some very good teaching in it, but one of the things that stood out to me even then, before I had really thought these things through, was a series of anecdotes about a troubled time in his marriage.

At the beginning of the story, Pastor Wangerin and his wife have been married for some years when he wakes one night to find his wife not in bed. He gets up to look for her and find her crying alone in the dark in the living room.  He is terribly worried and begs her to tell him what is wrong but she refuses even to speak to him. She gets up, runs to the bathroom, slams the door, still refusing to speak to him, and bursts into fresh, angry tears.  He continues the story on page 75:

How long can a silence last? Long. How long could Thanne continue not talking to me – not talking, at least, of matters crucial to our spirits and our relationship? Long. Thanne had a gift for silences. And after the night when I found her awake I suffered a bewildered misery.

Oh, I was such a fool in those days. But I was working blind. What could I do, if she wouldn’t talk to me?

No: I was a fool in those days. I did not see that even my efforts at healing hurt her. Well, I wasn’t looking at these present efforts, only at past actions to find the fault; but, in fact, the fault was consistently there, in me, in all that I was doing. Therefore, I kept making things worse for all my good intentions. I was a walking fault!

At night she always went to bed before I did. When I came to the bedroom, carefully shading the light from her eyes, doing everything possible to care for her, I always found her turned away, curled tightly on her side, at the very edge of the bed. Her cheek was the only flash I saw, and the corner of her eye – closed. Was she sleeping? I didn’t know.  I was scared to ask, scared to wake her if she was, and scared she wouldn’t answer if she wasn’t. I got under covers cursing creaky bed springs. And my heart broke to see the cheek I could not touch. Her skin was no longer mine.

“Did you sleep well?” I asked in the morning, as casually as I could.

Thanne was growing pale, gaunt in her thinness, drawn around the mouth parentheses (from so long, so pinched a silence).  Her hair broke at the ends, dry. She fixed breakfast for the children in her house coat. Her poor ankles were flour-white.

“Did you sleep well?”

Thanne flashed me a glance as sharp as a scalpel. “I didn’t sleep,” she said and slapped eggs on plates. Her tone said volumes, but left the interpretation to me: because of you.  Or, what’s it to you? Or, you asked me just to rub it in. Or why don’t you just go to work? I could take my pick. I left for work.

But I was not a bad man, was I? I didn’t fool around with women – that’s worth something in this world, isn’t it? I didn’t fritter away our money, or beat her, or even talk back to her. I wasn’t a drunkard. What I was, was a pastor! I had given even my professional life to God. I was a good man! Then where was the problem between us?

All day I argued my defense in my own mind. All day I truly suffered a stomach pain which felt very much like homesickness and intolerable loneliness. It prickled my back to think how much I loved Thanne; but it drew my gut into a knot to remember that we were not talking. And the knot was guilt; but the knot was self-pity, too. For God’s sake, what did I do?

In the evening I planned to prove my goodness to her. I vacuumed the living room. With mighty snaps, I shook out all the rugs in our house. When the children had gone to bed (so quietly, so quietly, like mice sneaking beneath their parents’ silences) I noticed that Thanne hadn’t yet done the dishes. Good! I thought. My opportunity! And I rolled up my sleeves to help her out.

But when I was halfway through the pans I felt the hairs on my neck stand up – as though the Lantern had haunted our kitchen. I paused in the greasy water. I turned and saw Thanne standing in the doorway, glaring at me in silent fury, her thin arms folded at her chest.

She hissed, “You are just trying to make me feel guilty.”  She disappeared from the doorway and went to bed.

No – but I thought I was trying to help. The dirty pans beside me made me sad.

He continues on to describe several more stories in which his wife acted out crazily, including leaving home on a Sunday afternoon without telling her husband where she was going, or when/if she would return.  Because they had guests coming over for dinner and he did not know if she would return, he cancelled the get-together, only to have her return a few minutes before the dinner party was to begin and throw a massive tantrum about his having canceled it. Disturbingly, he writes of this event:

I knew for sure that Thanne was right.  I had sinned terribly against her, sins which I will name before this chapter is done so you will understand that it wasn’t a single act or a number of acts: it was I myself. I was sin.

 Finally it is revealed that she was upset about him being gone so much for work, attending to his pastoral duties, and not prioritizing her enough (this should look very familiar to you; it was also the reason for the tantrums of Mrs. Bright, Mrs. Keller, and Mrs.Wilson).  Furthermore, as a pastor’s wife she felt like she was losing her own identity. Part of the resolution involved Pastor Wangerin watching the children more often so she could pursue her desire to get a degree in computer programming.

Pastor Wangerin had repeatedly pleaded with his wife to talk to him and tell him what was wrong; not only was he NOT “abusing” her by refusing to listen to her, he was actually begging her to tell him the problem. yet she would not.  She not only threw tantrum after tantrum to get her own way – having her husband home more so she could pursue personal fulfillment – but she wouldn’t even tell him what was wrong.  She faulted him for not being observant enough to read the situation without her having to say anything.

Pastor Wangerin goes on to explain some of the little ways he treated his wife unkindly; he was not blameless.  Yet the overarching reason for Mrs. Wangerin’s tantrums clearly was not that he did not listen to her but rather that she wanted to have her own way and thus continued escalating her behavior until he finally got the message (and leaving without telling your spouse when or if you ever plan to return is clearly a message with an implicit threat to it).

Let us answer the question I posed at the beginning – is this a lack of listening or a lack of submitting?  We can see that listening was not the problem in the Wangerin home, which means the problem was primarily a lack of wifely submission.  And once again, a Christian pastor has held his wife’s lack of submission up as good and sound teaching for other Christian women.

Edit: I misidentified Mrs. Bright as Mrs. Rainey originally.


53 thoughts on “Is the problem a lack of listening or a lack of submitting?

  1. The wife can have a totally legitimate point. However, what these examples are advocating is the totally WRONG way to go about it from both perspectives.

    Wives: having tantrums, being moody, etc
    Husbands: caving to tantrums, etc

    The Scriptures obviously advocate a certain way, and it’s not the way being peddled as Biblical advice.

    Now, if the wife has a legitimate point and went about it in the way of 1 Peter 3, then if the husband was not understanding then it would be an issue. Namely, his prayers would be hindered as it says in the Scriptures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Deep Strength, for this comment. I do appreciate you acknowledging that the husband can be in error at times. Sometimes it seems like some guys from the manosphere think husbands can do no wrong.

      In fact, I think Pastor Wangerin probably did not behave as an understanding husband should at times. In reading the whole book, it seemed to me that perhaps his wife was experiencing some kind of depression or something. He was indeed very wrapped up in his ministry to the point that he did not look out for his wife’s needs as the weaker vessel.

      And if he had written in his book that he was at fault because of this while still acknowledging that his wife’s acting out was not the right way to handle it, I would have been completely on board with what he was saying. But he doesn’t do that in the book, not so much as one would like him to anyway, though certainly he is more biblical in his approach than the Kellers or the Wilsons.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Hi Mary, I discovered my late wife’s reading your blog, and read yours and found it thoughtful. Am I allowed to join your new blog?

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Sunshine Thiry, I’ve just discovered an author whose works I will NEVER read. I can’t respect a man who lets his wife abuse him like this. And believe-you-me, if you think this masochistic line of thinking isn’t going to bleed over into his fiction, you are sorely mistaken. No author can hide how they truly think and feel under their fiction 100 percent of the time. Well, some can, but such authors are very rare. Sooner or later, their true sentiments and morals (or lack thereof) will start to come out. It is inevitable. So, no Walter Wankerin’ Jr. for me, thanks.


  2. The fact that IB says that not listening to your wife is psychological abuse is what I believe is getting men to cave to these tantrums and submit to their wives. They’re scared of their wives, the wives know that, and so that’s how they run the family when their husband isn’t doing what they want them to be doing.

    I think it’d be great to see men and women step up to use godly examples of what real submission looks like in different cases, and what it looks like when a husband listens to his wife without it being an emasculation of his authority in the household. I’d be curious to hear about your own marriage Sunshine, when have you submitted or brought things up to your husband when you felt like he wasn’t listening completely?

    Liked by 2 people

    • As a bachelor child of a let’s say, not completely disastrous marriage, I can’t help you with your question, but I did have some thoughts on some of your wording:

      > They’re scared of their wives …

      In affect it’s the same, but I don’t think men are scared of their wives; they’re scared of other men trying to “protect” their wife. This can be a good thing in moderation since humans, regardless of sex, are neither angels nor demons, but rather somewhere in between. Unfortunately our society has taken it far beyond what’s reasonable.

      I notice that a decent number of manosphere writers prefer to say that men are afraid of the state rather than their wives, which is terminology that I prefer.

      It probably partially serves as an ego-salve for the men who are afraid of such things (and I doubt there’s many men who aren’t at least a little nervous), but I think it may also serve as a form of protection against women using such threats or attacks.

      As a result of 100+ years of feminism most women are obsessed with “empowerment”, and can see such actions as giving them power, when in reality it’s simply demonstrating that they are weak, and that the state is too stupid to get beyond a cartoonish weak=good; strong=bad morality.

      (Which is an amusing irony given that the feminist doctrine of “empowerment” is essentially that weak=bad and strong=good; but we’re talking about feminists; logic isn’t their strong suit)


  3. Yes, I can see how men can be at fault. We’re not all angels. However, what this woman put her husband through was a gigantic shit test. Had he sought counselling , he would have been told to double down on the suipplication. Not good. The presumption of modern women that men should “just get it” has gone too far. We’re not mind readers.
    She created a lose-lose scenario for him. He is lucky that it didn’t end up as a divorce.
    No wonder that I am a “terrified” bear.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sunshine, what Pastor Wangerin did is the epitome of headship, the perfection of male honor at work. I’m quite sure his wife could have communicated better, but the Pastor did exactly what he has been called to do as a husband and they are still married, yes?

    It is so sad to watch you and some of the others condone a kind of behavior that can only be described as bullying, as abuse, as authority gone wrong, relationships completely devoid of love, where might makes right and might of course, is always in men’s hands. To read this kind of distortion, to see the lack of understanding among those who claim to read the bible, to know Christ, to care about people is just devastating. It breaks my heart to know how many women have seen the deception hidden within this kind of false thinking, the hypocrisy, and have rejected not only marriage and men because of it, but Christ Himself. And I cannot blame them one bit. If I did not know better, if I had not lived the truth, I would be right there with them.


    • > … they are still married, yes?

      Yeah, because anytime someone makes a mistake it automatically ends in divorce. The manosphere is full of examples of similar situations that ended in divorce too.

      > … the Pastor did exactly what he has been called to do as a husband …

      What exactly is that? Automatically say yes whenever your wife tells you to spend less time working for Church and more time with her? Because the wife is never, ever wrong about that?

      > It is so sad to watch you and some of the others condone a kind of behavior that can only be described as bullying, as abuse, as authority gone wrong, relationships completely devoid of love, where might makes right and might of course, is always in men’s hands.

      I can’t decide whether it’s sad or funny to read your comments because I can’t figure out if you actually believe what you say or if you’re just a troll. But moving beyond the concern-trolling you start your sentence with:

      When is it not bullying for a man to say “no” to spending more time looking after the kids? Or “no” to spending more time talking with his wife? (And does the same rule apply if we reverse the sexes? Because I’m pretty sure a big feature of the story Sunshine shared was a woman refusing to talk to her husband, you may have missed that part though)


      • Ha! Here’s a good lesson on submission for you. Who is my authority? Jesus Christ and than my husband. So I asked hubby, what’s this all about? Is Sunshine, Dalrock, and the others right? Am I missing something here?? And he said, “why do you waste so much time trying to argue with people who just point shaming fingers at others and try to tell everyone else that they’re doing their own marriages wrong?”

        As usual, he’s right. 😉


      • IB,
        While you may think that you are promoting feminism by stirring up the pot where women fear men, it’s backfiring. Effectively, you’re advocating MGTOW.

        Pandering to all this fear turns the heirarchy around and feminine dominated relationships simply do not work.


    • “To read this kind of distortion, to see the lack of understanding among those who claim to read the [blog post] is just devastating.”

      There, a simple fix describes your comments.

      Sometime try reading what is actually written than what you feel was written.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: A Failure To Communicate | Donal Graeme

  6. Pingback: Imbroglio… | See, there's this thing called biology...

  7. Communication only happens with two invested actors that want to communicate. The problem nearly all Women run into is that, at the core, their Hearts are dishonest and they let that lead. They know what they’re doing is evil, thus there is no actual way to communicate the true desire. You see this in children all of the time, yet we all know if that isn’t trained out them, they will be destroyed by it. (Or someone will have to destroy them to protect themselves.)

    And the proper response, for something like the bedroom rebellion, is a bucket of cold water. The cold effect alone will shut down most of the running emotional processes that are in the Cycle Up. (Rage actually requires the production of a lot of body heat, after all.) Once she’s rather cold and very wet, the point should be established and the stupidity of what she has done should be evident to her. A good bit of dealing with Women is preventing them from “getting off the handle”, as it were.

    Faith will always compel us to drive evil from our midst, but the temptation is always to allow it to fester. There is much festering in the Church.


    • I find it almost impossible to ignore how close her actions are to the actions of a spoiled child. If you can’t grow up and handle disagreements in an adult manner your marriage or even LTR will never be able to weather the inevitable storms or be able to persist through the additional burdens involved in raising children and having a Mortgage.


  8. After 20+ years of marriage in which I was a nice guy who supplicated to my wife’s desires and yet still found she was constantly unhappy, I was frustrated beyond belief. Both my wife and I would have considered her “submitted,” since she did not attempt to lead and was willing to follow me if I took the lead. But I usually let her make the decisions. Why? Because she had preferences in almost everything and I didn’t.

    Oh, I read the books on relationships and how to live in wedded bliss. I tried implementing various approaches, but my wife never got any happier and seemed oblivious to my attempts to change myself and improve our marriage. Indeed, the harder I tried, the deeper the hole seemed to get.

    We had multiple counselors. We attended Bible studies and conferences. She provided me with lists of what she wanted from me, but then failed to recognize it when I did what she wanted. I found myself “performing” for her sake – doing the things she had requested from me where she could see me doing them or when I knew the kids would let her know. Why did I do this? Because if she didn’t see it happen, it didn’t happen in her mind. I took to keeping a detailed log of everything I did around the house and time spent with the kids. When she claimed I wasn’t doing what she “needed,” I tried presenting evidence, but she refused to even look at it, claiming I had deliberately inflated the information to make myself look better.

    Yeah, it was that bad. Our relationship had deteriorated to the point that we were roommates who were raising children together because divorce was not an option.

    Then I stumbled on the Christian manosphere and gained some understanding that went against the decades of marriage advice that had been instilled in me.

    Though I don’t always agree on every point from Dalrock, Deep Strength and others, they provided what was needed to turn my marriage around and make it into something much better than it was.

    My wife is happy. The atmosphere of my home is different – we laugh a lot and enjoy being together.

    I’m a different man, both in how I handle my marriage and in how I relate to my wife. I had an exchange with my wife the other day in which she commented about my decisiveness on an issue, saying, “I wish you were more…gentle in how you handle things.” I laughed and said, “You mean gentle like I was three years ago?” She had to agree that she didn’t want those days back.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Not to reinvent the wheel…but as I wrote on Donal’s page:

    The wife was being silly, and the husband was grasping at straws trying to communicate to her the best he could given how he had likely always communicated with her.

    The other issue is ongoing communication between spouses.  Not only that, people [dear to me] in general:

    At some point I might ask someone as earnestly – yet informally as possible, “so hey, what’s up…anything going on that I need to know – or anything you want to talk about?”

    I’ve done this with women I’ve dated, and other than one or two who have just been duplicitous or inarticulate, it usually works out very well.  Communication hasn’t been an issue for me for the most part, as it has been a lack of congruence in values and priorities.

    If the wife in this situation had been pulling his coat to her feelings all along, then it may not have been so bad.

    OTOH, this could have been the result of a lack of clarity in understanding what she signed up for, a lack of clarity on what he promised he could do and be as a husband (in the practical sense), patterns of broken promises and commitments on his part, a lack of earnestness in her commitment to his mission/calling, and a host of other things.

    But the bottom line is that you can’t get to the bottom line unless you open your mouth and spit it out. 

    If I had been him, and practicing the things that I generally practice, “so hey, what’s up…” and you still want to act a fool when you’ve had the door cracked and the light on to say what the hell is on your mind from “giddy-up”,  then yeah, there is a problem, and its not mine.

    Just like women want men to JUST.GET.IT…if my hand has been eternally extended to you and you still throw tantrums, then you can JUST.GET.OUT, until you come to your senses.

    I guess this is why I’m not good at Game, because if Father Yahweh tells me to “write the vision and make it plain, then I expect my wife to plainly see it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Pedat, that makes sense. We’ve come to the point in our marriage were we communicate easily, and we tease each other constantly – but I love that he’s decisive and plans the way our family will go. He does listen to me, but I try not to whine and complain and make listening to me unpleasant and disrespectful.

      This last fall, he wanted our son to be in a sports program that was pretty intense. We both had had enough of the ymca, inexperienced coaches, where every kid gets trophies even if they never showed up to games or practice, and not great teaching of techniques, so he chose a much better one. But when I found out how much they’d be practicing and how long, I didn’t think it was a good idea and just plainly didn’t want to do it. We discussed it a few times, how it would really work with our schedule, and it was clear he wanted our family to do this and wanted me to at least try, so I did my part to make it happen (taking our son when my husband wasn’t off (which was 2x a week for me). It ended up not being as hard as I thought it would be to do those two nights on my own with the baby in tow, I even used some of the time to work out on the track, and our son did really well in the program and loved it, and my husband helped take him on one of his evenings off each week.

      I see how I could have thrown a tantrum to get him to “listen to me,” which of course, really would mean, “submit to me,” because he DID listen to me (we discussed it a few times and he heard all my concerns), but he still wanted me to try to do it because he thought it would be a lot better than the Y.

      So yes, these are mostly instances not of bad communication in my opinion, but where the wife usually just doesn’t want to follow the husband’s lead, and thinks she knows best and wants to control the family.


  10. OK, first, Wangerin is Missouri Synod, so he’s probably at least tangentially part of the evangelical realm. Definitely not Baptistic, but let’s not forget the Lutherans were the first group to name themselves “evangelical” (see the names of most Protestant churches in Germany). I got to learn about Answers in Genesis at a Missouri Synod church, for example. (an ELCA pastor would, sad to say, very likely have suffered divorce….Wangerin’s story is strong Missouri Synod/ Evangelical in that way)

    But that aside, what strikes me is that Wangerin’s wife was exhibiting classic avoidance and withdrawal in that passage, and that’s the biggest thing that the pastor who did my wedding warned about–the fit is about to hit the shan when that happens. What is divorce besides radical withdrawal, after all?

    I don’t know whether it’s right or wrong, but when I see signs of withdrawal, I press the issue and say “Nonsense. You’re crying. What’s wrong?”, or some such thing. One can quibble over whether it’s clumsy or artful, but it drags out the issue and allows it to be resolved.

    In other words, sins (or perceived wrongs that are not sin) are going to be approached from time to time The question–really whether one is male or female–is how we respond. And yes, I’m being a little judgmental here (I tested out as INTJ, after all), but I think Wangerin failed Matthew 18 and his wife’s “shit test” pretty badly.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sunshine, I wonder how you’d respond to this post an atheist wrote about homemakers based off a recent post of mine…

    She writes,

    “One parent staying at home with young children is not natural, it’s often not pleasant, and it’s certainly not approaching the range of social contact and interaction that all human beings need on a daily basis. Of course, in some family situations there are no other options and everyone just had to get on with it. But to sell this isolated and limiting set up like it’s beneficial to anyone, like it’s something to aspire to, is to sell everyone short: women are limited in their scope and all too often reduced to the proverbial doormat; children are deprived of the necessary range of adult input and child socialisation; men have a tendency to become pampered queens prancing about like the ‘important’ person in the house.”

    the rest can be found here


    • OK, so working in a cubicle, or on a production line, gives a woman the human interaction she needs, then? That is, after all, what the average woman working outside the home will be doing. Even among men, the proportion of people consistently doing hard mental work and having a lot of work-related meaningful human interaction is low.

      No argument that people need human interaction and mental activity. I saw it brilliantly when I worked at an electronics plant where most of the assemblers were women–if you did not arrange work areas so they could talk (much like a quilting bee or knitting circle), they would get nothing done. But if you did, they would “knit” away happily the whole shift.

      But regarding the idea that you can’t get that human interaction while being a stay at home mother, one wonders whether wisp has ever heard of playdates, women’s circles at church, home school co-ops, and the like. Really, whether you’re at work or at home, your social interaction and mental involvement is something you need to take action to secure.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Right, it’s sad to me that people in Europe don’t seem to understand the community of homeschoolers available or other stay at home moms of small children that aren’t school-aged yet. We get together fairly often when proactive about it, and love doing things together and seeing things around our city. It is so much better than being stuck in a cubicle, and I get to watch my children actually grow up – it is wonderful! There are several mom groups that are available, too, that promote connection and friendships. Of course there are times when it can be difficult or overwhelming, but that happens even if a woman is working. And in the US, I recently saw a statistic saying that 80% of working mothers wish they could quit and stay home… it’s very valuable and priceless work in my opinion. Even just googling how many moms wish they could stay home, it’s surprising how many long to be able to do so. Having done both myself, I choose staying with them while they’re little because it’s they’re my treasures in life, and it’s going by too fast!

        I think when someone has this kind of negative, overly critical judgment of a woman’s choice to stay at home, it’s more of a lack of understanding how valuable the role of a mother is to the atmosphere of the home, to creating that nurturing, peaceful environment. I think there’s an inability to understand sacrificial love as well when you aren’t Christian – what value does sacrifice have when you live for yourself alone and put yourself first in everything you do. For me, my children and husband come first because they are the most important people in my life as a wife and mother, of course, I think moms need to take care of themselves too, otherwise they’re ineffective and get quickly burned out. As far as the housework thing, I think there’s a lack of appreciation for how important that is as well to creating a peaceful home. Women resenting housework and resenting cooking, or having to do anything to make their homes better environments is sad to me, and comes from selfishness.

        It’s fine to work in my opinion, but it’s hard to satisfy both job and home needs sometimes when children are small (my own boss was always pressing me to work more hours than 40, and comparing me to single and divorced women who made research their career and whose parents raised their children). I don’t want my mom and dad to have to raise my children for me, tuck them in at night while I’m in a research lab until 7 or 8pm every evening, working 60 hours a week (one woman actually worked more around 80). That’s how some of the women I worked with lived, and many had failed marriages. I love being there at night, tucking my sons in, reading to them, and praying over them.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Here’s another perspective on the matter; working in a daycare is a perfectly good way to express your personhood, but taking care of your own children, not so much.

      Say what? It’s worth noting that the best studies of the effects of daycare show that they’re slightly better than a welfare mother in terms of imparting knowledge to children. Talk about damning with faint praise.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I do remember hearing about Simone de Beauvior saying that the option for women to stay at home must be removed because too many women would choose it. She was a sicko.


      • BG,
        The way I heard it, she was never able to nail Jean Paul Sartre down. If men are frustrated by unrequited love, it must make women crazy.


      • Yeah, they were both very strange, and sexually very disturbed individuals. As a youth, I tried to read Sartre, but it was gibberish. Could possibly have been the translator…maybe, but I don’t think so. I fear that too many people are intellectually impressed, possibly frightened, by ideas that are not defensibly understandable to them.

        Neither my wife nor myself had much difficulty explaining our ideas and we both had had pretty high IQ’s. Hell, I have been known to kneel down and draw pictures in the dust to ensure that every member of my crew understood me ;-D

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I do remember hearing about Simone de Beauvior saying that the option for women to stay at home must be removed because too many women would choose it

    Choose it they would.
    And good for society it would be
    What not to like there is?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Insanitybites22 does not bring the whole of Biblical counsel to her comments. Too much can be said about this for a single thread, but I’ll try to give the flavor here with just a few specifics. This also is how Jesus loves the Church (the example for how husbands are to love their wives):

    God’s promises are intended only for those who obey Him.

    No verse says that, but many verses support the idea. Primarily:

    (paraphrased) Jesus says … in these two commandments lie all the law: Love God and love your neighbor. Than he turns around and says … if you love me (one of the two primary commandments to the church), keep my commandments. The reverse of that is, “if you don’t keep my commandments (if you don’t obey me), you don’t love me”. And “since my promises are only intended for those who obey me, and you don’t obey me … ”

    Jesus did not die to save the entire world. He died to make it possible that the entire world might be saved. His death is only effective for those who obey him (you can find your own verses that support this contention). Jesus did in fact give his life for the church – an example of what husbands are to do for their wives. But the “church” for whom Jesus gave his life is comprised entirely of those who obey Jesus. Those who do not obey Jesus have never been considered part of the church (re-read first two sentences of this paragraph if necessary). A husband is only obligated to give himself to his wife as Christ gives himself to the church. That is, his (Christ’s and husband’s) bounty (emotional and material) is bestowed only on those who love him – a love that is displayed through obedience. There is no requirement for a husband to bestow his emotional and material bounty on a wife who has rejected him. Because no one who rejects Christ is considered to be part of the church.

    Finally Jesus says, in John 12:26 – If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

    Note the phrase “… where I am, there shall also my servant be:” This phrase mirrors very closely what I have said elsewhere about leadership:

    It is your job to be behind the leader, wherever he is.
    It is not the leader’s job to be in front of you, wherever you are.

    Every good that the New Testament tells us that God/Christ/Jesus bestows upon the weary soul is bestowed upon the weary soul that loves Jesus by being obedient to him. This would include the souls who have been in rebellion but have come to their senses, have repented, and are beseeching God/Christ/Jesus for forgiveness and healing. If you can give me an example where God/Christ/Jesus bestows his bounty on those in full-on rebellion against him and who are refusing to repent, please let me know.

    Before Paul ever said anything about a wife submitting to her husband, God said he made a help suitable and proper for Adam. Think through all of the ways a suitable and proper help can assist the helped. Do you really think that Paul’s admonition to submit in all things was meant to replace God’s purpose for creating Eve (to be a fitting and proper help for Adam)? If that was Paul’s intent, then he is condemned by the admonition not to add to or take anything away from Scripture. If that was not his intent, then perhaps it is more useful to think in terms of what it means to be capable enough to be a fitting and proper help for a husband. At a minimum, one cannot be that fitting and proper help by being quite in all things related to the helped. A proper word of advice, delivered at the right time and in the right way, goes a long way toward fulfilling the funtion of being a fitting and proper help.

    No time to get into it here, but what is said above has zero to do with the very real issue of mental illness or physical exhaustion overwhelming one partner in a relationship. SST briefly addressed this up-thread. When partners are unequally yoked in terms of their strength and stamina, one partner can very easily fall by the wayside in a way that has nothing to do with rebellion. If the stronger partner is completely oblivious to the deterioration of the weaker partner, shall the weaker partner keep silent and just “die” (whatever that may mean) because they are truely overwhelmed past their ability to perservere? Or do they have permission to call out for help in an effort to get someone to recognize their condition? (This gets to the core of what it means to be a fitting and proper help.) That is a very real question, and not an easy one to answer. Unfortunately, it is likely we won’t find an appropriate answer for this very specific circumstance in the words I typed in the previous part of this post. But I think the “confront the offender, and if he won’t listen, take several others in the church with you to the next confrontation” is more what God expects from the distraught spouse than threats to nuke the family. But what did Paul advise the church to do when the offending person would not even listen to the elders of the church? Or are only the helped ones able to act on Paul’s advice, and is his advice not really meant to apply to those created to be the fitting and proper help? (Rhetorical question)


    • “God’s promises are intended only for those who obey Him.”

      No. One cannot obey God enough. Grace is not about who we are at all, it is about who He is. If God’s promises were contingent on our ability to obey, none of us would be saved. None.

      “There is no requirement for a husband to bestow his emotional and material bounty on a wife who has rejected him…”

      Of course there is. There is a marriage covenant. One’s vows and commitments are not conditional on how the other spouse responds. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” While we were yet sinners….. We did not earn God’s love through our obedience.

      “No time to get into it here, but what is said above has zero to do with the very real issue of mental illness or physical exhaustion overwhelming one partner in a relationship.”

      It does. Flat out, you are not loving your wife if you over burden her, think only of yourself, and accuse her of having a tantrum and just being an attention whore when she exhibits any signs of emotional distress. We are commanded to love one another. That is not love. Anyone who cannot understand that is simply being willfully blind. It is like forcing a man to work three jobs, nagging his incessantly, and then when he collapses in a puddle, you mock and ridicule him for being a drama queen, manipulative, attention seeking, crazy. Baloney, such behavior is psychological abuse no matter which gender engages in it.


      • Hmmm, are you not asking for just a bit much? If a wife no longer honours, respects, and obeys her husband, why are you imagining that his vows are to be maintained?


      • Well, my late wife was deeply Christian, while I was and still am definitely a Doubting Thomas. Her vows were made before God, myself, and our families; mine were largely to her, and lesser to both families.

        But as you should know, there comes a point in each marriage where most wives will foolishly try to control the…well, let’s just call it the marriage bed ;-D In almost 45 years of generally very happy marriage, that was the most trying argument we ever had…when a young wife decides to deliberately dishonour, disrespect, and disobey her husband.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m sorry bg, for your struggles, for your doubt, and for the fact that your wife is no longer with you. That’s a heavy load to bear.

        Something that happens sexually, when husbands won’t hear us, when they refuse to listen, we start to perceive them either as children in need of instruction or as authoritarian fathers. We generally do not desire to have sex with either our children or our fathers. That sweet spot of romantic love requires one to perceive their husband as a grown up man. Women are not simply existing a state of rebellion, defiance, or manipulation, there are often deeper issues going on that are not always well understood, not even by her.

        Although I am sure some women seek control over the bedroom and attempt to deny sex punitively, that does not always tell the whole story.


      • Thank you for your concern. But it is far better to have loved and lost her than to have never met her, because that would have truly been a tragedy.

        Control within a marriage is a major concern today. If a wife manages to have it, everybody will be unhappy. She will lose faith in her husband, eventually hold him in contempt, and divorce will become unavoidable. No fault divorce altered the power dynamics within families, in favour of the spouse with the weakest ties to the marriage. Judging from who largely brings divorce charges, that is generally the wife.


      • IB,
        I can see why you would want to defend Marriage 2.0 and a woman’s option to rebel but, Marriage 2.0 is insupportively unfair to men and rebellion isn’t helping.
        For a deal to work, both sides have to see it as fair.


    • Now that you mention it, women dance partners who are resistant to men having the lead are not good prospects. I heard that from a blogger who taught ballroom dancing.


  15. Pingback: False freedom is why we are miserable. | The Sunshine Thiry Blog

  16. Thank you for the linkage SunshineThiry, and more importantly for your work in investigating if this is true or not.

    (this should look very familiar to you; it was also the reason for the tantrums of Mrs. Rainey, Mrs. Keller, and Mrs.Wilson)

    Could you point me to the example of Mrs. Rainey? I assume you mentioned her in another post.


    • (this should look very familiar to you; it was also the reason for the tantrums of Mrs. Rainey, Mrs. Keller, and Mrs.Wilson)

      “Could you point me to the example of Mrs. Rainey? I assume you mentioned her in another post.”

      My apologies. “Mrs. Rainey, Mrs. Keller, and Mrs. Wilson” should actually read “Mrs. BRIGHT, Mrs. Keller, and Mrs. Wilson.” I mistakenly used Mrs. Rainey, but the story I was thinking of was Vonette Bright leaving Pastor Bill Bright because she didn’t agree with a ministry decision he’d made.

      Despite how actively Dennis and Barbara Rainey promote stories (such as the ones by Mrs. Bright, Mrs. Keller, and Mrs. Wilson) in which wives throw tantrums because their husbands aren’t “listening to” them (i.e. obeying them), Mrs. Rainey herself has never (to my knowledge anyway) disclosed such a story about her own marriage. They praise rebellion in other women.

      I’ve edited my post above to fix the name error.


  17. I find it almost impossible to ignore how close her actions are to the actions of a spoiled child. If you can’t grow up and handle disagreements in an adult manner in your marriage or even LTR will never be able to weather the inevitable storms or be able to persist through the additional burdens involved in raising children and having a Mortgage.


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