No…Single Christian Women Aren’t “Uncovered”

“Are you uncovered like the majority of Black women?”

The quote above was said to me (in a discussion on Facebook) by a professing Christian Black man who claims to be a minister of Jesus Christ.

Over the past 14 years that I’ve been on social media, I’ve noticed an uptick in ungodly, unbiblical, unhistorical, misogynoir rhetoric aimed at Black women (especially single Black women and single Black mothers).

The term “misogynoir” is a combination of two words: “misogyny” (meaning a hatred, dislike, distrust, prejudice, and contempt for women) and the word “noir” (meaning Black). In short, misogynoir is defined as a specific type of misogyny which is aimed at Black women and propagates anti-Black misogynistic ideas about Black women.

Although some Black men harbor misogynoir attitudes and beliefs about Black women, misogynoir isn’t exclusive to Black men. Some Black women can and do have internalized misogynoir towards themselves and other Black women, and non-Black people can hold misogynoir attitudes and beliefs towards Black women as well.

It is especially disappointing and disturbing to see professing Christians, especially those who claim to be religious leaders and Christian apologists, demonstrating misogynoir attitudes and propagating misogynoir beliefs on public platforms.

This isn’t a subject that I ever thought that I would have to publicly address in the professing Christian community. However, the unchecked cancer of misogynoir among both women and men who profess Christ and claim to be religious leaders, Christian apologists, and women’s mentors (all of whom should know better) makes me feel compelled to formally and publicly address it on this website.

On a daily basis, professing Christians regurgitate misogynoir beliefs and propaganda (intermingled with various proof-texts from Scripture) on social media, on their personal profiles and ministry platforms. This is unacceptable conduct for believers in Jesus Christ and it should never be tolerated, minimized, or casually brushed off as harmless behavior.

Misogynoir beliefs and propaganda are normally promoted under the guise of reproving and rebuking Black women, rebuking and refuting the evils of feminism, encouraging Black women (and Black men) to ascribe to patriarchal gender roles (i.e., “Biblical womanhood/femininity” and “Biblical manhood/masculinity”), promoting traditional marriage for Black people, and protecting and promoting the traditional/nuclear family model for Black people.

At the risk of being falsely accused of being a feminist or a liberal, I plan on addressing misogynoir (as I find the time) on this website. Many feminists and liberals may agree with some of the points that I make in my writings against misogynoir, misogyny, and patriarchy. However, that doesn’t make me a feminist or a liberal anymore than it makes a Reformed Christian a “Roman Catholic” just because they so happen to share the doctrines of the Trinity and the Deity of Christ in common with Roman Catholics.

The fact that some feminists and liberals may agree with some of the points that I make here simply demonstrates that there are certain facts that people of differing worldviews agree with because we are all made in God’s image (having intellect and a sense of right and wrong), and so we are all going to agree on certain things. However, that doesn’t make me a feminist or a liberal, nor does it make anyone who agrees with some of the points that I make a believer in Jesus Christ.

Politically, I’m independent and I lean to the right. I’m not a liberal and I never have been. Spiritually, I’m a believer in Jesus Christ (you can read “What I Believe” here).

In terms of my position on feminism, based on what I have studied (from feminist content, not anti-feminist content) and based on what I have observed over the course of my life, feminism is a mixed bag of truth (ideas, aims, actions and achievements that align with the full counsel of Scripture, glorify God, and lead to human flourishing) and serious falsehoods (ideas, aims, actions and achievements that oppose the full counsel of Scripture, dishonor God, and lead to the destruction of human life).

Although, some religious people identify as feminists, feminism isn’t inherently religious and doesn’t have at its center, or as its foundation, a theistic worldview, more specifically the true and living God of the Old and New Testament, His eternal attributes, His will for human beings, His objective moral standards, His plan of salvation, the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, the Gospel message, or the New Covenant.

Much of feminist theory doesn’t take critical truths into consideration, such as the Divine creation of human beings, the fall of the first human beings, the spiritual effects of the fall (on the human condition, interpersonal relationships, and organized systems), the sinful condition of the human heart (and that sin is transgression against the laws of God), or the Divine origins of morality, fairness, equality, justice, respect, dignity, and individual liberty.

For the most part, feminist analysis of patriarchy, sexist oppression and discrimination, misogyny, male supremacy, and male dominance are filtered through the lens of a non-religious worldview. A worldview in which human beings are reduced to mere animals, morality is relative, and the highest authority that we can appeal to for equality and liberation is the State.

While I’m not someone who sits online bashing feminism, dehumanizing and othering feminists, using the word “feminist” as a pejorative towards other women, denying the existence of patriarchy and sexist oppression, pushing patriarchy and getting women “back in line” using the Bible, or posting videos and think-pieces ignorantly declaring all of the reasons why “I don’t need feminism“…nor do I identify myself as a feminist. I’m a believer in Jesus Christ and that’s good enough for me.

Yes, Jesus is in favor of equality between women and men, women and girls being liberated from patriarchy and sexist oppression, and women and girls being treated with fairness, dignity, respect, and compassion. However, it must be said that the basis upon which Christ is in favor of these things is not an atheistic, secular, humanist, New Age, or pagan religious worldview or philosophy.

Christ is in favor of these things because God is holy, righteous, true, fair, just, compassionate, and created both women and men in His image possessing immeasurable worth, value, and dignity. Christ is in favor of these things because God’s will is for human beings to love one another, treat one another with respect, kindness, and impartiality, and be set free from oppression.

Jesus isn’t looking at the history of patriarchy and sexist oppression from an earthly perspective, but from a heavenly perspective which is inseparable from the holiness and righteousness of God. Looking at the treatment of women and girls through the eyes of non-religious feminist analysis or through the eyes of Jesus, are two distinctly different viewpoints.

While feminist theory offers some accurate analysis, historical knowledge, and insight, Jesus Christ is the true light who comes from heaven, and it is His light that enlightens the eyes of our spiritual understanding and shines into darkness and exposes the evils of patriarchy, sexist oppression and discrimination, misogyny, male supremacy and male domination.

I believe that the true and living God and His word, is the only solid, objective, morally consistent foundation upon which to advocate for women’s equality, women’s rights, and the liberation of both women and men from patriarchy and sexist oppression. Working to mitigate oppression and discrimination against women isn’t the sole territory of feminists, liberals, or somehow in contradiction to God and the teaching of Scripture. Rather, it is consistent with the character of God, the will of God, and the word of God.

So let me make it very clear that anyone who spreads the lie that I’m a feminist, a liberal, or a closet feminist/liberal, is leveling a blatant false accusation and engaging in slander. I take the position that I do, not because of feminist theory, but because of the true and living God, His word, His will, and the living example of His only begotten Son Jesus Christ.

Now, finally, let’s dive into the subject of this article.

A professing Christian Black man said to me, “Are you uncovered like the majority of Black women?”

By the time this statement was made, I had already identified quite a few patriarchal false narratives in his comments. For example, the false narrative that women are being mistreated by their husbands because “single Black mothers are raising their daughters to be masculine and their sons to be feminine.”

In patriarchal ideology, men aren’t responsible for their own behavior. Somehow, their sinful behavior can always be blamed on a woman, whether that woman is their wife, girlfriend, mother, or a random woman.

In the Black American collective, a popular false narrative (among Black patriarchalists, both women and men) is that Black men think and behave in sinful ways because they were raised by single Black mothers. This pattern of absolving men of responsibility for their own sinful thinking and behavior and blaming it on women is called “woman-blame,” and it traces back to the sin of Adam in the Garden of Eden when he used Eve as a scapegoat for his own disobedience against God (Genesis 3:12).

The sin of woman-blame is one of the spiritual consequences of the fall of man, and it has been passed down from generation to generation. Woman-blame isn’t exclusive to men. Women have also inherited the sinful tendency to absolve men of full responsibility for their thinking and behavior and blame it on women. This is why you will see both women and men blaming women (and girls) for being abused, raped, molested, sexually harassed, abducted, prostituted, murdered, physically assaulted, and mistreated by men in romantic relationships. It is an ancient sin with a spiritual origin.

It’s very strange to see someone who claims to be a Christian ‘minister’ and claims to support ‘manhood’ and ‘masculinity’ placing the culpability for an adult male’s behavior on his mother. Nowhere in Scripture does any passage place the blame for a man’s sinful thinking and behavior on his mother. And it seems to me that blaming a mother for her adult son’s behavior towards his wife is an emasculating belief, because it undermines the agency of men (agency means taking responsibility for your life and having a sense of power and control over your actions).

Scapegoating and assigning blame onto others for your own behavior, or the behavior of other adults, is a sign of immaturity. It is childish thinking. As men (and women) grow older, we are supposed to reach certain cognitive and emotional milestones of adulthood, one of which is realizing that we have agency and we are responsible for our own behavior.

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways.” (1 Corinthians 13:11)

One of the pitfalls of patriarchy is that some men never reach the cognitive and emotional milestone of adulthood, in which they realize that they have agency and are responsible for their own actions. On a bigger scale, it creates cultures in which women are made responsible for the thinking and behavior of men, and men do not have to take accountability for their actions. This is a sinful, unbiblical dynamic, and it shouldn’t be found or tolerated among professing Christians.

The obvious benefit of woman-blame is that men can shift the shame, blame, guilt, and responsibility for their behavior onto someone else. They don’t have to do any introspection, self-examination, or repent and reform. But the less obvious drawback is that men are emasculated (weakened) and kept in a cognitive and emotionally stagnated state of childish immaturity.

For all of their talk about “manhood” “masculinity” “accountability” and “men being leaders,” patriarchalists undermine all of these things through the sin of woman-blame.

Another thing that I notice. Patriarchalists are opposed to Marxist ideology, however, ironically, both patriarchalists and Marxists deny the spiritual truth that men have an individual self that is separate from their environment and blame the sinful thinking and behavior of men on their environment.

For Marxists, that environment is the influence and structures of Capitalism, Western imperialism, systemic racism, White supremacy, White patriarchy, right-wing ideology, and religion (Western Christianity specifically). For patriarchalists, that environment is the influence of women broadly, single mothers specifically, feminists and feminism (aka women’s rights, women’s empowerment, women’s equality, and women’s liberation), egalitarianism, and left-wing ideology.

Both Marxism and patriarchy contain glimmers of truth, but they also give a false diagnosis of the root cause of man’s thinking and behavior (their environment), and a false diagnosis leads to a false solution.

For patriarchy, the false solution is that both women and men need to conform to patriarchal gender roles, all children must be raised in nuclear families, and women need to subordinate themselves to men and adhere to patriarchal ideology in every aspect of life (the family unit, marriage, child-rearing, sex and reproduction, work, politics, etc.).

For Marxism, the false solution is radical revolution (using ideological subversion and violence) in order to dismantle entire structures and systems of oppression and inequality, establishing ideological conformity to Marxism, and suppressing opposing ideologies even if that means punishing, imprisoning, or killing individuals and entire categories of people who hold opposing ideas.

Marxism nor patriarchy (nor feminist theory for that matter) acknowledge the truth about sin and that human beings have an individual self that is separate from their environment. This individual self, as Scripture states, has a sinful condition, an unregenerate heart, a carnal mind, carnal desires which oppose the desires of the Holy Spirit, and is ultimately dead in sin and separated from God.

The truth about human beings is that we don’t need a sinful environment to cause us to think and behave sinfully or mistreat others. Although a sinful environment can exacerbate a person’s carnal thought-process and fleshly desires, the desire to do wrong is already within them…which is why Jesus said, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’” (John 3:5-7)

Whether you are talking to a Marxist or a patriarchalist, you won’t hear them point to Jesus Christ and offer the solution that men need to believe the Gospel and be born from above, submit to God and obey Him, love one another, be transformed by the renewing of their mind, or walk in the Spirit and deny the lusts of their flesh.

Marxists will say that men need to dismantle structures and systems, and patriarchalists will say that women (and men) need to conform to patriarchal gender roles. Both groups will blame sinful thinking and behavior on external forces (environment), ignore the existence of the individual self, and negate the influence of a person’s own sinful condition.

Bringing this back to the discussion that I had with the professing Christian ‘minister,’ if the sinful thinking and behavior of ungodly Black husbands can be attributed to them being raised by single Black mothers (a false diagnosis), then the false solution is that we just need to rebuke single motherhood, disapprove of and devalue Black single mothers and Black female singleness (in order to shame Black women who are single, whether they have children or are child-free), and encourage Black women specifically, to conform to patriarchal standards of femininity and womanhood (in order to make themselves “more attractive” to Black men), and get married (and stay married) so that their sons and daughters are raised in two-parent nuclear families.

People who follow this warped line of reasoning are almost entirely ignoring that ungodly Black husbands have an individual self and are acting upon their own sinful thoughts and fleshly desires independent of how their mothers raised them (the fact that patriarchalists automatically take the position that Black mothers of ungodly Black men “raised them wrong” is another form of woman-blame, and would require a separate blog article).

If men loving their wives as Christ loves the ekklesia was solely contingent upon boys being raised in two-parent nuclear families, then there would have been no need for the apostles to instruct husbands (who were raised in two-parent nuclear families, in patriarchal cultures) to be subject to their wives out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21), to love their wives as Christ loves the ekklesia and gave Himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25), to love their wives as they do their own bodies (Ephesians 5:28), and to treat their wives with honor and understanding, as equal heirs of God’s gift of eternal life so that their prayers will not be hindered (1 Peter 3:7).

Not to mention all of the passages of Scripture that warn against the sin of adultery, mistreating the wife of your youth, and instructing husbands to properly provide for their wives and not to neglect them. None of these Scriptures should have been necessary because they were all written to people who were raised up in two-parent nuclear families and patriarchal cultures.

Yet God saw it necessary to instruct men who were raised in two-parent nuclear families and patriarchal cultures to love, respect, provide for, and submit to their wives. Why? Because they were sinful and they needed to know God’s glorious standard for marriage.

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

As for the statement, “are you uncovered like the majority of Black women?” The term “uncovered” in patriarchal ideology doesn’t mean the same thing that Scripture means when it uses the word “uncovered.”

In Scripture, the term “uncovered” has a number of meanings. It can mean to uncover someone’s nakedness (to expose nudity or the private parts of the body), to exile (captives being stripped), to reveal or publicize something, to tell something, or to make something clear or plain. Nowhere in Scripture are the Hebrew and Koine Greek terms translated as “uncovered” defined to mean “unmarried.”

So we see one of the problems of patriarchal ideology, more specifically, ‘Christian’ patriarchy, is that it uses terms from the Bible but ascribes non-Biblical meanings to these terms and then applies these terms to women and men in order to imply that they are inadequate, incomplete, in sin, or that there is something wrong with them.

In this situation, the professing Christian ‘minister’ is applying a patriarchal non-Biblical definition of “uncovered” to single Black women in order to imply that they are inferior, undesirable, “operating outside of God’s creation order,” and of lesser status and value because they are unmarried. However, he is the one who is operating outside of God’s order by applying a cult ideology to single Black women, and then claiming that Scripture governs his life, not the culture. His thought-process might not be governed by Progressive/left-wing sexual ethics and radical feminism. But it is very much governed by the pagan ideology of patriarchy and the Cult of True Womanhood/Domesticity of the 19th-century.

Back to the term “uncovered.” The professing Christian ‘minister’ said that the majority of Black women are “uncovered” meaning unmarried. However, recent data says that around 48% of Black women have never been married. 48% isn’t “the majority.” It’s just less than half (50%). Furthermore, recent data says that 52% of Black men have never been married. 52% is a larger number than 48%, which means that there are more marriage-age Black men who are “uncovered” (according to patriarchal ideology) than there are marriage-age Black women who are “uncovered.”

If there are more unmarried Black men than unmarried Black women, then why is there such an inordinate focus and obsessive fixation on single Black women, and all of the alleged reasons why “so many Black women are single”? It’s because of the ancient sin of woman-blame, as well as the influence of patriarchy, sexism, and misogynoir.

It’s easier to focus on “what is wrong with women,” how they can make themselves more attractive for men, how to be more marriageable, how to be better wives, how to be feminine, how to be more submissive, and “how to keep a man” than it is to shine the impartial light of Scripture on both parties in order to bring accountability, repentance, true reconciliation, healing, restoration, liberation and salvation. It’s easier to keep things the way they are and scapegoat, deflect, deny, and gaslight so that one doesn’t have to change.

The patriarchal ideology that a woman is “uncovered” if she is unmarried doesn’t come from Scripture. It comes from a cult leader named Bill Gothard. Bill Gothard is the founder of a ‘Christian’ patriarchy institution called “The Institute in Basic Life Principles.” He invented an unbiblical heretical concept called the “umbrella of protection.”

Taken from the official website for The Institute in Basic Life Principles, the umbrella of protection concept teaches: “God-given authorities can be considered “umbrellas of protection.” By honoring and submitting to authorities, you will receive the privileges of their protection, direction, and accountability. If you resist their instructions and move out from their jurisdictional care, you forfeit your place under their protection and face life’s challenges and temptations on your own.”

The IBLP website goes on to say that God is the ultimate and overarching umbrella of protection. Then there are additional umbrellas of protection beneath God’s umbrella, such as husbands and parents, church leaders, government leaders, and employers.

The obvious problem with the umbrella of protection concept is that if God is the ultimate umbrella of protection (which He is, according to Scripture), then you don’t need any additional umbrellas to cover you. To understand what I mean, let’s go along with Bill Gothard’s metaphor that spiritual protection is an umbrella.

God would be the largest umbrella covering your entire being. His umbrella of protection is omnipresent (ever-present, everywhere that you go), omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful), and transcends time and space. If God is your umbrella, then do you really need another umbrella that is smaller, weaker, and spiritually-inferior?

If you are standing outside in the rain and you are protected from the elements by a large strong umbrella that can cover multiple people, do you also need smaller weaker umbrellas that would break and blow inside out by a strong wind? Of course not. If you’re already covered by the best umbrella in existence, then you don’t need additional umbrellas. So Gothard’s umbrella of protection concept falls flat. It fails the test of Scripture and logic.

Bill Gothard’s umbrella of protection concept is a variation of the “spiritual covering” heresy from the Shepherding/Discipleship movement of the 1970’s and 1980’s. Both concepts (the umbrella of protection and the spiritual covering doctrine) resulted in spiritual abuse, lack of mutual accountability for moral failures in leadership, subservience and subjugation (unbiblical submission), control and manipulation, and spiritual arrested development due to the micromanagement of leaders.

While I do believe that a husband is the head of his wife, married couples are to submit to one another, protect one another, pray for one another, give one another guidance and wisdom, and be accountable to one another–in no way, shape, or form does this elevate a husband to the same level as God as his wife’s covering.

According to the consistent teaching of Scripture throughout the Old and New Testament, the spiritual function and role of serving as a spiritual covering is reserved for God alone. God is sufficient as the spiritual covering of both women and men, single or married, and He does not need any additional help from husbands or religious leaders.

“Let me abide in your tent forever, find refuge under the shelter of your wings.” (Psalm 61:4)

Psalm 91 is too long to post here. But the entire chapter teaches that God is our spiritual covering.

“Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.” (Psalm 32:1-2)

“I passed by you again and looked on you; you were at the age for love. I spread the edge of my cloak over you, and covered your nakedness: I pledged myself to you and entered into a covenant with you, says the Lord God, and you became mine.” (Ezekiel 16:8)

“then the Lord will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory there will be a covering. And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain.” (Isaiah 4:5-6)

“Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:” (Isaiah 30:1)

May the Lord reward you for your deeds, and may you have a full reward from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge!” (Ruth 2:12)

“How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.” (Psalm 36:7)

There are many more Scriptures that teach God is our spiritual covering.

Any concept (the umbrella of protection or “spiritual covering”) that exalts a human being to the place of God over believers (woman, man, or child, single or married) is anti-Christ, blasphemous, and idolatry. It’s in violation of the first commandment which says, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:2-3)

None of the responsibilities of a husband elevate him as the “spiritual covering” of his wife. Loving your wife as Christ loves the ekklesia, praying for her, providing for her, giving her guidance and wisdom, and protecting her doesn’t make you her “spiritual covering.” God is her spiritual covering if she is a believer.

Christian women who are single aren’t “uncovered,” and the very idea is insulting to single Christian women and irreverent towards God. Calling single Christian women “uncovered” ignores every passage of Scripture which says that God is the covering, refuge, shelter, and protection of His people. It’s a denial of Scripture and very sexist.

Directing this kind of pagan heresy at single Black women is what makes it misogynoir, and professing Christians who propagate such ideas, beliefs, and propaganda shouldn’t be in positions of leadership and need to be reproved so that they might be sound in the faith.

Women in Abusive Marriages Aren’t Obligated to “Exhaust All Options and Resources”

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I was going through my emails this morning and I came across a long response by someone who commented on one of my blog articles about spousal abuse.

The comment had a number of problems, but one of the problems that stood out to me the most was the statement that women who are married to abusive husbands must “exhaust all options and resources” (in an attempt to motivate their abusive husbands to repent and change, and hopefully save their marriages) before they are ‘allowed’ to consider divorce.

This false belief (that women are obligated to exhaust all options and resources in an attempt to motivate their abusive husbands to repent and change, and save their marriages, before they are ‘allowed’ to consider divorce) is promoted by many well-meaning professing Christians (both in the pews and the pulpit). Their aim is to encourage the perpetuation of ‘traditional’ marriage and ‘in-tact’ nuclear/two-parent families, and discourage divorce, ‘broken’ families, and single-mother households.

This aim might sound good on the surface, but the problem is that telling women that they are obligated to go out of their way, jump through hoops, and bend over backwards (even further than they already have for their abusive husbands) in an attempt to motivate their abusive husbands to repent and change, and hopefully save their marriages. . . is one of the reasons why so many women stay in abusive marriages, continue to suffer (as well as their children) as their abusive husbands escalate their abusive behavior, and in some cases, end up murdered in domestic violence homicides and homicide-suicides.

People need to stop asking women why they stay in abusive marriages and start asking themselves in what ways do they encourage women to stay in abusive marriages. They might find that they are among the number of well-meaning professing Christians who encourage women to pray more, fast more, submit more, read their Bibles more, be more gentle and loving, be more patient, read ‘Christian’ books about how to be better wives and fix their marriages (or accept the abuse), attend marriage counseling, get a legal separation and pray for their abusive husbands’ repentance and the restoration of their marriages, assert their boundaries, etc.

Spousal abuse is already a heavy burden upon the hearts, minds, spirits, and bodies of women. Telling women that they must exhaust all options and resources (in an attempt to motivate their abusive husbands to repent and change, and save their marriages) simply heaps another burden upon them and makes their life even more painful, difficult, and exhausting.

Abusive husbands already have a problem of thinking that their wives are responsible for doing all of the emotional labor to maintain the marriage. They believe that it is their wives’ sole duty to keep the marriage together, “fix” all of the problems (that they create by being abusive), and somehow make the marriage healthy, happy, and stable in spite of their destructive abusive behavior.

This expectation (that their wives are responsible for doing all of the emotional labor to maintain the marriage) is one of the benefits of abuse (abuse is incentivized by various benefits that abusers coerce and manipulate out of their partners and children). As long as abusive husbands receive this benefit of not having to do any emotional labor to maintain their marriages, they have no incentive to repent or change. But rather, they have a very strong incentive to remain abusive.

Why should abusive husbands feel like they need to repent and change, when they can remain abusive and enjoy the benefit of doing nothing, staying comfortably in their sin, while their wives exhaust themselves trying to make the marriage better, be better wives, get their abusive husbands to change, and put out all of the fires that their abusive husbands create?

Expecting an abusive husband to repent and change while he benefits from his wife “exhausting all options and resources,” is like expecting a child who behaves badly to feel motivated to behave well by their parents spoiling them with sweets, toys, and a trip to Disneyland. It’s unrealistic to expect anyone to change if their bad behavior is being incentivized by benefits. Giving an abusive husband more of whatever he is benefiting from (in this case, his wife’s emotional labor being poured into him) obviously won’t incentivize or motivate him to repent or change.

Telling women that they must exhaust all options and resources (in an attempt to motivate their abusive husbands to repent and change, and save their marriages) is just another way of reinforcing an abusive husband’s mentality and belief that his wife is solely responsible for doing all of the emotional labor to maintain the marriage. More often than not, this reinforcement or enabling emboldens abusive husbands to become more abusive, and their abuse escalates, which makes the situation even more dangerous and harmful for their wives and children.

Women who are married to abusive husbands do not need a long laundry list of things that they need to do to motivate their abusive husbands to repent and change and save their marriages. They are not the ones who are obligated to explore and exhaust all options and resources to fix or save anyone or anything, because they are not the ones who are being abusive and destroying their family and marriage–their husbands are.

Their husbands are the ones who are being abusive, destructive, deceptive, and manipulative, so they are the ones who are obligated to exhaust all options and resources, and make a serious effort to change their thinking, beliefs, values, attitudes, and behavior.

The professing Christian community is approaching the issue of spousal abuse upside down. We are telling women who are married to abusive husbands that they are obligated to exhaust all options and resources, when in fact, this burden of responsibility does not fall on them–it falls on their abusive husbands. The only person who needs to be given a list of things that they need to do to fix the problem (which is THEMSELVES and their warped thinking, values, beliefs, and behavior) is the abusive husband, NOT the wife.

Telling women who are married to abusive husbands that they must exhaust all options and resources is also preaching to the choir. Many women have already exhausted all options and resources in an attempt to get their abusive husbands to repent and change, and save their marriages.

They’ve already tried praying more, fasting, reading their Bible more, submitting more, being more gentle and loving, being more patient, forgiving their husbands, reading and applying advice from Christian materials on how to ‘fix’ their marriages and be better wives, attending marriage counseling, and seeking help from their faith community, religious leaders, friends, and relatives for counseling and accountability.

In some cases, they have already reported the abuse to the authorities (the police, court system, military, etc), but to no avail in terms of getting their abusive husbands to repent and change, and save their marriages. So telling women that they need to DO MORE is NOT the solution.

The support that women need isn’t a cacophony of voices in their family, faith community, or random people on the internet, heaping additional burdens on them by telling them that they are obligated to exhaust all options and resources in an attempt to motivate their abusive husbands to repent and change, so that their marriages might be saved. . . and only THEN, after they have tried every option on earth and in heaven, are they ‘allowed’ to consider divorce.

The support that women need is trauma-centered advocacy that listens to their voice with empathy, believes them as credible eyewitnesses, acknowledges and affirms that they are the expert of their own experiences and the one who knows their abusive husbands best, and respects their autonomy, decisions (including the decision to get divorced or not), and the fact that they (not outsiders) are in the best position to determine what they and their children need to be safe.

Women who are married to abusive husbands need to know that it is okay, and even beneficial (to themselves and their children) to stop bending over backwards, jumping through hoops in an attempt to motivate their husbands to repent and change, to be better wives, and to save their marriages.

Abusive husbands have to want to change on their own. . . not for self-serving reasons, such as to keep their wives from leaving and filing for a divorce, alimony, and child support (so that they can continue to receive the benefits of abuse, save money, and uphold the outward imagery of having a ‘traditional’ marriage and a nuclear/two-parent family to make themselves look good to people outside of the home).

They have to want to change because using deception, manipulation, intimidation, threats, and coercion in order to control people and get what they want at any cost, is inherently immoral, depraved, and wicked. They have to want to change because abuse is wrong, sinful, evil, dehumanizing, oppressive, and destructive, and human beings deserve to be treated with dignity, equality, fairness, respect, and compassion.

The fact that a few husbands sincerely repent of abuse and make meaningful lasting changes for the better doesn’t justify telling women to stay in abusive marriages, because in the vast majority of abusive marriages, the husbands refuse to repent and change, and the abuse only escalates while their wives and children continue to suffer great harm. The fact that a handful of abusers will repent and change doesn’t justify sacrificing millions of lives.

The value of human life far outweighs the value of the institution of marriage. And it’s more important to prevent abuse and save human lives than it is to prevent the filing of divorce papers for a marriage that has already been breached, abandoned, and destroyed by spousal abuse.

“The Husband Has the Final Say” and Other Sexist Myths [Lori Alexander, The Transformed Wife]

I was browsing Facebook today, and I came across the following post by Lori Alexander:

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Just Who is Lori Alexander?

Lori Alexander is a blogger, author, and mentor of women. She has an older blog called “Always Learning” and a more recent blog called “The Transformed Wife.” Lori also has a Facebook page where critical comments often disappear down the “memory hole.”

Lori claims that her “ministry” is based upon Titus 2:3-5, but the problem is that she promotes false teachings which contradict the exegetical teaching of Titus 2 and the full counsel of Scripture.

Like so many other women and men in the professing Christian community who claim to have “women’s ministries” and seem to have appointed themselves as mentors, marriage experts, and relationship gurus to Christian women. . . Lori promotes a dangerous blend of truth and sexist myths cloaked in spiritual-sounding flowery language and select Scriptures taken out of context.

Her false teachings give both women and men a false perspective of themselves, a false understanding of their purpose in God’s will, an unrealistic portrayal of marriage, and false ideas about what constitutes a healthy marriage.

The overall impression that I get from Lori’s messages is that if women say and do all of the right things [according to Lori’s beliefs], they will have a happy marriage and a joyful home, and if they don’t, they need to try harder.

In Lori’s world, marriage is elevated to the point of idolatry, husbands are placed in the position of God over women, a woman’s identity revolves around serving her husband [of course under the guise of “serving God”], and a wife’s sanctification and justification before God are based upon how well she pleases her husband and to what extent she obeys him. In short, Lori pushes man-centered theology dressed up as “Biblical womanhood” and a “high view of marriage.”

On July 27, 2017, Lori reinforced the sexist myth that “the husband has the final say.” Although this idea is very popular among professing Christians and in many cultures around the world, interestingly enough, it cannot be found anywhere in Scripture, nor is it remotely implied. This fact alone utterly annihilates the idea that the husband has the final say, because if the Scriptures don’t teach it, then professing Christians shouldn’t be teaching it either as if it’s God-breathed and authoritative.

The sexist myth that “the husband has the final say” is a human precept and a man-made tradition taught as a doctrine of God. Matthew 15:1-9 shows that Jesus doesn’t take too kindly to such traditions, because they cancel or make void the word of God.

How so?

Let Us Go Back to the Beginning

The book of Genesis tells us that God created both Adam and Eve in His image, meaning that both men and women possess intelligence, moral agency, and the ability to make decisions. We see this all throughout Scripture. Both men and women are able to make good decisions because God has blessed us with intelligence, the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, and sound judgment.

The ability to make good decisions isn’t dependent upon one’s biological sex. It is dependent upon one’s level of wisdom, knowledge, expertise, discernment, faith and reverence for God. In some cases, the husband might be the one to make the best decision, and in other cases, the wife might be the one to make the best decision. It all depends on the situation and who has the most wisdom, knowledge, and experience in a certain area, and that person won’t always be the husband.

The idea that the husband has the final say opposes what the Scriptures teach about decision-making skills and insinuates that the final say rests in the hands of the husband merely because he is a male, and the wife is obligated to go along with whatever he decides merely because she is a female. This is rooted in sexism and not the full counsel of Scripture. It is carnal and not spiritual. It is disrespectful to God, who created women in His image with the intelligence, moral agency, and ability to make good decisions.

God did not create Eve to be intellectually inferior to Adam. Genesis 2:18 says that He created Eve to be “just right for him.” Only an intelligent woman can be “just right” for an intelligent man. When God created Eve to be Adam’s helper, that included her helping him make good decisions for himself, their marriage, and anything pertaining to their family.

The intention was for Adam and Eve to become “one flesh” and make good decisions together, corporately, as husband and wife. Sometimes the help that a husband needs is a discerning wife who will explain why his idea isn’t a good one and present a better decision.

There is no indication in Genesis that God created Adam to be the primary or sole decision-maker and that he would have the final say in all decisions by virtue of being a male. This seems to be a “gender/creation role” that sinful men have invented out of an ungodly desire to hold all of the power in their marriage, rule over their wives, get their own way and not be questioned, reproved, or held accountable by their wives for making bad decisions, and be the final authority on all decisions.

The idea that “the husband has the final say” opposes and contradicts the creation account, which states that God made both man and woman in His image, and created Eve to be “just right” for Adam as his helper and not his personal “amen section.” God’s will is for wives to help their husbands make good decisions, and the sexist myth that “the husband has the final say” cancels that out and diminishes the wife’s intellect, voice, and contributions.

Husbands Can Make Bad Decisions

The sexist myth that “the husband has the final say” contradicts the truth that human beings are flawed sinful creatures with finite understanding, and therefore, we can make bad decisions and one person should never hold all of the decision-making power.

Scripture is full of examples of husbands making bad decisions about sex, marriage, parenting, money, politics, and religious worship to their own detriment and the detriment of their wives, children, and nation. In light of this, to yield all final decisions to the husband merely because he is a male can be harmful and dangerous because of the sinfulness of man.

Men need to be questioned before they make decisions, especially major decisions that will affect themselves, their wives and children, and community. They need “checks and balances,” first and foremost their wives, and also well-trusted friends to hold them accountable, admonish them, and be their sounding board to give them honest feedback and suggest better ideas.

To push this idea that the husband has the final say is to ignore the truth that human beings are sinful creatures with finite understanding, and that husbands can and do make bad decisions.

Husbands aren’t less sinful than their wives and they do not necessarily have more understanding than their wives, so it makes no sense for a wife to defer all decisions to her husband as the final authority on all matters when he is just as human and fallible as she is.

Much unnecessary hardship, peril, disaster, and struggle has been brought upon families as a result of husbands and wives following this sexist myth that “the husband has the final say.”

Husbands and Wives are Subject to One Another

“. . . Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility; for “God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5, KJV)

“And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21, NLT)

The Scriptures teach mutual submission — that men and women in the body of Christ are to submit to one another. This mutual submission doesn’t cease, stop, or come to an end just because a man and woman get married. Upon marriage, they are still expected [per Ephesians 5:21] to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Many people only focus on the passage which instructs wives to submit to their husbands, but they seem to skip over the passage which leads into Paul’s instruction on marriage and commands us to submit to one another out of deep respect for Jesus.

The sexist myth that “the husband has the final say” flies in the face of mutual submission. A husband is not being clothed with humility and subject to his wife if he never defers to her wisdom because he thinks that his “gender role” is to have the final say on everything and his wife must subserviently go along with whatever he decides.

If he always gets his way and has the final say, then he never has to learn how to reach a compromise, never has to respect what his wife says, and never has to trust her to make the right decision. He never learns how to sacrifice his interests for the well-being of others, work together with his wife, and grow in this regard, because his wife is the only one who is yielding, deferring, compromising, trusting, and sacrificing. This is one-way submission and one-way compromise which caters to the flesh of the man-in-charge and it is contrary to Scripture.

But Test Everything That is Said.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21, NLT)

The Scriptures instruct us to “test [examine] all things” and use discernment and sound judgment. We normally apply this to discerning religious teachings, practices, and leaders in the church, but it also applies to the decisions that we and our spouses make. If our spouse has an idea, it’s imperative that we weigh it against Scripture and sound wisdom in order to see if it’s a good idea or not.

Whether the issue is joining a new church, quitting a 9 to 5 in order to start a new business, or investing money in some venture, it’s important that a wife evaluates her husband’s idea and offers her opinion on the matter. He could be making a bad decision based on misinformation, incomplete information, impatience, pride, gullibility, or a desire to get rich quick. Or it could be that his decision isn’t necessarily bad, but there is a better option that he hasn’t considered. If this is the case, the wife should speak up out of love and concern for her family.

A Meek and Quiet Spirit

Lori seems to think that having a meek and quiet spirit means being subservient to your husband’s decisions, therefore, women who disagree with or question their husband’s decisions don’t have a meek and quiet spirit.

However, the spiritual meaning of having a “meek and quiet spirit” doesn’t mean that a wife is supposed to suppress her logic, critical thinking skills, discernment, wisdom, and sound judgment. The phrase “quiet spirit” doesn’t mean that a wife is supposed to be literally silent, say nothing in acquiescent agreement, and ignore red flags when her husband is about to make a bad decision. The koine Greek term translated as “quiet” in 1 Peter 3:4 means to be peaceable–not mute.

Queen Esther had a meek and quiet spirit, and yet she spoke up and stopped King Ahasuerus–her husband–from making a bad decision by giving Haman authority to slaughter the Jews. Abigail had a meek and quiet spirit, and yet she went against her husband’s dangerous decision to insult David and his men and secretly went to meet David and intercede for her husband.

When Scripture said that women are to have a “meek and quiet spirit,” it means something very different than what Lori Alexander teaches. Having a meek and quiet spirit doesn’t equate to bowing down unquestioningly to whatever your husband says.

Lori seems to think that as long as your husband isn’t an evil man, then you have no reason to question his decisions. Well, the problem with this kind of thinking is that even godly men make bad decisions and there are a plethora of examples of this all throughout Scripture.

For this reason, even godly, loving husbands need to be questioned, reproved, admonished, and given feedback. Believers aren’t supposed to sit back passively, docile, and silent when someone that we love is about to make a bad decision, especially not our spouse! That’s not Biblical submission, that’s unloving.

Asking your husband, “Are you sure we should do that?” or “Wouldn’t this be better?” isn’t playing the head over him — that’s being his helper, a loving wife, and a real friend who is impartial and objective enough to be honest and ask important questions. Lori doesn’t seem to know the difference between a wife usurping her husband and a wife helping her husband.

The Husband Having the Final Say is Lazy and the Easy Way Out

Anyone who has been married knows that it takes hard work. Both parties have to learn how to be quick to listen and slow to speak, communicate, respectfully disagree when differences of opinion arise, compromise, sacrifice, and defer to one another. It takes a lot of effort to learn how to “cleave” to one’s spouse, cooperate, work together as a team, and reach a consensus that pleases both parties.

It seems to me that a marriage where the husband has the final say is the easy way out and takes less effort than a marriage where both parties have their own mind, their own voice, their own perspective, and must learn to sing different notes in harmony and function as one cohesive duo. If the husband has the final say, then he’s a “one man duet” because he is the only voice that matters and he doesn’t have to harmonize with anyone.

If the husband has the final say, that’s also less work for the wife because she doesn’t have to figure certain things out and learn how to make major decisions. She just leaves the important decisions up to her husband and doesn’t have to grow by learning how to think things through, discussing different perspectives, and planing out and executing major decisions.

Yes, I do believe that the husband is the head of his wife, but being the head doesn’t mean that a husband is supposed to do all or most of the thinking and decision-making, or that marriage is an authoritarian power structure or a benevolent dictatorship where the husband calls the final shots and the wife is to silently and mindlessly nod in agreement even if she thinks differently.

I utterly reject this idea that when a woman gets married, she is to disappear or vanish into her husband and be so swallowed up by her marriage that she loses herself and her individuality and becomes an appendage of her husband who voices no thoughts of her own. Wives have their own mind just like husbands do and it is perfectly okay for them to express their thoughts, feelings, convictions, and opinions. Becoming one flesh doesn’t eradicate one’s individuality.

Do Whatever Your Husband Says as Long as it Isn’t a Sin?

I’ve also heard people teach Christian women that they must do whatever their husbands say as long as it isn’t a sin. This is another sexist myth which cannot be found anywhere in Scripture and should be tossed into the metaphorical trash can.

Teaching a woman that she must do whatever her husband says as long as he isn’t telling her to sin, is itself a sin, because it infringes on her individual liberty, blood-bought freedom, and personal convictions. Just because something isn’t a sin, that doesn’t mean that a woman has to do it because her husband said so. This is an old wive’s tale which is used to control and micromanage women and it needs to be purged from the minds of believers.

It isn’t a sin to do jumping-jacks, so does this mean that a wife should do jumping-jacks just because her husband tells her to? Absolutely not. A wife isn’t a slave to her husband or his personal robot, so she doesn’t have to do anything that he tells her to do just because it isn’t sinful. Expecting someone to do whatever you say just because it isn’t sinful is a form of control, humiliation, domination, and degradation.

It’s false teachings like this that are driving Christian women out of the local church and reinforcing the false belief that God is a woman-hating tyrant and the Bible/Christian Faith is misogynistic, sexist, and oppressive towards women and girls.

If more conservative Evangelical Christians don’t speak out against these sexist myths with the same intensity and righteous indignation that they speak out against other false teachings, they are going to see more Christian women grabbing their Bible and heading for the nearest exit, and they are going to see more women running off to third wave feminism.

No discerning Christian woman in her right mind will stay in a religious organization, movement, or theological camp where women are treated as if they are the “oldest child” in their house, an appendage of their husband, and their husband is their god, high priest, or mediator.

Ultimately, Lori’s fans need to examine her teachings more closely and compare what she says to the exegetical teaching of Scripture, and they need to ask themselves exactly what type of wife will she transform them into if they follow her false teachings?

Will they be transformed into daughters of Sarah, like Abigail and Esther? Or will they be transformed into unthinking Stepford wives who relegate their responsibility to make decisions to their husbands? Ironically, they will have to make that decision on their own.

When I Was Single, Jesus Wasn’t My Husband

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The other day, a girlfriend and I were hanging out and conversing about life, and the subject of relationships came up.

We spoke about some of the challenges that women face in singleness and marriage and how the cliche “Jesus is my husband” romanticizes the Lord and can be an unhealthy coping mechanism and a form of denial for single women who desire marriage.

I shared with my girlfriend that when I was single, I never claimed that I didn’t want a husband, referred to Jesus as my “husband,” or pretended that being complete and content in Christ meant that I always felt fulfilled and satisfied as a woman.

Yes, Jesus was (and is) my everything. He is my God, my righteousness, my Savior, my Redeemer, my King, my High Priest, my Good Shepherd, my Rock, my Mediator — but no, He wasn’t my husband when I was single.

There was a loneliness and a longing within my heart and body that only a husband could satisfy. There were desires and endeavors that could only be fulfilled through the companionship, affection, and support of a husband. Just as it wasn’t good for Adam to be alone. It wasn’t good for me to be alone either.

Some people are ordained by God to be eunuchs and given the spiritual gift of lifelong singleness and celibacy. This is a beautiful and honorable calling, and it is worthy of just as much encouragement and support as marriage. But I knew that God didn’t call me to lifelong singleness and celibacy.

I desired a righteous man who was suitable for me, to protect, provide, produce, problem-solve, and hold my hand as we followed Christ together, built a family legacy together, laughed together, went through hardships together, and got on each other’s nerves together.

Of course, in regards to salvation, I knew that I didn’t need anyone except Jesus. But in regards to marriage and family, I knew that I needed a husband.

Is It Biblical To Say “Jesus Is My Husband”?

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I see nothing in Scripture which directly states or implies that Jesus is the spiritual husband of single women.

What I do see is that in the Old Testament, God is analogized as the husband of the nation of Israel, and the nation of Israel is analogized as a wife or virgin who is betrothed to God. See Isaiah 54:5, Ezekiel 16, Jeremiah 31:32, and Hosea 2:16-20.

In the New Testament, Jesus is analogized as the husband or bridegroom of the Church, and the Church is analogized as a wife, bride, or betrothed virgin who belongs to Christ. See John 3:29, Mark 2:19, Matthew 25:1-13, Romans 7:4, 2 Corinthians 11:2-4, Revelation 19:7, Revelation 21:2, and Revelation 21:9-10.

God often used analogies in Scripture to demonstrate a higher spiritual truth. The purpose of the husband-wife/bridegroom-bride analogy was to demonstrate God’s love for and faithfulness to His covenant people, the unfaithfulness or harlotry of God’s covenant people, the union or oneness between Christ and the Church, the believer’s relationship to the law of Moses and sin, to give us a glimpse into the future of the marriage of the Lamb and His bride, etc. But nowhere in Scripture is the husband-wife/bridegroom-bride analogy used to demonstrate that Jesus is the spiritual husband of individual single women. This idea is foreign to Scripture.

Scripture makes a distinction between Jesus as the husband or bridegroom of the Church collectively, and a literal husband. It does not intertwine the two. But some women are tangling the two together because of false religious ideas floating around the church.

Husbands are being placed in the position of Christ which turns them into an idol, and Christ is being placed in the position of a husband which turns Him into a romanticized “Heavenly Mr. Right” which is wrong, unhealthy, and frankly, kind of creepy. Some of us need to untangle who Jesus is from what a husband is, and sanctify Jesus as Lord in our hearts instead of attributing a role to Him that Scripture does not.

If Jesus Is The Husband Of Single Women, Is The Church The Wife Of Single Men?

My friend and I found it interesting that we have never seen a single man say, “the Church is my wife.” There might be a few men out there who have said such a thing, but I have never run into them.

I have never seen any memes or books that romanticize the Church as the “spiritual wife” of individual single men in order to make them feel fulfilled and content in their singleness.

The idea of the Church being the “spiritual wife” of single men would not be trendy or lucrative, because it is not attractive or appealing to most single men. It would come across as just as weird and unbiblical as the idea that Jesus is the “spiritual husband” of single women.

Single men who are serious about getting married prepare for it and look for a wife. They do not romanticize the Church as their “spiritual wife” while they are still single and pretend that the Church can fulfill the role of a literal wife and satisfy their desires until they meet that special woman.

Just as the Church is not the “spiritual wife” of single men, Jesus is not the “spiritual husband” of single women. If we are not going to promote romanticized analogies to single men in place of a literal wife, then we need to stop promoting romanticized analogies to single women in place of a literal husband.

“Jesus Is My Husband” Can Be A Coping Mechanism

A coping mechanism is a method or strategy that a person uses to manage stress or deal with difficult situations and circumstances. People adopt different kinds of coping mechanisms to deal with life experiences that cause stress, pain, or trauma.

I know from experience that it can be emotionally challenging to be single when you want nothing more than to walk down the aisle in your wedding gown and say “I do,” yet year after year, your desires are deferred while everyone else around you gets married and tells you to “wait on God” while you slowly transform into “the cat lady.”

You try to be strong and optimistic, but there are times when you feel lonely, depressed, dissatisfied, disappointed, frustrated, bitter, unfulfilled, upset, apathetic, and jaded.

There are times when you are burning with passion and your body is telling you that your biological clock is ticking. For women, the older we get, our fertility rate decreases and the probability of infertility increases.

You wonder if you will ever get married considering the world that we live in and the fact that marriage does not happen for everyone. These feelings and thoughts linger in the minds of many single women.

My friend and I agreed that some single women are trying to cope with these unpleasant feelings and thoughts by calling Jesus their husband.

Some women dive deeper into ministry and busy themselves with church work. Some use food to comfort themselves. Some shop til they drop and accumulate material things. Others immerse themselves in their career or keep going back to school. Some romanticize Jesus as their husband, boyfriend, or lover, or say that they are having a “date night with Jesus” in order to mask their true feelings of loneliness and unhappiness.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that there is something wrong with leaning on Christ in order to cope with the struggle of being single and desiring marriage. Jesus can and does comfort our heart. He said that He would not leave us as orphans, that He would come to us (via the Holy Spirit, the Comforter), and be with us until the end of the age. But we do not need to place Jesus in a role that Scripture does not (a personal “spiritual husband”) in order to be comforted by Him.

The Lord was my consolation when I was single, and I knew that in Him, I had a High Priest who could sympathize with my weaknesses and I could draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that I might receive mercy and find grace to help me in my time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16). There were emotionally “cloudy days” when I was single and there was nothing that anyone could say or do to brighten my mood. It was during these times, when man couldn’t comfort me, that Jesus did. And during these times, Jesus wasn’t “being my husband.” He was being my High Priest as Scripture teaches.

Even now that I am married, I still have days where I struggle emotionally, and the Lord is present as He promised to provide mercy and grace. Sure, my husband can pray for me and pray with me, but only God can comfort my soul.

Just as there are things that my husband cannot do for me because he isn’t my Lord and Savior, there are things that Jesus doesn’t do for me because He isn’t my husband. Christ’s role is unique, and my husband’s role is unique. And it is important that women (including myself) don’t blur the lines of distinction and tangle them together.

It Is Unhealthy To Suppress Normal Desires & Feelings

It is normal to desire marriage and desire a husband. If this has not happened for you yet, it is normal to feel emotional pain, and you don’t have to hide that pain behind platitudes like “Jesus is my husband” and pretend that the Lord is satisfying your desire for a husband.

The Lord never intended to satisfy our desire for a spouse or provide the companionship of a husband or wife. This is why after He created Adam, He said that it was not good for man to be alone and created a woman for Adam. Adam already had close fellowship with God, but the Lord saw that he needed intimacy with a woman.

If you desire a husband, don’t deny it. Don’t cover it up. Don’t pretend that the Lord can compensate for a husband. Don’t pretend that you are strong, happy, and “content in your singleness” all of the time. Take the mask off!

You aren’t less of a woman, less spiritual, desperate, needy, or weak for acknowledging your desire for a husband, and you aren’t guilty of sin for feeling down about being single.

It is okay to express grief, dissatisfaction, and unhappiness — just don’t wallow in it forever and let your emotions lead you and dictate your decisions. Acknowledge how you feel, pray about it, confide in trustworthy friends about it, and be led by the word of God.

In the mean time. . . single ladies, until you say “I do,” Jesus isn’t your husband, your boyfriend, your boo, or your bae. He is King of kings and Lord of lords, and may we all reverence Him as such.

4 Reasons Why I’m Tired of “Women’s Ministry”

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Bear with me as I attempt to organize and express my thoughts.

First let me say what I’m not tired of. . .

I’m not tired of cultivating genuine friendships with sisters in Christ.

I’m not tired of gleaning godly wisdom from older women in The Faith.

I’m not tired of learning how to have a stronger marriage and love my husband and our son more deeply.

I’m not tired of those precious Spirit-led “Titus 2 moments” that can only be shared by sisters in Christ.

I believe that it is important for Believing women to connect with and be discipled by other women in The Faith – women who model the character of Christ, hold to sound doctrine, and graciously help other women grapple with life’s issues according to Christ and His word.

I appreciate those women who effectively influence other women for Christ and encourage us in the Refiner’s fire as the Father conforms us into the image of His Son.

In saying that, I want you to know that my list isn’t a judgment, a condemnation, or a criticism of every. single. solitary. women’s ministry on earth.

So let’s all relax, take a deep breath, and “goosfraba.”

There are some amazing women out there pouring Gospel-packed wisdom into the lives of other women in the public eye, in local congregations, and in intimate settings.

So please know that I’m not sharing this list as if to say that all women’s ministries are guilty of these things or somehow ungodly.

Neither am I sharing this list as if to say, “I’m a flawless perfect woman who ministers to everyone perfectly and everything that I have ever said and done has been godly and pleasing to the Father.”

I didn’t write this article with my nose in the air looking down on others as if I’m a “super saint.” I’m just a woman who is saved by grace and I’m honestly tired of some of the things that I have seen and experienced under the banner of “women’s ministry.”

This isn’t a “95 Theses.” These are just my thoughts about why I’m tired of “women’s ministries.”

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1.Jesus is a footnote.

Sure, Jesus is mentioned. But He’s typically mentioned as someone who boosts the self-esteem of women, makes us feel valuable and beautiful, sends single women husbands, and manifests our desires.

He is presented as someone who is in the periphery of our life, waiting on us hand and foot to do our will, make us feel better, and make our lives better.

He is Lord “by statement of faith only” but not in practice and consistent teaching.

This is diametrically-opposed to Scripture which emphasizes the preeminence of Christ (Colossians 1:15-20, Hebrews 1).

Jesus isn’t merely some genie in a bottle who affirms us as women, makes our lives better, makes us feel better, and grants our desires.

He is eternal life (1 John 1:1-4). He is the Word of God through whom all things were created (John 1:1-4). He is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End (Revelations 22:13). He is worshiped by the heavenly host (Revelations 5:1-14).

This might sound odd to some of you, but “Biblical womanhood” and “femininity” shouldn’t have the preeminence in women’s ministry — Jesus should.

There are too many teachings about how to be a godly woman, and not enough teachings about the one who makes us godly: Jesus.

Many women’s ministries have it backwards. They think that if they emphasize “Biblical womanhood,” women will become more godly.

True godliness, however, does not come from emphasizing Biblical womanhood. True godliness comes from teaching women about Christ so that we can behold Him and be transformed by the Holy Spirit into His image and reflect His glory.

“So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Many women have a form of godliness because they are being taught about “Biblical womanhood” more than Christ Himself.

If you look at the attributes that Scripture says holy women are to have, you will see that Jesus exemplified these attributes in the Gospels. So it’s being conformed to His image that makes us godly women, not conforming to someone’s ideal of “Biblical womanhood.”

Jesus created women in His image, so we need to learn of Him if we are to exemplify true godliness as women. It’s not about being a “better woman” or being “more feminine,” often times according to subjective cultural religious standards. It’s about being more like Christ which means denying ourselves and taking up our cross daily.

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)

Jesus should not be a footnote in a women’s ministry. He should be the object of our worship, and conforming to His image should be the first and foremost purpose of anything that is said and done under the banner of “women’s ministry.”

2. The Gospel is rarely proclaimed or it’s watered down.

This probably concerns me the most, because many women who follow women’s ministries aren’t saved – many are lost, religious, and still in need of the Gospel.

The most important message that any women’s ministry can teach is the Gospel, because the Gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16).

There is a place for teaching women about femininity, courting and marriage, sexual discipline, parenting, how to succeed God’s way in our careers, academics, and finances, having a positive attitude, and how to live morally upright in an immoral generation.

None of these teachings, however, are the Gospel message. None of these teachings can redeem a woman, regenerate her heart, reconcile her back to God, give her eternal life, and save her soul from sin and the second death.

I’m concerned that many women are being taught how to be outwardly moral, have a positive mindset, feel good about themselves, be successful, be physically fit, look nice, be good wives and mothers, how to groom for marriage, how to be feminine, and be a “good person,” but they haven’t heard the Gospel. What is the point in learning all of these things only to die and perish in sin?

The ultimate purpose of women’s ministry isn’t to teach women how to feel better, look better, think positive, and improve themselves. Otherwise, there is no difference between “women’s ministry” and secular self-improvement or secular women’s empowerment, except for a thin outer “Christian” layer.

The ultimate purpose of women’s ministry should be to glorify God through the mutual edification of Believing women and the preaching of the Gospel.

Here in America, we are living in a society where most people who profess faith in Christ don’t know Him and have very little idea of what the Gospel is. This includes those in the pews. Considering this, we should proclaim the Gospel in any sphere of influence that God gives us.

It’s a travesty to mentor and “empower” women who are headed towards an eternity without God because they have never heard the Gospel.

Many “women’s ministries” are omitting the most important and essential life-saving message that women can ever hear — that by repenting and believing in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus  Christ, they can be saved and have eternal life.

Other “women’s ministries” have edited the Gospel and promote false gospels based on Word-Faith/prosperity heresy, the American dream, “purpose-driven-church-growth” nonsense, political philosophies, New Age philosophy, and works-based teachings that if you believe in Jesus and “do your best to be a good person” you will go to heaven when you die.

There are women out there who have extremely popular “women’s ministries,” but promote a distorted false “gospel” and do not proclaim the truth of the Gospel to their supporters (Galatians 1:6-9).

There is a danger in promoting false gospels, because false gospels indoctrinate people against the true Gospel of Christ and deceive them into thinking that they are right with God when they are not.

Believing a false gospel can lead to a false conversion and a false “salvation.” This places the souls of women who believe a false gospel in grave danger and can harden their heart against the true Gospel.

3. It’s too “tiptoe through the tulips” for me.

As many of you know, I’m passionate about helping people navigate through the messy and painful side of “church.” The spiritual abuse, sexual abuse, financial exploitation, and other forms of severe mistreatment. I discuss it all here.

My vision for Exit Churchianity was to provide an oasis where Believers feel comfortable sharing about these things free from unrighteous judgments, know that they aren’t alone, and find encouragement to “fight the good fight” and “keep the faith.”

I also have a heart for engaging individuals within the Black Consciousness Movement and addressing cultural issues that are unique to the Black community from a Biblical perspective.

As you can imagine, this has made me a bit of a firebrand and an outspoken person.

I tend not to shy away from serious issues in the professing Christian community, especially if people are being misled and subjugated and lives are being destroyed.

Many women’s ministries on the other hand tend to encourage women to be passive, docile, politically correct, spiritually obtuse and oblivious, and avoid bringing up serious issues in the professing Christian community and society at large.

It’s as if some women’s ministries have this unspoken rule not to discuss the dysfunctional and damaging things going on in the name of Christ. And to just go along with whatever the activity, program, or topical teaching is in a “baby shower” “tea party-like” environment.

Everything has to be “nicey nicey,” sweet and sugary, neat, smooth and seamless, pink and fluffy, overly sentimental, prim and proper, warm cookies and flowers, care bears and rainbows, and “dancing through the daffodils” to the Sound of Music soundtrack.

Okay. Maybe I over-exaggerated a bit. But hopefully you get the point.

I’m ready to “grab the bull by the horns” and tackle real life issues – not sit around twiddling my thumbs in a politically-correct environment listening to endless topical messages about “Biblical womanhood” and gushy emotional stuff.

Tip toe through the tulips? No thanks. I’d much rather be in the trenches going to war in the Spirit.

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4. I can’t relate.

There are a few reasons why.

A. Most women’s ministries (that I have seen) don’t address the cultural issues that I deal with as a Christian woman who has African ancestry and lives in a low-income predominantly Black neighborhood.

I find that many women simply don’t want to talk about these things, because it makes them feel uncomfortable, they were taught that Believers shouldn’t discuss cultural issues, they don’t care, or they just aren’t aware of what is going on.

The general message that I get is to stay within the parameters of middle upper class white picket fence American Churchianity and just focus on being prosperous, nice, and having a positive mental attitude with Bible Scriptures sprinkled in. But don’t talk about cultural issues, because that’s “worldly.”

B. I can’t relate to women’s ministries where the Scriptures are skimmed over in a surface-level way, eisegeted on a regular basis, and quoted to support man-centered teachings.

I’m more into sound expositional verse-by-verse preaching and teaching of the Scriptures. Not cliche messages, endless topical messages that use Scripture as a proof text, and unbiblical teachings based on secular self-empowerment, pop psychology, New Age philosophy, Word-Faith heresy, or borderline “Full Quiver” hyper-patriarchy right-wing “family values” ideology that idolizes a man-made construct of “femininity” and takes “Biblical womanhood” to an extreme.

C. I can’t relate because quite frankly, I can be a mess at times.

There are days when I’m overwhelmed and I just want to isolate in my bedroom and play the Wii all day.

I roll my eyes. I get irritated. Sometimes I honk at bad drivers in traffic (or tell them off to myself).

But in many women’s ministries, some women act like they have it all together and everything is perfect.

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I’m not saying that we have to show our flaws to everyone in order to be “authentic.” There is such a thing as oversharing and we have to use wisdom when it comes to who we divulge things to because not everyone is trustworthy.

But there is an opposite extreme to that, where many women feel like they have to conceal who they really are and project a flawless image to other women or pretend to be stronger or more spiritual than they really are.

Some women who lead women’s ministries brag and boast (either overtly or subtly) about their material possessions and make sure that they flaunt something expensive in their selfies to let others know that they’re “walking in the blessings of God.”

Meanwhile their supporters are struggling financially and barely making ends meet, yet they are the ones sending donations so that the women (and couples) over these ‘ministries’ can live comfortably, fly first class, and afford expensive things.

Then, from their throne of worldly comfort and opulence, they lecture other women in a “stuck up cheerleader” way about prosperity, success, and how God will bless you (materially) if you “sow a seed” (send them donations).

At any rate, the plastic Barbie doll-like women’s ministries are a huge turn-off for me.

D. I can’t relate to all of the messages about marriage and child-rearing.

I’m not sure why “Biblical womanhood” and women’s ministry have been reduced to the subjects of marriage and child-rearing.

I mean, sure, women get married and have children. But getting married and having children aren’t the end-all-be-all of womanhood and salvation. The Scriptures sure don’t paint that picture.

Jesus didn’t save us so that we can get married and have children. He saved us so that we would know Him and be with Him forever. For some reason, the message and purpose of salvation has been obscured by mountains of messages on marriage and parenting.

When you get married and have children, you don’t cease to exist as an individual and absorb into your husband and children like “the blob.”

What about women who aren’t married and don’t have children? How many messages do they have to hear about waiting on their Boaz and grooming for marriage? What if a sister in Christ isn’t called to marriage and parenting, and she just wants to devote her life solely to Christ without distraction?

And while we’re at it, how many messages must we endure about modesty? I’m all for modesty, but sometimes I think that we are beating a dead horse and running that subject into the ground.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t talk about marriage, child-rearing, and modesty. But surely there’s more to being a Believing woman than that. Yet in some circles, serving Christ has been eclipsed by teachings about marriage, child-rearing, and modesty which brings me back to point #1.

In closing, the main reason why women’s ministry isn’t working is because in many cases, Christ isn’t the focus.

When Christ isn’t the focus, women don’t find rest for their souls.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

When Christ isn’t the focus, women hunger and thirst spiritually.

I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life. Yes, I am the bread of life! Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died. Anyone who eats the bread from heaven, however, will never die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh.” (John 6:17-51)

Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living waterJesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” (John 4:10, 13-14)

When Christ isn’t the focus, women remain in bondage to sin and lies. They are tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine, and “ever learning,” but never come into the knowledge of the truth which can set them free.

Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)

Many women are walking around wounded, tired, confused, and trying to find something to heal them, strengthen them, give them clarity, and make them whole and complete.

So they look to women’s ministries for the answer, only to be taught about everything except Christ. They twist, turn, bend and contort themselves to conform to some concept of “Biblical womanhood” which diverts them from conforming to Christ.

Meanwhile the Lord is diminished as some figure in the background who makes things better, and not our very life and the one in whom we move, breathe, exist, and have our being.

For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.” (Colossians 2:9-10)

There are many good things about women’s ministry, but I think that when Christ isn’t the focus and other things are, women’s ministry becomes a “wilderness” where women travel in circles and go through the motions of dead religion.

We need to go back to our first love.

Christ is the nucleus of our faith, and when He is our focus, women find abundant life, truth, grace, healing, strength, rest, comfort, and spiritual liberty.

“As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home.

Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught.

But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”

But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details!

There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)