When a man brags about his wife's looks, body, or smoking hot prowess, we may consider his remarks loving compliments from a husband to his better half, but when I hear a man say those things, I bristle. Especially if he's a pastor, a man apportioned by God to shepherd not only the men in their congregations, but the women too. Wounded women. Tired women. Abused women. Women with so many "godly" expectations thrown at them that they'll either break under the weight or bootstrap themselves, try-try-trying harder, experiencing burnout, and never quite living up to anyone's expectations.
These expectations get laid out in blog posts, books, sermons, conferences, and keynotes, all directed at us, Christian women. Earlier this year, I wrote "The Sexy Wife I Can't Be," sharing what it felt like to attend a "sexy wives" conference, where the speakers talked about ways to entice, offer our bellies as fruit bowls, and become the sex kittens our men deserve. I felt bile rise up in my throat. I knew I couldn't have been the only woman in this audience suffering from flashbacks from unwanted sexual abuse. I left that conference feeling less than. I tried some of the things they suggested, but I ended up feeling even more cheap, more used, thrust backward in my oh-so-long journey toward healing. I playacted; I disconnected; and when I couldn't keep up the charade, I felt even more guilty. Smoking hot, I was not.
Several years ago, Pastor Mark Driscoll wrote a response to the Ted Haggard scandal. While the original entry has since been pulled from his site, these are his words:
Most pastors I know do not have satisfying, free, sexual conversations and liberties with their wives. At ...1
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