On Magpies, Jogging, and Listening to Podcasts

by | May 16, 2019 | Bare Marriage | 28 comments

So I’m supposed to have a podcast out today!

And I’m going to tell you a little bit of a story to give you three reasons why I don’t. But don’t worry–I’ll give you some other stuff to listen to!

Here’s the first reason.

I’m out in Alberta right now on a speaking tour.

Tammy and I left last Thursday to fly out for an event Friday night, and then a big event speaking to 500 women on Saturday morning. Tonight I’m speaking at Centre Street in Calgary with my Girl Talk, and I’m super excited! I love getting out to Alberta (as long as it’s not in the dead of winter) and we’ve had a great time.

But it has meant that I’ve been super busy and it’s been hard to find time to record.

We’ve been having a blast, though! Last Friday night at my Girl Talk near Edmonton I met up with a long-time reader named Lois. She drove over 3 1/2 hours to hear me, and brought a bunch of women from her church with her. She’s been commenting and emailing for years, and as soon as she told me her name I recognized it. I just LOVE meeting people when I talk who have known me and follow me for a long time. It really is like meeting friends.

Meeting a Reader at My Girl Talk

Lois and I at the Girl Talk at Westlock Alliance Church

By the way, if you’re not signed up to my email list, you should be! I send out emails to everyone who lives within 200 miles of wherever I’m speaking, so you’ll be notified if I’m going to be near you. That’s how I plan my tours, too–I send out announcements to anyone who lives in the province/state/country I’ll be going to to see if any churches want to be added on to the tour. So please sign up!

Incidentally, it’s been so neat to “meet” more of you on the blog this week! On Tuesday I asked all of you to comment about how you first found the blog (and if you haven’t commented yet, you should, because I’ll do a draw for my Sexy Dares in my Friday newsletter from one of the commenters!). Some of your responses have really made me tear up, especially about how God has used the blog. I love what Lindsey said:

I was first exposed to your blog when a friend on Facebook shared an article on submission years ago. At that point I thought you were a little too feminist for my taste, and I disagreed with your post. (I loved your sex articles, though, and they kept me around) Boy! Have things ever changed! I still would never refer to myself as a feminist, but my husband and I now refer to ourselves as having an egalitarian marriage. The other day my young son wanted to do something the opposite of how I had said, and he asked my husband “can’t you just overrule her?” Now, used to be when he would say something like that, my husband would back me up – but with the understanding that he could overrule if he wanted to. That day, for the first time ever I heard him say to my son, “No, I can’t just over rule her. Mommy and I are equal. We are a team.”. I’m getting misty-eyed just writing it. It’s my hope that the further we get away from bad ways of operating, the healthier and better example for our kids we will set. Thanks for your blog.

To me, it’s not about feminist or not feminist. It’s simply about Jesus. Are we making marriage about growing closer to Jesus and doing God’s will, or are we making marriage about doing a husband’s will? This stuff matters, and too often we’ve gotten it wrong. When Jesus isn’t front and centre, we’re going to go off base.

Incidentally, after last week’s podcast where I was talking about how God doesn’t want us just believing a bunch of things; He wants us actually living like Christ and bringing Christ to a hurting world, a woman commented on Facebook that she was worried that I didn’t believe that salvation was by grace alone because I was getting into works. This is exactly the problem I’m talking about. We’ve reduced Christianity to a set of beliefs instead of a relationship with the living God who should make a difference in our lives. So sad.

Then on Saturday morning I did something a little bit different for me.

Back in 2003, when I started speaking, I mostly did denominational events and women’s retreats. For about 9 years all of my speaking was for general women’s groups. But in the last few years I’ve mostly been speaking about marriage and sex. So when Beulah Alliance hired me to headline their big women’s breakfast, it was fun to write a talk that had absolutely nothing to do with sex at all.

Our theme was Wonder Woman: Strong. Courageous. Fearless.

Sheila Wray Gregoire speaking

We had 500 women at the event, and I shared about how God wants us to live a big life–to stop trying to control everything, and to let go. When we do that, then we’re not ruled by fear. And that’s when we can step forward and do amazing things.

wonder Woman event at Beulah Alliance with Sheila Wray Gregoire

I’ve just finished reading the absolutely amazing inspiring biography of a woman named Josephine Butler who was, in her time, as well known as Florence Nightingale. She campaigned for the dignity and right of prostitutes, who in Victorian England were demonized, while the men that used them were still considered high class. She fought against sex trafficking of children. She fought for greater economic opportunities for women. And she did it all in the name of Jesus. Her favourite saying was “God plus one woman equals a majority.”

She changed England, and changed the rights of women in Europe as well. And she did it even with such tremendous opposition. Really an inspiration. Here’s her biography:

Or you can watch a brief documentary of her life here:

And now about the Magpies

After speaking on Saturday, Tammy and I holed up in a lovely Air Bnb in Edmonton for a few days before we had to drive down to Calgary. I was hoping to record the podcast there, and brought my microphone and headset and everything along with me. But our Airbnb is in a very loud traffic area. And not just that–there is a magpie nest directly outside our balcony. There was just no way to get good sound quality!

The magpie nest preventing my podcast

(Although I must admit–even though magpies are awfully loud and are pests, they’re really much prettier than the crows and grackles that bother us in Ontario).

But being here in this Air Bnb also meant that we spent Mother’s Day with each other–instead of with our families. My husband sent me some chocolate truffles, which were wonderful. But I bought Tammy and me a really, really awful chocolate cake (we were both hot flashing, so we look terrible, and I’m keeping my hair back):

Mother's Day Cake

And now about Jogging

Actually, I guess that’s only two reasons I’m not doing the podcast this week. I can’t really think of another.

But I will tell you about jogging, because I’m hoping someone out there can help me out. I’ve recently started the couch to 5k running plan, and I’ve been LOVING it. I need to get more cardio into my routine. I’m quite good at stretching and doing weights, but I need to sweat. But lately my feet have been hurting. I have to wear shoes in the house or my feet hurt. Then, when I jogged here in Edmonton, my feet were really, really sore WHILE I was jogging. I thought it was maybe because they’re still swollen from the plane flight?

I have awesome running shoes (I just bought top of the line ones). When I get home I plan to see a physiotherapist and maybe get some orthotics. But anyone else ever have this issue? It’s like my feet are sore and they tingle all the time now. (It’s not MS because I haven’t lost any sensation, so don’t worry about that!)

And about podcasts

While jogging, though, I’ve been listening to some podcasts. I got Keith into them when he flew down to Louisiana to pick  up our RV and drive it home last month. That was a lot of hours in the RV by himself, so we downloaded some podcasts and he’s really enjoying them. And I am, too! If any of you have any good ones about women and the church, I’d love some suggestions.

So now about my podcast…

So I can’t record one today, although we’ve been brainstorming a whole bunch of different ideas about podcasts coming up. But I will tell you what the two most listened-to podcasts have been to date, and maybe you can catch up!

If “podcast” sounds scary and way too technical for you, it doesn’t have to be. Most of our phones come with a podcast app. Just go into it, and search “Bare Marriage” on that app. Then you can choose to subscribe (please do!) or listen to individual episodes. If you subscribe, then every time I record a new one it will be there for you. And then, when you’re out for a walk, or grocery shopping, or jogging (!), or driving, you can listen in. I’m seriously enjoying it. And I try so hard on my podcast not to waste time with too much personal stuff like what I had for breakfast and jump right in to the meat of it. I love making these, so I hope that you love listening.

And if you like the podcast, can you rate it 5 stars and leave a review, too? It helps other people find it!

On Thursdays, when the podcast comes out, I usually post an “extras” post here with links to some of the things I mentioned in the podcast or more ideas, if you want to go more in depth. So enjoy!

And I will be back next week, after I’m back at home, and hopefully after I’ve seen a physiotherapist!

What podcast have you liked the best? Have you listened in? Let me know! (And seriously–any tips about jogging?)

Written by

Sheila Wray Gregoire


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Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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  1. Chris

    I mentioned the other day that i found this blog through google, but please don’t draw my name for the sexy dares prize. Give it to one of the women readers.

  2. Phil

    Sheila – I think the podcast have been great. My favorite thing about them is having a tone of voice to go with the information and or opinion. When most people read we tend to put our own spin or our own voice into what we read. It is helpful all around but particularly with controversial stuff. I think it really helps people understand where your coming from.

  3. EM

    Hi Sheila! I have a comment for you on the hurting feet. I just read an incredible book on running called Born to Run. It talks about how our bodies, and specifically our feet, are beautifully designed for running – but the catch is that we were made to do it BAREFOOT! Which if you think about, of course! So the more high tech your running shoes are, the more you will actually be prone to running injuries. This is because to run barefoot, you have to move a little differently and land land softly or it will hurt. If you wear shoes with a lot of cushioning, it allows you to run incorrectly. I highly recommend the book! I couldn’t put it down – it centers on a remote tribe in Mexico where everyone does ultra marathons in the mountains. And it has totally transformed the way I run. I am still no great distance runner by any means (I am proud of myself if I make it 3 miles) but I truly enjoy it now, where I used to dread it.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I will definitely check that out. Thank you!

    • Samantha

      Sheila, you should look into five finger shoes! I have hated sneakers my whole life. They just feel so heavy and cumbersome. Five finger shoes are amazing and they are actually so comfortable that I often forget to take them off and don’t realize I’m still wearing them. Because of their design they actually help you/force you to run as though you are barefoot and in proper form like EM said, but give your feet protection and keep them clean.

      • Samantha

        Vibram FiveFinger is the brand.

  4. Emily

    I have yet to listen to a podcast; which is why I love that you are still blogging, too.
    As a mom-with-kids-around-all-day, I’m assuming your podcast isn’t something I can play with little ears listening (and they are *always* listening, even when they don’t look like it!). But the blog I can read while they are playing. So thanks for keeping it going! 🙂

    If you are going to transition to barefoot running, do it slowly and carefully. It will use muscles you aren’t used to using, so like anything you need to build it up gradually. (Don’t try to do 5 k your first day out!). There are “zero drop” shoes (Merrell make good ones, there are others) which give you some protection from rocks but still a barefoot feel.

    • EM

      Yes! I don’t actually run barefoot. But I went to a thinner shoe and changed my motion to how I would run if I were barefoot. I was very sore after my first run but now I feel great.

  5. Christine Fields

    Hi Sheila – when I read your comment about your feet, my first thought was plantar fasciitis. I had trouble with that many years ago when I was working out on a concrete floor. Really messed up my feet. Google it – you’ll find some ways to treat it yourself. I did that and also backed off working out to give my feet time to heal. I don’t have that problem now, but I also invested in good running shoes. For whatever it’s worth…… And thanks for your blog – I look forward to your posts!

    Christine Fields

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Thanks, Christine! Someone else mentioned that in an email and I just Googled it. It does sound like it fits, because the problem is mostly in my heels (and arches). I’m definitely going to look into it!

      • Phil

        If its planters get the boot. Its the only true thing I found that works. If you have a good doc he will tell you about it. A bad doc will want to cortisone your problem. Been dealing with that in my left foot for 16 years. Dont let it go it just gets worse and the pain will run up your leg.

        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          It is running up my leg a little bit now. I’ll look into that. Is it from a physiotherapist or a doctor?

      • EJM

        Plantar Fascitis is what I thought too. I didn’t need to get the boot for sleeping but I did add some orthotics in my least supportive shoes and I got a tennis ball to do foot massages with when I was sitting. I maybe took ibuprofen consistently for awhile too. It took at least several weeks to recover. I have had two flares of it in around 5 years, and I know that some people struggle with it much more than I did and for much longer.

        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          That’s actually really good to know that you had flare ups but they went away. I’m in the middle of a major flareup, and I’m just hoping it’s not a permanent thing!

  6. Johann

    Shelia, I’m curious about how you understand Lindsey’s husband’s response, “No, I can’t just over rule her” and how it relates to Christ as the head of the church. Obviously in marriage men are called to love their wives as Christ loves the church and in this regard they are called a head, which when in relation to Christ as head of the church should mean they love their wives self sacrificially as Christ does, meaning they are to give of themselves selflessly in EVERYTHING for her even to the extent of giving up their own lives. Yet it is also true that there is an order to Christ and his church. The church isn’t given to disagree with Christ, she is to receive his love and at times in this way also his admonision. If a husband really is a head comparatively to Christ, then when a husband finds himself having to tell his wife “no” about something genuinely not good for her or their children (hopefully this would be very rare indeed!), wouldn’t she need to listen to him, as the church should listen to Christ–for certainly Christ rules over us in the highest sense. I’m concerned that the blanket adoption of cultural egalitarianism is actually distorting the good order that Christ establishes in marriage and by extension also between Christ and the church. Scripturally all people should share an equal preeminence before God and man, but God does create different orders in the world for the good of humanity and that includes marriage; when these orders are not upheld, it literally creates a disordered world.

    • Phil

      Johann. I think you need to look up the meaning of headship. It means lead. It doesn’t mean you have final answer. You can lead and be wrong at the same time. The order starts with what would Jesus do.

      • Johann

        Phil. Thanks for the reply. I would be curious to find out where the meaning of “head” (kephale) means “lead”. Of the five categorical uses of this word, only two show up in the NT neither of which have that meaning in any lexicons I’ve run across. I think perhaps the understanding of “lead” is a most common contemporary extrapolation, which maybe isn’t necessarily wrong, but probably not complete either. The word really has to do with order, like in a structural sense.

        The example I tried to give was a simple one about good order and what it means that a husband is a “head” (and here properly fulfilling this). I’m merely concerned that our race to cultural egalitarianism is actually creating only a nominal understanding of what it means to be a husband generally and here a “head” specifically, and this will thereby actually undermine God’s good order which isn’t nominal. I think the example Sheila gave actually will tend toward this and over a long period of time will have unintended consequences.

        I am by no means advocating for some kind of husband who can transgress his wife, not love her as Christ does, and yet because he is placed into the order of husband should have no repentance about this because he is husband and “head”. I actually think that the husband described above has become far more Christ-like toward his wife than he was before, but at the same time he is also beginning to unintentionally break down the order to which he has been called which is also not Christ-like. This will in the end be disastrous–merely trading one set of problems for another. I’m only advocating that we think carefully about what we are saying and doing in its totality. There is a blind spot in some of what this man says.

        • EM

          I am not trying to be rude, just honestly curious. What kind of problems do you think could come with a husband and wife operating as a team instead of the husband taking on the role of “boss,” if you will? Asking because I tried really hard to do what my husband wanted and not argue for years, and it left both of us rather miserable. Since we’ve been changing it up and helping me find my voice, we are both doing the hard work on our relationship and growing spiritually more than we have in years.

          I think it’s interesting that Paul didn’t command the husband to “be” the head, only stated that he “is” the head. I take that to mean that the husband has tremendous influence over the wellbeing of his wife and family. A husband who is serving his family and following the Lord will have a very different effect on them than a husband who is lazy, immature, dishonest etc.

          • Johann

            EM, thank you so much for asking about my response and trying to understand it, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for that 🙂

            I think you’re distinction between “be” and “is” actually conveys something important. A husband doesn’t make himself a “head”, he actually is it because in marriage to be a husband is to be brought into a relationship whose nature God defines in orderly way. The question for each husband then becomes will he fulfill what God calls him to in the order to which he has been called to it, or will he not. A husband who does not hear the voice of his wife, who does not love and care for her needs and wants, who treats her without the preeminence that Christ treats his people does not fulfill the being of husband according to the order established by Christ. In this instance he would distort it. This is what happens to so many men in things like the patriarchy movement, and it is not Christ-like. It is wrong and needs to be repented of. It also leads men into things like laziness, immaturity, and dishonesty as you describe, and quite frankly a lot of things like abuse. To me it sounds like the man above has joyfully moved away from these things to actually being more Christ-like; this is good and orderly, and his wife is uplifted and honored because of this.

          • Johann

            However, this order also means that a husband has a peculiar responsibility to his wife that is a part of being husband. He is responsible to her and for her. It is analogous then to the way Christ is the head of the church, he is faithful to his bride in all he says and does to redeem her and thus is responsible to her, and yet he is also responsible for her in that it is his ongoing work to present her gloriously on the last day by keeping her faithful here through teaching and guiding her (even correcting when necessary) in what is true and what is not. The very existence of the Word of God itself testifies to this orderliness because it is given by Christ and his people are bound to it. When they disagree with it, they usurp the order between Christ and his church. In the same way then, husbands are to be toward their wives, like Christ is to his church–this is a part of what it actually means to be husband. They are placed by God over their wife, like Christ is over the church, but like Christ they always fulfill this order with love, not seeking their own gain or power, but that they might present their beloved bride spotless in Christ before the Almighty. And this means as Christ does to his church, that they must in word and deed be responsible to and for their wives. This responsibility as husband as “head” is what cultural egalitarianism undermines; it unintentionally releases the husband from being responsible “for” his wife, and creates a kind of confusion between equal preeminence and distinction in orderliness, leading those men raised on cultural egalitarianism to begin to forgo the order into which they have been called and its responsibility.

          • Johann

            The first example of this kind of behavior comes in Adam himself. He fails his wife because he does not fulfill his responsibility to her in the order to which he has been called. It was his responsibility within their marriage to point out to her that eating the fruit was not good. He was to refrain from eating himself thereby showing his responsibility to her and also guard her from eating and thereby show responsibility for her. But he doesn’t, he does not fulfill what it means to be husband and he fails to uphold the order to which he has been called; he does not love her.

            Many in the church today are rightly moving away from an evil understanding of “head” as that of dominance and power and control to a place of biblical understanding in the equal preeminence of man and woman, but unfortunately having also unintentionally abdicated the orderliness of “head” for the husband.

          • Rebecca Lindenbach

            The main problem I see, Johann, with these arguments is twofold: first, they work in only a very small number of cases when you actually look at biblical examples. Secondly, they actually discount the work of the Cross and the Holy Spirit.

            Talking about the husband’s responsibility is good and all until (1) he’s an unbeliever, (2) he’s abusive, (3) he’s in the wrong, (4) a woman is unmarried (as you said, the husband is supposed to redeem the woman so is she unredeemed unless she is married? Or was she redeemed until she was married then her husband had to redeem her? It doesn’t make sense), and (5) he’s simply not as strong as she is in a certain area and doesn’t realize it.

            The problem is when we talk about headship and leadership, we have to create caveats. Caveats that are not biblical. If we say “Women should submit UNLESS 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5” then we don’t understand what the Bible is actually saying at all.

            I’m very uncomfortable with any theology that takes the place of Christ in a persons individual faith journey, and what you were saying about a man having to redeem his bride is, quite frankly, antithetical to John 14:6 (I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me). Jesus wasn’t saying that only unmarried women and men can come to God through him, but married women need to be redeemed by her husband. No, he was saying that He is the ONLY redemption. In, fact, the Bible also says that we have ONE mediator, and that mediator is Christ (1 Tim 2:5).

            What this suggests to me is that we misunderstand what marriage is supposed to look like by limiting it to a few verses and examples. When we look at the whole of scripture, we are called to keep each other accountable for our actions, be responsible for our own faith journeys and work out our own salvation individually, and to obey God rather than any other person on this planet. What is told to many women about marriage is against all three of these things.

            Women are told that we shouldn’t always speak up when our husbands could improve but should submit instead to their leadership because our husbands are the head of the house (which works great until you have a husband who is lazy, cruel, unkind, or just plain not as skilled as you are), women are told that we are to be redeemed through our husbands and husbands are responsible for their wive’s faith journeys (which negates the work of the cross and/or implies that the Spirit is less able to work with women than with men which is unbiblical), and that wives are to obey their husbands because by doing so they obey God (which makes husbands an idol in the place of God). All of these distort the message of the gospel, and the commands of the scriptures. When we are preaching sanctions for women that are against what Jesus and the apostles taught that women should do in their faith walks, we need to be careful to make sure our theology of marriage lines up with the greater understanding of the Gospel.

            Too often we get caught up in debating specific verses; we need to get back to the overall message: do we really believe that women need to be redeemed before Christ by their husbands? If so, we need to get back to basics because Jesus never said that, and I personally believe that his blood covers my sins and my husband has no part in that aspect of my salvation. To think otherwise, I believe, is blasphemous to the cross AND blasphemous to the Holy Spirit, as Scriptures clearly present the Spirit as our counsellor while on earth and that the cross is the saving grace of mankind–not just men. I actually find the “husbands need to redeem their wives” mentality quite offensive as such. I recognize it’s not meant like that, but we need to be careful again that our theology about marriage does not come before the true theology of the cross and doesn’t blaspheme the Holy Spirit by discounting the Spirit’s ability to work in the lives of women.

            I do want to let everyone know, though, that although this has been a really really great conversation it has created a very long comment thread on this post that is unrelated to the rest of it! So I’ll be cutting off comments soon just because we do have many other posts where this has been debated at length, and reading through I believe both sides have had a lot of great opportunities to say their piece! We’re working on implementing our commenting policy more stringently, and we’re broaching on that limit right now. Just wanted to give everyone a heads up 🙂

          • Sheila Wray Gregoire

            Rebecca, this is a beautiful comment and brought tears to my eyes. I really am so proud of you, sweetheart. Sorry I was on a plane and wasn’t around to jump in, but you did a great job.

          • Johann

            That this is true is not so easy to see yet, although it is already present in society and is rapidly proceeding in the church. You mention that many men are lazy and immature, and I would agree with you, but it would be premature to assume that this is universally due to things like the patriarchy movement, etc., for there are two ways for a man to retreat from being a godly husband–either into dominance, power, control, etc., or else into abdication of his responsibility as “head” to and for his wife. I would argue that this latter cohort will become much more representative in the future and can already be seen in the rise of the metrosexual man, the herbivore men, and MGTOW, etc. When I hear young women complain today that there are not a lot of good young men in the church, they may be right, but to assume that it is because of patriarchy, etc., does not accurately describe the complexity of the problem. Some young men do not desire marriage and family, not because of patriarchy or the loss of it, but because there is no non-nominal way for a man to understand himself as “head” and fulfill what a husband is called to do in marriage. Thus they retreat from marriage and the church into immaturity, loneliness, bitterness, etc., but these latter symptoms are not their own cause and too much attention paid to them will not address the fountain from which they have come. The church is especially unprepared to deal with this problem because it is too often unaware of what this problem is and whence it comes.

          • Johann

            The only real way forward is to reclaim the order that God has made in its fullness trying to grapple with the multifaceted nature of the problems that confront us, and while I greatly appreciate the willingness of people to speak against more traditional problems affecting husbands in marriage, which will probably continue to be the majority for a time, yet on the horizon another problem is arising and if not addressed early will simply replace our old problems with new ones.

            [In case anyone may have an issue with a husband being responsible for his wife, I do not mean that she is not responsible for her own faith and life, but rather that within the order of marriage a husband is called particularly to help her care for said faith and life as “head”.]

        • Phil

          Johann – Thanks for trying to balance your statement. I guess we just stand with we are all equal around here. I definitely believe the husband should lead his wife and family. Some men are not capable. I for one was not at one time. My wife lead us for many years. I was busy using porn and sexually acting out and leading us down the wrong path. Today I can lead. However, it is done with LOVE. It should be done how Jesus would do it. This is a trivial example, and I’ll try to make the story brief. My Tractor died in February. I use this to maintain our lawn and our property. We needed a new one. I found the perfect NEW one for around $100/month for 7 years. I was sold. It fit exactly what we needed and it fit the budget. My wife said….open your mind and look for alternatives we can pay cash for with a budget. I did so and found the perfect tractor. However, my mowing situation has had to change due too differences in the system I now own. I am now inconvenienced and it takes a little longer. But you know what? We are not in debt and the problem is resolved. Turns out my wife was more biblically correct than me as the bible tells us not to go into debt….it doesn’t say don’t be inconvenienced. We have a new plan to help the situation in the future but we did this as a team effort and I was considerate of her concepts and ideas. We did it together lovingly and I lead by pushing for what our needs where and she lead by pushing for a cost effective alternative and we both got what was right. That’s how God wants us to lead. In the past I would have plowed right over her and said this is what we are doing. Sorry but thats just not right. That is not leading. That is dictatorship. Jesus doesn’t work that way. So order has its place but Jesus is first. When we stress order over Jesus that is when trouble comes – not the other way around.

    • EM

      I think the problem with a husband “overruling” his wife is that this implies he is forcing her compliance. That is not what the Bible endorses at all. She is commanded to respect, but that is up to her, and it is a gift she gives her husband out of love for Christ. It is never something he forces on her, for he is commanded only to serve. To overrule a woman simply because you are the man leaves her voiceless, and while it may make things “easier” in the short term because you don’t have to do the hard work to come to agreement, it almost always leads to resentment on the part of the wife in the long run.

  7. Lindsey

    I’d like to address the original question:
    Joanna said: “If a husband really is a head comparatively to Christ, then when a husband finds himself having to tell his wife “no” about something genuinely not good for her or their children (hopefully this would be very rare indeed!), wouldn’t she need to listen to him, as the church should listen to Christ–for certainly Christ rules over us in the highest sense.”

    Since we have decided that we believe egalitarianism is the most biblical model for a marriage we have not disallowed my husband the right to tell me “no” if I wanted to make a choice about something that he strongly believed was bad for me or our children. Instead, we’ve simply acknowledged that BOTH of us could say to the other “this is going to hurt our family, and it is unacceptable. I’m drawing the line.” And at that point we can practice the admonition to “submit to one another”. Because it is something that both of us could do, but only under the most extreme circumstances, there’s no reason for our children to have it in their head that mom (or dad) can be forced to change their decision by the other parent instead of presenting a united front.

    For more information on why we believe this is the most biblically coherent way to approach marriage, this is an excellent article about headship, including references to Christ as head.

    And my husband no less than the Uber-manly man he’s always been, is less confused about how his role should be implemented, and it has truly revitalized our marriage.


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