Podcast In Which I Admit I Was Naive–and Beth Moore Was, Too

by | Jun 27, 2019 | Uncategorized | 57 comments

Podcast Naive about Focus on the Family's response to the Love & Respect series
Merchandise is Here!

This week’s Bare Marriage podcast is going to tell two different stories.

It’s a bit of a different one today, and it’s really worth listening to, because it lets you in on some of the biggest stuff that’s been going on behind the scenes here on the blog since January (and it’s got repercussions for our next big project, too!)

If you don’t have time, though, you can peruse below. And I’ve got the extras that I promised in the podcast below as well.

But first, here’s the podcast:


Main Segment: I Was Naive. Really Naive.

In the podcast, Joanna joins me and we tell the story about how shocked we were when we read the book Love & Respect in January–and how that led to the week long publication of posts showing that the book was dangerous, because it created a power differential in marriage, and it portrayed sex as only being about a husband’s physical release

That’s not the point of the story we’re telling, but it’s the background you need to understand. You’ve likely heard all that, and you likely remember those posts, but if not, they’re here:


That series sent hundreds of comments our way, on Facebook, on the blog, and through emails, the vast majority from women saying, “finally! Thank you! Someone’s saying it, because this book really hurt my marriage.” 

The comments were heartbreaking. Joanna and I decided that we should write up a report, looking at the themes in the comments, codifying them, and giving examples of each type. Joanna has a background in statistical analysis, and so she prepared an in-depth report.

We then sent that report to Focus on the Family, whose trademark is on the book. They endorse it; they sell it. We thought they would want to know that it had caused so much harm, and that they would care. 

Now, please understand: I have a good relationship with Focus on the Family. I’ve been on the radio show three times; I’ve been at their headquarters on another occasion to film video; I know Jim Daly and the producers.

Sheila on Focus on the Family

Keith and I recording a segment about 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage with Jim Daly and John Fuller

Sheila taping at Focus on the Family

Me after taping an episode on Bare Marriage (the book)

Taping a video series at the Focus on the Family headquarters

Taping a video series at the Focus on the Family headquarters

They know me. I truly thought they’d be interested. I sent the email to the highest levels, and I had trackers on the emails (I sent several follow ups), and I know they were opened several times.

But I haven’t heard a thing.

Not a peep.

When I prepared the report, I put it up on the website, and also wrote a sample letter that people could send to their churches. 

Concerned about these books?

Since posting these reviews of Love and Respect, many people have asked me how they can share their concerns with their churches and community.

We created a report of the hundreds of comments we received (including good and bad reviews) which is available to download together with a sample letter to send to churches.

You can download both and send them to whoever you think needs to read them here:

Many readers have also written in to Focus on the Family, and they have received responses (they’ve sent them to me). Basically, Focus is standing behind the book, saying that it’s not meant for those in destructive marriages (despite the fact that Emerson Eggerichs refers to respecting your husband even when he’s been “drinking or straying”, and that he includes anecdotes of physically abusive marriages and marriages with affairs, saying that respect cured both things. If affairs, physical abuse, and alcoholism do not constitute destructive marriages, I don’t know what does). They also ignored all the issues around how the book handled sex.

I said in the podcast that I’m just flabbergasted. I don’t know how to process all this, because I honestly thought they’d care. (I know I’ve said that several times, but it’s true). Focus on the Family is under new leadership since the book came out; I thought that they cared about abuse and about women, but clearly I was wrong. I feel like Beth Moore did when she wrote this tweet recently: 

When I looked into it more, I realized that Focus on the Family had also published articles promoting the Eternal Subordination of the Son heresy–the one that says that there is hierarchy in the Trinity, and that Jesus is always subordinate to the Father, which is a heresy that was revived, after being repudiated in the 300s, just 20 years ago to find a more biblical basis for the subordination of women. 

Here’s the article on submission featuring the heresy and promoting Eggerichs’ work in Love & Respect about a woman’s subordination, and here’s an explanation of the problems with it

So I’m just sad. Naive. And sad.

Happily, some churches are getting it! 

One woman wrote to me just yesterday about an information packet she sent her church about Love & Respect after they used it as a teaching tool, along with her concerns and my posts, and the church pulled the book! 


After reviewing the Love and Respect materials again, considering your comments, as well as looking at some other evaluations of the material, we have reached the following conclusions.  We agree with your concerns that the material is unbalanced and does not reflect the teaching on marriage relationships we want to promote. Therefore we are withdrawing it from our recommended resources.

Millennial Marriage: It’s Not Cool for Men to Say They Wish They Could be Harassed Like Women

I’m not sure if you all saw it, but on Monday, on my post about husbands ogling women at the beach, Rebecca and I got into an interesting back and forth with commenter Jason, who said that he wished he could get sexual attention from strange women, and was jealous that women get all of this attention. He started with this, and it went downhill from there:

This all sounds so sad to me because: do women even like men? Why don’t women have trouble with lust? It isn’t cool what women go through, but it’s also not cool that we as guys aren’t considered sexual beings in general? I would trade places with a woman, even a harassed woman, in a New York minute.

We proceeded to tell him that saying that he wished he could be harassed was offensive, and showed that he had no understanding of what women go through. But he doubled down. He’s not the only one who has done this, though. We had similar commenters making similar sentiments on my posts about not being a stumbling block and talking about men’s sexual needs in a healthy way.

So Connor, Rebecca and I are replying and discussing it today!

That’s it for the podcast. I’d love to hear what you think. I’m still dumbfounded. I hope that the church will one day make more of an effort to care about the well-being of BOTH men and women, and to stop promoting doctrines of marriage that objectify women and make them vulnerable.

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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. Andrea

    I’ve had a problem with Focus on the Family ever since I read James Dobson’s books as a teenager. I cannot tell you how gratifying it is to see other people’s eyes opening up to this 30 years later! He was considered God and I had nobody to complain to in my Chrisitan community as a vulnerable teenager without being deemed an apostate. 30 years I have been waiting for someone from the inside (meaning inside Christianity, not the world) to validate my point of view.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I’m not sure if I’m an insider or not (I have a feeling I’m not), but I will certainly validate you! Can you tell me what made you uncomfortable with the books? To be honest, I’ve never actually read his parenting books. I did read Love Must Be Tough about how to handle it when a spouse is having an affair, and that one I thought was actually good (it’s all about drawing boundaries, not accepting bad behavior, and letting the marriage go if necessary). But I’ve been told that book is an outlier, and the other ones are problematic.

      • Becky

        I can’t answer for Andrea, but I did read his Bringing Up Boys book a year or so ago, since I have two of them and struggled hard to get along with my brother and relate to my male classmates when I was growing up. It left a really bad taste in my mouth, especially when discussing a mother’s role in her sons’ lives as they get older. My main takeaway was that as they approach double digits, my job is to mostly back off and push them to spend more time with strong male role models, because too much feminine influence will cause them to have a higher risk of struggling with homosexuality and masculinity. My husband thinks I’m reading too much into it, but while I agree with him that there are things that a good father can help a boy through that I can’t fully understand, I just can’t agree that me staying involved in their lives when they’re teens means they’ll end up gay! Also, if they’re trying to learn how to treat women in a godly, respectful way, wouldn’t it make sense for me to give them some insight from a female perspective? In talking to other moms I know that have read it, I know I’m not the only one who was discouraged by the end of the book. And I’m a little afraid to know what his take is on raising a girl, now that I’m expecting one.

        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Oh, dear! That is concerning. Moms should DEFINITELY stay involved in their sons’ lives. They do need to teach their sons ow to treat women, but their sons also need their moms. They need that safe place to land!

        • Natalie

          Maybe I was reading into that part too much too Becky, cuz I got the same take-away & bad taste in my mouth as you did concerning the role of the mother. I recently read Bringing Up Boys at the request of my mom and as the mother of a 2 year old and newborn son; and I too had a difficult relationship growing up with my younger brother who has a very very different personality than me. I’d say I’d agree with that book broadly (& would say the same of what I can remember of most other Dr. Dobson materials I’ve read). But there were some things that made me go “hmm” and set off little red flags in my heart. It didn’t feel right, but I mean, it was also Dr. Dobson and Focus on the Family, so clearly I must be the one in the wrong – not them. My parents, church & Christian school were all very much affiliated with both of those two. So I think for me, I just placed their opinions and teachings on too high a pedestal. I wouldn’t say I was taught to idolize them, but they were definitely seen as solid, trustworthy sources concerning the Christian faith in my circles growing up. Now I’m reassessing some of the teachings I ingested (while still agreeing with probably the majority of what those two sources have put out in their many decades), since those teachings were used to form some pretty core pillars in my beliefs, most notably my views on the dynamics of married sex (i.e. women’s pleasure matters too!) and the dynamics of a healthy God-honoring marriage and what that looks like.

          • Sheila Wray Gregoire

            I feel like I should check that book out! And I do think that Focus has had some great resources. I mean, I was on their radio program 3 times! Friends of mine have been on. But I just found out today that they say the only reason for divorce are infidelity and abandonment, not abuse. For abuse, they keep talking about how you can work towards reconciliation. I never would have believed that. I thought Focus was normal and healthy. This is just very shocking to me.

          • Laurel

            I found I couldn’t grasp the concept of unconditional.l respect the way it was explained in books like love and respect. It finally makes sense to me The way Nina Roesner explains at greater impact ministries. Unconditional respect is seeing the other person as valuable in Gods eyes. And treating them that way.

      • Andrea

        Life on the Edge, written for 16-26 year olds, describes the life of the working mother in the most harrowing terms (he says something condescending like “I’m exhausted just thinking about it”) and says while it’s unfair if the father doesn’t help much, well, that’s just the way it is sometimes. I guess the only generous thing I could say is that he’s a man of his time.
        I haven’t read Raising Boys, but some who have say the whole point of it is to ensure your son doesn’t turn out gay. One commenter who identifies herself as “very conservative” on Amazon excoriated him for justifying boyhood aggression as natural and dividing toys according to gender. Again, a man of his time.

        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          I think he was. I still thought Love Must Be Tough was a great book and very empowering to the spouse who is being sinned against. Maybe I should reread it, but that’s what I thought in the 90s!

          • Susanna

            Isn’t it “Love Must be Tough” in which he encourages women to stand up to their husbands even though it could bring them physical harm?

          • Sheila Wray Gregoire

            I honestly don’t remember. I read it back in the early 90s. I remember thinking that he did tell women (or the sinned against spouse) not to just take it, which I thought was good. but I don’t remember much more than that.

      • Emmy

        I can understand why many find the parenting books by James Dobson problematic. He os pro spanking and has a quite behavioristic aproach on teaching children responsibilities.
        His parenting books are not totally bad. It was a big relief when our church switced to Dobson, instead of Larry Christenson and such. I mean, Dobson is pro spanking but he teaches also other approaches than spanking. And he teaches spanking is only when kids are “rebellious” and should not be used as a means to teach them responsibilities.
        Srill, I’d not recommend Dobson’s books for parenting. Perhaps “Preparing for adolescense” is quite good, but for parents of younger children, there are much, much better books available than, let’s say, “Dare to discipline”.
        I agree, “Love needs to be touhg” is a useful book, perhaps one of Dobson’s best works.

      • Danielle

        I think Dr Dobson(family talk) and Focus on the Family (two separate entities now) separate their advice for healthy or “normal” relationships and destructive relationships. I’ve heard Jim Daly say something like “this particular episode is not for BIG parenting problems. This is for everyday issues that come up” he directed listeners with more intense issues to their counseling line and to other episodes.
        They’ve both had guests like Leslie Vernick, author of The Emotionally Destructive Marriage, and there’s an episode with David Clarke that talks to wives about saving their marriage from divorce. He doesn’t say “love him more”. He says “anything short of loving your wife as Christ loves the church is sinful” he give instructions on how to confront him and even “shun” him if there’s no change.

        This post is opening my eyes a bit. I must say I’ve never read Love and Respect. But I did read Debbie Pearls Created to be a Help Meet and taught a girls Sunday school on Preparing to be a helpmeet. Those books were definitely destructive for me. I already have a submissive personality and am married to a more dominate man, so we’re stuck in some bad patterns that led me to find blogs like this one and Leslie Vernicks.

        I think it’s good to be wary about changing your fundamental beliefs( and not to jump around with every new idea) so maybe this seed planted is leading other to research, pray and figure out what God’s word really means. Focus on The Family has a big team. If theyre praying and researching and studying, the truth will win out.

        Your post about “submitting like Sarah” was a word from God for me.

        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          I’m so glad, Danielle, that you’re finding this helpful. I am really praying that Focus on the Family changes their tune on this one, because that’s what surprised me about the whole thing. They HAVE had good people on. So I don’t understand why they are backing Love & Respect, or why they have documents that don’t allow divorce in the case of abuse. It’s just all so strange. I’m hoping that they can change this!

  2. Arwen

    I might be making an assumption about Jason here, but i have noticed with OTHER men who have attitudes like him tend to always punch above their weight. Meaning, these men are not good looking themselves but they demand women who are 8/9 while they look like a 5/6. I have always said, if a man is single it’s because he CHOSE to be single. Men do the pursuing which means the world is their oyster, so if they are not getting girls it either two things: 1). They have severe issues or 2). They have unrealistic expectation that they themselves don’t fulfill, i.e. demanding an Angelina Jolie when they don’t look like a Brad Pitt.

    I see this all the time in the Church. Why do we have terms like “Bible-Barbie” and not “Bible-Ken” in the Christian community? How insulting and unfair is that to women. Where are the movies were the women is the Beast, and not the man. The only one i can think of is Shrek but even he got to see Fiona in her original state before she turned into an ogre. I’m sorry but i have zero, yes i said it, ZERO sympathy for men who have all the power to choose any type of women they desire yet whine and complain about it. If i turned into a man tomorrow, do you know how many women i’ll be asking out in a heart beat, LOTS! So, please, spare with this fake persecution complex.

    If you’re a man who’s a 5/6 then go find women who are also 5/6. They need as much love as you’re demanding for yourself. But don’t expect an 8/9 woman to be with you when she can be with an 8/9 man. The same MEASURE you use to judge others will be used to judge against you. It’s very simple.

    • Jane Eyre

      I have a few male friends who are wonderful people, single or were single into their 40s, and just wanted to meet someone, already. My husband had a hard time finding someone (a friend fixed us up).

      They tend to be very similar in personality: kind, a bit shy, very very smart, and have an aversion to pushing boundaries. They aren’t demanding 9s and 10s.

      We can ask that unmarried people try to date with grace and wisdom, but we cannot mandate that they magically find someone.

      • Amy

        The guy I’ve started seeing is basically all those described above. He’s very socially awkward and shy, just turned 50, going bald, but after getting to know him, he’s a great guy. I think in this society where everything, even in the Christian realm, unfortunately, is based so on appearance and we forget to look at the heart of the person.

        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          I wish you all the best with him! That’s great that you’ve both found each other.

      • Arwen

        I’m aware that men like that exist. But those are behavioral issues they CAN CHANGE. It’s not a disability/disease to be shy or awkward. If they used that as an excuse to remain single this long, then it affirms what i’m saying in my original post, IT’S A CHOICE. They could have gotten help for their shyness/awkwardness but instead of doing that they chose to remain single till their old age, PROBABLY wasting time watch porn, instead of reading blogs, books, podcast or therapy.

        I know i sound harsh but i speak the truth in love. There is always a solution to every problem. If one chooses not to seek out solutions it’s they who suffer the consequences. A person can choose to sit all day chanting, “Poor me, i’m shy, awkward, etc” OR they can seek out ways to solve their dilemma. Kind of like how they just did at this age. Except it took them 40-50 years. Help is available it’s up to the individual to seek it out.

        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Arwen, I do know that there are some shy men out there who have a hard time, but I wouldn’t assume they’re all watching porn (or even most of them). I think there are many who are pursuing Jesus, but just are shy! But I agree–I think that it’s incumbent on all of us to do whatever self-enrichment is necessary to help us all grow.

        • Jane Eyre

          Arwen, some shy men work on being not shy, but that doesn’t mean a wife falls from the sky immediately afterward.

          I am very grateful that my husband was single when we met. He wasn’t watching porn; he wasn’t trying to find nice, Christian women to date. He got turned down a lot… right up until he met some redhead who literally clung to his leg.

          Sometimes men are single because God has someone else in mind.

          Now, I have issues with men who are dating nice, marriageable young women and don’t put a ring on it.

    • John Randall

      Arwen, I can’t speak for Jason, but I feel the truth is the opposite of what you espouse. It is rather women have the world as their oyster. Women do the choosing as to who they will accept dates from. In online dating, women get several times more messages than men do! Women control the dating world (which I would argue is the most important arena). And who says women can’t pursue? Society? Tradition? How often do you hear guys nastily reject a woman who asks them out? Rarely. But you often hear about women who nastily reject a man’s advances.

      • Lisa

        The messages women get on online dating sites are 90% disgusting, just looking fur a sex hookup.

  3. Amy

    I am shaking my head at this guy Jason. I’ve been sexually harassed twice by guys I knew at church. Not at work, at church, where you shouldn’t have to worry about it. I feel most men in general, and unfortunately in the church, don’t get this. There’s nothing fun, there’s nothing gratifying about it. And when this happens, I, for one, wish I wasn’t so visible. It also doesn’t matter what kind of clothing you wear, a guy usually finds something to make a comment about. I am thankful that its starting to be talked about.

    • Arwen

      Men like Jason change their tune real quick if it were men that were harassing them. You see they have no problem with dainty women “harassing” them but let it be droves of men and he will be applying for gun permits real fast!

      • John Randall

        Arwen, of course men like Jason change their tune if men were sexually harassing us, because we’re not GAY!

        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Are you saying that heterosexual women shouldn’t be upset if they’re hit on by men because we’re heterosexual? That’s ridiculous.

          The point is that it’s UNWANTED. Can you not understand that?

          • John Randall

            No, what I’m saying is Arwen could ask if men would like it if an ugly, smelly, Amazon woman harassed them (and we wouldn’t). It’s not fair or correct to up the ante 10x by throwing in homosexuality.

        • Lynn

          Delurking to say this: It doesn’t matter how attractive the guy is. When someone harasses you, or comes on to you aggressively that way, what they’re saying is, “I want to use you for sex”. They don’t care about you. I never took it as a compliment. If it wasn’t me, it would be somebody else. I felt more like you do when someone is trying to sell you a used car and you know it’s a lemon (except more uncomfortable). I want to be loved and seen as attractive as much as anyone, but I’m vulnerable and trying to protect myself from getting hurt. Real love is a needle in a thousand haystacks.

          • Madeline

            Totally agree, Lynn! If a guy is being creepy or making me uncomfortable, it doesn’t matter if he’s professional model level attractive! I don’t want to be degraded by being treated like a piece of meat. End of story.

  4. Phil

    Shiela and Joanna – can I tell you a story? at one time I was a substitute teacher. One day I was subbing In School Suspension and near the end of the day a student started acting up and giving me a hard time and pulled out electronics and totally ignored my commands. I then reported this girl to my superior and her response was “That student spends a lot of time In In school suspension and has missed too much class” And basically my boss did not support me nor did the girl get reprimanded. I went to my friend and complained and he said this: You challenged that girl and while you did not win the battle you challenged her and you planted a seed that you will not be messed with as a substitute teacher. So my message to you is this: I am sorry that Focus on the Family did not respond or doesn’t appear to want to deal with it. HOWEVER – you have planted seeds with the people you know and with the organization. Not knowing other organizations that might be out there I would say why not send it to others? Better yet – why not present it in person if possible? Anyway – I am just a fly over here but wanted to support you in your fight for women on Love and Respect. NOW on Jason? LOL – you finally said it at the end of your podcast. LUST. Jason wants to be lusted after. Or better yet he wants women to sin just for him. Wanting to be lusted after is part of the description of a man with sex addiction. While I have absolutely no knowledge about Jason and couldn’t tell you if he is a sex addict or not, I know this: THE MAN HAS SEX PROBLEMS GUARANTEED. Unfortunately you are fighting ignorance and you will not win. HOWEVER- GREAT DISCUSSION ON IT! I am sorry I missed that comment as I stopped returning to that post before I saw that discussion. I would have loved to jump in and get on that train.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Phil, thanks for that encouragement! I like your story. I’ll remember that. I think we did plant seeds, and I know that God will have them grow.

      It is so WRONG for people to want someone else to sin over them, too, isn’t it? You would have been great in that comment thread, by the way!

  5. Nathan

    Good discussion other than the idea that men who are single are single by choice. Maybe being shy and awkward are things people can work on, but the fact is that some men are just ignored and overlooked by women for various reasons.

    And, sadly, yet another belief that sex is only for a man’s pleasure and that all issues in the marriage are the woman’s fault. Keep calling that out, Sheila!

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I will!

  6. Natalie

    Lol, sexual harassment is something you want cuz it shows you’re sexy 😂😂😂😂🙈🤦🏻‍♀️ Oh Jason. That’s so not the point. It’s about the power dynamic there, not to mention the whole objectification issue too.

    I will say, though, that learning how to protect yourself as a woman is a VERY empowering move you can make! Be it learning self-defence (my favorite is Krav maga) or getting your concealed carry permit or whatever: when you know you’re competent in defending yourself, you definitely carry yourself differently just while walking down the street. You’re more self-assured (or intimidating, depending on who you’re asking lol), and that alone can dissuade a lot of potential perps. Now, when it comes to avoiding unwanted catcalls, not much you can do except stay away from scuzzy guys who do stuff like that, and obviously they can’t be avoided completely 100% of the time. But if we’re talking about women legitimately being afraid for their lives when it comes to men and potential rape scenarios, arming yourself with the appropriate knowledge, skills and/or weapons evens the playing field tremendously.

  7. Nathan

    One more thing. I wouldn’t assume that all single men are busy watching porn, either. Although that hits a bit close to home. The reason I showed up at this site is that a good friend of mine was recently caught by his wife watching porn, and (as far as I know, I didn’t ask for details) had a pretty good sex life. They asked me to help out as somebody outside the marriage who had known them for a while (we all go back to the early 90s).

    My own history with porn is very little. Growing up in the 70s and 80s the internet wasn’t really there, but friends had dads with magazines in the basement. As I got older, I went to strip clubs a few times, looked at stuff on the internet a bit, but when I met my wife (first wife, current wife and only wife), I stopped.

    I researched it a bit, and found this site and some other places. I pointed them to it, and invited them to come to our church with us, and hopefully they can work out their issues.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      That’s wonderful, Nathan! And, yes, women using porn is an increasingly growing problem. I’ve written before about women’s struggles with porn, and I try to be even-handed about it when I speak. It is not just a guy’s problem at all.

  8. Nathan

    Part 2
    While trolling through the internet, I had one big surprise. I had always assumed that nearly all porn watchers were either single men or married men whose wives had lost interest in sex. The stereotypical case of the frigid wife whose husband is driven to porn out of desperation exists, but it seems that the far more common case is a marriage with an active sex life and the husband looks at porn anyway.

    And even more startling was that many husbands will actually turn their wives down because they PREFER to watch porn. I can’t imagine deliberately choosing a video screen over a real live woman. I can understand single men looking at it. It’s still bad (as it affects you and the way you treat others), but I can still see why a single man might do it.

    There was even one woman who posted here that her husband no longer wants to make love to her and even yells at her if she mentions that they haven’t been together in a while. That was heartbreaking. The only explanation I can think of is what others have already said. That extensive porn watching retrains your brain so that you prefer the images over reality. This means that even if you look at it while single, it may damage any future relationships you might have.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      That’s exactly it, Nathan. It rewires the arousal/sexual response cycle in the brain. It’s so sad!

  9. Nathan

    Part 3
    But overall, I doubt that most single men are too focused on watching porn to improve themselves to be more acceptable to women. Some might, but probably not a majority.

    End of long speech.

  10. Nathan

    Final part plus one.

    They asked me to be “D’s” accountability partner, but with other commitments I can’t do it. However, there’s a church group that they’re in contact with who can likely provide that for them.

    Really the end of my long multi part speech (for the moment, anyway)

    • Wifeofasexaddict

      Your friend should look for a Pure Desire group at a local church. Hopefully there is one near him. And Betrayal and Beyond for his wife.

  11. Natalie

    Also, Rebecca, you joke about people flirting with you in your condition, but that literally happened to me TWICE this past pregnancy! First time, granted, I was only 2 months along and not showing yet. But the second time was literally a month ago FIVE DAYS past my due date while my husband and I pushed our son around the local outdoor mall (trying to get those steps in to encourage labor to start, lol). Some guy (I didn’t notice him as I was dealing with our fussing toddler, but my husband sure noticed!) not only followed me with his eyes for many seconds but also apparently did a quiet whistle while he passed us, which I did not hear but my husband did. SOOOO AWKWARD!!!! I really wasn’t aware there are guys out there who fetishize pregnant women until that experience, and then I made the mistake of googling that cuz I was curious about psychologically why a man would have a pregnant woman fetish…. yeah, REEEEALLY wish I hadn’t googled and had stayed ignorantly blissful! BLAH! There are so many pervs in this world!!!

    • Nathan

      Natalie, great post about protecting yourself.

      Also, the silliness of men “wanting” to be harassed. When most men fantasize about this (as in “I’d sure like to be harassed by HER”) they aren’t fantasizing about REAL harassment, it’s more a fantasy that’s closer to a porn video

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      SO MANY PERVS!!!!

    • Rebecca Lindenbach

      OH MY WORD that is so ridiculously awkward! I am so sorry you dealt with that crap, especially while pregnant!

  12. Nathan

    > > Your friend should look for a Pure Desire group at a local church.

    I’ve invited them to our church, and we have some support groups for porn, so hopefully the healing can begin. Also, they’re going to get Covenant Eyes on their computer. They never heard of that until I told them about it (I found about it right here, so thanks for that help, Sheila!)

  13. Elle

    I came up with an analogy that this Jason might understand!

    Imagine you’re alone walking home in the dark. A guy bigger than you, wearing clothes that scream, “I’m a thug,” and stinking of alcohol, walks up with a gun and demands your money. He’s got some equally intimidating buddies, too. After a frightful exchange where you explain that you don’t carry cash and try to persuade him to let you go in peace (as your mind is racing to figure out where the closest store is that might be open this late at night, and you wonder whether anyone would come even if you dared shout for help) the men look angrier and you’re worried that this might be the night you die. Then, suddenly, these guys start laughing riotously and start slapping each other’s backs. It turns out that this was some kind of practical joke, and they have no intentions of mugging you. You laugh nervously and leave as slowly as you dare (the drunkards still have a gun, after all), and once you’re far enough away you call a friend and ask them to pick you up in their car and take you home.

    Should your friend say, “They were just flattering you by implying that you’re rich! And hey, it’s not like you got mugged. Nothing bad happened.”


    • Natalie

      I wish someone would flatter me and think me so rich! People just wanna be noticed and flattered!!! 😂🙈😳🙄🙄🙄🙄👌🏼

  14. Mark

    Enjoyed the discussion from the podcast. Regarding the guy who couldn’t “get it” that women don’t like to be treated that way, I recently listened to a great training for men on “being a better man”.

    The segment I’m referring to is here: https://www.bettermantraining.com/in-the-community

    Darren Hardy puts it into a context that I think makes more sense to men. Basic idea: Imagine you are dropped into a “Planet of the Apes” world where 50% of the population are apes. They are bigger than you and stronger than you. Some are kind, even cuddly. But some, if they decide to, can just hit you with their big ape hand and overpower you.” He goes on to compare it to how women feel and how women need to alter their behavior to protect themselves. As a father of 5 daughters and self-defense enthusiast, I found it a helpful way to think about and communicate it to others.

    Hope it can help other males in your audience too.

    • John Randall

      But Mark, that analogy is flawed big-time, because men aren’t sexually attracted to apes. Here’s a much better analogy: imagine that you are dropped into a “Planet of the Amazons”, where 50% of the people are very large and strong women, where some of them are sexually attractive, and some are not. All of these women could harm or overpower you. A scary scenario, but still far less scary than a “Planet of the Apes” scenario, but a much better analogy to what women experience.

  15. Elizabeth

    Hi Sheila, I am grateful for your blog and the important work you do—it is so needed! I am worried about this post, though. Do you think that public exposure is the best way to encourage repentance and healing? I don’t know how to ‘shine a light’ on darkness and yet also heed the command to go to the offender privately (and then with a witness, and then before the whole church). Your experience is likely different than mine, but I have never seen online reprimands effect positive change. I hope you can have a face-to-face conversation with the folks you know at Focus.

    • Rebecca Lindenbach

      Hi, Elizabeth–

      When the command to go to a brother individually was given, it is first of all about individual issues. Not issues that hindered the gospel or could harm large number of people. Whenever large numbers of people were in danger due to harmful teaching, they were called out publicly and called out HARSHLY. Jesus didn’t go to each pharisee individually–he called them white washed tombs in front of a crowd! That was about as public as you can get.

      Similarly, when Paul saw Peter refusing to eat with gentiles he scolded him in front of other believers. He also repeatedly warns against specific false teachings and specific false teachers (with choice words) in his letters.

      Finally, even though she didn’t have to, Sheila DID go to Focus individually first. She contacted them numerous times, actually, and communicated many times that whether they did or did not respond, she would be posting about their response or lack thereof to her audience because they needed to know where Focus stood. She gave them numerous chances to speak to her and engage in conversation but they just never responded despite receiving the multiple emails.

      Online reprimands serve two purposes: first, to lead to positive change, yes of course. But there is also a second, which is also quite important but is often overlooked: to warn others who may be harmed. Since Focus on the Family doesn’t seem to be taking these warnings that their materials are harming abuse victims seriously, people need to be told so that they don’t fall prey to those harmful teachings that are continuing to be propagated.

      I (as does Sheila!) hope that she can have a face-to-face conversation, too. But she’s been trying for months now with no luck. So please pray for a softening of the hearts of the people at Focus–they have a huge platform and so much influence and could help so many people if they chose to separate themselves from these harmful, toxic teachings that are leading people into abuse and not giving them a way to safely escape.

      • Elizabeth

        Hi Rebecca, thanks for your thoughtful response. Interesting perspective. When I typed my comment, I realized the comment itself could be interpreted as a public reprimand, for which I offer an apology. Perhaps I should’ve used email. Even better, I wish we could discuss this over tea! 🙂 I really enjoy seeing you and Sheila work together.

        Sheila’s already done a superb job of highlighting the problems with the book. I know it’s a passion of hers (and yours) to protect the vulnerable, and that’s vital. But folks in ministry aren’t usually as invincible as they appear. They, unlike the Pharisees, aren’t making it their life’s mission to block Christ’s work. I just wonder if there are better ways, and the New Testament is full of those as well as the occasional public correction. I don’t think any of us knows how to handle the online world with true Christlikeness—I have doubts about replying here at all, but wanted to finish the chat. Thanks for your time and best wishes with all your endeavours to empower God’s daughters.

  16. Sam

    Let me begin by saying that I am not a victim of sexual abuse, nor was I sexually active prior to marriage, but sex has been the most frustrating element of my marriage. I have been through multiple studies and nearly all of them present the man as extremely NEEDY sexually. Many of the studies were even written by women! I have sought counseling from experts… all Christian…but this perspective has never settled well with my soul that I am to always give myself physically, when it doesn’t correspond to the mutual connectedness in my relationship. I was led to believe, early on in our marriage, that if I gave my body, I would receive the emotional support that I needed. It had to be that order. The result was a constant and growing feeling of disconnectedness from the first day of our marriage. After years of feeling detached during sex, I realized that it was not honoring to God, to my husband, or to my marriage to go through the motions. I spoke up, and my husband’s fragile ego could not seem to understand that. He is a good man who doesn’t handle constructive criticism well, and has been brainwashed by this lie that has been propagated in our otherwise healthy church. Going to a Christian counselor has only reinforced this concept that I believe is wrong! After years of trying to fix myself, my heart finally realized that he needs to look at himself, too. I am not sure where to go from here. We have been living as roommates since I expressed my concern for the last 3 years. I want our marriage to survive. We have amazing children that I want to teach well. I just think that he was misled, and I didn’t trust myself enough to speak up earlier. I am sad that I didn’t. I truly don’t know where to turn for help. I’ve kind of given up, but I know that’s not right either.

  17. Anonymous A

    I wrote a long comment the other day, and it has not been published. Wondered what the holdup was, or if maybe I accidentally did not hit send. If you are not publishing because of some concern, please e mail me your concerns. Thanks

  18. Lisa

    Excellent podcast. Thank you.

    Saying that getting catcalled and sexually harassed all the time should be a compliment is like saying getting mugged and robbed is a compliment because it means you’re wealthy and have possessions worth stealing. But both men and women report that being mugged or having your home robbed is incredibly threatening and violating.


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