The Misuse of Matthew 18 When It Comes to Calling out False Teaching

by | Apr 16, 2021 | Uncategorized | 29 comments

Misuse of Matthew 18 for False Teaching

Our book The Great Sex Rescue shows what teachings prevalent in the evangelical church have harmed women’s marital and sexual satisfaction–and harmed men, too!

And I know that many of you have seen me and my team call out specific authors for harmful teachings we found in their books, and it’s uncomfortable. Maybe these authors wrote books that really helped you, maybe these authors were a part of a turning point in your life, or maybe you know them personally and you feel uncomfortable seeing a friend held accountable for what they have taught. Seeing these books called out may make you feel angry, attacked, or even anxious.

I get it. I really, really do. But I hope you can take a few minutes and read through this post to get a better understanding of why it’s so important that we talk about this stuff–even if it feels uncomfortable or unfair.

As I’m sure pretty much all of my regular readers know, last year we surveyed over 20,000 women, asking about their marital & sexual satisfaction, and then asking whether they had ben taught, and whether they believe or had believed, many different evangelical teachings about sex and marriage. By doing comparisons, we were able to measure which beliefs were the most toxic. (You can see our full methods here).

Once we did that, we took a look at our evangelical marriage & sex bestsellers to identify which ones contained these harmful teachings. And in our book, we do quote liberally from these bestsellers and show where a lot of this harm started–or at least which resources fanned the flames.

In doing so, we’ve often been accused of doing things the wrong way, and attacking these authors in an unChristian way.

Invariably, whenever I talk about this on social media or on this blog, someone will say, “but did you go to the authors first?” They say that we’re not supposed to be critiquing these authors in public, because it can cause division. Instead, we should have approached the authors individually and privately, abiding by Matthew 18:15-17.

I try to respond to those comments as they come in, but what I’d like to do today is write my definitive response, so that instead of having to write this out each and every time, I can point back here.

First, let’s look first at those verses:

“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
Matthew 18:15-17

Matthew 18:15-17 is about a personal dispute between two parties who know each other.

 Jesus is talking about offences between two people where personal sin is involved.

Even if we tried to apply Matthew 18, I am not the injured party.

In the case of harmful marriage or sex teaching, I am not the person who has been hurt. I have no personal grievance with any of these authors; indeed, with the exception of one, I have had no personal contact. They have not personally hurt me.

The people who have been hurt (and it is plural, not singular) in this case is not me; it is the people who heard their teaching and tried to live it out, and were harmed in the process.

Many of these authors have already had people they injured come to them personally

Emerson Eggerichs in Love & Respect, Steve Arterburn (and the other authors) in Every Man’s Battle, and Shaunti Feldhahn in Through a Man’s Eyes all have admitted in their very books that they have had women and readers come to them, after hearing their messages, and saying that this message made their marriage worse. In Eggerichs’ case, a woman said it caused her husband to treat her much worse and demand respect for bad behaviour. In Arterburn’s case, they recount several women saying they would never have married if they had known that this was how men are. In Feldhahn’s case, she says “more than a few devastated husbands have told us that their wives stopped being intimate with them altogether once they learned the truth about how men are wired.”

We also had women in interviews telling us that they emailed various authors begging them to clarify their teachings (especially about the fact that all men lust) or telling Eggerichs that his advice made the abuse in their marriage worse. In no case did these authors apologize or change their teaching.

Thus, even if Matthew 18 applies here (which I don’t believe it does), people have already come to these authors personally, and often in groups.

That means that even if we are in Matthew 18, we have already moved on to verse 17.

In verse 17, Jesus says that if the person ignores you, and ignores 2-3 others, you bring the issue before the church. Thus, even if Matthew 18 applied, we would be correctly acting in verse 17–bringing in the whole church to deal with it.

There are New Testament passages that better apply to issues of public teaching

The Great Sex Rescue is not addressing personal offences. This is an issue of false teaching which has been done in public.

And the New Testament model is that when the teaching is done in public, it is corrected in public.

The harm has been done to the church as a whole, and thus it must be corrected as loudly as possible so that those who may have heard the false teaching will also hear it corrected.

Paul confronted Peter in public when he was hurting the gospel


When Cephas [Peter] came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.

When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?”

Galatians 2:11-14

Peter was setting an example in public, and Paul saw this and noticed that many were being led astray–including Barnabas.

Did he go to Peter quietly, in person? No. He “opposed him to his face” (he was quite adamant and belligerent in public) and went up to Peter “in front of them all.” 

Matthew 18:15-17 is only one New Testament model of how to handle disputes, and it applies to interpersonal disputes, not false teaching. When it comes to false teaching, Galatians 2:11-14 is a more appropriate model.

When harm is done in public, it must be corrected in public.

After all, what would happen if we went to these authors in private, and they admitted that some of what they said was harmful? If that conversation took place in private, the people who had been harmed would not hear about it. It must be in public so those who have been harmed are also able to hear the correct message.

But don’t we still have an obligation to be nice?

We have an obligation to speak the truth in love. I like how one of my commenters answered this question:

Christians confuse the word “nice” with “love”. We are not called to be “nice”. Nice implies that we bend over backwards to avoid any and all conflict or offense. As christians, our job is not to avoid offense. Jesus himself offend people! It is his name, his presence, that causes people to hate believers. HE is what they hate! Jesus offends! We are not called to be nice. Speaking truth, in love, means we are so committed to the truth, that out of love for others we share it (because if we never shared the truth we know, people are destined to hell!) And out of love for God we preach it, proclaim it. If we are going to be effective, believable, must we not also be passionate? What you are expecting out of a faithful believer here is to require unfaithfulness with the truth. Stop expecting Christians to be “nice” and not offend. Our mission is to offend people with the truth of Christ. And if speaking truth about abuse and false teaching offends you, you may need to take a moment and ask yourself, why?

But you’re hurting the authors!

Again, we must remember that the authors are not the victims here. Though they may feel beaten up on, and they may feel attacked, the real victims are the people who have been harmed. The Bible tells us that teachers will be judged more strictly. And Jesus’ heart is always for the sheep. When we put ourselves in a leadership position, then we open ourselves up to scrutiny and accountability. It’s easy to feel sympathy for an author you know and love, rather than faceless readers who say they are hurt. But Jesus’ concern is for the sheep, and He judges how well a shepherd does by how well they care for the sheep.

But all books do some harm, don’t they?

Actually, this is not empirically true, and it’s sad that we would expect so little from books. On our survey, we had an open-ended question where we asked people if there were any resources, ministries, or organizations that they felt had helped their marriages, and any that they felt had harmed. We did not name any throughout our survey, and we had no drop down menu.

Our survey found that many books did NOT harm. Boundaries in Marriage, for instance, scored very well on our rubric of healthy sexuality (42/48), and it was never mentioned once in the survey as a book that harmed. The Gift of Sex scored amazingly well on our rubric (47/48), and it also was never mentioned once as a book that harmed. Both books present emotionally healthy information.

On the other hand, there were many books that some people said harmed, but some people said helped. Not surprisingly, these books tended to be the ones that scored very poorly on our rubric. Love & Respect, for instance, scored 0/48 on our rubric, and was also the most commonly named harmful book. For every 2 people who said it helped them, 3 said it harmed them.

Jesus leaves the 99 to go after the 1. If a book harms, that matters to Jesus.

But these authors did so much good–you can’t discount a whole ministry just because some people were hurt!

We talked about this at length in our Thalidomide podcast, but let me summarize.

The vast majority of marriage books teach something quite basic: work on communication; remember that you both may see the world differently; try to think of the other person first and try to let things go and be as loving and giving as possible. In general, that’s pretty good advice.

Then what authors do is add their own unique take on marriage on top of this general, generic, good advice.

Now, ask a fundamental question: what makes someone read a marriage book, attend a marriage event, or go to a marriage book study? Likely they want to make their marriage better, right? They’re prepared to dedicate time and brain power to think about how to make marriage better, so they are exactly in the right frame of mind to help change their marriage for the better. So you have someone who already wants to work on their marriage. If that person reads a book–almost any book on making marriage better–chances are their marriage will get better, because they already want to work on their marriage, and the generic advice is good.

Some marriage books, though, contain things other than just “think of the other person first.” Some marriage books also contain teachings that we know can cause harm because they work directly against what we know is emotionally healthy. For instance, if a marriage book does any of the following, we know it’s going to cause harm to some:

  • Presents gender stereotypes as if they are written in stone, and asks people to behave in very gendered ways
  • Treats one person’s opinions or feelings as more valid than the other person’s
  • Tells one person that the things they may consider to be fundamental needs are not as important as the other person’s needs; or tells someone to suppress their needs in order to keep someone else from doing something bad
  • Tells one person that they should not speak up about what they are really thinking or feeling, or tells that person that they should not confront bad behaviour
  • Tells people that setting boundaries is unChristian, or not permitted because of their gender
  • Gives people an easy way to blame a spouse for their own continued bad behaviour (ie. she’s not respecting me enough; she’s not having sex enough so I’m watching porn again).

Unfortunately, many of the evangelical books that we measured contained teachings like these that do cause harm. They don’t cause harm to everyone who reads them, because most people are in healthy relationships and they wouldn’t dream of hurting their partner. But not everyone is in a healthy relationship.

If people are helped by your book because of the generic advice that you spread (consider the other, etc.), but harmed because of the specific advice that you gave that differentiated your books from others, then your book is not a helpful one.

People could have read any other book and still gotten the generic advice that was helpful. If the unique information that distinguishes your book from the rest does harm and is not emotionally healthy, then your book is not emotionally healthy, even if many people say it helped them. 

For example, anybody who read Every Man’s Battle was already prepared to do battle with lust. If their lust battle improved after reading the book, is it because the book in particular helped them, or is it because the fact that they dedicated time to thinking about fighting lust and taking it seriously was what it took to put them on a new trajectory?

But you’re just trying to get famous by hurting others!

I’ve spoken about my attitude towards cancel culture here. But I’ve been accused of stirring up strife and trying to get women to see themselves as victims in order to sell books for myself and claim everyone else’s platform. 

You can think that if you want–but I’ll let this commenter come to my defence:

This isn’t “competition” like two equal options. This is a matter of discernment – pointing out an erroneous teaching that causes harm to people. Present tense. “having a victim mentality” applies to a single individual dealing with past abuse. The problem is that these harmful teachings are CURRENTLY STILL CAUSING PRESENT HARM. Right now. Sheila’s posts aren’t imposing a victim mentality. They are waving a caution flag that says – warning…the road to clear thinking and good marriage is out up ahead. Do not go this way or you may be hurt. That’s not “slamming the competition”. That’s attempting to prevent future victims and empowering people to understand the full ramifications of these truly horrible and unScriptural teachings.
Angela E.

Church: Can we please let the sheep matter more than the reputation of authors?

Can we put the emphasis back where it belongs?

I am simply asking to have a debate. I am asking people to listen to 20,000 women, and to re-evaluate and to talk about the issues. I’m more than willing to admit when I am wrong, too.

This should not be about me, and it should not be about these authors. It should be about the readers, and it should be about Jesus. And we will know that our emphasis is in the right place when we are more concerned with the effects on the people who read our books than we are with the platforms and paychecks of the authors who wrote them.

Other Posts that Look at this from Different Perspectives:

The Great Sex Rescue

Now Available!

What if you’re NOT the problem with your sex life?

What if the things that you’ve been taught have messed things up–and what if there’s a way to escape these messages?

Welcome to the Great Sex Rescue.

Misuse of Matthew 18:15-17 for False Teaching

What do you think? Have you heard these arguments about how we should have gone to the authors first? Let’s talk in the comments!

Our Response to Common Accusations Against Us

Accusations about how we should treat other authors

Accusations that we're just being mean and need to be nicer

Accusations that we're too picky

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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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So many women--and many men as well--honestly feel like the church is hurting them. I do not believe that it is Jesus that is hurting them, but the things that the church teaches, especially around sex and marriage, do cause harm. Our surveys have shown that...


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  1. M

    Wonderful explanation!
    I hate it when people use the words of Jesus to control and silence people.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Thank you, M! In yesterday’s podcast when we talked about Matthew 18, Scot McKnight said, “you need to ask who is benefiting here.” And when people tell us to use Matthew 18, the people benefiting are the teachers who have done harm, and the people hurting are the sheep. That’s not how Jesus did things.

      • Sarah

        Sheila, I loved that podcast. I have a question, though. If I remember correctly, Scot referenced a passage in Deuteronomy that was a better example of response than Matthew 18. I don’t remember him ever giving the specific example. Do you know which passage he was talking about?

  2. Kelly Ann

    It’s been quite the week hasn’t it Sheila?
    These Christian authors have books that were published therefore its public information. All of the 20,000 women, myself included, gave examples of books that were harmful and your survey did not once mention any specific book.
    You are absolutely correct in calling these authors out publicly and then have them try to dismiss you. Especially when they never took the survey(looking at YOU Shaunti) nor had any access to your survey methodology.
    Some have claimed that your survey was biased because you only surveyed your followers who believe as you. Which is also not true.
    Christian authors are getting shook by this message and trying to silence it. However, we shall no longer be silent!
    Keep on fighting against them and know that your ‘minions’ are behind you all the way!!

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Aren’t you “dark souls”, too, according to Mark Gungor? 🙂 Thank you so much, Kelly Ann! I really appreciate it. I’m saddened that people have double downed instead of using this as an opportunity for reflection, but perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised. I think I’m way too naive sometimes.

      • Kelly Ann

        After FOTF ignore d your email to them, the response from popular Christian authors on marriage doesn’t surprise me one bit. They’re quite arrogant.

        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          I think I was naive when I started this journey. Then I was sad and a little scared. Now I’m morphing into disgusted and just done with it and moving on. If they don’t want to engage, that’s really their problem and not mine.

      • Kelly Ann

        Exactly! You have DATA to back you up!! What do they have? Not much!

      • Andrea

        Those are the steps of exvangelical grief, aren’t they? Naiveté, sadness, fear, disgust, shaking the dust off our feet.
        I hear from many women who have not been impacted physically or financially by the pandemic that it’s actually been a godsend of an excuse to stop attending a toxic church, and after a full year of freedom from those messages, they aren’t going back.

  3. Jane Eyre

    A few thoughts:
    If almost all Christian wives had great sex lives, you would not sell a single book except maybe to a friend who feels a social obligation to buy it. Your survey would have said that there is no orgasm gap. Harmful books would not be noted as such, or would be presented as a mild annoyance.
    But that is not reality. You are identifying a problem and explaining potential solutions, as well as explaining why the “solutions” we have used for thirty years are not effective. That isn’t trying to get famous off of bashing other authors.
    “Tells people that setting boundaries is unChristian”
    That is such a vile teaching. It is sinful and evil.
    Let’s be real: when people set boundaries, especially “nice” people, they are often berated, verbally abused, and degraded. It is HARD ENOUGH to set boundaries without **our own team** spreading the message that we are bad Christians if we aren’t doormats.
    I cannot tell you how many times I have heard that I an awful human being for setting boundaries such as, if you want to have a fight about our relationship, can we wait until tomorrow afternoon after my organic chemistry exam? Or, please do not call me up at my office to scream at me; call me on my cell outside of business hours. Because those men were so insistent that I lacked the right to set boundaries, it got to the point of “the next time you contact me, I am getting a restraining order.”
    The boundaries will eventually get established. The question is how much damage is done in the interim. No one is helped by dragging it out.

  4. Lydia

    Hi Sheila. I have just discovered you randomly in the net and love your honesty in these matters. I am an African Kenyan woman and these issues of male and female sexuality are often very emotive especially due to our culture that almost deifies men. I have searched in the bookstores for a book that looks at sex from a woman’s point of view with biblical principles but found few. It often left me wondering if sex and sexual pleasure was only meant for men. I look forward to browsing this blog and recommending it to friends. Some of our African cultural teaching on sex that have filtered into the churches are quite shocking. Thank you and blessings from Nairobi Kenya.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Hello, Lydia! Welcome! we’ve spent some time in Kenya (my husband actually learned Swahili and he’s not bad at it–not great, but he can get by. 🙂 ). We would absolutely LOVE to return and help in some way about marriage, but I’m very sensitive to the optics of it. I don’t want to come in and teach to a conference or anything because it feels strange to me–a little bit too colonial. But I would love if there was a chance to do some continuing education for leaders, or teach alongside some Kenyans. Anyway, if you ever have any ideas, let me know! We are thinking about a trip in two years or so, and we’d love to figure something out.

      • Lydia

        Thank you very much. It would be great if that could happen and will definitely keep you posted.

  5. Ana

    I don’t disagree with the way you did it, but I think I would have written the authors before publication and given them a chance to address it themselves first.
    I know you reached out to FOTF and SF and they ignored you, so I imagine the others would have behaved similarly.
    Nevertheless, they would have had the opportunity to respond or react before being blindsided. In addition, I think the impact on their fans would have been more positive, seeing their admired author address the errors. If any of them ever were humble enough. I guess I’m thinking specifically of Joshua Harris.
    I know a researcher wouldn’t necessarily notify another scientist if their findings contradict previous studies, so I guess there’s that way of looking at it.
    Anyway, sorry for such a long comment, if you made it this far!
    Thank you for your work.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Giving them the manuscript early would have allowed them to try to take legal action to prevent publication. We simply couldn’t, given how we know some of them may have reacted.

    • Denise

      I don’t think FOTF or SF were blindsided as you say. There has been criticism of Love and Respect for many years on the internet—those doing the criticizing of faulty teachings previously haven’t had as large and audience of Sheila. Authors like SF and EE can go to places like Goodreads, etc. and find that some find their work troubling.
      Just my opinion but I don’t think you will see people like SF revising her teachings—she is associated with FOTF because of what she teaches now–not because of her willingness to actually listen to women who do not agree with what she teaches. For instance she has written numerous books, internet articles where she focuses on women’s appearance but never says anything about men paying more attention to appearance.

    • Anon

      Many, many people have written to these authors and been ignored or dismissed. And even post-publication, if these authors were willing to admit they had made mistakes, they could have owned up to them and put the record straight. Other Christian writers and speakers (including Sheila herself) have done this.
      Sadly, I think some Christian ‘celebrities’ are so puffed up with their own renown that they have become too arrogant and prideful to accept that they can make mistakes.

  6. Robert

    Releasing a portion of your survey results is helpful. Your exegesis of Matt. 18 is excellent. I like your exposition of the mutuality clause in 1 Cor. 7, which must be mutually applied in marriage. Good work! Here are some questions/observations. First, what other scales outside of yours did you use to measure satisfaction in marriage, like the KMS? Second, it seems bold to sub-title your post as a “Theology of Marriage and Sex”. Have you sketched out or written a Theology of marriage from a scriptural view? Third, I noted in GSR that you used Gottman’s work as a “control” for developing the rubric. I agree Gottman has fresh insights, but are you supportive of his embracing same-sex marriage as compatible with biblical marriage? Should Gottman be a “control” group, or should scripture? Fourth, I noted in one of your posts that you said James Dobson encouraged Eggerichs to write Love and Respect. That is insightful. Is that true? Fifth, when you mention organizations, like Focus on the Family, do you equally acknowledge the good work they do in healing marriages. Did they invite you to do a broadcast and give your work attention? Typically, in the professional literature, when assessing a problem, its helpful to invite those outside of your framework to give input and use an IRB. More specifically, did you invite any of those you judiciously critiqued to give input to your rubric? I do believe your rubric has potential, yet many of the authors you rated have not addressed sexual issues in the depth or manner you have. After reading their works in totality, i.e. Shaunti and Eggerichs, they didn’t specifically address the issues in the way you have presented them. Perhaps another way to get their input would be to submit a list of questions to each of those whom you are critiquing and ask for their response, and if they respond you have their words, if they don’t then that says a lot about them. Finally, I hear your clarion cry, orgasms are important and sexual satisfaction in marriage is a goal. However, if you read and study, Theology of the Body, we need to aim higher, as our relationship with Christ will bring a depth of satisfaction which supersedes all. Best to you, Robert

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Robert, those are a little too many questions to answer in a comment. FOTF has ignored us. I was on their show 3 times; they have since ignored us, save for issuing a statement in which they lied about me. I think asking that I partner with Focus is misplaced. It is their responsibility to respond to me, not me to them. I repeatedly reached out to them; the fact that they are not responding should not be a question addressed at me, but rather at them. Gottman was used as control because he is the best-selling secular marriage book. We simply wanted to see how he scored on our 12-point rubric for healthy sexuality (he tied for first place with The Gift of Sex). The fact that a secular book scored better than almost all other books is a big indictment. We did use previously validated measures for marital and sexual satisfaction on our survey. We already have IRB approval.
      Again, I think the proper recipients of your questions is not me, but the other authors. They have the book. They are aware of the critiques. I can’t say more than that because it’s happened behind the scenes. But it is not incumbent on us to try to get them to engage. At this point, it is up to them, and I would really appreciate it if people put pressure on them to engage, rather than seeming to critique me for not managing to get them to engage in the first place (you may not have meant it that way, but it does get tiring having to try to explain why they won’t engage.)
      As for your question about Dobson and Love & Respect, yes it’s true. I’m not sure what else to say about that! It was Dobson who originally started the love/respect dichotomy I believe. Kristin Du Mez might know more about this.
      Also, I understand that Shaunti and Eggerichs have not addressed all of these issues. But as we’ve said repeatedly on podcasts, what is NOT said is almost as important, and sometimes even more important, than what IS said. The fact that Eggerichs could address sex in his book and never, not once, even mention that a woman can and should feel pleasure says something, in and of itself. Even if he says now that of course he thinks women should feel pleasure, the fact is that he never even talked about it. So that shows the priority that he places on it.

  7. AJ

    I think it is quite true that all books might do harm to someone. There is a 1-star review on Amazon of ‘The Great Sex Rescue’ which says: “If anything, the book made me feel more ashamed of the fact that we have such frequent sex, as though at least one of us has some kind of issue, whether it is because of porn or feelings of obligation, and I know for a fact that’s not true.” This was written by a woman who has been married only a few years and went through chemo therapy shortly after getting married. All books no matter how much “scientific” data is used express the author’s opinion. Statistical data can always produce the desired results if the right questions are asked to support the author’s opinion. The only way to never have someone disagree with your opinion is to never express it. No matter how well intended the message is it may have a negative impact on someone.

    • M

      Do you recall the quotes from the book that state this?
      That would be helpful.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      We are never responsible for how people take things. If someone takes something out of context, that isn’t on us. The problem is whether people are taking something IN context. That 1-star review is kind of odd (they have sex several times a day and were looking for–I don’t exactly know–something else from our book). Hearing what percentage of couples have sex once a day or more may make them feel like freaks, but it isn’t, in and of itself, harmful. That’s how they’re choosing to interpret it.
      On the other hand, telling women that they have to have sex with their husbands or the husbands will come under satanic attack, without giving caveats, or telling women that they don’t have a need for sex, is, in and of itself, harmful. There is no interpretation involved. It is just a harmful message.
      Again, if you look at the 1-star reviews for the books that we found very helpful, like Boundaries in Marriage or The Gift of Sex, you’ll find some. But they’re often quite strange and more related to the person reading it. The one star reviews of the books that were harmful are more related to actual content.

    • Melissa W

      I was kind of baffled by that review myself because the book is clearly titled as a book about “rescuing” sex from “the lies you’ve been taught”, so I wasn’t sure why a couple who has a great sex life and clearly doesn’t believe any of those lies would read the book and then think it wasn’t good because it didn’t apply to them. Very strange but whatever. I do have to say though that this is one of the reasons I have not bought the book yet even though I completely stand behind the content and Sheila’s message. It doesn’t apply to me. I haven’t read any of the toxic books she mentions, I never believed any of those toxic messages and I have an amazing marriage and sex life. This is not a book I would give to my son or daughter when they get married because they haven’t been raised with these messages either and have actually been taught that those views are toxic and unhealthy. I would however, give them any of Sheila’s other excellent books that will tell them the healthy, right views on sex without them hearing those toxic messages. So, in reality the content of the book wasn’t being criticized so much as the fact that it didn’t apply to them. And yes, I will eventually buy the book and read it to support Sheila but I have to wait until my blood pressure lowers over the fact that she ever had to write it in the first place!

    • Jane Eyre

      I read that one star review and am unclear as to what Kate’s complaint was. She has sex three times a day with her husband and said that TGSR made her feel broken. Why?
      Other reviews bashed it for not using representative samples (ignoring that one can correct for an unrepresentative sample with statistical methods) and being “feminist.”
      If a book is harmful, one should be able to connect the words or concepts in the book with the harm done, either through a rigorous application of logic or a scientific study. Here are the words, here is the science as to why this is harmful. You don’t just wave your hands and say, “someone said this is bad.”

  8. Wild Honey

    Being able to change one’s mind, when presented with evidence to the contrary, is generally a sign of maturity.
    Sheila and team (a team that includes a bioSTATISTICian, for goodness’ sake) have presented the evidence. I’d say it’s up to the recipients of that evidence, not Sheila and team, to do some serious reflecting and researching of their own.

    • Dorthea


  9. Mara R

    From Post:” But I’ve been accused of stirring up strife and trying to get women to see themselves as victims in order to sell books for myself and claim everyone else’s platform.”
    Wow. It was all kinds of acceptable for Driscoll to stir up all kinds of strife to build his platform and sell books. And he wasn’t/isn’t the only man who did/does this. There are always men around doing this.
    Talk about an “avoid all the important issues and engage an ad hominem attack” strategy.
    I guess we can look at this as evidence that they have no real, intelligent, honest, debate worthy answers to come back with for the things you are exposing to light. All they can do is attack and try to shut up the person pointing at the elephant in the room.

  10. Nathan

    I saw that one star review also, and it’s a bit puzzling. Nowhere have I ever seen Sheila write or say anything to the effect that if you have sex more often than “X”, there’s something wrong with you. I don’t see how anybody could get that from her writings.
    What she does say, of course, is that if you have sex often because you fee you’re supposed to, then THAT’S harmful.

    • Bethany#2

      I do recall her talking about sex addicts, but she was trying to make it clear that’s different from frequent sex. I think it was a podcast, though I don’t remember which, possibly back to the topic of duty sex. They touched on the fact that some people enjoy sex multiple times a day, and that was normal, so long as they were otherwise functioning.(I might be blending another blogger in with Sheila. But I am remembering rebecca’s voice, so I think it was a podcast)
      But that’s still not related to the book. I’m waiting for a better financial Time for buying it!


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