PODCAST: Don’t Let Your Voice Be Small Just Because You’re Female

by | May 6, 2021 | For Women, Theology of Marriage and Sex, Uncategorized | 28 comments

Podcast on Genesis 3:16, Submission, and The Great Sex Rescue
Merchandise is Here!

Can we listen to women’s voices along with men’s voices?

We’ve got a whole variety of segments and interviews in today’s EPISODE 99 of the Bare Marriage podcast, including asking “What would have happened if authors had listened to women?”, a look at Genesis 3:16, and sharing a young husband’s story. 

I invite you to listen in!

Or, as always, you can watch on YouTube:


Timeline of the Podcast

1:30 What would have happened if authors listened originally?
8:20 Our Timeline critiquing books (psst, we didn’t start it!)
19:00 How Narnia can show us a way forward
21:15 Interview with Timothy Thomas on submission and breaking out of unhealthy evangelical teachings
36:30 Interview with Bruce Fleming on what Genesis 3:16 ACTUALLY says
1:00:50 Our 100th Episode is next week – we need your help!
1:02:15 Encouragement of the week

Send Us In a Testimonial for Episode 100!

Next week is episode 100 of the Bare Marriage podcast! 

We’re looking for people to send in a quick audio or video (your choice), roughly 60 seconds (less is fine!), telling us your story.

Start with your first name and city–“Hi, I’m Sandy from Lincoln, Nebraska” (or leave out your town if you’d rather!

Then tell us either:

  1. Your favourite episode and why
  2. Something you’ve learned from the podcast & how it’s changed you
  3. Or just general encouragement

Then just email it to us!

Main Segment: What Would Have Happened If?

Joanna joined us for the podcast today, and we asked the question, what would have happened if…

  • The authors that we identified as having written harmful books had listened to the women who told them, before their books were even published, that their ideas were harmful. We read out passages from Emerson Eggerichs, Shaunti Feldhahn, and Steve Arterburn who all said that they were warned before their books were even written
  • Focus on the Family had listened when we first emailed them (and even when we sent the Open Letter)
  • Shaunti Feldhahn had listened when we wrote to her in August, rather than doubling down after our book was published
  • Mark Gungor had listened to my critique on his Facebook Page and just edited his post, in the same way that Henry Cloud did when he misspoke

It’s been two months now since The Great Sex Rescue was published, and while the sales have been doing very well, and while counselors and regular people have just loved it, the evangelical establishment has yet to speak out about it and confront our findings. We just did the largest study that’s ever been done–and people are choosing to ignore it. That just makes us sad.

Timothy Thomas: How I listened to my wife–and created a healthier marriage


Timothy Thomas (@Timothyt_t) is a full-time public school teacher and coach, and a part-time blogger and writer. He is a staff writer for ChristandPopCulture.com. He lives in Fort Worth, Texas.

In September, he wrote an insightful two-part series on his marriage and church journey, and I wanted to invite him in to talk to us about it.

Timothy Thomas

Divorcing White Evangelicalism, Remarrying My Wife

Was Eve Cursed in Genesis 3:16?

Bruce Fleming from Tru316 is on a mission to help us see problematic passages through new eyes by looking at the original language. Today he talks about his interpretation of Genesis 3:16, teaching me some things I’ve never known!

His Eden Podcast covers a number of different Genesis verses, and his Book of Eden goes more in depth into what he told us in this podcast!

Book of Eden by Bruce Fleming

Bruce C.E. Fleming

The Book of Eden

Things Mentioned in This Podcast:

Podcast on Genesis 3:16, Submission, and the Great Sex Rescue
Sheila Wray Gregoire

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Founder of 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

Related Posts

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

Related Posts


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  1. Katydid

    I can’t wait to listen! I’m learning to use my voice and take up space in my marriage. I grew up in an environment that shut me up, and I learned that making myself invisible was a way to protect myself. Couple that with toxic complementarianism, and I became an appliance.
    Even outside of my marriage I notice that people don’t listen to me and in groups I am easily pushed out. I am learning to be assertive and proactive. I practice with male friends on debate skills.
    I’ve allowed myself to become easily forgotten and walked upon. Too nice, too quick to forgive, no boundaries. At 40 years old I still feel like a small child.
    I literally have no idea what to do with my life. This summer I am seeing a new physician and I am going to address this. I may need some therapy or life coaching.
    My husband isn’t against this. He’s actually more feminist than I am. But, after 21 years of me being a volunteer doormat, he has gotten used to the dynamic and there has been some push-back, but thankfully, he snaps out of it. It’s actually a weight off his shoulders to not carry around the burden of a child-like wife, someone who isn’t an equal partner.

  2. Andrea

    I haven’t listened yet, but when I read that “the evangelical establishment has yet to speak out about it,” it occurred to me that Christianity Today has not reviewed your book. I mean, The New York Times did, but Christianity Today has not! May as well, though, if you’ve had a chance to see their review of Jesus and John Wayne, you’re probably relieved they’re ignoring The Great Sex Rescue.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Yes, we had noticed. I know that one reporter is working on a story where our book will be mentioned, but I don’t know if it’s the whole thing. I have been interviewed for that. We’ll see I guess!

  3. Bethany#2

    Still listening, and it occurs to me, this is the foundation of a belief. Period pains, and related ones, have been mostly dismissed by religious people as right(or normal). Because of eve’s fall, I’ve got to suffer this.
    But if this is a misunderstanding about what exactly happened, maybe we aren’t supposed to suffer. Maybe we should have common sense and see a doctor!
    (As a girl just getting my own cycles, I was encouraged by my mom, who told me of 2 women who regularly threw up from the cramps, so I should be thankful.) I tried to get help from a doctor, but it didn’t accomplish much.
    But when I was older I took iron and it changed my experience drastically! My husband also has an issue watching me suffer, and makes me take painkillers.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      It really does change the whole understanding of Genesis, doesn’t it? I’m still pondering some of what Bruce said, because I’ve never heard it explained that way before.

      • Em

        At first hearing, it seems like Bruce is advocating for the equally unhealthy opposite of the theology he is opposed to. Maybe the book clarifies things? I hesitate to accept textual interpretations that require mental gymnastics and which seem to fit the flavour of the age perfectly. (Though the theology he is challenging is certainly worthy of challenging.)

    • EOF

      Some, if not most, period pain comes from our current way of living. Since I quit using disposable period products, nearly all of my cramps (that used to make me pass out) are gone. I’ve spoken with numerous other women who have had the same experience. Makes me wonder what was normal before Tampax et al.

  4. Katydid

    Bruce’s discussion is actually remarkably close to Catholic interpretation. Who are the children of Eve who crush Satan? Mary and Jesus. Read Scott Hahn’s Hail Holy Queen (or watch his Youtube lecture of the same name.
    Cardinal John Henry Newman said (paraphrased) To study history is to cease to be protestant.
    Perhaps to study history and original texts/language is to cease to be western American evangelical.
    I am also glad you brought in Timothy. It is very good to get perspectives outside of our cultural norm. I remember being in school and my mainstream protestant friends and Catholic friends thought I was in a cult. It was strange because I didn’t realize my beliefs were actually very fringe and outside the norm. When I would question it at home or in church, it was brushed off as, “they aren’t saved. They are fooled by Satan.” I have to get a hold of Timothy’s book.
    We are churchless, too, right now. Not really sure what to do about it.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I’m probably a nice mix between Catholic and Protestant theology! I do not believe in a priesthood or in praying to saints or in a hierarchical based church. But I love The Theology of the Body and much of other Catholic writings, which are closer to my own beliefs than most of the evangelical books we read were. Three-fold nature of intimacy; sex as something sacred, not just a husband’s physical release (as Eggerichs says). Yep.

      • Katydid

        Praying to the Saints is often misunderstood. It is no different than asking an earth-bound person to pray for us, to intercede. After all,those in heaven are actually more alive than we are! Plus, ALL Christians are part of the Body of Christ and no part of Christ is cut off from itself.
        At least that is my brief essay on Catholic theology on the subject. I find it thought-provoking.
        I’m somewhere in between, too. I almost became Catholic and would actually like to, BUT you have to accept ALL dogma and make a vow. I can’t do that, yet.

      • Andrea

        Here is a great quote by G. K. Chesterton about the communion of all saints (“all” meaning those in heaven a well as those on earth).
        “Tradition means giving a vote to most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death.”
        Sheila, I know you’re reading Beth Allison’s Barr new book, where she shows how Catholicism actually had more roles for women and the Reformation took them away. She says contemporary American evangelicals don’t think there was any Christianity between Augustine and Luther, which means we are missing out on a lot of badass medieval women. I also know you love Victorian literature and I wonder if you’ve read Middlemarch, specifically the Prelude, about “later-born Theresas” who lack “the coherent social faith and order which could perform the function of knowledge for the ardently willing soul.” Women with a zeal for God and a thirst for knowledge they have nowhere to express and fill. I DMd Beth about it and she replied that it was her favorite novel. I totally fangirled.

        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Cool! I’ve never read it; I’ll have to get it. I really did enjoy The Making of Biblical Womanhood. Just a great book!

      • Wild Honey

        Replying to a reply…
        Read Middlemarch a few months ago and big puffy heart LOVED it. Had me staying up late, laughing out loud, and reading passages aloud to my half-asleep husband.

      • Andrea

        Reply to Wild Honey:
        I kid you not, I read this novel like the Bible in the sense that I memorize its “verses.” My favorite:
        “We are all of us born in moral stupidity, taking the world as an udder to feed our supreme selves.”

      • Chris

        Sheila, ever since I found this blog I knew you were Catholic, you just didn’t know it yet! 🤣

      • Anonymous305

        I like your mixed theology. I disagree with any mediator besides Jesus, but at least Catholics are gender-neutral with who needs a mediator, instead of making a husband the mediator for the wife. Facepalm. I’m definitely evangelical about salvation, but I’m willing to acknowledge the facepalms.
        The original reason I started commenting was to say that my favorite podcast was the not-methadone episode. I watched it 5 times. Maybe some readers like the “fun” stuff better than the “heavy” stuff, but I’m far more attached to the “heavy” stuff because metaphorically, it’s more exciting to get out of jail than to talk about ice cream.

  5. Jane Eyre

    Haven’t been able to listen to the podcast yet. Have a question about the fallen world:
    Isn’t there a difference between living as a Christian in a fallen world and not mitigating the problems of sin? We live in a world of sickness, death, and evil. Our bodies age, succumb to diseases, and die. People hurt other people. Parents abandon their children.
    Infertility happens. People starve. Weather can harm us.
    Yet we have medical care that borders on magic, industrial farming and food distribution, indoor plumbing, adoption, and a justice system. We understand that despite our propensity to sin, it is our job to try to treat others as God wants us to.
    Yet once you (general you, not Sheila) speak about women, that all goes straight out the window. Suffer like it’s prehistoric times, ladies! Do not try to improve your lot, do not try to advance women as humankind has been advanced. Do not ask to be treated better. Why?

  6. Bre

    Wow, this was so freeing! As someone who has been struggling immensely ever since she realized how the church sees and treats women and haw sexist and unchristlike it is…this gives me so much hope that actual scholars who love Jesus are finding these things in plain Greek and that it’s not my own sinful, wishful thinking.
    Someone above mentioned how the church tries to tell women to take up as little space as possible, which I find true and sadly ironic, but it’s such a baffling thing to me. Because of my Autism, I was heavily bullied and spent most of my life being told I was ugly, fat, stupid, should go kill myself, ect. I wore unflattering clothes, buried myself in books, and was usually quiet unless talked to. It took until highschool and college to realize that God made me a unique human and that it’s okay for me to take up space, have my own interests and (strong) opinions, and wear what I like. I was used to not wanting to stand out so I didn’t really have much of anything that I could be identified by/as liking…no individuality. Now, people constantly say that they are impressed with how confident and individual I am…I’ve come a long way with God and my friends helping me recover from my self-hate and past hurt, but I still wouldn’t say I’m all that confident; I’m just being myself and am happy and content with who I am because God’s shown me that it’s okay to be myself and that he loves me.
    I’m not the only one…lots of people with any sort of trauma have to be told that it’s okay for them to exist and use space and that God loves them just because of the fact that this world is fallen and it’s easy to be hurt. It’s so counterintuitive to say this sort of stuff while also giving a message that, yes, God loves you and wants you to be free and use who you are for his kingdom, but could you please shut it and tone it down if you are female? God didn’t give half of humanity brains, consciences, and voices just so they can be shoved into a corner and let the other half run everything, and I’ve always felt that this sort of misogyny and patriarchy really had to be from Satan trying to thwart believers…this just gives that idea teeth.

    • Bre

      Oh, and BTW, I’m really grateful to you, Sheila, and super excited because my mother’s gotten into your work! I’ve been pretty open with what I’d call my “Christian Feminist” beliefs about women in the church in the last two years. She got curious about some of the sources I mentioned and started reading some stuff on here and just bought the Great Sex Rescue and another one of your books! She really wanted to read the GSR but I hadn’t bought it (sadly still haven’t) so she couldn’t swipe it from me….I think her copy shall mysteriously disappear during our family camping trip in July. Her and my stepdad have a bit of a rocky relationship and I’m hoping that your work will be able to help them out! She’s also recently decided to leave the church we’d been going to before I left college and is prioritizing how the church treats women in her search for a new one. Thank you so much! You’ve helped me a lot, but it means even more to me that I was able to share what I learned with my mom!

      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        Oh, that’s so encouraging! Thank you, Bre. And I’m so glad you and your mom have been able to talk about this stuff.

  7. Anonymous for this one

    Sheila, I thought of a false teaching of the week: the beam and mote in the eye Bible verse.
    This verse is used against so many women seeking help. It was used on me, too. And it resulted in me trying to figure out how to fix myself and become as perfect as possible.
    I also wondered why my imperfections were beams while his abuse and porn use were merely motes. I wasn’t worthy of help because I wasn’t perfect.
    This also manifested when I would be in error and apologize. Suddenly, it was, “see?! You’re a screw up!” My one wrong would negate my ability to confront his hundreds.
    We see this now in debates against your book. It’s a beam for hurting wives to not be interested in sex, but a mote for men to be selfish lovers.

    • Wild Honey

      In reference to the beam and mote… I realized a few years ago, Jesus doesn’t say NOT to address the mote. He just says take care of your own beam BEFORE you address the mote. My take-away is, as long as you’re humbly working through your own problems, it is not wrong to be pointing out problems of others. After all, a log in front of my face just blocks my view, doesn’t actually hurt me. But a speck in my eye makes me wince in pain, close my eyes up real tight, start to cry, and can cause damage if not removed properly. Motes can be big problems, too!

    • Maria Bernadette

      Sounds like the “beam” in your husband’s eye was blinding him about how he was supposed to be treating you, a beloved child of God.
      I mean, there is a difference between telling someone to stop hurting you, versus pointing out someone’s character flaws in general.
      Maybe Jesus was talking about critiquing other people’s character – for example, be working on your own anger before telling someone else that they get angry too easily.
      But that’s different from saying “Don’t hit me in anger” (not accusing your husband of doing that, it’s just an example).
      The idea that you aren’t allowed to tell someone not to hit you, for example, unless you never get angry, would be all wrong, and surely not what Jesus had in mind.
      And that would apply to all kinds of abuse, not just physical. For example, Sheila and others have written about how porn use hurts spouses of porn users.

  8. Wild Honey

    Sheila, been thinking about your comment that there’s been lots of chatter about TGSR “down here,” but not much among the establishment. Wonder how much of that is because authors are afraid of opening themselves up to lawsuits if they acknowledge what they taught actively harmed people.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I don’t think it’s fear of lawsuits, because in the U.S. that wouldn’t fly (though some have threatened to sue me). People have even tried to sue Debi and Michael Pearl and have failed (and their books are far worse). I think it’s fear of losing their platforms, personally.

  9. Anonymous305

    My favorite things about your podcasts were not all in the same episode.
    *The 72-hour rule isn’t scientific. I’m embarrassed I trusted Christian authors too much, but it never crossed my mind to ask if they were scientifically inaccurate.
    *Once a week is statistically normal.
    *Fewer than 50% of men lust.
    All of the above means less pressure on wives!!!!
    The “NOT methadone” episode was the most shocking and comforting at once. I didn’t know that Christian books got THAT bad, but your response was comforting.

  10. LAURA

    Another excellent podcast as always! I am reading Timothy Thomas’ blog which is interesting. I cannot wait to buy Bruce Fleming’s books. I’m really learning a lot about the Bible that I’d never been taught in church. We just have to read it for ourselves instead of relying on our pastor to spoonfeed us God’s Word.
    I’m so excited to hear that Saddleback Church had ordained 3 female pastors! I watch their services on YouTube and have even been to their main campus in Lake Forest, California for Celebrate Recovery conferences. I also read Beth Allison Barr’s latest book and loved it.
    Sheila, I’m reading your book, TGSR, and loving it. Even though I’m not married and almost 45, this new information has helped me to realize that I still have unhealthy views about sex. 19 years ago, I left a sexually abusive marriage, so that just made my views on sex more negative.
    Thank you Lord for giving us women the courage to step out of the cookie-cutter ways the church has tried to box women in! We are moving forward!


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