It’s time for our Start Your Engines podcast, and today we’re asking if Christian resources are causing male fragility–or at least making male fragility sound widespread.
Our belief is that men and women are equally made in the image of God, and one is not closer to God than the other. But with the way many Christian resources talk about men, they need women to coddle them and do the hard emotional work of keeping the family together, because men can’t handle that.
That’s insulting to men. All too often it’s dangerous to women. And it’s simply not true.
So let’s jump in!
Or, as always, you can watch on YouTube!
Timeline of the Podcast
2:00 Discussion on Direct Communication
5:15 Why do our resources make men sound so fragile?!
20:00 What about communication between teens and unmarried men and women?
25:30 How direct communication helped Connor
34:50 Direct communication when it comes to sex
43:25 A Reader Question with Michael John Cusick
Main Segment: Why Do Christian Resources Ignore Direct Communication?
Keith and Connor came on with me today to look at how Christian resources tell women to communicate with men–or rather how not to communicate with them!
We started with the classic quote from John Piper and Wayne Grudem about how women should be careful how they give directions to men who are lost, lest they usurp mature feminity and masculinity:
We went on to show how this attitude is prevalent in other Christian resources, and I read a number of quotes to the guys and wanted their reactions.
And they both agreed that this was horrendously insulting to men, and that the goal should be intimacy and mutual respect. Real men can handle strong women.
Things got dicey when I started reading quotes about teenage girls being responsible for boys’ anger–neither of them liked that very much! And we all concluded: Can’t we please do better at this? Because we’re making this way more complicated than it needs to be. Let’s just treat each other as people.
And we ended the segment with the big question: Why do Christian resources do this? Why do they make men sound so weak? Do they even realize they’re doing this? Because it’s just so weird and I don’t get it.
New Research: Cognitive Labor is being identified in the literature!
The data demonstrate that cognitive labor entails anticipating needs, identifying options for filling them, making decisions, and monitoring progress. Because such work is taxing but often invisible to both cognitive laborers and their partners, it is a frequent source of conflict for couples. Cognitive labor is also a gendered phenomenon: women in this study do more cognitive labor overall and more of the anticipation and monitoring work in particular.
This confirmed a lot about what the guys talked about in the last Start Your Engines podcast–and that men are quite capable of doing this cognitive labor, too, and it vastly improves marriages.
False Teaching of the Week: Men are More Fragile than Women
No, they aren’t. Equally made in the image of God! Equally have the Holy Spirit.
Reader Question: How do I get my sex addicted husband out of denial?
I asked licensed counselor Michael John Cusick onto the podcast to talk about how to help your husband see that sex addiction is a serious thing that needs to be dealt with.
Things Mentioned in This Podcast:
- Subscribe to our email list to be eligible for our next drawing for The Orgasm Course!
- Our amazing sponsor Brett Ullman and his book Parenting: Navigating Everything
- Support our research and join our Patreon for as little as $3 a month!
- Check out The Great Sex Rescue and our scorecard of some of these problematic books
- Michael John Cusick’s book Surfing for God, and his podcast Restoring the Soul
- The Direct Communication series, and the posts on why it can be hard for men and women
- The research on cognitive labor
Why do you think so many Christian books talk about men like they’re so fragile? How can we change this conversation? Let’s talk in the comments!
The Direct Communication Series
- 5 Reasons Direct Communication is Difficult
- 6 Elements of Direct Communication
- Why Direct Communication Feels Mean–and Why It’s Not
- 3 Reasons Christian Resources Tell Women Direct Communication is a Sin
- 5 Reasons Christian Teaching Discourages Men from Communicating Directly
- The Direct Communication Podcast
- The Real Solution to Nagging
- 10 Tips to Talking to Your Spouse About Your Sex Life
- How to Handle a Spouse’s Negative Reactions to Direct Communication (coming soon)
- 10 Tips to Having that Difficult Conversation You’ve Been Putting Off (coming soon)
And please see my book 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage, with lots on having difficult conversations and resolving conflict!
Sheila Wray Gregoire
Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum
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