I’m all fired up about the fact that people still consider Emerson Eggerichs an authority on marriage and sex.
As most of you know, every year in this week in January we revisit the problems with the book Love & Respect, in the hopes that more and more people will see and churches will stop using this as a resource. It should not still be the #1 marriage curriculum in North American churches. It has to stop.
Today Connor walks Keith and me through a podcast with Emerson Eggerichs and his son Jonathan, talking about a woman who is crying in the shower before sex, even though she still initiates obediently every 72 hours. Eggerichs praises her.
Connor wrote a long, thoughtful article about Emerson Eggerichs ignoring marital rape yesterday, but Keith and I are hearing all of this for the first time in this recording.
We get angry. I spit all over the counter. It’s quite the show.
So listen in!
Or, as always, you can watch on YouTube:
Timeline of the Podcast
0:10 A TLHV Anniversay
4:20 Connor recaps the episode
11:00 A woman’s coercive sex expeirence is badly handled
20:00 Is disobedience applicable to both sides?
23:00 Men’s v Women’s Sexuality
36:15 Sheila’s Educational Corner
42:00 Both people need Honour & Respect
52:15 Red flags to watch for
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Main Segment: Emerson Eggerichs Not Recognizing either Marital Rape or Arousal
For this podcast, we are taking apart Emerson Eggerichs’ podcast episode 39–a Good Woman’s View of Sex. We do use some clips of it in our podcast, based on Fair Use doctrine where we are using the clips for commentary.
In this Bare Marriage episode, we show how Emerson Eggerichs shows he thinks:
- women threatening divorce is a normal occurrence that isn’t a big deal
- women crying before sex is “not wasted” and is glorious to God because of her obedience
- initiating every 72 hours is duty and obedience
- a man acting badly if he doesn’t get sex isn’t a big deal
- women don’t need foreplay because they don’t actually get turned on (except perhaps at ovulation)
- women DO get turned on merely from men vacuuming
- You can’t actually tell if a woman is aroused
Listen in. Please, really listen.
This is what is considered the height of marriage teaching in the evangelical church.
This is the man that is constantly featured on Focus on the Family. His curriculum Mothers & Sons is constantly marketed to its listeners, setting up the next generation to be just like this one. His book is the #1 marriage curriculum in North America.
The original letter writer who was crying in the shower commented on yesterday’s post.
She talked about how destructive Emerson Eggerichs’ advice was:
This is/was me. I am the one who wrote the e-mail in 2015 after listening to one of Emerson’s previous podcasts. I am the “Susie” Emerson E. talks about. He didn’t even bother to change my last name, which at the time was [redacted]. He also didn’t ask if he could read my letter on air. This podcast was after my “good-willed Christian” husband (now ex) taught the L&R series at our church twice. This was after years of living in an abusive marriage and being manipulated by him and convinced by others that this ridiculous every three days like clockwork rule would make our marriage blissful and of course make him stop being abusive. It was always my fault my husband was psychologically/emotionally, spiritually, and sexually abusive towards me.
I heard the obligation message for years, I didn’t know anything different. There were no books I was aware of debating this nonsense. Scripture was quoted and this stuff was taught as gospel. The teaching was coming from so many Christian authors and leaders I truly thought God required this of me. My walk with Christ was and is my most precious relationship and these teachings manipulated that desire to please Him and created deep pain in the depths of my soul because I truly thought Christ was grieved by me (like I was the one being selfish when in actuality I was being coercively raped). Tortured like Christ no, abused and mistreated in a soul-crushing way, yes. Gaslighted into thinking my emotional pain was crazy and unwarranted, yep. After all who doesn’t love to be raped, er I mean, have sex right?
At the time I didn’t but now I think it is funny how Emerson turned the podcast into a how to turn on your wife sexually, he completely missed the point. (vacuuming is not and never has been an aphrodisiac for me) I was still so confused about my own marriage, but I was trying to make a point. BE NICE, BE KIND. It’s amazing how that works.
My marriage lasted another 4 horrendous years after this podcast. I never gave up seeking help, I never stopped crying out to God. I just kept hearing this same message over and over again while in my Christian circle of influence. There did finally come a point when everything fell into place and started making some sense. I stepped into the wonderful world of Google search and learned something different. I learned about something called covert narcissistic abuse. Within that same time period, I also found out that my husband was and had been cheating on me for some time.
I found out about the women, then men, then those “men” who looked to be of questionable age. I found the hidden porn addiction, the xxx job searches, alcohol, the trips out of town to gay bars, the double life. Crazy as it sounds he hid it so well no one knew, not our church family, not our friends, not my family or his. I found out about all of it in a matter of just a few weeks. I wonder if Emerson would still think my ex-husband is a “good-willed man”. (Smirk emoji) Seems in his eyes pretty much anything goes and men are still labeled good and worthy of undying respect.
I was faithful for 17 years, I stayed and put up with abusive treatment because I was raised to believe adultery was the only grounds for divorce. I was constantly told to do more and try harder and things would improve, they didn’t. I’ve been happily divorced now for over 1 1/2 years. This “Good-Willed man” put the last nail in the coffin by requesting termination of his parental rights from our three children this December. All I can feel is gratefulness that I am finally free and my children are now safe.
Please keep teaching and calling out the bad theology of these “Christian” authors and please keep teaching us good theology. People who are desperate will seek these books out and devour them to try and find help and the best thing that most of these books offer is more pain and bondage. I know I’ve read almost all of them. In 17 years I’ve come across only a few that have really made a difference in a good way. That is just sad and needs to change. I am grateful for what you all do. Thank you Conner and Keith for showing us what it looks like when real men love their women. Some of us have never seen or experienced that. Thank you, Shelia, Rebecca, and the rest of the team for putting yourself out there and taking the blowback that I’ve seen y’all endure. You are truly a gift from God to those of us who have been in a dry desert with no water for quite some time.
This needs to stop. For more on the problems with Love & Respect, please see The Great Sex Rescue, and find out why it literally scored 0/48 on our rubric of healthy sexuality teaching.
The Great Sex Rescue
Changing the conversation about sex & marriage in the evangelical church.
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.
Things Mentioned in This Podcast:
- Our wonderful sponsor the Intimately Us app! A-so-much-more-than-foreplay app. Helps you communicate about sex, have awesome bedroom games, discover what you like (and communicate about it), and more! Clean and totally non-creepy too.
- Our Patreon–support us for as little as $5 a month and get access to unfiltered podcasts and help support our research!
- Emerson Eggerichs’ original podcast
- Connor’s post detailing all our problems with Emerson Eggerichs’ podcast episode.
- Our podcast where we dissected Emerson Eggerichs’ sermons gaslighting abuse victims
- Our Open Letter to Focus on the Family about Emerson Eggerichs and Love & Respect
- Our original series about Love & Respect
- Pre-order The Good Guy’s Guide to Great Sex and the new and revamped Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex–with tons of detail about the sexual response cycle (and, no, housework is not an element of the sexual response cycle, Emerson Eggerichs).
- The Great Sex Rescue--the book we were inspired to write when we saw how toxic Love & Respect was
- Our Love AND Respect merchandise (mugs, stickers, tote bags, T-shirts, and more–because healthy people need both love AND respect).
- Our Duty Sex isn’t Sexy podcast, all about obligation sex and marital rape
Other Posts in our Love and Respect Series:
- THE MUST READ: An Open Letter to Focus on the Family about Love & Respect and Emerson Eggerichs
- A Review of Love and Respect: How the Book Gets Sex Horribly Wrong
- Love and Respect: Why Unconditional Respect Can’t Work
- The Ultimate Flaw in the Book Love and Respect: Jesus Isn’t at the Center
- Dissecting a Sermon Series where Emerson Eggerichs Gaslights Abuse Victims
- Dissecting a Podcast where Emerson Eggerichs Ignores Marital Rape and Says You Can’t Tell if a Woman is Aroused
- Is It Okay if Christian Marriage Books are Just a Little Bit Harmful?
- Love & Respect is Being Used by the BDSM Community to Convince Wives to Submit to Domination
- PODCAST: Why Unconditional Respect Isn’t a Thing (and how the verse the book is based on, and the survey data the book is based on, don’t hold water).
- PODCAST: An Example from Eggerichs’ blog of Eggerichs Gaslighting Women (we work through line by line)
- PODCAST: Dissecting Eggerichs’ Love & Respect Sermons at Houston’s First Baptist Church, with His Dismissal of Abuse
- PODCAST: How Emerson Eggerichs Ignored an Example of Marital Rape, plus the follow-up podcast where we interview the woman who wrote to him
- PODCAST: Our Love & Respect Wrap Up
- I’m Passing the Torch on Love & Respect. 10 Ways You Can Pick it Up
Plus our Resource Pages:
- Summary Page of Issues in Love & Respect
- Resources to let others know of your concerns about Love & Respect
- Download our rubric and scorecard of why Love & Respect scored 0/48 on our rubric of healthy sexuality teaching
The Biggest Supporter of Love & Respect is Focus on the Family
They publish the book and heavily promote it, and promote video series with Emerson Eggerichs. They also heavily promote his book Mothers & Sons, which primes the next generation of boys to feel they deserve unconditional respect, regardless of how they act. Please consider your giving to Focus on the Family, and contact them about your concerns. Without Focus on the Family’s support, the Love & Respect ministry would dwindle considerably.
The Following People Have Endorsed Love & Respect
- “Millions of lives and marriages – and in many ways, our whole culture – are completely different today because of the work of Emerson Eggerichs and Love and Respect ministries.” Shaunti Feldhahn, best-selling author of For Women Only
- “Occasionally I run into somebody whose material, what they’re teaching, and the quality of the person rocks my world.” Dave Ramsey
- “probably the most helpful [marriage book and seminar] we have ever experienced.” Michael Hyatt
- “With his Love and Respect concept, Emerson Eggerichs has discovered what can only be described as the Holy Grail of marital counseling.” Eric Metaxas
- “Dr. Emerson Eggerichs …is … balancing this scale [towards respect]” Dr. James Dobson
- “People around the world, in every kind of business need to hear this simple yet life changing message.” Anne Beiler
- “I couldn’t recommend Dr. Eggerichs highly enough. I call him the Billy Graham of marriage.” Kendrick Vinar, lead pastor Grace Church of Chapel Hill
If any of these people would like to rescind or qualify their endorsements, please reach out, even confidentially. If any would like a confidential conversation about the problems with Love & Respect, please reach out.
Sheila Wray Gregoire
Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum
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