What I’m Not Supposed to Say: I’m Angry

by | Apr 12, 2023 | Parenting Teens, Theology of Marriage and Sex | 109 comments

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I’m supposed to be at the zoo today.

My cousin and her daughter are visiting from out of town, and I cleared the calendar today so that I would be free to go the zoo. Rebecca and Connor and the kids and Keith were all available, and it was going to be a big family thing.

But I have just been so exhausted lately. And for the last five days I’ve had a headache I can’t really kick. I take Advil and it goes away, but when the Advil wears off it’s back. It’s not a bad headache; but it’s just there, and it makes life not very fun.

So I decided it was better to take a day off and just rest, and that’s what I’m doing. 

As I’ve been thinking about this, though, I don’t think the problem is that I’m tired. 

Or at least, I don’t think it’s that I’m physically tired. I’ve been eating really well. I’ve been walking everyday. I’ve been sleeping 8-10 hours a night. I’m actually taking good care of myself physically.

I think it’s that for the last four years I’ve had to stuff some emotions, and this last week it’s really flared up and it’s eating at me.

We’ve been talking about this in our Patreon group a bit, but I think I’m angry.

It’s weird to say, “I think I’m angry,” but I’m not actually allowed to be angry.

So sometimes I don’t even recognize it in myself.

Women who are angry are called bitter, emotional, hormonal. We’re dismissed. If we react in anger, it shows that we can’t just carry on a rational conversation.

And so I spend my life talking about the sexual assault of teen girls; about constant objectification; about marital rape; about how women are expected to do sexual favors postpartum; about how women are told that we are easily deceived and that we talk too much–and I have to do it as an intellectual exercise, making reasoned points, rather than just exploding.

The number of times I write a very impassioned article, and then men especially tell me, “you’re just being so angry. Pastors and other men would hear you better if you didn’t sound so angry.”

But you know what? I’ve been writing for years and people only started paying attention when I got just a little bit angry.

When I got just a little bit loud.

But I’m still not supposed to let you all know what I really think about so much, because then I’d be discounted. “You don’t need to listen to her–see how angry she is? She’s just trying to destroy the church.”

When people attack me, I don’t stop and let myself feel angry.

Instead, my first thought is, “How can I use this to help people see the problems with how the evangelical church is handling marriage/sex/whatever the topic at hand is.” 

When Focus on the Family told lies about me in a public statement, I didn’t break down and cry or throw things or scream, despite the fact that a $100,000,000 organization, with radio shows all over the world, just put out a statement disparaging me, with no budget; no PR team; no banquet room, who works from my yellow living room chair. 

No, I wrote my own statement and shared it and went all over social media so much that Focus stopped sharing their statement because they were looking like fools.

It was only about a month later that the magnitude of what had happened actually sunk in, and I tried to process my feelings of them doing that to me, and of them utterly disregarding the hundreds of stories of abuse we had sent them that they had enabled. They just didn’t care.

It reminds me so much of this wonderful cartoon by David Hayward, aka the Naked Pastor: 

 

We Just Don't Care by NakedPastor

I feel like that every single day of my life.

I feel like I am yelling into the void, with definitive proof that certain teachings actually hurt women–and the powers that be Just. Don’t. Care.

And often I feel like that woman, with my head bent and dejected. But I don’t stay like that because I know that the status quo is not okay, and I know that Jesus is not pleased, and I know that people are hurting. So I lift my head up, turn away from those men, make a strategy, and go fight.

What I don’t do is ever process what their callousness does to me. 

I just keep plowing ahead, despite lawsuit threats. Despite the whisper campaign getting us banned from podcasts.

Despite the American Association of Christian Counselors turning us down to present, even though we wanted to talk about marital rape (which is a huge issue they don’t really talk about), and even though we’ve done the most research in evangelical spaces, and even though our sesssions would have counted for credit. Even though the authors that we call out are still allowed to speak, despite the harm they are causing.

Despite the fact that unqualified people are still platformed and listened to.

I just keep going.

And I know I’m not alone. I know so many of you are just plowing ahead because you have to, especially those of you who have escaped abusive marriages, and you’re fighting for custody and the courts aren’t listening to you and you’re working two jobs and your church has abandoned you.

I know so many of you are married to men who use porn and they won’t do anything about it, and they keep telling you they’ve quit when they haven’t. 

And you keep plowing ahead, because you have to.

This last month has been particularly hard for me. 

As we’re gearing up for the launch of She Deserves Better (now in less than a week!), I’ve done so many interviews, and I’ve had to explain, again and again and again, how damaging the modesty messages especially have been to girls. How much harm has been done.

And yet, what I keep hearing on social media, is “what about the boys?” 

I tell people, “when we say this to girls, they’re 68% more likely to marry an abuser, and 52% more likely to have vaginismus,” and I hear, “but what about the poor boys who are being tempted to lust?”

And I explain calmly, once again, over and over again ad nauseum, how girls’ long-term well-being takes precedence over boys’ momentary comfort. And I explain that girls are not to be sacrificed just so boys can exist without temptation. I explain how God actually expects boys to respect girls. How this is not out of reach. How this is not fricking unreasonable. 

Last week I had to listen to a podcast host sharing rape myths without getting angry. 

I had to keep my cool, and just debate, when a host said that boys can’t help it because of their sex drives.

And all the while I’m thinking of Vera, and Kay, and little 12-year-old Rebecca (not my daughter, but from the book When God Writes Your Love Story) who were raped and believed it was their fault because they, too, were told, “boys can’t help it and they can’t stop themselves.”

But I had to be calm.

And I’m wondering if that’s why I have a headache, because it started around the time of that podcast. I’m wondering if that’s why I’m not at the zoo today, and why I’m just trying to breathe deeply and give myself a day off.

And I’m wondering, “If I screamed and got angry and told you all what I really thought, would anyone care? Or would they just dismiss me as an emotional woman?” 

Tomorrow I shall return to being my normal self. 

I shall keep plowing ahead, because there is work to be done, and even if those with platforms don’t get it, you all deserve to be validated. And I will, as much as I can, be your voice and maybe even inspire many of you to rise up as well.

Together we can make a difference.

But I wish I didn’t have to keep a lid on the anger so much. I wish I could stop thinking strategy, and just let myself feel. Because it is exhausting. And I’d rather be with my grandchildren looking at marmosets.

I know some of you will ask how you can help, and I don’t have a good answer! 

Buy She Deserves Better and give it to your youth pastors or to moms of teens you know; Buy The Great Sex Rescue and give it to your pastor, counselor, small group leader, women’s ministry leader. Ask your libraries to order the books. 

Share the Bare Marriage podcast on your page. 

Just get the message out there. That’s all I can ask–let’s just get the message out there. It’s the only way things will change. And I do think things are changing. I just get so infuriated that the evangelical church still elevates those who willfully refuse to care.

She Deserves Better!

Because we all deserve a big faith.

Your daughter deserves better than what you likely grew up with in church.

What would it look like to prepare the next generation without toxic teachings about modesty, sex, or consent, and instead set her up for a big faith?

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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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109 Comments

  1. Joy

    For what it’s worth your work means a great deal to me, and I have been following you a long time. Thank you for carrying this burden–know that you are helping people find their voice. I don’t listen to the types of people who shut you out anymore. I have “just stopped” in a lot of ways. Can’t wait to read and share She Deserves Better!

    Reply
    • Kylie Grayston

      I think the more you suppress it the more it will try to burst out in your public teaching. You need a healthy habit of crying and screaming and bashing things to move it through your body/process it fully and THEN, after that, you will write from a place of clarity and empowerment.

      Reply
      • Wendy Herrmann Smith

        Yes. Move it through the body. Walk. Take a lot of deep breaths- it calms the vagus nerves. Bilateral stimulation= walking, or if you can’t do that, cross arms over chest and pat your upper arms, left right left right.

        Reply
      • Lucy

        Sure – move it through your body and process it, but I don’t see it “bursting out in your public teaching”, Sheila.

        What I do see is you counting the cost and room for you to take care of yourself more fully.

        I obviously can’t speak on your behalf, Sheila, in terms of whether you’re feeling empowered, but I certainly read your writing as coming from a place of clarity and empowerment – at least your writing has offered me much clarity and empowerment in my own life.

        Reply
  2. Susanna

    You are loved. You are worthy. You are allowed to feel what you feel. Take up space. And rest. I’ll sit with you in your anger today because you need to feel it. Let me offer a word of encouragement too.
    You’ve changed the world more than you will ever realize. So many conversations with my grown daughters start with ‘Sheila said’ and we talk about the good and hard stuff for hours. My baby grandson will be raised by a strong mama and daddy who will make sure he understands that we all deserve better largely because you gave us the language.
    Thank you for the difference you made bin my world.

    Reply
  3. Jennies

    The message about women/girls needs to be heard. But the battle is not just yours or ours, it’s the Lord. You/we do what we can, we pray for Him to do what we can’t. But even Jesus took time away to rejuvenate with His Father. Eventually, He will redeem it all, this fallen world. Rest in His love for you.

    Reply
  4. Angharad

    You are right on both counts – suppressing emotions over a long period has a real impact on physical health, but letting your anger show in public would make people even more likely to discount the message.

    Which is weird. I mean, no one looks at Jesus overturning tables in the temple and says ‘oh dear, he was really too emotional there’ or ‘that anger is excessive, it’s going to damage the temple’. No. People read that account and they get why Jesus was angry – because he was angry at the sin and injustice of oppressing the vulnerable and twisting God’s commands. And people SHOULD get angry about such things.

    In one way though, I think you should be encouraged. Why do people attack you as being over-emotional? Why do they snipe at Keith for being ‘unmanly’ for supporting you? Because they don’t have any REAL arguments to counter your evidence, so their only option is to descend to cheap insults. They have to try to ridicule and belittle you as people, because if they don’t do that, everyone will see that they don’t actually have anything else to bring against you.

    I’m so sorry it’s having this impact on your life. I hope the knowledge of the thousands of people you have helped encourages you to keep going xxx

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      All so true, Angharad. It’s just tiring to always have to be so strategic. Thanks for your constant support!

      Reply
      • Angharad

        I’ve got the lyrics from ‘Glorious Unfolding’ running round my head. ‘Lay your head down tonight, take a rest from the fight’. It takes a long time to win a war – it’s ok to rest in between the battles. Hope you get to see those marmosets soon xxx

        Reply
      • Taylor

        You’ve spoken the collective story of those of us who have been damaged by entrenched abusive systems. Thank you.

        But you have the right to your own story, too. How all of this has effected you is very real.

        You matter. Your pain matters. Your wounds matter. Your story matters. You matter.

        Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Thank you.

          Reply
    • Tim

      I had the same thought re flipping tables, Angharad. Sometimes anger is the only appropriate response – though how we express/process it is important too.

      Reply
  5. Phil

    Sheila – sorry for your hurt and anger. I am glad you shared it. I understand that we all have to do what we need to do to rest up and clear our minds for the next chapter…. I wish you could be with your family too. Maybe you can facetime for a little while with them…not the same but you can still be part of the trip in a special Mimi way and maybe even see marmosets. Have a restful day Sheila. Take care. Be well. 😀

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I’ve made Rebecca promise that we’ll go back to the zoo in May! I just want to see little Vivian enjoy the animals because she was too young last year!

      Reply
      • Estelle

        Why are they so unfair to us? I am also blamed that I am “too” angry when I speak about these topics. People are in denail.

        Keep up the good work !

        Reply
        • Bernadette

          And they expect you to feel nothing in the face of blatant injustice.

          Reply
  6. Mara R

    A part of taking away women’s voices is forbidding them from feeling their anger. It’s the cultish “Keep Sweet” conspiracy that is vehemently enforce in both the world and the church.

    Of course your are tired and exhausted (spiritually, emotionally and your sense of justice and right and wrong). You are battling the very foundations of our culture both in the church and outside. Of course those who benefit (financially, sexually, and reputationally) are going to discount you. Of course they are going to use the very effective and deeply entrenched trope of dismissing the angry woman. They have a lot to lose and their kingdoms are built on sand. They hate you and the battering ram of truth that you have turned on them.

    I hope you give full vent to ALL your anger today. I hope you know that you can vent it towards heaven. Unlike mortal men and our culture, God is not afraid of or offended by your anger. He loves our honesty in all areas, including our emotions that culture tries to make taboo. Some of my best prayer times were me finally admitting to God and myself how angry I was at the injustice of it all. He didn’t turn away from my anger. He embraced me, held me closer, anger and all. With His help, I was able to work through it.

    And I hope today is not the only day you do this. This may have to become a weekly part of your self care.

    P.S.
    I’ve been contributing to Patreon since February for the sake of the cause. It is such a good cause. But I’ve not figured out how to get onto the Patreon Facebook page yet. A lot of personal/family drama. But I’d like to get on there soon. It’s good to be away from the buffoons who judge women for being angry at the things that God is angry about, abuse, oppression, and injustice.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Thanks for your constant support, Mara! I appreciate it.

      Reply
    • Jane Eyre

      You’re so right about the “cultish Keep Sweet” thing. I noticed over many years and with many people that those who wanted to harm or oppress me tried to shove me into a box labeled “nice,” or would completely berate me and hurt me for stepping one inch out of the “nice” lane.

      Reply
    • Sarah Long

      Mara, regarding the Patreon FB group: check the BM Patreon page (where the updates are), scroll down a bit, and you’ll see a link to the FB group. You’ll be able to request to join and they’ll approve you soon after. The FB group is a blast! 😊

      Reply
      • Mara R

        I did see your words, Sarah.
        Thank you for this. It’s just what I needed.
        Someone to hold my hand and walk me through.
        Now, all I need is a long enough time frame to sit down and do it rather than these fly bys I’ve been doing.

        Reply
  7. Helen

    Thank you so much Sheila for all you do for us, even when it has a negative effect on you. I was thinking the other day that I couldn’t ever do what you do because sometimes when I just look at some of the tweets you get my trauma is triggered and I feel unsafe for the rest of the day. But you’re still out there fighting our battles for us, for which I’m so grateful. Vicarious trauma is a thing and I can’t even imagine half the horrendous things you’ve faced on our behalf. Praying that God will give you strength and help you to process your emotions in a healthy way.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Thank you! I’ve done a lot of research into vicarious trauma and secondary trauma lately, and it does explain a lot. It really is exhausting. Thanks for your encouragement!

      Reply
  8. Codec

    Seems pretty reasonable to be angry to me.

    I am dealing with anger as well. In my case though it is self loathing. I feel horrible that I want to look at porn. I feel awful that I am not where I want to be. I feel awful that my fantasies are shaped by how I was abused, how I abused others, that I want to be seen, and that I want life to be fun.

    I use porn in part because I would rather not feel angry, but it just makes me angrier with myself.

    I have learned a lot from you. You have been nothing but kind to me and honestly it feels odd.

    I think that by addressing a lot of these issues you are addressing men. I know at least for myself that the idea of approaching a woman is scary. Well women have had to deal with being told that men are scary so why expect anything less than frustration?

    Self loathing is a strange thing.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, Codec, I hear you and I’m so sorry you’re struggling with this! I’d just say, don’t cocoon yourself. Talk to people, as much as you can. Volunteer at a soup kitchen (maybe you already do; forgive me if you’re already busy!). But sometimes the best way around self-loathing is to get out and talk to people who see the good side of you, and there obviously is a good side. We see it all the time in your comments. Hang in there.

      Reply
      • Codec

        I work with the homeless, I do Jiu Jitsu, I read, I am learning about streaming and internet forums. I am getting better. I have been in therapy before and I am on call with said therapist.

        I appreciate the kindness. Part of why I started using porn was because I believed I was too much of a loser to make a woman happy.

        Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          That’s awesome! I bet you do a lot of good with the homeless. You seem to care so deeply. I bet you’re a real benefit, even if you don’t always feel it.

          Reply
        • Lisa Johns

          Codec, I don’t know if this helps, but have you heard of the book Unwanted, by Jay Stringer? My husband says it’s very good.
          Much blessing to you as you keep up the good fight!

          Reply
          • Codec

            I have been rereading it.

    • Mara R

      Anger, when properly applied, can be the tool that calls us to action. It can be the tool that gives us the strength and energy to do the right thing.

      The Bible never tells us to not be anger. It instructs to not allow our anger to lead us astray into sin.

      Often, it is anger that finally gives the abused woman the strength and momentum to leave a bad marriage. (probs why abusers try to shove the anger of women back down their throats.)

      How anger strengthens and equips you, Codec, I cannot say. But it is something I’d like to hear about when you figure this out.

      Reply
    • Bonnie

      Dear Sheila,

      You have a God ordained ministry. But yes, Ministers burn out. You are completely right to be angry. As Him,you hate injustice. But it’s Jesus’s ministry. So like him, refuel. In ways that works for you. I KNOW you KNOW this. But hard to practice. But if you ever need to take an extended leave to do this, please do so. You will be missed but that’s good! Blessings, lass.

      Reply
      • Bonnie

        Thought of a beautiful hymn Sheila,

        “I heard the voice of Jesus say”…

        (Sorry, techno luddite here, don’t know how to link with a comment. )

        Reply
  9. Gloria Wells

    I stuffed my emotions in a horrible marriage for years until it affected my health. I can only imagine how hard this is for you. Buy a punching bag, go to the woods and yell, do whatever you need to do to let it out. Thank you for speaking up and doing what you do.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I was actually thinking of buying a punching bag! I was looking on Amazon last week. I don’t know what kind to get. I don’t want those balloon ones; I want one that has some heft to it, but do you have to hang it in a doorway?

      Reply
      • Jo R

        Just search for “punching bag with stand”! Lots of bag makers have stands, maybe all of them. 😉

        Reply
      • CMT

        As someone with several years of martial arts training, yes, go ahead and get something to hit! But please find someone who can teach you good technique so you don’t injure your hands or wrists 🙂

        What you are doing is making a difference. For me, the conversations here have helped me believe that a truly connected, mutual marriage isn’t a pipe dream, as I once feared. That, and God does not expect me to keep my mouth shut simply because I’m female! I’ve been able to move forward in my relationship with my husband in areas where we were stuck for years, and your work has been part of that for me. Thank you.

        Reply
        • Codec

          She has a point about hand injuries. Hey doesn’t your husband or your son do Jiu Jitsu? Try that miss Shiela it is helping me out.

          Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          That’s a good point about my wrists. 🙂 My son-in-law is quite good at this so he could likely help.

          I’m glad I could help you too!

          Reply
    • Andrea

      Sheila, I cannot recommend kickboxing enough! I would take a class instead of buying a punching bag, so you can learn the proper technique, to protect your knees, etc. It is so cathartic, not to mention a great exercise. Also, I wonder if your headache will subside now that you’ve expressed your anger, I hope it does.

      Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        I am actually feeling a lot better this morning! (I’m looking at all of these comments on Thursday morning now). A kickboxing class isn’t a bad idea.

        Reply
    • Joy

      Sheila, I’m thankful for your work. I’m 62, married 39 years and read Debi Pearl, Nancy Leigh Demoss and others. These harmful teachings have become my identity in a sense. I’m angry for these damaging teachings and at myself for believing them. I just happened upon your podcast last week. Blown away. Will be getting your books.
      So happy to learn one of our daughters reads your posts etc!🙌 I told our other daughter about your ministry and will be buying books for our children as they raise our 5 granddaughters- one of whom is a Vivian! Praying for you tonight. Thank you for your care and courage.

      Reply
      • Sheila Wray Gregoire

        Oh, I love that the cycle will be changing for your Vivian too!

        Reply
  10. Rachel BT

    Thank you for all the hard work, for shouldering criticism, for shouting into the darkness, and giving the rest of us a voice. Thank you for the hard work of surveys and research. Thank you for the peer reviews. Thank you for being angry.

    Reply
  11. recoverymode

    Keep up the good work — it has made a monumental difference in our lives, and we are ambassadors and change agents with this empowered message. Including in the church by opening up discussions, etc. Has really allowed us to open up these topics and provide teaching and guidance.

    Reply
  12. Carla

    Augustine of Hippo has a relevant quote, “Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.” I can afford to be pissy, because my voice is not powerful enough to attract attention from $100,000,000 organizations. I still go to therapy years after my divorce because there was so much from those years to process, and I don’t want that to have so much space in my head and heart. It helps. Thank you for your work and voice. It reflects God’s heart. God’s heart is for you too. Taking the time for self-care is healthy. You too are His dear daughter.

    Reply
    • Marie

      Oh I love that quote!!

      Reply
  13. Em

    Do you have a kickboxing studio in your town? Or axe throwing or one of those places where you can pay and go into a safe room and break things? They play angry music and give you plates or whatever and you just throw things until you feel better! 🙂

    Reply
  14. Rebekah

    I wondered when I read summaries about this podcast why women don’t snap right back at the men who recycle these myths that Jesus said, specifically in the context of dealing with lust, to cut off your hand, gouge out your eye if it offends you (causes you to sin). He put the onus for responsibility on the person with the lack of self-control. Why do women try to convince men to care about research showing women’s pain, when they are already so obviously saying that they don’t care about that? Jesus has an answer for the problem they keep talking about. These men are being truthful about where they stand. They are being truthful about how much they care for women. They just aren’t saying the quiet part out loud. They don’t actually say, “But I care more about the reputations of men like myself, about the sexual fulfillment of men like myself, than I will ever care about any harm done to women or children.” Instead, they push back on the data presented to them with myths that are completely shattered by real research. That man is who Jesus was addressing when he said to cut off the hand that causes you to sin. But I never see that called out. Why keep trying to change a heart problem with data? I don’t think that’s really possible. Sheila, I admire and am incredibly grateful for your work. It is tremendously helpful to those who have some curiosity and want to learn how to do better. Those who don’t want to learn, who want to cling to their myths so they don’t have to make radical change in their thinking and behavior should make you angry. I hope you find a healthy way to vent the anger so it doesn’t keep you from living a full life, and from doing the work you are so passionate about. Every woman in my family has been seriously harmed by the ideas you are fighting. Keep fighting for them, but take care of you too! Also, my nephew has a punching bag on a stand. Maybe that will work?

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Is it like a hard one so that you have to actually punch? That’s what I want I think, but I’m not sure what to search for on Amazon!

      Reply
      • Rebekah

        Oh yes! It was not inexpensive, but his parents got it used at a local sporting goods store for a deep discount, along with a good pair of gloves.

        Reply
        • Rebekah

          Checked with my sister. It’s a Figolo free standing punching bag. It has a water-filled base that can be emptied and refilled in order to make moving it easier. They got it at Play-It-Again Sports.

          Reply
          • Grace

            I grew up reading Martha Peace, Doug Wilson, and others, and I’m angry. You’ve heard worse stories than mine, but my story led me to hopelessness and pain. I wish I had been given the resources you’ve developed. I wish I had known I could set boundaries, that my opinions had worth, and so much more that I’ve learned from you. But my daughters will know that God loves them and they are important to Him, that he desires mercy more than sacrifice. They will know their worth. I’m so sorry you’re hurting, but thank you so much!

        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Oh cool! Thank you. i’ll post a picture when I get one! 🙂

          Reply
          • Rebekah

            Checked with my sister. It’s a Figolo free standing punching bag. It has a water-filled base that can be emptied and refilled in order to make moving it easier. They got it at Play-It-Again Sports.

    • Amy

      So much truth here!

      Reply
  15. exwifeofasexaddict

    Agree with the commenter who said women are not allowed to be angry. (And it’s the ONLY emotion men are allowed.) The thing is, when you blunt one emotion, you blunt all of them. When you can’t give full vent to your anger, you can’t fully feel the joy of the good things like seeing little children experience things for the first time either. And that is tragic.

    Your anger is valid, and deserves to be expressed. It’s quite reasonable for your malaise to be caused by unexpressed, unacknowledged anger. Let it fly. This is worth being angry about.

    Reply
  16. Janet Lescalleet

    Thank you! Thank you!
    The veil is lifting ever so slowly. Someday we’ll look back a wonder how in the world we thought any of this was even plausible.
    I hear you, believe you, and love the 3 of you. Blessings!!! ❤️

    Reply
  17. Jo R

    Sheila, so many things I want to say, but I’ll just say this.

    First, they ignored you. Then women (and men) took up your themes and reiterated them. Once that happened enough, the powers that be had to finally respond. And their responses were, well, 💩. So second, they had to resort to name-calling and the “see, women are too emotional” 🐄 💩 because they HAD NO OTHER ARGUMENT TO MAKE.

    We all need to keep pushing back with “Respond to my arguments, my theology, my QUOTING OF JESUS HIMSELF instead of what you clearly perceive as insults for daring to question a man who apparently has trouble keeping his 🍆 in his pants when around a female of ANY age, since, as we’ve been told for decades, all men lust.” Enough people are seeing that these “revered teachers” CANNOT BACK UP THEIR TEACHING WITH JESUS’ WORDS.

    We are metaphorically holding up your arms, per Exodus 17:12: “When Moses’s hands grew heavy, they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat down on it. Then Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other so that his hands remained steady until the sun went down.”

    Enormous hugs to you, Keith, Rebecca, Katie, Joanna, Connor, David, and Joanna’s husband, whose name escapes me, along with everyone else who supports your ministry, on behalf of all the people, women and men, you have helped along the path of healing through your blog, books, podcasts, talks, and social media posts. ❤️

    Reply
  18. Ember

    This post really hits home for me. Growing up in church and in a Christian home, I was always told I had to be ‘graceful’ about my emotions. The hard truth and subtext is: ‘you have a vagina so you are to be seen and not heard. Because of your genitalia, you’re a second class citizen and you don’t get the same rights and voice as the men do.’

    Which is, you know, absolute, made up BS.
    But that’s how existing as a woman in these Christian spaces so often feels and really IS; even though everyone likes to slap a pretty bow on it and pretend it’s not happening.
    It. Is. Happening.

    And right now my therapist is helping me and encouraging me to allow myself a season to be angry. To truly feel the hurt and all the feelings that I have had to push down and shut away for my entire life. All the emotional abuse, gaslighting, abuse from the church, all the loneliness, my abusive first marriage, all of the stuff that hurt so bad and made me so angry. But that I had to just….take.

    My therapist explained that emotions are kind of like ironic, because the more we try to bury them; shame them, tell them they shouldn’t exist, or pretend like they don’t exist, the louder and stronger they get.
    Once one brain is able to process that it’s sent its message, and we’re aware of potential danger, etc., the emotions will often settle. But you can’t try to manipulate it – you have to genuinely make space for it for this to work.

    It’s only in allowing space for them to be seen and felt, by extending ourselves the grace and compassion we so freely give to others, that those feelings are then witnessed and can rest – K.J. Ramsey discusses these sorts of things beautifully in both of her books.
    I’ve found that I allow myself portions of the day to let myself feel what I feel. Thankfully, after working on this some, it doesn’t feel like I’m loosing an untamable beast anymore….it just feels like I’m giving myself space to BE, without judging it. Bringing it to Jesus, and not asking Him to fix it. Just showing Him where it hurts and why, and letting that be enough sometimes.

    Emotions are hard but we are allowed to be angry. We’re allowed to be angry at injustice, evil, and darkness – even Jesus was driven to anger such that he flipped the tables in the Temple and drove people out with a whip. So…I do think that we are more than allowed to feel anger, and that often if we examine the roots of it, we will often find it is communicating something to us that is damaging us, that we need to give time and attention to healing. And maybe set some new boundaries in our lives.

    Thank you for sharing, Sheila. Your work has meant the world to me. It helped me have the courage to get out of my first abusive marriage. You are incredible and are truly doing the Lord’s work. I think of you, Rachel Denhollander, K.J. Ramsey, Julie Roys, and Diane Langberg and thank God for all of you so much. 💛

    Reply
    • Kylie Grayston

      I think the more you suppress it the more it will try to burst out in your public teaching. You need a healthy habit of crying and screaming and bashing things to move it through your body/process it fully and THEN, after that, you will write from a place of clarity and empowerment.

      Reply
  19. NM

    Hi Sheila, I’m so sorry about the headache. I had a headache most of the year during my most intense time of gender-role deconstructing (and finding out someone close to me is in an emotionally abusive marriage). It’s a lot better now, but it still comes back if I get triggered. Praying you can find a healthy way to let the anger out. I was so impressed with how you and Rebecca handled Preston without losing it, but I’m sorry it takes such a toll on you.

    Reply
  20. Amanda

    There is a place in my town where you can go and break stuff. They give you a suit and goggles and a room full of breakable things. And you go in and destroy. I have almost gone several times, because I am also angry. And as an enneagram 9, a stuffer and someone who is just trying her best to avoid conflict, I don’t let myself feel it. It is exhausting to suppress, to constantly switch to a damage control mindset, and have to defend yourself. I am grateful that your children and your husband are supportive, and they see it and back you up. But that doesn’t make the others tearing you down any less present. You are right in your anger. It is righteous. And as someone who never had the words to say what was inside me, you validated my experience and feelings in a way no one else had before. I am so grateful for you. I would never have been able to start to come to terms with my anger at the church, at my husband, at the evangelical machine that runs over women to keep men in power without your work. I am so forever grateful for opening up the great sex rescue and seeing my experience and feelings validated and told I was not alone. I’m sorry you are carrying this mantle. But it has made such an enormous difference to so many. You are fighting the good fight, you are keeping the faith, you are encouraging and loving God’s sheep. Thank you.

    Reply
  21. Susanna H

    I’m so sorry this has been done to you. I’m sorry for your headache, for the deaf ears your messages fall on, for the ways you are required to diminish yourself and your passion for this in order to be heard at all.
    For what it’s worth, on that podcast you reference… I really do think Preston heard you. I think you finally got through. And it sucks that you had to be so calm and “rational” in order for that to happen, but he is one of the good guys and I truly believe he is listening. Learning and changing is hard for all of us. (I also don’t think he really heard what he himself seemed to be saying, that he had conflated some things, like you said on Twitter, without realizing it or how harmful that is.)
    But all that aside, thank you for the work you do and the spirit in which you do it and may we all come around you to make this world a better place for women.

    Reply
    • loruhamah

      This seems likely to me, that he wasn’t even really paying that much attention to what he himself was saying. They get so used to talking so much and being acclaimed no matter what, that they don’t have much incentive to be cautious.

      Reply
    • Lisa M

      Do you listen to him or read him regularly? He always presents himself and open and “on the fence” and then goes right back to his conservative opinions. I truly hope you are right and he did start to get it. He hadn’t even read the book but his daughters are. There is hope.

      Reply
      • Susanna H

        I do listen to him and read his stuff very regularly, yes. And I think it’s unfair to say that he always returns to a previous opinion. He comes from a veerrryyy conservative/fundamentalist background. That stuff takes a long time to undo. Ask me how I know 🥴😅

        Reply
  22. Laura

    “And I know I’m not alone. I know so many of you are just plowing ahead because you have to, especially those of you who have escaped abusive marriages, and you’re fighting for custody and the courts aren’t listening to you and you’re working two jobs and your church has abandoned you.”

    “But I wish I didn’t have to keep a lid on the anger so much. I wish I could stop thinking strategy, and just let myself feel. Because it is exhausting.”

    These two quotes resonated with me so much as a woman who left an abusive husband and is now navigating the fragililities of post-divorce custody. I wish you could REST, Sheila, and feel what you feel. Because always having to strategize is exhausting. My hope for you is rest for your soul, rest for your mind, and rest for your heart. You are worth it. Just as much as the women and girls whose lives you are changing.

    Reply
  23. loruhamah

    Thank you. The fact that yall in your team, even the men, have hope that people will listen and then stand up against this stuff, that means a lot to me and amazes me. Many people in churches in the southern USA have tried to peacefully raise questions about this for so long… and have been ruthlessly silenced by threats that even taking a few minutes to ask the questions was going to bring the fiery wrath of God. It’s been so accepted that women have spaghetti brains, and listening to them is a waste of time, and women trying to be heard are evil and lazy. And the few women who have the safety of not being abused, have been distracted by all kinds of other stuff like holding fancy teas where they have to be sure to bring certain exact baked goods from scratch. Thank you for persevering. Some people are like the children Jesus said are never satisfied with the game… they don’t think they should have to listen to smiling women, they don’t think they should have to listen to grieving women, they don’t think they should have to listen to women loudly sounding an alarm about abuse… they think they are protected by the Bible from having to take any time to listen to women, period. And I understand Jesus has the right to bring justice as slowly as He chooses, but His slow timing breaks my heart every day.

    Reply
  24. Lisa Manske

    If telling the truth is the equivalent of destroying the Evangelical church, then we should ALL be destroying the Evangelical church. If Evangelicalism cannot survive without rape culture, I’ll bring the marshmallows to the bonfire as it burns.

    I am glad you took a day to rest. When I listened to that podcast where the host claimed various things were “just facts” and “biology” and “proven,” I yelled at my phone, “CITATION NEEDED, BUDDY.” Especially after he had just said he doesn’t trust peer-reviewed research because it’s all politicized. Clearly, he trusts research if it supports his opinions and dismisses it when it doesn’t. You truly did a generous thing by going on that podcast. The people who listen to that podcast would never hear the message, otherwise, as they have been indoctrinated to not listen to any sources that contradict what their big leaders say.

    I’m so glad the book is pre-selling so well. I hope you can soon get a break from getting mansplained about consent and rape.

    Reply
  25. Karey Crain

    Shiela, thank your for sharing your truth, and for holding together so well for so many years, and for simmering with rage along with the rest of us. We will dismantle this brick by brick because the kingdom of God will prevail and destroy every false system in its oath. But it is so hard to watch them fight it, to watch them repeatedly disparage the humanity and divinity of their sisters.

    Reply
  26. Laura

    Wow! I totally feel you Sheila. I deal with headaches quite a bit and I’ve been feeling a lot of anger toward American Christianity for the last 3 years. God knows how we feel and bringing it to Him helps me alot. I just need to be better about it. Rest well and keep fighting when you feel better. You have been a huge blessing to me for 2 years now.

    Reply
  27. Nessie

    I think you are experiencing trauma, which makes sense, but being ridiculed and discredited for the appropriate response. I wonder how many people tried to discredit Jesus’ actions in the temple with the moneychangers, and how He handled that afterwards.

    I am now much safer because of you. I have stopped my husband’s abusiveness, and he is slowly coming around. You gave me the awareness and confidence to fight for myself. I no longer feel that those around me would be better off if I died. That change is you and God working together in my life!

    I am starting to see God not as an entity that wants to minimize, control, and make me feel ashamed and worthless but as a Sovereign Being who made me and is loving me through all my doubts and pains, a Lord who is healing me. I have finally found a healthy, safe church because of your encouragement that they do actually exist.

    I will pray you find healing in your anger, and a way to express and process it that you feel good about. You are going on my family’s prayer board.

    I wonder if some of your anger is rooted in fear- that you can’t help all the women that have experienced so much hurt nor the women who will be hurt by these idiots that perpetuate such hateful heresies. That burden is great, and not yours alone to carry. Please hear this though- I honestly feel I am still alive because of the work you have done. There are not words enough to thank you, but THANK YOU!.

    I imagine God one day welcoming you with open arms and tears in His eyes, encouraging you with an emotional, “Well done, amazingly good and incredibly faithful servant! Come take your rest in Me.”

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, Nessie, this is so beautiful! I hadn’t realized the depth of your story and my role in it. Thank you for sharing that.

      This really resonated with me. I’m going to have to process this: ‘I wonder if some of your anger is rooted in fear- that you can’t help all the women that have experienced so much hurt nor the women who will be hurt by these idiots that perpetuate such hateful heresies. That burden is great, and not yours alone to carry. “

      Reply
  28. Sarah R

    Ah, I’m so sorry this has kept you from fun family times, Sheila, but know that your anger is so, so valid. And shared, by all the people who are pushing back against the evil you expose on a daily basis. I’ve also only really begun uncovering the depths of my own anger, both my personal anger with my father due to his infidelity which has exploded our family and forced me and my siblings into demi-parental roles with our distraught mother, anger with another entitled male family member who keeps forcing others to bear the consequences of his emotional immaturity, and more widely at the deep-rooted misogyny in evangelical culture, such as the fact that my church still quotes John Piper and MacArthur in sermons despite them being complicit in the abuse of women and children. (Yeah, I may leave that church … but it’s hard. I’m embedded there, with good people that love me deeply there too.)

    I’m so tired, so done with hearing the same old excuses.
    I haven’t yet listened to the podcast with Preston as I was sure it would enrage me. Kudos for keeping calm but it’s so frustrating that you have to in order to be heard.

    Honestly, I’ve started swearing more than I usually do. I’ve always been told it’s wrong but it does help express how I’m feeling. I cry, pray, swear and sing hymns, sometimes all within the same half hour. Punching bag does sound like a good shout though.

    Thank you for all you do Sheila (and Rebecca and Joanna!) 💙

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      When Joanna and Rebecca and I started doing this work we never swore. I’m not sure if Rebecca had ever said a swear word. That has now changed.

      Reply
  29. Cynthia

    I know and appreciate that you want to be strategic and focus on getting your message across.

    I work in family law and child protection, and sometimes have similar issues where I need to stay calm in order to do my job. I need to think logically and present arguments and give the other side a chance to speak. At the same time, though, I’ve gradually learned that there can be a place for strong emotions like anger. I will drop f-bombs in the office and during meetings (although not in court), because sometimes that is exactly what is needed. It is an acknowledgement that the way someone is being treated is outrageous. A certain type of anger can bring clarity. We can speak the plain truth: someone has been treated in a way that is awful and abusive, and that SHOULD upset us. We can refuse to allow language that minimizes and obscures what is happening and tries to make it sound righteous.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      That must be so draining too! Thank you.

      Reply
  30. KG

    Do what you need to in taking care of yourself. But hang in there. My wife has used the saying, “The pioneers are the ones with the arrows in their backs.” You must be doing something right to be the target of those seen as evangelical leaders. You have opened my eyes, and those of so many others, and I have no doubt many pray for you regularly that your insight and message continues to change hearts and minds. I wish I had heard your message decades ago when I was a teen.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Thank you!

      Reply
  31. Becky

    Sheila, I just wanted to say thank you what you’re doing.. I have found your ministry and work relatively recently, and just such a breath of fresh air! I have never heard anyone teach on topics of sexual pain in a Christian setting, and I’m not ashamed to say I cried at many of your posts/podcasts, and I truly felt so seen. This ministry is so vital for so many women and you do it with such compassion and expertise. Please be encouraged that what you are doing is truly essential. So thank you 🙂

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Thank you, Becky.

      Reply
  32. Jen

    Oh, Sheila. Good job releasing that pent up righteous emotion. Breathe it out. The LORD is with you and He sees and hears it all. You are not alone. We are all with you. Thank you for leading the charge and bringing freedom to those with ears to hear.

    Last night at our small group meeting I tried to share just a wee bit of the idea that many of our marriage books are causing harm, are imitating the world, not Christ, and are confining us to caricatures of men and women instead of unique followers of Jesus. I dared to mention Love and Respect and one of the men literally got up and walked out of the meeting. There were only ten of us in the room. He just stood up and left, even as I said, “we can talk about these things – it’s okay if we disagree.” Nope, angrily left the house because I dared to question the book he’d read three times. He wouldn’t even hear what I had to say about it.

    The discussion about the relationships between women and men in the community of God is hitting nerves. I believe God is shaking the Church. He’s going to clean up His own people before He deals with the world. And people don’t like being called to account.

    Rest today and keep going. You are breaking bondages. Blessings.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Thank you for speaking up! Imagine walking out over that. Sheesh.

      Reply
  33. Petra

    Hi Sheila! I have been a lurker on your website for a few months and have been listening to various episodes of your podcast from the beginning. I found you on Twitter via someone else I follow…and the rest is history!

    Let me add to what everyone else is saying: you are important, your emotions matter, and you are doing amazing Kingdom work. My mom was in an abusive marriage (divorced my bio father and then married to the love her life, an absolutely amazing, wonderful man who treats her right EVEN in the bedroom!) and I cannot help but wonder if SHE had heard anything that you talk about, if she would have stayed in it for the 20 years she did. She did the right Christian wifely thing, being submissive, small, quiet; constantly shamed, put down, and degraded by my father. I am not married myself, but growing up in that environment taught me a lot of wrong things about how Christian women should act and how Christian marriage works. I am so, so thankful for your work and your ministry!

    Oh, and….you’re allowed to be angry. 🙂 Scream into a pillow. Seriously. Get it out. Your body will thank you for it. Anger is not meant to be kept in. And as my counselor has pointed out to me, anger is a secondary emotion. There is almost always a deeper emotion driving the anger. (My driving emotion is generally a sense of injustice or of being wronged.) So…. It makes sense to me that you feel angry. You should, actually. And anger tells us that our hearts still work, they still feel, and that we can still discern rightness and wrongness in the world around us. If we never got angry, motivation for correcting and addressing the bad in our world would be much, much lower.

    So ummmm all that to say…thank you, and your feelings are valid.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Thank you, Petra! And welcome to the comment section. I’m glad you found me!

      Reply
  34. Sara A.

    Sheila, when I look at people who fought diligently for social change, it always took years and years. Have you read “7 Women” by Eric Metaxes? It’s an easy read, but sooo inspiring. All the women in there changed the world, but it wasn’t easy.

    I am not an influencer or anyone with any platform, but you’ve changed my way of thinking, and I’ve talked to others about it. There are thousands of ordinary people like me doing the same. I know it would be easier and more fulfilling to have big name pastors, platformers and podcasters supporting you, but know that change is happening for ordinary people. I’ll raise my sons differently from what I learned. Please don’t get get discouraged. Change is happening.

    Reply
  35. Julie

    I’m taking notes as you challenge and correct those bullies. Their arguments are the same ones the men in my life are using.
    I’ve never really learned how to stand up to male authority, and you always respond with grace and class.
    Thank you. You are so appreciated.

    Reply
  36. Patty

    This makes me angry, too. So I just pre-ordered 2 more copies of “She Deserves Better” so I can give them away. Standing with you.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      HA! I love that.

      Reply
  37. Jennifer

    Thank you so much for the work you are doing, Sheila! For all the ways you actually back up assertions with research instead of just opinion! I’m learning so much and trying to undo the unhealthy, just accepted by everybody teachings I’ve heard my whole life about men’s & women’s roles, about marriage, & now about raising daughters. I’m gradually trying to present to my small group at church that there are other, valid ways to think about these things. But admittedly it feels like 3 steps forward, 3 steps backward. I cannot say enough how thankful I am for your good, good work! May God bless it and you and your team & family!

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      It is often harder to talk about this stuff with people in your real life. So good for you!

      Reply
  38. Eps

    You (and the team!) have literally changed my life for the better.

    You have helped me support others for the better.

    And you have helped me reconcile the God I know with what the Bible actually says, not what people say it says. I knew it, but couldn’t always explain it.

    Thank you. I pray for you, the team and your ministry.

    I share you with everyone I can.

    Your work is important. The fight you constantly battle is seen. And so, so appreciated. I know Jesus is fighting it with you.

    Thank you for helping me see Jesus love more.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      That last sentence–that’s everything.

      Reply
  39. T

    Dear Sheila,

    Reading what you’ve written, you remind me of another battle I’m following right now.

    Have you ever heard of the Tennessee Three? If not, short recap: There was a school shooting at a PCA school in Nashville, and thousands of people protested at the Tennessee State Capitol. Three Democratic lawmakers went to the floor to recognize those protesters and chant a bit with them during a recess, which the Republican supermajority took as a breach of decorum & moved to expel the 3 lawmakers over (which is amazing, given the long list of things they hadn’t expelled lawmakers over). The two young Black men were expelled, while the older White woman barely was not. So the issue is gun violence mixed with the racism our country still hasn’t properly dealt with & repented of.

    But I am so struck by the faith of these two young, Black Christians. Their message, which I think has been circulating since the civil rights movement in the 60s: If we don’t give up, we will win someday. This video was striking, of Rep. Pearson comforting a mother whose child attends the school that was shot up: https://twitter.com/SarahShoop33/status/1644321833246769158

    This makes me think of you. You are fighting a long battle against the misogynistic teachings of our White evangelical community, just like the long battles against racism & gun violence. It takes a real toll. It is emotionally heavy, as you carry the weight of all the image-bearers of God injured and ignored by the leaders of the White evangelical industrial complex. But you aren’t alone. A lot of us are with you. And if we don’t give up, we will win. ❤

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I have been following that, especially Anna Caudill’s tweets. She was a good friend of Katherine Koonce who was murdered, and she’s been covering this well. I found their speeches really inspirational .

      One thing that was said: “If you don’t quit, you can’t lose.” I keep thinking about that!

      Reply
  40. EOF

    “I’ve been writing for years and people only started paying attention when I got just a little bit angry.”

    That’s the problem: Men in complementarianism don’t listen to women until we get angry, but then they say that’s WHY they won’t listen to us. It’s called EXCUSES.

    My husband often doesn’t listen to me until I get mad. Then he wonders why I can go from 0 to pissed in 1 second. And this only happens with him! Go figure.

    Reply
    • Lisa Johns

      Same. I’m with ya, sista!

      Reply
  41. Lisa Johns

    Oh friend, I’d give you a big hug and chocolate chip cookies if I had the chance. I hope your day off was blessed and refreshing.

    Reply
  42. Diana

    Sheila, everyone is asking “what about the boys” because this is how people have been trained to think, for generations now. The brain-wrinkles are deep for this question.

    When my brain asks it, as I listen or read your words, it’s not saying, “I think you’re wrong.” In fact, my gut knows you’re right, but my brain is still following its reactionary, trained response: “When someone says A, you should think B.” What you’re doing is retraining: “When someone says A, think C!!!”

    Your words are combatting those felt lies, helping us not only know, but feel that your words are the truth.

    I took Preston’s words as “I want to believe you, but here are the lies my brain is telling me. Help me fight these lies too.”

    I don’t know if this helps. I appreciate your thoughtful work.

    Reply
  43. Kay O.

    Sheila, THANK YOU for all the work you do and have done. I’m so, so sorry for the personal toll that it takes on you.

    This is a conviction – not just a “job” – and that is what makes your work more powerful and helpful to those who need it – and so much more painful and frustrating when you meet with hardcore ignorance and indifference.

    You may never convince the whole world of the things that you know are right and good – but there are a myriad of us who appreciate you and owe you so very much.

    If you haven’t seen this before, I hope it gives you a raw and validating laugh …

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=51-hepLP8J4

    Bless you. ♥️

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      That’s so good!

      Reply
    • Lisa Johns

      I love Tracy Ullman — she nails it every time! 😂

      Reply
  44. Annie

    Sheila – you have inspired so many of us to rise up and speak out. You have helped give words to what many of us have felt. You’ve helped empower and given us a voice. You’ve given us data. You’ve given us validation. You’ve given us so very much. I’m so grateful for the work you and your team have done in SPITE of the mental and emotional toll it’s taken on you.

    And just like you keep telling all of us… YOU deserve better.

    We love you. We stand with you.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Thank you so much, Annie!

      Reply
  45. Serena

    I bought the books for my friends, I’m getting the word out there as much as I can.
    And also, thank you.
    And also, I’m praying for you.
    And also, I would send you some of my favorite tea if I could, because tea fixes everything (no, I know not really, but it’s my go to.)

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I love tea!

      Reply
  46. Nathan W

    Sheila, you’re completely justified. Nor, do I think, is it wrong for you to actually get ANGRY and really BE angry. The Bible is full of individuals who got angry and did great things for God. Embrace that.

    On the topic of boys resources (and I promise I’m not making this a “what about the boys!” situation), what are some good resources for men? Especially something that would parallel “She Deserves Better”. I want to be a father someday and I would love a book (preferably many!) that teach me good ways to raise a son (of course I’ll be picking up “She Deserves Better” as well for a daughter) and don’t promote toxicity. And if it doesn’t really exist yet…how would Keith feel about writing one with Rebecca’s husband?

    No pressure on him, of course. I appreciate what you do!

    Reply
  47. sjhearn

    I’m learning (slowly, ploddingly) to give myself permission to walk away from conversations with people who don’t have ears to hear. Jesus took a boat across the sea to get space from the religious elite and while I’d love to take an oceanic trip, I know (now) that I can just leave – that it’s not a sin to leave and in fact, it’s something Jesus modeled. It’s a better way.

    I’m learning (slowly, painfully) there’s a difference between those who are unlearned, those who are blissfully ignorant, those who are intentionally obtuse/recalcitrant and those who are spiritual narcissists. I’ve been praying for wisdom to discern the differences between them and that similarly, God would reveal to me ways in which I’ve been deaf to His message through the voices of marginalized people in my life. It’s taken me awhile to even know this was a question I needed to ask. But I’m asking now, and I know I can wait with expectation that He will respond – because He said he would – because I know He has ears to hear me when my heart aligns with His.

    I really hope your headache goes away. I hope you give yourself permission to say to those who don’t have ears to hear Jesus’s message of freedom that you are leaving the conversation – that you can hit that red hang up button and walk away. Maybe God could use your silence to say more than your words ever could.

    All that to say, I am truly grateful for all you at GSR. Because of you, I’m learning how to unlearn ugly aspects of God that never were true. Thank you all for teaching us – we owe you orchards of apples!

    Reply

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