Top 10 Posts and Podcasts on Bare Marriage in 2023!

by | Jan 5, 2024 | Bare Marriage | 10 comments

Top 10 posts and podcasts Bare Marriage 2023

Let’s review the biggest posts from 2023!

Happy New Year, everybody! I’m so grateful to those who follow the blog diligently, but also excited about those of you who have just found me. And at the beginning of each year, I like to look back and see what posts made splashes the year before–what really resonated. It helps me see what people are really interested in.

Now, if you’re one of the 45,000 people who are signed up for our emails, you will have received Rebecca’s email last week on the most commented on posts in 2023! And if you’re not signed up, you really should be, because her Friday thoughts are awesome. 

But I’m going to list here the top 10 posts in terms of traffic. These are posts that tend to be shared a lot, and those that Google ends up liking. So here goes!

Download Our Marriage Survey

Join 40,00 others and let's change the evangelical conversation about sex

Let’s count down the biggest posts for 2023!


10. The Problems with the Book For Women Only

Problems with For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn

I’m glad that two of my book synopses made it into the top 10! When we did our analysis of the best-selling marriage books when writing The Great Sex Rescue, For Women Only was one of the worst offenders. In our focus groups, women told us that the book that they were most likely to learn that “all men struggle with lust” was For Women Only (even though Shaunti Feldhahn denies teaching this).

Though I’ve written about the book before, in this post I summarize all of my issues with the book, and provide a downloadable copy so that you can share it with your ministry leader, small group leader, or pastor.

9. A Summary of the Issues With Love & Respect by Emerson Eggerichs (with Download)

Summary of the Problems with the Book Love & Respect by Emerson Eggerichs

Love & Respect is the most-used marriage curriculum in North American churches. It came on our radar in 2019, and when we read it we saw some major problems. We created a report of our findings and sent it to Focus on the Family (which publishes the book), but they ignored us.

In the course of that research, we created a rubric of healthy sexuality teaching and applied it to evangelical best-sellers.

8. Sex is Important in Marriage

Healthy Sex LIfe Healthy Marriage

When sex is mutual, intimate, and pleasurable for both, sex makes you feel connected. It minimizes minor tensions and makes you laugh. It helps you sleep and makes you feel more relaxed. And it contributes significantly to marital satisfaction.

7. You Deserve a Grown-Up Spouse: Let’s Talk Weaponized Incompetence

Weaponized incompetence is a form of entitlement that says, “Even though I could do this myself, I’m going to do less than my capabilities because I know that my partner will pick up my slack.”

And it’s not how grown ups act.

6. How Can the Higher Drive Spouse Avoid Giving the Obligation Sex Message?

Don't give obligation sex message

This was the last post in the obligation sex series, and I wanted to answer the most common question I had from this series–can we look at it from the other point of view?

Most of the series has been looking at the lower-drive spouse and the effects of pressure and obligation. But what if you’re the higher drive spouse, you don’t want to pressure your spouse, but you’re also really frustrated?

5. It’s Not All Sin: The Problem with Over-Spiritualizing Our Problems

Not everything is sin

Sin isn’t the cause of all the bad or counterproductive things we do.

And blaming it on sin does harm.

When you have the wrong diagnosis, you’re going to have the wrong solution. And that can actually compound the problem.

4. Obligation Sex Series: 10 Things to Know About Obligation Sex

10 Things to Know about Obligation Sex

Obligation sex is the idea that a wife is obligated to have sex when her husband wants to. It’s that simple.

I’ve talked about all of these before in posts and podcasts, but I want to put them all together in one place for easy reference, and for new readers.

3. The Kissing Series: 7 Reasons Kissing in Marriage Can Stop!

Kissing in Marriage

Most of us (over 90%) kissed breathlessly before we were married, according to our surveys. But not all of us enjoy kissing now. That may not be a problem, of course.

If you’re someone who just doesn’t like swapping salivia, but you still enjoy touch, and your spouse does too, then that’s great! You don’t need to feel like you’re doing anything wrong, and keep doing just what you’re doing!

But often kissing falls to the wayside for other reasons.

2. Does John MacArthur Think Husbands Are Their Wives’ Saviors? 

I recently saw a meme on social media of a terrible take by John MacArthur who was insinuating that just as Christ is our savior, so the husband is the wife’s savior.

And that is just a terribly blasphemous thing to say.

And now the biggest post on Bare Marriage for 2023!

1.  The ESV Bible Translation is Terribly Sexist- And It was Designed to Be!

The ESV is a Sexist Translation

They even said that when they were translating it! It was commissioned in order to counteract the TNIV translation, which tried to be gender neutral in all places where the Greek was gender neutral, replacing words like “men” and “man” with people, human, humanity, etc.

Wayne Grudem, who headed up the ESV translation team, doesn’t like things being gender neutral, and so they endeavoured to make a translation that was not gender neutral–even if the Greek or other original languages were.

Now let’s turn to the top podcasts of 2023!

Most of the top ones are from the beginning of the year, so that they’ve had more time to be downloaded! And once again, in reverse order, we have:

5. How Emerson Eggerichs Misuses Scripture in Love & Respect

Emerson Eggerichs Misusing Scripture in Love & Respect

Honestly, when you look at how Emerson Eggerichs distorts and actually changes Scripture in Love & Respect, I’m amazed that pastors didn’t stand up and say, “this book isn’t okay.” But instead it became a best-seller because pastors liked the message that gave men authority over women.

Here, professor Nijay Gupta joins Joanna and me to talk about instances of Scripture misuse in the book (and there are many).

4. How the Modesty Message Affects Us Long-Term

How do modesty rules affect women long-term?

When our book She Deserves Better came out, one of the big things we looked at was the long-term effect of being taught modesty messages as teens. Here, Rebecca and I go into the data–and it’s sobering!

3. Philip Payne and The Bible vs. Biblical Womanhood

Philip Payne The Bible vs Biblical Womanhood

This was such a refreshing interview as Philip Payne explains why studying history, Scripture, and ancient languages convinced him that God created women to be fully equal partners in the gospel and in marriage. Here he goes over some of the major Scriptural supports for seeing women as equals, and seeing marriage as mutual. A super informative interview!

2. How Every Young Man’s Battle Makes Everything Worse

Every Young Man's Battle is terrible review

Honestly, this was a horrific podcast to prepare for. I had to pick out all kinds of quotes from Every Young Man’s Battle to discuss, and they were awful. Pornographic. Objectifying. Demeaning.

Yet this was the main book churches were using to teach teen boys about lust and porn. 

Church, we simply MUST do better. This was a great interview!

And now the biggest Podcast on Bare Marriage for 2023!

1.  What’s the Problem with Power of a Praying Wife?

The problems with Power of a Praying Wife

Power of a Praying Wife has sold more than 10,000,000 copies–and it’s a super harmful book. 

In this podcast, my friends Sarah McDugal and Gretchen Baskerville show why the theology is so dangerous for those in destructive marriages (a large percentage of those who read the book), and why we need to stop teaching that fixing a husband’s addictions, infidelity, or abusive rages is up to a wife’s prayers. 

I’m glad this one was my #1 podcast, because it’s an important one!

So there you go, the best of 2023!

What will 2024 bring? I’m excited to find out. And I’m glad you’re on this journey with me!

On Monday we’ll be starting a new series on coming up with a new sexual ethic for Christians that better embodies what it means to keep Jesus at the center. And our podcast begins next Thursday, with a call to let men be men (and stop infantilizing them in evangelical literature!).

Top 10 Posts and Podcasts from 2023

What would you like to hear more about in 2024? Let me know in the comments!

Written by

Sheila Wray Gregoire


Recent Posts

Want to support our work? You can donate to support our work here:

Good Fruit Faith is an initiative of the Bosko nonprofit. Bosko will provide tax receipts for U.S. donations as the law allows.

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

What Christian Authors Can Learn from Academia

Science often makes leaps and bounds by disproving previous assumptions and hypotheses. Galileo turned the world upside down (literally) by positing that the world wasn't flat; that it was round and revolved around the sun. For centuries Newton's theories were the...


We welcome your comments and want this to be a place for healthy discussion. Comments that are rude, profane, or abusive will not be allowed. Comments that are unrelated to the current post may be deleted. Comments above 300 words in length are let through at the moderator’s discretion and may be shortened to the first 300 words or deleted. By commenting you are agreeing to the terms outlined in our comment and privacy policy, which you can read in full here!


  1. Andrea

    Dear Sheila, do you know that Dave and Ashley Willis of the Naked Marriage podcast are now talking about the orgasm gap??? Hmmm, I wonder where they heard that. NOBODY in the Christian world used that term before you and now they’re all quoting you without proper citation. It makes me furious for you, but also so very happy about the huge impact you’re having. Happy new year!

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      That’s how I kind of feel about it too! I’m happy the convo is changing, but ticked off that people don’t cite me!

      And Happy New Year, Andrea!

    • Jo R

      Are you sure they weren’t talking about the number of hours between HIS orgasms, like making sure it’s less than seventy-two?

      /sarc, as I’ve never heard of those people.

  2. Mara R

    I’m still around and figuring out how to keep going forward from my 2021 divorce. Due to focusing on a grown son who is dealing with mental health issues, I’ve not been able to focus much on my own mental health which would include seeing a therapist. I started a series called “Let Women Tell Their Stories” which is one way for me to hash out and recover from living with a narcissistic man while trying to navigate my faith and all the “off” Christian teachings out there.

    The title was inspired by a quote from Ngina’s blog post “Do Pastor’s Ask Women To Be Saviors and Mothers to Their Husbands?” which I link to in the first episode of this series. Her post ties in well with number 2 and 7 of your top ten blog posts for 2023. And I’m thankful to God for her and you for laying these things out and questioning all the “off” teachings out there that hurt and enslave women.

    Part 3 of my series came up today:

    The label that I have linking these posts is Mother/Servant/Savior. Had to throw in “Servant”. Because while Mother and Savior both hold a bit of an element of authority, we know that those who preach for women to coddle and save their husbands absolutely DON’T want there to be any idea of a woman having authority over a man, especially her husband.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, Mara, you’re going to love our first three podcasts of the year! We’re going to be talking about how evangelical resources teach that men need to be coddled, and what a low view of men that is. Thanks for the link–I’ll take a look at your articles. Happy New Year, and good to see you!

  3. Anonymous305

    Regarding podcast #2, I struggle with the fact that Andrew Bauman has compassion for sex addicts when I want to kick them in the balls, although he’s probably right because God would rather see people repent than burn.

    In that context, it meant SO much to me that he added “and their wives are dying inside” because he noticed and cared about the victims of his clients. I’m used to a world where those who have compassion on the addict don’t have compassion on the family with betrayal trauma. “I wish you had more empathy for his struggle!!” “Addiction is a disease and you’re leaving the sick one??!!” 6 words of acknowledging the wives were HUGE!!

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Yes, it’s such a difficult thing! The wives are being betrayed, are being objectified. They don’t experience the intimacy that was promised them, because often husbands aren’t able to be vulnerable. they feel rejectd and unloved.

      And at the same time, so many of these men got into porn when they were so young. They never learned proper coping techniques. So many hate themselves.

      It’s a huge, huge mess. We all deserve better.

      • Bernadette

        This reminds me of an article I think I read here. It said action and intent should not be conflated, because pointing out harmful behavior is not the same as accusing someone of harmful intent.

        And it also said the safety of the victim comes first. (Which I know you champion, even if I’m wrong about who wrote the article.)

        I think both those points can be helpful to counselors.

        Prioritize safety of victim. Bare minimum, do not make things worse for victim. Do not help client feel as if their behavior wasn’t as bad as it was.

        Counselor should also know that harmful behavior does not mean harmful intent, and no intent to harm does not mean no harm was done.

      • Hammy

        Will you do a summary of the harmfulness of “Sheet Music”? My husband and I got married in 2023 and that was the book given to us during pre marriage counseling. Let me just say YUCK. We flipped through it and threw it out within a day of receiving it. We saw so many red flags in it.

        • Anonymous305

          Mr. Happy’s creepy puppet show 🤮🤮.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *