The blind side: what works for the pastor usually does not work for you

Remember back to the typical maxim I use:

  • Women are attracted to the pastor, worship band leader, Bible study leader and not usually the Church janitor, parking lot helper, or door greeter.

In general, the vast majority of pastors and other popular Christians seem to have a big blind spots in in terms of their what the Scriptures say about husbands and wives and what should actually be put into practice.

As Jack has been pointing out with the series in articles like the responsible figurehead and the bungling dimwitted lazy husband, it seems to be the case where the Christian pastors or popular Christian authors fall into a warped view of Christian marriage. For instance, it’s common for pastors to refer to things like hyper-patriarchy (e.g. the alternate named ‘abusive authority’ via feminists) or the wife is the ruler of the home based on a misinterpretation of Titus 2. Likewise, it’s common to fall into the trap of attempting to headship a version of appeasing wives’ feeling (e.g. happy wife, happy life).

There also seems to be multiple reasons for this.

  • Focus on the family articles with Dobson, Mohler, and others typically fall into the trap of an actual husband being so committed to the ministry that his wife is getting ignored. Once they start to pull back from their ministry and give more attention to their wife, their marriage improves. This gives them the impression that to fix their marriage problems most other men would do well to focus on their wife more.

However, most men are actually focusing on their wife too much! They are making their wife their mission instead of actually having a mission aligned with the Great Commission. Therefore, this often backfires.

The PUAs got at least one thing right which is #3 of the 16 commandments of poon:

III. You shall make your mission, not your woman, your priority

If your wife is your mission then you are serving her and not God. The Bible clearly states that from the beginning that God’s mission takes priority (e.g. take dominion over the earth, cultivate and keep the garden/earth) and that hasn’t changed with Jesus’ Great Commission which is make disciples to take dominion over the earth and cultivate people. Your wife is your helper in this, and she is not the main mission.

  • As pointed out in the responsible figurehead, it appears Doug Wilson along with Bnnon and Foster seem to fall into another trap that is common with pastors. Since pastors and other leaders in the Church have authority and high status, it is much easier for them to actually have authority to abuse. The various scandals coming out of different Churches seem to confirm this fact. This appears to also sometimes be blended in with the first point of too much time spent in ministry rather than at home.

However, your random average man in the Church is nowhere even close to having some hyper-patriarchy or authoritative abuse occur in his home. In fact, in most cases it’s the wife who is wearing the pants and has the authority. When a husband takes steps to actually start to be the leader in his home, his wife’s distress at destroying the inverted role relationships may often be interpreted by these pastors as abuse.

This misattribution seems to be fairly common where your pastor can’t understand the steps that work for them don’t work your average man. It’s two different situation altogether, and in the case of the random average man we should actually be teaching him to have a strong, authoritative leadership of his own home.

  • The reason why Dalrock’s insight was so useful is that he was just your random average Joe in the Church. He didn’t have a pastors authority or status working for him. He could make some keen insights into the differences between pastors and your average man that showed distinct differences in how women responded in those situations versus with your average man.

This is very similar to the analogy that an attractive man giving a woman flowers is romantic and an unattractive man giving a woman flowers is a creep.

A pastor pulling back from his ministry work and giving more “quality time” to his wife is likely going to be interpreted as romantic since he has multiple lines of attractive traits working for him (Church leader, status, authority, respect, etc), while your average man may not necessarily be attractive to his wife anymore especially if she is running the marriage because he loses the status and respect from being the leader in his own home. Hence, any type of spending more time, choreplay, or other types of ‘service’ related activities toward her tend to be met with trying to win her favor and thus contempt instead of being romantic.

My conclusion is thus:

  • If pastors want to help men, they need to be teaching them to have full authority in their own homes and telling wives to fully submit like the Bible states (e.g. Eph 5, 1 Peter 3, etc.).
  • They need to stop assuming your average man is an abuser and stop spending so much time writing about the exceptions like “what if he tells me to sin.” If exceptions come up they should be dealt with, but your average man who is not an abuser should not have to continue hearing about things that he would never do in the first place. This is the same as the ‘anti-rape’ courses in colleges and universities. Your average man is not a rapist, and rapists will rape even if you tell them not to. Waste of time on the wrong things and doesn’t help men get it right.
  • Your average man should be learning how to make confidently decisions and expect to be obeyed by his wife. More time should be spent on male headship and wifely submission from the pulpit. Use your authority as a pastor to teach what is right. You will easily be called an abuser in the world for this, but Christians need to stand united and refuse to concede any ground on that.
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8 Responses to The blind side: what works for the pastor usually does not work for you

  1. johnson j says:

    This is a really good insight!

  2. Pingback: » The blind side: what works for the pastor usually does not work for you

  3. thedeti says:

    Off topic, and don’t know if you’d seen this.

    Lysa Terkeurst and her husband, Art, are divorcing. She says he had “broken his vows” to her since they attempted reconciliation.

  4. @ deti

    Nope, didn’t see it. Might write the follow up post on it.

    The former post has the most comments on my blog ever, although a ton of them are from trolls who haven’t read their Bible.

  5. thedeti says:

    Submitted for your consideration: Evidence that Christian women marry and divorce just like nonChristian women. To wit: Lysa and Art reconcile; but Lysa makes Art sign a postnup (presumably limiting Art’s access to Lysa’s income and/or limiting/eliminating his right to alimony if they divorce, and requiring that they arbitrate any post-agreement divorce proceedings). Lysa presses with the divorce. Art asks for an “equitable” property division, and for alimony, stating that he’s financially dependent on Lysa. Art asks that the postnup be torn up because he signed it under duress and he believed the postnup was invalidated by their reconciliation and “fresh start”.

    Lysa argues that Art was a cheat, a drunk, and a sociopath who didn’t complete alcohol treatment. She has asked the court to enforce the postnup and to compel arbitration. She argues Art isn’t entitled to alimony because he cheated on her. (Funny – there are tons of men paying alimony to wives who cheated on them. In the current iteration of divorce law, parties are entitled to property division and spousal support “without regard to the parties’ conduct”, which means “it doesn’t matter if he cheated; if the law and circumstance gives him a right to alimony, then he has a right to it”.)


    1) Christians litigate their divorces just like everyone else.

    2) Witness the demonization of the husband (as always happens) and the lionization/canonization of the wife – even in Christian media covering Christian “ministers”.

  6. thedeti says:

    If Lysa and Art were divorcing in my state, Art would be entitled to lifetime alimony, at least under the law’s technical requirements. That law is not applied uniformly as between men and women. If a woman asks for alimony, she almost always gets it. If a man asks for alimony, he is routinely laughed out of court and told to get a job.

  7. Pingback: Another divorce (Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 ministries) part 2 redux | Christianity and masculinity

  8. feeriker says:

    If pastors want to help men…

    That’s a very big “if.”

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