Another divorce (Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 ministries) part 2 redux

The another divorce post I made in 2017 on Proverb’s 31 ministry’s Lysa TerKeurst has an update (h/t Deti). It’s currently the most commented post on my blog, mainly because tons of trolls came out of the woodwork when I criticized that at the very least she shouldn’t be in ministry anymore.

Any man who can’t keep his household in order (even a wayward wife) should not be in ministry per 1 Timothy 3 qualifications of elders and deacons. Regardless of if you believe women should be leaders in ministry or not, you’d think that women would be held to the same standard.

To reiterate: now that the divorce is happening again she shouldn’t be in ministry.

To recap the previous post the situation seems to be:

  • Art TerKeurst seems to have some substance abuse problems and cheated
  • Lysa TerKeurst filed for divorce in 2017
  • Supposedly 1 year later they tried to reconcile (which I gave her props for).
  • Since then all seemed well until she filed for divorce again

To update the situation, Christian Post supposedly has more details.

A recent court filing has shed light on the divorce proceedings between Proverbs 31 Ministries founder Lysa TerKeurst and her husband, Art, including evidence the latter spent over $100,000 of the couple’s money on an “illicit sexual” extramarital affair with a woman he met online.

Lysa TerKeurst filed for divorce in December 2021 and publicly announced her decision in January, revealing her husband of nearly three decades had engaged in “chosen patterns of behavior that dishonor God and the biblical covenant of marriage.” The couple has five adult children together.

In 2017, TerKeurst revealed she would be pursuing a divorce from her husband due to his infidelity and struggles with addiction. At the time, she wrote he had “been repeatedly unfaithful to me with a woman he met online” and was abusing substances. However, the couple renewed their vows just over a year later after working to restore their marriage.

In her latest divorce announcement, TerKeurst said her husband had “broken” those renewed vows.

In February, Art TerKeurst filed a response to the divorce petition, requesting post-separation support, alimony, an equitable division of property, damages and the rescission of a post-nuptial agreement, Ministry Watch reported.

He claimed that he signed the post-nuptial agreement under duress, at a time when he was suicidal and preparing to enter a treatment facility for alcoholism. Art TerKeurst argued that after he finished treatment for his addictions and the couple renewed their vows, he believed the post-nuptial agreement was invalidated as part of their “fresh start.”

Though admitting he’d engaged in “illicit sexual behavior” prior to the post-nuptial agreement, he claimed to have been a “faithful and dutiful spouse” ever since. Seeking post-separation support, Terkeurst said he is “actually and substantially dependent upon [his] wife for his maintenance and support,” adding the does not possess the “financial ability or adequate resources” to meet his accustomed standard of living.

But in April, Lysa TerKeurst entered a motion to dismiss Art’s counterclaims, a request to compel arbitration and a reply to his allegations, according to Ministry Watch.

In her filing, the ministry leader said her husband freely agreed to the post nuptial agreement and voluntarily withdrew from the alcohol treatment program without completing it. She claimed his allegations of being suicidal were false, and that Art TerKeurst had exhibited “narcissistic and sociopathic tendencies” over the years.

The Forgiving What You Can’t Forget author claimed that the couple “maintained completely separate financial accounts pursuant to the post-nuptial agreement” even after reconciling, and said that post-separation support and alimony ought to be denied due to her husband’s infidelity.

The filing also includes text messages between Art TerKeurst and “Mistress X.” He allegedly met the woman on the website SugarDaddy.com and spent at least $118,000 of the TerKeursts’ money on the relationship. Expenses included paying for the mistress to move from Atlanta to Charlotte, North Carolina, and buying her a “pre-engagement left hand ring.”

In her January divorce announcement, the 52-year-old said she’d fought “really hard to not just save my marriage but to survive the devastation of what consistent deception of one spouse does to the other.”

“It’s brutal and heart crushing to constantly fear the hurtful choices of someone you love. I’ve had to learn the hard way there’s a big difference between mistakes (which we all make) and chosen patterns of behavior that dishonor God and the biblical covenant of marriage.”

In an April Instagram post, the ministry leader shared an update with her followers, reflecting on the moment she said, “No more. No more devastation. No more betrayal. No more being lied to. No more.”

“Sometimes ‘no more’ means implementing good boundaries that will help hold each person accountable to healthier relational patterns,” she wrote.

“Sometimes ‘no more’ means acknowledging a heartbreaking reality that wise counsel has helped you see is no longer sustainable. Both dynamics require that we pursue healing. We need solid truth from God’s word to help guide and direct us. We need a godly professional counselor who is specifically trained to educate, comfort, and challenge us.”

In short,

  • Supposedly after they reconciled Lysa made him sign a post-nupital agreement
  • Art contests that he has remain a dutiful spouse since then, though Lysa alleges that there are text messages between him and a mistress and that he spent over 100k on her
  • Art is supposedly ““actually and substantially dependent upon [his] wife for his maintenance and support,” adding the does not possess the “financial ability or adequate resources” to meet his accustomed standard of living.”

There’s two big things here of note.

The first being who is able to spend over 100k from their finances and the other spouse not notice it until then? Lysa is not aware of her finances such that her husband can just drop 6 figures before she even notices? Something doesn’t add up here. I’ll come back to this later.

The second is the irony of the almost comical inversion of roles in the marriage.

Lysa is the one in big time ministry. Lysa is the breadwinner. Lysa is the one leading the marriage, and the one who wanted the post-nupital agreement. Art is acting as the scorned and cheating wife who would claim that her husband has no time for her. Art wants alimony to support his standard of living.

Of course, we can also see the double standard. If a Christian man wanted his wife to sign a pre-nup or post-nup pretty much all Christians whether liberal or conservative would jump down his throat and condemn him. If a Christian wife cheated on her husband, there are many Christian denominations today that would jump to support the wife and excuse her behavior: ‘the husband clearly wasn’t loving her enough so she cheated.’

Deti comments similarly:

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”.)

Lessons:

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”

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.

Now, obviously none of us condone Art’s apparent substance abuse and cheating and supposed misuse of finances, but Lysa is clearly not really handling this in a Christian manner either especially with litigation and continuing in ministry.

Why would she want to turn off the money maker though? Heh.

How much of this is due to the influence of inversion of roles and the wife out-earning the husband?

Typically, there is a much higher risk of divorce when a woman out-earns a man. In real life, women are not attracted to men they out-earn. In many cases, they won’t even date them or if they find out their relationship starts to sour. However, in this case Lysa was married to Art. This is predictable behavior confirmed by studies.

Studies also show that when a wife out-earns her husband, he is more likely to cheat. In fact, about 15% of the men in a study by the American Sociological Review who were 100% financially dependent on their wives had affairs. That’s three times higher than the 5% of high-earning wives who strayed, the study showed.

https://www.kiplinger.com/personal-finance/603298/women-who-make-more-than-their-husbands-should-watch-out

The above article suggests the main reason for him cheating is that a man can feel emasculated and his self-esteem can take a hit by being out-earned by a wife, and sometimes that is true. However, it’s also a favorite feminist shaming tactic, which is why it cannot be fully trusted. What is also true is that the disrespect from the wife toward her husband for out-earning him is also prevalent but less talked about because it’s not flattering to women.

Doing some google-fu, Proverbs 31 ministry started 30 years ago (1992) which directly coincides with Art and Lysa’s 30 year marriage. What seems likely is that the as the ministry grew bigger and bigger this changed the relations and roles in the marriage over time. This has all of the trappings of the typical husband-wife cheating scenario, except with the inversion of roles.

What typically happens is that the husband gets so caught up in ministry he supposedly ‘neglects’ his wife. This turns into a cycle where she starts to feels neglected and lose respect for him and since she starts to disrespect him then he turns more of his time to ministry. This destructive cycle continues until she turns to other emotional outlets which leads to an emotional affair and cheating

What happens in the opposite case is a woman’s career (Proverbs 31 ministry) starts to take off. Since she is now out-earning her husband she starts to lose respect for him. This subtly changes her stance toward him where she starts to be more disrespectful to him and he starts to withdraw from the situation. Her earning more than him can make him feel emasculated as well which contributes to the negative feedback loop. His withdraw from the disrespect is generally interpreted by the wife as a ‘lack of leadership’ which means she probably throws more time into the ministry and this leads to the similar destructive cycle above. This continues until the husband cheats or divorces or the husband does, or it becomes some type of impotent sexless marriage.

Lysa’s divorce litigation seems pretty much like a woman scorned. A woman who respects her husband would never do this. Couple that with Art supposedly cheating and spending 100k without her noticing and things don’t really add up. It seems likely that she was intentionally waiting until she had enough evidence so she could win her court case. Not that I blame her, but it is clearly not the Christian thing to do either. What is 100k lost if you can get out of alimony when your ministry annual revenue is over $6-7 million and nets over $1 million per year.

How much the inversion of roles (disrespect and/or emasculation) and her out earning him contributed to the divorce we may never know… but the likelihood is a lot. We know that when women cheat they are already checked out of the relationship (disrespect), but when men cheat they usually aren’t checked out and can make the marriage work. However, in this case it’s hard to say because substance abuse can confound things substantially.

Also, this is not to say that a wife earning more than her husband is wrong, but Christians need to take care that if this does happen the wife must respect her husband and the husband must love his wife despite any feelings that may tempt them toward divorce otherwise. Obey the Bible.


Update: https://www.todayschristianwoman.com/articles/2008/september/i-had-abortion.html

Did a bit of digging and basically their past has:

  1. Sex before marriage
  2. Abortion
  3. Shotgun marriage after abortion
  4. Cycles of disrespect-anger dysfunction from both

Not surprised this ended in divorce 30+ years later. I highly doubt Lysa is innocent in this divorce either given their history.

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52 Responses to Another divorce (Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 ministries) part 2 redux

  1. D Bradley says:

    In general I think that women and public accountability don’t mix well. Basically, women have been granted a lot of public authority via feminism, whether it be with someone like Lysa having a ministry, women’s voting rights, etc. With this authority comes a corresponding responsibility and this is always true. Authority is inextricably linked to responsibility. In Lysa’s case (or any other woman), she is bound to our laws which state that since she is the breadwinner and the man is dependent, she is liable to pay him alimony. For Christians, she is also bound to the biblical law to submit to her husband even despite her job or ministry.

    There is no way around that and anything else is double standards. Yet this is egregious to the feminine soul. A woman was meant to be taken care of, not the other way around. Yet if you have public authority, that is the price because now you are the responsible one. So I say that women should never have been given these rights in the first place as they are masculine rights and incompatible with femininity.

  2. Pingback: » Another divorce (Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 ministries) part 2 redux

  3. thedeti says:

    who is able to spend over 100k from their finances and the other spouse not notice it until then? Lysa is not aware of her finances such that her husband can just drop 6 figures before she even notices? Something doesn’t add up here.

    Yeah, I think Lysa’s unawareness is essentially what happened here. I think she was so distracted with work and ministry and her “career” that she wasn’t paying attention to what her own husband was doing. I also think that she had been neglecting Art so severely that he was essentially free to do what he wanted.

    Men who are happy in their marriages don’t do this. Men who are content in their marriages don’t seek out other women. Men who are getting what they want in their marriages aren’t out there looking to get it somewhere else. Lysa wasn’t taking care of her husband at home, so he went out and got someone else to take care of it. This is offered not to excuse, but only to explain.

    Ladies: If you don’t take care of your husbands, someone else will. That includes Christians. That’s why the advice is given to Christian women to submit to husbands in all things.

  4. What a dumpster fire. Their daughter also got divorced after a few years of marriage, yet continues to be an “influencer” type. But why would anyone care what the mother or daughter had to say? Lysa should definitely step down and everything she has published should be called into question. The odds of this being a one-way street are approaching zero.

    Being famous is a trap for anyone, but especially women. It does look like the postnup could have been a setup to keep him from getting as much in a settlement. And yes, at every stage of this you can see double standards potentially creeping in.

  5. Elspeth says:

    I sincerely believe that Lysa Terkeurst bears some responsibility for whatever went wrong in this relationship. I am a firm believer that wives outearning husbands is a recipe for disaster. When the wife is outearning her husband via a very public platform where she is being showered with praise for her gifts, talents, intellect, etc., it’s all the worse.

    A lot of times in these scenarios, the husband is handling the family financials. Wife is too busy in her high profile position to handle daily stuff like that. In my observation this set up is one of the ways wives who are the defacto heads assuage themselves that their husband is really in charge because he handles the money. And it’s pretty easy for him to shift and spend a lot of money before she realizes anything. I’ve seen wives who handle the family finances rack up huge debts before their husbands realize what has happened.

    Last year I got a very tiny, miniscule little job which basically amounts to private tutoring in a classroom setting. It literally accounts for 8% of our household income. 8%! And when I got my first paycheck, I had to resist the urge to think I deserved to buy myself something with the money I earned. Immediately, I felt a heart check and was convicted to consult my husband about how he wanted that money directed. And that’s just piddly peanuts that we were living just fine without for 27 years!

    Now imagine a wife who is suddenly earning millions in revenue while her husband earned thousands. Of course it creates a strain and an imbalance! Women are constantly having to resist the urge to usurp their man’s authority under normal conditions. When she’s the breadwinner? Forget about it.

    For every Dolly Parton (married over 50 years now), there are 10 Lysa Terkeursts. This is just not the way God designed the thing to work.

  6. Yep. We had some close friends who divorced after 30 years of marriage. Various issues, but it didn’t help that she made more. I told him that he needed to find a way to at least make $1 more than her.

    My wife retired as a school librarian and decided to become a Pilates instructor. Great gig for her, but her pay is about 2.5% of our income. She’ll joke about using it for this or that, and I remind her that we only get to spend it once. She doesn’t follow the “what’s yours is ours and what’s hers is hers” philosophy that some women do.

    Re. boring: I’m probably in that category, but people are often intrigued by our ballroom dancing. We joke that if a CPA marries a librarian, you are scientifically proven to be the world’s most boring couple, so you better find an interesting hobby.

  7. thedeti says:

    Lysa should definitely step down and everything she has published should be called into question. The odds of this being a one-way street are approaching zero.

    Yeah. Until about 10-20 years ago, before the social media/internet era, anyone involved in public Christian ministry who was getting divorced was more or less required by their oversight boards or committees to step away from public ministry and go through a period of healing and restoration before returning to ministry – and that was if you were ever going to be permitted to return to public ministry at all. Didn’t matter if the divorce was your fault or not; didn’t matter if you were (mostly) blameless in the divorce; didn’t matter if you were the one seeking the divorce or not – you had to step away from all ministry at least for a time. The reason for this was that if your marriage was in such disrepair and disarray that someone was divorcing, either (a) it really was your fault; or (b) you were so neglectful and inattentive as a spouse that you failed the “good order and discipline at home” test for a “bishop” or “elder” as set out in Titus. Either way, you needed to get your personal life straightened out before you could go back to ministry.

    This was why Charles Stanley resisted his wife Anna’s divorce and just about pleaded with her not to divorce him – because he knew the SBC was going to make him step down at First Baptist Atlanta, or even yank his credentials if he didn’t. Anna stayed with him until she just couldn’t anymore and finally filed after 38 years of marriage. They quietly divorced, but only after he reneged on his promise to step down permanently because “the church needs” him. First Baptist Atlanta voted to keep Stanley on as pastor after the divorce became final. To my knowledge, no one, including the SBC, imposed any discipline on Stanley or required a restoration period.

    Whatever the reasons for her divorce, Lysa TerKeurst should at the very least step back from public ministry for a season of reflection, healing, and restoration. In my opinion, anyone who is divorced or going through a divorce is not fit to serve in a public ministry until such time as those in oversight over them have determined they are healed up and restored.

  8. Rock Kitaro says:

    Alright, I have a question that might sound ridiculously Blue Pill of me. Is it possible to find a Christian Woman who doesn’t care about money? Like, say I’m making $60k, so I’m clearly able to be a provider. But she’s making $80k.To me…I wouldn’t be bothered by that. The Scriptures make it clear that the husband is to be the head of the household, loving their wives in an understanding way. So I wouldn’t feel emasculated or less of a man. But to a woman…Does such a woman exist, where the fact that she makes more than her still-successful husband not matter?

    I’m asking because…usually I think to myself, a woman’s priority in things like a 6-figure man tells me more than I need to know about her Christian values. But I take it, most of you are far more experienced than I am. So…maybe even the most faithful, devout Christian woman cares about such things?

  9. This makes a great case study. I had lunch with a friend who heard Lysa speak at his church a while back. She trashed her husband, who was sitting in the front row. She didn’t take accountability for anything. He sent her an email flaming her for her behavior. He told her that she should resign from the ministry. Not surprisingly, she didn’t respond.

    I saw a similar thing at a church we used to attend. A guest couple spoke on adultery and restoration and such, but their schtick was basically going around and having the woman recount her husband’s failures over and over. There is a time to share mistakes and what you’ve learned, but making a career of it is creepy.

  10. johnson j says:

    At the very least she should be forced to rename her “ministry” from Proverbs 31 Ministries to Proverbs 5 Ministries. Or better yet, also rename “Ministries” to “Woministries.”

  11. thedeti says:

    EM:
    Re your friends who divorced and she outearned him:

    The evidence is rolling in from all corners that wives outearning husbands puts severe strains on a marriage. It simply causes the wife to see no reason why she should respect her husband, submit to him, or take orders from him. The world says to her – “if you make the money, why should he call the shots? If you are supporting him, why should you submit to him? If anything, he should submit to you; and he should be doing what you say.” Even Christians succumb to this compelling but unscriptural argument.

  12. Agreed. I’m seeing this about to play out with a young couple we know. Friction already for various reasons, and the wife earns more. And now the guy may stay home at least part-time with their baby. Their odds go down by the day.

  13. thedeti says:

    EM:

    Are you saying that Lysa spoke publicly at some event about Art? That Lysa trashed Art during an event and blamed him for her marriage’s demise while Art was sitting in the audience at that event? That this email thing was some kind of exchange between Art and Lysa and he told his wife to resign from ministry?

    Why can’t I find any news about that?

    A guest couple spoke on adultery and restoration and such, but their schtick was basically going around and having the woman recount her husband’s failures over and over. There is a time to share mistakes and what you’ve learned, but making a career of it is creepy.

    Sounds like Joel and Kathy Davisson (see Dalrock’s exposes on them). That kind of thing would be invariably fatal to a marriage. You can’t have one spouse’s past failures front and center all the time in a marriage. You can’t relive it constantly. A man who lives with that will eventually leave.

  14. “Are you saying that Lysa spoke publicly at some event about Art? That Lysa trashed Art during an event and blamed him for her marriage’s demise while Art was sitting in the audience at that event?”

    Yes, that came from a supremely reliable source. I was telling my friend about the general topic and he knew exactly who she was.

    “That this email thing was some kind of exchange between Art and Lysa and he told his wife to resign from ministry?”

    Sorry I wasn’t clear. My friend sent her the email telling her how inappropriate her message had been.

    I don’t think we saw the Davissons, but it was the same thing. Ugh.

    For what it is worth, at another church a member couple did a message where the wife had an affair (she was leading youth ministry with another guy and they hit it off . . . bad idea to interact like that!).

  15. thedeti says:

    Rock

    is it possible to find a Christian Woman who doesn’t care about money?

    That’s not exactly the question you’re asking given the context of the rest of your post.

    The answer to the question you asked is “no”. All women, including Christian women, care about money. They want – they need – providers to stay with them long term. Women are hardwired to need providers. Somebody’s gotta do it, and if they can’t find a man to do it, they’ll do it themselves.

    So you are never going to find a “Christian woman who doesn’t care about money”. They all care about money.

    What you need is a Christian woman who doesn’t worship money and for whom money is not as important as living and walking out a Christian marriage.

    In your scenario, if you’re dating a woman who outearns you, it’s just not going to go well. The evidence is overwhelming: If a woman outearns a man, her marriage to that man will be, at best, severely strained and taxed. Women are only human – in their view, if they’re earning the money and supporting the family, they see no reason why they should submit to anyone. They see no reason to submit to and take orders from men they’re supporting financially. A woman who supports males financially is not a wife; she’s a mother. A woman who is literally putting food into a man’s mouth sees that man as a subordinate, as a child. A woman who feeds, clothes, and houses a man sees that man not as a husband or lover, but as a dependent. A son. Her child.

    She cannot submit to a man she sees as beneath her, as helpless, as dependent. She cannot occupy her proper wifely role when she has to support the man who is supposed to be supporting her.

  16. thedeti says:

    Rock:

    We don’t really get the whole “need a provider” thing. We men really do not need very much money at all. When I was a single man in an entry level legal job I was earning twice what I needed to live. I was able to save a large amount of money in the 3 years I lived and worked as an unmarried man, mostly because I simply didn’t need to spend it. I lived very frugally at the time. All I needed was a one bedroom apartment and a compact car. We men don’t nest, we don’t accumulate stuff, and we don’t put down roots, until we have a reason to.

  17. Elspeth says:

    @ Rock:

    When women outearn their husbands, it puts a strain on the marriage, This is a universal truth, with rare exceptions. Because it is a universal truth with very few exceptions, then that should tell you that it’s not a defect in women, but rather a revelation about the natural order of things. Women were not created to be independent actors. When you conisider Genesisn 3, really consider it, it makes sense that women being a main breadwinner is a risky set up.

    It’s not that women have never been financial contributors to the family, but until 100 years ago, that contribution was almost never earned independent of her husband, untethered from family and while under the authority of another man (call it a company of whatever you like, but in 90% of cases, it’s another man).

    Providing is a type of authority. I do think it is possible for a wife to be a major earner and stay in her place of respect and submission to her husband, but only of she has been well trained by her father and mother, and has a vibrant and internalized faith. None of this emo-Christian, follow your heart, mega church nonsense.

    If she was raised by a single mother, it will be double hard because all she knows is woman as head of household. I’ll also add to this thought that men raised in single mother households are also more likely to be comfortable with wifey providing the lion’s share of the money (and setting up their marriage for all kinds of strife).

    That’s my take as a housewife of 28 years who has raised 3 young women to adulthood and worked diligently to teach them the proper order. We are like fish swimming against a very strong culutral current, so I appreciate your predicament.

  18. Elspeth says:

    I didn’t know deti commented. Sorry. But I had one more thought.

    Keep in mind (I know it’s rare particularly in the black community), but the truth is that as the bearers of children, there is a certain vulnerability and insecurity women feel if it doesn’t seem as if their husband can properly provide. Again, that is a feminine feature, not a bug.

    When my husband called me home, I literally lived on emotional pins and needles for the first 5 years. “What if something happens to him and I have these three kids?” “What if he leaves?” “Why am I setting myself up to be dependent on this man?” It didn’t help that my stepmom had a rule that “A woman should always have her own money”. But I obeyed my husband, and gritted my teeth.

    I’m a good little Reformed Christian. I don’t hear God speak unless it’s through his word. But if there ever was I time I thought I heard him, it was during that season. I was dealing with the neurosis of being a black woman who had put her life in the hands of a man, and I lamost heard an audible voice tell me I was right where I was supposed to be so stop it. So I stopped it, and never looked back.

    I tell that story to hopefully help you see that a woman wanting a man who earns more than her is not necessarily a sign of gold digging or poor character. It can be (maybe it often is), but not necessarily.

  19. @ Rock Kitaro

    Alright, I have a question that might sound ridiculously Blue Pill of me. Is it possible to find a Christian Woman who doesn’t care about money? Like, say I’m making $60k, so I’m clearly able to be a provider. But she’s making $80k.To me…I wouldn’t be bothered by that. The Scriptures make it clear that the husband is to be the head of the household, loving their wives in an understanding way. So I wouldn’t feel emasculated or less of a man. But to a woman…Does such a woman exist, where the fact that she makes more than her still-successful husband not matter?

    I’m asking because…usually I think to myself, a woman’s priority in things like a 6-figure man tells me more than I need to know about her Christian values. But I take it, most of you are far more experienced than I am. So…maybe even the most faithful, devout Christian woman cares about such things?

    Is it possible? Yes. I know a few happy couples where the wife makes more.

    Is it still a potential source of temptation? Yes.

    Women try to get with broke men all the time if they offer masculinity in spades. While money is one of the attractive factors — and usually unattractive if the man makes less — it’s not the only one and other factors can compensate for it. I’d even say most women wouldn’t give a crap if she earned more if you’ve got the rest of PSAL of PSALM in spades. There’s some ugly looking athletes and celebrities who have no trouble attracting pretty women.

    On the flipside, if you’re your random man with an engineering degree and good pay is one of the only things you’ve got going for you, then a woman earning more than you probably isn’t going to work out in most cases.

  20. @ Eternity Matters

    This makes a great case study. I had lunch with a friend who heard Lysa speak at his church a while back. She trashed her husband, who was sitting in the front row. She didn’t take accountability for anything. He sent her an email flaming her for her behavior. He told her that she should resign from the ministry. Not surprisingly, she didn’t respond.

    If that’s true it would seem to confirm the disrespect theory more than the feminist boilerplate.

    No wonder a husband wouldn’t want to stay after being trashed all the time in public.

    I saw a similar thing at a church we used to attend. A guest couple spoke on adultery and restoration and such, but their schtick was basically going around and having the woman recount her husband’s failures over and over. There is a time to share mistakes and what you’ve learned, but making a career of it is creepy.

    Yup, it’s socially acceptable to excoriate men for their past failings even if they repented. But God forbid you do this to a woman otherwise you’re a misogynist.

    It’s a terrible double standard especially around the central theme of the gospel which is forgiveness and repentance.

  21. fyi – even after this latest round of news, she still has 16 speaking dates over the next few months. I have no idea what her schedule was before. But she was a very attentive wife, I’m sure . . . because Proverbs 31 says you need a full travel and speaking schedule to be a great wife . . . https://lysaterkeurst.com/events/

    A spouse’s sins and inattention don’t give you an excuse to commit adultery, but they definitely increase the odds.

  22. Hoyos says:

    As an aside I do think it’s going too far to hold a man responsible for his wife’s decisions. Israel rebelled against God all the time, is it because God didn’t love Israel enough? Was inattentive? That’s obviously crazy. I see the same logic at play in marriage.

    Women are adults, they make their own choices. If a minister initiated the divorce, different situation perhaps. But if his wife is dead set on bailing on him, what was he supposed to do exactly? I’m not saying you shouldn’t control someone else’s behaviour, I’m saying you can’t, not on a heart level.

  23. RICanuck says:

    I left a comment on installment one of this story.
    We can’t know what really happened in the terKeurst marriage, or the mindset and feelings of the couple, so I don’t want to say too much.
    I re-read Proverbs 31. The husband of the Proverbs 31 wife is praised at the city gates.
    The Proverbs 31 wife is praised by her husband and children.
    Is Lysa running a Proverbs 31 ministry, or just doing well be tickling the ears and self esteem of christian women?
    Something about “By their fruits shall you know them”.

  24. feeriker says:

    I also think that she had been neglecting Art so severely that he was essentially free to do what he wanted.

    Ladies: If you don’t take care of your husbands, someone else will. That includes Christians. That’s why the advice is given to Christian women to submit to husbands in all things.

    For as much attention as is given to 1 Corinthians 7, almost NO ONE absorbs its message, especially on the distaff side.

    Yes, Lysa TerKeurst should ABSOLUTELY step down from Proverbs 31 Ministry, forthwith, unless her goal is to provide fodder for non-believers with which to trash “Christian” ministries. No, she of course won’t do it, and no one else of any influence or authority will compel her to do so. For her, it’s far too lucrative (HOW, pray tell, do ministries like this earn SEVEN FIGURES PER YEAR? Is George Soros a donor?), even though she shows by her behavior that she doesn’t believe a damned word of what Proverbs 31 actually says (either she doesn’t really believe it, or is too dense to comprehend its actual meaning). For the gullible christo-feminist marks she directs her ministry toward, the ear-tickling she provides is just too addictive to avoid. (“Oh my Gawd, she made me realize God wants me to have both a career AND a wallet with a penis, too!”).

    What Art TerKeurst did is certainly not excusable, but I know EXACTLY how he must have felt as the neglected husband (and that’s almost certainly what he was). Making matters worse, even if he had tried to resist his worst impulses (and for all we know he might indeed have), he probably had NO fellow Christian men in whom he could confide, ask for their prayers or support, of turn to for help in getting his marriage and life back on track. The male bashing we see and hear in today’s churches, coupled with the lack of any meaningufl men’s fellowship in any of them, assures any man in a situation like Art’s that he is 100 percent on his own. That’s not going to end in anything other than disaster 99.99 percent of the time.

    Again turning back to Lysa, “Women’s Ministries” are growing like mold and mildew all over western Protestant Christendom and it’s really, REALLY getting out of hand. Most of these “ministries” have nothing to do with either Proverbs 31 or Titus 2, the two ministries that are within Scriptural bounds for women to engage in (God willing, some other REAL “Proverbs 31 wife” will start a REAL ministry to replace Lysa’s demonic simulacrum of one). It’s getting to the point where estrogen is subsuming the entirety of the church, which probably shouldn’t surprise us, given what Scripture says about what will happen to the church in the end times. Still, it presents a challenge to us men to try to contain, or at least salvage a remnant.

    All of the above said, I really, truly do pray that God will work a miracle on these two and restore something genuinely beautiful out of the ruins by re-uniting what fallen mankind, with Satan’s enthusiastic help to both parties, has torn asunder.

  25. Lexet Blog says:

    I think the bigger problem is that they made that much to begin with.

  26. Lexet Blog says:

    Too bad scripture says otherwise. She had no business ever being involved in ministry.

  27. Lexet Blog says:

    I’ve never seen it work long term.

  28. Lexet Blog says:

    It’s like asking a majority shareholder to give up the reigns. That only happens when they aren’t as invested as the smaller shareholder (because their bigger investments lie elsewhere).

  29. elspeth says:

    I’ve never seen it work long term.

    I’ve seen it work (and by “work” I mean not divorcing). But generally speaking, it’s a source of tension and contempt that raises its ugly head from time to time in every couple I know with that set up. I hold to my original thought. It’s not the natural order, and it takes a woman who has truly been transformed by the supernatural power of God to pull it off.

    I have only seen one woman do it, and she impresses me because I’ve known her for a long time. I know that it’s the Holy Spirit that enables her to continue to hold her husband in esteem even though she makes more money than he does.

  30. @ Hoyos

    As an aside I do think it’s going too far to hold a man responsible for his wife’s decisions. Israel rebelled against God all the time, is it because God didn’t love Israel enough? Was inattentive? That’s obviously crazy. I see the same logic at play in marriage.

    Women are adults, they make their own choices. If a minister initiated the divorce, different situation perhaps. But if his wife is dead set on bailing on him, what was he supposed to do exactly? I’m not saying you shouldn’t control someone else’s behaviour, I’m saying you can’t, not on a heart level.

    Of course. There’s 4 things in marriage:

    1. The husband is responsible for his Biblical marital roles and responsibilities
    2. The wife is responsible for her Biblical marital roles and responsibilities
    3. The husband is responsible for how he influences his wife
    4. The wife is responsible for how she influences her husband

    Most Christians miss 3 and 4, and 3 and 4 are key. It can look like you are fulfilling 1 & 2 to others, but it may be that you’re just doing it for show and it’s 3 and 4 are actually the opposite.

    In this case, Art seems to be taking 100% of the blame, but if it’s true that Lysa’s disrespect (Part of 2 and definitely influenced by actions in #4) helped influence his sin she’s also going to be held accountable by God and not blameless. Everyone always likes to spin their side so they come out looking spotless, but that’s almost never the case. Christians included especially in a messy scenario like this.

    Aside from not stepping down from ministry as well and the other questionable things I mentioned in the OP.

  31. @ Eternity Matters

    fyi – even after this latest round of news, she still has 16 speaking dates over the next few months. I have no idea what her schedule was before. But she was a very attentive wife, I’m sure . . . because Proverbs 31 says you need a full travel and speaking schedule to be a great wife . . . https://lysaterkeurst.com/events/

    A spouse’s sins and inattention don’t give you an excuse to commit adultery, but they definitely increase the odds.

    Yup. You’ll also note the whitewashed version of the about page without mentioning her husband at all except infidelity.

    https://lysaterkeurst.com/about-lysa/

    All about dealing with infidelity as a victim of it. Nothing about how she may have potentially contributed.

    If we look at Paul in the NT, he blamed himself for the deaths of many Christians even though he didn’t necessarily kill them himself (e.g. holding the coats of those stoning Stephen). He didn’t try to blame his sin on the others doing the deed.

    I don’t know if Scott is going to comment here, but when he tells the story of his first marriage the first thing he did was think about what he might have done wrong that contributed to things. This seems to be the opposite case. I’d be willing to wager a bunch that men are generally more introspective on their own contributions to their potential failings than women are.

  32. Looks like the Proverbs 31, Inc. strategy is to pretend she was the perfect Proverbs 31 woman, married well, and then the guy just flaked, so you should keep on buying her books and paying to hear her speak. Pathetic.

  33. @ Eternity Matter

    Looks like the Proverbs 31, Inc. strategy is to pretend she was the perfect Proverbs 31 woman, married well, and then the guy just flaked, so you should keep on buying her books and paying to hear her speak. Pathetic.

    I’ve never heard of a case where a divorce was anything but both people contributing to it with one exception.

    Someone married an attractive but probable non-Christian who had significant character flaws (previous criminal history, serial cheater, etc.). In which case it shows very bad vetting by choosing attractiveness over character. That by itself is another mistake.

  34. feeriker says:

    [W]hen [Scott] tells the story of his first marriage the first thing he did was think about what he might have done wrong that contributed to things. This seems to be the opposite case. I’d be willing to wager a bunch that men are generally more introspective on their own contributions to their potential failings than women are.

    Absolutely. While men can be just as resistant to accountability and responsibility as women, they are far more likely to eventually accept both, because they really have no other choice. What we call “society” forces accountability and responsibility upon men, to the point where most at some point they simply have to accept both. Contrast this with women, who are not only hardwired to reject any moral agency for themselves, but whom “society” routinely holds blameless for even their most egregious acts of wrongdoing.

  35. bee123456 says:

    thedeti,

    That couple making it front and center could be the Davisson’s. But their is a new entry onto this ministry stage, and a possible book edited by Karen Swallow Prior; Jennifer and Tom Buck.

    https://fullmetalpatriarchy.wordpress.com/2022/04/07/he-was-just-so-angry/

  36. Ame says:

    feeriker
    2d ago

    Again turning back to Lysa, “Women’s Ministries” are growing like mold and mildew all over western Protestant Christendom and it’s really, REALLY getting out of hand. Most of these “ministries” have nothing to do with either Proverbs 31 or Titus 2, the two ministries that are within Scriptural bounds for women to engage in (God willing, some other REAL “Proverbs 31 wife” will start a REAL ministry to replace Lysa’s demonic simulacrum of one). It’s getting to the point where estrogen is subsuming the entirety of the church, which probably shouldn’t surprise us, given what Scripture says about what will happen to the church in the end times.

    many, many years ago, at the very beginning of churches developing women’s ministries, i was one of three women who began a wm at the church i was attending. this was before kids, during a time when i was a stay at home wife. there was one other woman and i who became friends and saw a need for some kind of ministry to help women. we found a ‘blueprint’ of sorts where a mature woman had begun such a ministry, but only after she and some other women had spent an entire year in prayer over it all. this second woman was friends with the preacher’s wife, so she brought in the preacher’s wife, and we met the first time with the intention to begin a year-long prayer quest, seeking God, to see where He would lead. the second time we met the preacher’s wife said the preacher wanted it started now and to do xyz. i was very disappointed, but i wasn’t the preacher or the preacher’s wife.

    in my lifetime, churches have encourage people of all ages to be involved in the church, to find their ‘ministry’ IN the church. after all, for numbers to grow, there must be worker bees to sustain it. you’re a Believer? you want to become a member of our church? well, then you have to choose a ministry and get involved.

    when i was a single mom with two young daughters, one with special needs who required 24/7 care, i was told i could not expect any help from the (mega) church unless i volunteered *weekly* even though they knew i could not commit to that because my daughter could not be left in the care of another and needed intense care until she was much older.

    so there’s this whole concept being taught that a woman’s ‘ministry’ is IN the church, NOT in her home, and that what she does in her home is not enough … for since she’s a member of the body, she needs to be plugged into a thriving ministry, dedicating untold hours of her time to the church.

    this whole situation is tragic … a woman going into ministry, the ministry growing, and the church supporting her and relishing in her success. and how many people along the way … pastors, older women, peers, elders, took the time to stop her and tell her that her FIRST loyalty is to her husband and then her children.

    how many churches and leaders value time spent in prayer, asking God to lead them, rather than developing and building ‘thriving’ ministries that they then get to promote and put on their resumes?

    LT certainly doesn’t get a pass. but there’s a much bigger picture. there’s a whole church culture that has developed and created fertile soil for this exact thing to happen.

  37. Agreed. The women’s ministries from Lysa, Schirer, Moore, etc. are uniformly bad, but even in otherwise sound churches the women’s groups tend to get theologically squishy. My wife has seen it.

  38. Ame says:

    The beginning of all that – Women’s ministries, the growth of women Bible ‘teachers,’ also led to another change – the church no longer wanted women to just teach other women from the Bible, they wanted women to teach from a book or workbook. The Bible was no longer enough. You had to purchase and promote the materials of another woman.

  39. Sharkly says:

    The church needs to have red-pilled men in charge of all the “women’s” ministries of the church. Otherwise they quickly devolve into bitch-fests, because nobody has the balls to shut down all the whining about “abuse” and such that will inevitably happen when women don’t want to admit their marriages are contentious because most of them are stubborn and contentious. Very few men have personality disorders to where they would intentionally create unnecessary drama in their home. However most homes have drama, usually because wives openly rebel against their husband’s desires.

    Thinking that a woman must be in charge of the women’s ministry is just as foolish as placing a toddler in charge of the nursery. You don’t let the inmates run the asylum. Women need to be ruled over by men, otherwise Eve’s defiling nature, which is in all women, is left completely unchecked by male rationality, as God intends.

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  42. Erica says:

    Wow such judgment from the writer of the article and replies. So grateful that our Heavenly Father has the final say and is the ultimate judge. I pray Heavenly Father doesn’t expose any of you kind people below or the writers faults to the world to pick over and dissect. And JESUS didn’t judge those who wronged he helped them and then guided them to repentance through Grace and Love. At this rate ya’ll would be yelling at how JESUS was wrong to help the sinner. Hate the sin not the sinner, I’ll leave you with the last part of the Lord’s Prayer cause some of y’all surely need to read it maybe you cut this part off, or might I suggest the Sermon on the mount.

    Matthew 6 verse 14-15 “ For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Maybe start there folks peace!

  43. @ Erica

    I know you’re a troll, but I’ll respond anyway.

    Wow such judgment from the writer of the article and replies. So grateful that our Heavenly Father has the final say and is the ultimate judge. I pray Heavenly Father doesn’t expose any of you kind people below or the writers faults to the world to pick over and dissect. And JESUS didn’t judge those who wronged he helped them and then guided them to repentance through Grace and Love. At this rate ya’ll would be yelling at how JESUS was wrong to help the sinner. Hate the sin not the sinner, I’ll leave you with the last part of the Lord’s Prayer cause some of y’all surely need to read it maybe you cut this part off, or might I suggest the Sermon on the mount.

    You state that: “And JESUS didn’t judge those who wronged he helped them and then guided them to repentance through Grace and Love.”

    That’s exactly what this post is. It’s calling out where she is likely in sin and calling for her to repent.

    It’s interesting that you’re interpreting this as being “judgemental” and not calling her to repent because I explicitly made that clear several times. Jesus Himself tells us to calls us as Christians to do this in Matthew 18 and 1 Corinthians 5 and other Scriptures. Yes, this can come off as “judgemental” at times, but we are still supposed to do it.

    So the real question is why are you offending at this post calling out her potential sin that she needs to repent for as judgemental?

    That seems to be a problem with your perception.

  44. thedeti says:

    I pray Heavenly Father doesn’t expose any of you kind people below or the writers faults to the world to pick over and dissect.

    Every one of us has been exposed, picked over, and dissected.

    And JESUS didn’t judge those who wronged

    Oh yes He did. He told them and showed them who He was and He told them exactly what they had done wrong. And THEN He helped them by telling them to repent. Which is what He told His disciples to do, and what He tells us to do. Judge/discern the sin; then repent or help others to repent.

    I’m not required to forgive Lysa TerKeurst. She has not wronged me. She is engaged in “ministry” that she frankly should not be engaged in. She should not have a Christian ministry- at the very least, not without male oversight.

  45. Amy K says:

    I am glad to have finally found an article addressing the red flags I felt with TerKuerst. I read a passage out of one of her books years ago and immediately my discernment said “These roles are reversed in this marriage and something is off her”. I put the book down and never picked her work up again.

    My husband and I were having this very conversation and talking about these points you have made but online it seems completely backwards. Thank you again for writing this.

  46. Oscar says:

    Erica’s version of Jesus.

  47. Rob says:

    I do not know the author of this article but I find the conclusions drawn disgusting…you are making numerous assumptions with no factual basis and it seems you are out to crucify the woman,as usual!

  48. Rain says:

    I’ve never read such judgmental, self righteous, sexist comments in my life. There was one perfect human to walk the earth, he is no longer here. If you think only a sinless, untainted human can save people then there would be NOBODY to minister!

    This woman has saved and helped millions of people to find and worship God and you want to sit here and tear her down in the worst season of her life and put her life under a microscope because why? You don’t think she’s fit to help people find Jesus? You think ANY of these people she’s brought to Jesus would be there by your hand instead? Ha! Thank her for her prolific and widespread work. Offer her support and guidance if you’d like. Slandering her on a public forum proves more about you all than anything about her.

  49. @ Rain

    I’ve never read such judgmental, self righteous, sexist comments in my life. There was one perfect human to walk the earth, he is no longer here. If you think only a sinless, untainted human can save people then there would be NOBODY to minister!

    Huh. I didn’t know actually following what the Bible says on qualifications for ministry counts as being “judgmental, self righteous, and sexist.”

    If you think that way about the Bible, why are you even a Christian?

    This woman has saved and helped millions of people to find and worship God and you want to sit here and tear her down in the worst season of her life and put her life under a microscope because why? You don’t think she’s fit to help people find Jesus? You think ANY of these people she’s brought to Jesus would be there by your hand instead? Ha! Thank her for her prolific and widespread work. Offer her support and guidance if you’d like. Slandering her on a public forum proves more about you all than anything about her.

    This is baseless nonsense. No one is saying she hasn’t potentially helped others. God can use others in spite of their flaws.

    Ravi Zacharias is a prime example. Probably helped many more milliions than Lysa, but he also should have not been in ministry if his sins came out while he was alive and he also should have repented publicly.

  50. Oscar says:

    This post and its comments section really are the gift that keeps on giving.

  51. @ Oscar

    This post and its comments section really are the gift that keeps on giving.

    The first post on her divorce is by far the highest commented post on the blog. Mostly from the “don’t judge pseudo-Christians” who use that verse out of context like the rest of the world.

  52. I had the same experience with a post I did on false teacher Priscilla Shirer. For some reason, it gets a lot of search traffic. The fanboys/fangirls come along to defend her honor and tell me how judgmental, un-Christian, and mean I am, but never seem to address the specific points I brought up about her teachings. And it never occurs to them that they are judging me for judging. Same thing here with Lysa’s Superfans. The fact that they are so completely without facts and logic is so telling.

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