Joel and Kathy Davisson would be proud today. A national ministry with lots of credibility has indirectly endorsed their prescription for female led Christian marriage. It boils down to facilitating the conflation of help and correction.
In her article “3 Priorities for Every Married Woman” Barbara Rainy accidentally explains the reason why the women of the church need direct correction regardless of, and aside from whatever man-up pressure is put on men. To that point, notice that the present man- up efforts of the church, when coupled with the received message from Barbara’s article, work in a synergistic manner to place women in spiritual headship, functionally, while lacquering over it with male headship with her as helper.
Barbara makes no effort to hide this because she doesn’t even know she is doing it. The message received is not the message given, and yet it is the message given that is received. She gives a message with her words, and receives something else even unto herself. How much more then would that be the case with the masses of independent empowered women, and another group, the hyper spiritual women, and those that are in the overlap?
Lets look at what she says the priorities are:
1. Be in Gods Word
2. Be a helper to your husband
3. Be a world-changer
Readers of the sphere will go to number two seeking the problems, and some may even look to number three with suspicion. Count me among both groups. Predictably, number 2 is the focus here. She starts off declarative, and correct.
In Genesis, when God created Eve, He told Adam that He was making a helper for him. Before the Fall—before sin made a mess of marriage—God declared that woman was to be the helper.
This pushes just enough buttons on the men to convence themselves that this is going to be just fine, that Barbara Rainey is about to spell out the whole helpmeet thing, again, and its always good to have that refresher. The men also sit quietly, careful to not react at all, no facial or body language inflections that can later be hauled out and used when the wife does what Barbara says next
It is interesting to note that helper is also part of the job description of the Holy Spirit. Jesus told the disciples, “And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth …” (John 14:16-17).
Here’s an interesting exercise: As you read the Bible, look for verses about the Holy Spirit in the New Testament and ask yourself, “How can I help my husband in a similar way?”
Jesus also said that the Holy Spirit would “bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” He was speaking of how the Spirit would, in a supernatural way, help believers remember His words after His death and Resurrection. In a similar way, I think that as a wife you can bring to your husband’s remembrance the truth of Christ and the truth of God’s Word in his life.
Get that? How many women are high functioning proxies for the Holy Spirit in their husbands lives as described here? How many would wholeheartedly embrace this and allow it to manifest in nagging, in her being his accountability partner, and in her ever raising expectations about what it takes to be that spiritual leader the Rainey’s and their own preachers talk about regularly? You know the one where spiritual leadership is a seminar scenario whereby the husband gets to tickle the wife’s ears on the days when they don’t have the preacher’s words to do so.
I wrote it somewhere recently. Last Sunday the preacher where we visited closed by saying something straight from the words of Barbara Rainey’s advice here. he said his wife regularly reminds him he has room to grow, then chuckled at his manly self effacement. He, Rainey, and sadly the majority of pew fillers do not even know any of this is happening. Willfully doing this would be simpler to fix than this, which is surely Satan sprinkling lies with a pinch of truth and sitting back to watch. In this way (Note to Cane Caldo) indeed, we gotta man up big time. In practice, that flips back around to us holding women to account for soaking in the warm bath of these lies based on the feelings they evoke. The other way leads her to lots of cold spells that are self inflicted, but once fully yielded to it, a far superior place waits to receive her.
More camouflage was added at the close of number 2 by her implications of permanency to marriage:
For example, in the verse I just quoted Jesus said the Spirit will “be with you forever.”
As Christians, it gives us a great sense of security to know that the Holy Spirit will be with us forever. We know that, no matter what happens, He will always be there. Likewise, if your husband knows that you will be with him forever—no matter what he does, no matter how bad things get—it provides great security for him, too.
Great. But this makes it even worse in the context of church members divorcing.
What she has done is laid out a comprehensive plan that states it is for the permanence of marriage, and yet set forth a template for the rationale to end one. See that? This is the difference between theory and function, between smooth scripture derived romanticized esoterica and real life actions, between what was given, and what was received, and both, in the case of the giver. It was drawn from the two parts of a double mind. And Satan has masterfully laid out a beautiful mosaic that, when approached, is made of the rotting corpses of dead marriages and ruined childhoods.
My advice to Barbara is to start again at number 1, and stay there awhile.