Making Joel and Kathy Proud, the Alpha and Omega of churchian frivorce

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.

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24 thoughts on “Making Joel and Kathy Proud, the Alpha and Omega of churchian frivorce

  1. I think she’s right.

    ducks

    The sexes are not fully bisected. There is a male aspect to women–just a good deal smaller than men. Say, as much smaller as their moral culpability is. There is a female aspect of men–we do need to be able to comforted sometimes. (Could talk about how this relates to the efficacy of Game here, but I won’t take it off course.)

    What she left out is the “The Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.” So: inasmuch as she wants to be a reflection of the Holy Spirit (which is in the Church, who in turn is female) she has to be a reflection of proceeding from the reflection of the Father–the husband.

  2. Not at all. This is where we divide. The chasm between us is small, but deep.

    What I said above means that she can rightfully criticize her husband as much as the Holy Spirit can criticize God the Father–which is never.

    What the Holy Spirit does though, is make supplication–ask requests–of the Father, on the behalf of others. Mary Mother of Jesus plays this perfect (no surprise.)

    2 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. 3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

    Mary says: “They have no wine.” She doesn’t tell Jesus to go get wine. She doesn’t even ask him super-sweet-with-sugar-on-top if He will go get some wine. She simply brings the concerns of the people to Jesus; believing He can do something about it if He wants.

    Jesus challenges her in response, and not as a son, but as a Man: “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” The answer is nothing.

    The genius of Mary shines right here, and she proves my point about the sexes not being fully bisected. She turns to those who are in submission to her–the ones who brought her the complaint–and says, “Do whatever He tells you.” She has full faith that Jesus will do what is right no matter what He chooses.

    Nowhere in that article does Rainey exhort women to try usurp their husbands power, or correct them. You infer that because you have dealt with Christian women and you have–correctly–identified that they will do this. She’s encouraging them to do good things; just not enough of them.

    In the same way, you (and Dalrock) do not understand that that I am encouraging men unless I also push back women. Which gets in my nostrils a bit, as I have been very firm on male headship, and women’s submission.

    The flippancy you detect is me trying to keep it light, lest I make the errors Simon Grey has.

  3. I understood what you were saying, and my jab was jest largely.

    But I will keep splitting this hair with you to extinction. You will need to reword this sentence, I cannot understand it as written

    In the same way, you (and Dalrock) do not understand that that I am encouraging men unless I also push back women

    But this I have to disagree with you on:

    Nowhere in that article does Rainey exhort women to try usurp their husbands power, or correct them. You infer that because you have dealt with Christian women and you have–correctly–identified that they will do this. She’s encouraging them to do good things; just not enough of them.

    I didn’t say or even infer she exhorted women to do that. I allowed that her words were fine, even her front minded intent was fine. I then claim it is still self serving because the feedback loop makes her FEEL as if her words did something good, even though the effect is not….and trust me I realize how ridiculous what i just wrote sounds. I do not mean to suggest I’m tracking her thoughts around her mind. None of what I’m saying is to suggest these are literal synapses. Its illustrative of function.

    Let me put it this way….if she said anything that looked like what you said, Id have had no post today.

    [ETA: I’m not seeing a chasm. The effect of the path to be taken per your prescription or mine or Dalrocks looks identical to me, functionally. I like processes, feed back and feed forward control, that sort of thing, so I try and see processes, ones in effect, and corrective ones, because I’m a chemical engineer and its stuck in my head that way, and I cannot discern a difference in the three processes]

  4. @Empath

    I didn’t say or even infer she exhorted women to do that.

    So when you wrote in the OP:

    A national ministry with lots of credibility has indirectly endorsed their prescription for female led Christian marriage.

    You really meant:

    A national ministry with lots of credibility has indirectly reinforced their prescription for female led Christian marriage.

    Pistols at dawn?

  5. I’m raising Cane.
    You are playing literalist. Should I meet you with pistol and that same trick over at things we’ve seen and known?
    The word indirectly is a clue……but…..
    My later comments reveal in context that what you payed was hyperbole….guilty as charged .

  6. Actually, Cane is making a common mistake, based on something which most men in civilization have known generally but which is now rejected

    Women are stupid.

    I don’t mean that they’re incapable of understanding physics or exploring mountainous terrain or anything like that–clearly women are capable of doing these things. But generally when it comes to relationships women are stupid. They have been told over and over again that they’re naturally good at relationships; I don’t agree.

    Think about this one a sec–men were told to man up and look after kids more. They did it, and did a great job when they did it, and women were appalled, because it meant that they weren’t instinctively better at this than men were. In fact in many cases I notice that men are actually better at parenting because they tend to apply themselves believing they need to methodically learn all about it.

    The same thing applies to relationships. I don’t believe the average woman wants to learn how to make relationships work, so she relies on airy-fairy nonsense like the stuff from the J&K website above. It is nonsense.

    Here’s a good example: why is it that women find it so hard to understand that when men are complaining about things it is part of a process of them figuring out what the problems are so that they can solve them? Do any of us know any women who get this? I don’t. Almost every woman I’ve ever met seems to think that I’m stating how I feel and what I want to do, and resents being told that that’s not the case as though I’m lying to her or something. And thanks to feminism, it’s harder than ever to say “sorry, but men and women are different”. Thanks a lot, feminism. So we don’t need this J&K bullshit, which doesn’t help either. Woman as Holy Spirit model??? Is this some kind of joke?

    Seriously–that according to Ephesians 5 makes man Jesus makes woman HS–makes…um…not sure where that goes. That means that technically the Church is also the Holy Spirit, meaning the Church has itself as the comforter.

    You know the difference between a moron and a lunatic? A moron is someone who gets their logic wrong, and has a hit or miss chance of being right. But to a lunatic, everything proves everything that they already want to believe.

  7. What I said above means that she can rightfully criticize her husband as much as the Holy Spirit can criticize God the Father–which is never.

    Define criticize, LOL.

    Look, I agree with the spirit and the letter of this post. I truly do. In 19 years I can count on one hand the number of times I have approached my husband about some specific aspect of his behavior. 19 years, and I think I remember 3 times. I’ll double check with him to be sure.

    I truly believe in winning your husband “without a word” (1 Peter 3). That said, in each of those few cases, my husband has appreciated the fact that I loved and respected (yes, respected) him enough to talk to him when the situation called for it. He knows how much I look up to him.

    I’ll borrow from an e-friend an apt description and say that I’m often like his personal groupie. It’s very difficult to see anything worthy of addressing from this position so on the rare occasion that it happens there are stages: Shock, fear, prayer, courage. Kind of like Esther getting ready to approach the king, LOL.

    We have to be very careful with this idea that a wife never has any thing of corrective value to offer to her husband.

  8. Where would the idea that the wife never has corrective value to her husband come from?

    Its the full package, its the notion of the conviction that comes from the Holy Spirit being personified in the wife, that is totally different than righteous corrective value. I need to think a little more to phrase this.

  9. I don’t doubt your intent, Empath.

    As I said, I appreciate the post. Still, it often feels to me when this subject is broached around the sphere that the general consensus is that a wife can never (because she is the subordinate) offer any corrective or differing opinion of any kind.

    If she does, that she is somehow trying to usurp authority or play the roll of Holy Spirit in her husband’s life. This mutually exclusive way of seeing things can be damaging to both man and wife.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

  10. I think that the Captain/First Officer relationship offers a good example of how a wife can approach her husband about an action of his that she is concerned about. When a first officer believes that the captain or commanding officer has made a poor decision, he will talk with the Captain in private about his concerns with the decision. The FO will be respectful of the captain’s authority, but will be honest and forthright and explain exactly why he disagrees with the captain. When finished, the first officer will accept the captain’s decision, however it should turn out.

    Now, the important thing is this: the first officer didn’t criticize the captain, because the entire discussion was private. It is between them, and this ensures that the captain doesn’t feel that his authority is being questioned. Also important, everything is once and done. No repeated discussions on the matter; no nagging.

  11. Some more from Family Life that connect more dots in the image I am building here:

    Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, “Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place.”
    Jeremiah 7:3

    I [Rainy] keep asking questions like:

    Why is the divorce rate inside the Church nearly identical to the divorce rate outside the Church?
    Why do so many Christian men perform aggressively at work yet remain disengaged and passive at home?

    Why do so many Christians say their secular job is their ministry but then show so little fruit for their efforts?
    Why do Christians talk about family values while their lifestyles are virtually identical to the average non-Christian?
    Why do so few Christians possess confidence that they are on a divine mission?
    Why do less than 10 percent of all Christians regularly tell others about God’s forgiveness through Christ?
    If Jesus really changes lives, why do 50 million Americans claiming to be born again have such a marginal impact on society?

    The prophet Jeremiah asked similar questions about the “church” of his day. He observed that many people pursued “emptiness” (Jeremiah 2:5) out of the “stubbornness of their evil heart” (3:17), yet they didn’t have the good sense even “to be ashamed” (3:3) about it. “They did not even know how to blush” (6:15). Those deceived, distracted “believers” sat comfortably in the house of God–just as they do in our generation, week after week–listening to the teaching of the Scriptures but refusing to let the truth become a matter of obedience, a manner of life.

    Which of these questions do you need to deal with?

    I added the emphasis.

    See the them missing the forest for the potted plants? They are lamenting what THEY are doing!

  12. I checked with the Mr. and it turns out that I have approached him with genuine concern of a behavior he exhibited 4 times over the past 19 years, not 3. This he notes, is not counting the countless times that we have bantered about differences of opinions over trivial matters, but he likes that. Thinks its cute even though I’m usually wrong.

    But… he reiterated (again) that a marriage where a wife cannot express a genuine concern to her husband is not a healthy one, adding that the problem with most women is that they think every thing they don’t like is a major issue.

    And secondly, even when it is a major issue, they don’t know how to be clear, to the point, and then shut up.

  13. @Elspeth

    I truly believe in winning your husband “without a word” (1 Peter 3). That said, in each of those few cases, my husband has appreciated the fact that I loved and respected (yes, respected) him enough to talk to him when the situation called for it. He knows how much I look up to him.

    To be clear: The problem women exhibit is not even that they too often complain, but the complain to the leader from his side, instead of from below. The body rightfully sends pain signals to the head, but from below. Suggest to a roomful of women that they should plead on their knees–if they see a serious error–and watch the reactions. “But I’m right!”, they’ll say. It’s disorder…and it’s disrobed. They don’t want to clothe their shame in humility of speech and posture as men do every day at work, in the military, and at church.

  14. The post I am writing now gets into this. Im taking my time because it is comprehensive, long.

    I was in the audience Sunday when Russell Moore spoke to a church, he spoke from his blog entry that I parsed in May, “Women Stop Submitting”. He gets into the entire recommended interactions, I recorded the sermon on my phone…..amazing stuff being said

  15. “That said, in each of those few cases, my husband has appreciated the fact that I loved and respected (yes, respected) him enough to talk to him when the situation called for it. He knows how much I look up to him.”

    Within the context of a relationship where the man knows that he’s respected and looked up to, pointing out where you feel he may be going off track is entirely appropriate and is not disrespectful in the least. In the context of a relationship where he’s constantly being challenged, destructively criticized, nagged or whatever other term you want to use, it’s an entirely different thing.

    Turning it around, in a marriage where the woman knows beyond the shadow of a doubt that she’s loved and cherished, she can receive input that may not feel great(even the dreaded “hey it looks like you are gaining weight) and not have it be devestating, but in an environment of constant criticism and belittling the very same statement is going to be received completely differently.

  16. @Cane Caldo

    Not at all. This is where we divide. The chasm between us is small, but deep.

    What I said above means that she can rightfully criticize her husband as much as the Holy Spirit can criticize God the Father–which is never. What the Holy Spirit does though, is make supplication–ask requests–of the Father, on the behalf of others.

    Do you really think she intended it from this frame? Are you arguing that she wasn’t telling wives to look for examples where the Holy Spirit helped men, but where the Holy Spirit helped God? I think Empath is right. She is playing into the very common desire of Christian women to see themselves as the Holy Spirit’s personal agent regarding their husbands. While she is more subtle than Joel and Kathy are, what she is selling strikes me as quite similar. Granted I haven’t read the full piece, so perhaps I’m missing something in the context which redeems the original article.

    Jesus challenges her in response, and not as a son, but as a Man: “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” The answer is nothing.

    OT but His use of language there struck me when I read it myself not too far back. As you point out, it shows his frame. Incidentally this is also very powerful when speaking to your wife. I’ve called my wife “woman” half in jest since we first married, and while she originally felt like she should object she has always liked it.

  17. @Elspeth

    But… he reiterated (again) that a marriage where a wife cannot express a genuine concern to her husband is not a healthy one, adding that the problem with most women is that they think every thing they don’t like is a major issue.

    And secondly, even when it is a major issue, they don’t know how to be clear, to the point, and then shut up.

    Reading the above reminded me of how good my wife really is on this.

  18. @ Dalrock:

    I was thinking about this a bit, and if it isn’t obvious by now from my commentary around the sphere, I’m pretty laid back. Partly because I know what a hard life is, and partly because it’s the way I’m built. I don’t really *get* women for whom every little thing is monumental.

    My husband appreciates that I just pick up the socks without a second thought. That’s what I’m supposed to do, right? It truly would never occur to me to harp about something so trivial. I often tell my kids when they whine: “If that’s your biggest complaint, I’d say your life is pretty darned good.”

    All that said, some people are just high strung people. They can’t help it, really. I figure a man knows whether he’s getting one of those when he marries his wife. My husband knows I’m a planner, but he married me anyway and taught me how to live without everything planned out.

    It comes back down to being able to manage your wife effectively. I know full well that I can’t approach my husband with any old kind of attitude. I’m good with that, but if he hadn’t set a tone early on, I might have very well turned out to be a terror of a wife.

  19. I’ve called my wife “woman” half in jest since we first married, and while she originally felt like she should object she has always liked it.

    Same, we have a phrase, “wom is the sa” which comes from a sticker that women were wearing in the early 80’s feminist marches at my campus, it said “women is the same as man” and I marked out select letters and then added text beneath so it said “wom is the sa….only not as good”…..Clearly I was a BMOC. I still say wom is the sa to my wife on occasion.

  20. Pingback: Links #4 and Comments | The Society of Phineas

  21. Is it any wonder that the NT never permitted women to teach others independent of a man as a spiritual covering? I understand that, spiritually speaking, there is no difference between a man and woman. God will not reject the prayers of a woman because she is a woman, or answer the prayers of a man simply because he is a man. In Christ Jesus no gender matters.
    However, in human relations, God has deliberately placed the man to be above the woman.
    God’s stance is so uniform that He requires the man’s permission before honoring the woman’s vows made to God.

    Vows by Married Women

    6“If she has a husband and she makes a vow that is binding on herself, or if she makes a hasty vow with her mouth that she pledges herself to fulfill, 7 and her husband hears her vow, yet remains silent on the day that he hears it, then her vows are to stand and the obligation to which she had pledged herself is to stand. 8 But if, on the same day her husband hears and disallows her, then he has revoked her vows that she made for herself, along with any hasty vows that she spoke and to which she pledged herself to fulfill. The LORD will forgive her.”
    Numbers 30: 6-8

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