147 thoughts on “Ladies: How to Solve Every Single Marriage Problem You Might Ever Have Ever”

  1. Interesting choice of picture. That Jezebel’s skirt barely covers her knees and the little boy is the picture of rebellion with that long hair.

    1. Dunno. That guy’s rap on Joy Rice Martin seems to be that she talks to (Fundamentalist) people who talk to Catholics.

      Let me just say that doesn’t quite rise to the level of being shockingly liberal in my view.

      1. Oh my. That article had me cracking up. I was at that horrid, ungodly concert in 1996 at Liberty U. I must be seriously depraved, because I didn’t even feel guilty about the *gasp* DANCING I participated in at that concert.

    2. Should I be concerned that I knew wayoflife.org is David Cloud’s brand of crazy?

      David Cloud is against EVERYTHING. He might as well talk about isolation as opposed to separation.

      1. This is true. On his website many of his essays are entitled “Beware of…” He doesn’t seem to approve of anything. You never see him praise anyone, it’s always how this or that person is wrong because they don’t line up 100% with his idea of what a good fundy is. πŸ™

    3. He also refers to Sandy Patty and Sheila Walsh as “ecumenical charismatic rockers” so I don’t think we should have a lot of faith in what he says… about anything. Rockers? Really? Cracks me up!

      1. Shelia was more of a rocker in her early CCM days, but the only thing that I could think of that would put her as charismatic was her time co-hosting the 700 Club (long before Pat Robertson starting morphing into a televangelist version of Joe Biden).

        As for Sandi Patty, if there’s one thing she isn’t, it’s a rocker (although it’s pretty funny in a sense how Cloud thinks anything resembling a “beat” = rock music).

        1. By the time David Cloud is done there is hardly anyone you can fellowship with. You can’t be with this person because they believe this… and if this other person is their friend you can’t fellowship with them, by the time he’s done those you can fellowship with have narrowed down so far you have very few friends. πŸ™

    1. I was “friends” with his daughter in law at my fundy “glorified highschool” (college that hands out the equivalent of diplomas)……I didn’t know anything about her soon to be father-in-law but when she started dating his son, I was well aware that we could no longer be friends as I was too “fringe” for her. Yikes. Thank God I was one of the survivors! 😯

  2. If this were the introduction to a book with lots of practical advice, I would say it is OK. Unfortunately, though, practical advice is something you won’t find anywhere in this book.

    1. And herein lies the problem with most fundy preaching and advice. It is never practical. Just throw a quick prayer my way and the Pastor has done his job. I am so tired of being rushed into a “word of prayer” so that the person I have gone to for help can get on with his day!They think that “reading the Bible” and praying is the majical bandaid for everything. And if you want more…shame on you! God’s word should be enough; you are obviously harboring sin and rebellion in your heart!

      1. Sadly, I have experienced this at my former fundy church, “this is what I am willing to dole out, a quick prayer with barely a listen to your messy situation and then, be (the emotional equivalent of) on your way and be warm and fed” πŸ™„ πŸ™„ especially if you are a woman, the door must be open and they act like their reputation might be ruined if they talk to you for more than five minutes. πŸ™„

      2. Well, I would have to agree with the Fundies, that God has provided “all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence.” However, they only lead people to frustration and anger when they fail to teach anyone how to read or understand that Bible; when they paint God as only angry–waiting to punish even those supposedly covered by Christ’s blood instead of “plentiful in mercy”; when they allow fools and the ignorant to take up positions of leadership and honor, so they can blindly lead the blind into ever deeper ditches. The problem isn’t with God’s Word or God’s power–they ARE sufficient. The problem is with the false shepherds who are the spitting image of those described by Jeremiah.

        1. Well said…I find on the days that I don’t take time to read my Bible and spend time with the LORD, I feel out of sorts and it’s not a false guilt kind of thing. I’ve learned that I can sit still and let that still, small voice speak to me.

          I do however think that Fundies severely lack the desire to have relationships with people. It’s that “just read and pray every day and everything will be OK” MO that is just so wrong. They just want people to show up at church three times a week and paste a smile on their face even though their marriages, families, and lives are falling apart.

  3. I’ll never understand women that think their only role in life is to submit to a man. I don’t know who that author is, but it is my sincere home to never ever ever meet a woman with her mindset.

    1. That’s basically the koolaid I swallowed for years as to what my purpose as a godly christian woman in this world was… 😳

      1. This is the kinda of crap that I subjected to, when I was a teenager and then as an adult. I thought with “God” you can fix anything, but my ex-husband used this against me to get what he wanted without giving anything in return, thus, my ex. πŸ˜€

  4. “If both a husband and wife are being filled with the Spirit, they cannot continue to have major friction.”

    The sense I’m getting from this is just pray more, study the Bible more, obey more, and if your marriage doesn’t get better, it’s your fault because you’re just not letting the Spirit control you.

    While I do believe we are to obey the Bible, love one another, and pray, this just seems so dismissive of real issues that people have in marriage.

    1. Reality is seldom able to intrude into the fundy mindset – everything can be solved by following the British Maxim – “Keep Calm and Carry On”

      By that of course they mean, shove all the issues and problems of yourself and others behind a nice shiny facade and everything will work out, if it doesn’t you just didn’t build the facade high enough to keep the crap from flowing over the top.

      1. Those who do manage to keep the facade high enough for long enough are the ones who write the fundy advice books and get invited to speak at fundy family conferences. Sadly, they think their superficial treatment of their problems is the way everyone should do it, so that is what they teach the poor folks who are trying to really deal with their problems.

    2. Well said, PW. It took me a minute to realize what REALLY bugged me about the “advice” being tendered here. Here’s what I saw:
      a) The assumption that husbands & wives can sustain being perfectly filled with the Holy Spirit, and that this ensures that no friction can occur.
      b) That bit about following the word of God ABSOLUTELY in ALL AREAS of life sounds like a prescription for a lifestyle of fear, uncertainty, and doubt.
      c) Putting the blame for marital problems on selfishness is another example of general truth being little or no help. In the end, so much of our sinfulness is selfishness, so the statement is true. But that isn’t going to help the woman who’s facing a drastic marital problem. the same holds for instructing people to have agape love one for another.
      d) I guess the worst thing is making it a burden of works – a checklist of those things one must do to avoid marital problems. Simple, general, facile. Feh.

    3. This seems like the three step plan called DIE. Deny that there is a problem.
      Ignore any practical solution to the problem.
      Enable the problem maker to make things worse.

  5. As usual, the work, responsibility, and the outcome all be,ong to the female.

    You might get a slight nod or a gently pursed lip in your favor, IF your husband has been extraordinarily difficult, but the end message would still have been the same: keep trying and following all these rules and your husband will come around eventually!! Chin up, chin up!! πŸ™„

    1. I wouldn’t be surprised if elsewhere in this manual it says for wives to not nag at their husbands and to never gossip to others about their husbands.

      This then completely cuts off the wife from any outside help. What a lonely, heavy burden such a wife is expected to carry.

        1. Did you actually read through this entire load of horse manure, Darrell? ❓ ❓ ❓

        2. I skimmed all of it and spent a little time on specific sections.

          I do it all for you. πŸ™‚

      1. When my husband was on staff all the women in my circle would gossip about their husbands. I hated it because it was just them griping and complaining about their husbands and the crap they would go through, but never doing anything about it. They would just tell each other how to deal with it or get through it. How the wife could change, or ways to sort of “get around” the issues. But they never said any of these complaints to their husbands. I would share annoyance about my husband, but it was stuff I talked to him about too. I would get so frustrated that these women would try to “counsel” me on marriage when they didn’t have the freedom to be honest with their own husbands.

      2. That’s the advice I followed “you should NEVER speak poorly of your husband” so, when I finally picked up and left, no one could figure out why, to them it looked like I just up and left a perfectly good marriage. That’s what it looked like from the outside. πŸ™ πŸ‘Ώ

      3. Those are two words that I have so often seen redefined in fundamentalist circles. On the surface, I would agree that nagging and gossiping are wrong and should be avoided, by men and women alike.

        But in the minds of many fundamentalists, a woman is “nagging” her husband any time she voices anything but wholehearted agreement and support for everything that he does or says. And she is “gossiping” about him whenever she speaks to anyone about him in anything other then glowing praise, even if she is legitimately seeking help someone else.

        1. This is just another area where the double standard raises it’s ugly head. Gossiping and nagging are always attributed to women, never to men, though both men and women are guilty of both.

          The idea seems to be that if a woman asks a man (particularly her husband) to do something more than once, it’s nagging. The man has the freedom to do what he does when he chooses. If he asks her to do something more than once, it’s not nagging, she is being unsubmissive. She ought to do whatever he says the first time he asks. Double standard.

          Men don’t gossip even if they talk about others in less than glowing terms. Sometimes it’s not only men who can gossip (talk about others) but people who consider themselves to be leaders.

          I once worked in a ministry and one of the people I worked with and I had become good friends and we did gossip, both of us were bad at that. I since have become much better, and have learned a lot from it. However when two people who were over us in the ministry were caught talking about others, and I called them on it, it was not gossip, it was “a discussion among leaders.” Bull puckey. Gossip is gossip no matter who does it!

          I have heard messages were women were bullied by the pastor to come lay their tongue upon the altar and ask God to forgive them for their vicious sins of gossiping and nagging. Being a visual person this image in my mind grossed me out. Men of course sat there hearing it all and enjoying it, though guilty of the same sins, they get off scott free.

          Give me a break! πŸ‘Ώ

  6. This is the kind of hogslop they teach at all the women’s meetings I went to as a fundy. I loathed them then and I loathe them more now. πŸ‘Ώ

    I always found it extremely unfair they didn’t have men’s meetings to teach them to be good husbands and fathers but they have always taught that the responsibility for the marriage lies with the woman. If your marriage is a failure it’s your fault as the woman. The man isn’t supposed to try as hard. If your husband strays it’s your fault, you failed him as a woman. You weren’t submissive enough. You gained weight and didn’t keep yourself slim and trim enough (never mind that a lot of fundy women have 4 or more kids which can wreck havoc on a good figure), you weren’t a good cook, you did this wrong, that wrong, blah blah blah, it’s never his fault. πŸ‘Ώ

    When I see utter garbage like this it makes me so glad I am no longer fundy! :mrgreen:

    1. I was going to say the same thing GMTA! Where is the Joyful Men’s Manual telling the men to love their wives as Christ love the church and gave Himself for it.

      1. No kidding! I love how you put that too: Joyful Men. I NEVER heard that, despite the fact that joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit. It seems as if it was only WOMEN constantly being admonished to be joyful.

        1. Yeah it’s like that idiotic fundy teaching that the woman is the Holy Spirit of the home. Again, where is this found in the Bible? It’s just another way of guilt trip manipulation of the woman. You’re never good enough! They really want to make us all over into perfect fundy Stepford wives, doormats for men to walk all over while we smile and take it! Phooey on that! πŸ‘Ώ

        2. Just telling people they have to be joyful is seldom a way to cause joy.
          It is a way to cause constant denial of what’s really happening, though.

        3. Quite possibly because the setup gives them less to be happy about, especially if there’s no corresponding teaching to men about how to be good husbands.

        4. Well you know why that is, PW. Women are a bit simple, the weaker sex, a waste to really spend much time being educated. Of course THEY should be joyful. Their life and duties are so easy and simple: there’s just no excuse not to be happy. Men, on the other hand, are so much more intelligent and have lives that are so much more complex and difficult that they can kind of skip that whole “joy” bit. They shouldn’t have to worry about something as insignificant as joy. I mean, what place do the fruits of the spirit really have when there’s soul winning to do?

          No one would ever (I think) SAY those things, but isn’t that the way it feels when you hang out around them?

    2. I just typed almost this exact same thing… You must be inside my head today. (I ended up re-writing it several times and ended up with something much less thorough on the subject.)

    3. This kind of mind-set really makes no sense because it is the polar opposite of the “husband as the head of the home” mind-set, yet the two ideas are often packaged together. If all the responsibility for keeping the marriage together and the husband out of trouble is on her shoulders, then she is the leader, not the husband. If she is the leader, then he should be submitting to her (since it is apparently her responsibility to make sure he doesn’t fall into sin). But if he is expected to be the leader of the home, then he is the one who has to take responsibility if that home falls apart, not push the blame off on his wife.

      1. I remember having a conversation like this with a man in my old church in Michigan. He was of the opinion that some sins were worse when women committed them than when men did, not only sexual sins but smoking, drinking, cussing, pot smoking, etc. I told him sin is sin and one was not worse than the other. He seemed to have this idea that women ought to be nearly perfect angels, while what men did was regrettable but not as bad as when women did them.

        I finally looked at him and said, “You’re a married man. Are you the spiritual head of your home?”

        He said, “Of course!”

        I said, “Well then, if you think your wife ought to be a better Christian than you, why are you the head of the home rather than her?”

        He had no answer to that! 😈

        I went on to say the head of the home ought to lead by example, and that should mean HE is the better Christian. If she is, then let her be the example and had of the home! :mrgreen:

  7. Wow that old memograph machine needed to be serviced. I can stil hear the rhythmn of one of them churning out bulletins, sunday school lessons and Christmas/Easter play materials from days gone by.

    I wonder how many hundreds of these self published pamplets were produced? Didn’t all these IFB churches/schools/”ministries” get their paper stock from trees cut from the Mojave Forest at one time? πŸ˜•

    1. I thought it was a faxed document– they often have those lines on them. But it could be a mimeograph. If so, yes, that machine badly needs to be cleaned.
      I’m old enough to have cut stencils for mimeographs (back in my extreme youth).
      Those of you who are not, can never know what you are missing. 😎

    2. Ah yes, the mimeograph! Those were the days when we cut and pasted shtuff from all over the place without any worries about copyrights.

      If it is done for the Lord, no need to pay for more than one book…

  8. I graduated from Tennessee Temple University. Joy Martin taught a class. It was nice, all of the girl students would bring cookies and brownies to class, which is why they had a guy in the class every semester. Her husband taught Baptist History, and shot down the Landmark Theory, which is probably what got him on the “Seperatist list.” Of course, TTU is now on the “Heretic List” on many of the websites featured on this site.

  9. Where is the corresponding material for the MEN? Oh yeah. If the women do what they are supposed to do, the men naturally take up their proper roles. I forgot.

    1. Men, by virtue of being men, are right. In a marriage the default belief is that the man is right. Under extremely rare circumstances he may admit error. This is to be done only in private and never told to anyone, ever. It is certainly not the woman’s place to ever point out where he has gone wrong for this will damage his fragile ego and destroy the marriage.

      As a man I find fundy beliefs about marriage to be offensive. If you think about it, the way they teach is pretty insulting to both men and women.

      1. You’re right. This uber-submissive garbage teaches men to be selfish. The more submissive a woman is, the more the man will walk all over her. That’s not doing him any favours. He then has a slave, not a partner. When he needs help figuring out anything, she will just smile and say, “Whatever you think best, dear” and not be able to give him help and advice since that’s not “her place.” A marriage is then reduced to a master-slave relationship rather than a true love partnership and that’s very sad, for both husband and wife. πŸ˜₯

        1. Absolutely! Someone once brought me this Bible “study” by some foolish woman who was talking about the “Little Foxes” (which, if you don’t know is the tiny things in marriage that a woman does that ruin it). At one point, the writer was trying to explain that because men aren’t empathetic like women are, and women are the helpers of men, it’s the woman’s job to see life from her husband’s perspective.

          Men can’t be expected to so this, she explained, so your husband could easily be confused or upset, not understand you. So you need to basically ignore and deny any individual selfhood on your part in order to help…(and here’s where I’m moving into my interpretation of what she was saying, and how I thought it portrayed men)…your poor stupid slob of a husband who doesn’t know how to understand what’s going on in the marriage when he grunts his way home from knocking dinner on the head.

          Of course she didn’t say it at all like that. It was all very respectful. But I remember thinking that the first thing that insulted me, even as a woman, was not the stuff about the women, but the way she was–perhaps unconsciously–portraying men. It was amazing. She was treating women like dirt; and at the same time being toweringly prideful about her womanhood. She was putting men on an unreachable pedastal; and at the same time portraying them as drooling idiots who couldn’t even stand up there without someone holding them.

          I should look for it. It was a triumph of Fundy Bible slaughter and fallacy.

    2. The material for men is out there, just not in fundy circles. They need to be told that marriage is not just making them happy.

      You ladies are all correct that the teaching to men needs to change. I’ll probably be in trouble if Mrs. Wilver sees this, but she has the same fundy baggage some of you do. I had a lot of trouble convincing her that I didn’t expect her to stay the same size after three kids, and that NO! you don’t have to get up at 4:30 and fix me breakfast just because your dad expected your mom to. There is some really bad, non-biblical teaching to young people in Fundystan.

      That is one reason I have stayed in a pretty much fundy-lite church. I am hoping that maybe if more of us who see the real Truth of Scripture stay, we can teach the next generation to think Christ-centered, not moG-centered.

  10. “We are told 90% of marital problems are due to selfishness”? Told by who? I thought the vast majority of marital fighting and break ups was due to money/financial stress?

    1. Top causes of marital stress are:
      1. Money issues and work issues.
      2. Problems with children.
      3. Problems with other relatives.

      We hear more about other woman/other man scenarios, but these, while not rare, are not as common as the big three.

    2. Yes, I was going to bring this up. When you leave fundystan you realize that anything that comes from a fundy must be heavily scrutinized. Bad information, as found in this material presented here, gets passed along from institution causing more trouble than it helps.

  11. in my experience, when fundies say “agape” love in this context, they are referring to the woman’s self-deprecation and subservience, often to the point of fueling masochism on the man’s part. At best, it implies that women should just hunker down and put up with whatever their husbands say or do, with a demure, Mother-Theresa-ish smile.
    My husband and I fight occasionally, and I actually think it’s healthy. This may be heresy, but I would much rather yell it out with my husband when we disagree than to just grin and bear it. Pretending that things are ok when they aren’t, out of “love” for the other person, only breeds bitterness and drives a wedge between people. Plus, there’s nothing like makeup sex after a fight :mrgreen:
    the statement I found particularly humorous was the part at the beginning about “many psychologists disagree, so you must go with the Bible because it’s the only safe way.” Hello . . . does this writer actually think everybody agrees on the Bible?? Psychologists may disagree, but I don’t think anyone’s ever been burned at the stake for their controversial stance on psychology.

    1. It’s just the usual answer, based on a faulty syllogism:
      a) The Bible is the infallible word of God, profitable for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness
      b) Human authoities, not being God, are imperfect, frequently disagreeing with each other, etc.
      c) I don’t know how to cope with X without help.
      d) Therefore getting advice from the Bible is better than consulting human authorities.

      Beacuse my reading the Bible AS A LAYMAN in whatever I’m troubled by is way better than consulting one of those doggone experts.

      1. Remember who we’re talking about here. “Do what the Bible says” is often code for “Do what the MOg claims the Bible says.” πŸ™„ I’m guessing that that is where most of the real trouble comes from.

        1. And these are men who pride themselves on their male chauvinism that borders on misogyny. I always feel so sorry for their wives. πŸ˜₯

  12. I can tell you who I’m gonna marry and be happy with. A chick that is smart, confident, and wrong in all the right ways. I’m gonna hire a maid and a chef if she wants, or I’ll clean the damn house. None of that matters to me. Just PLEASE don’t be boring. Growing up fundy, it just seemed like so many of the ladies in the church had the life sucked out of them. Like their personalities had been turned down to a 1

    1. You got that right. It seems that HAC and other fundy colleges all put out the same cookie-cutter form of femininity and there is no appreciable difference between them. They’re all the same. No personality. All just conforming to the fundy notion of what a woman ought to be like. Stepford women! πŸ‘Ώ

    2. Funny you should mention that. I have heard it preached from the pulpit that there is no difference between women and that they are pretty much interchangeable. The men at Bible college were told to just go “get them one that looks good” and that it didn’t really matter which one they got. At HAC they had the lovely habit of referring to us as “heifers” – and they didn’t see anything wrong with that. The covered walkway leading to the lunch room was known as the cattle shoot. πŸ™„

      1. That makes me want to vomit. Even when I was in Fundyville, I held women in very high regard. In my first year at seminary, we had a guy who got his PhD. from a non-fundy school and he showed us how Jesus was radical in raising women above the place where they were wrongly placed in first century Jewish culture. He was not popular among the faculty for many of his views, but the students loved him. Mominator might know him.

      2. No difference between women??
        Yikes!
        Do they actually know any women?

        (FormerHAC, at first I thought you have misspelled “chute,” but upon reflection, maybe you did mean “shoot.” πŸ™‚ )

      3. formerHACgirl, that’s just so sick it makes me want to vomit! I’ve never heard such stinking falderal in all my life! πŸ‘Ώ πŸ‘Ώ πŸ‘Ώ πŸ‘Ώ πŸ‘Ώ

      4. 😯
        If they’re interchangeable, how could you pick a pretty one? 😎
        That’s absurd, insulting, unscriptural, and…
        yeah. bad enough that words really do fail me.

    3. Nailed it! Because I figured out early on with this woman as second string thing that the only way to accept that is to rid myself of any personal ambition so I wouldn’t feel cheated in any way.

  13. Sarcasm aside, if Joy Rice Martin and her allies really advocate trying to pray away a husband who’s slapping you around, or sexually abusing your children, or spending all your money on drugs, drink, or gambling, then they are enabling criminals and deserve public censure.

    1. Sadly, fundies and fundylites have been doing this for years, and continue to do so.

      On a happier note, it seems that mainstream evangelicalism is finally starting to see the light. Baby steps.

  14. @BG – I didn’t read the pamphlet. Just skimmed it for a second. Figured it was the old “be a humble, submissive doormat/cheerleader, blah blah blah” that I’ve always heard or read the ladies got told.

    @Macushlalondra – At BJU there was a lot of that, but there were also some very interesting girls/women I had the enormous pleasure of getting to know when I was there. You just had to pay close attention for signs of life and independent thought.

    What I always pointed out to anyone that would listen was that BJU’s divorce rate was sky-high. That was students who met there and got married. I always tried to make the point that they were doing everyone a disservice by forcing both men and women to repress so much of who they really were just to graduate. My sister married the prototype “preacher boy” because that’s what she thought she was supposed to do. About 5 minutes into the marriage, she finds out preacher boy is into the porn BIG TIME. Oops! That’s not something you come across when every second you spend with your fiance is monitored or in the company of 3,000 other people.

    1. Its not just BJU…there is a bunch of sadness in my life right now because it just seems like a constant stream of friends and family whose marriages have been destroyed by this exact thing. I tell anyone who will listen that a Christian college is in many ways a more dangerous place to find a spouse than just about anywhere else. It may be anecdotal, but it is just way way too many of my friends that have either been the one found to be a fake, or the victim of a spouse who lived a total double life for years in some cases. And once we start talking about the fact that fundamentalism creates perfect incubators (or maybe breeding grounds) for this type of person, it usually gets ugly, but hey, the truth hurts sometimes…

      1. “a spouse who lived a total double life for years”

        It is part of the program.

        As IFB sheeple we were CONSTANTLY reminded to suppress who we were and what we wanted and do either what we thought Jesus would do, or what we knew would please the MoG. And that was the men.

        When it came to women there was not even the need to remind them about repressing their true selves… it was a given… Their role continues to be to make the husband look good.

  15. I used to buy into it all, hook, line, and sinker – and sink I did. I cannot live it. Unfortunately it took years of trying and beating myself up, followed by a slide into prescription drugs and drinking to at least fake it. Neverevereverevereverever will I go back there. Oh, a miracle just happened. My husband overheard me and my son talking about going to Sara Evans/Phil Vassar free annual KCQ concert, and he was NOT happy, thinking the crowd to be too wild, etc. We had quite a run in. I prayed. Next day he goes to work, talks to a coworker/friend, who is a Christian, turns out he used to work for KCQ and loves Sara Evans, and wants to go with us. Just one big happy family after all. That was weird, but thank you Lord.

  16. Yikes! I tried to load the entire document and it kept making my browser freeze. I decided that my computer was trying to spare me from reading material that will irritate my blood pressure πŸ˜‰

  17. I tried, honest to god, tried to read the damned thing. But Scribd kept killing my internet. After the third time I had to force quit Navigator I figured God was trying to tell me something and gave it up as a bad job. I suspect I haven’t missed anything, it’s probably the SOS about how female fundies are less than males that I heard most of the time growing up. πŸ‘Ώ

  18. I must be completely brainwashed by fundamentalism because I read this thinking “oh, this isn’t bad – I’ve heard much worse”. At least she didn’t flat out say that all marriage issues are the woman’s fault or go off on a tangent about horrible women pulling Godly men out of the ministry.

    Reading through it again, I do see some quiet sexism, but I am so used to it being out in the open. It’s stuff like this that makes me shake my head and wonder why I stayed in fundamentalism all these years.

    1. Me too former, the first page I didn’t think was so bad… lots of true statements in there…then the 2nd page got ugly fast because despite bragging about how she “cannot give them a little pat formula to make everything work out” but then procedes to give the pat formlua/fix all. OH BROTHER!! Yes, marriages need love, forgiveness, less selfishness, prayer, the Holy Spirit…etc.
      But what do you do when your spouse is not interested in ANY of those things?? What if your spouse is manipulative? A pathological liar? Has a bad temper? Cheats? Hits? Has porn addiction? These are real problems and she does not offer REAL help. She offers a formula for women saying if you follow those steps all should be well. Oila! Magic! πŸ™„
      That is not real life and it causes ENORMOUS amounts of frustration & disbelief in God when you do what “is right” and you’re still utterly miserable. So sad. My heart aches for women, like my Mom, who married the “preacher boy” got all the education on being a “godly wife” and realized none of it could change her reality. None of it could changer her marriage and it was all a hopeless sham. πŸ™

      1. Yes, she (and many other self-helpish authors) leave out the hard work, pain, and even failure that are the result of applying their pat answers to hard, specific problems of marriage.

    2. It really is good general advice, provided both the husband and wife are seeking to follow it (instead of the husband expecting the wife to follow it while he does whatever he wants, or the other way around). But I agree, the idea that if you just follow these four steps you will never ever need have marriage problems and should never need outside help is ludicrous. Real life is never that simple.

  19. Bwahahaha!!

    “Many times women ask me specific questions about how to handle problems in their marriages, and they are disappointed if I cannot give them a little pat formula to make everything work out.”

    “These principles are the basis for solving all home problems: (1, 2, 3, 4)”

    Also, my husband points out that the major cause of marriage problems is probably just that two different people are supposed to be one person, and it takes a lot of work to figure out how to make that happen.

    But then, if the wife isn’t a person, it’s all magically solved! πŸ™„

  20. What really bothers me about most of these guides to Christian womanhood is that the men in IFB would always say, “See, it’s written by a woman! It can’t be sexist if it’s written by a woman!”

    1. Oh yes it can, if the woman are brainwashed! One of the little gems my fiance, now my husband gave me was that little book called “Me, obey him?” by Elizabeth Rice Handford, one of the 6 daughters of John R. Rice. You wouldn’t believe the sicko masochistic stuff in that book. Thank God my husband lightened up on some of this stuff or we wouldn’t be fixing to celebrate our 27th anniversary on Saturday. :mrgreen:

  21. Oh! I’m so thankful for this post!! Now I have the solution to EVERY marital problem/conflict and don’t even need my husban to love me as Christ commanded him to do or uphold me with a mutual respect. With Joy’s “guidelines”, because she doesn’t just give a pat formula, I can just repeat the steps over and over until our marriage is as wonderful as all the pastor’s wives! Oh boy!!!

  22. I would say that the more horrific their husband, the more they feel the need to write these books. The more of a monster they are married to, the tighter the mask gets.
    And it is true. These are the women that are lecturing at women’s conferences. So instead of thinking these women are amazingly strong and incredibly Godly, I feel sorry for them. Because I know what they are married to. I’ve seen it in my own pastor’s wife. She is incredibly strong, tenacious and victorious in all she does. And I know who she is married to. I pity her. I try to look behind the mask and I believe she a hurt and abused woman.

  23. Gosh, I knew the only reason the Holy Spirit was given to us was so that I could learn to properly fold laundry and wash my dishes πŸ˜›

    1. Because pastor’s wives, just like pastors, must remain above the crowd of sheeple. If she had friends, she might sway her husband’s decisions… Or some crap like that, I’m guessing. At the FundyU I attended the MOGs-in-training were taught that the only real friends they would be able to have were other MOGs and that extended to their wives…

    2. Sometimes it was explained that people might get upset if you had close friends in the congregation and feel that you were playing favorites when you were supposed to treat everyone as equal. Another reason was that you might share things you shouldn’t — in other words, you might show your congregation that you were real people with real problems. But we can’t have that! Oh, no! The pastor and his wife must be perfect, flawless examples of Christianity and thus can never admit their weaknesses to members in their church.

  24. I was always told that there is power in prayer. But now I would argue that there is absolutely no power in prayer. The power is in God. There is power in the God who hears prayers, but not in prayer by itself.

  25. Ok… I have a degree in Communication Studies. There is so much wrong with this that I don’t even know where to begin. I will, however, say this: Yes, prayer is extremely good, not only in marriage, but in any situation, imo. But the KEY to any good marriage, or any good relationship in general, is *communication*. If people just learn to communicate properly, A LOT of problems can be eliminated (not every problem, mind you… but a lot of them).

  26. Kind, well-intended, but useless. It’s been my experience that too many well-intended believers (who have a basic grasp of the English language) feel the need to author something–just to assuage the onset of problems “as best they can”. Material like this (again, well-intentioned) masks the fact that these are REAL problems. I know the Bible is an invaluable source for our instruction, but to gloss over marital problems with eight points and a picture is naive, counter-productive, and embarassing to us (believers) who use the brains that God gave us. If you arent’t a grizzled veteran to marital strife (counselling others does not make you a grizzled veteran), dont try to help me with anything that you write…

    1. incidentally…wow, i’m on a rant, now…MANY non-believers have good/great marriages without these guidances: the 8-points and a picture. Dont feed me the line that commitment to God, Bible study, prayer, etc. is a prerequisite for a great marriage. Many unsaved people have great marriages and they are as far from God as is possible.

      1. Great point that never is brought up in these Christian “marriage” helps written by fundys. There are a lot of non-christian couples that have great marriages. Could great marriages possibly be at least in part great due to making a great choice in mate for you in particular? I think so, but to read christian materials sometimes they make it seem like you should be able to marry anyone at all and make it glorious. NOT πŸ™„

      2. my former fundy “pastor” once taught a “bible study” and he said that if you are not a believer then you can’t love. ( I think He proof-text 1 john 4 for the basis of this). Any way – I challenged him on it – Just like you said millions have lived, loved and died loving and feeling on this earth for millennias. But the fundy man-o-gid comes along claiming ultimate truth[tm]. Utter rubbish. I am starting to regret the wasted time spent listening to such nonsense full assertions greatly lacking in scholarship.

  27. Found this little gem when reading the aforementioned link:
    “The temptation to seek employment outside the home is removed when children are present. The greatest career opportunity in the world is to be a mother and a Christian homemaker.”
    which leads me to wonder if Paul L. Freeman has ever been cooped up for 8 hours in the house with 3 screaming children. I can’t think of a more effective temptation to seek employment outside the home. :mrgreen: Not that I don’t love children . . . just being realistic.

  28. The funny thing is, I agree with most everything on those pages, if taken at face value (haven’t seen the rest of the book, so I can’t say anything about that). But a lot of fundamentalists, while paying lip service to these ideas, don’t really believe them.

    “Your foundation – the Word of God… Test all counsel, all articles, all human wisdom by the Bible.”

    Reality: Bible + Tradition + Pastor’s preferences, and of course, some things should NEVER be “tested”, even by the Bible. Namely, the traditions and pastor’s preferences.

    The part about responding to one’s spouse with the love of God and seeking to be filled with the Spirit, especially when dealing with disagreements and marital problems is wonderful. The problem with many in the movement is that they think that it is all the wife’s responsibility to do this (bad enough by itself), and then still demand the husband somehow be respected as the “spiritual leader” of the household.

    1. Mandy, I hear what you are saying, but that is how all fundy-sheeple think about it: “It sounds good”.
      The factual errors aside(namely the real world data on the top contributions to marital problems) there is still more problems of them stepping on their own theological toes: fundys and most evangelical Christians believe that when one “accepts Jesus as savior” then automatically the Holy Spirit indwells the believer. So how do you “seek to be filled with the spirit” if you already believe that you are via salvation?
      My educated guess is this is another way to say that you have to sanctify yourself to be worthy.

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