282 thoughts on “FWOTW: Joyful Help Meet”

  1. Gotta admit, as funny as most of us find this lady, the extreme fundy teachings on women actually amount to a different Gospel for women. Heresy. We are all saved by Jesus Christ. We are all given our perfect righteous before God entirely based on the merits of Jesus Christ.

    1. There were a couple posts on the old CBMW site that very strongly hinted at this. They said that women “relate differently” to the Gospel “on some level.” That’s not exactly the same as having two Gospels but in practice it’s very close.

      1. Women have to relate differently to the gospel that many Fundies teach, because it forbids them to do most of the things men can do, and tells them in countless ways that they’re second-best.

  2. The one thing about her site that struck me was one of her definitions of love is obeying your husband. But, what if you’ve married a dufus? I’m being serious here. The obvious retort is, don’t marry a dufus. Good advice. But when kids in their early 20’s marry, especially ones who have been so sheltered, how do you know your marrying a dufus?

    Suppose you’re 3 years into a marriage and on the verge of bankruptcy because your husband makes horrible financial decisions? When he wants you to sign for the third mortgage, so he can go into the earthworm business, do you obey? What if he forbids you from seeing the gynecologist because he doesn’t want another man to see you “down there,” do you obey? What if he insists that you attend a church with an abusive pastor, do you obey?

    Obviously, if you pick well, great. But what if you don’t? If your daughter married a dufus would you tell her to obey the dufus?

    How far does that go?

    1. I know of a pastor who counseled a woman to stay with her child molesting husband. They had children. Same pastor counseled a woman to stay with the husband who was physically and sexually abusing her to an extreme level. A missionary was reported to have said that a woman is to submit to her abusive husband unto death.

      I think one reason why some IFBs love the betrothal situation is that it prevents a young couple from really knowing each other before marriage. A girl follows daddy’s advice and marries a man who turns out to be terrible, and then she’s locked in forever, no matter what.

    2. I glanced at one page on her site.

      She seems to feel that even single women, or married ones too, must be in submission to all men, when the Bible only refers in one verse to a woman submitting to her husband (but prior to that is a verse saying all believers are to submit to each other).

      As a woman who’s never married, I get doubly resentful of Christians who think even an unmarried woman must be in submission to any and all men, because the Bible says nothing of the sort, it only talks about married ladies in that regard.

      It is shocking and frustrating that these types of Christians try to make their sexist teachings broader to not only encompass married women, but even unmarried ones because even the Bible does not go there.

      They just want all women every where to submit to all men everywhere – it sexism through and through with no biblical support, yet they claim to believe in what the Bible says.

      1. “….when the Bible only refers in one verse to a woman submitting to her husband…”

        That’s the fundy way – the less the Bible says about something, twist it into their pet peeve doctrine. Examples are women submitting to husbands, tithing, being church every time yadda yadda yadda. But the more the Bible says about something, just ignore it. Example would include pretty much everything Jesus said. Especially those parts about loving your neighbor.

      2. I noticed that. The whole article starts out with the verse in Ephesians telling a wife to obey her husband. Then the rest of the article she tried to prove that women in general were to be in subjection to men.

    3. BTDT,I was married to a very abusive man and finally left after he backhanded our toddler halfway across the room. The pastor’s advice was that I was wrong to have left and that if I died at least I would know I was going to heaven. I wish I was kidding.

      1. My sister left her abusive husband. The church embraced her abusive husband and shunned her. Everything they could do to tell her she was wrong for not being submissive they tried.

        As a result, my sister does not believe any more. She has rejected Christianity because Christians, en masse, rejected her.

  3. “Trading our beautiful, feminine aprons in for those rough, unshapely, unisex ones will not yield unity, only confusion which will lead to frustration for man, woman, and child.”

    Oh no! Is that my wife or is there a man in stilettos cooking my dinner??

    1. People are confused and frustrated (frustrated from what?) when they see someone wearing a utilitarian apron?

      As the kids say, “I got 99 problems but that ain’t one of them.”

    1. Yes, that was a very telling sentence, wasn’t it? I find that often, Fundies (especially women) tend to talk in circles around the issue and manipulate into helpless agreement with their illogic. But this lady capped that with an iron-fisted direct approach. Gave me the shivers, actually.

  4. What’s with the “Call Me Grandma” counter on the right side of the home page? The one that says “Grandma’s Baby-777 days to go”?

    At first I thought it must be for elephants, but I looked it up, and an elephant is only pregnant for 660 days (if African) or 610 days (if Asian). 266 days is average for humans. Even a whale has only a 360-day gestation period. It’s got to be some extraterrestrial being that gestates for 777 days.

    1. I was wondering the same thing. Especially since it was called “Babystrology.”

      One would imagine that anything with the “strology” suffix would count as appearance of evil.

      1. Yup, it now says 778. I wonder how often she updates her website? Or is the ticker going to stay there until somebody gives her the next grandchild as a passive-aggressive type thing?

    1. My thought exactly. There are clothes out there at retail stores that fit their version of modesty that are attractive. They’re harder to find, but they’re there.

  5. In the apron article, she wrote:
    Is it just something our lil’ole grannies wore?

    Is lil’ole supposed to be a Hawai’ian adjective? I can’t find a translation.

    Ol̩ Рan interjection to stir up excitement
    Ol’ – contracted form of old.
    It’s not rocket surgery to use the correct word.

  6. I canned apple butter and pie filling this weekend and wore my vintage apron to do it. I wore my frilly holiday apron tonight while baking a cake from scratch. Unfortunately, I’m still not good enough. I work outside my home, which is usually pretty messy, and I’ve limited the number of my children.

    Even after several years of celebrating freedom, articles like this still have the power to make me feel a mixture of inadequacy and anger and just a hint of doubt – is it really okay that I’ve chosen not to take that route? Am I going to wake up and regret this in 30 years? Reading everyone else’s responses helps remind me of the rationale behind my and my husband’s choices. I’m so glad this community is here to provide diverse perspectives and encouragement.

  7. Obviously, this lady has never met a hipster! Canning, baking, sewing, knitting and vintage aprons are all the rage in the large city where I live. The one and only thing I like about my gazillion years growing up in fundamentalism was that it gave me a solid foundation in food and gluttony. I now make my living as a professional baker but (sigh) it is outside the home as I am over 30, unmarried, barren and have no friends who can perm my hair. I have my vintage apron collection hanging on my wall. Does that count?

  8. On her “silk and purple” page, she advertises a Bible cover sewing business.

    I wonder: if you were to let her know that you want her to sew a cover for your NIV or NASB, would she turn you down? ❓ Does she sew covers only for KJVs? 🙂

    On a more serious tack, I feel sorry for her and women like her who honestly feel their only duty or calling in life is to be a wife and a mother, and to live by all these man made, narrow rules. I hope some day she realizes it’s not necessary.

    Not that I am against women who freely choose to be a wife and stay at home mother, but I’m afraid a lot of Christian women have been blinded or brainwashed by gender complementarian teachings and haven’t even looked into what biblical egalitarians teach.

  9. My husband and I had a good laugh at her site last night. ” How old is this person?” was one of his comments. But after I went to bed, I started thinking that maybe this isn’t all that funny after all.

    A piece of cloth, maybe three yards of it, used to keep our clothes clean when we’re cooking or cleaning, is now a test of femininity. Worse, it is a metonym for spirituality. So men who cook (including my husband who is a wonderful, creative cook) are out of their place, their “designated role” as men. And women who aren’t stay-at-home moms and/or wives are also out of place. But I’m a better teacher than I am a cook – and my kids…er, lambs…um, olive branches… – are adults.

    I get great satisfaction from a well-cooked meal, a clean bathroom, a nicely decorated home. I am more fulfilled, however, when I read one of my stories in a children’s magazine or have a parent tell me her child sleeps with my book because she loves it so much. Or when a student that’s been struggling finally “gets it.” My husband enjoys making apple pies – he’s already talking about going to the orchard to get a specific kind of apple he wants to try.

    Are we out of God’s plan by changing the traditional idea of how to act on our creativity? Is his cooking and my lack of domestic skills a sign we’re out of God’s “will”? Must I don an apron and he leave the kitchen so we can please God?

    How sad. Christianity, the glorious story of God’s great love for us, is reduced to something shallow and superficial. An apron. Do you wear one? Who cares?

    1. well stated. For some reason Christianity overall has a hard time differentiating between culture and spiritual issues. The newest culture is always evil and on its way to hell. And for some reason, we always decide God loves a certain culture most of all–oddly enough its usually 1950 American culture rather than the Hebrew culture of the Bible.
      And by not being able to change with the culture, the love and story of God looks like it cannot transcend all that we humans do or the cultures we create.

      1. Christianity has had that conviction, that culture and spirituality were mixed, and that their culture (especially British and American) was the best.

        So when missionaries went to Africa, they dressed the native women up in dresses, just like the poor women had back at home. It covered up the breasts (after all, bare breasts are sinful!). They spent as much time anglicizing the natives as they did preaching the gospel.

        It made colonization so much easier. With the natives pacified, the European nations could waltz in and put them to work extracting minerals. It was a new era of slavery, and missionaries had done much of the preliminary work.

        No, that was not their intentions.

        But instead of giving the people the gospel and letting the gospel work itself out in their own lives and culture, they associated the culture with faith. And as the colonials moved in, they were accepted on that basis. It would take time, but eventually they realized that those who had taken them over and enslaved them were not believers at all. It caused a severe backlash against Christianity in many parts of Africa.

        The same thing happened in China. Missionaries were dispatched to China, and China received them. Then, on the reputation of the missionaries, British companies shipped in morphine and opium, snaring the people in their drug dens. The Boxer Rebellion later threw out most British and Americans, including the missionaries. They associated Christianity with the evils capitalism had brought to them.

        With that in mind, it is no wonder that China is mostly closed to the gospel, suspicious of anything that looks “Christian.” It regulates it tightly, because, in the end, to the Chinese, Christianity means corruption by colonial interests.

        Even when it came to slavery here in the US, the Southern Baptist Convention was created to defend Southern Culture. It tried to protect slavery, and many preachers denounced the North for attacking God’s plan for the blacks.

        I came to realize that much of what passes for Christianity here in the United States, especially fundamentalism and Conservatism, is not faith in God, but faith in culture. A change in culture is seen as an attack on morality. The Gospel preached is to believe on Jesus. The Gospel lived is to defend culture, prejudice, and “the old ways.” Efforts to feed the poor and clothe and house them are derided as “the Social Gospel.” Education is disparaged.

        So the conflation of culture and faith has been going on for a long time. The greatest moments in faith in the last couple of hundred years are often little more than efforts to spread culture.

    2. I agree that it’s tremendously sad. Christ came to set us free and give us abundant life, yet people like this, in the name of Jesus, keep trying to find new ways to chain us down to their personal expectations.

      1. I shared the apron article with my husband last night. He was almost shocked by how ridiculous it is. He was speechless when I told him most ladies Bible studies and retreats I went to while in fundyland were full of mindless expectations like this. He asked if I believed all the nonsense. My response was that I didn’t believe it but I tried to fit the mold because I was told many times that I was rebellious when I failed to conform. (Not by my husband but by others in the church & by his mother.)
        I once was told I was nothing but a silly little girl and couldn’t possibly understand the Word of God apart from the pastor when I shared with a friend how I didn’t understand the doctrine of Baptist Baptism. She further scolded me by asking if my husband knew I said things like that.
        It was such a harsh environment we were in while attending IFB churches I literally spent a year dealing with extreme anxiety attacks. The pressure was just too much for me. So reading this article really bothers me. I see it as an attempt to make others conform to yet another outward appearance to make one right with God. Sadly, it has nothing to do with God 😥 Yet, young impressionable ladies, such as I was many years ago, will feel the need to suppress their own common sense and strive to conform.

        1. “. . . suppress their own common sense and strive to conform.”
          The.story.of.my.life. and of many other unfortunate people who have listened to misguided teachings just because they really do want to please God, and that’s how they’ve been taught that pleasing God is done.

        2. I think a lot of IFB husbands really have no clue how oppressive that environment is for their wives. And when you’re taught to just “submit,” (i.e. be subservient) to your husband, that effectively subverts honest communication.

          When I started telling my spouse some of the manure that was laid thickly over IFB women, his face looked like this: 😯 . He seriously had a hard time getting his head wrapped around the fact that we were taught all this extraneous nonsense with the same authority as Scripture. Whenever I’d mention an additional point, he’d sputter, “But, that’s not in the Bible! That’s so…wrong!”

          Well, I know that now, tyvm! But when you’re given the whole “females are inferior & must submit to males” codswallop fed to you your entire life, you just accept it as reality.

        3. Stacy, I am sorry you had a similar experience. I heard from the pulpit many times that to be right with God one had to be right with their pastor. I was expected to follow blindly even though most of the time what he said made no logical sense to me. Many times I was left scratching my head thinking how in the world did he come to a logical conclusion on many issues using his proof text of the week?
          I was mislead into believing that I was the problem for many years. I now tell people don’t settle for being told who God is but rather seek to know Him personally.

          After we left fundyland, my husband and I tested the faith of all we were taught about God, doctrine and Bible versions (sadly, we were KJVonly 😥 ). For the first time in our lives we began to discover God for who He is NOT for who we were told He was. So many things we were told to be gospel truth were nothing but traditions of men. 😯 Also, what freedom to discover that yes, God gave me a brain too! I can read His Word, study & meditate on it and understand it without the help of a pastor 😀

        4. Kreine, You said it so well! Yes, that is exactly how my husband responds when he hears about the junk I was told at countless ladies meetings. Ladies are treated totally different then men in the IFB. That is why it is so hard for those who have not experienced what we have to understand what it was really like for a woman to be in the IFB. Like you said, I don’t even think our husbands can fully understand either. 😥

    3. “How sad. Christianity, the glorious story of God’s great love for us, is reduced to something shallow and superficial. An apron. Do you wear one? Who cares?” Don’t be fooled. In her hands, the apron becomes radicalized; a symbol for reclaiming an identity for women that disregards all advances made in the modern era. It is a fundamentally oppressive vision–women are denied even their very emotions as they don an aprons, put on happy faces, and cease to exist an autonomous individuals. We might snicker at the degree to which she injects fantasy into her history of the apron, but make no mistake: the implications behind it are terrifying and profound.

        1. In her hands, an apron becomes a weapon with which to hurt those who do not conform to her ideas.

        2. Yes.
          If you asked me which tools can be used as weapons, an apron wouldn’t have been on my list.
          Until now.

  10. After reading much of this woman’s wonderfully logical and biblical ministrations, I realize that I put my wife in a bad situation yesterday. She was off work, (which I guess is strike one, working outside the home instead of taking care of children who no longer even live in the same state as we do) and had planned to do some house cleaning. Instead, I took a night off work rather spur-of-the-moment so we could have a matching off day. We went for a drive in the mountains, looked at a pottery museum, folk-art, and bought apples at an orchard. A really nice date-day.

    So now, since she had to spend the day stuck with me, the laundry isn’t folded. But since I often fold it and put it away, as well as cook Thursday and Friday since that is my “week-end” and she works, we are already well down the slippery slope. Next thing you know, I’ll be wearing one of my aprons (or one of **gasp** hers) and who knows what’s next……..

  11. What if a woman has a terminal degree and makes enough money to hire a maid? And a nanny? Is she woman enough then? Her house will be clean and her children well-cared-for. Is it allowable to delegate responsibilities? And if not, where is the line? Is the woman only biblical if she butchers her own meat and grows/grinds her own wheat for bread? Or is delegating that to the grocery store ok?

    1. Gentle Clara,

      Forgive me for responding here to your comments regarding some statements I made about the KJV on one of the previous posts.

      May I begin my response to your rebuke by saying, “Oh Geez! not again!” May I also thank you for implicitly admitting that although you consider me a crazy man, at least you consider me a nice, crazy man?

      With regards to your analogy of Balaam’s ass, I think that all of us (at least a lot of the time) fit the example of the ass infinitely better than any particular Bible version does. The same with the fork (an analogy used by another commenter who took umbrage)– I think the food would be a better analogy to the word of God. Getting back to the ass, the particular animal God chose to use may or may not have been critical, but the message the ass delivered was. I mention this merely to point out the fact that altering the words of the message can most certainly alter the meaning of the message.

      Although I do not believe I used the word “best” which you put put in quotation marks, I did use the words “better than.” As you correctly mentioned, the meaning of either best or better than can be interpeted to mean any number of things unless clearly defined– something, as you pointed out, I did not do. In some cases, for example when someone says, “Chocolate is a better flavor of ice cream than vanilla,” we all understand that “better” refers to an individual’s opinion. In other cases, for example,if someone were to say, “The use of antibiotics is a better method of treating pneumonia than bleeding with leeches,” the word “better” falls outside of the realm of something that is merely a personal opinion or a matter of taste. With that said, I hope can define what I meant by the use of the word “better” in my previous comments.

      One thing that it’s pretty certain we’ll both agree on is that, “Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” Ps 119:89 cannot be interpeted to mean, “Forever, O LORD, thy word is set in the amber of 17th century English.” With that out of the way, I believe what constitutes “better” with regards to the translation of any literary work (including scripture) while it might refer to the beauty of the language, would certainly refer to the translation’s fidelity to the original source material. That would clearly make the KJV “better” than any paraphrase. The years of diligent work of comparing and revising the translation to the source texts and the enormous linguistic talent of the KJV translators would also almost certainly guarantee that the KJV is a “better” version than any translation done by one man or even a translation produced by a small group of people over a shorter time span and with less oversight.

      This brings us to the source texts themselves. Uncle Wilver, whose comments I enjoy reading,sent along some comments in which he referred to textual criticism and also perhaps to older, better manuscripts than those which were available to the KJV translators. My point previously was that I don’t regard a source as more authoritative solely because it is older. No one would claim that any of the original manuscripts, from the Book of Job to The Revelation of Jesus Christ to Saint John, survive today. What we are dealing with are copies of copies of copies. An older manuscript may be better, but then it may simply be that its age and better condition are a sign of lack of use– an indication that the newer copies which show more wear may be more accurate.

      To finish up here, I am not opposed to the production of an honest, scholarly modern English translation being produced which uses the same source material as the KJV translators used. And in the words of the esteemed theologian Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?”

      1. Yes, I came to that discussion very late, didn’t I. Sorry about that. The fruit of my womb keep me busy these days.

        You still don’t really seem to be listening. But to be perfectly frank, I’ve kinda stopped listening by this point too.

        Peace.

        1. Dear Clara English,

          There are some scripture passages which many find easier to understand in English language translations other than the KJV. Actually I sent a bible to a woman in China which contained the Old and New Testaments in both Mandarin and in English. The English translation was the ESV. Truth be told, as a non-native speaker, the KJV may have been difficult for her in spite of the fact that she speaks English. A life-long friend of mine finds the old fashioned language of the KJV to be a turn- off and he uses the NIV- I would be found wanting if my Christianity were compared to his.

          Will I be suspected of being a fundamentalist plant if I confess that I have great respect for John R. Rice? He thought the most accurate English translation was probably the ASV. Jack Hyes, a man about whom I most definitely do not feel the same way, was not a hard-line KJVO guy in his earlier days. To be honest with you, I wish these modern so called fundamentalists would choose another version to rally around and would leave the KJV alone. Honestly, I would dread the thought of having someone like erstwhile SFL visitor “Brother Ray” walk up to me, put his arm over my shoulder, and declare something to the effect of, “I’m so glad we’re of one mind on this, Brother!”

          We all have to walk in the light we have, and on some things we are going to come to different understandings. If I have come to the conclusion that the KJV is a more literate and (objectively speaking) a more accurate translation than say the Phillips Translation, I would hope others would allow me the soul lberty to say so. Since, no one can establish an air-tight chain of custody from the original manuscripts to the surviving scripture texts, on this issue, as well as on many other matters, we’re going to “see through a glass and darkly” until Jesus Christ returns.

          One thing I would like to say, my sister, is that I sincerely hope I was not unkind or offensive in any thing I have written. Seriously, I received such a lambasting for my earlier stated opinions that maybe my responses did not sound as gracious they could have. Honestly, there were so many comments that I almost feel like I inadvertanly caused flashbacks of abuse. I’m not even going to try to respond to them all.

          I trusted Christ while in the military over thirty years ago now. For whatever reason, a loving God, allowed me to later stumble into hard corps fundamentalism. Like many others here, probably including yourself, I have suffered great harm from that system. Please accept my sincerest apologies if I have wronged you. If I wanted to abuse others, or continue to be mistreated, I’m sure I could find any number of fundy churches to join if I really wanted to.

          Peace to you also,

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