Where Complementarians Go Wrong on Headship

Get your heretical indoctrination while supplies last!

“Life is too short to subject myself to any more of those books.”

This was the conclusion my coworker and friend came to as we sat at lunch together a few weeks ago. I laughed, because I knew exactly to which books she was referring: those that promote a complementarian view of marriage. Needless to say, without getting into the gritty details, such teachings have caused my friend no end of grief in her own marriage.

Complementarianism is the belief that God created men and women to complement each other in marriage, and that the husband exercises headship over the wife as described in Ephesians 5:23. Many popular Christian leaders–most notably John Piper, Mark Driscoll, and Debi Pearl–promote this theory in their teachings on marriage.

Now, I’m not here to claim that such a view of scripture is completely wrong. If you want to find complementarianism in scripture, you can, and, if exercised correctly, it can make for a harmonious marriage. However, many complementarian teachers too often twist scripture–to the detriment of many Christian marriages. This is what I wish to address. Continue reading

The Problem with Porn

He’s already seen it.

Porn has been called “America’s #1 addiction.” And it’s not hard to see why:

1. This year, researchers in Canada had to cancel a study on the effects of porn after they couldn’t find a single young man who hadn’t viewed porn for their control group. Their initial search revealed that, on average, young men first view porn at the age of 10!

2. Statistics show that at least half of Christian men (including pastors) view porn on a regular basis.

3. Approximately 1/3 of Christian women access porn regularly; 28 percent of all self-reporting porn addicts are women.

4. Twenty-nine percent of born-again Christians believe it is acceptable to watch sexually explicit movies, yet nearly 60 percent of pastors say porn addiction is the most damaging issue within their congregations.

5. In 2003, 2/3 of divorce lawyers reported that for more than half of their cases involving Internet issues, couples cited online pornography as a significant factor in their divorce. Continue reading

Dealing with an Addicted Spouse

Image from kristenbomas.com

American culture is rife with addiction. And many people in the church like to pretend it doesn’t exist within their pews. But it does. Often, when all the ‘amen’s and ‘hallelujah’s have ceased, and the worship team has gone home for the day, a fellow church member is whispering to a trusted friend in the back corner about her struggle to live with an addicted spouse. I know, because I’m often the trusted friend.

My heart breaks for people who have to deal with a significant other’s addiction. It is almost unbearably painful and frustrating. Addiction destroys trusts and often brings couples to financial ruin. After seeing the effects of addiction within my own family, I think it’s time to address the issue for others who may be suffering. I will attempt to shed some light on addiction and hopefully provide a little wisdom in how to deal with it effectively. Continue reading

Tending the Vineyard

010

Look! My garden phlox is sprouting!

Last fall, I finally got around to weeding the flowerbeds in front of my house after two years of neglect. Boy, what a job! The beds were almost completely overgrown. I had to use a shovel to dislodge the weeds from the soil. After hours of backbreaking work, I finally had everything neat and cleared again. My neighbors were very impressed.

The beds looked great all through the winter. Then at the first hint of spring, the weeds came back all at once–almost worse than before! Silly me didn’t mulch the beds. I had cleared all of the weeds, but hadn’t taken any preventative measures to keep them from coming back. So last week, I was right back at it: breaking up weeds with the shovel and wearing holes in the knees of my pants. You can bet I mulched this time…and took some other measures as well. Continue reading

Unequally Yoked: More Thoughts on Marriage

Image from shyjumathew.com

I recently read an article on The Christian Pundit entitled “It Matters Whom You Marry,” and I agreed with pretty much everything it said. Choosing who will spend your life with you is a critical decision that will impact your whole life–physically, emotionally, spiritually and relationally. I can’t tell you how frustrated I get with women who pine after men who couldn’t care less that they exist. That said, the article expressed a sentiment that I find increasingly common among Christian writers. It goes something like this:  

If the guy is not a believer, you can stop right there. You have no business yoking a redeemed soul with an unregenerate one, even if he seems open to change. Christ has bought you with a price and it is not an option to give away that blood bought heart to someone who doesn’t know and love your Lord. It will cripple your spiritual development, open up a host of temptations, stifle your prayer life, make regular church going difficult, and cause massive parenting conflict if you have children. […] The health of your eternity is at stake. Think carefully.

Should you marry someone who shares your faith? Yes. Will it make married life easier? Absolutely. But the going assumption seems to be that if your spouse isn’t a believer (specifically if you’re a woman), then your marriage is not only doomed to misery, but your own salvation will be jeopardized. It also assumes that if your spouse wears the Christian label, you’ll always be perfectly in tune and marital conflicts will rarely, if ever, arise. Which is hogwash. My dating experience taught me that there’s a big difference between wearing the Christian label and actually being Christ-like. Let me illustrate. Continue reading