Thursday, August 15, 2013

Respect and more respect

“Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs” Dr. Emmerson Eggerichs 2010

I love the Bible. But sometimes I don’t love Bible verses. People like to take their one favorite verse out of context and use it to steamroll or translate everything. You can’t base your whole marriage on one verse. Or a whole book.

 Dr. Eggerichs  says this one verse will change your marriage. “Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33)

Giving to get
“This book is about how the wife can fulfill her need to be loved by giving her husband what he needs- respect.” It’s nice to be clear at the start. I begin with two concerns. First, is it the wife’s job to fix every problem? Second, is she only giving something to get something?

Dr. E will go on to contradict this, saying both people need to work on their relationships, don’t expect the other person to do it first, you don’t give just so you can receive. He offers some sage advice to take responsibility for how you react to your spouse rather than blaming them. Yet he is clear that the main point of this book is teaching wives the need to unconditionally respect their husbands.

All husbands and wives are the same
I appreciate that Dr. E shared his personal stories. (Dr. Laura never does.) Little snippets like how spouses get upset because the other burned the food or left a mess are easy to identify with. It’s silly how much of marital fighting is over the small stuff, and Dr. E has good ideas on getting past that.

But Dr. E assumes that all husbands and wives have marriages that look exactly like his. The oddest aspect is his thematic description of disputes.

When a husband can take [criticism] no longer, he gets up and walks out without a word… He distances himself to prevent things from escalating… Men have an honor code… he doesn’t want to fight verbally or physically… as she gets louder, he gets quieter. Soon she may be screaming at him with venomous words that he’s never heard in all his life. As a rule, women have learned to fight with words. They are masters of the art, and husbands can feel helpless before the onslaught.

I don’t know of any stereotype that men stay silent. Many men are verbally hurtful or even abusive. Dr. E’s expectation is that wives are the critical, nit-picking, complaining spouse in relationships. But many men are perfectionists, have high expectations that can never be met, and are verbally abusive in conflict. And there are some women who go silent and try to escape the fight. Some women feel like they can never be good enough for their husbands.

Stories like these may speak to certain couples. “Love and Respect” was someone’s wedding gift to my sister. After skimming the first couple chapters, I talked to her and was startled to find that she loves it.  I am still trying to understand why. First, she identifies with the want for love more than respect. She loves to give and receive attention, affection, and share interests. (I wish I’d read this book in high school as a guide to make her happy.) Second, she doesn’t mind that not all the descriptions about women relate to her. She says, “I don’t act like that, but I know some women who do.” But does selective reading justify forgiveness of stereotypes?
Secret Codes
Another struggle I had with this book was the idea that communication between men and women is primarily impeded because of their gender. Dr. E uses colorful metaphors for these communication troubles. But if women see the world through pink glasses and hear through pink hearing aids, wouldn’t all women have perfect communication? (We don’t.) And if men see through blue glasses, and hear through blue hearing aids, why would I want to marry one? Wouldn’t I be more compatible with someone of my own species?

People everywhere have a hard time communicating with each other. There isn’t a binary system of seeing, hearing, and speaking.1 Even siblings raised in similar situations have disputes due to misunderstandings. I’m not convinced that a spoonful of love and respect is the solution to all these problems. Humility, giving the benefit of the doubt, forgiveness and listening are some good building blocks.

But we don’t need any extra tools. Dr. E says decoding is easy, because it’s always the same message. “You loaded the dishwasher wrong!” means “Love me!” “Why is the house a mess?” means “Respect me.” Every time.

What is Respect?
Dr. E says God requires wives to unconditionally respect their husbands, according to his favorite verse. He is defensive about this because he knows that respect must be earned. Otherwise, it isn’t real. Fake respect is flattery. Dr. E tries too hard to say respect doesn’t need to be earned, but his practical advice belies the fact. I can summarize his recommendations in two parts.

First, act respectfully even if you don’t feel it. Especially in public, in front of your children, or during fights. Don’t raise your voice or make an angry face. This isn’t about faking it, this is about common courtesy. It’s kindness more than it is respect, so I can agree with it. “A wife [can] display a respectful facial expression and tone… while confronting his unloving behavior and without endorsing his unloving reactions.” Agreed.

Second, think of things you already respect about your husband, make a list and tell him so. This is similar to counting your blessings in the middle of hard times. This may mean respecting his intentions even if his performance is weak.

This book is long because Dr. E thinks his advice is more complicated than it is. He dumbs down his content for his expected audience. “As one wife put it, ‘We think so differently. I don’t even relate to what he considers respect (or the lack of it.)’” Why would it be hard to understand that your husband feels disrespected when you yell at him and criticize him?

I think differently from my husband, but also from my female friends. At best, this book made me embarrassed for not being “correctly” female. I wish I were naturally full of love and giving like Dr. E thinks women are. “The Lord created a women to love. Her whole approach to nurture, her sensitivity, love and compassion are all part of her very nature.” (page 36) I wish being disrespected didn’t hurt or matter so much to me.

I’m at a point in my life where I want respect more than love. Part of that is my personality, but part of it is because I’ve been disrespected. My calling to ministry has been questioned and doubted. My insecurities and worries have been put down. I don’t need someone to tell me they love me despite my failures; I want to be told that I haven’t failed; I’m still going to get somewhere.

I don’t think I’m alone as a women who needs respect. Even thinking of a household with traditional gender roles, stay-at-home-moms are often disrespected. An old cliché is that the hardworking husband comes home and says, “What have you been doing all day?” when the house is a mess and the kids are crying. He’s being disrespectful, plain and simple.

A woman’s need for respect is part of the reason feminism exists. Limiting women’s opportunities, choices and voices is disrespect.

Men protect women
The biggest reason Dr. E thinks wives should respect men for is men embracing their God-given roles. We finally look at some context to the respect verse.

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. Ephesians 5:22-27 (Complementarians generally skip verse 21.)

Dr. E draws three legalistic conclusions. First, a man’s role is to love and protect his wife, and she should place herself under his protection. Later he calls it, “the umbrella of protection” which is a phrase I’ve heard elsewhere in patriarchal writings.2

Adding to the text, Dr. E says men are wired to protect and die for their wives and families. It’s hard to say this out loud without sounding over-dramatic. Most Americans live in safety. What exactly do I need protecting from?3

Second, Dr. E proposes that husbands should get 51% of the responsibility and authority in the relationship. Why 51%? The Bible doesn’t command it. Another interpretation of “Submit in everything” would say the man gets 100%. Should we only submit 51% to Jesus? Which leads to the last big problem…

The worst conclusion of this passage is stated as if it’s a commonly accepted truth. “You [husband] are the Christ figure to her…” (page 163). Yes, everyone should follow the example of Jesus, but you shouldn’t take His place.4 Even if a husband dies for his wife, he doesn’t make her holy and blameless. The man doesn’t need to do Jesus’ job for Him. The implications of a husband being more Christ-like than the wife can be devastating to a marriage. What hope can there be for equality if the husband is God?

A funny phrase occurs frequently throughout this book. “A husband with good will” is one with good intentions who makes understandable mistakes (mostly because he doesn’t understand the secret code of women). I think it’s good to assume the best of your spouse, that even if they aren’t acting nice at the moment, overall they have good intentions and don’t want to hurt you. But this idea of goodwill is meant to give comfort to your worries that giving authority to someone who hasn’t earned it isn’t going to have bad consequences. I think the reason Dr. E uses this idea to defend the weakness of hierarchical complementarian household structure.

Will the concept of biblical hierarchy lead to abuse? Will a man take advantage of being head of the family by putting down and even abusing his wife and children? Yes, this is possible, but because it is possible does not mean a woman should refuse to allow her husband to be the head. If a husband is evil-willed, the abuse will happen anyway, no matter what the family structure is… if a man is good-willed, his wife’s respect and his hierarchical position will not cause him to abuse, because that is not in his nature.  (emphasis mine)

It’s odd to hear a former pastor like Dr. E say this. I’m used to hearing about people’s sin nature, selfishness, and tendency to do evil. But Dr. E thinks most men are good-willed, only needing a little encouragement to act in a positive way. Evil-willed men are the odd exceptions. I wonder where he thinks their evil will came from. Much unkindness and evil arises in situations, not just because of something written into a person’s DNA. Does power corrupt? Do men need checks and balances? Or are men uniquely designed to be in charge and will flourish in their designed habitat?

World history has not proven that to be a success. Women have been abused, enslaved, neglected, dehumanized, and denied rights. Men have done much evil with their power. Perhaps I would like this book if Dr. E said that historically, people haven’t been doing marriage God’s way. Here is something we missed, some new understanding to help us. But instead he calls us backward in history, acting as though marital problems are new.

Like my sister, maybe you can sift through this book and find good advice and insight. But the overall premise of the differences between men and women are based on culture, nostalgia, jokes, clichés and assumptions, not the design of God.

1 Dr. E thinks he can use science to prove his gender roles. “It is well know that men and women score differently on tests. He is high in analytical aptitude; she is high on verbal aptitude.” (page 150) Not true.
2 The trouble with umbrellas is that if you walk out from under the umbrella and are hurt, someone will say you were asking for it.
Rape and domestic violence is the noteworthy exception to this. But I don’t think the solution is to have a man guarding over every women every moment. The man with authority over her is usually the one hurting her, not a stranger.
4 Dr. E repeats this idea, sneaking it in his endnotes. “Man needs to be honored… [as] the image and glory of God.” (page 322) Are women not the image of God?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Better Love by Meeting Expectations (Book Review)

Better Love Now by Tommy Nelson with David Delk. 2008
“Better Love Now” is a soft complementarian book. “Soft” because you can snuggle up with it, pretend like it doesn’t say anything bad about women, and focus on the good parts. The sort you can give to your strict complementarian friends to keep them from being too harsh with their spouses or themselves. (My last church gave it to us at a couple’s dinner.)

Author Tommy Nelson balances the hard-to-swallow basics of complementarian belief with these positive assertions: Women can work outside the home. Women can have goals and dreams for their own lives. Don’t treat your wife like a child. Submission doesn’t mean silence or letting husband get away with evil. Abuse is always wrong.1 I also enjoyed seeing him debunk a popular complementarian ideal when he mocks the pride men have in saying, “I’d die for my wife!”

There are probably not a lot of times in your life when [you can save your wife from being] run over by a truck. You almost certainly will not have to be martyred for your wife. And the problem is that for many men, martyrdom would be a lot easier than vacuuming. Martyrdom is easier than holding your wife’s hand and saying, “Is there anything I can get for you?”

Nelson says a lot that is obvious, but in a way where it’s nice to be reminded of the obvious things. Like, communication is important. (Many complementarian books prefer to say, “Stay positive and pray, but don’t confront. See, Dr. Laura and Debi Pearl.) Instead, Nelson says, “You can’t change people by dominating them” and “It’s not you against your spouse. It’s both of you against the conflict.” That’s good advice for any relationship.

Gender Roles
But the second half of each chapter divides the topics by gender. Oddly, Nelson phrases gender roles in terms of expectations. “A wife expects her husband to provide.” “A husband expects his wife to have a well managed house.” It’s a bit of an all-knowing perspective (how do you know what my husband wants?), but it also lifts responsibility off the author. I’m not telling anyone what do to, he thinks, I’m just letting them know what their spouse wants.

This book is written for complementarians.  He isn’t trying to persuade me to become one. But the complementarian parts are the weakest in the book, not because he thinks he doesn’t need to defend them, but because they lack the substance to survive real life situations.2

The roles are predictable: men must provide and lead. Women must have a well-managed house and make family their top priority. Nelson gives grace in these roles by saying “there’s nothing wrong with a wife working” … but “as long as both spouses understand that the man has the ultimate responsibility to provide.”3 (page 25) As usual, he is adding rules to the Bible. Nelson tries to find some scripture to back this up and stumbles onto a Genesis 3 description of Adam working the ground. Then he inverts 1 Timothy 5:8, saying that because the male pronoun is used, women are excluded. (If you applied this to every verse, the epistles would become nearly irrelevant to women.) 

The concept of male leadership is predictably vague. Nelson contrasts a good leader husband with a man who is “stupid, slow, cowardly… a failure, irresponsible or violent.” Of course wives don’t want that. But the two aren’t opposites. Nelson doesn’t consider that a man can be a partner rather than a leader.4

Family Order
“Christ [is] over Daddy is over Mommy, who with her husband is over the kids- all things done in order.” (pg 105) What does that mean? What things are done in order? 

Nelson describes wives as “the one God designed to be the chief caregiver” although this is not stated in scripture. I can agree with the anecdotal evidence that it’s hard on families when the mother centers her life on career, “athletic pursuits, hobbies, friendship, and volunteer activities” instead of family. Yet can’t the same thing be said about fathers?
Are you impressed with her multi tasking or worried she isn't focused on her baby?
One scripture Nelson uses for is the commonly quoted passage against women in leadership, 1 Timothy 2:11-15 with this unusual interpretation: “Paul is saying that a woman’s purpose is not rule men; it is to raise them… No matter what else a woman does, no matter where else a woman serves, there will never be any higher calling than shaping a human life. That is a woman’s greatest purpose.” (page 117)

Nelson is trying so hard to be positive and affirming. But I can’t make this make sense. There are too many exceptions. What about women who don’t have children or don’t marry? What about authors who write books that shape many lives? What about activists who change the world and bring freedom to many outside their family? Then Nelson turns around and admits family can be an idol. I agree, but he doesn’t see that telling a women to find her greatest purpose in her family is a road to idolatry.

Nelson makes statements of human nature based on personal and cultural experience rather than scripture or statistics. “Men tend to enjoy adventure and risks; women prefer predictability and stability.” His defense of this is odd, explaining how wives don’t like negative surprises, like husbands flirting, missing, looking at porn, being moody, or feeling like the marriage is shaky. These are all negative aspects of risk, not adventures. I assume Nelson thinks men want excitement in their travels, career, family, hobbies, etc. I don’t think men find an unstable marriage to be a desirable or exciting risk.

The desire for security, and for women to want stability, can be parental and dull. It’s a big problem in Christianity. I love this thought in Just Courage by Gary A. Haugen, the founder of International Justice Mission.

Many Christians suspect that they are travelling with Jesus, but missing the adventure… a sense of disappointment in the way their life is turning out… successful dads, accomplished moms… we thought our life would be more significant. Our day is a harmless routine… muted monotony… It had seemed like following Christ was supposed to be a bold adventure of power and beauty and singular importance... but it doesn’t feel right to complain when God has been so good to us…  a voice asks us, now what?

Nelson knows this. He’s come across it in his ministry many times. He quotes a friend who said, “When I was in college… we used to dream about God, ministry, China, and Africa. We wanted to live for great things. Now that we are all married, it seems that we are weighed down by a desire to maintain our families and physical lives.” (page 95) This quote was in a section about men expecting the freedom to minister beyond the family.  Does he think women don’t want that? Women are foreign missionaries, activists, they endure imprisonment and shame for justice and love. Yes, some women may just want security. But I can’t promise that’s what God wants for them.

Haugen’s book also describes protective American parents, and the response of their children when they realize their parents prefer them to have a life of safety over a life of meaning. It’s disappointing. Yet this is the life we prescribe for wives, what Nelson thinks they want and find purpose in.

Nelson defines respect with some kind thoughts- When you respect someone, you recognize that they don’t exist just for you. Every person around you is worthy of respect. Forgiveness is important to respect. How you talk to or about your spouse in public shows respect.  Don’t talk to your spouse like they are stupid or the enemy. Good simple advice.

Yet for some sad reason, Nelson had to end this lesson with a painful paragraph: “Men turn into idiots when they don’t get respect. They do incredibly stupid things: materialism, workaholism, pornography, adultery. When a man feels that his wife doesn’t care for him, respect him, or value him, it’s much more difficult for him to resist temptation.” (page 148)

I’m not saying wives should disrespect their husbands, or that anyone doesn’t feel hurt and want to act out when they are disrespected. But Nelson makes this a lesson about blame. It’s putting the responsibility for a man’s behavior on the wife. Your husband is looking at porn? Well, have you been disrespecting him? Please don’t teach that a man’s sins originate and can be repaired by a woman’s respect.5

The close vulnerability of marriage allows spouses the opportunity to deeply wound and belittle each other. Building your partner up means respecting and encouraging them. But we also have a personal responsibility over our own actions and attitudes. If you want a good marriage, let go of blame. Release some expectations. Marriage shouldn’t be about power.

Admitting the obvious fact that abuse is bad is not the same as providing help for the abused or re-examining our theology to see why it enables abuse.
2 If I could “fix” this book, I would still list all the expectations that Nelson asserts husbands and wives want. I’d have each spouse checkmark all the needs that apply to them, and then communicate about it. Which needs are being met? Are some needs unfair or imbalanced? Which needs have been neglected in the marriage? What is required other than the spouse to fulfill some of these expectations? Then they could adjust his formatting to the unique situation of their marriage.
3 Oddly, later (page 71) Nelson mentions the possibility of a wife earning more than a husband, and doesn’t seem bothered by it. So I’m not sure what he means when he says the man must be the main provider.  Is providing not just about money?
What are leaders? Nelson says little. Leaders are “going somewhere.”
5 In the postscript, Nelson briefly discusses his struggle with clinical depression. He doesn’t mention what medical care he received, but doesn’t frame the illness as a spiritual sin, but rather something that happened, tested and strengthened the marriage. I wish we could have heard more about that process.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Do traditional gender roles feed your marriage? (Book Review)

The Proper Care & Feeding of Marriage, by Dr. Laura Schlessinger 2007

According to conservative Christians, the role of women in ministry to connected to women’s role in marriage, because both are about authority.

The first time I felt called to a career in ministry, I discussed it with my college roommate. She wasn’t unkind or unsupportive, but she quoted her favorite pastor, Matt Chandler. He said, how can a women be a pastor and have authority over her congregation, then go home and submit to the authority of her husband?

He meant it to be a rhetorical question. So let’s look at a few books that support that assumption.

I received “The Proper Care & Feeding of Marriage”1 as a wedding present, but never read it. (It has that cover with the grinning celebrity who doesn’t look like anyone who’d be my friend in real life.) But the time has come.

Gender and Personality

Gender is the first theme hit hard in this book. This doesn’t have to be a bad way to start. Men and women are different. Any two individuals entering a relationship are different, and those differences can cause conflict or strengthen them.

So, hooray for differences! Praise God for creating diversity.

But, Dr. Laura doesn’t celebrate individuals. She makes one box labeled “men” and one box label “women.”2 Personally, when I don’t line up with the women box, I suspect that little of her advice is going to apply to me.3

Cynanide & Happiness bakes up some puns
Several descriptions of men and women align with aspects of Myers Briggs personality types.

E (Extrovert) Social, focused on relationships and bonding
S (Sensing) Better at details
F (Feeling) Bring feelings and emotions to logical guys, but emotions dominate rationality
I (Introvert) Have a hard to work together in problem solving, want to do it alone
N (Intuitive) See the whole picture objectively
T (Thinking) Strong, uncomplicated opinions, practical, won’t talk about feelings or vocalize love4

The emotion/logic dichotomy is the most pervasive stereotype in lists like this. And it’s almost believable. We can share anecdotal examples. Personally, I am more emotional than my husband. I’m a crier: sad movies, bad days, weddings… but my Myers Briggs is a T, not F. I’m a thinker, I’m logical. I want ten good reasons for everything. I need a history and purpose. (Sometimes I have to let go of these things and let the Spirit guide me, but I’m not naturally good at that. I’m also a J.) Yes, I have emotions, but they are not the lead force my decisions-making.

None of this makes me less of a women, or less feminine. But I believe it’s okay that my expressions of my femininity look different than other women’s.5

But Dr. L needs men and women to fit into strict gender personalities so her puzzle pieces fit together. “A real man needs a real woman to be complete, and a real woman needs a real man to be complete.” (page 4) She tries to justify this with Genesis and doesn’t get far.6 The idea that a single person is “incomplete” is not Biblical. Jesus and the Bible valued singleness. Completion is not found in another person, but in God.

Gender Roles

Dr. L is a promoter of stay-at-home moms. I’m not opposed to that. I was blessed to have a stay-at-home mom. But I don’t agree that traditional gender roles are the “proper source of self-worth.” (page 31) From a practical standpoint (there I go being masculine again) it doesn’t work for every family. Income, skills, gifts, and calling can lead mothers in other directions. But the attitude and insistence than traditional gender roles will fix our culture penalize women who can’t or aren’t interested.7

The “proper” role of men is to provide for the family. Dr. L calls this “slaying dragons.” (The phrase is used over and over and over.) Is meant to make his office job sound more exciting, or give him more pride in a disappointing paycheck? More likely, the metaphor requires that the wife is the damsel in distress, the one who needs rescuing.

Yes, that can be romantic. But is it an accurate or desirable state for marriage? Even in fairy tales, that’s just the beginning of the relationship. After the princess is rescued, wouldn’t they build a more sturdy life as a team, without needing to interject the drama which first brought them together?

Yes, providing for a family is hard work. It’s a good thing to do. Children suffer when parents are selfish. But Dr. L is over-simplifying and neglecting families stuck in poverty and limiting the creative freedom of families who have options. Some have stay-at-home dads. Or a parent who works out of the home. Or differing schedules. A special day care, time with Grandma or the co-op. None of these solutions are inherently selfish.

Tradition & Opinions

In Dr. L’s view, feminism is the source of all selfishness, immaturity, and marital problems. I don’t have the space to refute that today. So I’ll keep it simple: selfishness and immaturity are not new sins. They are not unique to women. I’m sure there are some situations of woman selfishly pursuing their careers and neglecting their children. Is that the main problem? Prove it. 

Selfishness causes many problems in marriages, and is a great topic for an author to pursue. But the fixation on gender and feminism prevents Dr. L from useful guidance on this subject.

This is a book of Dr. L’s opinions, thoughts she’s sorted out through interacting with many callers who more-or-less already agree with her core values. Maybe it makes her listeners happy to read a book full of their own preconceptions. Maybe it helps their marriages.

Dr. L promotes traditionally cultural Christian values and gender roles. But there is little or no reference to scripture, prayer, or seeking God’s will. It is assumed that our cultural values are Biblical, that they are God’s will. No need to question them.


I searched for good messages in this book, and found that Dr. L tries to empower women “[Wives] have all the power in the relationship to make it or break it.” (page 26)8

Dr. L tends to blame most marital problems on the wives, or at least expect them to be the ones to fix the problem. But this may be because most of her letters and call-ins are from wives. And who better to fix a problem than the one who is concerned about it? It’s empowering to be told, “You can take action on this. You don’t just sit and hope for change.” (My words, not hers.)

But what sort of action is taken? What skills can women bring to the table? The “gentle power (of femininity) over people,” the “sensitive, wonderful, womanly capacity for emotionality” and other phrases seem to suggest that women have a magic power to fix their marriages.  Magic? Surely I exaggerate. Page 19: Women have “that singular magical ability… to transform deflated men into heroes and warriors...  [they have] the ability to not only create life in their wombs, but to sustain that life force in [their] husbands.” It’s “real women power.”

Yes, married couples should encourage one another, and build each other up. It’s great advice (at least 2,000 years old).

Dr. L says that a good wife tells her husband that he’s her hero, she knows she can count on him, and that she respects and loves him. I understand why any man would want to hear those things, and how they would be an encouragement to him. Unless they aren’t true, and he knows she is flattering him out of obligation. Or if he thinks they are true and continues acting immature and selfish, because he thinks he has her approval. So, advice like this can be sweet in some situations, but not all. It can easily turn into manipulation. This book is intended to help desperate people with problems. Even couples who want a boost need more than this one-size-fits-all admiration.

I wish husbands and wives were told to build each other up without tearing down others. Without putting down others, yes, men should be proud of being men, and women should be proud of being women. They shouldn’t let anyone take that away from them.  (Even though Dr. L keeps trying to take it away from them by saying few men or women are real.)

So, is this book worth it for finding the hidden good messages?


  1. Isn’t this title phrase usually for pet-training manuals? Am I the only one who thinks it’s condescending? Especially since her previous book was, “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands.”
  2. These boxes were created based on a survey from her listeners; a biased subject group.
  3. Dr. L doesn’t directly try to shame women, but she does shame men who don’t fit in the box. On page 2, Dr. Laura says she is “sickened” by metro-sexuality. Although metro-sexuality may have a root sin of vanity or insecurity in certain situations, here she uses it to say that men aren’t being manly enough. Consider page 19: “There aren’t a lot of real men around. There are a lot of males…”
  4. I guess Dr. L hasn’t gendered the J and P traits yet, my gut instinct is that women are considered P and men considered J, as a way of continuing the emotion/analytical dichotomy. Thus, my INTJ personality type is the opposite of feminine.
  5. Here’s a link to some studies of gender with Meyers-Briggs personality types. “Men are 57% T and 43% F, while women are 40% T and 60% F.” So, 43% of men are more guided by their feelings than their logical thinking. Does Dr. L think they aren’t “real men?”
  6. Dr. L could have used Genesis 2:18: “It’s not good for man to be alone…” but she didn’t. I’ll refute it anyway. I don’t believe this passage refers exclusively to marriage, but to the whole of creation and what women add to the world.
  7. If we change our culture and politics to support single moms (the modern days “widows and orphans” of scripture) they could have freedom to raise their kids personally and maybe break poverty and crime cycles. But we don’t.
  8. Does that mean it’s all the wife’s fault if the relationship fails?