Mark & Grace Driscoll: Real Marriage or Real Oppression?

Cover variations for the Driscoll’s book that didn’t make the cut with Thomas Nelson Publishers

Biblical masculinity isn’t a new trend in Christian culture, but it has been gaining a lot more attention recently. The success of the Sherwood Brothers film Courageous, which gained mainstream media attention and focused on fathers taking a “courageous” stand to protect and lead their families, is just one example (See my series of reviews on the film Courageous #1, Courageous #2, Courageous #3).  By November 2011 Courageous had grossed over $30 million and was ranked by Box Office Mojo as one of the top 100 films of the year. Mark and Grace Driscoll’s new book Real Marriage: The Truth about Sex, Friendship & Life Together is another. It was number one on the New York Times Best Seller list in January and stayed in the top 15 “Hardcover Advice & Misc.” until mid February 2012.

On the surface the concept of letting men be men seems harmless enough. After all, Biblical masculinity can be traced back to the famous evangelist and baseball player Billy Sunday who used sports metaphors and masculine language to refer to God and Jesus. It expanded from there with the Promise Keepers movement in the 1990s and then on the John Eldredge’s book Wild at Heart. Now, Mark Driscoll continues the quest to  masculinize Christianity in his book Real Marriage.

Driscoll’s new book has caused controversy among conservative evangelicals for being to graphic about sex and among moderate and liberal evangelicals for being chauvinistic. As I read Real Marriage several disturbing trends popped out to me. First, there is the focus on the wife constantly pleasing her husband. In the first chapter Mark discusses how, when first married, he was less than satisfied with his sex life and how he and his wife began to drift apart as a result.  This is certainly not an unusual occurrence for couples and something that everyone has to work through, but for Driscoll the answer always comes back to sex and his wife pleasing him sexually.

Another example of the extreme control and Mark’s obsession of his wife “pleasing” him is seen when Grace is pregnant with their first child. She decides to go and get a shorter hair cut (what Mark calls a mommish haircut). Mark disapproves and shows his disapproval to Grace. As he says “She had put a mom’s need for convenience before being a wife. She wept.”

Really? Your wife can’t cut her hair in a style she likes? However, that is mild compared to a dream Mark shares in the same chapter.

One night, as we approached the birth of our first child, Ashley, and the launch of our church, I had a dream in which I saw some things that shook me to my core. I saw in painful detail Grace sinning sexually during a senior trip she took after high school when we had just started dating (both of them were sexually active before marriage and in the early years of their own relationship). It was so clear it was like watching a film- something I cannot really explain but the kind of revelation I sometimes receive. I awoke, threw up, and spent the rest of the night sitting on our couch, praying, hoping it was untrue, and waiting for her to wake up so I could ask her… Yes, she confessed, it was true.

Mark says the conversation is a blur. Grace cried and apologized and Mark’s response is- “Had I known about this sin, I would not have married her.”

Grace’s response to the situation was one of guilt and self-loathing. “Mark had righteous anger and felt totally betrayed. He wondered who I really was and felt trapped, confused and at a loss to know what in the world he would do now.”

For a couple that both were promiscuous before marriage this seems a very harsh, one-sided blame game.  I think Grace’s response to his “righteous anger” is over-exaggerated and leads to the second disturbing point in the Driscoll’s theology of marriage – these aren’t new ideas he’s sharing. In the Driscoll world and their Mars Hill Church women are to submit to their husband. This new book is only an extension of a theology they have been teaching for quite sometime.

In a 2010 sermon series on I Peter 3: 1-6, Driscoll preaches on women’s role in marriage and cites his own marriage to Grace as an example of a Godly relationship. While there is always theological disagreement over gender roles in marriage Driscoll takes the stand that his way is the only correct Biblical interpretation of marriage.  In the sermon “Marriage and Women” Driscoll calmly (and expressionlessly) says, “Christians disagree, often very vocally on this issue. You can be a Christian and disagree on this issue, but in my humble opinion, it will have negative consequences if you are unbiblical in how you organize your marriage. You could be a Christian but I don’t think you could be a fully Biblical, happily married Christian, as God intends, unless you will obey the things you set forth as principles today.”

Okay, anyone who reads this blog knows I take a strong Wesleyan stance and support Biblical equality. While I want people to agree with me, I would NEVER tell them their marriages will fail because they disagree. I guess according to Driscoll my six- year marriage based on Biblically equality is destined for divorce, and I’m probably going to hell for being a Christian feminist.

Driscoll defines three different views of marriage.

Model #1: Non-Christian Feminism

Debating the fallacies in this model is pointless. It would be a separate blog post to address everything that is wrong with his understanding of feminism.

Model #2: Christian Egalitarianism

Anyone notice that God is nowhere in this chart? If a marriage is founded on the Bible and a belief in God he should still be at the center of the relationship and leading both spouses in their decision making.

Model #3: Christian Complementarianism

Notice this is the only graph that Driscoll puts God into. First is God, next comes man and then women. According to Driscoll both are equal in God’s eyes but the husband is ordained by God to have final say in decisions. A contradictory view- how can both be equal in God’s eyes but in the eyes of the husband his wife is not equal in decision-making. Dare I say that if God, who is sinless, sees both genders of equal worth, than maybe this is decision of sinful human nature to suppress the wife?

Driscoll’s view is typical for advocates of Christian Complementarianism, but he goes farther and defines the actual life-choices the husband should have final say on. This is also covered in Real Marriage.

There are, however, moments in the marriage where the husband and the wife won’t agree. We’re not talking hear about a lesser secondary issue. It’s date night and he wants steak and she wants fish and they can’t agree on where to go. Those are easy. Just give her what she wants. Those are easy- just love her, serve her, do what she wants. What we’re talking about here are the big issue. When do we start having kids, when do we buy a house, what house do we buy, how many kids do we have, where do we attend church. Some big, monumental cataclysmic life decisions.

Driscoll goes on in the sermon and says, “What if you don’t agree?” Well according to him, the husband has three options. First, wait and pray until your wife sees things your way. Second, bring in a mediator (a pastor, counselor or older couple both respect) and let the mediator make the call. Third, he makes the decision if pressed for time. The wife will then submit to his leadership and authority.

Driscoll’s list of “husband decisions” is disturbing to say the least. The husband can chose when to have kids? He can decided how many children and pick where they live and go to church? Where is the wife’s choice in this? I don’t hide the fact that I’m a Christian feminist, but any decision to have kids should be jointly made and since my husband isn’t the one going through labor I think the wife get equal say in this matter. Essentially, the wife has no will apart from her husband.

Driscoll leads an evangelical mega-church of thousands; yet his theology fits in perfectly with the Christian patriarchy movement. It’s not a stretch to jump from saying the husband has final say in family planning to saying that “Well, honey, we’ll let God control our family size.” It’s one step away from the Quiverfull movement.

This brings the conversation back to masculine Christianity. Do we really understand what this term means or are we buying into because it seems to fit the macho male personality type? Why has the Driscoll’s book been a New York Times bestseller? When we give money to far-out marriage advice and theology such as the Driscoll’s we are just throwing money into the Christian patriarchy trust fund. A bit of consumer awareness would be useful before jumping on board with the latest Christian pop-culture advice book.

**Note to Mark Driscoll: If you’re going to talk about Biblical Egalitarianism, at least get your model right. The model below is what true Biblical egalitarianism looks like. Not your model where God is left out of the equation.**

35 thoughts on “Mark & Grace Driscoll: Real Marriage or Real Oppression?

  1. My marriage certainly comes closest to the egalitarian model, but I respect friends and family members who hold other views. I have trouble taking the Driscolls seriously, however, after their comments on stay-at-home dads:

    My wife and I both work, but I primarily work from home, so I’m often home during the day with my son. Does that somehow make me a bad father and husband and our family unbiblical?

  2. Jeff, I agree that I don’t know how seriously we should take the Driscolls. However, it does disturb me that their new book has sold so well. Someone is listening and buying it. His stay at home fathers comments were crazy- thanks for posting that.

  3. While I don’t completely disagree with men being more masculine (personally, I’m very tired of the “pansy” guys I continually see showcased on TV, for instance) than they often are, I can’t even comprehend a woman submitting to this kind of marriage. This isn’t marriage — it’s a tyranny. His needs. His wants. His decisions. I don’t consider myself a feminist, per se, but do believe marriage partners are equal and should be walking side-by-side. Stay-at-home dads are to be commended for realizing that it’s the best fit for their family’s needs at that time, if it is. Anyone criticizing that has never had to truly take care of children, and do not understand what a rough job it is. Interestingly, Christy, Joe and I attended a marriage conference in February called “The art of Marriage”. I thought there were some really good conversation topics — until they suddenly had a whole segment on women “submitting”. There was nothing about equality or discussing decisions — if the husband came home and said, “We’re moving to Siberia just because”, then we wives were being told we were to submit to that decision. The conference material lost all credibility for me at that point. So this book just makes my blood boil.

    1. What you’re seeing Lori is the metamorphosis of men in a society driven by Satan. Men lose their place as men and women become the new men. Being womanly and not a man is seen as acceptable and is now trending as something men should aspire to. Who said feminism was dead…

      1. I for one am glad that men are losing their role as god appointed oppressors. maybe now the world can have some real progress. what a shame that those outside of the church are the ones seeing clearly the failures of society.

  4. Hey, Driscolls- Godly, Christian men treat their wives and children with love AND RESPECT. They LISTEN to the ideas and opinions of their wives, and TOGETHER they pray and make decisions about what is best for their families. As I am reading through the Bible in a year, (a plan that doesn’t let me choose what to read (!) it is very clear that women played a HUGE role in Christian history, and in the family settings in the Bible. As a Christian Life Coach and soon-to-be-ordained minister, I feel it is my role to assist families to understand how their God-given behavior traits (DISC profiles) and spiritual gifts make the couple and family complete, as well as helping make their church family complete. The Driscoll philosophy is disrespectful and abusive. God is at the apex of the triangle- the highest point- and the husband and wife are at the other two angles. Equal. Both putting God first, and their mate second, but equal.

    1. While GOD does “also” instruct men to, “love their wives as CHRIST LOVES THE CHURCH AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR HER” in Ephesians 5:25, and yes men are supposed to consider their wives which would make for better communication and connection, at the end of the day HE STILL SAID MEN ARE THE ”HEAD” AND WOMEN ARE TO SUBMIT!!! Thus, wives if you and your husband discuss something and you disagree with his decision, well guess what, he gave you the loving respect of discussing it, but as the HEAD, HE makes the decisions and we as women are to SUBMIT!!!

      1. Contrary to popular patriarchal teachings, the husband is not and should not be the final authority. Only God is righteous and equipped enough to wear that title (Mt 28:18, Col 2:10). Husbands are human. As a result, they are not always right, and their decisions might not always be in the family’s best interest. There are SEVERAL Biblical examples that illustrate that for us. Nabal made a DECISION that almost got himself and all the other men in his household killed. Although she couldn’t save Nabal, it was the bravery and wisdom of Nabal’s wife that caused the men in Nabal’s house to be spared. Surely, those men were glad that Nabal ‘s authority wasn’t final (1 Sam 25).

        Achan DECIDED to disobey God thereby bringing trouble on the Israeli camp. As a result of his poor DECISION making, him and his kids were stoned to death and burned (Josh 7:25).

        King Saul made a DECISION that displeased God (2 Sam 21:2). As a result, famine came upon the land. In order to right Saul’s wrong, 7 of his sons were killed. Of course, this caused his concubine wife Rizpah much grief.

        Some husbands DECIDED to make accusations against Daniel. However, after God showed his power by delivering Daniel from the lion’s den, those husbands were thrown into the lion’s den along with their wives and kids. Their ungodly DECISIONS caused themselves and their families to be destroyed (Dan 6:24).

        The unforgiving servant was not able to pay his debt. As a result, the king ordered him, his wife and kids to be sold. The Bible doesn’t tell us why he was unable to pay his debt. It may have been due to misfortune or mismanagement. I believe mismanagement because the Bible does tell us that he was evil and abusive (Mt 18:25-32). In the end , only the unforgiving servant was punished. However, his poor DECISION making almost caused his wife and kids to be sold.

        These are just a few examples, but there are SEVERAL others throughout the Bible. Poor decision making and leadership can put a family at risk in more ways than one.
        Like Abigail (Nabal’s wife) wives should not submit to sin, foolishness or destructive behaviors. That’s way it is very liberating and important to understand that God is our final authority rather than husband, wife or mankind. And no, I’m not trivializing a husband’s authority or ability to make decisions because there are also Biblical examples where the wife’s decisions caused trouble. Case in point, Solomon’s wives.

        “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst” (Mt 18:19). This is the type of agreement that husbands and wives should strive for and pray about. This is the type of Christ-centered agreement that pleases God. And it’s harder to disagree when BOTH parties are focused on what pleases God.

      2. And I see, reading other comments from you, that you are a woman. Okay still glad we aren’t married. 😉 However, if my husband and I disagree he doesn’t always get to make the decision. We wait, and we pray and seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It works. Always.

      3. dont forget Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira…..submission….not always a great idea

      4. I would encourage you to do a word study on the Greek word that has been translated “head” here, Redeemed by Christ. Some interpret the word “head” to mean the person in charge. Another interpretation of this word is “source” as in the head (or headwater) of a river. Man was the source of the woman in the Genesis account — women was created from Adam’s body. Understood this way, the Ephesians passage has a very different meaning.

      5. Yes we are to submit to our husbands as we would to Christ who lovingly gave up everything for the Church(his bride). A husband is commanded to love his wife. Read 1 Corinthians 13 for a description of what love is. Insisting on ones own way is contrary to love. A husband is also told to bestow honor on his wife. Again insisting on his own way is not honoring. A husband is never told to make his wife submit. A husband is to be a servant leader. Christ is to be his example. Christ came not to be served but to serve. He also states he who would be first should be last. A good leader does not lead with domination and selfishness. Thankful I am married to a real christian man who doesn’t equate having his own way as his right. He understands that leading is about making sacrifices. He understands that leading is about finding a Godly decision together that we can both live with. That is called striving for oneness. The biblical ideal. My husband leads in our efforts to jointly figure out what is best. Never have we needed to have a so called final say moment. I find it sad how many think that the command for the wife to submit trumps all commands for a husband to love and sacrifice. My marriage has lasted for over 29 years and is still going strong. This has happened because we both understand the need to put the other first. A biblical concept. You can’t look at one verse and disregard all the rest of the scriptures. A husband insisting on final say is forcing submission and then it isn’t submission anymore it is tyranny and domination. This is not the picture of a Godly husband nor is it conforming to the oneness God wants between a husband and wife. It should be that only a woman married to a non christian should find herself in a final say type of relationship. A Godly man would feel that the failure to achieve agreement is a failure to achieve God’s ideal of oneness.

  5. To say the least, I find Mark Driscoll’s philosophy very disgusting. I feel extremely sorry for his wife. With a husband like that, she has much pain and heartache ahead. What will happen as she continues to naturally age, and he doesn’t find her attractive enough to satisfy his sexual and prideful desires? Will he cheat or view porn? Will he continue to assign blame and condemnation to her for not being able to satisfy his desires? Lord – have mercy!

    1. maybe god will intervene and keep her young and attractive, since that is his holy plan for women and she is doing such a great job of submitting.

  6. @KM

    Really, I don’t feel sorry for his wife because she knew exactly what she was getting into before she married. It wasn’t like he changed from a Mr. Hyde to a Dr. Jeckyl after they got married. The problem I have with their book is not so much about what they wrote, but rather what they did not write. Today, marriage is both a religious and a secular institution. Back in the days of Jesus, marriage was strictly a religious ceremony. Pastor Driscoll can’t marry anyone in his church without a marriage license issued by the state. In fact, his authority to perform a marriage is a power granted to him by the state. Because marrige is now governed by the state, the book should address that aspect of marriage as well (laws regarding marriage, divorce, child custody, support payments, communal property laws, pre-nuptual agreements, etc.) The book Real Marriage tells only 1/2 of the story.

  7. @Joe and KM- both good points. KM, I agree with you about Grace Driscoll I’m not sure she knew what she was in for and even if she did questions should be raised about their marriage advice. Joe, it’s very true that marriage is both a legal and a religious institution and one of my biggest concerns with the Driscoll’s theology is how it can be used by one spouse to dominate over another. We have laws in the is country to protect women from domestic abuse but if an unequal partnership is promoted in the church many women and men don’t realize they have legal options to turn to.

  8. I agree with the idea that even if Grace Driscoll “knew what she was getting into” in theory, living these ideas out (or even marrying someone who grew up in a family with similar ideas, although he *consciously* rejects them) can be quite different.

    Rules are attractive. They simplify life. If women are like B, and men are like A, then we don’t have to get to know each other, and we don’t have to really relate. Likewise, if being worthy of the term “Christian” means doing X, Y, and Z, then we also don’t have to think about our actions. Or, I mean, NOT doing X, Y, and Z. Oops.

    To add to your list, the most recent incarnations of patriarchy, with even more euphemistic language are:
    “gospel femininity”
    “gospel masculinity”
    Where does becoming more Christ-like fit into either of those paradigms? I do not know.

    And the new Promise Keepers is the “Wellspring Group”. Though they hide it well, they do answer direct questions relatively honestly about the husband’s “leadership role”, etc. In other words, they believe it exists.

  9. @KM I feel sorry for the girls and women that get cheated on mistreated and that are coming out of the clinics because their “loving” partners have cheated on them and done things that they shouldn’t. I think about what people perceive as love when I see single moms with their kids. In my life there is someone who is happy being a single mom dating a good for nothing boyfriend who is generous and kind in her eyes, but does nothing for her in reality. He uses her for sex and her expectations of fatherhood and all that comes along with it are mine with my daughter, and the her ex who is the father of her son. But Mr. Perfect is off the hook.

  10. I do agree that GOD should be in all (and first in all) of his models, but your model shows that men and women are equal in the eyesight of GOD. I don’t believe HE loves women any less, but your model is not accurate. WE ARE NOT EQUAL IN HIS EYESIGHT!!! In the beginning, as a part of our curse, GOD told Eve (woman) in Gen. 3:16 that, “Your desire shall be for your HUSBAND, and HE SHALL RULE OVER YOU”. Driscoll’s third model is really the way GOD set the family up to be modeled, weather we like it or not. Why do you think some women (even in this country), still are not treated equally on certain things? This will never completly come to pass because this is not the way GOD set it up. Trying to be equal is a part of this new wave, or new movement, “pop culture” generation (and no, I am not like 50 or 60 something; only in my 30s). I am a Christian woman raised in the Baptist church and the Bible that I read states in 1 Corinthians 11:3 that “the head of every man is CHRIST, THE HEAD OF THE WIFE IS HER HUSBAND, and the head of CHRIST IS GOD.” I AM NOT designated to be the HEAD. Ephesians 5:22-23, “Wives, SUBMIT TO YOUR HUSBANDS, as to the LORD. For the HUSBAND IS THE HEAD OF THE WIFE, even as CHRIST IS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH, HIS body, and is HIMSELF its SAVIOR”. GOD did not instruct my HUSBAND (whenever I get one) to SUBMIT TO ME!!! No matter if you want to accept this or not this is HIS WORD which is TRUTH, for some reason HE gave these instructions so we are to be disiples and follow them. As HIS children, we learn to grow and mature in HIS WILL (not our own), accepting THROUGH FAITH that HE knows whats best for us. RIGHT? GOD SAID IT, THAT SETTLES IT!!! I LEARN TO ACCEPT AND GET OVER IT AND MYSELF, PERIOD!!! RIGHT?…… RIGHT!!!! GOD BLESS YOU BROTHERS AND SISTERS!!!

      All caps? Really? Men and women are EQUAL in the image of God. The Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood who vehemently oppose Feminism teach and preach that men and women are equal in the image of God.

      “So there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles, between slaves and free people, between men and women; you are all one in union with Christ Jesus.” Gal 3:28

      Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible
      Under the Gospel all distinctions are done away… all are equally welcome to Christ, and all have an equal need of him; all persons of all sects, and conditions, and sexes, who believe in him, become one family through him; they are one body, of which he is the head… they have equal rights, equal privileges, and equal blessings; and, let me add, they are equally useful.

      Genesis 3:16

      Man’s headship was not a punishment because of the fall. Adam’s function as head was established before the fall. God designed man’s headship and a wife’s submission to be a blessing in marriage. The fall perverted God’s original design. God blesses, but sin causes curses and perversion. According to God’s PRE-FALL design, man was not to RULE over woman. His job is to be a servant leader to his wife, but sin perverted that.

      Paul’s teachings about marriage reflect a PRE-FALL mentality where the husband will be a loving, servant leader like Christ, and the wife should submit to that. That’s why the teachings of Paul and other NT writers differ from many of the OT ideals about marriage. So no, man/husband is not to RULE over his wife; THAT’S A CURSED MINDSET, and Jesus “redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree” (Gal 3:13) A husband is suppose to provide his wife. with loving, servant leadership. After all, this is how Christ treated his bride the church. And yes, a believing wife should submit to him.

      Nowhere in the NT is a husband commanded to RULE his wife. 1 Tim 3:4, “overseer must rule his own house well”. Greek is the language in which the NT was written. The NT Greek word for “rule” is proistém. The meaning for proistém (rule) is to set or place before, to set over, to be over, to superintend, preside over, to be a protector or guardian, to give aid, to care for, give attention to, profess honest occupations, engage, have charge over, lead, manage.

      Please recognize that the definitions for the NT Greek word proistém (rule) are very different from the definitions for the Gen 3:16 Hebrew word mashal (rule) which means dominion, reign, power, control, master. The NT definitions for proistém (rule) found in 1 Tim 3:4 are in line with the servant leadership model that Jesus exemplified.

      Too many Christians reference Gen 3:16 as if it is a commandment rather than a curse. As a result, many husbands feel justified RULING their wives rather than providing God-submitted, loving, servant leadership. As a result, many women are opting out of Christianity and/or marriage altogether because they are trying to break free from curses rather than embrace them.

    2. “In the beginning, as part our curse, God told Eve…”

      So you advocate part of the fall, a result of sin, as an appropriate action that Christians should take to advance God’s kingdom?

      I doubt there are very many pastors or Biblical scholars who would say that those passages in Genesis are God’s commandments. Rather, they are God’s description of how life is going to be worse as a result of sin. Sin isn’t something to aspire to.

    3. Redeemed by Christ: ” GOD did not instruct my HUSBAND (whenever I get one) to SUBMIT TO ME!!!”

      First of all, please stop yelling. (Caps = yelling). It’s very off-putting. Your message gets lost.

      Secondly, the Bible does actually instruct husbands to submit to their wives. If you just back up one verse in Ephesians 5, to 5:21 you’ll see that all believers are instructed to submit to one another. That includes husbands to wives. And, indeed, if you look at the instructions to husbands in that passage and think on it a bit, you’ll notice that husbands are told to serve their wives and be self-sacrificing for them. Service and self-sacrifice are forms of submission. Whenever anyone puts someone else’s needs or wants above their own, he or she is submitting to that other person. Ephesians 5 is really instructing mutual submission.

      Finally, as you noted, the part of Scripture in which it is said that “he shall rule over you” is known as a curse. It’s a consequence of sin. It’s not something God created, not something that God called good like the rest of His creation. It’s a result of humans choosing to sin. Why would you want to intentionally live a model that is the result of sin? Do you feel you deserve punishment? Do you not know that Jesus Christ redeemed us from the curse and that we are saved from punishment, our sins are washed away and there is no condemnation in Christ? Why purposefully live under a curse when Christ has set you free from it?

      1. Well said. People really have to study the truth of the Word and not what has been influenced by biased people through centuries. I suggest that ‘Christians for Biblical Equality’ is an excellent website source for scholarly to easy reading literature/cd’s. Written by men and women.

    4. A couple things to think about…Genesis 3:16 is part of the curse, not the way God actually designed for it to be. Could it be that God was describing how we would treat each other because of sin’s effects and not actually telling us how we should relate to one another? I think it is more appropriate to look at God’s original and new creation, when all are equal, as a model for how God wants it to be rather than “aiming” for the sinful paradigm.

      When you look closely at Ephesians 5, the verb for “Submit” is actually in verse 21–where it says to submit to one another–not in verse 22. It has been rewritten in verse 22 in the translations but is actually just a further explanation of what has already been said in verse 21, where it is clear that both parties are called to submit to one another.

    5. Redeemed by Christ.
      Genesis 3:16 is descriptive of what would happen not what should happen. Women have increased pain in childbirth yet in spite of the pain they still desire their husbands. They haven’t stopped marrying or having sex in spite of the pain it will bring. Yes, husband do try to rule (tyranny). Yes tyranny against women has been occurring for 1000’s of years. This is not God’s ideal nor what he wanted. Rather it is his description of what would happen as a result of the fall. If this were a command to men to rule their wives he would have instructed men to do this. He never has instructed such behavior. Leading and rule are not the same. Also, to accept the idea that this as prescriptive rather than descriptive would be to say that a woman who marries is under the curse as soon as she says I do. Wow that is great incentive. Fortunately, it is not God’s plan. We are all male and female equal in God’s sight. Take the time to read the actual commands directed at husbands concerning their behavior towards their wives. Also, consider that they are to love their wives as Christ loved the Church and died for her. Husbands should study Christ as their example of leadership. Only then will they understand what it means to be a selfless, sacrificing, leader.

  11. Now just a minute! Hold the phones! According to Driscoll, if you disagree on small things, it’s *obvious* that you just serve your wife and go with her wishes. But if you disagree on big things, suddenly that’s not a time when you serve your wife and go with her wishes? Why? Where in the Bible does it make a provision that husbands only have to serve their wives in the easy things? I don’t recall Ephesians making that exception.

    And yes, his rhetorical strategy when talking about the different forms of marriage (comp, fem, secular) is terrible. He needs to be in my English 105 class, if he’d be okay being taught by a woman.

    1. I notice alot, that although abiding in the holy Spirit for most believers is to bring unity, marriages are exempt from the holy spirit in this mindset- in fact, the man is quite literally taking the spirits place when he makes decisions his own. whose will is truly being done in that marriage?

    2. Rachel,
      Excellent point. Either it is the way God wants you to do things or it’s not. You can’t pick and choose big or little, easy or hard, as to whether you serve your wife. This sounds like husband made up rule.

  12. Have you ever read “Just how married do you want to be” – its a great look at egalitarian marriages and the first marriage book that I’ve read that actually exegetes passages instead of just giving the authors opinions on the “marriage” passages. (Its written by a lady from APU and her husband)

  13. Oh dear…
    Next time I hear someone say the Catholic Church is backward, I’ll tell them to check some of these new US churches out. As an European, this freaks me out. You’re the New World, people! You should bring innovation, forward thinking! Not ancient ideas that the “traditional” churches abandoned a few decades ago!
    God help you, North Americans, and guide you in the right direction, because some of you are not going there on your own…
    To this blog I give the highest praise for informing / warning people.

  14. I think you need to listen to Marks preaching again on “Marriage and women” and “Marriage and men” with your bible in hand looking at the bible verses used, Mark is simply biblical.

    He pointed out some people are “suppressors of truth” they have a preconceived idea and let that block out Gods words (particularly in the areas of submission and Creation in my experience.)
    Then they try to find Bible verses to defy what they disagree with.

    If you listen to Mark he gave a perfect example of being equal and needing authority, I really hope you reconsider and hear what God (not Marks opinion) has said.

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