Dalrock’s brilliant description of Sheila Gregoire is spot-on. Her hyperactive hamster is probably the most annoying part of reading her ministry, as Dalrock writes:
I’ve been reading through blog posts by Sheila Wray Gregoire for an upcoming topic, and the thing which strikes me the most about her writing is how painfully inconsistent she is.
I’ll say from my own experience the hyperactive hamster stuff gets tiring. But it’s not hard to see through her act and see the destructive influence that Sheila Gregoire has on all marriage, not to mention Christian marriage. She’s a rebel against God through and through who’s sole goal is teaching women to rebel against the pattern of Godly Christian marriage.
As I wrote here about my life induced blogging dry spell, I could provide links to other posts that would adequately give examples of the method to her madness. What I put in bold above is my chief concern and why she comes up here. The dry spell is over, so time to take up that particular topic.
Sheila Gregoire decides to take up the verses of Scripture that indicate that sex is a mutual obligation of love in a marriage that is not to be willfully refused by either party. Saying yes to Marriage 1.0 means saying yes to this. As most men know, making sex into a conditional activity (“I will do it if you…”) or willfully refusing it turns sex into a weapon. We find out that this is ultimately Sheila’s intent. One of the basic teachings of her ministry is predicated on turning sex into a weapon and putting it in the hands of wives.
Gregoire starts in in terms of feelings as all good Churchians do, relating a couple of stories. In doing this she satisfies point #3, trying to paint the normal access of the marital debt for the husband as disgusting and repugnant. “How dare you would make your wife feel this way! How dare you would make your wife do it (after pregnancy/menstruation)!” Moving on, Sheila shows her attitude towards objective Christian faith and affirms her rationalization hamster, worshiping her personal Jesus. She writes:
I believe that most things in the Christian life are not cut and dry. We live in constant tension, and indeed, the Bible is in tension. Is it grace or works? Is it justice or mercy? Is it free will or predestination? None of these things has easy answers; the truth is always found in the middle, after struggling. And that struggling is important, in and of itself. We’re supposed to wrestle with God on the hard questions.
This isn’t a hard question, and there are no sides to it. Our God is not a God of confusion, and He is very clear on this. Sex is not to be a bargaining chip in marriage! Sheila Gregoire is like most other feminists, following her own god. This Scripture offends her personal Jesus (#1), so her goal is to rationalize it away into something she can handle:
He wrote do not deprive.
Deprive is not the same as refuse. I believe many people interpret this verse to mean refuse. Are women obligated to have sex every time a man wants it? Are we ever allowed to refuse?
She uses word semantics to bend things so this Scripture fits her will (#2), conforming Scripture to herself instead of herself to Scripture. Paul actually wrote apostereo there, but there’s enough here to see what is going on for us English speakers. From the dictionary, we can see no difference:
Deprive: to remove or withhold something from the enjoyment or possession of (a person or persons): to deprive a man of life; to deprive a baby of candy.
Refuse: to decline to give; deny (a request, demand, etc.): to refuse permission.
She goes on to compare a husband who wants sex from his wife to a well-fed child tugging at its mother’s apron for Cheetos (the animal comparison I used is similar to what she is doing here), saying this is what Paul means. It fits her outlook on sex, given the impressions from the other writings she has made. Sex is not a physical need akin to hunger to her, so she doesn’t see the difference. It also fits her view of what a husband should be to a wife – submissive to the wife as a child would be.
But we are fortunate to have Greek references to see that Paul uses the word apostereo there as well as see what it means as well as compare it to other Scriptures. You can read those on that link, but here are other Scriptures with the word in it. So what is Paul really saying? The NIV, which Sheila used, proves itself to be The Feminist Bible again in this case. The KJV uses the word defraud, which is more consistent with the way the word is used in the other Scriptures (my hermeneutic rule is always to let Scripture define Scripture if a definition is needed):
defraud: to deprive of a right, money, or property by fraud: Dishonest employees defrauded the firm of millions of dollars.
So we have a conclusion to the matter. To paraphrase Paul in simple terms we can hopefully all understand: “Wife, your husband has a right to your body. Husband, your wife has a right to your body. Don’t rob one another of what is rightfully theirs!” This right of unconditional sexual access given to each spouse was understood perfectly, before feminism took root (as an exercise to the reader, look up the historical definition of rape versus the feminist definition, you’ll find it interesting). Willful sexual denial, as Gregoire repeatedly advocates on her site to force submission of the husband to the wife, was considered rightful grounds for divorce traditionally. However, women rebel against God in this, as they have many other things.
If her husband’s body belongs to her, then she has the ability to also say, “I do not want you using your body sexually right now with me.” If she feels sick, or is really sad, or is exhausted, then her having ownership of his body also means that she can say, “I just can’t right now” without needing to feel guilty–if she is at the same time not depriving him.
Gregoire’s twisted falsehood in this section sounds good, and for me it’s not hard to agree with certain points she makes because there are truths there in light of other Scriptures. By the husband’s love for her, it’s reasonable that he would willingly not follow certain desires for sexual access if he knows his wife can’t do something for whatever reason. And to not lose perspective in this, these verses go the same for the wife’s access to the husband. But Sheila wouldn’t tolerate a husband’s willful sexual refusal at all, like she does wives. In any case, the issue of what each partner genuinely can and can not do, opposed to Sheila and most wives’ will not (stamp foot), is always up to reasonable negotiation and not blackmail. Marriage should represent a whole and healthy intimate relationship where this happens in a selfless way to find what both parties can do, right?
But in this case, Sheila Gregoire is speaking against this Scripture because she is asserting the right of wives to use sex as a weapon against their husbands to gain their submission to them! This is further accentuated in the attitude on her site towards porn use, especially when it results out of the willful sexual refusal of their wives. Her and her followers incapability to see the willful and protracted sexual refusal of wives as a contributing factor of blame in the porn use of husbands drives this point home with certainty (along with the proof of the hatred of men that drips from her site)! Doing this would take the sex weapon out of the hands of wives. Continuing:
I believe that the admonition “do not deprive each other” refers to the relationship as a whole, not to each individual moment. So if, in the relationship as a whole, you are having regular and frequent sex, then if one of you says, “not tonight”, that is not depriving. That is simply refusing for right now.
In other words, “I believe as long as a wife throws out a treat to her
dog husband when he performs the tricks the wife wants him to perform to her satisfaction, she’s not violating the Scripture as given.”
Anyway, this post got a little longer than I planned. I’ll pick up on her other two posts later, if I see anything worth commenting on them about.
Off topic from this post:
Yep, some of the comments you read by men on these marriage websites are precisely why Christian women are beginning to advise each other not to risk marrying a Christian man! (I’m not kidding).
This was what I referred to in the other post. The bitter seething hatred that these women have for Christian men should be appalling! In other words, the whole quote was basically “How dare you real Christian men expect us to act like real Christian women! Don’t you know that we are special snowflakes with pure and wholesome hearts endowed by the personal Jesus with niceness and good feelings! How dare you want us to do such icky digusting things!” Basically, Churchian women who are completely unfit for real Christian marriage in any way. Real Christian men don’t want you either.