This continues a series I’ve called “Blogging Dobson” – (Part 1) – (Part 2) – on some comments in the Dobson book “Straight Talk to Men and Their Wives”. I pull out some “interesting statements” which illustrate the fallacy that these kinds of ministries perpetrate of being “godly” or “family-affirming”.
I wrote some last time of the trend that Focus On The Family popularized and most others have followed onto in Churchianity about how marriage is defined, especially for husbands:
He wants to call men to lead their families, but cuts them down in every step. As covered many times, this pattern only results in the feminist goal being attained – a husband with all the responsibility [of the marriage] and none of the authority over his wife to carry it out. Dobson has sought and succeeded to crown husbands as “King Nothing”. [furthering Marriage 2.0]
It’s not coincidental that this theme repeats itself again and again even in so-called “Christian red-pill” blogs (proving that they are really “blue-pill”), as well as in Churchian media. Feminist headship theology is so common that it has been dealt with before on this blog (here and here).
It is the chief means of many that is used for pulling the proverbial football away and causing husbands to fail in their responsibilities as heads over their families. They are not allowed the God-given authority that Adam and the Patriarchs possessed to hold their wives accountable before God and make them hold the proverbial football in place. Husbands may be the figurehead of their family and even think that they have the power behind their responsibilities, but they find different when they are rebuked at every step by the Churchian feminists when it comes time to exercise that “authority” and then ultimately crushed by the State family court with Churchian blessing. The power of woman worship and vagina addiction is indeed a strong force – one that many are loathe to give up even after they claim acceptance of the “red-pill”. Dalrock posts three examples of such things. Simon Grey gives us the best example of the three for our topic at hand:
There is a certain segment of the Manosophere that is both nominally Christian and participates in the Men’s Rights Movement (MRM). I generally make a point of avoiding these people since, as far as I can tell based on what I’ve read, they generally make a point of blaming women for everything that’s wrong with the world…
A husband’s job, though, is to obey God and do what he says. In regards to marriage, the husband is expected to lead. He is expected to treat his wife with kindness. He is to love his wife and not be bitter towards her. He is to protect his wife. He is to provide for his wife. He is to sacrifice himself for his wife, if necessary. He is to make sure that his wife is sexually fulfilled. He is to do this because God requires this of him. He is not to do this because he expects his wife to return the favor…
Among the other obvious doctrinal errors in this piece, which always occurs in these feminist Churchian man-up rants I’ve encountered, the most obvious one is what is always missing – the fact that the Bible stresses the wife’s submission over the husband’s leadership. The Biblical call is not to the husbands to lead their wives, but the wives to submit to their husbands as to the Lord and to respect their husbands. This is always missing in such feminist man-up rants.
The reason should be obvious to those with any common-sense. A leader who holds no authority over those he is supposed to lead has no ability to fulfill his responsibilities before the Lord whatsoever. Calling a man to step-up and lead his family without the public support (both in Church and without) to bring his rebellious wife under his subjection before the Lord is putting the cart before the horse. He can not succeed in leading his family without first eliminating his wife from cutting his efforts out from under him at every step by her rebellion before God. He can not succeed with the Church and State disavowing his God-given authority at every step to carry out his responsibilities and crushing him at every opportunity he takes to exercise that authority. Trying to lead a wife and children he has no authority over is a fool’s errand. A suicide mission. Marriage 2.0 is like that for a husband. No wonder any man with full knowledge of what is going on doesn’t marry. This leads us to Dobson’s statement of feminist headship theology (1):
It will not be popular to restate the age-old Biblical concept that God holds men accountable for leadership in their families. Nevertheless, that’s the way I interpret the Scriptures. (he cites 1 Timothy 3:4-5, PHILLIPS here)
Whether women’s activists like it or not, a Christian man is obligated to lead his family to the best of his ability. This assignment does not justify iron-fisted oppression of children or the disregard of a woman’s needs and wishes, of course. But God apparently expects a man to be the ultimate decision maker in his family. Likewise, he bears heavier responsibility for the outcome of those decisions. If his family has purchased too many items on credit, then the financial crunch is ultimately his fault. If the family never reads the Bible or seldom goes to church on Sunday, God holds the man to blame. If the children are disrespectful and disobedient, the primary responsibility lies with the father . . . not his wife. (I don’t remember Eli’s wife being criticized for raising two evil sons; it was her husband who came under God’s wrath. See 1 Samuel 3:13.)
In my view, America’s greatest need is for husbands to begin guiding their families, rather than pouring every physical and emotional resource into the mere acquisition of money. That belief motivated the book you are reading.
All the necessary elements of the feminist man-up rant are here:
1. The justification of the husband leading without the wife’s submission.
2. The sparse use of Scripture to fabricate out of whole cloth a “husbands lead your wives” call, tying her submission to whether he leads to her satisfaction or not, as if she will magically fall out of her rebellion.
3. How everything the wife does is always the husband’s fault and never her own – ultimately making the wife be seen as sinless and blameless.
4. Always done to the detriment of other Scriptures which paint a different clearer message that yes women indeed sin before the Lord, and they need to be brought to account.
Dobson states: “But the purpose of this chapter has been to reaffirm the importance of authority in a family — first in the provision of gentle direction and guidance, and second, in raising healthy children.” (2) He as many others sounds good in presenting such doctrine, but it is always coupled with the undermining of the husband’s authority, and punishment of the husband when he dares use the authority. The rest of Dobson’s book (as the other one I mentioned) serves this function. As well, the rest of the teaching, and culture supports this end.
Again, Adam had authority to bring his wife under subjection. Let us remember that God’s admonition towards him was prefaced by “Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife”. He chosen to listen to his wife before he chose to listen to God – in other words, he chose to not use his authority to quash his wife’s rebellion before the Lord. Instead he submitted himself to his wife. He put his wife before God.
But Adam had much more authority over his family than the average husband has today. Ultimately when a husband’s leadership is thwarted at every step, he is left with no recourse but to NOT LEAD HIS FAMILY and submit to his wife instead. This is purposeful in enforcing Marriage 2.0, where its design is to bring the husband under subjection to the wife. If a husband today sanctions his wife for buying too much under credit, she just scoffs at him and continues. She knows he can’t do a single thing to stop her if she continues. If he continues to challenge her authority as head of the marriage, she can use the State and claim that he is abusing her (as all uses of Godly husbandly authority is). If he continues his rebellion against his wife’s authority, she can then proceed to crush him in family court for cash and prizes, leaving him destitute. She will get what she wants, no matter what it takes. The Church and the State will support her.
Unfortunately, he thinks that Marriage 1.0 is still in force – that he can lead his family and have the authority to do so:
Then it all crashes down
And you break your crown
And you point your finger
But there’s no one around
Just want one thing
Just to play the king
But the castle’s crumbled
And you’re left with just a name
Where’s your crown, King Nothing?
Where’s your crown?
Dr. Dobson, America’s greatest need with respect to families is for the rebellion of wives to be quashed by husbands being granted their God-given authority over their wives and be allowed to adequately lead their families and not be cut down at every step.
(1) “Straight Talk to Men and Their Wives” by Dr. James C. Dobson p 64-65. (2) ibid page 69.