Saturday, September 17, 2011

horrible book on marriage

This is not a good book.  It’s actually a very poor work full of problematic interpretation and shoddy reasoning.

The main premise of the Love and Respect theory is flawed.  His exegesis and interpretation of the Ephesians 5 text is presumptuous, to say the least.  The assumption is that since Paul admonishes husbands to love their wives, men should primarily focus on loving their wives.  And since Paul tells women to submit to their husbands, they should primarily focus on respecting their husbands.  And if everyone plays a neat part in this neat and tidy little plan, everything will go swimmingly.  That’s a lot to read into a few words, sliced neatly and taken out of context.

So what we have here is an entire theory built out of a misinterpretation of biblical text, which is taken completely out of context.  But the author sells it.  He sells it very well, in a way where many unsuspecting people who haven’t done their theological homework will listen to it and think, “Well hey, that sounds pretty good.” 

Here’s the biggest problem, one that should seem painfully obvious to all of us: love and respect, by definition, go hand in hand.  You cannot love someone without respecting them also; neither can you respect someone without loving them.

The book is horribly redundant.  Eggrichs sounds like a broken record, spouting his mangled interpretation of Ephesians 5:33 constantly. 

Additionally, he loves playing on stereotypes, which is evident if one doesn’t read anywhere past the subtitle: A Husband-Friendly Devotional that Wives Truly Love.  It might as well say We’ve Made This One Really Interesting for Husbands Since They Are So Uncaring.  He also purports horrible generalizations of women, consistently shifting the responsibility of men onto women.

There are many better books on marriage.  Pass on this one. 

no girls allowed

Those who know me well know that I'm an egalitarian, which means I'm for gender equality in the Church and home.  I've claimed this position since my days at Wheaton College, when I finally was able to make that necessary perspective shift from the complementarian position.  Even though the old mindset was comfortable in a way, it was what I was raised with at church and at home, I couldn't get there from the biblical text.  I had to push forward and ask God to help me let go of it.

So here I am, married to a wonderful woman who is my partner, my equal.  I'm a supporter of CBE.  I cringe when I hear of the abuse that goes on in the name of male headship.  I can't ever go back to that place.

But even though this is now my position, old habits are hard to break.  Just the other day, when I was talking to my wife, I made a statement that was blatantly sexist and insensitive.  Fortunately, my spouse is an understanding woman who knows my heart, so it was an opportunity for discussion. 

It reminded me that old habits are hard to break.

But I think there are many of us who, while we claim the egalitarian position, still are afraid to actually push for true equality.  In a recent blog post, Carol Howard Merritt explained the perspectives of many females who are called into leadership, but still find it a daunting and treacherous place.

It's time for people like me to push forward for a place of true equality in perspective and practice.