In Part 1c, we learned that men are so fragile, anything a woman does that is not exactly what the bloke is expecting will lead to his demise. Let’s finish looking at the first basic need of a husband.
[Seek your husband’s advice first. A wife should demonstrate loyalty to her husband’s wishes, goals, and standards. Therefore, when a need arises, you should seek your husband’s guidance and counsel first, especially in regard to family issues, rather than seeking advice from other family members and friends.]
When Kristine and I first met, I had swallowed this idea whole. I knew all the answers to life and, better yet, knew how to find them in all of Bill Gothard’s manuals. The Bible was a secondary resource and yet I wielded it with creative gusto. This worked very well for the first few minutes of our relationship. At that point, it became clear that real life was a bit more complicated and could not be mastered by one man.
I had no idea what to do when Kristine had PMS. When she had her monthly menstrual cycle, I was no help. If she bled more than usual, it would have been foolish for her to come to me. I was clueless in the kitchen, only good enough to throw together a pan of canned peas and tuna fish, heated on the stove. If she wanted recipe ideas, why would she come to me? When our first baby cried uncontrollably at night, I had no idea what to do. When she got warts all over her hand, what the heck could I have done? Why is it necessary to come to me first for everything? It makes no sense except that it props up the “man on top” position and, believe me, that gets old after a while, if you catch my drift.
But, let’s not focus on little details, rather, let’s look at Bill’s subtle wording at the end where he tells the worthless woman not to seek advice from family and friends, but rather to the husband. It logically follows that if the husband has no clue, the wife can then move on to the family and friends, right? Wrong.
[If you have questions about spiritual matters, you should first take them to your husband. If the two of you are unable to find the answers, then request help from wiser, more mature believers, such as your pastor, parents, or other mentors.]
You must ask only believers. Believers that are wiser than you because, of course, every decision in life requires so much wisdom. Notice the pastor, then parents, then other “mentors”? You simply cannot ask an expert.
“Pastor, my wife needs me to decide whether we are a tampon or maxi pad family. Oh, and she doesn’t know what foundation is for but has a few bumps on her face she wants to smooth over. What brand should she use? She has oily skin so it can’t dry it out too much. And, pastor, we aren’t seeing eye to eye on salt IN the soup or ON the soup. Which is healthier. But..but…pastor…another thing…she has trouble sleeping at night and has bouts of depression. Being that drugs are evil, according to ole’ lady guru over yonder, and the next person in line to take advice from is my parents and then a trusted mentor (not a doc), we figure you might be able to help us. Should we pray about it?”
Additionally, it always strikes me as quite odd that Bill Gothard has such a high view of parents. Many couples would rather not ask their parents for advice and for good reason. But, Bill has to maintain his “chain of command”.
[Enjoy the privilege of physical intimacy. God grants spouses full access to each other’s bodies for sexual gratification. “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other . . .” (I Corinthians 7:3-5; see also Ephesians 5:24 and Colossians 3:17-19). Resistance or indifference to your husband’s need for physical intimacy is the unspoken crushing of his spirit.]
This is cute, but weird. Yes, this passage in 1 Corinthians tells a person that it is better to not have sex at all (this point alone caused me to reject all of 1 Corinthians). But if you must, get a wife and then you both belong to one another. No, you don’t just belong to one another, both of you have authority over eachother’s bodies. This is exciting stuff!
But Bill cites this passage that gives a picture of both a husband and wife enjoying sex together even though the spiritual stuff is a tad creepy, and then turns it around to exclusively address the husband’s “need” for lovin’. Unfortunately, I agree with Bill here. If my wife doesn’t give me sex when I need it, my spirit is crushed. I am very fragile in this area. If she withholds herself from me when I demand…er…request the use of my property – her body – I pauperize into a whimpering puppy. Who cares if she doesn’t want it. That’s not important here. All humor aside, the rest of the passages he cites are only addressing the wife. She is to be submissive to the husband in all things. Of course, the husband is supposed to deal tenderly with his wife and we all know what that means.
Bill, by his own admission, has never had sex in his life. He has no idea what it is to be in a relationship or in a marriage with the complex issue of intimacy with your partner. The writers of these Bible passages have no clue either. The only people who intimately understand each others needs, especially in the area of sex, is you or your spouse, if you have confided in them. But, complex discussions don’t go over well with Gothard’s simplistic view of life. He needs to spiritualize everything and force square pegs to fit into his round holes of life.
In Part 2a, we will look at the next basic need of a husband: A man needs a wife who honors his leadership. Haven’t we been over this already? Bill is starting to sound like a broken record. Maybe he needs to get himself a wife and test some of his theory. I’m thinking someone should match him up with Betty White.
Discuss this post on the NLQ forum. Comments are also open below.
I am a 30 something husband of one and father of 6 dynamic and loud children. My wife and I are still madly in love – at least in my view. My world is exciting, tense, and full of life. I love to write and hope to one day, do it full time. – Incongruous Circumspection
Snipped! by Incongruous Circumspection
Debunking the Fourteen Basic Needs of a Marriage:
More by Incongruous Circumspection:
NLQ Recommended Reading …
‘Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich
‘Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland
‘Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce