There is one thing you can always count on with Quiverfull. Somebody somewhere will invent analogies to explain some simple thing to support their ideas. Usually it’s so very poorly done you are left scratching your head going huh? Like Doug Wilson and his story of locks and keys being vaginas and penises. Or David Waller’s confused mess of pecan stealing. Whatever point they were attempting to make requires no real knowledge of how those things work, and suspension of disbelief. Today we have Larry Solomon of Biblical Gender Roles comparing marriage to a wooden house and a stone house. Oh brother! Warning, this is long since Larry is beyond verbose.
This starts with an email Larry receives from a fan boy. There is the obligatory polishing of Larry’s ego followed by “Help me Larry!” that most of these emails have. What Larry never seems to realize is that it reads like he is being gleefully catfished in at least half of these emails. Might be the case here too.
Like P.T. Barnum famously said “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
The Larry starts with his tale of how Godly marriage is like a house built of rock, not wood. I would call this ‘A Tale of One Fake Scenario That Would Never Happen & Has Nothing to do With Marriage’
Barnum might say of Larry’s drivel “Nobody ever lost a dollar by underestimating the tastes of the American public.”
Somewhat silly idea, but hey, he wants what he wants. and has the money to make it happen. No accounting for taste or sense.
So foolishly rich man orders two homes built to his specifications, yet fails to supervise this in any way. Right there is where Larry’s story takes a hard left turn into ridiculousness-ville. Rich people do not usually end up rich, or stay rich long by doing stupid things. Like ordering houses built without placing a foreman or overseer there to make sure it’s to specs. Would never happen.
Just like a builder given explicit directions would never completely ignore them if he wants to get paid. Larry thinks builders have some other agenda when hired and contracts signed. Never happens to such breathless disregard!
Here’s where Larry and David Waller, Doug Wilson, Debi Pearl and many others lack all understanding of how analogies and parables work. Jesus used parables very successfully, but his were all about things that are usually easily observable in life, sparrows, grain planting, things like that, not made up scenarios envisioning pecan thievery, guys motives for wearing skinny jeans or polka dots, or random odd house building.
A story has to make sense, be culturally appropriate to the point where everyone understands that’s how things usually work. Houses, house construction, vary so much from place to place based upon so many factors. Construction materials available, needs of the people there, the climate, building codes, monetary resources of those living there, so many different things that Larry does not even acknowledge as real in his story.
Again, would never happen. If any element of this story rings untrue it is this one of destroying the home. A rich man might sue the builder, or refuse to pay the full amount, or have the house pulled down and recycle or reuse the materials. Burning down a perfectly good wood house is about like trying to wipe your behind with hundred dollar bills before flushing them. It does not happen!
Well, that was certainly a lot of words, some bad ideas and unlikely happenings.. But here’s the problem with all of this. There is no hard and fast much of anything in the Bible about marriage beyond two people agreeing to marry, love, honor and becoming almost as one. Everything else is pretty much contradictory in other parts of the Bible.
The two biggest things you can pull away from the Bible about marriage that are good and not contradicted elsewhere are:
- Love one another
- Hold each other in high esteem
I leave you with the words of P.T. Barnum on conformity – “No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.”
Don’t let anyone else tell you what your marriage should look like. This is one of those approach with fear and trembling things that we all must decide what works for ourselves. Clearly Larry’s way does not even work for Larry. Larry’s words do not even work for Larry according to what he’s shared about his own marriage. Following Larry’s ways just leads to misery for everyone.
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