Daddy Issues

A little while ago I was kneeling on the bathroom floor, shampooing Blaire’s hair as she sat in the tub. My four-year-old Chloe came in to supervise and inadvertently pulled the whole shower curtain down on me. The metal rod cracked my head, all the little metal hooks making quite the racket as they scattered about. It was a bit of a surprise. Chloe stood firm beside me, tucked her hair behind her ear, and said, “Well. That happened.”

This seems surprisingly descriptive of the recent blog debacle. In the wake of Bekah’s witty wild post, I felt the need to get in on the shower curtain crashing action. Consider my hair tucked behind my ear.

When I was in college, but still a teenager, I began volunteering at a local crisis pregnancy center. It was not affiliated with our church, but it was part of my early childhood memories as my parents had helped start it. It was, I believe, my first real experience of working alongside of Christians who were from many different churches. I was not at all surprised by some of the differences we faced, but a few really stood out to me. One particular instance comes to mind when I was asked to watch a video that was part of the training for the abstinence program.

The woman who was speaking in the video was some kind of professional abstinence speaker to youth groups and Christian schools, and she made a point at the beginning to mention how she left her “Mr. Mom” husband at home with the kids while she engaged in this vital work.  At some point she told us all that our teenagers are facing pressure to have sex every day. This was why she traveled about showing them all pictures of STD’s. This was why she was facing the problem head on and talking to the kids about resisting. She also mentioned at this time how she took her junior-high son’s prom date out in advance and told her just what would happen if she laid a hand on her son.

When this video was over, (should I mention that the end could not come soon enough?) the woman who was watching it with me asked me what I thought about it. And I told her. I told her the plain old ugly unvarnished truth. Sex is not the problem. Threatening the children with STD’s will not keep them out of each other’s pants. The deep dark truth is that this is a problem that starts back quite a bit further. I mentioned the fact that I had not ever faced pressure to have sex. Never. Lewd guys on the street are not pressure. Pressure (as they were talking about it) was the result of being a young person in this world. But here I was – a young person who had forged most of my way through adolescence without ever having a zit- faced young boy calling the shots about my body. How did this happen? Was it some skill set of mine? Had I learned the secret technique of getting off the couch in the dimly lit room just in time? Nope. The truth was that the reason for my freedom had a name, and it was Dad.

I don’t mean by this that I had a father who raced about taking young men to coffee to threaten them about staying away from me. I don’t mean by this that I had a crazy overprotective father who wouldn’t let me out of the house, or wouldn’t let me speak to young men. I did not have a father who required me to conduct my life  in the constant company of turtlenecks, thick tights, and unflattering shoes. What I did have – and still do– was a sacrificial father. It was his sacrifice that provided us with an education. It was his sacrifice that engaged with the Word in Bible studies with a bunch of junior-high kids. It was his sacrifice that watched pop music videos with us, talking to us about what they were saying, what worldview they were pushing, and helped us work through this kind of thing ourselves. Dad was not on a power trip, and I feel confident saying that I think I would know if he had been.

While there are those who believe that authority is all about power and that submission is all about subservience, they are clearly not people who have experienced either. I always knew that my Dad answered to another authority. I always knew that submission was not inferiority. When my husband came along and we got married, my father gladly gave me away, and I gladly left.

I understand that this whole discussion is a bit like trying to have an oil pastel still-life workshop in a closet with a strobe light and a disco ball running. If you can start a fuss with key words like patriarchy, submission, authority, sex, and misogyny, you can be pretty certain that almost no one will be listening to anything other than their own baggage, their own worries about other people’s perceptions, their own anger, and their own refusal to deal with sin in their lives.

So pardon me if it offends any of you, but I am not worried about misogynists. But the only reason that they do not bother me is that I have never been without the protection of a sacrificial man. I am not worried about them because we are actively engaged in work that makes them ineffective. Back to my original story – we are working on raising daughters who are never pressured with premarital sex. We are working on raising young men who are looking to be protectors and not predators. We are working on repairing the fence that keeps the misogynists out.

A little later in my college life there was a big local dust up that involved many of the same trumped up charges and hot button issues. I was on my way to some event on the University of Idaho campus when I ran into a local lesbian activist wearing a large sandwich board. I don’t remember the full text of her sandwich, but I believe it opened with “Doug Wilson is a Racist!” I said something like, “What’s all this?” and she took off telling me all about him. I asked if she had met him. Nope – but she didn’t need to. She knew! I said I knew him quite well and he wasn’t. She didn’t care. She was yelling. She was getting hotter and hotter about it. “He totally is! He teaches it all day and all night! He is a huge threat to us all!”

And here is the thing. I grew up in his house. I grew up under his teaching. If he is such a tremendous threat with his teachings of male dominance and racism and such forth and so on, wouldn’t you think that the women closest to him would have heard it by now? Either he is an amazingly ineffective teacher, or it isn’t what he is teaching.

The sandwich board encounter didn’t really progress anywhere. It was not long into it that I could tell that this was one hurting woman. This was a woman who was unprotected, unloved, and insecure. She was, in short, suffering from some serious Daddy issues.

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58 Responses to “Daddy Issues”


  • “This was a woman who was unprotected, unloved, and insecure. She was, in short, suffering from some serious Daddy issues.” Such a good post, Rachel!

  • Thank you for this post, I have a Dad who was sacrificial in this way too. Loved the illustration of the shower curtain too.

  • Excellent stuff. I’m fast realising that any man telling anyone about God’s view on sex/marriage/gender stuff is gonna get himself a heap ‘o hate blogs all over the show. And, it seems, any woman who says “hey ney” with any sort of passion is going to get called a heap of ridiculous things! Have had a good cackle at the silly things people are saying about Rebekah. Goodness me. You Wilsons seem to get your fair share of sandwich board silliness.

  • Well written. I do believe the true character of a man can be known from a daughters testimony :). I’m sorry about all this controversy. It makes me sad. It seems to me to be largely a war over semantics. Definitely a lot of anger, and definitely no effort to understand each others’ hearts. Praying for the Prince of Peace to change hearts, even if opinions do not change, but hearts that he will bring conviction that leads to repentance of finger pointing and tearing down of one another.

  • Yeah, yeah, whatever. What we really want to know is how much he charged Luke for you!

  • so sorry you all are being attacked in this way. your family is definitely a light in the darkness regarding family structure, marriage relationships, and honoring the Lord in all things. i am praying for your dad that he will be encouraged and not loose heart, knowing that in due season he will reap the benefits of his labor.

  • Oh my gosh, the oil painting class with the disco ball thing was hilarious.

    And just think how much quieter the shower curtain situation would have been if instead of metal hooks, you’d been using tissue paper. :)

  • Excellent points and quite applicable to the situation.

    Also…I have to admit that I always read comments on this blog in case there are any funnies from Valerie (Kyriosity). I am very pleased that both her witty retort on Bekah’s post and on this one are thoughts that went through my head too. It’s like a sign that my humor is becoming well developed.

  • Anything controversial on a Christian blog tends to evoke comments like the last comment thread, which is why I had to stop reading most of the Christian blogs I used to read. I’ve only ever seen this touched on a couple times in the blogosphere, but the supposedly Christian commenters act very unChristianly in their rush to call the original post unChristian. I realize that a lot of them are probably trolls but a lot of them also aren’t. What is up with that.

    When Christians start calling each other “judgmental” and “unchristian” that is when I tune out. It happens on so many blogs that it’s almost inescapable so I pretty much stopped reading all comment sections everywhere, unless they are well moderated.

  • I love this blog (and I always look for Valerie’s comments as I enjoy them as well)! But I am very sorry when the “Femina” posts get involved in the controversies of the blogosphere. As such noise gets my attention, I find that I spend too much time following the fight and too little time on homemaking and loving my little ones. Maybe the witty hot-topic posts could be posted on one of the men’s blogs instead. With a mere reference over here as to what’s going on over there?

    You ladies encourage so many women in godly homemaking, loving children, and respecting husbands, just as Scripture instructs the older women to do. Thank you for that!

  • I have to disagree with Amy – women should never talk about controversial stuff, really? I think Femina does a good job normally but this controversy really was relevant to their mission. Could it be that average people have just generally lost the art of discourse? People seem unable to engage without becoming personally emotionally involved.

    In real live I am known for being somewhat argumentative and abrasive but heck if comments like this turn even me off, I can’t imagine what they do to other gentler people than myself.

  • “If you can start a fuss with key words like patriarchy, submission, authority, sex, and misogyny, you can be pretty certain that almost no one will be listening to anything other than their own baggage, their own worries about other people’s perceptions, their own anger, and their own refusal to deal with sin in their lives.”

    I think this is very true. There are lots of times I’ve been angry and worried about what other people thought of me, and I have daddy issues. There are people who can push my buttons by talking about controlling, authoritarian fathers. Those buttons don’t make steam come out my ears, but I do get concerned. Given my baggage, that’s why I appreciate this sort of response more than your sister’s. People who are wrong are often hurt. They may not even realize their hurt or want healing, but until they are healed you can argue with them until you both go cross-eyed without ever changing anything. (Ask me about it – I’ve got a codependent mother who can’t really hear anything that doesn’t fit into her preset boxes.)

  • Excellent. You and Bekah have done a fine job of speaking up for your dad.

  • It will be no surprise to anyone who knows me when I say- I love feisty woman!! But not the feisty for no reason kind. The ones who know God, and are feisty with purpose and truth. But Rachel, you have a gift for being feisty and tender, just like your mother. I pray for that so often, as I am good at the feisty, but the tender takes thoughtful work for me. It is not natural, but it is coming. I’m sure to slowly for those who have to put up with me. : )

    I cannot express eloquently enough, or with the depth profundity, what gratefulness I have for you ladies of the Wilson Clan. For myself, I want to live very vigorously, I do not want to be limp, but vigorous Christian living is not a comfortable place to live. It takes a strong back bone, and some tough skin. I am glad you all are constantly encouraging, and giving strength to those of us who see this faithful bravery, as a womanly Christian virtue.

    Thank you Nancy, Bekah, Heather & Rachel

  • Besides totally agreeing with both this and Bekah’s post, I really, really appreciate the sense of spunky loyalty you both show for your dad. This biblical type of loyalty rarely shows up anymore (at least not in my experience!). Usually you just get fearful subservience to or worship of a person OR die-hard passion for a cause. It’s so refreshing to see flesh-and-blood love and loyalty from daughters to father. In the end, I’m pretty sure that’s going to speak louder than any father-hungry semantics around it. Three cheers for both of you!

  • Valerie,

    I got those numbers you wanted. Luke had to pay $90,000 due to inflation and the fact that Bekah was the guinea pig for the education model and Rachel was produced after all the kinks were worked out.

    What people fail to grasp here is that Ben and Luke are really smart and they know that “Dougerwockie the Patriarch” needs lots of grandkids to give him street cred. Hence, he pays them for every grandkid they produce for him. $20k per boy and $10k per girl. By my calculations Ben broke even and Luke is currently $10k short of making back his money.

    The unfortunate case is poor Heather who had to pay dearly to marry into the family. It’s a high honor to bear the name of Wilson and to have the privilege of bearing children of that name. I hear she paid $500k to marry NDW, but she also receives a higher dollar figure per child produced since they are Wilsons by blood and by name. It’s unfortunate that she’s mostly produced girls as she only gets $20k for those. They are just going to grow up and marry out of the family after all. Boys net her $100k each. She’s still in the hole which is why NDW needs to write books to pay back the loan she took out to marry him.

    —————————————————

    Wow, it’s amazing how easy it is to make up completely bizarre things and state them as truth. It’s kind of fun too in a twisted kind of way.

    Now back to my regularly scheduled program of not spreading silly rumors about people I have never met.

  • This is great, Rachel. Hoorah for great fathers! I have one myself.

  • I wholeheartedly want God to make me a father and husband, through toil and sweet, like your father is.

    After watching Mr. Wilson at Bloomington, and now seeing this thing, I can only think about one text in the Bible.

    Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

    I truly believe that it is “on his account.”

  • “It takes a strong back bone, and some tough skin.”

    Thanks Crystal! That’s what I pray for… that and Rachel and Bekah’s sense of humor!

  • To be honest, I’ve been laughing (at all the recent posts), because they really are just plain funny! I love the word pictures and descriptors.

    I must admit, that I was looking a little sideways throughout the reading of Bekah’s post (through the giggles), thinking “wow, she really is letting fly”, but I understand it. Having been “taught” for a decade now by your father (from the other side of the world through books, sermons and articles) I would want to defend him too.

    Doug has taught my husband and I (mere teenagers in the beginning) what biblical men’s and women’s roles and responsibilities look like. Previous to this we really had had little teaching whatsoever. His faithful teachings have given us such a wonderful foundation for our marriage, and also in our roles as parents.

    I only wish that my father (who loves me dearly) had understood the great role that fathers play in their daughters (and sons) lives. But thanks be to God, through the bold and faithful work of Douglas Wilson, my husband even now loves, protects and sacrifices for our little girl and understands his great role in her longterm security and development.

    Nothing down trodden in this neck of the woods, just a happy marriage, happy children and a happy home :-)

  • For the record, I grew up in a safe, loving home with an amazing father. And, by the grace of God, I am married to a strong, funny, wise, and gentle man who would never treat me as “an object to be masculine toward,” as your father (quoting another man) said today.

    And still I think that “colonize and conquer” is no way to speak about the body of someone you love.

    I have challenged your father’s assertion that a man must claim his authority over his wife in bed not because I have “daddy issues” or because I am some raging feminist, but because I personally know women whose abuse has been justified by those exact words.

  • …and also because it is not what the Bible teaches.

  • Hi Rachel – Thanks for the comments. A few brief thoughts:

    First, it is of no interest to me how you interpret what Scripture says regarding relationships between the sexes as you have publicly denied it’s authority in your life. Pulled from your post about making a lousy evangelical:
    http://rachelheldevans.com/lousy-evangelical

    1. The word “inerrancy” makes my scalp itch
    8. I have issues with authority
    10. As a woman, I’ve been nursing a secret grudge against the Apostle Paul for about eight years

    It appears my Dad is in good company on number 10! And the secrecy level of your two grudges seems to be about equal too. But since we do take scripture as an authority on these issues, and you don’t, then why are you here to tell us what it teaches?

    Second, I find it beyond bizarre that you have been so “offended” by some language that was used by christians to attack a New York Times Bestselling erotic S&M piece of trash literature. This is something that seems to be universally regarded as horrifically bad writing but has normalized and mainstreamed a kind of sexually perverted violence towards women.

    This reveals to me that hurt women is the last of your concerns in this whole discussion.

    Your tender concerns for abused women everywhere regarding a christian use of sexually explicit terms (which were used in the context of many years of ministry, counseling, teaching, and rebuke towards men- not to mention the rest of the book they were pulled from) caused you to do what? To seek out an audience that might be hurt by it – to push it into their faces, and ask them to be offended. I too have known abused women, and I sympathize with them. While I am sorry for their pain, I would not forward them discussions of S&M literature to see if it hurt.

    Third, I did not say that you have a bad relationship with your dad. But here, in the comments once again, you have implied that I do with mine. Personifying him as a great objectifier of women is not as offensive as it is funny. The fact that the original quote is pulled from a book called “Fidelity – how to be a one woman man” is only the icing on this particular cupcake.

    Since you clarified for us that you have problems with authority, it is not surprising that you are seeing the relationship of submission and authority that is in marriage as something repugnant. But the submission of the husband to Christ is not about power, nor is his authority over his wife. The marriage bed reflects sacrifice on the part of both husband and wife, submission on the part of both, authority on the part of both.

    How you feel about specific word choices used in this discussion may in fact be the heart of the problem you are having with my Dad, as well as the apostle Paul.

    Cheers!
    Rachel

  • I appreciate this recent exchange because it makes it clear to me that the focus of RHE is not on the gospel and Lordship of Jesus Christ, but on personal opinion, experience, and offense.

    And on the other hand, while I appreciate Rachel’s response comments very much, I think the bottom line or “heart” is not RHE’s problems with Paul, Doug, or her Dad, it’s her refusal to be brought under the Authority of the Word and thereby Christ himself who is THE Word.

    There is no relationship with Jesus Christ apart from his Lordship!

  • Lizziejank,

    Besides being downright rude and telling Held Evans you have “no interest” in hearing what she has to say, how did you conclude from her “lousy evangelical” post that she completely denies Scripture? Can we assume that you don’t struggle with doubt or understanding or authority (scriptural or otherwise) in any way? I can’t understand how you made that leap.

    If the marriage bed reflects sacrifice, submission and authority on the part of both husband and wife, and this is truly what your dad believes, then he shouldn’t use such inflammatory language about the roles of husband and wife in the bedroom. He should issue a statement to clarify exactly what he believes and issue an apology to the hundreds of people who have had the courage to speak out. No doubt there are hundreds more who didn’t or couldn’t.

  • Thanks Rachel J. And I echo CNB. I appreciate you hi-lighting what is at the heart of this kerfuffle. One side sees Christ and Scripture as authoritative. The other side does not.

    Christ is Lord.

  • Totally love this post. And totally love your family.

    We have visited your community, your church, we have eaten with many of you several times, and we always come back home savoring the beautiful atmosphere that is perceived when we are among the saints in Moscow. And just for the record, we have never seen -nowhere- women being treated with so much love and respect as we have seen in your community.

    Your family is in our prayers.

  • If Doug Wilson’s language about the roles of husband and wife in the bedroom is inflammatory, then the Bible’s language about the roles of husband and wife in the bedroom is inflammatory. Your real problem is with the Bible, Phil-meister… and everyone else who doesn’t like that language ;)

    Bada bing!

  • Um, no, Jesus never said that I am to “conquer” my wife in the bedroom. And I don’t have rape fantasies either.

  • I think it is funny that RHE had to tack on the fact that it’s not what the bible teaches as an after thought.

    Telling.

  • It’s like verbal rugby. ;) Love it, Rach.

  • Interesting that none of the Wilsons have shown a shred of humility.

    Telling.

  • Mrs. Evans says that Wilson IS advocating abusive attitudes towards women, no matter if he says he’s not.

    She then insists that readers take her word for it when she says she’s NOT a “raging feminist” and that she really does care about what the Bible says. Really, she does.

    Here’s a proposition. I’ll admit that Doug Wilson is a chauvinist, sexual manipulator of women, when Mrs. Evans admits that she is not an evangelical, does not believe in the inspiration of Scripture, and utilizes a feminist hermeneutic.

    Sound fair?

  • Phil,

    The battlefield is no place for feigned humility. It is a place for the use of force. True humility is obedience to Christ in the face of challenge. Paul himself chose to boast when faced with a challenge.

  • Hey, Phil;

    Humility is a Bible virtue, and those who don’t acknowledge the authority of the Bible don’t get to use it as a weapon. :>)

  • Rachel — I don’t really have anything to say that you haven’t already said besides just a virtual ((fist bump)).

    preach.

  • shoot. that wasn’t supposed to say rachel. dangit. I meant lizzie. rachel gets a fist in another manner. ;)

  • Phil, you are posting on all these blogs and have shown no humility or interest in what the author meant by his words. Why don’t you engage in the conv. and stop the drive bys.

  • The poetic and romantic idea of conquering = SOS 4:4, 7:4-8, 8:10. Think of climbing (conquering) a mountain. Not vanquishing a foe, puka head! Or as Doug puts it:

    “Only a person with a poetic ear like three feet of tin foil would maintain that penetrates can only be used of a Nazi invasion of Belgium, or that plants means that a man must treat his woman like dirt, or that conquering can only be done by ravaging Huns, and that colonization can only occur in a Haitian cane break.”

    How the heck did I get caught up in all this?! But I’m getting outta here cu– I smell ice cream…

  • Easy Phil,
    Sounds a lot like you’re attempting to do
    Some conquering of women with your words.
    Trying to get others to submit to your views.
    Now that’s “telling”.

  • Wow. It’s wild to me that the Wilson supporters sound more like the people on the sidelines cheering “Fight! Fight!” and “Hit her!”, while, in my opinion, RHE has been restrained and thoughtful.

    I’m sad to see that the entire Wilson clan seems to justify verbally “biting and devouring” someone, because they feel the other person did it first.

  • Kim @ oh sweet joy –

    Want to get more confused? “Lizzie’s” name is also Rachel — she takes her blog handle from her middle name. So people are calling her Rachel as well — that’s probably what confused you.

  • Well, you Wilson girls are outstanding and it is a testimony to your parents. I am also the mother of a Rebekah and a Rachel who are two other outstanding young women – married and mothers of two and three children respectively. My girls, twins and the eldest of five, have always been a blessing to me, but never more than they are now through the provision of grandchildren. When I watch them interact with their own children I realize that they are the beautiful examples of godly women precisely because their father was the same kind of godly man that your father has been to you. My girls, if they were reading all of this, would identify with the posts written by you ladies, in defense of your father.

    God Bless and shrink not in the face of the storm. Rachel Held Evans is wrong. Period. Your responses are justified and biblically sound.

    My thanks to the Wilson clan for their faithful service to Jesus the Christ, the son of the Living God.

  • Lizzie,
    You are so blessed to have such a father and healthy home. You’re right, there are so many broken hearted people out there. Women (and men) who have been left unprotected, unloved, and are growing up broken and insecure. Isn’t it an honor to be given the chance to show the love of Christ to the hurting world?

    My family wasn’t as fortunate as yours, but I still had it better then it could have been. My mother’s father was a preacher in our conservative church and well respected. My mother was fortunate in the fact that he died before she started puberty, because that is when he started raping my aunts and my uncle. He didn’t discriminate sexually! My mother was very careful to protect her daughters, Thank God!! My cousin Julie was not so lucky, as my aunt didn’t realize my uncle was raping her daughter (don’t worry, my uncle is under supervision in a half-way house in Portland, Or. Of course, if you ever do street ministry there, I would be careful)

    Anyway, I don’t mean to drone on like this. I just wanted to say thank you on behalf of my aunt, because, you see, that angry young lesbian woman could have been my cousin. My aunt prays for her daily, that someone would show the love to Julie that you had the chance to show that other broken young lady. She would love to see her daughter repent and be reconciled to God and the family.

    Continue to spread the love of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ liberally throughout your life! You never know whose child you will have the privilege of bringing home. We know that our Heavenly Father is waiting with arms open wide, and waiting to throw a party at the return of one of his lost sheep.

  • Rachel, how funny is that quote from your daughter Chloe? I think you must have wanted to laugh out loud and cry together when it crashed down on you. God bless!

  • “What I did have – and still do– was a sacrificial father.”

    I must disagree with you on this. A sacrificial father doesn’t raise his daughters to behave this way. A sacrificial father doesn’t want his daughters caught up in his own fray. A sacrificial father doesn’t want his daughters fighting his own battle. A sacrificial father truly protects his daughters. A sacrificial father would swallow his pride and do the right thing here.

  • Must… disagree… … I… must… I… … … MUST!

  • Phil,
    “A sacrificial father doesn’t raise his daughters to behave this way. A sacrificial father doesn’t want his daughters caught up in his own fray…”

    And this is where you are dead wrong!

    The Ultimate Father God says that faithful children are literally weapons of strategic defense.

    Psalm 127: 4-5
    “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.”

    It is clear by God’s standards, Both Bekah and Lizzy (Rachel) are doing exactly what God intended faithful children to do. And in doing so, God is fulfilling a great promise to Doug, and blessing him greatly right before all of our eyes.

  • Phil- we don’t “use” our kids for battle. We train them for battle. Your kids are either sharp arrows or blunted willow sticks.

  • Sorry, I don’t train my kids to fight MY battles. I’m their father, and I actually love them.

  • Soooooo… apparently Mt. Vesuvius of the blogosphere erupted. :) Hoiks. Let me make sure I get this straight: Mr. Jared Wilson quotes Doug as he gives a review against a book entitled 50 Shades of Grey. (And if the title didn’t let you know where the moral compass was, what will? :)) Said book is promoting the ‘bad boy’ literature that I like to refer to as mental porn for women. The purpose of this review was to help us see how this sort of literature is hurtful to women. Mrs..Ms.? Evans explodes into life and rains down fire and ash upon both Mr. J Wilson and Mr. D Wilson. For, let me get this straight, being hurtful to women. Um…..okay….
    With that particular stage set, I have now read all the blogs on this as well as waded through the pyroclastic flow of the comments. I am not going to make any of my own arguments here–others have done a terrific job and that’s just dandy. What I am most AMUSED about however, are the numerous comments that begin with a variation of the following: “I’ve never read Doug but clearly he is Beelzebub” “I don’t really know what patriarchy is but I shall wade into the fray armed with my little shovel” “I haven’t ever read Femina before, but I wanted to make sure and get on to spout” “I don’t know what I’m arguing against but it had Doug’s name attached” “I’ve never read or met Doug, but I’ve read all these blog posts so now I’m an expert” And so on. You get the idea. And lest anyone think all I’ve read are the blogs, fear not, I’ve read the books as well.
    So here’s my own little bit of magma to throw into the flow: If Doug and Jared are indeed the enemy (and Rachel, and Bekah, and Nancy, and Heather and so on) then KNOW your enemy. Read at least a good chunk of their writing (outside of this issue) formulate intelligent and well thought on responses (probably not while you’re still hopping mad) and actually discuss this. Privately email them or request a phone call if this issue is truly one that means something to you personally and is not just a reaction because your feminism got burned a bit.
    In the meantime, in the words of Bertie Wooster, “Tally ho Wilsons all!” :)
    Blessings!

  • Phil, the point is to train your kids to fight *their* battles — the ones God calls them to.

    You’re not under the impression that they have and will have no battles to fight, are you? It’s not loving to fail to train them to fight what needs to be fought.

  • Pentamom,

    Are you serious? It’s like, well, I don’t know how to fight back on that, because kids SHOULDN’T have to fight their DAD’S battles, so I’m just going to make something up here to make it sound like he’s wrong and we’re right. Please re-read my comments.

  • Thank you, so much, for this post. I have several daughters who attend a classical school that has been heavily influenced by your family’s vision. My husband is a reformed pastor. I attended The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference. Of course I immediately saw through all of the arguments. Right?

    Well, not exactly. I was also an abused little girl without a daddy to protect me. So, while everything in me wanted to wrap up my convictions with a neat little bow, there was something about your father’s wording in the much-lauded quote that kept sucking me back into the blogosphere, desperate to reconcile my own doubts regarding the issue. Your post was a large step in accomplishing that. I pray that, with a daddy who loves and instructs them, and a heavenly Daddy who does the same, my daughters rise up and praise their father as you have done.

    As I’m not able to post on your dad’s blog (not a registered user), one thing that would be very, very helpful for those of us who consider ourselves complimentarians but still wrestle with his wording would be a follow up post extrapolating what exactly (okay, not EXACTLY) that looks like in a Christian marriage bed.

    Thanks again for your post. It spurs me to go give my own husband a hug and thank him for the daddy he is to our daughters. Grace and peace, sister.

  • Phil…really… I think you’re missing the point, my friend. I am a young woman whose own father has been misrepresented and treated with disrespect, though not on so large a scale. I have to say that no red-blooded girl is going to sit by with demurely folded hands while somebody aims pot-shots at him. Because he didn’t raise me to be a wimpy, sissy girl. I know when it’s time to roll up my sleeves and get into a good, honest fight. I’ll reserve the right to defend my father. Mr. Wilson didn’t put his daughters up to this, he really doesn’t care what the people thinks of him. He doesn’t NEED the defending, but his daughters have every right to honor him in this way. I certainly hope you would do the same if unjust accusations were brought against your own father.

    Way to jump into the fray, girls, I’ll cheer you on. :)

  • From the original post: “I can tell you right now that my dad isn’t going to knock you flat – not because he can’t, but because he’s a gentleman. But there’s a woman here who’s ready to take you on. Just give me one sec while I put on my pointy stilettos, my biggest rings, and call my sister . . . and then we can step down the alley here.”

    yes.

  • kb,

    No, I wouldn’t do the same. I would defend my father, if necessary, but I’m quite sure he would never boast about it and link to it in his blog. And I can assure you that, if I had written cheap, nasty, tasteless posts like these, he most certainly would not have been proud. The vitriol that has come from this family is something I hope my own daughters and sons would NEVER consider, under any circumstances.

  • Hi MG, thanks for the comment.
    I think what you bring up would be a great topic for further discussion. Since a full blogpost might not come out of it anytime soon, I thought I’d give you a few brief thoughts about it in the comments.
    First of all, a very important thing to remember is the full context of the whole discussion. The book Fidelity is written to christian married men. So, the assumption at the outset was (and was fully expressed in the book) that both the husband and the wife are believers. This means that both members of the marriage submit to the word of God. Many, if not all of the people truly up in arms about this whole discussion could have (and do) reach the same level of outrage over Paul saying “Wives, submit to your husbands.” If we have embraced God’s word, and wholeheartedly seek to apply it to our lives, we will be well aware that Paul also commands husbands to “love your wives as Christ loved the church.” The teaching on wives submitting is always hand in hand with teaching on husbands submitting to Christ.
    The other thing to remember is that, the context of the passage being what it is, the assumption is that the woman involved loves this man, and married him willingly. This passage has more to do with men seeing the value of what they are doing, with focusing their loyalty on the woman they made vows to, on being the kind of man that a smart, capable, fiery woman would want to follow. Dad would never have used those words in a discussion of what “men” are to do to “women”. This was not about college guys and girls having a fling.
    A few random other thoughts – the problem of bad marriages is not something Dad has not encountered. You can see from his quote about Nabal that he does not council women to submit nomatterwhat. Second, he has a lot to say about the getting married in the first place. He strongly opposes marriages that are not built on respect and love. Third, whenever he talks about marriage he always mentions some good ground rules for married couples. One of them is that you are never to make love out of fellowship. With that assumption – that this is a married couple living together in submission to the word of God, and in fellowship with one another, and that the marriage bed itself is a place of communion, fellowship, joy, and pleasure between two people who trust, respect, love, and value each other, then I think it would be hard to see his words (which were part of a hard hitting talk to men) as anything disconcerting. The people who were demanding that he recant those words are people who would have as much trouble with the language of scripture, who would object to a woman taking her husbands last name, who would not see anything fun or interesting or fulfilling in giving your husband children, in building a family with him. One last thing is that the passage did not intend at all to prescribe the exact process of sex. This is not about wives never initiating, or husbands always doing thus and such. It is a bigger picture about leadership, about building a house, about being a man. It should be one of the great delights of any christian woman’s life that her husband is masculine towards her. What a relief! I married a man!
    Of course in a fallen world, things go wrong. That is a constant, but if we diligently apply the Word of God to our lives, he will bless it. I hope this at least in some way helps with your question.
    Cheers,
    Rachel

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