Tag Archives: Generous Husband

Respect: A Dirty Word?


In my first post after my undeclared sabbatical, I spoke about how one influential blogger has apparently decided that men are pretty much second class citizens in Christian marriage, anymore. In reading her posts attacking Emerson Eggerichs’ Love & Respect, you are faced with the undeniable fact that Madame DeFarge** embraces the teaching that husbands owe their wives “unconditional love” (after all, LYWACLTC™, don’t you know?). Readers of this blog will recall that in past posts, I have debunked the idea of unconditional love, but, hey,  it’s a major tenet of today’s Church, almost approaching the status of accepted orthodoxy. 

Be that as it may, in one of my Bad Teaching posts, I did demonstrate that the command for husbands to love their wives was accompanied by the command for wives to respect their husbands (this can be found in Eph. 5.33). I pointed out that due to parallel construction, either love and respect are both unconditional or neither is unconditional, that it isn’t a mix ‘n’ match set. It’s just not kosher to say that the husband has to love his wife unconditionally, whereas wives only have to respect their husbands conditionally. Nope. T’aint fair, t’aint biblical.

But this is exactly what Madame DeFarge argues on her blog. In fact, when one commenter said that while a husband’s love should be unconditional but it was alright to require a wife’s respect to be earned, Mme. DeFarge replies “Totally agree!” While Mme. DeFarge says that she is a new convert, her history shows that she has been undermining respect for husbands for several years. After all, three years ago, she wrote a post for her followers asking if they respected their husbands TOO MUCH.

“Respect Is So Yesterday!”

Although I am approaching 70, you don’t have to have a long memory to remember when respect was NOT a dirty word. It wasn’t that long ago that there were two books that were popular in Christian bookstores (even making the New York Times Bestsellers lists, I believe) for helping Christian marriages. First there was the men’s devotional, The Love Dare, written as a spin-off of the movie Fireproof, which challenged husbands to become more Christ-like in their relationships with their wives.

A couple of years later, Nina Roesner wrote The Respect Dare and created an on-line community and ministry around the idea that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. It seems that she and her readers have not felt the need to excise Eph. 5.33 from their Bibles.

I first heard of Roesner’s book and ministry six years ago through a fellow Christian blogger who decided to read and take the Respect Dare. Chris Taylor, of Forgiven Wife, shared with her audience that she had purchased The Respect Dare and was going to work through the 40-day devotional. She explained her reason for doing so:

I have always been very disrespectful toward my husband, and that is the real thing I want to change. I want to create a space in which my husband can grow as a man and know that I value and respect him as a man.

So the idea of wives respecting husbands was not, until recent events, a topic of scorn. There were respected (oh that word!) authors, men and women, writing about the need for love and respect in Christian marriages. Ah, good times.

Not Spouses, But Accountants?

Fast forward six years, and we now have Madame DeFarge and her following shouting “A la barricades” as they go after ministries and churches that won’t join them in their denunciation of Love & Respect.

As I noted in previous posts, the Church has become a feminized organization and I have documented the Church’s institutional denigration of men and masculinity; Madame DeFarge has upped the ante on men-bashing in Christian marriage and given full throat to those Christian women and beta males who want to lash men for being men.

The watchword in all of the postings by Madame DeFarge and in the comments from her devoted choir is earned, with the chant rising from all corners of the internet “Respect must be earned! Respect must be earned!” Over and over, Mme. DeFarge and her followers announce that they cannot, will not, respect a husband who hasn’t earned it.

As I was reading Madame DeFarge’s posts and emails where she lets slip her dogs of war onto Emerson Eggerichs, Focus on the Family, and husbands in general, one question arises in my mind that I find troubling in her entire crusade. Please pardon my French, folks, but

When in Hades did wives transmogrify from spouses into paymasters? 

Marital Earnings?

In order for someone to earn respect, there has to be someone else keeping tabs, totting up brownie points in order to determine when the candidate achieves his Respect Badge, right? After all, aren’t we told in Rom. 4:4, “Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due”? For someone to earn a wage (in this case, respect), isn’t there a boss or foreman making sure that the worker stays on task, and that he earns his wage?

And then I realized just what Madame DeFarge was doing with her “Earn Respect” campaign. Although completely unintentional, she has been setting marriage relations back decades. As I thought about what I was witnessing in Mme. DeFarge’s undertakings, I remembered something that I had come across before, that some wives took it upon themselves to decide when their husbands had earned the privilege of having sex. Had the guy done enough choreplay to merit a roll in the sack? Had he been nice enough or obsequious enough to receive sexual favors, or not?

In essence, marriage was again being turned into emotional hostage-taking, a system of relationship transactions; “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” Husbands and wives are to no longer be seen as lovers, but instead as business associates involved in marital commerce, with respect as the currency that keeps the goods flowing. (Hmm, now I am wondering about the idea of making daily/weekly deposits in Love Banks…)

I’m sorry, but to my way of thinking Madame DeFarge and her followers are reducing the Christian concepts of love and respect to business transactions, making Christian marriage merely a sanctified prostitute-and-john affair.

Wives, are you making your husband earn something from you? Are you seeing yourself as the person in your marriage who holds the marital pursestrings? Husbands, to you, as well, are you holding affection hostage against your wives? I’m sorry, but that isn’t Christian and it isn’t godly. And according to the Bible, your putting a stumbling block between your and your spouse means that you are putting a stumbling block between you and God. I’ll have more to say about that in my next post.


** Since my blogging hero, Paul Byerly of Generous Husband, acted like a Christian should and didn’t give the name of the attacking blogger, I am following suit. However, I find it cumbersome to be constantly referring to She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, and so I am going to refer to her by the name of a character from literature whom she seems, to me, to resemble. To those of you who recognize the character Madame DeFarge, yes, I do believe that the name is an apt appellation for her.

Disclaimer: I am not a counselor, doctor, or pastor. For that matter, Wife says I don’t play well with others. My advice and comments come from my concern for hurting Christian husbands and wives. Someone once said to me, “Church shouldn’t hurt”, and I believe the same thing goes for marriage. I’m going to call ‘em as I see ‘em, but please, don’t take my word as gospel. Yes, read what I say, pray about what I say, but do your own “due diligence.”

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay 



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Reader Response: Help for the Truly P*ssed

readers respond

In my last post, I stated the obvious, in that I am not that good with the Kleenex and crumpets, that I am not really that swift as a counselor. Yes, I can give you common-sense thoughts, but that doesn’t mean that I have a shingle hanging outside my door. With that caveat, I want to address a recent comment that was made on one of my Ugly posts. I will try and address this husband’s issues, and (fingers crossed) hope that I help him and others who are in his situation. (Using my s.o.p., I address paragraphs as they come.)

This husband wrote:

Our problem starts with number one. What am I supposed to do when God (I should say church) IS the problem?

Answered in my post The Church and Your Marriage: What Could Go Wrong? First off, of course, God isn’t the problem. Men and women and their distortion of God’s word is the problem. In essence, my answer is three-fold.  Continue reading

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Echoes from My Well of Silence


Hello, folks; long time, no see, and all. I recently received some emails from readers who called down into the well, “Is anybody there… body there… body there?” (When you have people checking you for a pulse, you realize you’ve been gone too long.)

Yeah, I have been silent for some time, as it’s been over six months since I have made any posts on this blog. First off, my family had to fight off the annual winter plague that descends upon the CSL household around Christmas and lingers for months. Add to that Wife and Daughter #1 making three trips to the hospital in Feb. (two in ambulances), and I recently had to have dental surgery, I think I have a plausible alibi for my extended absence. Alibi, but not an excuse, if I’m being honest with myself.***

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Of Resets, Resolutions and Reality, part 3



[This is the last of a three-part series; the first post can be found here, and the second post can be found here.]

First off, please accept my apology for the delay in following up with another post to complete this series on Resets. I have been working on developing, from the ground up, a class for my church on the Roots of Christianity. With no textbook, I have been busy creating lessons and resources, creating PowerPoints and .pdfs, loading movies up to YouTube, and creating a web platform on Moodle for my lesson resources. As you might imagine, that occupied all my summer and September. With most of the work behind, I find I can devote a little time to writing for my blogs, and so I especially wanted to finish with the final post in this Reset series. Continue reading


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Addressing the Man-O-Sphere: The Last Word

readers respond

In my quick reaction post to questions about the Man-O-Sphere (MoS), I did not spare readers my feelings about the it (okay, I did. I kept it clean.) But I did promise that after I got that rant out of my system, I would address the MoS phenomenon and so, here goes.

First off, let me say that I understand the appeal of the MoS. To borrow terminology from Newtonian physics, it is an equal and opposite reaction to feminism in our society. However, an equal, opposite reaction is not necessarily a good thing. Everyone has seen images of the little device called a Newton’s Cradle, which has 5-6 balls suspended in a frame. When one or two are pulled away from the others on one side and allowed to drop back, the force is transferred through the stationary balls to the other side, and they, in turn, are knocked from their place, and so it goes, back and forth.

I see feminism as one side of the cradle and MoS as the other side. I get the reaction to feminism, but that doesn’t mean that an equal and opposite reaction is corrective. In fact, I believe that it is just as toxic as the feminism that it reacts to. Continue reading


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Now We Are Three


A glance at the calendar shows me that not only did I turn 68 last month, but that today is the third anniversary of the debut of The Curmudgeonly Librarian. In spite of the good advice from those with good taste, I went ahead and started writing, and the jury is still out on the wisdom of the whole mishmash.

In past anniversary posts, I have laid the blame for this blog squarely on the shoulders of those who helped me get this blog set up on Word Press, so there is no need to further sully the reputation of those two excellent bloggers, so Chris and Bonny, you can breathe a sigh of relief on that score. Continue reading

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“… and the Ugly.”: part 3

ugly 3
(Note: in this post, I am addressing husbands who find themselves in Hades-marriages. However, Paul B.’s suggestions and my comments and suggestions apply to any wife who finds herself in the same situation.)
This is the third in a three-part series; here are the links to part 1 and part 2.

With my last two posts, I have been addressing a dirty secret about marriage that we Christians don’t like to talk about, that of truly Ugly! marriages, which rather than “made in Heaven” seem to have been spawned in Hades. These marriages are an embarrassment to us because they mar the image that the church wants to promote, that of marriage as a union “blessed by God”. Continue reading


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“… and the Ugly”: part 2

(Note: in this post, I write as addressing husbands who find themselves in Hades-marriages. However, Paul Byerly’s suggestions and my comments and suggestions apply to any wife who finds herself in the same situation.)
This is the second of a three-part series; here are the links to part 1 and part 3.

In my first post about truly Ugly marriages, those spawned in Hades, I wrote about how Paul Byerly, of Generous Husband, had recently experienced an unsettling nightmare, in which he dreamt of being trapped in a Hades-marriage. His next post told of his thoughts on how he would attempt to deal with the situation if he were in one. Continue reading


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“… and the Ugly”: part 1


This is the first of a three-part series; here are the links to part 2 and part 3.

In my first Indifferent Muddle post, I referenced Emerson Eggerichs’ Love & Respect, a book I recommend highly. I mentioned how he and the Byerlys, of Generous Husband and Generous Wife, speak of good-willed spouses, husbands and wives who do have goodwill in their hearts toward each other. It was in that first post that I discussed that not all marriages have spouses who are still good-willed, hence the Indifferent Muddle. Continue reading


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Smack Dab In The Muddle, pt. 1


This is the first of a two-part series; here is the link to part 2.

Many of the authors and bloggers I read make it a point to emphasize generosity and good-will. Two of my favorite bloggers are Paul and Lori Byerly, authors the Generous Husband and Generous Wife blogs (I read them every morning, without fail.) Another example would be Emerson Eggerichs, author of Love & Respect, who peppers his writings with statements on how most spouses are not evil jerks and witches, but truly do have good-will for their mates (a statement with which I agree, by the way). Continue reading


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