When the Sermon is Harmful

Recently, a pastor in Missouri gave a sermon that wives need to control their weight, wear makeup, and be prepared to fulfill their husband’s immediate sexual needs if they want to keep their husbands happy. He stated that women can’t all be a trophy wife like Melania Trump but they can at least aspire to be the “participation trophy.” This pastor’s harmful words are messages I work daily to undo. His words are unbiblical and shallow. He makes no mention of couples connecting on an emotional level. He’s since been put on leave and is now seeking counseling. 

Harmful Beliefs

In my opinion, the greatest harm this pastor so cheerfully inflicts is to invoke 1 Corinthians 7:4 in his message. “The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband.” He then proceeds to add some “woo woos!!” at the end of reading that scripture. It’s clear he’s promoting that a wife must yield to sex on-demand. He fails to finish reading the entire verse, which ends with “In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.” The second part of this scripture makes it clear that God wants married couples to desire to have mutually-satisfying relations that stem from mutual respect and intimacy, not just fulfilling the husband’s needs. But this pastor missed that point entirely.

One-Sided Sex

On-demand sex isn’t mutual, it’s one-sided, selfish, and proceeds to stifle intimacy rather than create intimacy. The troubling thing is that I hear this belief in sessions daily and it has caused some women great damage. Many feel resentful and their hearts have become hardened. Many Christian women feel it’s their duty and obligation to fulfill their husband’s needs whenever he asks—regardless of how they feel when that request is made and despite that many have felt emotionally alone in their marriage for years. To hear a pastor preach it only leads these women to feel confused. The hope is this pastor, Stewart Allen Clark, will do the work in counseling and understand that the pulpit is a very powerful place to make commands of marriages. The repercussions of disregarding your spouse’s feelings and desires to fulfill your own needs is destructive.  

If you live in northern Colorado (Fort Collins, Windsor, Greeley, Loveland) and are interested in scheduling a session, call Mending Hearts Counseling at 970-545-1111.

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