Pam Hogeweide video

Not an Evangelical Marriage


Here’s a clip from Pam Hogeweide that works well for International Women’s Day.

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ABOUT THE INTERVIEWEE: Pam Hogeweide is a writer in Portland, OR who blogs at How God Messed Up My Religion.


Can you relate to Pam’s story? Do you think this is a topic that needs to be addressed in evangelicalism and/or in the Church at large?


40 Responses to “Not an Evangelical Marriage”

  1. Benjamin Ady says:

    Pam you are *so* fucking kewl. I wish we lived in the same city so we could hang out. I’m glad you didn’t let stupid Christian books on marriage suffocate you.

  2. Benjamin Ady says:

    RE: evangelical marriage–I’m reminded of a funny story. I remember the first time I was at my lovely wife’s parents’ holiday house in rural NSW. It was about 5 weeks before our wedding. I was perusing the bookshelf and found myself pulling out a book by one Josh McDowell (ack) entitled “Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door” (double ack). I opened the front cover to find it inscribed to my lovely wife as a birthday present from the fellow who had been her boyfriend, several years before. I found this absolutely hilarious–cracked me right up.

  3. Ben, back at ya my brother who’s down under!

    Craig is a magician who makes me look more kewl than I actually am. Editing is a wonderful process. I wish Craig was around to edit my words everyday so I could sound kewl all the time. :)

    I really did throw that book across the room. My bedroom!!! And then I threw it away, a rare, rare thing for me to do to a book. I just couldn’t bear passing it on to another woman. So in the rubbish it went.

    As for the woman who gave it to me? Our relationship drifted apart and shriveled up. I wonder why?? :)

    • Benjamin Ady says:

      Confession re: throwing books away. I’ve totally stolen books from the libraries of churches/christian organizations and thrown them away. Some crap just needs to disappear before it hurts any one else. And there was a period of time in my life when if i found myself in such a library (you see pretty much no matter where I am I’m drawn to books), I would seek out the worst thing I could find in that library. I don’t do that anymore =).

      • joe says:

        Confession re: books: I ‘borrowed’ several books from a church more than 15 years ago and never went back so didn’t return them.

  4. Laurie Fox says:

    Good for you, Pam! I’m so glad you had the guts to Just Say NO to the expectation that you be subservient to your husband in order to consider yours a “Christian” marriage.

    My little sister was in a marriage (and a church)where that WAS the expectation. The trouble is, her husband was abusive. When she went to her pastor for help, he told he that she needed to stay with her husband and be subservient to him, because that was the Christian thing to do. Really! As a result, it took her even longer to get up the courage to leave him, because now she was not only losing her marriage, but also her church…

    This is the 21st century. There is no room for subservience in marriage. That’s misogyny, plain & simple. Dictators don’t belong in a marriage any more than they belong in a country. Anyone who tells you otherwise has sold out to the patriarchy.

  5. Hi Laurie
    Thanks for your comment. You reminded me of a story I had long forgotten. When I was a new and very young Christian, about 18y, I went to a large non-denom church that was filled with many young couples and families. One Sunday the pastor preached on submission. I dutifully listened, even when as a sermon illustration he used this horrific example: a woman was viciously abused by her husband, but….BUT……she would pray for him and was trusting the Lord to change his heart. This man was a womanizer and a drunk, and often beat his wife. One night he was especially enraged with life and was once again taking it out on his wife. As he hit her, she began to pray outloud for him. He became angrier. He got a baseball bat – I swear the pastor said this – and he hit his wife on the back with it as she was crying and praying for his soul. In that instant, went the story, the man came to his senses and through his wife’s respectful submission, even through abuse and injury, he cam to see the light and surrendered his life to Christ. The moral of the story, spelled out the pastor in this mind-boggling sermon is this: women must stay with their husbands even if they are getting abused because it is God’s will and their husbands might get saved and it’s because of the woman’s willingness to submit herself that his soul’s eternity is hinged upon.


    And none of us got up and heckled that, or got up and left the room….or if anyone did it was so subtle that nobody noticed. But what my young mind noticed and too cue from was the other women, the ones I was watching carefully to see how a Christian woman ought to act and behave and be holy, for I knew nothing of holiness….they taught me how to submit my mind, heart and now the pastor just taught me how to submit my body.

    • Benjamin Ady says:

      Fuck that.

      Pam–What would you do, in such a situation, now?

      • Great question, Ben. I’d like to think that at the very least I’d up and leave…and at most would stand up and heckle that down…context. Would totally depend on the context!

    • michelle says:

      Hi pam,
      i watched your clip above and read all the comments and stopped at this one. i agree christian books other than the bible can make it harder for us especially when their peoples opinions on what you are to do.
      i am a disiple of jesus and a submissive wife to an amazing man who also loves jesus. it hasnt been easy at times to obey the bible. alot of study went into it and proper teaching has helped me. I needed to learn as i came with a daughter from a previous relationship before jesus and always made the decsions for our life. I am a very outgoing and evangelical person, and never been told to act different. there is alot of wrong teaching on marriage going around but we need to only obey the bible. for example , meek in the bible means not contentious see 1 peter 3 verse 4 – so proper bible study is appropriate for marriage. i do not agree a wife should be abused by the husband and the wife should not put up with it and call the police – that is wrong teaching as that kind of behaviour is not biblical so it also would be grounds for separation and divorce if the husband left jesus and didnt want to live with a christian see 1 corinthians 7 verses 14 -15. and the point of submission for a wife still stands today, Gods Word hasnt changed. with submission, a wife still has her opinion, freedom and life with her husband. God has set the order who are we to say its wrong. the husband is to love the wife as chirst loves the church and wives are to submit to their husbands. i know marriage of the bible works , i see it daily in my own and others around me. if our lives do not match the bible then we are not a christian. the disciples were first called christians – not christians disciples see Acts 11 verse 26. to be a christian means we follow jesus – and jesus is the word of God – and jesus said John 14:verse 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
      i am not forced to do anything from my husband i do it because i love him and i love jesus. any other marriage other than a biblical marriage is disobedience. the is no pressure when we do the bible, theres freedom and peace. God is not the author of confusion but peace. if you feel pressure with submission then you havent been taught properly. i would be happy to give you more biblical teaching on submission in marriage if you would like. it is not okay to pick parts from the bible you like and only obey them , we need to obey all the bible. Galations 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. if we give our lives to Jesus, then it jesus’ life to choose how we live – thats why the bible was written so we would know how to live.Ephesians 1:17-19 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
      The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
      And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

      Bless you :)

      • Hi Michelle,
        Thanks for taking time to offer your thoughts here. You offered a description of what you think submission Is Not. But what does being a submissive wife mean and look like for you?

        I’m interested in hearing what this means for you and what it looks like. I have discovered over the last three decades as a follower of Christ that this concept of wifely submission has a broad continuum of meaning. So, to understand better your point of view, it would be helpful to know that wifely submission means to you and looks like to you.

        • michelle says:

          “So, to understand better your point of view, it would be helpful to know that wifely submission means to you and looks like to you.”

          pam , to answer your question above. Whatever the bible says on a wife i will everyday try to obey
          1Corinthians 7:4 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.
          1Corinthians 7:10-16 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:
          But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
          But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
          And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
          For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
          But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
          For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?
          Ephesians 5:23-24 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
          Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
          1Peter 3:1-5 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
          While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
          Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
          But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
          For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

          the bible is my opinion- i believe in it and my life has evidence of its truth. i am passionate about the bible to be taught properly and hold it up as final authority. if my husband was to leave christ and start to sin in areas of addiction and abuse or pornography that is biblical grounds for separation. God has set the order in the church , in the marriage , as servants in the world(workplace)and with children. and if we call ourselves christians we are to obey all of it – not change it to suit our pride.

          • Hi Michelle,
            I know the bible,too (please see below for my “credentials in my reply to Eugene),
            But here’s the thing: you have a theological point of view
            That clearly you are prepared to defend. What I’m curious
            About is How does this theology look in your life? For me, for a long while,
            It meant not trusting myself but deferring personal responsibility
            To another…my husband…for I was taught that he is the head of the
            Relationship and his voice has the final say.
            Fortunately, I am married to a very kind man
            Who never took advantage of this theological view.

            I have known other women who won’t work or go to school or seek out their
            Gifting because their husband said Not To. I know of a woman who
            Calls her husband Sir for it pleases him to do so. I know
            another woman who won’t go into her field of expertise for her husband wants her to stay home…
            In other words, the man’s desire becomes her responsibility to
            accommodate. I easily know a dozen women who feel shame
            For wanting…just wanting…. An equal voice of power
            In the most intimate of human relationships.

            So, what does submission look like in your life??

    • michelle says:

      alright pam, my life as a submissive wife.
      the path hasnt been easy. i was a single mother when i got married to my husband and older in the Lord than him. we were married within 3 months of first dating with the churchs blessing.our church is a apostolic/prophetic ministry and hears very clearly from God. my husband and i received marriage counselling by our pastors for six weeks and then continued on in our regular discipleship counselling after that. i will add that we are a part of a church that believes in biblical discipleship and accountability. we choose to submit to our pastors as written in Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
      my husband does have the final say on family decsions for he is the head of our family. yes there have been times we havent agreed or come to a resoultion and thats when i or he or we would take it to a pastor for help. but my husband listens to my views and concerns. i pray daily for my husband to grow in the word of God more, mature in integrity and i know he has done the same for me. but i made a decsion long ago that i would yield all my life and self to Jesus. Jesus is my satisfaction – my husband can make mistakes and so can i; but i love him , he is a gift from God- my husband will teach me how and where he sees our family going with the Lord- i will reverence my husband even when i dont feel like it – and when i dont get my way , i will humble myself as to the Lord.
      if i cannot submit to my husband and live humbly , how will i live submissive to the Lord. my husband is a christian and seeks the Lord about our home and family and i trust he hears from God on all matters. if he doesnt hear from God , he seeks pastoral advice. we are also accountable to our pastors on sin, finance, bible and prayer aswell as our marriage. and if either my husband or myself start to struggle in sin we will report eachother to our overseeing pastor so it can be dealt with before it becomes iniquity.
      we now have 3 children , i homeschool one. this is a choice i made with my husbands blessing. I live daily to serve Jesus, love my husband , love and train my children according to the word and preach to the lost that jesus died for our sins. i have learnt to walk in peace with my husband. never to despise him or his role. my family come before ministry but my jesus comes before my husband. i trust my husband’s decsion, i may have other ideas but i gave my hope, ideas and dreams to the Lord. Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
      Jesus is my everything i will be faithful with what i have from him.
      i was a woman who hurt herself over and over again before i met jesus. a drug addict, depressive self harmer and rejected by everyone i opened myself to BUT Jesus came washed me clean and set me ablaze with his love. its hard being a wife and mother and in ministry. but i take one day at a time, be joyful and stay forever grateful for the second chance in Jesus.The bible works i swear my life on it.

      Psalm 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

      • HI Michelle,
        Thanks for clarifying what submission means to you. Clearly we will have to agree to disagree. We have a wide gap in our understanding of biblical wisdom for relationships, both marital as well as spiritual authority.

        I appreciate you taking time to share your thoughts and point of view. As passionate as you are about how you perceive biblical wisdom and truth, do remember that men and women much smarter than you and I have debated it’s words and meanings for thousands of years. At the end of the day, when the theological dust has settled, may we rest on this certainty : that we are sisters in faith and humanity.

        I wish you the very best…!

        • Michelle says:

          Pam, i get it now you were never wanting to hear a biblical point of view. you wanted to hear an opinion.

          you disagree with the scriptures i gave- i disagree with your opinion.

          and you never replied with a bibical response for mutuality , just you opinion. Im apart of a ministry that studys the bible word for word – english back to greek. for the original greek hasnt changed only english. and this ministry teaches the brethren to do the same.

          jesus is the same today , tommorrow and forever and when he walked on this earth he said to his disciples in Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
          Mat 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

          but you dont want to read the scriptures – you have already made up your mind that bible needs to be changed for women you dont want to serve but be served.
          you clearly have rejected the word of God and live a religion all of our own.
          it is a choice to serve your husband just as it is a choice to serve jesus.

          2Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
          2Peter 1:20-21 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
          For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

          • Benjamin Ady says:

            Michelle–why so defensive?

          • Regarding submission in marriage:
            It strikes me that the command to “love one another” (as I have loved you) already has plenty in it about submission, and there isn’t room for much more. Where that command might fall short from being complete is that it seems to ask each person to guess about the effects of an action, and these guesses may be conditioned by the culture, whereas the church is counter-cultural. So while a spouse may guess that no good will come from an act, so the act would not manifest love, and so shouldn’t or needn’t be done, one can’t know that “for sure”. Where an action seems pointless, it should not be undertaken out of blind obedience, but only with clear vision, even if only of the foolishness of the act, and of its optionality. An example in the OT could be Hosea and Gomer, which I have not read.

          • HI Martin, thanks for weighing in. I think I understand what you’re saying. The crux of the issue is not submission itself, for mutual submission is, I believe, a biblical directive. Rather it’s the notion that wives submit to husbands because women must submit to men….it’s the inequity–as well as the injustice–of telling half the population that it is God’s Divine Order for a woman to follow and a man to lead. Followership and leadership ought not be determined on gender, even in marraige…and really, is that meant to be the relational model for marriage? I am asking this not of you specifically, Martin, but of the traditionalist interpretation of submission that many defend.

            But it’s not limited to marriage. How one views the relationship between men and women reveals, in part, how one perceives God’s nature. (This is part of why The Shack kicked up so much dust).

            If you have a group of Christian women who are being honest and candid and the doctrine of wife’y submission is brought up there will be tears and anger. I have been a Christ follower for three decades.There is a lot of pain in many marriages and churches because of this belief. I do know women who are content with a subservient relationship with their husbands and other men in their lives. God bless ‘em. I know far more women who quietly seethe with a low burn of shame as they tow the party line, wondering if this is the deal Eve left with her sisters from back in the day.
            This is always such a volatile topic. At my blog it is one of the most commented on topics of ANYTHING I write about , and I write about all kinds of things. This is just so riveting for many people for all kinds of reasons.
            Thanks again for offering your point of view. Yes, how one interprets submission will result in how it’s lived out.

          • There is a conflict on the face of it between “submit one to another” and “women submit to men”, if both are taken to be “laws”, and even “Commands”, unless Paul feels that women need the application made explicit, whereas men will understand the application without help. Possibly he meant “on occasion”. Some reconciliation between the two needs to be made, or one must be tossed, or put aside until such time.
            There is something bizzare about God’s laws. One the one hand, we find out later that when God said “Thou shalt not kill”, he was really hoping for people not to get angry at one another. A strange way to put it. And in the context of wholesale slaughter.
            about me: I started The Shack, but I couldn’t do it. I think of the Ten Commandments as the Ten Tips
            – like video game cheats, if you know what that is.

          • HI Martin, funny, comparing the Ten Tips as video game cheats, and yes, with a nearly 14-yr old boy in the house I do indeed know what video game cheats are!

            Submit..oh this two-syllable little world has sparked many a debate and controversy in it’s time. There are many scholarly works that take this little word to task, slicing and dicing and examining it under exegetical hermeneutical microscopes. The site http://www.cbe.com (christians for Biblical equality) has study resources about such things.

            There is also an excellent book called Why Not Women? by Loren Cunningham and David Hamilton that gives a lay reader’s digest of the depth of study of biblical messaging concerning women and equality. There are MANY available resources for the earnest seeker who needs to know for certain what hte bible writers meanst when such things were orignially written– what really it is believed that God meanst if the bible writers weree indeed inspired.
            One last thought, which is not directed at you but at the larger picture of this absurd controversy: where is ther such debate about gentiles in this day? Or slaves? Did men and women of faith have to search the scriptures, go down beneath the veneer of language to uncover the truth of equality for people of color? I was at a churhc membership class years ago at a rather large evangelical charismatic church. At the end of the class questions were taken. As is often the case, I had a question. “What is this church’s policy about women in leadership?” (**note: no one had to ask what the church’s policy was towards men or Blacks) The senior pastor began to tell us how women can do anything in his church. Anything. “They can teach, they can pray in public, they can prophesy. Women can do anything,” he bellowed with a loud, getting-his-preach on voice. “But women won’t be elders or pastors because we follow the bible around here.” He didn’t say that last line nearly as loud, but he said it clearly to a room full of middle-aged folks, many of them educated and many of them women…and there was not a stir in the house when he said it. Including from me. Why? Because the idea, “the bible tells me so” immediately communicates, “God said it.” Who can argue with God?

            Scholarship is important to provide a less filtered viewing of scripture. But the reality is that many people won’t care or take time but will let others tell them what to think and how to think. For me, the issue of gender inequity in the Church is rooted in something known as hegemony. Google it. (I have to get to work now!)

            Thanks again Martin for adding your thoughts, though you’ve hid your hand quite well. If I may ask, have you formed an opinion one way or another about women and roles, leadership, etc… from your understanding of the bible?? I don’t want to debate it. Just wondering where you’re coming from.

          • 1. Missing from the “Ten Tips” characterization is any sense of urgency; ie, hell, which is real unfortunately: just look around.
            2. Thanks for cbe and Why Not Women.
            3. I think it *would be* instructive to spend all the Q&A on: What is the bible’s attitude towards slavery? Well?
            4. Re: Thundering “Women wont be elders around here.” Amusing story. Too bad women didn’t stand up and start cheering. “Women will never be Servants of All around here!” If you insist.
            But it presented an opportunity to question the pastor if he thought woman should wear Yarmulkes in church. If he thought all scripture was inspired, and timeless, and clear. Or were translations helpful? Should the honey be wild?
            5. Because the bible tells you so. Hahahahaha. The old problem of the other trinity. Me and God. Me and the Church. The Church and God. What are the teachings about ex-communication; the teen-agers practical question: how far can I go?
            6. I have formed an opinion about women.

          • Thanks Martin for your humorous response in this discussion!

          • You’re welcome, but the points were not rhetorical. The “edit this” feature didn’t to work for me (Firefox), so let me post the question 3, corrected, here: What is the church’s position on slavery, and why?
            I believe most will say a variant of “We are against it because it’s frowned on nowadays”. They will give a cultural or historical or legal reason, but nothing from God’s perspective, unless saying that it violates love, without being able to either make a wider application of that insight in today’s world, or present it in a way that might affect a white Christian of 1800. I would be surprised if they referred to Paul, to Philemon. The point?
            Did Christ establish a church, and, if so, who runs it, and how do they keep order? Burning? What is the church’s position on the burning of the tares?

          • Hey Martin,
            I’m gonna take a pass. The focus of this discussion has been about the bibilical interpretation of submission, and though I definitely connect the dots of why this questions are pertinent, it’s going off track too much for me. There is a lot of resources on the web for researching and I encourage you to do so.

            Thanks again for your participation in this forum!

          • Thanks for the information. I have found it interesting to think about the topic and form some replies. The aside about slavery was to see how one approached questions in general, as an insight as to how to approach this question, of submission. This interchange has caused me to question authority, hierarchy, in the church: to what or whom am I required to submit? If we are all brothers, neither male nor female, what is the nature of authority. And the parable of the wheat and the tares seems just now to me speak against ex-communication, the ultimate weapon a church uses to maintain authority, and to control the places of honor.

          • I see that even the question of submission in the church was not your main interest. It was submission in marriage. I think all the same thoughts and scriptures apply to the same issues, and with the same result.

            This leads me to think something new for me, that one spouse should submit to the other spouse to the same extent that a congregant submits to the congregation; and if convicted not to submit where required, irreconcilably, should split.

            This is (only) a logical opinion based on the premises above, without any assurance as to its practicality or correctness or wisdom.

  6. joe says:

    Simple solution appears to be ‘avoid anything you see in a Christian book store’. Honestly, does anyone seriously want to read and be affected by this junk?

    • Benjamin Ady says:

      and yet … perhaps “rich christians in an age of hunger”, for instance, might show up in a christian bookstore, Joe?

      • joe says:

        Benjamin, I very much doubt you’d find anything by Sider, or even Campolo, Dave Andrews etc in an evangelical Christian bookstore because they’re widely seen as heretical. Or on a more mundane level, not material most evangelicals care to read.

    • Well, there are many fine books to be found in a xtian bookstore, like Brennan Manning. I adore anything that man writes. Also there are occasionally subversive books that get on the shelves, either quietly or by virtue of selling power like The Shack.

      I am generally quite respectful of books, even if I disagree with the message…but the book that defends oppression in the name of God tests that in me to the nth degree. In my entire adult life there are only two books that I threw away. The marriage one I referred to and another one that was about a woman’s “vision” to heaven. I read it out of curiosity, but when she got to the part about their being tour guides and tour trams to give the heavenly newcomer an orientation…into the fire the book went. :)

  7. eugene says:

    Hey Pam, I’ve got a few questions that I hope you don’t mind answering about yourself. Are you a Christian? Do you still attend a church? Do they have a link to a website so I can check it out? Do you agree that God should have the final authority in all areas of our lives? Do you agree that a woman should submit to their husband, unless it goes against the Word of God? I know there’s a lot of questions here but it would be great to know. Thanks Pam, Eugene.
    P.S. There’s nothing wrong with being out Loud and Proud Pam, as I understand it, The Bible shows us God IS too. LOL!!! also, the men of war in the old testament wouldn’t go to battle unless Prophetess Debra went before them…and…who was the first to see Jesus after he rose from the dead? A woman!! Bless ya Pam.

    • HI Eugene, it sounds like you are asking for my credentials as you consider my point of view. I will give them to you since you asked so nicely!

      I have been a Christ follower since 1985 when I was 18 years old. During the last t0+ years I have been a part of many churches including Calvary Chapel, the Vineyard, Community Bible Fellowship here in Portland which was planted by seminarians from Multnomah Bible College, New Song Community church and most recently The Bridge, whose website is http://thebridgeportland.org/. I do not think you’ll find a statement of faith there, but have a look-see. I am also a seasoned student of the Inductive Bible Study method and also have taken a number of courses at North Portland Bible College where I maintained a 4.0.

      For a long while I held a traditional view of wifely submission based on what I had been taught and on what I had been taught about the trinity being a hierarchal relational model. But about 20 years ago a close friend offered a reasonable explanation for a different point of view. I began to read up on mutuality and soon discovered a world of biblical scholarship that changed my views. I now view the relational model of the trinity as mutuality and also marriage as one of mutuality.

      • (apologies! I was unable to finish the comment in that reply…the comment box gets kind of wonky after a certain point. Does anyone else have that trouble on this site?)

        Anyway, Eugene, there is a lot of robust biblical scholarship that supports a point of view of mutuality. One such source is Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE) which can be found at http://www.cbeinternational.org/

        Thanks for your respectful inquiry. I hope my “credentials” help you consider my views on mutuality, but more importantly, I hope you are able to seek out for yourself an understanding of marriage and mutual submission.

      • oop…that ought to read 30+ years. I only just now caught this typo!

  8. Megan Shepard says:

    I really liked this video; thanks for sharing your story Pam!

    My marriage was short; I married very young, and did everything I could to be the perfect, submissive, Christian wife. I read all the books, and did a pretty good job of following what they said! But, I married a guy addicted to drugs… and no amount of submitting could do anything about it. Eventually it came to the point where I chose to tell him it was either drugs or us (I was pregnant with our first child). He chose to leave and has never come back. Oh, he would call and tell me how I wasn’t loving or respecting him, and I wasn’t submitting, and I was tearing apart our marriage… but through much struggle I came to see it wasn’t lack of submitting that destroyed our marriage. And more submitting couldn’t mend it.

    So now I am recovering from that kind of view of submission :) And, as a good friend pointed out to me, in the next section in Ephesians (I think) after it says for wives to submit to their husbands, it says to ALL of us to submit one to another. So it goes both ways people!

    • Hi Megan,
      So sorry to hear that your former marriage was corroded by addiction. That alone is so dysfunctional on a relationship, and then throw in the wifely submission mentality and dang, what a mess. Those are tough decisions a wife has to make if her mate is an addict/alcoholic…and unfortunately, there is a significant segment of the xtian population that would counsel a woman to stay with him anyway, and if he leaves, don’t remarry or you’re committing adultery. Grrr…..

      Thanks for telling your story here. Mutual submission IS biblical as your friend so wisely pointed out to you. This is my firm, unapologetic conviction. It took me years to completely own it, but now that I do, I am passionate about telling others (who are open) so as to spread the good news of grace and equality for All Men and All Women.

      • Jeff says:

        Pam, you’re right there are a ton of goofy so-called Christian marriage books out there that are cheesy and stupid. I think we have to be careful throwing the “Evangelical” term out there with a broad stroke however. I came across a book that I would love to see what your thoughts are by Paul David Tripp called “What Did You Expect” (came out last year)where instead of making it a He vs. She thing it stripped me down to the core about redeeming the realities of marriage. So many people have a hard time dealing with the Complementarian vs. Egalitarian view of marriage roles that it becomes a mindset you start from in marriage. It’s about getting back to the foundation. This book does that. It was incredible. Have you heard of it? Love to hear your thoughts.

        • Hi Jeff, thanks for weighing in on this discussion. Terms like evangelical are indeed easy to throw around. Of course I am speaking in context of my own experience as an evangelical woman and the many other evangelical women who have been a part of my life for my many years in the evangelical world.

          I haven’t heard of the book you’re speaking of. I’ll look it up. I also am not a fan of the battle of the sexes. I am a fan of the mutuality and equity of power between the sexes.

          Thanks again for the heads up about the book.

  9. angie says:

    my husband and I call ourselves Biblical egalitarians, anywho, LOVE this video.
    do you have any book recommandations? do you keep a blog or anything of that sort?

    my husband and I read this wonderful little book called “What Paul Really Said About Women” by john temple bristow. worth checking out!

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