Because it is all over the blogosphere, I’ve been reading about the Haggard scandal. It is sad, but not surprising, that as we elevate men to positions of power, they topple from the pedestal to which they were elevated.
The stupidest commentary I’ve read so far came from Mark Driscoll’s blog. It will be up to Mark to dig himself out of the latest hole that he dug for himself, to see if he can remove his foot from his mouth.
There is so much wrong with this I don’t even know where to begin. This particular paragraph seems to be causing the most controversy (Mark’s words in brown):
At the risk of being even more widely despised than I currently am, I will lean over the plate and take one for the team on this.
I wonder what team he believes he represents. Pastors? Husbands? Real men?
It is not uncommon to meet pastors’ wives who really let themselves go;
Of course pastors don’t let themselves go, and I am sure that Mark is the picture of fitness and GQ studliness.
Few wives who feel well-loved by their husbands “let themselves go.” Show me a person (male or female) who has let themselves go, and I’ll guarantee that person is struggling with emotional and self-esteem issues. Not to mention, the wife probably had a great figure before she went through the physical trauma of bearing her husband’s 4 or 5 kids! A judgmental and critical spouse will do nothing to improve her well-being.
they sometimes feel that because their husband is a pastor, he is therefore trapped into fidelity, which gives them cause for laziness.
The fact that Mark has such a low view of women and poor understanding of the marriage relationship is astounding considering the number of people he is responsible for leading.
Regarding grooming issues, there are many things that a husband can do to encourage his wife that she is worth the time and attention required to pamper herself.
The emotional dynamics of weight issues are so complex that I will only touch on them here. If a woman is struggling with her weight, there are usually a combination of factors, the least of which is laziness. Childhood sexual abuse is an overwhelming contributor to adult obesity. Family history of food addictions, poor habits, and genetic weight issues are also likely. Finally, the simple biological factors of pregnancy weight fluctuations and slowing metabolism are common struggles for women.
Few women are successful at losing weight for their husband. However, if a woman is struggling with weight issues, the unconditional love and acceptance of a supportive husband can be extremely helpful in succeeding with weight loss.
A wife who lets herself go and is not sexually available to her husband in the ways that the Song of Songs is so frank about is not responsible for her husband’s sin, but she may not be helping him either.
Perhaps this shallow attitude is what was most disappointing about Mark’s comments. Surely Christian marriages should reflect a deeper commitment. If either the husband or the wife has shut down within the marriage, it is time to get help, before either of them turn outside of the marriage for fulfillment.
I started the church ten years ago when I was twenty-five years of age. Thankfully, I was married to a beautiful woman….I have been blessed with a trustworthy heterosexual male assistant who can travel with me, meet with me, etc., without the fear of any temptations or even false allegations since we have beautiful wives and eight children between us.
One of the issues with pornography and sexual sins is that it objectifies a woman, making her simply an object of fulfillment. This type of arm-candy, trophy-wife mentality also objectifies women.
If we define beauty as simply the vanity defined by our culture, we are promoting values that are actually contrary to the kingdom. I would give Mark the benefit of the doubt and say that he probably meant “inner beauty,” but he basically indicated by his own words that he meant that the physical attractiveness of the wife is a contributing factor in the fidelity of her husband.
If the only thing standing between a man and an affair is the fact that his wife is beautiful, I would say that man is on very shaky ground. I hope that every husband sees the beauty in his wife, but I also hope that what he sees is more than skin deep. Sexual attraction is important, but often a lack of attraction is rooted in the insecurities and self-centeredness of the husband, rather than the undesirability of the spouse.
In my opinion, the biggest contributing factor in an affair is an immature ego, a person who can be tempted by the idea that they are sexually desirable to someone besides their spouse. I agree with the points that Mark made about not putting oneself in compromising situations. However, these safeguards are of no use once a person has decided to put their own desires ahead of their spouses.
Humility of heart, unconditional love, preferring one’s spouse – these are the things that will stand the test of time. Life is hard, beauty is fleeting, vanity is empty. Love is a choice, a decision to cherish your spouse through all of the changes that happen in a lifetime.