Monday, September 28, 2009

Fireproof: part 3, The Minimization of Sin

I am also troubled by the fact that Caleb’s behavior was labeled “selfishness” thus minimizing (making an action or thing appear very small and inconsequential compared to what they actually are) his abuse of his wife. This is troubling to me because so many pastors avoid the use of the word “abuse” unless it is a physical assault. With a popular movie like “Fireproof” actually SHOWING what John Piper calls “verbal unkindness,” I am troubled by the minimizing that both Piper and Fireproof use when referring to domestic abuse. This minimization results in wives not realizing they are being abused and that they are in danger. The common knowledge I had 20 years ago, was if my husband hit me, that was abuse. The real truth is that shoving me up against the wall and pinning me there while he screamed in my face was physical abuse, too. And all the nasty stuff my husband did was abuse as well and was made more powerful because of his previous physical attack. Piper, the authors of Fireproof, and others, fail to realize that ONE physical attack makes it clear to the abuser’s target that ANY “verbal unkindness” is a threat that the abuser may repeat the physical attack. Abuse does not need to be “regular” to be devastating. Giving her “the look” which reminds her that he will hurt her if she doesn’t please him, can be just as abusive and traumatic as his actually doing it.

Caleb admits to being selfish and to trampling all over his wife, but doesn’t mention that he also abused her economically and emotionally, that he isolated her by limiting her access to money and what it can buy, he intimidated and threatened her and tried to coerce her into being his slave. He also minimized his own behavior, denying that any of the fault was his, while he blamed her for everything. He also lusted after the women on the porn sites, (and probably in real life) which is another form of adultery, which is also abuse and implies that his wife is not good enough. All of these are abusive behaviors that are aimed at coercing or dominating his wife, at using or discarding her for his own ends, at disregarding her personhood and her humanity.

The writers of Fireproof did a good job of showing a textbook abuser in action. However, their choice of an abusive character, their minimization of Caleb’s abusive behavior together with their statement at the end that a wife can implement the Love Dare and save the (abusive) marriage, suggests to abused wives who view the movie, that they, too, should deny and minimize their husband’s abusive behavior, and if they use the Love Dare, their abusive husbands will start treating them right. As stated in Part 1, this is extremely dangerous. By using an abusive character, it suggests that divorce for abuse is totally unnecessary (possibly sinful) and that the failure of the marriage is the abused wife's fault because she refused to love and sacrifice enough.

Additionally, this movie tells anyone an abused wife goes to for help, that if she would just do the Love Dare and stick with it, no matter how long it takes, her whole problem would go away. Even worse, they may PRESSURE her to do the love dare and stick with it. If she refuses, they are likely to hold her at arms length, shun her, or even drive her out of their church.

Frankly, if the writers had not made Caleb an abuser, the story and its use of the Love Dare may have validity. But as it is, the story appears to claim that if the victim will minimize her husband’s sin and apply the Love Dare, she will likely save her marriage. Therefore, many will likely pick up the implication that if she refuses to apply the Love Dare, she is in rebellion to God, to her husband, and to church leaders as well. Thus, instead of holding the abusive sinner accountable, they contort the truth in order to hold the woman he targets for his bullying and abuse accountable. This makes the church a conspirator in her abusive husband's sin.

Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge, A novel,"a story about a woman who grapples with her husband's demands that she submit--no matter what. Please visit

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fireproof, part 2, Putting Pressure on the Person who has Given Everything

Not only is Fireproof based on a faulty premise, as discussed in part 1, it also claims that an abusive person will respond positively to loving behaviors. The second problem with Fireproof, is that it claims that either the husband or the wife can successfully implement the “Love Dare.” Yet, the Fireproof story itself shows how impossible this would be. While Caleb pays the mortgage and car payments, he withholds a third of his income in order to save for a boat. He has $24,000 saved, which gives him the means to buy flowers for his wife and pay for a wheel chair and hospital bed for her mother.

His wife does NOT have those discretionary funds at her disposal. She takes a full time job to be able to pay all the expenses Caleb refuses to cover, and does not have the money to pay for a wheel chair and hospital bed for her mother, who has suffered a stroke, nor to have the door painted or shelves put in the closet. Although Caleb is on duty as a fireman for 24 hours, and then has 48 hours off, he refuses to help with household tasks. His wife is spread thin with her job, household chores, and with helping her parents every weekend. Caleb has plenty of time to relax, to view porn on the computer, to have a social life, to exercise. His wife’s social life is limited to her lunch hour and the weekends when she helps her parents, and she is constantly working.

The Love Dare asks the reader to invest in his or her spouse, to give them a gift, to do special things for them. Yet, these things have been the very things Caleb’s wife was doing for six years. Finally, the seventh year, the year the story focuses on, she has quit doing all those loving extras because they are resulting in her husband becoming MORE selfish, not less selfish, and Caleb is frustrated and angry at her “lack of respect” for him. If making his dinner, washing his dishes, washing his clothes, putting flowers or candles on the table, etc. didn’t bring forth love from Caleb in all those years, the likelihood of the “Love Dare” being successful when Mrs. Caleb tries it is nil. Yet church leaders claim if a wife is loving and submissive like that, her behavior will induce her husband to love and cherish her.

Nothing could be further from the truth—especially if the husband is abusive. This is an extremely important point that church leaders do not seem to comprehend. Abused wives in particular are usually spread very thin. Since they are trying like everything to regain the love their husbands once appeared to have for them, they are focused on doing all those extras, on being so perfect their husband will have no reason to gripe and call them names and tell them they are worthless nobodies. Usually, wives do this for quite awhile before they begin to realize that their husband is taking advantage, using them and making ever more ridiculous demands to regain that sense of wielding power over another.

I must add here that it is the voluntary submission of the wife—submission to avoid an ugly denigrating attack—that causes abusive husbands to attack their wives, either physically or non-physically. When the wife showers her husband with loving and submissive behaviors, many abusers consider that a weakness and "go in for the kill," to thoroughly establish their power and control. Other times an abuser begins to think she is doing it by her own choice, not because of his coercion. Therefore, if her actions originated from her own choice, he is no longer in control. Since she is being so perfect, he must change his rules for her, even if he has to resort to the ridiculous, in order to regain that sense of dominating her. If an abuser has any inner prompting to feel ashamed of himself and change his ways, he tends to quickly squash it and be even more vicious to silence that inner prompting.

This is opposite of what church leaders teach. Bruce Ware, for example, has stated that it is the non-submission of the wife that induces her husband to attack her. This may be the case occasionally, but most of the time, the wife is bending over backward to keep her husband and home happy, and her husband abuses her because he is frustrated that he lacks a FEELING of domination over her, or conversely, because he does feel that power and believes his power gives him the right to attack her for whatever reason he makes up.

It is time to stop pressuring the person who is already doing all she can, and start pressuring the one who is doing next to nothing.

Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge, A novel,"a story about a woman who grapples with her husband's demands that she submit--no matter what. Please visit

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fireproof: Part 1, the Faulty Premise

I watched the movie “Fireproof” again, and the difficulty I had with it before has increased, along with the conviction that if I had tried it on my husband, it may have “worked” and “saved our marriage,” but it would not have provoked my husband to love or respect me, and would have destroyed me. Indeed, his abuse would have increased, as it already had in the years I tried to do all the loving things church leaders recommend that wives do for their husbands. The only way it would have worked in our marriage, is if my husband had committed to loving me with a genuine love. As it is, every time he behaved the least bit loving, I responded with the same. Often the loving behavior was a set up to get me to trust him enough so he could jerk the rug from under my feet and totally humiliate me. As Mrs. Caleb in “Fireproof” did, I also learned to treat any nice behavior from my husband with suspicion. Not once has that suspicion been unwarranted.

But now a closer look at the movie:

First, the premise of the movie is that either spouse can save their marriage by using the Love Dare as a tool. This spouse must commit to loving their spouse unconditionally, no matter what their partner does.

This is just plain bad theology based on a half truth. While it is true that God loves us unconditionally, it is not true that He protects us from the consequences of our behavior. The Bible speaks of God divorcing his wife, Israel because of her continual rejection and whoring after other Gods. The Bible is also clear that even though He loves us unconditionally, continued rejection or advantage-taking or sin will be rewarded with Hell fire. Yet the Love Dare requires that a spouse refuse to confront his or her husband or wife for any behavior—including sinful, selfish, or evil behavior against the spouse—and be all “loving” and nicey-nice instead. If the book and movie limited that to 40 to 80 days, that would be one thing. But the whole idea is that this unconditional love is to go on until one of the spouses dies, regardless of whether the recipient of that “love” chooses to respond with loving behaviors in return or finally grows to “deserve” it.

Because of the abuse scene in the movie, where Caleb screams in his wife’s face and denigrates her, the premise of the movie also implies that a person who is abused should try the “Love Dare,” and implies that they would be successful at “saving” the marriage. However, the “Love Dare” is sold as an ideal that a person should continue to implement even though the initial 40 days did not bring about positive change. This is VERY DANGEROUS for abused spouses. Not only does it ignore the fact that one of the characteristics of abusers is that they see loving behavior as a weakness, and when they see weakness, they mount an attack to totally destroy the “weak” person. In other words, if the selfish spouse is also an abuser, his wife would be quickly damaged by even TRYING the “Love Dare.” And if her belief in the rightness of the “Love Dare” is strong enough to convince her to stick with it, there is a very high likelihood that she would be destroyed through illness—often a mental illness like anxiety or depression, both known for shortening lives and/or being extremely debilitating--or through violent death at the hands of her husband. And the resulting destruction to the children would continue generation after generation, resulting in more abuse and/or murder, or more depression/anxiety/nightmares.

Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge, A novel,"a story about a woman who grapples with her husband's demands that she submit--no matter what. Please visit

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Some Men Get It

Several hundred men at the University of Missouri-Kansas City walked a mile in heels to make a statement against rape and sexual assault. Granted, they are making a statement to their peers and to show support to women, not beating up rapists or helping an abused woman find housing, but it is more than many Christian “leaders” like John Piper or Bruce Ware would do. Perhaps Mark Driscoll, who loves the dramatic, should wear pumps when he preaches, so he could walk a mile in women’s footwear and learn to respect them.

Speaking of walking in someone else’s shoes, Piper, Ware, Driscoll, and others with abused-wives-must-endure rhetoric, should do a spouse swap with the wives they blame or refuse to defend. The abused wives and their children would live with one of the preacher’s wives, and the preacher would live with the abusive husband. The husband who uses “verbal unkindness” against his wife, should treat the preacher to frequent daily doses of verbal dumping, and meanwhile the wife and children could have a few weeks of blissful peace apart from their dictator. Perhaps after 2 miserable weeks walking in the shoes of abused wives, the preachers would change the lyrics and sing a different tune.

Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge, A novel,"a story about a woman who grapples with her husband's demands that she submit--no matter what. Please visit

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Hypocrisy and Immaturity of John Piper

The recent uproar over John Piper’s answer to the question, “What should a wife’s submission to her husband look like if he’s an abuser?” (See, has largely focused on biblical principles Piper’s recommendations violated, as well as his seeming ignorance about the dynamics of abusers, their behavior and their relationships, and the effects of the abuse as well as the behavior of those the abuser targets—usually his wife and children. The comments did not compare what he said in his answer with what he has written elsewhere.

In the book Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood which he co-authored with Wayne Grudem, Piper’s views are radically different from his answer to The Question. Piper wrote Chapter 1, “A Vision of Biblical Complementarity: Manhood and Womanhood Defined According to the Bible.” Piper believes “Mature masculinity expresses itself not in the demand to be served, but in the strength to serve and to sacrifice for the good of women.” He goes on to explain that leadership is not a demanding demeanor, but rather moving things forward toward a goal. He emphasizes that the husband is to love his wife like Jesus loved the church when He gave himself up for her. (Italics are Piper’s.) Piper apparently classifies abusive husbands as immature, since they demand slavery from their wives and consider it unmanly to be anything but the top dog,.

His 3rd point defining mature masculinity is that it “does not presume superiority, but mobilizes the strengths of others.” Piper’s definition again classifies abusive husbands as immature, since they are notorious for exalting themselves and abasing their wives.

His 5th point, “Mature masculinity accepts the burden of the final say in disagreements between husband and wife, but does not presume to use it in every instance,” also classifies abusive husbands as immature, since they are known for demanding the final say in the most ridiculous instances and some demand the final say in every instance.

His 9th point is that “mature masculinity recognizes that the call to leadership is a call to repentance and humility and risk-taking,” and his explanation emphasizes that a responsible man must be careful and humble in his leading. Here again, Piper's definition labels abusive husbands as being immature, since their carefulness is to manipulate, deceive, lie, demand, or whatever it takes to be in control of their wives. And humility is non-existent. Except perhaps for an abuser’s occasional show of repentance when he fears he will lose his reputation or even lose his wife. He may be “humble” when he asks other controlling and abusive men how to win over his wife in a particular area, but it is not a true humility since one of his core beliefs is that he is superior to his wife, even if she outshines him in every way.

Another point Piper makes is that “At the heart of mature masculinity is a sense of benevolent responsibility to lead, provide for and protect women…” He states that this sense of responsibility is for “women in general, not just for wives or relatives.” Piper uses the illustration of a man walking along the street with a woman, who may be his wife, his sister, his friend, or a total stranger, and “an assailant threatens the two of them with a lead pipe. Mature masculinity senses a natural, God-given responsibility to step forward and put himself between the assailant and the woman. In doing this he becomes her servant. He is willing to suffer for her safety. He bestows honor on her. His inner sense is one of responsibility to protect her because he is a man and she is a woman.”

Since abusers fail the mature masculinity test in the above statements, we have to conclude Piper considers them immature. But why would he refuse to do anything to address the issue? Why would he tell wives to endure for a season, until their abuser “smacks” them? On the one hand he seems to deny that a pattern of “verbal unkindness” is domestic abuse, but on the other, his mention of a husband “smacking” his wife suggests he does know that “verbal unkindness” sometimes escalates into physical violence. According to Piper’s own view of mature masculinity, his refusal to protect the wives in his congregation until AFTER a physical attack from their own husbands, classifies him with those whose masculinity is IMMATURE.

If Piper really believes these statements that he wrote, he should be telling abused wives to alert him as soon as they recognize abuse so that he can confront the abuser with training on how to be a mature husband. Instead of drawing the line at physical abuse, he should teach his congregation that unkind verbal assaults are absolutely NOT ACCEPTABLE. But he doesn’t. Instead he allows the abuse to go on and on and on—apparently for as long as the abuser does not resort to hitting his wife. He does NOTHING to protect her until AFTER she has been assaulted.

Piper’s own written words when held up next to his answer to the question, “What should a wife’s submission to her husband look like if he’s an abuser?” classify him as one with immature masculinity. And his written statements along with their implication that HE is a mature man who would step in to protect women, when put side by side with his spoken answer, expose his hypocrisy.

Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge, A novel,"a story about a woman who grapples with her husband's demands that she submit--no matter what. Please visit

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Part 4, Who or What is responsible for the destruction of the family? Imprisonment = Marriage?

Many church leaders declare that the break down of families began with the rise of feminism, specifically when women started going to work outside the home. As discussed in part 1, one reason is that when men and women who are not married to one another are in the workplace together, there is an increased temptation to sin. This is blamed on the women, instead of on the husbands whose hearts are not committed to loving their wives. Another reason for placing the blame on the women’s movement, is that if a woman did not make an income, she would be less likely to leave her husband simply because she would be financially unable to care for herself and her children. In other words, Christians with the “blame women’s liberation” viewpoint, want to imprison women and children in hostile and miserable environments for the sake of preserving “the family.”

Their viewpoint seems to be that as long is there is no separation or divorce; the family is intact and the marriage is not destroyed.

But is this true?

First, what makes a marriage? Is it not the keeping of the vows? Is it not the keeping of oneself for the other, to love and to cherish in sickness and in health, for better or for worse till death parts them? If this vow is not kept, the marriage covenant has been broken. If the offending party does not repent in both word and action, the marriage is destroyed. Even if the offending party “repents” in word and action, if he/she repeatedly returns to the sin, the marriage is still destroyed. Why? Because there has been a major betrayal and trust has been broken and the person who broke the trust is not doing what it takes to reestablish trust. In order for a marriage to work there MUST be trust—trust that the other party has his/her spouse’s best interest at heart, not just his/her own.

Many would contend that “for better or for worse” means that a wife must stay married no matter what her husband does to her. But that argument is taking those words out of their context. The earlier phrase “to love and to cherish” requires that “for worse” is not to be done by the hand of either spouse. The worse is to be from sources outside the couple’s control. (Abuse is not outside the perpetrator’s control.)

Some would contend that a wife who does not submit to her husband’s every command and wish is not “loving and cherishing” him, and that SHE is breaking up the marriage, yet forget that him making demands is neither loving nor cherishing and that by making those demands he has already broken the marriage vows.

So is it the wife in the workplace, whose income allows her freedom from a broken down marriage that is causing the breakdown of the marriage? No. It is the prior too-frequent and ongoing non-cherishing behavior that broke down the marriage. Divorce is admitting and resigning oneself to the reality of what has already occurred and is the status of the marriage. Divorce creates a safety zone for the harmed person(s), consequences for the offending spouse, and makes public and legal what is already the truth.

Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge, A novel,"a story about a woman who grapples with her husband's demands that she submit--no matter what. Please visit

Friday, September 4, 2009

Part 3, Who or What is responsible for the destruction of the family? Denying Domestic Abuse

Many pastors and powerful men declare that the break down of families began with the rise of feminism, specifically when women started going to work outside the home. Let’s take a closer look at this claim. If their claim is based on the divorce rate, then they would be correct. The divorce rate has risen since women joined the workforce in the 1970’s, But is a couple staying together versus divorcing a true measurement of whether a family is “broken,” or has “broken down?”

Is a couple who remains legally married, but has the proverbial tape down the middle of the house, with each partner living on his/her side, married in any way besides the letter of the law? What about the couple who lives in constant conflict because the wife makes her living as a prostitute against her husband’s wishes? Or the couple where the wife cries herself to sleep every night because her husband repeatedly commits adultery, neglects her by refusing to allow her basic medical care, food, clothing, or love, or abuses her with verbal, emotional, spiritual or physical assaults? Or the couple where one is a drug or alcohol addict to such an extent that he/she offers nothing to the marriage? And what about the family where the wife is aware her husband is sexually abusing one or more of the children? The families in these examples are definitely “broken down.” Remaining legally married may make these marriages legally “intact,” but they are not intact in spirit. These couples are relationally divorced. Furthermore, a child living in any of these situations experiences acute and long-term pain and damage, and cannot develop normally.

Yet the “blame the women’s movement” crowd is the same one that makes a big deal about adultery, but denies the seriousness of domestic abuse and domestic violence and refuses to deal with it, except to tell abused wives to go home and submit to their husbands. Consider John Piper, who expects wives to wait until they are physically abused before they ask their pastors to hold their husbands accountable. (see By the time her husband has physically assaulted her, what wife can ever trust him to not assault her again?

With the high percentage women who experience abuse from their husbands, wouldn’t it be logical to expect that DOMESTIC ABUSE is one of the biggest causes of divorce? Wouldn’t it be logical to focus on stopping abuse in order to have healthy and loving families rather than having wives and children who are emotionally and spiritually bruised and so shredded their physical health declines?

So instead of focusing on imprisoning abused wives in their damaging marriages, wouldn’t it be more logical and effective to focus on stopping domestic abuse—even the verbal kind? Instead of assuming that most divorces are caused by the women’s liberation movement, why not examine what is going on in homes that would cause wives to want to be liberated from their husbands? Indeed, if a husband loves his wife instead of controls her, if he follows Christ’s example and lays down his life for his wife, why would any woman want to liberate herself from marriage to a man who showers her with such deep and abiding love?

Considering that so many pastors and churches refuse to hold the husband who abuses his wife accountable, and refuse to teach husbands to love their wives instead of rule and control them, could it be that the pastors who do this are responsible for the high divorce rate? And the individuals in churches increase the divorce rate by pressuring wives to submit and stay with their abusers, instead of pressuring husbands to love instead of control their wives.

In so doing, pastors and churches also contribute to the loss of membership. Their behavior drives women and children away from churches, and some are even driven away from God. But that is another subject.

Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge, A novel,"a story about a woman who grapples with her husband's demands that she submit--no matter what. Please visit

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Part 2, Who or What is Responsible for the Destruction of the Family, The Lies

I am discussing the rhetoric of many church leaders who declare that the break down of families began with the rise of feminism, specifically when women started going to work outside the home. Is this claim valid? In part one I pointed out that when a wife is held accountable for her husband’s sin, this leads to the destruction of their family because it frees the husband to sin without consequences.

There is another cause of the break down of the family, and that is the collection of lies mixed with scripture-twisting that is told to both husbands and wives by pastors and faith leaders. Both spouses are told that a husband feels like less of a man if he is not in control, and urge wives to yield all control to their husbands. Husbands are told that a home (wife) controlled by the husband is a godly home. Wives are told they will be happier if they submit IN EVERYTHING and that husbands will respond with a deep and abiding love for their wives. Furthermore, wives are directed to expend energy in thinking of ways to please their husbands, whether it is to cook his favorite foods or to be an exciting bed partner, and that these behaviors will entice husbands to love their wives even more.

The problem with these lies is that they teach husbands to sin, by claiming both he and his wife should consider his “natural” desire to control her as something other than sin. Each of us has our hands full controlling ourselves. Each of us must grow to control our tongues, for example, which no man can tame, and to bring our actions under the control of the Holy Spirit. No one can do it for another. It is a full time job for each individual. So how can we expect a wife who is being chewed out by her husband, who obviously cannot control his own tongue, to give herself over to his evil control?

These lies also urge wives to sin by committing “husbandolatry,” a term coined by Jocelyn Andersen. A wife should be putting her energies into serving and pleasing God. A portion of that does go to her husband, but serving her husband (and children) should not be her entire focus.

The lies also offer false hope to women and a false sense of Godliness to men. Indeed, the home (wife) controlled by the husband IS a godly home, with the husband being its god. Scripture teaches husbands to love their wives like Christ loved the church, self-sacrificially, laying down their lives for their wives. No scripture commands husbands to rule their wives, with the exception of King Xerxes’s edict before Esther became queen. (Are Christians really going to obey the edict of a Gentile, drunk, and ungodly king?) Yet pastors and churches make a big deal about husband AUTHORITY, which is not scriptural. In fact, the same verses in I Timothy that say a bishop or deacon should be a husband who rules his household well, also prohibits him from violence and commands him to be gentle and peaceable. This suggests the very first person he needs to take authority over is himself.

Wives have been grabbing onto the “Submit no matter what” doctrine as if it is a lifeline. Wives whose husbands are indifferent or abusive toward them have been taught that if they submit, their husbands will love them. But they do not realize that a husband who chooses to verbally assault his wife, hates her. When she submits to his “This is a crisis; we have to do something immediately” speech, (sounds Obama-esque) when the situation is neither a crises, nor is his solution the answer, he ends up hating her even more. The result is that his contempt and abuse of her will increase. Her submission to his stupidity ends up completely killing off any love for her he may have left. And the husband’s belief that his selfish demands make him more Godly, destroys his love for anyone but himself.

So who or what is responsible for the break down of marriages? Whoever is teaching these lies. A wife’s submission is to be a response to her husband’s love. His demands carry with them an unspoken (sometimes spoken) “You are garbage if you do not do what I say,” that insists that she sin by adopting her husband’s false assessment of her, rather than adopting Christ’s assessment of her. (You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. And etc.) Sin begets more sin, and “sin when it is finished, bringeth forth death,” including the death of the couple’s marriage.

The over-submission may appear to work—for awhile. But in the long run, a husband cannot respect a wife who does not respect herself enough to refuse to submit to him when he insists she jump into the manure lagoon.

Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge, A novel,"a story about a woman who grapples with her husband's demands that she submit--no matter what. Please visit

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Part 1, Who or What is responsible for the destruction of the family? Mis-assigning responsibility

Many church leaders declare that the break down of families began with the rise of feminism, specifically when women started going to work outside the home. Is this claim valid? How would women in the workplace have anything to do with the breakdown of the family?

One way is that their presence and close work association tempts men to commit adultery. In essence, the church leaders are blaming working women for the sin and weakness of men. This is one of those Adam claims, “The woman you put in the office with me did tempt me and I did sin.” However, Christian men know it is foolish to blame God, so they focus all the blame on women. Instead of saying “I must keep my pants up, I must keep my pants up, I love my wife, I wouldn’t do this to her, I love my wife, I wouldn’t put her through such pain and humiliation, this woman probably has habits I can’t stand, so I won’t go there,” men choose to pursue the pleasure of the moment and deal with the consequences later.

If we were to follow this logic through to its obvious conclusion, if women are to blame simply because they are in the presence of men who they are not married to or related to, we would have to agree that the Muslim men are correct when they make laws prohibiting women from going out of the house unless they have a male relative to escort them. Furthermore, if men are actually that weak and frail, the women would have to be covered from head to toe when they do go out to protect the men from lusting after them.

Some groups are close to making such requirements, but seem to realize the ridiculousness of going as far as the Muslim men do. Interestingly, these restrictive laws do not prevent Muslim men from attacking and raping women. True to form, the men cannot hold the weak rapist accountable, so they hold the woman accountable and kill her even though she was always covered from head to toe and always had the proper male escort when she left the house.

The companion reason for blaming the women-to-work movement, is that too many women stray from their husbands to commit adultery with a man in the work place. Tellingly, the “blame the women’s movement” crowd blames the wife when her husband strays, because according to them it is her responsibility to keep his pants up. But when the wife commits adultery, or has an affair of the heart, her husband does not get blamed for failing to meet his wife’s needs. Instead the wife gets blamed again.

Could it be that the real problem is that the wrong person is held accountable for sin? If the wife is held accountable for her husband’s sin as well as for her own, doesn’t that encourage husbands to sin, since there is no punishment nor accountability for men? If husbands become used to freedom to sin without being held accountable, isn’t it likely that just like with leaven, the sin will grow until it overtakes the man and his whole life is ruled by the evil one, until he destroys his family?

So then who or what is responsible for the destruction of the family? Isn’t it those who claim wives are responsible for the sins of their husbands? Isn’t it those who claim a husband is to control his family, but when he sins, his wife is to blame? If a wife is to be accountable for her husband’s sin, she would have to control him. But this is not allowed to wives. They are to SUBMIT, not control.

This leads us to the next cause of the break down of the family.

Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge, A novel,"a story about a woman who grapples with her husband's demands that she submit--no matter what. Please visit