Are Women Who Submit to Their Husbands in Sin?

I’m always late to know everything!  Apparently, it’s been making the rounds on the interwebz that popular and conservative blogger, Sheila Gregorie, has not only recently attacked a Pastor for trying to defend his view of biblical marriage (and calling for him to be fired… and calling for all the women in his congregation to rebel against him), she’s now accused wives who actually submit to their husbands of committing the sin of idolatry!

I used to think Sheila was on the more “conservative” or traditional side of Christianity – but I’d never really read her blog, and I never knew she was a Christian feminist.

Here is where she defends Queen Vashti as being the “hero” of the Esther story, because she stood up for herself and “social justice,” and refused to obey her husband.  It is a very twisted read in order to fit her feminist agenda of Vashti somehow being the “wife in the right,” with Esther being cast as a victim.

“I refuse to be treated like a sex object, because that is not what I am.” She stood up for the dignity of women, something, by the way, that Jesus did, too. In that culture that despised women, she said, “no more!”

Vashti doesn’t have to be bad in order for Esther to be good. Maybe both were standing up to injustice.

A few years ago, after reading what I thought would be a benign Bible study by Beth Moore on Queen Esther, I came across this same sentiment (from Moore) that Vashti really was in the right.  In the study, Moore builds up an elaborate case against King Xerxes in order to discredit him, much like Sheila does.  However, Moore is forced to admit to herself and her readers that Esther’s attitude and heart really were far superior than Vashti’s attitude and actions in winning over the King’s heart.

Sheila believes differently:

“I feel very, very sorry for Esther. I hate movies and books that portray her and Xerxes’ relationship as a love story.

She had to “audition” for a night to be chosen by him, and that’s pretty darn ugly, no matter how you slice it. We need to stop romanticizing it.

She was taken into a harem. It’s basically sex trafficking.

-Sheila Gregorie

Wow, so now Queen Esther was sex-trafficked!  I’ve never seen anyone interpret Esther’s story this far off from what it was meant to be.  It is definitely a type of love story, just as Ruth is another type of love story.  For centuries, women have always found these stories romantic, because they are!

Here is where I talk about how romantic Queen Esther’s love story with King Xerxes is.  From her uniquely tragic upbringing which forged her character and possible demeanor that captivated King Xerxes’, to being raised by a male cousin who gave her insight into men’s hearts, Esther made the King fall very much in love with her – to the point of him repeatedly offering her anything she wanted, including half his kingdom.

After reading Beth Moore’s study, I chose to focus on the good things she wrote about Esther, yet interject my own thoughts (as opposed to Moore’s) on how badly Vashti chose to behave.

From my post 3 years ago:

“Vashti had blatantly and cruelly humiliated him in front of all of Susa, during the finale of his week long party, during a sensitive time of his trying to ramp up political support for his campaign to go to war to conquer Greece (something that seemed like an extremely difficult undertaking).

He, of all men, understood what it meant to have a wife and Queen who would undermine you, publicly humiliate you, and refuse to support you at the time that you needed it most.”  (From Single Women: To Be Captivating is More Than Mere Looks)

Why Do Women Hate What the Bible Says?

Why is this topic such a controversial thing when the Bible says this command several times, I don’t know.  Just in the New Testament alone, I’ve counted four different books with specific verses that explicitly tell wives to submit to their husbands as they would to God Himself. I do know Truth is opposed.  And I know that when you start taking God’s Word seriously for your life, there will be people even in the Christian faith who will undoubtedly attack you for it.

Sheila calling submissive wives “sinful” for obeying and honoring the Word God’s given to us, is very similar to how Elspeth called women who revered Proverbs 31’s passage on the virtuous woman as a beautiful ideal to look up to, “Pharisees.”   It just shows complete lack of reverence for the beauty of God’s Word, and falsely accuses the women who are actually trying to follow it.

In fact, calling them “sinful” like Sheila did, or “Pharisees,” like Elspeth did, is slandering them for following the Word of God, and honoring it as something beautiful and true.  

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Matthew 5:10-11

When women who find beauty in the Proverbs 31 woman’s example are slandered as “Pharisees,” we should rejoice for being insulted and falsely accused by our fellow Christians.  And when women who submit to their husbands like Sarah did, and yet are accused of living in “sin,” we should be glad because our reward is great in heaven.  My husband and I expect behavior like this – attitudes that Sheila and Elspeth have shown against Christian women who respect and follow God’s Word – will only increase with time.

We best be prepared.

Stephanie

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25 thoughts on “Are Women Who Submit to Their Husbands in Sin?

  1. I have never heard of these people! How sheltered am I? I’m reminded that our battle isn’t against flesh and blood… And that these bloggers need our prayers.

  2. I said in the dalrock thread that the scripture indicates Vashti also held a banquet for the ladies of the palace. What do you want to bet her resistance might have come from a drunken tirade? The party was seven days in by the time Xerxes summoned her, and she was just as pagan as he was.
    She would have been fully aware that Xerxes could end her life with a word, why would she risk such an outburst? Ladies should be careful in making her a hero, but many modern female “heroes” are exactly that: foul mouthed, drunken, loose whores with little more to offer than their bodies. They get lifted up as examples of “strong, independent women”, it’s no wonder someone like Vashti would be held up in the same manner. By Christian ladies, though – now that is surprising.

  3. The short is answer is no. Moreover, one must be ready to quickly combat the charlatans who would accuse her or such.

    Personally, I am an guard for such enemies as potential destroyers of my family. I view them like tuberculosis entering the house. They must be quickly removed and treated like a toxic agent.

  4. It does seem husbands need to be very aware of where their wives are reading. I cannot believe Vashti is actually held up as the good example to follow in Sheila’s story, but with feminism, nothing surprises me anymore.

  5. “By Christian ladies, though – now that is surprising.”

    Exactly. That is what is so bothering to me. With non-Christians it makes sense for them to twist or not even care about the Bible, but for actual Christian women, especially ones who have influence over younger ones looking up to them, it is very bad.

  6. Oh but Linda… surely you’ve heard of Beth Moore though right? She was adament that Vashti was in the right, and she spent PAGES in her Bible study trying to discredit King Xerxes in the reader’s mind. It felt very disingenuous and it really disturbed me back then. I couldn’t do another Beth Moore Bible study after that :/

  7. Beth Moore, yes, but the others no. I’ve done a lot of good studies by her, but not this one.

  8. 😦 I know!!! I used to do a lot of her studies. She changed after her daughter got divorced, in my opinion. Maybe that had to do with why she adamantly felt Vashti was right.

  9. Only God knows her heart. There are no perfect mentors. We all need to study with our spiritual eyes open, covered in prayer.

  10. I want to make a quick note: My observation about Vashti is totally unsupported and nothing indicates that she and her female friends were wasted. I’m only taking a look at the scripture and wondering why a wife who’s husband had every authority to have her killed on the spot would suddenly decide it was a good idea to be flagrantly disobedient.

  11. God knows her heart but we are supposed to judge her by her spiritual fruit. It seems a lot of Christian women like to live on the edge by attending “studies” in which the likes of Moore, Shirer, et. al. are used as guides with the idea that they just need to “study with their spiritual eyes opened”, when in reality it would be better to avoid such nonsense altogether, knowing that they are teaching falsehoods. I am in no way disparaging you, simply pointing out that these people still have best sellers in the study guide section of the church bookstore when Christian women should be avoiding this stuff like the plague.

  12. It is hard for me to figure out who is just an imperfect mentor (usually those are women I’ve met online and developed relationships long-term or ones I know in real life), and who is considered maybe a “false teacher” whose written books and has a massive following?

    Ultimately with stuff like this though, God DOES know their hearts and I’m confident He will judge them correctly in the end.

  13. It has been years since I have participated in a Beth Moore study, but the studies I did were full of truth. Do I agree with all her opinions? No, but God still used her studies to bring about spiritual growth in my life. I have not done her Esther Study.
    We ARE supposed to live with our spiritual eyes open. Scripture tells us to abide in Christ (live by the Spirit), take every thought captive, to evaluate our hearts regularly, and to live with God’s Word as the final authority so that we can discern truth from false teaching and live in God’s will. Likewise, teachers are held to a higher level of accountability because of their influence.

    Unfortunately, we all have the capacity to be jaded by our experiences. Praise God, He can and does open our eyes and bring us to repentance when we are willing. We need to be careful that our tone toward others, while recognizing their fruit, doesn’t become a sin of slander in these public forums.

    Thank you.

  14. Yes! To me it’s important to attack the argument, or what a person said, rather than name calling or personal attacks or accusing them of something they aren’t.

  15. Whatever are you talking about? Slander? There is no slander here. There is ample proof, particularly against Shelia Gregoire, and even against Beth Moore, that they are preaching falsehoods masked in scripture. How did Paul treat people who preached falsehoods against the faith?

    2 Timothy 2: 5 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and [e]idle babblings, for they will [f]increase to more ungodliness. 17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, 18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.

    These ladies are doing the same thing: Overthrowing the faith of some and, in fact, calling for a concentrated effort to rebel in another mans church! Perhaps at one time their teachings were true and faithful, but it has been shown now that they are false, and dangerous! Therefore it would wise of us as Christians to cut these people off, as also prescribed by Paul. They have been made aware of their sins both in private and public, yet continue to preach against the word. Are we to be like those Corinthians who thought so highly of themselves for accepting the sin of a man with his fathers wife? Paul said to remove such a one!

    2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
    3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
    4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
    6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
    7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened.

    …. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

    Yes, live with spiritual eyes opened and yes have discernment over what teachers say, but the end result shouldn’t be to decide what to pick and choose from a teacher, but rather whether they speak the truth or not!

    Let us pray these ladies see the error of their ways, but until they do I think it wise to steer other Christians away from them, particularly those who are fairly new to the faith and dont know any better.

    Slander consists of false statements, of which none are being made here.

  16. Snapper, Linda is an AMAZING woman from what I’ve seen and communicated with her… I think she’s just trying to warn us how easy it can be to slander someone when talking in the comments.

    Some of these women’s most condemning things they’ve ever said were found in the comment section, and I’ve done my part in that, too before. It’s very easy to instead of focusing on the action or the words (argument), to instead start attacking the person themselves. And if someone doesn’t know the backstory, then even attacking someone’s argument looks like slander.

    I don’t know, but I can vouch for Linda that she’s not accusing you of slander, just worried how public forums and comment sections can quickly devolve into that.

  17. “These ladies are doing the same thing: Overthrowing the faith of some and, in fact, calling for a concentrated effort to rebel in another mans church! ”

    ^And you are totally right, Snapper, that this is very bad.

  18. 10-4. I get a little heated over this stuff because I see so many Christian’s willing to throw away what the Bible actually says for what suits them most, but meant no ill will.

  19. I agree with you 100% that Paul taught zero tolerance for false teaching. I’m not suggesting anything else. My concern is that we are careful with the attitude (and example) we present, that at the same time as we unmask falsehood and point out truth, we are to keep concern for those who have gone astray in focus. As Paul continued to say in 2 Timothy, “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.”

  20. Stephanie,
    Great article! I have been aware of Sheila Gregorie for many years. I have mentioned her in passing a few times on my blog but I have meant to do a dedicated series refuting several of her articles. You article here might be just the inspiration I needed to get on to doing that new series.

    She tries to help women understand their husband’s sexual needs and she also encourages women to cultivate their own desire for more sex with their husbands. So, there is some good in what she writes.

    But there is so much Christian feminism weaved within her writings that it really poisons her entire blog. No two Christian teacher or bloggers are going to agree on everything. You and I don’t agree on everything but I have no problem referring Christian women to your blog because I believe while we may disagree on some things we agree on the foundational issues especially as it relate to gender roles and marriage and we agree on the evil scourge which is feminism.

    We may feel like the whole Christian world is being swallowed up in the heresy that is feminism, but we must remember that God always reserves a faithful remnant to himself to stand for the truth in these times of apostasy. Keep up the good work that you are doing here and may God bless you and your husband and your children.

  21. It’s always great to hear from you BGR!!! I hope y’all are all doing well.

    And I do hope this inspires you to do a series on her posts where she’s twisted what the Bible says – would hopefully help many people.

  22. “I never knew she was a Christian feminist.”

    I expect Sheila would vociferously deny that, likely claiming that although she has a “Masters in Sociology with an emphasis on Women’s Studies”, she has since turned her back completely on all feminist influence. Ha!

    The evidence to the contrary is abundantly clear.

  23. I really had no idea, but then I don’t read her blog much at all – maybe once a year or two. I wasn’t aware she was writing so many posts that twist God’s Word.

    There are some really great female bloggers out there (like the ones I’ve linked to on the sidebar) who get it right and are VERY uplifting to read. But I’ve noticed they just post their musings and aren’t trying to officially “teach” people this stuff. Still, I’ve learned a lot from what they post and from their example.

  24. If Sheila Gregoire stayed solely on the topic of Christian women and sex, she might be okay. However, once she strays from that specific subject, she is much more dangerous.

    I think a far better resource for Christian sex advice is Chris Taylor of Forgiven Wife.

    Are you familiar with MichelleLesley blog – Popular False Teachers? I mention her because she has a strong dislike of false teaching as in this article, but her other writing seems sound, too.

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