|The blogosphere has been all abuzz about the Ted Haggard scandal. In the wake of that, Mark Driscoll (yet another "celebrity pastor") posted about the problem of sexual temptation for clergy. Apparently Mr. Driscoll is quite some exciting hunk of a man, because his female parishioners like to slip him notes soliciting sex. However, it is this comment of his that is raising the most concern:|
Most pastors I know do not have satisfying, free, sexual conversations and liberties with their wives. 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. It is not uncommon to meet pastors’ wives who really let themselves go; they sometimes feel that because their husband is a pastor, he is therefore trapped into fidelity, which gives them cause for laziness. 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.
The first question that struck me is "Who is the team?" I'm assuming he means the team of guys who like to blame their wives for their own problems with porn and other forms of emotional or physical infidelity.
It seems that there is good reason that Driscoll is, as he admits, "widely despised". Apparently he has a habit of making insulting, demeaning public comments about women.
I posted the following to a guy-oriented blog, but it seems my comment was either deleted or not approved. I guess I shouldn't be surprised:
“It is not uncommon to meet pastors’ wives who really let themselves go; they sometimes feel that because their husband is a pastor, he is therefore trapped into fidelity, which gives them cause for laziness. 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.”What I failed to mention was the obvious: There is no way that Ted Haggard's wife could have been beautiful enough or "Song of Solomon" enough to keep her husband from wanting to have sex with a male prostitute.
It is also not uncommon to meet pastors who really let themselves go. In fact, in my experience, I have met far more of these, and most of them have been married to women who took far better care of their personal appearance and health than did their husbands. In fact, the last two pastors at our church have been (and still are) obese. [Note: they are not unusual. Although I've not read any studies, I have encountered evidence that obesity is as much, if not more, of a problem among male clergy as among the American population at large. Pun intended.] Obviously this presents issues in a marriage, especially when the wife takes far better care of herself. She may not have men slipping notes in her pocket asking her for massages and sex, but it is really hard to want to go all "Song of Solomon" with a fat guy who is a selfish slave to his appetities --- and any nice guy without a huge belly can look awfully attractive in comparison.
Now, it's probably true that fat pastors face less temptation from women trying to have flings with them, but they are hardly setting an example for healthy marriages, or for loving their wives. And a lot of guys who overly indulge their appetite for food will also be weak when it comes to controlling their other sensual appetities, such as for porn. Plus, I've known obese men who felt a huge need to affirm their masculinity by agressively chasing women. (Trust me; when I was single I used to get sick of the fat old guys at work who seemed to think I would actually be receptive to their nauseating attempts to proposition me and any other woman around.)
Obviously that was not Ted Haggard's issue. But I'm tired of pastor's wives being raked over the coals for not being attractive enough, when their husbands have far, far less excuse.