How Much Responsibility do Authors Need to Take When Their Words Cause Harm?
Does having a large platform and attaining bestselling author status mean you need to take extra responsibility for the impact of what you teach?
I believe so. The greater one's visibility, the greater their capacity to influence an audience for healing or harm. And when one's statements cause harm, even inadvertently, it is crucial for the influencer to take thoughtful, humble steps toward restitution and restitution.
TW: Bondage, Abuse, Pornography+
The past two weeks have starkly illustrated the need for this, and you can see more on how everything went down with Christian marriage author Gary Thomas publishing the "healthy porn-recovery story" of a "Christian Marriage coaching" couple whose blogs endorse bondage, coercive control, and a wide variety of porn-inspired exploitative sexual activities here and here.
When Christian authors teach on principles of relationships, marriage, parenting, and family -- we have a moral and ethical mandate to both reflect the heart of Christ and reflect an awareness of accurate, scientific data and cite the research. Today's blog "It’s Time to Hold Teachers Accountable for How They Treat the Sheep" from marriage author and researcher, Sheila Gregoire, suggests:
We believe that we could avoid much of that harm by expecting authors, speakers, and teachers to pass two tests:
Accountability for their teaching
Personally, I'm trying to comprehend how these two baseline principles are not already the foundation across the board in the faith community. How have our collective standards been allowed to remain so low? But I digress.
On Friday, September 17, 2021, after public interaction on social media with both Gary and his co-author, Debra Fileta, I privately emailed Gary Thomas to express my concerns and formally request that he thoughtfully consider a path to restitution for the broken trust from not only publishing the harmful article, but also for blocking and deleting those who tried to offer calibration.
I told Gary in this email that I am committed to continuing this conversation in the public space, and I would be publishing my call for his retraction. As of the date of publishing, neither Gary nor his publisher or representatives have replied. Should they choose to respond, I will gladly update this article to include their response.
Here is what I wrote:
September 17, 2021
Dear Gary, I realize the last few days may have been a whirlwind for you, and I want to affirm you for taking down your post, My Wife Can’t Cure Me, But She Can Help Me (original post here).
When I invited you to join me on my podcast a few months ago, it was purely out of admiration and a desire to dialogue about your new book. I was disappointed when Robin declined on your behalf, because I hoped to share principles I’ve respected from your work with my audience. I’d still be happy to have a conversation with you, should you be willing.
I am writing this because: 1) I care about the success of your ministry and your voice. 2) I care about the safety and healing of those who read your material. 3) I cannot conscientiously be silent when I see harmful (unwitting or no) information being shared in the name of God.
I recognize that you may be still scratching your head and trying to figure out just how and why the article received such pushback and negative response. It’s okay that you’re not an expert on abuse or sex addiction or the impact these things have on a marriage. The problem arises when someone who hasn’t experienced these things dismisses and discounts the insights of those who actually have.
When survivors of abuse and betrayal trauma read your post’s depiction of the “healing" of Jay and Christina — we immediately knew it was bogus. Women who have escaped the life Christina is currently living, immediately sensed the falseness. We’ve heard this rhetoric before. We know the brain games. We have battled for years to untangle the fog of dissonance we saw in Jay’s words, and live in clarity again.
But when many, many women (and a number of men) commented on social media that this anecdote was unhelpful, outright damaging, and that something was off — you accused us of gaslighting you and labelled us illogical, venomous, and unreasonable. Blocking and deleting concerned readers, professionals, experts, and survivors created an even bigger worry for those of us who have been observing and taking note.
As I wrote in my open appeal to you, "I’m worried, honestly, that this article, is actually how you've really felt the whole time, and you've only written Enough is Enough and When to Walk Awayas cherries on top. But that this is what you really believe. … I’m worried that your real internal operating system is showing right now and all the stuff you've said otherwise has just been icing on a cognitive dissonance cake."
You may still not believe that your article, and the use of Jay and Christina’s story was that big of a deal. I’d invite you to review the attached timeline (see the end of this article), compiled by a thorough and diligent reader of mine. Here is the proof — this outlines a behind the scenes pattern that survivors and abuse recovery experts immediately recognized. This horrific and abusive reality is what we read between the lines, even while you implied we were crazy.
Mary Ellen Bream, the courageous survivor who spent hours tracing this timeline down via Jay and Christina’s own publicly available material, wrote: “I just wanted to present a more concrete idea that what the survivors were saying about the abusive dynamic between Jay and Christina while reading between the lines of Gary’s post is indeed EXACTLY the dynamic, as shown in Jay’s own words, once one has chased down all the elements and connected them together.” She has given me permission to share her work.
The timeline shows clear patterns of exploitation, coercion, and addiction. Jay’s own writings strongly indicate that he has in no way left behind a pornographic style of viewing women. Rather, like so many porn addicts, he has attempted to refocus his sexual exploitation toward his wife instead of scattering his sexual energy among many women. This doesn’t indicate sexual health however, because he is still treating and viewing his wife as an object. Not once in his years of blogging could we find an acknowledgement of how much his years of intense porn use and sexual betrayal harmed his wife. Nowhere does he appear to admit the aspects of abuse and adultery in his behavior patterns.
There is nothing to indicate that he has left behind his sense of sexual entitlement and is now cherishing his wife and children with the tender heart of Christ.
Gary, with all respect, you owe survivors in the faith community a deep, heartfelt apology. We were begging you to show care, and trust the voices of those who saw through the glossy manipulative victory story exterior — and instead you turned us away, shifting the narrative to allege that we were gaslighting you.
As an author with tremendous influence and potential for both healing and harm, please take the time and effort to more thoroughly educate yourself on abuse, domestic violence, porn addiction and betrayal trauma. You have much great knowledge, but in this area you hold the ability to do great harm through willful ignorance.
I am asking you to consider taking these steps to rectify the damage done in the past week: 1) publish a genuine and honest apology, and make it authentic by unblocking the survivors who were so desperately trying to communicate truth to you and giving them the chance to share while you listen instead of censoring, 2) include a formal retraction of the damaging article, 3) publicly disavow all connection to Jay Dee’s horrific, abuse-promoting material and Uncovering Intimacy (and please do a thorough look-through of his posts and comments if you still are wondering why), 4) publicly commit to spending significant time listening to the voices of survivors and understand more about trauma — I’m happy to engage with you and/or refer you to a number of outstanding experts 5) postpone the release of your new book Married Sex, submit the manuscript to at least 3-4 abuse and trauma experts/authors for review, and then incorporate their suggestions to address any content that may be construed as abuse-enabling or otherwise damaging to those who are likely to buy your book.
On my social media, I seek to create a safe space for survivors to practice speaking out and rediscovering their voices. I am committed to public dialogue on public issues such as these. To stay true to this principle, I’ll be publishing this letter, and the accompanying timeline of Jay and Christina’s story — proving that the survivors who pushed back on the blog were correctly sensing real issues.
I would love to be able to include your thoughts and response with that, if you’re willing.
Thank you for taking the time to carefully review and consider these important aspects.
Sarah McDugal www.wildernesstoWILD.com
P.S. Also, I’d urge you to reach out to Christina and offer to connect her with those who can help. Every indicator suggests that she and her children are living in an environment that is overwhelmingly abusive on multiple levels of coercive control, sexual exploitation, psychological terrorism, and other aspects of Domestic Violence.
**************************** You may be wondering about the timeline I attached for Gary to read, showcasing the profound problems in this scenario. I've included it at the end of this article as well, because I believe that as a reader, you should be given the tools to draw your own conclusions effectively.
"An addiction, invariably, disrupts and corrupts the moral compass. Prolonged participation in deviant behavior hardens the heart and lessens the moral, spiritual conflict with engaging in evil or corrupt behavior (James 1:13-15). Pornography serves as a spiritual, emotional and moral corrosive agent. Increasing the propensity, motivation for a sexual predator to act out." Patrick Weaver
Why This is so Problematic
When a popular, trusted marriage author or speaker exalts an example like Uncovering Intimacy as a pattern to emulate, it is painfully apparent how much the faith community continues to ignore the reality of issues such as sexual coercion, betrayal trauma, and domestic violence within Christian families.
When leaders respond to issues such as porn addiction in marriage by urging the betrayed spouse to give more sex, rather than calling the addict to accountability for living in deception and infidelity -- the church reveals its deeply internalized misogyny and violates the third commandment. We cannot encourage marital sexual coercion, and also pretend that we are not taking the name of the Lord in vain. (Exodus 20:7)
"Consent, in a sexual relationship, means that both parties have given an enthusiastic yes.
When a man has a secret sexual life and has not been completely forthright regarding the history of his sexual behaviors (including pornography use) to his partner, she is not able to give informed consent." - Betrayal Trauma Recovery
This means the message being promoted, even if unwittingly, is telling women that when they are married to a porn addict they have no choice but to endure ongoing sexual coercion -- and even rape.
"If you are in an abusive relationship, or a relationship, with a porn addict, you cannot and will not cure them by feeding their addiction. You cannot sex them into sobriety. You cannot have enough sex to fix them. You cannot alleviate their addiction cravings by becoming a sexual object, toy or slave." Patrick Weaver
We recognize this easily in other areas of addiction or abuse. We would never encourage a heroin addict to seek sobriety by only shooting up at home, or only when his wife holds the syringe. We'd laugh at the idea that an alcoholic should skip rehab in favor of recovering under his wife's supervision with a shot of whiskey every evening.
Yet, the misogynistic assumption that males possess an innate entitlement to sexual release is so deeply internalized for many faith community leaders, that it weaves a blindfold making it nearly impossible to recognize the abusive bent of the overall mindset. As I wrote in this post: We have an epidemic of domestic violence, sexual coercion, and abuse in the faith communities. And for far too long this has been endured, enabled and reperpetrated by our most popular leaders, authors, bloggers, and speakers.
The time has come for that to change, done, full stop, never again.
And we can be the tsunami of voices that refuse to continue being served damaging information and insist on integrity from those who have widespread platforms and influence.
We have the power of voice.
Will you join me in kindly, honorably, firmly insisting that our popular faith organization leaders and writers do not have the freedom to operate without integrity and that they face a calling from an unsilenceable wave of voices to do better?
**************************** Looking for really helpful books and resources to guide your journey through betrayal trauma? Check out WILD's Betrayal Trauma Resource List of best books, podcasts, websites, articles and more!
Are you worried and wondering if your husband is secretly watching porn? Take the quiz HEREto have a better idea of what you may dealing with: ****************************
Jay and Christina Dee - TIMELINE
Researched by Mary Ellen Bream, edited by Sarah McDugal
Little to no education about sex. Were basically told “don’t ask questions” growing up. Link here. (11:00 mark) - Didn’t know to use lube - Didn’t know how birth control would affect her libido and moods. Link here.
Christina says he refused her on their honeymoon because he had the flu. She stopped initiating soon after that and started saying no on a regular basis soon after. Jay characterizes her as a "refuser". Link here.
Christina had a lot of sexual pain in the early years of marriage: “During the early years of our marriage, my wife had a lot of pain during sex, so for months, perhaps longer (I didn’t keep track), I would bring her to orgasm manually or orally, but sex was out of the question. Then she would say “sorry”, and go to sleep. (mutual masturbation was not in our repertoire yet). So I’d leave and “finish myself off”. He’d bring her to climax, but she didn’t seem to know what to do for him. She wasn’t refusing maliciously or selfishly. See comments hereand here.
After sex, he would kiss her goodnight and go to the computer to play games. (More evidence of active addiction mindset.) Link here.
He was actively hiding a porn addiction. Link here and here (12:00 mark).
There were times he wouldn’t initiate because he was hoping she would. But then he says there were times he would ignore her signal because he had already had multiple orgasms watching porn and didn’t think he could perform again. Link here.
Also, here: “There were times I avoided sexual encounters because I was worried my wife would realize I was being sexually active without her. And at all times I was hiding something from my wife.” (emphasis added) Link here.
All of this challenges Jay's narrative that the core problem was Christina being a “refuser”.
Describes the marriage as sexless for the first 8 years. Link here.
Jay says he was just done. So they started communicating more about things like finances, and over time started talking about sex. Christina still had no idea Jay was using porn for the last 5 years of their marriage and the 5 or so years before that. Link here. (17:00 mark)
They began discussing things they read online, particularly at The Marriage Bed forums. Link here. He says he started sending her ideas. Link here. (30:30 mark)
Christina says, “Jay was trying so hard to gently lead me to figuring out my issue. (Emphasis added.) He would always talk about this one website The Marriage Bed and it annoyed me.” Link here. No mention of her betrayal trauma, or the impact his porn addiction had on destroying her sense of trust and safety.
Jay actually tells the story two very different ways: A. “Then my wife read a few posts at The Marriage Bed dealing with sexual refusal. She asked me one day “Do you think I’m a Refuser? (a term given by the community to someone who refuses sex as a habit). I felt like a deer caught in the headlights. I mean, this was a big question. Right answer could heal this bridge in our marriage, wrong answer could widen it. So I chickened out and said “what do you think?” This started a long discussion about our marriage and our responsibilities in it, what we wanted out of it, and what we weren’t getting. And by long, I mean years. This wasn’t a couple hours one night, this has continued through the rest of our marriage.” Link here.
B. “It was my wife who had a change of heart, not through anything I said or did, but through the community at The Marriage Bed forums. She started reading some posts and asked me one day if I thought she was a “refuser” (a term given on the boards as someone who refuses sex to their spouse). Of course, I had to say yes. That started a slow process of her evaluating her role in our marriage.” See comments on this post here. He says on the podcast that when she asked him if she was a refuser, he said, “Yes.” Link here. (31:00 mark)
He learned he was being insensitive; she learned that sex is a real need for him. (But so far she hasn’t been informed of his secret porn use.) Link here.
Their marriage began to change direction, but got stuck during pregnancy and birth of third child. Link here.
At some point, she told him that she would never say no again, and she decided to prove it to him by doing the 7 Days of Sex Challenge. Links here(18:00 mark) andhere.
HOWEVER, elsewhere he says that the sex marathon was because he was gorging himself on sex, not trusting that she would give him more later.
This sex marathon was actually not because she initiated it, but rather because he took advantage of her saying that she’d never refuse him again. Over the next few months, they began having sex 4 out of every 5 nights.
FINALLY, after all this, he decides to come clean about his years of porn addiction. But even this is conflicting information, still indicating the deflection and dissonance of an addict's mindset. At one place he says he quit (18:50 mark)and then told her. In another place he says he didn't actually volunteer that disclosure. She asked.
How did Christina respond? Here, he claims she accepted him after his disclosure by saying, “You just opened up to me more than ever before, I think we should go have really hot sex!" BUT Gary’s article indicates a completely different scenario (and far more realistic betrayal trauma response): “I’ll never forget seeing how much my confession hurt Christina. You know it’s wrong while you’re doing it, but when you have to sit down and see your wife’s face as she reacts, and watch her cry, and know how much it hurts her—I don’t ever want to put her through that again or go through that again myself. Nothing in my life will ever compare to that brutal confession.”
The birth of their fourth child cooled things off a bit again. (His barometer of how well the marriage is going is always how frequently they have sex. Everything on the entire site speaks to this.) For example, see point number 13 on this post.
He published a rant about how much he hates breastfeeding because the baby repurposes his wife's boobs for nutrition, to “channel some of [his] frustrated sexual energy” during this time. He also appears to believe he speaks for a majority of men in his sense of ownership of his wife's breasts as personal sex toys.
And he wrote this post, about how sex-starved he felt from having a one-week-old newborn. The message? Postpartum wives need to give their husband at least some “crumbs” of intimacy.
Jay and Christina’s thought processes about his porn and her sexual “gatekeeping”:
Jay realized withdrawing wouldn’t work, so he “started asking pointed questions, I started digging up the difficult stuff, and having the hard conversations and asking the vulnerable questions...” See his comments here.
Jay's perspective appears to be that the main marital issue is himself as the victim, being betrayed by not getting sex often enough. He also paints the story with himself as the hero, because he did the work to ask pointed questions and have difficult conversations. There is no apparent sense of remorse or culpability for the fact that throughout this entire time, he was living in deception and his wife is living in betrayal trauma due to his addiction to pornography.
Jay eventually started blogging, and proves by his words that his attitude about his own history of porn use is/was pretty ho-hum: A. A wife expressing her hurt to him in a comment sounds to him like she is “focusing too much on the negative.”
B. The woman’s husband was lying to her but it never occurs to him that he is not trustworthy. No, Jay believes the husband is lying to her because she isn’t trustworthy!
C. After the woman’s husband hurt her deeply, she did a good thing to show she accepted him, by having sex with him.
D. In the future, Jay advises, if the woman is worried her husband is using porn, she shouldn’t worry about whether he’s lying and hiding it from her. If he’s lying about it, it’s just because he doesn’t feel safe enough with his wife to try to overcome it yet.
E. He tells the woman she can ask him about it maybe once a year. If she asks him more often than that, she’s just showing him she doesn't trust him, and she’ll never find out the truth because he’ll never feel safe. Don’t focus on the porn. Just trust him and love him.
F. If the idea of him masturbating bothers her, Jay suggests that she should initiate masturbation sessions FOR him. “I hope that helps. These are the things that helped me with masturbation and porn.”
G. He replies to another woman in the comments of this post, who expresses that she was hurt over discovering her husband’s masturbation and asked him to move to the basement: “This verse [I Cor. 7:5] tells me (decide for yourself) that one should not unilaterally impose a stop to sex, and mutually only PERHAPS for prayer. Asking him to move to the basement seems like punishing him, not trying to help him. But a marriage is not about punishment, neither spouse has the right to do that, particularly using sex.”
She further expresses that it makes her nervous when he changes his girls’ diapers because deviant sexual behavior can go farther and farther. And since her husband was introduced to porn at a young age by a friend who had been sexually abused by his own father, she worries for her own children. He replies, in essence, that she is worrying too much.
H. Another commenter says that she discovered her husband was masturbating to pictures of her female friends. Jay responds, “I want to encourage you to fight for your marriage, don’t even let leaving be an option, because leaving it as an option will slow your progress in healing and reconciling, or perhaps destroy it.”
When she asks, “Why my friends and not porn?,” he replies, “Secondly, count your blessings. 50% of Christian men are addicted to porn. Most of them are looking at the explicit sex stuff (not Facebook selfies), and it has a severe affect on the brain. You have luckily avoided a ton of baggage with this.”
G. To another commenter who discovered her husband’s masturbation, who initially lied about it until she discovered the tissues, and who now wonders if he is also lying about porn use or fantasies of other women while masturbating: (paraphrase) “Even if the statistics are high for those who fantasize, your husband is a Christian, so he’s probably in the percentage of those who don’t.” [Although Jay posits in this post that a large percentage of Christian men are masturbating to porn. ] “His explanation that he’s thinking about you makes sense, so you need to show him you trust him. You can also stop the masturbation by having more sex with him.”
H. To another wife of a porn addict (paraphrased): “Well, you shouldn’t see a non-Christian counselor, because they’ll tell you to divorce, which is awful. But since your husband doesn’t see it as a problem, you’ll have to learn to live with it. You might be able to start looking at it as a mental illness.”
I. To another wife who discovered her husband’s YouTube history and consumption of sex scenes on TV while traveling, in the comments of this post (paraphrased): “You’re postpartum, so everything seems like a bigger deal than it is. Calm down. Be happy he didn’t lie when you asked him about it. It’s important for you to help him, and if he falls again, you must not come down hard at him or spiral into depression. You’re going to have to learn to trust him. Jumping to the conclusion that he might have an affair because he’s looking at women in bikinis shows a serious trust issue. This isn’t a big deal. All sins are the same, and statistics show that it’s normal for men to use porn.”
Underlying Beliefs and Brain Games
After they are supposedly in a healthy place sexually, Jay says that he tricks Christina into thinking she doesn’t have a choice in whether to say no.
He says that he used to think sex every day or multiple times a day was the perfect scenario, but now that his wife is willing to do that, he’s found that it is too much for him. Compare that with this post that says he avoided his wife’s advances because he’d already orgasmed to porn multiple times that day, and it makes you wonder why daily sex is too much for him now.
He knows his porn use was not about his wife giving him sex frequently enough, yet he is content to let that narrative prevail throughout his entire blog and every guest article. But if you read closely, he also admits he was using his wife as a crutch because he wasn’t depending on God. He says here (21:00 mark) that their sex marathon was a “cheat” method for overcoming his porn.
Someone suggested the 90-day reboot for recovering porn addicts, and he replies that 90 days without sex is unbiblical.
A woman says wives are hurt by porn and that it’s painful for them to have sex in order to help their husbands, and Jay completely dismisses betrayal trauma by responding that these women have the wrong attitude. He says if a man’s wife regularly hit him and she was trying to recover, it would help him with his trauma if he hugged her instead of being scared that she’d hit him again.
To a woman whose addicted husband wants her to try a threesome, Jay says that, although the threesome idea is wrong, that I Cor. 7:5 is the answer for her husband's porn addiction.
First of all, it's painful to include so many references to Christina, given the broader picture that emerges through this assessment. Jay presents her as being in consensual agreement with his perspectives, but the presence of a marriage lifetime of sexual coercion and betrayal trauma raises the question of how much she has been manipulated into believing she agrees. Here is what we do know:
She writesin a comment herethat she wonders if images of other women are still in Jay’s head.
She adds this comment on a post Jay writes where he said he tricks her into thinking she doesn’t have a choice about whether to say no, “It can be hard to play the game when you know your brain is being tricked sometimes, but like I said, it’s all in the attitude.”
She tells a pregnant lady here that the postpartum phase will be hard for the dad.
These are all red flags of cognitive dissonance, psychological manipulation, and living in the fog of abuse.
Putting It All Together
Based on his own writings and comments, Jay is okay with:
transferring sexual consumption from a screen to a spouse,
hiding pornography use from a spouse, and
placing the blame on her for lack of desire (even when she has tried to initiate and he can’t perform due to already orgasming to porn multiple times that day) EVEN WHEN he knows that it’s really just his refusal to get right with God.
Based on her writings and comments, Christina struggles with:
wondering if her husband is still fantasizing about porn,
believes it's her job to give sex no matter what, and
believes their marriage problems are rooted in her need to continue recovering from being a “gatekeeper”.
Meanwhile, there is nothing, NOTHING -- in nine years of blogging about his “recovery” -- that addresses the harm he has caused to his wife and family. He has written that porn damages the marriage, and that it damaged himself. But there is NOTHING, anywhere, acknowledging how it has damaged his wife.
The entire Uncovering Intimacy site is focused on how badly he needs sex and how awesome his wife is for having sex with him so often, regardless of how hard it is for her. ****************************
Here’s the most simplified timeline of Jay and Christina's troubling story:
2008 - Christina’s “sexual awakening” and “repentance”
2011-Christina promises she’ll never say no again. Agrees to a 7 Days of Sex Challenge.
2011 - Jay "confesses" to Christina about his years of consuming porn. This confession was not voluntary, but rather the answer to her direct question after a lengthy marathon of daily sex.
2012- Jay rants in blog posts here and here about some reasons (such as having a newborn) he’s not getting everything he wants sexually from his wife. He mentions that Christina reads all his posts. Later, in the comments, he mentions that things are much improved [sexually] since he wrote these post(s). He also writes here that what "most husbands want for Father's Day" is to be tied up and blindfolded for sex.
2013 - Jay blogs a beginner's how-to guide for bondage activities. He writes other posts promoting bondage as healthy and normalized here, and here.
2014 - Jay writes that he “tricks” Christina’s brain into thinking she doesn’t have a choice about whether she can say no or not.
2014 - Christina writes in a comment that she wonders if Jay still thinks about images of other women.
2015- Jay posts an article promoting the value of breastfeeding husbands and adult nursing relationships.
2016 - Jay maintains that a wife is not allowed to say no to sex. She only gets to hint, and it’s the husband’s job to respect her wishes. But if she’s copping out all the time, perhaps he should hold her to her vows.
2017 - He mentions that he needs to remind himself why getting his wife drunk so he can have more erotic sex is a bad idea.
2021 - On September 10th, bestselling conservative Christian marriage author, Gary Thomas, features Jay and Christina's story as an example of healthy Christian marriage and porn recovery (despite Jay's website being a dumpster fire of abusive, porn-inspired objectification, coercion, and exploitation presented as “Christian” marriage and sex advice). When numerous betrayal trauma survivors and abuse advocates point out issues, Thomas deletes, blocks, and characterizes those pushing back on this promotion as "venomous", "illogical", and "unreasonable". On Monday 9-13-2021, Sheila Gregoire and Rebecca Lindenbach, authors and researchers of The Great Sex Rescue, spent 90 minutes on the phone with Gary to explain the issues and harm. He refused to remove the article. After almost a week of continued public outcry and personal appeals, Thomas took down the article on September 16th.
On September 19th, just days after so much conversation about abuse awareness, Gary Thomas posted a glowing endorsement on Facebook of this book, foreword by John Piper.
If you aren't aware of why this post is a big deal, here is a video of John Piper stating his belief that a wife should submit to being hit. Below is a quote from this video. This underscores a discouraging tone-deafness from Gary Thomas, on the overall subject of abuse.