Over at his blog, Doug Wilson has recently made some comments about food allergies. While acknowledging that there are some who have truly serious reactions to certain foods, Wilson also takes time to discuss those who are hypochondriacs or self-deluded in some way. His concern is that those who are “play acting” cause real damage to families, friends, etc. (Apparently in addition to being self-ordained and self-proclaimed leader of his own denomination, he is also a self-certified medical doctor.)
What is most interesting to me is that he sees a connection between those “play acting” and a lack of submission on the part of women:
3. The third point concerns frequent abdication on the part of fathers and husbands. Many times, emotional and spiritual issues show up in the lives of women as food issues, and the men involved are often too weak, or cowardly, or defensive about their own causal role, to address it in the way they ought to. Women are prone to be deceived (1 Tim. 2:14), and men are prone to let them be deceived. This is an area where I have seen radical unsubmissiveness on the part of some wives, and radical cowardice on the part of some husbands, conspiring together to destroy families. The food is just a symptom; the real problem is located somewhere else entirely. And wives, don’t read this and go off to demand that your husband tell you if this is true. It might not be, but if it is, you are unlikely to get a straight answer from him. Get on your knees and ask the Spirit if it is true. He’s not afraid of you.
As I’ve written before, one of the problems that I see with the patriarchy movement is that it views all relationships in terms of authority and submission. When your entire worldview is seen through the lens of authority and submission, it’s bound to cause some unfortunate and ill-advised comments on any number of subjects. This is just one more example.
6 thoughts on “Food allergies and submission?”
I had to click on this post owing to the title. I mean, how odd that food allergies and submission should be connected. I would agree with your take on this. Those who filter relationships only through the lense of authority and submission end up with some startling ideas. And, really, what’s it to Wilson or anybody else if a woman is deluded into believing she has food allergies when she doesn’t? Being finicky about food is hardly a proclivity of women; it is rather a proclivity of certain personalities and/or people who have vitamin and mineral deficiencies. That Wilson would connect food allergies to a lack submissiveness is potentially very hazardous. What if my husband had come across Wilson and took an authoritative hand to me during all those years that I went from one diet to another because I couldn’t figure out was wrong with me? Instead, he saw it for what it was: a confusing search for medical truth when medical doctors weren’t inclined to help. As it turns out, medical science has now proven that I and all my children are celiac. But it was a long road we all took in discovering this. Douglas Wilson occasionally amuses me with his wit, but more often than not his arrogance appalls me.
How about this: we are all easily prone to fear. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty certain that just about everything we struggle with can be classified under ‘fear of Man’ or fear of death’. If anything, an over-attention to food or eating issues by women is a result of good desires (caring for our families) overrun with fear-mongering media overload (and I’m forced to admit…Pinterest). Our call as Christians is to submit our fear to the Lord, who alone authors and perfects our faith. Our spouses are big players in that perfecting but can you imagine the pressure these guys feel to perfect their wives?! Ha! Good luck with that whole two sinners living together thing if that’s you’re approach. I hate to sound catty (does that stop me? no) but methinks Mr. Wilson may be afraid of not being in control of every jot and tittle of every aspect of every issue that might possibly fall under his roof, or church, or publishing house…. I think our culture is rife with wimpy men who don’t have a clue how to lead. Giving them more authority and responsibility over things they can’t possibly discern is not going to help that problem. Encouraging them to lord over their wives (which is what happens when the spiritually immature try to lead) is also not so helpful. Wives need to be encouraged to submit their fear and their kitchens to the Lord by husbands who lovingly listen to their concerns and support their efforts to glorify the Lord.
This comment has been approved by my husband.
This comment got me thinking a little about alpha males and leadership in days of yore versus the backlash-against-feminism type of masculinity I observe today. It’s my guess that men didn’t lower themselves to entering, let alone controlling, the female realm pre-feminist movement. I know this is a black and white imagining, and actual family situations may have varied widely, but it’s still my guess that it was largely this way–that men didn’t concern themselves with when and how their women washed the dishes (blog author wrote an article about this once) or what they chose to eat to remain healthy or thin.
I would add that when a husband views his wife as an equal partner who brings unique ability to the home there’s not a need for policing. Now, she must be the type of woman his heart safely trusts and she should be actively submitting to him according to Scripture. Wives fail at this as much as, if not more than, husbands fail at leadership – or attempts to lead. Women have to deal with the voice of the Liar every day, and it’s hard not to listen to the fears and failures that voice projects so loudly. What a blessing it is to have a husband that slaps away that voice and points to truth without constantly pointing out faults along the way.
Me and friend had a conversation about Doug Wilson just recently and his views of children. My friend has a six month old.
Fred: “Doug Wilson says that it is idolatrous to want our children to remain young.”
Me: “Doug Wilson is idolatrous.”
I guess you could say I’m not a huge Doug Wilson fan. 🙂
Or you could title these posts: “Wilson is nuts #1, Wilson is nuts #2, ect…
But on the allergy thing, it’s a problem. I’m not referring to the unfortunates that actually have one, of course. But after talking with actual doctors (we have a daughter that can’t wear earrings with nickel in them) the number of people out there who think they or their kids have one when they don’t is staggering. Even when a specialist tells them they don’t, they aren’t necessarily convinced (and it’s expensive, this guy charges $400+ for each series of tests). We send our kids to a small Christian School, lunch gets really difficult when too many people start imagining allergies.