A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Glenda Hotton Wrote A Little Booklet With a Lot of BIG Errors

I Can't Submit

This booklet is part of the Living In a Fallen World booklet series published by Day One Publications, Paul Tautges, consulting editor. The author of this particular installment in the series is Glenda Hotton. Hotton’s credentials listed on the booklet state that she is a counselor, a professor of Women’s Issues, a speaker for women’s groups, and has a web site at http://www.glendahotton.com.

Paul Tautges is a pastor and a nouthetic counselor. As always, we do not recommend nouthetic counseling nor NANC publications.

Ok, so there is the introduction. Now to get down to it. I think that the woman pictured above on the cover of this booklet is supposed to be struggling with submitting to her husband. I have another theory. She has become aware of the abuse she has been suffering, and she just finished reading this booklet!! It is bad. Very bad.

Under the “Where Can I Get Further Help? section at the back of the booklet you will find some notorious sources well known to us all:

  • Nancy DeMoss
  • John Piper
  • Elizabeth Rice Hanford (of the Me? Obey Him? fame)

Here are a few quotes from the book and then I will have to leave off because this stuff is so hard to read:

Judy had been married 17 years when she came into my office. I recognized the symptoms of wife abuse immediately but waited to hear her story….Her husband is a leader in their church and community. On the outside she is the epitome of the sweet submissive wife who stands beside her husband through thick and thin. When her husband found out she had gone to their pastor for help, he was furious and became more abusive — threatening her life if she ever embarrassed him like that again. He told her that if she though he was abusive, it was her fault for not being more submissive. Judy had had enough. Although hesitant to talk, she came for help.

Carol, a prominent Christian physician’s wife, reported verbal abuse so demeaning that she had come to believe her husband’s remarks that she was a horrible Christian, and unloving wife, and could do nothing right. She reminded me of a squashed potato bug; no substance left.

Hotton then makes the following statements

The abundant life is not a problem free life or continually happy circumstances; it is a life of ‘overcoming’ temptations and trials with the wisdom and strength that Jesus gives. God wants His children to be full of the joy of Christ.

It is grievous when a woman reaches the place in her marriage where she feels that she absolutely cannot and will not submit to a harsh and thoughtless man.

There comes a time when each of us needs to decide to get along with our husbands, not because he deserves it or because we feel like it, but because we choose to honor God and live our lives according to his will, not ours.

Hotton goes on in the same vein, even citing the example of Nabal and Abigail to support her notion that the wife is to submit, period. I don’t see how Abigail supports Hotton’s thesis (see Megan’s earlier post on Abigail). Needless to say, Hotton never mentions the option of divorce for abuse (I’m not sure she mentioned it at all). Submission, she says, is “a God-given privilege and necessity in order that homes run smoothly. She then rebukes any wife who demonstrates a complaining, “poor me” attitude and just becomes a “troublemaker.”

I would like to be nice to Hotton. I would like to believe that her motives are sincere, that she is truly trying to help women. But Jesus went to the hearts of the Pharisees for laying these very kinds of heavy and unbiblical loads upon the oppressed. The Lord knows her motives perfectly and I do not. But I can be suspicious. This booklet contains so many absolutely wrong and harmful things, Hotton even puts a woman’s very life in danger. How can she not know that? She claims to have heard hundreds of abuse stories directly from women. – “I have heard her type of story hundreds of times.” So how can she not know that her advice to them is sending them right back to die – if not by a bullet, then by the soul and even body killing of psychological, emotional, and spiritual abuse?

Glenda, to you I say this: if you have truly heard from that many abuse victims, and yet you are still persisting in sending them back to their deaths, if you are still misapplying Scripture, gutting it of God’s mercy, then you are either incredibly foolish or incredibly evil. Does that sound horribly harsh for me to say? Well, what other conclusions are there?

This is a bad booklet. A very bad booklet. I recommend steering clear of the entire Day One series.

52 Comments

  1. Ellie

    Jeff, I’m so glad you reviewed this one. Barbara sent it to me to see if I could and I couldn’t get past the first page.

    • Ellie

      I really wanted to put this book in the freezer.

      • MeganC

        LOL, Ellie!!!

  2. “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” ~Elie Wiesel

  3. Brenda R

    I appreciate the warning. I don’t think they get it at all. Submission, respect, love..all these things go both ways. Why would anyone send a person back to their possible death with a smile on their face and claim it is for God’s glory. How is God glorified by a husband abusing His wife? I believe God is glorified by her rescue.
    If Abigail was actually submitting to her husband, wouldn’t she have simply stayed home and not gone to David to make amends and save her household? She knew that he would be furious when he heard what she did. He was harsh and thoughtless yet instead of submitting she worked around him.

  4. There comes a time when each of us needs to decide to get along with our husbands, not because he deserves it or because we feel like it, but because we choose to honor God and live our lives according to his will, not ours.

    You know, this whole put up and shut up because God wills it attitude is so incredibly harmful. It is harmful in marriage and anywhere else in life too. Who was it who said all it takes for evil to thrive is for good men to do nothing? I never can remember. But whoever it was, he was right. And this is just the opposite of that.

    Plus this one size fits all situations approach does not teach wisdom. Scripture says there is a time for war as well as a time for peace and a time for rending as well as a time for mending and a time to speak and a time to keep silent. It is the wise who can discern when it is time for what and this is what God expects us to do.

    These people have got God backwards. That’s all I can say.

  5. MeganC

    Not only does this make me ill for the complete lack of mercy and definite *willingness* to throw women back into the path of slavery and abuse — women who have been squashed like bugs already — but, it is completely inconsistent. If the abundant life (for a woman?) is “‘overcoming’ temptations and trials with the wisdom and strength that Jesus gives”, then why, in the world, is the goal to have a “home that runs smoothly”? A woman spends her life in misery so her home can run smoothly? Is a smooth-running home the goal? When did that become the Christian life? Never, ever ever ever ever does God say that the goal of the Christian life is a home that runs smoothly. The goal is a relationship with Christ and healthy relationships with others, who are also in Christ. Oh, heaven help us . . .

  6. UGH!!! Spreading this now!

  7. joepote01

    Sounds truly nauseating!

    False perceptions based on ignorance and poor theology are understandable…and we all have carried (and likely still carry) those to some degree.

    However, that is a far cry from willful ignorance…choosing to turn a blind eye to obvious wrong and preventable pain, because it doesn’t align with the chosen legalistic religious viewpoint.

    Jesus had a lot to say about this, in speaking to religious leaders of His day.

    “And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.”” (John 9:39-41, NASB)

  8. Anonymous

    Books like this make me shaky and anxious. I can totally relate to having “church” leaders tell me to submit to my abusive ex. After being out of the abuse for a while now, I realize how foolish advice like that sounded. Slowly learning to clear this fog… slowly.

  9. Anna

    Wow…I am amazed that people still write this kind of stuff. There is so much error in “organized religion,” isn’t there? I am so glad I’m free from all that – mentally, at least. I mentioned this elsewhere on this blog, but I’ll say it again. I’ve been staying at my mother’s with my two girls since we left our abusive husband/dad. We do attend her church because she likes for us to. It is a traditional Baptist church and I don’t agree with a lot of what is said there but I was really appalled when my 11 year old daughter told me that her female Sunday school teacher told the class that they should be nice to their (future) husbands even if their husbands were mean because it would show God’s glory. My child, having been through abuse herself and having watched me go through abuse, knew this was wrong. She didn’t speak up but she did tell me and I told her that no one deserves abuse and you don’t have to be “nice” to someone who is mean to you – you should just get away from them like we did. Modern churchianity is so binding, but in Christ we truly are FREE!

  10. Wow … they didn’t use this one on me, but I think they might have read it themselves. So glad I managed to avoid it, though there were many others that were recommended for my “growth” …

  11. Heather2

    This truly disgusts me. That is all I can say.

  12. Forrest

    Reblogged this on Tùr Làidir and commented:
    So Glenda Hotton’s advice to a victim who has been threatened with death for ’embarrassing’ her abuser is to … suck it up!!! Wow! Glenda needs to find out about the real world…

  13. Bridget

    Am I missing something here? If a relationship is at a point where a women is simply to obey because the man is her husband, aren’t the husband and wife in dangerous territory already? Where is the love, respect, communication, and give and take that should be present in ANY relationship and certainly between husband and wife?

    • Anna

      It’s the idolatry of the “marriage covenant” – the marriage must be saved at all costs. Marriage is an idol in churchianity and should be honored far beyond the lives of individual people.

  14. I cannot believe a woman in a counselor position, who has heard the many cries of abused women, could write a book like this.
    This is not ignorance. I think this is evil. You could be misguided about God’s will for marriage, as many of us were, but you will usually be highly conflicted over it and not willing to force other women to submit to the same horror that you have endured.
    This lady is a gargoyle.

    • Jeff Crippen

      But gargoyles get to perch high on the city wall and see people below ooh and ahh at them.

      • Katy

        And apparently she gets to glorify herself in the blood of female victims. Yeah…gargoyle.

  15. Carmen S.

    Walk a mile in the shoes of a woman who has been abused. It’s so easy to throw out this “advice” if you have no idea what you’re talking about. Someone should ask the influential men who support this on biblical grounds, whether they could ever treat their wives like this. Ask the same of the influential women…you want this kind of marriage? If not, why not?

    Telling women to submit to abusive husbands does not honor God. Call it what it is. A demonic lie. Has God said? The answer is NO, He didn’t.

  16. thepersistentwidow

    I am really angry about this! It is absolutely horrible that a professing Christian would abuse his wife, so where is the outrage about that from Glenda Hotton, the rest of the Nouethic counselors, and theological ‘experts’ like Piper? Where is the concern to protect the victims of these ‘Christian’ abusers? What ever happened to enforcing church discipline? Well, it’s not with this group of blind guides. They don’t even consider the effects of abuse on the children watching the violence. It seems like they are pretending abuse isn’t all that bad, presumably because they are not living in it.

    Thanks, Jeff, for informing us of yet another clueless author who does more damage and no good at all. The Christian book market must be saturated with these stupid books. God help us.

  17. Robin M

    I am speechless… and SCREAMING INSIDE AT THE SAME TIME!….how dare she? How dare she presume that my heart is, umm, what was the word??? grievous??? How dare she presume that my every thought, every heartbeat, every breath became consumed with how to please and submit!!! MY FATHER KNOWS!!! HE TOLD ME!!! He saw my every tear shed by the bedroom window through so many nights, begging for grace to endure!! begging for all the grace He could give me just to be intimate with the same person who tore me to shreds with his words…OH FATHER!!! HOW DARE SHE!!!!!

    And not ONE word of accountability to the abuser???

    Forgive me, I am trying to catch my breath, but I could barely handle the short excerpt you shared, there is NO WAY I could read that whole pamphlet.

    THANK YOU FATHER FOR PASTOR CRIPPEN!!! And thank you PAstor for being faithful to the REAL meaning of His Holy Word.

    • Amen Robin.
      I suspect that this phamplet will be burned up in the fire at the end.

    • Amen indeed.

  18. Laurie

    I don’t know if this was mentioned yet, I only read to comment 14. But the reason that Abigail is used as an example of obedience is, according to “Character Sketches” (Bill Gothard) her failure to obey…she had a nice home, which she lost when David made her his wife after her gift, and now she lived in tents for years (But I say, with her eye on the promise, that David would be king and live in the palace). She sought to save her children but ended up making them wander in the desert, if she had obeyed her husband surely God would have intervened and saved her family and she could have stayed in her nice home with her husband. Yada yada yada…

    But God DID intervene, when she took the food to David that he and his men deserved. In all this you can see the brainwashing technique that teaches that it is God’s will that women suffer at the hands of their husbands, which is quite opposite of Paul’s teaching from God that husbands are to lay down their lives for their wives, as Christ did for the church. And like my friend said, “If a man would do that, it would make submission so much more delightful for the wife. She would be GLAD to submit.”

    • Jeff Crippen

      Laurie – no, I hadn’t heard that Gothard take on Abigail before. Thank you Laurie for sharing that info. Nice home? Do we have photos? ha!

      • Sure Abigail’s home with Nabal was nice! Whatever made you think it wasn’t?

        Nabal was a drunkard. A fool. A churlish man.
        “And Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, he was holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk.” (1 Sam. 25:36)

      • Jeff Crippen

        Barbara – the obvious often escapes us, especially in our Bible study and interpretation. You stated the obvious here – Nabal was a drunk and churlish! Yet apparently Gothard called that the good life for Abigail. Pleeeeeezzzz!!!

      • Laurie

        Yeah, I was perturbed after that one, especially with all that God had shown me about Abigail and how He had asked me to be like her…giving Him honor even when the hubby refused to and forbade her to.

        Yup, it is a really bad idea to sell out God for a morsel of bread.

      • Just Me

        I’ll take living in a tent with a man after God’s own heart over a mansion with a churlish drunk any day.

      • joepote01

        Exactly! And, since when, from a biblical perspective, is tent living a bad thing?

        Abraham was called to leave his permanent home and spend the rest of his life in tents. Lot chose the wrong lifestyle, when he left tent living for the comforts of city life in Sodom. The nation of Israel was called to leave their homes in Egypt to live in tents for 40 years.

        Anyone who sees living in a permanent home with a drunk fool as being better than living in a tent with a godly spouse has not spent much time comparing that view to the body of scripture.

      • Guess Gothard forgot Proverbs 21:9 and 19; and 25:24.

        Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious person.

        Better to dwell in the wilderness, Than with a contentious and angry person.

        It is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious person.

  19. This reminds me how Satan can use weak-mindedness to create more destruction in lives. I saw this in my own abuse case in the counselors my ex-fiance lined up to “help.” At one point, a counselor actually suggested that I deal with his rages by giving him chocolate. What?! In hindsight, I realize now that this woman was incredibly shallow and naive about abuse. When I finally found a no-nonsense counselor of strength and godly insight, he immediately recognized abuse for what it was and told me to get out…no excuses. The second things he stated was, “Put all your wrongs and mistakes under the blood of Christ. He has made you free.” I wept when I realized I no longer had to suffer in fear of such an erratic, angry, and selfish man. It’s so sad to me that this woman has the power to help so many people, but she has chosen to use God’s Law to keep victims in hatred, pain, and darkness. And God’s true Law is the Law of Love. How hard it was for Jesus to preach this to the blinded Pharisees.

    I know so many people believe in this martyr-like dedication to love the abuser out of his abuse by focusing on being more and more Christ-like (works-based evil). I’m thankful to Jeff Crippen and Barbara for attacking this harmful mentality. Prayers that if this author is truly naive, Christ will open her eyes to the truth. Prayers that if there is a darker agenda, victims will find better guidance.

    • “deal with his rages by giving him chocolate.”

      So, mums and dads, whenever your child is raging or throwing a temper tantrum, give him chocolate!

      Words fail me.

    • Laurie

      My ex was a better man when he was drunk. O.o

  20. Carmen S.

    Did Glenda’s husband vow “for better or for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, “till death do us part?” Do both husbands and wives take vows? Can a husband ( who professes to be a Christian) walk away from his wife because he’s not happy? It’s possible that Glenda is filtering her counseling from her personal experience. She did not experience domestic abuse in her marriage. To put it bluntly, she doesn’t know what she is talking about.

    This is from Glenda Hotton’s website under the section Glenda’s Tidbits…which then leads to Glenda’s Musings.

    These musings are from my heart and are not edited. They stem from many years of listening to hurting brides and encouraging them to live at peace with their men.
    My pilgrimage as a Christian wife began about ten years into our marriage. I thought my husband should feel like the luckiest man on earth because he had me for his wife. I kept a clean house, his daughters clean, toys picked up, a good meal on the table when he arrived home each evening and his clothes clean, starched and hung up in his closet, ready for his chosing and at his easy reach. One day he came right into the kitchen where I was preparing his dinner and shaking his finger in my face, in his military voice he said, “You have to shape up or ship out.”

    Yes, hurtful words but they got my attention. He didn’t think I was a good wife and he didn’t want to live like that anymore. I was shocked. I purposed before God that if He got us through the night, I would do what ever it took to learn to be a good wife. I didn’t come from a loving home. I didn’t have a clue how to be a wife. I joined a neighborhood women’s Bible study the very next morning and I began to soak up every word the speaker said as she simply quoted instructions from God’s word. I was shocked that God had so much to say about marriage. I tried to apply Scripture to my marriage. I figured, “If God said it, I had better do it.”

    I am not trying to pretend that I have always been so willing to apply His ways with a happy attitude, but I can honestly say that as I was willing to learn and apply, He blessed my tinest obedience. ( Psalm 18:20). My friend, He will do the same for you. I promise.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Oh man, good spot, Carmen! The blind leading the blind – or at least trying to lead those who are starting to see the light back into the darkness! Counselor, heal thyself first!!

    • Oh great. Another Debi Pearl. Just what we need. 😦

    • Wow that is sick. Just sick! Debi Pearl isn’t the only woman with this messed up thinking — but this woman is more dangerous because she’s got the “credentials” to counsel others.
      What a lunatic!!

      • Jeff Crippen

        And remember Katy, this booklet is just one in an entire series. “Help! My Spouse has Been Unfaithful!” I will see if I can dig a few anti-gem quotes out of that one to bless everyone with.

      • Heather2

        Now that would be interesting!!!!!

      • Laurie

        Series? Help, my husband’s been unfaithful? I know the content of that one already…EWWWWW! GROSSSSS!!!!

  21. Happy2bhere

    Thank you for exposing the contents of this book. The title alone strikes a nerve with me. It’s hard to believe this woman is a counselor for women in trauma and crisis (according to her bio) and gives this rubbish advice. It’s like she is passionate about some romanticized notion of how women should be. I don’t understand her thinking especially with all the credentials she has, but then again I’ve been to counselors who really didnt understand the situation either. I hope that if this book is recommended reading for someone, they find ACFJ review first.

  22. joepote01

    Jeff, in thinking about this book and the title of the series, it occurs to me that there is a major disconnect. The series is titled “Living in a Fallen World” yet the whole premise of the book denies the existence of real evil. It operates under the assumption that all people are sometimes grumpy and irritable, but none of us have truly evil intentions, and all we need is a little more understanding and ego-stroking in order to get along and have everything “run smoothly.”

    What a bunch of malarky! That is not at all the view that the Bible presents of life in this fallen world. The Bible speaks of principalities and powers, warfare and battles, anti-christs and demons, and prowling lions seeking to destroy.

    If living in a fallen world was all about ‘submitting’ to evil so things could ‘run smoothly’, then why would Christ have died to redeem us from the kingdom of darkness? Why wouldn’t He have just told us to ‘submit’ so things would ‘run smoothly’?

    They speak of living in a fallen world, yet deny the reality of evil. That requires some major denial!

    • MeganC

      Yes! That is exactly it, Joe!

    • You rock Joe!

      (and you love the word malarkey just as much as I do, by the looks of it! 🙂 )

      • joepote01

        Hah! Yes, but you had me checking the spelling…and feeling gratified to find that both ‘malarkey’ and ‘malarky’ are acceptable spellings. 🙂

    • K

      What a great point, Joe. There are truly bad people who will never, ever be loving and no amount of groveling and submission from a spouse will change them. That IS the reality of living in a fallen world.

      • joepote01

        Exactly!

        Perhaps we should suggest they change the title of the series.

        “Living in a Make-Believe Utopia Populated Entirely by Generally Good People who are All Completely Committed to Working Hard to Overcome their Minor Faults” would seem a more appropriate title…

      • Bingo, Joe.

      • Still Scared( but getting angry)

        Love your title Joe!! That is what so many people think. They do not see evil

      • 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: