My tipping point came in the fall of 2013. I was sitting in a youth conference with 600+ youth pastors and screaming teenagers. The hip speaker took the stage with his ultra skinny jeans and 80’s thick-rimmed glasses. He opened with a joke about the Seahawks, thanked the conference, and proceeded to introduce his wife. I knew it was coming, it happens at every youth conference, the majority of my college chapels, and many youth groups I visit. The speaker says “My wife is here, would you stand?” I think to myself, “drum role please.” The speaker proceeds with his introduction: “I want to introduce my hot wife ________, isn’t she something?” If he is a funny guy he will say “Hott with two T’s.”
I have heard that phrase 100+ times growing up in the church. But this time it really infuriated me for some reason. As I sat there thinking about the cliché of the introduction. I asked myself, “Why did that statement bug me so much?” Here are just a few reasons I think we should stop calling our wives hot from the platform:
1. You’re objectifying your spouse:
Why in the world would you ask your wife to stand up in front of a crowd of hormone raging teenage boys and ask them to take a gander at your wife? “Hey 16 year old boy who is probably addicted to porn, look at how hot my wife is, honey stand up on your chair, give us a little twirl.” WHAT?!?!
2. You sound stupid
Let’s think of a new introduction please???? I guess if you have to highlight your wife’s looks you can at least think of a new word for hot. You could say, “This is my prepossessing wife.” It may not be much better but it offers some variety (Yes, I used a thesaurus for that word).
3. The one quality you want to highlight is fleeting looks:
If my wife’s main and leading quality is her looks, I probably wouldn’t want to hang out with her. I feel like the conversation would eventually get pretty dull.
4. It conveys the wrong message to the teenage girls in the room:
This is the main reason we should stop calling our wives hot from the platform. Every girl in the room is thinking to herself, “To get a ‘godly man,’ I need to look like that?” It places an unspoken expectation that to have a great marriage you need to be young, hip and sexy. That is not something I want to convey to our young ladies.
Do I think that personal attraction is important for a marriage, especially the initial dating phase? Ummmm, yes! That was definitely an initial draw to pursue my wife. However, I don’t think that should be the main qualifying factor when talking about your wife. You have 10 seconds to highlight your wife. So pastors—especially of the youth crowd—lets think of some other great characteristics that we can use to introduce our wives. If you cant think of any, bummer, that is probably something you will need to work on before you have another speaking engagement.