When someone posts a ridiculous, problematic status on Facebook, you can roll your eyes and unfriend them. When celebrities say something problematic, well, the whole world is forced to listen. Candace Cameron Bure’s older brother and former Growing Pains star Kirk Cameron is no stranger to controversial comments, but his new interview with The Christian Post is definitely an eyebrow-raiser. Cameron’s advice on how to keep a marriage together could end up hurting both women and men, and it’s definitely not the instructions you should be following in your love life.
Cameron is the head speaker on the Love Worth Fighting For national marriage tour, where he discusses how following the teachings of Christianity can help heal broken homes. Personally, I find that just a little too simple, but hey — you do you, Kirk. The problem that I have with Cameron’s teaching has little to do with religion and a lot more to do with this statement that he made to The Christian Post:
“Wives are to honor and respect and follow their husband’s lead, not to tell their husband how he ought to be a better husband… When each person gets their part right, regardless of how their spouse is treating them, there is hope for real change in their marriage.”
Though Cameron did state earlier in the interview that husbands shouldn’t tell their wives to submit to them, the insistence that wives “follow their husband’s lead” is just another fancy way of telling women that they are subservient to men. Clearly, Cameron has some messed-up views on how women in 2016 should operate. Last time I checked, a marriage is an equal partnership, and in a heterosexual relationship, women make up exactly half of that partnership. (Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Cameron isn’t talking about gay marriage here, because he considers it “unnatural.” Ugh.)
The other concerning part of his statement is that a person should “get their part right” in a marriage no matter how their spouse is treating them. No one is denying that marriage takes work, but what Cameron is ignoring is that there are plenty of reasons why someone should stop trying. The first thing that comes to mind is physical or emotional abuse — someone could be the very best wife or husband, and that won’t stop an abuser from hurting them. Life is not Beauty and the Beast; while patience and understanding are vital parts to a marriage, there’s no reason to stick around a husband or wife who is cruel, abusive or destructive.
Cameron clearly means well — he’s trying to rid the world of broken homes — but overall, his views on marriage are disturbing. You won’t find me in the audience on his Love Worth Fighting For tour.
Are Kirk Cameron’s views on marriage valid? Sound off in the comments.
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