Pastors, Stop Calling Your Wives Hot

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.

About Dsaccenti

I am a husband, and soon to be father. I work at Lifepoint church in Vancouver, Wa with the high school and middle school students.
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34 Responses to Pastors, Stop Calling Your Wives Hot

  1. Dan says:

    Wow this is so true. Point number #1 especially makes sense to me as I look back at life growing up in the church as a teenage guy, now in his 20s. The entire article is spot on.

    Thanks for sharing

  2. Andrew says:

    I love this post. So good. I’m glad you finally put this in a blog Drew- you’ve been talking about this for years. Hopefully as more and more people share this, we’ll hear less “smoking hot wife” talk. It really is a ridiculous but real issue.

  3. Pastor Paul says:

    I really think you should reconsider the title of this post. A better title would be: “Pastors, Stop Introducing Your Wives as Hot.” There’s a huge, important, and necessary distinction between how you present your wive to others and how you view her personally. I call my wife hot all the time, as an synonym for beautiful. There is nothing wrong or inappropriate about this, and shows my level of affection for her. But while I use that term to describe her, I don’t do so as an introduction for her–to anyone. Groups or new acquaintances.

  4. Saint Lewis says:

    What was even worse is that she usually wasn’t, and it made just everyone there feel super awkward. Don’t lie. You know you thought it. 😉

    • Anne Trampush Halterman says:

      another reason why women shouldn’t be seen simply as as object and viewed as men’s
      trophy’s, because we are human beings of way more worth and value than just what appears on the outside. Men need to learn to respect this!

  5. James says:

    Drew, good thoughts here my friend. I’m just curious what advice you would give FOR introducing your wife. I mostly agree with your points but often find criticism without answers often frustrates people. So how would you introduce your wife?

    • Hey James- drew is currently leading a missions trip, not sure if he’ll be able to reply to your comment, but I’ll give you some ideas. I’m not sure it’s really that hard to think of ways to introduce someone publicly if/when the “hotness on display” option is off the table.
      Here are 5 examples/thoughts:
      1) “Also, as I get started here, I’d like to introduce my wife (insert name here), (she stands and waves), we’re excited to be able to be here with you today.”
      2) “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord, I’m definitely thankful for my wife (insert name here).”
      3) “I’d also like to introduce my wife (insert name)” as you point in the direction of where she is sitting.
      4) “11 years ago I married my wife (insert name here) she’s able to be with me here today and I’m thankful for that.”
      5) Use any number of adjectives that aren’t utilized in commonly objectifying women (faithful, awesome, devoted, wonderful, etc.)

  6. L says:

    I called out an administrator at my conservative college for his oft-repeated joke that he only got married to have sex. It raised the same kind of anger in me.

  7. Rachelle says:

    I too have heard this from the pulpit multiple times, and it is really frustrating for all the reasons you mentioned! I have thought those very same thoughts myself and am so happy to see that I am not the only one who thinks this!

    • Apparently A LOT of people have been thinking this Rachelle. I’ve never introduced my wife this way personally, but as a pastor who speaks in front of people all the time, it’s great to get some clarity on an issue that is on so many people’s minds

  8. Mendi Yoshikawa says:

    Your last sentence cracks me up. I guess I’ve been under a rock, but I haven’t heard too many people introduce their wives this way. I agree with Pastor Paul that it’s nice that a husband thinks of his wife this way (especially as the years progress and it’s maybe not the general consensus), but perhaps it’s not be the best way to introduce her.

    • It’s funny Mendi- I used to hear this a lot when I was a youth pastor, or when I lived in the Midwest or northeast. I haven’t heard it in a long time…but I haven’t been to a youth conference in a long time either

  9. Ali says:

    As much as I agree with most of your points like the objectification, I have seen pastors who say that phrase of wives or look rather plain or homely. Being a homely girl myself, growing up and hearing that gave me the desire to find someone that would call me hot (even though by the world’s standards I don’t measure up). I am completely comfortable in who I am and the way I look. But I greatly appreciate when my husband tells others that he thinks I am beautiful or hot.

  10. Daniel says:

    Recovering pastor here…How about, not introducing her at all? My wife is introverted (not shy..there is a difference) and very private. Introducing your spouse, hot or not, creates a dynamic of people constantly looking at her or him as you speak to see their reaction every time you say something funny, or about family life, marriage, etc. Unless your spouse is also speaking or there is a practical reason to do so (please see my wife after the service if you want to volunteer for scrubbing casserole dishes after the potluck), why draw attention to her at all? . . .

    • I agree Daniel. I don’t think there is a necessity of introducing one’s spouse, unless it’s very intentional and purposeful.

    • nicollehook says:

      Maybe it wasn’t intentional… but you might want to rethink using phrases like “Please see my wife after the service if you want to volunteer to scrub dishes after the potluck.” It makes you sound a bit sexist.

      • LauraH says:

        I didn’t read that as sexist at all–I read it as Daniel recognizing that his wife is not the up-in-front, extrovert that people sometimes expect in a pastor’s wife, and that her PREFERRED place of action is being the person serving behind the scenes. And that word Preferred is really the key thing here–if you are really not sexist, then it needs to be okay for a pastor’s wife to serve God in whatever arena He’s called her to which gives her joy. For some women, that would be working with the landscaping crew, and for others it would be holding babies in nurseries. For some, they want to be sitting front and center during their husband’s message, and be introduced. For others, that kind of public attention is horrifying, and they’d rather sit in back, and slip out to help set up the coffee at the end. If you are interested in being non-sexist, you don’t get to decide for her what is or is not her wheelhouse. (Says a pastor’s wife who enjoys the up-front spotlight stuff more than her husband does, and definitely wouldn’t be a nursery or potluck gal, but who really really appreciates the women who choose to serve in those areas.)

    • taylormurray says:

      I completely disagree… It’s healthy (especially for students) to see your spouse and to look to your marriage as one to follow. You pointing to your wife is a way to help people identify with you.

      I agree that even though it’s really not a big deal, the “hot” thing got a bit overdone…

  11. Dodie says:

    Instead of preaching to the choir, why don’t you address all the men who are marrying women (in our churches) who are 20 years younger than they are? Yes, those are the men who stand outside the entrance of the church and introduce their “hot” wives to the pastor and anyone else. It the male culture of the church world. And it is unfortunate. The good looking women are on the platform or the front row. The less desirable of us are working in the kitchen or the church nursery. Say what you will.

    • Edward says:

      If you think your wife is better based on looks, you are wrong. A minister, I am one, having a gracious woman in my side, take more that look, I like and adore her looks, but, that is the beginning of her beauty, she is way more more than that, she is a Woman of God, full of the Spirit, Wise, talented, intelligent, great organizer, the best cook ever, etc. I don’t hope she will be with me because how I look, sad day that will be. By the way see you later…. I have to hit the Gym for fist time in the year…. ha ha

  12. Rachel says:

    I’d like to hear a man of God refer to his wife as “my godly wife” or “one who pursues God’s heart” or something that refers to her virtue and character. It would make a difference if we greeted one another in similar fashion and noted godlike qualities instead of outward appearance only. Here’s a few examples: “I appreciate how kind you are to everyone you meet.” “Your eyes sparkle with the joy of the Lord!” “You have a generous spirit–just like God!”

  13. RevBex says:

    I had an elderly professor who introduced his wife, who audited his class that year, as his “woman of valor”. I appreciated that!
    My husband and I lead a church together and often at pastors’ gatherings we all go around and introduce ourselves; almost invariably the husbands introduce the couple – I am Pastor Brown and this is my beautiful wife Cindy. If it happens that I’m first in the circle when our turn comes, I introduce my husband the same way – I’m Pastor J and this is my beautiful/lovely/handsome husband T. It always gets a bit of a chuckle and I think that’s a little telling – the group is uncomfortable if I reduce my husband to his looks in a public professional setting. If my husband introduces me it’s usually preceded by “brilliant”, in most settings that’s how I introduce him as well.

  14. jacob strode says:

    This great read. I couldn’t agree more.

  15. Marc Jones says:

    Really dude?????

  16. Edward says:

    If you think your wife is better based on looks, you are wrong. A minister, I am one, having a gracious woman in my side, take more that look, I like and adore her looks, but, that is the beginning of her beauty, she is way more more than that, she is a Woman of God, full of the Spirit, Wise, talented, intelligent, great organizer, the best cook ever, etc. I don’t hope she will be with me because how I look, sad day that will be. By the way see you later…. I have to hit the Gym for fist time in the year…. ha ha

  17. Susan McGuire says:

    Thank you – I encountered this very recently with one of our youth group pastors. On his Facebook page (which, I imagine is followed by every teen, pre-teen, most parents of our fairly sizable church and other church members who want to enjoy a relationship with their team of pastors that includes social media – this YG pastor referred to his wife as his “hot Aussie babe”. It angered me enough that I quit following both him and his wife on FB. Within a couple of weeks, this pastor was standing on stage during weekend services and happened to follow his wife who’d made some video announcements. You got it, he told everyone who glad he was to follow such a hot babe. My response was even more anger. And puzzlement over why I cared WHAT he called his wife. I thought, prayed and searched the net for other thoughts on the use of the term. Your article hit it exactly for me. My only addition to your opinion would be to add that females who’ve been sexually abused or harassed would likely be uncomfortable with the loaded term. I wrote this pastor a short note and forwarded your article. His response “I think your discomfort has more to do with you than it does with my words or intentions, but thanks for sharing!” Our senior pastor was also troubled by the statement from the platform, and by this young man’s response to me.

  18. Phil says:

    you know what I hate worse? Leaders calling their wife the “First Lady”…..I guess that makes all of them the president of something…..its counter cultural to the Kingdom….people love titles- people are insecure.

  19. Not to mention that once a Pastor says that, every man in the room is looking at her through that lense.

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