At the wedding of Mark Peters and Rhonda Jameson this past weekend, Pastor John Engle put himself in a difficult position after he began a portion of his speech with the phrase, “The wife’s role is to…” Attendants at the wedding confirmed later that they immediately knew whatever he was going to say next would be completely, 100% wrong.
The wedding had reportedly been going relatively smoothly up until that point, sources say. The words of welcome, opening remarks, and readings, had all been kind, if somewhat old-fashioned. Trouble began when Pastor John chose to make some sweeping generalizations about gender roles in marriage.
“As soon as he said ‘wife’ and ‘role’ in the same sentence, I was immediately like, ‘nuh-uh,’” said Tessa Rae, a friend of the bride. “There is no way what he’s about to say is gonna be accurate.”
Anyone hoping the good pastor would pull out of the nosedive he had plunged himself into found themselves sorely mistaken: From describing the wife’s duties as being “loyal”, “subservient”, and worst of all, “quiet”, sources say they watched the pastor dig himself deeper and deeper into his own hole.
The bride and groom, when questioned afterward, attempted to make concessions for their pastor.
“With small-town weddings, you always know there’s going to be some outdated philosophies,” said Rhonda. “But when he looked at me and started telling me what my role was going to be, I was like, oh no this is bad.”
“It was brutal,” said Jenna Allen, Rhonda’s stepsister. “Everything he said after ‘wife’s role’ was more wrong than the thing he said before it.”
As the pastor pushed onward in his remarks, the audience grew restless and uncomfortable. After insisting the wife provide a comfortable home for her hard-working husband, he moved on to describe the husband’s duties.
“He said it’s my job to put bread on the table,” said the groom, Mark. “I’m like, man, it’s 2018. We’ve both got loans to pay off.”
As the speech wound to a close, the pastor slipped in some quick, easy jokes about how Rhonda needed to make sure Mark showed up to things on time, but how she should leave him alone on football Sundays. The response from the crowd was muted.
“We got out of there fast,” Rhonda said of the ceremony. “One because, you know, we were excited to be married. But also because we were afraid he’d think of some more duties from the 1950s that we’d have to promise to fulfill in front of our family and friends.”