It seems like the phrase “My smokin’ hot” wife is coming into mainstream Christianity now. I have heard a number of preachers use the phrase from the pulpit, especially when they are sharing messages on sex.
And have you seen this video of a pastor at a NASCAR race praying, thanking God for the racetrack, the racing teams, the cars, the drivers, the cans of Sonoco fuel, and his smokin’ hot wife?
When pastors talk about their wives as “smokin’ hot” or call attention to their physical beauty in a sermon, I think they are:
- Trying to show their congregations that they love their wives and are attracted to them.
- Teaching that it’s OK to admire beauty and to be sexually attracted to one another.
- Showing genuine thankfulness to God.
- Saying to congregants indirectly, “hands off” my wife, she’s mine.
- Saying to congregants indirectly, “I’m taken,” I don’t need an adulterous relationship, I have a wonderful wife.
Using “smoking hot’ to describe your wife is fantastic, but I believe it needs to retreat to something you privately say to your wife. I don’t think we should be using this phrase publicly.
Why pastors shouldn’t say it publicly:
- It makes me want to check out your wife – When I hear anyone say he has a “smoking hot” wife, I want to check her out for myself. I want to rate her on the “smokin’ hotness” scale. You push my button and trigger me to check out your wife.
- Strong sexual connotations with the phrase in our culture – The phrase is already being used in our culture to describe Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends, Miss America, America’s Top Model, and the Hooter’s waitresses you saw during lunch. It’s not a phrase we need to “claim for Jesus” from our pulpits.
- Focuses on the wrong thing – The message a pastor is sending is “look at the package.” God teaches us to value women, honor them, love them.
- Has objectification written all over it – There’s a fine line between admiring beauty and objectifying. In a lust-driven society we may say we’re admiring beauty, but we’re really saying “I want that for my own visual or sexual pleasure.” When we objectify we don’t value the human being, we take in the picture, video, or live person in front of us for our own pleasure.
- What message is this sending to wives? – Wives have a hard enough time with low self-esteem when it comes to their image. Magazines and movies already teach women that image is the most important thing; they don’t need their pastor sending the same message.
- What if I don’t have a “smoking hot” wife? – Guys get jealous quick and covetous of another’s “smoking hot” wife whenever their relational intimacy at home is failing.
- Is the pastor more blessed for having a “smokin’ hot wife”? – Any wife is a blessing from the Lord. The illusion for some is that the holy guy gets the better looking women. Would you be thanking God for your “average looking” wife? Would you even acknowledge this from the pulpit?
Say it, but say it privately
I want to tell my wife that she’s beautiful. I’m attracted to her. I have this deep churning inside me that makes me want to shower my wife with complements, gifts, acts of service, and affection. It’s normal. It’s a God-given desire. And it’s what a healthy romantic relationship looks like. I shouldn’t be ashamed of the phrase, but I should use discretion as to where and when I use it.
To me my wife is “smokin’ hot.” It starts with me visually and admiring my wife’s physical beauty. But as I am growing in my sexuality, emotionally and relationally, I am finding deeper, more fulfilling connections with my wife. I am attracted to her physically, but I am more attracted to her strength of character, her ability to organize, her loyalty, her love for our children and her grace toward me.
Preachers, let’s move you and your “smokin’ hot” wife back to the bedroom.
Q: What do you think?
Q: Are pastors doing a good thing when they call their wives “smokin’ hot”?
Q: Am I being hypersensitive about this?
I don’t have a problem with pastors doing it. Heck, I do it ALL the time. My wife is smokin hot, and everyone knows it. I think that it’s fine for a pastor to say. In fact, I’d encourage it because saying she’s smoking hot means she’s got your attention. Granted, we all know that there’s more to a wife than her appearance. That’s a given. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t have married her. I dated plenty of more than attractive women before I met my wife, but I married her because she had more than just good looks. However, men usually get caught up in infidelity when something other than their wive catches their eye. So announcing that she’s smoking hot is a public declaration of your attraction to her. Now, me saying that my wife is smoking hot, doesn’t mean that everyone thinks so. Everyone has their own tastes. There are probably guys who don’t find my wife attractive (obviously, they need their eyes checked out). I don’t necessarily think a man is less blessed if I don’t think his wife is attractive, but my opinion shouldn’t matter. As long as he’s happy, who cares what other people think.
Now, if a man doesn’t find his wife attractive, then I can see why he wouldn’t want others to publicly delight in the fact that their wives are smoking hot. Maybe she was never really a looker, or maybe she just let herself go after getting married and having kids. Who knows? But if you’re jealous, that’s your issue, right? Thou shalt not covet they neighbor’s wife, right? I do think you’re being a bit hypersensitive about this. May I inquire about your wife without stepping on toes? I just want to know where your head is at. If you think your wife is smoking hot and you feel this way, that’s one thing. But, if you don’t, then I’d say that may be contributing to your perspective.
I think the caution against public use of the term “smoking hot” is full of God’s wisdom. The article brings forth a very balanced perspective around the handling of topics on sex. I like it!
I agree…..women (particularly wives) love public compliments….especially about their looks. Nothing wrong with it….even if it’s not true lol. HYPERSENSITIVE :)
I definitely agree with Jeff here and I’m glad someone had the courage to speak out against something so bound to the current culture trends. There will probably be a majority who disagree with this post. I have a feeling a lot of women wouldn’t want to speak out against this because they may desire their husband’s to say these words about them, in order to feel validated in public by the esteem of their husband’s and the esteem of the public he preaches this “hotness” too.
We live in a culture where physical beauty is reduced to such silly terms like “hot” and “sexy” and words that are used to describe the very porn stars we get upset with our husband’s for looking at. These words, to me, are like calling an apple a red ball. What do I mean by that?
It reduces an apple to its looks. And not only that, but a shallow term for its looks. We could say “a fresh and crisp crimson apple with hints of yellow,” but no, we say “a read ball.”
We all know an apple isn’t just a “red ball.” It’s a delicious fruit. It includes seeds in the middle. There’s a lot to a little apple. Just like there is so much to a woman. And we constantly reduce them to terms like “hot” and “sexy,” when a woman’s beauty far outweighs those terms. In fact, I think a woman’s beauty (no matter what the world deems her) is so magnificent that the terms “hot” and “sexy” devalue the absolute wonder that she is.
Personally, I would prefer my husband to never use these terms when referring to me, public or private. I have no desire for any man including my husband to look at me and reduce me to such shallow terms.
My hope in this lifetime is to be an example of Jesus. For others to look at me and not even see my looks. To see Him in me so much that my looks aren’t even noticed.
Isaiah 53 says this of Jesus:
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Personally, if I die … the last thing I want my husband to get up and say about is “she was so hot and good in bed.”
I want him to be able to say the above of me, because Jesus was the most beautiful person to ever walk this earth, and if all people can say about me is what they saw on the outside, then I know I haven’t attained any level of true beauty.
Anyway, thank you Jeff, for being bold enough to say something most people will laugh at or shrug off as just plain silly. Glory be to God!
Wonderfully put. Ashley!!! I think this post is right on point and very much needed in this sex-saturated culture. It saddens me to see the comments disagreeing with it. I am not ugly, overweight, or plain. I would be considered attractive and my husband graciously continues to let me know that he thinks of me as beautiful. But, I can promise you I do NOT want the main thing that people think about me to be “sexy.” It would be more of an insult to me than a compliment for my husband to tell another man that I am “smoking hot.” As you say reduced to the common denominator! No thank you.
I agree with Jeff and with Ashley’s comment. Please see me as a person, a precious daughter of the Most High God, and then treat me that way. Contrary to what appears to be the general opinion of this sex-crazed society, THIS woman just wants to be known and appreciated for who she is, not what she looks like or even what she does. My husband loves me and likes what he sees, even though I’m no longer a young woman. I like that. Still, my greatest desire is to know that he is interested in me, in who I am, in what I think, feel, know, get excited about. In fact, I want to know my husband better in these ways, too. How do we remain holy (separated to God) in this world’s culture? Big question.
heck yes great post well said!
I could say so many things about this subject in general, and on that gentleman’s prayer in general.
My wife said most of what I already think, but let me add this…
When we have thrown the idea of “sacred” out the window, and replaced it with the all popular “relevant” this is the kind of craziness that happened. I am afraid I have a particularly hard time imagining that kind of talk coming out of the mouth of our Lord, the Apostles, or the great Saints throughout the ages.
Too much emphasis is put on being hip and now, although, I’m not so sure that label applies to that fellows rev-em-up prayer. Not enough emphasis (almost none) is given to reverence and bringing about sanctity instead of all things explicit.
Not judging this man’s heart (because only God knows that), we can at the very least see that the mainstream modern and western “Christianity” is shallow and wanting to say the least. To say more, might be an overstatement, but here goes. It is at most empty, self serving, hype-driven and culture obsessed.
Lord have mercy on us all, and lead each and every one of us to repentance. Me being the first in line!
My wife is beautiful. But she wouldn’t want me to call her smokin’ hot in front of anyone. She would find it dishonoring that I would treat her as a sex object in front of others. She does not like the attention and especially does not like attention to her outward appearance in front of others. She would rather women be praised for their inward beauty and godliness. Any woman can be “smokin’ hot.” Many women can attract men at church by their appearance. But we know that God doesn’t look at that. Charm is deceitful and a “smokin’ hot wife” is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Really, I think this is just trying to be cool with the culture. Cultural relevance is a sad norm in the church.
Your points are so well thought out and so God-centered. I do not think you are hypersensitive. I agree with all of them with the possible exception of saying it to her privately. I can see Ashley’s point here to a degree. Obviously, if using that phrase congers up any association that even minutely distracts from a completely faithful, one-flesh union, it must be not be used. I do believe that we are to concentrate on our inner, Christ-like beauty above all. I do also think there is a place for physical attraction between a husband and wife (Song of Solomon) and that it is a gift from God. That physical attraction may have nothing to do with what each person actually looks like. That physical attraction may be 100% influenced by inner beauty or at the very least, greatly enhanced by it. These are gifts to be shared in private between a husband and wife and that’s the place we should thank God for them.
Jeff, thank you for writing this blog post. I agree with what you wrote. I am so glad that a man (and husband) sees an issue with this. As a wife, I personally don’t want my husband to say to me in private that I am ‘smoking hot’. That isn’t how I want to come off to him, even in the bedroom. It would make me feel like an object. I want him to see beauty in me for other reasons. I think ‘smoking hot’ is a term stemmed from looking at a women lustfully. I am not saying that the pastor does not love his wife.
After I read this article, I turned on the radio to hear these words: ” Beauty comes from the ashes in which we will rise.” A life lived for Jesus, is the way to really be beautiful.
I’m glad that I’m not the only one who was uncomfortable with that video. Jeff makes some great points in his post and I definitely think it’s inappropriate for a pastor to say that in a public prayer.
I used to think I wanted to be called “hot” because I’d get jealous seeing men drool over women and calling them that. My husband has always said he thinks I’m attractive or pretty. However, he never used to say words like “hot” or “sexy” and it would make me jealous, thinking that I wasn’t as good looking or as “exciting” as the women in magazines or movies. But he actually called me hot recently and I didn’t like it. It made me feel like just another object. He told me that’s exactly the reason he’s never said those kinds of words to me before! He values me for so much more than my outward appearance and for that I’m grateful. I’d much rather be thought of as beautiful – mainly for my character, integrity and love.
I understand that women like their outer beauty recognized and to receive public compliments. I’ve had that same desire. I just think to reduce it down to a term like “smokin’ hot” is very shallow. Why not say something like “Thank you for my beautiful, smart, loving wife”. You are recognizing both her outside and inside beauty. I also agree with Jeff that it causes us to focus on all the wrong things, when we should be focused on Christ.
If a wife does like to be called hot or whatever other word, then fine. But I agree with Jeff that when it’s a word or phrase with sexual connotations, then it should be kept in private.
Hey Everyone –
I’m so glad for your comments on the article.
I agree that women love public complements, my wife included. But so many of us focus on the package and little else. Also, many men do not pour ANY energy, passion,or complements into their marriage.
We are encouraged in Prov 5 to “drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well.” God has given us so much to cultivate at home.
I’m very much “pro complements”. I think our complements need to be seasoned with discretion. We also need to be aware that not all people sitting in our pews have healthy sexualities, healthy marriages or healthy views of women.
Thanks so much for the feedback.
I tried to share some positive reasons why ministers say this from the pulpit. I think we are well-intentioned when we say this.
I also believe if a man doesn’t find his wife attractive, something’s wrong. God draws a couple together in marriage – we should be attracted to one another and enamored by one another.
I think we can come up with other ways to show we are captivated with our wives that honor them. It’s kind of shallow to just focus on the sexual aspect of our wives with our complements.
If we are cultivating a marriage where we are helping each other grow emotionaly, relationally, intellectually and spiritually, we have deeper reserve to draw from when complementing our wives.
If we know the depth of a godly marital relationship, we can do a lot better than “smokin hot”.
I appreciate your thoughts.
it’s the little things that slip by that usually make the biggest impact over time. Saying “smokin’ hot” may seem harmless, and objecting usage of that phrase in the pulpit may seem hypersensitive. However, it’s things like this that slowly desensitize and persuade us to adjust according to contrast. It’s the frog in the pot. And I appreciate this blog post.
Good points! For me, personally, compliments weary me. I’m so tired of being centered on myself. I’ve looked through the Bible of instances when Jesus was mentioned by others… compliments, praises, or insults. And what I found was rather interesting… nowhere, however, did I find anything about Jesus having a beautiful face, in fact, I don’t think the words “He is so beautiful” were said to Him by anyone, yet He was the most beautiful. And He proved this in selfless, sacrificial, loving, difficult, humble actions, not the way His body looked.
Beauty is about so much more than appearances.
Beauty is this:
For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. —Matthew 23:12
We have becomes so attracted to pride in this world. So attracted to the glorification of self and appearances, that it has become so difficult for us to even desire humility.
Humble in the dictionary is:
to lower in condition, importance, or dignity; abase.
to destroy the independence, power, or will of.
low in rank, importance, status, quality, etc.
having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience, etc.
not proud or arrogant; modest
a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.
the state or feeling of being proud.
a becoming or dignified sense of what is due to oneself or one’s position or character; self-respect; self-esteem.
pleasure or satisfaction taken in something done by or belonging to oneself or believed to reflect credit upon oneself
The question we need to ask ourselves is…
What do I fall under? Do I have high self-esteem or consider myself inferior to others?
The things that I say of others, the things that I say of myself, the things that I say TO others… do they contribute to the pride in this world or the humility? Do I increase pride in others, or do I encourage them toward a life of humility?
“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
We have lost a desire for humility, and in turn (according to the verse above) we who are full of pride in ourselves have lost God’s favor.
I spent many nights crying myself to sleep because my husband looked at other women. I wanted to be physically attractive to the highest degree. I wanted high self-esteem (pride) and high-fives for my figure. I wanted others to feel inferior to me. I wanted to be superior. The best. The most beautiful woman in the world to my husband, and well, maybe to everyone else too.
I should have cried myself to sleep because of my own pride, instead of worrying so much about my appearance.
Forgive me for adding my thoughts, I hope it doesn’t offend anyone.
Glory to thee, O Lord. Help us.
Ashley – Thanks so much for your thoughts. I know you’ve written so much in this direction on your blog. You have such good thoughts about where real beauty is. It’s so much deeper than the surface.
Jenna – I think the frog in the pot is a great analogy. Thanks for chiming in.
You are “Dead On” with this topic. I had an uneasy feeling when I viewed this pastor and his ‘prayer’. If I had prayed like that in public or referred to my wife as “smokin hot” in public, she would have left the venue and then we both would be embarassed. A slap across the face might be forthcoming.
:”JohnnyChristlike”, I don’t think Jesus would have referred to any woman in his company of disciples as “smokin hot”. I say this with as much love as possible, “if you are going to use the name ‘Christlike’ then act, write and talk like it. Change your ways or change your name!”
It is disturbing that four women spoke against the behavior of this pastor. Unless I read the names wrong, not one woman has gleefully supported him or encouraged their own husband to use the words “smokin hot”. Yet, barely four men spoke against this Pastor using his privileged of shepherd or husband.
As George stated earlier, we have set aside ‘sacred’ and replaced it with ‘relevant’. Jeff, George and I may be looked upon as corny…but I wonder who will still be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary with the same partner?
I don’t have much to say, other than I agree with you, and your reasons are well thought out. It wasn’t clear to me if you thought someone should avoid complementing their wife’s looks altogether in public. I refer to my wife as “beautiful” in public, but that’s as far as I go concerning looks.
An obvious problem, here, is that the pastor condoned a Will Ferrell racing movie that sported this comment in the first place. Yes (albeit, a long time ago), I saw it. What I remember vividly is that scene where the prayer took place—it was vile, and even blasphemous! The problem isn’t that the pastor likes his wife (good for him!); it’s that he okay’d Hollywood’s portrayal of humor, adultery, ‘religion,’ and smut. Those things have no place at the throne of heaven.
I say he ought to be ashamed. Why should the world come to Christ if the pastor’s pulpit looks no different than a potty joke-laced movie screen?
At the end of the book of Job, basically the Lord says in so many words, after listening to the boasts, feelings, and opinions of Job and his pseudo-friends, ‘Are you done talking now? Good, now I am going to speak…”Who is this who obscures My counsel with ignorant words? Get ready to answer Me like a man…Where were you when I established the earth?” (Job 38:2-4).
At the end of the day, God MUST have the last Word. I am convinced that word would be:
“Lord forbid me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified unto me and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:14).
There you have the template for the pure heart. If the motive is to boast, more than likely you will have a hard time even receiving this admonishment anyway, and remain “willfully ignorant.” Galatians 6:14 is a prayer…a pleading to God for His absolute disallowing of Paul’s propensity to boast in ANYTHING but the cross!
Our boasting in anything, yes even our ‘Smokin hot wife,’ is no different than taking a trip back in time to Calvary’s mount, walking up to the foot of the cross, looking Jesus in His sweaty bloody face of agonizing love, then to turn around to the scoffing crowd, and proceed to juggle…or whatever…and entertain the people with something you have. ‘Hey everyone, don’t look at Him…look at me! Look at what I can do! Pay no attention to Him, look at MY gifts… look at MY wife!”
“Lord forbid me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified unto me and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:14)
It’s time to put our foot down upon compromise!!! Jesus is worth it.
I would love to know why so many of you assume the pastor is referring to what his wife looks like. Sounds to me like those who have focused on her appearance, when that is NOT what he said are the ones who focus on looks. “Smoking Hot” may, and very often has NOTHING to do with looks. It’s sad for me, as a woman, to read another woman saying that. Kudos to the Pastor for having a Smoking Hot wife and Kudos to his wife for making him feel that way.
I do not understand your comment at all. I have never heard this comment spoken when it did NOT mean “sexy or physically attractive.” What else could it possibly mean?
I think that the problem is more in how his comments (the pastor) will be perceived by the hearer. A few things that are wrong with this is: 1)Smoking hot wife seems to be aligned with the world (or non-believers). We should not have to validate our spouses (especially when the Word encourages modest dress/apparel). Personally, there is nothing more attractive than being discreet & modest in apparel & having confidence in your identity as it relates to what God says that you are, not man. 2) I feel that it’s over compensation for the world’s tolerance of homosexuality. I don’t think that this type of extremity helps in either case (be it homo or heterosexuality). I personally think that you open your spouse & yourself to temptations from outside sources (whether perceived or realized) & we don’t really need help in those areas (as sex driven as the world is currently). The best thing that the Pastor could display is his love & affection for his wife (giving the men the example of how to love the current/future wives) instead exclaiming how “smokin’ hot” she is (sparking curiousity of those outside; think Genesis 3; the woman SAW that the tree was good for food, plus men are visual creatures by nature; how does this help, again?).
I always have to question a pastor who claims sexyness, sexuality, or even sexual desire are a sin. Some of you are now saying that is lust and a sin. I didn’t say lust was not a sin. Sexual desire is as Godly as hunger, or thirst. God made us to desire sex, even pastors. He made sex very pleasurable, yes for pastors too. Because we all desire sex and are attracted to a certain look of a women…or a man for our female pastors, we are able to procreate mankind. ‘Go and be fruitful’. The sin comes from uncontrolled desires. Desires for which God has not ordained. Desiring your spouse sexually and publicly proclaiming should say to your congregation that God’s design and plan are in play in your relationship.
Why also do people assume recognizing your spouse is beautiful is objectifying? Was Solomon objectifying his beloved when he wrote, “Your breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies. Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, I will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of incense.” Songs 4:5-6. I think not. Physical beauty is an attribute of ones person. We don’t say we objectify someone when we declare their intellect, works or personality. No one attribute is more precious than the other. All that we are is what God made and those open to praise. Including our looks.
The sanctity of the marriage makes the comment not just OK but appropriate. If a pastor said the lady in the third row is ‘smoking hot’ that would be lust and sinful, not to mention creepy. I encourage pastors to preach the Word about all aspects of our lives including our sexuality. I also encourage pastors to respect they spouses and make sure they are comfortable with you mentioning them from the platform in anyway.
Well written article regarding an area where Christians have the appearance of being no different than the world. The Church often doesn’t “look” much different than a secular, corporate organization. I think Jesus is sad, because of this fact :(.
Wow…the “smokin’ hot wife” comment was SO not the biggest irritant to me in that prayer, though I did think it was inappropriate. But hey, it got him some applause. I couldn’t tell if he was praying or getting paid by sponsors. I realize I can’t judge his intentions, only God can, but it seemed very much for show.
Is this an overreaction???? I don’t know but I will say this…. I think we as pastors are to quick to run around and find fault with each other. It almost reminds men of the Swagert/PTL wars in the 80s. I don’t know about anyone else but I have enough trouble keeping Derek Brown on the straight and narrow without checking to make sure someone else has dotted all their I’s and crossed their It’s. No wonder pastors get overtaken in a fall. They don’t trust each other enough to open up and ask for prayer for struggles because we are to busy nitpicking each other to death to make our own selves look good. I know I might sound a little harsh but as a 30 something preacher I have grown weary of the only gift in operation in our churches being the “gift of criticism”.
How about for once we as pastors stop competing, come together in love, and help each other build the kingdom while supporting each other in our individual walks with the Lord.
I think it says much, how women feel, when nearly every woman agreed with Jeff. We men think different, than our wives, for instance if my wife brought me a new tool box with tools for my birthday , I would be pleased, but if I brought her the latest and greatest vacuum cleaner for her birthday , I think she would just be smoking.
Your church should get a female pastor, pronto.