Kirk Cameron has always been vocal about the role that his faith plays in his life, but he’s getting some flack for comments he made about a wife’s role in marriage. In an interview with The Christian Post, Cameron said that the Bible’s “instructions” state that wives must honor and “follow their husband’s lead.” Cameron also says the Bible should be used as an instruction manual for marriage in general.
“A lot of people don’t know that marriage comes with instructions. And, we find them right there in God’s word,” Kirk said.
The Christian actor, who is best known for his role on the ’80s sitcom Growing Pains, routinely travels to churches across the country to speak about the importance of centering marriage around God. But one of Kirk Cameron’s most controversial messages has rubbed some people the wrong way.
“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.”
Kirk Cameron’s statements seem to be taken from Colossians 3:18-19, although he didn’t go so far as to say that women should “submit” to their husbands.
I was only 20 years old when I married the love of my life… 24 years have passed from the day we took this picture. Tonight we celebrated at home with our six children over one of our favorite dinners- Turkey tacos! To me, still being together and in love is the best gift of all. God has been so kind and given me so much more than I deserve.
While he went on to say that both spouses must take responsibility for building up their marriage, it’s not surprising that Kirk Cameron’s statements about a woman’s role in marriage garnered strong reaction on social media.
I'll take marriage advice from a fundie Christian like Kirk Cameron the same day I take financial advice from Nicholas Cage.
— Emily Timbol (@EmilyTimbol) April 29, 2016
I wish Kirk Cameron would stop speaking for all of us Christians…
— ⭐️βrιτταηγ Dυηη⭐️ (@TheBrittanyDunn) April 29, 2016
Marriage advice from Kirk Cameron is like taking Super Bowl advice from the Browns. It's funny, unrealistic, and prone to error.
— Nora (@Puzycat69) April 28, 2016
Kirk Cameron announces to world that he is a terrible husband. This won't work out well for him when single again. https://t.co/GeS6H2c8xc
— Heather Ure (@riotheatherrr) April 29, 2016
In the past, Kirk Cameron has said that, when it comes to marriage, he hopes his daughters follow the example of another famous family: the Duggars. On his Facebook page, Cameron explained that he took his two daughters to Arkansas to attend the 2014 wedding of Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald because he wanted them to see what it looks like when a couple waits until their wedding day to share their first kiss. (The former 19 Kids and Counting family follows a strict no-kissing until marriage rule.)
“This kind of moral excellence and purity is rare today, but our sons and daughters are priceless,” Kirk wrote. According to People, Kirk Cameron also said he admires the Duggar family’s vow to wait until marriage for kissing.
“Nobody does this. And as a dad, it thrills your heart. I want a guy that honors and respects my daughters like Ben is respecting Jessa,” Kirk said.
— Kristie Bihn (@kristiebihn) November 5, 2014
Kirk Cameron’s famous sister, Candace Cameron Bure, has also made headlines in the past for some of her Bible-quoting. The actress revealed in her 2014 book that she takes a “submissive” role in her marriage to ex-NHL player Valeri Bure. Candace later told Yahoo Parenting that she used that word “submissive” despite the fact that some people don’t understand it.
“I used the word ‘submissive’ [to describe my role in the marriage] because it’s from the Bible but people who don’t understand that see that as offensive. My husband is not a dictator. We work together but I don’t want to dig my heels in and I have no aspirations to be the ruler of my family. We are two equal people but I love my husband and I want him to lead,” Cameron Bure said. The actress added that she puts her husband “on a pedestal.”
Kirk Cameron married fellow Growing Pains star Chelsea Noble in 1991, and they are parents to six children. Kirk is currently speaking on the national “Love Worth Fighting For” church tour.
Take a look at the video below to see Kirk Cameron talking about marriage.
[Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for KLOVE]