Megachurch pastor says viral comment about wives on wedding night was a joke

Josh Howerton, senior pastor of Lakepointe Church in Rockwall, Texas, delivers a sermon on Feb. 26, 2024.
Josh Howerton, senior pastor of Lakepointe Church in Rockwall, Texas, delivers a sermon on Feb. 26, 2024. | Screenshot: YouTube/Lakepointe Church

A Texas pastor says that his recent comment that women should do whatever their husbands want on their wedding night was meant to be a joke. 

Josh Howerton, the senior pastor of Lakepointe Church in Rockwall, Texas, came under scrutiny last week after comments he made in February about what a wife should do for her husband on their wedding night resurfaced. 

The pastor began a sermon posted to YouTube on Feb. 26 by recalling an event he held titled "Marriage Night." He offered a "gold nugget of advice" that he received from a mentor about marriage. 

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The pastor told the men in the audience that the woman they marry "has been planning" her wedding "her entire life" and that they should "stand where she tells you to stand, wear what she tells to you to wear and do what she tells you to do." He insisted that taking his advice would "make her the happiest woman in the world."

At the same time, Howerton told the women in his congregation that, when it came to the wedding night, the man they marry "has been planning this day his whole life, so just stand where he tells you to stand, wear what he tells you to wear and do what he tells you to do and you're going to make him the happiest man in the world." 

Sheila Gregoire, host of the "Bare Marriage" podcast who has over 41,000 followers on the social media platform, shared a 22-second clip of what she characterized as his "advice to women" on X last Thursday. The clip has received over 1.1 million views as of Thursday. 

Gregoire devoted an episode of her podcast to discussing the remarks. 

Howerton took to social media Friday to defend his remarks and raised allegations of deceptive editing on the part of Gregoire, whom he did not explicitly name.

"The person who originally posted this took an old preacher joke about marriage, edited out the comment immediately before aimed at men, and then very conveniently ended the clip before it's made clear it's part of a joke," he said. 

"They then deceitfully presented it as my 'advice to women' where if all you saw was the quote or the clip they selectively edited, you don't know it was half of a joke, not 'advice.'" 

In a post included in her X thread about Howerton's comments, Gregoire acknowledged that "this followed him telling men that she's been planning the wedding her whole life, so he needs to show up and stand where she tells him to stand, wear what she tells him to wear, and do what she tells him to do."

Mentioning that "he thought this was all good advice," Gregoire indicated on her podcast and her X thread that she vehemently disagreed with his thinking. 

"The number of men commenting 'it was just a joke' is so telling," she wrote. "Marital rape is not funny. Normalizing sexual coercion is not funny. Not caring at all about female pleasure is not funny. If you think this is funny, you may want to ask the women in your life if they find you safe and kind."

Gregoire responded to Howerton's post, asserting last Friday that "the broader context makes this worse than only looking at the advice to women," contending that his classification of the wedding day as the pinnacle of a woman's life implies that men "don't have to take on ANY of the mental load, emotional involvement, or work of the wedding" because "it's all on her."

Gregoire expressed concern that Howerton's remarks cause men to think that "at the wedding night, you get to act like a porn director and direct her every move so you get exactly what you want."  

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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