Missouri pastor on leave after preaching wives need to look good for their husbands

·4 min read

A Missouri pastor is on leave after a video emerged of him preaching that wives should strive to be thin, made up, well-dressed and satisfying in the bedroom to keep their husbands interested because "God made men to be drawn to beautiful women."

"I want you to know a need that your man has that he won’t ever tell you about, but since I’m the preacher man, I’ll say it: Your man needs an attractive wife," First General Baptist Church Pastor Stewart-Allen Clark said from the pulpit at the start of the sermon, according to a video posted to Facebook.

The date and intended audience of the sermon are unclear.

A statement posted by First General Baptist Church's deacon ministry team said that "as of March 2, 2021, Pastor Stewart-Allen Clark has taken a leave of absence and is seeking professional counseling."

Clark did not respond to multiple requests for comment from NBC News.

General Baptist Ministries, which the church is affiliated with, said Clark's sermon "included comments that are not consistent with the positions and values of General Baptists."

The comments were under review, and Clark resigned from a moderator position he was to hold at the General Association of General Baptist meeting in 2022. But General Baptist Ministries does not have control over independent congregations' employment, the statement said.

"General Baptists believe that every woman was created in the image of God, and they should be valued for that reason," the statement said.

First General Baptist Church in Malden, Mo. (Googe Maps)
First General Baptist Church in Malden, Mo. (Googe Maps)

The Facebook user who posted the sermon said a friend brought the video to her attention. It's unclear whether the video shows the full sermon. The user did not immediately respond to NBC News' request for comment.

"I’m not saying every woman can be the epic trophy wife of all time, like Melania Trump," Clark said in the video, as a picture of the former first lady was projected onto a screen behind him. "Maybe you’re a participation trophy. ... But you don’t need to look like a butch either."

"You need to know this, men have a need for their women to look like women. Sweatpants don’t cut it all the time huh," Clark said. "Men want their women to look good at home and in public. Can I get an amen?"

Clark said it is up to a woman to keep her weight down, wear makeup and dress well to keep her husband from cheating.

"Don’t give him a reason to be like this distracted boyfriend," he said, showing a picture of the ubiquitous meme.

"Why is it so many times that women after they get married let themselves go," Clark asked.

"Don’t give him a reason to be looking around ... I really don’t believe women understand how visual men are," he added. "I don’t think women understand how important it is for a man to have a beautiful woman on his arm."

"You can call it juvenile, immature, sexist," Clark said.

But "God made men to be drawn to beautiful women. We are made this way, we can’t help ourselves," he said, without a reference to scripture.

On weight, he discussed a time when he once counseled a couple.

"She looked like a sumo wrestler and he was a little guy," Clark said, adding that after the wife lost 100 pounds, the marriage was saved.

He said his wife has had three kids, and had become "robust" so she started Weight Watchers and lost up to 50 pounds.

"She wants me to look at her and nobody else. One of her favorite expressions is 'food never tastes as good as skinny feels,'" Clark said, quoting the long-controversial mantra. "I’m glad I have a wife that understands that's the way I am."

He added that he has a friend who has put a "divorce weight" limit on his wife.

"What’s the difference between a man's wife and a man's girlfriend? Oh about 60 pounds," Clark said to laughs.

Clark said that when it comes to makeup, hairstyles and clothes, women should wear what their husband finds attractive.

"Praise God for makeup. ... It’s like crack filler for drywall," Clark said.

"How about you ask your husband, not your girlfriend, not your hairdresser, not your mama. Why don’t you ask him what makeup looks good on you?" Clark said. "It’s important that he thinks you’re hot."

In one of two references to scripture in more than 20 minutes, Clark quotes 1 Corinthians to preach on sex.

"The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband," the scripture Clark referenced says.

"After you get married, men, put this on your headboard in the house," Clark said. "Whenever she’s not in the mood, take out your Bible."

Clark eventually conceded the rest of the passage: "In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife."

He said men will look elsewhere if they are not sexually satisfied by their wives, asserting for at least the eighth time: "We can’t help ourselves, God made us that way."

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