Promise Keepers Founder Neglected Family, Says Wife

Lyndi McCartney, wife of Promise Keepers’ founder Bill McCartney, revealed in a New York Times interview that her husband was frequently absent from home even while preaching to men that they should treasure their wives and families.

The Promise Keepers, a male-only evangelical Christian group, preaches that women should submit to their husbands, and that in return husbands would agree to become more actively involved with their families. But according to his wife, Bill McCartney did not practice what he preached — he worked constantly, coaching college football teams and founding the Promise Keepers. He was like a plumber, said his wife. “A plumber never fixes anything at home. He’s always out fixing everyone else’s plumbing.” McCartney’s son said of his father, “we knew we were loved, but day-to-day he wasn’t present.”

In 1993, Lyndi McCartney spent the year suffering from bulimia and lost 80 pounds; her husband just thought she was on a diet. Bill gave up his coaching contract in 1994 and now tries to come home by 4:00 p.m., but Lyndi says “We’ve still got a long way to go” and was amazed on a recent vacation that they were able to talk to each other for three hours.


The New York Times - October 29, 1997

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