Emotional Health: Becky Castle Miller on Understanding Oppression’s Impact on Emotional Health

A World of Difference
A World of Difference
Emotional Health: Becky Castle Miller on Understanding Oppression's Impact on Emotional Health

Does this sound familiar? You’ve been told to just get over it or move on from a traumatic experience or oppressive situation. But despite your efforts, you’re still struggling with overwhelming emotions and pain. You’re not alone. In fact, ignoring or suppressing emotions can actually make things worse. It’s time to take a different approach. Join us in this episode as we explore the profound impact of trauma and oppression on emotional health. We’ll help you identify and effectively process emotions for personal growth, and show you the power of community support in overcoming emotional challenges. Let’s heal together.

Becky Castle Miller gives her perspective on emotions in the Gospel of Luke and chimes in on the SBC’s decision regarding women pastors with men being the spokespersons on behalf of women. She digs into trauma, abuse, emotions in cross-cultural context and how gender plays a significant role.

In this episode, you will be able to:

  • Discover the significance of emotional health and well-being in our daily lives.
  • Learn to identify and effectively process emotions for personal growth.
  • Explore the profound effects of trauma and oppression on emotional well-being.
  • Delve into the fascinating connection between faith and emotional health.
  • Understand the role of community support in overcoming emotional challenges.


My special guest is Becky Castle Miller

Let us introduce you to Becky Castle Miller, a dedicated PhD student studying the New Testament at Wheaton College, mentored by Esau McCaulley. Her fascinating research in the Gospel of Luke explores the impact of trauma and oppression on emotions, providing invaluable insights into emotional health and healing. Serving as Discipleship Director at an international church in the Netherlands for nearly a decade, Becky is passionate about promoting emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being within faith communities.

The resources mentioned in this episode are:

  • Check out Beth Allison Barr’s Substack for commentary on the recent events in the Southern Baptist Convention.
  • Be wary of leaders who claim to support women but have a history of covering up abuse.
  • Educate yourself on the latest scientific research on emotions to better understand the emotions mentioned in the Bible.
  • Consider the impact of trauma on emotions when studying the Gospel.
  • Look into Pete Scazzero’s book, Emotionally Healthy Discipleship, for guidance on emotional health.
  • Practice more collective lament and self-reflection as a church to address past and current complicity in abuse and systemic issues like racism and patriarchy.
  • Encourage pastors to gain a deeper understanding of emotions and trauma to better serve their congregations.
  • Seek out resources and tools for emotional, mental, and spiritual health, such as counseling or therapy, support groups, and self-help books.


Creating Change in Patriarchal Systems

Patriarchal systems often perpetuate unhealthy norms around emotional expression and communication. To create positive change, individuals must be willing to reject the culture that socialized them and learn new ways to express emotions, listen to others, and understand the values they reflect. Such changes can challenge existing power structures and promote a more equitable environment where all individuals are encouraged to express themselves emotionally, regardless of their gender. Becky Castle Miller argues that creating change in emotional health within patriarchal systems is essential and possible, countering common narratives that separate rationality and emotionality. By embracing the idea that rationality and emotionality are part of the same process, Castle Miller’s work provides a strong foundation for reforming faith-based communities to create emotionally supportive environments where everyone can thrive.

When we use emotions and interpret them, especially around gender and culture, in ways that are not honest and not informed by multiple perspectives, we get ourselves in the situations that we’re currently in. – Becky Castle Miller

The key moments in this episode are:

00:00:02 – Introduction,

00:01:22 – Emotional Health in the Church,

00:06:47 – Abuse and Trauma,


00:10:20 – Research on Emotions in the Gospel of Luke,


00:14:55 – Different Expressions of Emotions,


00:17:15 – The Secular View of Emotion,


00:18:39 – Emotion as a Constructed Concept,


00:22:03 – Emotional Abuse and Gender,


00:27:35 – Gendered Emotion and Emotional Maturity,


00:30:46 – Creating Change in Patriarchal Systems,


00:34:33 – The Need for Change in Faith-Based Communities,


00:35:18 – The Threat to Christian Patriarchy,


00:40:27 – Writing for the Church,


00:43:44 – Emotional Health and IFS,


00:47:22 – Self-Leadership and Curiosity,


00:50:49 – Tips for Overcoming Obstacles,


00:51:58 – Joining the Difference Makers Community,


00:53:24 – Prioritizing Emotional Health,


00:54:31 – Taking Care of Yourself,


Prioritizing Emotional Health

Emotional health should be prioritized in the same way physical and mental well-being are valued. Steps to achieving and maintaining emotional health include practicing self-care, seeking support from friends and family, and pursuing professional therapy when needed. Recognizing and confronting emotional struggles and obstacles enables personal growth and emotional resilience in the face of adversity. During the podcast, Becky Castle Miller highlights the necessity of self-leadership and self-compassion in promoting emotional health. Both Castle Miller and Lori Adams-Brown emphasize the importance of acknowledging emotional struggles, as well as the role of community in supporting individuals throughout their emotional journeys. Castle Miller’s work sheds light on the pressing need to prioritize emotional health, especially in faith-based communities, to provide a safe and supportive space for everyone.

Gendered Emotion and Emotional Maturity

Emotions are often social constructs that differ between genders, with women typically being more emotionally expressive, while men are taught to suppress their emotions. In the podcast, Castle Miller discusses how women are frequently tightly emotionally controlled in specific cultures and contexts, particularly within faith-based spaces. Encouraging emotional maturity and expression for all individuals, regardless of gender, empowers people to acknowledge and process their feelings, ultimately leading to improved emotional well-being. From her perspective, Becky Castle Miller emphasizes that faith-based spaces have a long way to go when it comes to addressing emotional health. She encourages men to learn from women’s socialization and embrace emotional expression, allowing their voices to be fully heard. Castle Miller’s insights underscore the importance of bridging this emotional gap between genders, fostering a healthier environment for everyone in faith-based communities.

I think that either way, we pay a price and we get our moments to choose. – Becky Castle Miller

The pipeline works for women. The emotionally healthy pipeline works better for us and we can help, but they aren’t letting women. This is very dangerous for the church and for any emotional abuse that can systemically be covered up going forward. – Becky Castle Miller


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