I read an article on Family Life recently. The title of the article was Do You Have a One-Way Marriage? I was appalled that a faith site would enable emotional abuse, and somehow feel its okay to show others how the author endured the emotional abuse...and to show how YOU can TOO! What is wrong with this world!
Before you can know that peace and joy, you have a huge decision to make. Will you love Jesus more than you love yourself? How far are you willing to go in this love relationship? What holds you back? The better you know God’s character, the more your fears will dissolve. You cannot lose by living life God’s way.
Over the years my husband has been out of work several times. One of those times, he didn’t bother seeking a new job. He sat and played solitaire every day or watched television. This went on for a year and a half. I had a little part-time job, and when our extended family asked if I would get a full-time job, I said, “No. He needs the pressure.”
Of course, after many months I was sometimes concerned for the house and car payments and other expenses. Often I had little food in the house; but through a variety of ways, God met each of those financial needs. I’m glad I had matured in my faith before that time so that I knew not to nag but to trust God for everything.
At one point I fed my family with only $20 for two weeks. It was the worst our food situation had ever been. During those two weeks, God gave me unbelievable ways to stretch that $20. For example, eggs went on sale at a tremendously low price. I made pancakes, egg salad sandwiches, deviled eggs—all providing the protein for our meals.
You would think those two weeks were a dark time, but it was actually exhilarating as I started each day telling God, “I wonder how you’ll provide today.” I learned from that experience to have faith and depend on God without reservation.
Commitment to your husband is tied to your commitment to God. When you pull away from your husband emotionally, you’ll discover you have pulled away from God. If you toy with the option of leaving your husband or divorcing, then you will feel tossed about without God’s peace and presence.
I look at this portion, and I can see this story being handed to spouses that are enduring abuse within their homes. Its not done out of love, but as a weapon to guilt them in to staying. I mean LOOK at the message here!
You can't know peace and joy unless you learn to endure the abuse!
You can't say you love Jesus more than yourself if you will not endure the abuse of your spouse!
You do NOT know the character of God if you are NOT willing to do this in love, and allow God to dissolve your fears when you ask him to.
You are losing everything by not living life God's way! We are showing you HOW!
You commitment to God isn't there when you have to emotionally detach from an abusive person.
Here a faith site uses a women that enables her husband's sinful behavior as a tool for the church NOT to deal with domestic violence. YES you do NOT need to be HIT to be abused! Her husband needs help and an awakening, and he needs to realize that HIS relationship with God is HINDERED at this point!
Think about it! They are asking people to martyr themselves for marriage, and enable the abuse to continue upon themselves and the children. They are totally ignoring the broken person that is acting abusive towards his family. The church is failing this whole family by publishing this piece. She needs help and he needs it DESPERATELY!
Most people won't even grasp that part, because of the dripping manipulative statements about how you can't be right with God if you don't learn to endure.
Sometimes in our marriage I was angry or hurt, and I told my husband in a very unpleasant manner how I felt. I would try to make him feel guilty. I gave him books on how to meet your wife’s needs. I tried all the things that a human can try, without success. God showed me one day that I was trying to do His work—only He can change a person.
I remember one time in particular when I was upstairs in our home, and I heard my husband berating our children. It broke my heart. I wanted to run down and defend my children and remove them from the room, but instead I cried out to God. I told God that He promised not to give me more than I could bear. I reminded God that I had asked Him to protect my children from damage and to give me strength to not interfere. I also prayed for my husband to cease his words to them at that moment. God answered each of those prayers.
Prayer is powerful. It can go where you cannot. It reaches inside your husband’s head and heart. Often if a man is not a godly husband, he will not be a godly dad. As you pray and ask specifically, God will protect your children from your imperfect home and marriage.
The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 3:1, “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.” This verse became my anchor on how I should live with my husband. It is very freeing to know that it is God’s battle, not mine.
You know what bothers me most about the scripture she cites at the end, and when you look at the dynamics of domestic violence? The word MAY - they MAY be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, etc. It doesn't say they WILL - they MAY be won!
Since our total focus is to keep these people together at all costs the word MAY never turns into 'MAY NOT' ever! That's unheard of! May not? Nope. It doesn't compute with the church. Their way of again enabling the emotional abuse within this family. I have seen this verse used time and time again! Did you ever see an article mentioning the 'may not' part? NOT when they are trying to prove this point huh!
We also have this woman allowing her children to be abused, because she feels she can't stand up and protect them. She tells other victims that if they pray GOD will protect them so you don't have to. You have NO responsibility to help in anyway. God will protect them from the emotional abuse, and your mother NOT stepping in at all isn't enabling him to continue!
As we look to the next generations of this type of family she may see her children did have to deal with the effects the ungodly father placed upon them, and also the enabling mother that allowed herself to 'walk away' from her responsibility to her children.
I find this portion of the article totally irresponsible! They are telling wives to allow their spouses to continue to berate the children, and if you don't? WELL you don't have enough faith in God, because he will protect them ALWAYS! Why? She asked him to!
If there is one thing I have learned in my walk in faith is that God has three answers he uses to our prayers. Yes, No, and NOT now! To me she is using God as a crutch to not deal with her life, and uses very good heart tugging phrases to make others feel badly if they can't do the same.
Its a perfect weapon in the church's arsenal to keep people together, and NOT have to get their hands dirty!
I love cooking and trying new recipes. It takes planning and a lot of work to make a really nice meal. I was so disappointed the times my husband came home late without calling. Sometimes he would say, “What is this slop?”
For birthdays or anniversaries, I hoped for a surprise, a gift, or at least a card. I shared my expectations or gave modest suggestions of what I would like. Most years he gave little acknowledgment to the occasion and gave me nothing … or he gave me something he wanted. Through these experienced I learned to take my hurts to the Lord and ask Him to heal my heart.
Intimacy was another problem area. My husband was selfishly driven in the area of sex. He wanted sex, but not non-sexual affection.
If this area is difficult for you, just remember that God will reward your obedience. The major turning point for me was one instance when he wanted to make love and I did not, but God brought to my mind that I should anyway. As a result, we conceived the only one of our children that I birthed. This was particularly special because we struggled with fertility issues and never expected to be able to have children outside of adoption.
Part of loving your husband involves forgiving him daily. Keep short accounts and don’t let the negatives build up. When you do that, you give up the right to seek revenge. It brings peace for you and your home.
What does unconditional love look like? There is a great model of what commitment to love your husband should look like in 1 Corinthians 13. “Love is patient, kind, not jealous and does not seek its own nor take into account a wrong suffered. Love bears all things and hopes all things. Love never fails.”
Denial reigns in the church, and using scripture to enforce it is the way to go!
She speaks nothing of the broken trust between the spouses. I suppose she blindly trusts him as well right? She assumes her forgiveness brings peace to her home.
I have to ask one question!
Does her husband seem at peace?
If he was at peace wouldn't the abuse stop? I'm not talking romance novel relationship after that, but a healthy one! If he was at peace he would be able to give his family a healthy, loving and peaceful home could he not? He might be able to show love as she cites in her scripture if that were the case - him being at peace.
Denial is not peace. Denial is a lie.
God has given me joy
I have not practiced these things perfectly. I’ve failed many times, and I’ve acted unbecoming as a follower of Jesus Christ. But confession and repentance bring me back to where I should be.
Do I still wish I had a husband like I’ve seen others have? Yes. Is it my ultimate goal? No. When I let go of my expectations and gave them to God, I was set free. He offers a joy that no one can steal and a peace that passes all understanding.
I am so grateful to God for teaching me these spiritual disciplines. My marriage is not the major struggle it once was. My relationship with my husband is basically peaceful, and God has given me great joy in life. You too can thrive in a difficult marriage and experience an intimacy with God you never thought possible.
None of us are worthy, but God always wishes for us to live in reality. God wishes her to have true peace, and her husband to have the same.
This man may lose his children, and she may have her heart broken when she found her children were NOT protected by her faith. You do NOT stop the cycle of abuse by enabling the abusive person to continue to abuse. You do NOT end the cycle of abuse by writing articles on how to enable the abuse, and then use scripture in a manipulative way to guilt you into staying.
These types of articles are the reason people LEAVE the church! We have Faith Sites that endorse articles that show others how to enable the emotional abuser. She may feel she has the strength to continue, but telling others they have no faith if you don't do it my way? We enable abusive people to continue, and we as the church don't bring that true healing we are called to show the path to.
What is wrong with people that bring the truth into the light? The truth may not always be easy to deal with, easy to shallow, and it may HURT alot! If the followers of Christ truly wish to show the world a light of hope they need to stop telling oppressed family members to martyr themselves for the sake of marriage stats. The people within that union are what is important to God, and denial of the issues just makes things worse.
This family needs help, and it screams THAT all over this article. This man needs Jesus, and he needs to turn from his abusive ways so that his relationship with God is not hindered.
I seriously have to ask Family Life which is more important! All the abusive souls in the world with their souls at stake, or the marriage stats they scream about to much? They may be able to save alot more marriages if they could deal with reality. Asking a wife to endure the abuse of her husband, and ignore the neglect and outright sin upon her children ISN'T the true way!
If you have the opportunity I would ask you to speak out LOUDLY against this type of article ENDORSED by Family Life! Our responsibility as faith followers is to step in and HELP all involved! We are not to just allow this woman to drown in denial, and show others to live with false hope. Do we step up and speak TRUTH, or do we allow faith sites to show others how to enable abuse? Abusive men are not entitled to abuse families, but articles like this tell them they ARE! Shame on THEM! SHAME! I'm praying for this family tonight, and I hope you will to.
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