Forget About Being ‘Equally Yoked’ – Article: ‘My Abusive ‘Christian’ Marriage’
When it comes to dating or marriage, Christian men are not necessarily a better catch than Non-Christians, as I’ve mentioned before in previous posts (such as (Link): this one).
A lot of Christian wives are physically or emotionally abused by their regular-church-attending Christian husbands.
Some are murdered by their preacher husbands.
If you run an internet search for the phrase “preacher murdered wife,” you will receive hundreds of news stories of, well, preachers who killed their wives.
Here is but one example of many that turned up on a search engine:
You are just as better off marrying a Non-Christian guy as a Christian one.
I find most Non Christians easier to talk to – they are usually less judgemental. They are usually less likely to try to find a religious reason for your pain in life and blame you for it.
I’ve been friends and acquaintances with Non-Christian men that were very sweet guys. There is no advantage in marrying a Christian, and Christian women out-number the males, so your chances of finding a decent Christian guy past the age of 35 to marry are about nil.
I would assume that the Christian women who wrote this following page, like a lot of Christian women, probably prayed and asked God to direct the right guy her, and was trusting that this guy she met at a Christian college was “God’s choice” for her spouse.
What does it say about God’s character and His claims to provide for you (supposedly, if you ask God for bread, he will not give you a rock, as Christ said), and what does it say of God’s claim in the Word that he will answer your prayers, that he permits Christian women who are sincerely trusting him for a decent spouse, that he allows so many to wind up with abusive, dangerous bastards who are regular church goers, Bible readers, and who appear to be true Christians from all outward appearances? And then churches tell these poor women they are stuck with these abusive jack-asses until they die, which is insensitive and dangerous teaching, as some abusive men wind up killing their wives.
There’s a very twisted Christian culture in America that thinks divorce a greater sin than murder, apparently.
Also bear in mind that in much Christian advice in literature on marriage, it is commonly suggested that if you are still single past a certain age, it’s because there is something wrong with you.
That is, it is either implied or stated implicitly, in many Christian books and blogs, that marriage is a reward by God for Christians who reach some sort of level of spiritual perfection, so there must be something lacking in you, your character, or spirituality, that is preventing God from sending you a spouse. That abusive Christians are getting Christian spouses regularly is another point that easily dispells this myth that a Christian must be completely perfect and holy before he or she can merit a spouse.
Excerpts from “My Abusive ‘Christian’ Marriage” (written by a woman who was in an abusive marriage to a self professing Christian):
— start excerpts—
Was I really experiencing domestic violence in my Christian home?
I’d denied the truth so long I was unable to recognize what was really happening. The abuse had started subtly and grown insidiously.
My husband and I claimed to be Christians, so how could our marriage be abusive? Unable to give my four-year-old daughter any more excuses, I said, “Yes, Daddy did that.” Then I locked us in her room and crawled in bed with her until she fell asleep. That night I resolved to stop the impact of domestic abuse in my daughter’s life—a difficult decision that finally pointed me in the direction of healing.
It was inconceivable to me that I’d ever be in such circumstances. Born and raised in a loving pastor’s family, I was steeped in conservative evangelical culture. As a “good girl,” I got good grades, participated in extra-curricular school activities, and was a leader in the church youth group. I lived to please others, worked hard to offend no one, and had an internal drive to create a wonderful life. Though I had a relationship with Christ, I lived as if the good life depended on my good performance.
I met Tom at the Christian liberal arts college we both attended. He was handsome, intelligent, and interesting—always looking for adventure and fun. His father was a pastor, so we’d been raised in similar Christian cultures. Tom often discussed theology and doctrine, and he cared genuinely about people’s salvation. Our wedding was a large, elaborate, God-centered event. I envisioned our marriage to be a shared life of service and impact for God’s kingdom. I also believed that if I performed well, my marriage would go well and we’d have a good life together.
Though, looking back, I realized Tom was very self-centered while we were dating, I hadn’t seen any red flags about the abuse that was to come.
But early on I saw signs that life was going to be very different from what I’d envisioned. After returning from our honeymoon, Tom expected to use the entire closet in our bedroom while I used a closet in another room. He said this was because he’d moved into the apartment first.
We went to the bank to put his name on my checks, but he didn’t want my name on his. He monitored my purchases, even though I was working full-time and we weren’t struggling financially. He was more concerned about controlling what I bought than how much money I spent. If I didn’t comply with Tom’s expectations or get his permission, he’d become angry and yell.
For example, when I purchased drinking glasses and a shower curtain, he raged at me because he’d expected to choose those items himself. I’d eagerly anticipated freely organizing and decorating our home. Instead, I began to adjust to the practice of gaining approval for things such as hanging a picture on the wall.
On the outside we looked put-together, especially in our Christian circles. Tom appeared spiritually mature. He prayed eloquent prayers, participated in deep theological discussions, and often referenced Scripture to support his insights. We hosted small group meetings, led Sunday school classes, and hosted fun parties for our Christian friends. I did everything I could to establish the appearance of the godly partnership I desired.
But behind closed doors, things weren’t fine. Unable to predict when the switch would flip on Tom’s anger, I walked on eggshells. Without warning, I’d suddenly become the object of Tom’s uncontrolled, frightening rage.
Because our situation was so intense, I was in constant conversation with God. I pored through Scripture to find direction and connection to my Savior. I took to heart Tom’s accusations that I was ungodly, unsubmissive, and prideful, and constantly confessed my sin. I also took seriously the scriptural reference to forgive 70 times 7, so as Tom’s rages continued, I focused on forgiveness and mercy.
Though I rarely received bruises, the ever-present threat of physical harm was devastating and, at times, immobilizing. By far, the most harm I received was emotional.
He’d call me a self-righteous b**** or a f***ing “good-girl” and end a tirade with a Scripture reference: “I’m just speaking the truth in love.” He repeatedly told me what was “true” about me: I was controlling, disrespectful, unsubmissive, and self-important. I lost confidence in my ability to identify reality. “Truth” had been verbally twisted and used against me. The fear and constant threat of attack rendered me an emotional weakling.
— end excerpts—
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