Doug Phillips & Vision Forum, Full-Quiver, Homeschool Movement, Modesty and Purity Teachings, Patriarchal-Complementarian Movement, Sexual Abuse/Assault and Churches, Spiritual Abuse, Stay-At-Home Daughters Movement, Vision Forum, Women and the Church

Does the Doug Phillips et al Brand of “Biblical Patriarchy” Groom Stay-at-Home Daughters to be Victims of Abuse?

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In some conservative Biblical Patriarchal circles, young ladies remain at home, sheltered, under the protection of their father.  They are generally not allowed to work outside the home or attend college.  This is in order to “protect” them from worldly influence.  Could this practice be setting up these young ladies for abuse?

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And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;

Philippians 1:9-10

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I wanted to start off with this Young Turks Video discussing The Christian Patriarchy Movement or Stay-At-Home Daughters movement.  The Young Turks appeal to a secular crowd and it’s interesting to see how they analyze it.  I think their analysis is quite good.  Oh, and the feminism part at the end, if you think those ideas are whacked and there is no way a Christian would say those things, think again and Google search Kevin Swanson.  Kevin Swanson is part of this movement, friends with Doug Phillips and he regularly spews rhetoric so vile that the secular media has a heyday with it.  Gotta love that kind of “representing Christ.”

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Warning for mild profanity and plenty of snark.

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The above video has good discussion on some of the basics of Patriarchy.  However, what happens at a deeper level with the young ladies as they mature into adulthood and beyond?  

Although, the young woman involved in the Doug Phillips affair has not been identified, it is commonly known that she was young, probably just 18 years old when the relationship started.  The relationship may have lasted 10 years.  Ruth left a comment on the previous article that I was so glad to see because it’s been something that I’ve spent time thinking about, too, as far as the long-term effects of living in at home as a stay-at-home daughter.

Some people have suggested that this “affair”  (not the “Biblical know” kind of affair, as Phillips was compelled to point out) was not an abusive relationship.  I completely disagree because the young ladies who are from these circles are often repressed emotionally, unable to make the kinds of decisions that others outside the Homeschool Movement circle may be able to make much more prudently.

The big question is:  do these young ladies even possess the skills to be able to protect themselves in this environment?

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This picture was taken by my friend, a young lady who was part of the church/cult group I was in. Isn’t it beautiful?


Ruth

NOVEMBER 30, 2013 @ 7:51 PM [EDIT]

Long time lurker, first time poster. What has brought me here is trying to better understand the young women I’ve come to know personally over the last year who have been severely damaged by biblical patriarchy, spiritual and physical abuse in their religious environments, and yes, autocratic fearful, ignorance based homeschooling. The plural of anecdote is not data of course — I speak only of personal observation and a long life lived. Nevertheless, these young women who have tried to venture out into the world beyond their homeschool patriarchy silos are damaged, not by the world, but by being unprepared to deal with it. They were crippled before they ever left home. It’s not the world of college that devastates them, it’s the lies they were taught before they got there and the enormous cognitive dissonance it creates when the fabric of their childhood unravels.

With all due respect, if these young, dependent, overly sheltered homeschooled young women had been exposed to the women I know who are in college environments, my professor friends and peers, or if they had met the “worldly” young people I know in college themselves or recently graduated, maybe these stay at home girls might have learned about basic things, such as what inappropriate touching is, and words such as “no.” As someone pointed out regarding Phillips’ abused victim, she would have been safer in college than as a stay at home daughter. Keeping her under cover of her father and Phillips didn’t protect her — it groomed her to be an abuse victim. Sending a homeschooled, sheltered son or daughter to college or otherwise out into the world without having ever learned to question authority and think critically would be dangerous and could be devastating but the problem isn’t with the college. It’s the mindset that elevates unquestioning obedience to earthly male authority and teaches her that she’s nothing but a womb waiting to be filled.

I firmly believe that I keep my children “safe” by equipping them with knowledge, skills, and the ability to think critically, by teaching them how to listen, and how to make good decisions for the day when I’m not there.

Lady Lydia responded:

“It’s not the world of college that devastates them, it’s the lies they were taught before they got there.”
Ruth, what lies are you referring to being taught at home? What you describe doesn’t sound like our home or ANY homeschool environment I know. Sounds like major broad brush stereotyping to me.

Ruth followed up with a response to Lady Lydia:

Am I stereotyping, LL? Well, I was writing anecdotally, which I conceded. However, I think examples of what I write are well documented in the spiritual abuse survivor communities and religious progressive blogsphere. As I understand it, dissonance is cited as the reason why there is, apparently, a growing discrepancy between young and old evangelicals/fundamentalists on the issue of LGBTs. Ultimately, once exposed to say, an LGBT person or a liberal feminist, they can’t reconcile what they were taught with the reality of the person they meet and have come to like and respect. This extends to a critical examination of previously accepted factual, historical, scientific, and even Biblical information as well. You see examples of this painful reassessment process over and over in the spiritual abuse survivor communities, as these people present what they were taught, analyze it, and painfully come to realize that they can no longer accept it as true.

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213 thoughts on “Does the Doug Phillips et al Brand of “Biblical Patriarchy” Groom Stay-at-Home Daughters to be Victims of Abuse?”

  1. Thank you all for your kind comments.

    I usually just end up repeating what other people have said on my blog, but I put it together because my husband and I felt we had a moral duty to do so. For more than a decade, my husband and I supported three people who ended up eventually supporting and marketing Phillips and VF. We felt like we’d strengthened the arms of those who helped create Phillips, and the abuse that was resulting from it all was just unconscionable. If we helped to indirectly support the ideology, we had to do what we could to bring people the knowledge about the abuse.

    We both figured, “What were the chances that we were exit counseled out of a Gothard/Shepherding church, were given all of these great tools to heal, and then ended up in the same OPC Church with Phillips (until he finally took off and started BCA)?” It is also way to take the misery of my own experience and transform it into something positive to help others recover. That’s 2 Corinthians 1 in action, too. I am passing on what was passed on to me — that which saved my life.

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  2. Thank God and give him the glory, and I give my gratitude to those who helped me. I’m especially grateful to the former Cult Awareness Network volunteer who invited us into her home to minister to us when we were just devastated and lost. I just repeat what she taught me, and I wouldn’t have made it without God’s love poured out through her.

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  3. It is also way to take the misery of my own experience and transform it into something positive to help others recover. That’s 2 Corinthians 1 in action, too. I am passing on what was passed on to me — that which saved my life.

    I get this, Cindy. It’s what fuels me. I think that is why I cannot let go of the Phillips thing. I sense an urgency with this situation. This is crucial timing to give people answers to that stirring that the Holy Spirit is telling them. I have no doubt that there are many, many people reading right now who have a still small voice telling them there is something not quite right. I pray that they will listen to that voice and really dig deeper and perhaps save their families from what you and I and our families had to go through. That is my earnest prayers! Oh boy, it’s getting to me, I can barely see the screen. Thank you so, so much, Cindy. Your work is so important.

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  4. Here it is from 2 Corinthians 1, in the words of that that complementarian approved ESV:

    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

    The Creative God who made us can take this stuff that I can’t find any goodness in at all and transforms it into something that makes us more like Him and then uses it to reach out to others. I would have surely chosen a different way of accomplishing some of these good things in my own life, as the pain and struggle seems hardly worth the pain of it. But on the other side of the trauma, there is triumph that you can share with other people. Only God can take broken pottery, smashed apart and make it new again. I can think of no greater miracle — that God can take ashes and make beauty out of it through which He shines like Light through so many broken pieces of stained glass. He fashions the pieces into something wonderful that tells of His goodness and mercy.

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  5. @ Gary:

    It has been said that rape is more about the drive for male power and control over women than about sex itself. … Even rape, camouflaged as the procreative act, is enlisted in the drive to enslave women to the will of men.

    …and as everyone found out when SSM came to visit here, some of these people don’t even believe marital rape is possible.

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  6. @ Julie Anne:

    Is there serious concern that the T. W. Eston article today is false / hyped, or are you just being cautious? Granted I can see why someone might react that way, because it’s mind-bogglingly weird and reads like a bad soap opera. Unfortunately, as you said above, most of the things at Jen’s Gems have a bad habit of turning out to be true. And it’s not as if we haven’t seen multiple cases out in the “real world” of older women seducing / molesting high school-age boys.

    What gets me about the new post is that a woman was allowed to get away with such flagrant misbehavior. Normally a woman would have been pounded into the dirt for something far less serious. Which, assuming the story is true as printed, would seem to lend credence to Eston’s speculations that there was something else going on there.

    Also, whatever turns out to have happened with Jennifer G., I do totally believe the part about Doug corralling a bunch of dads in a cabin to talk about the collapse of modern society. I’ve already documented at Scarlet Letters that there’s terminology and theology matches at multiple levels between him and Christian survivalists. In fact the most popular survivalist site on the internet is run by a Reformed Baptist, who provides a list of “prepper-friendly” churches (almost all Reformed Baptist) within his designated “redoubt” in the northern Rockies. We also already know that arch-Reconstructionist Gary North predicted doomsday and advised people to do extreme preps for AIDS and Y2K. One of these days, after I’m done with the Big Box, I’m going to look into these connections and my official prediction as of right now, is that I’m gonna find a sack of rats when I do. If I added militia groups into the equation I bet it would get even worse.

    And yes, before you ask, I’m pretty Moscow, ID is within the doomer-approved “redoubt” area. What a surprise. 😉

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  7. Hester, there is just something that didn’t sit right with me about the article. It’s funny, I posted the article on the SSB Facebook page, went away and got breakfast going and something about that article wouldn’t leave me. So, because of that gut feeling, I removed it.

    You’re right – most of what I’ve read there, I have found to be true.

    The Jekyl/Hyde response from Phillips is not out of character for a narcissist. She, unbeknownst to others, may have been part of his inner circle. She surely must have stroked his ego in return for favors or a “blind eye” to allow that behavior to be so blatant.

    Sometimes pastors go overboard and preach on topics that they themselves are having problems with (sexual immorality), but then they go completely the other extreme and extend extra grace for other individuals who engage in sinful behavior that they are engaging in. It’s hard to make sense of this stuff. With spiritual abusers, it’s often do as I say, not as I do.

    BTW, I do think the Doomsday stuff was probably true.

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  8. Wow. I just read your tweet from last night about Virtuous Daughters, the stay-at-home-daughter advice blog. I couldn’t bring myself to read the entire thing. It was so disturbing the way these women idolize their dads and put them in God’s place. Talk about a breach of the First Commandment.

    I love my father too, but if I tried to wait on him hand and foot, he would be appalled. He doesn’t need someone to build up his ego all day.

    My father would want me to go out and use the talents and skills he nurtured. He would not want me to “bury my talents” like the unfaithful servant did.

    http://visionarydaughters.com/category/fathers

    My daughter was blessed with a lot of gifts and talents. She has a much greater vision than her father. She is passionate about doing the Lord’s work. This is what the Bible talks about: Your sons and daughters will prophesy.

    If I forced my daughter to sit at her father’s feet, she would shrivel up and die….which is what’s happening to these stay-at-home daughters.

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  9. Hester said:
    ” I do totally believe the part about Doug corralling a bunch of dads in a cabin to talk about the collapse of modern society. I’ve already documented at Scarlet Letters that there’s terminology and theology matches at multiple levels between him and Christian survivalists. In fact the most popular survivalist site on the internet is run by a Reformed Baptist, who provides a list of “prepper-friendly” churches (almost all Reformed Baptist) within his designated “redoubt” in the northern Rockies.”

    That’s wild. My former cult was different theologically from BCA (they are oneness Pentecostal), but their slant on Patriarchy, homeschooling, doomsday prepping, SAHD,and other ideologies are so similar to BCA. About 5 or 6 years ago they bought property in Deary, Idaho to start another community. At the time it was presented to the rest of the church that God had spoken to them to relocate up there. Last year, through a news article on The Citadel, I learned about the American Redoubt. I now believe my former cult is just caught up in the wave of whatever is driving so many of these survivalists.

    It’s all fear based! Where is the love of God? Where is the peace of God? I spent 23 years of my life in fear of some economic collapse, catastrophic natural disaster, Peak Oil, WWIII, Y2K, an antibiotic-resistant killer virus, you name it! And now I find they weren’t really all that special in these views. It seems there’s plenty of cults out there who believe this stuff. And who benefits in the end? The leaders who sit around getting rich off of their follower’s fears. And it’s devastating to learn that they aren’t even living up to what they require from everyone else.

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  10. MissDaisy and Patrice, I have nothing further to add to your insightful commentary. As a total outsider to this culture, I assure that anyone else looking at it finds the whole thing sexist at best, and at worse, deeply disturbing and even pathological. I’m really bothered by this idea that men are all testosterone-fueled beasts incapable of self control and that it is always the woman’s’ fault for simply existing and showing too much ankle or collarbone. It absolves men of all responsibility and taking it a step further, it’s all Satan’s fault. Again, this is not my culture, but that one really, really bothers me, morally, philosophically and theologically.

    Last, Julie Anne, I really appreciate your caution regarding Eston’s post. As you observe, things over there do have a way of coming true. Perhaps it was the way it was presented, coupled with that photograph, but it all really bothered me as well and I was glad to read some discerning discussion of it on another board and your caution here.

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  11. BTDT,
    You had said:
    “My former cult was different theologically from BCA (they are oneness Pentecostal), but their slant on Patriarchy, homeschooling, doomsday prepping, SAHD,and other ideologies are so similar to BCA. About 5 or 6 years ago they bought property in Deary, Idaho to start another community.”

    My response:
    One of my friends used to attend a oneness Pentecostal. I went to a few services, at the request of my friend. As soon as I saw the women dressed in clothes that represented the wagon train of the 1830’s, I said to myself, nope, this place isn’t for me. At that point, I could have cared less what they believed. It was obvious that they were a cult, just by the way they dressed.

    Ed

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  12. I recall that Bill Gothard’s name was brought up here. In case people didn’t hear or have forgotten, Bill Gothard was also alleged to have harassed young women using his position in his group:

    Steve240 – -a common denominator seems to be Patriarchy.

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  13. Last, Julie Anne, I really appreciate your caution regarding Eston’s post. As you observe, things over there do have a way of coming true. Perhaps it was the way it was presented, coupled with that photograph, but it all really bothered me as well and I was glad to read some discerning discussion of it on another board and your caution here.

    I woke up this morning thinking about this situation again. I think what bothered me is that Eston said the woman was in a great state of shock after the death of her brother and her behavior deteriorated after that. We all know that Phillips and the leaders in this Patriarchy Movement do not believe in utilizing mental health professionals. This woman needed help and was likely prevented from getting help. Along with that, she was in a cult. So, for that reason, it made me uncomfortable to see so much blame put on her – even if she did behave inappropriately. Maybe she wouldn’t have done so had she been given proper help. Also, Eston admitted that he used her real identity. I think that was wrong. This is not about her, this is about Phillips and the destruction he has caused in his family, his church, his business, and the homeschool community/family-integrated church community.

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  14. I agree– I am thinking of this woman as the “alleged Jezebel”. Have you read Phillip’s memorial for her brother? Just crazy-strange and flowery. Then there’s the young shamed pregnant girl from years ago– didn’t they needlessly name her as well? And kinda-sorta named the object of Doug’s affections and components — Oh No- We ain’t really sayin’ its her… This whole Phillips scandal has become like a Victorian novel, or a Titanic Edwardian shipwreck. The VF ship was heading for disaster for a long time,with the passengers blissfully unaware, struck an iceberg on halloween, and by drips and gushes more drama is played out day by day as it sinks by the bow. From a comment early this AM, TW has apparently been talking with the “other woman” or else “alleged victim”, and says she has her own strategy for dealing with Doug and must not play her cards just yet. A tell-all book? A lawsuit? Then there’s the introduction of the alleged Jezebel— Why? Blackmail paid with ministry funds? What’s TW’s motive in all this? Revenge? (can’t say I blame him) Stay tuned for another revelation soon! Meanwhile, Mr Bradrick is letting out bits and pieces on facebook– a spokesman for his Father-in-law? They’re SHOCKED– SHOCKED, I TELL YOU! Their formerly-closest buddy– a genuine Apostate! Or are they looking to pick up the rudderless customers now foundering in lifeboats? Then there are the soon-jobless employees and their families— processing the deck-chair fire-sale orders with Christmas coming and bleak prospects. Then there’s what’s left of the “church”. Shouldn’t they be closing up shop as well? I just can’t seem to put this novel down– but I have a real life I have to lead!

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  15. Wow, Dave A A,

    You presented this as if it was one of those paid advertisements for an upcoming movie playing at your local movie theaters. I gotta get this one on DVD!!

    Ed

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  16. Ed– Coming soon to a theater near you! You know mr Phillips is really big on costumes, theaters, and movies!

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  17. “Texas Titanic” — starring the narcissist as — Himself, and as Captain Smith in the period flashbacks. Or maybe “Bourne in Sin”?

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  18. Julie Anne writes:
    This is not about her, this is about Phillips and the destruction he has caused in his family, his church, his business, and the homeschool community/family-integrated church community.

    Precisely. Make no mistake, if an adult mother friend propositioned a teenage boy under my cover , I would be apoplectic. Yet, from what is described of the environment in this church, I am not the least surprised by an allegation that a woman, stripped of all agency and authority in her community, so powerless she may not even speak, tries to use the one tool of empowerment permitted to her. This is hardly a new or even shocking scenario.

    Nor should we lose sight of who had power in this community, which I think this report muddies. Stripped of the complicating factor of gender, look at who had power and who did not. The person, male or female, who took advantage of a powerless person, male or female, is an abuser. If the victim was a child and the abuser an adult, that is a matter for law enforcement.

    Last, I wonder if the young man or men who allegedly took advantage of what was allegedly offered would be shamed as the bruised rose, the chewed piece of gum, and the licked candy bar as a young woman would have been in this purity culture? Would his self worth as a human being be destroyed forever because he gave his one precious gift of virginity to a person not his wife? (done, now, really)

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  19. Edit: that part about ” under cover” was supposed to be accompanied by a sarcastic evil grin which the interface stripped out. And now I really am done.

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  20. The Botkin sisters write:

    Don’t be impatient for Prince Charming to rescue you from your father’s “heavy hand,” thinking that once you’re married to your perfect husband, your authority problems will vanish. It’s folly to think it will be easier to respect and submit to a husband than a father.

    We’re not ready to consider ourselves eligible for marriage until we’ve learned to trust an imperfect individual with our lives. To communicate with a man, which will always be a struggle. To submit to an imperfect man’s “whims” as well as his heavy requirements. To order our lives around another person. To accept the burdens a man places on us cheerfully. To esteem and reverence and adore a man whose faults we can see clearly every day.

    These are things we will face every day as wives, just as we face them every day now as the daughters of our fathers. We need to practice now, trusting our heavenly Father to lead our earthly fathers, and our earthly fathers to lead us, even though we know they’re not perfect.

    😉

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  21. Ri Ri – If you want to show just one piece of evidence to show what patriarchy is, and why it is so damaging, you could make that Botkins quote your exhibit A. I don’t know whether to cry or hit someone when I read that. I’ve heard it before, but it doesn’t get better by being used to it.

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  22. These are things we will face every day as wives, just as we face them every day now as the daughters of our fathers.

    Including “Lie back, close your eyes, and think of England”?

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  23. I’m a little troubled by the people here who stress that they are not feminists. The basic idea behind feminism is that women are human beings who deserve respect, rights, and opportunities. Feminism can offer some great tools to those fleeing from the CPM, so let’s embrace it!

    @ Joannah — “I think it is abusive to deny your child the opportunity to develop their God-given talents and abilities.”

    I agree. Christian Patriarchy prevents a lot of young people from cultivating their talents, and not just by forbidding girls from going to college. In a recent homeschooling webinar, the Botkins were very ambivalent about cultivating children’s gifts. They seemed to think that overemphasis on gifts would make children egotistical or distract them from serving God. How many people in the CPM saw their gifts atrophy and go to waste because of this nonsense?

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  24. “I’m a little troubled by the people here who stress that they are not feminists. The basic idea behind feminism is that women are human beings who deserve respect, rights, and opportunities. Feminism can offer some great tools to those fleeing from the CPM, so let’s embrace it!”

    – You won’t find me stressing it. Say it loud, “I’m Feminist and I ‘m proud!”

    For some reason Feminism has gotten a bad rap. I see it dissed all over the internet. I don’t get it. Someone care to explain?

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  25. @RiRi:

    Remember, TGC tried to take over politics in both Maryland here in the US, as well as New Zealand when they were there back in the day.

    Reminds me of Scientology when L Ron Hubbard went on the lam. He ended up cruising the high seas as “Commodore” of a Sea Org-crewed converted passenger ship. Their mission was two-fold:
    1) Find million-year-old treasure hoards Elron had stashed in his previous incarnations. Use these to finance Step 2:
    2) Find a Third World country where they could stage a coup, take over the country and “Clear” it in the name of Scientology, and then use that country as a base to “Clear the Planet”. These were usually half-baked James Bond schemes that tended to blow up in Elron’s face; result was the good ship Scientology had to put to sea and get out of dodge FAST.

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  26. I may have missed it in the comments, but did anyone take issue with the female talking head in the Young Turks video clip when she referred to daughters “not becoming their own people and not becoming successful independent individuals?” Where in the Bible does it say that is a goal for our daughters?

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  27. Yesterday I read several personal stories of quiver full moms whose husbands were either abusive and or had affairs and abandoned their wives and children. Some of these moms have had no education past high school and zero job skills. What about them, Adam?

    I also think it’s very interesting that these families are abandoned in churches. Where are the churches supporting these families?

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  28. Julie, I wholeheartedly agree with you regarding the many husbands and churches who are not fulfilling their roles regarding our precious daughters and wives. But, is the solution for our daughters and wives to “become their own people” and “become successful independent individuals?”

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  29. adamsmith1776- why SHOULDNT that be a good solution, I’m confused?? My husband WANTS me to be my own person so he can have someone to relate to and talk with, not at.I want my daughters to be given every advantage and opportunity for them to be successful independent individuals so they can be strong, and make informed decisions, and not have to rely on anybody to control them. Then, when they find someone they want to marry,it is because they DESIRE to be married. I will trust that they are making a thoughful, smart, decision. Heaven forbid, we die in a car wreck or some tragedy and leave them ill prepared for life. I do not see anywhere in the bible that contradicts that. Leave the proof texting out.

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  30. adamsmith1776 – I did not move out of my parents’ home until I was 28 years old. I had just finished my teaching credential, and was in my first year of teaching. My parents helped me purchase a home at that time. I married for the first time a month before my 40th birthday. By that time, I had my masters degree. Eighteen months after marrying the love of my life, my husband was diagnosed with Stage IV kidney cancer, and ten months after that he went Home. I am blessed to have my education, a career, and a home of my own. My parents help me with childcare, and they occasionally help financially, but I am able to provide for my daughter. My identity is in Christ – not my father, or my late husband. He is my protector and provider.

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  31. Joannah, I am truly sorry to hear of the tragic untimely death of your husband. But, I rejoice in the blessing God gave you with a daughter! As we all know, God has a special concern for the widow and the fatherless. He also gives us a solution to the problem of a young widow, but it is not that she has to take care of herself and her children by herself.

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  32. adamsmith1776 – That’s not the real world. I would be happy to remarry if there were a worthy man. At this time there is not. I have been widowed for nearly four years. Real life is not formulaic. Real life is a bit messy. That’s how we learn to trust the Lord. My trials have drawn me closer to Him. It is so hard to be a widow and an only parent. I am dependent on Him for everything. One of the things He has blessed me with is my job. I’d much rather be a SAHM, but this is where He has me now.

    The thing with people of your mindset is that you have replaced grace with law, and that is why you burden yourselves and others with OT rules. I love the OT because It points to Jesus. I love that He is the fulfillment of the law. I love that I am saved by grace through faith, and not of my own works. Julie Anne’s blog is great, but I also recommend that you visit http:www.gracethrufaith.com on a daily basis. Good night, and God bless.

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  33. adamsmith–heres a few regarding children that are NOT NECESSARILY GENDER SPECIFIC, so why can’t they apply to my daughter? The bible cannot contradict itself, but it does not speak to all things and all life issues. It points me to CHRIST. Thats the intent in the whole of Scriputure, to point us to our need and to reveal Christ. It doesn’t reveal to me every issue that may come up–it is not my guide book for how to treat a cold. I go to Doctors for that. We are ALL created in the imago dei. There are things that are common grace distinctions and not elect specific. Heres a few verses that do speak to children:Proverbs 22:6, Ephesians 6:4,Deuteronomy 6:7, Collosians 3:21, Psalms 127:3, 2Tim 3:14-17,Matt. 19:14,Leviticus 19:29,Proverbs 31:27-28, Ive got a few more if you want them. These exemplify and underline the theme of training…instructing….nurturing them…not discouraging them, not harming them…and guess what??Those things teach a child to be Independant and free to see their own need for Christ and to be prepared for awful events that Johanna speaks of above. I haven’t even addressed the wives issue, so–i simply ask the question that you still haven’t answered and that is where does the scripture forbid me to raise my daughters to be independant or wives be individuals? Johanna is right. Even we lowly females find our identity in Christ –not a father or a husband—we are under ‘a new and better covenant’ my friend. I am free. God is my provider. I teach my girls to know that.

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  34. Please read Prov. 31 again. This woman bought & sold land, and also engaged in commerce. There are also other women mentioned in the NT who had businesses. There is nothing at all wrong with making sure daughters can be self supporting if they need to be.

    Joannah – I’m so thankful you had wise parents who allowed you to gain an education & profession. Thank God you can support your daughter. That is a blessing.

    Adam 1776 – we don’t live in a perfect world. Maybe you do. Maybe in your world, husbands never die, or are never abusive or never cheat on their wives. Maybe in your world *all* the churches line up to give financial aid to widows young and old.

    Please send me the address of your world so we can send all the widows and abused wives there.

    Or maybe we could use some God given common sense ( and some female examples from the Bible) and educate our daughters so that if they need to they can be self supporting.

    *just a thought*

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  35. Adam – what does the Bible say about people commenting on Blogs? PLEASE, not everyone gets their daily inspiration/direction from a 2000-yr-old book. And to be quite frank, I certainly am not impressed – nor inspired by – the treatment of women IN that book. I, for one, brought up my children to be prepared for THIS world – and one of the best tools is post-secondary education. It has certainly proven to be true in my experience thus far.

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  36. Joannah, no, I have not replaced grace with law. I have sought to replace “my way” with “God’s way.” I believe that the Bible speaks to every area of life, especially for the widow and the fatherless. I believe that God answers prayer, especially for the widow and the fatherless. If you feel it is necessary to proceed as you do, I don’t judge you. You do what you believe you have to do. I can’t fault you for that. May God be gracious to you and to your daughter. May your family and local church surround you with love and support. May God bless you with another husband and a father for your daughter. I think these are good things to continue to pray for, don’t you?

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  37. Yes, they are good things to pray for, and I have. His answer must be, “Not now, Joannah”. But to pray for the strength and contentment to live with my circumstances as they are is also good.

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  38. I agree. But, I also take heart in the parable of the unjust judge. If the unjust judge can grow weary of being “pestered” by the widow, how long will God wait to answer the continual faithful cry of a widow for herself and her fatherless daughter?

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  39. I also pray that it is God that you are depending on and not the job you think He provided you with.

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  40. I also pray that it is God that you are depending on and not the job you think He provided you with.

    Your words are coming across a little bit like the Word Faith movement – – – – as in: I have faith that God will take care of me and my material needs. God does give us skills to use to provide for ourselves.

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  41. Adam 1776. Please butt out of Joannah’s life. God has provided for her and she is content with that – why are you questioning what God gave her? Ever heard of the analogy of the person stranded on a roof who prayed for help? A boat came by, and said person said “no thanks, God’s gonna provide”‘ then a helicopter came by, same response. Person dies, goes to heaven, asks God “why didn’t you help me?” God says, “what do you mean? I sent you a boat and a helicopter!”

    Sounds like God sent Joanna a helicopter. Quit trying to convince Joannah to tell the helicopter “no thanks ” .

    God may or may not have another husband for her. You do not and cannot know what God has or does not have for her.

    Quit trying to shame her while at the same time revealing your OWN demand that God fill her needs YOUR way.

    Also please quit haranguing another man’s widow.

    SHAME ON YOU for harassing a WIDOW for doing nothing more than providing for her daughter.

    Have you ever MET a widow? Don’t you know that they regularly cry themselves to sleep?

    HOW DARE YOU PICK A FIGHT WITH A WIDOW.

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  42. I believe that the Bible speaks to every area of life, especially for the widow and the fatherless. I believe that God answers prayer, especially for the widow and the fatherless. If you feel it is necessary to proceed as you do, I don’t judge you. You do what you believe you have to do. I can’t fault you for that. May God be gracious to you and to your daughter. May your family and local church surround you with love and support. May God bless you with another husband and a father for your daughter. I think these are good things to continue to pray for, don’t you?

    If Joannah were at your church, how would you counsel her? To remain at home waiting for manna from heaven? And what if your church failed to meet her physical needs? Then what? She needs to keep waiting it out and have faith and trust in God?

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  43. No, Julie Anne, just the Bible. The question at hand is how is a young widow with a young child supposed to survive in the world? Do you think the Bible addresses this? Or is she left on her own to “figure it out herself?”

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  44. But to pray for the strength and contentment to live with my circumstances as they are is also good.

    To be content with not enough food? To be content with no medical insurance and no ability to take care of medical needs? Oh, what about heat for the house?

    I have no idea if Joannah faced any of these challenges, but know single moms who have. Funny how a man can tell a woman how to respond when a crisis. Would a man wait around? It sure looks like the Proverbs 31 got busy to provide food/clothing for her family. Joannah – good for you! You are like the Proverbs 31 woman!

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  45. Please make sure you quote what you are responding to, Adam. It’s hard to follow otherwise.

    The Bible addresses it pretty well in Proverbs 31 – – that woman did provide food and clothes for her family. Joannah is doing just that. What’s the problem?

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  46. I thought Adam is all over the “men are the protector” role and here he is haranguing a WIDOW. Not very nice, not good manners, not very manly of you ADAM.

    Not ” protecting the widow” here, are you ADAM?

    I’m mad.

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  47. Julie Anne, if you could wait for my answer instead of posting something else right away, there would not be the confusion. :>) I think the Proverbs 31 woman is one of the most misapplied passages around. It’s a whole other thread. I’m not interested in debating this at this point as I don’t think it is helpful for Joannah right now. It is a legitimate concern that she may be trusting in the job rather than God answering her prayer for a husband and father for her daughter, which Joannah believes God will provide. I prefer to support her in this effort.

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  48. I see it this way. God has worked all things together for good. I did not understand or enjoy all my single years prior to marriage, but in that time I was able to gain a great deal of education and establish a career – a career my daughter and I need in light of the fact that Michael is not here. My heart is to be home, but God has provided my parents with the good health and desire to care for my daughter while I work. My daughter is incredibly blessed by her time with them.

    My grandmothers were two of the most godly women I have ever known. My father’s mother was widowed twice! While she lacked an education, she was able to provide for her three boys by working in the aerospace industry during WWII and beyond. My other grandmother was a teacher for many years, as her husband’s income was not enough for their family. She was widowed fairly young, and God provided for her through her teachers pension.

    Lastly, I have positively impacted many young people in my 18 years of teaching. I just ran into the parents of a former student this past week. They told me I was the only teacher who ever “got” him. He’s flourishing as a senior at Loyola Marymount. I’m a small part of his success. God has used me to bless my students.

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  49. Because Adam is stuck in the OT and does not understand that Jesus replaced all of the rules with two commands. Love God and love everyone. And pointed out that Adam has not done the one thing that Jesus commanded him to do, and that is to ensure, from Adam’s own resources, EVERY need that Joannah might have, because she is a widow. Where is your offer to help Adam. And I will assure you that Joannah has more financial ability than I have, or I would be making that offer today, because I give away my time to help the poor fight injustice, to keep the poor from being incarcerated for offenses that the wealthy would walk away from, to keep the poor from being raped, financially, by the financial industry that wants the little the poor do have.

    Do not criticize Joannah unless you are willing to send her a monthly check enough for her heat, light, and grocery bill.

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  50. Julie Anne said, “Why ARE you picking a fight with a widow? That is a good question. Who are you to question her choice in providing for her family?” I’m sorry to say that is a woefully inaccurate conclusion to make. My only concern is for Joannah and that her prayers for a husband and father for her daughter be answered. The whole tenor of my conversation has been respectful and supportive of Joannah. You just disagree with my perspective,

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  51. Joannah – Amen & Amen. Please ignore Adam and his extremely insensitive, cruel remarks to you. Yes, cruel.

    You are a cruel man, Adam.

    There are widows that I am extremely close to. I know how very hard it is to lose the man you love.

    Thank God he had provided for you AND for your daughter! How precious that He has given her Grandparents who can help with her care!

    I am so sorry for any pain this thread has caused you.

    You are a brave, noble daughter of God.

    Keep your head up sister and your eyes on Jesus.

    You are like Ruth who worked everyday to support herself & her mother in law.

    Ruth did not wait for something to be handed to her. She worked. In the fields, with the men.

    God blessed her efforts. She wasn’t pining away at home.

    You are a Ruth – don’t forget that.

    Adam – quit bugging Ruth.

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  52. It is a legitimate concern that she may be trusting in the job rather than God answering her prayer for a husband and father for her daughter, which Joannah believes God will provide. I prefer to support her in this effort.

    I don’t know, adamsmith1776 – – how is that supportive? How does that put food on the table? I mean, if you really wanted to be supportive, you could offer to send her $$. That would demonstrate real support to me.

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  53. They told me I was the only teacher who ever “got” him. He’s flourishing as a senior at Loyola Marymount. I’m a small part of his success. God has used me to bless my students.

    Congratulations, Joannah. That is the highest form of compliment.

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  54. My only concern is for Joannah and that her prayers for a husband and father for her daughter be answered.

    Why are you assuming that God is not answering her prayers? I don’t find your conversation supportive whatsoever. It seems you think she should remain at home praying for God to provide – – – meanwhile, who will be paying for her food/heat/medical insurance?

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  55. Typical. As soon as there is a challenge to do something (send Joannah $)…

    Adam’s outta here!

    Which is why women need to be educated.

    Point proved.

    Thanks, Adam

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  56. Yes Adam is a religious bigot yellow bellied, stinking skunk to criticize a widow for working in a profession that provides for her and her daughter and also enables her to help young people succeed in life.

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  57. An Attorney – I agree 100%.

    He’s an absolute pious jerk to pick a fight with a widow.

    And he *thinks* he’s religious. What a laugh.

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  58. One of the first books of the Bible I reread after Michael went home was Ruth. So much good stuff in there. Ruth was doing what she needed to do, and God did bless her with her kinsman redeemer.

    I’m here at SSB because I was engaged earlier this year to a man following the Vision Forum/Patriarchy philosophy. The thing is, he was a liar. He did not disclose his full worldview to me. I was open about my faith, and when he inquired about how I felt about the law (remember, I had no context for why he would ask me that), I told him I was all about grace, and that I was not interested in legalism. I even gave him a copy of Chuck Swindoll’s book The Grace Awakening. But, he’d decided that I was what he wanted, and so he obscured his real self and beliefs. Thankfully, he lost it three months before the wedding, and he revealed an ugly temper and a mean-spirit. After that, I did some sleuthing to figure out where he was coming from. That’s when I discovered Vision Forum. He confirmed that he had taken his family to their conferences, but assured me that he did not care for them. Whatever. In my opinion, he and DP are cut from the same cloth.

    I walked away from the opportunity to be a SAHM. I would rather work than live under legalism. I would rather remain single than marry a man like that.

    God spared my daughter and me what surely would have been a miserable existence, and I am grateful for His protection of us.

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  59. Good for you, Joannah. Some of the most miserable women I know are married to VF/Patriarchy husbands. Truly. They are miserable and so are their kids. I’ve seen stuff you wouldn’t believe.

    Glad you ran away from him. You made the right decision.

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  60. And ADAM 1176 fully displays the ugliness of many of the patriarchal men that I have been around.

    He’s mean, arrogant, and cruel all the while deluding himself that he is a spiritual giant of some kind. Gross.

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  61. God spared my daughter and me what surely would have been a miserable existence, and I am grateful for His protection of us.

    I’m so glad he revealed his true colors to you!

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  62. Me too! Took a couple of weeks for my heart to catch up with my head, but everything worked out really well. I try to keep his three kids in my prayers. They are going to be woefully unprepared for real life.

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  63. adamsmith1776 asked: “is the solution for our daughters and wives to “become their own people” and “become successful independent individuals?”

    The Bible say: “1Ti 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
    The “he” in the text is generic – the Greek in the text give no indication of gender to the command. (I would still suggest that it is not God’s will for anyone – male or female – to be independent of God, and independence should be in the sense of making a living without begging.)

    WomanforFreedom asked: “why SHOULDNT that be a good solution, I’m confused??”
    adamsmith1776 said: “WomanforFreedom, what DOES the Bible say IN SUPPORT of your position?”

    Adam, where does the Bible say men should be successful independent individuals? It seems you want to deny some thing to women because the Bible don’t spell it out they can have it, but you don’t want to deny the same thing from men because the Bible don’t spell it out they can have it.

    adamsmith1776: “I also pray that it is God that you are depending on and not the job you think He provided you with.”
    Adam, how do you get your money? Are you depending on God or your job for an income? If you can ask that of her, the same can be asked of you?

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  64. “! think the Proverbs 31 woman is one of the most misapplied passages around.” Yes, indeed, Adam, it surely is misapplied. It is misapplied by forked-tongued men like you, that say they want to protect women, & all the time you are talking,you are getting your claws into a woman who is a widow, and therefore does not have a husband to take you & shake you till your insincere teeth rattle.

    Be afraid, Adam. Be very afraid, for the Lord God Almighty, Creator of the Universe is watching & listening, & one day, if you carry on as you are, you will all too soon be hearing Him say those dreadful words, “Depart from me, you workers of iniquity. I never knew you”.

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  65. “And my apologies to all of the skunk’s in the world, you did not deserved to be compared to Adam.”
    That is too true, An Attorney, but I liked ‘hearing’ you call him that just the same. Besides, you didn’t compare him to regular skunks. Just the “yellow-bellied stinking skunks”. The ordinary black -and-white variety most likely agree with you.

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  66. Joannah, the most saintly women I ever knew were widow ladies. Neither ever topped 5 feet in height, but either one on her own could have taken Adam, tied him in a knot, and tossed him to a pack of rabid hyenas, without ever taking her “off” hand from stirring the soup pot.
    I know this because they were my grandmother & my great-grandmother. They worked 12 & 14 hours a day to support invalid husbands, & made ends meet by praying their grocery lists when there was no money for food for their families. God bless them both, those two dear women loved & served their Lord & Saviour just as you are doing.
    God bless you, you are an inspiration to us all. (Especially cranky old ladies who have no patience with idiots like Adam).

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  67. Thanks for your support, everyone. I am no saint, but I am a child of the One True King. I have had the worst possible thing happen to me, and the Lord has proven Himself to be faithful.

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  68. adam, you wrote: “I believe that the Bible speaks to every area of life, especially for the widow and the fatherless. “

    The way you interpret this is immature. Think about it a little more deeply. Does the Bible speak to your car, to the bridge you drive over, to physical or mental illness, to the organization of nations, to the computer you use? If you meant, instead, that there are general principles in the Bible that can be applied to all creation, you would be more accurate, but you don’t mean that, because you write cavalierly and judgmentally about this widowed woman you don’t know.

    It is not the Bible that we base our lives upon. Our lives are based in God who resides within us. The Bible is a book that provides general principles for our *walk with God*. Instead, you treat it like a magical recipe book, something children do out of ignorance and uncertainty about how the world functions.

    You further write, “I believe that God answers prayer, especially for the widow and the fatherless.”

    The way you interpret this is also immature, and in the same way. God does indeed hear our prayers but answers are not always to our liking or preference. Yet you insist that God would not wait long to give exactly what you think is required to a “continual faithful cry”. And when God doesn’t cough up your list like Santa, it is because the prayer was done wrong, laying yet another burden on an already burdened human. Thus, your immature thoughts degrade the very type of person that scripture repeatedly tells us we are, above all, to protect/support/nurture. This, if nothing else, shows the foolish thinking.

    Underlying your comments is a third naïve idea, regarding the nature of the female and the supposedly authoritative position of a male. The fact is that women were created beautifully by God, and in such a way that they are whole and complete in themselves, not only when with a man. Pay attention to what is in front of you; it is obvious! The fact is that God didn’t create men inherently possessed of truth or wisdom: take a look around and see! And since these things are apparent, why would God hand men perpetual authority over women? It only creates twisted and heavy pressures for both genders, such as you do. God is not a fool! He loves us all!

    How grateful I am that God is neither immature or cavalier! God tenderly watches over everything that S/He made so beautifully, with clear wise eyes.

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  69. This thread brings up many issues in the modern church.
    I woke up this morning thinking about how I used to read the epistles and think everything applied to the modern church. I used to read the entire Bible that way, even the O.T. because I was taught that every word applied to believers.
    In the O.T, I don’t believe anyone went hungry because the families all lived together in a tight knit Jewish community. If someone died, the family was there.
    We live in a very different world. Just with the advent of jet liners, to be able to live and travel to any place in this world, did not exist in Biblical times. Even mass transportation to work, and automobiles….etc

    The dynamics of the “family” is not what it was…men leave their wives of 35 years to trade her in for a newer model.
    What is a divorcee supposed to do according to Adam?

    Which brings me to another thought.
    Does the “church” really take care of the widows?
    I once sat next to a widow in my old megachurch who just moved to my area. She said her HOA fee was 75.00 higher than the last state she lived in and was considering getting a part time job, ASIDE from her full time job as a secretary, so she can tithe 10% to this church. She was a new convert from the RCC and I explained to her that the church is supposed to take care of HER, and she should not tithe!

    I have never heard, in the 8 yrs I was there that widows should not tithe.
    In fact, the Pastor used to use the story of the “Widows Coins ” to I guess guilt the widows into tithing!

    OK, a lot more….but we are not living in the same world as was in Bibilcal times.

    Also, divorce was not rampant like it is today.
    Which brings up another subject.
    A Christian woman’s husband divorcing her with no biblical grounds for it.
    Trading her in for a newer model.

    What would Adam say about that?

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  70. It is interesting that it is almost always men who come riding in on their high horses, delivering narrow, legalistic, demeaning comments. They show the illegitimacy of their POV by their own actions. Humbug

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  71. Sorry for the repetition of the divorcee. I though I deleted the initial paragraph…

    There really is not much in the Bible about it, except that if a man divorces a woman, she is committing adultery if she remarries.(Through no fault of her own) We can probably have a huge discussion on that.

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  72. Agee 100%. Adam 1776 is a very good example of the “godliness” of the patriarchal men I’ve been around. And he doesn’t even know the 2 most important rules given to him by Jesus – love God, love others. He loves neither, but he DOES love his own intellect, his own interpretations, his own “wisdom”. He loves himself.

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  73. Yes, Jesus is watching and he IS the defender of the widow. And Adam should be very afraid for his behavior towards one whose plight is close to God’s heart.

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  74. Hannah, yep, we don’t live in the same world as in Biblical times.

    The underlying principles of, say, caring for the widows and orphans (the disabled and poor) are Biblical. How these principles apply depends on context. This isn’t relativism, as many of the literalists insist, because the principles themselves remain.

    In fact, when the literalists apply their rules, they become relativist because they change the underlying principles by focusing only the “constancy of surface application”. You point this out beautifully by noting that the literalists think tithing is also the responsibility of the widow, orphan, disabled, poor, rather than understanding that the principle of tithing is to help such as them.

    Thus literalists, in their awe of scripture, end up defeating its meaning by their foolishness.

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  75. Patrice

    Yes…I have been taught to interpret the Bible literally.
    That’s why I have problems with the reformed view of Gods covenant to Israel.
    Another subject…

    But being divorced through no fault of my own , I also have a problem with the biblical position that I am committing adultery in my present marriage.

    That doesn’t seem fair. It is OK for a widow to get remarried, but if a woman is a divorcee, through no fault of her own, she can not get remarried?

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  76. Well, I see that while I was gone yesterday I missed all the incoming volleys from adamsmith1776. The real Adam Smith, of course, wrote the book “Wealth of Nations.”. Who knew that this wealth would be seen by the original Smith’s disciples as including the ownership of women by men?

    Snarkiness aside, adam is just one more example of the working out of the first man Adam’s ongoing sinful assault on Eve–specifically Adam’s domination of and rule over Eve. Gen. 3:16.

    adamsmith1776 may or may not be saved. I do not know. However, he obviously is not a follower of Jesus. Rather, he is a follower of the corrupt and love-free doctrinal traditions of men (and I mean men as opposed to women). Our Lord purchased freedom for all, without regard to gender. adam would enslave one-half of the blood-bought children of our Lord and God.

    As with all these other “Christian” bigots, adam is insensitive beyond my ability to comprehend, and I say this as one who is not himself particularly capable of empathetic identification. adam lives in a love-free zone. Therefore, he lives in a Jesus-free zone. He lives in a God-free zone. Therefore, his “truth” being devoid of love, is not truth. Bad fruit, bad tree.

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  77. “I agree. But, I also take heart in the parable of the unjust judge. If the unjust judge can grow weary of being “pestered” by the widow, how long will God wait to answer the continual faithful cry of a widow for herself and her fatherless daughter?”

    “4 “For some time he refused.” Luke 18

    I don’t know? How long? How long did the widow pester the unjust judge? Days? Years? What does “for some time” mean? You know, it is dangerous to take a parable which is metaphorically teaching a principle to pray and not give up and consign it to absolutes such as timing. You have no idea how long the widow pestered the unjust judge. It is the PRINCIPLE involved. Not the timing. It is about being faithful.

    In the meantime, having a way to provide for children is a wonderful thing for widows/single moms. It is even better when the pay is decent. The church is certainly not doing it. In fact, they are asking THEM for money so the guru can live like a minor prince in his kingdom.

    We should also be very careful what we beg God for.

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  78. “As with all these other “Christian” bigots, adam is insensitive beyond my ability to comprehend, and I say this as one who is not himself particularly capable of empathetic identification. adam lives in a love-free zone. Therefore, he lives in a Jesus-free zone. He lives in a God-free zone. Therefore, his “truth” being devoid of love, is not truth. Bad fruit, bad tree.”

    Great way to put it!

    A Love- free zone is a Jesus- free zone. Perfect metaphor!

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  79. Hannah, “But being divorced through no fault of my own , I also have a problem with the biblical position that I am committing adultery in my present marriage.”

    Yes, I understand. I too am divorced through no fault of my own. My step-father (a good ole conservative Calvinist) made the same case to me: if I remarry, I will be committing adultery. I initially blew my stack at him, lol, but later we talked it out, and even though he never agreed with me, he at least understood my position as one of difference rather than immaturity.

    It is not the nature of God to punish the innocent. “Who is this god?” I asked my step-dad. “Oooh, it’s the God of the Bible. Who are you to question Him?” “Don’t throw God at me to shut me down!” I retorted. “You are merely presenting your interpretation of God, and it is a cold and inadequate god. From where did you drag him up?” w00t

    When looking at the principle underlying the heavily patriarchal societies of Biblical eras (which had internal structural problems—hence the many persnickety laws), the principle of not remarrying after divorce is intended to emphasize that when one does not learn the lessons of a failed marriage, and hasn’t taken the steps to correct those problems (in the heart, mind, psyche), the travesty will only be repeated. God doesn’t want us to repeatedly destroy ourselves and each other. The consequences of broken marriage is contained in itself—it is a time of hell for all and that is its judgment.

    If people like our exes took seriously the facts of failure, and learned all the lessons about themselves that went into the failure, and lived out new resolutions/understandings with humility over a long period of time, I would be inclined to say that God could pronounce them forgiven and sanctified into a possible new marriage. (It doesn’t happen all that often, but it does happen.)

    Seen in this way, a victim is also encouraged, by the principle, to take time/effort to learn what went wrong. I, a victim who tried for 19 years to turn a relationship of authority and control into one of love and mutuality, learned what to look for in a spouse. I learned why I was attracted to that type from the beginning and changed that within.

    When such work (repentance, the work of sanctification, restoration of the individual) is done, we might be ready again to marry, if someone eligible comes along. If so, that marriage would be one that is healing and healthy, in which God is ever-present with us in our joy.

    That’s how I look at it. Not everyone does, I know.

    PS: My step-dad gave my brother “permission” to remarry after he divorced, saying God doesn’t judge because his wife was “mentally ill”. Besides the hypocrisy of my step-dad (giving males breaks from the legalism), my bro didn’t learn anything from his first failed marriage (his wife was mentally ill, yes, but a big part of her illness was caused by how my bro treated her) and is now causing the same destruction in his second. Pffft.

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