Friday, March 19, 2010

Much on my mind

It seems that the original intent of my blog is being overtaken by so many other concerns. I am deeply concerned about the state of Christian home schooling, the death of Lydia Schatz, the arrogance of advocates of creation science, the devastating economic news in my community and my country, the existence of theonomists and Christian Reconstructionists who have crept in among the true saints of God with a political agenda, Calvinistas, complementarian cults and the threat to my children's religious and home school freedoms that all these issues represent.

I keep trying to bring the focus back to my marriage, and how that relationship was quietly affecting so many areas of our family's life and home school. I wanted to take it slow, to go in depth into our marriage's decline and how it took years for the full damage to show up. I wanted to expose the destructive doctrines that created these problems in our family, in the hopes that others might take warning and extricate themselves before they wind up in similar straits.

But life keeps happening all around me, and there is no pause button I can push until my blog entries are written. Also, my family is still in the process of healing. Some days are wonderful triumphs of new understanding and freedom in Christ. Most days are spent trying to hang on to the good that's already been accomplished. And other days are dismal slides back toward the abyss of dysfunction.

The human brain is like that. When certain ways of thinking and behaving have become established in our lives, it will take long-term, willful effort to replace those ways of thinking and behaving. Any relaxing or slacking off in laying down the new habits of thought and action, and the brain reverts to the default positions it has been protecting for years.

This is true of all people, and is no doubt why we are commanded to renew our minds to God's ways (Romans 12:2) keep our minds fixed on Jesus, consider Him who endured such opposition(Hebrews 3:1, 12:2) and warned that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but might through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations and ever high thing that exalts itself before God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ(I Corinthians 10:4-5).

How fundamentalism led my husband's parents to abdicate their responsibilities to bring their children up in nurture (Ephesians 6:4) and the emotional damage that resulted to his heart, that story will have to wait. How this damage ultimately led to him physically abusing me, threatening my life with his hands around my throat, telling me that I didn't deserve to live, that will all have to wait.

The important thing to emphasize right now is that my husband is healing and learning what true Christian love and obedience are all about. (Hint: it is not about denying your pain and anger, avoiding alcohol and R-rated movies, and attending parent-approved churches, like he thought it was about all these years.) Healing is a process, and there are occasional setbacks but all in all he is on a good path now.

I know that if the past is any indication, not many abusive men ever want to change, and few of those are successful. So I hesitate to publish our success because I do not want any one to point to my situation and use it to convince a woman to stay in an abusive situation. No woman should ever rely on any other person's experience in making such an important decision.

I also want to say openly, here and now, that I do not believe that current complementarian teachings are helpful. These teachers do not rightly divide the truth. Ladies, your husbands are not due unconditional respect. No human deserves that and giving it to the unworthy is flattery that results in deception and corruption. Don't do it, ladies. Don't cooperate in living a lie. It will not end well.

I want to also thank the Charismatic preacher who taught me well so long ago, that to submit to my husband as unto the Lord means to submit to my husband when he is living in obedience to the Lord. When my husband is loving me like Jesus loves me, then and only then will I submit to him. Anything less is a yoke of bondage, and it is for freedom that Christ set me free.

I will not be a slave to any person, action, or thing. I have decided to follow Jesus, and I will have no other gods before Him. I will not falsely worship a husband, like my niece vowed to do at her recent wedding, pledging to have no desires of her own but to live only for her husband's desires. That vow was blatant idolatry. May God have mercy on her soul, but may He hold to full accountability the wolves in sheep's clothing who taught her that doctrine of devils.

We are finding healing, but not because I am staying with my husband. I have chosen to stay with my husband because he is finding healing. Big difference!

We are finding healing, but not because I flatter my husband and defer to him in everything. That would only make his problems worse. Instead, speaking the truth in love, I refuse to submit to abusive attitudes and actions. I point them out. I insist they change. This is called spurring one another on to love and good works. This is living in obedience to Jesus who told us to go to our brother and let out brother know when he has offended us.

We are finding healing, but not because I make excuses for my husband's sin. I do forgive him when he repents (Luke 17:3-4). When someone is trying to change their old ways of thinking, they can fall into the same destructive thoughts and actions many times in a single day. The important thing is that he own up to it when confronted, and go the other direction (repent). It is not easy to forgive someone who breaks your heart repeatedly, but that is my part in our marriage's healing. Seventy times seven in single day, that was the Lord's command.

However that is not the same as the excuse-making, "unconditional respect" that the complementarians demand wives show husbands. All people deserve to be treated with dignity, regardless of gender or marital status, but that is not the kind of respect complementarians teach. They teach a women should treat a man AS IF he is behaving righteously when he is NOT. Such foolish advice won't help either party, husband nor wife. That is devilish counsel, completely contrary to the words of Christ, "If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. (Luke 17:3)".

(This is not to say that I never sin. I have the same responsibility to repent when I have offended my brother. This has been my practice for years. It is new to my husband. As he continues to heal, I expect he will come to me about offenses more often. Part of his family dysfunction is to ignore offenses in public, yet nurse them in private. Both sides of Luke 17:3-4 are for him to practice. I have great hope that he will get there eventually.)

I hope to find the time to further develop the back-story of how we got to where we are today, but don't be surprised if newer posts are about other subjects. As I began to research fundamentalism and it's teachings about marriage and family, I am becoming more aware of how it has affected (not just MY Christian home schooling family) home schooling, marriage, politics and religion in America.

My research has led me to discard the false doctrines with which fundamentalism cursed my life, and so it is honest to call me an ex-fundamentalist. I am more authentically a follower of Jesus Christ than I have ever been, however. Same for my husband, and I hope it will prove true for my children as well.


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  2. I'm with you, Shadowspring. Rejoicing with you as shackles fall away! Hugs!

  3. thanks for this wonderful post. i really appreciate the way you are telling your story.