Sunday, 16 October 2016

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS


She came to our Pastors' wife. Battered and worn out from years of domestic violence and abuse, she looked like a frightened and nervous child. At 34, she had seen more violence and had been on the receiving end of more blows than most people even dreamed about.

Not knowing why exactly she had come, she sought the Pastors wife out for prayer and godly advice, not really expecting anything more than an arm around her and Gods' peace- for she needed Him so desperately!

With her stomach aching and bruised in places one never sees, she told her sad tale of spousal rape, an assault that not only caused much physical damage 5 weeks after major womens' surgery, but which left her terrified of her husband. Sleeping in the bed with him was a torment that birthed nightmares and a feeling of suffocation: an aftermath of him smothering out her screams with her pillow.

What did this hurting woman receive? Certainly not compassion: my ears rang as she was told that he had his needs! After all, 5 weeks is a long time for a man! She replied that she had just had surgery. Stitches. Repairs! She was feeling dreadfully alone and condemned. Especially when she was told that there are other things you could do for him! Oh yes, but not to a cold man who disliked kissing and other displays of affection.

Choking on her tears, the frightened wife told her that she hadn't denied him, had just asked for gentleness this one time. But what followed was the worst rape and rage that she had ever known in her then 18 years of marriage.

Unable to share this in public and afraid to cast her husband in a bad light with her family, she turned to the only place where she could perhaps find her God and feel Him in her life again. A God Who watched silently while she suffered, it seemed to her.

Instead she was thrown to the lions. Shot by her own. Condemned and made to feel ashamed and guilty for the act of a sadistic man. Betrayed and humiliated, she left the Pastors' office after being further admonished to cook better, forgive and forget and to remember that he was an unbeliever thus a 'poor sinner', unable to help himself. Oh yes, and she was to smile! And with a witness like that, he would be sure to come to Christ! It was almost verbatim the advice that Debi Pearl gives in her dangerous book, Created To Be His Helpmeet. And the book hadn't even been written!

Where is this woman today? Well, fortunately, God did meet her in her darkest hour. She cooked better, prayed harder, believed for a miracle of love to be born, stayed for another 7 years and suffered from sleep deprivation and fear. She walked on egg shells but kept believing that God would change her husband.

Finally, unable to keep any food down for fear, she decided that she couldn't bear any more. She timidly approached her husband one night, and asked him to seek marriage counseling or she would be gone in the morning. His response was the same as always: he had done nothing wrong. Marriage counselling was a waste of time he said: indeed, he wouldn't know for he opted not to attend each time a session had been arranged. She told him she would be gone in the morning and he agreed, "OK, go!"

She took only the clothes on her back and her baby photos, carried in two garbage bags for she was afraid to take anything that he would come after her for. She found a church that was compassionate and loving. She divorced him. Four years later, God blessed her with a godly new husband who loves her and who allowed her to start living at the ripe old age of 45! And her children rejoiced for her!

What would this woman say to you if you are abused? She would tell you to use sound judgment and remove yourself and your children from all harm. She would say that you should give your abusive husband time to repent before initiating divorce proceedings, and that you should give God time to work in your husbands' heart.

However, she would say that if there is no change after a few years or if there is threat of him coming after you, that you should consider a divorce. Life is precious and she now knows that we serve a God Who cares deeply about what goes on with His children, even behind closed doors.

I know she would advise you not to take to heart the advice for abused wives from Debi and Michael Pearl in Created To Be His Helpmeet, but to use common sense. She also would tell you to stand strong against the stigma you *may* receive if you divorce: your divorce is a matter between you and God and is not the unpardonable sin. He knows what may go on behind closed doors!

Finally, she would tell you to not suffer in silence and risk death as she did. If you are Christians, she would tell you that domestic violence is not a sole practice of the heathen: it *can* and *does* occur in the Church.

She would be the first to put an arm around you and pray for you, admonishing you to never throw away your confidence that is in Christ: no matter where or when trouble comes, He does see and does care. God calls us to live in peace... that is what she would lovingly tell you. I know this because, that girl was me.

Yes, God hates divorce, but He also hates the violence and treachery that leads to it!

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet [is] she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. Malachi 2:14

7 comments:

  1. Oh Glenys, my heart breaks for all that you've endured as well as the ungodly counsel you received. As I have read your prior posts I know you are married to a wonderful man and praise the Lord for that! Yes, I would agree that Debi's book would've been a horrible book for the situation that you were in; a submissive wife married to a ruler. But for a contentious wife (I used to be a contentious woman with a capital 'C' before I came to Christ!) then I believe her counsel is helpful. Her book is not a one size fits all wives kinda book. I believe it is for the contentious woman, which was clearly NOT your situation. Christians (men, women, pastors, etc.) need to know that husbands do NOT have the right to treat God's daughters in a disrespectful, demeaning, and abusive way! It's contrary to the Word of God and a wife is NOT to submit to his sin. Thanks for sharing your testimony. I know it will bless many wives who are enduring or who have endured what you've been through.

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    1. I am sad that the Pearls' book is not written as well as it could be. Like you, I am passionate about marriage and believe it to be a portrayal of Christ's relationship with the Church. Their book could have been far more effective in promoting godly marriage and teaching women to be submissive to their husbands. I only wish I had the opportunity that the Pearls had... so I sit here blogging with arthritic fingers and pray that my little stone in the cyberspace pond will ripple the waters. Unfortunately, I don't think it does. I love your Alabaster Jar blog and am delighted that God has granted the increase in the rippling effect to you... Blessings, Glenys

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  2. I hear you about the Pearl's book...but just like us as writers/bloggers/sisters we all fall short but it is our hearts for the Lord that matter most. Oh sweet sister, I can tell how passionate you are about marriage and I'm thankful that you, being an older woman, take the admonition to teach younger women very seriously! If that were only the case for all older women in the church! But sadly that is not. Your blog is a blessing to many and your testimony shows how God transforms lives. Keep sharing, Glenys, because women need to be equipped. Your words do make an impact because they are the Lord's words and those words don't return void!! It doesn't matter how many followers we have or don't have, we matters is that we point those that come to our online home to follow Jesus Christ. Regardless of the size of our audience, we are still making an impact for our Lord. And of course He can still use someone with chronic illness...I know because I've been living through it for years, but that is not something God has called me to write about (at least not yet!) Thanks for your sweet encouragement for my ministry blog. I feel ill-equipped for it but nevertheless this is where He has sent me. May the Lord be glorified by all we do! Don't be discouraged, sweet friend!

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    1. Jolene, thank you so much for taking the time to write to me. I am not only grateful, but humbled. As a fellow writer who thinks very carefully about what she writes, and labours to make it an in depth study based on scripture, you know how intensive at times it can be, taxing both body and mind. Sometimes I worry that I am too transparent as I write from my heart and bare my soul.... but I feel that the LORD has called me to do that...

      I have been recently under attack for my anti feminism posts and have been misquoted with posts taken out of context: again I feel that the LORD wants me to be silent and not respond... many posters do not get to share tea with me publicly, but the things they write to me are quite slanderous and untrue....

      I suspect the Pearls may feel the same, but in matters pertaining to domestic violence, I cannot be silent as God has called me to speak up against it and other evils such as abortion and serial divorce....

      Your words today have encouraged me... and those words and those of other sisters have recently said to me via a cuppa here, have helped me realise that my labours are not totally in vain...

      I know this sounds like a pity party, I also know that you understand...Many thanks to you. We are kindred spirits... you too are a life transformed by His glorious grace... Praising Him for that for both of us~ \0/ Love in Christ and blessings to you, Jolene~ Glenys

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  3. I am so glad you have written this, Glenys. Yes, God was with you, and no, you are not condemned. So many women are abused, and they suffer in silence. They think that if they were only better wives, only happier, only better homemakers, only more submissive, their husbands wouldn't hurt them anymore, either physically or mentally. Mental abuse is also REAL and HORRIBLE to live with. The church as a whole has done a horrific job of "helping" women who are abused in the church, and instead has turned them away to go "be better wives" so their husbands will stop mangling them. I have been listening to some wonderful, eye-opening sermons on this very subject and thought you or your readers might be interested in them. http://www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?sourceonly=true&currSection=sermonssource&keyword=crc&subsetcat=series&subsetitem=Domestic+Violence+and+Abuse

    I too, think the Pearls' advice to wives is horribly detrimental to those who are in abusive relationships. A wife is NOT responsible for her husband's sanctification as they claim! I think that book has done and is doing a lot of damage.

    God bless you, Glenys.

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    1. Lady Violet, I have talked via email to Ps Jeff and he is a very compassionate man who knows his scriptures. He is helping pastors see the damage that abuse does to people, and their children. Thanks for sharing a cuppa with me. Blessings!

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    2. That is wonderful that you have gotten to talk to Pastor Jeff. I'm so glad there are those like him who are standing up for the "widows" and fatherless.

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