A reader commented on Authority and Abuse , and she made an important point I thought should be highlighted.
I’ve commented before that it has been my experience that it is women who do the most false teaching in this matter. I cannot tell you how many times I have been chastised by women for not being as submissive as I should be. Truth is, they were 100% right, but their brand of submission never seemed godly to me because it allowed their husbands to continue in their sin decade after decade. It tends to be the women who don’t quite know what to do with my less-than-traditional attitude.
I just don’t think that the role women have played in the perpetuation of this should be overlooked here. We need to pull up our big girl britches and take some of the heat.
And also, while I feel brave, we women need to tell our daughters to stop marrying jerks (I wanted to use another word). If he is a jerk before the wedding, it will only get worse. And if he is a non-Christian jerk, converting him after the wedding isn’t going to make him a non-jerk. It’s likely to make him even more dangerous.
Just this past week I was talking to an acquaintance of mine whose daughter told the latest fool she was dating to take a hike. I was so relieved. This woman (the daughter) is in her early 30s, divorced from an abusive and chronically unfaithful first husband, and raising their two children by herself. She longs to be married and have a good role model for her children, but so far she has only dated to discover that as she gets to know the men, they start exhibiting warning signs that there is something amiss.
This last one seemed to be “the one.” She ignored the tiny red flags she was seeing as their relationship progressed, and it finally got to the point where they were discussing marriage. Then she bought a house in a neighborhood they had talked about living in. When he found out, to her surprise and confusion, he was livid. He told her she had no right to go and buy a house without consulting him. He told her he couldn’t trust her anymore. He pouted and threw a fit. He lost control of his blow up doll, and it made him mad.
She realized as she looked back on their relationship that he had been pouty before when he didn’t get his way. He had told her the man should be in charge. She wasn’t raising her boys right. He would do a better job. Lots of little things. Tiny criticisms. Small pouts. But this over-the-top anger over her buying her own house with her own money (she was an adult working woman with boys to raise and decisions to make) woke her up to see his true colors. He was just another controlling rageaholic. And she let him go.
My daughter said, “I am so scared I will end up with someone like that. Don’t let me, Mom! I want everyone to know the guy I’m thinking of marrying and know him WELL. I want to make sure he is a good man who loves me. Not a selfish man who wants to control and change me.”
She wants someone who will know her. The real her. And someone who actually wants her to STAY the real her. Isn’t that healthy? When we have to change who we are to please someone else, we are not fulfilling our purpose. God made us—US—for a reason. Love doesn’t try to change or control the other person.
Women Hurting Women
One of the most destructive books for Christian women on the market (in my personal opinion) is Created to Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl. And there was a time when I recommended that book to women. I cringe to admit that. I would read her caustic message delivered in a sarcastic, critical, angry tone, and I would cheer. Now my flesh crawls.
If you boiled her message down to a strong, poisonous brew, it would be this: “Women, the purpose of your existence is to make a man happy. If he isn’t happy, it’s all your fault, and God’s not happy with you. Do what it takes. Bow and scrape. Obey no matter what. Be a slut for him, if that’s what turns him on. If he is into porn, you’re not doing your job. He doesn’t like your hair? Change it. He wants you to have long fingernails? Grow them. If he can’t pay the rent or if he lets the house go, then get off your butt and do something yourself to pay the rent and keep up with the house. But you make that man happy. Happy. Happy.”
But what happens when a woman can’t make her husband happy? What happens when no matter what she does or how hard she tries, he finds fault? What happens when she gets sick and can’t make the rent for her lazy man’s happiness? What happens if her husband is a broken person with a personality disorder? What happens if he is addicted to drugs, food, porn, work, or alcohol? She’s supposed to become co-dependent, like he is? That is God’s purpose for her life? That’s how she will bring life and healing to her husband and children? That’s how she will help them and herself be free to become all that God made them to be?
And we women continue to pass on these destructive messages, tied up with pretty little bows, to our sisters and our daughters. Satan hates both men and women. He wants to destroy both sexes and will use lies to do that. He’ll try to get men to despise, control, and use women. He’ll try to get women to despise, control, and use men. There are two ways to fall off this horse.
Throw Out the Lies
We believe a lie if we think that a married woman’s husband is the equivalent of God to her. God lets her know what He (God) wants when her husband lets her know what he (the husband) wants? Sorry, but that’s man-worship, plain and simple. Worshiping a man is not spiritual or healthy. It’s sick and stupid. So is worshiping a woman. Or worshiping yourself, for that matter.
What solves the problem? What keeps us in the saddle on this one?
- Taking down the idols and exalting the True God. Remember – there is only ONE mediator between God and every single human on the planet, including every FEMALE human. And that’s Jesus Christ. Women get their mail from HIM directly.
- Turning away from lust (wanting what we want, when we want it) and turning toward love.
Sometimes this means standing up to our husbands and saying, “No.” Sometimes this means letting them be uncomfortable when you can’t meet every single need on demand. How will a husband learn to run to God if his wife always feels a need to protect him from God’s Providences? When a man makes a mistake and the wife covers for him, she is doing him no favor. He isn’t allowed to stretch or grow up. Sure, he gets a temporary “happy” pill, but in the long run, a wife is only harming him, not helping him.
There is a law of sowing and reaping. God is the One Who put that law into motion. When we wives go in and trouble shoot for our husbands when they sow immorality or hatred or abuse or hypocrisy or deception, we are, in effect, saying to God, “I know better than You do what should be done here. I am doing what is best for my man. I will “help” him by covering up for him and making him happy when he’s lost in his sin cuz that’s what some lady told me to do, and she should know.”
We shouldn’t fear men (or women) more than God. I think there is a perverted form of submission being sold by Christian women to Christian women these days, and it is leaving a heap of destroyed women and children in its wake. There are abusers and there are those who enable abuse. Both will be held responsible to the Creator at the final Judgement. In the meantime, let’s educate ourselves with Truth and pass that along to our daughters so they can have a better shot at a healthy marriage relationship down the road.