I was married once before. I wasn’t even 20 yet. A baby raising a baby really. But that marriage taught me a lot about human nature. Without Christ, we are a broken people. My first husband was broken. Raised in an abusive home, he did what he knew best.
It started with words. A snide comment here. A malicious sneer there. Somewhere along the way, I learned to submit. Not a godly submission. No, afraid to set him off, I kept quiet, and agreed with whatever he wanted.
Then the violence came. Not directly at me, but all around. A wall punched. A glass thrown, and shattered. Shattered like my spirit. I endured because that’s what a good Christian girl does. God doesn’t like divorce, so that’s not an option. Right?
Eventually, the abuse turned sexual before ending with straight physical violence. There was no form of abuse left to descend to. Pregnant with my second child, and one final, terrible attack, then it ended. It seems like a lifetime ago. Almost as if it didn’t happen to me.
I knew in my heart that if I stayed a moment longer, I would be killed. I didn’t care. But I also knew my two beautiful daughters would be left at his mercy. That I did care about. That gave me the strength to leave.
Does God like divorce? No. But he knows the human nature, and how low it can sink. He made an allowance for divorce. His plan is for marriage to be as I have described in the previous posts in this series. But we are flawed. And sometimes a marriage ends. And his grace is there to clean the mess. To bring healing to the brokenhearted.
Maybe you find yourself in an abusive marriage. Maybe, like me, you didn’t even realize it was abusive until it became so bad you couldn’t dismiss the facts. Denial can be powerful. So what do you do? How does the church respond? What should you do?
I’ll discuss the types of abuse in the next post, and if it isn’t too long, I’ll get into a discussion about different ways the church body responds both good, and bad.
Coming up, I’ll also discuss what I feel are two ways God would have the wife respond, how a woman can find help, and how she might be feeling in this situation. And what about the unmarried woman? Stay tuned over the next few Thursdays as we wrap up this series on submission in the marriage.
adj. Prospering; growing or developing vigorously; blooming; flourishing.
Thriving Thursdays covers multiple areas we want to flourish in: marriage, parenting, family life, home educating, home making, hospitality, ministry, home business, blogging, organization, time management…anything that will help us strengthen relationships, and accomplish what God has called us to do.
Let’s encourage each other, share tips and ideas, and set goals with the intention of building thriving families, and dare I say it, blooming where we’re planted.