Saturday, March 21, 2009

Abuse in Christian Marriages

You might well ask why would I be posting anything like this article... well I want the message to get out there that domestic violence just is not tolerated in our society. As a survivor of domestic violence I feel it is important to educate as many women and children that we can. Men get charged with serious offences and are punished by the courts and often end up in jail. So for any muslims to be saying that Western men treat their wives in a brutal manner is a generalisation of sorts. It is common but not the norm. Western women have the right to be protected by the law, and helped through it and over it by the many excellent domestic violence resource centres. The children witnessing mothers being bashed etc are also treated by specialist groups, in the hope they will not grow up showing signs of violence towards other people, thus themselves becoming women bashers.. Of course, it does not have to be a Christian family setting, as it happens across the board and more often than we all like to admit. But at least it is not part of a religious law to keep the women in line by the men such as the hadiths of the koran, and the spouting off of muslim clerics to beat their wives and force sex upon them. We even have laws that come under the heading of domestic violence, that includes, mental and verbal abuse, financial abuse, rape in marriage etc.

This is one woman's story and it runs to something like 4 -5 pages. As per copyright, I have only posted a taste of it here, for the rest you will need to go to the link here or go to the site Christianity Today in my sidebar of links.

My Abusive "Christian" Marriage
I couldn't believe this was my reality. And I couldn't see a way out.
Gwyneth Nelson

"Did Daddy do that?" my daughter asked. Lying on the floor in the doorway of her room, I was stunned as I realized my daughter had just witnessed undeniable physical abuse. Tom's* anger had escalated into unrestrained rage, and he'd thrown me into our daughter's bedroom. Con-fused, I began to question my situation: Was I really experiencing domestic violence in my Christian home?
I'd denied the truth so long I was unable to recognize what was really happening. The abuse had started subtly and grown insidiously. My husband and I claimed to be Christians, so how could our marriage be abusive? Unable to give my four-year-old daughter any more excuses, I said, "Yes, Daddy did that." Then I locked us in her room and crawled in bed with her until she fell asleep. That night I resolved to stop the impact of domestic abuse in my daughter's life—a difficult decision that finally pointed me in the direction of healing.
Control Issues
It was inconceivable to me that I'd ever be in such circumstances. Born and raised in a loving pastor's family, I was steeped in conservative evangelical culture. As a "good girl," I got good grades, participated in extra-curricular school activities, and was a leader in the church youth group. I lived to please others, worked hard to offend no one, and had an internal drive to create a wonderful life. Though I had a relationship with Christ, I lived as if the good life depended on my good performance.
I met Tom at the Christian liberal arts college we both attended. He was handsome, intelligent, and interesting—always looking for adventure and fun. His father was a pastor, so we'd been raised in similar Christian cultures. Tom often discussed theology and doctrine, and he cared genuinely about people's salvation. Our wedding was a large, elaborate, God-centered event. I envisioned our marriage to be a shared life of service and impact for God's kingdom. I also believed that if I performed well, my marriage would go well and we'd have a good life together.
Though, looking back, I realized Tom was very self-centered while we were dating, I hadn't seen any red flags about the abuse that was to come. But early on I saw signs that life was going to be very different from what I'd envisioned. After returning from our honeymoon, Tom expected to use the entire closet in our bedroom while I used a closet in another room. He said this was because he'd moved into the apartment first. We went to the bank to put his name on my checks, but he didn't want my name on his. He monitored my purchases, even though I was working full-time and we weren't struggling financially. He was more concerned about controlling what I bought than how much money I spent. If I didn't comply with Tom's expectations or get his permission, he'd become angry and yell. For example, when I purchased drinking glasses and a shower curtain, he raged at me because he'd expected to choose those items himself. I'd eagerly anticipated freely organizing and decorating our home. Instead, I began to adjust to the practice of gaining approval for things such as hanging a picture on the wall.

for the rest of this amazing story go to the link at top.

As follows, there are books, and especially here in OZ and I am sure there are the same sorts of resources and help in the US. There are numerous agencies and resources to help any woman...or man... yes men suffer abuse from wives cope with and more importantly TO GET OUT OF this type of relationship. A woman can only try so much and for so long to get her abusive partner to see the error of his ways, but there are just some men in this world who have the arrogance, the attitude that they are better than anyone else..but get these cowards to face a real man and they soon plead/beg forgiveness only to go home to their battered spouse or move onto their next victim.

The Battered Wife by Nancy Nason-Clark
Violence in Families: What Every Christian Needs to Know by Al Miles
Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft

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