Helping women of faith find hope and healing after emotional and spiritual abuse

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When Women Hurt Women

by | Apr 27, 2020 | Articles, Emotional Abuse, Waking Up | 66 comments

When Women Live Authentically

She told the latest fool she was dating to take a hike. She was in her early 30s, divorced from an abusive and chronically unfaithful first husband, and raising two children by herself. She longed to be married and have a good role model for her children, but so far she had only dated men who look great at first, but under the facade was a controlling bully.

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. To her surprise and total confusion, he went into a rage when he found out. 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 new toy, and it made him mad. She showed up as a real, living, breathing, adult woman.

He wanted a doll he could pose however he chose.

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.

I’ve talked to women who are finally free from their abusive partner, but they are scared of making the same mistake. They want someone who will know them. The REAL woman they are. They don’t want the pressure to become someone different just to please someone else.

When Women Hurt Other Women

One of the most destructive books for Christian women on the market is Created to Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl.

If you boiled her message down to a strong, concentrated poison, 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? Is she supposed to become co-dependent, like he is? Is that God’s purpose for her life? Is that how she will bring life and healing to her husband and children? Is that how she will help them and herself be free to become all that God made them to be?

Sisters, it isn’t just men who promote these destructive messages. Women are doing it, too. And I think the women have more influence on one another than the men have on the women.

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.

When Women Worship Men Instead of God

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 dysfunctional. So is worshiping a woman.

What solves the problem? What keeps us in the saddle on this one?

  • Putting God where He belongs and people where they belong. Remember – there is only ONE mediator between God and every single human on the planet, including every FEMALE human. And that’s Jesus Christ. And it doesn’t matter if you are male or female, you have the Holy Spirit with you at all times, and you get your mail from Him. Directly. Not through someone else.
  • Turning away from the lust for power and control (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. (It’s okay if people get upset when they don’t get their way. Really, it is.)

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 isn’t doing him a favor by protecting him from growing up into emotional adulthood. 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 wives go in and trouble shoot for their husbands when they sow immorality or hatred or abuse or hypocrisy or deception, they 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.

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. One that is marked by Christian love and respect that goes both ways.

Fly Free,

Natalie Hoffman

P.S. I write more about this subject in my book, Is It Me? Making Sense of Your Confusing Marriage. Check it out on Amazon!


  1. Jill

    I read “Created to be his Helpmeet” THREE times. It was pushed on me by well intentioned women. It only worked to keep me in my abusive marriage. Fifteen years later I am flying free – mostly. Still going through the divorce process, but emotionally I am free. Spiritually I am free. Mentally I am free. I was so into that book that a family member had bought boxes of them to give out to people. She gave me a box at one point and I was going to be a good Christian woman and hand them out. Well, recently I found them in our hayloft and chucked them! Goodbye! I’ve read a ton of the Pearl’s material and I do believe they have good intentions. And they’ve even lightened up a bit in some areas because I think the problem of abuse was thrown at them quite a bit. But they do give out a wrong message and it’s not God’s way. So I would never ever ever recommend that book.

  2. Connie

    This book had a free chapter on some blog many years ago. It was about the 3 types of men. The first, which DP said was her husband, was a command-man. He says jump and you’d better say how high and jump or he’ll leave you behind and you’ll be sorry and your marriage failure will be all your fault. She said this man was like God. The second was like the Holy Spirit, a dreamer who never gets much done and the wife has to put up with his laziness. The third was like Jesus, pretty nice guy, but very few men are like that, so don’t hold your breath.
    I’m sorry, but that chapter turned me off so bad, I was angry! That is not what God is like, or the Holy Spirit, and if a man says he is a Christian, he has an obligation to work hard to be like Jesus, and we can expect him to be growing toward that.
    I grew up believing God was like that and it has taken a very long time to unlearn.

  3. Stephen Charity

    I just want to thank you again for sharing. I think that an overarching message you have is that ladies are worthy of love and respect with the freedom to be the person God made them. My personal motivation leads me to defend ladies with this vision. I regard this as part of my calling in the Lord.

  4. Amy Ingram

    Thank you for your ministry and I will most definitely invest in your ministry once I’m on my feet financially. I have hope and feel encouraged and I’m grateful to our loving Father that He led me to your website.
    Much love in His Name!

  5. Terri

    Yeah no to some of the comments about submitting and staying for abuse. Christianity has spent a long, long time requiring women to stick around through even the worst verbal/physical abuse because they say there’s some (remote) possibility that her continuing submission to abuse will mysteriously result in change. WE ARE NOT SACRIFICING WOMEN’S SAFETY AND LIVES FOR THIS CORRUPT TEACHING ANYMORE.

    We’ve required this from women to the point where today we have people verbalizing a gray area around the righteousness of leaving when you’re being abused. Leaving is not a sin; abuse is a sin.

    An abusive spouse will not be saved, so if saving the poor abuser is your primary or only concern, the abuse victim should leave. When or how that leaving is done is up to the victim for so many reasons; our job is to support them, not waffle about whether they should just stick around for a while and see what God has in store while the abuser continues to abuse. This is not a gray area. Leaving an abusive spouse is not a sin.

    But just once I wish we were as concerned (or more concerned) about victims as we are about abusers–to the point where we can say with certainty that the victim’s well-being and safety is priority rather than mushing about with the remote possibility of him seeing the light even while he’s being enabled to continue abusing without consequence. That’s not a reason for her to stay. Again: Leaving is not a sin. Abuse is a sin. This is entirely biblical. Universal, permanent, utter submission without accountability is *not* biblical and has nothing to do with godly marriage.

  6. Anon

    What you need to know is that if you marry your daughters off to Christian believers, these young men will feel entitled to them by preventing them from interacting with non-believers and bad-mouthing non-believing young men and getting into fights with them as if believers are always better than non-believers.

    I’m married to a scrupulous believer since I am one myself and he does what is mentioned in the first paragraph.

  7. Paula

    I am learning so much through the comments of these beautiful ladies, and God is putting this in my path in real life. I just learned a friend has been in a verbally abusive marriage for 4 years. Her husband and mine grew up in church together and went to Bible college together. I have only known her for a short time, she said her husband throws and breaks things, belittles her, calls her horrible names, and accuses her often that it’s all her fault and if she would just change he wouldn’t have to get so angry. I have sent her some info. about abuse and told her she needs to go directly to their pastor/elders. Yes they are going through counseling, it’s been a year, and yet no accountability, no consequence for his behavior, so no reason to change this behavior. She is on egg shells, terrified, said she would have already left if she had the money. Another friend of mine just shared she is helping her friend in an almost similar situation. As well, my brother in law is being emotionally abused by his wife on a regular basis. It’s not always the husband who is the abuser. She says such horrible nasty things, even when he hasn’t done anything, it’s out of the blue, he’s at work and she texts and says mean things, you never do this, you don’t help me with this and that, you are a BLEEP. She uses the D word all the time, says she hates him, cusses at him and takes off her ring. He is not perfect, but he’s trying so hard. He repents when he is not loving with his words, but she sees it as all his fault. He wants them to get help, she wants no part of it. My husband and I are praying about talking with her, or it maybe just me. Not in a confrontational way, but to speak the Truth in love to her, and to love her, and ask how I can come along side her to get healed and whole. I have little idea what to say so thankfully the Holy Spirit can lead me and teach me. Do you know of any good books that can give some guidance when the Lord leads me to talk with a person who is the abuser? My husband and I are learning what it looks like to speak the Truth in love to our brothers and sisters in the Lord. We are not responsible for how s/he responds, but we are responsible to say something when we see and know a person is abusive… Any thoughts on that? I want to talk with my sister in law, ask her to go for a walk, have coffee, to encourage her to get help and counsel and healing from her past that was very abusive in every way. She does not see that her past is the veil to how she views her husband. Thanks for any thoughts or resources/Christian blogs that talk more about this, etc.

    • Natalie Klejwa

      You have a tender heart. May I caution you? Someone like you with a sensitive conscience may find it hard to believe someone could be so hardened to input. But abusive people are almost always unable to receive constructive feedback no matter how loving and kind it is. Be prepared for that. For more information on this dynamic, see the book Foolproofing Your Life by Jan Silvious. She may need help and healing, but if she doesn’t WANT it – there isn’t a whole lot anyone can do. Sometimes the best thing is allow the person to reap what they have sown. This may mean broken relationships and pain. Then we pray that this kind of pain will drive them to repentance and restoration. This is excruciating, painful love. Your brother may benefit from the book by Leslie Vernick as well: The Emotionally Destructive Marriage. Your brother is likely in deep emotional pain. He may need extra support and positive feedback to help counter the lies his wife is feeding him. I’m so sorry. This life is full of so many painful sorrows. I pray your family will be able to navigate this challenging situation and that God will restore your brother to wholeness. As far as your other friends – encourage them to subscribe to the Cry for Justice blog. It is EXCELLENT. I would say the #1 most helpful lifeline for me, personally. There are many other online resources, but that blog is the bomb when it comes to help for abuse survivors. Once they start getting those posts – the doors will open to more education and insight into what they are facing and what their options are. Couples counseling is never a good idea in abuse cases. Never, ever. May God bless your efforts to minister to these precious people in your life.

      • Paula

        Natalie, Thanks for the caution. Your reasons are exactly why I have put off talking to my sister in law for 2 years. I want to approach it from “What do you want to see happen with your marriage and your relationship with the Lord?” I know we are not responsible for how people respond, but we are responsible to follow Holy Spirit’s leading and His Word. I definitely don’t want to talk to her if it’s just my own soul trying to fix it, but praying God will open the door. He may not.

        I know I was very resistant as a new believer to friends who wanted to encourage me in the Lord and discourage unhealthy choices. I basically told them at the time “I’ve got it covered” and I had to learn the hard way. When I look back now, I am so thankful there were women who loved me enough to speak the Truth and give godly wisdom, even when I didn’t want to hear it and was hard-hearted. I intend to proceed with caution. Thank you for the book & blog references, and your encouragement as well as your prayers for our family. I have never heard that couple’s counseling is never okay when it’s an abusive situation. I will def. share that with my friend. Take care and thank you for your blog and your heart to see women set free. Have a blessed day!

        • Beth

          I read Debi Pearl’s book when I was first married, and it didn’t sit well with me then. The more I unraveled it in my own mind, the more I realized Debi was advocating for servanthood to your husband, not being an equal partner and that isn’t ok. I know several women who think her book is amazing. Thank you so much for saying the important things that not very many others are saying. I truly believe that what you are doing is vital.

  8. marcie

    Thank you for writing these posts and for addressing the very serious errors in the Pearl’s book. To annon., I am so sorry for your pain. No, it was not sin for you to stay and it was not sin when you left. Most abused women stay for their children and they leave when there children are being more hurt by staying. Please check out A CRY FOR JUSTICE blog. I believe it will help you as you come out of the fog and self doubtt. The comments can be as ministering as the blog. You are precious to the Lord!

      • Jennifer

        I had to weigh in. I read all the top reply and all I can say is cherrrezzz if you openly confess that you have not been abused than how can you weigh in on this topic. Regardless it is no coincidence I landed here, I am HER, I am the pray harder be more do more submit more stand up more stand up less read almost every christian book on how to make it work love dare you name it I read it and tried it and you know what, I almost died there literally and I believe submitting to God has to be first, the holy spirit tells us when to stay and when to go if we really listen no two are the same and no can decide for you. I am so thankful for this sight because I know that it was built on experience and prayer not just thoughtless pharisee ism. God Bless and thank you because healing after abuse with Gods help is possible!

  9. Lauren

    Well, now that I’ve dipped my toe in the water, I did want to come back and say THANK YOU for calling out and condemning this book. I read it when my second-born was a few months old. I was a relatively young Christian in (as I have said), a very loving and Biblically-healthy marriage. I really thought the book was wonderful, as in it I found ways to bless my husband more through the way I approached my work at home (and my attitude about it), and ways to bless him through thinking for him in different ways. (And, as an aside, I found LOTS to be grateful for in him in all the sorry examples of men in the book, men before whom the author still claims wives must bow and scrape.)

    However, when I went back to it just a few years ago, remembering what a sweetness it had been for me before, I was horrified!! Having sat under sound teaching and grown in the Lord, my second reading proved the heresy for what it was. I put the book in the recycle bin just a chapter or so in; I didn’t even want to put it in a yard sale or used book store for some woman to unwittingly pick up who was without a sound theology, discernment, or a good man.

    Yet I, too, still acknowledge that there are minute nuggets of wisdom within the refuse. But when it comes to chewing up the meat and spitting out the bones on this book, as we say down in Georgia, it’s like eating a scrawny catfish. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I think that the particles of good within the heap are more easily found with other abundant, life-giving truths elsewhere.

    • Natalie Klejwa

      “itโ€™s like eating a scrawny catfish” – what a great word picture! I love southern folk. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Anon

    This is a much needed post IMO. Thank you for writing it and please keep talking about it. My dh and I were very involved in trying to stop a “Christian” man stop abusing his wife and then hiding behind (twisted) scripture. Twisting grace and repentance to show that he was ok. Stuff like this is real. His wife even thought that is was her job to literally die in her marriage if that is what the Lord wanted and she was totally co-dependant. He has since been handed over for the law to deal with, though minutely compared to the extent of the crimes he has committed over the decade. The abuse started before their marriage as well. God help us.

    • Natalie Klejwa

      Co-dependant. Yes. Co-dependance is made to look like love and grace. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s like a corpse in a pretty dress.

  11. Rebecca Stonebraker

    Actually Saphira didn’t “submit”, more like “agreed.” There’s no indication that she did anything against her will.
    I agree that we do have a tendency to fall into the ditch on both sides.
    But I am one who appreciates the Pearl’s ministry. Harsh, sometimes? Yes, but some of us need that a bit. I had no problem with disagreeing with certain things–put in my own ceiling fan? No thanks, I’ll pay someone to do that!
    Women today (and always–Gen. 3 and all) don’t want to submit to husbands because it goes against our sinful, selfish, “I’m a princess, so coddle me” mindset.
    Don’t get me wrong, I—like Debi Pearl–believe in speaking out against sin, and for God’s Word, but so often we just don’t want to have someone tell us what to do (and I’m no exception.)
    The Pearl’s teach that women certainly can go to the church elders and even the Police (!) if a woman has problems at home. The fact that some churches don’t help these women is not the Pearl’s fault. They even tell the story of a woman throwing a big rock through a window when she saw her husband viewing porn! The opinion that a husband can do anything and the woman just stands by, stupidly quiet and “submissive” is certainly very wrong–and I would add evil, if she allows her children to be abused –but is definately not something the Pearls teach.
    Let me add (by the way, married for 23 y and have 12 kids), my marriage is pretty good, going on better ๐Ÿ™‚ , but we’ve gone through some really bad times. I know people who probably thought I was an idiot for staying, but keeping a marriage intact is an awesome thing, for our kids, to honor the Lord, and for our personal well being. Hard, because the enemy hates us, our marriage, our children.
    Please don’t criticize the Pearls too harshly. Give them some grace also–they’re wemmicks too, right? ๐Ÿ™‚
    And for those in a bad marriage, there is hope. Believe that. If your husband is beating you up, sexually abusing the kids, GET OUT. But if he’s just your plain ordinary kind of sinner–yells, porn, lazy, disrespectful–and I know these are serious and extremely painful–then, stay, pray, talk, and work on your marriage. God is still awesome and He still answers prayer. Trust me, I know. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Sorry for the length–God bless.

    • Natalie Klejwa

      “Give them some grace alsoโ€“theyโ€™re wemmicks too, right? :)”

      Absolutely. And they aren’t to blame for the sins of others. I just think they may be part of a larger message that has contributed (in part) to the abuse of women and children. It’s the message I’m concerned about, not the Pearls themselves.

  12. Anonymous

    So many thoughts & comments to all the responses. I still need to write anonymous for my name as this is such a risk for me to speak publically about this entire topic & it’s offshoots.
    First – thank you, yes & amen for your heart & willingness to talk about hard things. You have brought to light the things we as women should be talking about rather than hide them under the rug.
    Those with abusers know that hiding is protocol…. hide the oh so unpleasant sides of an abusive, married life so the abuser can walk around in his (her) public places with head held high, following outward rules with an inward life of darkness.

    I have been gone now for 4.5 months. I know I stayed because in many churches that is what you are taught. Women are led to believe that you must submit at all costs & so I did. I have never liked the Pearls so their book did not come into play but so many others did- Vision Forum, the Wilson’s books, countless other websites, women etc. etc.

    I do not need to go into the years & years of emotional & verbal abuse as it is just like so many other stories……Dutiful Christian woman marries & becomes the outlet for husbands anger, control, criticism, raging, selfishishness etc.
    She stays because she is told that it must be that she is not submissive or godly enough ( don’t say this doesn’t happen everyone because it does). She stays because he controls finances or they have none, she stays because as abused women they often live in a fog created by abuser. They are oppressed and do not know how to make decisions on their own ( this absolutely happens). They stay because they feel as if they have no hope for life apart from him, no other option.
    To the women who said women stay because they are in sin & stay because they are selfish -yes possibly but shame on you for thinking such things when you have no clue as to the anguish, guilt & questioning of self that so many abused women go through. Selfishness is not a word I would use to describe women who aren’t able to get out. Scared, penniless, brainwashed, hurt, rejected, devastated, wounded, alone, are words that are more fitting.
    In my mind the thought of others pain ( especially children) is the one of the biggest reasons women do not leave- this is not selfishness but it is sacrifice.

    This is heart wrenching to me. This situation is so much bigger than so many people believe. We have a nation of men ( Christian & non) who have been led to believe life centers around them. We have women who are told the same thing & so their life is about catering to these self centered, spoiled men. God help me to raise boys who know how to love, serve, cherish, protect, provide for the ones put in their lives. God help me to raise girls who know what it means to have someone cherish them. I am not talking perfection here I am talking about people who actually read the bible & live it all out not just the parts that suit their selfish desires.

    As I said I have been away from my spouse for 4.5 months. I have my church’s support, my children’s support, & my friends.
    This is not easy. It is hard to look into the face of your sweet children & either think I have done this to them or I didn’t do it soon enough.
    One can never be sure because many times we hear messages like some of the ones in these comments.
    For example to the woman who said – maybe “God wanted her to endure” this is what keeps women as victims. God does not desire for His beloved daughters to be in bondage to evil men. Does he allow things? Yes! That does not mean it is His will she should stay. If she does will He redeem it? Yes, sometimes , that is what He does.
    Just because you saw a beautiful example of selfless love does not mean He desired for her to be treated in a way contrary to His commands. It certainly means that God can make beautiful things out of the darkness His children create. This is a function of a redemptive God!

    Messages like this are scary & hard for me to read. I could have stayed, I could have kept on keeping on. I could have allowed my children to see & hear things that were like a war zone. My Christian husband threw things across the house, broke doors, valuables, destroyed personal property of mine & theirs , every other word was a swear word. He called me names , he controlled finances , which means even though we have a considerable salary nothing got paid. He was & is above all authority & rules. He continues to run his life in an irresponsible manner. He requests to see the children when it fits his agenda & schedule missing many important events or days. He refuses to go to his accountability group or individual counseling, stating “it’s not for me” . He quotes the bible non stop & mostly the parts about wives & how they should submit in everything. He continues to pester me into giving into physical intimacy as he says there is nothing in the bible about wives refusing,
    ( to whoever said “acting like a slut for your husband” those in that situation know EXACTLY what you meant & it has nothing to do with the sacredness of the marriage bed)
    He sends awful texts to me in his attempt to control, manipulate , etc.

    Yet, I keep on questioning whether I did & am doing the right thing. I keep feeling it is somehow my fault, if I had only been better at this, that or the othe other thing he would be different.
    Messages of “women submit” are so strong & I agree sometimes the strongest words come from our sisters in Christ.
    I must say I long for a husband who loves the woman God created. The big problem is, she is lost. My prayer is that I find her again.

    • Natalie Klejwa

      I pray you find her again too. She was created by God to bring something into this world that only she could bring. Thank you for taking the time (and emotional energy – I know that must have been draining for you) to write this. I know so many – SO MANY who are in your situation and have experienced similar things. The most crushing thing of all is to finally get the guts to open up about it, and then be slapped down by fellow believers who are ALL ABOUT your loving and submitting to an abusive man, but who have no clue what it means to love an abused woman. There is something blind and evil behind that. God’s Word is clear that He is a Protector, He binds up wounds, He defends the innocent, etc.. The Church prefers to feed them to the wolves while taking communion on the sidelines.

      I think one of the main problems is that everyone filters what they hear through their own grid of experience. It’s hard for a woman with a normal spouse and garden variety marriage issues to remotely comprehend the daily emotional and physical agony and confusion of living with a selfish spouse who never really “sees” you as a human being. You are an object to be used and vented upon no matter how hard you try or how many Bible verses you slap on it like so many band aids. This is one of the reasons I’m talking about it here. To educate Christian women on this subject so there will be more awareness and compassion toward their Christian sisters who are suffering. So when a woman comes forward asking for help, maybe someone will believe her and actually do something to help. Telling a woman to go home and suffer for the glory of God is not helping either the woman or her abusive husband. This should be a no-brainer, but sadly, it is the norm in the Church at large. The “world” is FAR more helpful, actually – and to the shame of the Church. They will listen and have compassion. They offer classes, support groups, homes for women to stay in, therapy for abusers, and legal help for those who need extra protection. The Church has the Word of the Living God, but instead of using it to learn how to protect and cherish women and children, they use it to beat them up even more. I don’t think God is impressed.

  13. Trisha

    It’s been several years since I read that book, but I got the message that women are NOT supposed to obey if their husband asks them to do evil, or put up with abuse, or enable their husband’s sin. The message I DID get was that I shouldn’t be lazy, that I should be respectful, and that I should at least try to make my husband happy (admittedly, this isn’t very hard for me because my husband is not abusive or controlling)

    And what do you mean by “be a slut for your husband”? are you saying that it’s wrong to be sexy and seductive with one’s husband (in private, of course) ? In a healthy marriage, intimacy should be enjoyed-not shunned or treated as something dirty.

    I didn’t think that book was encouraging submission to abuse, I think it actually gave an positive example of a woman confronting her husband’s porn use. but I’m not looking at it from the perspective of a woman who has been abused, so maybe I just didn’t notice the hidden danger.

  14. Joanne

    Yikes! I’ve never seen my words in print unexpectedly. Must take care to polish them a little better before putting them out there! ๐Ÿ˜€

    This is an awfully raw topic for me, and since you aren’t my therapist ๐Ÿ˜‰ I will just say that we are all susceptible to falling into the ditches on either side of the road. Let’s just be careful not to make those ditches into bunkers from which we wage war.

  15. tereza crump aka mytreasuredcreations

    I don’t think it’s that simple as you make it sound, Natalie. Yes, in a perfect world, nobody would want to be abused or have to submit to a sick and cruel man. But we don’t live in a perfect world, and God uses all things to our good.
    Any book, even the Bible, can be taken differently because it is filtered through one’s paradigm or way of seeing life/ beliefs. That’s why you can read the same book twice and have 2 completely different opinions. Your paradigm changed! I believe we are all growing, moving toward a better relationship with our Lord Jesus. Sometimes the suffering, however way it’s caused, will draw us near to Him. I don’t like this any more than the average Jane, but it’s our reality in this fallen world. Pain and suffering will draw us near to Him.

    Does that mean I agree that women need to be abused? No! But do I know the plans God has for this woman? No! Do I know what He is using to turn people to Him, to bring Him glory? I can’t fathom God’s mind, nor can I put everyone in the same box based on my experience, or someone else’s bad horrible life. While He is no respecter of persons, He will act according to each individual’s life and the plans He has for them.

    My grandmother is 84 years old. She lost her mother when she was only 9. She raised her siblings, but they all died in childhood. When her dad re-married, his wife did not want her and send her to a boarding school. When she graduated at 17, she knew her only hope was to get married and have her own family. She married a man who had a career and provided for the family, but he was abusive. As the years passed, he softened. His children couldn’t talk in his presence; when he became a grandpa he realized the error he committed with his children. He would bring friends over and gorge on alcohol and food, all the while my grandmother served as a cook and maid. He humiliated her publicly many times. My grandmother endured it all and served him with joy. He would call her from one end of the house and she would run to his side without a second thought. I remember asking her why she did that, if she didn’t think that was wrong. She would say “Don’t worry, love, he doesn’t know better. It’s good that he is here at home, with his friends, instead of walking on the streets drunk. He could suffer an accident, or be robbed, or hurt. If I can help him and love him, why shouldn’t I?” All her thoughts were for him, for us, for her family. She is devoted to Jesus. She clings to Him with all her might all the time. She is not perfect, but she knows that her only hope is in Jesus.

    About 8 years ago, my grandfather died. She was heartbroken. They loved each other. On his death bed my grandfather kept telling her to help him believe in God.

    My grandmother loves to travel. My grandfather was afraid of flying, so she would endure days on the road for his sake. After he died, she flew everywhere. She has been here to the US twice (she is from Brazil). She has been to Europe. She got lost in Italy one day. ๐Ÿ™‚ My grandmother is an adventurous woman but she submitted to her circumstances out of love. For her Lord? For her husband? For her own sake because she thought she had no other options? Who knows? Who can discern the heart but God?

    As Christians, we need to speak up, come along side these women that suffer abuse, pray for these husbands, ask for help, do what we can… but I don’t think that leaving is always the solution. Maybe for some. Maybe some are asked to stay and endure.

    My grandmother’s life has been a living testimony of God’s love and faithfulness to me and my family. My grandfather’s sin affected many lives. I was exposed to pornography in his home which led to promiscuity, abortion, divorce, etc. But at the end of my hope, down in the pit, Jesus rescued me. If I had been altogether, would I have seen my need for Him?

    My favorite verse in the Bible is Rom 8:28. It says it all.

    Do I want my daughter or a friend, or myself to be in an abusive relationship? No! Just like I didn’t want my grandmother to have been in one. But there was a purpose in it after all.

    This whole conversation reminds me of your pendulum series. I remember clearly the one you wrote about having babies at the hospital. It impacted me since I was set in my ways that the only way to have them was at home au naturale. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Amanda

    Where we are coming fromโ€ฆwhat our experiences have beenโ€ฆoh so very, very important to this particular topic. I’m starting to think that almost more than any other topic, that of submission in marriage is where our spiritual maturity and knowledge of actual Scripture is put to the test. Because the way I see it, marriage is supposed to demonstrate some things about God’s relationship with mankind that aren’t shown in any other way. And it’s where our own skin can either get pinchedโ€ฆor sloughed off and made beautiful. There IS a line there, and unfortunately it gets crossed. It also gets resisted by stubbornness, selfishness, pride, etc. Natalie, I commend you ONCE AGAIN for your courage in bringing up “THAT” topic book. This is why I return to your blog pretty much every day!

    I have to say, my life was changed and my marriage were very edified by “that” book years ago. I read it at a time when I needed some stern words. I read it twice in quick succession. I didn’t do what the book said to please anybody except the Lord (so, I was probably hearing this from Him in different ways and those words were what finally got through). But I hesitate to recommend it because women tend to read such books as a “how-to” get what they want out of marriage/fix what they don’t like in their husband, and that is also dangerous. I think there is LOTS of material out there, well-intentioned but damaging marriages, because Christian people DO NOT know their scriptures and start with that; women especially tend to want a topical “here’s what to do, with a few verses sprinkled in”. You’re really making me think with this one, because I’m wondering: what did I miss? I honestly don’t know if I’d have my marriage, or my nearly-four children right now, without that book.

    • Natalie Klejwa

      Thank you for bringing up an important point (several, actually). I have no doubt that God has used that book to help thousands of women in normal marriages. It’s like a good kick in the rumpusdiddlyumpus if you are a woman who is saturated with Scripture, and you’ve got an honoring husband who loves God and is emotionally healthy. (And God can use anything to fulfill His purposes. My mom got saved after watching Godspell, LOL!)

      I do like a good kick in the pants now and then, and as I wrote, I enjoyed that book and did recommend it to women several years ago. I skimmed through it again last year from a different perspective though. Suddenly I could see the attitude I previously admired in a totally different light. I was seeing it in sharp contrast to the faces of women I know locally and online who are living or have lived in abusive marriages for years. I could see how they followed her advice, enabling their men to go deeper into sin. This was really “nice” of them. But it wasn’t good or wise. Years later they are paying though their own lack of emotional and spiritual health AND through their children who grew up believing it was OK for Dad to be verbally or emotionally abusive. (I know she speaks out against physical abuse, but there is very little to support an emotionally, verbally, or spiritually abused wife.) Anger, manipulation, and overt and covert verbal assault is “Christian.” Now they don’t want anything to do with God. He’s not a God of justice and mercy to them. He’s a God who ignores or minimizes the cries of women and children. (I realize some men are abused, but I don’t know any personally, so I can’t speak to that.)

      I’m always glad to know that for every abused Christian wife, there are many more who are living with healthy (not perfect) men! I know I’ll never be able to speak from that perspective again though. I know too much now. And I guess there’s a part of me that believes everyone needs to know too much. How else will we change things and make our corners of the world safer for people?

      Thank you, Amanda, for bringing up your musings on this. My guess is that most of my readers are coming from your perspective. Maybe? So I really appreciate the opportunity to dialogue with someone who is representing them. For every person who takes time to leave a comment, there are a hundred women who are thinking the exact same thing.

      • raisingcropsandbabies

        I skimmed CTBHHM and the only part I thought was neat were the 3 types of men. My husband is completely and utterly Mr. Steady. Anyway, the rest, I tossed out. For some reason, the words in it left me with an unsettled/unnerving feeling. I would say, “What do you think about this?” to my husband and he’d say, “I would never want you to be like that. I want you to have input if you have it. I want you to stand up for what you think. I want you to make decisions!” haha.

      • amanda

        Well, thank you for accepting my comment graciously and without defensiveness. I will say that only in perhaps 2-3 cases, of women I knew very well and whose husbands we knew well/my husband respected, did I feel comfortable recommending the book. In other cases, I’ve pointed out that submission also involves submitting to/acknowledging the reality of relationship situations and reacting accordingly. I hope that one legacy of this generation of the church’s recent leadership debacle is men who better understand their marriage roles before God. My dad did not treat our mom well. I never saw physical abuse, but there was verbal nastiness aplenty. However, it was part of a mutual downward spiral during which I regularly heard her verbally abuse him in a way I cannot fathom ever thinking about my husband. In the 18 years I lived at home, I recall exactly one time when I heard my mom say something positive about my dad: she told us (not in his presence) that he was a good conversationalist. There were long, protracted family “devotional” times, led by her after she’d announce to us that “well, we’re going to do this anyway because dad doesn’t WANT to be part of family devotions”. My dad would usually stick around after that, I’m sure out of guilt, during which time she would pray long, emotional prayers begging God to please send us a spiritual leader and “be the High Priest in our house, we need one so much”. My parents were born again as adults, shortly after marriage. He supported my mom’s staying home/homeschooling, supported nine children of whom he was very proudโ€ฆand my husband has repeatedly told me that he doesn’t know how my dad has survived this long. My dad is intelligent, works hard, and he was/is a faithful husband. I’ve never heard him speak negatively of my mother to us–only, sadly, to her. To this day, my mom will look you in the eye and tell you that “submission doesn’t mean you just shut up”, and that she has been verbally abused. So when I read DP talk, among other things, about what happens when women are pretty sure they’re more spiritual than their husbands? I have seen this fallout, as have my four brothers. I PRAY that they find wives who are daughters of Sarah, a la I Peter 3.

  17. Helen

    Debi Pearls book opened my eyes to some things. Like what kind of man my husband is. He’s a visionary and because of her I’ve learned how he works and thinks. Do I agree with everything she writes? No. It’s just like any other book (except the Bible) you read. You don’t agree with it all BUT you can learn something from it. I never got the impression about the book like you did.

    • Natalie Klejwa

      I didn’t either until I had seen the fallout so many times over the years. I actually defended the book on blog posts like mine. Isn’t that funny?

  18. Julie

    But the Pearls strongly encourage wives of abusive husbands to get out, even turn their husbands to the police (including him going to jail). So… I’m not saying I agree with all their philosophy of marriage, but simply that if I were in an abusive situation and I read CTBHHM I would take away from it that I should get out ASAP. I think that it’s important to highlight certain dangers of a book like that one (especially for certain circles of Christianty), but the Pearls are not to blame for bad decisions made by abused wives (just as you are not to blame if some wife reads this and feels justified in her contentious, unsubmissive attitude toward her husband). That there could be (and HAS BEEN) negative influence from Pearl books, of course, but in some cases the Pearls have influenced families positively (anyone who says Pearl books have NEVER influenced any marriage positively is blinded to reality, because it’s easier to just discredit them altogether than it is to find the true, balanced perspective). I’m responsible as a wife to obey God’s Word, and He has a way out for every abused wife (or are they exempt from the promise that He always provides a way out from temptation? And isn’t it a HUGE temptation to wives of abusive husbands to simply STAY and put up
    with things a little longer, even though deep down inside they know they have to get out?). Too often the abused wife herself is too selfish to obey God and do what she has to do. I know that sounds harsh, but it is ultimately the wife’s responsibility to obey God’s Word even if she is alone in her decision, and EVEN if she has been counseled wrong by her church authorities. I’m not saying we don’t speak out against the lies being perpetuated by men and women alike in this area, but simply that the responsibility shouldn’t be shifted to them altogether, because God will hold us wives responsible for our decisions, and it won’t stand to say “Oh, but the Pearl books… But the ladies in my church… But…” I think that every woman is responsible to know herself and learn to discern which Christian books will benefit her and which will be a stumbling block, and to filter everything through Scripture to retain the good and throw out the bad. And if the wife feels she’s not at a point where she’s able to discern, she can always rest in the Bible, knowing that there it’s safe to let her guard down and read without the danger of human opinions. My heart goes out to wives in abusive situations, but sometimes they stay there in those situations because they’re not ready to face the implications of obeying God’s Word above all other human authority. In my circles the only examples I’ve seen are of wives staying in the abusive relationship when all her family and church authorities were strongly counseling her to leave the husband temporarily until he humbled himself and received help. These wives refused, often for years (and these are not uber conservative churches). So when I read of the other side, yes it’s sad, but my focus would never be on all the negative influences around the abused wife. It would be the lack of a solid Biblical foundation in the lives of these wives, which keep them in these viscous cycles.

    • Natalie Klejwa

      Yes. I agree with you. The focus you recommend at the end would be a good topic for a different article. That’s the challenge of a blog post. You can only say so much in a given amount of white space. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • A Humbled Wemmick

      I agree with so much of what you posted here, thank you. Perhaps I came off a bit harsh in my response about the Pearls, and I do apologize if it seemed I was blaming or slandering them, that was not my intent. Having experienced an abusive situation and been made privy to several others, I would like to point out that sometimes wives in these situations are not, or do not feel, spiritually mature enough to discern God’s Word or will for themselves. Especially if they are in circles that encourage the idea that God would never tell them to go against their husbands wishes, even if he is abusive. So these women are searching for someone to tell them what God’s Word says, for fear they might misinterpret it. And when you come across people like the Pearls, who present their ideas as fully Biblical when in reality much is simply their opinion, confusion happens. I agree that wives are absolutely responsible for what they decide to do in their situation, however I think sometimes when you are hearing from authorities that you respect and believe to be more spiritually mature than you “this is what the Bible says!” it can muddle the decision making. Which makes it all the more important to teach our daughters how to discern the Word for themselves and seek God’s wisdom above man’s. And I think Natalie is promoting that beautifully and it is so refreshing.

  19. Cindy

    And, Natalie, I know that I keep coming across as completely clueless about this stuff. That’s because I am. I was blessed with a loving family that focused on what the Bible says, and on real love and real family relationships, rather than what other “teachers” said about what a family ought to look like, so these revelations are actually kind of shocking to me every time I see them. Please don’t laugh at me or think I’m too naive, but I really have had a deal of trouble seeing that the problem is actually out there in the church. My churches haven’t been like that, and I thank God for it! And I’m thrilled that you’re doing this, because as I look for a new church to call home, and as I make new friends in them, I’m glad to have these signposts to keep me out of those ditches. Thank you, from the bottom of my clueless heart. <3

    • Natalie Klejwa

      You are SO blessed, Cindy. It’s actually very encouraging to me to know there are Christians out there oblivious to this kind of dysfunction. It gives me hope for the Church of Jesus Christ. May more oblivious men and women be found on the face of this planet. (Clink of glasses. Sipping. Smiling.)

    • Carmon

      Cindy, for a long time, like Natalie, I promoted this wooden thinking about marriage relationships, as well. But I am blessed with a husband who respects me, spoils me, and who is very kind. When ladies would share with me about abusive husbands, I really didn’t know what to say except to parrot the “submit more” advice, without understanding the seriousness of their situation. I have learned better, and I realize how wrong I was, and I want to show compassion to the dear ladies who are suffering abuse that is horrible and destructive to them and their children.

  20. Cindy

    Wowza! This must be that ditch on the other side of the road that I keep reading about. I haven’t read anything by the Pearls, and have deliberately stayed away from them, despite my curiosity. I’d love to form an opinion myself about them someday, but not until I’ve got it all figured out for myself so they can’t trip me up. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Does this “God lets her know what He (God) wants when her husband lets her know what he (the husband) wants? ” really represent what’s being said by these types? Because that IS perverted. Utterly wicked. More like Islam than Christianity.

    • Natalie Klejwa

      Oh yes. God speaks through your authority. I did a Bible study once where the author actually said that if your husband asks you to sin, you are to obey and trust God for the outcome. Cry out to God for rescue – but if He doesn’t show up…well…that’s His will then. Unbelievably sick. Let’s just stick our kids out in the middle of the freeway then and cry out to God for rescue. Gotta practice our faith, right? These types teach these things because they are into control and uniformity over diversity with unity.

      • Cindy

        I’m reminded of Abigail running away from her fool husband to give David his due as king. No, we don’t submit to wrongdoing.

  21. Karen

    I love it, I was beginning to question my sanity, but there are other woman out there thinking wondering the same thing. I have said some of the same things as what you eloquently wrote here. I will make an account to the Lord All-By-My- Self, My husband will not be standing there making an account for me. The Lord gives me wisdom, truth and convictions as he will my husband if my husband is seeking the Lords help, and it’s my responsibility to implement this in my life and relationships with grace, love and kindness . Your posts, these day’s, are providing me with plenty to think about.

    • Natalie Klejwa

      I’m going to be reviewing some books coming up here that might encourage you. Hang in there. Many women are in the same boat. God sees it all.

  22. Tyanne

    I have often struggled to box up biblical advice on ANY topic because I see a million variations to every person’s circumstances and I can’t trace the what-ifs far enough to rule out my own blissful ignorance. It is so easy to sit in my comfortable home and manage our comfortable budget while parenting my healthy, typical children and loving and respecting my godly husband, dishing out tips to other women on how to have MY life if five easy steps. We want so badly to make hard-fast rules, talk as though things are black and white, JUDGE as though everything is as simple as obeying a list of Do’s and Don’ts — and the mom blogging world is a scary confirmation of this. Reality is a harsh teacher, but a welcome one. Thank you for breaking out some reality here, Natalie. I hope it will make others think before they type, maybe inspire some guts in the rest of us.

    • Natalie Klejwa

      I get what you are saying. I’ve written things in the past and had comments that have made me realize the vast differences in where we are all coming from. The incredibly comforting thing is that God knows all of us by name, and He is sovereignly orchestrating our individual circumstances to do His unique work in each of our lives. When we write a post, it will go out to someone special who needs just that piece to encourage her that day. But it will also go out to another special someone who is in a different place and won’t need it or will react to it based on her experience or lack thereof. We can be brave and share something, but we can’t control the outcomes. God does though. Some things that used to make me flip out three years ago are now resonating with me, and I’m seeing the need for those messages in certain people’s lives.

      So what I’m trying to say is – keep sharing Tyanne. Never let your normal insecurities or wonderings about whether or not what you are sharing will help – stop you from doing it. Life is short. Open your mouth. ๐Ÿ™‚ (OK, now some people need to shut their mouths and they shouldn’t hear what I just wrote…but hey, that’s what we’re talking about, right?)

      • Tyanne

        I hear you. I just read things on submission and other topics like you reference above and think two things: This person is genuinely trying to give sound biblical advice AND this person is dangerous. I so fear being a dangerous wordsmith, a fear I believe is both a help and a hindrance. I am so interested in reading how you handle the above question on submitting to our husbands. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Natalie Klejwa

          I’m interested in reading how I handle it too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Julie

      I think the long comment I just posted fits in to what you’re saying here, in the sense that it’s easy for me to respond according to what has been my life experience (which is radically different from so many other women); and I often refrain from commenting for that reason, because I know that Natalie’s post is a needed one, so I hesitate to say anything that seems to contradict her in any way (and in general I like avoiding making waves). But, I’ve benefited from experiencing and listening to multiple points of view, so I thought I’d post this time, in hopes that it will be useful to some (although I know it could also cause stinging in others).

      • Natalie Klejwa

        Oh, make some waves, Julie. The waters are always still right before you drown. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hailey White

      Amen Tyanne!

  23. A Humbled Wemmick

    This. This. THIS. If I could spend days on end pressing the “like” button, I would. Thank you especially for speaking out against Created to be His Helpmeet. I’ve heard some people in the Christian community say that the “Debi Pearl keeps women in abusive marriages” is a straw man argument, but I am here to tell you that it’s NOT. I grew up in an abusive home, my sweet godly mother read Debi Pearl and did everything (and I mean everything) that book said. But instead of getting better, things got worse. Until, against the advice of everyone in our church at that time, she got us all out. I truly believe with all my heart that she would not be alive today if she hadn’t chosen to go against the “submit at all costs” Debi mantra. And then I’ve seen this scenario repeated several other times with families I know well. Sometimes the women get out, sometimes they don’t. But I’ll tell you one thing, the ones that stay and practice Created to be His Helpmeet are some of the most timid and beaten down women I have ever met. ABUSE IS NOT BIBLICAL. SUBMISSION DOES NOT MEAN ALLOW ABUSE. Oh and by the way husbands, LOVE your wives. That is in that same verse too, you know. But it is not nearly the “absolute requirement” for men that “submission” (the modern church’s version that is, which is all but abuse-enabling) is for women. I can only imagine God’s heart breaking as He watches His daughters get crushed and broken in His name. I pray more people: men, women, pastors, mothers, fathers, speak out on this issue. Thank you for doing so with boldness and courage.

    • Natalie Klejwa

      I’ve seen it too. Over and over. That’s what finally woke me up, and that’s why I’m writing a lot about this kind of thing lately. I, too, believe it breaks God’s heart. And the enemy is dancing in the blood of the saints when we perpetuate these twisted lies. He doesn’t have to persecute God’s people from the outside. He’s got the Church persecuting it’s own right behind the walls of our homes with the blessing of the pastors and elders. It makes me vomit to think of it. Time to stand up and speak truth.

  24. Laurie

    I agree with what you say. It makes sense-and the alternative is *ugh* horrible. What do you think the bible means when it tells Christian women to “submit” to their husbands? Do you think it was just for that culture?

    • Natalie Klejwa

      No, I don’t think it was just for that culture. I think I need to blog an answer. How does that sound? ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Laurie

        YES! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you!
        Sometimes we can discern what we shouldn’t do (because it looks instinctively ugly) but it can be difficult (in all the contrasting views and styles) to know what we should do.

      • Laurie

        Goodness! Gracious! I hadn’t read the other comments when I posted yesterday.
        I think it is SO important to be clear (as you are!) in what God has said and who and what we are before him.
        We are lost and under judgement apart from Christ. Even lost women however do not “deserve” punishment from their husbands.
        As believers and God’s daughters, we are not under judgement at ALL! and though we will be chastened at times or reap the fruit of poor choices and sin we are still not deserving of abuse by our husbands.
        I think it would be a horrible thrwarting of the Scriptures to say that God’s children “deserve” punishment from anyone.
        If God wants to chasten us, He can and will.
        Husbands are not God!

  25. Cherriezzzzz

    “And someone who actually wants her to STAY the real her. Isnโ€™t that healthy?”

    No, no, no, it’s NOT healthy…! The REAL us are sinful, selfish, God hating persons. You don’t want her to change?! Is she perfect?! Wow… I pray she finds someone who can grow her into the woman God intends her to be. Husbands to have a Godly role in the lives of their wives! Don’t fall for this culture’s post-mil delusions to be “true to self.” You’re making it seem like happiness is the end all, beat all of existence. And I challenge that wasn’t your intent? Based on what I’ve been reading of your blog, you would want people, in the end, men and women, to Glorify God. Being our real selves is deadly. I’ve changed so much in my marriage, by God’s grace alone, and I would imagine you have too. Please be careful toting this advise, nowadays this is how these young people are reading “real self.” Like the gay culture, that’s who they really are… they ARE born that way, born sinful, like me, like you, like your daughter, like the poor men who aren’t making the cut. It makes gay persons unhappy to deny their true REAL selves… but it is sin. We’re to repent of it, wether it makes us happy or not. Your daughter could possess the skills to help a man out of sin, I have with my husband!!! Many, many times!!! He loves me and God and that’s my only precursor to marriage. Although now we love God more than we ever did before we got married ๐Ÿ™‚ God KEEPS working. His sanctification lasts a lifetime. John the Baptist was waiting a beheading… he wasn’t really happy about it at all. Even so much as to get word to Jesus asking if there is someone else they should be waiting for! Doubt!? From whom Christ said was thee greatest man born of a woman… and probably the least happiest walking in the will of God. Happiness doesn’t equal God’s will… be sure that’s not the tone of your further writings if that is indeed not your intention.

    • Natalie Klejwa

      You’ve completely twisted the meaning of that phrase. By the “real her” I meant the girl God made her. Does God make garbage? There’s a mammoth difference between the fact that we are sinners and the fact that we are precious, unique human beings made in the image of God. I could take what you are saying and assume you think we should just murder everyone. I mean seriously. People are junk, right? Why not blow them all up? This is the argument for abuse of human lives. There is so much that is wrong in what you are saying. It isn’t the heart of the God I worship. The God of the Bible. I think I feel I blog post coming on…

      • Cherriezzzzz

        I am more Reformed in my theology, not like where you seem to come from, more Fundamentalist? I haven’t even read the Pearl’s books, apart from To Train Up A Child… that I got from another Fundy lol! Wow, your response was very angry… guess you can’t control your evil heart either? Maybe your husband shouldn’t married you because of your angry outburst? Do you see where I am getting at? I have angry outbursts! It’s not a reason not to get married! A house purchase is a huge deal when your in a relationship serious enough to talk marriage… just put the shoe on the other foot. Everyone said the man I married as a “jerk” (they used the not nice word we all wish to.) We’re happier then everyone else we know, been together 17 years. We’ve never ever struggled with thoughts of divorce, abuse, infidelity etc. I’m just responding to what your post as a whole was implying. Happiness doesn’t equal God’s will. Some people die (hence why I brought up John.) It was no judgement upon the subject at large… I don’t have any experience either… I have a wonderful, God fearing, loving husband and my littles are young… although I think no one will be good enough for my daughter either ๐Ÿ˜‰ We’ll smile about this all one day together in Heaven. Sorry to have offended you. Please afford me any grace you can give.

        • Natalie Klejwa

          I wasn’t offended. Just needed to correct what you were saying for the sake of other readers. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Stacie

          She was making an argument; that does not mean she was being angry (only she knows that). You can’t hear a person’s tone on the internet.

          The post as a whole is saying that the belief that whatever the man says/wants/prefers is unquestionably God’s will for the woman is not a biblically accurate view of submission. Never does she say or imply that seeking our own idea of happiness is God’s will.

      • Cherriezzzzz

        The “heart of the god you worship” though has killed many in His righteous, Holy wrath. You must love all of Him including His judgments upon mankind. We are guilty no doubt. God is Holy above all else. Many atheists I’ve known try to use the “happy loving jesus” against God of the O.T. to disprove His existence. I wouldn’t want any Christians falling into that trap. They are one in the same, unchangeable Lord. I think of the clay and the Potter. We cannot judge for ourselves what is righteous and what isn’t. God is our standard, not our immortal, sin tainted “feelings.”

        • Natalie Klejwa

          God judges the unsaved. He doesn’t judge His sons and daughters who live under abuse. He is a God of justice and mercy. When the Church or individuals in the Church enable other human beings to treat others with contempt year after year, they are siding with the enemy, not God. And yes we can judge what is righteous and what isn’t. If we couldn’t, then who is to say that murdering babies in the womb is wrong? God gave us the Bible for a reason. Let’s not be naive.

    • raisingcropsandbabies

      I don’t think that is the angle she was coming from! For example: the “real” her being the girl who likes bluegrass, swimming in ponds, being so silly she snorts when she laughs, loving make-up (or not), feeling so free and full of life she likes to twirl in the grocery store aisles (may or may not be a personal love of mine)…. she doesn’t want a man who thinks she is embarassing or immature and wants to change all those things that make her unique. She doesn’t want someone who tells her she is a hick and she needs to switch to listening to classical music and being more “sophisticated”. Someone who tells her to stop swimming because maybe he doesn’t know how to swim or he finds that threatening that she likes to go alone. Someone who enjoys her zest for life instead of telling her to “act her age”.

      That’s what I took away.



  1. Confused About Submission? Some Clarification! | Visionary Womanhood - […] seeing confusion in the comments on my posts about submission (Part One, Part Two, Part Three and also in…

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