Here is a poem I read yesterday that touched my heart. I hope it touches yours as well.
Praying the Heart
You can only pray what's in your heart.
So if your heart is being ripped from your chest
Pray the tearing
If your heart is full of bitterness
Pray it to the last dreg
If your heart is a river gone wild
Pray the torrent
Or a lava flow scorching the mountain
Pray the fire
Pray the scream in your heart
The fanning bellows
Pray the rage,
The murder and The mourning
Pray your heart into the great quiet hands that can hold it
Like the small bird it is.
—Elizabeth Cunningham, from her book of poems Small Bird
Today’s Question: I am being told that I am being controlling, being the head of the house which leads to witch craft, Jezebel, and antichrist etc. I’m told all I need to do is release the control back to my husband. Otherwise I will reap what I sow.
After money being spent on things that did not need to be spent on and pay checks being spent before I had deposited them in the bank I started to put my pay from work in to a separate account as we have two children who need to be looked after.
My husband is not working. Currently he is being required to stay at another address because of destructive behavior. He believes it is my responsibility to fix up the court breech and if I had just done what he had said at the time none of this would have happened.
He apologizes and I always forgive.
If I don't release the control the person who he is staying with says he will probably move away. We have a 10 & 12 year old and for him to even contemplate leaving I find difficult to understand or is this just further manipulation?
He is due to appear in a few court matters between now and March.
Have you any advice for my situation?
Answer: First of all it’s interesting that you are warned that you are out of line by taking control of your own finances and that if you continue this behavior you will sow what you reap – implying that God will judge you harshly. But your husband can sow repeated abuse, financial instability and insecurity and he’s supposed to not sow what he reaps? How crazy is that?
You are right to be a good steward of the children’s needs and if your husband has been fiscally irresponsible and not working, you must take charge of the money, especially because it is your paycheck you are taking charge of. If your husband was drunk or driving in an erratic way straight off a cliff, would you be wrong to try to get control of the car in order to prevent a catastrophic crash? Absolutely not!
Those who teach that a woman should sit silently and trust God while her husband behaves recklessly and dangerously with the family finances or other matters are not biblical. If she has no options, that’s one thing, but if she does, that’s another. Remember Abigail? When her husband behaved foolishly and denied David and his men food, Abigail didn’t sit passively, and hope that God would somehow protect her. She took action and did the right thing, not only for her household, but also for Nabal. (see 1 Samuel 25 for the story).
Secondly you can forgive him but that doesn’t mean you should trust him. He is not trust worthy. His apologies mean nothing. They are words to get you to soften up, do what he wants and get him out of trouble. Don’t do it. He is out of the house because a court has determined him destructive. That’s the legal consequence of his behaviors. Now he wants you to fix that for him. What about him learning the lessons from this painful consequence of having to live apart from his family.
Third, he’s indirectly communicating to you that if you don’t’ fix things with the court and/or let him control the finances again he’ll move away. That tells you how much he cares about you and his children. He only cares about himself. This may sound harsh but I think it might be a blessing for you and your children if he did move away. He is foolish, irresponsible, unteachable, and unwilling to learn from his mistakes. He thinks because he is a man he gets to call all the shots while behaving recklessly and putting his family’s needs second to his own. That is not what biblical headship is all about. Biblical headship is about sacrificial servanthood, not getting one’s own way. Do you really want that kind of influence around your children?
Last but not least, you need some godly support for the decisions you are making. It’s not easy to be a single parent and I hear your fear as you face your husband’s threats to move away. I hope you have found a good support system and if not, the ladies on this blog would love to encourage you.
It would also be wonderful if you could find a good church that understood the terrible predicament your husband’s behaviors have put you in. Of course you’d love to have your man handle things for you. Of course you’d love to be married to someone who cherished you and the kids and worked hard to support and provide for his family. Of course you wish he loved God and loved you more than he loved his own self. But that’s not what you have and if you want to be healthy, you must live in truth and reality.
It’s easy to slide into wishful thinking, fantasy land, it but it will be harmful for you to go there. Please make sure you are getting the support you need to stand firm and act courageously even when you feel afraid and wobbly.