Morning friends,

I am heading to Wheaton, Illinois on Friday night and Saturday to do a marriage conference at Wheaton College Church. On Friday morning, I’ll also be doing a 90-minute presentation to some members of the graduate department at Wheaton College on Three Mistakes People Helpers Make When Working in Destructive Marriages. Pray for me. These students are the future Christian counselors, pastors, and leaders and it’s my prayer that their eyes are opened to the extra pain uninformed and poorly trained counselors put on people already hurting in difficult and destructive relationships.

 

This Week’s Question: My husband is extremely abusive, physically, verbally, mentally, and emotionally. We have 3 children together and we both have children from our previous marriage. He has and still at any time is capable of choking, kicking, slapping me, verbally and assaulting me. He tells me my body is not ideal for him.

He isn't just a monster, he has been through horrible experiences as a child. He is 40 years old and was in a men’s penitentiary during his teens. He was in solitary confinement for a good part of his incarceration.

I say this to give you some insight into why he abuses. He has recently begun verbally assaulting my oldest, sweet, precious 14-year-old daughter by calling her whore, slut, and the b-word.

He has never physically hurt her but has threatened her and I believe he would hurt her if he felt pushed. When my daughter hears him attacking me in any way she will come out of her room to defend me and will verbally give him back EVERYTHING he gives to me. That’s when he turns his assault on her.

He is out the house and I refused to let him back. As I find out more about him I find out that his behavior did not start with me, that he treated his ex-wife horribly too. I feel horrible because when we fell in love he was still married but he told me their marriage was only on paper and they did not live together nor behave as a married couple. I feel like I was a contribution to her pain but on the flip side I know he abused her and probably did her a favor by taking him off her hands.

In the beginning of our relationship, he was incarcerated for several years AND I STUCK BY HIM faithful and all. I would drive many miles with 3 children every few months to visit him.

Is divorcing him a sin? That’s my big question and also, does anyone out there think he can change or that there is a possibility he can go on with life, change, and be a wonderful husband to someone else? I can’t stand the thought of sex with him but he tries every opportunity he gets and that alone disgusts me. I just don’t see why I can’t think clearly on this.

Before him, I was such a no-nonsense type of woman when it came to men. But now I’m scared to leave, scared to stay. I love and hate him all at the same time and wonder if it’s just the idea of him I love because NOTHING about him is appealing to me anymore. However, I wish my marriage to him would be healthy, and I want to be able to love and be attracted to him again. I have still never been unfaithful. Thank you.

Answer: Wow, Why would you want to be attracted again to a man who chokes you, kicks you, slaps you and verbally abuses you?

I get that you feel compassion for him because he had a horrible childhood, but there have been other men who have had horrible childhoods and have not become abusive and cruel towards others (For example, read about Dave Pelzer and his story, A Child Called It). 

Your husband has been incarcerated twice. You don’t mention for what reason, but has it been for hurting other people as well? If he were going to change, don’t you think prison would have been a good place to wake up? To realize that this isn’t the kind of life that he wanted for himself and to begin to get help to change his ways?

When you refused to allow him back in the house after he attacked your daughter for sticking up for you, he didn’t wake up. He didn’t take responsibility for himself and realize he’s got a big problem.

My guess is that he excuses himself and blames others and minimizes what he’s done and makes it about everybody but him. So if that’s the pattern, no he will not change.

But your question is if you divorce him will you be sinning? I am not your judge but let me ask you a few questions I want you to seriously consider. Do you think it pleases or glorifies God to allow your children to be in a home where their father abuses their mother? Do you think it pleases or glorifies God to allow your husband to continue to abuse you with no consequences? I do not believe it is a sin to protect yourself and your children from a dangerous and scary person, even if he is your husband and their father. That is your responsibility.

What your husband does to you is not only against God; it’s against the law. He could go back to jail. Why haven’t you called the police, pressed charges, filed for a protection order and/or gotten some help for yourself? Your husband may never wake up and change, but you must. Your children need you healthy. You don’t want them repeating the same pattern when they become adults that they have witnessed growing up, do you?

Have you gone to your church for help? I can’t imagine a pastor who hears your story would counsel you to stay. I understand why you are afraid to stay, but you also say you are afraid to leave. Is that because of your fear that you will be sinning? Or is it because of another reason like you don’t want to be alone or don’t know how you will make it financially?

Please, please, do what you need to do to get safe with your children. I’m so glad you’ve contacted me. God is giving you some spiritual and emotional support through the community on this blog. Contact your local domestic violence shelter. Ask them to help you get a protection from abuse order. That will remove him from the home. Walk by faith towards safety and sanity and God will continue to direct your steps (Click To Tweet).

Your spouse sounds like a very sick and dangerous person and I don’t want to read about you or your family in the newspaper.

Friend, if you once felt turned upside down so that wrong seemed right and right seemed wrong, what helped to break free from that spell of confusion?

106 Comments

  1. DJ on February 8, 2017 at 7:33 am

    For the sake of your well being and that of your children, please leave. Don’t assume false responsibility for another person. Hopefully, he will come to his senses and get the help he needs, but that’s his decision. You can pray for him from a distance. You really need to get yourself and your children in a safe and peaceful place without delay.

  2. T.L. on February 8, 2017 at 8:16 am

    I couldn’t agree more with everything Leslie is saying. Please listen to her and heed her sound advice.

    I’m so sorry for your trauma and pain and pray that you will take care of yourself and your children.

    “Friend, if you once felt turned upside down so that wrong seemed right and right seemed wrong, what helped to break free from that spell of confusion?”

    For me, it was definitely getting alone with God, into a quiet place, free from distraction…walking through nature, asking my questions, crying out to Him, and then hearing His quiet voice speak truth into my soul.

    Getting your abuser out is excellent; keep that boundary up for your safety and your children’s safety. But also “get alone” with God and let the Holy Spirit come and minister to your battered heart and confused mind. He is the Comforter, who will minister God’s comfort and healing for you, His beloved oppressed. He is also the Counselor, and will lead you into the truth, as Jesus promised in John 15:26 “But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of Me.”

    I will pray for your presentation at Wheaton, Leslie. So important to equip and train future leaders in the church.

  3. Starlight on February 8, 2017 at 9:38 am

    Oh wow, this is the treachery that makes divorce so necessary! Jesus allowed it and Moses allowed it for these reasons!!
    You can get strong and be that no nonsense person that you used to be once again!
    No, God does not consign us to walk in oppression but in freedom!
    I grew up in freedom in a loving home. As my relationship with my ex slid and deteriorated and became more and more awful and ridiculous, recognized that my dad would never treat my mom the way my ex was treating to me, ever, he always loved her and made sure she felt safe and secure.
    Somehow inside of me I knew.that I get to be free of treachery and oppression and threats and physical abuse. I agree with TL that seeking God and his help and promises and telling yourself the truth is the best way to ‘get your head on straight’ again. Anyone that tells you that you cannot divorce an angry, scary, mean, cruel or treacherous person who hurts and terrorizes you and the kids is willing to put burdens on you that they themselves are not willing to bear!!
    Gal. 5:1
    I have discovered that scripture is extremely practical and God has given me a new understanding as I walk in his freedom, He has helped me, and so has Leslie!

  4. Connie on February 8, 2017 at 10:41 am

    I used to make excuses for my h, about his childhood being rough, etc., but then I realized that that was giving him licence to act in a way God did not condone. At all. The tiniest excuse can cause a lot of trouble. That is why we have Christ, counselors, friends, the Bible……. to make all things new. Throughout the Bible God says He is there for the oppressed and He is big enough to heal us from our past. If He wasn’t, I don’t think I’d be a believer. But He is also not magic, we have to seek Him with all our hearts, both the perpetrator and the victim, for answers. And the wife is not the savior. Now when he says he doesn’t get it, I say, “It’s all in the Book”. He needs to go looking for it, dig as for hidden treasure, because if the information comes too cheap, it is not worth much and goes away as fast as it comes.

    My children are ages 22 to 42, and I left their dad when the youngest was 2, because the Christian doctor in the psych ward told me there was nothing wrong with me but if I stayed with the h I would just be right back in there in no time (I still believed it was the unpardonable sin to leave one’s spouse). I sure can see the difference in the children. The oldest and third are like I used to be……always trying to make everyone happy, keeping the peace at all costs, poor boundaries, secretive about problems, etc. The younger ones are more open, don’t take crap from others unnecessarily, and are just freer to be themselves and love life. The second child is bitter and angry and won’t take advice or even opinions from anyone, especially a woman. He just knows he’s right, so there. It’s just so hard on them to be in that environment.

  5. Vivian on February 8, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Great response, Leslie!

  6. Don on February 8, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    This man is taken fully captive by the devil and is a total deceiver. Pray for his salvation. Absolutely divorce. In addition, this is an adulterous relationship between you and him because he was still married when you two got involved with one another, AND his former spouse is still alive. Marrying him did not make it a “right relationship” but rather solidified adultery. Very clear violation of God’s Word from the first time you met him. Get the police involved because he is clearly a present danger and future danger to other women. Learn from this by studying and obeying what Jesus taught on marriage, divorce, adultery, subsequent remarriage while a former spouse is alive.

  7. JoAnn on February 8, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    My thoughts echo Leslie’s….why would you stay? He is not only harming you, but harming your children and his. They are being programmed to continue this abuse in their futures. What he is doing is illegal and you have the right…no, the responsibility…to call the local police on him for this abuse. Please, protect yourself and protect your children. Then get counseling for all of you so that you all can get help to overcome this abuse. All of us here will be praying for you. Can we get a name?

  8. JoAnn on February 8, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    And to the woman who wrote….one of the best things you can do to help you think more clearly is to spend time reading your Bible each day, and using the scripture to pray to the Lord. this will give you peace and help you to see your way clearly through this difficult time.

  9. Aly on February 8, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    Leslie V,
    Praying for your travels and your ministry here at this college!
    Such a blessing🌈

  10. Angie on February 8, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    When I hear about circumstances like this I wonder if I could call what I am enduring abuse at all. My husband told me September 21, this past year that he was no longer in love with me. He wanted out. He found someone. But he continued to live in the house and go and have phone calls with this woman. Then he graduated to packing an overnight bag, in my face to go stay with her until 4 or 5 in the morning. I was beyond devastated. He told me God told him that this woman was who he is supposed to be with. Then he played and continues to play this one gospel cd over and over in the car when he drives to drop me and our daughter off in the mornings for work and school. He was upset when I contacted the woman and he told me he had one rule and one rule only and that was not to contact the woman. He also said that he thought we, the woman and I could be friends. He said I am the one with the problem because everyone else in the world would understand that if he says it is over then him seeing someone else shouldn’t be a problem. He has completely shut down and doesn’t engage with me or our daughter except when we are in the car going to work or the supermarket. The woman he was/is seeing is a woman I knew from our local supermarket. She would come and give me and our daughter hugs and pray with us. One day she sang a song, saying “he (my husband) was never meant to be mines forever”. He paraded us in the store and our daughter nor I knew what was going on. I thought she was my sister in Christ. Of course, she now completely denies that they were anything but friends.

    I feel stuck…paralyzed. Probably because I am scared. Scared to stay and hope. Scared to go and hope. There are so many things I need to do to be prepared to be on my own. One being learning to drive. Then I feel like in some way I am not being obedient to God and “waiting”. But it is clear that he does not love me or our daughter. He told her she was the most negative person in his life.

    I found this website/blog because I googled “how to emotionally let go of your spouse”. I am so exhausted. When this all started I knew what I was praying for but now, I am not sure. Some days no words come. It was a comfort finding this blog. It helps me to remember that I am not crazy.

    I am praying for the woman, and her children, that wrote the question.

    • Nancy on February 8, 2017 at 10:32 pm

      Oh Angie,
      What you are enduring is abuse. Can you contact a local women’s shelter? Usually they have counsellors that you could at least talk things out with. Are you part of a church? Can you talk to the Pastor?

      It’s amazing that you’ve come here to tell the truth. Can you take another step and speak the truth of what you are living with your Pastor, or an elder at your church?

    • T.L. on February 9, 2017 at 11:32 am

      Oh, Angie!

      I am so, so sorry that your husband has treated you with such hellish disrespect! Nancy asked great questions.

      You do not have to continue to enable his sinful behavior. You can choose to leave. There is help available for you. You can choose to expose his sin so others can hold him accountable to church discipline. Please care for yourself and your children as Jesus would. He is the Good Shepherd, and wants to lead you out of the hell you are living in and into green pastures and rest. I hope you can believe that and have courage to act.

      Praying for you.

      • Starlight on February 10, 2017 at 2:20 am

        Oh Angie, you need to ask him to move out. It is not ok to have him rub his affair in your face and you watch as he dares anther woman and still enjoy the benefits of living in your home where you work a job for the benefit of the family, clean, cook and care for his children. Do you have a friend you can ride to work with? You are enduring unspeakable cruelty, this man needs to move out & move on and allow you to do the same!! God us for you and on your side against this unspeakable nonsense. Seek him and cry out to Him and he will help you and lead and guide you!

    • Dawn on February 21, 2017 at 9:51 am

      Angie et al,
      My heart cries for you and your daughter. The pain in your story is palpable. In some ways it parallels my own.
      Here is where I found sanity to discern — in giving myself space … as in leaving for what is now going on 18 months. It was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made — to hope against hope. However, in hindsite, I can share the lessons I learned.
      First, I stayed too long in the home allowing abuse to heap upon abuse and grow into some pretty evil tolerances. There are multiple layers of consequences to that, as in essence, we allow ourselves to dig the pit deeper and it becomes harder to get out of. Additionally the more you tolerate the less respect your spouse has for you. That has come back full circle as we are now in full blown settlement negotiations and it is not pretty because of that lack of respect.
      Secondly, that staying led me to some of the deepest pits and darkest nights in my own walk that I used to numb the pain. HUGE mistake that I will live w the consequences of forever.
      Lastly, let me end on an encouraging note ;).
      Leaving allowed me the gift of space that I needed to heal. I can look back now and see how God ministered to me in these 18 months so intensively. It was this space that gave me clarity to see the evil that I had allowed to permeate my home and soul. The longer I was away, the more I sought Christ’s face and the counsel of wise others the more I realized how off-base I was. Glory to God for His indescribable gift of Himself in my life.
      I encourage you to lean in to those promptings as you have been doing – the ones that led you here. Seek wise counsel from professionals that are equipped to handle this level of evil (I had very bad experiences w lay people and pastors). You are beloved and currently serving two masters – trying to honor God by honoring something that is no longer honorable.
      In prayer for you, Sweet Christ Sister. For your plan to be revealed.
      Many hugs in the meantime.

  11. Wonuola on February 8, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    Galstians 5:1 God has called us to freedom!
    I struggled with the question for years desperate to please God. His love is unchanging!

    What is sin? James 4:17
    Is helping to sustain someone’s unhealthy behaviour good? Leslie!s response on “consequences” is a great help!
    Is it good to subhect my children to an abusive atmosphere?
    Is it good that Christ’s price for my freedom be in vain while I remain in pain?
    God is love. There is no fear in love. I decided to settle for God’s plan for my life and initiated the process! I needed to know for myself and glad I came to an informed and liberating decision.
    God looks at the heart, my heart is to have a God glorifying home and life not oppressed and suppressed. I am confident of God’s love please remember that never changes!

  12. Ann L on February 8, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    “Friend, if you once felt turned upside down so that wrong seemed right and right seemed wrong, what helped to break free from that spell of confusion?”

    Confusion was such an issue for me, stemming from childhood, where the bad things we experienced were never talked about, to adulthood and marriage, where I assumed that when things didn’t make sense, it was because I wasn’t understanding the situation. Talk about a set up for dysfunction in marriage!

    Leaving the sense of confusion was a long process for me that was aided by a last straw act by my husband. I started reading everything I could on lies and manipulation and eventually stumbled across this site. Kept reading. Went to marriage counselling, where I heard him deny again and again his responsibility for his actions. Started attending Al-Anon at the counselor’s suggestion. Read and read and read some more. Moved out (HUGE clarifying moment!). Currently in trauma counseling to help deal with chronic PTSD, which is helping even more to recognize AND ACCEPT(!) the incredible self-doubt that living a lifetime of lies from others helped me learn to deny the truth even to myself.

    I’m still sad that this is culminating in divorce (we’ve been separated for six months now), but I can now balance that with the confidence that habitual lying, blameshifting, and gaslighting are very good reasons for a person to divorce a spouse who’s not able, ready, willing to hold him or herself accountable to a healthy marriage.

  13. Judith on February 8, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    All of these women’s comments must show you what you must do…marriage is to be a picture of Christ and His love and sacrifice for His Church Body. If your marriage is not this picture, and it definately is not, God, Jesus and yes, Moses allowed a bill of divorcement. Christ loves His church body and gave His life for her….your husband does not love you or his children, just compare the love of Christ for His own and how He cares for their (our) every need, with your husband’s so called love for you…he does not know the meaning of the word. Love is an action word, and doing for the good and best of the mate….not the abuse of…with hitting, choking, name calling and horrible abuse. You and your children need to be removed permanently & legally from this likely self hating man . God Bless dear, and count on it…Jesus said, “I will never leave you or forsake you” and He will not. This I know & have known for 38 yrs. of following Him.
    Blessings in your new freedom to live as HE wants you to.

    • Leslie Vernick on February 8, 2017 at 11:46 pm

      Amen,

    • Wonuola on February 10, 2017 at 3:43 am

      Thank you.
      I found so much peace with the assurance that God will never leave me nor forsake me. It has been a continuous infusion of strength knowing the one who knows me best and loves me most is ever present…yet will not force, control or manipulate me to do what He knows is best for me.
      May our Father’s incomprehensible and unconditional love fuel us with hope to walk boldly in the liberty He has secured for us all in Jesus’ name.
      Leslie, thank you so much for this forum, it has been very empowering in walking in God’s will❤️

      • Content on February 10, 2017 at 9:46 pm

        Amen, Wonuola. ….

  14. Rosanne on February 8, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    I couldn’t get out of the fog until I got to a space where I could be “sane, safe and strong” – Leslie’s words I have written so I can read them every day. The longer I am away, the clearer my head has become and the real me is returning. God is doing a lot of healing and restorative work in my heart and returning to the chaos would undo all of it.

    I was scared to go too. God reminded me I didn’t have to have to know the entire plan, just the next step. He would show me the way. He is faithful and He has. He is bringing healing to my now adult daughters as well – we are walking together in that. I will be praying for you and your children.

    • Leslie Vernick on February 8, 2017 at 11:46 pm

      Thanks for sharing Roseanne

  15. Wendy on February 8, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    Will your seminar this weekend be available to listen to somewhere? I am Light university student and would love to hear it!

    • Leslie Vernick on February 8, 2017 at 11:35 pm

      I don’t think so, it’ s live event.

  16. Val on February 8, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    I, too, lived in an abusive marriage for 30 years. A couple of things woke me up, and convinced me I had to take steps to get out. 1) My daughter and son-in-law staged an intervention with my husband and I, telling us that we HAD to go for counselling, and that as long as there was so much toxicity in our relationship, they would no longer bring our granddaughter to visit. 2) The counselor told me that I had a man with a narcissistic personality disorder, and that he was not going to change. 3) A friend said something that hit me right between the eyes: “Is this the sort of example you want to set for your kids…that it is ok to be abused by your husband, or to be an abusive husband?”
    It took me two years to untangle all the legal stuff, and finally get out. The first thing my kids said was, “What took you so long??”!
    I have been divorced for 7 years now, and my ex-husband is a very good friend, never oversteps his boundaries, and we have a much better relationship than we ever had while married. Standing your ground is well worth it! I’m certainly not saying that being a friend is necessarily going to work for you, as you have to be very guarded as to your boundaries. But, that said, God gives you the grace to see you through, and the grace to extend to someone who certainly doesn’t deserve it. But then….neither do we, for the way we often treat God! He is indeed a Gracious Father!

    • Leslie Vernick on February 8, 2017 at 11:48 pm

      It’s unusual that he would want to be good friends. You are fortunate.

    • Content on February 10, 2017 at 5:11 pm

      Interesting.

      I have to ask, though, how can there be a “good” friendship with someone who is narcissistic and abusive? Just thinking of my “nice” husband, I can see us having a very civil relationship after divorce (as we are separated right now and things seem to be going pretty well so far in that regard). But, I could never consider him being a “good” friend as in my opinion, a good friend is someone you can have a deep relationship with and who respects and values you as a person. And my husband is totally incapable of that at this point in his life.

      • Jenny on February 14, 2017 at 12:57 pm

        I have been divorced from my abusive husband for a year now. We have a 9 year old daughter.

        He has respected the boundaries and been a much better father to his daughter as his abusive behavior has abated some for the time being. I keep a close eye on him. I cannot trust him completely. I have resources in place that help protect my daughter. He does love her and does not want to lose parenting time with her.

        A few months ago I considered and referred to him as a “good friend.” However, I see now that those “good friend” behaviors were another way to keep me in his control. If he invites me to spend time with him and our daughter during their time together (and it is so hard to say no to time with my daughter), then I am not socializing with my friends or visiting my parents–both of whom he dislikes. I am not meeting new people and creating a new life free of abuse and spotlighting the fact the he was/is abusive. If he helps mow my lawn or fix a plugged drain, then he feels empowered by my neediness. I am still in his control.

        Since I have stepped back, I feel my daughter has relaxed more as well. He is my parenting partner. We work well in that regard as long as it remains “professional” and focused on our daughter. I realized I am not respecting myself or the people who truly care about me when I still consider my abuser my friend. He is not. He is trying to find new ways to control me.

        • Ruth on February 20, 2017 at 10:27 am

          Jenny, I really admire your insight to sort that all out. It’s such a difficult job to co-parent with an abusive. You’re still trying to heal yourself and at the same time trying to give your child the best nurturing out of what hasn’t been the ideal childhood. Then your X comes around playing mind games with you or stirring up trouble. Yet you persevere.
          In my book, what you’re doing on behalf of yourself and your daughter IS FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT. I know that’s not all of it but it’s the core of it IMO.
          Hang in there fighting Momma! Jesus will be you seasons of rest and refreshing when you think you can’t take anymore.❤️

          • Jenny on February 20, 2017 at 12:25 pm

            Thank you, Ruth. Your words of support are so inspiring!



        • Content on February 21, 2017 at 10:53 pm

          This is exactly how I feel about my now husband. He is a controller and everything is about control. He treats me like a child and even was texting me updates to our daughter’s softball game…. that I was at!! Lol… He truly believes my life will fall apart without him in it, I think.

          • Free on February 22, 2017 at 7:34 pm

            No Content, HIS life would fall apart if he didn’t have someone to manipulate. Manipulation, for him is like breathing, he needs it to feed his personality problems. I am glad you can laugh about it.



  17. Laura Di on February 9, 2017 at 8:16 am

    I too left a nearly 30 year marriage due to emotional abuse and as time together passed the threat of physical harm. I admit now I somehow remained too long in a destructive marriage. I will refrain from repeating my story because in many aspects it mimics your own. Reading your entry I was struck by the nearly last statement you made, “ I have still never been unfaithful.” I am not saying this as a judgment or condemnation but recognize that maybe there has been a unrecognized unfaithfulness placed upon yourself like the one I also placed on myself. Please unburden yourself of this tremdous weight and have faith in God’s promises, not fear of breaking a marriage vow that has already been severely violated. Jesus said; ” For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” New International Version. Please cling to Jesus. A portion of commentary by Matthew Henry on this verse espouses: “The way of duty is the way of rest. The truths Christ teaches are such as we may venture our souls upon. Such is the Redeemer’s mercy; and why should the labouring and burdened sinner seek for rest from any other quarter? Let us come to him daily, for deliverance from wrath and guilt, from sin and Satan, from all our cares, fears, and sorrows. But forced obedience, far from being easy and light, is a heavy burden. In vain do we draw near to Jesus with our lips, while the heart is far from him. Then come to Jesus to find rest for your souls.” My response to your burden is that, ” Remaining in this situation doesn’t reat your soul but does jeopardize many precious lives,”. Be faithful to the Lord, not the abuser! Leave, be safe and seek God’s blessing. Many people have render excellent suggestions. Listen without hesitation as God speaks believe! Psalm 139:14 declares, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” May Christ guide you to take this to heart.

    • Wonuola on February 11, 2017 at 2:26 am

      Thanks Laura Di,
      Indeed, “not fear of breaking the marriage vow that has already been severely violated” I will venture further to say, that gas already been broken for God looks st the heart not the act of the paper work. He looks on the inside not the outside like man does.
      Divorce is completed in the heart by a man dealing treacherously with his wife, the papers filed or nor filed does not change the disintegration of the spiritual union, filing is that which needs be done in the physical realm to show what has broken down already, and ensure due processes in the physical……just like Jesus said adultery is already committed by lustful looking..it’s the heart that counts. Divorce is already done before papers are completed. Putting away the wife, oppression and abuse is a sin, and the perpetrator can be forgiven should a turning to God be done, but unfortunately not uncommonly there Is hardness of heart. Is filing the papers a sin? Hmmm…. A birth certificate obtained anytime after the child is born does not change the fact that the child is born.

  18. Joy on February 9, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Absolutely leave. Now. It took me 40 years and what my children suffered (let alone me) is inexcusable. The sin is not in divorce, but in staying. I didn’t see that until I fled for my safety 5 years ago. A marriage license does not excuse crime. My 7 grown children and I had this validation just last week – httpwww.themorningbulletin.com.aunewsrockhampton-christian-preacher-jailed-for-raping-w3137531
    and when he has completed that sentence, he’ll be extradited to another state for armed rape and weapons offenses. God hates oppressors and loves justice.

    “. . . him that loves violence his (the Lord) soul hates.” Psalm 11:5
    “Thou hatest all workers of iniquity … the Lord will abhor the … deceitful man.” Psalm 5:5,6
    “God hates the heart that devises wicked plans and a lying tongue.” Proverbs 6:16-19

    God hates evil and gets vengeance. Our part is to forgive
    and stop enabling.

  19. Aleea on February 9, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    Re: Is Divorce A Sin?
    “Friend, if you once felt turned upside down so that wrong seemed right and right seemed wrong, what helped to break free from that spell of confusion?”

    . . .I think form criticism and critical thinking have to be applied. In the past, clergy have focused church systems on particular needs of the institution of Christianity in a very imbalanced fashion. . . . The image that a “Christian” marriage means staying married even if someone is basically on suicide watch or their marriage destroys their very person, etc., while diminishing awareness of true needs: spouses need real love and affection, et.al. All of these needs would otherwise be prioritized in a wise strategy for healthy Christianity (i.e. people are more important than the Bible “teaching” slavery or the Bible “teaching” you can never get a divorce except for this one narrow exception, or the Bible “teaching” you can’t get remarried, et.al.) . . .Is the Bible teaching timeless truths or not? —I don’t know, Christians never taught what gets taught today re: Margaret A. Schatkin “’Divorce In Early Christianity”, 2nd ed., edited by Everett Ferguson, New York: Garland. . . .But what are people supposed to do, lose their lives over the Bible? —I don’t know, the “rules” change with the times because texts sometimes get sick and we have to heal them by deconstructing their meanings. I don’t know what that means for any timeless nature of the texts but we have to use language more carefully while equally having an attitude of vast compassion and loving-kindness. —This is the problem with “timeless truth”. To wander from the historical consensus (—because those scholars had access to quality manuscripts that are lost forever to time) really should make people wonder just what is going on. How is it that all of a sudden we (the really smart 21st century folks) know what these verses and passages really mean and not what 1900 years of faithful Bible teachers/ scholars confirmed? That looks like simply process theology that is floating along with the culture. Is the Bible teaching timeless truths or floating along with what will make Christians look acceptable in the culture? It took us 1900 years to realize divorce for all kinds of things is okay? It took us 1900 years to realize we should not scare people for life with the valid threats of hell? —Now hell is out of the main stream preaching and divorce is okay? —Which I like very, very, very much but I don’t think people understand what that trajectory really means. What it may really mean is that hermeneutics may easily be just culture and not timeless truth. —What else is wrong? Could it be our view on gay marriage or hasn’t it been long enough yet? How do we marry texts with compassion? I say it this way: Truth serves Life but I also think about the dangers of that. There is a very real danger present when I say “Truth serves Life” because we act against the inspiration of Scripture in exchange for safety but I too would do just that, personally.

    . . .My heart just bleeds for people in situations like this and I (personally) would file for divorce and use the court systems in other ways too. . . . .but, I am fairly certain that it is so different than what those manuscripts say. I don’t think the Scriptures attitude is mine (Truth serves Life). . . . . More importantly, I don’t know what to make of the silence of God. . . Divine silence—divine hiddenness—is the source of many of the most important doubts and spiritual distresses for us believers. It would be absolutely wonderful if God broke into history and re-confirmed-reset-updated some of these critical doctrines but I am sure God has His reasons. . . .It is just totally frustrating and it may point to much, much deeper issues than “Is Divorce A Sin?”. —Could it be, maybe, that with or without Christianity, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes Christianity (e.g. —telling people to stay in totally horrible “marriages” where people are just destroying each other; -or, in the past, telling people God’s will for them is slavery, et.al.) . . . .It may be that the quickest way out of abuse is to seriously start questioning things and don’t stop questioning. Re: Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light by Dr. Valerie Tarico (psychologist/ counselor). Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities. Blind belief in authority looks like the greatest enemy of truth. —How did it ever get this crazy that someone in that horrible situation would even ask: “Is Divorce A Sin?”

  20. Nancy on February 9, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    I love this last statement, Aleea. “Blind belief in authority looks like the greatest enemy of truth”. YES!

    Jesus IS Truth. He is the embodiment of Truth. Not a truth. THE Truth. He came in humility ( UTTER HUMILITY- born in a stable, layed in an animal’s feeding trough. Then WILLINGLY ( not yelling here, just amazed!) ALLOWED himself to be nailed to a cross, for YOU, Aleea, and for me too 🙂 Then ascended in victory ( ours as well as His)!

    He is the embodiment of Truth and anyone in authority who is not humble is not worthy of Him.

    My petition this year is against the fear of man ( blind allegiance to authority, people pleasing and the MANY forms it takes). Interestingly that prayer is to come to a DEEP knowledge of His Love for me. THAT is what will eradicate the fear of man in my heart!

    Knowing Truth. Knowing my Lord and Saviour, and knowing His Love for me.

    If you like, when you come to mind I will pray it for you too

    • Aleea on February 10, 2017 at 12:03 am

      “If you like, when you come to mind I will pray it for you too.” . . . .Nancy, thank you so, so much for that and YES, certainly I would so value that. I pray for everyone too and especially myself. —Lord God help me, I need to hear from You. I never give up on praying to the Lord but I don’t want to lie about things either or watch people be sunk by abuse because they think the Bible prohits them from this or that freedom. . . . .Christianity is not a lie; it is the penultimate truth, penultimate because the ultimate cannot be put into words. It is beyond words. Beyond images, beyond even the ground of becoming. It definitely takes my mind beyond what can be known and certainly beyond what can be told. But, when you translate the Bible with excessive literalism, you demythologize it. The possibility of a convincing reference to the individual’s own spiritual experience is then. . . . .well, I don’t know.

      “My petition this year is against the fear of man”. . . . .That’s beautiful, what an awesome goal!!! Let me tell you, you accomplish that and . . .well, —WOW! That would be truly something. . . .We spend too much time wondering what others may have thought about our outfit or the comment we made in the small group meeting. . . . .I was speaking in front of 275 people recently and my microphone just fell off. That caused me to lose my train of thought and I just prayed: “Lord, please help me to only care about what You think —and somehow He did.” I just picked it up and didn’t even reattach it. I just spoke into the thing and it was more than fine (They always do surveys at the end, no one even indicated they noticed; —see right there, that shows our fear of people is just crazy). . . . More importantly, we see opportunities to talk about Christ (—my favorite topic), but we avoid them. We are more concerned about looking stupid (re: fear of people) than we are about acting right (fear of the Lord). . . . And that fear of man kills God’s creativity and intelligence in us. The only thing it produces is conformity. Maybe to overcome the fear of man, do what makes you fearful and just keep doing it. I really think if we can somehow eliminate enough fear, we can find the real path we were meant to be on. The empty spaces of our souls are the ones we search for, pray for and want so desperately to be filled. . . . .But they are also the spaces that will never be filled, until we are ready to do something we have never done. Nancy, —I don’t even know what that would be for me but God created us to trust Him (provided He is there, I have doubts) and love others. When I am not trusting or not loving, I am really disconnected from my purpose. . . . .Last week someone told me: “Jesus meets all our needs.” But the more I thought about it, the more I realized Jesus does not intend to meet our needs, but He intends to change our needs, otherwise we are just focused on ourselves. . . . . Anyways, my task is simple: ask Nancy for prayer and then let her know what God has done.

  21. Joy on February 9, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    God always allowed for divorce, it just wasn’t His original plan. Malachi mentions the hardness of their hearts – sounds like there were abusers back then too. Nothing needs “reset”. Slavery was never His plan, but, since it was part of the world system back then, Paul gave instructions to guide slaves. That does not mean God condoned it. Paul recognised that wives need to leave sometimes – “but and if she does” – and gave guidance in those situations. The principal was no work on the Sabbath, but if a man’s ox fell in a ditch, Jesus said go help it! Jesus healed on the Sabbath. The problem is Christians who twist the principals into commands and make churches a safe-haven for abusers.

    • Ruth on February 11, 2017 at 2:26 pm

      Joy, that’s excellent!
      it’s doesn’t have to be EITHER OR. Your post needs to be sent to the pastors and doctrinal big-wigs everywhere.

      I know I’ll be copying it and saving into my journal of excellent quotes.

    • Aleea on February 12, 2017 at 6:50 am

      Joy & Ruth,
      . . . . maybe, maybe, obviously I don’t know, but just maybe. . . . Maybe God is not a Christian; God is not a Jew, et. al. Maybe all of those are human systems which human beings have created to try to help us walk into the mystery of God (—and what a total mess those systems can become) and because humans create them, humans turn them into structures for self interested abuse, just like corporations. I honor my tradition (Christianity), I walk through my tradition, but I don’t think my tradition defines God, I think it can only dimly point me to God. —So, certainly divorce is not a sin. But I don’t know, I’m wrong about so much. . . .

      . . . . .hmmm, well, it seems to me adult males in “ministry” who are unable to make emotional connections with the women they choose to be intimate with are frozen in time, unable to allow themselves to love for fear that the loved one will abandon them. If the first woman they passionately loved, their mother, was not true to her bond of love, then how can they trust that their partner will be true to love? Often in their adult relationships these pastors (—this is what I see, of course not always) act out again and again to test their wife’s love. While the rejected adolescent boy imagines that he can no longer receive his mother’s love because he is not worthy, as a grown man he may act out in ways that are unworthy and yet demand of his wife that she offer him unconditional love and link that in with “what the Bible teaches” “what God wants from us”. This testing does not heal the wound of the past, it merely reenacts it, for ultimately the woman will become weary of being tested (—just like so, so many here) and end the relationship (—no matter how they “justify” it; i.e. text deconstruction “what God really meant”), thus reenacting the abandonment. This drama confirms for many “ministry” adult males that they cannot put their trust in love even though they talk about it all the time! They decide that it is better to put their faith in being powerful, in being dominant and using the Bible as a weapon to justify that. . . . . .When pastors refer to the biblical approach to home-economics or the biblical response to politics or biblical womanhood, they are using the Bible as a weapon disguised as an adjective: Ephesians six; First Peter, et.al.: Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. . . . Likewise, you wives, be in all subjection to your own husbands. . . .God hates divorce, wife submit, turn or burn, et.everything. It is setting people up for abuse to swallow a whole raft of beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors by an act of simple faith. i.e. I believe the Bible and am under the authority of my pastor, well, that short-circuits the process of researching the issues with p-r-i-m-a-r-y source evidence and coming one’s own conclusions.

      . . . .I don’t know, but whatever it is that people experience in Jesus has today come to be identified with medieval doctrines based on premodern assumptions that are no longer believable. That identification means that serious theological discussion seems to accomplish little more than to erect a division between the shouters and the disinterested. . . . .And Joy & Ruth, it seems the church is like, I don’t know, say a swimming pool. Most of the noise comes from the shallow end. Serious research leaves one with little to really say with real certainty . . . .not much certainty, at all. Jesus becomes the captive of the hysterically religious, the chronically fearful, the insecure and even the neurotic among us, or He becomes little more than a fading memory, the symbol of an age that is no more and a nostalgic reminder of our believing past. To me, neither option is worth pursuing.

      I have become convinced that we must put an end to patriarchal theology taught everywhere in the Bible (—unless I don’t really understand it) or there will be no future for the Christian faith. The words of Peter then became the new mantra: “Truly I perceive that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to Him”. Let me tell you something I am fairly sure of: Christianity did not drop from heaven fully written. It totally grew and developed year by year over a period of forty-two to seventy years. That is not what most Christians have been taught to think, but it is factual, as far as I know. Christianity has always been an evolving story. It was never, even in the New Testament, a finished story. . . .

      Yet even understanding these things, I am still totally attracted to Jesus (—woo-hoo!!!) and I will pursue Him both relentlessly and passionately. I will not surrender the truth I believe I find in Him either to those who seek to defend the indefensible (—the way precious women are treated; the manuscript evidence; the extant archeology; cosmology; evolutionary biology; textual contradictions; textual variants; interpolations; redactions; textual alterations; unverified authors; subjectively canonized books and doctrines. . .et.al.) . . . . .but when I deeply pray, I can feel just overwhelmed with something good, clean and right. —I don’t know maybe it is just me imagining. . . .but I will not surrender the truth I believe I find in Him either to those who seek to defend the indefensible or to those who want to be freed finally from premodern ideas that no longer make any sense. . . . . .Theology is not the pathway to life. The ability to give ourselves away to others in love is. . . . . .For me, all I need to do is pray, embrace the silence that engulfs me, and invite God within. That said, I don’t really know what all the feelings mean. I see God not as an object, but as a mystery present in the very act of service/ real love itself. . . . .Anyways, I think the true measure of a person is how quickly they can respond to the needs of others and how much of themselves they can give. Life is not black and white. Life involves the interplay of black and white. In other words, the gray area is where real life takes place. Our real beliefs are generally not to be found at the level of what we believe but what we do, especially the anomalies. —Oh my, the truth is in the anomalies! When confronted with inner conflicts, we are tempted to obscure them by externalizing the antagonisms —you see me do that too. The more difficult, courageous path involves attempting to face and really tarry with the antagonisms. In other words, the claim I believe in God is nothing but a lie if it is not manifest in my life, because one only believes in God insofar as one really, deeply loves. Also, believing in God while remaining dubious concerning what one believes about God (—a distinction that fundamentalism is unable to maintain). . . . . .Anyways, it is not the “winners” (—whatever that even means) who achieve God’s meaning; it is the givers, —like so many here. That is the basis upon which Christianity can be built. To me, prayer is the activity that enables each of us to be givers and receivers (—I am so greatful for those that pray for me) from one another of the deepest meaning of life —life in God. I walk/ —pray into the mystery of God. . . I/we do not define that mystery. . . it’s total mystery. When any human group decides that they can define God, the outcome is always predictable. The “true faith,” once defined, must then be defended against all other understandings, and it must also then be forced upon all people —“for their own good, lest their souls be in jeopardy.”

    • Wonuola on February 23, 2017 at 5:42 pm

      Very well said! I have re-read this post several times….Wish more people would see the Spirit of Jesus and learn to act likewise rather then the declaration of the letter that killeth!💕
      The Spirit gives life and liberates👍🏼

  22. Nancy on February 10, 2017 at 6:55 am

    Aleea,

    I love that you spoke in front of 275 people and had a possible disaster that didn’t amount to as much as a comment in the ‘response box’. What a fantastic experience of The Lord’s provision- that you now have as a template to remember and draw strength from!

    You said, “Christianity is not a lie.” I’m not sure about that statement. What I am sure of is that Christ is not a lie. He IS Truth. Personally, if I think on Christianity, I get triggered. I stay with Christ! ( and take my thoughts on Christianity captive to Christ Jesus).

    Aleea, I realize that I know so little about you. We have these intellectual conversations, but as Lori so beautifully said, “I’m trying to know Aleea, but don’t know why I don’t know her.”

    Aleea. You mentioned you were scared of losing your marriage. Can I very gently, ask you why that is? If you don’t want to answer that please don’t – should listen to that boundary, but of you want to share, I’d love to hear.

    Here’s my petition for this year and I will pray it for you too, sister, each time you come to mind:

    Father God, I lift my sister Aleea up to you and ask that you wash her anew, that you fill her abundantly with Your Holy Spirit and that you give her a deep awareness of your love for her. In the name of Your precious son, Jesus, I pray, Amen.

    • Aleea on February 10, 2017 at 5:49 pm

      Hello Nancy,

      “You said, “Christianity is not a lie.” I’m not sure about that statement. What I am sure of is that Christ is not a lie. He IS Truth. Personally, if I think on Christianity, I get triggered. I stay with Christ! ( and take my thoughts on Christianity captive to Christ Jesus).” . . . .Hmmm, that is a really interesting perspective, if I understand it; —That Christ is different than Christianity. The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking. The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people can come along and put things in it vs. “take my thoughts on Christianity captive to Christ Jesus” . . . . Does that mean we will not consider certain possibilities? We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking. I love Christianity and I love Christ but I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with strong rational, logical, reasoning abilities and intelligence has intended us to forgo their use, even when it comes to Him. —Doubt as sin? —All evil seems to arise from the desire to dominate others. That is why we all have to watch ourselves. What we do not yet know may be far more important than what we already know. —Otherwise, our mind is just closed because we already have the “truth” in our back pockets. It is then so hard to be really, truly open. That may mean (—possibly?) misguided “good” women are far more dangerous than honest “bad” women. It is because they are seen as good that, in and by good conscience, people will always stubbornly back them without question. —The hard stuff: serious prayer, self-reflection, action —what other path is there to the truth?

      “Aleea, I realize that I know so little about you. We have these intellectual conversations, but as Lori so beautifully said, “I’m trying to know Aleea, but don’t know why I don’t know her.” . . . . .Because I don’t even know that deep stuff myself or I would tell you. I am in counseling with Dr. Meier for vast childhood abuse. —Or, do you mean all the quotidian “every day” things? —Things like: married, no children, tax attorney for the U.S. Dept. of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service (Office of the Chief Counsel) for corporate tax cases, travels lots for the IRS —especially Europe, home church is San Diego Bible Church, lives in Solana Beach California, has a Black Boombay kitten named Henry who used to be homeless —do you mean things like that? —Or do you mean the me that wants to heal, as best I can tell: the me —hopeless— in love with Jesus Christ even on the days I am totally doubting everything —do you mean things like that?

      “Aleea. You mentioned you were scared of losing your marriage. Can I very gently, ask you why that is? If you don’t want to answer that please don’t – should listen to that boundary, but of you want to share, I’d love to hear.” . . . .Because I share lots and lots and when I start deconstructing Jesus, I deconstruct Him and I think any spouse can handle only so much of that. —It is depressing. —It even frightens me. I always hear “Stop thinking, and end your problems” but how can that be the answer? I get the issues with thinking too deeply, if one thinks too deeply, one must reach conclusions. Conclusions are not always pleasant. —I so care if what I believe is true. These are not the kind of books you read together after dinner and discuss, not without upsetment —See: “The Historical Jesus: Five Views”; “The Life of Jesus Critically Examined”; “The Quest of the Historical Jesus”; “The Bible Unearthed” —The scholars in that book blow me away. It is like the boldest and most hard hitting synthesis of Bible and archaeology in maybe hundred years, —a totally honest assessment. . . . .“God Is Unconscious: Psychoanalysis and Theology” by Dr. Tad DeLay, Dr. Peter Rollins. Repressed issues from childhood abuse trauma and PTSD are really hard to get at, maybe impossible.

      “Father God, I lift my sister Aleea up to you and ask that you wash her anew, that you fill her abundantly with Your Holy Spirit and that you give her a deep awareness of your love for her. In the name of Your precious son, Jesus, I pray, Amen.” . . . . .That’s beautiful. Thank you Nancy —I so, so appreciate that. I love prayer —it is totally other.

      I was praying this morning: “Lord God please never allow what I have researched to diminish my ability to deeply listen to You and others. I only want the truth, even if it means an even sadder me. Can really anybody put her hand on her heart and profess to know beyond doubt what happens on the other side of this life? —Whatever can be shaken, whatever I fear cannot stand, is destined to crash. Lord let that which is destined to become the past slip away. Lord, I believe that the real me is that which beckons from the future. If it is a sadder me, maybe it will be a wiser me. —And dawn will follow the darkness sooner or later. Rebirth can never come without death.” —When I am thanking God for everything each day: —every meal, every time I wake up, every time some one prays for me, I can’t help but be more thankful for life itself, for the unlikely and miraculous fact that I exist at all. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. . . . .Every single day that dawns is a gift to me and I take it in that way.

    • Nancy on February 10, 2017 at 9:18 pm

      Hi Aleea,

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply to me, and to my questions.

      Aleea, I’m so sorry that your husband says to “stop thinking and end your problems “. That saddens me greatly. I’m so sorry, dear Aleea. Thank you for sharing that with me. I feel as though I know you a bit better. And also, thanx for sharing Henry with me, he sounds adorable. I also loved your ‘speaking-in-front-of-275-people-and-you-dropped-your-mic-and-no-one-noticiced’ story. These ‘real time’ accounts can help us to feel seen and heard. I want you to know that I ‘see’ you and hear you, Aleea!

      I love your last prayer of gratitude for each day, each meal, it’s so lovely Aleea, just like you!

      I love prayer too. Yes. Totally other 🙂 I will keep you in my petition. I feel strongly about this.

    • Aleea on February 11, 2017 at 8:36 am

      . . . . Thank you Nancy. To deny someone’s experiences it to literally deny their reality. That’s why it is so meaningful to talk about experiences of Jesus. Sort of the answer to “How have you experienced Him?”

      Re: “You said, “Christianity is not a lie.” I’m not sure about that statement.”
      “I’m not sure about that statement” —Nancy

      . . . .I can’t stop thinking about that Nancy. . . . because basically (—I am assuming this) at some level you could be saying Christianity could be a lie but Christ is real. —Wow, that’s a useful distinction, that is, being a Christ follower vs. being a Christian. That means the church could be just full to the brim with non-Christ-like ideas, attitudes, practices, etc. “Without Paul there would be no church and no Christianity. He’s the most decisive person that shaped Christianity as it developed. Without Paul we would have had reformed Judaism but no Christianity.” Dr. Gerd Lüdemann, Chair of History and Early Christianity at the University of Göttingen, 2002. . . .What marks a warm devotional feeling as Jesus of Narereth? Paul reported that around 37CE, he had a revelation from God on the road to Damascus. According to his writings, he saw a blinding light, fell to the ground unconscious, heard voices, and became temporarily blinded. During this episode, Jesus appeared to him and spoke to him. . . .The first problem we encounter when trying to discover more about the Historical Jesus is the lack of any early sources. The earliest sources only reference the Christ of Faith. These early sources, compiled decades after the alleged events, all stem from Christian authors eager to promote Christianity. The authors of the Gospels fail to name themselves, describe their qualifications, or show any criticism with their foundational sources which they also fail to identify. These documents are just filled with mythical and non-historical information, and heavily edited over time, . . . .Blah, blah, blah, blah . . . . I could go on and on and on and on and on (see Paul: The Founder of Christianity Paperback, 2002 –by Dr. Gerd Ludemann) if you like.

      . . . .As best I can tell, Jesus is a total in love experience, that I have experienced, writ large. . . .it makes sense. . . . the best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. But it comes and goes and is not consistently experienced, —like an attachment disorder. If we cannot find or receive love, we need to find substitutes??? —and that’s where addictions come in —See (—if you want to): The Idolatry of God: Breaking Our Addiction to Certainty and Satisfaction, 2013 by Dr. Peter Rollins. Nancy, I’m not sure, but I think the answer is not to try to councouqer or get victory over our lack but deeply, fully embrace our lack. No self-acceptance seems possible if one is not accepted in a person-to-person relationship. . . .—But then I think: Sometimes I don’t like hope very much (re: Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense by Dr. N. T. Wright). It’s the crystal meth of emotions. It hooks you fast and kills you hard. —It’s bad news. —The worst. When hope shows up, it’s only a matter of time until someone gets really hurt by the facts, by logic, by reason, by evidence or the total lack of it. . . .—But then I wonder if we can heal from childhood abuse easier by just talking about the other things in life: I shop at Vons (—our grocery store here in CA), but I get Henry’s food at Albertsons, down in Del Mar, etc. . . . My mother told us all a Big Lie growing up. She told it subliminally and in actual words. —And The Big Lie was/is this: If we tried hard enough we could win her approval and her love. If we were good enough, or wise enough, or beautiful enough, or that-magical-unspecified-ingredient enough. In other words, if we achieved perfection, she would love us. . . . Anyways, serious doubt isn’t the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith, just like the courage to be is the courage to accept oneself, in spite of being unacceptable. History clearly shows that the most terrible crimes against love have been committed in the name of fanatically defended doctrines (re: Is Divorce A Sin). —Lord God, help me to not allow myself to be pulled into the role of embracing victimship as some sort of ridiculous honor. Lord help me travel in the direction of what I resist. . . . Lord, show me what I resist examining up close? How can I ground myself so I feel safe enough to try? That is, treasure ourselves for just being, not doing.

    • Nancy on February 12, 2017 at 7:34 am

      Hi Aleea,

      I love this last statement. “That is, treasure ourselves for just being, not doing”

      YES. That is why Christ Loves you Aleea. Not for what you do, but for who you are. He’s known you since the beginning of time as well as ALL the things you would ‘do’ wrong ( and ever will, in the future), Guess what? None of those ‘doings’ change His Love for you one iota!

  23. Karen on February 10, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Thirty two years ago I met my husband at Wheaton College. He was handsome, intelligent, hard working, professed faith. We were divorced in December after 31 years of marriage. I had no idea what covert NPD was. I had a distorted view of what love and healthy boundaries were. I hadn’t been taught that some situations don’t require giving someone a second chance.

    There was physical abuse on the honeymoon and by the end of the marriage I had truly lost most of my core to extreme emotional, verbal and psychological abuse. I have 3 wonderful adult children who love the Lord and are having to deal with the pain of a divorced home and their own wounds. I never even considered divorce until agonizing months of counseling and learning the reality of what I had experienced. And I am a trained therapist…

    My former husband is still in our home church which I have attended my whole life. I am now unwelcome because the pastor tells people I divorced unbiblically because of “garbage from 25 years ago that Karen refuses to forgive.” That isn’t true but if I tell the truth I look defensive and bitter. No one wants to know the truth and it is so painful to share. No one from the church has come to talk with me. They have just believed this very smooth abuser and the flying monkey pastor who has taken it upon himself to smear me to the congregation.

    A good Christian psychologist and a therapeutic separation helped me slowly understand what was true. I had been crying out to the Lord for understanding and help. It has been a 2 year process and I have learned so much and found the Lord to be so tender and faithful. Please keep up your valuable work. I have found so few competent Christian resources regarding this issue on my journey. Maybe you can stop a young Wheatie from making a terrible choice.

    • Aleea on February 12, 2017 at 8:14 pm

      Karen,
      I don’t think anyone here has any issues believing you. . . . .You keep telling the truth. That which we are told we cannot speak of are the things about which we must never stop speaking. . . . . In cases of domestic abuse, with DSM-5-style issues in which the woman is asked to “trust God” “to forgive” a husband is very unlikely to stop abusing. I think what is really going on is that, in essence, the woman is really being told to become a martyr for the sake of biblical inerrancy (—because to most Bible scholars and teachers in Christian history that IS what the Bible teaches, no divorce, sans adultery). —Church history shows us clearly pastors/ clergypersons are telling you to trust God because the inerrant Bible teaches a wife must submit even to a bullying brute of a husband (—like women have been told for well over a thousand years by the “best” Bible scholars and reverened teachers of their day) because that is the divinely established pecking order. But “trusting” God on this one is just playing the fool for the sake of an institution’s policy on the inerrancy of the Bible. . . . If you ever start wondering how it ever got this way just read some history. For example: “Ungodly Women: Gender and the First Wave of American Fundamentalism” by Dr. Betty A. DeBerg, page 70 forward. . . . Let me tell you, no book I have ever seen has ever shown with greater precision (or volume) of documentation how separation was considered the “gateway to hell”, “the great American sin”. “It is America’s crying and burning shame.” In scholarly articles published during those times, they show the moral grounds against separation lay in the teachings on the New Testament. “Divorce was permissible only on the grounds of adultery, and remarriage of the adulterer was prohibited.” You see this same teaching all through earlier Christianity. Ministers who had a tolerant attitude toward separation, as well as divorce and the remarriage of divorced persons were taken to task as “tools of Satan”. “The re-marriage of those who have transgressed the word of Christ’s utterance has sometimes been accomplished by prominent ministers. . . . A minister who winks at the outraging of divine law is worthy of hellfire and can not be faithful to his ordination vows. The church and the minister who sanction and bless an unscriptural marriage are guilty of matrimonial blasphemy.” . . . . and on and on and on from hundreds of sources for thousands of pages. There are so, so many other examples where piously “trusting God” is just as totally ridiculous. —What may be going on is that people are not as important as the Bible being true. —Whatever is going on psychologically, I certainly don’t understand it because it involves depth psychology and brain science, but it almost looks self-deconstructing (re—slavery, hell, inerrancy, et.al.). . . .Anyways, I totally believe you. Often people just ruin each other by being together, even if there is no adultery, etc. They destroy each other’s dreams. Often, the quickest way to rectify that mistake (choosing the wrong person) is by learning from that, moving on, and choosing much more wisely in the future. . . . . Sometimes, to love completely, we must never see someone again. This, too, is love.

  24. T.L. on February 10, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    Karen, I’m so sorry for your pain and suffering, not only from this covert NP, but from being misjudged and misunderstood. Praise God you were led to good counseling that helped you understand what you were dealing with, and what your true options were…and that the Lord’s presence, comfort, and faithfulness have been so evident to you.

    I hope you can find a fresh start in a new church with people who won’t have been mis-led and prejudiced by this foolish and unwise pastor.

  25. Karen on February 10, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    T.L., thanks for your kind words. I did immediately find a different church at the start of the separation because I know how easy it is to isolate when in emotional pain. My heart was touched by a blog post by Gary Thomas recently called “Enough Is Enough!” I wish it were handed out in every church and read from the pulpit. Such a great need for education and helpful information for those of us who want to honor the Lord and obey Scripture so I really appreciate Leslie’s work.

  26. Karen on February 10, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    P.S. This has all happened in a tiny rural community. We were the first active couple to divorce in the 85 year history of the church. Tiny towns are no fun to divorce in but this has been my home most of my life so it is hard to leave. Just waiting for direction…

    • T.L. on February 12, 2017 at 4:56 am

      Karen,

      Wow, the emotional backlash from that church must have been significant!

      So happy you are enjoying your freedom and healing in Christ.

      I loved Gary Thomas’s Enough is Enough, too!

  27. Nancy on February 10, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    Karen,
    I praise God for so faithfully leading you out of the fog. It must have been very difficult, especially in a small community.

  28. Ruth on February 11, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Connie,
    I remember that Monday starts our day to pray for you. Are there any specific ways you’d like us to pray?

  29. Nancy on February 12, 2017 at 7:44 am

    Oh and yes, I am saying that the church could be full of false beliefs, attitudes etc…. You got my point exactly, Aleea. I am much more comfortable calling myself a follower of Christ. When someone Loves Christ, I am attracted to that person and want to be around them. But I grew up in a ‘Christian’ home, with people who didn’t know Christ. This is performance, ‘doing’, image management etc….Pharasees.
    There are plenty of Pharasees in the church. Plenty. So I am extremely careful who I hang out with etc… When I go back to my mom’s church I Feel confused. That’s a sign. At my church it’s crystal clear. Why? Because the teaching, old or New Testament always points to Christ.

    I Love Christ, not Christianity.

    • Aleea on February 12, 2017 at 7:11 pm

      Nancy that is deeply beautiful and deeply meaningful. You are no toddler re: “. . . .First, I was only born again 4 1/2 years ago and started studying the Bible in earnest 3 1/2 years ago- so, I’m a baby, we’ll, ok…maybe a toddler by now. I know very, very little.” . . . .This is a very sophisticated and nauanced distinction: “I Love Christ, not Christianity”. No one understands things like that who is a baby in her thinking. I have now spent days thinking about just how true and profound that really is. It’s not about an organized systematic theological system, it’s about a supernatural, intimate relationship with the creator God of Christianity. If we teach “Truth” but not the Source of Truth, we don’t really succeed in passing on anything real. The word “God” defines a personal relationship, not an objective concept. . . .re: “When someone Loves Christ, I am attracted to that person and want to be around them.” I bet you do! That’s because the Holy Spirit is drawing you, leading you. And the mystery of seeking God is that HE is the One who finds you. . . . .When you love yourself as much as God does, you won’t see other people as the source of your pain, that’s what I’m trying to learn. . . . .You know what? There is absolutely no end to the things I don’t understand. When God closes a door He does not always open a window. Sometimes He wants us to sit in the quiet darkness while He transforms our fear into trust. How long that takes, I have no idea. There are so many things going on inside me and on the outside—totally beyond my control. However, one thing I can control is to pray and commit myself every day and ask God if He could guide me, —somehow. The end of ourselves is the beginning of God.

    • Nancy on February 12, 2017 at 7:44 pm

      Aleea. That you think I am not a toddler, and that you cared enough to go back and research my quote, means an awful lot to me.

      Thank you, sister.

  30. T.L. on February 12, 2017 at 8:09 am

    Aleea and Nancy,

    I bet you would both like this teaching (Culture, Christendom and Christ) as much as I did.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VGPwBOUqdNs&t=2s

    It’s Dr. Diane Langberg who also has EXCELLENT videos on Narcism, trauma, complex trauma, and Leadership (mostly on false, self-serving leadership) in the Church and Home.

    • Aleea on February 12, 2017 at 8:55 pm

      Thank you T.L.,
      . . . . When you go through repeated traumatic events, there’s a lot of shame that comes with that. A lot of loss of self-esteem. That becomes debilitating. The traumatized soul finds no rest in conditions of even peace, —see that is the thing. It’s forever questing for violence, for action, for the same combination of factors which gave rise to it in the first place. It’s like trying to heal by reenacting and having the ending turn out differently. Traumas are like those black holes in space. They suck up all the light available. —Horrible stuff.

      . . . . Anyways, I watched a bunch of her videos. Two things she said stick with me:

      “To take such a complex creature, on who was meant for God and is destroyed by sin, and attempt to understand how the development of that creature can be affected by hideous trauma is to attempt the impossible.”

      “The Lord Jesus Christ Himself is my inspiration. When the dominant note of my life becomes what others need, I will drown. The needs of this world are far beyond my capacity to meet. I do not take my orders from the needs I see, but from my Lord.”

  31. Nancy on February 12, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    Oh T.L.! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

    This video is so moving. My favourite quote, “let us starve ourselves of EVERYTHING but Christ”. Yes 🙂 This is where I want to live.

    I have LONGED for a safe place….and after coming to Christ I thought I would find that safe place in the church (because it was a different church ( even denomination) than I grew up in). I was distraught to find that it wasn’t safe either. But I also know that I am called there.

    So I entrust myself ONLY to Christ and then ONLY to those who LOVE Christ. Not to those who love the church, or to those who love Christianity.

    BIG difference.

    • T.L. on February 12, 2017 at 4:07 pm

      So true, Nancy, and I’m so glad you enjoyed the video. This one is amazing:

      http://www.foclonline.org/talk/leadership-power-and-authority-church-and-home

      • Nancy on February 12, 2017 at 7:58 pm

        Loved this one, too! Sooooo good, T.L.

        I love the way she talks about self deception as a narcotic. That’s it! I always knew I was dealing with addiction – it’s addiction to self deception.

        Just this morning my husband asked me what I needed, and my answer was that I need him to check his motivation for anything he offers to do for someone- especially at church. My h is such a ‘giver’ externally, but I know ( and he is gradually starting to see) better.

        In our counselling session this week, the counsellor looked at me and said, “you’re a giver, by nature.” I was amazed at this. It just kind of hung in the air. I soaked it in. It’s the truth. The lie has been that my h is the giver, and that I’m selfish. He’s worked very hard to have us both believe that.

        I want to show him this video, but I won’t because he won’t get it. Not yet. We have a LONG way to go.

        Thanks forv’introducing me’ to Diane Langberg 🙂

        • T.L. on February 13, 2017 at 12:42 pm

          So glad you liked this one, too, Nancy. It’s so powerful; such a bulls-eye of a message to the church!

          Yes, addiction to self-deception! The craving to think of myself and have others think of me as special, important, good, etc., when inside may be death and decay–like the Pharisees!

          You said;
          “In our counselling session this week, the counsellor looked at me and said, “you’re a giver, by nature.” I was amazed at this. It just kind of hung in the air. I soaked it in. It’s the truth. The lie has been that my h is the giver, and that I’m selfish. He’s worked very hard to have us both believe that.”

          What joy floods into our hearts with the truth! When the Lord exposes the lies and we get the blessing of living in the truth: freedom! …for those of us who love the light….it’s hell for those committed to the darkness of deception.

          Such a light turned on for me one day a few years ago, when I was on my silent retreat. I was hiking in the hills, crying out to God in my heart, asking all my questions. An unspoken lie I was holding was that God was “on my husband’s side.” (He held the power, things always seemed to go his way, etc.) So as I was crying out, this lie was brought to the surface, and I “heard” the voice of God in my spirit, “T.L. I am with YOU. I stand with the oppressed!” Oh! Relief! Joy!

          • Nancy on February 13, 2017 at 1:54 pm

            What a beautiful revelation from God, T.L. I have heard you say this to others – That He is with the oppressed. How special that He burst through that lie so personally and so definitively!

            I think my h has done such a good job of convincing us both that he is the victim, it might have been unconscious that I wouldn’t believe God was with me.

            As I meditate on the fact that He is, I feel so much less anxiety thinking about what Thursday will bring.

            If God is for us, then who can be against us?



          • Aleea on February 13, 2017 at 7:10 pm

            “T.L. I am with YOU. I stand with the oppressed!” Oh! Relief! Joy!” . . . .Thank you for sharing that T.L. I very much have found from years of prayer that the function of prayer is not to influence God (―because He says “No” like constantly, ―even selfless prayers that other people would just heal), but rather to change my attitude while praying. . . . .T.L., if you want to know what God thinks of power (re: He held the power, things always seemed to go his way, etc.), just look at the people in the world He gives power to, ―not good. You know how God works, when we do the right thing, we get the feelings of peace and serenity associated with them, even if the outcome is in our eyes bad. All I can make of that is this: Sometimes God allows what He absolutely hates to accomplish what he loves (God-size repercussions). Being grateful does not mean that everything is necessarily good, at all. It just means that I can accept it as a gift. And I don’t understand why it works that way. . . .I assume if tragedy never entered our lives, we wouldn’t appreciate all we have. . . . But I also always pray: Lord, please don’t mistake keen, honest, real observations as complaints, you know I only want to understand You.



  32. Ruth on February 12, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    I couldn’t get this week’s article to load on my smartphone. I went to the library Saturday and it did load on their computers.
    I found that if my smartphone won’t load a particular article if I know the title of that article, I can google it. So at the library I saw this week’s title “Is Divorce a Sin” so I googled that plus ‘Leslie Vernick and voila my phone will load it. Then same is true for any other articles it won’t otherwise load.
    I am technically SO unskilled but I just throw that out there in case someone else might find that helpful.

    • Ruth on February 13, 2017 at 1:23 pm

      rats. now when I use my google trick, my phone will only load this article through posts made on Feb 10th. So, I have to come to the library for a real computer to see current posts.

      Connie I’m praying for you today.

  33. Aleea on February 13, 2017 at 5:13 am

    Oh, and Karen, just some other thoughts. . . . .in order to escape accountability, perpetrators do everything in their power to promote forgetting. If secrecy fails, the perpetrator attacks the credibility of the victim. If they cannot silence her absolutely, they try to make sure no one listens. . . .

    A women at my church who knows about my counseling struggles and who I believe is sincere. . . .She told me that she had been praying and God told her to tell me: “You endured a lot. For that I am truly sorry, but grateful. I needed you to struggle to help so many. Through that process you would grow into who you have now become. Didn’t you know that I give all my struggles to my favorite children? One only needs to look at the struggles given to your older brother Jesus to know how important you have been to me” . . . .It was something like that. I’m not so sure that is true, at all. . . . .Oh, I just don’t know maybe it is true. . . .It had the opposite affect on me. . . . .I only say it because it may speak to you.

    I just feel that so often survivors have had their experiences denied, trivialized, or distorted. Writing is an important avenue for healing because it gives you/us the opportunity to reconnect with reality. You can say: This did happen to me. It was really that bad. It was the fault & responsibility of an adult. I was—and am—innocent.

    I have been counseled before to not throw out the baby with the bathwater but I wonder sometimes if the baby and the bathwater are not the same. “Hallowed be thy name” means that the ultimate, the mystical, the ineffable can never be captured in human words. Perhaps we need to learn from the Jews that if one even speaks the name of God, one is pretending that one is able to know and to define God, which is the beginning of human idolatry and from there comes abuse of all kinds: spiritual, emotional, psychical, etc. That is when we begin to create God in our own image, while pretending it is the other way around. —Perhaps. . . . The task of Christianity is not to turn us into proper believers; it is to deepen the personal within us, to embrace the power of life, to expand our consciousness, in order that we might see things that eyes do not normally see.

    . . .This is Nancy’s point above which I just can’t get over: “I Love Christ, not Christianity”. . . . I will pursue Him both relentlessly and passionately. I will not surrender the truth I believe I find in Him either to those who seek to defend the indefensible (—the way precious women are treated, because the Bible says this and that, et.al.) or tell us abuse (spiritual, emotional, psychical, etc.) is not abuse. . . . . .Love is giving up control. —Really giving it up. It’s surrendering the desire to control the other person. The two—love and controlling power over the other person—are mutually exclusive. If the church is serious about loving someone, they have to surrender all the desires within them to manipulate the relationship. . . . .Because the moment God is figured out with nice neat lines and definitions, we are no longer dealing with God. God is total mystery. If the Bible isn’t good news for everybody, then it isn’t good news for anybody. And this is because the most powerful things happen when the church surrenders its desire to control people. It is when the church gives itself away in radical acts of service and compassion, expecting nothing in return, that the way of Jesus is most vividly put on display. To do this, the church must stop thinking about everybody primarily in categories of in or out, saved or not, believer or nonbeliever. Besides the fact that these terms are offensive to those who are the “un” and “non”, they work against Jesus’ teachings about how we are to treat each other. Jesus commanded us to love our neighbor, and our neighbor can be anybody. We are all created in the image of God, and we are all sacred, valuable creations of God. Everybody matters. We are called not to play the game of identity. . . . .Now, I understand we have to boundary neuropsychological measures outside of the norm: —interpersonally exploitative, psychotic, emotionally unavailable, devoid of empathy, etc. . . . .But, the point is to help break the false distinction between the idea that there are those who are whole and those who have a lack. For the true distinction is between those who hide their lack under a fiction of wholeness “the pastor tells people I divorced unbiblically because of “garbage from 25 years ago that Karen refuses to forgive” and those who are able to FULLY embrace it. “I abused Karen for 30 years and would probably abuse her again, no matter what I say about being changed.”

    My pastor said this morning: “The Bible is authoritative on everything of which it speaks. Moreover, it speaks of everything.” How can that be true when Fundamentalism is now expressed as a “spiritualized” form of situational ethics, but that can’t be the answer either. The Church is the guardian of the truth, the citadel of the truth, and the defender of the truth over against all the enemies of the Kingdom of God??? . . . —which church, —which creeds, —which beliefs —there are thousands of them. Again, I just can’t get over this statement: “I Love Christ, not Christianity”. Christ is the standard by which we measure everything else in the Bible. Christ is the norm, the criterion, the purpose, and the meaning of the Bible. The Bible points to Christ; Christ does not point to the Bible. We are not the People of the Bible; we are the People with the Bible. The Gospel of John does not say, “God so loved the world that he gave us” a Bible. The Revelation of John does not say that we are saved “by the ink of the Lamb”. For hundreds of years in early Christianity, people asked: What Would Christ Have Done? and not What Would the Bible Say? —Like we do now. —Anyways, I’m pretty sure Jesus wouldn’t say to you: “Karen you refused to forgive and thus divorced unbiblically”. . . . No way, whatever He said would transcend all that nonsense. Maybe, who knows, maybe something like “Karen, you were always called to freedom, use your freedom as an opportunity through love to serve others”. Whatever He could say would be full of love, compassion, truth, grace, mystery, et.al.

  34. Nancy on February 13, 2017 at 9:26 am

    Aleea,

    What struck you struck me too, you quoted D. L.” The Lord Jesus is my inspiration. When the dominant note of my life becomes what others need, I will drown. The needs of this world are far beyond my capacity to meet. I do not take my orders from the needs I see, but from my Lord.”

    Yes! Because Jesus himself didn’t operate based on the needs around Him. He operated in obedience to The Father.

    This is SO important!

    • Aleea on February 13, 2017 at 7:36 pm

      . . . .You know it! Imagine if somehow we only were obedient to The Father, only, -always. It has taken me so many years to be even a little okay with being different. . . .But Jesus was God, He understood God. Understanding unlocks obedience. It seems, maybe it is not, but it seems much easier to obey when you understand like that. I don’t know what is going on half the time or more, mystery inside mystery.

  35. T.L. on February 13, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Hello Aleea,

    I’m glad you watched a bunch of her videos, and I pray that they may have been even a bit helpful in your healing.

    You wrote:

    “. . . . When you go through repeated traumatic events, there’s a lot of shame that comes with that. A lot of loss of self-esteem. That becomes debilitating. The traumatized soul finds no rest in conditions of even peace, —see that is the thing. It’s forever questing for violence, for action, for the same combination of factors which gave rise to it in the first place. It’s like trying to heal by reenacting and having the ending turn out differently. Traumas are like those black holes in space. They suck up all the light available. —Horrible stuff.”

    Shall I take it that you are speaking of yourself here? I can see how hard it must be to trust–truly trust–anyone and anything. That must be so disturbing…though since it is all you know, you are perhaps strangely at home with a feeling of hyper-vigilance. Is that true? Does this impact your marriage? Do you trust your husband? And what about your counselor? Have you much trust there?

    What a monumental challenge to be asked to put your trust in Jesus or in God’s word.

    I am so heartily sorry for the pain inflicted on you. My deepest prayer is that Jesus will somehow reveal to you that His love is so deep and wide and eternal that He never left you for a moment, suffered what you suffered, held you through it, wept every tear with you.

    I pray for deep, full, mysterious, miraculous healing and deliverance for you, Aleea.

    • Aleea on February 13, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      Hello T.L.

      “Shall I take it that you are speaking of yourself here?” . . . . yes, me.

      “Since it is all you know, you are perhaps strangely at home with a feeling of hyper-vigilance. Is that true? Does this impact your marriage? Do you trust your husband? And what about your counselor? Have you much trust there?” . . . . I don’t trust anyone that much and that is probably why my counseling is not going too well. My marriage is good, I don’t even know how but it just is good. Oh my, we are open beyond belief and maybe that is why.

      “What a monumental challenge to be asked to put your trust in Jesus or in God’s word.” . . . .The challenge is the evidence. Extraordinary claims require e-x-t-r-aordinary evidence. . . . Let’s say you tell me: “Aleea, I own a car.” —no problem, T.L.` lots of people own cars. . . I need minimum proof. . . . .But if you say “Aleea, I own an F-18 fighter jet.” —I need a LOT more evidence BUT it could be possible if you have lots of money/ influence. . . . .But now, lets say you tell me: “Aleea, I own an interstellar spacecraft that can fly to other star systems!” —Now, you have kicked the claim into the unknown. I need WAY more evidence because I am not even sure that is possible. . . . —That is why in our court systems evidence has to scale with the claims and that which can be asserted without extraordinary (—blow you away) evidence can be dismissed without evidence. . . Anyways, I just love the Christ-of-Faith, —who would not? Jesus is the hero we all need. He feels so right and warm and true but I also realize that faith, honestly applied, can prove anything, —just anything. It’s all true by faith, any claim. So it is very confusing because no amount of belief or feelings makes something true.

      Psychoanalysis, which is the term I use for what I think we do in counseling, is about turning our ghosts into ancestors, so they haunt us no more (—in my case childhood abuse). —From haunting us to becoming simply part of our history. Even the smallest shift in perspective can bring about the greatest healing. There are two decisions everyone needs to make after they have accepted Jesus into their life. One: They need to make the decision to get over their past. I will not grow unless I make a conscious decision to get over my past. Two: Once I have made that decision, I need to trust God to help me get over my past. . .That’s what I and Dr. Meier work on. I believe, but Lord help my unbelief because sometimes the claims of Christianity simply look unbelievable.

      “I pray for deep, full, mysterious, miraculous healing and deliverance for you, Aleea.”. . . . .thank you T.L. that is so, so kind. The best applogetic is love, —period. Dr. Meier really does that well but my pain is so repressed. . . .That is how the loving ideas of Jesus Christ became the sinister cliches of Christianity. That is why virtually every revolution in history has failed: the oppressed, as soon as they seize power, turn into the oppressors (—it happens every time like clockwork re: Ferdinand Christian Baur, Church History of the First Three Centuries, et.al.), resorting to totalitarian tactics to “protect the cause.” That’s why everything, including Christianity constantly needs revival. . . . “Metanoia” in the N.T. . . .A death—rebirth sequence. Re: Personality and its Transformations: Transformation Archtype: Death and Rebirth . . . that is, identify with the part of your personality in Christ that can surf on change, that is not static.

  36. Ruth on February 13, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    Aleea, the smart ladies like Nancy and TL will give you a better answer than I can. I normally let them take up your cause not bc I don’t want to get involved but bc I’m not intelligent enough to interact in your conversations. BUT I can’t let this ONE thing go…The thing the church lady who said to you that God gave you your struggles so that you could help others. If she is insinuating that God endorsed your years of childhood abuse, then that makes my spirit curdle.
    I think if I’d been standing there listening to her comments I would’ve said, “get behind Aleea, Satan.”
    Sure, the lady probably means well. People try to rationalize conflicting issues during prayer. They want to tie up all the loose ends. But I don’t think she heard from God. I think she wanted to know why the atrocities happened and how they fit into God’s plan. That was her mind’s answer; not God’s.
    However, God does use Aleea’s sweet humble, lovely, gentle, brilliance to minister to others -not bc she was abused, but bc she’s awesome. I just love her.

    • Aleea on February 15, 2017 at 7:01 am

      “Aleea, the smart ladies like Nancy and TL will give you a better answer than I can. I normally let them take up your cause not bc I don’t want to get involved but bc I’m not intelligent enough to interact in your conversations.”

      Ruth! . . . ―thank you so much for reading what I wrote and for your comments. ―I apologize I didn’t see them sooner. I’m like a mouse in a maze on these vast Blogs with a handheld tablet. ―I’m so glad you commented.

      Ruth why, ―oh why would you ever think you are not “intelligent enough to interact in my conversations”. I am the one pulling *hard* on the door that clearly says “PUSH”. ―Please, if possible, ―please don’t feel that way. . . . .Oh, that’s wrong isn’t it because *you do* feel that way. . . .Hmmm . . . .Ruth look at my grammar; syntax; spelling in my posts. It is a total embarrassment and I had to take remedial English even in college, ―in college. That is exactly what the course title was “REMEDIAL ENGLISH” and people probably thought I was retarded. But the Lord uses everything because my grammar mistakes are my signature and writing signatures . . . . . ―writing signatures are how we know that three different people wrote the gospel of John (―And none of them was John!!!). . . .After looking at countless manuscripts, here is the point: many scribes (―people copying the Bible) did not even care how they spelled the words they used (they didn’t even have dictionaries), sometimes you’ll be reading a manuscript and you have the same word within a few lines and the word will be spelled three different ways!!! The first time I realized that, I thought, God truly can use anybody, just anybody, ―at any level. If you Google: “It’s All about Variants: A Variant-Conscious Approach to New Testament” and “Going for the Bigger Picture” and “Eldon Epp” you will see what I mean. . . . Anyways, I always drift to that discussion (―the Bible’s oldest manuscripts = one of my defense mechanisms) because my real issue is childhood abuse, toxic shame, et.al. Anyways, pulling myself back from that. . . .

      Maybe ask yourself: I feel I am not intelligent enough to interact with Aleea’s conversations because. . . and then because that reason . . . and then because that reason . . . and then because that reason . . . and then because that reason . . . . .all the way back to the real reason. . . .It is probably some totally misguided things people you listened to said to you in the past and now you say that to yourself. . . . .Ruth, honestly, my stupidity even amazes me at times. I would bet that most people on this board are far smarter than I am (―I’m pretty certain standard intelligence tests would prove that.) Anyways, here is the bigger point:

      . . . .All our identity rests in the knowledge of who we’re created to be. . . No one should under-or-over estimate themselves. . . . .but if we belong to Christ (―and I am all over the place on that), we must realize we have the Holy Spirit of the Living God. . . .Think about that (―realize that; I’m talking to myself too). . . It should then be our Light not any darkness that should most frighten us. Jesus is about radical, sweeping, encompassing empowerment. Our deepest fear should never be that we are inadequate; our deepest fear should be that we are powerful beyond measure. Beyond measure, Ruth. It is the light of Christ in our hearts, not our old sin nature that should most frighten us. . . . . If you truly belong to the Lord, then you are a champion eternal. A daughter of the Living Light. A person of the highest caliber, a child of God. God wants us so close to Him that we are radiating His glory. . . . . And there are no speed limits on the road to holiness. . . . .But, we also need to take studying seriously. We can’t be reading and learning all the time but curiosity, a sense of adventure, and an openness to learn, ―that is so important. The path of spiritual growth is a path of lifelong learning. The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more deeply I realize how truly little I know. Oh my, Ruth how very little I know. . . . .Arrogance is a weed that grows marvelously on a dunghill and God just hates it. . . .One thing I have experienced is that the cleaner I can keep my heart, the more of God’s love I can experience (―or whatever is going on). . . . .Heart as clean as possible; broken before the Lord; thankful, grateful and humble. That is where I want to be . . . . down low where the Grace of God can find me. —Too many people (―me too!!!) are slow to listen, quick to speak, and God will not bless that, ―at all. All things as they move closer and closer toward God are so beautiful, and they are so ugly as they move away from Him. . . .Just think and pray about it ―and either way, you can always interact with me.

      “BUT I can’t let this ONE thing go…The thing the church lady who said to you that God gave you your struggles so that you could help others. If she is insinuating that God endorsed your years of childhood abuse, then that makes my spirit curdle. I think if I’d been standing there listening to her comments I would’ve said, “get behind Aleea, Satan.” . . . .I agree Ruth, ―totally. . . . but God stood by letting it happen and maybe because He wants people to have free will? Oh my, that free will is a massive discussion: re: Martin Luther’s book “The Bondage of the Will” and Dr. Sam Harris “The Illusion of Free Will” and “The Myth of Free Will” (Paperback) by Dr. Paul Singh. . . . anyways, neuroscientists claim causal regression makes truly independent decisions impossible, otherwise we would have uncaused actions! We are aware of what we do, sure, but you have to change brain chemistry to change behavior, and when you change brain chemistry, boom, actions change. We know this from drug therapy, right? You can see in those studies that the muscles are moving nanoseconds before the signal is in the brain, (―the muscles are moving nanoseconds before the signal is registering in the brain) ―what is that about if we have all this choice? That’s why the data is so important because it tells us what is really happening. . . . “For in Him we live and move and have our being!” All this choice and free-will allows us to blame, condemn and damn people but the passion for truth is silenced by answers which have the weight of undisputed authority. ―Think about the context in which your next decision will occur: You did not pick your parents or the time and place of your birth. You didn’t choose most of your life experiences. You had no control whatsoever over your genome or the development of your brain chemistry. And now your entire body is making choices on the basis of preferences and beliefs that have been hammered into it over a lifetime ―by your genes, your physical development since the moment you were conceived, and the interactions you have had with other people, events, and ideas. Where is the freedom in this? ―Yes, maybe you are free to do what you want even now. But where did your desires come from? God gave you and me those desires. A moment or two of serious self-scrutiny, and you might observe that you no more decide the next thought you think than the next thought I write. . . .Anyways, yes, I see your point and agree.

      “I think she wanted to know why the atrocities happened and how they fit into God’s plan. That was her mind’s answer; not God’s.” . . . . ―Absolutely, Ruth. . . . her mind was trying to make sense of what looks like totally senseless evil that God should have stopped(?) ―Here is Joni Eareckson Tada, from “The God I Love” doing the same thing: “Sometimes God allows what he hates to accomplish what he loves.”

      “However, God does use Aleea’s sweet humble, lovely, gentle, brilliance to minister to others -not bc she was abused, but bc she’s awesome. I just love her.” . . . . ―Wow, that blows me away Ruth. Dr. Meier, my counselor, is so right: “All these problems are love problems.” We are damaged because deep abuse was applied instead of real love. We keep looking for abuse because it is so familiar to us and looks just like our original family ―until Love, real love, deep love heals us. Love is the answer, deep caring love. . . . ―Amazingly, the wound is the place where the Light enters you. What happens when people open their hearts? They get better, they heal. ―My heart is still mostly repressed and hiding. Transformation is my goal and in my experience, anger and frustration is the result of me, in the past, not being authentic. Being fake about anything creates a block inside of you. Love can’t work for us if we can’t show up as us. ―Just real us, ―serious doubts and all. Our hurts come through relationships so will our healing, ―and I know that grace rarely makes sense for those looking in from the outside. . . . .Ruth, again, thank you for taking the time to comment, ―its wonderful. . . . .Ruth, I bet the measure of our real intelligence is our ability to change. Our assumptions are our windows on the world, we need to scrub them off every once in a while, or the Light won’t come in. It takes something more than intelligence (―the Love of God) to act intelligently ―and actions are what really matters.

    • Aleea on February 15, 2017 at 7:13 am

      “Aleea, the smart ladies like Nancy and TL will give you a better answer than I can. I normally let them take up your cause not bc I don’t want to get involved but bc I’m not intelligent enough to interact in your conversations.”

      Ruth! . . . ―thank you so much for reading what I wrote and for your comments. ―I apologize I didn’t see them sooner. I’m like a mouse in a maze on these vast Blogs with a handheld tablet. ―I’m so glad you commented.

      Ruth why, ―oh why would you ever think you are not “intelligent enough to interact in my conversations”. I am the one pulling *hard* on the door that clearly says “PUSH”. ―Please, if possible, ―please don’t feel that way. . . . .Oh, that’s wrong isn’t it because *you do* feel that way. . . .Hmmm . . . .Ruth look at my grammar; syntax; spelling in my posts. It is a total embarrassment and I had to take remedial English even in college, ―in college. That is exactly what the course title was “REMEDIAL ENGLISH” and people probably thought I was retarded.

      Maybe ask yourself: I feel I am not intelligent enough to interact with Aleea’s conversations because. . . and then because that reason . . . and then because that reason . . .all the way back to the real reason. . . .It is probably some totally misguided things people you listened to said to you in the past and now you say that to yourself. . . . .Ruth, honestly, my stupidity even amazes me at times. I would bet that most people on this board are far smarter than I am (―I’m pretty certain standard intelligence tests would prove that.) Anyways, here is the bigger point:

      All our identity rests in the knowledge of who we’re created to be. . . No one should under-or-over estimate themselves. . . . .but if we belong to Christ (―and I am all over the place on that), we must realize we have the Holy Spirit of the Living God. . . .Think about that (―realize that; I’m talking to myself too). . . It should then be our Light not any darkness that should most frighten us. Jesus is about radical, sweeping, encompassing empowerment. Our deepest fear should never be that we are inadequate; our deepest fear should be that we are powerful beyond measure. Beyond measure, Ruth. It is the light of Christ in our hearts, not our old sin nature that should most frighten us. . . . . If you truly belong to the Lord, then you are a champion eternal. A daughter of the Living Light. A person of the highest caliber, a child of God. God wants us so close to Him that we are radiating His glory. . . . . And there are no speed limits on the road to holiness. . . . .But, we also need to take studying seriously. We can’t be reading and learning all the time but curiosity, a sense of adventure, and an openness to learn, ―that is so important. The path of spiritual growth is a path of lifelong learning. The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more deeply I realize how truly little I know. Oh my, Ruth how very little I know. . . . .Arrogance is a weed that grows marvelously on a dunghill and God just hates it. . . .One thing I have experienced is that the cleaner I can keep my heart, the more of God’s love I can experience (―or whatever is going on). . . . .Heart as clean as possible; broken before the Lord; thankful, grateful and humble. That is where I want to be . . . . down low where the Grace of God can find me. —Too many people (―me too!!!) are slow to listen, quick to speak, and God will not bless that, ―at all. All things as they move closer and closer toward God are so beautiful, and they are so ugly as they move away from Him. . . .Just think and pray about it ―and either way, you can *always* interact with me.

      “BUT I can’t let this ONE thing go…The thing the church lady who said to you that God gave you your struggles so that you could help others. If she is insinuating that God endorsed your years of childhood abuse, then that makes my spirit curdle. I think if I’d been standing there listening to her comments I would’ve said, “get behind Aleea, Satan.” . . . .I agree Ruth, ―totally. . . . but God stood by letting it happen and maybe because He wants people to have free will? Oh my, that free will is a massive discussion: re: Martin Luther’s book “The Bondage of the Will” and Dr. Sam Harris “The Illusion of Free Will” and “The Myth of Free Will” (Paperback) by Dr. Paul Singh. . . .Anyways, yes, I see your point and agree.

      “I think she wanted to know why the atrocities happened and how they fit into God’s plan. That was her mind’s answer; not God’s.” . . . . ―Absolutely, Ruth. . . . her mind was trying to make sense of what looks like totally senseless evil that God should have stopped(?) ―Here is Joni Eareckson Tada, from “The God I Love” doing the same thing: “Sometimes God allows what he hates to accomplish what he loves.”

      “However, God does use Aleea’s sweet humble, lovely, gentle, brilliance to minister to others -not bc she was abused, but bc she’s awesome. I just love her.” . . . . ―Wow, that blows me away Ruth. Dr. Meier, my counselor, is so right: “All these problems are love problems.” We are damaged because deep abuse was applied instead of real love. We keep looking for abuse because it is so familiar to us and looks just like our original family ―until Love, real love, deep love heals us. Love is the answer, deep caring love. . . . ―Amazingly, the wound is the place where the Light enters you. What happens when people open their hearts? They get better, they heal. ―My heart is still mostly repressed and hiding. Transformation is my goal and in my experience, anger and frustration is the result of me, in the past, not being authentic. Being fake about anything creates a block inside of you. Love can’t work for us if we can’t show up as us. ―Just real us, ―serious doubts and all. Our hurts come through relationships so will our healing, ―and I know that grace rarely makes sense for those looking in from the outside. . . . .Ruth, again, thank you for taking the time to comment, ―its wonderful. . . . .Ruth, I bet the measure of our real intelligence is our ability to change. Our assumptions are our windows on the world, we need to scrub them off every once in a while, or the Light won’t come in. It takes something more than intelligence (―the Love of God) to act intelligently ―and actions are what really matters.

    • Aleea on February 15, 2017 at 7:22 am

      “Aleea, the smart ladies like Nancy and TL will give you a better answer than I can. I normally let them take up your cause not bc I don’t want to get involved but bc I’m not intelligent enough to interact in your conversations.”

      Ruth! ―thank you so much for reading what I wrote and for your comments. ―I apologize I didn’t see them sooner. I’m like a mouse in a maze on these vast Blogs with a handheld tablet. ―I’m so glad you commented.

      Ruth why, ―oh why would you ever think you are not “intelligent enough to interact in my conversations”. I am the one pulling *hard* on the door that clearly says “PUSH”. ―Please, if possible, ―please don’t feel that way. . . . .Oh, that’s wrong isn’t it because *you do* feel that way. . . .Hmmm . . . .Ruth look at my grammar, syntax, spelling in my posts. It is a total embarrassment and I had to take remedial English even in college, ―in college. That is exactly what the course title was “REMEDIAL ENGLISH” and people probably thought I was retarded.

      Maybe ask yourself: I feel I am not intelligent enough to interact with Aleea’s conversations because. . . and then because that reason . . . and then because that reason . . .all the way back to the real reason. . . .It is probably some totally misguided things people you listened to said to you in the past and now you say that to yourself. . . . .Ruth, honestly, my stupidity even amazes me at times. I would bet that most people on this board are far smarter than I am (―I’m pretty certain standard intelligence tests would prove that.) Anyways, here is the bigger point:

      . . . .All our identity rests in the knowledge of who we’re created to be. . . No one should under-or-over estimate themselves. . . . .but if we belong to Christ (―and I am all over the place on that), we must realize we have the Holy Spirit of the Living God. . . .Think about that (―realize that; I’m talking to myself too). . . It should then be our Light not any darkness that should most frighten us. Jesus is about radical, sweeping, encompassing empowerment. Our deepest fear should never be that we are inadequate; our deepest fear should be that we are powerful beyond measure. Beyond measure, Ruth. But, the more I learn, the more deeply I realize how truly little I know. Oh my, Ruth how very little I know. . . . . Just think and pray about it ―and either way, you can always interact with me.

      “BUT I can’t let this ONE thing go…The thing the church lady who said to you that God gave you your struggles so that you could help others. If she is insinuating that God endorsed your years of childhood abuse, then that makes my spirit curdle. I think if I’d been standing there listening to her comments I would’ve said, “get behind Aleea, Satan.” . . . .I agree Ruth, ―totally. . . . but God stood by letting it happen and maybe because He wants people to have free will? Oh my, that free will is a massive discussion: re: Martin Luther’s book “The Bondage of the Will” and Dr. Sam Harris “The Illusion of Free Will” and “The Myth of Free Will” (Paperback) by Dr. Paul Singh. . . .Anyways, yes, I see your point and agree.

      “I think she wanted to know why the atrocities happened and how they fit into God’s plan. That was her mind’s answer; not God’s.” . . . . ―Absolutely, Ruth. . . . her mind was trying to make sense of what looks like totally senseless evil that God should have stopped(?) ―Here is Joni Eareckson Tada, from “The God I Love” doing the same thing: “Sometimes God allows what he hates to accomplish what he loves.”

      “However, God does use Aleea’s sweet humble, lovely, gentle, brilliance to minister to others -not bc she was abused, but bc she’s awesome. I just love her.” . . . . ―Wow, that blows me away Ruth. Dr. Meier, my counselor, is so right: “All these problems are love problems.” We are damaged because deep abuse was applied instead of real love. We keep looking for abuse because it is so familiar to us and looks just like our original family ―until Love, real love, deep love heals us. Love is the answer, deep caring love. . . . ―Amazingly, the wound is the place where the Light enters you. What happens when people open their hearts? They get better, they heal. ―My heart is still mostly repressed and hiding. Transformation is my goal and in my experience, anger and frustration is the result of me, in the past, not being authentic. Being fake about anything creates a block inside of you. Love can’t work for us if we can’t show up as us. ―Just real us, ―serious doubts and all. Our hurts come through relationships so will our healing, ―and I know that grace rarely makes sense for those looking in from the outside. . . . .Ruth, again, thank you for taking the time to comment, ―its wonderful. . . . .Ruth, I bet the measure of our real intelligence is our ability to change. Our assumptions are our windows on the world, we need to scrub them off every once in a while, or the Light won’t come in. It takes something more than intelligence (―the Love of God) to act intelligently ―and actions are what really matters.

    • Aleea on February 15, 2017 at 8:55 am

      “Aleea, the smart ladies like Nancy and TL will give you a better answer than I can. I normally let them take up your cause not bc I don’t want to get involved but bc I’m not intelligent enough to interact in your conversations.”

      Ruth! . . . ―thank you so much for reading what I wrote and for your comments. ―I apologize I didn’t see them sooner. I’m like a mouse in a maze on the Blog with a handheld tablet. ―I’m so glad you commented. Also, for some reason, my response to you simply would not post, ―attempt after attempt. ―Anyways, now it finally did.

      Ruth why, ―oh why would you ever think you are not “intelligent enough to interact in my conversations”. I am the one pulling *hard* on the door that clearly says “PUSH”. ―Please, if possible, ―please don’t feel that way. . . . .Oh, that’s wrong isn’t it because *you do* feel that way. . . .Hmmm . . . .Well Ruth, you just need to know me better. Look at my grammar, syntax, spelling in my posts. It is a total embarrassment and I had to take remedial English even in college, ―in college. That is exactly what the course title was “REMEDIAL ENGLISH” and people probably thought I was retarded.

      Ruth, maybe ask yourself: I feel I am not intelligent enough to interact with Aleea’s conversations because. . . and then because that reason . . .and keep “becausing” all the way back to the real reason. It is probably some totally misguided things people you listened to said to you in the distant past and now you say that to yourself? Ruth, honestly, my stupidity even amazes me at times. I would bet that most people on this board are far smarter than I am (―I’m pretty certain standard intelligence tests would prove that.) ―Anyways, here is the bigger point:

      . . . .All our identity rests in the knowledge of who we’re created to be. No one should under-or-over estimate themselves. . . . .but if we belong to Christ (―and I am all over the place on that I’m wave-tossed), we must realize we have the Holy Spirit of the Living God. Think about that (―realize that; I’m talking to myself too). . . It should then be our Light not any darkness that should most frighten us. Jesus is about radical, sweeping, encompassing empowerment. Our deepest fear should never be that we are inadequate; our deepest fear should be that we are powerful beyond measure. Beyond measure, Ruth. But, the more I learn, the more deeply I realize how truly little I know. Oh my, Ruth how very little I know. . . . . Just think and pray about it ―and either way, you can *always* interact with me.

      “BUT I can’t let this ONE thing go…The thing the church lady who said to you that God gave you your struggles so that you could help others. If she is insinuating that God endorsed your years of childhood abuse, then that makes my spirit curdle. I think if I’d been standing there listening to her comments I would’ve said, “get behind Aleea, Satan.” . . . .I agree Ruth, ―totally. . . . but God stood by letting it happen and maybe because He wants people to have free will? Oh my, that free will is a massive discussion: re: Martin Luther’s book “The Bondage of the Will” and Dr. Sam Harris “The Illusion of Free Will” and “The Myth of Free Will” (Paperback) by Dr. Paul Singh. . . .Anyways, yes, I see your point and agree.

      “I think she wanted to know why the atrocities happened and how they fit into God’s plan. That was her mind’s answer; not God’s.” . . . . ―Absolutely, Ruth. . . . her mind was trying to make sense of what looks like totally senseless evil that God should have stopped(?) ―Here is Joni Eareckson Tada, from “The God I Love” doing the same thing: “Sometimes God allows what he hates to accomplish what he loves.”

      “However, God does use Aleea’s sweet humble, lovely, gentle, brilliance to minister to others -not bc she was abused, but bc she’s awesome. I just love her.” . . . . ―Wow, that blows me away Ruth. Thank you. All these problems are love problems. We are damaged because deep abuse was applied instead of real love. We keep looking for abuse because it is so familiar to us and looks just like our original family environment ―until Love, real love, deep love heals us. Love is the answer, deep caring love. . . . ―Amazingly, the wound is the place where the Light enters you. What happens when people open their hearts? They get better, they heal. ―Ruth, my heart is still mostly repressed and hiding. Transformation is my goal and in my experience, anger and frustration is the result of me, in the past, not being authentic. Really, deeply authentic. Being fake about anything creates a block inside of us. Love can’t work for us if we can’t show up as us. ―Just real us, ―serious doubts and all. . . .Ruth, again, thank you so much for taking the time to comment, ―its wonderful. . . . .Ruth, I bet the measure of our real intelligence is our ability to change. Our assumptions are our windows on the world, we need to scrub them off every once in a while, or the Light simply won’t come in. It takes something more than intelligence (―the Love of God) to act intelligently ―and actions are what really matters.

    • Aleea on February 15, 2017 at 10:24 am

      “Aleea, the smart ladies like Nancy and TL will give you a better answer than I can. I normally let them take up your cause not bc I don’t want to get involved but bc I’m not intelligent enough to interact in your conversations.”

      Ruth! . . . ―thank you so much for reading what I wrote and for your comments. ―I apologize I didn’t see them sooner. I’m like a mouse in a maze on the Blog with a handheld tablet. ―I’m so glad you commented. Also, for some reason, my response to you simply would not post, ―attempt after attempt. ―Anyways, now it finally did.

      Ruth why, ―oh why would you ever think you are not “intelligent enough to interact in my conversations”. I am the one pulling *hard* on the door that clearly says “PUSH”. ―Please, if possible, ―please don’t feel that way. . . . .Oh, that’s wrong isn’t it because *you do* feel that way. . . .Hmmm . . . .Well Ruth, you just need to know me better. Look at my grammar, syntax, spelling in my posts. It is a total embarrassment and I had to take remedial English even in college, ―in college. That is exactly what the course title was “REMEDIAL ENGLISH” and people probably thought I was retarded.

      Ruth, maybe ask yourself: I feel I am not intelligent enough to interact with Aleea’s conversations because. . . and then because that reason . . .and keep “becausing” all the way back to the real reason. It is probably some totally misguided things people you listened to said to you in the distant past and now you say that to yourself? Ruth, honestly, my stupidity even amazes me at times. I would bet that most people on this board are far smarter than I am (―I’m pretty certain standard intelligence tests would prove that.) ―Anyways, here is the bigger point:

      . . . .All our identity rests in the knowledge of who we’re created to be. No one should under-or-over estimate themselves. . . . .but if we belong to Christ (―and I am all over the place on that I’m wave-tossed), we must realize we have the Holy Spirit of the Living God. Think about that (―realize that; I’m talking to myself too). . . It should then be our Light not any darkness that should most frighten us. Jesus is about radical, sweeping, encompassing empowerment. Our deepest fear should never be that we are inadequate; our deepest fear should be that we are powerful beyond measure. Beyond measure, Ruth. But, the more I learn, the more deeply I realize how truly little I know. Oh my, Ruth how very little I know. . . . . Just think and pray about it ―and either way, you can *always* interact with me.

      “BUT I can’t let this ONE thing go…The thing the church lady who said to you that God gave you your struggles so that you could help others. If she is insinuating that God endorsed your years of childhood abuse, then that makes my spirit curdle. I think if I’d been standing there listening to her comments I would’ve said, “get behind Aleea, Satan.” . . . .I agree Ruth, ―totally. . . . but God stood by letting it happen and maybe because He wants people to have free will? Oh my, that free will is a massive discussion: re: Martin Luther’s book “The Bondage of the Will” and Dr. Sam Harris “The Illusion of Free Will” and “The Myth of Free Will” (Paperback) by Dr. Paul Singh. . . .Anyways, yes, I see your point and agree.

      “I think she wanted to know why the atrocities happened and how they fit into God’s plan. That was her mind’s answer; not God’s.” . . . . ―Absolutely, Ruth. . . . her mind was trying to make sense of what looks like totally senseless evil that God should have stopped(?) ―Here is Joni Eareckson Tada, from “The God I Love” doing the same thing: “Sometimes God allows what he hates to accomplish what he loves.”

      “However, God does use Aleea’s sweet humble, lovely, gentle, brilliance to minister to others -not bc she was abused, but bc she’s awesome. I just love her.” . . . . ―Wow, that blows me away Ruth. Thank you. All these problems are love problems. We are damaged because deep abuse was applied instead of real love. We keep looking for abuse because it is so familiar to us and looks just like our original family environment ―until Love, real love, deep love heals us. Love is the answer, deep caring love. . . . ―Amazingly, the wound is the place where the Light enters you. What happens when people open their hearts? They get better, they heal. ―Ruth, my heart is still mostly repressed and hiding. Transformation is my goal and in my experience, anger and frustration is the result of me, in the past, not being authentic. Really, deeply authentic. Being fake about anything creates a block inside of us. Love can’t work for us if we can’t show up as us. ―Just real us, ―serious doubts and all. . . .Ruth, again, thank you so much for taking the time to comment, ―its wonderful. . . . .Ruth, I bet the measure of our real intelligence is our ability to change. Our assumptions are our windows on the world, we need to scrub them off every once in a while, or the Light simply won’t come in. It takes something more than intelligence (―the Love of God) to act intelligently ―and actions are what really matters.

  37. Nancy on February 13, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Love your persistence, Ruth!

  38. T.L. on February 13, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    Hi Aleea,

    “I pray for deep, full, mysterious, miraculous healing and deliverance for you, Aleea.” This will be my repeated prayer whenever your name comes to mind. 🙂

  39. Nancy on February 13, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    Hi Aleea,

    Have you watched any of these ‘Bible Project’ videos on YouTube?

    These guys are funny and educated, but they make things so easy to understand ( great for my brain!). Lately they have created ‘theme videos’ where they trace a theme throughout the Bible. They are usually about 5 minutes each.

    They’ve done a video for each book of the Bible, as well. Artistically beautiful and well done! The wisdom literature series is one of my favourites, too.

    The one I’m posting here is called “heaven and earth” a theme throughout the Bible. I watch these guys with the kids, but confess that I like them better than they do 🙂

    Let me know what your amazing brain has to say about this ( if you feel like it!)

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Zy2AQlK6C5k

  40. Aleea on February 14, 2017 at 6:47 am

    Thank you T.L. . . . . ―Awesome! I so appreciate that. . . .I pray, feel God’s heart beats, experience His presence ―or whatever is going on! This is how to get any answers, if any answers exist. ―And I think about God at lots of breaths I take. I know He can stop them at any time. ―I am overwhelmed by the goodness of God, and I am so grateful to everyone who prays for me. That always amazes me, that people would pray for me. May God bless the hands that give me this gift! ―Adonai! ―Let’s all keep our heads and hearts open.

  41. Dana on February 14, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    My husband and I are separated after 28 years due to emotional abuse and him having 2 emotional affairs. He is going through counselling and appears to be doing everything he can to be the husband I wanted all along. I have not filed for divorce (we’ve only been separated for 4weeks). My question is: I don’t think I will ever love him or trust him again. Am I biblically ok divorcing him when he truly appears to be trying to change?

    • sharon on February 19, 2017 at 11:22 pm

      Dana,

      Anyone can act differently for four weeks. Change in these kind of issues is measured over time. a long time. Don’t expect the good behavior to last too long. It is probably a tactic to control. I was taught that good behavior is for one of two reasons, to get something they want or to put on airs for the public for their own social gain.

      • Leslie Vernick on February 19, 2017 at 11:37 pm

        Yea the blog and website is back up. Whew it took us 5 days.

    • T.L. on February 22, 2017 at 11:09 am

      Dana,

      I think you both need much time before a decision is made. He needs plenty of time (many months) to repent fully, reform, make amends and restitution, and rebuild trust. And you need time to heal and grow.

  42. Ruth on February 15, 2017 at 6:15 am

    I have a multi-part post.

    1. Connie, I pray you’re having a fruitful time working through the Elijah House materials.

    2. Aleea, I hope you caught my response to you a couple of days ago.

    3. For about 6 months, we’ve been attending a denomination that has a reputation for saving the marriage at all costs and not supporting the victim. (I didn’t realize this when I prayed about which church to attend.) Nor did this come to my attention until about 4 weeks ago.
    I want to give my pastor credit bc. if you were to line up 500 other pastors from his denomination I believe he would be the one with the most passion, and one who would take the most risks with their ‘standard denomination doctrine’ where he sees it doesn’t actually line up with the Bible.
    In December, my H went to our pastor to pray with him in regards to our marriage. When H came home, one thing he said was, “Pastor says ‘God wants to heal our marriage.'” Now, that made me feel confused. Just a few days earlier right a fight, I prayed and asked the Lord, “God will this eventually lead to a divorce?” I felt like He said Yes. Not like a hurried Yes, but a sad yes.
    So when H tells me Pastor’s word, I feel confusion. Did I hear from God or was that just my own heart? There’s a lot at stake here. I wrestled with that for a few weeks. Then a had a meeting with the pastor.
    I tell my pastor my dilemma he says what he felt the Lord told him. I do believe he might be partially right (there was much more to the word); Part of me wants to believe but there’s a huge leerieness and hesitation even there with the pastor.
    But here’s where it got weird. My pastor gave me a book. I got the feeling he gave it to all people who came in with marriage trouble – like he has BOXES of them. It is book Love and Respect by E. Eggerich. Lucky for me, I vaguely remembered its book review on A Cry For Justice (plus Jeff Crippen did an awesome sermon on Ephesians 5:33 which this book is based on. Bro. Jeff’s article is from Dec 2016 if you’re interested) .
    So, I skimmed the book. Sure, there are some good parts, but who wants to eat a brownie laced with just a little arsenic?
    I printed out the info from A Cry For Justice and I’m going to take it to my pastor. I added my own paragraph where I give my 2 cents and I advise him to trash copy of that book he owns.
    Ladies please send up one prayer that this pastor of a church of approximately 750 people will receive my ‘papers’ as revelation to as to walk more in the TRUTH. And not to foolishly reject it.

    • T.L. on February 15, 2017 at 8:06 am

      Hi Ruth,

      I have just prayed for this request. My husband also very much liked and recommended that book to people. I never liked it (I liked parts, as you say) in the whole, but the why escaped me, until more recently. To teach women to give “unconditional respect” to their husbands, regardless of their behavior is dangerous and unhealthy. I agree with you!

      Regarding what you think you heard God say and what your pastor thinks he heard God say: I think we always need to take what we think we hear from God and “ponder it in our hearts” like Mary did. That is, we receive it, but we think, consider, watch, and wait for confirmation in our circumstances. Because we can certainly mis-hear! We need to remain humble to that fact. I would suggest that you keep walking in the light and the truth, and see how your husband responds. Does he repent and grow and change? Or does he stay in the darkness of sinful patterns? Only over time will you have the confirmation that you really heard from God. That’s my perspective, anyway.

      (This is without going back to old messages to review your history with your h.–there may already have been clear confirmation?)

  43. Ruth on February 20, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    T.L.
    Thanks for that Prayer. I haven’t given my pastor my packet of papers yet. I’m waiting for the right time. My pastor told me that he and his wife read the book and it was really helpful to them. Of course, to a man who is humble and kind and a wife who’s already loving and supportive this book wouldn’t be an issue. But an abusive man needs to see the whole counsel of God or this verse can be used to club women.
    My pastor already takes a lot of flack from his minister peers for being ‘different’. My hope is he will also be open-minded towards a paradigm shift in how he was taught to consider the status of women and the marriage relationship.
    I copied for him the article by Jeff Crippen on the website A Cry For Justice.com on Dec 11 2016 titled “Does the Bible command us to Respect no Matter What?” . It is SO good! I recommend everyone here to go look it up and read it!
    Plus, I typed out my own for my pastor:
    “I feel like this author is well-intentioned. But I sense he writes from a position of pride rather than humility. I feel like Eggerichs has the ‘I am the king’ mentality’; ‘I am the boss’. When the disciples squabbled over who been be the boss, Jesus gave them a harsh rebuke. I feel like this author is encouraging men to feel more entitled to respect, more puffed up in pride – not humble servant-leaders.
    This author might have a shallow understanding of the run of the mill average marriage but he does not have the slightest understanding of the crushed spirit that a victim of verbal and emotional abuse carries. If an abuse victim gets this book looking for hope, she’ll only gets whacked with condemnation and a heavier burden. She’ll be worse off after reading this book. I would ask you to prayerfully consider to never giving this book out to another couple. You told me this book was helpful for you and your wife and that is great. But you are quick to cut out pride in your life AS SOON AS you’re made aware of it. Your wife can trust you not to be a tyrant over her. Sure, she might have her frustrations, but she at her core, she still feels safe. She knows you love her. Abused wives are not even sure if their husbands are capable of love. And personally for me, it’s just about impossible to watch a growth man mistreat a child and respect him. IMPOSSIBLE.
    Think of how much pressure this author puts on wives to RESPECT HER HUSBAND NO MATTER WHAT.

    • T.L. on February 22, 2017 at 11:04 am

      I like your points to your pastor, Ruth. I hope it is well-received. Let me know how it goes.

    • Sharon on February 24, 2017 at 7:30 am

      I think it is dangerous to consider respecting any human being to such an extent. Our devotion should be whole heartedly given to the Lord. Any wise man would realize the ridiculous request that he should be respected no matter what. Is he God? Isn’t he a fallen sinful man? Why would anyone give such power to any man (or woman)? Humans are not omnipotent or free from sin!

      Complete trust is to be reserved for the Lord, he doesn’t need man to guide your behavior. The Lords speaks directly into the hearts of those he loves, we just need to listen.

      • Leslie Vernick on February 24, 2017 at 1:04 pm

        I think we can show respect to someone without trusting them. If I was being held up by a thief, I would show respect to him or her, but I would not trust him. There are some political leaders I do not trust, but if I met them I would show respect. I think showing respect to someone comes from Who we are – not who they are -. Certainly admiration and adoration (which many abusive people crave and label respect) is a different matter. We can’t admire or adore someone who consistently behaves reprehensibly.

        • Sharon on February 24, 2017 at 8:01 pm

          Great point, respect and trust are two different things.

          The “respect” in the book was more like “obey” unconditionally.

        • Sharon on February 24, 2017 at 8:08 pm

          Excellent point. Poor choice of words on my part. I was lumping respect with the threat to obey….OR ELSE!!

          You said it best, that abusers crave admiration and adoration. When they don’t get it, they say (or at least mine did) that they weren’t being respected.

          Thanks for this teaching. I had never had that pointed out to me. Yet, it is true in my life.

  44. Sharon on February 24, 2017 at 7:20 am

    I wish I could say I don’t think divorce is a sin, but I do. Having stood at the alter and made a vow that I really meant and hearing the value of marriage reinforced for years, divorce seems terrible. I am in a situation that I should divorce for my safety. Yet, I can’t tolerate the identity of being divorced. I have had it hammer in my head socially that divorce is for quitters and losers. It ruins families. It destroys the covenant between you and God. Generally, divorcees are second class citizens, retreads and losers. So, when I think about divorce, I identify all those terrible things to me and I can’t do it.

    I have been haughty and judgmental and didn’t associate with the divorced. Didn’t let my children play in homes with children of divorce and decried second marriages as adultery. I also have and still choice not to attend wedding of people who have lived together prior to the ceremony. I think that is mockery and deceit. So tell me how I learn to think differently?

    People have spoken the truth to me about my situation, yet I can’t even say the word divorce. I fear I may go back to my abuser, just so I don’t have to be the horrible, shameful divorced woman I was taught to shun.

    Any tips? Wisdom ladies?

    • T.L. on February 24, 2017 at 10:25 am

      Hi Sharon,

      Oh! Several things….first, most of us on this site can probably relate to a greater or lesser degree, because most of us were “trained” along the same “Christian track.” It was called “thinking biblically.” I now see it, in many ways, as using scripture/God to hide from God…reducing Scripture to legalistic rules, instead of always holding sacred the God whose words we are seeking to understand.

      I think you need to give yourself space and time to de-program from false tracks of thinking. It takes quieting the life and mind to be able to hear “that still small voice” of His Spirit. What helped me was getting literally all alone and silent for a week in nature, with my Bible, and letting my heart go brave and bare: confessing my failures, asking bold questions, being willing to hear the answers, even if they hurt. I backed up from my microscopic focus on certain scriptures and, there in nature and quiet, thought about who God is: He is our loving Heavenly Father. His heart is kindly disposed towards us. He loves righteousness and hates sin. He loves freedom and hates oppression. He emptied himself of His power and majesty to take the form of a servant in Christ to set us free from sin, oppression, death. How could I have been fooled into believing that it was His will for me to suffer terrible oppression in a marriage to a hypocritical pretender? I had to live a lie to stay in this marriage. Does He support lies and liars? No; God is the God of truth. Satan is the father of lies.

      Ok, so who am I believing? How has Scripture been twisted to make me think that God is someone other than who He says He is? I had to look at Scripture with fresh eyes. For instance: the whole Malachi passage regarding, “God hates divorce.” Give it a re-reading Sharon. The passage is saying that God hates it when men (holders of power in that day) do violence to the covenant they made with their wives before God; abusing her, instead of loving her, and then casting her aside. It is the foul treatment of another that God despises. If you are married to a man who is mistreating you, he is doing violence to the covenant. And God HATES it.

      And then aside from that, of course you’ll need to have humility and surrender your pride and judgmentalism to the Lord. You’ll have to surrender fear of man and appearances. You’ll have to decide if you are going to step into the light and follow the way of truth, or if you will remain in the dark.

      Praying that the Holy Spirit will minister His truth and grace and strength to you, Sharon. May you be bold and brave in Him. Courage is not the absence of fear. It’s doing the right thing in spite of fear.

      xo

      • Leslie Vernick on February 24, 2017 at 12:55 pm

        Thanks for sharing T.L. I think we do need to understand the character of God before we can interpret the Word of God correctly. It’s sort of like hearing “I love you” from two different people. One with a humble, gentle heart. The other from a person of poor character, one who lies, steals, cheats, bullies others. Each say something using the same words but how you hear them and how you interpret what they say are very different.

    • Leslie Vernick on February 24, 2017 at 1:10 pm

      Sharon, It sounds like you are more open than ever to the HOly Spirit and wise others showing you that you might be wrong. Divorce is never labeled as a sin in scripture. Divorce is sometimes a necessary measure but show me where it says in Scripture that it is a sin itself? Certainly things that lead up to divorce are sinful – adultery, abuse, pride, deceit, desertion, breaking covenant, indifference….but divorce itself? That is just a sad consequence of sin. If we divorce someone for trivial reasons such as “I want to be on my own.” or “I don’t want to be married anymore” the divorce is not the sin, it’s the selfishness behind it that is the sin. IF we stay married because “divorce is a sin” but we still treat our spouse as if they don’t matter, we would rather be free, and hate being married, does that honor God? I don’t think so. So God says we are transformed by the renewing of our mind. Could it be your pride that keeps you married to this idea that divorce is a sin because you don’t want to feel like “a loser” or “one of those people who got divorced” because in the past you have judged them harshly?

    • Daisy on February 24, 2017 at 6:30 pm

      It sounds like that is how you want to believe. It would be very hard to persuade you, I think. Read your own post out loud and ask yourself if those statements sound right to you?

      • Sharon on February 24, 2017 at 8:03 pm

        Thanks, Ladies. Still a work in process.

        • Sharon on February 24, 2017 at 8:23 pm

          My church teaches shunning. Divorced people especially women, are to be shunned. It is considered their fault that their husband is not happy. Be silence suffers. Be sweet. Don’t associate with fallen sinners. Yes, TL brainwashing is a good way to describe it. It will take time to undo the damage.

          • Nancy on February 25, 2017 at 12:03 pm

            Hi Sharon,

            If you want to be well and begin the reprogramming, shouldn’t you leave a church that teaches shunning?

            To shun is not the character of our Lord Jesus Christ as I have come to know Him. Not. At. All. 😕

            I’m so sorry that you have been surrounded by such lies.

            I pray that The Lord reveals Himself to you, Sharon, for the compassionate healer that He is. When you seek Him with all your heart, you will find Him 🙂



          • T.L. on February 25, 2017 at 12:14 pm

            Hi Sharon,

            I believe Nancy is right! You are not in a Christ-centered, healthy church! Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

            Sharon, I hope you will seek this Jesus and not the one so poorly represented by your church.



  45. Content on February 26, 2017 at 8:32 am

    If divorce is a sin, we are all in trouble because God divorced Israel.

    • Sharon on February 27, 2017 at 6:58 am

      Great reply, Content!

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