Morning friends,

Thanks so much for your support this week. Prayers are also much appreciated. We are in a battle, not only against evil and dark places where abusive individuals lurk, but also in a battle to help those who are blind but well-intentioned to see the evil of abuse in “Christian” homes.  

Abuse is going to happen – we live in a sinful world. But it is not God’s plan for marriages nor does he want us to turn a blind eye to it. It is sin. Click To Tweet

When Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek, he’s telling us to not retaliate against a stranger or acquaintance who is abusive towards us. But when we are in a close relationship with someone who repeatedly abuses us, we still are not to retaliate. However we are to do something about it, starting with Matthew 18:15 by speaking up about it, and if nothing changes, the last resort would be “having nothing to do with the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather expose them”(Ephesians 4:15). Today’s question exposes a little talked about but the hidden form of marital abuse.

Question: How do I know if I am being sexually abused in my marriage, and what can I do about it?

Answer: I’m so glad you were brave enough to ask this question. Sexual abuse in marriage is not uncommon, even in homes where both people go to church and profess to be Christian. I remember speaking at Westminster Seminary to a group of students who were taking a class in Marriage and Family Counseling. When I talked about sexual abuse being a category of domestic violence, a student who was in the M.Div. program (training to be a pastor), questioned the validity of sexual abuse in marriage.

He cited the passage in 1 Corinthians 7 where Paul is speaking about sexual relationships and says, (vs 4) “For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does,” as Biblical proof that a wife does not have the right to say no to sex, ever. Thus, as his reasoning went, there was not a biblical category for sexual abuse in marriage because God said that a husband has a right to his wife’s body whenever he wants.  

I think it’s this kind of thinking and false theology that contributes to a lot of abuse, sexual and otherwise. Abusers who are Biblically literate often use brief verses or passages to justify what they do while ignoring other passages that would totally contradict their behavior or attitude. I often see this in the misuse of Biblical headship passages as well as in the misuse of the “God hates divorce” passage.  

But this whole section in 1 Corinthians 7 is in in response to something that the Corinthian church had written Paul about. The first sentence says, “Now concerning the matters about which you wrote.” What were those matters? We always have to look at the context in which words are spoken to understand what Paul meant.

From what I see in these passages, apparently, there were two issues. The first was rampant immorality in the culture including not being sexually exclusive in marriage. And the second was an idea that was gaining in popularity in the church that celibacy was the higher good for a Christian to practice, even within marriage, as a remedy to the rampant immorality present.

Paul is refuting both of these ideas in the opening this passage by saying “It is good for a man to have sexual relations with a woman”(vs 1).  As I studied this passage, the consensus is that Paul did not mean in these passages that a wife or a husband never can say no to his or her spouse. But rather he was affirming that a good sex life was entirely appropriate and healthy in a marriage and that the sexual relationship in marriage was to be exclusive.  

This idea supports Paul’s and other Biblical teachings where the Bible says, “let not the marriage bed be defiled” (Hebrews 13:4), as well as “love does not dishonor others nor is self-seeking” (1 Corinthians 13:5). And “Do not merely look out for your own interests but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4).

In addition, Paul did something quite radical in this 1 Corinthian 7 passage. The culture in which he was writing was a strongly patriarchal culture. Women had few rights. Men were in power and that power was extended to their own homes including the sexual relationship. The interesting word Paul uses to express a completely new view of the marriage relationship is “likewise.” In other words, what pertains to a wife likewise pertains to her husband. There is no power over, but rather a mutuality in marriage, especially as it relates to the most intimate places in marriage: the sexual relationship.  

But your first question “Am I being sexually abused” needs an answer. Let me tell you about Christy (Christy is a composite of the women with whom I’ve talked to about this).

Christy was startled awake when she felt her husband yank her nightgown up and pull her legs apart. She tried to push him off her but he was too strong as he pinned her down to their bed with his body weight. This wasn’t the first time he forced himself on her but this time was the worst. This night Greg was rougher than usual and Christy felt it would never end. She bit her lips together so she wouldn’t scream. Her toddler was asleep next to her in their bed and all she could think of was “Please God, don’t let him wake up and see this.”

The next day Christy had a fat lip, her back ached and her insides felt raw and bruised. Later that evening she tried to talk to Greg about what happened but he blamed her. He told her if she wasn’t such a prude, then maybe they would have a spicier sex life. Christy didn’t see herself as a sexual prude, but she did think she ought to have a choice. She didn’t think she should feel afraid of her husband or of sleeping in her own bed with him. She didn’t think she should have bruises or injuries after sexual intercourse. Christy was right.

Sexual abuse in marriage is not something that women talk about or disclose to one another so thank you for your question. I know it feels shameful to admit even to yourself that your own husband treats you as if your sole purpose is to provide him your body whenever and however he wants sex. But I want you to know that is not God’s intent for you as a woman or as a wife.  

God designed the sexual relationship in marriage to reflect a sacred oneness of unselfishness, safety, and mutual love. Sadly, some marriages never get close to reflecting this picture even when both profess to be Christians. Instead, there is selfish demandingness, a total disregard for your feelings, abuse, pain, shame, and fear.

The Bible teaches us that a healthy sex life is an important part of any marriage. And, sometimes a wife or husband may choose to engage sexually with his or her partner because you love him or her knowing he or she has a need, even if you don’t personally feel “in the mood” for sex. This is good and appropriate (and not infrequent) in a long-term marriage. However, I do think there are times when a woman is not given a choice or a voice on whether or not to have sex or how sex is going to be experienced.

Below are three indicators that you are being sexually abused in your marriage.   

  1. You are forced to do sexual things you do not want to do. Like Christy, you might be woken up and forced into sexual intercourse but you might also be forced to do anal sex, oral sex, watch pornography, participate in degrading practices such as sadistic bondage rituals, or have sex with other partners (male or female) while your husband watches or photographs you.
  2. You comply with his sexual demands but not because you desire to meet your spouse's sexual need but because you are threatened or are afraid of dire consequences if you refuse. Even if you aren’t physically forced to do these things, you may be threatened with divorce, told he will find someone else or visit prostitutes. You’re threatened with harm or harm to your children or pressured spiritually by telling you that the Bible says God says your body is not your own and you have no right to say no.
  3. Your feelings don’t matter. For example, you’ve clearly told him that you don’t like him grabbing your butt or breasts out in public, but he does it anyway. You feel uncomfortable wearing low cut tops, short skirts, and/or push up bras, but he insists that you wear them or pouts when you won’t.He wants a quickie in the laundry room but the kids are playing in the next room. You say no but he always wins. Or, he insists he needs to have sex three times a day, seven days a week and you are worn out but there is no consideration of what you need or how you feel.

Each of these indicators reveals that your husband believes he’s entitled to get what he wants with little or no regard for your personal feelings, values, or desires. If it feels good for him, it doesn’t matter if it hurts or humiliates you. It’s all about him and his needs. Your role is to serve and service him. Your feelings and needs are secondary or irrelevant. To him, a wife is a body to use, a possession to own, not a person to love.

This is not God’s desire for you or for your marriage or even for your husband. God doesn’t care more about men than women or your husband’s needs than yours.  

Your second question is “if it’s true that you are being sexually abused in your marriage, what should you do?”

This is not something that you will be able to handle all alone. I hope you know that marital rape is illegal in all 50 states although the application of this law varies from state to state.

The first step is for you to pray that God will give you the courage and the strength to speak up tell your husband it’s not okay that he sexually uses and abuses you. He is crushing your spirit and as a result of his behaviors, he is damaging you and your marriage. That’s not good for you, for him or for your marriage.  

If that goes nowhere, then it’s time to tell someone what’s going on (Ephesians 4:11). I’d like to recommend telling your pastor but I’ve heard horror stories of women disclosing marital sexual abuse to their pastor and getting the same advice that seminary student believed. “You have no right to say no.” Or, even more humiliating, he says, “yes it's horrible” but then does absolutely nothing to protect you from further harm.  

If you know your Pastor will be an advocate for you and able to speak with your husband, then that might be a good next step. If not, please call a domestic violence shelter and get some support and counsel on how you can develop a safety plan for yourself.

In order to grow into a God-centered woman of strength and dignity, you will need to be brave. Do not allow yourself to be treated as a sexual object any longer. Paul tells us, “Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). Overcome is a fighting word, not a passive stance. What would that active good look like in your situation?  

For starters, I think you need to learn to overcome your fear with courage. You need to speak the truth in love. And you need to fight for the well being of your marriage and husband in a way that invites mutual caring, healthy reciprocity, and your freedom to have choices about when you want to have sex, how you want to have sex and whether or not you are willing to have sex. If he refuses to hear you or change, then you may have to consider other options.

But please don’t ignore what’s happening to you. You are so much more than a body. You are a person of dignity and value. You matter to God.

Friend, if you have been in this woman’s shoes, what did you do recognize it and to stop it?  

120 Comments

  1. Amy on January 24, 2018 at 8:14 am

    I would like to add innhe fact that the effects on the wife when your husband uses pornography or forces you to view porn is similar to sexual abuse. Last year I found out my husband has been a sex/porn addict since before we were married. We were married for nearly 25 years. He showed no repentance and blamed me for his sex addiction. I took a PTSD test after I went to counseling and the shock of learning I had been married to and lived with a sex addict for almost 25 years caused PTSD. She also told me that his addiction and the way he treated me because of his addiction was the same as sexual abuse. He never physically abused me, but he emotional and mentally abused me through the withholding of intamcy and other narcisstic abuse acts. His final act of abuse was when he told my 21 year old son that I never lived up to his sexual fantasies and that he wanted me to dress as a porn Star. Because I didnt dress like a porn Star, he considered me completely undesirable and not worthy of engaging in intimacy. Due to his NPD and continual stream manipulation and lies, I chose to go no contact and file for divorce.
    I wanted to share this because I think many women think sexual abuse only comes in the form of actual physical abuse…not always. I am now a recovering abuse victim moving forward in my life.

    • Angie on January 26, 2018 at 6:35 am

      So glad that you are overcoming evil with good in your own life. I know how hard it is! Keep up the good fight. The Lord sees and loves you!

    • Aly on January 26, 2018 at 8:54 pm

      Amy,

      Wow~ thanks for sharing this here. It’s SO true and important to be informed at this scale.
      I’m so sorry for all that you went through but you are are free from such a terrible traumatic treatment. Great bravery on your part for taking back your dignity and healthy power!!

      Porn doesn’t necessarily cause NPD but there are links there for sure as they are prone to this. There is also now more research going into a link in NPD and narc wounding with a traumatized ‘pregnant mother’ while the baby is in the womb. Meaning if the mother is also being abused by her spouse or others while pregnant. Stress chemicals are supposedly released.

      Sorry not trying to get too labeling here but trying to simplify.
      I’m really sad for what your ex shared with your son ~ that is yes abuse and horrific. My prayer for your heart would be that your son sees your value and your strength in drawing the line and he himself will find his identity & significance in Christ (far from what his earthy father is portraying).
      Prayers for your healing and love your courage!

      • Amy on January 26, 2018 at 11:26 pm

        Aly, I believe the addiction is a by-product of the NPD. My counselor was the first one to ask me if I thought he might be mentally ill. I started to do some research and found a description for covert narcissism and I about fell over. From that point on the puzzle pieces have been falling into place. And…I do believe there is some trauma connection to his mom.
        This thread has been very validating for me. It’s the first time I have publicly shared a bit of my story and all the responses have been very helpful. Thanks for your thoughts. My 3 boys are doing great. They are my heroes.

    • Marie on January 31, 2018 at 1:57 pm

      Thank you, for posting! In the last year of my 25-1/2 year I have come to the realization that I am in an EDR marriage and was raised by EDR parents! Only the last few months- I have begun to realize that my husband sexually abuses me! Just like Amy, my husband has always had a porn addiction that he would bring into our marital bed and coerce me to watch! I am in an EDR support group at my church and seeing a christian psychologist for help! I am very tired of living this way!

  2. Wonderfully Made on January 24, 2018 at 9:19 am

    Not to throw doubt on you, but is it really a good idea to talk with a pastor about your sex life? Personally I don’t think I could talk with another man about such things. Maybe with the pastor’s wife or with a woman’s Bible study leader would be better? I could be all wrong, but I have been taught there are some things you don’t talk to others about, yet alone another man. Maybe my premise is wrong? Please understand I do appreciate your insights.

    • Connie on January 24, 2018 at 9:53 am

      I would say that if you do go to a pastor, just say that he is sexually abusing me, and if that pastor starts asking for details, that’s a red flag to leave. Or maybe approach his wife first, carefully. I would be very cautious myself. I’ve had a pastor come on to me just because he knew there were marital difficulties (I’d said nothing about sex), so he thought I was vulnerable.

      That scripture that the pastor-to-be used is an interesting one. If what he said is true, then the women in the last post whose h’s weren’t interested, could also demand sex of them. How would that go over, I wonder? Seems the men generally see that verse only from one side. Strange how we in NA say we value our freedom, yet are so quick to try to put each other in bondage……in the name of God, yet! That student showed that he knew very little about valuing other people, let alone the marriage relationship.

      The ‘waking out of sleep’ (has happened to me) and finding him on you seems to be a common abuse. Is there something about porn that encourages that? You read in the papers about a woman being beat unconscious or even killed and then….

      • Aly on January 24, 2018 at 10:11 am

        Connie,

        Rape in terms of rape itself is about power and control and such a horrendous thing!
        The pattern is there power and control~
        And when are we as people sometimes most vulnerable (when sleeping and caught off guard).
        Horrendous violation against his wife~especially if the wife has clearly said or shown ‘no I don’t want that’

        I recently read an article on Focus on the Family about Porn. I will see if I can post it ~ but they told a story about young exposure to this particular (boy) who grew up to be Ted Bundy.
        By far I’m not saying this happens to many or all that get exposed to this garbage at a young age at all, but there are those individuals that get very deep and the sin will always progress to horrible darker things.

        Not trying to scare anyone here.. but I do think our culture is at war with this and many people really don’t want to investigate the serious dangers of porn & these ‘postures or more apathetic attitude in people.

      • Wonderfully Made on January 24, 2018 at 4:14 pm

        I can remember this happening many times in the middle of the night when my children were small. “I can distinctly remember my husband telling me that allowing him to have sex whenever was kind of like having marital security. If I satisfied him, he wouldn’t be tempted to look elsewhere.” In my naivety, I swallowed it hook, line and sinker. I didn’t feel like I could say no. There were times I didn’t want it but just let it happen.That I know of my husband never looked at porn.

        • Free on January 25, 2018 at 6:59 pm

          He objectified you, probably still does. It is very hard to change that kind of thinking once it is acted upon. You were his owned object. Feels terrible doesn’t it?

    • Jen on January 24, 2018 at 3:33 pm

      Hey Wonderfully Made,

      Your question and how you asked it is making my day. What gracious humility in the wording of your question. It is very beautiful.

      I don’t know the right answer, but I do know that if I don’t feel safe talking to someone, it may be that I won’t get the result I’d need, as I’m learning that the holy spirit is letting me know it might not be the right person to talk to.

      But, if you are needing to escalate the situation in terms of Matthew 18, getting a witness (counsellor, recorded conversations, ect) and confronting at the level or the church, or asking someone to speak on your behalf, and you want it to be your pastor and/or they are supposed to do that sort of job, why can’t we mention sexual abuse?

      What I’m trying to say I guess is, if what you are asking for/need is part of the pastor’s job and you think they will do it well, then why can’t you discretely say what’s happening?
      (I know we are not to put stumbling blocks in front of each other, but I wonder if this scripture has been used in the past to place too much responsibility on women for other peoples temptations, when we are asking for help, not asking to tempt someone)

      on the practical side of things, I do try to have multiple people in my conversations asking for help, as it creates more safety.

    • Free on January 25, 2018 at 7:01 pm

      Same sex discussions are far safer for both parties.

      • JoAnn on January 25, 2018 at 11:19 pm

        I agree, Free. Talking with someone of the same sex is definitely safer. To be sure, not all pastors have adequate training in counseling, and especially in dealing with such a sensitive subject. Safer to go to a licensed professional for this kind of issue.

        • Sarah on January 28, 2018 at 10:23 am

          I agree also. In my situation, I had experienced horrendous sexual abuse to the point of physical damage, yet I had been so groomed and blinded that I didn’t realize it was abuse. The Christian counselor I went to, who was trained in domestic violence counseling and trauma therapy, she helped me to understand my own experiences. I know for myself if I had went to my pastor first, I wouldn’t have understood my own experience enough to even portrayed it correctly. I think it’s important to find someone you trust, and someone who can understand the dynamics of abusive relationships. In my case, that person also needed to be female.

          • Abilene on January 28, 2018 at 10:40 pm

            I’m sorry you went through that. I Praise God for that counselor. and i also can relate to what you shared here.



          • Sarah on January 29, 2018 at 9:30 pm

            Thanks Abilene! I am sorry that you can relate, but I am glad I can use my own experience to connect with others.



    • Dana on January 26, 2018 at 12:27 pm

      If a man treats a woman a certain way that is disrespectful behind closed doors and does not value her whether she verbally or nonverbally communicates no, than Matthew 18 is important to follow. Talking to a woman does not help deal with the situation alone. The issue needs to be confronted (shed light in the darkness) with respect. I do not encourage talking to a man alone, unless the man is an adult father, grandfather, brother (family of close relationship). But a husband and wife team, with testimony of a loving relationship where the husband lives a life of a genuine love to his wife would be the ideal. Most likely that team has effective communication and respect for the other. If the husband will receive correction, it should be from another man. If the woman does not have peace to share in front of a husband/wife team, than share with the wife, and ask if the wife would share with her husband…. These are only my thoughts, please pray about it. Make sure you are not putting your husband in the place of God, seek out how God sees you and be set free from lies that you are not worthy.

  3. Stacy on January 24, 2018 at 9:38 am

    My husband completely rejected me sexually. It was the last straw since he had never let me close in any other way during our marriage. Sex was the only intimacy we had and when he pushed me away he broke my heart. Then I found out why. He had been a regular at a strip club. We are now legally separated.

    • Free on January 25, 2018 at 6:57 pm

      Good work! It takes courage to leave. Congratulations.

  4. Marlene on January 24, 2018 at 10:49 am

    This question is an answer to my prayers because my husband sexually assaulted me just a few days ago (after I had been asleep for 4 hours and after I had worked all day but he is unemployed so he stays home) and I was exhausted. This was not the first incident, but it was the most traumatic because of what he did and how he did it.

    I am reeling from what happened and will never be able to trust him again. I have lost so much respect for him because of this incident. He was definitely controlling and dominant that night because he did not even ask me my opinion/wishes or anything but I have told him more than once that he should not disrupt my sleep for any reason other than the house being on fire!

    Yes Aly, our society definitely has a problem with porn. It is everywhere!!! I think my husband stays up late and watches inappropriate movies on tv which shows porn, becomes aroused, then comes to bed and he thinks he is entitled because I am his wife. As Leslie pointed out, that is a different translation of the Bible. Because I work and get up early, I go to bed early and have told my husband if he wants sex, he should go to bed when I go to bed. Again, he feels entitled.

    I am praying for every woman who is going through this! We need support groups for just this sort of problem, where we can talk about it in a safe environment.

    • K on January 25, 2018 at 3:55 pm

      Hello, Marlene I’m so sorry that you are living with this sort of abuse from the one who should be the first to protect and honour you. You have a courageous heart to speak up and share this here; know that you are cared about and prayed for by so many of the other people who post here. I pray that you will find hope and strength in the true Biblical and common sense teaching that Leslie offers here.

      Please make decisions to be safe, Marlene, even if they are small baby steps. You mention that this was a particularly traumatic episode. Have you thought of talking to your family physician? would that be safe for you to do? Often dr’s can be the best or earliest source of help & support for a woman in your situation.

      • Marlene on January 25, 2018 at 6:03 pm

        K, that is a great idea to talk to my physician, who is female. Thank you for offering that suggestion! I am reluctant to talk to my pastor or anyone at my church because my H attends the same church and of course he acts angelic while there. Thank you!! I love this blog where we can help and support each other.

        • K on January 26, 2018 at 1:39 pm

          Oh, Marlene,

          I’m so glad that’s a safe idea for you! Praying for you and your doctor around the conversation you need to have.

          The destructiveness & stress a woman lives with in this situation has a significant influence on physical, emotional, sexual and mental health. When a doctor knows about the situation she or he will be better equipped to care for the whole person, not just symptoms, or injuries. As professionals with clear responsibilities for confidentiality, dr’s are often the first, safe place a woman has to discuss her experience of abuse.

  5. Ruth on January 24, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Another aspect of sexual abuse of the wife is that sometimes it will put the children at risk as will. Leslie touched on this, but let me give an example – my H is normally is the paragon of the overprotective dad. Once on a family vacation, we hadn’t had enough privacy to have sex for several days, so he suggested that we send the kids out to the swimming pool WITH NO LIFEGUARD (while they were all fairly young) while we had a quickie in our camper! He would have risked the lives of 3 kids for his pleasure but I said NO.

    For the ladies who’ve been woken up with their husband’s raping them – that’s horrible!
    It is strange even typing that “your husband raping you” but if he won’t stop when you say stop, then it has to be rape.
    How sad.

    Leslie, is right about the importance of talking to someone. A sexually abusive spouse *might* change when confronted by a pastor or Christian person they respect. But even if the abusive spouse refuses to change it WILL help you to talk about it and get help!
    It was extremely helpful for me to find people IRL (wise others) to talk to. Plus, reading and sharing here is a great blessing. My shame load was huge. I have gradually reduced my shame and reconnected with hope. I’m still a work in progress.

    This morning I prayed about my PTSD that sometimes flares up during sex; during my prayer-time God reminded me of the time the disciples were in the boat (Mark 4) 🚣 a storm came up; waves crashed over into the boat. The disciples were afraid their boat was going to sink. They fearfully woke up Jesus saying “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
    Jesus called to the wind and said:
    …..”Peace! Be still!”
    And the wind ceased, and there was a GREAT CALM…. Mark 4:39
    I prayed “God reset my inner warning system that keeps calling out DANGER! DANGER!” Help me remember I’m with You; You’re with me, so I am at Peace and with great calm.”
    Help me remember like Peter
    (the other storm story)
    when I step out of the boat
    to keep my eyes on you:
    you are my Peace.
    You hold my hand;
    You won’t let me sink.
    You are safe;
    I can trust You.”

    • Aly on January 24, 2018 at 11:09 am

      Ruth,

      I’m so very sorry for your situation. Its good that your getting help and working through much.

      You wrote this and it’s alarming a bit to me:
      “Once on a family vacation, we hadn’t had enough privacy to have sex for several days, so he suggested that we send the kids out to the swimming pool WITH NO LIFEGUARD (while they were all fairly young) while we had a quickie in our camper! He would have risked the lives of 3 kids for his pleasure but I said NO.”

      Good, that you advocated for your children first, that’s what healthy protective parents/ mothers do!
      This scenario is scary, even if it was a long time ago, not saying it was. But consider to hear my thoughts on this example.
      Your husband attempted to make an irrational & irresponsible decision at the risk of your children’s well being. Any minimizing of this can be also another sign that more is going on when it comes to what a person is willing to risk to have a ‘impulsive sexual experience’.

      Sex addicts don’t just fit in a particular box they come in all shapes and sizes. Often men who have poor modeling by their father’s are prone to this area being unregulated and in a healthy God glorifying way.
      All men have to answer to this high calling about their sexuality. (Women too)

      Behavior that you describe highlight serious things here. Many wives especially heavily invested wives struggle coming to a reality that they may have a partner who is a sex addict.

      Someone who is a sex addict and there are many ‘areas to this’ will need specialized treatment and this doesn’t mean they can’t get into recovery. Sex addiction or a warped sense of healthy sexuality can go underground for years and decades.

  6. Elizabeth on January 24, 2018 at 11:32 am

    Ladies, This has not happened in my marriage yet but I did ask about this while talking with my local domestic abuse shelter. I asked them because my husband has denied other physical abuse things and I was just trying to think proactively. The shelter advised me to report any sexual abuse/rape from a husband to the police in the same manner as one would report it if the perpetrator was someone else. I think this means that a victim of such an act does not take a shower and calls police right away to arrest the perpetrator while the victim goes to the ER for an exam. Of course, if you have children at home, you would also need to have a few emergency contacts ready to watch your kids during this. It seems that we should see this for what it is–physical abuse–and be willing to call the police just the same as with other physical abuse acts. I totally understand why it is both humiliating to call police and go through being examined at an ER since my husband has physically abused me in other ways. So if you are a victim of sexual abuse, please know that I don’t look down on you for being hesitant to report it. Another idea is to remember the heinous acts of rape in the Old Testament.

  7. Helen on January 24, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    The following is from National Criminal Justice Reference Service published in 2003 [ How much has changed since? ]

    In 1986 the Federal Sexual Abuse Act criminalized marital rape on all Federal lands. [ Yes, you read that correctly!! To be raped in your own home/bed was not criminal]

    On July 5, 1993, marital rape became a crime in at least 1 section of the sexual offense codes in all 50 States. By 1996, 16 States had completely repealed their marital rape exemptions, and 33 States had partially repealed their exemptions. Although legal reforms have helped victims define and report their experiences as well as seek legal recourse, marital rape is still not legally handled as though it is as serious as other forms of rape.

  8. Bird on January 24, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    For me, it was all much more subtle than this. I describe it as not being invited to the experience. I was expected to participate, but to his expectations and whims. They were not over the top or terrifying. But I was simply not invited. If I expressed that something did hurt or I didn’t like it, I was told there was “no reason” for that to hurt, and he would continue on. I had no voice in the experience.

    I *could* say no, but would pay for it eventually. Though he would say he’d “never blame” me for his lien addiction, he’d also say it wasn’t a problem until it had been too long since we’d had sex. And he would get aggressive in other ways if I said no. I could rely on the pattern that if I got sick, even with a cold, he would lash out at our son, in bigger and scarier ways. He would then blame his aggression on stress and “not to blame you, but it has been a while.”

    I say all of this to say…you might not be terrified. But if you feel repeatedly emptied, like a part of you has been scooped out and thrown away, then look closer. I would go into the bathroom and cry after many encounters. He would say it was because I was insecure. I think, you just know. You know if something is off, or wrong. You know if it is not okay.

    • Bird on January 24, 2018 at 1:35 pm

      *that should say porn addiction

    • Sarah on January 25, 2018 at 1:56 pm

      Excellent description! It’s the emptiest of feelings. I’ve been there…crying in the bathroom, as he slept. I had the terrifying times also, where a gun was used, but those empty times where just as painful. Something inside just knows when it wrong. Hugs to all!

      • Free on January 25, 2018 at 6:51 pm

        Please tell us that you are not with someone who held a gun to you.

        • Sarah on January 25, 2018 at 8:03 pm

          The gun was actually used to rape me with, but no, I am not still with my ex. I was able to get out of that situation. The crazy part is that even though it got so severe that weapons were used, I had been groomed so much and I was so accustomed to excusing it all that I didn’t realize how bad it was until I got out. Sexual abuse in marriage can be so very confusing to a young Christian girl, who doesn’t know any better.

          • Free on January 26, 2018 at 4:39 am

            A man who does this thinks he is above the law in my opinion. To me his sex before the vow stance was a creepy warning of his twisted power obsessed attitude. His ownership thinking of you as well as a disregard for the marriage ceremony should have been you call to run. But who could have ever imagine such crazy behavior. His power pay makes my skin crawl.



          • Free on January 26, 2018 at 4:46 am

            The post below was for Ann.

            Sarah, what happened to you is terrible. How are you doing living as a victory rather than a victim? If the abuse is finally over, the next task is to live fully and freely. When we ruminate on such horrible experiences the perpetrator.still has power. It is tough to move beyond it. Smell the freedom and savor it. Good job leaving and respecting yourself! So you made a mistake and picked the wrong guy, he tricked you, he did not defeat you. You go girl.



          • Free on January 26, 2018 at 4:47 am

            Well I guess it will be post above was for Ann.



    • Free on January 25, 2018 at 6:53 pm

      Did you leave this terrible person? I hope so.

      • Sarah on January 26, 2018 at 5:29 am

        Free, I found a wonderful godly man was nothing like my ex and I now have an 11 month old little girl named Bella Dawn “Beautiful Beginning”. That’s not to say that I don’t have scars, I do. Intimacy is a real challenge after all the abuse, but with God all things are possible.

        • Free on January 26, 2018 at 5:59 am

          Praise God!!

        • Aly on January 26, 2018 at 8:13 am

          Sarah,

          This is so beautiful to hear and I’m so happy for you💕
          Praise God for your victory and your healing process. Your courageous to still share your experience here to offer understanding and wisdom to others.
          Being a survivor of traumatic experience or being in traumatic relationships rarely means that we close the book of those places and never look back to the impact, you are brave to share.
          Prayers for continued healing🌈

          • Sarah on January 26, 2018 at 9:14 am

            Thank you Aly, I am truly bless! It has taken hard work and many tears, but God has given me the strength to live again.



    • Aly on January 26, 2018 at 8:16 am

      Bird,

      Are you still with him?

  9. Helen on January 24, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    Another form of sexual abuse is withholding. An element of that is “teasing” which would be the abusers way of excusing it. The abused person would call it torture.

    • Sunny on January 24, 2018 at 3:22 pm

      Can anyone help me unpack this comment a bit more? “Withholding is a form of sexual abuse?”

      • Helen on January 24, 2018 at 4:18 pm

        Rape is an overt method of sexual abuse. Withholding is a covert form of sexual abuse. Narcissists often have no real desire for intimate relationship after they have married their “target” even though they pretend otherwise before marriage. The narcissist enjoys the confusion and sense of rejection that the spouse experiences. That is sexual abuse.

        • Amy on January 24, 2018 at 4:26 pm

          This was my reality for nearly 25 years. I am so thankful to see this mentioned. Withholding intimacy is abuse.

          • Free on January 26, 2018 at 4:35 am

            Is it withholding or they are just not interested? There are many reasons for a person to not be interested in sex. Some of those reasons are normal like being repelled visually or physically, or because one’s behavior is repelling. Some withhold out of fear while other withhold sexual activity because they have already engaged in that activity in another venue before they were with you. It is not always a thought out punishment, yet it can be.



          • Helen on January 26, 2018 at 1:32 pm

            I’m talking about withholding without any explanation with the intent to hurt and devalue the partner.



        • Ann on January 25, 2018 at 9:07 am

          Ruth,
          Can you give me more details about narcissists? My H wanted sex on our wedding day- before the ceremony. When we went away on our honeymoon we didn’t have sex once. I was very confused and hurt. I didn’t have the courage to ask him why he didn’t want to have sex on our honeymoon.

          • Helen on January 25, 2018 at 3:11 pm

            Ruth,it can still be control and power regardless whether it is withholding or excess. I believe your H was testing you to see how much he could get away with and to get you to give up your own values. If you think back, you can probably pinpoint when and how he made it clear not to question him.

            Good reading material is available at last. Check out blogs and books by Lundy Bancroft, Robert D. Hare, George Simon, Sam Vaknin,, Bessel van der Kolk, and, of course, Leslie Vernick. A Cry For Justice should be required reading for clergy and those holding other positions within the church; people involved in the justice system; and anyone who has been abused by the twisted use of Scripture.



          • Free on January 26, 2018 at 4:38 am

            A man who does this thinks he is above the law in my opinion. To me his sex before the vow stance was a creepy warning of his twisted power obsessed attitude. His ownership thinking of you as well as a disregard for the marriage ceremony should have been you call to run. But who could have ever imagine such crazy behavior. His power pay makes my skin crawl.



        • Sarah on January 25, 2018 at 2:01 pm

          Yes, with holding can be another form of control and power!! It can be extremely painful to be rejected by your husband who any other time would want sex twice a day at least! One wouldn’t think that would be so painful, but it is.

  10. Sarah on January 24, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    My saving grace came through a christian counselor who specialized in victims of domestic violence. My abuse had only lasted 4 years, but I couldn’t face it alone. I needed support, empathy, and professional assistance. Looking back, I knew when it was wrong, I just didn’t know what to do about it. So, it was easier to excuse it away, or blame myself. As I cried myself to sleep at night, I knew. That counselor helped me to face what I already deep down. I was never able to tell my pastor, at least not about the sexual abuse. I never found the courage to tell my family about the sexual stuff. Those wounds are painful. They can make future intimacy very difficult, cause major trust issues, and can leave a person with severe PTSD/anxiety/depression. If you are questioning sexual abuse, I wonder if you don’t already know the answer in your heart. It’s a scary truth to face and one I don’t suggest pursuing alone.

    • Aly on January 26, 2018 at 8:30 am

      Sarah,

      Your Post here is valuable because often abuse victims are so heeped with shame that they don’t tell those close by.
      The shame as you know isn’t the victims but the offenders and I might call it ~ unfamiliar/ foreign shame, it doesn’t fit and there isn’t real clearity right away so a victim will sometimes become more entrenched due to this shame of the offender.
      (As you noted 4 years for you)

      I’m thankful that you reached out for help and got a team to extract you ‘so to speak’ and why I can see Gods truths about carrying another’s burdens to be ‘life giving’ & essential for the one who is in need.

      Often I talk with women about the help or support they have received or are receiving and I find out that many of them ‘want to tackle these issues’ alone. They say things like, ” I don’t ever really share any of this stuff with anyone, I’m a private person” … it’s almost like there is an early belief that they can get solve it or it can get better without another having to be involved, or that somehow getting people involved to help lessens Gods power to change or bring miracles.
      Maybe some of you have heard similar things but I do think many of these thinking places have been passed down and as more people expose them the less power they have.

      • Sarah on January 26, 2018 at 8:45 am

        Thanks Aly, and I completely agree! For me it has always been a struggle to feel I was worthy of the assistance. Sexual abuse, especially in marriage, can leave the victim feeling shameful and responsible. I did reach out and I found help, but it hasn’t always been the most comfortable thing to do. I remember telling my counselor that I was afraid somethings were just too ugly, too dirty, to give to God. I felt like my choice to marry a man who ended up not being what he protrayed was my own fault, my own mess, and my responsibility to clean it up! It’s not easy to allow others into what we feel is our personal mess, to be vulnerable enough to share with them our shame, but it has brought me to the point of healing I am in today. Not to say, that I consider myself healed, I believe healing is often a never ending process. I pray others can find the courage to reach out, be vulnerable, and find help.

  11. Melody on January 24, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    I have been in this woman’s shoes.

    First I prayed, (things had been bad in our marriage and I was very very sick with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, severe depression and anxiety which we thought was burn out from work and my dad’s passing which at the point I prayed was 5 years past), I prayed or said to God, I give up, I pursue him and he’s not interested in our marriage and I feel like the only one in it. God asked me if I’d mind if He could have a go? I said ok, and turned it over to Him. I don’t want to gloss this point over because I felt like I tried everything to figure out what was wrong with me and my marriaged before this, change didn’t really start until this happened.

    Next thing that happened was my husband came in the room, and without a word came up behind me and pinned me on the bed. I went from a laying on the bed watching TV position to pinned face down full body on me and an errection firm on my bum. I was terrified.

    I confronted him, and said what did you just do!?! And he said to me “I didn’t even touch you”, and I said “what do you mean you didn’t even touch me!?, you just pinned me to the bed out of no where!”, he repeated. At this point I asked God WHAT is going on?, God said, he’s treating you like how he sees woman be treated in porn.

    Because I listen to my gut that day, something I’d been learning in Al-anon, I knew I felt sexually assulted, so I set boundaries that day, to help protect myself. Because he bold face lied to me, and I figured it was connected to porn, I told him if he used it he’d need to tell me, so I could assess if I needed to sleep elsewhere or stay away from him, and if he chose to lie and had used porn, I’d leave. My boundaries were fairly crude, but they were the best I could do, as I was fairly certain he had been sexually not respecting me most of our marriage and it was in that moment that I realized that my health issues and mental health issues too were likely connected to this treatment.

    I started to go to S-Anon, too right after this, like the very next meeting. Its a support group like Alanon but specifically for partners or family or friends of sexually addicted persons. It really is complimentory to what Leslie talks about here for C-O-R-E. The program is based on the 12 steps which helped me gain compassion for my husband’s addiction, but take care of myself. It really helped me see too that I’m not alone and that there are lots and lots of people dealing with this issue and that it wasn’t something I could take lightly anymore, as most of the spouces there had similar physical and emotional symptoms to me.

    I also started going to another support group for wives of sex addicts with a professional counsellor and started to learn about how much lying is needed for the addiction. I realize lots of people say that porn use isn’t a sex addiction, but lots of people haven’t done their homework on that. I’m glad I got professional help because now I understand when someone doesn’t have control over themselves to not do an action, or take something, that’s an addiction. Too I learned, I didn’t have control over my husband’s actions, so if I didn’t feel safe, which I felt terrified most days but didn’t know why, (because he’d smile at me while taking away my rights), I realized I had to take action if he didn’t hear me, I needed to say the boundary in hopes he’d change his actions and ACTUALLY BE repentant, not just say he was, and if he didn’t change his actions, I needed to follow though on what would change as a result because I NEEDED to be safe and take care of myself (my very poor health and loss of job made that clear for me). I also needed to remove my idea that I had to do it to punish him, that was never my job and even feeling that at times clouded what I was doing and I really think took away God’s power to say what He needed to to my husband. I learned boundaries are about what I can and can not do in a given situation based on my values and who I am and what my limits are.

    I needed a lot of outside help, because as it turned out in the end, our church had many men in it that beleived what the seminar student did/does, that I don’t have rights to my own body. Even that if a woman has been sexually abused in the past, satan is stealing sex from the husband because of the trauma, and therefore the husband is the only one who can from a healthy place say if sex is ok. That was exceptionally painful and controlling.

    I wish my husband or those in the church who believed that would have mentioned to me I wouldn’t have rights before I got married, as I wouldn’t have married him if he believed that, and I would not have gone to that church. But I realize now, that that is by its very nature Sexual Abuse: to conceal the nature of your actions to look like love, but it is actually just to use you, and so if the sexual abuser was honest with you about their actions, they wouldn’t actually be a sexual abuser, because they would create space for you to consent to the action. This is why sexual addictions lead to pathological lying, they need to trick you into what you are doing and feel like they are in control more than you in order to get the high from the sex that they are looking for, because it’s a high of power and control, of I’m better than you and more deserving than you, and I will take from you because I can and its my right to.

    I did set boundaries with my husband to ask him to do recovery and get the help he needed, and it was a year and a half long process before based on a boundary cross I asked him to move out. He became even more unrepentant, and started dating other women right away, showing me even more than he has a real problem. Things at this point got real dangerous as well with him as he wanted to control the story (we are both Christians), he kept the crazy church and most of our friends, and I got help from domestic violence professionals that helped me keep safe. (There were covert treats with knives and other very scary things as it got revealed that I would have NEVER EVER thought would happen so I really needed those professionals)

    My story wasn’t a “success” in terms of saving our marriage, but God saved me. I’m very healthy now, and understand I had complex post traumatic stress from the covert sexual abuse and other kinds of abuse. I no longer have severe brain fog which prevented me from working in my job, and I know the bible verses that were used to abuse and control me, all the ones Leslie mentioned in her article.

    I am devestated by the affects porn use has had on my church, my friends and my husband. He lies the most to himself, which broke my heart over and over again seeing what he was doing to himself and our relationship. Proverbs 6:32-33, says He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself. He will get wounds and dishonor, and his disgrace will not be wiped away.

    I also learned how much I was selfish in our realtionship, and how I wanted him to fill a role of my husband and had expectations I didn’t communicate and ask about. I learned that love is gratuitous and that my needs are mine to meet, not an expectation to be filled how I expect it to.

    • Free on January 26, 2018 at 4:29 am

      It is really hard for me to read the word husband in this narrative. It would flow much more easily with the phrase “my attacker.” Sometimes our entries read like police reports yet we blindly carry on because our attacker is our spouse. It is time to hold our spouses accountable for their crimes.

  12. Julie on January 25, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    How do you heal after the abuse?? Having a husband who has changed and has repented but my healing is just starting. It’s been over 13 years since she abuse and I still have trouble with intimacy. Counseling hasn’t been of much help. Kind of lost.

    • Free on January 26, 2018 at 4:25 am

      Returning to the partner who did the abuse is like asking a prisoner of war to act like nothing ever happened. One can find peace and forgiveness, but no one in their right mind would ask them to sleep with the enemy. It is unnatural. I think the damage done is too great. It can’t get better. Who can forget Aushwitz?

    • Nancy on January 26, 2018 at 10:29 am

      Hello Julie ( and Free, too),

      Is your husband a changed man? Is he actively engaged in accountability group with Godly men, counselling etc….

      What about you? Are you seeking The Lord?

      The Lord specializes in resurrection. It’s what He does. The thing is that there needs to be two who are submitted to Him first, and then; to one another.

      Forgiveness and reconciliation is never about forgetting. It’s about allowing The Lord to do what He does best : bring beauty out of ashes. Again, though, this involves a mighty work of submission in the marriage.

      • Helen on January 26, 2018 at 1:09 pm

        Forgiveness is a healthy step to healing. Reconciliation is a very personal and individual thing, not necessarily required. Don’t let anybody, Christian or not, guilt you into thinking it’s the only option you have. Nobody knows your story better than you do.

        • Nancy on January 26, 2018 at 1:33 pm

          I agree, Helen. Forgiveness and reconciliation are two completely different things. We are required to forgive, but not to reconcile. The Lord himself does not reconcile himself to the unrepentant and He would not require that of us.

        • K on January 26, 2018 at 6:05 pm

          amen!

    • Ruth on January 29, 2018 at 7:32 pm

      I’m curious about this also.
      I’ve shared on here a week or 2 ago that I have anxiety about sex and even intimate touch.
      Thankfully, I don’t have any childhood abuse issues, but my family was not affectionate. I don’t have difficulty being affectionate with my kids, but sexually, I am inhibited.
      Anyway, last summer my marriage had a somewhat of a turnaround. I’m weary but hopeful it will stick.
      What’s strange about it is that even though my husband’s been much more peaceful and patient for quite some time, my anxiety won’t subside. Or if it starts to decrease just the tiniest bit, if he’a only a little gruff, wham!! I’m nervous Nelly again.
      It reminds me of the high blood pressure condition pregnant ladies get close to delivery – Pre-eclampsia. It’s supposed to go away when the baby is born, but for a tiny percentage of women, it doesn’t. It sticks and it’s very, very dangerous.
      That’s not a perfect analogy bc pre-eclampsia relief is usually immediate, but healing from anxiety/PTSD from sexual and emotional abuse would be gradual.
      The peak of my intense anger and anxiety about sex would have been about 7 months ago. I’ve made only a very small bit of progress.
      The progress I have made I think is bc my mind is more stabilized now. My focus is more on God and less on my marriage.
      Can anyone who’s been a nervous wreck over sex and now is comfortable with it, share how you made this transition?

      Leslie, this might be a good topic for a follow up article later on.

      • Nancy on January 29, 2018 at 9:17 pm

        Ruth,

        What strikes me about your posts is that you speak about this as your issue ( as opposed to you and your husband’s issue). These are questions that come to mind:

        what kind of responsibility does he take in you having PTSD? When you are experiencing PTSD, does he help you through that? ( does he love you like Christ loves the church in this most tender area; and at your most vulnerable moments?).

        I guess what I want to say Ruth, is that this isn’t for you to get through or get better at. This is an opportunity for the two of you to mutually submit to Christ. Do you feel as though your h is submitted to Christ in this area?

        If you are the only one doing the work ( seeking Christ and submitting to him) then you are in the position of taking all the responsibility and trying to ‘fix’ this. If this is the case, then he is doing behaviour modification, not submission to Christ.

        Have you put boundaries in place around sex, and stuck to them in order to see where his heart is at? Boundaries bring clarity in an astonishing way.

        All rhetorical questions if you don’t want to answer.

        • Ruth on January 31, 2018 at 11:28 am

          Nancy,
          I’ve taken time to think about your post. In regards to my H, helping me through PTSD episodes- he is gentle and not rejecting. He is sensitive to watch me to for signs of discomfort.
          However, I know he wishes I was ‘better by now’.
          He has said that he finds it hurtful that I say ‘don’t touch me there’. Normally as a people-pleaser that would make me anxious but I’m not anymore.

          In regards to boundaries, I have put up boundaries around sex as in no sex for short periods of time.
          We currently we are having sex now.
          It’s SUCH a big deal to him that I reciprocate the same level of sexual excitement during intimacy. He’s not complaining about it but I know that’s what he wants.
          The last time we had sex I had no anxiety issues at all.
          I enjoyed sex somewhat on a touch and emotional level, which for me is an improvement over boredom or agitation until the end. Towards the end, I could tell he was just waiting to see what I would do. Was I going to try to O?
          Why would he think that? I wasn’t even acting aroused. I was just pleasant. Then I began to think about it: Per my normal- I could care less, but it would mean SO MUCH TO HIM. Maybe I should try to O just to make him happy? But then i’d back on the hook to try almost every time. No way!! I’m not giving him back control over me!! I felt a rush of anger.
          So, Nancy I guess I have a boundary within sex.
          I prayed about this bc I felt guilty for what seemed like an angry, unsubmissive, selfish attitude. After prayer I felt like the Lord told me it was ok to keep that inward boundary for now. Christ would help me work out the anger and resentment I have towards my H (especially bc of sex) but that giving in too soon is not the right answer – that will only beget more resentment. Loving my H through God’s strength and caring for myself is necessary.
          As far as my H loving
          me as Christ loves the Church, he’s doing tons better than do used to do, but he still could use improvement.

          • Ruth on January 31, 2018 at 11:41 am

            I also want to add that 7 months ago I experienced a traumatic event with my H that put my body into a hyper vigilant state.
            To be sexually aroused and really LET MYSELF GO with my H, I would have to turn all those defenses off and be totally vulnerable. That’s scary and might incite anxiety even if I was otherwise calm with the lightweight stuff. Plus, I worry that I even if I determine to try to ‘let myself go’ that my body will not respond, that it will just go hard like a rock playing dead. Numb.



          • Nancy on February 2, 2018 at 11:19 am

            Hi Ruth,

            Thanks for taking the time and energy to respond. There’s no ‘advice’ or ‘direction’ that comes to mind at all. I’m sorry.

            My h and I are healing through a process of building emotional trust and safety with one another. Our physical intimacy stems out of that: it ebbs and flows in direct proportion to how emotionally connected we are.

            I am far from the point of being able to push myself into physical intimacy, when I don’t feel emotionally ready.

            Hopefully someone else can speak into this.



          • JoAnn on February 2, 2018 at 1:21 pm

            To Nancy, Ruth, and others on this thread: There is a book by Clifford and Joyce Penner called “Restoring the Pleasure” that you might find helpful. My husband and I have found it helpful. The cover says “Complete step-by-step programs to help couples overcome the most common sexual barriers”. Available on Amazon.



  13. Aleea on January 25, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    . . . .I certainly do not know, but I don’t think anyone should have any kind of sex they do not want to have. Sex should never be a “duty.” It shouldn’t be an act we feel obligated to perform for other people. It should never be manipulated or coerced. . . .And consent seems only the absolute minimum baseline, not the goal. It should be so commonplace for women to be comfortable, and happy, and trusting, and respected during sex that anything else would be incomprehensible. . . .Also, convincing someone to have sex is the same as manipulation and does not actually count as getting consent. . . .But, my thoughts come from a very post-modern/ post-structural world. In early Israel and even among the early church fathers, I do not see this attitude at all and they have access to bible manuscripts no longer extant. More than this, they are far closer to the cultural context. . . .For example, I have no idea of what to make of a culture that has none of the human rights of children, cognitive development, full and free sexual consent. —From what I can tell, none of that existed in the world of the O.T. Ignorance of child development, the legal status of women and children as chattel, and the view of female fertility as a family economic asset with families swapping female children for other goods as soon as they are “mature” (sometimes well before). In fact, in the O.T. the incidents of the Midianite virgins, I can’t even believe that even children could become sexual property. As everyone knows, in a battle with the Midianites, Israelite warriors are commanded to kill all the male adults and children among their defeated enemies, and all the women “who have been with a man.” But God’s anointed messenger tells them to keep the virgin females for themselves and gives them instructions on how to ritually purify the girls before having sex with them. ―I mean what can even be said about all that??? I have no idea of what to make of things like that and it seems simply ridiculous to hand wave things like that away.

    To me, marriage is a life commitment, and a life commitment means the prime concern of your life (―After the Lord, obviously and always!) If marriage is not the prime concern, you’re not married. . . .The early Christians called marriage “the little church within the Church.” In marriage, every day you love, and every single day you forgive, ―a lot. It is an ongoing sacrament ―love and forgiveness. . . .If you are in a situation where your marriage isn’t of sufficient quality, you might ask yourself: Am I doing absolutely everything I can to fix it? (How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong―style) I know it may be disgusting to hear someone say something like that after all you have tried but it is just true. Only the Lord God knows how many doors will open if you are seriously doing everything you can to fix your marriage. That is always worth pursuing. . . .It may be better not to draw any conclusions about our marriages and the utility of them until we know (―Holy Spirit-style knowing) we are seeing things clearly. The thing that always, totally floors me is how a man could not comprehend what marvelous responders women are when they get an environment of sincere, ongoing affection, caring, protection, nurture, thoughtfulness. . . ―Everything just blossoms —Some days as I pray for people and read their stories I just stare into space. . . .Maybe we did evolve from monkeys? It sure makes one wonder what is going on.

    I think it is more noble to teach young women about their responsibilities than even about their “rights.” . . .I don’t know how many young people we have that read/post here, but I would just admonish young people: It your responsibility to be ever so careful whom you marry. That may sound harsh but it is just true. . . . I always tell single people obsessed with getting married to get themselves over here and read these posts and really ponder them but I bet they never do. All things being equal, a bad marriage is way more painful than a bad single state. They simply don’t believe it. —And it is hard to get straight signal because of so many married people who are acting more concerned about image and looking good than about being honest. . . . I was talking to a girl in my church who told me “I can’t turn 30 unmarried.” I asked her if she would consider the person she is dating to have the kind of character she would trust as a friend. —No real answer. —To me, the reason singles need to ponder all the issues is because loneliness is stronger than resolve, stronger than willpower, and stronger than discipline and it causes people to make serious mistakes. . . .Can you disagree or have an opinion with them? Or are they an inflexible “strong man” who will sweep you off your feet only to be blown-away when one day the other side of that passive, compliant woman comes out. —If not, both will get what they ask for. In her compliance, she will attract a controller. In his control he will attract an adaptive person who really had a secret side of disagreement and was very indirect. They were co-conspirators. . . . .

    Leslie, you may know why this isn’t appropriate to do, but if it is appropriate, would you consider doing a blog now and then on simply just the Gospel of Jesus Christ – How to Have a Relationship with Christ. Just briefly and simply, not theology just how to have a heart full of Christ. Maybe go over just the foundation aspects -sin, -repentance. Salvation is, faith is, and faith alone in Jesus Christ is, etc. Jesus as a real, living Savior. . . .It just seems the foundation for every last thing we are trying to accomplish.

  14. Sophia on January 25, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    Thank you Aleea! I am learning that top down living starts with God Himself…then my own personal standing and relationship before God and with God. Based on that very defining standing I choose what I will or will not participate in. The next rung on the ladder would be my marriage. So yes it is a ‘prime concern’ but it is my relationship with Christ and my standing before Him that comes first. This perspective is difficult to learn for those of us that have lost our way and have allowed others far too much power. Praise God for the truth and His patience in teaching us.

    • Aly on January 25, 2018 at 7:53 pm

      Sophia,

      This is well said! And when you have this place and a healthy husband alongside there won’t be conflicting and contradicting heart battles.
      This isn’t to say that their won’t be conflict from time to time, but there will be 2 people working with a healthy resolution wanting the ‘best for the other person’ and the marriage at whole.

      When the deep casm is conflicting & contradicting as an undercurrent in the marriage ~ it’s very hard to say one is at peace ‘truly honest peace’

      When both husband and wife align their beliefs and postures with the Lord, like you described….there is unity that is secure and full.
      Often husbands (not all) tend to have a hard time surrendering to God because they either have been modeled or taught that they are the ones ‘in authority’ and won’t Place God in His proper place.

    • Aleea on January 26, 2018 at 4:46 am

      Hello Sophia,

      “I am learning that top down living starts with God Himself…then my own personal standing and relationship before God and with God. Based on that very defining standing I choose what I will or will not participate in.”

      ―Absolutely, Sophia. Top down, as in we look to God for anything of value that will be accomplished in our lives. . . . “The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to metanoia (μετάνοια 2 Pet. 3:9, —plus 72 other times in the N.T.) . . . .We metanoia, we “change our minds” about all kinds of things and align them with God’s thoughts about us. We are God’s precious children and we don’t have any sex we don’t want to have or God doesn’t want us to have.

      . . .Who are we to be cherished, who are we to have real affection, who are we to be treated like a precious treasure, who are we to be really loved? —And the Lord says back: Who are you *not* to be [cherished, have real affection, be treated like a precious treasure, really, deeply loved]. If we truly belong to the Lord, then we are champion eternals. Daughters, et.al. of the Living Light. Persons of the highest caliber. Children of God. . . .

      “The next rung on the ladder would be my marriage. So yes it is a ‘prime concern’ but it is my relationship with Christ and my standing before Him that comes first. This perspective is difficult to learn for those of us that have lost our way and have allowed others far too much power. Praise God for the truth and His patience in teaching us.”

      I agree with Aly, that is r-e-a-l-l-y well said. ―Absolutely, Sophia!!! . . .Sophia in Greek Σοφíα —”wisdom,” and in Coptic “τcοφια” —the Wisdom of God, is a major theme among that runs through all the early Christian writings: Only allow God in Christ to have power over you, —that’s what Jesus taught. . . .I’m praying you keep taking your power back and keep surrendering it to the Lord, —only. . . .Human beings, even the “best” are far too corrupt to give your power to. —But this includes ourselves too. . . . .We can go far and wide and we can keep moving on and on through places and years, but we never escape our own lives. Personal responsibility, but always with compassion!

  15. Free on January 25, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    I think if this question crosses your mind, the answer is “Yes!”

    Yes, you are being sexually abused.

    If have ever felt the need to cry after an intimate encounter, the answer is ,”Yes!” There was no intimacy, it was/ is abuse.

  16. Helen on January 25, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    Every one, man or woman, needs to know both their responsibilities AND their rights to have a healthy, balanced relationships Those who only know their rights are likely to be self-centered and entitled. Those who only know their responsibilities are unlikely to put boundaries in place when needed..

    • Aleea on January 26, 2018 at 5:11 am

      Absolutely Helen💯 ☑, balance. . . . Always balance and I hardly ever get that right. . . .I tend to go into the ditches on either side of the road at times😿. . . .That is why prayer is the most incredible thing ever. Prayer helps us transcend all the issues related to interpretation of Scriptures (—manifold issues), and prayer is totally “other.” . . . I really believe that God shapes the world by prayer. Prayers live before God, and God’s heart is set on them. God makes astounding promises to prayer and I am so trusting Him and praying for you and your family too. —No person is greater than her prayer life. If we are weak in prayer, we are weak everywhere.

      “Those who only know their responsibilities are unlikely to put boundaries in place when needed.” —Absolutely and that is healthy for both parties!!! Before you are married, you can believe you are a “Christian person”: after you are married, you understand how wars start.

      Self-care is how you take your power back!!! . . .and that applies to both women and men. . . .boundaries need to be in both directions. Just like you say Helen: “responsibilities AND rights”💯 ☑☄

  17. Aly on January 26, 2018 at 8:45 am

    Helen and Aleea,

    Could not agree more about responsibilities and rights. This doesn’t just apply for marriage but for all relationships!

    Where there has been a bringing up & modeling or even lack of modeling, often you will indeed see a person who will ‘misuse/abuse’ their responsibilities and their rights~ this goes both ways.

    There are also many cases where a strong loving person with healthy boundaries can marry or get involved with a ‘boundary buster’ and be challenged for their strength and moral compass not realizing that person like this is looking for a power imbalance in the relationship.

    There are some who can’t possibly figure out how to be in any form of healthy relationship where there isn’t a power imbalance. It’s as if this is all know and will invest in.
    Very sad and not true life giving in relationships that are meant to bring glory to God.

    • Aleea on January 27, 2018 at 6:23 am

      Hello Aly/Helen,

      “Could not agree more about responsibilities and rights. This doesn’t just apply for marriage but for all relationships!” . . . . .Hmm, “all relationships” —that’s a very, very good point!

      “Where there has been a bringing up & modeling or even lack of modeling, often you will indeed see a person who will ‘misuse/abuse’ their responsibilities and their rights~ this goes both ways.”. . . .Aly, what would you say is the modeling for this? I mean, we just don’t want to do things because our parents our “bringing up” showed us this or that, right?

      “There are also many cases where a strong loving person with healthy boundaries can marry or get involved with a ‘boundary buster’ and be challenged for their strength and moral compass not realizing that person like this is looking for a power imbalance in the relationship.” . . . .But why is their “power” at all? We are just very weak, little humans. We don’t have power. Just pick something really small about yourself and try to consistently change it. For me, that shows me how little power I have.

      “There are some who can’t possibly figure out how to be in any form of healthy relationship where there isn’t a power imbalance. It’s as if this is all know and will invest in. Very sad and not true life giving in relationships that are meant to bring glory to God.” . . . .Aly, wouldn’t that mean they don’t even know Jesus? I mean, talk about a power imbalance! Our relationships with Christ are biggest power imbalance in the universe. Talk about a ‘boundary buster’, Jesus captured my heart without my permission. I didn’t even know what was going on until it was f-a-r too late. I wasn’t just unaware, I was dead in trespasses and sins, —or maybe better translated through my trespasses and my sins. Jesus just takes our hearts. He can’t wait for us to come to Him because we are not injured but totally dead! I don’t know but 🚥🚧 νεκροὺς τοῖς παραπτώμασι καὶ ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις🚥🚧 seems to indicate even the cause of death. We are totally dead (—not a little unaware)? Jesus has to come and get us. I know that is how it was for me.

      I really like the “. . .true life giving in relationships that are meant to bring glory to God.”💯☑🔗 —I really like that and it so speaks to me but I want to be honest too, even if it appears not to bring glory to God. God will be most glorified by our total honesty, even if it doesn’t make Him “look good in a human sense.” We have got to tell the truth (—as best we can with what we know) about God and Jesus. Not hiding hard questions just to “increase faith.” . . .A wife or husband may set up a “boundary” just to avoid talking/facing something they do not want to talk about/ or really deeply face. Boundaries can become just too convenient and self-serving. . . .but that it glorifies our Heavenly Father. That it glorifies our Heavenly Father💯☑🔗 (sans lying about facts re: manuscript evidence, archeology, cosmology, evolutionary biology, textual variants, et.al.) seems the standard. ―Just worship your Heavenly Father💯☑🔗 and you will know what you should be doing. To esteem what makes us holy over what makes us happy ―that seems the best> many prayers❣Aleea😊

    • Aleea on January 28, 2018 at 3:22 am

      Hello Aly,

      Re:modeling an unhealthy marriage that has power imbalances and twistings of authority structures can cause all sorts of chaos. This certainly does not glorify God. . . .Understood. . .Christ is in charge not other people. . . .but it is hard, because our interpretations of Scriptures can only be as inerrant as we are, and that’s good for me and everyone else to keep in mind.

      Re:as I grew into adulthood and then married I had a lot to learn about a covenant marriage and what a Godly husband heart looks and behaves like. . . .That’s all of us who are walking by faith❣Absolutely✝☑ . . .A Godly husband heart looks and behaves like. . .That would make a good book, but situations are so complex and nuanced. God’s path for us we make with every step the Holy Spirit guides us to take. —That’s why it’s our own path! —The privilege of a lifetime is being who *you* are in Christ.

      Re:glorifying God❣ . . .i.e. I believe we can’t grow without acting and doing, —none of us can. I really believe that if we can see our path laid out in front of us step-by-step, then we know it’s not our path, —we are on someone elses. . . .Again, God’s path for us we make with every step the Holy Spirit guides us to take. —That’s why it’s our own path! —The privilege of a lifetime is being who *you* are in Christ.

    • Aleea on January 28, 2018 at 4:07 am

      Aly, re: section two

      Re: The power imbalance I was referring to entails not being equal heirs. Not treating one another as equal partners with different roles.

      Okay, I see. Yes!!! . . .I fully agree and we are equal heirs (I hope). . . .That’s why when Dr. Karen King had that discovery and for four years she (a historian of early Christianity,) defended the so-called “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife”[The so-called Gospel of Jesus’ Wife is a Coptic papyrus fragment that contains the text “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …’”] against scholars who argued it was a forgery. Well, it was a forgery but I must admit, for me, one of the most useful outcomes of such a discovery like that (which, alas, I’m afraid will never be made since I doubt he was married) would be that it would show that Jesus was a sexual being, and not some kind of divine automaton walking the dusty paths of Galilee. Discovering that Jesus was married could elevate the status and importance of women. They are not outsiders, the way they are often imagined to be when people think that all Jesus cared about were the twelve men disciples. Women were central to his life. At the same time, as was true with celibacy, I’m afraid the reality is that if Jesus were discovered to have been married, many people would not draw the conclusions that I wish they would, about either sexuality or marriage. 😓

      When the N.T. was written it was just crazy times, women were widely understood as being imperfect men. . . .This is from the (authentic and proven authentic in international peer-review) Gospel of Thomas it is saying 114: Simon Peter said to them [Jesus and the other disciples], “Mary should leave us, for females are not worthy of life.” Jesus said, “See, I am going to attract her to make her male so that she too might become a living spirit that resembles you males. For every female (element) that makes itself male will enter the kingdom of heaven.” 😓

      If you look at the first five centuries of Christianity, you can see where all these incorrect ideas about biblical marriage came from. Did it even exist? They talk about all kinds of situations of “marraige”. There is absolutely no monolithic view of marriage. The ghosts are everywhere in early Christianity👻. The pure and simple Truth, -never that pure or that simple. 😓 💜 ❤ 💛 💚 💙 💜 💔 ❣ ✨🔝 🐾

  18. Aly on January 26, 2018 at 9:09 am

    Aleea,

    You wrote:
    “I think it is more noble to teach young women about their responsibilities than even about their “rights.” . . .I don’t know how many young people we have that read/post here, but I would just admonish young people: It your responsibility to be ever so careful whom you marry. That may sound harsh but it is just true. ”

    We are called to do this in the scriptures. The older women in the church have been given such a place and often you will find (as I did in my case) many older women ill equipped to be honest, living and surviving abuse within their own marriage that they have covered up, the uncomfortableness of discussing ‘messy real’ things and not surface recipes. The avoidance is profound and staggering at times.

    I have come across so many older women myself that actually don’t want to be bothered or compassionate with what some women are struggling and fighting against. They have been some of the coldest people i have encountered because they themselves have no interest in ‘seeking wisdom’ & truths of Gods design.
    Talk about a culture of apathy and hardened hearts that have contributed to much of the ongoing abuse right within our reach.
    I’m not generalizing here and placing all women in this boat, not in the least, but statistics reveal a lot in my opinion and it should concern us.

    Connie wrote this on another post;
    “Strange how we in NA say we value our freedom, yet are so quick to try to put each other in bondage……in the name of God, yet! ”

    Could not agree more! I also see this in the church culture as we say we value our freedom in Christ and community, yet continue to put those who speak up about these issues at arms length.

    • Aleea on January 27, 2018 at 7:48 am

      Hello Aly, ―✞😊

      “. . .The older women in the church have been given such a place and often you will find (as I did in my case) many older women ill equipped to be honest, living and surviving abuse within their own marriage that they have covered up, the uncomfortableness of discussing ‘messy real’ things and not surface recipes. The avoidance is profound and staggering at times.” . . . .Wow, I did not fully realize/know this. —But Aly, I am as real as it gets and I always get “talked to” at my Bible churches for the things I say. . . .I think the reason people preserve their dominance hierarchies is because it’s better to be a subordinate who knows what is going on than thrown into a reality mixer (—going full “C” in our CORE model re: committement to honesty, internal and external —no more pretending even though it might create huge conflict or tension). . . .That’s the difference, people like the known order far better than the absolute desert of the real. They invite a little chaos in for entertainment now and then, but generally they don’t want “truth” because that upsets any/all conceptual structures. Shared frames of reference mean they can organize their own internal motivational states into a hierarchy that includes the emotional states of other people too. That is what it means to be part of the same tribe! So it’s iterability that partly defines the utility of higher order moral structures, and that is not arbitrary, —not at all Aly. It looks like an emergent property of interactions. It’s not arbitrary at all, they do it because “works.”

      “They have been some of the coldest people i have encountered because they themselves have no interest in ‘seeking wisdom’ & truths of Gods design.” . . . . . .Aly, I don’t want to become bitter and angry and resentful —would you pray that I don’t??? —I don’t have those iusses in my marriage *my marriage is such an incredible blessing* —but I certainly have those issues with my abusive mother.

      Re: Connie wrote this on another post; “Strange how we in NA say we value our freedom, yet are so quick to try to put each other in bondage……in the name of God, yet!” Could not agree more! I also see this in the church culture as we say we value our freedom in Christ and community, yet continue to put those who speak up about these issues at arms length.”

      . . . .Women put each other in total bondage because they have organized themselves into dominance hierarchies and would rather fight with other women and also men than Satan☠ ☣☠. I believe Satan and his archons would just kill us if he or they could. I know that following Jesus makes us real targets for the god of this world or any one of his archons (his “angels” 2 Peter 2:4, 9). That is extremely upsetting but drives me back to dependence on the Lord God. Ephesians 3:9-10 indicates that they are “in the heavens.” Colossians 2:15 tells us that “On the cross He[Jesus] discarded the cosmic powers and authorities like a garment; He made a public spectacle of them and led them as captives in his triumphal procession.” Archons of this Aeon. “Archons of this Aeon”☠ ☣☠ as in 1 Corinthians 2:8. In Paul’s day, that terminology was known to refer to demons in the sky. Literally, in the lowest sphere of outer space, the region between the earth and the moon. The word “archons” clearly means some type of sky demons. The “Archon of the Air” ruling “this Aeon” (Ephesians 2:2), and his dark angelic and demonic subordinates to keep sin and death in the world (1 Corinthians 15:26, 54, etc.)

      Far, —far too many women are justing fighting men and other women!!! Men are as nothing in this battle —they are puppets. We fight our men and make demons out of them when real demons ☠☣☠ exist. I see women doing that everywhere. We do it here at times. Although, I see so many sweet, beautiful spirits―✞😊 just below the surface (re: Your Jesus is showing). . . .And I don’t agree with everything Leslie Vernick says because I don’t think she could possibly defend some of it re: the manuscript evidence, archeology, evolutionary biology, textual contradictions, textual variants, et.al. but I defend her right to say it with my very life. Say it and keep saying it!!!―✞😊 ✝📓†ރ📤 📡 μετά☄νοια📶📥†ރ😊. . . . 🌠❣We have to speak what we think is truth as best we can. All of us are super ignorant, especially me. The Lord will help us all learn and grow. . . .Lord Jesus, I want to believe as many true things and as few false things as possible. . . .Help me, change me. . . .I don’t want to be what I am. . . .I want to be what *continually changes* what I am (Romans 8:26-27; John 14:26; Acts 1:8; Romans 5:5; Acts 2:38) . . . . . . . .What is your friend? The things you know, or the things you don’t know? First of all, there are massively more things you and I don’t know than we “know” (—or think we know). So if we make the things we don’t know our friend, we are always looking (on a quest) . . .in the off chance that somebody who doesn’t agree with us will tell us something we couldn’t have figured out on our own! It’s a completely different way of looking at the world. It’s the antithesis of opinionated! . . .We cannot be protected from the things that frighten and deeply hurt us, but if we can identify with the part of our being that is responsible for transformation (the Holy Spirit), then we are always the equal, or more than the equal of the things that confront us.
      ―✞😊

  19. Dana on January 26, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    I was pregnant with my 8th child. Normally, my husband enjoys my belly growing as we anticipate our babies. This pregnancy was not so. He barely touched me. My husband likes sex. He doesn’t even leave me alone when I have my cycle or wait the 6 weeks postpartum. We have home births. He is always the one to catch the baby at delivery. Instead he was removed, on the edge of the bed busy on his phone. Something was off. I asked him, weeks later, if he was in pornography. He said he was. He had been blaming me for it, he would also tell me it was my duty to have sex with him, he used one passage in the Bible… and I don’t make excuses and don’t say no because of this understanding I had. There were so many signs that made a bigger picture. He didn’t care about privacy. Once a child woke up and saw us, I was crying already because he was forcing himself and he didn’t care. I had also had times of pain and he didn’t care. (but that is in the past) After I found he was into pornography, I felt so disgusting and that he was unfaithful (it was ever since he was 9). A lot of hardships happened between us ever since. Anyway, all that to say that about 1 and a half months ago, we had sex twice in a row, separate days, where it was very obvious that my body was being used for his pleasure because I was communicating with him what I didn’t like and he didn’t care. And his behavior was off character. God had been answering my heart’s plea that I could not express with works for some time. I had, for the first time, set a personal boundary and was clear about it to my husband. No sex until he respects me (values me). We were in separate rooms due to other things. He was becoming uncontrollable, manipulative and the less I reacted the more he tried to control my choices (verbal assaults, emotional abuse, spiritual abuse, fights, reactive to me and the children). I don’t like seeing him this way, and I would give in to guilt in our past- it is deliberate choice to understand the boundary and stick to it. He also just waits for us to be in bed and reaches over to find me and see how far he can get sexually without any communication, even if we went to bed fighting. And because I don’t say no, he usually got it. We had a bit of a breakthrough, but it is back to the boundary. Our issues in sex are not so clear, and I wouldn’t say rape, but I would agree to abuse. But I also had believed whatever my husband would say about it, so being trained to believe what he said,
    it will take me a while to let truth rule my mind. He is not even interested in me, or sex with me (he had told me that he is not attracted to me as a person but attracted to me physically). I am learning not to react and not to demand that he love me, to give him time to figure out what sex is to the Creator, what it is meant to be. I am learning too.

    • Aly on January 26, 2018 at 6:01 pm

      Dana,

      I’m so sorry to hear your experience, it’s heart breaking.
      Are you getting individual counseling Dana?

    • Sophia on January 26, 2018 at 6:04 pm

      Thank you Dana from bravely sharing.

  20. Aly on January 27, 2018 at 9:40 am

    Aleea,

    Your other comment thread began with the importance of teaching younger women their responsibilities. The key work would be teach.
    I responded back to agree with you as I do believe there has been such a gap for this important type of educating on many fronts. I also agree it biblically aligns.

    Speaking what I have experienced against church cultures that struggle with well…with ….’honesty’ in general, is not a place of where you or I can get bitter, angry or resentful. I wouldn’t want that for you either, but speaking honestly to you Aleea, i do get angry at the lack of knowledge and ‘apathy’ about seeking Healthy for Gods Church body.
    I don’t think getting angry is a bad thing about something that is critical to contributing to our values, beliefs and spiritual health. This is where I see a priority issue out of alignment and many spouses in destructive marriages are heeped with more hurt by the apathy and the ignorant.

    My main concern would be a culture of women ‘waking’ up to many of the hurting in their churches and be able to be a better safe place for them! This is what community is about and transformational change.
    Men in churches are doing this more and more and I believe they are making a positive impact in what Does it look like to be a Man after Christ and Loving his wife and children well.

    The churches at large need a fresh understanding at what we discuss and try to help support others on here at this blog ~ so they are better equipped to at least point someone to the right direction, rather than ‘minimize’ or cover or put their head in the sand about things a person in need would need help with.
    I know Leslie V. is working hard at this awareness and the resources for many in church leadership & lay helpers.

    These areas are serious and need special care not more denial or normalizing of the danger of these types of relationships and marriages that are making up large attendees and involvement in our churches throughout.

    • Aleea on January 27, 2018 at 11:45 am

      Re: Thank you Aly✨🔝
      Re: teach❣Absolutely✝☑

      Re: but speaking honestly to you Aleea, i do get angry at the lack of knowledge and ‘apathy’ about seeking Healthy for Gods Church body❣Absolutely✝☑

      Re: many spouses in destructive marriages are heeped with more hurt by the apathy and the ignorant❣Absolutely✝☑

      Re: My main concern would be a culture of women ‘waking’ up to many of the hurting in their churches and be able to be a better safe place for them! This is what community is about and transformational change❣Absolutely✝☑

      Re: Men in churches are doing this more and more and I believe they are making a positive impact in what Does it look like to be a Man after Christ and Loving his wife and children well❣Absolutely✝☑

      Re: better equipped to at least point someone to the right direction, rather than ‘minimize’ or cover or put their head in the sand about things a person in need would need help with. . .❣Absolutely✝☑

      Re: These areas are serious and need special care not more denial or normalizing of the danger of these types of relationships and marriages that are making up large attendees and involvement in our churches throughout❣Absolutely✝☑

      . . . When the failure rate on something is approaching 100% you have got to ask hard questions: Do you think *maybe* people were never meant to be married? You have seen forever in the black culture sometimes men with no real commitment to marriages. Now you have M.G.T.O.W – ALL Men Going Their Own Way . . .Men who have no indention of ever getting involved or married. Maybe we need W.G.T.O.W – Women Going Their Own Way. We talk about and say this or that is God’s design but it all looks like a total train wreck from what people here and Leslie are always talking about. If the world is just filled with all this narcissism and what have you, maybe the risks are just too high. Why teach people to go anywhere near something with a failure rate this high, —just stay away from it??? . . .The research shows only about 1.2 percent of animal species are monogamous. A couple of penguins, some of those cute otters (—I love otters) and a few other oddball critters I can’t remember now. To these select few it comes natural to mate for life and never look at another member of the opposite sex. Humans are in *no way* part of that 1.2 percent. Like the other 98.8% of species, humans are not monogamous by nature. Look at the huge success of that Fifty Shades of Grey. From what I hear Dr. Juli Slattery said, (Today’s Christian Woman, et.al. who says she read the whole thing) . . .the girl in the book lets a rich guy beat her and ritually rape her, and she finds it erotic! —What?!?!? But imagine if Christian Grey wasn’t a billionaire. Imagine if he lived in a dirty old trailer down by the river. Then that story wouldn’t be a sexy romance novel, but an episode of CSI. . . .Artificial and very thin veneer hiding people’s deep-seated primitive urges???

    • Nancy on January 27, 2018 at 12:01 pm

      Aleea,

      What are you saying? It’s like reading a stream of consciousness. I really like to enter into dialogue with you, it’s just that sometimes I find myself guessing at what point you are trying to make.

    • Aleea on January 28, 2018 at 4:35 am

      Hello Nancy,

      I apologize if I confuse you, remember I am not always clear myself. Confusion is part of any learning. . .Nancy, these topics are in no way straight forward. They are as complex and nuanced as it gets. For example, see (if you want to, I don’t want to frustrate you further) my reply above to Aly [Aly, re: section two] ✨🔝🐾

      “. . .it’s just that sometimes I find myself guessing at what point you are trying to make.” Just ask me specically, precisely (-again, if you want to, I don’t want to frustrate you further), I’ll tell you exactly, precisely what point I am trying to make. . . .But again, Nancy, these topics are in no way straight forward. They are as complex and nuanced as it gets. Re: my reply above to Aly [Aly, re: section two] ✨🔝🐾

    • Aleea on January 28, 2018 at 4:59 am

      Hello Aly,

      Re: teaching them their own character virtues ‘from Christ’ and what to seek and be in relationships & marriage.

      Re: It’s not teaching marriage, but character building. It’s not teaching marital success but healthy individuals to love themselves based on the love that they first receive in Christ. . . .That’s so, so beautiful❣😊 I love that: love ourselves first based on the love we receive from Christ.✝❣😊 I wish I could always do that but. . . .

      . . .but the world is not the way it “ought” to be for maybe one simple obvious reason: because it wasn’t designed for us. And as such, it endlessly frustrates us. No real justice exists: so we had to invent it. Rivers don’t run where we need them: so we had to build new rivers. Germs kill us: so we had to invent ways to avoid or fight them. This is exactly what we expect of an undesigned world. It is not what we expect of a compassionately engineered one. There is no way the world “ought” to be. There is only the way we want the world to be. Naturally selected desires already fully explain why we would want to get rid of all the ways the world harms and hurts us.

      Re: “. . .but it’s the posture of this character and attitude toward being teachable and wanting to be a blessing to others in order to bring Glory to God~ even when sometimes these things disturb the ‘false peace’ the hidden sins and the apathy that has quite a hold on many in our churches.”

      . . . Absolutely, disturb the ‘false peace’. . .I know I don’t have the Peace that passes all understanding and I just hate apathy. . . . Absolutelty, Aly. . . . .But I understand why people, —why pastors, —why whole churches engage in peacefaking. The Truth is just so, so radical. . . .and the Truth deconstructs *everything* in its path. The Truth really is a sword not a flower. Peacefaking and all the variants of escape responses share all the predictable characteristics: When I resort to escape responses, I’m generally focused on me, —not good. I’m looking for what is easy, convenient, or nonthreatening for myself. Using an escape response usually means I’m intent on peacefaking, trying to make things look good even when they aren’t. Peacefaking is really caring more about the appearance of reality than what’s really, really real —real reality, —reality that comes from above. Frankly, I’m afraid of too much reality myself . . . .but with Christ’s help✞ރ❣😊, we always have to go for the Truth, at home, at church, wherever, even if it sends the whole thing crashing down around us. The truth is just fire, a two-edged sword that radically deconstructs power structures. At first that seems useful, —very helpful, but then it starts burning in what looks an out-of-control fashion and even buring the dead wood off of us. We, (I) forget that following Christ is the total opposite of what most would see as safe. . . .So, when Jesus carries me, I always go for the truth. Truth is what can stand up to ANY level of questioning! All truth is safe, but nothing else is safe. It will not endure, it leaves no positive legacy! 🆗📶

    • Aleea on January 28, 2018 at 6:29 am

      . . . .Oh, I forgot. . . . .re: “And by the way I don’t see Jesus busting boundaries but more of his invitation to healing and restoration for His original kingdom.”

      . . . .160 km or so southwest of Cairo🐫 is this archaeological site, considered one of the most important ever discovered. For the past century, the area around Oxyrhynchus🐫 has been *continually* excavated, yielding this huge, enormous collection of our oldest papyrus Bible texts with tons of great margin notes —many untranslated. —Jesus busted e-v-e-r-y boundary you can imagine! The “invitation” concept is into a totally disorderly, unsafe (God’s plans not ours —at all), life. We die with Him. . . .that leads to life. . . .

      . . .but life that is holy and beautiful —as beautiful on the inside as the outside!!! . . .He came looking for me, not vice versa. Love motivated God to reach out to me. It is God who makes all the gestures of trying to fix my broken heart and mind, —not me. What is life in Christ but God’s daring invitation to a remarkable journey? —And what is our human nature but a staunchly inbred tendency toward self-preservation? (“Safe,” “I can’t say or do that, I’ll look like a total idot and will not be a women of Dignity”) . . . .And because of the rigidly paradoxical nature of these things, the road to Zion (the City of God) is seldom trod beyond a few scant steps!!! re: Greetings in the Lord: Early Christians in the Oxyrhynchus Papyri by Dr. Anne Marie Luijendijk🍏🍎. . . .the most important and oldest fragments of early Christian books unearthed. . . .

      . . . .I so appreciate you interacting with me. It is so, so meaningful to me.☕🍵🍏🍎

    • Maria on January 28, 2018 at 6:49 am

      Aleea,

      Some thoughts:

      You say that because the failure rate in marriage is so high that lots of people are not even considering marriage any more. I can certainly see this happening amongst the younger generation. But why is there so much dysfunction in the church? It seems to me that sexual abuse in Christian marriages is probably due to misinterpretation of scripture (one’s body is not one’s own…). Many churches preach this and probably don’t understand how it is being misapplied. In the context of the rest of the Bible (love, gentleness etc), how can anyone who forces himself on another think it is ok? i wonder if the statistics of violence in non Christian marriages are lower than in Christian marriages. A lot of abuse in Christian marriages is due to misinterpretation of scripture (submission of wives etc). The younger generation is turning their backs on the church because of some of the things they are observing.

    • Aleea on January 29, 2018 at 6:06 am

      Aly,

      I apologize Aly for not getting back sooner. Sundays are a blow-out. . . .I have so many breakdowns with folks in my marriage re||engage classes. They want counseling, mentoring (—but I’m obviously not qualified to do that because lots of these issues are really/ deeply serious) but I do pray with them about all their issues and give them options and alternatives about qualified professionals who they can see for help. —It takes *lots* of time. . . .

      Re: Please don’t scramble my first explanation I was speaking about and what many of us here have ‘actually’ survived through.

      I apologize Aly, that was certainly not my intent. I should have used my mother’s abuse of me in my illustrations because we were talking about abuse and that would have been closer to what we were talking about. . . . .I should have asked: Aly, I want to talk about how Jesus actually saves us are you willing to talk about that with me??? . . . .I just strongly feel that spiritual abuse is so real too and I have suffered much at the hands of people who just say *anything* they want about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit without one shred of demonstable evidence to support it. They can’t even accurately define their terms.

      . . . .But, I did pray during the day about it, I just didn’t get the Lord telling me it was inappropriate —but again, maybe I would have if I prayed longer and asked Him about it even more. —I was selfish and should have kept those parallels for another time, —I do apologize. . . . .This is all part of how “user defined” Christianity is. Could “boundaries” be a way to shut down anything, anyone does not want to face. —Maybe??? If this is appropriate, —Do you think that God does everything in our salvation process? What are we really adding to it? What are we giving our “permission” about? I think people just project (—me too, —I’m sure) what they need onto Jesus. He just becomes whatever they need —I mean, me too, maybe.

      “By unsafe life, maybe you mean radical in comparison to the cultural norms at that time?” —No, I mean unsafe. That is so clear. . . .And if you know differently, maybe you would consider doing a research paper with me about that because that would truly be a s-w-e-e-t find.

      “Dying to ourselves (our selfish nature) is what does lead to Life with Him and only with Him do we have the capacity to do that.” . . . That’s really deep and beautiful, and Aly, I’d love to know who does what in that process and what in that process is in any way demonstrable?

      —Aly, I think that if you and I got into a library and day after day after day went through every last one of those prophecies, you would never be the same or say what you do about them. . . . .and neither would I be the same because we change each other just by interacting. You have taught me what could never before be taught and you have many, many things to teach me but I am not without some wisdom, —I know Jesus too! Jesus is no persons personal property. He belongs to all of us who know Him.

      . . .But I apologize to you because I get *deeply* pained by things people say and say to me here too, but that is never an excuse to do those things to others even if unintentional and unconsciously.

      —I deeply love Jesus too Aly. I am hopelessly in love with Him and have given my life to find Him but when I look back I realize I have never been anything more than what He has made me. —Nothing have I done, it’s *all* Him just taking total control and doing it.

    • Aleea on January 29, 2018 at 6:07 am

      Hello Maria!!!

      I still pray for you and your family and your situation *every* single day.

      Thank you so, so much for your note!!!

      Re: (one’s body is not one’s own…) —Oh my, that is so, so true the way people text twist those verses is just unparalled.

      Many churches preach this and probably don’t understand how it is being misapplied. In the context of the rest of the Bible (love, gentleness etc), how can anyone who forces himself on another think it is ok? —Absolutely Maria, I fully agree!!!

      “i wonder if the statistics of violence in non Christian marriages are lower than in Christian marriages.” —They certainly are by the Barna Group studies but I think the sample sizes in those need to be *much* bigger and better defined.

      “A lot of abuse in Christian marriages is due to misinterpretation of scripture (submission of wives etc). The younger generation is turning their backs on the church because of some of the things they are observing.” —Absolutely that is happening!!!

      —But it is Christ’s church and He is the one doing everything including changing people’s hearts. We can only just be faithful to keep working and it is not even our work but His. There is nothing on offer like Christianity, it just works when truly applied. . . .It may be better not to draw any conclusions about our marriages and the utility of them until we know (―Holy Spirit-style knowing) we are seeing things clearly. The thing that always, totally floors me is how a man could not comprehend what marvelous responders women are when they get a consistent environment of sincere, ongoing affection, caring, protection, nurture, thoughtfulness. . . ―Everything just blossoms.

    • Aleea on January 29, 2018 at 6:37 am

      Aly (re: prophecy)

      —Aly I r-e-a-l-l-y tried to get them to post) . . .I’m willing to go through every single prophecy with you but I don’t know if we can ever get the back and forth to consistently post (—the posts are just too complex: footnotes, et.al. to post). . . . .Monastery of St. Catherine, Sinai Desert. The world’s oldest continuously operating library of ancient manuscripts. We need about a month there. . . .From there, the Benedictine abbey above the town of Melk, in Lower Austria —maybe two months there at the monastery’s scriptorium. From there the furthest outpost under the Roman Empire —at that time of Christ —today Lyon, France . . .and finally the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, Ireland. . . . .Because we need to look at Papyrus 45, it is the earliest (AD 275) and best New Testament manuscript. You will see it is heavily damaged and fragmented. . . . Lots of text deconstruction and unbelievable levels of hermeneutical footwork have to be used to get the Word-of-God to not say what it really, clearly said and meant in historical and cultural context. . . .But it could be that none of that is important for reasons I just don’t understand . . . .but I feel that if we looked at actual primary source evidence, not what other people are saying about these primary sources, all of us would never be the same. Me too.

      I’ll never be anything more than what Christ makes me Aly. I’m totally dependent on Him for everything. I can only and always pray: Lord please change me to be like You. In the likeness of You.

    • Aleea on January 30, 2018 at 5:16 am

      Aly,

      re: “No apology necessary ~ not at all. Thank you for considering what could be beneficial and helpful to stay on topic (even if it’s for a moment)” . . . .Aly, I still always want to deeply apologize because I want you to know just how utterly careful I am trying to be with people’s hearts here. I pray deeply about anything and everything I post and I get the Lord’s permission before I do. I become disappointed when the Lord says “No” to various posts . . . .but Aly, I keep this parallel journal that is full of things the Lord said “No” to. I know from going back and reading in that journal eight to ten months out. . . . well, with time, I will see why the Lord said “No.” . . .I can’t self-correct if nobody confronts me. When you confront me, I assume you are doing it out of love. I believe you care.

      “If this is appropriate, —Do you think that God does everything in our salvation process? God Does! We ‘receive’ what He has done. Receiving is a part of accepting not any part of salvation~ as we can’t do that part because of our sin.
      What are we really adding to it? You can’t add to that part~ Christ’s blood is sufficient for the justification of our saving, nothing we do is adding to salvation except accepting and participating in being transformed. What are we giving our “permission” about? We are ‘giving agreement’ about our sinful state and eternal future without God saving. I can’t earn this from my position only a ransom can be brought on my behalf. We are receiving His work on the cross for His Salvation promise to our eternal life.” . . . .That is *exactly* what I believe too!!! Exactly. I totally believe that. . . . .Now, those early Christians basically said “. . .if you have to look at your life to prove you are “saved” (—obviously they don’t use the term “saved” but that is what they mean: born from above), it proves your not saved. I know, I don’t understand that either because how can you know you are really “saved” if you have to prove it with “works.” . . . .Isaiah 64:6 & Romans 3:10 all our “righteousness” are filthy rags. . . .

      “Do you mean unsafe as….” Unsafe as in following Christ was going to get you killed. Christianity was considered a “depraved superstition” and the Romans killed those people. . . . But Dr. Candida Moss, professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame who wrote the book: “The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented the Story of Martyrdom” would disagree with me. She says most of the stories of individual martyrs are pure invention, and even the oldest and most historically accurate stories of martyrs and their sufferings have been altered and re-written by later editors (—the way they know that is they find manuscripts dated much earlier and start tracking the changes), so that it is impossible to know for sure what any of the martyrs actually thought, did or said. But that is what I mean by unsafe.

      “Your text or your experience to describe is not inappropriate at all! You’re not inappropriate Aleea ~” . . .but I was always wrong in regards to my mother. I was always inappropriate. Maybe that is why that comes through.

      For me, faith is a gift and not a product of the human will. We already love the truth, and so we fear no reprisals from the God of truth. —And we humbly acknowledge that there is always truth yet to find (—At least I hope people do). But we feel ourselves on safer ground if we seek it in a manner that it may be found: that of rational inquiry. We wish to “test all things and hold fast to that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

  21. Aly on January 27, 2018 at 11:58 am

    Aleea,
    You hit quite a nerve in this latest post. 🤗💟
    I’ll have to sit with a bit more focus to respond so this will come in a couple different posts.

    My point on the emphasis to teach women and the biblical instructive of this ~ is about teaching them their own character virtues ‘from Christ’ and what to seek and be in relationships & marriage.
    It’s not teaching marriage, but character building. It’s not teaching marital success but healthy individuals to love themselves based on the love that they first receive in Christ.

    Becoming the best versions of ourselves through Christ’s power is the best gift we can give the Body of Christ, our husband’s, our children etc.
    Granted we are all broken and this is a lifetime journey but it’s the posture of this character and attitude toward being teachable and wanting to be a blessing to others in order to bring Glory to God~ even when sometimes these things disturb the ‘false peace’ the hidden sins and the apathy that has quite a hold on many in our churches.

  22. Aly on January 27, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    Aleea,

    I’m going to have to break this in a few posts so the post itself is not too lengthy since I have to copy and paste.

    I wrote;
    “Where there has been a bringing up & modeling or even lack of modeling, often you will indeed see a person who will ‘misuse/abuse’ their responsibilities and their rights~ this goes both ways.”. . . .
    You wrote:
    “Aly, what would you say is the modeling for this? I mean, we just don’t want to do things because our parents our “bringing up” showed us this or that, right?”

    The things that my parents showed me that align with Gods word and character I do want to do. Then there are those things that contradict, how do I know the difference unless I draw near to God’s heart and His ways, His truths in scripture?

    Often we are shaped by much of what we see, are taught environmentally and we tend to follow that modeling in some form. There are many exceptions here.
    Many times parents model good things and bad things ~ modeling an unhealthy marriage that has power imbalances and twistings of authority structures can cause all sorts of chaos. This certainly does not glorify God.
    My emphasis on my earlier point was the large number in ‘lack of Godly modeling’ of the healthy dynamics of marriage in our culture.

    My own father although has great attributes to himself modeled ‘his version’ of being a Christian husband and father, he set the bar and standard so to speak (which wasn’t really healthy nor mature in Christ) based on what he invested in and as I grew into adulthood and then married I had a lot to learn about a covenant marriage and what a Godly husband heart looks and behaves like.

  23. Aly on January 27, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Aleea,

    I wrote;
    “There are some who can’t possibly figure out how to be in any form of healthy relationship where there isn’t a power imbalance. It’s as if this is all know and will invest in. Very sad and not true life giving in relationships that are meant to bring glory to God.”

    You wrote:
    “. . . .Aly, wouldn’t that mean they don’t even know Jesus? I mean, talk about a power imbalance! Our relationships with Christ are biggest power imbalance in the universe. Talk about a ‘boundary buster’, Jesus captured my heart without my permission.”

    The power imbalance I was referring to entails not being equal heirs. Not treating one another as equal partners with different roles.
    Does this mean they don’t know Jesus? You said.
    I don’t know, it’s not really my concern to know this as if I have that place, I don’t..
    if they do know Jesus I think we are to look for the fruit of this, but often their behavior is causing contradiction in their ‘beliefs’ especially if they are claiming to be a Christian follower

    The boundary buster you are referring to with Jesus is not what I am referring to. I am referring to horizontal relationships here on this broken world for the time being.

    And by the way I don’t see Jesus busting boundaries but more of his invitation to healing and restoration for His original kingdom.

  24. Aly on January 28, 2018 at 8:23 am

    Aleea,

    When I said the phrase ‘boundary buster’ it was in context of a spouse not respecting another spouse at a core level.
    It was in context of two parties, where one wants to see how far they can take it ~ this doesn’t mean the other spouse is weak, sometimes it’s because they are strong and have strong morals and beliefs. You have taken that phrase and inserted Jesus~ to describe your experience. There is no need to mix these two issues or even bring them into a parallel!
    Please don’t scramble my first explanation I was speaking about and what many of us here have ‘actually’ survived through.

    Jesus and the Gospel was and is an invitation for the time being that is.
    He has the capability of offering an invitation and still being sovereign.

    You wrote:
    “He came looking for me, not vice versa. Love motivated God to reach out to me. It is God who makes all the gestures of trying to fix my broken heart and mind, —not me.”

    Yes, Aleea that’s the invitation. Gestures are not boundary busters and control tactics.

    You wrote:
    “What is life in Christ but God’s daring invitation to a remarkable journey? ”

    Yes it is an invitation ~ of His love

  25. Aly on January 28, 2018 at 8:33 am

    Aleea,

    You wrote;
    “Jesus busted e-v-e-r-y boundary you can imagine! The “invitation” concept is into a totally disorderly, unsafe (God’s plans not ours —at all), life. We die with Him. . . .that leads to life. . . .”

    He busted every RELIGIOUS cultural ‘abnormal unhealthy norm’ boundary.

    By unsafe life, maybe you mean radical in comparison to the cultural norms at that time?

    The boundaries that are healthy and respected and safe are the ones that were in my original context.

    Dying to ourselves (our selfish nature) is what does lead to Life with Him and only with Him do we have the capacity to do that.

    By the way I find it conflicting that you can quote what you believe ‘Jesus did’ and at the same time invalidate the manuscript evidence of the gospels.
    Maybe consider studying the statistics of prophecy for further evidence.

  26. Nancy on January 29, 2018 at 7:36 am

    Hi Aleea,

    I’m just wondering when you read ‘the normal Christian life’, if there was an excerpt in there that brought you His Peace?

    • Aleea on January 30, 2018 at 5:17 am

      RE: that brought you His Peace?

      Nancy, Y-E-S!!! and that is such an awesome little question!!!

      Absolutely!!! Nee: “The Law requires much, but offers no help in the carrying out of its requirements. The Lord Jesus requires just as much, yea more (Matt. 5:21–48). But what He requires from us, He Himself carries out in us. The Law makes demands and leaves us helpless to fulfill them; Christ makes demands, but He Himself fulfills in us the very demands He makes.” . . . .and where Nee tells the story wherein a missionary friend of his was invited by unbelievers on a train ride to play cards. The friend declined, saying that he did not bring his hands with him. He explained to the astonished group that the hands attached to what they saw as his body belonged to the Lord, and he was thereby able to explain the Gospel.

      All that and so much more gave me so, so much peace. . . . .I just started praising God and realizing: Wow, Aleea . . .you always judge yourself by your performance and ability to live right but God has done everything. Everything. You can add nothing to it, ever. —Just rest in that. Be still and renew and strengthen by hope in Him. . . .All Him. Just be in His presence, just say “Lord, You know.” He knows our hearts without saying anything.

      Nancy many, many theologians are appalled by the assertions of other “Free Grace” theologians, accusing them of “easy believism” or even antinomianism [. . . .hmm, it’s like once you are a Christian we are under no law whatsoever, whether biblical or moral, and thus no matter what we do, we are still His!!! Woo Hoo!!!] That’s what “The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to metanoia (μετάνοια 2 Pet. 3:9, —plus 72 other times in the N.T.) . . .is talking about. We metanoia, we “change our minds” about all kinds of things and the Holy Spirit aligns them with God’s thoughts about us. But He does it!!! We rest in it.

      . . .So, who are we to be cherished, who are we to have real affection, who are we to be treated like a precious treasure, who are we to be really loved? —And the Holy Spirit says back: Who are you *not* to be [cherished, have real affection, be treated like a precious treasure, really, deeply loved]. We are children of the Living Light. Persons of the highest caliber. Children of God. . . .All we do is rest in it. Period. “Do absolutely nothing.” —Yes, Lord I can *do* that!!! Works-based anything just destroys you.

      What are we always, I mean a-l-w-a-y-s telling men here: —Oh, you horrible men (. . .I don’t have those problems in my marriage so I may not really understand. . . .but I see *lots* of clinical closed mindedness in posts here), . . . .but what do we tell them: you horrible men, you filthy animals better get yourselves together and do this and this and this and this and this and this and that and that and that and that and that and that and these other things or you can’t have any relationship with me!!! . . .Well, come to Jesus, He is completely different than your spouse (wife –or- husband) and non-performance based. Jesus actually, r-e-a-l-l-y loves you —Woo Hoo!!! Just for you . . .not for your body or your money or your w-h-a-t-e-v-e-r. We don’t have to do anything for saving faith, Christ μετάνοια us and Christ does that for you. You are free and can just rest in Him. —Peace, Nancy. —Just Peace!!! Nancy, Y-E-S!!! Absolutely!!! and that is such an awesome question you ask!!!

    • Aleea on January 30, 2018 at 6:33 am

      Aly and Maria,
      I responded to both of you above . . . .but I can’t always get my posts to always post right under what you wrote.

      Oh, . . . .and Nancy,
      . . .I believe Nee got the gospel right. . . .But his perpetual quest for the deeper spiritual life —that smacks of total perfectionism. I know because I think that way too. . . . .Christ makes us perfect before God (—He wants us to have, as you know, Peace and Rest), we are in a non-performance based relationship with Him or we are *not* in a relationship with Him at all. —Or I don’t understand it, always a possibility for all of us❣✝ރ📤 📡📶📥†ރ😊. . . . 🌠Nee❣ really believes in “Rhema” (re:JoAnn) and 1st Cor 3 tells us to carefully build up our faith upon the foundation of faith in Jesus with doctrines and works of gold and silver and precious stones or we will suffer loss at the judgement. To me that is where I see people headed to wood, hay and stubble or unbelief. If you have to look at your life to prove you are Christs’, —you are not.

  27. Aly on January 29, 2018 at 7:53 am

    Aleea,

    Thanks for your reply and your words here.

    “I apologize Aly, that was certainly not my intent. I should have used my mother’s abuse of me in my illustrations because we were talking about abuse and that would have been closer to what we were talking about. . . . .I should have asked: Aly, I want to talk about how Jesus actually saves us are you willing to talk about that with me???”

    No apology necessary ~ not at all. Thank you for considering what could be beneficial and helpful to stay on topic (even if it’s for a moment)
    I do appreciate that you can see where given our context in the thread that using a parallel reference Jesus and being saved by boundary busting Jesus (as in your experience) can cause confusion especially when I was describing a person controlling another in a relationship and done dynamics not being all that easy to discern. And the person being controlled doesn’t necessary have to have a ‘weaker’ posture to experience such a battle with a person I was describing as a ‘boundary buster.’

    Given our topic on abuse in many forms…Sometimes it’s difficult for a person who is healthy and has healthy boundaries overall to recognize that they are actually being victimized by someone controlling, as they don’t often identify themselves as a victim role.

    Your guestion about how Jesus Saves us is Vital to actually living and yes anytime~ 🤗
    He Saves, Rescues and the restoration/sanctification process are core to our well being and His will (not mine).

    He Saves, His work on the Cross alone Justifies our eternal dwelling, He restores our heart and our brokenness all the days of our lives as we walk in surrender with Him~ sanctification.

  28. Aly on January 29, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Aleea,

    You wrote:
    But, I did pray during the day about it, I just didn’t get the Lord telling me it was inappropriate —but again, maybe I would have if I prayed longer and asked Him about it even more.

    It was ‘inserted’ inappropriately.
    Your text or your experience to describe is not inappropriate at all! You’re not inappropriate Aleea ~
    No apology needed. 👍😍

    Let’s get back to the boundaries we were in context about;

    You wrote:
    ” Could “boundaries” be a way to shut down anything, anyone does not want to face. —Maybe???

    Absolutely yes, and this would describe misusing boundaries in a protective way by keeping good things out and unpenetrated and Undealt with issues that are there but not faced. I’m not sure I would define them as boundaries but maybe more like self protective ‘walls’ . More like a person physically present but not emotionally or spiritually present.

    If this is appropriate, —Do you think that God does everything in our salvation process?

    God Does! We ‘receive’ what He has done. Receiving is a part of accepting not any part of salvation~ as we can’t do that part because of our sin.

    What are we really adding to it?
    You can’t add to that part~ Christ’s blood is sufficient for the justification of our saving, nothing we do is adding to salvation except accepting and participating in being transformed.

    What are we giving our “permission” about?

    We are ‘giving agreement’ about our sinful state and eternal future without God saving. I can’t earn this from my position only a ransom can be brought on my behalf. We are receiving His work on the cross for His Salvation promise to our eternal life. 💜

  29. Aly on January 29, 2018 at 8:25 am

    Aleea;

    You wrote:
    “By unsafe life, maybe you mean radical in comparison to the cultural norms at that time?” —No, I mean unsafe. That is so clear. . . .”

    It’s not clear to me because you and I both could be defining ‘unsafe’ in different ways via different contexts.

    Jesus was considered ‘unsafe’ toward many because He was radically taking the Status Quo and turning the tables over on religion. His ‘unsafe message’ and posture at the time was a positive ‘unsafe’ place because it came with Truth and Rescuing!

    He was very much a threat to the Pharisees and their current power. He was seen by them, as unsafe.
    The religious leaders reacted as though His teachings were unsafe because they were radical in comparison to what they were following.

    Do you mean unsafe as….
    As ‘uncomfortable’ with the standard protective safety masks ?? That if taken off we ‘feel’ unsafe and vulnerable but it’s also a good place to be stretched and challenged?

    Not saying for sure.. so I’ll let you define ‘unsafe’~

  30. JoAnn on January 29, 2018 at 10:42 pm

    Aleea, you are concerned about Truth….but when you said that the world was not created for us, I just had to speak up. Actually, YES, it was created for us as the very best place for man to live and grow and express God. “Let Us create man in Our image and after Our likeness….” Gen 1:26. When He created the earth, it was not a waste (Isa. 45:18), and “the morning stars sang together” because of its beauty. (Job 38:4ff) The earth became a waste because of the rebellion of Satan who not only corrupted the earth but also the man God had created in His own image. Everything about the earth is so finely designed that if any of the measurements of its size or its orbit were even a tiny bit off, the earth would be uninhabitable. (Look up the anthropic principle.) Satan is using man to continue the destruction of the earth, but God surely did not create it that way, and the day will come when He will bring in a new heaven and a new earth. Wonderful.

  31. JoAnn on January 29, 2018 at 11:03 pm

    Aleea, as much as I love you for your enthusiasm for Christ, I am wondering how your theological discussions are related to the question of being sexually abused? Discussions of prophesy and hermeneutics etc. are not really what we are about here. If you have some words of encouragement to those who are suffering here, that would be welcome, but frankly, I am often confused by your discussions of theology, and I don’t think this is the best place to express them. Let’s keep to the topic at hand, please.

  32. Aly on January 30, 2018 at 9:00 am

    Aleea,

    I’m confused about this last area of your Post and wondering what your point exactly is in as I would like to understand better where you are coming from:
    “Now, those early Christians basically said “. . .if you have to look at your life to prove you are “saved” (—obviously they don’t use the term “saved” but that is what they mean: born from above), it proves your not saved. I know, I don’t understand that either because how can you know you are really “saved” if you have to prove it with “works.” . . . .Isaiah 64:6 & Romans 3:10 all our “righteousness” are filthy rags. ”

    Ok~ so to me those scripture are talking about the ‘works’ or ‘righteous acts’ that are empty because they are about ‘earning salvation’ through belief in ourselves and our ‘acts’.
    Reverence ‘response in action’ and ’empty works’ are not the same.

    Just as there is a difference (but an important link) between salvation promise and santification process, there is a difference in ‘works’ and response in reverence by faith to Christ’s fullness of Grace& Mercy.
    In James 2: 14-26,
    He describes this well.

    Anyways, when we speak about relationships and especially those that are unhealthy or abusive, it’s important to see that a person; let’s say who claims to be a Christian in ‘words only’ yet treats another as if they are devalued ~ there is a big heart problem .. let says the words then reveal them as (empty words similar to empty works above). I’m simplifying here.

    Often, I want to believe people at face value, it’s kinda who I am, but often I find that I need to look for congruent behavior also. We are told to look for the evidence (authentic fruit) of the behavior and especially the consistencies.

    So in the case of your mother and the things you were injured by her words toward you….
    (Not wanting to minimize here)
    Was your mom also professing to have Christ as savior and love the Lord?

    Many times people tend to understand salvation and that example even more than they understand ‘sin’. The magnitude of sin and opposite of holiness.
    When a person grasps (intellectually, emotionally, spiritually) a more accurate view of what Christ has done on their behalf, the Holy Spirit is growing that person’s faith. And as they are growing, their behavior (evidence of the spirit) is revealing itself through a transformation and faith in action.
    I believe this is maybe part of the ‘prove it’ you mentioned above. But then again, I could be misinterpreting your comment.

  33. Aly on January 30, 2018 at 9:16 am

    Aleea,

    I’m very sorry for this below;
    ““Your text or your experience to describe is not inappropriate at all! You’re not inappropriate Aleea ~” . . .but I was always wrong in regards to my mother. I was always inappropriate. Maybe that is why that comes through.”

    It does come through that’s why I told you I didn’t need an apology. I really didn’t, and I hope you believe me. But I did want some examples realigned in our previous dialog.

    Aleea when you say ‘I was always wrong in regards to my mother’ …
    This is a core shame message.
    You are saying (I was) as a statement about who you are.

    Behavior can be wrong, but it doesn’t make a person ‘wrong’.

    You also say;
    “I was always inappropriate”
    Same as above~ core shame message~ about ‘who you are’
    I don’t want this for you😥😲
    Nor would the Lord!

    Maybe try;
    To my mother, my behavior was inappropriate.

    Gives her…her own opinion, and your behavior isn’t equaling your worth & value.
    Sure we can all do behavioral wrong things, but that doesn’t make us ‘wrong at a core level’.

    We can feel healthy guilt and shame about doing wrong behavior, but this doesn’t declare the message about ‘who we are’.

    💜

    • JoAnn on January 30, 2018 at 5:01 pm

      Aly, I really like what you said here: To my mother, my behavior was inappropriate.

      Gives her…her own opinion, and your behavior isn’t equaling your worth & value.
      Sure we can all do behavioral wrong things, but that doesn’t make us ‘wrong at a core level’.

      We can feel healthy guilt and shame about doing wrong behavior, but this doesn’t declare the message about ‘who we are’.

      Put the onus where it belongs: mother’s opinion. And then doing something wrong doesn’t make us who we are. Good points. The hard part is getting that truth to penetrate into the core of a person’s soul.

  34. Nancy on January 30, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    I’m glad that there is some Peace that you found, Aleea.

    I just want to let you know Aleea, that from now on I’ll be sticking to practical sharing, practical advice and practical questions, and encouragement.

    As I wrote above, I do enjoy interacting with you but find it confusing because I have been trying to decipher a practical point in your writings. I see now that I don’t find a practical point because you direct the conversation away from application to theory.

    The thing is Aleea, this blog is about practical, daily, situations. Women here are in need of encouragement and direction in how to abide in Him, amidst heart-breaking and sometimes life-threatening situations. If the conversation gets directed away from that very practical purpose, then we are not helping. It’s distracting, and detracts from the purpose of this blog.

    So, I hope you will join me in changing the focus back to practical applications of Christ’s love, amidst impossible life-situations.

    • Aly on January 30, 2018 at 3:01 pm

      Nancy, Aleea

      I will join you~
      And I apologize to you all for my contributions to the dialog.
      My prayer for you Aleea is that Gods Love for you will bring the confidence, reassurance and Love your heart needs each day;)
      🙏💕

    • JoAnn on January 30, 2018 at 5:14 pm

      Nancy and Aly said what I feel, too. I did write a post, but apparently it got lost. We are here to encourage one another, not to discuss theological points. Thank you, both, for saying what I was feeling, only much better.

      • Free on January 31, 2018 at 3:41 am

        Staying on topic is important too.

    • Aleea on January 30, 2018 at 9:34 pm

      Nancy, Aly, JoAnn. . . .

      Absolutely Nancy, I will join you but you have to help me stay focused because honestly, I can’t see my own blind spots.

      —I can sometimes easily see others own blind spots: unbelieveable evidence free claims about what works and doesn’t work, circular reasoning and fallacies. They are very clear to me, but I can’t see my own —that is for sure. —Otherwise I would correct them. I need everyone’s help with that.

      . . . .You know what, with no positivity, there is no hope; but with no correction of facts about what works (peer-reviewed), without any real reason and evidence, there is no (zero) improvement or truth in love. But absolutely, bring real and practical life experience —got it.

      . . . So Aly, I was telling an entire group of younger women that it is so much better to stay single and wait for God than to marry someone that you have doubts about. People just agree: —yeah, —yeah, —yeah, what else ya’ got for us. . . .I’ll tell you what else, the moment you settle is when the person that makes all the sense in the world shows up and Satan just sits back and enjoys your spiritual meltdown. . . . .But, maybe, maybe it is just better to deeply, deeply love (—I so see that with you at times!) instead of trying to warn or tell anyone, anything. I don’t know. I sure pray a lot for people because these situations are so complex and nuanced. . . .And thank you for your prayers Aly. . . . .Oh, and that’s how love works, it can’t be forced, manipulated, or coerced. It always leaves room for the other to decide.

      “I did write a post, but apparently it got lost.” That is so, so frustrating when that happens JoAnn, you post a post and just nowhere to be found. . . . That happens a lot. . . .but, if it concerns me, you can always send any suggestions for improvement directly to me if they fail to post. My e-mail is in my Gravatar . . .that picture thing re: If we cannot speak our brokenness✓. . . . our brokenness will speak for us✘. . . .

      Never underestimate love❣✝☑ Lord God helps us to be healers, someone who seeks to be the light that she wishes she had in her darkest moments. It is just so true that only love that continues to flow in the face of anger, blame, and indifference can be called love. All else is simply transactions. . . . .Love is not the opposite of power. Love IS power. Love is the strongest power there is. Straight full-strength power.

    • Nancy on January 31, 2018 at 7:14 am

      You say that you will ‘absolutely join me’ but then continue in the same non-practical dialogue, Aleea.

      You have said one thing, and proceeded to do another. This is disconcerting.

      No, I don’t ‘have to help you stay focused’. You are responsible for yourself and for what you write.

      • Aleea on February 3, 2018 at 5:22 am

        . . .Nancy, I saw your message (January 31, 2018 at 7:14 am). . . .I wanted to really think and pray about it before I responded. I would just say: Please always do what the Holy Spirit directs you to do. . . .Have you ever tried to change even small things about yourself? —It’s really, really, really deeply hard isn’t it? . . .I also think that pure evil is the force that believes its knowledge and understanding is anywhere near complete. I have no idea how little I know and neither do you. —People don’t want to know the complexities of what they facing because they don’t want the chaos. They want to be “happy” (—I want the Truth, no matter if it makes me happy or not!) —Being happy really involves not thinking too deeply (—and huge research shows that to be true) but a very dark side exists for those who take that route (re:being willfully blind and encouraging others to be blind too). . . .What we Christians want to believe is that, under God, things really are just “black and white” (―meaning that there is a totally clear set of facts that 100% happened) and *not* that everything is a huge probability distribution with lots of even critical “facts” having less than a 100% chance of having occurred. . . .I want 100% level of certainty. That’s why I am a fundamentalist but in reality, no one has that level of certainty. That’s just the “I’m right and you’re wrong” approach, most “facts” about God and Jesus fall along vast and nuanced conditional probability distributions. See for example: Cognitive Dissonance in the Prophetic Traditions of the Old Testament; and Prophecy and History in Luke-Acts. . . .They come to many of the same conclusions I do but I *never* even knew who they were until I *independently* came to my own conclusions with *primary* source evidence.

        . . . .Nancy, one time I went to this “Perspectives on Tithing” seminar. It was just chaos Nancy. Chaos. Ken Hemphill and Bobby Eklund did what they thought were the foundations of tithing and giving only to have the response by the next presenter deconstruct everything they said. —It was completely dismantled. . . . .Only to have the next presenter fully deconstruct all the pervious views . . .Then the final presenter came in and took all the previous views, the whole thing apart, nothing was left/really certain re:—Tithing in the New Covenant. It was just chaos because they were actually, really, seriously and carefully dealing with the primary sources, contexts and languages.

        . . .Nancy, what is more practical than the truth?

      • Aleea on February 3, 2018 at 5:43 am

        —Nancy, the privilege of a lifetime is being who *you* are in Christ, but that applies to me too!!! I would very much like you to interact with me but . . .but maybe that is not God’s will for you and all I can do is trust God is doing what is best for me too, while not being willfully blind to evidence, logic and reason. —I love you and pray for you and I hope you, me. . . .But one of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want us to be, rather than being what we feel Christ would have us be. I know I can’t be brave if I only have wonderful things happen to me. Courage is not having the strength to go on: it is just going on, especially when you don’t have the strength (—letting Christ just carry me many times). It takes strength and courage to admit the truth (—reality is one hard, harsh road) and it takes courage to be open to being *seriously* wrong even about foundational things. . . .—Reality seems worth paying the price for but I could be wrong, maybe reality (truth unfiltered) is just too harsh and unlivable . . .but staying silent seems just wrong.

  35. Carolyn on February 4, 2018 at 12:01 am

    I haven’t read all the comments, but this has brought up some bad memories. Not of my own husband. He has always been loving and if we ever had sex when I didn’t overly want to, he felt terrible afterwards.
    But the thing is, I was putting myself into a position of thinking I had to say yes any time he wanted. Not by him. But by the Above Rubies movement.
    The response they gave to any type of abuse was that the woman needed to submit. If she was fully submissive in every area, the. Her husband would have no reason to abuse her!
    This attitude nearly destroyed our marriage, and has destroyed the faith of our daughters. Thankfully, God has brought us out of that movement, and we are so much stronger for it. But it has destroyed so much in the process.
    Thank you for speaking out with true Biblical wisdom on this issue.
    Also, as an aside, my mother was married for 23 years to a narcissist. He would beat and rape her often. When she went to her pastor for help, he gave the same advice Above Rubies gives. To be more submissive. It happened with several pastors over the years, with only one saying that what was happening was not only wrong, but that she didn’t have to stay, just because “God hates divorce”.

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