Good morning friends,
I spent the weekend celebrating my mother’s 80th birthday with my family and all their friends from over the years. It is an amazing thing to see a life well-lived up close and my step-mom embodies an ordinary woman who has lived extraordinarily well.
She had many hardships as a young married woman. The death of one of her babies, chronic infidelity, divorce, economic difficulties, and then when she married my father, an unexpected addition of three more children (me, my sister and brother) when my father won custody of us.
Before they had any information on doing blended families, my dad and step-mom figured it out and 50 years later, they are leaving us a tremendous legacy of faith, courage, persistence, and love. I am grateful.
Today’s Question Can you give me some advise and encourage me to leave a man that has abused me for 34 years? My husband is homosexual and has lived this life-style his whole life. He is abusive in every way physically, mentally, spiritually. He claims to be a Christian, I don't know by his actions.
He uses Scripture from the bible about how women are suppose to be submissive no matter how their husbands are towards their wives. He uses every scripture known for how woman are suppose to be obedient towards men in marriages. I am tired of God's word being used towards myself and my adult children.
He says he is faithful, but we haven't been sexually involved in over three years. He still claims he is gay, but a Christian, he practiced being celibate in our marriage. He breaks all the rules. I pray constantly to the Lord and it seems to never ever change. He speaks to me like I mean nothing, everything that goes wrong in his life is everyone else fault but his. He is never wrong.
I want to feel safe, I want to be safe. My problem is I don't get enough money to provide for myself. I attend college to get a degree in teaching because I am disabled, I cannot do the work I used to do, therefore I attend college. I been looking for work, but I feel God has me waiting. What should I do?
Answer: It’s always incredulous to me that a man can live like the devil but hold his wife accountable to follow the letter of how he interprets the Bible. It is important for you to understand that your husband isn’t using Scripture correctly and because of his actions, you cannot trust a thing he says.
Hebrews reminds us “But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:14). In other words, we need to be able to tell the difference between people who use Scripture manipulatively and those who use it wisely. Even Satan used Scripture to manipulate Jesus to do what Satan wanted during his temptation in the desert (see Matthew 4:1-11 or Luke 4).
The Pharisees often twisted the Scriptures and Jesus called them on it over and over again (see Matthew 15 for one example). Just because your husband says something comes from the Bible, don’t automatically believe he’s right.
The Bible has a lot to say about his own behaviors, and attitudes, yet he doesn’t seem to have eyes to read those verses about himself.
I hear you expressing that your financial dependence is a real concern for you but is it worth your mental, emotional, and physical health? I would recommend that you immediately contact an attorney and find out what your legal and financial rights are if you separate from him or file for divorce.
The second thing I would recommend you do is call 911 if he ever threatens physical abuse or uses physical force against you. His behavior is illegal and you need to make a clear stand that you will not allow it to continue and you will ask the authorities to hold him accountable for his abusive actions. The apostle Paul also called upon the legal authorities when he was being mistreated by the Romans (see Acts 22:25).
Have you talked to your adult children about making an exit plan? Since they have witnessed this behavior, what alternatives do you have together to get out of that environment?
I would also encourage you to call your local women’s shelter and share with them your situation. They often provide housing for women who cannot escape without some help and you would certainly be a good candidate for help. You could still attend college to finish up your degree but you’d be living in a safe environment with supportive people.
Lastly, have you talked to your church about what he’s doing and saying to you? Sadly church is often not a place of safety and refuge as it should be, but I can’t imagine any church supporting or endorsing your husband’s behaviors or attitudes. Please don’t keep what’s happening to you a secret. That only empowers your husband to keep bullying you. Once you bring his behaviors, words, and attitudes into the light, it’s much harder for him to have that power over you. It’s wrong. It’s sinful. It’s abusive. God hates it.
I’m so glad you’re going to school. That has been a great step towards independence for you. But I’m afraid that between now and the time you finish you will be so worn out and beaten down that you won’t be able to finish well. Please don’t let that happen.
Finally, here’s a quote I read recently by our former president John F Kennedy:
“There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.“
It’s time to take some action for your safety and sanity.
Friends, where you have found Biblical support for safety and sanity? What ways have you found financial and emotional support to move forward?