Saturday, March 28, 2009

NOT! I Beg To Differ!

One of the comments in the comment section of Wade's blog recently read:

"At another point, Ware also said one reason men abuse their wives is because women rebel against their husband’s God-given authority."

And the writer was agreeing and proving a point. And the writer was a pastor.

I counseled a woman who drove to my home from her hometown to verify with me what her pastor told her. She was being physically abused by her husband and they were both members of the church where this man was the pastor. His advice to her was, "Didn't Jesus die for you? Why aren't you willing to die for your husband?"

I was aghast, but tried not to show my disgust at the pastor's advice to this woman.

What is wrong with people? What is wrong with some pastors and their advice?

I've also counseled a woman who discovered her husband was sexually molesting their child, and this wife was told that he sought tender care and love from someone who could give it to him since she wasn't.

WHAT??!!

I counseled this woman that no matter what she did or how she acted in her marriage, there is not a reason under heaven that allows this man to sexually abuse their daughter. NONE!

And to the woman above who had suffered severe injuries from her husband trying to make her "submissive" I carefully and quietly told her no one could die for another like Jesus did. Also, Jesus' death sufficed for all. That type of reasoning by the pastor is way off base.

Saying that sometimes a man abuses his wife because she is rebelling against his God-given authority is ludicrous. There is never any reason that excuses or allows a man to do this. I don't care if she's being the worst wife imaginable. NONE! No excuse and no reason. I think a man thought this up. Poor fellow. Don't you wonder sometimes what drives people?

I thought this type of thinking was changing over time and that no one seriously entertained these thoughts any more. Then I read the quote on Wade's blog of one pastor saying what another pastor had said, and they both truly believe it.

I guess you can tell, nothing riles me more than hearing statements like this. Even more galling is hearing or reading that spiritual leaders of people espouse this as Biblical truth.

Take the quoted statement above: "...one reason men abuse their wives is because women rebel against their husband's God-given authority." I would like to ask for Biblical exegesis to prove this statement. I would like to ask this man's family how he lives this belief. I would like to ask the community in which this man lives if they are drawn to this man to ask of him "a reason of the hope that is in him."

I work in corporate America and attending church and hearing "truths" like this makes me think I've stepped back fifty or more years. It's sad to me that being a professional woman I have to think that our "gospel" is presented in such a way and interpreted in such a way as to turn people away instead of drawing them in because of the true message.

Heaven help us! And I mean that literally.

Well, that's my sound-off for this writing.
Mary B.

10 comments:

Cathy H said...

When I was in college, a good friend married a pastor's son, whose father (said pastor) insisted on doing their marriage counseling. He said to my friend that the wife is simply an extension of the husband's personality. (What? All of the beauty that was Suzanne was supposed to simply go away?)

The teachings of Paul have been grossly distorted and missused in the church to fit vestiges of Puritan and Victorian cultures. Oddly enough, the women in the Bible--people like Sarah, Miriam, Tamar, Esther and Rahab--are nothing like the model I was taught growing up.

I believe the next big thing to be grappled with--much as racism was fifty years ago--is going to be the role of women in the church.

And I celebrate the "death of the nice girl." I can't wait to see the dynamic and vibrant women who fight alongside their husbands having their back. I want men to learn who they are in Christ so that they don't destroy the people they love through their own insecurities. What would happen if men and women drop this artificial load of guilt and walk free in who God made them to be?

The evidence of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness...not just gentleness and self-control. Teachings that aren't dripping in that are often lies crafted by the Evil One and packaged in pretty Sunday School wrapping.

Paul Burleson said...

Cathy,

Mary's husband here. You can tell Mary has experience at counseling women who have been/are being abused and knows what the scriptures says about it all and has spent years giving wise biblical counsel.

Your comment reminded me that NOWHERE does the scripture say that "the two shall become one."

When someone says that in Mary's [my wife] presence she has been known to ask, "Which one?" :)

Of course you are aware that the statement of scripture is speaking of a "one flesh" union which is the seal of a covenant relationship, but so many people miss the absolute joy of celebrating the differences in a marriage BECAUSE of a false sense of a need to "be one."

Bob Cleveland said...

"I was aghast, but tried not to show my disgust at the pastor's advice to this woman."

My goodness. I control my reactions pretty well, but you have a LOT more self-control than I do, Miss Mary. A LOT.

Peg is her own person and the more that truth is evidenced, the more I realize how blessed I am for God having given her to me for my life's partner. If her identity, character etc came principally from me, I guess I'd have to be happy God gave me ... well .... ME.

Aside from immediately identifying me as a pharisee, I wouldn't have a whole lot to be happy about.

:)

debbiekaufman said...

Mary: Amen and Amen!

Chuck Andrews said...

Hi Mary

People who believe and espouse this still live in the shadow of the Garden. Blaming their actions on someone else.

Jesus came to redeem people from the shadow of the Garden and free them to live in the shadow of the Cross.

May Christ redeem the abused and the abuser. May He increase counselors like you and may He decrease those who propagate so harmful teachings.

Chuck

Lin said...

Thanks Mary for this post. Some of us are weary of hearing this all the time and trying to explain what is wrong with this kind of thinking. This teacing is coming out of one of our flagship seminaries and many young couples are buying into it. I know because I see the fruit of it everywhere.

Chuck wrote:
People who believe and espouse this still live in the shadow of the Garden. Blaming their actions on someone else."

This is so very true!

Mary Burleson said...

Cathy, I enjoy reading your comments every time you write. You challenge me with your style of thinking and I appreciate your wisdom. Are you a professional writer? If not, you should be. Not many can express their thoughts as well as you do in writing.

Paul, you're funny. You got a good laugh out of Wade linking to my blog. You know how I hesitate to enter the fray of arguing, so I went to my corner of the blogosphere to write my thoughts. I was a little taken aback when Wade linked up, but you thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks for commenting.

Bob, I laughed when I saw you addressed me as Miss Mary. I felt "quite contrary" writing what I did, but I just couldn't help myself. Teachers of "truth" who teach, write, or preach things that I think are harmful to people as well as misrepresenting the life-giving gospel really punch my buttons. I cannot help myself. I must speak up.

Debbie, Chuck, and Lin, Thanks for commenting. WOW! I never get but one or two comments on my posts. This was different and fun to already have six comments. At first I was quite nervous that some of the not so nice types who read Wade's blog might start commenting here. Didn't happen. guess I could handle it if I had to, but it's not my favorite thing to do. : ) Thanks for reading and commenting.
MB

Bob Cleveland said...

Mary,

It's been so long since I even HEARD a nursery rhyme that such was the furthest thing from my mind.

My pastor's wife is named Mary, and that's what she's referred to around the church.

(pssst ..Paul .. did she buy it?)

:)

debbiekaufman said...

Mary: You are on my reading list, but I didn't think it would be right to comment Amen to your posts all the time. So I read and say it under my breath. :) Your post before this one contains some very transparent and wise words.

Bobby Brown said...

"And to the woman above who had suffered severe injuries from her husband trying to make her "submissive" I carefully and quietly told her no one could die for another like Jesus did. Also, Jesus' death sufficed for all. That type of reasoning by the pastor is way off base."

Mary, even if I were a complete Complimentarian, which I am not, Jesus certainly didn't die so that a man would be free to beat his wife into submission! Even if we were to assume the Complimentairian view of the husband wife relationship to be perfectly true a husband cannot rule by constraint any more than a pastor can. As a matter of fact I think if he was led by the Spirit he would not even have the desire to rule but rather to serve. His role would be to love his wife the way Christ loved the church and I don't recall Jesus beating the Church into submission or sexually abusing His children because His bride was not satisfying His needs.
Concerning Cathy's statement about the womans roll in the church being an issue I can say this. I serve on the board of directors for the United Regional Hospital Foundation in my city. The person who runs the Foundation and the person that is the absolute head of the Hospital and all it's staff including the docotrs are both women. They are very dedicated, very aggressive, very hard workers, very smart and truly have a heart to see our hospital and it's services improved. They work with a passion from their hearts not just for the money. My thought often is when I sit and listen to them run our board meeting is I wonder how much our church is leaving on the table by not allowing women a much greater role?