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.


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: " 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.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Expressing Sympathy

Many people have called and expressed sympathy about our losing our coworker in death last month.

Most have been genuine expressions of sympathy and were well given and gratefully received.

However, some expressions were attempts to help or to fix the grief-stricken, I being one.
One commenter said, "Well, God just needed Sherri more in heaven than on earth!" I reacted inwardly to that statement and wanted to (but didn't) say, "And how's that?" And also, "And how do you know that?"

Others, also meaning well, said don't dwell on missing her, just remember the good times!!

You know what? I want to cry. I want to grieve. I want to miss her. I need to feel the hurt and pain of losing someone very special!!

And, I don't want someone trying to fix me or to hurry up my personal process of letting my grief do its work and letting my memories and my feelings get into place, and I'll be okay. Let me be the judge of my own process, my own timing, and my own grief!

Do I sound a little angry and cynical? I probably am, but I've been through this before with other deaths in my family, and I'm not near as reactive as I used to be. Now I mostly just chuckle and shrug and pray that I'll remember how those comments made me feel and that I won't make the same mistake when I comment to someone in grief.

So, what is a good response?

My opinion is when you go to express sympathy to someone, just cry with the one in grief, give them a big hug, and say something simple like, "I know you'll miss them," or say nothing at all. Just feel with them and be there. That's the best possible response. IMHO

I received a long-distance phone call and the person said a few "right" phrases rather quickly and then was gone. My immediate thought was that she could now check that off her to-do list. That's what it felt like. Again, maybe nothing said is better than saying canned phrases.

Perhaps this post is really for me to remind myself anew about how to express sympathy to someone in grief. Maybe it's a good reminder for you if you've stopped by and read this.

Just thinking through some things...