Saturday, December 18, 2010

What You Don't Know... ~Guest Post by PlainJane

(I've spoken before about the lack of contingencies for the many failures of "biblical patriarchy". Recently I asked someone with firsthand experience of these failures if she would be willing to contribute a piece here. She very graciously agreed and authored the following, very compelling article.)




What You Don't Know...


From my earliest visits to Christian fundamentalist churches and Bible study groups, I remember it being taught as doctrine that women must submit to men.  Many of the women in my mother’s Bible study group were reading Maribel Morgan’s The Total Woman, which advocated submission to man and promised great marital security in exchange.  Over the years, as I became engaged and attended Bill Gothard’s Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts, this basic message stayed very much the same:  submit, and receive security in return.

The patriarchal movement has advanced a great deal since the 1970s, but that core message, that women are exchanging their ability to make choices for themselves and in their own best interest for security and love, has not changed much.  If you look at patriarchalist literature aimed at women, it’s easy to see that there are implicit promises that if you do submit perfectly and completely subsume your wants, needs, personality, and being into your husband's you'll always have that husband there to support you.



That implicit promise of security in exchange for submission is a lie. 



How do I know?  I lived in submission, and I believed what I was told.  I believed that my husband might not be perfect, or perfectly loving, but that wasn’t what was important.  My submission was what was important, and God would bless me for it.  I would have the security of a home, a lasting and stable marriage, and a safe family in which to raise our young daughter and her future siblings.  I learned in the cruelest way that my trust in the promises of men, and in the promises men made on God’s behalf, was not to be rewarded with love and security.

One of the selling points often made about submission is that a man who is getting everything he wants at home will have no reason to stray.  That may be true.  But, it is also true that people often appear to have no real reason to stray, and they do it anyway.  It is also true that people stray from their marriages for reasons that are their own, that don’t really have to do with another person and that are not the consequences of another person’s actions.

I lived in submission, and my husband kicked me and our three-year-old daughter out of the house so he could move in the woman he believed would give him a son.  You know, like how in the Bible it says you can just tell the wife who doesn't please you, "I divorce you" and kick her out of the tent?  My husband had a submissive wife, he had everything he wanted, and he decided it wasn't what he wanted.  I’m not implying in any way that I was a perfect person, a perfect spouse, or a perfect Christian, because no one is.  But, I didn’t do anything that warranted being tossed out of the house with a three-year-old and no job, no money, and no means of support.  My husband started a new bank account on his own, moved all our money from our joint account, and began insisting that my daughter and I move out of the house, or live with the new woman he was bringing in.  He didn’t file for divorce legally, and I couldn’t afford to do it, so my daughter and I scraped by on little bits of money I was able to earn doing temporary office work and working as a nurse’s assistant at a hospital, the only things I was really qualified to do.  Until some family members helped me with the money to file for divorce a couple of years later, I had no child support, or any financial help from my husband.  The day after my daughter and I were able to move out of our house into a tiny, rundown apartment in a bad part of town, my husband bought a new car for himself, and one for his girlfriend.

There is nothing magical about headship or patriarchy that gives a woman any protection against abandonment.  Nothing.  In fact, following some of the demands of headship can place you, and your children, in a very precarious position.  If you have avoided education and job training, and have never worked outside the home, you could find yourself in a position in which you are very much like the women in Jesus’ day who were similarly abandoned—no money, no means of supporting yourself and your children, no prospects.  You know what does protect you?  Laws.  Legal rights.  The local child support authority.  The judge who orders that you and your child can stay in the house. 

One of the things that hurt most during this ordeal was the response of my church in particular and the greater Church in general.  My church chose to make my husband the leader of their new singles’ ministry.  There was a lot of stigma, and it was humiliating.  People wondered (sometimes aloud) what I had done to make my husband reject our beautiful little girl.  People didn’t buy the story of a headship/submission relationship that wasn’t destroyed by some sin on the part of the wife.  I learned that people preaching headship and submission are not, as Paul directed, looking out for the best interests of those they hold in submission, and putting the women’s needs first.  Doug Phillips, Voddie Beauchamp, James Dobson, Bill Gothard, and all the other men preaching patriarchy don't care about you, or me, or any other woman.  They care about their own power and control, because that’s what the doctrine of headship is really about.

The thing is, patriarchalists don't want you to know about women like me, because that promise of security is their major bargaining chip in their campaign to transfer all power away from women and onto men.  I never met any woman who had a story similar to mine while I was living the headship life.  It was only afterward that I started meeting women for whom this doctrine had been a source of misery.  You’re not meant to hear about any drawbacks when you’re in the lifestyle, and what you don’t know can hurt you.  It's a lot easier to sacrifice women to male supremacy if you can convince them to jump on the altar themselves and slit their own throats, which is what these men are trying so hard to do.  And what so many women are falling for.  You wouldn’t get into a pool without wearing something to help you float, and knowing how to swim.  If you believe that headship/submission is the way to live, do it, but also do something to keep yourself and your children safe and healthy.  Have some job skills, a bank account of your own, a credit card in your own name.  If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your children. 

51 comments:

  1. That submission equals protection from abuse is a lie from the pit of hell, to borrow a phrase I heard a lot growing up. I have a very dear friend who found out the long and hard way. She was Church of Christ, not exactly Patriarchal/Quiverfull, but the message is the same. Her husband abused her physically and emotionally and she spent all her time covering for him and trying to be more perfect, believing - as she was told - that it was her responsibility. What she got for her groveling was a man who viewed her with increasing contempt and eventually he didn't even bother hiding his long-term affair from her. When she finally got the courage to make a plan and file for divorce (after 24 years!), she did not have the backing of the church. In fact, she was attacked by other women in the church for "allowing" her husband to serve as a deacon and serve them communion while knowing he was an adulterer. This is the message: it's always the woman's fault. Even when the husband is at fault, it's still somehow her fault.

    PlainJane, I am so sorry for what you have gone through. I am so sorry that you were betrayed by your church.

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  2. {{{plainjane}}}
    Oh my....
    Are you safe now? Do you need anything?
    thank you for sharing your story, and i'm grieved that this happened to you... :'(

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  3. Whenever i hear a story like this i think of this Then he will turn to the 'goats,' the ones on his left, and say, 'Get out, worthless goats! You're good for nothing but the fires of hell. And why? Because—

    I was hungry and you gave me no meal,
    I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
    I was homeless and you gave me no bed,
    I was shivering and you gave me no clothes,
    Sick and in prison, and you never visited.'

    "Then those 'goats' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn't help?'

    "He will answer them, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.'

    "Then those 'goats' will be herded to their eternal doom, but the 'sheep' to their eternal reward."
    i know that doesnt help your advice in your story does keep spreading your story its the truth and remember pkain jane your special and thats something no one can take from you

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  4. And let's not forget, when Jesus spoke about the goats and sheep, He first said, it would be to the NATIONS, that includes, Yes the nation states. The fact is, WE the People ARE the government in this nation, and it's been the
    churches, that have been the Loudest in not only denying assistance to women, so that they Can leave violence, but they have also been the Loudest in protecting the slavery/abuse and rape/trafficking via support of the most hideous of patriarchal systems, in our world, through the use of Terror, supporting coups, you name it, it's Evil.

    So that the 'elites' religious [yes including Protestants] can set their Nests on high [Amos],

    on the backs of the downtrodden elsewhere and our own vulnerable in This society, women and children. Using 'moral' sexual controls issues as the Distraction, to do so,

    to have forgiveness requires Penance, via gold and silver [tithes], it's not any different from the feudal Catholic system of the Medieval, it simply broadened it's hands to the middle of pyramid of Egypt [the guilds and protestants which Were middle class craftsman of that day].

    So it's in our culture, that whole goat worship thing, from the very top of the Roman-Greek Pantheon, under the disguise of Christian religion [false Christ], that we call America, and the land is Full of giants...[who like the giants of the days of Samson, love their sports and Venus sex temples].

    And it IS all connected, the economic forced dependence of women, for both Herod and for Pharisees.

    Love, Jane

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  5. I appreciate your depiction of women jumping on the sacrificial altar themselves. The women within patriarchy think they are a "living sacrifice"to God (in fact, are taught childbearing is a way to present their bodies a living sacrifice according to Romans 12:1), only to find out too late that they presented themselves to corruptible men only, and are sacrificed on the altar of men's commandments, not God's doctrine.

    A lot of us older (now wiser) women have painted ourselves into a corner thinking there was a door of "godly living" there, only to find it was a sham once we got close and now have limited choices.

    Patriarchy does not account for evil, inflated egos, selfishness or delusions of grandeur. And definitely not for the vulnerability of the women and children within the movement.

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  6. What you described has nothing to do with patriarchy. The same thing happened to me, but my husband didn't even claim to be a Christian - in fact, he hated Christians. Your husband chose to sin against you because he's a sinner. Don't let him hide behind the Bible.

    Praying God is blessing you and your little daughter. He is the only One we can put our full trust in.

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  7. It's part of our sinful human nature to walk all over someone who won't stand up for themselves. It's also human nature to begin to feel contempt for someone who grovels to you. And yet these people teach women that if they grovel and never stand up for themselves, their husbands will serve and respect them. But it can't work that way-- and the church doesn't respect them either. Neither, after a short while, can they respect themselves. It's a horrible travesty of marriage in the name of Christ-- and I agree; He WILL hold those who teach it accountable.

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  8. Stacy McDonald, aka Anonymous 9:13...What she described has EVERYTHING to do with patriarchy. If you'd spend more time focusing on the One you referenced, and less time defending patriarchy, you may begin to see it's innumerable flaws and failures as a system of living.

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  9. Its a symptom of patriarchy gone bad that certain followings won't acknowledge. They give you a formula, and tell you its God's way. If you follow it you will be protected.

    That doesn't mean hateful things similar to this don't happen outside the following. Sounds like you lived it.

    It's true the husband - as we all are - is a sinner. Its the following in the story that is allowing the husband to hide behind the bible. She can't control that, and sadly when sinners are enabled with such force? They don't see the incentive to do otherwise. All we can do is pray.

    I don't agree that what has been stated has nothing to do with Patriarchy. lol although I will admit they may agree with that statement! I have no doubt the agreement would be for different reasons.

    When you have a root of evil within your movement that you will not acknowledge, and refuse to deal with? Sadly, it becomes part of it.

    Formulas don't change it. Their denial of its existence doesn't either.

    Its just like an old rusting car. The rust isn't suppose to be part of the car, but unless you do something to stop the rust from spreading? Its will always be part of the car, and will continue to destroy it inch by inch.

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  10. He put his wife (and daughter) out on the street because "she" didn't give him a son? Apparently he never read that the gender of the baby is determined by the fertilizing sperm, so blaming the wife that a son was not produced makes little sense.

    Jim K.

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  11. This is both a great and terribly saddening article. It almost horrifies me how the church reacts; making the husband head of the singles group, yet even worse, it is not even surprising.

    This whole scenario is the offspring of the patriarchy mindset. A wife means nothing to her husband, she is only an "incubator" (I read on another blog recently), sex toy and house maid.

    To deny it is to nullify the experiences and pains of thousands of women. Where does the 50% divorce rate for Christians come from?

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  12. Kristen, i agree. in every patriarchal family i know, in practice the less the wife thinks of herself and grovels in submission to the man, the less he thinks of her as well.

    my husband values me too much to let me live in mindless submission to him, agreeing with everything he decides. as a person i am equal to him, as a wife i am one with him, and as a woman i respect him, but he doesn't do my thinking and deciding for me. when we disagree i'll champion my cause unless i see that he's making more sense than i am. in that situation i'll concede and we'll come to an agreement. :)

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  13. “Doug Phillips, Voddie Beaucham, James Dobson, Bill Gothard, and all the other men preaching patriarchy don't care about you, or me, or any other woman. They care about their own power and control, because that’s what the doctrine of headship is really about.”

    I’m a little puzzled as to why Dobson was included in this list. Certainly he teaches some level of submission in marriage, but to my knowledge, he doesn’t support the idea of women being limited to the role of wife/mother. Of course he values that role tremendously, but he has ministries to working women, single moms, etc. He is a strong supporter of Christian education and homeschooling equally – he doesn’t preach homeschooling as the only right way. He encourages education beyond high school for women and men equally. He is not opposed to birth control. And from what I’ve seen in his ministry, he DOES care about women.

    Dobson is certainly more fundamentalist than I am, and I definitely don't agree with him on everything, but it doesn't make sense to me to lump him in as a leader of the patriarchal movement. In fact, many followers of the patriarchal movement scoff at his ministry because he's a psychologist, something few of them have any use for.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I’m not sure I understand why he is being lumped into a list that includes Phillips, Baucham, and Gothard. I really don't think he's in that camp.

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  14. Also - Jane - I'm sorry - I didn't mean to sound merely like a critic in my last comment. :(

    Your story is heartbreaking and a true example of how patriarchal teaching, when taken to its natural and logical conclusions, results in harm to women and children. I am so sorry you had to go through this.

    Your point about submission = security is such an important one! I’ve seen many women who go into marriage with this idea that they’ll always be secure because they have a husband, but somewhere along the way, they discover that they still don’t feel secure. He’s human, he will fail. He might have a long illness, or he could even die. Maybe he’s a soldier and has to go to war. No matter what the circumstance, this leaves the woman exposed and vulnerable and feeling very insecure if her whole identity and security is wrapped up in him alone. The philosophy of patriarchy is that a woman should be dependent on her husband/father for absolutely everything, but this philosophy robs her of the blessing of knowing her true identity and security in Christ and it also creates a burden on the husband/father that God did NOT intend for him to carry! I’m still single, and though I never thought that would be my story, I’m very glad I’ve walked this road long enough to understand the importance of finding my identity and security completely in Christ. If God chooses to provide a husband for me one day, I think the fact that I am secure in Christ will make me a better wife, more able to give to my husband instead of burdening him with expectations and needs that only God can fulfill anyway.

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  15. PlainJane,
    Another thing Patriarchalists AND Dobson don't take into consideration are the chances of certain disorders in men and women, like ADHD, NPD, Bi-Polar, etc.

    To put things as simply as possible-

    The Commmandments of God always work.
    The Ten Commandments and the Two Greatest Commandments uttered by Jesus always work. Whether people have handicaps, mental disorders, brain disorders, or anything else you can think of to gum up the works.
    It always works to not murder or commit adultery or bear false witness, etc.

    The commands of men don't always work. They only work some of the time. Like when you are dealing with healthy, well-balanced, just-minded people who know how to gaurd their hearts from all pride and bitterness all the time. Then Patriarchy (a commandment of men) and Compism (promoted by Dobson, and also a commandment of men, imo) might work.

    But once you throw imperfection into the mix, all bets are off and the door is opened to all manner of abuse.

    And we all know, if human beings are anything, they are terribly imperfect.

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  16. Plain Jane, I am so sorry for all that you've been through. It's hard to imagine a man could do that to you and his own little girl. I will be praying for you.
    Linda Reynolds

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  17. Dobson was, in my life, like a gateway drug. Listening to his radio program is where I first was exposed to many of the foundational ideas that the home school gurus just took to new, more destructive levels.

    One would be the authority paradigm; the Gentile model with those in authority lording it over those beneath them. In a family, this means the husband/father rules supreme. All the talk in the world about how a husband is "supposed" to rule from a position of love is meaningless to a wife and children. For the wife, her whole duty to God is confined to submit, respect and pray. She is given no power in the relationship and no "biblical" means for asserting the families needs for love, support, nurture, etc. The only role complementarainism allows for is submit, obey, respect and pray.

    Ironically, it is women who are mostly listening to these programs. Very often (sorry guys) men/fathers in "biblical" homes are too arrogant to seek instruction, and if they did there would be very little addressed to them anyway. For every time a husband is taught to sacrificially love his wife/children, a woman probably hears the submit/obey/respect/pray message 10 times or more often. The imbalance comes two ways: women are seeking intruction that much more often than men, and marketers know this so they tailor their message to women.

    Focus on the Family a problem? Oh yes.

    Second huge problem with FoF is that they breed paranoia and suspicion. Continually they spread the message that nefarious forces are out to destroy the family: YOUR Christian family!*gasp*
    Feminists, humanists, liberals, oh my!

    This siege mentality is what drives families to the Pearls, Vision Forum, etc. Fear, not faith, is what FoF sells. I think that creating a parallel Christian culture has been very bad for the church, for America.

    Jesus said the world should know we were his disciples by our love:not by our Christian radio sticker, Jesus fish brooch,frumpy clothes and the large retinue of controlled children in our wake.

    In my life, it all started with Dobson...

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  18. Thought provoking post and comments. Thank you for sharing your story Jane (you are not "plain" to God!)

    BTDT with a Christian husband who has also been unfaithful but our marriage has survived (for 28 years and counting).

    I agree with Kristen. The doctrine we embraced robbed him of the powerful ezer/help-meet God intends a wife to be. Left "alone" with a mere slave wife ("incubator, sex toy and house maid") rather than powerful equal partner and friend, everyone loses: wife, husband, children.

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  19. In regards to the patriarchy not being the culprit, the reply about the non-Christian man being horrible, etc., to defend Patriarchy...

    this is false. Patriarchy, is an Institution of male supremacy over the females, by birth, by genetics, by creation, that in Secular society, was Begun by the teachings/writings of Religion, going all the way back to Samaria, Egypt and the rest of Ancient Mesopotamia. Fact. In fact the teachings of Moses, came After the laws and teachings of Ancient Sumeria, land of Ur, Babylon, tower of Babel, etc. In secular debates, it is debated often that what Christians believe [from Judaic] to be inspired by God was actually just the inheritance of male dominanece/power structures in ancient societies once slavery which Did begin with the looting [war] and rape of women, to build up tribal clans so that more land resources could be gobbled up, due to times of famine, etc., and one or two men with strength/power justified their conquests with the IDEAL of a GOD, and therefore over time it spread. This is the secular [no belief in God] explanation, however, it IS interesting that in other Ancient Societies where there was no Judaic NOR Mesopotamian Babylonian ROOT, there is NOT the same contempt or male superiority over women therefore no strong leanings towards Either, patriarchy or power economics hierarchies, what is known as pyramids. This is why in several non-Judaic root or non-Babylonian/Egyptian root societies there was egalitarian/Harmony beliefs, including with Mother Earth, Father Sky, and even during famines, the amount of warfare/violence was low, In comparison, to those societies forming institutions over time with the patri-male God center, etc. con't

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  20. con't...In Bible, during early families/tribes [the split of Noah's sons] it says that the earth lands were split, so it can appear that at one time, Biblical speaking, that all continents were one, that would explain the Four rivers in Genesis, as well as the Hierarchy/Pyramid structure of Mayans/Aztec [who also were Extremely misogynist and slavery obsessed as well as sacrificing/rape of women/pedophilia] to the
    'elites' who were deemed the officers of God, male God supreme I believe in Mayan it was the Serpent [as seen on temple even today at seasons] and interesting the Peru Incas, similar circular stadiums btw was diminished prior to Mayan power, take over, maybe, we Know the Mayans/Aztecs [with similar nazi symbols] butchered numerous weaker slaves,

    However up further North Native Indians, the Nations, did not inherit that level nor beliefs of power/misogyny, now Whether they would have later, hard to say, it Is interesting though that even in parts of Africa and South America, in isolated areas there are Still to this day, Indigenous tribes [though they are dying out] that go All the way back to ancient times in beliefs, that did Not assimilate into the Catholic-Protestant enslavement/cultural Genocide, and these tribes do NOT have patriarchal beliefs NOR do they have

    obsession with blood lust violence or war
    an entitlement belief that the earth is theirs for taking/by any means necessary but that they are to take Only what they need and always giving something back
    they are Woman friendly/with women with high esteem and power within the tribal families
    there is no strict gender role division of labor but labor is communal and decided Upon the Nature environment around them, depending on the gifts of the individuals as a group, both men And women together will farm, weave, hunt/farm depending on climate/nature, NOT religious order so forth

    and last, they are a people who have high regard for spirituality, the Spirit world and ancestors, wisdom, etc. Ways of Peace, with a very strong love one another blood bond within,

    so, looking at this, we can see that Patriarchy, is not just religious, that is it extremely tied into Resources [economics] and religion is it's birth as well as it's strength, even IF the religious core is removed, the structure institution of patriarchy Because of it's filtering into all aspects of Life to survive, from communal to nuclear for economy [to keep that God/man god elites at top etc-aka the pyramid with the Eye] that patriarchy still strongly survives,

    so it's not surprising then that in non-Christian families/communities that the patriarchy subjugation, contempt of mother/womb/woman is still strong and damaging/abusive.

    Jesus said, the root ROOT of all evil is the love of money, money used, in Ancient, to pay for slaves/women...

    under patriarchy, money that was at one time, what one owned to barter/pay for women pleasure, workers to get OUT of work, therefore, destroying the Communal family/tribe, going to Lamech [Genesis] and establishing, the

    pyramid structure, CON'T

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  21. con't, will attempt this again, hard to sum up in few words...my point is, due to resources, famines, and I believe, a lot due to the desire to get OUT of work, one man, or a couple, decided to dump work on to another, OR due to famine, combined maybe, rather than sacrifice Resources one or few decided to slaughter others, appease FEAR by sacrificing, [maybe this varies to societies] and putting a GOD on it, to Justify their conscience, and forming a Pyramid, Once there is a demi-god other men [women not so because of the vulnerability with children] get Jealous, decide they want theirs too, war breaks out, women are loot, because women are easily enslaved, also pleasure, more children to create more labor [less work for demi god men],

    and there you go...the first motive Maybe, to dump the work, onto another, rather than Live in harmony with Mother Earth, animals, Women, Family, one or two decided they wanted to do Less,

    and who better, than to dump on the Weaker, with children, and to then gather More, to get out of More work, to set themself up as a kind of
    God

    and then build Kingdoms, other's See this, decide They want this too, they fight, women as the commodity to build Armies,

    and there you go...put God on it, the Spiritual Constitution, when That doesn't work, take God out, put Constitution [or God back in, Or Allah or whatever] and there you go,

    the elites [demi-man gods] stay in power, kill one another, agree together to keep women under, that is Necessity to keep the power pyramid up, aka slavery, the masses so that a few, can live as gods/goddesses [goddesses for sex always] and there you go,

    Religion.

    Till one day, only ONE demigod stands, one man, the son of perdition?????

    and countless, women, children, beginning with the demonized religions/RACE, are the sacrifices, for this one main man-god.

    Patriarchy, was the Means, to an End.

    Love,

    Jane

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  22. [see above related replies], after deconstructing this Formula [which Is interestingly also Math], I find it interesting that the variable, used to justify man's being God, was the womb, woman, and in Patriarchal religions [Judaic/Babylonian Root] there was no Heavenly Mother [or earth mother] mentioned, only a Male God Supreme with heavy focus on Governments, from tribal clan ruler to all male angels to judges [exception Deborah] to king to Empire [Rome] and so forth, Because of the Mix of God and Government, even in secular society/family Patriarchy or Male Supremacy and Entitlement reigns supreme, be it via violence [including psychological terrorism] or benevolent With always the threat of violence to females,

    and in this process, the earth is destroyed AS are the increase of the murder of Womb, women. This we see worldwide, and it's NOW to the point where there can be no turning back, too much destruction, earth cannot heal herself, too many holes from mining [esp it's effect on water, necessary for human life] and woman, in societies where there has been Holocaust of females [Congo ex] or Bosnia, Afghanistan, the damage to the female soul is so bad that there will be No future nurture of generations, therefore there will be a furthering of blood lust/rape [including now rape of boys on increase==there's your Male heaven btw] and Warlords, because that is All these boys know,

    with increase of HIV [women/trafficking sex slaves] and there you go,

    the destruction/demonization of Eve, Womb, Women, and Erasure of any Female Spiritual and only a Male Supreme being, from Ancient Babylon/Mesopotamia/Egypt/Judaic, to Protestant,

    will END the human race, by removing the variable,

    Woman and Mother Earth [they are twins in that they are the nurture/womb].

    So be it religious or secular, they too are Twins, and are killing humanity, life and earth,

    the same, patriarchy, and the SAD truth is, it's so far gone now, that it's too late to reverse it. And this is why, Yes, we see both, Leavens, in religious male centric and secular male centric,

    societies/families, and interestingly, BOTH, have built, temples [Pope with Gold temple] and [Capitals with Gold temples] the tops,

    gold that pollutes waters [fact, gold mining and silver/and rare earth mining, destroys water, agriculture, etc] and also has been the backbone of creating sex slavery, prostitution, and WAR. Both religion, and GOVERNMENT, secular,

    gold on blood--take this further, Genesis, the river had gold...

    a lot to think about, if one Dares, to question.

    Jane

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  23. Submission does NOT mean subservient, it means choice. It's a process that can deepen both ones understanding of themselves as well as deepening the intimacy of a relationship. Submission equals respect and nothing less. If a dominant partner abuses the trust then they are not the person you thought they were. If you don't or can't trust a person then remove them from your life. They are not worthy enough to be there!

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  24. While I think in a union of two Christ-followers there should never BE a ".. a dominant partner...". Jesus said it should not be so among us, but we should each seek to be the servant of all.

    If "submission" means choice, then the husband should choosing to serve his wife, and in honor prefer her above himself. I.e. the husband should submit to his wife to the same degree or more than his wife should choose to serve him.

    If both are serving in love, there is not dominant partner with the power to abuse trust.

    Now that's good news!

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  25. Are you familiar with the Golden Ratio? It's a ratio of 1:1.6 or 5:8. Our Creator established this from the beginning throughout creation.

    For example, in nature the distance between veins on a leaf are in this ratio. It's the same for the distance between the lines of shells at the ocean.

    In the human body, let's examine a few features consistent with this same ratio...the depth of the forehead:the rest of the head; the navel up:the navel down; finger tip to the first joint:the first joint to the second joint; the second joint:to the third joint; the length of the finger: to the wrist; the distance of the hand:the distance from the wrist to the elbow.

    Even the planets rotate around the sun in this ratio! This ought to grab the attention of even an atheist.

    An outlet plate, can of paint, and post card to name a few are also in this ratio. Vases and architecture are more attractive in that ratio. Why? Because that ratio is pleasing to us humans. Why? By now I'm sure that you know the answer. Because it's been in us from the beginning.

    Now it's the same in any relationship, especially for a marriage to thrive (I didn't say survive, but rather THRIVE). One or the other has to be dominant. In the kitchen it's usually the woman in general. However, if the husband likes to cook, he has dominance for that meal or particular dish he may be preparing. When it comes to car maintenance, it's usually the male, but exceptions are possible. The male isn't plumbed for nursing a baby, so he has to relinquish dominance in that area! I think you get the message without giving any more examples. Like it or not, we have to take and give up dominance for life to run smoothly.
    ML

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  26. This is not scriptural, Anonymous.
    This is you making assumptions.
    The UPCers did the same thing when they encouraged men to dress fancy and women to be dowdy, using peacocks and other birds from nature to 'support' their doctrine. It's not scriptural. It's the faulty wisdom of men at work finding supposed 'support' in a limited and prejudiced view of the world.

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  27. Men can nurse children; it's just not common but it is certainly possible. They are most definitely "plumbed" for nursing babies, i.e.e they have functioning milk glands and nipples both. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7G826-2p57k

    In fact, I was reading a history of Saint Patrick's life, and when he was a starved slave asking a ship to help him escape from Ireland, the sailors offered to let him suckle from their breasts. So it is not a newly discovered ability. How The Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill.

    Women can not only be mechanics, they ARE mechanics, and engineers who design and build engines/vehicles/airplaces/rockets as well.


    Many men and do cook, both at home and at work, every day.

    You, dear Anonymous, must live a very sheltered existence to not know anyone except the 50s Ozzie and Harriet stereotypes. I daresay you are no mathematician either, but are only parroting something you heard in a sermon somewhere.

    Because really, what a ridiculous leap of logic! There are mathematical ratios in nature, therefore equality in human relationships is impossible? What...?!

    ROFLOL

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  28. Sorry that I live on the ignorant side of knowledge. But I have been around the block several times...this is no assumption!

    Have you gotten off the floor yet? Since laughter ( a merry heart in KJV...oops, that is a 1611 translation that really dates me)is a good medicine, I'm glad that I was able to give you a dose, as well as a little exercise.

    And my math is all messed up, too, because 1+1=1! You are very insightful to recognize that I am no mathematician...it was my least favorite subject in school.

    I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I've never heard about the Golden Ratio in a sermon, have you? I happen to be a portrait painter. If you want to discover some utterly amazing facts research the Golden Ratio, Golden Mean or Divine Proportion.

    BTW, who was Ozzie and Harriette?

    Wishing you, Mara and Shadowspring, a wonderful 2011 as the Lord continues to grow us up,
    ML

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  29. So we humans aren't really God's crowning creation, but rather are only on the same level as plants and animals? How much sense does that make?

    Humans are not plants and humans are not animals. Humans are made in the image of God, and by that we are higher and have a different purpose and way of living than the rest of creation.

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  30. And anonymous, I do understand what you are saying about patterns and mathematics in nature; I am an artist myself. However, I don't see how that can be transferred to human relationships with each other.

    Human relationships are not formulas or mathematics, they are all different and unique, just as God created them to be. To say flowers have a ratio of 3:5, therefore woman is 3 and man is 5 is faulty at best.

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  31. Apparently, I'm not a clear communicator either. Simply put, life is made up of giving and taking. Does this not include humans, animals, and plants? Do I actually need to say on different levels?

    I was so excited when I first learned of the Golden Ratio it gave me goose bumps. Obviously, it doesn't affect everyone the same.

    Write on, I'll continue to read with a smile.
    ML

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  32. When I learned about it, it was referred to as the golden section.
    This probably dates me. But, like you, I don't care.
    I put more stock into Proverbs 11:1 and like verses than taking observations of fallen creation and art and superimposing it onto a marriage relationship.

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  33. Happy New Year everyone! :) Great discussion you got going. Where in the world is Lewis? Did he take a holiday break. Or...did he enter another...courtship? Just playing Lewis. Ha ha. We miss ya!

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  34. I was wondering the same thing. Maybe he and Hillary eloped. ;-)
    ML

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  35. Lewis..well said... "What she described has EVERYTHING to do with patriarchy. If you'd spend more time focusing on the One you referenced, and less time defending patriarchy, you may begin to see it's innumerable flaws and failures as a system of living."

    Christ brought us freedom to love God and love others. He covered us. When abuse is rising in a particular movement of religion, the Body needs to rise up against it and proclaim the truth of Christ. We were not given Christ to proclaim a denomination or abusive 'biblical'(???) lifestyle that further isolates women. Every member of the Body is empowered by Christ to go forth and love. He also prophesied that in the latter days "the love of many shall wax COLD"..and it sure has. People who claim Christ's name are using it to further religions instead of the true freedom He came to bestow upon us...they claim His name, but deny the power thereof. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, we are all ONE in Christ" Another good passage to read is Ezekiel 34. Anyone who tells you it's ok for a man or even other church ladies to abuse you, silence you, or coerce you to just be silent and put up with abuse is not of Christ.

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  36. Anonymous ML..seriously? eloped? That's all you can do is drum up some slander?

    2 Timothy 3: 1
    But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. 9But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.

    It never ceases to amaze me how people who claim Christ can be so heartless, arrogant, and ignorant. The very Bible they claim to hold to ..they don't even bother reading it all. I would imagine this ignorant slander has to do with the fact that Hillary is seen as equal in the Body of Christ by Lewis and many other theologians. Well that's wonderful! Just goes to show you how powerful Christ is in people who understand their freedom in Him. And that very power and freedom threatens the religious systems of today, just like it did in the time of Christ when he was on earth. The more you all bark out against this power, the more obvious your bushy tail gets..

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  37. Sisterlisa,
    I'm not crazy about what ML said either, but I don't get the feeling that she meant for it to be slanderous. The range I get from it could go from harmless(albeit misinformed and misplaced) playfulness to a thoughtless dig.

    But I think calling it slanderous is a bit much.

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  38. "The Lord bless you and keep you;
    the Lord make His face shine upon you,
    and be gracious to you;
    the Lord lift up His countenance upon you
    and give you peace."

    The above is intended for all who read this (and without a wink as in my previous comment, which interpreted means "just kidding").
    ML

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  39. that whole golden ratio, the Adonis effect [Roman beliefs btw] is HUGE among the Gay man crowd,

    yea just do a google search on it, it's Amazing how many 'rapists' and gung ho on you know what size and Dominance freaks, are all wet over it...

    Golden for Midas, cuzz all they touch, they destroy, turn it into gold, cold, cold, dead gold.

    Yep, sounds like the rantings of a kinsman Christian, how's the ole white male supremacy Hitler worship going there, thrown any babies [non-white, you know those non-Adonis types into the oven today?]

    yea, Golden Ratio kaka, the Same logic, used in the Eugenics, to justify their Orient Perfectionism blood ratio 'tree', what Paul calls, genealogy worship, that removal of the wall of separation, you know that thing Jesus did on CROSS, doesn't apply to these types, they take the whole Cain and Seth 'seed' Literally, and like the bondwoman they by FLESH attempt to form, perfection, by physical DOMINANCE, VIOLENCE, ERASURE-GENOCIDE AND FORCE,

    so to the Golden Ratio ML, what can we say, a Dutch high five Apartheid Zieg Heil?

    and Yea, that remark, about Lewis/Hilary, Was slanderous, actually, it was mean and petty. But then, those Golden Ratio types, are Perfected, in the rocks, scissors and paper game, cutting souls, destroying love, crushing spirits, of those

    not so, uh, perfect and linear and white and male and all that other hate fascist nonsense.

    [sorry, can you tell I have zero tolerance for the religious bunk anymore? I don't...it's misogyny in a robe, and it sucks, don't care, HOW much mathematical ratio they want to put on it.]

    Jane

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  40. some answers, as to Golden Ratio,

    God, the mathematical master, the Masons say, great architect...from ancient Egypt-other 'gods' worship, etc.,

    also what the Nazi's, the worship of Orient [that Hitler was obsessed with, the race-mathematics eugenic tree, the mathematics abacus [China/ancient emperor's], the Chaldean s, Babylonians, Arabians [also astronomy and math]

    in common, obsession with perfection, Order [also in science, eugenics, genocidal porgrams for progress, and so forth], racial and so forth...

    there IS an order, as we know, from the blocks of pyramids [theory that they were made possibly by aliens, also see ancient Sumeria and Mayans, Peru],

    Algebra, IF God was/is the computer cold analysis Spock being Matrix, similar to RA, then there would be no love, just coldness, which, interestingly, the Mayan pyramid/square structure does show the serpent during certain time of season/day/year, when sun hits certain way [also where huge brutal tortures, of women and children were done, with sport, gambling, gambling ancient Divination, in Bible see Esther, the 'pur']

    they are related...but in Nature though there is order we also see, Diversity.

    there is order and balance in God's math, however, there is one huge difference,

    in God's math, the order and balance may be the same, but the variables, depending on what they are, result in Different things,

    this is why, elements combined create different REACTIONS,

    they too, are on a ratio.

    This, is where LOVE comes in, order but with LOVE and flexibility, this is why Jazz, music, also math,

    is the break of that order, though is still music. Both dark and light tones, pitches, crescendo's, etc.,

    there is ratio, yes, but the LIE is, that the ratio, is without love or mercy, that males are superior and females evil [eve, for evil] and so forth, how the abacus worshipers and star worshiper's who take Fragments [one example] leave out, the Seventh, love,

    this is why God is Holy, Holy for WHOLE, not fragmented, anti-love, is fragments.

    that is the answer...to the golden ratio worship and justification, for fragmenting women's souls, destroying the weak, non-white, and why it is a LIE of the enemy, God = Wholeness, Holiness,

    God is not, a fragmented, math formula of balanced

    coldness. Why only GOD has right, to the Throne [Jesus] of Heaven, as only HE can keep the balance, that maintains,

    LIFE. [so, down with the lies of Satan in Jesus Name, to GOD and JESUS, BE THE GLORY, FOR EVER, AND EVER]

    Jane, a Daughter of the King, Jesus, who knows His goodness and love and balance in DIVERSITY! the GREEN ratio, LIFE and LOVE.!!!

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  41. Wow, when Lewis told me there were comments about my story, I was shocked!

    To people expressing concern, thank you so much! I'm 50, my career has been going very well for over a decade, I'm married now to a wonderful man, I attend an Anglican church, and I'm very happy. My daughter turned out fine. She's in her twenties and is finishing college and working. She has a good relationship with her father.

    My ex has gone on to try for sons with a couple of other women. He's on his third or fourth marriage now, and enjoying his children...all daughters.

    I guess if I have anything to say, it is that both women and men should follow God, not the teachings of men, which is what patriarchy is. Patriarchy is like manure in a gift bag. You can try to make the package pretty, but what's inside is still not much of a gift. And Stacy, you should be ashamed of yourself.

    Patriarchy hurts women and men because it replaces our freedom in Christ with prescribed roles that keep people from fulfilling their true calling and using their talents to glorify God. There are no societies in which women are oppressed in which poverty and ignorance have been eradicated, even for men. You can't create or sustain a system in which there are such severe power imbalances and not have people turn in to prey.

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  42. Perhaps a little late to the discussion here, yet, I couldn't help but reply to ML's comment.

    "And my math is all messed up, too, because 1+1=1! You are very insightful to recognize that I am no mathematician...it was my least favorite subject in school."

    Actually, 1 + 1 DOES equal 1!

    How?

    "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." Gen. 2:24 (and echoed several times by Christ and the apostles throughout the New Testament)

    1 + 1 = 1

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  43. I'm glad that someone agrees with me on at least one point! After that 1+1 can equal 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or...however many children they birth.
    ML

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  44. Oh,so the 1+1=1 thing is more complementarian/patriarchal religious lingo, probably based on a husband and wife becoming one flesh.

    Thanks for cheerfully exposing the Orwellian Christian math, Anonymous.

    Yes,two people can come together and make one "beast with two backs" resulting in offspring. But those offspring are individual distinct human persons, they are not a part of the couple. And both persons in the couple remain separate and distinct human persons, even though patriarchal teaching would have the wife so suppress her own personality/wants/needs that she appears to be subsumed by her husband.

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  45. ML, that is the only point I agree with you on.

    You notice, too, that this is a simple, whole number here. No variations. Neither "1" is given prominence over the other (as in the fraction 1/1--which of course, still equals 1).

    To the partiarchists, the equation is always written 1/1. Some"one" always has to be on top.

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  46. "But those offspring are individual distinct human persons, ... And both persons in the couple remain separate and distinct human persons..."

    I fully agree, Shadowspring, even though my physical body can't deny it's carrying my parent's genes, chromosomes, DNA, and other inherited traits!

    Recognizing that I am a "foreigner" to this blog, I graciously bow out from contributing further comments now and in the future. With this good-bye comes wishes for you all to experience life's best. This includes pain for the purpose of being drawn afresh into His comforting arms, while at the same time embracing a renewed sense of His leading hand, listening ear, and caring heart which overflows with love for YOU!
    ML

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  47. Dianne, good point. Mind if I quote you?

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  48. Let me tell you something. It DOES have something to do with patriarchy. Power corrupts. I don't claim to share the same beliefs as all of you, but I am against patriarchy. It almost had a stranglehold on my mind and heart. MINE, not his. And the more submissive I became, the more I lost the man I loved. He stopped respecting me. He stopped caring what I said, apparently knowing there would be no consequences for not considering me an equal partner. But I stuck it through until I couldn't stand it anymore. I thought our marriage was ruined but I stood up and fought. I said I won't let you boss me around. You are supposed to be Christ-like and DIE FOR ME, start by dying to yourself a little bit. I just got back my voice, and I got back my power. From that point on, the respect has come back!! It's taking time and work, but yes it is coming back. You teach people how to treat you. Act like a doormat and you will be used as one. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. ~Katie

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  49. It is clear to me that this article is phony. It didn't happen. I am sorry for all you caring people who have been duped.

    How do I know it's phony?
    1) Author presents herself as an innocent victim. All of us humans have weaknesses which it is good to acknowledge.
    2) She represents that her church supported the husbands ouster of her and her young child from the home.
    3) She indicates that the church rewarded her husband with a leadership position in light of his adultery and abandonment of his family.

    Hello? Does this sound like any church you have heard of? No, it doesn't. And if it existed, it wouldn't be a Christian church.

    This is obviously a sick joke on the unsuspecting concerned readers of this blog.

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  50. "It is clear to me that this article is phony."

    I don't think it's clear to you at all.

    "I am sorry for all you caring people who have been duped."

    No one has been duped...and I don't think you're sorry about anything.

    "Hello? Does this sound like any church you have heard of? No, it doesn't. And if it existed, it wouldn't be a Christian church."

    SMH. Sounds like a TON of churches I know of...all of which wear a Christian shingle. Anywho, thanks for your help, Matlock.

    You're either just shull of fit or you have your head buried in the sand.

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