Tuesday, May 29, 2007

"You'd better have some control!"

"It's nice to be taken care of, but be careful. If your husband has discreet bad habits such as poker, women, booze or drugs you better have some control. By the time you realize what has happened it is too late."

This is (a part of) another comment I got to the posts where I expressed my opinion about masculine leadership and submission of women to their husbands. Apparently, I gave the impression that I think the submissive woman is a helpless, clueless thing that doesn't have the ability to take care of herself.

As you know from what I said earlier, I believe women have the right to be appreciated, respected, and treated like decent human beings. I don't deny the fact that abuse within the family exists, and I certainly don't support anyone or anything that contributes to the abuse of women. I believe women should be cherished and protected and a helping hand should be extended when one of our sisters is in a tragic situation.

A godly woman submits to her husband joyfully and willingly, because this is what God calls her to. She isn't bullied into it and she doesn't do it because she only has half a brain. And if something as horrible as abuse, adultery or addiction occurs in her family, I believe she is capable of noticing it. I also believe she has the right to defend herself – and the right to receive support and encouragement from her family and community.

Abuse of women is a difficult and painful issue which I have encountered personally. A man who mistreats, neglects, abuses his wife is not a godly man. God gave him the role of leader and protector, and he threw this beautiful gift away.

Does it mean, however, that women should resign their God-given role and become controlling in order to prevent themselves from depending on a potential abuser?

Should we go along the line that, "well, I never know if I'm abused, so I'd better be an independent woman and a feminist, and this way I am protected if it happens that I'm married to an abusive man"? To me, it sounds pretty much like hiding in a bunker because I'm afraid war might break out. Sure, if it happens, it will find me ready, but most chances are that I'll spend my life in fear and stress, without enjoying sunshine and wind and flowers, for no good reason.

Again, this is like all the other questions we have to take from others (and sometimes from ourselves too!) – What if your husband dies? What if your husband becomes ill and is unable to provide for your family? What if you divorce?

We don't know what future will bring, but we do know God's faithful and wise instruction. Let's not ruin the beauty of following His word by worrying about hardships that may or may not happen.

17 comments:

Candy said...

Hi Anna
:) Thanks for the comment on my blog. I appreciate it.

Regarding this post, excellent as always.
For me, (in response to that persons comment) I dont have to worry about any secret type of habit or life my husband has. He is a solid Christian (not to say that Christians dont struggle with issues) but for husband, this is not something I have to worry about as a wife and full time homemaker.
Thanks for letting me share my thoughts,
Candy :)

Emily said...

Again, great response to another comment Anna. I particularly like what you write here: "We don't know what future will bring, but we do know God's faithful and wise instruction. Let's not ruin the beauty of following His word by worrying about hardships that may or may not happen." So very true!

Notice how, with regard to wives submitting, the Bible says, 'For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear' (1 Peter 3:5-6) - it is the lack of fear that enables a woman to submit to her husband, for she entrusts herself to the Lord and does not worry about all those "what-if" worst case scenarios.

Hope your finals are going well and you're managing to get some rest! Blessings to you :)

Alexandra said...

Thanks for your comment :) I answered your veggie water question.

Interesting comment and response.

Buffy said...

Why do people have to be so extreme? Sure there are some bad apples in the barrel but most men, if treated decently, will reciprocate in kind.

Anna S said...

Buffy: yes, not many men are abusers, even though many have some character flaws or negative attitude (who doesn't sometimes?). But the problem definitely exists.

One of the most wonderful, kind, religious women I knew suffered from terrible abuse. I used to teach her children and it simply broke my heart to hear about what she has been through. Do I think her husband had the right to mistreat her and she should suffer in silence? Of course not. This is why I chose to answer this question, even if it's a bit extreme.

Perennial Pioneer said...

Hey, nice post!I have always wanted to have someone tell me how to do it right!
BTW, I changed the template on Country Rosebud. It is better, I think. It needed a facelift!
Perennial Pioneer

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,

This posts reminds me of a sermon I heard recently. Dr. James McDonald has a show on MBN.org called "Walk in the Word." He had two sermons that he called "A wake-up call for husbands." Essentially he said that wives submitting to their husbands is a choice that husbands should be honored by. Any husband who doesn't should be dealt with by the elders in the church. Submitting to authority and being victims are not the same things.

I'm new to the faith (actually, in the process of coming to Christianity), so my understanding may be remedial. But, the notion spoke to me.

Wonderful post.

Christie Belle said...

Wonderful points, you definately can't live in fear of what "might" happen. We just have to trust in God.

James said...

The other piece of this is that an extended courtship should provide the time for a man's flaws to become apparent. And extended courtship is part of a healthy discernment process. Does that mean you'll know everything? No. That's not to say you'll learn every flaw during a courtship. Will there be bumps in the road initially, especially as regard communal life? Absolutely. Certainly little things- such as whether a guy puts his feet up on the coffee table will almost always come up. But these can be worked out. Generally, however, extended courtship gives you a pretty good notion of who the person you're courting is and what they're like. As to whether he might change nt if you have and maintain good communication throughout the course of the marriage.

The other piece of what St. Paul says in the passage, "women obey your husbands" is that he tells the men to love their wives. Ultimately, marriage is an unconditional giving of self by both the man and the woman. For the woman that menas obeying her husband. For the man it meas loving his wife. They both are challenges. John Paul II actually has written quite a bit about the marital vocation. I recommend you check his writings out. Probably the best is Love and Responsibility.

Anna S said...

James,

I think that during courtship, the most important thing is not necessarily the length of courtship, but more focusing on getting to know truly important things about each other. Now, I'm not saying 3 dates is enough for everyone to decide on engagement(though I do know wonderful marriages where people decided very soon and lived happily). But I mean the focus should really be on getting to know each other (and each other's family) and finding out all the crucial points.

Also, abusive patterns can be recognized very early. I think I will make a post about this soon.

James said...

Anna,

I would agree- it's not the length of the courtship- so much as it is having time to get to kow one's future spouse.

I am curious to know more abot this patterns of domestic abuse stuff. I'm lucky to come from a household that was holy and stable, but I now that not everyone else has. Also, I'd be curious to know- what should a guy do, if he finds out that a girl he's courting coes fro a home with domestic abuse issues? It's all quite tricky stuff, and most unfamiliar to me. Thnaks again, Anna.

James

Anna S said...

James,

I'm not an expert, but I'll try to write about that too.

Buffy said...

I know, there are some abusive men out there. I just don't like the implication that it's common for women to be abused by men.

If a woman is at the receiving end of violence I think she has every right to remove herself from that situation.

Generally I do believe that women have a huge influence on the way men behave and that you should forgive and work through most things but violence is the exception.

By staying with a husband or boyfriend who is violent you are giving him the message that it is acceptable. If every time a man punched a woman without provocation (by which I mean she is not physically attacking him) she walked out he would soon learn that such behaviour is unacceptable. Sadly many men who punch and kick their wives saw their mother receive the same treatment and do nothing about it.

Anna S said...

Buffy,

The problem of abuse exists and certainly shouldn't be hushed up. But yes, you're right, I don't actually think abuse is very common (in the sense that every second woman or so is abused...)

Joe said...

Wow. As a young man in America, you women give me hope that there ARE some decent women out there who do come with the assumption that ALL men are evil, rapists, and abusers looking to enslave their women. My only question, why would one find such women? Even in the church, I've found very FEW women who are even aware of Paul's commands to wives in regards to their husbands. Of those who are aware, few are willing to even adhere to these requirements.

May God continue to bless you who are wonderful examples of Biblical womanhood.

Anna S said...

Joe,

I can relate very well to what you are saying. Where does one find the right women? And where does one find men who are ready to embrace their God-given role and be MEN, leaders, providers, protectors?

Yet the right men and women are out there somewhere. I believe and I have trust even after being in an abusive relationship. There are definitely wonderful men somewhere!

Analytical Adam said...

Yeah I will say that there are many types of abuse child abuse, elder abuse, and sadly these issues (I know as a Jewish guy) are not taking seriously. I have done research in the area because of the fact growing up my mother didn't like me because of feminism and my father didn't like me because he wanted a guy with a more extroverted tempermant (and always compared me to other relatives who were that way. I am a little more introverted) and my parents (my mother especially) were extremely controling and had no trust of me and my childhood and adolescene were horrible. My father went along with this and he also would always say horrible things about me in fact he had a corrupt Rabbi he learned with who I found out he complained about me endlessly about me day after day. This has forced me to do research in this area as I could not understand why they would angry at me and called me mentally ill because of my problems and I support a group called www.mediaradar.org. Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting in which it is true the women are more likely to be injured in a physical fight about 2/3 they are physically weaker then men of injuries are by women but women are just as likely to start up as men are and among younger women women are more likely to be aggressor's are which is no suprise with how much men are demeanded and put down while women are overly confident. A TV women are always slappng men or threatening to hit them you never see men do that on TV nor should you. I see it in the workplace as well. THey also wrote to me that Jewish men have a rate of abuse of about 1% which is the lowest of any religious group (which any percent is bad) but Jewish women have a higher rate of using physical abuse that can serious injure someone then men do (about 7% which was double the average) which is because women are not taught to control themselves and are always told the victim while more men are taught to control themselves. I tend to believe this because growing up especially with their male children being moderately physically abusive which was completely uncalled for and you never hear anything about this because it isn't politically correct but it is terrible for mothers to imidate their sons just because they are bigger then they are. And feminist have taken much control of the abuse industry and to them the only abuse is men equal evil women equal good and anything that is more nuanced then this is not acceptable. Rabbi's themselves believe in this montra and refuse to help anyone that doen't fit this mold. Also the women who run these shelters have been known to abuse the women and threaten them as well if they don't do what they are told and even threaten to take the children away from them as well and put them in foster care.