Drinking Deeply

Thursday, August 24, 2006 at 8:51 PM

Reflections on "A wife's submission to an abusive husband"

I've just gone through what I originally posted, and per a few suggestions made a few changes. The organization is modified a little bit and the introduction (where I disagree with the premise that physical harm is automatically abuse) is clarified a little bit. For the most part the argument remains the same, though the question and answer section is now far better.

A few thoughts on the whole dealio.

So the three posts on submission to an abusive husband resulted in the most hits in a day I've ever had (cracked 100 two days in a row), and certainly the most comments on a post as well. I've discovered that the easiest way to rack up hits is to take a controversial topic and take a controversial opinion. Have lots of comments so that people consistently check back (they can't check comments through an RSS reader). Voila, hit explosion. Great... I think?

It is a little dissapointing for me to look back on the three part post. I was initially prompted by a discussion with a mother dealing with that very issue. In discussing it, I was nearly lead to tears by just the greatness of God and the glory of the cross. I lost focus of that over the course of the replies and the comments. That's really my fault and not the fault of the commenters. The challenges are necessary to sharpening my views and I do need to be able to exegetically defend what I believe. Unfortunately I lost sight of what I was defending in some of my responses. A friend graciously reminded me of that and I'm thankful for that.

As one of the commenters mentioned, this is a very difficult topic, and guys express their opinions on this at their peril. A few people questioned (in private) what I was saying in part because I was a young, single, and male. How I tell someone something that I would probably never endure myself.

For the most part, their criticisms of me are accurate. I am not married. I am not female. I do not know what it is like to submit to an unjust authority. The closest thing to persecution for doing good for me would probably be one of the comments left on my original post (and a lot of people would question the "for doing good"). And Peter and Paul, even though they were male (and Paul was single), lived out their faith, paying for their words with their lives. I most likely would never do that.

Yet, I was a little saddened by how quickly I was dismissed on the basis of my (lack of) experience. I wish that didn't happen, but we're all sinners. I still have the hardest time taking biblical correction. It usually takes me at least a full day before I can admit I'm wrong, and sometimes even longer.

Some positives did come out of the whole ordeal. Through some correspondence with a few of the commentors, I've been able to get to know a few people more on the blog-o-sphere. That has been an encouragement and a blessing.

Through reading and rereading 1 Peter, I have been continually encouraged and convicted by the example of Christ. Passages like this continue to remind me of the great cost my freedom comes:

1 Peter 2
22He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
I pray that we would never forget that.

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Blogger cwu said...

great way to end, bro. when it comes to controversial topics, we need to constantly seek God's guidance, even if it doens't really seem applicable to us or if we don't really think it "matters."  

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Blogger Philippa said...

Yet, I was a little saddened by how quickly I was dismissed on the basis of my (lack of) experience. I wish that didn't happen, but we're all sinners. I still have the hardest time taking biblical correction. It usually takes me at least a full day before I can admit I'm wrong, and sometimes even longer.

You are not alone in that. We all find it hard. :)

All the same, perhaps it helped you to understand that what you experienced - what you describe as an 'ordeal' - bears no comparison with the experience of a terrified and stressed-out woman pushed beyond the limits of endurance by her husband's violence towards her.

There are indeed many cultures that believe it is acceptable for a husband to discipline a wife physically. This kind of misogyny - I could provide much grosser examples - has no place in a Christian marriage, and cannot be supported from Scripture.

Physical abuse is always wrong. Always. No exceptions.

The Bible can also be abused. No doubt white slave masters quoted Peter's epistle at the slaves they used and abused.  

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