May 2

I’m so thankful to the Lord tonight.  Thankful for A/C.  For a full stomach and even some after-dinner coffee.  All 5 of us are pretty healthy (#2 has a cold) and there’s a soft bed waiting for me.

Tomorrow will (God willing) be crocheting, reading the Word (I’m almost up to the New Testament!), filling out summer camp forms for #3, chef’s salad for lunch and peanut stir-fried chicken for dinner.

We have hot and cold running water, indoor plumbing, it won’t be my day for dishes when I wake up, there’s gas in the van and I’m even looking forward to praying.  (Wednesdays I pray for people in leadership- various levels and branches of government, school and church and family leaders.)

My lesson plans are ready for Thursday, I’ve learned how to crochet a bookmark (It’s using up my yarn ends- hoorah!), and I might even get over to the gym.  If I get bored but want to stay home, there’s a bookshelf full of good reading.

Thank You, Father.

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John M

The Friday morning Ladies’ Bible Study has about 4 weeks left before we break for summer.  (I’ll be inviting several ladies to a Friday summer study at the local library.  Their kiddos -all older- can read while we talk about Jill Briscoe’s book, “Prayer that Works”.)

Meanwhile, Leanne, the Women’s Ministry leader, has begun a book about 12 women from the Bible.  The book about the 12 disciples, by the same author, is supposed to be fantastic.  Our pastor in particular loves this author.

I would like to slap his (the author’s, not the pastor’s) silly face.

There are times in the Bible that Paul offers what sounds like opinion, but he lets his readers know it is from God (1 Corinthians 7:10).  There are times he believes the words are his alone (but God has placed them in His eternal Word)(1 Cor. 7:12).  Paul is honest with his readers about the difference between his personal opinion and God’s.

Author M is not.  Even worse, there are times when he does let his reader know that what he is imagining is simply his own opinion.  He begins the sentences with, “We can suppose that” or “She probably felt”.  But many times in each chapter he imagines what a woman is thinking or feeling- he even says, “She must have felt this way for decades”- and he puts it forth as fact.

This is horrible scholarship, to say the least.  Words like blasphemy spring to mind as well, but Author M doesn’t outright call it Scripture.  He ‘just’ introduces a woman from Scripture, summarizes her story from Scripture, then runs amok.

Every. freakin’. chapter.

I talked with Leanne.  She booted my concerns up to the pastor.  He booted them back to Leanne, and strongly urged me to continue attending the study.  (Since I have dropped out of the Tuesday night study, and I want to stay available to younger Christian women of our church who may have questions, I agreed.)  Leanne and I talked some more, and Leanne told all the women clearly at the beginning of the next session, “This is not Scripture, this is a discussion about women in Scripture.  We may disagree with the author.  Use commentaries and Bible dictionaries or ask me (Leanne) if you have questions.”

But what about all the new Christians who are going to use this book and, having never read the Bible itself, treat all this imagination as truth?  Some of it is shoddy scholarship about ancient civilizations, true, but so much of it is “The highest calling a woman can have is to be a mother” or “All godly women long to be a wives and mothers”.

Jesus said the greatest commandments were to love God and your neighbor, not be a parent (let alone exclusively a mother).  The fruit of God’s Spirit is love, joy, peace, etc.- and not parenting.  The parts of the body (including single people, married without kids, and parents) need each other- no part is more important or unimportant.  Men and women- motherhood is not ‘the highest calling’ are EQUAL in God’s eyes.  Of equal value.  Jews are of equal value to Gentiles.  Paraplegics are of equal value to Olympic athletes.  Mothers. are. of. EQUAL. value to every. other. person.

Children are a reward and a heritage.  “A” reward.  Not “The only” or even “The highest” reward.  The reward comes AFTER the godly behaviors of faith, obedience, submission, etc., which are more valuable and are done by both single women and married.

Author M is a poor scholar, lacking in reason, and worse, he’s passing his opinions off as Scripture to all his readers, including, potentially, immature believers.  Matthew 18:6 says, [not I, but the Lord!] “If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

Lord, correct him, and protect Your children in the meantime!

Fog

I’m going to try to write this calmly, pushing back the decades of pain, disappointment, failure, shame, madness…

Mr Wonderful is a person made in the image of God.  God wired him with a personality that is exactly opposite to mine- but not a flawed or sinful personality.  (We both sin, everyone does, but that’s another story.)  Mr. Wonderful was brought up in a different culture, and taught different values.  Some of those values are godly, some are not.  Some of the values taught by the culture I grew up in are godly, some are not.

Now Mr w and I are married.  We can glorify God by our marriage; we can be the image of Christ and His church. He can lead, I can submit- but seriously, it would even glorify God more if we worked together instead of ignoring each other or fighting.

That (working together) is not what’s happening.  In fact, we are digging into our own corners deeper and deeper.  I don’t think counseling is helping.  Frankly, I’ve given up every hope that mr w is going to change.  I don’t mean change personalities: I have a lot of growing to do in accepting his personality and even enjoying it.  I mean change the ungodly values and live godly values.

This month, I’d love to see mr w admit that Christopher is toxic to our marriage, that my husband is choosing to court Christopher instead of confront him about his attacks on me.  Mr w won’t even admit that he told me Christopher told him, “Maybe you need to knock her around a little and show her who’s boss.”  He doesn’t remember ever hearing Christopher say that, even though 1.mr w is the one who told me and 2. I have brought it up to mr w on at least 3 occasions since.  Basically, another instance of choosing Kentucky family over our family and Kentucky values over godly values.

This month, I’d love to see that happen, but since mr w doesn’t want to hear what I would love, it’s not going to happen.  He’s going to keep phoning Christopher from work and FB-messaging Christopher and letting the poisonous attitude about me creep further and further into his heart.  It won’t stop there: there will be more and more relationships that he will have to keep separate from me because the other person thinks I’m trash.

I am in a marriage where mr w is not even trying to put away ungodliness.  I think the best I can hope for is to get him to admit we work best as a business team and drop the counseling.  Then I have to start training myself to put a wall up when church people insist we should be working on our marriage, and to block my own desire for a husband instead of a business partner.

I want to be a better person, so I will start training myself to enjoy the stories mr w brings home about the people he meets.  It’s certainly a way I can keep being introverted and ‘meet’ people without leaving my own securities, so hearing about them through his stories could be a blessing to me.

What I really want to do is take the money and run. (Cue Steve Miller Band.)

Mr w tried to reason with me when I told him I want to leave.  “Think of the heritage you’ll be giving the kids” was his argument.  Dude, that’s your motivation, not mine- and you don’t even see that.

But later I got to thinking about my mom, who left my dad.  When my mom died, she had a great reputation with the people she did business with and had never been in trouble with the law; she was a model US citizen.  She had great relationships with 7 of her 8 sisters, almost all of her 60 nieces and nephews, and both her kids.  She left a lump sum for me and my sister and enough for each of her 5 grandkids to pay for their first year of college.  Plus she gave her car to #1, who is still driving it today.  And she put together ALL of that AFTER she left my dad.  Except for not knowing the Lord (although she may have gotten saved on her deathbed, I don’t know), she was inspirational.

If your argument is, “Don’t leave the marriage, think of the heritage you’ll leave”, you are barking up the wrong tree.