“While preaching against the prevailing feminism of our day from 1 Peter, I was accused by a member with an egalitarian disposition of having a low view of women and a dismal view of marriage… A month later I was deposed from office, the church was disbanded and I was informally exiled from the denomination… I have been and am being defrauded by my wife, betrayed by my son, removed from my career along with over a decade of preparation, education and experience…” – this is just part of a story I received from a former minister in response to my post “How a husband can enjoy sex that is grudgingly given by his wife”.
It gets worse, much worse as you read this man’s story.
Jonadab the Rechabite’s Story
Warning: what follows is a verbose, blubbering, whiny tale of a beta’s misfortune and malfeasance. Read at your own risk and don’t say I didn’t warn you!
You write on an issue that is a very present and painful agony in my life. I too know well the pain of sexual rejection; it is my constant companion that accompanies me like my shadow. It brings with it many bitter fruits. In my case my wife said that she did not want to have sex with me, because she did not respect me (she just could not have sex with a man she did not respect). That was over 25 years ago and the situation has not really improved.
Back then I, thinking of myself as a Christian man of honor and valor convinced myself of three things:
1) That I was called to love my wife no matter what; better or worse till death.
2) Suffering was often a part of love. That to take up my cross daily and that being rejected and despised was simply my sharing in the fellowship with the suffering of Christ, which He did out of love for His bride. So if Christ suffered for a church that would not honor Him or worship Him in Spirit and truth, then I could suffer for my bride who would not respond to me sexually or give me due honor and respect. So I recommitted to love my wife, even when she was unlovely, to be patient, caring and helpful, hoping that she would repent if I gave her time and space.
3) I would honor my vows unto death and that meant I would not be a rapist nor a beggar for sex, I would neither abandon my wife by divorce nor have an adulterous affair, so I was left with either a life as a eunuch or finding sexual release on my own, alone. I chose the latter and found that the use of visual aids were helpful. Mind you, if my wife responded to my overtures positively, she was my only sexual object, and she had all of my love and attention, but if she did not desire me, then I granted to her, her wish and I discretely found release and pleasure on my own.
I struggled with the accusation that visual aids were the same thing as adultery. I was concerned at the thought of the deceitfulness of my own heart in the matter, but I reasoned that my use was not to covet another women, but to remain with the woman I married. Still, the continuous outcry by the Christian community against porn had my spirit often vexed and confused. The church was screaming condemnations against male sexuality and porn while welcoming divorce and mute on defrauding. Women were viewed as holy and men as sinners, I knew if I went to the church to help my marriage, they would fail miserably to correct my wife and most likely point her to the path of divorce.
We would have sex a few times a year (2-6) and as a result I have five children. But as she got wind of my porn use and she became even more bitter toward me. I was/ am confounded about her anger of my porn use, she didn’t want sex with me, but she also did not want me to have a sex-drive. I believe that it was her desire to control me and control my desires, that provoked her to scorn me and despise me even more.
On the rare occasions we would have sex, I judged that she was “sand-bagging”. I believe she was intentionally making it as bad as she could so I would cease my overtures, while avoiding the charge of totally defrauding me. She resisted my attempts at foreplay, she would not touch me below the navel, would not kiss back etc. It seemed that her approach was “get on – get off -and get off —and make it fast!” In time I came to look at her as the destruction and desolation of my sex, she was the miserly and uptight killjoy – constantly on the prowl lest I have any enjoyment in life. She would not have sex with me and I had to be out of her presence have even a modicum of pleasure from the sexual consolation of masturbation. I realized that porn was not primarily about me desiring hot T and A, but me wanting to be desired. Paul said better to marry than to burn, I was married and I was burning with no way to quench the fire, only escape the flames for a short while.
It wasn’t always a total desert. During a time that she was a little more responsive, I as a result went porn free and I believed that we were on the road to lasting improvement. At the end of that extended time things were more tolerable and I became an elder in my church with a clear conscience. Eight years later the church commissioned me to plant a church and to become fully ordained, which I did. Things were going well, in fact a survey of the congregation had each household reporting that the prior year of participation at the church plant was the most intense year of spiritual growth of their life.
While preaching against the prevailing feminism of our day from 1 Peter, I was accused by a member with an egalitarian disposition of having a low view of women and a dismal view of marriage. That accusation was escalated to my presbytery would have gone nowhere, (my exegesis and application were biblically solid), except that at the same time my oldest son was feeling distressed about his mother’s growing expressions of contempt toward me.
A man who is fancies himself a “white knight” and super husband, liked to go hunting with my son, convinced him that the only possible reason for my wife’s discontent was that I was a lousy, unloving husband and therefore unfit for the ministry. That same man who had previously played a role in the destruction of two other churches, called a member of my presbytery accusing me of a “porn addiction”. An investigation ensued which was little more than just a few phone calls and when I was asked about my sex life, my wife or porn, I spoke the truth as plainly and forthright as I knew how with as little spin and humility as I could muster.
A month later I was deposed from office, the church was disbanded and I was informally exiled from the denomination. When I was first ordained, I vowed to submit to my presbytery and so I have heeded their discipline, even if I have disagreements with the process. (If I cannot submit to the church how can I expect my wife to submit to her husband?) Besides I no longer believe that I rule my household well, which is a biblical qualification to enter the ministry and some contend to remain in it.
To sum up: I have been and am being defrauded by my wife, betrayed by my son, removed from my career along with over a decade of preparation, education and experience, and most of the same people I prayed and agonized over daily will not talk to me. The blame me for the destruction of a very tight knit church.
One of the former members of the church was tried and convicted for an offense committed years ago when he was a minor and he had to go through the courts, jail and now prison with no pastor to comfort him, because I was deemed unfit to be a minister of the word and sacrament. I get teary eyed every time I think of that loneliness and doubt he had to endure and no one was not there for him when he really needed a pastor.
My wife and I went to a nouthetic counselor who just validated my wife’s feelings of contempt and condemned me as a “porn addict”, even though I hadn’t used porn for a over a year and a half. He dropped us after a few visits, never admonishing her to repent of her 25 years of sexual defrauding. She became convinced that she has grounds for a biblical divorce because the white knight community has bellowed their scripture abuse in her ear: that to look another woman with any sexual desire is the same as committing acts of adultery and any act of adultery is grounds for a christian wife to divorce her husband and destroy the home.
Except for an anonymous blog using a pseudonym, I cannot repeat what I just described to anyone including my family, the former members of my church or even my current church; to do so would constitute a catastrophic failure to protect my wife and my son’s reputation. My mother and siblings think I am a failure and maybe some kind of pervert. I cannot correct them or defend myself, I must let them think what they will, even if I am a reproach to them. I am now woefully insufficiently employed, working a job with long hours for low pay, mostly alone and that requires me to miss worship most weeks.
A deposed pastor even with graduate degrees in computer science and in pursuit of a doctorate of ministry is not in market demand. Nobody really cares that I taught church history, christian worldview, was published or preached to large crowds. My public positions against popular sins of the day have made me anathema to many potential employers. Add to that a downcast spirit and … well you get the idea. I have lost the role of head in my home and live under the threat of divorce.
I live in a sexless marriage where the marriage bed is defiled and cold, a symbol of decades of defrauding. Unlike the divorced man who has to pick up the pieces and get on with a broken life, I live daily feeling anew the fresh agony of a ongoing defrauding and a life lost of purpose. In moments of weakness, I feel alone, unwanted and useless. This is the fruit of a defrauded marriage. I wonder if I broken my vows and had gotten a divorce if I would be nearly so despised.
I know that all things work together for good, but right now I am having a difficult time seeing how it will all work out.
Lord I believe! Help thou my unbelief!”
My response to Jonadab
Jonadab – I am so very sorry to hear how the poisonous influences of feminism in both your church and your marriage have essentially destroyed the life you once had.
After I read your story this passage of Scripture came to mind:
“When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.” – Psalm 27:10 (KJV)
Just substitute mother and father with wife, son and church. The Lord will take you up my friend. He can be a comfort to you during this difficult time.
I have a dear friend who some years back lost his ministry to false accusations. I knew him from high school. He got a degree in ministry and was so excited about serving the Lord and then he like you was betrayed.
I too have experienced and I know many who have experienced the unbiblical counseling that often goes on in Churches and other Christian ministries.
But believe it or not there are still some Bible preaching churches that would give you comfort and support. You might need to change denominations to do it, but they are out there. If you told your story to my Pastor you would have a very sympathetic ear. He would have issues with the porn, but everything else you have stated he would be right with you. He takes a hard stand against sexual denial in marriage when he does marriage counseling and he believes very strongly in Biblical authority in marriage.
Your story shows how feminism is not only destroying marriages, it is destroying churches as well. It has seeped into every area of our lives in America and Western cultures. That is why we must take a stand against it.
You can’t go back and undo the past, but you can influence the direction of the future. You may not be able to save your own marriage or your church, but you might be able to save other people’s marriages or other churches with these warnings.
You need to take a stand
Jonadab – there is something more that you can do. Yes we need to warn others and yes there are some things we can’t change. You won’t get your old ministry or old church back.
But you still have a marriage that needs you to be its head. We are all sinners and we all make mistakes. I am sure you have made other mistakes in your marriage and parenting but just from reading your story here are things that were NOT sin and NOT mistakes:
You preaching against feminism from I Peter was NOT a sin. You followed God’s Word and his leading. You have nothing to apologize for.
You using “visual aids” to give yourself sexual release because your wife was failing to meet your sexual needs was NOT a sin. The Bible lust which is covetousness, it does not condemn sexual arousal or sexual imagination or use of images.
It sounds to me like you tried to serve your wife and please her to the best of your ability and I am sure you were not always perfect in this, but this in no way justifies her behavior or her contempt toward you as her husband.
Your wife is acting in wicked rebellion toward you and God. In her selfish and self-conceited sin she thinks she is the only woman you may look at and she is determiner of where and when you are allowed to experience you God given sexuality as a man. She is completely wrong on this.
You need to get off your knees stand up and be the man God has called you to be. You must take back the leadership and authority in your home that you have abandoned for years.
If you want to know the area you have sinned in (based on your story) – it is in the abandonment of your duty to be the leader and authority in your home. I do not say this to shame you, but to encourage you to get up and do what is right. You have enabled sin in your wife and son’s life. Even if they do not recognize your authority to lead – you must lead anyway.
So the first thing you must do is a full self-examination with the Lord. Allow God to search your heart and reveal any sins you have committed and confess those to him. If you need to confess some actual sins (as opposed to perceived sins) against your wife or son then confess that to them as well.
Ask the Lord to give you courage because you are going to need it my friend.
“stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” – I Corinthians 16:13 (NASB)
You stood firm in the faith in your church and lost your church because of it. But you have not stood firm in the faith in your home – because I think you might fear to lose that as well.
But you must be prepared to take a strong stand that may result in your wife divorcing you (or you divorcing her) and further alienation of your son. But you must put God’s ways first. You must take a strong stand against sin.
I know in the beginning you believed that God called you to suffer with your wife’s sin of disrespect and denial. But I think now you realize that you have been enabling sin all these years. You have not used the tools that God gives to husband as the head of his wife and his home. Now you have the knowledge of what is right – you have only to act on it.
Find a Bible preaching church in your area – one where feminism is preached against without fear. Find support there and then begin the hard work of disciplining your wife.
See these two posts I wrote on the subject of Biblical discipline.
8 Steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal
7 Ways to discipline your wife
May God be with you brother. Remember – even when your own family stands against you, God will be there to lift you up.
15 thoughts on “Feminism destroys a Church and a Marriage”
Could fish for month with the can-o-worms this has in it!
This is a sad, sad tale, and one common amongst Christian men. An empowered wife, dangling church given authority over her husbands head until he mistakenly believes the false teaching that his suffering at the hand of his wife is somehow biblical or part of God’s calling in his life, rather than taking on the mantle of God given authority and leading his wife away from sin and rebellion. I hope and pray that Jonadab has the strength to go through the fire and come out stronger on the other side, like a sword tempered through flame, beaten, shaped, but stronger than before, and a powerful weapon for the one who wields it!
Sorry to hear what you have been going through. I am praying for you.
I have seen and read your comments on other blogs. I have always enjoyed and learned from your comments. You write and express your thoughts well.
So very sorry for Jonadab. Like Bee I have read his comments on other blogs and appreciate them a great deal. He is yet another victim of the feminine imperative whose bloodlust knows no end. There is in his telling however much for men to learn from, especially Christian men. First and foremost is the FI’s desire , as our old friend Rollo calls it, to pathologize the male sexual response. In other words shaming men for merely having normal sexual desire. Larry just wrote a good post about how some “good” Christian women called such a desire “childish”. The irony is that this view has been accepted whole hog by the Churchian establishment. That shaming is why the FI tells Christian men that they must jump through an endless succession of hoops to qualify themselves to gain merely the opportunity to receive intimacy from their wives. And all too often when they fail they turn to porn. They do this largely because they are too emasculated by what they have taught to assert themselves and clearly express their needs and expectations to their wives. That’s not what a “servant-leader” does. So they hide their sexuality behind closed doors. And what is their reward for hiding their needs, for their forbearance? They find that in turning to porn and leaving their wives alone they now stand accused by the Churchian FI of committing adultery!. With no one ever asking why would a married man have need to do such a thing. By what leap of logic can such things be ? Looking at a picture the equivalent of keeping a mistress? Yet this is the norm today in Christian circles, and so many men, good men, accept such madness as true..
The only solution is for Christian men to begin to see that they have been truly deceived by what their Church “leaders” have taught them on matters of sex and marriage. They must battle to regain their identity as healthy men with normal desires that they will not apologize for to anyone, inside or outside the Church. Or their homes.
How to help them get them to this place is part of the great struggle before us.
But tonight let’s offer a prayer for Jonadab. And his son.
I went through an unwanted divorce before. I discovered that God could still use me to minister to others even though I was going through a divorce. The people that He sent me to minister to were alcoholics when I was going through this divorce. I didn’t want to go there. All I wanted to do was cry.
Twenty seven years later I married again. Like the wife who divorced me, I thought that I had married a woman who loved the Lord. However, last year she announced that she no longer wanted to have sex because her estrogen level was very low (the doctor who told us that was sympathetic to her not wanting to have sex). This year in August, she told me that she never really loved me in a romantic way, still doesn’t, and that I have a pot gut, which are two more reasons that she doesn’t want to have sex with me. She said she married me because people (including me) pressured her to do so.
We are both missionaries here in Mexico. Before we got married, I told her that any woman who wanted to marry me had to agree to live here in Mexico where I am living. She said, “whatever the Lord’s will is”. I had her visit me here in the city where I live more than three months before we got married in Colombia, where she is from.
Since she moved here after marrying me, she has constantly expressed the desire to move back to Colombia, saying that she has no family here. If she does not even consider me as her husband to be part of her family, then who am I to her? She has also told me that when she is with her family in Colombia and away from me she does not miss me. However, when she is with me here in Mexico she feels very lonely and misses her family (especially her 34 year old son) a lot. She has been treated very well not only by me but by the believers here. She has a number of good women friends here.
So, last week I finally told her that I wanted her to go back to Colombia. I even helped her to make the purchase of the airline tickets on-line. Her plane leaves Mexico City on December the 6th and she bought a return ticket for March the 10th. However, if she wants to continue to have a sexless marriage, refuse to recognize my leadership in the home, refuse to be subject to me as her husband, is unhappy living with me here in Mexico where God has placed me, I will not allow her to come back here to live with me. This may sound harsh, but she has left me with no other alternative. I can live a celibate life living by myself, but not with a wife. And God doesn’t expect me to live that way with a wife. I have been praying constantly that my wife will repent (and will continue to do so), but if she never does, I am much happier living by myself than in a bad marriage.
I am in prison ministry here in Mexico. I know that God can still use me in this ministry in spite of my marital situation. He as done it before.
So, I really want to encourge Jonadab that God can still use you in spite of your marital situation. Many church people have a bad marriage these days. However, in most churches they can put up a good front that everything is O.K. in their lives. Perhaps God has called you to minister to the people who do not have it all together. God has always called me to minister to the rejects of society. Perhaps He has called you to a similar type ministry, not necessarily to prisoners, drug addicts, and alcoholics like He has called me, but to other people who are going through a lot of misery and who do not fit in a typical church setting.
If you are reading. I was a white knight as well. At least I tried to be, but it didn’t come natural. I was raised to do my own thing to the point that I was a lone wolf from middle school. I did my best to please her.
Redpill made me realize that the do my own thing previous self was what I should have been doing all along. My wife is the helpmeet. If she doesn’t want to help then I needed to overlook her and do it myself. If she wishes to be overlooked I am ok with that. If she doesn’t like being overlooked than she needed to get in line. This is coming about slowly like turning a cargo ship in the ocean.
I was treated like a stepfather and they never looked up to me. Now they are due to holding my frame. My wife claimed the spirit was “telling” her to do this or that. After confronting this when she changed I let her know this what she was doing was either a lie and manipulative or the spirit was wrong. She realized I was right and I also told her it was blaspheme. This got her attention. Things are better now that she realizes that if she left me and took my kids I would not only be free of her, but I would thrive. Only my Alpha and Omega can break me, and break me He did. I am grateful for Him breaking me so that I no longer idolize her or my marriage. So my advice is not to idolize your marriage or her. Look up Gospel Treason. I don’t condone or think he is perfect, but Brad has some good teaching on how we can idolize our spouse and marriage.
Long before we had name for it “FI” my Pastor has used a very similar phrase this:
“While God wants men to love their wives, be kind to their wives and honor their wives he does NOT want them to jump through hoops for their wives”
He literally uses that exact phrase all the time “Don’t jump through hoops for your wife”.
That is not to say that my Pastor is not sometimes inconsistent with his own teachings and other days sounds more beta, but he especially uses that “jump through hoops phrase” in regard to high maintenance and rebellious wives or toward women who sexually deny their husbands.
Dash – this was one of the main goals in my founding of this blog. It is to teach men that they do not have to be ashamed of being men as God designed them(aggressive, competitive, assertive, sexual…). God simply want us to channel all these great qualities within the bounds of his laws.
I also want to help women understand they don’t have to be ashamed of their natural instinct to want to have children and care for their husbands and their homes. The world shames this instinct and makes women think they are less if they do not have careers or want to serve their husbands and their children and their homes as God designed them to do.
“I know in the beginning you believed that God called you to suffer with your wife’s sin of disrespect and denial. But I think now you realize that you have been enabling sin all these years. You have not used the tools that God gives to husband as the head of his wife and his home. Now you have the knowledge of what is right – you have only to act on it.”
This is what I have a hard part understanding. His story is so horrific, and I’m amazed at his ability to write about it with so much conviction – after going through such massive loss and betrayal, he must be an amazing godly man.
But how does one know how much they’re called to suffer, and when it’s crossing into enabling another’s sins? It sounded to me like he was doing everything right, and that she was the one completely in the wrong here – on all accounts. But what you said resonated with me, Larry, about being afraid to lose his family because of taking a stand against his wife’s sin. Most men are terrified of impending divorce, so that would make sense.
I wonder what he has to think about your response?
Missionary to Mexico, it sounds like you’re doing the right thing. She is choosing to live in sin, to reject you and reject being a wife to you.
I don’t understand why she would marry you, pretend to be interested in doing God’s will, and then around and do exactly the opposite. Perhaps she was only using you for something? I’m so sorry.
I did not do everything right and I am not an amazingly godly man. I am a sinner who is totally dependent on the grace of Christ.
I got married when I was very young and quite foolish. At that time was studying for the ministry and married my high school sweetheart. I did not really understand that she was not all that thrilled about being a pastor’s wife. I’m not sure she understood her own reservations at the time either. She expressed to me her thoughts that both the pastor and his wife had to be blameless angels, because they live under a microscope. (How’s that for irony?) We were both sexually inexperienced and naive, but I was out of mind horny and so we were married. I lost my virginity on my wedding night. Sex was not just fun it was connection and oneness and my libido was in overdrive. I think perhaps she was overwhelmed at the intensity of my sex drive and it may have caused her to pull back some.
A year after we were married, I made the decision to leave my pre-seminary studies, because she was convinced that I fit did not fit the mold of a pastor, but looking back how could I? I was a young barely 20 year old smart alec kid and not like the serious fatherly pastors she had experienced. My humor was often irreverent and immature and I had plenty of rebel in me. (Many like me who were raised in the sixties were taught to rebel against tradition and practice.) I wonder to this day if I was motivated to mollify her concerns or because I didn’t want the sex to stop. I look back and think that the change of course was perhaps the most monumental mistake I have made; I should have found a way to lead her instead of letting her direct our path.
There was no manosphere back then and the marriage materials in Christendom were prudish and gynocentric. The meme that dominated was of the middle age man in a leisure suit with gold jewelry, driving a convertible, leaving his family to indulge his midlife crises. I certainly had no understanding of the alpha – beta dichotomy or hypergamy.
After leaving school I struggled to find my place in the world of business; as a result for years and I could not provide for the kind of security that her father had provided for her mother. I’m pretty sure that she interpreted this as a lack of ambition and a testament to a deficiency of my character. ( I certainly did) Her father worked at the same company his whole career and was financially secure. I started and stopped many endeavors never quite finding my mojo, eventually I finished college and then grad school. But the division I working in at the time was outsourced and I was never able to add the needed experience to my degrees to make them lucrative.
After thirty four years of marriage I have built an extensive list of sins and failures: I failed to provide the kind of financial security that she was expecting. I didn’t move up the corporate ladder or provide vacations to Europe. I am irritatingly analytical and annoyingly inductive, not really the emotional thrill that many women value. I blame her too much, thinking that if she were my cheerleader and not my critic things would have been different.
As you can tell, I am no super saint of a husband. I have tendencies toward arrogance and self pity and I am in most respects a failure of a man. But, my story is not finished yet, God gave me some gifts and my presbytery has encouraged me to keep exercising them, even without ordination credentials.
@ BGD – When does endurance become enabling?
You might want to know that when I taught that a husband is sanctify his wife with the washing and watering of the word, many fellow Christians condemned me for “beating her over the head with the Bible until she did what I wanted.” The deck is stacked against correcting a sinning wife, it is a common teaching that her submission is voluntary and it is therefore an act of abuse to reprove, correct, or instructing her in righteousness. Angry patriarch emotionally abusive and all that hysteria. Another example is that I was called to teach at a Pastors’ conference and I responded to one man who “confessed” to having a problem with lust, I emphatically stated that he did not have a problem with lust, but that he had a problem with his wife who was the outlet to channel his God-given sex drive. To say that did not go over well would be an understatement. No vegetable were tossed my direction, but then the conference room was pretty far from the salad bar.
Thank you for your kind and gracious thoughts and prayers. You are ministering to me by fulfilling the word of Paul below.
@ BGR. And that is why I very much appreciate your blog. Your mission here is something that I, to use the old Quaker term, have a concern about as well (or as we say now it’s on my heart). I spent way many lost years as a blue pill Churchian. My story is not too important, summary is alpha up though 20’s. Married, had kids, got religion and swallowed blue pill, came to crossroads, coughed up blue pill, swallowed red pill, kept religion. Life now not perfect but markedly better, Went from Nice Guy to Good Man with an Edge. I’m happier, wife positively giddy. With all that history how can I (like you) not try to help our brothers reclaim (or claim) their manhood?
@ Missionary. Here is my thought for what it is worth. Let me put bluntly what Dragonfly posed subtly. Your story is not uncommon when a third world woman marries a first world man. She likely viewed you as the gateway to a first world life, even though she knew you were committed to serving the less fortunate in Mexico. Maybe she thought she could use the art of feminine persuasion to change your vocation (and thus your location) or that even though you lived in the third world you had access to resources that would let her live a first world life there. Who knows. Doubt she’ll be back but if she does, she’ll have a plan. Stay on your toes. Women like that are capable of most anything.
@ Jonadab. I have read your writings in other places and there is so much to admire. And your pain is palpable brother. My opinion for what it is worth is that you have done all that a man can be asked to do in your marriage. . To continue on is pure masochism. A couple of weeks ago I shared a quote from Martin Luther that BGS turned into a nice post on his blog. You have probably forgot more Luther than I have read. But I always find it bracing and frankly liberating when I dip into the works of the giants of the faith. They often show us how far off our “Christian worldview” is from historic Christianity. And the reality is that worldview, particularly among American Christian of all denominations, is shaped by the feminine imperative. Take a look at the Luther blog post and see if he doesn’t suggest a different solution to your problem than you would get from 21st century Churchians.
Jonadab, I’m sure you know your own strengths and weaknesses better than I (some stranger) does, but as far as your telling of what maybe went wrong, there are several things that I think your wife could have done differently. Since I write on the subject of marriage often, and from a point of view that criticizes what wives do wrong to disrespect or hurt their husbands, I see a lot of red flags in what you said was her excusable behavior. This isn’t indulging in self-pity or victim mentality for you, it’s just looking at things the way the are/were – looking at the reality so that you don’t have so much shame.
We’ve known several Pastor friends now even family members who were Pastors, and I think all of them pretty much started out with nothing, or still in school, no promising jobs etc and had to live like this for many years before they found any success. We’ve heard their stories of starting out, pretty much all of them got married young (that’s what Christians do when they take their faith seriously and aren’t having premarital sex), none of them got married because of sinful scandal (getting their girlfriend pregnant), they all followed a pattern: they were virgins burning in lust, got married young as the Bible instructs instead of burn in their lust, started out with nothing most were still in school, and moved on in life from there.
Their wives were young, but extremely supportive of their husbands’ endeavors. They worked to help with the lack of income, several even put their husbands through school (seminary), their husbands also held down small jobs with little pay. But I don’t think any of them made their husbands’ lives miserable because they weren’t making enough to suit them already. Comparing your husband to one’s father is a HUGE mistake, and of course would cause all kind of trouble in a marriage – the father is older, has had YEARS of building up his career and life experience… a young husband just cannot compare to that example usually. So a wise young woman, doesn’t make that comparison, but does everything she can to support and encourage her own man to succeed at his endeavors.
We got married really young, too, my husband was a Catholic (but didn’t have a relationship with Jesus until we started seriously courting), and he wasn’t a virgin, but I was a virgin and wanted to wait until marriage. My parents didn’t want me to get married without finishing my college education, but I didn’t just have a couple of years, because I wanted to go on to grad school, it was more like 5 years of waiting, and I was already 20 about to turn 21. We were already burning in lust for each other, but my husband’s parents wanted us to just live together. We had our convictions that doing that would be wrong. So we married against their will, and have been extremely happy with that decision.
My husband struggled to provide for us for many years because we married so young without him finishing college, but I never made him feel guilty about this – he had enough guilt he put on himself! I tried to encourage him constantly, and actually felt responsible for the struggle we were in for wanting to get married young or letting him marry me so young – his parents and family blamed me as well, even telling him 5 years after we had married that I only married him so that I could have sex, that I didn’t really love him and had “pulled the wool over his eyes.” He was close to finishing his college degree when we got married, but changed his major to something he thought he’d enjoy better, so this put him behind in finishing his degree by a few years. The interesting thing that he pointed out was that when he hadn’t been married to me and was in college, he was doing worse with his grades and goals, but after he married me, he became a straight A student, and he accredited it to my support of him and encouragement and the pleasure he got from being married to me. He tried to point this out to his family, but I think it only made them resent me more – he was in effect saying that with them, he wasn’t doing well, but that I helped him succeed more than they did.
I got pregnant my senior year of college, but was still able to graduate before the baby turned 1. He, however, felt it was his responsibility to drop out of college to support us by working full-time; our plan was for me to get a job with my degree and then put him through the rest of his school. He decided to change his goals again back to what he originally wanted to do (but taking a different, faster route), So in effect, he had to start over… again. I did express my concern that he had changed his mind so much, and we went through a couple of months of stress and worry, but he actually came down pretty hard on me, saying that I wasn’t trusting God (and I wasn’t – I was mad at God at that time), had lost my faith in Him, and every time I would try to complain he would turn it around on me and say I was only looking at the negative things. It was true, too! I had let it make me pretty bitter (granted we were dealing with his family and they were pretty nasty and unaccepting of me, too). But finally his constant not putting up with my bad attitude helped me have a light bulb moment where I saw he was completely right! That I had tried to take away the reigns of him leading us, and was focusing on the negatives we’d already been through, when we were actually at a good place at that time (that I wasn’t allowing myself to realize because I was wallowing in self-pity). God had brought us out of our “Egypt” but I was still looking back at it and complaining bitterly about it as if we were still there.
Him constantly confronting me about this was what finally helped me repent, come back to God, and change my attitude. Maybe it was a major shit-test, I don’t know.
He kept the job he had had since our first year, it didn’t make much, but he was valued there (his boss was imperfect, but really did like him and loved us), my husband even started getting promoted where he was – everyone loved working under him because he was a good boss and very wise & fair. He kept on with his plan for his career goal, making good connections even in his old job, getting exceptional references, keeping a good relationship with his superiors. And I supported him fully, even though we were financially extremely poor and with a baby. I did my best to never make him feel ashamed though, Jonadab. He would feel those feelings of inadequacy come up, would lament his ability to provide efficiently, but I would squash them when he’d voice them, I would build him up with encouragement, I believed in him fully. When he got to the point of applying for his career choice job, he had to pass some tests and didn’t pass the last one, ,he was rejected the day before his birthday. It was a huge disappointment, but I immediately decided that I would have an attitude of gratitude and help him get through it. And we did! And a year later, and me finding a good job to put him through his training (that was only 7 months) he got employed and was well on his way to making his career goals come true.
It’s been a few years now, and he’s even had a promotion with increase in pay. He’s still hasn’t reached his ultimate goals with his career (it takes time to climb the ladder where he is) but he is intent on doing it, and I’ve supported him in every way I know how. I even attend a wive’s meeting monthly for his career choice so that I can make connections myself and help him succeed by understanding his career.
None of this would have happened if I’d stayed in self-pity mode, or compared him to my extremely financially successful father, or grown resentful of his decisions. I had to make that choice to stand by him, to pray for him without ceasing, to help him in any way I could to make his life easier, and meet his needs (making him LOTS of sandwiches lol and having lots of good sex to get through those emotionally hard times). If we hadn’t had a good sex life, I’m pretty sure we would have had major marital struggles in other areas. The frequency of our sex and the passion of it helped with the intimacy I felt with him and increased my emotional bond to him and in wanting to support him through anything.
My husband has admitted that there were times when he made “stupid” decisions and led us possibly the wrong direction. But even with us acknowledging that maybe that was the case, I made it a point to never blame him for it, I know he was leading the best he knew how, and ultimately God was in control of us anyway – and God always protected us and got us through. I definitely feel that if I had taken different views on his leadership, or acted differently in blaming or shaming him for leading us “wrong,” we would be in a much different place now. But supporting him through all his decisions and struggles, even if he maybe led us off the path, has brought us through and given us a beautiful marriage.
It was hard, but I believe it’s something that every wife can do for her husband. And it will change her life (and his life, and their kids’ lives) for her to support and cherish him, to meet all his needs even if they are in financial troubles.
Thanks for your compassion, Dragonfly! You are really a woman of God!
As I posted before, my wife said that she married me because people pressured her to do so and she was weak. However, knowing her character now, I don’t believe that anybody can pressure her to do anything that is against her will, not even God has been successful in doing this with her. I showed her and read to her 1st Cor. 7 two or three times, explaining why it is dangerous for a man to live in a sexless marriage. She didn’t budge. She said I should pray for God to take away from me the desire to have sex. I told her, “How can I pray for God to take away a desire that He put within me for the marriage?” She also said that I should have married a younger woman than her.
So, there are only two reasons that I can come up with as to why she married me, a man that she was not romantically attracted to. The first reason is that perhaps God did show her that I was the man that she was to marry in spite of her feelings and she obeyed God and married me. I hope that this was the reason that she married me. However, I suspect that the second reason was the case, that she married me because of the financial problems she was having. I did not suspect this at the time because she paid for all of the costs of the wedding in the church. I paid for all of the costs of the honeymoon. I thought that our marriage would be like that: That she would help pay for the household expenses, since she is receiving two pensions. (I receive Social Security retirement plus a small amount of offerings for my ministry.) She sold her house not long before marrying me. I suspect that she used the proceeds from the sale to pay for the wedding expenses in the church. In other words, she paid for my wedding outfit, bought the wedding rings, and paid for the expenses of the wedding reception, which included the food for the reception. I paid for the airfare to go on the honeymoon and for us to return to Mexico. I also paid for the costs of the hotel and the food during our honeymoon.
Since we have been living in Mexico, the only thing that she pays for is her clothing and her medical expenses. She does not contribute any money to the household and automobile expenses. She keeps wanting me to buy more things for the house, such as new furniture. I told her that with the money she is sending to her 40 year old son, we could easily buy new furniture. But, she feels that it is her duty as a mother to send money to her grown sons when they have financial problems. That I should simply believe God for the money to buy new furniture. She said that some women would have left me because of the furniture that I have.
Unfortunately, she listens to the prosperity message a lot on Enlace, which is the Latin American affliate of TBN. We are in sharp disagreement over multi-millionare preachers. I told her that it is a disgrace for a preacher to be a multi-millionare off of the tithes, offerings, and sale of his or her material to God’s people. She believes that it is a sign of God’s blessing. That because Abraham and Joseph (in the Old Testament) were rich, that preachers should be rich too. I told her that the New Testament needs to be our example as to how preachers should live, that neither the Apostle Paul nor any of the other apostles lived a luxurious lifestyle like many TV preachers today. In the 4th chaper of Acts, for example, the apostles received a lot of money which they distributed to the poor in the churches. They did not keep a lot of money for themselves to buy their own horses, chariots, boats, etc, so that they could get around better to preach in more places. (This is the excuse that rich preachers today use to buy their own jets.)
So, her love of materials things, which the rich preachers on TV promote, which is really the love of money, has been a major problem in our marriage. Before being a missionary in Mexico, I had a good paying job as a contract computer programmer. However, the Lord told me to prepare to leave all of that to be a missionary to the prisoners in Mexico. I obeyed God and lived a much more humble lifestyle after moving to Monterrey, Mexico. Even though I really liked programming computers, I was a lot happier after moving to Mexico and being a missionary to the prisoners in this beautiful country.
When the root cause of our happiness or unhappiness is based on the material possesions that we have, we really do not have a close walk with the Lord. This is why many times I feel like I am unequally yoked in this marriage. Please pray that the Lord would deliver my wife from the love of money and from her rebellious attitude in our marriage!
Thanks for your comments, Dash.
Unfortunately, since so many American women that I have known are not like Dragonfly at all, I decided not to marry an American woman again. I looked for a Latin American woman because I thought that a Latin American wife would be more submissive to me than a wife from the U.S. Boy, was I wrong about that!
Also, when I visited my fiancee, who is now my wife, for the first time in Colombia, she was living in a very nice house, was a retired professional, and was receiving two pensions. So, I didn’t think that she was interested in me for financial reasons. It looks like I was wrong about that, too!
She has been turned down twice to receive a U.S. visa, even though she has been married to a U.S. citizen. Because we do not live in the U.S. she cannot get a spouse’s visa. I asked someone why they would turn her down even though she is married to a U.S. citizen. The person told me that the U.S. immigration officlals suspected that she married me just so that she could go to the U.S., and after crossing the border she would tell me “¡Adios, viejo!”
However, I don’t believe that she married me just so that she could go to the U.S. She has no desire to live in the U.S. and I don’t have any desire to move back there since I am very happy to be living in Mexico as a missionary here. But, she has always had a desire since shortly after living here in Mexico to move back to Colombia. Her youngest son has been begging her to move back there. The emotional umbilical cord between them has never been cut. I believe that if this youngest son of hers were living here she would not want to move back to Colombia. (As I mentioned before, she calls this youngest son of hers on an average of more than 30 times a month. He was living with her before we got married.) There are a number of Latin American men who have a disease called “momistus”. I suspect that my wife wants me to go with her to Colombia mainly for financial reasons. Our custom has always been that when my wife goes on trips without me, she pays for all of her expenses for the trip. Therefore, she knows that if and when she moves back to Colombia without me she won’t be receiving any more financial benefits from me.
As BGR as said more than once, God’s desire for us who are call ourselves Christians is to be holy more than His desire for us to be happy. Many have been severely persecuted for the cause of Christ, not lusting after the riches of this world. But, how many preach this message today? It appears to me that many pastors do not preach this today because their congregations would shrink a lot if they did so!
Missionary to Mexico, thank you for your encouragement. I still have a long way to go in my own spiritual journey, there many times I get things wrong or do the wrong thing. I do love God, and I do love my husband… I think it’s learning how to love **other** people (especially people who harm others, false witnesses, false teachers, etc.) that I don’t understand well. But God’s teaching me lessons in that area LOL. Funny how that works.
I will pray for you with the decisions coming up in your and your wife’s lives. I’m so glad you aren’t allowing the drama to hinder your ministry; I’m sure many people here would agree you’re doing the right thing, that her listening to the prosperity gospel preaching style is wrong and undermining what God would want for both of you. She should be supporting you as a missionary and being grateful for everything you’re doing, and maybe even serving beside you and letting God use her in your ministry together. I’m so sorry she’s not.
It’s a great honor to be a wife of a Pastor or a Missionary, and not something to take on lightly. I’ll definitely pray for you for guidance and wisdom.