More On Amy-DaughterOfTheKing

Okay, so to be clear (concerning the assertion in comment #12 on my last post that I “promote” divorce): Claiming to be “for” or “against” divorce is like claiming to be for or against weather. It depends on the weather. In principle, I’m extremely against divorce; I basically hate it, and grieve, whenever I even hear about a divorce. In reality, I certainly understand how divorce is sometimes the neccessary, best option.

I have nothing but sympathy for Amy, as I do for anyone who is suffering. Believe me: With all my heart I’m on Amy’s side.

Also–again, just to be clear–I never advised Amy to just “walk away” from her marriage. That’s just not anything I actually wrote.

Here’s something I did write in the comments section in the original post (it’s comment #11): 

“By the way–just for the record and all–I certainly understand the way so many women really are victims of their husbands. And I understand how easy it is for a woman–especially a woman with children–to essentially become trapped in a bad relationship with a man. As I’ve said elsewhere on this blog, my wife works for an organization that basically saves victims of domestic violence. And I’ve worked in shelters for such places myself. I’m very familiar with the whole … universe of domestic violence.

“Women trapped in bad relationships have a whole bunch of stuff they need to do. One of those things is to learn to take responsibility for the role they played in arriving where they’re at. I was just meaning, here, to Amy, to emphasize that particular aspect of her healing challenge. I know it’s not the only thing she needs to do; it’s just the one I chose to emphasize.”

So, there’s …. that stuff I also said.

Anyway, right: Relationships are difficult. I actually think they’re the most challenging and important thing any of us ever do in life. So of course I’m sympathetic to the challenges Amy is facing. Okay? (And I really am a Christian. Promise. [I can't believe how often it happens that the first thing a Christian says to you if they taken exception to something you've said is that you're not really a Christian. It's just bizarre. And exceptionally offensive, of course. Which I'm sure is the primary intent in saying something like that. So many people seem like they just live to be angry and fight, yes?])

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter. If you shop at Amazon, help support John by entering the site through this link right here--Amazon will then send John 3-4% of the cost of anything you buy before exiting the site again.

 

  • http://www.1truebeliever.wordpress.com wickle

    John, I would call myself generally anti-divorce, which might seem strange, considering that I have also said that filing for divorce was one of the only nice things my ex-wife did in the last three years of our marriage.

    Absolutists such as the writer of comment #12 sometimes don't consider the full ramifications of the situation.

    Four years ago I was dying with an emotionally-abusive wife teamed up with her parents literally trying to drive me to suicide. (The day after I confessed to my wife that I'd been having suicidal ideation, I found a razor blade sitting on the side of the sink.)

    A group from church that was trying to help me said outright that they were considering telling me that I needed to leave. Those men were one of our elders, the head of my Bible study group, and our church's worship minister.

    And make no mistake, we're hardly a liberal church. But we're also not a church that expects people to die for Pharisaical commands. I had to get out of that house.

    As to your greater point — shouldn't I have known this? I would have, had I been an active Christian when we were dating. I came to live out my faith after our marriage, and she hated me for it. I'll spare you the rest of the saga. We were both nominal, sometimes-church-attenders when we got married. She became a hardened atheist and I became a fervent believer.

    Anyway … you're right not to want to give advice without knowing the whole story. There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all answer.

    And, yes, it's sad that so many Christians are so quick to accuse each other of not being so. But I'm halfway through a blog on that very subject, so I'll leave it at that.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Wow. What a great, thoughtful, extremely interesting post. Thank you for that. I look forward to reading your piece on accusatory Xtians. (That business with the blade by the sink is freakin unbelievable. Just … unspeakable.)

  • samwrites2

    "That's me in the corner. That's me in the… spotlight. Losing my religion." – REM

    Wow, I found your blog totally appropriate, convicting and informative – this both from your writing, John, and the responses. Some people need to be a little more thoughtful about their comments, too, and put away the torches and pitchforks.

    Look at John's entire body of work before judging him, or at least look at God and then yourself. Okay, maybe I'm being too judgemental here, but come on folks! He's giving his opinions based on his personal knowledge and experiences detailed above. Let's take it at that before running for the noose and let's comment in a loving, thoughtful way.

    His blog has proved useful to me. I can see where I've been as hurtful as some of the husbands detailed in his blog entry and comments left on it. I repent.

    I got this by reading his blog to see what I could get out of it, not as an editor or theologian to see how I could correct John.

    Thanks John.

  • http://www.barethoughts.com/blog tam

    Wickle – I donlt know what to say, other then I am so glad you had the strnegth to leave, and very glad you had the support of your church. I am sickened by your ex…

    John – I am not a Christian (although I do believe in Christ and most of his message, don't ask – you probably don't want to know my beliefs) but do respect much of what i think the Christian spirit should be. I see that spirit in your posts, wickles, and some other bloggers… I see that in most of the Chistians I know personally.

    Where I don't see it is by some of those that are the most vocal in saying they are Christians (as if saying it makes it true), especially those that judge and condemn others based on their beliefs… I see those that say you aren't a true Christians as those not showing the true spirit.

    They make me scared… people like you and wickle give me faith that we can all get along and respect others differences, including different beliefs…

  • http://mhogue.wordpress.com mhogue

    I agree with hermipowell. It's easy to give someone the easy way out when they are struggling, but to really tell them to obey God in the matter, that's another story. I've always wondered if God is ALWAYS against divorce, or if He takes it on a case-by-case basis like we so often do. I would never want someone to get divorced, but then I know people who have been divorced and I completely see why it never would have worked out between them.

  • http://healingthewoundedfeminine.blogspot.com Julie Smith

    It's so easy to speak with authority on things we know little about! That's probably where most ill-informed statements about divorce come from. We can only understand when we have enough perspective and insight into some subjects–especially divorce. I'm always amused by our efforts to project on God how God feels about certain things. It is difficult enough to figure out how I feel!

    For many years I struggled with the criticism and negative reactions of fellow christians regarding my personal life path. I chose to leave an abusive relationship. There is absolutely no way to inform all of the well-meaning "saints" of the details of an intimate relationship like marriage of why it is not working. It is really not their business and it would be un-Christ like to expose the weaknesses of the partner you are divorcing. Without all of the details and reasons why something is not working, people really have no idea.

    At some point, I had to learn to accept that people reacted to their own wounds and prejudices about divorce and those reactions had little or nothing to do with me. We project our fears, worries, insecurities, and pain onto others.

    Anyone who thinks that you walk away from a marriage without horrible pain and suffering has never been through it.

    To experience divorce is like death. Except there are no sympathy cards, grieving ceremony or casseroles. No phone calls, no offers for prayer and support. People walk through divorce alone.

    This is true outside of the church also. How might we as "Christians" treat one another differently? Less judgment? Loving acceptance? Less arrogance? More oneness?

  • http://fullness.wordpress.com hermipowell

    Julie Smith. I understand you've been through serious pain, but some of us well-meaning saints really are well-meaning. Divorces are full of right and wrong and "how I feel" statements, it's the tree of knowledge of good and evil. At some point as Christians we need to consider the relationship that we made with Christ (tree of life) as an even more intimate relationship than the one we have with our spouse and if we committed the marriage relationship to God, yes He does have feels about the covenant that we made. Based upon your strong feelings and offenses even after your divorce I wonder if you've been able meet with the Lord and hear His heart for your situation, if you did you would begin to heal. I say that from experience. Blessings

  • http://fullness.wordpress.com hermipowell

    Yes, some people do live to fight. I used to kinda be like that. Now I live life to the fullest.

    As for divorces, I believe that more of us “Christians” need to be on God’s side in the matters and not take sides with people who are struggling. My marriage is one example of recovery upon seeing and receiving God’s view on my marriage. We certainly did not need anyone to take sides with us. God is not on our side, We are on His. I just say that for people who may be struggling if it helps them.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    I think it breaks God’s heart when people get divorced, because it means so much has gone so terribly wrong in the hearts and minds of people who once were so in love they excitedly bonded themselves together for life.

    But, yeah: Case by case, for sure. Like, I’m constitutionally opposed to divorce: it drives me crazy when people decide they just can’t work it out, and walk away. My parents got divorced, and as a kid I stayed awake every night yearning for them to get back together. So of course that probably plays a big part in why I’m so basically anti-divorce.

    My wife’s parents, however, DIDN’T get divorced, and she wishes they would have. So it’ll happen–as it has recently with a couple we know–where I’ll be going, “I can’t BELIEVE those two have just given up and are ACTUALLY GETTING DIVORCED!!” and gnashing my teeth and rending my clothes about it, and Cat (wife) will be going, “Screw that. So-and-so is a JERK. She’s better off without him.”

    So I’m divorcing my wife. I’m tired of her arguing with me.

    No, but you see my point. It’s that … no one can ever decide anything without first filtering it through their childhood traumas.

    Wait, wait. That wasn’t it…

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