When we got back from our honeymoon, it was so exciting to set up our new apartment on our Bible College campus. The “married dorms” seemed so big and grown-up, and I put those thoughts about our honeymoon behind me…until Mark told me the news that “God” had told him I needed to give away my car.
He said were going to be a one-car couple, and that one car was going to be his old van. This was brand new news to me. I was shocked. What? I tried to bargain with him, but he would hear none of it. Again, he was the male, therefore the one who was supposed to be the “leader,” so though I pleaded, I had no choice but to do what he wanted.
The books and the teachings all said that a wife must submit to everything except for sin. And making me give away my car wasn’t sin. In fact, it was a good deed. Why was I so selfish? What was wrong with me?
So I sadly but obediently gave away my cute little car to a poor man who worked at our Bible school (not telling him that I *had* to, of course) and then had to get up an hour early in order to drive Mark to work every morning. That hour early was horrid. I had to drop Mark off and then sit in the parking lot of my work for an hour every morning until my job’d doors opened for the day. It was miserable.
He was very displeased at my lack of cheerfulness about the situation, and made sure to let me know, in a pastoral way, that it was a mark of my lack of spirituality. A good Christian would have gladly given up her car at the request of her spiritual leader/husband, you see. Spiritual leaders know best, and the role of a follower is to cheerfully submit.
I believed him, and then felt terrible for the way I felt, even though I still couldn’t force myself to be all bubbly about the situation… “Something must be wrong with me…” This would become a theme.
Mark then decided we weren’t going to have a TV, and had me give away my television and VCR. The same thing occurred as before; I protested, he refused to give an inch. I gave away my TV and VCR. I had to.
He also decided that the expensive limited edition guitar (that my famous song-writing relative had sent me) was going to be his. I protested and he declared his right to have it, and that was that. I was not given any options. He just took it, and played it without a pang of guilt. It was his. He said he was the better guitar player out of the two of us, so the guitar rightfully should be his. Plus, he bought me one from a pawn shop, so I should be happy and grateful for his gift. I tried to be happy, trying to be a good Christian, but inwardly I felt so violated.
The sad thing was that I was so confused by that time that I didn’t understand WHY I felt violated. In fact, I didn’t even know that “violated” was what I was feeling. I just felt really bad. I knew that something was really wrong, but what? If I approached him with my problems, my concerns, it was somehow always my fault. He was never to blame, and I, young and gullible, always believed him. By the time he was done talking, my brain was in knots and usually, I was apologizing. The something that was wrong—-it was me.
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