When I shut off my brain and became willing to do whatever Mark said, he was delighted. Absolutely delighted. And everything changed. Everything. The first thing he did was give me a list on how I was to clean the bathroom. I had daily chores and weekly chores from him, down to minute details.
I remember the first day I followed his list. I was humiliated. It was as if I was a child again and he was the parent. I told him that, too (in a humbled and submissive way, of course) and he smiled and said, “Exactly. Your parents did a terrible job of raising you when it comes to cleaning, and now God has given you to me so that I can raise you and help you become the way you should be.”
I worked through the humiliation, swallowed my feelings (something I would do daily from there on out) and soon obeying Mark’s whims and will became the norm. There wasn’t really much choice. I mean, every time I didn’t obey Mark, even in the slightest thing, I was in rebellion against God and in league with Satan.
Plus, if Mark wasn’t there to patiently and gently correct my rebellion, my own head would do it, so fearful I was at being the rebellious woman that the prophetic word from God had warned me about. No. I loved God and because of that, I *would* obey my husband and do it cheerfully.
I talked to myself regularly, as I folded laundry, as I did my chores, about how great it was, how wonderful my calling was, how amazing my husband was, hoping to get my rebellious thoughts in check, and, surprisingly, all that self-talk began to work. Cheerful obedience began to become more and more natural and habitual for me.
With my brain shut off, it was pretty easy to keep me in line. Mark controlled everything. I had control ONLY over the things he allowed me to control. He helped me see that it was all for my good. It was only because he *loved* me so much that he was doing it. I was immature, but he was mature. I was not wise, but he was very wise. I was spiritually defective, but he would help me see the light. I actually reached a point where I came to believe these things and more. He would tell me how lucky I was that he had saved me. I actually felt sorry for other women.
Mark said we were going to move to a far away state. I didn’t want to move to this particular state, and I told him so, but that didn’t matter. Mark said we were going to go to the conservative evangelical church a town away. I didn’t want to go there, for a few important reasons (to me), and I told him so, but that didn’t matter.
Mark knew I didn’t, he always knew I didn’t, but he didn’t think that what I thought meant anything…because *he* was right. He was always right. I loved gardening and I loved animals, but I wasn’t allowed to have either.
Most of the time, he would make everything into a moral issue. What he liked was godly. What he didn’t like was sinful. So if I liked something that he didn’t like, I was liking something sinful. Everything was moral. If I didn’t stop at a stopsign, I was immoral. If I didn’t do something just the way he wanted it done, it was a sin. My fearfulness grew in this kind of environment. You just never knew what was going to be declared a crime against God…
[Look for a continuation of Journey's story in a new NLQ story series ...]
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A Tale of a Passionate Housewife Desperate for God by Journey:
The God Card by Journey:
- Thoughts On Patriarchal Teachings
- Subordinate but Equal
- Thoughts From The Excellent Wife
- Ask Your Husband
More from Journey:
- Dear Happy Full-Quiverer …
- It’s Complicated: Why It Wasn’t As Obvious As It Seems Like It Should Have Been
NLQ Recommends …
‘Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland
‘Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce