Adventures in Recovery – The Help

by Calulu

Last week Josie and I did something we would have never dared do back in our card-carrying super-fundie bread-making frumper-wearing days. We went into that darkened den of iniquity…*cue the music* dumm-dumm-dummmmm… The Movie Theater.

Back when we both were at PCCF, movies were frowned upon except things like “Ben Hur” or “Veggie Tales” or that Mel Gibson’s Jesus Chainsaw Massacre. Most were branded purposely anti-Christian. We still sometimes slunk off to see things like “March of the Penguins” or “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” hoping that no one in leadership from PCCF church was lurking about the town’s only movie theater in the downtown of our small city.

We went to see “The Help”. We’d been talking about it for weeks. Josie spent a large dose of time as a military brat living in Georgia in the early sixties and the promos for the movie struck a sweet nostalgic chord in her. I wanted to see it because the way the lives of the white women lived in the book was my childhood. I grew up in a very well to do family in South Louisiana. We had a cook, a housekeeper, a nanny, gardener and my father had a driver. All were African Americans.

The first real unconditional love I experienced was from my nanny, just like most of the white characters in “The Help.” My mother was busy with her ladies that liquid lunch friends and when she was home she would spend literal days locked in her boudoir drinking whiskey, reading romance novels and eating bon bons. We had very little time together and almost no bond. The people that raised me, parented me and loved me until I was 13 were our servants and my father. So I really wanted to see this movie from the side of those that raised others children and did the real work of parenthood in those times and that strata of society.

Josie and I sat in the middle of the mostly deserted theater and giggled, whispered, cried and laughed over this film. Behind us we could hear our own age African American counterparts doing the same thing. After the movie Josie and I were standing in the parking lot as the other duo of ladies emerged from the building and walked up to us. We all started talking about those times, even if we were all small children back in the early sixties. We laughed, we cried, we shared our hopes for the future and for history to not be forgotten. An hour later we exchanged hugs and phone numbers after deciding we were going to start having lunch together a couple times a month.

That would have never happened if either Josie or I were still at PCCF because both of us would have been mentally spouting scriptures about being ‘unequally yoked’ knowing that spontaneous friendship with others not affiliated with PCCF would be out of the question.

Full post …

[Read more...]

NLQ FAQ: The Bible & Accountability in Marriage – Part 2: The Marriage Covenant & Covenant Breaking

by Kristen Rosser ~ aka:KR Wordgazer

Part 1 of this FAQ addressed ideas for helping your marriage when following the teachings of Quiverfull does not work as you had understood it was supposed to. But the Bible does not teach that being a Christian is a formula, or that your actions will guarantee the response of someone else. Each person has his or her own choices to make, and ultimately, they are that person’s choices alone. You cannot force your husband to do the right thing, and this brings us to the very difficult question asked at the end of Part 1:

But what if my husband is completely unrepentant and refuses to change behaviors that, if I am honest with myself, I must admit are harming my children, our marriage and myself? Is there anything I can do then?

The Bible regards marriage as a solemn contract, or covenant. A covenant is a kind of treaty between two parties, characterized by promises that need to be kept. When a covenant has been violated– when one of the parties breaks the covenant promises so frequently, callously or heinously that the wronged party must consider it irrevocably broken– there are ways for the one who has been wronged to end the covenant. Marriage is no different. In Jeremiah 3, Israel’s covenant with God is pictured as a marriage contract. God had kept His covenant promises, but Israel had continually broken them without repentance or any attempt to right the wrongs. In verse 8 God says, “And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce. . . .” God describes Himself here as the wronged party in a marriage covenant. The promises of the covenant had been broken beyond repair– not by God, but by Israel. God’s divorce of Israel did not break the covenant; it merely acknowledged that the covenant had been broken. But God nevertheless described Himself as getting a divorce. Since God would never sin, it could not have been wrong for Him to get a divorce– because He was not the one who broke the covenant. Covenant-breaking is a wrong that we must avoid; but when the other party has irretrievably broken the covenant, the wronged party is not obligated to pretend that the covenant is intact. It is up to the wronged party to decide when enough is enough. Forgiveness is important, but forgiveness alone will not restore a broken covenant. The party who broke the covenant must repent and bear the fruit of repentance, showing a real desire to change his ways and beginning to honor the covenant again. Israel refused to do so in Jeremiah 3, and the Bible gives us a picture of God finally deciding that enough was enough, and withdrawing from His covenant with Israel.

But doesn’t God say, “I hate divorce” in the Book of Malachi? And didn’t Jesus say, “what God has joined together, let not man separate’”?

We will examine more closely what Jesus said shortly, after examining the shared understandings He and His audience would have been working under, that we today may be missing (see the FAQ “Quiverfull and the Bible” for more about original intent and shared understandings between the author and audience of biblical texts). As for Malachi 3:11-16, here is what it says: “Judah hath dealt treacherously. . . and hath married the daughter of a strange god. . . Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously; yet she is thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. . . Therefore take heed your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. For the Lord, the God of Israel saith that he hateth putting away, for one covereth violence with his garment. . .”

God was angry because in this case, the divorce itself was a breaking of the marriage covenant, for the women who were being divorced had done no wrong. Instead, it was the men divorcing their wives without cause who were doing wrong, committing treachery against the covenant by marrying other women. It was the breaking of the covenant that God hated, for He looked at it as tantamount to committing violence and then covering it over. When the marriage covenant has not been broken, then divorce itself breaks the covenant and is therefore wrong. But in the case where the covenant is already broken, divorce could not be wrong, or God would not have spoken of Himself as initiating a divorce.

Full post …

[Read more...]

NLQ FAQ: The Bible & Accountability in Marriage – Part 1: Bringing Real Change to Your Relationship

by Kristen Rosser ~ aka:KR Wordgazer

I have done my best to be a submissive and supportive ‘helpmeet’ to my husband in every way possible, but though I hardly want to admit it, it doesn’t seem to be working the way I thought it would. Sometimes I feel torn between being a good wife and protecting my children from potential damage from a lack of Christian character in their father. You are saying Quiverfull teachings could be making matters worse. How, and why? And what can I do to help make things better? 

If you have read the FAQ entitled “The Bible and the Nature of Woman,” you may remember that the words translated as “help meet” in the KJV are the two Hebrew words “ezer,” meaning “strong aid or rescuer” (which is most often used of God as the “help of Israel“); and “kenedgo,” which means “facing him” (or as we might put it today, “face to face”). God intended the woman to be her husband’s “face-to-face strong aid,” not his subordinate assistant. This is what a man needs. After the Fall, according to Genesis 3:16, the man began to rule over the woman; but in so doing, he was cutting himself off from what he needed most.

Christ came to bring a new kingdom, or a new Creation, spiritual rather than fleshly, in which the damaged relationships of the Fall are being healed. This is why 2 Corinthians 5:16 says, “Wherefore henceforth we know no man after the flesh,” and why Galatians 3:28 says, “there is neither. . . male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” What a husband needs is for his wife to become that face-to-face strong aid that God originally designed her to be. This means seeing yourself as his co-leader, stepping up to shoulder with him the responsibilities of leading the home and children, side by side.

This may surprise him at first, but many men, once they experience it, will gratefully welcome the co-leader relationship. Sometimes a man, feeling the burden of being the sole leader in the family, fears failure and feels alone, because as they say, “it’s lonely at the top.” He shrinks back or slacks off, coasting on his wife’s subordinate service and submission as she desperately tries to do all the work while still making him feel like “king of the home.“ The result can be a man who secretly despises himself and resents his wife. The combination of taking care of him and treating him like royalty (or a spoiled child) can be extremely unproductive– for both of you.

At other times a husband might become a micro-manager, feeling that the sole responsibility for everyone’s spiritual well-being is on his shoulders. Letting all the responsibility rest on him may seem right, but you’re not doing him any favors. He needs an “ezer kenedgo.” He needs the two of you to be adults together, facing the adult responsibilities together. And he needs to let the spiritual well-being of the family rest where it belongs– squarely on the shoulders of Christ Himself. A mere human man cannot be anyone’s savior or sanctifier. He must let God be God in the lives of his loved ones. Your husband needs to be allowed to be merely human, but also be held accountable to be a responsible adult.

Full post …

[Read more...]

Throwing Out the Moral GPS

by Sierra

Growing up in fundamentalism was like living with a moral GPS navigator installed in my head. Every decision was mapped out already; all I needed to do was listen to the voice telling me where to go. Sometimes I could stop and look at the map. Most of the time I was looking ahead, trying to live, listening and following directions as best I could.

The GPS gave me directions for living: Read the Bible and pray every day. Obey your parents. Be respectful of elders.

Those directions made sense. They were there to help me get where I wanted to go: straight ahead. There were no twists and turns yet.

Then the directions got a little stranger: Listen to one of Branham’s sermons every day. Wear long skirts. Be modest. Grow out your hair. Throw away worldly music. Throw away makeup. Look down on public-schooled kids. Don’t watch TV.

The GPS gave me directions for my relationship with my parents: Ignore your father’s rage and violence. Win him to Christ by silence. Submit to him as your earthly head until you are married. Follow the chain of command.

It gave me directions for relationships with boys: Don’t touch. Don’t laugh too much. Don’t be alone with them. Don’t give away pieces of your heart. Wait for God to bring you your husband.

It gave me directions for lifetime ambition: Your greatest calling is to be a wife and mother. Choose a vocation you can pursue at home, while raising children. Learn to cook and sew. Don’t venture out into the world.

The cacophony of advice was deafening. More troubling still, I felt a tug, a conflict in my soul. There was something wrong with the directions.

“Turn right.” They said. “Turn right. Turn right. Turn right.”

Full post …

[Read more...]

Vyckie Garrison on the Thom Hartmann "radio" show

If I’d have known this interview was going to be available on YouTube video, I’d have sat up straight, fixed my hair, and put on some jewelry. Pay no attention to me rocking in my rocker as I speak … at least I wasn’t in my bathrobe. LOL

It was a very quick 10 minutes of fame – which made it difficult to accurately represent what Christian patriarchy and Quiverfull are really about … :S [Read more...]