Justice is No Lady: Chapter 6 ~ In Which Nate Takes Up Racquetball

Warning: This story series contains descriptions of physical abuse.by Tess WilloughbyI tried to conceal my misery, fatigue, and desperation from the members of our new church. We had not been there very long when people began to notice how spaced-out and jumpy Tess Willoughby was. Our pastor, Mike, and our assistant pastor, Randy, both expressed concern about me.I was pregnant for the seventh time, and I dreaded another pregnancy, birth, and recovery. The clandestine feedings of Matt had delayed this pregnancy—this baby would be two whole years younger than Matt, a personal record. Matt’s birth in 1998 had been in the hospital—my first hospital delivery—because Nate had health insuran … [Read more...]

Justice is No Lady: Chapter 5 ~ In Pursuit of Biblical Theology

Warning: This story series contains descriptions of physical abuse.by Tess WilloughbyHannah was born at home in spring of 1996.  By this time, Nate had a better job at a personal injury law firm and we were able to get a three-bedroom house.Satan must have followed us, because now there were lesbians having sex in the mailbox and Nate had no idea how the pervert porn peddlers got his name and address again.I was still in a stupor, still worshipping my cult leader. The lights were on in my brain but no one was home. I think, however, that my brain’s doorbell started ringing in 1996, and Tess’s Good Sense began its three years of patiently knocking, waiting to be invited back in. Doubt … [Read more...]

Justice is No Lady: Chapter 4 ~ Second Prison Break and the Norfolk Years

Warning: This story series contains descriptions of physical abuse.by Tess WilloughbyIt was 1995. Nate’s grandmother’s basement was orange. It was wallpapered in a fifties motif with little vinyl record albums. My husband, the newly minted Christian attorney, had been in this basement on his laptop computer, hooked up to the internet, for six months.I sat and looked out the basement window, the bottom of which was level with the dirt, and begged Nate for the thousandth time to disconnect and spend some time with his wife and three babies. Nate would come out of the basement only for food, sex (I had the wrong lingeré still), evening TV, and excursions to the grocery store. And to sleep … [Read more...]

Created To Be His Help Meet ~ An Open Letter to Debi Pearl

by Africaturtle Dear Debi, It’s been a few years now since I read your book Created to be His Help Meet for the first time. I am married to a Mr. Command Man, as per your book’s description. My mom gave me your book for Christmas the first year I was married (six years ago now). She told me it was the best book she had read on the subject, and after reading it I was convinced it was too. (I had already read many other Christian books and periodicals on godly womanhood, including those of Mary Pride, Nancy Campbell, and a few from Vision Forum.) As a new wife and soon-to-be mother (I was pregnant within the first month after our wedding) I soaked up all of your stories and advice, expecting wh … [Read more...]

Justice is No Lady: Chapter 3 ~ Company of the Faithful

Warning: This story series contains descriptions of physical abuse.by Tess WilloughbyAt Regent University, I had lots of role models. Sweet-tempered women were submitting to their husbands, keeping their student apartments immaculate, and having babies right and left. I learned to buy wheat berries from the local co-op and grind them to bake bread. We were Stepford Wives, only hugely, proudly fertile. We grew herbs. We read books on natural childbirth. We prayed for God to make us more meek and submissive. And we prayed for our dear darling hubbies over at the Christian law school who were going to usher in a new American Revolution and turn this country around. “Shh! Quiet! Daddy’s stud … [Read more...]

NLQ FAQ: The Bible and Male Headship – Part 3

by Kristen Rosser ~ aka: KR WordgazerThe question we began with was:Doesn't the Bible say the man is the head of the woman and that the husband is the head of the house, the instrument of God for directing the family? Isn't he God's designated authority, the one God holds responsible for all decision-making on behalf of the couple and their children? We have looked at the question of male “headship” in light of the Bible’s overarching “Great Story,” and we have examined Ephesians Chapter 5 in light of ancient cultural understandings and original word meanings. Now we turn to some of the other passages and the questions they raise.But doesn’t 1 Peter 3 say Sarah obeyed Abraham and ca … [Read more...]

NLQ FAQ: The Bible and Male Headship – Part 2

by Kristen Rosser ~ aka: KR WordgazerThe question being asked in Part 1 was:Doesn't the Bible say the man is the head of the woman and that the husband is the head of the house, the instrument of God for directing the family? Isn't he God's designated authority, the one God holds responsible for all decision-making on behalf of the couple and their children? With the understanding from Part 1, of how the covenant community of the church fits into the Bible’s Great Story as a redeemed spiritual family-- a family in which all Christians are brothers and sisters and God is our Father-- let’s begin now to examine some of the passages that refer to men as “head.” As discussed in "Quiverf … [Read more...]

Reflections on what went wrong

by Jo @ Woman ReclaimedWe're rapidly approaching the anniversary of when I lost my life as I knew it. I'm finally to a point where I feel strong enough to boldly face where we went, what went wrong and what we messed up so very badly. We fell down the rabbit hole of Patriarchal matrimony. We didn't necessarily mean to do so. Certainly, we never thought we were down so far as we truly were. We thought we didn't fully believe in wife-only submission. We thought we never believed that the wife's salvation is based upon the Husband's favor. In more ways than I ever understood until the journey of this last year, we did fall into the trap.Just in case anyone is wondering what my opinion on … [Read more...]

Justice is No Lady: Chapter 2 ~ First Prison Break

Warning: This story series contains descriptions of physical abuse.by Tess Willoughby1993 was a rough year. It was the year that Nate was fired from his engineering job in Tazewell, Virginia, and first started thinking about studying the law. It was the year when we went to a conference and met a pastor who advocated corporal punishment for wives, and Nate took to his teachings like a duck to water. It was the year I had Jack, who was conceived a few months after Daniel’s birth. Most notably, 1993 marked my first attempt at a separation from Nate.Daniel had been born at home. Nate and I were part of the Christian separatist movement of the late ’80s and early ’90s, rooted in the belief … [Read more...]

Justice is No Lady: Chapter 1 ~ Twisted Communion

Warning: This story series contains descriptions of physical abuse.by Tess WilloughbyOn my wedding day, I embraced a new religion.  I marched up the aisle on my father’s arm, in a white lace gown with monstrous leg-o-mutton sleeves—very fitting for a lamb going to the slaughter.No bride was ever more madly in love, or more giddily romantic, or more enraptured with her white church wedding.  It was my greatest accomplishment; it was my reward from God for being virtuous and pure. Saying vows that I wrote myself, I outdid every right-wing, anti-feminist bride on earth. I promised to obey and submit and never speak a word against my husband until either I was dead or he was—but I think I … [Read more...]


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