Submission and Prison Cells: Part 1

cells

by Melissa Permission To Live Almost five years ago, I was a devout conservative Christian. I had been married over two years, had a toddler Ms Action running around and a baby Ms Drama due in a few months. I loved my spouse beyond what I had ever thought love was when we first got married, and I still dutifully tried to keep the house immaculate and dinner on the table by the time he walked in the door. I read lots of books on marriage and childrearing, and I gave some of them away too. I remember in particular giving away copies of “To Train up a Child” and “Be Fruitful and Multiply”. I did my best to live up to the ideas I found in the Bible, the Christian books and magazines I … [Read more...]

Happily Abused

Can you say, "Stockholm Syndrome'?

Trigger warning: Christian woman's advice to abused wives reads like a handbook for ascetic self-mortification. How to Use a Woman's Faith & Trust to Make Her a Willing Accomplice to Her Own Abuse by Vyckie Garrison After stumbling across yet another piece of alarmingly dangerous advice for abused women of faith titled, Surviving Emotional Abuse Six Steps by Christian author, Darcy Ingraham, I am wishing I had more middle fingers with which to express my extreme irritation. Ack! I will try to calm down long enough to use my words rather than profane gestures to talk about spiritual abuse. To begin with the author assumes that only those husbands who abandon their faith … [Read more...]

Snipped! Part 6: The Fun Little Church

by Incongruous Circumspection Bill Gothard’s weekly marriage class was run by Pastor John Hartzell and his young protégé, Chuck Raichert in a little Independent Fundamental Baptist Church in Bloomington, Minnesota. Normandale Baptist was the name. The seminar was called Rebuilder’s and was all about loving Jesus Christ so much that your husband or wife simply rushed back into your arms and lived happily ever after. The only problem, it never worked that way. It merely created religious zombies with strict principles. Mama was one of these zombies. She would have hours of “conversation” with my dad over the phone. She never let him speak. You knew when he tried by the … [Read more...]

Rebuilding

rebuilding

by Bruce Gerencser Nine years have passed since I preached my last sermon, since my wife was called the “pastor’s wife.” Almost four years have passed since my wife and I determined to stop attending church. We are now among the “unchurched”, casualties of a life spent in Evangelical Christianity. Worse yet, at least according to our critics, we are now enemies of Christ and his church. You see, we not only left the Church, we left Jesus. Regardless of how some Christians parse our lives through their peculiar theological system, we are indeed two people who once were devoted, committed followers of Jesus, who are now described as an atheist husband and his … [Read more...]

Millipede: Part 6

patriarch

by Millipede I hated the the underlying spirit which had crept into our marriage; it was a peevish, disapproving air that my husband had taken on. In our "heathen" days my husband had a happy go lucky air. This was endearing and made up for the fact that he could be irresponsible. Under Christian patriarchy this changed. Not only was he now "head of the household", but he was responsible for making sure that we lived a "Godly life". This permeated every bit of our life as we didn't want to be "Sunday Only" Christians; God was not someone that we turned our back on for the other six days of the week. This affected how I dressed, what we ate, what entertainment we watched or listened … [Read more...]

Who Was That Masked Man? Part 5

by Calulu So when we left off Tina was still believing that Tom was coming home. We were having nothing to do with the Smiths and Tom doesn't come home. What he does do is go to my husband and ask him to talk to me about working a few mornings a week at his office to transfer all his paper documents into digital on his new computer system. I don't want to do it but it's a little slow that spring in my job so I grit my teeth, bite my tongue and start going into his office for four hours every morning. I know this is a mistake but hey, there's not much going on to prevent me and Tom isn't going to be there at the same time as me, win-win. I'm such a sap. Plus I'd quit working at the … [Read more...]

Millipede: Part 5

headless

by Millipede   Peevish men, wives who watched every word and worse they really embraced the submission beliefs. The wives would gripe very rarely about their husbands and the work and if they did they were sure to say that they weren't in disagreement with the system, ,merely letting off a little steam. The women were just as much true believers. This isn't as I first thought/hoped in that Patriarchy can be a humane system for women. Instead I realized that there will always be those who for varying reasons, become ardent followers of movements which harm them. There are women who will accept or even come to love degradation if it comes approval and "love". Look at people in … [Read more...]

Who Was That Masked Man? Part 4

by Calulu   When we last left this story every couple in our little circle of friends from church had been exposed as having at least one cheater.  Things don't get any better ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Months pass , everything, everyone continues in a warped state of stalemate. Tom has been dumped by Alice but doesn't come home to Tina. He moves on to a series of girlfriends picked up in karaoke bars after he starts spending all his night time hours at karaoke. He starts drinking heavily before moving on to smoking reefer. All the while singing really bad songs from the early and mid 60s every night at the local karaoke bars. Tina serenely states that he will come … [Read more...]

Millipede: Part 4

control

by Millipede Although the "dress code" was the most glaring example of our changing mindset.There were other changes which were just as bad if not worse in the long run. My husband started to implement "order in the home". Although not as extreme as the other men, he considered himself the head of the household. Sure, I could argue, but if he stuck to his guns on something, I was expected to follow. I could be stubborn, but there were plenty of things that I gave way. Dressing in skirts out in public wasn't the only one. Staying at home, I let him control the finances. Sure, I could give advice, nag and so on, but in the end, he decided all things. A lot of things happened that in … [Read more...]

Unwrapping the Onion: Part 9: Starting a New Life

by Permission to Live This post is the final post in a series. Please click here to start with the series Introduction. It’s the spring of 2012 now, and we’ve moved to a new home in a new city and are making new friends and starting over. We’ve officially left the ministry and are making new career plans. My spouse has begun transition and she has been able to go by her new name and female pronouns publicly now after using them at home for months. Only now there is no second guessing over what she can wear when we go out. There is no tripping over which name to use. It’s only been a few months, but she has said “I’m so happy!” with enough frequency that it has actually … [Read more...]


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