Created To Be His Help Meet, pp. 255-258
We’re in a new chapter! It’s titled “To Obey or Not to Obey (That is the Question).” The chapter starts with a long letter.
About 6 months ago, I noticed that every evening my husband started going to our spare room to “work” on his computer. One of our younger daughters often cried when he was around, and so he said he was giving her space and trying to avoid upsetting her. Besides, he was tired and wanted some peace after working all day. I inwardly wondered, but let it pass.
His evenings in the “room” started earlier and earlier and lasted later as time passed. I would ask what he was doing, and he would say it was research for owrk or that he was trying to build a web site. On occasion, I tried to get in the door to see him about something, but it was locked,and my husband would call out that it was because the kids would not leave him alone, so he had to keep it locked while he was in there.
One day a friend came over, and I asked her if she would show me some things on the computer since I knew nothing about it. She was surprised because part of the wiring had been removed so it could not turn on. It was then I finally admitted to myself that my wonderful homeschooling, church-leading husband was into porn.
I fixed the window shades to where there was a tiny crack and moved the computer screen and desk a little so that I could see the screen when I looked in through the shade from the outside. All day my blood boiled hotter and hotter. I was so mad it scared me. My husband went into the computer room right after dinner. I waited until I knew for sure the children were asleep, and then I went outside to peer into his office. What I saw on his screen was shocking—I will never forget it as long as I live. I am disgusted such a thing attracts him. I backed up in confusion and anger, and I just wanted to throw the wrath of God at him. That is when I remembered the big stones around the flower bed I was standing in. I picked up one about the size of a kitchen plate and threw it through that window just as hard as I could. It busted right through that recently installed Andersen window. My husband was running out to stop the bad guy by the time I got into the house. I passed him and ran straight into his room carrying a rock with me and finished the job. Of course, when he heard the smashing inside he figured out that he had been caught. I was screaming like a crazy woman and bleeding from a few superficial wounds where glass had flown back at me. The kids woke up and came in crying, so it was the worse possible scene.
My husband tried to pretend like I was a hysterical woman and that I had not seen any porn, but I was past his self-righteous nonsense. I told him that tomorrow I was going to call everyone we knew, including his mother, and tell them exactly what I saw. Then he started saying it was his first time. This only made me madder. He finally saw his act was up, and he began to break up with fear and shame of being exposed. I do not regret my actions at all. I felt God was at least as mad as me that this man who expected his wife and children to exemplify Christ was hiding behind a door looking at filthy pictures. I did not tell on him, but he knows if he ever goes in and shuts a door or shuts himself off from his family again, I will assume he is into his evil trade, and I will talk and talk and talk. I don’t consider it blackmail; it is accountability. He has proven he is not trustworthy, that he uses his authority and religious clout as a cover for his sin. So the doors will be open and the children and I will have access to him at all times, and he will not have a job where he is free to play on the computer, and he will not go out at night without one of the children with him, and he will come straight home from work and not stop over for an hour or so anywhere to do whatever. I expect him to act like a husband and father. I will forgive him and love him and honor him, but he will know there are some things that I need from him that will be a surety to me that he is remaining faithful and true. His openness to us will give me peace and cause me to believe in him.
I write this as a testimony to you to share with others. I know you talk against religiously controlling women, yet somehow I believe you will understand and approve of what I did. Drastic times call for drastic measures. I believe if I had stored up my suspicions and tried to reason with my husband, he would never have confessed his sin, and I would have grown old and bitter knowing he was an unfaithful deceiver. I know I would have come to hate him, and this would have destroyed us as surely as his porn was destroying us. He is thankful now that I threw the rock. He told me his first thought was that God had just broken into the room, and it scared him bad. He said he needed to see how mad the porn made me for him to see how really evil it was. We are rebuilding and know it will take time. I feel like we have been through a terrible battle, and we are both weary but relieved it is over.
I know there are thousands of women in my same shoes. Pray for us. Pray for my husband.
So. Wow. That’s quite the letter.
If Shannon’s husband was spending that much time shut up in his room away from her and the kids, she had every right to be upset. And frankly, pornography use is one of those things husbands and wives should agree on between each other. (Also, Shannon using a rock to smash her husband’s computer reminded me of the scene in Fireproof when Kirk Cameron smashes his computer in an attempt to end his porn habit.)
How does Debi respond?
When NOT to Obey—Exception Clause
The Bible gives us an example of a circumstance under which it is inappropriate for a wife not to obey her husband.
Here Debi tells the story of Ananias and Sapphira. In this story God strikes Sapphira dead for lying even though she was acting on her husband’s instructions.
This book would not be complete without addressing the subject of what a woman should do if she knows her husband is breaking the law of God and man, or that his sin may bring imprisonment on her, or that his sinful actions may bring death to her or the children—as in contracting AIDS from him. In short, is there is ever a time when a woman should disobey her husband? Since this is a doctrinal issue, I have asked my studious husband to help me out. He contributed to the section on When Not to Obey.
The next section—and it’s long—is written by Michael. I’ll start in on it next week.
Frankly, I don’t see this issue as somehow more doctrinal than some of the other points Debi has covered. I suspect she simply felt the need to ask Michael to explain when women don’t have to obey, because doing so might be encroaching on his territory and she might take women’s “liberty” farther than it should extend. Then again, maybe I’m just imagining this—Debi has never really given women a break, so I don’t see why she would have started here. Still, I feel like her decision to pass this subject in particular off to Michael must be significant in some way.
Anyway, tune in next week!