CTBHHM: The Bottomless Line

CTBHHM: The Bottomless Line August 29, 2014

Created To Be His Help Meet, p. 270

Today Debi sums up her section on when women are allowed to disobey their husbands. Next week we’ll cover the story she finishes this section with—that of Abigail.

The Bottom Line

If a wife has an attitude of rebellion, she can find a thousand different exceptions to obedience. But if a wife is really seeking God and asking for wisdom from on high, she will be able to discern the difference between her own controlling spirit and those rare instances that a husband may command outside his sphere of authority—requiring legal intervention.

I’m divided here. I’m not sure whether Debi is giving women the authority to determine where the line is for themselves, or whether she’s poisoning them against calling out their husbands for crossing the line by planting the idea that they may be motivated by nothing more than a “controlling spirit.” I’m going to err on the latter side, I think, given both the suggestion that such cases are “rare” and the suggestion that they only exist when there is need for legal intervention.

Women who threaten to “report him to the law,” or women who refuse to answer the phone any way other than, “He is here, but will not talk,” are rebellious. They will never make it to the hall of fame found in Hebrews 11, where Sara was listed, nor will they make it into a heavenly marriage here on earth. They will go to their graves unloved and uncherished, a total failure as the woman God called them to be. Wisdom allows us the ability to use our minds and spirits to handle small problems with grace and honor.

Um. Wow. Strange, I live in an egalitarian marriage where my husband and I respect each other and make decisions together, without gendered ideas of headship and marriage, and I feel pretty loved and cherished. But seriously, these are really harsh words Debi is using.

To those of you who are enduring verbal and physical abuse, we realize that statistically, you are likely to remain with your husband. It is therefore important that you understand how to speak and conduct yourself in a way that will maintain your physical and emotional safety and ultimately win your husband.

Um. How about no? Why not urge abused women to leave their abusers and get help? Why play into the idea that abused women can do something to protect themselves from abuse outside of leaving? It does not work this way. Debi knows full well she is speaking to abused women, and she is giving them really bad advice. Really bad advice.

The Bible gives us several examples of wives in terrible circumstances coming up with different ideas to show honor and still obey. For instance, Esther, who was given as a bride to a godless, divorced man, diverted disaster and death by quick wit and courage when her husband made a foolish decree.

Hold up a moment. Esther went to the king without being summoned, which was against the law—the king’s law. In other words, she disobeyed her husband—and everyone knew it. She was so scared the king would order her executed for her disobedience that she asked all of her people to fast and pray for her. I’m not sure what Bible Debi’s reading here, but it’s sure not the one I’m familiar with.

And that’s it—Debi’s summary. You’ll know the line when you see it, don’t ever say something is across the line when it’s really just you wanting to control your husband—if you do you are a complete failure—if you are submissive and subservient enough you will find safety from your abuser, and God can show a way to obey and still have everything work out well even in terrible circumstances.

(Read the book of Esther for the whole story, and check out www.nogreaterjoy.org for the Esther Study.)

Oh look, another plug for one of their books. What is this, four now?

Tune in next week to see Debi completley butcher the story of Abigail!


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