You may have noticed in the last year that Above Rubies Nancy Campbell has started to share some pretty horrific marriage tales of her followers. Tales of medical situations ignored, or not treated by doctors. Abusive behaviors that led to eventual surrender to God. A long list of “Don’ts”. Today’s is possibly the most toxic marriage advice ever to land on her blog.
I would advise reading the entire thing in its entirety on Above Rubies. It’s the history of a lady that fell in love with a guy with a criminal history, married him, started having babies before she came to the Lord during one of his prison stints. Lovely story, up until the point where her husband is released from prison.
What does she do when he’s released? Have a “Come to Jesus meeting” with him, and establish ground rules with the consequences being the end of marriage? Leave him? No, she allows him back and through the many years he keeps leaving her. He keeps reoffending. She keeps forgiving, he keeps committing crimes. She does not explain the nature of his criminal behavior, if it’s drugs, or petty theft or violent offenses. He keeps ending up in prison yet again. Even the prison guards urge her to divorce him. She refuses, she keeps allowing him back to treat her like a doormat. No divorce because God hates divorce.
If the print is too fine click on the image to bring it to a readable size. The gist is that he found religion in jail after many years, came out and started being Mr. Perfect Christian before asking her for more babies.
While I’m happy it w0rked out for this lady it’s pretty foolish to think that this is the best course of action. Remember, past behavior usually is the best indicator of future actions. He was that rare person that managed to change for good.
Everyone must make that individual determination of where their personal line is, what they can and cannot accept in a relationship. Expecting someone to stick by a foolish choice they made in their youth is extremely narrow-minded.
We’re all human, and part of being human is having relationships that do not always work out, being mature enough to realize this, and realize you’re worth more than what you are willing to give. People change, people grow and that’s okay, no matter what the Nancy Campbell’s of this world will tell you.
Quiverfull will tell you that you’ll have regrets if you break up your marriage. You might, you might not and either way it’s okay, you’ll grow and move past that. It might just buy you the peace and self-respect you need. I think it’s normal to have some regrets. Right now I’m reading the autobiography of The Who’s Roger Daltrey and early on in the book he expresses regret for not putting more effort into making his brief first marriage work. We all have various regrets.Quiverfull will also push the lie that your value is determined by how few emotional entanglements you have had. Like your heart is an Entermann’s coffee cake with only so many slices to give out. I prefer to view hearts like bottomless endless barrels of fun sized candy bars being dispensed as needed to those around you. Ever full, ever giving.
But the most disturbing thing about Nancy’s ideas is that by posting this she is implicitely approving of spousal abuse. Make no mistake about it, a man that will not participate in family life, runs away, cheats, and is committed to a life of crime is abusing his wife. No one should have to put up with abuse in their marriage, not even Nancy’s fans.
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