After seeing a great deal of discussion on the nature of abusive men we must revisit this from Debi Pearl in late 1999. Men who harm their wives in so many ways, through infidelity, through physical abuse, through financial abuse, through cruel words will not be changed through your submission to them! It’s never happened, but it is constantly preached as a way to keep women powerless and cowering.
Lately we’ve been seeing some crazy extra Biblical ideas about Submssion, what it is, and how you submit that are beyond anything ever mentioned in the Bible. The kind of ideas that end up with piles of bodies eventually, from abusive, from overwork, from being used unto the point of death.
This is one of the most promoted ideas in all of Quiverfull, and it’s used for keeping women in abusive marriages. He’s abusing you? Submit harder. Women die because of this. They suffer needlessly, taught that they have no rights, that they are less than beaten dogs.
Woman writes to Debi complaining about her friend who is slow to divorce her abusive husband. Debi immediately goes here:
One of the biggest things Debi and others miss about submission is that it does not require you be happy about it. It’s possible to submit and not like the decision of the other person, to never betray one iota of not liking what’s going on. It happens all the time in the working world. You think something your boss has ordered is not right, but you do it anyway without complaint because that’s what you are paid to do. You do not have to destroy and deny all of your inner feelings to submit to another.
And if that submission is part and parcel of abuse the most Biblical thing you can do is to remove yourself from the situation. You don’t have to fight and feud. You leave. Sometimes without a word if that’s what it takes to achieve safety, but you leave and you take your children with you.
It’s not a matter of getting a divorce, or ending up in apartments with lesbians as claimed elsewhere by Debi Pearl. You leave, and you figure out later what the future must look like. Abuse is always a breaking of a marital bond like infidelity is. Chances are if he’s abusing you now it’s only going to get worse. Abusers do not stop, they do not reform, or get better. Just like cheaters will almost always relapse, or move onto another woman and cheat on her. It’s what they do. Do not feel guilty for placing your children’s needs and your own before his.
No, these are the kinds of families where children grow up, leave, and make every effort to avoid their parents. They will do anything not to emulate what their parents have done. Going to extremes of avoidance until they get the opportunity to place the surviving parent in a nursing home.
The kindest thing you can do for your child is not to put them in constant danger from an abusive spouse. No one deserves abuse, no one should tolerate it as the norm. It is not normal.
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