Is Scripture bondage to you? — a testimony from one of our readers
In the old days some churches occasionally opened up the platform for someone to give a testimony. So if you were expecting a ‘Sunday devotional post,’ we’d like you to switch gears. This is a Testimony.
The following appeared as a comment on our Facebook page recently. The author, an abuse survivor, did an exceptional job sharing her journey and in particular in describing how she had been blind to the bondage her abuser and others had brought her into through the twisting of God’s Word. She also does an amazing job here in specifically naming many of those perversions of Scripture which are so often used to enslave us. Many, many thanks to her. Read and learn:
I was told by my Christian counselor  that “scripture was bondage to me.” I was offended.
- We ought to esteem others higher than ourselves
- We have to love the unlovely
- Jesus opened not his mouth
- A wise woman builds up her house, a foolish one tears it down by the words of her mouth
- We ought to forgive as Christ has forgiven us lest we receive not His forgiveness
- We cannot manipulate as is the sin of witchcraft but rather with longsuffering submit and pray for and heap burning coals and rejoice in trials n tribulations
- We cannot abstain lest by mutual consent
- In this life we will be treated harshly and unfairly…do we think we will receive differently than Christ Himself?
- It is only God who vindicates, don’t let the sun go down on your anger, trust God, do good despite what others do to you
- You control yourself…guard your heart from bitterness n keep a right spirit
- Wives submit and don’t have a Jezebel spirit of control
- As you submit and show forth your soft answers that turn away wrath and by your quiet and meek spirit…it will naturally win over your husband by observing your spiritual conduct and he will rise to the position of Godly headship convicted
- You cannot leave the unbeliever …how do you not know that he won’t change and you don’t sanctify him and your children? God Hates Divorce
My ex-husband used scripture AGAINST me because he knew I loved Jesus and wanted to live it FOR Jesus and hear “well done” and be an example and keep my relationship with Christ and not slip into the flesh. He guilt-tripped me. He manipulated me. He quoted our pastor who said I was too strong willed and needed a heavier hand to force me into proper submission lest I “put a ring in (my ex’s) nose and lead him.” He quoted male Christian friends, popular book authors, no “Jezebel” spirit, I’m under his covering…like an umbrella and if I reject his leadership as God ordained, I get wet so to speak leaving his covering, BUT it is also I who breaks a hedge and allows for Satan to wreak havoc in our entire family because of my disobedience to God in disobeying my husband.
I was counseled to fast and pray MORE, anoint his pillow with oil so as he slept the Holy Spirit would honor my prayers penetrating him with dreams or visions. I was told to submit MORE, to simply do as he said DESPITE how he treated me…gaslighting, lies, verbal, emotional, economic, spiritual, sexual and physical abuse.
I did it ALL. I read every book, I sought our pastor, his family, three different times of Christian marriage counseling, His Needs Her Needs book study, older marrieds in the church that could help teach him proper headship and submission and how to be a Godly husband. I prayed more, I fasted more, I submitted more, I had an ongoing email correspondence with Dr Emerson Eggrich, author of Love and Respect [NOTE: ACFJ does not recommend Eggrich’s materials for abuse scenarios]. I implemented his advice to be QUIET, not speak, not voice my opinion verbally, I called 9-1-1… one police officer fussed at me, pregnant, hysterical sobbing, saying “This is your HUSBAND and here you are thinking God will bless you as you talk down on your HUSBAND?” He said this to me because I was telling him the words my ex called me and how he’d hurt me… fussed at by an officer… and YES, I anointed his pillow with oil.
And then, I broke. My brain did. I was told that years and years of stress and trauma caused what happened to me. Diagnosed with major depression disorder, disassociative bouts… I just broke. I said “give me a fix-it pill or something.” I’m a confident extrovert leader and I’m a first born list maker, type A personality with goals and calendaring and to-do lists that I scratch through and accomplish… this broken thing that can’t grocery shop, take her kids to a birthday party, forgetting dates and homeschooling from the bed… this is not me. Fix me.
And my counselor kept wanting to talk about my marriage. “No. No. That’s not it. I’m ok. I can take it.” See, I know I’m a daughter of a king. Valuable. Worthy. Loved by God. He’s like my ministry. How can I preach Jesus on Bourbon Street or pro-life sidewalk counsel at abortion clinics and yet I can’t minister the same love and forgiveness to my own husband? No. I don’t need to talk about my MARRIAGE. I need you to fix me back to me again.
And then after weeks of her annoying me by always going back to my marriage came this: the scripture was bondage to me.
And I really was offended. They plucked Jesus’ beard n SPIT on him! I have to be like Jesus, see??? Grace. Mercy. Forgiveness. Love. FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT!! And guess what…SCRIPTURE IS GOD!! And the WORD became flesh n dwelt among us!
I left that session just offended. Not confused or doubtful and absolutely NOT in agreement with her.
He dealt with my heart. I selah pondered… I wondered if it could be so. Could I and every Christian I’d ever gotten counsel from and read have it wrong? I mean could it be God hates abuse more than He hates divorce? Could it be there are PEOPLE that God created granted FREE WILL that just won’t ever change? Isn’t anything possible with God? Can’t he change the most vile with just one broken, contrite hearted prayer? I’ve SEEN God change women’s minds choosing life. I’ve SEEN God sober up people on that wicked sin street and they pray the sinner’s prayer with me and God unfurl their hearts and change occur. Can’t God do that with MY husband? I mean yes, he has never shown repentance and fruit, never putting the kingdom first or really showing any relationship to Christ, but Daniel waited YEARS before his answered prayer and vision… can’t I wait years too?
I wrestled. I questioned. I sought the counsel of many pastor friends because I didn’t want to do it wrong. I didn’t trust my own therapist. Maybe she’s a carnal Christian you know, justifying bad behavior. How can I say no to my husband and be scripturally obedient? I’m not allowed except by MUTUAL consent. But… but… maybe that scripture is directed to two married people who BOTH obey God? Maybe God never intended one to get carte blanche while the other towed the line. Maybe God says my husband is wrong and it is okay if I don’t “submit” to ABUSE… to him… to the abuser. Maybe… maybe…. Maybe scripture had become bondage to me.
There ARE other voices besides yours Pastor Jeff … but you have this platform to reach many via social media and the internet. Don’t stop. This is critical and crucial. Women need to hear it. Lundy Bancroft’s book I bought in 2004 validated me. Someone understood what happens in my home. Ahhhh. But I STAYED MARRIED. Why? Because NO ONE … NOT ONE… gave me a way out so that I was still a good CHRISTIAN. Huge difference.
Bless you. May God ignite the Church with this law and grace dual TRUTH. And may God heal women’s hearts… mine, too. Amen.
* NOTE: by “law and grace dual truth” the writer is referring to God’s application of Law to the abuser and grace to the repentant. In other words, she is affirming the fact that God does NOT treat everyone the same and that it is a grievous distortion of His Word to give the promises and blessings of the gospel of Christ to a hardened, impenitent, unrepentant abuser. Especially those abusers who have mocked Christ by playing the role of a Christian for years.