(This is a part of the 31 Days of Five Minutes Writes.)
I was often told by pastors and “mature” Christians, that if I ever stood up to my husband, called him out for his abuse, and/or left him, God would curse me. He would destroy me and my children. Because standing up to him was not submissive, and leaving him was a far worse sin than his abuse could ever be. God would never tolerate that.
When Zelena refused to change, I refused to continue to keep up the facade by attending church with him. He had proven himself a liar, had confessed to his addiction and infidelity, and would not do anything to even remotely act as if he was a different person, thus proving himself the hypocrite he is. I didn’t see why I should prop up the lie of the happy family that he insisted we fake.
During this time I returned to just the Gospels. I read them in light of the Gospels. (Just a quick explanation, the Western church generally reads the Gospels in light of Paul, Augustine, Luther, and even Horton. If you want an explanation please ask, but it takes longer than five minutes.) In doing so I found an entirely different Christ than the one my mother cursed for every bad thing that ever happened to her, than the one my father said was to blame for all his problems, even the one pastors had told me would hate me if I left my abuser.
Then I went public.
I will admit that I feared what would happen. Would all the things those supposedly knowledgeable and mature Christians had told me come true? And what if I finally left? What then?
Nothing has been the way I was taught to fear. It has been the opposite. My friends and several in my family have embraced me and cared for me. In fact, the only bad things that have happened to me since I left have been done by Zelena and his parents. Sure there are a couple people at church who have issues but I have suspected for a number of years before this that they were just surface friends. And there are a couple people I once thought good friends who have defended Zelena, but they are few.
I wish it was this way for every person who took their children and fled the threat their spouse posed. I know it’s not, and I’ve already written about the reasons why. It’s a hard thing when the only support is from a support center. It’s a great resource, but I know it’s nothing without friends and family and church as well.
Here’s a list about helping someone you suspect is in an abusive relationship: How to Help a Loved One: Do’s and Don’ts