Many church leaders declare that the break down of families began with the rise of feminism, specifically when women started going to work outside the home. As discussed in part 1, one reason is that when men and women who are not married to one another are in the workplace together, there is an increased temptation to sin. This is blamed on the women, instead of on the husbands whose hearts are not committed to loving their wives. Another reason for placing the blame on the women’s movement, is that if a woman did not make an income, she would be less likely to leave her husband simply because she would be financially unable to care for herself and her children. In other words, Christians with the “blame women’s liberation” viewpoint, want to imprison women and children in hostile and miserable environments for the sake of preserving “the family.”
Their viewpoint seems to be that as long is there is no separation or divorce; the family is intact and the marriage is not destroyed.
But is this true?
First, what makes a marriage? Is it not the keeping of the vows? Is it not the keeping of oneself for the other, to love and to cherish in sickness and in health, for better or for worse till death parts them? If this vow is not kept, the marriage covenant has been broken. If the offending party does not repent in both word and action, the marriage is destroyed. Even if the offending party “repents” in word and action, if he/she repeatedly returns to the sin, the marriage is still destroyed. Why? Because there has been a major betrayal and trust has been broken and the person who broke the trust is not doing what it takes to reestablish trust. In order for a marriage to work there MUST be trust—trust that the other party has his/her spouse’s best interest at heart, not just his/her own.
Many would contend that “for better or for worse” means that a wife must stay married no matter what her husband does to her. But that argument is taking those words out of their context. The earlier phrase “to love and to cherish” requires that “for worse” is not to be done by the hand of either spouse. The worse is to be from sources outside the couple’s control. (Abuse is not outside the perpetrator’s control.)
Some would contend that a wife who does not submit to her husband’s every command and wish is not “loving and cherishing” him, and that SHE is breaking up the marriage, yet forget that him making demands is neither loving nor cherishing and that by making those demands he has already broken the marriage vows.
So is it the wife in the workplace, whose income allows her freedom from a broken down marriage that is causing the breakdown of the marriage? No. It is the prior too-frequent and ongoing non-cherishing behavior that broke down the marriage. Divorce is admitting and resigning oneself to the reality of what has already occurred and is the status of the marriage. Divorce creates a safety zone for the harmed person(s), consequences for the offending spouse, and makes public and legal what is already the truth.
Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge, A novel,"a story about a woman who grapples with her husband's demands that she submit--no matter what. Please visit www.wanetadawn.com
Chronically Self-Centered Spouse Series - Nope, I'm not doing this series. Nope, Visionary Womanhood is not doing this series. But I do thank Natalie for linking to it over there a couple years back...
4 months ago