Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Predicting Which Husband will Murder his Wife

The rate of the domestic murder of women is still high. Of all murders committed against women, 30% of them are committed by spouse, boyfriend, former spouse or former boyfriend. What can we do to stop the killing of women by those who claimed to love them? Intervening to stop physical violence through jail time, fines, and other consequences from society has brought a decrease in domestic murders, but they are still too high. And one in four women are assaulted by their male partners at some point in their lifetime--often over a long period of time.

Those who work to combat domestic violence have stepped back and asked themselves what is the best predictor of a man murdering the female in his life? They would like to say that it is physical abuse, since so many who murder their wives committed increasingly more destructive physical violence against the women in their lives before they murdered them. Yet, in too many cases there was no known physical abuse. Husbands who seemed to be regular guys with no history of abuse seem to “out of the blue” rise up and kill their wives or ex-wives.

I think of the Sueppel family in Iowa, who had adopted foreign children. Neighbors gathered at the Sueppel house frequently and sat out on the lawn/driveway, chatting. Children came over to play. And then the news came out that Mr. Sueppel was about to be charged for embezzling funds from the bank where he was employed. Before he was formally charged, Mr. Sueppel killed his wife and children and then himself, shocking the whole community. The media reported that about 10 years prior Mrs. Sueppel had called the domestic violence shelter because of an incident at her home. This information was dismissed. They claimed Mr. Sueppel was a loving man who just “snapped” and did the unthinkable. How could this “loving man” hit his 5 year old daughter, who was in the play room, over the head with a bat and then continue to beat her upper torso until she died? How could he one by one kill off 3-4 children, and shoot the wife he loved so much? He didn’t find it so easy to kill himself. It took driving at super high speed and crashing into an abutment to do himself in. Yet the media denies that this man was an abuser.

However, the domestic violence workers say the best predictor of domestic murder is verbal/emotional abuse. What causes a person to use verbal/emotional abuse against the very person they claim to love? It is an attitude and belief of entitlement. The belief that he is entitled to have his way, to have what he wants. Verbal and emotional abuse are caused by the belief that he is entitled to cast the deciding vote, to have authority that his spouse does not have. It is a belief in his own superiority, that the rules don’t apply to him.

The attitude of entitlement, the belief that he has the right to have his way stands out in the Sueppel story. Even if Sueppel never hit his wife again after she called for help 10 years prior to her murder, it is doubtful that he stopped controlling her through verbal and emotional abuse. It is probable he also used a quiverful of other controlling techniques, which he selected much like one selects an arrow to slice through a targeted prey. His belief in his right to have what he wanted spilled over into his work and he stole from his boss. Actually, he stole from the people who trusted him enough to deposit their money in his bank.

Holding the Sueppel story up next to John Piper’s answer to how a wife should submit to her abusive husband by enduring his “verbal unkindness for a season,” shows Piper’s denial of the life-threatening danger that he advocated for verbally and emotionally abused wives. And his answer showed that he was refusing to deal with the husband’s sin until the husband had sinned “for a season” and to the point that the sin had escalated into something Piper considered life-threatening.

The Sueppel story is one of many. There is the Haitian husband who had physically assaulted his wife, and then persuaded her to drop the restraining order against him. The husband and wife had been going to their pastor for counseling to help them forgive and reconcile, and then the husband murdered his wife and children. There is the man—Lutheran, I believe—who shot his ex-wife during a counseling session at church. Nothing was said of previous domestic violence, yet he shot his wife repeatedly, killing her.

These are not isolated incidents of abuse. They are the culmination of years of abuse; the abuse that doesn’t leave bruises on the outside, but that turns wives black and blue on the inside.

It is time people of faith stop limiting the definition of domestic violence to “regular beatings” and take all the tactics of domestic abusers seriously. Domestic abuse—even verbal abuse, limiting access to family resources, marital rape, and twisting scripture to insist that a wife obey her husband—is life-threatening. It shows a disrespect for the life and person of another, which is the seed and poisonous plant that blooms into domestic murder.

Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge," a novel about a wife who discovers traditional marriage advice doesn't always work. See

Sunday, June 27, 2010

An Eye-opening Look at Societal issues Among Christians

Waneta Dawn's review of
Woman this is War!
Gender, Slavery & the Evangelical Caste System

~by Jocelyn Andersen

If you think Jocelyn Andersen’s title of her new book is inflammatory, and loaded with gender-bias, please note that she is quoting the attitude of John MacArthur in his introduction to “The Fulfilled Family,” “Gentlemen, don’t even think about marriage until you have mastered the art of warfare.”

Andersen shares with us the horrific pattern she discovered in her research—a pattern of war against women—especially in Christian churches. Although disagreements abound between denominations, the attitude toward women is very similar in nearly all of them. Even some women join in the war against women. Although similar to the cold war against the USSR, with propaganda and innuendo being the key tools, it is also a war that has been and is being waged from many pulpits. Scripture has been twisted, mistranslated, and misinterpreted, and the twists, mistranslations, and misinterpretations repeated until a large majority of Christians believe the human changes to scripture ARE scripture, and insist that to deviate from the misinformation they have been taught is to rebel against God.

Both those who fought for the decent treatment of women and the fight itself, now called feminism, have been maligned and misrepresented from pulpits and from Bible college teachers, even by women who themselves are the recipients and users of those rights that other women have suffered and fought to obtain for women all over the world.

Jocelyn Andersen shows what tactics are used to wage the war against women, and the final goal those waging the war are aiming to achieve.

She points out how the war against women has gained ground with certain doctrinal heresies that are used to convince women themselves that God has mandated women are to be vanquished by men. Indeed, similar doctrines were used in times past to convince slaves that God had mandated they were forever to be slaves.

Contrary to the claims of popular Christian writers, teachers and pastors, that the women who fought for the rights of women were self-centered, bored and rebelling against God, Andersen shares the truth, including excerpts from the biblically-based writings of the Christian women who fought to stop the mistreatment of their fellow human beings.

Andersen’s arguments are carefully researched, sound, biblically based, and invite the reader to reconsider whatever conclusions he or she has previously drawn. The reader is likely to discover she has been holding onto unsound doctrine, or even doctrine that opposes itself. Woman this is War! makes straight paths out of those that were crooked and offers the liberty Paul speaks of in Galatians to women as well as to men.

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32
“Stand fast therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1

click HERE for more info and to order.

Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge," a novel about a wife who discovers traditional marriage advice doesn't always work. See

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Good for the Goose-Good for the Gander

16 Redeeming __ time because the days evil are 17 because of this not ye foolish but understand what the will of the Lord 18 And not to become intoxicated with wine during which is dissipation but be you filled in spirit 19 speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and songs spiritual singing and striking strings the heart of you to Lord 20 expressing thanks always for things in name of Lord of us Jesus Christ to God even Father 21 subject to each other in fear of anointed 22 the wives __ to own husbands as to Lord 23 for husband is head of wife as also __ Christ head of church himself savior of the body 24 therefore as the church is subject to Christ so also the wives __husbands in everything.
~Ephesians 5:16-24 Interlinear

Wayne Grudem states “Submission (of wives) acknowledges an authority that is not totally mutual,” and says submission “always implies a relationship of submission to authority.” (Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood).

If submission “always implies a relationship of submission to authority, then Eph 5:21 where we all are told to be subject to one another, would mean that husbands are to submit to the authority of their wives. If submission always implies a relationship to an authority, wouldn’t it be a rather obvious twisting of scripture to claim that it only means submission/authority when wives are told to be subject to their husbands, and never when husbands are told to be subject to others, including their wives?

Notice that Grudem and others get the idea of husband authority from the instructions to wives, not from instructions to husbands. Grudem says “husbands are never told to submit to their wives” and “it is very significant that the New Testament authors never explicitly tell husbands to submit to their wives.” (Italics are Grudem’s)

Yet husbands are told to submit in verse 21, along with everyone else. It appears Grudem is claiming that Eph 5:21 does not apply to husbands. If it does not apply to husbands, to whom is Paul writing in v 21? To wives only? Wives are to submit one to another? I wonder why Paul didn’t spell that out. Are husbands exempt from the rest of Ephesians, too?

Grudem also inserts the word “leadership” and “authority” into the instructions for husbands, yet that instruction is never in the scripture. Again, he says that submission IMPLIES there is an authority to submit to.

If Grudem and his friends can interpret scripture based on what they claim is implied, and on passages that are not written to them, then women can use the same rules. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

So according to these rules, it is obvious that we have not been interpreting Ephesians 5:25-31 correctly. We are SUPPOSED to insert implications, and use this passage to define the role of wives.

“Husbands, love your wives even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.”

The instruction to husbands to love their wives sacrificially, even as Christ loved the church sacrificially, carries huge implications for wives. First, Jesus left the comforts of home and came to this cruel world. He suffered cold, heat, an itchy straw or hay bed, hunger, and a multitude of other human conditions that He never experienced in His Heavenly home. This implies husbands are to give up their cushy chairs, their remote controls, and all their other creature comforts for the purpose of providing those comforts for their wives. (Jesus made Himself a little lower than the angels in order to bring us to His level and make us joint heirs with Him. We are now heirs to His exceedingly-better-than-palatial home, if we believe in Him and accept his gift of life provided to us through His death and resurrection, and accept Him as Lord of our lives.) Jesus also laid aside his right to rulership, and became a baby and a child who was subject to his parents. He did all this to serve His church, His bride. This implies that husbands should give up all their own desires, their own comforts, to serve their wives.

If we follow the if-then logic of complementarians, we will conclude that if husbands are the servants of their wives, as Jesus was servant of the church, then wives must be the masters of the husbands. The husbands are to lay aside every “right” of rulership that they may think they have, and instead be servants to their wives, each subject to the wife (or wives) he serves. This implies that wives are the authority over their husbands, for how else will husbands know how to serve their wives? Do not masters direct their servants and tell them what to do? In the same way, wives are to command the day-to-day and moment-by-moment activities of their husbands, and husbands are to continually sacrifice their own desires for their wives, just like slaves lay aside their wants in order to obey their masters.

But that is not all. Even as Jesus nourished his church through words of affirmation and through acts of healing, so also are husbands to build up their wives through praising them and affirming the ruler-role of their wives. Husbands are to joyfully follow the leading of their wives. Indeed, Proverbs 31:28 gives us an example of this. “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.” Strongs # 1984 says praiseth means “a prim. root; To be clear…to shine; hence to make a show, to boast; and thus to be (clamorously) foolish; to rave…” So the husband doesn’t just quietly praise her to her face. He raves about her, he boasts about her. He makes a show about her—so much so that he appears to be clamorously foolish. And notice that none of Proverbs 31 is about how beautiful she is. Instead, it’s all about her leadership. And THAT leadership is what the husband is praising her for.

How does she lead? She buys a field, she provides for her servant girls as well as for her own children, she goes on business trips, she dresses her family in beautiful clothing, fit for princesses and princes. She is indeed master and ruler of her house and family, and her husband brags on her. In other words, the implication is that he submits joyfully to her leadership. He doesn’t complain that she goes on business trips, nor that she buys fields. Nor does he make any attempt to rule her; he submits to her leadership.

Think this is far-fetched? Consider I Timothy 5:14. “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” The word “guide” has been translated incorrectly. Strongs #3616 says “guide” means “to be the head of (ie: rule) a family.” The number given for “house” is also 3616. Therefore, I Tim. 5:14 should read “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, rule the family, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”

The one verse, (I Tim 3:4) about husbands ruling their house, is about bishop/husbands ruling their children, not their wives. “(A bishop) that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity.”

In other words, there is actually more scriptural support for wives to be the authority over or to lead the husbands, than there is for husbands to take the lead/authority role over their wives. This is especially so, if one uses passages written to the spouse to discover one’s own God-mandated role and uses the “add in implications” rule.

So if Grudem is right that submission always implies relation to authority, then Eph 5:25-31 does indeed indicate that Eph 5:21 is also telling husbands to more than submit to their wives. Husbands are to lay down their will and their very lives for their wives. This is not just in the event of a physical attack from an outside source; this is a daily attitude of servitude that is completed through action day after day for the duration of the marriage. Instead of thinking “What do I want my wife to do for me?” a husband is to think “What does my wife want and what do I need to do to provide it for her?” If there is any leadership at all for husbands, it is to lead in servanthood and in self-sacrifice for their wives. If there is any final decision-making authority given to husbands, it is to sacrifice their own preferences and comforts to serve their wives.

The leadership and authority taught by complementarians demands compliance and forced joyful submission from wives. But the biblical way is for wives to submit to the love and sacrifice of their husbands, not to the demands or expectations of their husbands. When husbands sacrifice for their wives, when they prefer their wives’ preferences above their own, they are loving themselves. When they genuinely rave about their wives, encouraging them and building them up, helping them reach for their goals instead of suppressing them, when they genuinely listen and care and do everything within their power to help their wives and meet their needs for love, respect, & etc, the natural response of the wives will be joyful submission.

We have been led to believe that submission for wives is to comply to that which they would rather not. But scriptures point to the great reversal—that submission for wives is to submit to the loving self-sacrifice of their husbands. To submit to the self-sacrifice of another requires humility and love. In short, both the loving self-sacrifice of husbands and the humility and love required of wives to be able to accept the self-sacrifice of their husbands are foundational to Christian maturity.

Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge," a novel about a wife who discovers traditional marriage advice doesn't always work. See

Saturday, June 5, 2010

God as Help Meet

Having read Jocelyn Andersen's new book, which is due to be released July 20, 2010, “Woman this is War! Gender, Slavery and the Evangelical Caste System, I want to share a snippet of information that I picked up and enlarged on.

The words “help meet” are not in the original scriptures. Check it out. Look up “help” in Strong's Concordance, and then look up “meet.” The Hebrew word, #5828 is the same for both.

That same word, #5828 is also used in other passages. Therefore, what is translated “help” should be “help meet,” right?
Ex 18:4 “And the name of the other was Eliezer, for the God of my father, said he, was mine HELP MEET, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh.”

Deut 33:7 And this is the blessing of Judah: and he said, Hear Lord, the voice of Judah, and bring him unto his people: let his hands be sufficient for him; and be thou an HELP MEET to him from his enemies.

Deut 33:26-29 There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy HELP MEET, and in his excellency on the sky.
The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them. Israel shall then live in safety alone: the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also his heavens shall drop down dew.
Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy HELP MEET, and who is the sword of thy excellency! And thy enemies shall be found liars unto thee, and thou shalt tread upon their high places.

Psalm 33:20 Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our HELP MEET and our shield.

Psalm 20:1-2 The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee; Send thee HELP MEET from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion.

Psalms 121:1-2 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my HELP MEET. My HELPMEET cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
ROFLOL (Rolling on the floor laughing out loud.) Every man’s wife comes from the hills, right?

Notice how replacing the word “help” with “helpmeet” gives the sense of one who is inferior to the one helped. It makes God sound subservient to those He is helping. In spite of the claims of Christians for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood that wives are not inferior to husbands in their doctrine, the effect of “helpmeet” when applied to our strong and Almighty God, shows that it is indeed a word that reduces Him to a menial position of an assistant to one who is greater. If it does that in reference to God, it is obvious it also does it in reference to wives.

The verse should read, “I will make him an help.” According to the blue letter, “for him” is also added and there is no corresponding Hebrew. When the verse is correctly translated, one can look at those other passages that use #5828 and see that “help” means someone of strength, might, and power, someone who is a deliverer, a rescuer, a savior who can do battle against the enemy—and win—an excellency that may be superior to the one being helped.

So one can deduce that God meant that He would make a woman who is a deliverer, a rescuer, a help in times of trouble, a strong person whose strength may be more effective than her husband's. Yet, because God's whole life is not involved in helping man, we can also assume that woman's whole life will not be wrapped around helping her husband. She is to be a deliverer, helping him up when he is down, but not his servant whom he can look down on and dominate. Just like man is not to dictate to God, so man is not to dictate to his wife. One ASKS for help from one who is an equal or a superior (wife and God, respectively); one doesn't DEMAND it, because if one demands it, the helper has good reason to refuse to extend aid.

May I suggest this is what the translators saw and understood. And because they did NOT want to think of women as superior—or even equal—in strength or importance, and did NOT want society to think of women as anything other than the inferiors they thought them, they decided the scripture was wrong, and therefore they changed it. Notice that they did NOT alert us to their deed by putting meet, for, or him in italics. In other words, for centuries they have gotten away with adding to scripture, with the intent to change the meaning. And the men who had the education to be able to study the scriptures, who saw this “error,” kept silence, thereby choosing to be accomplices in the sin of adding words to scripture in order to change the meaning to nearly the opposite of what was intended. How many “little ones” have they offended by their deed(s)? Jesus said it is better that a millstone were hanged around their neck and they were drowned in the depth of the sea, rather than face the wrath of God for causing anyone to lose faith in God.

If translators and scholars would change the meaning of scripture and teach the same, (they have done this with other gender-related passages as well), if pastors would see the error, yet continue to teach a false doctrine, what else were and are they willing to teach to keep women in a man-designed inferior place?

Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge," a novel about a wife who discovers traditional marriage advice doesn't always work. See