It’s taken me a long time to say this, and to address this. It hurts me so much to bring myself back through my personal experience with the damage that was inflicted on me using the complimentarian views on men’s and women’s roles.
But as I’ve worked though that pain, moving through the stages of grief, I’m sure, I think I’m to a point where I’m just sad about it, and I’ve mostly left anger behind.
Writing has helped. Hopefully, I’ll be able to share more of that here in the future. Sometimes, things like this were written first and foremost, for me. I was never certain they’d ever be published and see the light of the internet day. But in light of what I’ve stumbled upon online today, a blog by the Transformed Wife that hurts my heart so greatly (and honestly, triggers my anxiety so much that I feel ill), I’ve decided ultimately to publish this part of my story.
I know there are some people who know me in real life who will read this with hard hearts towards me because of what I did later on, and that’s fine. That’s my consequence to bear. But it doesn’t change the fact that I was victimized, and it doesn’t change the fact that I was blamed for it.
A long time ago, I was with a guy. We were together for a while in a Christian relationship. We’d “slipped up” a few times, which is the Christian way of saying we’d fooled around or had sex, and sought accountability from an older couple. We did great for a while, if you want to call it that. But then one day, things were getting a little carried away, and I said no. I was removing his hands from my body and trying not to make a huge deal about it, while he persisted. It wasn’t violent, it wasn’t even forceful. It was just persistent, and I submitted.
In an act of genuine faith in accountability, we confessed to the act. But I had one extra thing to confess: I was angry. I was mad because I said no and it happened anyway. I was upset because I tried to do the right thing, and I was ignored and pursued anyway.
I was shut down immediately.
I was reminded that I was an equal participant and that I needed to accept my own responsibility in what had happened.
It made me feel like I was just being a brat that didn’t want to own my own shit. I should have listened to my own heart in that moment, because it wasn’t that at all. But I trusted that these people knew better than I did, that if I just accepted my role and repented, it would bring forgiveness and healing. So, I convinced myself it had, and I was in close relationship here for years.
Hindsight is 20/20, and I know now what happened.
I was victimized. And re-victimized when I told an authority figure about it.
I was essentially brainwashed for years, until I was out from beneath these leaders and shared this experience with someone else, who looked at me in horror as I described what went down and the advice I was given way back when.
And what’s most frustrating, I think, is the double standard that this placed on me under the complimentarian view of men’s and women’s roles in relationship. Because, as a woman, I’m not enough to speak in church, entertain leadership roles, or do anything other than submit to my husband – even when I’m trying to follow the tug of the Holy Spirit on my heart – but I’m more than enough to accept responsibility when a man (not even just my husband, but any man) takes advantage of me…?
How does that make any sense?
Jesus, help us do better.
How can we hold people accountable and also sensitive to those that are hurting?
How can we live out our designed roles as You intended without subjecting one or the other to abuse or mistreatment?
How? How can we do this?
This is my genuine prayer. My genuine hearts cry. I don’t want this to happen. This is awful and it makes me sick.
For the record, I don’t think anyone meant me any harm. Not anyone involved. I know they genuinely believe what they believe about this, and that’s their truth, I guess.
But for me, I think it’s just a misuse and misunderstanding of the Bible to blanket this idea that submission is the only thing a woman is good for, especially to the point that we’re requiring her to accept responsibility for the sin a man commits against her.
It’s not biblical or appropriate to believe that God wants us to be in pain. It’s naive to believe that God cares more about our submission to our men than our submission to Him.
Oh, man. There’s so much more I could say. But, girl. If you’re reading this, and you’re like “uhm, I think this has happened to me..?” can I just tell you that I love you, first and foremost? Because I do. And Jesus loves you immeasurably more. He loves you to death, literally, and He didn’t die for your marriage or your relationship with or your submission to any man. He died for YOU. People – you and me – are what God sent Him here for. Put Jesus first… and I do mean the actual Jesus, not Christian counseling, marriage counseling, pastors, authors, or whoever… put JESUS FIRST, holding everything anyone ever says to you against His words and His love, and His sacrifice, before you even start to entertain the idea of accepting it as truth.