Learning to be an Abigail, not Sapphira
On the heels of Megan’s post on Abigail is this real-life story of a real-life Abigail. Posted anonymously by one of our readers, a brave woman documents her experience. This is HER story.
Learning to be an Abigail, not Sapphira
Interesting choice of a title, eh? But this is the way that I see what I have been through. It is the essence of a great battle, spiritual bondage verses freedom.
I could bore you with the details and spend a lot of time rehashing what you have heard so many times before: pregnant out of wedlock, married to make it legit, abusive/controlling behavior, sex drive large and inconsiderate of my needs. But I will start where the battle got fierce.
The day that I was born again was the day my husband gave me a loaded shotgun and told me to kill myself because he was tired of hearing me say I wish I was dead. Two weeks before this, he told me, in the presence of a friend, that it would be better to kill your wife, rather than divorce her, do a couple of years for a crime of passion, then get out, get the kids from foster care and never pay alimony. So this is where I will begin.
I reached for the gun and God let me know that it would be my oldest daughter who would be first to find me, my husband would let her. I could not scar my baby like that so I broke and gave control of my life to God. A few weeks later I was overwhelmed by the presence of the Holy Spirit and had complete joy and peace. Well, this became attractive to my husband, a happy wife usually is. So he decided he would give this God-thing a try, I mean, the bedroom got better for him when I was born again, so things could only get better if he joined in, right?
And for a while it did. But then it started to become evident that he had not changed. He didn’t want to go to heaven if I was not going to be his wife there, meaning sex and control for eternity. He left me after our son was born prematurely and had died…because I wouldn’t “beat the hell” out of our daughter like he said to, and he was my head and beating the hell from a child was biblically correct according to Michael Pearl. Add to this the thought that I knew there was a problem with his so-called conversion and when I tried to talk about it with the women at church, they hushed me and said a woman never talks negative about her husband…and I felt so guilty because I wanted to be a pure and godly woman. So the trap was set.
I think things could have been saved at this time, my heart was certainly in the right place for that. Even after his confessions of sexually assaulting me when I was recovering from surgery (I was under anesthesia at the time) and many other ugly things he said and did. But the burden became mine to bear to fix this marriage and right his wrongs against me. (Another side note: I appreciate Jeff S.’s definition of forgiveness; debt cancelled. I am there, debt cancelled. There is no WAY to make up the difference from the hurt and abuse.)
Different influences came in by way of tape ministries and books, the most deadly of these were “The Godly Home” by the late Denny Kenaston. Don’t get me wrong, I love this brother and have no misgivings concerning his walk with Jesus. Some of the teachings are questionable, some are spot on. But it was the church system that surrounded him that was the road to destruction. They rarely heard what he was trying to preach.
They are called Charity, an offshoot of the Plain people and consist of various grades and performances of Amish and Mennonite practices. Everyone is super spiritual, has lots of children and attends all the meetings and there are many 3 hour keep-that-baby-silent-or-your-not-saved meetings. Women on the left, men on the right, veils and dresses for the women, suspenders and black and white for the men. All the men have a great conviction and they each take turn giving the message, sometimes convictions contradicted each other. This is the place where we were, I wanted desperately to have my husband’s heart safely trust in me, and he found a group that upheld total male dominance over the women, they actually made the little remarks that women were the reason we were kicked out of the Garden. So he had church backing. (Side note: my husband is currently in fellowship with a group of people who broke from this church because they weren’t holy enough…that should tell you all you need to know of where he’s coming from.)
Prior to moving to the church, my husband and I traveled two hours to attend a closer, “like-minded” fellowship. Some came to our house and left thinking that there was something wrong with Brother “A”. It was under these influences where he began to really terrorize the family. Shouting, chasing children around the house with a 3 foot section of plumber supply hose for “corrections” a la Michael Pearl, forcing me to spank like he directed, pinning the children between my legs and making them bare bottomed while applying the rod, he even had me hold down our oldest so that he could pour a gallon of ice water on her head when she was wanting to run away.
Who did we turn to? A system that made man more elevated than he ever should be. I endured rape by my husband’s hand that, when I went for counseling the church backed me, until they talked with him and that is when they told me that he was intimidated by my faith and that I should back away from my relationship with Jesus, don’t read the bible or devotionals, don’t discuss heavenly things, so that my husband could become the true leader. It was my fault, you see, I was too outgoing concerning my faith. “He must increase and you must decrease.” Hello? He raped me. This is what I get? Complete devastation and a kick in the spiritual gut, too?
Abigail…God told me to be Abigail. I didn’t understand what He meant. I get it now. The safety of your children, Momma, is in your willingness to crown Jesus your king, no matter what. That is what Abigail was doing, she was acknowledging the King and acting to save her children all the while admitting that her husband was a Nabal, a fool whose folly was evident.
But the church wanted Sapphira, the woman who knew what her husband had done and backed him totally, even to the point of lying for him in front of the whole church. Now, people say that Sapphira was in on the selling of the land and holding back part of the price, but if any one understands women’s privileges and authorities at that time, they would know that it was not possible for her to do that…this thing was out of her hands. But she knew what he was doing and she lied for him, isn’t that what a good wife does? Hides her husband’s sins?
She died. Killed by the Holy Spirit. Abigail, who went against her husband’s commands and fleshly motivation, lived to become the wife of King David.
Two years ago God told me to stand in the gap for my children against my husband or He would replace me with someone who would. I made that commitment and that is when the stuff started squeezing out of the woodwork. I had seen him in her bed a couple of times, but I didn’t think anything evil about it…at that time. (Note: he sexually harassed my daughter for over 3 years, but did not consummate his desires with her…but this was horrid enough.) I tried to get him to get up and into his own bed, but he refused to. And my daughter tried to write notes to me, pleading for help, but he always intercepted them. Funny how the devil knows such things.
We had manifestations of evil spirits in the house, to be sure, but I thought they came from the landlady who practiced “faith healing” magic. I finally was made aware that it was him.
In 2004, after a great confession from him of his sins and his great changes, I asked him to recommit our marriage in Jesus, before the children, so that they could see that their parents were unified, together. His response was no, that it was not needed. Three years later I brought up an issue about our young people that needed to be addressed and we spent an hour arguing about whether sex should come before friendship in the marriage. He told me that “unless I get sex first, I cannot be your friend.” The next 5 months were filled with rages, abandonment and calls for divorce, stepped up threats to the older two daughters and basically everything was my fault. At the end of one of his worst rages EVER, we called in friends to help and he changed his tune…a little. Same song, just the acoustic version.
Fast forward and to court I went, fully ready to give my children up if that was what God wanted to do there. I had a heart of sacrifice and a mind of victory, because I believed that God would win the court case in the end. And He did…a judge who is known to never break up a family unit was moved to absolve hubby’s custody and grant no visitation to him. Plus, God sent a women’s advocate from the shelter to be present at the hearing, I had no idea who that woman was when it all began, but I was glad she was there to run interference with him for me after the court meeting. She had the bailiff escort us all to our cars because he was being belligerent.
So now I have sinned immeasurably, right? Taking his children from him, that can’t be what God wants. The Bible says that “he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers”… I was in that business. Hubby made sure I understood that it was my responsibility to turn the children’s hearts to him, no matter what he did. But that is not what the scripture is saying here. I mean, who is the “he” in the scripture?
But what is my position? Where do I stand? IN THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST! Beginning with the FACT that we are all one in Christ Jesus, that there is no difference between bond or free, Jew or Gentile, Barbarian or Scythian, male or female, letting me see what it means when He says we are all brethren: adelphos, first-born from the same womb. Everyone who is born of the Holy Spirit is a first born from the womb of God, found in Christ Jesus where God has hidden our lives and we, as women, MUST see this. We cannot think that we are less than what God says we are, or we will be led astray and bound in traditions. Because of this, we have to stand fast in the liberty wherein we have been made free in Jesus, and if the Son shall set you free, you are free INDEED!