Michelle Lindsey – Stop it! Put down your Pen and Stop Enabling Abusers and Hurting Victims
WARNING! This is about as triggering of an article as anything I have read for a while. It got me riled and inside shouting “shut up! Just shut up!” This is not mere misguided, well-intentioned error. Oh no. This is arrogant ignorance if not out and out evil. It comes from a blog one of our readers directed us to, written by one Michelle Lindsey who describes herself as: “Michelle Lindsey is a Jesus-loving wife of more than 2 decades and a homeschooling mom of four who blogs about what happens when romance meets reality.” [blog site is Dear Wife Who’s Married to a Jerk…[Internet Archive link] Don’t go there unless you feel you can handle major triggering].
So here is Michelle. Many of you won’t make it through all of this, and that’s ok. But this, THIS is the junk that is constantly laid upon abuse victims, keeping them in the oppression and slavery. It is the stuff that the enemy just loves. It enables the wicked to continue in their wickedness, tightening the thumbscrews and leg-irons of bondage upon their victims. Stop it Michelle. Stop it! Just stop it!
Let’s tell Michelle via comments here, and on her blog or facebook page if possible, just what is wrong with what she is saying. For example, what does the term “jerk” imply as opposed to calling an abuser what he really is? What does it do to you when you hear her say “you will never hear us say [divorce him]”? And do you really believe her when she says “I have seen marriages transformed”? How does that statement make you feel? Do we here at ACFJ and all of you see marriages “transformed” all the time? Why does Michelle claim that she does?
Anyway, here you go:
Dear wife who’s married to a jerk,
Nitty Gritty Love is a conversation. So when we hear the same feedback from readers, I want to address it.
We spend a lot of time here encouraging women, and we are equally encouraged, but when we get this question, I will admit, I sink a little inside.
What if I’m married to a jerk?
It seems some people want us to throw our hands up in the air and say, “Alright. You got us. You are correct. Divorce that creep.”
But you will never hear us say that, even though it is tempting. Why? Because we believe marriage is a reflection of Christ’s love for the church, and Jesus isn’t going to divorce us for being jerks. If He did, we would all be left high and dry. His love for us is amazing and relentless, its almost too hard to believe. But I do feel for people who are unhappy, and lonely and discouraged because its sad. By no means are we trying to be calloused or unfeeling. We started this blog because we care about marriages and want to support other wives and encourage them by sharing our own experiences. We are not professionals, but we are married, so we can relate with each other.
That said, if you are married to an insensitive jerk who isn’t kind, won’t keep a job, plays video games all the time, and is basically rude and uncaring, I’m sorry. I really and truly mean that. I didn’t make that description up. We hear about that guy every week from angry wives who are ready to give up. It makes me mad and I wish I could tell him off for you.
Instead, I spend hours and hours writing to faceless people, hoping that just a handful will snap out of it and start treating their spouse as a gift. Because that is what a wife, and a husband is. A GIFT. You are not OWED a spouse, so if one has agreed to spend their life with you, be thankful! Yes, the thankfulness should go both ways. In a perfect world it would, but as we know, this world is not perfect.
Maybe your husband missed that memo. Maybe he is self-centered and you can’t even stand looking at his face. Maybe you are on the brink and can’t take another day. If your spouse feels more like a cruel joke than anything else, then you have a longer, tougher road. You do. But it’s not hopeless. With Christ, all things are possible. I have seen marriages transformed, and let me tell you, it never gets old witnessing changed lives.
But back to the problem of your mean husband. I am sure you didn’t grow up dreaming of being ignored and disregarded after marriage. Zero people daydream of one day being demeaned by their spouse. Little girls don’t imagine sitting sadly on the couch while Prince Charming plays video games. And then watches TV. And then goes to bed without saying goodnight. What a shock to find out you are married to a checked-out, jerk. It is unfair. It isn’t what you bargained for.
But people can only be loved where they are at. They can’t really feel your love when expectations are looming over their heads. You are probably right in being mad. But the vicious cycle kicks in and then it goes from bad to worse. The more frustrated he knows you are, the less he tries, because what is the point? And then you get more angry and justified and bitter, which makes him retreat. Around, and around it goes.
There must be a reason you chose him. Find that reason. Sit and think about that reason. Force that reason to the surface and try to love him for that one thing he does well. Tell him you love him for that one thing. Tell him you love him for who he is. I imagine you have all sorts of changes you would like to see happen before you trust him or love him, but we have to start small in situations like this. And remember, God loved us while we were yet sinners. We were not a beautiful, perfect Bride. But His love changes us over time!
That’s enough. That’s more than enough. “There must be a reason you chose him.” Oh yeah, lay that one on an abuse victim who is still struggling in the confusion and fog cast upon her by evil. YOU chose him. YOU. And remember, you are a sinner too and God loves you, so stop your whining and start loving your abuser and watch him be transformed into a saint.
Michelle, stop it. Go and learn what truth is. What evil is. Go and learn what it really looks like to have the mercy and kindness of the Lord acted out as we deal in real righteousness with the oppressed.
For Further Reading