Recommended: Barbara Roberts: Stormie Omartian Doesn’t Get it About Domestic Abuse

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Another one of those Oh-My Gertie, Get My Spectacles moments.

This morning, Barbara Roberts wrote a deceptively simple little post over at Not Under Bondage. I settled in, grabbed the coffee anticipating a lovely time rolling my eyes at the clueless nature of Christian celebrities who think they’re qualified to author books on marriage and stuff. Nothing better than a little wink-wink, nudge-nudge with my friend across the ocean.

Oodles of books have been written advising Christian women how to have great marriages. Trouble is, most of them are clueless about the dynamics of domestic abuse so they give atrocious advice which could be toxic or life threatening to a victim of abuse.

So far, so good.

Then that sneaky little Australian Bulldog links to this.

Ever read a book  on the subject of marriage and want to smack it against the bricks? Yeah, me too.

Barbara honey? You find the *best* stuff!

 

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16 responses »

  1. I KNEW there was a reason that I didn’t read that book…that my (abusive) HUSBAND BOUGHT me and thought I should read!!!
    (In fact, I think maybe I DID throw it up against the wall!) LOL

    He also had me watch the “Fireproof” DVD… another total cheesy attempt at marriage “repair”.

    But, here is a partial list of the books that I DID read that ACTUALLY HELPED me to wake up and realize just what I was suffering and living in “bondage” to for 32 years;
    *note, the majority are “secular” books…

    “The Verbally Abusive Relationship” Patricia Evans
    “Verbal Abuse Survivors Speak Out” ”
    “The Verbally Abusive Man” ”
    “Controlling People” ”
    “Victory Over Verbal Abuse” ”
    “Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life” Linda Martinez-Lewi
    “Codependent No More” Melody Beattie
    “Beyond Codependent” ”
    “The Sociopath Next Door” Martha Stout
    “Boundaries” Cloud and Townsend
    “Not Under Bondage” Barbara Roberts
    “Why Is He So Mean to Me?” Cindy Burrell

    Wake Up Church, Christian leaders and “celebrities”!! Clueless, toxic and atrocious advise is truly instrumental in perpetuating the cycle of abuse and oppression for women in these horrific marriages!

    Thank you Ida Mae and Barbara for bringing awareness and also to Natalie who boldly wrote the brilliantly worded letter to Stormie Omartian. Let’s hope Stormie cared enough to at least read it.

    Renee

    • Renee– Interesting that when I went back to the house for a couple of hours about two weeks after leaving, the anti-husband had a copy of Fireproof prominently displayed where I’d be sure to see it along with that horrid, Love Dare. Oh please, for crying in a bucket.

      I’ve read about half that list and every one helped. Controlling People was actually the first, discovered on a library shelf in an out of the way little town and devoured, cover to cover like manna from heaven.

      Religion has been half the problem and until the people of God wake up, seek His face and acquire wisdom concerning this issue, the fruit of all those dead works will continue to enslave the weakest among us.

  2. Many times over the last 40 years when I have read “Christian” books on marriage, role and duties of husbands/wives, parenting, being a holy and spiritual Christian, etc., I came away feeling guilty, not measuring up, to the point of “why try?” Some of the most notorious books I have read or sermons I have heard at pastors’ conferences have left me completely discouraged like this. They bring in some big gun speaker, inevitably one who “pastors a large church” someplace, and they begin to lay it on you. You need to do this. Don’t ever do that. Blah, blah, blah. In the last couple of years, as I have studied the mentality and tactics of the abuser, I have come to learn that A WHOLE BUNCH of what is being taught in our books and at these seminars is absolutely unbiblical, false, junk spread around by people who are too good to be true. As it turns out, and this has been very liberating for me, the reason I have felt a sick feeling in my gut, guilty, disheartened and so on as I read or listen to this stuff, IS THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT IS TELLING ME IT IS WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! It’s not ME, it’s THEM! I tell you, it is getting to be a real warning sign to me when I see a photo on a book cover of a snazzy looking blond or a sharp looking guy who has written and sold 8 bajillion books, and is in huge demand as a pastor and/or conference speaker. What is wrong with us? Don’t we read our Bibles? Is that what the Lord Jesus’ experience was? Or Paul’s? Turn away from the popular celebrities and find the Christian who is undergoing persecution for his or her faith, and you will find the real thing.

    Ok, I’ve ranted.

    • This worship of celebrity status gives me a rash. Back in the olden days, service was determined by calling and anointing. Those who knew the Lord were sought ought for wisdom and Godly council. Now folks want GQ and CoverGirl. It’s sad really because going that direction guarantees bondage. Only truth sets us free!

      Maybe we should declare one day of each week Rant Fest.

      Barbara’s article and her link made for an excellent opening day 🙂

  3. Ida Mae, I’ve just now found your Blog and have read through most of them. Anti-husband must have been emotionally deaf and blind not to have discovered, after 3 decades, the depth of your soul and the scope of your intellect. No one can write as you do, think as you do, have the sense of humor you have and be the same person that anti-husband thought you were! You are in my prayers.

    • Grmrgirl: Thank you for those sweet words of encouragement~

      After a year away, sometimes I look in the mirror and think, Ida? You are one tough cookie and you are rocking those bifocals this morning. Other times I still see the image my enemy painted but It’s getting better, thank the Good Lord above.

      I’m convinced humor is a gift from God. In all seriousness, the ability to see the absurd in hell might be what saved my sanity.

      Hope you’ll stick around and hang out with us here 🙂

  4. I know this post is a couple months old, but I have only recently found your blog, and just found this post today. I am SO, SO thankful for it and all your writing! Oh, my goodness! “manna from heaven” is a good start…!!!

    My evil STBX mother in law “gifted” me with this book, and for years, I read it faithfully every day and said the prayers for my STBX. I had passages bookmarked, underlined, highlighted. I couldn’t understand why I was never seeing answers to my prayers like Mrs. Omartian said I would. In each of her stories, she says or implies that she started praying for XYZ for her husband and saw results in a short amount of time. What was wrong with me? I now believe she is either lying and/or strongly deceived.

    Other books I have read trying to “save my marriage” which were so awfully damaging were (yes, let’s just call them out!):

    “Created to Be His Helpmeet” by Debi Pearl (one of the absolute worst!!!! I almost had a nervous breakdown trying to “implement” this one!!!!)

    “Me? Obey Him?” I can’t think of the author now, but it is an older one. Very much along the lines of Created to Be…, but she throws in a lot more twisted scripture to “back up” her statements.

    The awful “Fireproof” and “Courageous” movies. (I am so disgusted and disappointed with Kirk Cameron.)

    There are more, but that’s all I can think of right now.

    I have read some of the books on rv56’s list. I can’t wait to read Cindy Burrell’s books. Lundy Bancroft is wonderful as well.

    God bless you for your work and your blog!

    • Hi Julie, welcome 🙂

      I have to agree– I think any of the Pearl books are pure poison and they’ve impacted an entire generation of girls. Pretty sure ‘Me? Obey Him?’ is is by Elizabeth Rice Handford and I remember that one also.

      Hope you stick around. Things are a little quiet at the moment but should pick up directly~

  5. I have to say, as I clicked on the link and started to read Natalie’s letter and read the horrific quotes Stormie writes regarding enabling an abuser’s behavior in the name of Christ, guess what thought hit me: “Stormie Omartian sounds like an abused woman who has never transitioned out of victimization herself.” That’s instantly what I thought because…her advice sounded like what I used to say when I was in my abusive marriage and what my mom said in her marriage to my dad. So I did a little research on her and that’s when I read Stormie’s mom was abusive and her husband was too. The internet said Stormie was a survivor of child abuse. I am too. But, the advice Stormie gives women sounds like, while Stormie has “survived” her abuse in a technical sense of the word, she hasn’t overcome it. There’s a big difference between the two. Years ago I used to sound like Stormie, weak frail, submissive, lacking wisdom, and living in a Christian fairy tale. I just thank God I wasn’t publishing books.

    • Absolutely. Stormie even basically admits as much in her book. She talks about how her husband was horribly verbally and emotionally abusive to her and her children, and that no one ever saw that side of him but her. She talks about how she even started to leave one day, but the “God showed her a picture of what her life would be like if she left”, and that convinced her to stay. Hmmmm…I wonder if it was really God showing her that picture, or maybe the enemy trying to convince her to stay in an abusive marriage and twisting it in her mind to make her think it was the will of God.

  6. I actually bought a copy of “Created to be his helpmate” from a local bookstore and publicly threw it in the trash can!!
    That book brought a lot of harm into my life and I believe I was influenced by a doctrine of demons while reading and attempting to be the wife in the book. I was also becoming very harsh with the kids during that season. I prayed about it…repented…and felt an evil spirit leave me out the top of my head. I remember the moment vividly.

    I am actually created for a love relationship with my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. My sole identity is not – being my abusive husband’s helpmeet…this interpretation ignores the full counsel of the God’s Word.

    Maybe the great deception is that we wives, or spouses, can be the Holy Spirit in the life of an abuser. For years I was certain, that my presence and suffering was the one thing that kept him from going to hell. Not the suffering of Christ- but my own suffering.

    I was tricked into being a false Christ, godlike to him, in my mind,…and this kept me enduring the suffering…I believed it was persecution…I was completely deceived and not completely free…because those feelings of guilt, and false burden are still a struggle.

    • “I am actually created for a love relationship with my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. My sole identity is not – being my abusive husband’s helpmeet…this interpretation ignores the full counsel of the God’s Word.”

      Well said. I believe many woman make idols of their husbands and even their families, worshipping and serving them, rather than obeying the Almighty. If we love God, we *will* love and serve our family but the selfish, abusive spouse demands that all attention go to them and them alone. This horrible teaching feeds right in to that.

      • Yes! This is exactly what this teaching does is make an idol of “marriage” and forces the wife to make her husband and idol. When I have tried to explain this to people who either haven’t experienced it or are still enmeshed in the teaching, they look at me like I am from another planet. They may ask me something like, “How can you make an idol out of marriage? Our society doesn’t take it seriously enough!” Sigh…

      • Oh my! Just how clueless *are* people anyway? Anything or anyone can be an idol if we love them more than God.

        And even if we don’t, we can’t serve two masters. If a husband/wife/parent/child forces us to serve them, obey them, do their will even when it violates our conscious, that is serious business. And if we comply, then *we* are the ones committing idolatry. Just drives me nutz when people can’t seem to understand something so basic.

        Of course, back in the day, my church ‘friends’ said that God would never tell me to do anything except through the husband because that was the proper chain of authority so, therefore, I worshiped God by obeying my husband– so I guess with that sort of twisted logic, you can justify most anything. Wonder if the Nazi’s will try that excuse on judgement day?

  7. Oh yes, I remember that one – God will never tell you to do anything except through your husband! (Gag). My more “liberal” “friends” will say, “God will never tell you to do anything that is against His Word” usually trying to discount the very real experience I had of God releasing me from my abusive marriage. Since “God hates divorce”, it couldn’t possibly have been God who led me to divorce.

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