Christ's Glory, Not Mine

Devotions, advice, and book reviews from science fiction author Andrea Joy Graham

Pray for those who Despitefully Use you.

I am very confused about my marriage sees my husband raped me when we were dating and I became pregnant. My parents literally forced me to marry him, I wasn’t brave enough to tell my parents what had happened and now after 4 yrs of marriage we constantly fight about everything. I hold a very strong resentment towards him. I feel like I hate him sometimes.

Signed,
Confused in CA

I would pray and talk with my pastor or another trusted elder in my local church body. It does sound like you shouldn’t have married him, and I suspect such situations are why Catholics permit annulments. I’m not sure about the laws on that, you might want to seek legal advice. If you were forced into the marriage, and really didn’t consent to this, maybe you could go that route. I wouldn’t look at leaving until I’d done some serious soul-searching with God. Start with confessing to Him your own guilt in this, not telling your parents the truth if nothing else, and asking Him what He would have you to do. You might have to fast to get an answer, but He always answers honest seekers.

Don’t forget to pray for your husband, too, God has been known to change people and it’ll help you forgive him. Hard to hold onto pain and anger when you’re praying for the person who caused it. Unforgiveness hurts you more than it does anyone else. Even if God does release you, that could carry over into a new relationship and continue hurting you.

Love In Christ,
Andrea


7 comments

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  2. Jodi

    My husband and I have been married for 11 years. Currently we are separated. He has been abusive toward the kids for years–spanking hard enough to leave swollen red hand prints on them, occassionally shoving them into walls or threatening and screaming at them. He has been sexually abusive to me even though I was open to him in every way. In the last year he raped me at least 4 times (these times were obviously and legally rape). I feel pressure to stay in the marriage, but really I just want to remain separate from him and single the rest of my life. So much has happened, including him threatening once to get scissors and cut my clothes off me. He’s held a candle lighter to my shoes. It was unlit, but able to be let any second. I jumped away and he said, “I was only joking.” This was the morning after he raped me the last time, in December 2006. I have to see him all the time for child visitation and it eats me up inside. I’ve forgiven him, but the pain and self-blame and feeling shame have remained.
    Does God require us to remain in marriages that have gotten this bad? I know if a slave woman/ wife in the old testament was mistreated she had the right to get out of the marriage.

  3. Dear Jodi,

    Dear heart, you’re not free to remarry unless the unbeliever departs, commits adultery, dies, or has already remarried himself, but no where does the scripture require you to remain anywhere near someone who hurts you like this–unless, of course, your own heart and convictions tell you to bear such a cross for whatever reason.

    But I’d say you can pray for his soul just as well from a safe distance and with a restraining order. Though I wouldn’t actually divorce him myself unless it became necessary to the protection of the children, the most strict well-biblically-founded answer I’ve ever come across on how to respond in such a situation was to file charges against him and then visit him in prison.

    But I’d also suggest a man who’d treat his wife and children so miserably has no business having visitation rights. If you haven’t already, I do recommend you seek legal counsel (preferably from a Christian lawyer, those creatures do exist.)

    Rape is never your fault. Even a woman who makes herself vulnerable to it by some means does not deserve it. More than a divorce, what you need is healing. Talk to your pastor or a respected woman in the church who can direct you on the path. If you’re not yet ready to talk about it, I’d suggest you read Michael Card’s book , A Sacred Sorrow: Reaching Out to God in The Lost Language of Lament. It’ll help you find the words to express your deep pain to the Lord (and give you the freedom to speak them.)

    If any of your children are male, it would be a good idea to find them a godly father-figure to teach them how to become men (such as a youth pastor), but probably a very bad idea, biblically speaking, to fall in love with him.

  4. Denise Brockway

    Thank you Andrea, for being here for hurting people. The devil is so busy at destroying God’s People, and afflicting hurt and pain upon them. All the advise you have given these women. I had been in these kinds of relationships for years. Praise God, for bringing me up and out. It took some prayer and calling on the Holy Spirit to heal me and to forgive those that hurt me. I knew I could not forgive on my own, because the flesh just wasn’t allowing me to. So praise God for the Comforter, who I called upon to help me to forgive, those who despitefully used and abused me. I am healed and delivered. and blessed to put those heartaches, and pains in there finally resting place. I am no longer (Praise God) subjected to the hurt and pain and crippling fears those relationships left me in. God Bless you Ms Andrea, in all you do.
    Thanks again for being here for the broken spirits.

  5. Hello, Denise, thank you for your kind words. We all need that encouragement sometimes! Honestly, the only wisdom here is the Lord’s, without Him, I’d be just one more broken heart. Although, in my broken home, I was the child rather than the wife, like many, I minister out of my own wounds, and He’s healing me, too! I thank Him that, for the most part, my husband and I have been blessed beyond the curse. Like everyone, we have our issues, but without God’s grace, we’d be in far worse shape. It’s an honor to be here.

    Pray for me, Sister. When you become a threat to him, the devil seeks to destroy you, and I do come under assault.

    Thank you for your testimony, I’m sure someone reading this needs it. Leaning on the Lord is the secret to forgiveness; what is impossible for man is possible for God. We lean on him by asking him to work that miracle in our hearts, as well as by praying for those who hurt us. As a wise person told me once, it’s generally hard to stay angry when you’re praying for them.

    In His Service,
    Sister Andrea

    P.S. Merry Christmas!

  6. Pingback: Ask Andrea » A Testimony of Healing

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