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Sad State of Affairs

November 19, 2018
8 upvotes

So I was chatting with my wife who went to go see her good friend and bake cookies and drink wine (because apparently that's what you do around the holidays), and she mentioned that a female friend of both of theirs was probably going to get divorced.

record screech

Wait, what? So I get the details.

So apparently this friend did something idiotic in the kitchen and swore in front of her child, and then the husband came down on her like a ton of bricks, saying stuff like "You're the worst mother in the world", and similar such items that really are in the category of "Stuff you say that causes divorce". Really fairly bad stuff.

Apparently this girls husband, who I have hung out with a few times, is controlling... beyond excessively controlling - as in you can't leave the house without me being there kind of controlling.

But the story gets worse.

So then, unbeknownst to the wife, the husband goes to the pastor and implores the pastor to publicly have her confess to sinning. Pastor says no, we don't have that kind of tradition here, that's not something we do, this is a family affair. And I think he might have counseled him a bit too, knowing the guy.

So then, what does he do? He then goes to the elders of the church with the same story, and they say the same thing. It was probably fairly uncomfortable as well.

I hear the other tidbits of info, as my jaw is dropping (keep in mind this is all thirdhand):

Both of them are late twenties.

The wife works at a different church.

The guy went to a christian college and christian high school.

The guy has a massive problem with porn, as in needs therapy, started to go to therapy but stopped for whatever reason.

They both are in couples counseling, which doesn't seem to be working.

I hear the pastor who did their premarital counseling (different pastor) advised them not to get married - they were too young (but they did anyway, because as we all know that feeling of being in loooooove is like heroin to the brain).

This also made me wonder - if you're in premarital counseling, and the pastor says "Don't get married...", what sort of red flags did the pastor see at that time.

A year after they got married, they had a oooops baby (heh, what did you expect when you have sex).

The guy was saying stuff like "You can't divorce me, you'll lose your job at the church", etc.

Keep in mind this guy doesn't go to church very frequently, but berates her if she doesn't go.

The wife didn't mention physical abuse, but who knows. If there was physical abuse though she probably wouldn't mention it because then people would start to get involved as in call the cops involved, and not sure she would be ready for that - as then the relationship would be over. But again, who knows - generally what I know about this guy I would think he wouldn't do such a thing.

Of course, when I've chatted with the guy in the past, none of this came out. Just seemed like a normal guy, likes IPAs. But little do you know, right.

So my jaw was pretty much on the floor here, mostly because I never would have expected something like that to be going on. I was reminded of a recent podcast I was listening too... "Hell is real... and if you don't think hell is all around you, you're not looking hard enough." A wife who lives in fear of her husband abusing her, etc. And the husband too - what sort of hell he must live in. Consumed by guilt. Anger. Driven by culture and upbringing. Prideful in his own ways. Full of self-loathing. Desperate for control.

To be fair, we only have one side of the story here. Who knows what he would say.

Do I have a idea on what would get this guy to maybe turn things around. Of course I do. Do I think this guy would listen to me? No. I can sense it - I don't think this guy would listen to me about this stuff. Despite what folks think I can read people pretty well, and for me to bring up biblical or shall we say sidebarrish principles wouldn't go that well. People get stubborn about their convictions, especially around religion. Plus the pastor and elders are on the case. I will mention that I invited him to a evening mens group, which he declined due to work.

Unfortunately, I think it's going to get worse, as in divorce. Sad. I know them both, plus their extended families. The baby is very cute.

So is there a question? No, not really. Just a story and perhaps a example on culture. Don't see this all too often - RC, this might be a common story to you.

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Post Information
Title Sad State of Affairs
Author SteelSharpensSteel
Upvotes 8
Comments 28
Date November 19, 2018 5:00 AM UTC (4 years ago)
Subreddit /r/RPChristians
Archive Link https://theredarchive.com/r/RPChristians/sad-state-of-affairs.301614
https://theredarchive.com/post/301614
Original Link https://old.reddit.com/r/RPChristians/comments/9ydm2y/sad_state_of_affairs/
Comments

[–]Deep_StrengthMod | Married | deepstrength.wordpress.com9 points10 points  (6 children) | Copy Link

This is somethings where "separation" not "divorce" would probably help. Gives each of the people space to work on their own issues. If you have two people with issues coming together, you're going to get a whole big mess of issues going back and forth.

I am extremely confused why Christians continue to recommend divorce in situations like these when the Lord clearly says that 'separation' to stay single or reconcile is the only option. Not divorce.

Of course, we know how 'Christians' most Christians are nowadays I suppose.

[–]SteelSharpensSteelEndorsed, MRP Mod[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I don't disagree. Separation might get it through his thick skull that he needs to make some changes. Her too to be fair - it takes two to tango.

[–]lowcarbninja0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Agreed. Dissolution of the marriage should almost ALWAYS the the absolute last resort not the go-to as soon as things start going south.

[–]velocigasstor-2 points-1 points  (3 children) | Copy Link

He's abusive. She deserves better and shouldn't be stuck with him.

[–]Red-CuriousMod | 34M | Married 11 yrs1 point2 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Yeah ... that's not biblical. Biblically speaking, we all deserve hell. Anything better than that is simply God's grace. So, the word "deserve" doesn't do much for me. She deserves far, far worse.

[–]SteelSharpensSteelEndorsed, MRP Mod[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Don't we all.

[–]velocigasstor1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Eew

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (4 children) | Copy Link

 

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy,cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body.31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband

This reminds me of the above verse. While Paul asks wives to submit themselves, seemingly challenging for a modern feminist woman, he asks men to love women as Jesus did the church. That's a humbling idea for me because Jesus did it all.

This man isn't like Jesus. As RnRchuck had mentioned about seeking righteousness and avoiding sin is a direction you walk instead of a line you cross, this guy has been walking the wrong direction for sometime. There's nothing shocking here to me. I'm sure your shock comes from how unexpected it was.

[–]SteelSharpensSteelEndorsed, MRP Mod[S] 2 points3 points  (3 children) | Copy Link

As I've gotten older I've seen a few people in my social circle and at work get divorced. The surprise was the portrayal that everything was fine... until it wasn't.

My wife and I had a interesting discussion on social media and how not tied to reality it is, only showing the best parts of people's lives. And yes, I'm friends with them on social media or whatever you kids are calling it these days. All you see is the perfect fun life.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Listen to Elon Musks interview on Joe Rogan. They went into this also. Social media is fake.

[–]SteelSharpensSteelEndorsed, MRP Mod[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Of course. People only highlight the best parts of what is going on in their lives.

[–]Red-CuriousMod | 34M | Married 11 yrs1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

The surprise was the portrayal that everything was fine... until it wasn't.

So, I can echo story after story like what you've described, but one of the worst is from my church and not one of my cases.

The husband was something of a bad boy - piercings and tattoos everywhere, fit shape, etc. The wife was your classic goodie good church girl knockout, wearing dresses on Sunday and raising her hands in worship, dancing as she sang. She was appointed director of the children's ministry after impressing everyone with her incredible biblical knowledge and passion for serving in the church. He joined the security and parking teams and usually chummed around with other people in the hallways instead of going to service. They both posted on social media frequently how much they loved each other and weren't shy about their sex life.

Then one day he's calling me asking about divorce. It turns out the goodie girl who knew more theology than 90% of the people here and who was a leader in the church and passionate during service ... had cheated on him. So I meet with him to figure out what's going on. Turns out it wasn't the first time either. It was the 7th (that he knew of). This was just the one where she refused to break it off when he found out.

Moral of the story: church leaders are easy to dupe. They're looking at outward appearances, not the heart. And when they say they're looking at the heart, they're looking at the wrong criteria to assess the heart. That's the danger of emotionalism in the church. Emotions are a horrible indication of spiritual maturity.

To be fair, before I was saved, I had several pastors duped too, thinking I was the most spiritually mature high school student they'd ever met. I was bold with my faith, I knew more theology than they did, and I knew how to put on a passionate show. But none of it was real.

Now I'm dealing with a pastor who just yesterday invited me to join a "preaching team" and he's telling me about the other people he wants on the team. They're all people who have a clear outward appearance of spiritual maturity, and I know for a fact that 1 of them is the real deal. My wife jokes that I have a man-crush on him because of the level of respect I have for that guy. Another is a girl, who is the real deal, but ... girl. The other two I happen to know are not even remotely mature. But one is highly knowledgeable, so the pastor wants to appoint him anyway, despite the fact that the pastor just had to remove him from another team for serious character flaws. The last guy is highly emotional, but is as spiritually illiterate as a box of rocks. I led him in small group for 2 years and after a few months he finally asks: "I hear you using the word 'gospel' a lot. What is that? What does that word mean?" I would also teach basic stuff, like what the parable of the sower meant, and he'd argue with me, "I don't buy it. That explanation doesn't feel right to me." Then I'd show him 10 verses down, where Jesus himself explains it and he'd cave. So props to him for being willing to learn, but his discernment is way off. Yet these are the people that the pastor wants to put in charge of all the preaching that gets done at the church - content, who preaches, etc.

Pastors are easily duped. End of story.

[–]Red-CuriousMod | 34M | Married 11 yrs1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Funny ... reading the whole story I'm thinking, "I know this person. I've seen ten of them in the last month." There's one case in particular that I suspect could actually be the people you're talking about - every detail lines up, including her potentially losing her church job if she files.

It would be a mistake to think you couldn't help, though. "I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name" (Isaiah 45:2-3). With everything I've seen, I've gotten to be a pretty darn good judge of character too - flawless, even. But part of that judging is a recognition that nobody is beyond the Holy Spirit's power.

Now, on a separate matter, I also fully invest in the WISNIFG bill of right #3 - "You have the right to judge if you are responsible for finding solutions to other people’s problems." Jesus did this all the time. It's why he focused on the Jews and didn't go off healing every sick person in the entire world - especially among the Gentiles. When the Syrophoenician woman asked for help he almost turned her away, but for her wise answer. I imagine many others were unwise. Jesus let the rich young ruler walk away and didn't follow him around trying to get his heart in the right place. So, I'm fine with not being responsible for others' problems.

The question, then, becomes simply: If you believe God could change his heart, would you want to be the vehicle God uses to do that?

Both answers to that question are perfectly legitimate. Maybe you're bearing fruit in so many other ways that you don't have the capacity to take on a job like that. Just don't discount the option simply because he seems like a difficult one. Some of the most fruitful disciple-makers I know were guys I had found and discipled who I never expected much from.

[–]SteelSharpensSteelEndorsed, MRP Mod[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Funny ... reading the whole story I'm thinking, "I know this person. I've seen ten of them in the last month." There's one case in particular that I suspect could actually be the people you're talking about - every detail lines up, including her potentially losing her church job if she files

I'm across the country from where you are. But tales around humanity stay consistent no matter where you go.

And yes, good questions, though of course there are no easy answers or actions.

[–]KUZURI2718280 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

"Be anxious about nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." Philipians 4:6

I'm thankful for this community and the ability we have to share these stories electronically to edify and strengthen the body of Christ. I'll lift this family up in prayer.

1 Timothy 2:1-4

"First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be offered on behalf of all men 2for kings and all those in authority, so that we may lead tranquil and quiet lives in all godliness and dignity. 3This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."

[–]rocknrollchuckMod | 50M | Married 11 yrs0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

This is really sad. Unfortunately, neither one of them sounds like a true follower of Christ. Of course, that's for God to judge, not us. But there should be some evidence of a change after a certain amount of time. If there is no change, then there's probably no Christ.

Jesus told the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree in Luke 13:

Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’

8 “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”


Berean Christian Bible Study Resources gives this commentary on the Parable:

The subject of this parable is producing fruits of repentance. The particular application is directed towards the Jewish nation which, although some had repented and come to faith in Christ, the majority were hardened in heart. Jesus was doing a take on Isaiah's prophecy mentioned below. The more general application is toward those who are being led through nominalism to true faith in Christ.

Jesus found that his efforts in converting the Jews as a whole to faith in himself was largely unfruitful. And ultimately he would be rejected and killed by them. He was the caretaker of the vineyard. His father was the owner. Despite the barrenness, he intercedes for the Jews, much as Moses had done when God was going to destroy them.

The fruitfulness he was looking for was fruits of repentance, as verse 5 indicates. If a person says he believes, but has no outworkings to his faith, such faith is a dead faith, having no salvific value and being good for nothing. Jesus fertilizes people's faith in a number of ways. To the proud, he'll fertilize with humiliation. To the humble he may provide miraculous signs of healing, so as to affirm their faith. But he always uses his word to edify.

Unfruitful people are a drain on the church. Of course it may take a number of years discipling and training new converts to become fruitful laborers. But many times, such effort seems wasted. They become mere pew-sitters, having little or no application of faith, perhaps feeling religious and feeling morally superior to others, like the Pharisees were, but lacking in the necessary humility to produce fruit.

Don't test God's patience. God won't endure the stiff-necked for long. "God does all these things to a man-- twice, even three times-- to turn back his soul from the pit, that the light of life may shine on him." Job 33:29,30


So God gives us time to "get with the program." But you can't be saved by God and not be changed by Him. There is a certain amount of time, which is determined by God. While we must never assume that we know what God is doing specifically in a person's life when no progress is evident, I think there comes a point where lack of fruit indicates a lack of transformation, and therefore a lack of true conversion.

[–]RPCJoeMak0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy Link

I have so many thoughts concerning this scenario. In working with men for many years, it is with a lot of concern and trepidation that I even write this here.

The main thing I am concerned about here is the safety of the wife and children. I have seen these types of controlling husbands before. I don't have the whole context so I am not privy to all the info, obviously. But my main concern is for the safety of the wife and children. In my experience, these types of controlling men tend to get physical when they realize that they can not be in ultimate control of the actions of the family.

There is potential here for the husband t0 be physically abusive. I would hate to see this whole thing turn violent if he were to hit the wife or a kid, etc. That is my concern as I read about his level of escalation, etc. Really?! Dragging his wife in front of some elder tribunal? There are so many red flags here it's hard to know where to start.

I don't know all the facts or the context, so I can't suggest any action here.

But I do know this: if my daughter was the wife of this guy and she brought this story to me, I would have her out of that house in two shakes. I wouldn't wait around for my daughter or one of my grand kids to get physically abused by some maniacal guy.

People always default back to the same types of thinking when dealing wit this kind of awful marriage. They ask about "scriptural divorce?" I I fine with going down that line of conversation also, but it always ends up in the same place: stay with the idiot forever unless he bruises you up, etc.

How many ruined people and how much destroyed potential do we have to witness before we try to rescue some of these people?

This marriage sounds horrible. I am sure they got into this marriage with faulty information and faulty awareness. If the wife got to watch a video of her future relationship with this guy, she would never raise her hand to get into this marriage, I am guessing.

How much more abuse does she have to take from this guy before she is given permission to leave this guy. I don't know his side of the story, so there's that.

It sounds like we are dealing with 2 miserable people in a miserable relationship. So shall they stay together for love? The love is gone from this relationship I am positive. No what?

What can be salvaged from this relationship? Can anything at all be salvaged?

Are husband and wife willing to both "fight for the football?

Obviously, there is a lot more to the story here. I am guessing that the wife has used profanity in the home before. What's the real issue going on here anyway? We need more info to give better advice.

Not recommending anything at all here, but I am not hopeful either.

[–]SteelSharpensSteelEndorsed, MRP Mod[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

See, I don't have all the facts, so I can't really judge. And even if I could judge, I wouldn't want to. Until you have walked in a man's shoes for his entire lifetime and understood everything about him, would you then be able to say what is right or wrong about him.

So I don't have all the facts, and it's hard to say what is going on. Remember, this is thirdhand. And if I had to say about being physical, I would say this guy wouldn't do it.

And it's not about the profanity. It's about the control, I think.

[–]RPCJoeMak0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

It's all about control.

[–]RedPillCoachEndorsed | MRP Mod0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

They both are in couples counseling, which doesn't seem to be working.

I can't hear you! The echo is way to loud. Better speak into the mike. If only I had a nickel for every time I heard that one.

the pastor who did their premarital counseling (different pastor) advised them not to get married

Lord have mercy! That is a May Day Parade in Moscow.

when I've chatted with the guy in the past, none of this came out. Just seemed like a normal guy

I am surprised a MRP Moderator is so easily deluded into believing the woman's story. You even imagine "abuse" when the wife didn't even mention anything like that. Take the icebucket challenge and rethink this. I doubt his "porn" addiction is as big of a problem as the sexual denial and titillation games she plays all the time that she weirdly forgot to tell you about.

Your examples of him being "controlling" are not convincing. Besides, this is RP Christians and the Bible doesn't tell husbands to not be controlling. It DOES tell wives to submit.

[–]SteelSharpensSteelEndorsed, MRP Mod[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Settle down, Francis.

I'm not surprised at the couples counseling, I had the same reaction. The abuse angle was discussed and relayed to me, and I found it hard to believe, personally. Again, people behind closed doors are much different then their portrayed lives.

What I found surprising was the controlling part though. I am obviously leaving parts out and will leave parts out, but say for example you have a guy who has been brought up in christian education his entire life (there might be many on these boards, for example). I would wager that there has been some fairly strict gender roles that he would adhere to. Perhaps it is the clash between modern culture and biblical roles here.

My viewpoint is, something just seems off. There are orders of control, right. I am the head of my family. Yet if my wife would need to go to the grocery store, drop kids off to school, go to work, go shopping, etc, I would not feel the need to forcibly lay down the law and say YOU MUST NOT GO OUT WITHOUT ME. That doesn't seem normal, if you know what I mean. Psychologically, it reeks of insecurity and a great desire for control. It's harsh, to use the correct biblical term.

Now the question is, is that wrong. Well, perhaps. I don't think it's conducive to a long term relationship. 1 + 1 doesn't equal more than 2 here. Neither person will be happy here.

To be clear on your final statement, one flesh, husbands and wives. Ephesians 5. Responsibility goes both ways here.

[–]lowcarbninja0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I like how you aren't going to try to interject yourself in their situation. Sometimes it's best to stay out of things. You may go in trying to help this poor woman and end up the scourge of them both. I've seen this happen over and over to people that have tried to intervene in the relationships of others. In situations like this we must trust that God will resolve this in his time.

[–]SteelSharpensSteelEndorsed, MRP Mod[S] -1 points0 points  (5 children) | Copy Link

I would also note that this added to my concerns around Christian education. People who I've met who've done it tend to be very sheltered and not seeing the world how it is. Including around sex.

Just seen people make a lot of poor choices, including around sex and kids, who've done that. "Let's have six kids on my minimum wage job." I exaggerate a bit, but you get my idea.

I do wonder if the effect of porn is magnified due to standard Christian education.

And for background, public schools all the way. I turned out ok.

[–]redwall920 points1 point  (4 children) | Copy Link

"Let's have six kids on my minimum wage job." I exaggerate a bit, but you get my idea.

You know some of my friends... Family is 6 digits in debt for a degree on education that the man went into hock for without telling his wife. Education jobs don't pay enough. So he's not even in that field. And they have 6 kids. And there's no impetus to pay off the debt, because they'd loose the perks of the system if they paid it off or got a higher paying job. Sad to watch. And the large family movement in the church feeds into this mindset IMO. I wish Dave Ramsey was mandatory for premarital counseling and pre-kids decision making skills. But alas ... everybody's got to learn to adult at their own speed. Me included (I've got five kids...).

[–]SteelSharpensSteelEndorsed, MRP Mod[S] 0 points1 point  (3 children) | Copy Link

Yeah. And kids are great. I'm for having kids. But I'm also for being a responsible adult too.

Edit: Whoa, five kids! That's a lot of logistics right there.

[–] points points | Copy Link

[permanently deleted]

[–]redwall920 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

Dang profanity filter.

[–]SteelSharpensSteelEndorsed, MRP Mod[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Daggum it.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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