One of the most important ways in which my faith matured in the course of escaping domestic abuse in the name of God was the application of eternal life to the situation.
The way that the Bible and faith concepts were hurled against me was contrary to Jesus’ message and example, his demonstration that believers had the power of life over death.
They enforced a view of me and women generally as second- class souls. We were believing Christians, but the promise of the redemption and resurrection were somehow not fully ours.
Instead we had to keep earning our right to be treated with dignity, respect, and hardly ever the love we had been promised both in our vows and in the gospel.
The idea that my husband, a minister, was my Lord standing over me as head between me and Christ was scarcely different in the fundamentalist view than in the Catholic one in which I had been raised. The only difference was that instead of the priest between me and God, my husband was granted the responsibility.
This was one of the teachings I had left the Catholic faith over, citing the teaching to call no man Father.
Yet here I was being told that I must obey my husband who was a proxy for Christ in our marriage.
But he certainly wasn’t acting like Christ. In fact there were many nonbelievers who had better marriages that we did.
Finally after years of begging, pleading, turning myself inside out to please, asking God in prayer for answers, I changed my prayer.
Instead of asking to change me so he would stop the abuse, I prayed to either change him or get me out of there.
The answer came. I was to leave because Christ did not die for me to live like this.
My own personal resurrection. Thanks be to God.