“Everything came to a head in my mid-twenties,” she was saying. “So that’s when I finally got out.” She balanced her child on her knee as she spoke. “I want to help others get out.”
I was having tea with a daughter of patriarchy.
She told me one story after another, about her own life and the lives of others, about control and domination and refusal to allow independent thinking and for some, eventual escapes.
“So of all the ones you know who got out,” I asked, “how many are still following Christ?”
My new friend paused, figuring. “I guess three out of about thirty that I know for sure.”
Three out of thirty. Ten percent were still following Jesus.
She was one of that ten percent. She was one of the small minority who had left this system but still looked for freedom and hope and truth in the Christ who is shown in the Scriptures and through the Spirit.
I thought about the young people the parents of patriarchy used to be, when we all sat in homeschool conventions together in the 1980s and 1990s, the air crackling with the energy of hope and optimism that we would raise up a godly generation.
What had happened in those intervening years? How had so many of them gone so far astray as to think oppression, manipulation, threats, and control were part of the right way to raise their children, especially their daughters, in godliness?
“My father told me so often that God works through men to reveal his will for women. My parents nailed me with it before I left home: ‘You can’t know God’s will without a father or husband. Women are too easily deceived. They cannot trust their own hearts.’ ”
I don’t mean to be saying that oppression, manipulation, threats, and control this extreme are present in every patriarchal family. . . . But it’s been the case in the majority of the ones I’ve heard about.
But the root problem . . . the root problem isn’t that oppression.
Go here to download your free Guide, How to Enjoy the Bible Again (when you’re ready) After Spiritual Abuse (without feeling guilty or getting triggered out of your mind). You’ll receive access to both print and audio versions of the Guide (audio read by me). I’m praying it will be helpful.