Hi Darrell~

Someone just alerted me to your “Your marriage is designed to kill you” (link) blog post, so I suppose at some point I’ll be replying to it on my own blog. I wanted to ask, before I do that, if you’d be willing to write a disclaimer for that post, regarding abusive situations.

To clarify, since some people actually have been killed in their marriages, and since several Christian women I know were very nearly killed or were threatened with death multiple times (by husbands who also claimed to be Christians), I just wanted to ask if you’d like to give some sort of moderating, cautionary statement.

I disagree with some of the basic tenets of your post, so I believe a robust response to it could still be helpful for others who are also trying to think for themselves and would like to see different perspectives [which is now published here], but I want to first offer the possibility that maybe you just weren’t aware of the many abusive situations around you, even in the churches. I certainly wasn’t before about 11 years ago, so I can fully appreciate being unaware. (I recently wrote about the categories of people in churches regarding abuse (link), and “Unaware” was one of the categories.)

But as odd as it may seem to those who don’t understand how abusers work, posts like this one can be used by abusers against their targets. “See?! You’re supposed to die!!” and the targets will very often believe it and try to become smaller and smaller and quieter and quieter and more and more submissive while the abuser becomes more and more abusive.

I know you don’t know me and thus may think I’m overstating my case. But I’m a nearly-sixty-year-old woman (in a very good 32-year-long marriage with a good man, by the way, in which neither of us is dying) who spends many hours every week hearing the accounts of those who have been targeted by wicked abusers (who have claimed to be good Christians), and seeking to offer them hope in Jesus Christ.

Thank you, and I pray that we can continue this discussion.

Rebecca Davis

***

This letter was sent June 15, 2017, a month before my “dying to self” series went up. I never received a reply from Darrell, and he didn’t modify his blog article. It grieves me greatly to see how destructive messages like this one continue to be propagated in the church of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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