Are You In An Emotionally Destructive Relationship?

I was searching internet for Christian Marriage resources when I clicked on a link that led me to the destructive ministry of Sheila Gregoire.  Now some may think that I am unkind to label Sheila’s work as destructive.  After all she is a best selling “Christian” author having published seven books, she is a popular conference speaker to woman’s groups and at marriage conferences.  She is destructive in part because she has the reach that comes from popularity and because her message is tainted with unbiblical feminist ideology.  I have been familiar with her particular flavor  of feminism for some time so I did not expect anything different.  On her blog entry “to love honor and vacuum” she summarizes  a book entitled  The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your Hope by Leslie Vernick.

The description of the book from amazon reads as follows:

You can’t put it into words, but something is happening to you. Your stomach churns, your heart aches, and the tension in your marriage is making you feel weary and a little crazy. The constant criticism, disrespect, cruelty, deceit, and gross indifference are eroding your confidence and breaking your spirit.

For any woman caught in an emotionally destructive marriage, Leslie Vernick offers a personalized path forward. Based on decades of counseling experience, her intensely practical, biblical advice will show you how to establish boundaries and break free from emotional abuse. Learn to:

·         identify damaging behaviors
·         gain the skills to respond wisely
·         promote healthy change
·         stay safe
·         understand when, why, and even how to leave
·         recognize that God sees and hates what is happening to you

Trying harder to be a perfect fantasy wife won’t help fix what’s wrong your marriage. Discover instead how you can initiate effective changes to stop the cycle of destruction and restore hope for the future.

“Women in an emotionally abusive marriage do not need another book on how to have a good marriage; those books rub salt in raw wounds. No, they desperately need this book so that they can diagnose just how bad their marriage is and then, with Leslie’s clear expertise, develop a plan that will either begin to turn their marriage around…or give them a wise route of escape.”
—Dee Brestin, author of Idol Lies and The Friendships of Women

Biblical advice? Really?  Does the Bible mention so called emotional abuse?  Does it provide “wise escape”?  Does the Bible instruct wives to “fix” their marriage?  The reviews on Amazon seemed just as void of anything Biblical.  I could not help but wonder why the book was concerned only with adult woman as victims of men.  Apparently women do not emotionally abuse their husbands.   It is exclusively men who are abusers and women who are victims.  It is all right there in the Epistle of Oprah. Every Christian knows, Patriarchy is evil!

I linked to Leslie Vernick’s blog and found there a test from her book.  The test is entitled  Are You In An Emotionally Destructive Relationship? 

The test is designed to make every woman a victim and every man an abuser.  In fact the sinless Christ would be accused by this test .    But I thought it might be fun to turn this into a a you might just be emotionally abused if… (with apologies to Jeff Foxworthy)

  •  If your husband uses words to get you to do something you don’t want to do or to keep you from doing something you want to do? …. you might just be emotionally abused.
  • If your husband has ever called you a name when he is unhappy with something you do …you might just be emotionally abused.
  • If your husband wants you to perform sexually in ways you do not want to… you might just be emotionally abused.
  • If you ever feel afraid of your husband…  you might just be emotionally abused.  (**Even though Eph 5:33 commands a wive to fear their husband. )
  • If your husband has ever threatened to alienate your children from you or use them to intimidate you into giving in to what he wants… You might just be a man in family court.  Oops my bad!
  • If  you afraid to disagree with your husband …you might just be emotionally abused.
  • When you share your thoughts and feelings about something important to you, does your husband ignore you, make fun of you, or dismiss you…you might just be emotionally abused.

There is good money in stirring up discontent and feelings of victim-hood in gullible women.

2 Timothy 3:6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts

Before you complain that the test did not specify husbands, the description, the comments and Sheila Wray Gregoire’s graphic  make it clear that is a mere technicality.
Marriage does not give someone a get out jail free card, but the charge of any kind of abuse, well that’s a horse of a different color!

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