Well, Mr. Jimmy Evans has done it again, sending out another pathetically predictable missive on how to save your marriage.
This one seemingly provides steps to falling in love again for those whose marriages are on the rocks. While there are a lot of things he writes here that I would be inclined to question, the primary point I sought to make in my response is that he noted from the get-go that it takes the commitment of both marriage partners to reignite love’s flame when a marriage bond has disintegrated. He fails to address the possibility that one partner or the other may not be willing to devote that kind of time or energy to the relationship, and that is the issue I sought to highlight.
I continue to be frustrated that this man, who professes to be an expert on Christian marriage, (and there are many others like him) teaches from a vantage point where abuse does not even seem to exist. Furthermore, I am offended that those of us who have written to urge him to acknowledge abuse in the Christian realm do not even merit the courtesy of an acknowledgement or a reply.
You can read the article for yourself here.
My response is below.
Dear Mr. Evans:
This piece is certainly consistent with the altogether predictable suggestions offered by countless other Christian writers who think they have all the answers for troubled marriages. In this article, you specifically mention how both partners must commit to pursuing one another. So, what do you say to the partner whose spouse is unwilling or uninterested in making any such effort? You conveniently skipped over that potential scenario.
I have written before to share that the advice you offer does not
effectively address issues related to marriage partners who profess to be believers but whose behaviors constitute what the Scriptures describe as treachery or betrayal. Not surprisingly, I have not received a response to any of my inquiries. Apparently, issues related to abuse or neglect in Christian marriage are unworthy of your attention or concern.
As an abuse survivor, the author of “Why Is He So Mean to Me?” and the owner of a web-based ministry to women in abusive relationships, I and many other believing men and women just like me, have been routinely coerced by the legalists within the contemporary church to remain with our abusers, placing the responsibility for healing the marriage on the victim rather than the offender and demanding that victims remain in toxic marriages unless adultery can be identified or the abuser chooses to leave. How, exactly, does that fall into God’s design for marriage as described in Ephesians 5?
So, I ask you now: What would you say to the man or woman who has spent years praying and striving to earn love, respect and acceptance from their wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing spouses? As you shared, falling in love again requires the faithful devotion of both parties in the marriage. What is your response to the one whose marriage partner treats her with contempt and rages at her on a consistent basis, who places himself as the center of the relationship and emotionally beats her into ungodly submission – but who does not physically harm her? What then?
Do you believe that such a scenario is impossible, or is it simply that you have no answer?
I have yet to read anything from you that even comes close to addressing this important issue. Based on what I have NOT read from you, I am cynical that you have any constructive counsel to offer that would not place the onus on the victim to heal the marriage.
Your silence is deafening.
What say you?
Awaiting your reply,
Owner and Author