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Thinking back…

August 14, 2012

In between preparing for another year of home schooling and a potential huge change in our living situation, I have been thinking about why I was so triggered the other day. I think I know why.

There are some who interpret scripture in such a way as to say that an abused wife must stay with her husband…that is is G-d’s will for her to do so! The scriptures they use to “justify” this position are not really saying that at all.

It is really frustrating when people take English translations and make dogmas out of them not realizing that there is no precise translation from one language to another. Word for word is impossible and, sometimes, even thought for thought is a real challenge. You have to take so many things into consideration. The author. The audience. The culture. The language. The idioms. The style of writing. The style of expression. How the author likely meant it and how it would have been understood by the reader/listener.

What is even harder is when I run into someone who is unwilling to even hear about these things. They simply want it to say what they want it to say. The idea that they might be wrong is simply not acceptable to them. They do not want their “world” to be shaken. And I can understand that…I truly can. I have had some major paradigm shifts in my own understanding of G-d and the scriptures. And there was a time when my self-confidence, my self-image, was very dependent upon my being “correct”. But sooner or later we need to mature and grow and heal so that we can truly say, “Show me the Truth, L-rd. Show me the Truth!”…even when it is something that is uncomfortable…something I do not like or really want to see.

While these people are annoying, that is not what was so triggering. It was the idea that an abused wife should stay with her husband…that she has no real recourse. That makes the woman (and, potentially, her children) trapped in a situation that will only perpetuate the abuse on to the next generation if it is not stopped. It also has to potential to damage the children’s relationship with, and understanding of, G-d.

Children tend to view G-d in the same way they view their fathers, which is not surprising given that G-d presents Himself as a “Father”, even though G-d actually has no gender or has even both. We are made in His image…male and female. When children are abused in the home it tends to cloud their image of G-d. When they are abused in the church, or by church people, or in the “name of G-d” (which is a lie, for G-d does not approve of abuse), children tend to get confused about the nature and character of G-d…and understandably so.

I had scriptures used against me by my abusers. My father quoted the commandment to honor my parents to me…while either not understanding what “honor” really means…or understanding and simply being manipulating. I was even an adult at the time! Oh, I have been accused of breaking a few commandments. I have had spirituality used against me by church leaders. And I have had spirituality used in very healing ways.

But back to being triggered. I think it was the idea of the woman being trapped…no way out…no recourse…no support. Now way to turn…no where to run. When someone tells me that, it is very difficult to not view that person as either an abuser currently, or a non-abuser who would turn a deaf ear and blind eye, or a potential future abuser. You see, this kind of belief gives the husband a kind of power that I do not believe G-d ever intended in His word. And we know what a lot of power can do to some people. I shudder to think of it.

I believe that the triggering is a form of emotional flashback. I was thrown back, in essence, to the time when I felt trapped…whether as a child or an adult…to a time when I felt helpless and hopeless. Thankfully, that is no longer my life, but I sure can get triggered and thrown back into that emotional state.

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2 comments

  1. I believe God wants us to be joyful beings as intended, as is our natural state. God also wants us to stand up for ourselves to allow our lives to be such that the gifts of God can flourish and help us to thrive and be happy. Just because some mere human men decided that we are supposed to be indentured servants and submissive to their egotistical whims does not make it so. Be happpy, whatever it takes. God bless you my friend!


    • We must always look to G-d’s word for the truth. And we need to understand how it would have been understand when it was written. Otherwise, we are ready our own bias into it. Sadly, that happens a lot!

      G-d bless you, too!



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