Ladyrebecca's Musings and Ramblings

The Increasingly Political Thoughts of Rebecca (Becky) Walker

You’re all right and you’re all wrong November 7, 2008

Filed under: Political,Religious — Addicted to Yarn @ 5:10 pm
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My sister wrote a note on Facebook and a number of people responded. I don’t want to paste in all the comments, I think this stands alone okay. Here’s my thoughts. Enjoy or not

You are all right and you are all wrong. Anyone who claims to base their world view on the Bible must understand the difference between the permissive and preferred will of God. If God is sovereign than, yes, Obama being President is his will as God is not striking him dead with a bolt of lightning or having him eaten alive by worms as he did to Harod. God’s permissive will also allowed Adam to damn us all to hell. It’s NOT the same as his preferred will.

If we take the “All government is appointed by God” aspect and refuse to differeneciate between permissive and preferred, we must begin to fight for the restoration of the Americas to British rule. After all, our forefathers fought against God’s chosen king. The Jews who fled Germany during World War II should have stayed put, after all, Hitler was God’s chosen. We really shouldn’t have done anything about Suddam Hussein because, after all, he was God’s chosen leader. Obviously, there is a time and a place for removing a leader from power. There is a time and a place for respecting the office of a leader even though you can not respect the person. Do not let fear of missing the fine line cause you to be apathetic and docile.

The government does have a responsibility to care for the poor. Part of the tithe money was for taking care of the poor. The harvesters were to leave the corners of their fields unharvested for the poor. Every 50 years there was supposed to be a mass redistribution of the wealth (Year of Jubilee). The church’s role in caring for the poor is simply as a substitute for when the government has failed in it’s duty.

Reinterpretation of the law is fundamental to our government’s functioning. The founders of the constitution did not think women should be allowed to vote and yet, here we are, voting. Blacks didn’t have rights until the Americans of the late 1800’s decided to “reinterpret” the Constitution. Right now, the law is that it’s okay to kill the unborn. In order to have this changed we must “reinterpret” the law to see it as NOT okay.

You are right. Nothing happens without God’s allowance. Ask Job if that was fun. God allowed the Jews to die by MILLIONS. God has allowed millions of unborn babies to be killed. The fact that God has allowed something does not mean that we roll over and expose our soft underbellies.

The fact that Obama has promised to make inaccessible health care acessible and improve the state of poverty doesn’t mean he’s going to do it. He’s a politician and the furthering of his own political career will be his primary goal, as it is the goal of all politicians. He will be held by the same constraints that kept George W. Bush from accomplishing anything of consequence.

The poverty rate, as reported by the US Census Bureau, is almost half of what it was in 1959. “After 4 years of consecutive increases, the poverty rate stabilized at 12.6 percent in 2005- higher than the most recent low of 11.3 percent in 2000 and lower than the rate in 1959 (22.4 percent), the first year for which poverty estimates are available (Figure 4).” US Census Report, page 20. “Roe vs. Wade” was decided in 1973. The poverty rate is basically the same, give or take 2 percent. Now, I think abortion is terrible, too, but you can’t say it’s the cause of poverty. Nor can you say that homosexual marriage is the cause as there has not been enough time for evidence to be gathered.

And yes, having a mom and a dad in the home might greatly decrease poverty, especially for those under 18. So lets decriminalize marijuana and send the non-violent offenders home to their families so they can start supporting them again. Let’s fight the illiteracy rate, which in the US is about 20%. It’s awfully hard to get a good job when you can’t even read the want ads. It’s hard to read the Bible or make an informed decision about anything if you can’t read. How can we expect to change anything when 20% of our citizens can’t read? All our pamphlets and signboards? Wasted on one out of five people.

No, we shouldn’t trust the government to do anything. They will only do or not do the things which we, as the people, hold them accountable to. We must be more active than simply voting every four years. If you think a person should be in office, start sending their campaign money. If you want to see the poor taken care of, start tutoring kids to help them read. If you want to see abortions cease, start taking girls in and supporting them and their children. If you want the government to stop lying to you, start holding them accountable. Minimum wage has not gone up at the same rate that Congress has voted themselves raises. Why are we content to allow this to go on?

And the definition of “messiah” is “a professed or accepted leader of some hope or cause.” It only means “the expected king and deliverer of the Jews” if it’s capitalized. I don’t think hellfire is necessary for saying that Obama is the professed leader of hope for the American poor.


Self loathing and how to get rid of it. July 2, 2008

While flipping though a recently filled journaling/shopping list/sermon note/random lists book, I came upon this observation:

Does the fact that I don’t believe the Bible verse, “His (God’s) commandments are not burdensome,” reveal a serious lack of faith? The two greatest commandments, says Jesus, are to love the Lord and love our neighbors. So loving is not burdensome but it is. I believe the Bible is true and that Jehovah is God Almighty. So the wrong is with me. Why? How do I get over it?

So many wrong ways of thinking are revealed here. The one which seems clearest deals with self-loathing and personal value, something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. I spent over a decade and a half of my twenty-seven years on this earth struggling with low self esteem and self-loathing. During the last six months to a year, a lot of those struggles have disappeared. When my sister asked what I had done to get over or rid of self-loathing, I struggled to answer her. There have been so many changes, both to me and around me, I wasn’t really sure exactly what happened to reveal to me, my own intrinsic worth.

The number one factor is my husband. He is my biggest fan. He’s hugely encouraging and always ready to tell me I’m wonderful and beautiful and brilliant. But I can’t share him. Wanting something to pass on to my sister and others I know, I’ve spent the last two weeks mulling over the question, “Who do you rid yourself of self-loathing when you don’t have an Israel Walker in your corner?”. I’ve talked with my husband at length, started at least one blog, and have talked with some close friends about it. The answer I’ve come to is that it’s all about belief; heart belief to be specific. What you really believe in your heart of hearts. Some things which, were you to voice them out loud, you would deny believing but deep inside you embrace them as truth.

One of the main beliefs whose dismissal has changed my view of self is revealed in this passage from my journal.

I said, “The wrong is with me.” Because I believed the Bible was true, literal and the inspired word of God and exactly as modern Christianity said it was, when it said that God’s commandments weren’t burdensome and yet I found them so, the only answer was that I had a problem. If I take myself back three years ago and I imagine a friend coming to me and explaining that she finds loving people to be burdensome and asks what to do about it, I would have answered that she was trying too hard to do it on her own. I would have advised that she rely more on Jesus to love people through her and not lean so much on her own understanding.

The problem resided in me. It was my fault. I was either not “faithing” enough or not trying enough. I didn’t have enough discipline. I was too busy seeking pleasure. Simply, I wasn’t good enough.

If I wasn’t finding joy in Bible reading, it was a failure in me. It couldn’t possibly be that bible reading wasn’t something I enjoyed and therefore not joyful. I wasn’t good enough.

Other parts of my “Christian” doctrine supported this. As a teen I was given a list of statements about my identity in God. I was a child of God, saved by grace, filled with the Holy Spirit, etc. This was how I was to build my self esteem. By realizing I was these things, I wasn’t supposed to be discouraged by the world’s view of me.

Yet, I only had this identity in God because Jesus had died for me. Without that, I was worthless, all my goodness as filthy rags.

A couple of thoughts sprang from this. If I’m a dirty rotten sinner without Jesus, (This is one of those heart beliefs I spoke of earlier. Most Christians would refute this belief but deep inside it’s what many believe and I certainly did.) then Jesus died for a loser and God loved and was willing to sacrifice his son for a world of worthless people. Jesus must not have valued his life very highly to give it up for piles of crap.

I wouldn’t step in front of a speeding bus to save a cage of hamsters. My life has more value than that. However, if they carried, within them, the cure for AIDS or cancer or depression, suddenly they have value and are worth my life.

So by believing I was worthless without Jesus, I not only removed the value of my own life, but also from Jesus’ as well.

The other thought turns to the promises of the Bible. To be honest, I’m not sure how many of these “promises” are actually Biblical but they are definitely “Christian.” You will find joy in the Lord. Your day will go better if you have a quiet time. You will feel peace when you spend enough time praying and meditating on the things of the Lord.

These didn’t work for me. Focusing on who God said I was didn’t lift my self esteem. Reading the Bible, praying, “pressing into the Lord,” none of it brought about character or behavior change nor did it even make me happy. Happiness or contentment being the safety net if everything else fails. “You should find contentment in the Lord. Be content where you are. Bloom where you are planted.” etc.

To paraphrase what Israel said in a blog, “I didn’t want to feel better about my crappy character and unhealthy behavior; I wanted to not have a crappy character and not have unhealthy behavior.”

Another thing I believed was that a wife should be submissive to her husband. I was never raised believing this made exploitation or abuse acceptable but simply that the wife was to put the husband’s needs and wants before her own. Another quote from my journal:

The Lord said to me: …Your job is to minister to Israel. You will have other ministries but right now, your sole ministry is to Israel.

I asked: How?

He says: What means a lot to Israel? A clean house? Clean the house. Your time? Give him your time. Your full attention? Give him your full attention. Your enthusiasm? Be enthused. Ask in my name and I will give it.

Jesus, I ask in your name for more enthusiasm when it comes to things that interest Israel. In Jesus name, I ask that what he finds interesting, I would find interesting.

I should change. I should mold myself around Israel. Why would God create me as me if He only wanted me to be a drone of Israel? It’s not even what Israel wanted then nor wants now.

Because I believed I was his help meet and nothing more, what I wanted to do with my life wasn’t important.

When I was a high school freshman I had an English Literature teacher who encouraged me to go to college. I said I didn’t want to, that all I wanted to do was be a stay at home mom and raise my kids (homeschooling of course) to be godly men and women. I thought I would raise them to be something amazing. Of course, if I never did anything with my talents but be a stay at home mom, why would my daughters aspire to anything else, but that’s another blog. I said “no” to college because I thought my place was at my husband’s side, supporting his dreams and his passions.

A couple of months ago, Israel found a bit of information which rocked my world. He came across a discussion about the apostle Junia(s) (Romans 16:7). There is debate as to whether this is a man’s name or a woman’s name. There is support on both sides but it leans toward being a female name. A female apostle wrecks a lot of havoc with other verses and beliefs regarding women in the church and the leadership roles they are or are not to take. Finding out that there may be biblical record of a female apostle is not what really rocked me. What bothered me was that I was twenty-six years old before I found out it was even a possibility. I grew up being taught that women should not be in leadership, until I joined the Rock, which taught that men and women are to partner in leadership but never drew upon Junia as an example. With this simple name, I began to take an honest look at some of my deep seated heart beliefs and began to reject many of them.

Around this time I also read a book called “The Fat Girl’s Guide to Life” and it, too, had a profound effect on me. I began to see where my self loathing had come from.

I’m fat. I’ve not always been fat but I’ve always been a big person. I have a large frame and I’ve always had a good amount of muscle. But since the third grade, or there abouts, I’ve thought I was fat. And with this fat came a whole slew of unanticipated baggage. If someone was rude to me, it was because I was fat. If I didn’t get the part in the school play, it was because I was fat. If I didn’t have a boyfriend, it was because I was fat. If I wasn’t having a quiet time it was because I was lazy (a.k.a. fat). Fat became the reason behind every bad thing that happened to me.

It wasn’t until I read Shanker’s book that I realized how unhealthy and unrealistic blaming everything on weight was. I began to ask myself where this idea of fat being synonomous with lazy, unlovable, undesirable, untalented, and worthless came from.

The conclusion I came to was startling. My religion told me I sucked. I felt within that I wasn’t really that bad and so subconsciously I found something abhorrence worthy within myself to hate. My weight was an easy target. Our culture readily agreed with my prognosis of ugliness and inadequacy so it was an easy transition to begin hating myself for my fatness rather than for the unbelievable innate worthlessness Christianity told me I had.

Letting go of the religious lies I’d been told, whether purposely or not, was the really big change; the change heralding in the rest.

During the time of belief cleansing I began to challenge my view of sex. I think I was a fairly unprudish woman with a healthy sexual appetite but when I began to see myself as someone with value, I found myself incredibly desirous of my husband. My sex drive kicked into overdrive, much to Israel’s delight. As I began having more frequent and more fulfilling sex, I felt more desired. As I felt more desired, I wanted sex more. It was a fun self propagating circle.

I began to feel sexy and beautiful. My naked form in the mirror did not induce gagging as it once had. I began to see the beauty in my full thighs and supple abdomen.

I also began belly dancing. Belly dancing is very sensual. It does not have to be sexual. I read a book, “Grandmother’s Secrets: The Ancient Rituals and Healing Power of Belly Dancing,” which told of Arabic women belly dancing for and with the women in their family and community. It was a dance of life, a dance to celebrate a girl’s entrance into the realm of womanhood, a dance to ease the pain of childbirth, a dance to share with one’s granddaughters, and a dance to mourn the passing of a loved one. It was feminine and beautiful. It was full of life and vigor. It made me feel alive and graceful.

I practiced belly dancing in my living room, in front of a full length mirror, with my pants or skirt pulled low on my hips and my shirt tucked up under my bra. As I danced, I watched the way my body moved and found it pleasing. I watched the way my muscles jumped when I flexed them and saw beauty. I shimmmed and reveled in the way my belly undulated.

I started taking care of myself. I began to eat healthier. Not because I needed to lose weight. I ate healthier because I was worth taking care of and I deserved to feel more energetic and clear headed.

I started taking care of my appearance. I was worth those couple of extra minutes.

After meeting a weight loss goal (for my health I do need to lose some weight but it is no longer a life sucking obsession), I got my hair cut. The haircut and products were nearly $100 but I was worth it. I don’t have to look like a frumpy old woman.

I started studying and reading books which previously I would have overlooked as “too technical” or “too involved.” For what? My tinee-tiny little brain?

I started looking into taking college classes. I have been given intelligence and it is wrong to squander it.

We had some of the guys from Israel’s shop over for dinner. Not the crappy guys you might have heard us complaining about. These were intelligent guys. They were fun and flirty with me, which Israel didn’t mind and I really liked. For some reason, I was suddenly able to see what Israel had been telling me for years. I was beautiful and desirable. I had believed for so long that Israel was attracted to me more out of duty than out of actual attractiveness on my part. Having these two single guys, well versed in the ways of the world, find me attractive was hugely encouraging.

Because these friends, the guys and others, were not “ministry opportunities” or “prayer concerns,” we were able to just be ourselves and enjoy having friends. We enjoyed having them over and there was never any pressure to “turn the conversation to things of the Lord.” We could just be our selves and give ourselves to our friends and receive what they had to offer. Both parties left feeling rejuvenated and eager for the next meeting.

Instead of feeling quilt at the end of every night because I’d made love to Israel, wrote a blog, and made curtains instead of spending time with God, I felt happy I’d had a day so full of life.

So was my newfound self-respect and, dare I say, self love, a result of turning my back on religiousness? Or was it making friends and realizing I was liked for me? Or was it bringing my weight under control?  Or was it realizing a life half lived is one not lived at all?

I don’t know. As I said, so many things have happened and changed at the same time, I’ve no idea which was cause and which was effect. All I know is I’ve quit trying to be a perfect christian; I don’t count calories; I try to do things which bring me joy; I try to spend time with people who have something to offer me and to whom I have something to offer in return. Maybe that’s the secret to happiness. It’s working well for me and mine.


The Worst Advice EVER!!! March 10, 2008

You may think the title of this blog is a bit presumptious. Wait until you read this before deciding I mistitled it.

Years ago, a friend recommended Michael and Debbie Pearl’s books on childrearing. We read a couple and while they had some good advice and interesting ideas, for the most part, they were a couple of freaky, freaky people. Before realizing the full extent of their creapiness, I signed up for their newsletter/magazine. After receiving it for a couple of months, we realized we didn’t even want it in our house. Neither Israel nor I wanted to write a letter canceling our subscription for fear that we would be chastized, because obviously, if we didn’t like what we were reading it was because we were being convicted and therefore needed to be reading it. And from the letters Michael Pearl received and the advice he gives, that would not be out of character.

We moved from Kansas City to California and the magazines followed us. I finally got online and after some searching was able to discontinue our subscription without having to talk to anyone. YAY!

Yeah…unfortunately, the canceling didn’t seem to take. We moved to Mississippi and continued to get the magazine. We never gave them a forwarding address and yet, here’s the magazine. We moved to a new place and yesterday, what should be in my mailbox but another “NGJ” (No Great Joy – the name of the Pearl’s ministry) magazine. This magazine did not have a forwarded sticker on it. Nope. It had my name and my current address. I don’t understand but am freaked the heck out.

Then Israel opened it and started reading it, thinking perhaps we’d find something ridiculous to blog about. Did he ever. Below, in blue ink, is a letter from a reader and Michael’s advice.

I have tried to read your articles to find an answer to my problem, but I have not been able to find one. So, I write to you in secret. My husband has been talking with another woman for several years without my knowledge. I just found out, and I’m so hurt. My husband says he’s sorry and that he tried to stop several times, but could not get victory.

This is the second time this has happened. My husband is a saved man in the ministry, and this girl has a high position in the ministry as well. I have decided to keep my mouth shut, because I don’t want my husband’s ministry to have a scar. I need help though, because I’m so hurt inside and have no one to talk to. I have to face this girl every week and act as though nothing is wrong. My husband has to work in the office with her a least once a week and act as if nothing is wrong. I don’t want him to talk to her, look at her, or even smile at her, etc., but if he acts funny, I know suspicions will arise in me.

My husband said that he would start being open with me when I ask him questions or ask to see his phone. But I feel like he’s starting to get irritated with me already, as I keep asking and I’m scared of his temper. My husband admits that he has a problem with wanted attention from women, and I fear that it may happen again. I feel so alone and I’m fighting so much with bitterness, anger, thoughts of their conversations and wondering why I wasn’t or am not good enough for him. I feel so betrayed.

I love my husband and our children, and I want him to do the Lord’s work. I don’t want to do anything that will destroy his ministry. Please help me with some advice.

Michael answers:

Fight for your man. Go to the woman personally, and tell her to get another job or you will make her wish she had. Tell your husband that you expect either him or her to quit and go somewhere else. If not, go to work with him and don’t let him out of your sight.

Here are my thoughts on this little tidbit…

I have tried to read your articles to find an answer to my problem, but I have not been able to find one. So, I write to you in secret. First problem. Why are you doing this in secret? Your husband already knows you are concerned. If he is actually interested in “victory” you shouldn’t have to hide the fact that you are seeking advice, unless, of course, he thinks the Pearl’s are a bunch of crackpots. My husband has been talking with another woman for several years without my knowledge. Talking, huh? What a cad. I just found out, You just found out. This woman and your husband have enough of a relationship that you are concerned and you are just finding out. You should be involved enough (and your husband should allow you access to his life enough) that you know about friendships, male or female, before then hit the “years” mark. and I’m so hurt. My husband says he’s sorry and that he tried to stop several times, but could not get victory. I’m not sure what he’s supposed to get victory over. If all that’s happening is conversations, where’s the sin to be victorious over? Maybe you aren’t being as honest as you need to be? Maybe they are having sex in the pews but you are too embarrassed to say so?

This is the second time this has happened. The second time he’s talked to a woman or the second time he’s hidden a relationship from you? My husband is a saved man in the ministry, and this girl has a high position in the ministry as well. I have decided to keep my mouth shut, because I don’t want my husband’s ministry to have a scar. That’s right. Because what’s really important here is that you all keep a nice happy public image while you die from the inside out. You should be more concerned with you marriage, your husband’s soul (if indeed there is sin occurring), and your own self respect and health (if you are continuing to share the bed with a man who’s sleeping around), than with public image. I need help though, because I’m so hurt inside and have no one to talk to. Ironically, no one to talk to except a man you aren’t married to. Hmmm. Ironies aside, why are you alone? Why don’t you have friends you can share this with? If it’s because you are too afraid of “ministry scars” you are a fool. Build some friendships that are deeper than what you had for dinner last night. Be vulnerable and open and then accepting and nonjudgemental when your friends are open and vulnerable in return. I have to face this girl every week and act as though nothing is wrong. Why must you pretend nothing is wrong if something is? Of course, if all that has happened is that your husband and this girl have been friends, than you are overreacting and there isn’t anything wrong. If there’s been an affair, the Bible has guidelines for how adultery should be handled in the church. Follow the Scriptures you claim to believe. My husband has to work in the office with her a least once a week and act as if nothing is wrong. See previous statement. I don’t want him to talk to her, look at her, or even smile at her, etc., You have just given much more validity to their “relationship” by putting all these rules in place. What had been a friendship has now been classified as “illicit.” Again, if there has been adultery, it needs to be dealt with at a corporate level. but if he acts funny, I know suspicions will arise in me. I think you need to be in therapy. Seriously. You shouldn’t be this upset and this “suspicious” over a friendship. And if your husband has committed adultery, you probably need to be in therapy to deal with the betrayal and the hurt.

My husband said that he would start being open with me when I ask him questions or ask to see his phone. Again with the not trusting. He’s a grown man. I would get irritated if Israel wanted to count the cookies every day to make sure I wasn’t having more than my fair share (food being my addiction). But I feel like he’s starting to get irritated with me already, as I keep asking and I’m scared of his temper. Stop the train. You are afraid of you husband. This should not be a letter asking for advice on how to stop him from talking to another woman. This should be a letter asking for advice on how to get yourself and your children out of the house without endangering anyone needlessly. If you are afraid of you husband, get the hell out of the house. You both need counseling. Him for being angry or violent enough to make you afraid; you for staying in a dangerous relationship for all these years or, and this is the clincher, for being willing to say your husband is abusive (what else do you think “afraid of his temper” means?) when in reality you don’t have the maturity to deal with normal adult relationships, which include some conflict. My husband admits that he has a problem with wanted attention from women, (I’m a woman and I like attention from woman. I like attention from men, too. I enjoy people noticing me. I also enjoy people noticing my husband. I like it when people think he’s neat and want to talk to him. I find it very complimentary to me. I chose well.) and I fear that it may happen again. What happen again? Talking to another human being who happens to be female? I feel so alone and I’m fighting so much with bitterness, anger, thoughts of their conversations and wondering why I wasn’t or am not good enough for him. I feel so betrayed. Again, you need friends, girl. You need to make some friends outside of your immediate family. You need to deal with your bitterness. That crap will eat you up from the inside out. Seriously. Bitterness will destroy you. Anger is not necessarily bad. If something wrong had happened, you I should be angry. Of course, if you are angry because he chats with a coworker, you do probably need to be dealing with anger issues. Stop thinking about their conversations and ask your husband what they’ve talked about. Maybe you’ll find out that they went to the same highschool and have many mutual friends. Maybe they both like painting and have been discussing different water color techniques. Maybe they are having phone sex and you do have reason to be upset. You will never know until you ask you husband and he has the integrity to tell you the truth. And if he doesn’t, a “scar” on his ministry is the least of you problems.

I love my husband and our children, and I want him to do the Lord’s work. So much that you are willing to sacrifice your marriage so he doesn’t look bad. I don’t want to do anything that will destroy his ministry. Oh, like keeping your mouth shut until he has a high profile, public affair that blows up and makes the whole Christian community look bad? Thanks. Please help me with some advice. Or, give me some really crappy advice that won’t help at all.

1. “Fight for your man.” Not bad in and of itself. But the way he advises to go about fighting for her man…yikes.

2. “Go to the woman personally, and tell her to get another job or you will make her wish she had.” Okay, okay, I am trying to write about this but the laughter in my brain just won’t stop. The Pearl’s pride themselves on being based on the bible. Where do they find support for making someone’s life miserable in order to get your way in the Bible? Because that’s what he’s saying. First, you make an ultimatum. “Quit or I’ll make you wish you had.” Okay, then when she doesn’t quit, what are you supposed to do? Start slashing her tires? Begin telling people what a slut she is? Maybe egging her house and calling at all hours of the night is the answer. With open ended advice like that, anything is possible. Michael stresses consistency and following through with threats in his parenting advice. Why would dealing with adults be any different? So, if this girl doesn’t quit, now this woman is stuck with having to make someone else’s life miserable. Sounds like a great way to model Christ.

3. Tell your husband that you expect either him or her to quit and go somewhere else.” Whoa, Whoa, whoa. TELL you husband? TELL? I thought that Michael Pearl supported women being submissive to their husbands. Maybe telling your husband what to do means something else to him but to me, it smacks of being unsubmissive. (I am NOT agreeing with Michael Pearl’s view of submission but simply pointing out his own inconsistencies.) My question when I hear this is “Or what?” What if he doesn’t quit or she doesn’t quit? Oh, yeah, last sentence…

4. If not, go to work with him and don’t let him out of your sight.” Wow. Well, that is certainly one way to build trust and faith in a relationship. And I’ll bet his boss will be really pleased when wife and kids (because they should all be homeschooled if you are a follower of the Pearl’s) show up to shadow Daddy at work. And what if you husband doesn’t happen to work in the ministry where that sort of thing might be acceptable? What if one’s husband works in a controlled or secure area? What if he works in a construction site? What are you going to do when he has to leave town for a business trip? Come on, Michael.

There are just so many things wrong. I think the first thing that needs to be addressed is the truthfulness of this letter. I don’t think she’s telling the whole story. Either her husband has done more than just talk previously in their marriage or he’s doing more than just talking right now. OR, and this is a big OR, she’s seriously this worked up because her husband is talking with a coworker.

My husband and I have a great relationship. We also have great friendships outside of each other. One of my best friends, is also one of his best friends. She came down and spent two weeks with us last summer. We went up and stayed with her for two weeks this fall. She plans on coming to Germany and staying with us for 6 months. Israel and she talk on the phone once a week or so, sometimes less often, sometimes more often. Sometimes I’m home, sometimes I’m not. If I’m not, Israel makes sure to tell me so that it doesn’t seem as though he’s hiding anything. I’m not concerned about him having an affair with her. Do you know why?

Because I’ve made a conscious decision to trust my husband and my best friend. Would I want them to go on a month long back packing trip through the Rockies by themselves? No. If such a situation happened (through no fault of their own, like a plane crash or something) would I believe them when they said nothing inappropriate happened? Yes, I would. I can’t live any other way. If I can not trust my husband to be honest with me, than there’s nothing I can do. Yes, I could follow him around and watch his every move. If he doesn’t respect me enough to tell me the truth, why would he respect me enough to change his behavior just because I’m watching. And if the only reason he’s behaving is because I’m watching, what happens when I can’t watch him?

The only way to have a relationship with any meaning is to trust. What Israel does is his responsibility. If he has an affair, there will be consequences and he knows that. If he looks at too much porn, there are consequences. If I eat a whole bag of Hershey’s Kisses, there are consequences. If I don’t clean the house and he has to come home to a pigsty, there are consequences. If I have an affair, there are consequences.

Part of being an adult is taking responsibility for your actions. Israel and I have made a commitment to be 100% honest with each other, which includes telling the other when we’ve screwed up.

We don’t hide things. Why be married if you aren’t going to be soul mates?

We don’t lie to each other. How could I lie with a man, allowing him access to me while I am more vulnerable than at any other time, if I’m lying to him and vice versa?

We are honest about our weaknesses. How can you address a problem if you don’t know it exists? How can we be a help to each other if we don’t share our struggles?

We help each other and lean on each other when we need a shoulder to help us along. Why have a relationship if you aren’t going to be bettered and neither is your partner?

My point is that Michael Pearl’s advice smacks of distrust. It smacks of someone who thinks the best way to find out what’s going on is to follow the person around. The only way to make sure your spouse is doing what they are supposed to is to shadow them. Where’s the trust? Where’s the love? Love doesn’t do that.

God doesn’t hound us, following after us, waiting for us to screw us so He can pounce on us. God doesn’t give us ultimatums. Well, only the “follow Me or suffer eternal damnation” one but other than that, God doesn’t say, “Preach the gospel here or I’m going to give you fecal incontinence.” God says, do this. God sets the standard. We make a choice of whether or not we are going to strive to meet that standard. If we decide to not meet it, than we suffer the consequences, be what they may. If we decide to meet the standard, than we must do all we can to meet it. If we are unable, God is there to help us. He’s more than willing to help us. I think He enjoys giving us a hand for that last heave up the mountainside. He’s not just going to do it all Himself. He expects us to put some effort into it.

The conclusion I’ve come to is that I’m going to have to make this magazine stop. This man’s advice is so bad, I don’t even want it in my home. I am not looking forward to having to speak to them or write to them or in any way alert them to my existence but this drivel has to stop coming into my home. I get enough drivel through the news.