Twice in the past several months, I find myself striking a chord with readers. The first time had to do with an article I wrote about my marriage ending. The second time was today when I wrote about feeling unpursued (it also ran here last month: http://elisabethcorcoran.blogspot.com/2012/04/unpursued.html). My inbox has been filling up today.
And the resounding message I am hearing from readers is, “Thank you for making me feel like I’m not alone”.
This is all good and fine. I am honestly deeply thrilled to know that a) anyone even reads what I write (this still shocks me), and b) people resonate with my words.
What I’m not too thrilled about is knowing that I’m potentially becoming the poster child for the Christian divorcee, the jilted woman, the ignored. (That’s no fun.)
But what really concerns me though is knowing how many women have gone through what I’ve gone through and feel the way I feel. There are just too many Christ-following women walking around being treated harshly, feeling unloved.
This says two things to me.
One, Christian men were not taught how to treat the women in their lives…their mothers, their sisters, their friends, their girlfriends, theirfiancées, and now their wives and daughters. Not all, by any means, but some. Some men think it’s okay to hurt the women in their lives, not only with harsh touches and words and actions, but also with a lack of gentleness and kindness and protection and love.
This, I feel, I can do little about. What I can do, I’m doing. What I can do is pray for my son and pray for my daughter. This I can do.
But the reaction to my writing also indicates to me that Christian women were not taught how to be treated. We choose unwisely out of fear. We settle for less and then beg for more. We say we believe in God and want what’s best for us but if his best involves waiting on his timing, we’re outta here and making the decisions on our own. (And then we wonder how we ended up where we ended up.)
Something has broken along the way.
Men and women who love Jesus should not be intentionally hurting each other and allowing themselves to be hurt. We’re broken. We need a healing that recovers who we were supposed to be.
God wants so much more for our relationships than what we find ourselves in. If I think my heart is broken with each email I receive, I can hardly imagine how much more so is God’s…especially for the women who don’t have the strength to reach out.
So I’ll do what I know to do. I’ll keep telling the truth. I’ll keep trying to treat the people in my life with gentleness. I’ll keep listening to the women who write to me. And I’ll keep praying that what is broken will be restored.
If this post helped you, I would encourage you to check out “Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage”, found here.