Define Me - Elisabeth Klein

When you write things online, you find yourself wide open for comments, which I totally get.  I am one hundred percent putting myself out there each and every time I hit send or post.  It comes with the territory.

And most comments, honestly, I am able to shake off.  (At least, way better than in the earlier days.)  But sometimes, something gets under my skin and just plain hurts.  And that happened this week.

I was writing about what I always write about and someone said this in the comments section:

“My only quibble is the title of your book (Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage): Obviously, your marriage was not a Christian marriage.”

Oh well, obviously.  Obviously?!  (The gall and judgment in that one word alone…)

She went on to explain what she meant, referencing my ex-husband’s lack of something or other, but here is what I felt when I read those words:

I felt un-labeled. I felt like the sacredness of my marriage was blown away in a whisper with that one sentence.  I felt, how dare you?  I felt, who do you think you are?  I felt like she took my last twenty years and all the work I put into my marriage as a Christian woman who was trying to build and save her Christian marriage and crumpled it up in a ball and threw it away, all dismissively and as if on a throne of some kind, this woman who has never met me or us.

And here’s what I wanted to say to her when I read those words:

“My marriage was a Christian marriage because I am a Christian. And my marriage was a Christian marriage because Christ is in me and therefore Christ was in my marriage. My ex-husband claimed to be a Christian before and during our marriage – and still probably would claim to be – and if “once saved, always saved” is true, he still is. Though I understand your point, I must state that I do not believe you are the judge of the “Christian-ness” – the sacredness – of my marriage, you who are a stranger.  In the future, you might want to be more thoughtful with your words and how you label someone you do not know.”

It’s a dangerous world we live in.  And we all hold so much more power than we think we do, to inspire someone to keep going or to break someone’s spirit and bridle them with words that leave them despairing.

Define carefully.