Family Business

Four Words I Hate

March 7, 2011

I got up this morning to check my Facebook friends and have sat here with a broken heart for the last ten minutes. Unable to even move from the couch until I put something out here.

I have a friend, another Heidi. She is lovely, vivacious, passionate about the Lord. I adore her. She’s a Real Person. If you get my drift.

She and her husband were pastors and missionaries and street evangelists in the time that we interacted on a daily basis.

They came back from their third stint to the mission field a few years ago and re-entry was harder this time. He needed to find an “occupation” to support the five of them and she was determined to be the Good Christian Wife.

So, he headed out to pursue one thing after another. Being a minister of the Lord is a great skill but not one which finds many job openings in the Pacific Northwest outside of starting your own congregation. Something they weren’t willing to do.

Heidi’s husband has always been intense. Focused. Determined. He was the kind of man who would run 15 miles one day simply because he could and he thought it would be more interesting for his day. I think of him as driven for…something. I wasn’t ever able to really determine what.

And while they didn’t always work well together, they kept things moving. Their children were bright, happy and well-adjusted. She homeschooled and served in the women’s ministries and did all manner of outreach to her neighbors.

This despite having some severe back trauma from a missions trip in her teens where her entire spine was compressed and all her disks were wonky.

They, the both of them, were our friends. Our boys love their children and we have pictures of them on a recent trip back to our neck of the wood where we laughed and played and enjoyed each other’s company.

But then, back in October, I ran into a mutual friend…. And it seems the veneer was breaking. He was living the macho dream and Heidi had lost the ability to compensate for it.

I don’t want to uncover my friend’s struggles but I will say this… All you fella’s talking about how you need to “MAN UP” and put the little woman in her place where she just needs to suck it up and follow your God-given right to lead, damnit.”
are full of shit.

He broke her when he should have loved her. He ignored her weakness when he should have carried her. He left to “serve the Lord” and in his absence? They found they functioned better, as a family, without him.

And now, my sweet friends, with whom I have prayed and laughed. Friends that I have fed and welcomed into my home. People I KNOW! I was at the hospital for the birth of their baby girl.

These Strong Believers…

Are getting a divorce.

And it grieves me. Because it didn’t have to end up this way.

It never does.

  • Hugs to you my friend. And to Heidi as well. My heart breaks a little, as each of my friends seems to be walking this way.I just had a conversation, at my kitchen table, with a friend considering, if leaving would be more comforting than staying. She didn’t like my advice. I think we need to remember to pray for each other. Daily. Pray for our mom friends and spouses. and our Children. I thought you were going to say something like Castle Was Not Renewed. Coffee Is $15.00 Abag.

  • Professor hale

    Very sad. Sorry about your friends. Sorry also for what you will have to endure because of them. The divorce of dear friends of mine several years ago still haunts me.

    We cannot control the lives of other people as we would like. The best we can do is comfort them in their trials.

    The church is not immune to the troubles of the world. We are judged by how we deal with those troubles.

  • Heidi,

    I know what you mean. I’m so sorry.

  • Giraffe

    I am not in a position to tell you you are wrong, of course, but,

    He left to “serve the Lord” That does not compute. He went south to go north. One does not leave one’s wife to serve the Lord. At least not under the normal definition of leave.

    Yet, it is entirely different if he went to serve the Lord and she refused to follow. One follows God first.

    There is a difference, despite much clumsiness in trying to describe it.

    I am getting sick of the game posts, too. But I do believe that it is the man’s responsibility to lead and the woman’s to follow.

    Of course he doesn’t do this with no consideration for her. And he is commanded to love her.

    Obviously, there is more to this than I know.

    And while the situation and topic is unfortunate,I am glad to see you posting again. Spring is coming. 🙂

  • Giraffe,

    Elders had to show they could handle the responsibility of their own family before they were allowed the responsibility to minister to the body of Christ. Yet I’ve seen just the reverse of this attitude prevalent within the Church – that a man’s ministry matters more than his family.

  • Giraffe,

    When I put it in quotes, it wasn’t for sarcasm. It was because I don’t believe that serving the Lord at the expense of your children or your wife is “serving the Lord”.

    She followed him to violent neighborhoods in third world countries where, as an attractive blonde American, she took her life in her own hands to step outside between dusk and dawn. SHe did this not once, not twice, but three times. A total of 8 years spent in constant fear. Rational, reasonable fear. Because good, christian women submit and shut up and follow.

    So she followed.

    She lived on beans and rice and food basket, handmedowns and not even hair spray so he could work part time and do street evangelism while she waited at home for him to come back with their one car.

    He led… But he didn’t lead his family.

    I know this sounds pissy. But, seriously?

    I meant exactly what I wrote.

  • Giraffe

    If he was truly called by the Lord, you are wrong. Sorry. I believe serving the Lord can lead to sacrifices for the whole family, up to and including martyrdom. Not even hairspray? Wow, what a sacrifice.

    If he was not truly called by the Lord, he was wrong and he will answer to the Lord for it. Can you see it? “Shame on you for trying to serve me when your wife needed hairspray!”

    Obviously, you are in a better position to judge than I am. Despite my being unable to restrain my asshole sarcasm I am guessing you are right. I have contrary tendencies, so I take the other side of things. I would apologize, but since I read the game posts, I realize that’s beta behavior. 🙂

  • Giraffe

    Elders had to show they could handle the responsibility of their own family before they were allowed the responsibility to minister to the body of Christ. Yet I’ve seen just the reverse of this attitude prevalent within the Church – that a man’s ministry matters more than his family.

    True. I’ve also heard of missionaries who died, or lost wives and/or children while spreading the gospel. Were they wrong?

    Aren’t we supposed to expect a little hardship on His behalf?

    I know we are commanded to provide for our families, but to what standard? Does this include hairspray?

  • Giraffe,

    I think the point Heidi was trying to make was that this friend of hers had already sacrificed her whole life and all creature comforts in order to follow where her husband led – submitting to him – but that he did not, in turn, show her the kind of love Christ has for the church.

    Think about what God does for you, and for all of the ones that He loves. He gives us a hand up when we fall. He waits for us and encourages us when we’re slow. He gives us a strong arm to hang onto when we’re weak. He forgives us when we fail.

    It’s a lot easier to subordinate your will to someone else’s when you can trust that they have your best interests at heart and not just their own.

    A lot of men seem to think submission is something women can produce at the drop of a hat, but that we choose not to because we’re contrary, stubborn and evil. I very seldom see men making the connection between their own submission to God and their wife’s submission to them. They accept the grace God freely gives them when they fail to humbly submit to His leading, doing what they want to do instead, but then turn around and scorn their wife for failing to submit to them – and they’re not even the perfect, infallible leader that God is.

  • Giraffe

    That is well stated. I guess I missed the point.

  • AJW308

    We had to destroy the village to save it.

    No matter the decade or context, it makes no sense.

    I hate it. Been there, done that (really it was done to me) and we had no kids. I’ve known kids who’ve gone through, friends, and I know it hurts, cuts, and destroys and I had no idea how much till a girlfriend of a best friend was hitting on me, telling me personal pains my best friend had suffered in some twisted attempt to impress me. I’ve never been impressed with anyone who’s betrayed a loved one, but she was stabbing my friend in the back with personal information I shouldn’t have. There’s fewer people lower than her on my list.

    I hate divorce and I know you are collateral damage from the blast that is destroying your friends marriage, WIA.

    My Lord does not destroy. How can he not see he’s betraying his vows (making a lie of them) and destroying something blessed by God. How can he not see that what he’s following is making him a liar and a destroyer? Who is the lord of that?

    I’m on a rant, please excuse me….

  • “God hates divorce”, for good reason. I’m sorry that this is happening to your friends. I’m even more sorry that this seems to be the rule in the world today.

  • Spacebunny

    I’m so sorry you and your family are going through this. I hate the questions and confusion and sometimes even fear it can raise in your own children when a family close to yours is going through this. As painful as an untimely death is, in some ways this is worse because it is a choice the parents are making, a choice children can’t possibly hope to understand.

  • Oh no, SB, according to the PR campaign the “kids are doing beautifully, amazingly well” and she and the soon to be ex are also doing well.

    It’s a GOOD decision…

    I believe it because I was born yesterday and my brain is on delay.

  • Athor Pel

    Which one is asking for the divorce?

  • It’s a “mutual” decision says the PR campaign…

    At this point I’m so irritated I can’t get my head squared around it period.

  • Giraffe

    Sorry. I met with three other guys this morning for a bible study. Two have been dumped by their wives in the last year.

  • AJW308

    This is a painful post to read.