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Faith Counsellor: I want to leave my husband

Published:Saturday | September 5, 2015 | 12:00 AM

I want to leave my husband

Dear Joan,

I am writing you this letter with tears in my eyes. I have been a Christian for more years than I can count and it has always been my desire to live an exemplary life for Christ.

I do love the Lord with all my heart and I want to continue to serve Him the best I can.

The trouble is I have a husband who is abusing me. He beat me so bad one time, I couldn't go to church for more than a week. When I threatened to leave him, he cried like a baby and told me that it would never happen again. I forgave him and for a while things were OK.

He started complaining about everything I did - how I spent too much time in church, how I didn't do this or that. To try and appease him, I only go to church on Sundays, cutting out the in-the-week services.

One day, he came in and I hadn't finished cooking as I had been feeling a bit ill earlier in the day. He got upset, complaining that after a hard day at work, he couldn't even come home to his dinner on the table. I tried to tell him what had happened and he hit me. I told my church brethren that I am going to leave him as I cannot take it anymore. They are convincing me to stay with him as I made vows.

Joan, I don't want to stay in this situation as I am really afraid. I am beginning to hate him, too. Please advise me.

- F.T.

 

Dear F.T.,

I don't understand your church brethren telling you to stay in this situation. Ask yourself this question: Are they the ones getting the blows? No! They can tell you anything they want, but at the end of the day, you are the one who is in the situation.

You didn't say if you had reported it to the police when he beat you badly that time. I don't know if it is too late to put it on record, but you can always try.

Many women, under pressure from church, stayed in abusive relationships and are no longer around as they got one hit too many.

My dear, get out before you become one of those statistics. When you plan to leave, don't do it while he is around. Wait until he has gone off to work and then make the break. If you have to leave while he is there, bring in reinforcement.

No matter how many times he tells you that it will never happen again, you will have to harden your heart to his pleas as they have proven worthless so far.

I am not shutting the door on your marriage. There are many avenues open to save it- counselling, mediation and prayer. But until things cool down, stay safe.

- Joan

Afraid to do anything in church

Dear Joan,

I am a young convert and I am paranoid about doing anything in church. I don't want them to call me up to do the devotion, to give the welcome - nothing!

It's not that I don't want to. It's just that the thought of going up there with so many eyes staring at me just freaks me out. One time, they asked me to read the Bible during devotion and I refused.

I heard the pastor preaching about the sin of disobedience. I am not saying it's about me, but if it is, it's not that I want to be disobedient, but I feel that if I go up there, I am going to stutter and make a fool of myself.

Please, how do I take charge of this situation? I have never been one for the spotlight. I am an only child and although it sounds like a clichÈ, I really do enjoy my own company.

- S.H.

 

Dear S.H.,

It doesn't matter if you are an only child or not, many people are shy when it comes to public speaking. You would be surprised at the number of persons you think are more experienced in the faith than you who are still nervous about facing the congregation.

Here is a little tip from someone who had to overcome the same situation you are now in. When you go to the pulpit to read the Bible, don't stare into anyone's face. Look beyond you to the door.

Read your verses and raise your head slightly. Avoid any direct stares.

After a while, you will soon build up your confidence. When you do, you will find that you start to feel less tense.

Don't get discouraged. Just hang in there.

God bless!

- Joan

- Do you have an issue in church and need guidance? Send questions to familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com.