Titus 2:3-5

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How far is too far?

It's been a few weeks since I last blogged. It's been a busy few weeks and I've been experiencing the worst tiredness I've ever had in m life. Just keeping up with the housework has been a challenge the last few weeks. But enough about me.

For the last several months I've been providing sole supporter of a friend who like me has moved over to America through marriage. This is not my friends first marriage, nor the first for her husband. The both have teenage boys to add to the mix. She has certainly had a more difficult time adjusting to life here stateside. Our circumstances are very different. It is a first and only marriage for both Rob and I. It is a third marriage for both my friend and her husband. Rob and I do not have any children yet. Both my friend and her husband have a grown-up daughter and a teenage son. But this is not the reason for problems. Many families find themselves in my friends position and still make it work, eventually very happily.

My friend seemed to be doomed from the start. Her step-son is 15 and seems to be just one step away from jail. He stays out all night with older boys, comes home with money he has no way to account for, is failing at school, shows only contempt for my friend and her son. I truly feel for the child. He is a product of his upbringing. All his life he has been used as a pawn between his parents, and has a stable home with neither of them. My friend tried to provide that stability for him, treating him the same way she does her own 13 year old son. This just produced more contempt and greater rebellion. Eventually to protect her own son she had to draw a line and refuse to take on the responsibility that belonged to the child's own parents. I should say at this point my friends husband works out of town and so only gets home at the weekends.

It seemed after months of turmoil life would finally begin to settle down. That was a mistake. Even with the step-son out of the house and back living with his mother life seems to keep getting worse. It would now appear that my friend's husband got her to marry him under false pretenses. He wanted a babysitter for his son. After trying for months and failing that hasn't worked. So now she is getting to see a side of her husband that would make anyone want to flee. He has been caught hiding a drug habit from her, and admitted to not telling her the whole truth about his life before they got married. In the last two months he has become verbally abusive to her son, becoming increasingly aggressive each time he gets home for the weekend. He is having violent mood swings and even being hostile to her.

I feel torn. I want to say divorce is not an option. Keep working on it until it gets better. Yet I also know that life is not always that simple. I truly fear that my friend and her son are just one mood swing away from being severely beaten. I have other friends who have survived the horrors of abusive relationships, and still can't believe how long it can go on before they even try to escape. I want to be a good friend. I praise the Lord that both my friend and her son have come to know the Lord since moving over here to America. Yet I fear for her safety and that of her 13 year old son. They gave up everything to move here and start over. Only seven months into it and it is becoming a nightmare.

How do I be the friend she needs me to be? How do I provide wise counsel? I know I'm the only friend she has over here. How far is too far when it comes to abuse in a marriage? When do we run away from the danger when all our emotions tell us to stay? I pray every day seeking the wisdom to help her through this, but I feel so out of my depth. When is it alright to encourage another to walk away from their wedding vows? Is it ever alright to encourage the separation of a married couple? I really want to know the answers to these question, but don't know if I ever will.

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Baby Mordecai

Our blessed first baby, Mordecai, gone to heaven on July 23, 2009 at 13 weeks gestation.

You will never be forgotten by us.