The saga continues this week on my story. See what happens when you start a church in a strip mall. We meet some of the church members who would join us. I continue recalling the abuse behind the scenes, including the speculations behind our non-existent love life. There are many examples of financial abuse, emotional abuse, spiritual abuse, isolation, and unhealthy patterns of married sex. I end the episode with a Christmas song I recorded, Candlelight Carol.
Candlelight Carol composed by John Rutter, used by permission under licensing.
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If Only You Would Submit To Your Husband Transcript:[00:00:00] Welcome to the Wounds of the Faithful Podcast. Brought to you by DSW Ministries. Your host is singer songwriter, speaker and domestic violence advocate, Diana Winkler. She is passionate about helping survivors in the church heal from domestic violence and abuse and trauma. This podcast is not a substitute for professional counseling or qualified medical help. [00:00:26] Now, here is Diana. [00:00:28] Hello everyone. I am hoping that you survived Thanksgiving. I am very thankful for you out there listening and watching. We have the holidays to contend with as always, but we can get through this together. Now you remember Wayne Styles, who I mentioned frequently on the show. He was on the podcast last year [00:01:00] and he has those virtual tours to the holy lands. And more importantly, he is an excellent Bible teacher. Anyway, if you’ve been hesitating on getting his virtual videos, Wayne has just created brand new DVDs that are 20 bucks, includes five different tours on a disc. So I myself bought four of them for Christmas gifts. [00:01:34] I wanted to give one to my pastor and then another our Pastor Emeretus and one to my Bible study teacher and one I’m going to give away as a bonus for you guys. So please be on the lookout for that as soon as I get them in, which will be in a couple of days, [00:02:00] I’ll be doing the giveaway for the videos. [00:02:03] I highly recommend Wayne’s virtual trips to the Holy Lands, and I will have the link in the show notes for you, but you can just go to wayne styles.com and see what he has to offer. So I have a lot to cover today. [00:02:25] We are going to continue my story. I have about four episodes to go. It’s a 20 part series. That’s what it turned into. I recommend going back to previous episodes for context. If you have not heard any of my story at all, and they are all labeled my story, they are all numbered in order. So we are going to talk about today about the newest church plant that we were a part of and its utter failure. [00:02:59] [00:03:00] But I will get really personal today talking about the core abuses in our home, behind the scenes. So I’m covering a lot about the sexual issue. In our marriage today, if that makes you uncomfortable. I do understand that. I am going to be as non graphic as possible, and it’s uncomfortable for me too, but I really believe that there are those listening that are going either through this right now or have gone through this in the past. [00:03:38] So we’re gonna get past this uncomfortableness and get started here. So what I’m gonna start out with in continuation from last week is what were the vacations like when I was married to Danny. And I will say he [00:04:00] ruined the few real vacations that we went on. I mentioned last week, I think that his idea of vacation was going to his parents house and they would wait on him hand on foot. [00:04:14] Not my idea of vacation, as nice as they are. But we had three total vacations in our 13 years of marriage. First one was Ocean City, Maryland. Now we spent some time at the beach, but we wound up visiting that church in New Jersey and a kids’ camp, which we wound up moving to New Jersey to do the youth group at that church. [00:04:42] The second actual vacation was to Yellowstone Park. and that was an amazing place. But when we were in the park, we did not realize that the park was bigger than we thought. And so we were [00:05:00] halfway through the park and we saw all kinds of stuff. If you’ve been there, you’ve seen the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. [00:05:06] You see the the spots where you can see all the wildlife and you see a lot of geysers. It’s beautiful. But he wanted to see Old Faithful, and we didn’t get to see Old Faithful because we had to turn around to get to the other side of the park, to the exit because they closed the gates at night. [00:05:30] We were in a bed and breakfast between Yellowstone Gate and Cody, so we’d be stuck in the park overnight with no accommodations if we did not get to those gates in time. So he was driving like a crazy person, cursing and screaming and swearing the whole time. I’m surprised we didn’t hit a buffalo or some other animal. [00:05:56] I was trying to enjoy the drive on the way [00:06:00] back as the sun was going down. It’s a beautiful place. If you get a chance to go, I would highly recommend it. He did his best to sully that for me. Now, we did get out in time and we made it back to the bed and breakfast. The next day we went into Cody. And we visited the Buffalo Bill Museum. [00:06:25] Excellent museum. Really recommend it, and it’s huge. Now, I suggested going separate directions in the museum because, one, we were interested in different things, and I did not wanna spend the day walking around that museum with him after the day before shenanigans, that was probably the most enjoyable part of that vacation, was exploring the museum in peace. [00:06:51] Now, the third actual vacation we went on was his parents paid for a [00:07:00] vacation in San Diego for all of us kids and spouses. We just had to show up. We wouldn’t want that? Danny did not wanna fly the hour flight, but wanted to drive the five hours to San Diego from Phoenix. I don’t remember how, but we wound up flying because I think of the time constraints. And we stayed at a really nice resort. [00:07:26] It was very close to Sea World and Mission Bay and all the sites. We went kayaking in the bay, which was fun. Never done that before. Did some other sight seeing in town, the aircraft carrier. And I went to the beach with my mother-in-law by ourselves and I got burnt to a crisp the first day. I haven’t had a burn like that in a very long time. [00:07:54] I had a real couple really bad sunburns as a child. and I am Miss Sunblock. I wore [00:08:00] sunblock every day of my life. And I think the sunblock must have been expired cuz I, I lathered it on, but I was red as a lobster and in so much pain. And the resort had one of those spas with these wraps. They put the stuff in a big sheet and lather you up with the stuff for sunburn and then, you soak in it for a little while. [00:08:26] Well, I went and got that done and dad paid for it. So that was cool. Right? And the whole trip, Danny was complaining about everything, the resort, the room, what else he could find to complain about. I was like, We’re not paying for this. This is free. Stop complaining, and he wanted to have sex while I had this second [00:09:00] degree sunburn and I was in pain, how considerate of him. Well, I complied with his request, but I didn’t get anything out of it. [00:09:10] Big surprise there. I just laid there as still as possible because I was in so much pain. Now, later that evening, we got into this huge fight. I can’t even remember what the fight was about. We were all supposed to meet at the Italian restaurant on the grounds, and Danny said that he wasn’t going to go to dinner, but I can go if I want. [00:09:36] Then he said that he doesn’t wanna stay here at the resort. He is going to fly home. Does this sound familiar? Folks? You’ve been following my story? This time, he’s not running around the block with a car because he doesn’t have a car. When he doesn’t get his way, that’s what he does. This time he wanted to take it a step further and take a plane [00:10:00] home and leave me behind. [00:10:01] And I was like, what is wrong with you? Fine, go ahead see if I care. I wasn’t gonna cave into his manipulation. He wasn’t going to ruin my vacation. So I went to dinner by myself and I met with mom and dad and his brother and sister and their spouses. And of course they all asked, where is Danny? So I told him about what happened down in the hotel room and that he was flying back to Phoenix tonight. [00:10:34] And I told dad- you deal with this. Somehow he convinced Danny to stay for the rest of the weekend. I found stuff to do on my own or with his family. I think that was the last vacation that we went on together. [00:10:51] We talk about abuse. And abuse means control even in the small things, [00:11:00] even when it doesn’t make sense. [00:11:01] So here are some of the things that he used to not let me do. I was not allowed to get LASIK surgery. I wore bottle cap glasses. Since the seventh grade, I could not see without those glasses. I couldn’t wear contacts because I have a dry eye disease. So when LASIK surgery started to become a reality and affordable, I wanted to get my eyes done. [00:11:29] It cost about a thousand dollars. At the time, it wasn’t that we couldn’t afford it, it was that he wouldn’t let me have it. He said that the doctors would butcher my eyes. I was like, the surgery is not new. It’s as common as safe as cataract surgery. But it was just another way to control me. [00:11:53] Some of you know that I speak French. I started learning it in grade school. I have wanted [00:12:00] to visit France from a very early age because I had five years of French study. My parents could not afford to send me to France when my high school class went to Paris for spring break. So when I became an adult and my sister moved to France, I wanted to go even more. [00:12:24] I’m also an avid seamstress and designed my own clothes. So that was another reason I wanted to go to France, to visit the couture houses. My sister invited me to visit, but Danny hated my sister, and the feeling was mutual. I assure you. He wouldn’t let me go to France. And he said he hated the French government and wouldn’t allow me to go. [00:12:52] That’s ridiculous. I know. I didn’t see her until she came to the States for my [00:13:00] cousin’s wedding. That was seven years before I saw my sister again. When your abuser isolates you from your family for any reason, that is abuse. [00:13:15] Now everybody likes to get gifts, right? That’s part of being in a family. He would use furniture, sewing machine and the piano that I received as a gift against me. We bought this mahogany canopy bedroom.. It was beautiful. My mother-in-law bought me a new comforter set. I got a new sewing embroidery machine, and I think he bought me that because I could sew and embroider his work shirts for him. [00:13:47] I asked for a digital piano for Christmas because my three little keyboard I had long since grown out of. And I was still taking piano lessons from Paul. [00:13:59] [00:14:00] So Christmas gifts from your spouse, you think My husband wants me to enjoy this, wants me to have this gift. Right? Every time we would have a fight or he wouldn’t get his way, he would say, I buy you all these nice things and you still fight me. [00:14:19] You don’t submit to me. What? Cause I don’t put up with your verbal abuse towards me? You hold these gifts against me? That’s not a gift. That’s manipulation. If that’s how it is, you can take all these gifts back to the store. I don’t want any more gifts from you. He didn’t take any of those gifts back. [00:14:41] I still have the sewing machine. I had just sold the piano this year because I had three pianos in this room and I upgraded to my Juno synthesizer. I had to leave the furniture behind. I couldn’t take it with me. [00:14:57] One stunt he would [00:15:00] pull was he would take my birthday money. My family gave me a surprise 30th birthday party. My extended family is very generous. And in front of my whole family, he took my money out of my hand and said he was gonna hold onto it for safekeeping, like I was some kindergartner. [00:15:26] My cousin was so mad he took me into the garage and he shoved this big wad of money into my hands. And he says, make sure that, get that money back from Danny when you get home. And I assured him that I would. [00:15:44] At home, the other financial tidbit was he would give me an allowance, like a grade schooler. Now I was using it for spending money, but I’m a full grown adult here. I don’t need an allowance, [00:16:00] especially if I’m working. He was allowed to buy anything he wanted. He didn’t have an allowance. I don’t remember how much it was. I was trying to wrack my brains. I think it was about 30 bucks a paycheck. It was to buy fun stuff, like books or music. [00:16:17] Whatever. I would usually save the money when I didn’t want anything in particular, and he would find out that I was not spending my $30 every week and said that I was hoarding money. That it was saving up money so I could leave him. Now, that wasn’t true at the time. I had told him That’s my business if I want to spend my allowance or not, or save it. [00:16:46] I am naturally a saver more than a spender anyway. I still am. What I’m describing here is financial abuse. When somebody is controlling your access to money [00:17:00] or resources, like a job, that is abuse. [00:17:05] Another kind of abuse, manipulation, and narcissism. Now in public, he never passed up the opportunity to treat me like a party favor or a trophy wife. His high school reunion was up and he wanted to go. I don’t know why. He used to tell me he had a horrible experience in high school. Everybody hated him, including his teachers. [00:17:32] And I found out why. He wanted to show off his trophy wife. He said to me, you’re not gonna wear one of those little house in the prairie dresses, are you? You have to wear something really hot! Excuse me? I’m gonna wear a nice dress, but I’m certainly not “dressing hot” for your loser high school goons. You can forget it. [00:17:58] I’m not going to your high [00:18:00] school reunion. I’m not gonna be treated like that. I don’t dress hot the rest of the year, so that’s not gonna change now. [00:18:11] We’re going to head into the serious sexual issues in our life. So if you don’t wanna hear about any of this, then you can fast forward to the last 20 minutes or so. [00:18:28] So if you’ve been listening to my story for any length of time, you know that for him, avoiding sex or any intimacy whatsoever was from day one of our marriage. So maybe once every few months it would happen. Part of the problem was he was addicted to sports. You’ve heard of football widows before. I was a widow of every sport. [00:18:53] Baseball, football, hockey, nascar, golf, you name it. He [00:19:00] watched every sport. So his routine would be to watch sports at night and fall asleep on the couch. I went to bed at nine because I usually got five o’clock for work. And then he would slither into bed sometime late at night. So the one problem was if we were intimate, it was not usually during a date night or when I was awake during the day. [00:19:26] The pattern was to initiate sex in the middle of the night while I was asleep. He would use a variety of ways to initiate that, which I will not describe, but anyone who knows me knows I highly value my sleep. I do not like to be woken up in the middle of the night unless, of course there’s an emergency. [00:19:49] I am not a morning person. He is, I am more of a night owl. But anyway, I made it clear that I do not want to have sex in the middle [00:20:00] of the night. I would tell him, why don’t we plan a nice date night on the calendar? And he would say I want it to be spontaneous. With our busy schedule, spontaneous doesn’t work. [00:20:12] Anyway, someone having sex with you while you’re sleeping, especially when you told ’em no while you were awake. Oh, that’s a violation of consent. You may be thinking in your head, when you get married, that was your consent. No, it wasn’t. The fact that you’re married doesn’t mean that you can’t say no to sex. [00:20:35] Is he just being a real selfish jerk? Yes. Does that mean it was rape? For us, he would usually give up after I didn’t respond to his advances in the middle of the night. Sometimes I would wake up and I would go along with the sex, but it really wasn’t very fulfilling on my end since I was half asleep. Now if I [00:21:00] woke up and I said, no, I wanna go back to sleep, and he kept going anyway, then I would’ve defined that is marital rape. [00:21:09] But I don’t recall that ever happening to us. Sometimes. We had gone so long without any sex that I thought, if I don’t agree to this, then I probably won’t get any sex for another three months. And I don’t remember if I mentioned that the only time that he wanted sex during waking hours was when we were at his parents’ house, because he wanted them to hear us having sex in the next room, so they would think we were happily married. [00:21:42] It was all a facade, so I was not very happy about that, and I refused. [00:21:49] Other fun things that he would say to me, I don’t think I could get turned on by you if you gained weight. What? I was [00:22:00] 120 pounds my whole marriage. You know what he weighed? 210 pounds. He always had bad things to say about women who were overweight, even in his own family. But he was overweight. One fact here is now second wife is 300 pound woman, and I’m sure he’s delivering the same abuse to her. [00:22:25] So I told him I guess I won’t get pregnant then because I can’t guarantee that I would lose weight after the baby. And he wanted to have a baby so he could carry on the family name. That’s not a good reason to have a baby. And what if it’s a girl? When I would initiate sex, he would usually turn me down. When I would ask why, [00:22:49] he would say, you didn’t submit to me today, Diana, so you don’t get any sex today. His definition of submit would be [00:23:00] if I said anything or push back on any mistreatment on his part, he would say that I wasn’t submitting. [00:23:08] It would be anything like, I didn’t have the water jug filled up in the fridge. If there were dishes in the sink, if the gas tank in the car was under half of a tank. That was cause for withholding affection of any kind. [00:23:24] What is wrong with you? At that time, I felt what’s wrong with me? [00:23:31] I was pretty, I took care of myself. [00:23:35] I took care of our home. I will say when I was young, I had a really strong sex drive to the point of distraction. I don’t know, too much testosterone in my system or something. So I understand the dichotomy when these sorts of things happen. But I never demanded sex. I maybe would initiate [00:24:00] once a week. I just thought it was strange that he wasn’t interested in sex except for the situations I mentioned already. [00:24:09] All of the men I knew wanted sex every day with their wives. I didn’t necessarily expect that, but I didn’t think our relationship was normal. I asked some of my trusted male friends who were married. Is there something wrong with me? Do you see anything about me that would warrant his behavior towards me? [00:24:37] And the guys were very blunt. There is nothing wrong with you, Diana. He must be gay. Oh, I didn’t really think about that. But I actually confronted Danny. Do you not wanna have sex with me because you’re gay? And he thoroughly denied it. He always had very rude things to say about gay [00:25:00] people, and I know that even if he was gay and hiding it, he would never admit it. [00:25:08] His traditional Italian family would never accept that. [00:25:12] And I think I may have mentioned with his sound and video business, He was doing business with gay bars and swingers clubs claiming he was talking to them about Jesus. And the venues were supposedly cooling it while he was working there. Normally I would believe that, but he wasn’t sleeping with his own wife. [00:25:34] I never found any evidence of porn or him cheating on me. But he could have been hiding it from me. I don’t know. This was before smart phones were around and you could still access porn on the internet, but I never really looked into his internet history. I guess I was too trusting. What do you think? [00:25:55] Too gullible? But I wanted to believe the best of [00:26:00] my husband. [00:26:00] And you’re probably thinking, maybe he was abused and he never told you about it. I’ve thought about that recently, but in 13 years of marriage and a horrible divorce, if he didn’t have the guts to tell me that he was abused as a child, which I don’t have any evidence for, he had a wonderful upbringing. [00:26:24] If he doesn’t have the guts to tell me about something that personal, me as his wife, then I don’t really want to know. [00:26:32] But the lack of intimacy and lack of connection. Or any affection at all, sex, that was hard on me. That’s one of my love languages. Was physical touch. Him, not so much. And he would use that as a weapon against me. You normally hear about women withholding sex as a weapon. It definitely can [00:27:00] happen men, doing it too. [00:27:01] It’s wrong for either sex to do that, by the way. It’s wrong to use sex to manipulate your spouse to get your way. [00:27:10] Now, he would always want his needs met, and I would do my best to meet his needs. He would expect oral sex, but he would never return the favor. He would give me this line about him being allergic to my body. Fluids. What? [00:27:27] Never any personal connection between us. No exchange of love. [00:27:33] Oh, he came into the bedroom once and said, do you wanna have a romantic evening? The Bible says that we have to have sex and not defraud one another so you don’t cheat on me. No, I don’t wanna have a romantic evening. That proposal of yours was not romantic. I do not want [00:28:00] obligatory sex. [00:28:01] Or pity sex from you. Then he would add that I was an nymphomaniac, that I put too much pressure on him to have sex. What pressure? I hint at like once a week that I’m interested. I wear an outfit he’d like, I’d fix my hair up real nice. I’d make his favorite dessert. Light candles, soft music. Hints, like wanna go to bed early tonight? He would usually say, no. [00:28:31] I never pushed or demanded my way. I just went to bed and that was it. I cried myself to sleep more times than I could count. And it’s really tough to be rejected as a woman. And I’m sure it’s tough for a man to be rejected as well. I do wanna acknowledge that both scenarios are wrong. But I started to shut down emotionally to [00:29:00] protect myself, so I stopped asking. [00:29:03] We were just roommates. We weren’t marriage partners. And as hard as it was to be neglected in that way, that was not the reason why I divorced him. If that was the only problem that we had and everything else was healthy, then we could have worked through that. But that piled on top of the church and the verbal and emotional abuse was way too much. [00:29:30] Yeah, sex is an important part of the marriage, but it’s not the main course. It’s the dessert, the topping, the sprinkles. Without a relationship, sex is empty and shallow. If there isn’t somewhat a regular coming together, then you both should sit down and examine why. [00:29:53] There’s too much emphasis that’s put on demanding that our bodily needs get [00:30:00] met right now. God never meant for all of our sexual desires to be filled without limits by our partner. It’s the same in other areas of our life, right? Food is a necessity, but God never meant us to abuse food. [00:30:20] Or eat food in excess. You drink alcohol. It wasn’t meant to be drunk in excess. Sex was meant to be mutually fulfilling, aiming to please one another. Not to take, not to demand from one another, but to give. And for some seasons in life, we are not gonna have sex for whatever reason. If you have a baby, if one of you is sick, if one of you is serving in the military, relationship issues, just being tired, [00:31:00] you’re both exhausted from whatever. Work. [00:31:04] Sheila Greg Gore was on my show and she has an excellent book called The Great Sex Rescue. She also has a lot of excellent books for men and women about healthy sex and boundaries and marriage, highly recommend that. So go and check those out. Check out her episode, her interview on the podcast. [00:31:27] So speaking of sex and health, we went on an anniversary trip to Jerome for a weekend, I think, I can’t remember what anniversary it was. [00:31:37] I think it was 10th maybe. It’s a town an hour and a half north up here. It’s like an old mining ghost town. These little cute shops that you can visit and you walk around. And it’s way on top of the mountain, so there’s fantastic views. And I remember it snowed and we were at a bed and breakfast.[00:32:00] We attempted to have sex. [00:32:03] And he said he was in pain and has some sort of a discharge. I know gross. Sorry guys. There is a point to me sharing that. So bear with me. We walked around town in the snow and he could hardly walk. When we left on Sunday to go back to town, I said, you need to go to the doctor right away and get that checked out. [00:32:28] I didn’t go with him. So he is at the doctor’s office and the doctor looked at the discharge and said to him, do you have something to tell me? And he said, no. Of course, the doctor was implying that he was sleeping around. [00:32:45] If you don’t have anything to tell me, then your wife does. You have symptoms of a venereal disease. Now, this was before he took a swab for the lab test. [00:32:56] So Danny comes home and he is mad as a [00:33:00] hornet, and he says, the doctor says, you gave me VD. I said ho, ho. Wait a minute. What’s going on? I don’t have VD, so I certainly didn’t give it to you. You are the one going to the gay bars and the swinger’s clubs. What do you have to say about that? [00:33:21] So I told him, let’s wait until the test results come back before you jump to conclusions that you have VD. I wanted to go and choke that doctor because he created a situation, one that didn’t exist. Two, he didn’t get the test results first and creating a situation here in my home. Oh, the test results came back and it wasn’t VD. [00:33:50] He had diabetes. His sugar was so high, it seeped into his urine as well as his blood. Hence the [00:34:00] discharge. That’s what he told me Anyway. So now we are treating him for diabetes and changing the diet of a traditional Italian man who loves to cook and eat pasta all the time. That’s not easy. He wasn’t on insulin yet, but if he didn’t take the prescribed medications, change his diet, lose weight, get some exercise, you would have to take insulin. [00:34:33] So where am I going with this? It’s gonna get worse. If you know anything about diabetes or know somebody, there are other conditions that come with it, and one of those conditions was impotence. Diabetes does damage to body parts if it is not under control. So I was saying to the Lord, did he have to get [00:35:00] diabetes? [00:35:02] Did we have to add impotence to an already rocky marriage and nearly no sex life? That is a huge blow. I just couldn’t understand it. Why me? And I know you’re saying, but there’s Viagra. Unfortunately the little blue pill didn’t work in his particular situation because the damage was too great already. [00:35:28] There were medical treatments and gadgets for impotence, which are humiliating, not sexy or comfortable. I am not going to describe those. If you’re interested in knowing what they are, you can Google that. But we did try a couple of the different treatments and some temporarily worked. [00:35:51] But you have to do everything that I mentioned for that to work. But the underlying problem was the [00:36:00] foundation of an unhealthy marriage and the avoidance of intimacy, which we did not know the reason for. Now, a good marriage between two people who love each other, medical issues would not get in the way of making love. [00:36:19] You will find a way if you love your partner. And it was so much work now to get ready for the actual physical part of the sex, that after a few times of that routine, he wanted to give up. And he gave up because there isn’t really any love there. He didn’t wanna have sex to begin with. [00:36:45] He certainly didn’t wanna go through the complicated routine for it to happen. I understand that it was not fun. And I was supportive and I tried to be positive about the whole thing, [00:37:00] to try and make it fun. And the follow up with the urologist, he was like, there’s only three vials used here. There was like 20 vials in there. The doctor couldn’t believe that we only had sex three times within a six month period. So he didn’t wanna do the treatments anymore. [00:37:26] And so we had sex even less than we did before for the rest of our marriage. Which we had a few years left before the divorce. [00:37:39] Ah, we need to talk about the new church. That’s right. The sex part’s over for now. We had a Sunday school teacher back at Cactus Flower that we admired and kept in touch with. We had dinner with Dan and his wife Dee. He had been a pastor in New York, and he raised his four [00:38:00] kids there who were all grown up and out of the house. [00:38:05] He was a Hyles Anderson graduate. He knows Bible really well. He studied all the time. He was an old school Fundamental Baptist, King James only, legalistic preacher. They had a mortgage company and a paralegal business together. And he told us he wanted to start another church in our neighborhood. He knew our story and where we came from. [00:38:30] And so he asked us to help him start this church. So Pastor Dan rented a space next door to the mortgage company for the church. The church was in a strip mall. And we had Dee that could play the piano and sing. And so we had a great time doing duets together. She and I took turns teaching the kids Sunday school class. And we went door to door get the word out about the new church, [00:39:00] called Brotherly Love Church. [00:39:03] Yes, that name is made up. Pastor Dan got a lot of visitors from his business contacts. We invited our coworkers and such. And I thought Dan was really a good preacher. He wasn’t a screamer, but he definitely raised his voice sometimes and pounded the pulpit for emphasis. And they were in their mid sixties. [00:39:29] Now Dee she was a lovely lady. Very sweet and kind, quiet. Loved the Lord and her family. They had a huge family. Dan’s mom was also in the church. She was in her nineties and she came all the time as well. [00:39:49] We became fast friends. She was a great lady. Another preacher friend Mark came to help out with a church plant. He had a fiance, [00:40:00] Lori and two boys. Now his wife divorced him because she cheated on him with a lesbian. So he never turned down the chance to talk against gay people on the pulpit. Don’t blame him for that. [00:40:16] But anyway, Dan and Mark were of the same mindset. He was a pretty good preacher. I remember Lori could sing too. And so the three of us girls did a lot of the singing. When Dan’s grandkids came to visit, they could all sing and we would put on concerts together, which was a ton of fun. I think I still have videos of a lot of those concerts. You’ll see my goofy dresses and hair and eyeglasses. [00:40:48] We had our first big family join the church, a husband and wife with a blended family of six kids. Dan called them [00:41:00] “scrambled eggs”. Now that meant in New York terms, each kid had a different father. They started coming faithfully and started growing as Christians. [00:41:15] They had a lot of family problems, but they were working them out. We had more people come and eventually had about 30 people on a Sunday. I don’t think we got a lot of people coming to the church because they didn’t like the strip mall church. They expected the stain glass and the steeple and Okay, so that was a good part of the church. [00:41:38] You knew the bad was coming, right? You’ve listened to many of these episodes to know. So let’s start with how Dan treats his wife. She does exactly what he says and never questions him ever. If she ever did speak up about something, which she did once in a while, he [00:42:00] would say to her, Get the bit out of your mouth, woman! [00:42:04] He has admitted that he votes for her. He buys a car without asking her opinion. When the Lord calls him to another place, he doesn’t consult his wife or his kids about it. He just tells ’em to pack up. We’re leaving, ripping the kids outta school, away from their friends. No input on the matter. Does that sound familiar? [00:42:33] This is what a lot of the IFB preachers do with their wife and kids. It’s one thing to be the leader of your home and make the final big decisions prayerfully with your family. It’s another thing to be a dictator in your home and not consider your family’s feelings or needs or desires. [00:42:55] And this was the first time I told Danny that we needed to go to marriage [00:43:00] counseling. Pastor Dan and Dee said They would counsel us. Danny did not want to be preached to about being a sinner. Didn’t want Bible verses quoted on him, but that’s not how it went down. They focused on me. You’re not submitting to your husband. If you were, then you wouldn’t have any marriage problems. Dee and I have been married happily for 50 years and we never fight or disagree, and I was thinking maybe because you don’t let her talk or have any say whatsoever as a marriage partner, she’s probably afraid to say anything because she was taught to be quiet and subservient. [00:43:50] So then Dee talks to me after Danny left the room with Dan, and she showed me the Bible [00:44:00] verse in Genesis about Your desire shall be towards your husband and he shall rule over you. Now, she explained that verse to me like that was God’s command to rule over the wife. She said, that’s how it is, and it’s easier to just surrender and accept it to have a happy marriage. [00:44:26] That isn’t a marriage, that’s a dictatorship. Folks, remember when we talked about context in Bible study? This verse is talking about the fall of man, after Adam and Eve sinned. The husband ruling over his wife was part of the Fall. It wasn’t part of God’s original plan, man’s tendency to rule over his wife, [00:44:56] instead of being beside her as [00:45:00] a partner. God created Eve from Adam’s rib to be beside him, raising children not as a dictator. [00:45:10] So Dan comes back into the room and asks Why we don’t have any kids yet. I think we were at [00:45:19] eight or nine years, I think. And I said, you have to have a sex life to have kids. He ignores that statement completely and asks me, Are you planning to bail on this marriage? I said, No. That was the truth at the time. Said, oh, we can have some more counseling sessions together. So that just gave Danny the fuel to tell me what to do and demand obedience to tell me to shut up that he’s the man of the house. [00:45:54] And I really tried to be quiet and do what I was told and not say anything [00:46:00] for a week or two. [00:46:01] And we had another marriage counseling session and Dan asked, how did these last couple weeks go? And I said that we hadn’t had a disagreement at all for two weeks. And Pastor Dan declared, see how easy it is? Your marriage can be happy, just like that every single day. And all I was thinking was, yeah, because I left my brain at the door. [00:46:33] Being quiet and not saying anything didn’t last long. [00:46:37] mean, he made terrible financial decisions and Pastor Dan seemed to think that I should let him make those decisions and trust God. No. I made a lot of the money in the home and I wasn’t going to sit by and lose everything. [00:46:54] More related situations was with a couple in [00:47:00] the church during Christmas. There was this new husband and wife team that joined recently, and I could already tell he didn’t like me. The husband thought that I was loud and outspoken. [00:47:13] We were taking out the Christmas decor and I put the wise men across the room. [00:47:19] Dee was wanting to keep all the figurines together, and I piped up, but it’s not biblically accurate. So the new guy said very loudly to my husband in church, “Danny, control your wife!” I looked over at the guy and I made a face. [00:47:41] I was offended that he had said anything to me like that. And I made a note to stay away from the guy, but I let the whole major scene conversation drop. [00:47:53] Please don’t send me emails about the Paganism of Christmas. I know all of that. My middle name is [00:48:00] Christmas is Pagan. But these days I’m less dogmatic about pushing my views on other people. [00:48:07] I choose to use the time as an opportunity to talk about Jesus and be with my family. No one’s gonna go to hell for believing that Christmas is not on December 25th or that the wise men weren’t at the manger. [00:48:22] So back to the church, we had a woman and some kids join the church, and this was the first time that I ever saw an abuse victim in the church. [00:48:33] She was married to some military guy and she had marriage counseling with Pastor Dan, and she told him he was raping her after watching porn and beating her, and all kinds of vile stuff. Invited his friends to come over too. Dan was not telling her to leave her husband or get a safe place with her kids, [00:49:00] but Pastor Dan seemed to be empathetic to what was happening to her and trying to help. [00:49:09] He wasn’t really trained to handle abuse cases and I told Dan, someone needs to go over there and beat the snot out of this guy until he understands how a man is to treat his wife. But that wasn’t his strategy. [00:49:24] The wife came into church one Sunday and she had been beaten and raped by the husband the night before. And I had to sing that morning. And the song I sang was God is Good. I was crying my eyes out singing. [00:49:42] God is good. Snot coming out my nose. It was off pitch. Then the whole church was crying and blubbering because they knew what had happened to her and the lyrics of the song. I believe that she moved in with her [00:50:00] mom her our kids and filed for divorce eventually. But I would never forget her. [00:50:10] Another lady came to join the church with her husband and three kids, brand new baby had a heart murmur on a machine and everything, and they were in slum apartment and they were trying to get out, but they didn’t have any money or resources. So the church agreed to help them as a whole. We took a collection and got the down payment for a section eight new apartment. [00:50:38] We helped them move in and gave them a housewarming shower. The husband didn’t like charity. He did not want the church helping. And so it was really hard. [00:50:49] We did not know until much later that she had two of her older children taken away from her for neglect. [00:51:00] I came over one afternoon for a visit and nobody was home, but I heard the newborn crying inside. I’m banging on the door harder. [00:51:11] I’m like, somebody’s gotta be in there. There’s a baby crying. So then I knocked on the neighbor’s door and she said, The mother leaves the baby alone all the time to go pick up the kids at the bus stop. So as soon as she said that, I turned around and there they. Her with the stroller, with the other kids walking towards me. [00:51:34] And I said, You left your baby in the apartment alone on a heart monitor. Do you want CPS to come and take your baby too? You have to take her with you to the bus stop. And she complained it was too much work to put, get the baby into the stroller. [00:51:52] Husband didn’t like all the help we had been giving the family. I had taught her how to budget and balance a checkbook, [00:52:00] how to cook, and some simple recipes. Eventually, he forbid the wife and the kids to come to the church anymore, so we never saw them again. [00:52:10] And you can’t help people if they don’t want it, right? That was another family that was hard to forget cuz I really wanted to help them. [00:52:22] Anyway, our church attendance dwindled to almost nothing and we couldn’t afford to pay the rent. We closed the church at the shopping mall, but started to meet in each other’s homes, rotating. [00:52:37] And Dan decided eventually to go to another Baptist church when Mark left to go start his own church in another town. The big family stopped going to church altogether, so we were back at square one. We had to go find another church because this one just dissolved from [00:53:00] the lack of attendance. Dan and Dee, we stayed in touch over the years. [00:53:06] They’re still doing the mortgage company, but they trained their grandkids to do the everyday busy work. We’ll hear more about them later in my story. That’s where I’m going to stop. [00:53:19] But I do have a Christmas song for you today that I recorded last year. [00:53:25] It’s called The Candlelight Carol. It was really well received, one of my favorites, and so you can either watch the YouTube video or just listen to the audio here at the end of the podcast. I did finish recording the new Christmas song, Hallelujah, Light Has Come. I’ll it for you next week. [00:53:50] And if you don’t like Christmas music, that’s okay. So until next week, God bless you. Take care of yourselves. Thanks.[00:54:00] Being here with me. [00:54:02] Thank you for listening to the Wounds of the Faithful Podcast. If this episode has been helpful to you, please hit the subscribe button and tell a friend. You could connect with us at DSW Ministries dot org where you’ll find our blog, along with our Facebook, Twitter, and our YouTube channel links. Hope to see you next week!