Unearthed: Words you never meant to say

This week’s femail is a bit unique because it was never intended to be sent. Sometimes, there are things that you need to say that you can’t or shouldn’t, but that need to be released from your brain anyway. The spurring words for this unearthed femail involve the topic of marriage idolization in the Church and how these precepts of relationship have bled into other aspects of conversation. 

Dear —-,

It’s a bit offensive for a man to conflate marriage with the words I was saying. I am tired of telling men that attraction or even attachment or affection does NOT mean that I want to marry that person or even date that person. How are those things all the same? Yet how many times have I had to say that those things are all logically discrete?

It’s difficult to know what specific intent marriage idolization serves in the Christian church unless you are a girl that has been conditioned to understand marriage as your only chance of having a voice. Par example, the language of the sermon at the wedding I just attended was that of husband as Christ and bride as the body. So basically, the analogy is that the husband symbolizes God and the wife symbolizes depraved humanity; and this is a prescription on how we ought to live our lives. This is what girls are taught to strive towards and what is perfect and holy. What will give women ultimate fulfillment and free us from original sin is the love of a man.

A Christian woman’s role in life, thus, is to be desirable and almost never to desire. You, a man conditioned as a straight marriageable man in the church, would have never experienced that specific kind of mindfucking. And though what you have experienced is a different kind of oppression, unbelonging and dismemberment, a woman that actively chooses not to get married at my age, —————, makes me a leper in church.

In fact, it’s even worse because men of the church feel like it is their right to possess your submission to them. My submission to anyone is my choice and my right; and I choose to submit to God. Three months of friendship does not warrant confusing my words of affection with church marriage rhetoric.

I like you, free of strings or obligation. I like you because I find your interests compelling and your perspective wonderful. I like you because you make me feel safe. I am free of expectation. I prayed the other day and, in the middle of the prayer– just as far as I could see, I was standing in the middle of a vast field of the most luscious green blades of grass and the clearest of blue skies. And you know what I heard God has for me? Freedom. This is unique. Because I am unique. I have yet found any doctrine about this kind of life. So take this gift of affection. God loves you so much in ways you cannot know. 

But as for us, it appears that this is our end of the road. As we part ways, my friend, check your heart because I think it’s you that has forgotten what marriage idolization has done to women like me.

Love,

Charlene

 

*Featured Image: Blue Nude II, Henri Matisse

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