Feedback From A Reader: Hurtful Experiences at Church

Feedback from Readers

Today I am going to respond to some questions left on the Feedback From Readers Page.

This was the comment that one reader left:

I just found this website and I am SO BLESSED and thankful already and I have only spent a short time reading some of the entries and comments.
Is there any information on here about how to find SAFE PEOPLE at CHURCH? My husband and I were New Believers who joined a Small Group and most of the couples in the group were dealing with addiction by showing the men GRACE. I was incredibly frustrated and was given messages such as… “Just love your husband”… “Be the face of Christ”… “That’s his problem to deal with”… “I don’t ask him about that”, and my favorite… “We’re not going to deal with the Pornography Addiction when the real problem is the marriage”.
It was a large church so we went to the Area Director, Small Groups Pastor, and then a Lead Pastor. At every level we were met with invalidation, told our EXPECTATIONS were too high, and that the Small Group Leader and Group was SAFE. That it just wasn’t a good fit for us. I became the scapegoat really. I was in such a vulnerable place at the time that I started to believe that maybe I was the problem. It was awful and I was deeply hurt, and fought depression, extreme social anxiety, and a host of health issues. I felt unloved and unsafe in my marriage, in my family of origin, and the final blow… I felt unsafe at church.
It took 2 years to get back on my feet. When I say get back on my feet I mean I struggled to get out of bed, leave the house, and function without flashback and triggered thoughts pulling me under. It was scary. I thought I was going crazy. Depression medication barely made a dent. I was spiritually crushed. I had a lot of past stuff hitting at the same time, so there was a lot to sort through. I was hanging on by a thread, but the Lord didn’t let go of me.

I see a lot of recommendations on this website and others to contact a counselor or PASTOR… but when we did look to our church leaders… they did more harm than good. The leaders and pastors were not at all equipped or trained to handle addiction. It really set us both back.

How do we move forward after being “de-churched”? What do we need to look for moving forward, what are some questions we can ask?

I would first like to say that I think most people are very quiet on the issue of pornography in marriage. This is especially true in the “Christian” population. Many husbands and wives are afraid to bring up these problems in the church. Moreover, some marriages think the church is the last place they would go to for help with this. I truly believe that pornography in Christian marriages is a silent sin. It is something that no one wants to talk about and no one wants to confess. However, marriages are suffering. Because of this silence, people are alone and trapped.

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When Thoughts Trouble You

When Thoughts Trouble You

We’ve been discussing thoughts several times recently. We looked at a question from a wife who had troubling thoughts. Then, I talked about what we think about in an Update on My Marriage and the recent Restoring Marriages Bible Study. Many readers also commented on how they struggle with these thoughts as well. Someone even brought up how current events can make us remember the bad things that have happened. Then we get stuck and dwell on them. This is one issue that seems to be so difficult for every wife who finds out about her husband’s secrets. That is why I thought I would continue with this topic.

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