Teona and Vance

It was Friday afternoon and he was going home at a reasonable hour for the first time in weeks. He was looking forward to a quiet and relaxing weekend. He stepped out into the bright sunshine. The sun felt good on his face. Usually, it was dark when he left the office. Some times he didn’t get home until after eight or nine.

Teona was going to be surprised to see him home before seven and they could have dinner together during the week, something they hadn’t be able to do for a long time. He was looking forward to it. After dinner, they could relax on the sofa and talk or watch TV.

He walked to the parking lot, got into his silver blue Lincoln Continental and drove off. As he merged into the traffic, he thought of calling Teona to let her know that he was on his way but decided that he would surprise her instead. He switched on the radio and listened to In Touch with Charles Stanley and then, classical music. It was six-thirty when he pulled into his driveway.

Teona was in the living-room when she heard Vance’s car. Surprised, she rushed to the window and looked out. Her eyes widened when she saw him get out and walk up the driveway. What on earth was he doing at home so early? She moved away from the window and went into the foyer just as the door opened. “How come you’re home so early?” she asked as he closed the door.

“It wasn’t that busy today.”

“Oh. Well, it’s good to have you home this early.” After he removed his shoes, she went up to him and hugged him. She raised her head and he lowered his head and kissed her on the mouth.

“Have you already had dinner?” he asked.

She shook her head. “No, I was just about to when I heard your car pull into the driveway.

“Good. We can eat together.”

“I’ll go and share out while you go and change.”

He released her and they left the foyer. She went to the kitchen while he went upstairs to take a quick shower. “Something smells really good,” he remarked when he walked into the kitchen about ten minutes later. “What are we having?”

She smiled. “It’s Oven Fried Chicken with rice and peas.”

He sat down at the table and she set his plate down in front of him. His mouth watered as he looked at the golden pieces of chicken. He couldn’t wait to dig in. Teona sat down and he said Grace. He took a mouthful. “Hmm. This is delicious.”

“Thank you.”

“I never thought I would meet a woman who could best my mother at cooking.”

“You better not let her hear you say that.”

He chuckled.

“Oh, by the way, Aunt Maggie called just before you got home. We had a nice chat.”

“How is she?”

“She’s fine. She asked about you. I told her that you’re a very busy man since you got the new job.”

“It’s pays more and it’s much closer to home.”

“But it consumes so much of your time. We hardly see each other during the week and on the weekends, you’re too tired to do anything.”

“I’m sorry, Baby, but it’s a very demanding job.”

“Yes, it is. Anyway, as long as you’re happy with it, I guess I shouldn’t complain.”

“What else did your aunt and you talk about besides me and my new job?”

“She mentioned that November is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Canada. She told me about the enditnow Virtual Summit which is on Sunday, November 13, 2022. Did you know that 68% of victims of violence will reach out to a church member before seeking the advice of a pastor?”

“No, I didn’t know that. Maybe they feel more comfortable talking to that church member instead of a pastor.”

“Aunt Maggie said that she’s going to do a presentation at her church about websites which are teaching married Christian couples how to get a wife to fall in line. She shared an article about a newlywed Christian husband who was using domestic discipline to compel sexual obedience from his wife. I asked her if she believed that domestic discipline was a form of abuse. And she said yes because it fits the definition of domestic violence which is when people in currently or previously dating, married or living together use abusive behavior to control or hurt their partners.”

“Did you tell her that domestic discipline used to be a part of our marriage?”

“No. I didn’t think you would want anyone to know about that.”

“You’re right. Let it just keep it between us.”

“Yes. Only God knows.”

“I’m sorry about the times when I spanked you. At the time, I didn’t see anything wrong with it. I honestly thought that a husband had the right to discipline his wife.”

“A lot of men think so and they use scriptures, taking them out of context to justify their actions.”

“I stopped because I realized that it wasn’t biblical and you said that you would walk away from me and our marriage if you had to. I couldn’t bear the thought of losing you.”

“Well, Baby, it’s behind us. Marriage is about love and respect not punishment and coercion. I hope and pray that the couples who practice domestic discipline will realize that and stop. Love should not hurt or harm a person. The Bible says that a man should love his wife like he loves his own body. A man wouldn’t spank himself so why should he spank his wife? I agree with Aunt Maggie, Domestic Discipline is domestic abuse even if it’s consensual. Women had to speak out and not allow themselves to be demeaned by the men in their lives. Husbands are to love their wives as Jesus loves the church. Marriage is a partnership not a dictatorship.”

“You’re absolutely right. I’ll watch the Virtual Summit on Domestic Violence with you.”

“Good. Encourage your staff and colleagues to watch it as well. I’ve told all of my co-workers about it. The more we raise awareness the more we can hopefully end violence against women and girls.”

“Yes.”

“I’ve been reading lots of blogs about Christian Domestic Discipline and am disgusted. One blogger said, ‘Her first spanking will inspire obedience to her HOH in a way that her own desire to obey him never did. There is nothing like a good spanking to help a woman learn that obedience is not only required of her, it is also demanded.'” God Himself doesn’t demand obedience from us. He gave us freewill. And Paul didn’t demand that women obey their husbands. He encouraged them to. Another blogger said, ‘When a woman admits this she is also admitting that she respects her HOH, and his decisions, that when she is punished it is never out of anger but out of love and the responsibility that her HOH is in charge’. The Bible doesn’t teach that a man should punish his wife for not obeying him. Paul said that men are to love their wives as Christ loves the church whom He gave His life for. Husbands are to love their wives as they love themselves. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. Women are to submit to their own husbands, as to the Lord. Their husbands should be like the Lord, loving, not abusive or demanding. Jesus didn’t demand that we obey Him. He said, “If you love Me, obey My commandments” Obedience is done out of love not force.”

“I agree with everything you’re saying. Unfortunately, there are women who have the mentality that the men beat them because they love them.”

“I feel so sorry for those women. They have a messed up idea of what love is. Love doesn’t or shouldn’t hurt. Love doesn’t demand or demean. Parents correct their children as they see fit and God chastens us out of love. Love doesn’t abuse or subject. Christians who love the Lord have no business participating in Domestic Discipline. They are contributing to the violence of women and girls under the guise of religion.”

“Yes, Domestic Discipline is of the Devil but he deceived me into thinking that what I was doing to you was biblical. I thank God for opening my eyes to the truth or I could have ended up losing you.”

Teona got up and went over to him. He rose to his feet and they hugged tightly for several minutes. When she drew back, she said, “I pray that many more men’s eyes will be opened and that they are willing to accept the truth about Domestic Discipline.”

“Since you and I have been talking about this, the Lord placed it on my heart for you and me to share our story. We can speak at our church this year for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women program. As you said, Domestic Discipline is another type of violence against women.”

Teona looked at him. “Are you sure you want to do this?”

He nodded. “Yes, I’m sure.”

“All right. I’ll talk to Monika about it.” Monika was the Women’s Ministry leader at their church.

“If she says yes, you and I will spend the weekends working on our presentation.”

“All right. I’m proud and love you for doing this.” She hugged him again.

“I know that it’s what God wants us to do.”

“Praise God! Now, are you up for dessert?”

“Sure. You know I always have room for dessert.”

Teona smiled and released him. While he sat back down at the table, she quickly cleared it and cut two large slices of Flourless Chocolate Cake.

On Sunday when they went to church, Teona spoke to Monika about Vance and her about their personal experience with Christian Domestic Discipline and their desire to talk about it on November 27 as part of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2022 church program. After recovering from her surprise, Monika said that she would be grateful if they could share their story. “It takes a lot courage to do what you two are willing to do.”

“I don’t think courage has anything to do with it,” Teona told her. “It’s about clearing up some people’s misconceptions of marriage.”

This is the sequel to Teona’s Story.

Sources: Medium; The Cookie Rookie

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