MaryEllen, Author at Imperfect Homemaker

All Posts by MaryEllen

How I Became a Gentle Parent

I remember that day so clearly.

I was cleaning the kitchen, and I was in no-nonsense, let’s-get-this-done mode.

My plans were quickly derailed, though, when someone bumped into the 5-year-old. As soon as I heard it I thought, “Oh no, here we go.” This particular child was very sensitive, and I knew from past experience that getting bumped would be a huge deal to them.

I was formulating how I would quickly shut down their cries so I wouldn’t have to stop cleaning. It would have sounded something like, “You’re fine. You’re not hurt. We're not going to cry about this.” I wouldn’t have taken time to stoop to my child’s level, to really see them, and to comfort them in their distress. That would have been too inconvenient and would have taken too much of my time. Why, anyway, did they need comforting when they had literally barely even been bumped? What they really needed was to toughen up.

But before the words could come out of my mouth, the whisper of the Holy Spirit reminded me that “The fruit of the Spirit is…gentleness.” The message came so clearly that it took my breath away.

As soon as I recovered from the jolt, I turned around and instead of offering an admonition to my child to stop crying, I stooped down and hugged them. “I’m sorry you got bumped,” I said. 

My child didn’t need me to shut them down. They didn’t need my admonition to toughen up. They needed my gentleness.

I don’t remember how the rest of the conversation went. I imagine that if I had a video where I could replay the rest of the interaction I’d still do some things differently. I had a lot to learn about child development, how the nervous system works, and how some people have a more sensitive system than others. I'd never read anything about connected parenting, or how to ensure my children perceive on a cellular level that they are safe and loved.

But the fact that I didn’t know any of those things is evidence to me of just how important it is for parents to be controlled by the Holy Spirit, who leads us to a posture of gentleness.

Could I have parented with more understanding if I’d had more knowledge? Yes, I could have. But I didn’t know. And there are still things I don't know and mistakes I still make. Now that I have teenagers, I'm entering more new territory, and while I do my best to understand my children as they progress into young adulthood, I am not omniscient, and I will undoubtedly mess up.

While I believe that as parents it is wise to learn as much evidence-based information about child development as we can, my ability to be a gentle parent does not hinge on whether I read all the right books. Parenting content is widely varied and often conflicting, and I cannot expect the information I consume to be infallible.

But what I can do is what I did on that day in the kitchen. I can listen to the Spirit’s voice reminding me to be gentle and patient, humble and kind.


Gentleness is the opposite of harsh and demanding. Gentleness gives a soft answer. Gentleness does not lay heavy burdens on my child and express anger or disappointment when my child doesn’t meet my expectations. That is not the way God loves any of us. He loves us unconditionally. Yes, he instructs and teaches us. Yes, he corrects us when we’re out of line. Yet he is not angry or disappointed with his children. He does not coerce us into behavior modification; rather, his desire for relationship with us draws us into desiring relationship with him in return.


As a spirit-controlled parent, I also have the power to exhibit patience toward my children. I can give them room to make mistakes and wait patiently while they go through the process of learning new things. I can repeat the same things over and over, knowing that learning requires repetition. I can remember that God gives wisdom to his children without rebuking them for what they don't know, and do the same for my own children.


The Holy Spirit also gives me the power to be a humble parent by acknowledging that there is a lot I don’t know and being willing to learn, both from my children and from others. I can admit when I have said or done something hurtful to my children and give a genuine apology for it. I can accept the reality that, just as my children don’t always get things right, neither do I. I’m not in a privileged position of being understanding about my parenting shortcomings while refusing to be understanding toward my children on their “childing” shortcomings.


As children of God, we ought to treat others the way we would want to be treated, and that includes our children. I wish for others to allow me space to make mistakes – I must also allow my children space to make mistakes. I wish for others to understand that sometimes I’m tired or overwhelmed or sad or have a reason to feel irritated – I must also understand that sometimes my children are tired, overwhelmed, sad, and have reasons to feel irritated. It is possible to act righteously in the midst of those very real and normal feelings. Teaching my children to respond rightly to difficult circumstances does not need to include shutting their feelings down and making them feel like they’re wrong for having them.  

In conclusion, I'd like to point out that the LORD is gracious, and full of compassion, slow to anger, and of great mercy (Psalm 145:8).

I may not have every piece of knowledge about child development. I am bound to make parenting decisions that I will realize later were not the wisest.

But in the midst of my imperfect parenting, I can remember that the Spirit of a perfectly loving God dwells in me. The more I know of him, and the more closely I listen to the voice of his Spirit, the more I reflect his heart and exhibit his character to my children. As I follow him, I learn that there is no other Christlike way to parent than to parent with gentleness – to be gracious and full of compassion, to be slow to anger and give an abundance of mercy to my children.

There’s Not a Right Way to Celebrate Christmas

Normally this time of year I start seeing lots of posts reminding people that they can have a simple Christmas – that they can just relax and quit stressing out about doing all the Christmas-y things.
And yet this year I’ve seen a new conversation pop up – there are those who feel that there’s not just been permission granted to celebrate with simplicity, but that there’s been actual glorification of it. Those who enjoy “doing all the things” are left feeling as if they’re doing something wrong by NOT simplifying their celebration.
The solution I saw offered to both of those approaches was balance.
I’ve seen this word used about many things in the Christian world, and for many years I would have agreed that it's a good solution. Parent in a way that’s not too strict and not too lenient. Keep your house clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy. Celebrate Christmas in a way that’s not too much but not too little.
But now I see this Goldilocks way of looking at life, where we're always chasing this “just right” balance, as having the same root problem as the insistence on operating at one end of a spectrum or the other.
The problem is in thinking that there is a “correct” way of doing things in the first place.
More is not better. Less is not better. And balance is not better either.
When we become secure in our identity in Christ, we become free to be the unique person that we are. Those who do more are not “too much”, those who do less are not “too little”, and those somewhere in the middle are not better than everyone else.
The truth is that we all exist on a beautiful spectrum, each of us having unique gifts and personalities. If you find yourself operating out of guilt or fear, always chasing your tail in an attempt to do more, do less, or find a balance between the two…what if you were to simply rest in these truths:
-God made you and gifted you in unique ways.
-You are fully known and fully loved, and there is zero need for you to chase approval you already have.
-You are free from the law, and that most certainly includes any perceived rules about the right way to celebrate Christmas.

If you need your Christmas celebration to be simple, you are not inferior to others who do it more elaborately. If you enjoy doing all the things, it doesn’t make you shallow or materialistic; you can delight in the good gifts that God gives and enjoy them with gratitude. If you find yourself somewhere in the middle, you haven’t reached a superior place of “having the right balance.”
Instead of comparing ourselves with one another, feeling guilty if we’re not doing things as well as others or feeling superior if we think we’re doing things better than others, let us praise God this Christmas for the Grace of God that has appeared to all people – the grace that breaks away shame and tells us we do not have to earn love or approval.

What Does it Mean to Have a Voice in Your Marriage?

One of the common phrases I hear women saying who are coming out of an abusive marriage is, “I had no voice in my marriage.”
What might that look like for a woman not to have a voice in her marriage?
-If she tries to voice her feelings about something or give input into a decision, she might be mocked for it.
-Her husband might tell her he doesn’t like her attitude or that her tone of voice is disrespectful.
-Her husband might twist her words to mean things she didn’t say and then blame her for it.
-Her husband might completely ignore her.
Ultimately, the message being sent to her is, “Your feelings and opinions don’t matter.”
Some women continue pushing to be heard. They speak up for themselves louder and louder until those around them assume they are brash and self-centered. (The reality is they are just desperate to be heard.) 
Others shut themselves down. If their feelings and opinions only bring ridicule, rage, or denial, then why would they waste their energy even having opinions or feelings? Instead they use their energy to try to predict what their husband wants and align themselves to it before there’s even an opportunity for discussion to take place.
So what does it look like to actually HAVE a voice in your marriage?
Some women believe that having a voice means her husband will listen to her input without mocking her, but ultimately it’s his place to make all the decisions.
Some women believe that having a voice means that she should be granted whatever she’d like.
But even in non-abusive situations where both spouses are discussing things respectfully, these both fall on two opposite extremes – either the husband is calling the shots or the wife is.
This is not a partnership. This is a one-sided relationship where the other person is along for the ride.
-Instead, having a voice means that your spouse does not make unilateral decisions that haven’t been mutually agreed to. 
-It means that you do not fear repurcussions of any kind for speaking honestly – not being shut down, ignored, mocked, told that you have a bad attitude, or having your husband explode in anger. 
-It means that your husband sees you when are hurt, angry, excited, scared, and everything in between and is not threatened by it. 
-It means that your input is valued; not just tolerated. 
-It means that you – all of you – are free to show up as exactly who you are. There is no need to be quiet about certain things or morph your opinions into a different shape in order to keep the peace.
Marriage should be a mutual partnership where both parties feel absolutely safe to express their needs, desires, feelings, and opinions to the other.
In Romans 12:10, believers are instructed to honor one another. That means you should show deference to your husband, and your husband should also show deference to you. 
Jesus taught in Matthew 7:12 that the way we would like to be treated is the way we ought to treat others. Many wives apply that to themselves (which they should!) but sometimes forget that it also applies to their husband. 
If you feel that you have no voice in your marriage, please be aware that I am not diagnosing that you're in an abusive relationship based on that factor alone. Instead, read articles about coercive control. Pick up a book such as “Is it Me? Making Sense of Your Confusing Marriage.” If a bigger pattern of abuse begins to emerge, then you can address it. If it doesn't, get curious about why you feel like you have no voice in your marriage. Is it due to things you've been taught/things you've believed like “I have to die to myself,” “I can't trust myself because my heart is deceitful,” “I can't tell my husband he hurt my feelings because I just need to forgive and forget?” Is it due to not being heard by your parents as a child and those same feelings that you don't matter surface when you're with your husband? It may be necessary to seek out a licensed, trauma-informed counselor who can help you sort through those things.
If you are a friend of someone who is using language about her marriage that may indicate  she has no voice in marriage, point that out to her. Ask her more questions about what that means or what it is that makes her feel that way. Read books like Unholy Charade, Unmasking the Domestic Abuser in The Church and read articles about coercive control so that you have more tools to help her recognize whether her relationship is abusive. (It's not your job to diagnose; but a good friend should absolutely point out unhealthy dynamics.)
Every human deserves to be heard and seen, especially by those closest to them.  Let's help the women we know and love realize that they deserve to have a voice in their marriage.

Should We Talk Publicly About Abuse in the Church?

Since I have turned this platform further towards shining a light onto domestic abuse in the church, I want to address a concern that some of my readers may have.

This concern is regarding whether speaking about abuse in the church in an online format is appropriate as it may present a poor impression to unbelievers or turn them away from Jesus.

My response to that concern will be two-fold.

First, although I am sharing these things in an online context, my audience is Christians. I am writing to the members of the body of Christ, pleading with my brothers and sisters not to look away from the suffering of others.

Second, while my audience is Christians, I am aware that it’s possible that unbelievers could see what I’ve written. I will address that concern too.

So let’s get into it.


I must plead with my brothers and sisters publicly because what is taking place are offenses against the entire body. I have not been personally offended in such a way that I can  go privately to a brother or sister for reconciliation. I am addressing over-arching issues that are occurring among the entire body of Christ.

These are the main issues about which I am speaking:

  1. Wolves among the sheep
  2. Hypocrites who call good evil
  3. Ignorance among the body of the evil among us, and of scriptural interpretations which allow it to flourish.
  4. Indifference to the suffering of other members of the body

Wolves among the sheep

The Bible contains warnings to believers that wolves will enter in and circulate among the flock (Matthew 7:15; Acts 20:28-30; Romans 16:17-20). These people come into the congregation for the singular purpose of fulfilling their own desires for power, fame, sex, or money. They are difficult to spot because they intentionally disguise themselves as sheep. Yet when they are spotted by discerning members of the body, or when people who have been injured by them scream out in pain, often the rest of the congregation doesn’t believe the one crying out, or they make excuses for the wolf to remain in their midst. “He looks just like a sheep to me. I don’t see why he can’t stay. Even if he hurt someone, he has apologized, and it is our responsibility to show him grace.”

It seems that many have forgotten that wolves are wolves! They are dangerous predators! Of course they look like sheep; that’s their point! They want you to let them roam freely! Don’t play into their hand.

Dr. Anna Salter interviewed pedophiles, rapists, and other sex offenders and recorded the thought processes of these types of people. One of the offenders who abused a child at church said that people did not believe the accusations and that many people stood in his defense when he was told on. He says he intentionally did good deeds like mowing the yards of handicapped people, being generous with money, and visiting the elderly to cover up the type of person he really was.

I consider people that go to church gullible because they have a trust that comes from being Christian.

He said that church people don't want to believe those types of things happen, and they especially don't want them to believe they happen in their congregation. “Because of that it was all the more easy to convince them with my good deeds.”

My friends, this is how a wolf operates. Whether someone is sexually abusing people in the church or whether they are abusing their families, they are presenting the “sheep” side of themselves in public while they are a wolf in private, devouring others for their own gain.

It is important to speak out publicly, not only to warn people of specific wolves within a specific congregation, but to sound a wake-up alarm to the body of Christ at large that they have forgotten scripture’s warnings about such wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Hypocrites in the church

Along with the wolves prowling througout the church are their enablers. These are the people who look the other way when people are suffering gross injustice. These are the people who call evil good and good evil. “Oh, he didn’t mean it.” “Your husband only cheated on you because you weren’t giving him enough sex.” “He flew into a rage because you confronted him. Everyone knows confrontation makes a man feel disrespected. What did you expect him to do?” “He said he was sorry; you need to drop the subject.”

The offender’s sin is excused and his “repentance” is praised while the victim is blamed for “inciting the abuser” and for “keeping record of his wrongs”.  

These are the hypocrites who, like the Pharisees, concern themselves so much with outward appearances that they oppress others. Yet at the same time they neglect the things that matter the most. They strain at a gnat while swallowing a camel.

They excuse people who abuse and harm others while at the same time they quote I Corinthians 13:7 and tell victims they must believe the best about someone who has already proven they don’t have the victim’s best interest at heart.

Ignorance in the church

Let’s talk about those among the body who believe the Bible means what it says when it warns of wolves among the flock. But, what if they are among the gullible people that the sex offender above spoke about? Maybe they believe there are wolves, but they don’t know how to distinguish who they are. Maybe they discern that something is not right, but they lack the knowledge to deal with it well.

The majority of pastors 1. Rarely preach about domestic or sexual abuse. 2. Underestimate the pervasiveness of these things within their congregation. 3. Are unaware of how to provide appropriate assistance to victims.  Yet most say they would do more if they knew how (source).

I am glad to point the ignorant-yet-willing-to-learn to all of the resources I can which will help them care well for the vulnerable.

Indifference in the church

While I have encountered many people who fall into the well-meaning-but-ignorant category, I have unfortunately encountered many others who fall into the category of indifference.They aren’t directly pointing fingers like the Pharisees where they excuse the perpetrator and blame the victim. But they are perpetuating harm by their indifference. To be silent is to side with the oppressor.

I am compelled to loudly speak out to awaken people to the harm that their indifference creates.

It is the responsibility of those who follow Jesus to stand for justice, truth, and mercy, and that is why I speak out.


Let me circle back and re-address each of the above points from this perspective.

Wolves among the sheep

Is it really a shameful thing for unbelievers to know that such wolves exist? Doesn’t everyone in the world know that there are bad people who do bad things? Is it Jesus’ fault that wolves sneak in and prey on gullible sheep?

Of course not; the responsibility for such evil lies with the wolf and not with Jesus’ sheep.

Do you know what should be shameful and embarrassing for Christ’s body? To NOT care enough for the sheep to warn them about the wolves!

The fact that there are abusers hiding out in the church is not new information to the world. They aren’t learning some hidden secret if we speak publicly about it.

One hardly even has to glance at the news headlines to find a whole host like the following:

“Lawsuit says pastor behind regular and repeated sex abuse at church”

“Former president of Baptist state convention under investigation for alleged abuse”

“Church leader charged with sexual abuse of a minor”

“Pastor arrested for domestic violence”

“Pastor faces domestic assault charges”

“Police release charges for pastor accused of shooting his wife, then himself”

How different might these news stories be if the shepherds were loudly warning about these wolves! And how different might they be if more members of the body were listening to those raising the alarm about wolves posing not as sheep, but as shepherds! 

Instead of hiding abuse and attempting to present an image of safety to those outside the church, we ought to speak truth. We ought to make it clear that we aren’t afraid to acknowledge predators and that we will not tolerate their presence among the sheep.

If the church wishes people to be drawn to Jesus as a refuge for the soul, then they must be such a refuge, not just pretend that the dangers don't exist.

Hypocrites in the church
Jesus was unafraid to call out the hypocrisy of the Pharisees before the entire multitude (Matthew 23:1-36). Their insistence on maintaining outward appearances at the expense of true justice and mercy was not the way of Jesus.

It was their hypocrisy that prevented people from entering the kingdom of God, not the prophets (Isaiah 58) who publicly exposed it.

It is Jesus to whom I wish people to be drawn; not a place where people put on a religious show, pretending to be righteous while hiding all sorts of dark secrets.

Ignorance in the church

It is not a poor testimony for others to see that the body of Christ humbly acknowledges what they don’t know and actively works toward having the knowledge they need to love others well.

Indifference in the church

Before we get too concerned about drawing new people in, though, we need to show some concern for those who have been pushed out.

Because people have been so indifferent to the wolves and the hypocrites and have watched in silence while bloodied victims cry out, many of those victims have left the church. Some have left the religious performance masquerading as church so that they may seek Jesus in a place of true safety. Others have left the faith entirely because they were told things like, “Jesus wants you to suffer well. Jesus wants you to forgive and forget. This abuse is God’s will for your life.” A God who glories in their pain is repulsive to them, and they walk away from him (or the person the church has led them to believe that he is.)

When they do, I hear the indifferent people scoff and say, “They went out from us because they were not of us. They were just looking for an excuse to leave. They were never a real Christian.” These people don’t care to close their mouth and listen to what has actually happened to the victims. They’d rather not step into the discomfort of someone else’s pain, so they watch haughtily from afar, making inaccurate and unfair assumptions about the victims. Some of these victims become, as Jesus said, two-fold more the child of hell because of the deplorable way they have been treated in the name of Jesus. So before you start worrying about all the hypothetical people who might not want to come to Jesus if they hear about abuse in the church, perhaps it’s time to shake off your indifference towards those who actually have been pushed away from the church and from the Jesus you claim to represent.


When we make the church a place of darkness, hiding secrets in closets and back corners, we make it a haven for evil.  But when we shine light onto evil and expose it, we chase it away. It is not welcome there. (John 3:19-21). 

Jesus is the light of the world. If you wish for people to be drawn to Jesus, then you must wish for them to be drawn to a place of light; not to a place of darkness and secrecy.

I am not ashamed to publicly implore the church to be a haven of righteousness.

-To speak up for the vulnerable (Proverbs 31:9)
-To defend the oppressed (Isiah 1:17)
-To shine a light onto hidden evil (Ephesians 5:11-12)
-To protect others from wicked people (Psalm 94:16)

Jesus does not need us to launch a PR campaign for the church. Instead, according to Micah 6:8, God calls us to actively do justice (hold perpetrators accounatable) love mercy (support victims) and walk humbly with our God (admit when we have failed.) When we do these things, and when we do them publicly, we send a message to the world that we are God’s people following God’s ways. 


Here’s Why Domestic Abuse Victims Have a Hard Time Getting Help at Church

On Sunday, I posted on Instagram about women who find themselves in the bathroom stall at church, crying because their abusive husband is smiling, chatting, and fitting right in with all the men in the lobby. But she knows the truth. She knows that the person he pretends to be at church is not the same person he is at home.

A response I received was, “Why doesn’t she go to the church leadership for help?”

While that might seem an obvious solution, it’s unfortunately not usually that simple.

I reached out to a group of abuse survivors and asked them to share their answers to the question, “Why doesn’t a victim go to her church leadership for help?”

So far I’ve received over 200 responses, and they keep coming.

I sorted these responses into categories to make it easier to see the difficulties for an abuse victim in asking for and receiving help from her church. Some of what you read are direct quotes; some are paraphrases. There is not a single response on this page that was not submitted in some variation by multiple people. These are not the outliers; they are responses that victims receive nine times out of ten.

My goal in sharing this is to help raise awareness that these women are in your church. I hope that by understanding how great the obstacles are, you can be the one to help create change so that the church can be a safe place for those who need protection and care.


“They did not believe me.”

“They did not want to get involved.”

Even though the staff believed me, they added a ton of chaos to the situation. Didn't listen to me or experts on how to handle the situation which my kids and I even more unsafe. Tried to control what I did. It was horrible.

“They told me to keep being a submissive wife.”

“They told me not to talk negative about him.”

I was a child of DV. My dad was adored by our church. I went twice to the “lead” pastor, begging him to help us. He told me, “You can’t tell anyone about your dad’s sin because it’ll be too hard for him to repair his reputation once he is repentant.”

“They told me to read a book that would fix my marriage.”

“They prayed with me and then never said anything else about it.”

I told the pastor my then husband was raping me, hitting me, holding knives to my throat and guns to my kids heads. The pastor told me the Bible made no exceptions for divorce for anything other than continuous adultery and I was not free to leave for abuse.

“They said I neeeded to forgive and keep going as if nothing has happened.”

“They asked what I did to make him treat me like that.”

My pastor: “Wouldn’t you rather suffer some temporal abuse in this life than for you and your children to suffer eternity in hell if you leave the spiritual protection of your male headship and marriage?”

“They recommended I clean the house more and have more sex.”

“They ignored me and later terminated my membership.”

“He had beaten my children but they told me I shouldn't be separated from him.”

The church kicked out [my friend] for daring to divorce her abuser, then sided with the pedophile to convince the judge to force reunification with the daughters he molested.

“They told me it would be unsubmissive to pay the bills so I could have power and water to take care of my children, because my husband said I wasn't allowed to.”

“They told me if I took my child to the doctor wen he needed medical attention that I was usurping authority over my husband, because my husband said no.”

Over the course of my 30 year marriage, I went to at least 3 different pastor's wives, two different pastors, a Christian counselor, a church counselor, and numerous church friends seeking help. All efforts were concentrated on my staying, learning to cope with the situation, becoming a better wife, and trusting God to change his heart.

Another reason that victims of abuse did not simply go tell their church leadership:


“I knew there would be repercussions for me if he found out I had told.”

I shared some of the smaller things to see how they responded and they minimized it. I knew at that point that it would not be safe to share any more of what was going on. 

“I already knew they would support him and ostracize me. I would rather be alone crying in the bathroom than to be ostracized by the whole church.”

“It’s exhausting to try to explain it. You’re vulnerable and don’t know who you can trust. I was afraid I’d be accused of running him through the mud.”

Trying to explain an abusive relationship to someone whose never experienced it is like trying to explain the difference between red and blue to a blind person.

Yet another issue was this:


“They portray women as irrational, high maintenance and hard to please.”

“They glorify abusive behaviors as ‘Biblical manhood.'”

The doctrine of the husband being in authority over the wife meant they would view me as the problem if I refused to do what he said.”

“There’s so much emphasis on submission and laying down your life that I believed it was my responsibility to suffer silently.”

“I went to Bible study with his handprints around my neck. They prayed for my submission.”

From the pulpit, the pastor stated that abuse was a valid reason for divorce but went on to say. “Some people say they're being abused but they aren't.”

Another reason victims do not tell is that they know


He is buddy buddy with the church leadership. He shows up early for every church function. He sets up chairs beforehand and helps sweep floors afterward. He has already shared mournful prayer requests about his wife’s “mental Illness” or “spiritual problems” to turn people against me before I could ever ask for help.”

My abuser had preemptively spoken to every pastor at my church under the guise of praying for me saying I was struggling with anxiety and our marriage was suffering because of “my mental health issues”. By the time I was out of the fog and ready to admit I was being abused their opinions had already been tainted.”

“Through his charismatic ability to influence and manipulate his perspective of our marriage to church leadership, my ex successfully was able to have church leadership and the congregation turn their backs on me without me even knowing what his whispers were doing. I was devastated. He managed to convince our church that I was a horrible person… a slut, crazy, bad mother… and for them to pray with him to pray for me.”

He was always speaking with them behind my back and making me out to be crazy. They were inexperienced with abuse and always excused his behavior.”

My husband is a world class actor and can portray himself to be a godly man.”


Finally, one of the reasons victims cannot always “just go tell the church leadership” is that


“My husband was the pastor”

“Where could a pastor's wife go?”

All the people in leadership that I told thought his abusive behaviors were normal. They treated their own families the same way.”

As the child/teen of a couple in leadership: I didn't dare go to church leadership because THEY WERE LEADERSHIP. It was also pounded into my head from a very early age about how children of “good Christian parents” grow up and are brainwashed by “a therapist” or “secularism” to make false abuse accusations against these “good, innocent” parents. False accusations, false memories, etc were a frequent topic of warning in our home. Who would ever have believed me?

My friends, I grieve that such egregious harm is being done and that the vulnerable are being further oppressed.

I hope you grieve also.

We must not be ignorant that there are wolves who wander amongst the sheep in disguise. Instead of rushing to defend the reputation of a person you thought was good, be willing to experience the discomfort and disorientation of acknowledging that someone is not who you thought they were. 

We must stop throwing cliches around as easy answers to the problems people face.

We must understand how to recognize abuse so that we do not address it as a marriage issue. Many victims are attempting to disclose abuse, but it is missed because it sounds to the untrained ear like a small problem and she is told she shouldn't be petty.

We must understand that many pastors have sought such a position becaue they are power hungry. While they may sound like godly men from the pulpit, their actions behind the scenes are controlling and manipulative. Such people must be exposed and removed.

There is much more that could be said, but this is only the beginning of my journey of using this platform to speak about such topics

I hope you will prayerfully follow along, asking the Holy Spirit for understanding and humility so that we may care for the vulnerable in ways that truly point them to the love of God for them.

A New Direction for Imperfect Homemaker

I have not written any new posts here for quite a while. The reason for that is that I am not the same person who started this blog over a decade ago. I knew this was likely to happen, that I would grow and change and view certain things differently, and that I’d likely disagree with some of the things I wrote in the past.

I have always tried to write from that perspective – that I’m not an expert who is here to share unchanging truth with my readers, but that I’m just a woman who is continually in the process of learning. Everything I’ve written in the past has been a milestone of where I’ve been at that moment in time.

And now I’m further down the road of life and I’m in some different places than I’ve been in the past.


The title “Imperfect Homemaker” is now less about my struggle to be better at cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the kids.  A better way to define myself as an imperfect homemaker now is that I don’t fit the traditional concept of a homemaker and that many people would probably consider me a rebel.  Yes, I still stay home and take care of most of the household duties and childcare, but I no longer do it because I believe that is my role as a woman. I believe fathers and mothers should both be homemakers – loving their children, tending to the household chores, and ministering to others in partnership with one another. Strict roles where the man is the breadwinner and decision maker and the woman is the housekeeper and decision follower are not something I find prescribed in the Bible.

I  still agree with the bulk of what I’ve written here; however, I’d write many things with far greater nuance now. (And there are a few things where I’m on a completely different page from my former self.)

Much of the standard fare written toward Christian wives and moms lends itself to either tolerating abuse from one’s husband or toward engaging in abusive behaviors as a parent, and that includes some of the articles I’ve written here in the past.

That’s not to say that every woman who reads these things is destined to be abused by her husband or will automatically be too harsh with her children.

However, because of the ministry to abuse victims that God unexpectedly launched me into around 5 years ago, I’ve seen a lot of things I can’t unsee. I’ve learned how concepts that might seem innocent in one family are bondage and destruction to others. I’ve seen firsthand how frighteningly common abuse is within the church, and I can’t be quiet about it, or about certain teachings that allow it to flourish so easily.

I never figured out how to make my new ministry of speaking on these topics fit into this particular space. I still enjoy talking about how to be productive and organized. I like a pretty, traditionally feminine aesthetic, even though I don’t believe that’s a component of being a “Biblical woman.” Talking about domestic abuse and critiquing harmful teachings just didn’t seem to fit in here, but I don’t have time to do both, which means that the content I produce in this space has dried up.

 I don’t want to close this space down, though. I’ve gotten to “know” (virtually) so many of you over the years, and I’d sure love to continue to have good conversations with you.

But for the sake of authenticity, for the sake of time, and for the sake of bringing awareness of these topics to the Christian women who follow this account, I believe it’s time for me to change the direction of the content here. I’ll be sharing more posts about the very serious issue of domestic abuse in Christian homes, and I’ll be starting conversations where we can rethink common marriage and parenting advice that allows such abuse to flourish so easily.

My older content re-circulates automatically on Facebook, and if I catch something posted there that I no longer agree with I delete it.. (Feel free to message me if you see something I miss!) As I have time I hope to re-write some of it, but for now I just try to keep old articles that I disagree with from surfacing into public view.

I realize that some of these new conversations here might get uncomfortable. They might challenge some of your long-held beliefs. (I have been walking this road for quite a few years, so I know how uncomfortable it can get.) I understand that for some of you, you may disagree so vehemently that you no longer feel you can read my content. There’s no hard feelings from my end if that’s the case. I don’t wish to convince anyone of anything they don’t wish to be convinced of. But if you enjoy the challenge of thinking through hard things, especially with the goal of protecting our fellow sisters in Christ, then I am excited to engage in these conversations with you!

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