These words are a long time coming. I have waited and watched, hoped and prayed, been silent and not so silent. All the while, I was hoping you would step up and have some backbone. I know there are a few weary souls who have worked, and are working, diligently to resist the way you heap shame on already shamed shoulders. But that’s just it. There are so few when there should be many.
Your mothers and daughters and wives and sisters are suffering. They sit in your pews and bow their heads and cross their hearts and hope to die. They go to your dinners and put on fake smiles over dessert. They teach your Sunday School classes that promise hope, but they are hopeless. They marry the men in your ranks, bear their children, read about a God who loves and saves, but they don’t feel loved. Or saved from anything.
Your women are bruised and bleeding and broken and hurt and angry. I am one of you, church, but I am also one of them. And we are done.
We are done sitting silently in your pews on Sunday morning only to go home and get beaten up behind closed doors.
We are done telling the truth about your leaders only to be shamed and removed from your pews.
We are done being cast out.
We are done hiding wounds that don’t show up on skin, but instead carve deep, tender places in our hearts.
We are done being afraid at night.
We are done being blamed for our bruises and fear and rapes and our husbands’ infidelities.
We are done praying no one notices our pain because we can’t answer the questions honestly without fear of retribution.
We are done being yelled at, silenced, and shamed.
We are done with your publicly calling out abused wives from the pulpits and saying that their horrors and sorrows are all made-up lies meant to tarnish good men’s reputations.
We are done watching our children be verbally and mentally and physically abused by fathers you tell us are household leaders who can do no wrong.
We are done turning on one another to make our own realities less true. Your older women are telling younger ones that to submit to abuse is godly and good and a righteous woman it makes, even if it kills them. And kill them it has.
We are done with that.
We are done being told that boys will be boys. You know what? Girls will be girls, too. And these girls are not going to be quiet any longer, church. We are done.
From your pulpits, in your small groups, at your dinners, and behind your doors we have learned cold and hard truths about some men and the people who choose to protect them.
We learned something else, too. But not from you. From the Lord who seeks us out and gently calls our hearts to His. We learned that we are valued. We are loved. We are cherished. We are beloved. We are created and known by a God who loves us more than you ever will. More than you ever could. So we are done believing the lie that no one sees and no one cares and no one loves.
We know better. And we are done.