Women born to Suffer?

Recently I had two separate conversations with women who essentially stated the same thought: women are born to suffer.

Do you agree with that?

Naturally, these women are Oaxaqueñas, whose native state is in second place in the country of Mexico for violence against women.

Chihuahua state, where we previously ministered, takes first place due to the fact that thousands of women have been murdered in the past ten years there, with a quantitive number kidnapped and murdered on behalf of snuff p*rn*graphy, or so I’ve been told.

In both conversations, it’s obvious that spousal abuse is the norm – regardless of how  many spouses, or life partners they’ve had. (Life partner is a contradiction in terms, to  be truthful. The word they use in spanish, marido, in effect means ‘catch from the sea’.  Think bait and hook!)

The one conversation involved four women, with swear words intertwined on their side  of the conversation. (Not exactly the vocabulary I aspire to learn!) Being a gringa, they  turned to me and asked, “How about in the US? Is there abuse like this there?” I replied  that yes, there is abuse. In fact, there is abuse everywhere, but in the US it doesn’t seem  to be as common as it is here.

Now some of my friends reading this blog would know these statistics much better than I do. Feel free to leave a comment on current facts, if you know them.

They continued and asked me why I thought it was worse in Mexico. I replied that perhaps machismo had something to do with that. They agreed, but I had touched a nerve they didn’t like touched. As we talked, certain other factors were discussed, such as that of the law.

In the US, men can be and often are convicted of spousal abuse. In Mexico, what? Your husband hit you? Well, you probably deserved it! would be the expected response. He beat you up because another guy whistled at you and tried coming on to you? Expected reply would be: why were you flirting or acting like a slut?

That’s harsh- and on a missions blog too! Well, do you really want to know the culture we live in or should I just stick to yummy Mexican recipes and interesting photos?

So, the consensus was that the law supporting women’s rights here in Mexico is lacking, although they still had a problem labeling it machismo.

Still, I told them, God never planned for women to be born to suffer. Yes, suffering does have it’s place in our life- such as the curse of labor pains- and although we were created second and were given the place of submission to man, God never intended it to be an abusive situation. They pondered that for a brief second before one of them shot me this question, “Are you Catholic or a Christian?” (That’s what happens when you talk casually about God when you’re not in a cathedral!)

“I am a Christian”, I said.

Immediately the next question was, “Is your husband Mexican?” (obviously, they don’t know me or our family well; this was at the local gym where I go to work out).

“No, he is American.”

“And does he hit you?”

I then replied, “We’ve been married twenty two years and he has never once hit me.”

Liar, liar is what their faces said. One of them asked incredulously, “not even once?”

“Not even once”, I reiterated.

“Is he a Christian, too?”, they then asked.

Here we go, open door! “Yes”, I said, adding, “and that is why he doesn’t hit me. As Christians, we do our best to read, obey, and live by the Bible. The Bible says for a man to love his wife as Christ loves the church. Christ cares for his church, wants her to move ahead and be successful, wants her to grow.” I explained that our marriage is not perfect, that we do have serious arguments complete with frustration, yelling, and stupid behaving from time to time, but for the most part it is a happy and loving marriage.

It took a moment for their eyes to blink and their jaws to close. Then they asked, “Could your husband give ‘talks’ to our husbands?”

The other conversation I had threaded similarly to this one with this final thought tagged on, “If all men were like your husband, this world would be a better place.”

Those comments make me very proud of my husband and thankful to God for a man like him, yet I felt a sadness on behalf of all these women at the same time. What must it be like to live beaten, treated like a dog, called names, and be worth little more than trash? And worse, for them to think that’s…normal?!

I can’t imagine. I only keep wondering what more I can do so women will stop living abused and holding to the philosophy that they were born to suffer.

7 thoughts on “Women born to Suffer?

  1. Boy this thread was left hanging!

    Well, that’s what happens when we cancel internet for a month due to out of country travels. However, so many things have come up recently that are overwhelming my time and mind that I don’t know when, or if, I’ll get back to this particular comment thread. Yet most likely this theme will surface again on my blog , as there is much to be said about abused women since they are everywhere.

  2. I have been following your blog for a while, and have no idea how I found it. I dont know why I feel challenged by you, but I’ll address it as best I can. My mother was Mexicana, from Piedras Megras, Coahuila, Mexico. I grew up Roman Catholic, my God parents were from Puebla, Pue., Mx. I have been to Guaymas on a short term mission trip, have worked secularly for periods of time in Mexico City, have been to church planters bootcamp in Spanish with two different denominations (Evangelical Free Church and Southern Baptist), working with people from all over Latin America. Every pastor and missionary who does or has worked there that I have spoken with tell me what I already know from my own family – that the RCC has told many of Christ’s death amd resurrection, but few realize He truly lives. I also know there is a huge need for workers there.

    I realize where you are, but I do not know the situation there (ie, how things are there), which is why I said I dont know how things are there.

    its wise to check out the outlines – I dont care if you put the link back or not, they were only provided as an aide in your efforts for God in Mexico.

  3. @wbmoore – we are in Oaxaca, which is why I referred to the women as Oaxaqueñas. Perhaps you’re not too familiar with Mexico? Your statement of “few people in Mexico know Christ…that Christ lives” is unclear. “Few” lacks clarification. Certainly there are areas, such as the Heart of Darkness of Mexico (Latin America’s 10/40 window) where less than 2% claim to be evangelical christians per the 2,000 census, however there are areas where the percentages prove ironic. You also say, “Few are discipled”. I disagree. Many are being discipled, trained, and prepared for the ministry in their own cities, to the indigenous, and even to other countries. I’m curious as to your experience in Mexico that causes those types of statements.

    I appreciate your willingness to help via the notes, but until I have a chance to thoroughly check out your links, I have removed them on the basis of maintaining Biblical integrity on my blog.

    BTW – was it you that found my post by the search for ‘women’?

    @Hellen – there do seem to be certain things people feel uncomfortable about, but at times we need to be ‘discomforted’ and troubled enough to pray and fast. I do look forward to having more conversations with these ladies. And we’ll see if they were serious about their husbands hearing this news – or if the hubbies even WANT to hear it may be another thing! Yes, I so recall the suffering there in the campos as well.

    I’ve never heard of the book you mentioned by Mike Mason. Do you recommend it?

  4. “That’s harsh- and on a missions blog too! Well, do you really want to know the culture we live in or should I just stick to yummy Mexican recipes and interesting photos?” puts me in mind of when some of my blogs were quite intense while living in Chihuahua and those not there did not ‘get it’!

    Thank you for this ‘harsh’ blog….it reminds us to pray more for you guys as you minister Christ and do battle in a culture that sees this type of behaviour as the norm! I remember reading Mike Mason’s book ‘The Mystery of Marriage” and being hit so strongly with the fact that the enemy works so hard to destroy marriages because good ones exemplify His relationship to the church…and the prince of this world does NOT want that!

    What a great opening for you to minister to them though! Praying that the LORD will open amazing doors for Mike to minister to their spouses!

    Love ya, Ilona, and praying for you!

  5. I dont know about where you are, but its been my experience that few people in Mexico know Christ. Many there know that Christ lived and died. But they do not recognize that Christ lives. We need to share the truth of Christ and what Christ taught – people need to know they must love God and love others (Mt 22:36-39). Few are discipled.

    I gave a talk in Peru about marriage to a group of church leaders, men/women/teens. It was an eye opener for them, even though nothing I taught was really new. You mighyt want to use these outlines for discipleship.


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