I Was Married Into A Cult at 17

It is disheartening that so many in Christian churches place so much emphasis on marriage.

Saving yourself for marriage. Saving your first kiss for marriage. No holding hands till marriage even, etc.

Teaching if you do it this way. Only then will your marriage be so blessed and great!

But many times that isn’t the case. I know. Because I believed it. I lived it. Until it all came crashing down on me.

You see the evangelical cult I was a part of then was quick to marry me off to a man I hardly knew. I honestly didn’t even know myself quite yet. I was 17. But I was doing it the way they taught so it had to mean that my marriage was going to be a match made in heaven. We didn’t hold hands until marriage. We didn’t kiss until marriage. We didn’t have sex until our wedding night.

All those were wonderful ways to start off a wonderful intimate relationship, don’t get me wrong.

Especially the no sex part. I am a Christian and hold to the belief that God wisely instructs us that love making is reserved for inside a marriage covenant only.

So I believe that is one reason why marriage was such a rush in the cult.

Marry quickly so nobody sins.

Regardless if you don’t quite know each other. As long as you don’t fall into fornication.

Sadly, so much of their teaching magnifies on the “not sinning” part by staying pure that there isn’t much left over to focus on the ‘after’ part. After the first kiss. After the wedding night. After you realize the man you hardly knew is really a narcissist.

Then what? But I thought you said if I did it right I would be happy? I don’t remember the teaching on how to handle any kind of marital abuse.

No one can promise we will have a good marriage. You can follow any rules that others devise. But you’re still marrying a flawed human. And the belief that a certain moral code will guarantee marital or sexual fulfillment in marriage is stupid. -Mike Phillips

Women are taught to submit, obey and be quiet. And that indefinitely leads to many women to just endure abuse and suffer in silence. Yes, in Christian churches also. Including the Christian cult I married in.

Many abusive churches similar to the one I was in the pastor had all the power. We submitted to that power as if he was a god. So it comes to no surprise to me that the women believed they had to endure and obey the power of their husbands as well. No questions asked. So when the pastor spiritually abuses. The church remains quiet. When the husband emotionally, verbally, or even physically abuses. Wives pray harder. Stay on their knees crying out to God to change them into a better woman. A better wife. A better Christian. Because she as a wife is the problem. All the while the men lead with their imaginary “godly” power, staying in charge abusing the name of God.

I now know this must break God’s heart.

I personally don’t regret waiting to have sex with my husband until our wedding night. But I do regret jumping into marriage too quickly.

Stop pressuring women into marriages if they haven’t found a man worthy of their trust. Marriage shouldn’t be rushed. -Heather Thompson Day

Marriage at it’s best can be a beautiful reflection of God’s sacrificial, never-ceasing tender love for us.

But I have to say that the cult turned it into just another duty. A duty that is many times rushed. I now know it brings them gain.

They were also quick to marry off broken couples that came in messed up. Feeding them that the answer to their problems was to make it right by getting married. Many would. But their marriages didn’t last.

Young men with “callings” on their life needed a wife. So I have seen girls as young as 15/16 be married off.

And that is exactly why my husband married me.

I would be just one of the missing pieces in his life that he needed to complete God’s will.

Strangely, they followed a God who could care less about the feelings and heart of a woman.

The will of the Lord always came first and for most at the top of the list.

Did you really know the man you were about to marry? But the will of the Lord…

Your marriage was crumbling and in shambles. But the will of the Lord…

Your husband was manipulative, emotionally abusive, and addicted to pornography. But the will of the Lord…

Wives and women in general were taught to put their “differences” aside for the greater good.

In the midst of it all, we had to endure messages/sermons on how NOT to be rebellious. And so the abuse continued unnoticed. And I’m sure if noticed, brushed aside.

It’s been almost four full months since I have been free from this particular abusive group. My own marriage is still feeling the weight of it all.

So to those looking to marry soon. I’ll take the words of Heather I quoted above. Don’t rush it.

Trust cannot be demanded. Only earned.

And don’t take someone else’s word for it neither. Find out for yourself.

If you are in a church group that preaches marriage to further an agenda. Seek outside (out of the group) wisdom/counsel. FAST. If you are apart of a group that demeans a woman’s feelings and heart by putting a man’s needs at the top. RUN.

God’s will is never to sabotage any human for the sake of His plans or His kingdom.

The sick thing of it all is that so many dear women are believing that God is the one standing by allowing them to be treated in this manner.

Listen. Your pastor or husband is not God. If either are treating you in a disdain or abusive way. It is not from God.

Please do not allow your leader, group, or system to cause you to believe the toxic lie that God is some kind of a domineering monster whose only purpose is to get us to bow and submit. That lie will undoubtedly trickle down into everything else. And what was once supposed to be a reflection of His gentle love for us(marriage) will in time turn into a cesspool of lust and gain for true domineering monsters.

This is when sex easily becomes twisted and manipulated for one purpose. Solely for the husband’s pleasure and needs.

Marriage does not guarantee love, intimacy, or freedom from immorality. An unloving spouse who uses their partner for personal gratification and nothing more is stealing from their soul. Immoral! -Mike Phillips

Again, something that was supposed to be a beautiful expression of genuine love for each other(sex) between husband and wife turns into a cesspool of lust and gain for the same man professing of “advancing the kingdom of God”.

You can find out what God truly thinks of these religious leaders that use the name of God to abuse. In Matthew 23:13-33.

I will always be thankful for the truth that set me free from all the false beliefs I was once imprisoned to.

What if God is so much more kinder, loving, and tender than I had ever been taught.

This simple truth could begin to free many from the dangerous culture taught about marriage inside the cult. And sadly, inside other groups and churches as well.

I pray that freedom may come sooner as more and more voices continue to join together. Rise up and speak out.

Guest post written by She Bravely Flies Away


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