To Those Blaming Lysa TerKeurst For Her Husband's Cheating: STOP IT!
A blog post and a thread of comments came across my Facebook feed. I don’t want to give traffic to the post or the ones posting it but the gist was that soon-to-be divorced Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries was at fault for her marriage ending because of her husband’s infidelity. The post and commenters claimed she should step down from her ministry.
I'm not a follower of Proverbs 31 Ministries generally speaking. Lysa and I would disagree on a lot of theology but I want to defend my sister in Christ who has been wounded.
In her original post where Lysa painfully describes the reasons for her divorce, she explains how she tried hard to save her marriage. Her husband rejected the opportunity to reconcile by continuing down the wrong path. He broke the marriage vows and refused to repair them with his actions. It was his choice to repeatedly cheat. Ultimately, it was his choices that led to divorce.
It is victim blaming to place the responsibility on Lysa when we have no evidence that she did anything wrong. A woman should not be blamed for her husband’s wrongs against her.
It is not ok to expect a woman to be subject to neglect and danger. Lysa’s husband put her in danger by cheating, not telling her, and therefore making her susceptible to possible STDs. And it is emotionally dangerous for her husband to continue to lie to his wife and family as he did.
To take away Lysa's ministry and source of income would be victimizing her yet again.
Lysa got professional and spiritual counsel. Continuing with Proverbs 31 Ministries was decided to be the wisest choice. I am sure, that due to circumstances, her focus will shift to an extent but to call for her to drop her income source completely because of her husband’s infidelity is uncalled for and is victim blaming yet again.
Proverbs 31 is a Hebrew acrostic poem Jewish men use to recite praise about women of valor in their lives. It is not a checklist to live up to, it’s poetry. A husband's failure does not subtract from a woman's valiant qualities. In fact, I believe walking through this devastation so gracefully qualifies Lysa as a woman of valor. Perhaps she has proved to be a Proverbs 31 woman now more than ever.
Perhaps the saddest part about the negative comments toward Lysa was that they were almost all coming from other women.
I believe this is rooted in patriarchal fear. Fear that if they do not shame Lysa the patriarchy will turn and shame them. Fear that if it is possible for a woman to have no fault in a divorce that they themselves have no power to control the outcome of their own marriage. Fear that if they were in the same position they would not have the means to support themselves.
Let us set aside our judgment and personal fears and support our sister Lysa in this trying time.
Please, don't make this any more difficult for her than it already it.