I know what you mean, my wife and I feel the same way. It really is good for me too being able to talk to others who understand.
What should I do?
I know we should be supporting the ones taking the lead (elders) but sometimes it is very difficult. There are a few that have a very high minded attitude. I like individuals that are down to earth and treat people fairly. I have seen the opposite a lot lately especially with a few in our congregation. One sister was in an abusive relationship. Her husband, also a Jehovah's Witness was not repremanded in any way by the elders. I believe because of her being of Spanish decent and him White, for some reason she was just not that important. This sister left the congregation a few weeks ago and has not been back. My wife and her talk over the phone alot. I get to the point of anger when my wife tells me what this poor sister has been through. I pray to Jehovah hopeing that something is done about this.
I reread my post and should have said that the sister IS in an abusive relationship, not was. The abuse continues. To tell you the truth, I think her husband is a jerk.
Well, SC, if her husband is abusing her he IS a jerk!
Your elders "suck"? LOL Do you think you could be a little more explicit next time? ROFL
Actually, it seems that many elders suck (sorry, Frenchy). They do not act like shepherds, but rather like power-hungry megalomaniacs. This, unfortunately, includes my own cousin. (sigh)
It doesn't have to be all or nothing. There are a lot of good publishers out there who are putting in quality time in the field service, but don't feel, for one reason or another, that they can pioneer. Obviously pioneering - for you - with all your other responsibilities - is unrealistic at this point. It's hurting you and your family, and you couldn't possibly be finding any joy in it! Cutting back will allow you that all important family time, and you may even find when you DO get out in service, that you are actually enjoying it again. I wish you the best.
Welcome, I see you are new. I hope you stick around and get to know everyone. I am fairly new myself to this site.
I have cut back to about 6 hours a week. This includes two Bible Studies. I promised my wife that once a month I am not going door to door on Saturday or Sunday. That is family weekend. We might even miss a meeting on Sunday occasionally and sleep in. I need the rest and so does my wife.
Cutting back has helped me focus more on the family and their needs as well as mine.
SC, back to your post about the sister who is being physically abused by her husband. It' easy to say "get out." Very hard to do. There probably are private or state agencies to help her if she wants to talk, leave, or file charges.
Please encourage her to get in touch with them - show her how and help her if necessary.
In our congregation, the last comment I remember being reiterated during the Watchtower study dealing with abuse was that a sister could approach the elders for counsel. But a very fine elder openly commented during this religious study, that this didn't mean for things "like slaps and stuff like that."
I can't find the polite words to comment, nor could I then (I'm sorry to say). Please encourage your wife and take the lead yourself in helping this sister in any way you can - she needs help.
AARRRRGGHHHH!! Not for slaps and stuff like that!!! AAARRGGGGGGHHHHH!!
That's where the serious abuse begins. And this is an area that has bothered me for some time.
There has always been much discussion about the elders being unpaid volunteers vs the paid clergy of Christendom. Somehow, this volunteer status makes the elders better--more righteous--closer to God.
While it is true that the elders work hard and give of their time freely, it is also true that elders do not have the psychological training that is given to most paid clergy.
When a parishioner goes to his or her priest or minister, that clergyman has had sufficient training to recognize a serious problem and advise professional help if needed.
Elders, on the other hand, have no such training and are simply not equipped to handle the many problems that are handed to them. While it is true that the rules have been relaxed with regard to professional therapy, how many elders have ever recommended it?
In most cases, an abused wife is counseled to be more submissive. A seriously depressed person is made to feel guilty that they are not doing enough in service.
How many serious problems have been made worse by this type of counsel? How many deaths have occurred because someone felt too guilty to seek help?
It has gone beyond slaps. My wife has encouraged the sister to get help from the authorities, she so far has refused. She says that Jehovah will help her and her husband with this situation.
I think it is only a matter of time before she does seek outside help other than the congregation. My wife as far as I know is the only one that she has talked to about the abuse. The sister has not even told the elders everything for fear of it getting out beyond the elders themselves. You know how rumors spread.
I do not look at this Jerk as a brother anymore. I think what he needs is a good a..kicking.