Women who find themselves in less-than-perfect or downright abusive marriages are often asked the above question, or it's counterpart, "What were you thinking?" or "Were you thinking?"
It is as if we are saying that it's their fault. I take that back, we are saying it's their fault.
I wrote about Douglas Wilson's role in arranging the marriage of Katie Travis to Steven Sitler yesterday (you can read it here), and while I was re-reading my article, I suddenly froze. One sentence in Katie's description of meeting Steven sent chills down my spine.
The Iversons knew our plans were to leave Saturday night, but invited us to stay Sunday so that I could meet this guy they knew. He was funny, nice, godly young man, and all that stuff. Or so they said. I was not very impressed. You might say I was skeptical. In my very heart of hearts, I was absolutely positive that nothing would come out of this Steven guy except an awkward evening of “So, what is your major?” and “What do you teach?”. Thankfully, I’ve never been more wrong in my entire life.
So they said.
Katie's gut reaction was to reject Steven offhand, but they - the Iversons, her parents, Douglas Wilson - all convinced her that Steven Sitler was a funny, nice, godly young man.
A man who had molested seventy children was considered a godly young man by members of Christ Church. (Read more here)
Everyone who has spent time in the evangelical circles knows that "godly" is shorthand for perfect. Katie believed she was marrying the perfect man. Because everyone she knew and trusted told her so.
"What were you thinking?"
Katie was thinking all the right thoughts.
"I wasn't impressed."
"In my very heart of hearts, I was absolutely positive that nothing would come out of this Steven guy."
If evangelical women were taught to trust themselves, their own thoughts and initial gut-feeling, this marriage would never have happened, and Katie Travis would have never known how right she was in rejecting Steven Sitler, a convicted pedophile. But we live in a world in which young women are told to trust men, men who use young women to boost their already inflated egos.
Douglas Wilson was so certain that he had cured Steven, that he performed the actual wedding ceremony. To compare his dealings with Steven, Wilson is known for saying violent rapists should be executed, and he even argued later that had Steven been caught in the act, he could have been shot and no injustice would have been done (Read more here). It appears that Wilson was so convinced of his own healing powers that he married the young unsuspecting woman, who was taught that marriage is the only thing that will make her happy, to a pedophile who is at the present moment not allowed to reside with his wife, because of the risk he poses to their child.
How happy is Katie now?
How happy would you be?
Katie, we're sorry that this happened to you. May God give you peace and a really good divorce lawyer.