It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change.

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If you ever find yourself referring to a woman whose husband died on a battlefield as a single mother, you should immediately pour Tabasco sauce into your eyes, because you deserve to weep all the tears I’m certain she has.

Having a child out of wedlock is pretty much the number one thing you can do to fuck up your life. Never, ever assume a divorced woman is some innocent blushing maid cruelly abused by some terrible man. What kind of insecurities plague a woman who thinks getting married to a drug addict is good idea?

Emotional purity Biblical courtship = Godly marriage. You can do everything “right” and your life can still go wrong. People who follow the courtship formula still get divorced. However, what is encouraging is that most of us have determined to stop the insanity.

These teachings have deep, rotten roots, and it takes time to pull them all out. They deceive us into thinking that living by formulas is “safe.” 1 1= 2. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in my dysfunction, but it is discouraging as well.

I define “emotional purity” in the same way that popular homeschool writers have: it is the idea of “guarding your heart.” This sounds all noble and righteous and everything but in this context is really just a facade for fear. It was Josh Harris in and the Ludy’s in several of their books that popularized the idea that everytime you fall in love or get “emotionally attached” to someone, you give away a piece of your heart. Pride because suddenly you are better than everyone else. I am still uncomfortable hugging one of my best friends who is a guy because we were taught never to hug or have physical contact, even innocent, with a guy. We were taught never ever ever to be alone with a guy because it could look bad.

The more pieces you give away, the less of your heart you have to give to your spouse someday. my best friend, my sisters, my husband, my parents, my kids.

All articles on this site reflect the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of other Recovering Grace contributors or the leadership of the site.

Two weeks after the publication of this article, Darcy wrote some follow-up thoughts. EDITOR NOTE: If you are a reader who is unfamiliar with the specific courtship teachings of Bill Gothard and IBLP (the perspective from which Darcy writes), you can find more articles by clicking here.

The topic of dating and relationships came up and we started talking about my story. In my life it meant never having a crush on a guy, never allowing myself to “fall in love.” Basically, training myself to shut down a normal, healthy, functioning part of my human heart. I told her if she was to walk out of the room, leaving me and her husband in the same room, my first reaction would be one of panic.