We are so grateful to God for the overwhelming responses that we have received through email, private messages and even by telephone. We have received responses from all over the world from Christians, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses and families & friends who have been directly and indirectly affected by the policies and beliefs held by the Jehovah’s Witness organization.
Before I begin with the next installment of our series entitled: “Married To The Jehovah’s Witnesses – The Challenges Of Being Married In and Out Of The Organization”, I’d like to thank God for my beloved wife of 15 years who was used as a vessel to “wake” me up from some of the teachings and policies of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I truly thank you for the seeding and watering you provided during a very dry and harsh season. By means of you and countless other believers, God has divinely shaped and groomed a new life for me in the Lord Christ Jesus. For this…I am eternally grateful.
It has truly been quite the exodus going from leading a life as an active Jehovah’s Witness to finding a real life in Christ. Growing up as the son of two very active Jehovah’s Witnesses parents, I was raised to be a JW before I honestly knew what a JW was. Baptized at the age of 14, I soon began to realize the added expectations that would be placed upon me for having an Elder as a father and a Pioneer as a mother. Things only seemed to intensify once my Father became the P.O./K.O.B.E (Head Pastor) of our congregation.
I realized that the expectations my parents had for me were to become an Elder as my father or a Pioneer at the very least. They showered me with love and affection as I excelled in the organization, but also withheld love whenever I fell short. I learned that my parents love as a whole, was contingent upon the rules and guidelines of an organization. I learned that I would never have my parent’s unconditional love, no matter how much I longed for it, no matter how bad I needed it. This would be something I’d struggle to accept over the next few years, but ultimately conceded and accepted it as my reality.
As I approached my mid 20’s, I begin to focus on dating and trying to find a suitable mate that was of like mind. Based upon the wisdom imparted by my parents and years of studying Jehovah’s Witness teachings, I narrowed my search strictly to those who excelled within the congregation. I recalled the Watchtower’s repeated interpretation of 1 Cor 7:39, a call to only marry another Jehovah’s Witness. I also remembered their advice on dating based on Proverbs 28:26, which meant I was supposed to request a Chaperon for any dates. I respected these rules and finally decided that I was going to ask an Elder, a personal friend of mine, to Chaperon my first date….with Spencer Tyler. Spencer was honestly the first person that came to mind once I actually decided to start dating. She possessed all the characteristics I was looking for in a mate and even managed to be exemplary within the organization. She checked every box on the list of potential Jehovah Witness suitors.
Spencer checked every box I had on my list for a potential Jehovah’s Witness Wife…..
*Was she spiritually minded? Check!
*Does she have a fine reputation among those that know her? Check!
*Is she actively engaged in the door the door ministry? Check!
*Is she attractive? Well, that last one was personal, but CHECK! Lol.
Unfortunately, our attempt at dating did not go as we planned, nor did the next few years of our relationship. Without much support from our families, Spencer and I happily struggled together one day to the next. Serving Jehovah together as a family was always the plan, but I soon began to develop suspicions that my wife, Spencer Tyler, was starting to waver in her resolve as a Jehovah’s Witness. At first, I tried to internally calm my own concerns, telling myself that I was just overreacting, and jumping to conclusions about her. I had always known my wife to but an outspoken and direct person, but now she was becoming hesitant to engage in “spiritual conversation” as I knew it. She kept insisting that our family studies be based solely off the Bible itself, something I found frustrating as a lifelong Jehovah’s Witness. I still valued all the publications and the instruction from the organization and found myself trying to fight back feelings of being offended…
TO BE CONTINUED…
Simon The Zealot