THE DISCIPLESHIP DISASTER
No one believes that their discipleship is abusive; it's always the other group. Look more closely; you may be surprised.
On Christmas Eve 1979, my parents dressed as Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. They rang sleigh bells and gave gifts to twin sisters and their parents. We had just met this family three days earlier.
Our involvement began when the twin daughters called home announcing they were both getting married. Concerned because of the unexpectedness and abruptness of this announcement, their mother asked if they loved the men they were to marry. Instead of giving the expected answer, they both responded by saying they wanted to marry them because it was God's Will. That's when their mother called me to ask if I would speak to her daughters before their double wedding (which was scheduled for the following week!).
When I finally was able to convince the twins that refusing their church leader's choice of husbands for them was not disobeying God's Will, they were so happy. They hadn't really wanted to marry these men anyway. As a matter of fact, they hadn't even wanted to hold hands with them!
Experiencing the joy of that family's happiness in their reunion was one of the most wonderful experiences in my life. It was this incident that prompted my initial research into abusive and controlling groups. What were they teaching? How could people be convinced to marry a person in whom they weren't interested? I began to find the answers as other parents called me for help.
(Continues in the Comments.)