Husband Knows Best

For lack of anything better to read about in the Sun News, I’ve been following the saga of local pastor Phillip Miles.  Rev. Miles, head of Conway’s Christ Community Church, spent almost five months in a Russian prison on smuggling charges because he had the bright idea to pack a box of bullets in his luggage for what was supposed to be an eight-day mission trip to Russia.

He bought the bullets as a gift for his friend, a Russian pastor who had recently purchased a hunting rifle.  When Russian officers discovered the ammunition in his luggage at a Moscow airport, they told him he had broken the law, stamped his visa, and sent him on his way.  Upon his return to the airport for his flight home, though, he was arrested, jailed, and sentenced to more than three years in prison.  Eventually a Russian appeals court overturned his sentence, and now he’s back home. 

I suppose I wasn’t paying close enough attention to this story, because I always had the impression that he either mistakenly packed the bullets or did so under the assumption that he wasn’t breaking the law.  You’d certainly think so, between the prayer vigils, the homecoming celebrations, the involvement of South Carolina’s two U.S. senators and the State Department in securing his release, and his own self-important sermon to his congregation, in which he recounted his prison experience without acknowledging his own culpability in bringing the situation on himself and his parishioners.

But culpable he is, folks.  It finally hit me that this pussy-mouthed man of God bought his own ticket to the gulag when he planned to hide the bullets in his luggage, knowing he could be breaking the law in doing so.  His wife made that clear in her her recent interview with the Sun News, in which she revealed herself to be just about everything I hate about the stereotypical Southern pastor’s wife.  In the article, Lynn Miles recounts how she and her husband discussed the advisability of smuggling ammunition into a foreign country in a post-9/11 world.  Although she had “a really bad feeling” about it, she obeyed her husband when he “told her to zip up his bags” and left the room to use the restroom.  Instead of quietly removing the bullets, knowing her husband would be none the wiser because he’d mysteriously “lost” personal items several times before to Russian customs searches, she did as her master husband directed and zipped up the bags. 

Six months of agonizing uncertainty, one foreign criminal conviction for her husband, and the near-ruin of the church they had built together later, our girl Lynn has has no regrets: “Not one. Trust in a marriage is that important.  It should never be compromised. You do the right thing because it’s right, not because it’s easy.  Removing that box of bullets would have been wrong. It would have felt sneaky.  Now he’s back, and the trust is still there.”

I’m sorry, Lynn, but trust in a marriage isn’t as important as saving each other when we need saving.  Sometimes that means putting your big girl panties on and saving your spouse from himself.  I didn’t get married to have someone around to shove me off the cliff when I feel like jumping.  I got married so I’d have someone to talk me off the edge, even if that means telling me a whopping lie about a winning Powerball ticket waiting for me at home.  I got married because of a love that goes beyond blind obedience.  That love includes wanting the very best for my spouse, even when he doesn’t choose it for himself.  Look, I trust my spouse, and he trusts me, but that trust has nothing to do with rubber stamping every choice the other one makes.  Part of that trust includes knowing that we will be the wise yin to the other’s foolish yang when need be.  I, for one, think Lynn should’ve done the correct thing, even if she didn’t think it was the “right” thing.  Marriage is too complicated a game to play by the book every time.  If following the rules buys your spouse five months in a Russian prison with nothing but a “Trust in a Marriage is Important” t-shirt as a souvenir, I think I’ll continue to be a little flexible and hope my spouse does the same.

As for Rev. Miles and his congregation, I certainly hope they realize how lucky they are to be associated with our country’s unofficially approved religion, because I have a sneaking suspicion that if a Muslim Imam had pulled this stunt, the Myrtle Beach community, South Carolina’s senators, and the State Department would’ve reacted just a tad differently.  Call me crazy, call me a newcomer, but I’d bet money on it.  Any takers?

That’s what I thought.

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3 Responses to “Husband Knows Best”

  1. AGreenEyeDevil Says:

    I have nothing but disdain for women that use marriage, and the underlying religious framework, to absolve themselves of ALL responsibility – independent/analytical thinking, financial responsibility, personal safety etc. Church ladies be warned, keep your “man is the head of the household” kool-aid jug off my table….cause The Devil’s a free-thinker!

    As for a non-Christian, esp a Muslim, pulling this stunt, the departure from the gulag would have been for extraordinary rendition.

  2. angiesyounglover Says:

    my stepmother’s a hardcore christian, as is my father, but that doesn’t mean she’s brainless. you better bet your ass when my dad is actin’ a fool, she will be the one to coax him to back up off it and he’ll be the first to realize it. the husband may be the “head” but the wife is the neck. no doubt, no doubt. and while a lot of christian women subscribe to the “husband knows best/i must obey everything he says way of thinking, there are also a lot of christian women who don’t. like myself. that’s how i was raised. but i’m also not really allowed to marry anyway since i dig the women. but that’s a whole other story! these kinds of stories seem to magnify an instance and then leave its readers to apply it to every christian woman on the face of the planet, and it’s not that way.

    so lynn, you give love a bad name. i agree with MBB, marriage isn’t an apprenticeship, it’s a partnership.

  3. Myrtlebeachbum Says:

    […] ranted here before about Rev. Phillip Miles, a local pastor who spent some hard time in a Russian prison for […]

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