At the end of myself…at the feet of Jesus

Matthew 25: 40, And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

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You are not to blame for his buse

If you are a woman who is being abused by your husband, you need to know that his abuse of you isn’t your fault. You didn’t bring the abuse on yourself. You aren’t, by somehow failing to please him in some way, asking to be abused. Your failures as a wife, however great or small, whether real or imagined by him, in no way gives your husband the right to seek to destroy your body, your mind, your heart, or your being. If you are a woman who is being abused by a man, the sin lies squarely on his shoulders and not on yours at all.

You didn’t cause the abuse by being sometimes being difficult. It doesn’t matter if you somehow “slip up” in your duties at times, serve supper late, fail to pick up the dry cleaning, or keep the house in a bit of a mess when you get busy. Maybe there are things you can do better but that can be said of all of us. Nothing you’ve done or haven’t done gives him the right to yell at you, smack you, terrorize you, castigate you, assault you, rape you, discipline you, or abuse you in any way, shape, form or fashion.

Abuse of any kind is the fault of the abuser. Abuse of any kind means the abuser is sinning not just against you but also against the Lord who created him.

Abuse needs no excuse. Abusers need no reason to abuse. They abuse because they are abusers. They don’t think like normal people, they don’t react like normal people, they don’t respond like normal people. They think, react and respond like abusive people because that is what they are. Because of that, it doesn’t matter if you failed or if you didn’t fail, they will abuse you anyway. Abusers can be driven to abuse by anything, or by nothing.

If you are being abused you have a right to protect yourself. You have a right to leave. To tell your story to someone who can help you. To get to safety. You have a right to protect yourself and your children. You have a right to divorce. You have a right to live in peace. You have a right to live a life that is free from abuse.

There’s a life out there that’s free from abuse. It’s where most people life. By God’s grace, it’s where you can live also.

Soli Deo gloria!


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Coming to the Aid of the Abuser?

Isaiah 5: 20, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”

When an abuse victim approaches her pastor or a member of her congregation to share her story of abuse at the hands of her husband, it is likely she does so at great cost to herself. If her abuser finds out that she has “betrayed” him, she is likely to pay. How she pays will depend upon the level of abuse and the type of abuse she receives from her abuser. Yet, fully aware of the dangers to herself but unable to “go on like this” anymore, she takes courage and approaches anyway. Sadly, instead of finding a place of refuge, she is likely to be disbelieved or to be sent back to her abuser with commands to “try to understand him more” or to “figure out what you are doing that sets him off”. If she happens to mention the “D” word, she will, in many churches, be told that it is sin to consider “destroying her marriage”.  Rarely does anyone stop to consider that her story might be true and that, by sending her away, we have come to the aid of the abuser.

It is so easy to accuse, castigate and condemn without ever stopping to think that we might be wrong in our accusations. When we are dealing with an abuse victim, our failure to listen, to believe, to come to their aid just might lead to them suffering severe injuries or even death.

We must take the time to really listen to the wounded ones who come our way. Go out on a limb and believe the abused woman. What if the story she is telling you is true? How must your denial of it come across to her? If you were the one who had been greatly wounded by someone and you took the chance and confided it, how do you think you would feel if the one you confided in refused to believe you?

Are we pleasing to God when we cast sorrow upon original sorrow by castigating and accusing those who have been abused? Do we honor our Lord by ignoring their suffering, by dismissing their stories, denigrating their pain, refusing to listen? Do we bestow grace by walking away? Do we show Christ-likeness by refusing to believe them simply because we don’t want to? Because it’s inconvenient to get involved? Because we are so sure that the one she is accusing is “such a godly man”? What if we are wrong? By refusing to believe her, we are calling evil good and are aiding her abuser.

Are we so callous as to fail to seek the truth and, through our failing, perhaps even become a pawn in the hand of Satan, an instrument used by him to pour salt into a fellow Christian’s open, bleeding, wounds? All of this in the Name of our precious Lord? Sadly, from my experiences and those of many I have known, these responses are often the norm.

To say we believe God is one thing. To live as if we believe is quite another.  If we really love Jesus, we must live out our belief: the way we treat other Christians is indicative of our love for Him. When we are confronted with the stories of the abused woman, pray we remember that the Lord has taught us, in Matthew 25: 40, “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

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Telling Ourselves the Truth that Really Matters

Sometimes it’s easier to lie to ourselves than it is to tell ourselves the truth. Sometimes the truth hurts so much that, no matter how much we need to, we don’t want to face it. That’s pretty much the way I’ve lived much of my life.

Facing the truth about our lives is easy to do when our lives are going well, our family can be trusted, there are few bumps and even fewer mountains. Facing the truth about our lives when we have lived almost entirely in the valley of pain is another thing altogether.

It hurts to acknowledge the truth that your father was an abusive alcoholic and your mother was otherwise abusive.

It hurts to admit that your marriage has been anything but normal.

It hurts to admit that, because of the pain that has defined your family life, some of your children follow the abuser.

It hurts to admit that you’ve listened to all of the lies, all of the garbage spewed at you and you’ve swallowed it all.

It hurts but it’s necessary if healing is to ever take place.

Bit by bit, little by little, I’ve learned to tell myself the truth. It still hurts but it’s getting better.

I’ve learned to replace the lies I’ve been told for so long with the real Truth. The Truth that God is my real Father. That when others abandon and abuse, He takes me up. He protects, He defends, He loves.

God loves me. We teach our children to sing it but, for abuse victims, it’s a hard truth to learn. But it’s also one of the most important truths to learn. Little by little I am learning it. Now I’m telling it to you.

If you are an abused woman, if you’ve been cast aside, castigated, lied about, ignored and had venom spewed upon you turn to God. He really is love. He really is there. He really does care. He really will take you up.

I know.

I know.