Awhile back a gal shared a “good book” with me and then proceeded to use the book to excuse a divorce. I was horrified because I know the couple fairly well and the husband is a pretty decent guy (not perfect, but not abusive). Understandably the book fell onto my “not to read” list.
Well, it wasn’t long until a number of my (marriage-supportive) friends started recommending the book. It moved to my “maybe” list. It was written about a much needed subject in marriage, so I was tentatively hopeful.
Recently I was discussing the book with yet another friend who recommended it and then handed me her copy. (Maybe this was a like a hint from God?)
So I read The Emotionally Destructive Marriage by Leslie Vernick.
The first couple of chapters are rough. She takes off the veil of rationalization, denial, and any other way you might be explaining away the behavior of an abusive spouse. After that, the book offers an amazing array of encouragement, insight, wisdom, and help.
I particularly liked her balance of concepts and practical, do-able advice. It’s one thing to understand the situation. It’s another to know what to do.
If you suspect you are in an abusive situation, I encourage you to read the entire book and buddy up to a good friend to discuss before doing anything (unless you are in physical danger, hotline: 1-800-799-7233).
More than that, I recommend the book for, well, everyone. Even if you are not in an abusive relationship, it’s helpful to know the signs of abuse and know how to respond to a friend in trouble.
The church, for the most part, does not understand emotional abuse or how to respond to it in a healthy, biblical way. This book would go a long way to educating folks.
An emotionally destructive marriage is one where one’s personhood, dignity, and freedom of choice is regularly denied, criticized, or crushed. This can be done through words, behaviors, economics, attitudes, and misusing the Scriptures. Leslie Vernick
Prayer Prompt ♥ Ask God to help you become a healthy, helpful friend.
Michael Hyatt: How Our Words Impact Others Build up your sweetie.
Awaken Love: Living in the Tension Discern God’s way for your marriage and sexuality.
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