Some Hard Questions (Part 2)

February 19, 2012

in the generous life

But what about abuse?  

I hear this question a lot when I talk about a husband’s authority over a wife.  Sometimes it’s a legitimate question (how do we deal with this very real problem?) and sometimes it’s a way of saying that this problem means husbands shouldn’t have authority ~ that the authority/submission model is flawed.

Well, the truth is, it’s not the model that is flawed, it is the people.  It doesn’t matter what structure of authority/submission you are talking about there will be people who use whatever is at hand to abuse others.

God’s plan for authority is that those in authority should not Lord it over others, but become servants (Luke 22:25-27), using their authority to protect and bless.  Abuse shouldn’t even be on the table!  But given our fallen world, people will sometimes hurt other people and those who have authority will sometimes use it to abuse others.  

What should our response be?

As a body of believers ~ I think we need to be the hands, feet and voice of Jesus.  We need to be available to each other for help.  If there is abuse, we need to be in each other’s business enough to know that it’s going on and we need to be growing in Him so that we are safe people to turn to for help.  Yes, that is a very tall order, but Jesus is more than capable of fulfilling the order in us … if we will let him.  (Yes, I’ve gone to meddling.)  

To guys who are reading this, please be a servant leader.  Model it, teach it, encourage other men to lay down their lives for their wives.  Be willing to have a “come to Jesus” talk with guys who are abusing their wives.  Don’t let this travesty continue.  And for the record, gals, there are husbands who are being abused by their wives.  We need to step up as well.

Get educated.  Wikipedia ~ Domestic Violence (bring your tissues)  Look for resources in your area.  Know the law.  Be available yourself and ask your church to take a stand.  Abusive of this nature should be confronted!

As an individual ~ If you are in an abusive situation, seek help quickly from the nearest safe source.  If your church leaders are demanding unreasonable things from you, step outside of your church and go to other brothers and sisters for perspective and encouragement (go make an appointment at another nearby church if you have to).  If you have abusive friendships, step away.  If your Aunt Susie is verbally abusing you, set up a few boundaries (yes, you will make her very unhappy and probably a few cousins will give you grief over it as well).  

If your husband is abusing you, get help.  There are many types of abuse and varying levels of abuse.  Response could be anything from talking to a friend for advice, reading a book, getting counseling or running for the nearest domestic violence shelter.  (http://www.ndvh.org   hotline: 1-800-799-7233)  Always speak from a place of safety.

Study, discuss, and know what you believe about relationships and how God wants you to relate to authorities. Church, take a hard stance against abuse.

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I don’t even know how I wound up on this blog, but this is a truly cool post ~ Pulling Weeds  Obedience in the small things (from Pastor Nathan Rouse).

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Julie of Intimacy in Marriage has written a great article about Hormones and Sex: What You Need to Know  Always, always, always be educated.

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Be generous! Lori <><

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Sheila B February 19, 2012 at 5:09 am

Lori

Years ago one of my sweet friends was in an abusive situation and just as we coaxed her to get out he found out and took off with her. We were devastated because she was also protecting her abuser and it made it doubly hard on her friends that were trying to help her. I will never forget this as long as I live!!!!

I praise the Lord everyday that my hubby loves me and would protect me to the end of the world.

Thx for the wonderful blog and I look forward to tomorrow’s blog!!

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barb m. February 19, 2012 at 7:02 am

My ex was abusive and I couldn’t tell anyone. I went to the pastor’s wife and the pastor of the church we attended and they told me to “be a better wife.” I went to an abuse counselor and Focus on the Family and they both said to get myself and the kids (4 all under 12 at the time, but only one was his,) out. I did, he filed for separation, but from hearing more about his first marriage which lasted many more years and had years of abuse and neglect, I answered his papers with divorce papers. I was ostracized by his church and so many others, but finally found acceptance and love in the church I have attended now for 6 years. I also was given a God-given husband by my Lord. He is the most caring, patient, giving, loving, man I have ever met (and he says he wasn’t always that way either; he had been through an equally abusive marriage). Now the biggest problem we have is my youngest daughter is 8, and has to go to dad’s 3 days a week. He had unsavory roommates and friends living in his home for years (his grown daughters from first marriage testified to this,) and yet, we couldn’t do anything in court but now we pay HIM money and are going Ch. 7 because it cost us everything to try to get her. She has already been fondled by a friend of his. The church again looked the other way. I just tell you this so maybe my sisters in Lord here will pray in agreement for another chance to get my child away from a man who just doesn’t see what he does.

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Sheila B February 19, 2012 at 2:38 pm

@Barb
I’m am so very glad you got out. I’m praying for you as you continue this long journey to helping your children. There really are awesome loving spouses and I’m so glad you are safe and happy once again!!!

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