Abuse is Misuse with No Excuse by Barbara Collins
Sumpin’ oughta be said! Not only is abuse misuse, but it is also abnormal use whether we’re talking about the land, which includes the planting and growing of crops, machinery, or women, yes, women worldwide. Why? Does Satan have a built-in animosity toward women? According to Genesis 3:15, he definitely has a God-given enmity with “the woman.” The enemy’s head was bruised at Calvary by our Redeemer Jesus Christ, the Seed of the woman, even though the “seed of the woman” now—all believers--will bruise Satan under their feet shortly. Romans 16:20. Our victory is a continuation of His.
Okay, you agree so far. We’ve all heard the horror stories about how men treat women in Muslim countries. However, how many of you know that abuse--whether verbal, spiritual, emotional, fiscal, sexual, spousal, or physical--happens in our homes, in our churches, and in our marketplaces?
When Catherine Clark Kroeger, founder and former president of Christians for Biblical Equality, first started a group called Peace and Safety in the Christian Home, I was reminded of a book written by a couple of minister-pastor-friends, Lynn Lucas of Long Island, New York and Burton Stokes of San Antonio, TX entitled, No Longer a Victim. You may order a copy by clicking here.
Had pastors and leaders of the church known the principles of this book, then they would have recognized that the emotionally wounded and mentally tormented victims of abuse were those whose damage is no less real than those who had endured physical violence. Although they don’t carry visible scars, the need for healing is even greater. Elders can fail by closing their eyes to these victims who are members of their own congregations. Likewise, sexual abuse could well be one of their demons as well.
The Roman Catholic sex abuse cases are a series of accusations of child sexual abuse and related church cover-ups made against Catholic priests. Indeed, between the years of 1950 and 2002, children accused some 4,000 priests of sexual abuse. Such abuse is not confined to priests but affects Protestants as well. Sin and abusive behavior knows no ecclesial or any other boundaries, including gender or age. In his “Fire in my Bones” writing of September 14, 2007, J. Lee Grady says, “There’s no question that we need more advocates for battered women. Domestic violence is an ugly issue that has been ignored by the church, mostly because so many pastors don’t know how to counsel abused women or how to confront the men who hurt them.” Let me add, that our churches provide a climate where justification for abusive behavior is taken from Scriptures.
After all, shouldn’t the woman be “submissive” to her husband even though he doesn’t obey the word so the husband without a word may be won by the conduct of his wife? I. Peter 3:1-2. If she would just be “submissive,” (docile and yielding according to Webster’s) then this marital situation would surely work out. That’s what some counselors say. A course of action or accountability must also be given to the husband as well. Here’s a good example of manipulating the Scriptures to justify behavior. Instead of showing support for his wife by changing his ways, the husband is excused from any modification of his behavior while the wife is challenged to change her own. Peter goes on to say that even the abuser’s prayers will be nullified if a husband is not showing his wife honor, for she is a joint-heir with him in the spiritual favor in life, v. 7.
In one of David’s psalms New King James says, “You have delivered me from the violent man. (Ps. 18:48) Should a woman stick around a man of violent behavior and be “submissive” to him, jeopardizing her very life, or should she believe the Lord Himself provides a way out of her predicament? In a PASCH (Peace and Safety in the Christian Home) brochure, it is written, “It is against the Word of God and a crime for anyone, even family or friends, to hurt you, your children, or your pets.”
I fully agree with J. Lee Grady, “We should have zero tolerance of any form of domestic violence. But while we learn to address this huge social problem, let’s also crack down on verbal abuse in the pulpit. We are not going to release God’s healing to a broken world with threats, hateful speech and a loveless gospel.”
Do you believe it? If so, you must act on it when circumstances dictate.
“I am cleaning out the arteries where your heart has been blocked
and unable to beat in harmony with Mine. I will now begin to flow in
you in a new way. I will release you to move forward and give you
energy to advance. The gift within you that has been blocked in many
areas and has kept you from entering new arenas will now begin to
flow in new ways. I am also removing the husk from your seed! I am
removing the husk off of your seed! I am removing the husk off of
your seed! What you have sown, that has never germinated, now will
begin to germinate.
If you are a desperate wife ready for change (or if you know someone who in an abusive situation), this message is for you. Be assured that you are not alone. You have many sisters from different walks of life who suffer along with you, often in silence. God hates the abuse of His women whether it is mental, emotional or physical. Always, remember God loves you and so do I.
Frequently, a desperate wife contacts our ministry asking us to pray that God will fix her husband. The husband may have an addiction, may be living with another woman; he may be abusing her and the children, or participating in illegal activities. The list of possibilities is long. Usually the wife wants us to pray that God will make her husband change.
God doesn’t make anyone do anything. He provides everyone with
opportunities to change, but God allows each person (husband and
wife) the freedom to choose right or wrong, blessings or
cursings. Your mate got where he is today because of his
choices. As difficult as it may be to admit, you are where you
are today because of your choices.
Religion would have us believe that divorce is the unforgivable sin, but we know that isn’t true. There was a time when I always discouraged divorce, but that changed after I saw someone very close to me literally wasting away. After seven years of marriage, this desperate wife who is a daughter of the Most High God looked like the walking dead. I didn’t know her situation, but I knew that she needed deliverance. My heart began to cry out to God asking Him to surround her with songs of deliverance.
The day came when this beaten down woman asked to talk with me. She shared that she had given her husband an ultimatum: either go to marriage counseling and give up his addiction to pornography or move out. She could no longer live with the disrespect and degradation – the mental and emotional abuse. The confrontation was a scary thing for her, but the Holy Spirit was faithful to give her counsel, help and strength; the courage to rise to the standard of righteousness. Her husband chose to leave, but God went before her and prepared the way. After a period of resolving some of her personal issues, she met and married a Christian man who loves God. (She committed her ex-husband into the keeping and care of God.) Her testimony is one of many that we receive proclaiming the goodness of God.
All testimonies are not the same. A few years ago one woman shared how God revealed His love for her, and she wanted more than anything to obey Him. One day while praying about her marriage she felt led to stay put even though she was in an abusive situation. God gave her the grace to withstand her husband’s next two half-hearted attempts of abuse without railing against him (a big change for her). In a short time this man repented with tears and confessed Jesus as His Lord. His repentance was for real, and he became a loving husband. (This wife’s behavior changed so drastically that her husband wanted to know what had happened to her. When she shared with him, he wanted to surrender his life to her God who changes those things we can’t change.) Isn’t this what every woman who lives with abuse desires? Yes, but it doesn’t always end this way!
Another woman shared with us that God told her to leave, and he prepared the way of her escape even providing income and a home for her. She never divorced her husband, but because of her stand for righteousness, he came to know the Lord not long before he died. The key features of these testimonies were the same. These women obeyed God by walking in love and maintaining a humble spirit.
I urge all women in difficult circumstances to let go of the victim mentality, denounce self-pity, and reject feelings of powerlessness; embrace the God-given power to choose. God has sent the Holy Spirit to guide you and give you the strength and courage to obey Him. You will be given the wisdom and experience the power to make choices that bring honor and glory to God.
This article is the first half of a message by Germaine Copeland. The second half is also posted on our website. To access click here.
We want to call your attention to new additions to the website. You can always find the latest by clicking on "What's New?" found at the top of each page.
Does Belief in Women's Equality Lead to an Acceptance of Homosexual Practice? by Dr. Catherine Clark Kroeger. Dr. Kroeger gives clear explanation, including scripture reference and word study, to uphold the conviction that one can support biblical equality without endorsing homosexual practice.
and Equality by Dr. Kluane Spake. This
outstanding article by Dr. Spake provides a long
needed addition to our understanding of Christian
Healing Words for September 2007 Many are hurting from a multitude of causes. Each month new scriptures are to remind us of who we are in God. When you read these words and let them sink into your spirit and touch the wound, our prayer is that you will be healed.