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DOMESTIC ABUSE IN CHRISTIAN HOMES – Recommended Reading

19 Aug

By Terry Loving

Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

My ex-husband/verbal abuser was a song leader in our church. He often used this platform to air out our business, and tried to make me look bad as a person in general. It is an awful feeling sitting on the front pew feeling eyes on the back of your neck, wishing that you could snap your fingers and just disappear. Mind you, the things said about me were not a true picture of my character, but an attack from someone who was supposed to be on the Lord’s side as I truly demonstrated.

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Even though my ex was not a preacher, somehow standing in the pulpit putting me down made him feel like a big man. In between announcing the next song to sing, he would wound me deeply in front of everyone that knew us. Fortunately, in the end when things at home got really bad – escalating to shoving – the leadership believed me, and helped me to move away from abuse. They provided me with a down payment on my own apartment after making sure that I was able to make it on my own. I assured them that this was possible, and I was determined to do so.

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After the whole truth came out about my ex and his abuse, the leadership rebuked him and he eventually left our church. I still attended – in peace – but not many abused Christian women are as fortunate as I was at the time. Author Susan Greenfield is one of the many women in our churches that know firsthand what it is like to lose her-self to abuse. When your abuser is in the pulpit preaching sermons that touch the souls of the congregants, it is very difficult to get them to believe that the same person is evil behind closed doors.

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No woman should suffer abuse, especially not by the hands of men who claim to follow Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, there are many who keep silent concerning domestic violence and abuse in fear of turning people away from serving God. Too many “Christians” prefer to keep up false appearances that all is well in the Kingdom of Christ when this is the exact opposite. Granted, what God has established through Jesus Christ remains constant and never changing. Every soul needs a Savior, a Guide, a Friend, and a Confidant, Someone who cares about them eternally. God never changes His love for us.

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Sadly, it is the mistaken souls in our churches that believe they have the right to treat others any way they so desire. God is the same yesterday, today, tomorrow and forever. It is mankind that gives Christianity a bad reputation, not God and His Word. Christianity should be a peaceful experience, not without challenges, but certainly there should be no mistreatment from fellow spiritual sojourners.

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Not only does Susan Greenfield share her raw experiences, she offers practical advice to those who assist the abused. Her book is a wonderful resource for those who speak out against domestic violence, and an eye opener for the abused. Even though this book is written by a Christian woman, non-Christian readers may find her experiences very helpful. Most of all, she offers her contact information at the end of the book.

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Susan has been beaten while pregnant, lived in a shelter, had church members turn against her; was tortured in her own home; in public; and tormented regularly by her “Christian” husband – who hid behind the pulpit of shame. I highly recommend this book as a guide, and reference to strengthen those who are seeking to leave abuse.

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Author Barbara Roberts is another Christian woman who knows the horrors of abuse. I am very happy that Susan and Barbara are speaking out to help others. Unfortunately, the subject of divorce comes up when abusive situations drive the abused to seek permanent solutions. I personally took this road, and I have no regrets.

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http://www.notunderbondage.com/

There are well-meaning church folk that advise the abused to “cook better,” “keep silent,” “don’t push buttons” and all kinds of useless counsel. The abused may be shamed into staying with her abuser so the church doesn’t look bad in the eyes of the world. What the abused need is sound Biblical advice, not unfounded emotional blackmail.

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There are many misconceptions concerning Christian marriage, divorce and remarriage. Barbara does an excellent job clarifying much of the confusion. There are many scripture references concerning this issue, and her research offers a fresh perspective that is worth exploring. When marriage breaks down due to abuse, it is difficult for Christians to make spiritually informed decisions without the right information.

“NOT UNDER BONDAGE” contains valuable information on topics such as:

“What is abuse?”

“If I’m the innocent party, why do I still feel guilty?”

“God hates divorce” – slogan or scripture?”

“May I remarry if I have suffered divorce?”

There is valuable information for those who counsel the abused, and to assist the abused to understand what the Bible has to say about divorce. Barbara did an excellent job with this subject, and I highly recommend this book for those who need this information.

Susan and Barbara, thank you!

Barbara, thank you for sharing these insightful resources.

May God bless your endeavors to bear fruit for His Kingdom.

Terry

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Why do Christian Husbands Abuse Their Wives? 

Part One (click here)

“God gave Adam and Eve–both of them–dominance over the animals not over each other (Genesis 1:28)”

“Clearly both Adam and Eve were created in the image of God. Together they reflected God’s image. In essence, male dominance teaches that males were created in the image of God and females were created in the image of man. There are no Biblical texts or teachings that support the idea that Eve was to be subordinated to Adam. Jesus told his disciples: “When you see me you see the father . . . I and my father are one.” This was to be the example of male/female relationship.”

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Why do Christian Husbands Abuse Their Wives?

Part Two (click here)

“We have learned that religious abuse, a form of emotional/psychological abuse, is a way many Christian Bahamian men abuse their partners. Religious abuse occurs when someone makes you feel that it is your Christian duty to stay in an abusive relationship. It is using texts out of context to perpetuate domestic abuse, to encourage a partner to be submissive to an abusive mate. It is also when a husband constantly reminds his wife about her “Christian duty” to be submissive and to respect him as the head of the house, and placing himself as “king of the castle.”

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Why do Christian Husbands Abuse Their Wives? 

Part Three (click here)

“How could a “Christian nation” be so poisoned, so sinful, and wretched? In reality, the churches have laid the foundation for such abusive behavior. The church is powerful. It has preached submission to husbands “no matter what.” The church has taught that reconciliation is staying with an abusive partner because “a gentle, Christlike, meek spirit will win him over.” It has taught that Christian forgiveness means returning to a threatening, dangerous relationship. It has kept quiet in a world which resonates with cries of abused women and children. It has denied, covered-up, and minimized the abuse of church leaders, and other Christian men, thus demanding no accountability, no change. Who has to change? It is always the woman. In reality this is not ministry of reconciliation.”

If you are a pastor who would like learn more about the dynamics of abuse or hurting person in need of help, or you have request for counseling, write to P.O. Box CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas or Email: question@soencouragement.org , or call 242 327 1980

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Marital Abuse & the Bible

“I’m not an authority on the subject. Yet, I also know that those of us who have used the Bible over the years to support marital permanence have often inadvertently contributed to a loss of peace and safety in the home. So I feel an obligation to do what I can to speak to a problem that, through so much misunderstanding, is robbing men of their honor, and women of their safety.”     by Mart De Haan

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THE PHARISEE SYNDROME

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THE WRONG ADVICE!

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http://www.amazon.com/Would-Real-Church-PLEASE-Stand/dp/1602660255

http://www.amazon.com/Not-Under-Bondage-Biblical-Desertion/dp/0980355346/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1345403717&sr=1-1&keywords=not+under+bondage

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NEW BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT!

(May be used for group or individual Bible study)

This Bible study is a necessity for all who counsel abused women. Domestic violence has reached epidemic portions worldwide, and we must not keep silent. Church leadership must recognize that Christians are not immune to domestic abuse, and the need for education in this area is great. The abused have been silent for too long – now they have a platform from which to share their experiences. With each study session, they will learn to open up, release their grief, and find their personal road to healing. It is encouraged that participants keep a journal as they travel this road of healing and restoration.

Please CLICK HERE if you desire to be notified of this publication’s release date.

Thank you in advance for your patience.

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13 Comments

Posted by on August 19, 2012 in According To His Word

 

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13 responses to “DOMESTIC ABUSE IN CHRISTIAN HOMES – Recommended Reading

  1. Claude Mariottini

    August 19, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Terry,

    Thank you for linking my post on the Levite and his concubine to your blog. I have used that passage several times in church to preach against the horrors of domestic abuse.

    It is sad when people, especially Christians and those who are in the pulpit, are abusers of their loved ones. As a pastor and as a professor I use every opportunity to speak against domestic abuse.

    I join you in condemning domestic abuse. I will put a link to your blog on my blog. Maybe other women who are abused will come to your blog to find some help.

    Claude Mariottini

     
    • ssofdv

      August 20, 2012 at 12:25 pm

      Hello Claude,

      You are very welcome. I commend your excellent view of this scripture passage, and how well you tied in domestic abuse. And yes, it is very sad that those who claim to love God are abusive to His creation. I do not understand how a Christian can justify abuse, especially when they are in ministerial positions within the church. Truly, the failure is not with God.

      I am happy to connect with a fellow soldier fighting against abuse. Keep speaking out. Society needs more men of God to speak against this evil, thank you. I will visit your blog again.

      Peace

       
  2. Craig Benno

    August 20, 2012 at 5:13 am

    Its very sad that domestic abuse, or intimate partner abuse is abounds in society and is a hidden issue within the church. It is also does happen to men from their female spouses also, and current research from America, Canada and Australia is showing that 1 in 3 victims of DV are men.

    I myself was a victim of DV from my then wife, You can read some of my story here http://mencanbeabusedtoo.wordpress.com/my-story-part-1/

    I live in Australia, and I couldn’t get any help at all, because I was a man. I even rang a DV help line and was told that I was lying, as only women get abused by men, and not men by women.

    I’m really sorry for your experience, and I pray that every form of abuse will stop and come out into the open.

     
    • ssofdv

      August 20, 2012 at 10:19 am

      Hello Craig,

      I am sorry to hear that you were not believed and assisted. I myself know for a fact that men are abused by women more than society cares to admit. Granted, more women are abused than men, but the abuse goes both ways in many cases. Also, abused men often go back for the same reasons that abused women return to their abusers. I know of one male personally that went back because of financial reasons. Both partners had an income, but not enough for each to sustain on their own.

      It is difficult for society to believe that a man can be abused because of his physical size and strength. In addition, abused men are viewed as “weak” because they allowed a woman to cause them physical or emotional harm. Many men are raised to respect women, and not lay a hand on them, and they abide by their upbringing to “keep your hands to yourself.” Men are often viewed as not having feelings, and therefore they cannot possibly suffer emotional hurt as a woman does. This is certainly not true.

      And yes, it is very sad that the church is silent on this volatile issue. Domestic violence is an epidemic, and no one wants to talk about it or deal with it. Abuse will not be addressed until those who are against it raise their voices loudly, and wake up a sleeping society. I pray that the small army of which I am included will grow and bring truth and awareness to light on a massive scale.

      Thank you for your comment Craig. I pray that you are healing and thriving. I pray that God will use your experience to help our ignorant society accept the fact that abuse can happen to anyone. I will certainly read your story.

      Peace

       
  3. delbertdelbert

    August 20, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Hi Terry, your post provides excellent commentary on the subject of abuse. The added resources inserted, from authors Barbara and Susan, serve well to support in the enlightenment of these horrors.

    Whether Christian or non-Christian everyone plays a role, of some type, in learning, understanding, helping, and certainly and at times, may also suffer some form of abuse.

    I enjoyed the read, Terry. Keep up the fight.

    Del

     
    • ssofdv

      August 20, 2012 at 11:05 am

      Hello Del,

      As always, it is nice to hear from you. Yes Del I agree, everyone should be involved in eradicating this evil from our society. Unfortunately, domestic abuse stems from the selfishness of humanity, and therefore – not everyone agrees that abuse is wrong – being that it is about controlling those who are vulnerable, and exercising so-called “rights.”

      Also, too many see domestic violence as a “private” issue, and not the “sin” that is really is. Until we learn to respect one another as human beings, I am afraid that this “horror” will continue. I applaud Susan and Barbara for their contributions.
      And yes, I shall “Keep up the fight.”

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting.
      Peace

       
  4. anexa

    August 5, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    I’m also a victim of domestic violence and don’t know what to do.I need help please…….

     
    • ssofdv

      August 8, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      Hello “anexa,”

      I am very sorry to hear of your suffering. If you are in immediate danger, please call 911, and the National Domestic Violence Hotline for assistance.

      1-800-799-7233 – 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

      Do you have family, friends, a Pastor you can trust with your situation? Please do not suffer alone. There is help.

      It is my hope that you will find a solution to your situation very soon.

      Peace

       
      • anexa

        August 12, 2013 at 9:49 pm

        yea hope so,thanks God Bless

         
      • ssofdv

        August 13, 2013 at 10:46 am

        anexa,

        Please stay in touch and let me know how you are doing. Stay strong – there is a way out, you just have to find it. There are a lot of resources on this site. If you can, please read about them and perhaps find the right solution for you.

        Peace

         

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