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DOMESTIC ABUSE IN CHRISTIAN HOMES – Recommended Reading

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

 

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GOD HATES DIVORCE – And VIOLENCE! – Part 1

By Terry Loving

“Better is a dry morsel and quietness therewith, than an house full of feasting with strife.” Proverbs 17:1

“Men will find that their wrong conduct in their families springs from selfishness, which disregards the welfare and happiness of others, when opposed to their own passions and fancies. It is wearisome to God to hear people justify themselves in wicked practices. Those who think God can be a friend to sin, affront him, and deceive themselves. The scoffers said, Where is the God of judgement? but the day of the Lord will come.” 1

“The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked, And the one who loves violence His soul hates.” (Psalm 11:5)

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Often times, it is the violence and abuse that leads to divorce. One commits violence, one may divorce because of it. God hates divorce – God hates violence – who committed the greater sin? Sin is sin – but who offends God the most in this situation?

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Ultimately, the abused must make a decision, stay or leave. Pastoral advice concerning domestic violence varies, however, abused women are often counseled to remain in the home – endure the abuse – submit more – learn to cook better – don’t set him off – and accept the abuse as the Will of God. This of course will never be proven in the Word of God – therefore, this teaching is the will of man. God will “test” the righteous, but never will he tempt us to sin. Violence is sin.

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Further, this erroneous spiritual advice sheds light on scriptural contractions – not on God’s part – but that of man. Jesus gave sight to the blind – healed the sick – raised the dead – defended the poor – strengthened the weak – and most of all – died on the cross for all while we were yet “sinners.” Christ could have informed a Samaritan woman that His race didn’t associate with her kind – in fact; the Jews intensely hated the Samaritans. He knew that she was a lost soul, and He had great concern for her immortal well-being. He asked her for a drink to commence the discourse, and set her free from her sins. Does this sound like a Savior who would sanction violence and abuse against women – more so, those who He desired to save?

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The Bible is often misquoted to suggest that God has given husbands free reign over their wives. Man often turns the beautiful, Divine institution of marriage into a prison whereby men are the cruel wardens – supposedly – blessed by God to rule with tyranny. In reality, this fallacy stems from human error, not Biblical mandates. Familial and societal mind conditioning also play a very important part in the misconception that women are inferior to men in the sight of God.

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Wives are joint heirs with their husbands – positioned in Christ – to receive the manifold blessings and spiritual inheritance promised by God. Listening to the wrong spiritual advice however, leaves one with the impression that God only cares about the well-being and “supremacy” of men – who He has given the right to treat their loved ones any way they see fit. This notion is straight from the pits of hell. Why would Jesus heal the wounded, then give men permission to use violence and abuse against their wives – who would eventually become the wounded? He didn’t.

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Yes, God established a spiritual hierarchy of leadership – God – Christ – man –woman and children. However, Christian men especially, tend to be ignorant of the spiritual umbrella of submission. Meaning, submission does not apply only to the wife. But that is a topic for another time. In the meantime if you desire, you can read my other post on “submission” here – http://spiritual-side-of-domestic-violence.org/id27.html.

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Back to the violence – God hates it! And the Bible has plenty to say concerning violent men. Even though I will refer to “men” in this post, the hatred of violence applies to violent women as well. God hates violence no matter who is dishing it out. However, the Bible speaks more of the violence of men, who are considered to be in the same class as the “ungodly.” Even if a man claims to be of Christ, his violent actions are that of lawlessness. One cannot claim to be a Christian and violent at the same time.

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“The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked, And the one who loves violence His soul hates.” (NASB)

“The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.” (KJV)

How can God sanction violence against women, when the Word says His very “soul hateth him that loveth violence?” To the core of His being, God hates violence and those who are violent. Hot tempered men stir up dissensions, start fights, and love to quarrel. Proverbs 22:4 warns us to make no friendship, not to associate with, or show ourselves friendly with hot tempered men. This warning should be taken to heart when desiring a mate. I ignored my ex-husband’s hot temper before marriage, for it was always directed at others. It was just a matter of time before his verbal lava spewed in my direction.

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At this point, I realize the need to break up this subject into separate parts. Part Two will address more of the violence; MALACHAI 2:16; and wrestling with the decision to divorce an abuser.

GOD IS NOT A RESPECTER OF PERSONS

GOD HATES DIVORCE – And VIOLENCE! – Part 2

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http://www.spiritual-side-of-domestic-violence.org

1http://bible.cc/malachi/2-16.htm

NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE REGISTRY

“It’s time for all to date responsibly, know who you are dating and what secrets lie in their past. We help you foster greater awareness of your dating choices! This Knowledge will Save Your Life!!!”

http://www.domesticviolencedatabase.org/default-db.asp

DATE RESPONSIBLY

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No portion of this web site may be copied, edited, or used in any form without prior permission.

© Spiritual Side of Domestic Violence Org., 2009
All rights reserved.


 
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Posted by on March 28, 2011 in DOMESTIC VIOLENCE/DIVORCE

 

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Home Is Where The Hurt Is

Grandville : Cent Proverbes

Image via Wikipedia

Home. What comes to your mind when you think of the word home? Should this not be a place where you can get away from it all? Leave the cares of the world behind and retreat to that special place? Does a warm feeling come over you when you travel towards home – excited that you are going to a place that you love? Does home represent a place where you can finally be yourself, after putting on a front for co-workers all week? Is it a place where you are accepted, and free to express yourself? Is your home governed by the Will of God, or the depths of hell?

For too many, the latter is the case – hell is unleashed in their homes – daily. If you have ever wondered what it is like to experience hell on earth, ask a person trapped by domestic violence and abuse. Better yet, ask me – been there. It is a feeling like no other – being  afraid to go home. I have experienced the dread both as a child and as an adult. School, playing outside, and visiting family was my escape as a child. Church services, employment, and visiting friends helped me to stomach going home as an adult. As a child I feared coming home to a dead mother. As an adult, I feared going to jail, as I vowed not to live my mother’s life – alcoholism, violence and abuse.

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When my verbally abusive, ex-husband was not at home – super! Life was somewhat normal for my children and I, except for the constant knot in my stomach. I am sure the kids felt their own sense of anxiety; mostly they just tried to be kids. When it was time for my ex to arrive home, the knot in my stomach worsened, and I would always feel like I was going to vomit. Everyone was always on alert for criticism, and braced for the yelling when something was found amiss. It was tough for imperfect people to try to live perfect lives just to please a tyrant. No matter the effort, it was always in vain.

I can only imagine the intensified, hellish environment endured when there are no outside interests. I would have lost my mind if I didn’t have a job to go to, or other activities outside of the home to divert my attention. Even if the trade-off is financial security, I cannot see any woman allowing herself to be beaten so that she can maintain a certain lifestyle – it happens though – frequently.

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Out of the five years of marriage, the last four were my reasons for seeking a divorce. I didn’t want to go to jail, and have my kids taken away from me. Mind you, I am not a violent person, however, I am aware of that “something” deep inside of me that may cause me to snap. I can’t put a name to it, but I know it is there. Some may label it PTSD, I imagine that is possible, especially after all that I have endured. After witnessing my mother and so many women being beat down to nothing, I made up my mind as a child that I was not going to live that way. If it meant that I would have no man in my life at all, so be it! The one year anniversary was the beginning of things going downhill quickly. I knew I had to leave, soon.

I want to share a fictional story with you. Reason being, it depicts the lives of many abused women who are trapped. The story is so real it touched my heart. It is my hope that those who cannot understand why a woman would stay in a hellish situation will also read the story. There is a part one, and part two, as well as mature audience subject matter. After reading this story of a once strong woman stripped of her self-worth, please share your comments on this post. There may be other women who can benefit from your experiences.

http://www.kathrynjaneway2000.com/WhenHomeIsWhereTheHurtIs1.html

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Home should be a safe haven for all people. It is a sad day when love is no longer found at home.

Here is another article worth reading:

“Mary never knew what would trigger her husband’s rages. One evening he spotted rotting lettuce in the refrigerator. Furious, the Charlotte, N.C., bank executive threw her to the floor and jammed her head into the vegetable bin. Tami first found out about the dark side of her husband, a young California minister, when she placed a cassette into the tape player backward. Suddenly livid, he grabbed her by the hair and threw her against the wall. Recalls Sue Ellen, whose college-professor lover left her with broken bones in her face, hand and foot: “I was like a wounded animal. I crawled into a hole. It was so horrible I couldn’t believe it.”

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Better a bit of dry bread in peace, than a house full of feasting and violent behaviour.
Proverbs 17:1 – (Bible In Basic English Version)
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Better is a dish of vegetables where love is than a fattened ox served with hatred.
Proverbs 15:17 – (NASB)
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WHEN IT’S TIME TO LEAVE – Resources
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VIOLENCE IN OUR HOMES

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KEEPING OUR HOMES SAFE

THE SHADE TREE – Sheltering women, their children and pets.

No portion of this web site may be copied, edited, or used in any form without prior permission.

© Spiritual Side of Domestic Violence Org., 2009
All rights reserved.

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2010 in It's A Family Thing

 

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