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Showing posts with the label Domestic Abuse

Grounds for Divorce

 By Wes Bredenhof With this post, I’m entering into a minefield, albeit with eyes wide open. Relationships are touchy at any rate, but when you talk about the closest relationship God has designed for human beings, the stakes are all that much higher. Marriage and divorce are topics many readers are invested in, if not personally, then certainly by acquaintance. There’s no lack of strong opinions and there are few occasions where people actually change their minds. In what follows, you’ll meet some men who actually have shifted their thinking on divorce. Marriage and divorce, especially remarriage after divorce, have been hotly debated in my church circles over the years. I remember an intense online discussion on the Ref-net (a discussion group originally for Canadian Reformed university students) in the 90s. A fellow-Ref-netter asked me what I thought about remarriage after divorce. I had to honestly say, “I don’t know.” For the longest time, I could safely stay on the fence.

Questions and answers concerning domestic abuse

 By Anna Grace Wood - Posted at Femina Sola Gratia: Someone reached out to me with some questions concerning certain aspects of domestic abuse. This is not the first time I’ve had such questions from readers and others. I’ve worked with pastors who wanted to understand DV better and to understand the needs of women who have been abused. I’m not a trained DV expert. I am a woman who has lived with abusers most of my life . I’ve experienced it at the hands of parents, husband, other family, and even wolves in a church I once attended. I’ve studied it extensively when I was co-authoring a book on the subject. However, the most important aspect of understanding domestic abuse is to know what God has to say on this subject. It is always Him that we are to seek to honor and obey, no matter what the subject might be. So, towards that end, the questions… Why do I say women will lie about being abused? Worldly women will lie and say they have been abused, raped, attacked, etc., when they haven’

Domestic abuse: my story, God’s grace to the abused, and resources

 By Anna Grace Wood - Posted at Femina Sola Gratia: God is sovereign even over abuse Sister, if you are being abused or if you know someone who might be being abused, I’m sorry. Welcome to my page on abuse. I pray it’s a blessing to you. Here we’ll look at what domestic abuse is and is not, the difference in a bad marriage and an abusive one, my own story of being abused, and some resources that might help you. I was born into abuse and I married an abuser. I’ve experienced everything from physical to emotional abuse, from sexual to spiritual abuse. I’ve lived under the heavy hand of extreme financial abuse both with my father and my husband. Outside of my immediate family, I’ve experienced molestation by men I ought to have been able to trust and once was nearly raped. But abuse doesn’t define me and it needn’t define you or those you love, either. God is sovereign, even over abuse. Read more...

Open letter from an abused Christian wife

Posted at  Femina Sola Gratia: Dearest brothers and sisters in Christ, It is with a heavy heart, for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, and because of His grace that I sit down to write you. I’m writing for myself and for my sisters in Christ who suffer under the heavy hand of domestic abuse. You might think that you don’t know anyone who is married to an abuser and so what I’m about to say doesn’t really apply to you. Please don’t think that. You probably do know someone who is being abused; you just don’t know it yet. There are many of us. It’s probably hard to understand where I’m coming from. If you haven’t lived through it, it’s difficult to relate. Maybe you wonder is there such a thing as an abusive Christian marriage–how could such a thing be? There can be and are abused Christian wives, yes; but a Christian man who abuses his wife? No. A man might have many issues and still be a Christian, but he will be working on those issues, repenting of his sin, always longing to p

Cancerous relationships and Christian burden bearing

By Anna Grace Wood - Posted at Femina Sola Gratia: Galatians 6: 2, Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Cancer is defined by Merriam-Webster as a serious disease caused by cells that are not normal and that can spread to one or many parts of the body or something bad or dangerous that causes other bad things to happen. That pretty much defines cancerous relationships as well. Abuse never happens in a vacuüm. One part builds on another, and another and another until it becomes a way of life for the abuser and makes life unbearable for the abused. Abuse takes many sizes and shapes. From emotional abuse to physical, from sexual abuse to financial, from isolation to control, any type of abuse hurts. Any kind of abuse is sin. And nearly any case involving domestic abuse will far too often cause Christians to abandon post and forget that God’s Word commands us to bear one another’s burdens. Being in an abusive situation that you cannot get out of is hard e

The Patterson Pandemonium: What He Got Wrong, What He Got Right, and What We Can Learn About Handling Spousal Abuse Biblically in the Church By Michelle Lesley Unless you’re a student of late twentieth century Southern Baptist history or you’re just an old enough Southern Baptist to remember him, you probably don’t know who Paige Patterson is. (I wasn’t very familiar with him until recently, myself.) The short version: Dr. Paige Patterson has been the president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) since 2003. Prior to that he spent eleven years as president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS), served two terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, was instrumental in the Conservative Resurgence , and pastored several churches. (You can read the longer version here .) So why are we talking about Dr. Patterson today? One of the ripple effects of the #MeToo movement has been #ChurchToo . Ephesians 5:11, in the context of addressing sexual immorality, says: Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. The #ChurchToo movement ha

Jesus & Moral Relevance

By Steve Griffin - Posted at Just Thinking (and writing): Several weeks ago I lamented the hypocritical response of the “Christian Right” to the sexual mistreatment of women and children.1 It’s a new year but nothing’s changed. Consider this spot-on (and from my perspective heartbreaking) commentary. Conservatives need to be clear and honest in this circumstance. The strong, moral commitment to the dignity of women and children recently asserting itself in our common life has mainly come from feminism, not the “family values” movement. In this case, religious conservatives have largely been bystanders or obstacles. This indicates a group of people for whom the dignity of girls and women has become secondary to other political goals. We are a nation with vast resources of moral renewal. It is a shame and a scandal that so many religious conservatives have made themselves irrelevant to that task.2 I assure you, dear reader, such was not always the case. Early Christians

Prisoners in the Pew: Unmasking Abuse in the Church

By Megan Fowler - Posted at byFaith Online : Waldron stresses that abuse is a pattern of behavior, not a one-time event. The behavior is always intended to preserve the abuser’s power by controlling others. Typically, abuse falls into one of five categories: psychological, physical, economic, spiritual, and sexual. Shane Waldron was once skeptical of the term “emotional abuse”. As an associate pastor at Faith Covenant Presbyterian Church in Kalispell, Montana, Waldron was assisting with a marriage counseling session when the wife said her husband was emotionally abusive. Waldron balked until he borrowed the wife’s copy of “The Emotionally Abusive Relationship” by Beverly Engel. “Chapter 2 was like reading a handbook of her husband,” Waldron said. During the next few months, Waldron learned of more abused women in his congregation. He started a support group so that he could minister to them together. In the process the Lord placed a burden on his heart to help others find healin

Domestic Abuse and the Church

Posted at Pastor Dave Online : One in four women. Those are the startling national statics for cases of intimate partner violence. For many of us within the church those numbers reveal just how desperately our world needs Jesus, but we fail to realize that domestic violence is a serious problem within our walls too. In fact, domestic abuse is not just a problem within the church, sometimes we can make it easier for abusers to hide and justify themselves. There are two major ways that the church can unintentionally provide a safe haven for abusers. The church is often the most ill-equipped and unprepared to intervene in cases of abuse. We can cultivate a safe haven for abusers, then, simply through ignorance. Victims of abuse may often go to their pastors for help but in reality pastors are often unaware of what abuse looks like, how to identify it, and how to help. If abuse does not reveal itself in the form of classic aggression, violent behavior, and bruises on the victim the

Knowing the Lingo Isn't the Same As Letting Sin Go

Posted at Istoria Ministries Blog : The following is a letter I received from a woman that goes by Hupomone when she comments. She listens regularly to our podcasts from overseas, and she also reads Istoria's Blog. The past year has been a difficult one for her. In an effort to process some of the things that transpired, she decided to write the equivalent of a "blog post." She doesn't have a blog and or even Facebook, so the letter was really initially intended for immediate family/friends. She's given me permission to publish it on Istoria. I believe it illustrates beautifully how principles of the Scripture are either applied - or not applied - in the lives of Christ's people. "I remember my childhood home well. I grew up with my brother, sister and my parents. "My mom always tried to do such a great job making it feel like not just a house, but a home. She tried to decorate in a way that would be nice, but economical. Most vividly, I remember

On Disciplining Abusers And Protecting The Sheep

By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog: Few things are as distressing to cops, nurses, and pastors (or chaplains) as domestic violence. A cop will tell you that responding to a domestic violence call is never pleasant and often dangerous. In cases of domestic violence emotions run high. People do not think clearly. Drugs and alcohol are often in play. Such situations are volatile. They can also be difficult cases for ministers, elders, and deacons to address. Abusers come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. It can be a real shock to find out that fellow you thought to be an upstanding member of the men’s Bible study has been abusing his wife for the last three years. She hid it well. She did not call the police. She became skilled at covering up the marks with make up and, when that failed, she became equally skilled making self-deprecating excuses (“I fell,” “I’m so clumsy”). Eventually, however, it was too much and she finally called the police and news of the abuser’s a

Listening to Abused Women

By Aimee Byrd - Posted at Housewife Theologian : In my last article , I pleaded that complementarian men should respond to women with a listening ear and a resolve to better teach what headship actually means and what it does not mean. They should be reaching out to abused women, whose husbands and churches hide under the banner of headship and complementarianism, and call out the abuse and false teaching loud and clear. They should be working to help church leaders to recognize abuse and provide godly counsel and resources for those abused. Perhaps if we hear from some of the women who have been through such abuse, we can improve in this area. This is a guest post from an anonymous author that I am sharing to hopefully raise awareness leading to positive change. Please understand that I am not saying that the distinctive view of male-female relations which CBMW promotes inevitably leads to abuse. And I’ve said before that they have also published helpful teaching. My point i

An open letter to the church from an abused Christian wife

By Anna Grace Wood - Posted at The Cross Is All We Need: Dearest brothers and sisters in Christ, It is with a heavy heart, for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, and because of His grace that I sit down to write you. I’m writing for myself and for my sisters in Christ who suffer under the heavy hand of domestic abuse. You might hear that term and immediately think that you don’t know anyone living in an abusive situation so what I’m about to say really doesn’t apply to you. Please don’t think that. You probably do know someone who is being abused; you just don’t know it yet. Domestic abuse, domestic violence or, as it is often referred to today, DV, isn’t just about whether or not a man is physically beating his wife: He may or may not be but still be abusive. Abuse comes in many forms. Sometimes it manifests as physical abuse but not always. When a woman is regularly torn down by an abuser’s words, when she is afraid to speak up, afraid to make decisions for fear of displeasing

A glimpse into the madness

Editor's Note:  Wisdom from a woman who knows spousal abuse firsthand and who is also a devoted Christian. Please read and share with others. Thanks. - AW By Anna Grace Wood - Posted at Tamar Weeps : Have you ever been in a bouncy castle? Yeah? Were you able to stand? To walk unimpeded? To make progress without continuously falling down or stumbling? No? Why? Because the point of a bouncy castle is that it is unstable. You’re supposed to fall down, roll around, and to bounce into the walls and each other. There’s no stability in a bouncy castle because there’s nothing stable about it. With a bouncy castle, all the bouncing to and fro, all of the falling down and getting trounced on is fun. Translated to real life, it’s anything but fun. Welcome to the life of an abused spouse. Abusers come in all different flavors, if you will. The fellowship of abusive spouses has among its members the unemployed and the wildly successful, the financially adept and the serial bankrupted, the

A new approach to domestic abuse ministry

By Anna Grace Wood - Posted at Tamar Weep s: The church is the blood bought body of Christ. And much of the church, God’s own people, don’t seem to care about those of us within the church whose lives don’t fit the narrative. We talk–and talk–about how the Gospel is the Good News that brings salvation to many, that some of us were once among the worst of mankind, that a new life–through Christ–changes everything. We talk about it but let someone not fit with our narrative and we simply don’t know what to do with them. I don’t say this lightly–I love the church–but the truth is–the TRUTH is–that we kill our own, especially when our own have been wounded either by their own former life decisions or are being or have been wounded by someone else’s. For example, consider how the body of Christ responds to those of us who are living with an abusive spouse. Read more...

How Church Bullies and Abusers Deceive Us

By Shane Lems - Posted at The Reformed Reader: Amazon Sadly, there is such a thing as a church bully. He’s the guy who manipulates, pressures, blames, and coerces people to follow his ideas or agenda (for example, see what happened to Peter in Galatians 2:12). This kind of person is very similar to an abusive husband (or wife – but most of the time a husband): he plays mind games on his wife, plays the Bible trump card of submission and patriarchy, and tricks people along the way with his compulsive lies. One big question is, “How do church bullies and abusers deceive us?” The answers to this question are important. Jeff Crippen and Anna Wood have some helpful answers. I’ve listed them below and edited them for length. (Note: Crippen and Wood specifically talk about abusive people, but many of these points could also apply to church bullies.) 1) They create an atmosphere of chaos and confusion. One of the most common effects of the abuser’s tactics is the creation of a