Much like a mirror, we view life through our eyes--looking out from the inside. Even when we think we're looking in, we're looking at ourselves through ourselves. For that reason, none of us is objective. That's why the Word of God and the people of God are vital. An abuser sees the victim as an … Continue reading Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Proverbs 18:17 says, "The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him." Those who help individuals settle disputes and live at peace depend on this principle. In most people situations, this works. But a proverb is a proverb, not a promise--it's true most of the time, given the right circumstances. This … Continue reading Two Sides to Every Story
"It can't be!" "It's not possible." These are natural responses when a victim discloses the truth, especially to mutual friends and family members. We want to think people know better, that the abuser has a conscience, that no one would knowingly treat a loved one with cruelty and contempt. That's simply not true. The noetic effect … Continue reading The Conscience and Domestic Abuse
Anger is a charged, dangerous word. Anger brings pain, sorrow, anguish, conflict, shame, guilt. It is an abuser's weapon of choice, his way to hammer home expected behavior when coercion doesn't work. Anger is inherently out of control, unpredictable, unstoppable. Anger is also a proper response to injustice. Anger is the needle on our moral … Continue reading Anger
Abuse brings its own sense of grief and loss as a result of repeatedly dashed expectations, pain, betrayal, and manipulation ("How did that happen...again?!). Accepting the truth of one's abuse results in a whole different type of loss. To come to the realization that the person who says, "I love you,"--who excuses behavior because of … Continue reading Loss
Unfortunately, many of us make decisions based on short, biblical phrases without realizing we've missed something. We think of and apply them sinfully--because, well, that's how we roll. Here is an example that relates to domestic abuse: "God hates divorce" (Malachi 2:16). We've all heard it. This specific phrase drives many to worship marriage over … Continue reading Marriage: A Hill Worth Dying On?
Christians, biblical counselors, pastors, Bible study leaders--we are quick to rush to perceived biblical solutions because it seems obvious--it's what we know. In the case of domestic abuse (or any abuse), it is much easier to tell a victim to forgive than it is to listen to, wrestle with, and endure suffering with her. Forgiveness … Continue reading Don’t Rush It!
There is unspeakable evil in our world. People do things that should never be done--or thought about. The cruelty and disregard of abusers for their victims leaves me speechless at times. Where was God? Why didn't He intervene? How could He let that happen? For that long? I know much of what the Bible says. … Continue reading Where is God?
Messing with someone's worship is a dangerous offense. Many of us consider weekly worship a priority and can't imagine life without it. However, in the home of an abuser, worship is a daily, hourly, constant--because the abuser has made himself the object of his wife and children's worship. In the same way Jeroboam refused to … Continue reading The Source of Worship
If you've watched detective shows or read crime stories, you know a "tell" is a quirk or mannerism that demonstrates and individual is lying. Although abuse is characterized by secrecy, here are some things to look for in a friend or family member that, collectively, may indicate an abusive relationship: The word, "just" is overused: … Continue reading Tells