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!
Lately I've been thinking a lot about what prevents victims of abuse from crying out--and there are a lot of factors. I'll be part of a Master Class with Chris Moles in the near future and will make it available as I'm able. But something incredible has fallen into my lap in the way of … Continue reading Accessing Strength and Power
Women want to know. When do I leave? How do I know? The book, Sanctuary, walks through heart responses to abuse because it's not only important to understand abuse and its effects; it's just as important to learn to how to respond to your abuser and see past the abuse to your self: how you think, … Continue reading Knowing When to Leave
What if your abuse isn't about you? It's a farce. You're not at fault. You've done nothing wrong. You're not trying to be difficult, but the rules keep changing. Your whole sense of balance is off-kilter? What if? How would you know? This is how abusive relationships work. It's not a marriage issue. It's not … Continue reading When You’re Not the Problem
As you work through how to respond to an abusive husband, it is important to understand the Nunya Zone. It is discussed in more detail throughout the book, Sanctuary, but not by that name. Nunya is a term I use regularly in counseling sessions that refers to those things that are not my responsibility, as in … Continue reading The Nunya Zone
I grew up near Yellowstone National Park. One year a man was taken to the emergency room because he applied bear spray to himself instead of the bear. Repellent can be effective when applied properly. This passage could be described as Fool Repellent. Heartfelt responses to God's Word (or wisdom) are underlined, outcomes are in bold, … Continue reading Fool Repellant
I've spent time with women in stinky relationships--and it's hard. Life is difficult. Unpredictable. Painful. Hopeful. Then heart-breaking, hope-shattering, disappointing. Because women in abuse relationships don't talk to others about the pain, shame, and abuse, they rarely hear what other women in similar situations say. If they did, they'd hear: "When everything is good, he's … Continue reading Change
Somehow we've gotten the idea that submission in marriage means everything. If a husband is displeased, it's because his wife isn't submitting. If the marriage is struggling, it's because she's not submitting "in everything." There a mistaken understanding that, because marriage represents Christ and the Church, the husband (representing Christ) is right and the wife … Continue reading Submissive Equality