If grief is the normal response to abuse, anger follows honesty or candor. "How could I keep going back?" "Why didn't I ____?" "Who does he think he is?" Because anger is a response to moral failure, it reveals what we perceive to be right and wrong. In the case of abuse, anger is not … Continue reading Good and Angry
When someone wants to "restore" a relationship, here are questions that come to mind.
there are a number of obstacles if an individual or church is going to view suffering affliction in marriage as persecution.
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
Nature reflects God's eternal nature and glory--none of us would deny it. And just as the moon reflects the light of the sun, we are created to reflect the light of God. Unfortunately, many of us think we're stars. Abusive individuals are like that. In longing for adoration and approval from some, they put selfish, … Continue reading Moon and Sun
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
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
Those who use power and control as weapons use them well. Think of hand-to-hand combatants in the movies: Matt Damon, Keanu Reeves, Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee. That's an abuser in a nutshell. It's what you're up against--what victims of abuse experience--only it isn't one scene and it's not a movie. It's real life. Over. And … Continue reading Repentance
Two men were having a conversation and one was recounting an abusive relationship. "You mean he actually thinks about it?" one asked. "I know," said the other. "And it gets worse." In writing the book, Sanctuary, I was aware of the fact that many pastors, leaders, and churched men struggle to address abuse in marriage because of … Continue reading The Face of Evil