Oppression, in a Christian context, does not mean covering sin, or bearing the consequences of another's sin "till death do us part." That, in fact, would not be loving--if this life is his only opportunity for repentance and eternal life. Responding to oppression means resisting in a way that exposes and addresses sin. It means praying and living against one's own tendencies or desire to be a savior and turning to the Savior.
In a relationship with a controlling individual, there is a lot of guilt because that individual has a lot of rules. Not only do the rules change capriciously, there are real punishments associated with breaking each and every rule. The person in power controls which rule is most important in any given moment and determines when, how, why, and what kind of punishment applies whether the rule was spoken, unspoken, real or imagined.
We must be very careful how we coach, teach, and encourage confession and forgiveness in imbalanced relationships.
There's a saying I use in counseling: "Show me the money." It's simple: tell me who benefits from an action or choice, and I can tell you who's manipulating a situation, especially in an imbalanced relationship where one person uses power and control for himself. Who benefits when your husband gets angry? He does. Why? … Continue reading Show Me the Money!
Compare biblical misunderstanding with Amnesty International's Report on Torture (New York: Farra, Strauss, and Giroux), 1973 following the Vietnam War. Albert Biderman, a psychologist, studied the methods foreign armies used to extract false confessions from prisoners of war. You may be surprised at the similarities.
So when we clean or cover up another's sin and remove consequences and the opportunity/need for repentance, we are not serving them. We may be serving ourselves without realizing it. We are not working with God, but against Him.
If an individual is not forgiven here on earth, it's because forgiveness was not sought and repentance was not actualized. If that sin is not paid for and loosed on earth by those who experienced it, it is not forgiven in Heaven. It has never been owned, confessed, forsaken.
A man who uses his wife to exalt himself competes with God. As God's bond-servants may we expose blasphemy and wickedness that opposes Jesus, the Lamb that was slain, the One who alone is worthy "To receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!”
Many women who experience punishment or consequences as a result of displeasing their husband are told by said husband, churches, pastors, family and friends that they are unforgiving. "The Bible says to forgive seventy times seven. If you don't forgive, you're the one holding a grudge." There are a lot of things packed into the … Continue reading Seventy Times Seven
It's awkward when a couple is no longer a couple. How can church and family members respond, especially when they're in the same place at the same time? We want it to feel and look normal, natural. We don't want to withhold good or hurt people's feelings, especially when we don't know (or want to … Continue reading Now What?