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!
The book of Nehemiah does not specifically refer to, or pretend to address, domestic abuse, but it does give insight into conflict, ungodly manipulation, and godly responses.
there are a number of obstacles if an individual or church is going to view suffering affliction in marriage as persecution.
Men, I plead with you to get it right. Make the effort to change your mind and practice loving others by trusting God instead of leaning on your own understanding.
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
The reality of violent domestic abuse--which happens to one in three women* (did you read that right?)--the reality is captivity. Women are captives, not only in their homes, but in their lives, choices, and heads. They are coerced and manipulated to another's agenda, wishes, demands, and and preferences. Women are threatened, belittled, bullied, and treated … Continue reading Reality
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
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
I was recently asked what marriage to an abusive man would look like if he never changed--if he confessed and asked for forgiveness as manipulation. That's a hard question. What would it look like to live, willing to forgive, but unreconciled? Jesus said: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and … Continue reading Forgiveness without Reconciliation
We are all familiar with suffering the consequences of making a poor decision. Children refuse to wear the clothing their parents tell them to and suffer as a result. We like to think that those who cheat, lie, steal, and hurt others will suffer the consequences of their behavior, but we don't always see it. … Continue reading Unjust Suffering