I spent the weekend taking a course about the impact of abuse on relationships. I listened to stories from women who have lived in domestic abuse, and I heard from experts who have invested their lives into understanding the dynamics involved for both victim and perpetrator.
The presentations opened my eyes to understand how widespread this issue is—approximately 1 in 3 women will experience it. They also helped me better understand the many forms abuse takes and the challenges faced by those impacted: criticism by well-meaning friends and family who don’t understand the dynamics, child custody laws that don’t often work in the mother’s favor, the prospect of losing one’s home and falling into poverty through separation and divorce , the emotional challenge of living in constant fear for one’s safety or for the safety of one’s children, losing one’s faith community if the church leaders are duped by the abuser’s ability to present himself as a fine Christian man, physical illness caused by ongoing stress, the feeling of utter helplessness, and much more.
My heart’s cry is for God to defend those who cannot defend themselves and to bring restorative justice to all involved in abusive situations. I applaud anyone who’s working on the front lines, seeking to help those who need help in this area.
If you are in an abusive situation or you know of someone who is, know that there is support available. No one needs to walk this path alone. Feel free to contact me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll send you some helpful links. Interestingly, I spent 30 minutes trying to load links into this post but nothing worked (and it’s not that I don’t know how to do it). Makes me feel like the enemy’s at work here.
Here’s a promise for you today: “With God’s help we will do mighty things, for he will trample down our foes” (Psalm 60:12).
“Heavenly Father, we can do mighty things with Your help. Give wisdom to spiritual leaders, counselors, lawyers, family support service workers, and others involved on the front lines. Free up the finances necessary to run programs that will make a difference.
“Most of all, though, protect women and children in harm’s way today. Rescue them, provide for them, and heal the brokenness they’ve experienced. And please, Father, change their abuser’s hearts. Cause them to realize their own neediness and the pain they’ve inflicted on others as a result of not dealing with it. Send help their way, too, Lord. Work a miracle in our nation’s homes by trampling down the enemy of our souls. In Jesus’s powerful name, amen.”