Posted in husbands, sexual abuse

Depraved

Sexual abuse in marriage isn’t just about whether or not your husband rapes you. Marital rape is wrong, and it’s certainly abusive, but there are other, more subtle, forms of sexually abusive mistreatment. It’s wrong for anyone to do things to you, force you to do things with him, or force you to do things to him, that are painful, or humiliating, or that make you spiritually, emotionally, or physically uncomfortable. These actions might be harder to define than rape is, but that makes them no less abusive.

I’m not talking about having differing views of what’s fun or acceptable in the bedroom. There are widely differing views even among Christians about what a husband and wife should, or shouldn’t, engage in as far as sexual play goes, and discussing them isn’t the point of this post. In a good marriage with open communication, those things can be discussed. In an abusive marriage, the abuser—usually but not always the husband—demands his way while disregarding his wife’s feelings.

You are important. What you want matters. Your comfort, belief, and desires should be considered before you are asked to do anything. Your husband has no right to demand anything of you. That’s not submission; that’s abuse. God never commanded the man to force his wife to submit or obey. Submission is something God tells the wife to do; He never commands the husband to make sure she does it. God also tells the husband to love his wife as Christ loved the church, to love her as he loves his own body. If a husband is doing this—if the wife has absolutely no doubt whatsoever that her husband loves her, and will protect her heart, her mind, and her body—it becomes much easier to submit to him. A wife gives submission in response to her husband’s love. If a man loves his wife, he won’t even consider asking her to do something that makes her uncomfortable. He certainly won’t demand it of her.

Sexual abuse, in any shape, form, or fashion, is a corruption of the gift of sexual intimacy. It is a sin against the wife, and—as all sins are—ultimately a sin against God. Sexual abuse in marriage isn’t about love. It’s not about romance. It’s about one partner inflicting pain and humiliation on the other in an effort to control and dominate in order to satisfy their own twisted vile lustful desires. Such a man is depraved.

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Posted in Poetry

I shall be glad by Grace Noll Crowell

If I can put new hope within the heart
Of one who has lost hope,
If I can help a brother up
Some difficult long slope
That seems too steep for tired feet to go,
If I can help him climb
Into the light upon the hill’s far crest,
I shall begrudge no time
Or strength that I spend, for well I know
How great may be his need.
If I can help through any darkened hour,
I shall be glad indeed.
For I recall how often I have been
Distressed, distraught, dismayed,
And hands have reached to help, and voices called
That kept me unafraid.
If I can share this help that I have had,
God knows I shall be glad.

 

Posted in self-care

How many times are you going to believe his lies?

Dear abused friend,

He did it again, didn’t he? Abused you. Yelled at you. Lied to you. Then he told you that it was your fault. That you pushed him too far. He made excuses. Blamed you, alcohol, his bad day, his bad boss, or his father. Too many bad choices, and here he is. But he wants to do better. He’s really trying. If only you’ll stay around and help him. He can only do better if you stay. He needs your support. He needs you. One day, he promises, everything will be better. No more abuse. No more tears. No more sorrow.

But it’s all a lie, isn’t it? How many times has he promised you that he’d change, but he didn’t? How many times has he promised you a better tomorrow? How many times are you going to believe his lies?

You’ve done nothing to deserve to be abused. You have never deserved his abuse. You are beautiful, worthy of being loved, of being treated with respect.

Don’t let your abuser define you. Don’t let him control you anymore. Never believe him. He doesn’t care for you; he only cares for himself. No matter how many times he has professed that he loves you, he doesn’t. No matter how kind he can seem, he isn’t kind. He’s the opposite of kind. He’s your enemy—remember that.

You may have had some good times with your abuser. You may have them still. Do not believe them. Unless you’ve seen the fruits of true repentance in his life, he’s setting you up to use you again. He will hurt you again. He will lie to you, take advantage of you, and seek to destroy you again. His kindness is a lie. Everything about him is a lie. No matter how many times he tells you he is changing, he isn’t. Most abusers never change; their hearts are simply too hardened against God. 

You may be exhausted and want to give up. Don’t. Fight for yourself. Fight for your children. Fight for your future. Do whatever it takes to keep standing one more day.

If you can, leave. Run to safety. He may try to prevent you from leaving. He may try to make you come back to him. Don’t listen to him. Don’t feel sorry for him. Ignore his tears. Harden yourself to his pleas. Protect yourself from his threats. Use the law if you have to. You deserve so much better. Your children deserve better. Do all that you can to get to a point where “better” defines your life.

You are so strong, dear friend, do you know that? Do you see your own strength? You get back up every single time he knocks you down. It might take you a while after the most brutal of attacks, but you never give up, do you? By the grace of God, you get back up and you keep on trying.

Trust in the goodness and the greatness of your Lord. He never fails. He is faithful and true. He is good, always and in all ways, no matter what. He loves His own with an everlasting love. He’s the perfect Husband, the mightiest and gentlest Father. Run to Him. Cling to Him. Trust Him with your life. He loves you. He cares for you. He hates what your abuser has done to you. When the waves roar, abide in prayer. The Lord will always meet you there.

Meanwhile, I’m praying for you.

A sister who understands~

 

Posted in the church

Guilty

Genesis 42:21, “And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear….”

An abused woman goes to her pastor, weeping she tells him that her husband has been abusing her. She relates many incidents to him and asks him for help. He listens with sympathy. He hates to see unhappy marriages. When she tearfully finishes recounting the abuse, the pain, the endless fear and confusion she and her children live in, he sits back in his chair and offers his take on things. If he’s like many pastors, his advice might sound something like this:

 “Your husband is a good man. He’s been under a lot of stress lately. You, as his wife, must be patient with him. Now, you might have had a rough day or two with him, he might have even gotten too angry now and then, but it’s not really as bad as all that, is it? Anyone can have a bad day. You need to be praying for him. Look for ways to make things easier for him. Examine yourself and see how you can do better. Make sure that being at home is relaxing for him. Make sure that you aren’t doing anything that is causing him to get bent out of shape. Now, this is what I want you to do: go home, get yourself made up, cook him his favorite dinner and make sure he has a relaxing evening. Tell him you are sorry for not giving him the support he needs. Then I want you to pray and ask the Lord to help you to be a more submissive wife, to make you kinder, more obedient to your husband. Then, with your added love and respect, whatever anger issues he has, they will get better and better and so will your marriage. How does that sound?”

The abused wife listens in horror. She might tearfully protest. She might beg him to listen, to understand, to stand with her and help her protect her children. She might plead with him to do something, anything, to help her escape the endless cycle of abuse. She might hang her head and go home to once again face her husband’s wrath.

Some pastors might send her away before she can get started, refusing to even listen to her. Some might call her abuser to him know his wife came in for counsel. Some might listen, pat her on the shoulder, tell her that it’s her job to submit and obey no matter what her husband does and send her back to be abused some more–for the glory of Christ.

Except Christ isn’t glorified when a woman is abused by her husband. He isn’t honored by pastors who ignore women who are crying bitter tears, pleading for protection from their abusers. The Lord calls us to care for those who are oppressed. He speaks of the cruelty of the violent man, and of escaping from one who does violence. Surely, this applies to wives who are being abused by their husbands. 

The pastor who ignores the wife who has confided in him about her husband’s abuse is guilty concerning his sister because he sees the anguish in her soul, he hears her desperate pleas, he witnesses her tears yet, just like Joseph’s brothers, he ignores her and sends her away…back to the slavery of domestic abuse.

Joseph’s brothers pronounced themselves guilty “concerning our brother”. Where are the pastors who will search themselves and acknowledge that they are guilty concerning their sisters–sisters who are daily beaten, broken, battered and abused–verbally, emotionally, sexually, and physically at the hands of one thought to be “a good man”?

The church is waiting for the answer.

Posted in Poetry

Prayers of an Emotionally Abused Woman by Cheryl Williams

I am not sure where I found this poem but it’s not mine. Cheryl, wherever you are, thank you for sharing your heart. May God comfort you. This is how so many emotionally abused women feel…

 

She prays for sweet freedom every day.

When he hurls stones,

she deflects them with silence.

When he soaks her in his poison,

she prays it will not seep into her soul…

for she knows she is better than this.

She gives until she is spent.

She loves until she is depleted.

She used to sing like an angel,

but her voice has been stilled.

She used to laugh with abandon,

but she is scared to feel joy,

for it is so very fleeting.

She cringes at the sound of his coming.

Tears fill her eyes,

for she knows that no matter how she tries,

she will not be good enough

or pretty enough

or smart enough

for the one who thinks he is perfect.

She puts up her invisible wall,

and he wonders why.

She cries rivers of tears,

and he steps over them,

afraid of getting his feet wet.

Sometimes she prays

for his demise,

and at the same time

prays for her soul,

lost in wicked imaginings.

Sometimes she prays

to disappear.

Finally, she would be free.

 

Posted in Poetry

All Things To Me by Grace E. Easley

And since I am not

brave and strong,

Give me Thy hand;

The night is dark

and this is such

a foreign land.

And since I stumble

often, ‘lest

I lose my way,

Walk with me ’til

the night becomes

another day.

Thou knowest of my need

for love,

since love Thou art.

Let me lay my weary head

against Thy heart.

And being nothing

without Thee

Lord, Thou must be

all things to me.

Posted in Jesus

Jesus loves me is more than a song

womanreadingbible.jpeg

Sometimes it’s easier to tell ourselves a lie than it is to tell ourselves the truth. Sometimes the truth hurts so much that, no matter how much we need to, we don’t want to face it. That’s pretty much the way I lived much of my life.

Facing the truth is easy to do when our lives are going well, our family can be trusted, when there are few bumps and even fewer mountains. Facing the truth about our lives when we have lived almost entirely in the valley of domestic abuse is another thing altogether.

It hurts to acknowledge the truth that your father was an abusive alcoholic and your mother was verbally and emotionally abusive.

It hurts to admit that your marriage has been a boiling toxic cauldron of pain.

It hurts to admit that some of your children have believed and followed your abuser.

It hurts to admit that you’ve listened to all of the lies, all of the garbage spewed at you, and you’ve swallowed much of the filth.

It hurts, but it’s necessary if healing is to ever take place.

Truth has to replace lies. These things happened. They were wrong. They hurt in ways that words could never convey. My heart has been shattered into millions upon millions of piece forever. But there is hope. There is healing available.

Bit by bit, little by little, I’ve learned to tell myself the truth about my life. I’ve learned not to listen to the lies of those who would abuse me. I’ve learned to replace the lies I was told for so long with the real Truth. The Truth that God is my real Father. That when others abandon and abuse, He takes me up. He protects, He defends, He loves.

Jesus loves me. We teach our children to sing it but, for abuse victims, it’s a hard truth to understand. But it’s also one of the most important truths to learn. I struggled to learn it. To believe it. And to live in its precious balm. Now I’m telling you so you can.

If you are an abused woman, if you’ve been cast aside, castigated, lied about, ignored and had venom spewed upon you by those you ought to have been able to trust, turn to Jesus. He really is love. He really is there. He really does care. He really will take you up.

I know.

I know. 

For He has done so for me.