I am not going to say anything new in this post. You have all heard it before. But we need to hear it, before, now, and again and again.
An abuse victim who has been targeted not only by her abuser, but by her family members, by her pastor, by the pastor’s wife (I need to write a post about pastor’s wives and how they so often enable the abuser), and by other church members in her church, told me some of the things she is being told:
- Give him a chance
- We must forgive people
- He wants you back
- He is hurting
- Stop running from your problems
- The Bible says for better or worse
- Stop feeling sorry for yourself
Now, this stuff just makes my blood boil. Lies. All lies. Let me make a few observations and I imagine you all will have some also —
- Give him a chance — that is what the victim HAS been doing, often for decades! Yeah, give him a chance to abuse and destroy you all over again.
- We must forgive people — Really? Does God forgive everyone? Does God forgive when there is no repentance? NO! Does forgiveness necessitate reconciliation? NO!
- He wants you back — Oh man, you can’t invent this stuff. Yes, he wants her back alright. So his kingdom reign of power and control can be reinstituted in full measure.
- He is hurting – Oh really. So this means that the people saying these things to the victim have been in contact with the abuser, listening to his plays for pity. They are his allies now. He is hurting? Well how about the victim’s hurts? How is it no one seems to even think about how she has suffered? This is pure EVIL.
- Stop running from your problems — Ok, well, the next time someone points a gun at your head, or puts poison in your drink, don’t run. Just stand there. Just drink up. And the fact is, abuse victims who leave their abuser, who start calling him on his evil, ARE ceasing to run from their problems! They are now facing those problems square on.
- The Bible says for better or worse — Now this is rich. I will give $1000 to any of these people who can show me chapter and verse on that one. You see, people take statements made by man and they hear it so often in sermons, and in their laziness they don’t check it out, and pretty soon they elevate it to the Word of God. In addition, “for better or worse” was never meant to mean “you must endure even the most cruel wickedness from your spouse no matter what.”
- Stop feeling sorry for yourself — Time to get a clue. The person who is feeling sorry for himself is not the victim. It is the abuser. WE must stop feeling sorry for him because his pity ploys are largely how he enlists us as his allies.
To people who lay this cruel garbage on victims, I say go. Just go. Go away and learn what God means when He says He desires mercy, not sacrifice. Close your lips. In the meanwhile, we are done listening to you.
This! Just this! What a fantastic post! Short and to the point, love it.
The crazy, insane, unbiblical things people said to me years ago when my abusive then-husband (thankfully, my ex now!) walked out on me and our two sons.
Forgive, forget and reconcile.
God hates divorce — my all time favorite.
Hurting people hurt others.
What, did he ever hit you?? No, then you have no reason to divorce. Actually, abuse is never a reason to divorce. o.O
And the insanity goes on and on!
Thank you, such good advice for rhetoric that is prominent in almost every church. I know a few permanently separated people who refuse to divorce abusive spouses because they think to do so is unbiblical! It has been my experience when I step away from evil people in an intentional way God has helped me and made the way smooth. He has intervened in unbelievable ways that I could never have coordinated or even thought of and I am in awe of his help and provision and how he “made a path through the wilderness “ and made things possible that I never dreamed were possible! He shows himself faithful in the smallest of details, I had questioned for many years why I had to be so far away from my family – parents and sisters but with this affirmation I am now inclined to think I am exactly where God wants me and am looking forward to what he has in store next!
This is spot on! I can’t even begin to count the number of times I heard “you must … submit more, honor and respect him, love him more, take care of him.” I was also instructed “Don’t put your children before your husband.” Children need parents to care, guide and protect them as they grow up. How do you do that when he’s serving himself and neglecting the family. You don’t. The leadership in some churches is so misguided it makes my head spin.