1Ti 5:5 She who is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day,
Lev 23:22 “And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God.”
1Ti 6:17-18 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. (18) They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,
Most all of us know that domestic abusers use economics as a weapon. They like to keep their victim in poverty so that they are easier to control, enslaved to the abuser. This is why very often abusers will sabotage their victim’s efforts to obtain employment or to keep a good job once they have it. It is quite alright, according the abuser’s double-standard handbook, for him to buy most anything he wants, but there is hell to pay if his victim spends a dollar. Economic abuse, you see.
Now, this means that most victims of domestic abuse are poor. Legally they own half of what their spouse has, but getting hold of it is another thing. Abusers withhold payment for healthcare, for decent groceries to feed the children, for clothing and most any other necessity. So when we set out to help domestic abuse victims, we are going to be faced with the need to provide money and the necessities for her and the children.
[Always keep in mind that I know full well there are female abusers out there. I use male pronouns for the abuser to keep things simple].
When it comes to providing cash and materials to the poor, in this case an abuse victim, we need to use some common sense. Put yourself in her place for instance. I have had more than one victim tell me how they were treated in this regard by their local church. Right off, judgment comes flooding down upon them:
- Are you using a credit card?
- Aren’t there areas in your budget that you can cut back on?
- Before the church can help you, we are going to need you to bring in your checkbook and your monthly expense records so we can go over them with you and help you set up a budget.
Would you want that? Sure, there are people who abuse credit cards. Lots of them. And there are people who are foolish in the use of their money. But abuse victims are not in need because of their own carelessness! And for you budgeting experts, I have news for you: You cannot make a budget based on nothing! You can’t budget “zero.” Abuse victims are not in poverty because they are idiots and fools. So don’t treat them like they are! Most in fact are extremely ingenious and it amazes me how in the world they do as well as they do on almost nothing.
I have told victims who have been treated this way by their churches to simply tell that pastor or deacon, “if you are going to help me, then help me. But if you think that I am in this situation because I have foolishly wasted money, then I don’t want your help.” How would any of us feel if we were told that we had to bring our checkbook and financial records into the pastor so he could pour over them with his red pen?
Also, the fact is that the abuser is the real culprit here, not the victim. He is the one withholding money that belongs to her as much as to him. He is the one who is incurring God’s wrath because even though he claims to be a Christian, the Lord says that he is worse that the worst pagan sinner for not providing for his own household. So, if churches and Christians really want to help victims even more, how about nailing this evil man who is sitting in your pews Sunday after Sunday, perhaps dropping his holy money into the offering plate and telling his victim – “too bad. It is given to the Lord. You can’t touch it now.” Jesus had some words for such a hypocrite, you will recall.
Don’t look down on a victim of abuse. Remember, such were some of you before the Lord delivered you from the greatest abuser of all.
Eph 2:1-3 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins (2) in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— (3) among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.