Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Holy Hush - commentary on article Pt. 2

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 1:38 PM



There was a quote in this article by a Christian lady that I so relate to.

She said something close to, “How can I go to my friends in the church, and admit that stuff like this is happening in MY HOME?? Christians have this “ideal” thing going on in their heads…how you are to live, behave, wear, etc. I’m not living that “safe” environment they consider normal!”

Sometimes finding the right term, word, concept for abuse in the homes of Christians can be a very contentious issue.

Crisis center workers or advocates of this issue refer to women that are harmed physically or psychologically by their husbands (or partners) as “woman abuse” or “Wife Abuse”. They see this as male violence against women. They are basically stating that Women and Children become targets in their home from unrestrained male aggression. They don’t see it as a “family issue”, but see it as a REAL example of male violence against women. When a woman flees her home and escapes to a shelter trying to get away from the abuse from a man – they visualize her as an example of male control over a woman. The true example of gender inequity!

While one side sees this as a gender power imbalance, conservative Protestant views regard this abusive behavior as evidence that God’s design for us in marriage has been misunderstood or abandoned.

They view abuse as “family violence”, and their new label is now considered a “family issue”. They do of course hold the male (at times) accountable for their actions, but they also believe that both sides hold some responsibility for what happened and there has be to potential for repair to the relationship.

Since the traditional family is idolized within the faith society, abuse is seen as “spiritual confusion” over God’s plan for the “happily ever after” family!

To me this shows a very big difference in attitudes towards abuse.

What is really strange to me is the difference in how they view abuse within their faith community families, and how they view the secular community on the same matters.

If a Christian man abuses or get violence with his wife that is looked upon as “spiritual immaturity”. The church will recognize society’s definition of abuse, and use their explanations for abuse among non-church families.  On the other hand, they are unwilling to use those same views within the church community.

The focus on this as just “another” sin, and it must be some type of spiritual warfare between good and evil! Since the abuse must have some roots in spiritual factors it must also have its cure! The secular world doesn’t have that asset! The Secular help in the best position to help the man that abuses, and that woman than their church!

Since the church has such difference views or models on how Christians abusers and non-Christian abusers are seen answers MY questions as to why they are VERY reluctant to make referrals outside their church’s network of help. Refusal to refer to secular agencies that deal with abuse shows their unwillingness to see “non-spiritual” forces that are at work within their church. Very interesting I think!

When is the last time you heard your Pastor use the pulpit to clearly CONDEMN abuse, and offer hope and refuge to its victims? According to this study only 31% of clergy reported that they preached a message on wife abuse and/or child abuse. When they did the follow up personal interviews with the church going woman very few even recall hearing such a message.

If they did ONE they would suggest to their church going victims that they have safe place to go to with their pain.

TWO it would be very healing if someone would give voice for their experience.

THREE it would send out a VERY clear message that communities of faith WILL NOT tolerate abuse of any kind, and do actually promote abuse free family lifestyles.

FOURTH it would send a message to many of the abusers in a very rare opportunity – a GROUP setting instead of an individual setting what church's stand actually is!

This “HOLY HUSH” maybe in attempt not to scare off the men. Pastors report that they preach mostly to women. Maybe if clergy realized how essential the condemnation of abuse is to a woman’s healing journey, or that it may help her speak up about her suffering – or possibility for an abuser to stop hurting and seek help…. maybe possibly our pastors may reconsider their silence.

I'm actually enjoying this article!

There is way more detail to it - I just noted a couple of highlights in my own words. Again they are more professional with the subject!

My thoughts on an article I'm reading - Part I

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 10:22 AM


I was reading a Sociology paper today about Shattered Silence or the Holy Hush. 

Shattered Silence was about naming the abuse, and Holy Hush was about silencing it.

The paper talked about how Abuse in the home, and the long recovery time it takes for it’s victims to heal has been brought to the forefront in the last 25 years or so.

How people have come to recognize this situation, and how ugly it came be. Writings, studies, Research have sky rocketed within this time frame on the subject, but very little was looked at in the “Spiritual Aspect” of some victims and their church families when living with this.

The political movement had started awareness, and halfway houses; crisis centers began to pop up in a lot of areas in answer to the cries. What started out as a couple of places that women and their children could escape to when faced with abuse – turned into an industry with people saying there are experts in every aspect of this issue.

The article I read studied and interviewed clergy, churchwomen, crisis center workers, and female (religious) victims of abuse. The number they quoted was over 1,000 people just for this study.

A lot of literature in the Christian arena talks about “family life” or “family values”. There are TONS of books, tapes, etc on the subject. Some of the more popular literature speaks about submission and hierarchy within the family, and if you stick with their views you will have martial bliss.

Stand strong and united against all secular things or ideas that might crush the family unit. A lot of today’s problems are due to the fact that people have not held this up, and that is why it seems people have abandoned God’s plan for them. If you wish this “happily ever after” living you need the strive for strong male leadership, and supportive-nurturing women. That is all fine and good in principal most of the time I suppose, but what happens when their formula doesn't work?

When you have HUGE companies with over 1,000 publishers writing for them, and you know that TONS of magazines, books, tapes etc are distributed every month – even I have noticed how little is said about abuse or violence in the Christian home.

Of course when you do read about this subject they never outright condone this. But what you do see is a lot of views on how the victim – not the perpetrator – should stand firm or use “tough love” to stop them. They must find support from family and friends and find some professional to help with the reconciliation process.

Don’t think of divorce – think of “hidden pearls in the offense” that was committed against them. Yet another tells women “Submission is not contingent on the actions of your spouse!” The hidden message? Strive for your marriage at all costs! The reality of abuse and violence against women and children should be ignored so the “happily ever after” faith following family can LIVE ON!

Good Grief! That was only the beginning of the article – in my brief words anyway. They said it more professionally with footnotes, references to materials, etc. They got into a whole lot more detail than I did. All I have to say is I’m glad someone else can see this also…lol and I didn’t have to study over 1,000 people to do it!

I’m sure there will be more to come as soon as I read on as well!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Violence in the Jewish Family

1 comments Posted by Hannah at 8:27 AM


Violence in the Jewish Family
Rochelle Allebes

American studies indicate violence occurs just as often in Jewish families as it does in other families. The difference is that Jewish women seek outside help less often and take longer to do so. They are likely to remain in relationships in that they suffer violence for five to seven years longer than their non-Jewish counterparts. The powerful myths surrounding the Jewish family are a major reason for these differences.

One powerful, influential myth is that of Shalom Bayt, the myth of domestic tranquillity. Women and mothers feel very responsible for maintaining this peace. When it cannot be realised, they feel guilty, ashamed and perceive themselves to be bad women and poor mothers. Jewish families are perceived by the outside world as warm, cohesive and peaceful. It is difficult to speak openly about the problem of violence, thereby destroying these internal and external images and expectations. In addition, by speaking out, a woman will bring scandal on her family.
Another powerful myth is of the mild, docile and more or less passive Jewish man.

When this image morphs into a horror show on a daily basis, it must be “countered” on different levels. It can take a long time for a woman to define her husband’s behaviour as violent. Initially, she will propose and accept every possible explanation and excuse and is frequently prepared to see herself as the cause of the violence.

Abuse within a relationship usually does not begin with physical violence. Instead, it starts with control (over money, where the wife goes and with whom she has contact), isolation (cutting off contact with the outside world, prohibiting her from attending courses, for example) and limits on her freedom of movement (among other things through religiously based imperatives and prohibitions).

At the start, the husband’s intent to control his wife may appear to be chivalrous. He accompanies her everywhere, driving her to places and picking her up... The real trouble starts only when she would like to do something on her own again. If, at that moment, a woman does not stand her ground regarding her desires and needs and instead tries to understand her husband and backs down, she may set the stage for a gradual spiral of violence within the marriage.

The last myth is of the wife’s self-image. Frequently, the picture is one of a strong, well-educated woman who has the daily running of her home well in hand. She may be a woman who bears responsibility for the well being of all her relatives, whether she works outside the home or not. This self-image is also the result of a synergistically reinforcing interchange of attributions from both inside and outside the family. It is not easy for a woman to admit to herself and others that this is a mirage and to concede she was wrong about the man she chose as a husband and father for her children (or that someone else chose for her).

In relationships characterised by humiliation and violence, self-respect and self-confidence may sometimes be undermined for years. A high level of insecurity compounds the problem, making it difficult to go out and seek help. Given this, many women run the risk of becoming increasingly passive and tolerant of a situation that is escalating slowly to a crisis. In many cases, mothers only feel forced to act when they see their children are directly or indirectly threatened as well.

Several distinctions are made between types of violence against children within the family. These are physical and psychological abuse, sexual exploitation and neglect.

According to studies done in the United States, all these types of violence can be found in Jewish families as well. It is suspected that psychological violence occurs more often in Jewish families than physical abuse.

It is known that it was very difficult for many survivors of World War II to fulfil the responsibilities of being a parent “well enough”. Frequently, their difficulties in raising children were expressed in forms of emotional and physical abuse. A few children of what is called “the second generation”, or “the Children of the Holocaust”, have described these families from their point of view. Although they, as children, have (must have!) a great deal of understanding for their parents, by reading between the lines one can see they often describe abusive situations.

The palette is a wide one. Some children were never allowed to bring others home or visit their friends. They had parents who were so fearful that they restricted any freedom of movement their children had. Other parents spoke endlessly about their experiences during the war, or, by contrast, were unable to tell their children why there were no longer any relatives left. Some parents punished their children using methods they experienced in the concentration camps (ranging from shouting at them to using extreme disciplinary methods like lashings). Children of the second generation who were damaged in this way may in turn have difficulty giving their own children what they never received themselves. (In order to avoid misunderstanding, I must add that I certainly do not believe that the entire second generation has been traumatised in this way.)

If Jews are living in an area where they are in the minority or may even be the sole Jewish family, there are additional risk factors. Children may, for example, be forced to always behave perfectly or conceal their Jewish identity. These children are under pressure, plagued as they are by fears they may endanger themselves or their parents. The anxiety of the parents repeatedly engenders tension in the family, which can then become fertile ground for conflicts. Stress factors in daily life are a generally recognised danger. Families with many children living in cramped quarters and plagued by financial worries quickly become overwhelmed with the running of their daily lives. Children must be disciplined early and sharply in order to take on responsibility that is beyond their years. Mothers in such families are often continually overextended and both parents lose their patience rapidly.

Special Jewish emergency hotlines in the USA report a clearly higher number of calls around the Jewish holidays. A chronically conflicted marriage is another known stressor that poses a risk to the well being of the children. Even if no direct violence is exercised on them, the situation is very burdensome for the children.

Religious and traditional rules and customs can be abused within the family to exercise control and threaten women and children to constrain unnecessarily in their freedom of movement and behaviour. As everyone knows, a great deal depends on the interpretation of these rules and there is always a paragraph in the Torah that can be found to support one’s position. The Shabbat and holidays can, as a result, become nightmares for the family.

If a woman dares to get a divorce, her husband can threaten to refuse to give her a Get [a letter of divorce]. The whole problem with the Get is that it is a form of structural violence that only worsens the situation of the women affected. The Jewish community can be dangerous as a place of social control while also being a place of social support and openness. The community could see to it that the difficulties in the family do not escalate into violence and the victims of abuse receive help quickly. The contribution can be enhanced if every member of the community is allowed to choose freely the type of family they live in and that outsiders, be they single, divorced, together with a non-Jew, or living in a homosexual union are integrated in the community. If there were true freedom to choose the type of family one lives in and it were possible for everyone, man or woman, to really belong to a community or congregation, then withdrawing from a violent situation in the private sphere would no longer be so costly.

Born in Leiden in the Netherlands, Rochelle Allebes lives today in Z├╝rich, where she works as a social worker, supervisor and therapist.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Qualities of A Healthy Christian Marriage:

6 comments Posted by Hannah at 10:38 PM


Qualities of A Healthy Christian Marriage:
A Sermon on Domestic Violence Awareness
By The Reverend Al Miles

Let us pray. God, you are Love and Life-giver. We thank you for your grace, justice and mercy. We firmly embrace your egalitarian nature. Through your son, Jesus Christ, all humans have the right to live life free from abuse and violence. May we treat one another with the same love and respect you give unconditionally. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Today we will address an issue that has unfortunately often been denied or overlooked by Christian leaders and laity: abuse and violence within Christian marriages.

In Christian traditions marriage between a woman and man is indeed a sacred covenant; an oath taken by two people before God and Christ usually in the presence of family, friends, and other well-wishers, to stay together until parted by death. As part of most Christian wedding ceremonies, the couple also vow to honor, love, respect, and be faithful and kind to one another.

The author of a letter written to all Christian churches near the city of Ephesus (many scholars believe this person was the apostle Paul), comments on the holy and mysterious nature of this bond.

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each

one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband (Eph.5:21-33 NIV).

Situations of domestic violence clearly stand outside of the Ephesians author’s admonishments on the principles husbands and wives need to follow in a healthy Christian marriage. A married couple must love and respect each other, just as Christ loves the church. Domestic violence disregards these instructions and disrespects Christ and his church. Abuse is neither loving nor respectful. It is a crime.

As a "body of Christ" it is imperative that we gain knowledge on the many complexities associated with domestic violence. The problem involves a pattern of abusive behavior in which a person uses coercion, deception, harassment, humiliation, manipulation, and/or force to establish and maintain power and control over that person’s intimate partner or former intimate partner. Perpetrators use economic, emotional, psychological, physical, sexual, spiritual and/or verbal tactics to get their way.

We Christians must also grow in our understanding of who within an intimate partnership is most likely to be victimized and the victimizer.

While a small percentage of men are violated, in both heterosexual and homosexual intimate partnerships, the American Medical Association estimates that two million women in this country are assaulted by an intimate partner every year. The actual numbers are probably much higher because victims often do not report attacks, fearing both the stigma associated with abuse and the threat of reprisal from their perpetrators.

Domestic violence is the number one public health problem for women in the United States. According to the United States Surgeon General, domestic violence is the greatest single cause of injury among U.S. women, accounting for more emergency room visits than traffic accidents, muggings, and rape combined.

These alarming statistics do not include many of the emotional, psychological, and spiritual tactics male perpetrators use to abuse their female victims.

It would require a great deal of naivety on our part to think, given the overwhelming figures just cited, that Christians are somehow spared the scourge of domestic violence. To put it bluntly, there are men who sit in the pews, and speak from the pulpits, of churches in every Christian denomination and faith group—who also beat, curse, rape, and in many other ways violate their wives and girlfriends. And, there are Christian women, and their children, who live not in God’s peace, but under the constant terror of being tortured emotionally, physically, psychologically, and sexually by males calling themselves "men of God."

Some of these men are ordained Christian clergy.

Tragically, clergy and congregants have also misinterpreted and mistranslated holy texts and doctrine to support male dominance and female subjugation. The practice continues to this day.

The patriarchal system has certainly always been alive and well in Christianity. Both the Hebrew Bible and Christian Scriptures have an androcentric, or male-centered, perspective and emerge from patriarchal societies. Some texts, which are misogynist (women-hating), are lifted up to the exclusion of other texts that clearly affirm mutual respect between the sexes. Still other texts have been twisted—inadvertently and intentionally—to suggest that our loving and merciful God and Jesus Christ for some reason grant males authority and privilege over females. Because of all the above, men have received special dispensation from Christian clergy and laity alike to do whatever they desire with their wives, girlfriends, daughters, and all other females, without any fear of accountability.

One passage of Scripture that has been used frequently down through the centuries to justify man’s abuse of woman is our text today—Ephesians 5, verses 21-33. Viewed in its entirety, the passage offers clear guidelines regarding principles that must be followed by both Christian husbands and wives. Love and respect are the virtues that need to be at the center of every interaction.

But, over the centuries, the instructions put forth in Ephesians 5 have been used to elevate the status of men and put women down. Seldom do Christian clergy or congregants discuss the fact that nine of the twelve verses carry instructions for Christian husbands to follow. An inordinate amount of attention has been paid to what these verses tell wives, rather than what they demand of men. The passages clearly instruct husbands to love their wives as they do their own bodies. Nevertheless, the verses are often used to instruct women on what they are to do for their husbands—even husbands who abuse their wives.

The manner in which some Christian clergy and laity have used Ephesians 5:21-33 is blasphemous. True blasphemy occurs when a teaching that was intended for good is distorted and misused to bring suffering and death.

Let us take a closer look at what the author of Ephesians actually intended to communicate to first century Christians about the qualities of a healthy marriage.

Verse 21 of Ephesians 5 introduces a litany of instructions for household members. Called "the household code," the writer of Ephesians borrows from the instructions on duties of household members found in Colossians 3:18-4:1. As biblical scholar, Andrew T. Lincoln, states regarding the household code:

Typical of the content of all such discussions is the notion that the man is intended by nature to rule as husband, father, and master and that failure to adhere to this proper hierarchy is detrimental not only to the household but also to the life of the state. Setting the household code within this tradition becomes significant for assessing its use within early Christianity. The tradition reveals that proper household management was regarded as a matter of crucial social and political concerns. Any upsetting of the household’s traditional hierarchical order could be considered a potential threat to the order of society.

Even though the household code reflects a common patriarchal social and political position held in ancient times, this truth remains: domestic violence is never condoned by Scripture.

Nevertheless, the concept of female submission has frequently been misrepresented by abusers, clergy members, and churchgoers to excuse men’s violence and blame women for their own victimization.

In fact, many of us who grew up in the Christian church were trained to think that the famous instructions to husbands and wives in the book of Ephesians, chapter 5, begin and end with verse 22: "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord" (NIV). Proclaimed by the clergy and other pastoral ministers from pulpits and at weddings, and by parents, teachers, and other congregants as well, Ephesians 5:22 has established a foundation on which countless numbers of Christian marriages have been built.

The verse has also been a perfect setup for millions of women to suffer acts of domestic violence.

Over the years, hundreds of violated Christian women have personally disclosed their stories of horror to me. They’ve shared how their Christian husbands have beaten, cursed, raped, and violated them in several other ways. Often, the women have said, the husbands justified their criminal and sinful behavior by citing verse 22 of Ephesians, chapter 5. It’s a husband’s right, the battered women are instructed, to do whatever he wants to his wife. And, no matter what acts of atrocity these husbands commit, Christian wives are told that they need to graciously submit to them in all things.

Sadly, this treacherous lie is also propagated by some Christian clergy and laity. Violated Christian women have been told that Ephesians, chapter 5, verse 22, demands that they "stay, pray, obey and everything will be okay." Because of this inappropriate teaching, many Christian women have suffered greater abuse from their Christian husbands. Some of the women have even died.

In truth, the admonitions in the book of Ephesians to Christian husbands and wives begin not at verse 22, but at verse 21: "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." Inclusion of this one sentence puts on a whole new light and brings clarity to the entire passage. No longer can Christians view marriage as a male hierarchical union. Instead, we are challenged to observe the covenant of matrimony like God and Christ intended: as a mutual and egalitarian bond.

The Greek word hupotasso, which the New International Version of the Bible translates in Ephesians 5, verse 21, as to submit, also means to align oneself with, to behave responsibly toward another, or to relate to one another in a meaningful way. Thus, the author of this book is instructing Christian husbands and wives to behave responsibly toward one another, align themselves and to relate to one another in a meaningful and respectful way.

There must never be a hierarchical structure in Christian marriages. Even when husbands are both loving and respectful, when there is no abuse whatsoever in the nuptial, male headship and female submission work against wives because this type of union disallows a woman to be a full and equal partner with her husband. The hierarchical structure is ultimately disadvantageous for husband as well because it prevents them from reaping the benefits of sharing life with a woman who is equal to him in every way.

Let us now move on in our chosen text to verses 23 and 24. "For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything."

What exactly did "headship" mean in early Christian thought? The Greek word kephale, often translated as "head," has a number of metaphorical uses in the Christian Scriptures. Ordinarily it denotes "source," "origin," or "preeminence," rather than "authority over" or "ruler." Greek language scholar, Catherine Clark Kroeger, states in an article addressing the classical concept of "head" as "source":

To declare that man was the source of woman, that she was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, was to give woman a nature like man’s own. She was no longer of the substance of the animals but of man. She was a fit partner, his glory and his image. "Neither is the woman independent of the man nor the man of the woman in the Lord; for just as the woman is from the man, so man is from the woman, and all things are of God" (I Cor. 11: 11,12).

What is clear, whether we are discussing first century or twenty-first century Christianity is this: there is no justification for Christian husbands to abuse their wives in any way, at any time. Let me repeat: Husbands have no right—not by God, Jesus, Scripture, beliefs, teachings, or tradition—to abuse their wives in any way. Equality and mutuality in marriage also help Christian women to understand it is never their duty, responsibility, or lot in life to have to endure the illegal and sinful actions of their Christian husbands, whether these inappropriate actions are emotional, physical, psychological, sexual, or spiritual in nature. Domestic violence is always worthy of condemnation.

The remaining passages in today’s text, Ephesians, chapter 5, verses 25-33, focus primarily on a Christian husband’s responsibility to his wife.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

These verses clearly instruct husbands to love their wives as they do their own bodies, just as Christ loved the church. Christ never cursed, raped or threatened harm upon the church in any other emotional, psychological, physical, or spiritual manner. Husbands must follow Christ’s example of self-sacrificing love.

Let’s return for a moment to Colossians, chapter 3. Recall that much of what the writer of Ephesians has to say about the household code was adapted from this earlier work. In Colossians, chapter 3, verse 19, we find a stern warning: "Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them."

Domestic violence is harsh. This type of inappropriate behavior causes wives and children a great deal of harm, and destroys marriages and families. I want to say a few words directly to husbands.

If you are in any way abusing your wives—emotionally, psychologically, physically, sexually, spiritually, know that your behavior is both criminal and reprehensible. Please seek help for your problems from individuals who are trained specifically to work with men who perpetrate violence against their wives. See me at the end of today’s service and I’ll provide you more information about various programs in the area. I will also be happy to accompany you to these places.

In addition, I invite you to schedule weekly spiritual care sessions with me. During our times together we will pray and read passages from Scripture that teach equal value and dignity of husband and wife. We’ll also discuss the larger theological dimensions of how God views men and women.

Please don’t attempt to walk the long and bumpy road alone that can lead you to a healthy, violence-free life. I want to walk with you.

However, let me clearly state my limits: I will in no way accompany you further down the path you’ve already been traveling. In other words, I expect you to be honest with me—and to take full responsibility for the damage you’ve caused your wife and children. Blaming alcohol, children, pets, Satan, and your wife for the abuse you are perpetrating will inform me that you’re not ready to trod the long and very difficult road that can lead to lasting change.

I hope you choose to get the help you need. The process can lead you to becoming the type of Christian husband God intends.

The qualities that make for a healthy Christian marriage today, are the same ones addressed by the writer of Ephesians in ancient times. In order for a marriage to be sustained and grow, both husband and wife must commit to the biblical virtues of love and respect. They must also recognize that this love, which comes from God, binds them together as equals rather than ordering them in a hierarchy. In addition, a wife and husband must behave responsibly toward one another, align themselves and relate to one another in a meaningful and respectful way.

Last, we must acknowledge that a healthy Christian marriage has no place for abuse. Domestic violence is not of God; it breaks apart women and children. Therefore, Christian clergy and laity must always condemn this behavior.

Let us pray. Loving God, in both ancient and modern times there have been scores of Christian men, both clergy and laity, who have used you, Jesus Christ, the holy scriptures, and church doctrine to justify their criminal and sinful acts of violence against their wives. There have also been far too many nonabusive Christians who have chosen to remain silent, even after knowing of the destruction committed by so-called "men of God." We call upon your holy spirit to empower us to respond more faithfully to the needs of victimized Christian women and children, and to hold accountable those Christian men who perpetrate these heinous crimes. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

The End

The Rev. Al Miles serves as coordinator of hospital ministry for Pacific Health Ministry at The Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is the author of two books Domestic Violence: What Every Pastor Needs to Know, and Violence in Families: What Every Christian Needs to Know. Both works are published by Augsburg Fortress Publishers and can be ordered in the U.S. by calling 1-800-328-4648. They also can be ordered on line at www.augsburgfortress.org.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

At times I ask WHY NOT ME!

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 12:39 AM


I saw a note on a board the other night. It really stuck me because it had “concepts” that I believe a lot of us deal with. I will try to rephrase what I read…..

“”””What do you do when everything in life keeps going against you and you want to give up?

Is it God's will for everyone to be successful in life or is prosperity and good fortune only for a chosen few? I am going through a difficult time right now and need God to help me. I trust in His mercy and wisdom but sometimes it is hard when you see others doing well and I some times ask, why not me? Can anyone else relate?””””

What a normal thing to go thru. LOL! I mean REALLY! I see families that support each other in crisis, and it seems at times I have myself! LOL only! I envy spouses that have other spouses that at least TRY to understand and support the uglies of this world!

I had a matter in my life that may seem trivia to some because of their extreme natures of their lifes…but to me I was lost! Here is part of my reply to this person! Remember those outside the abuse world were reading!

“””””I think we all have our time on the pity pot! LOL! I know I do!

I had all my female plumbing yanked in November of last year. I fell into a depression of sorts, and pretty much gave up on everything. The doctors claim it is part due to the hormones going wacky, but I also know it is due to my personal situation. My husband has major health issues that won't ever go away. His attitude has dipped into an ugly state worse by the years. My son has a condition called encopesis, which is a colon disorder - which is sounds like he inherited from his grandfather. The public school was giving me all kinds of business over this. Meanwhile my husband was being anything but supportive. LOL! Before the operation I tried like anything just to keep our family afloat. I had the drive and the attitude that everything will work out somehow! As things got worse I fought my way to keep that attitude going. When the time came for my operation my husband basically left any obligation of family behind in a sense. He told me that I needed to handle things because he couldn't. I knew that time was near when I wouldn't be able to care for things. I was totally lost and very hurt. I did keep going though. LOL I mean what else could I do! I made plans for the kids care while I was gone, and I did things to make sure the house was in order until there was a time in which I could continue. I think my husband basically went into his own pity pot mode there for while. His health issues had pretty much consumed our lives together so far, and I was very hurt that my "issue" at the time didn't take on any real importance. My plans for childcare, transportation etc fell thru at the last moment. I will tell you that I was totally down in the dumps at that point. He had no choice but to pick up the ball with childcare, and my mother brought me to the hospital. Friends of mine brought food to the house, and made phone calls to take care of other things. My husband...LOL...well! He still didn't get it! My kids had a NO HOMEWORK day at school, and wanted him to take them to see me. He brought them to the wrong hospital...lol if you can believe that! He called to complain about how he didn't know where I was yet hospital paperwork was all over the kitchen counter! The kids were crying on the phone about how he didn't take them to see me. He had to ask his mother for specific directions to my hospital and brought them the next day. He was so full of how he had to do things because I wasn't there - that he never called while I was there. I called at night to say goodnight to the kids. My operation went hours longer than it should, and yet he never asked of my situation. He came to the hospital and voiced his issues of "how he was next" to the staff when they wanted to update him. LOL My recovery was no picnic either!

His selfishness over his illness really cost me. He was lost in his own world, and basically I was forgotten. At least that is how I felt. But as I look back I see that things happened that I never dreamed about. Those two friends that brought food for the freezer. LOL I had enough food for WEEKS afterwards! My church made sure I had rides for my kids back and forth to school during the period of time I couldn't drive - they go to school there and no bus service! People sent me flowers in the hospital with humorous cards! I got phone calls from people everyday! Once I got home people came over to take me out to lunch or whatever because they knew of my "cabin fever" tendencies. LOL! A friend of mine drove me home from the hospital because I was going to wait for my folks to come long distance - or wait until my husband could arrange it - and they KNEW I needed to get out of there ASAP! LOL! Brought me home - made my bed - gave me lunch etc. Even got my meds from the drugstore!

Sure things didn't work out the way people think they should. But I think God made sure I had people there when I needed them! I had things done for me that I never dreamed would happen! My small business took a hit afterwards because my depression hit. I'm still trying to dig myself out of that one. LOL but I will!

I think that experience taught me some stuff - and reminded me of others! I still struggle with the Husband and his health is still going downhill even after two operations after mine. I'm not so sure we will ever dig ourselves out in the "world" terms. But you know what? I have friends and people that care about my family and me! I found my church had a school that accepted my son's health condition! I have people will give us food and phone me with support - if I need it! Sure I feel bad I don't have the $$ to send my kids to camp or a sports activity like I would like. It would be nice not have to worry about where the next HUGE amount of money comes from so that I can get some extras in the grocery store. LOL but I least I have the basics! I have people with pools, and a park to play ball! We can even take the tent out and park it in the backyard for a camping experience! LOL!

The roof over my head, the food on my table and the fact that we are still here - health wise LOL is more than a lot of people I hear about in the news! God gave me so many blessings. I have my children that I love! My parents, friends, church, etc. LOL the list goes on - maybe not by world standards do I have a lot! But when I look at it - I have more than most!

When Life pees in your cheerios! LOL look for the fruit! Its there! You just have to pick it out and wash it off! LOL! I know ugh........ lol but still! Be thankful for the fruit! LOL more than others have! I look at it as a present! Others just have their cheerios ...lolololol.... but I have the fruit!

God gives you even small little miracles in life - you just have to sit back to see them! LOL they are enough if you think about it! AND they aren't so small then!


End of post……….

1 Tim 6:
3 If anyone teaches other doctrine and does not agree with the sound teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the teaching that promotes godliness, 4 he is conceited, understanding nothing, but having a sick interest in disputes and arguments over words. From these come envy, quarreling, slanders, evil suspicions, 5 and constant disagreement among men whose minds are depraved and deprived of the truth, who imagine that godliness is a way to material gain.
6 But godliness with contentment is a great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. 9 But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains. 11 Now you, man of God, run from these things; but pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight for the faith; take hold of eternal life, to which you were called and have made a good confession before many witnesses.

Mt 6:33
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.


Another person said something along the lines of…………..

“””

Anything, which takes first priority in our hearts, is what we love most and so worship, for where our treasure is, so our heart is also.

Once God is our all in all, then if He blesses us in the physical realm, it will not be a threat to our heart with Him, or be something which may become and idol. There are scriptures going both ways about this: "He has chosen the poor of the earth to be rich in faith", and "if you are willing and obedient, you will eat of the best of the land".

What I have seen is that when we have been faithful in the small things, we can be trusted with greater things.

Our true home is within where God dwells in the heart, and we are to be consumed with prospering in His ways within us, and not in externals which may or may not come


""""

end of article....lol

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