Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Struggling Marriage and Emotional Abuse

4 comments Posted by Hannah at 9:51 PM

I find articles from time to time, and I have to wonder if this author ever asked the people doing the abusing the same questions he asks the spouse that is enduring these things?? Somehow I doubt the approach to the abuser went to the extreme he seems to be pushing in his article towards victims.

Here is the beginning of his article:

Today, many married women feel defrauded. They married their husbands, believing that the tender care he showed when they were dating would continue throughout their married life. Yet they discover that the very relationship which seemed to promise the most pleasure, instead brought the greatest pain. In fact, for some, the emotional pain is so intense that they come to believe that it is beyond their ability to endure. In desperation they find themselves forsaking their vows and fleeing the marriage.

And now the icing on the cake:

One of the biggest mistakes we make today is to marry with the intent of getting our needs met. We assure ourselves of frustration, because we enter marriage with the wrong purpose. Most of us marry to get. God has called us to give. Our concepts of love today are so mixed up with self-centeredness that we have an incredibly difficult time adjusting to the sacrifice required to make a marriage work. We antagonize one another inadvertently by our misunderstanding of what real love and selfless commitment is all about. Our self-oriented intentions begin when we are dating and set the stage long before most conflict becomes abusive.

I will admit a lot of people get their balloon popped during the first phrases of marriage, and we have to admit also that includes both parties. You can even speak to happily married people, and they will speak about the hardships at times they never saw coming. Despite this people continue to grow within a relationship in the upcoming years. Anyone that is married for any length of time can think back on times of great joy and sorrow.

I’m sure there were times we all had expectations of the relationship that never came to pass. In time you find that those expectations are now different, and that’s okay also! We have new visions that are just as good if not better! This author seems to think this is somehow abnormal, and its NOT! We all have this to a degree – some worse or better than others. That’s LIFE and learning – not unrealistic!

I also think we have all been guilty of some type of mistreatment! In most relationships you find a way of getting past that after apologies and repenting and forgiving has happened. There is a difference between life’s uglies with your spouse, and struggling with someone’s warped vision of needed power and control over another.

I’m not talking not using that hot pink nail polish that your spouse doesn’t care for! I’m talking your spouse giving you no say in the color, and pick's it out and forces you to put it on.

I’m not talking about getting rid of a dress that your spouse seems to have issue with after you get married! I’m talking him telling you what clothes you can wear, picking them out, and you losing your freedom of choice all together.

I realize those may seem small, but how about that happening within every aspect of your life?

  • You can’t eat this – you must eat that! 
  • You can’t talk to your family, friends, or even LOOK towards a person of the opposite sex in ANY way! How about knowing that you are at a fast food place, and you go and get those ketchup packages and because a man hands them to you it will mean punishment for 2 days! 
  • Your mother called to see how things are going? Well BOY are you in trouble he told you that talking to family is NOT ALLOWED! Power and control – not normal martial riffs within a relationship. 
  • We aren’t talking disappointment that our Romeo throws his socks on the floor and not the hamper! That our Fabio can’t seem to remember to take the trash out without reminding! Those items can be annoyances YES, but we aren’t talking soul crushing accidences here!

This author speaks a lot of sacrifice, and I have to admit there are some that do have a problem with this for a while. Some the learning curve comes quickly, and some it may take a while. That isn’t all that strange either. Its normal I would assume.

Let us remember that the apostles who gave us God's commands were themselves the victims of severe emotional and physical abuse. They, like Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, endured torture beyond anything we have ever seen. In his books, Pastor Wurmbrand describes his 14 years in a Romanian prison at the hands of communist torturers. His love and compassion for his torturers testifies of the assurance we have as Christians that we too can selflessly love our wives and husbands. 

Certainly if those tortured on a daily basis can see the good that comes from suffering, then we as minimally suffering, soft Americans can handle the opportunities for growth that come our way through the difficulties of marriage. If we are able to cease our "giving to get" mentality and begin simply "giving" we would finally be able enjoy the fulfillment that comes from loving selflessly in the image of Christ.
When you sacrifice things you do it for a purpose. For example, you may throw out the hot pink nail polish or the dress your husband can’t stand. You do this for a reason, and that reason is very honorable. We can also apply this to bigger items or actions within a marriage as well.

We have all read how Jesus’ followers had to sacrifice to the point of death for the cause. There was purpose and meaning to this. It was for the good of mankind. They were tortured, murdered, mocked, and totally abused. They endured it and did this for Jesus, and what he died for. They did this for the grace of God! They wanted to spread the word so that others may live.

I think the point the author was trying to make was the suffering they did in their lives, and why they did this. What he seemed to miss is there are different forms of suffering.

Some with purpose like they did, or another recent example would be Martin Luther King, Jr. There are many people that suffer for the good of others, and I’m not trying to say they are better than what Jesus’ followers did okay? Just making a point.

A different form of involuntary suffering maybe in the form of rape of a child, woman or man by another. There is no good purpose to that act and yet people are thrown into suffering for no good reason. There are all kinds of purposeless crimes it seems, and people don’t suffer for any cause besides their own mourning and pain. There is no great means to an end!

When you enable an abuser to continue you are allowing both parties to continue to live in pain for no purpose either. When the rage and the pain and the terror of their own insecurities are never addressed, but ignored where is the sacrifice in that? When you never help the parties that are being terrorized by this person? They aren’t selfish when they say I can’t endure it any longer.

I may love them, but I need to have this pain STOP! What is wrong with that?

Its not like this is something uncontrollable, and we have no power over at all. We may not be able to relieve all the pain, but we can help to find solutions to minimize the pain. Or even find a way to stop it. The author never addressed that.

He instead uses some comparison of a man that was tortured in a prison in Romania, and has love for those that tortured him because that is what God has asked of him. I’m not saying that isn’t a true showing of strength okay? That gentlemen thankfully gets to love them from a distance now, and just because you may separate in order to wake your spouse up to things they should realize that doesn’t mean you stop loving them as God has asked you to.
I realize some may think this sounds uncompassionate and unsympathetic to those who have experienced genuine trauma and pain at the hands of a verbally harsh spouse. It is my hopes though, that those who respond that way will take a moment to step back and consider God’s greater plan. I am especially concerned that it not be misconstrued that I am negating the validity of the pain endured by those abused and neglected. God knows the reality of emotional hurt. 

Once again, knowing full well the reality of emotional pain, Jesus taught His followers how to deal with it. We see by their example how they responded to verbal persecution.
In other words the author is relying on the spouse that is terrorizing the family to see the errors of his ways.  It is 'his hope', but what he seems to forget it is 'action' that Christ asks of his followers to confront it.

About the suffering he claims is the job of the victim: Matthew 5:11 Happy are you when men give you a bad name, and are cruel to you, and say all evil things against you falsely, because of me.

Abusers aren’t doing that because of Jesus.   The key portion of that scripture is 'because of me'.

They are doing it because they are broken inside, and need healing. People like this author are asking spouses to suffer for God, and are allowing the abusers to continue to suffer also. God wouldn't ask either of them to suffer JUST because Reb Bradley doesn't know how to deal with this biblically.  Its not about the painted side of selfishness as the reason they are asking for relieve. It may be because they aren’t the proper party to help their spouse, and with people like Reb Bradley telling them to deal with it – he may never get that help either.

His other point:

I do want to mention at this point that from my counseling experience, I have observed that those who are most susceptible to emotional pain are those who are trying to get their needs met in the relationship. I've noticed that those who are primarily oriented in giving to their mate rather than taking from them, handle so-called emotional abuse much better. When we want nothing from others we don't open ourselves up to be hurt by them.

It is this very attempt to get fulfilled that makes an individual susceptible to getting "hurt" by their mate. They look to the other to be satisfied by them in some way. It is their desire to receive that has made them so vulnerable to hurt. A broad look at human relationships reveals that people often are not hurt easily by those from whom they expect nothing. For example, the insult offered by the transient on the street doesn't hurt you the way it would coming from the lips of your mate. Why? You have not opened yourself up and made yourself emotionally vulnerable to the transient. You have no expectations of him – his opinion of you is unimportant. In fact, were it your purpose to minister to him, you probably would perceive his insult as a sign of his spiritual emptiness. The selfless nature of your love would spawn understanding and compassion. However, for our mates, we lack the same selfless concern – we look to them for something to satisfy us. In doing so, we make ourselves vulnerable to insults or the pain of rejection.

In Matt 5:44 and Luke 6:28 Jesus commands us to love our enemies, pray for those who persecute us, do good to those who hate us, bless those who curse us, and pray for those who despitefully use us. In 1 Peter 3:9 -16 we are told not to return evil for evil, but to respond to abusers with gentleness and respect. God's standards of love are quite high for us, and are therapeutically sound.

In his article he primarily addresses females, and yet he never addresses what God has asked of the spouses.

He says don’t expect anything from them, and you won’t get hurt.  If you expect anything than you are selfish.

How often do husbands expect their wifes to submit?  How often to wifes expect their husbands to love like Christ loved the church?  Why is that preached if we are to expect 'nothing', and are selfish if we wish to be honored as Christ would have us be within marriage?

God asks husband’s to love their wives, but if you don’t expect that love from him you won’t get hurt.

God asks wife’s to honor their husbands, but if you don’t expect honor from her you won’t get hurt.

According to the author if are detached enough from our spouses it won’t be an issue. You are to deny yourself what God says you need for your gender, because I guess according to the author that is too much to expect.

The author is correct that we are to pray for our abusers, but somehow I doubt God wishes us close ourselves off from the love of others forever just so that we no longer can get hurt. Why would God ask us to never be emotionally available to anyone any longer just in case they try to intentionally or not hurt us? It seems to me if you detach yourself from the world in that fashion you may also miss other aspects of life that would cause great growth within us.

Detaching is a good tool to be used at times. Once you realize that you are being abused detaching from the harmful effects, and realizing you are doing nothing to deserve this treatment is a good thing. I would hope that fellow followers would come along side that person that suffers, and support them emotionally, spiritually, etc while they attempt to help the one that is very much broken and is showing their pain inappropriately. When both parties are healed you need to remove that detachment, and grow within that relationship as God intended. Emotional detachment is not what God intended within a marriage.

Galatians 6:1-5 Brothers, if a man is taken in any wrongdoing, you who are of the Spirit will put such a one right in a spirit of love; keeping watch on yourself, for fear that you yourself may be tested. 2 Take on yourselves one another's troubles, and so keep the law of Christ. 3 For if a man has an idea that he is something when he is nothing, he is tricked by himself. 4 But let every man make test of his work, and then will his cause for glory be in himself only, and not in his neighbor. 5 Because every man is responsible for his part of the work.

This passage tells me that followers are to put the person whom is abusing right, and not inform the spouse to just detach from them so they feel nothing. We as followers of Christ are to help the wrong doer, and he is responsible for the pain he or she has caused. We are also asked to help heal the victims he has wronged.

He ends his article by:

Frequently, our faith in God is weakened by the lack of a clear conscience (1 Tim 1:19). If we defile our conscience, and refuse to acknowledge or repent of the sin we harbor in our hearts, our faith in God will be weak, and we will be unable to trust Him and enjoy the benefits of His grace. Remember, according to Ephesians 4:26-27, when we cling to anger we give the devil authority in our life. This unresolved anger (we usually call it "hurt" or "long-term emotional pain") defiles our conscience, thereby creating unbelief which cripples our ability to handle stress. The very anger which we seek to justify is what weakens our emotional endurance.
The primary reason we find ourselves in the condition that says, "I will tolerate no more," is that we have sought from our marriage a fulfillment which can only come from God. May we stop seeking from our mate the emotional fulfillment which God intends we find in Him. And may we then find the joy and satisfaction which comes from loving and serving our mate as Christ does the Church.
How do you feel love from anyone - even God - when you are counseled NOT to expect anything from anyone so you don't get 'hurt'.  When you do that you also don't feel love.  You are not to feel ANYTHING remember?!

Abusers cling to anger and allow the devil authority in their lives. Are we not to allow them fellowship with others to show them the right path? Are not called to help these people? The reasons most say, “I will tolerate no more” is because the church tells them to detach so they don’t feel anymore.  Why do we ask people to turn off emotions instead of just helping them?

We are to expect nothing from our spouse, and detach from them emotionally. When does the abuser get approached about serving their mate as Christ does the church? I guess according to this author they don’t matter…you see they aren’t the ones screaming, “I can’t tolerate this anymore!”  The author just 'hopes' he turns his life around.  Sigh!

I wonder what the abuser has to scream in order to receive the help, love and fellowship they need? Do they not count Mr. Bradley?

How about helping things to be more tolerable within the home, and maybe neither has to be detached and both can be vulnerable to life’s hurts now in a healthier way! That sounds like a much better plan to me.

I would think God would agree also, since they could teach others in the same place they were in the past to grow past their hurts. If the abuser refuses that help I think God would ask more of us than to tell the spouse to detach. That doesn’t seem to me as the path of light he has asked us to walk in.

Link to Article - Correction!  Reb Bradley has removed the article from his site.  Here is a copy of "The Struggling Marriage and Emotional Abuse" in its entirety.

Natalie Grant - Held

1 comments Posted by Hannah at 2:39 PM

'Natalie Grant Held'

Very Pretty Video and encouraging also

Two months is too little.
They let him go.
They had no sudden healing.
To think that providence would
Take a child from his mother while she prays
Is appalling.

Who told us we’d be rescued?
What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares?
We’re asking why this happens
To us who have died to live?
It’s unfair.

This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we’d be held.

This hand is bitterness.
We want to taste it, let the hatred numb our sorrow.
The wise hands opens slowly to lillys of the valley and tomorrow.

This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we’d be held.

If hope is born of suffering.
If this is only the beginning.
Can we not wait for one hour watching for our Savior?

This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we’d be held.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Urgent NEED!

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 11:10 AM

Because of the season we are now entering I wanted to bump up a very importance ministry, and could really use support and prayers. God bless them for the work they do, and they lives save.

I'm not sure how many people actually view my blog, but I wanted to call your attention to a ministry that has helped so many. Below was something that was posted on their website. I know myself I placed some cash in envelope, and mailed it to them. It wasn't much but it was all I had.

Focus Ministries has helped alot of people, and now they need some help of their own. Below is something they wrote:

Urgent Need!
We need your prayers on our behalf now more than ever!

1. Our number of contacts (email, phone, in person) have tripled since this time last year.
2. The number of women seeking financial assistance has doubled.
3. Donations have decreased by 50% since last year.
4. We do not have sufficient funds to pay our staff (Paula, Brenda, Treva) in October. This means they may receive either a reduction in their already meager monthly allotment, or nothing at all--depending on what is available after paying other bills.

Please pray for God's provision in this time of need, and ask Him what He would have you do to help.

Tax Deductible Donations page for Focus Ministries

Please give if you can! Thank you!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Breaking Free From Domestic Violence Radio Interview

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 8:42 PM

Don't forget to click the title to straight to the source of this interview. Family Life Today is a ministry that did this interview.

Nancy Murphy, the Executive Director of Northwest Family Life Learning and Counseling Center, talks about the domestic abuse she endured at the hands of her former husband. Joining her is Christian counselor Dr. Dan Allender.

The Abuse Begins (Day 1) - 25 minutes Real Player

Nancy Murphy, the executive director of Northwest Family Life Learning and Counseling Center, talks about the cycle of abuse many women endure and the fear and anger that often triggers the violence. Also joining her is Dr. Dan Allender, the founder and director of Wounded Heart Ministries.

The Root of Domestic Violence (Day 2) - 25 minutes Real Player

Ten years into the marriage, Nancy decided it was time for her and her children to leave the abuse routinely initiated by her husband. Now the executive director of Northwest Family Life Learning and Counseling Center, Nancy helps others find freedom from domestic violence. Joining her today is author, counselor, and founder of Wounded Heart Ministries, Dr. Dan Allender.

Finding Freedom From Domestic Abuse (Day 3) - 25 Minutes Real Player

Link to her Book

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Christmas Candy Cane

2 comments Posted by Hannah at 10:58 AM

I found this story about the Christmas Candy Cane, and I wanted to share it. I'm don't have a gift of fancy prayers, but I wanted each and everyone to know that you will be in my heart and prayers this holiday season! God will be with you, and remember always his love for you will never end! He can gave us this wonderful gift of Jesus, and I know this can be a time of stress for alot of us....keep that in your heart in the upcoming days. He loves all the broken, abused and soon to be restored men, women and children he has created........and that means all of us!

Dear Lord THANK YOU for being in our lifes, and know that we are doing the best we can at times. WE praise you for giving us that sense of love we need in our hearts knowing that you will always be there! Thank you for that wonderful gift of Jesus that you sent down to us, so that we may be able to join you when the times comes.

Lord I ask that you be with the readers of this blog, and also those out there that are also broken by abuse. I pray for the abusers, and ask that their brokeness be healed and that their rage is put away from them. They are the ones that need you most Dear God, and please find someone to help them find you! I prayer for the victims and children during this holiday season Lord! It can be a time of great stress and hurt at times. Please place your hedge of protection around them, and allow them to keep the purpose of this holiday in their hearts and souls!

Thank you Lord for the gift of being able to reach out to people, and it is my hope that it makes them feel less alone, isolated, and that someone besides you here on earth hears them. Be with all of us in the upcoming year so that we do your will that you want from us! Help us find that path of light, and help us stay on that path.

God you are a Lord of healing, and I ask that a sense of love, binding up, and safest surrounds the people here and beyond. Please be with us all, and keep us safe. Heal us from our wounds, broken hearts, and tear down our walls of fear. Thank you for being us in our time of need, and know that we know you as the AWESOME God we are thankful to have found! Please continue to be in the hearts, minds and souls of everyone during this season! Give us the tools to continue, and brings others to you so they know what a gift you are offering!

Lord be with us all during this holiday, and THANK YOU for all that you do!

In Jesus name we pray! Amen!

The Christmas Candy Cane was first made by a Candy Maker in Indiana.
He incorporated several symbols for the birth, ministry, and death
of Jesus Christ.

He began with a stick of pure white, hard candy. White to symbolize
the Virgin Birth and the sinless nature of Jesus, and hard to
symbolize the Solid Rock, the foundation of the Church, and firmness
of the promises of God.

The Candy Maker made the candy in the form of a "J" to represent the
precious name of Jesus, who came to earth as our Savior. It could
also represent the staff of the "Good Shepherd" with which He reaches
down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who,
like all sheep, have gone astray.

Next the Candy Maker stained it with red stripes of the scourging
Jesus received by which we are healed. The large red stripe was for
the blood shed by Christ on the cross so that we could have the
promise of eternal life.

Sadly, the candy became a meaningless decoration seen at Christmas
time. But the meaning is still there for those who "have eyes to see
and ears to hear".

Friday, December 15, 2006

Leaving the Abuse Behind

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 8:36 AM

With her Janis Joplin-meets-Alanis Morissette growl and her decidedly worshipful lyrics, Sarah Kelly stood out when she arrived on the Christian music scene in 2004 with her Grammy-nominated debut Take Me Away. But behind her smile and platform of hope in Christ was an abusive past, including a rape, that she hadn't yet dealt with—until recently. In recent interviews, Kelly has revealed that she was in no less than three abusive relationships. One of them ended after the guy suggested that Kelly, then an eighth-grader with virtually no self-esteem, try to kill herself—and so she tried, but was saved when her parents found her unconscious and rushed her to a hospital. Another relationship ended when Kelly said no thanks to a guy's marriage proposal—so he raped her. And just last year, she ended a seven-year marriage to an abusive husband by getting a divorce. Now with the release of her sophomore disc, Where the Past Meets Today, Kelly has resolved to be honest—no matter the cost—and opens up about how she found the strength to worship in the midst of less-than-ideal circumstances. We talked to her more about the pattern of the abusive relationships than the specific details—and how she's now finding hope and healing in God's grace.

For you, making Where the Past Meets Today wasn't just business as usual. The past year has been a real turning point for you, hasn't it?

Sarah Kelly: Well, it's been the best year of my life and the worst year of my life—all at the same time. It's been the best because I've had peace for the very first time after dealing with an addiction to abuse that's been a part of my life for so long. My new album turned out to be an outlet for really being honest about everything, a safe place to admit that like everyone I am messed up and that I need God every day to get through. These are all things that started coming out in my music on [her first album] Take Me Away. I was becoming a worshiper who worships in spirit and truth—worshiping in the middle of situations I didn't understand. Where the Past Today is the continuation of that journey.

Most people have heard about addictions to things like drugs or alcohol or even an addiction to the fame and the spotlight, but how did the addiction to abuse begin?

Kelly: When I was 12 or so, I started going to a new Christian school where the peer pressure was to be the best Christian. For some reason or another, the guys were nice to me, but the girls were incredibly cruel—until I started dating my first boyfriend who was going to become a pastor. I guess the girls thought I might introduce them to his friends or something. But anyway, they started being nice to me for the first time, and I liked the approval that came with being his girlfriend—even when he was abusing me. He used physical force that constantly put me in a state of fear. Yet, abuse is just the drug for the real addiction of self-hate. Some cut themselves, like I did, and then some find relationships that treat them the way they feel they deserve. Somewhere deep inside, I was subconsciously attracted to those who would mistreat me.

Did you confide in anyone about what was going on?

Kelly: Yes, my sister—but not until a couple of years ago. It was a bit tricky to speak of because all of these guys who abused me were active in churches, and I did not want on to be black-listed.

Coming from such a strong Christian background, it had to be a shock that someone within the church, someone who was going to become a pastor, was doing this.

Kelly: Well, maybe at the time, but now I've come to realize that abusers are passionate people—and that is their good and bad trait. Just because someone is a pastor doesn't mean that he/she doesn't struggle with addictions, too. There are a lot of expectations that come with serving in church—and really anyone serving in church is just as flawed as the next person. But we all tend to cover up those flaws to please people.

What do you think it was that made you susceptible to this kind of abuse—again and again?

Kelly: Probably insecurity and the need for perfection. It took me a long time to even be able to talk about it, because it's embarrassing. No one wants to admit that this has happened to them. But the truth is one out of every four women is abused. To break that cycle in my own life, I had to learn how to live for the approval of God—not people. I never had a real, full sense of who I was in God, how much he really loved and valued me, so I looked for that approval from others. When you aim to please people, that leaves you prone to things like abuse.

And breaking the cycle meant breaking it off with the abuser—and most recently, that would have been your husband.

Kelly: I finally admitted it to my pastor and my parents, and they helped me see that this is not what God expects or wants for me. And yes, I am happily single now.

Were there ever any consequences for him? How do you feel about him now?

Kelly: He has moved far away. But I still believe that God has huge plans for him. He was and is loved and esteemed highly in our church. In fact, he was considered a leader. And just like I didn't feel safe to tell this secret, he didn't feel safe to get the help he needed from the "baggage" in his own life before he got saved. I wish him the best in dealing with his painful past as I deal with mine. And that very thing is why I devote my life to promoting honesty in the church. We've got to let people be human and not feel the need to put on the "perfect front."

And ultimately, that's what you're talking about on When the Past Meets Today—the need to be honest about everything whether it's good, bad, or ugly.

Kelly: Absolutely. I'm not trying to be the poster child for abuse here. That's not what I want. But God has used music in my life to connect with him. And I believe that true worship is accompanied by honesty. I know this sounds strange, but I honestly wouldn't change a thing about my life looking back. I would not have the inner strength that I have now if it were not for those awful years. I would probably never be driven to sing.

I think it's funny, but my voice isn't that good. I'm not the best singer. But I do think people crave honesty, and that was what was important to me most in making this record.

Christian music isn't always honest, and often likes to have that proverbial bow tied at the end of songs. So, do you think more artists may follow your approach to writing honest songs?

Kelly: Artists ultimately want to be accepted by their culture. Let's face it, we all crave acceptance. But it's hard to be honest when you want to be accepted. But honestly, I think more artists are speaking out in truth, and people can connect with that so much more than something that doesn't come from an honest place.

Whatsteps have youtaken to heal from your abusive relationships? Often, people in such a situation go through a period of self-loathing, of "How could I let this happen?", before learning to love themselves all over again.

Kelly: I felt a tremendous amount of guilt at first [after the divorce]. You know, feeling like, "He's such a good person that it must have been me that drove him to that behavior." Then it was guilt for giving up on him—guilt for wanting more for myself. I went to Christian counseling and kept in close contact with my pastor from home to battle the "everyone hates me now" thoughts.

You've heard the saying,"Once an addict, always an addict." Women who once struggled with eating disorders often say it's a lifetime struggle to not fall back into those habits and behaviors. Does you wrestle with similar struggles? Does one ever "get over" being addicted to abuse?

Kelly: I think there is healing. However, it is a constant battle to "love your neighbor as yourself." The second part of that equation is tougher for some than others, but it is equally as important. The biggest healing I've found has been just burying myself in the Bible—the Psalms and Proverbs. It seems that when I don't know how to think of myself—or to "take my thoughts captive" in this area—that God's Word is the most effective way to battle it.The Psalms show that David went through a lot, too, and it's comforting to know you're not on the journey alone.

For more about Sarah Kelly, visit our site's artist page, where you'll also find our review for her sophomore effort, Where the Past Meets Today. To listen to sound clips and buy her music, visit Christianbook.com.

© Christa Banister, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.

I found a My Space site for this artist as well.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I feel sorry for Debi and Michael Pearl!

9 comments Posted by Hannah at 10:12 PM

I was searching thru the Internet again looking for articles about abuse and faith. I came across an article that is rather old, but I found myself reeling as I read it. I guess I have now made the decision on occasion I feel the need to point out some of the maybe well intended but very dangerous advice of others. Does it mean that I am angry; they are not liked by me? Hardly! I want to show the ignorance of the issue, and maybe that will show people HOW the church or followers don't face this issue like it should!

The title above has a link to the article in question.

First quote:

The Scripture makes it very clear how God feels about divorce, He hates it. It is an Old Testament passage, but God has not changed his mind. He still hates divorce. It is not His will, it wasn't so from the beginning, and it is not so today. There have been occasions, both in Scripture and in our ministry, where a man was so vile that God has killed him. A woman can come to God asking Him to deliver her from a man if he will not repent, but a woman should be sure she has obeyed God in her relationship to her husband, before she asks such a thing.

I don’t think anyone doubts the hate God has for divorce. When you read that chapter in the bible that she is referring to it is a story of men that were horrible to their families. They would come to church, and offering prayers, offerings, etc to God and he rejected them. When the men asked why God did this God answered basically by saying: Do you seriously think I am a God that endorses your evil against your family? That I will just turn a blind eye to this as you come and praise me? Are you saying I am a God that ignores your behavior, or even endorses it so I can receive your offerings? I’m sure at the time the men were quite taken back by this! It seems it was a very acceptable thing to do in that day, and God was going against their way of life. God told them that their prayers would be rendered because of their behavior towards their families. There is a comma in the famous “GOD HATES DIVORCE” verse!

Mal 2:16 For I hate divorce," says the LORD, the God of Yisra'el, "and him who covers his garment with violence!" says the LORD of Armies. "Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you don't deal treacherously.

I would think that God hates the violence these men had done towards their families! Do not deal treacherously! Sounds like he hates something else also doesn’t it? It’s strange to me that parties never truly tell the story behind that verse, or really even know there is a continuing thought following it with a comma!

For some reason I really have issue with this lady stating make sure you do what you should do as a Godly wife, and if he doesn’t turn around pray that God takes him from you! Why? If you went to the site above a letter was sent to her about concern she had of a friend of her’s that left an abusive situation out of desperation. It sounded to me that it was a VERY hard decision, and it took a lot for her to make it - even after numberous affairs (I notice the risk of STD wasn't covered either)! Like most relationships of this sort its getting ugly, and also because of the mindset of doubt these ladies have I’m sure she is wondering what is right! I can’t say that I blame her! She is placing more doubt in her mind about her decision, and then telling her if she is sure just pray that God takes him! I guess that would solve things huh? Somehow I doubt that would end the issues with this woman. I guess it would get the church off her back for leaving though!

What is strange to me is that this woman never mentioned separation, or that he should be held accountable for his actions! It was never mentioned that he needs help, and he also needs God’s love to be felt to his very core! The rage within this man that shows him to be broken is never addressed. Why were these things never addressed? I have no clue, but I would bet because this woman had already filed for separation/divorce.

Next Quote:

God has given us several promises concerning marriage to unbelievers. I Peter 3:1-6 tells us how to win our unbelieving husband, and in 1Cor. 7:14 God promises that our children will be holy if we stay with our unbelieving spouse and honor God in our relationship with him. That is a promise from God. These Scriptures give us the "how to" on our end and the expected results. I have seen God keep His word. I have also seen many who would expect God to keep His word when they did not obey their end of the "how to."
I am not taking her situation lightly. I know that although I am married to a righteous man, I have often wanted to demand my rights and set him straight. How much more difficult it must be for a young woman being subjected to the unreasonable demands of a lost, selfish man? But God is able, not only to save your man, but also to take you to a place of sweet loving kindness in the midst of turmoil. God is also able to save your children. There is no promise in Scripture to spare your children if you leave your lost husband.

I guess I take issue with the first part mostly because the author is assuming that the wife didn’t do her end otherwise he wouldn’t be like he is! She is basically shifting the responsibility for his behavior (and everyone's welfare) right back in her lap, and I’m sure her abuser would LOVE that! I’m NOT going to say what she is stating is impossible okay? I won’t even go near that! To tell a woman if you act like you should you are guaranteed the result you wish, while never addressing his behavior is a very simplistic answer to a very awful situation. I’m sure she believes this, and I admire her conviction but it also shows her lack of knowledge of what makes an abuser tick! You need to have knowledge of dynamics of the relationship, before you can tell her what behaviors would be beneficial to him. I believe if you call him lovingly on his behavior, and hold him accountable that is showing love for the husband. Does it always work that way? I can’t say that either. What I do see her message is, “maybe you didn’t show this man what a Godly wife is and that is why he is awful to you!” No responsibility again for him.

I do believe God can deliver us in many ways from turmoil in our lives, and yes he may not always release us from it. That doesn’t not automatically change the abusers mindset that is broken and full of rage. It doesn’t take away his hurt, and his anger that is so rooted within him that it will disappear by watching her good behavior.

As far as saving your children if you choose to leave…God does not guarantee your children are ‘saved’ as she puts just because you are. I believe she means sanctified. They are made holy by the fact one parent is a believer, and just because you leave doesn’t mean they aren’t sanctified anymore. I believe in that instance the sanctified position still holds. There is only one way I know of to get saved. Its irresponsible for this woman say the children's salvation is lost if she leaves her husband.

Next Quote:

God tells us here, if your husband is not obeying the word of God, then you can win him without trying to teach him the Word of God. God says that as a husband looks on and sees the way his wife responds to him, he will be won. He will hear and see her cheerful countenance. He will notice her willingness to help and forgive. He will see her giving up her rights and not taking offense when he knows he has wronged her. He will see she honors him, obeys him, treats him with respect, and serves him with a non-rebellious, non-resistant attitude. He will see her spirit is not raging outwardly in emotional fits or inwardly in silent brooding of hurt, but her spirit is quiet, restful, and peaceful. He will see she doesn't puff up and talk incessantly in criticism of him—or others. He trusts her. He knows she is not going to discuss him with her pastor or friend. He sees she is wise with what little money he gives her. She is a remarkable woman, not because she is classy in the way she dresses or looks, but in the way she controls her spirit. She rejoices for an opportunity to bless him, and he knows her heart is good. He tries her; he deliberately tempts her into hurt or anger; he judges her unfairly; he demands things of her that he knows embarrasses her, yet she is in subjection to him in all things. And in the end, she wins him by her chaste conversation. It is a promise from God to you. And God goes on to promise more to this obedient, believing lady.

It’s true that people can bring others to Christ with their behavior, and their way of life to make them wish to have a piece of that! I know alot of people wanting to know WHY these people have such inner peace, and their way of handling things does show what being a follower of God in the truth light can be like! Saying to a woman (or even a man) that you shouldn’t go to a pastor or a friend when you are in trouble is down right WRONG! You are to bring the truth into the light, and you don’t allow it to live in darkness. There are many passages of the light.

Luk 8:17 "Whatever is hidden away will be brought out into the open, and whatever is covered up will be found and brought to light.

Joh 12:46 I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in the darkness.

If he is hurting you and your children you don’t just smile and take it! If he is endangering the welfare of your children you don’t place your joyous spirit on as a tool to ignore!

Ephesians 6:4 says:
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Colossians 3:21 says:
Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.

You are never to submit to sin. Shame on her for telling someone to! No one is saying that you can’t bring a spouse to the Lord by your chaste conversation, and meek and mild behavior. God would never ask a wife to sin for her husband. She is to submit to him, but not to SIN! This man needs help in the case of an abusive relationship, and allowing him to continue in silence is sin. The wife (or husband) is not always the best choice to help them in this path to righteousness.

(Ecc 8:11 ASV) Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

God says you encourage bad behavior by doing NOTHING!

Next Quote:

"And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy (I Cor. 7:13)." When children have a believing parent that is walking in honor to God and her spouse, it will causes the child to honor that believing parent. The child will find refuge, companionship, joy, and respect in that parent. It is a natural law. If your child is failing, then you need to look at yourself and say, "Am I continuing in faith and sobriety? Am I walking in peace and joy? Am I willing to forgive and forget? Am I feeling sorry for myself and playing the sad face, or am I rejoicing and believing God? Is the expression on my face and the words coming from my mouth a reflection of the joy of the Lord?"

Again I agree with some of what she is saying. What she fails to understand is in abusive family relationships children tend to cling to the parent of dominance because its safer to! They may love the non-abusive parent to pieces! They may even be their favorite! Living in such an environment doesn’t allow the child to feel safe enough to show any loyalties other than to the abusive parent. Why? If they don’t they could be targeted as well! They know this and it scares the pants off them! “Mommy doesn’t SPANK you she BEATS you!” as the example goes in the letter to Mrs. Pearl. If you know your parent is dangerous, and you place your child cap on for a moment…. you think you want to disagree? You think you want to place any doubt in that father’s mind that you do? Mrs. Pearl may mean very well by what she is saying, but she is ignorant of the place in which children are in this environment! Their misbehavior could be caused by the inner turmoil of not knowing what is safe! If you have one parent that is abusive, and you have another parent acting all PEACEFUL and JOYFUL to everything instead of validating their fears and concerns – who are the going to talk about it? What are they going to do with those feelings? You can't blame the mother for misbehavior, unless of course she takes you advice and doesn't do anything! It is her job to protect those children, and you telling her she is in SIN if she does!

Next Quote:

It is an impossible task, yet with God all things are possible. God is able, and with him you can do the impossible. You can wake up in the morning with a song in your heart, kissing your child and laughing at the sunlight sprinkling your room. You can serve, give, forgive, and enjoy the victory you have in Jesus. And when you feel that hurt, angry spirit rise up, you can open your mouth in praise and thanksgiving to God that you are free from sin and bondage, and free to be glad. In that kind of atmosphere, a child grows stable and complete, a selfish man stops fighting and trying to defeat and subdue.

When you live in an abusive home you are NOT free from bondage within that home. You going to around acting as if nothing is wrong is NOT going to make the angry man – that has been that way all of his life from past hurts he has – instantly stop being angry. We are talking about an illness here! We are talking about a ROOT OF RAGE within this person, and just like any other addiction you need to HELP to conquer it! LOL not a happy go lucky wife that is in denial of the terror within her four walls! There are times in life when we all let things slide, and we just don’t go there! God would wish to have a zero tolerance rule for abuse, and just going on praising God and not acknowledging the pain within your spouse and your children isn’t going to help anyone. I believe she is taking these verses all wrong. If they worked the way she says – I bet we would have a lot more successful situations within abusive relationships. Spouses are normally living in denial for a long time before the anger starts. This author is encouraging the spouse to say in denial and have faith it will just go away. I’m sorry but that is against scripture.

Jer 21:12 O house of David, thus saith Jehovah, Execute justice in the morning, and deliver him that is robbed out of the hand of the oppressor, lest my wrath go forth like fire, and burn so that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.

If you ignore wrong doing, and not help those in trouble you will have God's wrath to answer to.

Next Quote:

Dear Mama, whether your husband is lost or saved, God has given you the opportunity to set the atmosphere in your home that will bring joy, peace, thanksgiving, and love. He has given you the tools to become the most loved woman and mother on all the earth. He has given you the plan to right a thousand wrongs and prove to the world that with God all things are possible. He has provided you with the way to show the devil that God can take the weakest, silliest wreck of a woman; a woman that has given-over to become broken, both physically and emotionally, and turn her into a strong, confident, God fearing, honoring, joyful, yes, even thankful woman. One day you will wake up, turn your head to smile good morning to your husband, and see the tears of thanksgiving glistening in his eyes as he tells you one more time how much he loves you and how proud he is to have you as his wife. Then someday as the years pass you will hear your teenage sons and daughters speak of how wonderful their mama is, and you will think that life could never be any sweeter.

Yep Ladies its all up to us! (Sarcasm okay?) I’m sorry! I wonder how many women there are on this planet that lived in their world of denial around them, and allowed all kinds of evil to happen in their house and whistled their praises through out the day and woke up with the husband’s crying in thankfulness. I guess she doesn’t realize that abuse unless addressed gets worse with time. I guess that would be the fault of the woman again because she didn’t whistle the praises enough, or loud enough, or taught the children the same tune! Maybe she wasn’t thankful enough that her shell of denial was hard as rock, because those tears of, “I love you Baby! I’m so proud of YOU!” never came! Evil takes over if you allow it.

The children could grow up to resent not only the abusive parent that scared them to death as a child, but also the faithful one that refused to see that they needed help! They could have done something that could have stopped the abuse! They really didn’t have the best role models in Mrs. Pearl’s world of “Can’t we all be friends!” as bombs are being dropped around them! I’m sorry but this lady is encouraging people to allow evil to continue by never addressing it!

I saw this commercial from Australia on You Tube last week about kid’s modeling the parent’s behavior. The normal things like – if you smoke your kids may smoke. If you drink – your kids could grow up to drink! If you show your road rage – you kids could follow in your behavior! If you’re Daddy abuses your Mommy Mrs. Pearl they learn that also! That is part of the cycle of abuse! Unless someone STOPS the cycle of abuse it will continue for generations until someone decides to whistle a different tune that sounds like a siren of the police! The sound of help and support of fellow followers of Christ! Those wtih nerve enough and love enough to struggle along with you even when they don’t even have the answers. When they stop long enough to realize their simplistic views of scripture don’t always work when you are talking about walking time bombs of terror! It’s okay to say I don’t know! I bet with prayer, study, and the Holy Spirit will send you down the right path – that is what scripture says!

Next Quote:

As surely as this article goes out to the many thousands, a score of angry women will write me a letter containing personal examples, proving this could not work with their daughter's husband, or with their friend's husband. They will tell me the vile, ugly things the husbands do and of the broken sweet lady in distress, and I will agree. But I would remind you that in the verse that records the sowing and reaping we are warned not to be deceived. It is easy to be deceived by our feelings and what we see. When a person is deceived, they are convinced they are doing right. It seems right, it feels right, everyone says there is nothing else to do. Eve felt that way once. We, as with Eve, think that the will of God stands in the way of our freedom and peace. We believe that due to our unusual circumstances, we are an exception. "Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap."

When I read this paragraph you know what hit me first? When she talks about how people are easily deceived by their feelings of what is right, and they are convinced they are right. When they KNOW they are doing right. Its seems right, feels right, and NO ONE is telling them to do differently! That also could be the abuser! That man or that woman that feels entitled to abuse! They have all kinds of good excuses and views as to WHY they are entitled to do that! They also reap what they sow. Its call consequences for the actions, and I believe Mrs. Pearl talks about that a lot in her article. Funny how she never addresses the abuser in that scenario! Just the party that wants abuse to stop!

There are reasons Mrs. Pearl that you are getting ALL kinds of letters due to your article! It seems you are the one that is deceived by her ignorance of the dynamics of an abusive relationship. The spouses or children within the relationship don’t cause it, and change can only start when the spouse decides they want it to change and is willing to do what it takes to make that happen! Does the other spouses behavior, etc play into that? Of course it could and should, but just like people’s decision to be saved – an abuser has to make a choice to change his life also! Its choice to be this way! Denial helps them stay in this position of pain, and you Mrs. Pearl are encouraging them to stay in a position of pain/denial by telling the wife’s to hush, ignore and pray it away! If by some miracle that was good enough – Praise the LORD! Then I would ask you to sit back and wonder how many years was lived in hurt when others could have helped this husband and wife along with their journey. You don't ignore abuse - you address it!

Next Quote:

This is a hard saying. For many reading this, it is simply an impossible dream. For some it is more like a nightmare. I am here to tell you, the Christian life is a miracle. If it is not a miracle against all odds, then it is not Christian; it is only a religious life. God has given you the "how to," and he has given you his Spirit to make it possible. He will give you the heart to want it to happen—if you ask him. He is a good God.

Yes Mrs. Pearl God is an awesome GOD! He does give you ‘how to’, and I’m afraid your interruption is a bit off the mark. I think it would do you good to research your material, and KNOW what you are dealing with before writing on it. Your suggestions could get spouses and their children killed. You see Mrs. Pearl in most cases of just “emotional or verbal” abuse it does move to that next mark that people like you may even think ‘unacceptable’. She could be beat up, and as that gets worse she could get killed. Her children could be caught in the crossfire, and they could be hurt or killed also. Don’t tell her that she didn’t pray hard enough, or that she wasn’t faithful enough to make sure that didn’t happen. That is what you are telling women all over this world with your article so far! I challenge you to educate yourself on this subject, and maybe volunteer your time in shelters for a number of months. It may open your eyes to the mindset of the people they are dealing with. Is divorce the answer? I’m not going to say it is or isn’t because people’s life’s are custom. Your way of dealing with this is irresponsible, and if take my challenge you may understand why people think that! You are ignoring both parties that are hurting, and is of need of fellowship, help, and accountability as the scripture calls for! Your “how to” to completely lacking of it.

Next Quote from her Husband:

If you or your children have been hit (other than the children being spanked) so as to leave discernable marks two hours later, and you genuinely fear that he will repeat his battering, you can take legal steps without divorcing your husband. In a moment when he is not angry, calmly inform him that the next time he physically assaults you or the kids, you are going to call the law and have him arrested. You must first resolve in your heart that you are willing to prosecute him and see him go to jail. I visit prisons every week. It is a great place to mull over the consequences of one’s deeds. And I have never met a prisoner that turned down a visit from anyone. Think about it, lady; it is a great time for writing love letters and sharing a three-minute romantic phone call once a week. Guys who get out of prison run straight home to their ladies and treat them wonderfully—for a while anyway.

I wonder if in all that time with your prison visiting if you ever did some real listening to these people. Why not ask these men at prison if their mother could apply what your wife is talking about if that would have turned their father’s around! Ask them which was worse their father’s beatings, or the remarks that removed their sense of personhood that helped them on that path they are leading now! You might be surprised when they tell you, WHICH was worse if they are capable of placing their pride and ego’s aside for a moment! Funny how they stay with their ladies for a WHILE anyway! That behavior didn’t keep them there huh? Could be that root of rage within them wasn’t dealt with, and they are going to keep going down that path of destruction until someone shows them a different one! Not by keeping secrets, not by ignoring their behavior and playing happy face either! Two people in denial of the issues aren’t going to fix anything. It will continue.

I find it hard to believe it would take 2 hours to check to see if there is bruise or mark. If you spank children they way you seem to be suggesting with minutes the redish would be disappearing! If the redish isn't starting to disappear within that time you have gone overboard already!

The wife should never be hit PERIOD! There is no 2 hour waiting period! Its illegal to hit your wife or others! If a man is prone to hit at times the man needs help, and he needs it NOW not later! I'm sure you wouldn't have the same reaction if another man hit your wife Mr. Pearl. Why would it be unacceptable for them and not you?

Next Quote:

If your abusing husband fully understands that you have the power of the law behind you, he will learn to keep his hands in his pockets. I am not suggesting you do this to be vindictive or to get even with him. It must be done in humility and love. If your husbands knows that you are the weaker vessel, desperately seeking your survival and that of the kids, and that you are not trying to punish him, but that you are going to stand by and continue to love him, that you are going to wait for him to get out of prison and then try to start over again, it may move his heart to fear if not to repentance. You say, he cannot help himself. Does he help himself when his peers—other men his own size—make him angry? Does he fly out of control and start hitting his boss or his employees? No? Then he has self-control when he must. The law can make it a must, which will allow you to continue with him and demonstrate your womanhood and win him to yourself and then to your God.

Do some research on violations of protection orders, and it’s not due to vindictive wives! Do some research as to WHY those protection orders are put in place! You also have no clue to the dynamics of abuse either! There are reasons they don’t show their behavior in certain places! They can get away with it in environments they can control – that they have power over. Do they have power in that same realm at work? What about with his boss? His employees? Hmmmm. Don’t think so either! Could be your first clue!

The violate the protection orders because of the sense of loss of control and power. Not in the normal fashion either - an entitled fashion. A warped entitlement mindset! Who is going to help them there? They need help sir! Have observed good behavior and Godly spirit with their wifes isn't always going to change that mindset! Asking wifes to be silence of these issues of abuse is going to make things worse, and not better! There are enough Christian examples out there to show you that! People that are ill need help, prayer and guidance. Not silence that you are trying to encourage!

Next Quote:

But if your husband has sexually molested the children, you should approach him with it. If he is truly repentant (not just exposed) and is willing to seek counseling, you may feel comfortable giving him an opportunity to prove himself, as long as you know the children are safe. If there is any thought that they are not safe, or if he is not repentant and willing to seek help, then go to the law and have him arrested.
I can’t believe you are actually suggesting someone doing something illegal! WOW! If they find that those children have been molested before, and she didn’t report it those children could be removed from her as well! They could also go after the wife with charges!

It seems to me both you and your wife think that women are the only ones that need to sacrifice their worlds for their spouse. Is that what the bible says? Not the only I have on my shelf! It seems that accountability only comes sometimes – and in the case of abuse never if it is not bad enough in your eyes. There is a role of the wife and mother I agree. Hiding her husband’s secrets and sins are NOT one of them! There is also a role of accountability for both partners, and your focus seems warped in one area only! Men are NOT that incapable to handle help from others! They are NOT that weak that they can't learn from other people besides their wifes!

Molestation is illegal, and if this wife ignores what has happened she also could find herself in alot of hot water within the legal realm. You deal with things the first time by seeking help from others, and you DO report it to save the wife and children from being possibly separated. That is called loving your wife and family enough not to hide behind your sins. If the child tells someone else, if someone else leaks this the police will come down HARD on both! What you are asking them to do is against the law.

I feel sorry for both of you! I will be praying for you both as well. You really need to see what the bible does say about people in bondage. Read James because it talks about the power and damage the tongue does. I dont remember reading how people should just ignore and pray it away.

Gal 6:1 My friends, if someone is caught in any kind of wrongdoing, those of you who are spiritual should set him right; but you must do it in a gentle way. And keep an eye on yourselves, so that you will not be tempted, too.

Not only is the wife but the church responsible to making this man see his sin.

Luk 12:2 Whatever is covered up will be uncovered, and every secret will be made known.
Luk 12:3 So then, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in broad daylight, and whatever you have whispered in private in a closed room will be shouted from the housetops.

Silence, secrecy and concealment are not God's way of dealing with problems. You state people will reap what they sow. I'm afraid of what you will be reaping in the future. I pray that you seek more knowledge on this subject, and find healthier ways that God asks for everyone involved. That includes the abusive husband.


What this couple doesn't seem to understand - minus all those horror stories that they will be getting and will be ignoring is that abuse is like any other addiction. Its an angry addiction of the worse kind! Read up on what an addiction is Mr. and Mrs. Pearl. With all due respect you missed the mark on this one!

When you have a spouse with lets say a booze or drug addiction would you apply I Peter 3? Most would confront the spouse and find ways of them acknowledging the addiction. Abusers use the same tools as any other addictive nature: Blame, Deny and project it in some other area as the cause. If you play the Joyous and Happy natured spouse, and never address the issue you won't have to pray for God to take the vile person - they will kill themselves! Prayer, Fellowship, Acknowlegement and treatment just like any other addiction is needed for the abusive personality. I Peter 3 is a verse we believe in, and does not apply to addiction cures as the only thing you look to. We are talking an illiness and you offer no doctor for! You are asking the spouse to ignore the medicine that could make a better life for the spouse, and that is irresponsible!

You may be honored for your other writings, and I will be honest I haven't read much of it! This subject I would suggest you research and educate yourself about before writing like other respectable authors. You see Mr. and Mrs. Pearl if you approach an abuser in the way you state in your article - she will turn into a battered wife on top of it! Addictive personalities don't think right! That is why people struggle to live with them! Its not a matter of not loving this person enough! Its a matter of how can I help them! Playing the Happy Christian Homemaker while your spouse is wallowing in pain, denial and rage isn't the right path, and could make matters worse.

Stick to your homeschooling until you do your homework! The lawsuit due to your advice would be the least of your worries! Death could be on your plate as well.

New Section Announcement

2 comments Posted by Hannah at 9:48 AM

I have added a Video Section to this blog. I found some very good secular but well done videos. I also added a website for children. It has a cool option on it - if someone comes into the room they push the button and it zooms them to another website IMMEDIATELY! - Look at the left side bar.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Research considers how Christian women cope with domestic abuse

1 comments Posted by Hannah at 8:02 AM

Dr Baker A University of Queensland researcher has shed light on how religion can be a help or a hindrance to women who are victims of domestic abuse.

Dr Lynne Baker studied the coping strategies of Christian women who not only have to deal with domestic abuse, but sometimes also a lack of assistance from their own church.

“Christian women, particularly those from more fundamentalist denominations, can suffer more because of their faith,” Dr Baker said.

“They may experience exactly the same issues as secular women, but have the added pressure of Christian faith, which when handled correctly can be a help, but can often serve as an extra burden.”

She said while talking to women for her study, she heard tales of church leaders telling them to respect their husbands and forgive them for their abusive actions.

“Forgiveness doesn't mean reconciliation, and some of these women were forced to endure abuse for years because they were told leaving their husbands would be a greater sin,” Dr Baker said.

“This is where the scripture is taken out of context and can lead to very destructive situations.”

Dr Baker said while this contradiction of Christian mores sometimes drove women from the church and their faiths, many still turned to their beliefs for strength.

“One of the major findings was the desire of Christian women to retain their faith through crisis and to continue to live and function according to their beliefs,” she said.

Dr Baker said the personal advice provided by the Christian women in her study would help both victims of domestic abuse and members of the clergy who may be called up on to assist them.

She said this research would foster a greater understanding of the specific needs of Christian women in domestic abuse situations and would provide counsellors with the opportunity to incorporate the positive aspects of Christian faith into intervention programs.

Dr Baker studied under Associate Professor Robyn Gillies from UQ's School of Education.
Media inquiries: Andrew Dunne from UQ Communications (07 3365 2802 or 0433 364 181).

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

This is a form of proper communication?

2 comments Posted by Hannah at 10:33 AM

I read faith boards here and there, and it seems to me a repeating theme keeps coming up! Its almost like people REFUSE to see uglies in other people’s lives, and keep asking them “What did you do to cause this? Can’t you just tell him!?” I have to admit that is more than just irritating to me! Its seems to me people don’t even listen – or read in this instance what people are writing! Then they counterdict themselves in the end!

There was a post recently about how a couple works for the same company, and they drive to work together. His position there is sounds like is very satisfying to him. She went and finished her degree, and then was offered a job in that area. She mentioned that her husband is very happy where he is, and she is a bit bored with her position there. She was looking for something else a bit more up her alley. When she approached him with this exciting offer he was very upset! It would depress him if she took the job. It would be awful for her to work somewhere else. When she attempted to speak about WHY she wanted this job he became very angry. Tells her that she is never satisfied, and she needs to be okay with what she has. There was no mention of children or anything else here. If you read the post you could feel her frustration…all she wanted to do was talk about it. He placed this wall up and refused!

She got responses like:

See? This is what happens when women set foot outside the home. Confusion, strife... women should stay IN the home where they belong!
(Sorry - had a strange entity possess my keyboard.)

Seriously, though, if I was in your situation and my husband was that dead set against the new job, I'd stay where I was. Is the new job worth causing marital problems? So I'd stay there and pray for my husband, that if it's God's will for me to get a new job, He'd change my husband's heart in the matter.
At this point you can't cajole your husband about this or persuade him - his mind's made up. The best way to change his mind is to have God change it for you.


How much of you does your husband get, with your career as it stands? Do you think he might be worried that he'll be getting even *less* of you if you decide to "better yourself"? Is it even remotely possible that he's right--that you don't know how to be content?

I'd choose husband and marriage over my career any day. But then, I'm one of them pregnant and barefoot nutters--I was even in the kitchen 5 minutes ago!


I would say: Honor your husband. But, that seems to be an unpopular opinion in here.


Prior to marriage what did you and dh agree to regarding his career, your career, work hours and obligations etc.

Also, I'd like to throw this in the mix as it is something I see in counseling often. Sometimes a wife provides a profound sense of security and accountability for her husband that her husband doesn't know how to articulate and that the wife doesn't realize. I don't know what the dynamic is like at the company, but is it possible that your DH wants you to stay at the company because there is a certain amount of strength/accountability he gains from you being there? For example (and this is just one example), is there a woman your husband has to work particularly close with and he finds strength and accountability knowing you are near by? Perhaps your presence is a greater strength to him than you estimate.


We as women need to learn the words of prayer, instead of nagging or using our mouths against our husband (I'm just saying in general). If there is something you don’t agree with or understand towards your husband, learn to take it to the Lord in prayer. Because marriage is about sacrifice.


One of the happiest days of my life was when I honored my husband's request that I stop working and "just be a wife." I prayed much, sought counsel, and ultimately decided to trust God and my husband... and I quit.


Hi! My husband and I just celebrated 22 years of marriage in October. We have 3 kids ages 19, 20 and 21. I have been a stay at home mom and wouldn't trade it for anything. I know that is not for everyone though. I'd like to encourage you to respect your husband’s wishes. How sweet he wants you near him. God WILL reward you respecting your husbands wishes. Maybe not right away but down the road somewhere He will.

I can’t say I disagree with a lot of the comments above okay? I do think they are missing the boat on the real issue here! The issue is his response will cause walls of resentment to be built up, and she will no longer feel free to speak her mind! She attempts to speak to him, and he gets mad! She tries to explain to him she wants a bit more in her job, and he tells her she is never content. The issue these ladies seem to be missing is the communication factor! He is going out of his way to stop all communication within the relationship, and these ladies are saying, “That’s okay!” They ignore his selfish responses, and ask her who is more important the job or him? I don’t understand WHY they feel the need to address that portion, and ignore the real problem of how he responses, and how that can push her away and they will lose the closeness of a marriage. I don’t think the job issue is the problem right now. It’s the way he is handling her concerns, opinions and insight into what is important to her. I mean if he approached in a different manner she may or may not take the job, BUT the future of resentment towards the spouse would not even be a possibility if they could resolve this! If they could find some type of compromise! He offered nothing, and that is where my issue is!

I guess I have issues with ladies of faith that ignore the real issues, and gloss over them with words that have nothing to do with the situation at hand. Almost shaming her over her concern. Her husband should NOT be making her feel badly about this job possibility! They should talk it out, pray about it, and then decide what is best for the family. Both sides will feel heard, and both sides will feel better about it. I seem to wonder if the faith followers are almost asked to ignore issues instead of dealing with them. If it looks like it may cause some friction – don’t go there! Don’t feel like you are being ignored – take it to the Lord. They are encouraging them NOT to communicate on any real level. He will get upset if you talk – so don’t! Shallow what is inside of you, and don’t address the fact this man needs to communicate better! If you can’t do that you aren’t doing your job as a woman! Have the Lord hit him over the head with this fact it’s not your job to point it out. LOL and they wonder why so many marriages are in trouble in the churches! Their verses they love to type out so much on the keyboard about submission, etc are just fine! It seems they are missing the point that God encourages things to go both ways in order for the relationship to grow! Don’t gloss over the fact that he acknowledges if you don’t you will have issues. LOL Its not because of your faith either its because of debits between the two of you. How is your husband going to learn to love you more and more as the years pass if you can’t even bring up something that bothers you! How is he going to know you in any real sense if you are not allowed to question? Everyone’s feelings and concerns are important! You hear people scream about communication, and yet you hear others discouraging it at the same time. Why?

It makes no sense to me. It’s clearly a bottleneck that the church has placed there if most people feel this way. You don’t have one gender being asked to just hush and pray while the other spouts off their needs and wants and everyone is to follow that alone, and then expect everyone on this earth to be happy! It may work for some people, but not everyone and it’s not bad either! Everyone has different ways of communication, and when you feel you are blocked from communicating at all you get lost. Why is that so hard to understand? Prayer on these matters is always needed, but communication done property with your spouse is needed also.

It seems to be people are asking others to stuff their feelings, and ask God to change them so they don’t feel so lost. You are not allowed to speak with the person you have issue with. Just pray for a change of heart, and wait for it happen. Okay then. I’m waiting for the book to come out now. “Do all for your man, and don’t worry about you! That is what God wants you to do! Encourage men to be selfish!”

Bleck! I refuse to step foot into that conversation!

Sunday, December 03, 2006


6 comments Posted by Hannah at 11:24 PM

Order the Book Here!

The following article comes from the book, Beloved Unbeliever, which is written to women with spouses who are unbelievers. However, the principles outlined in this article, in reality, apply to every spouse in an abusive situation. So whether your spouse professes a relationship with Jesus Christ or not, please prayerfully read and consider what the author Jo Berry has to say, as it pertains to your marriage.

She begins this portion of the book by citing the scriptures in 1 Corinthians 7:15 explaining that letting the spouse "leave" goes beyond physically leaving the marriage. As you read the article you'll better understand what she means by this:

But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. (1 Corinthians 7:15)

Rather than demanding that an unequally yoked wife stay in a situation where she is abused, defamed, and oppressed; where she is tortured by the temptations that such mistreatment put in her path, our precious Lord gives her an option. He does this because, "Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we re but dust" (Psalm 103:13-14). He understands her humanity and takes pity on her.

A Christian woman who is facing emotional or physical abuse needs to understand both the terminology and the implications in this verse, so she can act on it within the dictates of her own common sense and conscience. The word "leave," as it is used in 1 Corinthians 7:15, means to depart or let go. While this most obviously refers to a physical separation, the concept of letting go embodies more than mere physical absence.

Since thought always precedes action, I believe we can assume that abuse and cruelty are outward manifestations reflecting a mental state of abandonment of the essence of the marriage. So, although Paul is dealing with physical separation, certainly there can also be a psychological severing, an emotional letting go, that is just as devastating and real as a mate's actual departure.

Scripture does not deal specifically with this problem or abuse, but Christ's attitude and certain biblical statements can help us draw conclusions about how to respond to it. The Gospels are saturated with statements about and examples of Jesus' compassion. He was especially tender toward women and children. Think of how gently He approached the woman at the well; how respectful He was to the woman caught in adultery; how He met Mary's needs by teaching her as she sat at His feet; how, during excruciating agony on the cross, He committed His mother to the care of His friend, John.

In the fifth chapter of Ephesians, the apostle Paul commanded husbands to "love [their] wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself u for her" (Ephesians 5:25) and to "love their own wives as their own bodies" (Ephesians 5:28). Christ, in love, sacrificed His life for the church. This example is the antithesis of abuse. I have yet to hear of any man who verbally abuses or batters his wife claiming he does it because he loves her, or because it is how he wants to be treated himself.

It appears, then, that any may that constantly mistreats and maligns his wife, who wounds her psychologically and/or physically, has "let go" and departed from the intent of his marriage vows. He may be living under the same roof and sleeping in the same bed with her, but if he neglects her needs and destroys her as a person by attacking her body, soul, or spirit, mentally he has left! If he is cold, cruel, and uncaring, he has already separated himself from her, even if he shares a house with her. In his sick mind, the relationship is over.

The idea of leaving, then, can legitimately include the unbelieving husband mentally and/or emotionally abandoning his wife. The final act of "leaving" may mean he will physically remove himself, but the psychological process leading up to that moment may manifest itself in ongoing abusive conduct.

The idea of leaving, then can legitimately include the unbelieving husband mentally and/or emotionally abandoning his wife. The final act of "leaving" may mean he will physically remove himself, but the psychological process leading up to that moment may manifest itself in ongoing abusive conduct.

The Bible says that when this happens a Christian wife is to let him leave. The Lord does not expect or want her to suffer mental or bodily harm at the hands of a husband who is supposed to sacrificially love her. God does not expect or want her to suffer mental or bodily harm at the hands of a husband who is supposed to sacrificially love her. God does not want her to be oppressed or incapacitated by fear. Quite the contrary, "the sister is not under bondage in such cases" (1 Corinthians 7:15), and any woman who is physically harmed or verbally belittled, insulted, or harassed by her husband is under bondage. Any wife whose husband controls her mind and activities with threats or brutality is enslaving her.

In this same chapter, Paul reminds us, "You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men" (1 Corinthians 7:23). God did not buy an unequally yoked wife out of the slave market of sin so she could be under bondage to another human being. He purchased her with the blood of Christ and freed her so she could voluntarily become His bondservant.

She has to draw the line if her husband consistently oppresses her, by whatever means. In Luke 14:26, Jesus said, "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate [the comparison of her love for Me, her] own father and mother and [husband] and children and brothers and sisters, yes, even [her] own life, [she] cannot be my disciple." She has the right and responsibility to choose freedom impossible for her to fulfill her Christian calling.

We have already seen that submission is voluntarily choosing to yield or surrender to someone. When God instructs wives to subject themselves to their husbands, He is asking them to surrender to their husbands' love and God-given position. Nowhere does Scripture imply that the Lord expects a wife to accede to verbal castigation or physical assault.

Many times women who are in this position convince themselves that they would be unsubmissive if they fled. So, instead of retreating and protecting themselves and their children (who may be scarred for life from exposure to continual abuse), they become passive; but passivity is not the same as submission. Whereas submission is voluntary, passivity is forced oppression. Whereas submission allows for individual dignity, passivity breeds self-hatred, and eventually a wife who subjects herself to abuse starts believing that she deserves it!

She convinces herself there is no way out and that she is only getting what she has coming to her. This is especially pronounced in cases where Christian women knowingly married unbelievers. Frequently they stay to punish themselves, to pay the penalty for their sin. Their attitude is: I got myself into this, now I'm stuck with it. So, they become passive. It is vitally important that a woman who suffers maltreatment in her marriage draw the distinction between submission and passivity.

Also, some women stay because of guilt. They believe that their faith in Christ is the reason for their husband's abusiveness, so they think that staying is a cross they must bear—part of their suffering for Christ. They need to realize that there is an immense difference between being persecuted for the Lord and for righteousness' sake, and being physically or emotionally abused by a man who is a tyrant. Although, an unbelieving husband might use his wife's faith as an excuse for attacking her, that is not the real reason. Men who batter or consistently demean their wives are emotionally ill. The emotionally yoked wife who is being vilified by her husband does not have to submit to his tirades. God does not ask her to yield to outrageous attacks.

Sometimes a Christian woman who is being harmed by her mate stays because she believes that the Lord will protect her no matter what her husband does. Candy thought that, until Glen shot her. Eleanor thought that, until Ed fractured her back and skull when he threw her down the stairs. Emily thought that, until Howard burned down their house when he was spaced out on pot and booze and fell asleep on the sofa with a lighted cigarette in his band. Their three-month-old daughter suffered severe burns over 30% of her body and was in the hospital for months.

Claudia thought that, until she had a mental breakdown. Her children had to be put in foster homes while she recovered because the court ruled that her husband was not a fit father.

If there are children involved, the repercussions of living under such disparaging conditions can leave them with lifelong scars. Scripture teaches the importance of example. We are warned not to associate with fools, liars, fornicators, idolaters, blasphemers, or hot-tempered people, because if we do we will imitate their behavior. Statistics show that many parents who are child abusers and many men who batter their wives were themselves mistreated as children, or came from homes where one or both parents were abusive. Like begets like. Removing herself and her children from danger isn't selfish, isn't sinful, isn't unsubmissive—it's smart.

God hasn't called the unequally yoked wife to live in a spirit of fear and mental instability but of "power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV). He hasn't chosen her to live in a state of confusion, not knowing what to say or do next, or what tirades her well-intentioned responses might bring. "God is not a God of confusion but of peace" (1 Corinthians 14:33) and "has called [her] peace" (1 Corinthians 7:15).


The above article comes from the terrific book, "Beloved Unbeliever" by Jo Berry, published by Zondervan Publishing House www.zondervan.com, ISBN 0-310-42621-9. This book could truly help those who are married to unbelieving spouses. Jo knew what it was like to live with an unbelieving spouse and also interviewed dozens of women who are married to unbelievers. In this book they share the greatest difficulties they encounter(ed) and practical ways to handle the problems.

As Jo shared, "One of the most grievous and difficult situations a Christian woman ever faces is that of being unequally yoked: being married to a man who is not a believer. …She is supposed to live according to the dictates of Scripture, to be a helpmeet and submissive wife, yet at the same time she carries the burden of knowing her husband is neither spiritually awakened nor secure for eternity. She and her husband probably differ sharply about what their lifestyle should be. Many women in this position have shared with me that they feel hopeless." And that is the main reason Jo wrote this book because as she said, "There IS hope! There are principles an unequally yoked wife can learn and apply that will make her life easier. She needs to realize that God has placed her in unique position of being His representative to the man she loves. She can also develop a positive mind-set about her mate and her marriage." That is what the author Jo Berry attempts to help women do throughout this book. If you're married to an unbeliever we hope you'll obtain a copy of this helpful and inspiring resource.

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