The Other Pro-Life Movement was an article I was reading on Today's Christian Woman. It was about: How to recognize and help rescue the battered women among us Authored by Corrie Cutrer.
Many years ago Catherine Clark Kroeger faced a decision that would influence her life's course. Serving alongside her pastor husband, Catherine became aware of a woman in her church whose husband was physically abusing her.
Incredibly, several influential church leaders discouraged Catherine from getting too involved. "To them, I was destroying the home by encouraging the woman to get away from the abuse," she remembers.
Then Catherine received a call from the battered woman's counselor, who said, "You've got to get either the husband or the wife out of the home, or you're going to have a murder."
So Catherine drove to the woman's house to pick her up and help her find shelter. "I decided preserving the life was more important at that time than preserving the family," Catherine says. It wasn't a popular choice among members of her congregation, but the woman likely is alive today because of it.
It amazes me that people value the marriage MORE the people within it! They can claim they don't all they wish to, but actions speak louder than words! For example, John wrote, “But whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth” (1 John 3:17,18). If we say we love another believer but let him/her go on suffering when we have the ability to relieve his suffering, we don’t love him at all. Our actions contradict our words, and actions speak louder than words.
It was the first in a series of similar incidents that made Catherine realize the prevalence of domestic violence within Christian circles, and how women desperately need help. She went on to become a seminary professor, counselor at a local shelter, and coauthor of two books on domestic violence.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. And this statistic often excludes incidents of emotional and sexual abuse that go untold.
Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than cancer or traffic accidents. According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gyneco-logists, domestic violence is the cause of nearly a quarter million hospital visits every year.
When you look at the education seminars that are placed together with a faith aspect you notice whom is missing in actions within those meetings? Pastors. Clergy.
They can't tell me they are NOT aware of the stats out there that is harming countless men, women and children. They can't ignore how the cycle of violence is learned from one generation to other.
Its sad to see that women are leading this charge, and want to open the ears of the church! You see clergy close their minds, hearts, and ears to the message of oppression that so many people deal with in life. A small amount of BRAVE and HONORABLE men have decided to speak up, but what is sad to me? If men are the leaders why aren't they in great numbers, and leading the charge?
They say they care, but actions speak louder than words! James made a similar observation. “If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,’ and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works is dead, being alone” (James 2:15-17). We can say we know the Lord, but if we are indifferent to the needs of other Christians, our actions contradict our words, and actions speak louder than words.
In their book No Place for Abuse (IVP Books), Catherine and coauthor Nancy Nason-Clark reveal that 83 percent of American and Canadian clergy interviewed during a six-year study shared that at some point in their ministry they've counseled a woman who has an abusive spouse or partner. Additionally, Paula Silva, cofounder of Focus Ministries, a small Illinois-based organization that reaches out to battered women, reports that her ministry alone received 2,000 calls, e-mails, and visits in 2007 from Christian women in abusive situations seeking help.
"Saying that abuse isn't happening to women within the church is like saying sin doesn't happen," says Paula, who's also coauthored Violence Among Us: Ministry to Families in Crisis (Judson Press).
Catherine believes the church can create an environment where long-term abuse goes undetected. "Many churches today still promote a misplaced theology on the family where the husband's will always trumps the wife's, divorce is not an option, and submission is deeply misunderstood," she says. "We deny and minimalize abuse because we have this glorified concept of what the Christian family ought to be."
The article goes on to show the different forms of abuse, and it ended with:
Surprisingly, Paula says emotional abuse leaves the deepest scars in women. "It destroys the spirit," she says. "A woman tends to believe those false messages she's been told, even if she's out of the relationship. It's hard to shed the lies she's believed for so long."
That's why—regardless of the type of abuse—it's so important to get help.
Its strange to me how people realize they need to cherish the life of child, but it comes to the life of the mother? Actions speak louder than words.
Another Pro Life Movement - Domestic Violence - Please seek help with some of the resources listed on the sidebar of this blog if you need them.
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