Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Domestic Violence - I didn't KNOW!

4 comments Posted by Hannah at 7:00 AM

Pastor talking about preservation of family
Pastor speaking to member
I have to admit over the years I have heard more comments about the church's reactions AFTER the relationships had been destroyed by domestic violence.  Some have the opportunity to speak with their pastor, and they said to them 'I didn't know!"

I just have to shake my head.

Sadly, about a year ago I remember reading a story about a pastor that decided to truly listen after a victim was killed by the abuser.  I can't even imagine the guilt he must feel, and how that truly shook his world.  He spoke about it, and how he was trained to make sure to keep the 'preservation of family' always in mind.  After the circumstance of murder happened his view on domestic violence within the church changed drastically.

Preservation of Family

Does the church realize that victims of domestic violence also cherish preservation of family? People have this idea in their head that if separation or divorce happens they are a hypocrite for saying such a thing.

It reminds me of the black and white world of the abuser.  Its either my way or the highway.  They don't listen to the dynamics of the abusive relationship, and assume once the abuser places their 'best face forward' they are finally working towards preservation of family.

The victim is normally the one that reaches out for help, and as long as the abuser dances to the music so to speak?  The victim is no longer heard.  I have to admit I wish moving past this abusive dynamic was so easy, and just magically happens.  It would make life for everyone easier huh?

I know people realize that victims cherish the preservation of family, but under certain circumstances it is not politically correct to acknowledge this belief.  That is more truthful whether they want to admit it or not.  They maybe programed to response in certain ways, but the 'church' talk or banter is just that .... TALK!  They are just parroting what was told to them.  Hypocritical?  Your call!

I mean face facts its easier to call the victims hypocrites than to directly deal with the abuser, and then to have the church's harmed when divorce seems to be the only avenue of safety.  Its sad when the image of the church is more important than the family involved.  Another truth about that is they will never acknowledge that fact either.  Its as obvious as the nose on your face, and the whole world sees it!  YET the church tells us we don't see anything.  Talk about gaslighting!

Politics and Image

I have to admit it seems to me that we have turned the 'preservation of family' into more of a political term and an image type of thing compared to what God intended.   They rail against the politicians that use the term 'family values' because they don't back up what they preach. Do they take the log out of their own eye?

It's easy to say that people are not following the Will of God, and rail on about how selfish people are.  To often the church comes across as a group of negative nellies, and all they are capable of doing is screaming 'SINNERS!"  They have a reputation of you either do life the way we present, or we have the right to condemn you.

With all the pressure for preservation of family we tend to gloss over the hurting people within the families.

They can't see the forest for the trees as the saying goes.

If the abuser for example put his best foot forward in church?  People never stop to think that most people aren't always the same behind closed doors.  Now if you have one that was accused of being abusive?  Most are able to use common sense, and realize those personality traits most of the time don't just disappear overnight, or even by next week.

The churches reaction though at times?  Its easier to rely on the saying, "God moves in mysterious ways' or things along those lines.

Do I believe people in the church are that naive?  No.  Sadly, I have to wonder if politics and image are more important.

What is sad is they go by what they are seeing or feeling in front of them, and just assume the victim is lying, deceitful, and just not thinking the best of them!

I was reading Ezekiel 33 today. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’ 

It seems today pastors are afraid to stand up firmly against certain issues like domestic violence in the church.  They don't wish to be seen as 'endorsing divorce', because it seems the image of preservation of family is pressuring them to do things a certain way.

When the pressure of 'reconciliation' at all costs is present otherwise the church's image is somehow harmed?  To me the watchman is hindered from blowing the trumpet. I will admit he SHOULD do it anyway, but we clearly see today they don't!

This turns into 'self preservation' instead, and it saddens me that the human politics and image factor is more important than what God would wish to happen.  Its a form of selfishness they never stopped to think about.

Talk the Talk, but Don't Walk the Walk

A reader named Amy commented on one of my posts, and it clearly shows how completely separated from reality that church wishes to be.  They have a choice like everyone else, and they choose to come across as:

Naive - when they aren't
Ignorant - when they have just enough knowledge to know they need more
Claim they are for 'preservation of family' - yet their actions show 'self preservation' of 'image' instead
I finally left that church last summer, but keep in touch with the pastor. Just recently I met with him to keep him up to date on what is happening re: our divorce (I just now filed) he had finally come to realize how my almost-ex had not really changed but was just talking it up. I finally shared with the pastor all that had happened two years ago with the way people from the church had treated me and what had really happened. He simply said, "I didn't know."
Personally?  I think the pastor was being a bit deceitful.  He may have not known all that was happening to Amy, but to say he didn't realize the pressure others were placing upon the family?  I doubt very highly the man is that much of an airhead.

I suppose I could hand him a bit more benefit of the doubt right?  Okay.  So the family saw that the abusive party was talking the talk, but his wasn't doing the walk.  When you have a serious matter like domestic violence within your congregation you don't pay attention?!  Well instead of deceit it could be termed neglectful.  If he can't deal with this directly he should have SOMEONE reporting back to him.  At some time he SHOULD be talking to the family directly as well.  Is it not his responsibility on some level to make sure the family is okay?

Do families leave churches when they are getting the encouragement, and support that is needed?  SURE the negative nellies will say, 'they went someplace else so they can hear what they want to!'  We overuse that excuse so much, and no one stops to think maybe we need to look at ourselves with a bit of humility.  In this case safety, support, validation, etc was needed - why would they leave if they got it?  They wouldn't.  People in REAL trouble aren't going to be as fickle as people tend to label them as.  They leave because its plain as day people aren't hearing them, but instead TELLING them things.

Listening skills is art.  The bible speaks about this in many places, and yet to many people are saying the church doesn't listen.  I agree.  They are also making up all kinds of excuses as to why they aren't.  In Amy's case it sounds like they ignored pleads to understand her circumstance, and instead she was given an image of 'preservation of family' as a response.

Should the church follow up if the family dealing with domestic violence just dropped off the face the earth, and never came back?  Common sense would say you need to find a 'safe' way of doing that due to family dynamics.

I didn't know!

I have to tell you that statement bothered me so much.  I would say most of the time they don't want to know.  I have to wonder if they realize playing that game is sinful.

'Well they asked for forgiveness, and said they repented!  Can't you see they are acting remorseful?'

'They were at the alter call crying their eyes out, and asking God to forgive them!  God would ask you to forgive as well.'

"Forgive and Forget - remember God hates DIVORCE!"

'God would never give up on us, and its a shame you can't do that for your spouse.'

Do pastors not know their congregation are saying such things either?  I don't believe that.  When a pastor says they 'didn't know' to me they are placing humility aside, and putting the others under the bus to take his place so he doesn't get run over.

If they don't know this is what is being said?  What does that say about their leadership skills for picking people to help with the family preservation within the church?

Protection from the abuse is what families need - not excuses. Prayer for the abused, and for the abuser is also a must. God would ask for action, and not "I didn't know!"

Monday, December 27, 2010

Egalitarian Beliefs neuter gender differences?

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 7:00 AM

Neuter Gender Differences
Example of Neuter Gender Differences
One thing that tends to come up ever so often that I can never seem to wrap my head around is the concept about people wanting to 'neuter' gender differences.

How is that possible - to neuter gender differences?  It isn't as far as I know.

By the time we are a young child we tend to realize the differences, and everyone acknowledges them for the rest of our lives.  There is no way to 'neuter' this.

I have to admit some complementarian views do make me giggle when they speak about egalitarians views of the human race.  I realize it makes others upset, but to me its so ridiculous I find it rather humorous.
You see, when people are truly committed and consistent egalitarians, they have to defend their denial of essential differences. In doing so, they will advocate a education system in the home, church, and society which neutralizes any assumption of differences between the sexes. In doing so, men will not be trained to be “men” since there is really no such thing. Women will not be encouraged to be “women” since there is no such thing. The assumption of differences becomes a way to oppress society and marginalize, in their estimation, one sex for the benefit of the other. Once we neutralize these differences, we will have neutered society and the family due to a denial of God’s design in favor of some misguided attempt to promote a form of equality that is neither possible nor beneficial to either sex.
First of all I don't know WHERE they get the idea that egalitarians deny essential differences.  Its like the picture I found today, and added the text about being 'genderless'.  Yep!  Egalitarians deny gender differences, because we see people walking the earth as genderless blobs.  I mean seriously?  How completely silly to even go there.

Now this theory mentioned above would make sense if egalitarians denied the obvious difference - genatila. If that was possible for some I think everyone would admit maybe its time to be admitted in a center for mental health!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

3 comments Posted by Hannah at 8:53 AM

I loved this Christmas Video, and I wanted to share with everyone!

I pray that you all have a blessed holiday! Hannah

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Think the Best of Them!

9 comments Posted by Hannah at 7:00 AM

My last post I wrote about an article I had found online that did a book review for 'No Place For Abuse".

I received a comment, and additional issues started to pop into my head.  How regular advice turns into actual enabling of the abusive relationship.  Here is the excellent comment in question.
Hannah, a supportive friend sent me that article before I left my abusive relationship. At that time, I was thrilled that a Christian article endorsed separation, because my advice was that I could not or should not separate.

But reading another article on the site ( about divorce for abuse concerned me. Although there isn't anywhere to respond or comment, there are contact details so you can write to them. That's what I did, and my concerns were exactly what you referred to. It is incredible how people dismiss the experience of the abused victim and deny her the right to judge or observe the abusers' changes. Her safety is also discounted, with the recommendation to reconcile taking priority as soon as things look "safe". There is no acknowledgment of the abusive cycle, or the manipulative tactics involved.

But the great thing is that I saw the recommendation for that book and being new to all of this, I was hungry. One thing led to another, and I slowly gained more information and insight to abusive behavior, and eventually separated.

Thanks for your post - if only more people challenged the type of thinking propagated by that article.
Thank you Anonymous!

If there is one thing I see over and over again on advice to victims is to 'think the best' of their abuser.

Concentrate on the good things.

Look at the positives.  

I think you get my drift here.

Victim Mindset

The victim mindset is normally geared to 'think about the positive' aspects of their abuser.  At times they go to great lengths to place themselves in a negative light JUST so their abuser is thought about in a better one.

They are willing throw themselves 'under the bus' as the saying goes for the benefit of the abuser.

People that claim they understand the power and control aspect of domestic violence within the church?  They tend to take the assets and debits at face value. They don't see this as part of the cycle, and yet again they show how little they truly do know.

What people tend to do when victims point out NOT so nice things about their partner?  They apply stereotypes towards them.  They are being to negative, and can't think of nice things to say.  They need to take their 'black and white' view of things off for a moment, and stop viewing things as they are cutting the spouse down, being negative, etc.

If everyone has to be so 'nicey nice' all the time is it any wonder why people don't go to the church before things get really bad?

People get so caught up with this 'preconceived' ideas that if someone states one thing in frustration or anger they are half the issue.  They aren't thinking enough of the good traits of the spouse.  Victims like most people will either 'own' the fact they are awful person for even showing that 'disrespect', or will get defensive because most people only hear and deal with one nasty portion they mentioned and nothing else.

It may seem easy to most to 'stick' to negative thinking about your spouse, because we hear church ranting and raving about that all the time.  Victims at times will actually do this as well, but if you look beyond the surface stuff?  The coping mechanism most of the time is doing just the opposite - think the best and make excuses for them.  They may at times voice their frustration, but most of the time their 'self talk' goes in the opposite direction.

Victims throw out surface stuff to see what the reaction will be. It like sticking your toe into the water to see how COLD it is!
They are a good parent, but when they drink they get nasty.

They are good spouse, but tend to be very jealous if someone even looks at me - or I at them.   

The reactions I see a lot:

Are you both Christians?  Have you spoke to your pastor?  Are you counseling?  What is your definition of 'drink to much'?  Is their infidelity in your past, and is that why they are jealous? Are they stressed at work?  What are doing to serve your partner so they don't go there in their thoughts?  You need to make sure you don't concentrate to much on the bad stuff, and remember they are good parent and spouse!  If you spend to much time in the negative aspects you will be come hard hearted, and you will make them react worse!
Ever notice how advice tends to border line encouragement of codependency?

Alot of the times victims have a hard time even getting to 'but' part of the sentence, and when they are brave enough to finally do that?  People around them already have this 'image' of the abusive person in their head, and they just can't fathom that the extreme negative aspects that victims tend to 'hint' at.
You said they were a good parent/spouse, so maybe you are taking this to far!


Waffling is a term people use about victims going back and forth over being 'angry' at their circumstance, or feeling 'sorry' for the abuser.  We all need empathy, but victims tend to take it to far.  If they would just be 'nicer' or 'more understanding' the abuser won't abuse.
If I follow the recommendations of the police that filed a restraining order?  My partner will get more depressed.  They will get angry with me.  They may lose their job.  I just want someone to help me, and to help them!  If I would have just kept my mouth shut that night he/she wouldn't have been arrested, and I wouldn't be in this place.  I made things worse.  What happens with the children?  They are scared, but they love him/her also.  They may blame me.  Is it my fault?  Why does he/she do this?

What they miss is balance.  They are so confused that they are indecisive and can't make up their minds.

This may be a trait that some have had all their lifes in dealing with relationships, or the abuser fostered this to use to their advantage. Waffling is helpful the abuser, because it is a aspect they can use to get themselves off the hook regarding accountability.   Doubt is a aspect abusers use as a weapon, and have no problems turning it around to their advantage.

People may be incapable of decisions at the beginning, but with help and support that can turn around.

People that try to help support victims and their families tend to miss the 'waffling' aspect of this.

Its a lingering aspect that is part of the power and control cycle that people claim they understand, and this is one aspect where they show their ignorance by not connecting the dots.

The waffling is a by product of the abusive relationship, and a tool the abuser used to keep them in their 'place'.  Abusive people will use this to their advantage, because confusion can easily be used as a 'power over' aspect.

Think only the Best of Them!

This is another red hot area people completely dismiss within the abusive relationships.  "Thinking the Best of Them' has been used as a coping mechanism for the relationship itself.  Victims use this all the time just to be able to deal with their reality.  They forever are making up excuses for their abusers actions, and only focusing on the positive in order to live in denial with all they have within them.

Thinking the best of someone can be enabling instead of helpful to victims.  This advice is good when you are dealing with a healthy couple, but with an abusive one?  You are asking the victim to use a coping tool they have used for a long time, because mentioning anything BUT the good can be dangerous.

They may have brought up things in the past 'softly', and it was turned around on them.  Abusers show them - because they are incapable processing anything negative about themselves - that they brought things up wrong, its actually the victim issue not them, or if you don't like it get f*ck out!

Helping parties don't realize their 'Think the best of Them' is received the same way.  You have now placed them in the corner, and they are ready for the attack.

In it's true form, Enabling behavior means something positive. It's our natural instinct to reach out and help someone we love when they are down or having problems.

However, when we apply it to certain problems in living - domestic violence, financial trouble, codependency, certain forms of chronic depression -- enabling behaviors have the reverse effect of what is intended.

Victims tend to 'look for the good aspects' so they don't have to deal with the ones that are dangerous.

Victims don't need to 'think the best of them', because they could hand you volumes of information on that subject.

They need help with dealing with the not so nice parts.  

They can give you all kinds of excuses for the behavior as well, because it has been drilled into them.  The Abuser's bad childhood, their drug, drink, or p#rn habits.  They have an awful boss, and their family doesn't cooperate.  Abusers basically drill into victims they are the 'true victims'.  They can't help themselves.  The victims role is to make their world safe and comfortable - anything less?  They failed at their job once again.

To think the BEST of them is another advantage people hand over to the abuser with the power and control cycle.

The abusers will tell them they don't think enough of the GOOD stuff, and their behavior is the end product of that.  They basically hint that even others know victims are pushing their buttons, and why can't they grasp their abusive behavior is a reaction to such.
If you would THINK the best of me like everyone says?  You would forgive and forget!  Since you can never do that you are actually 'abusing' me!  Don't you ever think of anyone but yourself?  Everyone knows how selfish you are!
People assume because they can identify the difference EVERYONE can!  They don't apply the 'abusive dynamic mindset', and use normal healthy thinking instead.

When parties that wish to help they must place the normal family dynamics to the side.  There is always an ugly twist to those that abusers use to their advantage, and you will miss your opportunity if you can't separate the two.

Waffling and "Thinking the best of them" are tools of survival within the abusive relationship.  People not able to identify the unhealthy use of these aspects?  They will not help anyone, but will allow the abuser to have the upper hand once again.

Monday, December 13, 2010

No Place For Abuse

6 comments Posted by Hannah at 7:00 AM

One of the very first faith related books I read on domestic violence within the church was 'No Place For Abuse' by Catherine Clark Kroeger and Nancy Nason-Clark.  I was reminded again about this book, but I was far from crazy about the description or review.

I remember I was flooded at the time with mixed messages within the faith community that I couldn't figure out WHAT was WHAT!  It was clear to me right away that most didn't realize the impact this has on everyone involved.  I remember doing searches for domestic violence in the church, and very little besides the list of abusive behaviors was present at that time.

Thankfully, that has changed in some ways today.  I started this blog at the time, because I wanted to keep track of what 'little' material there was available.

I looked for this book on Amazon today, and the book cover is different now.  Focus Ministries  sent this to me after I spoke with them on the phone.  I remember soaking it all in, and actually doing a google search for both the authors - Catherine Clark Kroeger and Nancy Nason-Clark.

I found a blog today, and I didn't see an option to respond to the article.  What is the Christian answer to domestic violence? was the name of the article.

The reason the article bothered me so much is parts of it are NOT something the book would recommend, or even went close to mentioning.

What this shows me is that people are more than happy to recommend books for domestic violence in the church, but never bother reading the book themselves.   

People that don't understand domestic violence, and yet offer a description with a recommendation for a book?  If they haven't read it they need to say so.  Otherwise, their recipient of the book will get confused once they read the book, and then compare that to the description that this author offered.  In the case of the article I linked to?  Its a very poor representation of the book, and in the eyes of victim not very inviting at all.

The goal of the book is show God's value towards victims/abusers, and how to deal with domestic violence within the church.  It tends to go against the wording of the article in question, and you have wonder if the author of this article would be 'offended' once they actually DID read it!

Why?  Its not that the material is offensive, but people don't seem to place their 'abuse dynamic' hat on prior to the discussion.

They see ways of handling domestic violence within the Christian home with the same lense as 'normal family dynamics'.  There are circumstances when dealing with domestic violence in which you can't do that, because the two can't mix!  If you don't realize this?  Chances are very good your 'help' will make things worse, and this never even dawned on them I'm pretty certain.

In the very first paragraph?  It starts out right away with the husband's role of authority or head position.  What the recommending party doesn't seem to realize?  Those comments right away with be taken as a hammer over the person's head.  You don't need to tell the abused party that their spouse has authority over them.  You don't need to tell them he is HEAD!

Chances are very good he has been using those scriptures as weapons, and his abusive responses are due to people NOT respecting that office.  The husband's role has already been drilled into the woman as 'earned' once her performance is acceptable to him.  Reminding her again of his role, and then throwing in a couple of scripture on HIS role?  They don't seem to understand it will not be taken as they intended.

It will trigger them back into terrorizing memories.  So far you aren't taking her to a good place!

Within a relationship of domestic violence there is always a 'power and control' aspect.  People that are NOT familiar with the dynamics of domestic violence?  They seem to think they understand it, but the followup and comments clearly show their understanding is not present.

I realize people love to MOCK the words 'power and control', but that generally is because they don't know what it is.  YES of course I realize they THINK they do!

If people truly in their hearts of hearts WISH to help?  They will learn to understand what the term 'power and control' outside of some LIST of behaviors you find in trying to explain aspects of it.  They lists are helpful to a point.  You need to recognize the application of it. 

The dynamics of power and control are the same no matter whom is the victim or abuser is. Its a key ingredient to any aspect of abuse - emotional, verbal, spiritual, etc.  It doesn't matter if the abuser is male, female or even a child.  That power and control is a habitual pattern within the relationship.  If people can't recognize this?  They will not do the family any good at all no matter how awesome their willingness is to help.

They basically will be trying to show people how to make bread without the flour in their ingredients list.  Seriously!

The article has some good scripture to present, and I'm not saying that is not applicable.  The presentation shows to me the person whom 'copy and pasted' this article truly didn't do their homework.

Victims of domestic violence need to be protected, even moved temporarily to a safe place if necessary. If a wife is being abused by her husband, she needs to separate herself from him while he receives treatment for his violence. Once a Bible-believing Christian counselor has deemed it appropriate for the couple to reunite, they should make every effort to reconcile and live in peace, while continuing marriage and/or family counseling.
You know what this would tell me years ago?  It would tell me I'm not safe with this person.  Their agenda is to get my back home with him - the very thing he wants as well.  They are double teaming me, and I feel intimidated.  It doesn't recognize the true fear, terror, and broken trust within the relationship. 

1)  Moved if necessary?  Anyone that is 'serious' about domestic violence, and protecting all the family members wouldn't word it like this.  To the victim they are already showing the 'doubt' of their true reality, and they have uphill battle already with trying to convince them of the danger within their lives.  I don't think people want to send that signal if they are serious about helping.

2)  Anyone that has worked with abusers or victims of domestic violence knows that both parties are going to need separate types of help.

3)  The victim is truly the one that needs to 'deem' it appropriate for reconciliation.  I'm not saying counselor's aren't involved with this process, but the counselor shouldn't be the one in authority over that decision.  The experienced counselor with domestic violence is more likely to take those cues from victims.

Its been shown that abusers can manipulate the system, and sadly most that aren't properly trained miss truly important signals.  Trained means more than reading some articles or books.  There even has been trained professionals that will admit they were snowed as well, so its not as easy as some think it is.

Abusers have a lifetime experience in this area, and have found what works.  They have trained themselves to be the best of con man for lack of a better description.  They didn't get this way overnight, and they function well with others at times due to the nature of the con man ways.  Charm, Friendly, etc.  There almost always is motive behind it.

To continue, if pressure is placed upon the victim/s to reconcile before they are ready?  Get ready for things to blow up in your face.  It's not uncommon for them NOT to return to these sources of help when additional issues arise.

They have proven themselves unsafe.  They told me I had to go back when I wasn't ready, and now I'm in danger again.   I don't know if I should risk giving them a chance once again.  They didn't listen to me the first time.

On the other hand:  Some victims will stay put up and take additional abuse, and the abuser this time goes to lengths to make sure it isn't brought into the open.  Victims will feel this is their burden to carry, and their abuser makes sure to isolate them enough that reaching out for help again would be very dangerous for them.

Abusers love to mock the victims about how no one believed them.  How they took their side.  How they think they are nuts, weak, and blowing things out of proportion.   They fell for his game, and they remind the victim they can do it again.  If they have to do this again?  The victim knows they will pay dearly.

Sadly, I truly feel most don't realize the extent of the damage that is done.  The trust is not there, and there is fear present when wondering if trust is even possible.  Most people don't seem to realize there is GOOD reason for that.

They love the abuser most of the time, but they also know how dangerous they can be.  Most of the time?  The people 'wanting' to help don't take their word for it.  Its strange how others seem to think they know the spouse MORE than the partner isn't it?

To be fair?  I'm sure its due to dynamics within the relationship that they can't relate to at all.  They need to place that to the side, because domestic violence doesn't make sense most of the time.

Lets take an example OFF the top of my head!  Spouse comes home from work, and the children have this lego town they want to show him!  He decides to join in the fun!  Next day, we walks in and kicks the legos across the room because EVERYONE knows he doesn't like a mess when he gets home.

The surprising aspect is NO the members of the family don't know which mood he will be when he gets home.  Its surprise.  One of terror or normal family life.  They can't grasp the 'no prior warning' aspect of this.  lol can't blame them!

Helpers at times make victims feel worse by reminding them they are due love and respect the abuser.  How they need to think of more GOOD things about their abuser.  I'm not say do the opposite and have an abuser hater party okay?  People always tend to go there, and that is NOT what people are saying!

This period of separation is to make them feel safe.  They need to be encouraged, uplifted, and made to feel they are worth love.  That God doesn't wish them to be abused.  You are talking about someone that may have a lousy sense of self worth.   They blame themselves for the abuse.  They don't feel they have the right to be safe, and say NO to further abuse.

Telling them to FEEL the good aspects of the abuser like we are asked to in healthy relationships?  It doesn't have the same result.  They can tell you the good aspects of the abuser - everyone has them!  You need to show and guide them how to deal with the bad ones.  That would be asset to them.  Asking them JUST to look at the good?  How does that make dealing with the abusive dynamic better?  To say they might get to negative if you don't use this approach?  This naive helper needs to pass the baton to someone else.  No offense.  Victims tend to use that exercise to often to cope with abuse, and you don't enable them to continue to use it.  Think about how effective its been so far!  When they start to blame themselves for the abuse?  You will catch my drift - believe me!

We also need to make sure they have a safe avenue to voice their anger.  They have stuffed feelings good and bad for years.  They were not allowed feelings.  It may at first be caustic, or even at times a slow simmer.  Some say things you may be surprised at, because once they feel safe to voice their anger?  All those times they cowarded in the corner, knew they were in danger, wonder if they would ever be safe, and all those recordings of the ugly, nasty things the abuser said and have done may surface.

They need to be allowed to let them surface, even at first when you feel it maybe unhealthy.  The rage will settle down in time.

There is a big difference between allowing the toxic ick to get out of your system, compared to those parties that tend to allow themselves to marinade in it.  We are working for the FIRST!

Let them get mad and allow them to mourn.  YOU are suppose to be the safe one, and be careful about correcting them at this stage.  They may know its wrong, but the overwhelming sensation after stuffing things down for years?  At times its better to let them get it out of their system.  You might be surprised at additional evil things that happened in that home during these periods.  Things you may have never know about.  It will help for the future.  You will get a better grasp on whom you are dealing with.  Anger at times allows those things to come out into the open when they feel its safe to do so.


This is the stage that people tend to RUSH.  WELL if the victim doesn't hurry up and make up their mind the abuser may just give UP!

They never stop to think that this doesn't show true change does it?  The process isn't done for the abuser to feel more comfortable.  It's a longer process than most are willing to deal with, and sadly they rush it and make things worse.

With abusive personalities they may wish to RUSH to repent.  Its almost like tearing off the bandaid quickly to get it over with.  Humbling themselves to help in the healing process for the victims at times is almost intolerable for abusers.  Some are sadly incapable of it - its to much to bear.

We need to keep in mind in order to heal they have no true choice in the matter.  They MUST go there!

They are quick to remind everyone we already went over this material once we don't need to do this again.

Human healing doesn't work that way, and to be perfectly honest with you?  THAT is why you get the push to reconciliation.

They can control those conversations more with you OUT of the picture.  If they see you getting SCARED he/she will abandon the process?  They know what button to push, and you are enabling them to do just that when it turns to pressure towards the victim.  They are playing you like a fiddle!

Sadly, some they do abandon the relationship.  They may continue to terrorize the family, but they also look for a new victim.  Their abusive patterns tend to start all over again.  Its easier for them to find a victim then to change their ways.  They don't see the incentive for them.

The "What's in it for me?" part isn't good enough.  They may whine they wish their family back, but in reality they want the power and control back.  It's addictive, and they never have enough. 

This paragraph makes you feel this 'rush' in the presentation.

This is only possible if both parties are willing to commit their lives to Christ and make God the head of their household. They should find a local Bible-teaching Christian church, and commit themselves to membership. They should also find spiritually mature Christians who are willing to disciple them either individually or in a small group. The benefits to this are many, including accountability for their actions. “The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, have never abandoned anyone who searches for you” (Psalm 9:9-10).
You get the impression from the above paragraph that neither party has done this - Committing their live to Christ.  We see in families all the time when one spouse has this strong commitment, and the other either doesn't or has long their way.

This type of approach is very offensive.  Most of the time the victims stay due to their 'commitment' to Christ, and the abuser stays because it has benefits for them.

I'm sure a good church can benefit people, but again you need to be SURE that the victim is comfortable with the abuser being there.  That may not always be the most wise thing having them together at the time.  Accountability WITH the abuser is not recommended either.  You are placing the family in a very dangerous spot.

“The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, have never abandoned anyone who searches for you” (Psalm 9:9-10).

God is our corner HOW TRUE!

We can not help others dealing with domestic violence with this almost ''happily ever after' mentality you see coming from the church.  They seem to deal with things in formulas.

IF you have enough faith things will work out.
IF you love and respect your abuser they will return those things to you.
If you follow our counsel instead of questioning it your marriage will be restored.
IF you would just go back to them so they don't fear you will leave them.

Life doesn't always work with formulas.  At times we must sadly allow the abuser to go on their way.  The bible states that some will never follow.  At times victims are to afraid to allow their abusers close again.  We need to show them comfort to help get them over the fear, and not shame them for this.

Waneta Dawn wrote a book called, Behind the Hedge.  If you are like most that tend to learn more by watching or observing behaviors or dynamics?  This would be a good book for you, and it shows the struggles of all parties involved.  I have a good description of it in my recommended reading section.

Its sad whom ever wrote the review for this good book didn't bother reading it.  I would recommend, "No Place for Abuse"No Place for Abuse: Biblical & Practical Resources to Counteract Domestic Violence

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Diversion and Smoke Screens

3 comments Posted by Hannah at 7:00 AM

I was reading a summary of Egalitarian and Complementarian views written by Bruce Ware.  I don't know about anyone else, but this man reminds of a politician.   Someone brings up an objection to something they hold dear, and they claim they will explain their position.  Politicians know how to spin things so they don't actually answer anything.  They throw out diversion and smokescreens.

Objection: This complementarian understanding is in reality a fully hierarchical view, with women subordinate to men, and as such it is intolerable and contrary to the freedom of the gospel. While it claims to uphold the  essential equality of women with men, it in fact leads inevitably to seeing women as inferior, as second-class citizens, who are not as important to God and His purposes as are men.

Response: Would you feel the same way about a parent/child relationship? Or of the relationship between an employee and his/her supervisor? Do you believe we should eliminate all manifestations of relational hierarchy, as demeaning to those under the authority of another? Relationships within authority structures surround us. We live and work in them every day. We would have utter chaos without them. But such authority structures do not entail the greater  human value or essential superiority of those in charge, or minimize the human value or imply the essential inferiority of those under their charge. Furthermore, if we are correct to think of the Trinity as analogous to the male/female relationship, consider this: surely the Scriptures do not intend to suggest Christ is inferior in value to the Father because He came only to do His Father's will. Likewise, the Scriptures do not intend to suggest that women are inferior to men because of male-headship. In fact, just the opposite is true, viz., men and women only experience their full humanity when they function in the manner God intended in His creation of them. We are most free as humans when we affirm the legitimate authority structure God intended, and work within that.

When we look at the relationship of parent and child there comes a time in which being subordinate to the parents does end.  The same goes for the employee and their supervisor.

I suppose I can throw out a complementarian response about wives!  The wife’s submission to the husband ends in death.  So her subordinate role could end as well.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Tickle for Tuesday!

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 7:00 AM

Monday, December 06, 2010

Women Keep Silent!

3 comments Posted by Hannah at 7:00 AM

1 Corinthians 14

I was watching a very interesting video clip on youtube that someone had pointed out.  Paul was speaking with the church in Corinth.  I'm sure most of us realize at that point there was no actual church building, and services were held in different places.  It must have been an exciting and scary time all bundled into one. 

1 Corinthians 14:23-25 GNB  (23)  If, then, the whole church meets together and everyone starts speaking in strange tongues---and if some ordinary people or unbelievers come in, won't they say that you are all crazy?  (24)  But if everyone is proclaiming God's message when some unbelievers or ordinary people come in, they will be convinced of their sin by what they hear. They will be judged by all they hear,  (25)  their secret thoughts will be brought into the open, and they will bow down and worship God, confessing, "Truly God is here among you!"

I have to admit I think Paul has a point here.  Can you imagine being invited to learn more about Christianity, and you walk into the gathering placing with chaos going on?  

Among this group of people everyone is doing their own thing at the same time!

IN THIS CORNER - you have people speaking languages you don't understand!

IN the other CORNER - you have people praying and stating what God is doing in their life!

IN the center of the ring - you have people SINGING his praises!

Not very inviting is it?  I can see how people would think they are all crazy.  ALL these people doing their own thing at the same time - chaos!

Paul spoke about how this group in Corith needs to worship in an orderly fashion, so that those within the worship circle - and those newcomers can be edified, uplifted, and understand what God wishes to reveal to them.

1 Corinthians 14:26-31 GNB  (26)  This is what I mean, my friends. When you meet for worship, one person has a hymn, another a teaching, another a revelation from God, another a message in strange tongues, and still another the explanation of what is said. Everything must be of help to the church.  (27)  If someone is going to speak in strange tongues, two or three at the most should speak, one after the other, and someone else must explain what is being said.  (28)  But if no one is there who can explain, then the one who speaks in strange tongues must be quiet and speak only to himself and to God.  (29)  Two or three who are given God's message should speak, while the others are to judge what they say.  (30)  But if someone sitting in the meeting receives a message from God, the one who is speaking should stop.  (31)  All of you may proclaim God's message, one by one, so that everyone will learn and be encouraged.

To me he is saying everyone must take turns.  

If someone is nudged by the Holy Spirit to speak in tongues, then someone must interpret to the others what is being said.  If no one can interpret what is being said they are asked to be silent, and speak only to God at that point.  Paul earlier in this chapter mentioned the reasons why this is done.  The worship is for the benefit of all in attendance, and if you can't understand what the person is saying?  What benefit are you receiving?  The Holy Spirit may be working in this person, but if you can't understand the message?

Everyone is encouraged to speak, and share one by one so that the group as a whole is edified, uplifted, and encouraged.

1 Corinthians 14:32-35 GNB  (32)  The gift of proclaiming God's message should be under the speaker's control,  (33)  because God does not want us to be in disorder but in harmony and peace. As in all the churches of God's people,  (34)  the women should keep quiet in the meetings. They are not allowed to speak; as the Jewish Law says, they must not be in charge.  (35)  If they want to find out about something, they should ask their husbands at home. It is a disgraceful thing for a woman to speak in a church meeting.

The final portion of this scripture has been questioned over and over.  It tends to contradict Paul's message though out the bible, and in this section of scripture as well. Why would Paul said everyone need to take turns sharing with the group so they can learn and be uplifted - then say only means PART of the crowd that has gathered can do so?

One interesting note I took from the video was there was no law of submission at the time.  For me personally?  I thought of Ephesians 5.  That references submission right?  I found the problem with that is Ephesians had not even been written yet.  It would be at least 5-7 years down the road before it was written.  It was also interesting that there was no law about submission of women mentioned in the bible prior, and that for people causes confusion about this verse. 

They had mentioned that this portion of scripture is placed in different spots in different manuscripts they had found for scripture as well.  So was it intended to be placed here in the first place?  Why would he encourage everyone to share, and then say to the women to be silent?  There are plenty of theories.

To me one makes more sense when you view the nature of God, Jesus, and YES even Paul!  Paul speaks of order, and states that one person that is nudged by the Holy to either speak in tongues, prophecy, edify, etc you are to take turns.  If one speaks in tongues and no one can interpret?  Be silence.  It could mean that next time you get together for worship if you are nudged again someone WILL be able to interpret, and all can benefit from this.  It certainly doesn't mean sit down and hush forever!

I was reading a story from someone that had family in China, and they were missionaries.  This was a time in history when the Chinese women were kept at home, and their feet were bound for vanity purposes.  When the family came to hear the worship service these women didn't understand the Etiquette of worship.  They would be speaking to other women during the service to catch up on things.  Yes it was chaos!  When the worship service was finished?  A family member of the missionaries said something along the lines of, "WOW we are back in the Corith Church!"

I'm sure at the time some women understood the etiquette of worship, and others didn't know this.  I know at first when I learned about this I was thinking mostly Jewish women would be in attendance.  They had been in their section within the temples, and had viewed a form of etiquette.  I didn't stop to think about the fact they welcomed Gentiles at that point.  You had people from all walks of life attending these worship gatherings.  Some of course wouldn't have the first clue about etiquette of worship, and I can understand WHY they would ask them to be silent due to the chaos they would cause.

It was the same principal I had for my children when we were at church, and the bread and the wine were being presented.  I wanted to make sure my children understood WHY this was being done, and made sure they KNEW what they were doing.  I'm sure it looked FUN from the outside to them, but they needed to understand the meaning before I allowed them to participate.  They needed to be old enough to grasp this.  That was important to me, and I'm sure when they were young they didn't quite understand why MOM wasn't allowing them to participate in this 'fun time' at church.  I wanted them to be mature enough to understand.  It was more than, 'WOW we get to eat bread and drink grape juice this morning!" 

Anyway, it would make sense to me that until these women understand how to function within worship gatherings they were to keep silent.  I don't believe that Paul meant that women were to keep silent always, because we see women in the bible mentioned participating in ways they couldn't if they had to keep silent.

I realize some today use this verse to say if women do participate - and not be silent - THEY are in charge.  This is just plain silly.  Paul was asking people to take turns, and there wasn't anyone 'in charge' in that sense.  The principal to me for this worship was to grow in the faith, and not be IN charge.  They were there to edify each other, and to be led by the Holy Spirit.  Paul speaks in different places in the bible about women sharing and teaching the faith, and it wasn't about a power struggle as most like to present it.  It was to learn and to grow in the faith, and how much more important is that compared to some human realm of power.

This passage in scripture was speaking more on the orderly fashion that the worshipers should follow so that chaos didn't erupt, and also that people were not using the church for their own personal gains.  It speaks more about that, but there are those that tend to just concentrate on 'woman need to be silent and sit down'.  

If you think about that part?  They truly need to check their heart!  It tends to be more out of selfish motive, and its clear when they open their mouths to explain this passage.  Their motive is also spoken about in this passage.  When the Holy Spirit is moving inside of an individual, and it is shared?  God is blessing us with this message, and it is from HIM that it comes.  It truly has nothing to do with gender.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Modesty - its much more than clothes

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 7:00 AM

I remember as a young girl the town next door just opened a sports center. My parents felt it would be a great idea for myself, and my brother to learn how to play tennis. The next thing I know I got a tennis racket for my birthday with Billie Jean King's autograph on it. It was actually pretty exciting for me at the time.

I remember the first day for my very FIRST tennis lesson. It was summer time, and my brother and I walked everywhere - or rode our bikes. I had my tennis racket in hand, and my tennis outfit my mother got me as well. I walked along the busy streets on the sidewalk to get to the indoor sports center where my lessons were being held.

The next thing I know is a car full of men were whistling and cat calling out to me. At that point I had already hit the area where there were many stores, and I remember this surge of fear at the time. I was looking around for a place of safety, and was afraid to finish my walk to the sports center for my lesson.

The next thing I know the street light changed on the main street I was trying to cross, and their car moved forward. I noticed they had made a U turn at their very first opportunity, and I ran into the department store on the other side of the street. I remember hiding behind the first display that was available, and at the same time watching to see if that car full of men would follow me into the store.

To say I was scared at the time was a huge under statement. My stomach was turning over in knots, and I was thinking of what my next move would be if they indeed came into the store I had just escaped into.

At the time behind all the stores in the area were farm fields behind them, or small areas of homes. I knew the sports center wasn't far at this point, and I decided I was going to finish my journey through the fields. I was to frighten to finish it along the main road.

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