Saturday, October 28, 2006

Can You Identify a Symptom of Emotional Abuse?

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 11:19 AM

Source of photo
Can you identify a symptom of emotional abuse? More importantly can you define emotional abuse or identify any of its forms? After you finish reading this article on emotional abuse, you will be better acquainted with this epidemic of the so called "abuse underneath abuse."

God created marriage and the family as a haven of safety and security. Too often however the marriage relationship and the Christian home has been turned into a house of horror.

There are too many Christians whose behavior in their home is 180 degrees opposite the Christian virtues they display in the church environment. Some statistics state that 1 out of every 4 women in church is currently being abused or has been abused. How many women does that make in your church?

This article focuses on the husband as the abuser. This however is not to suggest that woman cannot be emotionally abusive...they can be. The signs and symptoms are very similiar. And whether you are a husband or wife, this article on emotional abuse should serve to help clarify the issue for you.
Husbands are called by God to be servant leaders to their wives and children. God calls them to love sacrificially, to be kind, not harsh, to deal with their wives according to understanding and to show them consideration as equal heirs of the gracious gift of life. If husbands fail to do this, God says their relationship with the Lord is hindered (1 Peter 3:7).

Its important to understand that most abusers are not intending to be abusive, however, they do intend to get their way. Sometimes they will use whatever means it takes: Fear, controlling, intimidation, aggression, violence and so forth. Husbands who are abusive often have the mind set that they have a right to their own way. "After all", they rationalize, "God gave me headship over this family."

Rather than feeling like the leader God called them to be, men who abuse their wives often have such a profound sense of inferiority...they may feel worthless and unsuccessful, they greatly desire the approval of their peers and leaders. They may be hypersensitive to the words and actions of their wives often interpreting their actions and words as disrespectful. The man who emotionally abuses his wife demands respect and feels no need to earn it. He dismisses the reality that his behavior does nothing to foster his family to respect him. On the contrary, his behavior only conditions his family to fear and despise him.

In a recent article by Barbara Shaffer, Ph.D. in Christian Counseling Today Volume 13, No 3, she shares the definition of emotional abuse, the consequences and various forms of emotional abuse.

First the definition of emotional abuse: Shaffer says emotional abuse is "an attitude of entitlement and profound disrespect that discounts at every turn the inherent right of the other person to dignity, separateness and autonomy. Out of entitlement and disrespect spring various overt behaviors that use anger, violence and/or contempt to induce fear, guilt and shame. The other person is controlled, punished or demeaned."

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

1 Peter 3:7

Now the symptoms of emotional abuse. One consequence or symptom of emotional abuse is that the self-worth and self-confidence of the victim is completely worn down, sometimes to the point of total hopelessness and despair. The victim may have difficulty discerning the truth. They may begin to wonder if they really are a failure, confusion is rampant. The victim begins to wonder who she can believe or who she can trust.

Another symptom of emotional abuse is depression. Because emotional abuse creates anger, this anger is often turned inward and develops into depression. Depression has its own symptoms in addition to hopelessness and despair, there can be concentration issues, sleep disturbances, poor appetite etc.

Finally, as Shaffer says, if the negative messages of the abuser take root the victim may begin to believe what the abuser says. If so, she may end up becoming more dependent on him, minimizing the abuser's actions and placing the blame on herself.

There are several forms of emotional abuse Shaffer identifies. One form can be sexual. A husband who for example treats his wife like a sex object, who is rough, self centered, degrading, or forceful in expressing his sexuality. When a husband is exerting his power and control sexually, it is both physically and emotionally abusive.

Verbal abuse is also emotional abuse. Reckless words pierce like a sword says the writer of Proverbs. Verbal abuse includes exercising power and control by criticizing, name-calling, demeaning or using trickery to confuse and confound the victim.
The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
Proverbs 15:4

Other forms of emotional abuse can be in inflicted in financial control. Insisting the spouse track every penny of expenditures, not having any freedom to make any level of financial decision independently, while the abuser makes financial decisions routinely without the victims knowledge or input.

Finally, controlling time. Badgering one's spouse regarding how they manage every second of every day is another example of emotional abuse. The abuser may seek to control their victim by showing criticism or making caustic remarks about how their time was spent.

Another issue, that has muddied the waters of recognizing and dealing with emotional abuse in the church is the issue of submission. Many wives have been encouraged that they should respond to abusive husbands by simply fostering "a quiet and gentle spirit". Unfortunately, many women wrongly believe that if they were truly godly women according to 1 Peter 3 then their husbands would not treat them so poorly. This of course is untrue and unfounded.

We are each responsible for our own behavior and God specifically admonishes husbands to love their wives and be considerate of them. Wives who adhere to this path perhaps need to revamp their idea of love. For as Barbara Shaffer says, "Every time a husband chooses to use his strength, power and authority against his wife, instead of for her benefit, his heart is further hardened against the Holy Spirit, and sinful attitudes are further solidified in his character."

Within the church the reality is "to practice, ignore, minimize or privatize the sickness of abuse is to weaken the heart, hands, feet and glory of Christ in this world. (Barbara Shaffer, Ph.D.)"

May the Lord raise up more men, more pastors, more true leaders in the church who will stand against abuse of every kind and lovingly come along side both victim and abuser and minister to them the healing power of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Song I found recently.

4 comments Posted by Hannah at 4:00 PM

Imagine me


Imagine me, loving what I see when the, mirror looks at me cause
I, I imagine me, in a place, of no insecurities and I' am finally happy cause, I imagine me, Letting go, of all of the ones who hurt me, cause they never did deserve me, can you imagine me, saying no to thoughts that try to control me remembering all you told me Lord can you imagine me, over what my mamma said and, healed from what my daddy did and, I wanna live and not read that page again.

Imagine me, being free trusting you totally finally I can imagine me I admit it was hard to see you being in love with some one like me finally I can imagine me.

Being strong and not letting people bring me down you won't get that joy this time around can you imagine, in a world where nobody has to live afraid because of your love fears gone away Lord can you imagine me

Letting go of my past and glad I have another chance and my heart will dance cause I don't have to read that page again.

Chorus :
Imagine me, being free trusting you totally finally I can imagine me I admit it was hard to see you being in love with some one like me finally I can imagine me.

Vamp -Gone, gone, it's gone all gone

Solo -I can't believe it's gone

Artist Information

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Abuse: The Ripple Effect

1 comments Posted by Hannah at 11:51 PM

There is a type of cancer that affects men, women and children everywhere. It’s not the kind that manifests as a physical disease. It is the cancer of abuse, and it’s destroying relationships and families at a rapid rate. Unfortunately, abusive relationships are not limited to non-Christians. They have become commonplace among believers.

Domestic violence is usually the first thing that comes to mind when abuse is mentioned. Abuse, however, is not limited to a person hitting, pushing and punching another adult or a child. There are more subtle forms of abuse, which are just as damaging and can leave lasting effects that may take years to reverse. From verbal assaults to neglect, abuse is ugly. Regardless of the packaging in which it is wrapped, the results are the same—alienation, disappointment, pain and heartache. Abuse among Christians is not often talked about, but it destroys lives and must be dealt with.

Manipulation and Control: Tools of Abuse

Manipulation and control are two forms of abuse that are equally as bad as physical abuse. Trying to control others involves attempting to twist another person’s will so that it falls in line with what you want. Manipulating people for your own selfish desire is wrong and contradicts God’s commandment to love one another (John 15:12-17).

Unfortunately, some even use the Word of God in an attempt to control others. Any form of manipulation is abuse. God’s Word was not given as a method of control. It was given to teach you how to love others. Controlling people does not reflect the love of God, and contrary to what you may think, neither will it get you your desired results. It only causes strife and division while driving your loved ones further away from you. It won’t be long before their trust in you has dwindled because they can’t locate your true motives—love or selfishness.

Men who feel the need to control others suffer from insecurity. They may not realize it, but their actions are a result of fear. The fear of losing control is evident by pride and an unwillingness to submit to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
To grow into a man of love, you must make the Word of God the final authority in your life. In doing so, you will see that the only One Who should be in control is the Holy Spirit.

The Silent Stranger

Many hard-working men, though physically present in their households, are spiritually absent from their families’ lives. Their relationships with their wives and children are almost non-existent even though they see each other every day. Neglect can be just as bad as physical abuse because it leaves an emotional void in the lives of family members who then try to fill the void through other people, things, habits and activities.

Wives may seek the companionship of another man or begin looking to friends and family members to compensate for the lack of affection and attention they feel. Children get the worst end of the relationship as they grow up emotionally needy. This also sets the stage for them to become involved in disastrous relationships as they get older.

Some men lose focus of their responsibility as the heads of their households and allow their careers to take over their lives. They become “married” to their jobs while their families take a backseat. Consequently, the love and affection their families need falls by the wayside. Such behavior is an open door for the enemy to wreak havoc.

It is not uncommon for men to believe that because they are the primary breadwinners in their households, their families should be happy. They fail to understand that being the provider is their responsibility—it’s not a favor they do for their wives and children. Holding down a steady job does not automatically make a man a good husband and father.

While a man is supposed to provide for his family’s material needs, he is also supposed to be a reflection of God’s love. That means showering them with love and attention so they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are loved. It also means carving time out of your busy schedule to cultivate a relationship with each family member. No one said it was an easy job, but if you “signed up” for marriage and fatherhood, it’s one of your God-ordained responsibilities.

A Father’s Love

If you realize that you have been guilty of abuse in any form, begin to tap into God’s restorative power. Talk to your family and ask them to let you know their feelings about your behavior. It’s important that they are allowed to say how they feel without any fear of repercussions. These “talks” may be eye opening and difficult at first. They will, however, open the door to God’s healing power to restore wounded and broken relationships.

First John 4:19-21 clearly identifies how God wants you treat others. It says:
We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

Walking in love is not an option; it is a command from heaven. Therefore, to abuse your wife and children in any way breaks God’s commandment to love. It’s time to honestly look at yourself and get real with God.

Walking in love is not easy, but God expects us to perfect our love. First Corinthians 13 lists some of the qualities that love encompasses. It is patient, kind, never envious or jealous, never boastful or haughty and is not conceited or prideful. Neither does it insist on having its own way, nor is it rude to others.
Many other characteristics of love are mentioned in this chapter, but the point is that love never works ill toward anyone. Your family relationships are precious, and you can’t afford to treat your loved ones in a way that demeans them or causes them pain.

Most men who are emotionally inaccessible or abusive to their families are this way because they did not receive love during their childhoods; as a result, they are filled with an emotional void. If this is true for you and you’re struggling with unresolved issues, ask God to bring you to a place of restoration.
Repent of the way you’ve treated your family and ask God for forgiveness, knowing that He is faithful and just to cleanse you of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Then repent to your loved ones and ask for their forgiveness.

Remember that the problem of abuse—regardless of the form it takes—is a result, or end product, of selfishness. The only way to defeat selfishness and the fear that comes with it is to begin cultivating and perfecting the love of God in your life. You do this by filling yourself with the Word; in other words, by renewing your mind.

It will take a conscious effort on your part to defeat your flesh and change your way of thinking. As you begin to develop in the qualities of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), instead of acting out on the different forms of abuse, you will begin to receive the love and respect that you crave from your family. Though the process may take time, expect God to heal past hurts as you conform to the image and character of Jesus. Love never fails!

Dr. Creflo A. Dollar

Dr. Creflo A. Dollar is the senior pastor of World Changers Church International, 25,000 member church in College Park, Georgia. He is committed to changing the world one person at a time, and his award-winning "Changing Your World" television broadcast reaches nearly one billion homes worldwide. Visit to learn more.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Wall

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 7:32 PM

Watching my Mother be emotionally abused by my Father which eventually brought on her near-death suicide attempt, led me to internalize my feelings, and put them behind "THE WALL" I built around my heart. My Father was, and still is, the angriest, most controlling and domineering individual I've ever known. I literally felt my Mother's pain, yet attempted to shut myself off from it by physically plugging my ears and running from any and all confrontation.

I became a person who always wanted to please others; to be the best at everything I attempted. I simply refused to pursue anything unless I was reasonably certain I could obtain perfection. So as you might surmise, my endeavors became very limited. To receive love and acceptance, I felt I had to be "doing something" to obtain it. Then being sexually abused by the son of a family friend and having it excused away by my Father as, "Boys will be boys," caused me to further internalize my pain. I came to the realization that voicing it did not bring resolution, nor did it bring love and approval. Because of "THE WALL", I waited years to share the abuse and my subsequent pain with anyone.

I have known God since I was a child through the faithful example of my Mother. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior at age twelve, and have, since then, had a strong personal relationship with Him. Still I resisted letting even Him into the deep depths of my heart. "THE WALL" I'd built by that time was thickly layered and nearly impossible to penetrate. I had a fear of letting my feelings be seen, so although I never stopped talking to the Lord every day, I continued to keep Him and everyone else on the outside of "THE WALL". I know within my heart that the Lord was watching and waiting for me to turn to Him and lay everything at His feet. Yet, even I could not break through "THE WALL" I had erected around my heart.

Finally, almost four years ago, after having both my strong spiritual examples, my Mother and my Mother-in-law, pass away at relatively young ages, after moving 600 miles from anyone I knew, and after repeated thoughts of suicide, I turned to God, somewhat as a last alternative. I began to read the Word of God daily and allow the Lord to speak to me through it. I could not believe how relevant it was to what I was going through in my life. "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." Matthew 4: 4

I began to journal and that allowed "THE WALL" around my heart to begin to crumble. The Lord was faithful every day to speak to me and to reassure me of His unfailing love and affirmation. He released His purpose in my life and I began, without reservation, to live to please Him, rather than pleasing everyone else. The Lord became the "counselor" I so desperately needed and, believe it or not, I was anxious to go to therapy! He became my comforter, my refuge and my source of strength in every circumstance. I came to the revelation that I didn't have to "do things" to obtain His unconditional love and acceptance.

Now I turn to the Lord, most of the time, without hesitation. I open His Word daily and He is faithful to speak to me no matter the time or situation. I prayerfully seek His guidance in all my decisions. My life is definitely not a bed of roses, but I am able to handle all adversity by praying, reading God's Word and journaling. I no longer allow my feelings to be put behind "THE WALL". Just as "THE WALL around Jericho came tumbling down, so did "THE WALL" around my heart. I now exist to fulfill this scripture:

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." 2 Corinthians 1: 34

Contributed by Dara Bennett: Dara is a devoted wife and mother of three. She works as a Cafeteria Manager in a local elementary school. Her husband is the pastor of a non-denominational church in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Her purpose in life is to minister and comfort other women. She been through many difficult situations and hope to share my experiences of God's faithfulness through her writings

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ad Appear in Northern CA Newspapers

2 comments Posted by Hannah at 5:31 PM

Ad Urges Church Support Of Domestic Violence Victims
WEAVE Ads Appear In Northern California Newspapers
SACRAMENTO, Updated 5:19 p.m. PST December 11, 2000 -- A full-page ad appeared in several Northern California newspapers Monday urging conservative Christians to reach out to victims of domestic violence.

The ads are the result of a deadly case of domestic violence that happened four years ago.

Janice Castorena, a Sunday school teacher and church leader, was stabbed to death in her Sacramento home. Her husband was later charged with the murder.

Friends of Castorena said that she believed that the bible commanded her to submit to her husband's abuse, to continue to forgive him and stay in the marriage.

The "Break the Silence on Domestic Violence" program from the group Women Escaping A Violent Environment, or WEAVE, advocates an escape from violence.

"The religious community was often very wary of programs like WEAVE, and they really felt that it was anti-family or would in some way undermine the sanctity of the family or the marriage," WEAVE's Shireen Miles said.

Women's advocates now say that evangelicals are their partners. KCRA spoke to several pastors who said that they support WEAVE's position and said that those who insist that women submit no matter what the circumstances are taking scripture out of context.

" … the submitting is based on the husband loving the wife as Christ loved the church," pastor Dr. Phillip Goudeaux said.

Sherry Jarwin says that she does not advocate divorce, but says that women need to know that their church will support them if they decide to separate to protect themselves and their children.

For more information on the WEAVE program, call (888) 303-4500.

Copyright 2000 by TheKCRAChannel. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Good for the "Times" and "Telegraph" online newspapers!

1 comments Posted by Hannah at 9:23 AM

I found two newspapers that grasped the reason behind the Church of England's reason for their paper on Domestic Abuse. I hope more people read this than some of the others out there!

Distorted Christianity 'causing abuse'
By Ruth Gledhill

Bad theology and outdated ideas about women are triggars for domestic attacks, a new report finds

MISGUIDED and distorted versions of Christian belief have contributed to domestic abuse in Britain, says the Church of England. And the Church itself has not done enough to protect victims.
The report, which has been backed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, says that domestic abuse is as “prevalent among Christians” as among other groups and identifies problem areas in Christian tradition.

It warns clergy that the bride’s traditional marriage vow to “obey” her husband could be used to justify domestic violence as could referring to God as “He” and “Lord”.

Bad theology, such as using the Virgin Mary “to reinforce norms of female passivity and obedience”, has even been used to convince victims to forgive their abusers and not take action against them.

The report criticises the Church of England for failing to challenge abusers and for intensifying the suffering of survivors, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

“Over the centuries questionable assumptions about the relation between men and women, which were supposed to reflect the will of God, have influenced the Church’s interpretation of the Bible, its moral teaching and pastoral practice,” the report says.

“It is a tragic fact that bad theology, in this case a faulty understanding of God and human beings in relationship, can have the effect — whether intended or not — of betraying victims of domestic abuse and encouraging the actions of perpetrators.”

One serious example, the report notes, is how the theology of self-denial and redemptive suffering in the Crucifixion of Jesus has “undermined people’s recognition of the evils being done to them and implanted masochistic attitudes of acceptance, or even celebration, of their afflictions”.

It calls on the Church to distinguish between submission to abuse and self-denial.

The report highlights particular problems in the Old Testament, where the attribution of violent actions and attitudes to God required “careful interpretation with reference to the historical and theological context”.

Entitled Responding to Domestic Abuse, the report was written by a group set up by the Archbishops’ Council and contains new guidelines for clergy on how to deal with the problem.

In Britain one quarter of all assaults reported to the police are defined as domestic abuse. An average of two women a week are killed by their partner or former partners in England and Wales and nearly half of all female murder victims are killed by their present or former partners. Most victims also put up with an average of 35 assaults before calling the police.

The report defines domestic abuse as threatening or violent behaviour involving psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional abuse against adults who are partners or family members.

Examples of spiritual abuse given by the report include telling someone that God hates them, refusing to let them go to church and using religious texts such as “submit to your husband” to justify abuse.

Although most abuse is carried out by men against female partners, the report acknowledges that clergy and prominent Church members have also been found to be abusers. “If the victim is a partner of a member of the clergy, the issues of disclosure are problematic because their relationship is particularly public and usually their home comes with (their partner’s) job,” it says.

The report calls for training for all clergy on how to spot and deal with domestic abuse.


Traditional marriage vows 'could be used to justify wife beating'By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
(Filed: 03/10/2006)

The traditional marriage vows in which the bride promises to "obey" her husband could be used by men to justify domestic violence, a Church of England report said yesterday.

The report, backed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, accused the Church of failing at "many points" to prevent abuse.

It said that theological ideas such as male "headship" had been enshrined in the marriage service and could be misinterpreted as supporting the idea that the wife should submit to the husband.

advertisementIn the traditional vows, the husband promises "to love and cherish" his wife "till death us do part", while the wife promises to "love, cherish, and obey" her husband.

The report said that clergy preparing couples for marriage should stress that men and women are of equal worth, and that the use of the word "obey" could be seen as an outdated view of the status of women.

The report said that the Church had, intentionally or unintentionally, reinforced abuse, failed to challenge abusers and intensified the suffering of survivors, often through "misguided" or distorted versions of Christian belief.

If people saw their relationship with God in terms of domination and submission, and uncritically used masculine imagery to characterise God, they could validate "overbearing and ultimately violent patterns of behaviour", it said.

Victims could often see themselves as deserving abuse and could be persuaded, in a spirit of "self-denial", to forgive the perpetrator and not take action against them. The report, entitled Responding to Domestic Abuse, Guidelines for Pastoral Responsibility, encourages churches to become places of safety for survivors of domestic abuse. The origin of the wedding vows used in Anglican services can be traced back to the Book of Common Prayer, as authorised by Henry VIII.

The Church now offers an alternative version, omitting the word "obey"

Friday, October 06, 2006

Something very disturbing I found!

0 comments Posted by Hannah at 3:39 PM

Someone spoke about an article by what seems to be a "online" newspaper I believe!

The Daily Mail wrote an article called:
Outcry as clergy say calling God 'He' or 'Lord' encourages wife-beating
Last updated at 09:46am on 3rd October 2006

I guess the Church of England wrote recently a policy explaining Domestic Abuse in the homes of their churches. Explained what it was, what to look for, how people twist scripture and hand men all the power and control! I didn't read it all, but briefly searched for it because of the article. Did a quick read and didn't find anything wrong with it!

Church of England's Policy! its a pdf file. Its long and detailed.

Makes you wonder if Editors actually READ what they are writing about! The newspaper has a spot for comments! I left one for them also!

Church of England leaders warned yesterday that calling God 'He' encourages men to beat their wives.

They told churchgoers they must think twice before they refer to God as 'He' or 'Lord' because of the dangers that it will lead to domestic abuse.

Was how the article started! How can people be so irresponsible in their reporting on such an important issue! The church policy didn't even go anywhere NEAR that!

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