Listening to a 6 year old little girl crying and screaming to the 911 operator was horrifying. Every eye in the room was filled with tears as we heard fear belt through this precious little girl’s voice. No one should have to live in such fear or see their mommy be treated like a punching bag. It’s horrific and it’s evil!
As horrific as that was, something else I learned from this domestic violence certification class left me pondering with God for days. All the women there, including the experts as well as their many statistics, stated unanimously that verbal, emotional, mental and spiritual abuse is worse than physical abuse. I’ve heard this before, didn’t fully understand and honestly, I felt offended for the one who bears the outward scars. For how can we compare one horror story to another and dare to rate them? Yet with such unity amidst so many who have been through so much I continued to bring this to God and ask what is this about Lord and what am I missing? Where am I being unteachable or blind? Aren’t we all sinners capable of abusing each other at times by saying things we shouldn’t say? Help me understand this in light of Your truth. I love that God is faithful to teach us and what I have learned through this process will forever change me. It has deepened my love for God and for others.
Verbal, emotional, mental and spiritual abuse deeply wounds the mind, heart and soul of a person. It is with our heart, soul, and mind we have relationship with God and others. When our hearts, minds and souls are beaten and wounded with verbal attacks, withholding of love and mental games, we breakdown inside. Relationships we were created and long for become scary and twisted. Isn’t that Satan’s way? He didn’t physically force Eve to eat the fruit in the garden; he played with her mind to get her thinking differently about God and about herself. Satan didn’t physically abuse Jesus in the desert where he tempted Him for 40 days, no; he preyed on his mind and his emotions. It’s his sly way of acting innocent while delivering the crushing blows. It’s evil and I believe it’s the leading cause of division in our marriages, families and churches.
Churches….that was another heart wrenching burden I left with that day. There is so much hurt and bitterness against the church for our ignorance in handling those who are seeking to be heard and helped. These wounds run deep and prayerfully more leaders and pastors will humbly come and learn despite the scorn they may feel for falling short. May God bring forgiveness, healing and wholeness as more and more learn and become aware of the deep rooted destruction lurking behind closed doors.
We were given this handout of a tree with the Roots and Fruit of Abuse.
This tree hangs on our refrigerator as a daily reminder and gage. We hold each other accountable and ask God to rid our hearts of these things no matter how small. Ultimately, it’s not a behavior issue, it’s a heart issue. How we treat each other in our homes when we think no one is watching matters greatly to God who is always watching! Abusive behavior comes from a twisted belief system. A system of belief that fear and intimidation are needed to control a person instead of a biblical belief of loving God and others as defined in His Word. An evil heart will justify, blame and have nothing to do with accountability. If that’s you or someone you live with, please, for the sake of yourself, your family and future generations get the help you need with this silent killer. Focus Ministries has an excellent ministry that will come alongside you to equip you, encourage you and educate you on the seriousness of domestic violence, the deadly disease that’s destroying families. You can reach them at www.focusministries1.org
While statistics support men are more apt to be abusive, women also abuse their husbands.; either in return for the abuse they have endured or out of a twisted belief that it’s okay or justified. Men are much less likely to report abusive behavior or call the mental games and manipulation for what it is. Their lack of reporting doesn’t negate the reality it exists. If we want healthy thriving families, we must take a firm stand against abusive behavior in any form.
Let God’s words in Isaiah work in your heart ~
“Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight, stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow”. Isaiah 1:16-17