With October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I wanted to be sure that I spoke up for the many women who are being harmed by domestic abuse, especially within our faith communities. Did you know that one in four women and one in seven men have been affected by domestic abuse in the US? Seven women a day are killed in the US by their domestically abusive intimate partners. Fifteen million children are affected each year in our country.
In an effort to help raise awareness, I have included some resources to help you, not only, understand domestic abuse better, but also, to equip you to effectively help someone who may choose you to tell their terrible secret to. Too often women are given bad advice out of a lack of knowledge causing more wounding and further despair. They need hope and sound biblical advice. Please take the time to look over these resources, some by pastors who are boldly standing up to protect those who are being abused ant holding accountable those who are the abusers:
- “God’s Heart for the Oppressed” – Pastor Jeff Jennings teaches this two-part sermon series about the various aspects of domestic abuse. You can listen to them at: https://canbybethany.org/media/467670-1888588-1487635/gods-heart-for-the-oppressed-judges-9-1-15. Another pastor gives a good reason to take the time to listen to these sermons: Over the last year, I have become acutely aware of the pervasiveness of hidden domestic abuse in the lives of members of our church family. Many times, I have counseled with couples and never could put my finger on what was wrong until I began to learn about domestic abuse. The abusers are masters of deceit and those being abused are fearful to speak out. Pastor Mike
- Two articles (Sept. 16 and 19, 2018) – Pastor Jeff Crippen has had extensive experience with men who are abusive and shares what he has learned at: https://unholycharade.com/. He is the author of A Cry for Justice and Unholy Charade. He states in one of the articles his two reasons for writing them: “1) expose these unholy charlatans hiding in the local church for what they are, and 2) to believe and validate victims, helping them to understand what is happening to them, to identify the false, unbiblical counsel they are receiving, and point them to the freedom that is theirs in Christ.”
- National Domestic Abuse Hotline: 800-799-7233 with 24/7 help. Many local women’s help agencies have hotlines, as well. Just google “help for domestically abused women” with the name of your county. You will find a helpful resource for women, as well as, possibly a local hot line number.
- The Oasis Bible Study – This is an ongoing Christ-centered recovery study sponsored by Living Waters of hope for women affected by domestic abuse. I received the following voice message recently, Hi, my name is Debbie. My pastor gave me your information. I am really interested in your program. I have been experiencing abusive behavior from my husband for many years. I need to plug in and try to find ways to work through the damaging effect it has had on me. She has joined the Oasis group and is finding personal support, education and inspiration to walk the very difficult and arduous healing journey. This class is offered to any woman as a live online format. Due to safety reasons, anyone interested can call me at 503.850.8225 for class details. More information can be found at: http://www.livingwatersofhope.org/oasis-bible-study/.
To the woman who is struggling in or out of an abusive relationship, I just want to say that my heart goes out to you. I am sorry for how you have been treated as this is not what God has intended our relationships to look like. Please know that God loves you and calls you His precious and beloved daughter.
May God bless each of you as you seek to make a difference in lives of others as Jesus did and still does today!