There is a secret closet some of us women have, that come out of an abusive past. For us, that have given our hearts to Christ and went through severe abuse, we certainly identify with the pain and suffering Jesus went through on that Cross for mankind. For it is only through that shattered brokenness that He can pick us up and mold us like clay in His image.
I don’t talk about my abusive 2nd marriage to my Greek God, in my 20’s very much, especially not in the Churches I have been a part of. Most pastors haven’t a clue as to what women have suffered, and because Jesus covers a multitude of all our sins, like those who went through abortion, those of us who went through physical and mental abuse, the deep-seated pain that was inflicted really never goes away. Being a strong woman, that I am, I know that Jesus too, took all of that on the Cross, yet, memories can still linger on. You don’t forget, like the hole in Jesus side that remained, it is still there.
I love Joyce Myers Ministries. Joyce had been sexually abused by her own father as a child, and later had an abusive first marriage, before Dave. But, she and Dave, have made it for now, 48 years, with her wonderful ministry, especially to women. Abuse begets abuse, and if there are children involved, is handed down from generation to generation. Mine did. The two children I had with that marriage, are too abusive. My son, unsaved, that I never see, has deep psychological scars from beatings from his father, being cut down, belittled, scorned, that he never could do anything right, into deep hates. He hates everyone including himself. My daughter of that marriage, is also verbally, emotionally, and psychologically, borderline abusive. She is however, saved, so I must trust the Lord to mold her like clay in HIS image. Sometimes, stressed out in the hates and probate with her brother when her father died a year ago, the two now fighting each other, lashing out, failure to think of consequences.
Abuse, is about control. It is manipulation, like that Jezebel spirit in II Kings when Jezebel battled Elisha. But, Jesus is not just the God of grace, love, and mercy, He is also the God of judgement, justice, and wrath, when called for. For Jezebel, ended up thrown out of a window, and was eaten by ravaged dogs. And poor Elisha sitting under that Juniper tree, so depressed after fighting, was so beaten he actually for awhile wanted to die. But God supplied the food and rest, and restored him, as He restored me from my past. I was blessed you see, too, for in my childhood, I had wonderful parents, and upbringing. Classical music flooded our house when I was growing up, and my father was my encourager, giving my my first easel and oil paints at only 16.
I think that if I’d gone through childhood abuse, like Joyce had or sexual abuse it would have been harder, but for me maybe impossible. I made a lot of mistakes when I was young, impressionable, and wore my heart on my sleeve, (probably still do to an extent). I married my high school sweetheart when I was very naive and only 18. In retrospect, I never should have divorced him. He was a good man and loved me. But, we were so young, listening to all the wrong advice. But, when I met my Greek God, he represented something to me, I never ever saw before, in my overprotected upbringing, which included Rainbow Girls, and the church of my parents, choir, etc. He was from the start controlling, but, I didn’t know any better. So in 1961, I married my abuser, but, by 1969 I had his girlfriend on my doorstep with my 3 children sleeping upstairs, after I took his physical and verbal abuse for 8 years. The adulteress actually gave me the excuse to divorce him. Adultery, too, the Bible says puts a curse on the children.
I was punched in the head, breasts, body, during those 8 years, and even pushed out of a car in November 1962, on a cold rainy night 5 months pregnant for my youngest daughter, laying there with a broken leg. My head numerous times was split open, a coffee table went through a window once, and I lived with police visitations, and no one back then did a thing to help me. I think churches miss a huge opportunity for ministry with women that have gone through abuse. And it isn’t just women nowadays but, men too, now that have been abused by their girl friends, or wives. I saw, and talked to a friend, the husband, who was devastated, with a defibrillator in his heart, his wife was beating him and committing adultery too, with his best friend. And, they were both Christians who were saved.
I was blessed though. The wonderful upbringing I had, was my stability and I had something in my spirit, that made me rise, and conquer, stemmed from my childhood. I didn’t get saved until 1982, but, He was there…He had to have been, just waiting for me to finally come around. Thank you Jesus.
Abuse for women, though is a degrading, horrific experience, that can lead to death. Domestic violence is one of the leading causes of a woman’s death now in America. It is worse now than ever before, perhaps, because, of the influx of illegals, entering this country, and the lack of family structure in minorities, ie men not being good husbands and fathers, being appropriate and taking responsibility. I have attached a link to my PDF booklet on abuse. and other Christian sites. My prayer is, that more and more Pastors too would address this rising problem.
From Joyce’s book “I Dare You”: ” Another way people deal with their pain and disappointment is through withdrawal. If they get hurt in a relationship, they decide not to enter another. If they get hurt at church, they decide not to go anymore. They become introverted and they pull out of everything and close themselves off at home to nurse their wounds. They wall the world out, but don’t realize they are walling themselves into a lonely existence that will eventually take its toll. Though at the time they are thinking they’re just protecting themselves from being hurt, in reality, they are making their problem much worse. Anything we hide from or run from has power over us. God wants us to confront life, not withdraw from it. There are actually times when people withdraw and refuse to face reality to such a degree they go insane. We can completely ruin our lives, and as I said even lose our minds through refusing to deal with reality. If you have been hurt, learn what you can from it. Forgive, and go on. Don’t hide or run! It is one of the most useless things you can do. They will never go away, until we face them. The true Christian must be both a idealist and a realist. ”
Domestic Violence is all about power and control, ie manipulation. It is not about anger, stress, or other substance use. Those are excuses batterers use to dismiss their violent behavior. Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive behavior used by one person to gain and maintain power and control over another. Abusive behaviors can include physical or sexual violence, emotional and verbal abuse, psychological intimidation, economic control withholding money, and stalking. Abuse may continue in one form or another even through the children, and even after the relationship has ended. Mine did. There is a fairly new diagnosis that I found called “Intermittent Explosive Disorder” in which it has been proved using CT scans and modern day technology that some of these violent abusers have a pre-disposition genetically to violence. That would answer a lot of my questions I had when
I was young; always, the “why” – at the drop of a hat, a coffee table would go through a window or my ex would swing at me. Their brains are wired so that they are never at rest always literally lighting up red looking for a fight. The first thing I now have to say to young women is, be darned careful who you fall in love with. If there is verbal abuse in his home, or other signs, it is more than likely there is more going on than meets the eye. Be aware.
If you are in an abusive situation, you must get help….That is the realist side. And Christian or non Christian, you must get out. It is dangerous for both you and your children. There is a lot of resources and help out there now, that wasn’t in place when I was young. Churches? If you are in denial of this, and of the old good ole boys school of thought that women should be “obedient” and fail to see the signs of abuse? Then shame on you. Read and talk to the secular who have shelters now for these women. Understand that more than 2,000 women a year are murdered through abuse, that could have been prevented if someone took responsibility, reported to authorities and police, and intervened. This IS a church issue too. We are all to be our brother’s keepers. For abuse, unless the chains are broken under the CROSS of Jesus, will keep escalating and go from generation to generation. Thank you Lord Jesus for all you have done in my life. Even though I still have the repercussions, 50 years later through the 2 children of that abusive marriage, I have you, Lord, and I have truths. Use this blog, to minister to other women who are hurting, to come forward, to seek help and most of all YOUR refuge Lord. For the Lord is our strength in all our weaknesses. I said, I shall not keep silent, God, I am here as a vessel for you to use …Glory…
Healing Hearts -Christian Abuse Site: http://heartshealing.org/homepage.html
Joyce Myers -Abuse and recovery: http://www.joycemeyer.org/articles/ea.aspx?article=abuse_and_the_miracle_of_recovery
RAVE – Resources on Abuse even in churches: http://www.theraveproject.com/
ABUSE, Behind Closed Doors: