Must Believers Stay In Abusive Marriages?

What About Physical Abuse? What Does The Bible Say About It?

The Bible says in Malachi 2:16 (AMP), “For the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I hate divorce and marital separation and him who covers his garment [his wife] with violence. Therefore keep a watch upon your spirit [that it may be controlled by My Spirit], that you deal not treacherously and faithlessly [with your marriage mate].”

In the same Scripture in which God says He hates divorce, He says He hates a man who covers his wife with violence. The two sentences are connected by the conjunction, “and.” God hates divorce and a man who abuses his wife.

Many well-meaning Christians tell women who are being abused to stay in the situation. They tell them to pray, to be meek and mild so their husbands won’t be so mad. They cite the Scripture that says that the believing wife can change her husband by being meek (I Peter 3:1, 4).

Abuse is not about the person being abused. It is about gaining control and power.

For the first five years of my life, I grew up in a physically abusive home. My father used to beat up my mother. As I tried to sleep, I heard the raised voices, screaming demeaning, derogatory statements. I even remember witnessing one of these incidents at age three.

After the first five years, the physical abuse stopped almost overnight. Instead he turned his anger on the cars he tried to fix, doors and inanimate objects.

Then when he wanted to control us, he gave us a disapproving look, followed by the threat of violence. The physical abuse may have stopped, but the emotional and mental blackmail continued. We remained frightened of him.

Although my mother and I struggled after the divorce, I know divorce was our best option for a better future. My father is manic depressive and refuses to get help. It was unsafe for us to live in that environment.

God doesn’t expect women, or men who are being abused by their wives, to stay in an abusive situation. If the violence persists, these people are at risk of being murdered the longer they stay.

If the abusive husband, or wife, is willing to go into counseling or undergo medical treatment, excellent. If, like my father, the abuser refuses, though, the person should make plans to get out of the situation.

God has a plan for your life (Jeremiah 29:11), whether you are male or female. Many Christians believe that according to the Bible, women are inferior creatures in God’s eyes, that women are second-class citizens.

This belief comes from I Corinthians 14:34-35 (AMP), which states “The women should keep quiet in the churches, for they are not authorized to speak, but should take a secondary and subordinate place, just as the Law also says. But if there is anything they want to learn, they should ask their own husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to talk in church [for her to usurp and exercise authority over men in the church].”

These Christians fail to consider the culture at that time. The law dictated that women should be silent. However, Jesus fulfilled the law for us (Matthew 5:17). We no longer live under the law but under grace (Romans 6:14).

These Christians also miss verse 36, in which Paul asked, “What! Did the word of the Lord originate with you [Corinthians], or has it reached only you?”

Paul wondered if this “word of the Lord” had originated with them because he had never heard this “revelation” from God for himself.

We often point to the women in the Bible who did wrong. For example, Bathsheba, Eve and Jezebel. What about the ones whom God used mightily? God appointed Deborah to judge Israel (Judges 4:4). God used Esther to save the Hebrew people (Esther 1-10). God used Mary to birth the baby Jesus (Matthew 1). Who first heralded Jesus’ resurrection from the dead? Women (John 20:18).

Women are important to God. They are a part of God’s plan, just as much as any man. Not just to be mothers, wives and keepers of the house. Although those roles are important.

The Proverbs 31 woman kept her home, mothered her children and tended to her husband. In addition, though, she sold her linens in the market, considered a field and bought it. She worked as a business woman, selling her product in the market, while attending to her duties as wife and mother. She worked, and her family still called her blessed.

The man is the head of the household, yes, but that doesn’t give him the right to control his wife, put her down, physically or verbally abuse her. He is to love her as Christ loved the church. Does Jesus control the church? Put her down? Or physically abuse or emotionally black mail the church? Absolutely not!

Many men believe, though, that controlling their families is what it means to be head of the household. They hold fast to the belief that their wives and children are their slaves.

It is a weak leader who leads by fear, intimidation and violence. Good leaders are those who lead by example. They show others kindness, respect and love. They praise good behavior while instructing, without yelling or criticizing, in areas that need improvement. This is a leader. Violence, fear and intimation do not a leader make.

People who are in a bad situation where they are being physically abused need to pray about it and listen for God’s instructions.

Before deciding to leave the situation, make a detailed plan of where you will live, how you will support yourself, how you are going to care for the children and so forth. Think about setting aside a certain amount of money each week for the cause, if you are working.

Find others via the Internet, or through your church, who have been where you are. Then you can ask questions and obtain the support of someone who has been there and knows what you are going through. Surround yourself with people who will emotionally support you and not criticize you.

Get a plan and dedicate that plan to God. Ask Him if there is anything in the plan that needs to be changed, added or taken out. Revise it accordingly. Keep praying about the plan. Then at the right time, when all the pieces are in place, work that plan.

God didn’t call you to be abused. He called you to be victorious (Romans 8:37, II Corinthians 2:14)). He called you to be His. He has a purpose and plan for your life. You are no accident! God loves you and has the very best planned for you.

#Jesus #Christ #God #Bible #dreams #abuse #trauma #Annagail #Lynes #passions #purpose #marriage #domestic #violence

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Is He Real To You?

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12 (NIV).

We read the Word.  We see the words on the page, but they aren’t always real to us.  We don’t put them to work for us.

Hebrews 4:12 makes it clear that the Word of God is alive, that it is active.

John 1:14 (NIV) tells us “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”

That Word became flesh was Jesus.

When we activate the Word in our lives, we are activating  the Power of Jesus in our lives.

What did Jesus do for us?

He took our punishment at the Cross (Romans 6:23).  Jesus exchanged His righteousness for our sins (II Corinthians 5:21).  God took out His full wrath and punishment on Jesus at the Cross for all our sins–past, present and future (Hebrews 10:10).

Jesus made us righteous, right in the eyes of God, when He shed His blood at the Cross.

He took stripes on His back for our healing (I Peter 2:24).  Healing in our mortal bodies, according to Romans 8:11.

He also took the curse and all its effects (Galatians 3:13).

We need to believe in what Jesus did at the Cross.  We must meditate on it (roll it around in our minds, speak it over and over under our breath).  We have to do this until what He did becomes real to us.

When we do, we activate Jesus’ Power in our lives.  We activate that living, breathing Power into every area of our lives.

#Jesus #Bible #Holy Spirit #God #Christ

 

 

 

 

 

Running Away?

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. – Psalm 37:23 (NKJV).

“What are you running from?”

That one question has plagued me for the last year.

Sitting in a restaurant in a college town in Utah, I asked my companion, “Have you ever thought about starting over in another state?”

I had a burning question on my mind the entire trip.  A decision I had to make stemming from a bad choice I’d made earlier in the month.

When I decided to move to another state, to start over somewhere else, I convinced myself that I needed to do it to heal from all I had been through with my mother.

That was true to some extent, but I wanted to leave the predicament I found myself in.   I didn’t want to choose between my two choices.  I wanted to escape the battle between my heart and my mind.

Only an interesting thing happened when I moved away.  I learned which choice I wanted to make.  I began to heal from my past.  And I realized that I ran away from making a choice.

I ran away like I always do.  Only to discover that the only place that has my heart is home.

Some times we have to move away to see how much things mean to us.

I’ve been gone for over a year.  I have been spending the last couple of months trying to get back home…this time to stay.

i don’t expect to pick up where I left off.  I wouldn’t expect to because I am not the same person I was when I left.  I know who I am.  I know what I want.   I gained needed clarity.

Though I don’t recommend running away, it is exactly what I needed to help and take the next step of my God-given journey.

#Jesus #Christ #God #Holy Spirit #Bible

Are You Standing?

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. – Ephesians 6:13 (NIV).

Some times when you are doing your best to rest, to recharge, after a long week at work, that is when everything goes wrong.

Some times when you are really trying to hit a goal, obstacles block your way.

It is in these moments that we have to let go.  We have to surrender the outcome we want to God.  We have allow Him to create the best outcome rather than one that comes from our infinite mind.

This is where this Scripture comes in.  We have to do all we can toward our goal, then surrender it to God.

For instance, let’s say, you want to move to another state.  You put out applications in that state online.  You look at housing.  You do everything you can do.

Then you surrender because you can’t make anyone hire you, offer you housing or put the whole thing together.  Only God can do that.

It is when we surrender, when we say, “Lord, I don’t know what You are doing, but I trust You,” that we start to see God’s handiwork in our situation start to unfold.

When you have done all you know to do, stand and see God fight on your behalf (Exodus 14:14).

#Jesus #God #Holy Spirit #Bible #hope #purpose #Truth

Who Are You?

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV).

I am who I am.  I am not the most brilliant.  I am not the most creative.  I am not the prettiest.  I am not the most personable one-hundred percent of the time, but I am me.

What is right for you might not be right for me.  What might be right for everyone else still might not be the right choice for me.

I wasn’t called to be you.  I wasn’t called to be Billy Graham, Steve Jobs, Donald Trump or even Mother Theresa.  I was called to be me.  With all my flaws, with all my talent, my gifts and personality.

Too many times I have let people dictate what I should do, the decision I should make, the way I should live my life.  Only those choices weren’t right for me.  They didn’t reflect who I am.

People, specifically members of my family, have tried to change me into who they think that I should be.  They compared me to their children, their grandchildren, their nieces and nephews.   I am not those people.

Who I am, what I do and who I hang around, with is up to me.  My mistakes, my successes, my failures, are mine, and mine alone, to make.

God called me to a specific purpose.  God has called you to a specific purpose as well.

He gave us each a specific assignment that only we can fulfill.  He did this because He believes in us.

Do you believe in yourself, in God, enough to pursue what you were put on this Earth to do?  Or are you content to continue living the way you have been living?

Do you want the mark you leave behind to be ordinary or extraordinary?

You will only be truly happy when you fulfill God’s plan for your life.  When you do, know that He will always do exceedingly above and beyond anything you can hope for, dream or desire (Ephesians 3:20).

You can’t even begin to imagine the great things God has planned for yu when you follow His plan instead of yours (I Corinthians 2:9).

#purpose #Jesus #God #hope #Bible

 

 

Divine Transformation

Hi! I’m Annagail.

I thought I would share my testimony with you. Although there are many testimonies within my testimony.

My birth in itself is a miracle. My mother suffered from toxemia during her pregnancy. The doctor didn’t diagnosis it as such until the delivery. On the table, she went into seizures. She didn’t have an OB/GYN. She had a MD who didn’t know how to handle such complications.

My story is pretty much like everyone else’s. I grew up in a middle-class house with one parent working. I have no siblings. My mother didn’t want any more children after the traumatic experience of my birth.

My mother made today’s helicopter parents look tame in comparison. She micro-managed my every move. She knew where I was at all times. She decided what I did, what I played, what I watched on television and who I hung around with, even into my late teens.

She striped me of my voice, my worth and my identity. She made me believe that without her, I would be nothing, that I could not survive on my own.

She did this so often and so long that I stopped talking.

I developed an anxiety disorder. One so severe that I couldn’t go into a store or restaurant for fear that something might set off a panic attack. I couldn’t talk to people in person or on the phone.

By this time, though, she started to act out. She had always been depressed, but now she did crazy things like call her boyfriend’s boss and tell them nasty things about him to get him fired, putting dead birds on people’s doorsteps, taking revenge on me and everyone she thought to be a threat.

This is when the roles reversed, and I started to be the parentmaking sure she took her medication, that she didn’t do anything outrageous, that she didn’t make good on her threats to kill herself.

I came to Christ at church camp when I was nine, but it was in this period that I started to learn who Christ is to me, what His Sacrifice on the Cross menat to me personally.

I prayed more than I have ever prayed. I meditated on the Word. I sat still and heard what He had to say to me through His Word, in my spirit and through the preachers I would listen to on the television.

Slowly but surely, I started to attend community college classes. I spoke in class, and was able to talk to more and more people, but I still didn’t feel comfortable doing it.

I knew that God called me to greater things, wanted bigger things for my life, but I couldn’t see how that could occur.

My back was against the wall, taking care of a mother who didn’t want to work, who lived in a paid-for house with no electricity and running water in the middle of a Phoenix, Arizona, summer despite the protests and intervention of everyone around her.

She always said she wanted to die, to get out of this life, and one night, I went to check on her, and she was gone. Died in her sleep.

That night, as if by Divine Will, my anxiety and panic attacks left.

I still worry from time to time, but it is nothing like the old days.

I went back to school and became a pharmacy technician while pursuing my goal of being a life direction coach.

I work for a retail pharmacy where I am dubbed the “Queen of Customer Service” because I am friendly with the customers. I call them by name, chat with them, ask about their families and cater to their likes and dislikes. My customers have gone as far as to write our corporation glowing letters about me.

God did a work in my life, taking me from anxiety-ridden with a panic disorder, to a person who has found her voice and shares it with the world through her God-inspired books and podcasts.

To God be the glory for the great things He has done!

#purpose #Jesus #God #hope #Bible