Please know that God is fully aware of all of your suffering. He has collected each of your tears in a bottle and they are so precious to Him…
And in heaven, there will be no more tears…
And for many of you, here in this lifetime, He will set you free.
Christ came so that you may have life abundant, regardless of your circumstances.
We have heard stories from women who have suffered abuse from their earthly fathers, or at the hands of the men they married. We have listened to heart wrenching stories of stolen innocence, blows, hospital visits, broken bones, bruises and the broken hearts that lay in shambles. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of these things is that there are women, on seemingly opposite sides of the equation.
God seems to lead some women to stay, and others to go.
Honestly, if given to listen only to myself, I am inclined to tell wives who are living with men who physically, emotionally, or verbally abuse them, to leave. I want to tell them all to RUN. GET OUT.
Because I have my own stories of assault and restraining orders…
And God finally blessed me with a non-violent man whom I married.
But based on my own experience, I’m inclined to encourage any abused woman to leave. Yet I have heard too many stories. And seen God intervene in ways that have literally been nothing less than shocking. One of the reasons we have to be so careful about giving advice to our sisters, regardless of the situations they are in – is we are not God. I have seen too many situations where I thought the gal should stay, that it wasn’t physical, just difficult, and she felt led to leave. God confirmed this for her. And God intervened in her husband’s life after she left, often not wanting to go, but doing so out of obedience. I’ve talked with women I would encourage to flee in a heartbeat sing praises to God of His faithfulness while staying in what I would consider horrible conditions…and then listened in awe of their stories of God’s intervention – men that have become broken by their sin, and deeply moved to follow Christ.
The bottom line is simply this: these women, and you, have your own relationship with God. The road to righteousness is paved with sacrifice and suffering, and spattered with the blood of our role model, Jesus Christ. Can I judge these women and their relationship with God? Can you?
Perhaps you are wondering if you should confront him, or get some help in addressing his sin against you – know his abuse is sin. Know you didn’t cause it. Prayerfully consider what God might be saying to you here.
His ways are not our ways.
So I stand back, provide resources, and love them as I can. I also provide a place they can share their stories. I don’t pretend to have the answers, but I do know Someone who does – our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is my deepest prayer (and His deepest desire) that you grow close to Him – and then you will know what to do, in your circumstance. Please read all of them, and then pray for guidance. And if, someday, you have your own story to tell, please know you are welcome to share it here.
Please note that Shanyn’s Story has insight for small group leaders and sister participants, as well as an abuse survivor.