If you or someone you love is being hurt by their spouse or parent, my heart goes out to you. Abuse is not what God intended for your life. You are a beautiful creation and your Creator has put an amazing world out there for you to experience and share with your spouse.
When a Christian Woman is being abused, she faces an extra tough decision. We didn’t say the words till death do us part lightly. We held up our end of the bargain. We’ve got a family that counts on us to be steady and strong. We’re involved in our communities and actively seek out solutions to the challenges we face. There is no burden too heavy and no end in sight. How can I fix this?
Some of us even think we are being taught or tested by God.
Maybe that seeking is what guided you to this moment. To reading Nina’s website and perhaps even holding a copy of The Respect Dare in your hands.
ABUSE IS NOT A TEST OF FAITH. Abuse is not a lesson from God. Mature faith does not indulge in superstitious or magical thinking. We know food doesn’t grow in the fridge, no matter how many times you open the door and no matter how deep your faith. If a man puts his hands on you or his children in anger and violence, there is no loving him correctly or respecting him correctly that will break that pattern. You cannot put down the bottle and pick up the Book for an alcoholic. You cannot be God’s voice within another person’s soul. You can only listen for The Voice in your own.
While through God all things are possible and miraculous transformations happen daily that say beautiful things about God and Faith, it is very dangerous to make any connection, no matter how tentative between respecting a man in a way that fills his needs in a way that he can see and fulfill yours with the ceasing of physical abuse. The Respect Dare can do amazing things for your relationships and how you communicate and see the world. Not only with your spouse, but your children and your peers and your expectations of yourself will grow and change as you work through this book. The stories of the women and marriages between these pages show how to resolve daily challenges that arise within a marriage and within your self in a healthy way. You will use the things you learn in this book daily. It applies equally to a person building a relationship for the first time, rebuilding a damaged relationship, or recovering from the damage of a past relationship. It cannot put accountability into the heart of a person who refuses to be accountable for their actions and behaviors. We can only walk our own path.
Remaining the lone standing tree in someone else’s storm, even when we stand with God can be deadly. No one plans the one drink too many or the bad day that leads to the loss of control that leaves you with a broken jaw or worse and no one can take that memory out of your kids heads once it’s there. It’s not normal, it’s not acceptable. No one has been given the right, whether by civil law or Godly to harm you against your will.
If domestic violence has a home in your marriage, your physical safety and the safety of your children is your first priority. Find a friend, make a plan and get out. It sounds trite, it sounds simplified. I can all but hear you saying “oh yeah, easy for her to say. She doesn’t have… what if I can’t do it? What if I have to go back? What will my kids think? What will the neighbors think? Heck, how will I even keep a roof over my head?”
You can do it. This is one of those miracles that do happen.
The first breath you take where fear doesn’t stand between you and God’s world is the most amazing breath you’ll ever take. The sky never seemed so high or so blue. That terrible weight that you carry goes away. The moment you realize you could go anywhere or do anything and that person will never make you afraid again is the first day of the rest of your life and there’s so much more out there than you can even begin to imagine.
There are resources out there. The U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (www.thehotline.org) is a great place to start.