Out of the Darkness of Abuse...

Abuse is nothing new, but how we respond to it must take a new turn. Abuse comes in many forms. Some abuse and abusive incidents will never be fully understood until we can sort it out with our eternal eyes and spiritual clarity. But most cases of abuse must be dealt with, and dealt with in a way that honors God and offers freedom to the abused and abuser alike. God is big enough, so we must be courageous enough. 

Spousal abuse is in the same league as child abuse, it's both disgusting and destructive. The general directives are fairly simple, "Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them." A simple word study of the word "harsh" reveals that harshness is born out of bitterness. This bitterness will only grow if it's not handed over to God. If unchecked, more destructive and "harsh" blows become possible, to the mind, soul and body. Bitterness can only be resolved through repentance. Turning away from what we are brooding on, and turning to the power of God's love is the answer for so many homes today. But many still live in the brutal silence of abuse. The most loving thing to do is to not stay silent.

In the church we find a community of Christ followers. This is our new family. The power of community is found over and again in scripture. We live our lives in community because isolation is deadly. Never is isolation more deadly than when a spouse is living with the secret of abuse. But this secret has two horrible unintended outcomes. 1. The abused stays in the affliction. 2. The abuser never gets the necessary help. There is a better way.

Do a "180 Now". Commit to being a person who champions love, in and through the community of believers. Model openness and honesty with people who are trustworthy. Love can only flourish in a hotbed of truth. If you're a person in an abusive relationship, call a trusted spiritual leader. Let someone advocate for you. Allow yourself to see your situation from a viewpoint of redemption - redemption for both you and the other party. This isn't conventional, but it can be transformational. The goal of life is the glory of God and the joy of mankind in Christ. Bring what is in the dark into the light and watch God work. 

Colossians 3:19