My Virtuous Sisters, as we enter the month of October which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, you were immediately upon my mind. While, domestic violence and abuse is wrong in all of its forms whether sexual, physical, verbal, or emotional. Even this list does not cover all the forms of abuse. But, today, I want to dispel the myth that emotional abuse is not real. I want to validate every woman experiencing or have experienced this invisible attacker of the mind, soul and spirit. Whoever believes that abuse is only valid if there are blackened eyes, broken limbs, stabbings or even worst murders, then it is my prayer that you read this blog with an open heart.
I know there will be people reading this blog that believe everything falls into categories of black and white and good or bad. But, I want to shatter this unloving and unhelpful mindset and open the way for clear spiritual discernment. This month was created to bring awareness to an area of life we often disregard and cozy up with the “out of sight/out of mind” mentality. Domestic Violence may be out of sight at times and even out of mind for many. But, thank God got times of awareness as it is this month, where we are pulled out of our comfort zones of mindlessness and brought face to face with this subject.
My first question is why is there safe havens for women beaten with fists but those of a crushed spirit are ignored?
God cares for the emotionally abused person and His word is full of admonishment to prevent oppression of any kind. Proverbs 18:14 speaks of the intolerance of a “crushed spirit” and even Proverbs 12:18 compares reckless (painfully degrading words) to being pierced with a sword. Isn’t it interesting that neither of these scripture verses reference physical abuse and yet they are clearly validating the pain of the emotionally abused person.
My second question is – How can we help the emotionally abused?
Allow me to make the following suggestions:
First, you can drop the judgment and seek to compassionately listen to their painful story. See Ephesians 5:11 “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” Sin should be eradicated wherever it is found (taken from Chapter 4 of the book: The End of Forever). Your support of the abused will be used by God to heal their broken hearts.
Second, you can help with determining whether the abuser is repentant and ready to get help or unrepentant and destructive, refusing to take responsiblity for their harmful patterns of abuse. Follow guidance of Scripture – Proverbs 29:1 “He who is often rebuked and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed and that without remedy.” Never encourage someone to remain in a destructive relationship. See blog entitled “Necessary Separations” https://phyllismccolister.blog/2022/08/07/necessary-separations/
Third, safety and spiritual sanity should be our first priority for every abused person. We shoud endeavor to be a community that stands up and speaks up against domestic violence and be willing to listen to emotionally abused people equal to physically abused people. Be the change that ends domestic violence in all of its forms.
God is on the side of the oppressed, what about you?
Excerpts taken from “The End of Forever” – a book written by Phyllis McColister to encourage, educate and empower divorced and separated women to find restoration and healing in Christ, realizing their intrinsic value to His Kingdom. Coming Soon!!!!
Visit again for more Christian Mental Health tips. Until then, remember your worth is far above rubies and learn to laugh without fear of the future (Proverbs 31:25).
You may contact the author at www.healingwaters-counseling.com