“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)
Do you, or have you ever known someone suffering from verbal and physical abuse from a spouse or someone they are dating? The truth is that 1 in 3 have been in an abusive relationship in their lifetimes.
I was stunned when I read the statistics, but the fact is that many people being abuse do not say anything for many years, if at all. The reason is that the abuser invokes such negative emotions into the victim. They feel shame, fear, anger and grief brought about by the painful words and physical abuse.
Shame is a pervasive feeling of being inadequate as a human being. Every area of family violence causes shame. For example, children growing up in homes where a parent is committing adultery feel ashamed of their adulterous parent’s behavior and are similarly ashamed of the faithful parent who is trying to keep it a secret.
Spouses and children of alcoholics are ashamed of their loved ones drinking and the chaos it creates in their homes. When verbal abuse and labeling take place, shame becomes a dominant motivation for doing anything possible to avoid the continual reminders of inadequacy.
Shame leaves us with a strong sense of being uniquely and hopelessly different and less than other human beings. It isolates and alienates us. We may feel that we can never live up to the expectations of those close to us, or that the reason we were abused was related to some inadequacy within us that caused and perpetuated the abuse.
Consider this …
Shame occurs in secret and isolates its victims, keeping them from challenging their feelings. God’s light allows us to begin to challenge our early assumptions and distorted perceptions. It exposes the destructive decisions shame breeds and sets us free from the lies we never before challenged.
God’s light comes through prayerfully studying Gods word through the Holy Bible, absorbing the scripture, believing them for yourself. God loves you and wants to heal your emotions. When you made Jesus Lord of your life, you became a child of your perfect heavenly Father. And the Bible promises there is no condemnation in Him. Jesus does not condemn you. Ask Him to help you see yourself as He does–loved by Him, precious to Him.
Scripture says that we are the Bride of Christ
How Does Jesus Love His Bride? (Remembering that the below reference to Her is all of us, and by no means am I stating that Jesus got married)
Jesus did not use verbal and emotional abuse to destroy his bride’s self-esteem. He bestowed on her great value by coming to be her servant and giving his life to save her.
Jesus did not tear down his bride to make her feel weak and powerless. On Pentecost he filled her with his own power.
Jesus did not isolate his bride out of fear she would fall in love with someone else. He wants to give her his love so she can love others. He sent her into the world to live her destiny and promised to walk with her, giving her support and encouragement, even to the end of the age.
Jesus did not treat his bride like a door mat, walking on her to prove his superiority. He elevated her, even to be seated with him in the heavenly realm, in a place of authority.
Jesus did not yell at his bride or call her names. He calls her his Beloved and rejoices over her with singing.
Jesus did not raise his voice to drown out what his bride is trying to say. Instead, his ear is attentive to her prayer.
He did not look at her with contempt or hate, or glare at her from a distance. He smiles when he sees her because he sees her without spot or blemish. He sees how beautiful she is and knows it’s his love that has washed over her and made her beautiful.
Jesus did not use his strength to manhandle his bride. His strong right arm lifts her up and defends her against aggressors. He uses his strength and power to fight for her, not against her.
Jesus did not ever grab his bride aggressively, slap her to shut her up, or beat her into submission. Instead he took the abuse for her; he was the one who was humiliated, spit on and beaten. He submitted to death so she could live. He offers healing and comfort to her when she’s in pain, he makes her strong when she feels weak, he weeps with her when she weeps, and he wipes away every tear from her eyes because he’s gentle and kind.
Jesus did not threaten to hurt her when he gets home. Instead, his plan when he comes again is to sweep her off her feet, raise her up to meet him in the air, and forever be with him in the amazing mansion he is preparing for her in heaven.
This is no fairy tale. This is how a husband is to love his wife. Mutual submission and respect naturally flow in the relationship that is focused on loving and serving one another.
Take a moment to read God’s instruction for loving your husband or wife. Ephesians 5:21-33This scripture should never be used as ammunition to keep women in submission to abusive men or to demand that they respect someone who is disrespectful. Using scripture in that way is spiritual abuse. This passage is about mutual, life-changing, empowering love.
Telling a woman she has to submit to abuse only reinforces her victim identity and empowers an abuser to continue in sin. Both are in bondage and there is a much greater chance the marriage will end in pain or even tragedy. God has a different plan – one that sets both free to step into a new identity.
Below are some resources if you are a victim in the United States. Outside the USA please reference local domestic resources or your church.
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 http://www.thehotline.org/about-us/contact/
Heavenly Father, I have suffered for so long with this shame. Help me to overcome the lies and see nothing but Your truth. Give me strength and help me feel loved and not shame. Remind me that I am beautiful in Your eyes and you are always with me. Thank You for Your faithfulness and for the promise that You will never leave me. Help me to trust in you. Increase my faith and fill me with Your Spirit so that I can live in great expectation of what You have in store for me. Bring loving people into my life that will love me and encourage me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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Scriptural Seeds Ministries