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Wednesday: Conflict, Abuse, Power and Control — 7 Comments

  1. 1 Peter 2:20
    .....but if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.

    What does it mean?

    Does it mean as a godly spouse you submit to your abuser and quietly suffer for Jesus?

    DO GOOD.

    Do the right thing.

    Refuse to submit to your spouse sinful behavior.

    Stand up for your children who are being mistreated.

    Refuse to sign dishonest documents.

    Call the police if your spouse threatens to harm you.

    Seek outside help.

    Do not pay back evil for evil.


    Your spouse will not view your actions as good, he will be very angry with you.

    You will suffer financially as your spouse sits in jail.

    You may be centured from your church because of the separation from your spouse.

    You may suffer with loneliness, retaliation from your spouse, disapproval from your friends and family for the stance you have taken.

    That's how we suffer in a godly way.

    • This week's, and last week's, lesson are to remind us that "God is [always] with us"; through all the times of loss, suffering, and even retaliation (or actions) from abusive relationships. When we think that we can no longer bear our burdens (or our problems), that when Jesus (God) comes in and carries us through. Remember the Poem, "Footprints in the Sand" -

      "The times when you have seen only one set of footprints,
      it was when I carried you." by Mary Stevenson.

      Be Blessed!

  2. One of the most well known proverbs gives us direction on how to choose surrender, Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to God and he will make your paths straight. So in all ways we need to submit to God or surrender to Him instead of trying to be in control and what helps us surrender to God isn’t thinking we can do it all but knowing God is in control and can do all things. Surrender really is an issue of trust. Do we trust God more than we trust ourselves? Surrendering to God and allowing God to act in our lives and on our behalf is important because when we try to control every situation, things can go very wrong – very fast.

    Perhaps the best example of control gone bad is found in the story of Abram and Sarai who had been promised by God that they would have a son. God didn’t make this promise once, but several times and yet as every year passed they began to question whether or not God was going to come through. When it looked like things weren’t going to happen, Sarai took matters into her own hands and told Abram to have a child with her servant Hagar so that at least there would be an offspring. They didn’t trust God to do it so they did it themselves. Genesis 16:1-4a

    So Abram and Hagar had a child. They took control of the situation and came up with their own plan but things didn’t go as they planned. In time, God was true to his world and gave Abram and Sarai their own son and it wasn’t long until there was division and jealousy between the two boys. And here’s where we see the negative consequences of our need to be in control. The division and animosity between these two boys has continued through history.

    Abram and Sarai’s son was Isaac who was the father of all the people of Israel. Abram and Hagar’s son was Ishmael and from him came the Palestinian people and the prophet Mohammed. One couple trying to control a situation has led to most of the territorial and religious fighting we have seen in the Middle East through all of history. This is what can happen when we try to control every situation. It may not lead to world conflict but trying to control everything leads to great conflict in our lives and our relationships. When we try to do things in our wisdom and our strength, in our time and in our way – it leads to chaos and confusion for our live and the lives of others.

    Can you name what you are trying to control? Is it your children or parents? Are you trying to make sure that every detail of their lives is planned to perfection? Are you trying to control your job by trying to control what everyone around you is doing? Are you trying to control your image? Your spouse’s image? Your children’s image? Are you trying to control your finances and planning things according to your will and plans? Before we can figure out if we need to choose surrender over control we have to determine what it is we are trying to control.

  3. Abusive relationships may have to do with abusive experiences individuals have gone through themselves, reflecting in abusive behavior or even in passive and introspective suffering.
    Balanced emotions can be built with the work of one's traumas and painful memories. Exchanging these feelings for real love and respect is what God is all about. In general, humanity has chosen the path of conflict, in the name of interest and riches. What a failure testament to the next generations. That's why we've being destroying our most precious gifts of housing, our own bodies and our planet!
    Hope is on the way!

  4. In some cultures abusuveness by a husband is acceptable. I provoked me so I had to tell at u or u annoyed me so by retaliatin,by answered me back so u deserve two slaps!!!.the wife is so afraid about the gossip n what her culture will say it if the_____husbands says I'm leaving u,then what.Fortunately in the US court are open nd it's not a stigma to be divorced. But our living God hates divorce!!!!so what can be done????

    • Hi Elanor

      The use of the 'human-like' expression "God hates" unfortunately gives a misunderstanding. I would maintain that is closer to the truth to say that God is deeply saddened by the abusive ways that some people treat others. God hurts along with each person who is abused - and is also sad for each abuser who is destroying themselves by abusing.

      When it is said that God 'hates' divorce, it is more accurate to say that God is deeply anguished by the things that are happening in a relationship that leads to the tearing up of the relationship and the lives of the people in that relationship.

      What can be done? If abuse doesn't stop, then divorce is unfortunately a necessary outcome/consequence. God would not have a person trapped in an abusive situation. Abuse harms the person being abused - and also harms the one who is abusing. Satan is the one who promotes harm - not God (see Jn 10:10).

      The divorce that Jesus was speaking out against (Matt 19:8; Mark 10:5) was the situation where men were finding trivial excuses for divorcing their wives, essentially so they could indulge themselves by 'upgrading to a newer model'. That is why Jesus said that divorce was permitted because of the hardness of men's hearts - their self-centredness where all they cared about was their 'desires' rather that the wellbeing of their wives and families.

      This is also why Paul says (Eph 5:25) that husbands of healthy relationships will love their wives as Christ loved the church - willingly giving of themselves for the building-up of their wives and families. Then there would be no need for divorce - that was God's intention from the beginning.

      If you have any further questions or concerns, please ask.

  5. When I was pastoring back in the late 1980's and early 90's our old church grounds had an unused parsonage. We were approached by a local agency needing a place to make a shelter for abused women, and they leased our parsonage. It became a huge ministry to our community.

    Abusive marriages or intimate relationships are all too common, and even among Christian homes, even among the ministr'shome. The abuser comes from a place of deep brokenness and unresolved trauma, and intervention is needed to break the cycle of abuse.

    As a pastor the most difficult issues to minister to were the abuse of spouses and children. They are also one of the most dangerous to engage. I wish I could say we had a lot of success in healing abusive relationships, but all I can say is that it was just enough to get people out of harms way as being the most positive ultimate outcomes we had.


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