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|Tip#1 – Find your PLACE
||Tip#2 – Avoid the common mistakes
- Psalm 145:18 (the Lord is near)
- Ephesians 4:25 (trust is built on truth)
- Isaiah 42:3 a bruised reed He will not break; a smoldering wick He will not extinguish
- Psalm 34:18‐19 (He is near to the brokenhearted; He saves and delivers)
- 1 Peter 5:7 (cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you)
- Isaiah 41:10 (do not fear, for I am with you; I will uphold you)
- Psalm 18:2 (the Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer)
- Psalm 55:22 (cast your cares on the Lord, He will sustain you)
- Deuteronomy 31:6 (the Lord will never leave nor forsake you)
- Genesis 1:26-29 (man is created in God’s image)
- 1 Corinthians 13:6-7 (love does not delight in evil but the truth)
- 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (you are a temple of God)
- Psalm 11:5 God opposes those who love violence
- Ephesians 4:29‐32 (get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger)
- Malachi 2:14‐16 ("I hate divorce,” says the LORD)
- Matthew 18:15‐17 (if your brother sins go in private to rebuke him, then as two, then take others)
- Galatians 5:19‐20 (outbursts of anger are deeds of the flesh)
- 2 Timothy 1:7 (God has not given us a spirit of fear)
- Colossians 3:19 (love your wives, do not be bitter toward them)
- James 1:19‐20 (anger of man does not produce righteousness)
- Ephesians 5:28-30 (husbands love your wives as yourself)
- Are you in danger right now? Do you have a plan in place to be safe? Do you need to go to a temporary shelter in your area?
- Do you have children? Are they safe? Do they feel safe?
- Have you contacted local authorities for help? Are you afraid to reach out for help with this situation?
- Is your spouse jealous of your friends, co-workers, even family because he wants to have you “all to himself?” Does it feel like he is trying to keep you isolated?
- Do you ever make excuses for the abuse or feel responsible for making this abusive person look good to friends and family?
- Is your spouse a completely different person in public? How would you describe the differences?
- Have you confronted the abuse? How did he/she respond?
- After your spouse expresses sorrow, does the change last or does the cycle of violence begin again?
- Does your spouse threaten you with violence, entrapment or with losing your children in order to control you?
- Do you have extended family or a local church who can help?
- How can I be in prayer for you right now?
- Are you or your children currently in physical danger? If so, where can you find temporary refuge… family, church, friends?
- Do you feel trapped and helpless? Be assured that God sees you and that His love for you is beyond measure.
- Does your spouse keep tight control over your friendships, work relationships, and others?
- Have you seen a progression in your spouse’s behavior moving from controlling behavior to physical actions?
- Is your spouse jealous of how and where you spend your time?
- Has your spouse destroyed personal property in anger?
- Do you find yourself making excuses for your spouse’s behavior?
- Are there times when you tell yourself that your spouse’s abusive behavior is really your fault?
- Do you find yourself going to great lengths to keep your spouse’s anger from escalating?
- Does he use cruel humor or insults to belittle you in public?
- After he expresses sorrow, does he show lasting change, or does the cycle begin again?
- Defenses used in abuse by Peter Scazzero
- Are You Abusive? Three Questions for Husbands by Debi Pryde and Don Stewart
- Emotionally Destructive Relationship Questionnaire by Leslie Vernick
- How to Respond to Physical Abuse by Dennis Rainey and Leslie Barner
- Living With an Angry, Abusive or Violent Spouse by Edward T. Welch
- The Gospel of Change by Paul David Tripp and Tim Lane
Other Ministry Links
- Celebrate Recovery A recovery program that addresses all types of habits, hurts, and hang-ups
- Military Ministry A bridge to healing for returning warriors, veterans and their families
- Northwest Family Life Hope and healing for individuals and families facing the pain of domestic violence
- Click the title A Way of Hope: Seven Steps Toward Breaking the Cycle of Violence by Leslie J. Barner to find the booklet in FamilyLife's online store.
- - Dan Allender and Tremper Longman III, Bold Love, p. 279
“I cannot conceive of any situation where it is loving to let a fool physically beat you. I believe it is imperative for a violent fool to be held accountable before legal authorities for his crime. There should never be a warning or a ‘next time.’ Physical abuse must be prosecuted and the sentence should include joining a therapy group for violent offenders.”
- - Leslie Barner, A Way of Hope, p. 7
“Change does take time, a lot of courage, and a great deal of support, but change can happen. And if you are in an abusive situation, change must happen.”
- - Leslie Barner, A Way of Hope, p. 11
“If you have children, you have another very important reason for change. Studies show that one-third of the children who witness the battering of their mothers demonstrate significant behavioral and/or emotional problems.”
- - David Powlison and Paul David Tripp, Domestic Abuse: How to Help, p. 3
“We should listen to the cries of the oppressed (Psalm 10:17): since real biblical listening is linked to action, you may find that what you hear means taking the victim for a medical examination, calling the police, or providing a temporary place for her to stay.”
- - David Powlison and Paul David Tripp, Domestic Abuse: How to Help, p. 9
“Ministry to the violent—like ministry to any with immediately destructive sins—demands wide-awake, bold, knowledgeable intervention, full of grace and truth. The physically abusive are criminal as well as wicked, just like sexual predators. They are also highly deceptive.”
- - Donald Stewart, Refuge: A Pathway Out of Domestic Violence and Abuse, p. 42
“Sixty percent of men who beat the women they are with also beat their children.”
- - Donald Stewart, Refuge: A Pathway Out of Domestic Violence and Abuse, p. 41
“At the beginning of a relationship, an abuser will always say that jealousy is a sign of love. Jealousy has nothing to do with love—it’s a sign of insecurity and possessiveness.”
- - Donald Stewart, Refuge: A Pathway Out of Domestic Violence and Abuse, p. 73
“Perhaps the greatest damage done to a child who has witnessed domestic violence or has suffered abuse at the hands of a father is that he or she interprets who God is through the words and actions of that father.”
- - Donald Stewart, Refuge: A Pathway Out of Domestic Violence and Abuse, p. 217
“What the abuser needs are a few Christian men who are interested in understanding his emotional needs, unafraid of confronting his bad behavior, able to hold the abuser accountable for his progress or lack of it, and have a willingness to help him get his marriage and life back on track.”
- - Detective Sgt. Donald Stewart, Refuge: A Pathway Out of Domestic Violence, p. 70
“Children in violent homes face three risks: the risk of observing traumatic events, the risk of being abused, and the risk of being neglected.”
- - David Powlison and Paul David Tripp, Domestic Abuse: How to Help, p. 7
“The flesh and the devil thrive when hurts and sins are kept in the dark. For this reason, a wife can love her husband by letting him know the consequences of his sin in her life. This is not done to hurt; it is done to heal.”
- - David Powlison and Paul Tripp, Domestic Abuse, p. 7
“Forgive quickly, but don’t allow the abuser’s request for forgiveness to be the end of the discussion … An outbreak of violence uncovers a larger pattern of control, arrogance, and unreasonable, unending demands. Such patterns should never be swept away with the words, ‘Will you forgive me?’”
- - David Powlison and Paul David Tripp, Domestic Abuse: How to Help, p. 14
“Cosmetic adjustments that make the person’s behavior more socially acceptable are not enough. You must expose the heart issues that motivate violence: cravings for power, love, control, comfort, money, respect, pleasure.”
- - David Powlison and Paul David Tripp, Domestic Abuse: How to Help, p. 15
“Aim to solve the minor versions of the major sins as well as the major outbreaks. A judgmental attitude, grumbling, irritability, bickering, and arguing usually precede violence … People who learn to repent of grumbling—and thus learn both gratitude and contentment in Christ—will rarely need to repent of assault and battery.”
- - David Powlison and Paul David Tripp, Domestic Abuse: How to Help, p. 5
“The cross is the timeless evidence of God’s love for His people and his toughness with sin … In a world where a woman cannot trust the one closest to her, the greatest blessing you can offer is the assurance of God’s loving and watchful presence.”
- - Leslie Barner, A Way of Hope, p. 36
“Reconciliation requires confessing sin and the evil of abusive behavior. It requires healing from the abuse, and healing from past hurts. It requires forgiveness … and it involves a commitment to rebuild trust over a long period of time.”
- - Donald Stewart, Refuge: A Pathway Out of Domestic Violence and Abuse, p. 205
“If you have determined that now is the time to take action, do so with a heart desiring God’s best for your abusive husband. Responding to his sinful behavior from a position of safety while surrounded by caring people will enable you to rest in God’s promise to never leave you nor forsake you.”
- - Donald Stewart, Refuge: A Pathway Out of Domestic Violence and Abuse, p. 200
“Each woman must decide at some point in her journey out of domestic violence whether she will trust her life and circumstances to herself or to God.”
- If you are being physically abused, you need someone to help you put together a plan of action.
- If your children are in danger, you have a responsibility to get you and them to a safe place.
- Even if you feel out of place or somewhat intimidated or embarrassed, be sure to stay involved in a local, Bible-believing church. This can be a good place for community as well as accountability and encouragement.
- Biblical submission has nothing to do with immorality or abuse. God does not ask us to submit to sin.
- Be realistic about ways your spouse may use deception to control the relationship. Pray for God to open your eyes to see truth. Sometimes love must risk peace for the sake of truth.
- It is helpful to understand that violence usually occurs in a cycle that moves from controlling behavior to increased tension to anger to violence to remorse and promises to change, followed by more control and abuse.
- Consider seeking the help of a professional Christian counselor who can also help you understand your legal rights.
- The abuser may need outside help to become aware of their misperception of male/female relationships.
- The goal is true reconciliation, understanding that biblical reconciliation is not just being together physically but includes repentance, forgiveness, accountability, and lasting change.
- While you cannot single-handedly bring healing to your marriage, think about how you can begin to get healthier and invite your spouse into healthy change together.
- If you feel like you are being controlled, establish some healthy boundaries and to learn constructive ways to express yourself.
- Be patient. Change takes a lot of time, but it can happen.
- Luke 18:27 reminds us that things that seem impossible to us are possible with God. Pray and talk to God about the seemingly impossible situation in your life right now.
- You cannot control or change your spouse; only God can change a person’s heart. Pray for the kindness of God to lead your spouse to repentance There may be ways you are allowing your spouse to control you without being accountable. Pray for God to reveal those areas to you and show you how to handle them.