Abuse – Physical

Mentoring Tips

Make one-to-one mentoring easier by learning what to do and what not to do.  Click to learn more.

Tip#1 – Find your PLACE

  • Pray: simple yet powerful act
  • Listen: people want to feel heard
  • Ask: good questions foster productive dialogue
  • Consider: think slowly and biblically
  • Encourage: uplift rather than beat down
Tip#2 – Avoid the common mistakes

  • Fixing: this is a person, not a project
  • Preaching: walk alongside, don’t talk at or down to them
  • Carrying: show concern but don’t carry too heavy a burden
  • Blaming: no condemnation in Christ Jesus
  • Rescuing: you are not their savior!
    • 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?
Deeper Questions
    • 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?
Online Helps
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
Next Steps
    • 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.