One thing I would like to make clear to my readers, before I get too deep into this, I am not trying to make victims of myself or anyone reading this blog. My greatest prayer will be for victory in dealing with the issues and your life being freed of the reoccurring issues that hold us in bondage. It is the bumps in life that we grow on.
For the most part when people think of abuse they think of sexual abuse. In the Mending the Soul book they cover 5 kinds of abuse. The following are from the Mending the Soul work book:
“Verbal/Emotional Abuse, this would be where a person is insulted, degraded, humiliated, threatened, isolated, deceived or controlled.
Physical Abuse or Domestic Violence is when someone causes or attempts to cause bodily injury to a family member or to someone who lives in his or her household.
Neglect is the failure of a parent or guardian to provide a minor with adequate food, clothing, medical care, protection, supervision and emotional support.
Spiritual or Religious Abuse is an inappropriate use of spiritual authority such as the Bible or church tradition in order to “force a person to do that which is unhealthy.” Spiritual abuse typically involves a forceful or manipulative denial of that person’s feelings and convictions for the self-advancement of the abusive spiritual leader. The Pharisees in the bible are an example.
Sexual Abuse abuse is defined as “the exploitation of a minor for the sexual gratification of another person through sexual contact or sexual interaction.”
As the blog develops we will be discussing these further but I thought it best to have a clear understanding of the different types of abuse. Understanding this will help you see it in your life or in others lives who need healing.
A quote from Steven Tracy from Mending the Soul “It is only when we see abuse from the vantage point of our unique creation as divine image bearers that we can understand the soul damage created by abuse.”
The thought of what my purpose in life is, makes me realize there would be far less hurt in this world, if we just followed this one principle: In everything I say or do I should be reflecting the image of God to you. When you think of the list of abuse named above it is easy to see how self centered our action can be. If I just would remember before I speak or do anything I am influencing someone for good or for evil.
One example is the very important refection of God that should be expressed through our fathers. When he misrepresents that role, particularly if it repeated often, the scars get deep and the ability to get beyond that hurt is challenging . When this reflection is damaged the anger turns towards God. The closer the relationship (child/parent husband/wife) the easier the damage can happen. But, all of us are responsible to represent God to each other, thus having the potential for harm or blessing in each others lives.
When we look at what happens repeatedly to the abused person we understand to some measure how hurtful these events become in the life of the abused as explained in the following quote from First5.org:
“Brain research shows that every conscious thought we have is recorded on our internal hard drive, known as the cerebral cortex. Each thought scratches the surface much like an Etch-A-Sketch. When we have the same thought again, the line of the original thought is deepened, causing what’s called a memory trace. With each repetition the trace goes deeper and deeper, forming and embedding a pattern of thought. When an emotion is tied to this thought pattern, the memory trace grows exponentially stronger.” Even one very traumatic event can leave a very deep scare.
Note: Hope for Wounded Hearts/facebook.com is a page I have created to share articles and anything related to abuse, that I might not share in the blog.
Next Blog: The extent and power of abuse
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