This blog post is not a pleasant thing to read, but is important that we open our eyes to what is going on around us in the dark corners we don’t want to look into. It is in those corners we can find those hurting and in need of healing. It is also in those corners we find those who need to be held accountable for the harm they are doing.
Abuse is something that has been with us from the beginning. It comes in different forms but it is found in every walk of life. It starts in the heart, moves to the homes and out into the streets of every city in the world. Abuse can be physical, emotional, spiritual, sexual and neglect of essential needs. Statistics are staggering for the number of people who have been affected and that would only be what is reported. Not very many years ago abuse was not acknowledged so there was no reporting of incidents.
Abusers come with different looks, some are very evil people who are intentional in the abuse they give. Some are very troubled minds who have been abused themselves and continue the abuse as they were abused. Some are mentally disturbed minds who do not recognize their own issues. Some are very respected people who many would find it hard to believe would do such a thing. Some are marriage partners, some are parents or grandparents or other relatives. They are often people in authority. Surprising as it seems it isn’t often the total stranger . We hear much more about those kind of abusers, but diligence in protecting our children must also include those close to our families.
The following is a quote from the Mending the Soul book. When I first read this it left me a bit discouraged. It brings us down to the ugly facts so we can climb the hill of healing. If you find yourself also discouraged there is great news ahead in future blogs so don’t give up.
1.Lest we attempt to limit abuse to the ranks of evil degenerates and religious hypocrites, we should tease out the biblical data a bit more. In the biblical record, orthodox religious leaders and even mature believers are repeatedly indicted for abuse and collaborating with abuse: Abraham, the greatest Jewish patriarch and hero of faith (Genesis 22; Hebrews 11:8–9, 17–19), twice deceitfully tried to protect himself by exposing his wife to sexual exploitation by a foreign monarch (Genesis 12:10–15; 20:2, 11). Sarah, the heroine of faith, almost fatally abused her own handmaid and child (Hebrews 11:11; Genesis 21:9–21). David, the man whose heart was wholly devoted to God and the greatest human monarch in Jewish history (1 Kings 11:4, 36–38), was guilty of murder and adultery (2 Samuel 11). He also failed to protect his own daughter from incestuous rape and engaged in a conspiracy of silence with her rapist (2 Samuel 13:7, 20–39). Lot, who in some respects was “righteous” (2 Peter 2:7–8), offered his own daughters to be gang-raped by the men of Sodom (Genesis 19:8). Judah, the father of one of the greatest tribes of Israel, tried to have his own daughter-in-law burned to death after he impregnated her (Genesis 38). Monotheistic Israelite priests used their religious power to sexually prey on women serving in the tabernacle (1 Samuel 2:22). Priests and other religious leaders used their power to physically exploit the vulnerable, especially widows and orphans (Micah 2:8–9; Malachi 3:5). Christians in the Corinthian church engaged in a form of incest that was more perverted than that practiced by their pagan neighbors (1 Corinthians 5:1). We must not sanitize the biblical record to avoid the implications for our own families, churches, and communities. Humans are no less sinfully depraved now than they were in the past. Abuse is rampant today, as it has been throughout human history—a point we must emphasize because few Christians, even Christian leaders, truly believe abuse is rampant through all segments of society and is even committed by Christian leaders. Over and over, parents, congregations, and religious leaders deny abuse reports, regardless of the weight of the evidence. We must never assume the child who reports that dear uncle Bob has been touching the child’s private parts must be lying. Unspeakable damage can occur when we deny the possibility that a pastor who powerfully communicates God’s word on Sunday could beat his wife or molest his daughter on Monday.
1Tracy, Steven R. (2009-05-26). Mending the Soul: Understanding and Healing Abuse (Kindle Locations 249-274). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
There are many who ask the question “Where was God when my abuse happened?” The scriptures tell us of a loving God who cares very deeply about your abuse. One place that gives us a clear picture of his care and desire to help is found in Psalm 34:4 :I sought the Lord, and he heard me,and delivered me from all my fears. A little later in v 18 – 22 we find these words of comfort: “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.”
One thought on “The Ugly Truth about Abuse”
I commend you for your blog. It has been my path to walk with those who have been abused. I never saw the examples in Scripture like that. They were always there but I didn’t label them. No one wants a label of any kind. Afraid it might change how others think of us. I have been enjoying God looks on the heart. No one else can see what he does. He looks and has great compassion and love. His banner over us us love. That is the label we can let stick. His love.