“Domestic abuse” is an uncomfortable word especially within our faith community because of a lack of understanding and comprehension regarding an unthinkable issue. Nevertheless, it must be addressed because it is a dark and silent reality in our churches today. Christian women are especially embarrassed and fearful to step forward with the truth about what is going on behind their closed door. If they actually find the courage to approach their pastor they wonder how they will be received and if they will be believed. Will their pastor truly understand that they are experiencing domestic abuse and not normal marriage conflict?
Unfortunately, so often well-meaning but uninformed pastors and the church family end up further wounding these fragile and broken women. In spite of good intentions, hurtful and harmful advice is sometimes given. This leaves a woman feeling invalidated and re-victimized with hopelessness setting in at a deeper level. Usually the husband is believed over the wife because no one can really believe he is capable of such damaging behavior as he is usually very well thought of outside of the home. Onlookers do not understand the ability of an abuser to have two totally different personalities.
Therein is the need for churches and the faith community to understand the dynamics of domestic abuse and to be equipped to be the hands and feet of Jesus to “bind up the brokenhearted” as it says in Isaiah 61:1. Isn’t that what we are called to do? We applaud the churches that are doing this well.
Living Waters of Hope is dedicated to bringing awareness and tools to the faith community through their website and a written curriculum called the Oasis Bible Study for victims and survivors, as well as, being available to lead training seminars for the faith community. Please take the time to learn the dynamics of domestic abuse to be able to make a difference in the life of someone who may be suffering silently in your church or community. Perhaps, God is calling you to lead an Oasis Bible Study or to host a training seminar for your church leaders and the faith community. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Living Waters of Hope