One of the most frightening and traumatic experiences in life faced by women is being verbally, mentally, psychologically, financially, physically, or spiritually abused by the person they love. Faced with violence and abuse, Christian women are also faced with a spiritual dilemma, should I go or should I stay? Even after making the difficult choice of separation or divorcing an abusive spouse, feelings of self-doubt, emotional trauma, and doubts about divorce can stay with the victim for a long time.
For all of Christ’s disciples, there’s an illuminating hope in the form of the story of Christ’s love, boundaries, and redemption. Understanding how to live Christ’s exceptional love design empowers you to see who you are in Christ and how his love never includes any form of abuse. His revelations and unconditional love help you see yourself as his beloved disciple and someone he chose to die for.
Healing the mental, emotional, and spiritual wounds left by abuse will take time. Jesus won’t push you; he will love you into his healing hands as he transforms your mind, heart, and spirit to mirror his. To begin your healing, you must begin the process.
Admitting the Truth:
The first step to any healing process is admitting the truth; you’ve been abused. Many victims of violence tend to stay in denial and refuse to accept that they’ve been abused. I admitted the abuse my children incurred right away. However, it took me several years to admit the abuse I sustained. Recognizing the damage that’s been done and laying it all at the feet of Jesus is your first step to healing. When you are a disciple of Jesus, there is no condemnation or guilt or shame.
Living in Your Faith and Accepting Support:
In most relationships, the abuser isolates the victim by cutting them off from their friends, families, church and any professional counseling. The victim’s isolation deceives them into believing they are alone and even distant from God. Unless they seek a progressive personal relationship with Jesus and read the truth of God’s word, they will remain deceived and full of doubts about their faith and God. As a child of God and disciple of Christ, you can find his truth, and it will set you free.
Romans 13:10 ERV “Love Doesn’t hurt others. So loving is the same as obeying all the law”.
This verse reveals that it is NEVER God’s will for you to be abused in a relationship or marriage. God created you in His perfect love to be loved and to share His love through Jesus living in you. Put your faith in Christ and spend time with God’s word and in prayer will help renew your Christ-image in his exceptional love.
Psalm 34:14 NIV “Turn away from evil and do good.”
When a person claims to be a Christian or Christ follower, and yet they abuse you, they’re not mirroring the heart, character, words, and behaviors of Jesus Christ. Keeping you away from your loved ones and isolating you from help and support is emotional and psychological abuse. Identifying these acts of abuse and reaching out for support will help you live in your faith as you seek professional help by a Christian counselor experienced in domestic abuse.
Seeking Professional Guidance:
Once you’ve acknowledged that you are a victim of abuse, it will take time for you to process what has been going on for years. There is no magic delete button, but there is a transforming healing power in your personal relationship with Jesus. Find a Christian counselor experienced with domestic abuse and work on your healing. Don’t get deceived into believing that you need a marriage counselor.
Marriage counselors work with a couple who are working through difficulties in life, certain situations, or mindsets. Domestic abuse is not a difficulty or something you both can work on. Domestic abuse is the mindset and behaviors of a person who chooses to abuse someone they profess to love. When you are in an abusive relationship or marriage, seeing a marriage counselor who is not experienced with domestic abuse will often lead to more abuse when you get behind closed doors.
As a victim of the abuser, you must take care of yourself and learn how to separate the lies from the truth with professional help. You must focus on your healing just as the abuser will have to choose to change or not. You are only responsible for working on your mind, heart, and spirit and leaving everyone else in God’s hands.
Find an expert in emotional and domestic abuse to help you assess your situation and the emotional baggage you have collected as a result of that relationship. They can help you develop a safe strategy that enables you to overcome the past, to learn to love yourself, and to decide if it’s best for you to separate or to end the relationship. The question is not if you should stay in the relationship or go? The real question is, do I keep allowing the person who professes they love me to disrespect, dishonor, and abuse Jesus Christ living in me?
Darla Colinet is a love and life coach specializing in Christian domestic abuse and coaching in Fort Collins, Colorado. Using her own journey of overcoming domestic abuse, she empowers Christian women through faith and strength in Christ. Visit her website today at God’s Transforming Grace for more information on Christian domestic abuse and True love and relationship coaching services.