My grandparents lived on the Apache mission in East Fork, Arizona when I was young. I’ll always remember our car trips to visit them. We’d leave from our home in Ohio (and later, Oklahoma) and drive. The trip literally took an entire day.
Once in the mountains, the end seemed tantalizing near. But it wasn't. We still had to travel back and forth on switch back roads. Ascending and descending along the way to our seemingly unreachable destination. Talk about frustrating!
Working with survivors of abuse can feel the same...
How do you know if something is abusive? Start by looking at what love does...and does not.
Survivors of relationship abuse need your help this winter.
Last spring, law enforcement and community agencies around the United States reported that the number of calls for help dramatically decreased as stay-at-home orders became the norm. That’s good, right? Unfortunately, it’s not good.
Chances are good that if you have more than three members in your church, one of them will be touched by domestic/dating violence during his or her lifetime.
Sadly, most of these hurting parishioners (both women and men) will never find their way to your office and receive the spiritual nurturing they so desperately need.
Survivors need love and support, and to feel physically and emotionally safe before change can begin. This safety extends to their spiritual well-being. Abusers convince survivors that they are worthless, and that God doesn’t love them. They need to be encouraged by the truth of God’s love—that He died to redeem them because of that love.
As witnesses, recognizing abuse or knowing how to help a survivor is challenging; it makes us uncomfortable. But being able to push past the discomfort and reach out can save lives.