FIRST STEPS FOR CHANGE
First of all, let me make it clear that when I say what I am about to say, I am not in any way saying that your situation is of your making. I can absolutely sympathize with you because I have been there, but when I was, the Lord didn’t coddle me, or let me fall to self pity, and I don’t want that to happen to you, either. I am not making any judgments. Only the Lord knows you, your abuser, and your situation, and He will show you how His Words apply to you.
I am, again, assuming the abuser is your husband for simplicity of writing……….
The Lord repeatedly told me through those years that my worst and most dangerous enemy is self pity, and I must never give in to it.
Since human beings want to put a “name” on everything that we don’t like, we tend to always blame someone. In a situation like this, we can go three ways:
We can blame God, we can blame the other person, or we can blame ourselves. All of the three play right into satan’s hands.
1. If we blame God, the devil is delighted, because this will completely dry us up spiritually, as we project hatred to the only One who can comfort us. We will become carnal and lose our contact with all the spiritual gifts. We will not ‘punish’ God. We can’t do that. All we are doing is adding our own abuse onto ourselves, besides that of our husband.
2. If we blame our husbands, the spirit of unforgiveness will eat us up…first spiritually, then, physically. We will dry up in the same way as in the first choice, because if we consistently live with an attitude that is not Godly, we are in effect, disconnecting from God. This will, again, dry us up spiritually as we cannot be comforted, and guided by Our Lord. We make a mockery of our Christianity because we aren’t living it. Also, in our unforgiveness, we will lash out at our abuser, causing retaliation, and making the situation escalate even worse than it would otherwise.
3. We can blame ourselves, and dry up in a different way, with the same results. We can say that we deserve the insults, that we’re stupid, fat, homely, useless, or whatever else we can think of to make us feel better for the moment and keep the situation at a reasonable amount of peace. We think we’re appeasing our husbands by thinking the way we think he does…that we are worthless.
What we don’t know at the time is that most of the time, the husband doesn’t think that way. In fact, he usually isn’t thinking at all. He’s just reacting. He is a victim himself. He really needs his wife as much as she needs him, but he doesn’t know how to show it, for various reasons, ….either his own past, his emotional make up, or demonic curses through his family. Sometimes, when I meet with women who are abused, the Lord will show me which of these it is, and how to deal with it, but He doesn’t always show me these things. Whether we know the reason or not, there are certain avenues of thought and attitude we must take, and some we must not.
First of all, we must realize that our husbands are not our worst enemy. We must look to the Lord for the answer, and look inward to ourselves and our attitude. We cannot control him, but we can control ourselves. We don’t come into this world with the guarantee that everything will be our way. We don’t have “rights”. Our society today has brainwashed people into thinking that they have a right to a perfect and comfortable life, but Jesus never promised us that. In fact, He said that in this life, we will have trouble. But, He has promised not to ever leave us or forsake us. He said He has overcome the world…meaning that when we keep communication open to Him, we can overcome our situation. Not necessarily change it, but overcome it within ourselves and have the “Peace that surpasses understanding” that the Bible speaks of. We can overcome by our faith in Our Lord, according to I John 5:4.
“Jesus never promised that others will act the way we want them to, only that He will give us peace about it. One 17th century Godly Christian writer said this: “As far as being disappointed in others, you must learn not to expect so much from people. You must take the fruit that the tree bears—but remember that some trees only put out leaves and caterpillars. God has infinite patience with you, as He does with all people. He is not even put off by their resistance to Him. Try to imitate His patience and mercy. Only imperfection is bothered by imperfection.” I particularly like that last statement. “Only imperfection is bothered by imperfection”…When I am closer to the Lord, I am not bothered by what others do. At that time, the Spirit of God covers my imperfections and I can see through His eyes. So, the key to that is to stay in prayer and the Word as much as possible. Find a place in the house that you can be alone, that’s easy to get to, if only for a few minutes at a time….just strive to stay in the spirit as much as possible. I guarantee you will see things and people in a much different light.
Another past Christian wrote of a wife, that “she will make her husband not like what she tells him he ought to be, but like what she herself is.”
That goes along with I Cor. 7:14—“for the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband, else were your children unclean, but now they are holy”
I Peter 3:4 tells us women to make ourselves beautiful by putting on a “meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” Now, when God, who owns everything and IS everything Himself says something is “of a great price”….think how important that is!!! Every woman should keep this in mind!!!!
Four chapters that are important to read often when in a relationship like this (or in any relationship) are: Gal. 5; I Cor 7: I Cor 13: and I Peter 3. What I did was put key verses on index cards and keep them in my pocket all day, and quickly read them throughout the day.
Sometimes simply a change in the attitude of the wife can do a lot to bring the husband to a better attitude. Patience, or any other virtue, is impossible for us to make for ourselves. God has to give us the things we need to change our lives. The only thing He asks is for us to want to change, and come to Him often asking for that, while letting His Spirit and His Word do it for us. He longs to change all of us, but He won’t force His way into our lives. He is constantly at the door knocking, not just once for salvation, but constantly wanting us to open the door of our hearts, minds, and lives to Him.
If you follow these blogs in the order they’re written, God will lead you step by step to a closer walk with him in the midst of the chaos in your life.
Its up to YOU how much God can do in you and your husband. Most likely your husband is not seeking God in the situation, so if anything is going to change, it has to be through YOU. Take that responsibility for yourself, your children, your husband, and Your Lord.
Now, get in the Word!!!!!!!