No Gray Zone for Domestic Violence

 

There’s a topic that doesn’t get addressed often within the church. It’s one of those elephants in the room. It can still be a bit of a taboo subject.

I’m talking about domestic violence.

It happens more than we care to admit. It happens to people we love. It is happening all around us.

More and more I see the world discussing and acting upon the scourge of domestic violence, but it seems to me that the church has not yet risen to this challenge. When it hits close to home, you can’t help but think about it and want to act.

I have a friend who has been married for almost 10 years to a man I believe doesn’t really love her. He is abusive in every way imaginable…verbally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. It breaks my heart. Their situation has escalated to the point of police being called in and protective orders served. And yet she returns to him. She is praying for restoration of their marriage. Now, I’m all about her husband being radically saved and delivered, but not at the cost of her life or the lives of her children. Watching their marriage implode has literally been like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

I know abuse happens to men, but I can only speak to a woman’s perspective. I actually have quite a few friends who have come out of both abusive dating relationships and marriages. At some point, every one of them wanted out badly enough to escape by whatever means possible. They wanted a better life for their children or for themselves. The beautiful thing is that Jesus wanted better for them as well. He wanted better even more than they could ever want.

This verse rocks my world in so many ways. In this context, our bodies are not our own. They were created by God. They were created for Him. How often do we allow someone to misuse us?

I’ve been seeking wisdom from the Lord and learning from experts on the subject of domestic violence. It’s a cycle. The victims of it don’t see themselves as victims; they live with a veil over their eyes. They live in disbelief of their situation. They are held captive to their abuser. They believe it is all their fault, and this is right where the enemy of our souls wants them to stay. He sees the potential that the Lord has placed in them, and he’ll do anything to destroy that potential. I won’t let him, and I pray that each victim won’t let him. I pray that you won’t let him, either. But how?

 

To read the rest, join me over at Boundless!

Craving Connection Review and a Giveaway!

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*Disclaimer*…I am not biased!

I had the immense privilege of being a part of Incourage and B&H Publishing’s first book under their new partnership! I’m on page 146, if you’re interested. Ha!

I’m gonna hit the strictly superficial aspects first. The cover is absolutely dreamy! The layout and printables are so cute and so useful and so practical! I love the work that the Lifeway team put in! All of their hard work and creative genius shines through! It’s beautiful.

 

Now on to some real talk…

Friendships are hard! Seriously, they’re hard! They are awkward, messy and uncomfortable. They take a lot of work and effort. But, they are some of the best parts of life. God’s design for friendship is that we become family. They are to be life-giving, hope giving and full of grace. I have had quite a bit of bad experiences with friendships. I have been hurt more times than I care to remember. But God, He has not allowed me to become bitter or resist community. So, I have pressed in knowing that God’s heart is never for us to do life alone. On the other side, I have found my people. My people are beautiful, bold, strong, full of faith, prayer warriors, lovers of God and cheerleaders of me.

We all have this desire to belong. Sometimes, we just need a resource that helps make that happen. Sometimes, we need a tool that helps us gather, that helps us grow.

Craving Connection is that resource! It’s not a long read. It’s just 30 short days. It’s intent is for gathering a couple of girlfriends or a larger group and walk through this book together.

Each of the 20 plus writers brings a unique perspective when it comes to navigating friendships. Each of them is talented, brave, kind, passionate, devoted and wise. They speak truth in love, filled with grace and compassion. They love God and community. They seek to cultivate authentic community in their places and online.

This book comes with no pressure. Take as long as you want to process each chapter, each quote, each verse and each challenge. The Lord wants to do a beautiful work through this resource.

 

 

I am pleased to announce that Icon Media is giving away a copy of Craving Connection! Simply leave a comment about who you will gather to go through this book with. The winner will be chosen on Monday, February 13, 2017!

 

 

 

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