Domestic Abuse: The Ultimate Betrayal
Somewhere tonight thousands of women are fleeing, with layers of clothes on their backs and children locked close to their sides, to an undisclosed "safe house" in hopes of getting away from someone they love and who swears love them. They know the alternative is ultimately death; if not physically, emotionally; and, their hopes of changing this abuser have perished and their options exhausted. Many of these women will be coerced by family or the abuser to return back to the hell hole, with all the appearances of a home made in heaven. It is the hope of all people functioning from a place of sanity that they won't do it. But the reality is that far too many do go back. Some go back because they want to believe that this horror will never happen again. Some go back because they really have no where else to go. And some don't have a real reason, they just go back. The bottom line on domestic violence is that it is no different than the addict who is strung out on crack, alcohol, sex, gambling, or whatever the demon of obsession is. The healthy part of this person knows they're in a dead-end situation; but the "junkie" wants to satisfy the fleshly need for filling that void that scratches that itch. I'm thankful that I speak from a third-person perspective; but know that but for the grace of God any one of the above mentioned addicts could be me, or you, if today you're "clean." I do believe that just as sex-offenders have to be tracked, I think the same should be for abusers. Perhaps they could be forced to wear odd-colored bracelets identifying them a mile off. Somehow I'm convinced that this really wouldn't matter. There are far too many women (and men) who believe they can change a person's in-bred behavior. They're naive to believe that they have a special love that will make this person behave always and only in a loving way. Sadly enough, I'm convinced that most abusers would rather be in control of their emotions. But, the demon that lives within them, like the demon that lives within the alcoholic, and other addicts, will raise up from the depths if not properly trained on how to "tame" this behavior. Scripture says, a leopard doesn't change its spots. The same is true for an abuser. He may camouflage his true colors behind a smile; but, we all know that a smile is just a frown turned upside down. Sick people usually attract each other, often without trying. It's said that the very thing you try to run away from is the very thing you run smack dab into. I think that's because we attract the familiar. Most people who find themselves in bad situations can attest that their behavior was learned, whether subtly or overtly. For all of the abused who are laying in wait for the right time to escape, my prayers are with you that once you're blessed to get to safety, you don't cave to the belief that things could ever be right in this scenario. If only for your children having a fair shot at breaking this vicious cycle, starting over is the only option. I think step one is forgiving your abuser and yourself and anyone else you might blame for this situation. Step two is never forgetting. Like 9-11-2001, you must never forget what you've been through. Pretend that you're like Lot's wife, Sarah. To look back means to turn into a stone pillar. That's what abuse does to you. It makes you rock hard to emotion and pain. It's time to heal. It's time to do the hard work of learning the true meaning of love. It's true. Love really doesn't hurt. Love compliments your life, not tears it down. Real love is the greatest reflection of Jesus. And He never harmfully put His hands on anyone. Once you realize that your body is God's Holy Temple, you will not stand idly by and let the enemy try to destroy it. Because it's then that you allow this abuser to become an idol in your life. And God hates idolaters. Once released from a bad situation, Scripture warns to go back is to experience the situation seven times worse. Read 1Corinthians 13. Love is patient, not short-tempered. Love is kind, not mean. Love is not rude. Love protects, not injures. It's said that love never fails. But you must remember that Love is really God. Man is not love. He's merely a vessel. And sometimes that vessel is so damaged that it is just a shell with no healthy light shining within. Be blessed. Be strong. Listen to sane people who tell you the truth about what healthy love is like. Don't do the "easy thing." Do the best thing. Only you know what that is. And always remember God is Love. God created woman for man for the purpose of helping him meet the needs required on the journey of life. No where in Scripture will you read that He made woman to be a punching bag, either verbally, emotionally, or physically. In fact Ephesians 5 tells him to love his wife as Christ loved the Church. Learn from this experience that hands are made for hugging and not hitting.