How are you doing? I mean really doing, deep in your soul and spirit? Are you sensing His presence? His love? His forgiveness? His help? I hope so.
Many of you here experience a crushed spirit. You are regularly invalidated, dismissed, demeaned and degraded and used as an object. This takes it’s toll on you and please don’t minimize this. Recently a woman said to me, “If only I was more godly, this wouldn’t affect me so much.”
That’s not true. I think Jesus felt real hurt, real rejection and real pain when he was beaten, humiliated, mocked, and tortured on his way to the cross. Although he was God, he was also human and he felt the raw and real emotions that human’s feel when they are mistreated and abused.
However, it is crucial that you build CORE strength as well as put your marriage in it’s proper place so that your husband’s love, or lack thereof, is not THE stabilizing force in your identity or your life. Jesus always knew he was loved by his Father, even when everyone else in his life failed him.
In response to last week’s blog on projection, someone asked the difference between defensive projection and offensive projection. She referenced George Simon’s work and here is a link where he defines some terms for you much better than I could.
This Week’s Question: I don’t think my husband is a genuine Christian. Three years ago after things got really unhealthy in our marriage I made a decision to make it my ministry to be an instrument of God to be used in his conversion process in whatever way God would be pleased to do so.
I’ve tried to practice 1 Peter 3 (See: Does God Want me to Submit to Mistreatment according to 1 Peter 3 ) Without being born again, how can he have true conviction that his actions and attitudes are sinful? Can we hold our unsaved spouses who are emotionally destructive responsible for their actions when they cannot even “see” their sin and need for God’s ultimate forgiveness?
Grace and undeserved mercy, as the Bible describes them, isn’t something he fully comprehends from what I can tell which is why he justifies his behaviors and refuses to take responsibility for his abusive actions. If so, what is the biblical way for a wife to respond to her emotionally destructive husband, whom she does not want to divorce nor separate, but at the same time does not want to be victim any longer to his abusive ways (verbally/emotionally/physically – i.e. slapping my leg, arm, head/shoving)?
Answer: First, let me encourage your heart. You obviously want to honor your vows and be a good example in order to draw your husband to Christ’s love, forgiveness, and mercy. That is very hard to actually want to do in a culture that doesn’t value self-sacrifice or staying in an unhappy marriage. God sees your heart and will help you accomplish his purposes but don’t think that means you must stay a passive victim.
You talk about not wanting to hold your husband’s sin against him as if you are the judge. You’re right, your place is not to judge, but that does not mean that you are not to speak truth in love or prevent him from experiencing the consequences of his sinfulness.
You ask, “Can we hold our unregenerated spouses who are emotionally destructive responsible for their actions when they cannot even “see” their sin and need for God’s ultimate forgiveness?”
Let me ask you something. Do you think God holds people accountable when they are blind to their sin? For example, do you think God will give the Pharisee’s in Christ’s day a pass because they did not see their envy or their pride or their hypocrisy, even when Jesus directly told them? Read Jesus’ words to them in Matthew 23:13-38
Second, you say, “Grace and undeserved mercy, as the Bible describes them, isn’t something he fully comprehends from what I can tell which is why he justifies his behaviors and refuses to take responsibility for his abusive actions.”
I don’t think your husband’s primary problem is that he doesn’t understand grace and mercy, although he may not understand these truths. His primary problem is that he feels entitled to abuse you when he doesn’t get his way or what he wants. There are many, many non-Christian men who know nothing of God’s grace and mercy yet they treat their wives with love and respect. They do not verbally, emotionally, sexually, or physically abuse them. It has nothing to do with your husband’s lack of understanding of God’s grace and everything to do with his attitude of entitlement.
That takes us to your last question, how do you respond? If you want to “minister” to your husband as a Godly wife, what does that look like specifically? Does it mean that you are to simply continue to allow your husband to sin against you without consequence? Is that the best way you can “love” your husband?
Or, is a more bold love required? A love that is strong enough to hold him responsible and accountable for his sinful choices. A love that might call the police and let him experience the legal consequences of his abusive behavior which very well could be a wake-up call that helps him “see” the sinfulness of his behaviors.
There is no easy answer here, but finally, if you do not want to be a victim any longer you must take steps to prevent your own victimization. (Tweet this)
You can do this lovingly but firmly as you leave the house when he escalates, refuse to engage in arguments, call the police when he gets violent and separate from him until he gets the help he needs to change his sinful behavior so that your marriage has a chance of being healed. If not, trust me, nothing will change. It will only get worse.
Remember, you are not just taking these steps for you. You are also doing them for him with the hope that as you draw a line in the sand and say “no more” your husband will begin to repent of his abusive behavior and want to change.
Friends, share how you have worked through the 1 Peter 3 passage and “ministered” to your abusive spouse?
Morning friends, I’m heading off to Lynchburg today to present a webinar to people helpers on “Three Common Mistakes that People Helpers Make.” Pray that my words and teaching have an impact on those listening that will equip them to be better people helpers to women in destructive marriages. Question: I did a Google search…
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Hello friends, Thank you so much for your prayers for my week away and the speaking event this past weekend at Cowgirls of Faith in Texas. It was a great time of fellowship and ministry and I felt your prayers throughout my speaking times. God is good. Here is a picture of the wonderful music…
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