Domestic Violence Part 2: What You Can Do

Even if you feel trapped by an abusive relationship, know that there are steps you can take to do something about it. Know also that there is healing and restoration with time and Jesus Christ.

You realize what he's doing is wrong. 

You know this happens to other women.

You acknowledge that it's getting worse, not better.

So what are you going to do about it?

stand there while he pushes you or threatens to hit you again

believe the lies he speaks over you

allow him to defile your body, your mind, your spirit

No way. Not today. Not ever again. 

You see, my beautiful friend, there are some conditions you need to understand and accept about your situation.

First, your submission and obedience are to Jesus Christ. 

If you are dating a guy who physically and verbally mistreats you, walk away. No. Make that RUN AWAY! End it. You are not bound to him legally or biblically (even if you share the cable bill and a dog).    

If it's your husband inflicting the abuse, you probably feel obligated by your marriage vows. I totally understand. You made a commitment in front of God, the law, friends, and family. 

A storm of emotions swirls around your head as you decipher what to do. The right thing to do. The honorable thing to do.  

I've been there, and I assure you--if Christ is the center of your life, the center of your decisions, and the center ofyour actions--you will know what to do.  

Psalm 146:3 reminds you to not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save.
Psalm 118:8 says it is better for you to seek refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.
Jeremiah 17:5 warns, "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord."

Let me be very clear here. If what your husband is doing goes against the Word of God, do not conform to his scheming desires. If what he asks of you is not aligned with the Word, do not submit.

Hebrews 13:4 defines the sanctity of marriage— Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.  

RELATED ARTICLE: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PART 1: YOU AREN'T ALONE

Second, a mighty God is fighting for you.

If you're not convinced, check out Malachi 4:1-3. Let these words settle in your mind, take root in your heat, and become the solid ground beneath your feet.

The Lord of Heaven's Armies says,

"The day of judgment is coming, burning like a furnace. On that day the arrogant and the wicked will be burned up like straw. They will be consumed--roots, branches, and all."
"But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. On the day when I act, you will tread upon the wicked as if they were dust under your feet," says the Lord of Heaven's Armies.  

You will go free. And the Lord will act. You may not see it coming. It may be a rescue of the strangest kind. Very possibly the most bizarre way out. 

But do not be dismayed. Do not question. Do not waver. When the Almighty says run, you run! When He says do not look back, you keep your eyes forward. 

Third, prayer is a powerful weapon.

You may be filled with anger. Filled with shame. Maybe you're planning and plotting. Maybe you're cemented in fear.

With prayer, you can be a warrior. A woman who's armed and dangerous...with the Word!

Pray for courage--

courage to seek help, courage to tell the truth, courage to stand up for yourself.

Pray for protection--

protection from the abuse, protection from those who say you're exaggerating or overreacting. 

Pray for justice--

justice to be delivered from the legal system.

Pray for your defenders--

the authorities assigned to your case, the local women's shelter, the counselor or advocate fighting with you. 

And pray for your abuser--

pray for his hands to be tied, for his mouth to be shut, for his heart to soften, for his mind to heal, for his eyes to see, for his ears to hear.   

Use Hosea 2:6-8 to pray a fence of thornbushes around the abuser. While the scripture is addressing a woman, you can change the words to reflect a man, him, your husband or boyfriend. 

This is how I recited the passage to cover my situation. 

"For this reason the Lord will fence him in with thornbushes.
The Lord will block his path with a wall to make him lose his way.
When he runs after his lovers, he won't be able to catch them.
He will search for them but not find them.
Then he will think, 'I might as well return to the Lord
For I was better off with Him than I am now.'
He doesn't realize it was God who gave him everything he has--
The grain, the new wine, the olive oil;
The Lord even gave him silver and gold.
But he gave all the gifts to Baal."

Finally, healing and victory are possible.

You have been wounded. I know. 

You are scarred. I am too.

You see his face when you dream. I do too.

You look for his vehicle in parking lots. Me too. 

You are aware and on guard everywhere you go. I understand.

Take comfort in 1 Peter 21-23, and remember the example Christ is for you. 

For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. His is your example, and you must follow in his steps. 

He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone.

He did not retaliate when he was insulted,

Nor threaten revenge when he suffered.

He left his case in the hands of God,

Who always judges fairly.

Time is the only real remedy for the anguish you endured. It may not erase the visible scars, but it will mend your heart, steady your thoughts, and restore your faith in man. 

Remember the real enemy is Satan. His goal was to kill your spirit, steal your joy, and destroy your life. 

Take it all back one day at a time.   

For you are a victor, not a victim.

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Jennie McChargue

Jennie is the master teacher at a high school in South Louisiana where she coaches, supports, and promotes effective classroom practices. Her greatest joy is parenting her son Jacob, a junior and starting center-fielder for the Braves. Jennie's deepest desire is for others to experience the joy, freedom, and redemption that only comes from Jesus Christ.

She proudly sports her "Jesus cape" and wants others to have one as well! She is a warrior, encourager, and victor in Christ. Jennie and Jacob live in Houma, Louisiana.