I want to make something super clear…I do not think women should just take abuse. I have said from the beginning and I will say as long as I’ve got a place to say anything that a woman in a marriage who is being treated harshly – verbally abused, spiritually abused, economically abused, physically abused, sexually abused, controlled, manipulated, lied to, living with a spouse’s addiction and its effects – should get help*. She should not automatically divorce, but she should absolutely not just take it. And that there is help out there.
Since writing the post about grace being shown to the abuser, I’ve read the comments, and I found something out in my personal life that has left me not wanting to show grace anymore. I’ve felt beyond done. I am sick of all of it, and putting the word grace in the same sentence makes me want to scream.
And yet, here I am. Here I am to say that grace isn’t about the other person and what he has or has not done, what new lie has been uncovered, how much damage has been done, how much harm keeps coming. Grace isn’t about the other person nearly as much as it is about me realizing that the person who keeps hurting me is just that: a person. A fellow human being who’s hurting. Created by the same Creator who created me.
As Amy Grant puts it:
“The sun that’s shining on my face, is shining down on you/
and the fruit that gives me strength to live, is giving you strength too.”
You can stand up for yourself and still be showing grace. You can say you’re not going to take the bullying anymore and still be showing grace. You can get help and still be showing grace. You can walk away and still be showing grace. You can be mad as hell at the injustices being done left and right and still be showing grace.
We are all just people. My dear friend’s son is undergoing heart surgery as I type and everything seems so fragile and I seriously just want to yell, We’re all just people! Just be kind. Just stop treating each other so horribly. Just stop lying. Just stop being so selfish. Just stop making horrible choices. Just stop.
Show grace. When you get help, you are showing grace to your abuser and to yourself. And you are showing everyone around you who God is.
*Possible avenues of help:
Contact your church.
Join Celebrate Recovery (www.celebraterecovery.com).
Join AlAnon (http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/).
Bottomline, tell someone you trust that you think you’re being abused; and keep asking for help until you get it.
If this post helped you, I would encourage you to check out “Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage”, found here.