Abuse

Authority: Abuse or Love?

The king answered the people harshly. Rejecting the advice given him by the elders, he followed the advice of the young men. 1 Kings 12:13-14


"What shall I do, Ms. Yvonne?" Melissa asked as we sat in my office.

Her husband had slapped their son repeatedly because he didn't put toilet paper on the toilet seat in a public restroom before using it.

When she saw marks on her son's cheeks, she questioned him. His father had warned him not to tell. He cried and finally told her what happened. She said he was a young child and made a mistake.

Are You the Victim of a Bully?

I once thought a bully was a big kid shaking down a weaker kid for lunch money.

Now I know bullies are adults, too. They’re bosses, parents, teachers, spouses, neighbors, pastors, celebrities, and pro athletes. A bully is an insecure person who uses physical or emotional violence, or the threat of such violence, to exert power and control over others.

I can’t think of anything positive about bullies or their actions.

The bully hasn’t learned how to get what he needs—affirmation, love, self-worth—in authentic relationships, so he resorts to violence and threats. Bullies aren’t “real men” or “strong women.” They’re weak or unskilled in relationships, so they compensate with bravado.

Discovering Real Love

Writing to those loved by God the Father, called and kept safe by Jesus Christ. Relax, everything's going to be all right; rest, everything's coming together; open your hearts, love is on the way!...But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God's love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life! Jude 1b-2, 20-21, The Message


We are always changed by our experiences of being loved by God. As we Practice His Presence we will be gently challenged as to what we believe about love. Our wounds associated with love will be "being healed" as we practice his presence.

The first front of healing in our journey as Son's and Daughter's; is to become empowered to more fully receive love from Father. "Be Loved!"

Do I need to forgive someone who is not repentant?

Do I need to forgive someone even if it doesn’t seem that he is sorry?

Luke 17:3-4 answers that question this way:

"If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him."

Jesus said that without genuine repentance there is no forgiveness. One example of this principle is when he says:

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation.2 Corinthians 7:10

What Do You Gain When You Rescue Someone?

Proverbs 19:19:
A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty;
if you rescue him, you will have to do it again.

"My husband is a hot-tempered man," Rosie told me. "In a fit of rage, he broke my mother's special vase."

"What happened next?" I asked.

Rosie blushed as she talked about rushing to the store to find a vase just like the one her husband broke before her mother returned home.

I looked into her eyes and asked if she had covered for her husband in the past.

Rosie wouldn't look at me. However, she admitted she had rescued her husband many times from the consequences of his behavior.

"Are you tired of rescuing your husband?"

Pornography, Christianity and Control

When thinking of pornography and Christianity and the issue of control, things get quite interesting. Matthew 18:3 informs us:

    And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

On the other hand it seems intuitive that the repetitive use of pornography is proof that our "internal adolescent" has wrested away the controls in the command center of our brain and what is needed is a return of control to the superego. We long for simple joys, simple trust, unconditional love but there is no denying that we physically are no longer children and we can get into some very big trouble.

Men Helping Female Partners Deal with Childhood Sexual Abuse

I clearly remember the day my wife, Liz, told me that she had been sexually abused as a child.

We were watching TV and I could tell she wasn't really interested in the show.

"What's wrong?" I asked her, unaware that her answer would turn my world upside down.

"My stepfather sexually abused me when I was a child," Liz said.

There was a long period of silence as I searched for something to say. Here I was, suddenly presented with a startling revelation. I was dumbfounded.

Liz stared at me, waiting for a reaction.

Questions began to flood my thoughts. I really didn't know what to think.

"What do you mean?" I asked. "Why would your stepfather do such a thing?"

Depression and the Recovery Process

The unrelenting sadness and hopelessness that characterized my experience with depression is something I will never forget. In the grips of depression I often felt paralyzed, not possessing the strength to rise from bed or even to open my eyes in the morning. I felt completely alone, unable to make contact with anyone, not even Almighty God. I lost interest in life and the things that make life special. I became reclusive and withdrawn, not wanting to be with friends I alternated between insomnia and exhaustion. I couldn't concentrate. And always, I felt inexplicably sad. Nothing made me happy. Most frightening of all, I made intricate preparations for my death. 1

This year, 17 million Americans will suffer from depressive illness. In 1988 the General Accounting Office estimated that up to half of the homeless suffer from chronic phychiatric disorders. 2 - many also addicted to alcohol and drugs. While severe forms of psychosis are readily recognized, depressive disorders, which are more subtle, can be overlooked as factors that prevent program participants from moving forward in recovery.

Giving Faith the Victory Over our Fears

A study on Life Controlling Fears

    8:35-37, NKJV
    Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. They also who had seen it told them by what means he who had been demon-possessed was healed. Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And He got into the boat and returned.

When You Want Revenge

1 Corinthians 13:6 RSV
[Love] does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.

Ever want revenge against someone else? I think that one of the innate human emotions is the desire for one's persecutor to suffer as much as they have caused suffering (or more). I think that many of us, at one time or another, fantasied about that horrible person being humiliated or hurt like they humiliated or hurt us.

It's simple human nature.

But Paul tells us that we, as Christians, deny ourselves, deny our nature and choose love. We refuse to rejoice at wrong, even the suffering of our enemy, are rejoice in right. That we have a higher calling: to trust God in everything.

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