Sexual Abuse

God Expects You To Be Better By Now (Resistance to Recovery)

See: Part 1 | See: Part 2

(The third in a three part series on resistance to recovery.)

In the first of this series of articles I emphasized that the most difficult form of resistance to recovery is our own resistance. Recovery is not easy. It is a difficult process. Telling the truth, acknowledging our need, accepting help, making amends - these are some of the difficult tasks of recovery. It is understandable that we resist such a difficult process. In addition, recovery involves change. We have spent many years practicing our dysfunctional ways of living. The path of least resistance for us is to keep doing the same old things. Change is difficult and it is understandable that we resist it. In the second in this series of articles, I emphasized that in addition to our own internal resistance to recovery, recovery also often takes place in a hostile environment. For a variety of reasons, not everyone in our lives will welcome the changes which recovery brings.


Many of us, unfortunately, have experienced some distinctively Christian forms of resistance to recovery and it is this kind of resistance which I would like begin to discuss in this article.

Living Water in the Desert of Abuse

Hagar couldn't bear to watch - or listen.

She tucked her son beneath the scant shade of a spiny bush, staggered about 100 yards away, and tried to plug her ears against his cries for help. But through the flesh and bone of her fingers, she could still hear him.

"Mama! Water! Please, Mama!" he begged, his voice cracking with adolescence and thirst.

Although the heat was oppressive, Hagar shivered with horror. Her baby was dying and she was helpless against the relentless sun and parched winds.

Soon she, too, would die from thirst. More painful than the thought of her own demise was the pleading voice of her son asking for the basic necessity of life that she could not give him -- water.

Men Abused by WomenPremium Content

Even though it is rarely discussed, men can be abused by women verbally, physically, psychologically and/or sexually. Here is extensive information to help you identify and deal with this situation.

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Will I ever get over the pain of the child abuse I suffered?

Will I ever get over the pain of the child abuse I suffered?

God has a special place in His heart for all little children, but I cannot imagine the way He grieves over an innocent child who suffers at the hand of a parent.

We Are Adult Survivors of Child Abuse

According to Triumph Over Darkness: Understanding and Healing the Trauma of Childhood Sexual Abuse. Wood, Wendy A. Beyond Words Publishing. April, 1993.

    1. We grew up feeling very isolated and vulnerable, a feeling that continues into our adult lives.

    2. Our early development has been interrupted by abuse, which either holds us back or pushes us ahead developmentally.

    3. Sexual abuse has influenced all parts of our lives. Not dealing with it is like ignoring an open wound. Our communication style, our self-confidence, and our trust levels are affected.

Abuse - Information & Help

Abuse can take several forms: physical, mental, emotional, religious, sexual, verbal and/or spiritual.

Abuse is rampant in our time. Every day there are stories of teachers, priests, and ministers who have abused someone. The Christian home is not even free from abuse. The abuser is often addicted to their behavior, and they find it very difficult to stop without help. Verbal abuse includes withholding, bullying, defaming, defining, trivializing, harassing, interrogating, accusing, blaming, blocking, countering, diverting, lying, berating, taunting, putting down, edifying, discounting, threatening, name-calling, yelling and raging.

Who Needs Recovery?Premium Content

Recovery involves the entire person: spiritual, physical, emotional and mental. You can recover from abuse, addiction, eating disorders, anxiety, shame, guilt, anger, alcoholism, codependency, suffering, grief, depression and more!

You probably need to consider seeking help if:

  • The last thing in the world you want to do is talk about your possible areas of "stuckness".
  • Your life is getting to be a repeat of one disaster after another.
  • You are finding you feel less and less in control over problems you once thought were under control.
  • You have noticed an increase in the frequency of the behaviors that you believe are a problem (lying, stealing, drinking, eating, gambling, etc.)
  • You have family members that have begun to show concern about problem areas in your life.
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    Asking for Support: Getting the Help You Need - Part 2Premium Content

    by Dale & Juanita Ryan | see: Part 1

    We resist getting help

    In spite of the abundance of God's love and grace and the many ways in which love and grace are available to us, we do not easily reach out for the help we need. Even when we have acknowledged our need for help, we may find ourselves hesitating, finding excuses, resisting. Resistance to getting help is often the result of a mixture of fear and despair and shame.

    Fear

    It can be frightening to get help. In the process we feel vulnerable and exposed. Jim's Dad had made cutting remarks about him all his life. Jim was so accustomed to hearing that he was lazy and stupid and irresponsible that every time he shared in his support group, he expected to hear these same hurtful comments in response. Even though people didn't respond this way, Jim imagined that everyone must be privately thinking these things about him. As a result, he would sometimes begin to share only to freeze with fear and find himself unable to talk.

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    Asking for Support: Getting the Help You Need - Part 1Premium Content

    by Dale & Juanita Ryan
    See: Part 2 | Part 3

    The God of the Bible is a God who saves and heals. The Bible is clear about this: He will deliver the needy who cry out, he will rescue them from oppression and violence. Psalm 72: 12,14) When we see our need, acknowledge our inability to save ourselves, and cry out, God delivers us. God rescues us from oppression and violence. Whether it is the oppression and violence of our compulsions and addictions or the oppression and violence of abuse and neglect, God delivers us and heals us. God is powerful enough and loving enough to deliver us from all of the oppression and violence we face.

    This is the good news proclaimed in Scripture. And it is the basis for our hope on the recovery journey. We cannot save ourselves. Or heal ourselves. But God can. And God will.

    Sound simple? It turns out to be anything but simple. There are several reasons for this. First, we find it hard to believe that God is

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    Rape or Sexual Abuse and the Victim's Sexual PurityPremium Content

    by Derek Carlsen  »  Bio

    Faith For All of Life "Historical Revisionism: Why All the Fuss?"

    One of the scourges of our day is the crime of rape or sexual abuse. Many live in fear of becoming the next victim. The horror and trauma of being sexually abused is known firsthand by an excessive number of people. Even worse, the shame and stigma that society associates with such crimes means that the victims suffer in almost solitary confinement. This ought not to be!

    My desire in this article is to address the sense of guilt and moral pollution that often attaches to victims of rape or sexual abuse. I believe God's Word provides instruction so that these victims might be set free from their feelings of guilt and moral pollution (John 8:32). For the church to be able to minister to these victims in a godly way, believers need to have their thinking conformed to the mind of Christ. While what I say will appear obvious, the stigma that too often follows the rape victim shows that the church's understanding of this matter is in need of reformation. My position comes from my own wrestling with the Scriptures to find healing balm for those who have been sexually violated. There is a great need for it today.

    Thesis Stated

    If a maiden - that is, a virgin - be raped, believers ought to look upon her and treat her as a virgin. Why? Because, according to Scripture, she is still sexually pure.1 I believe this is what the Scriptures teach. It is then a natural and necessary consequence to apply this same reasoning to other forms of sexual abuse.

    Thesis Defended

    Scripture teaches, "If a man entices a virgin who is not betrothed, and lies with her, he shall surely pay the bride-price for her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money according to the bride-price of virgins" (Exod. 22:16-17 NKJV).

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