Domestic Violence: The Lord Hears Your Cries
Rev. Lydia D’Ross is the Renewal Program Outreach Chaplain for Brookhaven Hospital and a licensed and ordained minister.
Historically, the church has had difficulty addressing domestic violence or sexual abuse issues within the walls of the church. If a woman indicates her husband is mistreating or abusing her, an untrained pastor might tell her that she should go home and submit to her husband. Some pastors may be inexperienced, and give damaging advice unintentionally.
It is often difficult for someone in an abusive situation to reach out for help. Shock! Fear! Depression! Anger! Who will help me? These are some of the emotions a person may be experiencing. A person who has gone through domestic violence trauma, especially for a long period of time, might be under the mistaken belief that it is their fault. If you are in an abusive relationship, be encouraged, you are not at fault. Abuse is always a choice made by the abuser. God is fair and loving. God is not punishing you; the responsibility for your suffering at the hands of the abuser must be squarely placed where it belongs; on the abuser.
Recently an incident that shook the NFL and sparked a national conversation about domestic violence happened when video of abuse by NFL player, Ray Rice toward then fiancée, Janay Rice, surfaced. When the victim takes the blame of the abuser, it is difficult to determine how long the abuse has been going on. The NFL’s leadership has pledged to provide education to its players and employees. Hopefully, the situation will result in increased awareness about the problem of domestic violence. There is never an excuse or justification for abuse.
The Bible contains examples of innocent people who suffered through no fault of their own. Joseph was one of them. He was emotionally abused and physically taunted by his brothers. Pre-mediated murder was sought out for him, but his life was spared by the grace of God. He was then sold into slavery. Years later, he confronted his abusers, because God heard his cry. Joseph felt that God was punishing him, and wondered why he was suffering so much mistreatment. Job also had similar questions. (Job&.1-11) Job cried out to God in his distress, and blamed himself thinking he had failed God in some way.
Individuals in abusive situations might feel they have failed their husband or wife or they are being punished for some reason or another. This is a lie. The Lord hears your cry and has sent people your way to deliver you out of your distress. You need to ask yourself this question: Can I believe that God hears me in my pain? The truth is, God has made it very clear that men should not abuse their wives, and if they do, women do not have to submit to it. God wants you to choose life. Christ has come to break you away from your oppressor, and bring you into abundant life.
We want you to know, that at Brookhaven hospital, we are here for you. God is always ready to help you through Brookhaven Hospital’s Renewal Program with a faith-based holistic approach. Help is also available through Domestic Violence Intervention Services, 918.7HELP.ME (918.743.5763).