"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." - Psalm 139:13-14 NIV
Thoughts for Today
Abuse takes many forms, but it is always devastating. In the United States alone, three to four million women are battered each year by their husbands or partners. And children are suffering from a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect. While three million reports of child abuse are made every year just in the United States, experts estimate that the actual number of incidents of abuse and neglect is three times greater than reported. While these are U.S. figures, the problems exist around the world.
Abuse, whether physical or verbal, erodes confidence and self-esteem. We begin believing what we are told about ourselves; we think that anyone treated so violently and abusively must deserve it. These beliefs are often accepted early in life and become part of the initial screen through which all information is processed. Even if abuse occurs when we are older, the intensity of the experience makes it a formidable opponent to positive self-image.
Consider this …
How do you see yourself? Is your self-image based on other people's words and actions toward you? Or is it based on the truth of God's Word? God knew you before you were even born. He created you … and his works are wonderful.
This week we will be considering more about who we are in Christ. As we learn to let Jesus help us take our eyes off ourselves and begin the process of putting our eyes on him, he is able to heal us.
Father, thank you for this reminder that you formed me and made me—and that your works are wonderful. I must admit, though, sometimes I don't feel as though I'm wonderful at all. In fact, sometimes I feel as though I don't deserve anything good. Help me to really grasp what Jesus did for me. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from …Restoring Families: Overcoming Abusive Relationships through Christ by Janet M. Lerner, D.S.W. This study helps to minister to families caught in the cycle of abusive relationships. The curriculum deals with overcoming these abusive relationships through Christ and is recommended for use in support groups and Christian counseling.
- Ministers to families from abusive relationships
- Ministers to victims of family violence
- Deals with wounded emotions
- Deals with control and intimacy issues
- Presents a strong message of Christ as healer of abusive relationships
Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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