"But Christ, as the Son, is in charge of God’s entire house. And we are God’s house, if we keep our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ." - (Hebrews 3:6 NLT)
Thoughts for Today
Abused spouses generally have sincere love and loyalty for their violent spouse. Those feelings of love and loyalty lead to false hope. Abused spouses need to learn to distinguish between false hope and the real hope that can be found only in Christ. They need to stop allowing false hope to prevent them from taking steps to correct an ungodly situation.
Hope placed in other people and our own abilities is unrealistic. It keeps us committed to the cyclic nature of battering and intermittent reinforcement and is not godly.
Hope built on our belief that we can keep our spouses from getting angry and violent is a distortion of reality. We cannot control the feelings or actions of the abuser. We do not have the ability to manage their anger. We must learn to back off and allow the abusive spouse to take responsibility for his or her own actions. We must exercise tough love.
Consider this …
Realistic hope builds on God and his promises—not people. Here are just a few of the many scriptures that promise God's faithfulness and love.
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. (Psalm 46:1 NLT)
The Lord is righteous in everything he does; he is filled with kindness. The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth. He grants the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cries for help and rescues them. (Psalm 145:17-19 NLT)
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13 NLT)
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 NLT)
Father, help me remember I can't change my spouse. I realize that as long as I place my hope in him or myself, I have no real hope. I choose to place my hope in you. I know you love me. I know you will never leave me or forsake me. Thank you. 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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