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"Many times they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me" (Ps 129:2).
Forget that it's June. In Part 1, I challenged you to take an honest inventory of the people you "mother" to the detriment of cultivating healthy relationships.
As a result of child abuse, I'd developed a controlling and critical attitude--my way of coping with the sense of powerlessness that continued into adulthood. Healing required me to recognize it, confess it, and adopt a new mind-set.
Simple, but not easy. You have to want it badly. You have to continue in that trajectory when you feel like giving up. It takes time. I had to be willing to consider my reactions to the people around me--my reactions were broken.
But there's two sides to this coin of reaction to abuse. A friend comments:
"Been down this road. Have the scars and the smiles to prove it. Dysfunction finds its own. The first ten years of my marriage were the WORST. The last nearly ten have gradually improved for us both. God is so good!
Learning to hold my tongue was the opposite of my problem. My husband was the belittler and quick to point out real or perceived slights. I had to trust God for the courage to speak up in honesty, and not back down about the abuse in my marriage.
It was the hardest thing I ever did, but gradually I got better at it. God honored the honesty without rancor. My husband is a different man, in large part because I opened my mouth.
I realize I'm different from most women in this respect. I see it all the time, passive anger, the criticism in public. It's so painful. My problem was no less deadly to my marriage, though."
Healing required me to close my mouth. My friend's healing required her to open her mouth. We both had to recoginize it, confess it, and adopt a new mind-set. God acted on our behalf.
No matter the side of the coin you're on, you can heal. Let God heal you on the inside and you'll be amazed at what will change on the outside.
*Special note: If you are currently in an abusive relationship, if you or your children are in physical danger, this blog is not a call to "stay put and pray." Get to a safe place as quickly as possible.
The National Hotline for Domestic Violence:
1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or www.thehotline.org
Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline:
1-800-4-A-CHILD or www.childhelp.org
Published on Tuesday, June 7, 2011 @ 10:51 AM CDT
On the heels of Mother's Day, the next two Tuesday-updates will challenge you to take an honest inventory of the people you "mother" to the detriment of cultivating a healthy relationship. I'll begin by addressing married women, but if you're single, stick around, this could spare you a lot of future marital frustration if you'll take it to heart.
What, you may ask, does this have to do with women who've been abused or betrayed? (The purpose of this blog) Trust me; more than you know. All that I share, I share from personal experience. Be patient, by the end of this exercise, you'll be able to tell me.
Today, I have a few brief questions for you. Please prayerfully consider each one, then meet me back here next Tuesday with your answers.
1. Do you criticize your husband over the quality of completed household chores or re-do them to satisfy your own standards?
2. Do you control all of the money and/or attempt to keep him in the dark about your finances?
3. Do you complain to your husband as if he were a child? EX. How many times do I have to tell you to put your dishes in the dishwasher?
4. Do you belittle him with your words or joke at his expense in front of others?
Don't bail on me. I understand that many of you were abused and would tell me that HE was the one who did these things to you. But I've found that many abused women (present company included) develop very co-dependent and controlling attitudes toward men--for fear of succumbing to the feelings of powerlessness that rage within. When we inventory our behavior before God, He blesses us with the truth--the truth that sets us free. So, I encourage you to use these questions as a spring-board for intimate conversations with God and another person who's further along in the healing process than you are.
Published on Tuesday, May 17, 2011 @ 11:37 AM CDT