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Why Christian Women Tolerate Abuse

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WHAT CAN THE CHURCH DO ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?  Part 2
In review of Part 1 The Silent Cry of the Lambs, we talked about why women remain silent in the midst of physical, emotional and mental abuse.  We talked about the keywords that are the symptoms of women who are being abused, mistreated, and/or manipulated by someone they believe has control and authority over them.  We wrote about domination and how it relates to and affects those who are intimidated, or feel threatened, if not for themsleves, than for someone they relate to, care for or love.
 
FEAR, DOMINATION, INTIMIDATION are the spirits of witchcraft!
 
LACK OF SUPPORT from family, friends and associates breeds isolation, and leaves an open door for the individual to become vulnerable and oppressed by spirits of depression and suicide.
 
IGNORANCE is the tool that is frequenstly used to manipulate women to remain in an abusive relationship, because she doesn't know what to do, where she can receive help that will truly benefit her without exposure of what is happening in her private life.  Many women tolerate abuse, because they don't know who they can trust.
 
WHAT CAN THE CHURCH DO ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
 
Provide a refuge or safe envirmonment that victims of domestic violence can come to immediately in a crisis.  There needs to be a "cooling off period" that the parties involved" are separated from each other.  Most law enforcement officers will escort either party out of the home or away from the environment until the issues can be resolved or reconciled in a peaceable manner.  If it is necessary to remove one of the individuals or spouse away from the home, the church should have a place that allows women and children to find solitude, security and guidance counselors that are familiar with crisis intervention, or such counselors are able to refer individuals to someone that has been trained or has experienced in working with domestic problems.  It doesn't mean that the church is interfering in the mairtal or domestic relationship between the "parties involved" it is providing an option, a choice, an alternative for those individuals who want to remove themselves temporarily from a hostile or potentially life threatening situation.
 
Include classes or have small cell groups meetings eithin the churchas part of your Christian Education that deals with, or provides vital information regarding "Women's Issues" and "Relationships."  Domestic violence and/or abuse are not always realted to those who are married.
 
A woman may not be willing to expose herself or her personal problems to be held in contempt by those who lack understanding, or act self righteous because of their inability to comprehend what that person is experiencing.  There is a big difference between empathy (identification with and understanding another's situation, feelings or motives) and sympathy (an expression of pity or sorrow for the distress of another) it's difficult to assist someone in a life threatening crisis, or hostile domestic relationship; without acquired knowledge or preventive care of genuine experience that you can relate directly with that person and their unique situation.
 
Small cell groups should prevent one individual from monopolizing the conversation and these groups provide more open discussion than larger groups or congregations.
 
A.)  Divide the women in groups of two's or three's and then bring them together as a whole, to summarize what they have learned from each other or how the open discussion benefits them personally.
 
B.)  Have the women who are elders, mothers and established in the church to give counsel or advice.  Appoint a group leader that is knowledgeable in dealing with domestic problems, marital difficulties and relationships, that recognizes the signs of abuse.
 
C.)  Small children shouldn't be allowed to attend, or be in the presence of adults attending these sessions, these meetings need to be for adults only, even if the church has to provide child care or Children's Church; if necessary have women take turns watching the children away from the discussion where the children can play, be themsleves and not demand constant attention.  It is vital to the outcome of the"parties involved" that they remain focused on the issues presented.  Children can be a distraction, and further more they shouldn't be submitted to adult converstaions, especially that which involves people they are familiar with or know.
 
What you don't know, can hurt you!  Provide as much information as possible that relates to strengthening family relationships, marraige and divorce, domestic violence, self esteem and personal moral values.  We often preach at people, and even teach them the Word of God, but we seldom provide resources such as books, pamphlets, audio and visual materials that can be easily accessed without embarrassment to any individual that needs help or request information.
 
Use every available means to your ministry or organization to expose domestic violence and sbuse.  There is a wealth of information and resources available to churches, non-profit organizations and ministries from community organiztions for women, hospitals, safe places, women's shelters, and the internet.  Leaders should assign someone in their ministries to seek out agencies and community organizations (local, county and state levels) that offer moral support and financial assistance and place that information on your church bulletins boards, newletters, bookstores or display tables.
 
Along with your Christian Educastion Classes, Department or Auxiliaries include Seminars, Workshops and Fellowships for Women, Men and Couples that directly affects these issues, and allow enough time for open panel dissucsions with the speaker, teacher or educator that can directly address any concerns or platform regarding abuse and/or domestic violence.
 
Appoint and designate people that are sensitive in the Holy spirit that are willing to volunteer to serve in this area of ministry.  Everyone is not called to minister to everybody!  The wrong advice can do more harm than good!  Someone who is insensitive, can cause irreparable damage and feel justified by what they've said or even worst be blind to the harm they've done, because they don't possess the sensitivity necessary to work and/or assist those who have specific needs.  Just because they are/were married or have been in a similar situation doesn't qualify them to counsel someone, especially if they haven't foregone the healing process in their own lives.
 
To those in ministry, pray and seek God for directions and wisdom.  Many people will come into your pasture and cross your path, some may even be assigned to your ministry; that makes you accountable for what happens to that person.  You are the watchman, and you must cry "wolf, bear, lion, snake or even goat!"  The blood of the slain sheep will be on your hands if you sit by and do nothing.  Don't ignore the silent cry of the lambs.
 
article written by Editor, Pastor Loretta Williams
If you are in an abusive situation, regardless of whether it is physical, emotional, or mental; and you need help or assistance, or even just someone to pray with and for you; or you would like to have more information, books, audio tapes or material that is available for women regarding DOMESTIC VIOLENCE contact us at :vodministries@hotmail.com
 
Pastor Williams has trained counselors, professional people and women that have survived DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.  You can get help and assistance,so that you are no longer the victim in an abusive situation or relationship, all you need to do is "reach out to us, help is waiting for you."