Facing Domestic Violence
He had promised to love and cherish her forever. One night though, my dad's verbal assaults turned physical and he hurt the woman he had loved for thirty years. It sounds like the storyline from a crime TV episode. Unfortunately, this episode was real and incredibly shocking to people who knew our family. The next day my father humbly apologized and promised he would never hurt her again. Sadly, she believed him.
It all started with words. Words are harmless enough, right? If only she would...work harder, do more, whatever...then she wouldn’t make him so mad. In mom’s mind, everything was her fault and she was to blame for his angry outbursts. The louder his emotional tirades got, the weaker she became. I will never forget her voice on the phone the night he hit her the first time.
Abuse is never acceptable. Never. Period. If you or someone you know is being threatened or hurt physically, do something about it today. If there's no family or friend to call, this national hotline can help [National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE(7233)]. Your safety and the safety of your family are the most important priority. Know that you are not alone, and that there are people who want to help.
No one wants to be forced to leave home, but when home isn’t safe, there’s no other choice. As “restraining order” and “terroristic threats” became part of our new vocabulary, it was comforting to know she had a place to live where he couldn’t find her.
Romans 12:12 says, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Take these words to heart.
Pray Like Crazy
The collateral damage from domestic violence is massive, but our God is faithful. If you are a victim of domestic violence, you probably understand what “praying without ceasing” means. Ask the Lord for His wisdom and strength when you’re faced with difficult decisions. Pray for the heart of the person who hurt you. God is able to rebuild shattered lives and heal seemingly impossible situations. Even though my parents’ marriage did not survive the devastation, the people did survive. Over time and with professional help, our father was able to get the help he urgently needed. Thankfully, he never hurt anyone again. No one is beyond God’s reach of His grace and forgiveness.
Healing Takes Time
When you’ve been hurt by someone you trusted and loved, recovery might not come overnight, but don’t give up. It was beautiful to see how the Lord gradually restored my mom’s confidence and joy and brought about the happiest season of her life. The Lord will provide you with patience as He heals your heart after suffering from domestic abuse.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer, and never give up. If you or someone you know is being abused, don’t wait. Get help today.
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