Even prior to my living a God-filled life, people have found me easy to talk to. It’s not unusual that shortly upon meeting me, many feel comfortable enough to share with me things that they wouldn’t openly admit to anyone. I’ve never understood why that is, I always just accept it. I’m not a counselor of any sort and I have little resources. My sole resource is God. Only HE can fix what’s broken. The only thing I can do is listen and offer whatever God lays on my heart to say; mostly I pray for them.
Lately, there’s been a common heartache that’s been brought to me by four individuals. I can no longer ignore what’s been presented. Because I can’t ignore this, I’m bringing it to you. If you’re reading this, it’s because God wants you to…and now you can’t ignore it either. I’m going to allow my words to flow now. I very well may step upon a soapbox, so consider yourself forewarned.
The heart burden is this: Who in the Christian community helps men of domestic/spousal abuse? Males are victims too. I discovered countless articles and some general abuse support groups (see below), but found little faith-based support. I wonder why the churches aren't openly stepping up to counsel the male victim of abuse in the same manner they do the female victim? Where are the shelters for men? Where are the Pastors and Christian counselors poised to help a male deal with the humiliation of having been a victim of someone they love?
Here are my thoughts concerning this (soapbox standing here): We raise our males to be providers, protectors, leaders, warriors, and more. A man of Christian faith adopts these principles as part of his core person. He strives to guide his family. He’s to love and cherish his wife. He’s to be her strength. So, what happens when the woman becomes abusive physically and mentally? As stated in the articles below, most people don’t believe the seriousness of a physically more muscular male falling victim to a physically inferior female. Frankly, I’m beginning to wonder if this isn’t more serious. Stay with me here.
We teach our sons never to strike a woman. In the case of a woman prone to be abusive, we’ve just given her clearance to beat all she wants on him, comfortable in the knowledge that he’ll not respond in kind. Do you see a man in this situation as weak? In my opinion, it takes incredible strength not to knock her block off. Of course, he shouldn't strike her. Well all know that.
But then what? Should he be forced to stay in abuse with a spouse who refuses to get help for her issues? Doesn’t society do all they can to assist a woman with fleeing such a household? Yes, we do. But the man is expected to stay. What’s worse, I’m learning that Pastors are telling male victims of domestic abuse that, if they divorce, they'll become ostracized from their churches. Wow…as if the man isn’t suffering enough psychological punishment and embarrassment. Why don’t we punish and damage them more by telling them that there’ll be no support whatsoever from the one place they thought they could get help, guidance, and counseling for healing?
These men are broken. They’ve lost their sense of worth and masculinity. When they do leave the situation, it’ll take a very long time for them to recover. And that’s if they find the correct sort of counselor. I’m not an advocate for divorce; far from it. I don’t wish that on any couple, but if you cannot serve God well with your spouse by your side, then changes must take place (you MUST be equally yoked). If both are willing to work on changing their behavior patterns and seek ways of serving God in unison, then take as long as it takes for God to work miracles within your marriage. You’ll both become stronger for weathering the storm together. Our first love, before our spouse, is to be God. If, as a couple, you’re unable to counsel through your problems and those issues hinder your focus on the work you do for God, well…
Churches and Pastors, I challenge you to open yourselves to a hurt that’s under your roof; it’s very likely that there are more victims in your assembly then you’re aware. As the Body of Christ, it’s up to us to offer Godly assistance for ALL victims. It’s up to us to encourage and uplift them into being the best servants they can be for our Heavenly Father. It’s not up to us to judge whether they’re enough of a victim before we activate our love and support.
(Stepping from soapbox now) …If you’re aware of Christian-based support programs for male victims of domestic abuse, please contact me so that I may pass this information on to those who shared with me their sorrow. Thank you and God bless.
Help for victims: