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Sticks and stones will break my bones, But words will never hurt me. Do you remember chanting that nursery rhyme on the school playground? We were told by the Teachers that words couldn’t hurt, so anything a bully said could be ignored. It was a great idea for children (maybe) but it’s a naive idea that doesn’t work in real life. What makes verbal abuse so horrific is the same thing that makes physical abuse so terrible. What makes either one unbearably bad is the attack on the person. The heart of all types of abuse is the assault on the person sometimes through the person’s emotions, sometimes through the person’s self worth, sometimes through the person’s body, sometimes through the person’s spirit - but always against the person. I think the issue of verbal and physical abuse has become more and more common in families, even in churches. Any kind of abuse is an assault against the ‘you’ God created. It devalues your intelligence, your feelings, your value in the relationship, your personality, etc. It is disrespect, even if the abuser also surrounds what they say with phrases such as “I respect you”, “I value you” or “I love you” - their words and their actions say they really mean the opposite. There are also Christians who wouldn’t dream of acting this way in public. After all, we love the lost and have our ‘witnessing’ face on at all times. In church we have our ‘good Christian face’ on because that is our identity. But at home we’re dealing with family members who know better and with whom we are entitled to be ourselves. The cork pops off the pressurized bottle. But we think that’s okay because it’s being honest and not keeping our feelings bottled up. When outbursts such as these become acceptable as common occurrences, to what can we resort when seriously angry or provoked? The only option is to get louder, use more profanity and add physical violence to the mix.

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The problem is that none of thes is no way to justify uncontrolled and disrespectful outbursts. N Moreover, there is never an occ ceptable behavior in our homes cannot, accomplish a good pu beyond anger. It is emotional vi

God is so faithful to hear the crie God about all of this, he has c abuse in the church and the hom me truth from His Word that h levels than just healing from my He has taught me so much as self before Him and receive from to all my misconceptions of trut sought Him, and continue to do


se behaviors is acceptable. There d rages or any of the lesser angry No person deserves disrespect. casion when angry rage is an acs. Anger, in any form, will not and urpose (James 1:20). Rage goes iolence - out of control.

es of our hearts. As I have sought continued to affirm that, indeed, me is not His plan. He has taught has transformed my life on more y own past abusive relationship. I’ve been willing to humble mym Him – allowing Him full access th. God is a sure healer. As I have o so, He faithfully brings the balm

of His comfort and healing to me. And He will do the same for every one of you who have been wounded inside the walls of Satan’s prison. God will redeem what Satan meant for evil. God is faithful, faithful, faithful and can be fully trusted. Nowhere in God’s Word is there a place where God applauds or supports abuse. In fact, abuse is completely opposite to God’s nature. If believers are made new creatures in Christ and partakers in His nature, how can we possibly justify or excuse abusive behavior by someone bearing the name ‘Christian?’ Today I realised, it seems that the abused fight a losing battle. No matter how much you try to explain to outsiders the severity or effects of abuse, people just don’t understand. Sometimes I wish they could look inside us and see the carnage left behind in our souls and spirits by the emotional and verbal abuse. There are no physical bruises, just a crushed and crippled spirit. I hope this battle will eventually be understood by more. I have to keep believing it’s not an impossible battle. Those of us who know have to be the ones who keep standing up and crying out. This is a very serious issue. We should be helping victims to safety and promoting healing, not holding the doors to their cells shut. • Do you know of some injustice but feel you are powerless to make a difference? • Are you a victim but think you can’t change anything? • Do you see abuse but don’t do anything ‘this time’, with good intentions for ‘some other day’? If you do not know who to speak out to — e-mail me. I can help you. And then we can join our power of one and become one plus one. God offers hope, not a lifetime sentence, to abuse victims. Join the debate on twitter - @KimBacchus or Facebook – KimBacchusSolutions, and sign up at www. kimbacchus.com for regular motivational tips and details of upcoming serminars

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STW Feb/Mar 2011