What Would You Do?

If you knew that a woman in your church was being abused by her husband, what would you do? Would you get involved and help her? Or would you take the easy way out, play ignorant and stay silent?

If you are like most Christians, the second option would be your choice.

I’ve talked to women from all over the world who have been abused by their husbands. Almost without fail, these women have confided that when their situation became known, their church family either abandoned them, accused them or ignored them. Rarely did anyone, especially a pastor, elder or leader of any kind, try to help them.

Why is this, do you suppose?My thoughts are that, 1) Christians are woefully ignorant of the dynamics of an abusive marriage and are happy in their ignorance and, 2) they are afraid of getting involved.Both are sin.

To continue to read, please go to What Would You Do?.

Domestic Violence and a Pastor’s Response By Donna Gibbs

Domestic Violence: Two. Intimidating. Words.

I’ve been working as a professional Christian Counselor for nearly 20 years, and these two words still haunt me. No matter how much experience I have with this issue, no matter how many encounters with violence, I still have a healthy respect for the unpredictable nature of this often silent struggle. One thing is for sure, domestic violence is a real thing. And, this side of heaven, it’s not going away. It’s in my church. And, it’s in yours.

I’ve seen the bruises, the cuts, the broken bones, and the broken spirits. I’ve seen the long-lasting trauma in a child who has witnessed a chronic form of terror. I’ve sat across from more than one female who narrowly escaped death at the hands of the husband who committed to love, nurture, and protect her for life. Domestic violence doesn’t always involve a male offender, though over 75% of domestic abuse events involve a male offender. The point is domestic violence is real. And its scary.

So what is the appropriate response for a pastor? I genuinely believe that a pastor, and their church leadership, can be the most effective tool available to a community in educating families and breaking the silence and chains of abuse. On the other hand, pastors and church leaders can also be the very tools used to create the silence, and continue the horror.

To read in full, please go to http://www.lifeway.com/pastorstoday/2014/09/25/domestic-violence-and-a-pastors-response/

A Call to Pastors

Originally posted on Peace Works Blog:

I have a tremendous amount of respect for pastors. Serving in pastoral ministry has provided me both great joy, and heartache. It is a difficult job in many ways, and often very isolating. My hope is that I may be able to minister to churches and leaders helping them become more aware and better equipped to address the problem of domestic abuse.

With That Said:

Recently, while participating in a live stream event with my friend Leslie Vernick I took some time to record this short video to pastors and church leaders.

Final Thought:

Speaking of resources, here are a few to get you started.

1. The resource page on my website contains articles, webinars and live stream events I’ve participated in  – http://peaceworks1.webs.com/resources

2. A Cry For Justice has an exhaustive resource list here – http://cryingoutforjustice.com/resources/

3. Leslie Vernick is a friend and tremendous resource for the church. You can learn…

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Are You a Poor Husband?

“Gentlemen, nothing in God’s word says you are to degrade your wife, to belittle or to force her into submission to your ideas or opinions. You are to lead by presenting a godly example. Yes, you are to make decisions and they should never demean your wife. If you do you sin against her and also against God. You should never make her the blunt of jokes and always show her a proper and gentlemanly respect. A man who does put his wife down degrades himself. It shows he has no real understanding of the roles of marriage. If he does not respect his wife he will not respect other also. The result will be that he will be a poor husband and leader.” ~Cooper Abrams

A Call to Men, The Pulpit, and Domestic Violence

ast week I called pastors to engage in conversations concerning the epidemic of domestic violence by acknowledging the severity of the problem, recognizing our own blindness to the systemic nature of violence against women, and taking stands publicly. I was encouraged by the responses of fellow pastors to the need. I know many are disappointed in the church in this regard and rightfully so. We have done a poor job in the past. We have not arrived. We still make many mistakes. But the progress I observe is encouraging. Reading some of the e-mail responses to last week’s post reminded me of just how far many friends and I have come in just a few years.

Churches that never discussed domestic abuse are reading, learning, wrestling with, engaging, and yes, making mistakes as they build Biblical policies and practices which serve victims well. This growing process has literally saved lives. PTLTraining ministries that previously, rarely addressed domestic violence, and sometimes

To finish reading, please go to A Call to Men, The Pulpit, and Domestic Violence.

On Christian Modesty

I wasn’t raised to be modest. Growing up, I regularly wore short-shorts, tube tops and revealing swimsuits. So did the other girls that I went to church with. Those were modern times and old-fashioned rules just didn’t apply. Or so I was told.

I grew up, married and had children. I dressed my little girl in shorts and halter tops and swimsuits, nothing as revealing as my clothing had been but still more-so than I now believe is appropriate. As she approached her teen years I grew uncomfortable with the idea of her dressing as I had once dressed. And, by that time, I had two other young girls, impressionable and with ever-lasting souls and the way they would be dressed as they grew up was also weighing on my mind. I started researching this modesty issue.

No matter what we’re talking about (music, clothes, habits), there’s a danger of swinging too far to the right thinking that if we do more than is required, we’ll be even more pleasing to the Lord and that’s what I did when I became more aware of the need to be more modest. But God tells us in His Word that we are to be temperate, showing moderation in all that we do. In other words, neither going too far this way nor that. Growing up, my home tended towards being legalistic. Immodesty was allowed but many other things weren’t. They weren’t disallowed because God said it but simply because the church thought it. In other words, they were Pharisees, adding rules in order to keep rules. This was the tendency in my family as well as the church that I grew up in (considering the times, that is). As I studied what the Bible said rather than church doctrine, my beliefs changed. I changed. So how we dressed changed.

To read in full, please go to On Christian Modesty.