A woman comes to you. She says she’s been abused. You look at her face. It’s evident that she’s stressed. Something is going on but you don’t know what. You ask her a few questions. She looks down, avoids eye contact. Her answers are all over the place. She’s obviously distressed. Is she lying? You don’t really have the time to try to find out. You tell her to go home, repent, try harder, pray more. Do more to be a better wife, to try to make her husband happy. “If it doesn’t get better, let me know.” Patting yourself on the back, you relegate it to the back of your mind. “Thank you, Lord, that I was able to be there for her.”
A woman comes to you. She says she’s been abused. You tell her you know her husband. He’s a good man, a gentle man, a kind and loving man. There’s no way he could do the things she says he’s done. “I know him. He’s never do the things you are accusing him of.” She tries to explain but nothing she says meshes with what you are sure you know. “I’ll pray for you but the ball is really in your court. If you want a better marriage, you have to work for a better marriage. You must have done something to make him unhappy.” You send her home but just for good measure, you call up her husband. “Your wife came in here telling me things that I knew couldn’t be true. I just thought you’d want to know.” He gives you a sob story about how unbalanced she is, how hard he tries and how little she appreciates his efforts. “I try everything in my power but it just never gets any better.” After promising to pray for him so that he’ll know how to help his wife, you hang up the phone. “Thank you, Lord, for letting me be here to pray for him and even for her. It must be so hard having a wife like that.”
A woman comes to you. She tells you that there isn’t enough money for food, not enough money for the doctor, not enough money for the power or the mortgage. “Our children need so much but my husband spends the money on other things. I don’t even know where it all goes. It’s always like this, and I don’t know what to do.” You look at her clothes. She’s well dressed. You look at her car. It’s top of the line. You know where she lives; the neighborhood is nice, upscale. She sees your doubt. “That car,” she says, “he insisted that he had to have that for business….” Looking back at her you tell her, “I know where you live. Your house is expensive. Your car is, too. Obviously your husband makes enough money. You just need to manage it better. Sell the car, get something nice but much cheaper. Cut out other luxuries. Move to a cheaper place. There’s a lot you can do to make things better. Maybe get into financial counseling. You need to learn to spend money on what’s important. Work with your husband, not against him. We can’t help you.” She tries once again to explain how broke they really are but, really, there’s no explanation necessary. The truth is so obvious. You send her away, shaking your head as you do. As you sit down to dinner that night, you once again think about her story. Then you pray, “Teach us to be grateful for what we’ve been given, for the bounty set before us, and help us to always be ready to share with those in need.” Thankful that you don’t know anyone who is really in need, you start to eat.
A woman comes to you…. What do you do?