Transcribed by Chester Weaver
How does one recover from abuse? What could be a truly healing process?
- Find hope by facing the truth.
- End denial and admit that abuse happened.
- Tell one’s story without minimizing the damage. The damage is great and severe.
- The unlikey route to joy is honesty, repentance of self-protection, and bold love.
- Abused victims frequently move into heavy denial, as if a thick wall or heavy bulwark surrounded them. They must embrace no more isolation, no more denial, and find ways to move into honesty and openness.
Psalm 23:4 mentions that we can walk through the valley of the shadow of death by means of suffering, but we have possibilities of meeting God at a new level when we embrace our pain and suffering. The foundation for change includes the journey similar to the Prodigal Son – embracing the Spirit of God, the Word of God, and the people of God.
Daily there are ways we must face the visible and invisible battles. Surrender to God in the circumstances and in the damage of our emotional turmoil and pain is so freeing. Jesus was a victim of much abuse, turmoil, and pain. He suffered unimaginable crimes against Himself; He was shamed, isolated, bleeding, and felt forsaken by God. (Mark 15:34.)
We can find joy by pursuing love. When victims are changed through the process of honesty, surrender, and forgiveness and a restored trust in God, they will over time experience a desire to love others as God has loved them. Isaiah 53 defines for us two sides of the cross. In verses three and four, our Lord was despised and forsaken, a Man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, and we hid our faces from Him. He bore our griefs and carried our sorrows, while we esteemed Him smitten of God and afflicted. So He carried our griefs and the sins which others have committed against us.
In verse five He mentions our own sins, not just the sins of others against us. He was pierced for our transgressions and was crushed for our iniquities and the chastisement for our well-being fell upon Him. By His scourging, we are healed. The sins which we have committed are on the other side of the cross. The remedy is certainly the cross.
If we are interested in total healing, we will pursue more information on abuse, recovery, and healing. Another healing action is to write a journal wherein should be recorded memories, feelings, and events. Find ways to talk to others who have experience in working with abuse victims. Don’t try to walk the journey all by yourself. There is a little thirty-two page booklet entitled, When Trust Is Lost: Healing for Victims of Sexual Abuse, that is written by Radio Bible Class and can be downloaded free of charge here.
Another place to get help is with The Conqueror Series, on the website conquerseries.com. What will pastors use to fight pornography and sexual perversions? The Conqueror Series can help pastors to address the problem by giving them a high quality curriculum and study guide which can be used by leaders of small men’s group meetings. Pornography is really a tough subject for pastors to openly confront. This series will give them confidence that they can restore men using proven Bible-based principles.
Next, I would like to comment briefly on helping perpetrators. There is help for both victims and perpetrators. Of course the previous comments about pornography can help in working with perpetrators. Often perpetrators come from some abusive background. Sometimes there is a lot of rigid, moralistic religious upbringing without a good balance of bonding love and closeness. Perpetrators often experience failures in growing up, including such experiences as low self-esteem, isolation, and alienation from others.They can experience a low awareness of feelings and sexual preoccupation, fantasy, poor sleeping habits, an inappropriate relationship with a victim along with unrealistic expectations upon oneself and others.
The types of inappropriate sexual behavior used by perpetrators often include incidental fondling, planning and grooming, as well as extensive fondling, use of pornography, and exhibitionism. Farm boys often see animals mate. Frequently a perpetrator grows up in a home where there has been a father who has neglected or abandoned bonding with his sons and daughters. Angry fathers, abusive fathers, authoritarian fathers, arrogant fathers, and absent fathers can all encourage perpetrators.
At a seminar some time ago we talked about the A’s of effective fathers which include fathers who are attentive, affirming, adoring, assertive, authentic, affectionate, awesome, and amazing. One of the best ways to deal with sexual perversions are fathers which are actively involved and engaged with their children.
Find places and ways where you can participate in weekend seminars on parenting, father/daughter and father/son relationship activities.
In this article we have attempted to define what sexual abuse is, what the Bible says about it, and what our society and laws say about it. We have looked at shame and guilt, finding joy by honesty and repentance, forgiveness and bold love, and discussed Isaiah 53 which portrays Christ bearing the sins which have been committed against us and our own sins against God and others. Places to get help have been mentioned. We have looked at some of the details which tend to create perpetrators.
Hopefully, the reader/listener can find somewhere to get help in his/her own journey of sexual purity, help for one’s offspring, and help for those being ministered to.