Today I would like to share a post written over at Hurt by Love blog, by Cindy Burrell.
Her post really spoke to my heart. A heart once broken wide open from living in a verbally, emotionally and mentally abusive marriage for two decades.
Words hold so much power. They can cut sharply like a sword destroying the very soul of a person or they can be applied like a healing salve to mend the brokenness. Abuse victims are often deluged with more damaging words when they seek the help and advice on whether to continue in an abusive relationship. And although most times others genuinely want to offer good advice and support, the words spoken to a victim often continue to rip open the already deep wound even more deeply. A victim does not need anymore cutting words from those around them — words telling them to stay, to try harder to make the marriage work, to do everything in their power to change the abuser. The one piece of advice I got, over and over and over, was to just work on yourself, but that never changed the fact that the abuse continued and as much as I tried to make myself over, to change and be “better”, and to cling to God — my marriage was abusive. Period.
I once had an elder at a church I attended several years ago tell me that God cares more about keeping marriages intact than the happiness of two people. I was flabbergasted at his words and told him that I believed God cares more about the heart condition of His people then keeping together the covenant of a broken, destructive marriage where one spouse treats the other with vile and contempt. He never spoke to me again, and to this day, will barely look at me if we run into each other. [Update: a year ago I ran into this man at the grocery store and offered him a smile and ‘hello’. He at first seemed taken aback but then returned my smile and greeting. There was no more conversation between us at my choosing, but I felt a healing that day in my heart and soul, letting go of anger I’d felt towards this man for many years since our last exchange.]
Abuse victims need encouraging words, words of hope to help heal the wounds. They need others to stand beside them and encourage them to turn to God for healing and turn away from the destructiveness of abuse. They do not need to be told to try harder and change a little bit more. Since Cindy does such a wonderful job of addressing the situation of whether or not to continue trying to save a broken, destructive marriage, I would like to share her post:
May you have a wonderful blessed day full of healing words, whether received or spoken. Let us love one another as God so loves us.