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Posts Tagged ‘Abuse’

Anger Management

Scripture: (Psa 4:4 NKJV)  Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah

Observation: This is one of the first of Dasvid’s many psalms.  It is a plea or prayer for safety for the faithful.

Application: I chose to entitle my words today “Anger Management” and not “Anger Suppression,” “Anger Elimination,” “Denial of Anger,” “Absence of Anger,” or any other name that would indicate that anger should not exist.  Anger is a normal emotion, one that even God experiences.  And while God’s anger may be different than ours, it is still anger.  David writes, “O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your anger, Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure” (Psa 6:1 NKJV).
We need to accept anger as a normal emotion; but we need to learn how to manage it in a healthy way so that it does not become sin, and so that it causes no harm to anyone.  According to marriage researcher and therapist John Gottman, during the heat of an argument with their spouse husbands tend to “flood” faster.  By flooding he means that the blood “rises to the head” and prevents more “rational” thinking.  Maybe this explains why so much of anger in men develops into physical abuse.  When some  men feel anger rising, they retaliate against the person they feel is causing them to get that way – for instance, their wife.  One of the things we recommend is that when either spouse begins to feel “flooded,” that they take a time out.  The key, however, is to make sure there is a time limit to that time out as opposed to an open-ended break.  For instance, as the discussion begins to heat up, the husband may say, “I need to take a time out; please give me an hour and we can sit down and talk about this and try to resolve it.”  Gottman’s research shows that it takes at least twenty minutes for a person to calm down  when they’re in the middle of a discussion (as measured by their body reactions such as pulse, heart rate, etc.).  To simply walk away would cause more harm as the wife feels like the issue has not been resolved and is not being “stonewalled’ by her husband.  But a timed time out can help both calm down, give them time to think about their own contribution to the issue at hand, and maybe come up with some possible solutions or compromises.
May use relaxation techniques – breathing, going for a walk, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, listening to soft music, taking a warm shower, etc., to help them calm down before resuming the conversation.
Denial or suppression of anger won’t make it go away and will cause more harm to the relationship than dealing with the issue in a constructive way.  So go ahead and  be angry, if the case warrants it, but deal with it in a healthy way, and do not sin against your spouse, your children, other people, or God.

Prayer: Father, thank You for anger.  Thank You for the anger that makes us act in the face of unfairness, injustice, evil, and sin.  Help us, Father, to manage it in a healthy way that we may not become instruments of pain and destruction but agents of peace and healing.

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Scripture: (2 Sam 13:15 NKJV)  Then Amnon hated her exceedingly, so that the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, “Arise, be gone!”

Observation: Amnon, son of David, fell in love with his step-sister Tamar and plotted to have her come to his house under the pretense of being sick.  While there, he forced her, maybe even raped her, but having accomplished his evil plot he despised her and rejected her altogether.

Application: I wish more single young people, teens and single young adults, would read this story and learn that it follows the pattern or most pre-marital relationships.  I think this is particularly important for young ladies who surrender their virginity early with the desire to show their boyfriend their love, for fear they will loose them if they reject their advances, or in the hope they will keep them even while he pulls away from them.  Those who believe in evolution would say that man is the hunter and when they have caught their prey they loose interest in them.  Those of us who believe in God believe that once a woman has surrendered what is most sacred to her, men loose respect for them, and therefore they have no more interest in them.  While young man think that having premarital sex will bring them closer together, more often than not it becomes an insurmountable barrier.
Several years ago there was an article in Time magazine about the report by the National Marriage Project, out of Rutgers University in New Jersey, which says that, “Cohabitating couples are more likely to experience a host of domestic problems — including, if they finally get marriage, divorce.
Last year in the U.S., more than 4 million unmarried heterosexual couples shacked up, in contrast to only half a million at the end of the supposedly free-spirited ‘60’s.  Though living together has become conventional, the report cites studies showing that these unions, in comparison to marriages, tend to have more episodes of domestic violence to women and physical and sexual abuse of children.  It notes that annual rates of depression among unmarried couples are more than three times those of married couples.
The report contends that cohabitation reduces the likelihood of later wedded bliss.  It quotes a 1992 study of 3,300 adults showing that those who had lived with a partner were 46% (it is now known to be 80%) more likely to divorce than those who had not.  ‘The longer you cohabit, the more tolerant you are of divorce,’ says David Popenoe, the sociologist who co-wrote the study.  ‘You are used to living in a low-commitment relationship, and it’s hard to shift that kind of mental pattern.’”
Premarital sex and premarital cohabitation do not benefit the relationship; instead, it will bring a host of problems, challenges, and difficulties including not marrying the person with whom they had intercourse or with whom they live, including abuse to them or their children, and ultimately divorce.  God’s plan for sex after marriage is best and healthiest and provides the best chances for lasting happiness.

Prayer: Father, bless the young and single who are tempted to enter into relationships and practice premarital sex and help them to not fall into a sin which will bring about life-lasting difficulties and challenges.  May they enjoy the best and healthiest of relationships before and after their wedding.

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Scripture: (Josh 10:12-13 NKJV)  Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon; And Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.” {13} So the sun stood still, And the moon stopped, Till the people had revenge Upon their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.

Observation: One of the most powerful miracles ever had just taken place after Joshua prayed that the sun would stand still; it is recorded that the sun indeed stood still for about a day.  Then the kings that had joined to try to defeat Israel were captured and executed, and later buried.  These wholesale destructions of entire cities is what has caused some to question God and even to come to be afraid of or bitter toward Him.  We need to consider several things:
1. Israel had no home, and God wanted to provide them with a home of their own where they could live in peace and worship Him and become a witness to the whole world.
2. These nations had become so depraved by sin that their corrupting influence was not only spreading, but it could, and in some cases did, become a hindrance, a temptation, and a stumbling block to God’s people.
3. The way these people dealt with their own was dehumanizing and deadly.  They had temple prostitutes, the women were treated as objects to abuse and mistreat, children were abused and at times offered to idols; God could not permit this abuse on the innocent to go on forever – or until they’d destroy themselves, but in the mean time generations of innocent people would suffer.
4. Without the presence of Israel as a nation, the world was rapidly becoming like the world before the flood, and even though Israel was not always faithful to God, its presence gave the rest of the world an opportunity to know God and gave them a lease on life.
In reality, these destructions were more an act of mercy than an act of anger on the part of God.  Yes, He was angry with those nations and peoples, but yet they were also His children and by putting an end to their wickedness God was saving countless others yet unborn.

Application: In thinking about the sun standing still, I just recently I received an e-mail with a story (whether it is true or not, I don’t know), about the time when NASA scientists were working on plans for future launches when they ran into a problem.  They entered all the information into the computer, but the computer could not compute correctly, it gave an error message, and the NASA people could not find out what the problem was, all they knew was that there was one day and about forty minutes missing that they could not account for.  Apparently a Christian among them told them about this event, they changed their calculations and sure enough, they were only missing about forty minutes.  Then the Christian told them of the time when King Hezekiah asked for a sign that he would be healed, and the sun went back what would be the equivalent of . . . forty minutes.  Once that time was also accounted for, their calculations matched perfectly.
These stories remind me that God’s miraculous power on our behalf is still available to us as families and as couples.  We may not get the sun to stand still, but maybe he will make the time that we have more manageable so we can spend time learning about Him and worshiping Him, time together as families, time with our children, time for work, time for leisure, time to evangelize, time to rest.  And all along, God also helps us to deal with those things that are destroying our families – negative influences on our children, not spending enough time together, not spending enough time with God in prayer and for God in praise, not spending enough time to study His word, not spending enough time working for the salvation of others.  We don’t need the miracle of more time; what we need is the miracle of learning how to manage properly the time that God already gives us every day.  Much like we don’t understand how when we return God’s tithe we seem to have more than before, so when we dedicate our time to Him, He can help us accomplish more in the time we have than if we tried to manage it ourselves, without Him in it.

Prayer: Father, thank You for the time You give us.  Help us to manage it wisely for You and others.

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Death at Birth

Scripture: When you assist the Hebrew women in childbirth, observe at the delivery: if it is a boy, kill him, but if it is a girl, then she may live.” 17But the midwives feared God, and they did not do what the king of Egypt had told them; they let the boys live. (Exodus 1:16-17 NET)

Observation: The Egyptians were worried that the Israelites would grow in umber so that they would become an overpowering majority, so they ordered the Egyptian midwives to kill the male babies born to Israelite women.  The midwives, however, were God fearing women and did not obey those orders.  As an aside, God rewarded the midwives for their actions.

Application: So many look for reasons to excuse the objectionable, unethical, and immoral abuse and destruction of children under the guise of doing what’s best for others.  The traffic of children continues around the world – children sold to a life of forced labor or to lives of physical and/or sexual abuse.  Others excuse abortion on demand for the sake of the women who do not wish to have babies, for victims of incest or rape, or for unwanted pregnancies for teen mothers.  In some countries the birth of a baby girl is frowned upon and in some places parents are penalized for having more than one child and particularly if they are girls using the excuse of wanted to control the population growth of their country and thus protecting the population in general.  Majorities worry about the growth of minority groups who may one day overtake them to become the ruling group and thus they would excuse genocide in order to protect their culture, ideas, or way of life.
We are called upon to protect and help our children, not to harm them, before or after birth.  If children are a blessing from the Lord, how can we justify abortion on demand?  And with so many childless couples, if someone has experienced an unexpected pregnancy, why not consider giving that child up for abortion instead of ending prematurely an innocent life.  As much as God blessed the midwives for respecting the sanctity of life, so He blesses the people who respect the sanctity of life today by refusing to abort their child, even if unplanned.

Prayer: Loving Father, thank You for the gift of children.  May we always be loving of them and may we respect the sanctity of life so that the consideration of abortion or abuse of children never be permitted, condoned, of encouraged in any way, through word or action.

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