I’ve watched several friends stay in abusive marriages, and several divorce because of abuse. There are many reasons why people choose to stay in these relationships, though it’s hard to image why. I’ve listed some reasons at the bottom of this post, but lets attack the topic of boundaries for a moment:
We need boundaries. Without boundaries we will become victims of abuse and adopt a powerless mindset. We should have a standard set for ourselves of how we will allow others to treat us. If people do not treat us as we have designated, then we should not listen or continue in relationship. Here are some things that we should require, and reject, in relationships and conversations. These actions will encourage hope and self-control (empowerment), and help us escape abusive relationships. Boundaries cause the abuser to face the consequences of their own decisions while empowering us with the choice to leave if they don’t treat us with respect.
– 2 Chron. 7:14 – IF my people, my God-defined people, respond by (1)humbling themselves, (2)praying, (3)seeking my presence, and (4)turning their backs on their wicked lives, I’ll be there ready for you: I’ll listen from heaven, forgive their sins, and restore their land to health.
What we should require & reject:
- Humility instead of pride & arrogance
Verbal abuse, or other means of belittling you, should not be tolerated.
- Requests (prayer) instead of demands
Use of fear tactics, physical abuse, or other means of control, should not be tolerated.
God gave us dominion over everything but people. We need to respect others and protect their ability to make their own choices. If their choice is to abuse you, then you need to make the choice to leave.
- Seeking presence instead of things
If someone wants something from you, without wanting a relationship with you, then its un unhealthy relationship. This should not be tolerated.
If you are married and your spouse habitually has sex with you without trying to connect on an emotional level, it’s abuse.
- Turn away from wrongdoing instead of continuing to wrong you
Refusing to change, though you respectfully ask and show them how they are hurting you, should not be tolerated.
Notice also that God waited for these 4 things from His safe place, Heaven.
– Heb. 10:26 – For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins
If you are in an abusive marriage, you need boundaries. Consider a temporary separation if you do not want a divorce. Once faced with the consequences of their choices, if they repent then go back to them:
– 1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins
If they do not repent then divorce them:
– Rom. 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death
There are many reasons why people stay in abusive relationships. Here are a few:
– My partner will kidnap the children and disappear.
– My partner will spread horrible rumors about me.
– I’m nothing. I don’t deserve better.
– I was brainwashed to believe that I couldn’t cope without my partner.
– I’m more comfortable with what I know, than the unknown out in the world.
– My children will blame me and resent me.
– My partner will turn the children against me.
– My partner doesn’t let me out of the house.
– I have no friends or family to call for help anymore.
– I believe my partner when he or she says that it will never happen again.
– My marriage vows.
– My religion.
– I love her or him.
– My partner has all the money.
– My partner charges up all my credit cards.
– My partner will lose her or his job if I report this.
Make a list of your reasons and confront them. Get out of the situation. There are churches, programs, and safe houses designed specifically to help you. It’s scary facing these reasons, but its wisdom to escape the cause of these abuses. Say no to the abuser and leave them today.
– Prov. 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight
– Ps. 18:6-19 – In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry. Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it. He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him— the dark rain clouds of the sky. Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced, with hailstones and bolts of lightning. The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy, with great bolts of lightning he routed them. The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at your rebuke, Lord, at the blast of breath from your nostrils. He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
– Ps. 28:7 – The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.
– Jer. 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.