www.focusonthefamily.com has a one-time free counseling service and a Christian counselor referral service
The Salvation Army (for counseling on a variety of severe issues)
YWCA – may have shelters in certain areas for abused women and children
Nina Roesner’s e-course Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity may be helpful for women in abusive situations (and there is private support from wives who have also experienced abuse)
God revealed something to me at a prayer conference at our church Friday night. I’m sure many of you have read my posts about how I believe that wives who are in abusive relationships or who have severe issues in their marriage need to seek godly, experienced, appropriate, one-on-one counsel. I still believe that is wise. I know that I probably don’t have the background and all of the understanding to best advise women who are experiencing severe problems in their marriages (real abuse, infidelity, drug/alcohol addiction, uncontrolled mental health problems, severe sin issues). There are times when separation is most necessary, unfortunately.
But, God showed me that I do have something to offer to my precious sisters and brothers who are victims of abuse or who are the abusers and those who have severe marriage issues. I can pray. We can pray together. This is an intense spiritual battle, after all. No, I don’t have all of the answers. I don’t have all of the resources. I don’t know how the legal system works. I don’t have all of the wisdom or all of the understanding in order to give specific advice to victims of abuse in various situations. I may not understand all of the filters and paradigms of those who have been victims of abuse. I may not accurately predict how those who are have been abused may interpret all of my words about marriage. But – what I do have, I want to share with y’all.
Please join me in praying. And, please feel free to add your prayers for these precious men and women in the comments.
Let’s surround these who are hurting so much with the power of God and of prayer together, church!
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:10-17
You alone are the sovereign God of the universe. You are the Creator of galaxies. You hold every star, planet, comet, molecule, and subatomic particle in Your powerful hands. You know the stars each by name. You alone are God – there is no other. There was never a god before You. There will never be a god after You. You are the beginning and the end. You are the Wonderful Counselor. You are the Prince of Peace. You are the Great Physician. You are the Mighty God Who Saves. You are our Rock. You are our Fortress. You are the only source of truth and love. You possess all wisdom. You possess all understanding. Nothing escapes your notice. If we rise to the heavens, You are there. If we make our bed in the depths of the grave, You are there. Where can we flee from Your presence? You are everywhere. You are all-knowing. You are all-powerful. You will accomplish Your good purposes.
How we praise You that no human, no demon, no power or principality can ever thwart Your plans. No sinner is beyond Your reach. No human evil is too great for the blood of Jesus to overcome. The blood of Christ is able to cleanse all of our sin. We are all in desperate need of Christ. You are more than sufficient for us!
You love marriage. You love families. You hate divorce. You hate all sin. You hate violence. You hate people hurting one another in any way – spiritually, emotionally, mentally, financially, physically, or sexually. You long for every marriage to represent the intimacy between Christ and His church, to bring You great glory. It is the devil who wants to steal, kill, and destroy each of us, our marriages, and our families. Let us cooperate with You to heal and bless marriages, let us never cooperate with the enemy!
Lord, we lift up some very broken and hurting marriages and families to You today. We lay them at Your feet in the throne room of the highest heaven before You, the Most High God. We cannot fix these precious people for whom Christ died. We cannot heal them. But You absolutely can. They are not beyond Your reach. Wives cannot fix abusive husbands in their own power, wisdom, and strength. Husbands cannot fix abusive wives on their own. We cannot even fix or save ourselves. But You are the God who saves! You are the God who heals! You are able to change people by the power of Your Spirit working in them. You are able to turn wretched sinners into holy saints! You are able to change a person’s nature completely. You are able to destroy sin and death – Jesus already has done so on the cross! You are able to radically change sinners and evil people and broken, hurting people into people who demonstrate the very heart and mind of Christ. In Jesus, there is NEW LIFE! The old has gone, the new has come! In Jesus, You are able to make anyone a NEW CREATION! How we praise and thank You for this amazing miracle!
We lift up those who are being or have been abused by their husbands/wives/parents/others. We lift up those who are experiencing severe problems in their marriages. The spiritual, emotional, and mental damage that true abuse causes is so very devastating, Lord. And it is so rampant today. How my heart breaks and how I just weep for those who are being (or have been) mistreated – whether as children or as adults. I know that Your heart is greatly grieved over this oppression and cruelty. This is not Your will for anyone. You want all of us to have godly families that are healthy, vibrant, and flourishing. You desire all of us to walk in obedience to Your ways. You are a holy God. You cannot tolerate any sin. You will not ignore the cries of victims and You will not ignore the sin of abusers. You desire justice. You do not ever condone or wink at any sin.
Some of these precious people are hurting so very much, Lord. The wounds are grievous. Draw them to Yourself. “The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18. I pray that each one of these dear souls will find his/her worth in Christ. I pray that they will each find Your healing mentally, emotionally, physically, sexually, and spiritually. I pray that You might provide the resources they need, the love of Your body, the wisdom of God, the power of Your Spirit. I pray that You might help them to take each thought captive for Christ. Help them to see any lies they are embracing from the enemy of their souls. Set them free from spiritual oppression. Let them see that the shackles and chains that have bound them in the dungeon have fallen away and that the dungeon door is open. They can find freedom, joy, peace, power, and healing in Christ! If they don’t know You and don’t have a relationship with You, let them come to You even today, Lord! Help them to have power over the wrong thoughts and ungodly ideas that hold them captive through Your truth and Your Spirit. How I pray that You might heal their wounds and bind up their broken hearts and let them stand firm in Christ. Let them know their worth in Christ!
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Through Jesus, we are all more than conquerors (Romans 8). Let us each know our worth and value in Christ Jesus! Not by any power we possess or by our wisdom or goodness, but because when we come to Christ, all we have is His and all He has is ours!!!!!! Jesus, we give you our brokenness, our weakness, our infirmities, our lack of wisdom, our faulty thinking, our burdens, our scars, our wounds, our sins, our loneliness, and our powerlessness. You take all the mess that we are and all of our sin on Yourself. You nailed all of our sin to the cross with You, Jesus! We then died with You and were buried with You and we no longer live. We are now dead to sin and to this world. Now, we are alive to God in Christ. Now, we possess victory over sin and the grave! (Romans 5-8) Now, You live in and through us. Now, we have access to all that You are and all that You have. Now, we can clothe ourselves in Your righteousness, holiness, goodness, and power. Now, we can pick up Your strength, Your power, Your love, Your understanding, Your wisdom, Your plans, Your purposes, Your priorities, Your healing, Your goodness, Your Spirit, Your riches of heaven, Your abundant spiritual life, Your Living Water, and Your intimacy with the Father. Now, You live through us. We are children of the King of kings and Lord of lords! We are no longer paupers! We are no longer destitute! We are children of the Most High God when we are in Christ!
Where there is demonic oppression, I pray that You might reveal that to these who are suffering and set them free by the power of Jesus. I pray that each of us might submit ourselves fully to You as Lord. I pray that each one of us might entrust ourselves to You and I pray that we might then resist the devil so that he will flee (James 4:7). We must be fully submitted to God, then You give us the power to resist the enemy. Give these who are suffering mighty prayer warriors to surround them with prayer. Give them godly mentors. Provide all of the resources they need to find healing, rest, peace, and recovery. Give them wisdom about exactly what to do and when. Help those who are being mistreated to know when they should stay or when they should leave. Give them the words to say. Let them trust fully in You and let them see clearly what You desire them to do and hear Your voice and obey You. Give them big faith in You. Show them how they need to speak and act and live. Give them the power of Christ to overcome the darkness, to pray with fervency, to overcome the forces of evil that wish to attack, steal, kill, and destroy. Let them soak up Your Word and abide in You constantly and in prayer. Empower them to live by Your Spirit and to have the victory that Christ has won on our behalf.
I pray for the abusers. These people are also precious to You. You love them. Jesus died for them. Yes, they are wretched sinners – as we all are apart from Christ. But praise God!!!! They are not beyond the reach of Jesus!!!!!! They are wayward and lost – and God longs for them to come home. We as people cannot change them. We as humans cannot save them. But You have the power to save and change these people. You have the power to turn them from abusers into sons and daughters of God! That is the greatest need of every person on the planet. Lord, many of these men and women have been abused themselves. Many of them are being oppressed spiritually by demons and sin. Some of them are in bondage to addictions to drugs or alcohol. Some of them are mentally ill. Some of them have embraced bitterness, anger, revenge, hatred, and evil and have given the enemy a great foothold to build a fortress in their hearts and lives. All of them are deeply wounded. They are hurting. They are angry. They don’t have any hope. They are imprisoned.
Lord, how we join hands together around the world and pray for Your Spirit to draw these men and women to Yourself. Open their eyes to their sin. Convict them of their sin and show them the path to Christ and to salvation! Let them see Your holiness and Your love for them. Let them grieve over their sin and the hurt they have caused to You and to those they love most. Let them understand what Jesus did for them on the cross! Let them see that forgiveness and a new life is completely available to them by the power of the blood of Jesus alone! Let them come to Christ and turn from their sin and abusive ways. Let them find freedom from the spiritual oppression and prisons they have been in for many years. Let them become new creations in Christ for Your greatest glory! Give them the godly mentors and resources they need to grow in Christ and to become godly men and women who are faithful to You and who live holy lives of love for Your kingdom!
We cannot save anyone. But You can. We cannot heal. But You can. We cannot overcome demons or strongholds of sin. But Jesus can! And when we are in Christ, we have all the power of heaven and You give us total access to Your throne room. You allow us to come before You confidently and boldly in prayer to ask for mercy and help in times of need. (Hebrews 4:16) Our faith and confidence is not in our human wisdom. Our faith and confidence is not in our own human strength. Our faith and confidence is in You alone, Jesus! You are Lord, even over the demons. They tremble before You. They are under Your authority and they must obey You. They cannot do anything apart from Your permission. And if You tell them to leave, they must flee.
I pray that You might give salvation and spiritual healing and freedom in Christ to these among us who are living lives of violence, hatred, and sin and who are deeply wounding those who love them. Open their blinded eyes. Let them see with Your eyes. Wake them from their spiritual state of death to new life in Christ Jesus! Let them come to Him as Lord. Heal them. Cleanse them. Bind their wounds. Transform them radically by the regenerating power of Your Spirit. Let them become godly men and women who storm the world for Your kingdom and Your glory.
Heal these broken marriages. Heal these broken souls. Heal the broken children, men, and women. We trust these marriages and families to You. We pray for healing for the husbands, wives, and children. We pray with huge faith for a mighty movement of Your Spirit among us to bring people to genuine repentance and to new, abundant life and healing in Christ Jesus.
In the Name and power of our Lord, Jesus Christ and for Your glory and Your purposes to be accomplished,
Gary Thomas’ article “Enough Is Enough” about wives who are being abused by their husbands
Authority and Submission by Watchman Nee – The last third of the book describes the necessary qualifications for someone in a position of God-given authority and includes incredible humility, a very strong connection with God, gentleness, and the ability to let people make their own choices to follow or to rebel and to trust God with the results. Nee gives biblical examples of authority and submission in very difficult situations and demonstrates a godly way believers can handle both of these roles for us to examine. He is also quite opposed to anyone saying, “I am the authority, you have to do anything I say.”
What Does God Say About You? (your identity in Christ)
Why I Don’t Write for Women with Abusive Husbands – I don’t have experience with abuse myself, and some women in abusive marriages may mis-hear what I say when I talk about biblical submission or respect. I don’t want to further harm my already deeply wounded sisters. I encourage women who are truly being abused to seek godly, experienced, biblical counsel and appropriate help from the authorities when necessary. Please see some resources on this post I have linked. I don’t want anyone to be abused or to be unsafe. The posts I have about our walk with Christ may be helpful for all wives, but posts about respect and biblical submission – I write from a slant of having been a dominant, controlling, disrespectful wife, with a passive husband. Sometimes women with abusive husbands or women who are “too submissive” may misunderstand my posts because of different filters and paradigms they may have and because they will be approaching becoming a godly wife from a different angle than I do. I desire men, women, and children to be safe.