Sharing Your Faith With Grace And Purpose
You can confidently and lovingly share your faithyou just need to learn some new tactics to do so! In this Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast, apologist Greg Koukl outlines the Columbo tactic of asking questions, the self-defeating argument tactic to find holes in your opponents arguments, and other specific methods for engaging in faith-building conversations with others. Greg pulls from his over 30 years of experience debating atheists and agnostics to help you share your faith with grace and truth.
How We Are To Treat One Another
God has made it simple for us in submitting everything under the love command.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another .
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you .
However, due to the brokenness of humanity, we may not know what love really looks like, or how love is to act. Thankfully, the Bible has multiple ways to help us understand. The first way is something we refer to as The Golden Rule.
And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them .
So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets
Still, we need more help to understand so there are scriptures that give greater detail even speaking to things we find quite difficult like forgiveness and loving our enemies.
Women Can Faithfully Seek Civil Recourse
But recourse to civil authorities may be the right thing for an abused wife to do. Threatening or intentionally inflicting bodily harm against a spouse is a misdemeanor in Minnesota, punishable by fines, short-term imprisonment, or both. Which means that a husband who threatens and intentionally injures his wife is not only breaking Gods moral law, but also the states civil law. In expecting his wife to quietly accept his threats and injuries, he is asking her to participate in his breaking of both Gods moral law and the states civil law.
God himself has put law enforcement officers in place for the protection of the innocent. If you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out Gods wrath on the wrongdoer . A wifes submission to the authority of civil law, for Christs sake, may, therefore, overrule her submission to a husbands demand that she endure his injuries. This legitimate recourse to civil protection may be done in a spirit that does not contradict the spirit of love and submission to her husband, for a wife may take this recourse with a heavy and humble heart that longs for her husbands repentance and the restoration of his nurturing leadership.
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It Is Good To Protect Yourself From Violent People
David fled King Saul when he was violent toward him. The angel of the Lord warned Joseph to flee to Egypt with Jesus because Herod was trying to kill him. Paul escaped from those who sought to stone him.
We must help people to get safe and stay safe when they are in abusive relationships. This is not only good for her and her children, it is good for her abusive partner. If you are not experienced in developing a safety plan and assessing for lethality , refer or consult with someone who is knowledgeable in this area .
You Cannot Do His Work For Him
Leslie: Well, thats right and then what happens is the woman starts to feel like you know whats wrong with me that I cant get over this? Whats wrong with me that I dont want to kiss him anymore? Whats wrong with me that he gives me the creeps? Im a bad person, and so she starts to assume that shame, instead of him assuming the shame that he should assume. But we dont stop him from experiencing it just because its painful.
Leslie: And really understanding this is his work to do. You have your own work to do as the victim, but his work to do is to decide what kind of man he wants to be, and whether he wants to be a sober man, an honest man, a kind man, a faithful man, you know, a gentleman. And if he doesnt want to be those things, no amount of your work is going to change that for him. He has to do his own work and you have to let him have that space and that space is usually very painful and uncomfortable for him to face. I dont like the man I am, and I want to be different.
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How Can We Be So Sure That Abuse And Substance Abuse Are Serious In God’s Eyes
God doesn’t want abusive people in the church. The apostle Paul told the Christians in Corinth to end their association with any sexually immoral, drunk, emotionally or financially abusive person.
1. We should not associate with people who claim to be Christians but are immoral. Not even to eat with them.
1 Cor 5:11-12 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.
Eph 5:3-7 NIVBut among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for Gods holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy personsuch a person is an idolaterhas any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things Gods wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.
Eph 5:11-13 NIVHave nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visibleand everything that is illuminated becomes a light.
Does the Bible quote God as saying: I Hate Divorce? No! Bad Translation
Does He Use Scripture To Control
When husbands use Scripture to control and criticize, however, they are using it in the exact opposite way from what God intends. Ephesians 5 tells husbands that they are to use Scripture in a sanctifying way that lifts shame.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
A husband should bring his wife to the Word in a way that helps her to know that she is cherished by Jesus as His radiant bride, one whom He loves and sacrifices for.
When oppressors use religious teachings to shame victims and to highlight their failure and guilt, they leave their victims cut off from the knowledge of how Jesus sacrifice makes them worthy and unites them to Him. People who are degraded by harsh teaching are left without hope and grace. They come to believe that they are worthless, because their oppressors focus remains on them and not on what Jesus has done.
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What The Bible Says About Abuse Within Marriage
Note: Malachi 2, I hate divorce. Said by guest as 5:2, says The man who hates and divorces his wife, says the Lord, the God of Israel, does violence to the one he should protect.
In 2000, Paige Patterson was asked about women who are abused by their husbands. Heres what the now-president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary said:
It depends on the level of abuse to some degree. I have never in my ministry counseled that anybody seek a divorce, and I do think thats always wrong counsel. There have been, however, an occasion or two when the level of the abuse was serious enough, dangerous enough, immoral enough that I have counseled temporary separation and the seeking of help. I would urge you to understand that that should happen only in the most serious of cases. . . . More often, when you face abuse, it is of a less serious variety.
These comments recirculated on social media over the weekend, not surprisingly sparking fierce criticism of Pattersons remarks.
On Sunday, Patterson released a statement where he clarified that his happiness in the situation came from seeing this womans husband return to church. He also said that physical or sexual abuse should be reported to the appropriate authorities, as I have always done.
Patterson also stated that, I have also said that I have never recommended or prescribed divorce. How could I as a minister of the Gospel? The Bible makes clear the way in which God views divorce.
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How Are Churches Responding
A survey of the major Christian churches in Australia has revealed many have developed or are in the process of developing formal protocols and resources for preventing and responding to domestic violence in their communities.
Some also require clergy and parish staff to undertake specific domestic violence training, usually run by external providers though this is often voluntary.
Several churches also reported using guidebooks that advise clergy and pastoral workers on how to recognise and respond to domestic violence and abuse.
One resource, cited by the Lutheran Church and several Anglican and Catholic dioceses, highlights “unequal power relations between men and women” as a root cause of abuse, and specifically calls out the use of scripture as justification for control and abuse as a form of domestic violence.
A progressive group called Common Grace is also working to build a coalition of Christians prepared to speak up about domestic violence.
As Bishop Richard Condie of the Anglican Diocese of Tasmania said:
“The scriptural teaching about male headship in the home would be distorted if it were used to justify control, superiority or violence against women I encourage my clergy to continue to speak openly about family violence and domestic abuse in their church communities. We need to be prepared to challenge such behaviours it cannot be excused or justified.”
Bible Verses On How To Love
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you .
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles .
Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all .
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you .
Then Peter came up and said to him, Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times? Jesus said to him, I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven .
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor .
We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up .
Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.
Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing .
Embracing Your Role As A Spouse
As a spouse, you have three roles to playa friend, a partner, and a lover. On this one-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Pastor Kevin A. Thompson explores those different roles and challenges you to live them out by investing emotionally, physically, and mentally in your relationship. As friends, he suggests we learn to play and laugh together. As partners, he equips us with solid ways to handle conflict and communication. As lovers, he offers some thoughts on how to bring back the sizzle. He shares five keys to saving your marriage: humility, respect, mercy, communication, and resilience. Youll be encouraged to intentionally invest in your marriage.
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Understanding The Difference Between Hurt And Harm
What were talking about safety, what were saying is you do me harm. Its not harmful to hold someone accountable or to ask them to tell you the truth, or even to say what you did was really hurtful to me, and you harmed me. Thats good for them to hear that, but they will twist that word because it makes them feel bad, or it makes them uncomfortable with you holding them accountable. So, its a twisting of language.
But Jesus Doesnt Talk Directly About Abuse
The life of Jesus is the biblical model for understanding God, and for identifying how God responds to violence and abuse. Jesus ministry was about exposing injustice and advocating for the marginalized, oppressed and abused. He was particularly concerned about women and children, who were often considered less important, and made vulnerable by oppression and abuse.
Jesus reminds us that the vulnerable are violated by the denial of justice. He reveals Gods heart for compassion, healing, and restoration to a full and equal life . This is why Jesus stops the stoning of the woman under suspicion of adultery , heals the bleeding woman , and speaks to the woman at the well who has had five husbands .
Men had the power and privilege in family and societies in biblical times and still do today in many situations. Jesus addresses the marginalization and abuse of these women by the men who should have protected and provided for them so they could flourish. By speaking to these, and other women in Scripture, Jesus brings women back into a position of status in society.
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Understanding The Root Of Your Child’s Misbehavior
Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their childs behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your childs temperament based on his birth order.
Verbal Abuse In The Bible
Anne: Yeah, thats really good. So, in this situation, where women are being abused, how do you help women recognize patterns of abuse in a way that helps them recognize the lack of safety?
Leslie: The Bible is really clear about certain kinds of abuse. Obviously, you know, if youre being degrading and verbally abusive, sometimes some pastors would say, Well, thats nowhere in the Bible, but thats not true. Its in Colossians and Ephesians, for example. Paul talks about abusive speech. Let no abusive speech come out of your mouth. James talks about abusive speech, it talks about reckless words pierce like a sword in Proverbs, it talks about the damage of a relational betrayal in Psalms. The Psalmist for example in Psalm 69 says, Your insults have broken my heart and I am distraught.
So, theres a huge impact of verbal abuse on someones soul, spirit, and body, but I think one of the biggest mistakes that women get caught into is abuse, any kind of abuse, addictions, any kind of addictions, and chronic adultery are not marriage problems. They cause marriage problems, but theyre individual issues within the heart of the person whos acting those things out, and they cant be solved by doing marriage counseling.
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Biblical Headship Does Not Entitle A Husband To Get His Own Way
It doesnt entitle him to make all the family decisions, or to remove his wifes right to choose. At the heart of most domestic abuse is the sinful use of power to gain control over another individual. Biblical headship is described as sacrificial servanthood. It is not unlimited authority and/or power .
Lets not confuse terms. When a husband demands his own way or tries to dominate his wife, its not called biblical headship. It is called selfishness and abuse of power.
They Tried To Provoke Jesus And Trip Him Up
As he went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard and to provoke him to speak about many things, lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.
Have you experienced interrogation at the hands of your Bible counselor, pastors wife, church friends, or husband when youve come forward to disclose abuse?
Jesus can relate.
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