When Godly People Say Ungodly Things
Good people just want to help. They have great intentions and look for the silver lining behind
Unfortunately, many people who think they are speaking for God say things that are ungodly — wanting change for an abuser, they focus on everyone around him adjusting, doing more, waiting patiently, sacrificing. The message often sounds like the victim is responsible for the change. I’m sure, in most cases, they don’t mean that. They really are hoping for recovery and reconnection.
Wanting change for the abuser, is a beautiful thing. However, it only comes by holding the abuser responsible — expecting different actions and allowing consequences until both the heart and the actions change. Only when an abuser’s words line up with his actions, can they be trusted. If the words sound good but the action doesn’t back it up, there has been no change in the heart. God has some strong words for people whose actions do not match their talk. Check out Bible Gateway here
I was never hit but I expected to die more than once by automobile. I was never beaten but I wished on more than one occasion that I had been, so that the abuse was more tangible — more obvious.
My abuse was psychological and I kept waiting for God to change it, begging Him to show up in the middle of it. What I was neglecting to recognize is that God won’t go where He’s not invited. He won’t force Himself on anyone. I felt shame because I had not been enough or done enough to make this relationship all it could be. When ashamed, it’s very difficult to expose yourself. My silent suffering was helping no-one and harming many. I kept taking the words of good intentioned people and applying them to my situation.
Be wary of putting words in God’s mouth. Using Scripture to counsel reconciliation with an abuser is harmful and will not bring change for the very person you are hoping to heal. When we try to appease an abuser, rescue him, find a way to move him forward, we endanger the victim. No relationship dictates ignoring or allowing harmful or destructive behavior. When Godly people say ungodly things, refuse to let their words direct you.