Tag Archives: Freedom in Christ

A Case Against Abused Women: Part 3

 

This is part 3 of a continuation.

You may read Part 1 here…

Part 2 here…

 

Please understand, I don’t write about this topic to chastise John Piper or to change his mind.  I do however find it odd that he believes gender roles is what leads to a Christian flourishing in their personal life, rather than an intimate daily relationship with Jesus Christ. I speak up to protect others from falling under his wrong teaching on this subject. I don’t say any of this from high atop a pedestal, but on my knees at the foot of the cross where Jesus’ finished work brought victory and freedom to set everyone; including the abuse victim, free.  I shine the light and speak the truth even though my voice shakes and my hands tremble.                                                                                                                                                                                       

Who is an abuser?

To the outside: He’s your ideal man. To her:  He’s her worst nightmare.

The impossible part for a Christian woman, married to a Christian abuser, is when her abuser has a Bible and knows it better than her; or can quote it better. The person who helps dig her proverbial grave and helps the abusive husband push her in is the pastor or counselor who believes all marital problems can be solved with scripture and/or counseling.

Here is what Don Hennessey, a relationship counselor and former director of the National Domestic Violence Intervention Agency, has to say about abusers. (This covers all types of abuse: physical, emotional, verbal, sexual, reproductive, spiritual, financial.)

We all know that pedophiles target children for sexualized abuse. Don Hennessy coined the word psychephile for the man who abuses his intimate female partner. A psychephile targets the psyche of the woman he has selected as his target for a long term intimate relationship.

Hennessy used the word psychephile in order to emphasise that it is by befriending the mind of the woman that he can establish, maintain and intensify his control of another adult.

The word psychephile combines the root of ‘psyche’ meaning mind or spirit, and ‘phile’ which comes from the Greek for friend.  (How He Gets Into Her Head, p 21 [affiliate link*]

The skilled offender has managed to create an illusion that what he wants is power and control. We are right in believing that this partly explains his behaviour but sadly his intention goes further. The tactics of targeting, setting up and grooming are used by all sexual predators who wish to develop and maintain a long-term sexual relationship with their target. (111)

Skilled offenders are people who believe that their sexual needs must be met repeatedly by the same woman. These psychephiles have a common goal. (111) 

The goal of all his tactics is to have his sexual needs met without negotiation. (102)

The bed is the battleground were the male abuser needs to be in charge. He can be demanding or rejecting of affection and intimacy, but either way he must be in charge. (117)

 Too long have I had my dwelling among those who hate peace.
I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war! (Psalm 120: 6-7)

 

Again, I restate that abuse is not a doctrinal/theological, or gender issue. It is an abuse issue. The best indication that you’re dealing with an abuser is that they always deny the abuse.

According to these sources: Don Hennessey, many counselors who specialize in domestic violence, and counselors who have worked with abusers who suffer from personality disorders; abusers have the power to change but they don’t desire to change. Therefore, they rarely heal from their abusive character disorders.

Abused women from the #MeToo movement don’t reflect a sudden increase in marital and/or sexual abuse, but rather finally shine a long overdue light into a dark corner of our society. We’ve never had a powerful took like the internet to make our plight known around the globe…instantly. We aren’t asking for men to be degraded so we can be lifted up. We aren’t asking to take their place. We are simply asking to be treated with the worth and respect Jesus gave us.  Jesus is the ultimate authority of the dignity of all humans since He found us worthy of dying for on the cross.

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. I Corinthians 15:3-4 (NIV).

 

“The Cross is certainly the place of forgiveness; it is also the place of exposing.” Diane Langbert, PhD

You Are For Me: Lyrics

So faithful
So constant
So loving and so true
So powerful in all You do

You fill me
You see me
You know my every move
You love for me to sing to You

I know that You are for me
I know that You are for me
I know that You will never
Forsake me in my weakness

And I know that You have come now
Even if to write upon my heart
To remind me who You are

So patient
So gracious
So merciful and true
So wonderful in all You do

You fill me
You see me
You know my every move
You love for me to sing to You

Lord, I know that You are for me
I know that You are for me
I know that You will never
Forsake me in my weakness

And I know that You have come now
Even if to write upon my heart
To remind me that…

I know that You are for me
I know that You are for me
I know that You will never
Forsake me in my weakness

And I know that You have come now
Even if to write upon my heart
To remind me who You are

You remind me

I know that You are for me
I know that You are for me
I know that You will never
Forsake me in my weakness

And I know that You have come now
Even if to write upon my heart
To remind me who You are

 

 

Naghmeh Abedini One Year Later

I, along with many of my readers, repeatedly prayed for Naghmeh Abedini as soon as she disclosed she had suffered abuse from her husband, Saeed Abedini.

Naghmeh worked tirelessly to achieve freedom for Saeed from being unjustly imprisoned in Iran for trumped-up charges by the Iranian government. I imagine more than anything she was hopeful Saeed’s heart, soul, mind and strength would be physically and spiritually delivered once he left his captors. It was one year ago that Saeed was released and returned to America.

Naghmeh recently disclosed on her Facebook page this message:

Naghmeh Abedini photo“It is with a heavy and broken heart that I inform all of you who have prayed and wept with our family the last few years, that Saeed has rejected counseling for anger and abuse and has filed for a divorce. There will be a time to share more fully, but for now, we appreciate your prayers.”

 

 

Prayer warriors who have lived through their own abusive marriages and managed to break free to safety prayed that Saeed would be one of only a few, if not the first, to see he is abusive and desire to seek help and healing. But alas, he took the road most traveled, refused to repent, refused to acknowledge he needed help for addiction and abusive behaviors, and is actively working toward his marriage ending in divorce.

Since Saeed must like his life style and choices, I’m grateful that God has provided Naghmeh the avenue of divorce to achieve safety, sanity and healing.

It has saddened, frustrated and angered me to see people post on Facebook that Naghmeh could possibly try harder, pray more, forgive again, be more fun in the bedroom (this one infuriates me), and…wait for God to change Saeed’s heart. Seriously! If being starved and tortured in an Iranian prison for three years didn’t allow the Holy Spirit to prick his conscience that God wanted to work on his heart condition I don’t know that anything can grab Saeed’s attention!

Why do so many people in the church believe abused wives must stay with their abuser? Why do they believe the wife holds responsibility in how her abuser treats her?  God does not love the institution of marriage more than he loves people. Yes, he created marriage but he also created the divorce decree, and He created it for situations like this. Naghmeh has biblical grounds to allow her marriage to end through divorce. Why do well-known Christians still support Saeed through finances, speaking engagements and asking him to help with other prisoner negotiations. Saeed needs to receive consequences from the Christian community for his abusive treatment toward his wife and for his non-repentance.

The church needs to be a safe place for victims; not a cover for abusers. Yes, abusers need the Lord and the church, but in context…for consequences, accountability, serious professional counseling, in-depth Bible study, mentoring, and massive amounts of prayer.

A year later, I celebrate Naghmeh Abedini for her quiet, godly spirit throughout the last year. I adore that as life became rougher, she became calmer—anchored to the Lord God Almighty. Resting in His sovereignty, accepting His peace, waiting on His timing, obeying His voice, and seeking His healing.

Naghmeh tenderly expressed through a brief exchange with me yesterday that the Gary Thomas article, Enough is Enough,  “is the heart of what I believe and am praying for.”

 

Original posts below:

Naghmeh Abedini’s Leaked Letter, December 8, 2015

She Said He Said: Naghmeh and Saeed Abedini, February 2, 2016

Naghmeh Abedini: How Do We Respond? March 1, 2016

Naghmeh Abedini: How Do We Respond? Part 2, March 3, 2016

Naghmeh Abedini: How Do We Respond? Part 3, April 8, 2016