Trusting God v. Trusting Self
Christians talk casually about God’s plan for their lives and the lives of others. This can be grating to the ears of abuse victims (especially those new to, or unfamiliar with, the faith).
As victims are inclined to see it, God’s plan for them included abuse. Whether He caused that abuse or merely allowed it to occur, He failed to protect them against it. And they have the scars to prove that.
The issue of innocent suffering is a profound one, and cannot be papered over with a handy Bible verse. For abuse victims, coming to terms with it may be a lifelong struggle.
Trusting themselves can be as great a challenge. Abuse has effectively “taught” victims not to rely on their own judgment, their own instincts. This is something they must unlearn.
It is not helpful for Christians to urge victims to trust in God, rather than themselves. Such trust will come with time. It cannot be rushed. There are deep wounds which must be healed first.
Christians should be sensitive in the language they use around abuse victims. To victims of incest, even the term “Father God” can sound disturbing. To those who were sexually abused or tortured by siblings, the term “brothers and sisters in Christ” may be equally threatening.
Christians should not pressure victims to drop their defenses, and should not hug or make other physical contact with victims without their permission. Victims may experience either as invasive, and shy away.
Christians should allow abuse victims to take the lead, insofar as relationships. Friendships should not be forced. These will develop as victims gradually come to see they will not be harmed.
This series will continue next week with Self-Sacrifice v. Codependence
FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: http://www.alawyersprayers.com