Soul-Care Articles: Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Biblically-based, Clinically-sound, Truth-oriented

Posts tagged ‘protection’

Intimate Partner Violence: Healthy Steps You Must Take

SOURCE: Adapted from an article from the American Association of Christian Counselors

Provide for your Safety

Ensuring your safety (and that of any children involved) is always the first priority. You must take steps to separate from your abuser if necessary.

Have a Plan

Develop a plan for the next time abuse occurs. Be sure that you have numbers to call — police, a family shelter or hotline, and a trusted friend or counselor.  If you decide to leave, where will you go? Who will you call? Have bags with essentials packed and in an easily accessible location so you and the children can leave quickly if needed. You should photocopy important documents and have them packed as well. You should think through how you can access money, car keys, and the important documents if you do need to leave suddenly.

If you need to leave at some point after an abusive incident, no argument or discussion with the abuser should happen at this point. You should calmly exit and go to a location you have predetermined with the people at that location.  Do not hesitate to seek out expert consultation in this very serious and complicated problem.

Follow Up

As a victim of Intimate Partner Violence, seek continued help.

Be Reassured

Abuse is never deserved but is always wrong.  A spouse’s role in a marriage never includes the right to manipulatively control or abuse another person.

Assess Relationships

Assess how much support you have and be encouraged to reach out to others for help.  Have supportive family members join the effort.  A victim of abuse is often isolated, both out of shame about the situation and the abuser’s need to control.

Biblical Insights

Yet your father has deceived me and changed my wages ten times, but God did not allow him to hurt me.  Genesis 31:7

Trust involves being trustworthy and being willing to trust another. Originally Jacob fled from home because he had deceived his brother (Gen. 27:41–43); here he fled because he had been deceived by his father-in-law. Violated trust can destroy relationships.  How much better to build a bond of trust with those closest to us.

And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock; and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?”  Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank. Numbers 20:10–11

Moses reacted in anger, and it cost.  Anger can be the most damaging of all emotions, causing people to say or do things they regret.  Out-of-control anger can ruin friendships and marriages and even cause nations to go to war.  Some people end up living forever with the consequences of choices made in a moment of heated anger.  People who struggle with destructive anger must find help to discover alternative ways to manage it.  This begins by turning it over to God.

Then [Abimelech] went to his father’s house at Ophrah and killed his brothers, the seventy sons of Jerubbaal, on one stone.  But Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left, because he hid himself.  Judges 9:5

The tragic story of Abimelech pictures extreme violence used for selfish reasons. This illegitimate son of Gideon and a concubine (Judg. 8:29–31) brought disaster on the rest of Gideon’s family.  Violence and murder became his way of dealing with all threats to his power (9:22–49).  In the end, however, his violent ways resulted in his own destruction (vv. 50–56).

And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.  Ephesians 6:4

Parents ought to be careful in their training and discipline not to provoke their children “to wrath.”  In other words, sometimes a parent’s discipline can be overly harsh, unfair, unloving, or irresponsible, causing children to become angry, discouraged, and resentful.  Parents who discipline fairly, consistently, and lovingly are raising their children well.

Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Colossians 3:21

Although children are commanded to obey their parents, this does not give parents permission to be cruel or unreasonable in their treatment of their children.  Parents who nag, belittle, or deride their children destroy their self-esteem and discourage them.

The purpose of parental discipline is to train children. Consistent discipline, administered with love, will help children grow into responsible adults. The hard and unvarnished truth is that violence doesn’t resolve anything, and ultimately leads to more violence.

Not only does a violent person fail to gain control, but he or she loses the person who would have loved him or her.

Advertisements

PRAYING FOR OUR CHILDREN

Source:  Unknown

…that they will know Christ as Savior and Lord early in life.  Ps 63:1; 1Tim 3:15

…that they will have a hatred for sin.  Ps 97:10

…that they will be caught when guilty. Ps119:71

…that they will be protected from the evil one in each area of their lives:  spiritual, emotional, and physical.  John 17:15

…that they will have a responsible attitude in their personal relationships.  Dan 6:3

…that they will respect those in authority over them.  Rom 13:1

…that they will desire the right kinds of friends and be protected from the wrong friends.  Prov 1:10-11

…that they will be kept from the wrong mate and saved for the right mate, and that they both will be kept pure until marriage.  1 Cor 6:18-20; 2 Cor 6:14-17

…that they will learn to totally submit to God and actively resist Satan in all circumstances.  James 4:7

…that they will be single-hearted, willing to be sold out to Jesus Christ.  Rom 12:1-2

…that they will be hedged in so they cannot find their way to wrong people or places and that wrong people can’t find their way to them.

The Spiritual Armor of God: Pray It On

Source:  Bill Bellican

It is important to have a firm grasp of what it means to appropriate the spiritual armor provided by God.  To help with this understanding, the following information is taken from notes adapted from The MacArthur Study Bible (Eph. 6:10-18).  A brief devotional prayer follows this information that can be used as a daily reminder and conversation with God about putting on the armor of God.

First, we will consider biblical interpretation adapted from commentary on Ephesians 6:10-18:

A true believer having a Spirit-controlled life can be sure to be in a spiritual war. Paul closes the letter to the Ephesians with both warning about that war and instructions on how to win it.  The Lord provides His saints with sufficient armor to combat and thwart the adversary.

Ultimately, Satan’s power over Christians is already broken, and the war is won through the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ that conquered the power of sin and death.  However, in life on earth, battles of temptation go on regularly.  The Lord’s power, the strength of His Spirit, and the force of biblical truth are required for victory.

The armor should be the Christian’s sustained life-long attire.  This spiritual defense is necessary if one is to hold his position while under attack.  Satan’s deception and schemes are propagated through the evil world system over which he rules, and are carried out by his demon hosts.  Satan wants us to distrust God, forsake obedience, have doctrinal confusion, falsehood, be hindered in service, be divided, serve in the flesh, live hypocritically, be worldly, and reject biblical obedience in any way.   Wrestling with Satan and his hosts involves their use of trickery and deception.  Coping with deceptive temptation requires truth and righteousness.

Paul emphasized the necessity of the Christian appropriating God’s full spiritual armor by obedience in taking it up or putting it on.  Standing firm against the enemy without wavering or falling is the goal.

The pieces of this armor include the:

Belt –   The belt helps to pull together all the loose ends prior to battle.  In this sense, the belt pulls together any spiritual loose ends (i.e., hypocrisy, lack of devotion) through truth.  This tucks away anything that hinders victory.

Breastplate –   As a symbol of righteousness and holiness, this is the Christian’s chief protection against Satan and his schemes.  As believers faithfully live in obedience to and in communion with Jesus Christ, His own righteousness produces in them the practical, daily righteousness that becomes their spiritual breastplate.  Lack of holiness leaves them vulnerable to Satan.

Sandals –   This footgear pertains to the confidence of divine support that allows the believer to stand firm, to know that he is at peace with God, and to understand that God is his strength.

Shield –   The shield speaks to basic trust in God.  The believer’s continual trust in God’s word and promise is necessary to protect him from temptations to every sort of sin.  All sin comes when the victim falls to Satan’s lies and promises of pleasure, rejecting the better choice of obedience and blessing.

Helmet –   Satan seeks to destroy a believer’s assurance of salvation with his weapons of doubt and discouragement.  Although a Christian’s feelings about his salvation may be seriously damaged by Satan-inspired doubt, his salvation itself is eternally protected and he need not fear its loss.  Satan wants to curse the believer with doubts, but the Christian can be strong in God’s promises of eternal salvation.

Sword –   As the sword was the soldier’s only weapon, so God’s Word is the only needed weapon, infinitely more powerful than any of Satan’s.  It is used both defensively to fend off Satan’s attacks, and offensively to help destroy the enemy’s strategies.  It is the truth of Scripture.

Second, the following prayer regarding putting on the spiritual armor was adapted from online devotional material by Charles Stanley (April 28-29, 2007 entry):

Praying On The Armor of God

Prepare yourself for each day’s spiritual challenges by making the following prayer part of your morning routine:

Dear Lord, as I get out of bed today, I know I’m stepping onto a battlefield. But I also know You’ve given me everything I need to stand firm. So in the power of Your Holy Spirit, I put on the armor of God:
First, I place the helmet of salvation on my head. Protect my mind and imagination. Guard my eyes, allowing no sin to creep in. Focus my thoughts on the things of God.
Let the breastplate of righteousness keep my heart and emotions safe. I pray that I won’t be governed by my feelings, but by truth.
Wrap Your Word around me like a belt. And safeguard me from error.
I put on the sandals of peace to guide my steps. Plant my feet in Your truth. Empower me to stand firm against attack.
Next, I take up the shield of faith. Protect me from Satan’s fiery arrows. Place me shoulder to shoulder with Your army to oppose the Devil’s schemes.
Finally, I take up the sword of the Spirit, Your Word. Help me to read the Bible in a fresh, exciting way so I will always be ready to deflect attacks and pierce hearts with Your truth.
I know I’ll face assaults today, Lord. But You’ve empowered me to stand firm. Give me strength for the battle today.

Tag Cloud