Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Zero-Tolerance Level

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Sad to say that we need to become more aware of this ongoing tragedy, but we do. We have, especially in Christian circles, some kind of preconceived notion that domestic violence is out there somewhere, not in our midst. Wrong. We also have the idea that domestic violence involves only physical abuse. Wrong again.

Click here to understand the 5 basic forms of abuse. You might be surprised at what they are.

Domestic violence stats?

And do read Leslie Vernick's comprehensive, powerful blog post, A Biblical Response to Domestic Violence.

I have a zero-tolerance level for abuse in any form. It is always sin. It is a completely inappropriate reaction to stress, frustration, demands, disappointments, others' behavior. There are no excuses. We always have the choice how we respond. Period.

I can guarantee that there are women in your church who are being abused - either physically, verbally, mentally, sexually, spiritually, or manipulated through abuse to their children, pets, or property.

And there's a huge chance that the abuser has been abused along the way. The abuser needs help. And that help must be provided away from the family home. And there must be a considerable length of time before the abuser is allowed back into the residence. Jesus says in Matthew 7:16 that "by their fruit you'll recognize them." And He tells us that we are to "produce fruit in keeping with repentance" (Luke 3:8). Just as fruit from a tree does not quickly come to maturity, so the fruit of repentance takes a substantial length of time to be cultivated and observed.

The time for lame excuses and twisted rationalization for abuse is over. Let's stop enabling abusers or permitting a few counseling sessions and a feeble "I'm sorry" to permit abusers back into the home. Let's pull our heads out of the sand on this one. Talk to your church leadership to ensure that the place where you worship and honor Christ has appropriate, hands-on procedures to quickly respond with a zero-tolerance policy toward all forms of abuse against those He loved and died to save.

National Domestic Violence Hotline is 800.299.7233.

Check out Celebrate Recovery for healing for the abused or the abuser.

"No longer will violence be heard in your land, nor ruin or destruction within your borders, but you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise"
- Isaiah 60:18.


  1. Thank you for your Zero-Tolerance article! I hope and pray more churches take that stand! I have found they truly don't understand abuse, and tend to use what they feel is 'rational' responses to a world that is 'irrational'. ie: Be nicer and they will be nicer. Placing that square block in a round hole just don't work. Much to often the victim is blamed for that. Its quite hurtful.

  2. Thanks for your thoughts, Hannah!

    Let's keep on praying and working side by side, growing our churches to be safer refuges that meet all the needs that we bring - spiritually, emotionally, relationally!

    Christ has come to redeem and heal every area of our lives!


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