Barb's Space

Observations about life, family, church...anything else that is on my mind from the perspective that God rules, no matter what

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Location: Indianapolis, IN, United States

I am a 65 year young woman who has changed much in the last few years. I'm single again. I changed jobs twice (learned new skills), had a serious stroke in 2008, "retired" and after getting better started taking up new interests, and am continuing to get more fit. Some things have matured. I've enjoyed watching my three guys grow into men I respect and am proud of. One waited 11 years to have his first birth child. Today I'm a grandma of six (four boys and 2 girls between two families)! I have learned to love Jesus even more, and I have regained my sense of adventure. Someone said, "The best is yet to be."--I believe it, if I keep an open mind and heart and keep growing and walking with God.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Abuse or God's Love?

What is abuse? Abuse is the wrongful use of things or the use of people. People are created to have relationships, not to be used to get our needs or desires met. In the process of relating, some of our needs and desires can and will be met, but that cannot be our primary purpose. As soon as it becomes so, we will manipulate and do things to get what we want, think we need, or legitimately do need.


Our source for getting our needs and desires met must be God, our heavenly Father. If we trust Him to provide for us, that leaves us free to relate to people, be they husbands, wives, friends, co-workers or others we meet.


The Bible tells us something about this: James 3:13-18 NIV says: 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. 



In other words, if we have God's desires in mind for relationships we will want the best for others. That can't happen, however, unless we get our own needs met. God didn't make us to be unfulfilled. He made us for the purpose of fellowship and to find our fulfillment in Him. Only when we do, can we walk in the heavenly wisdom described above with others.


This is one reason why telling a wife to submit more doesn't work. Her needs aren't being met. Until they are, she has nothing to give. Also, if "submitting" more makes a woman less of a person, this grieves God. Relationships can't work from emptiness, but from fullness. When we receive from God we have what He has given us to share with others, so that hopefully they might want to come to Him as well.
Wanting the best for others sometimes means not being around them, if their heart is to use/abuse. Why? We are helping them sin against God, themselves and others. That is enabling, and it never helps. When the person wants to change, his/her heart gets softer and we won't hurt them by being with them. Until that time God will see to it that others come into their lives--others who will also offer the gift of change. Because God wants to help them, they will never be totally alone, even if it seems they are. He will be right there.



Abuse is very common because we don't understand the kind of love God wants us to love with. As we are closer to Him, our love becomes more like His and our relationships get better even when they look worse. I am looking forward to receiving and giving more of His love in days to come. Are you?


4 Great Ideas:

Blogger Ella Jo said...

It takes a lot of strength to leave an abuser. I'm proud of you, and I thank you for sharing.

January 10, 2010 12:06 AM
Blogger Dawna said...

Hi Cutie : )
I'm up and feeling a bit better so I was able to read a few this morning. Love it as usual. I have a stumper for ya. We were faced with someone on Claire's ball team who was our number one pitcher and her father the lead coach leave our team for another opportunity in the middle of the season. Pitcher/Dad (Non Christians) Team founder ( Striving to be Christian) The current team and leaders went crazy with anger because these folks did not live up to their word and left us hanging. Honestly I wasn't that upset and felt they had left us in a lurch and that they did the wrong thing and was concerned for their daughter however I just felt we would move on and it would be a tough season. One of the pastors wives on the team however really talked to me about not "letting them off so easy" as we need to keep everyone accountable and they must experience the full consequences of their decisions which at times is letting people know you are angry, disappointed and break fellowship with them. I'm still struggling with this as I definitely don't want to be angry with them and drive them from the Lord yet I don't want to miss the Lord and not challenge them so they come to a better personal responsibility as it comes to their own personal integrity and what it means to live in honor with others.
This post made me think on both sides again. Any thoughts?

Dawna

January 13, 2010 8:16 AM
Blogger Barb said...

Dawna, I would want to let them know gently that I thought they were leaving us in the lurch--that they hadn't lived up to their word but that they were forgiven. You can't change someone's heart or mind but if you don't ever tell the truth, how do they have opportunity to change?

January 13, 2010 9:12 AM
Blogger Mid Stutsman said...

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January 13, 2010 9:26 AM

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