A Painful Tension
Lately there has been a stirring in the media about pastors who encourage abused women to stay in an abusive relationship. This is an issue that is very important to me. I am a pastor. I love pastors and I love the church. My grandfather was a pastor. My father is a pastor. Two of my my brothers are pastors. My sister is married to a pastor. Two of my sons are pastors. I deeply love pastors and I deeply love the church and I am devoted to it.
I also am a husband, a son, a brother, an uncle, a grandfather and a father to four daughters. I cherish the women in my life and I am devoted to them. I want to live with them in an honorable way and listen to their hearts and protect them.
When the church I love hurts the women I love, this creates a powerful tension. When the women Jesus loves are hurt by the church Jesus loves–Like Jesus’ brother said; “These things ought not so to be…”
I have not said much about it, but this morning as I was thinking on this sad tension I decided to speak up. Please pray for me that God will give me wisdom as I write about this issue and as I advocate for those who have been abused in their home and in their churches.
Pray that what I write will be good for women and for the men who abuse them. May God protect the women and set the men free to live honorable and gentle lives.
Pray that what I write will be good for the church.
Pastors and church leaders: Wake up!
If you refuse to listen to abused women and believe them, you are guilty of participating in their abuse.
If you refuse to listen to abused women and believe them, where will your daughters turn for biblical wisdom and godly support if they are ever in need?
If you refuse to listen to abused women and believe them, how will you justify that to Jesus, who honored women?
Followers of Jesus honor women, listen to women, believe women, and protect women.
Are you really following Jesus if you refuse to listen to abused women and believe them?
Are you really a faithful under-shepherd (pastor) if you don’t protect your sheep from abuse?
Are you really faithfully helping men if you cover their sin and fail to show them a way to freedom and gentleness?
If you are guilty of this, will you humble yourselves, repent and seek forgiveness from those you have hurt?