Day 5: How Would You Respond to This Situation?

This is Day 5 of a five-day exercise on loving and caring for others based on the Good News of Jesus that the Father loves and cares for us. You can read the introduction to these exercises on the Day 1 post.

What do I do now?

Your relative—perhaps a spouse or a parent—hits you again. They have done this before and always say they are sorry and will never do it again. This time they beg forgiveness and promise that this was the last time.

What is your response? Think about it. What important factors are involved here? How does the Good News of the Father’s love for us apply?

This is the last scenario of the exercise. What are your final thoughts on the exercise?

In this series:

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5

This entry was posted in behavior, Jesus, love, the Good News. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Day 5: How Would You Respond to This Situation?

  1. sheila0405 says:

    If my husband hit me repeatedly, I’d leave. This is easy.

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  2. I think this is an easy one to advise other people on, but not an easy one to respond to if it’s your own situation.

    So my (glib and easy) advice to anyone else in this situation would be – leave. Get out of the situation, get away from the person and take your children with you. The abusive person won’t change, and you need to keep yourself and your children safe.

    Forgiveness is a different matter – you may come to be able to forgive them, but *not* stay with them unless and until they have sought professional help and gone through a (probably lengthy) process of counselling and therapy. And even then you’re probably better off not returning. Which is not to advocate divorce necessarily.

    However, it’s easy to say this to someone else, but when you’re in the situation it’s very unlikely that you’ll feel or think like that. You’ll probably feel guilty or responsible, that it’s somehow your fault, or you deserve it, or you should put up with it. There will likely be patterns of unhealthy relationship and negative self-image going back decades. These things aren’t easy to deal with by oneself.

    So anyone in this situation needs friends or perhaps church who can spot what’s going on and call on professional help. But then, there’s also a danger of interfering, of getting the wrong end of the stick and making things worse. It’s often not an easy one to call.

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  3. Chas says:

    Tim, I think that the overall conclusion is that we do not always know what is the most loving thing to do. Only God knows, so we must always take His guidance, however we are able to find it.

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  4. jesuswithoutbaggage says:

    Good answers; thanks for participating!

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  5. Pingback: Day 1: How Would You Respond to this Situation? | Jesus Without Baggage

  6. Pingback: Day 2: How Would You Respond to this Situation? | Jesus Without Baggage

  7. Pingback: Day 3: How Would you Respond to this Situation? | Jesus Without Baggage

  8. Pingback: Day 4: How Would You Respond to this Situation? | Jesus Without Baggage

  9. fiddlrts says:

    Just my personal (that is, professional) experience of 15 years representing victims of domestic violence: I have never seen an abuser simply reform while the victim stays. The “repentance” is part of the cycle of violence, which is why it even has a name. The “Honeymoon” phase.

    In light of this, I don’t see that staying and putting up with abuse is loving or helpful to any of the parties. Usually, the abuser needs to lose access before he makes a change – and even then, it would require more than just repentance. Successful changes usually require therapy and re-training of long ingrained thought and reaction patterns.

    I don’t believe we are called to submit to abuse for its own sake. Even St. Paul asserted his rights as a Roman citizen. Likewise, our legal system (quite correctly) seeks to protect the victims from the violent, and there should be now shame or sense of moral failure for utilizing these. I would also argue that one of the hallmarks of the Kingdom of God is that everything is upended. The Kingdom is not for the powerful, but for the powerless. In that sense, every move our society makes to protect the powerless and prevent the powerful from abusing others is one that furthers the Kingdom.

    All this should go double when children are involved. I would (and have) fault a parent who allows his/her children to be abused, while claiming “christian” justification for this. That person gets to be a “martyr,” suffering for God, while failing to prevent damage to the children.

    In any case where there has to be a choice, I think we are called to protect the “least of these” first, before we give in to the powerful.

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  10. LorenHaas says:

    If this is your situation, you are doubtlessly confused, and likely paralyzed by fear. Please call your local shelter for advice!
    A great website to help Christians sort out the questions of staying/leaving and forgiving is:
    http://cryingoutforjustice.com/

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