How to Help with A Domestic Violence Situation?

A wonderful lady became very emotional while sharing her concerns for her older sister. They were very close at one time, but her sister has been in an abusive relationship for years, and it has caused a rift between them. Her whole family has begged her sister to leave her marriage, and a few times it looked promising. Things were so bad that they just knew she wouldn’t let herself be in that relationship another minute. They were in a huge fight and this couple’s seven-year-old son jumped in and tried to defend his mother. Surely this was the last straw, the family thought; but it wasn’t. Even after its clear that her child is suffering, having to defend one parent against the other, her sister still will not leave this abusive marriage. In the concerned woman’s words, “We are all so devastated, and we don’t know what to do anymore. She refuses to leave him, even though it’s tearing everybody apart.”

It is true what they say; no matter how much you want a person to change, they have to want to change for themselves. We can’t make a person change, and we can’t make them want to change. God doesn’t allow human beings to get inside each other’s heads and hearts. We have enough on our plates to keep our own temples in check, and we simply can’t do this for another person. It’s very plain to see that when it comes to the wounds and pain in someone’s life, only God can heal and help them change. He knows what to do and how to do it. His ability is leaps and bounds beyond our own. So we must understand that in these instances, often prayer becomes the only, most loving and effective gift we can offer.

When we pray for someone that perhaps isn’t praying for themselves or doesn’t know how, we’re standing in the gap, asking the Lord Jesus Christ to intervene with his unlimited resources and power. Our faith is integral in this. We must not ever view prayer as a small role in situations like these; it is truly the greatest thing we can offer. It takes our responsibility to a whole other level because we are in partnership with Christ. 2Corinithians 5:20(NLT) tells us, “So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”” We can be of tremendous help through prayer and be effective in ways that go far beyond our physical and mental limitations.

How else do we help with a domestic violence and abuse situation like this, especially where children and family members are involved? It can make us feel very inadequate, overwhelmed, and anxious, but God tells us Philippians 4:6(NLT), “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Spiritual warfare will always require believers to kick it in high gear through our faith. The first thing we must do is shift out of the natural plain and breach the walls of the supernatural, where resources are infinite and powerful.

There are so many dynamics involved with domestic violence and abuse, and sometimes what lurks beneath the surface is not apparent, and it is beyond our ability to understand it. The greatest thing we can do is be a vessel for the Lord to work through in any way HE deems fit. This means that we don’t interject our own emotional stuff into the situation, and we do our best to remain calm. We have to be attentive to the Spirit’s leading, as he tells us what to do and how to do it. Philippians 2:13(NKJV) tells us, “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” And sometimes, His Will is that we stay on the wall in prayer, and He will take care of the rest. In any case, our faith in God and His ability is crucial.

Witnessing the impact and effect of domestic violence is a very difficult thing. There’s no doubt that we must do what we can to be supportive and compassionate, but it is very important not to make an already troubling situation worse. Those that are being affected need us to be spiritually strong and very patient. They need to know we’ll give them a safe and discreet space and place to talk openly, without judgment. If we are led by the Spirit to do so, we can help with finding legal support and other resources, but again, God is the Healer and Provider. We’re not to try and takeover or control the situation. More than anything, a person that is suffering the abuse of domestic violence needs to feel and be empowered. This begins internally first, and only God can do this work within the people who need it most, and we must partner with Him through prayer. ■

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

“How to Help with A Domestic Violence Situation?” written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

Trust in the Process

A friend suffered through domestic violence and abuse during her entire childhood. Her mother took the brunt of physical abuse as she watched in horror. In shock from the trauma of witnessing these attacks, she remembers being paralyzed by the fear, of literally not being able to physically move. Today, the trauma of what she endured as a child has had tremendous impact on her adult life. She feels as if she’s constantly in fight or flight, fearing that something dreadful could happen at any moment. Her anxiety and stress levels are through the roof, and although she is taking medication, her sadness is still very heavy and the impulse to flee danger seems to be constant.

Patterns of fear can develop as a result of the childhood trauma we’ve experienced. These patterns can become firmly entrenched. They can be locked so deep in our consciousness that we don’t even recognize them. We’re constantly reacting and responding to life by the behaviors, feelings, and attitudes the patterns dictate. In a sense, the patterns of fear take the position of authority in our lives. It should come as no surprise to us that this interferes with our relationship with God. He tells us in 1John 4:18 that His love has no fear, not even a hint of it. His love is perfect, and it dispels fear—totally wipes it out! He tells us that a person that lives from a place of fear hasn’t been made complete through His love.

You and I can know from this verse in 1John 4:18 that one of the defining characteristics of God’s love is its power to make a person whole and complete. Everyone that says they believe this hasn’t manifested it. In truth, it takes a very long time for some of us to process this truth. We can’t pretend to know it, and simply saying the words “I trust in God’s love” doesn’t mean that a person really does. The reality is that this trust we have in God must be anchored in the deepest part of who we are. When it is, it will ooze from our pores. It will be infused in everything we do, and every person we influence will be affected by it. This is God’s goal for us.  

God articulates this goal through the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 3:16-17(NLT). Paul said, “I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.” This truly is phenomenal, because God allows us access to knowledge regarding the way that He empowers us. He tells us that He administers strength to our cores through the person of the Holy Spirit.

Fear is a dream killer, and most of us underestimate the degree to which it robs us of vitality, enthusiasm, and the splendor of life that God intended us to have. Fear is an enemy of God, and faith in Him brings Him great joy. Our faith in God is an expression of our appreciation for who He is. It is an acknowledgement of not only His love, but our faith in Him is an acceptance of His love. And just as we can’t physically, visibly see love; we can’t see faith.  Like love, faith becomes visible through our commitment, attitude, and deeds. This is why James 2:26(NIV) states, “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” We must back our faith with actions that demonstrate a willingness to release fear.

As we do this, it is so important for us to trust God’s process. You and I are not able to reach the places within us where fear is hiding out. We’re not able to get to the root of it so that it can be kicked to the curb. We can’t do this, but God most certainly can, and He will if we trust Him. It may not feel like the Holy Spirit is doing a work on the inside, but truly He is. Philippians 1:6(NLT) tells us, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Jesus Christ has a front row seat to our pain. He’s not going to crack us open like an egg. Lovingly, he’s guiding us. Take hold of his hand and follow his lead. It may not happen overnight, but he is helping you release the fear, so that your grasp on a relationship with God is firm and built solidly on trust.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

“Trust in the Process” written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord! s

Flashing Red Lights

A few years ago, I met Amy in the courthouse lobby downtown. She had a familiar brand of nervousness and angst. It was a state of being I know quite a bit about, and it pulled my attention straight away. Growing up, my neighborhood was full of abused women, and some of their abusers did things that were more ruthless than I would dare write about here. But these women stayed. Their children were raised seeing their mothers abused, and seeing their fathers pay no price for it. Amy didn’t have any children, but she had witnessed her mother taking verbal and emotional abuse from her father for many years. Her mother rarely defended herself, became lost in many ways, and stayed in the marriage.

Amy was just out of college. She spent her last year as a senior with an obsessive boyfriend who would threaten to do her harm if she ever ended the relationship. He was local to the area where they both attended college, and she landed a really good paying job there after graduating. She tried breaking things off with him several times, and after she moved into her own apartment, she felt she’d have some peace. And it was for a while—it was peaceful, but after a few weeks, the phone calls were non-stop. There were times that he seemed unbelievably sweet and caring, and she found herself forgiving him and allowing him back into her life. For months she tried the ‘let’s be friends’ approach, but he wasn’t having it. And the final straw was when he started showing up at her job; waiting for her after work.

She didn’t want folks at her job in her business, but she had to get security involved. It was then that one of the officers advised her to file a restraining order. It had never occurred to her to take that step, and she was terrified of what might happen when she did. Abusive situations like these are tormenting, and we must know that God doesn’t want this to happen to anyone. He will give us the kind of wisdom and spiritual guidance that will lead us away from danger. He tells us in Proverbs 1:7 that respecting His counsel will build a lasting foundation of true knowledge, but He also warns in this same verse that there will be some people who despise wisdom and discipline, and they have problems because they won’t listen to Him. This is an avoidable mistake.

In His Word, God provides wisdom, and if we will allow ourselves to be guided by His wisdom, we can make good relationship decisions. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, we can love smart. The very first step to loving smart is to make prayer a continual habit pattern. God never gets tired of hearing from us. He loves it! Jesus Christ said in Luke 18:1 that we should always pray. Think about a loving couple that have been together a long time. They know each other so well that they can finish each other’s sentences. They share a communication that is deeper than words. This is because they’ve spent time with one another. They are interested in what the other has to say, so they listen to one another.

Establishing our relationship with Heavenly Father is like this in some ways. The relationship each of us has with God through Christ is a very personal thing. The more we talk to Him, the more intimate our communication and communion with Him becomes. Heavenly Father is a loving God, and He sees things that we simply can’t see or know. Psalm 121:3 says that He’ll keep our feet from falling; He will not let us slip. This is what God will do for us, but if we desire His protection, we can’t exclude Him from our decision making. He’ll warn us, but we must talk with Him often, so we can recognize those flashing red lights of danger that He provides.

It was a very turbulent ordeal for Amy to get away from her abuser, but the restraining order seems to be helping. She is still nervous at times, and constantly looking over her shoulder. We need to know that God offers us His peace and protection. During the toughest times of our lives, He is with us and willing to help. He tells us in 2Corinthians 12:9 that His grace is all we need, and His power works best in weakness. If we trust Him, Heavenly Father will always get us through abusive situations, but He also desires that we’re committed to pray and talk with Him more. When we do this, our spiritual senses will be sharpened, then we’ll be able to recognize His warnings and have the wisdom to heed them. ■

“Flashing Red Lights” written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

The Truth of Liberty

Jesus Christ said in John 8:32 that the truth will make us free. This is razor-sharp clarity for any person seeking to live a successful life. If you’ve never struggled with overwhelming sadness, don’t know what it feels like to be all alone, and haven’t had to battle internal thoughts of insecurity and self-doubt, then you might not be able to appreciate the words of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. But if you have indeed had to confront some of these things, then you know what it is to be in mental and emotional bondage. These things can enslave us and make getting up every day feel like a chore instead of a privilege. Jesus Christ offers us a strategy for breaking loose. He tells us that the truth will make us free, because he wants us to know that the quest for our truth is the greatest journey any living person can take.

We waste a lot of valuable time searching for, and often not finding, the thing that is going to bring us the most fulfilment and satisfaction in life. Before I sought the wisdom of God regarding this search for truth and personal fulfilment, I often wondered why this information didn’t come standard with our programming. Seeking the truth, seeking fulfillment, and most importantly seeking a closer relationship with God; why is it necessary to seek what often seems so elusive? In answering this, I’m reminded that with God, we always have to keep it 100; and for those unfamiliar with the vernacular, know that God requires transparency in our approach. None of us can live free by believing a lie. So, when we come before God, we must do so with the intention of laying it all out on the table and surrendering everything to Him. It’s the only way forward.

Jesus Christ tells us in Matthew 6:33 that seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness must be priority #1. This allows us to know concretely that there’s something in this ‘seeking’ business that’s very important to God. It’s not complicated. Heavenly Father requires us to engage the process of seeking Him, because our effort to do so demonstrates the importance we place on finding Him. No person diligently seeks or searches for anything unless they value it.  

One of the truths that brought liberty to me in life is understanding that the intensity of our desires to obtain and retain the things we value will be tested, and sometimes severely so. How badly we want the thing and exactly why we want it will be brought to bear. Comprehending this further demonstrates the significance of why God requires us to seek Him, because only He can give us what we need. Jesus Christ said in Luke 8:17 that the secret thing will eventually be brought to the open, and what we do in the dark will be brought to the light. Transparency in our motives, desires, and identity is not negotiable. God has designed the universe in such a way that the truth is its fuel. This means that not only our desires, but again, our ability to steward and hold-on to the things we value most will be put to the test.

The motivation for our desires speaks volumes about who we are. It tells the truth about what is important to us. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 6:21 that wherever the thing we value most is, that’s where we can find our hearts. We are free to seek whatever we desire, but we must recognize that seeking anything outside of love will enslave us. The truth of liberty is that it comes only from seeking love, and 1John 4:8 declares that the God of Heaven above is love. He is the only Source of it.

When we’re frustrated by our circumstances and it seems as if nothing is going right, the truth will bring the liberty that Jesus Christ offers IF we seek it. God is not withholding His blessings. He’s shedding His light where darkness is hiding out. He’s illuminating our path so we can see what He sees. He’s correcting our motivation for desiring certain things so that love becomes the foundation that anchors them. If we’ll humble ourselves, pay attention, and seek His Kingdom first, the things we desire will manifest. They will continue to be a blessing to us and to others as well. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“The Truth of Liberty”
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

The Breaker Anointing

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6(NKJV)

I believe one of the reasons Heavenly Father has called me to write about His Word is to remove stigmas and overcomplications that have been added, so that the sheer simplicity of its truth is revealed. The ‘Breaker Anointing’ is an ordination of God for the blessing of His people, and it isn’t nearly as complicated as some have made it. I was particularly struck by this as I thought about my friend that I’ll call Ruby for the sake of anonymity. She has left an indelible mark on my consciousness. Like me, she grew up in a home where domestic violence and abuse was prevalent. When I think of what we both endured, I am amazed any human could or would inflict such pain and fear upon someone defenseless. I’m convinced the devil tried to destroy my destiny by possessing the person who oppressed me. The depth of gratitude to God for having saved me both physically and spiritually through the Lord Jesus Christ can’t be expressed with mere words.

It is by the grace of God that I’m able to write about what I know of Ruby’s life. As bad as I believed things were for me, I think the level of abuse she suffered was far worse. After years of going through it, I walked away sane; she did not. Although we were both raised in the church, Ruby and I knew nothing of a ‘breaker anointing’, had never even heard of it. The two words alone convey something pretty powerful, and certainly our circumstances desperately needed that kind of intervention. But this does not diminish at all the grace God showed us during those years. Given the dysfunction of our oppressors, our lives could have been wiped-out in a second on several occasions, but they weren’t, and we both managed to live through it.

Taking care of an ailing mother and younger siblings, Ruby was forced to be an adult way before her time. In Hosea 4:6, God says that His people are destroyed because they lack knowledge. From this, you and I can know that human-beings can be severely harmed or snuffed-out because of what they don’t know. Ignorance is darkness. It is imprisonment. Ruby was so busy taking care of folks and doing chores that school was her only escape, except she indulged play way more than she did education. She was so imprisoned by ignorance she couldn’t see that enlightenment is the key. And not just any enlightenment, but the kind that comes from Christ. It sets us free!

Jesus Christ is the subject of the entire Bible. He is the fulfillment of God’s promise to the world. He said of himself in Luke 4:18(NLT), “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free.” The truth of what this verse conveys is exponentially richer than any of us can fathom. Christ IS the Breaker! His love and power break every chain of bondage in a person’s life. Often our issue regarding seeing his power manifested is one of cooperation.

Hebrews 11:6 tells us that we cannot please God without faith, and Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing the good news about Jesus Christ. Faith comes by hearing knowledge; the kind of knowledge that if allowed entrance into our hearts, will transfer us from darkness to light, and transform us into the people God desires us to be. One of the reasons that it is so uber important to know about the example and ministry of Christ is because he walked this earth fully God and fully human. By this, you and I can be confident that restoration is both supernatural and natural, working together. Jesus Christ, both God and man, demonstrated the potency of this collaboration.

The breaker anointing delivered by Christ through his love and power isn’t just for those who are religious. It’s not just for those who look to be perfect or think themselves deserving of special titles. It is for anyone that is willing to present all that they are to God—burdens and weaknesses. It’s for those who will learn from Christ what it means to walk this earth as a human with his supernatural love and power sealed on the inside of them. And it is for those who want to be free of the shackles of pain and brokenness from the past. He offers his delivering power freely to us, and although it saddens me that Ruby couldn’t enjoy the fullness of it, I am so monumentally grateful that he delivered it to me. He’ll do the same for you. Let him be your Breaker. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“The Breaker Anointing”
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

Don’t Force a Fit

An abusive relationship can really do a number on your self-esteem, and one of its most damaging residuals is the development of insecurities in our decision making. We question our own judgment when choosing someone who’s right for us because a prior relationship felt so right in the beginning, but ultimately went devastatingly wrong. From personal experience, I know what it’s like to meet a person who looks the part of someone that is a perfect fit, however, this person turns out to be someone completely different than who you believed they were. Sometimes we’re shocked by how far off we ventured away from the “good judgment’ department. This can cause us to develop fear instead of faith when choosing a compatible partner in a relationship.

One of the things that we should all do is pray before we dive into a relationship. I’ve been a Christian a long time, and I’ve made prayer a habit pattern, but praying often doesn’t necessarily mean praying effectively. Prayer is a two-way street. When Jesus Christ taught the disciples the template for prayer, he instructed them in Matthew 6:9(NLT), “Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy.” God loves it when we come to Him in prayer. He loves talking with us, but sometimes we forget who He is, and this isn’t cool. Heavenly Father never forgets who we are. He knows us so intimately that He even knows the number of hairs on our heads. He knows us by name, and He would never mistake us for someone else.

He has set a precedent for our communication with Him, and it is one of mutual respect. He respects us as His chosen ones and precious children, and we must have honor and respect for Him; for His supreme sovereignty, divinity, and majesty—for the greatness of all that He is. His Word tells us that He is love. He is perfect, all-powerful, and all-knowing. He is holy, and holiness is a sacred quality. There’s nothing on earth that compares to it. This is who He is, and we must acknowledge our understanding of His identity, because that’s what you do in a respectful relationship. Approaching Heavenly Father with as much reverence as we can muster in our hearts and minds will convey that we are prepared to get down to business. We are prepared to both speak to Him and hear from Him.

1John 5:14-15 (NKJV) says, “14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.” I was beyond giddy when I first discovered this promise. Like a whole lot of folks, I saw the shiny, sparkling thing and thought, “Oooo, that looks good. Surely God will give it to me if I ask.” I didn’t realize that everything that shines isn’t gold, and just because it looks right doesn’t mean it’s right for me. I had a hard time learning this lesson well.

It also took a while for me to learn to reverence God in the way He deserves. He tells us in 1John 5:14 that we must ask according to HIS WILL. I skipped that part altogether. I’d get partnered up with a fine specimen of my own choosing, and then ask God to bless the relationship. “Please God, let this one be the right one. Please let this one work!” I’d pray. Often the warning signs would appear, but I’d ignore them, thinking that if I prayed enough, God would yield to my will. Nope! Doesn’t work this way.

I didn’t know if the person was always a malicious master of manipulation, or if there was something I had done to bring out the worse in them. This kind of confusion is a direct result of trying to force a fit. I had to learn that God has a plan for my life, and it’s a good plan. So instead of finding the wrong puzzle piece and trying to force it into a place it has no business being, I began to reprioritize my prayers and seek the will of God for my life.

Like so many others, I once bought into certain things that sound romantically hopeful. Sayings like, “follow your heart…” or “you can’t help who you fall in love with” are a few examples. The Apostle Paul said in 1Corinthians 13:11(NKJV), “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” The lesson that we should learn is that the more spiritually mature we become, the more we learn to lean on God. With His anointing and blessing, pieces effortlessly fall into place.  We can always have confidence in our judgment and decision-making when we look to Him for guidance and direction, and we’d be wise not to make a move until we receive it.■

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Don’t Force a Fitwritten by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

 

A Love that Lasts

Everyone loves those romantic movies where a relationship that seems irreparably broken years prior, suddenly has a second chance. I’m a sucker for these types of movies and will watch them over and over. Of course, I know how the story ends, but we never get enough of seeing two people come together when so much has been stacked against them. Even vicariously, it’s an emotional high to witness a rekindled romance, because let’s face it, we all want to believe in happily ever after. Unlike the movies, real-life relationships are much more challenging, because the story doesn’t end when two people finally commit to one another. In real life, this is where the grunt work begins.

Again, relationships are often the most challenging work of our lives. They are even more difficult when we come to the table not having done some soul-searching and soul-work. It isn’t the best idea to look for a soul-mate, or a mate for your soul, when you don’t have a good grasp of who you are on a soul level.

Many people haven’t begun to grapple with the reality of being a spiritual being with an earth suit made of dust. They haven’t considered that spiritually, they are required by God to learn to navigate earth’s terrain by being the most loving, humble, compassionate, yet powerful individual they can be. The only way to accomplish this is to walk in the love of Christ. He showed us how it’s supposed to be done. It is the most delicate balance imaginable, because spiritual love very often has little to do with the human version of it—and this human version is the one most are hooked on. Human love comes with entanglements and confusion, and many of us haven’t learned to step out of it so that we can go higher.

Spiritual love is love on a whole other level. It’s God’s love and it embodies everything about His nature. Jesus Christ told us a little bit about it in John 15:13(NLT). He said, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” This is what Christ did for humanity. We’re the ‘friends’ he’s talking about. He gave his life because we were in total darkness. We were playing around in satan’s cesspool of death, and he rescued us from it. Colossians 1:13 says that through Christ, God delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us into His Kingdom. This was a spiritual transaction, and the only way to cash in on it is to dive into love by faith. You have to rely on what you can’t see, because the things we can’t see are more real than the things we CAN see.

This love of Christ is a selfless kind of love for sure. Accepting it means that we understand there were barriers separating us from God’s love, and Jesus Christ removed them. Our work is to keep ourselves from setting them up again. In movies, wounded people fall in and out of love very easily. It’s a love that may make us feel good in the moment, but it doesn’t last. That’s not the kind of love that comes from God. His love is eternal, and it sticks with an ever-lasting bond. The amazing truth about His love is that you and I are capable of living in it, and we are capable of giving it as well.

Galatians 5:6(MSG) tells us, “For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love.” You and I are on this earth but a moment. We’re here today, gone tomorrow. God is forever; He has no beginning, and He has no end. He’s loved us that long. It is too extraordinary to fathom, but it is our belief in His extraordinary love that fuels our own. This is what matters most. That’s why it is so important to believe in what we cannot see—to have faith in God’s love. It’s incomparable, and when we give it to others, we are giving them something that will last forever. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

“A Love that Lasts”, written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

Wisdom, How to love myself, Self-love, Love of Christ, Domestic violence and abuse, Spiritual Encouragement for Victims of Abuse, Victims of Domestic Violence, Learning about Jesus Christ