Were We Created To Be Toys?
Strange topic? Maybe, but I’ll bet more than one abuse victim has asked that question before. Sometimes the church denies that abuse has occurred or doubts the victim is telling “the whole story”. Other times, though, the church believes the abuse has happened and sees it as divine suffering. They will point to examples and verses in the scripture where Godly men and women suffered and God was pleased. I was told that my situation was “no different from missionaries being martyred for the faith.”
I tried to believe that, I really tried. I tried to believe that there was some God magnifying, truth proclaiming, soul saving reason for me to suffer. But that isn’t the reality, is it? Did anyone look at my situation and go, “Wow, I get it – Jesus came to save me from my sins. Let me repent and be saved!” I did ask the elders at my church what the goal was – what was I trying to show the world? They never could give me a concrete answer except “to display God’s truth to the world”. What truth? The truth that we have the power to endure anything? Shouldn’t the cause of our need for endurance matter?
The real “truth” that we display to the world by accepting abuse in a marriage is that God would have us suffer for someone else’s pleasure (not his). Because that is the goal of abusers – for the victims to suffer for their pleasure.
Sure, those who persecuted the believers in the New Testament enjoyed the power and control they wielded when trying to intimidate the church, but the believers were being persecuted because they were sharing the Gospel. So what was the great goal of my suffering, the goal so noble that the church could call me to it in good conscious?
I found my answer in song. As some of you may be aware, I write music. Lately a lot of my songs have focused on reflections of my divorce and how various stages felt. One song in particular is an attempt to capture the feeling of losing my identity, something I really struggled with as I tried to put all of this “suffer for the Gospel” stuff into practice. This song really helped me clarify some things, so I’d like to share a few lines with you (note: these may not end up in the final song this way, so don’t quote me!):
Should I remove the part of me that only wants to live in peace
Is it really my goal to overcome the hope that I could be free?
Could I allow all that I am to be destroyed,
Sacrificed so I can be another’s toy?
Note that last line. This is something I’ve finally figured out how to put into words: when they call us to suffering, they are calling us to feed an abuser’s sense of entitlement and lust for power. They are saying God created us with a specific purpose: to be a plaything for someone else. Not to spread the Gospel. Not to worship him – but to be a TOY. It is sick.
I cannot accept that when God knit me together in the womb, that this was why he did it. No, we were not created to be toys for abusers – to suffer and feed their need for power and control. We were created to live in the light and proclaim the Gospel. We were created to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.
I will serve my Creator in the light, but I will not serve an abuser in the darkness.