A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Counseling Victims of Domestic Abuse — by Diane Langberg, PhD

Diane Langberg is a Christian psychologist who we featured at this blog a week ago (here).

Counseling Victims of Domestic Abuse is a presentation Diane gave at the Forum Of Christian Leaders, Budapest, 25 May 2010.

Alternative link to video: http://www.foclonline.org/workshop/counselling-victims-domestic-abuse

In this talk, Diane condemns the way that many Christians minimize the seriousness of what happens in domestic abuse, and she says that the church is not doing a lot to address the issue. She defines abuse as including emotional, verbal, financial, sexual, spiritual and social abuse as well as physical abuse. Likewise, she emphasizes that domestic abuse is a pattern of conduct, not just isolated incidents. And she applies scriptures very well to the issue.

Here are some great quotes from Diane’s presentation:

16’09”   When did we start thinking that tolerating abuse in the home was a godly thing to do?

26’30”   When God’s people are obedient they reprove abusers and defend the helpless; unfortunately we have often reproved the helpless and protected the abusers. Scripture gives us a basis of holding those who are abusers accountable for their behavior. Scripture says it is the law of love that is to govern a relationship, and abuse of a spouse is a profound abuse of that law.

29’50”   So why is it . . . that we have often placed the burden on the victim to justify her actions so that she must somehow prove to us that she didn’t make him do it, rather than dealing with the abuser, calling him to confess his sins and demonstrate true repentance?

30’25”   Do we really think protecting a home full of sin is in keeping with the sacred covenant before God?

We would like to thank David Clyde Jones, retired Professor of Biblical Ethics at Covenant Seminary, for pointing us to this video.

You can find other resources created or recommended by Diane Langberg at dianelangberg.com, and at Global Trauma Recovery which she co-leads with another Christian psychologist, Philip G Monroe.

Note: Statistics about domestic abuse — relative gendered rates, how the stats apply in various legal scenarios — are contested with claims and counter claims. At this blog we generally steer clear of presenting domestic abuse statistics because it is a subject which we prefer to leave to others. This video does mention a few statistics so, by featuring it, we are going against our normal policy of keeping this blog a statistics-free zone.  We welcome comments on the video, but please let’s not get into a heavy debate about the statistics Diane presents. There are other places for exploring statistics on domestic abuse, but we’d rather not do it on this blog. We want to keep the blog a friendly place. 🙂

15 Comments

  1. Still Scared( but getting angry)

    29’50″ So why is it . . . that we have often placed the burden on the victim to justify her actions so that she must somehow prove to us that she didn’t make him do it, rather than dealing with the abuser, calling him to confess his sins and demonstrate true repentance?

    My ex-idiot is trying this again right now. He hasn’t paid child support in basically a year. Still owes me medical for 2012, neglected one son’s birthday, about to neglect another one’s and is hinting that is I would just own up to my 50% at fault for the demise of the marriage I might possibly get child support. UGH!!

    • Brenda R

      Isn’t the court system getting involved in this. Child support is suppose to be taken right from the paycheck, that is if they know where he is. My daughter is 33 years old. Last summer I got the remainder of what was owed. It sounds as though ex-idiot is locatable and wages should be garnished. He should not be allowed to make demands in order for him to pay. I know how hard it can be to make ends meet without child support. My prayers are with you.

  2. I really like this quote: “Do we really think protecting a home full of sin is in keeping with the sacred covenant before God?”

    I have a place where I can use that.

  3. Cindy Rapstad

    Good presentation, great ideas. I forwarded to my Pastor as he is helping me with 2 women in this situation now.

  4. Diane is wonderful, why isn’t she more famous in the church than John Piper? She demonstrates true wisdom… you can practically see God’s heart, strength, and justice in this video — compare this with Piper’s video on domestic violence!! She makes Piper look like a troglodyte!!
    It burns me up that Nancy DeMoss’ books are in the church, too, rather than Leslie Vernick or Diane or Jeff and Barb’s books.
    You know after watching this talk I just feel angry. Angry at the church, angry at the Body, angry that this has been allowed to flourish in the church when we are supposed to be a place of light in the darkness. We are supposed to be support for the weak. It makes me think that if the Day of Judgment were to happen tomorrow, the majority of churches would burn up in an instant.
    😦 The worst part is that I feel kinda excited about the prospect!! Like cleaning out house of maggots! Just set it on fire!!

    • She makes Piper look like a troglodyte!!

      Katy, you have such a way with words…. 😉

      • BIT – cussing is a sin. So I have to be creative. hmph.

    • Brenda R

      I liked what Diane had to say. I find peace in the truth that she speaks and those like her who are getting the word out. Christians need to hear that God does not condone this behavior in the covenant that he instituted. He wants us to reflect the Love that He has for us and what we are to show Him. We are not to be martyrs in marriage for Jesus.

      I didn’t know John Piper had a video on domestic violence. I read his book on marriage at the time when I was at a very low point in the marriage and felt like weights were tied around my ankles and I was thrown in a lake. I was doomed to be in the relationship and God approved it. I could not believe what I was reading, but JP knows……he is one of the “greats”, whatever that means, but was what I kept hearing from the pulpit. I would imagine that he would minimize the affects of abuse. He certainly kept women in bondage if their were no visible scars. I will have to look and see if I can find that one online.

      I agree wholeheartedly, the books that are made available for Christian’s to read and learn from and encouraged are ridiculous. There are good books written by some of these people but many should stay away from topics where they have a lack of knowledge.

  5. Song of Joy

    Love those Dr. Diane quotes! I just ran across a blog article that is a good example of the odd and complying attitude of pastors toward abusers and violence.

    It’s written by a pastor about a church deacon involved in long-term adultery, arson and attempted murder of his wife. The pastor kindly testified on the deacon’s behalf at the trial, and the wife/victim did the same (I wonder who counseled her to do that?).

    From the end of the story:
    “Monica has remained faithful to Scott and to this day is still committed to her marriage. Sadly, their two young children will be raised in a home devoid of a loving father’s presence and care.”

    Huh? Let’s do the math on that one:
    Attempting to kill the mother, cheating on her and burning the home to the ground = loving, caring father!

    http://practicalshepherding.com/article/pastoral-lessons-learned-in-great-tragedy/

    • GASP!
      And sadly way too common. Ps Crippen mentions in one of his sermons (? in the Domestic Abuse Sermon Series) about a judge who said she had a bone to pick with Christians, because so often they come into her courtroom and give character references for the accused villain who she KNOWS is guilty of horrendous criminal acts. Jeff, maybe you can remind us which sermon that was in. I listened to it recently, but it’s quite old. I am listening to lots of your archived sermons as I drive round town, having burned dozens of them onto CDs.

      • Jeff Crippen

        I don’t remember offhand but I will see if we can find it in a printout.

    • Still Scared( but getting angry)

      People not in the situation or have blinders on, don’t get how they kids NEVER had a loving father. They do not understand what a loving father is like and might be twisting their thoughts about God, the father because of growing up with their dad. It is so sad!

  6. Monica has remained faithful to Scott and to this day is still committed to her marriage. Sadly, their two young children will be raised in a home devoid of a loving father’s presence and care.

    You know sometimes when I read stuff on here I wonder if maybe I’m dreaming and I’ll wake up at any moment. 😦

  7. Song of Joy

    I finally had time over the weekend to listen to Dr. Diane’s entire presentation, and it’s wonderful. She comes across as very compassionate and wise. I highly recommend it.

    • Glad you had the time, SongofJoy. That’s why I scheduled it for a Friday. 🙂

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