A Cry For Justice

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

Thursday Thought — Change begins in the heart

Rev. Chris Moles posted this gem on our FB book page.  We felt it needed to be shared here also.

 

I often tell our guys [in the Behavior Change Groups we run] that changing behavior without a change of heart is like taking all the apples off an apple tree, stapling bananas in their place and saying, “Look at my beautiful banana tree!”  Give it time, the apples always come back.  The heart of violence must be uprooted.  [Rev. Chris Moles]

19 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Speakingtruthinlove's Blog.

  2. Healinginprocess

    A wonderful analogy!!

  3. Brenda R

    I love this analogy! It is soooooo true.

  4. Wanda

    Great analogy and certainly true.

  5. Sasanka

    After I took my anti husband back following his arrest and 2 months separation,
    within days he turned back from ‘nice’ and ‘remorseful’ (looking back I knew in my gut he was faking it), to his abusive self. It’s so frightening to see the mask go down from Jeckyl to Hyde..I’ve seen it thousand times yet every time it’s like the first time.. He looked me with such hatered in his eyes saying he faked everything, did what he had to do to get through this and the ‘anger management’ nonsense, and it is me who should be arrested, and I ‘got away’ with abusing him (!!) Never mind he physically (and every other way) abused me for 7 years and actually injured me this time. Claimed he is the victim and said HE DOES NOT FEEL HE NEEDS TO CHANGE AT ALL, BUT PURELY FOR MY SAKE HE WILL TRY TO ‘HELP’ ME MORE.
    Treated me to some choice names when saying this… I was floored.
    My heart sank of course, I knew that he tricked me to get back and out of fear of future, confusion, loneliness, pressure, I took him back. I knew I’m powerless and I responded…well thank you to at least commit to help me more I appreciate at least that. Pure self preservation… at least a few bananas…that’s in itself a huge ‘change’ , we had a big family and newly diagnosed toddler with severe autism….. It’s sad how desperate one can get…I love this analogy, and all of your gems, and the very gems of the people on this blog, you Barb and Pastor Jeff, bring so much clarity and validation I AM NOT BROKEN BECAUSE NOW I KNOW!!!! YES!!! The Lord says that His people perish for the lack of knowledge…thank you for taking my hand and showing me in the Scriptures, explaining concepts I read many times before, but didn’t understand and see through the web of human traditions and abuse taught as ‘the Word’. Thank you, Lord Jesus…,

    And great news!!! Unbelievebly…after I put up my Emotional Wall, Barb, on your advice, first I feel MUCH better, in much more CONTROL, and with DIGNITY. And secondly, my anti is ‘off balance’ trying to figure out what’s up! I LIKE IT 🙂 Of course I’m still kind to him, look out for him because I’m the Lord’s child regardless of my anti, I will keep good conscience- BUT NOW THE RIGHT WAY – thank you LORD!!!.
    The Anti is really trying to get me back to care for him emotionally, and have me under his thumb!!! As a result is overall a little less abusive!! Don’t worry, friends, I know why- classic cycle of abuse – no confusion there :)) He even ‘allowed ‘ me to take a driver’s licence! Something we never ‘had money for’ in 10 years of literal ‘house arrest’, and to fix my tooth, same case.
    And here is the most amazing thing! Just a back drop – I abandoned my education which was 1/3 through with honors grades when I met him, allowing him to move in within 6 weeks and be added to my account he was 8 months kicked out of school and unemployed (yes, you are hearing correctly), couple weeks later signed for a $13,000 BMW he ‘absolutely needed’ to get that sales job…Our Bible study leader and mutual friend was his new boss and advised him not to buy such a car…but he told me opposite. I didn’t do my homework not knowing much about cars (or HIM for that matter!!!) Excellent credit destroyed instantly, no credit now. But the great news – he said yes for me to go back to evening school to slowly work on my education! Thank you, Lord Jesus, He is making a way! Anti is fickle and untrustworthy, but God will make a way….THIS IS MY ROUGHLY 4 YEAR EXIT STRATEGY, DEAR FRIENDS!!!!! FINISH EDUCATION =GET A JOB= MONEY =OWN PLACE TO LIVE =SAFETY AND FREEDOM FOR US!!!!
    Please keep me in your prayers that I make it no matter what curve balls he throws, I’m not naive this is not over..he is Jeckyl and Hyde…The Lord will help me. Thank you so much for prayers and the support reading your experiences and amazing articles.

    • Brenda R

      Sasanka,
      I will pray for your safety and that of your children. I will also pray for God to have a Plan B in case the 4 year plan doesn’t work out. I know in reality it will actually be God’s only plan.

    • Yay for you, Sasanka! Yay for God too! Yay for your plan! Yay for your dignity! Yay for the fixed tooth and the drivers licence (it’s not plundering the Egyptians, but its a touch in that direction . . . ). And Yay for even a few bananas pinned to the apple tree for a little while, as they give the victim time to regather her wits and work out her plans in more detail.

      I got a contact high just from reading your comment, Sasanka 🙂
      [Yeah, I was in the drug scene for a while before I became a Christian. The old language still has its uses at times.]

      • Sasanka

        Barb!
        You make me smile (and laugh) I love it. Thank you….not plundering the Egyptians..haha!!
        Will keep you guys posted how my ‘plan’ is going..:)) See, knowledge is power…I don’t know how my little plan will unravel, there could be detours, but it’s only 4 years!!! I’m NOT SPENDING 40 YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS!! HAHA! Oh, no. It’s a beeline to the PROMISE LAND BY GOD’S GRACE.

    • RisingAgain

      We are on your side & praying for you, Sasanka. This is a predator……do NOT let your guard down. I pray GOD will make a way of escape for you. I feel pride well up inside, reading your words of determination; not just determination to stay strong & work your plan, but determination to keep your heart faithful to God’s ways & the fruit of the Spirit. If I was advising you, I would tell you….GET OUT NOW! Don’t worry about the “how’s”, God will provide. You’re in serious danger; if not short term, then long term. I stayed true for 35yrs, hoping, longing for change, but I only wound up being destroyed completely……one blow at a time. Now, I’m just an old woman he can toss aside like a piece of trash, and I have nothing. Nothing left of myself, nothing financially, no family, no job, no education, no hope, no future, no nothing. Praise GOD for small blessings, but he (anti) will never allow you to develop independence…….ever! These seemingly small victories will turn into nightmares if you continue to hang your hopes & plans in his good graces. It’s taken me this long to wake up to the truth about my husband; he is a destroyer at his very core & will stop at nothing to finish me off. Please, for the sake of your children, GET OUT! RUN! DON’T LOOK BACK. You are a woman if integrity…..He will exploit that about you. Don’t let him take you down! Your children need you to survive with some amount of wholeness left in you. That is your only hope. Lord, please grant Sasanka the wisdom, strength & courage she needs to move herself & her children out from under this tyranny & under the shadow of YOUR wings Father God. Make a way of escape where there seems no way, show her YOUR guidance & direction, grant her favour in all she does & all those she comes in contact with. Amen.

      • Brenda R

        Deb,
        You are and have more than you know. You had the God given ability to write this response and it is good advice. You are a beautiful Woman and Daughter of the King. It may have taken more time than you would have liked to come out of the fog, but you have come out and you can stand your ground. Do not allow this evil to finish you off. God will be your strength and your guide. I pray even now Dear God, put a hedge around Deb, make her aware of who she is in You. Guide her to safety and supply her needs. Give her strength and your peace in all that she does. In Jesus name, Amen.

      • Sasanka

        Dear Deb,
        thank you for your words and wisdom that was purchased by SO MANY years of very real pain and suffering.
        Yes, the abuse is a REAL SLOW MURDER , extremely soul eviscerating. I almost lost my mind couple times when kids were smaller and anti was younger and even more immature/destructive. Ended up on meds for a few months.
        Deb, I know time is of essence to get out. But unfortunately, I do have to play it smart…I don’t have much to work with and need to repair a few things, before exiting with my 4 young ones..
        It’s a necessary evil and is dangerous. But I have to milk my current situation to get out, save he assaults me and I will call 911.Canada is fantastic that way, he will be removed and I will have to do plan B (have to work out). Anti is not mindlessly aggressive/angry – it’s all calculated to intimidate and control, and he will not do this again as his freedom is now threatened. He’ll use the other means of control. I know I should not underestimate the predator – they are all capable of the unthinkable.
        I am now able to mentally picture and accept that the Anti is going to SABOTAGE me.
        The fact that he is WOLF and not child of God helps TREMENDOUSLY to keep focused. Since Anti is not your typical Overt Aggressive -he has a specialty in covert aggression- manipulation and specifically passive aggression. (my newly acquired education from Dr. George Simon). For example he will be purposely coming late so I would be late to my community college courses (ECE) – obviously I cannot leave the children until he comes. Or just by my things not being ever near the priority list. I have to also do a 6 week full time placement with daycare centre 3x in 2 years, that REALLY worries me….considering my anti’s time has always been ALL HIS..all 24 hours…You see, he can’t ‘babysit’ his own children even for me to go to a library, because a ‘client’ might call him any time and he ‘might’ need to leave (needless to say it rarely happens – anti plays on computer and watches tons of moovies. If I ever leave now, kids have to be fully taken care of, so he has not much troubles. Good point he is not dangerous to the kids, no real love of course, regularly abused by reckless driving with all of us on board weather 5, 6, baby or pregnant. Again no more – that is a crime and I would call police.
        Thank you for your sweet prayer, yes, wisdom I need so badly and the Lord’s favor, He has my back and even if all this is incorrect, He will show me and keep me and children safe for an even better plan, He will never leave us…Amen.

      • Sasanka

        Deb,
        I just had to reread your comment a couple times..thank you so much for you kindness…I feel so sad what happened to you. My meager 10 years has been no comparison to what you have been through and many on this site.
        I will also keep you in prayer. I don’t know your situation but is there any viable way you could get out..
        I pray that the Lord will make it possible because we know that all things ARE possible with HIm.

      • NotHeard

        Sasanka, guard your firm stand and your strength will continue to grow. And yes, knowledge is power! That covert aggression is so destructive..

      • RisingAgain

        Brenda R, your sweet kindness & prayers touched my heart deeply & I’m so grateful. You blessed me tremendously & I pray GOD’S blessings return to you 100 fold.
        Sasanka, dear one, I do not presume to tell you how to live your life. My only wish was to validate what you’re going thru & warn you from my own experience plus having been in marriage ministry for 6yrs, and part of a wounded wives fb group currently, that as bad as things are for you right now, they will not only get worse, but even if they didn’t get worse, it WILL wear you down until you have nothing left.
        I suffered so many breakdowns I lost track, and the last one was a complete adrenal breakdown that left me, as you say, eviscerated. I went into a fugue state that several experts told me would’ve put anyone into a mental institution sitting in a chair staring out the window for the rest of my life. My husband kept me isolated & refused to help me. I didn’t have any emotions, no memory, couldn’t read, couldn’t remember my elementary school education, couldn’t remember the bible stories I’d grown up learning, couldn’t even remember how to wring out a washcloth, lost my singing voice completely (formerly sang opera) didn’t think God existed but felt I was in literal hell, separated from God. Now, I’m left with constant “fight or flight” secretions into my bodily systems almost hourly, even throughout the night, so I’m robbed of any significant sleep. I physically vascillate between sheer terror & the need to end it all. My life is a living nightmare…….all because I stayed. And this is ONLY a portion of my story.
        I understand all too well, the passive-aggressive man. What you describe is all too familiar a story & my husband too is P-A. Here in the states, we call it gaslighting. That is the very reason I wrote you. This kind of man will lead you in subtle ways to believe everything is fine & that they will get better, or even that it’s all in your head & you are over-reacting, but this kind of abuse is really the more dangerous. It isn’t all out there, in your face abuse that leaves bruises or broken bones for all to see, no….it’s much more insidious than that. It messes with your mind, plays tricks on you, all the while eating away & destroying who you are at the very core of your being. Trust me…..they want to take you down, & the longer you stay, the more they build their case against you in justification for how they’re treating you. Inside, they are extremely angry & at their core they are cruel. It took me all these years, till recently, to finally admit these things about my husband. I did not want to believe such awful things about him, but now that he has totally destroyed me & still is trying to, the evidence before my eyes is the truth I must face. He wants nothing less than to see me drop dead.
        I am “out”, Sasanka, he threw me out of my own house in preference for my evil sister. For reasons I won’t go into here, I am unemployable & have no means of support. I’ve been on my own for 3yrs now, nomading from caretaker job to caretaker job….all elderly people who were gracious enough to look beyond the reasons for which no company will hire me. I’m $20,000 in debt from legal fees & often go without eating for lack of money. I myself am very close to retirement age (which won’t ever happen now) but here I am caring for the paralyzed & dying, when my own health is suffering.
        Sasanka, do what you must, but above all else, DO NOT LET your guard down! I know your heart! You have this dream of a beautiful godly family & marriage, and you want desperately to please God & believe the best about your husband, but unless or until your husband bows his knee in full surrender to Christ, there will be no real change. No change where it counts…..in his heart. My heart and my prayers are with you. Find someone you can depend on to care for the children while you build your plan; don’t even TRY to depend on your husband for anything. My husband did the same stuff when I would try to work; come home late when I had to be at work; left my daughter & I stranded at the airport for four and a half hours with no food when she was an infant. These were days of no cell phones. I thought he’d abandoned us. Yep! Individually, these things may seem to be mere oops! moments, but when the pattern continues to repeat itself, something is very wrong. Yes, find someone else you can depend on to care for your children. Maybe a live in granny like me, who will do it for room board if you have no family to support you in this.
        Sending you my arms open wide with big hugs of encouragement & support. You are hurting now, dear Sasanka, don’t let him take you out completely.

        (Note from editor: Sasanka, Deb invites you to contact her, but for everyone’s safety I have not included her contact information in this comment. If you want to accept Deb’s invite, contact me, TWBTC, at twbtc.acfj@gmail.com)

  6. Barnabasintraining

    I’m stealing this gem. 🙂

  7. It is good to see that there are people like Rev Moles who have all their antennae up to detect those bananas pegged to apple trees. I just read this comment on SSB; it illustrates how so few therapists are alert to the manipulations of skilled abusers, especially those who know how to spruik the psychobabble. This comment comes from a woman who was married to a pedophile, but what she says has bearing on those who are married to common and garden abusers.

    If therapists with extensive training cannot always detect true remorse and change, even after weekly meetings over many years, how can wives know for sure?’

    Read the woman’s whole comment here:
    http://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2014/07/01/open-letter-to-editors-of-christianity-today-from-ex-wife-of-pedophile-predators-in-our-midst/comment-page-1/#comment-126888

  8. ACFJ makes me feel so important 🙂 I really appreciate ya’ll.

  9. Anonymous

    Great analogy Rev Moles. Definitely one to keep.
    Barb – the full comment(s )by the woman at SSB should be very encouraging for victims to press on; not give up. Thank you for posting this.

  10. Brenda R

    I want everyone behind the blog to know how wonderful I think it is that you will put people in touch with each other if we feel the desire and/or need to do so. This is a wonderful thing.

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