An Experiment: You Write This post – by… You!
[November 12, 2022: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]
(Matthew 7:13-14 ESV) (13) “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. (14) For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
Alright, there is your Scripture text. I want to see what happens here if I just give our readers the Scripture, and through your comments, YOU write the post. I will put them together into one post as you write. Think about it carefully — this Scripture passage has a LOT to say about abuse, about facing it, and about why Christians don’t want to face it.
This is from Now Free (Good job!) —
God gives us two choices….either the narrow way, which leads to righteousness and heaven, or the broad way. The narrow way is the difficult one, because even though we are walking with God, who delights in giving us His gifts such as peace, joy, wisdom and strength, it can be hard at times. The Bible gives us many examples of strong people of faith who encountered difficult times, but the Lord guided these souls to victory.
Victims of abuse undergo some of the worst evil anyone can imagine. Whether or not we are victims of abuse, if we choose the narrow way, we will suffer at times….we become strong, and learn. God sent His Son to die for us, to give us salvation. Can we be so presumptuous to think that we could escape any suffering? The rewards are infinite!
The broad way is so easy, because it is compatible with our sinful nature. This gate leads to hell.
Abuse is a very serious and evil sin. Abusers naturally choose the broad way. And they deceive many with their pleasant and charming façades of peace and “righteousness”. Upon meeting the abuser, many are deceived. Some people sense that something truly is wrong with this person, but just don’t want to “go there.” It’s a shame.”
This is from Sheryl (Also very good, from a different angle.) —
Matthew Henry’s commentary [Internet Archive link]1 on this at “Blue Letter Bible” is enlightening bearing in mind both the abuser and the co-dependent.
I was grieved in my recovery work to learn that I had made an idol out of my spouse in trying to fix him. I was trying to play God instead of trusting God. In order for me to heal, I have had to look at my own portion of dysfunction. There never, ever is justification for abuse of any sort, I am not saying that. However, in my particular situation and in many dysfunctional relationships there is more than one dysfunctional individual and I had to learn what my portion was, own it and work to change it, since I can only change myself. I had to choose the narrow gate of learning to stop responding to his hook that he would throw out to engage me in a vicious word battle. To save my sanity, I had to choose the narrow gate of taking a minute to think of the new healthier behavior or to use a one-liner from “Love and Logic”. At first, it angered me that he could behave as he does and I couldn’t say something back. But I ultimately have learned that choosing that narrow gate of not responding does definitely lead to life. I took my power back instead of giving it away to him. He is not living in reality anyway so why was I wasting my time….casting my pearls before swine….thinking that I could change his ways….that is God’s territory. My job is to trust God and learn to take care of myself with healthy boundaries.
I realize that my situation is different than others represented here. I have not been subject to physical abuse, but verbal, emotional and psychological mixed in with his multiple addictions so the nuances of my recovery work will have subtle differences. However, the recovery group that I was blessed to be a part of, covered all of these areas and we can only change ourselves.
I am only a laywomen sharing my journey. Please only take what you can use or feel God leading you in and leave the rest. Each individual needs to hear from God for His leading in their particular situation as the abuse always escalates and I am not advocating doing anything which might place anyone in a greater position of harm.
Praying for all those affected by the destructive sin of abuse.
This is from Teresa (Very, very good.) —
I saw this challenge, and I prayed, and this is what I wrote down.
I have tried to follow the principles of positivity in my life, but just being positive and leaning on my own understanding led me to the denial of abuse. I did not seek consult from the Lord, so I had entered through the wide gate to destruction; I did not have a personal relationship with the Lord at that time. Sure, it’s good to look for the positive in people and situations, but Trust belongs to the Lord. I was following the tenets outlined by Norman Vincent Peale, or so I thought. It was not the Lord’s path, and led me to denial; my boundaries became blurred, I was BLIND.
When boundaries are blurred, we become pleasers of people, not pleasers of the Lord. And my abuser knew this; we had an unequal yoke although he tried to convince me otherwise. He was so good at it, he was a mental health therapist, and now has a Master’s in Social Work. (I helped him get the degree, wrote his papers for him; God help those who have to deal with him now.) But, I defined myself by the reactions of people in my life.
The narrow gate is open, but there is a light there to guide us, His name is JESUS CHRIST. He does not leave us to our own accord. He came calling to me, He is the shepherd, and guided this sheeple back onto the path through the narrow gate. It does not mean that the path through the narrow gate is easy; but He is with us. I used to be a “Make it Happen” kind of person, but all my good intentions never helped anything, and I became a “Let it Happen” kind of person, and almost gave up. But the Lord kept calling me. I was saved by His grace, and His mercy for what I had become.
1[November 12, 2022: We added the link to the Blue Letter Bible’s Matthew Henry: Commentary on Matthew 7. The Internet Archive link is a copy of that link. Editors.]
[November 12, 2022: Editors’ notes:
—For some comments made prior to November 12, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be an exact match.
—For some comments made prior to November 12, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be found in the post.
If you would like to compare the text in the comments made prior to November 12, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (November 12, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]