A Cry For Justice

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

Excellent Critique Point on RBC dvd Series: When Love Hurts

We appended the following critique comment to the earlier blog post in which I (Jeff) recommended the Radio Bible Class dvd series, When Love Hurts.  But I want to post it more visibly here because it is an important point that I totally spaced out.  Here it is —

Well, I just got done watching the RBC videos on the Mending the Soul site.  They did a good job on the issue of abuse, per se, and on the issue of what male authority is about.  But I found them frustrating because they did not give any examples of the abused woman initiating the divorce.  In all the cases they cited, the abuser was the one who refused reconciliation.  I do not feel they did an adequate job of giving the woman permission and support in pursuing divorce.  I don’t think they will address the need we have here.  Honestly, I found their treatment of that matter mushy.  I’m not sure from those videos what they actually believe about that.  It’s like they discussed everything BUT that.

We all know that abusers very commonly refuse to initiate a divorce.  They want to make it look like they are committed to the marriage and that their victim is the divorce-happy culprit.  They also don’t divorce because they want to maintain power and control over the victim.  The RBC series has a real weakness here and in some situations, showing it to your church for instance could backfire on you.

7 Comments

  1. Robin

    That is my situation exactly. After agonizing and praying over my marriage situation, I initiated the divorce, after ~15 years of abusive treatment. When he realized he could not manipulate me into not divorcing, the Mr. Nice Guy veneer came off. I am now called many not-so-nice names; he claims I am the vindictive, abusive partner. The divorce ended his power and control over me. I am so thankful for the encouragement and support from this blog and others (Barbara Roberts), and wish I had known about them sooner. But all is good in God’s timing! I am still learning, and I am using what I have learned to encourge others. Thanking God for you, Jeff!

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thank you Robin for the encouragement. So glad you are being helped.

  2. Now Free After 42 Years

    My decision to leave came after over 40 years of verbal, mental and one particularly vicious episode of physical abuse. After I left, he tried to torment and weaken me by uttering and writing people and organizations malicious lies (including own family.) My attorney contacted his and now he has supposedly stopped all this nonsense. I think he acted this way because he missed not abusing me, also to pay me back for my leaving him.
    Today I told my attorney that he is not a good person, not a good man. I never thought I would say this about the man I once loved. You see, I was blind and now I see. The Lord really does wonderful things.

    • “I was blind and now I see.”
      How I am with you on that, heart sister!

  3. So glad you drew attention to that wonderful critique from a reader, Jeff.
    It is really important. Whenever a teaching gets ‘mushy’ or says everything BUT the thing survivors most need to hear, it falls short. That in itself is hard, especially for newbies to this whole subject, but it’s especially difficult in that the abusers’s allies and ‘neutral’ bystanders can fall for the mush and think “Now we’ve heard that splendid teaching we understand all about this topic!” – when in fact there are still glaring gaps in their understanding.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thanks, Barbara.

  4. Finding Answers

    The Holy Spirit led me to this post…

    After reading the post and the comments generated, I went and read the original post from which the comment was excerpted.

    I have not watched the DVD series, but prior to being led to the ACFJ website, I was led through all the Discovery Series booklets, as well as some free online courses by Our Daily Bread Christian University.

    These studies were interspersed with research on dissociation, trauma, and other areas of psychology with which I was already familiar.

    In hindsight, I see where God was laying the groundwork for subsequent revelations on abuse, as well as bringing me closer to His Word / word.

    Keep in mind, these studies were conducted during the onslaught of 24 / 7 flashbacks and re-integration. My understanding of what was actually happening was limited.

    Although I was coping with a large pile on my plate, the Holy Spirit led me to recognize the areas in the research that left me feeling uncomfortable – while I couldn’t put a finger on the reason “Why?” – were not the result of my own bias. These have since been addressed.

    I learned about a God who was not punitive, a God so antithetical to the one I thought I “knew”, learning the “head” stuff before I could adequately comprehend the “heart” stuff.

    I am grateful I was led through the initial groundwork, an anchor and port in the storm. For someone in my circumstances, I was floating amid the flotsam and jetsam of the past, without any indication of land in sight.

    I thought I was headed in a different direction, a rapid “patching up” leading to the next place to “earn my keep”.

    Oh how I wish it had been that simple!

    Now, with the fog dissipating, I understand complexity through a different kaleidoscopic lens. I am on a new path, one taking me on a different course than my mind ever conceived.

    God is my star to guide me. I am praying trust will re-grow. I am praying fear will become manageable. I am praying for a life undiminished.

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