A Cry For Justice

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

Abuse and Relationships: We All Have the Right to Choose our Friends

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 ESV (14)  Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (15)  What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? (16)  What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (17)  Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, (18)  and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”

I believe that by far and large, churches and Christians and pastors and teachers are denying the truth of this Scripture.  What are we told?  We are told that because Jesus loves everyone (by the way, He doesn’t!) then we are bound to love everyone and that love means that we are required to maintain relationship with everyone who asks us. I think this is why you are seeing books come out like Boundaries and Unsafe People.  We are trying to get back the freedom that has been stolen from us.
Christian, YOU have the right to choose your relationships.  Did you know that?  Have you been taught just the opposite in your church or by other Christians?  You do not have to be in a relationship with the “unclean.”  Of course we know that this does not mean that a Christian who is already married to a non-Christian is commanded to leave that marriage (see 1 Cor 7).  But it does mean that in our lives we do not have to be bound together with darkness and those who represent it.

1 Corinthians 15:33 ESV
(33)  Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

Proverbs 13:20 ESV
(20)  Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

Proverbs 22:24-25 ESV (24)  Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man,
(25)  lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.

Now, whenever we choose to withdraw from a relationship, and especially if this takes place within the environment of the church, you can be sure that someone — some “concerned brother” — is going to come up and “should on you.”  They will tell you that you have hurt the person you are not associating with and you “should” fix it.  They will remind you how we are to love one another.  And if you want to turn up the heat even more, just draw some boundaries in your own family and extended family!  “But she is your sister!  Nothing is more important than family!”  Yes, but though she is an earthly, flesh and blood sister, she is not a safe person to be in relationship with and I choose not to have that relationship.  That is my right.  In fact, it is wisdom.

You have the right to choose your friends.  You have the right to choose NOT to have or to continue in a relationship with anyone who is unsafe for you.  In fact, you might even say that God instructs us — dare we say, commands us — to avoid such relationships!  And I am pretty sure that this means an abuse victim has the right before God to separate from and divorce a wicked, abuser-type spouse.  That is a yoke that is good to break.  That is freedom.

4 Comments

  1. Wow. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    • Jeff Crippen

      You’re welcome, Megan. It sounds basic but somehow the basics slip by us.

  2. no name please

    Yes, I really appreciate this. I have just gone back to work after many, many years and am doing hospice, which I know a lot of people get scared by but I LOVE it. That being said, what relates to the above post is over and over again I see patients hang on for weeks that shouldn’t or pass away very quickly. I am repeatedly struck by how much God cares about free will. We do not have to stay in relationships that are toxic, even if they are family!!

  3. Anonymous

    Jeff, another great post that is still accurate and true. You said, “And if you want to turn up the heat even more, just draw some boundaries in your own family and extended family! “But she is your sister! Nothing is more important than family!”

    What did JESUS say when he was informed that his mother and brothers wanted to see him? Luke 8:19-21 “Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.”

    And again when someone wanted to give credit to the mother who raised him rather than God the Father, Luke 11:27-28 “As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

    It’s where we are supposed to put our focus–on God–NOT our familial relationships if they are in opposition to the Lord. So how do we honor our father and mother if we choose not to let them abuse us? Well, once we belong to God HE is our true father but we honor our parents by not harming them and not letting them sin against us. We also give them honor (whether they see it this way or not) by living loving, Godly lives and serving the Lord away from their abuse.

    When God was first waking me up to the truth about what those in my family were like, it was initially unfathomable. How could I come from such an enormous family and ALL of them except for me were without a conscience? How?! Surely I must be mistaken as the statics that are quoted are no where NEAR what I was dealing with. It’s why it took me years to allow God to show me the whole truth. The lie of such low percentages of psychopaths in the population keeps us enmeshed and imprisoned with evil ones longer than if we are allowed to know the genetic pre-disposition and the Biblical foretelling that the end times will be so unbearable because there will be so many of those without a conscience. (2 Tim 3)

    It’s been several years now of having no contact with my family. It’s been an amazing time of healing and growth in the Lord and I’m grateful that God cared enough about me to hold me so tightly when I felt worthless and alone. When I hear news of them now, it is always the same. Each one is embroiled in their latest escapade of causing strife or presenting themselves as the bigger person by acting like they have forgiven the other. They never mature and they never change because they love what they are. The constant battling and back-stabbing is what makes them feel alive and what nearly destroyed me. What do those who belong to the Lord have in common with evil, demons, psychopaths and Satan? We are opposed to them by our very nature and are completely separated from them spiritually. We will NEVER be reconciled to them because we have chosen our side and they have chosen theirs.

Leave a comment. It's ok to use a made up name (e.g Anon37). For safety tips read 'New Users Info' (top menu). Tick the box if you want to be notified of new comments.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: