How Reformed Theology brings me freedom, and how I respond to unfair accusations
[September 11, 2022: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]
This post is written by Ellie, one of our readers.
I keep thinking about ways I’ve been misunderstood by my abuser and his parents, and I daydream about trying to explain things so that [husband] and his parents will see and understand what happened and why I left, why I HAD to leave. But I know it’s a fruitless exercise. They can’t understand because they can’t acknowledge the abuse. It’s really like they speak a different language that I can’t learn and they won’t go to classes (to get educated on abuse) to learn to speak my language. So I can talk and explain and answer their questions (accusations) in good faith, really trying to help them see what happened and it won’t do ANY good. It’ll actually do harm. Every time I’ve tried to talk, even about NOTHING, it’s gone badly. There’s no point if there’s been no change.
I was listening to Saul stories this afternoon from the first book of Samuel. Saul was a madman! And David loved him and wanted good for him in spite of being abused. Surely David must’ve daydreamed about how this was all a big misunderstanding and how if he could just get Saul to listen and understand, he could go home. But even the one time that David DID seem to convince Saul that he had good intentions, David did NOT go home. Note to self….I can’t convince anyone of anything. Sigh.
What’s really helping me at this point is embracing a Reformed point of view. All these years I thought that I could win [husband’s] heart for the Lord. All these years I thought that if I’d love him and do everything right, he’d change. But realizing that I am unqualified for the job of saving anyone has been liberating. I was paralyzed with fear before. I thought that I would / could ruin everything. That if I’d just be nice, he’d attend church and make friends and God would get through to him. Nope. It’s not up to me. IT’S NOT UP TO ME!!!! I’m free. And I am being nicer to him than ever. Not in a way he appreciates. AT ALL. He doesn’t like having his sin exposed. He doesn’t like being held accountable for his abuse. But leaving him in the dark was NOT nice. Not at all. He can’t pretend any more. And that’s good.
And when the accuser(s) try to tell me that I am being unforgiving, I will remember this encouragement my friend gave the other day:
“Whatever things are true…..” Truth is that you are a precious child of God — bought with a price. You are a loving wife and mother. When they say untrue things, such as that you are unforgiving, ugly [to your abuser], or whatever, speak truth to yourself. “They are speaking out of ignorance. God says….”
“….whatever things are lovely.” Lovely is protection of your children. Lovely is choosing not to allow the sins of others to taint you. Lovely is rejecting the lies that people perpetuate to keep you in an ugly place.
Take each comment captive to the truth.
[September 11, 2022: Editors’ notes:
—For some comments made prior to September 11, 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 September 11, 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 September 11, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (September 11, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]