Abuse Produces Loneliness
For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. (2 Tim 4:10-17)
Follow the lives of Christ’s people in Scripture and you will find for the most part, that they were lonely people. Jesus Himself was abandoned. Standing for God’s truth is never popular, and standing for those who are oppressed by evil is even less popular. Show me a professing Christian who is popular with lots of people and I will show you a phony.
Evil loves to isolate its victims, so it is no surprise that abusers very characteristically destroy the relationships of their victims, destroy their reputations, force them to move far away from family… you all know these drills pretty well by now I am sure. The end result is that when you are the target of an abuser, you are going to experience loneliness. How many of you have told us over the years that when you left your abuser you were shunned by your old church, by family, friends, and even in many cases by your own children? This is the work of the evil one and his emissaries.
It is very hard to be lonely as a result of the devious actions of an abuser and at the same time to have to watch the abuser enjoy popularity and even sympathy from those who used to be your friends. But this is what the world of the victim looks like so often and this is a grief that we frequently have to bear.
Want to minister the love of Christ to an abuse victim? Break off the company line of evangelicalism, reject the false teachings about marriage, divorce, and abusers-are-Christians-too nonsense, start watching for victims, and be their friend. It actually is remarkably easy to be a friend to these people. All you have to do is listen to them, believe them, help provide for them, fix things for them, and be willing to stand with them in saying to their abuser, “Thou art the man! Go away!”