Sleeping with the enemy… and being ‘one flesh’ with an abuser who sexually assaults children
“It’s like the abuser’s evil was shared with me and in a sense I became one with it.”
The sexual intimacy a woman has with her husband means that they are ‘one flesh’ — whatever that phrase means. Trigger warning.
For me, the pollution of an abuser having sexual intercourse with me affected me to the very cellular level — flesh, sinew, nerves, cells, brain, body.
I don’t want to be super-spiritual about this. And I know that in Christ we are CLEANSED completely. But I think that victims of spousal abuse, sexual assault and rape need to dwell on – take in and absorb – Christ’s cleansing in a way that victims of other kinds of abuse don’t necessarily have to.
The body remembers.
But our Lord Jesus Christ can cleanse the soul/body/mind… even unto the cellular level and neural pathways and viscera.
Being ‘one flesh’ with an abuser who sexually assaults children
If a Christian woman has been abused by her husband and at some point finds out that he has sexually abused one or more of their children… or other children… the woman feels a deep need to call upon Christ’s cleansing.
For years she has shared the marital bed with a man who at some point became a child molester. The impact of that fact resonates deeply in her. Even if the child molestation occurs after she is no longer sharing his bed, she still feels polluted knowing that the man she shared a bed with has sexually assaulted a child. And that child might be the fruit of her own womb.
Contact highs. And contact lows.
As a former heroin addict I can tell you that when a drug addict is not stoned but watches another druggie shooting up, the spectator feels a ‘contact high’. For me, I knew so well that rush of good feeling when the heroin hit my system … and watching another person have that rush gave me a vicarious sense of it myself.
I’ve been clean from illicit drugs for more than 40 years. And I’ve birthed and raised a child who is now an adult. And much to my surprise, a clucky feeling hit me in my mid 50s — I want to cuddle babies! Not my own babies. I’m past that. But I’ve concluded that my longing to love on babies and young children is a natural instinct that women of my age often have. Maybe part of God’s creation is that He has predisposed older women to want to serve the role of grandmother for the children of the community.
I now feel a ‘contact high’ when I watch young mothers cuddling their babies or loving on their toddlers. My heart melts when I see a baby. When I pass someone in the street with a baby in a sling on their chest, or a little one in a pusher, I often ask them if I can look at their baby. If they say yes, I gaze and smile and say sweet nothings to the baby… and my heart melts with upwelling affection.
So now I’ve explained ‘contact highs’, let me explain ‘contact lows’.
When a woman discovers that her (ex-)husband has sexually assaulted children she feels a ‘contact low’.
Generally speaking, the human brain has an innate capacity to mirror/resonate with other people’s emotions and feelings. Scientists talk about mirror neurons. I believe God created humanity with this capacity. Psychopaths are the exception – they have little to no empathy for other people.
Don Hennessy says that psychephiles (men who abuse their female intimate partners) select and target women who are kind, women who put other people’s needs before their own.
Common sense tells us that a woman who puts other people’s needs before her own is likely to have a sensitive conscience and a higher capacity for empathy – more mirror neurons.
The spiritual pollution of sleeping with the enemy is felt very deeply by these women.
Sleeping with the enemy short circuits our ability to sense the love of God for us as His children.
The constant deceiving blinds us to the truth and glory of Christ.
The yoke of spiritual slavery (bondage) keeps us from the true freedom Christ has given us to enjoy.
But God has given us guidance to help de-shackle us from the blindness and bondage. He also gives us comfort and reassurance —
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”
“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.
I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.”
(2 Cor 6:14-18, NKJ)