God Sees You In Your Suffering
I was once asked to speak to a group of women on how to live with infidelity, alcoholism, or abuse. I felt overwhelmed because this was outside of my experience. So, my friend Terri suggested, “Why don’t I set you up to talk to some of my friends who know from experience what that’s like?” So, for a week I listened and took notes. I’d like to share some principles they gave me:
- Don’t blame yourself. A man’s actions are his responsibility. There is no valid excuse for either abuse or infidelity.
- Learn to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). In an abusive situation, the goal is to be assertive–loving but firm, setting boundaries with consequences.
- Realize you may need to separate for a period of time. Tough love means “I love you too much to let you ruin our family by your actions.”
- Make God your source of self-esteem. The assurance of God’s unconditional love for you is the lifesaver that will keep you from drowning in despair.
- Find the support of other Christian women. One woman found a prayer partner who would call her every morning and pray with her by phone.
- Learn to experience an intimate relationship with God. Withdraw within your own heart to talk to God in prayer. Women who have experienced abuse or infidelity tell me that praying without ceasing, as the Bible tells us (1 Thessalonians 5:17}, has been a vital part of their survival.
Be assured, God will not waste your suffering but use it to make you more like Christ–and use you to help others too.