Giving Abused Women the Help They Need
We invite fellow Christians to ask God to open your eyes to prevalence and severity of the problem.
Pray for the ability to notice women around you who are suffering from physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal abuse, and to feel compassion for the women and also for the hurting men who are inflicting their pain on the women they abuse. Seek to understand some of the common reasons why women struggle to break free of abusive relationships.
Increase awareness in your church. Use means such as sermon illustrations, information packets, posters, and training materials to inform your congregation about domestic violence and urge them to be alert to it among people in their own community.
Condemn abusive behavior. Speak out against domestic violence whenever you have an opportunity to do so, making it clear that God does not condone abusive behavior in any circumstances.
Teach people how to deal with their disappointments and frustrations in nonviolent ways when they gather for adult Bible studies or Sunday school classes, or during youth group meetings. When engaged couples go through their premarital counseling at your church, help them learn how to resolve conflicts in healthy ways and understand that authority in the home is meant for loving servant leadership rather than controlling and dominating another person. Train church staff and volunteers how to recognize signs that people may be suffering abuse, as well as how to reach out to those people in practical and effective ways. In sermons, discuss the importance of respecting other people and working to build and maintain peaceful relationships.
Provide safe places for people to talk. Give the people who attend your church plenty of opportunities to talk honestly with others about the problems they're struggling with—including abusive relationships. Train people who participate in small groups and prayer events to listen carefully to people without judging them, and to respect people's confidentiality. Whether your church is ministering to abused women or to the men who abuse them, offer respite from turmoil and the encouragement and support they need to pursue healing.