Living Free Every Day®

A ministry of LivingFree.org

Monday, October 6, 2014

Today's Scripture

"For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body." (Ephesians 5:25-30 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

"According to Detective Sgt. Don Stewart, a retired police officer who handled domestic violence cases for 25 years, one out of every four Christian couples experiences at least one episode of physical abuse within their marriage. In fact, battering is the single largest cause of injury to women—more than auto accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reports that 3 to 4 million women are beaten in their homes every year. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, approximately 2,000 women are murdered every year by an intimate partner." (Today's Christian Woman)

Spousal abuse reaches epidemic proportions and affects even Christian homes. Dr. Grant Martin in Counseling for Family Violence and Abuse says that victims of spouse abuse must seek healing in several areas of their lives: victimization, self-esteem, unrealistic hope, isolation, and emotional dependency.
 
This week we will look at each of these areas and steps that can lead to healing. 

Consider this …

Many batterers try to use the excuse that the Bible gives a husband total control over his wife. However, today's scripture clearly instructs a husband to love his wife as himself and to lay down his life for her. Nowhere in God's Word does he give a man permission to abuse his wife or his children. The Bible does tell wives to obey their husbands (Ephesians 5:21-24). However, it is important to separate the commitment to marriage from an unhealthy tolerance for violence and abuse.

Peter offered further instruction to husbands: 
In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7 NLT)

Prayer

Father, help me understand my role as a wife. I know I am to submit to my husband, but I see in your Word that my husband is instructed to treat me with love and care. Help me understand how to reconcile all this with the way he is treating me. Help me know how and when I should take a stand. In Jesus' name . . .


These thoughts were drawn from …

Restoring Families: Overcoming Abusive Relationships through Christ by Janet M. Lerner, D.S.W. This study helps to minister to families caught in the cycle of abusive relationships. The curriculum deals with overcoming these abusive relationships through Christ and is recommended for use in support groups and Christian counseling.

  • Ministers to families from abusive relationships
  • Ministers to victims of family violence
  • Deals with wounded emotions
  • Deals with control and intimacy issues
  • Presents a strong message of Christ as healer of abusive relationships

Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


 

Living Free Facebook Community
Visit us on Facebook!


©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®

A ministry of LivingFree.org

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Today's Scripture

"For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." (Ephesians 2:10 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

Perhaps you are a victim of spouse abuse. Or maybe you were in the past. Like other abuse victims, you have probably been challenged by the shame, guilt, and false sense of responsibility all victims take on as part of the "victimization" process.
 
You are probably also dealing with low self-esteem. Abuse attacks self-esteem in several ways. Grant Martin describes these areas in Transformed by Thorns. They include the following:
  • Sense of being: Who are we in Christ Jesus? As we grow in our understanding of that and learn to cast our cares on Jesus, we can begin to walk in comfort. We develop a sense of well-being that reassures us of the love and healing God has for us.
  • Sense of purpose: Why are we in Christ Jesus? What purpose do we have? What does God plan to do with us? Why did he save us? God wants us to know we have purpose and meaning in our life. He is our meaning, and he gives us purpose.
  • Sense of ministry: We are here to serve God and be his body that ministers to one another. We are here to present the gospel to unbelievers so they can see and experience God's love for them.

Consider this …

Meditate on these scriptures. Build your self-image on what God thinks about you—not what others think, your spouse thinks, or even what you think. Read the scriptures aloud. Write them. Put them on your phone or computer or post-its as constant reminders of who you are in Christ and how he cares for you.
 
You are his child. He cares for you. You are not alone.
See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. (1 John 3:1 NLT)
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. (1 Peter 5:7 NLT)
Jesus created you for a purpose. He has a good plan for your life, and he has equipped you to accomplish his purpose.
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT)
Part of your purpose is to minister to others and allow them to minister to you. To share the gospel. He has made you unique and special.
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. (Romans 12:6 NLT)
Always remember, when you received Jesus as Lord and Savior, God clothed you in the righteousness of Christ. When he looks at you, he sees Jesus' righteousness, not your sins. Not because of anything you have or haven't done but because of what Jesus did.
We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. (Romans 3:22-25 NLT)
If you've never taken this step, you can do so right now. Jesus loves you so much he died for your sins. He wants to have a personal relationship with you, to care for you. Talk to him now. He is waiting for you with open arms.

Prayer

Dear God, I sometimes feel alone, and I don't like myself very much. I want to invite Jesus to come into my heart. Please forgive my sins. And then help me see myself as you do. I want to be your child. In Jesus' name . . .

 


These thoughts were drawn from …

Restoring Families: Overcoming Abusive Relationships through Christ by Janet M. Lerner, D.S.W. This study helps to minister to families caught in the cycle of abusive relationships. The curriculum deals with overcoming these abusive relationships through Christ and is recommended for use in support groups and Christian counseling.

  • Ministers to families from abusive relationships
  • Ministers to victims of family violence
  • Deals with wounded emotions
  • Deals with control and intimacy issues
  • Presents a strong message of Christ as healer of abusive relationships

Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


 

Living Free Facebook Community
Visit us on Facebook!


©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®

A ministry of LivingFree.org

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Today's Scripture

"Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble." (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

Abused spouses often become socially and emotionally isolated. It is vital to reestablish family and social connections. 
 
Most communities offer resources to help abused spouses. Sometimes battered spouses remain isolated simply because they don't know about the help available. If you are in that situation, find out what local resources are available. Look in the yellow pages for counseling services and ask them about local resources. Do a Google search for "help for abused spouses" in your area. Visit websites like the American Association of Christian Counselors to ask for a local contact. 

Consider this …

Isolation often occurs because we feel abandoned. We must not rush the resocialization process. We must allow ourselves time to relearn socialization skills and to develop intimate, trusting relationships. 
 
Resocialization is a major issue of concern for those of us who have been battered. Our past socialization activities may have taken place in the guarded atmosphere of a chaotic and dysfunctional home. Thus, we need to allow time for this resocialization process and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
 
A word of caution: Although you should connect with your family of origin, sometimes they can reinforce unhealthy behavior. They may encourage you to remain in your abusive situation and try to control it because that is what they did. But that answer is hopeless. Try to connect with your family without buying into unhealthy family norms.

Prayer

Father, I have isolated myself from everyone outside my home. I know I need to get reconnected. Give me the courage and wisdom to make that change. In Jesus' name . . .
 

These thoughts were drawn from …

Restoring Families: Overcoming Abusive Relationships through Christ by Janet M. Lerner, D.S.W. This study helps to minister to families caught in the cycle of abusive relationships. The curriculum deals with overcoming these abusive relationships through Christ and is recommended for use in support groups and Christian counseling.

  • Ministers to families from abusive relationships
  • Ministers to victims of family violence
  • Deals with wounded emotions
  • Deals with control and intimacy issues
  • Presents a strong message of Christ as healer of abusive relationships

Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


 

Living Free Facebook Community
Visit us on Facebook!


©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®

A ministry of LivingFree.org

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Today's Scripture

"But Christ, as the Son, is in charge of God’s entire house. And we are God’s house, if we keep our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ." (Hebrews 3:6 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

Abused spouses generally have sincere love and loyalty for their violent spouse. Those feelings of love and loyalty lead to false hope. Abused spouses need to learn to distinguish between false hope and the real hope that can be found only in Christ. They need to stop allowing false hope to prevent them from taking steps to correct an ungodly situation.
 
Hope placed in other people and our own abilities is unrealistic. It keeps us committed to the cyclic nature of battering and intermittent reinforcement and is not godly.
 
Hope built on our belief that we can keep our spouses from getting angry and violent is a distortion of reality. We cannot control the feelings or actions of the abuser. We do not have the ability to manage their anger. We must learn to back off and allow the abusive spouse to take responsibility for his or her own actions. We must exercise tough love.

Consider this …

Realistic hope builds on God and his promises—not people. Here are just a few of the many scriptures that promise God's faithfulness and love.
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. (Psalm 46:1 NLT)
The Lord is righteous in everything he does; he is filled with kindness. The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth. He grants the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cries for help and rescues them. (Psalm 145:17-19 NLT)
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13 NLT)
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 NLT)

Prayer

Father, help me remember I can't change my spouse. I realize that as long as I place my hope in him or myself, I have no real hope. I choose to place my hope in you. I know you love me. I know you will never leave me or forsake me. Thank you. In Jesus' name . . .
 

These thoughts were drawn from …

Restoring Families: Overcoming Abusive Relationships through Christ by Janet M. Lerner, D.S.W. This study helps to minister to families caught in the cycle of abusive relationships. The curriculum deals with overcoming these abusive relationships through Christ and is recommended for use in support groups and Christian counseling.

  • Ministers to families from abusive relationships
  • Ministers to victims of family violence
  • Deals with wounded emotions
  • Deals with control and intimacy issues
  • Presents a strong message of Christ as healer of abusive relationships

Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


 

Living Free Facebook Community
Visit us on Facebook!


©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®

A ministry of LivingFree.org

Friday, October 10, 2014

Today's Scripture

"We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments." (2 Corinthians 10:4 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

Learned helplessness comes from repeated unsuccessful attempts to control the violence in our home. As victims, we eventually become depressed and helpless. Those feelings destroy our motivation to do something different. 
 
We must learn new methods of survival. Using God's Word as our guide, we need to take all thoughts captive to Christ, cast down human reasoning, and replace false arguments with God's promises to us.
 
God does not transform us by removing our problems but by renewing our minds. By teaching us to depend on him instead of those around us. By applying the Word of God to our life, we learn to change our inner thoughts to produce healthier thinking. 
 
The key to eliminating worry is to place our trust in something solid, predictable, and helpful for growth: the Word of God!

Consider this …

A major step in changing destructive thoughts is to claim the promises of God by believing he is trustworthy. 
 
To change our thinking, we must understand the nature of faith. Faith is acting on knowledge. We must exercise our mind, choose to believe God is who he says he is, to believe he can deliver what he promises, and then to act on our faith.
 
We must act on our new beliefs, our new thoughts. We must stop worrying and trust God. 
 
We can overcome our overdependence on a spouse by renewing our mind and acting according to our faith in God. 

Prayer

Father, forgive me for placing my faith in everything except you and your promises. Help me to renew my thinking by reading and absorbing your Word. In Jesus' name . . .
 

These thoughts were drawn from …

Restoring Families: Overcoming Abusive Relationships through Christ by Janet M. Lerner, D.S.W. This study helps to minister to families caught in the cycle of abusive relationships. The curriculum deals with overcoming these abusive relationships through Christ and is recommended for use in support groups and Christian counseling.

  • Ministers to families from abusive relationships
  • Ministers to victims of family violence
  • Deals with wounded emotions
  • Deals with control and intimacy issues
  • Presents a strong message of Christ as healer of abusive relationships

Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


 

Living Free Facebook Community
Visit us on Facebook!


©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Choose your language translation

Subscribe to Our
Daily Devotionals Email

These devotions are provided at no charge.
Click here to view a sample Daily Devotion.

Order a Hardcopy of Our Catalog and DVD video
Full Name (first & last)
Email Address*
Phone Number
Address
Address 2
City
State
Zip Code
Country*
Questions/Comments