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Reconciliation After Separation

Reconciliation After Separation

After an abuse victim has separated from her husband due to repetitive and serious sin, she will be faced with deciding what her response will be when he approaches her about getting back together. Whether he comes with charm, tears or threats, it is crucial for her to first have full assurance that his heart is broken over the pain he has caused, he no longer minimises or justifies his sin, he welcomes consequences and accountability and he proves sincere long-lasting change. Narcissistic and entitlement issues are not easily dislodged. Forgiveness on her part does not assume reconciliation.1 And apologies on his part do not assume changed behaviour (cycle of abuse) Past behaviour is a realistic indicator of future behaviour. Forgiving? Yes. Forgetting? Not in abuse situations. The last p ...

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Freedom of Speech, Censorship, and the Gospel

Freedom of Speech, Censorship, and the Gospel

Note: I first started writing this post over 2 years ago, but never published it.  Since the advent of the Charlie Hebdo massacre and subsequent hot debates about cartoon depictions, religious expression, and equating Christian and Muslim extremism, I have decided to finish and post it.  Principles of Free Speech One of the great 'principles' of the Free World is 'Freedom of Speech'.    I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it' is a famous quote often attributed to the secular French Voltaire.  The idea is that freedom of speech (or religious liberty) is not about everyone believing the same things, but rather about everyone respecting each other's individual right towards choosing their beliefs.   After the Paris massacres, the application of Volta ...

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Signposts of True Repentance

Signposts of True Repentance

"A truly repentant person does not negotiate the consequences of his actions." 1 Scene:  an abused wife has followed Biblical principles and the couple is now separated. One day, her unrepentant husband shows up at the door with her favourite flowers. He says he's had time to think about their relationship. He's sorry, it won't happen again and he wants to get back together. He needs her. God's way IS reconciliation (I Corinthians 7:11) and no one is advocating hard-heartedness, but she will be “out of the frying pan into the fire” if she does not have convincing evidence first, proving that “godly sorrow” has brought repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10) and genuine change. A Changed Heart - Not An Apology “In the center of the narcissistic apology is the offender saying, “I am hurting because ...

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Biblical Options for the Emotionally Abused

Biblical Options for the Emotionally Abused

What should a wife do when her husband has a pattern of abusing her emotionally and verbally (but not physically)?   Definition Abuse is not the occasional burst of anger, selfishness or criticism. Genuine abuse equals the Biblical term “oppression”. Abuse is a pattern of toxic behaviour (see chart) intended to maintain control over the woman whom he vowed before God and witnesses to love, cherish and protect. Our post defining emotional abuse further clarifies. A husband-wife relationship is “a covenant of mutual commitment that is designed to survive normal and even serious marital conflicts. . . however, verbal and physical abuse do to a marriage what murder and rape do to a life.”1 Leslie Vernick has an eye-opening article listing 5 indicators to determine from the Bible if a husband h ...

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“The Trellis and the Vine” by Colin Marshall

“The Trellis and the Vine” by Colin Marshall

Marshall, Colin & Payne, Tony. The Trellis and the Vine: The Ministry Mind-Shift That Changes Everything. NSW, Australia: Matthias Media, 2009. 196 pages. This Australian publication has made an impact across the globe, and rightly so. It is simple in its premise: The church involves both trellis and vine; structure and living organism. We must, therefore, do both trellis work and vine work. Failure to give proper attention to either will damage the other. This simple premise is worked out into practical ministry contexts through simple, direct chapter discussions. As I read the implications of this ministry paradigm and what this has looked like in the ministries of the authors, I was struck by the simplicity of it all. It felt so first century. Reaching people. Building them up for p ...

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