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The Shepherd

The Shepherd

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Biblical Options for the Physically Abused

Biblical Options for the Physically Abused

Q: Wouldn't a godly wife meekly submit “in everything, as to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:24) - including domestic violence - “til death us do part”? (statistically, death at his hand is a real possibility) Q: Isn't it “acceptable with God” to “endure grief, suffering wrongfully”? (I Peter 2 & 3) In a previous post, we saw that God hates abuse, labeling it evil and wicked. Will she “win” her husband by bowing to and enabling his sinful, wicked pattern of cruelty, lies and violence? Submission is to God, not to her husband's pattern of evil. Removing the object of his sin (her!) may open his eyes to the consequences of his evil and soften his heart to seek help. She is “doing him good”. Excellent answers to these and more questions are available by Christian abuse counsellor Leslie Vernick at ...

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Benefits of dealing with the “too hard” box

Benefits of dealing with the “too hard” box

If you commit to handling the "too hard" cases well, there will be some benefits. 1) Your "too hard" box will shrink. I'm not saying you'll have fewer difficult cases. You'll probably have the privilege of working with more difficult cases. What I mean is that there will be fewer and fewer problems which are too hard for you. As you work through difficult situations, you will find yourself more and more skillful at helping people and at referring people where necessary. 2) You will find that you are able to actually help people in incredibly difficult situations. As a minister, we can easily say some spiritual words and offer to pray. But such words ring hollow in our hearts when they echo in our souls as "be warmed and filled..." When we go into the trenches with those who struggle and li ...

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Nine ways to help people in the “too hard” box

Nine ways to help people in the “too hard” box

How do you help people in the "too hard" box? I mean, the whole reason they're there is that their problem is too hard. One approach is to get degrees in theology, psychology, sociology, anthropology, counseling, psychiatry, and a few other assorted fields and come up with solutions to all the problems. But for most of us, we need something more realistic. We could fall back on the sufficiency of Scripture, and this would be appropriate within certain boundaries. The gospel is indeed the solution to every problem at the ultimate level. Our hearts, souls, minds, and bodies will be redeemed on the last day (Romans 8) and on this we wait with hope even as we see the progression of the redemptive gospel-influence now. Still, a simple application of this truth to the problem of cancer will demo ...

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The damage of the “too hard” box

The damage of the “too hard” box

There is no problem in the "too hard" box that wasn't made worse by being tossed into the "too hard" box. Regardless of how sinister or innocent our motivation may be, the result tends to be the same. The damage to you You might be surprised by the suggestion that tossing people into the "too hard" box damages you, but it does. Because you cannot tolerate a full "too hard" box without harming those most exposed—most vulnerable—in your circle of influence. And you cannot dismiss the weak and vulnerable without degrading your own soul. Here are four ways in which you will tend to be damaged if you are quick to write off those who ask you for help. First, you will become responsible for real spiritual damage. You will, by your condemnation or avoidance, be partially responsible for weakening ...

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