Welcome to Restoring Life Foundation
Dear Friends and Family,
Every year around the world countless Christian families are blighted by a specific sin called abuse. Contrary to the popular myths domestic or intimate partner abuse is an issue for all ethnicities, age groups, economic backgrounds and all religious orientations. This takes on various guises including physical, mental, emotional, sexual and spiritual. For many church goers this malady remains undetected as clergy and parishioners alike resist bringing it into the light by refusing to raise or tackle it in a God honouring way. Many biblical references are used to justify a family hierarchy which first empowers men then shifts the burden of responsibility from them to love and mutually submit to their wives, to the women and children to submit without condition to abusive and violent men. As women directly impacted by domestic abuse have approached the clergy for assistance many fail to find a safe haven within the church: they are often not believed, told to submit, and labelled as ‘breaking up the family’ if they seek to remove themselves from the abusive relationship.
This important malady of domestic abuse needs to be of paramount importance to all factions of the church, strategies for tackling it need to be developed, and assistance put in place. Churches need to be safe places for women and children to grow into the people God ordained them to be. Men must learn to mutually submit to their wives and love them in the same way that Christ loves the church, and in so doing the Christian family will be a safe and positive place for women and children to grow. Anyone who wants power in a relationship ought to use it responsibly, not lording it like the gentiles do (Matthew 20:25-28, Mark 10:42-45, 1 Peter 5:2-3) but as Christ did with a servant heart. Until men are challenged and expected to rise to the standard of mutual submission (Ephesians 5:21 Galatians 5:13, Philippians 2:3) and servant heartedness the Christian family will continue to be a harbour for domestic abuse. I would fully encourage any leader wanting to address the issues raised in this edition of the Restoring Life Foundation Magazine to read Reverend Al Miles' book 'Domestic Violence: what every pastor needs to know'.
Until next time stay safe, and be blessed
Cheryl and the team