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The Misuse of Power and Abuse

Posted on April 5, 2018 at 12:10 AM

No weapon formed against you will prevail,
And you will refute every tongue that accuses you
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord-Isaiah 55:17

There tends to be a great imbalance of power between the abused and the abuser. Therefore, the abusive relationship is dominated by a misuse of power by the abuser. In the case of abusive husbands, this is a terrible distortion of the servant headship model that Jesus defines in Ephesians chapter 5. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.-Ephesians 5:22-28

When this model is distorted by abuse and misuse of power, it is important to remember that God is always on the side of the powerless, the defenseless, and the voiceless.

Power can be misused in several ways, all of which constitute abuse.

Physical Abuse resulting from the misuse of physical power: the size differential between men and women or between adults and children can lead to physical abuse and harm.

Psychological/Emotional Manipulation which includes shaming, infliction of guilt, threatening to reveal secrets, and threatening of divine punishment. Threatening divine punishment is also spiritual abuse and is particularly harmful. It is this type of abuse in my own life that has had the most profound effects on me as it distorts the image of God as well as the image of the child of God.

Social Coercion: including slander/gossip in both the church and the secular community and family. The goal of this is to cut the victim off from all sources of support, including the Body of Christ. The Lord has a particular hatred for slander/gossip that is all over Scripture and people who do this will be judged for the division caused particularly in the Body of Christ.

Financial Coercion: threatening to cut off from financial support.

If you have experienced one or more of these types of abuse of power, put your hope in God. I always suggest that abused women seek counseling and well as the Lord’s healing through prayer, but your deliverance will ultimately come from the hand of God and from him alone.

Many blessings in the name of Jesus to all who need healing and are reading this.

-Pastor Sherri Falco

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