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Laina (not her real name) met with me after hearing a talk I gave about Christ’s hope for those who experience same-sex attraction. Though married to a kind Christian man, her marriage was struggling, and few people knew why. Laina’s female youth-group leader had sexually abused her for three years beginning when she was 16. Almost a decade later, Laina was hurting and overwhelmed with shame, disgust, fear, and confusion. She needed compassionate and wise care.
Over the years, I’ve heard many horrific stories of sexual abuse that stun my heart and mind. Our ministry counsels people seeking help overcoming personal battles with sexual sin, but the majority of them have been sinned against sexually. And in the process of counseling, their stories come out—sometimes for the first time.
Abuse - Individuals - Ways - Ministry - Relationships
Sexual abuse does violence against individuals in profoundly personal, body-affecting, soul-bruising ways. And you don’t have to be in ministry to hear about it. As we develop meaningful relationships, our friends, family members, and coworkers may trust us with their own stories of abuse.
How should we respond when someone tells us about their past abuse? Consider four ideas as starting points to compassionately care for someone who entrusts their story to you.
Percent - Women - Counsel - Form - Abuse
Roughly 80 percent of the women who come to me for counsel have suffered some form of sexual abuse. As we hear statistics and news stories about abuse, we ought to open our eyes and hearts to the fact that this means there are also people in our own churches and workplaces who are surviving sexual abuse.
Turning away from stories of abuse is to turn away from Christ himself.
Abuse - Scandals - Churches - Years - Share
Sadly, the abuse scandals that have rocked churches in recent years share a common thread: the abused were not listened to or believed, which resulted not only in retraumatizing those who came forward, but...
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