This title was on my spirit as I was getting ready for work this morning and I believe that more women will read this than men (in all seriousness, men NEED to read this).
A few disclaimers before I begin:
1. If I had to subtitle this blogpost, it would be An Abused Man Does Not Need A Prayerless Woman.
2. This blogpost is NOT intended to bash men; in fact, it's a plea for us men to wake up and understand the role we are to play as men (and husbands, though I'm not one as of yet).
3. If you are with someone who has abandoned you, I'm not saying you should just up and divorce him or her. Please seek God about it.
4. I want to extend a huge shoutout to the men who are covering their wives, praying over them if they have been abused, and are interceding for their healing. Sometimes you men are overlooked, so brother to brother, I stand with you. You are proving that there are men out there with spine.
Why does an abused woman not need a spineless man? First and foremost, women hurt easily than men do. The last thing they need is a weak man who will not be the support she needs. Ever since I released by 2012 novel DDBS, I have met a lot of people from all different walks of life. I have ran into a few scenarios that have left me concerned. One is where the woman has suffered childhood trauma and her husband is leaving her to suffer alone. I speak in many different outlets, and when a woman shares her abuse, I'll ask if she's married, where is her husband? I ask because he needs to be involved. Before I dive further as to why he needs to be involved, let's look at a familiar passage. 2 Samuel 13 is used a lot to address Tamar & her being rape, the sin of Amnon and the type of people (Jonadab) you don't need in your life (as he was an accomplice to Tamar being raped). I want to approach this passage from another perspective.
Let's look at verses 1-22: Now Absalom, David's son, had a beautiful sister, whose name was Tamar. And after a time Amnon, David's son, loved her. And Amnon was so tormented that he made himself ill because of his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin, and it seemed impossible to Amnon to do anything to her. But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David's brother. And Jonadab was a very crafty man.
And he said to him, "O son of the king, why are you so haggard morning after morning? Will you not tell me?" Amnon said to him, "I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister." Jonadab said to him, "Lie down on your bed and pretend to be ill. And when your father comes to see you, say to him, 'Let my sister Tamar come and give me bread to eat, and prepare the food in my sight, that I may see it and eat it from her hand.'" So Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill. And when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, "Please let my sister Tamar come and make a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat from her hand." Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, "Go to your brother Amnon's house and prepare food for him." So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house, where he was lying down. And she took dough and kneaded it and made cakes in his sight and baked the cakes. And she took the pan and emptied it out before him, but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, "Send out everyone from me." So everyone went out from him. Then Amnon said to Tamar, "Bring the food into the chamber, that I may eat from your hand." And Tamar took the cakes she had made and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother. But when she brought them near him to eat, he took hold of her and said to her, "Come, lie with me, my sister." She answered him, "No, my brother, do not violate me, for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this outrageous thing. As for me, where could I carry my shame? And as for you, you would be as one of the outrageous fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you." But he would not listen to her, and being stronger than she, he violated her and lay with her. Then Amnon hated her with very great hatred, so that the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, "Get up! Go!" But she said to him, "No, my brother, for this wrong in sending me away is greater than the other that you did to me." But he would not listen to her. He called the young man who served him and said, "Put this woman out of my presence and bolt the door after her." Now she was wearing a long robe with sleeves, for thus were the virgin daughters of the king dressed. So his servant put her out and bolted the door after her. And Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the long robe that she wore. And she laid her hand on her head and went away, crying aloud as she went. And her brother Absalom said to her, "Has Amnon your brother been with you? Now hold your peace, my sister. He is your brother; do not take this to heart." So Tamar lived, a desolate woman, in her brother Absalom's house. When King David heard of all these things, he was very angry. But Absalom spoke to Amnon neither good nor bad, for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had violated his sister Tamar.
Notice that King David was angry, but he couldn't do anything. Why? Two chapters back, he slept with Uriah's wife and had him killed when she informed David that she was pregnant. It was at that point where David was spineless because he could not even cover (protect) his own daughter. Absalom had to step in the role of what David was supposed to do. And it was to cover Tamar. That was David's responsibility to cover Tamar because she wasn't married and not Absalom's. But praise God Absalom covered her. And that's what Christ does when His children are hurting.
So what am I saying? Husbands, if your wife is fighting for her healing, trying to get her life back after it was stolen due to trauma (sexual, physical abuse), it's imperative that you don't render yourself spineless. She is counting on you to cover her and be her support.
Men, if you are single, you can cover a woman who's hurt as a friend. Be mindful of her emotions and yours (it's easy to be led on and of course - in some cases, one thing can lead to another). And the tragedy is that there is a broken friendship that could have been avoided. But praise God for restoration in Him. For He wants His children to be on one accord.
Let me get back on track. It saddens me when a man knows that his wife is cutting her leg to numb the pain and he's off in a different room as if she doesn't exist. Husbands, 1 Peter 3:7 says to dwell with your wives according to knowledge. Couples as they are courting need to lay their cards on the table. If a woman is in counseling, the rightful thing for a husband to do is support her, pray for understanding, and if you can attend with her, please do. That would make her feel special. To know that someone is willing to fight for her when people who have hurt her will seek to discredit her.
A spineless man cleaves to his wife, but he doesn't leave his family. That can have great repercussions, because families (especially if their house isn't in order), can sow negative seeds in him and they fester in the marriage (such as, leave her, you don't need to deal with her trauma from her past). A husband with a spine knows that Christ covers His bride, and he would do the same for his bride.
Now, there may be times when a woman is healed (or waiting for the manifestation of her healing - for whatever she's been through), a husband must stay in prayer in the event a trigger may arise in her (or God shows her something from her past that needs to be addressed), so he can be there when she needs him. The same holds true in reverse when a man has been hurt. She needs to be in prayer for him (and he desires to be whole). There may be cases where either spouse don't want help, advice: stay in your closet and intercede. Wait for God's instructions and not your friends.
A little off subject, but I must say this: some of you husbands have a good woman. You know it, your wife knows it and God knows it. If your wife is going through and you are living your life like you're single, ignoring the things she needs, God is going to deal with you because you are technically abandoning her and the relationship (some of you might disagree with me on that, and that's fine). If she's cutting, her family is disowning her because she's speaking out of what happened to her, and you're emotionally absent or physically absent from her (or perhaps you're escaping into the arms of another woman), don't think you are getting away with it and you are emptying the emotional bank account the moment you neglect her when she needs you most. Yes, she's the weaker vessel, but at the same time, it does not give us men the right to treat her any kind of way. That is showing the world how spineless we are as men. I've said this for about 20 years and I believe it to this day: most of the problems some women have stem from our behavior and how we treat them. No one (inside or outside the church) are holding them accountable. Let me lighten up for a minute and say this: I understand that there are men who fear commitment and that's fine. Just don't drag another person into a relationship and you don't understand what a commitment entails. You will damage your life and hers. In a nutshell: commitment is sacrifice. You are giving up your life for something or someone you love. When you give it up, it requires all of you. No holding back. Before committing to a relationship, understand the cost (Luke 14:28).
A small note on men who have been abused: Women, I plead with you not to automatically assume that because he's been abused he's living an alternative lifestyle. I'm proof that I'm heterosexual and just waiting to place the glass slipper for the Cinderella God has for me (smile). I get this question a lot when I speak at different venues. We men don't need judgments from women, but we do need women who will pray for us, stand in the gap for us, and most importantly, respect us. Now there are some men who won't share their story with their spouse. Let me say that will set you up for failure. When a trigger occurs in you, she will not know how to respond (whether she's praying for you or not). I beg you men to let your spouse know if you've been abused and what triggers you. Don't be afraid to ask for help. She will appreciate that and support you.
In summary: communication between a husband and wife is critical. If there is no communication, there is a breach in the relationship. A genuine relationship should have no breaches. And that will happen when husbands & wives understand their roles.
The Mayne Man