I have been reading Charles Stanley's book, The Source of My Strength. It was sent to me by someone that I don't know at the very beginning of the valley that I have been walking through for the past three months. A lot of what I have been experiencing feels a lot like abuse. I know a little something about abuse having gone through a considerable amount of abuse as a child, as a teenager, and even as an adult. Chapter Three of his book has to do with abuse and Dr. Stanley discusses ten godly responses to abuse. Perhaps these thoughts will help you work through some of your issues even as they have helped me.
Response #1: Seek God's Guidance. Ask God what he wants you to do about it. Dr. Stanley says, "Nothing in the Scriptures requires you to continue to stay in the presence of those who abuse you or to continue to associate with those who have abused you in the past".
Response #2: Pray for Your Abuser. Dr. Stanley says, "Even as you pray, recognize that the person who is being abused is rarely the cause. Oh, the abuser may say that the victim is responsible, but in fact, the abuser must be held accountable for the actions and must be responsible for what is inflicted". He also points out, "The abusive person has an intense restlessness, an agitation, or a festering wound. Something is deeply wrong inside the person who is abusive. Hurt, doubt, worry, hatred, bitterness, or anger is unresolved and likely has been unresolved for a long period of time". Also, "The abusive person rarely expects to be confronted. Power and control are the core issues to the abusive person. Abusers expect their victims to run away and hide, whimper, cave in, cry, shrink back, or fall silent. One of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself as a victim and for the abuser is to stand up to the abuser and say, That's enough.'"
Response #3: Don't Blame God for the Abuse. "God never uses an evil means for a righteous end. Abuse is contrary to God's desire. It has nothing to do with God's will. He never promotes abusive behavior or approves of it."
Response #4: Forgive Your Abuser. Forgiveness is not putting yourself back in a position where you can be abused again. It is choosing to release them from your heart and into God's hands.
Response #5: Forgive the Person Who May Have Allowed Your Abuse. If you feel bitterness or the need to blame someone--then you may need to speak to God about forgiveness.
Response #6: Choose the Truth About Yourself and About Your Abuser. Dr. Stanley says, "One of the greatest lies that abused people frequently swallow whole is the lie that they deserved the abuse they received. Nobody deserves to be manipulated or injured, or to have their self-esteem, identity, and sense of value smashed into a billion bits".
Response #7: Open Yourself to God's Healing of Your Abused Emotions. I'm learning to let Christ walk with me into the scary places so that He can begin to heal what is broken. We are never alone!
Response #8: Refuse to Retaliate. God is really good at stripping us of the things that don't please Him--I know personally. Prayerfully put people and God's hands and let him deal with their stuff.
Response #9: Choose to Go Forward in Your Life Positively. Remember who you are in Christ regardless of what others may tell you.
Response #10: Look for God to Bring Something Good out of Your Experience. Romans 8:28 is all that needs to be said.