Not Informative, Not Helpful, Not Sensible
This perplexing 18 page booklet is not helpful to educate the reader about domestic abuse. If you are looking for a book that reveals the methods and mentality of abuse, actual stories from victims, the effects on victims (including children), why the church covers up abuse, and how to help and not hurt, this is NOT what you want. A superior book on this subject is Jeff Crippen's and Anna Wood's, A Cry for Justice: How the Evil of Domestic Abuse Hides in Your Church.
Abusers are dangerous; many are mentally disturbed, sociopathic, and unregenerate. Contrary to the hopeful scenario this booklet suggests, "As they become willing to look at themselves in the mirror of truth and embrace the Messiah, they can and will genuinely change," (pg. 9), few do. The statistics are dismal. When I asked the Nouthetic counseling service about my husband's prognosis as a verbal/emotional abuser, there was not one success that could be recalled. It is important to note that abusers, by their actions, prove they are not Christians. (Gal. 5:19-21 and 2 Tim 3:2-5, Matt.7:17-20), and most abusers leave when properly disciplined. Following the guidance of this self-conflicting booklet may put the victim and the person trying to help in peril. No one should underestimate how wicked abusers are.
Written by three authors, this booklet has no clear course of action or process of biblical thought. Here is one example, although several could be cited:
"The physically abusive are criminal as well as wicked, just like sexual predators. They are also highly
deceptive." (pg. 9)
"A man might hit his wife and then, one hour later, shift gears and calmly lead a Bible study." (pg. 12)
"Of course, this does not imply that her actions caused the violence or abuse." (pg. 7) After a reference to removing the speck from your brother's eye, (Matt. 7:5) they state she must forgive quickly, and speak with humility, gentleness and love. (pg.8)
Matt. 7:5, (pg.7), is not applicable or sensible in abuse cases. Do the authors imply that the abuser has the speck in his eye, while the victim has the log? Ridiculous! Why should the abused be encouraged to confess her sin to, and be quick to forgive the abuser, if they describe him as a deceptive criminal, not a brother in Christ? There is no biblical reason why a victim should confess sin to an abuser. David, Paul and Christ did not do this. Additionally, victims of abuse may suffer from trauma, (PTSD), which is not even considered in this book. The church should protect the victim, and not leave her open to retaliation, as Nouthetic Counseling did to me. I faced death threats after their intervention, so I am writing this review to warn people. This book never gives a definition of domestic abuse, and then sets out to offer vague ways to fix it. If an abuser has been sitting in the pews for years, and yet remains unconverted, success through Nouthetic Counseling seems very unlikely. Read Jeff Crippen's book if you really want to know how to help.
January 28, 2013