Category: Physical Abuse

When abusers are nice to you

When abusers are nice to you does that mean they aren't abusing others? In our last article, we looked at Jonathan's grave error in thinking he could just talk to Saul and that would make David safe. Instead, all he achieved was to put David at greater risk by...

Will an abuser stop if you ask them to?

Will an abuser stop if you ask them to? That was the solution Jonathan tried, a little over 3000 years ago, when Saul ordered him to kill David. He only made things worse. Saul told his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill...

Saul’s skill at non-apologies

As part of his armoury of abusive tactics, we can see Saul’s skill at non-apologies. If we understand his tactics, that can help us spot non-apologies in our own situations.

No good tree bears bad fruit

No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.

Jesus talked about the difference between good and bad people with directness and clarity we don’t often hear repeated. He certainly never claimed we could be perfect. He died, willingly, knowing that was the depth of our need for God’s help. But at the same time, Jesus was very clear about standards of behaviour that we could follow, despite our imperfect ethics. He continually reinforced how critical it was for us to follow those standards, for the sake of others.

Listening through the mess

Listening through the mess created by abuse is difficult for most.

In the previous post, we touched on some of the ways abusers disrupt our capacity to hear clearly. Those tactics can create significant, even overwhelming, internal noise and confusion.

Good shepherds cherish their sheep

Jesus made it abundantly clear that good shepherds cherish their sheep, while wolves are intent on doing harm. And there is a sense in which we are all called to be shepherds.
We all have a responsibility to care for the humans around us, and those responsibilities are reflected in our daily communication and interactions as well as in larger ways. Even children can learn to be increasingly kind and respectful of others.

What does it mean to cherish someone?

What does it mean to cherish someone? It’s a word that is often used in wedding vows, but it is relevant in all our relationships.

When Paul and Timothy wrote to the Colossians, they praised them for the love they held for all people, and that sense of holding love is like cherishing.

The sons of Belial and Hophni and Phinehas

"Sons of Belial" is a Hebrew term that can help us find stories of abuse in the Bible. There are many examples of abuse in the Bible, but as mentioned previously, the Bible doesn’t categorise abuse in the same way we do now. It refers to abusive behaviours as specific...

Hophni and Phinehas: Violence, and Flying Monkeys

Yesterday we started looking at Hophni and Phinehas’s behaviour with the women who served at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. Was it sexual assault? The strong power imbalance made consent unlikely. If you missed it, you can read about it here. Hophni and Phinehas...

Eli, Hophni, and Phinehas

Today we start a series looking at Eli, and his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas.

When we read 1 and 2 Samuel, and look for what it has to say to us about abuse, we are flooded with stories and examples. This makes sense because what we now categorise broadly as abuse is a grouping of different harmful or toxic behaviours: different sins.

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