Holding out for his Hero
It was September 11, 2010 when Melinda realized a twin engine plane had flown straight into the heart of her family. She was pumping gas when her daughter called notably upset, asking her to come home. Melinda’s son needed some files from his dad’s computer and while searching for the documents, the son found disturbing websites and images. Distraught, he confided in his sister, and they decided they had to tell their mom.
Melinda pulled into her driveway, head on to a choice no woman ever wants to face—dismantle her family in rage or find a way to stay. She chose to start packing her bags and heard a clear voice in heart, “He needs an ally.” She packed even more aggressively, slamming clothes into a suitcase and that voice from her mind. “I don’t deserve this… disrespect.” She shifted more clothes from the dryer and mumbled, “Lord, I am going to destroy him but that will destroy our family. I want to hurt him back, but help me, Jesus.”
She began to recall a few horrible choices of her own—past relationships riddled with lust and more than a few late night movies that she chose not to turn off. It had been so long since those haunted her. She had forgotten until right now when she heard again, “He needs an ally, my Child.” Melinda knew God was reminding her of the grace He extended to her and wanted her to now extend to her husband. She prayed, “I don’t want to forgive him. I want to punish him. Help me.”
That’s how David felt long ago. Scorned. Before David became king of Israel, he asked a rich man in Carmel for provisions because David had protected his land. The man refused David and mocked, “Who is David?” (1 Samuel 25:10) David was deeply offended, enough so that he decided to murder the rich man’s entire household in vengeance. So, the wife of the household, Abigail, heard that her husband’s foolish words caused the same man who killed the giant Goliath to come after her family.
Scripture depicts Abigail as no wilting flower. She did not bend under another man’s sin. No, she “knew and considered what she might do” (1 Sam 25:17). She went to David and told him something to the effect of… “David, you are not worthless; I know who you really are. You were the courageous shepherd who slung the stone at Goliath, and you are the anointed, future king of Israel” (1 Sam 25:29-30, paraphrase).
Abigail left a profound model for how to respond in the midst of trauma. She wielded truth at just the right time and then she extended grace. She didn’t ignore the sin or flower it. She covered it. Abigail said, “On me alone, my lord, be the blame…” (1 Sam 25:28). Certainly, Abigail was not at fault, but she chose to seek forgiveness for the sin of her husband in order to save her home. Turns out, Abigail’s request changed David’s mind, saving David from murdering her entire household.
If you face trauma because of someone else’s sin, you have the choice to shame the sinner or cover the sin. Men are passionate creatures, valiant and vulnerable. When brothers, sons, fathers, boyfriends, or husbands stumble over their own passions, human punishment can actually hinder them. God is just and surely brings consequences. There are reasons for accountability and consequence, but human condemnation is like the kryptonite that weakened Superman. Shame separates and often leads to further hiding. Truth and grace lead to recovery and real change.
Melinda wiped her tears with a sweatshirt. “God, I do not feel it, but I forgive him. Help us recover and find power over this.” She began putting clothes back into her closet. When her husband got home, she cried and said, “I know you have been looking at pornography. I am so hurt, and it’s going to take time for us to recover, but I’ve stumbled in different ways, too. I may not feel it yet, but I have forgiven you. I am asking God to battle for you and for us through this. I am not going to leave you, because My Father never left me in my darkness. I am not okay with this. We have to do something about it, but I am with you.”
This was the safety net he needed. He broke into tears, already ashamed. He admitted that this had been a hidden struggle since adolescence and that he needed help.
Jesus’ power is made alive in us when we speak truth and extend undeserved merit, grace, to others. It is precisely why Jesus died for us, while we were still sinners. (Ro 5:8) Even strong men stumble. We just have to choose whether we are going to revolt against the man or the sin vying for him. When men in your life trip, remember “Christ in [him is his] hope of glory” (Col 1:27, emphasis added). We can take their sin personally, fuel our own twin engine Cessna, and hit men when they are already down. Or we can remember the depth of darkness that God covered in our own lives, bust out our inner Lois Lane, and ally with him.
By Rani Yangad and Adrianne Schwanke, Shabby Chic Ministries
- Think of one man in your life. Listen to the song “Warrior is a Child” and consider his heart.
- Ask the Hero of heaven, Jesus, to strengthen him. Pray through: Acts 4:12 and Revelation 1, 6, and 19.
- There’s no accountability like the Holy Spirit within, but there are beneficial internet blockers as a boundary: http://covenanteyes.com
- Check out more Lois Lane action in Wielding Femininity to the Glory of God, or download the digital companion from iTunes, Nook, or Kindle.