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What can churches do to help children growing up in abusive homes?

I think the church needs to really understand that not everything is as it appears on the surface, especially with young people.

The church I grew up in probably saved my life, in that it was a very close-knit, family environment. There were great, godly men there whom I could look to as male role models. But that didn’t fix the problem or undo the harm…it merely lessened the effect of the blows. I say “merely,” but I’m not undervaluing it. Honestly, that is what saved my life. But in some ways, it only numbed the pain just enough for me to not die from it. I think the church needs to really understand that not everything is as it appears on the surface, especially with young people. My mother was an active member of that church. She sang in the choir, volunteered for things, made sure we were there for every service, and yet she rejected me as much as her husband did. Tom was not a believer, so he never came to church, but when he did (Christmas and Easter) he put on enough of a display that nobody suspected anything was amiss at home. Several people I went to church with, including my youth pastor from back then, remarked that they always wondered why they never saw my stepfather (who they also assumed was my dad) at any of my sporting events or church activities. I think when you see a kid who seems to be there alone, you can probably conclude it’s like that at home too. Every church has spiritual orphans in their congregation. More churches need to take spiritual warfare seriously. The spirit of orphanage I write about in the book is a real thing. Satan is as real as God. Don’t ignore the way he does battle.

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