Ep. 213 Rick Answers Questions On Abuse, Church, Forgiveness & More

Rick Answers Your Questions

Shows Main Idea – Rick responds to questions that some people sent him. They are on abuse, parenting, divorce, bad churches, bad word choices, forgiveness, and personal conviction. If you would like to discuss any of these with him or if you have other questions, you may ask on our free community or private forums.

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Show Notes

(Time: 1:40) – Kimberly asked, “Will you stop. Your posts are bringing too much conviction?” 

Answer – No. Perhaps the Spirit of God is saying something to you. My response here is tongue-in-cheek because Kimberly came back and said, “Please don’t stop because I need to hear these messages.” We do get this question often, and they always mean them humorously. One lady asked if we had a video in her home. Another wanted to know why we used their names, which is why I switched to Biff and Mable.

(Time 3:40) – I understand that people work from broken hearts, but then some people are not reasonable, plus they are cruel. What they are doing is abuse. So, Rick, when do you keep trying or when do you walk away. From this article.

Answer – Proverbs 26:4-5 says we are to answer a fool and answer not a fool. These wise words provide a framework for responding to others. That framework sits under the header of wisdom. All responses to life and relationships call for practical wisdom because each situation is different.

There is no way for me to know if you’re supposed to stay or leave your relationship because I don’t know you or your husband. With that said, there are a few things for you to consider, and the most critical is this: If the person is harming you physically, you must leave. This kind of abuse is not just a sin, but it’s against the law. You leave immediately and call the police.

As for other types of “abuse,” it’s vital for your friends to become involved. And don’t confuse submission with being a doormat. You’re not a lesser person than he is. God made you in His image, and if a person is unkind to you, you must make your appeals (Matthew 18:15-18). If he does not listen, you go to your spiritual leaders and tell them. I’ve written extensively about abuse and church discipline. Please study these resources.

The point of my article that you responded to was about your attitude toward another sinner, not the question that you asked. So make sure you don’t miss the main point. If you want to read more on how to have the right attitude toward mean people, you can read about my drunk dad and sister-in-law, who killed my brother.

(Time 10:30) – What happens for the boys of moms who are single through no choice of our own? What help and hope is there for them? From this question.

Answer – This type of family dynamic is hard for anyone, and I’m sad that you have to experience this with your boys. I do want to caution you about your statement of “no fault of our own.” Unless your husband died, there is some personal blame that you want to consider. As hard as that is to here, you will have to come to terms with it in two ways.

  • Some folks live in paralyzing guilt as they examine and over-examine themselves about what they did or should have done. If you’re living with false guilt, you need to find help.
  • Other folks overplay the victim guard, which leads to all sorts of sins. They become angry, bitter, cynical, and slanderous. The worst of all is the onset of blindness because they refuse to own their part in the demise of the marriage. In the end, they will harden their consciences.

The question that she is referring to is the article about how dads are a primary shaping influence in a boy’s or girl’s life, specifically boys in this article. After the home breaks apart, what is the advice to help the children overcome this deficit?

The most vital thing is to have your children around God-loving, other-centered men. It’s Titus 2, but speaking of men instead of women. You want your children to have godly male influences. A granddad could work in this instance. Perhaps a pastor or other godly men in the church.

A youth leader is possible, though most of them are single, married with no children, or they have young children. They are not great candidates for this kind of seasoned shepherding, though they do have a role to play in your child’s life.

(Time 15:25) – How do I forgive someone who shows no remorse for offending me? Especially if he or she is still bent on hurting me continually? From this question.

Answer – Forgiveness is both attitudinal and transactional. It’s not possible to transact forgiveness with every person. Here are a few examples where you cannot have full, transactional forgiveness:

  • The offender is not asking for forgiveness.
  • The offender is dead.
  • You don’t know where the offender is, though he’s alive.
  • In cases of sexual abuse, it could be traumatizing to create a situation where the victim and perpetrator are together.

Though transactional forgiveness is not always wise or possible, you can develop a heart attitude toward the person, so you’re not captivated by their sin. Read more on attitudinal forgiveness. As to the second part of your question, if he’s still hurting you, you need to follow the advice earlier about abuse.

(Time 19:16) – Honest statement and question: I hear too often in conversation, folks minimize hell’s reality, it’s intensity, its eternity, and, in effect, the urgency those three elements ought to give to evangelistic efforts. Do you believe folks using hell as hyperbole or metaphor: “I’ve been to hell and back,” adds to that effect by making an inaccurate statement about hell (the real place only God creates)?

Answer – This question came from a quote that I posted on social media from Jordan Peterson. He mentioned the word, hell, in the context of what this questioner is asking. I agree with what he’s stating and asking.

I don’t use the word hell in any context other than to talk about the real place. The reason is that I don’t want to equate anything to it. It downgrades the reality, though I was not thinking about that by quoting Peterson. I should not have used that quote, as I do see the contradiction.

There are a few words that I use carefully: hell, guys, sorry, hate, and proud. I know that I’m not rigid about these words, as my questioner is reminding me, but I try to remember not to use them in an unhelpful way, as this person is asking.

(Time 25:44) – You said, “If this church is preaching the gospel, you can rejoice on that. And if they are right on the gospel, it’s not a wrong church; you’re only struggling about preferential matters.” What about a church where they are preaching the gospel, but the pastor is controlling and abusive? From this article.

Answer – When I hear a question like this, the thought crosses my mind as to whether it’s a serious one. The reason that I say this is because the answer is so apparent. I don’t mean what I’m thinking in any disparaging way. Sometimes people ask questions rhetorically because they want to vent.

But I’m also aware that what is apparent to many is not evident to all. So let me be clear: If your pastor is abusive, run away from him. Find another church, and ask someone to help you work through it. I have written many articles on abuse in the church, here, here, and here are three examples.

If possible, you want to position yourself to help this pastor and the church. Presumably, the pastor will not want your help, and nobody else can talk to him. But it may be possible to help a few of the church members. If he is abusive, you’re not the only one affected by it. Maybe the Lord will use you to help others.

Note: I have several internal links in these Show Notes. If you want to study more, please read all the articles linked. If you want more help, you may go to our free forums, private forums, coaching rooms, or find a counselor. Also, find all our articles on one page.

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