First Steps: Step One — Is the Word True?

By Danni Moss
Copyright protected, all rights reserved

This is the second part of a multi-part series entitled How Can I Trust God After Marriage to a “Christian” Abuser?

Before you can even make the first step toward discovering whether you can trust God after being wounded in a “Christian” abusive marriage, you have to go all the way back to the most basic basics. Failure to go all the way back to the foundation and ensure it is secure, will ultimately make everything else you attempt to build on it unstable.

Right now, if you’re even asking the question, “how can I trust God…” the structure of your relationship with God has taken a profoundly deep hit. Just as if you had a physical building which had experienced a literal earthquake, you need to check your foundation and then evaluate everything outward from there.

So the first thing you have to determine for yourself is whether you believe the Word is true. And both this question and the answer to it are based on the bigger question – is God Who He says He is? The answer to that question, answers the other question. But both are important.

You may or may not have thought to actually verbalize the question of whether God is real or whether He is Who He says He is. But this is at the core of whether you can trust Him. If He is not Who He says He is, you cannot trust Him. If He is Who He says He is, you can trust Him because He says He is trustworthy. Whether you choose to trust Him is your personal choice, but whether or not He is trustworthy depends on His nature and character.

Psalms 62:8 Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.

Psalms 18:2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

Psalms 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

Isaiah 26:4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

Either God is Who He says He is, or He is a liar. That’s all there is to it. What good is a god who says he is one thing when he really is not? The Bible makes a lot of claims about Who God is. But just this one is enough.

Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?

35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?

36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Is is true? Either it is all true or none of it is true because if any part is not true, God is a liar. So either all things have their being and existence through Him, or God is a liar. At the same time, this passage is a good example of how an inaccurate understanding of what the Word actually says can make it seem like the Word is not true.

People can make a couple erroneous assumptions about God based on this passage. First, people can assume it means God either causes or actively allows all the evil things that happen in the world, along with all the good. People can also assume this statement about God is not true since man has created many things that God did not create.

However, a deeper look answers both concerns. This passage does not either state or imply God causes all the things created beings choose to do, or even all the natural tragedies that occur in a physical world scarred by the effects of fallen man — and we have to be certain not to confuse this point.

In Genesis 1:26-28 God very clearly gave mankind dominion and authority over the earth. He also created man with a freewill — which wouldn’t be free if He chose to supercede it, even though He is able to do so. And in Genesis 3, man used his freewill to surrender his dominion over the earth to Satan. This set in motion all the evil that exists in the earth, even including natural disasters, birth defects, and other things we typically consider “acts of God.” God doesn’t do these things. They are all the result of man’s choice to deviate from God’s perfect order in the beginning.

The other potential misunderstanding is regarding whether or not man has created things not created by God. Man has created the automobile, lightbulbs, in vitro fertilization and test-tube babies, animal cloning, etc. But in every single case, man has used what was created by God as his starting point. Man has created absolutely nothing from nothing at all. Everything man has made has come from what God has made. So everything that exists has its origin in God’s creation.

In this statement in Romans 11, the Word is declaring as fact that everything that exists has it’s origin in the creation by God, through the reality of Who He is, and it will ultimately all be for His glory. Eventually, even the worst of the worst evil doers will submit to Him and give Him glory. Ultimately, every horrible calamity will have a way to reflect God’s glory by how He can turn it — whether or not we ever understand or see it personally. But that does not mean God causes evil doers to do evil, or initiates or approves of calamitous circumstances.

The flip side of this is that the Word is full of affirmations that God’s thoughts and plans for His people are good ones and that He protects, defends, provides for, and blesses His children. These statements must be equally true. One does not negate the other – or God is a liar. So, even if we cannot understand it, and our reality appears to belie these statements, if we decide to believe God’s Word is true, we can have confidence that somehow these are true words and somehow we can experience that as reality in our lives. Any place our reality isn’t matching up to the Word, it is our reality that is faulty, not the Word.

Psalms 119:160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

Romans 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began…

The Word says it is all true. It says God cannot lie. So if it is not all true then God is a liar, and it is all a lie.

How big is God, really? If He is big enough to be God, He is bigger than we can understand and He is bigger than we need Him to be. He is big enough to mean exactly what He said when the Word says:

2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

All things does not leave any room for anything that His divine power has not provided for us. Nothing.

You must carefully and thoroughly consider this question of whether God is Who He says He is and whether (as a result) the Word is true before you can get to a single answer in your life. He says His divine power has provided all things pertaining to life – but if you do not believe the Word is absolutely true and God is Who He says He is then you cannot believe His divine power has provided all things you need.

However, the opposite is equally true. If you do believe that God is Who He says He is, then you must accept that His divine power does make available to you everything you need for life. The question from that point is only – how do you access that provision with confidence. And the answer to that question is right there in that verse:

…through the knowledge of Him…

So that leads us to the question, “How can I know the truth about God, that provides me with all things I need pertaining to life?”

And that is the subject for the next part of this study.

When it comes right down to it, there is no way to tangibly prove whether the Word is true or whether God is Who He says He is. You will have to make a choice of faith. But faith is not just belief. Faith is an action word. Faith is not faith unless it is accompanied by action based on the belief. Faith steps out to the next steps, even without proof before hand. As you walk into the subsequent steps, God will prove Himself. But you won’t get that proof unless and until you take the steps of faith first.

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How Can I Trust God After Marriage to A “Christian” Abuser?

By Danni Moss
Copyright protected, all rights reserved

This exchange occurred in one of the comment threads on another article, but I thought it might be beneficial for others as a stand-alone piece by itself.

Mary said:

…I have a lot of unfinished business that I need to work through regarding my relationship with God and the church… I don’t know where God is in any of this anymore. I feel paralyzed to do anything about my situation… because I don’t trust myself to hear from God. (and even if I did I don’t know if I have the strength or the courage to do anything. I feel empty) I can’t imagine God saving me from [one] abusive marriage and then leading me to do the same thing again. But that is what happened if I retrace my decisions that I was making at the time. Am I so defective that I can’t hear from God?

Danni said [amplified, as always when I think about it more]:

It is not that you are so defective that you can’t hear from God. It is a combination of the fact that our own paradigms of reality affect what we think we are hearing from God and that the church is teaching some things about God that aren’t completely accurate.

Our own paradigms are probably the biggest thing that sabotages us. Those of us who marry into abuse almost always – I’d say always but there is always the rare exception to the rule – have some underlying wrong beliefs about ourselves, marriage, relationships, and even God that are so unconscious we are not aware they influence us. If we were raised in abuse in any way – not necessarily overt abuse – we definitely have some foundation problems we are not aware of.

Then when we take that into the arena of church, one or both of two things happens. One is that we do not accurately understand the truth because our paradigms color our understanding – for instance, our understanding of God’s love. How can we understand God’s love for us when we have never experienced real love? And we may think we have experienced real love and not understand that what we think is real love is not. If we were raised in an environment where our acceptance was intrinsically tied to our performance, we will see God as having that same standard toward us – which is not true and literally twists everything else around backwards. These are just a couple examples.

The other thing that can happen in the church is that it may actively teach wrong theology about God, God’s love, the gospel, etc. — all of which will be detrimental to a greater or lesser extent as applied to the issue of abuse. Here again, if we have been raised in an abusive environment (or been in one for years), a church which teaches this type of wrong theology or is even straight-out spiritually abusive will feel right and comfortable to us. This is the type of church we are likely to instinctively choose, just as surely as we are likely to instinctively choose to marry an abuser.

But the truth is that God is none of these things. And while you may think God told you to marry that person who was an abuser, He didn’t. He couldn’t have; it would be a violation of His character and nature. But we can misunderstand. And God is bigger than that. It doesn’t mean God failed; it just means we have more to learn about God — which is an awesome thing to know! That means there are unplumbed depths to the goodness, kindness and love of God, which you have yet to explore. And it means we can still trust Him — because without that we have nothing.

Empty is a good place to start. And baby steps are just fine. Is the Word true? That’s the first thing you have to ask yourself. And God knows where you are – Ps. 103:8-14 says:

The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. [Note: in fact, under the New Covenant we are not under God’s wrath. The New Testament says it is being held until the end of time for those who reject Jesus. God is not mad at you and He’s not going to get mad at you.]

He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

He knows your frame; He remembers that you are but dust. He knows and understands every emotion, every fear, every hurt you are feeling. And He’s not mad.

The Holy Spirit has been promised to be our comforter and our counselor (read John 13-17). Is the Word true? Do those words actually mean what they say? Do you need comfort? Do you need guidance and direction? Is the Word true? (Yes, I know I said that three times now; it was on purpose.) God can be trusted and He will not be mad at you, remembering your frame, when you ask Him to show you unmistakeable how to truly hear His voice.

I would even recommend very specifically asking Him to expose and overturn your paradigms of belief that are hindering you from knowing Him as He really is. He will do it — that is my own testimony. He will do it. Not all in a day; not even all in a year. He is a gentle healer. So He can be trusted to deconstruct and reconstruct as carefully and as tenderly as it is possible to do with such a radical work, taking as long as necessary to do it. And all you have to trust with is this one moment at a time.

Hebrews 11:6 …he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Is the Word true?

Another thought regarding believing God led you to marry an abuser, I have to say I fully believed God led me to marry my husband, too. I was completely devoted to God and seeking God as fully as I knew to do. I prayed about it alot and specifically prayed many times that if it wasn’t God’s will, God would show me. Everything I knew about God and obedience and the Word said I was supposed to marry my husband. And God knows I was very willing to lay it down if He didn’t want me to do it.

So after the nightmare started, and then would never end, I had these thoughts, too. Eventually I came to realized that God did try to let me know – but my paradigms made it impossible for me to see and understand what He was saying. My theology, which was mistaken, said I should marry him – but God Himself did not. And He cannot and will not interfere with the authority He has delegated to us on this earth. What He will do, because His grace and mercy are everlasting and eternally long-suffering, is walk with us through what happens next and redeem us when we realize things are amiss.

If you do not see those hindsight warning signs yet, that doesn’t mean they weren’t there. It just means that your inaccurate paradigms of reality haven’t been overturned yet. And God can fix that, over time.

As for where to start – well, that turned long, so I’m going to put it up as a series of separate pieces.