Twisted And Disturbed
Yesterday I made the mistake of watching the video of Ray Rice knocking his fiance unconscious in a New Jersey elevator. That video had me twisted and disturbed for the remainder of the day. I’m still flummoxed! After watching, I engaged in numerous conversations on Twitter. My first tweet read, “So…I just saw the video of Ray Rice knocking his fiance out cold. Is she still engaged to him? I hope not!” I had no idea she married him after that awful incident. My first thought was, how could she or any woman marry that kind of guy? One of my followers tweeted an article titled Why Do People Stay In Abusive Relationships? Some of the reasons are:
Fear: Your friend may be afraid of what will happen if they decide to leave the relationship. If your friend has been threatened by their partner, family or friends, they may not feel safe leaving.
Social Pressure: If the abuser is popular; it can be hard for a person to tell their friends for fear that no one will believe them or that everyone will take the abuser’s side.
Puppy Love Phenomena: Adults often don’t believe that teens really experience love. So if something goes wrong in the relationship, your friend may feel like they have no adults to turn to or that no one will take them seriously.
Lack of Money: Your friend may have become financially dependent on their abusive partner. Without money, it can seem impossible for them to leave the relationship.
Thank God For Mercy
Then another one of my followers tweeted, “Maybe she understands forgiveness better than we do. I don’t say he doesn’t deserve his punishment, but thank God for mercy!” My reply was forgiveness has nothing to do with staying. I forgive you doesn’t mean I have to stay with you. And that’s what this post is about; forgiveness.
Caught In The Forgiveness Trap
I believe many women are in abusive relationships because they are caught in the Forgiveness Trap. My girlfriend was one of those women. Every time she mustered up the courage to leave, her now ex-fiance would say something like, “If you really forgave me you would stay.” She’d fall for it until he abused her all over again. Abusive people are very manipulative.
Forgive And Exit Stage Left
It’s usually the people closest to us who try to jam us into the Forgiveness Trap. They say things like, “We’re family! I’m your husband. You’re my wife. You wouldn’t leave if you really forgave me.” I’ve been mulling over forgiveness lately and wanted to write about it because I recently had to forgive and exit stage left. Nothing physical and nothing romantic just a bunch of lies, betrayal and manipulation. I’d seen this behavior in the past and decided enough is enough. I was reminded of the quote, “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.” What made me leave was simply this; I don’t treat myself badly therefore I’m not going to let you treat me badly. That was it. I’m out. No resentment. No vengeful thoughts. Just clarity on how I want to move forward.
Reexamine That Relationship
The Bible tells us to forgive. It’s not an option it’s a command. Nowhere does it tell us we have to stay and endure abuse of any kind. Nowhere does it tell us we have to keep trusting those who broke our trust or spend time with those who mistreat us. We don’t have to tolerate, accept or keep an open door to disrespect, bad behavior and poor treatment. If you’re in a situation where you’re constantly forgiving, it might be time to reexamine that relationship. What is happening in your relationship that puts you in a position to be continually hurt, attacked and abused?
She Got Out Alive
I can only imagine how difficult it is to leave a physically abusive relationship like the one Janay has found herself in with Ray Rice. My girlfriend finally left when she realized forgiving him didn’t mean she had to stick around for more. She realized she could forgive him and get on with life. It took her a minute but thankfully she got out alive. Today she is enjoying her marriage to a man who only puts his hands on her to hold her and give her warm hugs. Listen, if you’re in an abusive relationship and you’re staying because you’ve been manipulated into the Forgiveness Trap, set yourself free today. Declare, “I forgive you but it doesn’t’ mean I have to stay with you.”
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32
Something to think about…
What say you? What is your understanding of forgiveness? Have you ever been caught in the Forgiveness Trap?
Here are 2 things I’d like you to do now:
1. Leave a comment below
2. Share this post if you like it