Used and Abused

This post is about how to begin recovery from being used and abused – and it is mostly relevant to women. But first, let’s get the bigger picture clarified….

The sexual liberation of the 1960’s and beyond has left millions of women “used and abused”. What might have seemed like ‘liberation’ has become ‘slavery’ to many. Instead of new and unbridled freedoms, people are now trapped in pain and the aftermath of abuse and exploitation.

Sexploitation

Men exploit women. Since women were made as a ‘helper’ (Genesis 2:18) ‘for the man’ (1Corinthians 11:8), womankind is predisposed to fit in with the expectations of the men in their lives. This makes them vulnerable and dependent.

This vulnerability and dependence leaves women open to sexual exploitation, or “sexploitation” as I refer to it. The men who are meant to protect women can be overcome by evil. Lust, sensuality, selfishness, eroticism, pride and other forces can invade a man’s life (assuming he has not invited them in anyway) and cause the man to think of himself, rather than his moral responsibilities before God.

Moral Responsibility

Humans are created beings, morally accountable to their creator. God is perfect and holy. So everything He made must be measured against God’s holiness. We are commanded to “Be Holy, just the same way our God is holy!” (Leviticus 19:2).

We all innately expect people to live with moral responsibility. We expect parents to care for their dependent children. We expect people to respect property rights and to restrain themselves from harming others. We expect people to tell the truth, keep their word and to meet their commitments.

When we see people who do not do these things we regard those people as out of order, criminal and socially unacceptable.

Yet the Sexual Liberation of the past half century has promoted an alternative morality. Instead of people learning to restrain their impulses, as a matter of responsibility, they are encouraged to indulge their impulses. Pleasure has been exalted above morality.

The prevailing morality is the notion of “happiness”.

Happy Little Cretans

I recall an older couple telling me about their son’s second marriage. He abandoned his first wife and his children and took up with another woman. Rather than see this as morally wrong, the parents celebrated his actions, because now he was “happy”.

The fact is that his first wife and his children are not happy. They were abandoned. He neglected them out of self-interest. His first wife, it seems, did not always please him. That was sufficient justification, it seems, for him to act in an abusive and selfish manner.

So, as I said earlier, “Happiness” has become the prevailing morality. People evaluate their choices based on what they think will make them happy. This is the very opposite of living by the code of moral responsibility.

We encourage the value of happiness in our children by giving in to their demands, offering them needless choices and telling them that they must please themselves.

Abuse Abounds

Just as in that case of the “happy” husband, millions of people are abusing others, in the quest of their own personal happiness and fulfilment. Anyone who does not fully meet the expectations of another (even if those expectations are delusional) should expect to be thrown over in the other person’s quest for self-indulgence.

Now, more than ever, women are “sexploited”. The men in their lives are far less likely to act on the basis of moral responsibility and thus protect the women. Men are much more likely now to act in pure self-interest, abusing and exploiting the vulnerable people around them.

You don’t need a degree in sociology to realise that what I am describing is tragically real.

Protecting the Gals

Protecting the womenfolk has long been a cultural and legal requirement. For centuries the law penalised a man for “Breach of Promise”. If he caused a woman or her family to believe he intended to marry her, and then abandoned that course, he was able to be charged for “Breach of Promise”.

This law was to cause men not to play with the emotions of women. It slowed down the hasty flirtations of a man, since he could be creating expectations which would come back to bite him. In Australia the statute which overturned this law of Breach of Promise was not enacted until 1971. So this is not simply an ancient and obsolete notion, but one which prevailed into the modern time.

Nowadays women rely on capsicum spray, assertiveness training, flame-throwers mounted under their car (as I saw advertised in South Africa) and their heightened wits to navigate their way through a more jungle-like modern culture. Women are no longer respected and protected, but abandoned to their own devices or used by those who can take advantage of them.

Emotional Vulnerability

Women are not only the physically weaker sex they are emotionally predisposed to look for affection and care. Some men have become effective at winning the confidence of a woman, lying to her about their intentions, playing on her emotional needs and seducing the woman into exploitation.

I recently spoke with a woman who discovered that the man who had been using her had done so to at least three other women before. She was fooled by his stories and bought into the emotional promise of his affections. He then dumped her suddenly for another woman.

The code for such men is to use and abuse the woman, then “forget her”. But the woman is not playing a user game and buys in emotionally. So she is damaged, wounded in heart, rejected, shamed and unable to “forget” what she has been through.

Get Your Heart Back

A key issue for the gals is to “get your heart back”. It is easy for a woman to give away her heart. She is designed to be in a faithful, loving relationship where she invests her emotional capacities in the success of her man. So she readily buys into that personal investment, even if she is being fooled by a user.

So, if you have been used by someone who stole your heart and then left you behind, you need to reclaim the affections you gave to him. This is virtually the same as breaking the soul-tie that is set up between two people in an affectional or physical relationship.

I lead people through a simple prayer that goes something like this…

Prayer to Reclaim Your Heart

“In the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, I repent of giving my heart and affections to this person who has used me. I now break the soul tie that exists between us. I revoke the hopes, dreams, expectations, emotional investment, delight and other responses which I invested into that relationship. I now reclaim my heart and affections. I take them back off that person who is unworthy of them. I place those affections and my heart at the feet of Jesus. Lord, take my heart and my wounded affections and please heal them. Teach me how to make You the centre of my affections, so I can live for You and for Your glory. Heal me of the offence, rejection, shame, abuse, hurt and wounding which I have experienced. Make me whole and take me into Your embrace, healing me and building me to be the woman You created me to be. I ask this in Jesus’ powerful and lovely name. Amen.”

Jesus Heals the Abused

Jesus Christ met and ministered to many used and abused women, who had even bought into a lifestyle of being someone else’s sex toy. He set them free and gave them back the life He created them for.

So, Jesus heals the abused, and He is ready to heal you. You were not created to be exploited. You were not created to be used and abused. You were created for His throne room. You were created to carry His glory.

Don’t settle for less. Press in to Him and find the healing, wholeness, freedom and destiny which is uniquely yours. I command you to do so, in Jesus’ powerful name.

Are Curses Genetic?

Now that researchers have been able to observe chemical changes within a person, directly linked to that person’s past experiences, there is a better understanding of how experiences can be translated into genetic changes. Those genetic changes may then be passed down to descendents.

Are these findings bringing us closer to understanding how curses are passed down from one generation to the next? Are curses genetic, and is there any scientific basis for understanding how they work?

I teach in my family seminars and explain in my flagship text, Family Horizons – Creating Families of Destiny (available from Family Horizons – www.FamilyHorizons.net) that the Bible teaches the reality of curses and of family curses. The Biblical case is for curses becoming part of the genetic inheritance of the family.

Here is a quick summary of some Biblical points to show that curses are genetic. At the giving of the Ten Commandments God specifically describes Himself as ‘visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of them that hate me’ (Exodus 20:5). This process is clearly one of passing to the children some form of curse or negative outcome, which continues for four generations. This is effectively a genetic curse.

When Eli the priest failed to give honour to God, but supported his sons’ evil activities instead, God pronounced a curse on Eli’s family that would be there ‘for ever’ (see 1Samuel 2:31-33). That curse was confirmed a few years later when the young lad, Samuel, first heard God’s voice. God told Samuel that Eli and his sons were going to die for their sins and that a curse would be on Eli’s family for ever (1Samuel 3:13).

Eli’s curse is that none of the males will grow into old age. They will all die in the prime of their life. This curse was not going to work for three or four generations, but would persist for ever.

Some evangelical Christians find it very hard to accept that curses could exist today. My answer is to ask, Is the curse of sin and death still operating in the world? The answer is, Yes. Where does it come from? The answer is, Adam. What is your connection to Adam? The answer is, I am his descendent. So, there you have it. Every evangelical clearly believes in family curses. We all believe that the curse of sin and death comes upon all people today, even after the resurrection of Jesus, as a curse we receive from our ancestor. This is a family curse!

Allow me to leave the doctrinal case there. The question I have posed is, Are Curses Genetic? Since the Bible clearly shows that they are, we should expect there to be some scientific clue to a physiological reality. That clue is now uncovered.

Since our DNA prescribes the range of options available to us in our species, and even limits us to the collection of features that have been successfully passed to us from our immediate ancestors, it could be argued that there is no real room for a ‘curse’ to impact the DNA. Dominant genes will assert themselves over passive genes. It is completely unlikely that some new gene will suddenly appear in the DNA as response to some ‘curse’ being placed on our life.

But genetics has moved beyond DNA as the sole prescriptor of our genetic options. Related genetic process work on the DNA to cause various genes to be activated (expressed), or not. A simple protein molecule might be all that is required to switch on or off some genetic capacity. The consequence can be such things as disease, mental instability, personality changes and so on.

Recent findings indicate that suicide is being triggered in some men who have been abuse victims in childhood. Brain research on 18 such men indicates that, while the essential DNA is OK, the methylation process accompanying gene activity is different in these men, compared with non-abused men.

This finding points to the importance of the switching process. A curse can theoretically be switched on or off in your life, by a basic act of cell chemistry. Your genetic DNA won’t change but the function of your genes will.

And that may very well be how God goes about the process of activating a curse in a person’s life, which is passed down through the family.

So, are curses genetic? I can’t be adamant in my answer, but I can see how it is possible in the light of current genetic understanding. One thing is for sure, family curses are Biblical and real.

My book, Family Horizons, does explain how to break curses. So please don’t have sleepless nights trying to protect your DNA from rebel proteins.

Tribal Rules & Regulations

I spoke with an Australian Aboriginal leader last week who told me about a Tribal justice process used in some Aboriginal communities. When an offender has done wrong and is worthy of the censure of the community that person can choose to face a beating by the community. The person must stand in the centre of a group and be beaten, possibly to death, by others in the tribe.

Many times this form of ‘justice’ results in the death of the individual. Other times the person is permanently disabled, crippled or seriously affected by the severity of the beating. This is tribal justice. It is part of the tribal rules and regulations which developed over time to regulate behaviour in the group.

One line of thought about such rules is that they are somehow ideal, because they developed out of the journey of that group of people. Sentiment seems stirred in some quarters today, to elevate the local traditons of tribal groups around the world, to a place of worthy preservation. The imposition of western law or other rules and regulaions is contemptible to these people. On the other hand, just as there are good and bad ways to cook, grow crops, run a business, manage finances, drive a car, or whatever, there are good and bad rules and regulations. Just because something is ‘tribal’ does not make it good or bad.

In the early 1980’s, as pastor of a church in New Zealand, I was approached by a mother with grave concern about her daughter. She detected evidence of her daughter being sexually abused. She told me that in the tribal background of her husband there was a history of incest, as somehow an endorsed tribal behaviour. Obviously such a thing was not publicly acknowledged, but it was understood by the insiders. In the absence of evidence and in the face of the father’s denials the matter never went to prosecution.

Is such behaviour to be preserved as a tribal cultural icon? Is sexual abuse OK because it fits within Tribal Rules and Regulations? Absolutely not!

While tribal rules and regulations are the easiest for members of the tribe to subscribe to, since the people have been enculturated with those rules, the rules do not and should not be maintained when they perpetrate abuse or evil. Ah… but there’s the rub! How do you know what is ‘abuse’ or ‘evil’? Despite the popularity for obfuscation of such things, the answer is remarkably simple. We simply apply the ‘fear of God’. Since God is the ultimate authority we simply refer back to His holy rules and regulations and modify our own rules and regulations to be consistent with His.

Australia’s First Female Governor General

For the first time in Australia’s existence as a nation it is to have a female Governor General. It has been announced that Queensland’s Governor, Quentin Bryce, has been appointed to replace Major General Michael Jeffery when he retires at the end of his five year term, in July this year. This gives Mrs Bryce the privilege of becoming Australia’s first female Governor General.

The role of Governor General in Australia is often seen as purely ceremonial. Quentin Bryce’s term as Australian Governor General will be filled with official functions. Any Australian Governor General, male or female, carries a high-profile surrounded by pomp and circumstance. But the role is much more than ceremonial. An Australian Governor General is much more than a rubber stamp to the decisions of the Australian Parliament.

In simple terms there are three entities who wield political power in Australia. The first level of political power in Australia is the people of Australia. The Australian Constitution enshrines the right of each Australian citizen to nominate who they will allow to exercise government over them. That is why, at each election, Australian politicians must come, hat in hand, to woo the support of the most powerful political entity in the nation. If the people do not assign authority to a politician then that politician is just another citizen. The second level of authority, then, is the elected representatives, politicians. They can exercise political privilege, delegated to them by the Australian people, on various terms, such as a limited duration of their tenure. The laws they can pass are limited by the Australian Constitution.

Since power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, those who created the Australian Constitution sought to find an effective balance of power. With the British and American experiences to draw from the drafters of the Australian Constitution sought to find an effective balance between the people, who own the land, and the politicians those people elect to govern the land. Since two competing parties could always come to a stalemate a third party was created to protect the most important element of Australian society – the people.

In the British system the Monarchy, which once ruled with absolute power, had been forced to share power with both politicians and the people. Huge social landmarks were crossed in the process, such as establishing all people equal under the law, including the King. The new (in relative terms) role for the monarch was no longer to govern, nor to yield absolute power, but to be the protector of the people who they once ruled, defending them against the potential abuses of politicians. The Monarch (King or Queen as the case may be from time to time) had long had to acknowledge that his or her place was a privilege they held under God’s authority. They could not take office until they had sworn to honour God and to uphold the Bible as the book from which society was to be governed. In so doing, the King or Queen became God’s agent for the protection of the people.

Little more than a century ago, when the Australian Constitution was drafted, the relatively new role for the Monarchy was appreciated and built into the Australian governmental model. A representative of the British Monarch was to be appointed as the Australian Head of State, extending the British Monarch’s divine mandate to uphold the Bible as the rule of law and the basis for society. This person who functioned as the Head of State, designated the Australian Governor General, stood to protect the Australian people from their elected politicians.

Once an ordinary citizen has become a politician and been elevated to a place of political power over others that person ceases to be ‘ordinary’ and may be tempted to exploit their privilege by abusing the very people who placed them in power. They might decide, for instance, that they should have privileges others do not have. So, every law that Australian politicians can legally make has to go through a final vetting process. The only ones empowered to make such rules are the politicians. To protect the Australian people from abuses of that political power, the Australian Governor General must give authority to those rules by signing them into law.

It is convention that the Governor General of Australia do just that, sign the laws that have been crafted by Parliament. But this is not to suggest that they are a mere rubber stamp. Any true Governor General recognises their place as a protector of the Australian people and upholder of the Bible as the rule of law. If they see any law being promulgated by an elected parliament that opposes the Biblical mandate for social law and order, they have the authority, right and responsibility to oppose that law and refuse to sign it into existence.

Further than this, an Australian Governor General can even take the drastic measure of removing a government which they deem to have exceeded its privileges and to be acting in a manner that is damaging to the people of Australia. Such actions are rare to the point of near extinction, except for the amazing example of Sir John Kerr, Australian Governor General between 1974 and 1977, who dismissed the Australian Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam.

So Mrs Quentin Bryce, in becoming Australia’s Head of State, as the first Australian female Governor General, becomes a hero of the Australian people. She is their protector. She is the one who has the power to protect them from their elected parliamentary politicians. She is the one who must weigh each law against the Bible and determine whether it upholds or contradicts what God has charged her to live by.

Let us all pray that she does what she is being given the privilege to do.