Breaking the Silence

Breaking the Silence

My companion stretched out his hand against his friends; he violated his covenant.

Psalm 55:20

Take a moment and read Psalm 55…

Psalm 55, a maskilof David, is a theological song. Often titles such as “Cast Your Burden Upon the Lord”, or “Listen to My Prayer” have been associated with Psalm 55. These titles, although appropriate, fail to accurately capture the drama written within the Psalms verses. Psalm 55 is a plea to the Lord by someone who has experienced betrayal by the closest of friends.

For it is not an enemy who taunts me—     then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me—     then I could hide from him. 13 But it is you, a man, my equal,     my companion, my familiar friend.

Psalm 55:12-13

Uncomfortable words appear in Psalm 55, anguish, terror, violence, strife, trouble. When is the last time your heart was in anguish? When did fear and trembling last come upon you? When is the last time your circumstances were so difficult you wished you could fly away, like a dove, to a safe place? For some of us Psalm 55 is simply a description of someone else’s hardship. For others Psalm 55 describes their everyday reality. To victims, Psalm 55 captures the horror of domestic violence. Domestic abuse exists in relationships where one person seeks control over the life of the other through a pattern of coercive behaviors such as fear, intimidation, manipulation, and physical violence.

I am restless in my complaint and I moan, because of the noise of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked. For they drop trouble upon me, and in anger they bear a grudge against me.

My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me.

Psalm 55:2-5

Those of us on the outside are hardly aware that domestic abuse, “is the single major cause of injury to women in the United States, surpassing rapes, muggings, and automobile accidents combined.”[1]Statistics compiled in the United States estimates that at least one occurrence of violence happens in fifty-six percent of all relationships.[2]Domestic violence extends beyond mere marital or relational discord. Without intervention, unchecked domestic violence usually increases in frequency and severity. The harsh reality is that more than one in three women in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by a loved one.

Teenagers in dating relationships also face potential dangers. “One in three teenage girls in the US is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence.”[3]Children also suffer. “Children react to exposure to domestic violence in different ways, they may suffer from difficulties with attachment, regressive behavior, anxiety and depression, and aggression and conduct problems.” [4]At times children even suffer assault when attempting to interfere and stop the abuse they witness.

We used to take sweet counsel together; within God's house we walked in the throng.

Psalm 55:14

Naturally Christians look to the church as a place of safety to escape the potential dangers of domestic violence. The church should quickly respond by coming to the aid of women, teens, and children affected by violence. We invite you to join us for our next Equip Night titled Breaking the Silence.As the church, let’s rise up to our responsibility to bring awareness, advocacy, and action while protecting victims of domestic violence. Scripture demands an educated and appropriate response. At Brookstone Church we believe that Jesus Christ possesses the only true hope for healing from the horrors of abuse. Join us September 4th at 6:30pm as we begin a conversation seeking to offer help for anyone facing the evils of domestic violence.

But I call to God, and the Lord will save me.

Psalm 55:16

[1]Helpmate, Helpmate Advocate Training Manual(Asheville, NC: Helpmate, 2017), 7.

[2]Helpmate Advocate Training, 7.

[3]The National Council on Crime and Delinquency Focus: Interpersonal and Physical Dating Violence among Teens, (National Council on Crime: U.S., 2008).

[4]U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Children’s Exposure to Violence: A Comprehensive National Survey.(U.S. Department of Justice: U.S., 2009).

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