Bible Studies/Spouse Handling Sexual Assault
My wife and I are Christians. We waited for each other without having sex and without co-habituating. Unfortunately, my father has been a womanizer and has had at least 5 different affairs with different women that I am aware of. I know how he goes after women. Unfortunately, he tried going after my own wife. Two weeks after we were married, my dad took his penis and rubbed it across my wives buttocks (e.g., the 3-minutes I left the room).
I understand that my wife did nothing to deserve being sexually assaulted. My dad is the one who did the assault and should be responsible/accountable for his actions. I give my wife all the love, care, and support that I can. I am there for her.
However, even though it is clear and I am clear, first, my wife is not the blame, she tends to use it as a reason why not to face and charge a man that has committed a crime (sin against God and against a human being). My response, I too am intimidated and overwhelmed being a soldier, but I do not use feeling overwhelmed or intimidated as an excuse not to defend people and my country. Is feeling overwhelmed an excuse to stay silent on an issue when it should be addressed, faced, or justice to be sought?
Second, she often says: "Your not a woman." "Your not the woman who was assaulted." Well, my response to your not a woman, it is like African-American people that use being black as an excuse. And, I too was sexually assaulted as a male by another male. However, some older adults stopped it while I was at a party. I know what it feels like to be taken advantage of. Using our sexual orientation against someone an excuse not to address an issue or a sexual assault?
I support my wife and her to pursue justice, even though it was my dad. I support my wife even though it is my dad. I've made it clear to him a long time ago that I am not going to support him committing adultery, being a womanizer, and him being immoral. I do not support people just because they are family. However, I do not support them when they are immoral.
I know that a lot of women decide not to press charges or face the rapist in court. It is difficult to face them. However, the men that do such things depend on this response from women to not do anything. Rapist know that most rape (sexual assault) cases get dropped and they take advantage of it. I encourage her to be an example for other women and go ahead, make the police report (my wife did) and even following through pressing charges on my own dad. Just because it is a challenge or difficult, is it an excuse to not do something, follow-through, do something about it (e.g. even exercise our rights in this country)?
It did not matter how many reasons I gave to support pressing charges after sexual assault, my wife appears to not follow-through.
As the by-stander, I feel betrayed by my own dad. And, I feel that my wife is disloyal to me for letting my dad off the hook. I too feel intimidated when things happen to me. I feel that, yes, as men, we need to take care of our wives. However, I feel like I've been thrown in corner and forgotten about? I feel like women have chosen this particular issue to decide that men cannot do anything for them. For instance, I too feel overwhelmed by these ISIS terrorist who we really cannot fully comprehend, find, or take out. Yet, I do not use that as an excuse to not follow-through. If we never do anything or stay silent, when we should take a stand, that also establishes a standard. Silence can let a creep and a rapist off the hook. Likewise, I disagree with allowing an ISIS terrorists that kills others unjustly from being off the hook from know justice.
Is feeling overwhelmed an excuse to stay silent on an issue when it should be addressed, faced, or justice to be sought?
Using our sexual orientation against someone an excuse not to address an issue or a sexual assault?
Just because it is a challenge or difficult, is it an excuse to not do something, follow-through, do something about it (e.g. even exercise our rights in this country)?
What would you have to say with all these questions?
Thank You Much
First of all, forgive your wife. I donít know her side of it, but I doubt she intended to be disloyal to you. Your frustration is understandable, but not beneficial--it's not helping solve the problem. Your father probably isnít even thinking about you at all. Heís too focused on his desires to think about anything else.
It seems to me your primary desire is for your father to face justice. However, without evidence, I doubt the police can do anything--thereís no evidence to implicate your father, no witnesses to verify her statement about what happened. In the event of he said/she said case, the accused person accused gets off the hook.
Ultimately, the authorities arenít the ones who can do justice here--God is. But in the midst of your plea before His throne for justice, remember: Godís prime goal is redemption. He would rather redeem your father than give him what he deserves. I personally am glad God doesnít give us what we deserve! I do not deserve anything from Him but His disdain. That being said, place the matter before God and ask Him to redeem your father and bring justice in His own way on His terms, then thank Him for doing this and keep thanking Him. This is the hardest part of all--giving the matter to God and not messing with it anymore except to thank Him for resolving it.
Forgive your father. Heís controlled by sin; heís blinded; heís a slave to the devil. Without Jesus, we all fit that description. Forgiving him doesnít mean you have to go see him when you feel the situation is unsafe. Limit contact to public places or large groups. Donít let your wife go to the bathroom by herself if heís nearby. If youíre living with him--move out.
During my second marriage, when my life was in a pit of poverty and abuse, I came to my senses and returned to God after leaving Him for a number of years (my first husband was killed asleep at the wheel). I discovered what godly marriage was supposed to be like in a book called ďStrike the Original Match.Ē I wanted what that book described. I thought if God fixed my husband weíd be happy. But, God didnít do that. What He wanted to do first was to change me. I had to submit to His plan. I had to learn to live by faith. I had to learn about Davidís principle of dealing with enemies (this doesn't apply to dealing with ISIS)--weíre talking personal enemies not national enemies, 1 Samuel 24. Do good to your enemies and thereby heap burning coals on their heads, Proverbs 25:21; Romans 12:19 & 20.
Doing good to your personal enemies is tough! In the first book of Samuel, Saul was trying to kill David. He had men hunting for David all over the country. Saul was so distracted with trying to kill David he could hardly defend the nationís borders. Meanwhile, David and his men were fighting to protect the nation and hiding out. Remember the story about when David and his men were hiding in a cave? Saul walked in to take a leak. David could have killed him, but instead he cut off a corner of Saulís clothes. Davidís men could hardly stand it--they kept whispering, ďHeís right there--kill him!Ē David wouldnít do it. Saul left the cave and when he was on the other side of the ravine, David emerged, shouted at Saul to get his attention and lifted up the fragment of cloth. Saul was ashamed of himself. He felt really bad for a little while, but he got over it. Soon Saul started chasing David again. David left revenge and justice up to God. Godís better at it than we are. Gregory, let God deal with this mess with your father.
God showed me that screaming at my husband when he dragged in at 4 a.m. wasnít helping. My idea that the children and I had rights and deserved better, though true, wasnít beneficial. What I was doing was giving my husband an excuse to act the way he was acting. Who wants to come home to a screaming witch? I had to give up my love for my rights, keep quiet when he came in and get up in the morning and act like he was a good husband and father and fix breakfast for everyone. At first this was exceedingly difficult. Feelings of resentment and anger tried to overwhelm me, but I decided that I would put on an act even if I didnít feel like it. The thing about putting on an act is itís really training for how to behave and if you act a particular way, eventually your feelings will match up.
You donít have to associate with your father, but you do have to forgive him. You need to see him the way God sees him: heís a man who needs Godís mercy and redemption; he needs Jesus to change his heart and transform him into the man God created him to be. Strangely, God loves your father. Pray for him. Cast him on God. Let God deal with him. Itís hard! We want to fix things ourselves--handle things ourselves. Living by faith is hard in the beginning, but easy in the end. Anger is easy, resentment is easy, but things like that which are easy in the beginning are hard in the end.
Step up your game, do what Abraham did. God told Abraham that he was going to be the father of so many children he could never possibly count them all. Nothing happened. Years and years passed, nothing happened. But during the course of those years hereís what Abraham did: He praised God and thanked Him for his kids. When nothing happened He praised God and thanked Him even more! Still nothing happened so Abraham praised God and thanked Him even more! When youíre praising God and thanking Him for redeeming your father, for healing your heart, for freeing you from anger, for healing your wife, for restoring the sense that your wife is actually, truly loyal to you, your eyes are fixed on God, the Solution, and not on your problems. The more you keep your eyes on God, praising Him and thanking Him, the less depression and all the other negative emotions have any effect on you and the more you see the good things Heís already doing right now for you. The more you praise and thank Him, the more joy you have and the more your faith can grow.
Abraham was doing big things while he waited for his son. He had several businesses going, mostly farming and ranching. He was raising sheep, camels and donkeys and employed a large staff. He was able to raise and train a small army of 318 men. Youíre a soldier, you know what it takes to train, supply and outfit that many guys. He lived by faith, letting Lot have the best farmland when there were too many animals in their flocks to share what theyíd shared before. He confidently pursued the kings who took Lot and his family captive along with the rulers of Sodom and Gomorrah and defeated the invaders. But he had his down moments. Apparently his wife, Sarah, was so hot, even as an old woman, that he felt he needed to lie about who she was when they went visiting to save his own skin. And he got impatient and fooled around the Hagar, Sarahís maid, in order to get a son. But those things didnít change Godís blessing for Abraham. Why?
What matters to God is very simple: Do you believe Me? Do you trust Me? Abraham believed God; he trusted Him. Read Romans 4. Just by believing God and trusting Him, God decided Abraham was righteous, even though he lied and even though he jumped the gun on how to get the kid. Abraham never stopped believing God would give him kids, he just started wondering how it was going to happen.
In my case, after I finally understood a little more about God, I started learning how to keep on believing Him. I learned how to trust Him and not manage all those problems in my life myself. I thanked Him all the time for the miracle of transformation Heíd done in me and I asked Him to transform my second husband too. When I stopped having a fit every time he missed work or came in late, my second husband didnít know what to do. He became confused and disoriented. When he was hateful to me, he would say ugly things, then look puzzled, like he no longer knew why he was acting like that. Before he never seemed to feel as if he ever did anything wrong, when I changed how I was acting and started letting God deal with him instead of me trying to get him to behave, he began feeling guilty for not working and staying out late and that guilt started eating him up. Gradually he became convinced he needed help to quit drugs.
Then one day the choir director at the church we occasionally attended showed up at our house. I have no idea how he found our house or even how he knew who we were from all the random visitors that attended that church. He looked supremely uncomfortable and totally scared, He said God made him come. He said God told him that my husband needed to go to a deliverance ministry on the other side of town and he was supposed to take him.
It hurts that your wife doesnít want to pursue legal action as youíve advised her to do. It hurts that your father is acting so awful. Maybe you feel kind of helpless. But, maybe youíre not the one who needs to be handling this--maybe God is. Give the mess to God and leave it in His hands. Thank Him for justice for your wife and redemption for your father. You catch yourself mad or frustrated or resentful, start thanking God and praising Him all over again. Read some Psalms out loud--the ones that talk about how God is a strong place in times of trouble and a God who brings justice. Youíre in spiritual warfare and, if you learn how to pray, trust God and give Him the power of your thanks and praise, you can win! Prayer, praise and thanksgiving are mighty weapons alongside love and forgiveness. Learn to wield them. Trust God. Heíll deal with this, find a solution and do a better job fixing it than anybody.