My dear Sisters, I know you feel responsible for the actions of your abuser, but I assure you that you are not. You may
have been counseled to cook better, or don’t say or do things that will set off a violent episode in your home. Your
preacher may have told you that all you need to do is “pray more.” I am sure you have heard unsound advice that
only served to confuse and frustrate you further.
It is my hope and prayer, that you will let the wisdom of the bible penetrate your heart, soul and mind. God has much to
say about violence, and the character of those who carry out domestic violence. Our heavenly Father would never place the
responsibility of changing hearts upon your shoulder. It would be an unfair and impossible task for you to carry out. You
have not the POWER!
In Matthew 12:33-35, Jesus teaches that words reveal character. He says in verse 33: "Either make the tree good, and its
fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by its fruit." The heart is the foundation
of all that we say and do. Our words are the streams that flow from the fountains of our hearts; "for out of the heart the
mouth speaketh." If a man’s heart is evil, likewise the words that flow from his heart will be evil. Bad things are
expected from bad people. Note in verse 35, the contrast concerning a "good man" and an "evil man" –
"A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure
bringeth forth evil things."
Jesus asks this question in verse 34: "O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things?" It isn’t
possible. Oh sure, many pretend to be good on the outside thereby deceiving others, but they deceive themselves as well, (2
Timothy 3:13). You will know a good man by his fruits, his words, actions and his deeds towards others. Stored in his heart
will be nothing but good; the Word of God, graces, comfort, love, kindness, good resolutions, knowledge, and good affections.
An evil heart will bring forth the opposite.
A person can only pretend for so long. What is stored in an evil heart will eventually manifest itself. Unfortunately,
much of the evidence will be negative and destructive, not only to others, but to himself as well. In your lifetime, you will
meet many who exhibit goodness on the outside, but on the inside they are like "dead man’s bones", (Matthew 23:27).
Eventually their vain, idle, and disrespectful words will come forth like spears and arrows that will pierce your heart with
pain and sorrow.
Those who are living with domestic violence usually experience verbal abuse first. Before the hitting starts, verbal assaults
are hurled at the intended scapegoat. Notice I didn’t say "victim." The ugly words
are stored in the heart of the abusers, and you have nothing to do with what is said to you. Verbal and physical abuse are
stored in the heart.
In Mark chapter 7, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and the teachers of the law concerning their tradition of washing their
hands before meals. These religious leaders were refusing to eat with the disciples of Jesus because they ate their food with
unwashed hands. To the Pharisees and the scribes, this was an uncivilized and unholy act on the part of the disciples. Not
only did the religious leaders make hand washing before meals a religious duty, they enforced their tradition upon others
as well. Granted, hand washing is a sanitary thing to do before eating your food, however, this text of scripture addresses
The Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, "Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but
eat their bread with impure hands?" (Mark 7:5)
"And He said to them, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS,
BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.
BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME,
TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN."
The Pharisees and scribes were honoring God with their lips, but they erroneously taught the law to the people. Jesus explains
the parable about what defiles a man:
"After He called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, 'Listen to Me, all of you, and understand:'
There is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed
out of the man are what defile the man," (verse 15). Jesus made it plain that what goes into the mouth will come out (be
eliminated) through the stomach. And nothing that we eat will go into the heart of man (verse 19).
King David asked of God in Psalm 19:14 to: "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your
sight." What comes out of your mouth is the meditation of your heart, your inner thoughts. Your actions are
also the result of what you meditate upon in your heart. Jesus explained the parable of the heart of man
to Peter in Matthew 15:18:
"But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile a man".
Verse 19: "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders."
Verse 20: "These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile
"And He was saying, 'That which proceeds out of the man that is what defiles the man. For from within, out of
the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness,
as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and
defile the man" (verses 20-23). To this list we can add violence, physical and verbal abuse, mistreatment of others.
The person who commits murder is acting out what is in his heart. Adultery is in the heart. Deceit is in the heart. Pride
is in the heart. Evil is in the heart. Domestic violence and abuse are in the hearts of those who are defiled from within.
The man who beats you regularly may use the excuse of a burned dinner, a bad day at work, dysfunctional
childhood issues and many other misplaced justifications for his ill treatment of you. Truth is, he is acting out
deep rooted seeds of anger and hatred planted within the dark recesses of his heart, mind and soul. You were not there when
those seeds were planted. But you are sadly reaping the harvest.
I know it is difficult to think of your man as being "defiled from within." But at some point, it is vital that you see
messed up people that way God sees them. If not, you will always blame yourself for the violence and abuse. It is within our
hearts that we store the good and the bad. Everyone on this planet possesses some level of dysfunction. However, those who
are violent, choose to be violent. You cannot know the heart of another.