Responding to Domestic Violence
1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. (Psalm 46:1-3)
Dear friends, this week you would have seen the news regarding Domestic Violence and Christian churches (click here for a good summary by ABC News). This has been a wake-up call. Although marriages and families should reflect the character of Christ and be places of safety and Christ-like love (check out Eph 5:1-2), too often they are not. And although churches should reflect the character of God and be a place of refuge, some of us are failing badly in this area.
On the one hand, we should not be surprised when we fail. Churches are full of sinners after all, just like you and me. However, in light of these findings on domestic violence, we together have a responsibility to ensure our church is a place of refuge: a place where perpetrators are called to account, and victims are heard and cared for. As a good first step, can I urge you to read this article from the Gospel Coalition called ‘Domestic Violence: A Starting Point for Answers’. If someone confides in you, you should seek to refer them to professional help. Here are some numbers to call: 1800 737 732 is the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence Counselling Service; 6280 0900 is the local Canberra DV Crisis Service. And of course call 000 if they are in immediate danger.
If you would personally like to talk to someone about domestic violence, Dan and myself are very open. We will listen to you and seek to help you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us via our website.
To hear our Senior Pastor Dan’s firm comments on this issue, listen to this sermon.
Associate Pastor – Stromlo Christian Church