An Old Friend Told Me I Was Worthy of Love, Not Disrespect
Sometimes the motivation comes from an old friend who says something like, “You were one of my favorite people in high school. You were fun and full of energy. I still see that fantastic person deep inside you. I don’t see you as over-the-hill. To me, you’re still wonderful. You don’t deserve this.”
This affirmation says you are valuable, just as Jesus says.
Somehow, one heartfelt comment can change everything! This simple statement unlocks the door. It can be powerful. It can break the chains and help a person see their worth to others and to God.
This woman had been physically and emotionally and financially abused by her husband starting when she was pregnant with their first child. It took her more than twenty years to get out.
It was about this time that God brought an old dear church friend and fellow singer back into my life for our 35th church reunion—our choir reunion. Someone who knew me back in the day. The innocent me… The me I wanted to be again, [though I] was only the shell of that person.
This friend saw the [older me who felt unattractive], and we talked on the phone afterward. I spilled everything. And I was told I was beautiful on the inside and outside, just like I was 35 years ago, and to just believe in myself. That God doesn’t want me to suffer like this.
Well, I hung up and thought if this person can see the real me through all this yuck, then that’s how God sees me, too.
One or two conversations was all it took for her to realize God saw her as valuable, too! That helped her on her long, slow path to get away from a violently abusive husband.
An ex-wife of a Southern Baptist pastor shared. Her husband had three long-term affairs, plus numerous other sexual liaisons. She said—
I think you have to get to the point where you realize your own worth. And your worth is in Christ. Your spouse has likely spent years ripping you apart, and tearing you down, and making you doubt yourself.
You have to get to the point where you start to realize that you’re a cherished child of the King, and he does not want you to live like that. You are not honoring him by allowing someone to tear you down over and over and over again.
And you know, you’re not honoring him by putting your children through that. You’re not honoring him by being this long-suffering martyr of a spouse… That is not what he wants for us… I don’t believe [in] divorce for irreconcilable differences, just because you can’t get along, [but] that is not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about a totally different situation, where you’ve got somebody in the marriage who is seriously disturbed, who is seriously abusing—either physically, spiritually and/or emotionally—one person in the marriage.
For more on this and the Ten Turning Points, read Chapter 5, pages 173-197.
Examples of 150 examples of types of abuse (physical, emotional, sexual, financial, and neglect) and explaining the term "gaslighting," along with many first-person stories, read Chapter 4 in the Life-Saving Divorce.
For a diagram of the Duluth Wheel of Power and Control and The Abuse Cycle, read Chapter 4.