Tuesday, 29 November 2016
Breaking Through The Veil Of Shame
Silent, uncontrollable sobbing ... Bruises and beatings ... Shoving and slapping ... Children so traumatized they're afraid of their own shadows. And the endless string of lies ... "He fell down." "It was an accident." But child abuse is no accident. It violates God's fundamental purpose for man. And parents and children around the world find themselves ensnared in its cruel clutches.
From Taboo to Truth
When people hear the term "child abuse" they may think it only occurs in under-educated, poverty-stricken families. However, this epidemic occurs in all types of families.
In Nigeria alone, reported cases of child abuse exceed 1 million each year, and some experts say the actual number of abuse victims may be far greater.
Types of child abuse include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect. Affected children often suffer physical injuries, emotional scars, malnutrition, and sadly, even death. Child abuse also spiritually cripples precious young lives. These children may struggle to accept God as their loving heavenly Father (Matt. 18:5-6). Other family members often suffer silently. Even the offender suffers, increasingly bound by the shame and secrecy of the addictive behavior.
But as many have already discovered, there is hope. The vicious cycle of abuse can be broken, especially as we present our wounds to the Gentle Healer, Jesus Christ.
What Drives the Sin of Abuse?
So what causes child abuse? Often, parents who abuse their children have been victims of abuse themselves. Driven by years of repressed hatred, these parents continue the cycle.
Sometimes even the most dedicated parents can momentarily lose control -- frustrated by a child's actions or simply overwhelmed by their own sense of failure or frustration. But an isolated incident or two, left unchecked, can become a destructive force, tearing apart a family.
God's View of Abuse
The Bible gives much practical advise on the subject of child-rearing. "Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it," says the writer of Proverbs ( 22:6). Parents are clearly cautioned to take steps to correct foolishness which "is bound up in the heart of a child" ( Prov. 22:15).
Parental discipline is essential, but some parents view these Scriptures as giving absolute control over their children. This is not true. God's Word should never be used as a license for abuse. Parents need to discipline their children, but they must keep their own emotions and actions in check ( Eph. 6:4, Col. 3:21). In God's eyes there simply is no justification for abuse.
If you are trapped in the unrelenting cycle and sin of child abuse, don't leave this webpage until you have made a commitment before the Lord to break this destructive pattern. It won't be easy, but it could be a matter of life and death. Understand that you are not alone. Jesus knows you better that you could ever know yourself (see Psalm 139), and He is willing and able to help ( Heb. 4:15-16). But you need to ask for His grace to share honestly your struggle with a trusted brother or sister in Christ, or with your pastor. Follow these steps to get help.
1. Acknowledge the problem. To receive healing, admit that you have a problem. Once you've broken the silence and confessed your sin of abuse, God's grace and forgiveness can begin to restore you ( Psalm 32:3-7). 2. Acknowledge your weakness. Allow God to minister in your weakness, for in it He can make you strong ( 2 Cor. 12:9, Heb. 1:32-34). 3. Take action. Pray with other believers and share your struggles, seeking the help of pastors, or other appropriate counselors ( Prov. 15:22,James 5:16).
If You've Been Abused
If you have been the victim of abuse, you need to know that God has not abandoned you. He is "intimately acquainted" with all your ways ( Psalm 139:3). He knows your pain, and He has a plan for complete healing and restoration for your life. Consider these simple steps as you seek the Father's healing.
1. Face the abuse. The shame associated with abuse is unbearable. You can hide the pain for a season, but eventually, the wounds will surface. But take comfort, for God knows the horror that you have unjustly endured (see Psalm 139, Matt. 10:29-31). Ask God for the strength to face your nightmare of abuse.
2. Forgive and release. As difficult as it may sound, you need to begin by forgiving the perpetrator for his or her actions against you. It may seem impossible, but the consequences of unforgiveness can produce even further destruction (2 Samuel 13:23-29). Instead, ask God to give you the grace you need to forgive (1 Samuel 1:15-17, Psalm 42:3-4, Psalm 62:8).
3. Seek shelter. If you are still in an abusive situation, immediately seek shelter. Consider turning to family members, your church family, or perhaps authorities if necessary. Ultimately, rest in God's shelter. Turn to His Word (the Psalms offer much encouragement for the downcast).
4. Move on. Once you have taken steps to forgive, ask God to help you pick up the pieces, and seek again the abundant life in Jesus that He has for you ( John 10:10). Press on and leave the past to God ( Phil. 3:13-14).
As You Pray
If your life has been devastated by child abuse, turn to Jesus right now, and, on bended knee, ask Him to take control of your life: "Dear Lord. I have never been confronted with a deeper, more urgent need than right now. Please minister to me and my family members in Your perfect love and compassion. Break the chains which bind us. And restore us to the joy of Your salvation as we receive forgiveness and healing in Christ Jesus. Amen."
God's Word on Child Abuse
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth. And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord." ( Eph. 6:1-4)
Tuesday, 22 November 2016
WHAT IS DISCIPLINE?
Discipline is the suppression of base desires, and is usually understood to be synonymous with restraint and control. Self-discipline is to some extent a substitute for motivation. Discipline is when one uses reason to determine the best course of action regardless of one's desires, which may be the opposite of excited. Virtuous behaviour can be described as when one's values are aligned with one's aims: to do what one knows is best and to do it gladly
Discipline is used by parents to teach their children about expectations, guidelines and principles. Children need to be given regular discipline to be taught right from wrong and to be maintained safe. Child discipline can involve rewards and punishments to teach self-control, increase desirable behaviours and decrease undesirable behaviours. While the purpose of child discipline is to develop and entrench desirable social habits in children, the ultimate goal is to foster sound judgement and morals so the child develops and maintains self-discipline throughout the rest of his/her life.
Because the values, beliefs, education, customs and cultures of people vary so widely, along with the age and temperament of the child, methods of child discipline vary widely. Child discipline is a topic that draws from a wide range of interested fields, such as parenting, the professional practice of behaviour analysis, developmental psychology, social work, and various religious perspectives. In recent years, advances in the understanding of attachment parenting have provided a new background of theoretical understanding and advanced clinical and practical understanding of the effectiveness and outcome of parenting methods.
The Book of Proverbs mentions the importance of disciplining children, as opposed to leaving them neglected or unruly, in several verses. Interpretation of these verses varies, as do many passages from the Bible, from literal to metaphorical. The most often paraphrased is from Proverbs 13:24, "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes." (King James Version.) Other passages that mention the 'rod' are Proverbs 23:14, "Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell," and Proverbs 29:15, "The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. Although the Bible's lessons have been paraphrased for hundreds of years, the modern phrase, "Spare the rod and spoil the child," was coined by Samuel Butler, in Hudibras, a mock heroic narrative poem published in 1663. The Contemporary English Version of Proverbs 13:24 is: 'If you love your children you will correct them; if you don't love them, you won't correct them'.
Thursday, 10 November 2016
In psychology-related slang, the term control describes a person who attempts to dictate how everything is done around them.
Control persons are often perfectionists defending themselves against their own inner vulnerabilities in the belief that if they are not in total control they risk exposing themselves once more to childhood angst. Such persons manipulate and pressure others to change so as to avoid having to change themselves, and use power over others to escape an inner emptiness. When a control freak's pattern is broken, “the
Controller is left with a terrible feeling of powerlessness ... but feeling their pain and fear brings them back to themselves.
Every child is different, but for me it had profound effects throughout my life, and still does. It took me years to process what happened to me. When someone doesn't show, you love, you don't learn to love. That doesn't even include the physical abuse, mental abuse, or sexual abuse. Permanently walking away from my abuser helped me the most, but I think any child will have long term effects.
During the medieval times in Europe, corporal punishment was a very common and usual practice. Children were called miniature adults and punishment was believed to be the only way to tame them. Sadly, corporal punishment is still practiced.
"when I was at 6 years of age, my mum will slap me because I left her hand in the middle of the road and started running across the street"
The above situation is acceptable. This is a form of conditioning. Whenever a child does something which is not at all acceptable (like the one given in the example), spanking the kid once is alright. If you get lenient there, the kid would do it again.
"my mum hit my 8-year-old with a wooden rod because I didn't finish my dinner"
This is absolutely unacceptable, and if done repeatedly, it would fit the definition of physical abuse. Everything that physically hurts the child such as hitting with something, burning, pushing, pinching, etc. comes under physical abuse. This form of ill-treatment to children is very common at homes and schools as well.
Now coming to the point, how does it affect a child?
When a child is physically abused, it creates a lasting impact on the little one's brain.
You might have heard of children who have issues with their academics. They don't seem to be able to perform well. They just wouldn't care. They don't do it on purpose though. There are other types of kids who have behavioral issues. They seem extremely cranky and demanding or extremely shy and reserved. Some kids on the other hand prefer to stay aloof and don’t make many friends. Such kids have trust issues.
Why are there such upheavals amongst these kids? Physical abuse is the answer. Such is the intensity of the damage physical abuse can cause to a child.
But it doesn't end here.
When these children grow up, they continue having psychological issues. Following are some mental disorders associated with child physical abuse:
-Depression: a state of mind producing serious, long term lowering of enjoyment of life or inability to visualize a happy future.
-Bipolar Disorder: a psychiatric diagnostic category, previously called manic depression characterized by mood swings between great energy and depression
-Borderline personality disorder: someone who is not clearly on one side or the other of a decision, an indecisive person or ambiguous.
-Narcissistic personality disorder: a personality disorder characterized largely by an over-inflated sense of self-importance typically caused by unbalanced parental valuation during childhood
-Eating Disorders: a psychological disorder characterized by abnormal eating habits
-Social phobia: inability to socialize.
-Dysmorphia : a psychological disorder whose sufferer believes that their body is wrong or not in good shape.
And so, on ……...
All of this chaos can be prevented if parents and educators stop beating up children for unreasonable reasons and use simple operant conditioning methods. If a behavior is followed by a reward, the frequency of the behavior increases. However, if the same behavior is followed by a punishment, the behavior is less likely to occur.
Punishment here does not mean beating, spanking or hitting a child. If you want to punish a child, take away his favorite toy for a week, or don't serve him his favorite fruit loops the next morning.
There is a huge difference between conditioning a child and physical abuse.