Victims of childhood sexual abuse deserve the Church’s loving attention, don’t they? In this encouraging and practical post, guest blogger Joshua Waulk of Bayside Counseling in Florida tackles an important topic. It first appeared here at his website and is used with permission.
“Therefore the Lord is waiting to show you mercy, and is rising up to show you compassion, for the Lord is a just God. All who wait patiently for Him are happy” (emphasis mine; HCSB).
Necessary Component in Counseling the Sexually Abused
- Emotional: Guilt, shame, powerlessness, body image issues, fear of intimacy or commitment, and trust issues.
- Physical: Self-harm, suicidal ideation, addictions, and sexual dysfunctions.
- Spiritual: Distorted images of the nature of God (i.e. God as punisher, taskmaster, impotent, irrelevant, or indifferent).
Why are we, the church, choosing to do nothing?
Counseling is a Mission of the Church and Patience is a Guide
- The church must consider either the establishment of an intentional counseling ministry (see ACBC), or it must vet for biblical faithfulness counselors already in the community with whom it can partner. There are many critical issues to be resolved in either case, but one thing remains clear: unresponsiveness is not a biblical option.
- The sexual abuse survivor, especially those who have suffered in silence for many years, must prayerfully entrust this matter to God, and ask Him to provide a Christian counseling resource that can be trusted with this delicate truth. Silence and isolation do not promote healing, but leave the victim enslaved to the past.