When Home Hurts: A Guide for Responding Wisely to Domestic Abuse in Your Church by Jeremy Pierre and Greg Wilson: A BOOK REVIEW

‘…something that was roughly the same size as the spleen it had ruptured. A fist. Or maybe a knee. It’s hard to tell exactly. The details of that beating, and the many that came before and after, blend together for my sister in a haze of secrecy. And she would have remained in that gloom except for a realization that came to her suddenly one afternoon. Like sunlight cutting unexpectedly through thick clouds, my sister realized that the abuse she’d gradually adjusted to as normal would be the only normal her daughter would know.’

Domestic abuse is complex and often those within the church are ill-equipped to meet the demands.   

‘The process of caring for victims of domestic abuse often stalls before it even gets on the road. The point at which it often stalls is the initial disclosure, when a victim (or her friend) describes the cruelty of a man who is really a nice guy at church. To the church leader hearing the accusation, it may initially feel uncharitable to even consider the claim. It feels unloving to entertain the thought.  But this is an occasion where charitable instincts are wrong.’

When Home Hurts is a Biblically saturated and hands on approach to domestic abuse that is a needed resource for the Church. 

This volume provides a comprehensive and compassionate guide to navigating victims of abuse.  What sets it apart, is its confrontation and resolve with the only true Hope, the grace of God in Christ, to effect repentance and genuine change in the perpetrators. 

‘…abusers can often deftly shape-shift into a variety of forms.’

The authors delve into defining terms, such as what is abuse, and what it is not.  Few, nowadays, are willing to offer succinct hedges.  Yet, these hedges, help care teams dispense a pointed and determined course of action. 

‘Abuse occurs as a person in a position of greater influence uses his personal capacities to diminish the personal capacities of those under his influence in order to control them. Because God made people as embodied souls, these personal capacities are both physical and spiritual.’

The clarifying Biblical insights, practical applications and concise action plans ease the anxiety and stress that comes with these heart-rending situations.   

The diagrams, shepherding conversational plans, and assessment tools provide a way through matters that are often confusing and volatile.  These would be beneficial as standalone resources – perhaps the publisher will consider making them accessible for distribution.  

‘Either from a lack of knowledge or due to the sheer weight of having to acknowledge that things have gotten this bad, victims of abuse can minimize the dynamics that exist in the marriage. You must be gentle with a victim who finds it difficult to acknowledge the weight of what’s happening to her. Your job is to have clear eyes about what she is telling you about how her home hurts, and to give her time and space to process it for herself.’

Well-wrought experience and wisdom have gone into the pages of this accessible handbook.

With the Gospel at the helm and a dedication in seeing restoration brought from the destruction of those members of Christ’s church devastated by abuse, When Home Hurts, supplies us with the knowledge we need to guide the hurt towards safety and healing.

‘Remember, you are an agent of a love much bigger than you. God’s love goes beyond sentiment, actually accomplishing good in someone else’s life. By working through this book, you have shown dedication to the interests of someone who needs an advocate. You are displaying God’s disposition toward hurting people. This should encourage you greatly. The love required to bring healing in this situation does not come from you. You are just an agent of God’s love. So, love the one who is hurting and has been for a long time. God will give you strength.’

Disclosure: This book was provided by Christian Focus Publications in exchange for my review.

Purchase When Home Hurts: A Guide for Responding Wisely to Domestic Abuse in Your Church

You can visit When Home Hurts

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