Guest Author: Merin Minch
I struggled a lot with forgiveness – not just toward my abuser, but towards all men. I felt very strongly that all men viewed women as pieces of meat.
This view was reinforced by hearing about men who would exploit women for their gain, my personal experience of being abused, and how I thought that men seemingly had the innate inability to control themselves, often presenting in the form of porn addiction or lack of respect for women.
This resulted in me constantly being cautious and distrusting of men. The uneasiness that I felt for years for simply being a woman was magnified by a man’s stare. However, I know now that this is not an accurate representation of ALL men.
Ben was the first man I ever met that broke my presumed idea of what men were like. He had overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles in purity for most men by the age of 18. I first knew this because I overheard him telling a group of guys in college when they thought I wasn’t there.
He was the first guy I met who desired to use his strength to protect and serve women rather than for his own personal gain.
So I learned that it was not a hopeless cause and that men and women can fight sinful desires with the power of the Holy Spirit.
As John Owen once said, “Do you mortify? Do you make it your daily work? Be always at it whilst you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you.”
Sure failure happens, but failure is NOT a permanent condition because we have Jesus who is abundant in His grace!
Now regarding my abuser, I couldn’t help but think, “Where is the justice in all of this?” The situation was handled the way it was because women, from generation-to-generation, have been taught that it is our fault if we become victims to men, that we will forever be looked down upon as “that girl,” that people will talk and we will be seen as “used” and “dirty.” This has created a lot of anger amongst women today, and RIGHTFULLY so. But there is a far greater truth that we so often forget about, and that is
f o r g i v e n e s s .
I have a God who weeps over the brokenness and evil that sin causes. We live in a fallen world, a world where the justice system is so flawed and justice is rarely given to the victim. But I choose to look to the Righteous Judge who has already won the victory over sin and death and is coming back to restore beauty and joy and renew all things.
This is the hope that I have in Christ.
The truth is, Jesus loves my abuser too. He loves every single person on this planet regardless of their actions – that’s what is so amazing about His love: it is undeserved!
Jesus died on the cross and rose again for my abuser, just as He did for me. And now, I have the power to forgive my abuser and have true peace because Christ forgave me of my own sins.
I do not understand the grace God has given me if I do not extend that same grace to others who have hurt me. That being said,
I am no longer defined by my past because
I am a child of God. I am free.
Although I encountered this situation in my life, it was during this time when I felt the Lord’s presence the strongest.
He rejoices over me, He has restored my joy, He has blessed me abundantly, He has pulled me from the pit, and now He has blessed me with a spouse who loves the Lord with all his heart, soul, and mind.
And on my wedding day, when I wore that white dress and walked towards my bridegroom,
I was clean.
I was no longer a victim, but a victor. May all glory, honor, and praise be unto Christ Jesus through His redemptive work!