Missionary Mom is talking about some VERY interesting stuff.
This post started out as a comment in response to what she had to say about abusive relationships and I realized that it was getting too long, so I post it here:
It has been said in the comments that we really can't say until we've been there- that is so true -Like I always did my best parenting before I had kids.
So this is just my opinion: Grab your cup of coffee, it's going to be a long one.
I would think that each situation is as different as the person. And it really is a matter of crossing that bridge when you get to it. If there are children involved you must PROTECT THE CHILDREN!
Even verbal abuse, or abuse that is only directed at the mother is still damaging to children THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. In case #2 of "I am at a loss" the oldest girl is making a lot of wrong choices, but I wouldn't call upon an abusive father to protect her - as Dr. Laura Schlessinger would say (from "10 stupid thing parents do to mess up their kids")- he tore up his parenting card. We need to keep our children away from harmful things! I agree with Missionary Mom, God does not want women to stay in abusive situations, women, children or anybody.
The Enemy is the one to blame and he is seeking to rob, kill and destroy so it is not surprising to me that women from case #1 left her husband that the enemy tried another way to destroy, rob, kill her. Playing on her weakness/need to be loved and supported, using the "your too busy" and selfishness to rob kill and destroy her kids. I am not surprised at all.
Yet we know God can do miracles, God can give someone a special calling to stay and use that to affect someone else. As may be the case of "Another horror story". So it is really about what has been said "their relationship with God".
My own mother was abused physically, probably verbally too. My father at times abused us children and almost to our deaths. But he passed away (was taken away?) when we were 3 years old, 2 and 9 months. He was in perfect health and 26 years old. Just died. I do not believe my brothers or myself would be in the wonderful position God has us in if our extended family and church family didn't step in to help us!
Somebody needs to serve as the loving arms of God and wrap them up. Extend, extend, extend. It doesn't happen often because it is A LOT OF WORK! Healthy people tend to chose healthy spouses. Damaging/damaged people tend to marry damaged people and make more damaged people - so it will not be cut and dry. In fact more often than not it is VERY MESSY. You're going to see families make terrible choices after you "help" them and you will want to throw in the towel. I am speaking from the experience of my own mother and family. But if it wasn't for the persistent reaching out to, and continual prayer for -at least us children - IN SPITE of our parents, I, nor my brothers (who also are both missionaries) could not, would not be where we are now.
So my opinion. Ideally mommies and daddies would reflect God in their love for each other and children. Children DO need both a mother and a father, but don't suffer abuse unless that is God's specific leading, protect the children and then DON"T LET THESE MOTHERS AND CHILDREN JUST SINK! EXTEND HELP!
As I write this my heart is filled with gratitude for my extended family and friends that did intervened in our lives. I can't thank you enough! Even though you all don't READ my blog . . . :-)