TAC Blog

Demandingness

by: Gregory Kirk

What an interesting word.  In fact, I am pretty sure I just made it up. However, my definition of demandingness is an “expectation that our demands will be met either by others or God.”

  • We demand that people treat us in the way we believe they should.
  • We demand that people support us in times of trouble.
  • We demand that no one comes close to hurting us in the way that we might have been hurt in childhood.
  • Wedged tightly in the recesses of our heart is this ugly splinter that, if not removed, will produce a poison that will infect every part of our lives.

The life of an addict is one of demand.  I want what I want, and I want it my way, in my time.  We see this demandingness in the life of Jacob.

Then Jacob made a vow: “If God will be with me and watch over me during this journey I’m making, if he provides me with food to eat and clothing to wear,
and if I return safely to my father’s family, then the LORD will be my God.  Genesis 28:19-21 (CSB)

Here Jacob says:

  • If God be with me.
  • If God watches over me.
  • If God helps me with this journey.
  • If God provides food and clothing.
  • If God allows me to return safely.

If God does all these things, then He will be my God.

Jacob is probably one of the clearest biblical illustrations of a demanding spirit.

  • He insisted on having his father’s blessing for himself and took advantage of his brother’s hunger, buying his birthright for a plate of stew.
  • Jacob went through a kind of half conversion, making God his God and giving Him a tenth, but deep in his heart there was still residing this spirit of demandingness.
  • It shows itself again at Paddan-aram where, after marrying Rachel, he worked out a scheme to make himself rich at his father-in-law’s expense (Genesis 30:41-43).

He was still Jacob—the man who demanded to have his own way.

He had talked about himself in terms of honesty—”my honesty will testify for me” (Genesis 30:33)—but it was nothing more than above-the-waterline honesty. His mind was changed, but not his heart.

Only when addicts overcome the self-centerless that addictions bring will they see healing and hope for a new life.

*adapted from Butlers Daily Bible Readings: Holman Pub 2014

Gregory Kirk resides in Ellsinore, MO.  He currently serves as Pastor/Executive Direction of the United Gospel Rescue Mission and Grand Avenue Baptist Church in Poplar Bluff, MO.  The UGRM offers a Transformed Life one-year residential program for men who are seeking change.  The Mission also serves a public meal daily at noon.  Gregory has been married to his beautiful wife, Pamela for forty years.  He is the father of three and grandfather of twelve.  He holds a BA Th from Fairhaven Baptist College, MA Pastoral Clinical Counseling from Jacksonville Theological Seminary and MA Christian Resources From Union University, Jackson, TN.  He is currently a D.Ed.Min candidate at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.  Greg has been in ministry for thirty years serving as Youth Pastor, Asst. Pastor and Senior Pastor of churches in Pennsylvania, California and Missouri.  Greg is a Registered Alcohol and Drug Counselor (RADC) and Medically Assisted Treatment Specialist (MATS) for the State of MO.­­

Compounding the Trauma of Rape

by: Anne Dryburgh, PhD

Suffering is always involved when people come for counseling. Over the years, I have met with women suffering from depression, childhood abuse, marital abuse, and addictions. Perhaps one of the toughest is when a woman tells me that she has been raped. Everything about it is horrifying. Many people who have been traumatized in this way turn to alcohol or drugs to lessen their wrenching pain.

Sometimes the people around the rape victim inadvertently cause her to suffer even more. None of us would want to be guilty of doing this. That is why I thought it would be helpful to briefly discuss two areas where the victim’s suffering is compounded. These are in relation to some of the myths surrounding rape and the experience of being raped twice.

Sadly, myths abound about what rape is and is not.It is not true that rape is only when a stranger accosts a helpless victim on a dark street. Most rapes are committed by someone the victim knows. Another myth is that the victim deserved to be raped. People say such things when the victim got into a car on her own with the perpetrator, was in a house on her own with him, was on her own in an isolated location, or was provocatively dressed. No matter how wise or unwise her behavior, no one ever deserves, or asks, to be raped. A third myth is that a weapon must have been used to threaten the victim. However, force can be used by a weapon, hands, threats, drugs, and/or the physical body. A fourth myth is that a person who has been known to be sexually promiscuous, or provocative in her behavior, was not raped. A woman’s sexual history has no bearing on whether or not the attack was rape.[1]

Twice Raped

The horror of rape is bad enough, yet many victims feel as if they have been raped twice. This can happen when others blame the victim for the rape.[2] It can happen when someone asks her what she did to provoke the attack, when she is not believed by the person she confides in, if she is asked why the attack still bothers her if it happened a long time ago, if her case is not prosecuted in court because of lack of evidence, or the perpetrator is found not guilty at trial.[3]

Many victims who have prosecuted perpetrators have felt as if they were raped for a second time during the trial. The lawyer for the perpetrator may leave the victim feeling humiliated, disregarded, and invaded.[4] However, this sense of being raped again may happen if the person the victim confides in does not believe her. If the confidant blames her or judges her, the victim will feel worse than before. Given the possible traumatic experiences she may have while pursuing justice, the victim must be fully informed of this risk.[5] She has to decide herself about whether or not she will go to trial, knowing the risks and the possible advantages of doing so.[6]

The experience of being raped twice may occur during the medical examination after the attack. She may experience this because during the examination, a stranger examines her which means that she again has no control over the invasion of her body.[7]

Summary

If we are helping someone struggling with an addiction, it is possible that the substance has been used to help alleviate crushing emotional pain. Victims of rape often reach out to drugs or drink in this way and become addicted to them. When we are helping them, it is important to lovingly seek to understand their background. If they have been the victims of rape, as we help them, we must not add to their suffering by being guilty of holding to a myth or by giving them a sense of going through the attack again. As we listen to them, we might hear that others have unwittingly done this to them and caused more suffering as a result. Listening, care, and sensitivity are essential.

 

[1] Paula Lundberg and Shelly Marmion, “Intimate” Violence Against Women: When Spouses, Partners, or Lovers Attack (Westport: Praeger Publishers, 2006), 60.

[2] Audrey Savage, Twice Raped (Indianapolis: Book Weaver Publishing Co. 1990), 19.

[3] Aphrodite Matsakis, The Rape Recovery Handbook: Step-by-Step for Survivors of Sexual Assault (Oakland: New Harbinger Publication, 2003), 4.Sue Daniels, Working with the Trauma of Rape and Sexual Violence: A Guide for Professionals (London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2017), 17, 23, 32; Judith Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence – From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror 3rd ed. (New York: Basic Books, 2015), 72;

[4] Judy Katz, No Fairy Godmothers, No Magic Wands: The Healing Process After Rape (Saratoga: R & E Publishers, 2008), 53.

[5] Herman, Trauma and Recovery, 165.

[6] Katz, No Fairy Godmothers, No Magic Wands, 57.

[7] Herman, Trauma and Recovery, 161.

 

Anne Dryburgh, Ph.D., is an IABC (International Association of Biblical Counselors). and an ACBC (Association of Certified Biblical Counselors). certified counselor and a CABC (Commissioned Addictions Biblical Counselor), who has been working cross-culturally since the early 1990s. She is a council board member of the Biblical Counseling Coalition, a guest lecturer at Tilsley College in Scotland, an external reader for doctoral candidates for Masters International University of Divinity, and frequently contributes to numerous counseling blogs.

Dealing with Yourself

by Julie Ganschow

Therefore, we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. 2 Corinthians 5:9 (NASB)

I know quite a few women who are very studious and diligent in studying the Word of God. They attend women’s study groups, and are diligent in their personal reading and meditation. When I am in the company of such women one thing I want to know is if they are making application of what they are learning. Some women are a little stunned by the thought of doing more than just assimilating facts.

We are to continually be in the process of self-examination; determining if our daily lives reflect Christ when held up to His Word (Psalm 26:2; 2 Corinthians 13:5). As we face what God is revealing to us in this process, we can determine to change the things we can change by God’s grace and with His help. The things we cannot change; we need His grace to accept.

We are to make it our aim or our ambition to please God. To be clear, I am not talking about earning salvation or His favor. I am not talking about works righteousness either. The Bible makes it so clear that our lives are to be lived in humble servitude to our King out of gratitude for what He has done for us in Christ. We have been bought with a price, the very least we can do is to honor God with our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:20).

As always, I will remind you that changing your behavior is not the entire goal. The changes in behavior come from changes in the heart; it is an inside to outside process. These changes come through the power of the Holy Spirit by prayer and application of biblical truth. Yes, obedience is important, but the Lord is looking for an overhaul of the heart.

…in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Ephesians 4:22-14 (NASB)

Begin by looking at your habits. Are there habits you have that need to be changed? Do you have little crutches that you lean on during times of stress, hardship, and trial? These things can easily become idols of the heart. You will know they are idols if you find yourself turning to them instead of to God. Bad habits are difficult to break, but they must be put off for you to live a life that is glorifying to God. The sin you choose to hang onto today will impact you tomorrow and potentially for months and years to come. If you have sinful habits you would be ashamed to have brought into the light, I would suggest you have some cleaning up to do.

What about relationships? Remember that what fills your heart directs your words and actions, and directly impacts your relationships. What you believe in your heart affects how you act, and those things matter! Are these areas of the heart that need addressing? Your interaction with others should speak well of your relationship with Jesus Christ. Do your relationships glorify God? Are they gossipy, nasty, spiteful relationships? Do you use people for your own ends? Are you harsh and critical? All of these sinful things will affect your ability to serve, grow, thrive, love, and honor God.

Are you generous with your time, gifts, and finances? If you were to sit and ponder the earthly treasure you have been given, can you say you have used it for His glory and to further the kingdom of God? I’m afraid many would have to conclude they have frittered away their time and talents, not even including their financial treasure. We must be careful not to give God the leftovers in our lives. This is another matter of the heart. Stewardship is important to the Lord! Not only the money and other material goods, but more importantly, the gifts He has given you personally to be used for His service. If you are unsure what you have to contribute talk to your pastor or women’s leader. They can help you discern where you can be used in the church.

The point is, make it your daily goal to love, serve, honor, and glorify God. He alone is worthy.

Click to Tweet: Changing your behavior is not the entire goal. The changes in behavior come from changes in the heart; it is an inside to outside process. -Julie Ganschow #biblicalchange #applyGod’sWord

NOTE: This blog first appeared on www.bc4women.org on February 22, 2016.

About Julie Ganschow

Julie Ganschow has been involved in Biblical Counseling and Discipleship for more than 20 years. She is passionate about the critical need for heart change in a person who desires change in their life.

She is the founder and Director of Reigning Grace Counseling Center (ACBC & IABC Certified Training Center) and Biblical Counseling for Women. She has been writing a daily blog on counseling issues women face since 2008.

Her extensive training has led to an M.A. in Biblical Counseling; as well as, certification with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) and the International Association of Biblical Counselors (IABC). She also serves on the Counsel Board for the Biblical Counseling Coalition

Julie is a gifted counselor and teacher, has authored numerous books and materials for biblical counseling, and co-authored a biblical counseling training course. She is also a featured contributor in GriefShare and a frequent retreat and conference speaker.

She makes her home in Kansas City, Missouri with her wonderful husband Larry. Together they have raised 3 sons who have married and begun to bless them with grandchildren.

Find out more about Julie: Biblical Counseling for Women

 

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