With a blog title like “A Blog from a Counselor for the Church,” one of my goals is to produce resources that benefit the local church — pastors, elders, counselors, deacons, small groups, and one another life. This year I think there were two large projects that did this in a unique way.
When Prevention Fails: A Sexual Abuse Response Policy for Churches
Every church ought to have the best possible sexual abuse prevention policies in their children’s ministry. These should be followed closely and reviewed regularly. But what happens when evil slips through the cracks of even the best policies and procedures? How does the church respond then? How should the church care for the victim, the victim’s parents, the alleged perpetrator, and cooperate with the legal authorities?
What is most frightening is that by the time a child molester gets caught he/she has on average 50-100 victims. How does the church find and care for the other children who have likely been abused? How does the church communicate with its people, community, and media who all want answers when these tragedies occur?
How is the situation different when the sexual abuse is by a minor against a minor instead of by an adult against a minor?
These are sickening questions. Unfortunately, they are so uncomfortable that most churches have not attempted to answer them. These questions go on the list of policies every church needs and no church has.
To read this sample policy click here.
Marriage with a Chronically Self-Centered Spouse
We are all married to a self-centered spouse. That is what it means for us to be fallen people who are bound to experience life from within our bodies. But there are cases where this “general self-centeredness” becomes chronic — severe to a point that it either results in a marital environment of abuse or neglect.
Scripture speaks to both “garden variety” marriage struggles and chronic self-centered marriage struggles, but it speaks to these varying degrees of struggles in different ways. This is no different from saying that Scripture speaks to both impulse control and addiction, but speaks to them differently.
However, Christians have not always done a good job of assessing the differences in these marriage situations and defining the approaches that need to be taken. Working from Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:1-6 (utilizing his instruction in verse 6 as applying to cases of chronic relational offense) we will examine the subject of “Marriage with a Chronically Self-Centered Spouse” in 18 posts.
For links to this entire series click here.