A Culture of Honour – Men and Women

honour
Photo credit: YWAM

Tears of healing began to roll down my face. I didn’t know what was happening in me at the time, but I found myself in a culture of honour – observing and experiencing men honouring women and vice versa. It was so powerful JUST WITNESSING IT.

I wept deeply… healing much of the diagnosed psychological, emotional, and spiritual abuse I had experienced with certain male leaders in my church that led to my health crash years ago.

(It had gotten so bad, my medical team and insurance ordered me to rest for 2 years. In fact, my doctor wept when I initially answered her intake questions.

Clearly, I had endured more than I thought.

I had no idea I had been putting up with abuse, giving grace to the men over and over around their behaviours with women. I had loved my brothers in leadership. Looking back, I saw the potential in the men and kept forgiving them – until it caused my health to crash when I witnessed their treatment of another woman.

Seeing how they treated another woman with public dishonour was a shock to my system; literally.

I was assigned a medical team to interview me. Learning that the behaviour was abusive was a shocking realization. My brothers had started off so encouraging in the beginning but, over the years, looking back I now see how their fear of man replaced their fear of God and this turned their behaviour into control, manipulation, and abuse of women.)

When I left that church environment several years ago, I entered a time of rest and detox.

My time of rest included a visit to a different church – one with a culture of honour. It was there, tears rolled down my face when I saw it was indeed possible for men to honour women in leadership. I sensed Jesus smiling over it all. My heart, my mind, and my spirit began to welcome the healing.

Today! Years later, after some incredible healing rest…

I get to walk pastors, ministry leaders, and lay people (both male and female) through healing of unfortunate ‘church’ experiences.

When we try to ‘do’ church led by fear, instead of ‘being’ the church led by Holy Spirit, the damage is painful. When we walk in fear, rather than Christ-like love, we unknowingly or knowingly cause damage.

When a church is led by fear, the fruit is damage.

Thankfully, Jesus loves to restore and heal – revealing to those who are wounded and doing the wounding, that He has so much more!

Men who honour women, and women who honour men – is what Christ calls us to!

Let’s choose to walk in love and honour…

Recently, I was blessed with this…

Honor All People

Transcript:

Hi, this is Bill Vanderbush. I pastor Community Presbyterian Church in Celebration, Florida. I want to talk to you a little bit about honor. When you think of honor, people think about academia, or academic achievement. The honor roll, honors society, or maybe you are one of those people where the closest thing you ever got ot honor was, “Yes, your Honor, no, your Honor.”

I want to define it a little bit differently today. Honor is where you live to make somebody else like a genius. It is where you actually treat somebody as if they were Jesus. You may think, “That sounds kind of blasphemous. I can’t treat anybody like that.” We are all image-bearers. We are all made in the image and likeness of God. I believe God is calling us to be a culture of honor, to release honor everywhere we go.

1 Peter 2:17 says, “Honor all men.” Honor all people, actually it means. That is actually where he stops. He finishes that thought. Honor everybody without reservation. Honor is not to be given as a reward, it is given as a gift. Think of it like this, God doesn’t honor us because we are good. He honors us because He is good. He doesn’t love us because we are good, He loves us because He is good. He releases love, and honor, and grace because that is what He is like. That is what He has called us to do. He has called us to release honor because we are an honorable people.

How do you release honor over somebody that is dishonorable? That might be a difficult thing to do, but the reality is that when you release honor, you are actually digging for the treasure that is inside of a person. You are seeing them from Heaven’s perspective. In Matthew 13, Jesus goes home to His hometown – the Son of God. He tries to perform miracles and people get offended at Him. It says they became intellectually offended at Him. They said, “We know His mom, we know His brothers, we know His sisters.” They said, “How is this guy doing what He is doing?” They became offended at Him. Jesus responds and says, “A prophet is not without honor except in His home country, in His own town.”

I think a lot of times God calls us to begin ministry at home because He wants us to learn to do it without honor. He doesn’t want us to stay in a place of dishonor. The result of that is He could do no mighty work there because of their unbelief. Here is the thing about dishonor. Dishonor shuts down the anointing every time. In 25 years of pastoring, I have never seen a revival birthed in a culture of dishonor. Dishonor often times shows up in the middle of a revival and we wonder why the revival shut down. God is calling us to protect one another, to speak encouragement over one another.

There is a thin line between honor and flattery. We don’t want to get into flattery. Honor is calling out the gold in a person. It is coming into agreement with how God sees a person and shifting our perspective to Heaven’s perspective. Beginning to speak honor over their life. In doing that, we suddenly become a culture where from the outside looking in, there are people who are orphaned in their mind and their heart. They look at the Body of Christ and say, “I want to be loved just like that.” If we grab a hold of the culture of honor like this we would see the nations shaped and changed. In a generation or two there would be people that would once again know that God is to be famous for love.

I pray that you would become a person of honor. You would release honor in your words and your declarations. In everything you do, you would demonstrate the honor of Heaven. From a prophetic standpoint you would put Heaven on display in all that you do. I believe we will see revival breaking out all over our nation. Amen.

Source: God Today – http://www.getgodtoday.com

Spiritual Abuse?

Spiritual abuse is not a widely discussed topic. It occurs when a leader manipulates people to achieve selfish goals. Most abusers are unaware of the harm they inflict.

Internal factors contributing to an abusive environment are: Christians wanting to trust their leaders; not wanting to be disloyal; not wanting to be “a problem”; and accommodating abuse because they become invested. A likely external factor in the rise of spiritual abuse is our culture’s obsession with results and an insatiable “thirst for more.”

There are two types of spiritually abusive leaders: insecure leaders use power to protect themselves; narcissistic leaders seek to accomplish some great cause for validation and self-worth. Narcissistic leaders are fueled by narcissistic followers who also find value from belonging to a great cause.

Signs of an abusive system are: power-posturing; distorted loyalty; people are being used; unhealthy centrality of the pastor; an elitist attitude; inability to discuss concerns; and people being labeled as divisive for raising valid issues.

Those trapped in abusive systems can either flee or fight.

If this sounds like your journey, you are not crazy…

Read the full article… Spiritual Abuse: The Unspoken Crisis

Other resources:

Emotional Abuse: The Crushing of the Human Spirit

The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse: Recognizing and Escaping Spiritual Manipulation and False Spiritual Authority Within the Church

10 Ways to Spot Spiritual Abuse

church
MaryDeMuth.com

This post came because I woke up one night at 3 in the morning with this burden I couldn’t shake. So I wrote these traits of spiritually abusive ministries and churches. This is not an exhaustive list, but it typifies what happens. Often you don’t realize you’re in an abusive situation until your health is damaged, your soul is torn, or your outside relationships suffer. My heart in sharing this is to simply shed light on unhealthy, manipulative, controlling practices.

Read the full blog post… 10 Ways to Spot Spiritual Abuse

How do you grieve the unfaithfulness of loved ones?

How do you grieve the unfaithfulness of loved ones?
A friend, community… you name it…?

💔

Good memories are painful… they haunt you… you don’t know what to do with them. How do you grieve over a once faithful but then turned hurtful inner community…? How do you grieve over the betrayal of a small circle within a community once loved and trusted, fasted for, prayed for…

…friends, leaders, mentors…

…who once were devoted encouragers and cheerleaders with pom moms… now with daggers by tongue? Some who have admitted envy and jealousy…

I am fiercely loyal and I am like a warrior for others. So, when those I once fought for, prayed for… resorted to attack because I had not met their expectations, which they failed to communicate directly to my face… ugh… I just wanted my aching heart to stop…

When your heart is broken, you rest in the arms of Jesus.

How I wish those I loved in community would have been loving to the end…

Not everyone was hurtful, thankfully …but of a few, I discovered painful stories behind closed doors of ones I thought loved me well as I did them. I learned they didn’t have the courage to seek to understand, but only to assume incorrectly and attack… and tear a community apart.

The hurtful attack didn’t stop… it became a toxic, abusive community… and my body crashed. It said, ‘enough is enough’. My doctor ordered me far away.

Blame, lying, hiding… it felt like Part 2 of the Garden.
How dangerous one mindset can become… to affect an entire family.

My heart became wounded. I ached. We were once a fruitful family… hearing God’s voice together, bringing freedom and healing to others together… Now, it was all brokenness.

Betrayal is so hard from those you deeply trusted and respected and loved.

John 17 is Jesus’ prayer for us…
He prayed for our unity, for our family love…
and yet some of us have been hurt the deepest by ‘church family’…

I am reminded of the betrayal Jesus went through by his own family and disciples… for our sake! … Timely, as it is Lent season now that I write this. I am reminded in Matthew 24 that it is the sign of the times…

And this too was timely…

It is a beautiful thing to adopt many of David’s Psalms for prayers… I’m so glad David was so blunt and raw and called a man after God’s own heart. Oh Lord, have mercy.