MINISTERING TO VICTIMS OF INCEST

I can't believe it," said my wife. "The woman I talked to this morning was molested by her father for nine years and never thought of herself as a victim!"

My wife's new friend struggled emotionally during high school and college but seemed to be adjusting well to her graduate work. It was evident, however, that she had been hurt. In a later conversation she said, "I just sealed off all the feelings. The few times I tried to analyze what had happened, I couldn't let myself blame my dad, so that left me blaming myself. I guess I decided it was better to feel nothing."

When ministering to victims of incest, often the first thing we do is help them deal with the fact that they are victims.

Sorting the past

"When it was happening, I thought God must be punishing me," Debbie said. "Why else would anyone want to do those terrible things to me?"

I assured her that God does not take pleasure in seeing his children hurt. As we talked, she began to realize abuse is the result of people's sinfulness, ...

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