Abuse is horrible, but sadly it is a very real problem in churches, Christian homes and Christian families. We have a responsibility to care for people, that will mean being aware of the dangers and signs of abuse. Here’s a book that will help you start to think through what abuse can look like in a Christian home and how easy it is to hide. Please, know that this is a real danger and something we must be aware of and actively speak out against.
This book tells Jennifer story of how she grew up with a church-going abusive father. It tells the story of how she was playing with toys and her father was reading a theology book. Apparently making too much noise, she was beaten. As I read this book I was shocked that anyone could do such horrible things to their daughter. I was shocked that people didn’t listen, didn’t want to listen or didn’t understand what was going on. But most of all, as I put the book down I was absolutely amazing and rejoicing that Jennifer has gone through all of this and come through the other end a Christian and a voice for other victims of abuse.
Sadly we live in a world where Jennifer is not alone and thousands upon thousands of people live in similar situations, but this book is a tremendous resource for everyone to read! I don’t often say that you need to get a book, but this is one of those books! It is Jennifer’s testimony but it is also a book that tells you how to spot abuse, how to care for the victim and how to navigate a very difficult topic.
This book shines light on the lack of knowledge out there, it speaks of pastors saying that Jennifer was exaggerating or that she was to blame for her father’s sin. I was appalled to read of how some people treated Jennifer as she tried to reach out for help and I am so thankful that she wrote this book to give us no excuse for that to happen again!
This book was written initially as a letter to her husband and I am so thankful that Jennifer was willing to be so vulnerable in such a public way so that we can all learn about this heart wrenching topic of abuse. This resource will make you weep, make you wake up and it will fill your mind with the wonderful truth that, despite what you’re going through, you are not forsaken!
I would encourage everyone to buy this book and read it! You can buy the book here from The Good Book Company. Jennifer’s reflections on her life, on Scripture and on the gospel will make you cry, make you rejoice and make you praise God.
As a person in Church Leadership I am called to care for some of God’s sheep and undoubtedly that includes some who have suffered abuse in its many ugly forms. But we are all called to care for one another, this book is a great resource to help with that!
Jennifer Michelle Greenberg lives in Texas with her husband, Jason, and their three young daughters. A writer and recording artist, Jenn tweets @JennMGreenberg and blogs at jennifergreenberg.net.