“They have greatly oppressed me from my youth,
but they have not gained the victory over me.
Plowmen have plowed my back and made their furrows long.
But the Lord is righteous;
He has cut me free from the cords of the wicked.”
Do you feel attached to your abuser? Do you feel a bond with him? You are not alone. Hostages and kidnap victims feel the same thing with their kidnaper; they feel a bond with him. As time wears on in the dangerous situation, they begin to feel sorry for him and think that his cause is just. They see him as an average Joe who just needs a break. They defend him and his actions. Sometimes they will even try to help him escape. Psychologists, screenwriters, and policemen are very aware of this response to elongated times of danger and victimization. It is called the Stockholm Syndrome.
Even years after your abuse, you can still feel as though the abuser has some sort of control over you or has access to your inner thoughts. When you are alone with your husband in bed, you don’t feel alone; you feel the presence of a third person. Maybe this person keeps breaking into your thoughts or you feel he is a ball and chain you are doomed to drag around for the rest of your life.
I want to assure you of something: God wants to cut you free from these cords that are binding your heart and head to that wicked person and his wickedness. You are not doomed to live with him forever. He does not have to be a permanent member of your household or your brain.
Have you forgiven him? Obeying God in forgiveness cuts the cords of wickedness. Forgiving people cuts you free from them. You no longer belong to them. You no longer are tied to them in your soul, in your head, or in your spirit. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21). Where is your treasure—your inmost heart, the kernel that is you? Is your abuser holding it in his hand because you have not forgiven him yet? Jesus longs to hold your treasure for you and keep it safe. “I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him…” (2 Timothy 1:12, italics mine). Jesus is the only safe place for your treasure.
But what if you still feel the bond? Call on God to set you free. Sometimes, even after you have forgiven the abuser, you can still feel tied to him. This is natural, especially if the abuse continued for a long time. But it is untrue—totally untrue. God has set you free from the cords of wickedness through the miracle of forgiveness. So, why can you still feel bonded? Romans 12:2 gives us the key: “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Let God speak to your head from the pages of His Word. He will show you that you are free. He will speak tenderly to your heart. He will tell you that if Jesus sets you free, you really are free (John 8:36). Turn your heart to Him and worship Him. Focus on Him. Practice believing the truth—not the lies or even your feelings.
As soon as you feel that old, wicked, lying bond, turn immediately to God and ask Him to renew your mind. Ask Him to show you the truth in His Word. Worship Him for the just and compassionate God He is. Let what is true about your spirit seep into your brain and your feelings!
This a page from the book When God Roared. Each page will be published, one per day, on this website. We pray that God uses it mightily in your life to swaddle you in His love and heal your precious heart.