The Ananias Foundation points people who are working to stop their hurtful behaviors to a relationship with God. That makes us pretty unique in the domestic violence space, which may seem odd. You may be wondering, how can spirituality help stop domestic violence?
If you’ve explored our website, you know we have an entire section on “The God Factor”. We connect spirituality to stopping domestic violence because we’ve seen how helpful a relationship with God can be for a person working to change. I can tell you, it was a major catalyst for me.
How can spirituality help stop domestic violence?
Spirituality helps us make sense of the world, answering first-order questions of life such as, “Why am I here?” and “What is my purpose?” It offers a way to view the challenges we face with some perspective. Belief in a higher power gives us the ability to rely on someone greater than ourselves for things that are beyond our control.
Seeing ourselves as lovable, valuable, having a purpose, and part of something bigger releases us from such a strong need to protect ourselves.
Seeing ourselves as lovable, valuable, having a purpose, and part of something bigger releases us from such a strong need to protect ourselves. That helps us to stop worrying about being respected, failing, or looking bad. Instead, we are free to care about others.
“I have to succeed, correct all injustices, or defend my honor” are distorted beliefs that lead us into trying to control our circumstances. They create an unnecessary need for control that leads us into behaving in ways that can hurt the ones we love. Domestic violence and abuse happen when we use whatever power we can find to control others so we don’t feel flooded by our own vulnerabilities.
Domestic violence and abuse happen when we use whatever power we can find to control others so we don’t feel flooded by our own vulnerabilities.
Spirituality is powerful because it helps us think differently and in a way that can be constructive for our life. As we think differently, we then behave differently. Drug and alcohol treatment programs introduce spirituality for this very same reason.
Spirituality, religion, and God
A higher power can come in different forms. Common ones include the universe, nature, or the belief in the existence of a supreme beings or being. Monotheism is a big word that means the belief in one God that created the world, is all-powerful, and is actively involved in our lives.
Religion is how we relate to that higher power, which is different than the higher power itself. It is the set of worship practices, beliefs, and moral code we adopt from our beliefs that governs our conduct. Religion is man-made and therefore likely to be flawed, just like the people who practice it.
Two key questions about any religion are, “Is it true,” and “Is it helpful?”
Everyone has a religion because we all have a set of beliefs about the universe, how it works, and where we fit. Two key questions about any religion are, “Is it true,” and “Is it helpful?” If yes, our life will make sense and we’ll generally experience peace and joy because we understand the rules. If not, we’ll be constantly frustrated and confused.
We point people to Christianity because the evidence of its truth is strong and it presents God as purely good. Furthermore, millions of people experience a more peaceful and satisfying life by relating to God through Jesus. The key is the relationship—which is good because God is good. Merely practicing the rituals and adopting the beliefs of the religion is not the same thing.
Merely practicing the rituals and adopting the beliefs of Christianity is not the same thing as having a relationship with God.
Christianity is unique in a couple of important ways that help us. First, it points us to God as our always present and all-powerful creator. My own will, Mother Nature, or the cosmos don’t offer much power over my circumstances.
Second, Christianity is about God’s willingness to rescue us from ourselves rather than us getting our life in order first. I don’t know about you, but becoming perfect, or even good, seems like an impossible task. Christianity offers forgiveness for all the ways we fall short, just for our asking.
Taking it further
There’s more on our website about what it means to have a relationship with God, why that relationship matters, and how to get this relationship. We also included pages about eliminating the barriers you might have in developing your spirituality and finding a church. I hope you spend some time exploring those pages and consider God’s invitation for a relationship.
We don’t do this because we get any benefit from having you or others becoming a Christian. We share this information because we care about you and we want your change process to be successful and your life satisfying. Think of us like one blind beggar telling another blind beggar where to get a good meal.
Think of us like one blind beggar telling another blind beggar where to get a good meal.
How can spirituality help stop domestic violence? By transforming lives like mine and yours. It takes us from feeling like we are fighting for our survival to knowing God has us covered. That’s powerful!