MAY 2004 Newsletter
LUKE 17:3 Ministries
for adult daughters
A sisterhood for those who seek support in developing self-esteem, setting boundaries and limits, forgiveness, Godly confrontation, recognizing and cutting ties with reprobates, healing, and rejoicing in the peace and love of
the Lord, our Father
THE ONLY FORM OF ABUSE STILL CONDONED BY SOCIETY. THE ONLY ABUSE IN WHICH THE VICTIM IS CRITICIZED OR ABANDONED FOR TRYING TO PROTECT HERSELF. CHILD ABUSE THAT DIDN’T END WHEN ADULTHOOD BEGAN…THE CONTINUING ABUSE OF GROWN CHILDREN BY THEIR PARENTS.
If you have ever experienced Adult Child Abuse by a parent, sibling, or other relative, We Welcome You!
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Sister Renee Pittelli
Luke 17:3 Ministries, Inc.
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Thank you Jesus!
We praise you, Lord!
REAPING WHAT THEY SOW- THE NATURAL CONSEQUENCES OF BAD BEHAVIOR
By Sister Renee
DO NOT BE DECEIVED. GOD IS NOT MOCKED; FOR WHATEVER A MAN SOWS, THAT HE WILL ALSO REAP.……Galatians 6:7 NKJV
If you should find it necessary to rebuke an abusive family member, or worse, to be put in the very painful position of having to limit or avoid contact with a relative, you are likely to get a strange response from other people. They will say things like, “Oh that’s too bad- now your brother won’t have his family”, “How awful-now your parents won’t get to see their grandchildren (You may hear this even if your parents are the ones who chose to disown you!), or “Awww, now they’ll be alone in their old age.” I am especially puzzled by comments such as, “Oh, that’s sad- now your sister has nobody”, as if providing your adult sister with people in her life, or making sure she isn’t alone, no matter how she acts, is somehow your responsibility!
I look at such remarks as an opportunity to educate people about NATURAL CONSEQUENCES.
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You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. He is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world. But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son in to our hearts, the Spirit who calls out,” Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir. Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God- or rather are known by God- how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?........Galatians - NIV
Hallelujah! We love you, Abba Father!
A Natural Consequence is something that a normal person could reasonably expect to be the result of a particular action. It is no surprise that abusive, controlling, disloyal, or uncaring people are unpopular. Unpopularity is a natural result of that type of behavior. It is exactly what you would expect. Anything else would be strange and unnatural.
If your brother, for instance, is controlling, manipulative, critical, judgmental, disloyal, selfish, jealous, hostile, or generally unpleasant to be around, chances are he has problems in all his relationships, not just with you. Most relatives will keep him at arm’s length, he’ll be disliked by his co-workers, and people will avoid him in droves. Or if your sister never extends herself to do her share of maintaining close, loving, caring relationships, chances are she won’t have very many close relationships to worry about. She’ll have few, if any, friends or family members who are willing to assume all the responsibility for a one-way relationship. These are examples of the NATURAL CONSEQUENCES of your brother’s or sister’s behavior.
Conversely, if your sibling is warm, loving, considerate, respectful, thoughtful, and sweet-natured, people will flock to him or her. If he has a good attitude and knows how to listen, empathize with, encourage, and help others, many would enjoy his company and consider him a joy to be around. He will have plenty of friends and people who love him. He would never be lonely or alone. People who do the right thing and carry their share of a friendship have many friendships. The same holds true of family relationships. This, too, is a Natural Consequence- but it is a Natural Consequence of good behavior, a pleasant disposition, positive actions, and loving others.
I was never a psychologist, but, many years ago, I was a dog-trainer. I know that even a dog learns to modify his behavior if it consistently results in undesired consequences for him. If he needs help modifying his behavior, he goes to the trainer! Likewise, if a person needs help modifying his behavior because it consistently results in negative consequences for him, he can choose to go into therapy.
If he doesn’t take the responsibility for modifying his destructive behavior, one can assume that he is perfectly happy with the results, even though he may complain about them or use them to engender sympathy for himself. While he may make a public spectacle of wallowing in self-pity, if an abuser remains unrepentant, the fact is that he just doesn’t consider the Natural Consequences which resulted from his actions to be all that bad- certainly not bad enough for him to do anything constructive about. When, and if, the Natural Consequences become important enough or damaging enough to him, he will change what he is doing.
When I began taking a stand against my birth-father’s abuse, my mother, who had complained about his abusive behavior toward her all of my life, actually told me that I was the only one who had a problem with him. She had no answer for me, however, when I pointed out to her what I like to call the “Revolving Door of Relationships” , which had been the pattern in our family life since my childhood. I reminded her of the parade of friends, neighbors, relatives, business associates, college buddies, etc, of both her and my father, all gone over the years. Sometimes there would be a falling out, sometimes the other couple would start being “too busy” to socialize with my parents, sometimes friends would just stop calling or returning calls. As a child, I had a long list of “aunts and uncles” - not blood, but close enough to my parents for me to address them in that way- who all mysteriously evaporated one-by-one. My parents had only a couple of relatives left who still associated with them- only my father’s sister and her two daughters, who showed approval of my father’s behavior, and stopped speaking to me when I stood up to him. (I chalk those up to “Birds of a feather…”)
My birth-father, like many abusers, could put on a very good front when among strangers. He would act polite, even-tempered, and humorous around new people. He would control himself at first, faking niceness until he began to feel secure in the relationship. But he couldn’t keep it up forever. Eventually his true self would come out, and the relationship would suddenly end.
I was not the “only one who had a problem with him.” I may have been the only one who actually said something instead of just disappearing (although I do have memories of some others saying something as well, before they disappeared).
But I was not the only one who objected to his behavior- I was the only one who cared enough to try to remedy the situation before giving up.
If you yell at your boss, you can expect to be fired. If you don’t bother studying for a test, you can expect to fail. If you have unprotected sex with a variety of partners, you can’t claim to be surprised when you get pregnant or contract a disease. If you walk up to a baby grizzly bear in the woods, most likely the mother will kill you. If you treat people, even those who love you, with disrespect and contempt, you can expect to drive them away. These are the Natural Consequences of your actions. Acting surprised when a Natural Consequence results from one’s behavior only makes one look ignorant – and ignorance is no excuse!
Natural Consequences can be a learning experience- but only for those who want to learn. If an abuser chooses to make amends and change his hurtful behavior, he stands a good chance of restoring his relationships. If he chooses to harden his heart and continues treating others poorly and driving them away, it is in the natural order of things that he should spend his life alone. That is justice- and a much better solution than his victims having to spend their lives suffering because of him. Natural Consequences are God’s way of leading sinners to repentance, and they are a manifestation of God’s justice for the unrepentant. I THE LORD SEARCH THE HEART AND EXAMINE THE MIND, TO REWARD A MAN ACCORDING TO HIS CONDUCT, ACCORDING TO WHAT HIS DEEDS DESERVE….Jeremiah 17:10 NIV
The Book of Proverbs, is a treasure-trove of examples of Natural Consequences, both good and bad. It is very short and easy to read. I recommend studying the entire Book of Proverbs to obtain a Biblical understanding of Natural Consequences.
HE WHO BRINGS TROUBLE ON HIS OWN HOUSE WILL INHERIT ONLY THE WIND….Proverbs NKJV
HE WHO SOWS WICKEDNESS REAPS TROUBLE…..Proverbs 22:8 NIV
A HOT TEMPERED MAN MUST PAY THE PENALTY; IF YOU RESCUE HIM, YOU WILL HAVE TO DO IT AGAIN,,,,,. Proverbs NIV
HOW USELESS TO SPREAD A NET IN FULL VIEW OF ALL THE BIRDS! THESE MEN LIE IN WAIT FOR THEIR OWN BLOOD; THEY WAYLAY ONLY THEMSELVES!.....Proverbs -18 NIV
A MAN’S OWN FOLLY RUINS HIS LIFE, YET HIS HEART RAGES AGAINST THE LORD….Proverbs 19:3NIV
DO NOT MAKE FRIENDS WITH A HOT-TEMPERED MAN, DO NOT ASSOCIATE WITH ONE EASILY ANGERED…Proverbs 22:24NIV
WHOEVER DIGS A PIT, WILL FALL INTO IT; AND HE WHO ROLLS A STONE WILL HAVE IT ROLL BACK ON HIM…. Proverbs 26:27NKJV
THE INTEGRITY OF THE UPRIGHT WILL GUIDE THEM, BUT THE PERVERSITY OF THE UNFAITHFUL WILL DESTROY THEM….Proverbs 11:3 NKJV
HE WHO IS OFTEN REBUKED, AND HARDENS HIS NECK, WILL SUDDENLY BE DESTROYED, AND THAT WITHOUT REMEDY…….Proverbs 29:1 NKJV
HE WHO PURSUES RIGHTEOUSNESS AND LOVE FINDS LIFE, PROSPERITY, AND HONOR….Proverbs NIV
An evil man is snared by his own sin, but a righteous one can sing and be glad. …..Proverbs 29:6
By Sister Renee
The Bible instructs parents to behave in certain ways toward their children, to raise them in a Godly way, and to treat them well and with love. In my own birth-family, I have found that some of the relatives who claim to be the most religious do not in any way obey the word of God when it comes to raising their children. When I was younger and not familiar with Scripture, this caused me confusion. But I now understand that although these relatives may make a point of weekly churchgoing and a big show of other pseudo-religious behaviors, they are not really religious at all, and don’t follow God’s word in most aspects of their lives. Rather, they operate under the Spirit of False Religion, abusing their loved ones, and using a phony appearance of being religious to keep others from criticizing their selfish or destructive behavior.
A truly religious and spiritual parent treats her child according to the Biblical model for proper parenting. These are some of the duties of a parent that are taught in the Bible:
1. To govern with kindness
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord…Ephesians 6:4NIV
Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged…Colossians 3:21NIV
2. To instruct children in righteousness
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you like down and when you get up….Deuteronomy 11:18-19NIV
He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it….Proverbs 22:6NIV
The living, the living- they praise you, as I am doing today; fathers tell their children about your faithfulness…Isaiah 38:19NIV
Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation….Joel 1:3NIV
3. To provide for their children
Now I am ready to visit you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you, because what I want is not your possessions but you. After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children…..2 Corinthians 12:14
4. To set a good example
For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him….Genesis 18:19
On that day tell your son, “I do this because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of
Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance. Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored….Titus 2:2-5NASB
5. Fathers are to direct their households
A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well….1 Timothy 3:12NIV
He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect.(If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)…1 Timothy 3:4-5NIV
6. To discipline their children
Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul…Proverbs 29:17NIV
The rod of correction imparts wisdom; but a child left to himself disgraces his mother…Proverbs 29:15 NIV
7. To reflect God’s love in their love.
As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you….Isaiah 66:13NIV
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him….Psalm 103:13NIV
Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!....Luke 11:11 NIV
The Lord intended parents to treat their children, His children, with patience, compassion, and love, and to behave in ways that are in the child’s best interests (discipline, teaching, providing for, etc.) Let us pray for God’s grace as we sincerely try to follow his instructions in raising our own children.
Unfortunately, most of our parents fall far short of God’s plan for family life, or we would not be a sister in Luke 17:3 Ministries. There is, however, one parent who vastly exceeds the Biblical model for good parenting- one parent who will never let us down, never hurt, abuse, disappoint, betray, or forsake us. That perfect parent is our heavenly Father. HALLELUJAH! PRAISE HIS GLORIOUS NAME!
For a study on all the ways our Father demonstrates his love for us, and to learn how he alone is our perfect parent, we hope you will read the three-part series “Who’s Your Daddy?” By Sister Renee. God bless you, dear Sister, as you come to truly understand his Fatherly role in your life.
THE POWER OF APOLOGY
By Beverly Engel, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.,
Beverly Engel is a psychotherapist and recognized expert in the fields of relationships, women’s issues, and abuse. In the last newsletter, we reviewed her book, Divorcing A Parent, in which she describes her own painful decision to divorce her mother because of continual abuse. After she wrote that book, her mother bought it and read it. The mother then apologized to the author and changed her behavior, and they have since reconciled. This book, The Power of Apology, was then written, to encourage others to heal themselves and those they have hurt by apologizing, and to encourage the victim to try to accept the apology.
This books explores some reasons why people won’t apologize, such as pride, fear of giving up power, thinking an apology is a sign of weakness, etc. It teaches you how to ask for an apology.
It discusses the right way and wrong ways to apologize, meaningless or fake apologies, apologies without remorse, apologies delivered through clenched teeth and bumbled apologies like the conditional apology (“I’m sorry, but…”) , the half-apology (“I’m sorry you feel bad), and the apology in which the wrongdoer trivializes the damage he caused.
We are told the necessary ingredients in a meaningful apology are regret, responsibility, and remedy,
and that the offender should make no excuses.
We are helped to accept apologies with forgiveness and some obstacles to forgiveness are discussed, such as anger, pain, fear of being hurt again, and pride.
The author distinguishes between spiritual forgiveness and human forgiveness, and makes the point that reconciliation and forgiveness are not the same. She includes “When Sorry Isn’t Good Enough”, “When Expecting Forgiveness Can Be an Insult”,” and “When Forgiveness Is Unhealthy.”
The book talks about making amends, and healing your family when there has been an estrangement.
The Power of Apology teaches healing steps to transform all your relationships, and hopefully bring your family back together.
May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from
May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. Selah.
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.
We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests.
Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed; he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.
O Lord, save the king! Answer us when we call!
Copyright 2002-2016.-All articles on this site are copyrighted. Permission to copy is granted for non-profit use only.Please help yourself to anything we write if you can use it to help others. A link back to this site is our only requirement. Please contact us for any commercial or other use. All e-mails, letters, and other correspondence become the property of Luke 17:3 Ministries, Inc. Due to the large volume of e-mails, we're sorry that we are unable to personally answer every one, but we do lift everyone who writes to us in prayer to the Lord.
The Lord specifically called Sister Renee to minister to Adult Children, not their parents, estranged siblings or friends, abusive or abused spouses, or victims of other types of abuse, although what we write here can often be meaningful for those folks as well. Because of this, our ministry and website have a narrow focus which we will not be changing. We simply can't cover everything. In addition, it is not our purpose to help you re-establish contact with someone who felt it was necessary to cut you off for the sake of their own well-being. We do not keep a list of resources for estranged parents or any other type of abuse and suggest if you are sincerely interested in making amends with an estranged relative, you do an internet search for a website or group that will be more relevant to you. If you cannot find a group or site that you can relate to, we suggest you start your own, and bless other people in your position as well as find support for your personal issues.
For Adult Children and others as well, please understand that we cannot give you personal advice concerning your particular family relationships. We are not therapists or lawyers, we usually do not have enough information to form an opinion, and time does not permit us to give enough thought to each person's individual situation to do it justice. If you need personal advice, we urge you to contact the appropriate professional, depending on the problem you have- your minister, therapist, attorney, police department, local domestic violence hotline, etc. In reading this site, you acknowledge that nothing you might read here qualifies as or substitutes for professional advice. Please note we cannot recommend or refer you to a counselor and we do not have a list of therapists or recovery groups in your area. The only Counselor we recommend is the Holy Ghost, and we encourage you to read the Bible and learn for yourself what the Lord says about the issues we write about.
Our articles are strictly our personal opinions and testimonies and are not intended to give or offer any advice. All who access this site do so with the understanding that we are NOT professional counselors and we strongly recommend that you discuss your individual situation with your pastor or therapist and pray for the Lord's guidance before acting on anything we write on this site. Unfortunately, the abuse we discuss is all too common, inflicted on countless victims by countless perpetrators. All names and identifying details in our articles have been changed to protect the innocent as well as the guilty. Any resemblance to a real person or persons whom you might know is strictly coincidental.