Last week we began the discussion on what the Bible says about rape. This is a serious issue that affects so many of our people. We must address it! If you missed that article, I highly encourage you to go find it on The Monitor online.
Various actual biblical rape accounts were analysed. The conclusion was made that God took such a radical step in making such harsh laws against rape perpetrators in the Old Testament that God hates rape. This week we need to dive deeper to see how God can help the one who has been raped. Next week, we will explore what the Bible says about the rapist!
Rape is a horrific violation on the most sacred and private parts of a person’s body and mind. This horrendous act not only destroys them physically but deeply hurts them emotionally. Peace eludes those who have been damaged by this gross sin. Anger and fear frequently crop up as common emotions stealing their quality of life.
The question we must address from the biblical perspective is “Can a rape survivor ever find peace and healing?” The Bible offers extremely radical advice on the one seeking peace after such a trial.
It says to love our enemies and forgive those who have sinned against us. Insanely impossible for the carnal man, yet spiritually possibly for the one who says, “I need peace and I will do whatever it takes to get this out of my mind. God let’s try it your way.”
Basically, when someone sins against us, they not only hurt us that day when the act happens, but when we replay it over and over and over in our thoughts, we give them the power to keep hurting us.
When everyone else is smiling, pictures flash on your mind’s screen and you find yourself near tears. When someone says they love you, you are afraid to trust lest you be abused once more. That selfish person robbed you of your innocence, and the world feels like a cold painful place. It feels like no one can understand the deep agony you suffer.
Yet hear this. In Psalms 147: 3, “God promises to heal your broken heart and bind up your wounds”.
In Isaiah 41:10, God proclaims, “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Jesus whispers in the quiet of your mind, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” (John 14:26-27)
Psalms 139 declares you are fearfully and wonderfully made. I define you. That rapist does not get to change your identity! You are still a loved and treasured child of the king! John 10:10 asserts “that the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy but god came to give you an abundant life”.
Does the promise of abundant life mean that trials won’t come- that you would be shielded from the evils of this world, including rape? No, the Bible says we WILL have trouble in this life!!
How do you experience victory? How do you break free from the trauma that haunts you and forces you to carry the baggage of guilt, shame, anger, fear, and a host of other negative emotions? You forgive.
Leave that person in the Lord’s hands for He says vengeance is mine. Drop that burden with the Almighty judge of the Universe. Leave your load in his capable hands and move on.
Does that mean you don’t still seek justice with the authorities the Lord has set in place? By no means… there are laws in place and criminals should pay!! I pray the lawmakers would give stiff and swift penalties to rapist! Moving on does not necessarily mean you drop the case. It means you ask God to heal your innermost self so you can think of that person without getting angry and bitter. Hebrews 12:15 gives us some practical advice on how not to be further defiled, “Be careful that no one falls short of the grace of God, so that no root of bitterness will spring up to cause trouble and defile many.”
You don’t dream of ways you can hurt them back. Moving on means you go a day without replaying that event and allowing that person to continually steal your joy. Do not give them that power to keep hurting you! Take control of your mind! Don’t worry if you have tried and you can’t get it out of your thoughts.
God can give you a new mind and a new heart! He promises that over and over throughout scripture, and I have personally met countless people throughout my life who have experienced this type of healing by the power of God. It is possible. This person already defiled your body. Do not allow them the power to defile your mind by letting that root of bitterness grow and rob your peace. Give this load to Jesus. He tells all who are weary and heavy burdened to come to Him and He will give you rest in Matthew 11:28
This is not an easy journey. This type of healing will not happen overnight. I encourage you to find others who have conquered this battle. Allow yourself to experience His rich gift of forgiveness and supernatural peace.
Send more questions or make comments about this article to firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook page – Mom to Mom: Parenting Consultations and read next week to find answers.
*Ashley Thaba is an author, life coach and motivational speaker. She also facilitates corporate team building and wellness activities. You can view some of her work on her YouTube channel: Ashley Thaba.