New Book, New Opportunities, Same Old Insecurities

Where has the time gone?

A couple of years ago while speaking at the Faith Biblical Counseling Training Conference on the topic of domestic violence I quipped at the lack of Christian books addressing domestic violence, stating that I owned them all. A voice from the back of the room bellowed, “You should write one!” I quickly responded, “You should publish one.” I have had several friends encourage me to write over the years but frankly, in my mind, I was already punching above my weight class as it were. The pastor of a small church, in a small town, in a small state I was blessed to be given any platform to raise awareness, and while I had actually attempted to submit book proposals the previous year I was becoming convinced that writing may be out of reach. I started blogging in 2014 as an outlet, giving voice to some thoughts and concerns. I thought a few friends might read it and I could practice my skill as a writer by making my thoughts concise, limiting myself to 500-700 words. It was fun, and a great deal more challenging than I thought. In fact the blog became a faith stretching experience for me as it exposed my own insecurities and fears of failure. The process itself was healthy for me and with a growing confidence, and continued encouragement, I submitted one more book proposal.

The fall of 2014 I received word from a publisher who was interested in my work. I quickly began to send whatever I could to her and within a few weeks we had reached an agreement and I began to write. The added stress and the time required to write the manuscript meant that something in my schedule had to give, and the blog was put on hold. I appreciate each of you who have reached out to me over the past year out of concern and to those who have patiently waited as I finish the book. With that said I am pleased to announce that my first book, “The Heart of Domestic Abuse; Gospel Solutions for Men who Use Control and Violence in the Home” has been released. Currently, this book is available through my publisher at www.focuspublishing.com

Growing Partnership with Leslie Vernick

Many of you may be aware of my friendship with Leslie Vernick, author of The Emotionally Destructive Marriage. Leslie and I recently co-lead a seminar at the AACC World conference entitled “Counseling Strategies for the Emotionally Destructive Person.” The seminar was a success as hundreds of people helpers personally attended and many recordings were purchased from the conference bookstore. Leslie and I are committed to continuing this work through a unique mentoring program we’ve established called EQUIP. EQUIP is an on-line support community of Christ-centered people helpers who desire to receive monthly mentoring and case consultation, sharpen their skill set with professional expertise, and be connected with others who share common goals for sharpening and support. If you’re interested in being a part of EQUIP you can find more information here https://un184.infusionsoft.com/app/page/equip/

Final Thought

What about the blog? The new opportunities are exciting but the same old fears still nag at my soul. Will I start posting again? I think I will, but I need your help. God has been so good to allow me to speak and write in this space and I truly want to honor Him with my words. So, what would you like to discuss? What topics would benefit you as a reader? How can I use this space to benefit the Church?

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12 Responses to New Book, New Opportunities, Same Old Insecurities

  1. kathylaukert@comcast.net says:

    Hello Chris,I love your work and your heart for DV. Thank You! I have a question for you. My husband and I are unfortunately in the middle of a divorce. He is intimidating and verbally and emotionally abusive. He has gone to counseling and to our local DV agency for a six month program. Unfortunately, he says that he is not like these other men and he doesn’t agree that there is anything he needs to change. He used to attend church with us and has not now for the past year, not even on his own. When I read A Cry for Justice or other Christian resources, it is very clear that abusers are not saved. Otherwise they would eventually repent. What is your opinion?Thank you!Kathy LaukertSent from XFINITY Connect Mobile App

    • Thanks Kathy, it’s great to hear from you. I think that would make a good post in the future. In the meantime I’ll say I’m hesitant to classify a group as Christian or non-Christian, although I generally operate under the assumption that a pattern of coercive control is contrary to that of a Christ follower. Regardless, the gospel speaks to the lost, the rebellious, and the ignorant. I’ll put that topic on the list to address more thoroughly. Thanks.

  2. Joy Forrest says:

    I’d love to see you talk about ways we could help raise awareness within the church. So many seem to deny this is a real problem– even when you raise statistics. I’m so glad to see this forum coming from a pastor! Seems other pastors might be more willing to hear it from one of their own.

    • Joy, it’s true that pastors seem more receptive to me. I think it’s combination of my experience, my position as a pastor, and frankly that I’m a man 🙂 Anyway, I’d be happy to a few posts on resources. I actually thought about a series of interview questions with some pastors I know who are receptive to this work to try and gauge how they became involved, what’s helped them, and what resources they’d like to see developed.

  3. Rose says:

    Getting materials out to churches for educating the pastor, other staff and church members would raise awareness. My 35 year abusive marriage (after being divorced 4 months) I still grieve, often wishing it could have turned out differently. How can we get these abusers to come out of denial and seek help?

    • Rose, I often say that it’s true that you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. But, you can feed him crackers. Basically, there is nothing any of us can do to make abusive people change, but I will try to create a thirst for something better through consequences, modeling, confrontation, and the gospel. Ultimately, their choices belong to them.

  4. I’d appreciate it if you’d address the need for pastors to preach on domestic abuse every now and then and to do so from the position of the true Gospel. The Social Gospel saves no one and ultimately does no good but, sadly, most who would address this or other such issues seem to be in that camp. I’d also like it if you could address practical issues and needs that Christian women in abusive relationships face. They are often told “Leave” but given no help to do so or they’re told “Stay and suffer for Christ” when that is against what Scripture actually teaches. Even Jesus Himself fled from danger when His time had not yet come. Also in the practical issues camp maybe deal with questions abused women might have such as “What do I tell my children about their father? How do I help them heal if I do leave? How can I take care of them if I stay? How truthful am I to be with others, his family, my family, the church?”. These kinds of questions are important and no pastor that I know of is addressing them. The church is, thankfully, becoming more aware of the issue of domestic abuse but we’re really only in the beginning stages of addressing it.

    Many women who would leave, who have the biblical right to do so, don’t do so because they cannot afford to do so. Transitional housing, job training, and counseling are desperately needed but many churches either never think about it or, even if they did, they’re too small to do anything about it corporately. What about individually, though? A woman who had been through it might be able to at least informally counsel one going through it. If church members had skills (such as sewing, crafting, knowledge of how to write a business plan, gardening, selling, child care, etc.) that they could teach and would be willing to teach that could then be used by the women to set up their own home or small business. Or, if the members would be willing to open their own homes to the family while the woman went back to school or started a job, or were willing to watch her children for free for a while, and so on. Offer a room rent free, give her decent furniture you are no longer using, clothes your children no longer need, produce from your garden. There are programs that provide sewing machines to poor women overseas, or goats to the family so that they can then start supporting themselves. The items might be different here but if they could do it there, we can do it here. Anything to demonstrate the love of Christ that she and her children so desperately need to experience.

    Teach us how to be the hands and feet of Jesus, that’s what I’m trying to say.

    • Yes, yes, yes, and yes 🙂 I appreciate the feedback. This gives me some great direction. I could not agree more about the lack of gospel-centered approaches in this work. Thanks

  5. Erin says:

    Yay! Welcome back to the blogoshpere! I am so happy to hear that you have been published. Congratulations! Your voice in this is so helpful and such a blessing. I am looking forward to reading your book. I really do pray that your experience will resonate within the churches and raise the level of care and understanding that women receive from pastors. I also would love to see pastors better educated on how to recognize and address the abusive/entitled mentality. I worry that many are unintentionally making it worse. With my ex there seemed like there was a window of time when he was possibly reachable but I am afraid that the pastors missed the opportunity to really offer my ex help with true change. They meant well, I really do believe that, but they inadvertently reinforced his entitlement and I believe made my x more unsafe for me. Blessings to you Chris! Thank you for walking in faith and taking the brave leap into this arena.

  6. Mel says:

    Chris, is there a way to access the seminar you gave at the AACC World conference?

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