I am often asked why I do not associate with my biological mother, my brother and two of my half brothers. The conversations all start with, "How are you...?" To which I reply, "I'm not sure, I haven't seen or spoken to them in years." Then I'm asked, "Why?" To keep it simple, I'm just saying that we've walked different paths in life, which gets to the point, but that never seems like an acceptable answer because once it's said, the interrogation begins. At this point, I usually just say that the house I grew up in was abusive, so I walked away so I wouldn't become a product of that environment. Then I am told in so many words that it is sinful and wrong that I have cut ties with my family, that it doesn't matter if they mistreat me or not, the right thing to do is to be patient and tolerant of their sins .
I cannot stress how much I disagree with how wrong this advice is. For years I was helplessly trapped in a family where I was repeatedly raped by my eldest half brother. This was happening right under my mother's nose while my other brothers lied and covered up the facts. They all lie about it and cover up the facts to this day; My mother is no exception.
My brothers have been abusing drugs and alcohol all their lives and even now; and they commit crimes, not only taking tangible objects from me and everyone around them, but more importantly, they ruthlessly and shamelessly desecrate and destroy not only my childhood but my innocence as well. This is due to all their hands; including my mother's.
I don't believe for a second that the Lord wants me (or anyone) to be endlessly patient and tolerant of others who choose to sin, especially those who sin directly against us. If that were the case, God would consider it a sin to protect ourselves, and He doesn't.
Another thing God doesn't do is consider it a sin or even a slight disappointment that I walked away from a family that treated me with the utmost disrespect. I was born into this family, yes, but I'm not stuck in them. The Bible tells us to follow those who follow it, so my relationship with my family is no different than my relationship with someone else who turns out to be "NOT the person I thought they were" . (2 Corinthians 6:14-18, 1 Corinthians 5:11-13, Hebrews 3:12, Matthew 18:20)
Choosing not to support the immoral, shameful lifestyles of my toxic family members doesn't make me any less Christian or unchristian or godless or anything like that. What it makes me is smart.
It's hard for a person who has never experienced abuse to understand how a family relationship could be so toxic - toxic to the point that I pushed my entire family out of my life. Some of the people who have criticized me - leaders in the church, for example - have been abused themselves (Galatians 6:13) and to them I say, "I pray A LOT for you because I have walked in your shoes, I know your personal ones Weakness, your struggle and what haunts you in everyday life.” My prayer is that you will understand the value that God has truly placed on “you”. You are priceless and I pray that you will find the strength to accept it with your whole being; to honor and love yourself for all you really are. (1 Corinthians 10:13, Romans 12:2, Psalm 139:13-14)
Not only was I criticized, but I was told that the right thing to do was to forgive. I agree, forgiveness is the right thing for my own peace of mind. I put my trust in God when I learned years ago that vengeance is His alone (Romans 12:10), but I'm also aware that the BibleNotTell us to forgive unrepentant people. (Luke 17:3-4, Matthew 5:44). And nowhere in the Bible are we instructed to continue in an abusive, unhealthy, toxic relationship.
I would like to add that I don't believe in second chances. We are all sinners and we all make mistakes. So I gave my mother and each of my brothers a second chance (third, fourth, and fifth) to see if they really had repentance and changed. However, when I woke up at 21 and found my oldest half-brother (six years older than me) trying to get his hands in my underwear while my two-year-old daughter slept next to me, it was clear that he hadn't changed at all . Once again, my mother and brothers did nothing to protect me, defend my honor, or set him on the right path - there was no accountability whatsoever. Instead, they defended him and told me to get over it. So here I am today. I get over it and shake her privates off my back, placing it where it belongs in her hands.
I and anyone else should be mistreated. The most godly and righteous men of God don't have to keep going back for more. This may shake the world of those I have come into contact with, those who do not know me fully, those who have told me I am wrong and sinful and directing me to be patient and tolerant of these abusive family members , but hear me roar: “NOBODY HAS THE RIGHT TO EXPECT MY LIFE TO BE ABUSED OR TO JUDGE ME FOR TURNING MY BACK ON THEM. NO ONE." (Matthew 4:5, James 4:1, Proverbs 31:9, James 1:26)
The Bible lists patience as a “gift of the Holy Spirit” and is considered a quality of righteousness (Galatians 5:22-23). When taken out of context, it has an entirely different meaning than what is presented in Scripture. "Patience" in the biblical context generally refers to not losing faith in God when we are going through hard times, patiently waiting for Him to rescue us from our trials, and holding on to our faith until we receive our reward reach in heaven (Proverbs 3:5-6, Psalm 27:13-14). It does NOT refer to patiently waiting for evil people to change their ways. This is a total misrepresentation of the Word of God. Biblical "patience" never refers to being patient with wickedness, hurt, abuse, or abusive behavior. It is God's role to be patient with us. This is his long suffering on us, because he does not want anyone to perish, but that we should all come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9).
The Bible does not tell us to remain in relationships with people who have harmed us or are still harming us, family or not. In fact, Scripture is full of teachings directing us to leave, separate from, shun, cast out, and cleanse relationships with wicked or wicked people. (1 Corinthians 15:33, Proverbs 13:20, Psalm 1:1, Proverbs 6:27, 1 Corinthians 5:11, 1 Corinthians 10:13 – these are just a few). Parents and siblings are no different.
Jesus said to the disciples, "But if they persecute you in this city, flee to another". (Matthew 10:25).
God didn't tell them not to love, He told them to love them from afar, from a great distance, because we all have to love - we were commanded to love, but we were not commanded to love what evil does .
Spreading the word and teaching and encouraging others about God's love for us is not just taught through words, it is taught in the way we all live our lives. It is the light we let shine on the world. This includes the people we surround ourselves with (Philippians 2:16-16, John 8:12, Matthew 15:16, 1 Peter 2:9, Colossians 3:17, Ephesians 5:8 - there are so many more ).
It all comes from God. I don't invent this stuff. I encourage you to do your research and read the Bible. Since I left my family, many doors of my past have closed and every time one door closes, ten more doors open; brightens my life, my future. Every relationship that caused me heartache and pain was replaced in the most unexpected ways and by the most unexpected people with a healthy, loving relationship (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
I can only say: "Glory to God!" with a lot of dancing in the crotch and a little swing in the hips! Life is great!