This week we will once again be planting white ribbons on the front lawn of our church as a sign of solidarity and support for those locked in the cycle of family violence. Sadly, this ongoing cycle of abuse continues to be a dark and ever-present shadow over almost every community in N.Z. Do not think, as so many do, that this sad reality only exists in the South of Auckland or the far North of the North Island. Statistics reveal that it permeates through unreported into the most affluent and well to do suburbs as well.
Government agencies and NGOs work hard at addressing this sad situation, but my concern is that apart from humanistic psychology they have no real answers and spend most of their time and energy addressing the harm that issues as a result of such violence. I want to suggest that the gospel of Christ and God’s healing grace is the lasting solution.
As I read the bible it is evident that God’s grace that brings forgiveness, peace and healing and the Holy Spirit’s intervention is the long-term solution. The gospel of Christ teaches self-control, servant love, tenderness. Ephesians 4 & 5 teaches God’s wisdom for how to behave in love. That passage goes on to show the unconditional love and servant heart that husbands and wives show each other. It’s these timeless truths that cause me to say once again – “the gospel of Christ is the hope of our land”
Statistics about family violence –
* In 2017 police were called to 118 923 family violence incidents, that is on average 1 every 4 minutes day and night
* 1 in 3 women in NZ experience some form of family or sexual violence
* A child is killed every 5 weeks in N.Z. in family violence
* 76% of family violence is not even reported