Love Naghmeh & Believe Her

December 19, 2015

Friends,
Yesterday at a Christmas party I saw a woman who I know has been working closely with Naghmeh, the wife of Saeed Abedini, the man imprisoned in Iran for his Christian faith. When I asked this woman how Naghmeh is doing, the response I got was somewhat evasive though she told me that Naghmeh is under attack, needs a lot of prayer, and that the issue has been in the news. So, today I decided to google it. Here is one of the sites I read at:

http://www.charismanews.com/culture/53685-despite-calls-for-prayer-over-abuse-pastor-saeed-s-wife-can-t-deny-this

Truly it is disheartening to hear that Saeed himself was, and still is, causing his wife pain in his treatment toward her. It is depressing to learn that a man many of us have prayed for and then have wondered why God has not released him, has a heart and mind that chose to repeatedly rebel against God’s holy law. This is what viewing pornography is –rebellion against God, His holiness, and His moral law. As Jesus made clear, it is adultery and a sin that brings with it the payment of Hell. (Mt. 5:27-30) It is the opposite of treating others as we ourselves would want to be treated. (Mt. 7:12) It is hostility to God (Rom. 8:6-8 // Ja. 4:4) and it is treason agains the vows of marriage. (Mt. 5:28 & 19:3-9 // Eph. 5:21-33)

Sadly there are those who would discredit Naghmeh for coming out with the truth. I read one such article and felt repulsed by the guy’s attitude and statements which downplayed the evil of pornography and which called Naghmeh’s credibility into question. Tragically, this type of response is exactly why most abuse goes unreported, particularly in Christian circles. The woman isn’t believed! Or she is blamed. Or she is made to feel ashamed for mentioning it. And this, in spite of the fact that rarely is spousal abuse fabricated. Read here:

http://www.charismanews.com/world/53402-why-pastor-saeed-abedini-s-wife-kept-his-abuse-secret-until-now

Just a few hours after being at the Christmas party yesterday, I received a text from a friend in another state, telling me that a month ago she had moved to a friend’s house to separate from her husband. I was definitely happy to hear this news because for years I have admonished her that this is the best, and likely only, way to help her husband see his need to change. After reading today about Naghmeh’s accusation and some of the fall-out, I found it significant that her dilemma and my friend’s dilemma are similar. My friend, whose husband was deeply into pornography even while they were in ministry together, had a monumental catastrophe happen to him. After months of prayers from people everywhere, God intervened and freed him (physically), but although his sin was exposed, his heart did not genuinely repent. This fakery is no way to try to uphold a marriage, for until a man truly repents in sorrow and brokenness and exhibits a complete transformation of behavior, words, attitudes, expressions, etc., there can be no real reconciliation between him and God or between him and his wife. It’s impossible.

Contemplating these two tragic marriages, along with many more abusive marriages I’m aware of (either broken or still on-going), grieves me, but I am left again with the thought that some tragedies and injustices are, maybe more often than we realize, a direct punishment from the Lord, as well as His warning to the oppressor that he must repent.

It is not easy for any person, especially a Christian wife, and especially one in the limelight, to come forward with the allegation that her husband has been abusive or has been living a lie of any sort. It is tragic for the wife. May the Lord open the eyes of those in the church who have turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to these heart-breaking, family-devasting sins rampant among the sheep –and among the leaders. And may the Lord soften the hearts of all who claim to be Christians so that they reach out to Naghmeh exactly as Jesus Himself would and exactly as the Holy Spirit directs.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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