I was reminded today that the Jewish High Holidays begin later this month. Rosh Hashanah (also known as the Jewish New Year, also known as the Birthday of the Universe, also known as the Feast of Trumpets) falls on sundown of September 25th and continues until sundown of September 27th.
Immediately after Rosh Hashanah, follows The Ten Days of Repentance when the Jewish people consider their sins, by symbolically casting stones into lakes and rivers. They do this in preparation for the Messiah’s arrival. Of course, as believers in Jesus Christ, we are already enjoying the freedom and forgiveness and new life of the one true Messiah.
After ten days of repentance, Jewish people have a very solemn holiday, Yom Kippur or The Day of Atonement. This is traditionally a day of sacrifice on the Jewish calendar. I’m not sure if they will be sacrificing any animals in Jerusalem this year, as there is no temple…
As chaplain for FOCUS Ministries, I pray daily for abusers to experience “godly sorrow that produces repentance leading to salvation”. So many women contact our ministry asking for prayer…prayer for God’s wisdom to know what to do, how to respond to abuse in their homes, how to cope with abuse in all its terrible flavors, whether to stay or go. These women don’t necessarily want to divorce their husbands – they just want them to be kind and patient, to be full of God’s Holy Spirit, to love them sacrificially as Christ loves His Bride the church.
No bride walks down the aisle on her wedding day with the thoughts that she will have to endure a life of oppression and abuse. We all hope and believe and trust that our marriages will go the route of Happily Ever After. But then, life sometimes doesn’t go that way…
But what if we all prayed that our abusers would repent of their sinful behavior, their violence, their terrible verbal and emotional abuse? What if God would choose this month to move mightily in the hearts of husbands who have a sinful desire to control and manipulate their wives? What if God’s plan this month is for godly sorrow leading to repentance of sin and for true salvation, rebirth in Christ, restoration of marriages and families?
Will you believe with me for the rest of the month of September and even into October, that abusers will repent of their sin against God and against their loving wives? Matthew 19:26 reminds us, Jesus looked at His disciples and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”