The richness of the Restart Women’s Studies Ministry cannot be overstated. It will touch and nurture your spiritual, emotional and intellectual needs. Something special happens when women join together to focus on practical instruction from the Word of God; and by learning from each other (Titus 2.) There is a sense of belonging and safety that is just not available in other settings. At Restart, the ideas and concerns unearthed by Thursday night’s Women’s Studies often drive the content and focus of the Sunday messages by Pastor Bob – as well as the direction and texture of the Community outreaches taken on by Restart.
There are countless women in our community who are abused: physically (battered by partners, sexually dominated, etc), mentally (threats of punishment and consequence, etc), spiritually (misuse of Bible verses, being forced to “submit” to unrighteous leadership, allegiance of blind or likeminded clergy against her, etc). In all of its wicked forms, abuse leaves it ugly traces on the body, mind, will, emotions, and spirituality. Restart stands strongly opposed to the lethargic response of mainstream clergy and secular counselors to this epidemic. Even in “formal counseling” after listening to her side and his side – today’s counselors conclude the truth is “somewhere in between.” A simple understanding of the nature of the sexes tells a different story. A woman is slow to bring her shame before a Pastor and would not lie about details. She is also slow to come forward to expose the truth, knowing retribution and payback await her at home. Contrast this to the version of the story the man portrays. Truth is, he has every reason (and inclination) to lie – abusers are expert at it. He will seek to dominate the imagination of the counselor by posing as meek and submissive to any solution to save the marriage. This tripe feeds the expectation of the counselor. Pastor Bob relates hearing a Pastor of an enormous local church say he “will be the last one standing to save this marriage.” But from the Restart viewpoint, this too is a form of abuse. At Restart the first step is not to save the marriage but to save the woman. Should this mean the marriage remains intact – super-good. But the first priority is to save the woman from her abuser and to reform the abuser by sharp accountability.
Please know that this is not to say Restart Women’s Studies are only for abused or neglected women, but those words are written to provide assurances to women who are living life without assurances. And to invite every woman to Restart. Every woman has a special gift. And together, these combined gifts will rock the lives of our Sisters at Restart as well as others in our Community.
One Final Thought
It will take some measure of courage to come through the doors at Restart for the first time. But know this, the Word of God and the warm personalities there will promote life-changing experiences for you. This will help you regain your focus, your sense of meaning and significance. Come See!