Pastor Woodward’s latest book, Living and Loving Again: Life After Abuse, fills a critical void for pastors and counselors — and the victims themselves — who are dealing with people that are victims of abuse. It is a powerful tool in the counselor’s toolbox and a lifeline for victims.
In our independent Baptist circles, we tend to be really good at “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression.” And, in 21st century America, we need to be good at that.
However, we tend to not be so good at the grace, patience, meekness, and lovingkindness that is necessary in helping an abuse victim not only heal, but learn to live and love again. Sometimes, it almost seems as if those traits are counted as weakness. Yet, they are biblical and necessary when helping somebody who has come from an abusive background.
Living and Loving Again helps fill that gap, making it possible for any preacher, any counselor, to help victims by giving them this book, or reading it themselves and using its Bible-based information as a basis for counseling sessions.
This book takes a compassionate and informed approach toward the subject. Pastor Woodard has studied the field and has extensive counseling experience, so he is able to not only help the victim through their problem, but also help them understand why they feel and act the way they do.
Victims of abuse often carry feelings of guilt and inadequacy. The author helps them understand why they feel this way, and helps them understand that it’s not their fault. The feelings of inadequacy and guilt are natural, and not their fault, and the abuse itself was not their fault.
As a result of the abuse, the victim had something precious stolen from them. They were helpless to stop it. But, often, they are made to feel like it was all their fault. The author helps them understand that it was not their fault, that the victim is not the guilty one, and walks them through the healing process to help them learn to trust again, to love again, and to live again.
If you are a victim of abuse, this book is a must-read. If you have a husband or wife, they should read it too, in order for them to better understand you.
Ideally, every Christian college would include it in their counseling curriculum. It belongs on the bookshelf of every preacher and counselor.
Living and Loving Again is being released by the publisher June 2017 and is available for order through the book’s web site, with an introductory free shipping promotion.