By Zaibel Torres Purity + Peace leader at Iglesia Bautista Emanuel in Bridgeport, Connecticut
I never expected to be a Purity + Peace leader.
When I signed up for the class, I thought that was all it was: A class to bring back to my church for the young teen girls. I was totally surprised by what it really was: Women of all ages, regardless of their relationship status, finding healing.
There is a scripture that comes to mind when I think of my travels through Purity and Peace as a student or leader and it’s the sad story of Tamar. You will find the story in 2 Samuel 13.
A SECRET IS BORN
Tamar was King David’s daughter, and she had a half brother named Amnon who was so obsessed with her, he became ill over it. One day Amnon asked their father, King David, if Tamar could come to his room and cook for him. The King said yes, and once Tamar was there, Amnon was overtaken by his lust for her and he raped her.
Absalom, Tamar’s brother from the same mother and father, went to see her. This next line shakes me to the core. It's found in verse 20:
“Her brother Absalom saw her and asked, ‘Is it true that Amnon has been with you?’ Well, my sister, keep quiet for now, since he is your brother. Don’t you worry about it.” So Tamar lived as a desolate woman in her brother Absalom’s house.” (NLT)
A secret was born. This secret became so big it consumed all the parties involved.
I will let you turn to the scriptures to read it for yourself, but: hate, resentment, betrayal and murder followed and all stemmed from this one moment. The situation was not dealt with.
It was silenced.
How familiar is this story to you?
A DESOLATE LIFE
I often wonder how Tamar felt when she was told to keep quiet:
Did she feel like she was protecting herself or her abuser?
How did she feel knowing her father did nothing about it?
Her father. King David. The man known for having a heart for God, did nothing. And all we hear of Tamar is that she lived a desolate life. How many women are living desolate lives? How many are holding secrets bigger than they can handle? How many will settle for abuse and brokenness because that’s what they feel is all they deserve? How many are walking angry and then hurting more people because they accepted all the pain as the status quo for their life?
God doesn’t want that for them. And God doesn’t want that for you.
GO TELL YOUR FATHER
Every Purity + Peace session I meet more Tamar’s than I can count, myself included. Our story ends differently though. In Purity + Peace, women don’t go to their brother, they go to their sisters who bring them straight to their heavenly Father who doesn’t ignore what happened.
At Purity + Peace, lives are transformed, set free, and made so beautiful that it’s hard to walk away from all the women in the group. I don’t lead a Bible study, I lead women to their Father; because years ago someone did it for me. I know firsthand what changes come from encountering the King of Kings in the throne room. So when Vikki asked me to lead a small group, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. Why? Because I love watching God move. It's that simple.
Sign up for Purity + Peace here.