A friend shared her story with me:
Mom married Dad and soon found herself in a horribly abusive union. His abuse didn't stop with her. We children suffered under his tirades also. Many years later before she died, she shared a couple of incidents with me, her daughter.
At any minute Dad would fly into a rage with no real provocation. It could be caused by a slight misstep. A burned potato. Or a word said with a wrong inflection. All our lives were a constant tight-rope walk. His evil nature ever simmered below the surface like an agitated volcano, ready to erupt at any minute.
Mother learned early in life to rely on Jesus. Life married to Dad drove Mother more solidly into Jesus' arms. I truly believe she would have died at Dad's hand, had it not been for Jesus' protection.
She told me about a time she stood in her bedroom and heard him snarl from the kitchen, "I'm going to kill you."
By this time she was so worn from his explosions she prayed, "Lord, either save me or take me. I'm so weary."
His stocky footsteps thundered down the hall toward the bedroom. She braced for what was coming.
When he reached the open doorway he bounced back as if he had hit an invisible plate glass door. The impact threw him to the ground.
Mom turned to see him on all fours shaking his full head of dark brown hair, stunned.
"I'll get you for this," he said as he rose to charge a second time. He hit the invisible shield again and bounced back. He turned, rubbed his head, and staggered to his easy chair in the living room.
"He never spoke of it again," Mom said.
I asked her why she didn't leave him.
"Our pastor told me it was immoral to divorce or leave him. He said I should not provoke him. I tried. It didn't work."
On another occasion, after the children were grown and married, they moved to an acreage with a pond on the outskirts of the city. Mom wasn't a very proficient swimmer, but did enjoy an occasional dip in cool water on a hot summer day. One day she floated in the pond. She saw Dad stomping toward her, fists clenched, spewing curses.
"You b-----! I'm going to drown you here and now."
He waded into the water and reached for her arm with his huge hand. His grip failed. Each time he grabbed her he couldn't hold on.
"It was like I was all greased up," she said.
Finally, in frustration, he left, cursing as he went.
Shortly after, the Lord spoke to her heart. "I've saved you these many times from his murderous hand. You must not keep assuming I will rescue you. You must take responsibility. It's time for you to get away from him. Leave him and don't come back."
Mom finally did leave him. It took all the children to help her escape. Finally, in her late 50s, she was free of his daily abuse.
God is merciful. He desires all to come to Him rather than spend an eternity in hell. He will go to any length to bring a wayward sheep home.
Dad found the Lord in his later years, but was tormented by the memory of the hurt he had inflicted on others. He did not believe his sins would be completely covered by Jesus' blood. He lived in daily fear of hell.
When Dad was in his 80s and still lucid, alone in a nursing home, his niece came to see him.
He greeted her with excitement and said, "I'm not going to hell. They called me on the phone and told me. They said when I die it will just be a transition; a change into another type of life."
He was finally at peace. He died unexpectedly a month later. Oh, and Dad's room didn't have a phone.
Psalm 91:11 "He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways (NASB)."
2 Peter 3:9b "…not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance" (NASB)."