I can get pretty caught up in praying for my children. I would like to say that I ALWAYS pray for God's will in their life but that would be a lie. Sometimes I discover myself praying things like "let them excel in what they want to", "help them choose the right friends", "impress on them how important it is to be good and do their best". There is nothing wrong with these prayers but there was something I saw a few days ago that made me reevaluate how I view the lives of my girls.
I was in the grocery store parking lot with my two youngest. I was in the middle of loading them into the cart when I noticed a store employee walking out with someone. The employee looked angry. My first thought was someone just got fired and needed to be escorted out. He was walking so close to her that I thought he was trying to keep her from making a scene. She got into her car right across the isle from us. Then I saw her get her keys out and the employee yanked the keys out of her hands and threw them on the floorboard. Then he reached up and smacked her in the head. I just stood there with my mouth hanging open. My brain had not caught up with my eyes. I'm still thinking this is an employer/employee relationship. Obviously it was a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship (if you could call it that). Then he leaned in through the car to get right in her face. I heard her say "stop" and I saw her try to push him away. I started looking around to see if anyone else was noticing this. There was a man sitting directly across from the couple in his van. He had a much better vantage point than I but he just sat there staring. I tried to catch his eye and give him that "what should we do?" look but he was purposely not making eye contact with me. Then this man actually leaned inside the car with his arm around her neck and began choking her!!! Right there in the parking lot. He was trying to pretend (for her sake or mine, I don't know) that he was hugging her around the neck but she was gasping. FYI, when your partner is gasping and trying to push you away you're hugging too hard. Everything in my body, mind, and soul screamed for me to come to this woman's aid. I said a quick prayer for my kids' and my safety and pushed all three of us over to this woman's car. I said, "Ma'am, do you need help?" two or three times before they both finally heard me. Her so called boyfriend didn't even bother to turn around and look me in the face. (coward!!) He froze and she poked her head around his arm to say, "Thank you, but I'm fine." "Are you sure?", I said. "Yes". Of course she wasn't. She was crying and her boyfriend was a complete jerk and he was assaulting her! I stepped back and said, "Well, I just think I'll wait here until you friend goes back to work." That finally got him moving. He still didn't turn around and look at me, but he walked off without saying a word.
Back to my original thought. This poor girl seemed so helpless against the power her boyfriend had over her. I've never been in an abusive relationship but it's wrong for me to judge why she stays with her boyfriend. I hope she doesn't for long. This encounter made me rethink the things I want for my girls. I was overcome with a need to pray for my girls safety and the safety of all their little friends. To pray that they never have to find themselves in these situation. That if they do they'll be able to cry out to God and their families for help. To pray for all the little boys growing up with my daughters that they will never think that abusing anyone is okay. We don't start out that way. Something has happened in that young man's life to make him think that abusing a woman is okay. I don't excuse his behavior but I'm sure he comes by it from what he has learned. Being abused by someone you love was never God's plan. It breaks my heart that we keep seeing it over and over again. I encourage all of us to pray and search for the knowledge to keep this from happening to the ones we love.