The Question

A message for the guys: I was planning to write this post as a “For Girls Only” post, but each time I do that, you all tell me that I shouldn’t have done that—that the topics applied to you or your wives or sisters or daughters. So, I didn’t title this one “For Girls Only.” But I would still like to warn you that this is a topic you may find uncomfortable or inappropriate—read at your own risk!

The Question first came to my mind several weeks ago—the day my computer crashed. Isn’t it just typical that as soon as the important questions come to you, it seems that everything in your real life conspires against you to distract you? Well, that’s what happened to me. I was working at a major event, using my personal laptop do to registration, when suddenly—


At that moment, the last thing on my mind was the question that had fluttered through, looking for a place to land.

The Question?

Why is it that one of the enemy’s favorite weapons to use against women is sexual abuse?

Now, this wasn’t just a random question. At the moment it occurred to me, I was sitting in the back of one of the classes at our event, where one of the topics was how Christians should deal with the mistreatment of women. Specifically, forced marriage, forced prostitution, sexual slavery, and female circumcision.

The lady sitting next to me—a lifelong churchgoer—leaned over and whispered, “What’s female circumcision?” The man in front of us overheard and leaned back to answer her question. Listening to his explanation and watching this innocent lady’s expression change from curiosity to concern to mortification, The Question popped into my head.

Why is it that one of the enemy’s favorite weapons to use against women is sexual abuse?

I had no immediate answer and soon thereafter the class finished and I had to return to my duties. Within moments of returning to work, I ran into the BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH, got distracted, and for some weeks, the question was forgotten.

Suddenly, this week, in the midst of shuffling papers at work, my eyes fell across a neon-green scrap of paper that I’d written a prayer request on a couple of months ago. It was a prayer request about a teenage girl who was drugged by her boyfriend and raped. As I smoothed the paper under my fingers and breathed a prayer, all of a sudden, The Question was back and was louder and stronger than ever.


I emailed the question to two very Godly women that I know. One of them is still prayerfully considering her response. But I had a great chat with the other one. And honestly, while neither of us had all of the answers, we did come to some conclusions:

First, she agreed with me that sexual abuse is one of the enemy’s favorite weapons against women. I had been concerned that maybe, as a victim myself, that I was just being too oversensitive. But she agreed with me and that gave me more peace about my question.

Second, sexual abuses don’t just touch a woman’s body, they crush her soul and her spirit, as well. Because the woman is emotionally and mentally and spiritually wounded, she is hindered her from the very purpose that God created her for—intimacy with Him.

And finally, I realized that my question wasn’t really a general question. The closer I got to the answers, I realized that the question I was really asking was, why did the enemy use this weapon against ME?

It’s not that I think “God did this to me” or even “God let this happen to me.” I’ve worked through those thoughts over the years and discarded them. I guess I just never really understood how the enemy could find me a significant enough threat to attack me in such a way, so early in my life—and so continually throughout my life.

Again, I realize that healing is life peeling an onion—every time you remove a layer, you find another layer underneath. And this is the layer I’m peeling back now. And I’m okay with that. My friend, Eliza, says, “It’s okay to be where you are, as long as you don’t stay there.”

What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you agree or disagree? Do you think I’m just totally barking up the wrong tree?

I’m really open to answers here. When I find the answers, I’ll be able to pass them on to the others who don’t have the answers. And that’s what it’s all about, right? Passing on the truth and pointing the wounded world to the Living Savior.

About Sarah Salter


  1. I think your right on target with this question and the answers you’ve come up with so far. Intimacy and trust are fundamental parts of relationship. When those are damaged or destroyed through abuse, neglect, demoralization, betrayal it affects the core of our being. By attacking people in this way, the enemy paralyzes a person’s ability to relate to a husband or wife, their children, the ability to reach out to help others, and ability to trust God. Thankfully there is always hope for help and healing through God.

    Great question and discussion.

  2. Mary De Muth’s “Thin Places” and Stasi and John Eldredge’s “Captivating” both
    invite this same conversation.

  3. Excellent post, Sarah. I think you are right that it’s one of the many ways the enemy tries weakening women, just as there are many cruel ways to weaken men.

    The more we talk about this, the more we learn, the less control we are allowing the enemy to have over us.

  4. Sarah Salter says:

    Kathleen – I have read both “Thin Places” and “Captivating” and found them both to be incredible! Thanks for those suggestions!

    Kristine & Ginny – Thanks for your comments and your encouragement!

  5. I don’t think you’re barking up the wrong tree, Sarah. I think your second point about sexual abuse affecting more than a woman’s body is spot on. That’s where the wounds can fester forever. But as for you wondering how the enemy could see you as a threat? I don’t wonder that. Maybe I just see a different “you” than you do. I can see what you do for others and how God uses you.

  6. The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy… We don’t have to be a threat, we just have to be breathing. Satan hates us as God’s creation, made for relationship with Him. This is why the conscious decision not to pursue God so “the devil will leave me alone” is such a bizarre one. Life is still hard, loss is still felt, pain is still real–but if we walk with Him we know the best comfort and healing. Thanks Sarah…

  7. Sarah Salter says:

    Wow, Billy. You often make me cry on your blog, but this is the first time you’ve made me cry on mine…
    Jason- That same scripture came to my mind as well. The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy… You’re absolutely right! Thanks!

  8. Dear Sarah,

    I think I’ve told you before that I was abused. My biological father (NOT my daddy that raised me) raped and molested me repeatedly from the time I was a toddler until I was 8 years old. My mom took us in the middle of the night and ran and we never looked back. He never touched my sister, just me. I always wondered why me? Then my first husband (who I was married to for 21 years) got heavily into crack and many nights he would force me to have sex with him when I told him no. I always tell people yes, a husband CAN rape his wife. He can. He did. I stuck with him because I thought he was the best I could do. He had me convinced that I was worthless. It wasn’t until the death of our infant son that I finally got the strength to be done with him. The praying I did for answers about my sons death brought me answers about MY worth. (In case you’re wondering, they didn’t give a specific reason for Daniel’s death. Just that he was really early and too small and weak.) I’m not sure I can answer your question and I’m sorry to have babbled on but I felt like this was something I needed to say. Thanks for letting me.


  9. Hi Sarah,

    I’ve been sitting here pondering your question. The only thing that comes to my mind is this: Weak people take from us, and drain us because this gives them a sense of control and power over their own lives. Their thoughts are obviously not on the damage they are doing to others, but the power they feel when they are standing over someone, taking that person’s strength from them, breaking them.

    I think they see in their victims, a light (for lack of a better word or phrase) that they do not possess. I think this causes them to hate and want to destroy something they will never be.

    I have read about rapists who rape because they hate women. It’s not a sexual act in their mind, but an act of destruction. I have also read that it is a control mechanism for some men who have been emmasculated emotionally or mentally in some way, usually by a prominent woman in their lifes.

    I was told once that a person can do an injustice against you, and due to the guilt they feel for their wrong, rather than making amends, they hate. So that everytime this person sees you, thinks of you or hears about you, the guilt they feel for the wrong is morphed into hate. Yes I said morphed.

    SO while I cannot pinpoint the cause for the hate in every individual case, I think it does ultimately boil down to hatred. Remember, someone can hate you for being good, Jesus was.

    Thanks for the post :o)

  10. When I allow myself time to think about it, the first thing that comes to mind is that I wonder if the guys who have hurt me ever think back to the time when they did with regret and remorse. If they do, I’ve never heard about it. Then, those thoughts lead me to question why they did what they did to me when I was never out to hurt or be hurt by them. I trusted them. Of course, thinking of my trusting them leads me to beat myself up for being so stupid and naive and wondering how could I not have known better. I didn’t know better and then I wonder why no one took the time to teach me. It’s at this point where the tears well up in my eyes, the lump forms in my throat and my heart is an open and raw wound again. I’ve never blamed God. I’ve never ever felt or thought “Why didn’t He do anything to stop them?” I was not His child at the time but I’ll tell you what, I know who is my protector now and my daughter is taught all that I can possibly teach her to ensure it doesn’t happen to her. Of course, it goes without saying that it causes me to question my parent’s love. I knew my mother cared for me, I just never knew she loved me. I grew up without the assurance of either of my parent’s love if the truth be told. I’m not telling you this for anyone to feel sorry for me or that I’m feeling sorry for myself (this subject is a whole other blog in itself) I’m just saying the questions are still unanswered and the hurt is always there.

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