Couple says God's healing avails for abusive marriages
Posted on Jan 15, 1998 | by Dana Williamson
ATOKA, Okla. (BP)--After 10 years of physical and
mental abuse, God healed the marriage of Susie and Paul
For the past three years, Susie Luchsinger, sister to
country entertainer Reba McEntire and winner of Entertainer
of the Year and Christian Country Artist of the Year awards
in Christian country music, has been living a marriage she
doesn't mind talking about. Susie and Paul, a rodeo rider,
now make nearly 100 public appearances a year, singing
gospel songs and telling others about how domestic violence
almost ruined their marriage.
The couple also tell their story in a recently released
book, "A Tender Road Home," published by the Southern
Baptist Sunday School Board's Broadman & Holman publishers.
Both Paul and Susie say their life is a lot more fun
since they experienced healing in their marriage.
"There is a lot more open communication," Susie said.
"We try to have fun even when we work."
Susie said when Paul was abusing her she wouldn't say
anything to him that might upset him. Now, however, she said
she's not afraid to speak her mind.
"I'm going to say what I want to say to him in a
spirit of love, but in truth, when I think he is doing wrong
or when he needs to do something about his moodiness," she
Susie pointed out they now have the tools on how to
resolve conflicts and how to give criticism that they are
beginning to apply to their marriage.
"It took a long time because we were immature," she
said. "After three kids, we're just now learning to
Paul said the family now prays together daily and
studies the Bible at least five times a week.
"I constantly have to remind myself I have to be under
the control of the Holy Spirit, because nothing I do outside
of the Holy Spirit is going to be pleasing to God," Paul
The Luchsingers said they chronicled their story in a
book for several reasons.
"We did an interview with USA Today Weekend, and when
the story came out, it was about two inches long and the
title was 'Reba McEntire's Sister Abused,'" Paul said. "It
left you thinking the abuse was still going on today, and we
wanted to tell the rest of the story."
Susie said another reason was that during the O.J.
Simpson trial, Nicole Simpson's sister was telling the
nation that if abuse was going on, to get out and get a
"We knew there was another side," Susie said. "God
changes situations and he heals people and he can heal their
marriages. We wanted to present a different side, an
alternative to divorce."
Paul and Susie advise couples living in an abusive
situation to get help.
"The abuser has to get to the point of recognizing he
has a problem," Paul said. "And the one who is being abused
has to understand they have a problem too. They are enabling
the abuser to do that to them."
Paul said they tell people not to consult with their
families about the domestic violence.
"They will be the last to forgive the abuser," he said.
"We recommend going to your church, but sadly very few
churches today are equipped to help in abuse cases."
If the church can't help, close friends would be the
next place to go, the Luchsingers said.
"Go to someone your husband or wife respects and tell
them in confidence," Paul advised. "All of a sudden, your
best friend knows you are beating on your wife."
Susie said a Christian counselor who is strong enough
in God's Word to be a good mediator also can be a source of
"Paul and I advise dating couples not to get married
until they have had at least a few major disagreements in
their relationship," Susie noted. "It is important for a
couple to see how well they can resolve problems before they
say, 'I do.'
"I tell young women thinking about marriage, 'See your
man under pressure. Watch how he reacts. How does he treat
you? Notice how he treats his mama, because that's probably
how he is going to treat you. Look, too, at how his daddy
treats his mama, because that is how the man has learned to
regard a woman.'"
Susie said during the worst times of their marriage,
she never went for help.
"If I had mustered the courage to do so, I honestly
believe we could have avoided a lot of emotional hurt and
physical pain. Now when anyone tells me that they are in an
abusive situation, I tell them to seek professional help
Susie said single women in an abusive relationship with
a man should get out of the situation.
"Run, don't walk," she urged. "Don't allow yourself to
be intimidated. If a man is beating on you, taunting you,
demeaning you or abusing you verbally or emotionally before
you are married, you can be sure that the abusiveness is an
ingrained facet of his personality."
The Luchsingers also encourage abusers, for their own
good and the good of those around them, to seek help.
"Call a Bible-believing pastor, a domestic violence
hotline, but please, do not ignore the problem," Susie said.
"It will not simply go away by itself. Most of all, call out
to Jesus Christ. His power is stronger than the power that
is being manifested in your anger and violence. He can set
The Luchsinger's book, "A Tender Road Home," can be
purchased in Baptist Book Stores, Lifeway Christian Stores
and other Christian bookstores.