And so begins Series 4 of our Marital Abuse posts – Helping the Abused.
Up until now, my goal has been to define abuse. Below is a convenient list of topics we’ve covered with each link:
Introduction – Marital Abuse – No One Knew
Series 1: How to Spot an Abuser
Post 1: Domestic Violence
Post 2: The Cycle of Abuse
Post 3: Emotional and Mental Abuse
Post 4: Financial and Spiritual Abuse
Post 5: Spotting An Abuser Before You Marry One
Series 2: Why The Abused Stay
Post 1: Fear, part 1
Post 2: Fear, part 2
Post 3: Reasons Other Than Fear
Series 3: Why Abusers Abuse
Post 1: Power
Post 2: Addiction
Post 3: Abusive Background
Now, series 4 will explore what we can DO about what we know.
God’s Opinion of Abuse
It may seem useless and even silly to ask what God thinks about abuse when the answer seems so obvious. However, before we can help the abused (or ourselves, if that be the case), it must be very clear in our minds what God thinks. We must see abusive behaviour the way God sees it.
Does God gives anyone the right to treat a fellow human with deception, manipulation, belittling, restraint or violence?
Does God give a husband the right to treat is wife as a possession to do with whatever he feels like?
Is marriage a master/slave relationship?
Does God condone deception, cruelty, insults, restriction of movement, and silencing other’s viewpoints?
No, He calls this oppression and evil – especially when a man has vowed to love, cherish and protect his wife! Wives are to submit, yes, but to God, not to evil.
The Sydney Morning Herald on 7 March 2014 reported statistics just in the state of New South Wales:
In Australia, one woman dies every week from from domestic violence in 2014. One woman is hospitalised every three hours across the country.
On 8 March 2014, it reported:
Three-quarters of all women killed in NSW die at the hands of their loved ones … domestic violence is responsible for about two in five of all homicides and assaults in NSW. NSW police deal with about 370 instances of domestic and family violence a day. Studies show less than half of instances are reported.
There is no guessing what God’s opinion is of abuse.
Leslie Vernick writes, “God designed marriage to be a loving and respectful relationship, not a slave/master dictatorship where one person dominates and controls the other. Tim Keller in his book, The Meaning of Marriage, writes, “The Christian teaching [on marriage] does not offer a choice between fulfilment and sacrifice but rather mutual fulfilment through mutual sacrifice.” When one spouse seeks to gain power and control over the other and bullies or intimidates using words, finances, physical force or the Scriptures, he or she is not only sinning against their spouse but also against God’s plan for marriage.”
God Speaks for Himself
The LORD tries the righteous: but the wicked and him that loves violence his soul hates. Psalm 11:5
God hates the heart that devises wicked plans and a lying tongue. Proverbs 6:16-19
The fear of the Lord is the hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and perverted speech do I hate. Proverbs 8:13
You are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you. The boastful shall not stand before your eyes, and You hate all evil-doers. You destroy those who speak lies. The Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful men. Psalm 5:4-6
Oh you who love the Lord, hate evil. He preserves the lives of his saints; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked. Psalm 97:10
A good man obtains favour from the Lord, but a man of evil devices He condemns. Proverbs 12:2
Abhor what is evil. Romans 12:9
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord. Proverbs 12:22
There are many more verses, but we’ll stop there. Notice, God does not just hate physical violence, but all abuse. A marriage license doesn’t change God’s opinion.
Next post: Step 1 is the victim’s acknowledgement that she is being abused. There’s more to this topic than you may think.