Marital Abuse & the Bible
Too often a woman who is in domestic violence is kept in bondage by the misuse and misinterpretation of Scripture. Headship and submission become an issue within churches. Link to this blog and gain new insight.
Once I heard it preached that Abigail was a heroine for circumnavigating her brutish husband who dishonoured David and his men. She found a way of saving lives by bringing a peace offering on his behalf but behind his back. I struggled with the fact that this was describing my own sense of having to “cover” for clumsiness and ignora…nce that brought my own family down. I started to hope someone was publically addressing this.
It was explained however that we should not assume this was about marriage or a convenient get out clause (the women’s conference delegates laughed).
What do you make of this, how can the teachers and preachers in the church be clear that there are some cases when a wife might be surreptitious and rightly so? Is Abigail a character who offers hope and exemption to the normal “rules” for abused Christians?
Abigail did what was right in the eyes of God not what the male culture demanded of her. She submitted herself to God not the sin of her husband. By doing that she preserved herself and her family.
If you read on in Scripture, God took care of her husband who was a fool. He died. God does not expect us to enable sin by staying in an environment that is destructive to us.
Thank you, yes the distinction is to know what is the Higher authority in my life? I suppose it shook me that I was hearing God speaking to me specifically about my foolish husband whilst the speaker was at pains for the delegation not to take permission from the general principle for their specific marriage. BUT why can’t there be a lifeline thrown out in such situations where a woman can respond to God’s surprising red alert and not have the opportunity minimised? Sometimes I fear for my ex husband when I see what happened to Nabal, especially when I see his clumsiness sowing discord and confusion in my children.
I am always glad when I hear Joyce Meyer carefully make a distinction between the discipline of putting up and shutting up in everyday trials and the minority who should not stand for abuse when she speaks to her audiences. Even then I feel an opportunity should be thrown open there and then for those abused to be ministered to if God has just opened a can of worms there for them.
I looked up all the references to the wicked and was amazed that God kept promising the end and destruction of the wicked. This gives me hope, not that I want the downfall or death of my ex, but sometimes I don’t see a way out for me, my children and him. His harassment is continuous and no one (not even the police) can restrain him, or at least the cost is always too prohibitive. He himself would be better off without the opportunity to sin, since he claims to want to change.
Is it wrong to pray, like the psalmist did, for God to destroy the wicked and cause their violence to fall on their own heads?
What we can pray is that God will administer justice to those who wronged us. We can also relinquish our thoughts of retaliation to God for he says vengeance is his.
There is so much misinformation in the church about the nature of domestic violence and sexual assault. Abusers are NOT followers of Jesus. Abusers show no repentance or remorse for their sins (many are not capable of feeling empathy, remorse, or love). The demand for marriage permanence and condemnation of divorce in the face of d.v. has more to do with church culture than it does with following God. I am not an advocate for divorce, but I do not believe a Christian (male or female) can follow God while enabling their spouse to sin against them and God through domestic abuse.