A Christian Perspective of Domestic Violence
Most abused women who experience domestic violence, along with their children, are caught up in or have been in a co-dependent cycle of abuse that enables the abuser to continue in the abusive behavior patterns. These women usually make several attempts to leave the relationship before they are successfully freed from the strongholds of the co-dependent rhythms. The cycle of abuse usually builds up with stressful situations to the point of abuse occurring, then there is often the honeymoon stage, where the husband may apologize, bring gifts, etc. But then the cycle continues until the abuse recurs.
One reason for this is that these women have unusually low self-esteems often stemming from earlier abuses such as child abuse, childhood sexual abuse, rape, or other traumatic events. Another reason is that the men in their lives exhibit such a powerful psychological influence on them due to various forms of abuse such as verbal, mental, physical, or sexual abuse.
It Rarely Stops Video
Verbal abuse may include such tactics as name calling, threats of physical harm, etc. Mental abuse often includes intimidation tactics such as hitting or kicking the air or surfaces near the victim, and any threat of harm to the victim, or the victims’ loved ones, personal belongings, pets, etc. Physical abuse includes behaviors that often but not always leave marks and bruises, like spitting, slapping, hitting, biting, pinching, kicking, burning, pressure holds, etc. Sexual abuse includes any sexual behavior that coerces or forces the victim (either the wife or a child) to do or be exposed to unwanted sexual conduct or materials used for sexual stimuli such as pornography, sex toys, or other objects used for sexual purposes.
While pornography may be used to lower inhibitions of women to uncommon and deviant sex acts, abused women and children are often coerced or forced to perform deviant sex acts against their will by their partners and fathers. Loving relationships do not seek to selfishly control or manipulate, but is mutually agreeable and pleasurable to both partners. Child sexual abuse is never acceptable. Real loving relationships are selfless in nature, not selfish, and acts to please the other instead of demanding self-pleasure from the other. Offenders must be stopped!
One more reason abused women choose to remain in abusive relationships is a strong religious background which seemingly discourages or prohibits divorce, even under intolerable circumstances. But women experiencing domestic violence must not be told by their clergy that they must “submit” to an abusive husband. Scripture teaches that a man should love his wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for it. This was sacrificial love, which never forced anyone to accept it. Scripture also teaches us to submit to one another in love. At no time does Scripture teach a husband to exert power and control over a wife. An abused woman is not at fault for the abuse, she has not “failed to submit” properly, but the perpetrator is responsible for his own behavior. Instead of judging the victim unfairly, ministers and Christian counselors should seek avenues to protect and serve them.
Scripture does teach two situations where divorce can take place. In the cases of adultery and abandonment by an unbelieving spouse, a Christian woman may seek a divorce. Some Christian authorities include domestic violence as a form of abandonment, because when a husband abuses his wife, he is emotionally abandoning her. He has crossed the line from being the protector, to the aggressor, and has abandoned his responsibility to her and for her. Scripture also teaches that if a woman leaves her husband, she is to remain as unmarried until such time as they may be reconciled. But if professional help is not sought, and repentance never happens on the husband’s part, with the fruits of repentance (a change in behavior, not just words) not bringing forth proof, then reconciliation should never take place.
A woman should never endanger herself, nor her children, if professional help is not sought by her husband, and proof of a change of behavior has not taken place. A woman may choose to separate while this process happens or she may choose to divorce. God doesn’t want us to suffer unnecessarily, as Christ has suffered for us already. God doesn’t allow unrepentant sinners into His presence, and as children of God, we should not allow unrepentant sinners into ours.
- A Christian Perspective of Abuse in the Marital Relationship (gofishministries.wordpress.com)
- Coming out of the Closet Victims of Sexual and Domestic Violence and the Non-traditionally Sexually Oriented (gofishministries.wordpress.com)
- Are You SAD?(Sexually Abused Dependant) (gofishministries.wordpress.com)
- A Christian Response to Childhood Sexual Abuse (gofishministries.wordpress.com)
- October Awareness of Domestic Violence Month (gofishministries.wordpress.com)