Women are often reluctant to make abuse public, as if their lives did not matter. Speaking out about domestic violence, and seeking help for it, are said to bring shame on the family and the church.
The truth is that abuse starts an avalanche of harm that can extend for generations. Whatever consequences flow from domestic violence, they result from the abuser’s actions – not the attempts by his victim to defend herself and her children, or escape the abuse.
The Catholic Church sex scandal illustrates how bad the organized church is at dealing with victims. Focus Ministries http://www.focusministries1.org is just one Christian organization helping the victims of domestic violence, while training churches how better to respond to abuse .
Though priests and ministers have endorsed them at times, the Scriptural passages keeping women in abusive relationships are taken out of context. Satan uses these snippets – these lies – to undermine women’s faith, and destroy their lives.
But in Christ we are set free.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5: 1).
 Today’s Christian Woman, “The Silent Epidemic” by Corrie Cutrer, September 2004, http://www.todayschristianwoman.com/articles/2004/september/silent-epidemic.html.
 1 Cor. 6: 1-11 and Matt. 18: 17 address conflict between Christians, and the use of secular courts. However, church intervention was never intended to shield sinful behavior, or place lives in danger.
FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: http://www.alawyersprayers.com
8 responses to “Christian Marriage and the Misuse of Scripture, Part 4 – Public Shame”
I personally know many of these scriptures you are speaking of and I agree, the abusers take them out of context. I was taught them that way by abusive church leadership and it took me years to hear God’s voice about such matters over theirs. God had to take me “to the woodshed” to get me to see what I was doing to my own wife and my wrong attitude toward other women. The last two years have really been an eye opener for me regarding just how precious women are in His sight. “God made man in his own image…Male and female made He them” I praise God for opening my eyes to seeing what a treasure you dear sisters are.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
(Galatians 3:28 RSVA)
Thank you for this, Michael.
A treasure!? There has only been a precious few who thought of me in that way; my grandma who passed away when I was 3 and one uncle. Today it is my son. And my dogs. My whole belief system regarding people and churches has been shattered. I am shattered inside. Today, I stay at home venturing out on my own only on occassion, maybe one time a month. I no longer feel safe around people.
It grieves me to hear this. I believe the world has done you much harm. But that is not the measure of your worth. You remain precious in God’s sight.
Well, said, Anna. Suzy, God cherishes and loves you dearly and those who are IN Christ have that same love for you, too. Sorry that we have not communicated much lately. You are a treasure to those who dwell in heavenly places IN Christ.
“Dear Jesus, come into Suzy’s lonely life and give her your love and peace, Amen.”
But that is not the measure of your worth. Amen. My God, loves me just as I am.
I trust I am not over stepping my bounds as a guest here,but I feel compelled to respond to Q’s comments.
Q, many of us,and I am numbered among them,have suffered abuse at the hands of people who were in positions of power or authority over us,or who used an opportunity to inflict irreparable harm on us. As traumatic as that is,it cannot define the real person we are in Christ.
Like you and everyone else,our lives are the sum total of every event,situation,and circumstance that have come our way. Many of those have been joyful and filled with love,yet far too many have been things that have attempted to ensnare us in a dark place from which escape would be very difficult.And I can state with absolute certainty that had Jesus not intervened in my life my story would have been much different than it is.
I understand your feelings towards the church,as I have taken it to task many times for its failure to respond to the broken and hurting as commanded in God’s word.Unfortunately,we live in a time when the church bears little resemblance to the church of the New Testament,therefore our eyes must remain fixed on Jesus,and not on the institutional church.
I encourage you to read your Bible daily. Get to know the God of the Bible in an intimate way. Talk to Him,he will listen and never turn you away. As Anna stated; you are precious in his sight. He sees you in a way that no one else does or can. He looks upon the heart and not the outward appearance,and because of that He knows your secret thoughts,He knows that innermost place where you have hidden away the hurt you have endured.
And that is where He will meet you if you will look to Him.
Hi Ron, thank you ever so much for the truth in your words and for reaching out to me; I receive them and hear what you are saying. This morning as I was looking over Word Press I spotted a button that was new to me and clicked on it and found many posts that I had missed!?!?! I had no idea that you had posted to me. I hate depression, it shuts me off to everything good causing me to miss so many things!
The institutional church has grown to be a huge disappointment, which is now ‘a closed door’, but God is opening new doors and bringing in new people and in just these last few weeks. Awesome! The old path is gone and He is now leading me in a NEW direction!