What Does God Say About Abuse?
I spent thirteen years in an abusive marriage to a “Christian” man because I believed if I separated from him or divorced him, God would be mad at me and not forgive me. I was in the same place many of you are right now, confused, and uncertain.
For many of you, the information about abuse is not enough to empower you to choose to stop the abuse from your husband. Like me, you may believe your vows to your spouse, and God demands you to allow him to abuse you. For these beliefs to be correct, the design of God’s love lived out in the heart, character, attitudes, words, and actions of Jesus Christ must be untrue.
Why Christian Women Make Mistakes
To understand God’s design for love and marriage you need to study God’s word to know His truth for yourself. Jesus himself tells you why you make mistakes. Jesus tells us, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God,” Mark 12:24 NIV.
The whole essence of our faith is to believe, trust, and follow a loving God who is moral, just, forgiving, righteous, and full of grace and mercy. Jesus showed us what it looks like to live out God’s greatest commandments. “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it:’ Love your neighbor as yourself,” Matthew 22:37-38 NIV.
At the last supper, Jesus instructed his disciples, and us, in John 13:34 NIV, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Jesus never used manipulation, threats, humiliation, or physical violence to gain control or power over anyone because this is not God’s love.
God does not sanction any form of abuse, especially spouse abuse anywhere in His word. In fact, men are instructed to, “love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” Colossians 3:19 NIV. The word love in this scripture, described in context commentary, is a sacrificial kind of love; the kind of love that seeks the very best for the one who is loved. All forms of abuse diametrically oppose the concept of selfless sacrifice; such behaviors are selfish and self-seeking.
The greatest deception and manipulation of scripture by abusive Christian husbands is found in Ephesians 5:22 NIV. “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.” When you study this verse in the complete passage and the written context, you understand God’s design for love and marriage, and you see His loving protection for women. The word submit in this scripture does NOT mean you must allow yourself to be abused. The true meaning of this passage instructs a husband to love his wife selflessly as if she were Jesus Christ himself. When she receives this pure love, she willingly chooses to place herself under her husband’s headship because she respects him. A wife’s submission of her heart cannot be taken; it can only be given as a gift.
You Are Not Responsible or Able to Save or Fix Your Husband
There is only one Savior and healer, and it is Jesus Christ. Christian women, you are not responsible for, nor are you the cause of your husband’s destructive, sinful abusive behavior. Your husband CHOOSES to abuse you. His choice is NOT your fault. Only he can choose to repent and work with Jesus to heal and permanently change his heart, mind, and beliefs apart from you.
Knowledge About Abuse and Domestic Violence Bring Clarity
Read the definitions and signs of abuse on the Recourse of Abuse and Domestic Violence page. When you understand the aspects of abuse, you can see why you were confused. Go through the worksheet to bring clarity to your relationship. If you have any other questions, please call the hotline to create a safe-plan.
Discover Your Ultimate Needs And How To Guard Yourself Against The Enemy
In my search for God’s truth and to understand the complexities of my mind I went to the library. I found a chart of human needs by Abraham Harold Maslow, an American psychologist.
Dr. Maslow said people are motivated to achieve these human needs: physical needs, to be safe, to be loved/belong, self-esteem, self-actualization. My experience was much more extreme than motivated. The starvation in my ultimate need to be loved drove me to find and accept attention. My thirst to be loved and my unawareness of abuse made me a perfect victim for an abuser.
Studying God’s word helped me understand all my ultimate needs come from God’s pure love. They are fulfilled through our identity in Christ Jesus, and they are protected as we intentionally love and serve God with all our heart, mind, strength, and soul.
As I studied each ultimate need in God’s word, He exposed the string the enemy had used through the abuser to connect to my heart and manipulate me. I realized even though I did not know the starvation in my ultimate needs the devil knew them from watching me throughout my life. The devil knew my weakness, and he knows yours too. It is imperative to know the voids in your ultimate needs so you can partner with Jesus to fill them and to guard your heart and mind from the enemy and an abuser.
Only you can choose to move to the healed side of abuse through God’s transforming grace by stopping your husband from abusing you. Seek God’s truth about love and marriage for yourself.
Discover as I have, there is no way to understand nor should you tolerate the destruction of abuse which defies God’s heart, character, love, and word. As a daughter of God, you have the Biblical right and responsibility to ensure the Christ that lives in you is treated with God’s love, respect, and honor from people in your life, especially your husband. You can live as I do, safe, secure, and loved in the arms of Jesus Christ.
To find out more about abuse and if you are being abused please go the the Resources on Abuse and Domestic Violence page.