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Niki • 7 years ago

For a husband who does not treat his wife in a Godly way and abuses her (physically and mentally) is it okay for her to divorce him if he is clearly unwilling to change?

Shepblogger • 7 years ago

Niki - the best way to answer your question is for the wife to seek the counsel and care of her church leadership and for them to pursue church discipline if that is warranted. This will provide the best context to address the question of divorce.

Titus03 • 7 years ago

Niki, if a woman is being abused, they absolutely should remove themselves from the situation through separation at the very least for their safety and the safety of any children. Too often, too many churches offer the advice that you should go home, pray for him to change, and submit. That is dangerous, sometimes deadly, counsel.

Shepblogger • 7 years ago

Niki, Titus03 raises an important thought. if there is physical violence being committed in the home, that is a criminal offense. Safety is paramount. In this case both the civll authorities and the church should be involved. Solid church leadership will recognize this and work for restoration if possible or for discipline if necessary.

Ellie • 7 years ago

Restoration is not an appropriate term for a marriage where there has been abuse. Restoring is putting things back the way they were. Repentance is needed, a complete change is what's needed. Would you restore the heart of flesh? No, that would be returning it to its original stony condition. The term "restore" betrays the underlying wrong assumption that an abuser is a misunderstood Christian. http://sermons2.redeemer.co... is a wonderful Tim Keller sermon that helped me to see that my abuser wasn't rejecting me; he rejected Christ. Abusers abuse because they are seeking THEIR kingdoms first. Restoration is not what's needed. Repentance is.

Shepblogger • 7 years ago

Your points are well taken and your reference to Keller;s sermon is also on target. Restoration can take severe forms. For some marriages it is appropriate. For others it is not. But it should always be the goal for all involved to be restored to Christ through repentance. Hope this helps.

Kate Wilson • 7 years ago

What if the church leadership is not willing to listen to the situation & will only counsel if both spouses are willing?

Shepblogger • 7 years ago

Kate - Matthew 18 is clear - physical violence needs to be addressed by the church and by civil authorities. This matter needs to brought to the church. failure to address the physical violence would be failure of that particular church to honor God and protect its members. If this happens you have a decision to make. I would recommend Jay Adams' Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage for additional study. May God bless you.

Marna Laurito • 7 years ago

This is the first time I have ever heard this teaching for men where the wife is *not* blamed for her husband's spiritual condition. Praise the Lord! Men emasculate themselves & each other when they tell women that they would be better husbands *if* wives were more submissive. That pretends that she is in control, in spiritual leadership. Good for you, sir, in allowing & encouraging men to accept responsibility for themselves!

Nicole George • 7 years ago

This is a good start but the church still has a long way to go to address domestic violence. For starters a healthy foundation of knowledge about domestic violence and why men abuse ( and sometimes women) will help them address the issue. Abuse is a power issue, it is not about respect or because the little lady dared to talk back. It is a mind set that the abuser has adopted. Also the church needs to address domestic violence in the area of biblical submission. Submission in marriage (as instructed in the bible for husband and wives) does not mean submission to violence. No one should stay in a situation where their safety is in jeopardy. No spouse should have to choose between their safety and their marriage.

TMabry • 7 years ago

Yes. But although, I wholeheartedly agree with the attitude of the heart and the purported Word of God's admonishment towards men, the tone of the piece seems more like 'finger-pointing' session, without really addressing the issue of domestic violence and how to deal with it.

That said, I strongly object to any and all forms of abuse towards women (our wife or mothers, daughters, etc), be it physical, mental or emotional. I also agree fervently that a man who mistreats his wife, brings judgement, or at the very least severe discipline upon himself. We have a responsibility to treat our wife with the utmost respect, and honor that she deserves. She is wife of our youth, the wife of our marriage covenant.

There is a little bit advise given to me a few years ago that I believe (for me at least) puts this in a framework of what God intended; and it really is very simple: Never forget men, NEVER forget, she chose you. Of all the guys in this world she could be with it, you're it. Treat her as the priceless Gem she is, and do as God commands. Love is not born out of the emotions of what we feel. Because anyone can love when it feels 'right' to do so. Where it is truly differentiated, is when as an act of the will, *that* love informs you to consider her before you consider yourself.

Dawn Huffman Olivo • 6 years ago

Good article with many good points, however I feel compelled to point out an error. Your statement " Violence, physical or verbal, often occurs because the husband believes he has been disrespected in some way." is incorrect and actually helps perpetuate many myths concerning domestic violence. Domestic violence and also sexual assault, whether in a marriage or not, are about power and control, not a man feeling disrespected. I have been an advocate for victims of D.V. for 15 years.

Shepblogger • 6 years ago

Dawn, the quote you mention is not a defense or an excuse, just a reality. Sadly, this sense of disrespect often leads to the violence and abuse that you speak of. The feeling of disrespect, real or imagined, is just the first step to men feeling justified in their violent responses, verbal or physical. Once some men get a taste of ungodly power, that power turns into lust that knows no bounds. Qualified Help is needed to address this.

SK Turner • 6 years ago

There sometimes comes a point in which the wife has no choice but to leave the husband. I know. 70+ percent of women murdered by their intimate partner suffered domestic violence prior to their deaths. God does intervene and God does put that husband out of the woman's life. I have much left to do in God's kingdom and he saw to it that my life was spared. It happens often and Christian women believe they HAVE to stay married to a domestic abuser because God abhors divorce. Well He does, but he also admonishes husbands to be tender and careful toward their wives, not beat them and threaten their lives. God ahs assured me repeatedly that I do not have to stay in a marriage in which my physical, mental, and emotional well being is threatened regularly.

Shepblogger • 6 years ago

getting help from the church community and law enforcement in situations like this is essential.

Michelle Loggins • 7 years ago

I appreciate this article. I'm not as wrong as I am being led to believe. Thank you.

-a wife

Great word!

pboney • 6 years ago

OK I understand all of this, so what is a wife suppose to do when the husband is verbally, mentally and emotionally abusive. I know someone who has been married for 23 years and her husband is disabled. He will cuss her while she is taking care of him. So what does God say for her, she has prayed, begged and cried for God to help.

Shepblogger • 6 years ago

This situation really calls for outside help from the church community.

Guest • 7 years ago
Shepblogger • 7 years ago

Violence is never a good thing no matter who is doing it. Wives are just as much in need of God's restraining grace as husbands are.

REM • 7 years ago

Thank you. :'(