How to Combat Domestic Violence in the Church

| January 5, 2016

Abusers fail to find their identity in God. They cannot accept that they may be abandoned, hurt, or not respected by others, so they control the people around them to preserve their god-like identity. This means the abused cannot try to manage the situation. Trying to appease or avoid conflict won’t change the abusers’ real need to find their identity in Christ alone. 

Abuse is a deliberate attempt to gain control. You don’t overcome abusive behavior, then, by focusing on self-esteem or anger management. Abusers aren’t sick; they’re clever and driven by a desire to control. This means the abused aren’t crazy or the ones to blame.

Awful things are often said about women who remain in abusive relationships. Instead of being one of those voices, let’s try to understand why a woman may find it hard to leave. Fear of more violence, fear for her children, fear of her own future—these often paralyze and produce a fog that distorts reality. Abusers work hard to isolate those they’re abusing by threatening, discrediting, or shaming them into thinking nobody will believe them. A wife may not necessarily hate her abusive husband; she just hates the abuse and wants it to stop. With all of his manipulative apologies, she believes he will change. And sadly, she hopes her suffering will achieve his redemption. It’s heinous to think she stays because she’s responsible…

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