Churches...The Word of God and Domestic Violence...1 Corinthians 13:4-6
Patricia Ann, Originally posted Tuesday, June 21, 2011
1 Corinthians 13:4-6, Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Recently I wrote about God's creation and sharing life with that someone special that we all yearn for -- making life and God's creation even more beautiful.
But what do we do when that special someone has become abusive and our hearts are breaking?
Where is the love in domestic violence?
Where do we turn for help here on earth?
I love Our Lord with all of my heart.
He knows that.
He knows my situations - past and present and He has always been there for me when no one else has ever been.
Psalm 118:8 describes that best. [It is] better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
He also knows your situations - past and present, and is there for you --right by your side.
It has recently been on my heart to talk about church views and the issue of domestic violence, the treatment of women (or men) who are subjected to abuse behind closed doors, and so often turned away when seeking help through the church.
Domestic violence is a very serious and real issue in our world and in no way should it ever be looked upon as a person's failure to give it all to God.
Most Christian women (or men) who have been enduring abuse have already sought God, but need an earthly support system, a helping hand, a friend, a church that stands behind them with the Word of God against violence, hatred and evil.
Satan has his hand in the destruction of the lives of God's people.
It has been so since the beginning when Adam and Eve were deceived.
We know and understand that God intends marriage to be a wonderful union between two of His children who love one another and who seek Him first in all aspects of life and partnership together.
And wouldn't it be wonderful if only cruelty,
selfishness, unforgiveness, wickedness and hatred did not exist here on this earth?
But they do and there are so many more negative situations that creep in. Adultery, lying, fear, anxiety are a few more.
Think how sad it is for so many women (or men) who are living in situations where the evil of this world resides inside of their home behind closed doors and fear of being beaten or killed, fear for the safety of children, being isolated from other people, being silenced and not allowed to seek help because manipulation and fear are so severe that there is no way that the family can function as God intended.
Of course, God intended for His children to live wonderful lives together according to His wonderful plan which includes the fruits of the Holy Spirit - love, peace joy, etc.
God intended for marriage to be good, but because of this sin-filled world we live in -- His plan for us gets altered by wickedness and hatred within the hearts of some people.
Our Father in Heaven does not condone abuse.
He hates it!
And we also, as His children are supposed to hate it.
He does not intend for us to live lives filled with abuse, fear and anxiety.
He intends for us to live lives filled with His love and His glory - experiencing all He has to offer us in love and peace and harmony with our fellow Christians -- His church.
And that is exactly what we should strive to do -- live in love, peace and harmony.
Choose to reject what does not come from God and live life free of the emotional ups and downs that living in an abusive environment brings.
Some people may think that living life in an abusive marriage is justified by God, but I disagree.
I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11.
The Bible has a lot to say about domestic violence:
Victims of domestic violence should know that the Bible contains clear, unmistakable declarations against any form of physical or verbal abuse.
Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.
Psalm 11:5 The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.
2 Timothy 3:1-8 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
Ephesians 4:29-32 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Matthew 19:8 He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so."
1 Corinthians 13:4-6 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Ephesians - Chapter 5:25-33
25. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
26. to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,
27. and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
28. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
29. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church-
30. for we are members of His body.
31. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
32. This is a profound mystery-but I am talking about Christ and the church.
33. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself...
I find it very sad that in churches today, many women (or men) who are victims of domestic violence are told by their pastors to go home and live with it because the marriage vows cannot be broken.
Don't you think or know, that when the first act of violence occurs in the marriage, the marriage vow becomes broken and it saddens the heart of God?
Whether it is mental cruelty - through manipulation, cursing, slander or physical abuse where the fear creates a never ending fight or flight response because the abused person never knows when the next blow will come - is not part of God's plan but of Satan's destructive forces?
Do we really believe that a woman or man should endure this kind of life?
Do we really believe that this is the life that God intended for those who love Him?
The love of God when indwelled within His creation - man and woman - is beautiful as it flows out of that person with beauty and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
However, when a person is not fully rooted in God's word and is not living life daily seeking Him and not living a lifestyle conducive to His plans for us, Satan gains a stronghold that is not easily broken, unless that person comes to know God,
accepts Jesus as his Savior and chooses to live life anew in His righteousness.
Those who seek to justify abuse by turning to the pages of the Bible are guilty not only of harming others, but also of distorting God's Word and that is a sin.
God called me to be a minister of His word, to help the hurting, to lead them in His direction, into His loving arms and
that is fully what I do and will continue to do in my ministry.
Whenever I counsel, I always meditate in God's presence and ask for His words to be my words.
It is the presence of the Holy Spirit through me that allows my counseling to be successful in the lives of those whom He sends my way.
We may live in this world, but we do not have to live of this world.
My prayer for today is that churches - our brothers and sisters in Christ --find compassion in their hearts to minister to those who are victims of domestic violence. Do what Jesus would do and offer healing through a kind and listening ear, a safe haven, understanding and the love of God through our actions and our words. It is not for us to judge, but to love, just as our Father in Heaven loves each of us.
May the Glory of God and His awesome presence fill your life with joy, peace and love today and every day.