really breaks my heart, that too many churches ignore the horrors of domestic violence. This leaves me to wonder if Christians
really believe-there is “Power in the blood.” As a Christian, I do believe that God can-and is willing to change
abusive hearts. But I also believe that the preaching of His Word against this atrocity is vital and missing
in our churches. Not everyone who hears the Word of God will experience a change of heart, for many people love the darkness
in which they live. The bible says:
…”the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which
believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
But hardened hearts should not be a deterrent to preaching the truth.
I believe that if preachers and teachers of God’s Word included domestic violence and abuse in their sermons and bible
study, God would move in miraculous ways. Long gone are the sermons about hell-fire and brimstone. Nowadays, if the people desire “feel good” sermons,
the people get what they want.
And why is this? It is profitable-period. Today’s preachers seem
to be in a race to see who can build the biggest mega church, or churches. The end result is, the bigger the church, the larger
the contributions. Some of them have church extensions in different states. One Sunday they are preaching at their home church,
and the next Sunday at their other church in another city or state.
Worship has become big business, and the souls of the people don’t
seem to be all that important anymore. Ministers seem to stay clear of sermons that could possibly draw them into the personal
lives of the members of their congregation. Many of them are not spiritually equipped to address the needs of the abused,
and others just don’t want to get involved. I personally believe that numerous churches are concerned about damage control.
They are afraid that the publicly may decrease their numbers, but I believe otherwise.
Oh sure, there will be perpetrators that may withdraw from a particular
church, but for everyone that leaves, God can replace him or her with someone who is hungry for the pure Word of God. Any
church that accepts Jesus Christ as Lord has a responsibility to preach the truth. If not, they shall give an account both
in this life, and in the Day of Judgment, (Revelations-chapters 1-3).
THE BROTHERS BELIEVED
When my ex-husband started becoming more and more verbally abusive,
I knew that I could not live under the same roof with him. Not only was he abusive to me, he said hurtful things to my children,
his stepchildren. We were both members of a small church in New Jersey, and I was very active in helping the church to grow.
My ex was one of the song leaders, and occasionally read the opening scriptures.
Stan was very ugly at home, and deceptively pious during worship services.
One of the things that were in my favor is that eventually he exhibited negative behavior in front of members of the congregation.
When I finally opened up to one of the ministers, I was believed for there was visible proof that Stan wasn’t being
very Christian-like. After studying the bible with this particular minister, I told him that I could not take the verbal abuse
anymore, and that on one occasion Stan pushed me, and threatened my son with violence. He was 13-years old at the time.
I was working a very good job, and cleaning houses on my day off. So,
as far as money, I was in a position to maintain an apartment of my own. I didn’t have the down payment when I decided
“enough is enough,” but the minister met with the other leaders and voted to assist me. They didn’t believe
the horrible lies that Stan said about me, like cheating on him. They knew me better than that, for my character exhibited
otherwise. They gave me a check to secure an apartment, and I won’t say the transition was an easy one. Stan and I still
attended the same church, however, his attendance became less and less. He resigned, and went to another church miles away.
The ministers did not counsel me to; “Cook better;” “Don’t
aggravate him;” “Pray more;” or the unfortunate advice that many Christian women receive in other churches.
Stan was angry that he was confronted in Christian love-with the Word. He felt that the “good old boy” network
was alive and well, and should have been on his side-applaud the mistreatment. He erronously believed that his behavior exhibited
true manhood. What and whom he encountered were true men of the Word, and he didn’t want to hear what God had to say
about his treatment of his wife. So he departed, never to return. Which was fine with me. I was able to worship in peace.
This is exactly what it will take for Christian women to get the help
that they need. True men of God that will take a biblical stand, and not waver. One of the bible lessons was on “Marriage,
divorce and re-marriage.” And because it was determined that Stan didn’t divorce his first wife for biblical reasons,
our marriage was an “adulterous” marriage. No wonder it didn’t work! I was never married prior to our marriage,
so biblically; Stan was the guilty party in the eyes of God. I was free to leave him, (1 Corinthians 6:10-11).
But please know this, I was also counseled that I was free to leave
the abuse as well. As Christians, we have an obligation to serve God with all of our hearts. An abused heart is a divided
heart. Stan was an “oppressor,” and God does not delight in His people being oppressed, (afflicted)-(Acts 7:34).
Because he rejected the counsel of the Word of God, he was considered an “unbeliever.”
God has called us to peace- “Yet if the unbelieving one leaves,
let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace,”
1 Corinthians 7:29-35 (New American Standard Bible)
"But this I say, brethren,
the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none;
and those who weep, as though
they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess;
and those who
use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away.
But I want you to be free
from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord;
but one who is married is
concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife,
and his interests are divided.
The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and
spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
This I say for your own benefit;
not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord."