I have recently released a new book titled: Enough is Enough, How to Leave an Abusive Relationship. I will do a few blogs on this topic because this is a real problem in many relationships. You may be living with an abuser, or you know someone who is.
The Big Idea
If you are living with an abusive partner, God does not want you and your children to continue to suffer and be severely damaged.
For far too long, the Church and the Christian Community have ignored abuse in marriage. Leaders have looked the other way. And, when the abuse can't be ignored anymore, many leaders have mishandled the situation. The abused spouse(often, but not always, the wife)is told she has to continue to tolerate the abuse. She is told she has to submit. She is told the abuse is partly her fault. She is instructed to keep on loving her abusive husband and, one day, he'll change. If he doesn't, well, she will be honored by God for doing her best.
These Christian leaders are usually decent, well-meaning persons. But, they are dead wrong in their advice to the victims of abuse. In fact, their advice is another form of abuse.
God, in the Bible, provides a far different view of abuse. God is not in favor of a wife tolerating abuse from her husband. The story of Abigail and Nabal(I Samuel 25) makes it clear that God wants the victim to escape the abuser. Abuse is sin, serious sin, and the Bible teaches in Matthew 18:15-17(and many other places)that sin is to be confronted. You do not submit to someone who is involved in serious sin; rather, you confront it and get away from the abuser if he refuses to repent and change.
In the next few blogs, I will define abuse and offer in outline form my steps to leave the relationship. I do not recommend divorce-that is a decision that God has to make clear to the abused spouse. I do recommend, strongly, separation. It will often take time for the abused spouse to get ready to leave and to build a new life on her own. Once she(or he)is out, then the abuser will be given an opportunity to repent and change.
If you are being abused or know someone who is being abused, these next few blogs are for you. I welcome your comments and questions.