Help From The Church

Why consider the religious or spiritual issues? Because these are fundamental not only to the believing victim and abuser as well as their Church, but also to all those who live in a culture which is largely based upon Christian moral values and traditions. Religious people across all denominations are not exempt from Domestic Abuse, however, there appears to be a serious lack of understanding regarding abuse and the dynamics of abusive relationships and their impact upon the lives of people involved within churches and denominations generally.
When considering Domestic Abuse we have to realize that religious or spiritual factors are central to the victim’s understanding and response. His/her own faith and the support of Church members can be vital in helping the healing process, while a lack of understanding regarding the Biblical perspective on abusive relationships by the victim or those he/she turns to for spiritual guidance and support can add to the emotional, physical and financial hurdles already faced.

Many women in abusive relationships feel they ought to submit to their husbands out of duty, that they have no right over their own body, life or even opinions. Quite often this misconception is furthered by advice from clergy, elders, rabbis or other members of the Church or congregation. Some men may feel trapped by their beliefs in an abusive relationship, unsure of their position towards their wives or girl-friends. Some men may feel that unless they lord it over their partners, they are not doing as they ought to in the sight of God, that their position is one of Master, of Lord of the household. Often quotiations or excerpts from the Bible are used to justify abusive behaviour, or the suppression by one member of the household of another.

For further discussion on various aspects of religious abuse, please visit these sites:

Spirit Watch

Emotional Abuse And Your Faith

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  1. Joe says:

    Nice post. I like the actual topic of the post. However, it gets a little confusing when you start mixing biblical scripture with religion and denomination. You see Religion and Denomination are man made. SO when you start mixing man made things with biblical scripture, which is the word of God.

    The scripture may tell the woman to submit to her husband, however as part of that same scripture it tells men to love their wives like Jesu loved the church. So any physical abuse is wrong, scripturally. Unless you are filled with the Holy Spirit, one may not be able to fully understand Scripture.

    Any leader in a Temple, Church or anything else you want to call the house of God, that would be ok with physical abuse is just scripturally wrong. No were in the scripture does it say men beat your wife into submission.

  2. Telling It Like It Is says:

    Hi Joe, it’s nice to hear from you again. It is true that there is no scripture that tells men it is ok to abuse their wife. However, it is widely known (especially in the authoritarian religion/cult I was raised in) that scripture is often used to control woman in various ways. Scripture is often used, from my experience as well as others I know, to make a woman submissive to her husband to the point of being a doormat, dictated to and strongly admonished that any disregard of the scripture interpretation presented would lead to being ex-communicated from the church as a whole.

    Scripture is often taken out of context in order to present convincing “evidence” of one belief over another. Scriptures are used as mind control, to “persuade” abused woman to stay married to their abusers.

    How often do we hear about abusive men saying they “love” their wives? I heard it constantly, usually right after being shoved into a wall, or dragged around the house by my hair.

    What is worse is when ministers, those held in position of leadership within a church or denomination, ignore the cries of help from woman who are being abused, and simply drop the scriptural bomb of how God hates divorce as a means to keep the woman with the abuser. That makes my blood boil.

    Thank you Joe for your comments. I do appreciate them.