Enough is Enough Why the Church Has to Stop Ignoring Abusive Men


Presently, there is an article trending on Facebook by Gary Thomas titled ‘Enough is Enough Why the Church Has to Stop Enabling Abusive Men,’ and I need to speak to the article because I love and care about my sisters in Christ in Berean. In this short article, Gary Thomas describes situations in which Christian women are experiencing abusive behavior from their husbands and are remaining in the marriage because of the ‘long-standing Christian stigma’ associated with divorce.  Gary writes, “I recently spoke at a long-standing North American woman’s conference and was overwhelmed by the quantity and horrific nature of things wives have to put up with in their marriages.”  Gary argues that it would be more sinful to stay in the marriage than to be guilty of the sin of divorce. He purports that the evangelical church has put such a premium on marriage that Christian women feel stuck and sustain abuse from their husbands that they should never have to experience. Gary describes a situation in which a husband told his wife and baby to get out of the car on the side of a busy highway like I-95 and the woman’s internal struggle with putting up with that kind of behavior or pursuing a divorce.

Let me go on the record and say very clearly: I do believe there are situations in which a spouse is justified in leaving a marriage; I do NOT believe any spouse should have to experience abuse in their marriage; husbands do not have ANY biblical right to abuse their wives. Husbands are to love their wives—even as Christ loved the church. If you are such a man, repent. If you are such a woman and are experiencing abuse, seek help immediately from the church office. Sometimes it may even be necessary to call 911 and get to a safe place (separate). I did not say ‘divorce.’ What Gary does not address is the time between separation and divorce. Divorce is a last resort, not the next option. Separation is critical to get out of an abusive situation. In the article, the author did not address two important points that I believe are essential to consider.

First, the author does not address who defines abuse. If I tell you “you suck’ or “you are stupid,” are you the victim of verbal or emotional abuse? Any spouse who has been told “you suck” or called the b-word should not for a moment put up with that from their husband or wife. The victim must confront this type of sinful behavior. Sometimes this may even require that you call 911 in the case of an emergency and criminal behavior.  Sin cannot be left unchecked.  And if it does not stop, the spouse should seek help from a pastor, a family member, perhaps an attorney, and/or church office. Someone from the office staff (a pastor) can even help you with the complexity of how to address the sinful behavior without making things worse. Your church is a resource for you. It will help you get the needed assistance. Husbands abusing their wives should be held accountable for their sinful behavior, even to the point of church discipline.  And in rare situations, this may require the involvement of the magistrate for criminal and unlawful behavior. If the husband denies being abusive, it may be necessary to follow the protocol of Matthew 18:15-18. Defining what is and isn’t verbal abuse may require a panel of church members (2 or 3 witnesses v. 16) but physical abuse and endangerment always requires immediate action for the safety and well-being of the victim and children.

Second, the author does not address when the spouse is considered free to divorce. Certainly, everyone can agree that time must be given to the abusive spouse to repent and for God to work, and during this period of separation both spouses must focus on God, their marriage, their children, the church, prayer, the Word of God and reconciliation. To engage in any type of interest in a potential new spouse during this time of separation would be inherently sinful. Restoration and reconciliation must be the focus. The Bible does NOT speak to how long that period must be before a divorce is permitted. In the state of NC, it is 12 months. Twelve months is a long time. I believe if a pastor was involved in trying to facilitate reconciliation and repentance for 12 months and the abusive husband (or wife) would not cooperate with the work of the Lord, a person would be free to divorce based on the hardness of the heart of the abusive spouse.

It has been my experience that in many cases when one spouse starts to insult and call the other nasty names, the other spouse retaliates and both become sinfully abusive.   Both spouses must realize that at the point in which you respond in kind, you lose the moral high ground of claiming you are the victim and are no longer following Christ.

Finally, there seems to be confusion on what it means to forgive. Forgiveness is not the acceptance of sinful behavior. We can forgive an individual for their actions without condoning their actions. The expectation to forgive is NOT a call to remain in a legitimately abusive situation.  In an emergency call 911; seek immediate help. When the Apostle Paul was being whipped and abused for the cause of the gospel, he was able to forgive the ones whipping him, but he left the abusive situation and went to a different city. If your spouse is hitting you (in addition to calling 911) someone from the church office (a pastor) needs to know about it. Your church wants to help you. To be a Christian spouse is not a call to be a whipping post for an out of control husband (or wife).

If you are the victim of abuse in your marriage, the first step is to protect yourself and your children. Your second step is to let your spouse know you believe that what he or she is doing is abusive and if it doesn’t stop you will have to separate. Your third step is to let your pastor know that your marriage needs help. Any pastor worth his title of shepherd will help his sheep get out of harm’s way. Your final steps in this process are to hold the moral high ground, pray, and actively participate in gospel-centered counseling. Divorce is positively the last resort, but may eventually be necessary.  If you are in doubt, seek help today. In an emergency call 911 and get to safety. If you need help, the church office can help you get the resources you need. 

12 comments:

  1. When one is in a relatoonship with acovert narcisstic male...and absorbs into a church it is hell. Pastor knows his abusive behavior but the male becomes the savior of the church by learning to be christian. At home he abuse emotionally, financially, sextually,manipulates family and friends to hate the wife..but is totally accepted in the church and the wife is suppose to over look and for give...abuse is not my master and i am trying to get out and it is hell because he looks like the saint. If you sre not in it you havent lived it...hell

    ReplyDelete
  2. When one is in a relatoonship with acovert narcisstic male...and absorbs into a church it is hell. Pastor knows his abusive behavior but the male becomes the savior of the church by learning to be christian. At home he abuse emotionally, financially, sextually,manipulates family and friends to hate the wife..but is totally accepted in the church and the wife is suppose to over look and for give...abuse is not my master and i am trying to get out and it is hell because he looks like the saint. If you sre not in it you havent lived it...hell

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am Nicky and i am so glad to let the world know the success behind my relationship. The secret is Dr.Abazara and through his help i have been able to get my lover back within 48 hours and since then our relationship has been perfect. The best way to get your relationship back on track is to contact Dr.Abazara on: ( agbazara@gmail.com ) or WHATSAPP him on +2348104102662 And within 48 hours you will be glad you contacted him

    ReplyDelete
  4. If your man is pushing you away and acting distant

    Or if the guy you’re after isn’t giving you the time of day...

    Then it’s time to pull out all the stops.

    Because 99% of the time, there is only 1 thing you can say to a standoffish guy that will grab him by the heartstrings-

    And get his blood pumping at just the thought of you.

    Insert subject line here and link it to: Your ex won’t be able to resist?

    Once you say this to him, or even send this simple phrase in a text message...

    It will flip his world upside down and you will suddenly find him chasing you-

    And even begging to be with you.

    Here’s what I’m talking about:

    Insert subject line here and link it to: Is your man hiding something? He may need your help?

    Thanks again.











    .

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am extremely saddened by you take on Gary Thomas's article. Gary mentioned many women who were trying to stay loyal and committed to husbands guilty of sexual betrayal, including sexual addiction as well as sexual abuse. Not only does Gary admit that this grounds for divorce, but Jesus does also. Unlike your personal opinions, Gary's advice is biblically sound. If the husband should be held accountable as you state, then how do you expect them to be fully accountable by telling wives that only sometimes does the abusive behavior requires the need to call the police. There is no accountability if there are no consequences for behavior that is not only wrong and sinful, but illegal as well. Furthermore, I find sad, shameful, and dangerous to expect wives to separate and further endure their suffering assuming they haven't been actively trying to repair their marriage in a biblical way. Many women married to abusive husbands are also under their husbands financial control. I hope you start to recognize that abusive behavior stems from the need to control as a way of coping with dangerous insecurities. Many of these women are also alienated from family and friends and are further shamed into staying in dangerous marriages much like you are doing. Would you be willing to house, feed, and clothe thes women and children. Probably not! So it's sad that you condemn and sentence these women and their children to more abuse. Gary was correct in his assessment that if the church taught husbands what they stand to lose and made the possibility of that loss more real to them, then the church and husbands would understand true accountability. Instead, many churches hold the victim accountable, while expecting her and her children to submit to the abusive. The common false teaching is that the wife, through her submission and relationship with Christ will change him cherry picked from 1 Peter 3:1. But the interpretation of the verse has been corrupted. The verse state that the ungodly husband may by won, not that he most definitely will be won. Wives have no more control over free will than God has. Just as God, wives can only influence. Rather than aiding wives in influencing their dangerous husbands through godly counsel and discipleship, churches end up enabling the husbands behavior and shaming the wife into enduring more abuse further adding to the brokenness of individuals, marriages, children, families, and ultimately the body of Christ. I fully condemn your opinions and can say for a fact that your statements are damaging, dangerous, found in ignorance, and more importantly 100% unbiblical! Your comments serve the wrong master and are a prime example satan's influence to damage the body of Christ. I realize this is a very strong rebuke. However, this is a necessary rebuke. I encourage you to educate yourself in psychological disorders and pray for a better biblical understanding of Jesus' expectations for husbands, His love of women and the value He place on protection for victims. I leave you with this last biblical fact, God had to send Jesus to become the sacrifice for our sins because Adam did not. The issue of divorce in Gary Thomas's article was not because the wife was quick to end her marriage (fact: women in abusive or non abuive marriage are most often the ones who work hardest to restore the marriage and do so for several years before deciding to divorce) the point was there is a lack of accountability for these husbands by the church and a major lack of support for wives and their children.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am extremely saddened by you take on Gary Thomas's article. Gary mentioned many women who were trying to stay loyal and committed to husbands guilty of sexual betrayal, including sexual addiction as well as sexual abuse. Not only does Gary admit that this grounds for divorce, but Jesus does also. Unlike your personal opinions, Gary's advice is biblically sound. If the husband should be held accountable as you state, then how do you expect them to be fully accountable by telling wives that only sometimes does the abusive behavior requires the need to call the police. There is no accountability if there are no consequences for behavior that is not only wrong and sinful, but illegal as well. Furthermore, I find sad, shameful, and dangerous to expect wives to separate and further endure their suffering assuming they haven't been actively trying to repair their marriage in a biblical way. Many women married to abusive husbands are also under their husbands financial control. I hope you start to recognize that abusive behavior stems from the need to control as a way of coping with dangerous insecurities. Many of these women are also alienated from family and friends and are further shamed into staying in dangerous marriages much like you are doing. Would you be willing to house, feed, and clothe thes women and children. Probably not! So it's sad that you condemn and sentence these women and their children to more abuse. Gary was correct in his assessment that if the church taught husbands what they stand to lose and made the possibility of that loss more real to them, then the church and husbands would understand true accountability. Instead, many churches hold the victim accountable, while expecting her and her children to submit to the abusive. The common false teaching is that the wife, through her submission and relationship with Christ will change him cherry picked from 1 Peter 3:1. But the interpretation of the verse has been corrupted. The verse state that the ungodly husband may by won, not that he most definitely will be won. Wives have no more control over free will than God has. Just as God, wives can only influence. Rather than aiding wives in influencing their dangerous husbands through godly counsel and discipleship, churches end up enabling the husbands behavior and shaming the wife into enduring more abuse further adding to the brokenness of individuals, marriages, children, families, and ultimately the body of Christ. I fully condemn your opinions and can say for a fact that your statements are damaging, dangerous, found in ignorance, and more importantly 100% unbiblical! Your comments serve the wrong master and are a prime example satan's influence to damage the body of Christ. I realize this is a very strong rebuke. However, this is a necessary rebuke. I encourage you to educate yourself in psychological disorders and pray for a better biblical understanding of Jesus' expectations for husbands, His love of women and the value He place on protection for victims. I leave you with this last biblical fact, God had to send Jesus to become the sacrifice for our sins because Adam did not. The issue of divorce in Gary Thomas's article was not because the wife was quick to end her marriage (fact: women in abusive or non abuive marriage are most often the ones who work hardest to restore the marriage and do so for several years before deciding to divorce) the point was there is a lack of accountability for these husbands by the church and a major lack of support for wives and their children.

    ReplyDelete
  7. My husband divorced me 3 years ago for no reason, i did all i could to get him but didnt work, until i met Dr.Agbazara of AGBAZARA TEMPLE on the internet who helped me to cast a re-union spell and within 24hours my husband came back to me apologising. Thanks to Dr.agbazara. Contact this great spell caster on your relationship or marriage problems on:

    ( agbazara@gmail.com ) OR WHATSAPP: +2348104102662.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This may not sound fair, because it’s not

    But did you know that you can be a guy’s dream girl...

    I mean, you can literally check off every box on his “perfect woman” list...

    But if you mess up this one thing, he’ll drop you the second another option comes along?

    My friend James Bauer discovered this missing “secret ingredient” all men are constantly searching for in a woman.

    And most women have no clue it exists because guys aren’t even aware of it.

    We just KNOW when it’s missing.

    ===> The “Secret Ingredient” to obsessive love <=====

    The really cool thing is, when you know how to give a man this “secret ingredient”...

    It will send a shockwave of desire for you straight to his brain and he will HAVE to have you.

    In fact, when you do this... watch his face light up, almost as if he’s just been zapped.

    It’s that moment when he says to himself “Where have you BEEN all my life?”

    Every woman should know this. Check it out here:

    ====> Why men leave “perfect” women... <=====

    ReplyDelete
  9. If you need your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to come crawling back to you on their knees (no matter why you broke up) you got to watch this video
    right away...

    (VIDEO) Want your ex CRAWLING back to you...?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ever wanted to get free Google+ Circles?
    Did you know that you can get these AUTOMATICALLY AND ABSOLUTELY FREE by registering on Like 4 Like?

    ReplyDelete
  11. I never believed in Love Spells or Magics until i met this special spell caster when i went to Africa to Execute some business. He is really powerful. My husband divorce me with no reason for almost 4 years and i tried all i could to have him back cos i really love him so much but all my effort did not work out, we met at our early age at the college and we both have feelings for each other and we got married happily for 5 years with no kid and he woke up one morning and he told me he’s going on a divorce, i thought it was a joke and when he came back from work he tender to me a divorce letter and he packed all his belonging from my house and left. i ran mad and i tried all i could to have him back but all did not work out. I was lonely for almost 4 year, So when i told the spell caster what happened he said he will help me and he asked for his full name and his picture. I gave him that. At first i was skeptical but i gave it a try cos i have tried so many spell casters and there is no solution, so when he finished with the readings, he got back to me that he’s with a woman and that woman is the reason why he left me, The spell caster said he will help me with a spell that will surely bring him back, but i never believe all this he told me i will see a positive result within 3 days. 3 days later, he called me himself and came to me apologizing and he told me he will come back to me. I can't believe this, it was like a dream cos i never believe this will work out after trying many spell casters and there is no solution. The spell caster is so powerful and after that he helped me with a pregnancy spell and i got pregnant a month later, we are now happy been together again and with lovely kid. This spell caster has really changed my life and i will forever thankful to him, he has helped many of my friends too with similar problem too and they are happy and thankful to him. This man is indeed the most powerful spell caster i have ever experienced in life. Am Posting this to the Forum in case there is anyone who has similar problem and still looking for a way out.. you can reach him here: drosebuluspellhome@gmail.com CONTACT THIS POWERFUL SPELL CASTER TODAY VIA EMAIL: drosebuluspellhome@gmail.com or on +2348083221034

    ReplyDelete
  12. I promise to share this testimony all over the world once my boyfriend return back to me, and today with all due respect I want to thank DR EDDY for bringing joy and happiness to my relationship and my family. I want to inform you all that there is a spell caster that is real and genuine. I never believed in any of these things until I loosed my boyfriend, I required help until I found Dr Eddy a grate spell caster, And he cast a love spell for me, and he assured me that I will get my boyfriend back in two days after the spell has been cast.four days later, my phone rang, and so shockingly, it was my boyfriend who has not called me for past 3 years, and made an apology for the heart break, and told me that he is ready to be my back bone till the rest of his life with me. DR EDDY released him up to know how much I loved and wanted him. And opened his eyes to picture how much we have share together. As I'm writing this testimony right now I'm the most happiest girl on earth and me and my fiance is living a happy life and our love is now stronger than how it were even before our break up. So that's why I promised to share my testimony all over the universe.All thanks goes to DR EDDY for the excessive work that he has done for me. Below is the email address if you are any situation you are undergoing a heart break, and I assure you that as he has done mine, he will definitely help you too. Call/WhatsApp: +2348160830324 Email: dreddyspiritualtemple@gmail.com my name
    are Pauline .S from united state

    ReplyDelete