Isaiah 5: 20, Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
The husband forced his wife into their bedroom, stripped her, whipped her and told her she was nothing but a slave with the sole purpose of pleasing him.
Another husband refused to work preferring to let his wife struggle to support him and their children while he stayed home all day and watched porn on the net.
Yet another forced his wife to undress in the car, perform oral sex on him and then walk into their house completely naked.
Still another was unhappy with the supper his wife served him. He showed his unhappiness by tossing the food around the kitchen, slamming the plate down on the table and then storming out of the room while his children watched.
Each one of these is a true story and that’s awful enough. Worse, though, is that in each of these cases, the husband is a professing Christian. One of these is my story, the others are stories from godly women known to me.
Domestic abuse isn’t something out there–it’s in here in the Church. It’s the cancer in our midst. Every single day there are Christian women all across the nation who are abused by their husbands–the same men who swore before God that they would love and protect their wives are the very ones wounding, bruising and destroying them. Yet, if any of these women got up enough nerve to go to her pastor and tell him the truth about her life with her husband, the chances are very great that he would tell her that she’s dishonoring her husband by admitting to the abuse, not showing forgiveness, not being submissive enough (for if she were, her husband wouldn’t feel threatened and treat her as he is) or that her husband’s mistreatment of her isn’t as bad as she thinks it is.
I wonder what his story would be if he were somehow the one who had to live through the kinds of things described above? What if it were his mother or his daughter going through this? Would his reaction be different then?
It’s shameful to think that his reaction might be different if it were his family because pastors are meant to shepherd the sheep. The kinds of pastors who turn a blind eye to women in their congregation who are being abused, who accuse them of being the one who is sinning by daring to acknowledge the abuse, are failing as Shepherds. They’re not only failing the women and their children, they are failing the church at large. Worse, they are failing God and disobeying His holy Word.
For far too long, the abuser has had a safe place to hide in our churches while the abused has had to leave in shame. This must stop and it must stop now. The church needs pastors who will admit that abuse is real. Pastors who will call abuse sin. Pastors who aren’t afraid of stepping on toes, speaking out for the helpless and going headlong into the fray. Godly men who love God and His Word must lead this battle.
It is time for pastors to wake up to the cancer of abuse in the church and act in a way that is honoring to our Lord by taking a stand for truth, protecting the innocent and by refusing to call evil good any longer.