If you knew that a woman in your church was being abused by her husband, what would you do? Would you get involved and help her? Or would you take the easy way out, play ignorant and stay silent?
If you are like most Christians, the second option would be your choice.
I’ve talked to women from all over the world who have been abused by their husbands. Almost without fail, these women have confided that when their situation became known, their church family either abandoned them, accused them or ignored them. Rarely did anyone, especially a pastor, elder or leader of any kind, try to help them.
Why is this, do you suppose?
My thoughts are that, 1) Christians are woefully ignorant of the dynamics of an abusive marriage and are happy in their ignorance and, 2) they are afraid of getting involved.
Both are sin.
If you know of a situation where a woman in your church is being abused by her husband, even if the abuse is not physical in nature, and you ignore it or refuse to get involved, you have failed to act as Christ’s ambassador and you have by your actions willingly lied about the nature of Christ. If you know that abuse affects Christian women and some of those women are in your church, and you still turn your head and refuse to learn what you can do to help, you are not representing Christ, you are representing his adversary, the devil. Strong words? Actually, considering the nature of abuse and how it violates the very foundations of Christian marriage, they aren’t strong enough.
Domestic abuse is nothing short of terrorism carried out in the home. It is vile, violent and a corruption of laws of God. It matters not what form the abuse takes: Abuse is abuse, period. All forms of abuse are sinful. And that is what we need to remember.
For too long, women who have finally gotten the courage to speak out about their abusive home life have been vilified by members of the Lord’s church. Because she dares to speak up and accuse her husband of abuse, a woman is often told she is not being submissive, obedient or kind. She’s told that by making the accusation, she’s being a faithless wife, a liar, or an abuser herself. She’s told to go home and pray, submit more, obey more and try harder to please him. By following this “advice”, some women have died.
One out of every four women in the United States will be abused at some point in her life. Out of a hundred women, forty will. Some of those women are in your church. What have you done to help them?
What will you do? What will you tell a sister in Christ who comes to you with her story of abuse? Will you listen? Will you try to help? Will you dare to get involved and be Jesus to her?
Ask yourself what would Jesus do? Now, ask yourself, as His ambassador, what will you do?
Now go do it.