Domestic Violence - Suffering in Silence
Submitted by the World Federation of Methodists and Uniting Church Women
Violence against women and girls has many faces. Today we will speak to domestic violence and abuse which might be the most under reported. It is hard to believe that domestic violence and abuse can happen in our churches most especially by Christians but indeed it does and many women suffer in silence perhaps because they feel ashamed or perhaps they feel it a duty of a wife to protect their husbands.
What does the Bible say about violence and abuse? Scripture can be the cause of women remaining silent in order to urge them to remain with their abusers. Colossians 3:18 – Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands as it is fit in the Lord.
Violence against women can be seen in the Old Testament where there are stories of violence that includes rape and slavery. In 2 Samuel 13, we see Tamar, the daughter of David who was lusted after by her half-brother Amnon. He pretended to be ill, asking for his sister to come and care for him. When she arrived, he raped her. Unfortunately, David failed to address the rape and as a result, it caused a breach in the family that had a devastating effect. Read 2 Samuel 13.
However, the Bible is clear, that God does not support those who oppress or marginalize or abuse others. Psalm 11:5- The Lord trieth the righteous but the wicked and him that love violence his soul hateth. Colossians 3:19- Husbands, love your wives and be not bitter against them.
The heart of God is to deliver the abused, Psalm 140:1 – Deliver me O LORD from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man and to protect women, exhorting their husbands to provide for the physical and emotional needs of their wives encouraging them to be all that God created them to be. Ephesians 5:1-2 – Be ye followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.
So on Day 14 of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence, let it be said that any form of abuse or violence is unacceptable behavior and defies God’s calling for Christ followers to relate to each other in love.
1 Corinthians 16:14 – Let all that you do be done in love