A Biblical Response to the Abused Wife - Mending the Soul (2023)

Por: Renée M. Malina

Publicado: Phoenix Seminary, T 506, Contemporary Moral Issues, primavera de 2010


Intimate partner violence is common throughout the world. When wives are abused, they are faced with the decision to stay in their marriages, possibly risking their lives or harming their children.This decision is particularly difficult when they believe they may be disobeying God by ending their marriage.God's covenant design for marriage is broken by abuse, and Scripture does not mandate that an abused wife should remain married to an abuser; therefore, the body of Christ is called to model God's compassion for abused women through effective strategies designed to meet the needs of women trying to escape abusive relationships.God designed marriage to be a covenant relationship through which spouses can experience companionship, physical relationship, respect, love, and care. Conversely, abuse and neglect are condemned by Scripture and can break the marriage covenant. When this happens, divorce is permissible due to the hardness of heart of the abuser and as legal protection for the abused. However, in the face of abuse, divorce is a complex decision that requires physical, spiritual, and emotional support. This provides an opportunity for the body of Christ to exercise effective church discipline, educate clergy and congregations about abuse, accept reconciliation and advocacy ministries, provide safety for abused women and their children, and offer Christian counseling that reflect a biblical view of abuse within marriage.

Keywords:abuse, covenant, divorce, intimate partner violence, marriage, neglect, violence

A Biblical Response to the Abused Wife

Sarah's heartbeat echoed the drunken footsteps of her husband down the stairs of their small apartment. With nowhere to hide, nowhere to run, it would only be a matter of moments before her battered body was once again the victim of her abuse. Across town, in a wealthier neighborhood, Mary seemed immune to the harsh realities of Sarah's world. However, surrounded by all the luxuries her wealthy husband could buy, Mary's heart pounded as her enraged husband nearly beat her to death. This fictional account of two abused wives highlights the real epidemic of abuse. The US Department of Justice (2000) reported that “intimate partner violence is widespread in American society” (p. 5). Approximately 25% of the women surveyed had been physically assaulted and/or raped by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. In a 10-country study on domestic violence against women, the World Health Organization (2009) found that between 15% and 71% of women reported sexual or physical violence by their partner or husband. These statistics underscore the prevalence of intimate partner abuse that counselors are likely to encounter in their practices. It is imperative that Christian counselors have a biblical answer for abused wives who feel trapped in the dilemma of how to obey God and still preserve their own lives. God's covenant design for marriage is broken by abuse, and Scripture does not mandate that an abused wife should remain married to an abuser; therefore, the body of Christ is called to model God's compassion for abused women through effective strategies designed to meet the needs of women trying to escape abusive relationships.

God established the permanence of the marriage relationship when He declared: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother, and be united to his wife; and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24, New American Standard Bible). the hebrew wordgirl, translated asgo outis often translated asLeave(Fruchtenbaum, 2009, p. 88). apesargirloften characterized Israel's rejection of the covenant relationship with God, it was used positively in Genesis 2:24, with the man rejecting the emotional ties of the parents in order to seek emotional satisfaction with his wife. the hebrew wordpiso, translated asdefending, literally means “stick like glue” (Fruchtenbaum, 2009, p. 88). In Deuteronomy, this word often meant to keep a covenant. the hebrew phrasebasar echad, translated asone meat, connotes a composite unity, with the man and the woman becoming one. Genesis 2:24 is the foundation of the New Testament teaching in Matthew 19 and Mark 10, upon which Jesus elaborated: "So they are no longer two, but one flesh." Similar to the Hebrew phrase forone meat,the greek phrasedon't become mineit connotes the new relationship that is created through the marriage union, which means a unitary existence (Brown, 1979, Vol. 1, p. 678).

God's intentions for marriage are embodied in the context of a covenant relationship. Hugenberger (1994) has argued that four essential components comprise an Old Testament covenant understanding: "1) a relationship 2) with a non-relative 3) involving obligations and 4) established through an oath" (p. 215 ) . . In Genesis 2:24, man and woman became one flesh through sexual union. Sexual union is an oath sign, similar to shaking hands or eating together, that portrays the covenant commitment ofone meat.

God used the metaphor of marriage when modeling His covenant commitment to humanity. When God makes a covenant, he offers promises, assumes responsibilities, and identifies obligations to be fulfilled by his covenant partners (Eilts, 1995, pp. 444-445). This ensures that the covenant is good for God and his covenant partners. In fact, “a common thread in all of God's covenants is a promise of deliverance and well-being, deliverance from suffering, persecution, or oppression” (Eilts, 1995, p. 445). In God's covenant relationship with Israel, He promised to be her God (Alexander & Baker, 2003, p. 154). In return, Israel promised to keep Yahweh's commandments (Deuteronomy 5-26). These obligations expressed love and loyalty to God (Alexander, 1997; cited in Alexander & Baker, 2003). Love is more than mere sentiments or feelings, but is expressed in actions that reflect that love. Likewise, God's intentions for the marriage relationship are companionship and mutual aid (Genesis 2:18), a permanent physical relationship that includesone meatrelationship (Genesis 2:24) and mutual respect, love and affection (Ephesians 5:21-33) (Brown, 1979, Vol. 3, p. 539).

Jesus admonished his listeners not to deviate from God's design for marriage: “Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:6; Mark 10:9). In the context of marriage, the Greek wordChorizo, translated asseparate,it has the connotation of dividing the indissoluble because man and woman become a single living being (Brown, 1979, Vol. 2, p.349). This company cannot be dissolved without harming its partners. However, Jesus recognized the possibility of breaking the marriage covenant and challenged his listeners to assess their own lives to consider any action that might separate what God has joined together (Brown, 1979, Vol. 3, pp. 539-540 ).

Abuse and neglect break the marriage covenant. The Lord described the man's companion as hiscovenant wifeand warned him not to treat her treacherously (Malachi 2:14-15). the hebrew wordBagdad, translated astreacherously, denotes infidelity to the pact (Harris, Archer, & Waltke, 1980, p. 90). On the other hand, when a man is faithful to the covenant, he fulfills his obligation to his wife. According to Luck (1987, pp. 31-37), a man's obligations include providing for his wife's physical needs, protecting her reputation, and protecting against abuse. The provision for physical needs includes food, clothing, and marital rights (Exodus 21:10). Exodus 21 is traditionally not quoted in connection with marriage because it refers to a female slave or concubine with whom the master is in a loving relationship.one meatrelationship. Luck (1987) arguedof a strongerthat although the Scriptures do not outline similar rights for a well-rounded wife, it is reasonable to assume that God's care for an inferior conditionone meatpartner would apply, at a minimum, to a full wife (ie, a free woman would have no fewer rights than a slave). In Deuteronomy 22:10, the husband was fined for publicly defaming his wife. This verse establishes the obligation of the husband not to ruin the reputation of his wife. Exodus 21 established penalties for personal injuries. For example, a master must not hurt a slave's eye or knock out a tooth (Exodus 21:26). using the sameof a strongerEarlier argument, Luck (1987) argued that a man should never hit his wife. Also, it doesn't make sense that God cares about a wife's reputation and then doesn't care about her body. It is also persuasive to consider that if the punishment for parental beating was death (Exodus 21:15), it seems incongruous to consider that there would be absolutely no consequences for wife beating.

The Scriptures condemn abuse and neglect in all its forms. The Bible strongly condemns violence (Kroeger & Nason-Clark, 2001, p. 77). God hates and denounces violent behavior, which is evidence of sin that brings God's judgment. Because of violence, God destroyed the earth (Genesis 6:11-13). The soul of the Lord hates "the one who loves violence" (Psalm 11:5). Wickedness aroused the wrath of God (Ezekiel 7:3); in His pronouncement of the punishment for iniquity, he declared that "violence has become a rod of iniquity" (Ezekiel 7:11). Proverbs characterized the violent as wicked (Proverbs 4:14-17) and treacherous (the Hebrew wordBagdad, meaning unfaithful, as noted above) (Proverbs 13:2).

Abuse perverts the image of God (Tracy, 2005, pp. 27-35). Instead of nurturing, sustaining, and increasing a wife's desire for God-given love and affection, physical abuse distorts God's image of responsible dominion in the most destructive way. Neglecting the wife's physical needs distorts God's functional image of caring for his creation. Therefore, a man who refuses to provide for his family's needs is described as one who "has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever" (1 Timothy 5:8). Furthermore, verbal abuse distorts the image of God by not being able to create life through words. "Death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Proverbs 18:21). “A comforting [healing] tongue is a tree of life, but perversion in it breaks the spirit” (Proverbs 15:14). “The Pentateuch regards the lives of men and women, slave and free, Israelite and foreigner, born and unborn, as of the highest value. Each one is an image of God, to be actively respected, protected and loved” (Alexander & Baker, 2003, p. 94).

God's response to abuse is reflected in His strong statement in Malachi 2:16 that He hates "the one who covers his clothes with iniquity." the hebrew wordchamac, translated aswrongin the NASB, it is most often translated asviolence(KJV; NIV; RSV) (Harris et al., 1980, p. 297). However, the Old Testament generally connectedchamacwith sinful violence. Hugenberger (1994, p. 75) presented the first vision ofclothesas a biblical image of clothing to suggest an outward expression of the inner state of man. For example, “Pride is his collar; a mantle of violence covers them” (Psalm 73:6); “He clothed himself with cursing like his garments” (Psalms 109:18); and "on his lap is the blood of the poor innocent" (Jeremiah 2:34). Therefore, for a man to cover his clothes with bad things includes both the act of violence and an abusive inner state, which violates the marriage covenant.

When the marriage covenant is broken by abuse and neglect, the abused wife may be faced with the dilemma of whether the Scriptures support her decision to leave the marriage. Returning to the opening vignette, both Sarah and Maria were married with the expectation of a lifelong commitment and with the understanding that the Biblical grounds for ending a marriage include only adultery, abandonment by an unbelieving spouse. or death. Is her only recourse for this abuse to pray that God would look down from heaven, see his affliction, and make their husbands leave or die? Some New Testament texts seem to support the understanding of the marriage of Sarah and Mary: Anyone who divorces his wife, except for unchastity or immorality, commits adultery (Matthew 5:32; Matthew 19: 9). However, if an unbelieving spouse leaves, let him leave (1 Corinthians 7:15). A married woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives (Romans 7:2), and she "must not leave her husband" (1 Corinthians 7:10).

For women of strong faith, "the promise before God to stay together untiluntil death do us part(Nason-Clark, 2004, p. 304) creates a greater vulnerability when they are abused. These nuns sometimes feel that they cannot leave because they believe that marriage is forever, regardless of how cruelly their husbands treat them, even if their lives are in danger (Kroeger & Nason-Clark, 2001, p. 36). In fact, religious victims have a higher level of commitment to staying in their marriages than non-religious victims:

One study found that the average length of marriage for religious victims was 11.4 years, compared to 8.6 years for non-religious victims. For religious victims, the abuse lasted an average of 9.4 years, while for non-religious victims the number was 7.4 years. The religiousness of the victims was not related to the severity of the abuse (Horton, Wilkins and Wright; cited in Roberts, 2008, p. 42).

In contrast to this religious commitment to an abusive marriage, Instone-Brewer (2003, p. 83) has argued that not all marriages are redeemable, and Scripture does not provide a lifetime guarantee for all marriages. This is evidenced by the words in Matthew 19:6 and Mark 10:9, “let no one separate,” which contrasts with the common understanding of these verses, “no one can separate” (Instone-Brewer, 2003, p. 84). Although the dissolution of a marriage is highly undesirable, these texts imply that it can end.

However, some have argued that if Jesus considered neglect and abuse valid grounds for ending a marriage, he would have said something about it (Instone-Brewer, 2003, pp. 95-96). What can be concluded about Jesus' silence on this issue?:

There were no debates about the validity of neglect and abuse as grounds for divorce innoneJewish literature, for the same reason there is none on the oneness of God: these principles were unanimously accepted. Instead of indicating that Jesus did not accept the validity of divorce due to neglect and abuse, his silence on this highlights the fact that he accepted it, as did all other Jews at the time (Instone-Brewer, 2003, p 96).

In addition, "the mission of the Incarnate included the liberation of the oppressed" (Sider, 2005, p. 47). In Luke 4:17-21, Jesus informed his listeners that Isaiah's prophetic words about "preaching the gospel to the poor... proclaiming liberty to the captives... restoring sight to the blind... putting liberty to the oppressed" were fulfilled. in itself. Sider (2005) has argued that Isaiah's words about setting captives free and oppressed unquestioningly refer to physical slavery and oppression. Jesus' ministry corresponded to Isaiah's prophecy, and he spent much time ministering to despised women, lepers, and other marginalized people.

What Jesus condemned in discussing Matthew 19 with the Pharisees wasany causedivorce (divorce on trivial grounds) as an invalid and unbiblical way to end a marriage (Roberts, 2008, p. 86). Roberts (2008, pp. 39-41) distinguished between treasonous divorce and disciplinary divorce, arguing that only treasonous divorce is what God hates. A treacherous divorce occurs when a spouse divorces without Biblical grounds (ie, leaving a spouse for little or no reason). Disciplinary divorce is a disciplinary tool that deprives a spouse of marital privileges who breaks the marriage covenant through adultery, abuse, abandonment, or harmful neglect. Another name for a disciplinary divorce is justified divorce. However, many Christians may fear that by accepting the notion of a justified divorce, the floodgates of excuses for divorce will open. Roberts (2008, p. 41) clarified that he does not mean that Christians can separate as a result of minor offenses or transient incidents.

Even with repeated abuse and serious offenses, the believer must do everything possible to call the abuser to repentance (Roberts, 2008, p. 41). “Often, the best hope for bullies to repent and change their ways is to experience painful consequences from which they cannot escape, no matter how much they cajole, threaten, or manipulate” (Tracy, 2011, p. 6) ( (eg, imprisonment, abandonment by wife, ostracism, or separation from church) Without painful consequences, there is little motivation for the abuser to change On the other hand, painful consequences may lead the abuser to repent.

God did not quickly divorce his covenant partners. In fact, it was only after God's repeated and faithful attempts to call unfaithful Israel to repentance that he gave them a "bill of divorce" (Jeremiah 3:8). God modeled a compassionate invitation to repentance: “Turn back, faithless Israel… I will not look at you with anger. Because I am merciful... I will not be angry forever. only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against the Lord your God” (Jeremiah 3:12-13). God responded to his invitation with the blessings he was willing to provide: “Shepherds after [His] heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding” (Jeremiah 3:15) and “a desirable land, a most beautiful inheritance of the nations.” ”. !” (Jeremiah 3:19).

Roberts (2008, p. 41) has argued that it is important to understand that most abuse victims make many attempts to reconcile their relationships before seeking help from a pastor or professional. Often the victim has put up with too much for too long and the pattern of abuse is deeply entrenched. Unrepentant abusers have darkened understanding and hardened hearts, unfeeling. When this is the case, the believer is forced to accept that an unrepentant couple has irreparably broken the marriage covenant (Wenham, Heth, & Keener, 2006, p. 112).

Jesus responded to the Pharisees' question as to why Moses ordered a divorce certificate (Matthew 19:7) by correctly distinguishing that divorce was not ordered but was allowed due to hardness of heart, although it was not so from the beginning. (Keener, 1991, p. 42). In essence, Jesus communicated that allowing divorce is a concession to human weakness. This principle interprets the law compassionately: Jesus claims that Moses granted the divorce because legal protection for someone divorced against his will is the best that can come from hard-hearted people. Had they been open to God's ways and compassionate, He might have asked them to uphold their original ideal standard of not initiating a divorce. It is consistent to assume that God would provide the same compassionate legal protection for an abused wife.

The Scriptures confirm that God responds compassionately to the oppressed. God is rock, refuge, shield, horn of salvation and savior who saved David from violence (2 Samuel 22:3). God delivered David from the strong enemy of his and from those who hated him and were too powerful for him and rescued him from the violent man (Psalm 18:17, 48). Solomon declared that God crushes the oppressor, delivers the needy when he cries for help, and rescues their lives from oppression and violence (Psalm 72:4, 12-14). God delivers those who are condemned to death (Psalm 102:20). God does justice to the oppressed and sets the captives free (Psalm 146:7). God loosens the bonds of wickedness, undoes and breaks every yoke, and sets the oppressed free (Isaiah 58:6).

If God is so compassionate to the oppressed, why does he hate divorce (Malachi 2:16)? In other words, why would He hate the same thing that would free an abused woman from his oppressor? “He knows from experience how much pain results from this” (Instone-Brewer, 2003, p. 42). God's criticism is not against the legal process or against a person getting divorced; otherwise, he would have to criticize himself for divorcing Israel. God hates betrayal or infidelity to break the marriage covenant. However, it is important to distinguish that the person who breaks the marriage covenant is the aggressor, not the aggrieved person who decrees the divorce. Continued abuse or neglect can result in physical and emotional harm, and continued infidelity destroys the credibility of the institution of marriage. While divorce has dire consequences for both spouses, staying married is often worse.

In their study of 15 previously battered divorced women, Haj-Yahia and Eldar-Avidan (2001) examined the factors that contributed to an abusive husband's decision to divorce. Intrapersonal factors included personal strength and empowerment gained from dealing with violence, efforts to preserve self-confidence despite abuse, escalation of violence, and fighting harm to children. Interpersonal factors focused mainly on concern for children. Structural-organizational factors emphasized rights such as those of women and divorcees, access to money, employment, and support from government agencies. Factors that made the decision difficult were previous separation attempts, fear of spousal backlash, lack of support from family of origin, and cultural stigma. Behind the many factors that helped them implement their divorce decision was the physical and emotional support they received from various sources. This study underscores the complexity of the divorce decision and the need for the body of Christ to support abused women.

In the event that both spouses claim to be Christians, church discipline (Matthew 18) is an important part of the divorce decision in the face of spousal abuse (Roberts, 2008, pp. 48-49). This gives both parties a chance to present their side of the story. If the alleged abuser is unwilling to present his point of view, a decision is made based on the available evidence. Unfortunately, church discipline is not always used in a biblical way. “Churches sometimes abuse the principle of discipline: they violate confidentiality, demonstrate carnal prejudice, or view the restoration of marriage as more important than the restoration of individuals” (Roberts, 2008, p. 48). Sometimes they accuse the wrong person or turn them away because they haven't investigated the matter sufficiently. When Christian leaders have an underdeveloped theology of sin and its ravages, they cannot offer the necessary help. On the other hand, when victims receive a fair hearing, with a fair determination, it can give them peace of mind to move on and rebuild their lives. Unfortunately, church discipline rarely happens. Also, the church is often unaware of the abuse.

According to Tracy (2007), due to clergy mismanagement and misunderstanding of domestic violence, only a small percentage of women find clergy helpful to victims of abuse. Clergy often tell abused women to submit to abusive husbands, even when submission fails to prevent the abuse. Rather than condemn abuse as sinful and unacceptable, clergy are often silent in the pulpit on this issue. Worse yet, clergy consistently underestimate the prevalence of domestic violence, especially in their congregations (for example, according to Wirthlin Worldwide (1999), cited by Tracy (2007), in Maricopa County, Arizona, 42% of 600 women abused women surveyed attend weekly services). Because clergy naively believe that an abusive man will change in response to a wife's submission, they are generally more concerned with preserving the marriage. Unfortunately, some clergy go as far as partially blaming women for the abuse. To counter these problems, clergy must educate themselves and their congregations on all aspects of abuse, especially the qualities of male abusers. Clergy must recognize the importance of networking with other professional and community resources to address the needs of victims of abuse. Clergy must also work with other leaders to hold abusers accountable for their abuse. Victims of abuse and their children must be protected and made a priority. By making these important changes, clergy have the opportunity to bring healing and help to victims of domestic violence.

Alsdurf and Alsdurf (1989, pp. 127-128) challenged the church to accept their radical ministry of reconciliation in response to abused women. This challenges the church to wake up from its passivity by not acknowledging the abuse and to intervene on behalf of the victims. It calls the body of Christ to nurture and fight alongside the victims. This strikes a balance of justice and love that is lacking in our world. This radical ministry of reconciliation is neither clean nor safe, but it risks mediating.

Alsdurf and Alsdurf (1989, pp. 128-129) also challenged the church to fulfill its prophetic role by defending the oppressed. This is not a feminist ministry, but one that aggressively responds to the existence of evil. "If the church is to be trulyprofessional lifeHow can you help but champion the cause of battered women?" (Alsdurf and Alsdurf, 1989, p. 128). Being pro-life goes beyond opposing abortion to taking a stand against everything that opposes life. Similar to the outrage expressed by the Old Testament prophets, the church should be outraged by abuse within Christian marriages. The church must act to "deliver those who are being led to death, and those who are staggering to the slaughter" (Proverbs 24:11).

As the church moves to model God's compassion for abused women, a pressing issue is the need for safety (Nason-Clark, 1997, pp. 119-121). Safety includes caring for the physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being of victims of abuse and their children. Safety also includes a responsive environment that will not only meet the needs of the woman, but also provide peace of mind to anyone offering assistance. Emotional security is created when a woman can speak without being judged or condemned. One dilemma is that male clergy may find it difficult to provide a safe haven for a woman who has been abused by a man. This creates the need for women to be available for this ministry. Specifically, clergy must provide hands-on assistance that includes a safety plan, safe housing, and assistance with financial needs (Tracy, 2011, p. 5).

The prevalence of abuse suggests that counselors can often have the privilege and challenge of working with abused clients to develop strategies to rebuild their lives. The first priority in counseling victims of abuse is to develop a safety plan. By providing therapy to victims of abuse, counselors address the toxic shame, powerlessness, death, isolation, brokenness, lack of intimacy, and unforgiveness that are among the devastating consequences of abuse (Tracy, 2005 ). “Nothing can generate clouds of toxic shame like abuse” (Tracy, 2005, p. 76). Since shame is a major component of abuse, it is imperative that Christian counselors have a biblical perspective on abuse within marriage. Given the difference in power in the counseling relationship, the counselor's suggestion that an abused wife is disobeying God by leaving her husband will only add to the enormous shame she already wrestles with. On the other hand, allowing the abused client to experience God's compassion in the therapeutic relationship promotes healing from the abuse.

In conclusion, domestic violence is a prevalent and devastating reality that the body of Christ in general and Christian counselors in particular must address. The Scriptures make it clear that God's original design for marriage was a permanent union between husband and wife. Within the context of this covenant relationship, the husband has the opportunity to lovingly provide for his wife's physical needs, protect her reputation, and protect her from her abuse. When he fails to do this and instead neglects her and abuses her, he breaks the marriage covenant. Although God hates divorce because of the pain it causes, He is compassionate to victims of abuse and allows a divorce certificate. God's compassion compels the body of Christ to also respond compassionately to the needs created as a result of abuse. By doing so, victims of abuse are given the opportunity to heal and rebuild their lives.


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Eilts, M.N. (nineteen ninety five). Saving the family: when does the alliance break? In C. J. Adams and M. M. Fortune (Eds.),Violence Against Women and Children: A Christian Theological Guide(pp. 444-450). New York, NY: Continuous.

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What does the Bible says about domestic abuse? ›

In the Bible, all violence is considered an offence against God and against humanity. Scripture is full of condemnations of violence – time and again violence is associated with wickedness and condemned as “detestable to the Lord” (Psalm 11, Proverbs 3 & 10). In particular, violence against women is condemned.

What does the Bible say about divorce and abuse? ›

The New Testament allows for divorce where the marriage covenant is broken. Jesus says that divorce is permitted in the case of adultery (Matthew 19:3-6). There are plenty of interpreters who take Jesus allowing for divorce when there is adultery (porneia) as including abuse.

Can God change an abuser? ›

God can change an abuser. Like all sins, the sin of abuse can be overcome when an abuser surrenders to God and seeks His transforming power. As victims and witnesses, we should pray for such change and refrain from retaliation against abusers.

Is emotional abuse grounds for divorce biblically? ›

Other noteworthy pastors and theologians say emotional and physical abuse are biblical grounds for divorce.

What does the Bible say about a cruel wife? ›

[7] An evil wife is a yoke shaken to and fro: he that hath hold of her is as though he held a scorpion. [8] A drunken woman and a gadder abroad causeth great anger, and she will not cover her own shame. [9] The whoredom of a woman may be known in her haughty looks and eyelids.

What is the spirit of abuse? ›

What Is Spiritual Abuse? Any attempt to exert power and control over someone using religion, faith, or beliefs can be spiritual abuse. Spiritual abuse can happen within a religious organization or a personal relationship. Spiritual abuse is not limited to one religion, denomination, or group of people.

What does God say about abandonment in marriage? ›

The Lord absolves the believer of responsibility to maintain the marriage when there is desertion by a marriage partner. Paul points out that the believer is no longer bound or a slave of the marriage covenant in these circumstances.

Does God forgive divorce? ›

Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." I take solice in the fact that judgment does not come until the end of our days, and I have Jesus Christ as my advocate to ask for mercy from YHWH so I do believe divorce can be forgiven by God because the Holy Bible tells me so.

Will God bless a second marriage? ›

Historically, Christian traditions haven't agreed on the answer to this question. Catholicism has taught that if a person's first marriage ended in divorce, God won't bless a second one. Many Protestant traditions hold that since there are biblically justifiable grounds for divorce, God can bless a second marriage.

What does the Bible say about narcissistic abuse? ›

1 Corinthians 7: 15 tells us that if an unbeliever (this includes a narcissist [you can read my article about whether someone is a believer here]) can't live with you in peace, then let them live without you.

Can you ever forgive an abuser? ›

Abuse is never justified, however, it is possible to forgive your abuser if you wish to do so. Forgiving an abuser can be a very difficult and long process however it can be beneficial for the victims emotional healing process.

Can you reverse emotional abuse? ›

Living through emotional abuse can lead to trauma, impacting both your mental and physical well-being. Healing after emotional abuse can take time, but it is possible to recover from the emotional wounds that abuse has caused, along with the help of an online therapist.

What are the 5 signs of emotional abuse? ›

5 Signs of Emotional Abuse
  • They are Hyper-Critical or Judgmental Towards You. ...
  • They Ignore Boundaries or Invade Your Privacy. ...
  • They are Possessive and/or Controlling. ...
  • They are Manipulative. ...
  • They Often Dismiss You and Your Feelings.
May 23, 2017

What does God say about a toxic marriage? ›

Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV). You have to let go of any toxic relationship and put your trust in God. Many believers cry over their broken relationship because of the time and energy invested in the relationship, but I can assure you that God is fully aware of the situation.

What does God say about a narcissist? ›

1 Corinthians 7: 15 tells us that if an unbeliever (this includes a narcissist [you can read my article about whether someone is a believer here]) can't live with you in peace, then let them live without you.

How do you deal with a wicked wife? ›

10 Ways to deal with a disrespectful wife
  1. Do not take her disrespect personally. ...
  2. Pick the time for the dialogue. ...
  3. Start with focusing on her, not you. ...
  4. Ask her what she needs to feel respect towards you. ...
  5. Ask your wife if she would be open to going to a marriage counselor. ...
  6. Ask her to opely determine the issues.
Jun 1, 2021

What does the Bible say about living with a contentious wife? ›

Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. Living with a difficult wife (19:13; 21:19; 25:24) is a constant theme in Proverbs – because the book is guy talk, father to son!

How do I treat my wife according to God? ›

1 Peter 3:7: In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God's gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.

What are the spiritual effects of abuse? ›

For example, a study of 527 victims of child abuse (physical, sexual or emotional) found a significant “spiritual injury” such as feelings of guilt, anger, grief, despair, doubt, fear of death, and belief that God is unfair (Lawson 1998).

What mental illness causes abuse? ›

A common assumption we hear at The Hotline is that abuse is caused by a partner's mental health condition, for example: bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), narcissistic personality, borderline personality or antisocial personality.

What are 6 behaviors that indicate emotional abuse? ›

Examples include intimidation, coercion, ridiculing, harassment, treating an adult like a child, isolating an adult from family, friends, or regular activity, use of silence to control behavior, and yelling or swearing which results in mental distress. Signs of emotional abuse.

Does God want you in a loveless marriage? ›

God wants what's best for you, that's why He wants you to stay married. He wants you to stay married, but He wants to help you turn an unhappy marriage into a happy one. With Christ a loveless marriage can be a thing of the past.

Is it a sin to remarry if your spouse leaves you? ›

Jesus states that divorcing a mate on the grounds of immorality frees the offended mate to remarry without committing adultery.

When God gives you signs to leave a relationship? ›

1 You have a gut feeling. 2 He pushes you to disobey God. 3 He disregards your boundaries. 4 You don't feel in control around him.

What is the sin that Cannot be forgiven? ›

One eternal or unforgivable sin (blasphemy against the Holy Spirit), also known as the sin unto death, is specified in several passages of the Synoptic Gospels, including Mark 3:28–29, Matthew 12:31–32, and Luke 12:10, as well as other New Testament passages including Hebrews 6:4–6, Hebrews 10:26–31, and 1 John 5:16.

Can I remarry my ex husband? ›

Is it possible to get divorced and remarry the same person in the future? Yes, you can get divorced and later remarry your ex. In fact, it's even more common than you might think. In some ways, second marriages to the same person can be more fruitful than first marriages.

What is the biblical advice on divorce? ›

In the first, Matthew quotes Jesus as saying: “It was also said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, except on the grounds of porneia (sexual immorality), makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” (Matthew 5:31-32).

What does the Bible say about second wife? ›

John Gill comments on 1 Corinthians 7 and states that polygamy is unlawful; and that one man is to have but one wife, and to keep to her; and that one woman is to have but one husband, and to keep to him and the wife only has a power over the husband's body, a right to it, and may claim the use of it: this power over ...

Can God restore any marriage? ›

It is God's perfect will for your marriage to be restored but your spouse has a free will and God won't force them to return. You need to be at a place where you are standing for your marriage because it is the RIGHT thing to do.

Does God allow divorce? ›

Jesus states, “Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended. … whoever divorces … and marries someone else commits adultery.” God's standard, as stated by Jesus, goes beyond the law and states that God's intent is for no one to divorce.

Does God forgive narcissist? ›

It is true to that God's love covers even the narcissist's sin, but it does not mean his or her behavior is excused. It does not mean that you have to tolerate it.

What are narcissist weaknesses? ›

A monumental weakness in the narcissist is the failure to look internally and flesh out what needs to be worked on. Then, of course, the next step is to spend time improving. The narcissist sabotages any possibility of looking deep within.

What is the root cause of narcissism? ›

Narcissistic personality disorder may be linked to: Environment — parent-child relationships with either too much adoration or too much criticism that don't match the child's actual experiences and achievements. Genetics — inherited characteristics, such as certain personality traits.

What is the psychological make up of an abuser? ›

Abusers often suffer from their own mental illnesses; a mood disorder may make them more prone to irritability and anger. Both depression and mania can manifest in heightened snappiness and quickness to attack, especially when associated with insomnia.

How many years does it take to recover from abuse? ›

There is no timeline on a recovery; every journey is different. It could take you 2 months, 2 years, or 20 years to recover. There are some severe relationships that have such serious effects that survivors may never recover, but psychological help can assist in easing the pain and speed up the recovery process.

Can abuse affect you years later? ›

Some long-term physical effects of abuse or neglect may occur immediately (e.g., brain damage caused by head trauma), but others can take months or years to emerge or be detectable.

What happens to the brain after emotional abuse? ›

Emotional abuse is linked to thinning of certain areas of the brain that help you manage emotions and be self-aware — especially the prefrontal cortex and temporal lobe. Epigenetic changes and depression. Research from 2018 has connected childhood abuse to epigenetic brain changes that may cause depression.

How do narcissists overcome emotional abuse? ›

  1. Acknowledgement. Keep in mind that narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) doesn't only affect romantic relationships. ...
  2. Practice Self-Compassion. Self-compassion can be instrumental in learning how to heal from narcissistic abuse. ...
  3. Be Patient. ...
  4. Exercise Self-Care. ...
  5. Lean on Support from Loved Ones.
Feb 3, 2022

Is emotional abuse betrayal? ›

Experiencing betrayal, a form of emotional abuse, can cause various post-traumatic stress disorder. Symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares and impaired sleeping, depression, anxiety, brain fog, distrust, dissociation, are common. Betrayed partners often feel as if their reality has been shaken to its core.

Which are the 3 main warning signs that someone may be an abuser? ›

Warning Signs of an Abusive Person
  • Jealousy and Possessiveness. Wants to be with you constantly. ...
  • Controlling Behavior. ...
  • Quick Involvement. ...
  • Unrealistic Expectations. ...
  • Isolation. ...
  • Blames Others for Problems. ...
  • Blames Others for Feelings. ...
  • Hypersensitivity.

What are signs of severe mental abuse? ›

The signs of mental abuse include:
  • Name-calling. Abusive words are a common tactic used by abusers to ridicule and demean. ...
  • Humiliation. ...
  • Withholding affection. ...
  • Making threats. ...
  • Turning tables. ...
  • Indifference. ...
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) ...
  • Eating disorders.
Nov 23, 2021

What are three warning signs of emotional abuse? ›

What Are the Early Warning Signs of Emotional Abuse to Look for?
  • Feel insecure and have low self-esteem.
  • Appear depressed or anxious.
  • Be withdrawn even in the presence of others.
  • No longer go out and socialize as they used to.
  • Miss work or other events and responsibilities.
Nov 15, 2018

What does God say about fixing a broken marriage? ›

Constant Conflict – (Ephesians 5:33)

If your marriage is filled with conflict, don't give up. “If your marriage is filled with conflict, don't give up.” This scripture instructs a husband to love his wife as he loves himself and that his wife must respect him. If your marriage is filled with conflict, don't give up.

What are the 7 enemies of marriage? ›

Criticism, contempt, unforgiveness, alcohol abuse, gambling, inappropriate opposite-sex friendships, impulsivity, insecurity, jealousy, drug abuse, over commitment to work and/or hobbies, disrespect, uncontrolled emotions, selfishness, pride, pornography addiction, defensiveness, unresolved conflict, divisive friends ...

Can God heal a broken marriage? ›

God knows what your marriage needs. He wants to bless you with those needs. When you fight the battle with Him, He will heal your marriage and make it whole.

What is the spiritual purpose of a narcissist? ›

The belief that your spiritual wisdom makes you more special than others is also known as spiritual narcissism. It can be used to shield yourself from criticism, to impress others, or to enhance your-self-esteem and feel good about yourself.

Does a narcissist love God? ›

God is everything the narcissist ever wants to be: omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, admired, much discussed, and awe inspiring. God is the narcissist's wet dream, his ultimate grandiose fantasy. But God comes handy in other ways as well. The narcissist alternately idealizes and devalues figures of authority.

What does the Bible say about being married to a narcissist? ›

1 Corinthians 7: 15 tells us that if an unbeliever (this includes a narcissist [you can read my article about whether someone is a believer here]) can't live with you in peace, then let them live without you.

Is it a sin to divorce your husband? ›

Most say that Jesus allows divorce only for adultery. But some argue that Jesus originally didn't allow even that. Only in Matthew does he offer an out from marriage: “except for sexual indecency.” Beyond what Jesus says, Paul also allows divorce.

Can a man divorce his wife for any reason? ›

They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?" and said, `For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh' ? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

Is divorce a sin to God? ›

MYTH: God forbids all divorce, and divorce is the unpardonable sin. TRUTH: Scripture shows that God gives permission for divorce. And modern Bible translations NIV, ESV, and CSB do not translate Malachi 2:16 as God saying "I hate divorce."

What does God say about toxic marriages? ›

Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV). You have to let go of any toxic relationship and put your trust in God. Many believers cry over their broken relationship because of the time and energy invested in the relationship, but I can assure you that God is fully aware of the situation.

What does God say about dealing with a narcissist? ›

1 Corinthians 7: 15 tells us that if an unbeliever (this includes a narcissist [you can read my article about whether someone is a believer here]) can't live with you in peace, then let them live without you.

Is it a sin to remarry after divorce? ›

What we can know for sure is that it is God's plan for a married couple to stay married as long as both spouses are alive (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:6). The only specific allowance for remarriage after a divorce is for adultery (Matthew 19:9), and even this is debated among Christians.

Will God tell me to leave my marriage? ›

Does God tell you to leave your husband? 1 Corinthians 7:10-11, “To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.”

What is the unpardonable sin? ›

The unpardonable sin is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Blasphemy includes ridicule and attributing the works of the Holy Spirit to the devil.

What pushes a man to divorce? ›

In a study done by Pennsylvania State University, the top reasons men listed for divorce was incompatibility, infidelity, lack of communication and personality problems.

On what grounds a man to divorce his wife? ›

The husband has a right to file a petition for divorcewith or without mutual consent. For the latter, the grounds for filing remain the same as that for a wife. These include cruelty, desertion, conversion, adultery, disease, mental disorder, renunciation, and presumption of death.

What happens when only one spouse wants a divorce? ›

A claim of “irreconcilable differences” by either party is enough for a court to agree to end the marriage. In short, if one person wants out of a marriage, he is legally able to do so, whether the other person agrees or not.

What are the forbidden marriages in the Bible? ›

Among the forbidden couples are parent-child, sister-brother, grandparent-grandchild, uncle-niece, aunt-nephew, and between half siblings and certain close in-laws. This "Levitical law" is found in Leviticus 18:6-18, supplemented by Leviticus 20:17-21 and Deuteronomy 27:20-23. Photo illustration, Shutterstock, Inc.

How do I leave my marriage peacefully? ›

What are the steps to leave my husband/wife?
  1. 1) Gather Documents & Keep Records. ...
  2. 2) Open a Separate Bank Account & Create Your Own Budget. ...
  3. 3) List Property & Other Assets. ...
  4. 4) Plan the Logistics of Your Exit. ...
  5. 5) Contact a Divorce Lawyer. ...
  6. 6) To Tell Your Spouse Or Not. ...
  7. 7) Tell Your Children. ...
  8. 8) Leave.
May 6, 2021

What does the Bible say about marriage problems? ›

Constant Conflict – (Ephesians 5:33)

If your marriage is filled with conflict, don't give up.” This scripture instructs a husband to love his wife as he loves himself and that his wife must respect him. If your marriage is filled with conflict, don't give up.


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