Tag Archive | spiritual abuse

What about Religion & Domestic Violence?

Religion and Domestic Violence

Why consider the religious or spiritual issues of Religion and Domestic Violence? Because these are fundamental not only to the believing victim and abuser as well as their Church, but also to all those who live in a culture which is largely based upon Christian moral values and traditions.

Religious people across all denominations are not exempt from Domestic Abuse, however, there appears to be a serious lack of understanding regarding abuse and the dynamics of abusive relationships and their impact upon the lives of people involved within churches and denominations generally.

When considering Religion and Domestic Violence we have to realize that religious or spiritual factors are central to the victim’s understanding and response. His/her own faith and the support of Church members can be vital in helping the healing process, while a lack of understanding regarding the Biblical perspective on abusive relationships by the victim or those he/she turns to for spiritual guidance and support can add to the emotional, physical and financial hurdles already faced.

Many women in abusive relationships feel they ought to submit to their husbands out of duty, that they have no right over their own body, life or even opinions. Quite often this misconception is furthered by advice from clergy, elders, rabbis or other members of the Church or congregation. Some men may feel trapped by their beliefs in an abusive relationship, unsure of their position towards their wives or girl-friends.

Often quotations or excerpts from the Bible are used to justify abusive behavior or the suppression by one member of the household of another. This in itself is a form of spiritual abuse.

From: Hidden Hurt

What is Abuse?

What is Abuse?
by Jeff Crippen

Very few people know what abuse really is, though everyone seems quite ready to give advice to its victims. If you believe that abuse is physical battering, you have some learning to do.

Abuse is fundamentally a mentality. It is a mindset of entitlement. The abuser sees himself* as entitled. He is the center of the world, and he demands that his victim make him the center of her world. His goal is power and control over others. For him, power and control are his natural right, and he feels quite justified in using whatever means are necessary to obtain that power and control. The abuser is not hampered in these efforts by the pangs of a healthy conscience and indeed often lacks a conscience.

While this mentality of power and control often expresses itself in various forms of physical abuse, it just as frequently employs tactics of verbal, emotional, financial, social, sexual and spiritual abuse. Thus, an abuser may never actually lay a hand on his wife and yet be very actively terrorizing her in incredibly damaging ways.

Abuse in any of its forms destroys the victim’s person. Abuse, in the end, is murder.

* Sometimes the genders are reversed.

Can Abusers Change?

To say that abusers cannot change removes responsibility for sin. They can change, but the vast majority choose not to, which is what the experts state. When God punishes them, their punishment is just. Abusers have options for treatment and are accountable.

Once the marriage covenant is broken through abuse, the abused partner does not need to stay in the marriage waiting for the abuser to change. The abuser’s recovery is a separate issue and his change is his own responsibility, not his wife’s. This is the mistake most churches make. These churches have over-sentimentalized marriage and are legalists.

A Cry for Justice