Recognizing Domestic Abuse
Love is God. If you Abuse, you do not have God in you, nor do you love yourself.
“Whoso finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favour of the LORD.” [Proverbs 18:22] Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; [Ephesians 5:25]
Although domestic abuse can be physical, emotional, or spiritual, there are many subtle ways in which it is unnoticeable to the one on whom it is being directed. There are many ways in which this vicious beast will enter a home, relationship, or family to wreak havoc and fear which sometimes are in the form of loving pats, sweet words “You know I love you, but…” With the inconsiderate use of the word “love” the recipient begins to believe the deception and may even take personal blame for the outrage.
Domestic abuse occurs when one individual in an intimate relationship tries to control the other person. The perpetrator uses fear and intimidation, and may threaten to use or may actually use physical violence. Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to physical violence. I will add adultery to this definition.
Love will hurt, but not in the form of domestic violence. You may have heard someone say, “this is going to hurt me more than you,” when applying something which is going to cause pain, but it is for the recipient’s good. Love hurts when someone who sincerely love another, but who receives pain in return. True love does not cause harm. Domestic abuse is painful in every descriptive tone one could suggest. Therefore, when someone says, “I love you” after hurting you, this is not love.
Marriage was meant that husband and wife love each other. This was the plan of God and what every couple who follows God’s plan desires. However, we know that not all marriages are without pain.
God ordained marriage for the couple to enjoy life and to live in harmony despite the vicissitudes of life, which always occur in one form or another. The Bible tells us that God made man and gave him authority in the Garden of Eden to take charge of His creation (See Genesis 1-2). Later, God saw that man was alone and needed companionship; someone with whom he could relate. God’s intention for the couple was that they would be [one] through the union of marriage. With this in mind, we can assume that their relationship was for permanence, companionship, intimacy, communication, and procreation.
Abuse was never part of God’s plan. Consequently, no family should encourage the beast of domestic violence. It was never meant to be an item in the marital relationship.
Some Signs of Domestic Violence
Your inner feelings and dialogue: Fear, self-loathing, numbness, desperation.
Are you fearful of your spouse most of the time?
Do you avoid certain topics so that you do not arouse your spouse’s negative reaction or anger?
Do you ever feel that you cannot do anything right for your spouse?
Do you ever feel so badly about yourself that you think you deserve to be physically hurt?
Have you lost the love and respect that you once had for your spouse?
Do you constantly feel lonely, even though you have a spouse?
Do you sometimes fantasize about ways for revenge?
Are you afraid for your life?
Are you afraid that your spouse will take the children away from you?
Do you feel there is nowhere to turn for help, and feeling emotionally numb?
Were you abused as a child, or grew up with domestic violence in your home?
Keep in mind that marriage, as God ordained is blessed by Him and His desire is that each couple maintain the ordinances relating to this institution.
If you are having problems being at home in these troublesome time, do not keep your fears to yourself. This will not solve the problem and you will find yourself losing a battle which you may not know how to fight. Jesus is still answer for all our needs, but we must seek His help.
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Shekinah Theological College [STC] is registered in the State of Georgia, USA, and was granted Religious Exemption from the Non-public Post-Secondary Education Commission. STC is A Program of Faith Restoration Ministries International