But what about abuse?
I hear this question a lot when I talk about a husband’s authority over a wife. Sometimes it’s a legitimate question (how do we deal with this very real problem?) and sometimes it’s a way of saying that this problem means husbands shouldn’t have authority ~ that the authority/submission model is flawed.
Well, the truth is, it’s not the model that is flawed, it is the people. It doesn’t matter what structure of authority/submission you are talking about there will be people who use whatever is at hand to abuse others.
God’s plan for authority is that those in authority should not Lord it over others, but become servants (Luke 22:25-27), using their authority to protect and bless. Abuse shouldn’t even be on the table! But given our fallen world, people will sometimes hurt other people and those who have authority will sometimes use it to abuse others.
What should our response be?
As a body of believers ~ I think we need to be the hands, feet and voice of Jesus. We need to be available to each other for help. If there is abuse, we need to be in each other’s business enough to know that it’s going on and we need to be growing in Him so that we are safe people to turn to for help. Yes, that is a very tall order, but Jesus is more than capable of fulfilling the order in us … if we will let him. (Yes, I’ve gone to meddling.)
To guys who are reading this, please be a servant leader. Model it, teach it, encourage other men to lay down their lives for their wives. Be willing to have a “come to Jesus” talk with guys who are abusing their wives. Don’t let this travesty continue. And for the record, gals, there are husbands who are being abused by their wives. We need to step up as well.
Get educated. Wikipedia ~ Domestic Violence (bring your tissues) Look for resources in your area. Know the law. Be available yourself and ask your church to take a stand. Abusive of this nature should be confronted!
As an individual ~ If you are in an abusive situation, seek help quickly from the nearest safe source. If your church leaders are demanding unreasonable things from you, step outside of your church and go to other brothers and sisters for perspective and encouragement (go make an appointment at another nearby church if you have to). If you have abusive friendships, step away. If your Aunt Susie is verbally abusing you, set up a few boundaries (yes, you will make her very unhappy and probably a few cousins will give you grief over it as well).
If your husband is abusing you, get help. There are many types of abuse and varying levels of abuse. Response could be anything from talking to a friend for advice, reading a book, getting counseling or running for the nearest domestic violence shelter. (http://www.ndvh.org hotline: 1-800-799-7233) Always speak from a place of safety.
Study, discuss, and know what you believe about relationships and how God wants you to relate to authorities. Church, take a hard stance against abuse.
I don’t even know how I wound up on this blog, but this is a truly cool post ~ Pulling Weeds Obedience in the small things (from Pastor Nathan Rouse).
Julie of Intimacy in Marriage has written a great article about Hormones and Sex: What You Need to Know Always, always, always be educated.
Be generous! Lori <><