Religion & Abuse (SDV)
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Surviving Domestic Violence (SDV)

Religion and Abuse

Excerpted from What the Bible Says About Abuse's website

The Value of Each Human Life

"Let us make man in Our image according to our likeness and God created man in His own image." (Gen. 1:26-27)

Man and woman were created in God's image. The image of God is the basis for the dignity, care and respect of all human life. Consequently, there is no basis for developing a "power structure" over another person.

The Rejection of Violence in Marriage

"Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who purposes to overthrow my life." (Psalm 140:4)

Church Leadership Qualifications = "not violent" (I Timothy 3:3)

Violence has and will be a problem. The bible states that violence is not an
option for church leadership, nor should it be part of the human experience.

The use of violence is to "overthrow" another person's life in order to
facilitate one's own desires.

Submission and the Bible

"Wives by subject to your own husbands." (Ephesians 5:22)

"Husbands love your wives as Christ loves the Church." (Ephesians 5:25)

There are several important points to note from these passages.

Submission means:
(1) the wife follows the loving leadership of the husband.
(2) the wife is encouraged to express opinions and ideas freely.
(3) the wife's abilities, gifts and talents are employed freely.

Submission does not mean slavery. The wife deserves and requires all of the
respect, care and dignity of any person.

Submission is the wife's response to the husband's love.

Submission is not imposed by the husband. His responsibility is to love his wife in a powerful, unconditional manner.

A woman's view of submission profoundly impacts her response to abuse. If a woman believes that the violence is justifiable in any way, then it will
continue. The abused person must clearly understand that violence is not a part of submission.

Head of the Household

Some men use "headship" as ammunition for their misuse of power.

Head of the household means:
(1) shouldering responsibility for decisions made.
(2) being accountable for the malfunctions of the family.
(3) taking initiative to correct problems in the family.
(4) listening to the opinions and ideas of other family members.
(5) initiating the development of each person within the family.

Husbands are to love their wives the way Christ loves the Church.
(Ephesians 5:25)

That type of love is unconditional. Love is the focal point of the husband's response to his wife. If the husband begins to focus on controlling the wife...he has stepped outside of the design of marriage.

Love does not employ: physical violence; the threat of violence;
intimidation; or, manipulation.

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