Hello everyone! Fall is upon us! I can’t believe October is almost here!
I want to talk about the false assumption that a person must “submit” to abuse within a marriage or otherwise. I will dive into exactly what Paul was trying to tell the church about submission in a coming blog; it is not what we have been taught for many years so stay connected! Today, I am writing this blog to those who are married and those who are not – I want everyone to know that we do NOT have to submit to abuse in any form, NOT ever! You won’t see me capitalizing whole words very often, but I want to emphasize the word “NOT”. Jesus neither condones nor expects anyone to live in an abusive relationship. If anyone is telling you this, they are either terribly misunderstanding scripture or they are lying to further their control over you.
Many abusers, particularly in Christian circles but not limited to these circles, will tell their partners they must submit to abuse because they are “head of the home”, “the one in charge”, or the “boss in the family.” Women are particularly singled out with this “charge” in their marriages. For men who are abused, the same words may not be used, but it is always implied they will tolerate the abuse or else they are “not a good person.”
Abusers are neither original nor clever. It is no surprise that they would twist the Bible to not only condone but justify their actions. What makes this problem further complicated is the church at times supports abusers in their midst because the abuser continues to sow deception and/or the church holds so fast to prescribed male/female roles and the idea of submission in marriage is solely the “women’s role and only the woman’s role”, that they set women up for problems with these type of men – these wolves among the sheep (more on this in a coming blog).
I am going to say it again, we do NOT submit to abuse of any kind! We do NOT submit to evil of any kind! Paul said it best in Romans 12:9; “Love is to be sincere and active [the real thing—without guile and hypocrisy]. Hate what is evil [detest all ungodliness, do not tolerate wickedness]; hold on tightly to what is good.” There is nothing good about abuse ladies and gentlemen. Abuse is not love; it is hypocrisy at its worst! There is no way you can describe abuse as “sincere love” either, I don’t care how many honeymoon phases there are in the relationship! This is false love! Abuse is evil and wicked. We don’t hold onto an abuser because they are not good! Abusers are frauds and their “love” is as fraudulent as they are! Abusers are crafty (full of guile) with their words and their actions but their hearts are not sincere, and their love is not the active love that Paul describes – one without craftiness (to manipulate) and hypocrisy. God hates abuse, it breaks his heart! In Psalm 11:5, the psalmist David, referring to God, says ‘I hate the one who does violence and abuses!’ Now imagine how God feels about it done in “His name!” God is a just God and He will repay those who do not repent of this wickedness. Again, we return to Romans 12:19; Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for God’s wrath [and His judicial righteousness]; for it is written [in Scripture], “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
God does not call anyone to submit to abuse of any kind because abuse is wickedness. God does not submit to evil, why should we? Ladies and gentlemen, it is okay for you to leave such violence. It is okay for you to detest it as God detests it. Your abuser does not speak for God; he or she speak for themselves, their agenda, and their need to manipulate and control another person, period.
Matthew 7:17-20 AMP; "Even so, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the unhealthy tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore, by their fruit you will recognize them [as false prophets]."
I want to close by showing your what love really is according to the Bible. I don’t think you will see the actions or words of an abuser echoed in these verses:
1 Corinthians Chapter 13: 4-7; Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. 5 It is not rude; it is not self-seeking; it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not consider a wrong endured. 6 It does not rejoice at injustice but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. 7 Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].
*I too have walked this road. If you would like to know more about my story and how God’s grace carried me through abuse and the aftermath, please see my book The Road Less Traveled: A Story of Love, Pain, Hope and Everything In-Between, available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iTunes.