How Do Christians Handle Domestic Violence?

Survival and a new life are possible.
Survival and a new life are possible. | Source

Domestic Violence Affects Everyone

Woman Submit! Christians & Domestic Violence

By Jocelyn Anderson

One Way Café Press. Auburndale, Florida


  • "I Should Be Dead, But I'm Not!"

That is the chapter title of CHAPTER ONE of Woman Submit! Thinking of physical abuse between spouses in the Christian church is eye opening. Non-believers may point fingers, laugh, or shake their heads at the "liars and hypocrites', but their actions do not change the fact that abuse occurs in the Church as well as outside of its congregations. And yes, it is sometimes perpetrated by false Christians that proclaimed their faith in order to lure in a potential spouse.

Woman Submit! Christians & Domestic Violence
Woman Submit! Christians & Domestic Violence

How to avoid submitting to violence and how to find help.

 

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True Story

This is the testimony of one female church member that was brutalized by long-term physical abuse from her husband.It is incredible and unimaginable, but it occurred.

One such beating left her paralyzed, lying helpless on their bedroom floor. She bled from her eyes and ears, suffered a likely concussion and certain skull fractures. One arm and hand were left limp and useless. She went into shock and lay on the floor, unable to move or to reach the telephone, which was likely turned off by her spouse.

Because the abuser sensed upcoming legal retribution in the future, he boidly picked her up, placed her on the bed, and refused to allow her medical help or a phone call. In fact, he removed all the telephones from the home and left her to lie on the bed along for 32 hours.

But she survived.

Some are addicted to trying to make the abuser happy -- Like the addicted gambler's creed: "Just one more chance and I'll win!"

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Abuse of Men, Women, and Children is Real

During her injuries and the first night in pain, this woman prayed.

Her husband came home and replaced the phone, only after she promised not to call the police. He left again and she did call for help, but not the police. She called her pastor, who had previously showed impatience or disgust with her complaining, but now rushed to her rescue.

At the ER, physicians surprisingly reported that Jocelyn Anderson suffered no fractures or internal injuries from her beating. She attributed this miracle to prayer, giving as evidence a supernatural peace she felt following her beating.

Targets of all sorts of abuse are bound to their abusers by emotion, tradition, lack of outside help, and incorrect religious beliefs.

Some are addicted to trying to make the abuser happy - like the addicted gambler's creed: "Just one more chance and I'll win!"

As a counselor and educator, I learned of the varieties of abuse only since the 1990s when people began to talk about them in public. This abse is a crime and a perversion. I have known men, women, children, and pets that have died from abuse. It is murder. Rules and regulations apply in the workplace, in school, etc., but not abusively. Abuse is inhuman. The rules "in the Bible" for marriage and submission are mistranslated from the Hebrew in the KJV, because of changes in the English language itself , as discussed below.

Language Changes Lead to Mistranslation

Ms. Anderson traces abuse back to Adam and Eve. This is provocative and makes one think. She contends that Adam turned his anger on Eve because she was first to succumb to the serpent and it was "all her fault", as abusers often state today, discussed in "Chapter 4: The Eve Syndrome." The fifth chapter is "Church Sanctioned Oppression", describing how churches have told wives to stay with abusive husbands and change these men with a wife's good Christian example. Unfortunately, this does not work and many of these wives (or abused husbands) are dead. Perhaps the worst myth of all is that abused individuals ask for the abuse.

In related research, Frank T. Seekins shows that Jaweh is in the middle of Hebrew words for "man/husband" and "woman/wife" when the words are combined side by side. They are unified by God and God is in them. If you remove His Name, then all you have left are two of the same symbol that means two things: 1) fire (destructive type) and 2) strong teeth. Thus, after the fall from grace in Eden, God was separated from Adam and Eve. This left the major interaction between the father and mother of mankind to be strife. In this light, Anderson's proposition makes full sense.

There is also a language problem. Hebrew has retained its meanings for millennia, while English has changed. Thus, different meanings have been given to the original Hebrew. This helps to enable abuse. The word helpmeet/helpmate has been wrongly translated since King James, because the English language changed at that point. The Hebrew helpmeet means defender of the man. The "help" is the identical help coming from the Lord - mountain-moving power, splitting the Red Sea power, calming the tempest, healing disease. It does not denote a submissive servant over whom a man should dominate.

Turning the other cheek means to shame the attacker by his own actions, not to invite more punishment.

Turning the Other Cheek Brings Shame to the Striker

Sometimes the church tells victims to turn the other cheek; however, this does not mean take more punishment. ** In the culture where this phenomenon was written in scripture, turning the other cheek meant that the next strike would be backhanded and this act was officially cowardice, causing the attacker to lose face and be shamed.

Turning the other cheek means to shame the attacker by his own actions, not to invite more punishment. ** It does not mean to set a submissive "Christian" example and accept abuse.

The church need not enable abuse and Ms. Anderson's book shows how individuals and the church can help stop this perversion. She includes many interesting and vital aspects of the phenomenon and its more effective handling, with her own personal testimony at the end of the book.

Reading Woman Submit! can help save someone's life - maybe yours.

HUNGRY HEART MINISTRIES - A ministry to Stop Abuse and help its targets.

More by this Author


Comments 18 comments

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Patty! You sure bring up the most sensitive subjects. Wow! Very great HUB although very disturbing to some of us who have gone through abuse.

regards Zsuzsy


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Thanks for the feedback! I don't intend to trigger abuse memories, but folks that don't know, need to know. I know a pro football player that was almost destroyed because of an abusive wife (ex-, his second is not). She would hide in the dark and jump out at him slashing and hitting.


Just Toyia profile image

Just Toyia 8 years ago from Tennessee

Interesting connection- Thanks for bringing this important subject to a new light and to be discussed.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Thanks Just Toyia. Bringing it to the light will help a lot. The author started her own organization to help the targets of maltreatment.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Patty! You missunderstood me. It's been 28 years or so since I left it behind and the best even though the hardest was to focus on things and get them into the open. Like I said in my other comment Great HUB! Please bring these most important issues out into the open so all can learn from them. Thanks

regards Zsuzsy


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

It's been a long while since you left that situation, hasn't it? I wonder if the trauma is ever completely healed for many that have experienced such circumstances. I hope so, but I think it may be a long process. Thanks again for the comments!


Stacie Naczelnik profile image

Stacie Naczelnik 8 years ago from Seattle

This sounds like an interesting book. I grew up in a household of domestic violence. When I was 18 and 19, I volunteered at a shelter for women and children who were vicitms of domestic violence. The place was under lock and key, with as much surveillance as this shelter could afford because they never knew when an angry abuser would come looking for his "family." I tutored the children because they often fell behind in school living this kind of lifestyle (as I so sadly remember). Near the end of my time there, some a brother and sister I really liked left with their mother. She had gone back to her abuser. It about broke my heart, but it also left a pit in my stomach because it brought back a lot of memories.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

I dread when any individual returns to an abuser and I've seen many people reutrn time and again; but some make the break. It is a horrible way to live. I wish abuse to end with my whole heart and committed prayers. It was good of you to volunteer at the shelter. Thanks for your contribution here.


amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut

What a great article. I love the Hebrew translation for "help" that you include. That just makes so much sense! It is so unfortunate that many women are advised to stay in an abusive situation based on a scripture that is misinterpretted. I believe God is loving and would not want any of His "daughters" to suffer at the hands of their husbands.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Thank you very much, amy jane. The relationship between man and woman is intended to be so much stronger than has so far been imagined or allowed. A couple in ministry in their 30s at church live this relationship as it can be and they are so much in love and so strong in their lives that they became the head of the accredited college we have as well. It is soon to go from a communtiy college to a full 4-year-degree-granting institution.

The living world pictures are awesome and full of life. We need them.


VickeyK profile image

VickeyK 8 years ago

Fascinating article & book reccommendation! Who doesn't know women who endure abuse because of religious beliefs (in my circle, "good Catholics"). Thanks!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Thanks for commenting, VickeyK. The more that stand against it, the better.


grumpyjacksa profile image

grumpyjacksa 8 years ago from south africa

The ones who use their beliefs as an excuse should go read the bit where this instruction was given : Husbands , you should Love your wives . How can anyone claim to love someone , and then hurt that person ? The most horrifying thing about it is seeing someone in this kind of situation , who is afraid to leave , afraid of what the abuser will do then . And if you try to help , then they keep on covering up for the abuser .

Having a "submissive wife" is an excuse used by people from different religions and cultures to justify their actions . My wife came from an abusive relationship in a previous marriage , and her ex also claims she "sked for it" . BUt despite the fact that she is outspoken , and sometimes a bit headstrong , I have been able to simply "lead by example" for the past six years we are together . If a husband wants his wife to respect him , he must know that respect is earned .

And lastly , another religious viewpoint : In the Old Testament , It was said : Don't , don't , don't , or else......

The New Testament brought us Mercy . Seems like a few people haven't read it yet........


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

What an insightful and useful comment! You certainly lead by example on Hub Pages as well. Thank you for your contribution here and I look forward to reading your Hubs.

Patty


Graceful Guardian 8 years ago

So sad,I'll Pray about it.Good Hub.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Thank you, Graceful Guardian. Prayer changes things, sometimes when we least expect something to happen!


pappapump55 7 years ago from houston, tx

this is so sad, my prayers are with you

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PR: wait... I: wait... L: wait... LD: wait... I: wait...wait... C: wait... SD: wait...


Carrie Hollister profile image

Carrie Hollister 5 years ago from Ohio

Amazing! I'm sick of people twisting scripture or taking it out of context for their own benefit!

Too many woman have suffered needlessly because of the "submission" and turn the other cheek excuses!

God has NEVER condoned this abuse.

Thank you so much for caring enough to share this!

Hopefully (and I believe it will) this article will save a woman's or many women's lives! Bless you!

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