A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Thursday Thought — Who really has a High View of Marriage?

So who really has a high view of marriage?  People who insist that divorce is never permissible for abuse, and who therefore say that a marriage can still be a marriage when an abuser spouse is violating the marriage covenant vows every single day?  Or people like us who say that those vows must be kept and that a ‘marriage’ where there is abuse is in fact no marriage at all in God’s sight?  To those who claim abuse does not destroy/break the marriage covenant, I say that they have a horribly low view of marriage.

Ps Jeff Crippen

25 Comments

  1. Carol2

    Finally, after divorcing in 1988 I find some answers. My Missouri Synod lutheran pastor dismissed my views on the verbal abuse I was subjected to …..why……because he did not want a blemish on his professional career and he did not want to address it per the direction of the Missouri Synod.

    I felt that my situation warranted some attention and I did not get any.

    Thank you

  2. Debbie

    Prov. 22: 24-25 “Do not associate with a man given to anger or go with a hot-tempered man,
    or you will learn his ways and find a snare for yourself.”
    The “rage” of an abusive man has a detrimental effect on the character of the victim. Over time, if she doesn’t get out, she will take on his traits. You can’t tell me that this is what God would desire for any person!

    Submission to an abusive person only fuels the fire of war that the abuser has declared on his victim. 1 Peter is NOT about submitting to abuse in marriage. It is about refusing to retaliate, about not returning insult for insult, but bringing a blessing into the lives of unbelievers. But there is no blessing in enabling a man to continue in his sinful behavior. Standing up to abuse gives the perpetrator a chance to repent. That is the blessing.

    Boundaries are God’s idea. Genesis chapter one and two begins with God setting boundaries between one thing and another, including between a man and a woman. Sin is the reversal of those boundaries and the result is chaos.

    That’s what an abuser does. He creates chaos. It is the victim’s duty to draw hard and fast lines to bring back order into her life and the life of the perpetrator if that is possible. To insist that a woman go back into that kind of environment shows a lack of understanding of God and His word!

    • Remedy

      VERY WELL thought out response here Debbie. [If only] more pastors & counselors ( and even laypeople who want to help in these twisted circumstances) understood what you have said and the Scriptural remedy! I agree that the “true” low views and solutions seem more like the plans of Satan, than the will of God.

      [Ed’s note: comment slightly modified to remove a potential interpretation which might trigger victims. Hope you don’t mind, Remedy. ]

  3. emmellkaycee

    I agree.

    Why is it that they have no hesitation in using Jesus’ words — Matthew 5:28: “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” — to point to the condition of the heart where sin is concerned, but refuse to use the same measure when it comes to other forms of abusiveness that break the intended spiritual bonds of trust and fidelity within marriage? It is completely hypocritical.

    • Still Reforming

      Emmellkaycee,
      Good observation. Perhaps this is what is meant by “not judging” because the measure with which one judges will be the measure by which one will be judged – so that those who measure up a target suffering from abuse who chooses to end the pretense of “marriage” – those same judges will be measured by the standard they exact upon that target.

  4. Barely Reformed

    Or people like us who say that those views must be kept

    Did you mean “those vows must be kept”?

    • Barely Reformed,
      Good eye. Yes, meant “vows”. It’s now fixed.

  5. Glenn E. Chatfield

    Well said!

  6. Brenda R

    Amen!!

  7. IamMyBeloved's

    I was just discussing this with some people and looking for a place to vent, so I guess I will do that here, in response to this statement.

    Where – anywhere at all in the Bible, does it say that God designed marriage for a stomping ground of sanctification? Where? That’s right – no where! Never does God indicate that marriage should be a hell on earth experience in order to help “sanctify” us. In fact, God designed marriage to be a picture of the love between Christ and His Church. So how does that equate with those who teach that marriage 1) is not meant to bring happiness – in fact stating that God could care less about whether we are happy or not – period; 2) is a place where war between lovers somehow sanctifies us; and 3) is intended to bring strife and abuse and unending sinfulness equating to unhappiness to those within the marriage. Is that how our relationship with Christ looks? No, I didn’t think so. At least not for those of us who understand and know God and His ways.

    I, for one, believe that this is nothing less than a lie from satan himself. If we really believe that God intended marriage to be a place of unhappiness and an unsafe zone relationship, then no one in fact, would marry. In fact, no one should marry.

    • HisBannerOverMeIsLove

      I found this in a book. Any ideas come to mind?

      “How about Marriage is not mainly about being in or staying in love. It’s mainly about telling the truth with our lives. It’s about portraying something true about Jesus Christ and the way he relates to his people. It is about showing in real life the glory of the gospel.”

      • HisBannerOverMeIsLove
        I demolish that silly notion in my article https://cryingoutforjustice.com/2012/11/28/critique-of-cbmws-statement-on-abuse/

        Open the link, then search for the word ‘display‘ and you’ll find the section of the article which addresses the teaching that “marriage is about portraying something true about Jesus Christ and the way he relates to his people . . the glory of the gospel.”

      • Valerie

        When I first read that quote my initial thought went to a different interpretation. How I read it is this: “the truth about Jesus Christ” (that He saves us and we can not save our spouses); “the way He relates to His people” (He doesn’t reconcile or draw to Himself those who choose to live in rebellion). “The glory of the gospel” is that we who are born enemies of God are seen as spotless WHEN we repent of our sin and allow Him to be the Lord of our lives.

        I don’t know where the quote came from or its context but that is what immediately came to mind- that if we truly DID live out the truth of the gospel that we would not be facilitating abuse and instead would draw on the whole counsel of God. Just like if the above quote came from a “abuser supporter” I would read that quote much differently, but taken out of context without knowing what the author believes in whole, I saw it differently. People do the same with scripture when they don’t know the totality of it.

    • IamMyBeloved’s, EXCELLENT! Exactly!

    • Yeah.
      I heard about a pastor who in a sermon on marriage and divorce (he held to the Permanence View) talked about marriage being a cage fight.

      AARRGH!

      • healingInHIm

        “a cage fight” ?? Ugh, that’s exactly the kind of statement that makes my stomach churn.:-(

    • Ok, I came back and re-read some comments today…

      From IamMyBeloved’s comment: “So how does that equate with those who teach that marriage 1) is not meant to bring happiness – in fact stating that God could care less about whether we are happy or not – period; 2) is a place where war between lovers somehow sanctifies us; and 3) is intended to bring strife and abuse and unending sinfulness equating to unhappiness to those within the marriage.”

      From Barbara’s comment: “I heard about a pastor who in a sermon on marriage and divorce (he held to the Permanence View) talked about marriage being a cage fight.”

      I have heard this same kind of garbage when I was trying to get help to make things better here, and it makes me so angry! If this is what marriage is and we are supposed to accept that, then I think those who talk this way ought to start working this into the premarital counseling and the wedding vows. There is some serious false advertising going on while people are heading into marriage, if once the deal is signed, this is what we are told we should have expected and ought to accept. I find myself wondering why I sought counsel or read some of the books I did. Who are these people anyway and why did I ever care what they thought?

  8. Anonymous

    Amen!

  9. 7stelle

     “I say that they have a horribly low view of marriage.” — So true. An abuser proves he holds this view by his actions. And the low view reminds me of my a-h saying “I guess I just have low boundaries” — this when I confronted him about inappropriate emails between him and other women. His tone was “ho hum”.

  10. cindy burrell

    Yes, yes, yes.

    “Marriage is to be held in honor among all…” Hebrews 13:4a

    • healingInHIm

      Amen.

  11. bright sunshinin' day

    So true, IAmMyBeloved! You said, “Never does God indicate that marriage should be a hell on earth experience in order to help ‘sanctify’ us. In fact, God designed marriage to be a picture of the love between Christ and His Church. So how does that equate with those who teach that marriage
    1) is not meant to bring happiness – in fact stating that God could care less about whether we are happy or not – period;
    2) is a place where war between lovers somehow sanctifies us; and
    3) is intended to bring strife and abuse and unending sinfulness equating to unhappiness to those within the marriage.

    Is that how our relationship with Christ looks? No, I didn’t think so.”

    The Trinity are VERY HAPPY in their fellowship with One Another! Marriage is to mirror this happy, trust-filled fellowship!

  12. Thank you! Your comment says it all. Should we not mail this statement to all churches in the USA so they would understand?

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