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Scriptures Pertaining to Domestic Violence
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“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
God does not want you to suffer in an abusive relationship. He designed you to have a wonderful life and a beautiful future. You are His beloved daughter.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Christ came to set us free from slavery to sin. Abuse is sin. Do not allow yourself to be burdened by the yoke of slavery.
I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
Living in abuse is living in darkness. Jesus does not want His beloved daughters to live in darkness. He wants the sin of abuse exposed so that they can be brought into His light.
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
He rescued us from darkness, not so we could return to darkness by living under the oppression of abuse.
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
It is good to expose deeds done in darkness. Keeping domestic violence secret gives it power to continue.
Isaiah 42:7 To open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
God will open our eyes to the darkness of abuse and oppression and He will guide us to freedom.
Isaiah 48:17 This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”
God knows what is best for you and will guide your steps out of oppression.
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.
Words of encouragement that build up a life come from a godly man, but words of destruction come from abusers.
With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous escape.
Verbal abuse is destructive. It is important to inform yourself about domestic violence to be able to respond in a healthy way to all forms of abuse.
Proverbs 29:9 (NAS) When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man, the foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest.
You will not win an argument with an abusive person. He will turn your words against you.
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
We must guard against an abuser taking us captive through his deceptive interpretation on the meaning of scripture, twisting them to make us feel that we must comply with his wishes rather than relying on what God desires for us as His beloved.
All day long they twist my words; they are always plotting to harm me.
But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
Jeremiah 23:36 (NLT) But stop using this phrase, ‘prophecy from the Lord.’ For people are using it to give authority to their own ideas, turning upside down the words of our God, the living God, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
Spiritual abuse is twisting God’s Word to the abuser’s advantage. Do not be confused by the abuser’s deception; God will speak directly to you through His Word as you seek His will.
“I hate divorce,” says the LORD God of Israel, “and I hate a man’s covering himself with violence as well as with his garment,” says the LORD Almighty.
God hates divorce and hates a man mistreating his wife with violence. Most women are familiar with the first part of the verse, but are not aware that the verse also includes God’s hatred of violence.
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.
It is reasonable to report physical domestic violence, which is illegal, to the governing authorities.
A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty, if you rescue him, you will have to do it again.
It is good to allow a violent person to experience the consequences of his actions. Consequences teach and promote change. Often times contacting the authorities may be the impetus for change in his behavior.
The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.
If you are in danger, it is wise to seek safety.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17
Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple.
Your body is the temple of God and should not be destroyed by abusive words or actions. When he is abusing a believer, he is abusing the temple of God. This is why the woman needs to remove God’s temple from the evil of abuse.
What God Expects of a Man
Husbands love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
Luke 22: 25-26
Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.”
Husbands are called to be servant leaders in their homes.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her…
1 Peter 3:7 (NAS)
You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
God expects husbands to lay down their lives for their wives. This would include protecting, providing for, caring for, loving, defending, understanding, and helping.
If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you …. If he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
This stresses accountability by involving others to confront the sin of a brother in Christ.
Verse 17 admonishes us to involve the leaders of the local church when a sinning brother refuses to respond to reason. This is not betraying your husband, it is holding him accountable for his sin.
Luke 3:8 and Matthew 3:8
Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.
An abused woman is wise to look for behavior change not just words of repentance. Repentance means turning around away from sin and toward God, which will produce a change in behavior over a long period of time that will be obvious to you and others.
Matthew 18:6; Mark 9:42; Luke 17:2
But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
Children who witness abuse experience trauma. They may repeat the pattern of abuse in their adulthood or become a victim of abuse.
Leaders’ Responsibility to Defend the Oppressed & Hold Abusers Accountable
It is right to expect those in authority in our communities and in our churches to stand with us and to help protect us from abuse.
**Before confronting an abuser, be sure that the woman is in a safe place. An abuser, when confronted, will often retaliate. The woman’s safety and the safety of her children must be ensured.**
Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not He who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not He who guards your life know it? Will He not repay each person according to what he has done?
Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.
Jeremiah 22:3 (NAS)
Thus says the LORD: ‘Do justice and righteousness; and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place.’
Jeremiah 22:15-17 (NAS)
‘Did not your father eat and drink and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him. He pled the cause of the afflicted and needy; then it was well. Is not that what it means to know Me?’ declares the LORD. ‘But your eyes and your heart are intent only upon your own dishonest gain, and on shedding innocent blood and on practicing oppression and extortion.’
Leaders’ Responsibility to Hold Abusers Accountable
1 Samuel 3:13
For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, and he failed to restrain them.
Isaiah 1:17 (NAS)
Learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.
I Timothy 5:20
Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take warning.
Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked (NAS) are taken for the Holy Bible, New American Standard Bible. Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundations. Used by permission.
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.