A great number of ministry leaders still quote passages such as Ephesians 5:22, First Peter 3:1-6, and Titus 2:3-5 as they remind women to submit, to pray for their husbands, to have quiet spirits, and be obedient. These practices may work well within healthy relationships. But submission to an abuser gives him license to abuse further.
Cathy sits in her car and counts her cash. She’s just dropped off her kids at school and reminded the principal that no one else can pick up her children. Not even their father.
Especially not their father.
The name “Cathy” is a pseudonym, but her story is real. One in 4 women live in destructive relationships and many of these women sit in church every Sunday, next to the abuser, the father of their children.
The tragedy of domestic violence is well-documented within police departments, counseling offices, and national organizations. But the one place it remains a secret and a source of denial is within the place that’s supposed to be safest—the church.
A Google search reveals various myths about domestic violence, but what myths are signature beliefs within the church?
Myth #1: It Doesn’t Happen in Christian Homes.
As a biblical counselor and life coach, I sat across from weeping women of various denominations. In my research as an author, I read the stats about Christian women who live within destructive relationships. And these are from the women who actually report the abuse.
The struggle is real for women who are verbally, emotionally, and spiritually abused by the men who promised to honor and cherish them. Some of these husbands use the cover of the church to hide their manipulative behaviors.
One of my clients gave me permission to tell her story. She and her husband served as missionaries in the Middle East. Throughout their 40-year marriage, he abused her—even in front of their children.
She had no options for help, because domestic abuse would mean removal from the mission field. She loved the people and the region where they served and believed God wanted her to be a missionary.