I saw a very disturbing youtube video yesterday. It was a social experiment that two young men and a young woman were doing. In one instance, a young man started verbally and physically assaulting the young woman in public. Within milliseconds, people were coming forward and stopping him – one man even through him to the ground! It was admirable that no one would stand for this type of violence. The disturbing part was when they switched scenarios, and the young woman started verbally and physically assaulting the young man. In those instances, no one stopped. No one helped. People laughed, and at one point, a couple of guys even started joining in and hitting the man. It was a horrible display of the mindset of so many – when a woman assaults a man, he should take it. Part of being a man is taking it, right?
As God’s women, there are some disturbing statistics that we must come to terms with. One man is physically abused every 37 seconds. This year alone, 3 million men will suffer at the hands of a partner or family member. 3 million children will be exposed to domestic violence between their parents, and just being exposed to this kind of behavior can lead to anxiety, depression and PTSD.
Domestic abuse is most often targeted toward women, yes, but it’s not only that. It is likely that far more men are abused than would ever report because they are too embarrassed to admit that anything like this is happening. This is a growing epidemic in our country, and likely within our congregations. That’s why this month, as an effort to shine the light on this darkness, The Light Network is focusing all of its podcasts on this very topic.
Later in the month, Wifey Wednesdays will be addressing topics about our response toward both the abused and abusers, as well as what to do if you find yourself within a situation where you or your children are abused. But today, I thought I might take the opposite approach, and talk to women who may be tempted to abuse their husbands.
As women, we have know the power of our words. Throughout our New Testaments, the writers often associate tongue-sins with women. We have a way with words!! Sometimes that’s good, but other times, we can demean and discourage and yes, even abuse, with our tongues.
Proverbs 21:19 states, “Better to dwell in the wilderness, Than with a contentious and angry woman.” An angry woman is a force to be reckoned with, especially when she thinks that she’s right (and we always do, don’t we?). In those moments of anger, how do we respond? Do we belittle our husbands? Do we malign him and tear down his manhood by our hurtful and abusive words? Do we slap him and punch him, expecting him to take it because “he’s a man“? To take a line from the apostle James, these things ought not so to be!
There is nothing Godly about tearing our husbands down. In fact, as much as we may think we’re just a “harmless” nagging wife, we are vexing their souls. We are cutting them down and defeating their spirits. We are likely causing them to stumble and may very well be tempting them to be unfaithful to their God. We must be careful with our words, and “let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers (Eph. 4:29).”
If you struggle with verbally (or physically!) assaulting and abusing your husband, you are not alone, and you are not condemned to hell for it. There is a way to repent of your sins and receive forgiveness from your Almighty God. But to get that forgiveness, we have to come face to face with our sins. If you need help, get it. If you have questions, ask them. If you know people in this situation, help them. As brothers and sisters, we are to help one another out of sinful situations (Gal. 6). Let’s not let the silence of domestic abuse continue. Let’s confront it. Let’s change it.
This post was part of The Light Network’s Campaign Against Domestic Violence for the month of October. To read more from the blog hop, head over to thelightnetwork.tv/stopviolence.