Taking Back Your Power had a very moving article about the Place of God's people within the role of domestic violence issues.
2 Samuel 22:1-3, 18, 48-50: And David spoke the words of the song to the Lord in the day that the Lord delivered him from the hands of his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold, and my refuge. My savior, you save me from violence…He delivered me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me, for they were too strong for me…The God who executes vengeance for me, and brings down peoples under me, who also brings me out from my enemies; you even lift me above those who rise up against me; you rescue me from the violent man. Therefore, I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the nations, and I will sing praises to Your name.
In the scripture lesson today, King David sings a song of thanksgiving for God’s protection of him during times when violent men attempted to take his life. To take back his power, David took refuge in the God of his salvation, in whom he trusted. When David fled from the presence of Saul, one of the first places he went was to the tabernacle of God, where he found food and a weapon. Violent men attempted to take David’s power, due to jealousy and fear. Today, there are women in America suffering at the hands of violent men, due to issues of control and power. For many of them, the tabernacle of God has not proven to be a place of shelter and assistance. Indeed, too many battered and abused women are ill-advised by their religious leaders to return to abusive relationships, being told of a duty to honor marriage and accept these unbearable situations. It is time for faith-based organizations to become a refuge for individuals who are in relationships with persons “too strong” for them to cope with alone. The Church is to be a sanctuary where we as God’s own possessions go for help and comfort. Unless the Church becomes part of the solution to ending violence against women, this hate crime will continue to devastate women, their children, and yes, even the men themselves.
I think everyone realizes that I also think men that are caught up in this issue are also victims of the church, soceity, and ignorance over all as well!
There are three specific ways that God’s people can help women take back their power and stop this tsunami of hate that is created by the twin earthquakes of control and power. First, church leaders should socialize men that just because the Bible states “your wives,” it does not mean that women belong to men or are their property, or that men have a right to use violence to control women. They must remind men who use the biblical scriptures as justification for violence against women that Christ never hurt nor harmed the Church. Instead, Christ loved the Church so much that He gave His life for it. Ephesians 5:25 states, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” Further, Ephesians 5: 28-29 say, “So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, just as Christ also does the church.” Therefore, as believers, men are morally obligated not to abuse their wives; to do so constitute sin.
Also, faith-based communities must address violence against unmarried women. Because of the putatively “sinful” nature of the relationships, women cohabiting or in dating relationships have not found the empathy needed to leave these relationships and take back their power. We must give comfort and hope to everyone, for Romans 3:23 relates that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The lack of concern for unmarried women leaves many women without the support of their faith-based communities at the very time when support and understanding is greatly needed.
Second, to fully participate in the prevention and stopping of domestic violence, God’s people need to learn about domestic violence, its cause and consequences, and its effects on children. Too few faith-based leaders have taken courses on domestic violence. To advise victimized women to remain in abusive relationships without fully understanding the extent and etiology of the violence represents an injustice to women.
Third, God’s people must condemn domestic violence from the pulpit and the pews. It must be known that God does not condone violence in any form. Psalm 11:5 states, “The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates.” In many churches, women represent over 60 percent of the congregation, and in some Black churches, the percentage rises to more than 70 percent. Therefore, it is inconceivable that only women outside of faith-based communities are experiencing violence in their homes. Instead, it is more likely that victims and batterers are worshiping together in places of worship. To hear leaders denounce the abuse in places of worship would give women a sense that their concerns are valid, and that the violence in no way represents God’s love. For men to hear that the violence is morally wrong would reinforce the idea that violence against women is always wrong and will not be tolerated by God’s people.
The church to often condones violence by their reactions to it. Both sides of this issue - abused and abuser - need help in different realms. The way the church handles things alot of times neither side is handed to much at all. They are handed more things that are geared toward denial more than help. How sad!
PRAYER: Father God, thank you for your wondrous love for your children, and that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Today, we pray for the millions of women (author's note and men) enduring domestic violence. We ask that you touch the hearts of your people to help in ending violence in this land. It is our hope that women (and men) can find sanctuary and help in your house. Then with upraised voices we all can sing songs of praise to you for continuing to be our refuge and our shield. I called on you in my time of violence and you heard me and delivered me from the violent men in my life. You turned my life around and gave me hope. Like King David, I praise your holy name.
In Jesus’ Name,
The role of God's people within domestic violence circumstances must be updated, and I hope with time the church stops the denial comments and JUMPS on the bandwagon of helping the hurting and the oppressed!
Thanks For Making This Possible! Kindly Bookmark and Share it: