Family Conflicts & Abusive Relationships
The incidence of domestic abuse has become one of the most prevalent crimes against women causing some to lose their lives. Although a small percentage of men do experience domestic violence, statistics have shown that women are the most reported victims. This behaviour occurs in all cultures, ethnicities, and religions. Awareness and documentation of domestic violence differs from country to country. The behaviour is preventable, but the abused and abuser must seek help.
The Bible tells us that God made man and gave him authority in the Garden of Eden to take charge of His creation (See Genesis 1-2). Later, God saw that man was alone and needed companionship, someone with whom he could relate. God’s intention for the couple was that they would be [one] through the union of marriage. Abuse was never part of God’s plan. The typical family system was one of the strongest of human social formation. With this great strength, what has happened through generations to make it one of the weakest structures in this millennium? What source of power has undermined its strength so that the concept of family life has been distorted causing death and destruction in its path?
We cannot minimize the fact that there are forces at the root of the breakdown of family life, which influences and, in some cases, destroys it. Those forces are the instigators for the violence and abuse in the home. In this age, you will find groups who do not care for the God-given structure of mother and father in the home. In some situations, the open display of uncensored television programs portrays faulty methods of behaviours leading towards violence in the home. This violence can be against children or between parents. Violence in the home leads to various kinds of abuses – physical, emotional, verbal, psychological, physiological, spiritual, and financial. We must make every effort to recapture the true meaning and value of what family means in order to raise well-rounded God-fearing citizens for our neighbourhood and nation.
What is Domestic Abuse
Domestic abuse occurs when one individual in an intimate relationship tries to control the other person. The perpetrator uses fear and intimidation and may threaten to use or may actually use physical violence. Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to physical violence. I will add adultery to this definition. Domestic abuse is not a result of losing control. Rather, it is intentionally trying to control another person. The abuser is purposefully using verbal, non-verbal, or physical means to gain control over the other person. In some cultures, the control of women by men is accepted as the norm. Regardless, this behaviour should never be a factor in the relationship.
- Making or carrying out threats to do something to hurt you emotionally
- Threatening to do harm to the self or to take away the children
- Threatening to report you to a governmental agency
- Threatening to harm pets or injuring or killing them
- Anxiety, Depression, Stress
- Physical abuse is the use of physical force against another person in a way that ends up injuring the individual, or puts him/her at risk of being injured or even murdered. Physical abuse includes:
- Slapping, grabbing, hitting, punching, beating, tripping, battering, bruising, choking, shaking, pinching, biting, holding, restraining, confinement, kicking, pushing, assault with a weapon such as a knife or gun.
- Rape often occurs when the wife refuses or cannot perform for her husband who might force or curse her for lack of performance. Others will coerce their wives into doing immoral unclean acts to satisfy their lustful depraved desires.
This can be described as verbal or nonverbal abuse of a spouse or child, which may include:
- Threatening or intimidating to gain compliance
- Destruction of the victim’s personal property and possessions
- The result of violence to an object or pet, in the presence of the intended victim, as a way of instilling fear of further attacks
- Yelling or screaming, Name-calling, Constant harassment
- Embarrassing, making fun of, or mocking the victim, either alone within the household, in public, or in front of family or friends
- Criticizing or diminishing the victim’s accomplishments or goals
- Not trusting the victim’s decision-making
- Telling the victim that they are worthless on their own, without the abuser
- Excessive possessiveness, isolation from friends and family
- Saying hurtful things while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and using the substance as an excuse to say the hurtful things
- Blaming the victim for how the abuser acts or feels
- Making the victim remain on the premises after a fight, or leaving her somewhere else after a fight, just to “teach her a lesson”
- Making the victim feel that there is no way out of the relationship
- Using the spouse’s religious or spiritual beliefs to manipulate him/her/the children
- Preventing the spouse from practicing spiritual beliefs
- Ridiculing the other person’s spiritual beliefs
- Forcing the children to be reared in a faith that the other spouse has not agreed to
- Church leaders use Scriptures as their defense to abuse their wives
- Other men prevent the women from going to church, either by demanding they stay home or find some frivolous reason to keep them from going out. “Cry the Beloved Wife”
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