By Danni Moss
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This comment was made on another thread, and raises such a huge point, I think it merits its own post.
Thanks to LLS for bringing this up!
…I wanted to post my thoughts about an aspect of domestic violence and the church…how they respond to it and what was most puzzling and painful for me.
When I went to counselors who were Christians (to talk about what was happening in my home) they were more concerned with the issue of divorce than with my safety and well being. They were more interested in specific bible verses than the safey of myself and son. I immediately knew this was wrong.
It was very painful for me and confusing, but it was the one thing that set me free to leave home. I was at risk and they could not see that.
Even now, when I speak with Christians about this, their immediate concern is divorce…not “how are you?” “what can I do to help you?”….it isn’t me that they are concerned for.
My situation made me strongly question why there was such an absence of genuine concern from people who know Jesus Christ. But who am I to judge.
Anyway, I have chosen not to argue about bible verses anymore. My husband just used these to intimidate me. He, for a short time, sent me on wild goose chases through the bible to try and find some justification for what I was doing. It was pure intimidation rooted in fear.
One of my major wake up calls was when I read a post online from a woman with children who was in a terribly dangerous situation. She was praying about what to do and asking for advice. I respect that she was praying….I tried to also…but one person’ comment really got my attention. The person was not a Christian and he or she bluntly said..get help immediately…call a shelter..you are in danger. It was the most compassionate thing anyone could have said to her.
You have hit the nail on the head regarding something I persistently noticed as well in my church and Christian counseling experiences. Their eyes were first and foremost on DIVORCE – we have to keep these people from divorcing. Whatever I said was interpreted to mean, “I really want a divorce.” They appeared to be more concerned about protecting the Bible verses you mentioned than in protecting me and my children. Actually, I would have to say honestly that they were more concerned about protecting the Bible verses than with protecting me and my children.
Ironically, during all those times I did not want a divorce and I told them all this many times. My eyes were on reconciliation. But all they could see was divorce – so much so that they utterly failed to address the real issues.
When I finally did decide to get a divorce – at the very specific direction of God, I believe – I didn’t ask for counseling. I already knew what would happen. This was also at the very specific direction of God, I believe. He knew I didn’t need the secondary assault by the church in my extremely weakened state. By that time my health was so fragile I don’t know how I could have survived months of continued agony and misunderstanding.
This is why I have said there is something wrong when the church is more concerned with protecting “the sanctity of marriage” than they are with protecting “the sanctity of life.” This is a FACT – and it is quite a telling one. They are more concerned with protecting the religious system and it’s paradigms that compose the organization called “church” than with protecting the lives of the individuals who are the church. This is so profoundly and obviously wrong I am genuinely mystified that such a huge component of “Christianity” cannot see it.