Abuse and Submission
… What’s Biblical and what’s intolerable?
Seventh of four part series.
One of the most common questions we receive by letter, e-mail and from callers on New Life Radio has to do with the tolerance of verbal and physical abuse within a home as well as with hostile people who persecute Christians.
Should we take a path of passivity or should we resist?
How do we reconcile victimization and abuse with submission within marriage?
What exactly does abuse mean?
When do we turn the other cheek?
Abuse Case Study #4:
It is common for people to come into our offices and report a childhood history of being abused and tormented by a bully who just would not away.
This abuser was always around, never went away and would strike fear in the heart of the victim by a mere glance or sneer.
Much to the surprise of many of you, it is not a parent or kid next door; it is an older sibling who is angry, jealous or just plain mean spirited.
One young man who was explosive toward his own wife and children finally confessed one day that when his parents left the house, his brother would tell him “Go run and hide and I am going to hunt you down and hurt you.”
After the chase was over and the older brother had his way with the younger brother, he would threaten him and say, “If you ever tell mom and Dad, I will smother you in the middle of the night.
They will never know how you died.”
This went on for several years and the younger brother suffered from insomnia, anxiety, poor grades, bed-wetting and separation anxiety.
The clueless parents chalked it off to ADD and a learning disorder.
He was shamed by his dad and coddled by his mom.
Like Esau and Jacob, the parental favoritism caused a huge divide in the both in the family as well as in the marriage.
Finally, one day he was big enough to kick the brother away and hurt him.
The abuse began to subside, yet not after being punished by the dad after the older brother told on him.
I had the wife hold him in her arms as he told the story to her and she comforted him and cried with him as he sobbed about the pain that he had to endure for so many years.
He was on the road to healing and his explosiveness and rage began to diminish proportionately to the nurturing and grieving process with his wife.
Parents do not be naive.
Always be on the lookout for abuse between siblings.
Let’s hear from another reader:
What about Ephesians 5:22-33 where the wife is told to be submissive (be subject) to her husband? Doesn’t this mean that she has to remain in an intolerable situation? In addition, I have heard you refer to situations where marital separation is warranted to protect from physical / emotional /financial harm etc. Can you explain your Biblical reasoning for this?
We will answer this question next week.
Thanks for being a part of our lives.
Have a Merry Christmas.
Milan & Kay