Almost every day I hear a story, an anecdote or have a conversation with or about someone who has experienced domestic violence. Invariably, the person who has suffered the violence and abuse is a woman. Shockingly, the perpetrator is often a so-called CHRISTIAN man. What on earth is going on?
Has the Church’s teaching about submission given some men license to treat women any way they choose, even it if means abusing them physically, and in some harrowing cases causing them to lose their child? Or is it that too many Christian men are walking around with unchallenged, misogynistic attitudes about women, attitudes which they feel are supported by their biblical beliefs?
Whatever the reasons, it is plain wrong. No woman should be subjected to domestic violence, let alone from a man who proclaims to be a follower of Christ.
It’s high time for churches to take domestic violence seriously – not only in providing the necessary support to women, who are usually the victims of it, but also in helping men to confront and deal with their desire to control and exert power over women, which includes the use of violent behaviour.
Women’s ministries within our churches have played a major role in teaching, mentoring, supporting and inspiring Christian women to be better people. It’s now time for men’s ministries to step up to the plate to not only help men be more effective Christians, but to teach them – unequivocally – that domestic violence and abuse of women is not compatible with the Christian lifestyle.