Domestic violence is a major problem in the United States today. The Cora Lamping Center reports that one in four women and one in nine men experience intimate partner violence. We suggest that Christianity is the one belief system that directly addresses this issue. Ephesians 5:22-33 spells out the Christian system of domestic relationships:
“You wives must learn to adapt yourselves to your husbands as you submit yourselves to the Lord … Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church and gave himself for it … So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. The love a man gives his wife is the extending of his love for himself to enfold her … But as for you individually, you must each of you love his own wife exactly as if she were yourself and the wife must see to it that she deeply respects her husband…” (Phillips translation)
Galatians 3:28 adds to this view by describing the equality of all humans in the Christian system. “All distinctions between Jew and Greek, slave and freeman, male and female, have vanished for in union with Christ you are all one.”
Many religions teach that women are inferior to men and have a servant role. While Christianity assigns roles to men and to women, the equality and rights of men and women are clear. The most basic cause of domestic violence is an unwillingness to follow what God has told us about relationships with one another. The media and proponents of evolution suggest that our lives are driven by “survival of the fittest,” and we have to “look after #1,” meaning ourselves.
Why are premarital sex and cohabitation rapidly increasing in our culture? If a man can get what he wants and then walk away from the relationship, his investment is minimized. Marriage, as described in Ephesians and Galatians, involves sacrifice and patience. It isn’t hard to understand the reason for domestic violence. The only real answer is for men and women together to look to God for the strength to live and love as He intended. Becoming “one” and following God’s plan works. Alternatives do not work and lead to frustration and destructive results.
— John N. Clayton © 2021
The Cora Lamping Center is a division of the Avenue Family Network. Their website is www.theavenue.ngo, and their 24-hour crisis helpline is 888-237-1891.