The abuse of a spouse is scripturally never acceptable. Abuse comes in a wide array of ways, physical, mental, verbal, emotional, spiritual, sexual and even absence. The Church teaches that marriage is to be a permanent relationship. The Church discourages divorce.
And all of this rightly so! The Church has to help build the home and help couples and families to understand commitment and its importance.
Here is where our scriptural ignorance sometimes does us harm. Since Jesus only talks about divorce being acceptable in terms of adultery, we feel trapped. Since Paul talks about the wife be submissive to the husband, she thinks that it is God’s will to live this way.
But neither could be farther from the truth.
When Paul and Peter both talk about the wife being submissive they put the condition on the husband that he must love his wife as Christ loved the Church. Someone with that much love does not abuse another person. Paul dedicates the entire 7th chapter of First Corinthians to marriage. He deals with marriage, remarriage, being single and never married, and being widowed. 1CO 7:15 God has called us to live in peace.
It was a 99′ September day in San Antonio, when a 10 month-old baby girl was accidently locked inside a parked car by her aunt. Frantically the mother and aunt ran around the auto in near hysteria, while a neighbor attempted to unlock the car with a clothes hanger.
Soon the infant was turning purple and had foam on her mouth. It had become a life-or-death situation when Fred Arriola, a wrecker driver, arrived on the scene. He grabbed a hammer and smashed the back window of the car to set her free. Was he heralded a hero? He said, “The lady was mad at me because I broke the window. I just thought, What’s more important – the baby or the window?” Sometimes priorities get out of order, and a Fred Arriola reminds us what’s important.
If your life or the lives of your children are in danger leave. If the abusing spouse is unwilling to deal with the problem of abuse, leave. God has called us to live in peace.