Divorce & Domestic Violence

DOES THE LOVING GOD WE PREACH REQUIRE THEM TO STAY IN A MARRIAGE JUST TO KEEP THE RULE?  IS THE RULE REGARDING STAYING MARRIED MORE IMPORTANT THAN THEIR NEEDS, SAFETY AND THAT OF THEIR CHILDREN?  IF THIS WAS YOUR DAUGHTER OR GRANDCHILD, WOULD YOU WANT THEM TO STAY IN THIS MARRIAGE? MOST OF YOU WOULD ANSWER NO!  WHY DO YOU THINK GOD, HER FATHER, WANTS HER TO STAY IN A MARRIAGE LIKE THIS RISKING HER LIFE AND THAT OF ANY CHILDREN?
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The Lord has been speaking to me a lot about the strongholds in the church and how we have false images of Him that are not accurate based on scripture that is twisted in the church because of doctrines of demons or half truths.  Half truths even lead to deception so things must be taken as a whole and in context.  He is grieved because so many things being taught in the church are not even read in context and we miss the whole point of what He is trying to say.  Let me point to the book of Malachi.  This book and the word being given by the prophet is being spoken to the men or husbands and to the priests, not the people.  The Lord is rebuking the men for the hardness of their hearts and He is rebuking the priests for not addressing the hardness of the hearts of men toward their wives. 

Malachi 2 starts out:  AND NOW O YE PRIESTS, THIS COMMANDMENT IS FOR YOU.  IF YE WILL NOT HEAR AND IF YE WILL NOT LAY IT TO HEART, TO GIVE GLORY UNTO MY NAME SAITH THE LORD OF HOSTS, WILL EVEN SEND A CURSE UPON YOU AND I WILL CURSE YOUR BLESSINGS;  YEA, I HAVE CURSED THEM ALREADY, BECAUSE YOU DO NOT LAY IT TO HEART.

Malachi 2 states that the priests lips should keep knowledge and they should seek the law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.  But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts. 

In Malachi 2 The Lord is rebuking them because they cover the alter with tears and weeping and the Lord is not regarding it any anymore.  He is not receiving their offering  because the Lord has been a witness between the man and the wife of his youth whom the man has dealt treacherously.  Then it goes on to say that the Lord hates “putting away” (divorce) for she covereth violence with the garments (domestic violence and conceiling bruises by covering them up), saith the Lord of hosts, therefore take heed to your spirit that ye deal not treacherously.  Ye have wearied the Lord with your words.  Yet ye say, wherein have we wearied him?  When ye say, Everyone that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them; or, where is the God of judgment?

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The Lord was addressing domestic violence and rebuking the men for how they treated their wives.  He was rebuking the pastors or priests for turning a blind eye to it and telling the men that because of the fact that they were hard hearted toward their wives and violent towards them and telling them they were all right or accepted in the sight of God, The Lord did not accept their offerings and they had wearied Him because they called evil good.  This is why the Lord permitted divorce, which He hates.  The Lord would rather protect his daughters against violence by making divorce a provision to protect them.  When a writ of divorcement was given, the men had to provide a home and provision for the women and take care of them according to the law.  Most of the church throws the “God hates divorce” clause in the face of women facing violence in order to keep them in marriages where their well being and safety and even their lives were threatened.  Is that the heart of the God you know?  Is the rule more important than the needs of the people.  Didn’t Jesus rebuke the Pharisee because they did the same when they persecuted Jesus for doing good on the Sabbath, thus breaking the “rule” regarding not working on the Sabbath?  Jesus told them, “If your donkey fell into a ditch on the Sabbath, wouldn’t you go and rescue him, even though that is “work” and breaking the rule”?  Is the rule more important than the needs of the people?

 I am not a proponent of divorce and I do believe that many jump to end a marriage covenant without considering the impact and meaning of the covenant and that is wrong, but I would never tell someone not to divorce if they had to endure domestic violence in it’s many forms.  Many of which are not all physical violence.  To place the rule above the safety and needs of the people is legalism in its ugliest form and not the heart of the Father and this wearies the Lord to the point that He will not receive their offering any longer.  And woe to the church leaders who tell the men that they are accepted and okay with the Lord by telling them everyone who doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord and he delighteth in them.  God will hold them more accountable. 

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 It seems all we get out of this chapter is “God hates divorce” and we miss the whole point and who the Lord is speaking to and we don’t have ears to hear and because of our legalism we hear the law and miss the spirit with which it is spoken.  God help us!

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There is much BAD teaching in the Church. Often women are counseled by pastors to stay with husbands who are physically, emotionally, financially or sexually abusing them or one of the children. They are told that if they just “submit” that God will take care of them.

One study polled six thousand pastors about how they would counsel a woman complaining of domestic abuse.

-Twenty-six percent
would counsel the wife to continue to submit to her husband, no matter what.

-Twenty-five percent
would tell the wife the abuse was her own fault for failing to submit in the first place.

-Fifty
percent said that women should
be willing to “tolerate some level of violence” because
it is better than divorce.

How very sad that our view of a loving Father God would require this of women and children who are treated as property.  With these statistics, I wouldn’t advise a woman to go to her clergy leader because she is likely to be revictimized by them.  Call a domestic abuse hotline in your area and disregard any advice from clergy to stay in an abusive marriage.  Usually, if a woman or family member goes to a pastor or clergy, it is their last hope as they believe God and his leaders will rescue them from their violent family system of control.  If they are revictimized the likelihood of suicide rises as they feel hopeless.  They are already in the “Abandonment Stage” of abuse (see my section on Healing Answers to Abusive Relationships) and feel hopeless and isolated and clergy is usually their last resort.  They already have a lot of shame regarding their abuse and to tell them that if they just did this or that or submitted, we are implying that the abuse is their fault and it is within their power to control it.  God is disgusted with the way we treat the abuser, telling him he is good and accepted by God when coming to church, and demanding that the women and children submit to such abuse.  Divorce was God’s provision to to these women and children to separate them from the abuser for their safety and the man was to provide for their housing and all their needs and a writ of divorcement was granted by God because of the hardness of the men’s hearts and that includes the heart of the clergy.  The church needs to do as the NFL did and admit that domestic abuse has been mishandled in the church and hire people to teach on the subject and educate church leaders.  They should be mandated reporters and report it as they would any other crime, because it is a crime, and if they do not report it, they should look at jail time for breaking the laws of the land.  Clergy is not above the law. The book of Malachi in the 2nd chapter, the clergy and the men were cursed for this and rebuked strongly.

Let those who have ears, hear what the spirit is saying