“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.”
As we seek to understand God’s way for us in the midst of an abusive relationship, there are times when the Scriptures can provoke us to doubt or fear the heart of the One who loves us. The Scriptures indeed acknowledge that there are times when enduring harsh or inappropriate treatment serves as a powerful testimony and can bring glory to God. But too often we are inclined to believe that, if we are suffering in marriage, we are called to pray, perfect ourselves to attempt to earn our abuser’s love, and hope for change.
But what if a hostile husband’s behaviors have nothing to do with a lack of understanding, a difficult phase in his life, his struggles at work, or a traumatic childhood? What if the one with whom you share your bed is an utterly self-absorbed, abusive – even wicked – man? What if he knows exactly what he is doing, doesn’t care if you are hurting and uses your faith to keep you bound to him? Does your commitment to sacrifice yourself to his will minister to him or merely enable him? If it is the latter, you must ask yourself: Is that what God would have me do?