Violence in Christian Homes
We have not found any national studies on abuse in Christian homes, but independent denominational studies reveal the following:
- Domestic Violence is happening in middle class church couples who are both professing Christianity, with conservative upbringing, as well as couples without those advantages.
- 28% of Reformed Church in America members surveyed said they experienced abuse in marriage.
- In a Methodist survey of 600 women, 1 in 6 were abused by their husbands, specifying battering.
- In 1992, U.S. Roman Catholic Church issued a pastoral response condemning DV as sinful, and proclaiming that women were not religiously bound to stay in abusive relationships.
- American Baptist Church prepared a resource magazine on DV. They sent it to 7,000 pastors in the USA. Only 400 wanted to continue receiving yearly updates on this subject.
- A local Rabbi reports that Jewish law is very clear. It says "Treat each other in the image of God." In his words, "Spouse-beating has been a criminal act in Jewish law for 2,000 years. Also, Jewish women have the right to refuse sexual advances. So, in many ways, Jewish law anticipated where Western law is now moving."
Some churches emphasize passages in Ephesians 5 on wives being submissive to their husbands as unto the Lord, but neglect those passages that instruct husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it:
- "Submitting yourselves one to another in the reverential fear of God."
- "The husband is head of the wife in the same way Christ is head of the church and He is the Savior of the body. (not the abuser of the body)."
- "Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it, that he might sanctify it and cleanse it with washing of the Word.
- (using the Word of God not violence)."
- "That He might present it to Himself a glorious church not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing but that it should be HOLY and without BLEMISH!"
- "So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies (they wouldn't batter or abuse their own bodies). He that loves his wife loves himself." (he that does not love his wife does not love himself, and there lies the problem)"