Confronting Abuse As Sin
God sees abuse as "sin."
There are many Bible verses that
describe behaviors commonly seen in domestic violence. These scriptures
clearly call these behaviors sin. One such biblical passage is found in Galatians
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity
and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits
of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness,
orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live
like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians
Let's see how these sins relate to
Jealousy -- Jealous behavior is often one
of the first warning signs of an abusive personality. At first it may be
excused as love and caring, but it can quickly become a form of abusive
control and coercion.
Fits of Rage -- An abuser's raging can
effectively intimidate and control his partner and children. By being
scary and threatening, he can have his way.
Discord and Dissensions-- Even in the
absence of physical abuse, verbal and psychological abuse destroys
relationships and homes. See The Continuums of Abuse and the
Types of Verbal Abuse describe other abusive behaviors that bring discord and
Drunkenness-Though alcohol and drug
abuse are not the cause of domestic violence, they are frequently present
with domestic violence. An abuser may use them as an excuse for battering,
claiming they "made him out of control."
Selfishness--Abusers are often
self-centered and narcissistic (lover of self).
Sexual Immorality, Impurity and Debauchery-- Sexual
abuse is frequently found in domestic violence relationships. The
"Continuums of Abuse" describes some types of sexual abuse.
Abusers may also have "affairs" or engage in pornography due
to an accompanying sexual addiction, or a desire to hurt and demean
Other common domestic violence
behaviors described as sin in the Bible include:
abuse, lack of
self-control, treachery, rashness, brutality, inability
to acknowledge the truth (e.g., denial) (2 Timothy 3:1-8)
slander and verba1 abuse (1
Corinthians 5:11and 6:9, Mark 7:22, Matthew 15:19)
anger (Matthew 5:21-22)
lies, deceit, and falsehood
(Malachi 3:5; Matthew 15:19; Romans 1:29)
malice (Romans 1:28-32;
arrogance (Mark 7:22)
of others (Leviticus 25:17)
impressing others while covering secret
sin (Matthew 23:23, 28)
Abusers are in peril of eternal
The Bible makes it clear that unrepentant abusers who do not
turn from their ways will be judged and will not enter the Kingdom
(Matthew 5:21-22, Galatians 5:19-21, and Revelation 21-22).
2:13-14 and 1 Peter 3:7 indicate that
abusers' payers are blocked. If a servant of God abuses others, he will
be punished when Jesus returns, and will be treated as an unbeliever (Luke 12:45-46). It
is so important that domestic violence be recognized and dealt with as
sin, because the abuser's soul is in peril.
When we recognize abuse as sin, it is
easier to see what action the Bible prescribes.
responsible for confronting sin:
Abuse is a serious matter; the soul of
the abuser is at stake. The sin of abuse must not be enabled, but rather
be confronted (see Galatians 6:1, Ephesians
5:11, Leviticus 19:17).
Believers are to pray for those who
mistreat them. Abusers are trapped in sin and are in great peril of their
souls. Believers are to pray for them, according to Matthew 5:44, Luke
6:28, 1 John 5:16.
Jesus taught us a formula for
Read Matthew 18:15-17. This plan promotes
accountability while providing safety measures for the victim.
confronted, a hardened abuser frequently denies the situation and
escalates the abuse and attempts to control. A victim should first have
a safety plan
in place. If the situation is too dangerous, confrontation
may be inappropriate. It may be better to allow professionals,
relatives, friends, or the courts to confront the abuser.
1. We rarely
hear domestic violence referred to as sin. Sometimes people refer to it
as "a love spat," "a private matter," or "a
marital problem." How do each of these terms fail to hold abusers
accountable for their actions?
2. The Bible says that sin can be
transferred to future generations (Exodus 34:7) Have you seen domestic
violence occur in different generations of the same family?