Biblical Perspectives On Domestic Violence: An Overview
The Bible has much to say about domestic violence and
Godís concern for victims of domestic violence.Here are a few of the important insights and advice it offers:
David became a part of King Saulís household, he became a victim of
domestic violence.The account
of David and King Saul in 1 Samuel 18-26 is a textbook on the classic
dynamics of domestic violence relationships.It also discusses safety planning, and leaving an abusive
55 is written by David, a victim of domestic violence while in King Saulís
household, and provides a clear expression of the emotions felt by victims.
account of Abigail in 1 Samuel 25 praises the actions taken by a victim of
domestic violence to protect her family from their abuser.
Bible says that domestic violence is sin and wickedness and must be stopped
(Malachi 2:13-16; 1 Peter 3:7; Ephesians 4:31; Matthew 5:21-22; Luke
12:45-46; Leviticus 25:17; Galatians 5:19-21; 2 Timothy 3:1-5)
Bible is clear about marriage as a relationship of mutual support and
concern (1 Peter 3:7; Ephesians 5:21-33; Ephesians 4:32; Galatians 3:28; 1
Corinthians 12:24b-26). Each time the New Testament directs wives to submit
to their husbands, it simultaneously commands husbands to love, protect, and
honor their wives, and to not treat them harshly.
Wives are commanded to submit to their husbands
"as is fitting in the Lord" (Colossians
), and in doing so, to fearlessly do what is right (1 Peter 3:1,5-6).Because it calls domestic violence sin and wickedness, the Bible does
not support submission to domestic violence. Submission is often confused
with obedience, but in the Bible they are two separate words with different
meanings.In the Old Testament,
Abigail is praised for saving her family from the actions of her abusive
husband, even though this required her to disobey his commands.
are encouraged to seek safety (Proverbs 22:3 and 27:12; 1 Samuel 20; Luke
4:28-29; Acts 9:23-25; Matthew 18:15-17)
are directed to stop abusing and to be held accountable for their actions
(Matthew 5:21-22; Ephesians 4:31; Matthew 18:15-17; Luke 17:3).
Bible calls the husband the head of the home (1 Corinthians 11:3 and
); this headship should be like Christís leadership of the church
).Christ taught and
demonstrated that leaders should be servants, and not lord it over others
(Matthew 20:25-28; Luke 22:25-26; John 13:14-15; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians
victims feel that they cannot not leave a violent marriage, no matter how
dangerous it is, because they took marriage vows before God.Though the Bible teaches that vows to God are a serious matter, the
Old Testament law allowed vows to be annulled if they brought harm or
bondage (Leviticus 27:1-25).The
Bible says that domestic violence violates the marriage covenant (Malachi
taught his followers to rebuke and correct those who transgress against
them, and provided a series of safety procedures for doing so (Matthew
-17; Luke 17:3).He taught that
reconciliation may not be possible where the transgressor refuses to stop
violating (Matthew ).Repentance must be
accompanied by righteous actions (Luke 3:3,8-14).