Till death do us part – even if it kills me?

Countless numbers pose the question: What does the Bible say about spouse abuse? The first scripture religion likes to jump on is found in the book of Malachi, “God hates divorce” (2:16). What is usually overlooked, though, in that scripture, is his admonishment that man is not to deal treacherously with his wife. A translation of the scripture says, “God hates the divorce that results from treacherous abuse of the wife.”

God set forth marriage to be a lifetime relationship. God offers great help to those who seek it in sustaining a marriage relationship or in the reconciliation of estranged marriage partners.

In extreme cases, there are only two grounds for divorce and remarriage:

In the circumstance of adultery having taken place, a divorce can be obtained. Adultery severs the marriage covenant and divorce is a formal acknowledgment of what has already taken place.

The apostle Paul added to the teachings of Jesus what is called the “Pauline privilege.” He taught that if an unbelieving spouse leaves a believer, the believer is not bound to the marriage relationship, but is free to remarry” (1 Corinthians 7:15). There are some people who recognize such a thing as a “constructive desertion,” which would be when a husband so brutalizes his wife that it is impossible to live with him any longer; or when a wife has so harassed, or brutalized her husband that it becomes impossible for him to stay with her. When that happens, whether or not the person actually moves out, the situation is the equivalent of desertion, and divorce and remarriage are permissible.

Carolyn is an advocate for sexual/domestic violence and assault awareness, also focusing on child sexual abuse. She is a Life Direction & Empowerment Coach, working with victims and survivors of molestation, sexual assault, domestic violence or spousal abuse, and bringing training to organizations seeking to help victims. Read her story in her book, ORANGE BLOSSOM WISHES: Child Molested, Woman Abused—Her Victorious Journey to Freedom and visit her website: orangeblossomwishes.com.

  1. Carolyn it was GREAT seeing you at the Purple Ribbon 5K Race at Lake Hollingsworth in Lakeland this morning!
    I’ve uploaded pictures from the event to the ABC Action News Taking Action Against Domestic Violence Page on Facebook. Below is the link. As always, you looked fabulous in purple! On behalf of the team at ABC Action News thank you for sharing your story with us. We are delighted to have the opportunity to profile you for our 2011 TAADV Primetime Special on October 14th, 8pm – 9pm. We have no doubt, your survivor story will help save lives.
    xoxo, Lissette Campos, Director of Community Affairs, WFTS TV ABC Action News
    http://www.Facebook.com/TAADV

    • Lissette, Thank you for such kind words. It is an honor and privilege for ABC to share such a platform. Saving and changing lives – that’s what it is all about! I am truly a blessed woman. Today’s event was a stark reminder of how many voices have been silenced by DV. It is for that reason I am dedicated to continually be a mouthpiece against this travesty. May I be a voice for them, and in their memory. Even in the darkest of nights, if we light just one little candle, the darkness is broken. May my voice be that candle in the dark!!

  2. why do we try to come up with biblical grounds for things that aren’t mentioned in gods word. I do not support abuse, but common, do we twist gods word to suit what we think is acceptable grounds for divorce. I admire how jesus said it plain and simple knowing that human intelligence on the matter would evolve and twist the word of god to suit human thinking. jesus says it simple so there was no confusion around the topic knowing that people in today society would turn it into false doctrine. abandonment in the marriage we all know is simply referring to walking out and not wanting to remain married. this doesn’t mean we can place abuse under that umbrella as it is not in the word of god. what are we selling, cheap theology?? jesus gave 2 reasons and that was it. their was no third reason for abuse. its not mentioned in the bible. common people lets stick with the word of god here.

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