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What’s the Right Answer?

by | Aug 16, 2023 | Article | 0 comments

“I assumed he was telling the truth. I’m a pastor. People don’t lie to a pastor, do they?”

In cases of marital oppression, those involved often tell very different stories. How do you know what’s true and what’s not? Providing biblical care is like correcting a test without the answer key. Without context or accurate information, you don’t know if the correct answer is a, b, c, or d.

In cases of oppression, the victim has the answer key. Only She can interpret, or translate, her husband’s gestures, facial expressions, words, and behavior. She is the expert on how her husband operates in private and public. 

Many things don’t make sense when you’re meeting with individuals in an oppressive relationship: inconsistent body language, conflicting accounts, changing information, minimizing by both husband and wife (I “just,” he “just…”). God’s Word has the answers. What we’re missing is knowledge of manipulative, controlling, tactics that are often worse-than-imagined.

If you are or have been confused by a marriage that has a lot wrong, but looks so right, consider educating yourself and your church. As a person outside the marriage, you may not see the results of telling a dominating individual, “no,”  but the spouse and children will. If you listen and believe those who are most affected, you will be motivated to get involved and provide help. James knew that when he wrote, 

“For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there is disorder and every evil practice.” (James 3:16)

Your position and wisdom as a pastor, lay leader, Bible study teacher, friend or family member cannot change an abusive individual. A loving, submissive wife cannot change her abusive husband. Attending church or Bible study does not change an abusive person. Only the Word of God, wielded by the Spirit of God may… and that is not a guarantee; each of us has the ability to accept or reject God’s offer. 

Our job as people of God is to apply the Word of God by His grace with a desire for each individual’s best.


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